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Messages - seajellie

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1
All Grain Brewing / Re: calcium carry over to kettle question
« on: March 07, 2013, 10:58:01 AM »
Not to side track, but I wasn't assuming that Ca kettle additions would be a plus or a minus when it came to beerstone formation. But since Ca is a major component of beerstone, while also being involved in removing the oxalate before a problem is created, then there just might be a diff between 30 ppm or 250 ppm in the kettle that you are concerned about, if you push huge volumes and have gear that is harder to clean than I do. I'd certainly be curious if it were my biz, but don't really care at less than 200 gal/year.

Nerd out  :)

2
All Grain Brewing / Re: calcium carry over to kettle question
« on: March 07, 2013, 08:49:27 AM »
Martin suggested 40 ppm of Ca as a good lower value for the kettle (in the thread I referenced previously). I have previously been using 50, and this will help on occasion (like for bopils).

EDIT: As he points out later, I am wrong about the above. He actually stated that he doesn't think there is a huge need to make sure that there is at least 50 ppm in the kettle.

Thanks for that data point from Kolbach, Kai. I'll assume that's a pretty good ratio to use at the concentrations of malt and Ca we typically encounter in our mashes.

And yup JJ, you could intend your Ca kettle additions for yeast health, beer clarity, beer stone (more of a pro issue), or flavor (via the Cl or SO4 anions). Or all of the above.

It'll be interesting to see if the water book publishes any new proven data on any of this stuff.

3
All Grain Brewing / Re: calcium carry over to kettle question
« on: March 06, 2013, 12:39:43 PM »
I asked a similar Q over on the NB forum (Effects of bicarbonate on brewing water). Your loss numbers seem in the ballpark for what Mr. Brungard responded. It's a good thread and worth checking out if you're interested (page 5 for the Ca talk). I can understand not worrying too much about it, but my base water is high in chlorides and sulfates compared to the Ca I get from it, and it's rather a pita to haul more RO water than I need.

I kinda recall that Palmer assumes a loss of Ca equivalent to the ratio of water lost in the mash, in one place (a brew strong episode, i think....but could be wrong).

Here's a quote from Mr. Brungard's writing in that other thread:

"Some data from Sierra Nevada shows that they aim for 50 ppm Ca in their kettle and start with 85 ppm in the tun. That is a 40% loss of calcium, but I think it might be more appropriate to look at just the total loss (35 ppm)."

Thank you Martin.

4
Didn't get that from HopSlam last year... will try it tomorrow though and keep my nose open for it.

I do get it from Avery Maharaja... simcoe i guess.

5
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop Pellets
« on: January 09, 2013, 08:19:12 AM »
yeah, think "igloos". Snow and ice make great insulation actually; I've ridden out major snow storms in ice caves, and I don't think I ever dropped down to "pitching temps". Quite cozy actually. Very strange claim they made about snow banks chilling wort faster than in IC. I suppose if you just dumped your wort onto the snow bank, that would be true.

Maybe if you tilt your primary a bit you can get a clear drain and not lose too much beer. You could use the dregs for FG, once it resettled.  I too like the convenience of not dealing with that stuff after the boil....

6
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop Pellets
« on: January 07, 2013, 05:40:32 PM »
No harm in broadcasting the results. Denny occasionally posts a link to an experiment where the tasters could tell a difference, and preferred the fermentation *with* the trub, iirc - pellets and break. That isn't my experience, but I'm sure one of the many variables here is beer style. Munich Helles vs. DIPA I wouldn't expect to be the same.

7
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop Pellets
« on: January 03, 2013, 10:08:00 AM »
OK, yes I have done the "run off until it gets cloudy" thing for years, with a kettle screen just to catch the leaf hops. It works, and if you're anal like me you can funnel-filter the leftover wort and use it for OG, FFT, speise, starters, or even add back to your ferment if you feel brave, or save it for a mixed garbage surprise beer when you have enough built up in the freezer. I do all those things.

I've never been totally happy with it though, because I often brew smaller batches and don't like the "waste", and I do more lagers than ales and have long suspected that keeping junk out of the fermenter was more than just a good idea. My recent comparisons proved to me that at least on my system, the malt and hop aromas and flavors can get muddled otherwise.

But what broke me was getting into IPAs recently. So how do you deal with a pound of leaf and pellet hops? Dumping that into the primary is not going to happen for me for a lot of reasons (yeah, I'm a whimp compared to that dude upstream ;-)

It created a stew that defeated my regular processes, so I had to change; hence the spider and bags. And once I did that, I was surprised to see how much of the trub in the bottom of the kettle was due to hop residue, not break material. That means to me, cool, that is that much more wort that I can get into the fermenter if I refine this process. I don't care to throw paint strainer bags into the boil, that's for sure.

Hop blocker looks great, but I've seen enough so-so reviews that I hesitate. And whirlpooling... well it took me a long time to ride a bike as a kid so maybe rotation just throws me for a loop.

Paul's right - you gotta lose beer or wort somewhere in most systems, and I like the kettle myself due to the built-in sanitization. So I like my current deal better than any other systems I've tried. For me, it means more harvested wort and less work, not less and more, respectively.

To the OP, I do think that fly swatter would clog, so I'd have a backup plan in place. Also, can you move it to the side, in case you are normal and can whirlpool. It would last longer, if so. Also it would be out of the way of your IC if you use one.

8
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop Pellets
« on: January 02, 2013, 11:44:41 AM »
Even if you don't believe that there are flavor diffs, and even if you don't repitch yeast, sooner or later, you still have to separate your wort or beer from the junk. So if that's the only question, then it becomes a matter of your process and convenience.


9
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop Pellets
« on: January 02, 2013, 11:01:12 AM »
I can't whirlpool worth a damn, and I don't like sludge in my fermenter, either.

Lately, I've been throwing pellets into 1-gallon paint strainer bags directly into the boil, and for flowers, relying on a mash screen filter screwed into the port w/ a 90 degree stainless steel elbow joint to tilt it appropriately for the batch, so that the intake is just above the sludge/break level at the bottom. I'll use a spider with a 3-gallon strainer bag for brews with lots of additions (by weight or by time), because the other methods become a mess as the additions go up. For winter lagers, I'll also let the kettle sit a good long time outside, covered, to let all the junk drop out.

I repitch yeast from four of five of my ferments on average, and so want the wort as clean as possible before it goes into the fermenter. Also, this fall I did four batches where I take the first clear gallons of runoff into one fermenter for a very clean pitch. Then the later runoff, I've either dumped it all into a second fermenter, or just let more trub and sludge into that fermenter. I have noticed a flavor difference in each of these tests. Not always a huge difference, and it might decrease over time (TBD), but it seems to be there and I really think it's due to how much pellet and break material got into the fermenter (vs. different fermenter geometries, slightly diff pitching rates, etc). I say this because the flavors aren't what I'd call yeast characters like esters, phenols, etc. I'm no judging expert that's for sure, but for whatever reason, there is a difference.

You can also just super-size your batches, using settling time, and plan on leaving more behind. But for small batches, it's super annoying to make a 3 gallon batch and leave 25% of your wort behind.

I guess others have a superior solution or think this is a lot of work for a problem that doesn't exist. But I think this is a great subject.

10
Ingredients / Re: Maris Otter Floor Malted Malt?
« on: December 18, 2012, 03:07:34 PM »
I just brewed a smash with warminster floor-malted MO, and at just four weeks old I'm having a hard time not drinking all of it tonight. Damn straight 100% is fine.

That said, the brewmaster of Meantime has said that he doesn't like 100% MO because of a "diacetyl" flavor impact. I've not encountered that, but there it is.

11
Beer Recipes / Re: English IPA tips
« on: November 16, 2012, 03:40:09 PM »
Can You Brew It does a pretty good session on Meantime IPA, with a 30 min or so interview w/ the brew master, an American guy. The business starts about 15 minutes in.

Meantime is bottle-conditioned, so you certainly can bottle it up to age it; sounds like the owner wants this brand as an authentic representation of history, so go for it.  Meantime comes in a cork bottle btw, so it definitely gets oxidized at least as much as your bottles will get.

How'd your brew session go? I plan to do a ten gallon batch here soon as well, and leave five in a keg for as long as I can stand, and drink the other immediately. Sounds like they hit this beer with every technique possible: FWH, bittering, late adds/whirlpooling, hop back, and dry hop. Although the only Meantimes that I've had, had very little aroma - probably old. I plan to hit my aged keg up with a dry hop when the time comes to drink it.

I kind of like that idea for american styles too. I'm going to let my IIPAs age a bit this season in keg, and then hit them with the dry hops when I think they're ready. Usually, I just dry hop and start drinking, maybe before the beer is really perfected....

12
Beer Recipes / Re: English IPA tips
« on: October 30, 2012, 05:49:12 PM »
man, sorry for yours and everyone else's loss.  And sorry to be an unfortunate reminder.

I actually live in Ann Arbor. Will look up the AABG.

13
Beer Recipes / Re: English IPA tips
« on: October 30, 2012, 05:03:25 PM »
So it's been two years now... how did those two year old aging EIPAs turn out?

Or did you drink them all already!

Great bits of info in this thread. Been pondering an EIPA, as a have a load of EKG flower hops, and lots of Styrian Goldings which I understand as being transplanted Fuggles.  Glad to see Jeff's post up higher about dry hopping with SG. Also have some very healthy Wyeast 1469 (W Yorkshire) to harvest.

EIPA looks like a good style to make a big batch of, to make sure you can actually keep a few gallons in reserve for two years! But I can squeeze just six kegs into my fridge, so this will have to age in the cellar, 55 - 70 over the year.

Am thinking that I'd trend towards the lighter (colorwise) type, rather than one with lots of mid crystal malt. One reason is I'm making an ESB anyway with lots of cara 60; other is, I seem to prefer less of the mid and upper crystal malts in IPA-hoppy beers. Sometimes a lot of big crystal in IPAs works for me, sometimes not.

Anyway, any advice or recipes welcome. Thanks in advance!

14
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Foam stability and oxidation
« on: October 19, 2012, 01:58:38 PM »
In regard to Kai's comment about "better ageing with oxidation," I just did a blind triangle test with a friend and two big beers. One was a Baltic Porter (w/ lager yeast) and the other was a Belgian Dark Strong (w/ Chimay yeast); one sample of each had sat in the cellar at around 60 - 65 for six months, and the other sample had been in a fridge at 42 - 45 for that same time.

I remember that there was a difference in appearance and in the bubbles, can't remember about foam stabillity, but I have no photos to share anyway. The big thing was the taste; both of us correctly differentiated and matched both brews. I found it amusing that he preferred the refrigerated samples; I greatly preferred the cellared samples. I found the cellared examples to have somewhat sherry-like or liquor like complexity that works well with a lot of darker brews.

I've long suspected that I like a bit of oxidized ageing to the big brews, and have the proof now!

15
How does the ole ROT work: If the grain tastes OK, then it's probably ok to brew with, and any off flavors you get are most likely not due to the grain.

It seems to have worked for me. I disobeyed it one time with some old barley and rye malt that tasted "flat" or "off" but I went with it anyway. It was three years old probably. I was sorry that I wasted my time. Beer was awful, and never improved even after ageing in the refrigerated keg for a year.

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