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Topics - AmandaK

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1
Kegging and Bottling / 80% CO2, 20% N2 - possible, yeah?
« on: January 13, 2016, 02:04:16 PM »
Long story made real short:

I have a custom long draw system that essentially requires that I keep my beers at 17psi in order to serve them. If they are any lower than 17psi, the system coughs and sputters. This has been verified twice now by a certified draft technician. Obviously, 17psi is over carbonating the beers.

What I want is an 80/20 mix of CO2/N2 to keep the pressure up at 17psi, but only keep 13-14psi of actual CO2 on the beers. Draft tech confirmed this was my best route.

I asked for this at my usual gas supply and they looked at me like I was crazy. I asked for an explanation as to why this wasn't possible, and he said it 'just isn't'. 'I just can't put nitrogen in a CO2 bottle' was his main caveat, which I then asked if he could do it in a N2 bottle. That didn't fly either. I understand that N2 is bottled at a higher pressure than CO2, so I'm not sure I understand why an N2 bottle cannot be used.

So... question is: is this possible or can someone explain why it isn't possible?

2
Homebrew Competitions / 33rd Annual KCBM Competition - Open for Entries!
« on: January 03, 2016, 08:42:30 PM »
Registration is open for the 33rd Annual KCBM Competition! Register to volunteer (judge/steward) or enter beers here: http://kcbiermeisters.org/comp/

We have some exciting things slated for this year:

Two (2!) commercial scale ups at two breweries
   Cinder Block Brewery, now in their 3rd year of scale ups
      Styles TBD by Cinder Block
   KC Bier Co, scaling up a German bier to 15BBL
      Styles considered: Kolsch, Schwarzbier, Rauchbier, Dunkelweizen, Imperial Pilsner, Pilsner, Sticke Alt, Festbier, Maibock, Hefeweizen,       Munich Dunkel, Munich Helles, Weizenbock, & Dopplebock

Afternoon session on Saturday will be “Midwest Mead Panel”, where award winning professional and ameatur mead makers will answer just about any question you have. Mead sampling included. This is limited to volunteers only.
   “Midwest Mead Gods” will include:
   Susan Ruud, owner of Prairie Rose Meadery & 3-time AHA Gold Medal winner in Traditional Mead, BJCP Grand Master III & BJCP Mead judge
   Al Boyce, BJCP Grand Master V, BJCP Mead judge & multi-award-winning mazer
   Scot & Karen Schaar, BJCP Mead judges & multi-award-winning mazers

Banquet will be put together by Greg Macaleer, who gave us quite a tasty treat last year
   Banquet speaker will be Chef Celina Tio! She is the winner of the James Beard Award Best Chef: Midwest and has been seen on several shows including Top Chef & The Next Iron Chef. She is also the chef/owner at an acclaimed restaurant here in KC: Julian as well as owning The Belfry, a craft beer bar/lounge in the Crossroads. She is also a Certified Cicerone. We are absolutely honored to have her.
   Discounted banquet tickets for volunteers that travel >100 miles. Check the competition website later for more information and ticket purchasing.

Beds for Judges program
   Stay with a Bier Meister! Contact competition@kcbiermeisters.org for more info

Giant raffle - we aren’t going to disappoint here.
   We are up to >$4,000 in prizes so far!

Judging gifts galore!
   We love our volunteers and love taking care of you all - I can’t wait to show you what we have in store

Category 30 theme is “Raiders of the Lost Pantry”
   Beers inspired/mimicking food stuffs, e.g. ‘Strawberry Shortcake’ or ‘Taco beer’
   Special prize for Category 30

We are a stop on the High Plains and Midwest Homebrewer of the Year circuits

Judging dates/times are:
Tuesday, 2/16, 7:15pm; KC Bier Co.
Wednesday, 2/17, 7:15pm; KC Bier Co.
Friday, 2/19, 3:00pm; Christ the King Catholic Church
Friday, 2/19, 7:15pm; Christ the King Catholic Church
Saturday, 2/20, 9:00am; Christ the King Catholic Church
Saturday, 2/20,12:15pm; Christ the King Catholic Church
Saturday, 2/20, 3:00pm; Christ the King Catholic Church (BOS judging)

Questions? 1) Read the above link - it's probably there. 2) For judging/stewarding related: ask me at treasurer@kcbiermeisters.org. 3) All other questions: email Blake Burns, Organizer, at competition@kcbiermeisters.org.

I know that a good number of you guys/girls on the AHA Forum all enter this competition every year, which I truly appreciate. Best of luck to you all!

3
All Grain Brewing / Hochkurz vs 150F - The 'play nice' thread
« on: December 07, 2015, 09:29:20 AM »
Please keep this discussion on topic and respectful.

I wanted to find out for myself if there is a perceptible difference between 150F and 145/158F. On my system, I dough in for every batch and mashout for every batch. The only variable here is the time and temperature rests in between. I just want to be able to prove to myself, once and for all, that there is a discernible difference between these two techniques. I fully expect them to be similar, how similar is the question for me.

The Zymatic ramps at 1.9*F per minute, so I determined that I should eliminate as many variables as possible, which meant keeping the dough in and mashout for both beers. Had I done one with and one without, that would be another variable, so I wouldn't only be testing 145/158 versus 150.

Here's most of the original post:

Now that we have a Zymatic and can perform very precise measurements/procedures, I'm giving a real comparison a shot. I've brewed two identical German Pilsners using these two mashing techniques, taking readings at nearly every chance I could. I dumped the logged data out, overlaid the gravity readings, and now I'm sharing.

Recipe, for each brew day:
German Pils - based on Wort HOG's recipe
Batch size: 2.5g
OG: 1.053
FG (anticipated): 1.012
IBU: 53
SRM: 5
-------------------------
5.5 lbs Best Pilsner
4 oz Carapils
4 oz Melanoidin
-------------------------
Bru'n Water: Yellow Dry
Ca 40, Mg 8, Na 8, SO4 91, Cl 29
-------------------------
60' - Herkules - 15.8% - 0.35 oz
15' - Vanguard - 4.8% - 0.75 oz
15' - Saaz - 3.5% - 0.5 oz
-------------------------
WY2206, 2L starter in 5L flask. Shaken, not stirred. Pitched at high krausen.

Beer #1 (150F):
Mash times/temps: 104F dough-in for 10', 150F sacc rest for 80', 175F mash out for 10'
Target mash pH: 5.45
Actual mash pH: 5.47
Pre-boil SG: 1.051
Conversion efficiency: 91%
Target boil pH: 5.0-5.1
Adjusted pH in 'kettle' to 5.01, 1.8mL 88% lactic
Post-boil SG: 1.053
Fast-ferment test (w/ bread yeast, expected to be 0.2 Brix high): 1.013



Beer #2 (145/158F):
Mash times/temps: 104F dough-in for 10', 145F beta rest for 40', 158F alpha rest for 20', 175F mash out for 10'
Target mash pH: 5.45
Actual mash pH: 5.47
Pre-boil SG: 1.051
Conversion efficiency: 91%
Target boil pH: 5.0-5.1
Adjusted pH in 'kettle' to 5.01, 1.8mL 88% lactic
Post-boil SG: 1.053
Fast-ferment test (w/ bread yeast, expected to be 0.2 Brix high): 1.013



Full data set here.

Several interesting observations:
  • There is a huge difference in speed of conversion between 145F and 150F. The 150F mash converted in about 30' while the 145F mash never got to the same conversion in the 40' and only reached that same conversion during the 158F rest. I thought it would be slower, but I didn't think it would be that much slower.
  • Each batch had EXACTLY the same gravity. The Z is basically a fully recirculating "brew in a bin" HERMS, I'm not sure if that has something to do with all of this, but it should be said.
  • I'm also surprised at the work the mashout did on increasing the gravity. Here, it increased the SG by 17%. This is similar to what I've seen for other batches on the Z (+16-17%) for the mashout.
  • The fast-ferment test indicated exactly the same FG for these batches, which also goes against what I've thought in the past. (More malt flavor, more fermentability.)

Some pictures:
Actual brew day, for the uninitiated:


The fast ferment test all set up:


Right after pitching the Hochkurz one (pitched the 150F about 12 hours ahead of time, since that was brewed in the morning and the other in the evening):


These have been rocking since 11/22/2015, and I'm about to take my first gravity readings and samples tonight. Pitched at 48F, fermented until 11/29 at 50F, now at 56F.

Gravity reading on 12/1 was 1.021 for both batches.

I tasted both of them, which of course I am biased, but this is preliminary at best. They have the same aroma as far as I can tell. The flavor is where it seems different, but they are very similar. The Hochkurz is more pronounced graham cracker, a touch of honey, and a light hint of graininess. The 150F, while very similar, is more grainy, similar honey notes, but less graham cracker. Mouthfeel is the same.

I had these out when Myles came home and asked what the difference was. He is also aware of the nature of this experiment but did not know which was which. He spent a while on the aroma, but immediately picked out the flavor of the Hochkurz to be more rounded.

Will this perceived difference hold up in the end? Not sure, but I'm looking forward to finding out.

On 12/3, I ramped them up to 62F. They will remain there until they are completely fermented.
 

4
Yeast and Fermentation / White Labs Yeast Vault
« on: December 05, 2015, 02:43:51 PM »
Saw this on Milk the Funk, White Labs is apparently offering many if their platinum strains and wild/bacterias now.

WL Yeast Vault

5
So, we've all heard that there is definitely a difference between mashing with a single infusion and mashing using a step Hochkurz. Better malt character/better attenuation/better efficiency with the 145F/158F of the Hochkurz, etc. I believe(d?) it. I did it. I probably even spouted the same thing as fact.

But is there really a difference?

Now that we have a Zymatic and can perform very precise measurements/procedures, I'm giving a real comparison a shot. I've brewed two identical German Pilsners using these two mashing techniques, taking readings at nearly every chance I could. I dumped the logged data out, overlaid the gravity readings, and now I'm sharing.

Recipe, for each brew day:
German Pils - based on Wort HOG's recipe
Batch size: 2.5g
OG: 1.053
FG (anticipated): 1.012
IBU: 53
SRM: 5
-------------------------
5.5 lbs Best Pilsner
4 oz Carapils
4 oz Melanoidin
-------------------------
Bru'n Water: Yellow Dry
Ca 40, Mg 8, Na 8, SO4 91, Cl 29
-------------------------
60' - Herkules - 15.8% - 0.35 oz
15' - Vanguard - 4.8% - 0.75 oz
15' - Saaz - 3.5% - 0.5 oz
-------------------------
WY2206, 2L starter in 5L flask. Shaken, not stirred. Pitched at high krausen.

Beer #1 (150F):
Mash times/temps: 104F dough-in for 10', 150F sacc rest for 80', 175F mash out for 10'
Target mash pH: 5.45
Actual mash pH: 5.47
Pre-boil SG: 1.051
Target boil pH: 5.0-5.1
Adjusted pH in 'kettle' to 5.01, 1.8mL 88% lactic
Post-boil SG: 1.053
Fast-ferment test (w/ bread yeast, expected to be 0.2 Brix high): 1.013



Beer #2 (145/158F):
Mash times/temps: 104F dough-in for 10', 145F beta rest for 40', 158F alpha rest for 20', 175F mash out for 10'
Target mash pH: 5.45
Actual mash pH: 5.47
Pre-boil SG: 1.051
Target boil pH: 5.0-5.1
Adjusted pH in 'kettle' to 5.01, 1.8mL 88% lactic
Post-boil SG: 1.053
Fast-ferment test (w/ bread yeast, expected to be 0.2 Brix high): 1.013



Full data set here.

Several interesting observations:
  • There is a huge difference in speed of conversion between 145F and 150F. The 150F mash converted in about 30' while the 145F mash never got to the same conversion in the 40' and only reached that same conversion during the 158F rest. I thought it would be slower, but I didn't think it would be that much slower.
  • Each batch had EXACTLY the same gravity. The Z is basically a fully recirculating "brew in a bin" HERMS, I'm not sure if that has something to do with all of this, but it should be said.
  • I'm also surprised at the work the mashout did on increasing the gravity. Here, it increased the SG by 17%. This is similar to what I've seen for other batches on the Z (+16-17%) for the mashout.
  • The fast-ferment test indicated exactly the same FG for these batches, which also goes against what I've thought in the past. (More malt flavor, more fermentability.)

Some pictures:
Actual brew day, for the uninitiated:


The fast ferment test all set up:


Right after pitching the Hochkurz one (pitched the 150F about 12 hours ahead of time, since that was brewed in the morning and the other in the evening):


These have been rocking since 11/22/2015, and I'm about to take my first gravity readings and samples tonight. Pitched at 48F, fermented until 11/29 at 50F, now at 56F.

I do hope to do blind triangle tests on these and maybe trick some local judges into filling out scoresheets on them. We have some really great tasters in the area, so perhaps they could provide more insight/detail than "yes it's different" or "they are the same". (I wanted to do this on the Kolschs, but the beer did not turn out like I wanted, so it was not given out for that purpose.)

6
The Pub / Happy Thanksgiving!
« on: November 26, 2015, 07:34:53 PM »
I hope you all are having a great Thanksgiving. I am very thankful that we have this forum, where we are fostering new ideas and techniques all in the name of making better beer. I have the utmost respect for you all!

Cheers!

7
General Homebrew Discussion / "Premix" Biofine Powder?
« on: November 05, 2015, 06:51:35 AM »
I picked up some of the Biofine powder from my LHBS since he actually can't order the liquid stuff (this is a first - stumping the homebrew shop owner!).

Question is this: can I "premix" the stuff and then store it like liquid Biofine in the fridge? Or is that going to make is useless down the road?

8
General Homebrew Discussion / Check my math?
« on: September 16, 2015, 04:46:18 AM »
Hey guys, want to check my math before I run off and waste things. Review/error finding is much appreciated!  :D

I am attempting to make CaCl2 and gypsum solutions for a water presentation this Friday. My goal is to have people add 0.5mL-1mL of premixed solution to 2oz of beer in their glass to represent an adjustment of 0.5g/gallon of either CaCl2 or gypsum) of per 1mL of solution added to the 2 oz sample.

I think this means that I need to use 3.906g in 500mL of solution to get to this goal.

Showing the math:
    0.5g/gallon
    gallon=128oz
    1g:256oz
    0.007813g:2oz
    1mL-->0.007813g
    500mL-->3.906g

In my head, adding 0.5mL of this solution to 2oz of beer would be roughly similar to adding 0.25g/gallon of CaCl2 or gypsum and adding 1mL of this would be like 0.5g/gallon of either mineral.

Hopefully this will give an idea of what adding approximate amounts of minerals would do to certain beers.

9
Beer Recipes / Belgian/American IPA w/ Mosaic, Centennial, & Citra?
« on: September 10, 2015, 11:07:48 AM »
So all the LHBS in KC are out of WLP570 which means that we can't brew the BGSA that we wanted to brew this Sunday. So we are making the best of it by gathering the things we need for a 10g split batch of American IPA and Belgian IPA. I'd like some sanity checking/past experiences from you all if you'd be so kind.

Thoughts on recipe:
  • Want to use HopShot to get the initial IBUs
  • Want to use Mosaic for sure. Maybe with Centennial & Citra? We have a ton of nice hops in the freezer outside of that, but those are the ones I think may go well together.
  • Will be using WY3522 for the Belgian half, probably WY1056 or something on the American half
  • Won't be dry hopping, but will be whirlpooling
  • OG: 1.056-1.060?; IBUs around 65?
  • Maybe use a blend of Rahr 2-row and TF Maris Otter? Bertus Brewery seems to do that a lot, maybe I should try it.

First stab at recipe:
    50% Rahr 2-row
    50% Thomas Fawcett Maris Otter
    HopShot @ 60 for 50 IBUs
    Crapton of hops at 15'
    Crapton of hops at 5'
    Metric crapton of hops at FO, whirlpool for 20'
    Split into two carboys, half gets WY3522, half gets WY1056 or something

I'd like to serve this at a party on 9/26, so I'm avoiding the dryhopping. Plus, I really like clear beer, so DH is out in this timeframe.

So - thoughts/comments/concerns?

10
Other Fermentables / Ey! Where you get your honey at?
« on: June 22, 2015, 09:54:40 AM »
It has been decided that we are getting into mead. (Thaaaaanks NHC 2015) After listening to Schramm, Piatz, Curt Stock, and Fairbrother... well we are just too excited to not try it out.

I've already burned through Piatz's book and I'm most of the way through Schramm's. I have all of the equipment, the supplies, and basically everything except for the honey. There are too many choices as to what to buy and where/who to buy it from.

We are doing two batches right off the bat - a riff on Curt & Kathy's triple berry melomel and an orange blossom traditional. I believe we are going to just get the honey for the melomel from Costco as they sell clover honey. The orange blossom is where I'm curious as to where other people find their honey. So far I've seen a wide variety from Dutch Gold (which I think is not raw) to Bee Folks (which is raw), with a $60+ difference in price for 5 gallon pails. I don't know enough to figure out if there really is a difference between the two.

So anyway - recommendations would be awesome. I trust you guys and your experience, so fire away.

11
General Homebrew Discussion / All this talk about COTY... :)
« on: June 15, 2015, 07:15:31 PM »
I started digging through my club's old Bier Notes and found a few of the issues around when they won Club of the Year in 2000.

Check out how nonchalantly they organize what beers people should brew:


And then the party after they won:


Anyway, I just get a kick out of these old newsletters. :) Thought I would share. We used to have some epic speakers for our annual competition too... Charlie P. came in 2003 and Ken Schramm came in 2009. Reading about the past is like a who's who of the homebrewing greats, pretty entertaining.

PS: KC Bier Meisters is my club for those on Tapatalk.

12
The Pub / Good NHC Plane Book?
« on: June 01, 2015, 07:00:59 AM »
What's a good NHC plane book? I plan on buying Modern Homebrew Recipes while I am at NHC, so that my plane ride back is covered.

I already have just about every book from Brewers Publications outside of Malt, but I do not intend to buy that. I was looking at Liquid Intelligence, but it looks a bit too outside of a home-cocktail drinker's realm. Was also looking at Salumi, but I haven't made it through the projects that I want to do from Charcuterie yet... so that seems a bit silly to buy now.


Any suggestions?

13
General Homebrew Discussion / The wonderful rainbow of German Lagers
« on: March 01, 2015, 07:25:04 PM »
Took gravity samples of three German lagers today before I cold crashed for lagering.

I gotta say, I'm pretty impressed with the clarity of these guys. Especially before lagering. Had to share.



Pilsner on the left, Maibock in the middle, Oktoberfest on the right. We are gonna have some tasty beers on tap in the next few weeks!  :D

14
General Homebrew Discussion / B. E. A. UTIFUL day for a brew day!
« on: February 08, 2015, 10:41:40 AM »
Just wanted to say that is it February 8th in KC and it is 65f out. Just mashed in a German Pilsner and nailed the temp.

Trying out the newer mill with a batch sparge and Avangard Pils. Let's see what kind of efficiency we get today!


15
The Kansas City Bier Meisters are hosting our 32nd Annual Competition. This year's theme is "Hot Summer Nights". There is a special category and a special prize for any "Summer Beer" - a beer that evokes the feeling of summer from the depths of a chilly February afternoon.

Like last year, we are partnering with Cinder Block Brewing to ramp up one lucky brewer's recipe. We are also capping the competition at 600 entries this year.

What does this mean to you? Well, we are a stop on the Midwest Homebrewer of the Year circuit and the High Plains circuit. So if you need to get in on these circuits, want a chance to have your beer brewed on a 15 BBL commercial scale or would like to come volunteer, then you should get in on this soon. Enter here: http://www.kcbiermeisters.org/comp

Want to volunteer? We love taking care of our volunteers. Sub sandwiches and donuts? Not here. Smoked sausages, breakfast casserole and Waldo pizza just for taking time out of your life to help us pull this off.

Banquet will be yet another beer pairing dinner, featuring beers you can't even get yet, to the theme of "Midwest Winter Luau". Tickets are for sale here (http://www.kcbiermeisters.org/competitions/kcbm-competition.html#Speaker), for $35. It is a 3 course meal.

There will be a huge raffle sponsored by Central States Beverage before our banquet, so $1 could get you a brand new neon sign! See? We really do take care of our volunteers. A portion of the proceeds will go to our local food bank, Harvesters.

Cheers!

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