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Messages - Kaiser

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
« on: July 11, 2013, 07:51:06 PM »
I know I'm resurrecting a dead thread, but just wanted to give my inputs.  Relatively new homebrewer, about 6 months of all grain.  Used 5.2 for the first time on a batch of Janet's brown.  Just had the first taste and it was phenomenal, but had a salty finish.  Pretty bummed to be honest, because I've been on a brewing spree and have 3 more beers coming through fermentation that I've done in the past 3 weeks that might have the same issue because I used it on all 3.  For reference, I'm using Boston water, which is very highly alkaline and has a very high pH and quite low "hardness".  This month we had a pH of 9.6 and alkalinity of 39.8.

An alkalinity of ~40 is not considered high. It's actually fairly low and instead of adding 5.2 I's just add 3% of acidulated malt for any light beer. For your Brown you should have been fine w/o any adjustment.

Water chemistry can be daunting. You can use this nice on-line calculator that I developed for Brewer's Friend:

I think Boston water is coming from the Quabin reservoir. This means it is surface water and these water's tend to be low in Alkalinity and hardness. Adding some calcium salts (Gypsum or Calcium Chloride) may help your beers.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 5.2 PH Mash Stabilizer??
« on: July 11, 2013, 07:44:40 PM »
Did you get to do this at NHC 2013? I am also curious about the "how". I mean, I know it doesn't work, but I'd sure like to see their side of the explanation.

I thought about it but did not bother. Oftentimes they don't send their R&D people to these conferences.


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: PH and yeast ( fermintation)
« on: July 11, 2013, 05:03:35 AM »
You also want to look into doing a Fast Ferment Test to see if your problem is in wort production or fermentation.


Going Pro / Re: Why Plato?
« on: July 09, 2013, 10:02:11 AM »
Make sure to check the accuracy of any bargain model. There is not much in the optics that can go wrong but the scale could be put off whack. Also check if the as atc function works. Mine doesn't.


Going Pro / Re: Why Plato?
« on: July 08, 2013, 07:46:20 PM »

I should be able to find some time. You can also email me if you feel you need my input on a topic.

The NHC had become big. I wonder how much larger it can get.


Going Pro / Re: Why Plato?
« on: July 06, 2013, 05:52:07 PM »

Good to see you posting again, Kai.

Let's see how much time I can find for the forums.


Going Pro / Re: Why Plato?
« on: July 06, 2013, 02:40:07 PM »
I believe it's because Plato is more precise than sg when it comes to attenuation calculations, for example. Also, most of the brewing calculations are based on Plato or a similar measure of wort solids.

Sg works well enough and was picked up by home brewers. Sg based brewing calculations also originate in UK brewing if I'm not mistaken.

When I toured AB a while back I noticed extract displays in Balling.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Who's going to NHC?
« on: June 28, 2013, 08:21:37 AM »
 I'm here

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Stepped yeast starters
« on: March 22, 2013, 04:24:17 PM »
There is more discrepancy to these yeast pitch calculators than you think. I'm talking about 2x and more.

In my experience one gram of grows about 1.4 billion cells when a stir plate is used. That is true over a fairly wide range of initial pitching rates.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Brun Water question
« on: March 22, 2013, 07:20:30 AM »
By the way, Kai's online calculator is cool.  However, the need to plug in a code number is not.  If they made it with cookies so that the website recognized the user and brought up all their work, that would be a nice feature.  I don't like being tethered to the net, but that feature would make it more appealing.

There are two ways to solve this:
- bookmark the link with a descriptive title and manage the bookmarks. I have done that.
- sign up for BF with a trial account and you'll see a list of all your saved water calculations since having signed up. We recently added a title and description field that makes the bookkeeping easier. This is new since v1.4

I agree that keeping a code around is not very practical. I never use the code w/o the link. Sometimes folks send me just the code when it would have been as easy to send me the link+code.

The restore feature is for cases when you accidentally press the back button. This was something I asked for as a must since I hate forms where you fill stuff in, press the back-button for some stupid reason, and have to fill them out again.

I know that availability on the web is an issue. I talked to BF about this and since their business model is build around an on-line only calculator lots of investment is done with respect to redundancy and uptime. They can't afford even rare events of downtime since that can ruin their reputation. Especially if it happens while you brew. It can be argued that your records are safer on the web then on your computer unless you have a good back-up system implemented. That may not be that easy if you only work with a laptop, but there are solutions available. Many folks have lost all their recipes and other files due to hard disk crashes. That's an argument often forgotten when folks don't trust the cloud.

I'm not a big fan of the cloud either. I rather keep my stuff on my computer but in some cases it just makes life a bit easier and is not a huge risk.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Brun Water question
« on: March 21, 2013, 10:12:57 AM »
Or just go with the Brewer's Friend water calculator and you get all that and more for free. No need to type the same thing in two places.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Brun Water question
« on: March 21, 2013, 08:46:49 AM »
red, you are correct. Distilled water actually has a non-zero alkalinity. It’s the amount of acid needed to drop its pH from 7 to 4.3, which is a common titration end point for alkalinity measurement. Check out this calculator: Simply leave the default values for the source water empty and play with the pH. When you update the calculation and then look at the detailed report in the source water section (click “show report” and then click “even more detail”) to show the alkalinity  you will see how the alkalinity changes if only the pH of the water changes.

distilled water with a pH of 7, for example, has an alkalinity of 2.5 ppm as CaCO3

But erockrph is also correct that for the purpose of brewing water adjustments you can assume the alkalinity of distilled water to be 0.

If I use that calculator to determine the amount of lactic acid needed to drop the pH from 7 to 5.4 I get 0.01 ml for 4 gal of water. You can’t even measure that precisely.


Kegging and Bottling / Re: Carbonation (Henry's Law) question
« on: March 21, 2013, 08:00:15 AM »

That is the part about Henry's Law that I'm not sure about.  Since my chest freezer is holding CO2 in, let's assume that when the beer cools back down and when it sucks gas back through the airlock that it is all CO2 coming back in.  The part I was wondering about is after the beer warms up and loses CO2, when it cools back to its original temperature does it pick up the same amount of CO2 that it lost, or is it a lower amount because the beer was originally sitting in a supersaturated state?  Since the CO2 partial pressure is the same before and after in this example, I suppose Henry's Law says that it would eventually take up the same amount of CO2.

I don’t think that your chest freezer is filled with 100% CO2. CO2 and air diffuse fairly quickly, otherwise we would not see a difference between yeast growth in an airlocked starter and one covered with foil. But there is much more CO2 in your chest freezer than there is in air.

If the headspace is 100% CO2 than a warmed up and cooled down beer will have the same CO2 level than a beer that remained at the same temp. This assumes that equilibrium was reached. How long it takes to reach that equilibrium, I don’t know. I think we are talking on the order of a few days here.

I guess another way of looking at it is, say I have two beers that have just finished fermenting.  One I leave undisturbed and the other I use a wine whip and degas as much CO2 out of it that I can.  If I let them both sit under the same amount of CO2 headspace pressure, do they eventually end up with the same amount of dissolved CO2, or does the undisturbed one hold more because it started from a supersaturated state?

A supersaturated liquid will move towards equilibrium once the production of CO2 stops. Both beers will eventually end up with the same amount of dissolved CO2

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Carbonation (Henry's Law) question
« on: March 20, 2013, 01:19:22 PM »
That’s a loaded question and I remember discussing this before.

I wouldn’t worry too much and base the calculations on the current temperature of the beer. If the beer has been warmed up before that and lost CO2 then it will also have reabsorbed the CO2 as it cooled down. One issue here is that as it absorbs CO2 from the headspace it would pull air into the airlock and thus lower the CO2 pressure in the head space. This will lead to less residual carbonation.

But I doubt that the effect is large enough that you have to worry about it for carbonation calculations.

There is also the issue of slow residual fermentation. How are you sure that only the added sugar will be metabolized during bottle conditioning?


Ingredients / Re: Lactate Taste Threshold Experiment
« on: March 11, 2013, 12:42:55 PM »
Thanks guys.

I also encourage others to try this experiment yourself. Preparing the lactate solution is fairly easy to do if you have a pH meter and pickling lime. And since you can easily correct by adding more of the un-neutralized lactic acid solution w/o changing the dilution you don't have to worry about overshooting the Ca(OH)2 additions.


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