Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - thcipriani

Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 ... 11
All Grain Brewing / Re: Decoction Boil Time
« on: January 14, 2012, 07:58:01 AM »
I think that this question, this discussion, presupposes that decoctions deliver a flavor impact. I think that while there is a large impact as a result of decoction mashing the portion of that impact that relates directly to flavor is small.

I think you get some carmelization and fuller flavor.  Not a huge amount of flavor per se, but definitely noticeable.

When I do decoction mashes the beers they produce, to me, taste the same as stepped mash beers where I hit the same steps. I do think there is an impact of decoction. I like Eric Warner's reasoning in German Wheat Beer:
A single or double decoction mash is used when brewing a Weissbier wort for three main reasons. First, it supplies the yeast with an adequate amount of amino acids. Second, it breaks down the higher-molecular-weight proteins [...] Third, [...] it reduces chill haze in the final product.

That's it, those are the only reasons mentioned. I would add two reasons - 1. Further breakdown of starches than with a traditional mash, ensuring full and complete conversion and, potentially, a higher extract yield and 2. The residual body benefits of a stepped mash procedure (really dry and yet really malty).

I actually heard Charlie Bamforth of the brewing with beersmith podcast say (paraphrasing) that the only reasons large breweries step-mash is to improve runoff and on a homebrew scale it makes no difference. Of course, he then went on to say that he has never homebrewed and tries to avoid drinking homebrew, so what does he know about it?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Decoction Boil Time
« on: January 14, 2012, 12:37:32 AM »
I think that this question, this discussion, presupposes that decoctions deliver a flavor impact. I think that while there is a large impact as a result of decoction mashing the portion of that impact that relates directly to flavor is small.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Nutrient
« on: December 10, 2011, 01:17:43 PM »
To answer the yeast suppliment question, I use 1/2 of a 15 mg tab for a 10 gallon batch.

As to research/data on Zinc and yeast health, I remember this one.

That's interesting, slide 16 mentions the ideal is between .4 and 1ppm zinc in your wort. A while back I had an email exchange with Wyeast about their nutrient (actually about zinc toxicity and starter volume) and they stated, "Adding the nutrient [bc nutrient] at recommended levels will add 0.45 ppm zinc to your wort (that assumes 100% makes it into your fermenter).  I read a journal article that reported toxic effects at 50ppm (a lot)."

Doubling recommended rate (i.e. 1 tsp) may be the best way to ensure that you're getting the minimum without exceeding the maximum 1ppm.

Ingredients / Re: Reading water reports that state "ppm as CaCO3"
« on: December 10, 2011, 08:15:18 AM »
When you're trying to find the concentration of one substance as another substance you're talking gram equivalent weights.

The equivalent weight of an element can be derived by dividing an element's molar mass by the oxidation number (or, more conveniently, just Google search, "Equivalent weight of x" and you can usually find it. Also, here's a table of equivalent weights: In the case of Calcium the equivalent weight is 20.04 (molar mass 40.08 oxidation number 2). 

Once you have the equivalent weight of a substance expressing it as ppm as CaCO3 is the easy part. The equivalent weight of CaCO3 is 50 - that's why everything is expressed as CaCO3 - it's easy! It's like a lowest common denominator.

SO Calcium ppm * CaCO3 equivalent weight / Ca eq weight = Ca as CaCO3

200ppm Calcium in water expressed as CaCO3:
200 * (50/20) = Ca as CaCO3
200 * 2.5 = Ca as CaCO3
500 ppm Ca as CaCO3

so, yeah, that's right.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Help! I've brewed a watery mess
« on: November 25, 2011, 10:58:35 PM »
I don't feel like mash temp is going to be the main factor when calling a beer watery. Mash temp shouldn't be affecting your malt character, but your mouthfeel. A low mash temp would cause the  final beer to be starchy (if you're not getting full conversion) or have a dry body - the malt character should come through regardless.

There is a lot of leeway in grain mill gap, malt quality and mashing/boiling procedures. I'm guessing that almost everyone has a slightly different preference for the combination of mill gaps, mashing procedures, maltsers, mashing temperatures and method of temperature measurement. As long as your mash converts, I think you'll have malt flavor PROVIDED you meet the following three requirements:
 1. Avoid bad malt
 2. Use an appropriate pitching rate
 3. Avoid Infection

#1 is pretty easy - as long as the friability of the malt is still good, and you got it from a known maltser it'll make a beer that has malt flavor - the best flavor? Perhaps not, but it likely won't be described as watery.

The most likely culprit, in my early brewing and in commercial and homebrews that I would call watery is #2 (in concert with #3). If you're not using the mrmalty calc then use it. If you are using the calc try using a 20% larger starter and brewing the same beer - sometimes the estimates you get from the calc can be off. Last week I brewed a beer for which the calc recommended a 1.2L starter, I did a 1.5L starter and came up 10% short after a cell count. The calc is a great guideline, but if your beer is coming out watery then you need more healthy yeast.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water amendment
« on: November 14, 2011, 10:17:08 PM »
I know that you're trying to match the "Mosher's Ideal Pale Ale" profile - and if that's the goal, your additions are probably fine; however, I am uncomfortable putting that much chalk into a pale beer like the one you're brewing. In my experience Crisp MO has given me some fairly high pH readings - even with the amount of acid you're adding I feel like you're running the risk of shooting a little North of the recommended pH range.

If I were doing this beer, I'd probably drop the Epsom, Chalk and Phosphoric and just try it with a small amount of CaSO4 & CaCl2 (enough to get to >50ppm, allowing for some margin of error). I brewed a beer last weekend that used 1lb of Simpson Dark Crystal (75L) and 1/2lb of Special B (120+L) using Rahr 2-row base (typically fairly low dough-in pH) and I still had to add acid malt to get into the right pH range. My point is that I'm more often at a higher pH than I'd like to be and adding chalk before I dough in, to me, seems like playing with fire.

I am likely in the minority on this, FWIW.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Kettle v. Mash pH
« on: October 23, 2011, 09:08:13 PM »
FWIW I typically see a slight rise in pH after sparging - like half a tenth or a full tenth of a pH unit to kettle full. Post-boil I'll see a 2-tenth drop from kettle full, typically. For example today was:
5.37 mash pH
5.42 kettle full pH
5.28 post-boil pH

I'll see that rise in pH even though I adjust my sparge water with CRS to ~5.7.

Ingredients / Re: Coffee in a porter recipe
« on: September 10, 2011, 10:16:25 PM »
I've always wondered what kind of coffee people are using for these techniques. Each of the techniques listed probably works best with a particular coffee, or, at least, you'd think some would work better than others. I drink darker roasted coffees - not sure if the bittersweet oily-ness of a french roast would be right for end-of-boil - seems like it would come out either (a) vegetal or (b) bittersharp - french/italian/espresso roast is probably best for cold-steeping I'd think.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Oldest pub in scotland?
« on: September 07, 2011, 08:15:22 PM »
When I was in Scotland pretty much every pub claimed it was the oldest in Scotland, so I'm still skeptical :)

All Grain Brewing / Re: Lager Candy Sweetness
« on: September 07, 2011, 05:52:02 PM »
At first I was thinking that there's not way this could be oxidation - everything's under CO2 on the cold-side; however, as I'm tasting this beer with oxidation in mind I think that might be it - unfortunately.  The system I've been using is I mash and sparge on my stove and then haul a 15gallon kettle full of wort down 7 flights of stairs, sloshing it the whole way, and then boil and haul the fermentor back up the stairs. I hadn't noticed any deleterious effects of this method, but I haven't been doing any structured tastings or delicate beers, so...

Just when you think you've got a process nailed down...I got so spoiled doing the first half of the brew day indoors.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Lager Candy Sweetness
« on: September 03, 2011, 03:49:38 PM »
The recipe I used:

1.8 Kg Pils (used Weyermann)
1.8 Kg Munich (used 7L Global)
1.4 Kg Vienna
500g CaraMunich I

43g Hallertau Hersbrucker (2%AA) @ 60min
14g " " " @ 15min

833 German Bock yeast grown in 4L 1.030 starter on stir plate

All Grain Brewing / Re: Another water chemistry question.... Sorry
« on: September 03, 2011, 03:44:10 PM »
nateo - that's actually a point that I've never really thought about at all and it has some interesting consequences. One thing that springs to mind is that in order to get the oft-quoted 50ppm Ca++ into beer you'd need to vary the amount based on gravity; however, is it possible or practical for homebrewers to even think about that, or is it acceptable to say the 1kg 1.070 beer is close enough to 1,000,000 mg that it shouldn't matter?

After re-reading this thread - is this discussion too esoteric to be relevant? I'm probably not fun at dinner parties.

All Grain Brewing / Lager Candy Sweetness
« on: September 03, 2011, 09:21:24 AM »
I've got a fairly young oktoberfest on tap and, as is my want, I've been periodically sampling as the beer matures.

Recently I've noticed a candy-like malt sweetness develop that I don't like/want. It's Jamil's Oktoberfest recipe with no substitutions save using WLP833. What, in your experience, causes this?

I didn't do a cell count, but I did use the mrmalty calculator so I probably pitched fairly close to 1.5 million/mL/P; however, after doing counts on some pitches I've been surprised. That is to say, I wouldn't be surprised if I underpitched slightly - is that typically a cause?

I used single-infusion mash regiment and the final gravity was 1.014.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Another water chemistry question.... Sorry
« on: September 03, 2011, 09:14:56 AM »
mg/L = ppm


Total alkalinity in your water is probably expressed as CaCO3 - it's like the lowest common denominator. It's easier to express the sum total of all carbonate and bicarbonate as an equivalent weight of CaCO3. Concentration as CaCO3 is just a very convenient means to express concentration since it has an equivalent weight of 50g.

To express the concentration of a substance as an equivalent amount of another substance you first find the mg/L (or ppm - they are equivalent measurements) concentration of the substance for which you are attempting to express as an equivalent weight of another substance.

Then you must find the equivalent weight of that substance, in the above case the substances CO3 and HCO3. The equivalent weight of a substance can be derived by dividing a compound's molar mass by the number of positive or negative electrical charges that result from the dissolution of that compound (or, more conveniently, just Google search, "Equivalent weight of x" and you can usually find it). In the case of CO3 the gram equivalent is 30 (roughly) and in the case of HCO3 the gram equivalent is 60(roughly).

After finding the equivalent weight of the first substance you must find the equivalent weight of the substance in which you'd like to express the concentration of the first substance - in the case of CaCO3 the gram equivalent is 50.

After you find these numbers the math for expressing equivalent weight as CaCO3 is fairly easy.

Concentration CO3 in mg/L (= to ppm) * 30 (which is CO3 equivalent weight)/50 (CaCO3's equivalent weight) = CO3 as CaCO3
Concentration HCO3 in mg/L (= to ppm) * 60 (which is HCO3 equivalent weight)/50 (CaCO3's equivalent weight) = HCO3 as CaCO3

CO3 as CaCO3 + HCO3 as CaCO3 = Alkalinity as CaCO3

That's the long-winded way of saying, "+1 nateo is right".

Also, this is the best thread subject title for a water question ever.

I've brewed some award winning Scottish ales with the Mosher Ideal Pale water recipe. A modified version of that water is what Mike McDole seems to use for all of his beers - he's doing OK(!).

That being said, I've also listened to the lecture that AJ Delange has up on his site. He's the only person of whom I've heard trying the same recipe side-by-side the only thing changed is water profiles - this recipe was a Special Bitter. Everyone in attendance at the lecture got some to try. The overwhelming consensus seems to be a preference for the beer treated solely with CaCl2.2H2O vs water with a Burton-esque profile.

HAVING SAID THAT I'm starting to lean towards gypsum rather than CaCl2.2H2O in my water adjustments. This was after dosing finished beers with solutions of CaCl2 and CaSO4 - tasting blind (really my bias probably would have leaned more chloride anyway) I preferred the beer dosed with calcium sulfate most of the time so I'm going to try that for a while and see if I like my beers better. So far I've only done a mild that way and that's not kegged so I don't have any data-points currently - it's just what I'm ruminating on as far as water is concerned.

Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 ... 11