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The Screwy Brewer

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  1. Typically 3 weeks is not too long for a Mr. Beer recipe to sit in the fermentor.
  2. ezBrewingWater-RO© by Vince Feminella RO or Distilled Water Source Mash Water Volume: 5.00 gallons Total Water Treated: 5.00 gallons Mash Water Adjustments (Gypsum) CaSO4: 4.00 grams (Calcium Chloride) CaCl2: 3.00 grams (Epsom Salt) MgSO4: 2.00 grams (Baking Soda) NaHCO3: 0.00 grams Lactic Acid (88%): 1.00 ml Acidulated Malt (2%): 0.00 oz Overall Water Profile Ca+2 91.20 ppm Mg+2 9.72 ppm Na+ 0.00 ppm Cl- 76.48 ppm SO4-2 159.12 ppm Sulfate To Chloride Ratio: 2:1 Chloride / Sulfate Ratio: 0.48 Indicator: Bitter / Drier Alkalinity (ppm as CaCO3): Total Alkalinity: 267.56 -62 Residual Alkalinity: 196.69 (RA = 8) Neutralized Alkalinity: 188.82 Final Adjusted Alkalinity: 78.74 Hardness (ppm as CaCO3): Total Hardness: 267.79 Indicator: Very Hard Total HCO3-: 326.42 Final HCO3- 96.06 Estimated pH @ 77F: 5.43
  3. It would be very helpful had you included your grain bill and batch size in with your water properties, but here goes. A Witbier grain bill for 10 gallons of packaged beer is as follows. 15.00 pounds Weyerman Pilsener Malt (German) (66.7%) 06.00 pounds Muntons Torrified Wheat (Belgian) (26.7%) 01.00 pounds Flaked Oats (Briess) (4.4%) 00.50 pounds Briess Munich Malt (German) (2.2%) -------- 22.50 pounds total (average pH DI = 5.82) Starting out with RO water for a Witbier profile the Sulfate to Chloride ratio is 2:1, the hardness indicator range is 'Very Hard' and the mash pH is 5.56, as shown in the image below.
  4. Belgian Witbier is an all time favorite of mine and I have been brewing/tweaking my recipe for the past 5 years. What I have found over time is that using some freshly made zest of Valencia Oranges, at a rate of about 2 ounces per 5 gallons of beer, gives a Witbier a really smooth citrus flavor. Coriander, to me anyway, should be kept to no more than 1/4 teaspoon per 5 gallons too, especially when using freshly ground coriander. Of course using a good Belgian Witbier strain of yeast like WLP-400 will make this beer taste truly authentic too. In order to brew the best tasting version of any beer style it is necessary to match your brewing water as closely as possible to the style of beer being brewed. When asked what had made Hoegaarden the perfect location for brewing the Witbier style of beer? Pierre Celis replied “Hard water (calcium-rich water) is good for brewing a wheat beer. Also, there were abundant supplies of water in the area. I have a well at my home”.
  5. For brewers interested in understanding their brewing water, my recommendation would be for them to download ezBrewingWater-RO© when starting out. ezBrewingWater-RO© uses reverse osmosis, or distilled water, as the source water making it extremely easy to understand. While other water property calculators are complicated to setup and difficult to use, ezBrewingWater-RO© allows you to focus on the most important aspects of your brewing water. https://sites.google.com/site/screwybrewer/ezbrewingwater/ezBrewingWater-RO.xlsx ezBrewingWater-RO© works on any computer that has MS Excel installed on it.
  6. An alternative to dry hopping for aroma, if you don't want to add the hops to your fermentor, would be to boil the hops in your kettle for 5 minutes.
  7. I typically mash between 148 to 155 degrees fahrenheit, lower temperture mashing produces a more fermentable wort while higher temperature mashing produces a less fermentable fuller bodied wort. If I were you I would.... 1) Fill the kettle up with 6 gallons of water and then boil it for 1 hour. 2) After the boil measure how much water is left in the kettle. 3) Subtract the remaining water form the intial 6 gallons to get your boil off rate. Example: Start with 6 gallons of water and after an hour of boiling there is 5 gallons left, your boil off rate is 1 gallon per hour. If you are going to package 4.5 gallons of beer and your boil off rate is 1 gallon per hour, start out with 5.5 gallons of wort in your kettle and you should be pretty close.
  8. Probably the most forgiving yeast regarding temperature range is Wyeast 2633 - Octoberfest Lager Blend™, its rated temperature range is 48°-58° F. Keep in mind that maintaining the same temperature during the first week and then rasing it a few degrees should give you the best results.
  9. The little packet inside the Wyeast package contains yeast nutrient so when you smack it the nutrient mixes in with the yeast cells. If your going to be making a yeast starter just pour the yeast into the starter wort and forget about smacking that little pack.
  10. You could try steeping some chocolate malt and adding that to the boil too. Adding a 1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract per 5 gallons of beer will also enhance the choclate flavor too.
  11. If you're going to be using reverse osmosis water you should also be using a water profile calculator to add salts and minerals back into the water before using it to brew. I like EZ WaterCalculator because it also lets you know how to adjust your waters pH as well as it's alkalinity, which can differ quite a lot when brewing different styles of beer.
  12. Each time I kick a keg I clean out the keg and beer line unless of course I'm going to tap another keg of the same beer right away. My tap handle is located on the side of my refrigerator and the beer line is less than four feet long so only a small amount of StarSan and water is needed to flush the line.
  13. Well I haven't dropped by in quite a while and it's nice to see my original 'sticky' on yeast has been resurrected once more!
  14. You can download the latest updated version of the qBrew application and ingredients library here. Screwy's qBrew Update
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