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Messages - Richard

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Not able to raise alcohol level
« on: July 14, 2019, 04:02:46 PM »
If you have BeerSmith there is a built-in refractometer correction tool (at least there is in version 3, I'm not sure about earlier versions). It is under Tools->Refractometer. Also, any place you enter a gravity reading on the session tab or after clicking "Add Reading" there is a small button with a picture of a refractometer next to the entry box that will pop up the tool.

Ingredients / Re: RO Water Profile
« on: July 14, 2019, 03:55:52 PM »
I don't think it makes any difference. Those numbers are all so small that the difference between them and zero is not significant.

The Pub / Re: Brewery runs out of Beer!
« on: July 11, 2019, 09:18:12 PM »
Yooper is the term for a resident of the UP (Upper Peninsula,) as in "U.P.-er."

I once met a Yooper who referred to people from the other part of Michigan as "trolls" because they lived below the bridge!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Grain-like bitterness
« on: July 09, 2019, 04:26:18 AM »
Our sense of smell and taste can be fickle and give different results from day to day. A few years ago I went through a period of time when everything tasted bitter. I eventually tracked it down to eating Chinese pine nuts from Costco. They are known to cause "Pine Mouth" which can last from a few days to a few weeks and cause everything to have a bitter taste. I grew up in New Mexico where we would harvest and roast our own pine nuts, so I love them. I never had a problem with those, but the Chinese ones are different. Now I don't pass judgement on the taste of a beer until I have tasted it on several different days under different conditions.

Ingredients / Re: Post your water report
« on: July 02, 2019, 11:47:25 PM »
Hetch Hetchy water from snowmelt in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

My municipal water report lists some pretty wide ranges for ions, and using the averages doesn't give anion/cation balance. I finally decided to get some water tested by Ward Labs. It looks almost like RO! Everything is at the very low end of the ranges. I knew the water is soft, but this is well below the numbers I have been using in Bru'nWater. They are so low they almost don't matter.

pH 8.3
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 46
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.08
Cations / Anions, me/L 0.6 / 0.5

Sodium, Na 7
Potassium, K < 1
Calcium, Ca 5.14
Magnesium, Mg < 1
Total Hardness, CaCO3 17
Nitrate, NO3-N < 0.1 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 1
Chloride, Cl 4
Carbonate, CO3 < 1.0
Bicarbonate, HCO3 21
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 17
Total Phosphorus, P < 0.01
Total Iron, Fe 0.02

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Brut IPA using extracts
« on: June 30, 2019, 09:22:08 PM »
Why not? With an all-grain Brut IPA there is debate over whether to add the AMG to the mash or to the fermentation. With no mash the decision is made for you.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Diastaticus
« on: June 20, 2019, 09:25:00 PM »
I imagine I'd experience issues if I bottled the beer and let the bottles hang around at room temp after reaching full carbonation. Did you bottle your beer?

Yes, the beer was bottled. The amount of priming sugar was based on my usual assumptions. My bottles were kept at room temperature for a couple of weeks, then refrigerated. It was highly carbonated but was manageable if poured slowly. I gave some to an assistant brewer who kept it warm for longer and had real gushers.

The taste was very good, and if I experimented enough with it I might be able to figure out how to cut back the priming sugar to compensate, but it doesn't seem worth it to me. I may or may not brew this again, but if I do I will use a different yeast. I am sure there are many that will give good flavors.

Yeast and Fermentation / Diastaticus
« on: June 20, 2019, 01:56:51 PM »
I just read the article in the latest Zymurgy "Dealing with Diastaticus" and found it to be very helpful and informative. The article mostly considered Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. diastaticus to be the result of an infection or contamination, but did briefly mention that it might come from "non-standard" yeasts. I brewed a batch of Sierra Nevada Resilience IPA in January and used one of the suggested yeasts, Imperial A24 Dry Hop. The Imperial web site says that this yeast contains a strain that tests positive for the STA1 gene and is considered to be Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. diastaticus. I read that but didn't know what the implications were. I ended up with highly over-carbonated beer. I won't be using that yeast again.

Now I need to get out the iodophor and clean everything that was touched by that yeast.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Kraeusen Layer on Starter
« on: June 17, 2019, 03:09:25 PM »
Is it normal to NOT have a kraeusen layer in the starter?  And is there an explanation?
Resurrecting an old thread. I have been reading the book "Yeast" and perhaps now have an explanation. I don't re-use yeast, so all my single-stage starters are from lab-grown yeast and all my two-stage starters are from  yeast grown on DME. I rarely see any foam on my single-stage starters but usually see quite a bit on my second stages. My hypothesis is that the lab-grown yeast (at least from White Labs and Wyeast) are missing some key ingredient needed to make persistent krausen. I use yeast nutrient so the missing ingredient isn't a simple one. By the second stage they have had an opportunity to get lots of good stuff from the DME of the first stage and can make healthy karusen. Of course the yeast strain will have a big effect, too.

Does anyone have experience that contradicts this hypothesis?

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Stale beer direct from brewery
« on: June 17, 2019, 12:32:41 AM »
Fort Bragg, CA. I think there are only 2 breweries there, so you can probably figure it out.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: profile missing Magnesium
« on: June 08, 2019, 11:31:49 PM »
Magnesium is an element, so it can't be made from anything else (unless you are a nuclear physicist). None of the information you listed can tell you anything about the magnesium level. Magnesium is a minor actor, but not totally unimportant in brewing. Contact your water supplier to see if they can provide you with more information. Chances are they know the magnesium level but just didn't report it. It might have just been an oversight or error on their part. If they can't help you, you can always send in a sample to Ward Labs and get them to give you a report. They will definitely tell you the magnesium level.

The Pub / Re: RIP Dr John
« on: June 07, 2019, 12:20:53 AM »
Oh man, I loved Dr. John and his music. Very sad to hear that he passed. Thanks for posting this, Robert.

Beer Recipes / Re: Lager beer recipe recomendations
« on: June 05, 2019, 02:15:42 PM »
I'm not sure that 54 F counts as lagering. You can help the Brewjacket by adding ice. If you have your fermenter in the insulated bag, add as many frozen bottles as you can fit in the bag and exchange them as soon as the ice melts. That will speed the cooling and help you to achieve lower temperatures. Ice cubes have greater surface area to volume ratio than frozen bottles and will cool your beer much faster, but you can't put them in the bag. I am not sure how good the insulation is on the bag, but you can also add more insulation.  Even better would be to put the fermenter in an insulated cooler filled with water up to the level of the beer, and dump ice cubes into it as needed. If you do this right, with good insulation all around and on top, you should be able to achieve temperatures below 40 with your immersion cooler. I have a similar setup with a home-built thermoelectric cooling system and can achieve 34 F with the aid of ice, even with ambient temps in the 70s.

Equipment and Software / Re: Shipment from More Beer
« on: June 05, 2019, 02:03:29 PM »
I suspect that the person who ordered a fermenter with cooling system but got a shelf is not so amused.

Ingredients / Re: It's the best beer I have ever made...but why?
« on: June 05, 2019, 04:22:22 AM »
Yes, I knew it was unscientific when I planned the brew because I changed too many variables and the Munich malts were from different maltsters and, even though the total weight was the same, I knew that adding some light and some dark would bring different character. My previous brew of this style was a year before this one, so it was long gone and comparison is a challenge in that case. Sorry Denny, I can't send you a bottle of each. The new brew had more flavor, with a complex, almost buttery richness that took me by surprise. My sister said "This beer tastes like food".

The more I think about it, the more I am inclined to believe that the base malt is the key. I am now looking at a 3-4 month hiatus in my brewing, which will put me more into stout season than summer beer season. I will spend that time planning my recipes and choosing my malts, and trying too convince my wife that the craft malt is worth the extra expense. I am hoping that one or two more outstanding beers will prove the case and she will agree without forcing me to give up something else in exchange. I guess I should brew one of her favorites to help emphasize the point. Fortunately for the timing, she likes dark beers.

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