HOMEBREW Digest #2976 Fri 12 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

  Lager yeast pitching temp (Dean Fikar)
  Re: Gypsum (Spencer W Thomas)
  Acid Malt & Mill Gaps (Dan Listermann)
  Phinicky Phloaters (Mark_Ohrstrom/Humphrey_Products)
  Gott mashing (Domenick Venezia)
  Idaho Legalization July 1 (Paul Gatza)
  Cornies for lagering / Beginners Guide to Mashing / Titletown Open (Matthew Arnold)
  Yeast & Beer matchup (David)" <drussel3 at ford.com>
  Dockage recconings (Joy Hansen)
  More yeast microphotographs (Michael A. Owings)
  Keg sanitation/Finings/CAP recipe (Rob.Green1)
  Gott coolers and the BB Snake ("Spies, Jay")
  UKG Drunk Monk Challenge - Results posted!! ("Formanek, Joe")
  Implosive carboys, (Dave Burley)
  Vacuum and Heat Sealer Recommendations (Joe Stone)
  RE: Lager Pitching Temp (John Wilkinson)
  IBU Predictions (WayneM38)
  mash pH / Lauter speed ("Bridges, Scott")
  Lager Temp & Trub Removal; Cream Ale, DMS & Wort Chillers; 2 Carboys (Ted McIrvine)
  BeerTrader glitches <sigh> (Alan Gilbert)
  Decline of homebrewing.... (WeizenGuy)
  More on the Janitor's opinion... (WeizenGuy)

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: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 07:18:27 -0600 From: Dean Fikar <dfikar at flash.net> Subject: Lager yeast pitching temp Troy writes: > : Do I pitch the yeast at 60F and then throw it in the fridge to drop the > temp? (Noonan warns of danger: "Controling the temperature at the beginning > of fermentation is more important than controlling the temperature near the > end of fermentation, because esters and fusel alcohols are largely produced > when the yeast is respiring, during the lag and reproductive phases of > fermentation." p173) > > Q: Or do I drop the temp in the fridge first and then pitch the yeast. (The > danger here is obviously longer lag times - as we all know, one of the > major causes of bad beer.) > > So, as you see, this is a confusion. What has worked for you? Private email > is fine! > At the MCAB I asked Chris White (owner of White Labs Yeast) about this. He's a big believer in propagating & pitching lager yeast at about 70F and then bringing it down to lager temps over the next 12-15 hrs. He believes the yeast will get off to a better start this way and feels that very few esters & fusels will be generated during the first few hours after pitching. That said, you sure would want the temp down in lager range once the yeast has stopped propagating and started the fermentation process in earnest. I'd be interested what others out there do in regard to pitching their lager yeast. Dean Fikar - Ft. Worth, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 10:41:35 -0500 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Re: Gypsum >>>>> "William" == William Frazier <billfrazier at worldnet.att.net> writes: William> My local water (Kansas City area) starts out with 152 ppm William> sulfate (gypsum = calcium sulfate). If I added one William> tablespoon gypsum for a 5 gallon brew I would have about William> 575 ppm sulfate. There aren't many world class brewing William> waters with anything that approaches that level of William> sulfate. Except, of course, Burton-on-Trent. What style was Jim making? Oh, yeah, a pale ale. 'nuff said. :-) (Actually, I agree that blindly adding gypsum is not a good idea, but I couldn't resist.) =Spencer Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 10:50:09 -0500 From: Dan Listermann <72723.1707 at compuserve.com> Subject: Acid Malt & Mill Gaps Jeff Carlson asks about acidulated malt ( saurmalz ). I have heard that the malt is sprouted and reseeped at about 125'F to cause a lactic fermentation and then kilned. The result is a very strong lactic sourness. Taste one corn. Take my word for it, you only need to taste one. I understand that it is made to reduce the pH in mashes without violating German brewing laws. I use it at 3% ( .25 lbs in five gallons ) to give my stouts that Gunniess tang. It works great! It is perfectly controllable, especially when compared to sour mashing. I would like to see if a pseudo Berliner Weiss could be made from it. It may have applications in pseudo lambics as well. Rick Gerogette asks about mill gaps. We, operate a homebrew shop here in Cincinnati. We carry over 75 different grains and allow our customers to mill their grains in either a Philmill or a two-roll prototype mill. I see a lot of different grains being crushed. I won't debate that you can make good beer at a constant "magical" gap setting. We are talking about home brew here. But if you don't adjust the gap, you will get inconsistant crushes when you move from one grain to another. One of the prime reasons that brewers get poor extractions is poor crushes. This is especially common amoung beginning all-grain brewers because of a fear of getting a stuck mash. Inconsistant crushes cannot be looked upon as an advantage. "Magical" gap settings will produce inconsistant crushes. On the other hand, if adjusting the mill is difficult and time consuming, "magical" gap settings could be usefull, but don't be fooled into believing that you will be getting consistant crushes if you use a variety of grains. I crush by visual inspection never worrying about what the gap is. Almost all corns need to be crushed and there should be few intact "ends" floating around. I tend to crush on the fine side and don't have problems with stuck mashes or tannins. Dan Listermann dan at listermann.com or 72723.1707 at compuserve.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 11:23:32 -0500 From: Mark_Ohrstrom/Humphrey_Products at humphreypc.com Subject: Phinicky Phloaters Brent Dowell has had trouble with his 12in Phloater: > It appears that while the 10inch one would maintain it's > slightly domed shape when there was a cooler load of grain > sitting on it, the 12 incher deformed and the bottom hole > on the pickup tube was sucking the plastic bottom of the mash tun. My 12in has a cross-drilled hole through the nylon elbow that allows phlow when it's bottomed. You may have an early version, or the hole was just phorgotten. As phor countering the phloating tendency, I have had good luck with just holding the thing down with my mash paddle while I add grist to the underlet water. So phar, so good ... Mark in Kalamazoo Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 08:27:16 -0800 From: Domenick Venezia <demonick at zgi.com> Subject: Gott mashing The discussion about Gott cooler modifications and floating false bottoms prompts me to post my 10 gal Gott modification. It uses a 12" stainless steel perforated pizza pan, hence, it doesn't float. Rather than use flared brass elbow fittings and copper tubing, you can use hose barbs and plastic tubing to connect the false bottom with the bulkhead fitting. Also the flared elbow can be fit into the center of the pizza pan rather than the side as I have done. I placed it at the side because I didn't want to risk knocking it around while doughing in and stirring at the half-way point in the mash. If I were to do it again I think that I would still use flared fittings and copper tubing, but I would fit into the center of the pizza pan. Why? It just seems more "correct". I preheat my Gott mash/lauter tun with a few gallons of 130F tap water for about 10 minutes before dumping in ALL the strike water. The grain is stirred in while pouring it into the water. I never have problems with dry balls or clumping, and it only takes a few minutes. Domenick Venezia Venezia & Company, LLC Maker of PrimeTab (206) 782-1152 phone (206) 782-6766 fax orders demonick at zgi dot com Pursuant to US Code, Title 47, Chapter 5, Subchapter II, '227, any and all nonsolicited commercial E-mail sent to this address is subject to a download and archival fee of US$ 500. E-mailing denotes acceptance of these terms. - ---------- Forwarded message ---------- I purchased a 12" stainless steel unperforated pizza pan. Taped 1/4" graph paper on the pan and dented it every 1/2" with a drill set, then drilled 1/8" holes at each set. It was a pain. You can purchase perforated pizza pans and avoid all the drilling. At a boating supply store I bought a 5/8" a brass bulkhead fitting. This fitting is threaded internally for 3/8". I also purchased a hose barb with 3/8" threads, and 2 flare elbows. I flared a short arc of copper tubing (6") and drilled a larger hole in the side of the pizza plate that a flare elbow threads into. The other elbow is on the inside side of the bulkhead fitting. The hose barb goes on the outside side of the bulkhead fitting. (Alternatively, buy 3 hose barbs (bigger ID the better). One attaches to each side of the bulkhead fitting, the third attaches to a threaded elbow to replace the flare elbow. Then use plastic tubing, rather than copper to join the pizza pan to the bulkhead fitting. (see below)) About 3.25 (cut to fit) feet of 1" thick-walled tubing (Tygon in my case) was slit lengthwise and fit all around the edge of the pizza pan. The bulkhead fitting with external hose barb and internal flare elbow fits into the spigot hole of the Gott. The perforated pizza pan with circumferential tubing seal and flare elbow lays upside down on the bottom of the cooler and the short arc of flared tubing connects the 2 flare elbows. Everything fits together finger tight. : : |<-- Inside wall of cooler | | _____________________________________________ | | / Perforated Pizza Pan \ | | ___/ \___ | |/ o/\ <-- 1" thich-walled tubing (slit) /\o \| |\___/ \___/| `------------ Bottom of cooler ---------------------------' Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 09:47:56 -0700 From: Paul Gatza <paulg at aob.org> Subject: Idaho Legalization July 1 Jennifer Graham has informed me that Idaho has legalized homebrewing. The law adds the same protection for homebrewers that home winemakers already enjoyed. Jennifer spearheaded the effort completely. The AHA supported her effort in a minor way with a sample letter e-mail campaign to AHA members in Idaho. Cheers for Jennifer and all Idahomebrewers. Here is her message to me: Just letting you know that Frank Bruneel's statute change has been signed by the Gov. of Idaho. http://www.idwr.state.id.us/oasis/H0113.html and will go into effect 7/1/99 Jennifer - -- Paul Gatza Director American Homebrewers Association (303) 447-0816 x 122 736 Pearl Street (303) 447-2825 -- FAX PO Box 1679 paulg at aob.org -- E-MAIL Boulder, CO 80306-1679 info at aob.org -- AOB INFO U.S.A. http://www.beertown.org -- WEB Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 16:48:45 GMT From: marnold at ez-net.com (Matthew Arnold) Subject: Cornies for lagering / Beginners Guide to Mashing / Titletown Open I've got a doppelbock in the primary right now. In about a week or so I'm going to transfer it to a secondary for lagering. I'd like to rack it to a corny keg and forget about it for many months (yea, right). I know that corny kegs aren't the ideal geometry for primary fermentation, but will it make a big difference as a lagering tank? - ----- Jim Cave sez: >GET OUT THERE AND MASH, DAMN IT!! IT'S SIGNIFICANTY CHEAPER AND THE >RESULTS ARE WORTH IT!! I couldn't agree more. All the technical debates about mashing, while important and interesting, make mashing out to be an extremely complicated process, which it is not. Fortunately the members of my homebrew club (the Green Bay Rackers) encouraged me, I tried it, and I got hooked. Yeah, it takes more time, but I love the whole process. I'm actually brewing more and enjoying it more. Go fig. Bottom line: if you're thinking about trying to mash, do it! Maybe your first batch won't get a 48 in any competition, but who cares? Get the basic process down and improve from there. Ask a local all-grain homebrewer when he's (or she's) going to brew next and invite yourself over! You'll be glad you did. - ----- The Green Bay Rackers will be holding their fifth annual Titletown Open homebrew competition on Saturday, May 15. For more information, check out the Titletown Open V page on our website at http://www.rackers.org/open.shtml This is an AHA-sanctioned competition. For more information or if you would like to judge, email me or our contest czar, Mike Conard, at mconard at itol.com P.S. I've got my AlK altbier on tap now. MAN that's good beer!! - ----- Webmaster, Green Bay Rackers Homebrewers' Club http://www.rackers.org info at rackers.org Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 11:52:54 -0500 From: "Russell, D. A. (David)" <drussel3 at ford.com> Subject: Yeast & Beer matchup Is there any source (publication, web site, etc) that has some cross references to commercial beers and their yeast? What about info on bottle sediment yeast? From: Clifton Moore > 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. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 11:29:54 -0500 From: joytbrew at halifax.com (Joy Hansen) Subject: Dockage recconings >------------------------------ >Speaking to dockage in malts, I note the small weevil holes in most >specialty malts. This means that the source malts were infested with >insects and a high kiln temperature was required to salvage the malt! I >wonder what the kilned insect flavor/taste contributes to the beer ><<<< Ronald replies: > >I stumbled upon a way to make the live critters show themselves. I had >placed about a ten pound paper grocery bag containing crushed malt into a 5 >gal. plastic bucket and sealed the bucket with it's cover (beating it down >with a rubber mallet), two days later, upon opening the bucket, about a >dozen or so critters were all over the white bucket walls. They must have >come up for air?, or moisture? The following is presented as humor. Don't worry, just get a home brew and enjoy. In my experience, I've seldom found critters in malt kilned at high temperature. In rolled grains, and in lower kilned malts. IMHO these are infected at the brew shop due to various situations. One brew shop just told me that the critters were only guaranteed to be absent for 30 days. I guess that's the lag time for egg hatching? Besides, the critters just float to the top of the mash. They don't swim well without scuba gear, as you observed! When I worked for General Mills, many years ago, I checked dockage for vermin by using a heat lamp on the screenings from a kicker. Can't recall how many live ones were allowed; however, many of the carloads of grains (including barley) had to be fumigated with methylbromide. A banned practice today. What chemical procedure is in use today? Ahhh, irradiation to the rescue! Checked the glow of your spent malts in the dark of night :)? Have you wondered what effect the kilned insects have on the nitrosamine content of your favorite malts? Do insects/eggs glow after irradiation? I wonder about the flavor contribution of dioxins? And to think that some home brewers are worried about plasticizers from non-food grade plastics, lead and cadmium from brass plumbing, aluminum causing Alzheimer's, or an imploding pirex carboys! Prost Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 17:00:36 GMT From: mikey at swampgas.com (Michael A. Owings) Subject: More yeast microphotographs I've posted a couple more of the same strain at 1000x (oil immersion objective). These were pulled from a sample of fermenting beer. The page also includes some other stuff (epithalial cells, blood smears, etc. ) They can be seen at: http://www.swampgas.com/brewing/hemo.html *********************** Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can. *** And the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they pissed me off *** Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 12:08:16 -0500 From: Rob.Green1 at firstunion.com Subject: Keg sanitation/Finings/CAP recipe Many thanks to those hbd'ers (Chris Schmidt, John Wilkinson, Ken Pegram, Todd Larson) who responded to my inquiry on corny keg sanitation and the evils of bleach. Fortunately I had diluted the solution enough where no damage was done. I did however notice some rust on the inside of the draft and beverage posts on one of the kegs when I took them apart. I took a green scrubber and cleaned it up as much as possible and lubed with keglube. I don't know if this was due to the bleach solution or was a pre-existing condition. The general consensus was to use TSP at 5 tbl per 5 gal hot water to clean. Then follow with a iodophor solution of 2 tbl per 5 gals for a 20 minute soak, making sure to push the valves to get the sanitizer up in the pick up and gas tubes. Question: Does a TSP solution or Iodophor solution corrode SS? I have also noticed a phosphorous-free version of TSP called 'TS-Free' or something like that, would this be a safe substitute for the real TSP. I didn't know so I looked around other hardware stores until I found the real McCoy. On the subject of finings - My local HB shop recommended polyclar in the secondary for 3-4 days and then gelatin in the keg to clear the beer. I will say that I have some of the clearest beer I've ever made but it seems to be on the thin side when compared to the same beer I brewed and bottle conditioned 3 months ago. Does anyone have an opinion (there's a loaded question) about the use of fining agents and any detrimental effect on the different styles of beer? i.e. is it acceptable when attempting a lager but not so when making a porter? German wheats would be exempt from this treatment of course. That reminds me it's about time to brew a wheat for summer. CAP Recipe - I have seen several recipes for pre-prohibition CAPs and am interested in brewing one, especially now that I have lagering facilities. The only problem is that these recipes are exclusively all-grain and I have not as yet taken up that religion. I am looking for an extract version of a CAP if any one has come up with one. This raises a question about flaked maize. Can it be used in an extract recipe? If so how would one go about using it? If a partial mash is requried to use the maize what is the barest minimum of equipment needed to accomplish the task? Janitors, Sorry for the length, hopefully this post will stir some ongoing dialogs. Rob Green Live to Brew....Brew To Live Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 12:13:43 -0500 From: "Spies, Jay" <Spies at dhcd.state.md.us> Subject: Gott coolers and the BB Snake All - Hmmm . . . it seems every couple of months this Gott cooler conversion / phloater thing keeps coming up, so here I go again rehashing an old post. In HOMEBREW Digest #2744, Fri 19 June 1998, I posted about the BB Snake thingy that I made for the 10 gallon Gotts. Scott Moore recently posted that he uses one successfully. Cool. Glad to hear it !! If you want the complete post, the above cite gets you there. WRT Gott conversions and EM/Phils comparisons, I'd have to say that in terms of ease, the EM is probably the way to go, but if you build my BB Snake, the Phils works flawlessly (insert shameless ego gratification here . . .) Almost 9 months and about 18 batches later, I've never seen a single husk make it through the works. Also, I add ALL the strike water before grain 1 ever goes in the cooler. Adding the grain first will give you a real tired arm breaking up all the doughballs, and the strike water/grist/strike water/grist thing seems just too laborious for a lazy sot such as myself. The spigots on the Gotts just screw out, and I bought a cooler bulkhead fitting from HopTech (NA, yadda yadda) that seals well and accepts some vinyl tubing that goes to the elbow. Eventually, I'd like to step up to a 1/2" ID elbow and some braided 1/2" tube to a 1/2" ball valve, and make the whole deal into a RIMS type MLT. I'll do that whenever I stop being lazy. ;-) Anyway, coolers maintain the temps well (provided that you are able to accurately calculate the temperature of your strike water -- does anyone know how to do this, I'd like to hear some discussion...) Sorry, couldn't resist! Later, Jay Spies Wishful Thinking Basement Brewery Baltimore, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 11:57:12 -0600 From: "Formanek, Joe" <Jformanek at griffithlabs.com> Subject: UKG Drunk Monk Challenge - Results posted!! The Drunk Monk Challenge, held at Founders Hill Brewing Company in Downers Grove, IL, and hosted by the Urban Knaves of Grain homebrew club, is now history! Thanks to all judges and entries who all helped to make this a very successful competition, as well as the great multitude of business and individuals who helped sponsor the competition through donations. We couldn't have done it without you!. There were 233 entries total A few results: First BOS - Shane Coombs, with his "Sharico Grand Cru" Flanders Brown Second BOS - Scott Clement with his "Raspberry White Grape Mead" Third BOS - Mark and Kristine Kellums with their Kolsch In the menace of the Monastery special category 1st place - Mike Uchima with his "Trappist Ale #1" Belgian Dubbel 2nd place - Jeff Sparrow with his "St. Remy's Abbaye Ale" Dark Strong Belgian Ale 3rd place - Dan Slosser with his "Belgian Abbey Ale" Dark Strong Belgian Ale For complete results, see the Drunk Monk Challenge website, http://www.synsysinc.com/srcoombs/ukgdmc.htm, or the UKG website, http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/stmckenna/ukg.html. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 13:22:20 -0500 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Implosive carboys, Brewsters: Ross Reid has used a vacuum pump to move beers around in his glass carboys and wonders about the safety. A couple of comments: 1) glass carboys vary by the source ( thickness, annealing), construction (ribs or not, type of glass, shape of the bottom, etc.), by their history ( scratches, dings, heating) 2) Just because no problem has been encountered does not mean Ross won't have one. Simply transferring from one place to another will not place a high vacuum on the glass walls, however, as Ross pointed out, he sometimes gets as high as 1 atm when transferring from one floor to another. In my opinion it is unsafe to do this without some kind of substantive protection. I could suggest a covered wooden box into which the bottle under vacuum is placed so that if it implodes all you would have is a mess. Safety glasses will not protect the rest of your body. Freshly broken glass is incredibly sharp. So much so, that freshly broken glass is used in microtoming tissue into thin slices for microscopic work. Certainly, I would not use the bottle bare. Even in a laboratory using glass pieces under vaccuum ( which were <designed> for vacuum use, N.B.) we always use a heavy form of tough tape to wrap them securely. I once brought a carboy home from the HB store and noticed a hairline crack running between the ribs of the glass. It did not appear to be from striking, but due to poor annealing. Had I put that one under vaccuum, I would likely had had a shatter event. Point is you never know when you are using a piece of equipment for a purpose for which it was not intended. Pyrex glass may or may not be stronger than soft glass, but it likely will have less thermal stresses due to its lower thermal coefficient of expansion. We still wrap it up. Remember the larger the radius of curvature, the weaker the glass to deformation. Put another way - the bigger the bottle, the higher the risk of implosion. Be safe and have fun. Both are possible. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 11:20:54 -0800 From: Joe Stone <joestone at cisco.com> Subject: Vacuum and Heat Sealer Recommendations HBD, I'm looking for a recommendation on a vacuum sealer or a heat sealer. I buy most of my grain in 50 pound bags. I currently repackage the grain in zip-lock bags. I'm considering a vacuum or heat sealer. More importantly, I always seem to buy whole hops in six ounce packages. I'd love to be able to repackage the "left-overs" using a vacuum sealer or consider buying whole hops in bulk. I poked around the Internet and found a few vacuum sealer models in the $200 - $300 range, Magic Vac 70-FS Champion $259 Magic Vac 70-FSMAXIMA Maxima $329 And these models "as seen on TV", Foodsaver #2 Professional $299 Foodsaver Compact II $179 Foodsaver Deluxe $199 A more cost-effective alternative would seem to be a heat sealer, TISH100 4" 140W $69 TISH200 8" 180W $89 TISH300 12" 200W $125 Hoptech offers an 8" Rival Micro-Seal for $21. Does anyone have experience with any of these models or with any other model of vacuum or heat sealer? Most of my local homebrew supply retailers use a heat sealer. This would seem adequate for grain. And with whole hops I suspect that you can squeeze most of the air out of the bag before heat sealing. Can a homebrewer justify the added cost (> $100) of a vacuum sealer over a heat sealer? You can E-mail me directly. If others are interested, I can append a summary. Thanks, Joe Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 13:25:53 -0600 From: John.Wilkinson at aud.alcatel.com (John Wilkinson) Subject: RE: Lager Pitching Temp Troy Hager asked if anyone used a settling tank as suggested by Noonan. I drain my chilled wort to sanitized buckets and put them in the freezer to settle and get to the pitching temp I desire. I even do it with ales, although it doesn't take as long to cool so I will take them out of the freezer and let them settle longer, if necessary, without further cooling. I then siphon into the fermenter, leaving the sediment behind. I do loose some beer this way but I like the clear wort going to the fermenter and I have had pretty good luck producing clear beers. I chill to about 44F for lager and 64F for ales before pitching. Of course, the starter needs to be at about the same temperature. Troy wrote: >Q: Or do I drop the temp in the fridge first and then pitch the yeast. (The >danger here is obviously longer lag times - as we all know, one of the >major causes of bad beer.) I worried about this but I am not sure I agree that longer lag times really are a major cause of bad beer. If sanitation is good I don't think a couple of hours lnger to pitching is going to hurt. It hasn't hurt me but I know my sample is small and may be meaningless. John Wilkinson - Grapevine, Texas Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 16:32:19 EST From: WayneM38 at aol.com Subject: IBU Predictions >>Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 14:36:28 -0600 Greg Remake <gremake at gsbalum.uchicago.edu> writes: Another interesting result was how far off predictive formulae were for actual IBU levels. One thing I noticed was the wide range of the predictions. Another observation was that most of the formulae's predicted IBUs were low, which makes me suspicious. The article points out that the hops AA% was provided by the supplier and not independently determined, so it could be that the hops were actually stronger than advertised. Due to this error, I don't think any of the formulae were proven or disproven. Any thoughts? Greg>> This is my second season using my HEMAN RIMS system. It is big fun brewing with my brew toy. I have been able to standardize most aspects of my brew day: I can hit strike temps and step mash boosts temps within a degree or two everytime. Sparge rates and brew kettle evaporation rates can be repeated easily. Run off SG can be easily read with my trusty hydrometer. I can use commercial products to compare color targets. My final IBU's predictions are just that. Predictions. I prefer hop pellets and use hop bags. Do I add 15% for pellet use and subtract 10% for hop bag use? I have a custom built brew kettle with an extra heavy duty bottom for even heat distribution. Do I add 5% for the very vigorous rolling boil ? ProMash and Suds97 have different IBU calculation formulas. Promash even 'ages' your hops in storage for you. It is interesting to run one's favorite recipes through these software programs to get a feel for the different IBU predictions using different formulas. My solution will be to have two or three of my stock batches tested for IBU's by a reputable lab and work backwards from that point to measure 'my' system's utilization. My local tech school hopes to have an affordable IBU testing program in the fall of 1999. Until then it is just guess work. My question to the HBD: What are some of the most useful steps to get the IBU predictions "In the ball park, aka in style"? Wayne Big Fun Brewing Milwaukee Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 16:57:19 -0500 From: "Bridges, Scott" <ScottBridges at sc.slr.com> Subject: mash pH / Lauter speed Jim Cave writes: > ...John Palmer is of course right, again, in the technical sense. Perhaps >I am lucky with my water: hardness 2-4 ppm and pH 6.8. However, in the >days when I actually worried about such things, if my pH paper could be >relied on, the indicated mash pH was under 5, and supposedly suboptimal. I >never bother taking pH's any more. > > One of the topics that had me worried forever when I first started mashing >was the subject of water chemistry and mash pH. However, the local that I >knew who were doing it, never bothered about it and consequently neither do >I. I just would like the beginner out there to give mashing a go, >regardless of their water chemistry. Then discuss your result with a more >experienced brewer and judge and twick the recipe from there. Jim, I think its a fairly simple thing to check your mash pH. Even if you don't have precision, it's important to have an understanding of your pH, and more importantly your water chemistry. When I first began all-grain, I failed to consider this fact. I am one of the unfortunate brewers who have water high in carbonates. Missing this one piece of (for me) critical information, I made some very astringent beer until I traced the source of my problem. So while you are correct that for most brewers, this is not a big problem, for some it's a critical factor to understand. Armed with this knowledge, you can avoid making astringent beer. - ---------------------- Jack Schmidling writes: >"Curt Speaker" <SPEAKER at SAFETY-1.SAFETY.PSU.EDU> > >" Dan mentioned last week that if your lauter/sparging process >is taking 30 minutes or less, you are leaving something behind... > >Simply proves why this forum generates so much high quality debate. > >I used to throttle back the EM to force about 60 minutes sparge >time. Since I installed the EMII in my mash tun several years >ago, I have been draining the kettle as fast as it will drain >and have not noticed the slightest change in extraction. Not >only is this less than 30 minutes but I make 10 gallon batches. As much as I hate to also disagree with my friend and fraternity brother Curt, I have not found this to be true in my set up either. I've heard the commandment, "thou shalt lauter for 60 minutes or leave sugar behind." My experience mirrors Jack's. I usually sparge for less than 30 minutes, and have no problem with extraction. I have a RIMS and have wondered if all the recirculating perhaps makes the sparging more efficient. Scott Bridges Brewing in Columbia, SC Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 18:37:51 -0800 From: Ted McIrvine <McIrvine at ix.netcom.com> Subject: Lager Temp & Trub Removal; Cream Ale, DMS & Wort Chillers; 2 Carboys > From: Troy Hager <thager at bsd.k12.ca.us> > Subject: Lager Pitching Temp > > Fellow HBDers, > > After an Alt and a Kolsch, I plan on doing a full lager. I have read Noonan > (NBLB) and the posts here but still have a couple nagging confusions. First > of all, Noonan suggests, "Where practical, it is advisable to separate the > chilled wort from the cold break in a settling tank." p.170 > > Q: How many of you find this "practical" and do it? > > He also states, "For lager beers, yeast is generally pitched into wort that > is at or near the lower end of the intended fermentation temperature range. I rack a finished lager into a carboy and chill the carboy overnight until it is down near 40 degrees. Then I rack the unfermented wort off the cold break into another fermenter and pitch my yeast. This solves both the temperature problem and gets rid of all the crap that you don't want in a lager fermentation. Someone else recently inquired about DMS in a cream ale. The resident rocket scientists forget to ask whether this brewer had used a wort chiller and had a slow cooling. I think using a wort chiller is the single biggest improvement that a beginning brewer can make. Lager malt and covered boils can produce DMS, although I do both often and never get DMS unless I'm doing a Bock in which one wants a tiny trace. I came of beer-drinking age in the land of Gennessee Cream Ale, and a trace of DMS (sort of like sweet creamed corn) is tasteable in the style. For those who don't want to lose beer through a blow-off hose, try using two carboys. This also has the benefit of giving your primary fermentation more head space, and when you rack the five gallons into a secondary, the head space vanishes, just the way one would want it to do. Ted - -- McIrvine at Ix.Netcom.Com College of Staten Island/CUNY http://www.csi.cuny.edu/academia/programs/mus.html http://www.csi.cuny.edu/arts/calendar.html Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 17:00:52 -0800 From: Alan Gilbert <alan_gilbert at mac.symantec.com> Subject: BeerTrader glitches <sigh> Sorry about this, but BeerTrader is in its infancy...thanks to everyone who has signed up for your support... Due to my cable company suddenly changing the ip address of my cable modem (doesn't happen often, but it did last night) BeerTrader will probably bounce email. For this reason I have set up alternate email accounts until such time as I can get a more reliable ip service (DSL perhaps?). Anyway, until further notice, to subscribe to BeerTrader digest send email to btrequest@ fnmail.com, with the following in the body of the message (subject unimportant): subscribe digest beertrader To post to the BeerTrader digest (once you have subscribed) send email to beertrader at fnmail.com. Sorry for any inconvenience. It should be working again by tonight (Thursday). -Alan panheadman at mediaone.net Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 20:23:51 EST From: WeizenGuy at aol.com Subject: Decline of homebrewing.... Seems our HBD Janitor is theorizing about what's at the root of the decline of our hobby at his OTHER job on aol. Thought you might find this interesting. Posted w/o his permission, but I figure he'll can the article if it bothers him! The Weizenguy Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager... Funny thing, this. As with many "craft hobbies," they swell and then crash to the breakers. Some return for another roll, others die out completely. (Anybody remember glass cutting in the '70s?) Economics is the problem here. Many existing home brew retailers saw the tide roll up and decided it was to be the eternal tsunami. Some reacted by increasing inventories and investigating new products. They are to be commended. Others hunkered back and figured you'd take whatever they had to offer. Some raised prices, some lowered. The tide grew higher. No-one noticed the shore was coming up. Many new shops opened up hoping to glean a share of the rising surf. The tide surged still higher. And the ranks of those riding the surf swelled as well. While all this was going on, another swell was rising in yet another ocean of beer: microbreweries and brewpubs were flourishing all over the country. So much so that many "one beer for all" megabreweries were sent scampering to their pilot breweries in order to get in on the wave with something of flavor and substance. Still others went about like large sharks snapping up the smaller, tastier fish in buyouts. Good beer was abundant, but somewhat pricey. The sheer number of competing breweries and pubs began driving the prices of good beer lower and lower until... ...both waves crashed into opposite sites of an island known as consumer desires and motivations. The economy in the US what it is today, we can all pretty much get whatever beer we want fairly affordably. For many, this killed the motivation to brew it for themselves. Face it: how many times have you heard someone in describing their craft say that they can brew it cheaper, or they can brew what they can't buy? We all have. I believe I've even said it a few times myself. Now, take all those people out of the pool of those buying home brewing supplies, and you see suppliers dropping like flies (and it's not the "backdoor dealings" that hurt suppliers -- that's just whining. Show me a brewpub or micro that can afford to give away or co-buy in volumes high enough to threaten a shop?) Add to this a national organization supposedly dedicated to the promotion of home brewing which does absolutely nothing of value for its membership. Have this same money-grubbing organization attempt to set up organizations internal to itself to compete against existing organizations which support the suppliers and those dedicated to appreciating and judging beers, further fracturing the home brewing community.... Yes, it's ugly. And yes: we're the only ones that can stem the tide and turn the flow. I was once told that I was a disease -- that wherever I went people were "infected" with home brewing. (I thought it quite a compliment :-) This is how we need to be. A carrier for the brewing bug. We each need to do what we can to "spread the word." Demonstrations at your local supplier. Public services carried out by your local club. Person to person conversation, sampling, teaching. Local newspaper stories. Web pages. Beer festivals. Stop in at your local shop and ask how you can help him stay open. Maybe you've noticed some particularly nagging thing about his shop he may not be aware of, but that all your friends comment on. Let him know so he can fix it. Offer to help her build an order of things you know will sell to you and your friends. I'm not suggesting that you go in there and be a free stock boy (unless you want to), but offer some assistance to help keep the place open. And be an evangelist for the craft. It'd be nice to be able to go door to door preaching your message as some religious groups do, but that'd be a bit silly. No. Tell you co-worker about brewing. Invite a few over some weekend for a brew-be-cue: brew some beers and cue up some food. Be sure to have plenty of good home brew around to whet their appetite for more! There's plenty other things to do such as this, too! Be creative! Spread the word! Enough ranting! I've a family to tend to... See ya! Pat Babcock aka Brew Beerd `{(P-{> AOL FDN Homebrewing Questions and Answers Maven Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 20:29:29 EST From: WeizenGuy at aol.com Subject: More on the Janitor's opinion... This is good stuff! Same story as before. No permission asked for, but I'm sure he'll kill it if it's a problem. Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager... clsaxer at aol.com (CLSAXER) writes: >The demise of homebrewing? >I couldn't say. About a year ago or so I'd had enough of the egos and >competitiveness in the national & local homebrewing collectives and dropped >out of participating in them. (However there is a club in N.O.LA that I >still enjoy being with.) >I still brew beer and make mead. I just keep to myself, and share it with >friends and family. I got really tired of the socialistic attitude of, "You >owe it to those coming up to teach them all you know." Excuse me? I don't really consider it socialistic, though it could be construed that way. I started my brewing career (many have heard this before. Page down to the next paragraph...) at the tender young age of 12. It was a science project on yeast and fermentation. It was also very illegal as I was 12 in 74. Anyway, it captured my attention, and with the support of my parents, I "pressed on." There were no books, no newsgroups, no "home brew shops" (a few good wine making shops, though...). Good ingredients and good information were pretty hard to come by. I do this (AOL), the HBD and my pages solely because it was something I *could* do - something I could offer from all of that. My reason for doing this is the difficulty I had in getting quality information. Not socialism; just a tad of altruism. As you read on, you'll understand, too, how you don't owe it to those coming up behind you. No, quite the contrary: you owe it to yourself. Read on, brothers and sisters! Read on... As I implied above, there's a SELFISH reason for pushing the craft, my friend! Consider this: if the number of brewers continues to drop off, so will the volume of sales in your local home brew shops. They close. Pickings get slim. Prices go up. Distributors are then hit by the reduction in market, and they shrink and close causing more home brew shops to close. Pickings get slimmer. Prices go higher. It's an economics thing. We're slipping out of the "economies of scale" realm of economics down to the other side of supply and demand. For the short term, if this trend continues, supply will outstrip demand and, as those shops continue closing, you'll enjoy low prices on old ingredients -- "close-outs." Once that trend flattens out, and the supply base stabilizes at the smaller level, the supply will, at best, meet the demand. More than likely, it'll turn slightly in the favor of demand outstripping supply. Prices go up even higher. One other nasty thing that usually occurs in such situations: since your market is not high demand, it has little buying power. With little buying power, it's hard to enforce any demand for quality. And the malts get stale, the extracts get doped with sugars and you have little say in the matter if you want to brew at all. Dollars to doughnuts, companies such as Whitelabs, Wyeast, YCKCo, et al. will not be able to stay afloat in the home brewing market, and the quantum leaps made in yeast culture quality in our market will be lost... Pretty bleak looking picture, hey? But not unrealistic. THIS is why you want to push the craft by attracting and teaching new brewers: to keep prices down and quantity and quality of supply up! Plain ol' economics. Now, brother and sister brewers! Go out and spread the good beer! Gather a NEW flock o' brewers to the bossom of the burbling carboy! Amen! I say: AMEN! (Hand-stands and cartwheels up the aisle are frowned upon. Please quietly leave the hymnals in the pew as you leave the building...) See ya! Pat Babcock aka Brew Beerd `{(P-{> AOL FDN Homebrewing Questions and Answers Maven Return to table of contents
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