HOMEBREW Digest #2951 Thu 11 February 1999

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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

  Sake book review (Jeff Renner)
  CO2 Regulator question (Nathan Kanous)
  Beer Bullets, MCAB, Ice, Kegging ("Philip J Wilcox")
  Heat Transfer Problem ("Nix, Andrew")
  Re:First Lager; Beer bullets (Jim DiPalma)
  Guinness flavour (Eric Reimer)
  92% attenuation ("Tim Burkhart")
  Conical Fermenter ("Tim Burkhart")
  Availability of 8 oz. bottles (David)" <drussel3 at ford.com>
  Primetabs Math/Autolysing/timers ("Philip J Wilcox")
  Watch (BrewInfo)
  Mail Order Homebrew Store Satisfaction Survey (Steve Potter)
  Extract efficiency brewing high gravity beers (Dave Humes)
  Precipitating Bicarbonates (Gordon Strong)
  Kegging info (Rob.Green1)
  priming/Guinness/mead/Ahh... Belgium! (BrewInfo)
  Re: Off flavors-Bottling/kegging ("Michael Maag")
  Stir plates that are too hot ("George De Piro")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 10:10:14 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Sake book review Thanks to Mutsuo Hoshido <hoshido at gman.rme.sony.co.jp> for his interesting report on something that I know very little of, sake brewing. I just found a remaindered book, _The Insider's Guide to Sake_ by Philip Harper, Kodansha, International, Tokyo: 1998, ISBN 4-7700-2076-7 ($5.98, orig. $14.95). Harper is an Englishman who has lived in Japan since 1988 and is a professional sake brewer, the only non-Japanese one he knows of. This book is a 244 page pocket guide. The first 69 pages are a fairly detailed overview of history, categories, brewing, drinking and buying of sake, and looks pretty detailed and interesting, and is probably the most useful part of the book. There is then an annotated sampling of 109 sakes of the thousands available (there are ~1700 sake breweries in Japan, in 1926 there were nearly 10,000). The brewery Matsuo visited is not reviewed. This may or may not prove to be useful to us in the US. Then a list of bars and restaurants, brewers' shops, retailers in Japan; restaurants and bars in the US, ditto for Europe and Asia, a review of US and worldwide sake brewers, exporters and distributors, sake on the web, and an "extended directory" of retailers, bars and Japanese restaurants in the US (which seems very west coast and NYC biased - no listings for Michigan, for example.) All in all, it looks to be easily worth $5.98. I've had limited success finding sake that is not old here in AA (several brands are open dated and are outdated), but I'm learning some of what to look forward to. There's lots more to sake than the bottle with the orange label! Harper says that the big danger to traditional, quality sake is the hard labor involved and lack of appeal of brewing to young people. The average age of sake brewers is 60, and in a decade or two there will be a crisis. He describes the incredibly hard, long days during the season. Once he fell asleep on his bicycle riding to work and pedaled into a river! 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, 09 Feb 1999 08:54:22 -0500 From: Nathan Kanous <nlkanous at pharmacy.wisc.edu> Subject: CO2 Regulator question Hi all, I was recently purging the airspace from a keg of stout. I racked into the keg, and applied pressure (5psi) and purged...pressurized...purged, repeatedly. Now, I'm not asking about the pressure on the beer...the low pressure is what works for me...if you want to see if it works, come over for a beer...otherwise, that's not the issue. I have an in-line valve immediately following the regulator, and then a manifold before the kegs (3). During my procedure, the valve immediately after the regulator was always open. The valves to 2 kegs were closed and the valve to the keg I was purging was opened and closed as needed. My procedure was to have the manifold valve open, pressurize the keg, close the manifold valve, and vent the keg to purge the airspace. Repeat ad nauseum until I felt comfortable that I'd wasted enough CO2. What I discovered was this. After I had pressurized the keg, I'd close the manifold and vent the keg. When I did this, I heard a hissing sound. I traced that sound to the regulator. It seemed that every time I closed the manifold and vented the keg, I would get CO2 coming out of a hole in the regulator. The hole is next to the screw that is used to adjust the pressure. I assume that this hole functions as a "relief valve" on the regulator. Well, if I covered the hole when the gas began to escape, the gauge on the regulator would begin to rise and would continue to rise until I allowed the pressure to vent out of the regulator. What is going on? Is my regulator in need of replacement? I apologize for the long post, but wanted to try to describe the event in as much detail as possible. TIA. nathan in madison, wi Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 11:21:18 -0500 From: "Philip J Wilcox" <pjwilcox at cmsenergy.com> Subject: Beer Bullets, MCAB, Ice, Kegging From: Philip J Wilcox at CMS on 02/09/99 11:21 AM A great way to earn beer bullets is to make money with your hobby. Since uncle sam will lock us up for selling our wares, we simply have to do what we do best. Think differently and deal with what we have. Georges--Fix and DePiro, Louis Bonham, Scott Bickingham... all do it with writeing about beer. I have discovered another way. Check out http://www.4th-vine.com/index.html and use the contest link. - ------ Here is a Tip for all the MCAB goers this weekend. Put the HBD initials on your nametag so when we see eachother we'll know to say hi and give the secret handshake. - ----- Do the rules for inertia have something something to do with the Hot/Cold Icecube momily? I mean if hot water molecules are bouncing around faster, evaporing faster and cooling faster, would they build up enough steam (sorry could'nt resist) so as to actually cool down faster to freezing than water that started cool to begin with? I'm sure there a physic's lesson on Entropy and Enthalpy in there somewhere... Any Help?? - ----- Bill gave us some great background on his very good bottling proceedures, however I'd like to have a better disription of the "off flavor" itself before commenting... Is it cardboardy? medicinal, plasticlike, solventy, sulfurlike, vegetablelike, buttery, yeast bite??? Kegging questions: 1. The yeast does settle and usually the first pint or so come out real cloudy but after that it clears up nicely and stays that way so long as you don't disturb the keg. 2. For dry hopping I put a hop bag and a few marbles in a half cup of water and nuke it in the microwave for 12 min. this brings the water and the bag up to boiling for 10 min and sanitizes the bag. After it cools I add my pre measured hops and tie off with dental floss. I leave a long leader of floss hang out of the keg and seal it back up. this way I can use the floss to retrieve the hop bag after a few weeks without reaching my hand or other implement into the keg. 3. Cleaning: lots of ways, some use bleach for short amounts of time (longer soaks will pit the stainless). Some use TSP, others us PBW to clean and Idophor or Star-San to sanitize. I think most of us use water and elbow grease for cleaning. If your arm doesnt make it to the bottom of the keg, find one that does, A buck usually gets me a neighborhood kid to do 3 or 4 when I have them out on the lawn.... I didn't use to clean the dip tube each time, but now I do, I cut up a braided nylon scrubbie and tied some 3 feet dental floss to it and tied the other end to a ball point pen refill. I gravity feed the pen refill down the tube (after removing it) and then pull the scrubbie part through several times to clean it out. You'll be suprised how much yeast and gunk build up in there. I prefer to sanitize kegs with Star-san. No matter what the concentration is you just cant taste it in your beer. they often quote a conference where they disolved a tablespoon of Star-san into a beer and had brewers taste it to see if they tell. I was the audience schmuck who volunteered for that--its true. We used Bass, Guinness and Vienna lager...you could see the difference, but you couldnt taste it. And its re-useable for a short time. I will fill and sanitize everything I Have with one batch. I'll fill the keg up, seal it. wait 2-5 min then push the stuff out with co2 (thus purging the tank of air) while filling the next keg or carboy. 4. Fresh taste: Depends on storage temp, beer type (ie alcohol level), yeast type, and general sanitation practices. Some beers, like the SNPA clone we love, can last 4 months or more, Barleywines? Mine has been in a keg since July, and I'm still salavating as I type about it. Wheat beers are more finicky in my experience. When there new, they are awesome, but for some reason they only last about 6 weeks before they start going down hill. Not leaving your taps on and sanitizing between uses will help increase your freshness time. 5. tips: Pour off your first beer from the keg into a glass pitcher. you'll notice when it pours clear easier. DONT drink right from the pitcher. First pints are usually very foamy have a lot of excess CO2. If you drink right from the pitcher the tendency is to take a breath right before you swallow the first sip, the CO2 being heavier than air doesnt disperse and you are really just pouring it right up your nose, with out any oxygen your body reacts violently againts this usually by snorting and spitting the beer you just drank out at very high velocities and not uncommonly through you nose also. This is not comfortable and really adds injury to insult. Once again--trust me... Phil Wilcox Poison Frog Home Brewer Warden-Prison City Brewers AABG, AHA, BJCP, HBD, MCAB, ETC., ad nausium... Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 11:14:48 -0500 From: "Nix, Andrew" <anix at bechtel.com> Subject: Heat Transfer Problem Rod, Your not an idiot, your just not a heat transfer person. The heat transferred to the fluid has nothing to do with the thermal conductivity of the fluid, but rather the specific heat. Q (heat transferred to fluid inside tube)=flow rate x specific heat (Cp) of fluid x (Tfinal-Tinitial) ALSO Q(heat transferred to the fluid) =h1 x A (inside surface of tube) x LMTD where the LMTD is the log mean temperature difference which is an approximation which takes into account that the delta T between the fluid inside and the tank outside changes as you move down the length of the tube since the moving fluid is being heated. Where h1 is the convective heat transfer coefficient inside the tube and is dependent on whether flow is laminar or turbulent. Q(heat transferred through copper) = Q (to fluid) = [2 x PI x Length of tube x Thermal conductivity (k) of copper x (T outside wall of tube - Tinside wall of tube)] / [ln(outside radius/inside radius)] And lastly, since the heat transferred into the fluid = heat transferred through the tube walls = heat transferred from tank water to tube (since we assumed no losses), Q outside convection = h2 (convective heat transfer coefficient) x A (outside area of tube) x (Ttank water - T outside wall of tube) The two unknowns here are the end temperature of the fluid moving through the tube, but more importantly, the convective heat transfer coefficient on the outside of the tube. This is a TRICKY number to determine. Especially, since there is some force convective effects from different parts of the coil effecting each other and convective flow fields around the outside, you could neglect these effects and use the straight conduction from the tank water to the copper tube. To do the numbers: Thermal conductivity of metals is temperature dependant, but at around 180F, the k of copper is approx 400 Watts/meter/Degree Kelvin cp for water at 180F is 4.2 kJ/kG/Degree Kelvin (the specific gravity of the wort will effect specific heat). At this point, I will stop. As you can see, this is NOT an easily explained equation. As a heat transfer engineer, I know several valid assumptions to make, but they would be too difficult to explain. This type of thing is best done empirically with water, then corrections can be made for varying specific heat of the wort. Look at any fluid heat transfer text, or even a good thermodynamics book. The equations you've listed are over simplified. SORRY for being so long winded... Andrew C. Nix Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 12:58:12 -0500 From: Jim DiPalma <dipalma at omtool.com> Subject: Re:First Lager; Beer bullets Hi All, In HBD#2949, <stjones1 at worldnet.att.net> writes: >Two weeks ago I brewed my first lager, a 1.080 Doppelbock. Not only >that, but it was also my first decoction mash (single). What an >experience!! > >11 lbs light munich malt >11 lbs dark german munich malt >1 lb dwc caramunich >1/2 lb biscuit malt >2 oz chocolate malt Grain bill is good, mostly Munich, some crystal, and just a small pinch of chocolate malt to contribute color without contributing roasted malt flavor as well. Just right for the style. >Mashed 35 minutes at 133F; pulled thickest 2.5 gal of mash at 20 min, >heat to boil (5 min), boiled 10 min, added back to main mash at the 35 >minute mark. Hit 154F. Conversion took 2 more hours (??? - low enzyme >content of munich??). Munich malt has plenty of diastatic enzyme. I routinely brew dopplebock with Munich malt as >85% of the grain bill, no conversion problems. I know brewers who have brewed dunkel from 100% Munich malt, no conversion problems. I think the reason it took 2 hours for your mash to convert is that you seemed to have skipped a saccarification(sp?) rest. The mash-in temperature was fine, but after pulling the decoction, heat to 155F-158F, and hold for 30-40 minutes until the decocted mash is converted. By going directly to boiling, you denatured the amylase enzyme before it could convert the decoction. That means the entire mash had to be converted by the enzymes remaining in the rest mash. IMHO, that's why it took 2 hours to convert. Also, when the decoction was added back the mash hit 154F, beta-amylase will denature fairly quickly at that temperature - this is possibly the reason why your ferment is having trouble getting below 1.040. My other comment is more of a question: how did you go from 133F to boiling in 5 minutes?!?! That must be some kind of speed record for heating a decoction. It's important to heat a decoction gently, to avoid scorching the mash. >I pitched a 3 step starter, going from smack pack to 1/2 gallon and >decanting the spent wort after the second step. It's been in the >primary at 50F for 13 days now, and I'm still getting a bubble out of >the airlock every 10 seconds, and there is still about 1/2 inch of >krausen on the top. The specific gravity is 1.040. I had expected to >be able to do the diacetyl rest and rack to secondary for lagering by >now, but I'm not sure if it is ready. Should I try to rouse the yeast? >Should I make another starter and pitch it? Or is everything normal >and lager yeast normally takes this long to work. Can anyone enlighten >me on this? Stepping up the starter was right, a high-gravity lager pitched cold needs all the yeast you can give it. No info given on aeration, so I can't comment on that. 13 days is *normally* plenty of time for the primary ferment to complete, but I'm wondering how much damage was done to the enzyme systems by skipping the sacc. rest for the decoction, and what effect that may have had on the attenuation level of your wort. Anyway, I would start with the least radical remedial treatment first: rouse the yeast, wait a couple of days, take another gravity reading. If no change, pitch some more yeast, wait a couple of days, take another gravity reading. If the problem is underpitching or under-aeration, that should take care of it. If it doesn't, you may have to resort to adding some amylase enzyme to the fermenter. I've never done that, so I can't offer any advice. Perhaps someone who has can jump in here. Good luck, and please post and let us know how things turned out. Cheers, Jim Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 13:10:40 -0500 From: Eric Reimer <eric at etymonic.com> Subject: Guinness flavour Hi all, I have a question regarding the flavour of Guinness stout. A friend at work who has recently been in Ireland, says the flavour of Guinness tastes very different here (in Ontario) compared to what he had in Ireland. At home, he has tried both from the can (with the nifty dispensing widget) and from kegs. He reports that what he had in Ireland did not have the "sour tang" which we are used to in North America. Is this so? Is the pronounced tang from age or shipping? Is a different recipe used in Irish pubs compared to what we receive in North America? I can't say that he had the same style in Ireland. He has only said that when he went into a pub (in Ireland), he would ask for a "Guinness". I assume this is the standard stout, and not an extra stout or some other variation. The "tang'ed" N.A variety was the standard stout. Can someone shed some light on the flavour differences? Eric Barking Dogs Brewery London, Ontario Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 14:14:28 -0500 From: "Tim Burkhart" <tburkhart at dridesign.com> Subject: 92% attenuation I posted a coulple of weeks ago about excessive attenuation with a batch of Wyeast Irish ale yeast. I did a 1qt forced ferment with 3 tbls of stored yeast slurry and an OG of 1055... FG was 1004. Using Ray Daniels apparent attenuation calculation I got 92% AA. Is there a particular type of bactierial infection that could have caused this? Mashing/handling proceedures? My uneducated guess is sanitation. This yeast was collected from the primary and stored for 2 weeks under a couple inches of beer. TIA. Tim Burkhart Kansas City Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 14:26:31 -0500 From: "Tim Burkhart" <tburkhart at dridesign.com> Subject: Conical Fermenter I have been using a 7 gallon plastic conical fermenter for a couple of batches now and would like to ask a couple of questions to the collective. #1>Pulling trub + yeast: I am drawing the trub from under the fermenting wort after 8 hours or so. Is there an ideal time to draw yeast off for storage and repitching? Do I need to be concerned about getting only the low, med, or high flocculating yeasties? Should I pull off yeast for a coulple of days for repitching and then throw the rest away? #2>Autolysis: Since this topic has been brought up recently... I'm hoping to draw enough yeast off that the primary can be the secondary. This way I can siphon directly to the bottling bucket or perhaps try individual bottle priming. Has anyone used this method... is there a better way? Tim Burkhart Kansas City Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 15:30:46 -0500 From: "Russell, D. A. (David)" <drussel3 at ford.com> Subject: Availability of 8 oz. bottles I have looked through about 9 catalogs and called my local HB supplier but can't find anyone who sells 8 oz. bottles. Does anyone know of a homebrew shop that carries them? I am looking for a quantity of 1-2 cases. I am aware of the alternative of the 8 oz. Coke bottles, but I want clean bottles (amber, green or clear) that I can put a special label on and give away to people. I have seen other request thsi here over the previous year. I know of others who want this size bottle. My homebrew shop said he was looking for them, and he would stock them if he could find them. Is there any glass bottle suppliers out there that can let us know if this is such a special request? Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 15:53:54 -0500 From: "Philip J Wilcox" <pjwilcox at cmsenergy.com> Subject: Primetabs Math/Autolysing/timers From: Philip J Wilcox at CMS on 02/09/99 03:53 PM All, I believe that an individual prime tab is 250 mg of of pure sugar. My question is how does this relate to Specific gravity? Say for instance i have a mead that I have sulfited and sorbated and I wanted to sweeten from 1.008 to 1.018. How many prime tabs would that be? Another way of looking at this is how many SG point do you have to raise a beer for proper Priming? If any of you mathamagicians can enlighten me I'd appreciate the help. - ------ George and Steve's autolysing conversation: are either/both of you going to the MCAB? I brewed a doppelbock, a really big Doppel 1.086? (Destined to become Eis), just after the 1st of the year. It is fermenting at a friends fridge not far from my house, but its innconvient enough that I did'nt rack it till after it was going on 4 weeks. I pitched the full slurry from 5 gal of Helles (Racked that momement) onto 10 gal of Doppel. and oxygenated the heck out of my twin 6.5 gal fermentors. This is Ayinger yeast (reportedly) from a local Micro. that won a bronze GABF medal with it. I set the fridge for 51F and let it rip. While racking i took my usual hydrometer reading and discovered it was only 1.030 not the 1.020 I was shooting for. So I didn't rack the second fermentor and i raised the temp to 56F. Shook the begebbers out of both and returned 2 weeks later to see that they didnt move much, 1.028 on both. I kept my hydrometer samples to A) force carbonate for tonights club meeting and B) Force Fermentation test. I have gobbs of Nottingham so I'll most likely use that. How many grams (Dry) for 150 ml test? (Sorry Dave, the pharmacy that I coincedentally went to this morning didn't have a Cl***t) I will gladly bring bottled samples of both to Houston if you guys want to do a face-to-face taste off of 3.5 and 6 week primary autolyzing yeast samples. - ----- Electronic timers: My stirplate is a 1970's photolab model and it put out too much heat to use on an overnight basis. I was thinking of getting a timer to turn on and off the electricity thus keeping it from getting to hot. ( I have cooked some yeast on it before) All of the Security light timers in the stores only have one or two settings that really won't due for what I want here which is like 5 min on and 25 off or something like that. Any ideas out there on what I'm really looking for and where to get it? and it should go without saying, how much is it going to cost me????? Phil Wilcox Poison Frog Home Brewer Warden-Prison City Brewers AABG, AHA, BJCP, HBD, MCAB, ETC., ad nausium... Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 15:07:11 -0600 (CST) From: BrewInfo <brewinfo at xnet.com> Subject: Watch Sorry about this being so late... Clint asks what should he get to replace his ailing Mickey Mouse watch. I recommend a Timex Atlantis 100. Not only does it have an alarm, stopwatch AND a countdown timer (alarm for the boil, countdown timer for the flavour hop addition), but it will do two timezones (mine is set to Chicago and London), has an Indiglo face (great for those late outdoor brewing sessions) and is wort resistant to 100 metres. I liked mine so much, I bought two more. I believe I saw them at Osco for $20 or 25. Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at brewinfo.com http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 15:22:50 -0600 From: Steve Potter <spotter at meriter.com> Subject: Mail Order Homebrew Store Satisfaction Survey Hello Collective, Just a quick progress note on the survey: As you may recall, in last Saturday's HBD I requested that members of the collective complete a survey on their satisfaction with mail order homebrew suppliers. I asked for a 1 to 10 rating (with 10 high) on your satisfaction with: Price Quality Selection Knowledgeable sales people I further asked for information on any specialty that the mail order house has. I asked that replies be sent to: first_draft at altavista.net So far, I have received 16 replies. One of the respondents was obviously drunker than I was when I put the original post together. One rated his local non-mail order store. Of the remainder, 5 of the replies were for a variety of lesser known operations. Eight were for a particular store that had solicited its customers to reply. Only one reply was for a nationally known mail order supplier. Among those that I received no input on as of yet are: St. Pats Hoptech The Brewery Brewers Resource What prompted me to start the survey was dissatisfaction with St. Pats bashing thread. I thought that perhaps we could put a positive spin on the discussion by trying to determine where to shop, rather than where not to. I also wanted to see if St Pats really had a problem or if there were six unhappy campers blowing a lot of smoke. I find it interesting that those who argued so passionately for and against St. Pats have not sent me a response. I will collect responses until Monday of next week. At that time I will post what I have. Steve Potter Madison, Wisconsin Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 17:04:43 -0500 From: Dave Humes <humesdg1 at earthlink.net> Subject: Extract efficiency brewing high gravity beers Greetings, I just brewed a Weizenbock this weekend that was intended to have an original gravity of 1.068 (17P). I have previously made only normal gravity beers (1.048-1.052) on my equipment, so this was a new experience. So, it's getting near the end of the runoff. I've collected 13.4 gallons in my 15 gallon boiler. And I take a sample of the runoff and find it's gravity is 1.020. With a normal gravity beer, the runoff at the end is more like 1.011 on my system. So, I say, bummer. There's probably going to be lots of extract left behind and I won't achieve my target final gravity, at least not without boiling it down more than I had planned. But, to my surprise, it's right on the money. Hmmmm. Well, this batch was 60% wheat, and I do get somewhat higher extraction with wheat than barley since wheat is huskless. But that should have been accounted for by the higher SG contribution of wheat in the original calculations. Anyhow, getting back to the original point, it seems that the additional extract beyond that of a normal gravity beer will require additional sparge water to be fully extracted. But, then you are likely to overflow the capacity of your boiler and require a lengthy boil to reduce to target gravity. Alternatively, you can accept the fact that a linear increase in the mass of the grain will not lead to a linear increase in extract without additional sparging and adjust your recipes accordingly. Any suggestions on how to do this would be most appreciated. Dave Humes >>humesdg1 at earthlink.net<< Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 18:02:58 -0400 From: Gordon Strong <strongg at earthlink.net> Subject: Precipitating Bicarbonates I've been reading up on water treatment and several sources suggest boiling water with a lot of temporary hardness to precipitate bicarbonates and lower pH. They generally say boil, aerate, decant but not much more. I've got some questions on the technique: how long should you let it boil? when do you aerate: when it's hot or cool? is hard stirring with a spoon adequate or do I need to pump air into it? at what point do you decant? do you force cool or is air cooling OK? what should it look like at the key points in the process? FYI, my city water analysis says I've got 416 ppm hardness, 334 ppm alkalinity, 19 ppm sulfate, 17 ppm chloride, 516 ppm total dissolved solids and a pH of 7.91. Following a Noonan formula, I determine I have 333 ppm calcium and 83 ppm magnesium. The next batch of beer I plan to brew is an all-grain scotch ale. I've read the water section in New Brewing Lager Beer, the water section in Analysis of Brewing Techniques and the Engineering the Perfect Pint article from BT Jul/Aug 98; all were very good references and I recommend them as background reading. I also know about the Brewater program, but haven't used it yet (I figure I need to take stuff out of the water before trying to add anything). Any hints from those with more experience in this area would be appreciated. Gordon Strong Beavercreek, Ohio strongg at earthlink.net Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 18:12:42 -0500 From: Rob.Green1 at firstunion.com Subject: Kegging info While pursuing my favorite hobby via the Internet, I came across a site that explained the science of beer dispensing. I thought that there must be more kegging neophytes who would benefit from this information. I noticed in back issues of the HBD several articles about draft dispensing and the problems of excess foaming but none seemed to take into consideration the entire picture of beer/co2 volumes, draft line resistance, and dispensing PSI and the importance of pressure vs. resistance. http://www.morebeer.com/draftquest.html I would appreciate any feedback on the information included in the above FAQ from any experienced keggers. I have stumbled on a second-hand freezer and have purchased a draft setup (at the expense of many, many beer bullets, but that's another story) and located 4 cornelius kegs and will be setting up my draft system as soon as I can get a batch going. Any information would be welcome. Does agitating cornelius kegs during forced carbonation may cause oxidation? I was following a thread in the archive that hinted at that, but never saw this issue put to rest. Question: Is o-ring lube necessary? or did I damage my new o-rings? Philip asked about o-ring lube and my local brew store sells 'keg lube' in a small tub that is designed for just that purpose. I'm sure his local supplier can get some if they don't already sell it, but if not Alternative Beverage's order line is (800)365-2739 and should have some by now. They have a website but the keg lube for some reason doesn't appear on there, http://www.e-brew.com in case you want to peruse yet another brew store's website. Rob Green Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 17:15:54 -0600 (CST) From: BrewInfo <brewinfo at xnet.com> Subject: priming/Guinness/mead/Ahh... Belgium! I'm not caught up yet with reading HBD (fell behind during the X-mas holidays and still can't catch up), but many of these questions are from November and as of HBD #2928 they are still unanswered. So, please excuse the lateness of these responses... Brian writes: >Question number two: Since the priming solution is likely higher in gravity >than the fermented beer, doesn't it just sink to the bottom of the beer in >the secondary and risk getting left behind when you rack to a bottling >bucket (or carboy)? Seems like it might be a risk. But I rack every little >bit out and don't leave much behind. I've never yet gotten an >undercarbonation from this cause ... leaving beer in the secondary for 6 or >8 weeks and bottling without new yeast, yes, but not from priming this way! I typically pour the priming solution into the bottling carboy and then rack the beer in. I've never gotten inconsistent carbonation, but if you haven't in your experience, then I think you've answered your own question. As for adding yeast at bottling time, I have made many beers which have spent months in the fermenters (one lager spent 8 months in the secondary (I use secondaries only for fruit beers and lagers) and then carbonated just fine without any additional yeast at bottling). Where additional yeast at bottling time is beneficial is in very strong beers. It is a common practice among Belgian commercial brewers, but then their beers are commonly well over 6%ABV and many are over 8%! *** Mark writes: >gravity and a bit hoppier). i am sure that the bottled product, >unpasteurized and fresh, would be noticeably better than the stale, abused >stuff we end up with. and i don't consider the maltiness of bass ale to be >"wimpy". > >the same can be stated about guinness stout. their bottled "extra" is a >world away from the typical stuff you get in the pubs over there. which >should be considered as the representative of the style? You are mixing two different styles of stout. Draught Guinness in Ireland and in the US is about a 1.038 OG beer. So is the canned Guinness we get here. The bottled Guinness is about 1.055 or 1.060 OG and is hopped quite a bit more. The AHA calls this "Foreign-style" stout. There actually is a *third* type of Guinness. This is the Caribbean-brewed, bottled Guinness (the bottled import Guinness mentioned above is brewed in Ireland). Caribbean-brewed Guinness is even stronger and rather sweet. It is brewed under contract by a number of different brewers. On Jamaica, it's brewed by the same brewery as Red Stripe (D&G, I believe). On Barbados, it's brewed by Banks's. So, I would say that canned and draught Guinness is representative of "Dry Stout" or "Irish-style Stout" and that bottled Guinness, imported to the US is representative of the "Foreign-style Stout." *** Mike writes: >I'm attempting my fist mead soon. It's a simple recipe: 15 lbs. honey, acid >blend, yeast energizer, Irish Moss, and Wyeast Sweet Mead Yeast (#3184). >Questions: 1. To make a yeast starter the yeast package says to add the >yeast to diluted fruit juice. What kind of juice? How much diluted? Is it OK >to use DME instead? 2. Should I use my Oxygenator to aerate the must once it >is in the carboy? 3. Is mead subject to oxidation due to hot side aeration? >4. Is it critical, as with beer, to quickly cool the must? Should I use my >wort chiller? 4. My recipe calls for 6 months of bottle aging. Should I cap >with oxygen absorbing caps? Thanks. Firstly, I was instructed by the Mead Guys (Dan McConnell and Ken Schramm) that you shouldn't add the acid blend until after fermentation and then only if the mead needs acidity. I've never added acid even after fermentation to any of my meads and they have done well in competition. Acidity slows fermentation and in fact, Chuck Wettergreen has suggested that you can restart a sluggish mead fermentation by adding some calcium carbonate. On to your questions... 1. I use dried malt extract for a starter... juice doesn't have many of the nutrients that yeast need. Yes... use DME (I recommend 1.040 OG). 2. Yes... I did. Worked well. 3. I don't know, but I cooled before oxygenating... can't hurt and oxygen is much more soluble in cool wort/must than in hot (regardless of what Noonan says). 4. I don't know, but my educated guess is no. Honey is mostly sugars. Wort has all kinds of other compounds that are susceptible to oxidation. 5. I use O2-absorbing caps for both beer and mead. The alcohol in the mead is still susceptible to oxidation to yucky (that's a technical term) aldehydes. *** Tim writes: >I found a bottle of Delirium Tremens under the Christmas tree this >year. As I poured it, and the wonderful flowery aroma hit my nose, my >immediate reaction was to utter "Ah, Belgium!" Well, I just stood >there with my nose in the glass for at least a minute before taking a >sip. I took it to my wife (who was working in her studio) to taste. >She had a sniff and said, "Ah, Belgium!" [snip] >So my question is, "Where does that aroma come from?" The non-technical answer is: the yeast. Select your yeast carefully and you will get those aromas. Higher fermentation temperatures will intensify it. The technical answer is: esters and higher alcohols. Short aside on alcohols: Ethanol (ethyl alcohol) is the alcohol we all are familiar with in beer, wine, mead, whiskey, vodka... It has the chemical formula C2H6O. "Higher alcohols" or "fusel alcohols" are ones that are "bigger" than ethanol. For example propyl alcohol (propanol) is C3H80 and butyl alcohol (butanol) is C4H100 (that's 10 hydrogens, one oxygen). Alcohols can have many carbons and get quite large. Whereas German brewers seem to have chosen to select their yeasts and fermentation temperatures to minimise esters and higher alcohols, Belgians seem to have chosen to select yeasts and fermentation temps that produce lots of esters and higher alcohols. The more the better, it seems... A word of warning to those who haven't yet partaken in Belgian beers: I believe and theorise that if you are not used to higher alcohols, you will get a raging hangover (due to the higher alcohols) from even moderate consumption of some of these rather strong and very aromatic beers. Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at brewinfo.com http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 18:28:11 -0500 From: "Michael Maag" <maagm at rica.net> Subject: Re: Off flavors-Bottling/kegging Bill Frazier, Johnson County, Kansas says: <snip> I always bottle my beer. I brew all kinds of beer and the problem discussed below pertains mostly to non dry-hopped, light colored beers. <snip> With the rare exception, there always is some off-flavor, usually small and only noticed by me. By this I mean the beer tastes a little different, after it is conditioned, than what I remember before adding priming sugar and filling. Note: I use a bottling bucket. <snip> -Bill kegged half of a batch and bottled the other half. Same off-flavor in the bottled half. My 2 cents: Bill, I would suspect the faucet assembly in the bottling bucket is the source of contamination. I had a similar problem which drove me to kegging. To check, try using a siphon to bottlefill from a bucket with no faucet, or dissassemble the faucet , scrub, soak in chlorox and rinse the faucet before use. Bill: -I read where some use the keg for secondary fermentation. Does any subsequent settled yeast plug up the works or is it better to conduct secondary fermentation in a fresh carboy? Me: Rack the beer from the primary to a "secondary" (actually a clairification vessel) to let yeast settle prior to kegging. I use gelatin at this point, then I keg and force carbonate. Bill: -If using a keg for secondary fermentation, how do you dry-hop without having the hops plug up the works? Me: If you keg, put your hops (whole or plugs, no pellets) in a nylon bag and put them right in the keg after you fill it. Best way to dry hop IMHO. Bill: -How do most keggers clean and sanitize the kegs? Me: I use a caustic to soak away beerstone (Keg Clean), then use a non-chlorox sanitizer. Run both solutions through the tap and hose while you are at it. Rinse well by running the water from the final rinse of the keg through the hose and tap. Dissassemble the tap every few kegs for cleaning. Bill: -How long will beer keep that nice fresh taste in a keg? Me: Most kegged beer will condition in the keg and flavors will change, even if sugar is not added. The only way the flavor remains stable is if I keep the beer colder than I should (32 to 35F) and keep around 12 psi CO2 pressure on it. The small amount of yeast at the bottom of the keg seems to keep munching the more complex sugars if the pressure gets low and temps get high. The beer gets a bit "drier", no off flavors though. Cheers 8*) Mike, In the middle of the Shenandoah Valley (Staunton, Va.) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 99 18:58:42 PST From: "George De Piro" <gdepiro at fcc.net> Subject: Stir plates that are too hot Hi all, Phill writes about his stir plate getting too hot and causing yeasticide. I have a similar piece of junk stir plate. My solution to the overheating was putting a piece of insulation between the stir plate and the yeast jar. Works pretty well, although sometimes it is tougher to get the stir bar going. Have fun! George de Piro (that's my shortest post in a while!) Return to table of contents
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