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Batch Sparging Theory

This post is intended to serve primarily as documentation for the Batch Sparging Calculator. If you’re looking to skip to the end of the page, head over that way instead.

One great thing about batch- or no-sparge brewing is that it’s fairly easy to predict lauter efficiency, and with good results. This is due to [...]

Batch Sparging Calculator

Like many brewers, I use recipe software (BeerTools Pro in my case) to design recipes, log notes, track inventory, etc. And I really like it; the only thing it won’t do is estimate my efficiency based on the actual mash parameters. Hence this little tool, which does exactly that (and pretty much only that). For [...]

Refractometer Calculator

This is something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, but kept finding excuses to put off. It uses the simplified cubic polynomial derived in Refractometer FG Results. Please visit that post for more information. You can also download a spreadsheet to track OG, FG, and more for multiple batches.

Original RI (°Bx): [...]

A More Accurate Approach to Draft System Balancing

Balancing a draft system is one of those things that should be easy, but inevitably ends up requiring some trial and error. The basic principle seems sound: beverage tubing supplies some characteristic resistance per unit length (2-3 psi/ft for 3/16″ ID tubing), and all one needs to do is divide that into the desired serving [...]

Simple Sugars and Specific Gravity

A pound of sugar per five gallons of beer will add nine points to the original gravity and reduce the final gravity by two points.

We’ve all heard it. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve even parroted it myself in the past. But it’s only half true.

The OG contribution of simple sugars is certainly [...]

Dry Yeast Viability, Take Two

Background

The last time I published the results of some dry yeast viability testing, I made the assumption that the reduction in viability that resulted from rehydrating the yeast in wort rather than water would have flavor impacts similar to under-pitching a liquid yeast culture. Shortly thereafter, James Spencer of Basic Brewing and Chris Colby [...]

Refractometer FG Results

Last time I wrote about refractometry in brewing, I had developed a correlation for determining FGs from refractometer readings that, in my own brewing, seemed to be an improvement on the correlation used in (to the best of my knowledge) all contemporary brewing software, spreadsheets, etc. A total of eight brewer-instrument pairs contributed additional data [...]

Dry Yeast Viability

Background

One ongoing point of contention among brewers is what benefits, if any, result from rehydrating dry yeasts according to manufacturers’ recommendations, as opposed to simply adding the yeast directly to the fermenter. On the technical level, there would appear to be a consensus for a substantial reduction in viability when rehydrating in wort, with [...]

Reverse Mashing

Background

It’s probably fair to state that a majority of breweries operating today are employing single-infusion mashes – that is, they target a single temperature and try to maintain it throughout the entire mash. Broadly speaking, that temperature would almost always be in the range 63-72°C (145-162°F). When a highly fermentable wort is desired, it [...]

Of Ice and 10°P

Keep any Leonardo DiCaprio jokes to yourself.

Winters in Colorado are rough. Aside from the minor annoyances, like not being able to feel my toes for hours at a time, there are major obstacles to be overcome. Where can I brew when my deck has five feet of snow covering it?

So after six [...]