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Messages - mabrungard

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Ingredients / Re: Lemongrass
« on: February 22, 2017, 10:02:44 AM »
I found that better results with lemongrass and beer happen from stripping all the green leaves off the stalk to reveal only the white cane. Cut that cane into thin slices and add very late in the boil.

The green leaves will definitely leave some grassy polyphenols in the beer.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Spring Water Question/Help
« on: February 22, 2017, 09:59:18 AM »
Yes, that spring water quality says you are in an area with low mineralization. RO machines pop up only in places where the water is highly mineralized. If the bottled spring water is that good, it may be that your local tap water is well-suited too. Have you explored what's in it?  Tap water is far cheaper than any bottled water.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Adjust pH only with acid vs other methos
« on: February 22, 2017, 09:56:18 AM »
RA can be an appropriate measure for mashing water, but its not applicable for sparging water. I recommend focusing on either the alkalinity or bicarbonate content and not using the RA measure.

The OP's water is a fine starting point for some styles, but may not prove ideal for paler or more delicate styles. Most of the flavor ions are at workable levels.  Its mainly the calcium and bicarbonate that are excessive.  That water is well-suited for pre-boiling decarbonation, but that adds a few hours to the brewing process. Using lactic acid for that water may be on the edge of developing taste impacts. Using phosphoric may be better suited.

If it looks like brewing is a serious hobby for you, you might consider adding an RO machine to your Christmas list.

Equipment and Software / Re: Quick Disconnects
« on: February 22, 2017, 09:44:57 AM »
Yep, Camlocks. For all the reasons Phil cites. I use female camlocks on each end of hoses and male camlocks at each piece of equipment. I like that some suppliers provide silicone gaskets in the female camlocks. Those gaskets are well-sealing and durable, in my experience.

Equipment and Software / Re: pH probes
« on: February 20, 2017, 02:35:01 PM »
Brand?  I'm not sure that is truly the best metric. Construction may be a better objective. In the wastewater industry, double-junction probes are highly regarded to provide the best resistance to fouling and providing longer service. I suggest that gel electrolyte may provide better longevity for the hobbyist also. 

Equipment and Software / Re: Mashtun RIMS
« on: February 19, 2017, 10:11:44 AM »
There is no reason you can't use a rectangular cooler for a tun. The main thing is to try and create a intake screen that covers as much of the bottom of the tun, as possible. You can use just a single intake pipe running the length of the tun, but that will mean there are 'dead zones' in the tun. But most brewers just live with any inefficiency or other issues that might create. Adding more intake pipes to cover more of the bottom, does mean that the dead zones are smaller and efficiency might go up a little bit. I have a couple of intake pipes in my rectangular tun.

It's your choice.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Need some help with water
« on: February 19, 2017, 10:01:48 AM »
The manganese result is troubling. That upper EPA limit is an aesthetic standard in which the water tends to taste 'metallic' at levels above the limit. If you don't taste a metallic flavor in that water or beers, then you are OK to brew.

That water is likely to be acceptable for brewing due to its low Dissolved Solids content, but that water report does not provide enough info. You need to send it off for testing.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: English yeast for beginners
« on: February 19, 2017, 09:56:43 AM »
I've only used S-04 a couple of times and fermented at 68F. I can't say that I found the taste that that yeast imparts, desirable. The advice to ferment at a lower temp is interesting. I may have to try that on my next English style.

I've used the Windsor and London ESB yeasts and find them to be similar. They are serious under-attenuators, that are specifically stated by their manufacturers to be intended for brewing with worts created at low mashing temps or with significant simple sugar percentage in the wort. In any case, I find that the beers made with these yeasts are still quite tasty, even when under-attenuated. 

Equipment and Software / Re: ATC help with new meter
« on: February 19, 2017, 09:48:53 AM »
ATC is a nice feature, but it only improves your reading accuracy by a hundredth or two in typical usage. It cannot correct the large pH shift that wort undergoes as its temperature changes. ATC only corrects for the probe's change in its sensing function. It will ALWAYS be more accurate and better for your probe to measure pH in liquids somewhere around 25C +/- 5C.

Considering that we don't really care about wort pH down to the hundredth, being a couple of hundredths off, is no big deal. Just be consistent in measuring within the preferred temp range. This is the reason why I suggest that ATC has little value in the brewery. Always have a quick-reading thermometer with you to verify your wort temp is not too hot and then insert the pH probe after that is assured.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Guinness Antwerpen Stout
« on: February 19, 2017, 09:40:08 AM »
I just tasted the Antwerpen Stout from Guinness at the Cincinnati Winterfest this weekend and can report that it is an outstanding beer. Having just had the Guinness Extra Stout a month ago, I recognized that the Antwerpen Stout amps up the gravity and the richness of the dark fruit flavor. I feel its well worth your investigation.

At that same event, they also had their Rye Pale Ale and its OK. Not bad, but nothing to seek out.

While I was writing this message, I visited the Guinness website and see that they have a bunch of beers that I haven't seen on the shelves or taps. After tasting the Antwerpen, I'll be more open to trying them.


The only concern for the journal would be pro-brewer push back but it is not likely.
I can do the phone calls on behalf of the AHA if the AHA gives me permission.

This is a great idea to a geek like me, but I'm not sure that a majority of the general membership would find it valuable. When I was completing my second Masters degree a few years ago, I loved my access to various journals through the University's library. If AHA could get similar access, I would love it. If you have insight as to how libraries and allied organizations get access, your Governing Committee would like to hear it. However, the bottom line is that is limited funding available to things that might have limited appeal to the membership as a whole.

Equipment and Software / Re: pH probes
« on: February 19, 2017, 09:23:21 AM »
Any pH probe with either BNC or DIN connectors can be replaced with any other manufacturer's BNC or DIN equipped probes. They are universal.

You can get my compilation of pH meter and probe advice on the Bru'n Water Facebook page linked below. You'll have to scroll through a bunch of other useful brewing related information to get to that pH info, but it should be worth your time.

Now I can blame the GC for that abomination!

Oh come on! It's just a name. The important thing is the people and spirit that the conference represents.

Since I live in a city that hosts one of the largest ComiCon events, I guess I'm OK with the new HomebrewCon moniker. I'm used to it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: HomebrewCon schedule...
« on: February 15, 2017, 02:03:56 PM »
We deleted the banquet since it was becoming impossible to provide high quality food that conformed to our (AHA's) chef's artistic goals. In addition, more attendees want to participate in the NHC awards than we had banquet hall seats. So the change to an open entry into the awards session and a closing 'happy hour' after that, should give attendees more bang for their buck and also enable everyone to plan for a night out on the town on Saturday night. I'm really excited that there is the light rail line and venues along its path.

The other good thing is that attendees that don't have an interest in attending the awards session, will have the opportunity to continue attending conference sessions. These late sessions will all be repeats of earlier presentations, so you won't necessarily miss anything.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Pumping Effects on Wort and Beer
« on: February 12, 2017, 10:01:42 AM »
I'm new to pumping as well, I put together a basic HERMS. The question I has since we are on this subject is how splashing a concern when the wort returns to the mash tun in a RIMS or HERMS? My batch yesterday seemed to produce some foam from splashing here and there. Im looking into a fitting to make the wort return in a more gentle stream back into the top of the mash tun.

With the evidence from modern brewing journals and brewing texts, it does appear that its wise to reduce your wort's contact with air to the degree possible. I've recently incorporated an improved mash cap and downlet piping into my system to help avoid air contact. It doesn't have to be extravagant. Laying the return hose on the top of the grist with a sheet of plastic could be it. 

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