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Messages - mabrungard

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Twice, but never again
« on: March 21, 2014, 06:04:40 AM »
I have a written check list, just like a pilot. It's too bad I don't check it :-[

Ingredients / Re: Difference between Burton water and London water
« on: March 19, 2014, 02:02:15 PM »
Ah! You have stumbled upon the next topic in the Brewing Water Series...London. Assuming you are an AHA member, you would have read about Burton water a few months ago in Zymurgy. Certainly a high sulfate content there.

London water is very interesting in that there are actually two unique water profiles. The water from the upper River Thames and River Lee are reasonably suited for pale ales and bitters, while the water from the chalk aquifer and the tidal Thames is more suited to porters. In either water, the sulfate content is much lower than Burton water.

You will have to forgive me, but you'll have to wait another month for the next issue of Zymurgy to get the particulars about London water. Yet another reason to be an AHA member.

Beer Travel / Re: Portland and Seattle
« on: March 14, 2014, 07:46:05 PM »
A road trip through the gorge to Hood River is impressive. Continuing on around Mt Hood is nice too. Oh, there are a few breweries in Hood River too.

All Grain Brewing / Re: lactic acid to acidify sparge water
« on: March 13, 2014, 05:36:43 AM »
I've never really thought about that approach before, but it could have merit. Adding all the calcium and magnesium minerals to the mash could help with lowering the mash pH. As long as the brewer is still knocking down the alkalinity in the sparging water, this approach could work. It could also offer the opportunity to reduce the overall levels of Ca and Mg in the brewing water since the sparging water content would be lower.

I'll look in to this!

All Grain Brewing / Re: lactic acid to acidify sparge water
« on: March 12, 2014, 05:38:50 PM »
What is the case for adding minerals to the sparge water rather than in the kettle (or rather than adding all the minerals to the mash water, provided the additional calcium isn't pushing your mash pH too low)?

Already covered. Look at the WHEN TO ADD WATER ADDITIVES on the Bru'n Water facebook page.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Water/Mash questions re: Kolsch
« on: March 12, 2014, 01:45:57 PM »
I don't believe there is any misinformation on  Kai's website regarding this.

The number comes from fitting observed data which is obviously something anyone modeling mash pH in a spreadsheet is comfortable with.

You are aware that the generalization is only good for Kai's water source, right? What about everyone else's water source? Knowing the data and its applicability is imperative in assessing empirical data.

The horse isn't dead yet!

All Grain Brewing / Re: lactic acid to acidify sparge water
« on: March 12, 2014, 09:36:01 AM »
Alkalinity and pH are only vaguely related by their interaction.  But alkalinity is a measure of the buffering power of water. In the vast majority of cases, alkalinity is comprised of carbonate ion species (bicarbonate and carbonate) in drinking water. The pH of the water affects how much of each of those species is present. In drinking water, alkalinity is the derived from the concentrations of the bicarbonate and carbonate ions in the water.

pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration in water. Since the hydrogen ion concentration is so very low, chemists use the pH designation to give it a more usable form. For instance, pH 7 is equal to 0.0000001 moles of hydrogen ion per liter of water. Pretty clunky, yes? So pH 7 is a lot cleaner way of expressing that teeny concentration.

So, you should be more able to understand that alkalinity is based on the concentration of those carbonate species and pH is based on the concentration of hydrogen ions.

All Grain Brewing / Re: lactic acid to acidify sparge water
« on: March 12, 2014, 06:40:15 AM »
As mentioned, adding minerals to the mash and hoping that you are mixing them in AND dissolving AND distributing those ions throughout the mash is a tall order. I'd say its very unlikely unless you are running a RIMS or HERMS and the flow will distribute the ions effectively.

Brewers are FAR better off adding minerals to the water and letting them dissolve BEFORE mixing that water with the grist. 

In the case of using water that has very low distilled water, the need for acidification is reduced. pH is not really a problem. But alkalinity is. Water with a pH of 9 and alkalinity of nearly zero is much better to brew with than a water with pH of 5.5 and alkalinity of 200 ppm.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Batch Sparge and Tannins
« on: March 11, 2014, 05:31:25 PM »
For Sure! Water with elevated alkalinity is almost guaranteed to pull tannins and silicates out of the grist. A simple acidification of that water would solve the alkalinity, but the high sodium won't be solved by anything but RO treatment. Looks like you need to find another machine.  As I've recommended before, anyone using a commercial RO machine or their own, should have a TDS meter with them to check that the RO water really has very low TDS. If it doesn't, something is wrong. TDS meters are cheap and reliable...much less expensive than a screwed up batch of beer.

Ingredients / Re: Cinchona
« on: March 09, 2014, 12:42:34 PM »
Since it is the source of Quinine and that is the basis of bittering evaluation, I suggest that this is a component that should be used with great care! The infusion idea seems sound.  It would ultimately be a substitute for hop bittering.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« on: March 09, 2014, 12:39:29 PM »
Very constructive discussion!

The BJCP style guidelines offer an important coordination between most brewers and drinkers as to the major features of a particular style. Where the history and perceptions of the style are broad, the guidelines often have latitude in the characteristics. However, there is a deficiency that seems counterproductive to me.  We rely on the "Specialty" category (23) to give those beers that don't quite fit well into the major categories. That does segregate beers that are generally similar to the major category, but has a unique feature or character that sets it apart. I have mentioned this in the past and it has been discussed in some circles that each major category should have its own 'specialty' subcategory so that these beers that may stretch the bounds of the category can be better compared to similar beers.

A case in point are beers that seem to straddle subcategories. They tend to get marked down because they are perceived with a little too much of a neighboring subcategory's character, all the while, it is a really great beer...maybe even better than the more subcategory aligned beers. It would be great to update the guidelines to include a better mechanism for including these somewhat unique beers with their brethren.

Clearly, there will be beers that venture well outside the character of some categories and the need for Category 23 - Specialty is still needed. But let's put this idea to the test.

I do appreciate the strong opinions expressed here, but I am dismayed that we don't have names and reputations to accompany all of them. Please consider including a little more self identification if you intend to be taken seriously. Slackers like myself, denny, mdixon, etc  ;) that stand behind their words with a level of name recognition are much more likely to be civil. I understand a reluctance to use your full name to reduce the chance of being searched via the web, but you can make it possible to show who you are. I have found that great friendships and appreciation can come of it.   

Homebrew Competitions / Re: Thoughts/Opinions
« on: March 09, 2014, 12:05:19 PM »
Another factor that can influence the quality of beers judged, is whether the samples were shipped or dropped off. It is a proven fact that handling and vibration does reduce the quality and character of the beer. One factor that has proven itself is shipping to contests in the summer. The heat clearly accelerates the damage. Given the timing of this contest, it doesn't seem likely that heat had an effect. But in the absence of this factor, I don't doubt that the home club has really good brewers. Contest participation does have a way of refining and enhancing brewing skill.

Beer Recipes / Re: Munich
« on: March 07, 2014, 10:20:26 AM »
I have the opinion that the light Munich malt is similar to English Mild malt. I've used that in several beers and substituted as necessary when the LHBS is out of one or the other. 

Events / Re: NHC Hotels filled up already?
« on: March 07, 2014, 10:14:43 AM »
It only took a minute to book my room at the Amway.

+ another to what eyousey said. Overfill and boil water. I don't think you need an hour, but that is a nice goal. If your water isn't very hard, I suggest adding calcium salts to your water to help imbue and coat the aluminum. The surface should go from shiny and metallic to dark gray. You want the dark gray since it signals a good oxidized surface coating.

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