Author Topic: What's next?  (Read 1531 times)

Offline richardt

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2011, 10:13:52 AM »
Keep it simple--Use good water (no chlorine or chloramines) and stick to the recipe whether you do extract, minimash, or AG.

For a year or two my biggest challenge while brewing was that I didn't stick to the recipe.

I'd get "inspired" to try and get fancy with whatever's laying around the kitchen (spices, adjuncts, etc.)

Not all of the beers turned out that great, or, said another way, would have been much better if I'd just stuck to the recipe.

I also took awhile to get the water chemistry issue--it's a big deal.

Definitely spend a few bucks on using better water if your local water profile is awful. 
Many brewers just use distilled or RO water and build up the water profile to get what the style calls for.

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2011, 10:30:30 AM »
My first couple of AG batches were a pain in the butt, but after that it was smooth sailing.  I think it was mostly having the runoff get stuck and not knowing how to deal with it.  Couple of tips:
1) After the runoff starts you can lightly scratch the surface of the grain bed with your spoon, this is called raking and it prevents fines from settling on top and slowing the runoff.

2) If (and when) the runoff slows, just re-stir everything and start it again, catching the first bit in a pitcher until it runs clear again.  Pour that back over the top.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline mabrungard

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2011, 10:42:19 AM »
Keep it simple--Use good water (no chlorine or chloramines) and stick to the recipe whether you do extract, minimash, or AG.

For a year or two my biggest challenge while brewing was that I didn't stick to the recipe.

I'd get "inspired" to try and get fancy with whatever's laying around the kitchen (spices, adjuncts, etc.)

Not all of the beers turned out that great, or, said another way, would have been much better if I'd just stuck to the recipe.

I also took awhile to get the water chemistry issue--it's a big deal.

Definitely spend a few bucks on using better water if your local water profile is awful. 
Many brewers just use distilled or RO water and build up the water profile to get what the style calls for.

+1 regarding the need to remove chlorine and chloramine.  That will ruin any brewer's beer.  I wouldn't get too concerned about creating water, but it is a good idea to understand if your water presents problems in brewing some (or all) beer styles.  And even if there are problems, that may just mean that you can't brew great beer with that water, only good beer.  As a brewer progresses, the desire to move from good beer to great beer is typical. 
Martin B
Carmel, IN

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Offline quest4watneys

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2011, 11:01:54 AM »
get a cooler and see this http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/
While I prefer tall yellow coolers with false bottoms (sorry Denny)
this is a cheap, easy and effective way to mash and lauter all-grain


Fantastic article!
Thanks for all the info. I'm sure more questions will be coming!
I'm now an official AHA member!

Offline quest4watneys

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2011, 11:08:13 AM »
@mabrungard. Does that water profile look familiar? It's Indianapolis ;)  I noticed your tag line says you're in Carmel.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2011, 01:51:22 PM »
Yep, crappy water!  A lot of my FBI clubmates use it, though.  The Carmel water cannot be used for brewing because it is salt-softened by the City. 
Martin B
Carmel, IN

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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2011, 02:33:04 PM »
The Carmel water cannot be used for brewing because it is salt-softened by the City.  

Martin, can you elaborate?  I believe my Minneapolis city water is also salt softened, but my Ward Labs water report indicates that, while fairly soft, it makes for very good brewing liquor. I usually only have to add some calcium or sulfate to achieve most water profiles.
Matt Schwandt | Minneapolis, MN
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2011, 03:35:04 PM »
Minneapolis gets their water from the Mississippi if I understand correctly.  That is probably not near as hard as the groundwater that my city uses as its supply.  The resulting sodium content in the softened water is directly proportional to the hardness of the raw water.  I'm my case, that means that my water comes to my house at up to 250 mg/L sodium!!!  That is not suitable for brewing.  100 mg/L would be pushing it. 

Thus, I have a RO system now.
Martin B
Carmel, IN

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Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

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https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2011, 04:13:03 PM »
Minneapolis gets their water from the Mississippi if I understand correctly.  That is probably not near as hard as the groundwater that my city uses as its supply.  The resulting sodium content in the softened water is directly proportional to the hardness of the raw water.  I'm my case, that means that my water comes to my house at up to 250 mg/L sodium!!!  That is not suitable for brewing.  100 mg/L would be pushing it. 

Thus, I have a RO system now.

250 mg/L -- ouch!  Yeah, my sodium level is only 13.
Matt Schwandt | Minneapolis, MN
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