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Messages - mabrungard

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: . . . the hard way!
« on: November 21, 2015, 01:20:00 PM »
Only crap beer tastes better at freezing temperature. Why do you think there is such an emphasis on frost and cold in the mega-lager commercials?

I recall having a Rabid Rabbit from 3Floyds a few years ago that was served way too cold. It actually tasted like poison! However, by the end of the glass when the beer had warmed considerably, it was a truly delectable beer. Serving temperature is an important factor in beer perception.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Grain mill roller spacing?
« on: November 21, 2015, 01:14:09 PM »
Gap setting is dependent upon your mashing system. Ideally, you want the crush to be very fine. But that invites plugging the mash and preventing runoff. For starters, I'd suggest a gap of around 0.04" to 0.045" and see how that works in your system. If the runoff rate is pretty high for you, then reduce the gap over successive batches.

I run 0.036" in my Monster 2.2, but I condition my grain prior to crushing and that leaves my crush with a lot of flour and intact husks. Perfect for high extraction efficiency and wort flow. I use one of that Harbor Freight Low-Speed Drills at the lowest speed that it can stand and I can tell you it takes a lot of power. I'd be surprised if a cordless drill would last in that sort of service.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First club meeting
« on: November 21, 2015, 01:04:16 PM »
Great club to be a part of. I'm glad they invited me down to speak to them earlier this year.

I hope the rest of our forum members have a good club to visit on occasion. i still relish my monthly meetings with my club in Indy. What's not to like about people who share the same passion?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Playing around with final beer pH
« on: November 21, 2015, 12:09:06 AM »
flaked barley and nitro smoothness offset any harshness in it.

I forgot about the nitro. That would also reduce perceptions of acidity since the carbonic bite is significantly reduced by the nitro content. Good catch.

Equipment and Software / Re: pH meters
« on: November 21, 2015, 12:05:31 AM »
What is the average lifespan in the probe/electrode?

I have the same unit. It's over 4 years now with the original probe. Always stored in 1.5M KCl storage solution. No drift yet, but I'm assuming that it won't be long, given the age of the probe. But who knows?

Its been a good unit.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Playing around with final beer pH
« on: November 20, 2015, 12:49:15 AM »
I'm not sure that a good conclusion can be developed with Guinness as the example. I think part of the reason that beer is smooth and flavorful is the high raw barley content which melds the grainy barley flavor and glucans with the roast barley flavor. It is a strange beast, but one that works well.

Equipment and Software / Re: Promash Status
« on: November 14, 2015, 02:40:19 AM »
Agreed Bill! Jeff needs to sell the entire Promash brand to a knowledgeable programmer that can handle today's operating systems. I get the impression that he no longer has the programming abilities needed to update it. I wish I had those capabilities, but unfortunately I'm just a civil and environmental engineer.

Equipment and Software / Re: Reverse osmosis systems
« on: November 14, 2015, 02:34:34 AM »
Product water, not waste water. I was referring to discharge to a tank that is not pressurized.

I have also piped my RO system to both a kitchen tap and the ice maker like you want to do. You will have to discharge your RO product water to a pressurized tank in this case.

Equipment and Software / Re: Reverse osmosis systems
« on: November 13, 2015, 01:49:57 PM »
If your municipal water pressure is typical, you won't need a pump to pressurize the feed water.

Don't worry too much about the brand of the system. They all use nearly the same components. The important factors are: system uses 10" filter cartridges and not the little bullet filters, system has a carbon block filter in one of the cartridges, system uses a quality membrane such as Dow Filmtec.

Discharging into an open container improves your system efficiency, but that may not be desirable if you want to deliver the water to taps. Get a big pressure tank if you don't discharge to an open container. If your typical brew day requires X gallons of RO water, you will need a pressure tank with double that capacity. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: need help understanding water additions
« on: November 12, 2015, 11:17:07 PM »
Thanks! appreciate all the input.

Few more questions for anyone: in the report CaCO3 is listed twice as total alkalinity and total hardness, could anyone clarify this?

Just based on the water report and a what a novice homebrewer might do, would there be any repercussions of adding a teaspoon of CaCO3 to a 5 gallon batch?

If I do, is it only necessary for the mash and not the sparge?

Don't do it!! CaCO3 is not suitable for use in brewing since it does not dissolve in a timely manner. In addition, you should never add alkalinity to brewing water unless you are SURE that your mash needs it. A program like Bru'n Water can help you decide if additional alkalinity is needed.

Those components that are reported "as CaCO3", are NOT actually CaCO3. That reporting convention is a old water chemistry convention that needs to be converted into actual concentrations of the actual ions to be useful.  In the case of the following terms, the conversions are provided:

Alkalinity (as CaCO3) x 1.22 will provide you with the HCO3 concentration
Ca Hardness (as CaCO3) x 0.40 will provide you with the Ca concentration
Mg Hardness (as CaCO3) x 0.243 will provide you with the Mg concentration
Total Hardness (as CaCO3) can't be used to tell you anything about Ca or Mg concentrations since it could be any proportion of those ions in the water.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sanitizer Comparison
« on: November 08, 2015, 09:52:56 PM »
OK, Mark's approach makes sense. Eric, get going!  :)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sanitizer Comparison
« on: November 08, 2015, 07:40:50 PM »
I agree, Eric streaked prior to sanitizer application and the test seems to represent a condition that may be similar to actual conditions. I'm not sure I see the flaw that Mark points out. However, I still agree with Mark's other contention that StarSan may not provide all the broad spectrum sanitation that we brewers should have on occasion.

Equipment and Software / Re: TDS Meter
« on: November 08, 2015, 07:34:13 PM »
Remember, TDS readings are truly an inexact science. There is low probability that the reading will be accurate since it is a rough correlation with conductivity that is used to predict TDS and conductivity varies with the types of ions present and their concentrations.

Therefore, its not truly important that you obtain accurate readings. However, its important that the instrument provides reliably, repeatable measurement. I don't think that you have to spend a lot of money on a TDS meter to have a reliably repeatable instrument. I have HM Digital units, but there are plenty of others.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Water help
« on: November 02, 2015, 01:18:03 AM »
That water supply is a very soft water that could easily be subject to picking up iron and manganese. That is the case, as evidenced by the water report. While the bicarbonate or alkalinity is not presented in the report, it is apparent that the values would be very low.

While ion-exchange softened water use is typically a no-no in brewing, this water has very little hardness and will not pick up a bunch of sodium in the exchange. The good thing is that this treatment will knock down the Fe and Mn content and make this a very good brewing water. Given the Fe and Mn content in that water, I'm guessing that water softeners are common in this area. It's OK to use the softened water here.

Equipment and Software / Re: PH Request
« on: October 31, 2015, 11:33:02 PM »
Yup. Ales are typically slightly more acidic than lagers.

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