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Messages - AmandaK

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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.)

Equipment and Software / Re: Blichmann Breweasy reviews
« on: December 01, 2015, 05:24:55 PM »
Thanks Amanda. That's very helpful. I had also heard there were limits on the upper gravity but did not hear what that was.

All of the information is on Blichmann's website. If you dig around long enough, you'll find the process flow diagram for it which is what I used to design/price it on my own, but it's just a K-RIMS. All of them have the same limits/advantages, really.

Equipment and Software / Re: Blichmann Breweasy reviews
« on: December 01, 2015, 01:08:54 PM »
A friend of mine has one, the 10g 240V version. Very shiny, as expected. Stupid easy brew day. Eerily quiet. Clean up looks easy enough. Not many downsides (outside of the price) that I can see. I priced out building one with non-Blichmann parts and came to around $1400 with SS Tech kettles & 240V, but decided against building it.

There are some limitations on gravity/volume due to the nature of K-RIMS. For instance, we were brewing a Grazter (OG 1.032) and had to brew 15 gallons of it because of the mixture of grain bed depth and amount of water needed in the system. There are limits on the upper end of the gravity spectrum as well, but I'm not sure what they are. They can all be worked around, it's just something to know before you buy.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Upcoming Rube Goldberg Brewday
« on: December 01, 2015, 12:50:24 PM »
Do the volunteers have to be close?  ;)

I'm with Dave.  Keep it simple.  You won't add anything with that mash schedule except hours to your brewday.
145 is beta favoring but really really slow.  159 is alpha favoring but denatures everything rather quickly.
You will still get favorable beta and alpha amylase activity at 150-ish without the extra time and hassle spent on the 2 rests.


Can confirm on the 145 slowness and the 159 (okay, 158) quickness. I am still surprised how quickly a mash can convert at 150F compared to the same mash at 145F. Will be posting my data when I get some time.

Extra anecdotal data point: I tried doing the cap the mash thing for a few brews. I never did get the deep color I wanted, so I switched back to the all in approach. Don't think I remember a difference in flavor, but the appearance was all off.

PS: I'll look for TF as well. I'm sure I can get my lhbs to order it if all else fails.

It's interesting that the difference in the mash for 1lb of roasted barley was that big.  Brun Water and Kai's water calculator both predict only a 0.1 drop from roasted barley with this recipe, as Kai's original findings shows that roasted actually contributes less acidity that crystal, per each *L of SRM.  Perhaps it varies by brand and type of roasted malt.

Might have something to do with it being Simpsons which I use.  Simpson's RB is ~650L, whereas Briess for example, is only 300.  Simpson's actually smells like espresso when you stick your nose into the bag, whereas most other brands I've tried are much more subtle.

Oooohhh... that sounds nice. Perhaps for the next dry stout (we brew it all the time - pretty sure it's the only thing we have a nitro tap for!) I'll search out Simpsons and see what's different.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Carbon Credits
« on: November 27, 2015, 09:05:38 PM »
If chemistry books were written like this, I probably could have understood chemistry in college.

Thank you, Mark.

Equipment and Software / Re: Ph Meter Thoughts
« on: November 27, 2015, 03:05:17 PM »
Look at the Thermowerks pH pen style meter. I have it and love it so much more than my Hanna. 3 point calibration, tight fit on the storage cap, and holds it's calibration for weeks (even then it only drifts about 0.05). I believe it was $69-79. Replacement probes are also cheap at $29.

The Pub / Happy Thanksgiving!
« on: November 27, 2015, 02:34:53 AM »
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!


Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale
« on: November 26, 2015, 06:47:18 PM »
Too bad Pretty Things is closing down. :(

I like a sliding price for this service. You owe me $45, minus whatever I score your beer. So for 50 pt beers I'm giving you $5.  Seems fair.  8)

So are we going to start the Michael/Antoch/Burkemper review service or what? I'll gladly pay people to give me 50 point beer! :P Hahaha

What constitutes a "professional beer judge"?

Edit: nevermind. Found it near the bottom.
Double edit: $40?? Our homebrew club membership is a steal at this rate!
Get those service points Amanda, then you can be a professional beer judge!

You might want to keep your day job, I think.

Only 61 more exams to (lead) grade, 2 exams admin'd, and 2 exams proctored left to go to get there! Ha. Should be about 2 more years at that rate if my post it note estimates are right, especially considering I'm taking the PE in April '16 which will have me slowing down on BJCP stuff for a bit.

The BJCP Bylaws do not allow one to charge for judging services. The bylaws do allow reimbursements.

Mike, what's the difference here? Reimbursements would be things the judges paid for, and then are given money for exactly that. They aren't paying for shipping. I'm just confused? Too early on the day before Thanksgiving. My brain refuses to work.

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