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Messages - mabrungard

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Martin's boil tips?
« on: October 08, 2018, 06:51:36 PM »
1.) Don’t boil longer than 60 minutes;
2.) All you need is a simmer;
3.) It’s okay to partially cover the boil.

We’ve been beating that drum for years now!

Nah. There is a lot more than that and some of what Derek points out is incorrect.

1. For most brewers in the country, they are at a low enough elevation that it is unnecessary to perform any more than a total of 60 minutes of 'boil'. Brewers working at higher elevations (say 2000 ft plus), might need to extend their 'boil' time when working with high Pils content wort (Pils malt is any malt with color less than 2.2L).

2. I placed 'boil' in quotes since the intensity of the boil can and should be varied to address the chemical and physical processes needed at various times in the wort boiling process. When your beer has high Pils content wort (it has DMS-precursor (SMM) in it), then a low intensity, covered simmer is perfectly capable of performing the conversion of SMM into DMS. Once an acceptable percentage of SMM has been converted, then a more intense, open boil is necessary to volatilize that DMS from the wort into the atmosphere. For most brewers below 2000 feet, about a half hour of covered simmer and about a half hour of open boil are sufficient to bring DMS to acceptable or imperceptible levels in a high Pils content wort. For high elevation brewers, its the simmer stage that needs to be extended since SMM conversion to DMS is directly related to your wort temp. Remember that wort boils at lower temp at high elevation.

If your wort has low or no Pils content, then its possible to further shorten the boil time since there is no need to convert SMM to DMS. Pale malts (color is greater than 2.5L) generally have little or no SMM, but they can have DMS. Therefore, it is still necessary to conduct about a half hour open boil to volatilize DMS out of the wort. This open boil period of about a half hour is sufficient to rid any wort of high DMS long as your wort has very good contact with the atmosphere. To have good contact, your wort either needs to be fan sprayed across the kettle or have a good rolling action. Offsetting your kettle a few inches to the side of the center of your burner can encourage a good rolling of the wort within the kettle. For those of you with valves and other heat-sensitive accessories on your kettle, this offset could help keep them out of the heat.

While you might get by with a short boil when you're not dealing with Pils malt, it may not be as cost effective since boil time also helps determine your hop bittering utilitization. If you're OK with adding more hops, then a shorter boil could be OK for some beers. By the way, you get exactly the same bittering utilization when your wort is simmering at 212F under cover or boiling volcanically, uncovered at 212F.

One thing that I'm not saying, is that its still OK to boil beers longer when they depend on long boils for their character. Barleywines and Old Ales can (should??) still be boiled for longer periods, if that's what the brewer is after. Just be aware that long boils degrade Coagulable Nitrogen too much and that kills head retention.

3. While its OK to cover your kettle at times, it is still important that your wort has good exchange with the atmosphere for at least a half hour in order to expel DMS. You don't need a volcanic boil, but your wort does have to circulate well so that every molecule of wort has its chance at the wort surface in order to get rid of DMS.

There is still a bunch more to this topic, but this was a Reader's Digest version.


Ingredients / Re: Water Profile for Brown Ale
« on: October 07, 2018, 08:58:22 PM »
I'm going to assume that you're using the free version of Bru'n Water. It only reports what the mashing water quality will be. That mashing water calcium and sodium content should be significantly reduced when the low alkalinity sparging water is added.

Don't be afraid of sodium in brewing water. Below 50 ppm is fine for pale beers and below 100 can be OK in dark styles. 

Ingredients / Re: Water Profile for Brown Ale
« on: October 07, 2018, 08:22:00 PM »
No, bicarbonate is HCO3-. Bru'n Water uses bicarbonate as its placeholder for acid neutralization. It knows that the OH-2 ions from pickling lime are actually equivalent to two HCO3- ions.

That recipe has a large amount of crystal and roast and I guess I'm not really surprised that the prediction is low. However, I'm surprised that the amount of bicarbonate that you say will be in that mashing water is not enough to neutralize the acidity from the crystal and roast.

PS: brown malt is not a crystal malt.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Oxidization
« on: October 07, 2018, 01:15:36 PM »
It’s actually extremely easy to exclude oxygen throughout the process but the discussion of how and why is outside the bounds of this thread.

I think everyone can agree, as always, on the importance of cold side oxygen exclusion.

I've incorporated many refinements to my methods and equipment to reduce oxygen uptake on both the hot and cold sides. For some styles (light malty), I find that it definitely makes a difference. But not so much for others.

The ease with which I incorporated those measures was probably increased since I already ran a RIMS. For brewers employing more mash mixing, it may not be nearly as easy and they are less likely to note a difference even in those beer styles that benefit.

At a minimum, I strongly encourage brewers to focus on eliminating post-fermentation oxygen contact during transfer and packaging. That definitely improves the longevity of your beers.

Interesting. I thought that by concentrating the flame in the center of the pot it was heating more efficiently. I always tried not to let it get out over the side.

I agree that centering the external heat source on the kettle bottom makes the most sense. However, its not really the efficiency that you need to worry about.

It turns out that pro brewers and manufacturers learned many decades ago that its the wort circulation in the kettle that makes the most difference in avoiding DMS and reducing heat stress on the wort. By moving the heat source to one side of the kettle, that heats wort more strongly in that area and that uneven heating can help promote a stronger rolling action in the kettle. Its the rolling circulation that brings each drop of wort to that surface interface with the atmosphere that is important. That's when DMS can actually volatilize from the wort into the atmosphere.

Sure there is going to be more heat leaking around the short side of your kettle, but you can live with that. And the thing is that you only need to move the kettle a few inches off center to get that improved rolling action. Try it out. It works.   

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Not to Style
« on: October 03, 2018, 05:38:22 PM »
Good for you! There is no need to brew to style. Style only serves as a language by which we communicate beer perception.

I used the Pub Ale yeast from Imperial and fermented a Best Bitter at 67 to 68 F and it was initially lightly fruity, but became more apricoty with age in the keg. I loved the apricot notes, but they might have been a bit much for that beer style. The hops used for the beer were all Brewers Gold.

Equipment and Software / Re: Mash tun
« on: October 02, 2018, 04:14:16 PM »
I used the braid from a 1/4" ice maker supply line. I think its about 5 or 6 feet long and I have it coiled up and wired together to generally cover most of the bottom of my tun. 

Equipment and Software / Re: Mash tun
« on: October 02, 2018, 12:02:52 PM »
Well, the heat does further reduce the strength of plastic. But the bottom line is that plastic isn't strong enough in the first place.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Been busy.
« on: October 02, 2018, 12:00:14 PM »
Get back at it.

Your point about the hop oil addition and the loss of dryness strikes home with me. I have some friends that are trying to perfect a Euro IPA and they used a bunch of Mandarina dry hops and found that the beer actually seemed 'sweet', even though they had socked 80+ IBU into those beers. Some hops do impart sweetness and I expect that some hop oils could too.

Equipment and Software / Re: Mash tun
« on: October 01, 2018, 12:45:11 PM »
It has no strength. You'll need to obtain real stainless steel hose braid if that's the approach you intend to use.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Oxidization
« on: September 30, 2018, 06:52:59 PM »
It is very rare today to find a malt that contains the precursor, although it was common in the palest Pilsner malts decades ago, whence the old advice. 

Rob, I haven't found any evidence that pils malts don't have SMM in them. Maltsters have tried to find a way to malt their barley and kiln them to a low color without still having SMM. All kinds of drying and heating schemes have been tried, but the malt with successful SMM reduction had darker color.

I'm unaware that maltsters have succeeded in that quest. SMM and DMS are still a potential problem, but I do agree that the old ways of doing things weren't necessarily the best.

Beer Recipes / Re: Where are the GUs?
« on: September 28, 2018, 07:53:14 PM »
While lactose is not fermentable by typical yeast, that addition does increase the original gravity. I believe that you should include that addition in the gravity calculation.

All Grain Brewing / Re: exhaust system
« on: September 25, 2018, 03:44:01 PM »
If you're working with electric heating, you don't need to rely on only metal for the hood. I built a frame from wood and plexiglass that is over my kettle and HLT. Since I didn't want to bump my head, the hood is just above my head level. To help capture vapor fumes, I added a skirt of visqueen plastic below the hood. I also use the 6" axial fan that bama used. 

By the way, I used plexiglass on my hood so that the overhead light wouldn't be blocked by the hood. It works very well.

I do have a manometer plumbed into my tun and it helps me to know how much to throttle my flow. Placing your temp sensor immediately downstream of your heat source is the best way to avoid overheating your wort.

Equipment and Software / Re: Brunwater post boil volume question
« on: September 23, 2018, 12:57:18 AM »
Pre or post chilling volumes are only about 4% different. That’s not really worth concern. But more importantly, that volume is only used for color prediction.

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