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Messages - mabrungard

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison in a Witbier?
« on: February 05, 2017, 08:05:31 AM »
That yeast will throw some esters and phenols,  but the ferment temp needs to be elevated. I fermented at 68F to 70F for a Saison and the beer was too clean. In addition, the temp has to be brought to near 80F to get the beer to attenuate well. I'm guessing that starting in the low 70's will express enough esters and phenols, but I don't know that they will be Wit-like. I look forward to others with experience with this yeast at higher initial ferment temperatures.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Boil temps - do they matter?
« on: February 04, 2017, 06:52:06 PM »
Yeah, I use SMB and BTB in my brewing.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Boil temps - do they matter?
« on: February 04, 2017, 02:13:14 PM »
Just finished brewing a M Dunkel and I revised my boiling procedures in response to this thread.

I reduced my boiloff percentage to under 10% by covering the kettle to almost 100%. I had been covering the kettle by about 1/2 to 2/3, but my boil loss percentage was on the order of 1 gal/hr. That was too much. I knew I had to implement change.

So with the lid barely cracked, I quickly found that I needed to reduce the power. I had been boiling with a mild rolling action with the power modulator set at 45%. I had to turn the setting down to 20% to get the same rolling with the cover on. So, there is a big energy savings with the cover on. I did find that its important to keep your face away from the kettle when checking the boil! Steam is hot!!!

I did boil the last 15 min uncovered to help assure that DMS was boiled out and to meet my 10% volume loss goal. I'll bump that down to 8% in the future if this approach seems to work well.

These were changes that I needed to do. We'll see if they improve or degrade the beer. 

Preboiling that water would bring the calcium and bicarb down a bit. That is an easy treatment for brewing.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Boil temps - do they matter?
« on: February 01, 2017, 02:00:26 PM »
With SMM and DMS being evolved throughout the boil, it seems like a covered boil for most of the period followed with a short and more vigorous open boil would serve to reduce thermal stress and eject the DMS.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Boil temps - do they matter?
« on: January 31, 2017, 01:00:34 PM »
I'm not sure if the pre and post boil color comparison is truly valid since there is a significant increase of wort solids and sugars. That would increase color by itself. But I do agree that the heating intensity should increase the darkening. We just need a better test and result in order to make the comparison.

5 to 6% is teeny compared to typical homebrewing results. I've heard that keeping it below 8% is recommended on pro systems. We are probably 2 or 3 times that. The common lore to keep the kettle uncovered is a big reason why our loss rates are too high. I keep my lid about 2/3 on and I still have too much loss. My wort is only slightly rolling, so it looks like I need to cover up a little more.

I've learned new stuff in this thread! 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Technique Help - Dark Grains at Vorlauf
« on: January 31, 2017, 08:01:01 AM »
Unless you are brewing a style that benefits from the wort pH being higher, it should be OK to let the pH drop when the roast is added at the end of the mash. So for dry stout, dunkel, and schwartzbier, it is OK to let the pH drop.

Homebrewer Bios / Re: Hi everyone. My introductory first post on AHA.
« on: January 29, 2017, 12:00:21 PM »

The great thing about this forum is that most participants play nice and you can get some real guidance here that can benefit your brewing and enjoyment. You can be anonymous as you like, but remembering the Golden Rule is always welcome.

Having been involved in the professional craftbrewing ranks, I can tell you that this is the place to get real information on the hobby and process. Homebrewers are in it for fun. Some of that disappears when your livelihood is on the line. More knowledge will benefit your beer, but only a minimum is needed. Add what you want and need and then enjoy!

I hope you will also seek out a local homebrewing club to enjoy your hobby with. My club is one of the highlights of my existence.

Beer Recipes / Re: Looking for a good Dry Stout recipe
« on: January 28, 2017, 03:20:44 PM »
Wow! Thanks for the compliments. While the grist that I use is pretty typical, its really the water and technique that makes the Dry Stout difference. Regular mash at about 5.4 in RO or distilled water followed with the roast barley addition at the end of the mash. That drives down the wort pH and that is the signature of the style. The flavors of Roast Barley meld with the grainy flavor of raw barley and are offset by the acidity of the low beer pH.

I haven't tried Golden Promise in this recipe, but I do like that malt. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Ph issue/meter advice
« on: January 28, 2017, 11:10:42 AM »
What is your recommended meter for basic home brew use? What's the life of a probe on something like the 101 if it's taken care of.

Let's see, I've had my MW-101 for about 5 years and the original probe is still calibrating and performing well. I do store the probe submerged in KCl storage solution and I never put it in hot liquids. I can recommend this meter. I do like the fact that it is an analog meter and it is not subject to the whims of the software or hardware of a digital version. But its probably not quite as precise. That probably means that the reading could be a hundredth or two off. I'm not concerned with being that precise in brewing. 

What's interesting about the probe on the MW-101 and 102 is that it is a double-junction probe that is therefore a little less prone to fouling. In addition, it uses a gel electrolyte that seems to be fairly stable in my occasional hobbyist usage. When it finally fails, it looks like it will be about $40 shipped to have another.

You can read more about my thoughts on pH meters on the Bru'n Water Facebook page. You'll have to scroll back a ways since there are a lot of articles on there.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Technique Help - Dark Grains at Vorlauf
« on: January 28, 2017, 10:56:03 AM »
Having said that I've used the late-addition technique but I've been persuaded by this forum to not do so and instead control mash pH.

While I agree that getting the pH in the correct range for the beer being brewed, the technique of holding the roast until the end of the mash does have its place. It's a great technique for styles where you want more color and less of the roast's flavor. It's perfect for Schwartzbier and Dunkel. It might be OK in a Mild if your goal is to avoid an overly roasty beer.

In beers that you do want to be roasty, you will probably need to boost the roast percentage beyond a typically brewed recipe since the roast notes will be lessened.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Ph issue/meter advice
« on: January 28, 2017, 10:45:18 AM »
I'm looking to replace my MW101.

The meter should be fine. Its the probe that has to be occasionally replaced. Its a fact of pH meter ownership.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Boil temps - do they matter?
« on: January 27, 2017, 12:39:03 PM »
I thought this would be about the variation in temps with altitude. Hey, I am at -198 ft elevation right now. Those Colorado breweries boil at a lower temperature.

Boil vigor is more appropriate, no?

There are low vacuum brewing systems available to the big boys.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Boil temps - do they matter?
« on: January 26, 2017, 12:49:01 PM »
After spending a few minutes reviewing what TBI and TBA are, it is very apparent that this is a well known effect in the big boy breweries. Extended or intense boiling can actually "pre-damage" the wort and make the resulting beer age quicker.

At the homebrew level where we probably keep our beer cooler and consume it sooner, this issue may be moot. But to provide your beers with longer shelf life, you do need to consider this. I will definitely be reviewing my practices and be making some changes.

Thanks for bringing this up, gentleman.

Equipment and Software / Re: Cheapo pH Meter Experience
« on: January 11, 2017, 12:26:21 PM »
Interesting unit. Too bad it doesn't report to the hundredth. That is helpful when checking wort samples.

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