Author Topic: Hop Heads Wanted For Advice  (Read 15254 times)

Offline MikeinRH

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Re: Hop Heads Wanted For Advice
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2012, 05:35:46 PM »
I hate to admit it, but I lay awake at night thinking about this stuff.
Thank all you guys for your thoughts and suggestions. A lot of these ideas aren't covered in anything I've ever read.

Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Hop Heads Wanted For Advice
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2012, 06:22:05 PM »
Why would you hate to admit that?  I'd be more embarrassed to admit that I didn't.   :o

R.I.P.:Belgian Blonde
On Tap: Apfelwein, Kolsch(v2), Pumpkin Ale, Belgian Specialty 
Aging/Storing: Coffee Porter, Chocolate Porter, Flanders Red, English Barlywine
Fermenting: Maggie's Altbier
Next Up: PtE(1.1), Belgian Dubbel?

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Offline MikeinRH

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Re: Hop Heads Wanted For Advice
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2012, 12:02:13 AM »
Tom_Hampton: Many thanks for the water education. I'm still a dunce, but I did commence two batches with tap water run through a carbon filter to remove the chlorine. I also sent a sample of the water to Ward Labs. $36 for a homebrewer panel is by far the least expensive lab I have found. Most want $20 per mineral. I also added pH stabilizer to the mash and a Camden tablet to the boil at the recommendation of my homebrew supply guy. I have a hunch this is going to be the answer to my inability to get the IBU's I'm looking for.

Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Hop Heads Wanted For Advice
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2012, 07:23:14 PM »
See my post in the other thread. 

You're welcome.  I hope it works out well for you.  I learned it all from other's so I'm just passing the information along....paying it forward, as it were.

Hopefully, your LHBS guy sold you Potassium Meta bi-sulfite, and not Sodium Meta....otherwise, you will be adding some sodium to your beer...a little Sodium goes a long way in beer. 
R.I.P.:Belgian Blonde
On Tap: Apfelwein, Kolsch(v2), Pumpkin Ale, Belgian Specialty 
Aging/Storing: Coffee Porter, Chocolate Porter, Flanders Red, English Barlywine
Fermenting: Maggie's Altbier
Next Up: PtE(1.1), Belgian Dubbel?

Working thru all BCS recipes

maddspoiler

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Re: Hop Heads Wanted For Advice
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2012, 07:49:44 AM »
Something else nobody mentioned is make sure your pre boil gravity and volumes are what you estimated. If either number is higher or lower you will have to do some quick math and re calc your additions to meet your needs. This can get overlooked by homebrewers. Good Luck.

Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Hop Heads Wanted For Advice
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2012, 08:14:52 AM »
I agree, but that's not going to make the difference in what the OP is complaining about.  His hop utilization would be slightly higher or lower (or a little more dilute), but not the dramatic low hop character that he describing.
R.I.P.:Belgian Blonde
On Tap: Apfelwein, Kolsch(v2), Pumpkin Ale, Belgian Specialty 
Aging/Storing: Coffee Porter, Chocolate Porter, Flanders Red, English Barlywine
Fermenting: Maggie's Altbier
Next Up: PtE(1.1), Belgian Dubbel?

Working thru all BCS recipes

Offline MikeinRH

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Re: Hop Heads Wanted For Advice
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2012, 05:41:08 PM »
Tom_Hampton: I just got my H2O test back from Ward Labs:
Ca         43
Mg         17
SO4-S   43
Cl          78
CO3        6
HCO3    121
Na          70
pH          8.1

No wonder my IPA's don't pop. I'm going to input this into Beersmith and see what I have to do to get at the numbers you suggested for your own IPA's. I'm also going to find out about Tasty. Kinda bummed right now.

Offline tom_hampton

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Re: Hop Heads Wanted For Advice
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2012, 11:55:26 PM »
Mike-

I STRONGLY recommend using EZWater 3.0 vs. Beersmith.  Beersmith is OKAY. But EZ water does the job better, and calculates things you need to know that beersmith does not (mash pH).

Dont' be bummed...its all about the learning, right!? 

Mike "Tasty" McDole...long standing member of The Brewing Network...multi-award winning homebrewer.  He's one of the best homebrewers in the country. 

All is not lost for your existing beers...you can actually add CaSO4 directly to a beer and see how it improves the beer.  Kinda like adding table salt to a plate of food.  This way you can try it and see how it changes the taste of the beer.  If it gets better you know you are on the right track. 

In theory you could even calculate your additions and scale to a whole batch.

I see a few issues with your water:

Calcium is okay, but on the low side.  50ppm is really minimum, closer to 100 is better.

HC03 is pretty high.  This will make all light colored beers (less than 10 SRM...maybe even 15) difficult to make due to pH issues.  Further, low calcium and high alkalinity will cause your mash ph to be high...5.75 (vs. 5.5) for a typical IIPA recipe.  Further, this will raise the pH during the sparge and risk extracting tannins late in the sparge.  Finally, the end result is a high boil pH...which can make hops taste wrong. 

Sodium is pretty high, too.  My water has 24 ppm, for reference.

The SO4-S isn't the same as S04, multiply by 3 to convert....129.  S04:Cl = 1.65:1.  That's pretty balanced.  Just fine for your average beer, but low for a hoppy beer.

You have plenty of magnesium, so you don't need any epsom salts.  You can just focus on Gypsum and CaCl2. 

I think you will want to dilute your water with distilled water to reduce the amount of sodium and bicarbonates.  Then add back CaCl2 and/or CaSO4 to raise calcium and control the Cl:SO4 ratio.  Finally, consider using an acid (phosphoric or lactic or some of each) to help hold your pH down.







R.I.P.:Belgian Blonde
On Tap: Apfelwein, Kolsch(v2), Pumpkin Ale, Belgian Specialty 
Aging/Storing: Coffee Porter, Chocolate Porter, Flanders Red, English Barlywine
Fermenting: Maggie's Altbier
Next Up: PtE(1.1), Belgian Dubbel?

Working thru all BCS recipes

Offline MikeinRH

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Re: Hop Heads Wanted For Advice
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2012, 11:09:08 PM »
I brewed Tasty's Dbl IPA today with pH stabilizer. I also added 2 grams of gypsum to the mash and sparged with 5 gallons of RO after fooling around with the EZ water spreadsheet you recommended. I should have waited to get some Calcium Chloride, but my numbers all came up within recommended limits by JPalmer. All in all, since I have started this thread, my beer has gotten more clear ... and tastier. I would say, largely with your help and the recommendation of others, the quality of my beer has improved dramatically. Many thanks for your help!

Offline piper55

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Re: Hop Heads Wanted For Advice
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2012, 04:27:40 PM »
Mike they say if you pre boil your water it will remove the chlorine, I have a well but i have a friend with city water and thats all he does and hes a mad hop head, he makes big hoppy belgians

 

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