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Messages - thcipriani

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Lager Candy Sweetness
« on: September 03, 2011, 10:49:38 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, 10:44:10 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, 04:21:24 PM »
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, 04:14:56 PM »
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.

Other Fermentables / Cider Juice Sources
« on: August 27, 2011, 07:08:47 PM »
Are there any reliable sources for apple juice that will make a decent cider? The only apple orchards that will part with cider don't exactly grow the traditional Northern Spy, Kingston Black, Russet et al apples - more like Sweet Gala and Red Delicious. Most orchards around here (Front-Range Colorado) don't say too much about cider to take home on their website.

It's strange, I can have 5 gallons of honey shipped from Florida, I can have 55lbs of grain shipped from Germany, but I can't get English cider-apple juice without having a place to grow a tree or knowing a good orchard.

I feel like I'm missing something - everything I read about cider says the critical aspect of good cider is good juice; however, I can't find juice that can be shipped.

Anyone help me out?

Other Fermentables / Re: What is "no signs of fermentation"?
« on: August 27, 2011, 06:56:57 PM »
Well, that depends - are you at the beginning or end of fermentation?

No CO2 coming out of solution is definitely a sign that there is no fermentation occurring, but it's far from definitive.

If you're at the end check your gravity one day and then two days later - if it's the same then you have no signs of fermentation.
If you're at the beginning of fermentation check the pH of whatever you're fermenting - it should be lower than when you pitched - that's a sign that fermentation is getting ready to start.

Equipment and Software / Re: Refill Oxygen tank.
« on: August 27, 2011, 01:41:04 PM »
The welding place near my house said that he could refill my medical tank they just couldn't, "certify it for medical use" - whatever that means. I haven't had the need to try it yet; however, you might try calling them and telling them that you have a medical tank that you are using for homebrewing and see if that changes their tune.

Let us know how this plays out.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Sparge Water Temperature and pH
« on: August 27, 2011, 04:01:10 AM »
anecdotally, I've noticed a difference when I don't use acid in my sparge and my sparge temp gets over 180F - just offering another opinion.

Is that water temp or grain bed temp?

Sorry for the ambiguity - that's sparge water temp. My grain bed never gets over 170. My typical process is single infusion, no mash out, so I tend to end up in the mid-to-upper 160's by then end of the sparge.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Danstar dry yeast, prices are nuts!
« on: August 26, 2011, 04:15:16 AM »
Either way, if their new packaging helps prevent fiascos like the one from a few years back from happening I say the new price is well worth it.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Sparge Water Temperature and pH
« on: August 26, 2011, 04:08:47 AM »
I'll be Devil's advocate on this one - I've noticed a more tannic character in beers where I climb over 180F on my system without sparge water adjustment (I use RO typically and I keep my mash pH between 5.3 and 5.6) - even though, given that I typically use single infusion, my grain bed NEVER climbs over 170F. Even though I'm COMPLETELY NOT supported by any literature I can find - anecdotally, I've noticed a difference when I don't use acid in my sparge and my sparge temp gets over 180F - just offering another opinion.

Other Fermentables / Re: Staggered Nutrient Addition Rates
« on: August 24, 2011, 02:48:42 AM »
What I think is interesting is if you compare Ken Schramm's article to the BJCP mead guidelines.

Both seem to agree that you need ~350ppm YAN in your must; however, Ken's article seems to advocate for putting in 350ppm YAN up front, "Addition of 3 grams (approximately 0.75 teaspoon) Fermaid K, plus 4 grams (1 teaspoon) DAP per 5 gallons of must with  vigorous aeration at the end of the lag phase" (Shramm 24) and then supplementing that initial dose with smaller 1g/ea. FermaidK and DAP additions + stirring over 5 days - every 12 hours.

Whereas, the BJCP mead study guide seems to advocate the addition of 350ppm FAN over the course of the entire fermentation, "1 gram diammonium phosphate (DAP) and 0.5 gram Fermaid-K (Lallemand’s micronutrient blend) at pitch and at 24-hour intervals for three days" (BJCP 85)

There are, of course, some different ideas as well. I've tried it both ways (as well as the Kris England presentation method of 4.5g fermaid-k and 2g DAP every other day for a week) - all are great methods it seems. I think as long as AT SOME POINT FAN is at, or over, 350ppm - you're good.

Also, I'm using the Wyeast wine nutrient in this latest batch as an alternative to Fermaid-K - contributes 15ppm YAN at .5g/gallon + zinc and no urea - something to consider.

Wow...long pseudo-answer.

FWIW the cleaner ale strains (think WLP001) tend to show less fermentation differences at higher temperatures than estery or phenolic strains like 002 or 530 in my experience.

I tasted a split batch of cream ale made with 001 at 65F and 001 at 75F. You can definitely taste a difference side-by-side (the one fermented at 75F had more acetaldehyde/esters) but the differences between the two beers weren't really prominent. If I'd have tasted the beers a week apart, I probably wouldn't have noticed.   

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Hop Clog Woes
« on: August 24, 2011, 02:03:48 AM »
I've heard good things about the surescreens for whole hops.

Personally, I tend to use pellets in my system and I just use a giant teaball. There are a few bits here and there at first but in a couple weeks it'll clear nicely.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Head retention in German pils
« on: August 15, 2011, 03:26:23 AM »
Never had a problem with head retention on any beer. I've always associated proper head and proper head-retention with proper pitching rate. Make sure you're using the pitching rate calculator as a starting point and adjusting your pitch rate up or down depending on your desired results.

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