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Messages - mabrungard

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Equipment and Software / Re: Cheap and Efficient Ferm Chamber
« on: October 12, 2015, 08:59:18 PM »
Remember, the system will have to have 2 ducts. One the supply cooled air and the other to return the warmed air. That is very similar to the system I use for my chamber excepting that I duct in and out of the freezer compartment of my brewery fridge. It works very well and I don't have to worry about refreshing the ice.

PS: you don't need a damper if the ducts enter and exit above the cold source. It will only thermosiphon if the ducts are under the cold source. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Does Brita reduce Bicarbonates?
« on: October 12, 2015, 08:53:20 PM »
When I had a water softener, we recharged it with salt.  I'd expect the same from Brita, Sodium ions for Calcium & Magnesium.  I doubt that you'd get any change in alkalinity.

No. The ion-exchange resins in these units are typically pre-charged by strong acids or bases. That way their only resulting contribution to the water is H+ and OH- ions that create water. This is the same process that deionizing resin columns perform.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: blending
« on: October 10, 2015, 05:33:10 PM »
Blending is an important skill for correcting minor problems or imbalances in beers. It has produced more than one Ninkasi winner in the past and you can too...if you have the palate and skill.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Does Brita reduce Bicarbonates?
« on: October 10, 2015, 01:06:32 PM »
As mentioned, some filter systems do include ion exchange resins that remove both cations and anions. In that case, the bicarbonate content would likely be reduced along with the calcium and magnesium content (and other ions). That could easily throw off your inputs and the resulting recommendations.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water additions
« on: October 08, 2015, 07:41:06 PM »
Because we are adding ionic content to the water that increases the osmotic pressure on the plant cells which might help keep those undesirable components from leaching out of the cells.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: New starter procedure trial
« on: October 08, 2015, 01:19:10 PM »
Mark, I don't think a vortex in the starter wort surface is going to create a vacuum that could draw air in from outside the flask. That would require some sort of magic. The vortex could help spin the air column above the wort, but not move air into the vessel. That conservation of mass thing comes into play.

As pointed out, once yeast are actively outgassing CO2, the ability for atmospheric air to enter the vessel and provide O2 is reduced. That is the reason I recommend pumping filtered air into the vessel to assure that there is some O2 in the headspace that can be transferred into the wort.

In my opinion, a vortex is not really needed when the headspace has a constant supply of atmospheric oxygen. I stir my wort only to the degree necessary to keep the cells in suspension. That is more like the shaken technique that Mark recommends.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water additions
« on: October 08, 2015, 01:03:57 PM »
I could be wrong there but I thought gypsum or CaCl would lower pH in a sparge just like it would in a mash.  For a few reasons I don't really need to worry about my batch sparge pH so I've never looked into it to far.  Acid I know for sure will help if you need to neutralize bicarb in your sparge water.

eta:  if I am wrong on salts adjust pH in the sparge I'm wondering why so many brewing water tools suggest putting anything in the sparge beyond acid.

Nope, the salts added to sparging water do little to alter that water's alkalinity or pH. You can read about the reasons in the article "WHY Ca and Mg ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR ACID IN SPARGING WATER" that is on the Bru'n Water page on Facebook. The end message: Acidify your sparging water!

We add salts to the sparging water as a convenient way of maintaining the ionic content of the overall water additions. You can also add those minerals directly to the kettle if you prefer, but I feel that adding some ionic content to the sparging water might help reduce the tendency to extract tannins and silicates from the mash...but that is unproven.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: pH measurements...
« on: October 06, 2015, 02:24:15 PM »
I monitor pH at several points during a mash and can report that pH for some mashes does shift appreciably. Some don't. I had an initial reading at around the 10 minute mark that was something like 0.2 units off. I figured I'd see what it did, so I didn't perform any correction. That pH slowly crept to the predicted pH by the end of the mash. I'm not really sure what was going on there, but something was effecting the buffering in the mash. I know everything was well mixed since I use a RIMS. Its a curiousity!

Beer Recipes / Re: Irish Dry Stout - Final recipe?
« on: October 05, 2015, 07:04:29 PM »
This is actually a style that is well suited to using low alkalinity water and reserving the roast. Figure what to add to the main mash to produce a 5.3 to 5.4 mash pH and then add the roast at the end to drive the kettle wort pH lower. The style relies on the crispness of low pH to help accentuate the roast and contrast it to the raw barley flavor. Don't target a high pH for this style.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: New starter procedure trial
« on: October 05, 2015, 07:00:19 PM »
This just in. On the AHA Forum there was a derailment causing injury to the feelings of several so called "newby brewers". Many of them were rushed to the hospital for hugs and warm milk. One gentleman was heard mumbling "Thats not why I bew IPAs. You dont know me, you dont know me"


All Grain Brewing / Re: C40 + C80 = C60?
« on: October 03, 2015, 01:20:29 AM »

I think that's a lot of why I prefer UK crystal malts overall. Much broader flavor.

Exactly. That is why the Simpson products are presented as a color range. Just looking at the mix, you can easily see the differing levels of kilning. That provides a more interesting range of flavor.

While 40L + 80L will produce a color around 60L, the flavor will be quite different from 60L crystal.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: US-05 at low temp
« on: October 02, 2015, 08:30:31 PM »
I like US-05 in a number of beers. I've used it to finish a Berliner Weisse, cold ferment a Munich Helles wort, and of course for hoppy PAs and IPAs. I think it is an incredibly versatile yeast.

However, I do agree with Mark that there can be 'something' in some strains that you may not like. I'm not a big fan of S-04 and for some reason, I very much dislike the flavor of WY 1007 beers. Its just me. So I can't fault Mark for his dislikes either.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Shaken not stirred lager starter?
« on: October 02, 2015, 08:24:19 PM »
has anyone tested this out with a lager yet?

I sort of have. I just made a Munich Dunkel with WY 2308 and first created a 2L starter that was fuller fermented out and then chilled and decanted.

I use an in-line oxygenation system. I ran off about 4L of oxygenated Dunkel wort into the 6L starter vessel and spun up the stir plate for about 15 minutes. That wort was probably around 70F. I can attest that I had one angry and ready to go army of yeast in about an hour or two.  The subsequent fermentation was very active at 50F.

Equipment and Software / Re: Digital Thermometer
« on: October 01, 2015, 12:44:37 PM »
While I will agree that my Thermpen was a money burning a hole in my pocket purchase, I love the thing.  I have found all kinds of uses for it.  I do not know if the other Thermoworks products do, but the Thermopens come with a certificate of calibration.

Excellent point. Most thermometers work, but are they actually accurate? Having that certification helps a lot. I don't know that an electronic thermometer can or will shift its calibration, but I suppose its possible. Mechanical thermometers such as dial thermometers are certainly subject to falling out of calibration. Having a certified mercury lab thermometer that serves as a calibration check is still a good idea for checking your 'working' thermometers. I employ that approach.

By the way, my RT600c and RT301WA thermometers both indicated within 0.5F of the calibration standard when they were new. I'm pretty sure that Thermowork's QA is fairly good. 

Equipment and Software / Re: Digital Thermometer
« on: September 30, 2015, 08:12:42 PM »
Thermapen is nice, but not worth the cost. That manufacturer's other products are much better values with not much lost in speed or accuracy. I own several of their other thermometers.

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