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Messages - mabrungard

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Quick tips
« on: January 05, 2016, 07:30:35 AM »
It aids in lautering, keeps the dust down, and the more intact husks will impart less astringency.

Kai wrote about it. Jeff Renner did on the HBD a long time ago.

Since I use a RIMS, I found that conditioning offers a significant improvement in grain bed permeability while allowing my crush to be finer. It's worth it to me.

Ingredients / Re: water profile
« on: January 03, 2016, 01:25:52 PM »
Whether or not you brew with softened water depends on the hardness of the raw water. I'm guessing that your water is from a non-carbonate aquifer and is not that high in Ca or Mg. If that is actually the case, there is a good chance that the softener takes out the iron and leaves you with an acceptable water without excessive sodium. So, don't discount using softened water.

Since you are on a well, there is little value in using a carbon filter. There is no chlorine and there shouldn't be taste and odor components that this filter can remove.

Don't punt your water yet. It is possible that it is usable. But you do have to have the water report. RO is a fallback option.

Beer Travel / Re: Tour Rhinegeist brewery
« on: January 02, 2016, 08:10:24 AM »
Brewer Jim Matt likes to experiment with hops. There are often PAs and IPAs with obscure hops he is trying that are only available at the brewery. Some are iffy, but that's an opportunity for everyone to learn.

The Pub / Re: Ferment chamber temp controller
« on: January 01, 2016, 05:54:45 PM »
All you really need is a control for your cooling circuit. I use a Johnson 419 to control a fan that brings air from my freezer into the chamber. It could just as easily be used as the thermostat for a refrigerator.

On those odd days when its actually colder outside your chamber than your ferment temp and you need to add heat, all you have to do is insert a heating pad in the chamber. You still keep the cooling circuit active and it will kick on if the heating pad makes it too hot in there. Sure, its a little wasteful, but its a million times easier and cheaper than having a special heating and cooling circuit.   

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Best top-off water?
« on: December 31, 2015, 05:10:40 PM »
Agreed! Topping off with nothing but pure distilled or RO water could leave the beer bland(er). Appropriate salts should be included in the top-off water to move the profile in the general direction appropriate for the beer being brewed. The most important factor is this: DON'T TOP-OFF WITH WATER THAT HAS MUCH ALKALINITY. That is almost certain to degrade your beer. Both RO and distilled water have little alkalinity and they are safer bets if you don't know how much alkalinity your tap (or that jug of spring water) has.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Acid solution for Beerstone
« on: December 31, 2015, 01:40:17 PM »
I just learned something. BKF is manufactured in Indy. I did not know that prior.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: "Shaken, not Stirred" Summary
« on: December 30, 2015, 07:27:58 AM »
Have you given any thought to cold crashing the starter while it is at high kreusen and decanting it?
I tried that with a lager, the yeast didn't drop out in the fridge, there was still some Krauesen at the top the nest day, and the starter was cloudy from the yeast. You might have to get closer to freezing to crash some lager yeast.

Yeast are somewhat resistant to flocculation when there are still sugars in solution. I would not be surprised that it takes significant cold to get them to drop at high krauesen.

Zymurgy / Re: Jan/Feb Issue printing error
« on: December 28, 2015, 06:01:12 PM »
My copy arrived today and is in good order.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Trying The Amber Balanced Bru'n Water Profile
« on: December 28, 2015, 06:57:49 AM »
Better suited to pale ales and bitters? On some of the English Boards I visit occasionally, they would consider your water almost Pilsen like. They say they prefer much more chloride and sulfate. While I don't agree with the degree some of them mineralize their water, I can say that the Amber profiles are comparatively lightly mineralized. But that profile should be fine for a beer like a Fat Tire.

I don't think you will find much difference in your results between no additional mineralization and the light mineralization of the Amber profile, but its a start. The main importance was that you were focused on bringing pH into the proper range.

When ready, consider boosting sulfate appreciably into the 150 to 200 ppm range for a true pale ale and see the difference that makes. If that meets your tastes, trying 300 or 350 ppm could be considered.

Beer Recipes / Re: Stout Thoughts
« on: December 26, 2015, 01:35:37 PM »
Don't forget that acidity is a component of the flavor profile for Irish Dry Stout. Targeting the typical dark beer mash pH of 5.5 to 5.6 is not what you want in the Dry Stout. Targeting a lower pH in the 5.2 to 5.4 range is more proper for that style.

Ingredients / Re: Is there a chlorine/chloramine test?
« on: December 26, 2015, 01:31:21 PM »
I find that the liquid test kits for Total Chlorine are better than test strips. While it will always be difficult to measure a contaminant that is at near-zero concentration, its better than doing nothing.

Just remember that we really need the level of chlorine compounds to be zero since it only takes teeny levels of those compounds to create perceptible chlorophenol levels in beer.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Hitting you mash pH
« on: December 25, 2015, 07:28:00 PM »
20 minutes into the mash my first pH reading was 5.7. I was able to get it down to 5.4 using 3/4tsp of Lactic Acid. But that adjustment took place 1/2 way into the mash. Should I not worry about the 30 minutes of the mash sitting at the higher pH?

I can virtually guarantee that you were chasing your tail. The fact is that mash pH varies during a mash. I've noted a fairly consistent tendency for a high initial pH to fall a bit during the mash and a low pH to rise a bit. There seems to be a buffering action that tends to bring mash pH closer to 5.4. So that 5.7 would have naturally fallen if you had given it time.

My strong recommendation is to NOT adjust mash pH during the mash. Make the predetermined adjustments using a program like Bru'n Water and let the pH go. Do monitor the actual room temperature pH during the mash and make note of the final pH at the end of the mash. If its more than a couple of tenths off, make a note of it and add either a dose of acid or alkali to the kettle to bring the pH closer to expectation. But don't chase pH during the mash since it will vary by itself.

Jim, did you measure the kettle wort pH before the boil? I'm curious if the pH was at your target or below.   

Ingredients / Re: Is there a chlorine/chloramine test?
« on: December 25, 2015, 05:55:39 PM »
Section 4.1.6 on Bru'n Water's Water Knowledge page presents all you need to know about chlorine testing.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Rubbing Alcohol Off Flavor
« on: December 25, 2015, 01:53:49 PM »
Higher alcohols are the result of the metabolization of amino acids via the Ehrlich Pathway or sugar via biosynthesis.  The rubbing alcohol aroma is more than likely the result of 1-propanol production.

I need a teaching moment! Mark, what does this info mean for our practices? Is there an impact from oxygenation?  Under or over?

My experience is that temperature plays a big role and I've heard that over-oxygenation also plays a role in higher alcohol production.

Go to the home improvement store and review the PEX fittings. I think you will find that the plastic 90 degree elbows are what you need.  I use a 1/2-inch version in my setup.

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