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Messages - mabrungard

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Ingredients / Re: Brewtan B
« on: September 10, 2016, 12:21:51 PM »

Not to mention the number of German breweries using copper

Don't forget that there are plenty of German beers that don't travel well. I'm a proponent of having some copper in your system. I just don't know how much is too much or if there is such a condition. I have recently been reducing the amount of copper in my equipment since I had a lot.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Scottish Ale
« on: September 08, 2016, 06:14:15 PM »
This is a style that benefits from a minor amount of sulfate in the water to help dry out the finish. I've been using a profile that is similar to Edinburgh water, except not as extreme (Edinburgh = 140 ppm SO4). I'm targeting something like half that sulfate content and with a lightly bittered and malty wort, it produces a very drinkable beer.

By the way, I'm a big believer in reducing about a quart of first runnings from a 5 gal batch and heating until it turns to magma. They say that the sugars need to be heated to over 300F, but I've not been able to get it quite that high. But when that caramelized wort is rehydrated and reintroduced to the boil kettle, I think it does add a distinct richness.

Equipment and Software / Re: More User Friendly pH Meter
« on: September 06, 2016, 05:03:10 PM »
I have to wonder about some meters using computerized components on what amounts to a VERY analog instrument. While those features might make some aspects of pH meter use easier, I'm guessing that they can also create havoc.

I've used the MW-101 for about 6 years now and its been very reliable. Totally analog instrument.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Malt conditioning
« on: September 05, 2016, 07:08:05 AM »
I use the same mill at the same setting and don't condition, yet I still have no problems.

I agree that your current methods are were my previous methods. What I did find with conditioning was that my husk was typically more intact and the permeability of my grain bed was higher. That was a big deal to a RIMS brewer like me. I also increased my typical system efficiency by about 5%. Sure, its OK to continue what you're doing, but sometimes there are enhancements that are easy to implement that actually make a difference.

Beer Recipes / Re: How to calculate IBUs in recipes with lactose?
« on: September 04, 2016, 01:27:51 PM »
Denny, I think that link says that the assumed cause of reduced utilization was found to be not true. However, it does go on to say that the net result is still that wort with higher gravity does have reduced bittering utilization from the hopping.

Beer Recipes / Re: Pilsner
« on: September 03, 2016, 07:31:24 AM »
With the low alpha's that continental noble hops are coming out with, I'd caution against using all noble in any hoppy or bittered brew. Supplementing the alpha content with an early dose of super-alpha hops like Magnum is wise, in my opinion.

I recently finished a Dusseldorf Alt that I bittered with only Spalt that had alpha on the order of 2.5%. It was something like 3 or 4 ounces of hops in a 5 gal batch. Even though almost all the hopping was at the bittering stage, there was a little green vegetal flavor in the beer. Next time, I'll figure out how much Spalt I would need to add if the alphas were at more typical level and only add that amount of Spalt to the kettle. Then I'd figure out their bittering contribution and make up for the deficiency with a dose of Magnum. That will keep the vegetal level down at the more typical amount.   

All Grain Brewing / Re: Malt conditioning
« on: September 03, 2016, 07:19:44 AM »
My criteria for water misting is pretty simple.

If you run your hands through dry malt, you will be left with dust on your hands. I sequentially mist water onto the grain and mix by hand. I keep doing that and checking the dustiness of my hands each time. When my hands no longer have dust on them, I consider that: good enough.

Remember, the worst thing you can do is to oversaturate your grain and mill it. That is when you will gum up your rollers with wet flour. No fun to remove.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Issues trying to make an IPA
« on: August 31, 2016, 02:40:24 PM »
Unfortunately, Bru'n Water is complicated enough to actually require a new user to READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. After a user understands the flow of inputs and outputs, most say its very intuitive. You may need to spend more than 30 seconds.

Adding gypsum for an IPA is a good idea, but you do need to assess what the ending concentrations are. If you don't add enough, the effect may be insignificant. If you add too much, it may be too drying and the beer pH may have been driven too low (also bad for hop perception).

Beer Travel / Re: Atlanta
« on: August 25, 2016, 02:18:39 PM »
The taproom at Sweetwater Brewing is nice. The main benefit is the ability to taste a wider selection of their brews. It was the first place that I saw 1000 barrel fermenters. They are big!

Martin, I'm not sure anyone disputes that.  For me at least, the question is how far do I want to go to eliminate it?  What's a reasonable process for me as a homebrewer?

Totally agree! I can implement elements in my system and procedures that get closer to those supposed ideals, but I don't know that I could ever achieve perfection in that respect...nor that I could perceive it in my beers. It just seems like things that might make a difference. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: First all-grain, water concern
« on: August 21, 2016, 04:01:32 PM »
Spring water is not really any more suited to brewing than tap water is. The ONLY thing spring water has going for it is that it is not likely to contain chlorine compounds. One good thing about some spring waters is that they do report their mineral content and alkalinity. Then you have a hope of adjusting that reported water profile into something that benefits your beer. Using RO allows a brewer to assume that all mineral content is near zero along with the alkalinity.


Zum Uerige has a reputation for not traveling well.

Jeff and I know some friends that just returned from a visit to Dusseldorf. They picked up bottles that were incredibly fresh and tasting great while at Uerige. When they got their stash back to Indy, the beer had suffered in that short week or two.

I'd say that this lends some credence to the notion that we should try and eliminate or reduce these various oxidizing impacts. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Bru'nWater Pale Ale Profile?
« on: August 18, 2016, 06:01:18 PM »

Yeah, I will try and remember to add that 5 IBUs to the other 200+ IBU in my IPA.   ;D  But the point is well taken.

Sam, I hope you know that the solubility limit of iso-alpha acid is around 85 ppm. There have been plenty of lab analytic studies that have proven that claims of 200 IBU's in beer are false.  However, I have to admit that I believe there are components other than iso-alpha acid that create bittering in beer.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Bru'nWater Pale Ale Profile?
« on: August 18, 2016, 11:27:58 AM »
When working with a highly mineralized profile, its important to recognize the total boil-off percentage. As mentioned above, this is particularly important as your batch size decreases which can produce a higher percentage loss and more ion concentration.

Another consideration is that the drying effect of sulfate does improve the perception of bittering. I'm guessing that adding an extra 150 ppm of sulfate can add somewhere around 5 IBU's of bittering perception. So for those of you thinking about trying higher sulfate on a beer recipe that you've fine tuned the bittering to perfection, you will likely need to back off the bittering a teeny bit to have a similar balance.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Trouble with hoppy beers
« on: August 15, 2016, 05:03:44 PM »
You didn't mention the quantity of finishing hops. I typically am adding 1 to 2 oz of the late hops in a 5 gal batch. I prefer pellet hops since they release more of their contents because they've had the snot beat out of them during pelletizing.

I am not a fan of hop sacks...even big ones. I tried them earlier in my career and found they significantly reduced my hop utilization and flavor...even in the loosest of sacks.

You mention using the Pale Ale profile and RO water. How are you adding alkalinity to your mashing water? That big dose of gypsum, epsom, and CaCl will drive mashing pH down lower than desirable for good hop extraction. You have to add some alkalinity to the mashing water in order to keep the mash pH around 5.4 which I've found to be beneficial to extracting those hop bittering and flavor.

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