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Messages - mabrungard

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Thermometers?
« on: December 03, 2013, 10:18:53 AM »
I do like the ruggedness of bi-metal probe thermometers, but they are easily uncalibrated with use or abuse. Having a traceable calibration thermometer to check those bi-metal thermometers is imperative. On top of that, the bi-metal thermometers may not be as linear in their response as some other types, so having that calibration standard and calibrating at mashing temps is good practice. 

With that said, those cheap electronic units that Sean Terrill mentioned months ago and Amanda pointed to above, seem to be a great deal and several are waterproof.  I see that you can pick up a calibratable unit for $19 (Model: RT301WA) and its spec says its within 0.9F.  That is pretty good since a much more expensive Thermapen is only slightly better (0.7F).  Considering that the cheap unit is made by the Thermapen people, I would skip to the cheaper option without a blink!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water profile and IPAs
« on: December 02, 2013, 06:16:05 AM »
I talked to Mitch Steele at the NHC and they don't pay any attention to sulfate at Stone.  They brew their IPAs at 165 ppm of Calcium.

At 165 ppm Ca, there is a lot of some other anions in that water...and its probably sulfate.  By the way, there are several water districts in San Diego that have fairly mineralized (that means sulfate too) water. There is a decent chance that Stone doesn't need to add more sulfate to their brewing water.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Dedicated tap / lines for sours?
« on: November 29, 2013, 01:07:34 PM »
Anything you can boil is not a problem to decontaminate. Don't worry.

Ingredients / Re: Sierra Nevada's water profile
« on: November 28, 2013, 11:43:49 AM »
Nope, no work on that end. But I have seen the Chico report before. It is typically low in mineralization. I do know that they do mineralize the brewing water. Knowing what Chico water is like will not do you any good.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Stone IPA
« on: November 27, 2013, 07:37:35 PM »
Stone IPA is a very nice beer, but it's not nearly as assertive as the current contenders and recipients for the crown. I find it very balanced and fairly approachable. It is where the IPA taste was a decade ago and I like that level of bittering and flavor. I would like to taste more beers in this range, but it's difficult to stand out in the IPA field if you aren't stretching the limits. 

If you haven't tasted Stone IPA, you need to.

Wood/Casks / Re: Oaked cider, anyone?
« on: November 26, 2013, 03:49:10 PM »
McClure's Orchard in Peru, IN does make an oaked aged cider. It is very nice. Go for it.

Beer Recipes / Re: Munich Dunkel Recipe?
« on: November 26, 2013, 03:47:59 PM »
Red, I'm speaking about the actual boiled Munich profile which still has significant alkalinity left in it. For that water, those Munich brewers would have to include that acid source. For someone starting with a low alkalinity water, you may not want to go to the trouble of creating the boiled Munich profile with all its alkalinity and then reverse course and add acid. In this latter case, you probably wouldn't add any more alkalinity than necessary for the mash condition. 

But to be as authentic as possible, boosting the alkalinity to the boiled Munich level and then adding the lactic source may be the way to go. Those of you with fairly alkaline water may consider this an opportunity! I remember my Tallahassee water was well suited to making Hefe's and Dunkel's since I used Lactic acid exclusively. 

Unfortunately, the recommendations that Kai makes regarding the water for the Dunkel are dated. He may want to revise that water recipe.

+1 to cleaning my picnic taps and lines as each keg is exhausted. Everything is in the fridge, so the opportunity to grow anything is minor. I always let the picnic tap drape down over the keg so that the outlet is generally pointed downward. Even so, I sometimes find a nice growth of mold on the stopper. I guess that is the main thing to worry about.

Beer Recipes / Re: Munich Dunkel Recipe?
« on: November 25, 2013, 12:24:18 PM »

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

I based this water profile from Kai's research on his website.

Ah, sorry to see that on Kai's site. While it's accurate for the tap water, its not what is brewed with.

Do review my presentation on Historic Water from this year's AHA convention.  In the old days, the water was pre-boiled to knock out some of the excessive alkalinity and the calcium goes out with it.  After boiling, Munich water is a semi OK water to brew with as long as you then attend to the remaining alkalinity.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: IPA's
« on: November 25, 2013, 12:19:45 PM »
I find that this year's Celebration is very sensitive to serving temperature. My fridge is set to 40F and that is too cold for serving that beer. All the flavors are closed down at that temp.  Let it warm up and its a different beer.

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. 

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