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Messages - narcout

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The Pub / Re: song title game
« on: June 02, 2012, 12:58:37 PM »
Box Elder - Pavement

The Pub / Re: song title game
« on: June 02, 2012, 08:18:04 AM »
Like a Friend - Pulp

I'm planning on brewing a SN Celebration-style IPA tomorrow. 

Ingredients / Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« on: May 31, 2012, 09:00:23 AM »
I do know that Martin, JP, Gordon Strong, the late Greg Noonan and countless other all believed in water adjustment such as pH and sulfate to chloride ratio. They are far better brewers than me with a ton more experience - so my money is with the adjustments!

Yeah, I definitely make adjustments.  Lately I've been playing around with the method Gordon Strong outlines in Brewing Better Beer - basically brewing with all RO water, adding small quantities of gypsum and/or calcium chloride to the mash, and adjusting the sparge water with phosphoric acid.

Ingredients / Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« on: May 30, 2012, 07:36:55 PM »
No!  The safe range of room-temperature mash pH is about 5.3 to 5.5.

It may not be best practice, but I've brewed beers that had a mash pH of 5.6 to 5.7 that turned out great (some of which have won ribbons).

Ingredients / Re: Bru'n Water v 1.12 Posted
« on: May 04, 2012, 09:20:15 AM »
I've been a longtime user of Kai's spreadsheet but am looking forward to playing around with this one as well.  Thanks, Martin. 

Is there a way to toggle the mineral additions between those added to the mash only and those added to the mash and the sparge? 

Similarly, is there a way to toggle between the resulting profile for the mash water and for the overall (mash plus sparge) water?

Those are two features of Kai's spreadsheet that I find really useful.

Ingredients / Re: a question about pickling lime v. chalk
« on: May 02, 2012, 08:45:22 AM »
That higher pH target also helps me understand why so many brewers using RO or distilled water have to reserve their roast grains from the main mash.  That process helps moderate the problems of a too low mash and also allows the mash to naturally increase its pH as the mash progresses.  That moves the pH closer to a range that the roast color and extraction is going to appreciate.

I started experimenting with that technique a few months ago after reading about it in Brewing Better Beer, and I think it has significantly improved my darker beers.  It also has the beneficial side effect of keeping my sparge pH in line.

But, I've heard that Johnson controller's probes are too large for the thermowell, which is unfortunate.

I have a Johnson A419, and the probe fits into the thermowell I bought from Northern Brewer a few years ago just fine.  It sounds like that isn't the case for everyone though.  There must be a bit of a manufacturing variance.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Kegerators--any suggestions?
« on: April 30, 2012, 08:53:22 AM »
Dang dude, you paid $1500 for yours (well it probably wasn't $1500 4 years ago...)?  Yeesh, that's pricey.  Looks like an amazing kegerator though.

It was actually a wedding present (a bunch of my friends chipped in and got me a gift certificate to the beverage factory).

If I had more space, I probably would have gone the keezer route.

All Grain Brewing / Re: FauxPils Faceoff
« on: April 29, 2012, 03:40:50 PM »
Cool.  I'd be happy to participate, but I don't know that my palate is all that great (nor am I a certified judge). 

Looking forward to seeing the results though...

Taping some plastic sheeting (ziptop bag, styrofoam, etc.) to the side of the fermentor and slipping the probe into it works very well.  Back in the day when I fermented in carboys, I used one of these, and it also worked very well:

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Kegerators--any suggestions?
« on: April 29, 2012, 10:46:44 AM »
I've had this Beverage Air kegerator for about four years now and have been very happy with it.  It can fit three 5-gallon corney kegs and a 10 lb. tank.  If you leave the tank out of the unit, you could definitley fit a fourth corney keg in there.

The blow hose for cooling the tower is a nice touch.  I did have to insulate the tower with rubatex to keep the condensation under control, but it was easy and didn't cost much.

I did a lot of research before I purchased it, and Beverage Air is a quality brand (and made in the USA).

Going Pro / Re: Brewers have all kinds of beliefs
« on: April 28, 2012, 11:52:58 PM »
I don't have any independant means of gauging caramelization, but according to Brewing Classic Styles "Caramelization is a sugar-to-sugar reaction that occurs at high temperatures and low moisture. (It does not happen during normal wort boiling.)"

According to Brewing Better Beer "Boiling the mash encourges the Maillard reaction, which creates Maillard products . . . Note that this is not the same as caramelization, a related process involving the melting and browning of sugar.  The Maillard reacton involves amino acids (which contain nitrogen, coming from malt or proteins), reducing sugars, moisture, and heat.  Sugars are corbohydrates and don't contain nitrogen."

Going Pro / Re: Brewers have all kinds of beliefs
« on: April 28, 2012, 04:29:57 PM »
  • Promotes the formation of melanoidins and caramelizes some of the wort sugars

Everything I've read suggests that sugars do not caramelize during normal wort boiling.  The temperature is too low. 

Zymurgy / Re: Why should I renew my subscription?
« on: April 28, 2012, 04:16:13 PM »
My membership expired a few weeks ago.  Honestly, I was planning on letting it lapse, but this thread (and perhaps a pint of DVBIP) convinced me otherwise.  So I just renewed.  I do enjoy Zymurgy...

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