HOMEBREW Digest #151 Tue 16 May 1989

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Re: problem water (Pete Soper)
  Growing Hops (Steve Anthony)
  boiling brewing water, pH, and skunky beer ("1107-CD&I/VIRUS DISEASES")
  no subject (file transmission) (lbr)
  Lactic Acid

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 15 May 89 10:31:16 edt From: Pete Soper <soper at maxzilla.encore.com> Subject: Re: problem water From: florianb%tekred.cna.tek.com at RELAY.CS.NET >Pete Soper talks about increasing pH with boiling. I interpret this as >a concentration of the alkaline ions. I recommend stop boiling the water. The pH increased but the buffering effect changed only slightly. The point was that without other treatment, this water is useless before boiling and useless after boiling, for most recipes. What I was looking for was an explanation of what is likely to be in this water other than the kind of simple bicarbonates that can be precipitated, and more importantly, how I can greatly reduce this buffering effect. >If you want to sterilize it, simply heat it to boiling. Try acidifying >it with, say, citric acid. Anyone have a better method? Adding acids was what I meant by "drastic measures". I wasn't explicit because I didn't want anybody to start adding acids to their recipes just because they had read about them in the digest. I've used acids (OTHER than citric) with great success but have decided to switch to trucking decent water to my house. But at 80-120 pounds of water per batch there is a lot of inducement to find improved kitchen chemistry for my water treatment :-) Speaking of water, the homebrew club I joined recently carried out an interesting experiment. Each of six members was given an identical kit of ingredients and a detailed recipe to make a batch of homebrew. The one main variable that was allowed to vary was water. Four very different sources of water were used and although the sample beers looked and tasted quite similar there were very distinct differences in flavor. One sample had a faint clove character. One had a level of hop bitterness absent from the other samples, and so on. One sample was really awful, but it didn't taste like it was infected. It just had a yucky flavor that reminded me of coffee brewed with terrible water. OK, yes, there were in fact many other variables in this experiment. In fact large trucks could be passed through the holes in it. However I like to think that the lake, river, and well waters used did play a part. The experiment goal was stated as follows: "To establish baseline variability by brewing a sample of beers somewhat more similar than Coors Light and No. 6 diesel oil" :-) Return to table of contents
Pete Soper, Encore Computer Corp, 901 Kildaire Farm Rd., bldg D Cary, North Carolina 27511 USA phone 1 919 481 3730 arpa: soper at encore.com ( uucp: {talcott,linus,bu-cs,bellcore,decvax,necntc}!encore!soper Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 15 May 89 11:54:27 EDT From: Steve Anthony <steveo at Think.COM> Subject: Growing Hops I'm curious as to the experiences netlanders have had in the growing of hops. Questions that come to mind are what climate is right, soil conditions necessay, how long it takes to generate a useful crop (hopefully not as long as planting grape vines until you get useable grapes), and what kinds of hops are good for what kinds of conditions. Any pointers to books/references would also be helpfull. Bung ho! Return to table of contents
Date: 15 May 89 21:16:00 EST From: "1107-CD&I/VIRUS DISEASES" <henchal at wrair.ARPA> Subject: boiling brewing water, pH, and skunky beer RE: Increases in pH after boiling. Carbonic acid is a weak, unstable dibasic acid which is formed in solution by water and dissolved carbon dioxide. One effect of boiling is to drive the carbon dioxide (as well as all gases) from the solution. Once the solution cools, shouldn't the pH be higher according to the following formula? 2H+ + CO3-- ------->H2CO3 -----------> H2O + CO2 <-------- <--- The length of the arrows signify the tendency of the reactions to proceed. I am a little surprised by the final pH that Peter Soper reported for his water (>pH 9.0). Peter, does your water contain alot of dissolved carbonates? You might consider having it tested. I believe that one remedy is to lime (CaO) well water to soften it and control pH problems. When you boil your wort, do you add gypsum? To acidify the wort, the brewer can add gypsum and/or citric acid (should be the free acid NOT sodium citrate). I usually treat my brewing water with both, since I can not reach my brewing pH solely with gypsum. If I add too much gypsum I get water which is too hard. Citric acid does not appreciably detract from the flavor of the beer, and can rapidly change the pH of the water. Erik A. Henchal <Henchal at WRAIR.ARPA> Oh, one last note. Mr Tehennepe described the production of what I interpreted to be "skunky" beer. This is of course the classical description of "light- struck" beer. Was your fermenting beer exposed to excessive amounts of light? Erik Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 15 May 89 16:00:39 EDT From: holos0!lbr at gatech.edu Subject: no subject (file transmission) Subject: Lactic Acid Anyone have a supplier for lactic acid? Dave Miller, in his new book, claims this acid is excellent for adjusting mash pH. I do not like citric acid. If I add enough of it to have an effect there is a noticeable Kool-Aid taste. None of my mail order catalogs--and I have at least a dozen--lists lactic acid. Len Reed gatech!holos0!lbr Return to table of contents
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