Pre-Made Lauter Tun

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I've used a spoon for obertieg, and it helps

Postby billvelek » Tue Dec 23, 2008 12:40 am

Yes, when my sparge practically stopped with at least an inch of clear wort sitting on top of the grain bed, I figured that the obertieg was the problem. I used a spoon to "scrape" the obertieg to the side and the runnings started up right away; I didn't just cut slits in it, which might have worked, but rather moved most of it from covering the top. And I didn't disturb the grain bed enough to ruin the previous vorlauf, so everything ran clear. I guess that that is a simple enough of a solution, in itself, and might be less trouble than a sock or something else to filter during vorlauf. I presume that this is precisely why commercial breweries use rotating blades to cut the top of their grain bed, but this is a subject that seems to have been rarely discussed by homebrewers. Actually, I've never had the obertieg problem except when I've used a lot of wheat flower or cornmeal as adjuncts.

As for the picture, Sawyer is my fourth grandson; no granddaughters. Our whole family is heavily populated with boys. I have six sons and two daughters, and have a lot more nephews and grandnephews than nieces and grandnieces on my side of the family as well as on my wife's side. We're really looking forward to a day when we will have another little girl around. But we enjoy the boys, of course.

Back to brewing: I just wanted to mention that I had a marathon bottling day last Saturday -- four batches to make just under seven cases of beer. 8)

Cheers.

Bill Velek
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Bill I Appalude You

Postby brewmeisterintng » Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:55 am

I gave up bottling years ago. I found no pleasure in it and had I not started kegging I might have given up on brewing all together. It seemed to take four hours to put a batch in bottles. Not to mention overflows from the bottle filler. KEGGING ROCKS! My hats off to you Sir for trudging on.
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easy mashtun

Postby slimsparty » Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:50 pm

Do this-it takes about 10-15 minutes, only tools needed are a wrench to get the spigot out of the cooler, tinsnips for the stainless braid, and a screw driver for the clamps.

This guy is highly knowledgable.
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Re: easy mashtun

Postby ColoradoBrewer » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:16 am

slimsparty wrote:Do this-it takes about 10-15 minutes, only tools needed are a wrench to get the spigot out of the cooler, tinsnips for the stainless braid, and a screw driver for the clamps.

This guy is highly knowledgable.
Not sure what you are alluding to, slim. Perhaps it's Denny Conn's Cheap 'n' Easy Batch Sparge page and you forgot to add the link. I'm actually a little amazed that this thread has gone three pages before any mention of it.
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You don't need all those tools

Postby billvelek » Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:45 pm

Yeah, I figured he was probably talking about Denny's site. Thanks for the link, Colorado; it will be useful for those who haven't done this yet. I looked at his site a LONG time ago and then again somewhat recently when Denny and I had a discussion in another forum. On my last look, I'm pretty sure that Denny's site was still recommending first runnings plus two sparges, which I pointed out to him needed updating because he is now stating that one sparge is enough, and I guess he has now fixed that. I did a little math during that discussion, and I've concluded that dropping the second batch sparge by increasing the volume of the first sparge would cost me perhaps three percentage points in efficiency, so I've decided to try it on my next brew session. However, during our discussions, I don't recall anyone saying that an infusion might be needed before drawing the first runnings; maybe I already had one too many and just can't remember. But that is counter-intuitive to me, so I'll need to give that some thought and maybe run a little math on that before I'd agree. Frankly, if it proves out that the first runnings should actually have the same volume as the only batch sparge, then it would seem more logical to me to just add the entire amount as strike water, ... but at the very least, add the infusion very early before drawing first runnings so that the sugar content of the water and the grains have a chance to approach equilibrium.

Now, as for Denny's mashtun design, we have slightly different procedures. He removes the drain from the ice chest and then presses a bung into the hole, which tightens everything up so there are no leaks. I, on the other hand, leave my drain on the ice chest and simply slip the drain tube through it and seal it with a couple of wraps of teflon pipe tape; it has never leaked nor pulled loose. He uses a valve and clamps and I don't. Other than that, our systems are basically the same ... except that my 'hose' is a lot longer than his. 8) He claims that size doesn't matter, but that's not 'what she said' ... but enough of that macho stuff.

Denny used a hatchet to chop off the threaded fittings from reinforced water supply line (the water hose with the stainless steel mesh sleeve). I used a hack saw, but if you have a really sharp knife like a 'ginsu' or something, it will probably work, too. The main thing to remember is that after you've cut both ends off, do NOT try to 'pull' the mesh sleeve off of the hose; 'pulling' will only tighten it. Instead, you need to 'PUSH' the mesh off of the hose. My hose is 10' long, and it was still very easy to do. It took a little bit of time to push enough braid out of the way to be able to clamp one end of the rubber hose in a bench vise; you could nail the end to something if you don't have a vise.. Once that was done, I worked the braid down the hose by pushing any slack down the entire length a little at a time. With each push, I slid the slack down the lenght of the hose; it got looser and looser until about 1/3 was off the rubber hose, and then the entire mesh pushed off of it. Instead of folding and crimping the other end of the mesh tube, I crammed a short piece of wooden dowel into it.

Well, that's enough for now.

Cheers.

Bill Velek
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Postby jimcraig » Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:25 pm

all the time it took you to explain to us why you cant "build it" you could have.

there is no drilling, its unscrewing and replacing. That uses just your hands, no tools really needed (well except to tighten them snug)

pretty sure a klutzy girl, such as yourself, could manage that
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Re: You don't need all those tools

Postby slothrob » Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:33 pm

billvelek wrote:I did a little math during that discussion, and I've concluded that dropping the second batch sparge by increasing the volume of the first sparge would cost me perhaps three percentage points in efficiency, so I've decided to try it on my next brew session. However, during our discussions, I don't recall anyone saying that an infusion might be needed before drawing the first runnings

Denny often says that he doesn't bother with any volume adjustments if the runoffs are within about a gallon of each other, which I think is based on sound theory and empirical data.

At one point, a couple years ago, I looked up the calculations and saw that there was a slight mathematical advantage to equal runnings, but if it's within about 20% of the total volume the advantage is minimal. Maybe a few percent.

At some point, I also saw someone's real world data testing the effect of volume variations and it essentially verified those conclusions.
Last edited by slothrob on Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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What about taste?

Postby brewmeisterintng » Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:56 pm

Is there any effect on the final beer by having a thinner mash? I was led to believe that off flavors come from too thin of mash.
I am a double mash guy myself and usually achieve high 80's in efficiency. My first mash is one hour and second is 30 minutes. Sometimes I will do a little sparging on the second mash to get my pre-boil volume if short.
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thickness

Postby slothrob » Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:43 pm

There's not supposed to be much of an effect of mash thickness from about 1 to about 2 qts/lb.

There's an old brewer's belief that a thinner mash might increase tannin extraction, but it doesn't seem to happen.
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thickness

Postby bfabre » Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:49 pm

There's an old brewer's belief that a thinner mash might increase tannin extraction

How it was explained to me about Tannin was that it was only released (from the husk of the grain) if your mash temp was too high. This is why we keep the keep the mash temp between 150-152 degrees. To make it short the higher the temp the more Tannin and less sugar and visa versa. Was my information wrong?
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Re: thickness

Postby slothrob » Tue Dec 30, 2008 7:30 pm

bfabre wrote:
There's an old brewer's belief that a thinner mash might increase tannin extraction

How it was explained to me about Tannin was that it was only released (from the husk of the grain) if your mash temp was too high. This is why we keep the keep the mash temp between 150-152 degrees. To make it short the higher the temp the more Tannin and less sugar and visa versa. Was my information wrong?

Three things are known to increase tannin extraction:
• pH above about 6.0
• temperatures above 170°F
• shredded grain husks

I've been told that you need 2 of the 3 to get significant tannin extraction.

I was just trying to say that a dilute mash is not one of the factors that contribute to tannin extraction, if that's the off flavor that brewmeisterintng was talking about, even though it was once rumored to be.
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