It's not a problem at all. Go for it!
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Trust me- there is plenty of beer available in Texas, from excellent to poor quality.
The only reason northern brewer is 'definitive' is because, until recently anchor was the only one still making this style commercially. I agree that if you are going to enter in comps you probably need to use at least some NB but if you are drinking for yourself branch out! I have made cali common with cascade to great effect.
After talking to some people that deal with metal stock, I was told that their center support is a commercially available piece. The legs to the stand are easy to make through welding or if you have a friend with a metal shop that can bend them up. It's more work to do, but could be alot cheaper, though I don't know I just bought it from be.
I just reread a10t2's post. They were recommending DISREGARDING the ratio, not advocating it. In my original read, I thought they were advocating it. Sorry.
As mentioned in that posting and mine, targeting chloride and sulfate levels is more important than targeting a ratio of those ions. a10t2's comments on the shortcomings in their next post help illustrate why its not a good idea to target the ratio and lose sight of the total concentrations of either of the ions.
For mtnandy, unless there is a flavor goal for the increased magnesium concentration, there is not a pressing need to boost that concentration. A malt wort supplies some magnesium and I've hypothesized that a minimum Mg concentration of 5 ppm in the water is good insurance that the wort will have sufficient Mg for good yeast performance. The 5 ppm Mg value came from another published paper that apparently used a sugar-based wort.
The paper cited above shows a pretty high Mg concentration in the base wort used in the study, but there is not an indication of what the starting Mg concentration of the water used in the wort was. In addition, the wort was fortified with Peptone Yeast Nutrient that happens to have a significant Mg content. The base wort showed Mg concentration of 106 ppm. The problem is that I can't decipher if all that Mg came from the mash and not from the nutrient or mash water.
I keep hearing that grain and malt based wort's provide a lot of Mg to the wort, and as shown above, I still can't confirm that with definitive numbers. That's why I currently recommend a 5 ppm Mg minimum just to be safe. Going beyond that is a matter of desired taste. Mg has a sour bitterness that may be desirable in some beers. Going above the 30 ppm range might change that perception to astringent and bitter.
Sorry for the confusion and keep up the good work!
The sulfate/chloride ratio (or vice versa) is mostly applicable when at least one of those ions is in the mid range of desirable chloride or sulfate concentration (in the vicinity of 50 ppm). That way you can either have a reasonably high chloride or sulfate concentration without the clashing that occurs when both ions are over 100 ppm. I strongly suggest that a10t2's recommendation might get some brewers into trouble. Don't use the ratio as the only criteria. I see that in a way he is implimenting my recommendation in that he might jack up the chloride, but keeps sulfate low. The ratio has an influence when at least one of those ions is less than 100 ppm and that should be a more important criteria. The other time the ratio falls flat is when either or both of the ions are at relatively low concentration. I don't think you could taste their impact then.
I would say yes. In this case, for a malty bock, I'd shoot for 100-150 ppm Cl. That will make the ratio work out to something ridiculous, but it doesn't really matter.
Actually, I would argue that the ratio *never* matters and that what you should be doing is targeting specific SO4 and Cl concentrations.
My personal feeling is I think you could make it work with a tasting room, off premise sales (growlers to go) and low volume local distribution on a 3 bbl scale. Maybe even a 2 bbl scale. Especially if you could sell growlers for sale at grocery stores/beer vendors. You may even be able to make a living at it, as long as you don't mind eating ramen.