HOMEBREW Digest #2340 Sat 08 February 1997

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		Digest Janitor: janitor@ brew.oeonline.com
		Many thanks to the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers of 
		Livonia, Michigan for sponsoring the Homebrew Digest.
				URL: http://www.oeonline.com

  HMG-CoA Reductase/Reducing Sugars (A. J. deLange)
  Canning wort ("Kirk Harralson")
  strawberries (Greg Moore - SMCC BOS Hardware Engineering)
  Re: Bulk Malt Extract (Richard D. Cuff)
  Botulism/Guinness/Blue Lettering (eric fouch)
  recipe request (Jerry Cunningham)
  Inexpensive brew kettle (Hal Davis)
  drilling enamel pot (Greg Moore - SMCC BOS Hardware Engineering)
  Re: Canning in beer bottles (David Hammond)
  re:  Best temp for Cold Break? (Dane Mosher)
  Home Malting / Cheery Beer / PV?S? Manifold (KennyEddy)
  Re: Brew Kettle Questions (Alex Santic)
  1: Oasis Pale Ale,  2: brass in hot wort, 3: ball valve size (wesc)
  Re: Home malting, part 1 (Steve Alexander)
  Water, Malt ("David R. Burley")
  Re: Canning in beer bottles (Scott Murman)
  Re: Airstones and contamination? (216) 397-4352" <SHICK at JCVAXA.jcu.edu>
  Botulism (George De Piro)
  Requesting Advice - No Sparge ("R. Shreve")
  Use a varied grain bill (Charles Rich)
  Lazy Yeast Propogation (not propogating lazy yeast) (Charles Rich)
  wort more bitter than beer (Dane Mosher)
  RE:  The Decoction From Hell - What Did I Create? (Russ Brodeur)
  Save my yeast for later (William Watt)
  Re: Brew Kettle Questions ("Sornborger, Nathan")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 13:04:42 -0500 From: ajdel at mindspring.com (A. J. deLange) Subject: HMG-CoA Reductase/Reducing Sugars Steve Alexander wrote: >The activity of this enzyme and so the first reaction above is >modulated by phosphorylation of the enzyme - the phosphates are >presumably thrown off during the conversion of mevalonate to >pre-squalene compounds. Yes, phosphate in one and pyrophosphate in four of the seven steps prior to squalene. >This rather than the mevalonate build-up may be >the controlling factor in yeast too. Could be at least part of it. While I'm aware that this mechanism is recognized I don't believe that its importance has been fully established (Steve may have more recent info than I) and thus assume that the control is mostly via the rate of biosynthesis of HMG-CoA reductase. But certainly anything which reduces the rate of conversion of Ac-CoA (i.e. activity of the enzyme) or increases the equilibrium concentration of mevalonic acid would result in pooling of Ac-CoA making it available for ester synthesis. HMG-CoA reductase (a subject near and dear to my liver and heart - were it not for HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors I'd be unable to eat eggs Benedict) is well established as the regulatory enzyme for sterol prodution but the details of what inhibits HMG-CoA reductase biosynthesis are not fully understood. >This all matches quite nicely with various references to the use of >ergosterol added as a growth factor for anaerobic fermentations - this >bypasses the need for O2 in sterol formation, but won't necessarily >inhibit AcCoA pooling or ester formation. Do we know if it does ? I don't but according to my model no Ac CoA would go down the sterol pathway and it would pool. I would, thus, expect more esters in a beer where sterols had been supplied. There has been lengthy debate on whether cold trub should be removed or not with, if I recall correctly, the general consensus being that it should be, from lagers at least, if the cleanest result is to be obtained. >Anyway, I guess my original question was how would NON-oxygen related >growth restriction (like lack of FAN) relate to ester formation. In higher animals it is known that dietary cholesterol inhibits biosynthesis of HMG-CoA reductase (as ergosterol seems to inhibit it in yeast) but _fasting_ has an inhibitory effect as well. Could it be that yeast behave in a similar way with a dearth of FAN (or any of a list of other essentials including oxygen) resulting in reduced HMG-CoA reductase synthesis? >I suspect an extensive understanding of the regulation of various >processes in yeast might be necessary to answer in detail. I expect so but it's fun to speculate! * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * I want to be clear that I don't disagree with Dave Burley on the value of using reducing (note "reducing" - the sugar reduces copper ion and is thus oxidized) sugars to detect the end of fermentation. You don't have to fiddle with a delicate hydrometer or sterilize it or the test jar. The intent of my post was to point out that it is imperfect in ways similar to the hydrometer: it responds to non fermentable sugars with reducing ends (just as the hydrometer does) and can't tell you when all the sucrose is consumed (Belgian brewers beware). Despite these failings it _does_ indicate, by assymptotic approach to a constant reading, that fermentation is over. I'm going to go back to the drug store and be more persistent about getting a kit. A. J. deLange - Numquam in dubio, saepe in errore. Please Note New e-mail Address Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 06 Feb 97 08:05:17 EST From: "Kirk Harralson" <kwh at smtpgwy.roadnet.ups.com> Subject: Canning wort Scott Murman <smurman at best.com> writes: >George and others, I think you may be taking deadly serious risks >here. Canning or preserving safely is a combination of proper heat >and proper pH. Foods which have a pH below around 4.6 can be canned >using only a boiling water bath, but foods with a pH above 4.6 must >be canned using a high pressure canner with about 10 lbs. of >pressure. Almost all worts will have a pH of over 5.0, and hence >should only be pressure canned. <snip> I posted this same concern about 2 years ago. The idea of canning 12 quarts of starter in one afternoon was too appealing to pass up though. I prepare about 3.5 gallons of 1.040 wort, then adjust it to pH 4.1 - 4.2 with acid blend, and use my brew pot as a water-bath canner. My only concern with this was how the yeast would do, first, in this environment, then pitched in wort at normal pH. So far, I have noticed no difference in using these canned starters with starters of normal pH that are prepared just prior to brewday. I assume you could adjust the pH back to normal when ready for use, but I don't think it is necessary. This adjustment may seem like overkill to most people who have had no problems canning in the past, but it is cheap insurance. If anyone is thinking of canning wort, or anything else, I strongly encourage reading the Ball Blue book of canning (probably available at your public library). Kirk Harralson Bel Air, Maryland Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 08:50:30 -0500 From: gmoore at wacko.East.Sun.COM (Greg Moore - SMCC BOS Hardware Engineering) Subject: strawberries I'm expecting a large harvest of strawberries a few months from now. Any hints/experiences for strawberry beers? It this a 'gross' idea? If I did this, at which point would I use the berries and how? Keep in mind that I am still doing extract brews only. TIA -=G \\|// (o o) =========oOO==(_)==OOo=========== Please sir, can I have some more? Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 06 Feb 1997 09:00:56 EST From: rdcuff at juno.com (Richard D. Cuff) Subject: Re: Bulk Malt Extract On Wed, 5 Feb 1997 11:26:33 -0600 (CST) snsi at win.bright.net (Jeff Smith) writes: > >First let me say that this looks more like an AD than a post. No, not an ad. Not even a customer, yet. I was frankly looking for input like yours. I don't want to spend $65 wastefully. >PS "spraying vodka on the surface of the extract as a precaution" won't do >much but make you feel better. I'm surprised to see the negative comments about vodka - I have seen mention of vodka as a sanitizing barrier used in airlocks, when flaming bottles for yeast harvesting, and when harvesting yeast from carboys. Why wouldn't it work in this application? I do have a question of HBD etiquette, too -- when does one cross the line from an informational exchange of info to an ad? Should I have put in the "usual disclaimer, YMMV" type of info? The HBD community seems more sensitive to this than the r.c.b community; sorry if anyone took offense. As a newcomer to the hobby I don't want to step on toes. Richard Cuff Lutherville, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 97 09:06 EST From: eric fouch <S=eric_fouch%S=fouch%G=eric%DDA=ID=STC021+pefouch%Steelcase-Inc at mcimail.com> Subject: Botulism/Guinness/Blue Lettering Date: Thursday, 6 February 1997 8:52am ET To: STC012.PREQUEST at STC010.SNADS From: Eric.Fouch at STC001 Subject: Botulism/Guinness/Blue Lettering In-Reply-To: The letter of Wednesday, 5 February 1997 0:52am ET HBD- I had a thought, OK more of a question, regarding the current thread on botulism toxins developing in improperly "canned" wort. What is the toxicity of a botulism toxin grown in a quart of wort, then diluted to 5 gallons (assuming an acidic and alcoholic medium created in the starter stops botulism activity) and enjoyed one, maybe five bottles at a time?Would the toxin be diluted to non-health threatening levels? Jacques queries: - --> Eric, I thought Guiness uses exclusively roasted barley because it was less taxed than dark malts ( black patent and chocolate ). Could you please tell me where you saw the Guiness recipe that uses black patent malt? Long life to the new HBD and its administrator. Jacques "Momily Buster" Bourdouxhe <-- Jacques- I didn't mean to pretend I'm privy to Guinness' recipe. I don't really know if they use black patent or roasted barley. I guess that was a WAG based on Guinness clone recipies I have seen (TCNJOHB, pages 206-208). My only real point was substituting roasted barley or chocolate malt for black patent can tame the charcoal bitterness in stout recipies if you don't like it. Perhaps then it aint really a stout. Thats why we homebrew. Eric Fouch PETA- People for Eating Tasty Animals Bent Dick YactoBrewery Kentwood MI Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 06 Feb 1997 09:21:28 -0500 From: Jerry Cunningham <gcunning at census.gov> Subject: recipe request I've received some of my best recipes from this group, so here I go again. I'm going to make a Marzen, and need a good recipe! All-grain, please. I'd also like to try a single decoction on this one. Thank you! Jerry Cunningham Annapolis, MD ps Does anyone know where I can get German (Weyermann, maybe) lager malt in the Washington, DC area? Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 08:25:00 -0600 (CST) From: Hal Davis <davis at planolaw.com> Subject: Inexpensive brew kettle Several folks had mentioned needing a vessel to do at least full-wort boils for 5-gallon extract brews, and maybe a bit larger. Someone had mentioned a $30 or so 8-gallon speckled enamel pot. I had no luck finding the 8-gallon speckled enamel pot, even for the hardware to special order for me. So I went to one of the local restaurant supply stores and wandered around. Really cool. Found a number of interesting tools and gadgets. I found a 15-gallon stainless pot without a lid for less than $100, but I found another treasure even better. Assuming you resolve the aluminum vs. stainless debate the way I did, which is that aluminum is OK, then you'll find this deal interesting. They had a 12-gallon lightweight aluminum tamale steamer with lid and steamer bottom for $33.95. It's a bit more squat and short than your basic stockpot, but entirely workable. I had hoped to find something I could afford that would allow me to make full-mash double batches (yielding 10 gallons) and I couldn't quite do it. Maybe I'll find a way to adjust my recipes to an 8-gallon yield (got to find some use for that 10-gallon cornelius keg I bought). Anyway, this is NOT a 15-gallon SS brewpot, but it seems like a much better value than an 8-gallon speckled enamel job. Hal Davis The Safety Brewery Plano, Texas member North Texas Home Brewer's Assn Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 09:23:17 -0500 From: gmoore at wacko.East.Sun.COM (Greg Moore - SMCC BOS Hardware Engineering) Subject: drilling enamel pot Can enamel pots be drilled? How does one prevent the enamel from chipping off around the drill site? I'm planning to convert to all grain, and would use my enamel pots until such time as I can afford to buy SS pots. Thanks again for any help. \\|// (o o) =========oOO==(_)==OOo=========== Please sir, may I have some more? Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 10:46:30 -0500 (EST) From: David Hammond <hammer at nexen.com> Subject: Re: Canning in beer bottles Date: Wed, 05 Feb 1997 00:06:28 -0800 Subject: Re: Canning in beer bottles George De Piro wrote: > > CD Pritchard writes about canning wort in beer bottles. He was > wondering about the integrity of the cap liners after boiling. As > some of you have read in the past, I sterilize my chiller and save > sterile wort in beer bottles by running hot wort through my > counterflow chiller (with no water running through it!) at the end of > the boil. I then seal the bottles and lay them on their side, so as > to ensure that the entire interior is in contact with the 200+F wort. Scott Murman wrote: > > George and others, I think you may be taking deadly serious risks > here. Canning or preserving safely is a combination of proper heat > and proper pH. Foods which have a pH below around 4.6 can be canned > using only a boiling water bath, but foods with a pH above 4.6 must be > canned using a high pressure canner with about 10 lbs. of pressure. > Almost all worts will have a pH of over 5.0, and hence should only be > pressure canned. All canning jars should also have the proper seals, > bottle caps are not sufficient. If you do not achieve a temperature > of around 240F at sea level with low-acid foods, such as wort, you run > the risk of "awakening" the botulism spores in your wort. Botulism is > a very deadly nerve toxin which will kill you very dead, very quickly. > If you don't have a pressure canner do not fuck around with home > canning wort, it's not worth the risk. Just because you haven't had a > problem so far is no guarantee that you won't on your next batch. > I am glad to see this particular thread making its rounds right now as I just spent Tuesday making some "sterile" wort for a starter I have since begun. In the process of making the wort, I bottled (not canned) 5 beer bottles with wort that had only been boiled, not pressure cooked. I wanted to pressure cook them, but I couldn't find any mason jars or lids anywhere (not even on the web for mail order!). Scott makes some good points about being very aware of the dangers of botulism in improperly canned foods. To help clarify this point further, here is an extract from a web site that discusses food-borne illnesses: -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- http://www.fmi.org/media/bg/bact3.html 1.Botulism -------- Although rare, botulism is a public health concern because it can be fatal if untreated. Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium that causes the disease, exists in soil, water, honey, feed, manure and sewage, on fruits, vegetables and other plants, and in the intestinal tracts of animals and fish. Botulinum produces spores that can contaminate raw foods during production, harvesting or processing. If the foods are not properly processed, the spores will germinate, grow and produce a toxin in the food. One of the most potent poisons known, this toxin affects the nervous system and can cause death even in small amounts. Preferring an oxygen-free environment, botulism is usually associated with low-acid canned foods that have been improperly processed, stored or consumed without proper heating. Although potent, the toxin can be inactivated by boiling food for 10 to 15 minutes. Most botulism outbreaks have been traced to home-canned foods. The foods involved in a majority of these outbreaks include: Low-acid canned vegetables, such as green beans, corn, spinach, beets, asparagus, peppers, pimentos and mushrooms. Fish and fish products, such as fermented or smoked fish and fish eggs. Home-canned fruits and vegetables. Condiments, such as chili peppers, tomato relish, chili sauce and salad dressing. Meat, poultry and dairy products have rarely been associated with botulism, although several outbreaks have been attributed to baked potatoes, sauteed onions, potato salad and pot pies. In each case, the foods were cooked and held at temperatures that allowed the growth of botulinum before being served. Symptoms - -------- Botulism can develop within two hours to 14 days of ingesting contaminated food, but symptoms usually appear within 12 to 36 hours. In general, the shorter the incubation period, the more severe the disease and the higher the fatality rate. The most common symptoms are gastrointestinal disturbances, sometimes followed by nausea, vomiting and possibly diarrhea. Blurred or double vision and difficulty in swallowing and speaking are also common symptoms. Fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headache and constipation may occur. Certain muscles become paralyzed, and the paralysis eventually spreads to the respiratory system and heart. Death usually is caused by respiratory failure. Prevention - ---------- Botulism can be prevented by strictly following safe, approved and up- to-date methods for canning foods and by thoroughly heating them (boiling for 10 to 15 minutes) just before serving. All cooked foods should be held at temperatures higher than 140F (60C) and rapidly cooled to 40F (4C) or below. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- It seems there are three ways to prevent infection: 1) Pressure-can; 2) Make fresh wort prior to use; and 3) Reboil previously bottled wort prior to use. Anyone see a problem with item 3? Dave Hammond New Hampshire Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 06 Feb 1997 10:13:09 -0600 From: Dane Mosher <dmosher at xroadstx.com> Subject: re: Best temp for Cold Break? Mike Otten asks what temperature "should" the wort be chilled to in order to achieve the most efficient cold break. Greg Noonan says the wort should be brought from boiling to an ice slurry very quickly to get the best cold break. On a homebrew scale, that's pretty tough to accomplish. So the answer to the question is probably "as cold as you can get it in a short period of time." The best I've been able to accomplish in my system is boiling to about 50_F (10_C) in a matter of seconds by running wort through my immersion chiller which is sitting in an ice bucket. I get a big cold break, and my beers come out quite clear. Then again, I get clear beer just by using an immersion chiller in the usual way, so I don't know how much practical difference it makes at the amateur level. Dane Mosher Big Spring, Texas Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 11:50:41 -0500 (EST) From: KennyEddy at aol.com Subject: Home Malting / Cheery Beer / PV?S? Manifold A very happy Waitangi Day to our friends in New Zealand. Guy Gregory tried malting at home. Can't comment much on the procedure but I'll present a data point on the moisture content. Guy writes: "He graciously donated a 5 gallon bucket of barley for this task. It turns out that is about 45 lbs....I weighed out 10 lbs on my bathroom scale....I weighed it at 30 hours, or when it quit smelling really great in my house and the grain got dry to the touch, and the grain weighed 9 lbs." My experience with M&F 2-row pale ale malt is that a 55-lb sack takes 2 5-gal buckets, with a little left over. Let's say 11 gallons for 55 lb, or 5 lb/gal. Guy's raw grain weighed 45/5 or 9 lb/gal. He malted 10 lb of this or 10/9 = 1.1 gal. This weighed 9 lb after kilning, for a "density" of 9 lb/1.1 gal or 8.2 lb/gal. Compare this with the 5 lb/gal "density" of commercial malt. Looks like your moisture content was still up there. ***** Kenneth A. Lee needs some help making a light cherry beer Ken, the simplest thing to do is brew your favorite "light" extract recipe and add 1 bottle of cherry extract, available at HB stores. This produces quite satisfactory results. At one bottle per 5 gal, the cherry flavor will be quite noticible; if you're looking for something more subtle, use 3/4 of the bottle. Also, hop your beer lightly (20 -25 IBU) and go easy on (or even delete) flavor and aroma hopping so as to avoid "competition" between the hops and the cherry extract. Add the extract at bottling to preserve the aroma. ***** R. Wayne McCorkle made a Mash/Lauter tun manifold out of "PVS" (PVC?). PVC's service temperature is only 140F and from what I've read (here, I think), it can leach chemical compounds into the wort under conditions of high temperature and low pH (comapred to water). You'd be better off with copper or CPVC. CPVC is rated to 180F and is approved for potable water. Lutzen and Steven's book "Brew Ware" (did I get that right?) has a brief discussion about CPVC manifolds. As far as the cleaning fluid goes, chances are it's evaporated off by now, but it could have left some sort of residue behind or even reacted with the plastic. Use some fine sandpaper instead to remove the markings. And if you're concerned about "scratched plastic" being hard to sanitize, remember that your mash tun components need not be *sanitized* (though they should always be kept "clean"), since the wort produced in contact with them will soon be boiled. Wipe the parts down with a little iodophor before use if you wish. I'd also avoid cementing the pieces together. Simply press-fit the parts. The cement may add more chemical troubles to your worries. If you're afraid that the parts will disassemble during use, drill a hole throuh the joint and run a stainless-steel bolt through, to pin it together. Hint: if you cut the long sections of the manifold into two or three pieces small enough to fit in your sink, and assemble them with slip couplings, you can soak the whole thing in sanitizer before use. ***** Ken Schwartz El Paso, TX KennyEddy at aol.com http://members.aol.com/kennyeddy Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 11:57:34 -0500 (EST) From: Alex Santic <alex at salley.com> Subject: Re: Brew Kettle Questions From: Frosty <frosty at cstar.ac.com>: >I want to get a new 8-10 gallon SS pot but I have a few questions: >1) How much. They had a Vollrath 38.5 qt (9.6 gal) for $170. This is >kind of expensive, but I do want quality. I'll leave our esteemed comrades to comment on specific kettles (actually, better if you read the archives), but there is a sharp dividing line between the largest of the standard stock pots (7.5 gal) and the larger 10+ gal pots. 7.5 gal is workable for all-grain, but it's a little tight when you take into account extra water for boil-down, hop absorption, etc. If you kettle-mash, it's large enough for about 15 lbs of grain, understanding that the mash needs to be thin enough to stir easily. Price is typically about $75. I use one for my apartment brewing and it works well, but Barleywines and Imperial Stouts would be problematic. Once you make the jump in price, you have some additional options. If you want to go the Easymasher route, you can get a simple kettle with no spigot. However, there are also models that can be outfitted with false bottoms, etc. I'd probably go with a simple one and install an Easymasher, but only because I've had such good experiences with the system. others might share their own success stories with you. >2) Can I heat this new pot (whatever it is) on the stove. Yes and no. Al K. reports having used a 10 gal (Polarware?) pot on a stovetop in his previous system and apparently it worked well. The 10 gal size is probably the largest you can heat unless you have one of those kick-ass professional stoves. I wouldn't try it without at least a decent stove. It's possible you may have to leave the cover partially on, but that works okay. >3) How easy is it to convert this to the easymash system. Your feet will feel cold, but it's pretty easy. >4) Do you ever take out the easymasher. You can take it out, but you won't find much reason to. >5) Is the easymasher hard to clean. I spend more time cleaning the inside of the kettle than the Easymasher. >6) What about hops. Do they get stuck down there? Pellets? The Easymasher creates essentially a hop-back, with whole hops filtering the break material as you drain the pot. An immersion chiller lets you catch the cold break too. Pellets are sub-optimal with this system. You lose the filtering capability and they might clog the screen. You can easily remove the screen before boiling and leave just the spigot, perhaps add a copper scrubber, then whirlpool the wort before draining. - -- Alex Santic - alex at salley.com Silicon Alley Connections, LLC 527 Third Avenue #419 - NYC 10016 - 212-213-2666 - Fax 212-447-9107 http://www.salley.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 06 Feb 97 10:56:42 cst From: wesc at mails.imed.com Subject: 1: Oasis Pale Ale, 2: brass in hot wort, 3: ball valve size 1: Oasis Pale Ale----Does anyone have a recipe for the Oasis Pale Ale brewed by the Oasis Brewery in Boulder. 2: Brass in hot wort----I have heard that brass (i.e. ball valves, fitting, and screens) and hot wort don't mix. I know most brass is predominately copper and zinc. Is there lead in the bass and is it possible that it leaches out into the wort, thus causing a health concern over time or possibly causing a metallic taste or hazy beer? 3:What size ball valve is the best for a 13-16 gallon brew pot? <Homebrewing--a life time quest, gets better with age and experience >:) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 06 Feb 1997 12:38:35 -0300 From: Steve Alexander <stevea at clv.mcd.mot.com> Subject: Re: Home malting, part 1 Guy J.Gregory writes about his malting experience - great job Guy. You note dense malt and low yeild for your malt. I think your malt is undermodified. Commercial malts today malt for about 7 days and to achieve this speed they use gibberellen - a plant hormone. I believe that malting for the whiskey industry does not use these hormones and takes 10 to 14 days. I don't have a reference under my nose, but 5.6 days is too short. Your poor extraction may also be partly due to poor crush - likely. I suspect that your local HBshop would crush your malt in exchange for the story or a small fee if the folks there are at all friendly and you are a regular. BTW - I understand that if your wife isn't home you can dry the green malt and seperate the clums by placing the wet malt in a pillowcase liner (zip it closed) and throwing it in the clothes dryer on low. Your options for the current malt batch are to kiln it for a darker malt or use it with a commerial pale malt at 50% - 50% or so. Steve Alexander Return to table of contents
Date: 06 Feb 97 12:39:27 EST From: "David R. Burley" <103164.3202 at CompuServe.COM> Subject: Water, Malt Brewsters: Jim Mc Nealy asks: > I would like to have a setup that could attach to my kitchen faucet, > pass the water through a filter (i.e. inline ice maker filter), and on > to the fermenter. Does anyone have, or have seen, such a thing? Talk to the Filter Store. ( 800-??) or Zymurgy advert. I believe they sell filters to produce bacteria free fluids which will allow you to do this without risking infection from bacteria in unboiled water passing into your fermentation vessel through a simple, roughly 5 micron, icemaker sediment filter. - ------------------------------------------------------ It sounds to me like Guy Gregory was successful in his home malting efforts. However, Guy, you need to mill your malt properly to get good extraction. Take it to your HB store and see if they will mill it. You can make a comparison with the malt you normally buy, this way.. You could also try to mill a small amount for a lab scale extraction. You could "mill" it with a hammer. - Messy but it works. Also try soaking it in ice cold water in the refrigerator for an hour or so and wet milling it in your food processor or blender then quick mash it just to see if you were successful in your first efforts. I can see it now - pheasant and beer from the same field. Aaaah. - ------------------------------------------------------ Keep on brewin' Dave Burley Kinnelon, NJ 07405 103164.3202 at compuserve.com Voice e-mail OK Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 06 Feb 1997 10:06:21 -0800 From: Scott Murman <smurman at best.com> Subject: Re: Canning in beer bottles > > It seems there are three ways to prevent infection: > 1) Pressure-can; > 2) Make fresh wort prior to use; and > 3) Reboil previously bottled wort prior to use. > > Anyone see a problem with item 3? Yes. Just because you're boiling does not mean you've achieved a temperature of 212F. Most preserving books will strongly advice people above sea level to pressure can, and to use a good pressure canner that is capable of high pressures. I've grown to enjoy life, so I err on the side of caution, and will pressure can when appropriate regardless of what I *think* I might do with it after it's been canned. How would you like the family pet to start licking up a broken bottle of improperly canned wort? I'm not trying to be an alarmist, I just want to make sure everyone understands the facts, and how serious the risks can be. It's a subject that is commonly misunderstood and filled with folklore. With regards to using mason jars instead of beer bottles. The tops for mason jars have an almost glue-like seal. These are designed to preserve a vacuum inside the jar, and also to keep microbes out - microbes that would like your nice sticky wort. Bottle caps are simply not designed for this. You should always use a new mason jar lid. Mason jars and lids can usually be found at any major supermarket. A pressure canner will run about $100-$150 US. If this puts you off, realize that you can preserve a lot of things, especially over the summer. Peaches, chiles, wort for kreusening, etc. An excellent book on the subject is "Putting Food By, 4th Ed.", Greene, Hertzberg, and Vaughan. It also covers smoking, salting, drying, brines, home toxicology, ... Hope this helps. SM Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 06 Feb 1997 13:14:15 -0500 (EST) From: "PAUL SHICK (216) 397-4352" <SHICK at JCVAXA.jcu.edu> Subject: Re: Airstones and contamination? Greetings all, In HBD#2338, Ron LaBorde asked about whether using stainless steel airstones might increase the risk of contamination, since the porous stones should provide good hiding places for bacteria and wild yeasts. Ron's question points out clearly why the stainless steel stones are so nice. Typical instructions call for boiling the stone for 20 minutes, both before and after use. This very definitely kills off any nasties that might be around. You can't do this with a plastic or plastic-and-"stone" aquarium airstone. It's great to have the HBD back. The recent botulism in canned wort thread is a good example of how useful a forum this is, maybe saving a few brewers in the process. Thanks again, Pat and Karl (and their invisible helpers.) Paul Shick Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 14:28:51 -0800 From: George_De_Piro at berlex.com (George De Piro) Subject: Botulism Hi all, Scott Murman writes (quite emphatically) about the threat of botulism in stuff over pH ~4.6. He says that worts are over pH 5. Well, in my experience, worts are always below pH 5 (usually around 4.8), which may explain why nobody is dead yet. The fact that Clostridium botulinum doesn't pose a risk to wort, even when severely underpitched and unaerated, also supports the notion that it cannot function in wort. Canning wort without pressure cooking is recommended by the likes of Dave Miller, and practiced by many homebrewers. What is the deal? Is pH below 5 safe, or not? I looked in Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology but found it useless in this case (I doubt that I'll ever be inclined to add bile to my wort to inhibit the growth of Clostridium). Dammit, Jim, I'm a chemist, not a microbiologist! Can any micro-types put an end to this? Where are you Jim Liddil? Have fun! George De Piro (Nyack, NY) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 15:48:39 -0500 (EST) From: "R. Shreve" <rashreve at interpath.com> Subject: Requesting Advice - No Sparge Dear Brewing Collective: The HBD is a fantastic medium for learning. Thanks to all of you brew gurus who take the time to teach us newbies!! I'm just getting ready to leap into the all grain universe. Due to both limitations in my storage space as well as a small (honest!!) personal consumption volume, I am going to be resizing 5 gallon batch volume recipes down to 3 gallons. I also want brew day to be as simple as I can make it, so I'm going to take a shot at the no sparge technique. I was thinking about taking 60% of the grain bill for a 5 gallon recipe to convert it to 3 gallons, and then adding 1/3 more grain as an offset for the no sparge. Does this look workable to any of you? If so, should I use the first runnings only, or should I also think about doing a batch sparge on top of this? Thanks for your help! Randy Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 12:52:31 -0800 From: Charles Rich <CharlesR at SAROS.COM> Subject: Use a varied grain bill in HBD #2336 Bill Griffin <billgiffin at maine.com> writes: <Several good points omitted, then: > >Use the KISS system in brewing. Most styles of beer can be brewed >with only two malts at most three. Don't follow the recipes in Zymurgy >as most of the recipes presented there were designed for only one >purpose and that was to stand out against all the rest and win. ... ... by tasting *really* good I imagine :-) So many objections to this come tumbling to mind that it's hard to offer them in any order. Personally, when I first noticed the elaborate grain bills in some of the winners I thought they were clearing out their grain closets, but now I too am an elaborate grain-bill brewer and won't go back. Routinely, I'll use at least four grains in nearly any beer I make, ale or lager: a base malt, something(s) for body and flavor, something for color and almost invariably some flaked wheat for the right degree of heading (not to get too nautical there) . I usually use two or three varieties of malt for the flavor alone. I'm into the flavor of biscuit in my porters and stouts right now. I can't argue the benefit of really knowing your ingredients by doing "single malt" recipes at first (BTW, I think that term has great marketing potential for breweries wanting to justify cheaping-out on their grain bills, but I'm getting ahead of myself), but it's BORING. A homebrewer can afford the extravagence of a real cat's pajama's, perfect malt flavor profile and a chord is simply richer than a note. After brewing some "single malt" recipes, any newbie all-grain brewer should immediately get to know their adjunct malts. Cheers Charles Rich Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 12:58:38 -0800 From: Charles Rich <CharlesR at saros.com> Subject: Lazy Yeast Propogation (not propogating lazy yeast) In HBD #2337 George De Piro (George_De_Piro at berlex.com) responds to CD Pritchard about canning wort in beer bottles. As yet-another-way, I use a pressure canner in the following way and haven't had any seal failures (a pressure cooker would work fine too if your bottles fit). Every so often, as needed, I half-fill six 12-oz clean (not sanitized) beer bottles with bitter wort from a not-too-extreme batch of either an ale or lager wort, and autoclave them. Before putting them in the canner, I place a crown bottlecap on each and hold it in place with a twist of 5" square of aluminum foil. The caps can jump off the bottles during the process otherwise. After hitting them for 20 mins at 15 lbs (250F) in the canner, I let it cool until pressure is back to normal, still very hot though, and then cap them with my bottle capper leaving the foil in place. Although it often tears a little it still helps protect a sterile zone about the cap during storage. I pitch from little 2-dram screw cap vials from my yeast bank and step up as usual. In pursuing my quest for just how much I can relax and still brew perfect beer, I propogate my yeast samples in a similar way. After opening a newly started foil pack (Wyeast) I dribble sample into the pre-sterilized vials and refrigerate them. I find they keep for months. I sterilize the vials in my canner. I've gone from plating on agar-nutrient in petri dishes, to agar-nutrient slants, to gelatin slants, to this. This is easy. I'm glad the laboratories go to the trouble they do but I find I don't need to at home. I also keep a few jars of washed slurry in the fridge for my favorite strains. I pitch the whole jar then. I'm more nervous about the slurry though and only use if for a few generations. I keep on hand a couple "washing kits" of 1 qt. sterile water in a mason jar, and 1 empty but sterile pint mason jar. I wash the slurry from a batch as described in The Brewery's library and keep the result in the smaller jar. It makes a good big pitch. I like having a supply of both ale and lager sterile wort on hand. I think in practice it's probably a small matter of difference to the yeast, but it's easy to do and it gets the yeast started on the same spectrum of sugars they'll work in. Well anyway, that's my current lazy way. If I can get any lazier - I will. Cheers Charles Rich Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 06 Feb 1997 15:19:16 -0600 From: Dane Mosher <dmosher at xroadstx.com> Subject: wort more bitter than beer AlK commented recently that finished beer tastes more bitter than the unfermented wort. George De Piro argued the opposite case. Of course they were talking about subjective impressions, so I'm not about to say that either one is wrong, but my experiences have been more in line with George than with Al. I never knew why until recently. In the last issue of The New Brewer, there is an article called "Better Utilization of Hop Products" by David Hysert, which explained why some bitterness is lost during fermentation. A quick and dirty summary of how hops bitter beer: Water-insoluble bitter alpha acids found in hops are transformed into iso-alpha acids during the boil. These iso-alpha acids are more water soluble than alpha acids, so they will stay in solution and give the beer its bitterness. But the iso-alpha acids are still not very soluble. In fact, it is difficult to achieve a .01% solution of iso-alpha acid in beer, no matter how many hops you use. That's probably why when you brew your "100 ibu" IPA, it is not much more bitter than your 75 ibu batch (which is just under .01%, according to the Hysert). The iso-alpha acids, as well as the insoluble alpha acids, are "surface active," so when your beer foams up during fermentation and sticks to the walls of the fermenter, or if the foam is blown off or skimmed, you are losing some bitterness. (Ever notice how bitter the foam tastes?) Also, as CO2 is produced by the yeast and pH of the beer drops, the solubility of the iso-alpha acids goes down, and you lose even more bitterness. So in a very real sense, the ibu's are dropping as a beer ferments out. The moral of the story: don't panic if you pucker while tasting your O.G. sample. P.S. For those living at high altitudes, according to this article the rate of the isomerization of alpha acids doubles with each 10_C increase in temperature. Therefore, you need to either increase boiling times or increase hop usage (or, gad!, boil under pressure) to get the same bitterness as a sea-level boil. Dane Mosher Big Spring, Texas Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 06 Feb 1997 16:26:01 -0500 From: Russ Brodeur <r-brodeur at ds.mc.ti.com> Subject: RE: The Decoction From Hell - What Did I Create? In HBD#2337 Chuck discussed some difficulties with his first decoction: He added 0.9 qts/lb to mash-in at 131 F. He then pulled the thickest 40-50%, ..., returned it to the main mash, and ... wound up at 145 F. He was targeting 158 F for conversion. My $0.02: 1) Increase water to 1.4 qts/lb 2) mash-in at 135-40 F (helps reduce chill haze etc.) 3) Decoct 50 - 100% of the grain (add ice if necessary) 4) Shoot for 150-55 F for conversion(158 F is too high, IMO) - add grain back to main mash until strike temp is reached, then add ice to decoct to cool to strike temp (Note: this is MUCH easier than heating the entire mash) 5) sparge *slowly* (1 qt/min or less) with 2 qts/lb at 170F This is a simple single-decoction mash schedule. I will be using it on my next Munich-style Helles lager. Don't give up! You can easily make great beers using a decoction schedule. My first few decoctions were exercises in frustration. All I had to go on was Noonan's "Brewing Lager Beer". My results were never even close to his. Gradually, I developed my own technique that works well *with my brewing setup*. Knowledge gleaned from the HBD over the years has helped as well. Best of Luck! TTFN Russ Brodeur in Franklin, MA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 06 Feb 1997 16:29:42 -0800 From: William Watt <wattbrew at buffnet.net> Subject: Save my yeast for later Fellow brewers, I have been growing a starter from Wyeast Belgian Abbey for a brew this weekend and I have decided to wait until I come back from a Florida vacation to make a Barleywine from it. My question is, can I safely put this bottle of starter in the fridge for three weeks or have I wasted my time and yeast? I was planning on just putting away the airlocked bottle. Any advice will be appreciated. - -- Brewing beer in Lancaster, NY Watt's Brewing Bill Watt - wattbrew at buffnet.net Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 16:37:54 -0500 From: "Sornborger, Nathan" <nsornborger at email.mc.ti.com> Subject: Re: Brew Kettle Questions To answer Frosty's Questions, >I want to get a new 8-10 gallon SS pot but I have a few >questions: > >1) How much. I read about some on the hoptech homepage. They had a >Vollrath 38.5 qt (9.6 gal) for $170. This is kind of expensive, but I do >want quality. This will last a long time. (well, it should). Any other >suggestions? I would suggest a modified keg, they tend to be rather cheap. They also hold 15gal. so in case you want to scale up..... > >2) Can I heat this new pot (whatever it is) on the stove. I have a >standard gas stove? I do not want to but a propage "burner" just to heat >this sucker unless I have to. Well, to get the boil you probably want the stove won't be your best choice. An outdoor propane cooker can be had for $50 and the steam won't wreck the paint on the kitchen ceiling either. > >3) How easy is it to convert this to the easymash system. I have been >reading the threads about drilling stainless, and it doesn't seem to >hard...*swallow* It will be scary if I pay > $150 for a brewpot. Very easy job. And if it's a keg it won't be so scary. Use a little drill as a pilot hole then the bigger one for size. > >4) Do you ever take out the easymasher. Is is now a permenant part of >your brewpot? What if you want to go back and do a quickie extract batch? >Does it just sit in there doing no harm? Not more than once, or for repair. Not if you can silver solder a plug on. Leave it shut. Yes. > >5) Is the easymasher hard to clean. No. > >6) What about hops. Do they get stuck down there? Pellets? No, although I suppose some could get jammed under the screen. I hope this helps. Nate Sornborger > Return to table of contents