Just making sure.

Post #1 made 4 years ago
Hi all, I am new to BIAB and I am about to try the LloydieP Kolsch recipe.
First off I have spent a good bit of time reading around the internet. With little knowledge, I was fooled into thinking it would be easy to jump right in. Wrong - the English brown ale recipe I tried (before I found this site) while one could say became beer - is more a stout. Drinkable thou, and more importantly I refuse to give up.
So then I found your site. freaking impressive - I like the keep it simple, and fact based approach. You all seem to be really enjoying the whole deal - which is what I am looking for. If I am going to brew I want to experience the full grain approach etc and have fun (and learn). The experience I am seeing here is awesome.

OK, so looking at BIABacus (thank you for sharing it) it seems for a simpleton such as myself, if I put in my kettle dimensions (starting small - 2.5gal), VIF, and use the original LloydieP Kolsch I will get a valid plan of action. I did read the "all you need is these 5 entries" thread - but you could say I am a bit gun shy - don't want the Kolsch to turn into a stout (haha).
Anyone willing to steer me with some advise is greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
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Post #2 made 4 years ago
Welcome Brew4me...

I am also new to BIAB, currently on my third batch.

As my taste lends itself to ales, I followed the advice of others and first brewed the NRB All Amarillo.

See here:
http://www.biabrewer.info/viewtopic.php?f=152&t=3129

While it was not perfect, it was tasty.

On my second batch, I used the same recipe, swapping out Amarillo for Cascade. I also fixed some of my process related mistakes, and ended up producing an even tastier brew.

So, my advice would be to first follow the KISS methodology inherent in BIAB, with a focus on process.

Good luck, and happy brewing!

Jim
Last edited by jeatmon on 08 Mar 2015, 00:24, edited 1 time in total.

Post #3 made 4 years ago
thanks Jeatmon - was actually debating between the Kolsch and the Amarillo.
either way looks like you did not have to tweak to much in the BIABacus. Perhaps I will go with the Amarillo - probalby go with a WhiteLabs yeast (nearest LHBS only sells Whitelab).
Thanks for helping to build my confidence.
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Post #4 made 4 years ago
Brew4me
Post your Biabacus file here and we can steer you in the right direction. We can also help you to get a handle on the spreadsheet for future use.
Some people are like slinkies. Not good for much, but bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.

Weehoosebrewing.ga
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Post #5 made 4 years ago
attached is the Kolsch BIABacus file.
thanks
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Post #6 made 4 years ago
Sorry you haven't received a reply earlier B4m. Occasionally, very active members all get busy with other things at the same time so threads get missed. These are always good opportunities for others to jump in and hand on anything useful they may have learned here :). (Good job jeatmon.)

Okay, your file is great :thumbs:. Here's a few little things....

1. Don't play with Section W at this stage, especially 'Volume Loss from Lauter'. Wait until you have at least five brews with careful measurements before you start playing with something like that.

2. Try and find out the Alpha Acid percentage of the hops you will be buying and type that AA% on the right hand side, under Substitutions, of Section D. This will alter the weights under 'What you will use...'

So, for this brew, once you clear Section W, you will need....

A. 16.2 L (4.28 US gal) of cold water
B. 1892 grams (4.17 pounds) of grain
C. Whatever weights are displayed on the right hand side of Section D after you type in the AA% of the hops you buy/have.

Let us know if that makes everything clear.

:peace:
PP
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Post #7 made 4 years ago
thanks PP - I have to say again this tool is really awesome. I understand your changes and made them - appreciate your time.
I will be looking to pick up things this weekend. While I was reading up on things off this site I found an old post of yours on an Irish Red recipe (Ruabeoir from "Brewing Classic Styles" brewed by joco). I can't resist, since I am doing small batches I will probably use BIABacus to calculate those grains also. One visit to the LHBS and I will be good for two brews now. :thumbs:

I will make sure to take pictures and share my experience - hopefully within a week.

I did have one more question - I noticed on the checklist I was filling out the after squeezing the mash bag I should bring the kettle to a boil, flame out, and do an efficiency reading. Can you explain why I am doing that or point me to a thread on the subject?

thanks again
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Post #9 made 4 years ago
So the first BIAB using BIABacus was the Krispy Kolsch recipe. I attached the final BIABacus spreadsheet.
First Concern:
You can see I had to make some substitutions based on what my LHBS had available. The one main substitution question was going from German Caramel Pils to a Carapils - I thought I read there was not much difference especially with the amount I am using - did I mess up here?
Second Concern:
My OG was off expected 1.048 and read a 1.036 at VAW. The VIB expected was 1.033 and I read a 1.030.
I was very careful with making sure the TWN was measured right at the start but it seems my evaporation rate was low. Estimate was 1.2 gallons but my calculations show .9 gallons. I ended up with about 2.5 gallons into the fermentor vs 2.04 gallons. I felt like I had a good rolling boil going the whole time? I pitched the yeast and it is now sitting fermenting (hopefully) at ~63F. I also had to use the WLP011 European Ale Yeast vs the WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch- I read good things on the WLP011 so I am not concerned (except that it is slow to ferment)
Any input on my BIABacus file and/or thoughts would be appreciated.
Note: had a good time brewing, had a beer or two (OK three) and read some of the Brewing Classic Styles book - but always kept one eye on what was going on with the brew process.
Thanks in advance!
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Post #10 made 4 years ago
Brew4Me,

If you have the data for you Grains, you can enter that data in Section 'Y' ans see if the programmed GAW and GIB change.

The Difference between grain Malters vary Greatly, as well as the Grain does, from year to year.
Honest Officer, I swear to Drunk, I am Not God.
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Post #11 made 4 years ago
You are exceeding my newbie knowledge. I will have to look into moisture content and fine grain dry basis - cool I am about to learn...
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Post #13 made 4 years ago
Although grain can vary depending on maltsters, with the grain you have substituted here I can't see there being enough of a variance to really make a whole lot of difference with your efficiency, however, with such a small batch size a couple little things such as that could possibly combine to cause a problem.

I think probably the biggest issue with your EAW was that you ended up with too much wort. Since you were only 3 points off going into the boil, and then 12 points off after the boil, most of the problem would appear to be not enough evaporation, unless there were measurement errors.

Did you cool the samples before taking your gravity readings? Usually hydrometers are calibrated to 15 or 20c, and taking a reading at higher temps will greatly affect the number. Did you stir during the mash? Was the grain properly crushed? These are some simple things to look into perhaps before delving into the extraction potential from different maltsters...
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Post #14 made 4 years ago
Congrats on your first one B4M :thumbs:,

There is no issue with the carapils so all good there.

As for Section Y and extract potentials, there is no need for you to get into that as the BIABacus auto-estimate formula works out very well for all-grain recipes. Any time I have put the exact specs in for a recipe, there has been virtually no difference in the estimate for an all-grain recipe so only worry about that section when dealing with sugars etc. The other issue there is that it is very difficult to find the exact specs for any particular batch of grain.

Evaporation tends to be a bit under the auto-estimate in urns especially if brewing indoors on a still day etc. I'm assuming you had the lid off during the boil. The following is the first thing to look at...

.....

In a high volume / low gravity scenario such as yours, the first area I want to check is Section P - the efficiency section and I am especially interested in the first two lines, the kettle efficiency. I see that you have an EIB number there but no EAW. Type 1.036 into the second field of Section M and you will see that Section P now looks like this...
2015-03-24_6-15-46.jpg
Straight away I can see that we have a large discrepancy in the actual EIB and EAW whereas they should, theoretically, be identical. In real life, they never are because it is so hard to measure well but this does tell us that there is a measurement error of some sort such as the one goulagain mentioned above (cooling samples).

.....

In my last post in this thread, I gave two links to read. Didn't hear back from you regarding that post so am not sure if you read them* before your brew day or not. They would definitely be worth a read now. With such a large discrepancy between EIB and EAW, there really isn't much to do here atm besides checking your measurement process.

:peace:
PP

* Ha! I reckon you didn't read them as I just found that the first link was incorrect. Have fixed it now :). It also tells you how to cool a gravity sample.
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Last edited by PistolPatch on 24 Mar 2015, 06:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #15 made 4 years ago
good input - I thought I was careful with my measurements.
Sorry PP, I did not respond when you sent me the links - did not want to bother you. I did notice the link was off - but searched on the subject and found links to read. Which did make me more confident prior to brew. (so belated thanks) :thumbs: :thumbs:

some other points-
the lid was kept off, yes I was inside on the kitchen stove
I made sure the samples were cool before readings - had plenty of time, got the samples down to ambient. I even checked my hydrometer with water to makes sure it was working. To measure the volume I used a spoon in the middle of the kettle and marked the level. Measured the spoon and recorded the number.
Maybe I messed up the measure but I sure thought I was being careful. I will go back through my notes.

I had the LHBS run the grain through twice - should I have done three grinds for BIAB and the size of the brew?

I'll check everything again. But, with that said it was my first BIAB (I am already planning the Irish red) I am learning a ton. I really appreciate the open and helpful input I am getting from this site. If I find anything in my notes I will follow up.
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Post #16 made 4 years ago
No need to double or triple crush, as long as there are no whole pieces coming through, you don't want flour either, just want to make sure there isn't a lot of (or any) uncrushed grain, so I don't think thats your problem.

For measuring Volume I find the easiest method is to measure headspace in the kettle. (the distance from the top of the kettle to the liquid) This saves you from constantly dipping a spoon or something in there and trying to mark it etc etc. Put your headspace mesurement into BIABacus section 'V'. This is a headspace to volume calculator...
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Post #18 made 4 years ago
Good on you B4M ;),

On the next one, try to find a way of double-checking the weight of grain you buy from the brew shop (say, kitchen scales). This way you know, for sure, that you are starting with the right amount of 'sugar'.

This won't be the last time you come up with numbers on a brew that don't make sense. It occasionally happens to me and everyone else. Getting 'sets' of volume and gravity measurements is tedious but I reckon it is very worthwhile in the early days as it really helps you to be confident you are on the right track.

...

Just having a second look at your file. Before we talked about evaporation but we really don't know what your evaporation was as there is a discrepancy, in Section L, between the 'Once chilled, VAW should be approx:' field and the VAW field found on the last line of Section L. Which one was correct? Who knows?

As a general rule, the 'cold' volumes are easier and more reliable to measure than the hot ones but you wouldn't believe how many containers are marked incorrectly. For example, how did you measure your VIF?

...

Also know B4M that measuring volumes on mini batches such as yours is much harder than on bigger batches. If you have a good set of kitchen or bathroom scales, seriously consider measuring the KFL and VIF using weight* rather than a ruler. That is the duck's nuts of measurement!

There's one more thing I just noticed that we better sort out before our next brew (ask about the first two lines of Section D) but let's re-group for now.

:P
PP

(Check out the second tab of the BIABacus - 'Volume of Liquid in a Vessel using Weight and Specific Gravity).
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Post #19 made 4 years ago
The VIF was measured in the fermentor bucket - I have scales on the outside of the bucket and it's level is ~2.5 gallons.
I think I will chuck this up to experience building.

Reviewed the "volume of liquid in a vessel using weight" section - I will pick up some scales and go this route with the Irish Red. Heck you recommend it with a "that is the duck's nuts" - how could I not take the advice! :salute:

With regards to section D - I was looking to put the IBU on the lighter side of a Kolcsh so I set to 20 vs the 26+ in the original.
With regards to the original recipe volume set at 24.8 L not sure :scratch: (the original download shows 29 L) - is this used in internal calculations?
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Post #20 made 4 years ago
Yep, nothing to get worried about yet but definitely check the calibrations on anything you rely on before your next brew. On the scale you are at, measuring volume by weight is very practical and it will be the duck's nuts. You'll be able to measure volumes in a manner that doesn't have to worry about thermal expansion and contraction of the vessel and several other things.

In Section D the first line, 24.8L is the VAW of the original recipe. This is a very important number when copying a recipe and is used to estimate the IBU's of the original recipe. It is fine to over-ride it using the second line of Section D as long as you are conscious of the effect this will have which, in this case, is as you have stated.

;)
PP
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Post #21 made 4 years ago
Thought I would close out this post with an update on the Kolsch.
After fermentation was complete measured a FG of 1.008 (for what its worth). Tasted good (a second opinion agreed). :thumbs:
Bottled and patiently waiting. :whistle:
Maybe on the weaker side but should be and easy drink when not looking for something heavy.
Will brew this again in the future (without measure errors :roll: ).

Picked up two scales, for grains and to calculate volume, since I like the idea of brewing smaller batches - want to have a variety on hand. Plus the more I brew the better I'll get.

Present line up looks like the Irish Red, 80 shilling, Belgian Pale, and likely a Patersbier for the wife (always got to play these things smart like ;) . Plenty to keep me busy learning and :drink: . I will share as I go in "brew day stories" etc...

Again thanks for all the advice. I have become truly addicted.

till next brew day (perhaps this weekend),
B4M
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