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Messages - mabrungard

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Equipment and Software / Re: Monster mill - Issues
« on: November 25, 2013, 12:17:00 PM »
Yep, the gap adjustment screws slip. I also have upgraded my MM2-2 to the revised knobs. It's an easy fix if you have the tools. You need a drill, proper bit, and proper tap to complete the installation.  I had all of that.  It was something like $30 for the knobs.

Beer Recipes / Re: Munich Dunkel Recipe?
« on: November 25, 2013, 10:44:50 AM »

The chalk is not needed or desired for that mash. Both the calcium and bicarbonate are far too high.

Equipment and Software / Re: Upflow Sparging
« on: November 25, 2013, 10:41:01 AM »
I toyed with this ideal a decade ago. It fits my profession since I'm also a geotechnical engineer and groundwater flow through soil is similar to wort flow through a grain bed. 

Sure, this option reduces the potential to hydraulically compact the grain bed. However, the intake for the wort discharge at the top of the bed is not easy to accomplish. In addition, you would eventually have to drain the bed from the bottom or you would not be able to get the final runnings out of the bed. 

With proper control and monitoring of the flow rate through the bed, you can easily avoid compacting the grain bed. My bottom line was that the upflow design was not worth the effort.

Ingredients / Re: IPA Experiment - Sulfate/Chloride
« on: November 25, 2013, 10:34:56 AM »
The ratio is definitely out the window when chloride exceeds 100 ppm. But for those interested in testing the effect of sulfate/chloride ratio, keep the chloride down around 50 ppm and boost the sulfate as desired to alter the ratio.  You can do this in the glass, but the amount of gypsum you would be adding is teeny in many cases.  Its easier to do when the volume of beer is larger. Remember, gypsum is 100% soluble at the low concentrations we enjoy in beer.

Beer Recipes / Re: Munich Dunkel Recipe?
« on: November 25, 2013, 09:17:57 AM »

Martin - what is your suggestion for the ppm levels of calcium, magnesium, sulfate, chloride, etc...?

Although it goes against everything we brewers hold dear, I keep seeing evidence that a 40 or 50 ppm minimum calcium content may not be the best for flavor in those light European lagers. The boiled Munich profile might only have around 12 to 20 ppm Ca and the rest of the ions are low too...excepting for bicarbonate.  That profile suggests that all the flavor ions are less than 20 ppm. That evidence makes sense since those Munich beers are malt focused and there is little need for the water to impinge on that.  The same attribute applies to Pilsen water...very little flavor ion content to color the malt focus. 

The one thing that is also apparent from the boiled Munich profile is that it still has a lot of bicarbonate and the brewers would have to dose with acid malt to neutralize that component. For some beer styles, it will be a significant dose.  But I don't expect that most people would taste it. But there might be nuances from the lactic acid that do color the beer flavor.  That is why it's imperative that brewers use lactic acid or acid malt when brewing German style beers. 

Ingredients / Re: First Attempt At Water Chemistry w/ RO
« on: November 23, 2013, 02:42:15 PM »
That looks fine to me. The sodium is still nice and low, so the baking soda addition doesn't really affect the flavor. Since you are using the free version of Bru'n Water, it over estimates the sodium contribution to the overall wort in the kettle since it doesn't account for the dilution of the sparging water (which doesn't get any baking soda). The supporter's version does properly account for the final sodium content. 

The bit of baking soda in this water is typical since you are adding a bunch of Ca and Mg which drive the water's residual alkalinity down.  The baking soda helps moderate that.  Be aware that in less mineralized waters, you will probably be adding a bit of acid in pale beers.

John Palmer and I visited a brewery here in Indy last week. They use RO for all their beers with NO mineral additions. Not surprisingly, they were a little bland...but OK. Since they weren't using acid either, the mash pH's for the paler beers were a little high. We could pick up a little tannin in some beers, but not excessive. Interestingly, the brewer did have a pH meter and used it in the hot wort. He didn't know that you need to add about 0.3 units to that hot pH reading to correlate it to a room-temperature reading. So he thought he was good with a 5.4 pH, but it was actually something like 5.7.

He actually no longer has that meter since the high temperature wort broke the bulb. Just another sign-post on the road to helping everyone else to care for their meters!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: IPA's
« on: November 23, 2013, 08:09:17 AM »
Whoa! 10% crystal is not a big deal. On top of that, the fermentability of the rest of the wort is going to have a huge effect on the final character of the beer.  I recall that SN does mash at very modest temperatures which promotes the fermentability of the wort and the resulting dryness of the beer.  Having a bit of crystal is probably not that big a deal.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: 99% attenuation?
« on: November 23, 2013, 08:05:38 AM »
If you have added a simple sugar to the wort, then attenuation of that magnitude is conceivable. However, I wouldn't expect that a Dubbel would attenuate to that degree.  Double check your results.

Yes, I think that you would still have a benefit in the final beer since it should clear faster and to a greater degree. 

With that said, if you are just dumping all the kettle contents into the fermenter, you should reconsider how you transfer your boiled wort.  All it takes is a simple whirlpooling and siphon to leave a majority of the trub behind.   

All Grain Brewing / Re: TDS and Water Hardness
« on: November 23, 2013, 08:00:13 AM »
For brewing, a pH meter is far more useful than a TDS meter. However for RO water users, the utility of a TDS meter is huge. There is nothing as useful as a TDS meter for ascertaining the 'relative' quality of that RO water for an exceptionally low price...and almost instantly too! 

I believe Carl already knows this. But the rejection rate of any RO or nanofiltration membrane is ion-specific.  Some ion rejection might be 98% while other the rejection rate for other ions may be higher or lower.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mashing High, possible issues?
« on: November 22, 2013, 07:43:09 PM »
I'm not a fan of mashing at high temperature to enhance sweetness. After almost 15 years of beer judging, I have found that one of the cardinal sins of many homebrewers is creating beers that fail to finish dry enough.

If sweetness is desired, reduce the bittering and allow the sweetness to exhibit that way. In my opinion, raising the mashing temperature is best reserved for those cases where the gravity of the wort is low and the brewer is trying to improve the body via reduced fermentability.  In a beer that has adequate gravity in the first place, reduced fermentability is not the way to achieve a sweeter or maltier perception in the beer...reduced bittering is.

All Grain Brewing / Re: TDS and Water Hardness
« on: November 22, 2013, 07:28:05 PM »
Is there any correlation between total dissolved solids and water hardness?

Sort of, but there is no direct correlation.  You can have high TDS and no hardness or you can have high TDS and high hardness. 

Beer Recipes / Re: Munich Dunkel Recipe?
« on: November 22, 2013, 09:09:33 AM »

Water should be from Martin's NHC talk, Munich profile.

No! Don't use that profile. Consider the boiled Munich profile. It still has plenty of alkalinity that will pair nicely with the modest acidity of the grist. Don't be surprised if you have to add a little acid to get the pH right, even with that less alkaline boiled profile.  Be sure to use lactic since that would be more authentic. The base Munich water profile is far too alkaline for any brewing. 

AHA members will learn much more about Munich water in a few months from the Zymurgy article I'm writing now. If you aren't an AHA member...membership has its benefits.

All Grain Brewing / Re: RO vs. Tap Water?
« on: November 22, 2013, 06:44:08 AM »
That is great water excepting for the alkalinity level. None of the flavor ions are at significant levels, so they generally won't get in the way. You should boost the calcium and can boost some of those flavor ions as you see fit. Just a bit of acid in the mash and sparging water will make a HUGE difference in the outcome of your beers.  Bru'n Water has the calculators needed to allow you to confidently define those acid additions. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Kettle Carmelization
« on: November 19, 2013, 05:55:37 PM »

When I do it for a wee heavy I just eyeball it until it looks about like LME. That's at ~ the 1 qt left stage. I was blown away the first time I tried it at how good the beer was. Can't duplicate it any other way.

A quick way to duplicate it is to start with actual LME and bring it to your desired caramelization temperature.  There is no boiling that way and the LME will easily heat to the desired temp.  You have to heat it very gently or you will burn it.  Heating it in an oven should work best. 

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