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Messages - redzim

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Ingredients / water for Dortmunder
« on: March 10, 2012, 06:49:42 AM »
I've never brewed this style before and I'm looking for suggestions on water recipe. I found Blatz's which is this: Ca 107, Mg 4, Na 21, Cl 70, SO4 115, HCO3 67, RA 3 (all in ppm).

This seems really hard to me...   I can almost get there using Kai's water calculator, starting with distilled water and adding gypsum, epsom, table salt, CaCl2, baking soda, and chalk... by playing with all of those I can get a water that is Ca 83, Mg 4, Na 19, Cl 60, SO4 116, HCO3 72, and RA of -3.....  I can't seem to get all of them to line up with Blatz's numbers....

there must be a simpler way to do this, it anyways seems counterproductive to be adding gypsum/epsom/CaCl2 to a mash at the same time as baking soda and chalk, seems kind of like they are going to be fighting each other...

so bottom line is, does anyone have a good water recipe for a Dortmunder???

tx all

All Grain Brewing / Re: Inconsistent pH readings...
« on: March 03, 2012, 08:44:33 AM »
How old is your pH meter probe?

They last about 18-24mos if kept clean and wet in the proper storage solution.

Anyway, I check the mash pH about 10 min into the mash and the sparge after stirring for 2 min. I always calirate with 4.01 and 7.0 prior to the mash and the sparge. I typically get readings within +/-.02 upon calibration, so you either have a failing probe or stray voltage in your system. I recommend contacting Milwaukee and talking to their tech support folks.

One other thing to consider is your sampling temp. I always chill the mash sample down to RT prior to taking a reading.

Meter and probe are less than 1yr old... has been stored in proper storage solution for the duration... as I said, I also cool samples to around 65-80F before taking a reading....     so I guess a call to Milwaukee is next...


All Grain Brewing / Re: Inconsistent pH readings...
« on: March 03, 2012, 07:44:02 AM »
this thread is interesting, I was going to start a new thread with some q's about my Milwaukee pH meter but I'll hijack 'em into this one....

I have the MW102 which is just the MW101 that others have, with ATC (I believe this is an update of the SM101 and SM102 line which major has?)

anyways this is what happens which i check mash pH... I'm just copying in notes from an Altbier batch about 2 wks ago: "calibrated meter to 7.01 and then 4.01 buffers. read pH of 5.46 @ 24.7*C.  then put meter in 4.01 buffer. it reads 3.79.  now checked 7.01 buffer, it reads 7.03. now back into mash sample, it reads 5.63 at 21.6*C."  (my brew room is about 55F this time of year so the sample keeps cooling as I'm checking it)

and from 1 month ago, a Boh Pils: "calibrated meter to 7.01 and then 4.01 buffers. read pH of 5.27 @ 28.9*C.  then put meter in 4.01 buffer. it reads 3.73.  now checked 7.01 buffer, it reads 6.89. now back into mash sample, it reads 5.34 at 20.7*C." 

now maybe this is all within the margin of error for this meter and probe, and it's all "good enough" and I should RDWHAHB etc etc... although I am one who likes to know that what I am getting is really what's there... or what are you other guys with Milwaukee meters seeing?  I use the Hanna storage solution, and the Hanna 4.01 and 7.01 buffer packs from Amazon (I once called Milwaukee and they said it is OK to use Hanna products on their meters)

finally, if mash pH does change during the mash, when do you check it??? I asked this a bout a year ago on this forum, and it seems like most people take it about 5 or 10 minutes after dough-in? of course it takes 10-15 minutes for the sample to cool (I try to consistently read pH around 20-25*C [68-77*F] even though I have ATC).  what are you guys doing about this?


Beer Recipes / recommendations for first Dortmunder
« on: March 01, 2012, 12:18:46 PM »
Been wanting to try a Dortmunder for a few years now,  think I'll give it try in the next few months now that I have some of my Pilsner techniques down (or at least improving)...  any recommendations for a recipe?  I found Blatz's here which I would assume is a good one... anyone (besides Blatz) brewed it? Or have another suggestion?


The Pub / Slate article
« on: February 24, 2012, 05:45:43 AM »

Ingredients / Re: using up for melanoidin and victory malts
« on: February 16, 2012, 02:30:45 PM »
Why not? Certainly doesnt hurt to try it out.

Well in general that may be true but I have heard bad things about too much melanoidin (words like "meaty" and "brothy") so I am wondering if there is some sort of upper limit.

Ingredients / using up for melanoidin and victory malts
« on: February 16, 2012, 01:58:15 PM »
I have about 4-5# each of Weyerman Melanoidin and Breiss Victory Malt that I got for recipes that I don't plan to brew again... what styles of beers could I "hide" 8oz or a pound of these in... could I, for instance, replace 8 oz of pale malt with 8oz of melanoidin in a red ale or amber ale.... or slip some victory into a brown ale?  Any other suggestions?

Hey thanks Drew. I'll keep using it, and know that it is at least consistent.... 


I've been using this IBU balancing spreadsheet for my last few beers as I find it better than a lot of website calculators and it has FWH which a lot of other calcs don't... I am often scaling 5 gal recipes to 10 or 15 gals....

Does anyone know what IBU formula is being used in there? It seems to give me higher numbers than both Rager and Tinseth, at least as shown on these two sites.... and  In the end, I guess it doesn't matter as long as I consistently use one calculator, but I'm just interested.


Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: SN Ruthless Rye IPA
« on: February 11, 2012, 06:26:37 PM »
Cool thanks Denny. I am going to give it a try.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: SN Ruthless Rye IPA
« on: February 11, 2012, 04:28:21 PM »
I admit to being underwhelmed.  

I can see that, particularly if you are looking for a big rye character.  Certainly, if you compare it to your recipe, its lacking.  The rye that is there seems to add a twist that is subtle and not overbearing.  I like that.  And then the hop flavor and aroma is excellent.

Its just a good IPA in general, IMO.

Had it today for the first time. I liked it... what can I say? It was nicely different from any beer I've ever had, and that is good.  But I've never had or made Denny's RIPA.    

So you're saying if I make Denny's, I'll be even more pleased?  I think I just changed my spring brew schedule to fit that in.

Just quickly Googling Denny's recipe... I have Columbus on hand, but not Mt Hood. What can I sub to get it close?  Denny: a Tett or Hallertauer type?  Or something American like Amarillo or Centennial or Cascade or Willamette? I have all those on hand.


EDIT: oh crap  ;D just noticed on some other forum where denny says "brew it just like this: no hop subs, no yeast subs..."  I guess I am ordering me some Mt Hoods then

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Sam Adams Spring Seasonal...
« on: February 11, 2012, 04:22:02 PM »
had this today for the first and last time. grabbed the Sam's Spring Mix pack. this (the Alpine Spring) is not good. (haven't tried the others yet) it's weirdly unbalanced. did not like the aftertaste of what I assume is the "honey malt" mentioned on the label. why is it unfiltered? it does not need to be... marketing gimmick I guess.

I hope I can still find the Noble Pils around here (didn't see it today...)


Equipment and Software / Re: How's your Thermapen?
« on: February 11, 2012, 09:57:16 AM »
I guess the only complaint I have is the orientation. The design appears to be for a left handed individual? Meaning one needs to hold it in their right hand to use and read and if they are to use the other hand at the same time it gets awkward if they are a righty.

My preference would be to hold it in my left hand, or have the probe swivel the 340 degrees and the read out flip so it can be read that way if needed.

So there's room for improvement.

Thermapens are awesome.... but I have the same issue with the "handedness" of them. A buddy of mine who runs a small food processing facility got me on to Thermoworks stuff a couple years ago... he once called them and asked them to make a mirror image one... I forget what their answer was but it obviously hasn't happened yet.

I'll plug one more thing from them... the mini Thermocouple...  costs $43 and accepts any K-type probe.  It's not quite as fast as the Thermapen but it works for my applications, and it's more versatile.

I got one of these and a 6ft heavy duty wire probe that I can snake into my mashing cooler and get constant temps... I also drape this around my whirlpool IC before adding wort to kettle for the boil, then during chilling I have realtime temp feedback. Real slick.  Of course they sell a million other K-probes of which I have 3 or 4 more for use in cooking, etc. 


Beer Recipes / Re: pseudo-Alt with a lager yeast?
« on: February 10, 2012, 12:45:49 PM »
Well I'm going to give it shot with the lager yeast, and will report back.  Anyone have any idea which "real" Alts are imported into the USA?  Of course I'm sure each state is different... just so I can get a feel for something other than Diebels.

Beer Recipes / Re: pseudo-Alt with a lager yeast?
« on: February 10, 2012, 08:20:14 AM »
Having lost a few afternoons in Duesseldorf drinking altbier, fuity esters are something I don't remember in those beers. 

Funny, I have long associated alts with just the faintest hint of something raisiny in the aroma... however my stints in Deutschland were almost completely in the former East, and the only alt available was Diebels, bottled of course... I've never had the experience of enjoying it fresh from the tap in Dusseldorf. (One day!)  So when I think of alts I'm really just thinking Diebels - which may or may not be the best example...


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