HOMEBREW Digest #1763 Fri 23 June 1995

Digest #1762 Digest #1764

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  New Gadgets/Open Ferments (RE: 1761) ("Fleming, Kirk R., Capt")
  re-using yeast sediment (DCB2)
  Storage Temperature (Drago James MAJ)
  Rites of Spring Results (chris campanelli)
  CO2 canisters/Fruit beers (Danny Owen)
  New Brewer - Thanks (GOLDBERG_DAVID)
  Water Series (A. J. deLange)
  Fermentap question (Dave Fletcher)
  Hop Plugs (Russ Brodeur)
  Stuck fermentation & Amylase / Slow starting liquid yeast ("Keith Royster")
  Malt profile (Nir Navot)
  Re: Christoffel Blond (spencer)
  Fermenter Yeast Harvesting (Domenick Venezia)
  YBMBRBYEBI (Norman C. Pyle)
  Fermentability Comments (Russ Brodeur)
  Dropping vs Wort Aeration ("Fleming, Kirk R., Capt")
  Water Chemistry: pratical considerations (Steve Zabarnick)
  exploding growler: the happy ending ("mike spinelli")
  New Microbrewery ()
  Steam Generator Praises (howell)
  Re: "nut" brown ale (Jeff Frane)
  20 min sparge/drugs (Jim Busch)
  Re: Fixing leaky compression fittings (harry)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 21 Jun 95 10:37:00 MST From: "Fleming, Kirk R., Capt" <FLEMINGKR at afmcfafb.fafb.af.mil> Subject: New Gadgets/Open Ferments (RE: 1761) New Gadget: ---------- Curt mentioned seeing a new Lister-Phing used to start a siphon and I wanted to mentioned it has been available for some time under the name "Super-Siphon". The unit is built from a 2" long 1/2" (customized?) copper fitting Imagine a 1/2" copper coupling with a convergent-divergent nozzle at one end: --|---------\__/-- The ASCII sketch shows the sectional view. The throat on the right serves as a stop __ for a glass marble which is held against --|---------/ \-- the throat by a large-diameter light-weight spring. The left end of the spring is held in place by the retainer ring (I think it's either soldered in, or is actually a rolled section of the outer tube). I've depicted the retainer as the two vertical strokes "|" at the top and bottom left of the sketch. The marble and beer "move" to the left relative to the outer housing as you accelerate the unit to the right in multiple short strokes--I think you get the idea. Open Fermentation: ----------------- Russell asked abt why open ferments may make 'better' beer. I don't know if they do--it may be a matter of personal taste in any case. I do know it's one helluva lot more fun (for me), and provides superb access to the beer during the ferment. I like to skim the gummygoo from the krauesen, pull samples from near the surface for culturing, and listen to and smell the progress of the ferment. I 'feel' that pulling the gum off the kraeusen before it falls back into the beer indeed improves the beer--but I have nothing to back this up (I would only try to back it up if I had BJCP credentials, and I'm not even close). I also have seen what I think is 'better' fermentation--yeast heads are clearly more joyous, yea, celebratory in nature. They are certainly faster, but this may be entirely due to the aspect ratio of the beer in the container and not the open ferment itself. The ONLY alleged causal factor of beer improvement with the method I've seen is a 'light' reference to the "free exchange of gasses" over the surface of the beer. All I can say is that after 15 open batches, my enjoyment of beermaking has been *greatly* enhanced: a) I can more easily see, hear, and smell the progress, b) I clean wide shallow pots instead of throated carboys, c) I don't have to deal with dirty airlocks or blowoff tubes, and d) I feel I'm brewing closer to 'the British way'. None of these alleged 'advantages' may be of any interest to most brewers, but once I tried it I knew I would never return to carboys again--except for lagering. Also, note there is no requirement (in my view) to leave the lid off--I keep the fermenter covered with a lid (or dinner plate) most of the time. Canadian and British brewers have told me they cover the unit only when the beer has no protective foam cover (prior to startup and after the kraeusen drops). My opinion is that I peek in often enough to clear out bad gas from the unit, and I want to prevent airborne cat dander or other 'stuff' from getting in the beer (dead bats, for example). KRF Colorado Springs Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 95 9:26:12 PDT From: DCB2%OPS%DCPP at bangate.pge.com Subject: re-using yeast sediment In HBD 1761 Kevin Kutskill asks: next batch of beer, and I want to try this myself. Here's the problem: I just fined the finished beer with gelatin. Will the gelatin in the yeast sediment keep the yeast from suspending in the new wort, thereby preventing the fermentation from proceeding as it should? I know my beer is not ruined <g>, but what about the yeast cake? I don't have much experience with gelatin but I would go ahead and try using it. Worst case scenerion is that you'll have to pitch some fresh yeast into your "stuck ferment". In the future, however, if you plan to use gelatin it may be better to consider saving the yeast from the primary instead. The yeast won't be quite as clean but it should still be quite viable IMHO. David Boe Pacific Gas & Electric DCB2 at pge.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 95 13:50:53 EDT From: tj2996 at WESTPOINT-EMH2.USMA.ARMY.MIL (Drago James MAJ) Subject: Storage Temperature I am storing several batches of ale that fermented at room temperature and until recently were stored at room temperature as well. The hot summer weather has caused my storage room temperature (outside furnace room) to increase significantly. I'd say to about 80-90 degrees F. While I realize that fermentation temps for ales should be between 68-75, is there a problem with these higher temps after bottling/kegging? I did notice that a few of my 5 liter kegs were swollen after a two day hot spell, and that one of my bottles of Toad Spit Stout had an off flavor to it. JAMES P. DRAGO MAJ, FA ADMISSIONS MEDIA OFFICER X5701 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 95 12:49 CDT From: akcs.chrisc at vpnet.chi.il.us (chris campanelli) Subject: Rites of Spring Results Winfield Rites of Spring Competition Results There were 83 entries and 19 judges American Pale/California Common (9 entries) 1st: Mike Montgomery (American Pale) 2nd: Thomas Schneeman (American Pale) 3rd: Peter E. Reed (California Common) Brown Ales (9 entries) 1st: Eric Dallman (American Brown) 2nd: James Light (American Brown) 3rd: Mike Montgomery (American Brown) German Ale/Scottish/Barley Wine/Old Ale/Smoked (12 entries) 1st: Mike Montgomery (Rauchbier) 2nd: Mike Montgomery (Barley Wine) 3rd: Jay Kash (Kolsch) English Bitter/English Pale (10 entries) 1st: Tom Keith (English Ordinary) 2nd: Michael Hennessy (English Special) 3rd: Mike Montgomery (Classic English Pale) Belgian Ale/Wheats (7 entries) 1st: Jay Kash (Weizen) 2nd: Frank Dobner (Tripel) 3rd: Mike Montgomery (Belgian Strong) Lagers (9 entries) 1st: Jay Kash & Jens Loder (Doppelbock) 2nd: Jens Loder (Munich Helles) 3rd: Roger Meridith (Munich Dunkel) Mead/Cider (5 entries) 1st: Tom Keith (Sparkling Cider) 2nd: Mike Montgomery (Sparkling Metheglin) 3rd: Mike Kowal & Mike Frost (Still Melomel) Fruit/Herb/Specialty (10 entries) 1st: John Kleczewski (Classic Fruit) 2nd: Philip Gravel (Herb) 3rd: Jeff Horner (Classic Specialty) Porter/Stout (12 entries) 1st: Derek Heicken (Brown Porter) 2nd: Joe Viger (Sweet Stout) 3rd: John Kleczewski (Brown Porter) Best of Show 1st: Mike Montgomery (American Pale) 2nd: Tom Keith (Sparkling Cider) 3rd: Mike Montgomery (Rauchbier) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 1995 15:03:00 -0700 (PDT) From: Danny Owen <owen at liblan.uams.edu> Subject: CO2 canisters/Fruit beers Hello all in HBD land. Got a question and a second de-lurk. I recently obtained, legally of course, a couple of Cocoa-cola cannisters. Where can I obtain a CO2 bottle (hopefully for purchase) and the pin-type connectors to make these of value (I already had the gauge)? The local homebrew store doesn't have these and I didn't want to wait for the U.S. Postal system to do me a favor and get them here. Also, I have wildberries growing in my backyard and I was wondering if anybody has any tried and true recipies for berries (I believe that we have both raspberries and blackberries). Also, when are you supposed to pick these berries for maximum flavor, brew-a-bility (a neo-logism), etc? P.S. I live in LR, AR (no Bill CLinton question or comments please as they will be ignored) Danny Owen A brewer in suspense P.P.S. Reply in private please. I will post the responses and results if there is any of either. Return to table of contents
Date: 21 Jun 95 16:54:00 -0500 From: GOLDBERG_DAVID at devnull.mpd.tandem.com Subject: New Brewer - Thanks All, I want to thank everyone who responded to my request for infomation. Now I'll get to enjoy my two favorite things: Drinking good beer Driving my VW Thing Regards, David Goldberg 14231 Tandem Blvd Austin, Texas 78728 GOLDBERG_DAVID at TANDEM.COM Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 1995 20:21:03 -0500 From: ajdel at interramp.com (A. J. deLange) Subject: Water Series In #1761 I indicated that I thought it would be nice to be able to supply formulations for each of the waters that Dave Draper tabulated in #1704. It turns out I was closer than I thought to being able to do this and am now ready to have a go at it IF YOU PEOPLE WANT ME TO. Please read on here and, if still interested, the companion post titled "Burton 1" which I'll try to separate by a day from this so that I'm not gobbling up too much space in one number. What I propose to do is make one post per city (there are 17). Burton 1 is a sample of what a city post would be like. I would do one of these every couple of days until they are all done. In this way I can spread out the labor and also not flood the digest with water. If you like this idea send me e-mail to that effect. If you think it's a dumb idea please let me know that also. I won't go any further unless I have enough positive (and little enough negative) response to make it seem worth while. The formulations are based upon software which I described in #1761 and which has since been beefed up some. They are for salt and acid additions to water which is ion free (distilled, ion exchanged, or treated by reverse osmosis). What follows here is a guide to interpreting the computer out- puts in the Burton 1 (and subsequent) posts. It is illustrated by the following sample formulation for water which approximates the Burton 1 profile in Dave's post: 1 n: 770000 Temp: 0.000962 Energy (rms %): 0.033907 2 Burton 1 3 ION DESIRED REALIZED ERR, % SALTS AMOUNT 4 Ca 268.000 267.887 -0.04 NaCl 3.582 5 Mg 62.000 62.026 0.04 Na2CO3.10H2O 203.042 6 Na 54.000 54.025 0.05 CaCL2 1.400 7 K 0.000 0.000 0.00 CaSO4.2H2O 609.163 8 CO3 275.000 274.938 -0.02 CaCO3 313.607 9 SO4 638.000 637.804 -0.03 MgCL2 2.679 10 CL 36.000 35.989 -0.03 MgCO3 62.169 11 H 6.870 2.633 -61.67 KCl 0.000 12 0.000 0.000 0.00 Na2SO4 61.764 13 0.000 0.000 0.00 MgSO4.7H2O 440.022 14 0.000 0.000 0.00 H2SO4 86.356 15 0.000 0.000 0.00 HCl 31.817 16 Carbonic: 2.2816 Bicarbonate: 2.2816 Carbonate: 0.000262 mM 17 Total Required Hydronium: 6.8448 Sulfuric Hydronium: 1.7814 18 Hydrochloric Hydronium: 0.8773 mEq 19 4.1861 mEq additional hydronium required to maintain pH 6.38 20 Solubility Products - CaCO3: 8.70E-09 MgCO3: 2.60E-05 21 Ion Products - CaCO3: 1.76E-09 MgCO3: 5.26E-10 22 Alkalinity: 2.25 mEq; 112.56 ppm as CaCO3. 23 Temporary hardness: 9.16 mEq; 458.00 ppm as CaCO3 24 Permanent hardness: 9.31 mEq; 465.42 ppm as CaCO3 The line numbers are only for reference here and are not used normally. Line 1 contains some information about what the program did. The important item is the rms % number. It is obtained by taking the percentage error in each ion concentration, squaring it, adding them up and taking the square root of the sum. The lower this number the better our approximation to the desired. I do not intend to report formulations with rms % errors greater than 10% except to illustrate a point orunless there is no way I can come up with a better approximation. Line 2 is the name of the city as given in Dave's list. Line 3 has the titles for the columns. The first column contains the symbols for the ions. Charges are not indicated. The second column is the desired concentration for the ions in parts per million (ppm) which is equivalent to milligrams per litre (mg/l). The third column shows what the concentration of the individual ions will be if the salts and acids named in the fifth column are added to water in the quantities listed in the 6th column. All salt quantities are in mg/l. If the salt used has a different water of hydration that that given in the name in the 5th column the quantity must be adjusted to reflect this. The acids are listed as mg/l (ppm) in the 6th column but their equivalencies are also given in lines 17 (sulfuric acid) and 18 (hydrochloric) thus, the, 86 ppm H2SO4 can be obtained from 18 ml of 1 N sulfuric acid. The errors in column 4 are obtained by subtracting the desired concentration from the realized concentration, dividing by the desired concentration and multiplying by 100. I don't intend to post any results where any ion concentration is in error by more than 15%. Lines 4 -15 list the individual ion and salt data. Line 11, will often be seen to be substantially in error. What this means is that the hydrochloric and sulfuric acid additions listed in lines 14 and 15 were not sufficient to dis- solve all the carbonate and additional hydronium is needed. The equivalent amount is listed in line 19. Thus, an acid other than hydrochloric or sulfuric (such as phosphoric or lactic) is required in this quantity to obtain the ion concentrations of column 3 AND the pH (also listed in line 19). The pH is an input to the program. It is sometimes necessary to specify a pH lower than neutral (7.00) in order to get all the carbonates into solution but I try to use 7 where I can and still meet the error criteria (10% rms, 15% maximum). Lines 12 - 15 are filled with 0's in the first 3 columns simply to make my print statements simpler. Line 16 gives the relative concentrations of the three species of carbonate-derived ions in millimoles/litre (mM/l). The sum of these three numbers, converted to mg/l, is equal to the total carbonate as indicated in Column 3, Line 9. Lines 17 -18: see Line 3 explanation Line 19: See line 11 Lines 20 and 21 are to be compared. If the ion product is close to the solubility product this means that the solution is close to being saturated. This is seen for CaCO3 fairly frequently for high carbonate waters and is the reason that I set the pH to 6.38 for these fairly often. 6.38 is a nice pH; it is the pK for the first dissociation of carbonic acid and a value that carbonate systems naturally like to go to. Line 22 is the alkalinity of the water synthesized - not the water specified. It is a function of the carbonate content and the pH I chose. It is given as the number of mEq/l required to move the water from the specified pH to pH 4.3 (the methyl orage end point) This is a common definition of alkalinity. It is also expressed as mg/l CaCO3 by multiplying by 50 (the number of mg/mEq for this salt. Lines 23 and 24 give hardness data for the synthesized water - not the specified water. Temporary hardness is the number of mEq of calcium and magnesium ion for which there is matching carbonic, bicarbonate or carbonate. Permanent hardness is the number of mEq of calcium and magnesium for which there is no matching carbonic, bicarbonate or carbonate. By multiplying by 50 mg/mEq we again get these numbers as mg/l (ppm) CaCO3. A.J. deLange Numquam in dubio, saepe in errore! ajdel at interramp.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 1995 15:14:41 -0700 From: DAVID DOUGLAS STRAIN <STRAINDD at vortex.t-bird.edu> Subject: cancel Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 06:18:00 GMT From: fletch at poohs.com (Dave Fletcher) Subject: Fermentap question Recently, I have taken notice of a device called a Fermentap which purports to ease the handling of the beer, trub, yeast, etc. in the carboy by allowing one to invert the carboy and control each of these elements using some sort of valve mechanism. I have little knowledge of said device except what I have read in advertisements. Could those who have used this device please send me email describing your experience(s). I will post a summary if interest warrants. Thanks. fletch at poohs.com - --- * KWQ/2 1.2i * Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 95 09:11:53 -0400 From: r-brodeur at ds.mc.ti.com (Russ Brodeur) Subject: Hop Plugs I have grown fond of using hop plugs in my brewing. They are quite compact, relative to whole hops, yet expand when wet to become very similar to whole hops in the boil. Since their variety appears limited to European strains (mostly noble varieties) I have been using them primarily for finishing, with the exception of pilsners :) One of the advantages of whole hops, IMHO, is to act as a filter bed for trub in the boiling kettle, and plugs seem to work fine for this as well. I am curious as to why there isn't more of an availability of hop plugs. I have, however, noticed that William's Brewing is offering more selection than I had seen previously. I contacted one of the hop houses on the west coast, and inquired about availability of plugs, since I personally prefer them. I was told they were of inferior quality to both whole and pellet hops. Is this true?? TIA for any suggestions. TTFN Russ Brodeur (r-brodeur at ds.mc.ti.com) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 09:27:16 EST From: "Keith Royster" <Royster at mro.ehnr.state.nc.us> Subject: Stuck fermentation & Amylase / Slow starting liquid yeast Howdy fellow HBD'ers. I was wondering if you could help me with some questions concerning my first stuck fermentation. I recently brewed an American Pale ale with 6#DME and some specialty grains which I then cooled and pitched onto the yeast sedement (#1056) in the secondary of a previous batch. It should also be noted that this previous batch was pitched onto the sediment of the primary of an even earlier batch, so this is the 3rd "generation". Well, the fermentation started up nicely and all seemed to go well until I checked the gravity prior to kegging. The gravity was ~ 1.025, compared with a target of ~ 1.014. I've read that the majority of stuck fermentations are due to either under aeration or low levels of yeast nutrients. However, I doubt either to be the cause here because I aerated well with the Pin-Hole-In-The-Tube Thingy (new acronym?: PHITTT), and 6#DME in 5 gallons of water should provide enough nutrients (per Dave Miller: 1# per gallon is good enough). Confused, I went to the local brew store to buy Yeast Energizer. The owner recommended amylase enzyme instead, which I bought, and which worked. So I guess my first question is, why did it work? I understand basically that amylase is an enzyme for breaking down larger sugars into smaller ones. Does this imply that my DME was under modified by the manufacturer? Also, over a week later (maybe 2 weeks), small bubbles continued to rise as if the fermentation now would not stop. I tasted the beer and did not notice any infection, but it did taste sweeter than I felt it should (gravity now ~ 1.009). I finally just turned the temp down in the fridge to around 35F and the bubbling stopped. I'm not worried about exploding bottles later because I plan on kegging, but what might be happening here? ******************* I've noticed some recent posts concerning liquid yeast packs that are slow to swell up and though I might contribute my own data point to the subject. I few months back I got a neighbor back into homebrewing. He had brewed a few years back and was interested in trying it again, so he pulled out some of his old equipment and brought it over. The funny thing was, there was an old DME recipie for a Belgian Lager (I think?) sitting in the box, including a liquid yeast pack. The store receipt indicated that all was TWO YEARS OLD!!! Well, just for fun, we broke the pack and made the beer (we did replace the hops). The yeast pack took about 4 or 5 days to swell if I remember correctly, but the starter smelled fine, so we pitched it in the wort. Well, I don't think I've ever tasted a beer with so much diacetyl in it! Talk about a beer you could pour over popcorn!! Like I said, just one person's data point. +------------------------------+---------------------------------------------+ | Keith Royster, E.I.T. | Beer brewers shall sell no beer to the | | Environmental Engineer | citizens, unless it be three weeks old; to | | NC-DEHNR / Air Quality | the foreigner they may knowingly sell | | (704) 663-1699 | younger beer. | | Royster at mro.ehnr.state.nc.us | - German Beer Law, 1466 | +------------------------------+---------------------------------------------+ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 16:36:54 +0300 From: diagen at netvision.net.il (Nir Navot) Subject: Malt profile I just bought some Munton & Fison malt and received with it the analysis certificate. Can you help me understand what these names & figures signify and how they might affect the way I treat this malt and the types of beer I can use it for? Does this profile agree with this malt supposedly being 'lager malt'? Here is the analysis: Moisture % 4.10 Extract dry weight % 80.70 Coarse/Fine Difference % 0.10 Colour EBC units 25 mm Cell 3.00 N.D.M.A. ppb 1.00 Kolbach Index 43.70 Saccharification time (minutes) 10.0 Diastatic power w.k. units =BAL 258 Alpha Amylase =BASKB units - Total Soluble Nitrogen d.w. 0.72 Total protein d.w. % 10.30 =46riability % 88.10 Is there something missing from this profile? What other parameters can one ask for? Many thanks, Nir Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 95 09:43:40 EDT From: spencer at med.umich.edu Subject: Re: Christoffel Blond Robert Lauriston wrote about Re: Christoffel Blond: : First, which 'unfermentable sugars' are sweet? I have read that dextrins : have no flavour (or at least aren't sweet). True, as the chains get longer, the sweetness perception decreases. : Second, if the body is due to short peptide chains, what effect do these : materials have on gravity? If they are providing a full body, wouldn't that : tend to give a higher FG, or is their effect on body far greater than their : effect on gravity? There was a big discussion about body a little while ago. There was no real consensus, but I came away with the impression that oligopeptides had much more influence on perceived "body" than did oligosaccarides. And, I think (as you point out in another paragraph) that the high bitterness level may also contribute to the overall "body" perception. : Would you really have an overall perception of sweetness with such a highly : hopped beer? There are competing influences at work here. The bitterness does tend to mask the sweetness. However, I have certainly made beers that are both sweet (to the point of being syrupy) and intensely bitter. To get the sweetness without the bitterness, take a little bit of beer right into the front of your mouth and taste it just with the tip of your tongue, which seems to be more sensitive to sweet and less sensitive to bitter. =Spencer Thomas in Ann Arbor, MI (spencer at umich.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 07:58:07 -0700 (PDT) From: Domenick Venezia <venezia at zgi.com> Subject: Fermenter Yeast Harvesting A few HBDs back I posted about easily harvesting and washing yeast from a fermenter. I've gotten a few requests for clarification, e.g., "where's the yeast?". Sorry, if I wasn't clear and complete. Harvesting starts during racking from the secondary. Be careful to maintain sanitation of the yeast cake left behind. Put the airlock back on the fermenter after racking, and don't let the yeast cake sit around for days before harvesting. At every step do all that you can to maintain sanitation. I use copious quantities 70% ethanol as a wipe and a spray, and keep a bucket of iodophor near to drop and store things in. Keep everything sealed. Refrigerate your slurry--it will keep longer and it settles faster. If you are using your household refrigerator (a filthy, microbial jungle), get some brand new ziplock bags and store everything in a brand new bag. This includes plates, slants, flasks, jars, etc. Wash your hands often--dry with new paper towels. Don't touch your face. Don't scratch your arm pits. Don't pick your nose. Don't I sound like your mom? Preboil, cool, and store 3-4 quarts of water. Pour a quart into the fermenter, swirl it around and collect the slurry in something. Let the solution settle overnight in the refrigerator. It has been my experience that the trub settles first into a darker layer, then the yeast settles on top of the trub. Remember, we have a slug of yeast here so even losing half of it will leave more than you've ever pitched from a starter. Pour off the liquid portion (decant), add more preboiled water, swirl, let completely settle, decant again. Repeat until the water remains clean. Once you've gone through a couple rounds the process can be interrupted if you run out of preboiled water. It is important to get the remaining beer out of the slurry quickly as it makes a good bacterial medium. It usually takes me up to a week to wash my yeast, but then I really let it settle. When you have cleaned up the slurry, you're left with a layer of grayish trub under a layer of pretty white yeast. If the trub doesn't bother you add enough water to cover the yeast and seal the container and store until use. In the refrigerator it will last 2-3 months. If the trub bothers you, then add more preboiled water, swirl it up, wait for the first layer to form and pour off the liquid. In this case the liquid will contain the yeast. Then treat the yeast as above. If you have access to a separatory funnel the whole process is quite easy. If you want to the last step is an acid wash to kill bacteria. Wash the yeast by letting it sit for 2 hours in a pH 2.5 solution of phosphoric acid, then rinsing with preboiled water as above. Domenick Venezia ZymoGenetics, Inc. Seattle, WA venezia at zgi.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 95 9:07:10 MDT From: Norman C. Pyle <npyle at hp7013.ecae.StorTek.COM> Subject: YBMBRBYEBI Eamonn McKernan wins the Flying Fickle Finger of Fate Award for this one: >With all the IMBR questions in recent HBD's, I've got a new twist: I haven't >brewed this batch yet, but is it ruined? Hah! >You see, I bought all the ingredients for a Marzen, and a wheat beer in >anticipation of spending a weekend testing my new RIMS. Well, it's over a >month >since I did this shopping, and the *crushed* grain and whole hops are still >sitting on a shelf in plastic bags in the cold room in my basement. I hope >to solve my leaking problems this week, and want to brew this weekend. The simple answer is no, your beer isn't ruined, but you should go to your room for an hour to think about what you've done (yes, you can bring a beer with you). You should store hops in as cold an environment as possible, which for most everyone is the freezer. I'm not sure how cold your "cold room" is, but the freezer is likely better. Now, the question about grain has always stumped me. I once heard a rumour of a commercial brewery that said they crushed their grain fresh because they got better yield this way. Said that if they crushed it the day before they would add 10% more to get the proper gravities. Now this seems pretty close to something an old wife might tell, but then some of those old wives were pretty smart. I suspect under most conditions your grain won't be as fresh as you might like but that it will perform adequately. You say the grain is not damp; does this mean it is fairly dry down there? If not, YBMBRBYEBI (your beer might be ruined before you even brew it). Can anyone comment on what's really going on with aging malt? ** BTW folks, I have to compliment you all on the high quality discussions on the HBD these days. Kudos to Robert Brown, AJ deLange, and Kirk Fleming for some fine reports this week. I know you don't need my approval, but we all like to gripe when things aren't going the way we like them with HBD. I just figured some good words could be thrown in at times as well. Cheers, Norm Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 95 11:18:19 -0400 From: r-brodeur at ds.mc.ti.com (Russ Brodeur) Subject: Fermentability Comments Back in HBD 1732 I posted my observations regarding the 40/60/70 C mash schedule (ala G.J. Fix in HBD 1506) and DWC & Shreier malts. In a nutshell: I didn't observe _any_ effect due to varying the duration of the 60 C rest (with DWC malts), and I found the Schreier 2-row to be more attenuative than DWC, given the same mash conditions. I brewed a bitter about a month ago, and bottled it a couple nights ago. My total grain bill was 15# (12 # Schreier, 1# dwc biscuit, 1 # caravienne, 1 # Breiss Munich) for 11 gal. I mashed at 105 F/30 min, 145 F/45 min, and 160 F/15 min. I decocted the thinnest ~1/3 for mash-out. I sparged with 8 gal, initially at 175 F. My OG was 1.041 (30-31 pt/#/gal) and my FG was 1.010 (AA ~ 76%) after fermenting ~ 4 weeks using Wyeast London Ale yeast. My AA is quite high, as I desired, right around the published upper limit for this yeast strain (77%). I have a light, low alcohol (~4 vol%) brew for summer enjoyment. BTW, it tastes pretty good too. In short, I have found increasing the second rest temp from 140 to 145-50 to have the desired effect on fermentability. Namely, I can adjust the rest time ratio between 145:160 to achieve the desired body in the finished beer. In my next bitter I will use DWC PA malt, as I had originally planned (I thought I had a bag). Just my $0.02 ;^) TTFN Russ Brodeur (r-brodeur at ds.mc.ti.com) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 95 09:50:00 MST From: "Fleming, Kirk R., Capt" <FLEMINGKR at afmcfafb.fafb.af.mil> Subject: Dropping vs Wort Aeration RE: #1762 wherein Domenick replies: > The discussion concerned a technique called "dropping" which > is simply racking to the secondary fermenter with aeration. I think this will lead to inconsistent use of the term 'dropping'. Based on Wheeler and Protz and email from British brewers, to do dropping is to rack early, specifically at around sg = .5 OG. In fact, Wheeler and Protz *specifically* say (p. 46 BYORAAH): "I use the dropping system...[which] entails simply transferring the ale to another vessel about halfway through fermentation.." and they continue in the definition section... "The beer should be syphoned from one container to another, taking care to leave as much yeast and sediment as possible behind in the primary vessel and taking care to admit the minimum of air into solution; although some air may be beneficial for certain strains of yeast." This last sentence reflects an idea Domenick echoes with: > Dropping is not necessary with most yeasts. But note the difference here: it's NOT dropping that's unecessary, it's AERATION that's not necessary. In fact, I'd argue it isn't needed at all for any yeast. OTOH, perhaps it could be beneficial to aerate while racking with a highly flocculant strain--in which case at racking time you may feel you've left behind so much of the yeast population that you want to aerate to drive them back into reproduction. I don't think you really want to do that--but that's not a matter I can argue intelligently (if there is such a matter). Since I have never seen ANY references to the "certain strains" that "may" benefit from aeration at this point in their careers, I have to think, on the whole, dropping w/o aeration is the best bet. KRF Colorado Springs Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 11:54:55 -0400 From: steve at snake.appl.wpafb.af.mil (Steve Zabarnick) Subject: Water Chemistry: pratical considerations I would like to commend A.J. DeLange for an excellent and extensive discussion of the addition of water salts to distilled water to reproduce the water of famous brewing centers, which was in HBD #1761. A.J.'s report started me thinking about the practical considerations of water chemistry in brewing. That is, how do changes in water chemistry actually affect the character of beer? Does a brewer really need to closely reproduce a particular water chemistry to brew an excellent example of a given style? Let me report on some of my recent brewing "experiments". My city's well water is very hard and very high in total alkalinity (400 mg/l as CaCO3). It is partially softened so that the sodium content is very high (250 mg/l). My beers made with this water (I acidify the mash and sparge water with phosphoric acid) have been good, but I am always looking for improvement. I recently started using RO water (without salt or acid additions) for brewing and have had excellent results. To date I have made a steam beer, a stout, and a weizen. These beers have experienced normal fermentation characteristics (i.e., short fermentation times, normal attenuation), despite the common wisdom that RO water does not have enough of the proper minerals for brewing. With RO water, my mash pH's have all been in the range 5.3 to 5.6, usually right at 5.3, measured at the mash temperature. Starch conversion and yields have been good. Most importantly, these beers have very clean flavors. I intend to continue using RO water for my beers. In my experience RO water does not have to be "doctored" with salts for brewing. I do agree that _certain_ brewing styles can be more readily emulated with salt additions (such as a Burton pale ale with gypsum), but excellent beer can be brewed without such additions. Perhaps we need to reevaluate the role that ions play in the flavor and fermentation characteristics of beer. Steve Zabarnick Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 12:31:36 -0400 (EDT) From: "mike spinelli" <paa3983 at dpsc.dla.mil> Subject: exploding growler: the happy ending My embarrassing account of a beautiful German growler exploding because of suspected overcarbonation is happily not the case. I've since opened and enjoyed my other 16 oz. bottles of weizen without a problem. Carbonation seems perfect for the style. I did get advice that the larger the volume of wort. the LESS priming sugar is needed. Thanks for all those who gave advice. BTW I DO have another German growler which is still sealed with an Alt bier from Munich in it. When it's empty, I think I'll just dislpay it rather than take a chance at creating another mini powder keg. Mike Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 12:40:24 -0400 From: palmer at be0962.be.ford.com () Subject: New Microbrewery Has anyone heard of the Motor City Brewing Works in Detroit (of course)? I recently tried their Nut Brown Ale (I hear it's the best of the two different beers that they currently brew) and it was excellent! Probably one of the best Nut Brown Ales I've had. I'd like to know where they are located. I know that the Detroit & Mackinaw Brewery is in downtown Detroit on Canfield near the Wayne State campus. If anyone in the Detroit area has any info, I would appreciate it. What is the other kind of beer that they brew besides the Nut Brown Ale? Thanks Gabrielle Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 95 13:06:49 -0400 From: howell at ll.mit.edu Subject: Steam Generator Praises I've been hearing some of you speak fondly of your steam generators for mashing, and now I can see why. I e-mailed Steve Jackson for some info he had collected, (thanks, Steve!) and decided to try one. I purchased a 2 qt. Mirro pressure cooker (Wal-mart) for $37.00, and a brass needle valve w/ 1/4" compression fitting on the output for $2.00. I had a length of 1/4" copper tubing already. I drilled and tapped the cooker lid and installed the valve w/ teflon tape. Then I attached a short length of copper to the valve. To this tubing I attached a 1" piece of vinyl, (5/16"ID maybe). Finally, to this I attached the copper line that feeds the mash tun. I did this to avoid having to repeatedly open the compression fitting. I did not modify the copper tubing at all, I simply stuck it in the water. As of my first trial, this arrangement worked great! I heated about 4 gals of water to dough-in temp, approx 140F, then opened the steam valve and monitored the temp rise. As previous posters have noted, I saw approx. 2 degrees/min temp rise. Approx. 20 min from 140F to 170F. I realize this may be a bit slower with an actual mash, but I simply wanted to prove the system's viability first. In short, I love this setup! I am looking forward to brewing with it in the near future. I mash in a converted keg, my motivation to build a steam generator was to free up my propane cooker for heating sparge water. The benefits of steam for you cooler mashers are even greater. I'll not go into that, I'm sure you already know. Thanks, to all the steam generator pioneers out there! Matt howell at ll.mit.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 10:33:47 -0700 (PDT) From: Jeff Frane <gummitch at teleport.com> Subject: Re: "nut" brown ale > From: Barry M Wertheimer <wertheim at UTKVX.UTCC.UTK.EDU> > Subject: Rogue Nut Brown Ale > > Had the good fortune to taste some of Rogue's Nut Brown Ale while > traveling through a neighboring state. Very nice nutty, chocalate > flavor, plus something else that was very familiar, but I could not > place. Any comments on this brew or speculation as to its ingredients? > Hazelnut extract is the "secret" ingredient. - --Jeff Frane Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 13:55:16 -0400 (EDT) From: Jim Busch <busch at eosdev2.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: 20 min sparge/drugs Captn' Kirk says: < Concentrate instead on <controlling mash temperature schedule as accurately as possible, and <on controlling the sparge to last at least 20 minutes. But, as my <brewbuddy points out, the extra extract obtained with a 60 min sparge <over a 20 min sparge could be more easily obtained with an extra 1/4 lb <of grain. I personally disagree with this concept, a 20 min sparge is OK or desirable. Even way back when I made 5 gallons of all grain beer, I routinely lautered for 45-60 minutes. Now that I brew 7 times this much, I lauter between 65 and 120 minutes. Kirk, I believe, is using a RIMS type system, so he has the benefit of only needing to rinse the grains since his lauter bed is already established. I want to caution newer all grainers to lauter slowely, it has a large impact on the strength and quality of the beer. I know in my system that if I reduced the lauter time by 1/3rd, the gravity difference would be much greater than 1/4 lb of extra malt/5 gallons. This is even more true when brewing weizens. Try a 20 minute sparge, and you'll end up with stuck mud. Once again A.J. deLange presented an excellent summary of lautering/sparging issues that I agree with 100%. RE:expolding growlers. The problem is that the growler in question was made from ceramic. Ceramic is much weaker than glass. Germans routinely use the 2L glass growlers and I assure you they do not explode in storage. I routinely bottle condition using these. Brian says: <Alcohol is a drug. I wonder what the Bavarians or French would say about this? Or maybe most Europeans?? I wonder if the Summarians felt this way too. Hummmmm. <Also, it appears sometimes that the beer/liquor <industry is under LESS regulation than the food industry. You've *obviously* not tried to open a microbrewery!!! Good brewing, Jim Busch Colesville, Md. busch at mews.gsfc.nasa.gov "DE HOPPEDUIVEL DRINKT MET ZWIER 'T GEZONDE BLOND HOPPEBIER!" Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 14:14:56 -0400 From: hbush at pppl.gov (harry) Subject: Re: Fixing leaky compression fittings I've used a fantastic product made by Loctite called Loctite 290. It is designed to seal small leaks in assembled fittings and to seal weld porosities. It is a thin, wicking formula that gets applied to the outside of the leaking fitting. You wait a half hour and wipe off the excess. It comes in a half-filled bottle because it only cures once you remove it from air (i.e., only the sealant that has wicked into the crack will set up). Three years ago I used it to fix a leaking weld on my house hot water heater tank (140=B0, 45 psi?) and (knock wood) it's still holding. We've use= d it at work on water fittings (compression and threaded) on a 150-300 psi system with great results. You can probably get it from a Mcmaster Carr or similar type supply house that deals with Loctite products. Harry ................................................................. "But what does it all mean?"- Flakey Foont "Don't mean sh*t"- Mr. Natural .................................................................. Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1763, 06/23/95