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Messages - mabrungard

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Ingredients / Re: help me choose hops
« on: December 22, 2011, 11:20:56 AM »
Gary Glass and I have formed a Fuggles Haters Club....;)

I don't know why, but I do not like Fuggles either.  I tried them in several brews that I had made before with other hops and came away with an unfavorable impression.  There seemed to be a flavor that I did not agree with.  C'est la Vie. 

Equipment and Software / Re: pH meter sale on amazon
« on: December 20, 2011, 02:34:48 PM »
Don't abuse your pH meter by dunking it in hot wort.  I can assure you that they won't last long when used like that.  Cool your wort samples to room temp and your results will be better and the probe will last longer.  Oh, keep the glass probe stored in Storage Solution and that will also extend its life.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Iodine test for mash conversion
« on: December 20, 2011, 06:33:38 AM »
Would it really be "conversion" or "extraction" that was measured in the BYO testing.  Its probably possible to accomplish either one without fully completing the other.  I rarely perform an Iodine starch conversion test, but I always monitor my extraction gravity during each mash.  

I probably should check conversion. But as Malzig mentioned from the BYO testing, it appears more likely that you will achieve your conversion if the mash period is long enough to show that the gravity has stabilized.  Of course, this all goes out the window if the mash didn't have enough diastatic power or the mashing temperature(s) where incorrect or out of range.

All Grain Brewing / Re: de-nature protein/enzymes.
« on: December 16, 2011, 02:06:29 PM »
I agree with Tom excepting I will more strongly caution that the temperature of your wort at the heat exchanger outlet (or in the heat exchanger) should be no higher than your targeted mash temperature.  This will require that the wort system and mash tun be well insulated to reduce heat losses after the heat exchanger. 

I've got as many of the pipes and hoses in my system encased in that foam tube insulation for that reason.  This recommendation applies equally to RIMS brewers too.  Don't overheat your wort or you could see attenuation problems.  This comes from denaturing too many of the enzymes in the mash while you are heating and circulating.

The only time you would want the wort temperature to exceed your targeted mash temperature is when you're ramping the temperature up. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Cold crashing a Schwartz
« on: December 16, 2011, 10:09:41 AM »
Are you sure its not just a typical sulfurous lager aroma?  Assuming that you're right and it is DMS, another source would be using a high percentage of Pils malt (that should be typical of a Schwartz) and not having a long and strong enough boil to drive off DMS and precursors. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Things Picking Up in the Carolinas
« on: December 16, 2011, 08:25:54 AM »
Yes, Asheville is the current target.  If I had checked with my colleagues, I would have known that.  We are already working on the project.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Things Picking Up in the Carolinas
« on: December 15, 2011, 11:37:14 AM »

One of the things they stressed to us was that the places they were looking at had similar water chemistry.

Nah, when I was talking with Steve Dresler a few months ago, he mentioned that they are fully on RO at the Chico facility.  They build all their brewing water up from RO.  I suggested that they do want to try and find a location with decent water anyhow to reduce the loading on the RO membranes.  He was not concerned with that.  They are looking for the local that will give them the best deal. 

PS: the firm I work for does SN's wastewater and energy reduction engineering.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A new trend...?
« on: December 14, 2011, 06:27:25 AM »
The cost of cans has a couple of barbs.  For Sun King in Indy and other craft brewers, the biggest problem is that they can't just slap a new label on their stock of bottles when they want to push out a new seasonal or specialty.  They usually have to buy a gazillion cans printed with the new beer's labeling.  That makes it far less appealing to have a canning line if you want to be creative and put out small runs of beer.  In the case of SN, they have 5 beers that are constantly brewed and another 5 that have big enough production to use cans too.  

If I understand correctly, Sun King has been allowed by the ATF folks to create a generic Sun King can that they can apply another label with the actual beer's info.  That might make this can issue more appealing for craft brewers with smaller production.  I haven't seen any of these labeled cans on the shelves yet, so I don't know that its a reality.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A new trend...?
« on: December 13, 2011, 03:41:01 PM »
I'm with Ron on this issue...the container doesn't matter, I drink beer from a glass.  Cans are a much better packaging options on multiple levels.  The local brewery in Indy made a decision at its inception to go with cans as their retail packaging.  They haven't looked back.  Its great beer and that's the only thing that matters. 

Ingredients / Re: Hopfenkranz at the Viktualienmarket in Munich
« on: December 13, 2011, 06:13:31 AM »
Very nice!  I like the ones with berries or flowers.  My wife would probably allow those to be hung on our front door.

Are the hangy things with ribbons some sort of hop-filled sachet?

Ingredients / Re: Hop quality question
« on: December 12, 2011, 04:55:39 PM »
Don't aim for the max bitterness indicated for the style.  The bittering for a hefe is very restrained.  I suggest aiming for around 10 or 11 IBUs (Rager calc). 

Don't worry about the intensity or aromatics of the aroma as mentioned above.  Only worry if they have off or cheesy aroma.  If the hops were stored in a freezer, the alpha loss is pretty moderate.  Those formulas do include a storage temp adjustment.  I'm not really in agreement with them when the storage temperature is below freezing and the hops are in metallized mylar bags.  I think that the alpha survives better than what is indicated in the formula.  For that reason, I would be very cautious with the degradation formula.  It will indicate the hops have no punch and then you brew with them and you have tossed in a bunch more hops based on the calculation that they have little bittering potential.   You could end up overbittered and this style cannot tolerate excessive bittering. 

Pellets will ALWAYS store better than whole hops and it appears that they are not that old in the first place.  I would use the pellets at their rated alpha unless you did not store them in the freezer.

Ebay is always the resource for stuff that is too expensive at the retail level.  I found one after a couple months of watching for about $40.  Still expensive.  The other option that clubs should consider is to buy a communal reference thermometer that is brought to club meetings occassionally so that members can check their instruments at the mashing temp range.  I find that checking calibration once or twice a year is quite sufficient unless an instrument is abused. 

Then there's always the Superfast Splashproof Thermapen...


which comes calibrated to NIST standards including a certificate of compliance.

I like the idea of the Thermapen and I like that its calibrated.  It does seem like it could be a good everyday tool.  It is expensive though.

This still doesn't alleviate the problems inherent with any electrical or mechanical device...they can go out of calibration.  That's why I like the security of that old fashion mercury in glass thermometer for calibration checking.  The only way its going to go out of calibration is for it to be broken and then you have a whole lot more problems.  My NIST thermometer only comes out for calibration and is never used for real work.  Of course, that old fashion thermometer has to be calibrated to an NIST standard for it to be worth anything.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lacto Starter
« on: December 11, 2011, 10:10:59 AM »
I could not find Kris England's (mashweasel) recommendations for Lacto starters, so I don't know what those recommendations are.  (Could someone post the link?)  But, there are some very good Berliner brewers in my club that have given me advice on this subject. 

In the case where you are not using a pure Lacto culture and are doing the handful of raw grain in wort have to let that starter culture ferment completely in order to let the Lactobacillus out compete and kill off the other organisms with Lacto's superior pH tolerance.  So you let the pH of the starter to get very low and for all the 'off' aromas to dissipate to the singularly lactic aroma.  Of course, you need to ferment the starter at a relatively high temp (near 100F) to enhance the Lacto growth.   This starter should be extremely sour.  Those resulting Lacto bugs are then pitched into the beer batch.  If desired, the partially Lacto fermented beer can be boiled to kill the Lacto and then a regular ale yeast added to complete the ferment.

I love sours! 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: forgot to aerate
« on: December 11, 2011, 08:27:35 AM »
It depends on how active your fermentation is.  If its still pretty lackluster, you can hit it with air or O2.  A secondary aeration is sometimes used in big beers to help boost the yeast count.  That is typically done between a half day and a day after pitching.

If you pitched a good starter and that yeast count was already high, then its possible you don't really have to aerate upon pitching.  If its a big beer, you'll want to do it.

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