« on: April 28, 2012, 11:15:13 AM »
"2. Starch conversion in the mash works most efficiently at a mash pH of 5.1-5.5 at mash temperatures." - I'm not sure sticking you pH meter into a hot mash is really 'best practice."
I don't see where Palmer is advocating sticking a pH meter into a hot mash (sounds like he’s just describing optimal pH as measured at mash temperature). Was that mentioned somewhere else in the article?
So why bother making the spreadsheet, if he knows it's BS?
My experience is that the spreadsheet actually works pretty well until (as Sean mentioned above) you get to really dark beers (for dark beers, I usually just mash the base malts and add the darker grains during the sparge - I'm not a fan of using chalk). I like to start with Palmer's spreadsheet and then cross reference it against Kai's for gypsum and calcium chloride additions.
3) Could you please take your RA spreadsheet off the internet, or at least put a up a prominent warning.
I think this would be a disservice to homebrewers. I'm sure I'm not the only person who still finds it to be a useful tool (an update would be nice though).
I'm trying very hard to reserve judgment, but from the article in Zymurgy, I'm skeptical about Palmer's grasp on practical brewing water issues for average homebrewers.
When I first got interested in learning about water chemistry as applied to homebrewing, I found the relevant section of How to Brew very useful. Perhaps it isn't reflective of some of the more recent thought on the subject, but I still think it's a great resource. I guess we'll have to wait to see whether the new book offers a more modern take on the subject.