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Messages - mabrungard

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Done with hefes
« on: October 01, 2016, 08:09:37 AM »
I'm guessing that the difference comes from the depths of the fermenters. Modern cylindroconicals can have significant depth, while the straight side walls of a square fermenter make it structurally more difficult to make them deep. The 1000 bbl cylindroconical fermenters I saw at Sweetwater in Atlanta were probably over 40 ft tall.

All Grain Brewing / Re: true effect of pH on finished beer
« on: September 27, 2016, 11:28:27 AM »
I strongly caution against chasing mash pH. If you have used a reliable mashing chemistry calculator, the pH is more likely to be within a tenth or two of your target. In addition, I've found that mashing pH consistently tends to correct itself toward a pH of about 5.4. So if you measure an overly low pH, it will rise during the mash duration. And the opposite occurs if the early pH was too high.

This seems to confirm the RDWHAHB mantra.

Equipment and Software / Re: Electric Brewing
« on: September 18, 2016, 01:51:26 PM »
Hard and crusty??? Any film on my elements is soft and easily removed with a scrubby. How are you controlling the power delivered to your element and how are you monitoring the temperature of the wort coming out of the RIMS tube?

Ingredients / Re: Brewtan B
« on: September 12, 2016, 06:08:55 PM »
Copper deficiency is more likely to strike in areas of the world with low endogenous copper in their water supply or they are using RO or DI for brewing. There have been many cases where sulfurous aroma is rapidly eliminated by allowing wort or beer to contact elemental copper. So having a low level of copper in your brewing water is a good thing. Its when its excessive that I can see this Fenton's reaction having a negative effect on beer.

I see that there are simple water test kits for copper content. I wish I knew what levels are appropriate or excessive. Sounds like this is a task for a brewer that used to have sulfur problems and has added some copper to their system to resolve it. A test of the raw water and a test of water or wort from their system, might give us some insight. Who in the forum has this condition?

Beer Recipes / Re: North East IPA recipe, input requested
« on: September 12, 2016, 06:01:01 AM »
The NEIPA is said to use high chloride and low sulfate.

I would term that: 'high chloride and modest sulfate'. Say 150 ppm each. That might come across to some drinkers as 'minerally' but it shouldn't be too bad.

Ingredients / Re: Brewtan B
« on: September 10, 2016, 12:21:51 PM »

Not to mention the number of German breweries using copper

Don't forget that there are plenty of German beers that don't travel well. I'm a proponent of having some copper in your system. I just don't know how much is too much or if there is such a condition. I have recently been reducing the amount of copper in my equipment since I had a lot.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Scottish Ale
« on: September 08, 2016, 06:14:15 PM »
This is a style that benefits from a minor amount of sulfate in the water to help dry out the finish. I've been using a profile that is similar to Edinburgh water, except not as extreme (Edinburgh = 140 ppm SO4). I'm targeting something like half that sulfate content and with a lightly bittered and malty wort, it produces a very drinkable beer.

By the way, I'm a big believer in reducing about a quart of first runnings from a 5 gal batch and heating until it turns to magma. They say that the sugars need to be heated to over 300F, but I've not been able to get it quite that high. But when that caramelized wort is rehydrated and reintroduced to the boil kettle, I think it does add a distinct richness.

Equipment and Software / Re: More User Friendly pH Meter
« on: September 06, 2016, 05:03:10 PM »
I have to wonder about some meters using computerized components on what amounts to a VERY analog instrument. While those features might make some aspects of pH meter use easier, I'm guessing that they can also create havoc.

I've used the MW-101 for about 6 years now and its been very reliable. Totally analog instrument.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Malt conditioning
« on: September 05, 2016, 07:08:05 AM »
I use the same mill at the same setting and don't condition, yet I still have no problems.

I agree that your current methods are were my previous methods. What I did find with conditioning was that my husk was typically more intact and the permeability of my grain bed was higher. That was a big deal to a RIMS brewer like me. I also increased my typical system efficiency by about 5%. Sure, its OK to continue what you're doing, but sometimes there are enhancements that are easy to implement that actually make a difference.

Beer Recipes / Re: How to calculate IBUs in recipes with lactose?
« on: September 04, 2016, 01:27:51 PM »
Denny, I think that link says that the assumed cause of reduced utilization was found to be not true. However, it does go on to say that the net result is still that wort with higher gravity does have reduced bittering utilization from the hopping.

Beer Recipes / Re: Pilsner
« on: September 03, 2016, 07:31:24 AM »
With the low alpha's that continental noble hops are coming out with, I'd caution against using all noble in any hoppy or bittered brew. Supplementing the alpha content with an early dose of super-alpha hops like Magnum is wise, in my opinion.

I recently finished a Dusseldorf Alt that I bittered with only Spalt that had alpha on the order of 2.5%. It was something like 3 or 4 ounces of hops in a 5 gal batch. Even though almost all the hopping was at the bittering stage, there was a little green vegetal flavor in the beer. Next time, I'll figure out how much Spalt I would need to add if the alphas were at more typical level and only add that amount of Spalt to the kettle. Then I'd figure out their bittering contribution and make up for the deficiency with a dose of Magnum. That will keep the vegetal level down at the more typical amount.   

All Grain Brewing / Re: Malt conditioning
« on: September 03, 2016, 07:19:44 AM »
My criteria for water misting is pretty simple.

If you run your hands through dry malt, you will be left with dust on your hands. I sequentially mist water onto the grain and mix by hand. I keep doing that and checking the dustiness of my hands each time. When my hands no longer have dust on them, I consider that: good enough.

Remember, the worst thing you can do is to oversaturate your grain and mill it. That is when you will gum up your rollers with wet flour. No fun to remove.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Issues trying to make an IPA
« on: August 31, 2016, 02:40:24 PM »
Unfortunately, Bru'n Water is complicated enough to actually require a new user to READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. After a user understands the flow of inputs and outputs, most say its very intuitive. You may need to spend more than 30 seconds.

Adding gypsum for an IPA is a good idea, but you do need to assess what the ending concentrations are. If you don't add enough, the effect may be insignificant. If you add too much, it may be too drying and the beer pH may have been driven too low (also bad for hop perception).

Beer Travel / Re: Atlanta
« on: August 25, 2016, 02:18:39 PM »
The taproom at Sweetwater Brewing is nice. The main benefit is the ability to taste a wider selection of their brews. It was the first place that I saw 1000 barrel fermenters. They are big!

Martin, I'm not sure anyone disputes that.  For me at least, the question is how far do I want to go to eliminate it?  What's a reasonable process for me as a homebrewer?

Totally agree! I can implement elements in my system and procedures that get closer to those supposed ideals, but I don't know that I could ever achieve perfection in that respect...nor that I could perceive it in my beers. It just seems like things that might make a difference. 

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