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Messages - mabrungard

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: cleaning auto siphon
« on: February 26, 2017, 04:22:04 PM »
A long wallpaper tray is what I used when I was using an auto-siphon. They are cheap, but they don't have a lid. I suggest that you don't need to store in sanitizer. Just clean the siphon prior to storing and then use the tray for holding your sanitizing solution.

PS: Iodophor is more effective against a wider range of spoiling organisms than Starsan. But I still like to use Starsan on occasion.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Never a shortage
« on: February 26, 2017, 02:43:19 PM »
I hope his beer didn't get skunked, in the sunshine like that!   :D

What do you mean? He has his parasol.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Low Mash Ph
« on: February 24, 2017, 08:29:39 AM »
I remember seeing somewhere Martin mentions to add acid before heating as you can remove more alkalinity than intended. So I was curious if it was more so this or the boiling which can also lower alkalinity or bicarbonate (not sure exactly but with the same effect). I'll note I'm not worried about the actual mash ph as it wasn't too far out of the relm of acceptable and everything else went just fine but more so wanting to understand what lead to it. Maybe the combo and not so much one or the other alone?

The effect of boiling on alkalinity reduction depends on the amount of Temporary Hardness in the tap water. If its typical Indiana groundwater, it could have huge Temp Hardness and the boiling could have caused a substantial reduction in alkalinity. That would through off the amount of acid actually needed for that water. A lower than anticipated pH would be a result.

I wouldn't worry too much about it. It will still be beer.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: portable oxygen cylinder
« on: February 24, 2017, 08:19:57 AM »
I've used the little red tanks for years. I'm getting 20+ batches per tank. All it takes is a trickle for several minutes to supply enough O2 to the wort.

Ingredients / Re: German perle hops
« on: February 24, 2017, 08:17:21 AM »
Perle is a nice and clean bittering hop that was popular prior to the current strains of super alpha hops like Magnum. I use Perle as my main bittering hop in a number of brews. I've never heard of it being used as a finishing hop.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Adjust pH only with acid vs other methos
« on: February 23, 2017, 03:31:57 PM »
provided there is no phosphate Calcium precipitation of course.

Calcium phosphate precipitation is a Red Herring. If there is enough calcium in the water to be subject to this precipitation reaction, then there is already more than enough calcium in the water and the minor loss of calcium via this precipitation is inconsequential.

Malt provides ALL the calcium needed for the yeast to metabolize properly.

Ingredients / Re: Lemongrass
« on: February 22, 2017, 10:02:44 AM »
I found that better results with lemongrass and beer happen from stripping all the green leaves off the stalk to reveal only the white cane. Cut that cane into thin slices and add very late in the boil.

The green leaves will definitely leave some grassy polyphenols in the beer.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Spring Water Question/Help
« on: February 22, 2017, 09:59:18 AM »
Yes, that spring water quality says you are in an area with low mineralization. RO machines pop up only in places where the water is highly mineralized. If the bottled spring water is that good, it may be that your local tap water is well-suited too. Have you explored what's in it?  Tap water is far cheaper than any bottled water.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Adjust pH only with acid vs other methos
« on: February 22, 2017, 09:56:18 AM »
RA can be an appropriate measure for mashing water, but its not applicable for sparging water. I recommend focusing on either the alkalinity or bicarbonate content and not using the RA measure.

The OP's water is a fine starting point for some styles, but may not prove ideal for paler or more delicate styles. Most of the flavor ions are at workable levels.  Its mainly the calcium and bicarbonate that are excessive.  That water is well-suited for pre-boiling decarbonation, but that adds a few hours to the brewing process. Using lactic acid for that water may be on the edge of developing taste impacts. Using phosphoric may be better suited.

If it looks like brewing is a serious hobby for you, you might consider adding an RO machine to your Christmas list.

Equipment and Software / Re: Quick Disconnects
« on: February 22, 2017, 09:44:57 AM »
Yep, Camlocks. For all the reasons Phil cites. I use female camlocks on each end of hoses and male camlocks at each piece of equipment. I like that some suppliers provide silicone gaskets in the female camlocks. Those gaskets are well-sealing and durable, in my experience.

Equipment and Software / Re: pH probes
« on: February 20, 2017, 02:35:01 PM »
Brand?  I'm not sure that is truly the best metric. Construction may be a better objective. In the wastewater industry, double-junction probes are highly regarded to provide the best resistance to fouling and providing longer service. I suggest that gel electrolyte may provide better longevity for the hobbyist also. 

Equipment and Software / Re: Mashtun RIMS
« on: February 19, 2017, 10:11:44 AM »
There is no reason you can't use a rectangular cooler for a tun. The main thing is to try and create a intake screen that covers as much of the bottom of the tun, as possible. You can use just a single intake pipe running the length of the tun, but that will mean there are 'dead zones' in the tun. But most brewers just live with any inefficiency or other issues that might create. Adding more intake pipes to cover more of the bottom, does mean that the dead zones are smaller and efficiency might go up a little bit. I have a couple of intake pipes in my rectangular tun.

It's your choice.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Need some help with water
« on: February 19, 2017, 10:01:48 AM »
The manganese result is troubling. That upper EPA limit is an aesthetic standard in which the water tends to taste 'metallic' at levels above the limit. If you don't taste a metallic flavor in that water or beers, then you are OK to brew.

That water is likely to be acceptable for brewing due to its low Dissolved Solids content, but that water report does not provide enough info. You need to send it off for testing.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: English yeast for beginners
« on: February 19, 2017, 09:56:43 AM »
I've only used S-04 a couple of times and fermented at 68F. I can't say that I found the taste that that yeast imparts, desirable. The advice to ferment at a lower temp is interesting. I may have to try that on my next English style.

I've used the Windsor and London ESB yeasts and find them to be similar. They are serious under-attenuators, that are specifically stated by their manufacturers to be intended for brewing with worts created at low mashing temps or with significant simple sugar percentage in the wort. In any case, I find that the beers made with these yeasts are still quite tasty, even when under-attenuated. 

Equipment and Software / Re: ATC help with new meter
« on: February 19, 2017, 09:48:53 AM »
ATC is a nice feature, but it only improves your reading accuracy by a hundredth or two in typical usage. It cannot correct the large pH shift that wort undergoes as its temperature changes. ATC only corrects for the probe's change in its sensing function. It will ALWAYS be more accurate and better for your probe to measure pH in liquids somewhere around 25C +/- 5C.

Considering that we don't really care about wort pH down to the hundredth, being a couple of hundredths off, is no big deal. Just be consistent in measuring within the preferred temp range. This is the reason why I suggest that ATC has little value in the brewery. Always have a quick-reading thermometer with you to verify your wort temp is not too hot and then insert the pH probe after that is assured.

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