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Messages - mabrungard

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Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Full Sail Berliner Weiss
« on: January 24, 2014, 06:23:21 AM »
Since Full Sail is only a few miles from Wyeast's place, I'm betting that it was similar to the BW the Wyeast was serving at the Philly conference. A little too one-dimensional. If I recall correctly from a conference seminar from a few years ago, they said a good BW does have a touch of Brett in it. An all Lacto sourness can be one-dimensional.

+1 to the 1809. That is a nice example if its fresh enough.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: commercial examples of Kolsch
« on: January 22, 2014, 03:42:44 PM »
I like the Reissdorf, but prefer the Sunner.

All Grain Brewing / Re: German Pilsner water?
« on: January 21, 2014, 10:30:23 AM »
What yeast Denny?  That part about yeast evolving to conform to the local water is just a hypothesis on my part. I need data on which yeast worked well at what calcium content. I do know that the boh pils yeast does not like calcium at 40 ppm.

Beer Recipes / Re: Munich ESB
« on: January 21, 2014, 09:14:37 AM »
If you used the recommendations from the recipe, you are fine. That already assumes a dilution and not the full Burton strength.

All Grain Brewing / Re: German Pilsner water?
« on: January 21, 2014, 06:44:43 AM »
Martin, can you point me to any references to lager yeast and low Ca?

Having lived and traveled around Germany, the water can be variable. Some is pretty hard. Where I lived it had a mineral taste, but that was more wine country.

The reference for low calcium in Southern Bavaria will be published in the Mar/Apr 2014 issue of Zymurgy. The water of Southern Bavaria is quite similar...hard and alkaline. That makes it easily softened by pre-boiling or lime softening. Either of those options have been available for over a hundred years. So yeasts from that region are likely acclimatized to low calcium conditions.

However, places like Jever and Dortmund have water with more permanent hardness. I expect that yeasts used in those places do not have to have low calcium content to perform well. An extensive article on this calcium/yeast issue should be published in Zymurgy, probably in May/June. 

Beer Recipes / Re: Munich ESB
« on: January 21, 2014, 06:35:28 AM »
Yes I used the Burton on Trent water from the most recent issue of Zymurgy.

Oh, that's too bad. I guess you didn't actually read the article about the fact that the local water was typically diluted naturally to a less mineralized condition. The Pale Ale profile just happens to be similar to that diluted Burton groundwater.

All Grain Brewing / Re: German Pilsner water?
« on: January 20, 2014, 07:34:31 PM »
For a lager yeast, I would aim for a much lower calcium content along with lower chloride and sulfate. Just recognize that some lager yeast perform better when the calcium content is low.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Distilled water brewing
« on: January 20, 2014, 07:32:11 PM »
Lennie, that 100 ppm estimate is based on a typical water/grist of about 1.5 qt/lb. I'm sure there is significant difference in the mineral content of malts based on where they were grown. Clearly, that mineral content imparted into the wort is variable.

Dave, I've tasted beers made without minerals and they are bland. Some content is needed for flavor. As I pointed out, AJ likes low content, but not zero content.  The beers don't taste right without some mineral content.

Beer Recipes / Re: Munich ESB
« on: January 20, 2014, 02:49:56 PM »
NO! Not the Burton water I hope. The Pale Ale water profile is much less extreme than Burton water.

The other thing I can see in this recipe is that it may end up more like an Alt. If the hop aroma is low and the Munich malt comes through and the beer dries out well, the beer could be Alt like.

With respect to well hopped beers, I agree that the malt can clash with the hopping. That is why a very simple grist is used in a typical American Pale Ale. Hopefully that won't be the case here.

Equipment and Software / Re: Blow off tube odor
« on: January 20, 2014, 02:44:48 PM »
Don't worry about that. But do get the tube reasonably clean and free of deposits. Then you can boil that tube for about 10 or 15 minutes to assure that (most) everything is dead in there. There can be some organisms that make it through the boil, but they are not typically beer spoiling.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Distilled water brewing
« on: January 20, 2014, 07:51:35 AM »
I am already in the middle of a research project on this subject and can report that there are only a few consequences of brewing with low calcium water. Conversion and fermentation are NOT affected by low calcium. However, oxalate will not be precipitated which may lead to beerstone formation and yeast MAY not flocculate as well when low calcium water is utilized for brewing. These 'problems' are not really detrimental to beer production...they just mean that you will have to do a little extra work to create fine beer and keep your equipment in order (beerstone removal, filtering, lagering, etc).

However I do see evidence that for some yeast, that elevated calcium content CAN be detrimental to their fermentation performance (mainly lager yeasts).  When you think about it, there are yeast strains that have evolved to perform with low calcium content water and they may NOT perform well when you give them a higher calcium content than they have evolved with.

Another thing to consider: Malt provides around 100 ppm calcium and 300 ppm magnesium to wort. Those values will vary with malt variety and the OG of the wort, but the point is that there is calcium and magnesium  in wort and there is little need for more of those ions in the brewing water.

Many of you know that I recommended magnesium in brewing water at low levels, but that is primarily for taste. Magnesium is needed for yeast function, but malt wort has plenty of Mg. With that said, we have to question the maximum Mg level of 40 ppm that I and others have quoted for brewing water? I can only surmise that the Mg that wort supplies is 'bound' to ligands and organic molecules in the wort and it DOES NOT create the negative flavor perceptions that Mg in water can create.

The recommendation for 50 ppm calcium does appear to be overblown and it appears to be most applicable to ales where it can provide a benefit in the clarity of those beers. In the case of lagers, it does appear that the brewer can and should target a much lower calcium content in their brewing water. AJ Delange told me that he routinely targets 20 ppm calcium in his lagers using calcium chloride and that level is mainly because he feels that the resulting chloride level is where his beers taste best. More calcium is not helpful to the final beer in his opinion and we also have ample example that many successful lager breweries utilize very low calcium water in their brewing.

An article documenting this research will be coming out in the future. For now, I can safely state that you can always brew with no calcium in your brewing water. However, not all yeast will appreciate that condition. Ales do appear to benefit from and be less adversely affected by excess calcium. Lager yeasts will probably benefit from using less calcium in brewing water.

It does appear that the 50 ppm Calcium minimum can be ignored in some brewing.     

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Water options for extract
« on: January 15, 2014, 06:02:32 AM »
I have obtained water profiles from a number of extract producers. Most are fairly innocuous. However, Breiss is burdened by their water supply from Chilton, WI. It is FULL of sodium due to the city's use of ion-exchange softening for their water supply.  Extract brewers would be wise to steer to producers like Muntons, Coopers, and Alexanders. I have confirmed that none of those producers have excessive ionic content.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: 2014 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot
« on: January 13, 2014, 09:09:15 AM »
My club did a vertical tasting event last month on Bigfoot, 2014 to 1994. Yes, I'd agree that 2014 is much more approachable in its youth. I'd say it drinks like an nice IIPA. Its not harsh like in years past. From that vertical, it seems that Bigfoot peaks at about 6 years old. I'm wondering if this newest version is going to age similarly?

Events / Re: NHC 2014 - Lottery System for Registration?
« on: January 11, 2014, 07:26:37 AM »

That makes sense that they'd keep you from gaming the system.

It actually doesn't make sense. How is a member going to bring a spouse or friend that is interested in homebrewing? And how is AHA going to handle the fact that when a member gets through the lottery and their partner doesn't, that means that a whole flock of members are not going to follow through and register. This truly is the dumbest thing I've heard.

How is the system gamed by having the opportunity to obtain two spots?

Events / Re: NHC 2014 - Lottery System for Registration?
« on: January 10, 2014, 02:33:15 PM »
Can the Governing Board members report when the NHC 1st round judging site and date listing will be published? At present, we only know 12 locations and sometime late March, early April.

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