Author Topic: Experiment tying some threads together  (Read 2431 times)

Offline Robert

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Experiment tying some threads together
« on: April 02, 2018, 08:08:07 PM »
I've been thinking about a bunch of forum conversations.

I've been having trouble getting beer to drop bright as well as I would expect/like, and realize this may have started when I started using Brewtan B.   It's been brought to my attention that it chelates calcium, and I'd already dropped that level lower than I customarily had it in the past.  Might not be just a mysterious floc issue or fining failure.

Got me thinking of other topics, like the Stone experiment (MBAA podcast) and some Brulosophy xbmts that found trub carryover improved clarity. (And whatever else trub does with fermentation, flavor etc.)  Also discussions here and elsewhere of whether Irish moss is really needed (especially if trub separation is not a priority.)  This brings things around to that constant theme of process simplification/not being all OCD.

So I have a plan for this weekend:  I'll do the identical SMaSH Pilsner as last week (Floor malted Bohemian Pils and Sterling.)  Water will be RO with gypsum and CaCl2 to bring Ca, SO4,  and Cl all to just about 100ppm (where I think Ca is ideal for lautering efficiency, kettle coagulation, and yeast flocculation) and no other minerals.  No BrewTan B.   No mash acid will be needed (goes to the simplification theme.)  No Irish moss.  And no OCD-level efforts to keep trub out of the fermenter, but no special effort to carry trub over either.  I will use Servomyces for the zinc, but no other additives in the kettle. Yeast usual repitch of 2124.

I will fine with gelatin (or isinglass) as usual, and see how fermentation, clarification, flavor, foam, etc are affected.

(This is not just about clarity, that and the role of Ca in it was just the catalyst bringing all these ideas together.)

Thoughts welcome on any point, and I'll report results as the beer journeys to my tap in about 5 weeks.
Rob
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline BitterItDown

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Re: Experiment tying some threads together
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2018, 08:28:01 PM »
Yes, more calcium and trub will aid you in your quest for better beer.  Also, please leave the servo in your model aircraft and the isinglass in Isengard.

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Offline Robert

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Re: Experiment tying some threads together
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2018, 03:01:47 AM »
Yes, more calcium and trub will aid you in your quest for better beer.  Also, please leave the servo in your model aircraft and the isinglass in Isengard.

A prediction of that which will be.
So the experiment becomes straight up , "does anything else really matter if you have enough calcium and what malt brings with it?"  I like that.  Zinc supplementation out, need for gelatin to be assessed at lagering time.  Will likely still fine as the seed of this was, "why is beer not dropping bright despite usual fining?"
« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 03:12:20 AM by Robert »
Rob
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Experiment tying some threads together
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2018, 05:04:44 PM »
I'll be interested in your results. I have noticed a bit more haze in my beers lately, and come to think of it, it's probably been about the time I've started using gallotannin.

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Offline BitterItDown

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Re: Experiment tying some threads together
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2018, 06:04:14 PM »
I'll be interested in your results. I have noticed a bit more haze in my beers lately, and come to think of it, it's probably been about the time I've started using gallotannin.

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What are you calcium levels at?

Did you ever run your experiment with wine tannin?

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=29219.msg384869#msg384869


Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Experiment tying some threads together
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2018, 11:11:51 AM »
It could be entirely anecdotal and unrelated, but I found my beers dropping clearer with the use of Brewtan B.  I rarely fine, but frequently bright tank in keg then transfer to a serving keg.  Time heals all on the clarity issue, it seems and I try to give beer that time by scheduling my brews to build in that time.  I am not against fining/filtering, but rarely need it.  At most, I will add some gelatin to a bright tank a day or so before, if I am bringing a keg or two to a party, just to avoid sediment rousing in the transport.  I then transfer to the serving keg for immediate consumption.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Experiment tying some threads together
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2018, 11:21:59 AM »
I usually get a very slight haze in all my beers.  I usually add a lot of calcium and my water source has a lot too.  I always carry over all my cold break into the fermenter.  I have never used Brewtan B.  I have used gelatin a few times with great success.  I don't know if any of this is helpful to you but there you have it regardless.  Cheers.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 11:27:12 AM by dmtaylor »
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Experiment tying some threads together
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2018, 02:58:59 PM »
I'll be interested in your results. I have noticed a bit more haze in my beers lately, and come to think of it, it's probably been about the time I've started using gallotannin.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk

What are you calcium levels at?

Did you ever run your experiment with wine tannin?

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=29219.msg384869#msg384869

My calcium levels on my pale lagers (the beers I have noticed an increase in haze with) is ~40ppm. I am using the Scottlab FT Blanc product from that post, and it has a significant positive flavor impact on my beers. I have yet to try BTB, because I still have plenty of the Scottlab product and it is working for me.

FWIW, I try to minimize O2 pickup when it is simple to do and fits within my process on the hot side, but I am not a strict LODO brewer. My goal with the gallotannin is primarily to help reduce the iron and manganese in my well water, and I feel that my beers taste fresher longer since I've started using it.

FYI - here is a recent xBmt that may be relevant to this experiment:

http://brulosophy.com/2018/03/26/kettle-trub-pt-3-the-impact-of-age-in-a-cool-fermented-lager-exbeeriment-results/

The TL;DR as it applies here is that the beer with the extra kettle trub cleared better, but the majority of tasters preferred the beer with less trub (which wasn't as clear).
Eric B.

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Offline Robert

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Re: Experiment tying some threads together
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2018, 04:15:18 PM »
The Brulosophy discussion suspected that it was long contact (longer than previous xbmts) with trub that led to negative flavor effects. I have for years supplemented zinc, and lagers fully attenuate in one week.  In light of this I think I will use Servomyces as usual.  I also think this goes to my goal of keeping the whole process as short as practical -- as BrewTan B (judging by a search of the forum and my suspicions) has an inconclusive effect on clarity, the main advantage of it would be long term flavor stability; and I don't really worry about that as my beer is kept cold and consumed quickly.

Note also the Stone tasters found the trub beer smoother. I need to taste for myself!

So the parameters I'll be testing are raising calcium, eliminating BTB and Irish moss, and carrying over some but not all kettle trub.

EDIT Since it's cheap, on hand, and I've never seen a difference in results, I'll use Wyeast nutrient for zinc instead of Servomyces.  It adds more trace minerals than zinc, but zinc is the main thing as far as I know.  Won't affect the main point(s) here.  I think wy nut is what I've used in all the Brewtan batches.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 07:10:47 PM by Robert »
Rob
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Offline Robert

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Re: Experiment tying some threads together
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2018, 07:06:54 PM »
Today was brew day.  Ca 94, SO4 95, Cl 96, no other minerals or acid, no Brew Tan B, no Irish moss, just WY nutrient. Same beer as last time except different lot of hops.

Noticed nothing outside normal parameters on the hot side, but compared to the last batch, conversion efficiency appeared very slightly off and lauter efficiency very slightly up, giving the same overall yield and efficiency.  Can't be sure (one batch, and differences within measurement error and/or normal range) but it would be interesting since BTB is claimed to increase lautering efficiency. (Wort ran crystal clear,  maybe more so than it has done with BTB.)

To send the same 23.5L of 12.4°P wort to the fermenter, I scaled the whole batch down 1.5L from last time, and instead of leaving 3L in the kettle left only 1.5L.  Of course with no Irish moss all of the cold break was still in suspension after spoon whirl and 10 min settle (following immersion chiller,) and by dipping deeper I expect I carried over a small amount of hot break, though the cone of hop material largely stayed behind.

In the fermentation fridge coming down the rest of the way to pitching temp. Will pitch at the same temp as last batch, with harvested yeast and same O2.


==========

W-34/70 (3rd gen from WY2124) pitched at 10°C
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 11:23:42 PM by Robert »
Rob
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Offline Robert

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Re: Experiment tying some threads together
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2018, 09:44:19 PM »
UPDATE 96 HOURS FROM PITCHING

To recap, "control" batch had BTB and Irish moss and both hot and cold break completely removed; this "experimental" batch had no BTB or Irish moss, increased Ca, and all cold break and some hot break carried over. Both pitched at 10°C and oxygenated per my usual procedure.

Control followed familiar pattern to this point: lag under 16 hours,  temp reached 12°C (which I hold for the bulk of fermentation) in about 20 hours, and at 96 hours ADF was 53% and pH had dropped from 5.3 to 4.3 (usual final pH.)  This is where I allow temp to rise.

Experimental batch:  lag time was not reduced (I had thought it might be if trub is yeast food,) and 12°C was reached somewhere between 28 and 36 hours (I was sleeping.)  But from there fermentation has been more vigorous, with considerably less sulfur production.  At 96 hours ADF is 65% and pH has dropped from 5.3 to 4.1.  Test sample shows no unusual flavors or aromas; I will resist making further taste and aroma judgements at this stage.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 10:15:16 PM by Robert »
Rob
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Offline BitterItDown

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Re: Experiment tying some threads together
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2018, 01:50:49 AM »
Today was brew day.  Ca 94, SO4 95, Cl 96, no other minerals or acid, no Brew Tan B, no Irish moss, just WY nutrient.

Was hoping for 150ppm Ca... Phytin reactions plus trub/yeast drop will probably lower that back to max 100ppm.  Will be interesting to know your results.

Offline Robert

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Re: Experiment tying some threads together
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2018, 11:41:51 AM »
Today was brew day.  Ca 94, SO4 95, Cl 96, no other minerals or acid, no Brew Tan B, no Irish moss, just WY nutrient.

Was hoping for 150ppm Ca... Phytin reactions plus trub/yeast drop will probably lower that back to max 100ppm.  Will be interesting to know your results.

100ppm Ca used to be my standard before I started getting over-fine with water, using BTB, etc, and results were good, so that's why I chose it.  (Essentially this is going back to my old lager brewing protocols, when I think about it, following very convevtional wisdom:  keep calcium up, alkalinity down, other ions moderate, no Irish moss.  Very old school.)

 My thinking is that about 50% of Ca is lost in the mash, and the sparge (after accounting for the contribution from malt) brings it back to ~85 ppm in the boil, which is more than adequate for protein coagulation, yeast growth and flocculation, oxalate precipitation, etc. Indeed, we'll see.
Rob
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Experiment tying some threads together
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2018, 11:58:02 AM »
High calcium content in brewing water for lagers has been shown to be detrimental to lager yeast metabolism. Magnesium is required for all yeast metabolism, particularly lager yeast. High calcium content in the water forces more substitution of magnesium from the yeast cell walls with calcium. The yeast's metabolism can be adversely affected by that substitution.

Beer can be effectively made with distilled water since malt provides ALL the calcium and magnesium necessary for yeast metabolism. However, there can be additional benefits in adding modest calcium and magnesium salts to the water for flavor and for enhanced brewing functions (precipitation and flocculation reactions, coagulation, etc). But the real point is that HIGH calcium can actually be detrimental to brewing. The contention that high calcium water is useful or desirable for brewing...is a myth. There is substantial evidence in brewing texts and journals that show that we should dispel that myth.
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Offline Robert

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Re: Experiment tying some threads together
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2018, 12:43:43 PM »
Above what level do you regard calcium to be detrimental, Martin?
Rob
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