HOMEBREW Digest #2972 Mon 08 March 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

  chicory (Scott Murman)
  Full liquid mash (Lance Levsen)
  Refridgerated starter question(Bob Fesmire) (DGofus)
  chest freezer as beer server (Brad Johnson)
  Re: Chill Haze ("glyn crossno")
  Stupid brewer trick and starter woes,  wort stability test mater (salvator)
  Creamed Corn Ale, pH meters (Dave Burley)
  re:  Chamay yeast (Clifton Moore)
  Re: portable water filters (Scott Murman)
  Re: Acid levels in wit...let's make this easy (Scott Murman)
  re: Fermentor Geometry and Attenuation (Scott Murman)
  Accuracy of Formulas (AJ)
  Mills, again.... (Jack Schmidling)
  Overshoot/Undershoot;Boiling Water vs Ice to Correct (Charley Burns)
  6th Annual America's Finest City Homebrew Competition Results ("Greg Lorton")
  Bavarian Wheat Beer Formulation (Dave Humes)
  RE: Mills, again.... (LaBorde, Ronald)
  Best of Philly Comp. DEADLINE (birman)
  Re: Cream Ale/DMS (Jeff Renner)
  Alcohol determination (long) (Louis Bonham)
  Re: Open Fermenters (Jeff Renner)
  Mills (Dan Listermann)

Beer is our obsession and we're late for therapy! Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild's 13th annual Big and Huge - 28 March 1999: Rules and forms at www.globaldialog.com/madbrewers Send articles for __publication_only__ to post@hbd.org If your e-mail account is being deleted, please unsubscribe first!! To SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE send an e-mail message with the word "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" to request@hbd.org. **SUBSCRIBE AND UNSUBSCRIBE REQUESTS MUST BE SENT FROM THE E-MAIL ACCOUNT YOU WISH TO HAVE SUBSCRIBED OR UNSUBSCRIBED!!!** IF YOU HAVE SPAM-PROOFED your e-mail address, the autoresponder and the SUBSCRIBE/UNSUBSCRIBE commands will fail! Contact brewery at hbd.org for information regarding the "Cat's Meow" Back issues are available via: HTML from... http://hbd.org Anonymous ftp from... ftp://hbd.org/pub/hbd/digests ftp://ftp.stanford.edu/pub/clubs/homebrew/beer AFS users can find it under... /afs/ir.stanford.edu/ftp/pub/clubs/homebrew/beer COPYRIGHT for the Digest as a collection is currently held by hbd.org (Pat Babcock and Karl Lutzen). Digests in their entirity CANNOT be reprinted/reproduced without this entire header section unless EXPRESS written permission has been obtained from hbd.org. Digests CANNOT be reprinted or reproduced in any format for redistribution unless said redistribution is at absolutely NO COST to the consumer. COPYRIGHT for individual posts within each Digest is held by the author. Articles cannot be extracted from the Digest and reprinted/reproduced without the EXPRESS written permission of the author. The author and HBD must be attributed as author and source in any such reprint/reproduction. (Note: QUOTING of items originally appearing in the Digest in a subsequent Digest is exempt from the above. Home brew clubs NOT associated with organizations having a commercial interest in beer or brewing may republish articles in their newsletters and/or websites provided that the author and HBD are attributed. ASKING first is still a great courtesy...) JANITORS on duty: Pat Babcock and Karl Lutzen (janitor@hbd.org)
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 20:20:40 -0800 (PST) From: Scott Murman <smurman at best.com> Subject: chicory I asked a few weeks ago if anyone had info on brewing with chicory. This was prompted by a quote from the brewer of Saison Pipaix in Jackson's Great Beers of Belgium, that mentioned chicory as one of the botanicals he uses, and that is is somewhat common in Belgium to use sugar made from chicory as a bottle priming. This got me to thinking that I would try chicory in my next Saison recipe. As with all things concerned with brewing Belgian beers however, all is not as simple as it first seems. The first question is what part of chicory is used? The flowers and leaves are often used in salads (endive), and the root is roasted and used in coffee in N'Orleans. I was able to find roasted chicory root, and I'm certain that this is not what is used in Belgian brewing. In order to get any flavor contribution it would be necessary to use excessive amounts, and this would lead to a brew that is black as coffee (and not very pleasant tasting either). I'm pretty sure now that the root is used, and it is possibly processed into a sugar. Unfortunately, raw chicory root is not as easy to obtain as roasted chicory root. It does grow wild quite virulently, but with my botany skills I'd end up picking the wrong thing and making lysergic acid or something. The herbalist at Whole Foods mentioned that I could buy 1 lb. in bulk for about $10 if I special order it. Another possibility is to substitute dandelion root, as the two plants are similar. I'm guessing that a typical priming charge for a Belgian beer would equal about 1/2 lb. of chicory sugar per 5 gal., and I could add this directly to the boil or prime. Does anyone know how sugar is processed from cane or beet? I would assume I could do similar with the chicory root, though I'd probably start with dandelion to experiment. I've no idea how much raw root would be required to obtain 1/2 lb. of sugar. Anyone got any thoughts on all of this? -SM- Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 06 Mar 1999 00:34:33 -0600 From: Lance Levsen <lance.l at home.com> Subject: Full liquid mash I am in the design stage of building a brew tower and I am looking at pots and the like. Thanks to a previous thread I am looking at controlling my mash steps all by computer. I plan on having small heat additions done with an electric inline heater recirculating and large >4^C jumps done on the Hlt/ Sparge via propane burner and recirculated. Seeing as I am probably looking at enough space to hold the whole volume of liquor is there any reason that I can't do this? My main concern right now is that if I use a full wort mash I won't have an effective sparge, either from the existing presence of sugars in the sparge or the unadjusted pH of the sparge. Does anyone have any ideas, opinions? p.s --> Joe Stone, thanks for your pg. That's great inspiration. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 1999 06:55:13 EST From: DGofus at aol.com Subject: Refridgerated starter question(Bob Fesmire) I had made a starter and stepped it up twice. My brew day has come and gone and I am not sure when I will get to brew, maybe one more week! I have put the starter in the fridge, put vodka in the airlock...for two weeks now. Is this okay? is my starter ruined? Also, I am trying to brew a Bass Ale clone. I came fairly close with my last batch, but was lacking the color(maybe more crystal), and the "sweetness" was not the same. Any ideas or proving recipes would be appreciated. Thanks! Bob Fesmire Madman Brewery Pottstown, PA Dgofus at aol.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 1999 07:05:48 -0600 From: Brad Johnson <bjohnson at berkshire.net> Subject: chest freezer as beer server I am planning to turn a small top-opening chest freezer into a 3 corny keg serving fridge, with 1 tap for each keg. I am trying to decide the best way to set this up (three tower tap out the top, three taps through an elevated lid spacer at the front, etc.). Looks matter, as this will be prominent at a wedding reception this summer as well as in my kitchen in the future. Any advice and/or website photos anyone can recommend? Brad Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 06 Mar 1999 06:23:15 -0600 From: "glyn crossno" <crossno at tnns.net> Subject: Re: Chill Haze I wrote on 19 Feb. of chill haze in my CAP. Jeff "Ground Zero" Renner wrote: "It seems to me that if it is only a chill haze, time and gravity should take care of most of it." And my last words on this batch are: Clear! Total info: Brewed 10 Jan. Fermented in Basement 55^F, for 1.5 weeks, secondary in basement 2.5 weeks in glass sitting on concrete 55^F. Cal. Common yeast. Yes, probably to fruity for style, but everyone likes it. After sitting in the new brew fridge for another 2 weeks clear! Tested using the "read the newpaper through it" method. Glyn Crossno Estill Springs, TN Brewing my next CAP in a Kilt! - -- Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 1999 10:37:08 +0000 From: salvator at future.dreamscape.com Subject: Stupid brewer trick and starter woes, wort stability test mater Hi Everyone, Wow, did I pulled a bonehead mistake Thursday night when making a starter!! I had boiled the wort in a flask on the stove and cooled it down to room temp, or so I thought. While the wort was cooling I was helping my wife wash the dishes. As a result I had my hands in rather hot water for about 15 mins or so. When I reached over, after drying my hands, to check the temp of the flask/wort I said "OK, it's cooled down, time to pitch the yeast." So, I pitched the yeast - Wyeast Belgian Wit. - placed a 3 piece air lock on then set it aside to do its' thing. A few hours later I went back to check on progress and decided to shake the flask. When I did I noticed that the 'up and down' part of the 3 piece air lock did not move at all. Hmmmm, I thought, that's weird. Being the curious sort I removed the air lock cap and touched the 'up and down' part. (What the heck is that really called anyway?) It didn't move at all. Well not wanting to leave this mystery unsolved, or as my wife might say "well enough alone", I pushed on it again a little harder. I then proceeded to watch in horror as about a dozen or more drops of 80 proof vodka dripped and splashed into about 450ml of my starter wort! Oye, vey!!!! Stupid, stupid, stupid. Cant' imagine that's too healthy for the yeast. I'm guessing that what happened is my hands were so used to the hot water from washing the dishes that I got a 'false reading' of the temp of the wort/flask. So when I decided it was cooled to room temp it was, not much, but maybe a few degrees hotter than what I thought. As a result a vacuum was created when I placed the airlock on and it finally did cool to room temp. Sound reasonable?? I'm guessing that the starter is pretty well shot. The yeast was 8 mos. old to begin with and it is now Sat morning and it's just beginning to ferment. Oh well, live and learn. I read Louis Bonham's "The Elements of Analysis" article in BT, or at least part II of it as I don't have the previous issue that contains part I. In there he mentions cycloeximide, a chemical that can be used to kill brewers yeast. Where is this available and where can I get the syringe/filter he mentions?? Also it would seem that this test "Pitched Wort Stability Test" can be used on a starter a few days prior to brew day to check for contamination _prior_ to pitching it. Does this sound feasible?? Thanks, Carm Salvatore Utica, NY Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 1999 11:22:24 -0500 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Creamed Corn Ale, pH meters Brewsters, Tim Morgan says he was dinged by a BJCP judge for his DMS Cream Ale and it was suggested it was due to the malt he used. More than likely it was the fact that you kept the lid on the boiler, especially since you said it had the DMS smell from the beginning. Sometimes a lager yeast at high Ts (like in a cream ale) will produce sulfury smells that some confuse with DMS, also. So take the lid off at least partially and use a different lager yeast. I am no BJCP judge, and do not play one on TV, but Genesee Cream Ale sees to have a little DMS to my nose, if I remember correctly. - ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ron LaBorde makes a valid point about pH meters being expensive if they are a short lived as his. I have had just the opposite experience. Perhaps my pH meter has lasted so long because I keep the tip in buffer and not distilled water. Change the buffer periodically to keep down bactrial growth in these phosphate rich solutions. Above all be sure to soak the electrode for half an hour in fresh buffer before you use it. This will keep your meter working properly for a long time and give you accurate readings. Don't forget to check the batteries periodically. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Kinnelon, NJ Dave Burley at Compuserve.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 06 Mar 1999 08:22:42 -0900 From: Clifton Moore <cmoore at gi.alaska.edu> Subject: re: Chamay yeast The word on the street is that Chimay uses a single yeast throughout the ferment. I grew two starters of Chimay and Wyeast 1214 (Abbey) side by side and was taken by their identical characteristics. I ended up pitching the 1214 and have not gotten back to the Chimay. This is the result of a bad experience with harvested Corsendonk yeast. I was able to rescue the batch by transferring the primary onto the sludge of an Abbey 1214 primary, but the Corsendonk ferment was weak and sluggish from the first. Clif Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 1999 10:31:13 -0800 (PST) From: Scott Murman <smurman at best.com> Subject: Re: portable water filters > Brad Manbeck said: > >I am looking for an inexpensive water filter for brewing. Something that > >wouldn't be permanent since I am renting. High-end aquarium shops carry a water filter that is essentially an inexspensive home RO unit. It removes all bacteria and minerals. Cost is somewhere around $50 if I remember correctly. I investigated this last year, and if you search the archives the info is there, including a crude cost analysis. Don't forget to consider the folks that sell pure water. They are very cost competitive against filtering your own. -SM- Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 1999 10:35:34 -0800 (PST) From: Scott Murman <smurman at best.com> Subject: Re: Acid levels in wit...let's make this easy I suppose one could introduce a lactic culture into their brewery, but I prefer to simply use acid malt (saurmalz). Weyermann has already the hard work for you. It won't provide exactly the same flavor profile as a lactic fermentation, but from just about every other angle it's a better way to go. -SM- Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 1999 10:50:40 -0800 (PST) From: Scott Murman <smurman at best.com> Subject: re: Fermentor Geometry and Attenuation Fermenter geometry certainly does have an effect on the brew. Anyone who has fermented in glass has noticed that during peak fermentation there are actually 3-dimensional currents established. These are caused by the temperature and density gradients in the fermenter. This, combined with yeast flocculation properties, can certainly lead to different brews, though I'm surprised at the ranges that are being reported (1.008 vs. 1.022, etc.). Fix has some numbers for cylindro-conical fermenters in his Analysis of BT. Maybe one day I'll hack one of my CFD codes to simulate this. Sounds like a fun project (have to justify all that expensive higher education after all;) -SM- Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 06 Mar 1999 21:36:42 +0000 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Accuracy of Formulas Mike Swintosky asks a very reasonable question about how accurate the various formulae for estimation of alcohol from gravity measurements are. It's not easy to give a simple answer. The error has several components. Anyone can figure out one of the error components i.e. the amount of error caused by errors in gravity measurement, from the formula itself. Using the simplest case, Peter Ensminger's (a) formula as an example: ABV = (OG - FG) / 0.75. This is more conveniently expressed as ABV = 133.3*(OG - FG) where ABV is in %. Thus for the example I gave of the Balling method in #2969 with OG = 1.050, FG = 1.012 this formula give 5.06% ABV. The Balling method gives 4.85%). >From this very simple formula it is clear that if you make a .002 error (1 division on my cheap hydrometer) in reading the original gravity (e.g. read 1.052 when the gravity is really 1.050) this will cause an error of 0.27% in the ABV value you determine from the reading. If you make an error of the same magnitude in the FG reading as well that error can either cancel the error in the first reading or double its effect depending on whether the reading error is too high or too low. In fact, it is very unlikely that the errors in the two readings will be the same. Scientists have standard ways of dealing with a situation like this. They take the "standard error" in the first reading, square it and add it to the square of the standard error in the second reading and take the square root of the sum. If we assume that the "standard error" in reading a hydrometer is 0.002 we would have a combined standard error in the pair of readings of 0.0028 and this would result in a standard error of 0.38% ABV in the (a) formula. If the brewer took the gravity measurements with a 50 mL pycnometer using a balance with 1 mg accuracy (i.e. standard error in his mass measurements of 1 mg), he would have a standard error in his calculated specific gravity of 0.000028 meaning that the standard error in (OG - FG) would be 0.0000396 resulting in a standard error in the ABV 0.005% ABV. Thus taking highly accurate gravity measurements reduces one source of error to where it is insignificant but measurement is not the only source of error. Obviously, the (a) formula represents an approximation. The approximation is, by virtue of the fact that it is an approximation, inherently in error. The amount of error is a measure of the acceptability of the approximation. To determine the error caused by the approximation one must brew dozens and dozens of beers with OG's and FG's ranging over all possible values for which the formula is to be checked. He must then accurately measure OG, FG and ABV and compare the measurements to the values predicted by the formula. The statistics of the errors (differences betwee measured ABV's and ABV's predicted by the model of (a) ) are the measure of the goodness of the approximation. It is impractical to start out this way but a brewing scientist in a large brewery which has a historical data base of accurate measurements might be able to use it for this purpose. Much easier is to compare the model of formula (a) with another model. An obvious choice of model is Balling's original model as described in #2969. We can use a Monte Carlo approach to the excercise of the Balling model. These are fancy words meaning we use a computer to randomly pick OG's and FG's in the range of interest (I used OG between 25 and 75 and FG between 2 and 22 to get some numbers which I'll give in a minute). The computer then computes ABV using Ballings model and the Ensminger (a) formula and compares them. When this is done the (a) formula is seen to give errors with an average of 0.17% (i.e. it reads high by this amount, on average) and also contain a random component, i.e. a standard error of 0.05%. A scientist would say that the (a) formula has a built in 'bias' of + 0.17% and would be very unhappy about this. He would adjust the only parameter in the formula to a value where the bias is minimized. If 129.06 is used in the multiplicative form instead of 133.3 (or 0.7748 in the form as given by Peter) the bias goes down to -0.008% and the standard error to 0.028%. The bias can be compenstated for by simply adding 0.008% to each ABV estimate calculated but at this level it's not worth bothering about. Thus the Ensminger (a) formula is pretty good as is (and can be made even better) RELATIVE TO THE BALLING MODEL. Is the Balling model perfect? No it isn't. Remember from #2969 that it depends upon 2.0665 grams of extract producing 1 g of alcohol and 0.11 g of yeast. This model has an experimental basis but it is known to be in error. The amount of yeast produced is, for example, dependent on the amount of aeration used at pitching. We can posit that the Balling model is a valid representation of "average" conditions and this could be (and may have been) verified by collection of thousands of data sets of OG, FG and ABV. If this is indeed the case, the deviation of your brew from the average brew adds another component of error. We can now summarize the errors associated with the use of the (a) formula. 1. Error from determination of specific gravity: 0.19% per sg. "point" error (40 points means a specific gravity of 1.040). 2. O.17% bias error from the model. Subtract this off when using this formula 3. Random error of 0.05% from the model. 4. Error from deviation of your brew from Balling model. No way of knowing what this is so "budget" 0.2%. The total error is the root sum square of the random errors (assuming the bias is subtracted off). For example, assume 2 pts reading error. Then total error = sqrt( (2*0.19)^2 + 0.05^2 + 0.2^2) = 0.43%. Most (roughly 60%) of your meaurements will be more accurate than this. The vast majority will be better than 3 times this. I'm sure this looks complicated. People can, and do, make a living at this sort of thing. There are dozens of textbooks with more information on this subject for anyone interested. Bear in mind that direct measurements are subject to lots of sources of error too. - -- A. J. deLange Numquam in dubio, saepe in errore. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 06 Mar 1999 12:07:44 -0800 From: Jack Schmidling <arf at mc.net> Subject: Mills, again.... "David C. Harsh" <David.Harsh at uc.edu> "Yes, I saw the article..... As I recall, the article never states that the data presented is from a twice-ground sample... "Saw"ing isn't good enough. You must read it. It was sort of an afterthought and I do not know why they did it only on one of the mills. " I just love that peer reviewed science of Zymurgy! For the record, I refused to participate in the "review" when I found out how they were going to do it. They found someone with an old mill that didn't even have the same rollers as the current one and ran with it. What irritated me the most was that the article implied that it was an official test sanctioned by the AHA when in fact it was conducted by a homebrew club by homebrewers, all of whom had built in biases. Fortunately, most of them were biased in our favor. Actually, it really was (literally) "peer reviewed". " Bottom line - if it really is irrelevant, why do YOU bring it up in your sales literature? When all those nice folks who write clever things about brewing stop spreading myths, I will stop reacting to them. "As far as increased speed using more roller, how do you explain that? Faster roller turning means less time for the grain to spread out... It's a lot easier to see it happen than to explain it, but I will try. If you remove the hopper and simply pour grain through it, the grain will flow at the rate of about 300 lbs per hour. If you put the hopper on top of a mill, it will collect in a mound over the center of the rollers and stop flowing. When the rollers start turning, gravity causes the grain to spread out and allow additional grain to enter the chamber. The faster it goes, the more grain enters until the entire rollers are covered and the chamber fills up. This happens at about 500 RPM at which point the mill is running at capacity and increasing the speed just starts throwing grain around and the efficiency starts to fall. This is no accident, it was all designed that way. With the grain guides in place, it does not require a gorilla to get it started and the maximum throughtput is still available for those who need it. Keep in mind that the MM still has the longest rollers on the market and offers the greatest potential throughtput. It is not just for cost reasons that your neighbor uses a roller only 3" long or that the Corona has a handle about a yard long. It takes lots of torque to do lots of work and the grain guides and hopper design are they way we deal with it all. "It makes zero physical sense, but I'm listening. Find someone with a mill with the Gear Drive Option so you can watch it happen. We put clear plastic panels on the front of them because it is so much fun to watch it work and with our exploitive pricing stucture, we can afford the extra cost. js - -- Visit our WEB pages: http://user.mc.net/arf ASTROPHOTO OF THE WEEK..... New Every Monday Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 06:59:25 -0800 (PST) From: cburns at jps.net (Charley Burns) Subject: Overshoot/Undershoot;Boiling Water vs Ice to Correct Jim Busch writes in HBD 2970: (this is just a snippet) >This equation seems to support my point exactly, I desire about >1.25-1.3 Qts/lb in most of my mashes. I would use 163-5 water to get >to 152. Also remember it is much more desirable to undershoot the >mash temp and adjust up with boiling water rather than overshoot and >attempt to cool down. I respect Jim's opinion's on almost everything (love that Hopdevil) but I need to disagree on this one. I have had little success in raising temps with boiling water. My temperature overshoots tend to be in the 2-6 degree range and I would much rather take a 1 gallon jug of ice (out of the freezer) and stuff it into the mashtun and swirl it around to reduce temp. This method does not affect the water/grist ratio and is very easy to accomplish. Of course, I only do 5 gallon batches for the most part. It could be a problem with larger batches. Whenever I have a larger overshoot I take ice cold water and mix it in. I have tried so many times to raise temps with boiling water and never been sucessful that I have just given it up. Just having boiling water available when I need it is a logistical problem with my setup. And how much do you use???? Jim is absolutely correct when he says add water to the mashtun first, get the temp right and then mashin. This totally eliminates the question of the heat absorbtion characteristics of the tun. But this talk about strike temps without discussing the temp of the grist is leaving out a big factor. For every 3 degrees F difference in the grist, you need to alter the strike water by 1 degree. My grain in the summer time usually stays around 75F (even in the basement). Right now its about 58F. Thats 3-4 degrees F difference in the strike water temp that I'll be using later today. The difference between mashing at 152F vs 156F, as Jim points out, can make a big difference in enzyme activity and the final character of the beer. Charley (making Chuck's Wedding beer today) in Rescue CA. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 09:14:22 -0800 From: "Greg Lorton" <glorton at cts.com> Subject: 6th Annual America's Finest City Homebrew Competition Results I'd like to thank the judges, stewards, competition staff, and of course, the entrants in the 6th Annual America's Finest City Homebrew Competition, helding on Friday and Saturday (March 5 and 6) in San Diego. We had 302 entries from 100 entrants. All 28 AHA categories were contested with at least three entries, along with our own "Ancient, Medieval, and Indigenous Beer" category. Best of Show Results Overall Winner - Greg DiStefano (Cherry Cyser) First Runner-up - Rod Ambrose (American Pale Ale) Second Runner-up - Matt Stinchfield (Belgian Flanders Brown) Third Runner-up - Mike Muller (Vienna) Honorable Mention - Sandy James (Still Traditional Mead) The list of the award winners in each category can be found on the competition web page at www.softbrew.com/afchbc, along with a list of the judges, stewards, and competition staff who made it successful. Greg Lorton Competition Organizer Carlsbad, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 06 Mar 99 22:38:50 -0500 From: Dave Humes <humesdg1 at earthlink.net> Subject: Bavarian Wheat Beer Formulation Greetings, George De Piro was kind enough to post his winning MCAB recipe for his Weizen in digest #2968 on March 3. Congratulations! His description hints at some elements of formulation on which I would like to hear a broader discussion. First, let's assume that we are talking about the classic Bavarian Hefe Weizen as pictured on the front cover of Eric Warner's Classic Beer Style Series on German Wheat Beer or the stronger Weizenbock variation. I think most of us would agree that the hazy appearance of these styles is an expected characteristic and also one which has little to do with suspended yeast. George states the following: >Resting the main mash briefly around 55C helps produce a hazy beer while not >destroying head retention completely. Does resting briefly at 55C, as opposed to no rest in the temperature range of protein degrading enzymes, help encourge haze formation? I would think you would get the most haze from no protein rest at all. Also, if the idea with a hefe weizen is to enourage haze formation and retain significant preteinaceous matter to support the rich frothy head we expect, then it would also seem to be beneficial to limit the length of the boil. Eric Warner suggests boil times from 90 to 120 minutes due to the high level of coabulable protein in a weissbier wort. This might make sense for a crystal weizen, but maybe the boil should be shortened for a hefe weizen. An interesting article I came accross on the web talks about how the Shephed Neame brewery in the UK formulated a hefe weizen to be brewed using traditional British infusion mashing techniques. It can be found at http://www.breworld.com/the_grist/9804/gr2.html. A few interesting points to be found there are the recommended pitching rate of 0.5 million cells per ml per degree Plato and the storage temperature (prior to packaging) of 18C, which was intentionally high to discourage protein loss as chill haze. Is underpitching weisbier worts typical practice to help encourage ester formation? Is cold conditioning typically avoided to help retain the haze and body supporting proteins? Since we try to avoid excess protein in most other beers, what are the risks associated with carrying over so much protein into the finished beer. Many people have commented on the instability of weisbeers that is usually attributed to the yeast. Could the wort composition be as much of a factor here? - --Dave - -- - ----------------------------------------------------------- Dave Humes <humesdg1 at earthlink.net> Dave Humes - ----------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 11:58:07 -0600 From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: RE: Mills, again.... >>>> >... and all you need do is look at the rollers >after milling a batch. The dust and fines cover the entire roller >although concentrated in the center. The faster the rollers turn >the more roller length gets used..... <<<< Dust is everywhere, that's why I roll the mill away from the brewing area. I have my mill motorized using a washing machine motor ( 2 speed 1045/1750 RPM ), I only use the lower speed 1045, as it works well with the 7 inch pulley on the mill shaft, and the motor has a nice 1.5 inch pulley already provided. The starting torque on these motors is very high. I use two pillow blocks at the mill, and a spider coupling. This relieves any strain on the mill shaft. You must see this in action, with a single long belt from the motor to the pulley, you can grind grain all day, with a nice purr as the motor easily rotates the mechanism. Because I am not cranking, I am free to look around and I can see the grain falling straight down into the 5 gallon plastic bucket. I can observe that the grain evenly spreads out along the entire length of the mill shafts. In fact, I need be careful placing the bucket directly centered, or the grain may not all go into the bucket. What's this about passing through the mill twice? It is so much fun using my mill, that I am embarrassed that I did not think about running it through again! Ron Ronald La Borde - Metairie, Louisiana - rlabor at lsumc.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 08 Jan 1988 02:21:34 -0500 From: birman at netaxs.com Subject: Best of Philly Comp. DEADLINE Just a reminder that entries are due this Thursday 3/11/99 for the Best of Philly Homebrew Competition. Details at: http://www.netaxs.com/~shady/hops/archives/hops-bops_1999/index.html Judges/stewards email birman at netaxs.com to sign up. thanks Joe Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 15:56:35 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Cream Ale/DMS "Tim Morgan" <blkcloud at ncal.verio.com> of Petaluma, CA has brewed a partial mash cream ale and says >I really like the stuff. Sounds like the most important judge gave it a high score! But, he goes on >The Judge dinged me for high DMS and vegetable aroma. This guy is a >certified BJCP so he must be right. As one of those guys myself, let me show you what are in my socks - yes, feet of clay. Now the secret's out, we are fallible. Now, I haven't tasted your cream ale, and maybe it reeks hidiously of DMS. But somehow I doubt it. Since you said it had this smell going into the fermenter, I think we can safely conclude that it is from the malt, not from some spoilage bacteria. Note, hopwever, that the "vegetable aroma" comment may suggest that there is a bacterial problem going on too, though, so perhaps we're dealing with two different things here with related symptoms. DMS is historically a common component of cream ale (I'm from Cincinnati, the home of Little Kings, I know about this stuff). I think the guidelines should reflect this. Moderate levels are perfectly acceptable. Maybe even desireable for historical accuracy, although I don't think it should be required for competitive purposes. George Fix used to like DMS in his pre-prohibition lagers, but Laurie, his wife, can't abide the stuff, so he's adjusted his procedures to reduce it to below perception, and finds he likes the cleaner results too. I find moderate levels to taste "beery" rather than like creamed corn, and when the levels are higher, they become like sweet corn to me rather than creamed corn. If we're talking cooked cabbage and the like, then we have to consider a spoilage source. >Millers book indicates that pale lager malt is the problem and that I should >be using British pale malt instead (i.e., low DMS) Not for this indigenous American ale. You want US malt for auathenticity. 6-row would be my first choice, and 2-row is fine. Both are low kilned and will have higher levels of DMS precursors. >3) I have searched TCM and HBD and found >little info on cream ale? Dave Sapsis has been sorta working on an article for BT for a while. Dave? There are several thoughts on this style. Some say it is a lager-type (including corn, of course) in the brewhouse that is fermented with ale yeast. Others say it was a mix of a brewery's ale and lager. In Cincinnati it retained a reputation for being strong, as ales formerly were stronger than the typical lagers, but this certainly is not the case for the two remaining ones I know of, Schoenling Little Kings and Genessee. Of course, new breweries are calling all kinds of golden ales cream ales, and some that aren't even golden. >4) ideas on overcomming DMS? If you really don't want it, then an ale malt will eliminate most of the precursor. Be sure to boil with the lid at least partially off, and don't leave the wort covered for extended time after boiling, as during cooling. And do be careful of sanitation in case there is a biological component. >5) any good extract Cream Ale Try the very palest extract you can find - Alexander's or Briess's lightest, or what you already used. Of course, now that you've done partial mash, it would be an easy step to full mash. 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: Sun, 07 Mar 1999 15:58:38 -0600 From: Louis Bonham <lkbonham at hypercon.com> Subject: Alcohol determination (long) Hi folks: Mike Swintosky notes: > Peter Ensminger compiled a listing of various formulae for > estimation of alcohol content in beer. A small brewer like > myself finds this both interesting and useful. But does anyone > know the accuracy of these methods? That is, how do their > results compare to known accurate methods? Can anyone > provide the +/- error for each method? Ask and ye shall receive . . . . I've run a few experiments this weekend of various "shortcut" methods using a known standard (Coors Light, 4.36% ABV). Here's what I found: (1) Refractometry (LKB's adaption of DeClerk method) RI of both degassed and "raw" samples was the same: 1.3371 (2.8 Brix). This measurement (adjusted for tempurature by zeroing the instruments with distilled water) was consistent for both my Abbe 3 bench refractometer and for my handheld refractometer. SG of degassed beer was measured using a pycnometer, as well as with a narrow scale hydrometer, yielding results of 0.99992 SG [pycnometer] and -0.1P (0.9996 SG). SG of non-degassed beer was a fraction higher, but not significantly. Indeed, given that the measured gravity of the "raw" beer was slightly higher, at least in this case AJ's concern that degassing the beer might causes a material decrease in the alcohol levels was not borne out (if degassing "sparges" out a material amount of alcohol, the SG of the degassed beer would have been higher -- it was not). Plugging these value into the formula previous posted, this method yields 4.07 ABV (pycnometer) and 4.17 ABV (hydrometry). Not bad -- within 0.3%. (2) Ebulliometry I recently borrowed an old "Ebullioscope" from Scott Birdwell (DeFalco's of Houston). This piece of lab glassware (mfg'd in the 1970's by Scientific Glassblowing Service, Baltimore MD) is really just a test tube with a water jacketed well for a lab thermometer. (Sample size: 10ml.) The boiling point of the beer was measured at 96C with my NIST traceable thermometer. (Boiling point of pure water where I am (sea level) is 100C, which I confirmed with the Ebullioscope and thermometer.) OK, so there's a 4C difference. What's the AVB? Three methodologies here: (A) Scientific American formula (recently posted to the HBD): (Temp diff x 1.78) - 3.2 = ABV This fomula estimates the ABV at 3.92. Not bad. (B) Ebullioscope charts -- according to the charts that were in the Ebullioscope, 4C difference = 4.75 ABV. Also not bad. (C) Weissler -- according to the charts and formulae in the reference AJ recently cited (and graciously sent a copy to me), 4C difference yields 4.62 ABV. (Weissler's charts are in ABW, but I have converted the result to ABV to keep things conherent.) Also not bad. Ergo, all three methods are within 0.5%, and the Weissler method is within 0.3%. I also tried to measure the boiling point with a standard boiling flask and heating mantle. My effort in this regard did not work -- both the beer and water had measured "boiling points" of over 103C, indicating that I was superheating the samples. Two things I learned: first, you definately want to use a boiling chip or two in the flask. Second, you want to use the lowest heat needed to get the fluid boiling -- the Ebullioscope literally uses a votive candle as a heat source, and the instruction say not to use an alcohol lamp or bunsen burner because you'll superheat and get inaccurate results. (3) "Boil Off" method 200mls of beer (20C) were measured into a 500ml Florence flask, and the volumetric flask rinsed with a bit of distilled water with the rinsings also added to the boiler. This was then heated with a heating mantle for a little more than an hour until the volume had been reduced by about 60%. The residue was then cooled and diluted to 200mls using distilled water used to rinse the boiling flask and pure distilled water to top up the final bit. The SG of this dealcoholized "beer" was measured with a pyconometer and hydrometer, yielding 1.0056 (pycnometer) and 1.67 P (1.0065 SG) (hydrometer). As noted above, the SG of the beer was 0.99992 SG [pycnometer] and -0.1P (0.9996 SG) (hydrometer), therefore yielding a SG difference of 0.0057 (pycnometer) and 0.0069 (hydrometer). There are various charts for interpreting these results (in a number of wine books and in the rec.crafts.winemaking FAQ), but the tables apparently can be reduced to the following formula: ABV = 0.880761095 * (SG Diff - 1.640666667) yielding 3.58 (pycnometer) and 4.63 (hydrometer). These are my results from a single data point. To make any kind of definitive determination in this regard, we need more data. You can probably guess what's coming . . . . that's right, another HBD experiment! I need for a number of you to rerun some or all of these tests on a number of commercial standards, and send me your results so we can get a larger sample size to see which of thee methods is worthwhile. If you wanna participate, drop me an e-mail. Let me know which of the following you have available to you: Bench refractometer handheld refractometer pyconometer or digital denisty meter narrow scale hydrometer 100ml volumetic flasks digital thermometer (0.1 C / 0.2 F accuracy) lab thermometer (1C or better accuracy) If you have laboratory distillation equipment and experience (or have a friend at a local micro that does), please let me know . . . another aspect of the experiment will be to assess the relative accuracy of the OG/FG calculation method for homebrew, but of course to do so we need to have definitive measurement of the EtOH content of the subject beer. I'll be writing up the results for my BT column, but as usual the initial results will appear here for comment and critical analysis. Louis K. Bonham lkbonham at hbd.org Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 18:33:32 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Open Fermenters Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> writes about open fermenters: >I use a 6+ gallon plastic wastebasket. covered with >a plastic sheet held down tightly with a daisy chain of rubber >bands. ,snip> I have been doing it this >way since 1969 and never had a bad batch. > >If you can, get a white or grey polyethylene waste basket. >This will minimize the unlikely chance that the pigments will >somehow affect the beer or be unhealthy to you. Yikes! I'm no hazmats chemist, but in my mind, food grade plastic is too cheap to take that kind of risk! There is even concern now about the effects of the plasticizers in hospital I.V. bags made of PVC. I hate to think what kind of potentially dangerous compounds you might be ingesting. Even in 1969 one might have reasonably been concerned - now it seems pure folly. Pioneering British homebrew author Dave Line (_Big Book of Brewing_, from which I learned to do all grain mashing in 1979 or so) wrote in 1974: When the problem [stability of plastic] first came to light, I asked the advice of a chemist friend as to the suitability of my cheap sustbin. From his remartks, it seems that, seeing that I survived the first brew when the majority of toxic substances are leached out into the beer, I should live to brew many more gallons of ale! Alas, it was not to be. Dave died within several years at age 37 of cancer. Who knows what the cause was, but even without this cautionary tale, I strongly recommend getting food grade buckets. If free "donut shop" buckets are too small (I've seen new ones in HB shops as large as 7 gallons), Rubbermaid "Brute" buckets/barrels come in 10 and 20 (maybe even bigger) sizes, have lock on lids, and there are even wheeled lockon dollies available. I used a ten gallon one for years. It now holds salt in my bakery, and still has the one-gallon increment marks I put on the side. 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: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 21:43:22 -0500 From: Dan Listermann <72723.1707 at compuserve.com> Subject: Mills <Date: Wed, 03 Mar 1999 21:55:54 -0800 <From: Jack Schmidling <arf at mc.net> <Subject: Listerling, Schmidmann and their mills <"David C. Harsh" <David.Harsh at uc.edu> DH:<"So, the question is directed to George Fix: How did you do this...> JS:<Not sure George bothers reading this anymore but the last time he was asked, he said the he ran it through the mill twice but I do not recall how it was set up. It was also one of the very early mills and may not represent the current behavior at all. In case you missed it, Zymurgy's "Roll out the Mills" article concluded that the best crush of all mills was by running through a fixed mill twice. They also use an older mill but not the same vintage as Fix.> DH:<" What spacings did you use on the tested mill, what grain did you use, and at what rate did you grind the grain? Also, how did you analyze the size fraction? Give some details please.> JS:<Aside from the spacing, I believe all the other points are covered on the published report.> I am looking at the report now. The listed grain was Canadian 2-row form Prairie Malting. There is no mention of multiple passes or any adjustments of the gap. The sieve testing is information is limited to: " The later was done with a standard and well established screen seiving procedure. This is described for example in DeClerck, Vol. 2 pages 321 -323. It in effect consists weighing out the grain fractions that are retained on screen meshes of diminishing width." He spends his largest paragraph describing the mill at the Dallas Brewing Company , who made it, how much it costs, the cost of a competing mill and where you can see one. For what it is worth, the report is listed as "Posting 11: Extracted from file 1113" If you do look it up, check the data numbers against the numbers listed in "The Practical Brewer." Dan Listermann dan at listermann.com Return to table of contents
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