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Messages - Kit B

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I am the guy that Ken spoke to.
I ruined a batch of helles, by not properly cleaning my new stainless components.
I had done a quick cleaning...But, I definitely didn't do as good a job, as I should have.
I theorize that a coating of machining oil/grease & who knows what other heavy metals & filth was on some of my new components & that boiling coupled with the pH of the wort cleaned the components, far better than the lackadaisical cleaning I had done.
Consequently, the resulting beer turned out slightly darker in color & contained an astringent, metallic quality that was absolutely awful.
In talking to Ken, I'm fairly confident that he discovered the same type of problem that I had on that batch.
I don't know for 100% certain, but it seems to be a safe bet.

I traced my problem to the new stainless components, by a process of elimination.
Sodium Metabisulfite was not used in my ruined batch, so I know that was not a contributing factor.
My water filtration system was used prior & following...Also showing no contribution.
I used hops from the same 1 lb bag, on previous & subsequent batches, so I know they were not my cause.
I used grain from the same bags prior & following...Not a factor.
In truth, I later brewed the exact same recipe & found nothing like the ruined batch.
The same kettles, chiller, pump, fittings, heating element, controller, spoon, mash paddle, mash tun, etc. were all used on subsequent batches, with no ill results.

If you look into some of the processes that are used in the manufacturing of stainless components, you'll see a LOT of things used that you don't want in your beer. Greases that contain heavy metals & toxins are fairly common. Cutting oils are used, frequently.

It's not unrealistic to think that a dunk in an Oxyclean or PBW solution might not do the job.

If you can think of a better explanation, you're welcome to continue trying.
But, I believe I found the culprit in my system & have since decided to do a deep cleaning on all new parts.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Adjusting Mash PH
« on: January 29, 2016, 10:42:04 AM »
I would advocate checking the mash pH, after about 10-15 minutes of achieving a stable temperature.
If you are single-infusion mashing, Martin's spreadsheet should give you an incredibly accurate prediction of what you can expect.

Make sure you are mashing for the grain you are using...Not necessarily the style you are brewing.
Obviously, you want to take guidelines & typical characteristics into account...
But, your particular malt will demand steps that allow you to achieve those characteristics.

For adjustment on the fly, lactic acid is probably your quickest tool.
But, you may end up being able to taste its roughness in the finished product.

All Grain Brewing / Re: mash pH for munich helles?
« on: January 14, 2016, 11:11:25 AM »
If you are brewing a single-infusion helles with a typical, straight-forward malt bill, a pH of 5.2 will likely give you a bland, lifeless beer.

The less bottled acid you need to use, the better.

All Grain Brewing / Re: mash pH for munich helles?
« on: January 14, 2016, 10:24:52 AM »
I would point you toward this graph.

Anybody who does 2 or more batch sparges is pretty much wasting their time as well as causing potential pH issues.

Are you saying a double batch sparge is a bad idea?

It's a counting thing. Denny and I have went back and forth about it for year. To me EVERY draining is a batch so a batch sparge which drains and then recharges and drains again is TWO batches. Denny goes with the methodology that the first one is not a batch. He can correct me if I have once again misunderstood his nomenclature, the old coot!!!

That is exactly how I believed it to be.
Have I been defining a "double batch sparge" incorrectly?

Anybody who does 2 or more batch sparges is pretty much wasting their time as well as causing potential pH issues.

Are you saying a double batch sparge is a bad idea?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Thin and bland - culprits?
« on: January 13, 2016, 10:18:50 AM »
I have to agree with Beersk. Fined beers, do taste different than just lagered beers. Lets step back though first, to cover the bases.

Chill haze is formed when the beer is cooled, most times around 32-35F, and a haze forms. The colder the beer, the more pronounced the haze becomes. This is due to weak hydrogen bond between polyphenols and protein. As the beer cools the polyphenols are attracted to the protein molecules and attach themselves, the two compounds together make a particle large enough to defuse light, which can be seen. As the beer warms back up to room temperature, the bond is broken and the haze goes away. The two separate molecules are now invisible. If this cooling and warming cycle happens often enough, it cause permanent haze.

Polyphenols are in all wort and occur naturally in barley. Most of the polyphenols are extracted from the grain during the mashing process and the amount extracted can vary based on temperature and pH. All beer contains polyphenols to one level or another. Excessive proteins can also contribute to chill haze as proteins can start to coagulate as the beer is chilled, not to mention it can give polyphenols more protein molecules to create a visible bond.

Yeast haze is pretty simple to understand, it is yeast that has not yet flocculated from the beer and light is being defused by the yeast particles. The suspended yeast may be desirable in some beers like a Hefeweizen, but it most cases it is undesirable and can a harsh flavor component to the beer.

Another obvious form of turbidity is floating particles. Everything from trub to hops can be floating around the beer.

So, with that being said... Filtering and Fining. But really, clear beer starts in the mash tun(hint: second paragraph). We will leave that for another day.

Gelatin(in this example above)- Gelatin is a collagen protein derived from animal by-products and has a strong negative charge. When introduced into chilled beer it will bond with the positively charged yeast and proteins. Since the beer is cold, the gelatin will become gelatinous (what a surprise) and grab the yeast and some of the proteins and drop to the bottom.

So here is the reason, I explained the above about haze and whatnot:

You have to add your 1+1 here. This line:
Since the beer is cold, the gelatin will become gelatinous (what a surprise) and grab the yeast and some of the proteins and drop to the bottom.
We know this right? This is our given...Gelatin Makes clear beer, However...

What else do we have bound to the proteins at this point? Thats right, polyphenols. What are polyphenols? Flavor. SO, by grabbing these molecules using a "bond" instead of just degassing co2, and allowing the beer to do its thing naturally. I believe you do take a hit, at least thats my unscientific theory.  ;D

I was just reading somewhere that you didn't share brewing-related knowledge.
I guess some people don't necessarily pay attention.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BrewStyle : BJCP Style Guidelines App
« on: January 08, 2016, 11:33:15 AM »
That's a really cool idea!
Good job, making the study & research process easier!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Upcoming Rube Goldberg Brewday
« on: January 07, 2016, 11:29:36 AM »
Indeedydoobly. If I hit the mark, I'd want to share it with the world!

You wouldn't keep any secrets, for yourself & select pupils?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Thin and bland - culprits?
« on: January 07, 2016, 10:57:46 AM »

Oh I'm sure there's something, but it sounds like pH measurement is the next step that I was hoping to avoid. Oh well, so it goes.

Thanks for all the help, dudes. Just another step towards better beer.

I often suffer from the exact problem you have described.
Thin, weak, lifeless lager.
Don't get me wrong...It's GREAT beer that friends & family rave about.
But, I don't believe it's "good enough", in my own opinion.
So...I set out to make it better & learn what I can change.
The only ways I've found are to read classic textbooks/papers/studies on brewing/malting & join up with like-minded folks, to discuss what we see in these texts that might lead down a new rabbit hole.
From there, we can establish different practices & recipes.

If you are able to notice that your beer isn't as good as you want it to be & you know exactly what the characteristic is that makes you feel that way, you're already FAR ahead of the pack, Beersk.
...Even if you don't know what's making it that way.

Measuring pH will give you an eye-opening glimpse into the science.
It probably won't get you 100% where you are going, but it would be a big step in the right direction.

My advice to you, on pH meters is:
Buy something that measures to 2 or more decimal places.
Mine only goes to a single decimal & it bugs me enough that I want a new one.

The biggest & best thing I can tell you is this:
DO NOT blindly follow anyone that tells you "We don't need to follow that, because we are homebrewers".
This is a very serious mistake.
There's always a reason that a practice was adopted.
Rarely, is that reason related to scale.

My beers have not yet even hit the 90% mark, where I'm consistently happy with the body, flavor & texture, but I think 2 good starting points for you will be pH & mash temperatures.

I personally feel that the 150*F mash was part of my problem & I'm currently working on fixing that.

Ingredients / Re: Weyermann Abbey Malt
« on: December 23, 2015, 10:30:29 AM »
Weyermann is probably not responding, due to two factors...
1) It's the week of Christmas.
2) The Germans really don't seem to respond to emails as often as we do, in the US.

You are correct about getting a Weyeremann malt report by scanning the sack.
And...Dingman's is going to be completely different than Weyermann.
If you have Weyermann, ignore any data on Dingman's, because they know their malt & how it can be used.

I might recommend seeing if Northern Brewer can send you a scan of a recent package & see if you can get data from it.
It will likely get you much closer than Dingman's data.

There is no reason for you guys to continue trolling this thread & no high road to be taken, beyond just shutting it down & giving Amanda an opportunity to post her result.
So, let's allow her to do so & get back to brewing, instead of namecalling & baiting.

I apologized to Amanda, for one & I like to learn.
If it becomes mandatory to freely share all your knowledge& the fruits of your labor, Brewer's Publications won't sell too many books...will they?

Nothing is mandatory.  But what is the point in coming here and saying that you've cracked the code to German lagers without telling anyone what it is?  Or even worse, coming in here, saying that you haven't cracked the code, but that your secret ideas are still better than everyone else's?
Where did I say either?

Again...Sorry, Amanda.
I look forward to your findings.

I apologized to Amanda, for one & I like to learn.
If it becomes mandatory to freely share all your knowledge& the fruits of your labor, Brewer's Publications won't sell too many books...will they?

I got caught up on this riveting thread. I felt bad for Amanda, kind of like she fixed thanksgiving dinner for us and we ransaked the place... feeling. Then I took a shower because, im just waking up and need to get ready to go make the donuts.

The thought I had, I've seen numerous times where this forum has been adamant toward people such as Marshall,  that unless you follow the exact same process, with the exact same timing, and exact same ingredients, there will always be a difference. We cheer these guys when they go to great lengths to exactly replicate those issues. Mull that over and apply it to the idea that german techniques and ingredients aren't important when trying to brew their beers as similarly as possible. I fully understand the "not enough difference for me" thinking. I'm not trying to defend or attack anyone. I'm just sharing some passing thoughts. If we should pay no attention to what german brewers do when trying to homebrew german beers, then I might suggest that we ignore what sour beer brewers are doing... throw out your oak. Ignore what west coast IPA brewers are doing... quit wasting dry hops, throw out your hop rockets hop backs and torpedos. Etc etc....

This is very close to what I've been trying to say, in the past.
Obviously, this kind of discussion belongs in a thread that is different than Amanda's.
Sorry Amanda, for side tracking.

I applaud you, for doing this comparison.
The small problem I see lies in the fact that it is a ramped mash running through all temperatures, utilizing a lengthened single saccharification rest vs a ramped mash with 2 lengthened rests at alpha & beta temps.
It's different than what I had originally thought she was attempting, because it's not a "single infusion" vs "step mash".
So...It's MY understanding of what was originally stated that is the problematic flaw.

Amanda...Nice experiment.
I have a feeling you'll see the results are similar, because you have hit all the same temperatures.
Only time will tell, as your results are realized.

The unfortunate thing I find with this particular forum is that when you go against a theory that something is "not necessary" or "not worth doing", you get jumped on.
The whole "It's been proven to me by my quadruple hexagonal blind upside-down study & my group of anonymous goatherds, in the Andes" is great...
But, proving something to one group doesn't make it fact, for the entire world of brewing.
Furthermore, I believe that when we evaluate homebrew, by comparing it to other homebrew, we completely miss the point of the BJCP's use of classic examples in their calibration.
If a VAST amount of German beers within those classic examples have IT & a homebrew scores in the "classic example" range without having IT...I feel that was a flawed scoring of that homebrew.

I can't speak on whether Denny's lagers have "IT".
I've never tasted them, to be able to compare them to the classic examples.

Bryan is absolutely not saying homebrew is a lesser product...
He's saying that he holds HIS brews to a higher standard than many folks do.
He wants his basement brewery to be every bit as good as a professional brewery, in Munich that produces a classic example bier.
No one should ever fault him, for that.
A group of us work damn hard at weeding out what we know doesn't work.
When we find what absolutely does...Maybe we'll let you in on the secret.
Just maybe...
We won't.

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