Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - redzim

Pages: 1 ... 17 18 [19] 20 21
271
All Grain Brewing / when to check pH of mash
« on: January 26, 2011, 11:40:27 AM »
So I'm about to brew my first beer with modified water (75% distilled, 25% my own super-alkaline well water, and a bunch of salts, and also some acidulated malt). 

How soon after dough-in should I test the pH to see if I'm hitting what Kaiser's water spreadsheet says I should be hitting?  1 min? 5 min? 30 min?   Does it matter? 

I've checked my mash pH before, usually within 5mins of dough-in, but now I'll be mixing in salts and I'm wondering how long it takes for the pH to stabilize.

-red

272
All Grain Brewing / Re: Pilsner brewing
« on: January 17, 2011, 02:26:39 PM »


You would modify all the water in this way.

 

I'm a little confused... I would add gypsum at 0.4g / gal to the mash tun when mashing in, that much I understand.  but then when batch sparging, would I again add 0.4g gypsum for every gallon of sparge water I use, and add that gypsum to my mash tun as well?  in other places I've seen people say they add those salts directly to the boil.... please advise.

-red

273
All Grain Brewing / Re: Pilsner brewing
« on: January 16, 2011, 09:17:09 AM »
OK so for German Pils, mix my water 50/50 with distilled, at 0.5g gypsum per gallon, and mash and sparge with that water (or rather add that amount of gypsum to the mash.....)   Alternatively mash with my water with added gypsum, and sparge with distilled would be the same?? 

How would the additions change for a Bohemian Pils?

And I will certainly try a 3wk primary at 50F, I'm willing to wait for an improved product.....

-Red

274
All Grain Brewing / Re: Pilsner brewing
« on: January 14, 2011, 12:04:11 PM »
Last summer my Pilsner attempts were consistently too “sweet” and “bready”.  I might also be tasting diacetyl, but I did do diacetyl rests on these beers, and anyways I don’t really know what diacetyl really tastes like, when it comes down to it….  (is there some commercial beer that has diacetyl issues…. I’d buy some just to learn what it tastes like !)  I’ve narrowed it down to 3 things to improve on, and would love some suggestions… 

Start doing a fast ferment test for your lagers. The test itself won't fix anything but it gives you one vital piece of information -> the fermentability of your wort. If your beer seems too sweet, chances are that there are too many residual fermentable sugars left. I know from experience that getting the yeast to ferment those last sugars can take a while but you won't get a crisp tasting beer if the yeast doesn't go all the way.



 I actually did do your FFT procedure on some of my lagers last summer… definitely did it on a Helles that worked out nicely…   so I am confident that I am fermenting my beers all the way out
Quote
Quote
1)   Malt. I brewed both JZ’s “Myburger” (1.054 to 1.009) and BoPils (1.057 to 1.014) recipes last year with Crisp Euro Pils as the base malt, because that is what I can get cheap from my local brewpub.   Would paying almost twice as much for something like Weyermann make a huge difference?

I like Weyermann a lot,m but many of my recent beers have been brewed with Best Malz Pilsner and they are fine too. I don't have any direct comparison though.

Quote
2)   Yeast.

Is key. I have little experience with dry yeast. Judging by the name, 34/70 is the German brewing yeast. However, when I used the s34/70 strain the results were too sulfury for my taste. I have good success with WLP830, which I think is the W34/70 strain that is so widely used in German brewing. You'll need a large amount of healthy and young yeast. Anything not healthy enough and you'll have problems getting those last fermentable sugars (Maltotriose in most cases) fermented. In its last step I raise my yeast with constant aeration and try to brew within 2-3 days of the last propagation step being complete.

You want to be able to ferment the beer at 46-50 F. How long does your primary fermentation take now?


my Bo Pils was pitched at 50F, and stayed in primary at 50F for 11 days, then I raised temp quickly to 60F, left it for 48 hrs, then transferred to glass carboys and lagered at 33F for 5wks, then kegged and started drinking it after 10 days in the keg.

Quote
Quote
3)   Water. This is the  one I don’t really want to deal with, but will if I have to. I’ve never modded my water, and get good ales, stouts, as well as good amber and dark lagers. So I guess I may be on to something, I just don’t know how to fix it.  Here’s my water profile: pH 7.4.  Na 14ppm, K 1ppm, Ca 54ppm, Mg 9ppm, Total Hardness  173ppm, Chloride 25ppm, Carbonates <1ppm, Bicarbonates 166ppm, Total Alkalinity 136ppm.  From my limited research it seems this is not good Pilsner water… what can I do to fix it?

That water needs fixing when using mostly pilsner malt. I'd start with a 50/50 dilution with reverse osmosis or distilled water and  3% acid malt to the grist. Also add about 0.4g gypsum to each gallon of water and use a mash thickness of 2 qt/lb.

There are ways to reduce the bicarbonate in your water even further. One of them is to use all RO water and add salts and another one is to treat the water with slaked lime. But that may take you too far at this point.
 
Getting a Pilsner or Helles that matches up with German beers is one of the driving forces in my brewing. I can tell you it is not easy at all, but maybe those tips will get you a big step closer. In particular the fermentation is key. There don't seem to be enough differences between step mashing (145 to 160F for example) over a single infusion mash that you should not worry about that at this point.

Kai

I guess I still don’t know what the problems will be if I brew pils with my water, or to put it another way, do you think my water is the primary culprit in making the beer taste this way? (I still have a few bottles of the BoPils and the Helles from last summer, I can send them to you if you want to taste them) 

I think what I’m going to try is to switch to Weyermann or Best Malz, add the acidulated malt to the grain bill, mix 50/50 distilled water with my water and treat with gypsum, then see what I get… I’ll still stick with a dry yeast (I’ll try 34/70 instead of S-189 though)

So to that, I have a few more questions:

1.   When using 3% acidulated malt, does this replace an equal amount of the pils malt? Or is it in addition to the full amount of pils malt….

2.   Do I modify all my water with gypsum (mash and sparge) or just the water that will be used for mashing?  And do I add the gypsum to the water, or to the mash… (I already  mash at 2.0 qts/lbs)

3.   On some of these online water calculators, it seems like if I add the gypsum you recommend to a mix of 50/50 distilled water and my water, it bumps the sulfates up a lot too, is this a problem?

4.   Side question:  will this water also work for a Bitburger-style German Pils??

5.   And a final side issue: any hints on the diacetyl question… what beer (or what food product) tastes like diacetyl?

thanks,
Red


275
All Grain Brewing / Pilsner brewing
« on: January 12, 2011, 02:11:31 PM »

With spring hopefully on its way, the brewing mind turns to Pilsners. As is probably the case with many homebrewers, I’ve never been able to achieve that great crispness of even run-of-the mill Bohemian Pilsners that are a dime a dozen over in Germany, never mind something stellar like Pilsner Urquell.  One might ask, why bother to even try to match them; they’ve had almost 2 centuries of head start, and I’ve only done 3 or 4 batches of German and Bohemian Pils. But I’d like to give it a shot and get better beer. 

Last summer my Pilsner attempts were consistently too “sweet” and “bready”.  I might also be tasting diacetyl, but I did do diacetyl rests on these beers, and anyways I don’t really know what diacetyl really tastes like, when it comes down to it….  (is there some commercial beer that has diacetyl issues…. I’d buy some just to learn what it tastes like !)  I’ve narrowed it down to 3 things to improve on, and would love some suggestions… 

1)   Malt. I brewed both JZ’s “Myburger” (1.054 to 1.009) and BoPils (1.057 to 1.014) recipes last year with Crisp Euro Pils as the base malt, because that is what I can get cheap from my local brewpub.   Would paying almost twice as much for something like Weyermann make a huge difference?  I’ve done other lagers (Maibock and Helles come to mind) using this Pils malt as the base and got good results, and even placed in some competitions (the Helles took a gold, and the Maibock a silver, at New York State Fair last summer)…. The breadiness is not so out of place in those styles.

2)   Yeast. I brewed both these Pilsners with S-189 dry Swiss lager yeast which has good recommendations from people like Denny…   I would love to keep using dry yeast – would W-34/70 be better?  I’ve heard nothing good about S-23 though.  Unless you all tell me that I will NEVER make a decent Pils without a liquid yeast and a monster starter…. I started brewing that way but just kind of slipped over to the quick and easy “pitch dry yeast into the fermenter and hit it with the mix-stir” method (with encouragement from folks like MullerBrau) and never looked back

3)   Water. This is the  one I don’t really want to deal with, but will if I have to. I’ve never modded my water, and get good ales, stouts, as well as good amber and dark lagers. So I guess I may be on to something, I just don’t know how to fix it.  Here’s my water profile: pH 7.4.  Na 14ppm, K 1ppm, Ca 54ppm, Mg 9ppm, Total Hardness  173ppm, Chloride 25ppm, Carbonates <1ppm, Bicarbonates 166ppm, Total Alkalinity 136ppm.  From my limited research it seems this is not good Pilsner water… what can I do to fix it?

I know this is a pretty involved query, but if anyone has ideas on even part of my question, I’d appreciate it. Or if you need more info, let me know.

-red

276
Ingredients / Re: hop subs for JZ's American IPA
« on: January 12, 2011, 08:37:11 AM »

Without knowing what IBU's you're targeting and how many ounces of each hop you have on hand, it's kind of hard to say. 
But, I think you're asking more along the lines of what combos might work.



I have plenty (6 to 16oz) of each of the hops I mentioned.

And I'm targeting approx 64 IBUs since that is what Jamil's recipe is.....

FWIW my Cents are 8.8%, my Cascades 6.0%, and my Magnums 12.1%. 

-red

277
Ingredients / hop subs for JZ's American IPA
« on: January 12, 2011, 07:07:19 AM »
Happy New Year All.....  great snow-day for brewing here in the Northeast....  got JZ's West Coast Red Ale on the boil right now....

Planning to do JZ’s American IPA sometime soon, and he calls for 1oz of Horizon 13% at 60m, 1oz of Centennial 9% at 10m, 1oz of Simcoe 12% at 5m, and 1oz of Amarillo 9% at 0m.  Of those hops, I currently only have Centennial in stock, and usually use Magnum as my go-to bittering hop for American ales, so I think I could sub that for the Horizon with little effect….  But what can I sub for the Simcoe and Amarillo?  Northern Brewer and Midwest don’t have Simcoe in stock, and NB doesn’t have Amarillo either….  In my freezer I have (in addition to Cent and Magnum)  Willamette, Cascade, Hallertau, Czech Saaz, and Tettnang.  Any suggestions for how to get a decent IPA out of these?  The only one above 6% AA is the Cascade, everything else is low-alpha and so I assume will not be too hot in an IPA.  I could just make a Magnum and Cent IPA but wouldn’t that be boring?  Or not…. Help appreciated.

-red

278
All Grain Brewing / Re: "double" sparge in a batch sparge
« on: October 21, 2010, 04:47:28 AM »
So if I were to do the "hybrid" method would it be better to run off slow like a fly sparge or
full bore like a batch sparge?

Good question. I was thinking I would go full-bore since it is more of a batch sparge situation. 

Thanks for the other suggestions & answers, Denny.  I think I'll just give it a try, and see.... after all with RDWHAHB, what can go wrong? I might not hit my gravities right on the money for this batch, but it'll still be beer, and I can always tweak it for the next batch.


279
All Grain Brewing / "double" sparge in a batch sparge
« on: October 20, 2010, 12:57:48 PM »
I've got questions.  I usually make 10 gal batches, with maybe 22-24lbs of grain. This fits nicely in my 80qt Coleman Extreme. I usually mash at 1.75 - 2.0qts/lbs, which lets me collect about 8gals first runnings, then I sparge with about 8gal and collect the 16gal I need to boil down to 11gal (I have a huge steam kettle with large surface area that loses a lot to evaporation.) 

Sometimes I do 15 gal batches with 30-35lbs grain, in this case I mash at about 1.5qts/lbs so it fits in the cooler, and then I can still get pretty good efficiency even though first and second runnings are not totally equal. I collect about 23gals and boil it down to 16gals of post-boil volume.

Now I want to do a 20 gal batch which will use about 45lbs of grain. It will not fit in my mash tun unless I start mashing thicker, like 1.3qts/lbs, and then I will have to add a lot of sparge water (maybe 16+ gals) to get my 26gals of pre-boil volume. 

So the questions are:

1)   Will my efficiency or process suffer somehow with mashing at 1.3qts/lbs, as opposed to the thinner 1.75-2.00qts/lbs that I’m used to, and that my recipes work for?

2)   If not, can I go ahead and mash with the highest ratio that still lets me fit the mash in the mash tun, and then split my batch sparging into 2 parts? Should these parts be equal volumes? Does it matter?

3)   Or should I just add as much sparge water as I can when starting the second runoff, and then just keep topping it off until I’ve added what I need?

Thanks in advance for any advice. I know I could avoid all this with a bigger mash tun but I don’t plan to do 20 gals batches that often.

280
All Grain Brewing / Re: Spreading Out the Process
« on: September 08, 2010, 05:13:29 AM »
I've done a two-day process for at least a year now (20+ 10-gal & 15-gal) batches. 

Day 1: mill grains, mash in 80qt Coleman Extreme, batch sparge, put liquid in brute barrel in walk-in cooler
Day 2: dump wort in kettle, brew, chill, pitch yeast

Total time each day of about 3 hrs. I usually do each step in the morning, so there is about 20hours between when the brute barrel goes into the cooler and when it is boiling the next day.  I have never noticed any problems; and a Maibock I brewed with this process just took a second place in the New York State Fair; and a Helles took a first place in the same comp.

-red

281
So where do we get Best Malz pilsner from now???? Or can someone recommend me a good Pils malt that NB or Midwest or someone else sells.   One Pils malt I do NOT like is Crisp Euro Pils. It always comes out way too sweet somehow, even when it's fermented down to 1.010


282
All Grain Brewing / Re: rice hull percentage
« on: August 31, 2010, 11:52:02 AM »
Well, pragmatically speaking, if that solved your problems, that's the right thing to do.  But I have to admit that I've never had a problem with a stuck runoff, and most of the time a shorter braid works better.

Maybe the weave is closed to much and he needs to open it up a little more.

I have the 12" Bazooka screen, got it from NB about 2 years ago... it certainly looks like a tighter weave/mesh than the pix on Denny's site.  I might try to stretch it....   I've ordered a bit of rice hull and since I have a good feel for how my system drains on a 100% barley grain bill, I'll add half a pound or so to my next batch and see if it speeds it up at all, if that helps I'll use it on my next wheat beer.

283
All Grain Brewing / Re: rice hull percentage
« on: August 31, 2010, 07:46:33 AM »
Increase your water to grain ratio in your mash. You can go up to 2:1.
I usually keep mine between 1.5 to 1.75 to 1.


I already run between 1.75 to 1 and 2.0 to 1.

284
All Grain Brewing / rice hull percentage
« on: August 31, 2010, 04:54:48 AM »
Can't seem to find a quick answer to this: what percentage of the grain bill (by weight) are you guys using to add rice hulls? I batch sparge, and a couple recent batches with slow/stuck sparges (esp. one that was 25% wheat and 25% rye that was my Worst. Sparge. Ever. ) have got me thinking that rice hulls could help out.

thanks
red

285
Ingredients / help me identify this hop pest
« on: July 19, 2010, 08:47:15 AM »
I have a little bug thing on my hops (Magnum and Santiam) that has been making the leaves go yellow, then brown around the edges. They leave cobwebby stuff on the underside of the leaves, too. Any idea what it is?  You can see from the pix that some are bright green but some are also white, they are about 1/4" long max and look a little like a grasshopper although they don't really seem to jump much. (Sorry the close-up pic is blurry, cell phone has rotten macro capabilities)  They've done a lot of damage to leaves but so far the main bines seem to still be surviving.

thanks,
Red






Pages: 1 ... 17 18 [19] 20 21