HOMEBREW Digest #2709 Sat 09 May 1998

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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

  kegging homebrew in an apartment ("Brian J. Paszkiet")
  Hop spacing (Al Korzonas)
  aldehydes/stout/evaporation (Al Korzonas)
  I can't believe it's not.....Dominion Wheat. ("Jim & Shelly Wagner")
  Gotts for TX,OK and LA brewers ("Val J. Lipscomb")
  Call for judges (Jeremy Bergsman)
  make your own malt and more porter stories (AlannnnT)
  HBD pH Experiment, MCAB, & other stuff (Louis Bonham)
  Re: Re-started fermentation in the secondary ("Arnold J. Neitzke")
  Thermal Loading ("David R. Burley")
  Re: Oatmeal Stout (Jeff Renner)
  Re: Boiling and evaporation rates (Scott Murman)
  re: Wisconsin Homebrew Clubs (Matthew Arnold)
  Evaporation rates continued... ("Mercer, David")
  used tanks (Ralph Link)
  Re: Oatmeal Stout / Wisconsin Homebrew Clubs (Spencer W Thomas)
  DO/Equilibrium/Acetaldehyde ("A. J. deLange")
  Re: pH Experiment (Scott Murman)
  Hop Growing ("Rosenzweig,Steve")
  Boiling hard.... (Some Guy)
  4th Annual 8 Seconds of Froth (AllDey)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 07 May 1998 12:39:37 -0500 From: "Brian J. Paszkiet" <bpaszkie at ux1.cso.uiuc.edu> Subject: kegging homebrew in an apartment I have been thinking, lately, about kegging my homebrew, for all of the good reasons we hear about in this HBD forum. My hesitation lies in the fact that I live in a one-bedroom apartment, and don't have the room for an extra refrigerator. I was wondering how other people have successfully dealt with a problem like this. I want to use 5 gallon corny kegs. I was thinking that one of these might fit in the bottom of the refrigerator, on its side. So, could I keg the beer, carbonate, and then lay the keg on its side in the refrigerator, taking it out when I want to serve beer? Note that I am not interested in using party pigs or mini-kegs. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 May 1998 13:04:58 -0500 (CDT) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: Hop spacing Matt asks why should hops be planted 6 feet apart. The problem is with identification. Hops propagate by sending out runners underground and these can easily go 2' from the crown. If you have a Saaz and a Columbus next to each other and the Columbus sends up a bine in the middle of the Saaz hill, you could really overhop that next Bohemian Pilsner! Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 May 1998 14:03:24 -0500 (CDT) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: aldehydes/stout/evaporation Dave writes: >> and I'm not willing to presume that ethanol >>is more or less likely to be oxidised than the higher alcohols. Is >there >>any kind of data on this in chem books? I know that alcohols have a >higher >>affinity to the oxygen than the melanoidins... this explains why the >>melanoidins will give up their oxygen to the alcohols to form aldehydes >>in stale beer. > >Actually, I have read this here, but have never seen it in scientific >literature. Doesn't mean it is wrong, just that it is difficult to >explain >unless the oxidised melandoins were oxidised during the boil ( for >example) >and then these react with alcohol after it is formed in fermentation at a >much later time. I would like to hear a good discussion of the kinetics >of this reaction. Actually, it's not during the boil, but rather post boil splashing that's the problem for most brewers. The biggest effect of HSA (hot side aeration) is to oxidise the melanoidins. This both darkens the wort/beer and sets you up for all kinds of oxidation problems in the bottle. >Other pathways are also theoretically possible in which >the >oxidised melandoins break down to aldehydes - a prospect I find more >likely. I don't think the two are even close chemically. >>No, wait... I'm *sure* ethanol doesn't have the highest affinity for >>the oxygen... the aldehyde of ethanol is acetaldehyde, right? > > >Yes and acetaldehyde is the "sherry" taste. Oxidation of ethanol produces >acetaldehyde and sherry tastes. Oxidation of acetaldehyde produces >acetic >acid. This can form the ester with ethyl alcohol to give ethyl acetate or >nail polish remover. I'm afraid you're wrong about acetaldehyde taste/aroma. It is one of the two most easily identifiable beer "faults" (the other being diacetyl). Acetaldehyde smells like green apples. >> Given that >>there is at least 100 times more ethanol in a typical beer than any >other >>alcohol, I suspect that the existance of *any* other aldehyde indicates >>that those alcohols have a higher affinity for the oxygen. Granted, I >>don't know what other pathways there are for the formation of >aldehydes... >>I know that trans-2-nonenol is a significant player in stale beer. If >>I'm not mistaken, it's the "wet cardboard" aldehyde. > >Well I don't entirely agree with your logic. Suppose all the alcohols >were >the same potential then you would still get these aldehydes of fusel >oils >and other sources. It is also likely that many of these do not come >directly from alcohols, so that further disturbs the logic. Also, we >have >differing sensitivities to all kinds of chemicals, so what we detect with > >our noses is not a representative example of the concentration in the >liquid.. Your sensitivity point is well taken -- I had not considered it, however, I still think that my argument holds water... consider this: I have tasted beers in which there is no noticeable acetaldehyde aroma yet there are "wet cardboard" aromas. If I'm right and this is from the aldehyde trans-2-nonenol, then that leads me to believe that the alcohol from whence this aldehyde (odd that it doesn't end in "yde"... and the "ol" seems to indicate it's an alcohol) came would seem to have a higher affinity for oxygen (or losing hydrogens) than ethanol, no? What I mean is that if you smell an aldehyde that is NOT acetaldehyde, then I suspect it's corresponding alcohol had a higher affinity for oxygen (or losing hydrogens) than ethanol... otherwise, since the conditions apparently were "right" for this alcohol to be converted to an aldehyde, then why wasn't ethanol converted to acetaldehyde (there's plenty of it around)? Does this make sense? Dave also writes: >Of course, he is dead wrong on this, as one of my quotes ala Lewis >indicated that the adjective "Stout" was often applied to beers and ale >in the 17 century and likely before that. I tend to agree with Spencer in that I believe what Dr. Harrison meant to say was that the style which has evolved to be called "Stout" in modern brewing was initially called "Stout Porter." I believe that it could very well be that "Stout" was used to describe strong ales that were nothing like "Stout Porter" or modern "Stout." *** Troy writes: >kettle and at the end of the 90 min boil I am left with 5.5 gal. 1.5/7 = >21.4% evaporation rate - way over the recommended 10% That's typical of most of my batches too. >I have cut it down to a very low boil (*barely* rolling) and come up with a >rate at about 15%. "Barely rolling" has worked for me for ales in the past. I would be a little worried that the DMS level may be excessive in lagers (which are made from much higher SMM malt and lager yeast simply removes less DMS during the fermentation). Troy continues: >So, what am I to do? > >1. Cut my boil to almost no roll and try to get close to 10% evaporation at >the expense of hop extraction and protein coagulation. I say no. Lower hop extraction would be a minor inconvenience, but indeed protein coagulation (actually break formation) and DMS evaporation would be impacted significantly (in my opinion). >2. Bump the boil up to a medium roll and live with evaporation that is way >over the recommended rate. Depends on the style, I feel... I feel that the paler styles, especially like American Light Lager would be killed by this kind of evaporation (mostly because of caramelisation... it's just that evaporation rate is more easily measured than caramelisation). >3. Cover the kettle partially to allow a more rolling boil and to lower the >evaporation rate to 10%. BTW, isn't this essetially what the pros do? Their >kettles are partially covered with a vent tube to carry off the >evaporations, aren't they? To simmulate this design, how about something >like a wok top with a hole cut in it to allow a limited evaporation? I have >heard so much about "NEVER cover the boil!" I personally don't see >anything wrong if you partially cover your boil and hit about 10% >evaporation rates. This would be enough to drive off the DMS - correct? I've been covering my kettles about 75% and have never had excessive DMS in any of 200+ batches. I feel that the "fermentation problems" that are mentioned by the Fixes and others may simply be due to caramelisation. What works for one style could kill another. Carmelisation is encouraged in Scottish Ales (witness Noonan's suggestion to boil the first runnings to intentionally caramelise them in Scottish Ales). There has been at least one post to HBD in which a brewer reported lower than expected attenuation in a batch that was intentionally caramelised. This is besides caramel being the wrong flavour in many styles (Wit, German Pils, Munchner Helles, etc.). Admittedly, I have not made any of these styles that could be ruined by caramelisation... so maybe my 20-22% evaporation would be a problem for some styles? Then again... I believe I did get 20% evaporation in a recent Tripel which was judged excellent in a competition and at a few club meetings. It seems to me that Tripel would be in that list of styles with potential problems from excessive caramelisation. Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 May 1998 17:35:43 -0400 From: "Jim & Shelly Wagner" <wagner at toad.net> Subject: I can't believe it's not.....Dominion Wheat. Hello all.... I recently had the oppurtunity to sample Old Dominion's Wheat on draft at a local watering hole that has an excellent reputation for good sanitation/handling practices. Immediately after the first wiff/sip.....Diacetyl....big time!!! To quote a friend that was with me..."There's a stick of butter in here!" I've detected low to moderate levels of "D" in commercial wheats in the past, but never at this level. So...my question is; anybody out there from Old Dominion care to comment on this matter? Don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing here....I'm just curious if this is how they wanted the beer to turn out, and if not, was it possibly "rushed" due to uncontrollable circumstances? Just wondering. Jim Wagner <<<<<<Stoney Creek Brewing>>>>>> **********Pasadena, Maryland******** Established-1994 ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 May 1998 17:16:06 -0500 (CDT) From: "Val J. Lipscomb" <valjay at NetXpress.com> Subject: Gotts for TX,OK and LA brewers Greetings all, For brewers in TX,OK and LA, a group of "close-out stores called "Lot$Off" have,for the next few days, a Rubbermaid 10 gallon cooler for $19.99. I went by today and the thing has no name on the side and "Rubbermaid" and Model 1610 on the bottom. I checked my 10 gallon Rubbermaid-Gott and it has the same model #. That's a really good price for a 10 gallon mashtun!!! No financial affiliation,etc,etc,just a nosy,old brewer intrigued to see if it was the real thing. I'm sure they are,go get 'em guys. Val Lipscomb-brewing in San Antonio Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 May 1998 19:02:32 -0700 From: Jeremy Bergsman <jeremybb at leland.Stanford.EDU> Subject: Call for judges Normally I'd post this on Judgenet, but since it is down I'm posting here. Sorry for the post of limited, regional interest. This is a call for judges and/or stewards for the amateur brewing competition held in conjunction with the Small Brewers Festival of California, which takes place in downtown Mountain View each summer. It is a BJCP sanctioned competition. I welcome BJCP and non-BJCP judges. Novices who wish to learn about judging will be placed on panels with at least 2 experienced judges--it's a great way to learn. The main judging will be at 9 AM on Saturday August 1st, at the Tied House in Mountain View. We will have a preliminary judging the weekend before, time and place TBA. Let me know if you'd like to do it that weekend and if so, when. Also there will probably be numerous prelim rounds arranged informally over the last 2 weeks of July, so if you want to judge by all means contact me and I'm sure I can give you the opportunity to judge. BTW the best of show will take place at the festival on the 8th, so if you're interested in that let me know that too. BJCP judges only for that please, but I will choose one less experienced judge for the panel. By way of inducement, all judges will get a tasting kit to the festival and participants at the bigger final and prelim rounds will get lunch. I will also offer some judge education activities and we even have some surprise activities in the works that may interest you. Also we will be using the new BJCP scoresheet which you can see at www.bjcp.org. Check out the coversheet and judge directions sheet at the same URL for an aid in understanding the changes we made to the sheet. - -- Jeremy Bergsman jeremybb at stanford.edu http://www-leland.stanford.edu/~jeremybb Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 May 1998 22:54:24 EDT From: AlannnnT <AlannnnT at aol.com> Subject: make your own malt and more porter stories To the HBD folks looking for good 'malt your own' info, [ I think it was George DePiro but I can't remember. ] Check out Chapter 8 and the appendices in The Historical Companion to House Brewing. Clive La Pensee, 1990 ISBN 0 9515685 0 7 Chapter 8 is titled Malting at Home. [very good stuff] Appendix 3 is titled 'Changes in the barley mass during malting' Appendix 6 is titled 'Making a hop and malt drier' All very good, practical info for home scale malting operations. Including hour by hour developments when mashing. This odd, and slightly 'too British' book is full of little gems if you can get past the pretentious, inaccurate and anglophilic opening. About Porter. This tidbit from the same book is sure to raise some ire; La Pensee quotes Johann Hahn, a German Brewer, presumably circa 1804 "In England, Buckbean has been used for many years instead of hops, in double and other beers, which because of their unique taste are called Porters." No direct reference given, but the Bibliography lists Hahn as the author of Die Hausbrauerei, Erfurt, 1804. Best Brewing, Alan Talman East Northport NY Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 04:13:23 -0500 From: Louis Bonham <lkbonham at phoenix.net> Subject: HBD pH Experiment, MCAB, & other stuff Hi folks: Bully for A.J. deLange! As will probably surprise no one, I enthusiastically second his request that you take a couple of minutes next time you mash and record a little extra pH data according to the protocols he has laid out, and report it back to him. If even 20 or 30 of us *carefully* collect data in this fashion, I suspect that we can come up with some worthwhile general rules that will help the entire brewing community. Don't let the detail A.J. has laid out scare you . . . it's really not that hard, and by following his directions carefully you'll probably learn a bit about how to take better, more accurate pH measurements (and whether your pH electrode is in need of replacement!). ============ MCAB Five down, six to go! We're almost halfway through the QE's for the first MCAB. If I haven't said it before in the HBD, I and the rest of the MCAB Steering Committee thank all the fine folks at the Kansas City Bier Meisters, the Boston Wort Processors, the Bay Area Mashers, the Mash Tongues, and the Bidal Society for jobs well done in running the first QE's. If you wanna see who has qualified so far, check out the MCAB website: http://hbd.org/mcab/ If you've qualified, I'll be in touch with you over the summer with the entry package. If you haven't qualified yet, get those beers out! The Sunshine Challenge is just around the corner, and in June we have the BUZZ-Off and the Spirit of Free Beer competitions. Then it's a long hot summer until the Dixie Cup, the CABA Masters, and Novembeerfest in October and November. And I encourage everyone -- whether or not you qualified for the MCAB competition -- to mark your calendars for February 12-13, 1999 (President's Day Weekend) for the first MCAB Competition and Technical Conference. This will be held at the Saint Arnold Brewing Company in Houston. Tentative scheduling calls for judging of categories 1-9 on Friday evening, followed by some sort of light-hearted technical presentation involving beer tasting. Saturday morning will feature technical presentations by Dr. George Fix, Dave Miller ("scheduled to appear"), Dr. Paul Farnsworth, and other similar luminaries. Caetgories 10-18 will be judged at midday, with BOS judging thereafter. We're also planning a pub crawl for Saturday afternoon, and a Texas Bar-BQ feast back at Saint Arnolds to accompany the awards ceremony Saturday evening. (Again, check the MCAB website periodically for details.) Currently, it looks like we'll be able to hold to our stated objective of being able to make the MCAB Competition and Technical Conference available to you for no or nominal cost (except for pub crawls and food), so start making your plans to join us in Houston next February for what we expect to be *the* amateur brewing convention of 1999! ============= Other stuff: Cynmar Corporation -- a discount scientific supply house that I and other HBD'rs have highly recommended recently -- informs me that because of the surge in inquiries they have had in recent weeks from brewers, they will be coming out with a catalog and additional products targeted specifically at brewers. They will be adding things like narrow range hydrometers, 50ml centrifuge tubes and sterile transfer pipettes (in quantities of less than the typical 500), pycnometers, refractometers, test reagents (including, hopefully, cycloheximide and Wurster's Reagent), etc., to their product line, and are interested in hearing what additional products we are interested in. If there are specific kinds of lab equipment or reagents that you've been looking for and that your local HB shop doesn't carry, lemme know and I'll mention it to the folks at Cynmar. (Disclaimer: I have no financial or other connection with Cynmar. Cynmar is, however, donating some of the stuff I'll be using to do the lab analyses on the HBD Palexperiment beers.) Fix / Farnsworth Part Deaux As some of you may recall, about four years ago I produced a weekend seminar featuring George Fix and Paul Farnsworth that focused on the kinds of things we kick around here on the HBD. George and Paul have expressed interest in doing it again, and so I'm in the process of organizing another "Beer Science" seminar in collaboration with Brewing Techniques and, hopefully, some other sponsors so that we can offer them at very low cost to those of you who want to attend. Watch this space for more details . . . the first seminar will probably be somewhere in Texas, but if it's a success we may be able to offer it in other parts of the country as well . . . Louis K. Bonham Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 07:33:17 -0400 (EDT) From: "Arnold J. Neitzke" <neitzkea at frc.com> Subject: Re: Re-started fermentation in the secondary On Thu, 7 May 1998 brian_dixon at om.cv.hp.com wrote: > - Dissolved CO2, and CO2 trapped or 'stuck' to suspended yeast can be > released during the racking process. The result is increased bubbling > of the airlock and yeast falling out of suspension. This is normal > and can be ignored unless the bubbling lasts a long time. > > - Primary fermentations that are not complete, but happen to have a > leaky fit around the stopper and airlock (or bucket lid) often appear > to be done or slowing, but then increase after racking. What really > happened was that after racking the leaks in the system were fewer or > gone and the CO2 is now going through just the airlock. Knowing how > long the beer's been in the primary is your primary clue here, plus > any SG measurements you may have taken. > >From the time I pitched the yeast to when I transfered to the secondary was two weeks, the beer was at 1.022. This was on a Friday when I racked it to the secondary and added the hops, it was still bubbling on the following Teusday. Even a week later (Friday) there was still some air lock activity. I'm sure my air lock was seated tightly on the primary, I'm pretty anal about that. I checked the FG of the secondary when it did stop bubbling (again) and it was at 1.016, so it wasn't quit done yet but why it stopped in the primary is still a mystery (to me). By the way, after being in the bottle for two days, it tasted pretty good, so I don't think it is infected, time will tell. Thanks for all the responses I received. _________________________________________________________ Arnold J. Neitzke Internet Mail: neitzkea at frc.com Brighton, Mi CEO of the NightSky brewing Company - --------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 08:36:21 -0400 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Thermal Loading Brewsters: Troy Hager and others do a poor job of trying to justify George Fix's gobbeldygook about thermal loading and boiling off of wort. > What Fix is discussing in their book is >the negative effects of excess thermal loading, not of excess loss of >water. I think they are saying that the evaporation rate (loss of water) >itself is not the problem(though a good reference) - it is the excess heat >and all of the ramifications of this to the boiling wort that is the cause >of negative affects... My suggestion is let George explain it, if he can. Like Scott Murman says, if past behavior is any example - I doubt if he will provide any data to back this up, nor comment. 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: Fri, 8 May 1998 10:55:25 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Oatmeal Stout marnold at netnet.net (Matthew Arnold) wrote: > I'm planning on making an Oatmeal Stout with 7 lbs pale ale, 1 lb >Roasted barley and 1/2# oatmeal. Is this enough to give me that nice sliky >smoothness? How much more dare I add before I need a beta-glucan rest? 1/2# in >this recipe = ~6% of the grist. Two comments. First, I have gone to ~10% quick oats without a problem, with just a straight infusion, but then I never have a problem with stuck mashes (knock on wood) with my Pico false bottom and gentle pumped recirculation. I think I, at least, could go higher, but I don't see the need. A little 6-row might help if you were worried, or US 2-row. Second, that is an awful lot of roast barley for the style. 10% is typical for a dry stout, and I just made one using that, using British roast barley at 600L or so, and it was too much. American is closer to 375 L, so 1 lb. of it might be OK. If it were my recipe, I'd go with some dark crystal and chocolate and drop the roast barley to compensate. Maybe 6 oz each of the crystal and chocolate and 8-10 oz. roast barley depending on the color. I like the caramel notes from crystal and the chocolate notes from chocolate in this style. More of a chord rather than a single note. I also once used some crushed raw rye kernels (pumpernickel meal) along with the oatmeal and called it Pumpernickel Stout. Jeff 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: Fri, 8 May 1998 10:23:25 -0700 (PDT) From: Scott Murman <smurman at best.com> Subject: Re: Boiling and evaporation rates > Regarding kettle evaporation rates > 10% per hour, Troy writes, > quoting Scott: > > "This is a typical Fix'ism; he makes a statement and then > backs it up with nothing. The only negative from a stronger boil that > I can think of is a greater energy ($$) usage." > > Talk about saying things without having anything to back it up! > However, Scott is partly correct: higher energy costs are one big > reason for keeping boiling times short. There are others, though, > that are very important: <snip> > George De Piro (Nyack, NY) Well, Troy posted my little drunken diatribe to the digest without my OK, but now I guess it's too late to put Pandora back in the box. I wouldn't have taken that tone, especially in regards my comments about George Fix, had I been posting to a public forum. I have a lot of respect for the work of Dr. Fix, but I do often find that he makes points without backing them up, or basing them off of a single data point, not a complete experiment. I hear many homebrewers repeating, "well Fix says ...", to the point where his word becomes momily, to borrow Jack's expression. As for me being guilty of the same; what I write in a private email to someone, and what what a beer researcher writes in a published book, are two very different things. If you (George) want to take me to task for it, fine. Regarding the discussion of higher energy boils, and off-flavors. I'm certain that a higher energy boil will produce more, and/or, different kettle reactions. I'm very skeptical though that these could be traced through to the final beer, and be diagnosed as the cause of off-flavors. As George noted, one much more likely cause of an off-flavor associated with a high energy boil is over-sparging. There are many other far more likely culprits for off-flavors in my mind, including pitching rate, fermentation temperature, mash pH, etc. George commented on extreme boil times possibly causing problems. I'm sure it's possible to see some changes, but I'm also skeptical that these could really cause significant adverse flavor changes. Many commercial brewers have been reported to boil for 2-3 hours, including some makers of light pilsners. How long of a boil time are you talking about George? The issue of excessive carmelization, and it's place in a light pilsener-style beer is a little cloudy to me. I know from my own experience, and also from reading about Urquell, that a triple decoction, combined with a strong boil will not really add what most would say is excessive carmelization (more precisely Maillard reactions, neh?). I would like to get even more reactions, and wish I could somehow high pressure cook a greater fraction of these brews. I think that a light lager won't hide other problems in your process as much as a dark beer, or ale, will. I'd look in other areas to diagnose the off-flavors, before jumping on the "my boil is too strong" bandwagon. I'd imagine that the majority of homebrewers exceed the 10% evaporation rate, and extract brewers are effectively double boiling their wort, yet no-one has been screaming, "Damn, this beer tastes like it's been boiled too hard. Yuck." Then again, what do I know? SM Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 17:57:02 GMT From: marnold at netnet.net (Matthew Arnold) Subject: re: Wisconsin Homebrew Clubs Sorry about the lack of clarity in my previous post. I am looking for Wisconsin homebrew clubs _with websites_. As a number of people pointed out, the Brewery and Cream City Suds (http://www.creamcitysuds.com) have pretty good lists of WI clubs. Sorry for the confusion. Matt - ----- Webmaster, Green Bay Rackers Homebrewers' Club http://www.rackers.org info at rackers.org Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 11:04:34 -0700 From: "Mercer, David" <dmercer at path.org> Subject: Evaporation rates continued... I'm glad to see some discussion of this but, frankly, I remain confused. I boil for about 70 minutes - ten to get through the hot break formation and then one hour for the bittering hops. I start with 7.5 gallons of wort, I end up with no more than 5.5 gallons (of which maybe a quart stays in the pot with the spent hops and hot break). That is an evaporation rate of >25%. I boil outside, using a 35K BTU Cajun Cooker type propane stove. I try to keep the boil at a slightly more than gentle roll. It is by no means a vigorous boil. I'm going to use George's post on the subject to raise my questions, not because I'm disagreeing with him, but because I'm not sure he and I are one the same page. (Actually, I'm still fumbling around the table of contents, while he's back near the index....) Date: Thu, 7 May 1998 10:22:12 -0700 From: George_De_Piro at berlex.com Subject: Boiling and evaporation rates 1. Caramelization and darkening of the wort are NOT always purposes of boiling! There are many styles of beer where this is detrimental (any pale beer). ... The caramel flavors produced in the kettle are not appropriate in light beers, and may be what Fix is talking about. This fits nicely with Mike's experience (his dark beers taste better than his light beers given the same boil parameters). I don't get any appreciable carmelization or darkening of wort from my boils. My lighter colored beers are among my best - especially my Belgian ales, which I try to keep very light and which would be noticably affected by carmelization. As I said, this is not a high-heat thing. My boils are not vigorous by any definition. 2. If you have to boil off 20% of your wort to reach your target gravity, you may be oversparging. While you may be realizing great mash efficiencies this way, you may be negatively impacting the flavor of your beer because of increased phenol extraction during the sparge. This could cause astringency in the final product, and some beer evaluators may attribute it to a sanitation problem. While I have had some very mild problems in the past with astringency, I always know (or at least think I know) where they have come from. The worst case was my first effort at a no sparge beer. I forgot to recirculate. Textbook astringency. But collecting 7.5 gallons from a relatively high grain bill (I typically use 12-13 lbs of malt) is not going to oversparge. I don't "have" to boil off >20% of the wort - it happens as a matter of course when I boil - again, at a very moderate roll - for 70 minutes. If I could reduce that to 10% that would be great, I'd either have more beer, or shorter lautering times. But I don't know how to, and I don't know why I should (other than to have more beer or shorter sparges). What's the deal? If it is just to protect against carmelization, as I said, that isn't a problem with me, so I can ignore it. But if it really will improve my beer to boil off less wort, I still am in the dark as to why. 3. Too long of a boil can actually cause hot break to redissolve into the wort, or break it up into smaller flocs that are more difficult to remove. Neither situation is desirable. 70 minutes is clearly not too long of a boil. 4. Too long/intense a boil can actually cause sugars to revert back to their starchy origins! I'm not sure how long of a boil that would take, but Dr. Powers at Siebel mentioned this. Anybody care to talk about how long this would take? 70 minutes is not too long. A moderately rolling, non-vigorous boil can't be called too intense. Should I just be simmering the wort? (the only way I think I could get evaporation down to 10%.) So, there are some solid reasons to avoid overly long and/or intense boils. I'd like to hear some more, particularly from Dr. Fix. I'd like to hear from Dr. Fix on this, as well. Actually, the dimensions and geometry of the kettle would have an effect on evaporation rates, too, I would think. I use an 8.25 gallon enamel pot that is about as wide as it is tall (another reason why my boils are gentle - 7.5 gallons of wort come real close to the top). I'd think evaporation rates would be greater with relatively more exposed surface area, than in the big commercial kettles which are much taller than they are wide. Does one rule fit all sizes? Have fun! I try to. And thanks George. Dave Mercer (in Seattle) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 14:00:42 -0500 From: Ralph Link <rlink at minet.gov.mb.ca> Subject: used tanks I have been able to get hold of two used plastic tanks that originally held phosphoric acid ( I think) They can from a local bottler of Coke, and they sort of smell like they had Sprite in them. What opinions does the collective have as to whether these tanks cold be used as primary fermenters? I calculated that they hold in excess of 20 gal. imp. Thanks of the responses private or otherwise. Ralph Link "Some people dream of success------while others wake up and work at it. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 15:23:51 -0400 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Re: Oatmeal Stout / Wisconsin Homebrew Clubs Well, I just made a delicious (if I do say so myself), smooth, silky oatmeal stout with this approximate recipe: 8 (9?) lbs pale malt 1 lb rolled oats 3/4 lb (just shy) roast barley 1/4 lb (or maybe 2 oz, but I think 1/4lb) chocolate malt 1 lb light crystal I've made this one twice before. The first time used 3/4lb of roast, the second time used 1lb of roast. The first one was not quite roasty enough for me, the 2nd one was too roasty. So this time I cut back to 3/4 lb (besides, that was all I had!) and added 1/4lb of chocolate malt. That did it (for me). OG was 1.045 or maybe 1.050 (can you tell my brewing notes are at home?), and it finished about 1.015. It's amazingly drinkable. At a recent party, a friend drank 5 (9 oz) glasses of it. =Spencer Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 14:47:35 -0500 From: "A. J. deLange" <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: DO/Equilibrium/Acetaldehyde Hugh Hoover assumed quite corrctly that the transfer of O2 into wort takes place at the surface of the O2 bubble b ut then went on to surmise that it must, therefore, take place via the foam at the top. Not if you do it right, but nobody that I know does it right except Rhett Rhebold. He mentioned to me once that he had learned at Siebel that protein that participates in forming a froth during aeration is lost as a source of foam in the final product. As a consequence of this when he oxygenates he sets the flow so low that foam does not form at the surface. It is clear that if O2 is flowing into the wort and none reaches the surface it has all dissolved and this represents the most efficient oxygenation, at least in terms of the amount of gas used - it might take forever though. This implies very tiny bubbles indeed. Remember that as the bubble becomes very, very small the ratio of its surface area to the mass of oxygen it contains becomes very, very large. An oxygen cylinder lasts forever under these conditions as 19 L (5 gal) of wort only requires about 160 mg (112 mL at STP) oxygen. Obviously this situation does not pertain. There seems to be a minimum regulator setting necessary to establish any flow at all through an oxygenating stone and while the bubbles produced may be small, nevertheless, many of them do reach the surface to escape to the air and, if the stream is vigorous enough, form foam. Stirring in such a way that the bubbles must follow a spiral path through the whole volume of wort as opposed to just rising straight to the top have got to help them dissolve and thus save oxygen. I don't have any hard data on this. I just stick the airstone down into the fermenter and jiggle it about while watching the DO meter. The jiggling isn't very effective at stirring but nevertheless 100% is reached within a couple of minutes. I have a medical regulator which reads flow but the reading is actually the pressure across an orifice and so it probably isn't better than very approximate. Nevertheless, the flow rate indicates a liter or 2 per minute. I don't refill O2 cylinders very often even though I use lots more O2 for growing up starters than I do oxygenating worts. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * I agree that the Nernst equation is only good for telling you what happens at equilibrium and thought I had made that point clear: >What we have talked about so far are equilibrium conditions. Biological >redox reactions often reach equilibrium very slowly, if ever, unless >suitable enzymes are available ... >This means that though a >staling reaction may be energetically feasible it may never take place >or may take place so slowly that we don't encounter it for a long time. Nevertheless, it bears repeating. In the same vein, someone asked me recently why vodka exposed to the air doesn't turn into acetaldehyde or vinegar. As there isn't any acetaldehyde or vinegar in vodka, the Nerst equation shows that oxidation is energetically feasible but it doesn't take place. To make vinegar one requires the enzymes in acetic acid bacteria (mother of vinegar) or an inorganic catalyst to get over the "activation energy" hump Dave mentions. By the way, Kunze has a nice, simple, explanation of this aspect of enzyme action and I'd recommend it to anyone interested. I think it's in Chapter 1. Acetaldehyde in sherry is presumably from oxidized ethanol - the casks "breathe" during aging as I understand it. In beer it comes from the other (catabolic) direction i.e. from decarboxylated (source of CO2 in fermentation) pyruvate and is the penultimate product in the fermentation pathway. As such, it is fairly plentiful in young beers. I was so very pleased with a group we are grooming for the BJCP exam when they correctly identified acetaldehyde as the main flavorant/odorant in a 21 day old Pilsner (no lagering) I gave them during a tasting. The stuff was so fruity I was certain they'd identify it as an ale (I didn't tell them what it was) but they surprised and delighted me. In that beer it was certainly not subtle and definitely tasted (and smelled) like apple but not exactly like (the exactly like is, I believe, attributed to ethyl hexanoate). In sherry I expect that the general impression of "sherryness" is from a synergism of the many flavoring compounds present including acetaldehyde. I've certainly never smelled pure acetaldehyde. It must be interesting stuff. Its flash point is around -40 F (or C, take your pick). Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 12:53:45 -0700 (PDT) From: Scott Murman <smurman at best.com> Subject: Re: pH Experiment I won't be participating in this, but personally I think this is exactly the type of "experiment" that can be very successful from a homebrew level. I discussed this briefly with Louis Bonham off-line, and I think that because of our sheer numbers, we have the ability to contribute some really good stuff. The Palexperiment, and now this pH experiment are great starts. Bravo, and good luck. SM Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 06:44:05 PDT From: "Rosenzweig,Steve" <Steve_Rosenzweig at wb.xerox.com> Subject: Hop Growing I am certainly not an expert hop grower, but here are some observations and answers to questions recently asked on the HBD; Matt Arnold asked about spacing when planting hops rhizomes: My 4 Willamette hops are in their third year and are doing pretty well. I planted them about 18" apart along the back of my garden so I could string them up to my 2nd story deck. They now are nearly growing together, and I have resorted to stringing them two and three to a line for their trip up to the top of my new 8' trellis above the deck - about 20' total! In retrospect, I should have given them more space when I planted them - maybe the 3' recommended. Take this into account when you plant different types of hops near each other as well - you may not be able to keep them apart if they are planted too closely. I would leave a minimum of 4-6' separation for different types and stick to 2.5' - 3' for the same types. Kevin TenBrink asked about hop shoots growing away from his main plants; Instead of just cutting them back, I would try to partially dig them out of the ground some, so that you can see the little white rootlets, then cut them off with about 6-8" of that rootlet system intact - bingo - you've got another rhizome (kind of). You can replant these and they will very likely grow. I did this last year and had about a 80% success rate. Keep the leaf system intact and plant the rootlets in a pot of good potting or seed starter soil and use some miracle grow on them. If you can, place them so that the leaves are in the sunshine most of the day and the soil stays in shadow to keep it from drying out. Now I've got three bines growing at my parents house too! You can also try to do this with just cuttings by putting the cuttings in a jug of water until they start to produce the white rootlets - I had less success with this method last year - maybe 20%. I'll be trying this again soon this year. Once the rootlets appear, follow the above potting procedure. In either case - when the hops appear to be doing well, figure out a good place to transplant them and see if they take. As far as digging up hops for transplant, it should work, and at worst case if you can't get the whole hop root system, you can carve them up as rhizomes, keep tham moist and start again wherever you move to. Good growing! Stephen Growing and Brewing in Ontario NY Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 18:45:17 -0400 (EDT) From: Some Guy <pbabcock at oeonline.com> Subject: Boiling hard.... Greetings, Beerlings! Staple me to your chicken... I rarely boil hard. When it seems I might be, I choose another, similarly enjoyable activity... (Someone had to, right? Why not me?) In Scott's defense, it is in poor taste to forward something written in private to another, let alone a publication. In the poster's defense, Scott, it is sometimes a lesson hard learned: It is poor judgement to send something you may not want to see again to anyone. Whatever you set to print "exists" and may turn up where you'd least enjoy seeing it... As for George (Fix)'s assertions: I buy 'em. Momily or no, a too-vigorous boil could significantly alter flavor constituents, to my way of thinking. The ol' sputtering brain in my head-bone takes the following tack: the more vigorous the boil, the higher the heat input. The higher the heat input, the more likely a portion of that thermal energy might work for the forces of evil, caramellizing, scorching or otherwise altering the wort. Thermal and statistical physics both accept that thermal energy causes molecules to separate by increasing amounts and vibrate at increasing rates with few (I can't think of any, but for every rule there has to be) exceptions. Ice to liquid. Liquid to steam/gas. Superheats and plasmas, etc, etc. Isn't it plausible that the input of thermal energy could result in the fracturing of certain of the more fragile proteins in the wort through the mechanics of those vibrations? THe thermal energy overcoming the chemical bonds? (As you can tell from the above, I really haven't a clue. Just a few thoughts, that's all...) See ya! Pat Babcock in SE Michigan pbabcock at oeonline.com Home Brew Digest Janitor janitor@hbd.org HBD Web Site http://hbd.org The Home Brew Page http://oeonline.com/~pbabcock/brew.html "Just a cyber-shadow of his former brewing self..." The AABG's #1 member! No joke! Check the card! Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 19:19:51 EDT From: AllDey <AllDey at aol.com> Subject: 4th Annual 8 Seconds of Froth The High Plains Drafters of Cheyenne, Wyoming invite entrants to our homebrew competition. You can consider the prizes (BOS beer wins an original sculpture by Cheyenne artist Ron Royer, BOS mead receives 24 lbs of Wyoming honey) or you can think of the importance of getting constructive feedback from qualified judges. Either way, consider sending some entries. All the details can be found via our web-site: http://www.tcd.net/~bbriggs or, email me - alldey at aol.com - and I'll send an entry pack Cheers, Paul Dey, Cheyenne, WY Return to table of contents
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