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Messages - morticaixavier

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1
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Help with a wee heavy
« on: July 20, 2017, 01:06:49 PM »
Are you testing with a hydrometer or a refractometer?

2
Beer Recipes / Re: Re evaluating hefeweizen hatred
« on: June 26, 2017, 09:33:17 AM »
Dough in at 110F and hold for 10-15m before you jump to your next temp to get your 4vg working.


You need a high (meaning not acidified in any way) pH and at least 30 minutes for anything to really happen.. FYI.

That's right, not insanely high, 5.7-8 then acidify your mash after the acid rest. Which a Munich water profile should be pretty easy to get that ballpark at the start of your mash.  However, correct me if I am wrong, I believe it takes at least long enough for 4VG to develop before the pH actually drops to an ideal pH range for mashing if you are not using acid.

that's why it's called an acid rest.

Thats a kind of a misnomer. The mash would spoil before you brought the acid down enough to make it beneficial.

Even overnight is not enough.

not sure I'm understanding you. I'v edone overnight kettle sour rests at ~110 that ended at pH 3.8. granted the mash was manipulated to provide the correct pH to start with and I couldn't tell you at what point it had dropped the 2 points you are looking at here, but Lactic bacteria can work pretty fast at  optimum temps

3
Beer Recipes / Re: Re evaluating hefeweizen hatred
« on: June 22, 2017, 11:31:56 AM »
Dough in at 110F and hold for 10-15m before you jump to your next temp to get your 4vg working.


You need a high (meaning not acidified in any way) pH and at least 30 minutes for anything to really happen.. FYI.

That's right, not insanely high, 5.7-8 then acidify your mash after the acid rest. Which a Munich water profile should be pretty easy to get that ballpark at the start of your mash.  However, correct me if I am wrong, I believe it takes at least long enough for 4VG to develop before the pH actually drops to an ideal pH range for mashing if you are not using acid.

that's why it's called an acid rest.

4
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: high F.G.
« on: May 23, 2017, 10:13:47 AM »
I suspect, and I think Sean has mentioned as well, that the accuracy of this calculator starts to fall off on higher gravity beers. I still use it and a refractometer for all my readings because I don't really care what teh F.G. actually is so much as that I have reached it, unless I really want to know the actual ABV. then I use a hydrometer instead for F.G.

5
All Grain Brewing / Re: how do you add your salts?
« on: May 02, 2017, 04:44:19 AM »
I don't recommend adding salts to the grain or to the mash since it is much more likely that those salts and their ions won't be well distributed in the wort. The best approach is to add salts to the strike and sparge water and mix well for about a minute. That way, you are guaranteed that the ions are well-distributed. 

The other option is to add all salts to the kettle, but then you may miss out on some beneficial effects of having those ions in the mashing water (pushing down wort pH, reducing oxalate in your wort, etc). If your starting water quality is already above 40 to 50 ppm calcium, then those benefits are already in place...you can add your minerals directly to the kettle with little detriment.
So the challenge we have is that our city water is crappy and inconsistent.  We decided to use RO.  This means I need to add salts back in.  Adding to the mash is easy, but what about to the sparge, if I want to keep the salts out of my HLT?  I could add salts directly to my water collection tank, but I'm afraid it won't dissolve.

Why are you concerned with keeping the salts our of your HLT?

6
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: High alcohol tolerant yeast
« on: April 25, 2017, 09:04:29 AM »
I think 2 packs of US-05 will get you there. But for beers in the 10%+ range, I prefer to start with a beer in the 1.060 range, then rack onto the yeast cake for the big boy. Having a fresh, big pitch that has develeloped a bit of alcohol tolerance will rip through even the biggest beer pretty reliably.
   Thanks.
   I'm still working on getting my head around what seems to be a contradiction. We are always counseled to "pitch plenty of yeast" for big beers, because what you pitch is only good for 4 or 5 replications/generations, but people regularly use and re-use what essentially is recycled yeast for beer after beer.

the number of generations you can go with a pitch of yeast is dependent on your sanitation and storage methods, and your tolerance for genetic drift. 4-5 repitches is generally pretty safe, assuming good sanitation.

The concern with pitching rates is that you want to control the amount of reproduction the yeast do in your beer because they produce many of their flavor compounds during that reproductive phase. This is all very backyard science-y and not at all really accurate to what's going on but the effect is at least repeatable.

7
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: High alcohol tolerant yeast
« on: April 25, 2017, 07:21:15 AM »
honestly, most yeast strains will have no problem with 12%. You do have to be careful to treat them well and pitch enough highly active cells to start. I've taken Dry English Ale (WLP007) up north of 12% on several occasions with a wort mashed low (148) and some (10%) simple sugar added.

US-05 will have no problem either.

Make sure to warm it up a bit towards the end, especially if you use a British strain. Give it some yeast nutrient in the boil.

if using liquid yeast, make a 1 quart Shaken-Not-Stirred starter when your mashing and it should be at high Krausen when you are ready to pitch.

if using dry, use two packets.

if you are adding simple sugar, which I suggest, add it after the first three days of fermentation, this keeps the gravity a bit lower to start so the yeast have time to build a solid population.

8
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Multiple strains for saison
« on: April 20, 2017, 05:18:44 AM »
I really like Belle Saison actually. it's a crisp, lemony finisher. and is a beast.

9
All Grain Brewing / Re: Very low FG, does this make sense to anyone?
« on: April 19, 2017, 05:41:54 AM »
Unless your thermo is way off I find it hard to believe it's the mash temp causing the problem. I notice attenuation differences when mashing at different temps but they are not huge.

My first thought with unexpectedly high attenuation is contamination with a more attenuative yeast and/or bacteria.

I suppose there may also be variation in the Malt composition. did you use the same maltsters products across batches?

10
All Grain Brewing / Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
« on: April 13, 2017, 11:20:50 AM »
I just tasted an Altish ale I brewed with local Peterson's Quality Malt (Combined with some Best munich because the LHBS ran out of the PQM 'Munich' part way through my order) and it's tasty. The yeast really seemed to like it as well. WLP029 ripped through 1.060 to 1.008 in 7 days.

11
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Maple Barrel
« on: April 13, 2017, 10:24:35 AM »
The flavor of maple would be lost. it takes a lot of maple to come through at all. I would soak some wood in bourbon, or use a bourbon barrel stave if that's what you've got, and also add maple.

I add ~ 1-2 quarts of the darkest strongest flavored maple you can get in 5 gallons of beer and get a hint of maple flavor. I add the maple after the height of primary fermentation. the yeast are going to ferment those sugars out, but if you wait till they are not going crazy you can retain some of the aroma.

12
All Grain Brewing / Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
« on: April 13, 2017, 10:19:10 AM »
I've used local malt a few times. When the local guy first started up he had some QC issues and I felt like the malt had a lot of draff still in it. Lately it's been better. There is a distinctive character to the beer. I wouldn't use it to brew an authentic german lager because it's not authentic german malt, but for a Vermont beer it's great.

I think it's worth remembering that there are times when consistency comes at a cost. If you can't always ensure tip top perfection, you may be better off, if you are working on a large scale, aiming for consistently 95% perfection.

13
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New to brewing...serveral questions
« on: April 07, 2017, 11:26:32 AM »
Gotcha.   What's the issue with hitting slightly lower and just increasing the temp?

if you've got the ability to manipulate the mash temp with a recirc then there isn't really any danger of hitting a slightly too low strike temp.

My comment was more to remove stress about overshooting.

Basic structure here:
~145-149 - a lighter body, greater attenuation, longer mash time for full conversion
~150-155 - Medium body, medium attenuation, medium mash time for full conversion
~156-162 - Greater body, lower attenuation, shorter mash time for full conversion

however, I generally concern myself with three mash temps

~148 for light bodied, or very high gravity beers
~155 for medium bodied, crisp but malty medium gravity beers
~162 for extra body in low gravity beers or straight up thickness in bigger beers.

and this is all very subtle and variable.

And I've found that malt has so much diastatic power these days that temp matters a lot less than it used to.  I've mashed the same recipe at 153 and 165 and gotten identical results.

I do tend to use a lot of munich

14
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New to brewing...serveral questions
« on: April 07, 2017, 09:22:49 AM »
Gotcha.   What's the issue with hitting slightly lower and just increasing the temp?

if you've got the ability to manipulate the mash temp with a recirc then there isn't really any danger of hitting a slightly too low strike temp.

My comment was more to remove stress about overshooting.

Basic structure here:
~145-149 - a lighter body, greater attenuation, longer mash time for full conversion
~150-155 - Medium body, medium attenuation, medium mash time for full conversion
~156-162 - Greater body, lower attenuation, shorter mash time for full conversion

however, I generally concern myself with three mash temps

~148 for light bodied, or very high gravity beers
~155 for medium bodied, crisp but malty medium gravity beers
~162 for extra body in low gravity beers or straight up thickness in bigger beers.

and this is all very subtle and variable.

15
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New to brewing...serveral questions
« on: April 07, 2017, 06:09:16 AM »
Too high is pretty high.

I've mashed beers at 162 and even as high as 164 and still got good conversion. if you are aiming for 150, and you hit 155 you MIGHT notice a slight difference in body.
 

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