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Messages - mabrungard

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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?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Finings and clearing agents?
« on: May 30, 2012, 05:11:55 AM »
You might consider PVPP (polyclar) in this case.  Since you're dry hopping, there probably will be a haze from that treatment.  PVPP does help clear that polyphenol haze.

Ingredients / Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« on: May 29, 2012, 02:27:01 PM »

With that being said - if I were going to aim for a pH of 5.5 at mash temp, it would be safe to go for around 5.7 at room temp?

No!  The safe range of room-temperature mash pH is about 5.3 to 5.5.  That indicates that the pH in the mash is 0.2 to 0.3 units lower, but that doesn't really matter.  The only thing we need to focus on is the 'room-temperature measurements'. 

A 5.4 room-temperature pH is a good all-around target.  If you want your beer a little sharper or tarter, aim a little lower (5.2 to 5.3).  If you want your dark beers to be a little softer, aim for 5.5.  But don't get carried away with a high pH target.  All kinds of things go wrong when you exceed about 5.7 to 5.8.  You can be a little low with pH and the beer should taste OK.  But it won't be so good if its a little high.

Ingredients / Re: Water Has My Head Spinning...
« on: May 29, 2012, 02:18:44 PM »
Thats a confusing one to me as well...Ive always measured at room temp and corrected .2 ish lower to get my mash temp since that makes sense to me...if the pH is working at a certain temp then thats whats actually going on in there.

So if I read 5.6 on my pH meter, then Im assuming my pH at sach temps is about 5.4.

That's about right.  5.4 at room temperature is somewhere around 5.2 at mash temperature.  Since that offset is relatively consistent, it makes little sense to damage your pH probe by dunking it in hot wort.  In fact the convention of citing mash pH at room temperature is specifically called out in DeClerck's, A Textbook of Brewing.  I'll have to disagree with Gordon on this issue.  This is the reason that Bru'n Water mentions 'room-temperature measurement' when ever mash pH is discussed or presented.

Using a shot glass that I've pre-chilled, it only takes about a tablespoon of wort to fill the glass sufficiently to submerge a normal pH probe.  That small amount of wort cools down in a minute in that glass.  I suppose you would have to use a larger glass if you have one of those meters with the larger probe end.   

Ingredients / Re: Sorachi Ace in single hop wheat
« on: May 28, 2012, 12:27:01 PM »
I concur with the 'overpowering' aspect.  I like the 'lemonyness' but this one gets out of hand pretty quickly.  A light hand with this hop is in my playbook. 

If you find you overdid it, you can always blend this beer with another to extrapolate what level of Sorachi you prefer.

Equipment and Software / Re: march pump
« on: May 27, 2012, 01:27:54 PM »
I don't remember which place I purchased my 815 impeller, but a Google search turns up plenty of resources including Northern Brewer, $24.  I suggest that folks get a replacement o-ring and a couple teflon thrust washers when ordering an impellor since those items are cheap and don't add to the shipping cost.  Bad news for Northern Brewer is that they don't seem to carry the teflon washers, but they do carry the o-ring.

Equipment and Software / Re: march pump
« on: May 27, 2012, 11:55:03 AM »
Seems like a lot of people are buying the 815 for the ease of priming.  In fact people are upgrading their 809's with the 815 impeller.

I upgraded.  Its a much stronger pump now.  It was worth the cost of the new impeller.

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