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Messages - mabrungard

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Acid mashing
« on: June 19, 2018, 12:18:12 PM »
Hmm? I've not heard of 'acid mashing'. Given that the enzymatic processes of the mash are pH dependent and that is especially true of the proteolytic process, I'm concerned that too much body and mouthfeel will be consumed with that approach.

I've always performed a regular mash for my Berliner's and then sour the wort in a keg. That soured wort is then boiled for a moment to kill the critters and a yeast pitch is added to the cooled wort.

Homebrewer Bios / Re: Changed username
« on: June 17, 2018, 08:15:02 PM »
Good for you!! I understand there are cases where users need anonymity, but we all benefit from a civil exchange where we are responsible for our words and actions. Thanks for boldly stepping out of the shadows.

Equipment and Software / Re: Tilt Bluetooth floating hydrometer
« on: June 15, 2018, 01:37:00 PM »
They are encased in a plexiglass container. I have no worry about them being intact from a swirl, but I would be cautious to avoid getting them scratched up since bugs could inhabit those crevices. On second thought, there are gaskets at each end of the cylinder and that is already a point that should recieve careful sanitation attention.

Equipment and Software / Re: Tilt Bluetooth floating hydrometer
« on: June 14, 2018, 05:09:29 PM »
Since I ferment in a stainless conical, I can't readily view and assess fermentation activity. Of course, that visual check doesn't really tell you much anyhow. You have to check gravity. Using the Tilt has proven worthwhile to me since I can non-intrusively check gravity in an instant and I don't waste a couple hundred ml's of beer either.

While yeast trub adhering onto the top of the Tilt can affect gravity readings, I'm less worried that its readings might be off a bit. The main thing I'm looking for is the change in gravity over time so that I can plan my transfer to keg (for spunding) or dry hopping (near the end of ferment). I find that it performs well in that case.

Beer Recipes / Re: Quest for the Ultimate Traditional Weizen Recipe
« on: June 12, 2018, 08:24:57 PM »
Wow, Thank you! But I thought your previous admissions were already magnanimous and the case was closed.

There are more ways to achieve similar results in the world of brewing. I wasn't saying that you were wrong, only that I hadn't done it that way. Keep striving for your definition of perfection, regardless of what others say. (of course we all have to recognize that we will still be criticized or extolled based on everyone else's perception).

NYC water is typically very soft, pilsen level. Its typically Catskill water. It should be fine for brewing, especially if DME is used. Be sure to remove chlorine compounds from the water before brewing with it.

Why are you using Candy Syrup? That's not a typical pale lager component. Is there a recipe that says it should be used?

Equipment and Software / Re: Toasted Malts In Bru'n Water
« on: June 09, 2018, 08:09:23 PM »
The roast setting applies only to grain that has been carbonized to some degree. That is not the case with these moderately kilned examples. I typically apply the Base or Crystal setting when using those grains along with their elevated color setting.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: "watery beer"
« on: June 06, 2018, 09:09:46 PM »
Promoting a good rolling wort circulation is important. Asymmetric heating can really help that circulation and that is something that most brewers can create with their current equipment. While it seems counter-intuitive to heat one side of the kettle instead of keeping the burner or heat source centered, producing an organized wort circulation is actually more important for getting DMS out of wort. Applying heat across the entire kettle bottom produces a haphazard circulation that is less effective at cycling wort to the surface where it can unload its DMS and other volatiles.

I use a water heater element in my kettle and its in the center of the kettle. Fortunately, that produces a 'line' of heating that does produce a two-directional rolling circulation within my kettle. 

If I had ports plumbed into my kettle, I could actually use my RIMS tube to 'boil' my wort. That would be the same as the external boiler that some manufacturers employ. Maybe someday.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Boil Off Rate vs. Boil Intensity
« on: June 05, 2018, 01:40:27 AM »
Vacuum boiling, pulsed boiling, boil cycling, external wort heaters, thin film, wort spreaders...there are a bunch of techniques that modern equipment manufacturers use in controlling wort heat stress and evaporation. They can all be useful, but its all for naught if you don't control the exchange between the kettle and the atmosphere. Covered boiling isn't a sin. However, there is a need for both covered and uncovered boiling in your boiling process.

I've gone to a 60 minute boil duration and 30 minutes of that is virtually entirely covered. That allows me to significantly reduce my heater setting. The wort is moving just enough to maintain a circulation. It isn't erupting. For the last 30 minutes, I uncover. Of course, that open kettle looses a lot of heat when uncovered, so the heater setting has to be increased. I also target a more strongly rolling wort boil...still not erupting.

Even when brewing almost 100% pils wort, I effectively reduce DMS to nearly unpercievable level. However, most beer styles that employ nearly 100% pil malt, often have an acceptable level of DMS stated in the BJCP guidelines. So having a bit of DMS in some brews, is OK. In beers made with the slightly darker pale malt, DMS is almost never a problem.

Most modern pro systems are targeting less than 10% evaporation loss in a 60 min boil. I have my system giving me about 8 to 10 percent loss. I've heard Bryan Rabe say that he's reduced his loss to around 6 percent, but he said the DMS perception was a little too prominent for his tastes. I believe he purposely targets a bit more evaporation (I think he said 8%) to avoid that problem.

The bottom line is that homebrew lore on wort boiling is about 40 years behind. We don't have to boil long and hard to produce good beer. There is a lot we can learn from the pro's on boiling.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: "watery beer"
« on: June 04, 2018, 07:17:01 PM »
So a couple of things that I've learned regarding the boil off. The best way to reduce things like DMS, and other nasty's is a vigorous boil. Now mine is a bit much likely, but I have no good way of reducing it other than cycling the heaters manually (which is perfectly fine).

Well here's another myth that will die. Excessive and prolonged boiling CAN AND DOES actually damage wort. Back in the day, pro brewers did boil off with long and hard boils that evaporated 15 or more percent of the original wort volume. Then they had the realization in the 70's, that energy efficiency was actually a good thing (oil embargo) and there was a flurry of activity in investigating wort boiling and what its effects were. They found out about what it takes to deal with DMS and other volatiles in wort. They also devised better kettles that significantly reduce the heat stress on wort and the amount of evaporation. Now, modern breweries are typically evaporating 4 to 10 percent of the original volume and still producing the DMS reduction they need for good beer. I'm not going to steal the thunder of my upcoming HomebrewCon presentation, but I've spent over a year of intensive study on this subject and conference attendees and AHA members will learn more about this subject and why they shouldn't be abusing their wort that way.

One effect of excessive boiling that may align with this thread's subject is that you can reduce the wort's Coagulable Nitrogen content too low and that can reduce head retention and possibly some body.

Checking wort pH at 150F means that you have little idea where your pH actually is. Calibrating the meter with room-temp calibration standards and then expecting the meter to report correctly at 150F, is folly. In addition, that offset between room-temp and wort-temp pH is variable. You can't (and shouldn't) apply it with confidence. Do cool off the wort sample into the 60F to 70F range to improve your measurement and avoid abusing your probe.

Denny, I agree that batch sparging can produce pretty decent efficiency. But in this case, I expect that the large amount of wort produced in the initial runoff means that there will be less sparging water volume used in the subsequent batch or fly sparge. Getting that water/grist ratio to a more typical range is likely to help either sparging method.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: "watery beer"
« on: June 04, 2018, 01:01:01 PM »
Mike raises a good point. How much attention are you paying to pH? If adding acid malt and lactic acid, maybe the pH is too low. Low mashing pH does tend to produce a beer that comes across 'thin'. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: "watery beer"
« on: June 04, 2018, 11:53:49 AM »
I cannot see how “all grists have virtually the same water/grist ratio.”  Can you explain in easier terms your last two sentences?  What’s a void ratio?

Void ratio is defined as the volume of voids (the spaces filled with wort) divided by the total volume of the grist. Its a geotechnical term, but still applicable to a mash since a mash is an assembly of particles. A grist is going to settle (or compact) to a similar degree if its just left to settle. All bets are off when you start drawing wort since the speed of that draw can impose significant hydrodynamic forces on the particles in the mash.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: "watery beer"
« on: June 03, 2018, 11:07:29 PM »
Jeff, you can’t look at it that way. The overall volume of water that is or will be in contact with the grist is part of the equation. All grists have virtually the same water/grist ratio if your analysis is used. All grists generally end up with a void ratio of about 0.3 which is typical for granular media.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: "watery beer"
« on: June 03, 2018, 04:34:07 PM »
Roughly 2.5 qts/lb is pretty thin!!  That must be quite a space under the false bottom. Are you hitting your intended SG?  That is a very high boil off rate and that can damage beer. A higher SG and lower starting volume would be a direction I would pursue.

Even when using water with zero bicarbonate or alkalinity, a pale grist will need another acid source to bring the wort pH into a desirably low range.

That negative bicarbonate value represents that excess acid that the wort needs to bring the pH down properly. Its okay.

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