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Messages - jc24

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General Homebrew Discussion / Oak chips & fermentation
« on: April 14, 2018, 03:59:34 AM »
I am planning to brew a Foreign Extra Stout and want to add 1.7oz medium toast French Oak cubes (6.3 gallon batch). In order to try and minimise oxidisation and risk of infection, I'd love to avoid transferring to a secondary fermenter. What are the draw-backs to adding the oak cubes at the very start of fermentation, ie. when I pitch the yeast, and just leaving it for 3 or 4 weeks? I know that, theoretically, there is risk of off-flavours developing from the trub, but I'm not convinced :-) Anyone had real-world experience that can advise?

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General Homebrew Discussion / Adding cucumber
« on: January 13, 2018, 04:17:17 AM »
I’m brewing a cucumber Saison and am wondering if I should add the cucumber to the primary (post-primary fermentation) and leave them in for a couple of weeks, or if it’s best to transfer to a secondary vessel and leave the cucumber in for longer? Would much prefer first option :-)


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3
All Grain Brewing / Bitterness in IPAs
« on: January 06, 2018, 10:50:47 PM »
Thank you! I have recently only been doing 30min boils with 15min and less hop additions so will try 60mins with a solid American hop. My sulphate levels are always at around 300ppm for IPAs so I think I’m good there.


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4
All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash pH way off
« on: January 06, 2018, 10:46:28 PM »
firstly, my mash efficiency was quite a lot higher than usual, and secondly, both beers have been slower than usual to ferment and seem to have stalled at 1.020. Is this what we would expect from a very low mash pH?

That is not my experience. I find that a lower mashing pH tends to produce a wort that is thinner and more fermentable. That suggests that the beer should ferment well and end with a lower than expected gravity.
Thank you! Haven’t been able to borrow a reliable pH meter yet - will keep trying!


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5
All Grain Brewing / Bitterness in IPAs
« on: January 06, 2018, 02:33:38 PM »
I'm wondering how to get that slow moving bitterness that creeps up on you and bites you on the back end? In most of my IPAs the bitterness is quite upfront, but I'd like to know how to get that bitterness to be a little more delayed?

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash pH way off
« on: January 05, 2018, 11:01:02 PM »
With the last 2 brews I’ve done, I added lactic acid to hit the correct pH according to my meter, which means if Bru’n Water was correct and my meter was off, I’d have had a relatively acidic mash. I noticed 2things about these beers - firstly, my mash efficiency was quite a lot higher than usual, and secondly, both beers have been slower than usual to ferment and seem to have stalled at 1.020. Is this what we would expect from a very low mash pH? I brewed last night and decided to trust Bru’n Water and not add any lactic acid - my efficiency is right where it used to be and the airlock is bubbling away 9hrs after pitching. Does all this seem to point to a faulty pH meter?

I’m brewing again soon and should have a reliable meter to test with.

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash pH way off
« on: January 03, 2018, 01:09:49 AM »
Thank you for the replies everyone. I used 3 different base malts for the brews I mentioned - Simpson's Maris Otter, Barrett Burston's Pale Ale and Weyermann's Pilsner. I shall do a mini mash with distilled water as suggested and see what reading I get. I'll have to wait for a while though as I've run out of calibrating solutions - have ordered more so hopefully I'll be able to do this test soon.

And yes, the easiest thing to do would be to borrow someone else's reliable pH meter - I'll see what I can do!

Thanks again - I'll report back here once I've had a chance to follow up on your suggestions.

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash pH way off
« on: January 02, 2018, 01:59:17 PM »
In a roundabout way, yes! I've learned that if I adjust things so it predicts a pH of 5.2 with no acid additions, then to ACTUALLY hit a mash pH of 5.2, I need to add around 7 - 7.5ml of 88% lactic acid.
It calibrates, but the pH is off on the high side. Does that happen for all styles?

Not sure yet, I've only been measuring mash pH for 5 brews so far - 2 IPAs, an APA, Belgian Wit and a Dusseldorf Alt. All of them read around 0.7 higher than what Bru'n Water predicted. I'm confused! To get the spreadsheet to align with my readings, I have to tell it my water has 250ppm bicarbonate which is of course impossible, given that my TDS are at 10ppm.

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash pH way off
« on: January 02, 2018, 01:47:14 PM »
In a roundabout way, yes! I've learned that if I adjust things so it predicts a pH of 5.2 with no acid additions, then to ACTUALLY hit a mash pH of 5.2, I need to add around 7 - 7.5ml of 88% lactic acid.

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Mandarina Bavaria disgusting?!
« on: January 02, 2018, 01:45:37 PM »
Yeah it is a beautiful hop - I guess I was just expecting the wrong thing from it. As you say, doesn't have the oil content of other hops typically used in IPA's.

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Mandarina Bavaria disgusting?!
« on: January 02, 2018, 01:37:56 PM »
For anyone who was interested to see how this turned out, the beer has mellowed out HEAPS now (4 days after kegging/dry hopping for the 2nd time). It is becoming quite a nice drop. I think we can almost certainly say that it was as I first suspected, that I was pretty much just drinking a mouthful of raw hops initially :-) Everything is much more pleasant now - nice orange aroma and taste with none of the dirt I was tasting before. I don't think MB is capable of delivering the massive hop aroma that I was wanting, though. I'll try it in a lighter beer next time, but probably not in an IPA again.

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash pH way off
« on: January 02, 2018, 01:19:23 PM »
Yes.

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All Grain Brewing / Mash pH way off
« on: January 02, 2018, 06:33:21 AM »
I use RO water for brewing, and my TDS reading tells me it's at 10ppm. I use the Bru'n Water spreadsheet, carefully weigh and add my additions, and yet all of my brews using my adjusted RO water have been about 0.7pH too high. Any ideas? On the Water Adjustment page, I set the dilution water percentage to 100%, select RO water as the dilution water. I find I have to add about 7 - 7.5ml of 88% lactic acid to my mash water to get it where I want it.

The first thing that comes to mind is that my pH meter is lying to me. I calibrate it before use, and it's new, but a cheap Chinese knockoff - this is the one https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Portable-Digital-PH-Tester-Meter-Pen-Thermometer-Kit-Waterproof-0-1-CT-6021A/272945913272?rt=nc&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D20151029142714%26meid%3D828932ecf15844d8858479df3b84ccff%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D5%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D321746376212&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851 I would be surprised if it was this inaccurate though - a pH of 0.7 off is a huge difference.

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Mandarina Bavaria disgusting?!
« on: January 01, 2018, 11:27:41 AM »
The unpleasant taste has softened a lot today. I would describe it as a strong dirt/vegetal taste. Seems to me like I was pretty much drinking hops before and it will continue to soften as they drop out


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All Grain Brewing / Re: Mandarina Bavaria disgusting?!
« on: January 01, 2018, 04:08:16 AM »
Thanks for the responses - I'll have another sample when I get home and try and describe the taste in more detail!

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