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Messages - mabrungard

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Strange question -- Lambics.
« on: January 09, 2012, 03:20:45 PM »
Kahn's or Crown Liquors in Indy has a selection of lambics and guezes that should be beyond your Lindemans finds.  You'll have to make a road trip of it!

Ingredients / Re: Bohemian Pilsner Water question
« on: January 07, 2012, 10:13:46 AM »
Although PU is assertively bittered, I'm with Jeff and AJ in keeping the sulfate level for this beer style lower than recommended by Boulderbrewer.  You might get away with that in a German Pils. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water Profile for Imperial IPA
« on: January 02, 2012, 02:12:46 PM »
Well I wish it were possible to add sulfate to water without a corresponding cation like calcium, but the laws of chemistry and physics say I can't do that.  So, the Pale Ale profile in Bru'n Water does have a lot of calcium in it because that is the best alternative for adding sulfate to the water since you will hit the maximum magnesium level pretty quickly when adding Epsom salt.  There is no real penalty for adding excessive calcium to the brewing water since it tends to be flavor neutral.

The other thing to recognize is that there should NEVER be a target alkalinity for a water profile.  This is because that target changes with every grist.  Every grist has a different acid production and the target alkalinity is that alkalinity that produces a desirable mash pH.  To emphasis that point, the Finished bicarbonate concentration cell in Bru'n Water will never turn green and give the brewer the impression that the number in the water profile is the RIGHT concentration.  The brewer has to use the Mash pH prediction to guide themself to the right bicarbonate concentration for that brew.  


All Grain Brewing / Re: Water Profile for Imperial IPA
« on: January 02, 2012, 08:05:28 AM »
I would try to keep the sulfate level closer to 300 ppm and not go as high as indicated here.  If you have already experimented with sulfate levels at the 300 ppm level and want to find out if you prefer higher sulfate, it should be OK to go this high.  Be aware that really high sulfate levels (>>300 ppm) can produce sulfury taste and aroma.  Sulfate levels greater than 600 ppm are likely to produce the sulfury effect, but I have not tried that or verified that.  I find 300 ppm sulfate very pleasant and tasty in Pale Ales.

I see that you are trying to get the calcium up to what the water profile target says. But once calcium is above about 50 ppm, there isn't a strong need to go higher.  There is a lot of sulfate in the Pale Ale profile and calcium sulfate (gypsum) is the preferred addition since there is a definite limit on adding magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) to brewing water.   I see that I need to add a note in the program to alert users of this fact.

Reducing the gypsum addition will also help increase the Residual Alkalinity and should help avoid the need to add the chalk that is shown.  Chalk is a notoriously poor contributor of alkalinity unless it is fully dissolved into water with CO2.  I take it that this water is being built from distilled water and there isn't any alkalinity in it.  A little alkalinity might be needed to keep the mash pH in the proper range, but be cautious in adding alkalinity since it is detrimental to beer flavor and mashing performance if overdone.
Don't get too carried away with hitting precise concentrations in your water.  Getting within about 5 percent of those values is plenty close enough.

Ingredients / Re: Bohemian Pilsner Water question
« on: December 31, 2011, 08:25:51 PM »
I'm glad to see the responses that essentially confirm my findings. Better beer will always be made with adequate calcium content. As mentioned above, a moderately hard water is suitable for Boh Pils brewing.

My findings indicate that a minimum calcium content of 40 ppm provides several benefits. Yeast performance and beer clearing are improved and the production of beerstone is reduced or eliminated at that minimum level. Bumping that to 50 ppm seems to be the consensus minimum calcium concentration. I'm not willing to go there yet, but its similar to my minimum.

40 ppm calcium represents a hardness level of 100 ppm as CaCO3 which happens to be classified as a moderately hard water. I'd say that is a decent affirmation of using a calcium level in that range.  Even AJ Delange recommends a minimum calcium concentration in his writings and recommendations.  AJ is rather skilled and knowledgible in European Light Lagers and I consider this another confirmation of brewing light lagers with a moderate calcium level.

I do have caution with regard to brewing with percentages of typical tap water. Those tap waters may have significant alkalinity and that could carry through to the brewing water if the percentage of tap water is elevated. The typical Boh Pils grist will not perform well with too much alkalinity. This might be a time when the percentage of alkaline tap water should be limited and any calcium need in the brewing water is supplemented with calcium chloride.


(ps: The original post was created from my phone.  I've clarified the language and spelling since)

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Boiling starters in a flask
« on: December 30, 2011, 03:31:08 PM »
I used to boil in a flask on a glass-top stove, but that ended when I had a minor boilover and that resulted in a cracked and destroyed 4L flask.  Definitely not worth it.  I now boil in a pyrex measuring cup in a microwave oven and then transfer the cooled starter wort into the flask.  Much safer, and the potential and severity of boil overs is reduced.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: White Castles and Beer
« on: December 27, 2011, 12:40:30 PM »

No real offense but: Cincinnati chili is NOT chili and Skyline Cincinnati chili,

I'll concur that its not really chili, but I like it.  

You got the formula wrong.  To make it, you would have to use a cheap but meaty spaghetti sauce and add a bunch of cinnamin to come close to replicating it.  I still like it.

Ingredients / Re: Black IPA and Carafa II Malt question
« on: December 25, 2011, 09:05:09 AM »
The only reason that you might not want to steep the roast grains with the other grain is if your brewing water has really low alkalinity like RO or distilled water.  Otherwise, you should be fine with the roast steeped separately or together.

Equipment and Software / Re: Thermometer Blowout
« on: December 24, 2011, 05:29:10 AM »
I assume these were glass-faced, dial thermometers and they were located on gas-fired kettles?  Were they liquid-filled guages?

If that's the case, then you might have overheated the dial area.  I notice that Blichmann sometimes has heat guards around the thermometers in that case to prevent the heat from the flame from swirling around the dial. You probably need to protect them more from the heat of flame.  The probe is made for taking the heat, not the dial.

Ingredients / Re: help me choose hops
« on: December 22, 2011, 02:45:01 PM »
Tom, you haven't described what the Sonnet Goldings are like and how they differ from Goldings. 

PS: I love EKG.

Ingredients / Re: help me choose hops
« on: December 22, 2011, 11:20:56 AM »
Gary Glass and I have formed a Fuggles Haters Club....;)

I don't know why, but I do not like Fuggles either.  I tried them in several brews that I had made before with other hops and came away with an unfavorable impression.  There seemed to be a flavor that I did not agree with.  C'est la Vie. 

Equipment and Software / Re: pH meter sale on amazon
« on: December 20, 2011, 02:34:48 PM »
Don't abuse your pH meter by dunking it in hot wort.  I can assure you that they won't last long when used like that.  Cool your wort samples to room temp and your results will be better and the probe will last longer.  Oh, keep the glass probe stored in Storage Solution and that will also extend its life.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Iodine test for mash conversion
« on: December 20, 2011, 06:33:38 AM »
Would it really be "conversion" or "extraction" that was measured in the BYO testing.  Its probably possible to accomplish either one without fully completing the other.  I rarely perform an Iodine starch conversion test, but I always monitor my extraction gravity during each mash.  

I probably should check conversion. But as Malzig mentioned from the BYO testing, it appears more likely that you will achieve your conversion if the mash period is long enough to show that the gravity has stabilized.  Of course, this all goes out the window if the mash didn't have enough diastatic power or the mashing temperature(s) where incorrect or out of range.

All Grain Brewing / Re: de-nature protein/enzymes.
« on: December 16, 2011, 02:06:29 PM »
I agree with Tom excepting I will more strongly caution that the temperature of your wort at the heat exchanger outlet (or in the heat exchanger) should be no higher than your targeted mash temperature.  This will require that the wort system and mash tun be well insulated to reduce heat losses after the heat exchanger. 

I've got as many of the pipes and hoses in my system encased in that foam tube insulation for that reason.  This recommendation applies equally to RIMS brewers too.  Don't overheat your wort or you could see attenuation problems.  This comes from denaturing too many of the enzymes in the mash while you are heating and circulating.

The only time you would want the wort temperature to exceed your targeted mash temperature is when you're ramping the temperature up. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Cold crashing a Schwartz
« on: December 16, 2011, 10:09:41 AM »
Are you sure its not just a typical sulfurous lager aroma?  Assuming that you're right and it is DMS, another source would be using a high percentage of Pils malt (that should be typical of a Schwartz) and not having a long and strong enough boil to drive off DMS and precursors. 

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