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Messages - BrodyR

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1
All Grain Brewing / Re: Low Oxygen Conclusions?
« on: December 22, 2016, 08:40:25 AM »
I've made it a standard practice and my lager brewing has improved tremendously from the input of the GBF. Honestly it's not that tough to implement most of the stuff.

On the hotside the key points are pre boil then chill (or add some yeast and sugar if that's a PITA on your system) then SMB dose which is not a huge hassle. Cold side everyones been worrying about already.

Upon doing a side by side the color difference on a Helles was reason enough for me to continue the practice. Also, I never really revamped my system, I'm still doing BIAB on propane, and even so have noticed a material difference.

3
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Confessions of NE IPA brewers
« on: August 07, 2016, 03:18:00 PM »
The whole flour in the beer thing at Tired Hands was intentional.

Their base pale ale, Hop Hands is fairly haze on account of a ton of oats and lot's of dry hops. On beeradvocate it has a pretty high rating but was trashed by one of the alestrom's. He referred to it as milkshake beer.

After that, Tired Hands went and started the milkshake series where they made their beers intentionally hazy (hence the flour) as possible and added fruit in addition to the massive dry hops.

I think the whole thing was just them doubling down on the haze as an F-You.

4
There's been several side by sides with the mini-mash test. Do it yourself if you want - their tend to be differences in color and flavor.

It's one of those things... how to put it? I used to brew my lagers with a ramp up at the end of fermentation, transfer to a C02 purged serving keg, gelatin/crash, and force carb. Now I cold ferment, spund, keep O2 low, and lager > gelling. Even bought a copy of Kunze and a DO meter. The difference is stark. Like imagine if your goal was to brew authentic American IPA but you had never tried dry hopping before. Then one brew day you added 4oz of citra dry hops to your recipe. You wouldn't really feel the need to blind test yourself, you'd call it a win and keep exploring dry hopping methods.

That being said, I can't distinguish for certain which variables specifically are most leading to awesome lager (is it the oxygen? The fermentation schedule? The Spunding? The natural lagering?). I'm planning to brew up a s*** ton of Helles soon so maybe I'll throw one batch in there with zero-care given to O2 and see how it shakes out.

5
Without going on another loosely-related tangent, I have been looking at O2 pickup and I think that my brewdays are (were) filled with far more O2-pickup than most brewers.  I pour, I splash, I stir, I recirc... when I chill, I stir some more and when I transfer to primary I rack through a strainer and let it rain.  I do not have a DO meter but my guess is that I was allowing more O2 into my beers than I should have and even in the early stages of a beer, O2 can zap out malt depth and create an ungraceful finish in the beer.  As a result I tried brewtan and although some people claim "bias confirmation" (and I don't necessarily argue), my beers seem much softer, smoother, cleaner and they have more malt depth and hop definition than I was getting before.  I think Denny described it as a more "integrated" beer flavor and that's a good description.  On top of that I switched to an SS chiller (copper is oxidative, apparently), I adjusted my mash volume up and sparge volume down, I'm conditioning my malt and also skipping secondary and going from primary directly to CO2-purged keg.  I'm making the best beers of my 17-year brewing odyssey.

Yea, my lager's are night and day better since I incorporated the low-O2, cold fermentation, and spunding method's outlined by the GB team. My challenge now is incorporating my lager-centric process improvement's into my Pale Ale brewing (and all the challenges that ale fermentations and dry hopping add).

6
Denny - I'm with you there, I don't have a single solution. But, as a community, we can identify and measure the problem and brainstorm ways to improve.

Blatz - Yea, time is certainly a factor.

I'm not implying that if you let a little O2 in you're IPA is going to taste like wet cardboard and suck. But rather that taking efforts to eliminate as much cold-side O2 as possible seems to result in a more intense and longer lasting dry hop aroma.

There may be a slider too. If the camp that believes dry hopping off the yeast is better is correct, then maybe the yeast activity in a naturally carbonated IPA will be a detractor. A lot of variables I'm looking forward to exploring.


Denny - I'm definitely on a quest for the best way but I recognize that's not what the hobby is about for everyone. I have a buddy who's been brewing for some years and pays 0 attention to pH, mash acidification, fermentation temperature, or oxygen and that's fine! I think the level of detail and precision the GermanBrewing team is encouraging is awesome as well. It's all about enjoying the hobby and your beer. To some people that's keeping it as simple as possible and having fun. To other's the hobby becomes more engaging when you're constantly learning and improving.

Some things are subjective in brewing. Other's are quantifiable. You can measure pH, gravity, color, bitterness, dissolved oxygen, etc. We know that oxygen is bad for dry hops. All you have to do is let a growler of IPA sit a couple of days too long to prove that. If we can quantify that the standard homebrewing method of: Finish Fermentation in the carboy, cold crash & gel, then transfer into a serving keg is introducing a decent but of O2, even when you're careful, why not brainstorm solutions?

Because my experience has taught me that there isn't a single solution in many cases, especially this one.

7
Jeff - Sounds good, fun tool to have!

Village Taphouse - 0.8 Bar (~10psi)

HoosierBrew - Yea, this seems to be a debate among IPA brewers. As far as I understand it, the modern North East IPA brewers are hopping during the end of fermentation, but I could be mistaken. Pros are seen as less oxygen and more natural rousing. Sounds like a lot of people are doing both. Hop at end of ferment then hop again after. Nothing like 10oz of dry hops to kill a budget haha.

Denny - I'm definitely on a quest for the best way but I recognize that's not what the hobby is about for everyone. I have a buddy who's been brewing for some years and pays 0 attention to pH, mash acidification, fermentation temperature, or oxygen and that's fine! I think the level of detail and precision the GermanBrewing team is encouraging is awesome as well. It's all about enjoying the hobby and your beer. To some people that's keeping it as simple as possible and having fun. To other's the hobby becomes more engaging when you're constantly learning and improving.

Some things are subjective in brewing. Other's are quantifiable. You can measure pH, gravity, color, bitterness, dissolved oxygen, etc. We know that oxygen is bad for dry hops. All you have to do is let a growler of IPA sit a couple of days too long to prove that. If we can quantify that the standard homebrewing method of: Finish Fermentation in the carboy, cold crash & gel, then transfer into a serving keg is introducing a decent but of O2, even when you're careful, why not brainstorm solutions?

8
Yup, with a lager you can transfer with 1p or so of extract left into a fresh keg, seal it up, and hook on the pressure relieve valve. It has a few benefits - it saves time and money by eliminating the need to force carb with C02, the transfer seems to rouse it up and results in higher attenuation, and the big one is your serving keg will have less oxygen.

I've done the whole fill the serving keg with sanitizer, push it out, purge and purge again, then close transfer thing as well but my DO meter showed it's not as good. Actually took some readings last night. A bottle conditioned beer had the lowest oxygen, my spunded lager had a bit more (imagine more headspace and the transfer, working on my processes), and the c02 purged/racked into serving keg after FG was reached beer had significantly more 02. Purging with C02 seems to be materially not as effective as active yeast. I just got the meter so I'm looking forward to taking more readings.

We've all noticed that drop off in dry hop aroma - in theory this should be significantly reduced with less oxygen in the serving keg. I guess it's why canned and oxygen obsessed Heady Topper and bottle conditioned Sierra Nevada last so much longer than filtered and bottled beer.


http://www.homebrewing.org/Adjustable-Pressure-Relief-Valve-w-Gauge_p_1813.html&utm_source=google&utm_medium=shopping?gclid=CPj4g4DRqs4CFclZhgodsBoOLw


what is spunding?

I fill my kegs to the brim with sanitizer and push that out with CO2 before jumping or racking the beer in.  seems to limit O2, but I get what you are saying.
Spunding is moving the beer to the keg with some amount of fermentation left to go.  Then you connect a spunding valvle (I just bought one but have not used it yet) to allow the pressure to escape but the valve allows you to dial in the amount of carbonation you want to retain in the beer.  So it's a way to naturally carbonate and you can also assume that it's a great way to keep O2 out of the beer at the same time.  Personally I find the "dialing in of the carb" a little intimidating but if you ended up low on carb, I could see topping it off with CO2 from a tank to make up the difference.

9
That first exbeeriment - it looks like the warm dry-hopped batch underwent one more keg-to-keg transfer which will add a bit of 02 no matter how careful you are. May have contributed to the even result.

I've been liking dry hopping while some fermentation is still on to keep the hops circulating and O2 out. Usually I top crop my yeast a couple of days in then add the hops. Like theDarkSide said if I don't feel I went hard enough I'll add some more hops into the serving keg.

I've been racking my brain a lot about this lately. Freshly armed with a DO meter I've noticed how much more oxygen get's into beer served in a C02 purged serving keg as supposed to a spunded keg. With lagers this is an easy thing to control by transferring into the lagering/serving keg with some extract left, spunding, lagering, and serving. With how fast ale fermentations go and dry hopping times it's tough.

I think I'm going to try this method:
1) Dry hop in the keg as fermentation is subsiding and the yeast has been cropped.
2) Keg-to-Keg transfer into a receiving keg after FG has been reached with a fresh canister of dry hops and krausen awaiting.
3) Let it finish out at room temperature for a couple days then crash it down.
4) Dump the first couple pints (should be hop and yeast residue) then serve.

It's tough. Oxygen kills hop aroma. I once had a growler of tired hands hop hands (pure raw hop juice when fresh) taste like a zero dry hopped english ale after sitting a little too long. Same thing with HFS Edward. If you keep the O2 out of the serving keg it should taste fresh a hell of a lot longer. But the only way to reliably seem to do that is to have active yeast in it.

10
Beer Recipes / Re: Jever Clone
« on: July 11, 2016, 11:49:56 AM »
Does anyone have a Jever clone, tried and tested?
I´ve searched the whole forum and got some clues from some of the users, but not the whole recipe.
I know the grain bill and hops are quite simple, but not the process itself.

Thank you in advance.

If you're looking to get into the gritty process details with German Lager Brewing processes check out http://forum.germanbrewing.net/




11
One thing I wonder about is if the German breweries that produce the beers that are held up as examples are following any of these procedures.  After talking to a few German brewers, I have yet to find one that does it this way or knows any other brewer who does.  That of course doesn't mean that there aren't, but can anyone cite any examples?

Unless I'm mistaken no one is claiming German brew houses use the SMB process. O2 consciousness in general just seems to be a basic part of German brewing that is outlined in the brewing texts (ex: Kunze section 3.2) the same way as we would outline the importance of say pH. Same concept of how no professional breweries mash in coolers, but many of us do since it accomplishes the same goal.

The outlined method is simply a means for smaller brewers to accomplish the same goal of a low-DO brew house without being able to mash in a purged and sealed environment. The dissolved oxygen readings show it accomplishes that and the Sulfite test strips indicate the levels in the final beer are on par with commercial readings. So the proof of wether or not the method reduces dissolved oxygen is fairly clear.

Taste, however, is subjective of course but at that point the discussion is wether or not low-02 brews taste better. And if so the discussion becomes, is their a more efficient way to avoid oxidation?


12
All Grain Brewing / Re: Is 5.0 Ph too low?
« on: May 09, 2016, 08:20:59 AM »
I'd add a bit now anyway. If you have Brun Water can try to estimate the amount. If not I would start small, take a reading, and adjust if needed.

13
I don't think anyone's claiming the Germans dose their strike water with SMS, but some seem to mash in sealed brewing systems purged with inert gas. The SMS is a bit of a hack to allow home brewers to brew in a low-02 environment without a professional german brewery.

Again, I get how a lot of people were rubbed the wrong way initially, but if you believe the goal of O2 exclusion is worthwhile I'd consider giving it a shot. To me reading Kunze, talking with the German Brewing team, and listening to John Klimmich (Shaun Hill appears to be O2 conscious as well - he's using german equipment and they purge growlers at the brewpub) was enough for me to decide it was worth trying.

As to the method, their Dissolved Oxygen meters indicate the SMS/Spunding method is doing the trick. The biggest thing I noticed was how much Carahell actually tastes like honey.

14
The whole confirmation bias thing goes both ways tho. If the community at large goes into this with a strong conclusion bias, runs some experiments where critical points are skipped or messed up and then declares it worthless we've learned nothing.

I feel like this is an extreme example of how we operate now -

Person A says a step mash has worked for them.
Person B tests a step mash and uses steps and times no reasonable man would employ, then declares it void.
Person A&B tell each other they're idiots - a back and forth ensues. Nothing is tested further.

We should operate like -
Person A says a step mash has worked for them.
Person B tests a step mash and uses steps and times no reasonable man would employ, then declares it void.
Person A tells them a simple 60/60 hockhurz makes more sense. And it's more of a subtlety anyway aimed at targeting a certain attenuation while still encouraging body and head. Perhaps you should test a standard 40-60m single infusion with a Hockhurz and measure any attenuation, efficiency, and body/foam differences. People can then decide if this works for them.

The German Forum is changing the tone now. They've shared info painstakingly obtained over the years. So the community at large now has a choice to either properly put it to the test, ignore it (I know trying to nail an accurate low O2, cold fermented Bavarian Helles is really not everyones thing), or discredit it all as worthless.

Like I said, subjectively my brewing has improved quite a lot corresponding with these guys. I'm planning on using a DO meter to really put my methods to the test and ultimately do a side by side.

15
It doesn't exist.  Or, at least, not in a bad way  ;)

Have you seen what a grant or a traditional decoction look like?

This.  Plus have these guys ever listened to somebody like Charlie Bamforth, a real scientist?

The amount of scientific knowledge these guys have acquired should be recognized. Besides having read the technical texts (Narziss, Kunze, etc... some even in German) they've brewed hundreds of batches of lager as a team. And they're probably the only group who measures scientific stats and monitors Dissolved Oxygen, Sulfite content, fermentation, etc as robustly.

My first lager I brewed with fairly American methods (quick fermentation schedule, fined with gelatin, force carbonated, didn't pay any mind to hot side oxygenation, etc) with only a couple of twists like using a Hockhurz and employing some stuff from Kai. It was good! Crystal clear, awesome head, crisp. But it was really clean... as many American lagers are. Could have passed for a blond ale even.

After implementing the techniques they've been encouraging I'm brewing totally different beer. I'm a novice to their craft but the Helles in my lagering keg right now tastes a hell of a lot more like a German Helles than my previous batches or most you'd get from a US craft brewer. Touch of sulfur, lingering fresh grain taste, well balanced, awesome malt flavor.

I know Bryan came off like a dick on here with the infamous helles thread regarding Marshall which, understandably, rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. But wasn't a lot of the criticism centered around the forum suggesting that instead of arguing with people or trolling that he should share their results and add to the community knowledge? They're doing that now so if anyone's goal is to brew lager that tastes like an actual German lager I'd recommend you read the paper with an open mind.

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