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Messages - mabrungard

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Equipment and Software / Re: Brewers Edge Mash and Boil
« on: Today at 05:45:32 PM »
I'm never going back to gas. The only thing to be sure that you do with electric systems is to make sure the element(s) is clean after each use. Organic deposits do collect on the element and will burn in the course of many batches. I find that those deposits come right off with a scrubby pad if you attend to them after each batch.

Sadly the article cited above, set the state of brewing water chemistry back a step. While there are plenty of pH optima that we are forced to compromise on while brewing, the fact of the matter is that tens of thousands of brewers have found that targeting the 5.2 to 5.6 range (room-temperature measurement), produces a better tasting beer than if assuming that range is at mashing temp. There is a spirited discussion of that article and this issue on Bru'n Water's Facebook page.

Do yourself a favor and forget about measuring pH at mashing temperature. It's damaging to your pH probe and it doesn't lead to a better beer. While there are pH probes that are fabricated for high-temperature use, they generally stay at that high temperature throughout their life as part of a process measurement. That's not what happens in brewing where you're taking a room temp probe and plunging it briefly into high temp wort and then back to room temp. That thermal stress does hasten the breakdown of that probe's thin glass membrane.   

All Grain Brewing / Re: Switching to all grain: krausen and head issues
« on: February 15, 2018, 08:38:50 PM »
Miami water isn't too bad. Although its reputed to be from the Biscayne Aquifer, but that aquifer is so permeable that its pretty much water directly out of the SFWMD drainage canals. It's lime softened in most cases. But it would require a bit of acid when brewing paler beers. Of course, you also need to neutralize the chlorine in the tap water. But there should be no need to use 'spring water' since that is what your tap water is.

How long are you boiling and how hard? Boiling too long and hard does damage wort and one of the things that gets damaged is heading ability. A gentle boil with just enough vigor to cause the wort to circulate is good enough for the first 30 minutes. Keep the wort fully covered during that initial period. For the final 30 minutes, remove the lid and make the boil slightly more active. That will remove all the DMS, if you used Pils malt in your grist.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dry yeast cell count..
« on: February 15, 2018, 01:23:54 PM »
I don't concentrate on the cell count, but I do know that the practical limit for ales is roughly 1 packet per 20L for 1.065 wort. You can use that for lager too, but then you run the risk of developing more fermentation by-products. Most pitch roughly 1.5 to 2 times that amount for lagers.

I'm sure that someone else will evaluate your math.

All Grain Brewing / Re: How is Munich malt made?
« on: February 15, 2018, 01:18:54 PM »
Using RO for Dunkel and Dry Stout is OK. In the case of Dunkel, the roast addition is so small that it doesn't drive pH down excessively. In the case of Dry Stout, the pH depression is desirable, but you don't want the mashing pH to be low for most of the mashing duration. That will cause excessive proteolysis and that can destroy head and body. Adding the roast at the end of the mash is a good technique for keeping the mash pH at normal level for most of the duration and then crashing it at the end.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Closed transfer
« on: February 15, 2018, 01:11:07 PM »
Iodophor: Embrace the stain

You had stated previously that you thought the open fermentation was a contributor (i.e. shallow geometry, exposure to oxygen, etc.). Most of the scientific literature states otherwise, i.e. increase in oxygen leads to ester reduction.


I'm sure you've seen photos of the open fermenters in some German Hefe breweries. I've got to believe that the weizen yeast has some sort of affinity to some slight oxygenation. Even under a big krausen, I've got to assume that some oxygen gets into the wort. While I'm not sure how effective the loose foil cover is for Rob, with respect to enabling oxygen ingress to the fermenter, I suppose there is some.

Isn't it possible that those scientific literature are presenting results that are non-weizen related and there could be some truth in the benefit of micro-oxygenation in this case?

The Pub / Re: It's almost spring!
« on: February 14, 2018, 02:48:36 PM »
I don't get an east coast team training in AZ. It was much better when CLE was in Winter Haven.

Rebrew: absolutely. I doubt you (anyone not you personally) can medal with a hefe from the first round. For a hefe I usually brew it 2 weeks before the last day of drop off. That usually puts the beer on the judges table in pretty good condition. I rebrewed all 4 that advanced last year.

Agreed! I found that out the hard way over a decade ago, but it bears repeating to all competitive brewers and beer afficionados. Unless your entering a style that requires significant lagering or maturation time, a fresh beer is more likely to do better in the drinker's glass.

The Pub / Re: Margaritas and Whiskey Old Fashioneds...
« on: February 14, 2018, 01:42:07 PM »
Rye is a valuable enhancement for a Manhattan. This is a recipe that my wife pulled off the web, excepting that I used Towne Branch Rye instead of bourbon.

1 cup bourbon
2/3 cup sweet vermouth
4 dashes Angostura (I found that it needs an extra dash or two)
4 Orange peel twists
4 Candied cherries

Obviously, this is not for one person!

Rob, that's a typical recipe, but I see that you do interesting enhancements in brewing. Reviewing Zymurgy, I see that your recollection was good. Only the acid malt addition was omitted. That provides a dose of lactate that I feel is an enhancement in that style. Lactate is metabolized by yeast and I'm guessing that it has a hand in the overall gold-medal effects.

One question: Did you rebrew for the second round? I didn't and my beer was nothing like it was in the first round. Freshness seems to be a needed hallmark of this style.

Isn't the term 'steeping' implying that those grains are either crystal or roast? If that is the case and we're not doing a 'mini-mash' in the steeping bag, then wouldn't the upper limit for crystal be in the 10 to 20 percent of fermentables range? For the roast, I'm guessing its the amount of grain that isn't causing the beer to be ashy and overly drying.

Under those assumptions, wouldn't the max amount of steeping grains be somewhat small? Maybe in that 2 lb range that was mentioned.

But I see that the OP is actually including some grain that should be mashed in that second listing. Then some diastatic power is needed, as mentioned above.

It's a natural progression! Keep up the good work and experimentation.

Equipment and Software / Re: SS brew bucket pressure transfer parts
« on: February 12, 2018, 03:58:21 PM »
I bought a $13 gas-in fitting for a bulkhead application and fitted it to my lid. Plugging a gas line into the bung would be just about as good.

Pimp My System / Re: New to the club...
« on: February 11, 2018, 10:14:22 PM »
Looks great I also just went all electric I love how quiet it is

Agreed, but my exhaust fan is still loud. Electric brewing is nice.

Pretty system there. Where is your vent?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Aspiring brewer, new to forum
« on: February 11, 2018, 06:20:19 PM »
Hey! I'm certainly a water cheerleader, but let's not forget that a novice brewer has other things to worry about. Unless your water is really unsuited, I wouldn't worry too much about water at this stage.

I'm sure there is a homebrew shop and club in Santa Rosa and accepting some basic advice from them should set you on the path toward to successful brew. I started out in Tallahassee and my homebrew shop owner set me on the right path by recommending that I brew a brown beer for my initial batch. That happened to be well-suited to the local water. That success kept me from throwing in the towel prematurely. I'm still in awe that I can make beer.

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