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Messages - mabrungard

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Ingredients / Re: Using Lactose in RIS
« on: April 06, 2014, 02:54:36 PM »
I'm with Tom on this issue. If the RIS was properly done, it shouldnt need an accessory like lactose. If anything, it should be needing some more attenuation. If it needs more sweetness, add malt!

Equipment and Software / Re: Conical lessons
« on: April 03, 2014, 12:20:20 PM »
I have one of the original 12 gal Blichmann's and I typically make 6 gal batches. I never dump the yeast since the yeast and trub generally fill the cone below the limits of the rotating racking arm. If I was doing larger batches, I might have enough of the cone filled to need to draw some stuff off. But no need so far and if I did empty the cone of the trub and yeast, then I wouldn't be able to draw off all the beer. So I think that leaving the cone filled as much as possible is a good idea.

It does look like the raking port on that fermenter is lower in the cone than my system. Maybe its too low and you do have to draw yeast off in your system.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sulfate Iso-Alpha Acid Extraction
« on: March 31, 2014, 05:08:10 AM »
That is a new one on me. I had not heard of sulfate improving the extraction of iso-alpha acids, but I'm not going to dismiss that it may or may not exist. I do know that sulfate helps dry the palate and that has the effect of improving the perception of bittering to the drinker.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Temperature controllers
« on: March 30, 2014, 01:33:20 PM »
I have several of the Johnson A-419 controllers and they have been rock solid. I do like the electronic readout and controls.  I've seen several postings about the questionable reliability of the Ranco controllers and that swayed me from them.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Consensus while judging?
« on: March 30, 2014, 05:02:36 AM »
I had a similar situation at a recent contest. I scored the beer at 41 and my judging partner scored it at 29...didn't like the hop character. I'm not one to say I'm infallible, so I did drop my score and they compromised a bit too. That beer was eventually pushed to mini BOS and won the category.

An important thing is to make sure that beers that might be good enough to push, get their chance to shine in another forum. When you have large contests with multiple flights, there is a greater chance that other palates will have the opportunity to judge it. The beers in question, just need the opportunity!

Ingredients / Re: Efficiency of raw wheat
« on: March 27, 2014, 01:18:30 PM »
Since we are talking about raw wheat, is there a flavor difference between white wheat and red wheat? I've never used those raw grains.

Ingredients / Re: Efficiency of raw wheat
« on: March 27, 2014, 07:41:09 AM »
I've made a number of Wits that use wheat malt as a major portion. To get the cloudiness, I use Renner's recommendation to add a roux of flour and water to the boil kettle. I was only using a teeny handful of flour. That was effective in contributing the proteins desired for cloudiness.

By the way, I've long noticed that efficiency with wheat malt mashes are also lower than expected. I'm thinking that the ppg that ProMash cites in their database is just too high. It shows 38 to 40 ppg for wheat malts and only 34 ppg for flaked wheat. I'm thinking I need to edit that database.

All Grain Brewing / Re: troubleshoot my too-bitter North German Pils
« on: March 27, 2014, 07:34:16 AM »
Using the Yellow Bitter profile might have been too much. At over 100 ppm sulfate, that is a lot for a lager. The Jever water supply only has about 75 ppm sulfate and low chloride. The Yellow Bitter profile is intended for bigger and more hop focused beer. Comparatively, the Yellow Balanced profile has more similarity to Jever's profile. So the extra sulfate could be emphasizing the bitterness in that beer. I see that you ultimately did moderate the sulfate, so it's probably not way out of line.

But more likely, the bittering level is emphasizing the bitterness in the beer. 45+ IBUs in a 1.050 beer is a lot and could be a source for an imbalance. In addition, I see that you were emulating a Hockkurz mash schedule, but it seems that it was not very kurz (short). I'm afraid that the mash might have been made too fermentable and there may not be enough residual sweetness. Ultimately, there was a over an hour of mashing.

Only 2.8 IBUs of FWH contribution? I assume that was a teeny hop addition.

Yes, the use of RO water negates any need to acidify the sparging water. The very low alkalinity makes it unnecessary. Even if you did acidify, it would only take a few drops to send the pH plummeting. Astringency from the water is unlikely. However, oversparging is still in play. I stop my runoff at 3 Brix now, after infusing several beers with light tannins by stopping at 2 Brix.

Beer Recipes / Re: How low can you mash?
« on: March 24, 2014, 12:42:48 PM »
Yes, as Jimmy points out, the enzymatic activity is affected by temperature and a longer mash time would be appropriate for a lower temperature mash. 

I do have to wonder about the effect of mashing at such a low temperature though. That would be taking a lot of body and head potential out of the wort. While I am a proponent of mashing to get fairly high fermentability, I'm concerned that this approach might be too much. Conversely, too many brewers mash at too high a temperature and the fermentability suffers and body is excessive.

I'm curious why she prefers to mash this low? I prefer the low end of the alpha amylase activity.

Ingredients / Re: Is a 2 minute hop stand too short?
« on: March 21, 2014, 06:07:30 AM »
What? Screw the straining after 2 minutes.

I have gone almost exclusively to a zero minute addition for aroma and those hops steep in the wort through the whirlpool and chilling time.  No need to remove hops from the kettle. They will be at the bottom of the kettle when you are done!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Twice, but never again
« on: March 21, 2014, 06:04:40 AM »
I have a written check list, just like a pilot. It's too bad I don't check it :-[

Ingredients / Re: Difference between Burton water and London water
« on: March 19, 2014, 02:02:15 PM »
Ah! You have stumbled upon the next topic in the Brewing Water Series...London. Assuming you are an AHA member, you would have read about Burton water a few months ago in Zymurgy. Certainly a high sulfate content there.

London water is very interesting in that there are actually two unique water profiles. The water from the upper River Thames and River Lee are reasonably suited for pale ales and bitters, while the water from the chalk aquifer and the tidal Thames is more suited to porters. In either water, the sulfate content is much lower than Burton water.

You will have to forgive me, but you'll have to wait another month for the next issue of Zymurgy to get the particulars about London water. Yet another reason to be an AHA member.

Beer Travel / Re: Portland and Seattle
« on: March 14, 2014, 07:46:05 PM »
A road trip through the gorge to Hood River is impressive. Continuing on around Mt Hood is nice too. Oh, there are a few breweries in Hood River too.

All Grain Brewing / Re: lactic acid to acidify sparge water
« on: March 13, 2014, 05:36:43 AM »
I've never really thought about that approach before, but it could have merit. Adding all the calcium and magnesium minerals to the mash could help with lowering the mash pH. As long as the brewer is still knocking down the alkalinity in the sparging water, this approach could work. It could also offer the opportunity to reduce the overall levels of Ca and Mg in the brewing water since the sparging water content would be lower.

I'll look in to this!

All Grain Brewing / Re: lactic acid to acidify sparge water
« on: March 12, 2014, 05:38:50 PM »
What is the case for adding minerals to the sparge water rather than in the kettle (or rather than adding all the minerals to the mash water, provided the additional calcium isn't pushing your mash pH too low)?

Already covered. Look at the WHEN TO ADD WATER ADDITIVES on the Bru'n Water facebook page.


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