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Messages - mabrungard

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Wow! Having sent a Hefewiezen to the NHC second round in years past, I have to say this differs quite a bit from weizen brewing concepts that I've developed.

First, the water profile is fairly mineralized and is far more mineralized than I expect for the style. Hefe is not a style that benefits or needs that much mineralization. The sulfate level is crazy high for this style. (I see that the OP corrected this in the post)  As an example of what German brewers use, the water across almost all of Bavaria has fairly low mineralization, especially when pre-boiled.

Second, the use of phosphoric acid is actually counterproductive to the flavor profile for this style. Lactic is an asset in the style. However, the bicarbonate level in that water would make it almost impossible to employ lactic acid alone. The lactic twang would be pronounced. Yet another reason that the water recommendations are iffy.

The recommendation to keep mash pH higher during the ferrulic rest is sound. That does improve the ferrulic acid production and subsequent clovey 4VG. 

Third, the relatively minor pils content is no where near high enough to make a 90 min boil necessary to avoid DMS. Since going to 60 min boils for my high pils content beers, I can attest that DMS reduction does not require a hard or long boil when you're at an elevation of less than 1000 ft. All the long and hard boil does is darken and damage the wort. Hefe can be a short-lived beer and excessive boiling doesn't help.

I do agree that a low ferment temp is required to avoid creating a banana bomb.  Having judged hundreds of hefeweizens in competition, excessive banana is a real turn off. However, I do feel that a hint of banana and vanilla is appropriate in a great hefe. I aim for 63F, close enough.

While I appreciate the OP's contribution, I'm worried that an anonymous submission with surprisingly uncharacteristic parameters might actually be a trolling exercise. I look forward to the OP posting their name so that we can verify that you've won gold in a NHC or MCAB event.

PS: decoction helps reduce DMS in beers by accelerating the conversion of SMM to DMS. DMS is easily removed from any wort with a gentle, open, 30 min boil When dealing with pils malt, its the conversion from SMM to DMS that takes extra boil time. Under 1000 ft, 30 + 30 min is sufficient in my experience.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why I'm not a big fan of IPA any longer
« on: February 10, 2018, 08:54:43 PM »
Ron, you crack me up. By the way, your comment on freshness is very salient in IPA. I was introducing a pair of brewers at HomebrewCon last year that were speaking on oxidation and I also judged IPAs in the final round of the NHC. They asked me to look for signs of oxidation in the beers I judged (I saw them the night before the NHC judging).

Since they alerted me to this oxidation issue, I paid special attention to it and asked all the judges at the tables to look for it too. It was not a surprise when the winning IPAs displayed virtually no oxidation and their hop character and intensity was prominent. Plenty of the other IPAs were dull and lifeless and I'm sure that they hadn't made it to the second round by tasting like that. It seemed pretty apparent to me that the IPAs that won had been recently rebrewed and the other beers had not.

This was just a sign post to me that said that IPAs HAVE to be very fresh to be truly magnificent.

John says it needs to be 6 inches beyond any side of the kettle(s). I take that to mean if I have an 18-inch diameter kettle, I need the hood to be at least 30 inches by 30 inches.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Bru'n Water pH off
« on: February 10, 2018, 08:42:23 PM »
I've long reported: wort pH varies during the mashing period. The other thing that is curious (in my experience), is that the pH tends to drift toward a room-temp pH of about 5.4 during the mash. If the pH is initially higher than 5.4, it tends to fall and if initially lower, it tends to rise.  I can't explain it, but it has proven typical in my experience.

Equipment and Software / Re: permanent electric wooden brew stand
« on: February 09, 2018, 01:08:03 AM »
Is it a sump pump or a sanitary pump? A sump pump is not well-suited for pumping solids. In addition, where is that pump pumping to? I'm not sure this is the best idea.

I worked with John Blichmann on his article on brewery venting published in BYO.

For a hood with about an 8 sq ft opening area, you need about 400 cfm. There are several factors in designing a hood and blower, so its not cut and dried. Keep the rim of the hood as low as possible while still enabling you to not hit your head or interfere with any stirring. Make sure the hood is at least 6 inches outside the limits of your kettle(s). Try and have an air supply duct feeding outside air into your brewery space as close as possible to the kettle location so that you don't suck out as much of your air-conditioned air.

I cheated in getting my hood to act like it was lower than it actually is. I attached flexible curtains around the edge of my hood that hang lower and don't hurt if your head encounters them.

The Pub / Re: It's almost spring!
« on: February 08, 2018, 01:54:05 PM »
Go Tribe and Go Reds

All Grain Brewing / Re: How is Munich malt made?
« on: February 08, 2018, 01:37:35 PM »
I agree, Schwarz should have roast, dunkel should not IMO. My personal Dunkel does not contain roast.

Schwarzbier has similar requirements to Dunkel in that NEITHER are supposed to have any burnt flavor or character. Both styles make mention of low or minor 'chocolate' notes in the flavor, but they shouldn't be burnt or harsh....or prominent. They should exist as nuances in my opinion.

I recently finished off a Dunkel that employed a couple of ounces of Weyermann Chocolate Wheat and the result was quite good. Just a hint of chocolate in the finish...especially when the beer warmed.

By the way, going from 2 oz to 3 oz in a 5 gal batch of Dunkel definitely crosses the line in my experience...nuance to overt.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Closed transfer
« on: February 06, 2018, 10:07:52 PM »
And you fill the keg until beer comes out the gas in port...

Since my kegs have vents, I just pull the vent rings and let the beer push the gas out. Why rely on the gas in port?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why I'm not a big fan of IPA any longer
« on: February 04, 2018, 01:55:29 AM »
It was during the San Diego AHA conference that I realized that I didn't really enjoy IPA that much. In that town with virtually nothing but IPA's available, it was hard to seek a craft alternative.

I still enjoy a nice IPA occassionally, but it's long past a position of 'go to'.

Equipment and Software / Re: Kettle condenser in lieu of ventilation
« on: February 01, 2018, 05:04:24 PM »
While it can arrest a lot of the humidity, it wouldn't do anything with the hop and malt aromas. If you can live with that, it could be an option. I'll keep my vent hood.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: RO water good for making beer?
« on: February 01, 2018, 01:09:11 PM »
While you can brew with straight RO or distilled water, its not likely to produce the best result. Having some ionic content in the water does improve both water and beer flavor. The trick is understanding and producing something that pleases you.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash pH DIPA
« on: January 31, 2018, 02:03:31 AM »
I bounce my recipes between beersmith and brewers friend water calculation.
I have issues with excel so I have not been able to use your spreadsheet in a while.

Well, my experience tells me that you're in for a surprise. I'm sorry that you couldn't get Bru'n Water to work for you.

Ingredients / Re: Pinch of Baking Soda to reduce acid
« on: January 31, 2018, 02:01:01 AM »
Martin, What dosage of chalk for 5 gal?

Heck if I know. Add and dissolve and then taste. If not good enough, repeat.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash pH DIPA
« on: January 30, 2018, 07:17:16 PM »
I see you're putting all the salts into the mashing water. That helps drive down the mash pH and reduces the amount of acid added to the mash. But I'm surprised that you're needing to add acid along with that large amount of salts. How are you estimating the pH?

The ending concentrations look OK after dilution with the straight RO sparging water.

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