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Messages - mabrungard

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61
All Grain Brewing / Re: Rimms question
« on: February 22, 2015, 05:37:32 AM »
The sensor has to be immediately downstream of the element in order to avoid overheating the wort. The PID cannot control the wort temperature unless the control-feedback loop is very small. You want the sensor as close as possible downstream of the element for best performance.

I also recommend that you include additional thermometers in your wort circuit so that you can monitor temperatures at the top and bottom of your grain bed. That gives you the ability to know when your mash has reached equilibrium after a mash step.

62
All Grain Brewing / Re: When to measure mash pH...
« on: February 21, 2015, 03:40:10 PM »
Here's the one I've got:

http://www.amazon.com/Etekcity®-Accuracy-Measurement-Resolution-Handheld/dp/B00FJFEB2O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424550442&sr=8-1&keywords=pH+meter

Last calibrated it about a month ago. I usually check it against my tap water, which has a known pH of 8.0 before using it. So far it still reads 8.0 when I do. (Yes, I make sure the sample is as close to 70* as possible.)

Unfortunately, because of the way a pH meter is calibrated, your method is almost like not calibrating at all.

Since we deal with the lower end of the pH scale in brewing, it is important to calibrate by a two-point method in the lower pH range.

63
Ingredients / Re: Melanoidin in Pale Ale
« on: February 21, 2015, 12:30:56 PM »
Yep, I like Keith's thinking. A sort of super Munich.

64
Equipment and Software / Re: Spoon or paddle
« on: February 21, 2015, 12:23:46 PM »
I find that if I add the grain slowly and mix thoroughly as its added, there is virtually no chance of creating dough balls. I do use a long-handle, plastic spoon that doubles as my volume measuring device. After seeing that plastic paddle that Ken mentioned, I'd say that might work better than my spoon. But after 15 years, I've only broken one spoon.

I do have a paddle made out of a piece of 1x4 Alder wood that I carved a handle into. That is only for my whirlpooling, since my small-headed spoon didn't enable me to get the wort spinning well enough.

By the way, I saw a video with German brewers using their big wooden mash forks and they were mixing the mash more like the way a Venetian gondolier paddles and not like a canoeist paddles. Of course, this was in a great big mash tun.   

65
All Grain Brewing / Re: Munich Dunkel Mulligan
« on: February 21, 2015, 12:01:33 PM »
Several excellent brewers in my club have come to the conclusion that dark Munich malt can be overdone in a Dunkel. They are trending to much higher light Munich malt percentage with touch of carafa (around 1%) in the grist. Anymore carafa than that tends to impart a perceptable roast note in the beer.

66
Ingredients / Re: Michigan Hops Farms Expanding.
« on: February 20, 2015, 06:48:32 AM »
I asked about homebrewers because there's a new hop farm opening in Central Indiana


http://www.sugarcreekhops.com/

The plan is to hold the Indiana state-wide Brew-B-Q at the Sugar Creek farm this summer, before the hops are harvested (August). Indiana brewers should 'like' the Brew B Q page on Facebook in order to keep up to date as to the plans for the event.

67
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Can a boil be too vigorous?
« on: February 19, 2015, 02:19:58 PM »
If you are boiling to a certain ending volume, you would have to stop the boil earlier. Obviously that reduces the level of isomerization. The other aspect was already pointed out: higher gravity wort reduces bittering contribution.

Yes, isomerization is temperature-dependent. Those living at higher elevations will suffer a reduction in the amount of isomerization their alpha acids will incur due to the wort boiling at lower temperature. There are breweries that use a pressurized boil kettle for the purpose of increasing the boil temperature and increasing the rate of isomerization. The minimum temperature needed for alpha acid isomerization to occur is about 185F. 

68
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Can a boil be too vigorous?
« on: February 19, 2015, 06:51:50 AM »
There are several negatives to excessive boil vigor: excessive wort concentration, bittering contribution is not in proportion to the length of time you can boil, late hop additions are not as effective due to over-volatization.

A nice rolling boil, that you can clearly see is moving the wort and trub in the kettle, is all you really need.

69
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Hefeweizen questions
« on: February 17, 2015, 01:37:06 PM »
I find that a ferulic rest is critical to getting these beers to come through with clove character. 111F is nice, 105F is even more pronounced.

While we're on this Hefe question: What about the question of purposely underpitching the weizen yeast to enhance ester production? I've always made a 1.5L starter, but my next Hefe may just rely on a freshly inflated Wyeast pack. Any thoughts on that approach?

70
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That German lager flavor
« on: February 17, 2015, 10:23:34 AM »

158 =1.018
156=1.016
154=1.014
152=1.012
150=1.010
148=1.008


Interesting result. Thinking back to some of my last brews, I believe my results are similar. I had just not thought about it in this way. Thanks.

71
Equipment and Software / Re: Cleaning Grain Mill
« on: February 16, 2015, 08:45:37 AM »
I knock the dust off the best I can and put it on the shelf in the garage. I can't think of a reason why it should be immaculate.

72
Equipment and Software / Re: Water Testing
« on: February 13, 2015, 10:52:00 AM »
I guess I am confused why you would need more than one test.

Locations that have variable water supplies or water quality will benefit from having the ability to test their current water quality just prior to brewing. The most important testing tends to be calcium content and alkalinity. With this information, its more likely that you can get closer to your intended mashing pH and sparging water target.

I like having an occasional report from a good lab like Ward, but if I had water that changed from time to time, I would rely strongly on test kits like mentioned here.

73
Beer Recipes / Re: Palm clone
« on: February 12, 2015, 06:04:14 PM »
I offer that the Belle Saison dry yeast would be a great yeast for a BPA like Palm. It has just a hint of belgian character and is relatively clean when fermented at its low temp range. While it doesn't do much for me as a saison yeast, it exemplifies what I prefer in BPA character.

74
Equipment and Software / Re: stupid refractometer question
« on: February 12, 2015, 10:27:56 AM »
But, isn't the wort substantially mixed during the boil?

That is exactly what I thought, but of course this is after I've stopped boiling and the wort was still. It seems there is a thin layer of more watery wort near the surface of still wort.

I can only assume that there are some sort of suspended solids in the wort that begin to settle when the wort is still.

75
All Grain Brewing / Re: Question about hop utilization in a hopback...
« on: February 11, 2015, 06:54:00 AM »
I am a very bad man! Matthew Brown's original work for the AHA REF is still languishing on my computer and has not been forwarded for inclusion in the REF information because I have my thumb in my a$$. Fortunately, you can get an indication of Matthew's work from his presentation at the Grand Rapids conference last summer.

As Jeff mentions, the use of a hopback did produce very substantial bittering. However, it needs to be known that Matthew's work included a bittering charge in the hopback during the transfer of the wort from the tun into the kettle. So there was ample opportunity for the alpha acids to isomerize in the kettle and contribute their bittering. So, there were no hops or hop matter in the kettle and there was still substantial bittering.

Yes, Matthew also did a split of the batch and used the hopback again to post-boil hop half the batch. Those at the conference presentation tasted both beers and they were good.

A very interesting use of a hopback.

Yes, I'll un-thumb myself and get that research article on its way to AHA.

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