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Messages - mabrungard

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Hard packed grain bed - efficiency spike
« on: March 23, 2013, 09:17:25 AM »
I'm assuming the flow rate for your run off was slower than usual?  If so, that is likely the reason your efficiency was improved.  If you are willing to spend the time, high efficiency is possible. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Brun Water question
« on: March 22, 2013, 09:43:06 AM »
And you call yourself a wastewater engineer, Martin!  pH of distilled water in equilibrium with CO2 is 5.8.  See table at bottom of page

Yeah, I know.  But distilled water is not encountered very much in the wastewater circle.  Do remember that with modest heating of distilled water, the pH will rise to near 7. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Brun Water question
« on: March 22, 2013, 05:21:15 AM »
I think the 5.8 pH that is mentioned above may be referring to the mash pH of a pale malt mashed in distilled water. 

By the way, Kai's online calculator is cool.  However, the need to plug in a code number is not.  If they made it with cookies so that the website recognized the user and brought up all their work, that would be a nice feature.  I don't like being tethered to the net, but that feature would make it more appealing.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Quick souring method
« on: March 21, 2013, 12:48:03 PM »
One of my fellow FBI members has been quite successful with sour beers and this sort of souring treatment.  He mentions that you have to let the initial grain and water ferment go for several days.  Apparently the various populations of microbes compete, with the lactic bacteria finally out-acidifying the others and killing the others off.  The aroma of this competition changes over time.  Its kind of rank at points, but finally settles into that smooth sour lactic aroma.  Its at that stage that you want to pitch it into a major volume of wort.  The natural selection will have already run its course.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Brun Water question
« on: March 21, 2013, 12:25:27 PM »
Having your records on your own computer is a plus.  Having to log in or input an access number might be less appealing. ;-)

It could be an infection.  If it continues to get worse, then that is probably it. 

Another cause could be the water you used.  Since extract has the mineral content of the maltster's water source, there probably isn't a big need to add more.  Brewing with tap water or spring water could add something that the beer doesn't need.  In most cases, that something is alkalinity.  A good choice for brewing with extract is either RO or distilled water since the mineral content is low and the alkalinity is low.  A higher than desirable wort pH in the kettle or fermenter can lead to rougher flavor in the finished beer.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Brun Water question
« on: March 21, 2013, 09:24:57 AM »
You don't have to acidify low alkalinity water for sparging use. In addition, it would only take a drop or two to cause its pH to plunge.  pH is NOT what matters for sparging water or tap water, its the ending alkalinity of the treated water.  In the case of starting with distilled water, then you don't need to perform any acidification for sparging use.

For those using the free version of Bru'n Water; yes, you need to enter the appropriate water alkalinity on the Sparge Acidification sheet in order to have the program figure out your sparging water acid addition.  If using RO or distilled water, then the alkalinity would be near zero.  The users of the supporters version of Bru'n Water already know that the alkalinity of the water from the Input page is already copied onto the sparge acidification page and there are also drop down selections for using RO or Distilled water dilutions.  Its worth the upgrade.   

All Grain Brewing / Re: Does increased mashout temp boost efficiency?
« on: March 20, 2013, 05:36:58 AM »
Since I run a RIMS, I can directly observe the increase in wort gravity with a mash out temperature step.  With no extra water added, the wort gravity rises by several points.  Since its not a big deal to perform a mash out step with a RIMS, its a no-brainer for me.

Ingredients / Re: Water- Chloride concerns
« on: March 13, 2013, 03:01:01 PM »
Don't worry about the chloride ion (Cl-).  It is not the same as the ion that chlorine gas dissociates into.  That is the hypochlorite ion (OCl-).  That is the one that will screw up your beer with chlorophenols. 

Chloride is welcome in beer to modest concentrations as Diane mentions.  Beer flavor can get minerally if both sulfate and chloride concentrations are high.  100 ppm chloride should be the typical max in most beers, however it should be further reduced when you are really boosting sulfate levels for a hoppy beer.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Expected lifespan of O2 canister
« on: March 12, 2013, 05:07:31 AM »
20 Batches is about right.  If you are getting less than that, you are doing it wrong.  Oxygenate, long and slow.  If you see more than a hint of bubbles at the wort surface, the flow rate is too high.  "Blasting it" is another way of saying "wasting it".

Events / Re: Club Night Booth Logistics
« on: March 08, 2013, 01:56:55 PM »
That is a good point, Bobby.  Going vertical would be the way to be seen in a big hall with a lot of people.  This has to be a big room, so the ceiling height has to be on up there.  I could imagine that 10 or 15 ft up shouldn't be a problem. But it would have to be safely stable.  Ron, there probably should be some guidance for safety's sake.

Ingredients / Re: Fresh Ginger or Dry Ginger??
« on: March 08, 2013, 10:12:21 AM »
Keith points out an important distinction with fresh ginger.  Using the plumper, fresher root works for him.  Deconstructing his recommendation, you should recognize that the difference is the amount of water in the amount of ginger used in your beer.  The plumper root means that you are more likely to effectively use less ginger in your beer.  So Keith is self-moderating the amount.  A person using a drier and more shriveled root is going to add more 'essence' to the beer and may be more likely to overdose it compared to using a plump root.  The same thing applies to using the dried product...even more concentrated.  One brewer's recommendation to use a tsp of plump, fresh ginger may need to be far less in the dried form.  Keep this in mind.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Next Step-Water
« on: March 08, 2013, 06:51:20 AM »
I'm more concerned with the alkalinity presented by this water.  At 100 ppm as CaCO3, it has the chance to adversely affect any of the lighter beers.  The remainder of the ions are in decent ranges as starting points.  Definitely no additional Mg is needed or should be added unless brewing a hoppy and bitter beer that could benefit from additional bittering effect.  Boosting Ca is typically helpful.  As Kai mentions, increasing the ionic strength of the water can have the effect of reducing the extraction of less desirable components like silicates and tannins from the malts. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: calcium carry over to kettle question
« on: March 07, 2013, 09:32:41 AM »
Martin suggested 40 ppm of Ca as a good lower value for the kettle (in the thread I referenced previously). I have previously been using 50, and this will help on occasion (like for bopils).

Thanks for that data point from Kolbach, Kai. I'll assume that's a pretty good ratio to use at the concentrations of malt and Ca we typically encounter in our mashes.

And yup JJ, you could intend your Ca kettle additions for yeast health, beer clarity, beer stone (more of a pro issue), or flavor (via the Cl or SO4 anions). Or all of the above.

It'll be interesting to see if the water book publishes any new proven data on any of this stuff.

No.  I had not made assumptions on kettle Ca concentrations.  Only mashing and sparging water concentrations.  Its too fuzzy to make assumptions on how much Ca and Mg actually make it through to the boil. 

The 40 ppm Ca limit is an empirical assessment of when beerstone problems are likely if that minimum content is not provided in the mashing and sparging water to help precipitate oxalate in the mash.  That calcium might effect beerstone forming reactions in the kettle, but I have no idea if adding Ca only to the boil would provide that benefit. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: calcium chloride
« on: March 03, 2013, 08:01:18 PM »
so it does not represent a big issue in using either anhydrous or dihydride? for example, what does brun's spreadsheet consider?

It assumes the dihydride version.  Anhydrous is tough to keep 'anhydrous' since its highly hygroscopic.  It will suck moisture out of the air quickly.  The dihydride will too, only a little less vigorously.  Dihydride is the typical version you can get at the LHBS.

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