611 reputation
412
bio website madalchemist.com
location Rhode Island
age 94
visits member for 3 years, 11 months
seen Apr 8 '12 at 23:12

I brew beer for a hobby and make video games for a living.


Mar
2
comment How can I raise my mash pH with something other than chalk or baking soda?
I do use both chalk and baking soda to begin with, but it changes the flavor profile enough that I try not to put too much in (and I can get to "too much" in even brown beers). I've heard Calcium Hydroxide is actually probably better than Sodium Hydroxide. Hrm...
Feb
20
comment What are the pros and cons of adding specialty grains to the mash?
See my longer response below for the reasoning behind my comment here: In short, if your water's pH is low to begin with, there is very good reason to keep darker grains out of your mash. If I don't do this I either have to add a lot of alkalinity via brewing salts or my beer will be destroyed. That said, my water is ridiculously low pH to begin with, and most people don't have to deal with that problem.
Feb
1
comment What Calcium ppm is required in the mash for alpha-amylase stability and mash efficiency?
Great answer, thank you. It's been an adjustment moving to this water supply but I'm finally getting a handle on it.
Jan
10
comment Secondary Fermentation
Agreed. I've made a couple of bottle bombs and generally wrecked a couple of batches by bottling too early in the past. I virtually never bottle before ~2 weeks anymore. If you DO bottle too early, however, you can recap all the bottles (something I wish I knew a few years ago when I made such mistakes).
Jan
10
comment Secondary Fermentation
Bitter Orange Peel and Coriander. He mentioned that he had a "ton" in there alongside hops. I'd personally probably leave it for 4 weeks without a second thought unless that "ton" is actually significant (more than a couple tablespoons of each).
Jan
10
comment At what alcohol level does alcohol start to contribute sweetness?
Interesting. I've been looking around in my brewing books and have found nothing, but I swear I detect a little sweetness when my beer goes above a particular ABV, even with a standard level of attenuation and bitterness. I might do some more experimentation to figure out when I'm onto something or on something. ;)
Jul
18
comment Is this beerstone or something else? White haze in my kettle.
Thanks. I'll try out something like CLR to get rid of it.
Jul
18
comment Is this beerstone or something else? White haze in my kettle.
Looks like you're in New England too... I just moved to Rhode Island and switched from distilled water to tap water--prior to distilled, I had the luxury of living in Colorado and the tap water there is great, so it left no deposits.
Jul
16
comment Munich and Vienna Malts - Dullness
I don't brew lagers. I don't have the equipment or desire to do so. I've faked a lot of great lager-like beers using ale yeasts at lower temperatures or lager yeasts at high temperatures--you just have to do a little research on the yeast to see if it can handle it and determine what results you can expect. I've used the European Ale yeast to great effect in the low 60s using Munich and Vienna as base malts.
Jan
21
comment Is there a problem if one forgets to sanitize caps?
I with Northern Brewer Chris on this subject. The most vital thing you can learn to make great beer is sanitation. A good sanitizer is a good brewer. A good brewer is a good sanitizer.
Jan
21
comment should i keep my carboy at current fermentation temp after moving from 75F+ to 68F?
Piggybacking on Denny's comment again: For a vast majority of my ales, I ferment for 3-4 weeks in primary and never transfer to secondary. It produces great results and I've never had off-flavors from leaving it in primary for that time range (in fact, the only time I ever have was when I left it for 2+ months).
Jan
21
comment Will a carboy's narrow opening hinder or prevent successful wild fermentation?
Agreed with Denny here. If you want drinkable beer, buy Brettanomyces/Bacteria/Lambic yeast from White Labs or Wyeast.