The Brew-Magic is sitting waiting for the PLC to arrive. I got the software upgrade, but had to send in the part to Toledo as there was a small issue. The poor thing looks so sad without a brain! Hopefully it will come in this week, and I can get up and running. I plan to write up a short upgrade article, and compare the new software with the old.
I am also working on an experiment, with the encouragement of M. Brungard, looking at the behavior of a static mash, and derived impacts of temperature stratification and mash pH. While I cannot likely draw a directly line, the premise may be that where and when we measure a dynamic biochemically reactive system can correlate with extraction efficiency. Not to say we are doing it wrong, but perhaps point to data that says – STIR STIR and STIR some more at convenient times during the mash.
I still have some more thoughts on water treatment procedures, but based on conversations with friendly professional brewers, may have taken this well beyond extreme. Still – we control what we are willing to control, and I am happy to obsess over water until something else strikes my fancy.
I am also going to explore some small batch brews – attempting to use a modified BIAB system and a Sous Vide Immersion Circulator. Could be a fun easy way to brew or a freaking disaster… Might be fun to watch. For those that don’t know Sous Vide – it is a cooking technique where food is cooked under vacuum, but in a water bath. This allows for much lower temperatures, very even cooking and some interesting textures and flavors. Here, the circulator will simply moderate and hold temperature (hopefully very accurately) – as well as agitate the mash a bit.
I am trying to figure out what happened to a lovely saison. I split the batch, with half into a whiskey barrel, and the other half onto some raspberries blended in apple juice. The barrel batch, after two weeks, lost all of the phenols. It only has esters… tastes like a mango and banana beer – even though no fruit was introduced. The other bit remains wonderfully spicy and tart! So who knows…