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Messages - Big Monk

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1
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I think I have to have this....
« on: January 05, 2019, 06:45:21 PM »
Yes, but the point now is that we seem to have some differences on what those optima are.  The conventional wisdom around here is that pH should be somewhat lower (at room temperature of course) than the preponderance of the literature indicates.   And my experience is beginning to align with this.   Optimal room temperature pH 5.5-5.6, rather than 5.2-5.4.

I do all beers at 5.4, at room temp.

2
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I think I have to have this....
« on: January 05, 2019, 03:47:12 PM »
Yeah, I’m confused — especially when reading past articles like this: https://byo.com/mr-wizard/setting-record-straight-mash-ph/

Bamforth’s range is: 5.3 to 5.8 (mashtemp) / 5.55 to 6.05 (room temp)

Briggs’ range is: 5.2 to 5.4 (mash temp) / 5.45 to 5.65 (room temp)

Kunze’s range is: 5.25 to 5.35 (mash temp) / 5.5 to 5.6 (room temp)

Lewis’ statement: 5.2 to 5.5 (mash temp) / 5.45 to 5.75 (room temp)

I guess my point is I should be looking for ~5.6 at room temp to feel pretty good that my enzymes are being comfortably cared for at ~5.3 (mash temp).


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pH optima and targets are for room temp samples.

I thought this topic was put to bed? Obviously the variance in literature doesn’t help here but your target values should be measured at room temp.

3
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What to brew for my 300th batch?
« on: December 30, 2018, 05:03:20 PM »
As much as I really enjoy Unibroue and thier great beers, when I brew it’s really Trappist inspired and more traditional. I mainly make changes in ingredients but stick to the “Big Three”: 3787, 1214, and 1762, with occasional forays with Duvel yeast.

I guess it’s a bit difficult to explain, but while I love Ommegang and Unibroue and think they are the best North American Belgian style beers there are, I don’t want to replicate those yeast derived flavors in my own.

Are you still on hiatus or are you brewing again now?

I’ve brewed a few times in the past year.

I’m looking to sell my Braumeister and setup to get something smaller and do micro batches.

4
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What to brew for my 300th batch?
« on: December 30, 2018, 03:30:37 PM »
At the risk of a derail, I 'd be curious, Monk, what you think of Allagash, especially in regards to how American brewers adapt/take inspiration from Belgian brews.

Well, let me start by saying that I enjoy Allagash. In particular, I really enjoy thier Dubbel. Thier Tripel suffers from the same flaw I see in most North American versions: it has a lot of Hefe like yeast character, which is not only distracting given my benchmarks are Westmalle and Chimay, but generally unappealing to me. I get the same general flavor profile, albeit with some nuanced differences in Golden Monkey, Pranqster, Merry Monks, etc.

Pranqster is the least offensive American Tripel IMO. I enjoy North Coast immensely and am a big fan of a brother Thelonious, and in general, I think North American breweries do better with darker Belgian styles.

Unibroue and Ommegang seem to exist outside of the other North American breweries for me.

5
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What to brew for my 300th batch?
« on: December 30, 2018, 02:22:59 AM »
When I make triple, I stick with just pils and sugar, a la Westmalle.  After all they invented the style.

For me, mixing base malts just makes a modified base malt. Not all that out of the ordinary but if I want to clone Westmalle I’d probably stick with Pilsner/Pale Ale. My inspiration is always Westmalle Tripel but I also add some CaraHell. For Singles and Tripels I don’t use Vienna in the blend.

For Dubbel and Dark Strong I blend in Vienna for my custom base malt and use a few select specialty malts: CaraBelge, CaraMunich II, CaraBohemian and Special B. Not all in the same recipe obviously.

I really love using 3787. It’s probably my favorite yeast.

EDIT: With all that said, I don’t go nuts with any of these four beers (All I brew anymore is Single, Dubbel, Tripel, and Dark Strong) and pay extra attention to fermentation. I really just use 3787, 1214, and 1762 based on what I want, although I have used 3787 exclusively for all of them for a while.

I limit lighter beers to Pils/Pale Ale/CaraHell, with Singles getting light spices (Coriander and Sweet Orange) and Tripels getting sugars.

For Dubbel and Dark Strong Pils/Vienna as my base, sugars in both, with Dubbel getting a mix of 2 lighter Cara malts, and Dark Strong getting Special B. I don’t use anymore than 2 specialties and only in Dubbel.


I use the Florida Crystals in my Tripels, and they always finish plenty dry (last one was 1.007).  I'd be interested to try their invert syrup though, if I can find it.

Pils, a blend of pils and pale, or either of those with a touch of torrified wheat makes for a nice one in my opinion (with an ample does of sugar).

I really just use 3787, 1214, and 1762 based on what I want, although I have used 3787 exclusively for all of them for a while.

Have you ever tried 3864?  I tapped a keg of Belgian Blonde about an hour ago that was fermented with it, and the yeast character is great - probably a bit too high for the style even though I kept the temp below 68° in an effort to subdue it a bit.

As much as I really enjoy Unibroue and thier great beers, when I brew it’s really Trappist inspired and more traditional. I mainly make changes in ingredients but stick to the “Big Three”: 3787, 1214, and 1762, with occasional forays with Duvel yeast.

I guess it’s a bit difficult to explain, but while I love Ommegang and Unibroue and think they are the best North American Belgian style beers there are, I don’t want to replicate those yeast derived flavors in my own.


 

6
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What to brew for my 300th batch?
« on: December 29, 2018, 07:06:35 PM »
When I make triple, I stick with just pils and sugar, a la Westmalle.  After all they invented the style.

For me, mixing base malts just makes a modified base malt. Not all that out of the ordinary but if I want to clone Westmalle I’d probably stick with Pilsner/Pale Ale. My inspiration is always Westmalle Tripel but I also add some CaraHell. For Singles and Tripels I don’t use Vienna in the blend.

For Dubbel and Dark Strong I blend in Vienna for my custom base malt and use a few select specialty malts: CaraBelge, CaraMunich II, CaraBohemian and Special B. Not all in the same recipe obviously.

I really love using 3787. It’s probably my favorite yeast.

EDIT: With all that said, I don’t go nuts with any of these four beers (All I brew anymore is Single, Dubbel, Tripel, and Dark Strong) and pay extra attention to fermentation. I really just use 3787, 1214, and 1762 based on what I want, although I have used 3787 exclusively for all of them for a while.

I limit lighter beers to Pils/Pale Ale/CaraHell, with Singles getting light spices (Coriander and Sweet Orange) and Tripels getting sugars.

For Dubbel and Dark Strong Pils/Vienna as my base, sugars in both, with Dubbel getting a mix of 2 lighter Cara malts, and Dark Strong getting Special B. I don’t use anymore than 2 specialties and only in Dubbel.


7
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What to brew for my 300th batch?
« on: December 29, 2018, 01:25:07 AM »
I’m liking the idea of a Tripel. Something that I can bottle condition and enjoy for a while. So, here goes a quick recipe
13 lbs of Pilsner
1 lb of Simplicity Candisyrup
1 lb of cane sugar
30 IBU Noble hops (I have some Hersbruker)
WY 3787
Not sure if the Candisyrup will add any flavor contribution.


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Nope, it won't.  I'd go all sugar myself.
Thanks for the input. That will save me some money.


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Raw cane sugar -- not Demerara or Turbinado, but the stuff that's just not quite as white as table sugar, like Florida Crystals  --  adds virtually no color, but does add quite a nice flavor, unlike fully refined white sugar.

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Florida Crystals has an invert syrup now using thier raw cane sugar as its base. Good stuff.

The key difference between a light syrup and hard sugars will be how the yeast metabolize it. Invert syrup means less work for the yeast. Does it make a difference? I don’t know exactly, although I tend towards the Florida Crystals syrup in a Tripel.
Do you add any other malt besides Pils in yours?


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Yeah. I rarely use just Pils malt as the base for any of my Trappist series.

I mix Pils/Pale Ale from Weyermann at 50/50 or Pils/Vienna from Weyermann at 70/30 to form my “base” malt.

8
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What to brew for my 300th batch?
« on: December 29, 2018, 12:57:27 AM »
I’m liking the idea of a Tripel. Something that I can bottle condition and enjoy for a while. So, here goes a quick recipe
13 lbs of Pilsner
1 lb of Simplicity Candisyrup
1 lb of cane sugar
30 IBU Noble hops (I have some Hersbruker)
WY 3787
Not sure if the Candisyrup will add any flavor contribution.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Nope, it won't.  I'd go all sugar myself.
Thanks for the input. That will save me some money.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Raw cane sugar -- not Demerara or Turbinado, but the stuff that's just not quite as white as table sugar, like Florida Crystals  --  adds virtually no color, but does add quite a nice flavor, unlike fully refined white sugar.

Sent from my SM-J727V using Tapatalk

Florida Crystals has an invert syrup now using thier raw cane sugar as its base. Good stuff.

The key difference between a light syrup and hard sugars will be how the yeast metabolize it. Invert syrup means less work for the yeast. Does it make a difference? I don’t know exactly, although I tend towards the Florida Crystals syrup in a Tripel.

9
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Alternate abv calculators
« on: December 27, 2018, 03:51:46 AM »
One of the greatest articles ever written on brewing calculations:

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/attachments/0000/2497/Math_in_Mash_SummerZym95.pdf

This article first acquainted me with many of the more thorough versions of common brewing calculations.

Thanks for the link, Big Monk.  Now I've got a refinement of the first term (approximation of RA) in my old equation (post #2.)  So now I'll go with ABW = [OE - (0.8114*AE + 0.1886*OE)] ÷ [2.0665 - 0.010665*OE].  Still an approximation but a better one.

(Edited for numerous bungles.)
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Reread article, finally got the idea of that "q."  Now  I think the really accurate equations have displaced my old approximation, and what I said above, in my memory.  Thanks again.

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Had some down time today and made myself a new spreadsheet.   Incorporated the detailed equations from the Hall article, and the Novotný refractometer correction per his 2017 article.   Now I have a comprehensive and very accurate alcohol and attenuation tool on my phone, tailored to my needs and practices.   Proves two things:   Zymurgy can be a valuable resource,  and this forum is corrupting this old, curmudgeonly pencil, paper and wetware guy.    ;)

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I’ve been beating the drum on that article for years and all those calcs have lived in my spreadsheets for years.

I put this together as a companion for the article:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/1Gbey6B4kxYcdONwDw-ZTP1LUq9bO0I8c/edit?usp=docslist_api&filetype=msexcel

10
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Alternate abv calculators
« on: December 21, 2018, 01:31:03 PM »
One of the greatest articles ever written on brewing calculations:

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/attachments/0000/2497/Math_in_Mash_SummerZym95.pdf

This article first acquainted me with many of the more thorough versions of common brewing calculations.

11
All Grain Brewing / Re: Belgian dark strong
« on: December 21, 2018, 01:10:07 PM »
Held temp at 65F for 7 days, ramped to 75F and held until fermentation stopped.

I wonder what would have happened if you raised the temperature earlier.  I use 3787 a lot, and I usually start and hold it at 68° for 2 days and then let it rise into the low 70's.
I have been loosely following a fermentation timeline from "How to brew like a Monk". Interesting thought. That would be a good experiment.

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A few years ago I reached out to a number of the people quoted in BLAM, most notably Tomme Arthur from Lost Abbey and Phil Lienhart of Ommegang. They were extremely helpful and exchanged about 6 emails each with me discussing fermentation and other parameters.

I had already started experimenting with trying not to temp control these yeasts, 3787, 1214, and 1762 in particular in an effort to get more robust, expedited fermentation and try to match more closely how they actually brew them. Those gents were very helpful and forthcoming with details.

I won't lie: the first few batches without temp control got away from me so it was a learning experience but after that things have gone real well. Very fast and clean (in a relative sense, i.e. no solvent, etc.) fermentation that finish right on the money with high attenuation (85+%) and great flavor profiles.

My basement is good at all times of the year for this. In the summer we have the AC on and I have a spot that stays at about 66F ambient. This helps to clamp down the temp to about the same temp for the first 24-36 hours. After that it takes off gradually toward 74F over the next 3-4 days. In the winter I move it to a different spot that stays around 68F. I have to be a little more careful in the winter as the basement is warmer then, so instead of pitching at 64F like in the summer, i'll cool to about 62F before pitching.

12
All Grain Brewing / Re: adjusting water profle
« on: December 21, 2018, 12:53:49 PM »
  So I have been trying to get my water profile down. It seems when choosing the target profile there are a lot of different profiles from different countries along with colors such a brown balanced, brown full, brown dry. So if I am doing a British brown ale I am not sure which to choose. Why cant here be a profile for the water for each kind of beer I want to make that just says "British Brown Ale" or "Irish red ale" or "milk stout"?
  When I choose Beer style, the software (mine is BeerSmith 3) will show me the OG, IBU, FG, and ABV. Why isn't some other things like Sulfate to Chloride ratio and Bitterness ratio included with the others? those also seem important.

For some time now, I've taken the following path for all beers:

1.) Get Calcium to 40-50 ppm (personal preference) using CaCl and CaSO4
2.) Depending on style, supplement Mg and SO4 with Epsom
3.) Dose NaCl to taste

It's been said many times across a few forums: SO4/Cl ratio is less important than the actual values of SO4 and Cl.

13
All Grain Brewing / Re: Belgian dark strong
« on: December 20, 2018, 10:46:20 PM »
Also the color looked nothing like BS3 predicted and I am not sure why.
I can no longer call it BDS.
It is more of a copper color.

I appreciate all the comments.

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BeerSmith WAY overestimated the color of Dark Candi rocks. He takes the number on the package at face value. It’s much much lower.

14
Ingredients / Re: grams per gallon of "Trifecta mix"
« on: December 20, 2018, 08:22:47 PM »
I found this thread after searching for hours last night trying to get instructions on how to add the trifecta.

Is it really this simple?  I was thinking I had to use all kinds of math to get the percents of each ingredient and then it would add up to 100% based on total grams needed... very confused.

My friend found the sheet somewhere, not not on the lodo sight....
You set the ppm number, find your water volume and add the number in grams of both SKM and AA.  Then use the BTB tab to do the same based on your desired dosage number of gh/l ??

thanks haeffnkr

No calculator required (just forget the percentages, as they aren't really useful):

1.) Determine desired ppm of SMB/PMB and calculate grams:

     For Powder - Grams = ( PPM (MB) * Volume (l) ) / 1000
     For Campden - Grams = ( ( PPM (MB) * Volume (l) ) / 1000 ) / 0.75

2.) Add same gram amount of AA

3.) Dose BTB per manufacturer specs

4.) Calculate pH Drop:

     pH Drop = - ( PPM (MB) / 100 ) * 0.1

5.) Calculate Minerals:

     For SMB - Na = ( PPM (MB) / 100 ) * 24
                    SO4 = ( PPM (MB) / 100 ) * 101

     For KMB - K = ( PPM (MB) / 100 ) * 35
                    SO4 = ( PPM (MB) / 100 ) * 87

RECAP:

1.) Forget the Trifecta percentages, i.e. they are a hindrance, not a target
2.) Decide on SMB/PMB PPM value
3.) Calculate grams of SMB/PMB
4.) Duplicate that value with AA
5.) Dose BTB per specs
6.) Calculate and factor in pH drop
7.) Calculate minerals

15
All Grain Brewing / Re: Belgian dark strong
« on: December 20, 2018, 08:09:14 PM »
Brew day was a success. I maxed out my Mash tun.  My OG was only off by 2 points. OG 1.082. according to BS3. I made a 2L starter, fermentation kicked off within a few hours.
Held temp at 65F for 7 days, ramped to 75F and held until fermentation stopped.
My TILT has been at 1.020 for 3 days now.
I will use my hydrometer this evening and see how far off the TILT is.

Thought or criticism?
 I understand I could of gotten more attenuation by using less specialty malts and even more sugar.

I typically see 82%+ AA even in first generation pitches without a starter. Sugar definitely plays a role but I also don't restrict temperature at all.

You had about 6% sugar which would be low for me. I typically push it to about 15%-18% for this style. Same for Tripel. I drop it a bit for Dubbel to around 8%-10%.

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