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Cassius

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  1. Thanks very much. According to Brewers Friend, if I'm looking to up my sulfate to accentuate hops in my pale ales, I just need to add 2g of gypsum and I'm basically good.
  2. I've been making partial mash brews, with a roughly 50/50 split of grain/extract, for quite a while now. I mostly make light coloured beers; pale ales and European lagers, and while I enjoy most of the beers I make, something seems a tiny bit off. I've decided to start having a look at tinkering with my water chemistry, and was hoping for some advice from the experts here. I've got the water report for my Delivery System from Sydney Water, with the following specifics: pH: 7.7 Calcium: 14 ppm Magnesium: 4.5ppm Sodium: 15.6 ppm Bicarbonate: 44.8 ppm Sulfate: 11.0 ppm Chloride: 29.0 ppm Using a couple of different resources (Bru'n Water spreadsheet, Brewer's Friend water calculator), I want to see if I can start hitting some better numbers. When I put in a very basic partial mash grist of 100% 2-row, it appears my mash pH is a little bit high (5.8). While my mash efficiency is actually fine, I figure chucking in 4% of acidulated malt is an easy enough fix to try get the pH down a bit. More confusing to me is the actual water additions. For the "light colored and hoppy" Target Water on Brewer's Friend, they appear to have much higher numbers for Calcium (75 ppm), Sulfate (145 ppm) and Chloride (50 ppm). I'm more than happy to buy the necessary additives and start aiming for these numbers, but I just wanted to ask a few questions in case I'm going about this the wrong way. Are these the sorts of differences between tap water and target water that other brewers are rectifying? Is changing water chemistry necessary for partial mash brewers? For the first time in my 18 month homebrewing journey, I've stopped tweaking most of my recipes, so I'm actively looking for the next step forward. Is there anything else I should be doing with regards to water chemistry, or any other steps I should be taking prior to attempting to improve my beers with water chemistry? TIA, Cassius.
  3. Never used K-97, but I have used Lallemand Kolsch a couple of times at 15 degrees. Even with rehydration (which I don't usually do unless it's a lager) it was slow to kick off. I didn't take a reading until day 10 but my notes say that I didn't even have a krausen until 60 hours after pitching and that there wasn't solid airlock activity until day 4. I would maybe give it another day to see if it kicks off and then maybe raise the temp a degree or two if it hasn't started moving properly.
  4. The argument against hot steeping is that it can introduce astringency/harshness, but I think this is generally for darker steeping grains. I've done both cold and hot multiple times and never noticed a difference in the finished beer. I prefer hot steeping as I don't need to remember to start the cold steep the night before, or take up space in the kitchen fridge overnight.
  5. As you can see in my post, I was quoting Marty, not you. My post and yours were almost simultaneous. I will try a factory reset.
  6. Yep I set it to 11.5 and it seems to have switched the 'Cooling' socket off. Which is fine but I'm going to go to bed every night now wondering if I'm going to wake up to an ice cold fermentation. Do you have any thoughts on my second question? As it's a lager, fermentation hadn't kicked off yet. Do you think it will still work once the temp comes back up a bit?
  7. My Czech Lager had been going well for a couple days at 11 degrees. Came down this morning to see the temp at 4.7 degrees and the fridge still on. The target temp was still set to 11 degrees and the red 'Heating' light was on, though I didn't have my heat belt plugged in. I checked both the heating and cooling sockets with a kettle, and they're both being powered at the same time. Turned the temp controller on and off at the wall and tested them again; both still on. Firstly, has anyone experience this before or have any suggestions? Is my Inkbird just dead? I've only had it a couple months and it's been fine for about 6 brews. Secondly, if I can find a way to manage the temp at 11 degrees, will everything be fine for this brew? Or will the drop in temp to 4.7 degrees require me to do something different? Raise the temp higher to 11? Add more yeast? TIA, Cassius.
  8. What Marty said. After I got my process down, I stopped even taking OG readings for kit and kilo brews. Those ingredients and a set amount of water give you a definite OG, so why waste the amount of a sample?
  9. All I keep hearing from the various homebrewing and craft beer mailing lists I'm on is the new Eclipse hop. Apparently it gives mandarin and pine. Could be a decent one for a SMASH. If nothing else you can feel good about being at the forefront of homebrewing exploration. With the pine I'd say it'd go well in a proper American Pale Ale, if you're happy to forego the SMASH and add a bit of medium crystal.
  10. I can't add anything to the recipe, but wanted to say that when I use coriander in my Wit recipes I boil for 10 minutes to make sure it gets rid of any potential nasties. I'm sure adding at flame-out is probably good enough but might be better safe than sorry.
  11. I'm only posting because no one else has and you're looking for a quick answer. I've never heard of british light malt extract but I'm 95% sure it will be essentially the same as the Coopers stuff. Just remember that the liquid stuff is slightly less concentrated than dry. So if your recipe calls for 1kg of dry malt extract, then you need 1.2kg of liquid malt extract.
  12. One last question, this time regarding whirfloc. In the interest of clarity, and given there is no added time involved, I was planning on starting to use whirfloc from now on. On reading up though, I'm wondering if it will even do anything in my case. I'm doing stovetop BIAB partials. Basically after my boil, I cool the wort down in the sink and then just pour straight into the fermentor through a fine mesh strainer. Is there any benefit to dropping things to the bottom of the pot, given I end up pouring essentially everything into a strainer, which stirs up everything at the bottom of the pot? Or will the coagulated material stay large enough to be caught in the strainer?
  13. There's not really anything to add if you're going for a traditional hefeweizen. There's no steeping grains that would improve it and the Thomas Coopers Preacher's can is actually already a bit too bitter for the style. Just use the munich classic and aim for 18 degrees. The commercial brewers talk about pitching at 12 and letting rise to 18, but I think that's probably overkill for an extract brew. Once you're ready to move to partial mashes, just mashing a bit of wheat malt completely transforms it. Brings the colour down to style and gives the bready flavour you should get. I only mashed about 750g of wheat for a 12L batch and it made a massive difference.
  14. WB-06 attenuates too dry for Hefeweizens; I've made a couple of decent Belgian Wits with it. Mangrove Jack's M20 is okay but I've had the best results with Lallemand Munich Classic. Note that this is different to their standard Munich yeast. If you want to aim for most commercial styles you'll want to ferment closer to 18 to up the clove. In my experience it's quite hard to get the right flavour profile just with extract but you can still make decent beers. I've done about 7 batches of hefeweizen so feel free to ask any other questions.
  15. Doing my first lager, as discussed here, and have decided to aim for a very basic Marzen partial mash recipe to kick things off. Apparently a more traditional Marzen will be roughly 50% Munich and 50% pale or pilsner. As I'm doing about a 50:50 grain:extract partial, my plan is to just have Light Munich (18 EBC) in the mash and then use a light dry malt extract in the fermentor. My recipe is as follows: Batch size 10L | OG 1.049 | FG 1.012 | ABV 4.9% | IBU 27.8 | EBC 16.9 1.3kg Light Munich (18 EBC) mashed for 60 minutes at 67 degrees 60 minute boil: 25g Hallertau at 60 mins, 10g Hallertau at 30 mins 0.75kg light dry malt extract W34/70 yeast Aside from general critique of the recipe, I had a couple questions: Am I good to mash light munich alone? I had read that dark munich may not have enough diastiatic power to mash alone. I'm hoping to keep the recipe simple, but just wanted to check if I should add some CaraPils or maybe even wheat dry malt extract for body and head formation. TIA, Cassius
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