HOMEBREW Digest #5398 Mon 18 August 2008

[Prev HBD] [Index] [Next HBD] [Back]

		Digest Janitor: pbabcock at hbd.org


               The Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
              Visit them at http://aabg.org 
    Support those who support you! Visit our sponsor's site!
********** Also visit http://hbd.org/hbdsponsors.html *********

DONATE to the Home Brew Digest. Home Brew Digest, Inc. is a 
501(c)3 not-for-profit organization under IRS rules (see the
FAQ at http://hbd.org for details of this status). Donations
can be made by check to Home Brew Digest mailed to:

HBD Server Fund
PO Box 871309
Canton Township, MI 48187-6309

or by paypal to address serverfund@hbd.org. DONATIONS of $250 
or more will be provided with receipts. SPONSORSHIPS of any 
amount are considered paid advertisement, and may be deductible
under IRS rules as a business expense. Please consult with your 
tax professional, then see http://hbd.org for available 
sponsorship opportunities.

  pH Meters vs. Strips ("A.J deLange")
  Re: Pumpkin Ale (Scott Alfter)
  Re: Beer Lacking Crispness (le Man)
  Beer lacking crispness (Calvin Perilloux)
  Re: Beer lacking crispness ("Martin Brungard")
  13th Annual Music City Brew-Off - Nashville, TN ("Stephen Johnson")

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * The HBD Logo Store is now open! * * http://www.hbd.org/store.html * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Beer is our obsession and we're late for therapy! * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Send articles for __publication_only__ to post@hbd.org If your e-mail account is being deleted, please unsubscribe first!! To SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE send an e-mail message with the word "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" to request@hbd.org FROM THE E-MAIL ACCOUNT YOU WISH TO HAVE SUBSCRIBED OR UNSUBSCRIBED!!!** IF YOU HAVE SPAM-PROOFED your e-mail address, you cannot subscribe to the digest as we cannot reach you. We will not correct your address for the automation - that's your job. HAVING TROUBLE posting, subscribing or unsusubscribing? See the HBD FAQ at http://hbd.org. LOOKING TO BUY OR SELL USED EQUIPMENT? Please do not post about it here. Go instead to http://homebrewfleamarket.com and post a free ad there. The HBD is a copyrighted document. The compilation is copyright HBD.ORG. Individual postings are copyright by their authors. ASK before reproducing and you'll rarely have trouble. Digest content cannot be reproduced by any means for sale or profit. More information is available by sending the word "info" to req@hbd.org or read the HBD FAQ at http://hbd.org. JANITORs on duty: Pat Babcock (pbabcock at hbd dot org), Jason Henning, and Spencer Thomas
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 08:15:51 -0400 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: pH Meters vs. Strips Strips require you to subjectively judge color. The color you see depends on things like the color of the wort you are measuring, the quality of the illuminating light and whether you are color blind or not. Strips are, thus, of limited utility as in brewing you are concerned with changes in pH of well less than a tenth of a point. You would like to be able to read to about .01 or .02 and that is goint to require a meter and a reasonably good one. Fortunately technology has advanced and decent pH meters are within reach though they are still not inexpensive. Meters under $100, any one that only reads to 0.1 pH or cannot be calibrated or does not have automatic temperature compensation (ATC) are pretty useless in brewing (IMO). A meter should be calibrated each time it is used (once per day). Many of the newer meters store the last calibration and report offset and slope at each calibration so you can see how your probe is ageing. If the ageing rate is really slow you may decide you don't need a new cal every but it is good practice to do one whenever the meter hasn't been used for more than a few hours. Probes now last a lot longer than they used to especially if treated right. I had a simple gel filled one that lasted about 2.5 years which is quite a contrast to when I started measuring pH and got maybe 1.5 years from elaborate, expensive, double junction free flow electrodes. Probably the most important part of "treating right" is cooling the sample to room temperature before taking a reading. Protecting the delicate sensor glass from the stresses of plunging into and taking out of hot mash and wort seems to do wonders for longevity (and I think the probes are better made these days). All the professional literature assumes that pH is measured at lab temperature and there is a shift in true pH (this is not what the ATC is for - that compensates for the probe's response to temperature change) as the wort cools. As long as everyone does it the same way there is no problem but in the HB lit. if you see pH 5.3 you often don't know if that was at wort or room temperature. For the ultimate in durability and long life ISFET probes are now readily available (but I note that the only one of those I ever tried failed quicker than most gel-filled electrodes). A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 08:20:39 -0700 From: Scott Alfter <scott at alfter.us> Subject: Re: Pumpkin Ale Josh Knarr wrote: > It is time to discuss my two favorite things - Pumpkins and Ales! > > Stuff I've liked in pumpkin ales: > * Pumpkin pie flavor > * toasted and roasted notes > * Little hops > > Stuff that's ruined ales for me in the past: > * No actual pumpkin in the beer (all spices) > * Pumpkin was put in raw (raw pumpkin is disgusting) > * Tastes like vegetables > * overspiced > > I have come up with the following recipe which I'm looking for input > on. Similar has been posted to beer advocate and midwest brewing, this > is my take on what should seem right. 6 lbs. seems like a huge amount of pumpkin for a 5-gallon batch, and I'd think that adding it to the boil would introduce lots of starch without any chance of converting it to something fermentable. I cobbled together this recipe last year: http://www.nevadabrew.com/twiki/bin/view/Recipes/PumpkinAle It worked well for me...ended up having to brew a second batch in May to send some to the NHC 2nd round. I'm waiting for pumpkins to show up in the stores before I make it again...canned worked OK for batch #2, but it's easier to get a good roast on fresh pumpkin than canned. I put it in the mash so that some of it might convert, and the spices only get added at kegging time. Scott Alfter scott at beerandloafing.org Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 18:47:18 +0100 From: le Man <hbd at thebarnsleys.co.uk> Subject: Re: Beer Lacking Crispness > From: Jim D > the beer > tastes soft, as in the flavors can't easily be singled out. What I > am looking for is crispness, where the malt and the hops can > easily be separated when tasting. I think these figures give us a clue as to what can be happening here > Water: Total Hardness as CaCO3: 120 ppm, > Total Alkalinity as CaCO3 77 > Na = 13 ppm, Ca = 33 ppm, SO4 = 9 ppm, Cl = 50 ppm. Nice water, best described as soft, I think the issue is that you need to increase your Sulphate, which should give you that crispness you desire, but to be careful with it as it is all too easy. Your calcium levels are also a bit low (But mine is 16 and I get away with it ;) ), so could do with boosting . . . . I would suggest adding some Gypsum to the mash and boil to raise the levels of Sulphate up to around 150ppm, and leave the calcium where it falls. Try 1 tsp to start with and see if that results in your beer flavour going in the direction you want - -- Aleman Mashing In Blackpool, Lancashire, UK www.ukhomebrew.info - Yet Another Brewing Forum Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 11:23:34 -0700 (PDT) From: Calvin Perilloux <calvinperilloux at yahoo.com> Subject: Beer lacking crispness This looks like a gimme: Jim D reports that his beers taste "soft", and he very helpfully proved the exact details we need regarding his brewing water: > Total Hardness as CaCO3: 120 ppm, > Total Alkalinity as CaCO3 77 > Na = 13 ppm, SO4 = 9 ppm, Cl = 50 ppm That's a VERY low sulfate level for styles like English Bitter, and the chloride seems a little bit high considering the dearth of other minerals. Sulfate accentuates the hop bitterness; chloride is said to moderate it and lend just a bit a sweet, round fullness. The former (dryness) seems to be what you're looking for. I'd recommend adding gypsum (CaSO4) to your water, anywhere from 1 to 3 grams per gallon of water, and that will take care of the sulfate shortage as well as increase the calcium level. Also, I didn't notice mash temperatures in there. You didn't mention sweetness, only "soft", but make sure you're not too high on mash temperature (and make sure your thermometer is accurate). A high mash temp along with crystal malt can result in a dull, cloying beer. Calvin Perilloux Middletown, Maryland, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 20:45:40 -0400 From: "Martin Brungard" <mabrungard at comcast.net> Subject: Re: Beer lacking crispness I see from Jim's water report that the Residual Alkalinity (RA) is about 50 which is pretty much the upper limit for brewing pale beers. This water will be fine for amber and brown beers and would probably require even more alkalinity for dark brown and black beers. Since Jim is having problems with his pale ales, I'll work from there. With the supplied information, I found that the magnesium concentration is 9 ppm, which is just about as high as you would want to go for most brewing applications. Adding Epsom Salt would not be desirable for this water. The overall ion balance that Jim provided did work out for the water report, which was confidence inspiring. The alkalinity data indicates that the bicarbonate concentration is about 93 ppm. To brew good pale beersc my calculations suggest that Jim could either harden his water with gypsum or calcium chloride to decrease the RA, or he could acidify his water slightly to decrease the alkalinity (again reducing the RA). But, I'm betting that the lack of crispness that Jim complains about is due to two factors. The first is the excessive alkalinity of his water and the second is probably due to the low sulfate concentration. In the case of pale ales, increasing the sulfate concentration via gypsum addition could provide the results he seeks. It appears that he could add up to about 2 grams of gypsum per gallon to bring the RA down into the negative range. For most brewing waters, the lower desirable RA limit is around -50. The 2 gm/gal gypsum addition will keep Jim's brewing water within the desired ranges for Ca, SO4, and RA. If Jim is brewing another pale style that doesn't depend on hop character, he could go with up to 1.5 gm/gal of calcium chloride to harden the water and bring the RA down. This is going to add almost 200 ppm of chloride, so that would need to be considered to see if its desirable for the style. 200 ppm is pretty high, so I would not really recommend this rate of 1.5 gm/gal CaCl. I would suggest that a maximum of about 0.8 gm/gal would be better to limit the chloride concentration. Slight acidification might still be required to help the mash fall into the desired range. As I mentioned above, acidification is always an option for reducing alkalinity and lowering the RA. For the alkalinity level that Jim's water report provides, the amount of 88% Lactic that would need to be added to his water would be on the order of 0.4 ml per gallon of water to bring the pH of his sparge water to around 5.7. That is a minuscule amount and won't have any taste impacts. This amount of acid is good for your sparge water, but you would use less if he wanted to just 'take the edge off' of his mash water and improve the RA. Since every grist is different, the amount will vary. I suggest that roughly half (0.2 ml/gal) might be a good starting point for a mash where the water wasn't hardened as suggested above. Avoiding the hardening might be a good idea if Jim was going to brew a Cz Pils. Overall, it looks like Jim's water is pretty good and could form the starting point for a number of beers. Well, these recommendations will help Jim to improve his brewing results. Hopefully, you will find some use in this message too! Martin Brungard Tallahassee, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 21:50:18 -0500 From: "Stephen Johnson" <sjohnson3 at comcast.net> Subject: 13th Annual Music City Brew-Off - Nashville, TN Hello from Nashville, TN - Music City USA 1st call for all judges and homebrewers to participate in the 13th annual Music City Brew Off(MCBO) homebrew competition sponsored by The Music City Brewers, from Friday September 26th through Sunday September 28th, 2008. AHA/BJCP sanctioned for all styles of beer, mead and cider per the 2008 style guidelines, entries will be received from September 1st through the 13th. Friday night beer dinner will be held at Blackstone with presentation from special honored guest Jamil Zainasheff, author and past AHA Homebrewer of the year. Final round judging, Best of Show judging and awards ceremony on September 27th, 2008 at Boscos Nashville, lunches for all judges and stewards courtesy of Boscos. Music City Pub Crawl to follow awards ceremony. Brew-n-Brunch on Sunday, if you are still able, this year we will be brewing the beyond famous 228 HopGod Beer. Once again the MCBO is the final competition in the MidSouth Homebrewer and Club of the Year Series. For rules, online registration and other contest details go to our competition website http://www.musiccitybrewers.com/brewoff.php For possible entry pick up arrangements please contact me at hoptyrant at gmail.com we will try to make some beer runs to help mitigate shipping costs. Until then, MTHBWY Tom Vista Competition Organizer Return to table of contents
[Prev HBD] [Index] [Next HBD] [Back]
HTML-ized on 08/19/08, by HBD2HTML v1.2 by KFL
webmaster@hbd.org, KFL, 10/9/96