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Messages - malzig

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: English yeast...Fruitiness wanted
« on: October 03, 2010, 08:40:42 PM »
Also, we all know from high school biology and Japanese cooking that we can probably only taste 5 basic flavors: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami.  Most if not all other "flavors" are actually aromas that our brain mis-interprets as flavor.  Esters are most probably aromas, but we may perceive them as flavors because our brains lie to us a lot.

All Grain Brewing / Re: what do you do with all that grain?
« on: September 26, 2010, 04:18:36 PM »
Throw it in the compost pile and cover it with diirt - it won't stink and the worms will love it.
Also, since the grain will only stink if it goes anaerobic, there are a number of other things you can do:
spread it thin over a wide area, like using it as a thin mulch over a garden,
mix it in with a lot of dry, fluffy stuff, like fall leaves,
turn it over every day or two to mix air into it, until it starts to dry out and break down,
mix it into the compost pile well, so that it doesn't compact and breaks down quickly.

I've been composting grain for years and it never smells unless I just dump it onto the top of the pile and leave it there for a few days. 

If I was in a situation like a10t2, with an overzealous neighborhood association, I'd use it as mulch.  You're still composting it but it's not "compost", it's "mulch".

All Grain Brewing / Re: Harshness - How much alkalinity is too much?
« on: September 25, 2010, 08:17:48 PM »
I'm sure people like Kai could provide some Narziss references :)
Maybe he'll come out of retirement to clear up some of the inconsistencies in this discussion.

The Pub / Re: New LOTR-Type Fantasy Novels
« on: September 23, 2010, 11:52:40 PM »
Have you ever tried the Gormenghast books by Mervyn Peake?

Very different than LOTR, but, similarly, it describes a world that takes on a life of it's own.  Lots of dark characters, all human, with all the action taking place in an endless castle that's a character itself.

If you're in the mood for something light-hearted, there's always the Discworld novels by SIr Terry Pratchett.  They lovingly parody every fantasy cliche, while building a world that stands on it's own as a unique creation.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
« on: September 23, 2010, 11:17:58 PM »
While chalk does contribute 105.8 ppm Ca, it also provides 158.4 ppm of CO3 (not HCO3).  The equivalent concentration of HCO3 is 322 ppm.  1 ppm of CO3 is equivalent to 2.033 ppm HCO3.  Although the chemical formula for chalk (CaCO3) says that its supplying CO3 to the solution, at the pH of typical drinking water, all the CO3 is immediately converted to HCO3 in solution. 
II know that carbonate chemistry in water in the presence of CO2 is complex, and I can't claim to really understand it, so I'd be glad to see an explanation of that statement.

It would seem that if 1 ppm (1 mg/L) of 60 m.w. CO3-- was dissolved completely in water, it could only result in 1.1 ppm (1.1 mg/L) of 61 m.w. HCO3-.  I know that the chemistry of bicarbonate in water allows for atmospheric CO2 to become HCO3-, which I assume is the source of the additional 1 ppm of HCO3-.

When examined by Kai Troester, I believe (and again, I could be wrong) he found that the commonly used RA contribution of 55 by Calcite held in practice, unless the Calcite was forced into solution prior to the mash by high CO2 partial pressure.  Is it possible that the solubilization of CaCO3 by acid in the mash, instead of by Carbonic Acid in water, results in 1 ppm CO3-- producing approximately 1 ppm HCO3- and 55 increase in RA?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water Profile for Oatmeal Stout
« on: September 23, 2010, 02:40:30 PM »
Another option would be to use baking soda, but this brewer's water is already lower than desired for Ca content and yeast health and hot break performance might suffer.  Please note that chalk adds slightly more alkalinity per gram than baking soda (1 gm/gal of chalk = 188 ppm RA increase while 1 gm/gal baking soda = 156 ppm RA increase). Adding a bunch of baking soda would also push the sodium content kind of undesirably high.
Do you eschew the common teaching that Calcium balances Carbonate to reduce RA?

I follow the rule that 1 gram/gal Baking Soda contributes 189 ppm HCO3- and ~155 to RA, while 1 gram/gal Calcite contributes 158 ppm HCO3- and 106 ppm Ca++  so only ~55 to RA.

My usual recommendation for an Oatmeal Stout, depending on the base water, is a combination of Calcite and Baking Soda to get Ca++ and Na+ at least above 50 and some CaCl2 and/or NaCl to get the Cl- at least above 50.  For distilled water I would probably try 1 gram/gal each Calcite and Baking Soda and 0.5 gram/gal CaCl2 in the mash to balance the mash pH with an RA of ~180 and contribute ~70 ppm Ca and ~175 ppm HCO3- to the final beer, then maybe 0.5-0.75 gram/gal NaCl in the sparge water to keep the Na+ and Cl- up around 70 ppm in the final beer.

The Pub / Re: Why Grammar is Important
« on: September 11, 2010, 12:05:12 AM »
I never understood "they're" I always just write they are. Writing an a is just as easy.
It may depend on your accent, but I have no problem with affect and effect because they sound so much different the way I say them.    All I need to do is say the sentance out loud and I immediately know which to use.  On the other hand, I've never said "they are" in my life so it would be really difficult for me to start writing it.

I don't remember before 5 digit phone numbers, but I do remember having to be careful not to say anything you wouldn't say in public on the party line.

I've done okay in comp with a Brown Ale hopped with Willamette.  More importantly, I enjoy it.  I think it tends to make for a more easy-drinking beer.  I think I prefer Fuggles for the darker tobacco-like notes, but Willamette, while a bit more innocuous, keeps enough of the Fuggle flavor to work.

Beer Travel / Re: Boston
« on: September 05, 2010, 05:09:21 PM »
Jim, if you get a chance, I'd be curious to hear where you ended up going and what you liked. 
It would be interesting to get the perspective of an out-of-towner.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Necessary to Sparge with a HERMS system?
« on: August 30, 2010, 02:30:30 PM »
I suppose it depends on the efficiency you demand and the OG of the beers you like to make.

For a standard 12 plato beer you should be able to easily achieve ~75% efficiency without sparging a HERMES system, thanks to the typically high conversion efficiency brewers seem to achieve on HERMES system.

Beer Travel / Re: Boston
« on: August 29, 2010, 07:42:11 PM »
So, you're in Harvard Square Cambridge.  I don't visit there as much as I did when I was young, because it's become almost impossible to park there, so I don't know that many places in the square itself.

While I think the Cambridge Brewing Company is the Brewpub to go to around there, and it's only about 10-15' away by subway... You're within a stone's throw of the John Harvard Brewpub.  I was there last month and they had a really nice Bitter on tap.

You're just down the street from a Redline T-stop, so any of the places I mentioned near a Redline stop are within about a 5 minute ride.  They're actually close enough to walk to, with a little ambition.

There's another good beer bar really close, maybe a 10 minute walk north on Mass Ave.  It's called the Cambridge Common.  It's on the right side.  It has somewhat typical pub fare and a good rotating beer list.  Pay special attention to beers from Pretty things and Berkshire Brewing, in my opinion, but there's usually a lot of good beers there, like Allagash.  My wife and I go to the music club downstairs, The Lizard Lounge, a lot to see bands and it has the same beer list.

The other way on Mass Ave, perhaps a bit further but around a 5' walk, there's a famous Irish bar called Plough and Stars.  It's often said that Bonnie Raitt got her start there.  It's changed hands a couple times in the last couple decades, and it's not as much of a dive as it used to be.  Nothing much for a beer list, but a lot of people would claim it's the best place west of Ireland to buy a Guiness, which is pretty much the national drink of Cambridge.

I don't think I mentioned anything in Central Square, one stop south of Harvard Square on the Redline, or about a 5' walk past the Plough.  There's a couple fantastic dive bars there and a few good places to go for a $8 Indian buffet at lunchtime.  There's a really atmospheric Irish Pub called The Field right in the center of Central Square, right where Mass Ave crosses Prospect Street.  It's just behind the Starbucks, on Prospect Street.  That's where I go when I want a Murphy's.

If you continue down Mass Ave another few minutes, maybe about 3 blocks, is a big pub on the right called Asgard.  It's in the first floor of what's probably an office building.  It's vaguely Irish in theme, but it's atmosphere is pretty fake.  It's got a good list of beers, though.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Cursed at 1.020
« on: August 28, 2010, 01:00:21 PM »
Is it true that corn sugar ferments better (more) than table sugar?
Corn sugar is glucose, it is easily transported into the cell and broken down.

Table sugar is sucrose, which is a disaccharide of glucose and fructose.  The yeast first has to break the bond between the two units (although this happens by itself at some rate under acidic conditions), then break them down further.  But both of the subunits are easily broken down by most yeast.

Ah interesting. I noticed that my beer program gave me just slightly more ABV per LB of corn sugar than it did for table sugar. I was wondering why.
There seems to be some confusion here.  You might want to double check your beer recipe program, because if that's what it says I'm pretty sure it's wrong. 

Both Table Sugar (Sucrose) and Corn Sugar (Glucose) are fully fermentable.  However, Table Sugar will produce slightly more CO2 and alcohol for a given weight than Corn Sugar.  This is just because a molecule of Table Sugar has a lower Formula Weight but just as many carbons as two molecules of Corn Sugar, so Sucrose has more carbons for and given weight.

Beer Travel / Re: Boston
« on: August 28, 2010, 11:51:38 AM »
Those are just the first that come to mind. Not that I spend a lot of time in bars or anything...

I didn't even mention any of the great Irish pubs around town.

I had lunch at the CBC, yesterday.  They have an excellent Cream Ale on tap at the moment, as well as a nice Belgian Pale Ale and one of their award winning Barleywines.

If you know where your staying, I can probably recommend some places in the neighborhood.  If you're looking for directions I can probably point you in the right way.  If you're looking for a drinking buddy, I might be able to meet for a drink or two at lunch or in the evening, but I always seem to meet someone interesting at the upstairs bar at Redbones, and the CBC crowd is pretty friendly.  I spend more time on the Cambridge side of the river, so I know that side better.

They're both great cities, have a good time!

Beer Travel / Re: Boston
« on: August 26, 2010, 06:41:49 PM »
There's a lot of great beer to be found in Boston/Cambridge.  Here's some of my favorites, sort of in order of my preference with a note on the approximate travel time from downtown...

Cambridge Brewing Company, a renowned brewpub, one of the oldest with a highly developed Belgian-style and cellaring program.  Masterful Barleywines.  Focus on their specialty list, but the house beers are nice, too.  Cask ale on Tuesday evenings for the couple hours it usually lasts.
Cambridge, about 10 minutes by Redline subway.

The Tap, very fine brewpub with a very nice Alt and nice German lagers when they have one on tap.  Popular low gravity IPA.
Haverhill, about 45-60' north of Boston by the Commuter Rail (the station is right across the street from the pub) or by car.

John Harvard, decent choice if you visit Harvard square, about 15' on the Red Line subway.

Boston Beer Works, decent to excellent, depending on the particular beer. 
Boston, very close to either Fenway or the Garden, and Salem, a pretty old town about 45'-60' north of Boston by Commuter Rail or car.

Redbones, a BBQ place with a great rotating beer list of mostly New England and West Coast beers, with some Belgians, Germans and Brits.  Always 1 cask ale on.
Davis Square Somerville, 15' by Redline subway.

I'm really fond of The Independent, in Union Square Somerville, too.  It's a bit on the quiet side during the week, which I like sometimes, and it has a great beer list and most of the bartenders are happy to talk about beer, but you can really only get there by cab, maybe 10'.

Deep Ellum, interesting rotating beer list often with interesting Belgians, Belgian influenced local beers and IPAs.
Allston, about 15' by cab or Green Line subway with a little walking.

Lord Hobo, a beer focused pub.  I have mixed feelings about it, but some people love it and it has a great beer list.
Inman Square Cambridge, about 5-10' walk from the Cambridge Brewing Company.

Bukowski's, good draft list, great bottle list, a bit expensive.
Near the Prudential Center and another very close to Lord Hobo and the CBC.

You can get in to Harpoon in about 15' on the Silver Line, and the Sam Adams experimental brewery is about as far on the Orange line.

There's more Brewpubs and pubs, but those are some of my favorites.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Questions after first all grain
« on: May 14, 2010, 10:41:47 AM »
How are you getting those numbers? Isnt it 10lbs x 36ppp= 360 / 5gal= 72, and he got 45, so 45/72= 62%. Am I doing the calcualtions wrong??
No, that's a perfectly good way to do the calculation, except that he said he had 5.5 gallons at the end of the boil.
So, 10lbs x 36ppp= 360 / 5.5 gal= 65.5, and he got 45, so 45/65= 69%

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