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Messages - hopfenundmalz

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All Grain Brewing / Re: adding sulfate to my SNPA clone
« on: March 01, 2013, 10:36:25 AM »
Kyle has the way I would recommend it.

Get the mash pH right. Add the extra SO4 (and Ca) to the boil.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water Chemistry
« on: March 01, 2013, 10:16:38 AM »
I have gone up to 350 ppm of SO4. Works fine for an IPA.

Calcium carbonate will raise the pH, if you can get it to dissolve, which is hard to do even in the mash. I use pickling lime to raise the pH.

If you were asking about using Calcium Chloride and the ratio of Sulfate to Chloride, you can go high, like 8 or 9 and have no problems. Get the pH right in the mash, and if you want more Sulfate you can add gypsum to the boil.

For AIPA, look in the Mitch Steele book, here are some water profiles that the brewers shoot for in there.

Acetone smells often come from yeast (brewers and wild) that are exposed to O2. Barrels should be stored full of water so they don't dry out. That would also minimize the O2 that any yeast covering the wood, that didn't rinse out, would see. You may also have some Brett starting in the wood.

Use Barolkleen. It has some caustics in it.

Some say to use citric acid wash after to neutralize the caustics.

This says to burn the sulfur stick before. Search for cleaning wine barrels on the net to find more instructions.

Did you store your barrel dry, or let the airlock dry out? First, fill it with water, dump, rinse, and make sure any yeast spooge is out of it. If it still smells like acetone, then more is needed.
I would go through a deep clean cycle with a caustic, rinse with acid, then burn a sulfur stick in it (don't do this on a fresh bourbon barrel).

If you still have acetone smell, then it is time to recycle it as a planter or firewood.

Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: March 01, 2013, 06:18:05 AM »
I know plenty of people with more money than skill, and they wouldn't not balk at throwing a bunch of money at $40 entries if they think it'll help them win some national awards.  Raising the entry fees to an abnormally high price would just encourage wealthier people to throw money at it while pushing out people with less means and quite possibly more skill and/or desire. 

If you want to limit the amount of entries per person, it would make more sense to just limit the number of entries per person rather than making it a question of your disposable income.

I think limiting the number of entries is a good start but I still don't think that will be enough. It's limited to 15 right now and obviously that was still too many. I understand your point about disposable income.  Someone mentioned a few pages back that one of the years Gordon Strong won the Ninkasi he spent one weeks salary on entry fees and shipping.  That sounds completely crazy to me but I don't think he "bought" the contest.   In fact I think by raising the entry fee you are not going to eliminate the hardcore homebrewer just the casual one who enters the NHC on a whim( like me!!).  In fact maybe if they raised the fees the AHA could hire an extra staffer or two to help Janice out.....thus helping all of us out!!
If look into it, I think Gordon was between jobs in 2009 (after the meltdown) and used an unemployent check for his entries.

Beer Recipes / Re: Schwarzbier
« on: February 28, 2013, 04:15:03 PM »
Yes, too funny. I didn't intend this.

I think crystal in a Schwarzbier is fine. I use it in mine.


Would you use C-60 or Caramunich II or III?

Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: February 28, 2013, 10:07:50 AM »
Last year I had an O'fest that got a 42 in a local competition with >1000 entries. In the first round it got a 33. Sent a keg to club night, and some guys named Mitch Steele and Tasty McDole were behind our booth when I got back, with lots of questions about the beer along with a lot of praise. That was my reward last year.

Just wanted to point out sometimes Festbier will get a judge looking for a Maerzen. So much for the other competitions as an entry filter - the crapshoot factor.

Maybe retiring the Ninkasi is a solution (thought I would never say that). Homebrewer of the Year can be acheived with one entry.

Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: February 28, 2013, 09:55:41 AM »
There are two separate issues here.  Obviously, demand has been increasing every year... all regions filled up within 3 days last year, and a few hours this year.  There has been lots of discussion on how to fix this.

The other problem is that the registration software that the AHA switched to this year is garbage.  It's unacceptable to have unqualified people hacking together technology like this.   Looking at the "company" behind it (, it's some guy in Colorado who probably knows people in the beer world but lacks any technical background other than some web design skills.  You need to be licensed to do my taxes but any random guy can still write server software?  C'mon, it's 2012.
Was that last sentence sarcasm? My humor detector is on the fritz.

Ingredients / Re: Natural Spring water vs Distilled water
« on: February 28, 2013, 08:31:22 AM »
I use a 50/50 blend, mostly because spring water is cheaper.

Does your tap water taste good? If so, just run it through a Brita filter. It gets to be a PITA to buy 10 gallons of water before every brew!

My tap water tastes pretty bad.  I can usually find the natural spring water for $1/gal and the distilled for about that or $1.50/gal.  I usually only buy 6-7 gal per batch, but yeah, it just adds onto the already not so cheap brewing expense.

Try to find a water machine in a supermarket or something. I buy 15 gallons of water in 3 5 gallon jugs for each 10 gallon batch and it's about $0.34 per gallon so really I am adding less than the cost of a yeast package to my brew and I can know more or less exactly what my water profile is because anything in there was added by me. Cheaper than a pH meter and a TDS meter for a quite a while anyway.

I have an artisan well that pumps spring water out of a pipe in my home town. It's free and I trust artisan as a water source. But I do add a Tsp of Gypsum to my water before it boils.

Would distilled water be better?

Distilled water would be a clean slate. RO water is almost as good, and cheaper.

A water report on the artisian well water would let you know what you have, otherwise you are guessing. It may be good to brew with, but what style is it best for?

It needs to be pointed out that just because the water is gushing out from the ground, can it be trusted? Posted the following a while back as a goofy thing, but look at this water's content.

You want W-6 for brewing minerals. $16.50 last I looked.

The Pub / Re: AB InBev accused of mislabeling ABV
« on: February 28, 2013, 07:47:20 AM »
Looks like the plaintiffs should have done some testing before filling the suit. 4.99% ABV is within the TTB limits for a 5% ABV beer. White Labs!

Going Pro / Re: Starting a brewery
« on: February 27, 2013, 06:51:39 PM »
If I could be in front of a screen clicking icons, sure. Have seen that done.

If it is all manual, no thanks. I have done that twice on an archaic system. You realize at some point that you can do it one day, but not every day. Brewing is a young man's game. I am an old fart.

If I had a brewery, I know there is paperwork, inventory, cellar work, loading dock work, ordering, etc. Then there are the sales, marketing, website, e-mails from customers, acounting, beer fests, etc.

Brewing would be fun, but only a fraction of the job. The owners often are behind a desk, a youngster is brewing.

Preach it, Brother Jeff!  You've summed up my feelings exactly.

What we have here is a couple of old granny's, apparently. :p

Keith, a guy I worked with a long time ago said that he thought the difference in aging from 50 to 60 was about the same as the difference from 30 to 50. Check back in 17 years from now an let us know what you think! I am in pretty good shape for an old guy, but not as in good as shape as 15 years back. Just saying.

The Pub / Re: AB InBev accused of mislabeling ABV
« on: February 27, 2013, 05:57:39 PM »
They have great process control. Beers are brewed to higher gravity and diluted. If they know the mean and standard deviation of the process, they can dilute to below the label value and still be in tolerance for the federal or state regulations. That maybe what the folks are up in arms about, but if it is and ABInbev is in the letter of the law, good luck with that.

Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: February 27, 2013, 05:31:07 PM »
At $30-$50 per entry, wouldn't you think there would be a requirement for the judges to be National or above, therefore limiting the number of judges.  I know I wouldn't want to spend that money and have someone like me judge the beer.
My thoughts on having a guy like me judging second round! You want the best of the best.

Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: February 27, 2013, 11:43:55 AM »
 for the NHC the coastal regions max out quickly, as that is where the people are. Perhaps first round can be done in more than one event in the more populated regions.  Instead of doing 750 entries in April, maybe you do a 500-600 entry first round in March, and another one 4 weeks later. You get to double up on the entries. You leave the total entries per brewer capped at whatever 15 entries, or maybe 10. This would also likely make the final round at the NHC a two day judging event. Maybe you can bump the registration to $15 or $20 per entry to allow some nicer incentives to bring in more judges. Maybe offer a separate judges banquet or something like that.

The Indianapolis region was the second/third to fill in the last couple of years IIRC. Indianapolis is not considered a coastal region by this guy.

Judge overload and burnout is a real issue. If you have March/April rounds you are depending on the same judges. There was a region in TX that struggled a couple of years ago due to the fact that a very large competition had been judged the month before.

Making the second round more than one day would tack another day on the road, paying for a hotel and food for most judges. Or they miss another day of the conference. The BJCP does have a judges lunchen and talk the day before the judging, for a nominal registration fee.

The engine behind all of this is the explosive growth of the hobby. The AHA doesn't have big enough brakes. Growth causes problems, but there were also problems when the membership was shrinking sometime back.

Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: February 27, 2013, 10:50:38 AM »
I don't see any other way unless there is a lottery.  Each person gets 15 chances and we draw randomly....kind of like hunting season.  There will be years you get to enter a number of beers, there will be years that you get to choose your best one, and sometimes you stay home.

I think the problem with a lottery is that there are more brewers trying to enter than there are entries available. Odds are good you'd end up with one entry, with a very few people getting two and essentially no one getting three or more.

I personally wouldn't enter under any scenario where I'm limited to a small number of entries. Not because I'm trying for Ninkasi, but because my goal is to have one beer medal in the second round. I want to go up on stage, shake Charlie's hand, and bask in your applause... Bend you all to my will... Dance! Dance my puppets, dance!

Wait, what were talking about again?
The last time we got on the stage, Charlie was not there. Settled for shaking hands with Gary, which was cool.

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