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Messages - mabrungard

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Equipment and Software / Re: Ph meter
« on: September 13, 2017, 10:25:28 AM »
My Milwaukee MW-101 has been solid for over 5 years. I can recommend it.

An even better unit is the Hanna Halo unit that pairs with your phone app. Hanna gave me one of those units about 6 months ago to evaluate and it has been a champ. The only thing I have a problem with for the Halo is its cost (~$250) and the fact that the entire unit has to be replaced when the probe fully wears out. The probe and the phone app work very well.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Spices affect IBUs
« on: September 05, 2017, 08:11:46 AM »
The book on Session Beers that was just published by Brewers Publications had a discussion on bittering and perceptions. I don't recall the details, but the book did cite journal articles that indicate that bittering from hops is also due to substances other than the typically measured iso-alpha acids. I seem to recall a name like humulonene or something like that. I think the book used the term "tongue puckering" or something like it to characterize the undesirable nature of that form of bittering contribution.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Smoked Helles Advice
« on: September 04, 2017, 09:11:01 AM »
The word from Ron Smith is that Schlenkerla doesn't use any smoked malt in their Helles. The smoke that their Helles picks up, is from the brewing equipment and their environment. So, it doesn't take much to impart smoke in a delicate style like Helles.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Pumpkin and mash ph
« on: September 03, 2017, 02:21:17 PM »
So, funny story.....all my fussing and concern over how the pumpkin would affect the mash pH, and with everything going on I COMPLETELY FORGOT TO CHECK IT!!!!

Oh man!! We all could have used the info.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Spices affect IBUs
« on: September 03, 2017, 08:55:30 AM »
I don't really agree that spices are affecting IBU's. But I do agree that they will affect the perception of bittering. That is mostly due to the 'dryness' that most of those spices impart. This is much like the effect of adding sulfate to your water.

The bittering from hops or from some other sort of spice is a counter to the malt in the beverage. Those counters include iso-alpha acids, acidity, roast flavors, sulfate, and spice flavors. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: When to check mash pH
« on: September 02, 2017, 11:35:20 AM »
Martin, do you acidify your sparge water?

Sparging water acidification is performed in order to reduce its alkalinity. I use RO water and it already has low alkalinity, so I don't need to acidify that sparging water. If I was using my high alkalinity tap water, I certainly would acidify. Its very helpful for beer quality to neutralize sparging water alkalinity to under 50 ppm as CaCO3. It's even better to knock that down to under 25 ppm.

Ingredients / Re: Storing Hops
« on: September 01, 2017, 05:12:10 AM »
Absolutely should be kept frozen for as much as their life, as possible. When stored in metalized mylar packaging, I've had hops last for many years with little or no degradation in flavor, aroma, or bittering. I've investigated those bittering loss formulas, but they seem to predict much more loss than I perceive when I brew with them. That must have something to do with keeping them frozen.

FWIW, we definitely have RO machines at Kroger and Safeway in Longmont despite having water with a TDS ~50 coming out of the faucet. Form-factor of the 5 gallon jug has some appeal,  I guess ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I take it that the tap water has either iron or manganese (metallic) flavor?

Most large grocery stores have RO water dispensers and charge between 35 and 40 cents a gallon.

Unfortunately, not universally true. Areas that have low or really low TDS are unlikely to have RO machines in any stores. In essence, if you can't find RO machines in stores in your area, there probably isn't a great need for RO treatment and the tap water is more likely to be usable for brewing (of course, you still have to adjust it for brewing).

Zymurgy / Re: NHC Gold Medal Recipes
« on: August 31, 2017, 08:20:34 AM »
We're talking gold medal final round recipes, not first round ones.

Also the quotation marks implied that it's not always true.

Understood, but an important point still applies to final round beers too. They are not all 'great'.

Zymurgy / Re: NHC Gold Medal Recipes
« on: August 30, 2017, 05:11:00 AM »
The score means nothing. All the beers chosen for medals are "considered" to be world-class examples of their respective style.

That's hardly my experience. Its rare that beer in the first rounds of NHC are 'world-class' beer. With almost two decades of judging in the NHC, most beers are only OK and their scores reflect that. But some of those OK beers do advance or are awarded medals because they are the best of the OK.

With that knowledge, I know that 'medal-winning' beer may not mean a lot. However, a score above 38 is more likely to signal that a beer is special and possibly 'world-class'.

A blue-ribbon, 30 point beer is still a mediocre beer.  I would welcome a mention of how a beer was scored by its judges and if those judges were well-experienced. That will tell far more than a medal ever could.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Pumpkin and mash ph
« on: August 29, 2017, 08:41:50 AM »
The proper way to make a pumpkin beer is to leave it out. Use only the pumpkin pie spices.

PS: I don't know how pumpkin affects mash pH.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Brun Water Question for Pale Ale profile
« on: August 28, 2017, 04:57:25 AM »
That looks about right. The high alkalinity in your tap water is driving the lactic acid addition and your low sulfate content is driving the gypsum addition. The lactic addition is a little high, but shouldn't be over the taste threshold for most tasters. Bru'n Water is set up to dose both the mashing and sparging water with their fair share of the minerals.

Beer Recipes / Re: Rookie American Pale Ale with Chinook
« on: August 27, 2017, 09:38:36 AM »
I enjoy the pineyness of chinook, but I find that a little bit goes a long way. The other C hops work really well with that combination.

All Grain Brewing / Re: When to check mash pH
« on: August 27, 2017, 09:31:57 AM »
 Definitely don't check mash pH in the first 10 minutes. Those reactions take a little while to occur. The pH will change during the course of a mash. It is the final pH that's most important.

It's also really important that the brewer mix all the minerals and acids into the water before adding the grain. It's really hard to mix all that stuff together evenly otherwise.

Given the prevalence of mediocre beer from various brewpubs, it should be no surprise that many brewers don't adjust their water. Don't be one of those brewers.

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