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Messages - Richard

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Ingredients / Re: Water Profile: Stout (Steeped Roasted Malts)
« on: January 16, 2019, 06:03:50 AM »
The enzymes that turn starches to sugar in the mash work best in the pH 5.2 - 5.6 range, so you need to have the mash pH correct or you may suffer from poor efficiency. Steeped roasted grains are usually added at the end of the mash, when their acid contribution is too late to have any effect.

The Pub / Re: Beer insults
« on: January 12, 2019, 12:37:45 AM »
Not an insult, but the recycler joke made me think of one I usually quip standing at the urinal..

"We don't own beer.. we just borrow it for a while"

I used to say that I liked lemon-lime Gatorade because it was the same color going in and coming out.

Zymurgy / Re: Brut IPA
« on: December 24, 2018, 08:29:35 PM »
There was also an article in BYO magazine a couple of months ago ( ) and a free article on the MoreBeer web site ( ). Adding the AMG during the mash does not give as low an FG as adding it to the fermentation, bottoming out at 1.004 - 1.006. Adding it during fermentation can cause problems with diacetyl, though. Adding the AMG at SG of around 1.020 seems to be the best. However, adding it during fermentation may leave a beer with little foam retention because all the dextrines are gone. The inventor of the style suggests adding it during the mash, then adding some DME at the start of the boil (after the AMG is denatured) to give some good foam, although you will not get to 1.000 FG that way.

I am trying to decide which is more important to me: foam or a few less points in the FG. I am leaning towards foam, myself.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Electric brewing question
« on: December 22, 2018, 06:01:19 AM »
I read the review, and while much of it seemed positive, the 1.5 F temperature variation during mashing seemed excessive. A properly-designed system should be able to achieve much better control than that. I can achieve 0.17 F standard deviation for a 60-minute mash, with 0.7 F max-min range.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Viability Question
« on: December 17, 2018, 07:43:21 PM »
Getting back to your original question about the aging rate and viability, I also questioned the difference between White Labs and others, but I saw that Brad Smith says that White Labs yeast ages more slowly than other yeasts (because of their packaging), and BeerSmith reflects that slower aging rate. He claims this is based on measurements from White Labs.,16893.msg63846.html#msg63846

Ingredients / Re: Null availability of Viking Null-Lox malts
« on: December 14, 2018, 05:19:48 AM »
If it is still being produced by Viking (haven't looked but I bet it is,) I'm inclined to buy the slow-mover hypothesis.  These malts are probably of greatest interest to a very specific group of commercial operations, and an even  more limited group of homebrewers.   If it passes its best-by date in the warehouse (or just takes up valuable space there,) MB eats the cost.  Bet you missed a fire sale on the stuff.

Sent from my SM-J727V using Tapatalk

That would explain why MoreBeer isn't selling it anymore, but not why it isn't listed on the Viking web site anymore if they are still producing it. I wasn't really looking to buy any, but after the magazine article I just wanted to look at the specs a little more.

Ingredients / Re: Null availability of Viking Null-Lox malts
« on: December 14, 2018, 03:09:47 AM »
I'm not trying to restart the debate on the usefulness of these malts. I am wondering why a major maltster would take a product off the market.

Because people weren't buying it?
Or maybe something went wrong with it. There are a number of possibilities, and I was wondering if anyone had any information on which one is correct.

Ingredients / Re: Null availability of Viking Null-Lox malts
« on: December 13, 2018, 08:52:38 PM »
I'm not trying to restart the debate on the usefulness of these malts. I am wondering why a major maltster would take a product off the market.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sterilization and carboys
« on: December 13, 2018, 01:03:44 AM »
Here in California, where water is precious, filling a carboy full of sanitizer or chlorine and then dumping it is frowned upon as a waste of water. For StarSan I just use a cup or so in a 7-gallon carboy, swish it around all over the insides for a few minutes, then drain. Can I do the same with bleach? My inclination would be to swish a cup to coat the surface, let it sit for some time (10-15 mins), swish it all over again and repeat this a half dozen times over the course of a day. Would this be effective? I stopped using glass carboys because I was afraid I would drop one while doing the swishing. With a PET carboy it is easy, and not a problem even if I drop it.

Ingredients / Null availability of Viking Null-Lox malts
« on: December 12, 2018, 10:28:32 PM »
In a thread from July ( ) narcout posted that MoreBeer was selling all 38 varieties of Viking malt. After reading the article on LOX-less malts in the new edition of BYO magazine ( ) I decided to check into their availability. MoreBeer now lists only 36 varieties of Viking malt, and they do not have the Viking Pale Zero or Pilsner Zero. I went to the Viking web site, and they no longer list the Pale Zero as one of their products, although they do still list the Pilsner Zero. I wonder what is going on.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: CO2 to fill headspace
« on: December 09, 2018, 05:37:11 AM »
Robert, have you ever poured a cold beer into a warm glass? Did the glass shatter in your hand? That is not much different than the temperature differences i suggested, and a liquid transfers heat to a sold much more effectively than a gas does. i wouldn't worry about it.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: CO2 to fill headspace
« on: December 08, 2018, 08:36:01 PM »
You definitely need to purge the whole receiving vessel first, not just the headspace afterwards. The same principles apply for this larger volume. I disagree with using a pressure as high as 20 psi. i would use a very low pressure, 1 psi or so, to let the gas flow gently into the bottom. Here is a trick that may help: cool the CO2 tank as much as you can, being mindful of its ratings. Just before purging, heat all the air in the carboy with a hair dryer. That will increase the density difference between the two. Then let the CO2 into the bottom of the carboy slowly, while putting your hand at the top on the outgoing gas. If you feel that change from warm to cool, then you are done. Of course, dropping in some dry ice would be more definitive and look a lot cooler.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: CO2 to fill headspace
« on: December 08, 2018, 04:18:13 PM »
The chemistry laws cited by Robert apply, I believe, to gases in equilibrium. The key to achieving a CO2 blanket is to provide non-equilibrium conditions. Anyone who has worked with cryogenic liquids knows that oxygen displacement is a real thing and potentially very hazardous. You can be dead long before equilibrium  is reached.

The keys are the flow rate and the density difference. If you blast CO2 from a pressurized cylinder into your head space it will generate a lot of turbulence and the CO2 and O2 will mix and it will not generate a blanket. If you flow the CO2 gently in to the bottom of the head space it will pool without mixing and gradually push out the air. You need to do this fast enough to avoid any diffusion or approach to equilibrium but slow enough to avoid turbulence. it is hard to judge this with an invisible gas.

Cooling the CO2 increases its density and enhances the effect. Cooling it enough that it condenses water vapor into fog makes it visible so you can more easily see what is happening. If you drop chunks of dry ice into your carboy you will generate very cold CO2 at the bottom that will push out all the air and make fog that rises out the top and then sinks down around the edges and gradually dissipates. This allows you to see where the CO2 is. Look at this video: . How much O2 do you think is left in that bucket? Not much at all.

So, to answer your original question, the CO2 pressure should be very low (to avoid turbulence), and there is no real way to estimate the amount of time required. If you had a flow meter you might have a chance of knowing by transferring enough CO2 to fill the head space 3 times over, or something like that.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Starters - Pitch whole, or crash & decant?
« on: December 07, 2018, 06:04:16 AM »
For many brews I used a stir plate to make starters which were refrigerated and decanted. Earlier this year I decided to try the "Shaken Not Stirred" approach instead. I pitched the yeast into 1 liter of DME-based wort in a 1-gallon (nice mixture of metric and English units) container the night before, then pitched the whole mess into the wort on brew day. This was easy, but I didn't see any decrease in lag time or any increase in activity or beer quality. I tasted the mixture before pitching on one brew and decided I didn't want a liter of that stuff going into my beer. I am back to traditional starters with a modification. I cold crash and decant, but at the start of brew day I take the decanted yeast out of the refrigerator and add a small amount (~250 ml) of wort saved from making the starter. By the time I am ready to pitch it, the yeast is awake and producing CO2, although perhaps not at high krausen. I feel better about pitching this smaller amount of "beer" than I do about pitching 1 liter of SNS "beer". Neither tastes particularly good, but at least the quantity is smaller the way I do it now.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Kraeusen Layer on Starter
« on: November 29, 2018, 09:26:46 PM »
Charlie is doing a two-stage starter. I see lots of kräusen if I do a second stage, too, but not usually in the first stage.

Charlie, when you make your 500 ml "stock starters" do you see kräusen in them, or only in the 2 liter "pitching starters"?

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