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Messages - wort-h.o.g.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: PH adjustment?
« on: April 29, 2013, 11:20:10 AM »
Sure.  It turns out that the minimum alkalinity level achievable through boiling is around 50 ppm as CaCO3.  That equates to about 61 ppm bicarb.  If the boiling is a little incomplete, then the level may be higher (say 80 ppm bicarb).  So 60 to 80 ppm is a typical range. 

This bicarb reduction also reduces calcium.  The formula for decarbonization by boiling is shown on the Water Knowledge page of the Bru'n Water website. 

So with the revised Ca and HCO3 concentrations, you can enter those values in Bru'n Water and that will allow you to estimate the new acid amounts for that decarbonated water.  What you are doing is creating "boiled" water profiles that are similar to those included in Bru'n Water, but this one is based on your tap water quality.

another great water chemistry lesson -thanks.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: PH adjustment?
« on: April 29, 2013, 10:37:06 AM »
Any suggestions on how long to boil to precipitate some of that bicarbonate out?  I do use phosphoric however It never changes my PH in my HLT with my water profile. I assume that there is just to much bicarbonate and it is buffering the acid to much.

Although any period of boiling should drive all CO2 from the water and cause all the precipitation, there are plenty of sources that state that 20 minutes is required to remove the maximum possible.  One of these days, I'm going to have to test that for myself.

I am assuming that you are using 10% phosphoric.  Its so dilute that it would seem like its not doing anything.  Get some real phosphoric from Duda Diesel, 75 or 85% strength.  That is far cheaper than buying the diluted stuff from the LHBS.  However if the dilute stuff is all you have, just add more.  Bru'n Water will tell you that you are going to have to add a lot of that strength acid to provide the neutralization.

so is there a way to figure out the needed acid additions (if any) after boiling and driving out CO2? 

I did it for the first time last weekend. I brewed two lagers last month. On keg day I rinsed the yeast cake with a quart of sterile h2o and poured it into sterile jars. Cold crashed in the fridge overnight. Decanted the next day. Had about 3/4 cup of slurry. I pitched that in a three liter starter to wake it up a couple days before brew day.

"Friends don't let friends drink bad beer"

That's how you do it!  Or you can transfer, scoop out about half and re-pitch right on top.


seems like many just collect the slurry without rinsing/washing it and separating out the trub, and add the new wort. not sure if there's a best practice to follow, or if its just one of those things that there isn't an agreed upon or "right" method.  seems easily debatable either way - pro's and con's for both?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: PH adjustment?
« on: April 29, 2013, 04:49:39 AM »
I brew on a EHERMS. My HLT is a 20gal blichmann with a SS coil. I need to fill it up with 13 gal of water to cover the coil.  My water PH is 8.1:(. I cut my mash with RO and add salts.   Question is is there any other way I can bring my HLT/sparge water down to a good PH level without cutting it with RO. My water profile is 66ca, 20mg, 27na,  18cl, 36 sulfate, 262 bicarbonate. I have added latic attempting to decrease the PH but soon learned that the buffeting of my hard water prevented my PH from changing

I used to have the same problem with high bicarbonate water. You want your sparge water to be more acidic and well below 6, and that's difficult to do without the acid additions. The problem I ran into, is that I had to use higher than desirable levels of lactic acid to achieve a 5.5 ph, and I noticed a twang in my beers that shouldn't have a tart twang to them.

I have since switched to all RO water for my brewing. IMO, either use RO or distilled to knock down your waters buffering capacity...otherwise you may not be happy with the finished product- whether that's tartness or twang from the lactic, or tannin extraction.

Yeast and Fermentation / Advice on lager and reusing the yeast cake
« on: April 28, 2013, 07:29:07 AM »
I'm interested in brewing 4 consecutive Czech pilsner lagers, reusing the wlp 802 yeast. I have never done this before, and need some advice on how to go about this. If the first round is on the yeast cake for about 3 weeks before I rack it to the corny for lagering, do I rinse the cake and just transfer the clean yeast into my clean carboy, and then add my new wort to the entire harvested yeast? How do I know if there's enough healthy yeast cells for the next lager- proper pitch rates?

Thanks in advance.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Second thoughts on brewing
« on: April 19, 2013, 07:56:17 PM »
So the long and short of it is this....go slow, start easy, realize there's nothing to lose and everything to gain in the process. We've all started off as novice brewers, and we've all got much to learn and improve upon after countless batches. That's the beauty of this hobby. I started with the simple LME kits and basic equipment, and made the transition to all grain and more sophisticated equipment and procedures when I was ready. It's an evolution, and it can be as painful or enjoyable as you make it. Choose the latter, and just read, ask questions, and move at your own won't be disappointed. Good luck and keep us in the loop- we are all here to help.

Every summer I go on a one-week sailing trip with family and friends on the Salish Sea. Last year I set myself the challenge of brewing a beer on the boat on day one and serving it on the last night out. I picked a low gravity (~1.038 IIRC) bitter and brewed about 1.25 gallons. 3 days for ferm, 3 days for conditioning and carb in a mini-keg.

When we first tasted it on the boat, it wasn't great. Thin, barely carbonated, yeasty, and no character. I took the remainder of the mini-keg home, stuck it in the fridge and ignored it, thinking it was a failure. When I got around to trying it again several weeks later it was good. Not great, but pretty darn good for a session beer, especially after the yeast layer had been sucked out.

now that's a story! ;D

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Microbreweries/pubs in Honolulu
« on: April 18, 2013, 02:59:40 PM »
Addresses are good and mapquest is my friend.  Thanks!

It's about 10 biggie.  Enjoy the islands and its beer!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Microbreweries/pubs in Honolulu
« on: April 18, 2013, 02:30:35 PM »
Thanks!  I will put it on my list of to do's.

The main brewery is on the big island, but their pub is in Waikiki at 7192 Kalanianaole Highway
96825, Honolulu Hawaii

That is NOT Waikiki.

Its East of microbrews, just bars serving microbrews in Waikiki.  Whatever, just trying to offer some ideas.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Microbreweries/pubs in Honolulu
« on: April 18, 2013, 02:16:30 PM »
Thanks!  I will put it on my list of to do's.

The main brewery is on the big island, but their pub is in Waikiki at 7192 Kalanianaole Highway
96825, Honolulu Hawaii

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Microbreweries/pubs in Honolulu
« on: April 18, 2013, 02:11:24 PM »
I am getting ready to go to Honolulu this weekend for a few days and wanted some recommendations of microbreweries/pubs in the Wakiki area.  Need to get my beer consumption done before I board a Navy ship and cruise for 5-6 days without any beer!
I was there last summer. I really enjoyed kona brewing company. Long board ale, fire rock pale ale, and koko brown were my favorites.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A few ideas for better beer.
« on: April 18, 2013, 02:00:33 PM »
I just don't see a glass carboy holding heat

You might be surprised.  Put a fermometer strip on the carboy to check it and you'll know for sure.
I fail to see how a fermometer strip on the outside will tell you an accurate temperature. Go to a single pane window in your house put one on the inside, by this logic will tell you the outside temp accurately, as would putting one outside on the window would tell you how warm it is inside. Logic fails on this totally. If I'm wrong, please explain the fault of my logic.

All I can tell you is that it does work.  I've put a thermometer in the fermenter and compared it to the strip.  Always within a degree or so.  The fault in your logic is reality.  :)

a thermometer on a window is not a good receives direct sunlight and we all know that inflates the actual temperature. I've found the temp strip is about 2 degrees warmer than the core, especially after active fermentation. its a good gauge, but a it depends upon when in the fermentation process your are using it...especially lagers IMO.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Topping off a fermenter
« on: April 18, 2013, 01:56:28 PM »
i often have a few quarts of wort left over from mash, as my efficiency seems to be a touch higher than my program calculates. i top off with that when needing extra volume, and i do boil it just to be sure.

had one of those ahhhaaaa moments today as i poured a glass of my irish red that is 3-months old now. about a week ago, i poured a glass and thought...hmmm, not bad. today i poured a glass and, what a beer!  sometimes you forget what time can do for a beer - at some point each beer reaches its peak, and sometimes we miss it - but sometimes we catch it and remember that home brewing is a wonderful and rewarding hobby.

wondering if you have a story to share about a good beer that caught you by surprise and became great?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Interesting Split-Batch Belgian
« on: April 10, 2013, 07:11:38 AM »
I'm also thinking I need to buy a bunch of blondes and do a tasting.  To calibrate my palate, of course.

A blonde tasting? Where do I sign up for that?  ;D

At a Belgian Blond Carnival, of course ;D

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