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Messages - AmandaK

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Swap-toberfest '15
« on: December 03, 2015, 06:42:55 AM »
Seeing these last couple posts reminds me of the fact that I am a bad swapper. I shared @AmandaK s wedding toast beer last week with the SO and a friend. It was poor timing as it was later in the evening, I did not take any notes and really only remember that we all enjoyed it. Thank you again Amanda, everything you sent was wonderful and I hope to get to that level eventually, with a lot more practice.

No worries, Frank. I'm happy to know that it was shared and enjoyed - that was the original purpose behind the beer, so it is still doing what we intended.  :)  Now that I think about it... I believe the first 40+ bottles of those batches (blended 2 10g batches together for the wedding) went in the same manner at the reception.  ;D

I wonder how much of the alleged increase in efficiency from a Hochkurz mash is system-dependent. For example, does the grain milling or design of the mash tun make the supposed benefits of a particular mash schedule on efficiency more or less probable? I know for my smaller mash tun (a two gallon cooler) I have to mash on a mid-140s/upper-150s split to get high mash efficiency and a low FG for my saisons. Mashing for the typical 153F for sixty minutes does not produce the same results. I have less of a problem on a larger ten gallon cooler. I wonder if the design of the Zymatic is inherently more efficient for mashing than coolers and other typical homebrewing equipment.

I am wondering the same.

Adam & Matt - I too wonder the same thing. I believe that tracking the conversion efficiency (please, correct me if my thought process is wrong) would be a way to compare apples to apples on that? The conversion efficiency was 91% on each batch, using Kai's (i.e. Narziss') equations. I also had Matt's system (the Sabco) but did not track conversion efficiencies there, so I can't make much speculation.

Adjusted pH in 'kettle' to 5.01, 1.8mL 88% lactic

Was 5.01 the adjusted pre-boil pH?  If so, did you also measure the post-boil pH?

Looks like you can do some pretty cool stuff with that Zymatic.

I checked my notes last night - looks like the adjustment reading was taken about 40' into the boil on one and 30' into the boil on another, both were 5.01. I also checked the pH during transfer to the carboys (5.03 & 5.02). I made the adjustment about 5-10' into the boil, but wandered off and nearly forgot to check. I have to wait for equilibrium within the system, but I probably could have taken the reading sooner.

Regardless, I am looking forward to firing off a ton more 'made for me' tests.  8)

Has anyone considered that the increased extract efficiency they get from the separate alpha rest may be a result of incomplete starch gelatinization at 145dF?

That is what happened in this data set. At the end of the 40' beta rest, the mash had not converted fully but did when the temp rose to 158F. I do wonder that if some of the efficiency increase comes from people stirring their mash bed for heating as well - something I cannot test on this system.

As to the yip-yappin':
+1 - How you say things is hugely important. It's the difference between being "Right" and being a "Jerk". It's actually a little harder to be civil, but it makes you look a lot smarter. And it makes the world a lot nicer place to live in.
And people dont summarily dismiss the content...

Amen, brothers. :) I find that many people here qualify their statements with 'I've found', 'this works on my system', or 'in my experience'. This keeps the conversations civil and moving forward. Those that state things as absolute fact or as unchallengeable truths tend to be dismissed. It's just a hobby and we are not commercial brewers - I'm sure there is room for more than one way for everyone to do things.  ;)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Swap-toberfest '15
« on: December 02, 2015, 08:02:14 PM »
Dang Jim, dang.  Drinking the Brett Saison now.

Presents with an amazing dusty pineapple aroma. (While that sounds weird, it's exactly what I want in a Brett Saison.) Honeycrisp apples, juicy blood orange, a touch of lemons, and bit of white pepper follows in the aroma. Myles nailed the descriptor that I couldn't: lavender. That's why it reminds me of Boulevard's Saison-Brett. Lavender. :)

Flavor follows the aroma, with a light honey flavor behind all of the things I described above. Med-low bitterness. Some sort of floral in the mid-palate. Finish is dry and lavender/honey/pineapple lingers into the aftertaste.

Light body, but medium mouthfeel. Perfect. Med-light carb. No warming or astringency.

Wow, what a beer. Myles says thank you (as do I). I only wish I had another. I know exactly who I would share it with. :)

Curious, can you tell me more about the Brett in here and the time frame? I just finished a beer nearly exactly like this, so I'm curious as to how our processes compare.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pics of recent brews?
« on: December 02, 2015, 07:20:20 PM »
Drinking the first beer out of the new Zymatic. :D

Brewed one of our tried and trues, the Dry Stout: "Midnight Echo". It's probably the best version of it so far. Finally nailed the body/mouthfeel on it. :)

What about your data and conclusions that you spoke about?

See previous post.

Are you Narziss, Kai, or Kunze? You had said "I have the better data, as I have already done this.", which would lead me to believe you were going to share your actual data and conclusions, not quote the great German brewing authors.

What about your data and conclusions that you spoke about?

All these flawed "science" experiments around here are getting a bit tiresome.

I have asked for your data and process in other threads and have gotten either no answer or a "it's complicated" or something else. So I'll ask again, please post your data and findings so that we all may learn.

I have the better data, as I have already done this.

You haven't shared it, but expect people to know the results. Great. I am sharing my curiosity and data and all you care to do is rip it up for some wording. I am not hiding anything here. People can decide for themselves if this will apply to them. You talk as if I am hiding the fact that these were performed the way they were.
How am I splitting hairs? Did you not say you were doing a test of a step mash vs a single infusion? How is splitting hairs when you stepped both of them and are looking for eye-opening results from pretty much the same beers?

Mash one in a cooler with a single infusion. Then mash one on your system with the ramps and the constant recirc. I can already tell you the winner.

You're nit-picking about my wording. That is splitting hairs. I haven't hidden any of the process. I also fully expect for these beers to be remarkably similar. How similar is the question for me.

You are telling me that keeping the dough in and mashout the same on each beer was an inexcusable fault, yet you want me to introduce another huge variable in completely switching equipment? How would that make this any better? All I want to know is if 145/158 is different than 150, everything else being absolutely equal.

You're splitting hairs.

If you want 'better' data, I would invite you to do it yourself.

Equipment and Software / Re: Reverse osmosis systems
« on: December 02, 2015, 07:09:10 AM »
Martin, which one are you talking about? The 'Aquatic Life' one or the RO in a briefcase one?

Welp, I took two hydrometer samples tonight. Both beers are currently at 1.021 and still chugging along. We are at 56F and steady for now.

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.

Not surprisingly, the lower your final saccharification temperature, the greater the effect of the mashout rest. So you should see more of an increase in the 150F wort than seen in the 158F wort.

That's what I would have thought, but the (limited) data doesn't support that. Both mashes 'maxed' at 1.047 before mash out and both mashes were at 1.051 after mash out.

The increase in extraction due to mashout is not a surprise.

I was surprised at the % increase. I believe I calc'd my efficiency jump with a mashout on my old system to be about 4-5%. Definitely wasn't ~17%, which is what I've measured on now 4 different brew days. Probably a function of the recirculating 'brew in a bin' system, if I had to speculate.


PS - I may try flipping the mash rests for my Dunkel (145F for 40'/158 for 20' compared with a 145F for 20'/158F for 40') and seeing how that goes. I gotta say, my main joy in the Z is that I can do these experiments with little consequence!  ;D

yeah I was planning 145 for 20, 158 for 40 as per my normal for a maltier type lager, but what are you hoping to get out of altering the times?

Per Kai's site here, near the bottom of the page:
Quote from: Kai
The first rest (maltose rest) should be held at or around 63C (145F) and it’s length is used to control the fermentability of the wort. A good starting point for its duration is 30 min. Longer for more fermentable wort and shorter for less fermentable wort. If even higher fermentability is desired an intermediate rest at 65C (150F) can be added.

So the question is: does it really control the fermentability at all?

any chance you can have this done before Saturday?  am brewing a marzen with a hochkurz mash profile starting at about 6am  :) 

Haha. Well, I'll be updating tonight with some readings and general tasting notes, but that's about all I'll have by then.  8)

PS - I may try flipping the mash rests for my Dunkel (145F for 40'/158 for 20' compared with a 145F for 20'/158F for 40') and seeing how that goes. I gotta say, my main joy in the Z is that I can do these experiments with little consequence!  ;D

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.)

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