HOMEBREW Digest #2587 Fri 19 December 1997

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		Digest Janitor: janitor@hbd.org
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		Livonia, Michigan for sponsoring the Homebrew Digest.
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  Brew pot Manifold (PVanslyke)
  PVC Manifold? (KennyEddy)
  RE: Return of the RollerMill Thread! (John Wilkinson)
  Yesterday's Brew Session (Matthew Taylor)
  Batch-Sparging Data Part 1 of 2 (KennyEddy)
  Blow Off Tube Thread (m.r.p.)
  Batch-Sparging Data Part 2 of 2 (KennyEddy)
  CO2 needed to force carbonate (Matthew Arnold)
  Norgren relief valve ("Bret A. Schuhmacher")
  Ready to Bottle? ("Matthew Kerr")
  Whippersnappers,wine,instant oatmeal ("David R. Burley")
  Slick Siphoning Sample Stealer (KennyEddy)
  Clinitest, Bleach ("David R. Burley")
  O2 how long?/Valley Mill/all-grain cost/bottled water/SO-lutions (Chris Carolan)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 10:07:08 EST From: PVanslyke <PVanslyke at aol.com> Subject: Brew pot Manifold >Date: Sun, 07 Dec 1997 10:32:20 -0500=0A>From: Jim English <jimebob at mind= spring.com>=0A>Subject: Brewpot manifold/No hot break =0A=0Asnip=85=0A>1.= I made a manifold of half-inch copper slotted (2 to 3 cuts per >inch) in= =0A>the shape of a square that hugs the bottom (at least at the >corners)= of my=0A>keg. The threaded SS nipple is about 2 inches above the center-= >bottom=85=0A=0AJim,=0AInstead of using a manifold in the brew pot, I hav= e had good luck using a=0Astainless steel scrub pad. A short piece of cop= per tube is jammed into the SS=0Anipple and the scrub pad is fastened ove= r the end of the tube. You still need=0Ato be careful of stirring so as t= o not dislodge the pad. Try to get a pad from=0Aa commercial source. The = pad I have used in the past came from a dairy supply=0Astore and is large= r and finer than the pad I bought at the grocery store. If=0Ayou can only= get the pad at a grocery, stick two together before installing in=0Athe = brew pot.=0A=0AMake sure the pads are SS. I have used this method with pe= llet hops as well as=0Awhole hops and had good luck draining nearly all t= he wort from the brew pot=0Awithout clogging.=0A=0APaul VanSlyke >> brewi= n=92 and relaxin=92 in Deposit, NY=0A Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 10:58:25 EST From: KennyEddy <KennyEddy at aol.com> Subject: PVC Manifold? Rock Lucas asks about PVC mash tun manifold: "Is there any reason not to use PVC for this? I haven't seen any mention = of this and wonder if I'm missing something." Two rpoblems, one for sure and the other I remember reading but can't say where. First, PVC will soften/warp/deform at about 145F, well below your max temperature. Second, I remember reading that PVC will leach certain chemicals into hot water which you probably don't want in your brew. Solution: use *C*PVC pipe. It's also available cheaply at the hardware/home stores, usually in 1/2" size. It's designed for potable hot water use up to 180F. ***** Ken Schwartz El Paso, TX KennyEddy at aol.com http://members.aol.com/kennyeddy 3950 miles from the center of the earth, as if Jeff Renner (give or take a few miles) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 97 10:13:57 CST From: jwilkins at wss.dsccc.com (John Wilkinson) Subject: RE: Return of the RollerMill Thread! Paul Kensler wondered how the Valley Mill turns its second roller. I have a Valley Mill and it appears to me that the second roller is turned by the grain passing through. The knurling on the rollers has to grip the grain and the driven roller forces the grain through the gap, thereby turning the second roller. If it doesn't grip, the second roller won't turn. That is not as bad as it sounds, though, as I believe on any roller mill if the grain is not gripped by the roller it will not pass through. Perhaps if both rollers were driven they would have a better chance of gripping the grain but I doubt it. I like my Valley Mill but think the JS MaltMill is fine too. I was influenced to buy the Valley because it was adjustable, had a large hopper, and was only $70 in a clearance by Williams Brewing. John Wilkinson - Grapevine, Texas - jwilkins at wss.dsccc.com * Jeff Renner is about 9 degrees 31 minutes north and 13 degrees 20 minutes * * east of me. * Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 97 08:26:59 -0800 From: Matthew Taylor <mtaylor at mail.valverde.edu> Subject: Yesterday's Brew Session No real question here, but I just had to let everybody know what = we have to go through to brew out here in Southern California. I = missed my chance to brew on Saturday, so I got off work a little = early yesterday to get a batch going before my yeast starter = needed refreshing. I got started by 2:45, mowed the lawn during the mash. Started = dinner while I lautered (my wife was out Christmas shopping.) Had = dinner while the kettle boiled merrily away on the patio (a 90 = minute boil, got a little carried away with the advent calendar). = Cooled it while we did the dishes, and mixed up a batch of wine = from grape concentrate. Had everything, beer and wine, in the = fermenters by 8:00. The only down point came while scrubbing out the kettle. My = shorts and t-shirt got so wet that I had to go change before I = could pitch the yeast (it was getting a little chilly, down into = the low 60's by then.) Ah the joys of Southern California! =09 =09 Just had to gloat =09 Matt Taylor =09 Grand Terrace California= Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 11:55:45 EST From: KennyEddy <KennyEddy at aol.com> Subject: Batch-Sparging Data Part 1 of 2 AlK asked to see some details on my batch-sparge "experiments". OK, you asked for it! I'll start by stating that for those brewers who are thinking of trying all- grain brewing, and in particular those thinking about batch sparging, PLEASE don't let the following discussion scare you! What follows here is an (over)analysis of some of the unexpected results I observed during some brew sessions. You certainly don't have to go through any of this to brew beer! Next, a "disclaimer". These "experiments" were hardly controlled or scientific; more accurately, they're simply reports of some data taken from a few brew sessions that indicate a different result than what I originally postulated would occur. In that respect the results are useful, but I wouldn't try to draw any *quantitative* results from them. **What I Thought Would Happen The basic idea is as follows. In batch-sparging, we mash the grain, drain the runoff, add clear hot water, then drain again. During the mash phase, sugars develop and distribute themselves throughout the liquid, both that which is absorbed or "trapped" inside the grain and that which is "free" (and therefore available for runoff). It was a basic premise of my analysis of batch- sparging that the gravity of the "free" wort was nominally the same as that in the absorbed fraction; that is, that the sugars were evenly distributed throughout both the free and the trapped liquids. **What Actually Happened In reality, it appears that the wort in the trapped fraction was consistently of higher gravity than the free wort. More accurately stated, there was more sugar retrieved during the sparge step than would be predicted by the same- gravity model. **How I Figured All of This The amount of sugar in the "trapped wort" was calculated by first measuring the gravity and volume of the initial runoff (the "free wort"), measuring the volume of the clear sparge water added, and finally measuring the gravity and volume of the second (sparge) runoff. Let me illustrate the hypothesis by example: If my mash (runoff) gravity was of SG 1.084, and I ran off 60% of the initial mash water volume, then my hypothesis predicts that the remaining 40% (trapped wort) would also have a gravity of 1.084. Now I replace the 60% that was run off, with clear hot water. If the trapped wort were truly at 1.084, the "new" wort should be of gravity 0.60 x 0 [clear water] + 0.40 x 84 [trapped wort] = 1.034. So the second runoff should yield a runoff with a gravity of around 1.034. However, the actual results consistently yielded *higher* than the gravity predicted by this method. The conclusion I reached is that there is more sugar left inside the grain than predicted by the above assumption. This is illustrated by the two batch-sparge sessions brewed by Michael Crowe, who supplied me with his data (mil gracias por eso). I use the concept of "excess gravity" points or "points per gallon", which is ((SG - 1.000) x 1000) or just the numbers after the 1 in the gravity figure (e.g., 1.056 = 56 points per gallon). Points per gallon times volume gives me just "points" which is a measure of the *total amount of sugar* in the liquid (as opposed to the *concentration*, which the gravity -- points per gallon -- represents). This allows me to track how much sugar is located where. Batch #1 (Batch Sparged) Mash Water: 3.7 gal First runoff was drained and measured: Mash Runoff ("free wort") Gravity: 1.084 (84 points/gal) Mash Runoff Volume: 2.4 gal Mash Runoff Points: 2.4 x 84 = 202 points (total sugar in runoff) Remaining trapped wort would look like this under the same-gravity assumption: Remaining Water ("trapped" wort): 3.7 - 2.4 = 1.3 gal Remaining Points: 1.3 x 84 = 109 points (total sugar in trapped wort) Now we add 2.25 gal sparge water. We should have a total of 2.25 + 1.3 = 3.55 gal of water in the tun, with the same 109 total points of sugar redistributed in it. 109 / 3.55 = 31, so we should expect a second wort runoff (sparge) gravity of 1.031. However, in reality, the actual runoff was 1.045! This means we actually had 3.55 gal at 1.045 or 3.55 x 45 = 160 points left over, 47% more than the 109 we expected. Batch #2 (Batch Sparged): Mash Water: 2.25 gal Mash Runoff ("free wort") Gravity: 1.082 (82 points/gallon) Mash Runoff Volume: 1.25 gal Mash Runoff Points: 1.25 x 82 = 103 Remaining Water ("trapped" wort): 2.25 - 1.25 = 1.0 gal Remaining Points: 1.0 x 82 = 82 Add 1.00 gal sparge water for a total of 2.00 gallons in the tun. 82 points in 2.00 gallons gives a predicted gravity of 82 / 2.00 = 1.041. However, the runoff was 1.047. Thus, we actually had 2.00 x 47 = 94 points in the tun, instead of the 82 points predicted, 15% more than expected. {more in Part 2} ***** Ken Schwartz El Paso, TX KennyEddy at aol.com http://members.aol.com/kennyeddy Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 11:04:46 -0600 (CST) From: m.r.p. at ix.netcom.com Subject: Blow Off Tube Thread Subject: Don't go rushing to throw out your carboy and blow off tube Hi all, Dave Burley writes about the evils of blow off tubes and closed fermenters (i.e., carboys). He encourages the use of a plastic pail covered with plastic wrap. <SNIP> While I agree with Dave that a dirty blow off tube can cause infection of the batch, there are some VERY easy ways to avoid problems: <SNIP> 2. If you must use a blow off tube, use a new one each time. Short of that, sterilize an old one by boiling it. Yes, you can boil vinyl tubing. It will turn white, but after a few days it will clear again, and it doesn't matter anyway! I always boil all of my tubing to sanitize it. <SNIP> George, there are better ways. First, unless you only brew a batch a month, buying a new tube is costly. I know I'm not rich. The best way I found to clean a BO tube is with a bottle brush. Take the Bottle brush and attach a long piece of stiff wire to the handle (I find a coat hanger (Unraveled of course) works well. Soak the BO tube in a bucket of bleach water to soften up the crud. Run the wire through the tube and pull the brush through it. I do this once, run some water through it, and dot it again (and again until the tube is clean). Then I soak it in the bleach water for a half hour or so and rinse. Once I do this I hang it on its hook and leave it to dry. When I get ready to use it I soak it in a bleach solution, rinse and shove it in the hole. With all the brewing I do (at least a batch a week), I have never had a problem. Hope this works for someone else. Mike One must put up barriers To keep oneself intact. - Rush, 1981 "It took me a long time to grow up. Maturity and me are only recently acquainted." - Gary Numan, 1997 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 11:57:15 EST From: KennyEddy <KennyEddy at aol.com> Subject: Batch-Sparging Data Part 2 of 2 {continued from Part 1} **Seems to Apply to Continuous-Sparged Brewing Too As for the "continuous-sparged" batches, the predicted gravity was determined as follows. I recorded the total mash water and grain weight, which gives me an estimate of the mix of "free" wort versus "trapped" wort (based on an absorption rate of 0.13 gallon, or one pint, per pound of grain). I then measured the volume and gravity of the *finished* wort, which tells me how much *total* sugar was recovered. So I can estimate the gravity of the trapped wort as follows: (a) the final volume times the final excess gravity points (= total recovered sugar points) minus (b) the "free" wort volume in the mashtun times its excess gravity points, measured at the end of recirculation (= total free-wort sugar points) equals (c) the total trapped-wort sugar points Finally I divide (c) by the estimated trapped-wort volume to get the trapped wort gravity. If the same-gravity model were valid, I should get the trapped wort to be the same gravity as the free wort, but instead I still get a higher gravity figure for the trapped wort. Here's the data for these batches: Batch #3 (continuous-sparged): Mash Water: 4.00 gal Grain: 10.5 lb Estimated Trapped-Wort Volume: 0.13 gal/lb x 10.5 lb = 1.37 gal Estimated Free Wort Volume: 4.00 - 1.37 = 2.63 gal Mash Recirc (free-wort) Gravity: 1.075 (75 points/gal) 2.63 gal x 75 = 197 points of sugar in free wort Final Volume: 5.35 gal Final Gravity: 1.060 5.35 x 60 = 321 total points of sugar recovered into kettle So, using the approach outlined above, (a) 321 total points recovered minus (b) 197 points in free wort equals (c) 124 points in trapped wort Trapped wort volume = 1.37 gal Trapped wort gravity = 124 / 1.37 = 91 points/gal = 1.091 SG Under the assumption of same-gravity, the trapped wort should have had 1.37 gal x 75 points/gal = 103 points; instead I got 124 points, or 20% more than predicted. Batch #4 (full-sparged): Mash Water: 3.00 gal Mash Thickness: 1.23 qt/lb (single-step mash) Grain: 9.75 lb Estimated Trapped-Wort Volume: 0.13 gal/lb x 9.75 lb = 1.27 gal Estimated Free Wort Volume: 3.00 - 1.27 = 1.73 gal Mash Recirc (free-wort) Gravity: 1.090 (90 points/gal) 1.73 gal x 90 = 156 points of sugar in free wort Final Volume: 5.35 gal Final Gravity: 1.061 5.35 x 61 = 326 points collected in kettle (a) 326 total points recovered minus (b) 156 points in free wort equals (c) 170 points in trapped wort Trapped wort volume = 1.27 gal Trapped wort gravity = 170 / 1.27 = 134 points/gal = 1.134 SG Under the assumption of same-gravity, the trapped wort should have had 1.37 gal x 90 points/gal = 123 points; instead I got 170 points, or 38% more than predicted. Now, granted, one potential problem here is that I'm only taking a single gravity measurement of the runoff, rather than monitoring it over the entire runoff/sparge period. In the batch-sparge cases, gravity is measured after the runoff is complete, so whether the gravity is changing over the course of the runoff or sparge is not known. Whether this starting gravity remains constant could be easily determined by taking a reading at both the start and finish of the batch runoff, but this was not foreseen when Michael brewed and as a result the data was not taken. As for the fly-sparged case, I took the free-wort (recirculation) contribution separately from the sparged-wort contribution, as if the free wort had been drained before fully-sparging the trapped wort out. This helps me separate the sugar in the free wort from that in the trapped wort, even though it's all being flushed out together with the continuous sparge. But since the total amount of sugar recovered is the same either way, the results of this approach should be equivalent. But even still, if it is true that the trapped wort is of higher gravity, then it essentially boosts batch-sparge efficiency well above that which is predicted by the same-gravity premise, and thus approaches continuous-sparging (under certain conditions) in efficiency. Collecting smaller volumes of wort reduces the efficiency, but the technique is most effective for extract brewers who are limited in space/equipment. They, I believe, are batch- sparging's primary audience. The higher gravity in the trapped wort is not necessarily hard to "believe", though, considering that the starchy chunks of grain are the very "factories" producing the sugar. The surrounding water must leach out this sugar, and the more sugar is dissolved in the water, the slower this process becomes. Left to sit forever, and/or continuously stirred, this difference would perhaps diminish as the system eventually reaches equilibrium. It also lends support to the notion of slow sparges improving efficiency, since the long time that the clear water is in contact with the grain would encourage best pickup of the trapped wort (bigger difference in gravity compared with the original free wort). Mashout gets some support from the concept, by thinning the initial runoff, again encouraging more diffusion of the trapped wort into the free wort. Both of these concepts are well-known to the brewer. The question then becomes, is it possible to accurately predict the gravity of the free and the trapped worts (for purposes of accurately planning a batch- sparge session)? ***** Ken Schwartz El Paso, TX KennyEddy at aol.com http://members.aol.com/kennyeddy Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 17:05:10 GMT From: mra at skyfry.com (Matthew Arnold) Subject: CO2 needed to force carbonate While I'm rambling on about dispensing pressure and all that rot, I've got another question. A friend has allowed me to borrow his regulator and CO2 tank until I can get my own. The tank was full when I started and I was going to weigh it to see how much CO2 I'd use, but I forgot <slap to forehead>. I force carbonated the beer at 12 PSI at about 40 F using ye olde shake-the-dickens-out-of-it method. How much CO2 did I use? It is really only an issue in that it is a 2.5# tank (very tiny) and I don't want to run out of CO2 all of the sudden. I also have a feeling that the pressure is actually higher than the regulator is reading. I am dispensing at ~11 psi using four feet of 3/16" tubing for the liquid-out which _should_ reduce outflow to a minimum. It's still comes charging out pretty fast. It doesn't gush all over and cause all the carbonation to come out, but it's faster than I would have expected. Thoughts? Shameless plug: czech out my homebrew club's web page at http://www.rackers.org created by yours truly! It's still in its infancy, but growing! Later, Matt P.S. For the curious, the people who emailed me privately basically agreed that topping off the pressure every 2-3 pints should keep the beer carbonated no problem. I also top it off at the end of the evening, even if I haven't had 2-3 pints. Thanks to all who responded. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 10:27:56 -0700 From: "Bret A. Schuhmacher" <bas at healthcare.com> Subject: Norgren relief valve Well, since I spoke up the other day I've gotten lots of requests for information about the adjustable relief valve I use on my 10 gallon fermentation keg. I poked a hole in the side of my glass carboy during cleaning one day. Just cleaning it with my brush, and all of a sudden, "Plonk!", out pops a 2 inch diameter piece of glass. Perfectly round, like a metal slug. That experience drove home the point that glass is too brittle and dangerous in the brewshop for anything besides bottling. A full glass carboy weighs about 45 pounds, give or take, and the damn thing doesn't have a handle! Oh, sure, you can buy one of those handles for the neck... but do you trust it? That's when I started considering brewing in kegs. A 5 gallon keg would require a blowoff tube because there's no headspace. You'd either have to take off one of the gas/beer QD fittings or drill a hole in the lid. Not an elegant solution in my book. You'd always be replacing a fitting or stopping up the hole in the lid to get any pressure so you could transfer the beer to another keg. I didn't know if a 7 gallon keg would have enough headspace, either. How about a 10 gallon keg, though? Plenty of headspace, no fitting removal or drilling. No need for extra blowoff tubes, buckets of water or airlocks. Perfect! Except how do you vent the pressure? You could remember to do it daily (yeah, right) or find some sort of pressure relief valve. I got the information from Dion Hollenbeck's *very* informative web gadget page at http://www.hbd.org/~hollen/textdocs/index.html. Thanks again Dion! I reduced the fitting on the relief valve from 3/8" (?) to 1/4 (?) to fit a standard beer line swivel fitting. The reducer cost about $.79 at the local hardware store. The relief valve was $3.99 from Norgren. I needed an extra poppet valve spring to complete the transformation, but that only cost about $2.00. Pressure is regulated by the amount of compression on the poppet valve by way of a threaded endcap on the valve body. Dion fit a brass tee inline and installed a pressure gauge to better regulate the exact amount of blowoff pressure, but I haven't found it to be necessary. I just put the endcap on a couple of turns and lock it down with the nut to keep it from readjusting itself. I check the keg later to see if it's got "too much pressure" - a highly subjective term for lots of hiss when I release the pressure. If it does I loosen the relief valve a little. Don't worry - the poppet valve spring will keep you from creating a bomb - it'll release pressure at what, 40psi? There's no rocket science or magic here - just buy the thing if you want an adjustable pressure relief valve. It's a piece of cake to use. NOTE: please don't ferment 5 gallon batches in 5 gallon corny kegs! The blowoff will clog the tubes and you *will* create a bomb (with lots of nasty shrapnel). Buy yourself a 10 gallon keg, chop off the out tube about 1.75 inches (to leave the sediment behind) and you'll be very happy with the results. Here are the benefits as I see them: 1) proper fermentation geometry. 5 gallon kegs are too narrow, but 10 gallon kegs are the same or slightly larger diameter than glass carboys. 2) no siphons. I funnel my wort into the fermenter keg on brewday, then rack it under CO2 pressure to secondary and serving kegs. 3) the handles on the 10 gallon keg make it easy to carry and shake for aeration. 4) *simple* to clean 5) clean and simple. There's no blowoff hose or extra bucket of water required. 6) simple to take samples for readings. Just pressurize the keg and put a cobra/picnic tap on it to take your reading. No cleaning turkey basters or thiefs. 7) rack the beer under pressure and avoid O2 contact. The only drawbacks I've found is that you can't see the fermentation taking place (which *IS* kind cool) and it's more difficult to figure out how much water to put in when you're topping it off to 5 gallons. The pressure buildup tells me fermentation is taking place. I've put a mark at the 5 gallon point on the outside of the keg and roughly estimate to top off the keg. It's not that tough. I think I've made my best beer since I started fermenting in this keg. It's certainly been some of the easiest to make :-). Let me know if there're any questions or screwups above. Rgds, Bret Bad Dog Brewery Montrose, CO - -- Beauty is in the eyes of the beer holder. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 10:45:55 -0700 From: "Matthew Kerr" <mkerr at u.arizona.edu> Subject: Ready to Bottle? Hiya, My buddy and I brewed up a batch last thursday night, (dec. 11) and stuck in the primary fermenter and all was good. This is a Honey Porter with ale yeast. Well, for the first 24 hours or so the temp was about 74 or 75, and fermentation was going strong the next morning (friday). This continued until maybe Saturday night, when the temp hadn't gotten below about 72, so we decided to move it to a colder place in the house. The next morning (Sunday), the temp was right around 66 or so, and all the bubbling had completely stopped. Well we figured it was because the yeast were too cold or had been shocked. So we moved to a place where the temp is a stable 70 or so. And since Sunday that's where it's been. Not bubbling, the hydrometer reads 1.019 and has since Sunday, although it might have gone down to about 1.0185. Basically it seems fermentation has stopped or at least slowed so much that it might as well be stopped. Now, what I'm asking, is whether or not this is okay to bottle. It seems to me that this is way too fast fermentation. I mean, the FG seems a little high, but not unheard of. Any ideas? Should I repitch some more yeast just to make sure? Or just let the beer sit in the fermenter for another week just to make sure? Any help is much appreciated. Thanks in advance. Matt Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 12:11:56 -0500 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Whippersnappers,wine,instant oatmeal Brewsters: Dave Whitman says: >Ah, these young whippersnappers with their newfangled editions of CRC. = In >my '73 edition, that section stopped at page D-246. We never needed tho= se >extra pages back then, and they're just causin' you grief now. <grin> Well, Dave, I consider my 73rd edition my "new" version, having copies of the 56th edition and a copy of the 35th edition when it really was a handbook sized book only 6 inches high and only a little thicker than the present model. I don't know about you, but I don't think there's any need for new = editions of CRC since nothing more can be invented and numbers just don't get any better than in the good old days when scientists were really scientists and we pipetted with our mouth, used burettes and volumetric flasks and actually did real chemistry and none of this new-fangled electronic stuff.... [8^) - ----------------------------------------- Jorge Blasig in Uruguay says: >it is almost impossible for me to brew good beer during the summer. >Temperatures go as high as 30 C or higher and beers would be to fruity >according to what I know. I know there are several methods to cool the >batch but I do not think I can use any of them now. Don't forget to try some of the warm weather ale yeasts used in wheat beer making. I'll bet you'll like these. And don't ignore the California Common Yeasts which do pretty well at the higher temperatures without a lot of off flavors if you keep it as cool as you can. >I consider brewing wine. I have prepared meads with good success. = >I have a question though: how should I use sulfite (methabisulfite) to >stop fermentation and stabilize the final product according to my taste?= = Jorge, 50 ppm metabisulfite will prevent bacterial growth = and 100 ppm will prevent yeast growth at a juice pH of less than 3.3, in most cases. When you begin, put in about = 1/8 tsp (0.6 mls) of meta in enough grapes to make 5 gallons of wine. This will give about 50 ppm. Whenever you transfer a non-fermenting wine do this to prevent oxidation. Treat sweet = wines with 100 ppm of meta to stabilize them at bottling. I have won two American Wine Society national gold medals and a national bronze metal for my wines and would like to share this knowledge with others, but rather than use this forum for wine, if you and others have questions, direct your comments to me personally. - ------------------------------------------ Lou Heavner says: > . I made my = > first batch of beer with oatmeal, but never carbonated sufficiently= to get, let alone = > sustain, a head. > Quaker 2 minute oats. I figured that oatmeal affected = > heading since it is oilier than other grains and that my beer's = > problem was from using too much. My recipe even had a half pound of = >wheat for improved heading to no avail. In addition to the high oil content affecting the head, "instant" oats and other cereals - like Instant Cream of Wheat, etc use papain - an enzyme occurring in papayas which chops up proteins ( used as a meat tenderizer) to get a quick cook. Read the box = before using the instant cereals. Likely this heat stable enzyme = chopped up the head-forming proteins in the wheat as well. Did you cook the oatmeal first? Use the old-fashioned types. - ------------------------------------------------- Keep on brewin' Dave Burley Kinnelon, NJ 07405 103164.3202 at compuserve.com Dave_Burley at compuserve.com = Voice e-mail OK = Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 12:51:18 EST From: KennyEddy <KennyEddy at aol.com> Subject: Slick Siphoning Sample Stealer Thought I'd chime in on the sample-stealing thread. Here's how I rob Carboy to pay Hydrometer: I used a spice jar, but any jar that will hold the required sample volume will work. Drill two holes in the lid and push two lengths of vinyl tubing through. The holes should be sized so that the tubing seals with a tight fit (assembly needs to be essentially air-tight). The tubes should barely poke through the lid. Tube (B) should be maybe a foot long, while tube (A) should be long enough to reach the beer while the jar is held outside the fermenter, below the beer level. I attach a straight section of racking tube to (A) so that the tubing doesn't curl up before reaching the beer. Silicone aquarium tubing might be a good option if curling is a problem. To use, first be sure the lid is in place and the tubes seal well. Place just the end of tube (A) (or the racking tubing attached to it) just under the beer surface. Hold the jar below the beer surface level outside of the fermenter. Suck on tube (B), which will start a siphon into the jar. When the required sample volume is collected, pull tube (A) out of the fermenter. Be sure the contents of (A) continue to drain into the jar (keep the jar below the beer surface) so that it doesn't siphon back into the fermenter. Note that the level of the liquid in the jar should never be allowed to reach the end of tube (A); this way the sample won't backflow into the fermenter if the jar is lifted above the fermenter beer level. Properly used, very little of the tubing (A) is ever exposed to the beer in the fermenter, minimizing risk of infection. Never return the stolen sample to the fermenter. This idea was originally posted here on the HBD some time in the dim past. Hideously-executed ASCII art follows: A B || || || || || || || || || || || || __||____||__ | || || | |__||____||__| Jar Lid | || || | | | | | | | | | | | Jar | | | | | | | | | | | | |__________| ***** Ken Schwartz El Paso, TX KennyEddy at aol.com http://members.aol.com/kennyeddy Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 12:12:02 -0500 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Clinitest, Bleach Brewsters: Andy Walsh did a nice piece of work on evaluating Clinitest's response to other sugars. Thanks and sorry it was so expensive. He found out that the response was accurate to glucose as claimed. He says other sugars were not as accurate. I'm not defending Clinitest accuracy here with other sugars, but did you forget about molecular weights?? What if you correct the % glucose reading to correspond to the other polysugars' molecular weights? = Maltotriose will likely have a response only 1/3 as much per weight as glucose, etc. >Conclusion - Clinitest does not give an accurate portrayal of final suga= r >concentrations. I agree, since these have a much higher molecular weight per reducible site. > It may be useful as a general fermentation indicator, Which is, of course, how I recommend it being used. > However, if you want a glucose monitor, Diastix >are great! Diasitix and other enzyme based sticks measure glucose *exclusively*and don't even measure other complex or not fermentable sugars as Clinitest does. These enzyme sticks would be less suitable for measuring the end of the fermentation, since, as you pointed out, the more complex sugars ferment last and would be undetected by these sticks. >note- I am not defending hydrometers here either Nor I! Clinitest, at the least, tells you if you have a stuck fermentation or not.. Hydrometers can't. - ------------------------------------------------- George De Piro says: > While you can get acceptable results using his method, plastic pail= s = > are actually quite a bit more difficult to keep in sanitary conditi= on > than glass carboys. Plastic scratches easily, and once it is = > scratched, it is no longer useful as a sanitary vessel. I know that Charlie P has perpetuated this rumor, but I have been using the same polyethylene plastic garbage pail since the 1970's. It has fermented hundreds of gallons of beer and it is still in good = shape and has never caused an infection. If this is a real worry for you= , = remember that the hoses are plastic also. One of the prescriptions suggested by a user of this setup was to run a brush or wire down = the hose. Sounds like scratches to me. The extremely soft vinyl hose is more susceptible to scratching IMHO. = > While I agree with Dave that a dirty blow off tube can cause infection = > of the batch, there are some VERY easy ways to avoid problems: Yes there are ways, I have always agreed to that. It's just that it is = difficult and requires careful monitoring. I have never said good beer couldn't be made this way,it is just more likely that you can get an = infection IMHO and takes more work to avoid it. The worst thing is, it can sneak up on you = > 1. Leave enough headspace in the carboy to prevent blow off from = > occurring. Al K.'s experiment showed that allowing the foam to settle = > back into the wort had no appreciable impact on beer flavor. = If you're going to do this why not just use an open fermenter that you = can clean more easily of that ring of splooge than you can = inside a carboy? > 2. If you must use a blow off tube, use a new one each time. Seems expensive. > Short = > of that, sterilize an old one by boiling it. = This seems like a good solution which will help remove the oils and greases as well. = > Dave also mentions using hot bleach. This is not recommended; cold= = > bleach is much better. = Actually I recommend hot bleach in high concentrations as a much more effective agent at removing the oily, proteinaceous remains of a fermentation as well as an excellent disinfectant.. The high temperature melts the greases and allows the layer to be lifted. The high temperature speeds up the action of the oxidation of organics and the highly alkaline nature of the bleach aids in dispersing the gunk. Cold just won't do this quickly, if at all.= I consider soaking in cold, dilute bleach a way to evenly contaminate all glass surfaces with a layer of organic material which can be a cause of infection. This is especially true for bottles. I always rinse the inside of each bottle in hot bleach solution,allow to stand and then rinse each three times with extremely hot water. = The recommendations on the bleach bottle are for normal organic loads and are very low. We do not have normal organic loads in our uses and need higher concentrations. = > Sodium hypochorite (bleach) is a form of chlorine added to some = > municipal waters, including my own.It is volatile enough that it = > will dissipate upon heating, or even allowing it to stand overnight= =2E = > Of course, we use much higher concentrations when sanitizing our = > equipment, but if you heat it, it will not stay in solution long. George, you ( and other people) are a little confused on this issue: 1)Municipal water treatment uses chlorine gas not sodium hypochlorite, except in rare circumstances where pH adjustment may be needed and this is the cheaper alterative. Sodium = Hypochlorite can be used in the home in emergencies to purify water as directed on the bleach bottle. These are very low quantities of bleach, something like a teaspoon per gallon as I recall. However, just like you wouldn't use chlorinated tap water as a sanitizer, you shouldn't use low concentrations of bleach to do this. I have seen such recommendations in the hobby literature and it is incorrect. = > Nonvolatile chemicals like sodium hydroxide (a.k.a. lye, caustic soda) = > can be used hot to clean brewing vessels (but impractical at home, and = > very dangerous). 2) Sodium hypochlorite ( NaOCl) is a compound of bleach and sodium hydroxide which can be crystallized out as the dihydrate and actually has a melting point around 50 or 60C. At a high concentration, the sodium hypochlorite is relatively stable in hot alkaline media ( after all, bleach is used hot in washing clothes). = Since bleach already contains sodium hydroxide it is doubly useful for cleaning glass and other brewing vessels as you note above. = Diluted bleach is more unstable. Using a dilute soak may not have enough oxidizing agents to sanitize or even clean the surface and you may end up with contaminated glassware if the bleach = is too dilute and a long soak is used. = > I find that an 8 hour soak in cold bleach solution will usually remove = > all fermentation gunk (a technical term) from a glass carboy. If i= t = > doesn't, wait a little longer! = I find that a one minute or less wash with hot concentrated bleach ( about 1/2 cup in 1/2 gallon of water) will do a much better job. > Sometimes you can get a rough-looking = > deposit on the glass if the bleach is in contact with it for too long, = > but it is easily removed with a bit of distilled vinegar (acetic = > acid). Actually, in some cases, this is an etching of the glass by the sodium hydroxide and I don't recommend keeping bleach and glass in contact for extended periods. In other cases, as you say, it is just a carbonate and removed by acid. = = Using bleach hot or cold is *very dangerous*. Hotter is worse, higher concentrations are worse. Hot or cold, dilute or not, bleach is an extremely dangerous substance and should *not* be used without safety clothing in place. Safety glasses with side shields and rubber gloves at least. Brewing is not worth blindness = and it will only take one mistake. = Please be careful and treat bleach with the the respect it deserves. - ------------------------------------------ Keep on brewin' Dave Burley Kinnelon, NJ 07405 103164.3202 at compuserve.com Dave_Burley at compuserve.com = Voice e-mail OK = Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 12:20:09 -0600 (CST) From: spiralc at ix.netcom.com (Chris Carolan) Subject: O2 how long?/Valley Mill/all-grain cost/bottled water/SO-lutions I seem to have enough single data points on recent threads to warrant delurking. I originally used my small tank O2 setup according to the directions, two short 30 second-or-so blasts. Early on, the stone flew off into the wort, forcing the realization that minimal pressure was required. I did not see the benefits of the O2 I was expecting. Then, I noticed once that a bubble of water near the regulator took thirty seconds to travel the length of the tube. The first 30 second blast was just emptying the air from the inside the tube. I now use longer aeration times, two one-minute shots. My ferments are faster, four versus seven days, and I'm getting a few more points of attentuation as well. For those who inquire about the rich O2 environment causing longer lag times, as the yeast must take up all that O2. My thought is that it is only true if your not pitching enough yeast. I'm generally happy with my Valley Mill. I have one suspicion, though. I wonder if the preset gaps on the mill are the same from mill to mill? The instructions give you no clue as to which settings to use. If one setting was the preset ideal, you'd think they'd include that info with the mill. But the "find out for yourself" approach implies that each mill may be different. For mine, I followed the suggestion posted earlier in the HBD and use the second coarsest setting for my first pass, and the third coarsest setting for my second pass. My extraction has improved about 1.5 points per lb., but the husks seem quite torn up, and the first few sparges were tricky to get running clear. I've gotten better at it lately. I think it would be worthwhile for Valley Mill owners to compare measurements of their gap settings. I haven't measured mine yet, though. Those who think about switching to all-grain for perceived cost savings should ponder the following example. My local HB store sells high-quality, fresh liquid extract for $2.35 lb. At 37 points of extract, it costs 6.3 cents per point per lb. per gallon. When I switched to all-grain, I paid $1.35 per lb. for pale ale malt crushed in any quantity. (I know, 2 row is cheaper, but I want clear beer, and I don't want to protein rest.) My single temp infusion setup yielded about 26 points per lb., so my cost was now 5.1 cents per point in the fermenter. Not a big savings over extract. But it was after I got my own mill that I could buy a bag of the same grain for 64 cents per lb. And my extraction rate went up to 27.5 points, making my cost drop dramatically to 2.3 cents per point in the fermenter. The new mill this year, and my using one pack of yeast for 2 or three batches, and the fact I'm not a hophead; means I'm now brewing cheap beer. But it wasn't always thus. I have added some bottled "drinking" water (not spring, not distilled), averaging .5 gal., to nearly every batch I've brewed. I've only had one infection, which was the one bartch I left over night for the cold break to settle before pitching the yeast. It's my understanding these water companies do kill all the bugs in those jugs. I believe some use UV sterilizing of their bottled water. My SO does not drink beer. She does not take the initiative to drink any type of spirits, but will enjoy a glass of wine if put before her. Two glasses put her to sleep. She objected to my brewing on the grounds of smell, money, and time. On the smell front, I moved it outside. On the money issue, I began buying $10 bottles of wine and pouring her one glass each and every evening, two on brew nights. Our wine and beer budgets are now comparable. On the time argument, I now brew while she sleeps, (see second wine glass strategy above.) She still wants to complain about my brewing, but there's no argument. Oh yeah, the silver lining? The mother-in-law likes beer. We're getting along famously. Chris Carolan, in Atlanta, the "New South," i.e. that part of the South where us yankees moved in. Now Serving: "Stout It Out!", "Carolan's Harp" a celtic red ale, and "Der Konigen de Nacht", Flemish ale. Still haven't brewed that "Procrastinator" dopplebock, but thanks for asking. Return to table of contents
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