« on: June 22, 2015, 08:30:39 PM »
Try growing up a small starter. If there's anything there it should grow. It will certainly help the health of any culture that's in there, anyways.
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Thanks for the replies. I'm going to brew the Blonde tomorrow and put the additions in the kettle and see what happens. The use of epsom salt was for the IPA to help add sulphates without adding more calcium. My Mg levels are already pretty low so I didn't think it would hurt?As long as your Mg doesn't get too high, then it's not a problem. Keep in mind that (at least for ales) you want to be in the 50ppm ballpark (minimum) for your calcium.
Thats one way to limit harsh astringency that can be added by the darker malts, but is not always necessary as you have seen in previous batches. If you are treating your water with water software, when you hit the correct mash pH, you will also avoid those harsh flavors. There will be a lot of responses here and most will tell you to experiment. I made great dark beers for a year before I started treating my water, and never separated the dark grains. Its really a combination of things that lead to the astringency, kind of a perfect storm of things going wrong. Separating the dark grains will eliminate one aspect of that perfect storm, making it less likely+1 - Personally, I include them in my mash from the start and target a mash pH of 5.5-5.6 for roasty beers, and 5.4 for brown ales. I have tried adding them at the end of the mash as well as cold-steeping them. In the end, I didn't see an advantage that warranted the extra step.
You want to add the salts to the mash and the sparge so that they are already in the kettle when you have collected all of your runnings. You can use lactic acid instead of acid malt for recipe simplification as well. Bru'n Water should tell you how much of everything to add to the mash and to the sparge depending on your mash/sparge volumes and concentrations.If your mash pH works out without using the salt additions, then you can just add them to the kettle. If you have included the salt additions in Brun'water, then you need to add them to the mash so the pH calculations work out. Salt additions do affect the pH of the mash, but they are important flavor components as well.
I am pretty new to water treatment myself and really don't understand the ins and outs other than what each component is supposed to add to the finished beer. Others here will be able to help you with more specific information.
I've been wanting to try sugar cubes as well. I am very happy with the Coopers carbonation drops for my purposes, but if sugar cubes work then I'll definitely keep some on hand for this.1 sugar cube per bottle
This remains on my list of things I need to try.
I've found the Brewer's Best conditioning tablets to be inconsistent. But, that may be attributable to how I store them and the fact that the break into pieces sometimes.
What acid are you using in the mash? Perhaps the effect is not from pH per se but rather from the use of lactic acid, which is not flavor neutral?That is certainly a possibility, especially if you're shooting for a low mash pH using primarily pale malt. I've heard that the amounts of lactic acid typically used for mash pH adjustments are below the flavor threshold, but there's definitely a range of sensitivity on that.
I'm curious about the comments regarding mash pH and crispness. What is it about the mash pH that you propose affects this? My general understanding is that mash pH is most important for enzymatic activity and tannin extraction (among many other relatively minor effects like break formation and maillard reactions).Outside of controlling tannin extraction you are right, we're talking about final pH rather than mash pH. But many of us at the homebrew level aren't adjusting finished pH. I know many of us (myself included) just use software like Brun'water or Brewer's Friend to determine our mash pH and then letting that drive the finished beer pH. I know that if I set my mash pH to the 5.3 range for lagers I get the result I'm looking for, just like I know if I mash at 5.5-5.6 I get the results I like on a porter.
Beyond that does a few points at mash pH really make such a significant difference as long as you are in the optimum range? Looking at some of the data in the Water book (e.g. Table 13, p. 121) it seems the yeast does a very good job of lowering pH to within a few tenths of pH despite widely disparate mash and kettle pH values. It seems there's an assumption that mash pH is determining final pH, but from what I see that's not true.
It's not mash pH that should be considered here, but rather final pH. It is not unusual for commercial brewers to adjust final pH for whatever reason.
I am by no means a sour beer expert, but afaik it is not recommended to make a starter from the dregs of a mixed culture (i.e. from a beer made with sacch, brett, pedio, lacto, etc.) because the different critters do all not grow at the same rate. So the ratios in the starter will be different from the ratios in the original beer.While the ratios may change, I don't think that makes a huge difference in the finished beer. If you don't make a starter there may not be too much simple sugar available to the lacto by the time it has grown to a healthy cell count. You certainly don't need to make a starter from dregs, but if you want to use them as your primary culture for a beer I think you're better off having them healthy.
+1 - I've gotten some of that "mint" character from certain hops, but it's not like spearmint or peppermint. It's more of an herbal thing - reminds me more of Ricola cough drops or horehound candy. And I get none of from the Anchor in my hand right now. The bittering has a nice bite to it, and there is some herbal hop character, but the flavor is primarily driven by pale malt and fermentation character.Im in the process of planning a steam beer and the hops should give a sorta of minty aroma off of it(this is what I've read.) I like the sound of a twist of mint, so i was wondering if putting a few mint leaves at the end of a boil will push a minty smell.
I'd advise you to find an anchor and try it first. You might be surprised at how there's really no mint flavor.
If you eisbock a 33 cl bottle of cyser the result will be maybe 10-15 cl of 20 ABV. So it's going to be more concentrated, but I don't see why it would be dangerous if you don't exaggerate with the amounts you drink.The concern is that things like fusels and methanol are also concentrated by freeze-distillation, unlike using a still where you can dispose of the heads and the tails. This can lead to roaring hangovers, sometimes referred to as "apple palsy".