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Messages - mabrungard

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Classifieds / Re: Free Pound of Willamette
« on: April 29, 2018, 12:28:46 PM »
Being a foe of Fuggles, I'm not sure that I'd appreciate Willamette. I've not used Willamette, though. If folks say that its quite different from Fuggles, I'd appreciate picking up a sample.

I do look forward to seeing you in Portland. Your experience with high elevation brewing is actually going to be mentioned in my wort boiling presentation, so you'll be FAMOUS and you should attend.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Amber Full water profile for an IPA?
« on: April 29, 2018, 12:22:20 PM »
I see that you parroted the profile fairly closely with those additions. In keeping with the spirit of those 'color based' profiles, they are very moderately mineralized for any style and well under what some brewers are using for hoppier and more bittered beers like IPA.

You have a lot of 'headroom' for adding more sulfate and I suggest that you try out the effect by adding a pinch of gypsum to a glass of the beer. This is hardly accurate, but pinch of gypsum (maybe a millimeter or two thick) between your thumb and index finger will add about 100 ppm sulfate to a pint of beer. I suggest you try a pinch and if that improves things, try another pinch. There should be enough headroom in your sulfate content to allow it.

Ingredients / Re: Amber Ale with special B
« on: April 29, 2018, 12:04:21 PM »
That recipe has quite a bit of crystal in it and the substitution of Special B may not be any more helpful. Special B is one of those malts that can be overused with undesirable results. It's lovely in nuanced usage, but easily becomes overwhelming.

All Grain Brewing / Re: When to recirculate mash
« on: April 26, 2018, 12:47:40 PM »
Recirculation is a wonderful tool for homogenizing your wort. You can either stir the heck out of the mash or you can recirculate the wort. I can assure you that the recirculation is much more capable than stirring.

So you should briefly recirculate your wort at the beginning of the mash, but you'll probably need to limit the flow rate since the permeability of the mash bed is low at the beginning of the mash. I have a manometer plumbed into the bottom of my tun so that I can see how much head drawdown my pump is pulling. Adjusting the flowrate so that the drawdown level at the bottom of the tun is an inch or so above the bottom, has proven to be sufficient for avoiding a stuck mash. You do need to be careful, since a pump can impose a much larger drawdown and that will suck the bed into a impenetrable block.

Since you don't have any heating, it would not be wise to continually recirculate. That would increase the heat loss. I would say that recirculating for maybe 5 minutes would be good enough to homogenize the wort.

Resuming the recirculation at the end of the mash would also be wise at the end of mashing to assure that the wort is nice and clear. I don't think that it would require 15 minutes to achieve a clear wort. I'm betting that just a few minutes are necessary. Having clear tubing somewhere in your pump circuit should enable you to assess clarity.

One caution about stopping a pump during a mash. I've experienced my pump impeller getting stuck on its shaft if the pump is stopped. Now my procedure is to never stop the pump once the circulation has started. I only stop the flow by closing the discharge valve. Needless to say, having a stuck impeller does elicit screaming and cursing, so after a couple of those episodes, I found this solution.

PS: you'll really appreciate having a RIMS tube so that you can maintain temps, do temp steps, and do a mashout step. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water treatment for reiterated mash
« on: April 25, 2018, 04:32:09 PM »
The 477 ppm bicarb seems a bit high, but I'm guessing this is a high gravity wort.

Assuming you are working with the free version of Bru'n Water, the actual ion concentrations will be lower than the mashing concentrations that I think you're showing. That should help alleviate the concerns with Ca and HC03

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water treatment for reiterated mash
« on: April 25, 2018, 11:55:33 AM »
I guess that's one way to do it. I can see that the efficiency will be a little lower due to using wort as your final 'sparging' liquid.

While I understand your withholding the mineral additions from the mash to help keep the RA and resulting wort pH up, you are only delaying the inevitable. Most stouts and porters benefit with a softer and fuller roast character when the kettle wort pH is kept a bit higher than other styles, say 5.4 to 5.6. When you add those reserved minerals to the kettle, the same reaction still occurs in the kettle and wort pH will drop. You are better off boosting alkalinity as needed to produce the proper mashing pH and then have that carry over into the kettle.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Off Flavor Troubleshooting
« on: April 23, 2018, 09:07:20 PM »
It does sound like oxidation. I'm assuming you bottle conditioned the beer?? That should have provided a bit of protection.

How long did you boil the wort? Long boils can make a beer more susceptible to premature staling.

Of course, you need to be very diligent about not allowing ANY oxygen contact with your finished beer, once its finished fermenting. It's tough to avoid, but it does make a difference in the longevity of the beer.

Pimp My System / Re: New all grain system
« on: April 23, 2018, 09:01:00 PM »
Very nice. You might have problems with using regular silicone tube on the suction side of the pumps. It collapses pretty easily under vacuum and while hot. I use reinforced vinyl tube on my suctions and it's fine for mashing temps but will collapse with near boiling wort.

All Grain Brewing / Re: All mineral additions to mash water
« on: April 21, 2018, 08:38:57 PM »
There shouldn't be a problem with sparging with low or no salt water. I've used that technique with all of my recent lagers and that same approach is OK for a Hefe. An overall low calcium content in a Hefe is desirable for reducing yeast flocculation and keeping the beer cloudier and more yeasty. Having modest sulfate and chloride in a Hefe is desirable.

The SO4 and Na amounts are significant enough to account for them. You are going to add 20-30ppm SO4 and a smaller amount of Na.

If adding metabisulfite for chlorine compound neutralization, the added Na and SO4 concentrations are much smaller than that. The levels mentioned above are from LODO brewing methods where more meta is added to the water to provide continuous oxygen scavenging.

Ingredients / Re: Help! Stubborn brewer ruined beer with sea salt
« on: April 20, 2018, 07:40:55 PM »
Yeah, you're F'd. A half ounce of salt should put you in the 350 ppm range for sodium. The taste threshold is around 250 ppm and that is where the taste starts to be 'salty'. Below that, its generally perceived as sweeter.

You would have needed to keep the table salt addition in the 2.5 gram/gal range to stay under 250 ppm. That happens to be somewhere around 2 TSP in 5 gal.  3 TSP = 1 TBSP

Too bad you used TBSP as your measure. Its not over. You can always dilute that beer in the glass with another beer.

Equipment and Software / Re: Pump reviews
« on: April 18, 2018, 12:44:51 PM »
The March, Chugger, and Blichmann pumps all seem to be produced by the same mfr. The motors look the same to me. The pump heads are different, but they seem to perform similarly. I'm not sure there is a big difference.

I've got a March 815 and it performs well. I do like the features on the Blichmann. I understand that the Blichmann discharge valve can be a little more prone to clogging since its a needle valve style, but if you don't have debris in your flow stream, that shouldn't be a concern.

All Grain Brewing / Re: BIAB and mash temp question
« on: April 16, 2018, 02:42:10 PM »
Do your beers have body or mouthfeel problems? Too thin? Then you might benefit from a higher mashing temp. But just boosting temp in a quest for 'richer and dextrinous' might not work very well. I started out brewing like that and appreciated the beers, but have since found that targeting more fermentable wort produces a more drinkable beer for me. Richness isn't necessarily lost when you drop your mashing temperature.

Beer Recipes / Re: Have these ingredients, what can I brew?
« on: April 15, 2018, 12:07:00 PM »
With those roast malts, it appears that the stage is mostly set for a Porter. I'm not sure that those hops would pair well in a Porter, but its possible. It would be an American Porter, although those aren't 'American' hops.

I get the importance of pH vs carbonate species. I’m just curious as to why your calculations are so high from chalk additions. Even fully dissolved with CO2 CaCO3, the alkalinity contribution is still significantly higher than Kai’s chalk experiments. If the calculations are worthless, then why do you include them? Oh, and...


I apologize. I haven't made it clear that you are talking about two different anions. However, they do happen to have an equivalence. The 158 ppm of CO3 can be expressed equivalently as 322 ppm of HCO3. Both of those expressions result in the same amount of alkalinity.

PS: Kai's chalk experiments were flawed and even AJ Delange mentioned that to Kai. Kai was a real trooper and he often did interesting work. Unfortunately, he did get over his head occasionally.

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