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Messages - mabrungard

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Are grain bits in boil kettle a problem?
« on: May 26, 2017, 10:39:24 AM »
Grain husk does contain silicate, so you should avoid getting that in your kettle. But the kernels shouldn't be a problem. In most cases, it shouldn't matter if you get a little husk or kernel in the kettle.

Hop Growing / Re: Some Reading on Hop Training Dates.
« on: May 26, 2017, 10:35:52 AM »
Interesting. Wish I had seen that earlier, but I believe my practices are in conformance with their recommendations. I cut all of my Cascades and Centennials down at the end of April (both are late varieties) and the selected new bines are on the strings. I did not cut down my Northern Brewer (its an early variety) and they are well up the strings.

Equipment and Software / Re: CO2 Education
« on: May 20, 2017, 05:47:02 AM »
While that difference in purity is small, it can make a difference in the longevity of the beer. Its not just the price.

Use food-grade gas.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Taxmans Triple Hopped
« on: May 20, 2017, 05:42:24 AM »
Agreed. If you see Taxman beers on tap or on the shelf, you are virtually guaranteed of having a pretty darn good beer. They are focused on Belgian styles and execute them well.

Regular silicone seal should work. Apply a modest glob over the defect and let cure.

Obviously, welding is a better and permanent fix.

Equipment and Software / Blichmann Pump
« on: May 13, 2017, 03:07:17 PM »
I just became aware of a new pump that Blichmann is coming out with. I saw a pre-production version at my LHBS and heard their staff's reviews after using it in their in-house system. It reportedly was developed in conjunction with March pumps and it does look and sound impressive.

From the pump specs, it is more powerful than the typical March or Chugger since it reportedly delivers up to 7 gpm and max's out at 21 ft of head. I seem to recall that my March 815 can deliver something like 5 gpm and it max's out at about 12 ft of head. So this new pump can move some wort. Interestingly, the SST head is held onto the motor with a tri-clover clamp and it includes one of Blichmann's needle valves for flow control. I see that it also includes a spring-loaded bleed port to allow you to quickly expel air from the pump volute.

The guys at my LHBS said the pump is almost scary quiet, so that is nice. But, I have to admit that the typical March or Chugger isn't that loud either.

I'm not in the market for a pump, but if I was, this would definitely be at the top of the list.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Adding salts to extract brews
« on: May 12, 2017, 05:57:51 AM »
While there is some mineral content in any extract product, it may not be sufficient for your tastes. It is OK to add more.

An important factor is to avoid adding too much since there is some ionic content in the extract and you should acknowledge and account for that. Unfortunately, you are unlikely to know how much is in your extract. The only advice I can give you is that Briess extracts have a high amount of sodium due to their tap water. If using their extracts, I suggest you avoid adding any sodium salts.

Might be a situation where a taste dictates the direction.

Absolutely. It doesn't matter that you put ingredient X in your recipe, if you (and judges) can't perceive it, its not worth mentioning or categorizing because of it.

If the spice notes are apparent, it will need to go into the SHV category. I doubt that any raisiny flavor would be considered 'fruit' enough to warrant placement in the Fruit beer category.

If the spice or raisin flavors are low, you may be able to pass it into another stout category.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Moving to dry yeast exclusively
« on: May 10, 2017, 05:29:46 AM »
London ESB and Windsor yeasts are low attenuators that are intended for use in worts with simple sugars added. Even with their underattenuation in all-malt worts, I like their flavor. I agree with erockrph that S-04 tends to have a bready flavor. 

If Liberty Bell is the replacement for Burton Union, have many brewers tried it?  I'm also curious about the Empire yeast...another low attenuator.

All Grain Brewing / Re: When to add Candi syrup?
« on: May 09, 2017, 12:45:16 PM »
After listening to a Ron Pattinson talk on Scottish beers, its apparent that the various invert sugar syrups can be very useful in brewing for not only color, but flavor too. I've never used invert syrups before, so I'll have to give them a try.

All Grain Brewing / Re: how do you add your salts?
« on: May 01, 2017, 12:22:52 PM »
I don't recommend adding salts to the grain or to the mash since it is much more likely that those salts and their ions won't be well distributed in the wort. The best approach is to add salts to the strike and sparge water and mix well for about a minute. That way, you are guaranteed that the ions are well-distributed. 

The other option is to add all salts to the kettle, but then you may miss out on some beneficial effects of having those ions in the mashing water (pushing down wort pH, reducing oxalate in your wort, etc). If your starting water quality is already above 40 to 50 ppm calcium, then those benefits are already in can add your minerals directly to the kettle with little detriment.

Ingredients / Re: Do campden tablets affect water ions
« on: May 01, 2017, 10:19:55 AM »
This subject is discussed on the Water Knowledge page of the Bru'n Water website.

Campden tablet additions to remove chlorine compounds result in a few ppm increase in sodium and sulfate.

Ingredients / Re: Treating water
« on: May 01, 2017, 10:17:38 AM »
The relatively minor concentrations that we brewers use in our water require small mineral doses that will dissolve in either hot or cold water. However, I've found that you can't just dump minerals into the water and expect them to dissolve from the pile they are in. You do have to stir them up to suspend them in the water and then they will dissolve fairly quickly. Less than a minute of stirring works well for me.

Just don't be petrified of including sulfate in your water. Use enough to dry the finish of your beer to the degree that you prefer. This can be especially true when brewing big beers that may not attenuate very well. Zero sulfate is rarely the proper recommendation.

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