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(First We Feast)   Good: Thoughtful discussion on the craft beer movement in the United States. Bad: Slideshow   (firstwefeast.com ) divider line
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2410 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 May 2013 at 7:28 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-08 10:30:22 PM  

Vangor: noitsnot: This may sound odd, but are you by any chance Australian?

Negative.


Ah. The beer-in-a-bag thing was huge in Australia, and I saw Florida on your profile, and I ran into 80 million Aussies and Kiwis when I was working in Florida for a summer. So I figured I'd take a shot :)
 
2013-05-08 10:33:49 PM  

WinoRhino: max_pooper: but if you find yourself sending your tap water off to a lab to analyzed stop what you're doing and get hammered and forget all that shiat.

Sure, if you'd rather brew beer that turns out mediocre and don't want the best possible results. I'm needling you, of course, but the fact is water chemistry will take you from making good beer to making superb beer. I will go as far as to say you cannot brew some styles effectively without knowing your water chemistry. It will be impossible to get good results otherwise.


That just it, you don't need to brew specifically to a style. The goal is make beer that tastes great, not necessarily beer that taste exactly like a specific commercial style. The fact is that certain styles developed around the water that was available to the brewers, they just used what they had. If your goal is to make a perfectly authentic pilsner, fuss over the water chemistry to match the Berounka River but is completely unnecessary for making a great tasting homebrewed pilsner.
 
2013-05-08 10:33:59 PM  

noitsnot: Vangor: noitsnot: This may sound odd, but are you by any chance Australian?

Negative.

Ah. The beer-in-a-bag thing was huge in Australia, and I saw Florida on your profile, and I ran into 80 million Aussies and Kiwis when I was working in Florida for a summer. So I figured I'd take a shot :)


Heh I figured why, at least the BIAB reason. I don't believe I've met a single Australian in my two decades in Florida, and I travel all around the state, strange.
 
2013-05-08 10:37:32 PM  

max_pooper: That just it, you don't need to brew specifically to a style. The goal is make beer that tastes great, not necessarily beer that taste exactly like a specific commercial style. The fact is that certain styles developed around the water that was available to the brewers, they just used what they had. If your goal is to make a perfectly authentic pilsner, fuss over the water chemistry to match the Berounka River but is completely unnecessary for making a great tasting homebrewed pilsner.


His point isn't the need to mimic a style as much as water chemistry is pivotal with the example of inability to craft certainly styles without specific water chemistry. Knowing what you enjoy and using water chemistry to the area developed or a major brewer has produced will give a closer product to what you want, and you are able to adjust from there without being limited by your water. Should only have to ask your water provider for a read out, anyway, and can get one or two essential minerals to throw in rather easily. This isn't hard.
 
2013-05-08 10:39:27 PM  

Vangor: max_pooper: That just it, you don't need to brew specifically to a style. The goal is make beer that tastes great, not necessarily beer that taste exactly like a specific commercial style. The fact is that certain styles developed around the water that was available to the brewers, they just used what they had. If your goal is to make a perfectly authentic pilsner, fuss over the water chemistry to match the Berounka River but is completely unnecessary for making a great tasting homebrewed pilsner.

His point isn't the need to mimic a style as much as water chemistry is pivotal with the example of inability to craft certainly styles without specific water chemistry. Knowing what you enjoy and using water chemistry to the area developed or a major brewer has produced will give a closer product to what you want, and you are able to adjust from there without being limited by your water. Should only have to ask your water provider for a read out, anyway, and can get one or two essential minerals to throw in rather easily. This isn't hard.


Its not hard, but not worth the worrying about.
 
2013-05-08 10:41:38 PM  

megarian: cameroncrazy1984: megarian: cameroncrazy1984: megarian: I love beer.

All of them. Yes, that one too.

Genny Cream Ale?

Oh my....yes. YES.

To this day, I still do not understand why anyone would drink it. I'd rather drink Busch Light!

*shrug*

I have my days. Busch light makes me think of campfires. That, for some reason, makes it drinkable. Then I end up tubing I a river for 9 hours.

So...I don't know where I was going with this, but I have my first Oberon of the season right now. So that's nice.


My dad drank Busch lite back when I was too young to buy booze for myself so when I stole beer from dad it was swill assed Busch lite.

Anyways I pretty much hate Busch lite and Bud lite(Busch is basically Bud except it has some corn in the grain mix) these days because of it.
 
2013-05-08 10:42:56 PM  
I've never heard of this "beer in a bag" thing. I learned how to brew 12 years ago though, and haven't really researched much in at least 10. I'm at max_pooper's stage in brewing.

My current process:
Go to brew shop
Look at yeast selection for inspiration as to what style to brew
Throw shat together in the grain room
Get 3 gallons to 170 degrees (other than weight, this is about the only measurement I make anymore)
Through 3 gallons and grain in mash tun, mash, and sparge with 3 gallons.

I used to be very scientific, even using a digital pH meter and all that jazz. That was fun at the time, but anymore it's just work. Fark that, I want beer!
 
2013-05-08 10:43:44 PM  
Through 3 gallons

"Throw" rather.
 
2013-05-08 10:51:20 PM  

max_pooper: Its not hard, but not worth the worrying about.


Yes, it is. Look, Like Vangor said, I didn't mean fussing over the water to mimic a profile of Pilsen, or Burton. What I mean is if you want to brew a stout, for example, your mash efficiency will suck (and your flavor will suffer) if you don't account for the large Ph swing caused by roasted grains. Additionally, a certain amount of calcium is required for yeast health / flocculation. Not knowing any of this will still give you a chance at brewing a pretty good beer. Knowing this and accounting for it will make a much, much, better beer.
 
2013-05-08 10:53:02 PM  

impaler: I've never heard of this "beer in a bag" thing. I learned how to brew 12 years ago though, and haven't really researched much in at least 10. I'm at max_pooper's stage in brewing.


BIAB is much more your style if you get back in. You basically mash into the brew kettle with your grains in what would be a large hop bag. No additional equipment other than the bag, easy to hold and raise temperature to mash and mash out, and no need to transfer. Spent a lot of time making mead so the process of mashing grains just seems too much effort to me anymore compared to mix and pitch of mead, and BIAB is close.

max_pooper: Its not hard, but not worth the worrying about.


"As long as you will drink your water" is what I generally say. I don't worry, and I don't feel you'll actually get a mediocre beer without controlling, but with controlling you can make a better beer. My water supports mead rather well, thus never been a concern, but the study and precision attracted me to brewing in the first place.
 
2013-05-08 10:58:16 PM  

Oldiron_79: megarian: cameroncrazy1984: megarian: cameroncrazy1984: megarian: I love beer.

All of them. Yes, that one too.

Genny Cream Ale?

Oh my....yes. YES.

To this day, I still do not understand why anyone would drink it. I'd rather drink Busch Light!

*shrug*

I have my days. Busch light makes me think of campfires. That, for some reason, makes it drinkable. Then I end up tubing I a river for 9 hours.

So...I don't know where I was going with this, but I have my first Oberon of the season right now. So that's nice.

My dad drank Busch lite back when I was too young to buy booze for myself so when I stole beer from dad it was swill assed Busch lite.

Anyways I pretty much hate Busch lite and Bud lite(Busch is basically Bud except it has some corn in the grain mix) these days because of it.


For the same and opposite reason, that's why I love whiskey.
 
2013-05-08 11:01:53 PM  

WinoRhino: max_pooper: Its not hard, but not worth the worrying about.

Yes, it is. Look, Like Vangor said, I didn't mean fussing over the water to mimic a profile of Pilsen, or Burton. What I mean is if you want to brew a stout, for example, your mash efficiency will suck (and your flavor will suffer) if you don't account for the large Ph swing caused by roasted grains. Additionally, a certain amount of calcium is required for yeast health / flocculation. Not knowing any of this will still give you a chance at brewing a pretty good beer. Knowing this and accounting for it will make a much, much, better beer.


Y'all must have really crappy tap water or I have nearly perfect middle of the road, universal brewing municipal water.

My opinion on water has always been if you drink it, cook with it and make coffee with it, you're not going to know the difference in brewing with it. Some people don't drink their tap water, I've never had that problem.

The only things I am anal about are mash/sparge temperatures and sanitation. Mash temperature plays a much bigger role in mash efficiency than water chemistry.
 
2013-05-08 11:02:05 PM  

Vangor: but the study and precision attracted me to brewing in the first place


This. I've been brewing for almost 20 years. The first 15 I made some good beer, some okay, and essentially had decent results. Then I read some books and paid attention to the water chemistry and really became interested. Anyone can make brownies from a box mix-- dump, stir, cook, done. And that's fine if you just want to get high and eat brownies. But the added effort of going from scratch and understanding how all the ingredients work together brings it to another level, and it shows in the quality of the end result.
 
2013-05-08 11:18:50 PM  
max_pooper:  The only things I am anal about are mash/sparge temperatures and sanitation. Mash temperature plays a much bigger role in mash efficiency than water chemistry.

True, temperature ranges activate different amylase and therefore affect mash efficiency. But pH ranges are equally important in determining how active the specific amylase is at those ranges. In other words, if you mash at 148F Beta Amylase will be more active than Alpha Amylase, but how active it is will be determined by the Ph range. If you're up around pH 6.0, you're hurting your efficiency because Beta Amylase wants it to be much lower.

Proper pH levels will also affect your hop extraction, yeast viability, clarity (protein precipitation), effectiveness of warding off bacteria, and flavor.

So maybe you do have water that sits in a nice middle ground. But ignoring water chemistry is NOT going to work for all home brewers. In some cases, they could be doing everything perfectly and still end up with poor results.
 
2013-05-08 11:19:18 PM  
Well that was pedantic and pointless.

bugmn99: Any Fark homebrewers out there? Got anything good bubbling?

Waiting a few more weeks to bottle my honey amber ale. My first non-Mr. Beer homebrew batch and I actually don't think I screwed anything up this time. A little sweat in the wort shouldn't hurt anything, right?


I got mad at myself for running out of beer so I brewed last night and tonight. I have 20 gallons going now and I'm hoping to get another 10 going this weekend. When I backflushed my wort chiller out came 3 boiled bees and a wasp, *shrug*. Bees, wasps, or sweat, it will all be good.
 
2013-05-09 12:20:37 AM  

WinoRhino: max_pooper:  The only things I am anal about are mash/sparge temperatures and sanitation. Mash temperature plays a much bigger role in mash efficiency than water chemistry.

True, temperature ranges activate different amylase and therefore affect mash efficiency. But pH ranges are equally important in determining how active the specific amylase is at those ranges. In other words, if you mash at 148F Beta Amylase will be more active than Alpha Amylase, but how active it is will be determined by the Ph range. If you're up around pH 6.0, you're hurting your efficiency because Beta Amylase wants it to be much lower.

Proper pH levels will also affect your hop extraction, yeast viability, clarity (protein precipitation), effectiveness of warding off bacteria, and flavor.

So maybe you do have water that sits in a nice middle ground. But ignoring water chemistry is NOT going to work for all home brewers. In some cases, they could be doing everything perfectly and still end up with poor results.


I forgot one step, I add a mash pH buffer to my water.
 
2013-05-09 12:24:28 AM  
I had a Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale. Rated 96 (world class) by the Bros at Beer Advocate. Tasted like an old Michelob to me.

Trying too hard is trying too hard. I can homebrew a pale ale better than Deschutes with 4 ingredients.

It didn't taste complex, it tasted old and musty. Truthfully, though, I prefer a traditional bitter on the light side. So it's not fair to dog something I probably wouldn't like going in. YMMV.
 
2013-05-09 12:56:29 AM  

megarian: Oldiron_79: megarian: cameroncrazy1984: megarian: cameroncrazy1984: megarian: I love beer.

All of them. Yes, that one too.

Genny Cream Ale?

Oh my....yes. YES.

To this day, I still do not understand why anyone would drink it. I'd rather drink Busch Light!

*shrug*

I have my days. Busch light makes me think of campfires. That, for some reason, makes it drinkable. Then I end up tubing I a river for 9 hours.

So...I don't know where I was going with this, but I have my first Oberon of the season right now. So that's nice.

My dad drank Busch lite back when I was too young to buy booze for myself so when I stole beer from dad it was swill assed Busch lite.

Anyways I pretty much hate Busch lite and Bud lite(Busch is basically Bud except it has some corn in the grain mix) these days because of it.

For the same and opposite reason, that's why I love whiskey.


Well Grandpa drank whiskey and didn't drink rotgut crap, so yeah I have a taste for that.
 
2013-05-09 01:19:34 AM  

SmackLT: I gotta admit, sometimes the hipsteresque discussion of obscure beer varieties makes me sick to my stomach. FFS, enjoy beer and try beer, and if you find one you really like, stick with it.

Sometimes I really do miss the heady days of six possible beer choices at the store. Don't get me wrong, I do like that craft breweries have given us stuff with actual flavors, but the explosion of 700 different beer choices has given me options paralysis at the local liquor warehouse.


I disagree.

In the days of "We got both kinds of beer, Budweiser and Bud Lite" I'd probably end up just only drinking liquor ever because I dont paticularly like American style watered down pilsner.

These days where you can get imports and micros I can drink a beer I actually like if the folks Im hanging with are beer drinkers and I dont wanna be the odd man out drinking whiskey while everyone else has a beer.

I like my beer dark.
 
2013-05-09 01:28:11 AM  
Yay, my roommate is the craft beer manager at a major place I can't even keep up with all the crazy shiat he beings home.

His favorite reaction was when I said "this is fing delicious" lots of great beer out there if you look for it
 
2013-05-09 01:43:41 AM  
 
2013-05-09 07:05:23 AM  

impaler: I forgot one step, I add a mash pH buffer to my water.


I can't argue for or against products like 5Star's 5.2 buffer-- I used it for a few batches before going all-in with a more complete method of establishing predictable levels and don't really recall the results I had. Bottom line, if it works for you and you're satisfied with your end result, who am I to criticize? :)
 
2013-05-09 09:44:17 AM  
Bookmark.

i.imgur.com
 
2013-05-09 12:13:11 PM  
 We've got talented and passionated brewers

What? What??
 
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