Refractometer loan

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dcn
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Refractometer loan

Post by dcn » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:31 am

Hi all, today is my first All Grain brew but when I went to Everwood yesterday they were out of refractometers. I live in Cole Harbour but will be around town a bit today, would anyone be able to loan me one for my brew by chance? Just thought I'd throw a Hail Mary just in case.

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oceanic_brew
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Re: Refractometer loan

Post by oceanic_brew » Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:20 am

can’t help ya, but can wish ya good luck. Do you have a hydrometer? Or just want the speed of testing with the refractometer?

Although I want one I’ve gotten through close to 200 brews or so without it. Lately I’ve been taking samples at every point of the process by pouring 250 ml (size of my hydrometer jar) of liquid onto a dinner plate to let it cool.

Good luck! Btw what are you brewing?


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dcn
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Re: Refractometer loan

Post by dcn » Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:01 pm

Hi! I decided to wait and order one off Amazon. It should arrive late this week so that sets me up for a Saturday brew day exactly a week later than planned. Fine by me.

I'm interested in one because I want to know when the worts finished or at least close to my OG target. This is my first ever brew so I'm trying to reduce the chances at screwups as best I can, and I'm only making a (in theory) 2 gal batch so I want to test with small samples rather than using my hydrometer during the brew.

I'm making an IPA, got the recipe from Everwood and sorta converted to BIAB.

Thanks for the good luck! Actually I might post what I have for water (the only thing I'm really worried about for this first brew and why I really want a refractometer) if someone can look over the amounts to see if they make sense.

dcn
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Re: Refractometer loan

Post by dcn » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:58 pm

Ok here goes. The recipe they gave me was for a 2 gallon into fermenter something, presumably multi vessel setup. I’m trying to confirm that what I converted will allow a BIAB success if anyone can review.

So they say to mash in 4 lbs 10oz of grain (which is what I’ve got) with 5.76 qt (1.44 gal/5.45 liters), then fly sparge using 3.32 gal (13.28 qt/12.56 liters). This ends up with a 3.96 gal (14.9 litre) boil, yielding an end of boil volume of 2.60 gal (9.84 liters). 2 gallons go into the fermenter after this.

I’m thinking I’ll mash in with a higher number, maybe 12 liters so the grain bag is nicely covered, and sparge into my former bottling bucket with 6 liters. That will give me (minus grain absorbsion which I don’t know yet) a mash/sparge water volume of 18 liters vs the recipe’s (5.45+12.56 mash+sparge) 18.01 liters. Pretty close. That means I’ll count on losing 3 liters of losses to match the recipe’s 3.96 gallon/14.9 liters boil volume.

Assuming I match everything above, my BIAB conversion should work out close to the recipe’s numbers, and if so the only unknown is my 60 minute boil loss. Recipe says 3.96 gallons at boil start and 2.60 gallons at end, or 14.9 liters to 9.84 liters.

Assuming that was written well enough to follow, does the above look like a good BIAB conversion?

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Re: Refractometer loan

Post by BrewG » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:48 pm

If it does not show by your next brew I'll loan you mine... I'm in your neck of the woods!

dcn
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Re: Refractometer loan

Post by dcn » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:51 pm

Thanks BrewG! Fingers crossed it gets here. One YouTube video I watched said "using a common household refractometer.." lol

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Re: Refractometer loan

Post by BrewG » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:06 pm

The main thing is with BIAB is how much water the grain is going to absorb and what your boil off in the kettle will be. Depending how vigorous you boil. My electric 5gal system boils off about 1gal per 60 mins. You can test boiling some water for 60 mins and see how much you lose. My brews follow this format. 1.25qt water per lb to mash in. Then I heat more sparge water than I need and trickle it over the bag. I just keep checking my gravity with the reflectometer until you get about 5 points lower then my SG. At this point I stop the sparge and squeeze the bag. Bring that amount to a simmering boil for 60 mins and you'll be close. Everyones system and methods are different so its a bit of trial and error. I make more errors than the average bear and still make beer! Ive never poured one down the drain yet!

dcn
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Re: Refractometer loan

Post by dcn » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:12 pm

Oh ok that's fantastic thanks!! I really overthink this stuff so a process I can mentally rehearse is awesome. I'm going to try the same thing. Thanks again, I'll also do that boil test tomorrow to take some guesswork out of thing.

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Re: Refractometer loan

Post by dcn » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:58 pm

Checking in - I lost .8 gal over a 60 minute boil.

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