HOMEBREW Digest #4858 Fri 30 September 2005

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  Rowan Williams - pilsener and fusel oils. ("Murray Aldridge")
  re: Hydrometers, Batch Sparging efficiency (Ricardo Cabeza)
  re: Hydrometers, Batch Sparging efficiency (Ricardo Cabeza)
  one last comment on batch vs. continuous sparging (Ricardo Cabeza)
  RE: Efficiency (Bill Adams)
  Pils for your base malt (leavitdg)
  Re: Hydrometers and Batch Sparging (Denny Conn)
  1st Annual MALT Turkey Shoot Homebrew Competition (Jack Mowbray)
  Re: Upward infusion mashing technique (Steven Parfitt)
  RE:  Measuring specific gravity - hydrometers ("David Houseman")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 14:13:58 +1000 From: "Murray Aldridge" <aldridge at fjc.net.au> Subject: Rowan Williams - pilsener and fusel oils. Rowan, A fermentation temperature of 17C for lagers is too high. Most lager yeasts seem to be designed to ferment at 10 - 12C. Some seem to have recommended temperatures of down to 8C. Ester and fusil oils production can be increased by too high a temperature during fermentation. In my early days of lager brewing a solvent/band aid aroma was frequently present. The answer is simple - ferment in the fridge. Buy another cheapie if you have too. A good gadget to have (you can make or buy (ESB in Sydney sell them) is an thermostat that plugs into the wall socket(with a sensor that goes in the fridge (no hole, thin enough for the door to shut around) so you can dial up the exact temperature. This means you can brew any time you want and also control the lager temperature. It also means that you could use any ale yeast to brew ales during Canberra's summer. (Most have a reccommended tempt of around 20C. Murray Aldridge - Sydney Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 01:14:40 -0400 From: Ricardo Cabeza <expunged at gmail.com> Subject: re: Hydrometers, Batch Sparging efficiency I have read several responses to my comments regarding hydrometers and batch sparging vs. continuos sparging. I'll start with batch sparging vs. continuous sparging. (see next post for hydrometer stuff). Most brewers and breweries try to maintain a constant liquid level above the grain while sparging continuosly. When the brewer does this, the water / extract solution is being continuously diluted due to the obvious addition of more water and the continuous removal of extract in the outgoing 'sweet' wort. If one were to use the same volume of sparge water in two identical sparge cycles, one being continuous and the other being batch, the average extract concentration in the lauter tun of the continuous sparge would be lower than that of the batch sparge. This is due to the continuous extract removal in a continuous sparge cycle. So why is this important? Two reasons: 1) The leeching of extract from crushed grain occurs being there is a concentration gradient between the bulk water / extract solution outside of the grain and the tiny amount of solution present in the pores of the grain. The larger the concentration difference, the faster extract is leeched from the grain. Since the average concentration of extract in the lauter tun in a continuous sparge cycle is lower, and the concentration of extract in the grain is always higher than the bulk solution, extract will be leeched faster from the grain. 2) However, sparging may be sufficiently slow so that effects of reason number one are negligible. If this is the case, then the bulk solution and the tiny amount of solution present in the pores of the grain will reach equilibrium. Again, the continuous sparge still will yield higher efficiency. The reason again is due to the lower average extract concentration in the lauter tun. The final concentration of extract in a continuous sparge process will be lower than that of a batch sparge process. Therefore, the final concentration of extract in the grain will be lower for the continuous sparge process - which means less extract left in the lauter tun and more extract delivered to the kettle, yielding a higher efficiency. All of that being said, if batch sparging is easier and makes the brewing process faster and more enjoyable, by all means do it! This is a hobby for most of us. An extra pound of grain costs $1.50 - big deal! For those of you who are interested, I will go through a sample calculation. Whether the difference in efficiency between the two sparge cycles is significant depends on the volume of sparge water being used and the amount of wort per pound of grain that is absorbed. Going through an average sparge cycle: Consider ten pounds of grain to make a five gallon batch of beer. Assume the average as-is course grind extract potential of the grain is ~0.65. Then, assuming 100% starch conversion, there will be 6.5 pounds of extract available to be delivered to the boil kettle. Assume ~3.1 gallons of mash water (some of you may use less, I use 1BBL / 100 pounds of grain or 0.31 gallons / pound). Per Papazian, assume that 1 pound of grain absorbs 0.1 gallon of wort. Then, assuming 10% boil-off, and no other kettle losses, ~3.4 gallons of sparge water are required to deliver five gallons of wort to the fermenter. Comparing the two sparging techniques. Assume that the bulk wort and the wort trapped in the grain reach equilibrium in the lauter tun. 0.1 gal / lb * 10 lbs. grain = 1 gallon of wort trapped in the grain. For the batch technique, Adding all of the sparge water at once would yield a tun with 6.5 gallons of water and 6.5 pounds of extract. 1 gallon of water weighs approximately 8.35 pounds. So there are 6.5 gallons * 8.35 pounds / gallon = 54.25 pounds of water in the tun. Degrees Plato is roughly equivalent to percent by weight of extract. DP = 100 * 6.5 / (54.25 + 6.5) = 10.7 DP = ~10.7% extract by weight. So for the batch sparging technique, there will be 8.35 lbs. * 10.7% = ~0.9 lbs. of extract left in the tun. The efficiency is then (6.5 - 0.9) / 6.5 * 100 = 86%. The calculations for the continuous sparging technique are a bit more hairy. The tricky part is the assumption of a constant volume of wort in the lauter tun. Since the density of the solution is constantly changing, the weight of sparge water added doesn't scale linearly with the weight of wort collected. I'm going to cheat a little bit here. I have an Excel program that I made to do the calculations for me, using the above assumptions and a lot of equations and other malarky. The output I get from my program is 0.48 lbs. of extract left in the lauter tun. The efficiency is then (6.5 - 0.48) / 6.5 = ~92.5% So, in theory, the difference for this example would be 6.5%. Whether or not you consider this 'significant' is up to you. I do consider it significant for someone who is wondering why their efficiency is lower than expected. Ricardo Cabeza Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 01:31:39 -0400 From: Ricardo Cabeza <expunged at gmail.com> Subject: re: Hydrometers, Batch Sparging efficiency Oh yeah, from the last post, I almost forgot. I did make a mistake and fogot to remove that part about the sparging speed in my initial response to Michael. Thanks to Denny for point that out. Regarding hydrometers, I would defer to AJ deLange in his post titled "Measuring specific gravity - hydrometers" from HBD #4857, 9/29/05. His post is very informative and way beyond what I ever knew about hydrometers or alternate methods to measure specific gravity. I agree that hydrometers can be accurate. But I would argue that the hydrometers that are priced so that a homebrewer would consider buying them are generally inaccurate. I feel a scale is a practical tool for a brewer to have regardless of how he/she chooses to measure specific gravity. That scale can also be used to weigh grain and to weigh hops if it is precise enough. Using a volumetric flask of sufficient size is a relatively cheap alternative to accurately measure specific gravity. Realistically, a volumetric flask 100 mL or larger would be required for a scale that reads +/- 0.1 g. I have had luck buying volumetric flasks from Mcalaster Bicknell of NJ, although there are numerous other reliable sources. The trick to save money on a volumetric flask is to buy one that doesn't have a ground glass stopper. Either go with no stopper or a snap cap to save money. You should be able to pick up a volumetric flask w/o a ground glass stopper for $10 - $25 depending on size and source. If anyone wants instructions on how to measure specific gravity using a scale and a volumetric flask, feel free to email me. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 02:31:43 -0400 From: Ricardo Cabeza <expunged at gmail.com> Subject: one last comment on batch vs. continuous sparging Some of you mentioned that you actually saw an efficiency increase when you switched from continuous sparging to batch. I don't mean to offend anyone here, but theoretically this shouldn't happen per my other post. Many of use different types of equipment to sparge - some more effective than others. The two biggest keys to effiicient continuous sparging in my opinion are 1) Sufficiently slow sparging - 45 minutes to an hour. 2) A lauter design that facilitates even rinsing of the grains. Given that most of us use the Phil's sparge arm, it seems to me that a round lauter tun that is 2 - 3" larger than the diameter of the arm would be the best geometry for efficiency. The reason I say this is that in my observation, the arm tends to 'throw' water towards the walls of the tun. A design that is as narrow as possible will also reduce the effects of the 'cone' of greater rinsing that occurs when using a single draw point. I also think a false bottom of some sort is desirable because it further diffuses the cone created by a single draw point. My first mash/lauter tun was made from two 20 gallon garbage cans (bought new from Home Depot of course!) that was essentially the 'Zapap' lauter tun design described in Papzian's New Complete Joy. I then proceeded to punch a billion holes in it with a pen. It took a long time! And I got a lot of stuck mashes! But I was a college student. I have since upgraded my equipment. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 06:57:14 -0700 (PDT) From: Bill Adams <badams1010 at yahoo.com> Subject: RE: Efficiency I fully understand the rationale behind fly sparging being the more efficient method to extract sugars from the grain bed. With that being said, in my limited experience batch sparging, I have consistantly been in the mid 80's for efficiency. This is up from mid 70's fly sparging. In fact I had to start formulating recipes with a new efficiency setting in Promash because of this. As Mr. Jones points out: "If you batch sparge and get better efficiency than you did when fly sparging, then I would contend that your fly sparging process was flawed." I completely agree. But, I am lazy and don't really have the time to find the flaws in my old process. Besides, if I did, I would then have to go back to a process that takes more time to complete. So, for now I'll batch it and take the mid 80's. And as Mr Burley states: "So, Denny, I have to say you should stop trying to convince people that batch sparging is more efficient at recovering sugars from the sparge." He convinced me that, with my equipment and only my equpment, it is the better way and I thank him for it. BA PS. I love this debate. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 09:40:14 -0400 From: leavitdg at plattsburgh.edu Subject: Pils for your base malt Can you see any reason for not using, almost exclusively, pilsner malt for your base malt? I mean, if you tend to make both light and dark ales and lagers, then doesn't it make sense to use the pils so as to get the lightest (if you want it), and use dark malts to add color and flavor, if you don't? I purchase in 55 lb bags, and would rather have the mash too light, and darken it, than have it too dark and not be able to adjust. And, aren't the enzymens ok in both to handle all styles? Brewing a "Gingered Pale Ale" this morning. Happy Brewing! Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 08:29:23 -0800 From: Denny Conn <denny at projectoneaudio.com> Subject: Re: Hydrometers and Batch Sparging Dave, either I didn't state my point clearly, or you misunderstood it. I didn't say that batch sparging was more efficient than fly sparging. What I said (or intended to say) was that it's not inherently LESS efficient. I know of many people whose efficiency went up when they switched to batch sparging from fly. My own efficiencies are on par with people who fly sparge. All the theory in the world won't negate real world experience. ------------------->Denny At 12:08 AM 9/30/05 -0400, you wrote: >Batch Sparging is typically less efficient than continuous (or "fly") >sparging simply because it is typically faster and does not take advantage >of extracting the sugar from the wort trapped in the grain with an ever >purer extractant. Slow continuous sparging also provides time for the wort >to diffuse out of the grain (aided by the low concentration extractant), >whereas batch sparging does not. This is well supported by chemical >engineering data and theories. > >With continuous sparging you should take about an hour and you will do as >well as you can with your configuration. > >So, Denny, I have to say you should stop trying to convince people that >batch sparging is more efficient at recovering sugars from the sparge. > > >Keep on Brewin' > >Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 11:12:41 -0500 (CDT) From: Jack Mowbray <jmowbray at verizon.net> Subject: 1st Annual MALT Turkey Shoot Homebrew Competition Maryland Ale and Lager Technicians (MALT) are pleased to announce their 1st Annual Turkey Shoot* Homebrew Competition. This is an AHA/BJCP sanctioned event. Cash prizes will be awarded for the BOS entry as well as for the 2nd and 3rd place entries. There will be sponsored prizes awarded to individual category winners. The competition will be held Saturday, November 12th at Clipper City Brewing Company in Baltimore, MD. All BJCP beer categories will be accepted and the deadline for entries is November 1st. Additional information, rules, entry forms, and bottle labels can be found on the MALT website: http://www.maltclub.org We need BJCP accredited judges for this event. Those wishing to judge should contact: Mike McMahon fishandbrew at comcast.net *no live poultry will be harmed during this event Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 09:30:19 -0700 (PDT) From: Steven Parfitt <thegimp98 at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: Upward infusion mashing technique I believe the term for feeding liquid into the mash tun from the bottom gate is Underletting. Steven, -75 XLCH- Ironhead Nano-Brewery http://thegimp.8k.com Johnson City, TN [422.7, 169.2] Rennerian "There is no such thing as gravity, the earth sucks." Wings Whiplash - 1968 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 17:01:06 -0400 From: "David Houseman" <david.houseman at verizon.net> Subject: RE: Measuring specific gravity - hydrometers This is an interesting thread. For the researcher, or anal retentive brewer, precision beyond .1P may be necessary. But for the basic homebrewer, the typical hydrometer, when used correctly is more than sufficient for all purposes. Although I'll admit that a refractometer is much better when taking readings of wort from the lauter tun to the kettle and from the kettle to the fermenter. Excellent beer is made repeatedly with a $5 hydrometer. And splurging on a $60 refractometer is a luxury, not a necessity. Beyond that it's simply toys for big boys :-)) David Houseman Return to table of contents
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