Making Water I

Hank Speaks… So Listen by Hank Bienert
Mardi Gras is a time of parades
“HEY, THROW ME SUMPIN’!!!”
But it is also a time of standing around, drinking lots of beer and standing around, drinking lots of beer and then rushing around to find a bathroom.

“Hey, Cap, ain’t cha got no terlet ‘round here?”

It is fact that with age men get wiser but have to urinate more frequently because of an enlarged prostate…does this mean that wisdom is based in the prostate? Before the ladies in our club become offended/violent, I wish to state that I will offer no further medical opinion on this subject.

More thoughts on making water:
Foods are a combination of their ingredients. Pick up a common packaged item and read the label, understanding that the list is in order of percentage and see how many stabilizers and artificial flavors we get that we didn’t consider.

Beer’s prime ingredient is WATER – sanitized, flavored, fortified with nutrients and alcohol based calories. Monastic life in the Middle Ages always required long hard physical labor especially in Lent, a time of the heavy work of spring planting and yet a time of severe fasting. This contradiction of less calories yet more work needed was handled elegantly by the Brewer Monk* who made a high alcohol drink therefore high energy in a sanitary liquid plus a mind altering/spiritually strengthening libation.

Beer’s prime ingredient is WATER. Extract brewers are using a concentrate made with a
processor’s water but they are diluting it so even they need be aware of what their own water is like and of course this information is key for all-grain brewers (which many extract brewers morph into) who are tasked with extracting flavors from grain using local water.

DE chlorination of municipal water is mandatory and can be a matter of simply letting it sit uncovered for a couple of days but I prefer the cheap, quick always reliable Camden tablets -1 tab per 20 Gs will clear it in a few minutes which means if you suddenly need more water it can be quickly obtained.

Prepare enough water for mash as well as sparge. Most recipes claim to be based on a 5 G yield but, after all the transfers are done, fall short of that as a final volume For a 6 FINAL wort yield I require:

(A) 7 Gs which I must begin with since my evaporation with a 1 hour boil reduces it to 6G- 6G and not the 5 most recipes mention to end up with enough GOOD beer. After cool down, I rack the top 5.5 into the primary fermenter leaving 0.5 sludge in the boil pot which I then put in a covered pail and refrigerate and when the junk drops out by the next AM, I put the clear portion into freezer bags and store it frozen as a “wortcicle” which will be used for a starter for the next brew or add it to the primary if fermentation has begun. After primary fermentation is almost over, I transfer 5.25 into my secondary leaving about 0.25 which is a yeast source I save for future brews (see previous articles about harvesting yeast) or to throw into the boil pot after flameout at next brew as a yeast nutrient. When I go from secondary into serving keg I once again take only good beer which gives me a FULL 5 G keg. Any other good beer beyond that can be bottled but being lazy/practical I usually put this little leftover into a gallon jug and drink it over the next few days mixed with some carbonated brew I have on hand. What I want in my serving keg is plenty of GOOD beer.

(B) 10 lbs. of grain will permanently hold 1 g of water so if I am using 15 lbs. of grain, B=1.5 Gs

(C) This is particular to each system-dead space-liquid that remains in the mash tun, hot liquor tank. Pump + hoses which in my case =0.4Gs
A+B+C= volume required = 8.9 Gs which I round up for DE chlorination purposes to ½ tablet in 10Gs, setting the extra 1.1Gs aside Add 1.25 quarts for each lb. of grain for mash and divide the rest of water equally using half for raising the temp and, after draining, using the other half for a final rinse.

Moving to Qualitative Analysis as in Chem 201 Qualitative Analysis, that is, what’s the water made of? This is a subject to be discussed next month so consider that not reading about water mineral content is what you “gave up for Lent” which is exactly what I am going to tell my wife SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed)

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