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Messages - AmandaK

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Homebrewer Bios / Re: Greetings from KC
« on: December 07, 2015, 05:47:12 AM »
Welcome Jim!

I am in KC as well - what part are you from?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: White Labs Yeast Vault
« on: December 06, 2015, 07:17:17 AM »
I'm in for 835 and probably that Saison blend. Maybe some of the funky bunch.


You guys made the thread, I'm not going to do the work to go through and pull what may or may not be pertinent and then step on other peoples toes and get fussed at. Amanda can start a new thread if she wants. I extremely tempted to just lock this one so it just goes away.

Pretty discouraging that sharing experiences will now lead to 10 pages of off topic crap, a whole lot of bickering, and a potential thread lock.

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

Dammit Wilcox.

Thank you guys for the birthday wishes. :)

201 question is this: can a Picobrew simulate a single-infusion mash, or is it impossible because of the system's recirc and nature of the heating element? 

Yes it can:

In this case, it is a 151F mash. No dough in. No mashout. The water only circulates through the mash bed during the time that the brewing liquor is 152F. Then it drains.

My intent behind including a dough in and a mash out in both batches was to eliminate as many variables as I could see fit. The Z heats very quickly for it's size (1.9*F per minute), so I determined that for the variable I wanted tested (i.e. 145/158 versus 150 - not dough in & mashout verus not), it was better to include the dough in and mashout in both batches. (As that is how I brew every time.) I'm more than certain that if I had not included the dough in and mashout in the 150F mash, we would be talking about that instead.

Pimp My System / Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« on: December 04, 2015, 07:57:06 AM »
Cleaned up the garage and basement.

New garage setup:

Moved Jurgen, the True fridge, inside. This is now our main bottle storage.

Added some shelves. (Side story: these shelves are made from a walnut tree my dad cut down before he passed away. They are just urethaned and the live edge was left on them. Once I'm 'finished' with the bar, I need to do real pictures with the real camera.)

And our little bottling area:

I am curious about your graphs. Did you take all those gravity readings manually or is that a feature of the Zymatic? I am guessing manual. If so, that was hard work.

Second question on both graphs the temp drops suddenly about 3/4 way along the mash and then jumps back up. What's happening there? Just curious. I don't see a programmed drop on the mash temp editor screenshot you added later in the thread.

I like the way you're using the Zymatic. Great idea using it for experiments.

The Zymatic is run via a wifi controlled Ardrino - so it logs nearly everything that it does. I did nothing in regards to the temperature logging. You can add recipe notes, such as SG, but they only show up as a dot on the graph and not as I had shown them in the Excel version on the first post. Here is a screenshot from my online account:

Those dips you see are the temperature readings while there is little wort near the wort temp probe, which is when the system drains (after the mash it drains for 8 min into the keg for "boiling") and sometimes when it pauses (see the chilling dip in temp that comes up? The system pauses there to allow me to connect my chiller. I restart it when we are all hooked up.)

I hope to do many, many more experiments with this thing (even if it's just for my own curiosity). For me, that's the best part about this little system. It is highly controllable and incredibly accurate. I wish they would advertise it like that, because it certainly isn't something I would recommend for the 'new brewer' audience they are aiming for.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Then and Now...
« on: December 03, 2015, 05:47:38 PM »
Matt, great read. It makes me smile seeing these type of 'look back and see where I've gone' posts. :)

And thank you, for being moral support when I was part of the Sabco-owners-club. You took the time to pass on any knowledge you could, complete with pictures (!), with nearly every question I had. So again, thank you. I surely owe you a beer or two!

...kind of like she fixed thanksgiving dinner for us and we ransaked the place...

Meh, it's happened before. Except it was a 3 course NYE dinner... and I don't cook for those people anymore.  ;)

Some people, recent posters included, have misunderstood the point of my curiousity. I'm not saying that we should ignore the German brewers. I'm not saying that a single infusion is better (or even similar). I listen to Kai during work and am reading (currently) Fix during my lunch break. 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 the 145/158 to be different (and better, IMO) than the 150 beer.

However, for those people who do not worry too much about this or do not have the ability to step mash, perhaps whatever results I find will allow them to have a little piece of mind that a 'normal' mash is good enough for them.

It would be nice to return to respectful discussion and focus on the experiment at hand. Can we get past the sniping?

I for one am interested in the result and looking forward to Amanda's findings.

I'll post it when I got it. It'll be fun trying to find it though! Kinda like a bad game of hide and seek.  ;D

German schooled brewers I would guess?

It's no secret German schooled brewers can make it.. What books do you think are part of the courses ;)

Yes sir.

I don't disagree that they follow the books from the great German authors. The problem for us hobbyists is that we don't have the time or resources to learn German to read them, or to go to school in Germany, or any other long-form method of learning that they did. Would I if I could? Absolutely. I am a beer perfectionist, similar to yourself, but I can't hope to learn all of this on my own right now.

That's why we all share information - in hopes that someone's experiences can further our own quicker than we could on our own.

It's been speculated that only "super tasters" can pick out what we call "it" in these continental lagers. No that isn't presumptuous, take the test and see if you are(a super taster). So I will only say, if you can pick up "it" in say some..Augustiner, most likely you will benefit from the fruits of your labor. If you can't, you can't.

I totally agree here. As stupid as this sounds, I know what you refer to when you say "it". "It" being the fresh cut fields of barley and a pop of fresh spicy and floral notes with just a fleeting note of sulphur. I do get 'it' in two of the local breweries in Missouri - they are very serious about the 'it' and have nailed it. (Urban Chestnut & KC Bier Co)

Mind sharing what 'the test' is? I wouldn't mind taking it.

PS - I highly doubt these two beers will have the 'it'. Which is kinda sad. :(

You can't mention decoction or step mashing on here without it being implied that it's a total waste.

I actually believe the opposite. I've done step mashing ever since I've started into German lagers 3 years ago (after pouring over Kai's website) and I hope that I haven't been wasting my time all these weekends.

That being said, I'm still curious if myself and other trained judges/tasters can pick up a discernible difference. That's the crux of the matter for me. For everyone else, I hope to be just another data point.

It just so happens that the brewery we have now can produce a very nice data set, which I thought some people would be interested in. Obviously, you all are interested - one way or another.  ;)

Amanda- does the zymatic raise the temp to your step target, or is that through infusion?

It does what I program it to do via a heat exchanger in the back of the unit. Kinda like a HERMS but no HLT, if that makes sense. So it raises it to the next step, no infusion.

Here's a screenshot of how I tell it what to do, using the 104/145/158/175 as an example.

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