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Messages - dcbc

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226
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Filtration.....
« on: January 27, 2011, 09:55:21 AM »
Food for future thought.  If you are brewing a beer you know will need to be rushed out, hefeweizen is a good style to go with.  Ferments crazy fast, doesn't need to be clear, and is great young.

Agree with gelatin working in 24 hours. 

I use one pack of knox for 10 gallons.  Put it in 1 cup of room temp water and leave for 20 minutes so it blooms.  Put it in the microwave until I see that first bubble of boiling water and stop immediately.  Add it to keg of 32 degree beer (I use a 10 gal corny with the dip tube cut off).  Wait 24--48 hours and transfer to serving kegs.

I used to do the gelatin in the serving kegs, but when I moved them to the kegerator or if I had to transport them to a party, the stuff that I had worked so hard to get to drop out would get stirred up again.  This way, that still happens, but there is much less there to get stirred up after the transfer.

227
Equipment and Software / Re: Mill motor
« on: January 25, 2011, 09:40:34 AM »
One thing I gathered when I was researching this subject is that the capacitor was definitely something you do not want to touch when things are operating.  Mine is housed in a large junction box.

228
All Grain Brewing / Re: Bookend APA Water? Ya
« on: January 19, 2011, 02:49:07 PM »
Bottom line, the water sticks to the grain but the salts and sugars move from bound to free water.

Your process is pretty close, you're just low by whatever percentage of sugar/minerals comes from your sparge.  Probably around 10%.  None of these flavor minerals is that touchy unless you're running right on the ragged edge of being too much.  And then I doubt its a matter of 300ppm SO4 being OK and 330ppm being awful.

I figured it was fairly close.  But wouldn't I be high, rather than low?  In other words, because my process assumes that minerals are bound up with the water in grain, I am potentially adding salts to the boil to make up for the minerals lost.  This will be more fun to think about after 5 p.m.  ;D

229
All Grain Brewing / Re: Bookend APA Water? Ya
« on: January 19, 2011, 08:57:36 AM »
You lost me there with that explanation and apparently have a much greater knowledge of water chemistry than I.  I asked Jamil this same question several months back and was told that this was a logical assumption.  That's not to say that it is the correct assumption.   

But if it's wrong, so be it.  I am not dissatisfied with my results.  So my process remaining consistent is how I am going to replicate these results going forward.  So far, I seem to have been able to achieve with water adjustments what I have been seeking to achieve with regard to extraction, flavor, and fermentation.  As long as this continues to work for me, I am going to continue to do it, wrong or not.  If, at some point, I perceive a problem that I can trace to an improper dilution calculation resulting from inconsistent mineral absorption in the grain, I'll set out to find a solution. 

230
All Grain Brewing / Re: Bookend APA Water? Ya
« on: January 18, 2011, 08:02:29 PM »
So you think that a water wqith 2ppm Cl and 4ppm SO4, tastes the same as a water with 150ppm Cl and 300ppm SO4?  I think the ratio has an effect but only when you are dealing with concentrations of the individual salts that are present at levels that have a significant impact on flavor.

I don't exactly understand the theory that salts are absorbed by the grain so you only count the first runnings.  Maybe present in the bound water yes, but the sparge should bring them out just like the sugar so you'd probably get back at least 75-85%.  Which I hadn't thought of that so thanks for making thigns more complicated!  Yes there are chelators in grain but there are also some salts and we basically ignore those too.

The salts are going to be dissolved into solution.  So when the grain absorbs the water, it is absorbing minerals in that water.  Even when you sparge, I don't think you're removing water that is absorbed by the grain (I know mine is nice and saturated when I shovel it out of the cooler afterward).  When I'm figuring out what is in the kettle, I just take the amount of first runnings and dilute that with the difference between that amount and my final volume.  So if my final volume is 11 gallons and I got 5 gallons in first runnings, then I dilute that amount (considering mineral additions) with 6 gallons of whatever I am sparging with (either distilled or my water or a blend) and use the water calculator to figure out what I have preboil.  Then I add minerals to get where I want to be.

You put 5 brewers in a room and ask this question, you might get 3 different answers and 4 different methods to accomplish the goal.   

231
All Grain Brewing / Re: Bookend APA Water? Ya
« on: January 16, 2011, 09:13:23 PM »
Sorry, I should have clarified.  If you are trying to mimic a city's water profile, then yes, by all means use preboil volume as your target. Your minerals will concentrate like you were using that city's water unadjusted. But if you're like me, and are shooting for a target mineral concentrations, then you would want to calculate that target using your post boil volume.

232
All Grain Brewing / Re: Bookend APA Water? Ya
« on: January 16, 2011, 08:12:13 PM »
Yes. I base my kettle additions based on final volume, not preboil volume. I assume minerals are absorbed in the grain, figure the dilution of the minerals based on the amount of water added to the first running to equal final post boil volume. So if I have 4.5 gallons of first runnings, I would calculate the dilution of 6.5 gallons of spare water based on a final vol. Of 11 gallons.

233
All Grain Brewing / Re: Bookend APA Water? Ya
« on: January 16, 2011, 04:59:44 PM »
When I do this sort of water profile, I use enough gypsum in the mash to reach my target RA, calculate what that water will be when it is diluted with my sparge water, and add the remaining salts to hit the target profile.  I agree that since you're adding gypsum to boost sulfates, there's no reason you shouldn't just drop the lactic acid addition and just use gypsum.

234
All Grain Brewing / Re: Bookend APA Water? Ya
« on: January 16, 2011, 12:25:06 PM »
For final, into the fermenter, water profile (i.e. adjust for mash, then add the rest to the boil to get your final profile), I'd add some gypsum to boost your sulfates some more.  Don't be afraid to go a little nuts with it either.  I have used a modified version of the water Mike McDole uses on my last two American ales (both an IPA and an APA) and both have turned out very well with the hops really popping.  I know the sulfates look way high, but I think his are in the 300s.

Here is what I ended up with on the APA.

Ca 105 / 11Mg/ Na 14/ SO4 213/ Cl 51/ HCO3 14

235
Equipment and Software / Re: Buners
« on: January 16, 2011, 07:51:25 AM »
I'm no expert on this, but I did just switch over to natural gas from propane.  I had a plumber run a line to the corner of the house outside the garage.  The line was run from the meter.  We also discussed t-ing it off the water heater, but the line from the meter was easier and the plumber was concerned that more volume was needed.  The point of all of this is that you need to test that burner somehow before you go to the trouble of welding everything up.  My brewstand has a larger gas line coming to it than anything else in my house.  I'm not sure what the line to that stove looks like or if it shares the line to another appliance in your house.  But, especially if you're planning on using more than one burner at the same time, make sure that line in your basement can handle what you want to do.

Doing my first NG brew in the morning.  Very excited!

236
All Grain Brewing / Re: Pilsner brewing
« on: January 14, 2011, 03:51:08 PM »
Soft water is probably as key of an ingredient in a bohemian pils as saaz hops are.  It's as crucial to this style as high carbonate water is to Guiness.  If you have high or moderately high carbonate water, cutting it by 50% may not be enough to get down in the ridiculously low range that is traditionally used with this style of beer.  You can surely make a great beer while not using the extremely soft water.  But it will be different than what you may be expecting.  If cutting it by half with distilled doesn't get you down into single digits with your minerals, you may just want to use all distilled and build your minerals from the ground up with salts.  I am fortunate (for this style anyway) to have pretty soft water.  So a 50/50 blend gets me there. 

Adding the gypsum is something I did on advice from someone who claimed that that's what they do at Urquell.  It seems to have worked well.  But I'm doing it with a 50 ppm target in mind.

237
All Grain Brewing / Re: Pilsner brewing
« on: January 13, 2011, 03:51:38 PM »
What is the Wyeast equivalent? Wyeast 2278 Czech Pils?  Wyeast 2007 Pilsen Lager Yeast?
Wyeast 2001 is the PU H-strain, and the 2278 is the PU D-strain.
Those are on the stirplate now.  Will do 5 gallons of each, then blend back together after fermentation.
[/quote]

Just for the sake of mentioning it, my understanding is that the current incarnation of Urquell only uses the H-strain whereas it used to be a blend of multiple (5 IIRC) strains.  I'm not saying one method is superior to the other.  More power to you for blending.  I'll bet it turns out great!

238
All Grain Brewing / Re: Pilsner brewing
« on: January 13, 2011, 03:45:56 PM »
Double Decoction (modified Hochkurz schedule). Mashed in at 143 for an hour, pulled a decoction, held at 158, boiled for about 12-15 minutes, raised to 158 for another hour. Pulled another decoction and boiled for 12-15 minutes to reach mash out. Batch Sparged.

Can you clarify this, please? 

Your understanding of what I said appears to be correct.

Mash in at 143 F for 1 hour, pull a decoction, raise the temp of the decoction to 158 and hold at 158F for about 20 minutes IIRC, boiled the decoction for 12-15 minutes, added it back to the the mash, which raised the mash to 158 F.  Mash rests at 158 for another hour. Pulled another decoction and boiled for 12-15 minutes then added it back to the mashto reach mash out.

This was my first decoction.  I added some boiling water to the mash after adding the first decoction back in to get to 158 since the decoction I pulled (around 3.5 gallons IIRC) wasn't enough.

WLP800 Pilsner Lager yeast pitched at 39 F and let rise to 45 F. Let it rise to 50 F toward the end. About 3 weeks in the primary and a week in a bright tank with gelatin.  Then to the keg.

What is the Wyeast equivalent? Wyeast 2278 Czech Pils?  Wyeast 2007 Pilsen Lager Yeast?

According to mrmalty.com, it is the Wyeast 2001 strain.

http://www.mrmalty.com/yeast.htm

Forgot to mention.  I think I did about a 6L starter for this 11 gallon batch.  Probably undersized, but did the trick.

For next time, I may try to do either a single infusion mash at 154 with all other variables the same or a step mash between 143 and 158.  I may still do a single decoction to see if it makes a difference.  In the end, if I can get this same beer without decoction, I'll be glad to shorten the brew day. But, if future batches don't bear this out, I'll just have to set aside time for the long brew day because the product is worth the trouble to get the results I got.

For a single infusion mash, I'd think the temp should be lower, like 150-151 F max given the desire to get it more crisp and dry.  You've got plenty of residual sugars with your 8.7% carapils/dextrine.  Not doubting your results, but your 2+ hour mash essentially gave the enzymes more time to work on your sugars before the sugar profile was fixed at mashout.

You may be right on the money there.  The only thing I can think is that the higher level of sulfates versus chlorides might give it a bit of crispness.  The dextrine level is really high in this recipe, but it doesn't come off as too sweet.  Part of me wants to bump it down slightly, but the flavor seems to be right on.  So I must resist.  I have done JZ's Bopils at 154 before (roughly the same recipe, but with about 5.8% carapils) and have never been satisfied with the mouthfeel or malt flavor.  I know I am only supposed to do one change at a time if I want to know what made the biggest difference.  The above recipe was a complete departure from just about everything I have done before.  So I still have a lot of questions about what made the biggest difference.

239
All Grain Brewing / Re: Pilsner brewing
« on: January 13, 2011, 10:30:13 AM »
I have been on a quest to get something remotely close to Pilsner Urquell for the last several years.  On my most recent attempt, I feel like I absolutely nailed it.  My next goal is to see if I can recreate it with something less than the 12 hour brew day it took to get this truly excellent result.  

Here is what I did.

Recipe (off the top of my head)
91.3.% Weyermann Floor Malted Bohemian Pilsner Malt
8.7% Carapils/Dextrine

Double Decoction (modified Hochkurz schedule). Mashed in at 143 for an hour, pulled a decoction, held at 158, boiled for about 12-15 minutes, raised to 158 for another hour. Pulled another decoction and boiled for 12-15 minutes to reach mash out. Batch Sparged.

120 min. boil. 3 hop charges, each 3.5 oz of Saaz at 4.0% AA. FWH (IBU calculated as 30 minute addition), 80 min. 30 min. Total IBU was estimated at about 41.

WLP800 Pilsner Lager yeast pitched at 39 F and let rise to 45 F. Let it rise to 50 F toward the end. About 3 weeks in the primary and a week in a bright tank with gelatin.  Then to the keg.

For best results, age for at least 8--10 weeks This is the real trick, I'm convinced.  I was happy with the beer at 3 weeks on draught.  I was overwhelmed with how great it was at 9 weeks.  Huge difference.

Water.  My water is pretty soft.  Cutting it with distilled (50%) gets everything into single digits.  I adjusted the mash with lactic per Palmer's spreadsheet (yes, I know there are plenty who thinks this spreadsheet goes to far at this end of the SRM spectrum).  I adjusted my water in the boil so that the final product would have 50 ppm Ca and 50 ppm SO4 with everything else in single digits.  I know that is counterintuitive for this heavily hopped, yet malty beer, but I've tried it with heavy chlorides and it just doesn't taste right to me.  I took some advice from a guy over at the NB forum on this one.  He claimed that this is what the folks at PU were doing to their water, which we all know is extremely soft.  As far as I'm concerned, this advice was very good and I will use this water profile going forward.

For next time, I may try to do either a single infusion mash at 154 with all other variables the same or a step mash between 143 and 158.  I may still do a single decoction to see if it makes a difference.  In the end, if I can get this same beer without decoction, I'll be glad to shorten the brew day.  But, if future batches don't bear this out, I'll just have to set aside time for the long brew day because the product is worth the trouble to get the results I got.

240
Equipment and Software / Re: Mill motor
« on: January 11, 2011, 12:53:36 PM »
dcbd - I've got the same motor that the OP referenced on order.
How did you wire it up so that you could reverse the motor?
Can you put up a schematic?

I decided to turn it over to an electrician for fear of the capacitor.  :o

But I gave him the diagram from the second page of this thread on the Brewing Network Forum.

http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=16479

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