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Messages - mabrungard

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Ingredients / Re: Your favorite Hops that are rarely mentioned...
« on: May 25, 2014, 07:07:20 PM »
+2 regarding Brewers Gold! Very nice hop with fruity black currant notes.

Beer Travel / Re: Any recommendations for Brussels/Bruges?
« on: May 22, 2014, 03:26:44 PM »
"F'in Brugge!"  Great movie.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Low mash pH
« on: May 18, 2014, 04:21:17 AM »
I've found that low mash pH does increase the fermentability and reduces the body of beer. Overly low mash pH can be detrimental to beer quality and perception.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lowering ph level
« on: May 16, 2014, 05:44:07 AM »
Don't plan on relying on only calcium additions to get your mash pH where you want it. You could end up with a minerally taste. An appropriate addition of an acid is much more effective and is less likely to degrade the beer flavor. In addition, you still have to concern yourself with reducing alkalinity of your sparging water. If your tap water alkalinity is high, calcium additions are far less effective than acidification.

Acid: It's your friend! (OK, its dangerous and can bite you. Do learn to handle and use it properly!)

Ingredients / Re: Brown Malt
« on: May 13, 2014, 02:01:36 PM »
According to my LHBS' website, it was Crisp Brown Malt.

Ingredients / Re: Brown Malt
« on: May 13, 2014, 11:48:01 AM »
I used brown malt in a brown porter and had a definite smoke flavor in the beer. I've also had a special porter from Founders that had a similar smokiness. I'm a little leery of brown malt at this point.

Storage and calibration are critical to the performance of pH meters. I just posted a summary of my recommendations for storage and calibration on Bru'n Water's Facebook page. Visit there to pick up some guidance.

All Grain Brewing / Re: lactic acid to acidify sparge water
« on: May 09, 2014, 10:44:07 AM »
You will find that the actual water pH prior to acidifying is relatively meaningless. It has only minor effect on the resulting calculations. I suggest you play with the calculator a bit to see the effect of initial pH. Maybe move the initial pH value by about 1 (up or down) and you should see that the amount of acid required will not change greatly. It is the initial alkalinity that is the elephant in the room!

The Pub / Re: Pete Coors doesn't get it
« on: May 05, 2014, 01:59:10 PM »
Like all the Mega's, they know how to make the same product day after day with incredible precision. I don't think they can adapt their habits to the creativity and variability needed in craft brewing.

I applaud their abilities, but they may be more a product of practice, measurement, and management than skill. In many respects, craft brewing has something to learn from the Mega's and vice versa. I fully expect that Pete Coors will figure out how to integrate their existing abilities to the changing beer market.

From what I've seen in new construction, virtually all homes now include PEX tubing for their water supply. Having worked with PEX for a couple of years now, I can vouch for it as a great material. While most PEX fittings are brass, if you are piping up a RO system, using plastic fittings may be wise. Just recognize that those plastic fittings cannot have any strain on them.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Gypsum or CaCl in a yeast starter
« on: May 05, 2014, 05:43:26 AM »
You are actually better off with about 10 to 20 ppm Mg in the starter water than any calcium addition. Zymurgy readers will get the full story in the Jul/Aug 2014 issue. Epsom Salt is OK.

Homebrew Clubs / Re: Homebrew Club Meeting Location
« on: May 04, 2014, 04:38:17 PM »
In my opinion, meeting in a public place is a necessity for any club looking to grow. I can think of few things more frightening than going to someone's house (that you don't know) to see if you are interested in joining their club. A public meeting space provides a bit more cover for the first time visitor to see if this is a group that meshes with their ideals. I realize that it is very difficult to find an adequate public meeting space, but it is something that every club should try and achieve. A noisy restaurant is not ideal since its tough to have the group conversations that make a meeting like this worthwhile.

Sure, if there are rules against homebrew at that public space, have another monthly meeting at a home or somewhere else so that the true focus of the club (homebrewing) can be exhibited. But providing that public meeting space is an important way to encourage new members to check your club out.

Wow! You have to wonder if the water salesmen even tested your water? I'm assuming they just quoted numbers that would alarm anyone and let you have them. I'm assuming our brewing knowledge set off the bull-sh*t meter and that iron level fell out as a blatant lie.

i guess we always have to be wary when the seller is working on commission. 

Equipment and Software / Re: Thermapen or MW101 PH meter?
« on: May 01, 2014, 06:04:18 AM »
Keith, are you rounding those values or do you have a meter that only reports to the nearest tenth? That is a curious result. The only thing I can assume is that the 'room-temp' that you are cooling too, is higher in the afternoon.

Equipment and Software / Re: Thermapen or MW101 PH meter?
« on: April 29, 2014, 05:49:45 AM »
There is no way I would spend the $$ on a Therapen when they make the RT600c. I have two of the RTs and they are nice. Now I need an extra one for other duties.

I agree that a pH meter is a PITA and that there are programs that help get your mash pH pretty close, but I do want to check that stuff.

Temperature and pH are important factors. Get the very worthwhile RT600 and when your funds permit, get the MW-101 along with all the other stuff like storage and calibration solutions. My MW has been rock solid. I can't say the same for other compact pH meters. I think it has something to do with the MW-101 using an industry standard probe.

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