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Messages - malzig

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The Pub / Re: DVR questions
« on: December 04, 2010, 03:16:51 AM »
Euge, I really don't want to pay a monthly fee like Tivo.  Yeah, I know I'm being difficult!
Chances are, if you got a DVR from a cable supplier, you'd pay as much or more than you'd pay to TIVO each month.  In addition, with TIVO, you could keep the service you have, exactly as it is now.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the Food Network shows are available from any legitimate online source (Hulu, iTunes, etc.).

Ingredients / Re: New bulk grain supplier
« on: December 02, 2010, 02:26:38 AM »
Looks like they are $20-30 more per sack than the local shop for me...
They're about $15+/ sack cheaper than any shop around here, but at least $10 more than I was getting from NorthCountryMalt.

I use 4% shrinkage to calculate my 68°F volume from my volume at boil and it has always been accurately predictive.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Wort, beer and mash titration experiment
« on: December 01, 2010, 03:58:47 PM »
I consider the optimal pH mash pH to be between 5.2 and 5.6.
But here you are talking about an imagined mash temperature, pH, right? 
Do you mean a measured pH of 5.4 - 5.8, at r.t.?

no, I'm talking about a mash pH target of 5.2-5.6 when measured in a room
temperature sample. I don't really care what the actual pH at mash temperatures will be like.

5.2 just seemed low for an r.t. mash pH.  I've never gone that low.

All Grain Brewing / Re: IPA bitterness
« on: December 01, 2010, 01:58:27 PM »
I didn't know about the yeast flocculation thing - but water softness isn't a big deal here... You should see the inside of our electric kettle. Looks like the mines of moria.
This water hardness will make your beer seem more sharply or even harshly bitter than the same beer made somewhere with softer water, even though it will help remove some harshness by precipitating polyphenols-protein complexes and improving yeast flocculation.

Polyphenols are also known as tannins.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Wort, beer and mash titration experiment
« on: December 01, 2010, 01:49:06 PM »
I consider the optimal pH mash pH to be between 5.2 and 5.6.
But here you are talking about an imagined mash temperature, pH, right? 
Do you mean a measured pH of 5.4 - 5.8, at r.t.?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Wort and beer titration experiment
« on: November 30, 2010, 09:21:12 PM »
I prefer to see the source material and make my own conclusions. That's why I like to see these topics addressed.

Sometimes even the reputed (home)brewing literature perpetuates facts that are not necessarily true. One of those is the temperature dependent shift of the mash pH. Everybody lists a 0.35 pH difference between room temp and mash temp (65 C, I believe) and I'd love to see the original research for this. Both A.J. and I have run experiments that showed a difference of only ~0.22 pH units. While this matters little to practical brewing it shows that there are many facts that are not even questioned by brewing authors.

I've always assumed that the 0.35 pH difference was an assumption based on the water ionization constant's relation to temperature, as opposed to an observation, since it seems that it would be different in a buffered solution, like wort.

All Grain Brewing / Re: batch sparge water, how much will fit
« on: November 30, 2010, 01:06:05 PM »
I think I figured out what they are trying to tell me.
10 lbs grain 10 gallon batch 1 quart per lb= 2.5 mash 8.8 sparge
This is the mistake they're making, in my opinion.  I recommend upping the qts/# with smaller grain bills.  Generally, I add enough water to the mash to get half my volume from first runnings after absorption.

For example, for 10# in a 10 gallon batch, assuming 1.2 gallons absorbed and 1 gallon boiled off:
6.7 gallons mash water, for 2.68 qt/#.
5.5. gallons sparge water.

If the 2.68 qt/# makes you nervous, then mash in with 5 gallons, for 2 qt/# and add the remaining 1.7 gallons as a mashout or to the sparge.

I've found that many more brewers have problems caused by a secondary than have received benefits from one.  One of the most frequent problems I encounter from newer brewers is beer transferred too soon and left with off flavors that the yeast most probably would have removed.  In addition, contamination induced during the transfer or slight souring caused by oxygen introduction that allows acetobacter metabolism seems to be another frequent problem that might have been avoided without a secondary.

The only advantage I've ever seen to a secondary, other than for extended aging of high ABV beers, is for bottling.  A secondary always seemed to reduce the amount of yeast I transferred into the bottles.

..links to see "New Posts" since your last visit, and "New Beer-Related Post" ( basically filtering out the off topic stuff ).
I would like to be able to restrict "unread" to the beer forums.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New user Intro
« on: November 18, 2010, 12:04:49 PM »
Always great to have some else from Boston!

Ingredients / Re: Impulsive 6-Row Moment
« on: November 15, 2010, 12:44:40 PM »
A few years ago, I unintentionally made a run of beers with about 20-50% 6-row, when I bought the wrong grain.  I found the flavor distinctive and not necessarily unpleasant.  If I really wanted to try to work with that flavor, I think I would consider recipes in the Nut Brown Ale - Porter - Stout range.  I can imagine that grainy flavor working in something like that, probably not going to be to-style, but could be tasty.  It certainly would give your beer a unique character.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Ridculous old wives' tale.
« on: November 14, 2010, 08:29:38 PM »
The thing that burns my biscuits is the myth that 'most' of the CO2  is in the headspace after all of the priming sugar has fermented.
But where have you ever seen this said?  Your post was the first time I'd ever heard anyone mention a claim that most of the CO2 was in the headspace.  I'm pretty sure a significant amount of the CO2 is in the headspace of a warm beer, though.
The example of the keg is quite different than a bottle.  In the keg, you're talking about gas at constant pressure, and you're exactly right about the undercarbonation.  With the bottle, you're talking about a constant volume of CO2, where the pressure in the bottle will increase with temperature.
Temperature is why the carbonation is lower in a warm bottle of beer, since the pressure at temperature and the solubility at temperature curves don't mirror each other.

If you take as an example a beer that you want to serve at 2.5 volumes of CO2 at 40ºF, the final pressure in the bottle will have to be about 12.3 psi at 40ºF.  Then, if you solve PV = mRT for constant volume and mass, you find that the pressure would increase about 1.06-fold for a rise in temperature from 40ºF to 70ºF:
1xRx294ºK / 1xRx278ºK = 1.06
12.3 psi (at 40ºF) x 1.06 = 13.0 psi. (at 70ºF)

However, the solubility of CO2 decreases at warmer temperatures.  If the bottle is at 13.5 psi and 70ºF, then the beer will have 1.52 volumes of CO2, instead of the 2.5 volumes it would have had at 12.3 psi and 40ºF, despite the slightly higher temperature.

So, most of the CO2 isn't in the headspace in a warm beer, but 39% of the CO2 that you want in the beer is still in the headspace.  That's going to take some amount of time to get into the beer when you chill it, just as it would if you had a keg at 1.52 volumes and you increased the pressure to get it to 2.5 volumes.

Edit: Fixed some sloppy math.  I'm pretty sure the logic is sound, but I'm not much of a physicist, so I could be missing something that makes the actual values wrong.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Ridculous old wives' tale.
« on: November 07, 2010, 11:10:34 PM »
I've heard 'authorities' say something along the lines that when bottle conditioning beer, the CO2 is initially all (or mostly) in the head-space, and takes a week of two to dissolve into the beer.
I've never heard that before.  However, it certainly takes a week or two, at best to build up enough CO2 to fully carbonate the beer, but CO2 is going into solution gradually over time.  The other thing is that, after a couple weeks, all the CO2 might have been made, but since the beer is warm a great deal of the CO2 remains in the headspace and the carbonation in the beer will be lower than it will be after a couple days in the fridge.  This is just like the case where a keg will be undercarbonated at room temperature if held at the same pressure that would fully carbonate it at fridge temperatures.

Most software has some setting for the Thermal Mass of the mash tun, you can try changing that until the mash temperature matches your actual reading.  You also want to make sure it's set up so that it accounts for the fact that you pre-heated the tun, otherwise it will tell you to make the water hot enough to heat the grain and the tun.  Is it possible you just didn't wait long enough for the temperature to settle.  That can take 5 minutes or more for the excess heat to get absorbed by the tun.  Since you got the heat down to 152F and it finished at 149.9F, your 155F might have dropped down to 153F all on it's own, meaning you would have only been off by a trivial 1 degree.

I wouldn't worry about not hitting the mashout temperatures too much.  A mashout doesn't serve much purpose to a batch sparger, frankly.  However, you want to be able to hit your temperatures accurately if you ever want to try a step-mash.  The program told you to add 3.25 (13 qts) gallons at 207F, though, but you only added 6.5 qts at 205F.  On my system, depending on the mash volume and grain amount, that could account for a 10F difference in mashout temperature.  That does sound like it was supposed to be your sparge water, though, unless you were intentionally doing a no-sparge batch.

A 7.5 gallon kettle is tight for 5 gallons, but do-able.  Tubercle has a good suggestion, but it also seems like you have high evaporation at 2.25 gallons.  You may be able to turn the heat down, get a less aggressive boil, and lose less to evaporation.  I have tempered my evaporation to 1.5 gallons in my 8 gallon kettle, so that I could start at 6.5 gallons and end at 5 gallons, which would give you a gallon of headroom.  You also could make a little less beer.  There's no reason you can't design your recipes to make 4.75 gallons instead of 5, if that's what fits in your kettle.  All that said, if you really want a new kettle, my buddy uses 9 gallon pots, starts with 7 gallons and has a comfortable amount of room to spare.

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