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Messages - Kaiser

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Malt conditioning rocks!
« on: November 22, 2009, 05:12:55 PM »
Glad to see that it worked for you. Did you tighten the mill gap as well?  Generally that is necessary to improve your efficiency.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Aciduated Malt
« on: November 22, 2009, 01:22:15 PM »
Don't trust the 5.2 either. From my experience it doesn't even buffer the mash at 5.2. I'd recommend testing the mash with colorpHast strips over the use of 5.2.


The Pub / Re: What do you like besides homebrew
« on: November 22, 2009, 10:38:31 AM »
I love the outdoors. Rock climbing in the summer and back country snow boarding in the winter. And then the occasional mountain bike ride.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Aciduated Malt
« on: November 22, 2009, 10:22:07 AM »
I use this malt as 2-4 % in my Pilsner malt  grists. The reason is that even at 0 residual alkalinity, the mash pH with Pils malt is still 5.7-5.8. Lowering the RA to -20-40 and using some acid malts brings the pH to 5.3-5.4.

At these levels I don't detect any sourness from the acid malt in the final beer.

But I don't think that using acid malt is a good fix for overly alkaline water because you may have to add too much to bring the pH down. Knowing your water and possibly treating it to bring the residual alkalinity down is still necessary even with acid malt additions.

BTW, at this point most of us are "Newbies" here ;)


Equipment and Software / Re: Light bulb in fridge to control temp.
« on: November 22, 2009, 05:57:38 AM »
I wrap aluminum foil around the bulb.
It allows heat to be transmitted without the light.
Works for me  ;) 

I did that once to make a reflector for a light bulb. The boil touched the socket and was electrically charged. It was humming all though my arm and that was in Germany where we have 220V. I'm happy that I'm alive.

To heat my chest freezer I now use one of the energy saving bulbs (13W) and put 2 brown paper bags around it. Eventually I want to put some sort of heating mat at the bottom. I think that this will make for a more even heat distribution.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Malt conditioning rocks!
« on: November 21, 2009, 08:08:48 PM »
Thank you Kai

I didn't come up with it, though. I just found it and figured it would work for home brewers too.


The Pub / Re: It will take some time...
« on: November 21, 2009, 05:29:46 PM »
I wonder if enough people know that you don't have to be a member to join here. I'm writing this after I noticed a banner on the very top of the forum page that reads "welcome to the home of the AHA membership".


All Grain Brewing / Re: wort quality and water ratio question
« on: November 21, 2009, 04:06:56 PM »
This is one of the reasons why I have been advocating thinner mashes. The more water you use in the mash, the less you'll be using during the sparge and the less sparging you will be doing. I was pointed to that conclusion by brewing texts that said exactly that. Some German brewers even say to use 2/3 water in the mash and 1/3 for the sparge. I have been doing that (or close to that) for German Pilsner and other light beers.

As for how thin you can go, there seems to be no practical limit. Just look at the Australian Brew-In-A-Bag process where all the water is used in the mash and the mashes are as thin as 3 qt/lb. Brewers often cite that thin mashes inhibit enzyme reaction b/v the enzymes are too far away from the substrate. In my experience that is not true. It may happen in mashes much thinner than 3 qt/lb but those mashes can only produce worts below 1.044 (11 Plato) and are therefore unpractical anyway.

Someone, way back, started the idea that 1.25 qt/lb is the best mash thickness and ever since many home brewers have accepted that as the gospel when in fact thinner mashes have many advatages and can make brewing easier. Just think about how difficult it is to stir a 1.25 q/lb mash vs. a 2.0 q/lb mash. You'll have to use thick mashes when you are brewing really high gravity beers.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Water Help..
« on: November 20, 2009, 08:50:45 AM »
However, at the very least you are going to need Calcium in some form.

I do add Calcium, but I wonder how much is really needed. There is also calcium and magnesium in the malt and some is released into the wort. I don't argue that calcium is benefical for beer quality but the benchmark mash that is done to determine extract potential is done with distilled water. The analysis also involves fermenting a sample of the produced wort to determine the wort fermentability which means that fermentation also works w/o calcium from the water.

An experiment on my wish list is brewing the same Pils with RO (~10 ppm Ca), 60 ppm Ca and 150 ppm Ca water. I'm curious to see how the flavor and in particular clarity of the beer is affected by the hardness of the water.


All Grain Brewing / Re: pH questions regarding decoction mash
« on: November 20, 2009, 04:44:39 AM »
How could I miss a topic that has "pH" and "decoction" in its title ;)

Woody, if the mash converted just fine, the pH was good enough too.

My thinking about pH and decoction mash is not only about the enzymes but also about the Maillard reactions and extraction of huks compounds. These are favored by higher pH and a decoction boil actually lowers the pH too. I.e. if you already start low you'll end up even lower at the end of the decoction. This being said, I did an experiment where I decoction mashed one Maerzen at 5.40 (starting mash pH) and the other one at 5.55. I was aiming for a larger pH spread but didn't get it b/c I didn't have the results of my mash pH experiment yet and overestimated the effects that the RA change would have.

I noted that the higher pH one has a bit more malt aroma but also noted that the differences are very subtle. I have to get my blog working again and publish the results.

If you want to raise the mash pH, you can start out with chalk. But chalk has the problem that it looses its effectiveness when more is added. I don't know why but my mash pH experiments showed that. Baking soda works better but you have to be careful that you don't add too much sodium to your water.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Adjunct mash procedure
« on: November 19, 2009, 01:03:46 PM »
But wow, once you add the malt - phoomp - the whole thing goes from scary hot goo to scary hot liquid. :)

Why don't you add the malt in the beginning and hold it close to 75-80C (168-178F) for a few minutes? the a-aylase starts to denature at that temp but will still be active enough to liquefy the mash. Rice starch also starts to gelatenize around that temperature.

That't what I did with my cereal mash. Dough in at 160, heat to 170 and held it there for 10 min before heating to boiling.


Note the asterisk by the brown, dextrin, and light crystal, to which he states: "The low extraction from steeping is attributed to unconverted, insoluble starches as revealed by an iodine test."

It has been a long time that I read his page or book and wasn’t aware that he already has this info there. If that is true, and it likely is, shouldn’t we then advise against steeping light specialty malts since they release starches into the wort that cannot be converted? This also tells me that I should test light and dark crystal malt.

Thanks for pointing that out.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Help with a Roggenbier water profile
« on: November 19, 2009, 11:48:38 AM »
I guess the thing I find most confusing about water chemistry is knowing what to shoot for.  Sure, I can find the numbers for a water profile from many regions, especially ones with historic links to brewing, but that doesn't mean that the brewers there don't alter their water...  ???

I get that question on occasions. My suggestion for almost any German beer is to keep the water fairly soft. That means shoot for about 50-80 ppm Ca, ~10 ppm Mg and a RA that works for your grist. I think in your case, w/o seeing the recipe, an RA of 0-30 ppm as CaCO3 should work.

To brew lighter beers, Munich brewers would decarbonate their water with lime and/or use lactic acid in the mash.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Adjunct mash procedure
« on: November 19, 2009, 11:19:08 AM »
Adding a bit of malt (~10%) to the adjuncts cuts down the viscosity of the cereal mash significantly. I have tested this a while back when I brewed 2 CAPs. One with corn and one with rice.

corn cereal mash at 4 l/kg w/o malt:

corn cereal mash at 4 l/kg w/ malt:

The differences were even more dramatic with rice since rice starch swells much more than corn starch does. w/o malt I would not have been able to stir the mashes and w/ the malt I didn’t have to stir at all. Since I used the cereal mash to raise the main mash from 50C to 63C, I wasn’t able to use a thinner cereal mash.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Water Help..
« on: November 19, 2009, 11:08:31 AM »
A lot, if not all, the micro nutrients that Fred mentioned should be present in malt. I build my water from RO water all the time and don't see fermentation issues.


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