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Messages - mabrungard

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Racking techniques
« on: Today at 06:14:47 AM »
I used an auto-siphon for years, but I now know that any contact between air and beer will lead to the beer staling quicker. If you consume your beer in weeks and don't sent it to competitions, then there is no reason to use anything but the auto-siphon. For all others, employing CO2 to push beer from one vessel to another is always going to be better for reducing oxidation and staling.

A rubber cap or plug with 2 ports is needed. Gas goes in one port and a racking cane in the other. Don't use more than 1 or 2 psi CO2 pressure.

Beer Recipes / Re: Sierra Nevada Celebration
« on: Today at 06:05:43 AM »
I shoot for about half of the Bru'nWater "pale ale" profile.

You mean you were using water with less than 150 ppm sulfate to brew an IPA? I'm not surprised the beer was lacking.

I experimented with lower sulfate content in a pale ale a few years ago and used 100 ppm sulfate. The beer was fine, but it lingered too long on the palate and it certainly had muted hop character. From that experience, I can assure anyone that 150 ppm sulfate would be the lowest I'd ever consider in a pale ale or IPA. But for the best flavor and character (to me), I still use the full 300 ppm sulfate as noted in the Pale Ale profile in Bru'n Water.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water treatment
« on: November 16, 2017, 01:15:10 PM »
The question which bothers me is how I should calculate my salt additions. I know the method of calculating particular salt addition, but the question is should I divide it by proportion for mash water and sparge water?

It is a good question, since there isn't truly a right answer.

You could add all the salts for the batch in the mashing water, add them all to the kettle after mashing, or split them between the mashing and sparging water. But there are differing impacts in each case. The good thing is that most of the ionic content that you're targeting with your salt additions will make it into the beer. But there are definitely mashing impacts that need to be addressed and accommodated in any of the cases.

Add all to the mashing water: Most helpful when you are targeting a low ionic content in your wort, like a Pilsen water. Adding all the salts to the mashing water can help drive up the calcium content which reduces mashing pH and can increase the calcium content above 40 ppm which helps remove oxalate (beerstone potential) from the wort.

Add all to the kettle: Some think that this helps avoid ionic losses in the mash, but it doesn't. It just delays the precipitation reactions until the wort is in the kettle. Adding all salts to the kettle can help avoid an overly low mashing pH by keeping the calcium and magnesium out of the mashing water. But this trick doesn't help too much since the kettle wort pH will drop when those salts are added in the kettle. For most brewing, utilizing the beneficial pH lowering effect of including the calcium and magnesium in the mashing water, is preferrable and this is the reason I can't recommend this approach in typical brewing situations.

Add proportions of salts to mashing and sparging water: This works well when your targeted calcium content is already above 40 ppm and there is little worry that your wort won't precipitate its oxalate. This method provides some pH reduction in the mash from calcium and magnesium additions and that may reduce the amount of acid that would be needed in the mash.

Take your pick, but understand the consequences.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: bicarbonate calculation question
« on: November 15, 2017, 11:51:05 AM »
You did confuse them, but there is still uncertainty as to what your water's alkalinity actually is.

As I mention, Temporary Hardness is USUALLY equivalent to the alkalinity. But a water source could have high alkalinity and low hardness. Witness a case where you add sodium bicarbonate to distilled water. That water has zero hardness, but it certainly has alkalinity from the added bicarbonate. Some water sources could be similar to this. Thus, its not always true that Temporary Hardness is equivalent to Alkalinity.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: bicarbonate calculation question
« on: November 15, 2017, 08:19:12 AM »
No! Bicarbonate content is a factor in calculating Alkalinity. Alkalinity is almost always equivalent to Temporary Hardness. Therefore, the bicarbonate content should be calculated from the Temporary Hardness.

Equipment and Software / Re: Acid cleaning draft lines
« on: November 07, 2017, 07:53:46 AM »
I'm not precise with a lye concentration. As long as the solution feels slippery between my fingers when I touch it (that's a sign that the lye is dissolving your skin and creating soap from the oils in your this quickly and wash off immediately!!), that seems to be sufficient for line cleaning.

Of course, some water flushing is needed after the treatment. Looking through the line when it has water in it also helps you see if there are still films in the line.

Equipment and Software / Re: Acid cleaning draft lines
« on: November 07, 2017, 06:04:41 AM »
I've found that BLC can sometimes be insufficient for removing biologic growth in lines. That's when I pull out the warm lye solution and let that sit in the line for a few hours. It always removes biofilms.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Tree House Brewing Water Profile
« on: November 07, 2017, 05:59:08 AM »
ZnCl2 instead of table salt is a possibility.  Zn is one nutrient wort lacks.  Na at 75 from salt would taste waaay too salty.

Careful there! The taste threshold for zinc is very low. For that reason, zinc dosing is extremely small. If I recall correctly, zinc sulfate heptahydrate dosage is something like 1 gram in 10 to 20 barrels of wort. You can probably tell that it would be really hard to measure out a dose for a 5 to 10 gallon batch.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Secondary Fermentation
« on: November 06, 2017, 09:33:01 AM »
I don’t fully agree with Martin. While autolysis risk may be low, oxidation risk is higher with the excess head space. Bulk aging big beers in a properly purged and filled to capacity vessel is useful.

Agree. But that's what I believe a keg is for.

I still don't agree that transferring to an additional vessel is ideal. But I do like your recommendation for purging that vessel prior to use.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Tree House Brewing Water Profile
« on: November 06, 2017, 09:30:34 AM »
Malt provides a huge amount of Mg and K to wort. In addition, it varies per grain variety and terrior. Unfortunately, this analysis is unlikely to guide you with respect to what your water profile should be. It's best to standardize on quantifying what's in your water and the resulting effects on beer quality and perception, instead of trying to assess what's in your wort.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Secondary Fermentation
« on: November 06, 2017, 05:50:38 AM »
No reason to change vessels in almost any case. As long as the vessel is kept reasonably cool, autolysis potential is minor. 

As mentioned, most brewers use this as a clarification step and not really a second ferment. It ought to be known as primary clarification, not secondary fermentation.

Other Fermentables / Re: Club Cider Presing Today,
« on: October 28, 2017, 10:26:48 AM »
That is an interesting idea for clubs that live in areas with apple trees. I'm bringing this up to my club!

Maybe. Getting the process pH into the proper range does improve the conversion process. So its possible that it could improve the fermentability of the wort.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water adjustment question
« on: October 25, 2017, 05:17:11 AM »
If you're batch sparging, there's no need to acidify the sparge water. If fly sparging, I would acidify the sparge water per Brun Water. As for the salts, adding them to the boil is fine.

I agree...marginally. Batch sparging results in the final runnings keeping a higher gravity and I find that this factor is important for reducing tannin and silicate extraction. But as Denny mentions, if the tap water has high alkalinity, it could still be deleterious to your beer to NOT acidify your batch sparging water.

Acidification is such a simple step. Why not do it for your sparging water too? 

Equipment and Software / Re: New Equipment, New Issues
« on: October 23, 2017, 09:38:29 AM »
Have you checked the volume marks on all of your equipment? You need to find gallon jug and weigh out 3785 grams of water in the jug and mark exactly where the fill point is for that mass of water is in the jug. Then you can quickly fill up jug after jug to sequentially see how volume marks on equipment line up with your reality.

Be sure to check the HLT, tun, and fermenter. Maybe one or more of them is off.

PS: if the volume mark is on one side of a piece of equipment, then the equipment needs to be on a level floor. One way to check for levelness is to rotate the equipment 180 degrees and see if the liquid level varied with respect to your volume marks.

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