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Old 01-27-2013, 07:49 PM   #21
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Good luck with the chalk. Unless you are taking the time to dissolve it into the water with CO2, chalk does not provide reliable alkalinity. The CO2 dissolving process takes days. Any brewer is better off using lime to supply alkalinity to those mashes that require it.

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Old 01-28-2013, 12:23 AM   #22
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Quote:
Good luck with the chalk. Unless you are taking the time to dissolve it into the water with CO2, chalk does not provide reliable alkalinity. The CO2 dissolving process takes days. Any brewer is better off using lime to supply alkalinity to those mashes that require it.
Thank you...i assume this would be pickling lime then? Also, can I add it to water ahead of time in kettle before putting in my mash tun....or should I add the pickling lime directly to the mash and stir in there???

Oh yeah...and where to get pickling lime??? Grocery store maybe???
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:27 PM   #23
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Thank you...i assume this would be pickling lime then? Also, can I add it to water ahead of time in kettle before putting in my mash tun....or should I add the pickling lime directly to the mash and stir in there???

Oh yeah...and where to get pickling lime??? Grocery store maybe???
Yep, pickling lime or slaked lime. Same thing. You can sometimes find it in the canning supplies section of some stores. I had to ask the manager of my store and they directed me to it. It was well hidden.

I suggest adding it directly to the mash since it will drive water pH sky high if added to only the water. It shouldn't really be a problem if the water has low calcium content, but it still makes sense to moderate the pH effect by adding directly to the mash.

By the way, make a lime water solution with distilled or RO water if you can only weigh out lime in coarse units like ounces or whole grams. Then you can add portions of that solution to add smaller amounts of lime with higher accuracy. For instance, add an ounce to 1 liter of water. Then add a tenth of a liter of the solution to supply a tenth of an ounce of lime.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:58 PM   #24
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Along with your pH, the amount of black patent in your recipe is pretty high. My milk stout recipe is pretty similar and that is when I found I do not like black patent at all. After 3-4 months in bottles the flavors have gotten much better and it is quite enjoyable now. Next stout I make with used de-bittered black malt, pale chocolate, and roated barley for color. Maybe a bit of special-B because I really enjoy that one in darker brews.

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Old 01-28-2013, 07:26 PM   #25
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OK...since I am an Engineer by profession....I have been obsessing over this and over-analyzing it...lol

Couple follow up questions:

I would plan on calculating how much Pickling Lime I need based on water report, etc....but, I will also check my mash pH before adding any pickling lime....to make sure I do not overshoot

1) When checking initial pH of Mash....how long after mash in should it be checked?
2) Once I add some pickling lime to bring pH up....how long does it take to react....i.e. how long should I need to wait to recheck pH to see if more is needed?

THanks!

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Old 01-28-2013, 09:23 PM   #26
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Do you only drink Guiness? Or do you try a lot of different styles of stouts? (Dry, sweet, oatmeal, American) I ask cause in my opinion Guiness is a very good dry stout but also very simple. Maybe the stouts you are making are way more complex than Guiness and if your comparing them to guiness, it might be why your not happy about them. Also as pointed out, thats a lot of black patent. Try and brew that beer again but cut the black patent in half and see if its the black patent your not happy with. I personally never try and go over 4 oz of black patent.

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Old 01-28-2013, 09:39 PM   #27
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I like different stouts.....Troegs java Head is a good one as well....got some potency in that one.

The amount of Black Patent being to high seems to be the consensus on this post ...definately reduce that if I do another Sweet Stout.

But when I calculated my mash pH for that recipe it came out to 5.0....way to low....I want to adjust that up on next stout.

ANyone have any favorite stout recipes they can point me to..??? I was thinking of trying Biermunchers Ode to Arthur Dry Stout.

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Old 01-28-2013, 09:39 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgortel View Post
OK...since I am an Engineer by profession....I have been obsessing over this and over-analyzing it...lol

Couple follow up questions:

I would plan on calculating how much Pickling Lime I need based on water report, etc....but, I will also check my mash pH before adding any pickling lime....to make sure I do not overshoot

1) When checking initial pH of Mash....how long after mash in should it be checked?
2) Once I add some pickling lime to bring pH up....how long does it take to react....i.e. how long should I need to wait to recheck pH to see if more is needed?

THanks!
Yep, we think about stuff way too much!

Whether you check pH or not has to do with how confident you are that your water quality is actually where you say it is with the water inputs and that the grain is typical. I use RO water, so I am reasonably sure that the water quality is consistent. But I do still check pH with my freshly-calibrated meter. The mash pH prediction has been very consistent with the reading. But if you are concerned about the water or grain quality and don't have a good way to check pH, then add only about 3/4 of the lime. Ending up with a mash pH that is a little low is better than ending up a little high. Although if you are targeting a typical 5.4 mash pH, the difference is not likely to significantly affect the beer.

I use a RIMS, so I'm moving liquid around. It distributes the lime quickly throughout. If you are mixing, then do it very well and then draw off a Grant or two of wort and recycle it through the mash. That will help make sure its distributed.

Lime works instantly. It reacts with every proton donor it comes in contact with. The only thing limiting the time it takes for the pH to stabilize is how well the lime is distributed through the mash. With my RIMS, checking after 5 min is enough of a wait.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:29 PM   #29
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IIRC Guinness uses a special yeast and they reharvest that yeast from every batch. So i think that gives their beer a twist that would be very hard to duplicate.
For me, i'm so used to stronger stouts and RIS, that Guinness is almost watered down. Have you tried the Guinness Extra Stout, or Guinness Foreign Stout? Both of them are pretty awesome and more stout than the original!

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Old 01-30-2013, 04:44 PM   #30
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I have not tried those other Guiness Stouts...but have tried other stronger (7-8% ABV) stouts and do like them....one of which is Troegs Java Head....

I will have to try the stronger Guiness ones as well...

I am reallly looking forward to giving another go at a stout using the feedback on this thread.....I ordered a pH meter and appropriate water additives....so I will make sure my mash pH is correct this time.....and also watch my sparge pH....or just lower the pH upfront to 5.5 to 6.0 so I dont have to worry about it going above 6

Thanks everyone....now to finalize a recipe...

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