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Messages - tomsawyer

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Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Boil the water?
« on: January 25, 2011, 01:27:05 PM »
I use my tap water, its from a municipal treatment facility.  Never had problems with it.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Extreme Foaming on Pour - Not Gusher
« on: January 25, 2011, 01:25:11 PM »
Its possible you didn't account for the amount of gas still dissolved in the beer after fermentation.  Did you use the tastybrew calculator?  It has a place to enter the ferm temp.  In this cool weather the beer can very well keep almost a volume of CO2, that cuts the amount of sugar needed in half for an average carb level.

When I overcarbonate I'll pour it into a pitcher first, then when the head subsides I'll pour into my glass.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: MYPD versus Wort
« on: January 25, 2011, 01:04:17 PM »
Doesn't look like there'd be much difference between the MYPD and a wort with some Wyeast nutrient added.  The malt extract part is identical obvisously, the nutrient has yeast extract, peptone is amino acids which boiled wort has, and the sugars are basically the same (maltose being a disaccharide of two glucose molecules, and yeast having an invertase enzyme).

I do: ounces x alpha , then multiply by 3.75.

This is just for the bittering addition, and assumes a 60minute boil of an average strength wort of around 1.050, and 5gal final volume.

All Grain Brewing / Re: A simple model for pH buffers
« on: January 25, 2011, 08:38:31 AM »
Proteins probably aren't a good buffering moelcule since their amines and carboxylics are connected so only the ends of the molecule and any charges side groups are going to be available to bind ions.  The smaller proteins will have some more effect, I think the free amino acids are where its at.

Martin the link didn't work for me.

All Grain Brewing / Re: A simple model for pH buffers
« on: January 25, 2011, 08:17:20 AM »
As a practical matter, what do you think are the primary compounds that buffer in the correct mash pH range?  Its a little unsatisfying to say that the "malt" is the buffer.

I think we're talking about phosphate at the low end of its useful buffer range, phytin which is a more complicated buffer, bicarbonate/carbonic/CO2 which is functional down to pH 5.1, and free amino acids that can act as pseudo-buffers.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brewing Salts Content of Briess DME/LME
« on: January 24, 2011, 05:04:25 PM »
Yes I was somewhat surprised that they replied.  I did tell them it was for a conversation that was going on at the AHA forum.

The level of the flavor anions favors hoppy brews but the levels are so modest as to not really affect the outcome significantly.  You can easily add chloride and convert to a malty flavor profile without raising the chloride level to high.  And thats at 1.064, bring it down to a 1.050 and you are in a very nice place.  The moderate hardness isn't necessarily good for a pils style.  I'd definitely use distilled water for something along those lines, and probably make the OG in the mid to high 40's.

General Homebrew Discussion / Brewing Salts Content of Briess DME/LME
« on: January 24, 2011, 02:50:10 PM »
This came up recently in a discussion of extract brewing and water treatment.  No one seemed to have the answer offhand so I emailed Briess and asked the question.  They were kind enough to reply with the following information:

"We do not regularly test our products for these salts, but we do
occasionally test the water used in our mash. Sulfate is around 63mg/L
and Chloride around 28 mg/L. Since we produce 16 Plato wort (Gravity
1.064), you can calculate that for every 1 Plato increase (Gravity .004)
from extract you use you will be adding approximately SO4=4mg/L and
Cl=1.8mg/L to your brew. The water that we use is of moderate hardness,
but since we make high gravity brews, the hardness will be lower if you
brew a beer below 1.064 using distilled water."

I thought this was good information and wanted to share.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: totally random
« on: January 24, 2011, 08:20:38 AM »
Welcome to our world.  I've been at it for 13 years and 149 (or so) batches.

Planning is the hardest part for me.  I tend to be a bit scatter brained and it it bites now and then.

This hobby did lead to a yearly Oktoberfest at our house.  Close 100 people last fall.

Have fun with it.


Wow how does one get an invite?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: totally random
« on: January 24, 2011, 07:51:50 AM »
You can read forever but actually brewing is the best way to learn.  Its not something you want to put off until you have an adequate knowledge base.  Get yourself on a regular brew schedule, this way you'll build a cellar of beer and you'll be able to plan ahead.  Part of brewing is planning, from obtaining the supplies to looking ahead and knowing what you'll want to drink two months down the road.  Seasons really play into what beers taste good.

I've made lots of new friends from the hobby, both online and at home.  It affects things like where I go on vacation.  Theres a neat network out there, enjoy it.

Its also wise to manage an addiction, I say this but don't follow my own advice in this regard.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Complements
« on: January 24, 2011, 07:43:25 AM »
Good to get compliments, even better when someone likes a hoppy beer.

I've found hoppy pale ales to be one of the styles thats easiest to get right.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Aging or Getting Used To a Flavor?
« on: January 23, 2011, 06:14:36 AM »
Another thing to consider - diacetyl is volatile, that's why we can smell it.  As you drink the keg there is more headspace, so more space for volitized diacetyl, so less in the beer itself.  I have no idea if the level would drop enough to be noticeable, but maybe . . . especially if it's close to a threshold level.  But maybe not.

Novel theory.  I make 3gal batches so my kegs have some head space from the beginning.  I do purge briefly to remove air when I initially carb up.  I typically serve without additional pressure, just bump the pressure when it gets low.  So maybe it takes time and some O2 coming back out of the beer to bring out the diacetyl.  Thats plausible for the pils but I don't think it explains every situation.  But maybe some strings aren't the same length.

I don't filter, clarify or pasteurize and my beer changes as the keg level drops. Often, I don't like those last few glasses as much as the first part of the keg. Some are phenomenal though. ;)

I do the criticism thing too. ;D Youth hides some defects in beer IMO. Character flaws can emerge too as opposed to smoothing out over time.

I haven't known many beers to get worse ovr time, even those best served young.  The only thing I can think along this line is having a weizen drop clear.

All Grain Brewing / Aging or Getting Used To a Flavor?
« on: January 22, 2011, 03:24:07 PM »
It seems that I always start out a keg with a crticism or two.  Then as I drink along, it starts getting better and better.  The latest was a pils style, the first few beers had a hint of diacetyl (in spite of a generous rest) and was slightly sweet.  Now I'm halfway through the keg (3gal to start with) and its really growing on me.  This beer had a three week lager (including an unintentional freezing) and was super clear right out of the gate.  Now the diacetyl seems to have subsided (if that was what it was) and the beer is just wonderful.

This happens with a lot of different styles so I'm wondering if its just me becoming accustomed to the new flavors.  Not complaining, just wondering why this is the case.  I've read that other people can tell when a keg is starting to kick when it really tastes great.  Is it aging/clearing or just pyschological?

All I know is, when I started just adding a couple grams of calcium chloride I got much more of that egg drop soup look in my kettle.  The effect was quite dramatic

I experienced exactly the same thing.  I made a pils recently where I really concentrated on the water, and it was the nicest looking break I've gotten in nearly 400 batches.

I can believe that, pils malt in general seems to have the most protein of any base malt I've used.

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