From the HBD Archive
From: pixar!wilker@Sun.COM (Tom Wilker-'your obedient slave!')
Subject: unknown
Date: 1989-01-19 00:43:46 GMT

Greetings from the Homebrewers at Pixar!

I've been scanning through the discussion of minimizing sedimentation in the
bottle and would like to share my opinion on the subject.
Sediments consist of various unfermentables and dormant yeast cells. If you
are brewing all-grain batches, the amount of unfermentables which settle out
of solution will always be higher than typical extract brews. Usually these
settle in the primary and secondary, but on an early batch of mine, I even had
some show up in the bottle. The solution I've used very successfully since has
been 1/2 tsp of Irish Moss during the last half hour of the boil. The effect of
the Moss is home-chemistry at its best; within 5 minutes, precipitates form
and will drop to the bottom of the primary. So much for the unfermentables!
My solution to the yeast cell sediment problem is simply mechanical. I find
that if you take particular care in the racking process, and allow plenty of
time for the yeast to settle while in the secondary, you will have no real
problem with sediments. I feel it is worth while to top up the batch with a
bit of pre-boiled water rather than risk sucking up any of the sediment trying
to get that last little bit! I also leave the brew under lock for at least
4 weeks to allow maximum time for sedimentation. Aging in the bottle for at
least 3 weeks helps to develop a stable thin sediment which allows a nice clean
I agree with the idea of cooling the secondary to maximize sedimentation, my
back steps stay a nice consistent 40 F all through the winter and I've noted
that my brews seem to settle out much faster. I'm surprised that 12-24 hours
chilled would produce much of an effect at all, but I'll definitely give it
a try when spring arrives!

Now, on to something different!
I've noticed that with all-grain brews I've had very little luck in duplicating
the body or alcohol content of a typical extract brew. I've tried Infusion
mashes and Upward Infusion mashes and have found that the Upward Infusion
yields a more alcoholic brew with no perceptable effect to the body. But even
using this technique, I've been unable to match extract brews.
I think there is a lot to be said for the control of wort concentration you
get from brewing with extracts. I find that the more whole grain I use, the
more sparge water I need to extract the wort. My last all-grain was 10 lbs of
Klages and a lb of Crystal and it took 6 gallons of water to sparge (6 gals is
the limit for my brewpot, I'm sure I could have gotten more). The brew, while
definitely very drinkable, didn't have the thickness I wished to get out of the
batch. I'd love to know how much grain goes into a can of extract...I'm sure
its quite a lot!
The most recent edition of the digest, particularly the snippets from Darryl,
Newman, and Dsbaer, have me psyched to continue the effort! I've decided that
the volume of my Lauter Tun (3 gals) is way too wimpy for the amounts of grain
I now mash, so I'm going to break down and build a bigger one. The water cooler
version seems to be the best idea to me...any problems with this configuration?

Finally, thanks to you contributors for the great information! Keep it coming!
Tom Wilker...!{ucbvax,sun}!pixar!wilker

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