Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - mabrungard

Pages: 1 ... 59 60 [61] 62 63 ... 103
All Grain Brewing / Re: Another water question - too much CaCO3?
« on: September 01, 2012, 02:25:02 PM »
I love this stuff!  The only thing a teaspoon is good for is repeatability.  Beyond that, a brewer has no idea what they are adding to their water.  This is not to say that you can't brew that way and be successful.  If you like what a teaspoon of gypsum in 5 gallons of water does for your pale ales, then that is good enough.  You just won't know what that addition is actually producing in your water.

There is a reason why Bru'n Water includes only mass measures, it is the only way that a brewer is going to have any idea of the ionic concentrations in their water. When it comes to any mineral additions that alter RA, you really should use a scale.

PS: Scales are cheap.

Ingredients / Re: Rye?
« on: September 01, 2012, 10:50:34 AM »
The batch size or SG wasn't mentioned, but the SG would have to be high to balance that bittering level.  In addition, the large dose of Nugget may not provide the nicest bittering character.  I don't think your problem was the rye, it was more likely the bittering schedule and hop selection.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast starter overflow
« on: August 31, 2012, 06:35:28 AM »
It sure sounds like your vessel is too small for the starter size.  To paraphrase Jaws, You need a bigger boat.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Another water question - too much CaCO3?
« on: August 31, 2012, 06:29:42 AM »

Well I still don't understand how to get 150ppm of alkalinity w/o 5 tsp of CaCO3. How much lime adds approx. 150ppm? Is it liquid or powder (CaOH?). I did download "Bru'n Water" once but I found it mind-blowingly complicated. I'm making 5 or 10 gallon batches of beer not running a microbrewery. I didn't think putting all that effort into water would make my beer any better. My water is pretty much very soft as I used bottled water, so in some beers I want to up the Ca, alkalinity and sometimes the sulfate. I get gypsum, but again am confused about alkalinity.

Your finding on Bru'n Water is common for those who spend a minute or two looking at it.  Far too many inputs and pages.  As all the users who took the couple of more minutes to learn, once you have the program set up for your water source, it is quite easy and requires no more input than any other program out there.  Unfortunately, there isn't an EZ solution to brewing water chemistry.  To adjust your brewing water effectively, you actually need to have either knowledge or have something like Bru'n Water that tries to look over your shoulder and keep you from screwing up. 

The quoted message hits on the most important aspect of brewing water chemistry. Its not hardness or softness of the brewing water, its alkalinity.  Learning how to properly adjust brewing water alkalinity should be a brewer's primary concern.  Keeping the overall mineralization of the brewing water at moderate to low level is the secondary goal.  Nate correctly points out in his message above that its unlikely that brewing water will need more than about 150 ppm alkalinity for even the most acidic grists.  So any guidance that tells you to add more than that to your brewing water, may be suspect.

The technique mentioned in Brewing Better Beer where roasted grain is withheld until the late stage of the mash can be effective in reducing the need for alkalinity in the mash, but it can still leave the pH of the wort in the kettle a little lower than desirable.  So its not always a panacea for proper alkalinity adjustment. 

Lime is one of the most effective and sure methods of controlling mash pH.  But as Kai points out, if you don't properly calculate the lime addition and know the requirements of the mash beforehand, you can easily overdo it.  And the consequences of overdoing a lime addition are much more detrimental to beer quality than to not adjust at all.  When in doubt, leave it out or at least err on the low side when adding lime.  Lime is a very strong base and it absolutely requires careful measurement and dosing.  Do not think that you can just add a little and check pH.  I find that this is a sure way to fail.  I don't know of another program that provides a calculation for lime addition, so to brewers that don't use Bru'n Water, you may be out of luck.

For a large segment of water customers across the US, they don't typically have to worry about adding alkalinity in the first place.  Their tap water has plenty of alkalinity and acidification or dilution is probably their primary concern.  If you have water like that, consider blending a portion of your tap water with RO or distilled water when making a beer that needs more alkalinity to avoid an excessive pH drop.  That might be a better alternative to adding lime.  A lot of programs provide calculations for when RO or distilled water is used to dilute the tap water.  That should provide an option to having to learn a mind-blowingly complicated program!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Another water question - too much CaCO3?
« on: August 29, 2012, 05:10:21 PM »
Chalk is a waste of time in brewing.  I've had plenty of brewers tell me that when they check the mash pH after adding chalk, it does not increase the pH as desired.  If several cases when I've reviewed their mash and water data with Bru'n Water, their observed pH result agreed quite well with the Bru'n Water result with all of the chalk deleted.  To me, that is pretty strong evidence that chalk does not work. 

If you need to add alkalinity to your mash to control pH, use lime.  It does work when you add it.  Be sure you use a proper analysis when figuring out if you really need to add alkalinity.  There are too many resources on the web that could have you adding too much alkalinity to your brew.  Producing a wort with too high a pH is FAR worse than having the wort pH be a little too low.

Equipment and Software / Re: Quick question about Bru'n water
« on: August 29, 2012, 01:21:58 PM »
I didn't catch the fact that you are stepping.  In that case, I recommend that you consider only the initial infusion as the mash volume.  I assume that the first temp step is a sachrification rest.  The later mash out step should be treated as a sparge addition. 

The reason I recommend focusing on that first step and its water profile is that this initial step is when most of the starch conversion occurs.  Get this step where you want it to promote the fermentability you want.

Equipment and Software / Re: Quick question about Bru'n water
« on: August 29, 2012, 05:09:02 AM »
If all of the water is going into the mash tun initially, then you should enter it that way in Bru'n Water.  The RA of the water interacts with the malt acidity to estimate a mash pH.  There is no advantage to entering a portion of the water as a sparge addition unless you are actually doing it that way.

Ingredients / Re: raisins
« on: August 28, 2012, 09:25:24 AM »
I've used raisins a couple times.  My method is to wit til the beer has finished primary fermentation, then caramelize the raisins ins super red hot wok. 

Very interesting!  I like it.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Palmer's Spreadsheet - Kettle addition
« on: August 28, 2012, 09:24:00 AM »
Everyone loves Bru'n water but i hear people saying that they add the most minimal salts. My question is: if you are trying to mirror a profile (malty brown for ex) on this spreadsheet you aren't going to be able to achieve that without adding multiple different salts, right?  Especially if you are starting with RO water you wont reach the target with cacl alone.

The salts added to your brewing water are dependent upon the flavor character you are looking for in the finished beer.  Excepting for calcium and bicarbonate, the rest of the ions are generally added only for their flavor contribution.  There is no reason why brewing with calcium chloride alone can't produce a good beer for some styles.  As the mash acidity increases, there could be a need for some alkalinity.  But there is little need for anything except the calcium in the mash and wort. 

Its when you are interested in incorporating other flavor contributions that more mineral salts will be needed.  Brewing with only RO water and calcium chloride is espoused by AJ Delange and he is a notorious fan of chloride.  Conversely, Colin Kaminski is a huge fan of sulfate.  I sat between Mr. Chloride and Mr. Sulfate at the Water Panel in Seattle and that was an appropriate position for me.  I feel there are definitely times when either of those ions are desirable in brewing.  In addition, I feel that there are nuances that low levels of Mg and Na can produce.  That is why you will find that the color-based profiles in Bru'n Water include those minor additions.  But, a brewer is free to revise the relative levels of any ion based on their taste preferences and mineral availability.   In the end, the only thing that will matter is the calcium content and the pH of the mash. 


All Grain Brewing / Re: Water additions for red ale
« on: August 26, 2012, 05:43:07 PM »
Martin's amber malty profile is for beers with an RA of -13. My calculations put the RA for a red as between 10-15. Am i reading this wrong?

Beers don't have a RA.  The RA of the water used in the mashing will vary depending upon the needs of the grist.  Don't fall into the color trap.  You don't set RA based on beer color.

The color mentioned in those water profiles is intended to get you looking at the approximate alkalinity and hardness values that MIGHT be appropriate for a beer of that color.  The brewer then goes on to fine-tune the bicarbonate content to meet the needs of the mash grist.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Style Guidelines and Judging
« on: August 26, 2012, 02:18:34 PM »
The thing is these beers have to go through a first round by at least two judges and be in the top three of who knows how many, then be judged by three more judges, one of whom is probably master, get pushed to the mini best of show, then picked as the winner, probably by more than one master. 

Unfortunately, that is less and less likely at our comps.  I'm still depressed with the lack of highly experienced judges at this important contest.  Its tough to get those judges to show up and I don't blame them.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water additions for red ale
« on: August 23, 2012, 06:08:03 PM »
You guys crack me up!

All Grain Brewing / Re: composting spent grain
« on: August 23, 2012, 05:19:38 AM »
Its imperative that you avoid letting the mass of grain go septic (anaerobic).  The smell is horrendous!  Mixing the grain with other loose organic materials can help keep the pile open and breathing.  Occasional fluffing and turning of the compost pile will also help keep the environment of the pile aerobic. 

If you are starting out a new compost pile, mixing in a little bit of the local soil will help innoculate the pile with microbes needed to perform the composting.  Place the compost pile in a shaded area to reduce the moisture loss or be ready to ocassionally wet the pile to keep it moist. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That German lager flavor
« on: August 22, 2012, 05:41:50 PM »
I think Chris nailed it.  The alkalinity is fairly high and the hardness is modest.  The residual alkalinity is in the 60 ppm range and that could be problematic for a light beer like a pils.  Slight acidification of both mash and sparge water appears needed for brewing a light beer with this water.  High kettle pH of the wort can increase the harshness perception of hopping. 

Thirsty, make sure your wort pH in the kettle ends up in the 5.3 to 5.4 range when measured at room temperature.

Equipment and Software / Re: efficiency false bottom vs bazooka
« on: August 22, 2012, 12:58:08 PM »

That's a good thought, Sean.  I guess the hat didn't kill your brain after all!  ;)

If I'm not mistaken, I was sitting just to the right of Sean in that picture.  He was doing a fair job of killing brain cells at the time.

Pages: 1 ... 59 60 [61] 62 63 ... 103