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Messages - mabrungard

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1081
Equipment and Software / Re: Working with a pump
« on: April 22, 2011, 12:34:08 PM »
Yes as long as the pump volute is full of liquid, you can close the valve on the outlet side of the pump to zero opening without any damage.  The load on the motor will actually decrease as the valve is closed and the flow decreases.  You will be able to hear the motor speed up as you close the valve and the motor load decreases.

I have found that its a good idea to keep the motor running throughout the time that I'm recirculating my wort with my March pump since the impellor can seize to the shaft due to sugar buildup.  I just close the output valve as needed and the impellor never has the chance to seize.  Once I've performed the wort runoff and sparge, then the concentration of sugar in the pumped wort goes down and the chance of seizure goes away too.

1082
Your number 1 problem is locating your drain pickup at the center of the pot.  After whirlpooling, that is exactly where all the trub falls. 

Move the pickup to the periphery of the pot bottom and the scrubby won't get inundated with so much stuff. 

1083
Equipment and Software / Re: The WilliamsWarn Personal Brewery
« on: April 13, 2011, 12:52:53 PM »
Mr. Beer with heating and cooling. 

It doesn't appear that you could do much other than the pre-hopped extract kits that they offer.  If they don't make your style, you're out of luck. 

1084
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Aroma Hops...Optimal Wort Temp
« on: April 11, 2011, 05:39:51 AM »
The extended steep is an interesting idea.  I have operated under the concept that reducing the period between flame out and chilling is important for reducing DMS production.  Considering that I've never had a DMS perception in any of my beers, I probably have some room to play there. 

Another consideration is that if you're using a Pale Malt instead of Pils Malt, the sulfurous compounds in the malt were reduced at malting so the potential to produce DMS or its precursors is reduced.  My next APA is going to try this out.

1085
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Back of the Tongue Bitterness
« on: April 10, 2011, 03:05:42 PM »
Your efficiency is quite high.  There could always be the possibility that the beer was oversparged.  I assume you haven't noticed this with your other beers?

I'm more inclined to believe that the bitterness perception is from polyphenols from the dry hopping. 

1086
Ingredients / Re: tomato
« on: April 10, 2011, 06:49:21 AM »
Is there a chance the tomato would drop the pH so low that the yeast couldn't deal with it?

Remember, with water chemistry adjustment we can surmount the pH problem.  The question is: will it improve the taste to the point of making it worth it?

1087
All Grain Brewing / Re: Acidifying the mash
« on: April 08, 2011, 09:26:01 AM »
So, using phosphoric acid results in an insignificant amount of phosphate compared to what's already in the mash.  Seems like this would have no flavor impact on the finished beer.   What's the advantage of using slaked lime to remove bicarbonates instead?  Seems like a lot of work (precipitating the chalk overnight, racking off of it) for a process that also removes Calcium.

Slaked Lime actually significantly increases water alkalinity initially.  It is added to increase the pH of the water to above 10 where calcium carbonate becomes insoluble.  Increasing the pH to above 11 will also reduce the solubility of magnesium.  That undesirable hardness precipitates out of solution and the clear water is decanted off the sediment.  

That clear water still has significant alkalinity.  Either CO2 is bubbled through the water to help reduce the water pH (it adds carbonic acid) or an acid such as hydrochloric, sulfuric, phosphoric, or lactic is added to bring the pH (and alkalinity) to a reasonable level.  

This process is only partially effective at removing calcium or magnesium.  If the water had mostly temporary hardness, you can typically only bring the Ca to 30 ppm and the Mg to 10 ppm with Lime softening.  If it has a lot or permanent hardness, then the Ca and Mg will be higher.

Phosphororic acid is relatively tasteless in beer for the reason you cite.  

Unlike Gordon, I am interested in both engineering water and beer.  In both cases, they are my profession.

1088
Equipment and Software / Re: March Pump Switch Suggestions?
« on: April 08, 2011, 09:11:16 AM »
Most certainly, 14 gauge wire is safe.  This is a small motor with little current draw.  I'm surprised that 16 gauge is getting hot, but if it is the case, find 14 gauge wire. 

1089
Ingredients / Re: Adjuncts and mash pH
« on: April 06, 2011, 02:32:50 PM »
In my opinion, most should respond like base malts.  In the case of flaked grains, they are quite similar to low kilned malts (ie base malts).  They are typically a small proportion of a grist, so their contribution is small.  Unfortunately, the same thing can be said of crystal and roasted malts and we know that their contributions to mash pH are not small.  To my knowledge, this has not been studied yet. 

1090
All Grain Brewing / Re: Oktoberfest water profile
« on: April 06, 2011, 11:28:56 AM »

Thanks for the info! 

My base water profile is
Ca  41
Mg  5
Na  24
SO  15
Cl  42

If I nudge the Ca up to 50 with some Gypsum I get

Ca  50.2
Mg  5
Na  24
SO  37.1
Cl  42

Do you think the flavor ions are to high in this profile? I suppose I can dilute to 50% with distilled, use Pickling lime for Ca and Epsom Salt for Mg and then use Lactic acid to adjust ph.  Would that be a better course?


Given your existing water profile and assuming 122 ppm bicarbonate to balance, your water isn't too bad for an O'fest.  It might need a slight adjustment to help the mash pH into the right range, but I would brew with it.  Do remember to acidify the sparge water to knock some of the alkalinity out.  Otherwise its pretty good for your intended beer.  I wouldn't mess with dilution and alkalinity addition with your water.   

1091
All Grain Brewing / Re: Oktoberfest water profile
« on: April 06, 2011, 08:21:14 AM »
There is a lot to be said for the Munich profile.  It is a water that is full of temporary hardness and little else.  The alkalinity level is too high to brew a decent amber or lighter beer and that would have to be reduced.  Boiling is an historic option for treatment of temporary hardness.  Both sulfate and chloride are quite low and their concentration is not affected by the boiling treatment.  After boiling, most of the temporary hardness is gone which leaves little calcium.  Probably too little.  So that profile may not really be a good way to go. 

I lean in the direction of keeping flavor ions low unless they are needed for a particular nuance in the beer.  That boiled Munich profile certainly meets that description.  The Amber profiles are more middle of the road with respect to flavor ions and the other color coded profiles in Bru'n Water aim to provide a minimum level of calcium too. 

Through conversations with AJ DeLange, its clear that he favors keeping flavor ions low too.  I think I detect the same sentiment from Gordon Strong also.  In AJ's case, he is a strong proponent of keeping sulfate low when noble hops are used.  I say the same applies when dealing with a more malt focused style such as O'fest.  Sure the sulfate/chloride ratio says a water might be in the malt accentuating range, but its even better to keep both of those ions relatively low.  In the case of O'fest, I'd somewhat aim for the boiled Munich profile, but add calcium chloride to bump the Ca to around 50 ppm.   

Bru'n Water has customizable rows in the water table (scroll way down the sheet) where you can create your own profiles. This would be a case that it will be useful.

1092
All Grain Brewing / Re: Acidifying the mash
« on: April 05, 2011, 02:33:24 PM »
Maybe 1/4 to 1/2 a tsp in 5 gallons of RO water.

You don't have to add acid willy nilly.  Bru'n Water includes AJ DeLange's very capable water acidification calculator.  If you know your water profile, the acid type and strength, you can calculate what your addition is fairly precisely.  I've been using that calculator for a decade and its correct every time.

1093
Maybe I'll get lucky and recieve my copy before the AHA Indy Regional in a couple of weeks.  I'm assuming Gordon will be there.

1094
All Grain Brewing / Re: Acidifying the mash
« on: April 05, 2011, 06:54:23 AM »
I would rarely need to add acid after adding an appropriate amount of calcium, so it would mostly be an either-or situation.  Also, our local water has about 4 ppm calcium.  Maybe that's why adding something that would remove additional calcium seems like a goofy idea, to me.  But it also means I don't have any personal experience with the effects of adding phosphoric acid, either.

The calcium precipitation reaction is dependent upon the concentration of calcium in the water.  And the reaction takes a percentage out, not a fixed amount.  So that nice 4 ppm Ca water would not be losing much and it clearly needs supplemental Ca to support good fermentation and clarification.  The bottom line is that this water needs calcium to bring it into a suitable range for brewing and any minor loss due to phosphate precipitation can be ignored. 

By the way, one of my clubmates found that DudaDiesel sells food grade 75% phosphoric acid for about $14/ qt.  In these small quantities, it does not incur the hazardous goods shipping surcharge. 

1095
Ingredients / Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
« on: April 04, 2011, 10:37:08 AM »
We found an error on the Sparge Acidification sheet that was created when the water volume was changed from liters to gallons.  The corrected file is now on the download site.  If you downloaded version 1.8 prior to 1:28 eastern time on 4/4/11, you will need to visit the site and download the corrected version. 

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