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Messages - mabrungard

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Ingredients / Re: Hop storage lifespan ?
« on: May 18, 2016, 06:05:26 AM »
I don't have a vacuum resealer, but I do have a heat resealer. I buy my mainstay hops in 1 lb packs that typically come as vacuum sealed metallized mylar bags. I clip off enough of the bag to get some hops out and reseal with the heat bar. Not perfect, but seems to be adequate.

Ingredients / Re: Hop storage lifespan ?
« on: May 17, 2016, 01:42:45 PM »
I agree! When sealed in metallized mylar bags and kept at freezing temps, hops do seem to last a long time. I have hops kept this way that are 4 or 5 years old and they seem to still to produce desirable bittering, flavor, and aroma character in my beers.

All Grain Brewing / Re: ESB water profile
« on: May 17, 2016, 01:20:19 PM »
I have had a lot of real ale in England and I don't think they are all using highly mineral-rich water, either.

Not all English waters are highly mineralized. There are areas with Pilsen quality water.  I think some of the reason for the recommendations that Charles pointed out, was that the brewery water treatment firm he cited also sells products that will end up mineralizing the water with high SO4 and Cl. Their AMS product is a mixture of hydrochloric and sulfuric acids and that can result in high SO4 and Cl levels when neutralizing high alkalinity. Their recommendations are probably skewed by that reality.

I appreciate someone piping up with that opinion. When I brought this up on one of the English homebrewing forums I sometimes visit, I was severely lambasted as an unknowing Yank...unfamiliar with their tradition. As Skyler points out, any of us can test out high mineralization at any time. Most of us have found that more modest levels do tend to create better beer.

PS: Try dosing minerals in the glass first. That will help you find your desired mineralization without wasting a batch.

My tun has about a 1 foot ID and the sheet of the bubble insulation doesn't seem to have deformed. I've always placed the plastic side down on the wort, so the aluminum side has always been up. That aluminum has come off of many places, but the insulation is otherwise intact.

I have used some of that aluminum-backed, bubble-wrap insulation as a floating cover on my mashes for over a decade. I originally employed it as an insulator to help retain heat, but it also serves to isolate from atmospheric contact. Was I ahead of my time??

All Grain Brewing / Re: ESB water profile
« on: May 14, 2016, 04:01:10 PM »
I agree that a sulfate level in the 150 to 300 ppm range would be preferred in an ESB. I would avoid the upper end for this style since my perceptions are that most British ESBs don't dry out their finish excessively. Keeping the chloride around 50 ppm is fine, but if you are looking for a more minerally flavor, boosting the chloride over 100 ppm is needed. 

Ingredients / Re: water for 1800s IPA attempt
« on: May 14, 2016, 03:55:58 PM »
Now you are mixing metaphors. The original IPA's were brewed in London. I think it was Hodgson's Brewery or something like that. They likely obtained their water from the New Canal (I'm going from memory) and that was a surface water source that skirted the north of London. It was not likely to have been that mineralized.

IPA brewing subsequently shifted to Burton where the mineralized groundwater was ideal for hoppy and bittered beers. Depending upon the source and conditions, the groundwater could range from highly mineralized to modestly mineralized. You can see the results of recent groundwater testing by reviewing the Burton profile in Bru'n Water. However, it is unlikely that the local brewers used water that was that highly mineralized. Depending upon where the breweries were extracting the groundwater from, the water was either naturally diluted with water from River Trent or the breweries manually added river water to the groundwater to reduce the mineralization. It is therefore more likely that the water quality used for Burton brewing is similar to the Pale Ale profile given in Bru'n Water. I recommend that you start with that profile to help duplicate the second "original" IPA you are attempting. 

Equipment and Software / Re: pH meter ?
« on: May 11, 2016, 06:07:22 AM »
I suggest that anyone interested in purchasing and using a pH meter in brewing should review the discussions on Bru'n Water's Facebook page. You will have to scroll through dozens of articles, but you will find interesting stuff on equipment and usage recommendations.

A meter is a good double check on our brewing, but is not absolutely required.

During my conversation with Joe, he did tell me to add the brewtan before other finings. In the kettle, I only use Irish Moss at 15 min left in the boil. I suppose I'll add the brewtan at about 20 min before the end.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water chemistry - measuring out acids
« on: May 10, 2016, 01:56:20 PM »
Guestimating to 0.1 mL is plenty good. You have finer gradations than I have.

Since this one was "in the neighborhood" of significant he did include the preferences, which I also thought were interesting. Of the 11 people that successfully selected the odd beer out, only 4 selected the phosphoric acidified sample as the beer they preferred. 5 had no preference, 1 preferred the lactic sample and 1 could no longer tell the difference (not sure how that happens).

As noted, I don't think the lactate content in those beers would have been high enough to create a notable taste difference. The resulting scatter in the preferences should not be surprising. If the tap water had been a bit higher, I do believe that the tasters would have picked out the lactic acid more reliably.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: RO Water
« on: May 10, 2016, 10:57:02 AM »
I've noticed that places that have relatively low mineralization in their tap water rarely have RO machine kiosks in stores. Its more typical that you'll find RO machines in areas that have bad tap water. If you have a lot of RO kiosks in places like grocery stores, that may be an indicator that the tap water isn't that great where you are.

I'm not sure that a place like Aurora has that bad of water quality to merit RO machines.

I like the idea of CRS. However, the fixed proportions of sulfuric and hydrochloric acids can end up pushing the beer flavor into the "minerally" range. The main problem is that CRS adds almost as much chloride ion as it does sulfate ion. We are better off tailoring the addition of either acid to produce a better result. 

Joe said his company is exploring if there is a market at the homebrew level. Smaller packaging could be produced if they find its viable.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Is 5.0 Ph too low?
« on: May 09, 2016, 11:13:46 AM »
in my experience, low mashing pH results in reduced body and mouthfeel. At lower pH, there is likely some degradation of the poly-saccharides or proteins that would typically exist in wort. No data, just my own perceptions of the end results.

It is probably too late to correct that effect via an alkali addition. The only thing that would occur is the wort pH is higher and the resulting beer pH might be slightly higher than if you didn't do anything.

It will still be beer, either way.

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