Saturday, 14 May 2016

Bang on Target

Pretty straightforward brewday, the only mishap was the thermometer going to the bottom of the boiler and an improtu run to the shops to get rubber gloves.

PH of the mash and nice 5.6... the water treatment can't have been too bad.
OG bang on target at 1.050
Volume... bang on target at 23L (+ a bit for wastage in the FV)

even remembered to put the copper fining's in and the the hoprocket worked a treat.

I'll be over the moon if this turns out to be a good brew as I pretty much followed the process with some small tweaks to do some of the cleaning earlier.



Friday, 13 May 2016

Mixed Success... and adventures into water treatment

A bit of mixed success for the last few brews.

The Topaz turned out ok after spending a good while conditioning, however the Topaz/Columbus clearing out the stocks brew has turned out to be a stunner really trying to not drink the last few bottles as I know it's down hill from there.

Early this year I did a brew with Pacific Raku, but that is currently a little bit marginal, in hindsight it probably didn't quite finish fermenting (cold out the fridge it's less harsh).

A couple of weeks ago I did another Mosaic Pale Ale it was the first time using a plate chiller and hoprocket - however putting the hops in after the filter meant the plate chiller clogged quickly - so an improtu whirlpool. I also forgot the kettle finnings. The aroma does appear to have come through quite well. The question is does it clear before the aroma disappears altogether.  Given this is the only pale ale I've got other than pacific raku it will probably be looked upon more favourably.

Tomorrow (HLT is already filled up ready for the morning) is a brew of Super Goose. I sent off a sample of water for testing as got a profile back:

Alkalinity CaCO3 158.00 Residual Alkalinity 20
CRS
Cations
Calcium Magnesium Sodium Carbonates Sulphate Chloride
Ca Mg Na CO3 SO4 Cl
Water Composition 96.60 7.70 40.40 94.7302 78.70 73.00


However having tested with both a Salifert and API GH/KH test I currently make the alkalinity at more like 250. I'm not sure if the water has changed because the process with the last brew was to use 75% of the required CRS for 50ppm, and that was enough to get a bit below 50ppm.

I've decided to stick with the water profile test results that I've got, hopefully this will draw out if the salts Calcium Chloride, Calcium Sulphate and Magnesium Sulphate have a meaningful effect. Thinking back to some of the best brews in Wards View the one of the big changes (aside from temperature controllers over-reading) is that I used Burton Water Salts which were a blend of Magnesium + Calcuium Sulphate - so the overall water might have been more balanced.

If the Alkalinity is 250 rather than 158 I think the dosage of CRS that Graham Wheeler's water calculator comes out around 100ppm which is probably not a massive deal. In some of the brews with CRS treatment I was a little afraid of going too far so it's probably to be fairly close to previous brews.

I'm still trying to get my head around water stuff, but I think a bit later in the year I probably should go for another water treatment... but testing the alkalinity myself before sending it off would be good. It would be ideal if the water profile is mostly stable so I can just use a salifert kit to take a snapshot of where things are.