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Messages - a10t2

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My First First Place (Brag Warning)
« on: June 06, 2011, 10:12:12 AM »
Sean you'd better plan on doing BUZZ again

I'd love too, but that 24 hour drive is a killer. ;)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My First First Place (Brag Warning)
« on: June 06, 2011, 12:26:43 AM »
Congrats Lennie! I judged at BUZZ a few years ago. It's a great comp.

Classifieds / Re: LARGE SS tanks on Ebay
« on: June 06, 2011, 12:01:44 AM »
We actually have one of these that has had TC fittings welded onto it, and use it as a bright/serving tank. The fit and finish on it is really outstanding.

Equipment and Software / Re: Extending the life of Star-San
« on: June 05, 2011, 01:40:06 PM »
I believe it's 3, not 3.4.

You are correct sir!

Also, mixed per the label instructions with my tap water, which is darn near distilled to begin with, it comes in at about 1.8 pH and takes a couple weeks sitting out in an open bucket to get above 3.0.

Ingredients / Re: RO water
« on: June 05, 2011, 10:51:48 AM »
Are we talking 5.3 at mash temps or room temps? Two completely different things.  If it is at room temp than that is well within the range and nothing to worry about, in fact it is ideal.

I think you may have that backwards. A room temp pH of 5.3-5.8 is generally considered optimal, corresponding to a mash temp range of about 5.0-5.5. Unless otherwise specified, pH values are almost always given at room temperature.

You are also forgeting that malt has a natural buffering capacity as well, hence Kai's experiment showing that DI water and 2-Row lock in at approx. 5.6.  Color/SRM is a poor predictor of mash pH adjustments

You're certainly correct that attempting to correlate color with mash pH is difficult, but that isn't what I'm doing. I'm using the results from Kai's pH testing, just as you are. If you want to dispute his results for mashes containing crystal malts, that's fine, but I don't think you should use his results for a 100% base malt mash as supporting evidence for that.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash temps?
« on: June 05, 2011, 10:27:07 AM »
My results were that it made no difference in either efficiency or "lauterability".  Gave it 2 tries and went back to dry crush.  My conclusion was that I had no problems that this method would solve.

I tried it about half a dozen times and found that it did improve "lauterability", in that by doing the malt conditioning I was able to run my pump wide open without compacting the grain bed to the point that it stopped flowing. After timing a couple brew days, though, I figured out that the time savings during the lauter were more than offset by the time it took to do the malt conditioning.

Ingredients / Re: RO water
« on: June 05, 2011, 10:04:02 AM »
It seems rather counter-productive to me to add alkalinity in the form of chark or baking soda when we as brewers are trying to reduce alkalinity and thus reduce our mash pH.

It's only counterproductive if you are in fact trying to reduce the mash pH, which is by no means a universal condition. In the OP's situation, he's starting with a water that has no buffering potential at all. When he introduces crystal malt into the grist it will fairly quickly reduce the mash pH out of the desirable range, especially if he's adding calcium salts as you suggest. (And adding sulfate and/or chloride salts for flavor reasons is good advice, as long as it's in conjunction with maintaining the residual alkalinity at a reasonable level, but the OP said he doesn't have access to them at the moment.)

Since you mention Kai Troester, I used his water spreadsheet to work through this example. For a 12 SRM beer and an infusion ratio of 1.8 qt/lb, it estimates a DI mash pH of 5.40. Adding 50 ppm Ca reduces that to 5.35. In this particular case, that's narrowly within the optimum range (5.3-5.8), but it certainly illustrates the point. For a darker beer, adding calcium salts without also adding alkalinity would drop the mash pH out of the optimum range.

Edit: Had to disable the 8) smiley.

Ingredients / Re: RO water
« on: June 04, 2011, 06:12:12 PM »

Ingredients / Re: RO water
« on: June 04, 2011, 04:49:21 PM »
How about the stick of chalk I use on my blackboard?

I don't know how pure that would be. I bet if you go to the pharmacy you can find some antacid tablets that are 100% CaCO3.

There is no reason to carbonate/add chalk/baking soda to your brewing liquor.

There is if your water has no akalinity, like when you're starting with RO.

Ingredients / Re: RO water
« on: June 04, 2011, 02:58:41 PM »
At a bare minimum, you could probably brew with the RO water and be OK. If you have chalk or baking soda I'd add some to keep the pH from getting too low. Assuming this is roughly a 10 SRM beer, I'd go with an RA of about 20-40 ppm CaCO3. Chalk would probably be best since you don't have any calcium in there to begin with.

Ingredients / Re: Unusual Wood Alternatives to Oak
« on: June 04, 2011, 01:17:31 PM »
I aged a porter on some toasted hickory. It came out nice, a very mellow woody flavor.

Equipment and Software / Re: Plato/Brix and Beersmith
« on: June 03, 2011, 12:39:03 PM »
If anyone using a refractometer hasn't seen/used the MoreBeer spreadsheet it seems to be pretty good!

That hasn't been my experience, but of course if it works for you that's all that matters.

Equipment and Software / Re: Plato/Brix and Beersmith
« on: June 03, 2011, 11:32:03 AM »
when I switch measurements in Beersmith, the program tells me that the final gravity estimate much lower than the brix reading I am getting with the refactometer. Is this because Beersmith doesn't account for the alcohol but the spreadsheet does?

No, it's because the reading from the refractometer isn't the actual gravity in Brix/Plato. It's just an estimated SG based on an assumed relationship between the refractive index and the sugar content. When there's alcohol in solution, that assumption is no longer accurate.

The Pub / Re: Public Domain Beer/Wine/Brewing Books
« on: June 03, 2011, 01:49:44 AM »
Combrune -    1758 - An Essay on Brewing with a View of Establishing the Principles of the Art.pdf

I have a lithograph of this in the original French. It is by a wide margin the most valuable object I own.

Beer Recipes / Re: Homebrew recipes from Deschutes
« on: June 01, 2011, 09:03:03 PM »
in the Inversion IPA they use Crystal and Caramel 60 Malt  ???  any insight?

I'd guess "Crystal" is a UK malt, since they typically use that naming convention (Crystal, Medium Crystal, Dark Crystal, Extra Dark Crystal, or something like that). So it's probably a 30-40 Lovibond malt, and the Caramel 60 is a domestic crystal malt.

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