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Messages - nateo

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Another water chemistry question.... Sorry
« on: September 03, 2011, 11:26:52 PM »
The differences are small, like 1-2ppm, so in this particular application, they're basically irrelevant. Even if you're off by as much as 5ppm, if you're targeting 50ppm of Ca, I doubt being 10% off would make that big of a deal. I would do the math on it, but math isn't my strong suit. And who knows, maybe the oft-quoted 50ppm of Ca takes into account gravity of the wort.

It's a pretty esoteric question for homebrewers, but it's very relevant to chemists. Being off by a few ppm could be a very big deal to a chemical engineer. I mostly pointed it out because a lot of people say ppm = mg/L, so that's what I believed to be true all the time, in every circumstance, so it was extra-confusing when I realized they weren't always exactly equivalent.

I'm all for taking shortcuts and using approximations, but I think it's good to know when and where you're taking shortcuts. Good science is all about significant digits, and for brewers, I'd say they stop at the decimal point with regards to brewing salts.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Another water chemistry question.... Sorry
« on: September 03, 2011, 05:54:35 PM »
mg/L = ppm

When working with an aqueous solution, this is basically correct, but not exactly equivalent, if you want to get to the nitty gritty of it. Mg/L is a weight/vol measurement, while ppm (mg/kg) is a weight/weight measurement. 1L of H2O weighs 1kg at a specific temperature and pressure, so only at that specific temperature and pressure does mg/L = exactly mg/kg or ppm.

By assuming mg/L = ppm we're neglecting any amount of water the solute is displacing, thus changing the volume part of the ratio. In a very dilute aqueous solution at room temperature like this, you can basically ignore any volume the CaCO3 displaces. For what Pehlman is doing, mg/L ~ ppm, but for a chemistry class that wouldn't necessarily be the case, depending on how many significant digits you're measuring out to, and if it's not a dilute, aqueous solution, it's definitely not the case.

Here's what you'd use to figure it out exactly: ((molecular weight)/22400)*ppm=mg/l

All Grain Brewing / Re: reverse step mashing
« on: September 01, 2011, 01:18:45 PM »
Tomsawyer - I use decoction mashes on my big Belgians where I'm going for a very fermentable wort. I'll dough in around 100 *F, pull a big decoction, bring the decoction up to 156-158 *F or so for 15min, then boil and add back to the rest of the mash to bring it up to the 140's, sometimes using additional boiling water to get it up there.

I think it's important to the think about each technique as just a tool in the toolbox. I've made an all-malt tripel using the above mash schedule, and one using just a single step at 149 + sugar, and one using the above mash + sugar, The FG's on both of the first two beers were within 0.001 of each other, but the all-malt one was noticeably thicker and not as pleasingly dry as the one I added sugar to as well. The one I had the more fermentable wort + sugar turned out the best, IMO.

Beer Recipes / Avery 17th Anniversary-ish beer
« on: August 31, 2011, 07:14:45 PM »
Hey, does anyone remember this beer?

Avery took it off their website. They had posted stats at one time. Just wanted to see if anyone had thought of brewing something similar.

Edit: I guess I should post a bit more. I know it's a "schwarzbier" that's dry hopped with German hops. I remember it finishing fairly dry/thin like a schwarzbier, but it had maybe 7-8%ABV and a pronounced hop character. I don't brew many hoppy beers, so I'm most interested in what the hop schedule I might use. I have magnum, vanguard, crystal, and willamette on hand.

I'm not interested in doing a clone per se, but something along the same lines.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Another water chemistry question.... Sorry
« on: August 31, 2011, 05:05:30 PM »
I believe alkalinity is measured as mg/L of CaCO3 by convention, unless it says otherwise. Converting that to ppm is a different issue, but in most cases mg/L is close enough to ppm to not really matter.

Going Pro / Re: Thinking of your recipe, buying hops.
« on: August 31, 2011, 02:02:03 PM »

The current law in WI does not allow me to distribute your beer. If I could I would LOVE to.

Fruit extract vs real fruit. I was just offered 200 lb of Black Current for fruit beer. Price for 1lb was $4.50.
So compare extract price and real fruit price.


In any case, black currant beer sounds pretty good

Equipment and Software / Re: Changing Propane Tanks mid-boil
« on: August 30, 2011, 10:21:05 PM »
Yeah, you'll want to close the air vent. I have the same burner and when the flame goes out, I have to mess with the air intake to get it to light again.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Maximum OG for yeast viability
« on: August 30, 2011, 10:13:41 PM »
If you have time to listen to the Shea Comfort interview on the brewing network, you should. A lot of brewers treat fermentation as a "set and forget" thing, where you pitch x amount of yeast, then you wait. To get the best fermentation in difficult environments, there are some techniques you can use to help your yeast out.

One thing that homebrewers don't do much of but pro brewers do a lot is rousing. Some rouse (with CO2) continuously until fermentation is done. Shea Comfort is a big wine-industry guy, but homebrews as well. He is a big advocate of constant rousing until you hit your target FG. It will ferment faster, and hotter, so temperature control becomes more important when going that route. But he's convinced it gives you better performance.

Shea rouses every batch he makes, but you'll really see the benefits on really big beers. With rousing and gradual feeding of sugar, you should be able to get away with just one initial yeast pitch on a really big beer.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Pseudo schwarzbier, 1007 or 2565?
« on: August 30, 2011, 04:19:55 PM »
Actually, BdG is French, not Belgian.  It's usually made with a neutral ale or lager yeast.

Interesting. I had to look it up because I always thought it was a Walloon thing. According to the Wikipedia, bier de garde is from Nord-Pas-de-Calais, just on the other side of the border from Wallonia.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Maximum OG for yeast viability
« on: August 30, 2011, 02:17:19 PM »
IIRC from "the literature" 1.120 is the threshold above which osmotic pressure becomes a real concern.

I think the term you're looking for is "vitality." Viability is a go/no-go thing, either the yeast is alive or dead. Vitality is more a measure of the health of the yeast. For example, you could have 100b "viable" cells that are sickly, and you could have 50b cells that are healthy. The 50b healthy cells will have better fermentation performance than the 100b sickly cells.

It's like sending one million grandmas into battle vs ten thousand young, healthy soldiers. Who do you think will win the day?

I've gotten S-04 up to 13% ABV, so the alcohol tolerance really depends on the vitality of the yeast, how you handle it, pitching rates, etc. But under the right conditions, you can get up into the 15-16% range like Avery does.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Pseudo schwarzbier, 1007 or 2565?
« on: August 30, 2011, 01:45:36 AM »
Denny - Thanks for the recipe

Pawtucket - I read on the Wyeast website that it could be used for a biere de garde. I always thought of that a Belgian thing. Interesting.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Pseudo schwarzbier, 1007 or 2565?
« on: August 29, 2011, 10:00:57 PM »
Oops, looking at mr malty, I'm gonna need a bunch of yeast for what I planning on doing, so I might as well use a yeast cake. Does anyone have a recipe for a good, (relatively) quick recipe I could use 1007 for? I was thinking an alt, but maybe something else?

Yeast and Fermentation / Pseudo schwarzbier, 1007 or 2565?
« on: August 29, 2011, 06:59:42 PM »
Which yeast should I use for a pseudo-lager Schwarzbier? I have 2565 and 1007 on hand.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Temperature at bottling
« on: August 28, 2011, 04:42:26 PM »
Thanks for all the responses. I didn't think about the max temp the beer was at. I have a batch of Koelsch that carb'd a little low. I fermented at 58 *F then cold crashed to 40 *F, and used 40 *F as the temp at bottling for priming sugar addition.

I think if I had used 58 instead of 40 it would've carb'd up to where I wanted it.

It foamed up more than usual when I was racking and bottling, so I thought they may have been the issue. I usually rack and bottle with the beer at ambient temp ~70-75 or so. This was the first time I bottled a beer cold.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Temperature at bottling
« on: August 27, 2011, 09:35:12 PM »
It's not carbonated. Let's say I'm targeting 2.5 vol for 20L of beer. If the beer is at 40 *F there should 1.5 volumes of residual CO2 left in suspension from fermentation. So I need to add enough sugar to generate 1 vol of carbonation, which would be 83.6g of dextrose.

If that same beer were 80* F, there would be 0.7 volumes of residual carbonation, so I'd need to add enough sugar for 1.8 volumes of carbonation, which would be 142g of dextrose. So at 40 *F there is twice as much residual CO2 as there would be if the beer were 80 *F at bottling, and it requires half as much priming sugar, according to the calculator.

When I transfer from the carboy into the bottling bucket, I must lose "some" amount of CO2, and I must lose "some" amount of CO2 when it foams up in the bottles, and I must lose "some" amount of CO2 as the cold beer in the bottling bucket warms up and off-gasses. I don't know how much the "some" that I'm losing is, or if it's enough to significantly change the amount of priming sugar I need to add to get my desired carbonation level.

If I lost half of the residual CO2 during racking/bottling, at 80 *F that would be 0.35 vol and at 40 *F that would mean 0.7 vol. If I'm targeting 2.5 volumes, that could seriously throw off the carb level. If I only lose a quarter, that wouldn't be as bad, but it would still fall pretty short of my target. But maybe I only lose 1/20th of the carb level and it's not an issue at all. That's what I'm trying to figure out.

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