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Topics - trentmark

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All Grain Brewing / Water profile: Can someone just tell me what to do?
« on: December 14, 2012, 04:26:49 PM »
Water chemistry boggles my mind. I have been trying to build mash and sparge water from RO water. The RO water from my local water store has a pH of 6.5 and typically has 30 ppm of god only know what. I have been using an online spreadsheet to try to calculate salt additions but I don’t feel good about the results. My mash pH comes in a little high at 5.6. Since I am trying to extract a highly fermentable wort, I am shooting for 5.4. I have not been treating my sparge water and the sparge is fine reaching 5.7 by the end. I fly sparge.  However, my boil pH is high at 5.5. I have been lowering the mash pH to target and the boil pH to 5.1 with acid. I am getting excellent extraction efficiency but the final product seems to be a little harsh, from the hops I think. This weekend I am brewing a Saison. I have a full line of salts and an accurate balance. Could someone recommend mash and sparge water salt additions for this grain bill and hop profile: 59% Begian Pils-2L, 9.82% Vienna-3.5L, 9.82% Munich-10L, 4.91% flaked wheat-1.6L, 2.15% Special B-180L, 2.15% Special Roast-50L, and 12.27% dextrose. I expect a SRM of 8.7. Hops will be 3 oz. of Kent Goldings – 60 minutes, 2 oz. of Styrian Goldings – 15 minutes and 2 oz. – Styrian Goldings at flame out for an expected IBU of 32.5 (Tinseth’s method). I expect an original gravity of 1.057.  This is a 12 gallon batch and I will use 4 gallons of mash water up to 15 gallons of sparge water. Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

All Grain Brewing / Looking for boil tips
« on: October 18, 2012, 05:28:03 PM »
Boiling 14 gallons in a 15 gallon pot is a challenge. For my last batch, I collected 13 gallons of wort then 30 minutes into the boil I added 1 gallon of boiling water just prior to the first hop addition. This approached worked fine as far as hitting the required amount of boiled wort. Question: Are there any problems to this method regarding the finished beer? Also: Does anyone have other solutions to boiling in an undersized vessel?

Yeast and Fermentation / Transfer to secondary with March pump
« on: September 27, 2012, 09:45:00 PM »
I recently upgraded from 5 to 10 gallon capacity. I quickly found out a pump was a necessary part of that upgrade. I selected a March pump and have had great success. One issue arose when transferring to the bright tank; The beer became very cloudy with a lot of foam. I transferred near the end of fermentation (1.008). The beer was clear by the next day and I bottled 3 weeks later at a final gravity of 1.006. The end results was a good beer with no apparent effect from the transfer. The only noticeable difference was a bit lower carbonation than expected.   

Questions: 1) Are there others out there transferring near finished beer with a March (centrifugal) pump? 2) What caused the beer to be so cloudy and foam? 3) Are there possible effects I haven't noticed? and 3)Any advise on how to reduce the foam (I tried restricting the flow with no apparent effect)?

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