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Messages - mabrungard

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706
Equipment and Software / Re: Water Testing
« on: February 13, 2015, 10:52:00 AM »
I guess I am confused why you would need more than one test.

Locations that have variable water supplies or water quality will benefit from having the ability to test their current water quality just prior to brewing. The most important testing tends to be calcium content and alkalinity. With this information, its more likely that you can get closer to your intended mashing pH and sparging water target.

I like having an occasional report from a good lab like Ward, but if I had water that changed from time to time, I would rely strongly on test kits like mentioned here.

707
Beer Recipes / Re: Palm clone
« on: February 12, 2015, 06:04:14 PM »
I offer that the Belle Saison dry yeast would be a great yeast for a BPA like Palm. It has just a hint of belgian character and is relatively clean when fermented at its low temp range. While it doesn't do much for me as a saison yeast, it exemplifies what I prefer in BPA character.

708
Equipment and Software / Re: stupid refractometer question
« on: February 12, 2015, 10:27:56 AM »
But, isn't the wort substantially mixed during the boil?

That is exactly what I thought, but of course this is after I've stopped boiling and the wort was still. It seems there is a thin layer of more watery wort near the surface of still wort.

I can only assume that there are some sort of suspended solids in the wort that begin to settle when the wort is still.

709
All Grain Brewing / Re: Question about hop utilization in a hopback...
« on: February 11, 2015, 06:54:00 AM »
I am a very bad man! Matthew Brown's original work for the AHA REF is still languishing on my computer and has not been forwarded for inclusion in the REF information because I have my thumb in my a$$. Fortunately, you can get an indication of Matthew's work from his presentation at the Grand Rapids conference last summer.

As Jeff mentions, the use of a hopback did produce very substantial bittering. However, it needs to be known that Matthew's work included a bittering charge in the hopback during the transfer of the wort from the tun into the kettle. So there was ample opportunity for the alpha acids to isomerize in the kettle and contribute their bittering. So, there were no hops or hop matter in the kettle and there was still substantial bittering.

Yes, Matthew also did a split of the batch and used the hopback again to post-boil hop half the batch. Those at the conference presentation tasted both beers and they were good.

A very interesting use of a hopback.

Yes, I'll un-thumb myself and get that research article on its way to AHA.

710
Ingredients / Re: got my water analysis
« on: February 10, 2015, 01:34:12 PM »
Of course, you can alter the ionic content in the RO water profile to meet your particular water testing results. But the stock RO water quality that comes in Bru'n Water calculates as a TDS of 22 ppm. While a lot of that is bicarbonate content, I wouldn't think that it will make a significant difference in the pH estimate. A few hundreths? 

711
Jeff, I saw that from Wayne this morning on FB. However, he doesn't hold the pursestrings and who knows how much AB might throw at the owner...changing the one mind that matters.

712
Equipment and Software / Re: stupid refractometer question
« on: February 09, 2015, 08:52:34 AM »
Has anyone noticed that hot wort separates into a low gravity surface layer in the kettle? I experienced this many years ago and now I always collect my FG sample immediately after mixing (whirlpooling) to make sure that it is a uniform and representative sample.

713
Pimp My System / Re: Motorized Monster Mill
« on: February 08, 2015, 01:20:10 PM »
The spirit is willing but the garage is full.

Great motto!

714
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: B. E. A. UTIFUL day for a brew day!
« on: February 08, 2015, 10:50:09 AM »
Way to go Mrs Rogers!

715
The Pub / Re: Braunbier Tapping
« on: February 07, 2015, 01:09:53 PM »
Hmm?? When the AHA conference was in Vegas over a decade ago, the Hofbrauhaus had just opened and it was outstanding. We had a pile of homebrewers getting crazy in there. Sorry to hear it may have gone downhill. All the beer was flown in directly from Germany at that time.

716
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Water filter help?
« on: February 07, 2015, 01:03:19 PM »
A particulate filter cannot remove any form on ionic content from water. To give you an idea of why this is so, the typical particulate filter can have a micron rating of 1 to 5. That means it will capture particles larger than either 1 or 5 microns. However, the minimum pore size for nanofiltration is about 5 nanometers (a micron is 1000 nanometers). The pore size for RO is about 10 times smaller than nanofiltration.

So don't count on a particulate filter removing your water's ionic content.

The only good thing that a particulate filter does is keep crap from clogging your carbon filter or RO filter. It otherwise is a worthless investment in brewing.

717
Ingredients / Re: got my water analysis
« on: February 07, 2015, 06:06:35 AM »
Yes, even at 50 ppm TDS, it means there is very little ionic content is in the water and virtually all the individual ion concentrations are below 20 ppm. That is not a lot to worry about. As evidenced above, the thing we are watching for is when the TDS rises to a level like this, we know that the machine may be failing since normal RO operation produces water with much lower TDS.

718
There are only a few ions that are truly necessary in brewing water. Zinc and copper are truly needed, but at VERY low concentrations. Calcium is needed to help with some enzymatic functions and to help speed flocculation following fermentation, but has no other imperative use. 40 ppm calcium in the mash tun is a good idea to help precipitate oxalate and you don't really need that much in the overall brewing water if brewing lagers. However, you do want to have at least 50 ppm calcium in the overall brewing water when brewing ales so that flocculation is faster.

So, not much in the way of needs....but there can be much in the way of WANTS. Low ionic content brewing water can lead to bland tasting beer. That can be OK for some styles, but can be pretty uninspiring for others. I've tasted many pale ales that were brewed with almost no ionic content and they were: BLAND. Some content is almost always good. Just don't overdo it. Too much content can lead to minerally or alka seltzer flavor.

719
All Grain Brewing / Re: LOTS OF LATE HOPS, NOT MUCH HOP FLAVOR
« on: February 01, 2015, 09:17:14 AM »
Since I don't know my local water profile I use R/O water w/ 1 TSP of Calcium Chloride,  1 TSP Gypsum per 5 gallons for IPAs, and about 2% Acid malt.

Since I can't easily deduce what those additions will mean in terms of ionic content and mash pH, I will just echo the recommendations above to target a room-temperature wort pH of around 5.4 to improve hop perception and bitterness. It definitely matters for these factors.

720
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Dry yeast RO water
« on: February 01, 2015, 09:12:06 AM »
Osmolarity is a very real concern when administering intravenous solutions. While hyperosmolar solutions are typically a bigger concern, osmotic pressure works both ways and too low is just as real a danger as too high.

Good points. The question then becomes what the proper range of osmolarity for yeast cell rehydration is? As most should recognize, wort has a huge ionic content and RO or DI water has virtually none. Deciphering what is tolerated the best by rehydrated yeast doesn't seem to be well researched, but the recommendation by Clayton Cone does seem to push that desired ionic content toward the low side.

On a related side note, it does appear that using a solute with magnesium instead of calcium for yeast rehydration is preferable. Yeast have a FAR lower need for calcium than for magnesium and infusing magnesium at this rehydration step does appear more beneficial. Calcium displaces magnesium from yeast cell walls and that can injure the cell performance. In addition, natural wort typically has 2 to 6 times more magnesium than calcium. So using a mineral like epsom salt for the ionic content for yeast rehydration is sound. 

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