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Messages - mabrungard

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I like the idea of CRS. However, the fixed proportions of sulfuric and hydrochloric acids can end up pushing the beer flavor into the "minerally" range. The main problem is that CRS adds almost as much chloride ion as it does sulfate ion. We are better off tailoring the addition of either acid to produce a better result. 

Joe said his company is exploring if there is a market at the homebrew level. Smaller packaging could be produced if they find its viable.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Is 5.0 Ph too low?
« on: May 09, 2016, 11:13:46 AM »
in my experience, low mashing pH results in reduced body and mouthfeel. At lower pH, there is likely some degradation of the poly-saccharides or proteins that would typically exist in wort. No data, just my own perceptions of the end results.

It is probably too late to correct that effect via an alkali addition. The only thing that would occur is the wort pH is higher and the resulting beer pH might be slightly higher than if you didn't do anything.

It will still be beer, either way.

The presence of lactate in German beers is widely reported in analytical reports for those beers. Lactate is also consumed to some degree by yeast. I have no idea what the metabolic products of lactate consumption by yeast is. But all of this does suggest that there could be a flavor impact to beer, even when the lactate content is below 400 ppm, which is the popular taste threshold reported for the average taster. Be aware that some tasters can perceive lactate at higher and lower levels...remember that 400 ppm is for the average taster.

I tried to estimate the water volumes used in the trial and came up with about 3.5 gallons of mashing water and 4.5 gallons of sparging water. Malcolm will need to confirm for me. At those volumes, the resulting lactate content in the overall beer is more likely to be around 250 ppm, not 400 ppm. Users of the supporter's version of Bru'n Water know that that program reports the anion content of the various acids used and also warn when the content might be at or above the taste threshold.

The other concern I have is that the sparging water was only taken down to a pH of 6.0 and that suggests that the amount of alkalinity remaining in that sparging water is about 50 ppm (as CaCO3). I generally recommend bringing the alkalinity down to about 25 ppm.

All of these results do suggest that my original hypothesis that lactate can add a flavor 'nuance' to beers brewed with lactic acid...even when below the taste threshold of the average taster. I've heard some brewers say they hate even minor additions on lactic acid, but most drinkers seems OK with it. When sensitized to it, I expect that many tasters could detect it at lower than the average content.

Yeah, doesn't it?  But I ran across something that claims to be such a product at CBC.  It's already in use in megabreweries and is breaking into the craft world.  The guy who works for the company that makes it and introduced me to it is a multiple NHC medal winner over the course of many years.  He used it in a cream ale that he made a year and a half ago.  It made it to NHC second round with very high scores.  I'm looking for a chance to brew back to back batches with and without it for comparison.

I also had a long discussion with Joe at CBC about this product. This is basic science...adding a specialized tannin product that complexes with certain metals and oxidants in wort and water. In a way, it has some similarity to adding metabisulfite to wort and water and its also similar to adding Irish Moss to wort. Joe gave me a sample and I'll be using it and passing some of it to some of my clubmates that are highly skilled brewers to see if they see a difference in a lighter beer style that they frequently make. The objective is to try and see if there is anecdotal evidence of improvement. As we know, paler and lighter beers are more subject to oxidation and degradation. Real evidence would be to brew multiple beers with and without that product to see if we homebrewers see a difference.

I see that process improvements such as adding this tannin product or metabisulfite could advance the craft. I'm willing to explore before calling for dismissal.

Beer Recipes / Re: Champaign Velvet Beer. The Indiana Classic
« on: May 04, 2016, 03:08:05 PM »
Surface water from Lake Monroe. Its right off the mountains (hills?).

Beer Recipes / Re: Champaign Velvet Beer. The Indiana Classic
« on: May 04, 2016, 03:05:05 PM »
Be aware that the water supply in Bloomington, IN, where CV is made, is surprisingly soft (for Indiana at least). They don't add much in the way of minerals for that one.

Events / Re: CBC
« on: May 02, 2016, 02:40:09 PM »
I'll be there. Speaking on Friday afternoon.

Maybe somebody who knows more about this subject can explain what I really do not understand about their theory (maybe I overlooked the explanation in the paper). If oxygen creates unpleasant flavors or destroys pleasant flavors in the grain in a matter of hours in the brewing process then why do these reactions not occur during the days/weeks/months between malting the grain and brew day?

Is heat accelerating the reactions?

Is solubility a factor?

Are reactions worse with compounds in the interior of the grain? If so, what accounts for the lack of reaction with oxygen already within the grain?

A lot of reactions and molecular formation goes on in the mash due to the aqueous environment that we create. That can't happen in the kernel (except if its really wet, ala crystal malt). So the fact that this staling reaction doesn't occur in the grain in the months between malting and mashing isn't a surprise to me.

I see that the German Brewing group was not the first to pose this concern with oxygen:, so I'm not dismissive of the premise. The thing is that keeping oxygen out of the mash and wort and avoiding this degradation is like the war on Terrorism. You have to win the battle against oxygen 100% of the time. That is a tough thing to do. And considering that it only takes minutes for oxygen to create this staling reaction, I'm not sure that we could ever avoid oxygen contact to a large enough degree to taste an actual difference in our beers.

I've reviewed the molar amount of oxygen in our tap water at mashing temperature and I recognize that it actually takes only a fraction of the metabisulfite amount that is recommended in the German group's article. But then I recognized that the wort is constantly subjected to potential atmospheric oxygen contact and I'm guessing that the excess meta is in there to keep up the protection. I can see that blanketing the mash and wort with another gas like CO2 or N2 could help avoid using up the meta dose. Fortunately, the excess sulfite in the wort will be volatilized to sulfur dioxide in the boil and it leaves the wort. So you don't have to worry about sulfite in your beer.


There is something wrong. Wort pH does not rise during the boil. Either your measurements are off or your wort has something like chalk in it.

Ingredients / Re: Do I need any additives for my water?
« on: April 30, 2016, 10:10:08 AM »
It appears to be a cationic-exchange filter unit. If that is the case, it would remove the iron. But it also removes the calcium and magnesium. It would be exhausted quickly with your water.

Sulfite in wine is relatively permanent. However, when sulfite is added to wort before the boil, there is a substantial opportunity for that sulfite to be volatilized out of the wort as sulfur dioxide during the boil. That is a reason why we don't see much mention of sulfite in beer...other than we brewers don't typically employ it in brewing! 

Please remember that parts per million actually means: milligrams per liter in our application.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash temp for RIS
« on: April 29, 2016, 05:56:48 AM »
A long rest in the 140's F is needed to help make a wort that is fermentable. A mashout step in the upper 160's F is necessary to get more of the fermentable content out of the bed. You would see at least 2 to 3 Brix increase from a mashout step in a big beer that was mashed at this low temp. I feel that its worth it here.

Yep. And another thing I'm struggling with has to do with the many, many pictures I've seen from German breweries with large copper tanks, yet it's now a no-no. Martin is pretty adamant that copper is needed to drive off sulfur, so the alternative is a sulfur bomb with great malt character? I know sulfur dissipates eventually, but still scratching my head there.

The good thing is that wort only needs minimal contact with metallic copper to achieve the desired result. I know that my system has more copper piping than I would prefer. For the past 6 months, I've been wondering if it is too much. This paper added to my doubts.

Ingredients / Re: Brewing Water From Deep Wells in Munich?
« on: April 27, 2016, 10:46:43 AM »
Look at the 'boiled' Munich profile in Bru'n Water to understand the change that can be produced.

Does this potentially mean that the "boiled" Munich profile is fairly close to what they are using today?

It means that that profile is easily replicated in Munich and some breweries do employ a lime softening pre-treatment system for their water prior to it entering the brewhouse. Lime softening produces a similar result to that of boiling and decanting.

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