HOMEBREW Digest #2960 Mon 22 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

  pH Meter (BrwrOfBeer)
  Best way to clean SS? (Matthew Birchfield)
  Candi,candi,candi... (ThomasM923)
  RE Computer Controlled? (Marc Hering)
  Flow Valves in Breweries (Rod Prather)
  Re: Chill Haze (Scott Abene)
  PC Controlled RIMS (Ken Schwartz)
  Vacuum Distillation/Computers (AJ)
  13th Annual Big and Huge: Call for entries and judges (Great Taste of the Midwest)
  Low Extraction Efficiency (OCaball299)
  Phil's Phalse Bottom (Dan Listermann)
  Pico brewing systems and stands (Mitchell Surface)
  Milling grains (Dan Listermann)
  Re: Computer Controlled brewing ("Peter J. Calinski")
  more on hop devil clones (jim williams)
  The Jethro Gump Report/Part 1 ("Rob Moline")
  The Jethro Gump Report/Part 2 ("Rob Moline")
  diacetyl pils (Sharon/Dan Ritter)
  Batch sparging and pH control (Dan Cole)
  Vacuum evaporation and anti-foaming agents ("S. Wesley")
  Re: Why RIMS these days? (Paul Shick)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 21:25:08 EST From: BrwrOfBeer at aol.com Subject: pH Meter I have been all grain brewing now for about 2yr. I have never checked my pH reading before. All beers were good. Now I want to start reading mash pH readings. Can anyone suggest a good pH meter that is not over say $150.oo. If so where would one find it. Any help would be appreciated. Scott Hillbilly Hoppers Knoxville, Tn Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 21:46:33 -0500 From: Matthew Birchfield <peridot at usit.net> Subject: Best way to clean SS? Hi All! I just purchased a double tap tower to install in the top of my keg refrigerator. I found it at a local surplus shop that specializes in restaurant equipment and got a great deal on it. It's in good shape, but it smells like stale beer and needs a good cleaning. What's the best way to clean it thoroughly? I guess what I'm really asking for is your recommendations for the best cleaning solution and/or technique to use. Is there a commercial cleaner I can soak stainless steel in without hurting it? How 'bout a solution I can mix at home? Also, somebody recommended something called "Barkeeper's Friend" for cleaning stainless steel, but I haven't been able to find any. Has anybody tried this product? Am I wasting my time looking for it? Any help will be greatly appreciated. - -- Matt Birchfield Blacksburg, VA Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 01:41:20 EST From: ThomasM923 at aol.com Subject: Candi,candi,candi... A few people have asked lately about how to make candi sugar. Eric Fouch suggested a simpler approach: use cane sugar and save yourself a bunch of trouble. I would tend to agree with that sentiment, however... Why do Belgian brewers use an expensive (compared to plain old cane, that is) ingredient instead of just throwing in a few pounds of Domino? Is it in any way different from cane? Inverted, perhaps? What difference does inverted sugar make? TIA... Thomas Murray Maplewood, NJ Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 01:47:14 -0500 From: Marc Hering <mhering at acd-pc.com> Subject: RE Computer Controlled? I responded to a gentelman yesterday who wanted to know about setting up a computer control for a RIMS system, As I mentioned Radio HAck sells a Serial interface kit that allows you to do some basic things. (used to turn on and off lights mainly)but in reality all you need is a serial cable and a little electronic know how to build a device to do this, I have built a few devices that were serial controlled for a few school projects,, so building an interface should not be too hard,,,as to the thermometer,,you could probably get somthing from radio shack or MCM cataloge that would do the trick,,as to building the interface,,if you know serial programming then you are already past the hard part. Let me know how you make out as this is something I am interested in following,,, Marc [SNIP] On some distant planet, someone wrote................... >>Has anyone created an interface to actually control boil/mash temps with a >>computer? Or even logging your brew session or fermentation with your >>computer (having it automatically record the temp at certain intervals). >>I've had some experience talking through serial ports with Perl, and have >>programmed in Java, C, C++... as well. Unfortunately, I don't have the $$ >>for digital thermometers - can anyone point me to a cheap one? In any case, >>I'm interested! >>Shane Brauner >>Shane at Uh.edu ************************************************************** Legal Warning: Anyone sending me unsolicited/commercial email WILL be charged a $100 proof-reading fee. See US Code Title 47, Sec.227(a)(2)(B), Sec.227(b)(1)(C) and Sec.227(b)(3)(C). ************************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 07:33:32 -0500 From: Rod Prather <rodpr at iquest.net> Subject: Flow Valves in Breweries I have noticed during several ongoing discussions that Ball Valves have been referred to as being used for flow control. Ball valves serve well as shut offs but they are terribly non linear and don't work well as flow control valves. Is there any reason why gate valves couldn't be used for flow controls or am I missing something. I seems that a gate valve would give much better flow control. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 06:13:15 -0800 (PST) From: Scott Abene <skotrat at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: Chill Haze Glyn Writes: > While enjoying my latest CAP I was thinking, (always a mistake), "If I could > get rid of the chill haze this would be perfect." This one was corn meal, > cereal mash, single infusion. Great Head, last for quite a while. > > So do I need a SHORT protein rest. At 130? 135? 10 minutes? Well personally I am going back to old habits that include a protein rest. I like clear beers and that protein rest that I don't need always gave them to me. Hey! What ever happened to Tracy Aquilla??? I miss that quality of comments. Anybody know what has become of "Good Ol Tracy"? C'ya! -Scott "Starsky in Plaid" Abene == ThE-HoMe-BrEw-RaT Scott Abene <skotrat at mediaone.net> http://skotrat.dynip.com/skotrat (the Homebrew "Beer Slut" page) "The More I know About Cathy Ewing, The More The AHA SUCKS" _________________________________________________________ DO YOU YAHOO!? Get your free at yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 09:36:07 -0700 From: Ken Schwartz <kenbob at elp.rr.com> Subject: PC Controlled RIMS Shane Brauner writes: > Has anyone created an interface to actually control boil/mash temps with a > computer? Or even logging your brew session or fermentation with your > computer (having it automatically record the temp at certain intervals). > I've had some experience talking through serial ports with Perl, and have > programmed in Java, C, C++... as well. Unfortunately, I don't have the $$ > for digital thermometers - can anyone point me to a cheap one? In any case, > I'm interested! This was a project I was considering some time ago when RIMS looked like the answer to all my brewing needs (though I could never convince myself enough to actually build one...). I have suggested in the past an inexpensive card made by ComputerBoards ( http://www.computerboards.com ) which has eight 12-bit A/D inputs, eight digital outputs, and eight digital inputs. They also have a variety of interfacing software which might make simple work of a complete RIMS software/hardware package. An LM34 or LM35 temperature sensor could easily be attached to the analog input, and one digital output is used to drive the solid-state relay for the heater element. Additional inputs and outputs could control solenoid valves or sense fluid level switches or operator input. It's interface is through simple I/O reads and writes (PEEKs and POKEs in BASIC, for example). For more info on the ComputerBoards card, go to the website above and follow the links through "Analog Input & I/O : ISA : 12 bit or less" and select the CIO-DAS08JR ($149, used to be only $99!). Info on the temperature sensors can be found at http://www.national.com/pf/LM/LM34.html , and you can even order free samples (!) at the bottom of that page. - -- ***** Ken Schwartz El Paso, TX Brewing Web Page: http://home.elp.rr.com/brewbeer E-mail: kenbob at elp.rr.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 19:22:28 +0000 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Vacuum Distillation/Computers S. Wesley asks about the evaporation rates of alcohol and water. The ratio of the partial pressures of ethanol and water in the vapor coming off the mix is the product of the ratio of the mole fractions of ethanol and water in the solution times the ratio of the vapor pressures of the two at the temperature in the solution. P(EtOH)/P(H2O) = [ x(EtOH)/x(H20)]*[VP(EtOH)/VP(H20)] i.e. the Rubber Handbook has the data sought. The ratio of the partial pressures is the ratio of the number of moles per unit volume thus the ratio of weights of the two substances can be determined by multiplying by the ratio of the molecular weights (46.07/18). At 5% ABV (4% ABW), using the 20 C vapor pressure ratio (2.5) in the post, the pressure ratio is about 3% EtOH but, as the molecular weight of EtOH is greater than that of water the mass ratio is about 8% EtOH i.e the vapor is richer in alcohol than the beer but not by much. As the alcohol concentration goes down, the ratio goes down proportionally. At 0.5% ABV (a typical target for LA beers) the vapor is about 0.8% ABW. You can evaluate the implied integral numerically with a spreadsheet as "S" has indicated. To get to 0.5% at 20 C requires, by my calculations (I make the ratio of VP's to be closer to 2 at that temperature), that 68% of the water be distilled away (to be made up again with distilled or tap water). This rather discouraging result brings us to the importance of using a column where good separation of components is required. Just as do the distillers (Howard & Gibat citation), brewers measure alcohol content by mixing 100 mL of beer with 50 mL of water and then collecting 100 mL of distillate. At this point, the distillate is considered to contain all the alcohol in the original beer sample. Using the spreadsheet integrator with a VP ratio of 3 (it's close to that value at 100 C) shows that 3.7% of the alcohol remains in the distilling flask (and thus the measurement would be in error by 3.7%) so that if the beer were really 5% it would be estimated at 5 - 0.037*5 or 4.81%. The way around this is a column or head. The head contains a cup of some sort through which the enriched vapor from the distilling flask must pass and into which some of it condenses. This condensed liquid has a higher mole fraction of alcohol than the liquid in the flask. Thus the vapor over this liquid is richer still in alcohol and it is this twice enriched vapor which is carried over to the condenser. The plumbing is arranged so that eventually the condensate overflows its little cup and returns, minus some but not all alcohol, to the distilling flask. This reflux is absolutely essential to the proper operation of a still. If one cup enrichens the vapor, additional cups will do so even more so. A column is similar to a head except that it is usually a cylinder packed with small glass balls or beads. The general theory of operation is the continuous extension of the cups theory and a colum is rated in terms of the "number of theoretical plates" i.e. the effective number of cups. Thus to get to 0.5% ABV without having to distill away 2/3 of the water in the full strength beer a head or column will have to be rigged. As this must be able to condense the distillate, it will have to be cooler than the distilling "flask". This could be done by placing the distilling vessel in a warm water bath and having the column/head at room temperature or by having the distilling vessel at room temperature and the column/head packed in ice somehow. A return path for the reflux must be provided. It should be evident from the preceding discussion that determining the sucess of the experiment will require that the alcohol concentration of the processed beer be measured. The ASBC distillation method gets a bit questionable when the alcohol content gets low. "S" mentions his research work and has .edu in his e-mail address so he must have access to lab gear. A UV spectrophotometer, perhaps? Roche makes a handy (if somewhat expensive) kit for measuring low alcohol levels. It uses NAD+ in the presence of ADH and ALDH to oxidize EtOH to acetate. The amount of alcohol is determined by measuring the spectral absorbance of the NADH created. This method is specified by the ASBC for low alcohol beers. A final comment or two - Reading back over this it looks as if I know a lot more about distillation than I really do. I have never made LA beer this way (or any other way). - Much of the enjoyment of beer comes from its aroma and aroma comes from volatiles. Volatiles are swept away by distillation, vacuum or otherwise. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Shane Brauner asked if anyone has used computer control or logging during brew sessions. When I put together my rig I laid out considerable $ for a fancy PID controller with RS232 interface. It (the I/F) was defective when the device was shipped and I went through month's of "the guy that did the firmware isn't here anymore" etc. before they finally took it back and replaced the obviously defective board. I then logged temperatures using a simple FORTRAN program which just read the serial port and wrote the data to a file compatible with the visualization S/W I use. After a couple of months of this (neat plots) the RS232 failed again. Somehow I am managing without it (the controller still controls and that's all I really need). I feel better just writing this without even having to mention the name of the people that sold me this thing. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 16:38:23 EST From: Great Taste of the Midwest <greattaste at juno.com> Subject: 13th Annual Big and Huge: Call for entries and judges * 13th Annual Big & Huge Homebrew Competition * The Madison Homebrewers & Tasters Guild proudly sponsors the 13th Annual Big & Huge Homebrew Competition. Homemade beers will be evaluated by the trained palates of experienced beer judges. Beer evaluation sheets will be returned to every entrant with helpful comments and advice. Awards will be granted in five award categories of big and huge flavored beers covering all BJCP style classifications that meet the minimum gravity classifications. The Best of Show beer will receive the coveted Wooly Mammoth plaque. Come to the competition to participate in the homebrew exchange and meet other brewers and beer enthusiasts. The competition is sanctioned by the Beer Judge Certification Program and will follow its competition procedures. Each beer will be evaluated based on its big and huge flavors as well as characteristics of the BJCP style specified by the brewer. Please contact us if you are interested in judging or stewarding. When: Sunday, March 28, 1999 12:00 pm (Drop off preregistered entries) 1:00 pm (Judging begins) Where: Wonders Pub, 1980 Atwood Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin Entry Fee: Guild Members - $4 per entry, All others - $5. Entry Requirements: Three 12 ounce or larger bottles per entry. Bottles and caps should have no labels or identifying marks. Attach one completed entry form to each bottle with a rubber band. Include an entry fee check payable to the Madison Homebrewers & Tasters Guild. Please do not enter beers that do not meet the minimum O.G. standards shown below. Categories Original Specific Gravity (1) Big Ale and (3) Big Lager 1.050 to 1.060 (2) Huge Ale and (4) Huge Lager >1.060 (5) "CMS" (Ciders, Meads & Sakes) >1.050 Any BJCP style may be entered (and should be identified as such) provided that: a) a minimum original gravity of 1.050 falls within the style guideline. b) YOUR beer of that style is at least 1.050 (or >1.060 for huge entries) What this means: 1. No ordinary bitter, kolsch, Berliner weiss, or other very low gravity styles because an "in-style" beer of those styles should not be as big as 1.050. (Save them to enter in another competition, or bring them to the homebrew exchange/tasting part of the event.) 2. Beer styles that top-out (according to the style guidelines) at 1.050 are okay--but only if YOUR beer is 1.050. 3. Styles with guidelines straddling the 1.050 mark (for example 1.045-1.055) may be entered as long as YOUR beer is at least 1.050. 4. Styles with guidelines that fall both in the "big" or "huge" classification should be entered according to the OG of YOUR beer. (Beers entered in the wrong gravity category will be judged, but are ineligible for awards.) Entry Deadline: Deliver entries to Big & Huge Competition, c/o Wine & Hop Shop, 1931 Monroe Street, Madison, WI 53711 until Wednesday, March 24. Affix a copy of the registration form to each bottle with a rubber band. Preregistered entries may be brought to the competition on March 28th between 12:00 and 1:00 pm. To preregister, deliver, fax or email a copy of the registration form for each entry (or its information) by Wednesday, March 24th, to Steve Klafka, Big & Huge Czar, 508 Elmside Blvd, Madison, WI 53704, fax #(608) 255-5042, email: sklafka at execpc.com Homebrew Exchange: The day of the competition we will feature a homebrew exchange. Bring up to three (3) different homebrews to exchange for samples of homebrew provided by other brewers. At a minimum, put your name and beer style on each bottle, but personal labels and recipes are also welcome. About the Sponsors: The Madison Homebrewers & Tasters Guild, Ltd. is a nonprofit club devoted to the brewing and appreciation of well-made beers. More information and entry forms: Contact Steve Klafka at 608-255-5030 (day), 249-0231 (evenings), email: sklafka at execpc.com. Now go have a beer, Bob Paolino, Vice President Madison Homebrewers & Tasters Guild and the Great Taste of the Midwest<sm> ___________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com/getjuno.html or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 17:27:17 EST From: OCaball299 at aol.com Subject: Low Extraction Efficiency Greetings to all, Well I thought I would get a head start on a batch of Maerzen/O'Fest today and got the Traditional O'fest/Maerzen recipe out of Fix's Vienna, Maerzen/O'fest book. The recipe is as follows: 8.5# - 2-row Pale Malt 6oz - German light Crystal Malt 6oz - German dark Crystal Malt 6oz - English Caramel Malt 4% AA equivalent Hops (I used 2oz - Hallertauer for the boil & 1oz for finish) I used Wyeast 1007 OG = 1.059-1.063 FG=1.012-1.016 I got an OG 1.038 instead of the expected 1.059-1.063. I got a really good crush from my Corona mill and thought I would be in pretty good shape. I mashed in at 155F for 90 minutes occassionally stirring. Luckily I had about 1# of DME and was able to get the OG to ~1.050... close enough for what I had to work with. I have 2 questions: 1 - how can I improve my extraction rate 2 - Did he get his OG by doing a decoction (I didn't) This is the 2nd batch in a row where I got a low OG. I'm starting to think I'm forgetting something... TIA Omar Caballero - Aurora, IL "Live long and prosper" - Mr. Spock ... and have another Homebrew! Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 21:30:35 -0500 From: Dan Listermann <72723.1707 at compuserve.com> Subject: Phil's Phalse Bottom Some seem to have problems using this false bottom. I think that I can safely say that I have beeen using it longer than anyone else. My prefered way to use it is to perform the mash in another vessel and tranfser the mash to the lauter tun as Papazian outlines in TNCJOHB. The bottom will not float if this is done gently. If one does want to do the mash and the lauter in the same vessel, you should not add all the water before the grain or the bottom will float. Adding the grain to all the water is not a good practice anyway. It can lead to balling. The best way to strike the grain is to add the grain and water pan for pan while mixing between additions. This keeps balling to a minimum and the enzymes are exposed to a more even temperature. Further the consistancy of the mash can be adjusted as you progress. A mash can over-compact during the mash so it should be rousted and stirred before attempting to lauter. Underletting a little sparge water through the false bottom while stirring is the traditional English method. Before vorlaufing ( recirculating) you should let the mash rest and settle a bit for 5 to ten minutes. Do not rush the setting of the mash filter bed. Drain the first runnings slowly. This is the major cause of stuck mashes. If a mash does become stuck, underlet and stirr again just as before. Last Sunday I mashed and sparged 17.25 lbs. in a ten gallon Rubbermaid cooler with a 12" bottom without event. It should make a nice bitter. Dan Listermann dan at listermann.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 21:49:23 -0500 From: Mitchell Surface <msurface at fortwayne.infi.net> Subject: Pico brewing systems and stands I'm wanting to get back into brewing after a couple of years away and looking into getting a Pico-Brewing system. I'd like some feedback from some of the people on the list who have one of these. I'm especially interested in how people have arranged the kettles (i.e. single tier, two tier, etc) and how easy the system is to clean. But any comments about Pico and their system will be welcome. Public or private mail would be fine. I'll provide a summary to the list if needed. My other question is about stands. I've looked at some of the systems on the web and noticed that most of them are using metal frames. I don't weld and don't know anyone who does. I'd like to use a wooden stand, with perhaps a sheet metal top, but have the obvious concern about putting a 170,000 BTU gas burner on a piece of wood. Has anyone done this? Thanks to everybody who's made the HBD such an interesting place over the years! Mitchell Surface Fort Wayne, IN msurface at fortwayne.infi.net Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 22:18:09 -0500 From: Dan Listermann <72723.1707 at compuserve.com> Subject: Milling grains The other week Jack Schmidling posted the following: < If you look at the oft published drawing of a six roller > mill, you will note that the roller spacings are about > .050", .030" and .012" from top to bottom. It just so > happens that, when an adjustable MM is set to near contact > at the adjustable end, one gets those same numbers at the > fixed end, center and adjustable end respectively. The end > rusult is that the random distrubution of grain across the > length of the rollers provides about the same grist > distribution as a six roll mill." This might be true if the six roll mill was not adjusted to produce the so-called "textbook" crush as outlined in the "Practical Brewer." Years ago I bought a set of seives to develop the Philmill. I tried to reproduce the claims made by Jack's promotional material with an adjustable Maltmill. The distribution in these claims is very close to the distribution outlined in the the "Practical Brewer" which shows a roughly bell shaped distribution. The distribution I found over and over again ( and in public) for the Maltmill in any adjustment configuration, including the one Jack describes above, was better described as a exponentially decreasing curve. I have not found the data that Jack publishes to be remotely reproducible even with multiple passes and adjustments between passes. Someone (?) will point out that I am not without interests here and they are right. I am willing to lend my seives to others who might want to attempt to reproduce Jack's claims. It is kinda fun! Just ask. Dan Listermann dan at listermann.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 22:36:14 -0500 From: "Peter J. Calinski" <PCalinski at iname.com> Subject: Re: Computer Controlled brewing In HBD 2959 "Shane Brauner" <GossamerDP at pdq.net> wrote: Has anyone created an interface to actually control boil/mash temps with a computer? Or even logging your brew session or fermentation with your computer (having it automatically record the temp at certain intervals). I've had some experience talking through serial ports with Perl, and have programmed in Java, C, C++... as well. Unfortunately, I don't have the $$ for digital thermometers - can anyone point me to a cheap one? In any case, I'm interested! My response: (1) See Ken Schwartz's page at http://home.elp.rr.com/brewbeer I used the info there to build a four channel unit. Four transducers, one Digital Panel Meter (from BC micro -- <$10) and a selector switch. (2) If you want to go into your PC, I have used an A/D converter chip into the printer port. Works OK but the only info I have is for the old printer port nibble and byte modes. I haven't been able to come up with the Status/Command specs for new EPP modes. Sure would be nice for multiple channels. (3) Another alternative I have looked into but never implemented is using the sound board. It has the 2 microphone inputs (left/right). If you have a newer sound board it is DC coupled and should work. Mine is older and is AC coupled. Cutoff not far below 20 Hz so it wouldn't work in this case. You can get the sound board specs from the Creative Labs web site. Sorry I don't have the URL anymore. Pete Calinski East Amherst NY Near Buffalo NY 0 Degrees 30.21 Min North, 4 Degrees 05.11 Min. East of Jeff Renner Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 21:45:49 -0800 From: jim williams <jim&amy at macol.net> Subject: more on hop devil clones After looking at the post on cloning this amazing beer, I've come up with a recipe I would love to be critiqued: Here goes: 5.5 gallons projected og 1.065 Projected IBU-75 (Glenn Tinseth's calc) Malts: 6# Great Western Pale 6# domestic munich (10L) 1.25# crystal (40L) Hops: 1 oz. Columbus (13.9%) 60 min 1 oz. Centennial (9.9%) 30 min 1 oz. Centennial (9.9%) 15 min 1 oz Cascade (7%) 0 min 1/2 oz Cascade (7%) dry hop Yeast-Wyeast 1007 I plan on brewing this wed. so any feedback before then would be greatly appreciated. Especially regarding the hop schedule. I was eyeing some melanoidan malt today at the hb shop. Would this be totally out of line with this beer, or would it be a good addition/substitution. I don't know much about it, so... What about the dry hopping? TIA, Jim Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 02:05:54 -0600 From: "Rob Moline" <brewer at isunet.net> Subject: The Jethro Gump Report/Part 1 The Jethro Gump Report >From: Jeremy Bergsman <jeremybb at leland.Stanford.EDU> >Subject: Brown malt/historic porter Newer HBD'rs may also find it useful to review Graham Wheeler's contributions to this subject. It was a very large file, so I broke it down into 8 sections, I think. Go to http://hbd.org/hbd/archive/2348.html way back in '97 and after reviewing the info in that issue, just keep clicking on the "Next" Issue button, 'til you have found it all. Graham Wheeler is a well respected authority on this and other historical beers, and is the author of "Home Brewing-The CAMRA Guide" and co-author, with Roger Protz, of "Brew Classic European Beers At Home," and also with Mr. Protz, the "Brew Your Own Real Ale At Home." >From: joytbrew at halifax.com (Joy Hansen) >Subject: Star San >I've abandoned using Idophor or percarbonate for most sanitation chores. >Since the peracetic sanitizer is not available to home brewers, I've >settled on Star San, a foaming sanitizer. It always leaves a lot of bubbles >which on the surface of the container. >1. What is the contact time for this sanitizer and if low levels? >2. Can Star San be used as a NO-RINSE sanitizer; or, is the residual lethal >to beer yeast? Dilutions of 1 US oz./5 gallons provides 200ppm, needing a contact time of 1-2 minutes. 5 Star states that this is a no rinse concentration. Check out their page.. http://www.fivestaraf.com/products/cleaners/starsan.html for more specifics. >3. I use hot PBW to clean, hot water rinse, followed by Star San to >sanitize. I think these are working OK for me? This old dog can learn new >tricks! I long ago converted to using 5 Star products, they rock. I prefer Iodophor to Star-San, for the formers no-foaming characteristics, or at least 'less-foaming' than Star-San. But, I have recently dropped my use of a sanitizer from my routine, in certain ap's, when following a PBW run and H2O rinse. It just doesn't make sense to me. This goes back years for me. When at LABCO, I would setup for a brew the day before, and always setup a 'loop' of hoses, to and from the receiving fermentor and the Heat Exchanger, with a CIP'd Iodophor solution. Run it for 15/60, then first thing in the morning, run it again for 15/60, before getting the rest of the brew going. On more than one occasion, when draining the Iodophor, I would find a precipitate in the fermentor, appearing similar to the stuff one finds in a rusty auto radiator. The first time I found this, within minutes of knock-out, I opted to hose out the lines, HE, and ferm with city H2O, faced with a 7bbl batch that had to go somewhere. Subsequent analysis by myself and others could find no traceable cause for this, nor could the manufacturer's rep, who collected samples of the precipitated solution, the Iodophor in question, and our water. All the company in question (not 5 Star) said, in the written report, was "There is no defect in the manufacture of this product." Right, that helped a lot. (BTW, I still see this problem occasionally, even with other manufacturers Iodophor, and have still not yet identified the problem, though I tend to believe that introducing the Iodophor into solution slowly has a beneficial effect, but this does not seem to be universally true.) at a brewery I recently worked in, we were using a 75-80C PBW run to clean transfer hard pipes, hoses, filter, and tanks. I find it hard to believe that any beer spoilage org's can survive this treatment. A city H2O rinse followed, and while there may well be some bacteria in that H2o, none are 'beer spoilage' org's. Similarly, when one considers the DE filter, it occurred to me that after setting up the filter, all I was putting in the dosing tank and beer, was a specialized 'dirt.' Sure, it's a stupid term, but in essence, it's just another organic material. So why spend the extra money, and more to the point, time, in an Iodophor rinse, prior to adding DE? Especially when you have to do a water rinse if it precip's? So after consulting with an instructor at Siebel, he concurred with my theory. On the DE he said that it was void of any 'food' for bacteria to live on. He also stated that the bacteria in a modern city water system is free of 'wort-spoilers.' Don't get me wrong, I am a firm believer in basically 3 chemicals for my brewing arsenal....PBW, Iodophor, and acid washes, and am a firm believer in 5 Star's products. I use Iodophor for all fermentors, HE, hose loops before brewing, but rinse the ferm/hose with city H2O before knockout. The HE gets rinsed with the initial wort discharge, before being re-attached to the hose/ferm. And I keep 5 gallon buckets for small bits and gaskets, and use these parts with no-rinsing. I also CIP servers, and conditioning tanks with Iodophor, and leave it for another quick run, if I am cleaning them in preparation for using them in the next few days. After a water rinse. Sanitation to me is most critical post HE, and on the way to the ferm, until the yeast has an opportunity to establish itself. Please spare me, or the HBD, any anguished cry's of 'foul' in response to this information. I am aware that it flies in the face of all that I have ever been taught here. I am also aware of the fact that a friend of mine, not a member of my course, said that he was taught at Siebel that there is no such thing as a no-rinse sanitizer, though I must have missed that part of the lectures. I offer this only as a data point on my own procedures, incidentally, one that has resulted in ZERO infections. As always, YMMV. Cheers! Jethro Cheers! Jethro Gump Rob Moline Lallemand Web Site consultant jethro at isunet.net "The More I Know About Beer, The More I Realize I Need To Know More About Beer!" Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 02:08:17 -0600 From: "Rob Moline" <brewer at isunet.net> Subject: The Jethro Gump Report/Part 2 The Jethro Gump Report/Part 2 >Subject: Reality Check-ing some "facts" >Alan McKay wrote: >I'm currently having an argument with a fellow in the on-line German >forum...We both agree that going over 78C/168F in your sparge is a bad >thing. But he says it's because over this temperature, you denature >your enzymes, and since they are made out of protein (which they are), >you therefore get hazy beer. I like my sparge H2O at 176 F, but even at that H2O temp, I have never seen internal mash tun temps exceed 165 F. Viscosity of run off is the point, and I don't care if the enzymes are denatured in the tun or the kettle. >Mark Riley Writes: >>I've made several ales and lagers >>without using a protein rest and have found that these very >>same beers have a stubborn chill haze that won't go away >>with "lagering". And others, like Scott Abene report the same problem. I, OTOH, can report no such problems with single infusions, in commercial practices that include operations that filter, as well as those that don't. FWIW, I use Schreier/DWC malts exclusively, with the exception of Briess's flaked products, in the full range of single infusion temps, and with Gusmer's/Vicker's DryFine and Gelatine in the secondary, and DryFine in the server in no filter applications. These beers dropped brilliant. >From: Bill_Rehm at DeluxeData.com >Subject: Jacketed thermometers >Does any out there know of anyone that sells jacketed thermometers for mash >tuns and boil kettles? What do I mean you may ask, it's a thermometer that >has a sleave that it fits into thus the thermometer can be removed at high >temps. without the liquid draining out the hole.<SNIP> Bill, these are called "Thermowells" and they are easily available. Most are fitted with a 1/2 NPT thread to accept the thermometer, and can be welded into your vessel. A quick review of my now incomplete inventory of brewing suppliers 'cattledogs' shows 4-6 inch wells around 35 US$, and bimetal thermometers, 1/2 NPT back connected 3 inch dial, 20-240F thermometers around 30UD$ and up.... I prefer to buy my stainless bits from dairy supply houses, as they are, as a rule selling at approximately 50% of the cost of the same parts sold by brewing suppliers. My favorite, formerly known as Midwest Dairy Supply in KC, changed their name recently, and as my 'handy electronic organizer' died, I can't give you their number. Check your local Yellow Pages for Dairy Equipment Suppliers in your area.. But, your question also illustrates the value of guides such as the Brewer's Resource Directory, from AOB, and the Brewers' Market Guide from Brewing Techniques. The former is US$ 80/60 for members of the IBS, and the latter sells for US$12.95. BT's guide lists 42 suppliers of thermometers, many of whom I assume sell thermowells. The BRD lists scores of brewing equipment suppliers. But, with no recommendation, never having used them, I will include the name of an advertiser in BT's Guide that addresses your need....Trend, at 800-431-0002. Cheers! Jethro Gump Rob Moline brewer at isunet.net Lallemand Web Site consultant jethro at isunet.net "The More I Know About Beer, The More I Realize I Need To Know More About Beer!" Cheers! Jethro Gump Rob Moline Lallemand Web Site consultant jethro at isunet.net "The More I Know About Beer, The More I Realize I Need To Know More About Beer!" Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 21:36:52 -0700 From: Sharon/Dan Ritter <ritter at bitterroot.net> Subject: diacetyl pils I consider myself an accomplished all-grain brewer. My beer fridge displays a respectable number of ribbons won for both ales and lagers. HOWEVER, I cannot seem to brew a pilsner without the scourge of diacetyl! The scorecard of my all-grain pilsners (both German and Bohemian styles) looks like this: Crisp and clean-1, Diacetyl-7. My latest attempt at a German Pilsner went like this: 11 1/4 lbs Weyermann Pils 3/4 lb. Belgian Carapils pinch of Belgian Chocolate (for color) 1/2 oz. Saaz FWH 3/4 oz. Hallertau Mittlefruh 4.8AA 60 minutes 3/4 oz. Hallertau Mittlefruh 4.8AA 45 minutes 3/4 oz. Hallertau Mittlefruh 4.8AA 30 minutes SG - 1.049 FG - 1.012 Single infusion, no-sparge mash at 151 for 90 min. Mash thickness- 1.25 qts/lb. 90 minute boil, 30 minutes w/o lid, 60 minutes partially covered Force cooled wort to 52F in 20 minutes Aerated with pure O2 for 100 seconds Pitched slurry from 4 qt starter - Wyeast #2206 Bavarian Lager at 52F Let wort settle for 4 hours at 48F. Racked wort off cold trub Active fermentation 8 hours after racking off trub Primary fermentation 12 days at 48F Diacetyl rest for 2 days at 60F Secondary fermentation 4 weeks at 38F After 2 months in the keg - DIACETYL dominates aroma and flavor!! Here are some recipe variations I have tried: Racking off cold trub before pitching yeast, not racking off the cold trub at all, no diacetyl rest but long secondary fermentation period, Belgian Pils malt, Moravian Pils malt, decoction mash, two-step infusion mash with protein rest... I've used Wyeast 2206 dozens of times with other styles without a diacetyl problem. Looking back, the only significant difference in the one good batch I brewed was that I didn't use any Saaz hops. Not much to go on. Maybe I don't really know what diacetyl smells and tastes like but I know a good pilsner and I'm not brewing one. Can anyone offer this stumped brewer a hint about a style he so desperately wants to perfect? Dan Ritter <ritter at bitterroot.net> Ritter's MAMMOTH Brewery - Hamilton, Montana Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 08:22:24 -0500 From: Dan Cole <dcole at roanoke.infi.net> Subject: Batch sparging and pH control I just finished my first batch using my new pH meter (phh-3x from Omega, www.omega.com , no affiliation, blah, blah, blah), and had a few questions to the collective. My processes are sort of unique: I batch sparge (adding all sparge water at one time, let bed settle, recirculate and then drain the bed dry) and brew 2.5 gallon batches (so anyone else out there, don't use my lactic acid additions for your water and expect it to turn out the same). My pH log goes like this: Water (unadjusted) pH 7.8 added 1/8 tsp lactic acid, pH 6.8 water added to grain, mash pH 5.8 (I wanted 5.5, but this is close enough) added 1/4 tsp lactic acid to sparge water, pH 5.5 added all sparge water to mash for mash out, settled at pH 5.7 when I had drained the grain bed dry, the last runnings were pH 5.8 (I did calibrate prior to the brew session, the pH of the tap water is consistent with a prior reading with another pH meter and all readings were temperature compensated by the meter.) Does anyone see any issues with this pH routine? Anyone else batch sparge and monitor/adjust pH through your session? Do batch spargers avoid the problems that trickle spargers encounter with rising pH? Dan Cole Roanoke, VA www.hbd.org/starcity/ Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 08:49:05 -0500 From: "S. Wesley" <WESLEY at MAINE.MAINE.EDU> Subject: Vacuum evaporation and anti-foaming agents One of the major obstacles to being able to successfully remove alcohol from beer by vacuum evaporation is dealing with the foam which forms when the beer boils at low temperature. I used some Sam Adams the first few times I tried this and I wound up putting a very light bead of (don't laugh) vaseline hand cream on the thermometer in order to destroy the head. It didn't take much and it worked. Added somthing floral to the nose of the beer too..... Does anyone have experience using the commercially availible anti- foaming agents? What are they made of? How do they work? Will they be effective for this application? Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 12:03:23 -0500 (EST) From: Paul Shick <SHICK at JCVAXA.jcu.edu> Subject: Re: Why RIMS these days? Hello all, Bruce Tabor asks about why anyone would want to use a RIMS setup in this "post-protein rest era?" (A new acronym? >From now on brewing dates should be "Year X PPR?") Bruce, there are lots of benefits of a recirculating mash system, even if one skips protein rests entirely. Perhaps the most obvious are that recirculating the wort over an extended period yields a very clear runoff into the kettle, a very uniform mash temperature and quicker conversion. It also makes it easy to employ a variant of the Fix mashing regime, with a 140F rest (to emphasize beta-amylase action) and a 158F rest (to emphasize the alpha-amylase) of varying lengths, depending on whether one wants a very fermentable wort (say 45 min at 140, 15 at 158) or more dextrinous (reverse the durations.) One can get these benefits without any of the fancy electronics, though, if you have a burner, pump, and thermometer on your SS mash tun. Such a "poor man's RIMS" makes it really painless to produce 10-11 gallon batches with a sort-of single infusion. These days, my typical mashing regime now involves pumping in 7-8 gallons of 165F or so water to hit 153F or so (with about 20 lbs of grain,) then letting it rest for about 30 minutes without any recirculation. The temperature generally drops only about 2 degrees during that time, since there's a lot of thermal mass involved. Then I start the pump recirculating and turn the burner on very low to raise the mash gradually to about 158F (over 10-15 minutes.) After the wort clears, indicating starch conversion, I raise it to 164F or so as "mini-mashout," then begin the runoff. All of these tasks are much easier with a pump and burner than with my old stovetop or plastic bucket methods. Plus, I think that the added control and more uniform mash temperatures are helping me produce much more predictable finished products. Paul Shick Basement brewing in Cleveland Hts OH Return to table of contents
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