HOMEBREW Digest #2540 Sat 25 October 1997

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

  Brew Sights in Warner Robins GA????? (NA Campiglia)
  Hops in the wild ? (Keith Zimmerman)
  ElecticBin Water Heater? ("C&S Peterson")
  Gas -- Natural vs. Propane (Danny Breidenbach)
  RE. Wine Yeast (Mike Allred)
  Extract Brewing (Mark_Snyder)
  alt, Atlanta vs. Dusseldorf ("Ted Hull")
  Water/Water (A. J. deLange)
  Whitelabs yeast (Terry White)
  Re: Steinbier (Jeff Renner)
  Extract Good? (Bill Giffin)
  Re:  Reusing yeast / Steinbier (George De Piro)
  Sparge rate theory (David C. Harsh)
  Fwd: Ovi's World of the Bizarre #67 Oct. 14, 1997 (OCaball299)
  RE: A sparkletts cooler idea (Matt Gadow)
  PALE ALES announces AHA/BJCP Competition (Small Change)
  Great Canadian Beer Festival ("Mark Bridges")
  Re: Lime as water treatment ("Hubert Hanghofer")
  Fridge survey ("Forrest Duddles")
  Long boil (Al Korzonas)
  Re: spongy gunk in fermenter ("Jesse Benbow")
  Spices (RPSGT)
  Coffee Stout (Steven Ensley)
  Breweries/Brewpubs in N.E. Penn (Gordon & Cindy Camp)
  Re: whitelabs (Chris White)
  steinbier again ("Bryan L. Gros")
  How do you guys clean your 3 tier systems? (Darren Scourfield)
  Infection (Kevin Peters)
  Subject: Keg Burners (Steve Scott)
  lack of hot break ("Alan McKay")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 22 Oct 1997 23:37:20 -0500 From: NA Campiglia <spitdrvr at camalott.com> Subject: Brew Sights in Warner Robins GA????? I have to go to Warner Robins Georgia next week. Does anyone know of any Brew Pubs, Draft Houses, or brew supply places in that area? Thanks Nick spitdrvr at camalott.com http://camalott.com/~spitdrvr Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 05:53:15 -0700 From: Keith Zimmerman <keithzim at computron.net> Subject: Hops in the wild ? This September I was back packing in Colorado. Along the trail I was enjoying eating some raspberries when I noticed a plant which had some cones which looked like hops. I am just curious, are hops growing like this normal or was this an unusual occurrence? Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 97 11:10:32 UT From: "C&S Peterson" <CNS_PETERSON at classic.msn.com> Subject: ElecticBin Water Heater? HBDers - Thanks to all that responded to my post on instant-on water heaters (all recommeded against using one for brewing purposes -- capacity too small). So I'm now looking at either buying a 240V "ElectriBin" heating bucket, or making my own. The only concern I have with the homemade version is (following Ken Schwartz's instructions) that I should provide some sort of GFCI protection (FWIW, I would go the 240 breaker route, since I have no other electrical needs in my brewery). Given the cost of the GFCI, its a toss up between the homemade version and the commercial ElectriBin. So a few questions to help me choose a course of action: I assume the ElectriBim is UL listed and therefore operates "safely" w/o GFCI. But what is the draw/power on this device? Anyone have experience with this product (the 240V version, that is)? How fast does it heat 5 Ga of water to 190? I know I could follow Ken's instructions and implement the dual 120 GFCI solution, but that still takes about 40 minutes to get the water heated up; my goal is 20 minutes. Thanks, Chas Peterson Laytonsville, Md. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 07:49:14 -0400 From: Danny Breidenbach <dbreidenbach at nctm.org> Subject: Gas -- Natural vs. Propane First off, I know what comes out of my LP tank, but what do you call "natural gas"? (and don't say "a fart" -- I mean the stuff you cook with!) I know this next question has been answered before, but I always get confused. I've got my cajun cooker -- or some compatible propane cooking device. If I want to have a natural gas line dropped down into my basement to use this puppy, what conversions are in order? Please use small, common words, for when it comes to topics such as this, I feel much like Winnie ther Pooh (a Bear of Little Brain). If I need to go to the hardware store and ask a helpful person to put all the parts in a basket for me -- let me know. I can do that! Also -- does the cost of converting a (paid for) LP cooker end up being more than buying a natural gas cooker? Where does one find natural gas cookers of this type. Thanks ever so much. - --Danny beer beer beer (I had to add that no one would think this question was supposed to be in rec.food.barbecue.cookers or somthing :-) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 05:58:01 -0600 From: Mike Allred <mballred at xmission.com> Subject: RE. Wine Yeast John Bell asked about using wine yeast for a normal gravity beer. I brewed a batch of brown ale in september that I ended up using wine yeast in after a stuck fermentation. It's been carbonating for about 6 days now and I just popped the cap on my first bottle. It tastes like a normal neutral beer, but has a definate sulfur smell to it that is very distracting. I poured the majority of the bottle down the sink. Will this mellow with age? I normally produce very good beer and I don't think that the flaws in this beer are do to anything other then the poor airation I started with and then the wine yeast. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 08:25:48 -0500 From: Mark_Snyder at wastemanagement.com Subject: Extract Brewing Mark Snyder 10/23/97 08:25 AM Greetings all, Many thanks to Al Korzonas for his defense of extract brewers. I have been brewing for about 9 months now, brew extract and partial mash beers and have made some very good brews in my opinion and that of my friends. Not competition winners, mind you, but I'll get there eventually. I have always had this nagging thought in the back of my mind, however, that I would eventually *have* to go to all-grain if I wanted to consistently brew beers of award winning quality. Probably the result of impressions received from posts in the HBD, or Charlie P's book where I subconsciously equate "advanced" with "better". All in all, you have to admit that there is a lot of "peer pressure" out there regarding the different levels of brewing. Wonders of wonders, now I can continue to refine my present extract technique, make better beers as a result, and not feel inferior when talking to other brewers who only brew all-grain. Not that I may not move in that direction at some time in the future. And so that the collective doesn't misinterpret my comments, *all* of the topics discussed in the Digest are of interest, and provide food for thought to aid brewers of all levels improve the quality of their beer. I know my partial mash procedures have benefited from information received from experienced extract and all-grain brewers alike. Thanks again "Korz", from all of us extract brewers. And remember, as a friend and the assistant brewer at my favorite brewpub here in Atlanta once said "We're all homebrewers. Some of us just do it at different levels." Mark Snyder Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 97 3:16:20 EDT From: "Ted Hull" <THull at brwncald.com> Subject: alt, Atlanta vs. Dusseldorf Note: I posted the question about alt to the atl-beer mailing list (atl-beer at beerinfo.com) and got this response. --Ted At 03:37 10/22/97 EDT, "Ted Hull" <THull at brwncald.com> forwarded: >Has anyone out in HBDland had the dual experience of tasting >Altbier at its home in Dusseldorf and of tasting the Altbier at >the Atlanta Beergarten? I have visited the Beergarten several >times and am struck by the similarity of their alt to my own >homebrewed version; sadly, I have not been able to visit >Dusseldorf. My homebrewed alt is based entirely on book >learnin', and I could use the benefit of a little real-world >experience. I'm not currently subbed to HBD, but I was fortunate enough to go to Dusseldorf about 3 years ago and enjoy the fabulous Alt at Zum Uerige, which is famous even in Dusseldorf for its Alt. The Atlanta Beer Garden version is much less hoppy. Alt in Dusseldorf is distinctly hoppy and usually has a pretty good malt backup as well. ABG's seems to start along the right lines, but just needs more ooomph to compare. Ted, I'd be grateful if you'd forward this to HBD as well...thanks. Cheers! John [Lock, jlock at mindspring.com] Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 13:22:37 -0500 From: ajdel at mindspring.com (A. J. deLange) Subject: Water/Water Adam Holmes asked about water formulation recipies. I was going to direct him to the Techincal Library at the Brewery (http://realbeer.com/brewery/index.html) but found upon going there that the link to the water synthesis stuff is defective somehow. Maybe it's temporary so go there anyway and give it a try. If no go e-mail me. I've redone all the profiles (plus the new Belgian ones Dave posted a while back) with the advantage of the perspective of the couple of years which have passed since I did these original ones. One of the features of the new set is that the only salts used are calcium carbonate (chalk), sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, calcium sulfate (gypsum), calcium chloride and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts). All of these are readily available in food grade so you don't have to consider the question as to whether ACS grade is pure enough to be eaten. I wouldn't venture an opinion on that in public even if someone promised to pay all my legal fees. Another feature is that all pH adjustment is done with carbonic acid (i.e. CO2 dissolved in water) so there's no fooling with hydrochloric and/or sulfuric acids. Deionized water isn't really too expensive. Most of us who use "DI" water actually use RO which while it isn't suitable for analysis is, if the incoming water is only moderately hard, "pure" enough to be considered ion free for brewing purposes. Small ion exchangers (cation AND anion) can be operated for the volumes of water required for brewing without being prohibitively expensive if we stick to our permitted 200 gal/yr. Having said all that we note that for extract brewing water is really not much of an issue. The guy that makes the extract is the one who has to worry about whether the calcium is sufficient to overcome the alkalinity. All the extract brewer really needs to do is fiddle with the sulfate level to get the hops quality he wants and perhaps tweak the chloride to a pleasing level of roundness. The extract should be acidic enough that the wort made from it goes to a pH near 5. Stay away from carbonates and bicarbonates and pH shouldn't be an issue though it never hurts to "dip a strip". * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * Trent Neutgens asked about his water: Total Hardness 29 gpg Flouride 1mg/l Total Iron .15 mg/l Manganese .03 mg/l Chloride 15.0 mg/l Silica Less Than 2.0 mg/l Nitrate less than 1.0 mg/l Sodium 31.5 mg/l Magnesium 54.0 mg/l Calcium 108.0 mg/l Alkalinity 302.0 mg/l as CaC03 Total Dissolved Solids 511 mg/l pH 7.9 Silicon Less than 1 mg/l That's pretty hefty stuff! You've got calcium magnesium and alkalinity levels about like Burton but the sulfate level is only about a quarter of Burton's. The main problem with this water is that the iron is high enough that you are going to taste it. Iron can be disposed of by aerating the water to turn the iron into an insoluble form and then filtering it through sand. I've actually never done this but it's written about widely and is theoretically sound. Otherwise you will have to dispose of the iron with an iron removal unit which I understand basically aerates and filters but I've never seen one. Water like this is going to plug up your water heater and plumbing fairly quickly so I'd expect that you have, or will have, a water softener installed. These prevent all the nasty problems from water this hard but ruin the water for brewing because they strip out all the magnesium and calcium. Untreated, the water is suitable only for the brewing of beers with a fair proportion of high kilned malt. Northern English ales and perhaps dark German lagers come to mind though the former might want some additional sulfate. I personally wouldn't add any but for authenticity it needs to be augmented. Many other styles, particularly anything light will be a problem unless the water is softened. You should be able to remove a lot of the alkalinity just by boiling the water and decanting off the precipitate. A. J. deLange - Numquam in dubio, saepe in errore. - --> --> --> To reply remove "nosp" from address. <-- <-- Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 09:40:32 -0400 From: terry at brewfellows.com (Terry White) Subject: Whitelabs yeast Hi all, Just wanted to add a quick comment on Whitelabs pitchable yeast. I have just started carrying ths yeast in my shop and I think it is great. I have used it 4 times and have experienced lag times of 6 - 8 hours with good strong fermentation.I particularly like this yeast because it allows me to brew at the spur of the moment. To the man calling this yeast a "gyp" I suggest he look at the date on the tube the yeast came in and see how fresh it was, it could be that his retailer is selling old yeast. Thanks Terry (yes, my last name is White but I am no relation.) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 09:46:20 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Steinbier In HBD 2538, "David R. Burley" <<Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> wrote: >As I recall, Steinbier is made by pouring wort >OVER hot rocks and *not* by putting hot rocks >INTO the wort, nicht wahr?? Nope. According to Jackson's "New World Guide" to beer p. 58, "Stones ... are immersed in the kettle." And in his "Beer Companion," p. 239 "A crane fitted with claws then hoists the stones through a hatch into the brewhousse and lowers them into a conventional copper kettle... As the stone is lowered in, the brew foams and rages." >What's the difference?? = HSA? <<snip> >Also, I don't remember anything about > the Germans putting the rocks in the refrigerator > and then adding them to the secondary. = No, then then transfer them to a lagering tank of a previous brew. "When the stones cool, they are left coated with caramelized malt. The stones are then placed in the lagering vessels, so that the caramel primes the maturing brew." (ibid.). But since homebrewers don't usually brew the same style serially, they need to resort to this method. > The process of pouring should form the caramel > while the rocks are hot and then the later wort > should dissolve it from the cooler rocks, > leaving the rocks clean. "By the time the stones are returned to the brewery yard, they resemble large pieces of coal." (ibid.). Jeff -=-=-=-=- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan c/o nerenner at umich.edu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 09:50:53 -0500 From: Bill Giffin <billgiffin at maine.com> Subject: Extract Good? Top of the morning to ye all, >>Al K said: If a homebrewer began as an all-grain brewer and then moved to extract after two years, I would be willing to bet that the quality would continue to improve with experience. I would also be willing to bet that those early all-grain batches would not be competition contenders whereas someone who has been brewing several years and brewed an extract batch (taking it seriously, not a throwaway batch or "something for my cousins who don't like good beer"), could win in just about any category.<< I agree with Al that you can make good beer with extract, but with the available base malts I honestly believe that better beer is made all grain. Plus look at the amount of satisfaction you get from doing it youself. Extract is a lazy way to make a batch of beer. If you really enjoy the hobby then go for it make the best beer you can the same way the "Big Guys" do. Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 10:18:44 -0700 From: George_De_Piro at berlex.com (George De Piro) Subject: Re: Reusing yeast / Steinbier Hi all, Jens asks about reusing yeast, and describes problems encountered in doing so. Yeast can be reused, but there are some "rules" that need to be followed. First, your sanitation practices must be impeccable. Each time you repitch, any contaminating microbes that are in your slurry will also get a chance to grow. By the 3rd repitching you can be in very noticeable trouble. Even with great sanitation, the culture will eventually become contaminated. You can't repitch forever. Another factor to remember is that the yeast themselves will mutate over time. If you repitch only the yeast you collect from your secondary, you will be selecting for less flocculant yeast. A similar effect will occur if you harvest the yeast from the bottom of your primary before most of the yeast has settled; you'll be selecting the most flocculent. Both of these scenarios can dramatically change the character of your beer (attenuation differences are likely). Yeast mutations can lead to all sorts of other off-flavors/aromas and fermentation problems. Some brewers reuse a yeast slurry for no more than 5 batches before reculturing. I doubt that there's any magic about the number "5," but it has probably been realized that consistent quality can be maintained that way. --------------------------- Dave B. is a bit confused about Steinbier production. The rocks most definitely ARE immersed in the wort and then removed and stored for use in the secondary tank (see Michael Jackson's books, a Zymurgy article from '92, and the most recent Brewing Techniques). In the old days, liquids could be boiled in wooden vessels by adding hot rocks to them. Just pouring the liquid over hot rocks would not achieve this. In beer making, pouring the wort over hot rocks would hopelessly oxidize it. I doubt if even the ancients enjoyed the taste of cardboard ale! Have fun! George De Piro (Nyack, NY) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 11:14:37 -0400 From: David.Harsh at UC.Edu (David C. Harsh) Subject: Sparge rate theory Al and Lou have written about sparge time: >Lou writes: > ...Diffusion is the rate limiting factor. The amount and distribution > of surface area at the grain/strainer interface will surely affect > the concentration gradients in the liquid in the lauter tun... Al wrote: >...If you must sparge faster, then yes, as Lou says, a Phil's Phalse > Bottom *theoretically* would give you better yield. Note we haven't > even started talking about grain bed depth or tun geometry... yikes! Lou is partially correct in that diffusion is important; Al is dead on because geometry of the system is incredibly important for this kind of modelling. {Warning: geek mode entered. This is core chemical engineering and I use this as an example in my Mass Transfer lectures every year - student interest is invariably heightened if you can relate it to alcohol} Because the sugar extraction is due to bulk motion of the sparge water, we are actually dealing with a convective process; the rate will be equal to the product of a mass tranfer coefficient and the concentration difference between the bulk fluid and the concentration in the particle surface liquid film. The coefficient is a complex function of particle shape, solute diffusivity and all fluid properties (density, viscosity) along with liquid velocity. The irregular particles of grain will definitely complicate things. I'll also speculate that there is an adsorption equilibrium for the sugars between the liquid and surface concentrations to help complicate things. Despite the fact that I can write the model, I don't really care to solve it. Even if I did, models like this invariably end up with a 50% margin of error in predicted performance because of all the factors you have to estimate. Instead, looking in the archives from 1994, sparge rate was discussed by Darryl Richman as follows: quote from HBD #1506, 8/17/94 * The rate recommended was approximately 1 gallon / (6 * minute * square foot) to start, speeding up to 1/4 as the wort thins * out. (I'm quoting from memory, always a dangerous thing.) These * figures are quoted from volume 2 of Narziss' "Die Technologie der * Bierbereitung". Knowing that commercial brewers generally sparge through a shallower grain bed than homebrewers, this is probably an upper limit to sparge rate; in addition, I believe that this is based on open area of your false bottom, but that isn't really clear from the archives. So, ultimately, I agree that a Phalse Bottom SHOULD work better, but there are too many variables in homebrewing to possibly make a definitive statement on unsteady state extraction from a fixed bed. {geek mode off} Dave P.S. Last summer I gave a counterflow wort chiller design problem on a heat transfer exam. {oops, geek mode slipped back on again} &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& & Dave Harsh & & Bloatarian Brewing League; Cincinnati, OH & & Red Green uses duct tape - I prefer Parafilm & &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& O- Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 11:20:35 -0400 (EDT) From: OCaball299 at aol.com Subject: Fwd: Ovi's World of the Bizarre #67 Oct. 14, 1997 Charles Maraura of New Zealand was awarded a small amount of money after he proved that Zimbabwe's National Breweries was responsible for the used female contraceptive device found in his beer. Be careful out there!!! Omar Caballero Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 08:10:55 -0700 From: Matt Gadow <mgadow at ix.netcom.com> Subject: RE: A sparkletts cooler idea Did anyone pick up the post a couple weeks ago regarding the use of a the compressor in a sparkletts cooler to substitute for the use of ice in a (son of) fermentation chiller?? This sounds like a great idea, and I would like to hear if anyone has tried this?? Ken Shwartz - Have you seen any plans on upgrading the chiller from ice to compressor power?? I have a beer fridge, but It gets kind of full, and tends to be set at 40-50, for serving, and/or lagering. I would like to be able to create a "celler" in my garage, which would stay 55-65 deg., to keep the extra bottles in good condition, and ferment out ales. I have made a ferm. chiller, which works well, but is too small, and requires frequent ice changes. My idea was to insulate a corner of the garage with similar material, and put boxes of bottles, and a fermenter (or two) in this area with some type of A/C or commpressor. I saw a post on the use of the sparkletts cooler, but don't have one now. I'm somewhat gadget impaired, but would like to hear about any plans anyone has put together (I have friends!) Thanks, Matt Gadow Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 12:28:34 -0400 (EDT) From: Small Change <schd at pluto.njcc.com> Subject: PALE ALES announces AHA/BJCP Competition Contact: Joe Bair (609) 252-1800, schd at pluto.njcc.com or Bruce Hammell (609) 393-2946, oudbruin at aol.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ATTENTION ALL HOMEBREWERS PALE ALES announces AHA/BJCP Competition PRINCETON, New Jersey. -- October 23, 1997 - At last year's PALE ALES (Princeton And Local Environs Ale and Lager Enjoyment Society) Homebrew contest we decided that we were going to have a AHA/BJCP sanctioned competition. We also decided th at we were going to do it right! The first accomplishment was making the club a not-for-profit status, which was accomplished in February. A name was chosen "Le Premier Spectacle D'Houblon du Monde" - (The Hoppiest Show on Earth). Judging will be overseen by AHA/BJCP (American Homebrewers Association/Brewers Judge Certification Program. Triumph Brewing Co. has offered us their place for the awards, for the best of show judging, and "The Bitterest Beer Face Contest." The poster for the competition is currently on display in the breezeway at Triumph Brewing Co. Entries are due on Dec. 4. The competition will take place on December 7. The award ceremony will be on Dec. 8 at Triumph. This means that you roughly have 5 1/2 weeks to make your beers if you have not done so yet. Entry fees are $5 each for the first two entries, and $2.50 for each subsequent entry. Please send all entries to Princeton Homebrew, 82 Nassau St. #20, Princeton, NJ 08542, and respond via e-mail to schd at pluto.njcc.com or oudbruin at aol.com of your intentions. Our web page is located at www.angelfire.com/biz/paleales, and to get the latest information you can subscribe to our PALES TALES e-mailings by sending mail to schd at pluto.njcc.com. ### (C)1997 PALE ALES. All Rights Reserved. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 09:31:15 -0700 From: "Mark Bridges" <mbridges at coastnet.com> Subject: Great Canadian Beer Festival Fellow Subscribers: It's that time of year again. On behalf of CAMRA Victoria, consider = this your invitation to join us in Victoria, BC November 14 & 15 for = The Great Canadian Beer Festival.=20 Held at the Victoria Conference Centre, the festival (profiled in the = Jan/Feb 1997 issue of Brewing Techniques) is a showcase of natural ales = and lagers. This year, we are encouraging more and more breweries to = bring along cask-conditioned versions of their product to demonstrate = their skills. At this point about 31 breweries are confirmed exhibitors. = Related exhibits will include AOB/AHA, Gambrinus Malting, our friends = at HopUnion USA, and for the first time Wyeast Labs among others. Continuous live music will set the mood, and yes, the Morris Dancers = will be back as well. Food services are provided this year by the = adjoining Empress Hotel. And, as always, profits generated by the Festival will be donated to = several worthy causes. If you can't join us at the Festival, do visit our website at = http://www.pacificcoast.net/~patkinson/GCBF.htm for a look at Western = Canada's premier beer event. Questions? Let me know at = mbridges at coastnet.com and I'll do my best to help you out. Cheers and Good Brewing, Mark Bridges President, CAMRA Victoria Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 20:02:17 +0200 From: "Hubert Hanghofer" <hhanghof at netbeer.co.at> Subject: Re: Lime as water treatment A.J. deLange writes in HBD#2537 about the use of lime in treatment of brewing water. I answered the original question by Grant W. Knechtel via private email but thought I should re-edit and forward it to the collective, because I was a bit amazed to read, that the process is not very common among homebrewers. As has been noted by A.J. deLange, slaked lime removes hydrogencarbonates: Ca(OH)2 + Ca(HCO3)2 -> 2CaCO3 (precipitate) + 2H2O The process works well with Ca based temporary hardness but doesn't remove MgCO3 because of its solubility. MgCO3 requires additional Ca(OH)2 to precipitate: MgCO3 + Ca(OH)2 -> CaCO3 + Mg(OH)2 The method is widespread among Austrian / Bavarian brewers (geology is based on limestone, water high in temporary hardness). It's allowed according to Bavarian Reinheitsgebot and even according to the very rigorous bioland brewing guidlines (...those green clean bio beers). ...Now let's try a simplified approach: 1) Set up a water treatment cask that holds the whole volume of brewing water (mashing, sparging). 2) Fill in half the water, add all Ca(OH)2 necessary for the *whole volume*. Thus some of the Mg will precipitate, too. Calculation of the necessary amount Ca(OH)2: grams / Litre = Alkalinity (ppm CaCO3) x 0,74 / 1000 grams / Litre = Alkalinity (mMol/L) x 74 / 1000 grams / US gallon = (g/L) x 3,785 If you have to use CaO (burnt lime), multiply the grams Ca(OH)2 by 0.757 to get the grams CaO, that have to be slaked with water prior to adding (be careful, much heat may develop, both CaO and Hydroxide are caustic). 3) If needed, add water salts to adjust water chemistry. 4) Gradually rise the volume by adding more water. Keep rising the lime by stirring every 10 minutes or so to aid the reaction and help convert the initially very fine precipitate to a coarser one. 5) *IMPORTANT: Don't rely on the calculated amount. Keep an eye on the pH. If it's <8 you're done, otherwise add more water!!!* 6) Remove the stirring paddle and let the precipitate settle out for at least 12 hours. So the whole work is done on the day before brewing. 7) Rack off the water into your kettle.... Low turbidity is allowed, but you should take care to leave the sediment behind. I'm water chemist and could make more efforts, but use this primitive approach in my brewing for years and am very pleased with the results. I'm able to produce Pilseners with my tapwater (alkalinity 300ppm CaCO3), adjusting residual Kolbach alkalinity to (*measured*) negative values. Notes: pH-Control (5) is the key factor for this simplification! It's like a titration of slaked lime with tap-water's HCO3. The drop in pH is significant, so pH test sticks can be used (I use them at home). I recommend however, to add 5-10 vol% more tapwater after reaching pH<8. After step (2) Mg(OH)2 will precipitate, but gradually re-carbonate and dissolve when you rise the volume and lower pH. So the split treatment as described by A.J. deLange should be used, if water contains more than 20 mg Mg/L. After racking off into the secondary (...water treatment cask!) proceed from (3). Hope this helps somebody! CHEERS & sehr zum Wohle! Hubert in Salzburg, AUSTRIA http://www.netbeer.co.at/beer/ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 14:38:34 +0000 From: "Forrest Duddles" <fridge at Imbecile.kzoo.edu> Subject: Fridge survey Ok folks, The survey responses have stopped coming in and I have compiled the data. Here are the results... The most common brewing refrigerator configuration is the freezer-on-top upright (44%), slightly edging out chest freezers (39%). Dorm/apartment refrigerators came in next (12%), and finally side-by-side (5%). Two of the dorm fridges were built into cold boxes. 50% responded that they vary their temperatures between 35 - 55 degF. 28% vary their temperatures between 40 - 50 degF. 11% vary their temperatures between 30 - 70 degF. Remaining responses were fixed temperatures ranging from the 30's to the mid 50's. 83% use an external controller of some sort. The Johnson A19 is by far the most popular at 40%, followed by the Hunter Airstat (22%), homebuilt (11%), and no name specified (11%). The remainder were similar HVAC or misc. laboratory/process controllers. The median age is 14.25 years (moldy oldies - literally!) Most of those who responded reported having no problems. Those who did report problems usually had trouble with mold. Three people reported chest freezer death (compressor failure or refrigerant leak). One claimed to be on his third used chest freezer, each lasting about 30 months. A couple of people reported temperature problems - either unable to get the temperature high or low enough. Interestingly, I was unable to reach any conlusion from this data as to whether operating a refrigerator or freezer above its intended temperature caused premature compressor problems - even when run in high ambient temperatures. I suspect, however, that the average age of these fridges may play a role in this. Most older refrigerators were substantially overbuilt. That has been changing in recent years as the manufacturers have been forced to increase the efficiency their products. A new refrigerator can save $100 or more in energy costs per year over a similar model just 10 years old. The energy efficiency comes at a price though. Newer compressors are physically smaller, turn faster and run longer than the older ones they replaced. Condensers and evaporators are smaller and line lengths are reduced where possible to reduce refrigerant charge size and material costs. I use a new chest freezer at 42 degF and will report if I have any problems. I'd be interested to hear from any of you running newer models if you have any troubles. Thanks to all of you who have responded. It has been fun! Hope this helps! Forrest Duddles - FridgeGuy in Kalamazoo fridge at Imbecile.kzoo.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 14:07:07 -0500 (CDT) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: Long boil Drew writes: >I just got The Brewmaster's Bible out of the library - it's very new = >(1997), but really focuses on extract brewing. Some interesting recipes, = >if you're an extract brewer. I did come across something that I had = >never read before: the author claims that a long boil (2-3 hours) will = >cause some hot break proteins to re-disolve into the wort, producing a = >velvety smooth beer with tons of body. Can anyone verify this? I can verify that the hot break will indeed begin to re-dissolve after 2 or 3 hours... it's well-documented and written-up in George Fix's Principles of Brewing Science and Jean DeClerck's A Textbook of Brewing. I do believe that the author is making a *HUGE* assumption that the redissolution of the hot break will be beneficial to the finished product. Nowhere have I read this in all my reading. It's true that small and medium-sized proteins improve head retention, but I feel that it's unwise to presume that the proteins that redissolve will be of the right size to be beneficial. I've made several beers in which I accidentally took 8 or even 9 gallons of runnings for a 5-gallon batch. Naturally, I had to boil these for more than 2 hours to get the proper amount of volume loss. Reviewing my tasting notes, these beers were unremarkable in terms of body and smoothness. Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com My new website (still under construction, but up-and-running): http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 12:08:05 +0000 From: "Jesse Benbow" <benbowj at ava.bcc.orst.edu> Subject: Re: spongy gunk in fermenter On Thurs Oct 23, Jim Poder wrote about pea sized spongy stuff floating around in his fermenter, and wondered if it was an infection. Well, I can't tell you exactly what it is, but I'm pretty sure it's not an infection. I've done 7 all grain batches, and had this show up also. I guess it's either hot or cold break. The interesting thing is, in two batches of pale ale, I've had it, and in 3 batches of porters and stouts, I havn't. I thought it was a dark beer/pale beer thing, but in the last batch, a dark mild, it showed up again. Another variable was that the pale ales and the mild all had a lot of hops, while the porters and stouts didn't. All of the beers were fermented in glass, using yeast cultured from Deschutes, except the mild, which used Wyeast 1272. The base malt for all of them was Great Western 2-row. All were mashed at 105F-20 min, 135F-20 min, and 150-155F - 60 min. It's not something I'm worried about, but since it was brought up, I'm curious about what it is and especially why it only shows up in some beers. Any ideas, or does anyone else notice the same patterns? Jesse Benbow in Medford, Oregon Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 15:34:10 -0400 (EDT) From: RPSGT at aol.com Subject: Spices I am in the process of designing a Holiday Ale using spices such as cinnamom stick, nutmeg, vanilla bean, cardamom, etc. I haven't totally decided yet. My question is what is the best way to introduce these into my beer? Should I make a spiced tea and add it during bottoling? What's the best way to make the tea? Should I steep the spices after the boil? How long should I do this? Should I put them in during the boil? How does adding spices during the boil differ from makeing a spiced tea or steeping the spices? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Dennis Putnam Asheville, NC Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 14:36:40 -0500 (CDT) From: Steven Ensley <steve at globaldialog.com> Subject: Coffee Stout When I did a Chocolate/Coffee stout last year I made the coffee about the same way but then I just threw the whole thing, most of the grounds and 8 oz of bakeing chocolate into the wort toward the end of the boil and put the whole shebang into the primary. End result was quite good according to most who tried it. Pretty rich, a good one to finish off an evening of tasting, or for dessert after dinner. >Tonight I bottled a stout and did the following: >1. Used a French Coffee Press and made 4 cups of coffee with 12 scoops of >Starbucks coffee. >2. Let the boiling water sit in the coffee press for 30 minutes. >3. Filtered through a coffee filter ( the press lets gunk through) >4. Boiled and primed as usual. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 17:05:53 -0400 From: Gordon & Cindy Camp <revcamp at epix.net> Subject: Breweries/Brewpubs in N.E. Penn My wife and I will be traveling to the Strudsburg, PA area for a week in November and were wondering if there are any Breweries,Brewpubs or Pubs that are a must for this area? We are aware of The Lion and Yeungling, but would appreciate any others. We are willing to drive into North Jersey. Thanx Gordon A. Camp revcamp at epix.net Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 15:41:06 +0000 From: Chris White <whitelab at fia.net> Subject: Re: whitelabs Thanks for the interest in White Labs yeast. Here is a little information on our cultures. The homebrew yeast vials we produce are equivalent to concentrated pint starters. They are packaged at 1-2 billion cells per ml, so each vial ends up containing 30-50 billion cells. Lag times for 5 gallons average 12 hours, but variations occur due to yeast storage time/temp, fermentation temp, wort gravity, and wort aeration. Viability (determined by methylene blue) remains high when the vials are stored at 38 F. A 6 week old vial of California Ale Yeast usually has 80-85 percent viability, but methyl blue does not give any indication of fermentation ability or ability to reproduce. That is one of the things we are currently investigating. We recommend our vials to be used within 4 weeks if they are going to pitched directly into 5 gallons (they are dated with the bottling date). After that, or for a pitching rate of 1-2 liters slurry, one of our vials can be propped up in one day. We continually do time/viability/lag time studies, and recently a 2 1/2 month old English Ale vial developed kraeusen in 12 hours. Thanks again, Chris White, Ph.D. President White Labs, SD, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 16:37:20 From: "Bryan L. Gros" <gros at bigfoot.com> Subject: steinbier again Dave Burley writes: >As I recall, Steinbier is made by pouring wort >OVER hot rocks and *not* by putting hot rocks >INTO the wort, nicht wahr?? The story I heard was that, in the really old days, the germans used wooden kettles. They couldn't put the wood over a fire to boil the wort, so they put the fire (i.e. super hot rocks) in the wort. As for exploding rocks, when Chuck Skypeck makes his steinbier (a regular beer at his brewpub), he has never had a rock explode. Small pieces will occasionally crack off though, so rocks get retired after a while. He gets his rocks from hiking on colorado, though, not (presumably) in streams. Pink granite. I also wonder about the idea of saving the rocks to add to the secondary. Is this a modern idea to not "waste" those nice caramels on the rocks? - Bryan gros at bigfoot.com Oakland, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 97 10:10:50 +0000 From: dscourfi at ford.com (Darren Scourfield) Subject: How do you guys clean your 3 tier systems? I'm in the process of building a 3 tier system using 50 l stainless beer kegs (not very common in the UK). I was planning to use stainless tubes to rigidly connect the vessels together. Stainless valves and connections with tapered threads are too expensive and the threaded nickel coated brass valves have parallel threads which I guess might cause sealing problems (is this true?) plus I would need to get threaded tubes. I was therefore thinking of using nickel coated brass valves with built in compression fittings. Good idea? I just thought about cleaning. Do people normally strip the system down after a brewing session or just flush hot water through the system? How many times can you disconnect and reconnect compression fittings before they start leaking? Can you get good, cheap quick connectors of some kind? I don't know anyone who has any kind of permanent setup so I have nothing to copy. Thanks in advance. Darren, Essex, England. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 07:12:46 -0400 From: kpeters at ptd.net (Kevin Peters) Subject: Infection After reading Brian Dixon's post about an infection after weeks in the bottle, I think my beers are suffering from a similar fate. They taste great at bottling time, but after 7 weeks or so in the bottle, they begin to take on a sour/bitter tang that only affects the taste. They still smell fine. I ferment in glass, and bottle using the typical plastic bucket. I am planning to do a couple of things: 1. Replace every plastic component in my brewery (airlocks, siphon hoses, bottling bucket and spigot). 2. Switch to sanitizing using iodophor instead of bleach. 3. Pay a *lot* more attention to cleaning and sanitation. Any other suggestions from the collective? Is there an alternative to a plastic bottling bucket (besides kegging)? TIA. Kevin Mechanicsburg, PA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 07:19:52 -0400 From: sscott at lightlink.com (Steve Scott) Subject: Subject: Keg Burners On Fri, 24 Oct 1997 00:14:36 -0400, you wrote: >I wanted to get your opion on which type of cooker or burner works best >with a Sanke keg. I currently have a king kooker jet burner which works >well, but I am planning on taking my brewing inside. No need to warn >me about CO, I am making plans to vent the CO outside. Please make sure that your future cooker has a lockout which will shut down the gas valve if the flame goes out. You don't want propane or methane dumping indoors. Especially 5 or 10 minutes of a 100k btuh burner. ** The problem with the average family today is that it's=20 impossible to support it and the government on one income. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 08:21:57 -0400 From: "Alan McKay" <Alan.McKay.amckay at nt.com> Subject: lack of hot break Jim Wallace tells us of his lack of hot break, in a wort with pH 4.9-5.1. Jim, I learned the hard way that lower pH can do this to you, even with Irish Moss. A few brews ago I tweaked my sparge water way down to 4.6 or 4.7. I never did measure the pH of the final pre-boil wort, but it would have been low. I therefore didn't get much hotbreak, and no cold break at all coming out of my chiller. Where normally my wort-out side would be cloudy as anything from coagulated proteins, on this batch it was crystal clear. Furthermore, after 2 weeks in the 2ndary, the thing was still nowhere near clear so I threw it in the fridge. It sat there for 3 more weeks and didn't clear any at all. Normally a week in the fridge will drop any of my beers completely bright. Finally I added some Isinglass finings to it, and it dropped bright in about 72 hours. Good luck, -Alan - -- Alan McKay Nortel Enterprise Networks Norstar / Companion / Monterey Operations PC Support Prime Return to table of contents
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