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Messages - mabrungard

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Homebrew Competitions / Re: How best to describe 22C?
« on: February 26, 2015, 07:06:24 AM »
Yes, vague is better. It provides less rope for the judges to hang you with when they didn't pick up enough Sichuan peppercorns.

I've only had one of my beers score a 42 and it is quite rare that I give a score any higher in competition. I guess we judges have a hard time defining what perfection is and therefore scoring any beer at 50. So functionally, a score in the mid 40's MAY essentially be perfect.

Equipment and Software / Re: New to this hobby
« on: February 25, 2015, 06:35:16 AM »
All of the advice above is good. I'll add another component that can help produce success. Find a local homebrew club and ask for help and advice. At a minimum, it could allow you the opportunity to see the homebrewing process in person before committing your hard earned cash.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Ipa water addition help
« on: February 22, 2015, 07:49:25 PM »
I have always added my salts to the tun. I don't add to the cold water because I don't measure my water before heating it.

When are you measuring and how?  Seems like an odd way to brew?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Mash temp and thermometer
« on: February 22, 2015, 07:43:51 PM »
A decent, long-stem dial thermometer is actually a robust instrument, but it's prone to going out of calibration. As long as you have a good laboratory-standard thermometer that you can calibrate your 'working' dial thermometer with, you will be in good shape.

No need to buy a Thermopen since they are horrifically overpriced and not worth it. However, if you are interested in electronic thermometers, Thermoworks (the same folks that make the Thermopen) have great handheld units that are very inexpensive and accurate. You won't feel like you've been screwed.

On to the mash temp. Yes, 156F is too high for any higher gravity beer. I find that 152F is good for most medium and high gravity beers and I  only boost the temp if brewing small beers where I need a higher finishing gravity. Underattenuation is the primary fault I find in homebrews because the brewers think that 'chewy' beer is better. (Its not) An appropriate level of fermentability and attenuation is what makes a great beer. If you need the beer sweeter, reduce the bittering, not reduce the fermentability.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Show off your foam!
« on: February 22, 2015, 02:21:24 PM »
Enjoyable for a homebrew, but might be objectionable a commercial venture and to the barman pouring the beer.

I would have to believe that the pump breaks the beta-glucans up. Inserting a grant reduces the stress that the trip through the pump might place on the wort and along with it, a reduction in the beta-glucan destruction. Beta-glucans are terrific head builders. I've produced many a beer with heads that large or greater and they all included a minor percentage of flaked barley (which is full of beta glucans). I've since switched to using a minor percentage of flaked wheat which has less beta-glucan content and also has a nicer flavor.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Rimms question
« on: February 22, 2015, 05:37:32 AM »
The sensor has to be immediately downstream of the element in order to avoid overheating the wort. The PID cannot control the wort temperature unless the control-feedback loop is very small. You want the sensor as close as possible downstream of the element for best performance.

I also recommend that you include additional thermometers in your wort circuit so that you can monitor temperatures at the top and bottom of your grain bed. That gives you the ability to know when your mash has reached equilibrium after a mash step.

All Grain Brewing / Re: When to measure mash pH...
« on: February 21, 2015, 03:40:10 PM »
Here's the one I've got:®-Accuracy-Measurement-Resolution-Handheld/dp/B00FJFEB2O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424550442&sr=8-1&keywords=pH+meter

Last calibrated it about a month ago. I usually check it against my tap water, which has a known pH of 8.0 before using it. So far it still reads 8.0 when I do. (Yes, I make sure the sample is as close to 70* as possible.)

Unfortunately, because of the way a pH meter is calibrated, your method is almost like not calibrating at all.

Since we deal with the lower end of the pH scale in brewing, it is important to calibrate by a two-point method in the lower pH range.

Ingredients / Re: Melanoidin in Pale Ale
« on: February 21, 2015, 12:30:56 PM »
Yep, I like Keith's thinking. A sort of super Munich.

Equipment and Software / Re: Spoon or paddle
« on: February 21, 2015, 12:23:46 PM »
I find that if I add the grain slowly and mix thoroughly as its added, there is virtually no chance of creating dough balls. I do use a long-handle, plastic spoon that doubles as my volume measuring device. After seeing that plastic paddle that Ken mentioned, I'd say that might work better than my spoon. But after 15 years, I've only broken one spoon.

I do have a paddle made out of a piece of 1x4 Alder wood that I carved a handle into. That is only for my whirlpooling, since my small-headed spoon didn't enable me to get the wort spinning well enough.

By the way, I saw a video with German brewers using their big wooden mash forks and they were mixing the mash more like the way a Venetian gondolier paddles and not like a canoeist paddles. Of course, this was in a great big mash tun.   

All Grain Brewing / Re: Munich Dunkel Mulligan
« on: February 21, 2015, 12:01:33 PM »
Several excellent brewers in my club have come to the conclusion that dark Munich malt can be overdone in a Dunkel. They are trending to much higher light Munich malt percentage with touch of carafa (around 1%) in the grist. Anymore carafa than that tends to impart a perceptable roast note in the beer.

Ingredients / Re: Michigan Hops Farms Expanding.
« on: February 20, 2015, 06:48:32 AM »
I asked about homebrewers because there's a new hop farm opening in Central Indiana

The plan is to hold the Indiana state-wide Brew-B-Q at the Sugar Creek farm this summer, before the hops are harvested (August). Indiana brewers should 'like' the Brew B Q page on Facebook in order to keep up to date as to the plans for the event.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Can a boil be too vigorous?
« on: February 19, 2015, 02:19:58 PM »
If you are boiling to a certain ending volume, you would have to stop the boil earlier. Obviously that reduces the level of isomerization. The other aspect was already pointed out: higher gravity wort reduces bittering contribution.

Yes, isomerization is temperature-dependent. Those living at higher elevations will suffer a reduction in the amount of isomerization their alpha acids will incur due to the wort boiling at lower temperature. There are breweries that use a pressurized boil kettle for the purpose of increasing the boil temperature and increasing the rate of isomerization. The minimum temperature needed for alpha acid isomerization to occur is about 185F. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Can a boil be too vigorous?
« on: February 19, 2015, 06:51:50 AM »
There are several negatives to excessive boil vigor: excessive wort concentration, bittering contribution is not in proportion to the length of time you can boil, late hop additions are not as effective due to over-volatization.

A nice rolling boil, that you can clearly see is moving the wort and trub in the kettle, is all you really need.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Hefeweizen questions
« on: February 17, 2015, 01:37:06 PM »
I find that a ferulic rest is critical to getting these beers to come through with clove character. 111F is nice, 105F is even more pronounced.

While we're on this Hefe question: What about the question of purposely underpitching the weizen yeast to enhance ester production? I've always made a 1.5L starter, but my next Hefe may just rely on a freshly inflated Wyeast pack. Any thoughts on that approach?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That German lager flavor
« on: February 17, 2015, 10:23:34 AM »

158 =1.018

Interesting result. Thinking back to some of my last brews, I believe my results are similar. I had just not thought about it in this way. Thanks.

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