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Old 01-12-2010, 06:08 AM   #21
jasonk
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Originally Posted by vsiddhartha View Post
Yeah all grain. Differences...AG is cheaper. There are more grains you can use. It gives you more control over the color and fermentability of the wort. It's not really any more difficult, but it takes more time on brewday and requires some more equipment.
that's a good answer. Alot of "beer snobs" look down on homebrewers that use extract but you can make a good beer with it. If you want to get into all grain get Bill Owens book "How to build a small Brewery....Draft beer in 10 days". It helps you make some of the equipment you need out of common household items and on the cheap.

http://www.amazon.com/Build-Small-Br.../dp/0982405529
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:09 AM   #22
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that's a good answer. Alot of "beer snobs" look down on homebrewers that use extract but you can make a good beer with it. If you want to get into all grain get Bill Owens book "How to build a small Brewery....Draft beer in 10 days". It helps you make some of the equipment you need out of common household items and on the cheap.

http://www.amazon.com/Build-Small-Br.../dp/0982405529
Thanks for the link!
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:30 AM   #23
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Thanks for the link!
Any homebrew shop will have that book if you don't want to wait. If you really get into it get one of Papazians' books and follow his advice.

"Relax, have a homebrew!"
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:34 AM   #24
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that's a good answer. Alot of "beer snobs" look down on homebrewers that use extract but you can make a good beer with it. If you want to get into all grain get Bill Owens book "How to build a small Brewery....Draft beer in 10 days". It helps you make some of the equipment you need out of common household items and on the cheap.

http://www.amazon.com/Build-Small-Br.../dp/0982405529
For sure, great beer can be made either way. Hereís the webpage I used for guidance on how to build my mash-lauter tun (MLT), which is the main piece of extra equipment you need to go all-grain. A wort chiller and larger kettle are good to have also. I still use the same cooler MLT setup, but I have a ball valve with a bazooka screen now, which is more sturdy.

Here's a photo log of my brew process that I put up a couple years ago. My process is still the same, except Iím now using a converted beer keg as my boil kettle.
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:02 AM   #25
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I still use my Mr. Beer setup, if that counts as brewing. I know "real" brewers probably laugh at Mr. Beer kits, but I think it's a good intro. It's almost foolproof, gives you a general idea about how to brew beer and you don't have to dedicate a whole room or mess up a whole room to do it!
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:41 AM   #26
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The first beer I ever made was with a Mr. Beer kit years ago. They actually work fairly well, the only problem is you don't get to do much. Well, that and a gallon of beer is barely worth the trouble.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:45 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by vsiddhartha View Post
For sure, great beer can be made either way. Hereís the webpage I used for guidance on how to build my mash-lauter tun (MLT), which is the main piece of extra equipment you need to go all-grain. A wort chiller and larger kettle are good to have also. I still use the same cooler MLT setup, but I have a ball valve with a bazooka screen now, which is more sturdy.

Here's a photo log of my brew process that I put up a couple years ago. My process is still the same, except Iím now using a converted beer keg as my boil kettle.
Thanks for the link. I didn't realize the MLT was so simple, I'm definately going to have to look into this more.
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:19 AM   #28
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What kind of setup do YOU have goin?

PS- You still out west working with oil or are you back in NY?
Nothing special. I just got into this a little over a year ago. I was just wondering. She got me the best entry level setup she could find, but I would like to start kegging once I do get a house. Pretty much the food-grad 5 gallon buckets, nice bottler all the transfer hoses and bottling stuff that goes with it, tapped bucket for racking, ect. I want to get a nice propane stand and a 5 gallon SS pot if I dont have a gas stove at the house i decide on.

I am kind of in limbo...I work in Cali for 4-5 weeks and they fly me back home for 2-3 weeks off (Mass). I should have a house in Cali within the next 3 months. I am driving my mustang, bike and some other stuff first week of February. Once I get set up in Cali i work 2 weeks on 1 off. They are doing some crazy stuff out here and making some descent finds lately. I worked in Cali for a year from 2007-2008 before I decided being poor in a depressing place was a good idea.

So lately I have been racking up the frequent flyer miles on my companies account and like i said all my crap is in a storage unit.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:50 AM   #29
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I still use the same cooler MLT setup, but I have a ball valve with a bazooka screen now, which is more sturdy.
that bazooka tube.....I'm thinking of doing the same thing in a converted keg. I'm going to try using the stainless sheating of a water supply line instead of buying the actual bazooka unit.

Any idea if I made a mash 80% flaked wheat and 20% crushed 2 row, would it work or do you think the flaked wheat would sort of gelatinize and plug the tube. For what I'm doing it's easier to use the flaked stuff, as it requires alot lower temps. I'm just thinking that the flaked stuff might be so soft that it wouldn't form a good filter bed like the harder grains.
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:55 AM   #30
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that bazooka tube.....I'm thinking of doing the same thing in a converted keg. I'm going to try using the stainless sheating of a water supply line instead of buying the actual bazooka unit.

Any idea if I made a mash 80% flaked wheat and 20% crushed 2 row, would it work or do you think the flaked wheat would sort of gelatinize and plug the tube. For what I'm doing it's easier to use the flaked stuff, as it requires alot lower temps. I'm just thinking that the flaked stuff might be so soft that it wouldn't form a good filter bed like the harder grains.
Youíre right. I donít think it will work with that much wheat. When it gets gummed up like that itís called a stuck mash. I think most homebrewers overplay the risk of a stuck mash, but it can happen. Iíve done 50% wheat malt/50% pils mashes before without getting stuck (it did run a LOT slower though). Some brewers add rice hulls to high-adjunct mashes to help with the lautering. At what point it gets stuck will also depend on a lot of factors like whether youíre batch sparging or continuously sparging, LT geometry, filtering hardware, etc. So itís very homebrewery-specific, but Iíd say youíre just about guaranteed to get stuck at 80% flaked wheat.

Actually Iím not even sure if a mash with only 20% diastatic malt will have enough enzymes to convert the unmalted wheat. You would have to add some alpha amylase.

Also, keep in mind that because you have to put the drain valve on the vertical part of the side of the keg, and because of the curvature on the bottom, you will have a lot of deadspace (i.e., wort that wonít drain by gravity once your siphon breaks). Itís not a deal breaker, but your mash efficiency will go down, and youíll have to use more grain to compensate.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:55 AM   #31
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Youíre right. I donít think it will work with that much wheat. When it gets gummed up like that itís called a stuck mash. I think most homebrewers overplay the risk of a stuck mash, but it can happen. Iíve done 50% wheat malt/50% pils mashes before without getting stuck (it did run a LOT slower though). Some brewers add rice hulls to high-adjunct mashes to help with the lautering. At what point it gets stuck will also depend on a lot of factors like whether youíre batch sparging or continuously sparging, LT geometry, filtering hardware, etc. So itís very homebrewery-specific, but Iíd say youíre just about guaranteed to get stuck at 80% flaked wheat.

Actually Iím not even sure if a mash with only 20% diastatic malt will have enough enzymes to convert the unmalted wheat. You would have to add some alpha amylase.

Also, keep in mind that because you have to put the drain valve on the vertical part of the side of the keg, and because of the curvature on the bottom, you will have a lot of deadspace (i.e., wort that wonít drain by gravity once your siphon breaks). Itís not a deal breaker, but your mash efficiency will go down, and youíll have to use more grain to compensate.
Thanks for the info....the stuck mash was my fear. You can imagine that the flaked stuff jsut turns to porridge once it's rehydrated and stirred around.

I used the same ratio with 80% flaked CORN and 20% 2-row and got my ABV to about 8% last time. OG and TG were in line. I saw that ratio some where and figured I'd try it without the Beano or other enzymes. Everything worked out just as I had planned from my reading. It was a total bitch straining my wort but what can you do? I used a paint strainer in a 5 gallon bucket, scooping with the wifey's kitchen aid mixer bowl.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:46 AM   #32
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Thanks for the info....the stuck mash was my fear. You can imagine that the flaked stuff jsut turns to porridge once it's rehydrated and stirred around.

I used the same ratio with 80% flaked CORN and 20% 2-row and got my ABV to about 8% last time. OG and TG were in line. I saw that ratio some where and figured I'd try it without the Beano or other enzymes. Everything worked out just as I had planned from my reading. It was a total bitch straining my wort but what can you do? I used a paint strainer in a 5 gallon bucket, scooping with the wifey's kitchen aid mixer bowl.
How long (time wise) was the mash with all that corn? Pretty cool that it all converted. I assume it was for whiskey and not beer? Since your goals are different if youíre making whiskey you may not worry about your runnings not being really clear.

I donít know that much about making whiskey. I thought some (maybe all) commercial distilleries actually ferment the mash and then distill the fermented mash. Do home-distillers make beer and then distill the beer?
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:16 AM   #33
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How long (time wise) was the mash with all that corn? Pretty cool that it all converted. I assume it was for whiskey and not beer? Since your goals are different if youíre making whiskey you may not worry about your runnings not being really clear.

I donít know that much about making whiskey. I thought some (maybe all) commercial distilleries actually ferment the mash and then distill the fermented mash. Do home-distillers make beer and then distill the beer?
90 minutes at 160ish, I don't have my notes with me.

You'll see people doing both...one of the big problems with having all that crud in there when distilling is you risk burning it on the heating element (internal electrical heating element) or the bottom of the boiler (when using gas). One solution is to strain the wort before fermenting. it's a pain in the ass but scorched elements and boilers would probably prove even more painful/expensive. Most of what I know so far is from reading not personal experience so you know how useful that can be. All in time!
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:04 AM   #34
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Well, I helped a buddy of mine brew his first batch last weekend. He bought a kit for an English Brown ale, and it we brewed it according to the directions (I brewed my first batch the previous weekend using a similar kit but for an amber ale). I bottled my beer last weekend and it seemed to come out fine.

He told me this week that he was not getting an bubbling from the airlock on the fermenter. The only difference between how the two beers were brewed is the application of the yeast; I pre-soaked mine in warm water wereas he poured the dry yeast packet directly to the wort. Could this be the problem?
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:40 AM   #35
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I believe it's best to use a yeast starter, but especially so when using dry yeast. whether that was what went wrong or not I don't know. Either way I would pitch another yeast packet.
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:44 AM   #36
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I believe it's best to use a yeast starter, but especially so when using dry yeast. whether that was what went wrong or not I don't know. Either way I would pitch another yeast packet.
Thats a good idea...I was thinking he may also not have a tight enough seal around the airlock? Is there any problems with adding more yeast? Can you exceed a "yeast limit"?
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:54 AM   #37
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I'm still a beginner at this myself, but I don't know of any problem with adding a little more yeast.
The airlock not sealing properly won't cause this problem though. The risk you run there is having a wild strain of yeast getting in a ruining your beer. In other words, it could very possibly end up with mold growing on it.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:05 AM   #38
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I'm still a beginner at this myself, but I don't know of any problem with adding a little more yeast.
The airlock not sealing properly won't cause this problem though. The risk you run there is having a wild strain of yeast getting in a ruining your beer. In other words, it could very possibly end up with mold growing on it.
I was thinking he wasnt getting any bubbling from the airlock because of a bad seal, allowing CO2 to escape other ways. And like you said, a bad seal would also allow other bacteria to enter the fermenter.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:08 AM   #39
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I see what you're getting at. I guess that is a possibility, but I think it's more likely that you have a bad/improperly started batch of yeast.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:24 AM   #40
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If it’s not bubbling after 24-36 (maximum) hours then something is wrong. First question, what is the temperature? If it’s too cold, the yeast could be very sluggish. Second, like you said check for a seal on the bucket lid. Easy if it's a bucket fermenter. Just push down on the lid and see if there’s a response on the airlock. You can also open the fermenter and look inside see if there’s any activity. Third, maybe the yeast is dead. Could the wort have been too hot (over 100F may kill the yeast) when you pitched? It is possible to pitch too much yeast (pitching too little is way more common), but one extra pack won’t be too much. If (1) and (2) above aren’t the problem, pitching a second pack is good insurance. It’s not necessary to make a yeast starter (a mini batch fermentation) with fresh dry yeast for a regular strength 5-gal batch. I personally think it does help to rehydrate it, but there are a lot of people who disagree and prefer to just pitch it in dry (I did this once and it worked fine. I doubt this is your problem). A starter should be used for liquid yeasts though. Let us know how it turns out.

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