HOMEBREW Digest #4185 Mon 03 March 2003

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  Re:oxygenator stone, Alan and Bill W. W.W. points (Bill Wible)
  Re: Fridge for cornies (Kent Fletcher)
  Re: top cropping yeast ("greg man")
  Re:   Counter-Pressure Bottle Filler Recommendations (Bill Tobler)
  pigs vs tap-a-draft (darrell.leavitt)
  BJCP Study Group ("Mark Tumarkin")
  Newbie to Lambic Brewing (Michael Fross)
  RE: Trip to Ireland ("Jodie Davis")
  Re: Weight Watcher points and Homebrew (Paul Edwards)
  Re: diacetyl reduction in ales (Jeff Renner)
  RE; temperature probe (David Passaretti)
  AFCHBC Results Posted (hollen)
  Discrepant Calorie Calcs (Jonathan Royce)
  You know your a homebrewer if.. ("William Deiterman")
  Re: Collecting Yeast from Blow-off Tubes ("Mike Sharp")
  *** HBD SLAMDOWN! IS ON FOR NHC2003 !!! *** (mohrstrom)
  Mark T (David Perez)
  RIMS Design ("David Boice")
  Forms of Corn (guy gregory)
  water and other natural resources ("Patrick Hughes")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 23:36:19 -0500 From: Bill Wible <bill at brewbyyou.net> Subject: Re:oxygenator stone, Alan and Bill W. W.W. points I HATE when people call me Bill W. For those of you who don't know, somebody who calls himself Bill W. is the founder of AA. They have all these bumper stickers that ask "Do you know Bill W?" I AM Bill W, but hate to be called that. Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 22:11:43 -0800 (PST) From: Kent Fletcher <fletcherhomebrew at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: Fridge for cornies Adam asked about an under-the-counter-sized cornie fridge: I've not been able to find any under-the-counter-height fridge that will accept a cornie, at least not a ball lock. Pin locks are a little shorter, but for ball locks you need 30 inches inside from top to bottom. A small chest freezer is a lot easier to deal with. I have a 5 cubic foot chest freezer. As is, it held 2 cornies and had room for a carboy or other bottled beer on the "step" over the compressor. I added a collar, made with cabinet grade plywood and 2" of foil faced rigid foam insulation. The original lid hinges are now attached to the back of the collar. The extra height allows 2 more cornies to sit up on the step, and now I have taps throught the front. So I've got four cornies chilled in a package about 32 inches square and less than four feet high, works great! One more thing, I regularly see similar sized chest freezers on sale for less than $150. Hope that helps, Kent Fletcher brewing in So Cal Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 01 Mar 2003 02:42:00 -0500 From: "greg man" <dropthebeer at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: top cropping yeast from: >HOMEBREW Digest #4184 Sat 01 March 2003 >Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 15:33:13 -0500 >From: Bob Hall <rallenhall at toast.net> >Subject: Collecting Yeast from Blow-off Tubes > I brew most of my ales in 6 gal. carboys and attach a blow-off tube. When the fermentation calms down I take off the tube and attach a standard bubbler airlock. The bottom of the water bucket I use as an airlock for the blow-off always has a nice layer of what I assume is the purest top-cropped yeast. Is there any way to collect yeast from a blow-off system for future pitching with all due regard for purity and sanitation? > >Bob Hall, >Napoleon, OH Bob I personally don't culture yeast until there in my bottles because I like yeast that's been all the way through my brewing system. I don't know if that's smart or not but it works for me. Also I would highly recommend making your own petri dishes with agar/wort to store your yeast on. I believe they last longer that way, though I know most people keep liquid. Why, I don't know? Liquid is ok as long as you use it soon. Oh your question that's right I almost forgot there was some point to my writing in. If you use the orange caps that fit on the carboys and usually people just stick a bubbler in the top an that's the end of it. Instead try an fit a 3/8" OD blow off tube inside the hole of the orange cap. Now you have a blow off tube "so what's big whoop" you say? Take a 1 gallon milk jug an drill a hole in the top part of the handle, just small enough to get the blow off tube in there. Run the tube down through the handle to the bottom an fill the milk jug 1/4 with pre-boiled water(after sanitizing it and the tube of course). Now I don't remember the number I think it's the # 5 rubber stopper fits perfectly where the cap for the milk use to go. Now just pop a bubbler in the top of the milk jug an you have a sealed container to harvest yeast from. When your ready to harvest the yeast just pull out the stopper an pour into your sterile container IE: glass jar, plastic bag, whatever!! Genius you say elementary my dear watson......................... sorry wrote this one after a few homebrews...............gregman Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 01 Mar 2003 06:22:49 -0600 From: Bill Tobler <wctobler at sbcglobal.net> Subject: Re: Counter-Pressure Bottle Filler Recommendations Kevin's looking for a good Counter-Pressure Bottle Filler. I built one using Marty Tippin's design. Works great, easy to use and clean. Here is a link. http://hbd.org/mtippin/cpfiller.html Bill Tobler Lake Jackson, TX (1129.7, 219.9) Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 01 Mar 2003 07:08:47 -0500 From: darrell.leavitt at plattsburgh.edu Subject: pigs vs tap-a-draft Jodie; Please elaborate a bit on the preferability of the tap-a-draft over the party pigs. Those of us who are not familiar with one or the other could benefit from the discussion ... Thankyou. ..Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2003 08:03:06 -0500 From: "Mark Tumarkin" <mark_t at ix.netcom.com> Subject: BJCP Study Group I am leading a BJCP Study Group for my club. I'd appreciate it if you would email me any information, documents, web links, etc that you have put together for this purpose. The Study Guide on the BJCP website is a terrific document, but with all the Study Groups that have been held by different clubs, there's probably a wealth of other resources out there that could supplement the Study Guide & the print bibliograpy it refrences as recommended reading. I'll be happy to put the info together & make it available to other clubs or groups that are interested. Possibly, put it on the web on the HBD, BJCP, or AHA website so that it's all easily accessible on a site that won't go away. thanks, Mark Tumarkin Hogtown Brewers Gainesville, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2003 07:19:18 -0600 From: Michael Fross <michael at fross.org> Subject: Newbie to Lambic Brewing Hello everyone. I've been brewing for about 10 years or so, but am a newbie to making Lambics. I've been trying to read all I can (the Lambic book, the biohazard lambic brewers page, Brewing Techniques articles, etc) but am still confused about a couple of things. The Lambic book presents some examples in the back (and I know his timelines are way off) but can you folks share your recipes? Naturally since this takes a few years, I don't want to goof it up. If I can follow a tested recipe I feel my chances will be better. I do understand, however, that Lambic brewing is more of an art than a science. I'm looking for making an extract lambic framboise (I'm fairly new to all grain brewing and thought I shouldn't start out mashing the unmalted wheat). Secondly, does the oven hop drying method actually work? I've read that you can put whole hops in a 200F oven for an hour or two to dry them and promote oxidization. Thirdly (and finally) I had a question on when to pitch the cultures. Everything I've read has a big difference in opinion. Pitch them all together. Pitch the yeast after a week. Pitch the Brett a month later. Etc.... I'd love to hear your opinions on what has worked for you. Thanks for all your help. Frosty ps. I've posted this on the plambic mailing list, but apparently the traffic is very very low. And I figured that the hbd is about brewing and lambics are beer too! Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2003 09:09:45 -0500 From: "Jodie Davis" <JodieDavis at adelphia.net> Subject: RE: Trip to Ireland Sean, A few days ago I happened across a reference to a brew pub in Ireland, specifically in County Clare which is where my ancestors harken from. Your question sent me looking for it. Ta da! Claimed to be the first brew pub in Ireland, the Biddy Early Pub was started as an alternative to the mass produced beers which have taken over the beer scene in Ireland. They use 95% Irish grown grain and one of their beers uses local bog myrtle. Bet they could do a heather beer too. Its located 10 miles from Ennis, west it sounds like. Looks as though they have dancing and music some nights. And a great tour--check out the one on their site. If you can't get there the web page has a list of other places you can find the beer on draught and in bottles. Check out the news page: looks like some of us will be able to get a few of the beers here in the U.S. My next trip is in June I believe--can't wait! I'll report back. Here's the link to their web site: http://www.beb.ie/ Jodie Davis Canton, GA Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 01 Mar 2003 09:17:22 -0500 From: Paul Edwards <pedwards at iquest.net> Subject: Re: Weight Watcher points and Homebrew Joel writes in HBD 4184: >Weight Watcher Ponts are calculated as follows - >POINTS(R) = (calories/50) + (fat grams/12) - (fiber grams/5) >So I guess its just calories/50 for beer. No penalty for fat and no bonus >for fiber. It's true that beer contains no fat, however, the way alcohol is metabolized makes your body think it does. The American Diabetic Association guidelines for food exhanges list regular beer (13 grams carbohydrates and 150 calories) at 1 starch and 2 fat exchanges. 1-1/2 ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits (bourbon, rum gin, etc) are listed at 2 fat exhanges, no starch. Alcohol is 7 calories per gram, BTW. I don't know how to correlate the ADA exchange system to the Weight Watcher point system, but as a data point, the ADA exhange system says 1 ounce of bread is 1 starch exchange, and 1 teaspoon of butter is 1 fat exchange. I'm an insulin-using diabetic. My Dr. says as long as I keep my blood glucose under control, and account for the beer in my diet, a couple of beers a day is OK. He won't let save up and have 14 beers on Saturday, tho ;-) Now, I also run 15-20 miles a week in the winter and ride a bicycle 150-500 miles a week in the spring, summer and fall to make up for the beer consumption. - --Paul Edwards Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI) "We tap kegs, not phones" Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 01 Mar 2003 12:55:40 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: diacetyl reduction in ales Dave Hold in Arizona is having a vexing problem with raunchy diacetyl in all his brews. My sympathies. I am suspicious that this is, indeed, an infection, whether pedio or something else. Nothing else explains the fact that it has appeared where you didn't have it before, and that it is in all your beers, and that it is raunchy. I don't think that diacetyl levels from fermentation alone would be of that character or level. If this is true, it would seem to be in your equipment, although I don't have any direct experience with this. But I have known some local brewers who have had persistent off-flavors (lactic or phenolic). It requires diligence to root these out. One thing to consider is when does this flavor show up? Is it there at the end of fermentation of does it show up after aging in kegs? This could help find the locus of infection. A few thoughts. The list you gleaned from HBD archives of diacetyl causes includes some that aren't likely: >5. Dry hopping with certain varieties such as Hallertauer and those related. Hard to see how this would be a cause. Someone must have thought that Hallertauer had a diacetyl-like aroma. >10. Not boiling with open or partially open kettle This is a cause of the other "D" off-flavor - DMS (dimethyl sulfate), not diacetyl. A cause you haven't mentioned is aeration of wort/beer after fermentation has started. This is yeast strain dependent. "Dropping" beer at 24-48 hours is actually done in part to provide a little diacetyl in ales where it is wanted. Diacetyl is produced in Yorkshire with the Yorkshire square fermenters from aeration of fermenting beer. Of your possible remedies: >1. Start using the thermostat controlled refrigerator again. No more >ambient fermentations. >2. Go back to using yeast starters. Requires planning ahead and >transporting the starter on a 150 mile trip. I hope I don't get oxidation >of the starter as a result. Oxidation of yeast starters shouldn't be a problem, especially if you decant them and use only the sedimented yeast, but regardless, you are aerating them the same as your beer wort, no? >3. Add diacetyl rests for the lagers. Good if your yeast choice/fermentation regime requires it, but I don't think this is your problem. >4. Buy an aerator. I've been swirling the cooled wort in the fermentor to >oxygenate (aerate). Is the high altitude hurting me? Any recommendations >on an aerator and stone? Under-oxygenation of wort shouldn't cause diacetyl, I think, if you are pitching a decent amount of yeast. >5. I dry hop all my ales and been dabbling with FWH. I don't dry hop >lagers. I don't see this as being a problem. Nor do I. >6. Does my water supply have pedio? How do I know? Doesn't seem likely. >7. Replace all hoses and plastic parts, possible pedio infection? >8. Use caustic and acid wash every time on the kegs and fermentors. Then >iodophor. Now I think you are onto something. Consider at least boiling parts that this can be done with and which aren't easily disinfected such as keg fittings. >9. Is it possible that the mash/lauter tun cooler has a pedio infection? >This seems to be the common thread in all my beers in the past year. Do one >beer with the Zapap or converted keg mashtun and no other changes. Is it >possible to get rid of pedio in plastic? Everything from your mash/lauter tun is being boiled, so even if there is an infection there, you don't have to worry. Just make sure you hose all the old grain bits out. No need to disinfect. But your chiller should be disinfected. Easier if it is an immersion chiller than a counter-flow chiller. >10. I use various White Lab yeasts. While some are more prone to be >diacetyl producers, I wouldn't expect a problem with all of them. I'm sure that this isn't the cause of your across the board problems. What do you ferment in? Are you sure it's not harboring an infection? If it isn't all glass or metal, you need to be suspicious. Valves are another common culprit because they are hard to disinfect. You need to disassemble them, or boil/autoclave (pressure cook) them intact. And, as I said before, keg fittings are notorious harborers of infections. Hope this helps. Keep at it - others have beat it, don't let it beat you. Jeff - -- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at comcast.net "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2003 13:35:22 -0800 (PST) From: David Passaretti <dpassaretti at yahoo.com> Subject: RE; temperature probe Dennis, you make a very good point that the heater is really "one step removed" from the wort in my HERMS system. To be quite honest I never thought of it that way (as there are many things of which I have never thought). I always considered the heating coil to be the heat source since this is where the wort picks up heat which, while I think correct on a pratical level, is not in reality true. In my original design I had planned on adding a controller to the HLT to keep its temeperature constant during the mash, as you suggest, since it is losing heat to the recirculating wort. In practice I found I really did not need it. Even in my uninsulated mashtun in below freezing temperatures the HLT drops by only about 10 deg or so over the course of 30 to 45 minutes. I assume this is because the HLT has such a large thermal mass. Towards the end of the mash when the temp drops I do manually turn the burner on under the HLT to warm it up to sparging temperature, which is a little hotter than I keep it during the mash (175 as opposes to 160-165) I had aslo thought of keeping the exiting wort at the desired mash temp. It seemd to me however that I should directly measure the variable which I was trying to control, eg mash temp. Especially since everything is uninsulated and the temperature of the mash may be lower than that of the wort exiting the heating coil. For this reason I decided to place the probe in the mash (no science or proof, just seemed appropraite to me) The cycle time on my PID is about 15 seconds, meaning that the controller decides what percentage of every 15 seconds should spent on versus off. This means that there are really no long periods or layers of heated and unheated wort. Evidenced by virtually no temeperature fluctuation (less than 1) throughout the entire mash bed for the full hour+ of the mash. Well, anyway, there are as many ways to mash as there are brewers and as Dennis said, if it works for you don't change it. I must admit much of system grew and evolved (like a tumor my wife claims) from what I had available as opposed to careful planning. Perhaps the way my HERMS system is set up is not ideal but it seems to work. I think this weekend I will reevaluate and double check the temperature flucuation and variance throughout the mash tun. Dennis, perhaps you explained it before, but exactly how do apply heat to your wort and how is it controlled? David Passaretti Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2003 20:53:56 -0500 (EST) From: hollen at woodsprite.com Subject: AFCHBC Results Posted The final results for the 10th Annual America's Finest City Homebrew Competition have been posted at:: http://www.quaff.org/afc2003/results.html Congratulations to all the winners and all the participants. dion (database coordinator) - -- Dion Hollenbeck Email: hollen at woodsprite.com Home Page: http://www.woodsprite.com Brewing Page: http://hbd.org/hollen Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2003 19:18:56 -0800 From: Jonathan Royce <jonathan at woodburybrewingco.com> Subject: Discrepant Calorie Calcs Steve Jones wrote: "Anyway, Jonathon's example for a 5% 1.016 FG beer (~1.054 OG) for 330 ml (~11.16 oz) is 113.5 calories, or ~122.1 for 12 oz. Both mine & Glen's figure 180 calories per 12 oz." And Steve and Glen are correct. The flaw in my calculation is that using the FG to calculate the mass of carbohydrates remaining after fermentation does not work because the carbs have not only increased the mass of the liquid but the volume as well. The online calculators all use degrees Plato minus 0.1 to find the mass of carbs, while I used specific gravity minus 1. (0.1 degrees Plato is 1.0 in S.G., BTW.) My method was incorrect because it underestimates the actual amount of remaining carbohydrate. Thanks Steve (and indirectly Glen) for pointing this out. Jonathan Woodbury Brewing Co. www.woodburybrewingco.com Jonathan Woodbury Brewing Co. www.woodburybrewingco.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2003 23:30:50 -0600 From: "William Deiterman" <william.deiterman at verizon.net> Subject: You know your a homebrewer if.. ...you have ten gallons of beer aging and you worry you don't have enough. ...you add hops pellets to store bought beer in the hopes of improving its taste. ...you have ever had to mop the ceiling. I always liked the last one..even though I thought it was a little out there....stretching to realm of probable events...until last night. Yes last night I earned the final experience points to qualify for the title of experienced homebrewer....I had to mop the ceiling!!! As I sit here and type you can't can see how happy I am to actually have all ten fingers still attached and no severed tendons, or chards of glass embedded in my skin. Yes, its the little things in life... I learned not to put unhopped unboiled wort into glass bottles and cap them. I made two of these little glass bombs about four weeks ago as yeast starters. I know most people use dry DME because its convenient, but not I. No being cheap by nature I laugh at convenience and the easy way out. Well it seems some wild untamed yeast (and I thought they were myth..heard a lot of talk about wild yeast but never actually saw one) made its was into my enclosed glass container full of nice warm sugar water and decided it was a good place to raise a family....and so it did...and in the process converted alot of that sugar water to alcohol with a by product of carbon dioxide gas...which pressurized the bottle...now I don't know how much pressure was created...but I do know when I tried to open the bottle it sounded like a gun shot...blew the opener out of my hand, shot the entire..YES...I said ENTIRE contents of the bottle on to the ceiling...which started dripping on my head. After changing my underwear and calming my wife down...no there was no crime in progress..and yes honey I know how clean the kitchen was... I firmly took the mop in hand and thusly did end another chapter in my book...Homebrewer to Beer Meister. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 01 Mar 2003 21:55:47 -0800 From: "Mike Sharp" <rdcpro at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: Collecting Yeast from Blow-off Tubes Bob Hall writes about Collecting Yeast from Blow-off Tubes "The bottom of the water bucket I use as an airlock for the blow-off always has a nice layer of what I assume is the purest top-cropped yeast. Is there any way to collect yeast from a blow-off system for future pitching with all due regard for purity and sanitation?" I think thats what the Burton-Union system does (or am I way off here?). I think Firestone Brewing in Buellton, CA (or Santa Ynez or somewhere near there) does this with their Double Barrel Ale. Regards, Mike Sharp Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 02 Mar 2003 09:18:01 -0500 From: mohrstrom at core.com Subject: *** HBD SLAMDOWN! IS ON FOR NHC2003 !!! *** Chip Stewart mis-identifies one of Sean's targets: " 7/17 - Tells Mark Tumarkin, whom he calls ignorant, that he "blindly and stupidly accept[s] what every [sic] rhetoric that is poured down your fat gullet. . . " I (proudly, and to the point of arrogance) lay claim as the true owner of that fat gullet that them rhetorics was poured down. This is not to say that Mark Tumarkin did not play his own very important role in the discussion. Back in July, our dear Sean McDonald adamantly stated: "I'm not going to spend $1,000's of dollars to travel to and attend AHA conferences" ... Sean is in luck! The AHA, in admirable response in true "Voice of the Customer" fashion, is bringing the AHA National Homebrewers Conference RIGHT TO SEAN!!! Sean now only needs to spend $1's of dollars to travel to the event! Once again, as a fund-raiser for the HBD, we will be sponsoring the <reverb> HBD SLAMDOWN! </reverb> Mr. McDonald will have the opportunity to challenge - mano a mano - oh so many of these very same HBD'rs. <reverb> BE THERE! </reverb> Everybody on the Short Bus to NHC2003! Mark in Kalamazoo Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 02 Mar 2003 10:40:57 -0500 From: David Perez <perez at gator.net> Subject: Mark T OK, I just couldn't resist this one!!! "7/16 - Whines about the AHA not serving him and admonishes Mark Tumarkin for having the tumerity to voice his positive opinion about the AHA, "In the future, you shouldn't be so quick to defend the AHA and disregard the criticism." Did you mean Tumidity? If so, then yes, Tumarkin is Tumid. 7/17 - Tells Mark Tumarkin, whom he calls ignorant, that he "blindly and stupidly accept[s] what every [sic] rhetoric that is poured down your fat gullet. . . " and tells him to "hop back onto your short bus and take some more of your 'special' classes." Well I look forward to pouring some beer rhetoric in to my fat gullet as well this afternoon as we rekindle our bjcp study group, under his turgid, tumid and turbid direction ;^} Dave Perez Hogtown Brewers Gainesville, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2003 18:50:26 -0500 From: "David Boice" <daveboice at insight.rr.com> Subject: RIMS Design OK this temp. probe placement thread has me good and confused. I'm in the process of wiring the basement brewroom in our new house and will also need to redesign my three tier RIMS to a two tier RIMS setup before it can be taken downstairs. So the question of temp probe placement is quite timely for me. Currently my temp. probe is between the mash tun outlet and the heater. From recent posts I understand the benefits of the controller getting quick input but I question how having it "read" the temp immediately after the heater would work. The problem I see is that in a typical RIMS you are controlling the heater (either on or off) not the flow rate. It's all or nothing. Lets say I start the pump recirculating the 120F wort and tell my PID controller to take the mash to 150F. The heater will immediately kick on. Because the amount of heat being put out by the heater is a fixed value ( at least in my system) the variable that controls whether the wort exiting the heater is less then 150F, more then 150F or right at 150F is the circulation rate, which isn't controlled by the PID controller. If the exiting wort is over 150F won't the heater just kick off, then as the controller reads 120F, kick back on again, and start to chatter back and forth? If the wort coming out of the heater is less then 150F then I would think it would stay on till your overall mash temperature was close enough to 150F (say 145F just to put a number on it) and then the heater would start raising the exiting wort to over 150F and would start to chatter. That line of reasoning is why the probe ended up where it did on the current design. I'm assuming I'm just not getting something here because so many people DO have their probe right after the heater and they say it works. What am I missing? David Boice Carroll Ohio Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2003 17:36:00 -0800 (PST) From: guy gregory <ggre461 at yahoo.com> Subject: Forms of Corn Colleages: I just made a Classic American Creme Ale today, for which I used flaked maize as the corn-like grain. I was wondering, what is the current favorite method of adding corn to CACA's and CAP's? Corn flakes, polenta, a can of shoepeg corn saved from fishbait? Thanks for your input... ===== Guy Gregory Lightning Creek Home Brewery Spokane WA (1660.4, 294.3) Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2003 22:18:12 -0600 From: "Patrick Hughes" <pjhinc at eriecoast.com> Subject: water and other natural resources Thanks to AJ Delange , Martin Brungard, and Mike Sharp for their answers to my water questions. Thanks to all of you for the advice I have received here over the years. The HBD is an invaluable resource and some of the best minds in Homebrewing have posted here. I didn't mean to exclude anybody when I asked for AJ's advice I sure can use all the help I can get. I built a house and moved back to a rural setting 4 years ago. Ever since I have been trying to build a brew kitchen and HERMS . Yes, it's true I have spent a substantial amount of money, [but not 4k$,] and a whole lot of time, and I am still not brewing as good of beer as I did with a few plastic buckets with holes in them. When I lived in Cleveland brewing good beer seemed to be as hard as falling off a log. I obtained a mineral analysis [for free] of my water, but never needed it. Since moving I have had trouble brewing well balanced beers, the hops seem to always be either subdued or too bitter, sometimes harsh and astringent. I decided that I needed to address water treatment, a most intimidating task. There seems to be a lot of conflicting info. A.J. has given out some great advice since I have been reading the HBD so this was naturally the place to turn to. A.J. , I didn't want to sound like the typical cheapskate homebrewer when I posted that my local water supplier wouldn't give me a mineral analysis for free. [Even though I might be]. You have obviously spent much time and money on your education and to be able to share this with us is one of the invaluable resources I spoke of that we are honored with here at the HBD. The water supplier would have to send someone out from the plant which is about 35 miles away to obtain the sample. I didn't even ask what they would charge fearing the worst so I took what they gave me and came here. I spend enough of the family budget on my hobby and figure worst case I may have to brew and drink a lot of beer to fine tune the new brewery. A.J. , should I not use calcium carbonate since my residual alkalinity is 55 ppm as cal. carb ? Martin, you state that "Styles like Pilsners may need just a bit of help, the water is a little too hard." But then you go on to say that " In my opinion, it appears that a few drops of acid per gallon would probably drop the RA into a more favorable range for pilsner. I'm not sure that softening the water would really be needed to make a decent pilsner with that water.' Could you explain that to me it sounds contradictory I am at a loss when it comes to water chemistry. Also are ph test strips worthwhile ? I tried them and really did not see any color change. Thanks in advance Still brewing on the North Coast of the U.S. Patrick Hughes Return to table of contents
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