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Messages - mabrungard

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61
Unfortunately, Kai's information is incorrect too. There is history behind that value when talking about chalk.

As you may have heard, it takes extraordinary measures to get chalk to dissolve in water. Unfortunately, that also applies to wort since wort doesn't have much of the 'strong' acid content needed to dissolve chalk. Brewers know that chalk doesn't provide the alkalinity that its chemistry says it adds and therefore the pH doesn't rise as expected.

With a -2 charge, you could expect carbonate to neutralize twice the acid content that bicarbonate can since it has a -1 charge (on an ion to ion basis). But carbonate does not dissociate completely in water or wort. To help account for that apparent deficiency, users assumed that the 158 ppm value should be applied instead of the 322 ppm value.

But in typical usage, chalk doesn't even provide the 158 ppm contribution to alkalinity. In fact, there is only a minor strong acid content in wort. Adding chalk to mash or wort typically only raises pH by about 0.1 unit...no matter how much chalk you add. While wort is clearly 'acidic' since its pH is below 7, the acids that drive the pH down are very 'weak'. They don't have the power to react with the carbonate in chalk.

The bottom line will always be: DON'T USE CHALK IN BREWING...IT DOESN'T WORK AT ALL!!!!!! 

62
You are confusing CO3 with HCO3. If we were concerned with CO3, that value you mention would be correct. But Bru'n Water deals with HCO3 since that is the form of carbonate ion that we have at typical brewing pH.

63
All Grain Brewing / Re: Experiment tying some threads together
« on: April 11, 2018, 11:58:02 AM »
High calcium content in brewing water for lagers has been shown to be detrimental to lager yeast metabolism. Magnesium is required for all yeast metabolism, particularly lager yeast. High calcium content in the water forces more substitution of magnesium from the yeast cell walls with calcium. The yeast's metabolism can be adversely affected by that substitution.

Beer can be effectively made with distilled water since malt provides ALL the calcium and magnesium necessary for yeast metabolism. However, there can be additional benefits in adding modest calcium and magnesium salts to the water for flavor and for enhanced brewing functions (precipitation and flocculation reactions, coagulation, etc). But the real point is that HIGH calcium can actually be detrimental to brewing. The contention that high calcium water is useful or desirable for brewing...is a myth. There is substantial evidence in brewing texts and journals that show that we should dispel that myth.

64
Beer Recipes / Re: Brew Guru Recipe
« on: April 09, 2018, 08:03:42 PM »
That result is possible with ANY recipe. I'm sure that the author made an assumption or observation for their system efficiency and predicted the amounts of grain needed to reach the desired gravity. Hopefully that was stated in the recipe.

If your system efficiency differs significantly from recipe's reported efficiency, you should plan on altering the relative amounts of each grain to account for that difference. Keeping the percentages of each of the grain bill constant, should enable you to recreate that recipe while accommodating your system's efficiency.

65
All Grain Brewing / Re: Flaked barley in IPA/APA?
« on: April 07, 2018, 04:25:27 PM »
Most definitely YES. The beta-glucans in flaked barley do substantially increase mouthfeel and head in my experience. Flaked wheat does a similar, yet smaller contribution.

I often add a small percentage of flaked wheat to my recipes to aid in head production, maybe a quarter pound in a typical 5 gal recipe. I find that wheat imparts a very light and crisp flavor to beers...inoffensive.

However, flaked barley is not so nice to work with in pale beers. I find that it has a much more noticeable flavor and its ability to boost head is multiplied. I found that even an ounce or two in a 5 gal batch created more than enough head building and the flavor still was noticeable to me. I ultimately gave up on flaked barley for pale beers. Flaked wheat does what I want.

Leave flaked barley to your darker recipes where the flavor of flaked barley seems to pair much more pleasantly with the roast flavors.

66
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Founders Solid Gold
« on: April 07, 2018, 02:26:16 PM »
I had it last night. $4 a pint, so its competitively priced.

Its OK. A pleasant lemon note, but its otherwise more similar to a mega-lager...but that is probably the point and the intent. It is a baby step forward from a mega-lager and could be very successful for the brewery. I think that it could help a mega drinker take a step toward craft.

I would drink it over a mega-lager.

67
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Invincible Rumors
« on: April 07, 2018, 02:21:22 PM »
The point is that everything is relevant to us (substitute “isn’t relevant” for “doesn’t apply” in the “what’s commercial doesnt apply in homebrewing” retort) and all we need to do is modify to scale or modify for environment to apply it.

EVERYTHING is relevant to us while not everything DIRECTLY applies from large to small.

There are a bunch of things and processes that pro's use that are out of common reach of a homebrewer, but that doesn't make them inapplicable. I firmly believe that there is NO difference in the physics and chemistry between homebrewing and large-scale brewing. The differences come in the ability or inability to move and process wort similarly at those scales.

I'm preparing an article and presentation on wort boiling that has been truly eye-opening. There is a plethora of scientific research and data that prove that a brewer can significantly harm their wort in a number of ways if they mis-manage this process. I can thank Derek and Bryan for setting me on my way down this rabbit-hole.

68
Beer Travel / Re: Portland, Oregon
« on: April 06, 2018, 06:50:28 PM »
Ok, I repent.  I just rechecked Brew Guru.  It has a more up to date map of breweries than does Untappd.  I’ll keep it on my phone.

I was going to say that it has improved markedly. I find that its very useful for finding deals at breweries and tap rooms. Sometimes those deals are for food, beverage, or merchandise.

The other thing that is very useful is that there are listings of good recipes on the app. So you'll always have something handy to guide you when you find yourself at the homebrew shop and decide that you want to brew something.

69
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Invincible Rumors
« on: April 06, 2018, 12:00:40 PM »
Well, it depends on what 'sour' means.

I'm not in the camp that says that Guinness biologically sours wort and adds it to their product. All the evidence that I've gathered suggests that they take their rainwater-quality water supply and steep roast barley in that to create a liquid similar to Sinamar that happens to have a pH in the low 4 range. Some tasters might consider that acidic liquid to have a 'sour' note.

70
Roger said it. I assumed that the concentrations of other ions were correct and represented the vast majority of all dissolved content. I then solved to find the bicarbonate concentration that produces balanced cation/anion totals.

71
Yes, that approach would work...if all the hardness was carbonate hardness (aka: temporary hardness). In the case of this water, a significant portion of the hardness is permanent hardness (aka: paired with SO4 and Cl ions).

So the bicarbonate ion content is not 149 ppm. Its more like 96 ppm.

72
Equipment and Software / Re: Poor Weld Job in Brew Pot
« on: April 03, 2018, 02:42:31 PM »
One of my club members has been employing silver-soldering with stainless fittings for his stainless vessels. He says there are special fittings that are intended for this use and they work well. Of course, proper surface prep and fluxing is required along with the proper silver solder.

Since the temperature of your kettle can't exceed about 212F, its never close to a temperature where the solder could melt again. If I ever consider upgrading my kettle, silver soldering will be under consideration.

73
Equipment and Software / Re: Poor Weld Job in Brew Pot
« on: April 02, 2018, 09:19:47 PM »
However, it will harbor bacteria that could cause problems if you cool your wort in this kettle. If this kettle is used strictly for boiling and you cool your wort via an external means (I.e. plate cooler), you should be okay.

I'm not sure that is true. While there could be contaminants and organisms harbored in the kettle between brew days, those critters will be killed during the subsequent boil. Cooling the wort in the kettle should have no detriment.

74
Equipment and Software / Re: Ph Meter and Bru’n Water
« on: April 02, 2018, 12:28:30 PM »
pH meters are a 'nice to have' element in your brewing equipment, but they do introduce a bit more effort to your brew day. I find that it adds at least another 5 minutes of prep time for checking calibration (or several minutes of frantic calibration when you forgot to do it beforehand and that sample is waiting). In addition, you'll be pulling and measuring extra samples during the mash (but I don't really have much else to do during the mash...so no big deal).

I wish that a pH prediction was spot on every time, but that will never happen. There are just too many variables that are beyond our control. The surest way would be to perform a mini mash and observe its pH and adjust from there in the full-scale mash. But that is certainly a serious PITA that I can't bring myself to do. Using software like Bru'n Water to get me in the ballpark with respect to mash pH, is good enough for me. But I still rely on my calibrated pH meter to help illustrate when the prediction varied from reality, which helps me bias my target pH for other similar brews. Measurement and experience help me get closer to my target. The only question remaining is: Was my target appropriate in the first place?

As we should all understand, there isn't a 'best' pH. Only good, better, and bad. Everything is a compromise in brewing.

75
Equipment and Software / Re: Bru'n Water & Brewtan B
« on: April 02, 2018, 12:11:31 PM »
I'd go with the BTB.   Since I've noticed no ill effects in a number of Pilsners under my comfortable 50ppm Ca, I'm guessing the amount of Ca chelated is real but insignificant. 
EDIT I'm also guessing if we needed to be aware of any effect on Ca, the makers of BTB would put it in the technical information they put out. I find nothing.

The makers have not, but there are other sources of gallotannin. I don't recall where I saw it, but there is a journal article somewhere that told of calcium drop with gallotannin use. I recall that the level was in the 10 to 20 ppm range. Not enough to really be concerned with. In addition, yeast do not need ANY calcium in the water for them to function well enough. The only concern would be a slowing in the flocculation and clearing of the beer.

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