HOMEBREW Digest #5469 Tue 16 December 2008

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  Re: More astringency ("Danny Williams")
  Re: More astringency (Matt)
  Re;  More astringency ("Bill & Sara Frazier")
  Re: More astringency (Kai Troester)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2008 06:51:28 -0500 From: "Danny Williams" <danny at bubrew.org> Subject: Re: More astringency > I use R.O. water and build my mineral profil from scratch based on the > color of my > mash. For this I use John Palmer's R.A. Spreadsheet. I add minerals to > both my mash and my sparge water. I too use this same basic process but with one difference that might make a difference to you. I adjust my mash using Palmer's spreadsheet and the color of the beer to get the RA correct and 50-100ppm Ca. Then I sparge with RO water only. Then I add salts to the kettle to get Ca back to around 100 (it was diluted in the sparge) and to include whatever flavor ions I might want in this beer. For instance, a brown ale might only need some chalk in the mash to balance RA and provide Ca. Sparge with RO. Then if this is a hoppy American style brown the kettle gets several grams of gyspum. If it is a malty English brown, it would probably get a little gypsum and somewhat more CaCl. The idea, at least as I understand it, is that the RO sparge does not ask for any additional buffering from the mash because there are no minerals there to be counteracted, so astringency is much less likely to be extracted. If you prefer to sparge with your tap water then the spreadsheet will tell you how much acid to add. It is a surprisingly small amount usually. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2008 07:25:13 -0800 (PST) From: Matt <baumssl27 at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: More astringency I think you left out what might be the most direct option for solving the astringency problem: just stop the fly sparge before tannin overextraction occurs. There are well developed guidelines for this if you can find a way to measure pH and (or maybe "or") SG. But if you don't want to measure things and prefer to work "open loop" then a single batch sparge is more forgiving. Matt Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2008 09:42:17 -0600 From: "Bill & Sara Frazier" <bsfrazier at att.net> Subject: Re; More astringency "I have tried checking the gravity of my final runnings using a refractometer but have found that to be unreliable." Not sure what you mean about unreliable results from a refractometer. All you need is a drop of wort and then read the brix [or specific gravity depending on your refractometer]. If your "end-of-sparge" brix vary it's because the actual brix is different for beers you are making. You probably can make better tasting beers if you cut off the sparge before the gravity of the wort falls too far. I use about 25% more grain than a recipe calls for. I cut off the sparge when a predetermined amount of fermentables are in the kettle. Then I dilute to full boil volume with brewing water. I use a refractometer for all steps in the process. This method is very predictable. It also cuts off about an hour of brewing time...I run the wort into the kettle in about 10 minutes. Resulting beers have a better mouth-feel or body. They are not astringent. "I have also tried checking the ph of the final runnings using Color pHast Strips. This also proved unreliable because they are not all that easy to read." It's a shame homebrew shops continue to sell pH strips...they are worthless IMO. You will be much happier with your new pH meter. Just be sure to calibrate the meter before each use with pH 7 and 4 [or 3] buffer. "Right now I am operating under the assumption that my astringency problem stems from the rising pH as I get near the end of my sparge." This may be true but I believe you will brew better tasting beer if you stop the sparge before brix [or specific gravity] of the run-off falls too low. Bill Frazier Olathe, Kansas Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2008 10:53:32 -0500 From: Kai Troester <kai at braukaiser.com> Subject: Re: More astringency > It seems like I have three options left. > > 1. go back to a less aggressive crush because I had no astringency problems > then. > > 2. Go to batch sparging and rely on the buffering power of the grains to > maintain acceptable pH > > 3. Acidify my sparge water. But to what pH? Yes, these are good options to try. I'd start with going back to the old crush and see if this will fix the problem. If it does, you don't have to stick with that crush but you know that the crush has an impact and you can try compensating for in later brews to do that I'd try the other options that you listed later: Less aggressive sparging or even no sparge lautering is an option. The latter will eliminate the sparging step. I don't think you need to acidify the sparge water. But only using the minerals in the mash and using straight R/O water for the sparge is a viable option. R/O water has very little buffering capaciy which means your run-off pH should change only little if at all during the lauter. Kai Return to table of contents
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