Crystal malt in a Bohemian Pilsner

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Silver_Is_Money
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Re: Crystal malt in a Bohemian Pilsner

Post by Silver_Is_Money » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:39 pm

My next attempt at a Bohemian Pilsner will be made as follows, using a no-sparge single infusion mash process, and mashing at 68 degrees C. in 9 gallons (34 L) of the above very low mineralization ersatz Pilsen water, with the following grist, etc...:

Swaen Pilsner malt: 11 Lbs. (5 Kg.)
Weyermann Munich Type I: 1.5 Lbs. (0.68 Kg.)
Swaen Melanoidin malt: 0.5 Lbs. (0.23 Kg.)
Acidulated Malt, 0.4 Lb. (0.18 Kg.)

Initial Boil volume = 7.6 US Gal. (28.75 L)
Post boil volume = 6.5 US Gal. (24.6 L) This is the volume to the Fermenter

~38 IBU of Hops:
--------------------
18 g. Magnum, 12.4% AA, 60 min boil
18 g. Sterling, 7.6% AA, 20 min boil
36 g. Saaz, 3.2% AA, 10 min boil

WLP 800 yeast @ 11 deg. C., Apparent Attenuation ~75%

~OG = 1.052
~FG = 1.013
~ABV = 5.25%
~SRM = 5.6 (~EBC = 11)

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Re: Crystal malt in a Bohemian Pilsner

Post by spook100 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:23 am

Silver_Is_Money wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:39 pm
My next attempt at a Bohemian Pilsner will be made as follows, using a no-sparge single infusion mash process, and mashing at 68 degrees C. in 9 gallons (34 L) of the above very low mineralization ersatz Pilsen water, with the following grist, etc...:

Swaen Pilsner malt: 11 Lbs. (5 Kg.)
Weyermann Munich Type I: 1.5 Lbs. (0.68 Kg.)
Swaen Melanoidin malt: 0.5 Lbs. (0.23 Kg.)
Acidulated Malt, 0.4 Lb. (0.18 Kg.)

Initial Boil volume = 7.6 US Gal. (28.75 L)
Post boil volume = 6.5 US Gal. (24.6 L) This is the volume to the Fermenter

~38 IBU of Hops:
--------------------
18 g. Magnum, 12.4% AA, 60 min boil
18 g. Sterling, 7.6% AA, 20 min boil
36 g. Saaz, 3.2% AA, 10 min boil

WLP 800 yeast @ 11 deg. C., Apparent Attenuation ~75%

~OG = 1.052
~FG = 1.013
~ABV = 5.25%
~SRM = 5.6 (~EBC = 11)
That's almost identical to the recipe that I've settled on except that I use 100% Saaz hops.
A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it's better to be thoroughly sure.

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Re: Crystal malt in a Bohemian Pilsner

Post by london_lhr » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:25 pm

S_I_M,
have you done this brew yet?
What was the mash pH about 10-15 mins in?
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Re: Crystal malt in a Bohemian Pilsner

Post by Silver_Is_Money » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:50 pm

london_lhr wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:25 pm
S_I_M,
have you done this brew yet?
What was the mash pH about 10-15 mins in?
In my opinion sampling for mash pH 30 minutes, or better yet, 45 to even 60 minutes into the mash will be far more representative of the true mash pH. At 10-15 minutes things are still evolving chemically and not all of the crushed (and pH basic with respect to a mash pH target of 5.4) base malt kernels have been fully permeated to their deepest confines by the mash water yet, and as a consequence the saccharification of the crushed kernels is still quite actively occurring. Why try to gauge a mash pH until everything that is going to go on has had a chance to actually go on to completion? If all of the added mash water acidification has not yet had a chance to come into contact with the "effectively" basic grist of the Pilsner malt (again, basic only with respect to a target of pH 5.4) then all you will get is a falsely low pH reading.

The nominal pH of a good Pilsner malt when mashed in distilled water is on the order of 5.8, so that is why it can "effectively" be seen as being basic with respect to a target mash pH of 5.4. Wort pH rises throughout the mash within such an environment.

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Re: Crystal malt in a Bohemian Pilsner

Post by spook100 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:09 pm

london_lhr wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:25 pm
S_I_M,
have you done this brew yet?
What was the mash pH about 10-15 mins in?
I brewed mine today. Very similar grain bill to SIM except added phosphoric acid to my mash water (40ml @10% concentration in 18 litres of mash water) because the mice got into my acidulated malt. Mash pH at 30 mins was 5.45, at 90 mins it was 5.48
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Re: Crystal malt in a Bohemian Pilsner

Post by london_lhr » Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:52 pm

In my opinion sampling for mash pH 30 minutes, or better yet, 45 to even 60 minutes into the mash will be far more representative of the true mash pH. At 10-15 minutes things are still evolving chemically and not all of the crushed (and pH basic with respect to a mash pH target of 5.4) base malt kernels have been fully permeated to their deepest confines by the mash water yet, and as a consequence the saccharification of the crushed kernels is still quite actively occurring. Why try to gauge a mash pH until everything that is going to go on has had a chance to actually go on to completion? If all of the added mash water acidification has not yet had a chance to come into contact with the "effectively" basic grist of the Pilsner malt (again, basic only with respect to a target of pH 5.4) then all you will get is a falsely low pH reading.

The nominal pH of a good Pilsner malt when mashed in distilled water is on the order of 5.8, so that is why it can "effectively" be seen as being basic with respect to a target mash pH of 5.4. Wort pH rises throughout the mash within such an environment.
Unfortunately that does not answer my question! :D
What was your mash pH, whenever you took the reading?
What was your water pH at mash in ?
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Re: Crystal malt in a Bohemian Pilsner

Post by Silver_Is_Money » Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:56 pm

For which batch? I've been brewing since the mid to late 1980's. My latest Bohemian Pilsner came in at 5.18 pH at the 30 minute mark of the mash, and was at 5.22 pH at the 60 minute mark of the mash. I think my current individual lot of acid malt is a bit higher in lactic acid percentage than the typical norm. But I've also revised the 'Mash Made Easy' mash pH assistant spreadsheet since then. Current version is 5.90. There is a metric version also.

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Re: Crystal malt in a Bohemian Pilsner

Post by london_lhr » Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:33 pm

Thanks.
And the water pH at mash in?
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Re: Crystal malt in a Bohemian Pilsner

Post by Silver_Is_Money » Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:58 pm

Not measured. RO water has no alkalinity so it is irrelevant.

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Re: Crystal malt in a Bohemian Pilsner

Post by Silver_Is_Money » Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:59 pm

My well water has a measured whopping 436 ppm of alkalinity (as CaCO3), but it consistently measures pH 7.2. The initial pH of water is generally found to be highly irrelevant to brewing, even if it is not at the mineral free purity level of distilled or RO.

The high alkalinity is clearly another mater altogether though, and its 436 ppm of alkalinity renders my well water quite unusable straight up. I've brewed with it at no greater than 1 part well water to 3 parts RO, but by that point it's easier to use RO and skip the well water. And even when cut to that degree, the remaining alkalinity must be addressed via acidification, unless brewing something on the order of a robust Stout.

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Re: Crystal malt in a Bohemian Pilsner

Post by london_lhr » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:33 pm

Thanks.
I ask these questions because I find it interesting that we (this side of the pond in the UK) and the USA have quite a different approach to brewing water.
In the USA, it seems that the water pH is important.
Here, with my brewing, I could'nt care less about the water pH. I care about the alkalinity of my brewing water.
Before I brew, I look at the following :
1. What am I brewing? a Pale ale, a bitter, a lager, a stout or porter etc.
That would determine if I need low alkalinity or high alkalinity water in relation to my own water.
Treatment of the water alkalinity would be with either sulphuric, hydrochloric (or a combination of the two) or lactic acid to lower the alkalinity.
2. Calcium requirements. The different beer types also have different calcium requirements.
3. The type of beer in no. 1 would also determine if the beer should be malt forward or hops forward or balanced.
That would determine my addition of chlorides or sulphates to get the correct ratio CL:SO4 as per the beer I am brewing, also noting the additions of chloride and sulphates made by the acids added in no. 1 and the calcium requirements.
This in turn would determine the ratio of calcium chloride to calcium sulphate (gypsum) bias in getting to the correct Cl:So4 ratio.
If the alkalinity of the water is correct for the beer type (determined by the grist, malts used), the mash pH will AUTOMATICALLY be in the correct range of 5.2 - 5.5 .

Case in point.
I brewed this beer on Monday.
Grist 95% pale malt, 5% melanoiden malt and 5% crystal malt.
Pre treatment water alkalinity 191 ppm as calcium carbonate.
Post treatment water alkalinity 30 ppm as calcium carbonate.
Water pH post water treatment was 6.1.
(This is my brewing water for mashing in.)
The mash pH after 15mins pH 5.2
1st Runnings pH 5.2.(after 50 mins mash)
Last runnings pH 5.4.(After sparging)
Post boil pH 5.2.
All of these pH values are within accepted norms.
I do think that most people measure the mash pH between 15 mins and 30 mins. (M.A.Brungard and A.J.De Lange et al)
My mash out is around 45 mins when my iodine test shows conversion is done!
I just find the difference in approach to water treatment interesting! :D
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Re: Crystal malt in a Bohemian Pilsner

Post by Silver_Is_Money » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:39 am

I don't think our approaches are all that different. Alkalinity (and controlling it) is always the key. Beers with more crystal or deep roasted malts will require mash water with more alkalinity, and beers with little to none of these highly acidic malts will most likely require acidification. Calcium liberates H+ ions when it complexes in the mash with malt phosphates, and this can also be a means whereby to lower mash pH.

I don't believe in the validity (I call it magic) of chloride/sulfate ratios, but I do believe that chloride should predominate if a malt forward style is the goal, and sulfate should predominate if a dryer and more hop forward beer is the goal.

I do believe that here in the States we tend to keep mineralization at generally lower levels than are practiced in the UK. We often consider 40-50 ppm calcium to be generally sufficient, though since the flavor ions are attached to calcium, more of it may be required if higher levels of flavor ions are desired.

Even for a USA "west coast" style IPA, most of us on this side of the pond would not think of exceeding 200 ppm sulfate, and 150 ppm is generally the target, while around 75 ppm chloride is targeted. These are generally reversed for "east coast" (or New England style) IPA's. Being personally repulsed by grapefruit rind flavored hops, I generally hate American style IPA''s. Perhaps this is due to my age. I'm retired.

Two of my all time favorite ales are Fuller's ESB and McEwan's Scotch Ale (which may be called #1 Champion Ale in the UK, though of this I'm not certain). The Wee Heavy style ale that is sold here as McEwan's Scotch Ale is on the order of 8-9% ABV. Fuller's ESB has become unavailable to me. No one is importing and selling it anywhere near where I live any longer. McEwan's had disappeared here for a number of years, but now it's back.

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Re: Crystal malt in a Bohemian Pilsner

Post by Eric » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:24 pm

Silver_Is_Money wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:39 am
I don't think our approaches are all that different. Alkalinity (and controlling it) is always the key. Beers with more crystal or deep roasted malts will require mash water with more alkalinity, and beers with little to none of these highly acidic malts will most likely require acidification. Calcium liberates H+ ions when it complexes in the mash with malt phosphates, and this can also be a means whereby to lower mash pH.
Yes, I think we see the basics in similar ways and alkalinity being under absolute control. But the means and objectives we use tend to be different and then we diverge. It has been usual here for some time to use hard waters with sulphuric and hydrochloric acids for ales while lower mineral waters were frequently reserved for lagers, possibly using lactic acid. Phosphoric acid here has mostly been used in breweries for washing yeast and other cleaning purposes. With calcium levels frequently between 100 and 200 ppm, its influence is more significant than contemplated by brewers with an upper limit of 50 ppm.
Silver_Is_Money wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:39 am
I don't believe in the validity (I call it magic) of chloride/sulfate ratios, but I do believe that chloride should predominate if a malt forward style is the goal, and sulfate should predominate if a dryer and more hop forward beer is the goal.
A more complicated subject than it might first appear, but, yes, it is not simply a matter of ratio.
Silver_Is_Money wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:39 am
I do believe that here in the States we tend to keep mineralization at generally lower levels than are practiced in the UK. We often consider 40-50 ppm calcium to be generally sufficient, though since the flavor ions are attached to calcium, more of it may be required if higher levels of flavor ions are desired.
I think we would agree on more aspects were cask ale equally available in each of our countries. Served live, unfiltered yet clear and bright with circa 1.2 volumes dissolved CO2, stored only a day or so before venting to be pulled through by hand pump, all done at cellar temperature, say 54F.
According to a 100 year old paper on the influences of minerals in brewing liquor advised beers brewed with low mineral water were thin, soft, clean-flavoured beer and of no character, which many across all those years could confirm. We also have ice-cold beer with lots of CO2, but there is a proportion of drinkers who avoid those.
Silver_Is_Money wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:39 am
Even for a USA "west coast" style IPA, most of us on this side of the pond would not think of exceeding 200 ppm sulfate, and 150 ppm is generally the target, while around 75 ppm chloride is targeted. These are generally reversed for "east coast" (or New England style) IPA's. Being personally repulsed by grapefruit rind flavored hops, I generally hate American style IPA''s. Perhaps this is due to my age. I'm retired.
There are many here happy to brew and drink any or all those beer styles you mention. I'll try them, but frequently wish never to repeat a goodly proportion. When homebrewing became legal without a licence (1963) only loose hops, dry, brown without name or aroma were available. Today we are spoilt for choice andmaybe should try them all, but there are some I wish I hadn't. Two American hops I've used with superb results are Palisade and Liberty, but we sometimes seem destined for a flavour combination of grapefruit, garlic and onions and there is no water mineral content can make those suitable drinking.
Silver_Is_Money wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:39 am
Two of my all time favorite ales are Fuller's ESB and McEwan's Scotch Ale (which may be called #1 Champion Ale in the UK, though of this I'm not certain). The Wee Heavy style ale that is sold here as McEwan's Scotch Ale is on the order of 8-9% ABV. Fuller's ESB has become unavailable to me. No one is importing and selling it anywhere near where I live any longer. McEwan's had disappeared here for a number of years, but now it's back.
And there's yet another division between our beers, alcohol content. It's possible here to spend a night on an array of beers none of which are much, if at all, above 4%. Were your beers at those sort of alcoholic levels, could you imagine desires for fuller flavoured beers when more calcium salts might be added to increase flavour ions content?
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Re: Crystal malt in a Bohemian Pilsner

Post by Silver_Is_Money » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:52 pm

Eric wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:24 pm
And there's yet another division between our beers, alcohol content. It's possible here to spend a night on an array of beers none of which are much, if at all, above 4%. Were your beers at those sort of alcoholic levels, could you imagine desires for fuller flavoured beers when more calcium salts might be added to increase flavour ions content?
I'll have to try elevating the flavor ions sometime, but the idea seems out of place in a Czech Pilsner thread. How high are they taken in the UK?

One style I've never brewed is a 'Brown Ale', so I think I'd like to try making that some time. Any recipe suggestions? Perhaps I need to move this to its own 'Brown Ale' thread since this thread is for Bohemian Pilsner.

We do tend to overemphasize the high ABV side of things here.

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Re: Crystal malt in a Bohemian Pilsner

Post by Eric » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:15 am

Agreed, elevated mineral content isn't usually part of a discussion on a Czech Pilsner. I wouldn't like to speak for most brewers on this subject as I mainly brew and drink ales.

However, I did brew one early December using a mix of my water and some from the source of that to Jim, owner of this forum, plus some salts. It was lagered outdoors and half bottled mid February, the rest the end of that month, 99 in total. They are naturally conditioning at present and the few I've tried are still a little sweet. Time will tell.

I would think a Brown Ale thread would be well received.
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