My yeast ranching strategy.

Mashing, fly sparging, batch sparging, dry hopping, late additions. Have an idea you want to bounce or stop by and share your experiences here.

Re: My yeast ranching strategy.

Postby bwarbiany on Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:38 pm

I would point out that when I was brewing at my bro-in-law's place in Yorba Linda, I did get "astringency" as a comment on several competition batches. It could be something water-related. Worth looking into, anyway.

Per Chris' comments, my standard mash thickness is 1.5 qt/lb. I only go lower if I'm doing something that will max out my mash tun, and then generally try to still stay at 1.25 qt/lb or above.

As for vorlauf, I assume by a 1 hour vorlauf you're just talking about recirculation, right? I do know some folks that recirculate their entire mash, but I don't think the recirculation for a full hour is necessary AT ALL for clarity. Most folks I know who recirculate are doing so because they're trying to maintain temperature, or trying to make absolutely sure that the mash is a consistent temp and concentration all the way through. But I don't think you need more than a few minutes for clarity, just long enough to fully set the grain bed.

I personally will vorlauf/recirculate for anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes at the end of the mash, after my final stirring step.

Do you have a pump to do that recirculation? Or are you doing this by hand?
User avatar
bwarbiany
 
Posts: 2129
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:49 pm
Location: Laguna Hills, CA

Re: My yeast ranching strategy.

Postby nevery on Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:00 pm

Excellent advice guys! Thank you!

lexuschris wrote:I'd rather put in an extra pound of grain for $1.00 and have a good beer, than worry about maxing my efficiency.

I need to start getting grain in bulk, lol. What would be the default grain to buy if I were to buy a 50-lb sack? 2-row?

lexuschris wrote:Also, you mention vorlaufing for 1 hour. I do not think that is common practice, and would be an unneccesary delay in your brew day. All you are trying to do is make sure the wort you are collecting from the bottom of the mash tun is free of grain & husk material.

I was working with wheat and I believe what I had was the coagulated proteins and some other "sandy" matter at the bottom. The wort wasn't clear while recirculating, but I assumed it would be cloudy given it had wheat. At bottling it was REALLY clear and overall way darker than I thought it would be, so that matter must have settled well enough. But anyway, check... Thank you.

lexuschris wrote:When I was gravity draining my 10-gal Igloo cooler, I just put a small bucket under the output spout until it ran clear (usually within 2-3 quarts) and then remove it. The clear wort would continue then into the boil kettle and I would gentle re-add the cloudy wort to the top of the grain bed. The grain bed should naturally compact and act like a big filter, so if you pour gently on the top .. those grains in the bucket will get trapped on the top, and only the clear wort will continue out.

PERFECT! Thank you!


bwarbiany wrote:I would point out that when I was brewing at my bro-in-law's place in Yorba Linda, I did get "astringency" as a comment on several competition batches. It could be something water-related. Worth looking into, anyway.

I am totally on the border of Yorba Linda and Anaheim hills and I use Yorba Linda's water supply, so that's most likely a contributor.

bwarbiany wrote:Per Chris' comments, my standard mash thickness is 1.5 qt/lb. I only go lower if I'm doing something that will max out my mash tun, and then generally try to still stay at 1.25 qt/lb or above.

You guys are totally right. I need to find a better mash tun; something more tall than wide. I'm thinking about making it with round Tupperware bins stacked, and then filled with spray foam between them. That idea comes from DMos Pickles and DrDually (I believe). Even my brew kettle is too wide.

bwarbiany wrote:As for vorlauf, I assume by a 1 hour vorlauf you're just talking about recirculation, right?

Yes. You probably already know that vorlauf in German means to recirculate the wort through the grain bed and I thought that's the proper name, but most people just say recirculate. I don't like using foreign words, so I think I'll switch, lol. But I mean to filter the wort through the grain bed.

bwarbiany wrote:Most folks I know who recirculate are doing so because they're trying to maintain temperature, or trying to make absolutely sure that the mash is a consistent temp and concentration all the way through.

That makes SO MUCH sense. Thanks.

bwarbiany wrote:Do you have a pump to do that recirculation? Or are you doing this by hand?

By hand. I'm still extract and that was my first mini-mash. (Pump is after a fridge, which is after the weld-less fitting that I need so I can use the plate chiller I just bought.)

Thank you SO much for your help guys (including brahn). Much appreciated! :D

Last Notable: BullMac's Citra's Last Stand, Fathead Head Hunter, Theakston Old Peculiar, Pliny the Elder! (Courtesy of bwarbiany), Bruery White Chocolate

Anticipating:

User avatar
nevery
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:54 pm
Location: Anaslime, Califailure.

Re: My yeast ranching strategy.

Postby brahn on Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:17 pm

nevery wrote:I need to start getting grain in bulk, lol. What would be the default grain to buy if I were to buy a 50-lb sack? 2-row?


2-row is a great first sack of grain to use, assuming you use that in most of your recipes. I usually buy any base grains in bulk which includes maris otter, 2-row, pils, munich, vienna.

nevery wrote:You guys are totally right. I need to find a better mash tun; something more tall than wide. I'm thinking about making it with round Tupperware bins stacked, and then filled with spray foam between them. That idea comes from DMos Pickles and DrDually (I believe). Even my brew kettle is too wide.


Until a few months ago I always used a mash tun that was more wide than tall and never had a problem with 1 - 1.25qt/lb. I'm not sure why the geometry of the mash tun is causing you problems.
User avatar
brahn
Club IT Director
 
Posts: 1749
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 5:12 pm
Location: Tustin, CA

Re: My yeast ranching strategy.

Postby bwarbiany on Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:52 pm

brahn wrote:
nevery wrote:I need to start getting grain in bulk, lol. What would be the default grain to buy if I were to buy a 50-lb sack? 2-row?


2-row is a great first sack of grain to use, assuming you use that in most of your recipes. I usually buy any base grains in bulk which includes maris otter, 2-row, pils, munich, vienna.


2-row or pilsner is a good starter, depending on which you use first. But like Brent, I like to buy in bulk if I have any recipe that will use a lot of a particular base grain. Then, I find ways to work that into recipes -- i.e. I bought Vienna for my O'fest, will be putting about 30% Vienna into an IPA, and will be doing a Vienna rye lager not far in the future...

You guys are totally right. I need to find a better mash tun; something more tall than wide. I'm thinking about making it with round Tupperware bins stacked, and then filled with spray foam between them. That idea comes from DMos Pickles and DrDually (I believe). Even my brew kettle is too wide.


Until a few months ago I always used a mash tun that was more wide than tall and never had a problem with 1 - 1.25qt/lb. I'm not sure why the geometry of the mash tun is causing you problems.


Agreed. As a similar idea, think of the situation some of us have when we either make 5 gallons of beer on a 10-gallon system, or make a beer that is relatively low-gravity -- in those cases the "effective" shape of the mash tun is wide and short, because it's not being filled. And yet the beer is fine.

I think the issue plaguing you is unlikely to be due to the geometry of the mash tun.
User avatar
bwarbiany
 
Posts: 2129
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:49 pm
Location: Laguna Hills, CA

Re: My yeast ranching strategy.

Postby nevery on Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:08 pm

Thanks!!! Everytime I've tried a beer made with Maris Otter, I've loved it. That's a great idea. I wonder how an IPA would taste with Maris Otter?

About the mash tun, I don't think it's a problem, just would make it easier being I'm still minimash. But the reason why is that wider tuns would have less vertical clearance. So put it like this... An 8 inch by 8 inch wide container with 1 inch of depth means that when it's filled halfway with liquid, that's only a half an inch deep of water. However, if you take a 1 inch by 8 inch container that's 8 inches deep, half of that is 4 inches deep of water. Same volume of water, though.

Now imagine the size of a grain, and how a pile of grain sits, say, on the counter. It's not level, being slightly thicker in some spots, moreso than others. With only a half inch of water clearance in the above example, some of the grains will likely stick up above the water. But in the 8 inch deep container, the grains will all be submerged, no matter how they are situated inside the container, because you will have 8 times the vertical clearance.

So long story short, liquid conforms to the shape of it's container but grains are a fixed shape with space between. The more that you "overlap" the two shapes, the less space each will occupy; I.E. The more grains that will be covered when using smaller water & grains to container size.

Also a taller tun means less evaporation and less temperature loss (because of the lesser surface area).

EDIT: I also added more water to cover the grains because they wouldn't settle below the water line with the bag I used. Even after I pulled them out of the bag, they still weren't covered. Frustrated, I added more water. That was the problem. The taller tun would hopefully just make it a lot easier to deal with the problem, specially with the mesh bag. Thanks guys! :)

Last Notable: BullMac's Citra's Last Stand, Fathead Head Hunter, Theakston Old Peculiar, Pliny the Elder! (Courtesy of bwarbiany), Bruery White Chocolate

Anticipating:

User avatar
nevery
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:54 pm
Location: Anaslime, Califailure.

Re: My yeast ranching strategy.

Postby brahn on Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:56 pm

Maris Otter works great in an IPA. Tusting Brewing has a SMaSH M.O. / Centennial IPA on that's really good.

Collectively, the grain behaves very much like a liquid, although constraining it with a bag would restrict that somewhat.

When the mash first comes together there will be grains that are exposed to the air, that's perfectly normal. As the grain settles and breaks down you will end up with a layer of liquid on top of the grain. Just give it a good stir to make a porridge/mash and then wait. If you're just doing mini-mash this should all be pretty simple and you should probably be able to just do it in a pot on the stove. That's what I used to do.

As far as evaporation goes, your mash tun should probably have a lid.
User avatar
brahn
Club IT Director
 
Posts: 1749
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 5:12 pm
Location: Tustin, CA

Re: My yeast ranching strategy.

Postby nevery on Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:10 am

brahn wrote:Collectively, the grain behaves very much like a liquid, although constraining it with a bag would restrict that somewhat.

When the mash first comes together there will be grains that are exposed to the air, that's perfectly normal. As the grain settles and breaks down you will end up with a layer of liquid on top of the grain. Just give it a good stir to make a porridge/mash and then wait.


Dude! Fricken awesome info! I did not know this. Thanks brahn!

Thanks all of you! Super helpful info! :D

Last Notable: BullMac's Citra's Last Stand, Fathead Head Hunter, Theakston Old Peculiar, Pliny the Elder! (Courtesy of bwarbiany), Bruery White Chocolate

Anticipating:

User avatar
nevery
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:54 pm
Location: Anaslime, Califailure.

Previous

Return to Techniques



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron