HOMEBREW Digest #4983 Wed 29 March 2006

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  RE:Water Test ("A.J deLange")
  IBU Calculations ("David Houseman")
  NHC East Regionals ("Dave Wohlfeil")
  Hi grav stuff ("steve.alexander")
  EKU28 (ddarity)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 12:45:50 +0000 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: RE:Water Test There are a couple of things you can estimate from this limited data (alkalinity, hardness and chlorine) but most of the estimates will be very crude. The best is with respect to the alkalinity. Given that the water is potable the only appreciably source of alkalinity is the carbo system and given the pH all of that which contributes to an alkalinity reading will be bicarbonate. An alkalinity of 60 means bicarbonate in the amount of 61*60/50 = 73 mg/L bicarbonate. But this is not a useful number. That's why alkalinity is reported. With respect to the hardness you have 50/50 = 1 milliequivalent per liter and you can guess than 60% of that comes from calcium and 40% from magnesium which would give you .6*20 = 12 mg/L calcium and .4*12 = 4.8 mg/L magnesium but the proportion is just a guess though it's based on typical ratios. From this you can calculate a rough residual alkalinity RA = 60/50 - (.6 + .4/.2)/3.5 = 0..46 mEq/L. Multiply by 50 to get RA of 23 ppm as CaCO3. This is an RA which is low enough that you shouldn't have to worry about the water being a problem with any beer style and this is really the most important conclusion This is really about as much as you can tell. You have measured 60/50 = 1.2 mEq/L alkalinity which is from negatively charged ions (bicarbonate) and 50/50 mEq/L hardness which is from positively charged ions (Ca++ and Mg++) so according to what you know about your water at this point it is shy 0.1 mEq/L positive ions. These could be sodium or potassium ions or a combination but it is impossible to guess how much are present because the water most probably also contains some sulfate and chloride which would require more sodium and or potassium to balance. What is more likely is that there is error in the readings from the test kit which is probably at best readable to 10 ppm. The pH reading is definitely suspect. A pH as low as 5.5 would imply a well in an area with very active soil bacteria. If you are really interested in this go to Hach or Lamotte and buy more accurate test kits. Unfortunately a complete picture is hard to get because sulfate and sodium are hard to measure but if you can get good alkalinity, chloride and separate calcium and magnesium hardness readings educated guessing is possible. (Note: I just checked Hach and they seem to have a new sulfate test but it isn't very sensitive, 50 mg/L, though you can improve this by evaoprating the test water to, say, 1/10th of its original volume to get 5 mg/L sensitivity). A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 18:34:06 -0500 From: "David Houseman" <david.houseman at verizon.net> Subject: IBU Calculations There are several commonly used formulas for calculating IBUs. ProMash has the choice of Garetz, Rager, Tinseth and Generic. In one example of a recipe, the same amount of hops results in widely varing IBU calculations using these different formulas. I have been use Garetz but recognized that my beers were on the bitter side of my expectations. I'm considering moving to Rager, which would use less hops for the same calculated IBUs. My questions are: "Are any of the formulas generally recognized as being more accurate to measured IBU rates? Is there any recognition that one of these results in beers closer to style from a sensory perspective?" David Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 21:21:24 -0500 From: "Dave Wohlfeil" <wohlfeil at apk.net> Subject: NHC East Regionals Attention Judges - We are looking for judges for the 1st round of the AHA's National Homebrew Competition - Eastern Region. Judging will be held on Friday April 28(evening), and Saturday April 29, 2006(morning and afternoon). They will be held at J.W. Dover in Westlake, Ohio. Lunch and Dinner with our big raffle will be provided on Saturday for all judges. Discounted hotel rooms will be available. If you are available to judge, please contact Dave Wohlfeil, Judge Coordinator via email at wohlfeil at apk.net. Thank you Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 00:01:51 -0500 From: "steve.alexander" <steve-alexander at adelphia.net> Subject: Hi grav stuff ALAN K MEEKER writes ... >A while back I had made an insanely strong barleywine that failed to >carbonate despite a fresh addition of champagne yeast at bottling. I'm more of a session beer guy myself, but I do excel at insanity and curiosity, so a questions to Alan ... How strong is 'insane' when the BJCP says a BW is SG1.080-1.120 (roughly 20-30P?). Also I'd be very interested to hear how a yeast-master like Alan handled such a hi-grav fermentation. == Michael Eyre asks ... >There's a nasty rumor going around that the bigger beer you try to make >(all grain, btw!) in a given mashtun, the less efficiency you *tend* to >get. I seem to be seeing this in my brewery when I make a barley wine... >any truth to this? Of course it's true - and for an obvious reason. To raise the SG of the sweet wort you necessarily must use less water, cut off the lauter earlier and therefore leave more goods in the grist - so it's less efficient. Lauter run-off will always be lower gravity than first runnings so the highest SG possible from any reasonable mash is that that of the first runnings. If you make a "normal" mash with 1.25qt/lb (~2.5L/kg) then at the end of mash, the mash liquor will hit abt 1.088 or 22P. Now if you decrease the water:grist ratio much below this you are compromising the mash conversion ((not the place for it but the enzyme reactions require more water and so operate more slowly)). Yes you can mash with 2qt/lb and increase the first running gravity to abt 26P. You can even drop the water down to 0.7qt/lb and get insanely high SG but most of the water and goods will remain in the grist and the efficiency will be very very low. Of course the extraction efficiency isn't the issue - you could lauter with more water to make a "small beer" from the later runnings and get just the same extract out of the grist. The problem is that you can't apply all that extract to the hi-grav wort, as you might like. Unless you concentrate the wort somehow, excessive boiling or low pressure evaporation of water, there is no way around the problem. Commercial brewers prefer to add extract to make hi-grav beers, and it's probably a reasonable approach for those insane gravity HB worts. == Such trouble some go to for hi-grav, and to what end - often a fusel-y unbalanced mess of a beer. Another approach is to mash and ferment at reasonable gravity and then 'eisbock' your way to glory. That is to *slowly* allow ice to form post fermentation, and remove the ice which is nearly pure water if you freeze slowly enough. It's possible to achieve whiskey-type levels of ethanol concentration in this way, if that's your goal, but there are bigger advantages IMO. The mash extraction has completely normal efficiency, the fermentation has normal gravity, the fermentation normal conditions so no tricks are required and no funky flavors accrue. You get complete attenuation without playing games. Best of all you can use your normal brewing skills to balance the sweet/bitter aspects rather than guessing on a once every couple years barley-wine hopping level and betting on the attenuation. One drawback - I believe that the eisbock process is considered a form of distillation in the US legal code, and therefore violates federal law when performed without license. Funny world where moving water from here to there without harming a souls is a licensed taxable event. Perhaps they should require a license & tax of hurricanes instead. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 10:41:31 -0600 From: ddarity at direcway.com Subject: EKU28 Does anyone out there have a good recipe for an EKU 28? Schedules for the decoction mash would be great! Many Thank, Dave Return to table of contents
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