Sunday, July 27, 2008

Halfway Home

It's business as usual on the business plan. I gave myself two weeks to finish a rough draft and I'd wager that I'm over halfway done. On tap this week:

-Finish the rough draft of the business plan.
-Meet with our lawyer to wrap up the operating agreement. Yup, our attorney is none other than Jeff from Madison Beer Review. I finally remembered to ask him if it's OK that we disclose said information.
-Brew an amber ale and order some ingredients for future batches.

Water chemistry! Excess alkalinity results in poor extraction efficiency (the "mileage" of malted barley) and harsh astringency. When malt and hot water are mixed, calcium and magnesium help combat alkalinity. For most beer styles, Madison's water has more alkalinity than its calcium and magnesium can handle. One method of reducing alkalinity is to add a food-grade acid to the water. Lactic and phosphoric acids are popular among brewers because they naturally exist in beer. I recently learned that phosphoric acid removes calcium from water. I can't quantify the amount, but calcium removal is usually not a good thing for brewers. Figuring out the specifics is way beyond my scope of chemistry knowledge, but I'm not going to let that stop me. I can't work on it during work hours because it'll completely consume me, but I might chip away at it during lunch breaks. How Poindexter is that? If you downloaded my water chemistry spreadsheet, ignore the part about phosphoric acid because it's horribly wrong.

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