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The-Engineer-That-Brews

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excellent! Do you make an estimate of the viable cell count in your overbuilt starter that was in the fridge, or do you just assume that 2L of ’completely done’ wort will grow enough cells to pitch?
 

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excellent! Do you make an estimate of the viable cell count in your overbuilt starter that was in the fridge, or do you just assume that 2L of ’completely done’ wort will grow enough cells to pitch?
No I don't do anything complicated like that. I start off with the original packet using the Brewunited calculator to work out size + 100bn overbuild (like a fresh packet). This almost always comes out as a convenient extra 500ml, plus or minus.

Then each subsequent time I'd go back to the calculator using 100bn as the starting count and off we go again. Since I'm brewing roughly the same gravity and volume lagers at about the same time interval apart I'm always coming out at 2 litres for the brew and 500ml for the fridge.

I do look at the saved back starter in the fridge and if it looks 'a bit low' (technical term there) then I'll increase the starter size to compensate like I did for the Phoney Peroni brew. After a few repetitions it's all a bit hand-wavey and approximate but there seems to be wide band where you'll be successful.
 

The-Engineer-That-Brews

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I do look at the saved back starter in the fridge and if it looks 'a bit low' (technical term there) then I'll increase the starter size to compensate like I did for the Phoney Peroni brew. After a few repetitions it's all a bit hand-wavey and approximate but there seems to be wide band where you'll be successful.
A man after my own heart :-)
 

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Hey @foxbat , today's random question for you: How do you add 2-part finings like Clear-It/Kwik-Klear?

ISTR you telling me a while back you do it at kegging, adding one part to the FV and the other to the keg, on the basis that once you've transferred everything is nicely mixed.

But you also have your keg hooked up to the FV and use the CO2 generated during fermentation to purge it - that being the case how do you add finings to the keg without opening it up and introducing oxygen?

Actually, while I'm at it 😜, what's your approach for carbonation? Do you just set it and forget it (~1 week?)? I don't think I recall you ever mentioning shaking or anything, doesn't seem like your style somehow 😉
 

foxbat

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Hey @foxbat , today's random question for you: How do you add 2-part finings like Clear-It/Kwik-Klear?

ISTR you telling me a while back you do it at kegging, adding one part to the FV and the other to the keg, on the basis that once you've transferred everything is nicely mixed.
Random answer for the day coming up! Yes I add it at kegging time. Part 1 goes into the keg immediately and part 2 about 3/4 of the way up. It's not exactly what it says to do on the packet but it does seem to work. Nothing goes into the FV.

But you also have your keg hooked up to the FV and use the CO2 generated during fermentation to purge it - that being the case how do you add finings to the keg without opening it up and introducing oxygen?
I don't do a closed transfer. I take the keg lid off, stick the length of beer line that's attached to the FV outlet valve right to the bottom and open up the valve. My thoughts are that the beer is being transferred into a CO2 atmosphere because there's no wind in my garage and it'll take a while for air to mix and the rising beer level causes a positive pressure of CO2 being pushed out during the fill. I purge the headspace after sealing up anyway for good measure.

Actually, while I'm at it 😜, what's your approach for carbonation? Do you just set it and forget it (~1 week?)? I don't think I recall you ever mentioning shaking or anything, doesn't seem like your style somehow 😉
Set and forget. I fill kegs in-place in my keezer so I don't have to lift them around which would be very awkward with the taps and pipes. 1 week's good enough for sampling my ales but I shouldn't really touch it for at least 2. Lagers I don't touch for 3-4 weeks if I can help it. If...
 

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Ahh, ok, I see now - since you were purging the keg during fermentation I had assumed you kept it closed at that end at least. I can certainly see how not insisting on a closed transfer would make life easier 👍🤣

And thanks for the pointer on carbonation - nowhere near actually needing it yet, but since I'm used to waiting 2-4 weeks for bottles to carbonate I reckon I'll be able to sit it out 👍🍻
 

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@foxbat

Have you ever considered compiling the recipes from this thread? Wouldn't half make it a bit easier for us mere mortals to choose which of them to do next.
Here's hoping 🤞😃

Cheers Tom
 

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That's a great idea. I promise I will get around to doing that when I have some time.
You Sir, are a star 🌟

Cheers Tom

P.S. By the way, have you ever had problems from using a full protafloc tablet in each brew? As far as I recall, everything I've read about it says 1/3-1/2 a tablet.
 

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You Sir, are a star 🌟

Cheers Tom

P.S. By the way, have you ever had problems from using a full protafloc tablet in each brew? As far as I recall, everything I've read about it says 1/3-1/2 a tablet.
I haven't seen any issues from using a whole tablet. I agree it's more than they say you need but they're cheap enough that I just chuck one in at 7 minutes (a time that falls between any hop additions I do).
 

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Brew day today and I decided at the last minute to make a Vienna lager instead of the Czech Pils I'd originally planned. This will use all biscuity, toasty malts instead of the honey-sweet Bohemian Pilsner that I'd usually use. I'll add a pinch of Carafa II for colour and the hops will be good old Saaz. Here's the recipe I went with.

Code:
Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Recipe: Forever Vienna
Batch Size (fermenter): 24.00 L
Estimated OG: 1.047 SG
Estimated Color: 23.9 EBC
Estimated IBU: 25.2 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 75.6 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Finished water profile: Ca:28, Mg:3, Na:9, SO4:10, Cl:44

Ingredients:
------------
Amt         Name                                        Type          %/IBU         Volume   
29.79 L     Tesco Ashbeck                               Water         -             -         
3.00 ml     Lactic Acid 80% (Mash)                      Water Agent   -             -           
1.20 g      Calcium Chloride (Mash)                     Water Agent   -             -           

2.10 kg     Crisp Maris Otter (7.9 EBC)                 Grain         43.1 %        1.37 L      
1.70 kg     Weyermann Vienna Malt (5.9 EBC)             Grain         34.9 %        1.11 L      
1.00 kg     Weyermann Munich I (14.0 EBC)               Grain         20.5 %        0.65 L      
0.07 kg     Weyermann Carafa II  (1150.0 EBC)           Grain         1.4 %         0.05 L      

0.30 g      Calcium Chloride (Sparge)                   Water Agent   -             -           
0.20 ml     Lactic Acid 80% (Sparge)                    Water Agent   -             -           

18.00 g     Hallertau Magnum [10.70 %] - Boil 60.0 min  Hop           21.4 IBUs     -           
25.00 g     Saaz [3.75 %] - Boil 10.0 min               Hop           3.8 IBUs      -    
1.00 Items  Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 7.0 mins)            Fining        -             -           

1.0 pkg     Munich Lager II (Wyeast Labs #2352-PC)      Yeast         -             -           

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 4.87 kg
----------------------------
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time 
Mash In           Add 24.79 L of water at 70.9 C          65.0 C        60 min   

Sparge: Dunk sparge with 5L of 75C water.
It was an effortless brewday really, all numbers pre and post boil were hit as predicted and I ended up transferring just over 24 litres to the fermenter.



The OG was 1.047 and for once the colour actually looked like Beersmith's rendering of it in the recipe.



I managed to get the wort down to 25C with my immersion chiller before giving up and putting it in the brew fridge where it will come down the rest of the way to 13.5C when I'll pitch the decanted 2 litre starter of Wyeast 2352-PC yeast. That should happen around 9:00am tomorrow morning if previous experience is anything to go by.

This one should be ready for drinking in early to mid August and I think the ABV will be somewhere around 5.2%.
 

The-Engineer-That-Brews

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Brew day today and I decided at the last minute to make a Vienna lager instead of the Czech Pils I'd originally planned. This will use all biscuity, toasty malts instead of the honey-sweet Bohemian Pilsner that I'd usually use. I'll add a pinch of Carafa II for colour and the hops will be good old Saaz. Here's the recipe I went with.

Code:
Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Recipe: Forever Vienna
Batch Size (fermenter): 24.00 L
Estimated OG: 1.047 SG
Estimated Color: 23.9 EBC
Estimated IBU: 25.2 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 75.6 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Finished water profile: Ca:28, Mg:3, Na:9, SO4:10, Cl:44

Ingredients:
------------
Amt         Name                                        Type          %/IBU         Volume  
29.79 L     Tesco Ashbeck                               Water         -             -        
3.00 ml     Lactic Acid 80% (Mash)                      Water Agent   -             -          
1.20 g      Calcium Chloride (Mash)                     Water Agent   -             -          

2.10 kg     Crisp Maris Otter (7.9 EBC)                 Grain         43.1 %        1.37 L     
1.70 kg     Weyermann Vienna Malt (5.9 EBC)             Grain         34.9 %        1.11 L     
1.00 kg     Weyermann Munich I (14.0 EBC)               Grain         20.5 %        0.65 L     
0.07 kg     Weyermann Carafa II  (1150.0 EBC)           Grain         1.4 %         0.05 L     

0.30 g      Calcium Chloride (Sparge)                   Water Agent   -             -          
0.20 ml     Lactic Acid 80% (Sparge)                    Water Agent   -             -          

18.00 g     Hallertau Magnum [10.70 %] - Boil 60.0 min  Hop           21.4 IBUs     -          
25.00 g     Saaz [3.75 %] - Boil 10.0 min               Hop           3.8 IBUs      -   
1.00 Items  Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 7.0 mins)            Fining        -             -          

1.0 pkg     Munich Lager II (Wyeast Labs #2352-PC)      Yeast         -             -          

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 4.87 kg
----------------------------
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In           Add 24.79 L of water at 70.9 C          65.0 C        60 min  

Sparge: Dunk sparge with 5L of 75C water.
It was an effortless brewday really, all numbers pre and post boil were hit as predicted and I ended up transferring just over 24 litres to the fermenter.



The OG was 1.047 and for once the colour actually looked like Beersmith's rendering of it in the recipe.



I managed to get the wort down to 25C with my immersion chiller before giving up and putting it in the brew fridge where it will come down the rest of the way to 13.5C when I'll pitch the decanted 2 litre starter of Wyeast 2352-PC yeast. That should happen around 9:00am tomorrow morning if previous experience is anything to go by.

This one should be ready for drinking in early to mid August and I think the ABV will be somewhere around 5.2%.
Looks the part, that, doesn’t it!
 

matt76

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They all do, so jealous.

Got some Clear It on the way, never fined before only Irish Moss/Protafloc type stuff. May even try that Polyclar Brewbrite stuff sometime too. Any one use that regularly with success?

Cheers Tom
I've used Clear It before - I was after Kwik Clear but it was unavailable but they both contain the same stuff, silicon dioxide and gelatin.

(Though for some reason Clear-It has a short shelf life once opened).

More recently I've just bought the same stuff separately - Harris Starbrite is silicon dioxide, as is NBS BrauSol from The Malt Miller.

Gelatin you can buy as a powder from eBay, you just let it soak in water then zap it in the microwave up to about 65degC.

Both are effective individually or used together 👍
 

soupdragon

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Any idea what happens to it after its best by date? Does totally lose its effectiveness or just a little, worse still does it go off?

Cheers Tom
 

matt76

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Any idea what happens to it after its best by date? Does totally lose its effectiveness or just a little, worse still does it go off?

Cheers Tom
Sorry, I don't know. My guess would be it's down to the gelatin which is made from pigs trotters or cow hooves so I suppose it may go off after a while, but is apparently stable in powdered form.

At least I hope it is!
 

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