HOMEBREW Digest #2796 Thu 13 August 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

  Re: Wyeast 2007 (Jeff Renner)
  manioc dobblebock query, HO HO HO, beer death, tapioca death (Samuel Mize)
  re: WhiteLabs 002 ("Kensler, Paul")
  Re: CAP (help) (Jeff Renner)
  Help with All Grain - no sparge, 2 runnings (Badger Roullett)
  coiled tubing for high pressure tank sampling (Laurel Maney)
  List of Dried Yeasts? (Gail Elber)
  volatile acidity ("Lou Heavner")
  Alkalinity ("A. J. deLange")
  Clinitest "Debate" (Mark_Ohrstrom/Humphrey_Products)
  Oak (Al Korzonas)
  Oak and Portland Brewing's IPA (Al Korzonas)
  Mash screens (Bruce Daniels)
  Colour (Darren Scourfield)
  Whitelabs English Ale Yeast (Dan Cole)
  RE: Log vs Exp Growth Phase (Rod Schaffter)
  Log/Exponential (AJ)
  Agititated fermentation/yeast growth & under pitching (George_De_Piro)
  I'll help !! ("Spies, James")
  Re: Wyeast 1214 (Paul Shick)
  Carbonating an Imperial Stout/ funny smelling-tasting starter ("Victor Farren")
  Homebrewing and the Year 2000 ("Jeffrey M. Kenton")
  Peach melomel ("Tidmarsh Major")
  Clinitest, ("David R. Burley")
  try 'em before they're gone (Vachom)
  Re: Introduction;women and beer (Spencer W Thomas)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 11:57:26 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Wyeast 2007 Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> wrote: >Jeff writes: >>2007 is reputedly Anheuser/Busch and very >>neutral. That's OK, but maybe you'll want a little more character. > >Check your sensitivity to acetaldehyde, Jeff. Both Wyeast #2007 and >the A-B Budweiser yeasts are strong acetaldehyde producers and tend >to leave a *lot* of it in the finished beer. Acetaldehyde, for those >who aren't familiar, lends a green apple aroma/flavour to the beer. I wonder if it always produces it, or only under some conditions. I've never used 2007 myself, but I'm certainly familiar with the acetaldehyde of Bud. There was also a fair amount of diacetyl in a pale lager (forget which style) that I judged this weekend for the Michigan State Fair, and I didn't care for that aspect. It may well have been fermented with 2007. However, I have tasted a few (two, I think) CAPs that were definitely fermented with 2007, and I didn't find it in them. One had diacetyl, though. I'm certainly willing to agree that it could (and maybe does) produce it, but perhaps there was enough other character - malt, hops, etc, that it was covered. I think the yeast is otherwise very neutral - if you avoid the diacetyl. Sort of a lager version of 1056. I prefer beer with more character. One yeast which I haven't used in some time, but which I find gives a nice clean, crisp pilsner, is Danish. I'm not sure of the Wyeast number. Yeast Culture Kit Co. also carries it on slant. Another which was the winner of a local 6-way test on the same wort is Ayinger's, which Dan McConnell at YCKC just obtained from Germany. This had more complexity. I have a CAP with it lagering and look forward to it with great anticipation. 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: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 11:09:24 -0500 (CDT) From: Samuel Mize <smize at mail.imagin.net> Subject: manioc dobblebock query, HO HO HO, beer death, tapioca death Eric asked: >OMIGOSH!!!!!! What about the Manioc Dopplebock I like to make with tapioca >granules?!??!! Yes, what about it? How do you make it? How does it come out? You mentioned using tapioca granules in 1996 and 1997, but you've never really reported to us about any specific flavor or character you get from it. You tease! Inquiring mimes want to know. Eric also said: >I read in the paper today about a new rocket fuel consisting mostly of >hydrogen peroxide. It was deemed non-toxic, since it can be diluted in >water. Seriously! One wonders whether the NASA publicist said something really poorly, or the reporter garbled it really badly. Or both. Sigh. >Am I slowly killing myself with my beer? Yes. Only crush CANS against your forehead. Back to tapioca: Tapioca is extracted by boiling from the cassava plant. Britannica says it has "a cyanide-producing sugar derivative" and that "Primitive peoples ... remove the poison by grating, pressing, and heating the tubers." I guess they're too low-tech to boil foods (no metal or clay pots). My undocumented recall is that tapioca was invented by a non-native who knew cassava was poisonous. Lost in the jungle, he decided to end matters quickly with cassava root, boiled it so he could swallow it, and failed. He lived on the stuff until rescued. If he'd only had along a Wyeast pack and a plastic pail... Don't get all bent out of shape about it, Eric. Oh, too late, ouch! Best, Sam Mize Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 10:33:44 -0600 From: "Kensler, Paul" <paul.kensler at wilcom.com> Subject: re: WhiteLabs 002 Dan asked about experience with White Labs pitchable vials, especially WLP002, citing a recent infection. Dan, I have only used White Labs once, and it was the WLP002 strain. I did a 10 gallon batch, using WLP002 for 5 gallons, and Wyeast 1968 for the other 5. Both performed similarly, and fermented quickly to completion. I did not pitch directly from the vial, but instead pitched the vial into a 500ml starter at the start of the mash - for what its worth, I don't think that made much difference. I would definitely use White Labs again - it sounds like what you experienced is a mold, not a direct result of the yeast. Although like you said, since the yeast did not take off with a strong fermentation, it allowed ambient mold to grow where it normally would not be able to. Did the vial have a production date on it? It might not have been very fresh... Paul Kensler Plano, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 13:02:52 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: CAP (help) keith christiann <kchris1 at lausd.k12.ca.us> asks us to "bare with" him. Gee, Keith, I'm not sure if we know one another that well. ;-) Soneone else will have to help on the standaard gap in a maltmill, but I find that it should just allow a dime to roll through. Again, a double pass at this setting works well on 6-row. >I will dough in at 104 and ramp to 153 slowly. >But I am not clear on how long you are recommending to rest at 153 and >158. For a crisper beer I would think resting for 45 mins at 153 and 15 >mins at 158 would meet the desired goal. Please correct me if my >assumptions are incorrect. I suspect that 45 minutes is probably overkill, but not harmful. 30 minutes should suffice. > >*** >Can/Should I use Albers Corn Meal from the grocery store in place of the >flaked maize? If so, I'll give a cereal mash a try. If you are willing (as I am) to do a separate cereal mash. Mash in 1-1/3 pound of 6-row with your 4 pounds of corn meal at 153F for 15 - 30 minutes, don't worry about complete conversion. Use sufficient water, treated to get proper pH with a pale malt mash. Don't use gypsum for a pilsner, it will give a rough bittering. If you need calcium, use calcium chloride. I do the cereal mash in a 2 gallon kettle in a preheated oven. Then bring it to a boil for 30-45 minutes, stirring to avoid scorching. Then add this to your ramping up main mash when it has reached maybe 130 - 135, or so that the cereal mash will just raise it to 140. This requires a bit of planning and timing. >I have a very nice rice cooker (which keeps rice nice and hot/moist for at >least 3 days). It boils and steams rice. Can this be a useful tool for doing >cereal mashes or decoction? It would be easy to hit sac temps on the stove >and then place in cooker for a boil and keep hot until it is needed! Or >should I just use it for rice and use the steamed rice for a cream ale? I guess you'd be a better judge of this than I, since I'm not familiar with it. To get full flavor (melanoidins) from the cooked corn, you need to mash it with some malt first. The same goes for rice. Good luck. Let me know how it turns out. 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: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 10:39:55 -0700 From: Badger Roullett <branderr at microsoft.com> Subject: Help with All Grain - no sparge, 2 runnings Hiya. Badger here with another tangent... I am about ready to make the next step into All grain. (wait for the cheers to die down..) But, i want to do some slightly non-standard things. I would like to formulate recipies that allows me to get 2 separate batches from one grain bill. I was reading in the BT (which is Way Cool, i just started reading it, and subscribed after 10 pages.. no affiliation, yadda) and ran accross the NoSparge article. In one of the sidebars they mention a recipie by Jethro Gump that yields a 5 gallons fo barley wine (13%), and 10 gallons of small beer. (4-5%). Can you experienced brewers give me some hints on formulating recipies similar to this? as a Historicalicly inclined brewer (but not speller) i am attracted to the method of all grain brewing. I would like to modify the historical method slightly tho, to get a decent regular ale as the second runnings. medievally the second runnings, Table beer, was fairly weak. for purposes of this discussion, i am using a 5 gallon converted cooler i bought from a brewer guy. (i am still making time for the conversion of a sankey to a mashtun for doing 15 gallon sized batches.. but for now i use the small one.) Lets try a standard english ale for purposes of this discussion, as the target for teh second runnings. what would the first runnings be? Thanks in advance for any help!! ********************************************* Brander Roullett aka Badger Brewing Page: http://www.nwlink.com/~badger/badgbeer.html Badgers Brewing Bookstore: http://www.nwlink.com/~badger/brewbook.html In the SCA: Lord Frederic Badger of Amberhaven, Innkeeper of the Cat and Cup Inn Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 12:47:40 -0700 From: Laurel Maney <maney at execpc.com> Subject: coiled tubing for high pressure tank sampling All I can say is that it works for both 1000 bbl tanks and for 10 gal Firestone cans, under 12-15 psi counterpressure. I always pictured the coil as slowing down the flow of the beer and providing backpressure by presenting an endless set of right-angle turn increments - but physics is definitely not my strong suit. Maybe the coils just let you use a 15' hose without standing 15' away from the tank........? I never thought about it that way before. The Woodstock Brewer - Milwaukee Area Technical College, Brewing Certificate Instructor ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ >but you might also try coiling it up several times (say, a 5-6" diameter >coil or as small as you can make it without kinking the tubing) to give >more back pressure. Are you sure about this? I don't see how coiling would increase back pressure... the fact is that flow is what causes the pressure drop. Is there an "inductor-like" effect (like coiling a wire)? No... there can't be... can there? An inductor works because a magnetic field is generated. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 11:42:35 -0700 From: Gail Elber <gail at brewtech.com> Subject: List of Dried Yeasts? Badger, BrewingTechniques published a directory of yeasts in the 1996 Brewers Market Guide. The manufacturers' descriptions of their yeasts are included. The list is now somewhat out of date (e.g., no mention of White Labs). E-mail circulation at brewtech.com to order it, or call the number in my signature. Technically we are out of copies of this, but I think the circulation staff will photocopy the article for you for a couple of bucks. Re your other thread about SCA brewing, you might call our managing editor, Deb Jolda, if you're interested in writing an article about SCA brewers. Gail Elber, Associate Editor BrewingTechniques P.O. Box 3222 Eugene, OR 97403 Tel. 541/687-2993 Fax 541/687-8534 http://brewingtechniques.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 13:44 -0600 From: "Lou Heavner" <lheavner at tcmail.aus.frco.com> Subject: volatile acidity Greetings: Only slightly off subject, I came across a question today that maybe somebody here would know how to answer. The question was "is there a difference between acidity and volatile acidity? If so, can volatile acidity be measured with a conventional pH probe?" <OK, 2 questions, so sue me ;) > I believe the question was in reference to a commercial wine producer, if that matters. Thanks and cheers! Lou - brewing a CAP in Austin on Thursday, I hope. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 15:12:59 -0500 From: "A. J. deLange" <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Alkalinity Peter Gilbreth in Joplin, MO reports that his water has a pH of 7 to 8.2 and requires 10 mL of 88% lactic acid to reach pH 5.7 whereas Paul Niebergall in Kansas City requires 3 -4 mL in 12 gallons to reach a pH < 7 though his starting pH is high (10 - 10.5). He asks for an explanation of this "discrepancy". No discrepancy, really. The Joplin water is simply more alkaline (alkalinity about 130 mg/L as CaCO3) than the KC water (alkalinity about 85 mg/L as CaCO3) even though the pH is lower. Alkalinity and pH are not the same thing. pH is a measure of the balance between acid and base and alkalinity the measure of the amount of base. If, for example, we dissolved 84 mg of sodium bicarbonate in a liter of pure water the alkalinity would be 50 ppm as CaCO3 and the pH 8.3. If we dissolved twice this in another liter of pure water , the pH would still be 8.3 though the alkalinity would double to 100 ppm. If we then added enough hydrochloric acid to the second sample to lower the pH to 7, the alkalinity of that sample would be 80 ppm as CaCO3 and we'd have a numerically similar situation to the one reported: one sample with a pH of 8.3 and an alkalinity of 50 and another with a pH of 7 with an alkalinity of 80. Thus the Joplin water contains more bicarbonate than the KS but it is partially "neutralized" by some acid. Alkalinity is defined as the amount of acid required to lower the sample pH to 4.3. You gave me enough data to roughly estimate how much that is when you told me how much the pH changed in response to the reported lactic acid additions. Thus the alkalinity values given are approximate only and were not obtained from published data. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 17:38:12 -0400 From: Mark_Ohrstrom/Humphrey_Products at humphreypc.com Subject: Clinitest "Debate" To his credit: >>AlK asys: >>"I'd like to thank Dave for spurring me to finally put together >>that Clinitest page on my website. Rather than clog the HBD with >>the same old story, you can find my thoughts on this subject" Dave Burley replies: >I guess this is the only response you have left, to withdraw from >open discussion, since you've never bothered to try or even >understand why Clinitest is so great for homebrewers. >Just stick to the facts and don't libel me. ... >...I simply can't understand someone with your knowledge of >brewing, hiding from an improvement in homebrewing technique. I would like to propose that the HBD sponsor a Clinitest Debate Page for a "Point/Counterpoint" dialog between Messrs. Korzonas and Burley. Each could then, in his own style, make whatever comment/rebuttal they felt was needed on this subject ("Jane, you ignorant slut!") Ideas and egos could both be allowed to run free. The beauty of this system is that it could be referenced as a one line post with hot-link, thus enabling the rest of us to get at some *other* information through the thickening queue. The *real* cost of bandwidth is NOT the fees for downloads, but in the cumulative waste of subscriber time spent pounding the PgDn key to get at some *fresh* brewing information through the noise. Gentlemen, I appreciate the contributions that you have both made to this forum, but it is time to either leave this tired debate, or to take it "off-line". Mark in Kalamazoo Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 18:06:54 -0500 (CDT) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: Oak Phil writes: >Al K wrote: >> they used European oak as opposed to American oak (which is far more >> "oaky") to make the casks... there are a number of old English brewing books >> that specifically say to NOT use American Oak for casks because it *imparts >> a flavour* to the beer, > >From what I've read,and my own knowledge of oak in wine making,I >believe you might have meant to say "English oak" not "European > oak". French ,Hungarian and many other oaks from "Europe" are >definitely very "oaky",although American oak is often considered >more assertive.The preparation of the wood itself is as significant >as the origin. >A BT article suggests that British casks were made from harder >oak,which would impart less flavor. >I believe your point about lining casks with pitch makes the above >moot anyway... No... European oak... the English had cut down most of their hardwoods long before IPA became popular. The two most popular oaks that I'm aware of are French "Limosin" oak and what's been called "Memel" oak which is also called "Russian" oak... "Memel" is (probably) the Russian name for Klaipeda which is a region of Lithuania. Lithuania was part of the Russian empire during the czars' rule, got its independence in 1918, only to lose it to the USSR in 1940. It again regained its independence with the collapse of the USSR. I am not sure if any French oak was used in British casks, but I do know that there was a brisk trade between Britain and Lithuania and that Memel oak was specified by some British coopers. Let me ask you this: do you taste any oakiness in Traquair House Ale? No? Well it's fermented in oak from Klaipeda (aka Memel oak). Al. (short for Algis) (short for Algirdas, king of Lithuania in the 14th century) Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 18:29:42 -0500 (CDT) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: Oak and Portland Brewing's IPA Bobby writes: >Alan writes wanting commercial examples of "oaked beers". Well, I had >never had a beer with any type of oak character, but I just tried Portland >Brewing's IPA Seasonal. It is an "oaked beer", and in my opinion it is >also a good beer. You can taste the oak flavor, but it is not overwhelming >and there are plenty of hops in there also. I recommend you try it. It >should be relatively easy to find. On a related note (concerning Al's >post) the beer says on it's label something to the effect that in the >1800's the British came up with the IPA style which was characterized by >hop flavor and rich oak character. Any comments Al? Have you tried this >one? Would this be an example of your proposed American IPA? Is that the >American Oak taste? If it is I LIKE IT!!!!! I was just in Portland and I believe that I did try their IPA. Unless they make a special "oaked" version, I did not notice any oakiness in it. On the other hand, over the course of 8 days, I critically tasted about 200 commercial and homebrewed beers, so I'd have to check my notes to be sure that I did taste that particular beer. I do not recall *any* of the beers I tasted having even a mild oaky flavour. They are mistaken (as are dozens of homebrewing book authors) about the oakiness in British IPAs. I have references (at home) in which British brewing writers specifically said that American oak is unsuitable for casks due to the oaky flavour it imparts to the beer. When I have had oaky beers, I've never known which kind of oak was used (except for my own failed attempt -- it was a 20-gallon American oak cask and 11 days was FAR too long for a Rodenbach clone). However, I have tasted wine that was made in American oak casks and wine made in Limosin oak casks. Despite the difference in the amount of time needed to impart the aroma and flavour, they were not radically different. Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 21:46:14 -0400 From: Bruce Daniels <bdaniels at Hamptons.Com> Subject: Mash screens I have one converted keg for a mash tun using the "Stainless in Seattle" false bottom, which is a flat piece of stainless drilled with a dip tube. It works fine but I worry about directly firing the keg to raise the temperature of my mash since there is not much liquid under it. I am about to have a second keg converted, and have see ads for the Advanced Brewing Techniques false bottom, which has a 30 degree bevel to it, appearing to give a little more liquid under it. Has anyone tried one? or other suggestions appreciated Bruce Daniels Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 08:35:43 +0100 From: Darren Scourfield <dscourfi at ford.com> Subject: Colour Having seen IBU calculation flogged to death. What about colour. I use an excel spreadsheet to log/design my recipes (I got it off the web somewhere and tweaked it, as you do). It attempts to predict the colour of the final beer solely using the contribution of each ingredient and ignoring any boil variations. For example; Final Volume (Gal) 4.00 Colour Fermentables Colour(L) Lb. Contribution Pale 2 7.0 3.5 <-- =(2*7)/4 Brown 46 1.0 11.5 <-- =(46*1)/4 Roast Barley 375 0.5 46.9 <-- =(375*0.5)/4 FINAL COLOUR => 21.6 <-- not 61.9 The algorithm to calculate final colour is; If SUM(contributions) < 10, then final colour = SUM(contributions), OTHERWISE final colour = (14.6713 * LOG(SUM(contributions)) - 4.6713)). Does anyone have any idea where this algorithm might have come from? - -- Darren Scourfield Billericay England Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 06:02:01 -0400 From: Dan Cole <dcole at roanoke.infi.net> Subject: Whitelabs English Ale Yeast I want to thank everyone for their input re: my problems with Whitelabs English Ale. At first the feedback that I received seemed to agree with me that for whatever reason the yeast didn't take off fast enough to make the wort inhospitable for the other omnipresent molds and bacteria, but the tide has turned to other people relating problems with this particular yeast. In particular, two stories (one first hand and one second hand) of experienced homebrewers having infection problems with this yeast (both praised other Whitelab strains). I know that this is not a statistically valid sample for those mathematically minded individuals on this list, but it may be something to keep in mind when selecting yeast for that next ESB or porter or stout. Dan Cole Roanoke, VA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 07:22:06 -0400 From: Rod Schaffter <schaffte at delanet.com> Subject: RE: Log vs Exp Growth Phase Rick Wood observes: > I believe the terms logrithmic phase and exponential phase are > equivalent and can be used interchangably. My guess it that the term "Logrithmic" comes from the type of graph paper often used to plot the experimental data, rather than the nature of the function. An exponental function plotted this way of course gives a straight line. Of course, it has been a good many years since I have even _seen_ a piece of log paper, so many of the young squirts on this list would be probably be unfamiliar with this useful technique. (it is so much easier in Excel, anyway!) Cheers! Rod Schaffter Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 08:27:23 -0400 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Log/Exponential It's called exponential phase because the number of organisms increases exponentially with time, n = a*exp(b*t) where a and b are constants. It's called log phase because if you take the log of n you get log(n) = log(a) + b*t which is linear in time (plots as a straight line on log paper). It's just semantics and either or both phrases are commonly used. But they aren't consistent, are they? If "exponential phase" means n = a*exp(b*t) then "log phase" ought to mean n = a*log(b*t). This is clearly not what "log phase" implies. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 09:21:07 -0700 From: George_De_Piro at berlex.com Subject: Agititated fermentation/yeast growth & under pitching Hi all, Sandy notes the thermal gradient that exists while fermenting under very trying conditions and wonders if agitating the ferment will have any effect on the beer other than disrupting the thermal gradient (It's 52C where you live!? The "KW" in your address must mean Kuwait. You can do a protein rest at ambient temperature...you could saccharify using solar power...think of the gadgeteer opportunities! Sorry, I digress.) Agitation during fermentation will increase yeast growth and decrease the time it takes for fermentation to be completed. "Great!" you might think. "Faster is better, right?" While faster is not a bad thing, increased yeast growth is. Excessive yeast growth brings things like increased levels of higher (fusel) alcohols and ethyl acetate (I hate ethyl acetate). A well-known American megabrewer once tried to shorten (and therefore cheapen) the production process by agitating during fermentation (amongst other things). Their customers noticed the difference (and they weren't even in the BJCP!) and they went from being bigger than A-B to relative obscurity (Schlitz). Is it possible for you to immerse the fermenter in a water bath (or otherwise jacket it in coolant) to minimize the gradient? The cool water can be circulated to maintain an even temperature without the ferment being disturbed. --------------------------------- Last week Spencer and Jim were discussing yeast growth. Jim had stated that yeast grow about 3X in a brewery fermentation. Spencer said that he had read that yeast growth is 8X (3 full divisions). Why the discrepancy? In the brewery, we do not give yeast enough oxygen for all the cells to be at their 1% maximum sterol content. Because of this, they won't divide 3X (they become reluctant to divide at 0.25% sterol and cannot divide if their sterol will fall below 0.1%). If we were to inject more oxygen into the young beer during fermentation, yeast growth would resume. As stated above, this is not desirable (although there are a few breweries that do this sort of thing by rousing the ferment; the beers do take on a distinctive character). Excessive yeast growth is great during propagation, but not while making beer. That is one major reason it is so important to pitch a large, healthy starter. This will reduce the production of fusel alcohols and harsh esters that contribute to "that homebrew tang." Underpitching the yeast promotes excessive growth (if enough sterol can be synthesized utilizing oxygen or trub). That is why many homebrewers will get more than 3X yeast growth, and all of the bad flavors that go with it. How does underpitching promote growth? There are fewer cells initially competing for raw materials like oxygen. The cells can therefore assimilate oxygen, build sterols up to the maximum 1% level, divide, and start the process over again because there will still be enough oxygen available. While the total number of cells at the end of the ferment may be about the same as that when properly pitching, the population will have divided many more times than the properly pitched one. Why can underpitching lead to a stuck ferment? If there is not enough oxygen or trub around for the yeast to build up adequate sterol, they won't be able to grow into a large enough population to finish the fermentation in a reasonable amount of time. The cells will all be near the minimum acceptable level of sterol after just a few divisions. These weaker cells cannot survive well in the alcoholic environment of young beer. This translates to a stuck fermentation. Have fun! George De Piro (Nyack, NY) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 09:22:41 -0400 From: "Spies, James" <Spies at dhcd.state.md.us> Subject: I'll help !! Joe Rolfe wrote: >>> one of these days I got to brew again but I still have 40 cases of a 2 yr old barley wine to drink. <<< Joe, let me give you my address so that I may assist you with your quest to brew once again . . . ;-) Sacrificing myself once again to help others, Jay Spies Wishful Thinking Basement Brewery Baltimore, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 10:18:23 -0500 (EST) From: Paul Shick <SHICK at JCVAXA.jcu.edu> Subject: Re: Wyeast 1214 Hello all, Peter Gilbreth (formerly Lord Peter) asks about successful experiences with Wyeast 1214 (their version of "Trappist" yeast.) I've only used it once, with very mixed results, in a Dubbel. After 2-3 months in the bottle, it had exactly the character I wanted: malty but light-bodied, with a nice estery profile. After 6+ months, though, the beer had dried out considerably. The maltiness was very subdued, and a very tart aftertaste cropped up. It seems like most of the dextrins have been broken down. Generally, I've found that beers with a high OG like this (1.065) improved in the bottle for at least 8 months, so I'm surprised by how this batch has progressed. Has anyone else had this experience with this yeast? Does it always continue to ferment in the bottle? I suppose I might have a wild yeast infection, but the clarity and flavor of the beer (no diacetyl) seem to argue against this. Paul Shick Cleveland Hts, OH Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 10:34:43 -0400 From: "Victor Farren" <vfarren at smtp.cdie.org> Subject: Carbonating an Imperial Stout/ funny smelling-tasting starter I have an Imperial Stout (OG 1.090) in the secondary and am getting ready to bottle it. I used Wyeast's Thames Valley Irish yeast b/c the brew store I go to was out of 1056 (seems to happen way too often). A few days ago someone (sorry, can't remember who) mentioned that a good way to get Big Brews to carbonate properly in a bottle is to add a little bit of fresh yeast to the sugar solution prior to bottling. I don't feel like trudging all the way to the brew store and spending another $4 on a fresh packet of Wyeast so I was thinking of racking the Imperial Stout into another carboy, cold conditioning it in a refrigerator for a couple of days and pouring some fresh started onto the small yeast cake in the bottom of the carboy. Background: I fermented in a primary for a week and racked to a secondary in order to get the beer off the spooge/trub nasty, so I am assuming that most of what is on the bottom of the secondary is yeast that has flocculated and dropped down. I tested the gravity last week and it was down to 1.030 so I am hoping it will end up around 1.020. I don't think I will need to pitch any champagne yeast to finish fermentation (I pitched approx 2 liters of starter at high krausen and fermentation was extremely violent w/in 12 hours! <-- crabtree effect?) and plan to bottle soon. The question is: Is this yeast ok to 'freshen up' w/ fresh starter or will the high alcohol content of alcohol (approx 9%) have made it too loopy to do a good job of carbonating? Will this 'old' yeast be prone to producing any heinous off flavors? Am I better off buying a cheap pack of dry yeast, a new pack of Thames Valley or not creating a fresh starter and just relying on the yeast that is in suspension at the time of bottling? I want to break this beer out for Christmas/New Years. Another question about Thames Valley: when I created the starter I was cruising on auto pilot (condition brought on by enjoying too many homebrews) and I am pretty sure I was very sanitary in the preparation (note I am saying 'pretty sure'). The starter fermented fairly warm (upper 70's) and I noticed a distinct banana/sweet aroma coming from the airlock. When I tasted the starter (as I was stepping it up to 2 liters) it tasted sweet and a little banana-y. Is this normal for Thames Valley at high temps? Did I unwittingly pitch a Weizen yeast? Have I created an Imperial Wheat?? After the 2 liter starter was at high krausen I tasted it before pitching into 5.5 gallons Imperial Stout and it tasted slightly sour and had a slightly sour nose. Seeing that I have little experience w/ Thames Valley and tasting yeast starters I felt more than a little nervous b/c I thought I might have an infection. I said 'what the hell' and pitched it anyway. The nose coming out of the violent primary fermentation was very sulphury but when I tasted the beer before racking to the secondary it tasted fine (not sour). I am guessing/hoping I don't have an infection (or could it be that it is growing very slowly?). Who has experience Thames Valley? Are you familiar w/ the banana/sour-ish nose/flavor when fermented at high temps? I moved the beer to cooler temps and it has been fermenting at 70 F. for 2 weeks now. Whew! If any one has made it to the bottom of this post I would appreciate any thoughts on the issue. I think I will call this one the Calamity Bee Stout (A bee took a nosedive into the mash and drowned a sugary death..) Thanks Victor Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 09:42:04 -0500 From: "Jeffrey M. Kenton" <jkenton at iastate.edu> Subject: Homebrewing and the Year 2000 Hello Everyone! My job has in recent days consisted of virtually nothing more than tracking down patches to the year 2000 computer fault. I wanted to ask a few questions about your homebrewing setup, to make you aware of your system's potential year 2000 incompatibility. This may only apply to those people who use computerized controls in their brewing, but others may learn as well. If your RIMS unit or other brewing controller unit has a clock chip, or the ability to display the date and year, you need to check the system for year 2000 compatibility. I know that several of you are using 386s or earlier to drive a set of switches, etc. These types of machines are incompliant unless you upgrade the BIOS. Of course, since these machines aren't mission-critical, you could just reset the clock on your machine (or the microchip controller, as the case may be). Setting the clock back to some arbitrary date may get you by for a while, but here's a 28 year solution (if your particular machine can deal with dates before 1980). Reset your clock chips to the year 1970 today. As it happens, the year 2000 has the exact same calendar as the year 1972. Both years began on a Saturday, and are leap years. The leap year feature has been the stumbling point for many systems. That is, the year 2000 is interpreted as 1900, which was NOT a leap year. The even better point of this is that the years 1972-2000 are exactly the same calendar as the years 2000-2028. Of course, your computer will want to listen to a lot of disco for the first few years after you do this, but otherwise, this is a good option :-). Of course, this is just an idea, but is being used by others whom I know. To all the others who made it this far, but have no RIMS unit of their own: In a year from now, the second hand market will be flooded with 386/486 machines. Pick one up and adapt it to your own brewing setup. Could be a fun project! The price will probably also be very good. Questions / Comments? Please send them privately. Jeff Jeffrey M. Kenton jkenton at iastate.edu Ames, Iowa brewer at iastate.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 09:42:02 +0000 From: "Tidmarsh Major" <tidmarsh at pop.mindspring.com> Subject: Peach melomel Badger asks about making a peach cider. I can't help with that, but I do have a peach melomel from last August that I'm pretty pleased with. I used 11 lbs of fresh peaches that I washed, pitted, coarsely chopped, and froze and 11 lbs of fresh honey. I combined these with 1 tbs of yeast extract, 5 tsp of pectic enzyme, 6 campden tables, and 4 gallons of hot water. I let it sit overnight and then pitched 2 packages of rehydrated Lalvin KV-1116 wine yeast and fermented for 7 days at 68F. I then racked to a carboy and added 2 additional lbs of orange blossom honey. I didn't note when I bottled, but I'm sure it was sometime around early March; I bottled it still in 750mL wine bottles. The 11 lbs of peaches are just enough to get a light peach aroma; I'd try the same amount with less honey if mixing with apple juice, but that's just a wild guess on my part. Good luck. Tidmarsh Major, Birmingham, Alabama tidmarsh at mindspring.com "Bot we must drynk as we brew, And that is bot reson." -The Wakefield Master, Second Shepherds' Play Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 10:57:27 -0400 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Clinitest, Brewsters: Timothy Green says: "Dave Burley writes that the Clinitest kit is an excellent way to determine when fermentation has completed. Without beating the horse again, could someone explain why I should spend an additional $30-$40 of my hard earned money on something that I am currently doing with a hydrometer every time I make a batch of beer. It seems very simple to me. If the SG doesn't change over 2-3 samples 2-3 days apart, fermentation is finished. Why buy something else?" Problem with just assuming that the fermentation is finished because the SG is steady does not eliminate the possibility of a stuck fermentation, as may happen in the winter on occasion. If you're happy and always know if the fermentation is finished and you don't overcarbonate bottles and always make the same kind of beer so you know the fermentation is finished and don't mind throwing away a bottle or two of your beer- you don't. If you are like most homebrewers ( Charlie of N Ca of recent note) who occasionally gets into a situation of wondering whether or not the fermentation is finished with a new type of mash schewdule or a new type of yeast, then you need Clinitest if you don't want to take the risk of bottling bombs. I even had a problem recently with a John Bull Stout Extract which I made for a Homebrewing class and it stuck horrribly because I used the yeast supplied and obviously the extract had a LOT of sugar and low FAN and a very sick fermentation, so it stuck. I haven't bought a Clinitest Kit ( I just buy the replacement pills), but I doubt the price is much over $20 for the kit and 30 tests. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Kinnelon, NJ Dave_Burley at Compuserve.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 10:14:35 -0500 From: Vachom <MVachow at newman.k12.la.us> Subject: try 'em before they're gone One added incentive to try out the micros wherever you are. . . .check them out now because soon enough many of them will be gone. In many cases this culling of the herd will be a good thing. I entirely agree with Michael Tucker in his contention that there's an awful lot of bad micro brew out there. I had quite a bit of bad beer this summer in my travels to Michigan and Maine. The bad Michigan beers were the product of a market still in its adolescence; the Maine beers, on the other hand, were the product of a market that's peaking out. Many of these Maine (and the Northwest and the Mountain West and eventually Midwest and South) brewers of sub-par beer--as D.L. Geary suggested in his Craft Brewers Conference address--will pack their bags in the next few years. There is, however, a segment of the market of graver concern to me: that is, the brewer who makes excellent beer but ill-fated business decisions. Foremost in this category is the micro brewer who wants to distribute his beer far outside his region. If you've got a favorite beer that falls into this category, I say drink it up now because that brewer's lauter tun will be collecting dust or doing time in a South American cervezeria in the very near future. Better yet, drink that beer at the brewery and encourage the brewer to cultivate his own garden, keep expanding that loyal local customer base and keep developing new products to maintain the loyal customers once he's got them. Happy brewing, Mike New Orleans, LA "Why certainly I'd like to have a fellow who hits a home run every time at bat, who strikes out every opposing batter when he's pitching, and who is always thinking about two innings ahead. The only problem is to get him to put down his cup of beer, come down out of the stands and do those things." - --Danny Murtaugh Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 11:35:36 -0400 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Re: Introduction;women and beer Dawn, there are many beer styles that are intentionally not very bitter. And part of the beauty of brewing your own beer is that you can make it the way that YOU want it. You are in control. Beer is bitter for a reason: it balances the sweetness, just as the acids (sourness) in fruit juices balance the sugars in the fruit. That is, beer is sweet-bitter rather than sweet-sour. Many beers would taste sickly sweet or insipid without the bitterness. Some beer types use other flavors to acheive this balance. A Bavarian wheat beer, for example, has a spicy (sometimes called clove-like) flavor that offsets the sweetness, and is therefore brewed with less bitterness than some other beers. American "industrial" lagers manage without much (or any!) bitterness by blanding down the beer and taking almost all the flavor out of it. It is also true that we naturally are repelled by bitter tastes. Many substances that are poisonous or harmful to us taste bitter, so this is a natural defensive reaction. We must acquire the taste for bitter foods. On the other side of the coin, I know that I enjoy many beers now that I would not have liked when I first started brewing, just as I now eat many foods that I hated as a child. So keep with it, and find or modify beer recipes to be less bitter. In time, you will grow to enjoy thee more extreme products of our hobby. =Spencer Thomas in Ann Arbor, MI (spencer at umich.edu) Return to table of contents
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