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Messages - mabrungard

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Equipment and Software / Re: silicone tubing discoloration
« on: March 14, 2015, 10:45:51 AM »

Is FRP tubing as flexible as silicone?

Definitely not. That rigidity can be a blessing or curse.

Equipment and Software / Re: silicone tubing discoloration
« on: March 14, 2015, 08:15:33 AM »
Replacing anything on the hot side is a total waste of money. The only thing you are protecting is your vanity.

If you have soaked hoses and components in hot PBW solution and there is still color, don't worry about it. Its just coloring.

In my case, I use the fiber-reinforced plastic tubing. Since that stuff gives off volatile components, I always pre-boil that tubing before its first use. I suppose one good thing is that it doesn't seem to discolor or pick up much staining, except if I occassionally use iodophor to sanitize. Even that discoloration fades with time.

PS: if you can boil a component, its almost certainly sterile. If you can autoclave the component, it is sterile. On the homebrew level, our components are often small enough that we can boil them. Larger breweries don't have that ability. Don't worry about discoloration. WORRY about debris and films on components.

All Grain Brewing / Re: efficiency observation
« on: March 12, 2015, 12:20:18 PM »
Crush till you're scared.  Then when you achieve >90% efficiency and your resulting beer tastes thin and watery and lifeless, you'll open the gap on your mill, maybe even more than once, to get back down to around 80% for a better balance of good efficiency vs. mouthfeel.

Hmm? Given my experience with really high efficiency for the past year, you may have something there, Dave. While my beer hasn't become thin, watery, or lifeless, I can't say that it tastes better than it used to.

While I agree that the degree of crush has an influence on efficiency, the other factor is duration of runoff and sparging. I'm just not sure that backing off on the gap and resulting crush is necessarily going to improve my results.

As a data point, my last several batches have used a revised sparging scheme where I reserve about 1 to 2 gallons of the sparging water volume and DON'T put that volume through the grain bed. That volume goes directly into the kettle. Now, I've been doing this to avoid oversparging and extracting tannins. But the other effect is that the beers have higher taste quality and the efficiency did go down a little bit.

I'll concede that high efficiency is not necessarily a good thing for beer quality. But I do want to hear more from other brewers on the effect of 'excessive' efficiency since I think that there is such a

Equipment and Software / Re: Super cheap pH meter
« on: March 10, 2015, 12:27:58 PM »
There is a lot of guidance on pH meters on the Bru'n Water facebook site that can help guide you through a purchase and management decision like this.

While I realize that a meter can be an expensive investment, I recommend that you remember that adage: penny-wise, pound-foolish. Almost certainly, a really cheap meter is not going to last as long as a higher quality meter. But another specter is the higher potential that a cheap, poorly calibrated meter is going to feed you garbage and cause you to make adjustments that are bad for your beer.

PS: I really like the Milwaukee MW-101 and 102 meters because they use a double-junction, gel-filled probe that sure has provided years of life for me. That probe should always be stored in a KCl solution, not DI water or calibration solutions.

Ingredients / Re: flaked barley in dry stout
« on: March 07, 2015, 06:36:02 AM »
With the understanding that a dry stout is actually a low gravity beer, the addition of raw barley is an important component for adding body. Without that addition, this beer would have an unremarkable body. The beta-glucans from the raw barley are the reason for that added body. They can come from raw barley, flaked barley, and chit barley. In general, those raw forms supply about 10 times more beta-glucan than malted barley.

Ingredients / Re: Water Profile Help for a Black IPA
« on: March 06, 2015, 06:50:49 AM »
Whoa. Use caution here. While I'm a fan of sulfate, we have to recognize that roast malts have a drying impact on beer finish and the combination of that with the drying effect of high sulfate might be over the top. I think the OP's original sulfate level may be sufficient as a starting point. However, I have to admit that I don't make BIPA's and have no experience with the effect of sulfate in them.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer for Thought...
« on: March 03, 2015, 02:36:10 PM »
The potential for uncivil responses rises for users that have avatars that are not attached to their actual identity. I've suggested that users be a little more open and put "themselves" out there personally so that your fellow user gets to know you and who you are. All it takes is a little extra info on your signature line.

Take responsibility for being a civil member of this forum.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Sierra Nevada HopHunter
« on: March 03, 2015, 06:19:44 AM »
I had it on tap over the weekend. Intensely hoppy. The level of hoppiness without green flavor is admirable. In some respects, it is overwhelmingly hoppy. My wife was complaining loudly with every one of my burps the smelled of eating a handful of fresh hops or when I'm pounding out hop plugs after harvest.

Not excessively bitter and the malt backbone is solid.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash PH and darker grains
« on: March 02, 2015, 10:30:00 AM »
When the pH is controlled properly, I don't find that mashing all the grains together contributes to harshness or astringency. However if the mashing water doesn't have enough alkalinity to keep the mash pH from dropping too far, that is when reserving the roast and crystal malts can be helpful. Just remember that this reserve technique only solves part of the problem and there can still be other problems that affect the beer and its flavor. Beer styles where the reserve technique works well include Irish dry stout, Schwartzbier, and Munich Dunkel. The technique does not work well for most porters or stouts where smoothness in the roast flavor is desired.

PS: If you mashing water has way too much alkalinity, then all bets are off and it really doesn't matter what you do. Your beer is not going to be as good as you want it to be.


Equipment and Software / Re: Spoon or paddle
« on: February 26, 2015, 11:00:22 AM »
Grout stirrer and drill for dough in. After that a paddle.

That's interesting. It should work well. I'm just a little concerned with metal contact though, since my grout stirrer is galvanized. I'd rather not have that in contact with wort.  Are there plastic or stainless versions???

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.

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