HOMEBREW Digest #3026 Mon 10 May 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

  sterilizing bottles (Jeremy Bergsman)
  malted spelt (colorart)
  How to clean a Sanke keg? (Joy Hansen)
  The plastered thread . . . (Joy Hansen)
  buffered yeast storage (Scott Murman)
  Homebrew legality (Cory Chadwell Page Navigation)
  Weizen (ensmingr)
  Furry Projectiles In The Night ("Phil & Jill Yates")
  Guestimating centrifugal forces. ("Dr. Pivo")
  Late Note For The Doc ("Phil & Jill Yates")
  Cylindro-conical fermentor ("Charles Beaver")
  RE: converting a keg to a boiling pot (LaBorde, Ronald)
  Re: spud caca (Jeff Renner)
  saltwater, islands, and beer down under ("Dr. Pivo")
  Sanitizing O2 barrier caps/bottles (Dean Fikar)
  Plastic Conical Fermentor (John Elsworth)
  Lawn Mower Beer ("glyn crossno")
  Enzyme Kinetics ("Stephen Alexander")
  Dave Burley and the Chinese Connection (Secret Squirrel)
  Prag (Alan McKay)
  RE: Legalized Homebrew (Steve)
  site guages and unboiled wort ("C and K")
  When best to dilute beer and how?! ("Coordinator")
  Competition results (Adam Holmes)

Beer is our obsession and we're late for therapy! 2000 MCAB Qualifiers: Spirit of Free Beer! Competition 5/22/99 (http://burp.org/SoFB99); Oregon Homebrew Festival 5/22/99 (http://www.mtsw.com/hotv/fest.html); Buzz-Off! Competition 6/26/99 (http://www.voicenet.com/~rpmattie/buzzoff) 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, 07 May 1999 10:25:34 -0700 From: Jeremy Bergsman <jeremybb at leland.Stanford.EDU> Subject: sterilizing bottles > Joy replies: " Your premise that water cannot exceed 212 degrees Fahrenheit > is absurd! Think about it. Water is seldom boiled at one atmosphere due to > weather conditions and elevation throughout the United States. Possibly the > 250 degree temperature inside my pressure cooker with water and the air > exhausted is a myth created by scientists and the United States Department > of Agriculture Extension Service to make extra work for home canning > efforts? Not sure if you're trying to bait me, but if you read my post carefully I think you'll see that I know that 212F (which I actually didn't mention) is the boiling point at 1 atm. While I do distrust scientists, I in fact do mention 250F as the (implied) autoclave/pressure cooker temperature. Obviously I should have spelled it all out explicitly. > You haven't yet convinced me that dry heat is any better than a clean bottle > rinsed with a properly prepared sanitizer solution and drained dry or rinsed > with potable water. For someone so concerned that the oven may not sterilize it seems odd to imply that homebrew sanitizers are just as good, especially with a water rinse. In any case I was in no way comparing dry heat to a sanitizer, but to a pressure cooker. And when I did I didn't say it was more effective, just easier. I thought you were the one saying that one was better than the other. I will go on record as saying that I think the oven *is* more effective than the sanitizer/rinse, although I won't bother to try to convince you. I also happen to think it is easier because I do it days, weeks, or months before I bottle and then I have the bottles ready to go when I have a chance to bottle a batch. Of course your alternative method may be easier for some people. Possibly I should make a more explicit layout of my opinion to allow the slings and arrows a better target (courier, no tabs, you're welcome): Technique Advantages Disadvantages - --------- ----------------------------- -------------------------------- Sanitizer Low total effort, can be done Must be done at the last minute at the last minute Nonsterile (especially w/ rinse) Dishwaser Lowest total effort (?) Must be done a bit in advance, Bottle right on dishwasher but cannot be done greatly in door advance Nonsterile (but pretty good) Oven May be done in advance More work than above methods No special equipment High throughput Sterile Pressure May be done in advance Low throughput Cooker Sterile Must have a pressure cooker Slightly less total time than Most total work (due to low oven method throughput) > Jeremy, does your technique terminate heat resistant spores and > thermophiles? You may have revolutionized the entire food industry and > the medical accessory sterilization industry. :) According to my text (Medical Microbiology--An Introduction to Infectious Diseases, 2nd Ed., Ed by John C. Sherris, 1990, pg. 173) dry heat for 2 hours at 160C (a bit less than the 350F I use) is a sterilizer. I acknowledge that this is not the most authoritative book for such a subject and if you can cite a source that this is not the case then I'm all ears (or I guess it's "eyes"). - -- Jeremy Bergsman jeremybb at stanford.edu http://www.stanford.edu/~jeremybb Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 7 May 99 10:48:20 -0000 From: colorart at spiritone.com Subject: malted spelt Subject: malted spelt Sent: 5/7/99 10:45 AM To: Post at hbd.org Hello! I'd like to brew up a beer using malted spelt. I'm wondering if anyone on here has tried this, what kind of results they had and what advice they'd give. Also, I'm wondering where to get malted spelt. And, finally, if it's unavailable, how to malt spelt. Any information, even if it's only to point me to a source would be greatly appreciated. Any personal e-mail with regards to this is more than welcome. Thanks! -Matt Hollingsworth, Portland OR Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 7 May 1999 12:25:34 -0400 From: joytbrew at halifax.com (Joy Hansen) Subject: How to clean a Sanke keg? Joe Gibbens wrote: "Does anyone know what the brewing industry uses to clean stainless steel fermenters? I'm looking for a readily available caustic that won't leave a residue and can be used to clean areas that are inaccessible to scrubbing." Hi Joe and other interested HBDers, My assumption is that you are using a legal stainless steel keg as a fermenter. If so, then read on. Otherwise, page down! "THE FOLLOWING, IF EMPLOYED, IS DONE SO AT THE FABRICATORS OWN RISK AND LIABILITY." I've converted several kegs to be used as fermenters. These are convenient for my use because my batches are 8 to 10 gallon and the 1/2 barrel Sanke type kegs fit in my beer cooler so I can attempt to control the fermentation temperature. This said, I found it nearly impossible to clean the inside of the keg and I couldn't really see where I'd missed with the brush when I used a mirror that would fit through the fitting. The rubber stopper blow off tube combination in the irregular opening was difficult to seal and clean. The decision to open the top of the keg was easy. Accomplishing the task was something else. I drilled around the keg fitting with nitride tip drills and eventually broke out the fitting. Then, I traced the outline of a corny keg closure on top of the keg with the drilled opening in the center of the outline. The vertical shoulder on the corny lid must just fit the finished opening. The excess metal is removed with a bimetal equipped saber saw and a rotary file. A plasma cutter would make this a few minutes job. PLEASE USE SAFETY GLASSES AND SOME TYPE OF DEVICE TO PREVENT STAINLESS STEEL SHARDS FROM ENTERING THE LUNGS. My experience is that kegs can be obtained in at least two older constructions. It is necessary that the area around the cut opening be relatively flat and smooth so a corny lid "O" ring will seal. The plastic capped kegs are SMOOTH and seal well without much additional metal reforming. However, depending on the skill and tools of the operator, some of the rubber (stainless steel plate inside the rubber) must be cut to fit the corny lid lock lever. An easy task if a rotary file is available. The all metal kegs must be hammered smooth with an anvil inside the keg. The fabrication of a sealable opening takes some time; however, it can be done. To modify the corny keg lid, I leave the relief valve in place and drill/cut ca a 7/8 inch hole in the lid. The actual size of the hole in the lid is determined by the clear PVC one chooses for the blow off. At least one inch in diameter! The hose is routed with two hose barb elbows to hug the keg top and side and ends in a small bucket of sanitizer. The spring lock of the lid must be modified (the legs shortened). Pull the plastic caps off and cut about 3/16 off and replace the caps if the keg type is all metal. The plastic top kegs require a bit more skill to fabricate an acceptable lid lock. Of critical importance is the selection of the corny lid "O" ring. William's Brewing in Hayward, California sells a special "O" ring which is larger in diameter and of softer composition. This "O" ring conforms easily to the imperfections of the fabricated opening in the keg. This conversion works for me and I keep track of the fermentation rate through the activity in the blow off receiver. My arm is small as compared to many home brewers? However, I can reach to almost the center line of the keg. This allows use of a scrubber along with hot PBW to remove much of the after fermentation debris. The large opening allows visual inspection of the interior and easy recleaning if necessary. As to the original question, I'm sure there are a multitude of HBDers have specific answers to your question about cleaning fermenters. IMHO, industrial keg cleaners use CIP cleaners/rinses injected into the siphon tube and out the gas inlet of the keg opening. Other home built keg cleaners use a converted dishwasher that has the tower entering the opening (with the siphon apparatus removed). There are adequate reference articles published about the use of these alternatives. Joy"T"Brew Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 7 May 1999 13:35:00 -0400 From: joytbrew at halifax.com (Joy Hansen) Subject: The plastered thread . . . OK Alan, As the originator of the sheet rock thread, I feel qualified to interject a couple of FACTS: 1. The yeast was ready, everything else for the brew day was ready, except as I discovered the calcium sulfate. 2. The nearest brew store is 2 - 3 hours each way. The local Wal Mart is 10 minutes away. 3. The choice was not economic in the sense that the plaster of paris is cheap as compared to food grade gypsum. 4. To save the brew day, I resorted to using "fast setting plaster of paris" from the children's hobby dept. of Wal Mart. I guessed that there couldn't be anything toxic - lead, chromium, etc. in the formulation because a child might eat or drink the stuff. 5. I wasn't aware of the iron content that might be in the product - no ingredient label. 6. As a plastered home brewer, my health is as can be expected by anyone drinking alcoholic beverages - known to forget to examine the brewing inventory closely, known to cause birth defects, known to impair the ability to operate lawn mowers, and known to be the leading cause of accidental pregnancies! Warning, the foregoing is strictly the opinion of Joy"T"Brew and the use of HBDer's reply comments is intentional! Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 7 May 1999 11:55:31 -0700 (PDT) From: Scott Murman <smurman at best.com> Subject: buffered yeast storage For various reasons I'm going to be slowly moving towards adding a buffer to my sterile water yeast storage. I decided to use potassium phosphate monobasic, and I'll be using this at a 2% solution following Dave Whitman's initial experiments. Since I store my yeast in 2 dram vials, adding the weight of phosphate to each vial isn't practical. I can either store a larger volume of solution and fill the vials individually, or I can process a whole load of vials at once. I'd prefer the former. How much risk for contamination is there when storing plain 2% pH 4 buffer solution (sterilized) for several months? Are there guidelines for this type of thing? I don't have a microscope, so periodically checking for bacteria is out. -SM- Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 07 May 99 14:05:12 -0500 From: Cory Chadwell Page Navigation <chadwell at ssd.fsi.com> Subject: Homebrew legality Brian Kurl wrote... >>>>>>>>>> >From what little I have read from Idaho law, homebrewing was not illegal. Homebrewing was just not statutorily recognized. A subtle difference but an important one. In the other states listed, is homebrewing illegal or just not statutorily recognized? >>>>>>>>>> Living to brew here in Oklahoma my understanding is that I can brew 100 gal. per person, but I can't transport it anywhere. This is information given to me by the owner of a HB supply store. Also you can buy those goofy "Mr. Beer" kits in stores like Homeplace or Bed, Bath and Beyond so I don't think it could be that illegal. If it actually is illegal in some way to brew here in Oklahoma I would be interested to hear from some of the grassroots people in other states, about the process for legalizing homebrewing in a state. Brian also asks... >>>>>>>>>> By the way, does illegal homebrew taste better that legal homebrew? >>>>>>>>>> Simple answer, I'm pretty sure mine does taste better :) Cheers, Cory Possibly Bootleggin' in Oklahoma Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 07 May 1999 16:55:56 -0500 From: ensmingr at npac.syr.edu Subject: Weizen I partially agree and partially disagree with mark at awfulquiet.com's recent HBD post on "Weizen". I agree that one typically pours the yeast sediment of a Weizen into the glass (and said so in HBD 3023-17 http://www.hbd.org/hbd/archive/3023.html#3023-17 ). However, I disagree that the "usual" definition of Weizen is the type of wheat beer that is from around Berlin. In Germany and several other European countries, the term "white" is applied generally to beers made with wheat, presumably because such beers produce a thick, white, foamy head. Thus, we have Weisse in German, Wit in Flemish, and biere blanche in French. In Baden-Wuerttemberg (where I lived) and the rest of southern Germany, when you want a Hefe Weizenbier, you can order a "Weisse" or a "Weizen". You will never be given a Berliner Weisse. In Germany, Berliner Weisse is only made in Berlin and maybe one or two other northern German cities and is not widely available outside of the cities where it's made. For a reference, see *Michael Jackson's Beer Companion*. Cheers! Peter A. Ensminger Syracuse, NY Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 19:55:09 +1000 From: "Phil & Jill Yates" <yates at flexgate.infoflex.com.au> Subject: Furry Projectiles In The Night Dr Pivo, I can tell you uric acid will not improve your beer. Not that you asked but I can also tell you the critical velocity for a cat occurs at 15000 r.p.m.! How do I know this and why would a homebrewer care? Sometime back I was experimenting with open fermentation. The brews at first were great but suddenly the flavour profile changed notably. Scientific analysis revealed traces of uric acid. The source was not easily determined but several sleepless nights later, crouched behind a barrel in the brewhouse I observed the cause. The neighbour's pesky cat had taken to finding his way in and committing the unthinkable in my open fermenter! The cat and I had never really seen eye to eye but this was an act of unprovoked insolence! I was not in a good mood! The cat was persuaded to leave the brewhouse by the extremity of his tail. A rapid rotation was commenced. At precisely 15000 r.p.m. several astonishing things happened. 1/ The dreadful howling ceased. 2/ The cat vanished into the night air. 3/ I was now swinging a catless tail. Taken out of context you may say the discovery of this speed has no relevance to homebrewing. It's not mentioned in any of Charlie's books. However in my case it greatly improved the flavour of my beer! Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 08 May 1999 13:51:22 +0200 From: "Dr. Pivo" <irv at wireworks.se> Subject: Guestimating centrifugal forces. Phil and Jill Yates apparently have collectively done some bold experimentation. There are, however a few "points", that I think they may be missinterpreting: > I can tell you uric acid will not improve your beer Certainly not without the gyprock, and I never meant to imply that. > . A rapid rotation was commenced. At > precisely 15000 r.p.m. several astonishing things happened. > 1/ The dreadful howling ceased. > 2/ The cat vanished into the night air. > 3/ I was now swinging a catless tail. I would like to remind you that this is just *one* data point. According to "BS&BS", maximum acceptable cat revolutions are attained at 5000 rpm. I would wonder how accurately Jill and Phil were measuring rotational speed. Without a well calibrated cat tachometer, these are deceptively hard things to accurately measure. We are well aware that at speeds exceeding the "acceptable level", a vortex is created around the cat's rectum, creating a vacuum, and they implode. I am also wondering how certain Jill and Phil can be that the howling really ceased. Many people confuse the howl of a cat with that of a cockatoo, and not meaning to be insulting or anything, they may just have a raised threshold for cat howling, and didn't hear it. I give courses in "recognizing the sounds of tortured animals", and had you attended one, you might have realized that the sound was still there. I am giving such a tutorial next weekend and we are up to "W", and will be exploring the sounds of run over warthogs, drowning wombats, and electrified wallabies. Should Phil and Jill care to wait until we get back to "C", they are perfectly welcome. One things for sure, they won't have missed anything, as we will be repeating the same material over, and over, and over, and over..... Dr. Pivo Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 23:01:42 +1000 From: "Phil & Jill Yates" <yates at flexgate.infoflex.com.au> Subject: Late Note For The Doc Now I don't wish to pit my scientific wit (or lack of) against that of the good Doc. It's not that I didn't learn anything at school, more to the point I just didn't listen! All those years ago it was never explained to me that all this science was going to help me make good beer. Nor was it ever explained just what happens to a cat at high r.p.m. But putting all of this aside let me at least respond to some assumptions from Doctor Pivo. Confusion at our wedding? There was no confusion then and there isn't any now. I wear the pants around this house! So long as Jill doesn't mind. Diacetyl is found off the coast of NSW. Rubbish!! There ain't nothing out there but salt water. The cat must have imploded! Here the Doc is assuming I never pursued the fate of my neighbour's much loved cat. Now listen Doc, If you're going to be over this way September next I needn't waste any more of this precious electronic ink. You can help me fix the holes in the walls. We can swing a few cats and cockatoos on the roof and see what really happens. And best of all you can show me how to get Jill's name off my transmission title so it doesn't look like every thing I write is in tandem. Cheers, Phil and Jill Yates!!!! Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 08:12:03 -0500 From: "Charles Beaver" <cbeav at netnitco.net> Subject: Cylindro-conical fermentor I am considering moving up to a 12.5 gallon stainless cylindro-conical fermentor (CCF), but I have a few questions I hope someone can answer for me. Is the entire fermentation conducted in the CCF? By that I mean is there a primary fermentation and then a secondary in another vessel? Do I keg directly from the CCF? At what point is trube removed? Is there a concern about also removing yeast? Private e-mail is fine. TIA Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 08:26:52 -0500 From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: RE: converting a keg to a boiling pot >>> From: JPullum127 at aol.com my brother recently bought(legally!) me a keg from a brewery that is structurally sound but has a damaged valve and will not hold pressure. i would like to cut off the top and use it for a boiler. i have a friend who teaches welding at a community college and has access to a plasma cutter. does anyone have a faq or specific info on the best way to do this... <<<< Many people will recommend using a sawz-all, or some kind of cut-off grinder, etc, but a Dremel motor tool with the fiber cut-off wheel works great. You can sit down in a chair, and using 3 or 4 wheels, about 30 minutes, and a pint of beer, you will have a nicely cut out top. Use a little heavy grit sandpaper on the edge, and you will have a very smooth opening. Ron Ronald La Borde - Metairie, Louisiana - rlabor at lsumc.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 10:35:23 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: spud caca Cory Chadwell <chadwell at ssd.fsi.com> asks some questions about his potato adjunct cream ale. While I've never mashed potatoes, the procedure should be similar to other adjuncts. >I brought to boil about 8# [sliced] spuds and 1# 2row inside on the >kitchen stove. Did you mash this first at ~150F? This is normal cereal mash procedure. See archives for the reasons, but I think there were convincing arguments that it has benefits for handling. This might have avoided the slow sparge, although I don't know. A proper cereal mash turns very liquid before your eyes. I don't know haw much dry material there is in 8 lbs of potatoes, but with corn or rice, you sould use about 1/3 as much malt as adjunct. Perhaps you could have used more malt. >It has quite a bit of starch haze that I'm >hoping will clear with time. You shouldn't have to accept this. I'm not sure what caused it, but there have been many reports of success without starch haze in potato beer. > >I was wondering is this the same procedure you would use for rice or >polenta? >Also my spuds basically turned to mashed potatoes in the mash causing a very >slow sparge. Is this expected when brewing with adjucts like rice and >corn or >is this specific to using the spuds. This is the real reason I felt I should answer - here is my area of experience. An adjunct mash uses some malt, as you did, but then you mash before boiling the adjunct. You then have a thin mash to add to the main mash, at least with corn. I think that with some adjustments, you ought to be able to make a beer you're even happier with. Jeff -=-=-=-=- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, c/o nerenner at umich.edu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 08 May 1999 18:19:52 +0200 From: "Dr. Pivo" <irv at wireworks.se> Subject: saltwater, islands, and beer down under > Diacetyl is found off the coast of NSW. Rubbish!! There ain't nothing out > there but salt water. ... and I was quite certain that it was part of the Whitsundays. On the other hand, I'm thinking of signing up some HBD contributers for a dive trip leaving from Port Douglas. You can come along as we send them off.... just so long as you can't count either. > We can swing a few cats and cockatoos on the roof > and see what really happens. Just as long as you don't forget the cattle prods and the wombats.... I expect a complete experiment here. Speaking of beer, been out to Picton? The only pub I've ever been in, where one of the workers (who had cattle) brought in a plastic bag full of cow flops, for her co-worker who had an undernourished pashion fruit plant at home. The bag sat on the bar through the whole shift..... aw, only in Oz... I luv it!! Since the pashion fruit owner's ex-hubby was Czech, I taught her to say (spelling errors a many->) "eshti e sem se po spenatu neposral", or loosely, "it hasn't happened yet that I've crapped myself with spinach"... a phrase I've found to be quite a "door opener". If you do get to Picton, let me reccomend the light and the lager, half and half. The bock is nice, but at a strength that will require you to book the "bridal suite", which is within stumbling distance of the bar.... and say hello to "Dave" for me, the guy polishing the copper kettle and chasing Pediococcus with a fly swatter. Dr. Pivo Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 08 May 1999 12:16:56 -0500 From: Dean Fikar <dfikar at flash.net> Subject: Sanitizing O2 barrier caps/bottles My $0.02 on the recent sanitizing threads... What I do with the O2 barrier caps is spray them with a 70% EtOH solution just before capping. Even though the contact time needed is supposedly 10-15 mins., I suspect there is some benefit to this, particularly if you don't let the beer come into contact with the cap for a few minutes after capping (i.e. by not tipping the bottle). This is a little more problematic when CP filling from a keg and capping on foam (to decrease air in the bottle) as is my custom when not doing the usual priming routine. As for sanitizing bottles, I use a bottle tree with a spray washer mounted on the top in which I pour about 2 cups of Star San solution and give each clean bottle 2-3 hard squirts and leave them to drain on the tree for a few minutes while I get the other stuff ready to go. I don't bother rinsing the bottles since I can't taste or smell the Star San anyway. Star San foams like crazy so I only fill the very bottom of the spray reservior. Star San is great stuff and truly is, for me at least, a no rinse sanitizer (insert standard disclaimers here). I've done about 20 batches this way and have had no problems so far (as I knock on wood X 3). Dean Fikar Ft. Worth, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 08 May 1999 15:14:01 -0400 From: John Elsworth <jdelsworth at snet.net> Subject: Plastic Conical Fermentor Over the past few months there have been several inquiries about the experience that hbd-ers have had with the plastic conical fermentors that are now available. We bought one of these a couple of years ago, with its stand, and we have done several batches using it. It was from South Bay Homebrew Supply (no affiliation etc): http://members.aol.com/aconical Below are what we found to be its advantages and disadvantages (not in order of importance). Description 6.5 gallon, cylindrical upper section with conical bottom, with 2 holes on the top surface (a large raised hole which has plastic cover, and smaller one for air-lock), and drain tap at the bottom. The drain is threaded and come with a screw-in adapter that has a barbed end so that tubing can be attached. It comes with option stand, which we bought. It cost about $35 in all. Ideally we wanted to be able to collect yeast during, or at the end of the fermentation, so that there would be no need for a separate secondary. Also to be able to transfer from the fermentor without siphoning. Pros. 1. Lightweight 2. Virtually non-breakable 3. Easy to clean - you can get your arm in! 4. You can remove cold-break early on, if you are able to get to it before the primary kicks up. This may be especially useful if you use a counter-flow chiller; we use an immersion chiller usually. 5. You can transfer rapidly from this fermentor without siphoning. 6. You can collect yeast, to save and use in a subsequent brew. 7. The fermentor is quite narrow (12 inches diameter, by about 33 inches tall in its stand without airlock), so it can fit in many fridges. This can be useful, for example, if your yeast is not ready for pitching, or you want to bring the yeast down fast (keep a brown ale slightly sweet?), or for lagering (which we never want to do, however). Cons. 1. More expensive than standard glass fermentor. 2. It is opaque, so you can't see the fermentation activity or clarity of the contents. However, it is possible to make out when there is a head and how much yeast deposit there is. 3. It is not possible to remove all the yeast at one go in a small volume. When the tap is first opened a good thick stream of yeast emerges; however, after that there is a relatively large volume (very rough estimate of at least 0.5 gallon) of cloudy beer, before clear beer comes out. If only the thick stream of yeast is collected, the fermentor can be swirled a bit to bring down the yeast that has collected on the sloped sides of the container, and then this can be drawn off at a later time - this reduces the volume of beer that is wasted. Another approach is to draw off small amounts of yeast regularly instead of letting it accumulate too much, although this involves more work, of course. So, its suitability really depends on what you want to use it for (e.g., just a primary fermentor, or a combined primary-secondary fermentor, or a way to collect yeast etc). Presently, we use it for small or split batches, which are usually are somewhat concentrated, and are diluted later. Otherwise we use a 12 gallon Pyrex carboy as the primary fermentor, and use two 6 gallon Pyrex carboys for secondaries, before kegging. Cheers! John Elsworth Bret Morrow Hamden, CT Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 08 May 1999 15:57:29 -0500 From: "glyn crossno" <crossno at tnns.net> Subject: Lawn Mower Beer Badger Roullett <branderr at microsoft.com> told us about his Apricot Wheat sometime last year. I pulled the recipe, converted to all grain, and have now brewed it several times. As a straight up beer it is good and most people like it. Brewing in 12+ gallon batch sizes I like to bottle some straight, some I prime with a ginger tea, and some I secondary with fruit. But just about any way you brew it it turns out nice. Also if you desire, pump it up with a shot (2+ lbs.) of honey. Category : Fruit Beer / American Wheat Method : Full Mash Starting Gravity : 1.053 Ending Gravity : 1.013 Alcohol content : 5.1% Recipe Makes : 12.0 gallons Total Grain : 26.00 lb.. Color (srm) : 8.4 Efficiency : 66% (I got impatient with the homemade mill) Hop Bus : 18.6 Malts/Sugars: 3.00 lb. American Crystal 20L 16.00 lb. American Two-Row 5.00 lb. Belgian Wheat 2.5 lb honey if desired Hops: 3.00 oz. Hall. Tradition 4.6% 60 min Desired Grain/Water Ratio: 1.1 quarts/pound First Mash Temperature: 157F Second Mash Temperature: 168F There you go. Brew a good one. Glyn Crossno, Estill Springs, TN Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 20:27:15 -0400 From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Enzyme Kinetics Matt Brooks asks about mixing and enzymes ... >My understanding of the Michaelis-Menten (M-M) equation is that it >represents a [see HBD #3025. ] Yes - nice description. Looking at it as the rate of product formation with increasing substrate concentration - it starts at (0,0); then (almost) linearly increases (1st order) as the substrate concentration increases; then as the substrate concentration increases further the rate of product formation "rolls off" to a peak flat value (zeroeth order). The peak represents the maximal rate at which the enzyme can act under the test circumstances - it's an enzyme limitation, not a lack of substrate. My previous point (which is often overlooked) is that water is every bit as much a substrate as starch. In fact water is a substrate for al the amylases, glucanases and certainly most of the proteases & peptidases. >Could the kinetics of this enzyme-substrate complex be improved by the >addition of a mixer (or mash recirculation), [...] The answer is that mixing helps, but not because it somehow bypasses the M-M relations. If the enzymes and the substrates (and all conditions) are evenly distributed throughout the mash (or distributed by the random processes called Brownian motion) then mixing won't help at all. If they are not evenly distributed (more starch over here - and more water over there for example) then the M-M relation still applies to each domain separately and the total activity is provably less that if mixing took place. In a mash, in practice, the enzymes are in solution fairly quickly, but not all the starch is. The enzymes are involved in degrading insoluble granules of starch (mobilizing an immobile substrate). Mixing undoubtedly helps here. Also in real world mashes - the temperatures are not uniform and at the hot spots more enzymes are denatured, but more starch is gelatinized. Mixing helps here. A secondary effect of mixing is shear forces from pumps and mixer blades can denature enzymes and some commercial brewers are concerned with this (see HBD archives for detail). The RIMsers among us have demonstrated that even these relatively high shear force systems can be used and they still get a completed mash - so maybe the shear-denaturing issue isn't so critical. >Would the addition of a mixer (or recirculation) also aid in getting >water molecules in contact with the enzyme-substrate complex Generally not after the first couple minutes of mixing when the concentrated enzymes & water become evenly distributed in the mash. Of course as more starch becomes available you'd like to mix that with the water & enzymes ... >It seems that in a static mash bed the reaction of the enzyme with the >substrate would not occur as quickly (efficiently?) as in a mixed or >recirculated mash? Right - but because of the non-uniformity of heat, starch concentration etc. Continued mixing wouldn't help a starch+enzyme uniform solution for example. Steve Return to table of contents
Date: 9 May 1999 03:10:23 -0000 From: Secret Squirrel <secret_squirrel at nym.alias.net> Subject: Dave Burley and the Chinese Connection This has only slight beer content, for which I apologize in advance. But a guy who recently defended his tendency to proclaim the "facts" in response to uninformed speculation in this forum, has painted a bullseye between his eyes, and I couldn't resist the invitation to open fire. Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> wrote: >In China ( where I've spent more time than in Eastern Europe - where "bier" is >well understood), the word for beer is "beezho" in most of China I visited >and "beezhwer" in the Beijing area dialect. You've misinterpreted what you thought you were hearing. Many dialects of Chinese are spoken in China. The "official" dialect (the Guo Yu, or national language) is Mandarin. The Mandarin words for "beer" are Pi Jiu. It's pronounced roughly "Pee Joe". Jiu = wine, but various kinds of spirits are all called "jiu". Mandarin speakers from the area of Bei Zhing do tend to add a buzzing "R" to the end of lots of words. Speakers of Mandarin not from the Bei Zhing area may pronounce it without the buzz. The spoken words for beer in dialects *other than* Mandarin (I can't say, as I'm only familiar with Mandarin) are potentially something completely different. >Bayzhing is the new name for what used to be called Peiping, and Peking, >depending on the politically correct linguistic era and who was in control >politically at the time. Bayzhing isn't the name for anything. Bei Zhing (pronounced Bay Jing) is, and has been for thousands of years, the name for the northern capital of China (Bei=North, Zhing=capital). The varied spellings through history have nothing to do with politics. They are due to the fact that the Chinese spoken language originally had no alphabet to represent it, and westerners (Chinese too, for that matter) in trying to transliterate Chinese using a western alphabet, came up with schemes that left something to be desired in capturing the sound of the spoken words. Each creator of a new system (Wade-Giles, Yale, PinYin) sought to improve on the previous system, thus the changes in spelling over the course of time. Older maps of China tend to reflect Wade-Giles spellings of place names. >The northern Mandarin has a lot of ZH sounds in it and perhaps the rise of >Chinese domination in the north (Mao and his gangs) versus earlier British >domination in the south ( where the Chinese symbol for Beijung would likely be >pronounced without the zh sound in the Shanghai or Hong Kong dialects) >prompted this change in the accepted pronunciation in Western translations. That's nonsense. There has been no change in "accepted pronunciation"; there has been an evolving series of attempts to use Western alphabets to represent the Chinese spoken language. People in the southern areas of China tend to speak their own dialects (Cantonese, etc.), and not Mandarin at all, unless they have been educated to speak the national dialect. Since the Chinese had no alphabet, the British came up with the Wade-Giles system for transliterating Chinese words. They chose to transliterate Mandarin instead of other dialects, because Mandarin was the language of the royal court and educated Chinese in general. Mandarin was later to become the "official" national language as decreed by the communists. In the Wade-Giles system, Bei Jing is spelled "Peiking" because there is no "B" in the system. There is only *P* (unaspirated, pronounced like a "B") and *P'* (aspirated, pronounced like a "P"). For some bizarre reason, there is no "J" in the Wade-Giles system either. "K" was used instead. Thus the captial of China was transmogrified into "P'eiking", but that has nothing to do with the pronunciation, which was always "Bay Jing". The ignorant (not necessarily stupid; I said ignorant) not knowing the vagaries of Wade-Giles, when seeing "P'eiking", pronounced it just like it was spelled - "Payking". When the Chinese finally came up with their own transliteration system (PinYin), they decided on "Zh" for "J", (thus Bei Zhing), probably to reflect the tendency of speakers in the northern capital area to lend a "zh" sound to "j". But to my ear, most Chinese speakers pronounce "zhing" as "jing". I get a big laugh out of Ted Koppel, et. al. trying to wrap their lips around the "zh" sound when "jing" is perfectly acceptable and would be understood by almost any Chinese. In case you're wondering, I was taught Mandarin Chinese by native (born in mainland China) Chinese. I won't cite any weighty tomes in my defense. I'm solidly on the side of those in this forum who rest on their personal experience. You the man, Dr. Pivo. Let your light shine down. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 08 May 1999 23:53:11 -0400 From: Alan McKay <amckay at ottawa.com> Subject: Prag In prague go to the square with the old astrological clock. There are several good beer places within staggering distance. Also, on either end of the Charles bridge is great. Go to the end with the old square museum for a nice little basement pub with excellent black beer. Get the black beer in Prag. "Pivo" is beer. "Tchorny" is "black". I have more details if only I weren't just getting off a big move, I'd probably be able to find my notes. The hari-krishna restaurant is actually a pretty decent spot. And up on the hill in the castle is a really neat resto-bar that will knock your socks off. And while up there see the Kafka-house. It's pretty cool in Prague. Email for more tips. cheers, -Alan - -- "Brewers make wort, yeast makes beer" - Dave Miller's Homebrewing Guide http://www.magma.ca/~bodnsatz/brew/tips/ Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 7 May 1999 00:57:54 -0500 From: Steve <steves at ro.com> Subject: RE: Legalized Homebrew Brian Kuhl asks: By the way, does illegal homebrew taste better that legal homebrew? Yes. Yes it does. OK, maybe not. I haven't tasted any legal homebrew. Steve Stripling Huntsville, AL Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 May 1999 03:51:37 -0700 From: "C and K" <Cuckold at cornerpub.com> Subject: site guages and unboiled wort Date: Fri, 7 May 1999 11:53:31 -0500 From: "Poirier, Bob" <Bob_Poirier at adc.com> Subject: Re: 1st Allgrain Greetings! I posted this question a few months ago, but never got any responses. Scott, I notice that you've got a site gauge installed on your kettle: Should there be any concern that the wort that fills the site gauge is never boiled along with the main volume of the wort?? Hi Bob. Good point. I would have to defer to someone in the know. This is my first batch (second in the works). There are so many variables involved with brewing. My level indicator holds perhaps 1/2 pt. of wort. It was hot to touch, so would just have to presume that that portion of the wort was pasteurized. I'm not nearly as aghast to this as the little dead bug found during the racking! Prost! Scott Richland, Wa. 3000 miles west of somebody. Seldom correct...but never without doubt Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 May 1999 10:39:08 -0400 From: "Coordinator" <emcreg at one.net> Subject: When best to dilute beer and how?! I know more is better, etc, etc, but I would like to bring a miss calculated 1.070 beer in primary (OG) down to target of 1.056, or so. Just completed my third all-grain recipe - a honey porter. Think I put in to much honey. Before the honey it was at 1.049, threw in 2# honey last 15 minutes of boil. OG=1.070. It tastes great though, pronounced honey flavor but not too much. According to NCJHB about 10% more water should bring down OG about 0.005. I only have about 1.25 gallons worth of space in the 6.5 gal primary in which it now sits. Will be throwing in 1 gallon of water to bring down to a comfortable gravity. When should I attempt this and how? At transfer to secondary with 1 gallon of boiled water? Thanks Todd Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 May 1999 15:26:35 -0600 (MDT) From: Adam Holmes <aaholmes at lamar.ColoState.EDU> Subject: Competition results I am a newcomer to brewing competitions. I've noticed a trend in the posting of results: 1) We usually see how many people entered the competition 2) We see who won 1st, 2nd, 3rd place in each category Why don't they take it one step further and post: 1) the scores that each beer got 2) how many beers were entered into each category I entered my barleywine into a comp and got good feedback on my judging forms and that is the most important thing that a comp can provide. However, I didn't see how my beer stacked up against the rest. I wasn't hungry for a ribbon. I was just curious how many people entered the Belgian category vs. the Pale Ale categoryor? Was I in 4th place or 40th place in my category? What was the average score of a 1st place beer? I understand the people who run these competitions are probably already overworked and this data entry would require more work but some people may find this info interesting. What does the collevtive think? Adam Holmes Cell and Molecular Biology Colorado State University aaholmes at lamar.colostate.edu Return to table of contents
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