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Messages - mabrungard

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All Grain Brewing / Re: ASBC Hot Steep Method.
« on: March 02, 2017, 07:06:54 PM »
So there is only the 15 minute rest at ~65C? That is a pretty short rest, but that should be enough to convert the starch to polysaccharides. I guess this is just a sensory evaluation and that preparation is probably enough.

Zymurgy / Re: March/April 2017 Zymurgy Cover...
« on: March 02, 2017, 02:44:25 PM »
Dave, is the glass bowl on the cover filled with liquid malt extract?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Adjust pH only with acid vs other methos
« on: March 02, 2017, 02:42:40 PM »
To your point about sufficient Ca from the malt, perhaps I should instead be focusing on the SO4:Cl ratio those additions would impart, and not so much the Ca that's coming along for the ride...

Not on the ratio, but on the concentrations of each anion. Add only sulfate and chloride necessary to produce your flavor goals and don't boost calcium needlessly. You can have low calcium in the brewing water. In lagers, almost no calcium is needed and you'll add only enough to supply that chloride and sulfate dose that you want to produce your desired flavor. Having 40 ppm calcium in the mashing water helps with oxalate and beerstone reduction, but its not a requirement. Having at least 50 ppm calcium in the overall brewing water helps ales to clear more quickly, but again its not a requirement. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: racking to secondary
« on: March 01, 2017, 07:32:11 AM »
As long as you are storing the beer in a cool enough location so as to reduce cell autolysis, it is OK to leave the beer on the yeast and NOT transfer to secondary. Unless you are practicing airless transfers into airless vessels, you are probably doing more damage by transferring to secondary.

Ingredients / Re: different forms of wheat
« on: March 01, 2017, 07:27:10 AM »
I recently made an American Wheat that used red wheat instead of white. I made that decision while standing in the homebrew shop sampling the red and white wheat from the bins. The comments above are similar to my observations...I just liked the way the red tasted when compared to the white...and I hadn't used the red before.

I'm not sure that those raw perceptions make their way into the finished beer, but I'm of the opinion that they are more likely than not to impart some of that character into the beer. One thing that I might be picking up in the finished beer is a slight increase in huskiness and graininess in the beer made with red wheat...but its only one data point.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Adjust pH only with acid vs other methos
« on: March 01, 2017, 07:16:01 AM »
I know that Ca affects alkalinity and has its uses in that regard, but are you saying that calcium additions, specific to yeast health, are also a red herring?

That is correct. All the calcium that the yeast need for their metabolism is provided by the malt. Malt imparts significant quantities of a number of elements, ions, and nutrients into the wort and calcium is one of them. While there ARE advantages to having some calcium in the water (enzyme stability, oxalate reduction, yeast flocculation, etc), it is NOT required for yeast health and metabolism. These facts are well-documented in dozens of respected brewing texts and journal articles. I've compiled them in articles that I wrote for Zymurgy and The New Brewer.

PS: Calcium produces alkalinity reducing acids in the mash and that is reflected in the Residual Alkalinity (RA) effect in the mash. But calcium does not affect alkalinity otherwise. You can't add a calcium salt to water and reduce its alkalinity. Its only in conjunction with the mash that the RA effect can be relied on and even that is limited. You can't add a bunch of calcium salts to your high-alkalinity sparging water and have that effectively reduce the water's alkalinity when its added to the tun. The acidifying capacity is largely exhausted as the wort is flushed from the grainbed. Acidification to neutralize alkalinity is required in sparging water. 

The resulting pH drop will depend upon the percentage of the grist and acidity of those grains. For something like a Schwartzbier or Munich Dunkel, the additions probably won't make much difference.

In the case of beers like most Porters and Stouts, the pH drop is likely to be substantial and it will affect the beer perception. A style that benefits from that pH drop is the Irish Dry Stout which is supposed to be nice and acidic to provide a contrast with the roast barley and raw barley flavors.

Ingredients / Re: Raspberry Wheat Help
« on: February 28, 2017, 06:57:36 PM »
3.4 to 3.6 is tart without being really assertive. I've made Berliners at 3 to 3.1 and that is too tart. They are great for small samples, but excessive if you try to drink a pint. I have a clubmate that won a pro-am contest with a Berliner and he says that 3.5 is the highest he would consider acceptable for a Berliner. Based on my and his experience, it seems that 3.2 to 3.5 may be an appropriate pH range. Of course, personal preference should guide.

Ingredients / Re: Taste-testing my acid additions
« on: February 28, 2017, 11:05:45 AM »
Analyses of some actual Berliners from Berlin showed that there are Brett notes in the good tasting versions. They aren't a single lactic note. In fact, that is one of the bigger flaws I find in homebrewed Berliners that were produced with a single lacto stain...they are too one-dimensional in flavor and aroma.

I've had good results by pitching a handful of malt into wort to create my own lacto culture. It is important to acidify the wort to around 4.5 to help the lacto bugs out compete any other spoilers. Its also imperative to seal off the vessel to prevent air contact since oxygen can promote acetobactor growth.

I'm glad to see brewers playing with other acids in their brews. This is something that I've advocated for years and I added the ability to use multiple acids in Bru'n Water for that reason. The secret is to moderate the dosing of any one acid to avoid it being too apparent. I don't know what the optimal or desirable acid combinations are, but you've got a start there.

Ingredients / Re: Raspberry Wheat Help
« on: February 28, 2017, 10:47:17 AM »
I can tell you that monitoring and adjusting the final beer pH can significantly alter these crisp and fruity beers. I apricot to raspberry, but the pH effect is similar. I find that bringing the beer pH down around 4 to 4.2 is helpful for making those beers more lively and crisp.

I recommend performing pH and extract adjustments to taste after the base beer is fermented. Since the yeast have done most of the beer's pH adjustment, it doesn't take much acid to drop the pH down a couple of tenths. That means that lactic acid can be a good choice for this application and its not likely to create a lactate twang. Other options can include citric and malic acids since they can impart fruity notes to the beer that might be welcome.

Fruit Extracts are a touchy subject. I think that their freshness and potential for oxidation need to be considered. I've recently moved to extracts from Olive Nation and have been fairly pleased with the results. But I did notice a dropoff in the flavor when I used an already opened bottle for a subsequent batch.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: cleaning auto siphon
« on: February 26, 2017, 04:22:04 PM »
A long wallpaper tray is what I used when I was using an auto-siphon. They are cheap, but they don't have a lid. I suggest that you don't need to store in sanitizer. Just clean the siphon prior to storing and then use the tray for holding your sanitizing solution.

PS: Iodophor is more effective against a wider range of spoiling organisms than Starsan. But I still like to use Starsan on occasion.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Never a shortage
« on: February 26, 2017, 02:43:19 PM »
I hope his beer didn't get skunked, in the sunshine like that!   :D

What do you mean? He has his parasol.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Low Mash Ph
« on: February 24, 2017, 08:29:39 AM »
I remember seeing somewhere Martin mentions to add acid before heating as you can remove more alkalinity than intended. So I was curious if it was more so this or the boiling which can also lower alkalinity or bicarbonate (not sure exactly but with the same effect). I'll note I'm not worried about the actual mash ph as it wasn't too far out of the relm of acceptable and everything else went just fine but more so wanting to understand what lead to it. Maybe the combo and not so much one or the other alone?

The effect of boiling on alkalinity reduction depends on the amount of Temporary Hardness in the tap water. If its typical Indiana groundwater, it could have huge Temp Hardness and the boiling could have caused a substantial reduction in alkalinity. That would through off the amount of acid actually needed for that water. A lower than anticipated pH would be a result.

I wouldn't worry too much about it. It will still be beer.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: portable oxygen cylinder
« on: February 24, 2017, 08:19:57 AM »
I've used the little red tanks for years. I'm getting 20+ batches per tank. All it takes is a trickle for several minutes to supply enough O2 to the wort.

Ingredients / Re: German perle hops
« on: February 24, 2017, 08:17:21 AM »
Perle is a nice and clean bittering hop that was popular prior to the current strains of super alpha hops like Magnum. I use Perle as my main bittering hop in a number of brews. I've never heard of it being used as a finishing hop.

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