Author Topic: West Branch Malts  (Read 863 times)

Offline Robert

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Re: West Branch Malts
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2019, 06:16:35 PM »


I need to get some of these malts. Unfortunately, my LHBS won’t carry them. I’ve emailed them and they were very quick to respond and offered to give me a tour of the place. Time for a road trip in July possibly. Let me know how you like the Pilsner malt because that’s what I use for base malt in most beers.


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Based on the sniff & chew, and my 100g test mash, I can't wait to get brewing with it.  European style Pilsner flavor and aroma.  Going to do a SMaSH Helles weekend after next with whole Saaz from Hop Heaven.  Can't think of a better way to really see what it's like.

Just sampled the fermenting beer.  It's going to be a long, agonizing couple of months till this comes on tap in my rotation and I finally get to drink it.  Absolutely delicious Pilsner malt flavor.  Performed very nicely in the brewhouse too.
Rob Stein
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Offline dannyjed

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Re: West Branch Malts
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2019, 06:38:49 PM »


I need to get some of these malts. Unfortunately, my LHBS won’t carry them. I’ve emailed them and they were very quick to respond and offered to give me a tour of the place. Time for a road trip in July possibly. Let me know how you like the Pilsner malt because that’s what I use for base malt in most beers.


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Based on the sniff & chew, and my 100g test mash, I can't wait to get brewing with it.  European style Pilsner flavor and aroma.  Going to do a SMaSH Helles weekend after next with whole Saaz from Hop Heaven.  Can't think of a better way to really see what it's like.

Just sampled the fermenting beer.  It's going to be a long, agonizing couple of months till this comes on tap in my rotation and I finally get to drink it.  Absolutely delicious Pilsner malt flavor.  Performed very nicely in the brewhouse too.
That is good to hear because I’ve never used a domestic Pils malt that is comparable to the German Pils malt.


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Offline Robert

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Re: West Branch Malts
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2019, 07:41:14 PM »
Distinctly honey like, not grainy or biscuity.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

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Re: West Branch Malts
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2019, 09:23:54 PM »
Distinctly honey like, not grainy or biscuity.

Thats mainly impart to your hot side processes.  ;)

Offline Robert

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Re: West Branch Malts
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2019, 09:29:20 PM »
Distinctly honey like, not grainy or biscuity.

Thats mainly impart to your hot side processes.  ;)
True, this is the 2nd batch since I've implemented my full low oxygen hot side procedures.  Still, the malt is exemplary in itself, I'm just taking fullest advantage of it.
Rob Stein
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Offline Lost Nutz Garage

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Re: West Branch Malts
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2019, 01:58:48 AM »

If you have good information on hop resources I'd be interested.  My complication is that I'm also committed to using whole cone.  I talked -- by sheer chance at Vine n Hop -- with the owner of Barn Talk Hops, who said I might be able to arrange to get some set aside pre-pelletizing.  At this point, I'm just happy to minimize imported ingredients in my beers.

Risking having this thread veer away from NE Malts to NE Ohio hops......

I have been in touch with Steve at Spearhead Hops in Hiram, OH.     I purchased a couple of pounds last year, and plan to do so again.      I really liked their Cashmere, and they will have several other varieties available this year.   I plan to check in with him in a few weeks when I get back to Portage County.  I'd be happy to ask about the availability of whole and/or fresh hops this fall.   
Ed
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Offline Robert

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Re: West Branch Malts
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2019, 02:05:05 AM »
Cool.  Contacts and other info for a lot of farms at ohgg.org, Ohio Hop Growers Guild.  Not sure if your guy is in there.  I have used pellets from Second Sons in Harville,  but I am a whole cone curmudgeon.
 EDIT yep Spearhead is there.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 02:14:11 AM by Robert »
Rob Stein
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Offline goose

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Re: West Branch Malts
« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2019, 01:18:53 PM »
I've mentioned elsewhere that I'm kind of over the moon about these local Ohio malts.  I've used a bunch of the West Branch Pale, and today I finally picked up a sack of the Pilsner to fill those buckets. 

Just a little technical note for the information of anyone interested in this sort of thing (and yes, I do these sorts of things when I get a new malt )

I've measured the DIpH of the Pale (2.8°L) at 5.76, and of the Pilsner (1.5°L) at 5.88.  (I've empirically confirmed that the buffering capacity of the Pale is in the ballpark of my default, initial assumption of 32 mEq/(pH * kg).   Haven't got empirical evidence on that for the Pilsner yet.) 

These DIpH values seem different enough from the assumptions based on color that most of the usual software appears make that I thought maybe at least one other Buckeye brewing nerd might care.  I'm probably quite delusional there.

I've emailed the maltster for actual analyses, but haven't heard back yet.

Thanks, Rob for doing this.  I am definitely going to get some of their pale malt and try it.  Was debating between the pale and pils for my next IPA and think I will get the pale because of the higher diastatic power (I currently ue Briess 2 row in that beer).

I just saw a presentation at Homebrew Con from Bother James Czar (no he isn't a monk) who works at Grainworks Brewing in West Chester, OH and he says that you want your total mash to be in the range of 50 degrees Lintner for good conversion.  He claims that anything below 30 is too low for good conversion.  I think that 50 may be a bit high because you would have to use a lot morem of this base malt at 2.8 degrees L which would throw off my OG and ABV.  What do you shoot for, or do you even worry about it?  Maybe I am overthinking this as I seem to get good conversion and hence extraction from  what I am doing presently.
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Offline Robert

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Re: West Branch Malts
« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2019, 03:13:21 PM »
I still haven't got detailed analyses of these malts, but I've seen the Pilsner listed at 110-130 Lintner, the Pale has got to be in that range, and the Munich and Vienna samples I saw were at least 50-60.  I don't worry because I think anything made from American barley that's not high kilned is going to be easily north of 100 (continental malts too,) and any  base malt in the world today is going to be more than sufficient to make up 100% of the grain bill and probably have some DP to spare (think of the Brits and Belgians with significant amounts of raw adjunct.)   As far as these go in practice, they convert as quickly as any other base malt.   I'd pick the malt for flavor.  In this case if you want the equivalent of a German Pils, go Pilsner, if you want something more like a Golden Promise or other British pale, go Pale.  Neither is equivalent to generic US 2 row brewers malt.   And for that we should rejoice.  ("I can taste my malt!"  )
« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 03:21:46 PM by Robert »
Rob Stein
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Offline Big Monk

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Re: West Branch Malts
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2019, 12:01:32 AM »
I've mentioned elsewhere that I'm kind of over the moon about these local Ohio malts.  I've used a bunch of the West Branch Pale, and today I finally picked up a sack of the Pilsner to fill those buckets. 

Just a little technical note for the information of anyone interested in this sort of thing (and yes, I do these sorts of things when I get a new malt )

I've measured the DIpH of the Pale (2.8°L) at 5.76, and of the Pilsner (1.5°L) at 5.88.  (I've empirically confirmed that the buffering capacity of the Pale is in the ballpark of my default, initial assumption of 32 mEq/(pH * kg).   Haven't got empirical evidence on that for the Pilsner yet.) 

These DIpH values seem different enough from the assumptions based on color that most of the usual software appears make that I thought maybe at least one other Buckeye brewing nerd might care.  I'm probably quite delusional there.

I've emailed the maltster for actual analyses, but haven't heard back yet.

If you are actually measuring these values you should try my water troubleshooter sheet and see half the estimations turn out.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle
"Messieurs, c’est les microbes qui auront le dernier mot." Louis Pasteur
Check out The Brewing Troubleshooters at https://brewingtroubleshooter.yolasite.com/

Offline Robert

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Re: West Branch Malts
« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2019, 12:15:26 AM »


I've mentioned elsewhere that I'm kind of over the moon about these local Ohio malts.  I've used a bunch of the West Branch Pale, and today I finally picked up a sack of the Pilsner to fill those buckets. 

Just a little technical note for the information of anyone interested in this sort of thing (and yes, I do these sorts of things when I get a new malt )

I've measured the DIpH of the Pale (2.8°L) at 5.76, and of the Pilsner (1.5°L) at 5.88.  (I've empirically confirmed that the buffering capacity of the Pale is in the ballpark of my default, initial assumption of 32 mEq/(pH * kg).   Haven't got empirical evidence on that for the Pilsner yet.) 

These DIpH values seem different enough from the assumptions based on color that most of the usual software appears make that I thought maybe at least one other Buckeye brewing nerd might care.  I'm probably quite delusional there.

I've emailed the maltster for actual analyses, but haven't heard back yet.

If you are actually measuring these values you should try my water troubleshooter sheet and see half the estimations turn out.

32 mEq/(pH*kg), BTW, turns out to be close enough on the Pilsner too.  This is getting my actual mash pH within 0.02 of predicted.  Which is pretty darn good since BW for example can be off by >0.30 for me anymore, especially where acid additions are included.  But I will gladly have a look at any of your sheets, Derek, especially as much of the chemistry is well beyond me.  Though I am quite happy to technician all this more than engineer it.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

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Offline Big Monk

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Re: West Branch Malts
« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2019, 12:52:24 AM »


I've mentioned elsewhere that I'm kind of over the moon about these local Ohio malts.  I've used a bunch of the West Branch Pale, and today I finally picked up a sack of the Pilsner to fill those buckets. 

Just a little technical note for the information of anyone interested in this sort of thing (and yes, I do these sorts of things when I get a new malt )

I've measured the DIpH of the Pale (2.8°L) at 5.76, and of the Pilsner (1.5°L) at 5.88.  (I've empirically confirmed that the buffering capacity of the Pale is in the ballpark of my default, initial assumption of 32 mEq/(pH * kg).   Haven't got empirical evidence on that for the Pilsner yet.) 

These DIpH values seem different enough from the assumptions based on color that most of the usual software appears make that I thought maybe at least one other Buckeye brewing nerd might care.  I'm probably quite delusional there.

I've emailed the maltster for actual analyses, but haven't heard back yet.

If you are actually measuring these values you should try my water troubleshooter sheet and see half the estimations turn out.

32 mEq/(pH*kg), BTW, turns out to be close enough on the Pilsner too.  This is getting my actual mash pH within 0.02 of predicted.  Which is pretty darn good since BW for example can be off by >0.30 for me anymore, especially where acid additions are included.  But I will gladly have a look at any of your sheets, Derek, especially as much of the chemistry is well beyond me.  Though I am quite happy to technician all this more than engineer it.

Go to the troubleshooter website in my signature and pull down the water troubleshooter. Let me know what you think.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle
"Messieurs, c’est les microbes qui auront le dernier mot." Louis Pasteur
Check out The Brewing Troubleshooters at https://brewingtroubleshooter.yolasite.com/

Offline Robert

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Re: West Branch Malts
« Reply #27 on: July 05, 2019, 01:42:29 AM »
Go to the troubleshooter website in my signature and pull down the water troubleshooter. Let me know what you think.

Thanks.  Got it.  The thing is, I'm not measuring for a1, a2, and a3 (though I'm an intermittent lurker on the HBT science board so I'm familiar with the concept.)  My method is a gross simplification.  FWIW:  I measure an actual DI pH (unless I have a COA which saves me the trouble) and where using multiple malts figure an aggregate.  I then simply assume, as a starting point, a buffering capacity of 32 mEq/(pH*kg) for the typical mash (which I'm sure I picked up somewhere attributed to work by Kolbach and has long been stuck in my head.)  Multiply through the desired shift in pH to get total mEq acid required, account for the total equivalent in (positive or negative  residual alkalinity * water volume), and what's left is to be supplied by my acid addition.  (Or the other way round in a dark beer requiring additional alkalinity.)  As I said,  this has been getting me right on target, probably within my margin for measurement.   If the actual mash result was off on a particular malt, since I know DI and mash pH, and the total mEq acid or alkalinity,  I would simply, in the future, assume a new, inferred buffering (never had to do this yet.)  Technicianing it, not engineering or (Heaven help me) theoreticianing.  It works.  I'm curious just how horrified you are at such an approach.   I'm just a practical brewer who wants to reliably predict mash pH, and this works far better than the available software (yours excepted, as I haven't tried it.)  Why my quick and dirty method so outperforms professional software is the next mystery.   Maybe some are overthinking?

EDIT
(Note:  I've recently gone back over a large number of brew logs, checking actual mash results against what this old school method predicts, and what other software would predict, and just can't find a mash where that magic number of Kolbach's of 32 plugged into this method seems not to be confirmed very reliable by my experience, while results from other calculators are quite varied and unreliable.  Douglas Adams was wrong, the answer isn't 42 after all.  Whatever you can make of that.)
« Last Edit: July 05, 2019, 03:09:51 AM by Robert »
Rob Stein
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Offline Big Monk

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Re: West Branch Malts
« Reply #28 on: July 05, 2019, 03:08:15 AM »


Go to the troubleshooter website in my signature and pull down the water troubleshooter. Let me know what you think.

Thanks.  Got it.  The thing is, I'm not measuring for a1, a2, and a3 (though I'm an intermittent lurker on the HBT science board so I'm familiar with the concept.)  My method is a gross simplification.  FWIW:  I measure an actual DI pH (unless I have a COA which saves me the trouble) and where using multiple malts figure an aggregate.  I then simply assume, as a starting point, a buffering capacity of 32 mEq/(pH*kg) for the typical mash (which I'm sure I picked up somewhere attributed to work by Kolbach and has long been stuck in my head.)  Multiply through the desired shift in pH to get total mEq acid required, account for the total equivalent in (positive or negative  residual alkalinity * water volume), and what's left is to be supplied by my acid addition.  (Or the other way round in a dark beer requiring additional alkalinity.)  As I said,  this has been getting me right on target, probably within my margin for measurement.   If the actual mash result was off on a particular malt, since I know DI and mash pH, and the total mEq acid or alkalinity,  I would simply, in the future, assume a new, inferred buffering.  Technicianing it, not engineering or (Heaven help me) theoreticianing.  It works.  I'm curious just how horrified you are at such an approach.   I'm just a practical brewer who wants to reliably predict mash pH, and this works far better than the available software (yours excepted, as I haven't tried it.)  Why my quick and dirty method so outperforms professional software is the next mystery.   Maybe some are overthinking?

I don’t think you’re crazy. Your buffering assumption is your a1 value:

dQMalt (mEq/kg) I= a1 * (pHz - pH DI) + a2 * (pHz - pH DI) ^ 2 + a3 * (pHz - pH DI) ^ 3
  QMalt (mEq) = kg * dQMalt

While the full equation is polynomial, My sheet will accept linear parameters. Just make your malt a custom entry and use that.

Charge conservation is far superior than color based proxies for acidity. In fact, if you have decent malt data, mine and A.J.’s stuff is the best pH estimation algorithm going.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2019, 03:46:47 PM by Big Monk »
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle
"Messieurs, c’est les microbes qui auront le dernier mot." Louis Pasteur
Check out The Brewing Troubleshooters at https://brewingtroubleshooter.yolasite.com/

Offline Robert

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Re: West Branch Malts
« Reply #29 on: July 05, 2019, 03:11:39 AM »


Go to the troubleshooter website in my signature and pull down the water troubleshooter. Let me know what you think.

Thanks.  Got it.  The thing is, I'm not measuring for a1, a2, and a3 (though I'm an intermittent lurker on the HBT science board so I'm familiar with the concept.)  My method is a gross simplification.  FWIW:  I measure an actual DI pH (unless I have a COA which saves me the trouble) and where using multiple malts figure an aggregate.  I then simply assume, as a starting point, a buffering capacity of 32 mEq/(pH*kg) for the typical mash (which I'm sure I picked up somewhere attributed to work by Kolbach and has long been stuck in my head.)  Multiply through the desired shift in pH to get total mEq acid required, account for the total equivalent in (positive or negative  residual alkalinity * water volume), and what's left is to be supplied by my acid addition.  (Or the other way round in a dark beer requiring additional alkalinity.)  As I said,  this has been getting me right on target, probably within my margin for measurement.   If the actual mash result was off on a particular malt, since I know DI and mash pH, and the total mEq acid or alkalinity,  I would simply, in the future, assume a new, inferred buffering.  Technicianing it, not engineering or (Heaven help me) theoreticianing.  It works.  I'm curious just how horrified you are at such an approach.   I'm just a practical brewer who wants to reliably predict mash pH, and this works far better than the available software (yours excepted, as I haven't tried it.)  Why my quick and dirty method so outperforms professional software is the next mystery.   Maybe some are overthinking?

I don’t think you’re crazy. Your buffering assumption is your a1 value:

dQMalt (mEq/kg) I= a1 * (pH DI - pHz) + a2 * (pH DI - pHz) ^ 2 + a3 * (pH DI - pHz) ^ 3
  QMalt (mEq) = kg * dQMalt

While the full equation is polynomial, My sheet will accept linear parameters. Just make your malt a custom entry and use that.

Charge conservation is far superior than color based proxies for acidity. In fact, if you have decent malt data, mine and A.J.’s stuff is the best pH estimation algorithm going.
Thanks.  I just added an edit which tells me I'm not crazy.  You typed faster.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

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