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Messages - mabrungard

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Water treatment for reiterated mash
« on: April 25, 2018, 11:55:33 AM »
I guess that's one way to do it. I can see that the efficiency will be a little lower due to using wort as your final 'sparging' liquid.

While I understand your withholding the mineral additions from the mash to help keep the RA and resulting wort pH up, you are only delaying the inevitable. Most stouts and porters benefit with a softer and fuller roast character when the kettle wort pH is kept a bit higher than other styles, say 5.4 to 5.6. When you add those reserved minerals to the kettle, the same reaction still occurs in the kettle and wort pH will drop. You are better off boosting alkalinity as needed to produce the proper mashing pH and then have that carry over into the kettle.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Off Flavor Troubleshooting
« on: April 23, 2018, 09:07:20 PM »
It does sound like oxidation. I'm assuming you bottle conditioned the beer?? That should have provided a bit of protection.

How long did you boil the wort? Long boils can make a beer more susceptible to premature staling.

Of course, you need to be very diligent about not allowing ANY oxygen contact with your finished beer, once its finished fermenting. It's tough to avoid, but it does make a difference in the longevity of the beer.

Pimp My System / Re: New all grain system
« on: April 23, 2018, 09:01:00 PM »
Very nice. You might have problems with using regular silicone tube on the suction side of the pumps. It collapses pretty easily under vacuum and while hot. I use reinforced vinyl tube on my suctions and it's fine for mashing temps but will collapse with near boiling wort.

All Grain Brewing / Re: All mineral additions to mash water
« on: April 21, 2018, 08:38:57 PM »
There shouldn't be a problem with sparging with low or no salt water. I've used that technique with all of my recent lagers and that same approach is OK for a Hefe. An overall low calcium content in a Hefe is desirable for reducing yeast flocculation and keeping the beer cloudier and more yeasty. Having modest sulfate and chloride in a Hefe is desirable.

The SO4 and Na amounts are significant enough to account for them. You are going to add 20-30ppm SO4 and a smaller amount of Na.

If adding metabisulfite for chlorine compound neutralization, the added Na and SO4 concentrations are much smaller than that. The levels mentioned above are from LODO brewing methods where more meta is added to the water to provide continuous oxygen scavenging.

Ingredients / Re: Help! Stubborn brewer ruined beer with sea salt
« on: April 20, 2018, 07:40:55 PM »
Yeah, you're F'd. A half ounce of salt should put you in the 350 ppm range for sodium. The taste threshold is around 250 ppm and that is where the taste starts to be 'salty'. Below that, its generally perceived as sweeter.

You would have needed to keep the table salt addition in the 2.5 gram/gal range to stay under 250 ppm. That happens to be somewhere around 2 TSP in 5 gal.  3 TSP = 1 TBSP

Too bad you used TBSP as your measure. Its not over. You can always dilute that beer in the glass with another beer.

Equipment and Software / Re: Pump reviews
« on: April 18, 2018, 12:44:51 PM »
The March, Chugger, and Blichmann pumps all seem to be produced by the same mfr. The motors look the same to me. The pump heads are different, but they seem to perform similarly. I'm not sure there is a big difference.

I've got a March 815 and it performs well. I do like the features on the Blichmann. I understand that the Blichmann discharge valve can be a little more prone to clogging since its a needle valve style, but if you don't have debris in your flow stream, that shouldn't be a concern.

All Grain Brewing / Re: BIAB and mash temp question
« on: April 16, 2018, 02:42:10 PM »
Do your beers have body or mouthfeel problems? Too thin? Then you might benefit from a higher mashing temp. But just boosting temp in a quest for 'richer and dextrinous' might not work very well. I started out brewing like that and appreciated the beers, but have since found that targeting more fermentable wort produces a more drinkable beer for me. Richness isn't necessarily lost when you drop your mashing temperature.

Beer Recipes / Re: Have these ingredients, what can I brew?
« on: April 15, 2018, 12:07:00 PM »
With those roast malts, it appears that the stage is mostly set for a Porter. I'm not sure that those hops would pair well in a Porter, but its possible. It would be an American Porter, although those aren't 'American' hops.

I get the importance of pH vs carbonate species. I’m just curious as to why your calculations are so high from chalk additions. Even fully dissolved with CO2 CaCO3, the alkalinity contribution is still significantly higher than Kai’s chalk experiments. If the calculations are worthless, then why do you include them? Oh, and...


I apologize. I haven't made it clear that you are talking about two different anions. However, they do happen to have an equivalence. The 158 ppm of CO3 can be expressed equivalently as 322 ppm of HCO3. Both of those expressions result in the same amount of alkalinity.

PS: Kai's chalk experiments were flawed and even AJ Delange mentioned that to Kai. Kai was a real trooper and he often did interesting work. Unfortunately, he did get over his head occasionally.

Ok, but then why does your sheet give me such a high mash pH (6.2) from the chalk additions, if it doesn’t raise the pH that much (which I agree with)? Is the 322 number there just to keep the mEq/l balance even, but not affecting the predicted mash pH to the extent that 322 ppm HCO3 would (and I guess the Ca contribution would also be different).

If you read the comment that is attached to the chalk addition on the Water Adjustment sheet, you'll see that it says:

Chalk has limited solubility (about 50 mg/L) in water and wort
making it less suitable for adding alkalinity. 

If you're not doing that, then the calculations are worthless.

I'll restate the most important part of my previous message: DON'T USE CHALK IN BREWING

Unfortunately, Kai's information is incorrect too. There is history behind that value when talking about chalk.

As you may have heard, it takes extraordinary measures to get chalk to dissolve in water. Unfortunately, that also applies to wort since wort doesn't have much of the 'strong' acid content needed to dissolve chalk. Brewers know that chalk doesn't provide the alkalinity that its chemistry says it adds and therefore the pH doesn't rise as expected.

With a -2 charge, you could expect carbonate to neutralize twice the acid content that bicarbonate can since it has a -1 charge (on an ion to ion basis). But carbonate does not dissociate completely in water or wort. To help account for that apparent deficiency, users assumed that the 158 ppm value should be applied instead of the 322 ppm value.

But in typical usage, chalk doesn't even provide the 158 ppm contribution to alkalinity. In fact, there is only a minor strong acid content in wort. Adding chalk to mash or wort typically only raises pH by about 0.1 matter how much chalk you add. While wort is clearly 'acidic' since its pH is below 7, the acids that drive the pH down are very 'weak'. They don't have the power to react with the carbonate in chalk.

The bottom line will always be: DON'T USE CHALK IN BREWING...IT DOESN'T WORK AT ALL!!!!!! 

You are confusing CO3 with HCO3. If we were concerned with CO3, that value you mention would be correct. But Bru'n Water deals with HCO3 since that is the form of carbonate ion that we have at typical brewing pH.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Experiment tying some threads together
« on: April 11, 2018, 11:58:02 AM »
High calcium content in brewing water for lagers has been shown to be detrimental to lager yeast metabolism. Magnesium is required for all yeast metabolism, particularly lager yeast. High calcium content in the water forces more substitution of magnesium from the yeast cell walls with calcium. The yeast's metabolism can be adversely affected by that substitution.

Beer can be effectively made with distilled water since malt provides ALL the calcium and magnesium necessary for yeast metabolism. However, there can be additional benefits in adding modest calcium and magnesium salts to the water for flavor and for enhanced brewing functions (precipitation and flocculation reactions, coagulation, etc). But the real point is that HIGH calcium can actually be detrimental to brewing. The contention that high calcium water is useful or desirable for a myth. There is substantial evidence in brewing texts and journals that show that we should dispel that myth.

Beer Recipes / Re: Brew Guru Recipe
« on: April 09, 2018, 08:03:42 PM »
That result is possible with ANY recipe. I'm sure that the author made an assumption or observation for their system efficiency and predicted the amounts of grain needed to reach the desired gravity. Hopefully that was stated in the recipe.

If your system efficiency differs significantly from recipe's reported efficiency, you should plan on altering the relative amounts of each grain to account for that difference. Keeping the percentages of each of the grain bill constant, should enable you to recreate that recipe while accommodating your system's efficiency.

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