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Messages - mabrungard

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Water Test
« on: June 21, 2015, 03:41:52 PM »
In most cases, it is a variation in alkalinity that creates the inconsistency in mashing pH. There are relatively inexpensive aquarium test kits for alkalinity that can help a brewer track the changes in that parameter so that adjustments to your water treatment can be more accurately implemented. Another factor that we can use to track varying water quality is total dissolved solids. A TDS meter is cheap and very quick to use and may signal to the brewer when the water has changed from their expected condition.

Give these options a thought.

Equipment and Software / Re: Rethinking my brewery
« on: June 21, 2015, 03:36:41 PM »
a bucket for primary sanitation with bleach solution (Star San does not kill a wild yeast strain that lives in my house),

Interesting! I have long worried that there are some bugs that may be resistant to acid-based sanitizers. For that reason, I've alternated with iodophor. But it sounds as if I may need to alter my methods even more. 

Tell me more about this issue, Master.

I feel your pain regarding the mobilization and demobilization of gear for brewing. It sounds less like a gear problem and more like a location problem. I've relocated to a permanent basement location with electric heating. That has been less of a PITA for me.

Ingredients / Re: Water!
« on: June 20, 2015, 04:20:20 PM »
As you could see, that was an action shot. Blurry hand!

Matt, that shirt is straight from the Lodge at Grand Canyon, picked up when we had the national convention in Las Vegas many years ago. I figured that I shouldn't roll into Bloatarian land sporting some dull shirt. That club rocks! Thanks for inviting me. Hopefully I persuaded a few to consider some simple treatments to make their beer better.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast propagation at White Labs
« on: June 19, 2015, 01:46:04 PM »
Keith, I haven't found detriment to my stirred starters since I typically stir slowly and use a 3" stir bar. But I don't doubt that a shaken vessel could be better than stirred. My point is that this appears to be a case of 'good and better'. Stir plates are still good and should be used, if you have one. Most of us won't have the opportunity to move up to a shaker like White Labs has.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Brewers at White Labs
« on: June 18, 2015, 02:27:52 AM »
Hey! I just put my 2MBC sticker on my fermentation chamber too!

All Grain Brewing / Re: acid malt in stout
« on: June 18, 2015, 02:26:33 AM »
It depends on the water.

Guinness is brewed with almost Pilsen-like water and the sourness is the result of the separate roast barley liquor being added back to the main wort. Roast barley steeped in water with very little alkalinity will produce a pH of around 4.5...plenty acidic. Not much need for acid malt or post ferment lactic addition.

If you brew with an alkaline water, then you are likely to need to include extra acidity in some form. Acid malt or another external acid are candidates.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Brewers at White Labs
« on: June 17, 2015, 04:57:13 PM »
What about the case of fermenting at under one bar? Sean is opening his place and will be fermenting at 0.7 bar due to his 2 mile elevation (Leadville, CO). He tells me that he routinely observes higher than typical attenuation with his ferments at that elevation. I found this to be a curious result.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: Final Round Scores
« on: June 14, 2015, 02:51:29 PM »
Definitely good stuff, Toby!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water options
« on: June 11, 2015, 03:48:05 AM »
If you know your original grist, mineral additions, and water volumes, you may be able to use Bru'n Water to calculate what the dose of baking soda or lime should have been to create that higher targeted mash pH. Use that result to guide the dosing of the finished beer to remove the tartness. Add maybe 75% of that amount and check the resulting flavor after mixing. If its still too tart, add the remainder. That should be somewhere in the ballpark.

That sucks that you drained the batch. It was probably somewhat fixable.

Equipment and Software / Re: Bru'n Water Issue
« on: June 11, 2015, 03:40:20 AM »
Sorry about your issue with Excel on Mac. It really sucks that Microsoft treats Apple products that way. But, it sounds like you did solve it. I understand that LibreOffice or OpenOffice does work better on the Mac.

The only macros have to do with the drop-down boxes and the scroll bars. If they still work after you save the file with them disabled and they still work, you are good. You shouldn't miss anything else.  A number of Mac users say they have saved it that way and everything still works, so you should be OK.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Berliner Weisse Brewers Yeast
« on: June 11, 2015, 03:34:56 AM »
1007 is the preferred yeast. It is a stronger acid producer and is therefore more likely to tolerate low pH. However, I recently used US-05 in a wort soured to 3.1 pH and that yeast did a very nice job in attenuating that Berliner to 1.010. The low pH did slow that yeast down, but it finished.

Ingredients / Re: Calcium Chloride Form
« on: June 11, 2015, 03:31:35 AM »
I'm not sure that you can assume that the shape of the particles indicate what the calcium chloride's hydration state is. As mentioned above, even anhydrous (water-free) calcium chloride can pick up water from moisture in the air. Unless you have freshly dehydrated the stuff with a visit to a hot oven and kept it in a container with a desicant, it is likely to have some degree of hydration. I've mentioned that a large supplier (Dow) quotes their anhydrous stuff is only like 97% moisture free. It's just really difficult to keep water out of that stuff.

I prefer to avoid a chloride overdose when I'm crafting sulfate-laden water, so I assume the Anhydrous setting when I use Bru'n Water. But as pointed out above, its probably somewhere moister than that. I suggest that you switch the setting between dihydrate and anhydrate while you are planning your mineral additions to see what the potential effect on concentrations will be.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water options
« on: June 08, 2015, 02:57:54 PM »
Always add all minerals and acids to the water before adding grain. Every mineral commonly used in brewing is very soluble in water. However it does take a minute or two of stirring to get them dissolved. Keep stirring!

Reserving crystal and roast malts to the end of the mash can be a useful technique in a few styles. However, it is far better to add the proper alkalinity to waters such as RO or distilled. That keeps the wort pH from dropping too low and giving you tart beer. Reserving the grain technique does NOT avoid an overly tart beer. Get your water right and the beer will follow.

Events / Re: NHC Thursday night?
« on: June 06, 2015, 08:15:40 PM »

Next year I don't think I'll have to fly.

It will be a short drive.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Green Beers
« on: June 05, 2015, 06:55:45 PM »
I think I've seen references to aging in the book: Amber, Gold, and Black. There are extensive discussions on British styles in there. But I don't know that the aging subject is specifically covered. It is a very good read for historical beer hounds.

By the way, I feel that 'fresh' is the time AFTER the brewmaster decides that the beer is ready for sale or consumption after its maturation phase. Freshness is not necessarily measured from the time it finished fermentation.

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