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Messages - mabrungard

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While a mash pH of 5.2 does make many styles crisp, I haven't found that a pH that low is ideal for pale ales and IPA with their hoppiness and bittering. I find that bumping the pH up to around 5.4 works better for me in those styles.

All Grain Brewing / Re: When and how to adjust mash pH
« on: Today at 11:59:42 AM »
Update, brewed my first batch using Bru'n Water. 10 min into mash, pH was 5.6 so I decided not to screw around with it. Measured pH 20 min later, 5.3
Looks like Bru'n Water did a very good job for me

I don't know why this tendency occurs, but my observations show that mash pH tends to drift toward a pH of about 5.4 over time. If it starts high and you've implemented water adjustments that should have produced a lower pH, the pH does tend to move in that direction with additional time. A similar thing seems to occur when the initial pH is low and you've implemented water adjustments that should have produced a higher pH, it rises over time. I assuming there is some sort of delayed chemical reaction occurring.

The bottom line is that if you have implemented proper pH adjustments based on accurate water information, the predicted pH is fairly likely. If a measurement is off, wait another 10 or 20 minutes and recheck.

I do have one caution, if your water mineral and acid additions aren't uniformly mixed into the WATER before adding the grain, you can easily have variation in pH across your mash bed. Add everything to the water first and mix it well before adding the grain. That is one less thing to worry about.

Your request is very timely. The AHA Big Brew day is May 6th and there are local sites all over the world that will be demonstrating brewing. Visit the AHA site and click on the Events tab and go to Big Brew Day. I believe they list sites there.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Closed vs under pressure transfer
« on: April 20, 2017, 05:23:35 PM »
Since Paul wants to see a pic of what I was talking about, I've attached a view.

The clear tube is a protective cover for a fluorescent bulb with a 1.5" (I think) PVC cap that is Gooped onto the tube. The blow off tube is regular vinyl tubing and it is plumbed into the rubber stopper with a 90 degree 1/2" PEX fitting.  I've used velcro straps to fasten the tube to the leg of the conical.

It works well enough and was cheap.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Closed vs under pressure transfer
« on: April 20, 2017, 01:31:51 PM »
I recently modified my Blichmann conical to include a bulkhead-mounted, Corny gas-in post so that I can add CO2 to the fermenter during the closed transfer to keg. Using my 5 lb CO2 cylinder, its a piece of cake to dial up a trickle of CO2 to keep the blow off from sucking air into the fermenter.

Several years ago, I changed the air-lock on this fermenter to a blow-off tube inserted into a clear tube. So I can anywhere from a fraction of an inch to over a foot of water column pressure inside my fermenter. The side benefit of that change is that it takes a much larger volume change inside my fermenter to cause air to be sucked into the fermenter. As you know, it only takes a teeny volume change for the typical air-lock to suck air. So if you haven't done this, converting to a blow-off tube is a really good thing to do for preventing air ingress to your fermenter headspace.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: first closed transfer
« on: April 20, 2017, 05:42:43 AM »
I perform closed transfers from my conical to keg through the liquid out post and it does take quite a while. The headloss and flow restriction at the poppet are almost certainly the cause.  Long-lasting and fresh beer is still worth it.

Equipment and Software / Re: pH Meter
« on: April 19, 2017, 09:55:43 AM »
I suggest that you review the comments on desirable pH meter features on the Bru'n Water Facebook site. You'll have to scroll through a bunch of useful info to find it, but it should be helpful.

Your experience with acid malt is not surprising. Acid malt is a highly variable ingredient and that variability necessitates the need for accurate pH monitoring. In my opinion, using lactic acid is a better option for reducing mash pH since its strength is defined and consistent. I consider the reports of acid malt producing better flavor in beer compared to lactic acid, to be questionable.

If you don't have a meter, be sure to use lactic acid.

Ingredients / Re: Cascade and Chinook Terroir
« on: April 19, 2017, 08:11:02 AM »
Hop growers say Centennial is one of the most difficult breeds they grow and if they could get rid of it they would. 

Interesting. My Centennial bines seem as prolific as my Cascade bines. Both are vigorous for me. I had not heard of problems with Centennial before.

Ingredients / Re: Post your water report
« on: April 19, 2017, 07:35:53 AM »
If using BIAB methods with no sparging, then acid malt use is fine. If sparging will be conducted, then you will need to use an acid to reduce the alkalinity of sparging water.

Boosting the Ca or Mg to get pH down might create excessive concentrations of those ions. That may not be ideal for many beer styles. Acidification is always preferred over mineralization.

All Grain Brewing / Re: When and how to adjust mash pH
« on: April 18, 2017, 02:49:40 PM »
Don't chase pH. Find out your water profile and use it to estimate your water adjustments prior to brewing and then live with the result. If you have a good pH meter, check the measurement at several points during the mash duration and see how the prediction and measurement compare. If there is variation, bias your future batch pH adjustments as guided by those observations. Don't worry if the pH was off by a tenth or two.

Dave, don't kid yourself that any of your measurements are worth spit. Hopefully your meter is calibrated, but abusing it with hot wort is a recipe for short life and inaccurate measurement. The application of a 0.2 correction is probably not correct. There is a lot more going on. It is still best to cool the sample and measure at room temp....more accurate and repeatable too.

Ingredients / Re: Post your water report
« on: April 18, 2017, 02:25:47 PM »
pH                   7.5
Calcium          75.1
Magnesium     20.8
Sodium          15.3
Sulfate           27.7
Chloride         34.1
Alkalinity, Total (CaCO3)   233.6

It's not great, but it can be worked with. Pre-boiling that water will knock a bunch of calcium and alkalinity out. Read the Decarbonation by Boiling thread on this forum.

Otherwise, learning to use acid effectively will be a skill you develop. Acidification can take care of excessive alkalinity, but beware of overly 'flavorful' acids with this level of alkalinity. Phosphoric acid may be a good choice in this case.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: How often do you clean your beer lines?
« on: April 16, 2017, 08:08:33 AM »
I flush with water after each keg and sanitize with StarSan or Iodophor. Since I use clear lines, I inspect the line for any evidence of buildup in the line. I use Beer Line Cleaner on those lines but find that sometimes a buildup is significant enough to warrant filling the line with hot sodium hydroxide (lye) solution and letting the line sit filled with that solution for a day or so. The lye solution has proven to always work, but its very dangerous to work with.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: How much to under pitch?
« on: April 14, 2017, 06:05:25 AM »
I like the taste of yeast poop.

Isn't it yeast pee?

Beer Recipes / Re: Brun water question for black saison
« on: April 10, 2017, 07:52:39 AM »
I'm pretty sure that the amount of black malt will be low, but it will add to the drying of the beer finish. A typical Saison should include some sulfate in the water to help with drying its finish, but I don't think you would want as much in the water due to the roast. Less than 30 ppm Cl and maybe 40 to 50 ppm SO4.  One of the Balanced profiles might do. The color of the selected profile shouldn't matter too much since you'll still want to be sure to target a desirable pH. I don't believe that a high pH that is appropriate for a porter or stout should be used with the likely low roast content in this beer. 5.4 or less is likely suitable.

The gravity difference between the trials is remarkable. I'm trying to understand how the process or SMB could affect that to that degree. There is no doubt that the gravity difference would markedly alter the beer flavor and perception.

I appreciate the author mentioning the honey notes in the regular beer version. Unfortunately that note is a sign of oxidation. I'm curious if the beers can be retasted in a few months to assess if the longevity of the beers is affected.

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