New Brewery!

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by levain, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. Jason F.

    Jason F. Will Ride for Beer...

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    What are you hitting now for efficiency and do you have your own mill? There is a method some of the guys in my local brew club are experimenting with and having some great results. They are misting the grain before crush with a few ounces of water in a spray bottle. They mist it down and let it sit about 3 to 5 minutes to soak in slightly. Then they crush. It cuts down on the dust and the husks do not shred as bad. They are able to dial the rollers of the mill for a smaller or finer crush which helps them hit efficiencies in the mid to high 80's.

    I have not tried it yet but I seem to not have any efficiency problems to worry about. I just run a normal crush on my mill and normally hit 76% to 78% on my system.

    I can say if your mashtun is not well setup you can get a stuck mash fairly easily with a crush that is fine. Buddy of mine just had that happen when he crushed is grain nearly to a flour. Took him two hours of stirring and straining to get the wort out of the mashtun and even after that it was very cloudy in the boil kettle. He is going to have a hell of a time clearing that beer up after fermentation.
  2. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    What's important to me is consistency from one brew to the next. Other than that I think homebrewers put way too emphasis on efficiency.
  3. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    What's important to me is consistency from one brew to the next. Other than that I think homebrewers put way too much emphasis on efficiency.
  4. Dansrc51

    Dansrc51 I need a cape....

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    Jim,
    while I agree with you that consistency is important, efficiency I think is a large piece of that. Unless you are happy boiling way down to your OG target, your final ABV will be way off (I'm sure you know this already). My point is, in the interest of consistency, if I have varying degrees of mash efficiency, then I'm all over the place trying to get to my OG at flame out. I really hate adding sugar or worse, boiling an extra gallon to two out in order to hit my targets. Once volume changes to meet your target Gravity, you have to adjust your hop profiles, otherwise your beer will always taste different.

    Long story short, I've been as high as 78 and as low as 56. We have our own mill and are dialing it in. We're new to all grain, so it is a learning curve for sure. We just set the mill to .39" and we are still fiddling with the mash tun. Our recent porter was way over our expected efficiency and we wound up at 73%. which is good, we want better efficiency, just want it all the time. better extraction is good...right?
  5. fifthcircle

    fifthcircle Beer Knurd

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    I have not yet brewed the same beer twice.... :D

    Also, if you are trying to crush the piss outta your grain, you'd better be tossing in rice hulls. :deal


    Sent from my fat thumbs on a small touch screen.
  6. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    My system produces 75% efficiency every time I brew with any style or recipe I make up. When I speak of consistency that's what I refer to. I could care less about a few points one way or the next since I'm not a professional. An extra pound or two of malt is no biggie. What is important to me is knowing where I'm going to end up. I never have to guess, and that is what is important to me. Solving the issue of one brew being 75% and the next 58% is the first step IMHO.
  7. tootal

    tootal Backroad traveler

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    When it comes to grain efficiency there are several variables. The grain itself can be more efficient from one batch to another and from one style to another, ie, an English Pale malt might not be as efficient as an American grown two row. The European malts are not as "modified" as a lot of American malts. American macro brewers use highly modified malts to keep cost per barrel down but they are not as flavorful as unmodified malts. The macro's also mill their malts to talcom powder for the mash but they have the convenience of mechanical rakes that cut slots in the mash to get the sparge going again. We have to keep one eye on efficiency and one on the ability to sparge without getting stuck! I built my own malt mill and have it set at .056". This crushes the malt endosperm into at least 4 pieces and retains the husk. Using a RIMS system we are able to maintain 86 percent efficiency. Now there are two ways to measure efficiency. One is in the kettel before the boil or in the fermenter after the boil. Before the boil we are 75 percent and in the fermenter we're 86 percent. So we need to be clear on which method we all are using to compare. We fill our kettle to the same spot everytime and boil 90 minutes. We are very consistent using this method and we end up with 9.5 gallons after fermentation every time. We use to brew a recipe and boil it till we hit our marks but this screws up the time your flavor and aroma hops are being boiled. I recommend getting some brewing software and putting your recipe in there and make your beer as per recipe. Boil 90 minutes and quit. See what you're getting. If it's thinner or thicker then adjust your malt using your software to maintain your ratios, if you are using adjuncts. Get a consistent procedure and then modify your recipe to fit it. Also the time you mash and your mash temperatures will affect your efficiency. Higher temps will convert faster as Alpha amylese is only chopping the sugar molecules into long chains. Temps below 150F will be mostly Beta amylese and they will chop them into really short chains that are easier for the yeast to eat but this takes longer. Test for starches to make sure you're fully converted. If you're unsure whether or not you're converted then use the time and temp in your recipe, and if you are able to raise the temps by heat or by adding boiling water, get them into the 156 to 160 range for 20 minutes. This should finish off any leftovers and get you converted.
  8. fifthcircle

    fifthcircle Beer Knurd

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    I always thought efficiency was measured pre-boil. Post boil has too many added variables, ie: boil off in hot/cold/dry/humid conditions.
  9. tootal

    tootal Backroad traveler

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    We use ProMash software and it measures both ways. We never check gravity pre-boil since were more concerned with post boil. Like I was saying, boil 90 minutes, (or 60, whatever your recipe requires), and quit. Did you hit your target OG? If not, adjust your recipe for the next time. I'm just talking about being consistent, or trying to be anyway! :D
  10. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    This is what I do. I find that its a lot more important that you can hit whatever gravity you're looking for consistently than worrying about a few points one way or the other.
  11. goosecreek

    goosecreek fed up

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  12. Schmeds

    Schmeds scarce

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    And from one post to the next.

    But I agree completely. Repeatability is the goal. I've twice tried to replicate a saison that I made about 5 years ago, to no avail. Essentially, that means the success of that first saison is attributable to luck -- to a convergence among factors that I was not controlling. I don't like that.
  13. Dansrc51

    Dansrc51 I need a cape....

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    On a new topic, I got a chance to brew with this guy http://www.brewersunion.com/pub/index.php yesterday. He does cask only British style ales. We made a bitter on his 2 barrel (Imperial barrels of course) system. and drank pints (imperial pints :evil). good times, and learned a lot.
  14. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    Nice! Cask ale is not out of the question at the homebrew level. Here's one of my casks venting [​IMG]

    And, another through a cask widge.
    [​IMG]
  15. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

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    It's about time Oakridge got on the map. :rofl
  16. Nytelyte

    Nytelyte Somewhere about

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    Well, while I was out on my wedding/honeymoon vacation, my keg of Kolsch and my keg of Blonde were just hitting the gas to carb up, my Bourbon Barrel ale was in its cool spot aging, and my Wee Heavy was sequestered to the fridge to continue its aging in a cold place (more a aging preservation spot, I know not much actual aging occurs at fridge temps), as while I was gone the house was going to be allowed to get up to 85deg and thats too hot for my poor beers..

    And then the power went out because of the storm for 5 days during this heat wave. It came on during the day while we were on our way home.
    Everything in the fridge is a total loss. Interior of the house got up to 92. Bourbon Barrel popped two bottles, chilling to taste one now. Kolsch is RUINED. Tastes like nasty aftertasted skunk water:puke1, gonna dump it unless someone knows a magic trick. Blonde is a little skunky, I might make it a 3rd or 4th beer and see how it goes, it might get the drain too. Wee heavy probably ruined, it was HOT in the fridge, I've not tasted it yet, its back in the closet, will get bottled probably soon.

    Pretty unhappy about it at the moment. Having a good tequila margarita.
  17. Dansrc51

    Dansrc51 I need a cape....

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    well, I wouldn't dump anything just yet. I might suggest cooling and carbonating the beer first and see what the results are. It's funny how age in a cool environment can change a beer. You probably won't salavage anything, but then again... It would'nt cost you anything but time.
  18. Dansrc51

    Dansrc51 I need a cape....

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    bump.

    got a Saison finshing up....
  19. Barron

    Barron M0DAH0LIC

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    Well I've got my mead in bottles, I tried some and it's not as sweet as I had thought it might be, but it's definitely strong. I can't wait to see how it ages, but it might not get a chance...:freaky

    I should have taken some gravity readings, but I like to guess at how strong it is while I'm drinking it :D
  20. Apocalypse Cow

    Apocalypse Cow SHEEP LIE!!!!!

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    I had a Porter come of age this past weekend, one I had seasoned with a medium toasted oak spiral and 3/4 Vanilla bean. Definately needs more bean but the oak added a great finish to it.
    I think I will make this again and add 1 1/2 beans to the secondary and maybe a hint of Cherry extract.

    Also, my SO and I were at the store the other night and wandered across the "mix your own 6 pack" area, we both looked at each other and said almost simultaniously "research".

    Gwad, this is a great hobby. :lol3