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Messages - thcipriani

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Shouldn't the trub provide some nice lipids for the yeast?

My understanding is that while lipids are essential for yeast growth an excess of lipids means that the level of Acetyl-CoA will not be reduced by the yeast to form sterols meaning a higher acid content which means that there is more acid available for the production of esters.

This theory was verified by the experiments at New Belgium brewery where they added olive oil instead of oxygen to their yeast - thereby providing lipids to the yeast directly and not relying on the yeast to produce them using O2 and Acetyl-CoA...and other stuff...probably...see text here:

Further, excess lipids (according to Fix - and I don't remember the science on this one and I'm just too lazy to look it up) can lead to premature beer staling.

That being said, I agree with everyone else in this thread - as long as the beer was brewed well the difference between this beer and one where there is no trub will be negligible.

Ingredients / Re: Chloride Sulfate Ratio
« on: November 03, 2010, 09:12:51 PM »
As a random datapoint, the most decorated brewery at the 2010 GABF adjust their water to have 100 ppm each chloride and sulfate. I don't find this company's (Firestone Walker's) beers to be particularly minerally which is not surprising as the absolute levels of sulfate and carbonate are low compared to Dortmund.

I thought that they adjusted to 100ppm hardness as CaCO3 using CaCl2.H20 and CaSO4...or maybe it was 100ppm Ca++...or maybe I have no idea...

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Over spiced pumpkin porter
« on: October 26, 2010, 11:52:52 PM »
I'd say that you've learned something and take that for what it's worth - almost nobody hits things exactly right their first time. If I had any advice to offer I'd say make a spice tea and blend back after ferment - you'll have much more control over the outcome of your beer.

Other Fermentables / Re: Mead and Potassium Hydroxide (KOH)
« on: October 26, 2010, 11:48:13 PM »
I have lab-bench experience in the sense that I was the TA who set up experiments in HS and college - so really I don't have any experience outside of a lab. Do you have any sources from pre-made 1Normal Solutions?

The Pub / Re: Best Apps for iPod?
« on: October 26, 2010, 11:45:05 PM »
Well, if you jailbreak, installous is, by far, the best "app" - beeralchemy is way better than Beer Smith or ProMash IMO - I use it when I'm stuck away from a comp and I need some quick beer math.

Beer Recipes / Re: strong belgian christmas ale
« on: October 21, 2010, 07:52:47 PM »
I've been rummaging around for some Christmas ale ideas myself; fortunately, there's a sub-chapter on Christmas beer in Radical Brewing. The only beer I see with Ginger is the "Fruitcake Old Ale" which uses .25tsp nutmeg, allspice; 2.0 tsp Ceylon cinnamon; 1 tsp powdered ginger and vanilla extract. I think the real key there would be finding a good source of ceylon cinnamon - if you've got a Penzey's in your backyard (like I do...) then you're very lucky.

One thing I've learned is that my making a strong spice tea post ferment you give yourself a lot of control and you're much more likely to get an untested recipe right on the first try. Food for thought.

Also, minor aside, one interesting idea from that book is a fortified Christmas ale - using creme de cacao and orange curacao - might be amazing(?).

All Grain Brewing / Re: Green Flash IPA Recipe Wanted
« on: October 21, 2010, 07:39:30 PM »
Here's Saco De Toro's Green Flash Imperial Recipe:

I'd really like to like summit, but right now the only beer that uses it (that I'm aware of) that I really enjoy is the Oskar Blues Gubna. I plan to give it another shot someday...maybe...

Ingredients / Re: Where to buy/order chocolate/cacao nibs from
« on: October 11, 2010, 07:07:43 PM »
I've seen them at Whole Foods from.

Ingredients / Re: Water help needed...RA=450
« on: October 11, 2010, 07:00:27 PM »
If I were doing this recipe, I'd probably hold off on all additions that were meant to balance pH until you've measured something outside the range that you're targeting.

Anecdotal evidence: Two weeks ago I brewed a Am. Amber ale with an SRM of 16 with water with an RA in the -60 range (for some reason) but I ended up with an initial mash pH of 5.11 which I adjusted with Calcium Hydroxide (pickling lime) up to 5.2. This past weekend I brewed a Belgian Dubbel with an estimated SRM of 27 (this is all estimated with Morey, by the way) with water that had an RA of -30 and hit a mash pH of 5.25.

My point is that it's too hard to guess - and also my point is the you should get some pickling lime because chalk never did a darn thing for me - strong bases, like hydroxide, are where it's at.

All Grain Brewing / Re: First all grain batch
« on: October 08, 2010, 03:44:49 PM »
Personally, I think that recipe looks great. It seems like a very authentic example of Fullers. I don't know if you've ever read the blog, "Shut up about Barclay Perkins" but they have some really great info on authentic ales complete with recipes pulled from old brewers log books. Here's the post relevant to the style you're brewing:

You should probably abstain from trying the parti-gyle right out of the gate, though. ;)

My only tips for your first all grain ESB are:
1.) Source high-quality ingredients - high quality ingredients don't really make a huge difference for new all-grain brewers, but you can only brew a beer as good as your ingredients so now is time to start learning where you can source this stuff.

2.) Take notes on as many data points as possible. Everything that is within your ability to measure, write it down somewhere. I typically sit down with my promash recipe and my handwritten notes and transfer everything to the notes section of the promash recipe as soon as possible during, or shortly, after brew day. This way I can see what I did to make good beer. This is especially true when you first begin all grain brewing. The actual temp of your mash vs the temp that promash quotes will give you a good idea of the thermal mass of your mash tun. The actual measure dead space in all of your brewing equipment.

3.) Don't start F'ing with your water until you've noticed something is wrong with your beer and you've ruled out every possibility, or until you get a way to measure your pH and have decided it'd be fun to play with water. You will not want to start playing with water until you get a few all-grain batches under your belt.

4.) All the good sanitation practices and pitching rate practices that you've, no doubt, developed must continue to develop and improve. Going all grain does not give you a ticket to be lax about any practices you've already mastered.

5.) This is something that happens naturally and it is the reason that there is a positive correlation for the frequency with which you brew and beer quality - make mental notes of parts of your process that need improvement. At first, these mental notes will include where you set up your equipment, how you take a mash gravity reading, how to setup all your tubing to ensure it doesn't leak - all the little things that you could not anticipate prior to brewing. Being a great all-grain brewer is definitely dependent on a lot of big things, but what no one ever mentions is that there are a ton of little things that experienced all-grain brewers just know about their system that comes from their experience. If you move, if you take a 6 month hiatus, if you loose the shim that balances out one of your burners you will not be making the same quality of beer as you were making before that event occurred.

My first all-grain brew day was a death by a thousand cuts and I was just lucky it made beer. It didn't seem that way at the time, but knowing what I know now I marvel that what I made when I first began all-grain was even drinkable, let alone as good as I remember it. The main thing is that no matter how bad or good your brew day is you'll be changing a massive amount of process very soon based on your observations.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash ppm in = Mash ppm out?
« on: October 04, 2010, 07:06:30 PM »
According to Fix in Principals of Brewing Science, "There is of course no direct correlation between finished-beer mineral levels and the mineral content of brewing liquor" (Fix 15).

This quote also makes sense a posteriori - when you think of the variability that minor and major mash parameters have on pH and gravity it makes sense that there would not be any adequate way to predict the expected mineral content of your mash runnings or the final mineral content of beer. Things like mash thickness, grist composition, pH and various buffering systems would make this a nearly impossible calculation.

Interestingly, while the conversation in this thread has been about the minerals that are lost in the malt and not about the minerals that malt contribute to the beer. I ran across an article abstract in the American Society of Brewing Chemist Journal about malt modification, mashing parameters and their affect on the mineral composition of wort might be of some interest:

All Grain Brewing / Re: Malteurop 2 row stat sheet
« on: September 26, 2010, 08:41:27 PM »
I found this on the Rebel Brewer site which I'm sure you saw:

Moisture: 4.4%
Total Nitrogen: 11-12%
Extract: 79-80%
Soluble Nitrogen Ratio: 37-44%

If we were to assume that 79-80% number was fine-grind dry-basis it'd represent 79.5% the potential extract of sucrose which is 46 points/pound/gallon so you'd be looking at 1.036 or 1.037 somewhere in there.

The SNR number reaches to the high end of what you'd like to see but should be fine.

The weird number here is total nitrogen - I think Rebel Brewer meant to write total protein. If not that is one point of which to be aware. According to Noonan, "For all-malt beers, protein values exceeding 12% (1.9% TN) indicate that the beer may haze or present mash runoff problems. European lager and British ale malts are usually below 10% protein." (

Hit up Rebel Brewer - they obviously have the total report - I can't find any info about this malt floating in the ether of the internet.

All Grain Brewing / Re: RO water pH
« on: September 25, 2010, 12:30:15 PM »
It is atypical for a mash pH to come in that low using distilled water and that malt bill.

While it's not impossible for the mash pH to be that low using that grain bill it is improbable.

First, the pH of RO water is a) unimportant to brewing by-and-large and b) is often lower than what people typically quote (7) since CO2 from the atmosphere will dissolve into RO water.

Second, I don't believe the pH strips you are using are adequate to test the pH of your mash. the pH 4-8 strips are strips with which I am unfamiliar, but the 4.6 - to 6.2 strips are likely the precision labs pH 4662 strips that my LHBS sells.

The reasons I believe these strips to be inadequate for mash testing are
a) Your strips are of unknown accuracy - the EMD strips have shown that they have an error that causes them to read 0.3 pH units lower than the actual pH of the solution - the precision labs strips (which are much cheaper than EMD colorpHast strips, if we're using price as a quality determinate) may very well have an error of which you are unaware. Furthermore, the color index on the Precision Labs would indicate that the accuracy of these strips is +-4 which is not adequate for any brewing application, IMO.
b) The gradation of color on the precision labs is not adequate for one to draw any strong conclusions. A color gradation of yellow to brown is not a range in which definitive conclusions could be drawn. Viewing a strip under a tungsten bulb vs a florescent bulb could very well make the difference of .8 of a pH unit.
c) I've actually had the Precision Labs strips change colors in their sealed container, and not to a color that would indicate that there was excess moisture in their container, rather a color that would indicate the strips had dried out. The strips start as a very vibrant yellow and when I looked at the container after having purchased the strips 6 months prior the strips color pad (for lack of a better term) was a very pale almost white.

Having said all that, I think the best course of action for your water when brewing pale beer would be to cut it down with some RO - just like you're doing and add back some calcium in whatever way you see fit. When you don't have a pH meter it is difficult to get your mash pH in the right range because you don't know when you're there. My only recommendation is to NOT add additional alkalinity (like chalk, baking soda or calcium hydroxide) to your water until you have an accurate means of measuring pH. Your mash pH is more likely to be too high than too low.

Beer Recipes / Re: Halloween beers
« on: September 24, 2010, 11:52:12 AM »
I was using a transfer pipette that wasn't graduated so I couldn't tell you in mL, but I used 6 drops in the 6oz sample to get to the right color, I imagine this will be very variable and would change depend on the beer you were attempting to make red (or brown or opaque black).

Sinmar doesn't impact flavor very noticably (I've never noticed any flavor impact) - the mouthfeel seemed a bit more slick on the sample last night but that hasn't been my typical experience with Sinmar and it could just be that the IPA has changed a bit since my last sample. Or, more likely, it could be the result of the sickness I'm battling.

Beer Recipes / Re: Halloween beers
« on: September 23, 2010, 09:05:36 PM »
Just for S&G I grabbed about 6oz of IPA from the keggerator, a bottle of Sinmar from Weyermann (which is liquid Carafa II - essentially [fun face: Sinmar - from Latin, meaning without bitterness]), and a transfer pipette.

I started adding Sinmar a drop at a time until I had what I think is very close to red; however, it's not a blood red - it's an amber red. It's the red that you see in Irish Red Ale or American Amber - it's amber somewhat copperish color red. Also, I think hitting the amount of red I hit by adding Sinmar drop-by-drop with carafa in a recipe would be pretty impossible. I'd say red food coloring would be your best bet for that fake Halloween sort of red - Sinmar would be your best bet if you're just trying to make a fairly red beer.

Sticking with a Halloween theme, Jamil has a clone of AleSmith’s Evil Dead Red which he dubbed "Evil Twin" which he uses to illustrate late-hopping. Recipe available here:

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