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Messages - redzim

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All Grain Brewing / Re: first Witbier
« on: August 09, 2011, 07:34:51 AM »
Thanks. What lag time do you see with 1st gen (dry packets) of the T-58? 

All Grain Brewing / first Witbier
« on: August 09, 2011, 05:17:09 AM »

Planning my first witbier tomorrow (all grain). Going to use Jamil's BCS recipe, at least as a starting point.  2 questions though:

1) fermentation temp.  he says to start at 68F and then slowly ramp to 72F for the last third of fermentation.  now I'm generally of the opinion that the ale ferm temps in BCS are a little high (for lagers he's good) ... often he specs 65-68 and I prefer to use 60 or 62 for APAs, ambers, IPAs, etc. But in this case, using T-58 dry belgian yeast, should I go with this high temp to get the esters going? or should I still shoot lower, maybe 64 or 65?  i've never used T-58 before so any help would be nice

2) mashing. most of Jamil's recipes just call for a single infusion mash which i'm comfortable with.  but for this belgian he says hold at 122F for 15 mins, then ramp up to 154F over 15min, then hold until "conversion is complete".  can I just do this by starting my mash (in a cooler chest of course) at 122F, and have it thick, like 1.25qts/lbs, and then after 15mins start adding boiling water a couple quarts at a time until I hit 154? I figure that will get me to about 2.0qts/lbs when I'm done.  and then how long should I hold at 154?   I do most single infusion mashes for 90mins and get 85% to 90% efficiency. so should I hold at 154F for 60mins, to get my 90min total?

thanks in advance

Equipment and Software / Re: Milwaukee pH meter issues
« on: July 29, 2011, 06:05:23 AM »
OK so you basically ignore the hourglass, and swirl a little until the reading stabilizes?   I'll try that....

Equipment and Software / Milwaukee pH meter issues
« on: July 26, 2011, 07:29:55 AM »
Anyone with a Milwaukee MW102 or similar, have you experienced the following, which I have on the 4 or 5 mashes I've used this meter for(bought it in the spring):

I calibrate it with 7.01 and 4.01 solutions, Hanna brand (recommended to me by a Milwaukee tech on the phone) then test my sample at around 75F. The little hourglass shows on the screen for a minute or two, then disappears. I take my reading (in the case of an Oktoberfest this morning, 5.25.)  However as I stand and watch the meter, the pH climbs to 5.49 over 2 or 3 minutes, then stabilizes.... but this increase from 5.25 to 5.49 was all with the hourglass off. What is my correct reading?  Same thing happened with a Schwarzbier mash a few weeks back; the hourglass went off and the meter read 5.50, but it climbed up to 5.61 before it finally stabilized.

I know this is a bit nit-picky perhaps, because all the numbers are in a good range for the mash (this meter has ATC, but I always cool my samples into the 70s anyways) but I like to know what is going on.  I called Milwaukee and the tech was frankly not very helpful.  He said he thought the reading was valid when the hourglass went away, but  also said some drift in readings is unavoidable.  I am not stirring or shaking the sample, which he said is apparently a no-no, and I store the probe in Hanna storage solution all the time.... 

Any help from blatz, denny, or kai, or anyone else, would be appreciated....


The Pub / strawberry beer from DFH
« on: June 30, 2011, 01:25:58 PM »

My apologies if this was already posted (I didn't see it anywhere today...)  

The animated GIFs are the coolest part... not sure I would like the beer but I'd sure like to try it....

EDIT: wondering what hops they use (if any) .... Sam doesn't mention it

Equipment and Software / Re: Finally bought a ph meter
« on: May 05, 2011, 01:05:16 PM »
Also just bought the Milwaukee MW102 and also got confirmation on the phone from a Milwaukee tech to NOT STORE PROBE IN DISTILLED WATER. He was pretty clear about it. He mentioned something about ions leaching from the probe into the distilled water and shortening the life of the probe. IMHO why risk ruining a $100 instrument when you can buy a couple years' worth of storage solution for $10. The Milwaukee tech guy told me that the Hanna brand calibration buffers and storage solution are fully compatible with Milwaukee meters, so that's what I bought.

All Grain Brewing / help me fix this water
« on: March 23, 2011, 11:35:34 AM »
A brewer friend in SW Pennsylvania got his Ward Labs report and came to me for help. He's been doing all-grain for a year with this water and complains of his pale beers being underwhelming. (I have not tasted any.) Being a neophyte brewing water chemist myself, I thought I would crowd-source some advice.

Here's the water (call it A): 97ppm Na, 5ppm Ca, 0ppm K, 0ppm Mg, 2ppm SO4-S, 35ppm Cl, 12ppm CO3, 181ppm HCO3, 169ppm Total Alkalinity as CaCO3. pH 8.6. 

He can get water from a second well a mile away (call it B) with a similar profile: 72ppm Na, 11ppm Ca, 2ppm K, 3ppm Mg, 1ppm SO4-S, 29ppm Cl, 9ppm CO3, 163ppm HCO3, 149ppm Total Alkalinity as CaCO3. pH 8.4.

This is so unlike my own water I'm not sure what to do with it, although at first glance the Na looks like a potential problem.  Any suggestions for him?  Dilution with RO or distilled, then a lot of additions based on Martin and Kai's spreadsheets would be how I would think to attack this, for pale beers.  Is there any beer style that this water is good for?



The bottom line here is to forget the acid malt in your case.  Its unneeded.  Recalculate the results with the acid malt deleted and brew it up.  Report back here with your mash pH results.  I'm expecting that both programs should be close to right.


Thanks Martin,

OK, so why does Kaiser recommend using acid malt here and also here   Am I mis-interpreting his instructions as to what it means to "build my own water..."   for example his Pilsner water has no akalinity and an RA of -47 but he still suggests adding Sauermalz... you are saying that is wrong???

Looks like I have a lot of brewing to do, to really understand this all. Not a bad thing, right?


Did you see Martin's recent note about the different levels of acid in the two brands of acid malt?

I did.... aren't both Kai's sheet and Martin's sheet are assuming the 3% acid malt? ...which is what I'm using (Weyermann)

Perhaps Martin Brungard and/or Kai are able to weigh in on this....

I've been using Kai's water sheet for my last couple beers (German Pils, Helles, a Maibock coming up next week) and with all the recent chatter on this board about Bru'n Water, thought I'd check it out as well.   And I'm having trouble getting the predicted pH to match up. As a test, I used Kai's "Pilsner Water" recipe which calls for 100ppm Gypsum, 85ppm Epsom, and 130ppm CaCl2 added into distilled water, and a grist of 98% Pils and 2% Acidulated. Both worksheets match up at this point, telling me to add the same amounts of the right salts, giving RA of -47, etc etc.

But it is in the next step that things go south. I loaded my basic pils parameters into both sheets: 17.64lbs pils malt, 0.36lbs acidulated, mash at 2qts/lbs (9 gallons strike water) and collect a total of 16 gals pre-boil, which is boiled to 11 gallons.   And somehow Kai's sheet is giving me predicted pH of 5.36 (which would be nice), and Martin's is saying 4.9, which is too low.   

Can anyone confirm something similar? Or are these sheets always going to differ in how they calculate pH from the SRM? Or am I doing something wrong?  I believe I have zeroed out all things like lactic acid additions in Martin's sheet but maybe I missed something.   Kai or Martin, I can email my working copies of your sheets to you if you want to check them out.

thanks, Red

Beer Recipes / Re: Edel Hell
« on: February 26, 2011, 09:28:56 AM »
I was able to brew this yesterday, during a surprise ice storm.  For some reason I got 93% efficiency into the kettle (I usually get high 80s and had adjusted Kai's recipe for that) so I ended up with OG of 1.058, a little higher than I would have liked but I'm sure it will work out.

About the hops: my Magnums are 10% AA right now, so I did 0.80oz in my 16gal (preboil) volume, rather than 0.43oz of 14% that Kai's recipe (scaled to my batch size) called for. This is a little hoppier than Kai's original, but still less than Jamil's Helles from BCS (last time I brewed that, I used 2.50oz of 4% Hallertauer as bittering in the same size batch).

I left the two later additions as Kai spec'ed - 0.43oz each, however I did not have Hallertau Tradition on hand, so I used regular Hallertau instead.

I'm looking forward to tasting this in about 2 months.


Yeast and Fermentation / technical details on a starter for 10gal lager
« on: February 19, 2011, 06:38:37 AM »
Happy Weekend All,

Need some advice from people who make starters for 10-12gal lagers.  I am well-informed on the basic practices of making starters, but my experience is limited to 5gal batches. Mostly I would do 1 Activator pack in a 3L or 4L starter on a stirplate, with good results. 

Lately I've been brewing some 10gal lagers using dry yeast, but want to try some liquid yeast strains too, in an effort to come closer to the lagers I'm trying to clone.

But it seems a little daunting: for a 11 gals of a 1.060 lager, using my stirplate, Mr Malty calls for a 6 liter starter using 3 Activator packs, or 4 liters using 4 packs, or 10 liters using 2 packs.... what do you guys usually do??? I have a 5L flask.. do you guys buy 4 activator packs (pretty pricey!) and make a 5L starter? or do you go with a 3 gallon carboy and make a 10L starter with 2 packs? or what... maybe two just separate starters, the same way I did it before?

Or what is the two-stage stepped-up starter I've heard about? Is that an option, and if so, what does it involve?


1)      Convoluted Counterflow Chiller, bought new in Sept 2008. Used regularly until April 2010, carefully cleaned with PBW after every use, in very good shape. Original price $155.00 from MoreBeer. Asking around $80-$100. (This item is now $189 from MoreBeer)

2)      March Pump 809HS with switched power cord, bought new Jan 2009. Used regularly until April 2010, carefully cleaned with PBW after every use, in good shape. Original price $140.99 from Northern Brewer. Asking around $80-$100.

3)      25ft Stainless Steel Immersion Chiller, 3/8” diameter, bought new Sept 2009, never used. Original price $53.95 from Midwest. Asking $20-$30.

I will pay ground shipping to continental USA. You can also pick them up if you are in the Hudson Valley area of New York. If anyone is interested PM me or post in this thread. Payment options are flexible and can be discussed.
I switched to a monster immersion chiller (50ft x ½”) with a pond pump pumping 33F water through it and get much better chill performance. After sitting on these items for almost year, it’s time to move them on.


All Grain Brewing / Re: when to check pH of mash
« on: January 27, 2011, 09:05:45 AM »
thanks everyone. seems like we've reached a consensus!  (kinda rare for the forum, I know....  ;)  )

I know you're making a joke but, in fact, one thing that seems to set this forum apart from lots of the other homebrew forums is that fact that consensus is often reached.  And the tone here just seems more civil even when consensus isn't reached.

+1 and amen to that

All Grain Brewing / Re: when to check pH of mash
« on: January 27, 2011, 06:59:00 AM »
thanks everyone. seems like we've reached a consensus!  (kinda rare for the forum, I know....  ;)  )

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