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Messages - mabrungard

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Equipment and Software / Re: Continued water adj problems...
« on: June 05, 2016, 07:57:45 AM »
That is quite a difference. If you have any of those base malts left, you should perform a distilled water assessment on both. The water to grist ratio needs to be within the range of normal mashes. I suggest something close to 3 ml of distilled water for every gram of malt. Size that sample to provide enough wort to enable a pH measurement. The DI wort pH should be around 5.7 to 5.8 for those very pale base malts. I'm betting that their pH won't be in that range.

I've heard that Weyermann had a mistake at their facility and some very acidic malts were shipped as base malt.

Events / Re: beer glass lanyards
« on: June 03, 2016, 06:26:19 AM »
I like using one of those cheap foam beer coozies and I run both ends of the lanyard through opposite sides of the coozy so that the coozy sits on top of my conference badge. Its usually big enough for the conference glass.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: rolling boil?
« on: June 02, 2016, 07:31:41 AM »
Based on the evaporation percentages that pro systems produce and the percentages we homebrewers often experience, it's my opinion that we homebrewers typically boil too hard and have too much exchange with the atmosphere...which results in too much evaporation.

Yes, the wort needs to be moving during the boil to help extract the elements from our hops and to expel undesirable elements from the wort. But we don't need the wort to be leaping from the kettle throughout the boil duration. I've gone to partially covering my kettle to help reduce the exchange with the atmosphere. In addition, I limit the boil vigor to the point that I can see that the wort is moving trub and hop particles throughout the kettle. The other thing I do at the end of the boil is to increase the vigor to try and expel any DMS that might have accumulated in the early boil. It seems to be working, but without comparative trials, its just conjecture on my part.

Boiling too hard, just wastes energy and you end up with a lesser volume of more concentrated wort. Since you can't produce kettle caramalization at boiling temps, that argument seems dubious to me. I think that perception that brewers say they achieve is just the result of the more concentrated wort.   

I've never really understood this logic either. It seems to me that adding dark grains later would just be the same as adding less dark grains.

Not quite, but your contention is somewhat valid.

The main benefit of adding roast grain late in the mash is that it avoids depressing the mash pH too low during that early stage which would reduce the body of the resulting beer. While the wort pH is reduced when the roast is added later, the body of the wort is more established. You just end up with a somewhat tarter beer.

As implied in other posts, roast flavors tend to be more pleasant when the wort pH is a little bit higher than normal, say 5.4 to 5.6. Adjusting your mashing water alkalinity to provide you with that higher pH can be a better way to produce pleasing dark beers. Using low alkalinity mashing water and adding the roast late in the mash can leave you wanting. The low alkalinity/reserve the roast technique does have its place though. Beers like Dry Stout, Black IPA, Schwartzbier can benefit from that technique. Just recognize that it is likely to be lacking in other stout and porter styles.   

The exbeeriment pointed out one of the big flaws in predicting mashing pH...the acidity of roast grains vary quite a bit and that variation has no correlation to the roast color. The only saving grace is that roast grains are typically used at low percentage in most brews and their effect on pH is reduced for that reason.

I'll have to see if some sense can be made of roast grain acidity to possibly parse the roasts into categories that would improve pH prediction.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Bru'n Water Pale Ale Profile
« on: May 30, 2016, 08:07:26 AM »
Because of the large amount of calcium (and the magnesium) added to the water, its common to need to add alkalinity to the mashing water to avoid pushing the pH down too far with the Pale Ale profile. This is the result of the Residual Alkalinity effect. An important fact to remember, is that the native water of Burton also has a huge amount of alkalinity, but the huge calcium and magnesium contents result in that water having its RA near zero. 

Don't rely on chalk to provide your alkalinity. Use the baking soda exclusively for that.

Equipment and Software / Re: Some RIMS Questions
« on: May 26, 2016, 11:11:45 AM »
If you plan on brewing with single step infusion mashes

I agree that you can use much less power if you are only going to perform a single step mash. But, if you do want the flexibility and ability to step the wort and mash temp in the future, you will want the power. I rarely perform a protein or ferrullic step, but I often perform a Hochkurz mash and I always perform a mashout step. The power is worth it.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Question for those with recirculating mash.
« on: May 26, 2016, 11:07:27 AM »
Since I recirculate the wort to heat it and keep the entire mash at my desired temp, yes it is constantly recirculated. The recirculation sets up the filtering capability of the mash bed and no, you don't ever stir the mash bed once you have adequate circulation or that will screw up the filter that you've already established. You would have to continue circulation to reestablish the filter if you stirred.

Since I run a RIMS, I do conduct a mashout step and bring the temp up prior to runoff.

Of course, I just updated the free version of Bru'n Water to include an interface that is more like the supporter's version and it has also had the form controls removed so that the program will work on more platforms. The program has been stripped down to the barest minimum so that new users are less likely to be overwhelmed and will use the program. The free version comes in a single program that includes settings for US and SI units.

Check it out and let me know if you find bugs!

Ken, Assuming that the new chiller didn't have some manufacturing residue on it, I'd also consider over-sparging as a contributor to the astringency. I have to stop my runoff at a brix of 3 to 4 in order to avoid tannin extraction when I brew. The common lore for stopping runoff is 2 brix.

I now use less water for sparging and top off my kettle to the proper pre-boil volume with the remaining sparging volume.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Suitable Sub for Mild Malt
« on: May 24, 2016, 07:23:27 AM »
When I visited the Paul's Malt booth at the Craft Brewers Conference this month, I didn't see that they actually still make the Mild Malt. Glad to hear that the Briess product is similar.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Low Oxygen Brewing
« on: May 23, 2016, 01:02:27 PM »
The Brewtan is to remove metals such as iron and copper. The Meta is to remove oxygen from the water and wort.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Berliner Wiesse
« on: May 23, 2016, 12:59:17 PM »
Souring with lacto works better when you sour the sweet wort with lacto first and boil that when its reached your preferred pH target. The boiled wort is bittered to the degree desired and then the yeast is added to the cooled wort for the final fermentation.

Equipment and Software / Re: Some RIMS Questions
« on: May 23, 2016, 08:37:40 AM »
+1 on having enough power to step the wort temp. 240v is the way to go. By the way, it doesn't matter what the temperature of the mash is. It is the temperature of the wort after passing through the heating chamber that matters. Getting that wort immediately up to temp is important. The mash mass will eventually get there too as the wave of hot wort passes completely through the tun.

Denny, that is not my experience. Slowing the runoff, especially in the later stage of sparging and runoff, do make a substantial difference in my system efficiency. I sort of batch sparge, but its actually a hybrid of continuous and batch. 

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