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Messages - jpalmer

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Zymurgy / Re: "New Rules of Brewing Water" - Same as the old rules?
« on: April 30, 2012, 02:43:35 PM »
That statement is based on my work for How To Brew, where I titrated malts from several sources, referenced many water reports and discussed those water reports with AJ 10+ years ago to come up with the original nomograph - a linear model for color.
Since then, Thanks to Kai and others brewers experiences, including my own, we have learned that it is not linear, and that it is possible to mis-use the tool and brew alka seltzer or Perrier beers.

The Total Alkalinity range of 200-300 ppm as CaCO3, readily occurs and people have brewed good dark beers with it. Could they brew better dark beers with a lower range? Possibly, sure - it would depend on the total hardness and the recipe grainbill as well. Remember, we are trying to balance a triangle here, AND, then determine if the beer actually tastes good. To say something may not be inappropriate is to say that it may be appropriate in some set of circumstances. I am not God, although I seem to play one on these forums (I Say, I say that's a joke son), and I do not know absolutely where these lines can be drawn. I and my friends have brewed dark beers where a total alkalinity of 300 ppm worked very nicely, so I know it is not impossible.

Finally, I do thank everyone for this discussion, it is definitely food for thought when I will be discussing this book project's progress with the publisher this week at the Craft Brewer's Conference.

Zymurgy / Re: "New Rules of Brewing Water" - Same as the old rules?
« on: April 29, 2012, 12:03:02 AM »
Yes, I don't believe I have ever specifically told/advised people to measure the mash pH at mash temperature. In fact, my water presentations always describe how mash pH test strips are designed to work at room temp, so cool a wort sample to room temp and look for a range of 5.4-5.8 versus the recommended 5.1-5.5 range at mash temp. If you have a pH meter with ATC, you CAN measure at mash temp, but it will shorten your probe life.

Nateo - I don't think you are a jerk at all. Don't worry about it. Keep brewing brother.

No I am not going to pull the spreadsheet! <grinning> Jeff is right, it has it's flaws, but it is a good tool, and I will revise it. I probably should do a 3.1 and add some IF statements to guide people away from exceeding 200 ppm as CaCO3 RA, as I warn in my talks.
Oops, time to start making dinner....
Brew Strong,

Zymurgy / Re: "New Rules of Brewing Water" - Same as the old rules?
« on: April 28, 2012, 01:33:21 PM »
Comments on recent excerpt on Water book:
1. Yes, this was chapter 1- Why a Book on Water, and only most of Chapter 1 at that, due to space limitations. They had wanted to use Chapter 4 or 5 which just weren't ready yet, and if taken out of context would really have had you all confused. (well, angry actually, because it would have been the same old RA equation background. We hadn't gotten to the new stuff yet.)
2. Yes, I realize my linear color model is out of date. And I have been corresponding with Kai to understand his data, as well as working with Briess malting to get more data from them. We are trying to come up with a better model. But it's tricky.
3. I like the idea of multiple authors for the Water book, but it's like herding cats.
4. Do I have a grasp of the water needs of the average homebrewer? Yes, I would like to think so. We want to be able to competently brew any style of beer we set out minds to, and be confident about our brewing water/mash/beer chemistry when we do so. Right?
 Do I have a grasp of the water needs for the average commercial brewer? No, but I have been working on it. They have a source water, and they have a portfolio of beers that they need to produce consistently. They have recipes that they have inherited from previous brewmasters. They have one water treatment system that has to serve everything. And, they have the requirements to dispose of their wastewater afterwards to meet local and state laws. It has been difficult to reconcile the various brewing texts with the wildly varying practices of key benchmark breweries - some beers don't seem to fit the rules. Yes the books say 50 ppm calcium minimum for good brewing chemistry (based on pale lagers). Yes, I say that higher-colored beers need more alkalinity to balance their chemistry. There are a lot of different pieces to this puzzle, but they do somehow have to fit together into a big picture, and that is my mission in life - to figure this out. I welcome all help.
5. There is no point in writing a mediocre book - one that you folks on the forum would instantly say did not teach you anything new, or regurgitated what has been said before in other books. Same situation for the commercial brewer. For this book to work, it has to serve both audiences, and that is our goal.

Thanks for your time,

Ingredients / Re: Check Out Some New Info on Palmer's Speadsheet - HBD
« on: February 04, 2011, 09:13:13 PM »
Well yes, chalk will not dissolve very much in water, which is why I advocate only adding it to the mash, where the lower pH of 5-6 allows it to dissolve readily.
Dissolving CO2 into the water beforehand to dissolve the chalk will work, but it seems like too much work to me.

Kai, I am at work and don't have your paper available, but are you saying that the pH change when chalk is added to the mash do not match the predicted values? I guess I would not expect them to be perfect but I would expect them to be ballpark.

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