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Messages - richardt

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Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Water Profile for IPA
« on: September 15, 2012, 06:20:46 AM »
Consider using a yellow malty or yellow balanced water profile and then add gypsum to a sample of the finished product (e.g., 4 oz pours in several different glasses with different amounts of gypsum in each)--do this to assess whether or not you'd like a higher sulfate to chloride ratio in future recipes.

Personally, I like my XPA's made using yellow balanced profiles (50-60 ppm for sulfate and chloride; SO4:Cl =0.86).  YMMV.

Equipment and Software / Re: Oh no! All grain!?!?
« on: September 13, 2012, 08:41:48 AM »
Keep all parts of your system simple and lightweight (e.g., less than 50 pounds for any piece of equipment).  It makes transportation, clean-up, and storage of equipment much easier.  Plus, it is easier on the body.  A sturdy picnic table or patio table is a must and avoids the time and expense of building a heavy stand that takes up space.  Some folks just use the lift gate of their pickup truck.  Whatever works and is sturdy/safe.  Respect the danger of propane burners and hot liquids (>120 degrees).  Burns suck.

I recommend the rectangular cooler and bazooka braid and SS spigot.  A 20.5 gallon Coleman cooler works great for 10 gallon batches and does not suffer thick mash or grain bed compaction issues like I've experienced with high gravity brews using a 10 gallon round Igloo cooler.  I batch sparge with roughly 8 gallons RO strike water + salts (per style per Bru'n water), wait 60 minutes, vorlauf and lauter (i.e., drain the mash), add 8 gallons of RO sparge water + salts, stir well, vorlauf, and lauter the second runnings.

Ingredients / Re: Hop Drying
« on: September 11, 2012, 07:09:07 PM »
Circulating cooler, de-humidified air through shallow piles of hop cones would also work.  Keep them out of sunlight while drying, as well.

Ingredients / Re: Dry hop-cigaring?
« on: September 08, 2012, 06:13:32 AM »
On the other hand, using the wood shavings from a cigar box made of Spanish Cedar might be a good choice...

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water additions for red ale
« on: September 03, 2012, 07:21:56 AM »
That's why chalk (calcium carbonate), if used at all when building your water profile, should be added directly to the mash.
Otherwise it just remains a precipitate in the bottom of the hot liquor tank (BTDT).
Boiling causes calcium carbonate to drop out as precipitate--it is an effective method of pre-treating one's indigenous brewing water if the bicarbonate levels are too high.  There's much more information about bicarbonate levels, pH and alkalinity throughout this forum--much of it contributed by Martin and Kai.

Both strainers look nice.  It is all about having enough surface area.  If the mesh is too loose, it doesn't clog (good), but it doesn't strain much either (bad).  If the mesh is too fine, it quickly clogs, or "blinds" (bad), but it strains very well (good). I use the extra-fine mesh (bouillion) SS china cap strainer as a pre-strainer prior to using the funnel with the fine nylon mesh screen.  A simpler and more cost effective way may be to use a sanitized 5 gallon paint strainer bag inside the fermentor and then carefully lift it out after transferring the wort.

The most beneficial change in my procedure has been learning about and modifying my water profiles.  Lots of internet searching and reading (and re-reading) to better understand water chemistry.  I really like Martin's water profile tool and have found it to do a great job with estimating salt additions (I use RO H2O as my base water) and pH.

Irish Red Ale-->Americanized, of course, w/ Cascade hop additions; so, it is more of a west-coast Red Ale.
OG goal was 1.051 (11 gal), got OG of 1.060 (11.25 gal). 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water additions for red ale
« on: August 22, 2012, 01:34:46 PM »
Use Martin's "amber malty" profile for an irish red ale.  You can add gypsum to the finished beer to make it more balanced or to accentuate the hop character, if desired. 

Use Martin's "amber balanced" or "amber bitter" if you're really going for a West-Coast style Red Ale with lots of hop flavor and aroma. 
Using RO water + brew salts, you'll find that:
CaCl2 will be the majority of what you'll use, split equally between mash and sparge additions.
Much smaller additions of Gypsum and Epsom Salt split equally between mash and sparge additions.
And just a touch of Chalk in the mash.

Get the Ca above 50 ppm, and keep the SO4 and Cl levels around 50 (with attention to their ratios).

Ingredients / Re: Irish Red Ale water profile and recipe formulation
« on: August 21, 2012, 06:02:02 PM »
Good to know.  Thanks, Martin.  BTW, I enjoyed your comments, and those of the other members of the "water" panel, at the NHC.  I found them all quite insightful.

The "adding gypsum to the finished beer in a glass" idea seems like a great way to efficiently make a batch and experiment with the effect of increasing sulfate levels on the overall taste profile of the beer.

I just have this aversion to sulfate.  In Jacksonville, we irrigate our lawns and rinse sand off our bodies with the "non-potable" water.  Phew!  Talk about sulfur snatch!  Even if it is "acceptable" in low levels, I just can't get past that smell when tasting certain lagers and bitters.   

Ingredients / Irish Red Ale water profile and recipe formulation
« on: August 21, 2012, 01:16:54 PM »
Open to ideas regarding the ideal water profile for brewing an Irish Red Ale.
We're building it with RO water and brew salt additions.
We're leaning towards using the "Amber Malty" or "Amber Balanced" profiles on Bru'nwater.
The "mild ale" profile doesn't look much different, either.

We're steering away from the "historical" water profiles, so I'm not using Dublin or Edinburg, or London.

Grist is 85.4% MO, 4.9% Dark Munich, 2.4% C60, 2.4% C120, 2.4% CaraHell, and 2.4% Roast Barley (300L)
We may be brewing this a little more West-Coast-style with restrained flavor and aroma hop additions (e.g., Cascade). We're considering 0.5 oz Galena hops FWH, 1 oz Cascade at 15, and 1 oz Cascade steeping (once below 180F) x 30 min.

Yeast:  US-05

Any suggestions would be welcome.

Equipment and Software / Re: Broke a glass carboy this morning
« on: August 19, 2012, 07:19:33 AM »
The ease of filling, transferring, cleaning, inspecting, and storing buckets made me switch from better bottles long ago.  The only thing I lost was the ability to watch the active fermentation through the side of the fermentor, but, even that becomes a plus, since there's no way for skunking to occur.

Beer Recipes / Re: IPA critique
« on: August 18, 2012, 05:29:13 PM »
He mentioned that he's using RO water.  Agree w/ Denny's comments, but I'm not one one who likes SO4 in high concentrations.  I would use some gypsum, but use CaCl2 for a significant Ca contribution.  No chalk.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Black Forest Stout truncated
« on: August 18, 2012, 05:05:52 PM »
If you're kegging, I recommend using the Di Vinci cherry, raspberry, and/or vanilla syrups.  Inexpensive, too.  Used about 2/3 of a bottle per 5 gal keg IIRC.  I had great experience with mine.  I also agree that the BF stout recipe tasted great before the fruit addition.

I can tell you that has been verified a number of times.  Neva Parker mentioned it in her AHA seminar last June.  It came up in a question I asked to Dr. Clayton of Lallemand many years ago in HBD's "Fortnight of Yeast". (  The basic mechanism is that the same enzyme, acetyl co-A, is responsible for both yeast growth and ester production.  If it's doing one, it can't do the other.  So, if you pitch the right amount of yeast, you get cell growth but reduced ester production.  If you pitch too much yeast, the enzyme produces esters because it doesn't need to work on cell growth.

That's the best, and most straight-forward, explanation I've read to date regarding yeast growth and ester production.  Thanks Denny.

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