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Messages - mabrungard

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer for Thought...
« on: March 03, 2015, 02:36:10 PM »
The potential for uncivil responses rises for users that have avatars that are not attached to their actual identity. I've suggested that users be a little more open and put "themselves" out there personally so that your fellow user gets to know you and who you are. All it takes is a little extra info on your signature line.

Take responsibility for being a civil member of this forum.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Sierra Nevada HopHunter
« on: March 03, 2015, 06:19:44 AM »
I had it on tap over the weekend. Intensely hoppy. The level of hoppiness without green flavor is admirable. In some respects, it is overwhelmingly hoppy. My wife was complaining loudly with every one of my burps the smelled of eating a handful of fresh hops or when I'm pounding out hop plugs after harvest.

Not excessively bitter and the malt backbone is solid.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash PH and darker grains
« on: March 02, 2015, 10:30:00 AM »
When the pH is controlled properly, I don't find that mashing all the grains together contributes to harshness or astringency. However if the mashing water doesn't have enough alkalinity to keep the mash pH from dropping too far, that is when reserving the roast and crystal malts can be helpful. Just remember that this reserve technique only solves part of the problem and there can still be other problems that affect the beer and its flavor. Beer styles where the reserve technique works well include Irish dry stout, Schwartzbier, and Munich Dunkel. The technique does not work well for most porters or stouts where smoothness in the roast flavor is desired.

PS: If you mashing water has way too much alkalinity, then all bets are off and it really doesn't matter what you do. Your beer is not going to be as good as you want it to be.


Equipment and Software / Re: Spoon or paddle
« on: February 26, 2015, 11:00:22 AM »
Grout stirrer and drill for dough in. After that a paddle.

That's interesting. It should work well. I'm just a little concerned with metal contact though, since my grout stirrer is galvanized. I'd rather not have that in contact with wort.  Are there plastic or stainless versions???

Homebrew Competitions / Re: How best to describe 22C?
« on: February 26, 2015, 07:06:24 AM »
Yes, vague is better. It provides less rope for the judges to hang you with when they didn't pick up enough Sichuan peppercorns.

I've only had one of my beers score a 42 and it is quite rare that I give a score any higher in competition. I guess we judges have a hard time defining what perfection is and therefore scoring any beer at 50. So functionally, a score in the mid 40's MAY essentially be perfect.

Equipment and Software / Re: New to this hobby
« on: February 25, 2015, 06:35:16 AM »
All of the advice above is good. I'll add another component that can help produce success. Find a local homebrew club and ask for help and advice. At a minimum, it could allow you the opportunity to see the homebrewing process in person before committing your hard earned cash.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Ipa water addition help
« on: February 22, 2015, 07:49:25 PM »
I have always added my salts to the tun. I don't add to the cold water because I don't measure my water before heating it.

When are you measuring and how?  Seems like an odd way to brew?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Mash temp and thermometer
« on: February 22, 2015, 07:43:51 PM »
A decent, long-stem dial thermometer is actually a robust instrument, but it's prone to going out of calibration. As long as you have a good laboratory-standard thermometer that you can calibrate your 'working' dial thermometer with, you will be in good shape.

No need to buy a Thermopen since they are horrifically overpriced and not worth it. However, if you are interested in electronic thermometers, Thermoworks (the same folks that make the Thermopen) have great handheld units that are very inexpensive and accurate. You won't feel like you've been screwed.

On to the mash temp. Yes, 156F is too high for any higher gravity beer. I find that 152F is good for most medium and high gravity beers and I  only boost the temp if brewing small beers where I need a higher finishing gravity. Underattenuation is the primary fault I find in homebrews because the brewers think that 'chewy' beer is better. (Its not) An appropriate level of fermentability and attenuation is what makes a great beer. If you need the beer sweeter, reduce the bittering, not reduce the fermentability.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Show off your foam!
« on: February 22, 2015, 02:21:24 PM »
Enjoyable for a homebrew, but might be objectionable a commercial venture and to the barman pouring the beer.

I would have to believe that the pump breaks the beta-glucans up. Inserting a grant reduces the stress that the trip through the pump might place on the wort and along with it, a reduction in the beta-glucan destruction. Beta-glucans are terrific head builders. I've produced many a beer with heads that large or greater and they all included a minor percentage of flaked barley (which is full of beta glucans). I've since switched to using a minor percentage of flaked wheat which has less beta-glucan content and also has a nicer flavor.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Rimms question
« on: February 22, 2015, 05:37:32 AM »
The sensor has to be immediately downstream of the element in order to avoid overheating the wort. The PID cannot control the wort temperature unless the control-feedback loop is very small. You want the sensor as close as possible downstream of the element for best performance.

I also recommend that you include additional thermometers in your wort circuit so that you can monitor temperatures at the top and bottom of your grain bed. That gives you the ability to know when your mash has reached equilibrium after a mash step.

All Grain Brewing / Re: When to measure mash pH...
« on: February 21, 2015, 03:40:10 PM »
Here's the one I've got:®-Accuracy-Measurement-Resolution-Handheld/dp/B00FJFEB2O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424550442&sr=8-1&keywords=pH+meter

Last calibrated it about a month ago. I usually check it against my tap water, which has a known pH of 8.0 before using it. So far it still reads 8.0 when I do. (Yes, I make sure the sample is as close to 70* as possible.)

Unfortunately, because of the way a pH meter is calibrated, your method is almost like not calibrating at all.

Since we deal with the lower end of the pH scale in brewing, it is important to calibrate by a two-point method in the lower pH range.

Ingredients / Re: Melanoidin in Pale Ale
« on: February 21, 2015, 12:30:56 PM »
Yep, I like Keith's thinking. A sort of super Munich.

Equipment and Software / Re: Spoon or paddle
« on: February 21, 2015, 12:23:46 PM »
I find that if I add the grain slowly and mix thoroughly as its added, there is virtually no chance of creating dough balls. I do use a long-handle, plastic spoon that doubles as my volume measuring device. After seeing that plastic paddle that Ken mentioned, I'd say that might work better than my spoon. But after 15 years, I've only broken one spoon.

I do have a paddle made out of a piece of 1x4 Alder wood that I carved a handle into. That is only for my whirlpooling, since my small-headed spoon didn't enable me to get the wort spinning well enough.

By the way, I saw a video with German brewers using their big wooden mash forks and they were mixing the mash more like the way a Venetian gondolier paddles and not like a canoeist paddles. Of course, this was in a great big mash tun.   

All Grain Brewing / Re: Munich Dunkel Mulligan
« on: February 21, 2015, 12:01:33 PM »
Several excellent brewers in my club have come to the conclusion that dark Munich malt can be overdone in a Dunkel. They are trending to much higher light Munich malt percentage with touch of carafa (around 1%) in the grist. Anymore carafa than that tends to impart a perceptable roast note in the beer.

Ingredients / Re: Michigan Hops Farms Expanding.
« on: February 20, 2015, 06:48:32 AM »
I asked about homebrewers because there's a new hop farm opening in Central Indiana

The plan is to hold the Indiana state-wide Brew-B-Q at the Sugar Creek farm this summer, before the hops are harvested (August). Indiana brewers should 'like' the Brew B Q page on Facebook in order to keep up to date as to the plans for the event.

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