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Messages - mabrungard

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1
I got isovaleric in a recent batch.  I've decided I should replace my transfer hoses and racking cane.  It's been a few years, so a contaminant from rubber & plastic components might possibly be the culprit.  Otherwise I have a really hard time figuring out how else it might have happened.

Dave, do you use iodophor or bleach occassionally for sanitizing? After Mark's illustration that Starsan doesn't work on all spoilers, I've been more open to iodophor use. I'm still leary of using bleach on my plastics and hoses, but it sure is an effective sanitizer. Occassional Hose replacement is probably still a good policy.

2
Equipment and Software / Re: pH meter ?
« on: July 25, 2016, 06:34:31 PM »
I notice that the TDS from my RO unit can vary from about 20 to 50 ppm on a week by week basis. I have no idea if its an actual variation or a variation in the meter's reading. But when I think about the big picture, my 600+ ppm TDS is knocked down appreciably in any case. Life is good.

While I have confidence in the model used in Bru'n Water, I do understand that it is just a model and it is directly dependent upon the information input. I definitely still measure and monitor every mash's pH to find deviations.

3
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Campden tablet in boil
« on: July 21, 2016, 05:38:58 AM »
What was the Campden for?  If it was for chlorine compound removal, adding it in the boil was a waste of time. Those compounds have to be removed from water before the malt is added.

4
All Grain Brewing / Re: mashing at 148F
« on: July 20, 2016, 06:40:11 PM »
Martin - any plans to add that functionality to the supporters version of your spreadsheet?

Which functionality? An estimate of the additional acid needed to drop the wort pH that extra step?

5
All Grain Brewing / Re: mashing at 148F
« on: July 19, 2016, 02:40:53 PM »
There are plenty of sources that report that a mash can show no starch via an iodine test after about 15 min of mashing. While the starch may be converted, the sugars will likely be too complex for good fermentability. Extending the mashing duration AND performing the mash at proper temperatures are needed to produce appropriate fermentability.

While a reduced mashing pH does enhance fermentability, I caution against using that option in obtaining your wort fermentability. It seems to make the beer a little weird for my taste. Mashing at a more normal pH around 5.4 and then lowering pH in the kettle seems more succesful to me.

6
Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Off Flavors from Water Additions
« on: July 15, 2016, 02:57:10 PM »
You shouldn't have significant flavor issues with Briess extracts if you limit the gravity you get out of the extract to about 50 points. That keeps the sodium at reasonable level...assuming that your brewing water has low sodium.

1 ml per gal of 88% lactic is getting up there, but 'most' tasters wouldn't find that objectionable. However, I know that Supertasters might be able to detect it and possibly object to it. I'm a fan of Berliner Weisse, so I'm not one who would object to minor lactic levels. Others might not be as tolerant.

7
Ingredients / Re: Brewtan B
« on: July 15, 2016, 02:56:07 PM »
Having used Brewtan B on 2 beers now, I don't find that it produces much difference in the young beer. It is reputed to help remove components that may promote oxidation, so I expect that the real difference will be in the longer term aging of beers.

I rarely brew big beers that I age for long duration, but I wonder how Brewtan would do in improving their aging?

8
Beer Recipes / Re: Jever Clone
« on: July 14, 2016, 06:05:10 AM »
Sulfites are specifically the additives I do not want to add to my beer. A glass or two of a cheap sweet wine will give me a migraine the following day. Sulfites seem to be the likely cause, so I avoid them. That being said, I've stopped using whirfloc, I often forget to add it and I just don't see it making a difference in the final beers. But that's just me, folks are more than free to do what they want.

Sulfites added to water and wort at a pre-boil stage will be converted to harmless sulfate during the boil. Don't worry about them in brewing. Remember, wine is not boiled and the sulfites remain intact into the bottle.

9
Other Fermentables / Re: Mead finished below 1.000, tastes sweet.
« on: July 13, 2016, 09:40:25 AM »
Alcohol at modest concentration can be perceived as "sweet". High alcohol beers, ciders, and meads are at modest concentration with respect to distilled spirits.

10
I always boil new plastic lines.

11
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Corney Keg Bottom
« on: July 12, 2016, 12:07:39 PM »
Goop worked for me.

12
Sour mashing is a fool's errand. I would never do it that way. If you have a keg, you are far better off by running off your hot wort from the tun into the keg. When its down to the proper temperature, pitch your lacto. I've found that wrapping my heating pad around the keg does keep the temp in the preferred 100F range. You don't have to worry about CO2 production since lacto generally doesn't make much, so you can put the keg lid on and close it. Burp the blow-off valve every day, if you are worried.

Remember, lacto is easy to kill with typical sanitizers, so when you pour out the soured wort, you can easily knock out any infection risk.

13
Equipment and Software / Re: Brewing with a pump
« on: July 10, 2016, 05:10:26 PM »
There certainly are a number of concerns with pumps and hoses. However, once you have grasped all the new tasks and responsibilities that you need to attend to, you shouldn't be that disappointed. I couldn't brew without a pump now. I depend on it for RIMS, transferring to the kettle, transferring from the kettle, and chilling and transfer to the fermenter.

14
Ingredients / Re: Citric Acid
« on: July 04, 2016, 09:20:57 AM »
Bru'n Water includes calculations for Citric acid. The supporter's version includes output on the resulting concentration of citrate in the beer from citric acid additions and its comparison with typical taste thresholds.

I've long advocated that including appropriate levels of flavorful acids in beer could provide a positive improvement to beer. Acids like acetic, citric, malic, and tartaric could be applied to beer to create a variety of flavor effects. The trick is to use them at levels around their taste thresholds. The supporter's version of Bru'n Water enables a brewer to use up to 4 different acids in their brew.

15
Ingredients / Re: Bru'n water versus a brewing book recipe
« on: July 03, 2016, 12:12:02 PM »
A 1/4 tsp of 10% phosphoric could easily bring RO water pH down to 5.5 since RO water has little alkalinity. However, that acid dose is not nearly sufficient to bring a mash pH into a desirable range when mostly pale malt is the grist. My impression is that Gordon just ball parks all of his water to a single specification and brews. Given the low mineralization that his recommendations produce, there is no way that this water treatment will produce a 'minerally' taste in the beer. And I have no justification for the chalk in the boil since that just helps push the already slightly too high wort pH a bit higher and that creates a rougher hop perception and finish. Not having had TT Landlord before, I can't comment on what the finished beer should taste like. But I would be surprised that these mineral additions would make the beer better.

Recognize that Gordon has an outstanding palate and he often tailors his medal-winning beers through post-fermentation blending to produce what he wants the final beer to taste like. On top of that, recognize that Gordon's Ninkasi medals were also a result of his mead results. He is still a very good brewer, but unless you are going to alter your post-fermented beers with blending, you may not be happy with those methods.

Based on what I see those recommendations producing in the finished beers, I wouldn't use Gordon's recommendations. They don't add up to a good result.

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