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Messages - mabrungard

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Equipment and Software / Re: What pH meter do you use?
« on: June 28, 2012, 02:51:12 PM »
I use the one Kai uses, the MW-101. I have to calibrate before each use (those little recessed dials are very sensitive) but so far, so good. $65 on amazon ( )

You got a better deal than I found.  My new MW-101 was $78 shipped from a seller on Ebay.  It has proven to be a capable and reliable meter for me. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Carbonation fineness/coarseness?
« on: June 28, 2012, 02:44:13 PM »
I agree with kramerog, injecting CO2 into an aqueous solution initially produces an 'aqueous CO2' product (CO2 + H2O = CO2aq).  It takes time for that aqueous CO2 to hydrate into its end form: carbonic acid (H2CO3).  This is a slow reaction due to the change in the molecular configuration that the molecule has to undergo.  That change is temperature dependent. 

In a way, the temperature effects for CO2 solution are counter to each other.  You want low temperature to improve the solubility of CO2 in an aqueous solution, but low temperature delays the ultimate hydration of the CO2 into carbonic acid. 

I wonder if particulates play a part in the overall nucleation and release of gas bubbles?  Morticaixavier raises an interesting issue, but it appears that the primary change from coarse to fine bubbles is the CO2 hydration into carbonic acid.

Ingredients / Re: No hop flavour
« on: June 27, 2012, 03:04:04 PM »
I heard an interesting report from Colin Kaminski during our Water Panel presentation at NHC this year.  He said that hop expression is muted as kettle wort pH is reduced. 

I had not put this effect together before in my mind.  But I had noticed that some low pH worts that I had produced in years past, did not seem as bitter nor hoppy.  I just never put the cause and effect together before.  So I think that Colin is correct that there is another effect of too low wort pH and that is low hop expression.  This is in addition to increased attenuation and tart flavor perceptions when wort pH is lower than ideal. 

So if the overall pH of the pre-boil wort in the kettle is less than about 5.2, you might experience this reduced hop expression.  It may be better to keep pre-boil pH around 5.4.  Of course, these are all room temperature pH measurements.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That German lager flavor
« on: June 25, 2012, 09:50:43 PM »
Water can't make the malty flavor, it can only deminish it. I anxiously await guidance on what brings the wonderful pils malt flavors I've tasted in various Continental lagers.

All Grain Brewing / Re: melanoidin in an amber?
« on: June 25, 2012, 07:15:00 PM »
Hops are still a major star in an Am amber, so I feel that malt complexity is not welcome in this style.  Simplicity and focus seem to be the best way to let the hops and malt play in this style.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop Matter...Hop Astringency
« on: June 24, 2012, 08:43:55 AM »
Kettle pH is an important factor for reducing tannin extraction and harshness. 5.4 is about as high as you want the overall kettle pH to be. But, there is a lower limit for kettle pH where the finished beer will be tart and hop expression will be reduced. That hop expression issue was just reported by Colin Kaminski yesterday at the NHC in Seattle. I have the feeling that the lower ph limit is subjective, but its probably not lower than about 5.1.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Ringwood Strain
« on: June 21, 2012, 09:14:40 AM »
I've heard about the difficulties with Ringwood for years. I wonder if there is an issue with calcium content that this yeast presents?  Cranky fermentation performance and poor settling character could be attributed to insufficient calcium content.

We have plenty of data that indicates 50 ppm Ca is good enough. But one consideration is that some calcium is lost in the mash. Sierra Nevada aims for an 85 ppm Ca target so that they end up with 50 ppm in the kettle. Maybe Ringwood is just one of those yeast that need more Ca?

Depending on the water chemistry and grist composition, mash thickness can substantially alter the mash pH. That might have more to do with the differences in efficiency and attenuation than the thickness or thinness.

It depends what your goals are.  There are plenty of brewers that allow extended whirlpool contact time for their late hops to improve extraction.  I know that Firestone Walker uses extended flameout contact time for their late hops. 

The primary concern I have with extended post-boil time is the potential to develop DMS in the finished beer.  But it seems that with adequate duration and vigor of boiling, the DMS pre-cursors are largely expelled and the extended time is not really a hazard.  I've been concentrating on an extended post-boil time and haven't experienced increased DMS in my opinion.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Raisin Flavors
« on: June 11, 2012, 09:17:39 AM »
Yes, Special B in MODERATION.  I had the fortune (misfortune?) of judging a couple of beers in the Strong Ale category at this year at Indy's NHC first round.  In years past, I had heard that you could overdo Special B and those beers at the NHC were the first that exhibited that fault so strongly. 

I can tell you it is far better to underdo the Special B addition and still enjoy a very drinkable yet less remarkable beer than to overdo it and have something you would have to blend to drink!  Train your palate and recipe formulation over the course of a few batches.  I'd say that the amount listed above would be a good starting point.

Equipment and Software / Re: GIve Up on ProMash??
« on: June 07, 2012, 12:21:32 PM »
Ah...I see your point.  I run Promash on XP and Vista with no problems, including the Help component.  I assume you must be referring to Win7?  There could be a problem, but I haven' used 7 yet.  I know with some of my old engineering programs, there is a Compatability tab available if I right-click the program icon on the desktop.  I don't see that with my Promash icon.

There is at least one set of updated databases for grain and hops floating around on the web.  I don't know where to point you for them.  I don't know if someone has posted an updated style database.  But it would only take minutes to update the existing database since there are not that many changes or new styles.

The color swatch is a joke.  There are far too many variables involved in going from the estimated SRM value to the color you see on your screen.  Screens and adapters vary.
You may be better off in most cases with taking the calculated SRM value and seeing what that color is using the BJCP color swatches. 

Equipment and Software / Re: GIve Up on ProMash??
« on: June 07, 2012, 10:08:12 AM »
Still haven't had a situation that I've needed support or an update with Promash.  It does what I need it to do. 

Equipment and Software / Re: An alternative to bagging hops
« on: June 03, 2012, 12:13:03 PM »
Then its a brilliant idea.


Second q: Assuming I get the 815-PL, I assume I go with polysulfone QDs/couplers (versus other plastic)?  I'm considering a March pump to move water from the HLT to the mash tun, from the mash tun to the brew kettle, and from the brew kettle into the fermenter with a plate chiller inline, with an option to prechill the water with an IC I'm not using and a submersible pump.  I'm trying to go as "lift-less" as possible. Given my current brew setup in an apartment (moving things among kitchen, deck, and lower level), I am thinking of mounting this pump to something totable or installing in a toolbox, and there will be a lot of connecting/disconnecting during the brewing process, some at high temp.

3. In terms of a basic pump startup list, does this seem right?

Something to mount pump on (or in) + hardware
1/2in SS ball valve to manage flow from output
1/2in quick disconnects (4, two male, two female)
Thermoplastic tubing
Hose clamps (to ball valve barbs on BK and cooler)
Inline GFCI

I've seen pumps mounted in tool boxes, its feasible.  I've also see someone selling a mounting plate that is bolted between the motor and the pump housing.  That allows the unit to be bolted to a base.  In the case of a tool box, you could mount the pump in the same way as with that mounting plate in that you could put the motor inside the box and sandwich the tool box side between the motor and pump housing. 

I don't really like the QD units since there are vanes inside those couplers that can clog.  I like the stainless steel camlocks with silicone gasket.  I have the camlocks with barb fittings.  The only bad thing with those things is the ID through the barb ends is kind of small.  I've found that it doesn't really matter though, the flow rate is only slightly affected.  I calculated a couple of feet of head loss due to the barb ID, so its not really a big deal.

Brewing is not worth dying for, so the GFCI is an important consideration.  Its good you're including one.  Including valves on both sides of the pump is good so that you can keep fluid in the pump.  Of course, you only throttle the pump on the output side. 

Although the center inlet configuration pump is more efficient, I like having the inlet and outlet pipes in line so that those pipes can be more easily supported.  I have my pump mounted in a frame with plywood plates at each end with precisely drilled holes that support those pipes and valves and prevent the breaking of that fragile plastic pump housing.  I've had my pump for almost a decade now, without breaking the housing.  I suppose that mounting the entire pump within a tool box would make it possible to pass the pipes through the sides of the box to support the pipes.  I guess if you had one of those pump mounts, you could bolt it to the box bottom and pass the pipes through the walls. 


Equipment and Software / Re: An alternative to bagging hops
« on: June 03, 2012, 11:27:32 AM »
I need a little more information on what we're looking at.  Is this a filter for post-fermentation transfer to the keg or is it post-boil transfer and you ferment in the keg?

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