Author Topic: Progression of a homebrewer?  (Read 882 times)

Offline ridgeline23

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Progression of a homebrewer?
« on: October 02, 2016, 04:39:03 PM »
I've been brewing for 3 years now.  My first 2 batches were extract. I then switched to all grain for better control and because that's what breweries do. I'm on batch 23 now, and learned a few basic things. Early on I've learned do not syphon a lot of hops into keg because it will jam up, yeast starters are totally worth doing, and do not ferment at a higher temp than the yeast pack recommends, just to name a few. 😉 I do basic things like documenting all that I can, watching temps in mash and fermentation closely, and making sure I time things accurately. I don't clone recipes, I just try to combine ingredients that are in my favorite beers (from what they disclose). I almost exclusively brew IPAs and double ipas. I use city water filtered thru a charcoal filter. I put a tsp or 2 of gypsum in IPAs. When mashing, I usually just let wort sit for 80 mins. Efficientcy seems pretty good and I seem to be pretty decent with my system. I'd like to progress into doing ph and water chemistry. I would think water chemistry is difficult because it has to vary by weather and seasons. Are there kits I can buy to personally test my water? Any other things that I can do to improve? I very much appreciate your input. Thank you.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Progression of a homebrewer?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2016, 05:05:28 PM »
I use RO and Bru'n water. I would recommend starting there or having a ward labs test before investing in water testing equipment.


If I was going to start testing my water, I'd get the Lamotte Brewlab kit. It's a bit expensive, but is good for many uses. I think the recently lowered the price as well. http://www.lamotte.com/en/food-beverage/7188-01.html

I will continue with RO as my current water supply is a constantly changing blend and would need testing for every batch. Not interested in another chore.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Progression of a homebrewer?
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2016, 05:16:48 PM »
I use RO and Bru'n water. I would recommend starting there or having a ward labs test before investing in water testing equipment.


If I was going to start testing my water, I'd get the Lamotte Brewlab kit. It's a bit expensive, but is good for many uses. I think the recently lowered the price as well. http://www.lamotte.com/en/food-beverage/7188-01.html

I will continue with RO as my current water supply is a constantly changing blend and would need testing for every batch. Not interested in another chore.



Same here.
Jon H.

Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: Progression of a homebrewer?
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2016, 09:52:53 AM »
I use tap water and Bru'n Water.  My tap water is pretty consistent, so judging on the resultant beer, my adjustments are generally in the right ball park.
Dom

Currently drinking - Amarillo saison
Currently fermenting - Pale ale 1 - 2017

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Progression of a homebrewer?
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2016, 02:53:25 PM »
I'd suggest buying RO and Bru'n Water to learn how water will affect your beer. RO is basically a blank slate and eliminates the variables in the tap water so you can really see how the changes you make affects the beer.

You can move back to tap water once you understand the water supply. A single test will tell you how the water is on the day you took the sample. If your tap water changes then the test won't tell you very much. Some people have good tap water with a stable water. Others, like me, have terrible surface water where the water quality changes through the year requiring different chloramine loads and different levels of minerals. Some local water quality agencies will provide good data that lets you track the changes. Others just post up an annual report with the range across year.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline TrippleRippleBrewer

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Re: Progression of a homebrewer?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2016, 03:20:07 PM »
+1 on building your own water. Like all grain, you get full control.

I use distilled or RO whichever is easier for me at the time and build my own water. I struggled for the first few years brewing because I was using municipal tap and charcoal filtering it just like you. I finally submitted a sample to Wards and found out my local supply was so freakin hard and alkaline it was unusable for most of the beers I like to brew. I switched to RO and building my own water and my beers improved tremendously.
Then I moved out to the country to well water. No more chlorine out here, but it's loaded with iron instead so I don't use that either!

Another option to the spreadsheet is this website brewersfriendhttp://www.brewersfriend.com/water-chemistry/.