HOMEBREW Digest #3028 Wed 12 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

  RIMS Question ("Sandy Macmillan")
  Why and when to measure gravity. ("Fred L. Johnson")
  Calcium Phosphate Truce? (Matthew Comstock)
  Re: Competition results (RobertJ)
  Re: Getting Honey Flavor (mark)
  Re: fwh formula? (mark)
  Re:Getting honey flavor (ROATTW)" <ROATTW at UCMAIL.UC.EDU>
  re : Hallertau Hops -- Summary (and other German hops) ("Alan McKay")
  RE: converting a keg to a boiling pot (Danny Johnson)
  Slavic toasts ("Alan McKay")
  uric acid vs. urea (Anton Verhulst)
  Cutting Sankeys w/ a Dremel ("Cameron LiDestri")
  centrifuging starters (ALAN KEITH MEEKER)
  RE: Cutting sankes/legality/dilution/Spud beer (LaBorde, Ronald)
  gravity readings?? (Domenick Venezia)
  Is there such a thing as an autoclave-resistant organism?? (ALAN KEITH MEEKER)
  A newbie bottler question? ("Brett A. Spivy")
  Calcium Phosphate, Champagne Corks (Dave Burley)
  Sinology and Sodomy ("Dr. Pivo")
  Using epsom salts for hop plants? (Paul Shick)
  Pasta Beer ("Frank J. Russo")
  Lifting converted-keg kettles (Bob Sheck)
  Indiana homebrew legalization (of sorts) (Steve Jackson)
  laws (Bryan Gros)
  Prague (Troy Hager)
  Colorful Wits ("Rob")
  keg conversion (JPullum127)

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: Tue, 11 May 1999 12:43:05 +0300 From: "Sandy Macmillan" <scotsman at ncc.moc.kw> Subject: RIMS Question Hi all I have a RIMS question. All the articles I have read and people spoken to have always kept the sparge water as a separate supply for sparging. Then after sparging is complete the water is boiled. What is wrong with the idea of maintaining your sparge water in the boiling kettle, but at the lower correct temperature, and then using the circulating pump to return the sparge water to the kettle and recirculate the then diluted sparge water back through the system. Sparging would then continue until the water volume had passed through the grains i.e. if the pump was running at 1 litre per minute and there was 30 litres of water for boil volume then sparge for 30 minutes. It seems you could then only need one kettle or boiler. Has anyone tried this approach, or am I missing a simple fact or two? Sandy Brewing in a dry place! Scotsman at ncc.moc.kw Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 07:47:17 -0400 From: "Fred L. Johnson" <FLJohnson at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Why and when to measure gravity. Todd is moving into all grain brewing and asks about why to perform gravity measurements and how to do it since he has never performed one in five years of brewing: I'm sure I don't need to tell you, Todd, that the specific gravity is a measurement of how much sugar is in the wort. If one is using extracts as you have for many years, this isn't really much in question; but as you move into mashing, variations of materials, technique, and equipment used in grinding, mashing and lautering will cause variability of the amount of sugar you generate and extract from the grains. Measuring the specific gravity is valuable in determining how these and any intentional variations in technique have affected the final amount of sugar you obtain in the wort. If you are targeting a specific gravity of the unfermented wort, you can do the following after the sparge to determine if you need to add some dry or liguid malt extract to achieve the final target gravity. You must know the specific gravity and the volume of the wort before the boil and you must know the amount of water that you will boil off. This latter value can be determined by measuring preboil and postboil volumes on a few or several typical brewing sessions. Kettle volumes can best be measured with a calibrated sight tube on your kettle. Alternatively you can use aluminum yardstick as a dipstick, as I do. (I won't get into the fine points of adjusting volume measurements for temperature changes at this time. I also won't get into the fine points of calculating hop additions based upon differences in preboil gravities.) >From the measurements of specific gravity and volume, you can calculate before what the postboil specific gravity will be. If the calculated postboil gravity is high, you can add a calculated amount of water before the boil to achieve your target postboil gravity. Of course, you will have more wort to ferment than originally planned. (Good starter culture material.) If the preboil gravity is too low to achieve the targeted postboil gravity, you can add a calculated amount of dry or liquid malt extract before the boil to achieve your target postboil gravity. Alternatively, you can boil longer for the calculated amount of time based upon the known rate of boiloff. Of course, adjustment of the timing of the hop additions should be made if you are altering the boil time. I am sure you can begin to appreciate that GOOD measurements can be valuable and that bad measurements can be worthless. If, instead, you perform all of your gravity and volume measurements only at the end of the boil and you find that you've missed your target, you will either have to add more water which must be preboiled or you will add more extract which must also be preboiled or reboiled. Of course, it is important to measure the specific gravity again after the boil to confirm that your adjustments and calculations achieved the target. - -- Fred L. Johnson Apex, North Carolina USA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 05:09:57 -0700 (PDT) From: Matthew Comstock <mccomstock at yahoo.com> Subject: Calcium Phosphate Truce? Matt, Matt, Matt.... I'll resend my personal email to you over the hbd wire: This calcium phosphate discussion is getting silly. It seems to me the bottom line is that calcium ions + phosphate ions may lead to formation of (calcium)x(PO4)yLz where L = OH, or god knows what. Hydroxyapatite precipitation is only important at high pH? Pick another (calcium)x(PO4)yLz then. Many calcium phosphates are insoluble (not all are insoluble, for example, Ca(H2PO4)2). With all the junk floating around in wort there are prone to be nucleation sites available for precipitation to 'start.' In "Chemistry of the Elements," (Greenwood and Earnshaw) they throw their hands up in the air about the whole discussion and say: "...The solubility of metal phosphates clearly depends on pH, salinity, temperature, etc., but in neutral solution Ca3(PO4)2 (solubility product ca. 10 exp-29 mol5L-5) may first precipitate and then gradually transform into the less soluble hydroxyapatite [Ca5(PO4)3(OH)], and finally, into the least soluble member, fluoroapatite (solubility product ca 10 exp-60 mol9L-9)....." Whatever One thing I would like to thank you for is reminding me that wort is not water. There are all kinds of competing complexation equilibria tying up various ions as opposed to the 'simple' case of water. However, even with a large equilibrium constant for Ca2+ + Ligand < - > Ca(Ligand) K = big, the precipitation reactions of various calcium phosphates have very small solubility products, and precipitation is one heck of a driving force. Le Chatelier would tell us that as soon as that *one* free PO4 ion floating around in your mash got sucked into a precipitation reaction and dropped out of solution, another would jump out and fill the vacancy. My take on this is that adding calcium to your brewing liquor undoubtedly affects the overall phosphate present and/or dissolved in the mash/wort. Does it all precipitate? As hydroxyapatite? Nope, and nope. Can you strip all the phosphate out of solution with calcium addition. I think you've clearly argued nope. Does some precipitate? I bet some does. Can I prove it? Nope. Can you prove it doesn't? Nope. Can you or I argue for or against it? Yep. Can we chemists alienate everyone on the hbd by arguing about goofy chemical reactions that depend so much on reactions conditions that anything we would conclude would be completely invalid for a different brewer? Yep. This is an open forum and its always fun to argue, but this seems like a silly thread. Let's get back to Clinitest. Why is it these 'threads' always degenerate into an irritating shouting match? Why can't we have positive threads, like, Hey I tried Nottingham yeast and it rocks, or Hey, if you like bitter and spicy beers you should try Chinook hops (my rhizomes have sent up their first shoot - it is about 4 inches tall now! Yes!) Latersville, Matt in Cincinnati. _________________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Free instant messaging and more at http://messenger.yahoo.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 08:37:16 -0400 From: RobertJ <pbsys at pbsbeer.com> Subject: Re: Competition results On Mon, 10 May 1999 00:23:27 -0400, Adam Holmes asks; >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 have brought this point up a few times in years past, on HBD and with the AHA and found that most would disagree with me. I also, would like to see all scores posted in order to know where the beer placed in the field. We have done this in all our competitions (8 NY City Spring Regional) with up to 325 entries. The main arguments, I have heard, in the past, for not doing are: The score should tell where your beer is ie 30+ is in style, 40+ is an excellent example of style etc. If a category is judged in several flights by different judges a comparison is meaningless. Posting all scores might be embarassing for those not doing well. The comments and suggestions are what is important. I do not agree. I think most competitions and espescially the AHA (Nationals) just don't want the additional work. I would like to see where the beer stood in it's category. Were all the scores 30 - 35 and my 30 was considered mediocre or were most scores 20-25 & I just missed placing? If, in a combined category; was mine the best stout and beaten by a porter? Although there would be room for interpretation (judging is not an exact science, the brewer will have a better idea of where his beer stands. Although not perfect, in the NYCHBC competition we indicate judge panels (A, B, C etc) so an entrant can see where his beer placed in the flight and if it was considered for a mini best of show, used to determine a category winner. We also indicate the category/subcategory for each entrant. Names are posted only for the top 3, all other entries just have entry #s to avoid possible embarrassment. Depending on your brewing level and available local judge evaluations the comments can be the most important benefit of entering. However, as a National judge with several very qualified other local judges, I have had beers judged by inexperienced judges where the comments were both useless and inaccurate. It happens, judges have a bad day or have done too many beers, I don't take it seriously. Bob Precision Brewing Systems URL http://www.pbsbeer.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 14:57:28 +0200 From: mark <shrike.cars at accesinternet.com> Subject: Re: Getting Honey Flavor Dave & all the fellow HBDers, I don't know much about priming with honey (or beer with honey) but wouldn't what Dave wrote below then just ferment in the keg? Leaving you with a larger than normal layer of yeast on the bottom.. You could prime with honey.. instead of force carbonating, or add it to your secondary fermenter? If it doesn't ferment, which might be highly unlikely, (I'm pretty sure brewer's yeast will ferment honey, although I may be wrong? anyone care to clarify?) then you will have a honey sweet beer... Having scanned a few mead making books in the past, pastreurized honey looses some of it's floral / and or "honey" charateristics.... But then this is a beer, where honey characteristics may not be the most "major" player in aroma / flavour Prost! Mark mark at awfulquiet.com Dave wrote: >Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 10:35:44 EDT >From: Lostboy676 at aol.com >Subject: Getting honey flavor > >Someone recently asked about getting more honey flavor from their beer. I >was wondering, couldnt you just add some paturized honey at kegging time and >force carbonate? I'm just curious. >Dave Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 14:57:42 +0200 From: mark <shrike.cars at accesinternet.com> Subject: Re: fwh formula? Jim, What is First Wort Hopping Technique? I haven't heard that term before... Thanks, Mark mark at awfulquiet.com >Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 06:42:00 -0800 >From: jim williams <jim&amy at macol.net> >Subject: fwh formula? >does a formula exist that figures ibu of first wort hopping technique? >thanks, jim. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 09:06:45 -0400 From: "Roat, Todd (ROATTW)" <ROATTW at UCMAIL.UC.EDU> Subject: Re:Getting honey flavor >Someone recently asked about getting more honey flavor from their beer. I was wondering, >couldn't you just add some paturized honey at kegging time and force carbonate? I'm just >curious. >Dave I got excellent honey flavor recently by boiling 2# of honey in about 2 quarts of water and adding to brewpot last 5-10 minutes of boil. The heat pasturized (?) it without altering/degrading/reducing the flavor. Nice honey flavor! Todd W. Roat Clinical Trials Coordinator EMCREG Coordinator Department of Emergency Medicine 231 Bethesda Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio 45267-0769 (P)513-558-5216 (F)513-558-5791 emcreg at uc.edu todd.roat at uc.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 09:21:50 -0400 From: "Alan McKay" <amckay at nortelnetworks.com> Subject: re : Hallertau Hops -- Summary (and other German hops) In 3016 Jeffrey Hittinger summarizes Garetz as saying : "German hop names typically have two or three parts. The first part of the name should be an adjective referring to the region in which the hops were grown, for example, Hallertau, Hersbruck, or Spalt. The second part of the name describes the variety (cultivar) by the region where the strain originated; typically, this is constructed by adding the suffix -er to the region name. " When I first read this a couple of weeks ago, something about it just didn't agree with me. Although Garetz' description is pretty-much right on the nose of how hops names are derived. What I want to set straight for the record is Garetz misrepresentation of German grammar. I know that's kind of anal of me, but we might as well call an orange an orange. This message is translated and summarized from : http://www.bier-selbstgebraut.de/wwwforum/messages/301.html which is Markus Hillenbrand's answer to my questions concerning the matter. Markus is a brewmaster and maltster in Wiesloch. The first part of the hop name is indeed the name of the growing region. But it's not "an adjective referring to the region" as Garetz states, but rather it's the name of the region. No adjectives involved in this part. Also, it should properly always be written in capital letters. Garetz notes that the next part is the "part of the name which describes the variety" and that "typically, this is constructed by adding the suffix -er to the region name". Now we are talking adjectives. As soon as you start adding '-er' to just about anything, you are turning it into an adjective. Here is the rest of Markus' message, translated into English by myself (with the original German as well) : Tatschlich besteht der Name eines deutschen Hopfens aus 2 oder 3 Woertern. Das erste Wort bedeutet das Anbaugebiet (GROSS GESCHRIEBEN), wo der Hopfen geerntet wurde. Das zweite Wort bedeutet die Hopfensorte(Klein Geschrieben). Manchmal besteht die Hopfensorte aus 2 Woertern. Es gibt dann noch Abkuerzungen fuer die Hopfenbezeichnungen (meistens 3 GROSSE BUCHSTABEN). So sieht das im Einzelnen dann aus: Actually the name of a hop consists of 2 or 3 words. The first word is the area (WRITTEN IN CAPS), where the hop was grown. The 2nd word is the hop cultivar (written small). Sometimes there hop cultivar consists of 2 words. Then there is also short-cut names for all of them (with at most 3 LARGE LETTERS). So the individual names look like this : Anbaugebiet HALLERTAU (Bayern): (In alten Buechern findet man auch die Bezeichnung Holledau, das ist aber nur der bayerische Dialekt und meint Hallertau.) Area HALLERTAU (Bavaria): (In older books you can see it also called "Holledau", but that's just the Bavarian dialect for the same thing) (NOTE: for non-German speakers "ue" is another way of writing "u" with umlaut over it. e.g. "mittelfrueh" . Same for "ae" being "a" with umlaut in "spaet") "Anbaugebeit" == "area where it's grown" HALLERTAU Hallertauer mittelfrueh = HHA HALLERTAU Hersbrucker spaet = HHE HALLERTAU Spalter Select = HSE HALLERTAU Hallertauer Tradition = HHT HALLERTAU Perle = HPE HALLERTAU Northern Brewer = HNB HALLERTAU Hallertauer Magnum = HHM Anbaugebiet TETTNANG : (Baden-Wuerttemberg, am Bodensee) TETTNANG Tettnanger = TTE TETTNANG Hallertauer mittelfrueh = THA Anbaugebiet ELBE-SAALE : (Thueringen, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt) ELBE-SAALE Hallertauer Magnum = ESHM Anbaugebiet SPALT : (Bayern) SPALT Spalter = SSP SPALT Spalter Select = SSE SPALT Hersbrucker spaet = SHE SPALT Hallertauer mittelfrueh = SHA Anbaugebiet HERSBRUCK : (Franken, bei Nuernberg) HERSBRUCK Hersbrucker spaet = HEHE Andere kleine Anbaugebiete sind noch in der RHEINPFALZ (Bad Bergzabern) und in der EIFEL (Bitburg). There are also smaller areas in the RHEINPFALZ area (Bad Bergzabern) and in the EIFEL area (Bitburn) Markus Hillenbrand, Brauer und Maelzer, Wiesloch - -- Alan McKay OS Support amckay at nortelnetworks.com Small Site Integration 613-765-6843 (ESN 395) Nortel Networks http://zftzb00d/alanmckay/ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 09:26:32 -0400 From: Danny Johnson <shag at ipass.net> Subject: RE: converting a keg to a boiling pot >From Ron La Borde: 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. ................ Very neat and clean method. You must ear goggles and a breathing mask due to the fine airborne grit that is caused by the dremel wheel and ear protection as well. I used this method with one additional jig. I clamped a 7" dia. loop of string/wire to the business end of the dremel and wrapped the loop around the keg valve. This jig was then adjusted to let the dremel wheel cut exactly six inches from the center created a perfect, clean, smooth 12' opening. I have to credit Rick calley (http://www.pressenter.com/~rcalley/index.htm) for this tip several years ago. Later I was given a tip by Mike at American Brewmaster (http://www.americanbrewmaster.com/) that involved using the now detached sankey valve. The sankey valve could be removed from the 12" disk and then welded to the lid of a corny keg for those with the sankey tap systems.I did not pursue this project but thought I would pass it on for those that might run with the idea. Dan Johnson Raleigh, NC Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 09:41:35 -0400 From: "Alan McKay" <amckay at nortelnetworks.com> Subject: Slavic toasts Not the stuff with bread :-) Yes, "w" is "v" in Slavic languages which don't use the cyrillic alphabit. It's also "v" in most Germanic lanugages, with the notable exception of English. In Russian it's "na zdorovje" with "z" in the middle, not "s". "to your health" BTW this "Zimne" (cold) is strikingly similar the Russian "Zima" (winter). cheers, -Alan - -- Alan McKay OS Support amckay at nortelnetworks.com Small Site Integration 613-765-6843 (ESN 395) Nortel Networks http://zftzb00d/alanmckay/ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 10:20:51 -0400 From: Anton Verhulst <verhulst at zk3.dec.com> Subject: uric acid vs. urea Uric acid from a cat peeing in your open fermentor? Probably not. Every one knows that when mammals metabolize proteins, the waste product is urea and not uric acid. Its the reptiles and birds that produce the uric acid. Clearly the cat brought some other friends that contributed the uric acid. And, since reptiles and birds don't urinate and only...... never mind. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 07:34:07 -0400 From: "Cameron LiDestri" <cameronl at wshu.org> Subject: Cutting Sankeys w/ a Dremel >From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> >Subject: Cutting sankes/legality/dilution/Spud beer > >Cutting Sanke tops with a Dremel !! Ron LaBorde either has access to the >thinnest Sanke's or the most powerful Dremel I've ever heard of. Steve, I too cut my keg with a Dremel. Piece o' cake! Use the reinforced cut-off wheel (I went thru six of them). Took about 40 minutes. Got a nice, clean line. I couldn't imagine what the cut would look like using a sawzall. The trick is to stay on top of the cut. Once you penetrate the keg, don't drop the wheel down into the slot and push into the cut...your wheel will wear down to nothing quickly. -Cameron LiDestri Grandemadaca Brewery Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 11:20:03 -0400 (EDT) From: ALAN KEITH MEEKER <ameeker at welch.jhu.edu> Subject: centrifuging starters Adam Holmes writes: >>>Does anyone out there have any experience in centrifuging your yeast >>>starters? I would like to spin down the yeast and decant the spent wort. - I use 1,000 x g for 10 minutes to pellet my starters. Usually set up a well aerated starter on Monday, step it up during the week and pellet on Friday. I then bring the pellet home and feed it malt extract while I brew on Saturday. This seems to work very well as you allow the yeast maximum oxygenation during step up (healthy, happy yeast) and discard the horribly oxidized spent growth media by the centrifugation step. I also use a magnetic stirrer at home and have gotten excellent results with it. This past year I've paid much more attention to increasing my pitching rates... 200 BILLION yeast for a 20L (~5 gallon) batch is a LOT of yeast! I shudder to think of how I used to just pitch a swolen smack pack when I first started out... Now I have plenty of yeast, they're off and running and I have virtually no lag time to speak of! -Alan Meeker Baltimore, Md. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 10:09:05 -0500 From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: RE: Cutting sankes/legality/dilution/Spud beer >>>>>> From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Cutting sankes/legality/dilution/Spud beer Cutting Sanke tops with a Dremel !! Ron LaBorde either has access to the thinnest Sanke's or the most powerful Dremel I've ever heard of. <<<<<< Truth is stranger than fiction! Try it - you'll like it. Ron Ronald La Borde - Metairie, Louisiana - rlabor at lsumc.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 08:35:29 -0700 From: Domenick Venezia <demonick at zgi.com> Subject: gravity readings?? Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 09:34:04 -0400 From: larson.jt at pg.com > >I thought I should try. A couple of questions: When should I take the >reading? Some of the books say to take a reading just prior to pitching; >if that's true, then how would I correct a low gravity? I presume I add >some water to a high reading. TIA for any help. Todd, I take readings at various points in my process to track different aspects of the process. Gravity readings during the sparge can help you decide when to stop the sparge to avoid oversparging and the astringency that can result. I stop between 1.020 and 1.015 depending upon how much volume I have collected. A reading after the sparge will let you track the efficiency of your mash and sparge. Once you know the SG of the runnings that are going into the boil you can figure out how much volume reduction is needed to hit your target gravity, then a reading after the boil to determine what you actually hit. Taking gravity readings after the beer is in the fermenter will help you decide when to bottle. A final reading at bottling will let you calculate your attenuation and the alcohol content of the beer. Only the post boil readings are a volume loss. Don't put them back - drink them. Since a single gravity reading has little meaning, if you are going to take any readings, you need to take at least 2 readings at different points in your process. If I had to take only 2 readings during a batch I think that it would be just before going into the fermenter and just before bottling. You can decide when to stop the sparge by volume or taste. You can decide how much volume reduction you need in the boil by the size of your fermenter (6 or 7 gallon fermenters give more flexibility in this regard). If you record the sparge volume, and the post boil volume, you can backtrack to approximate the sparge efficiency from the post boil SG. But, it is hard to gauge the performance of your yeast without gravity readings. Final gravity readings can also hint at process weaknesses. Since you are just starting your all-grain brewing, I'll throw out a piece of advice that I wish I had taken to heart early, rather than come to myself over the years. "Trade ingredients for time and effort." Rather than chase those last 5 points of extraction efficiency, throw in an extra pound or even 2 of malt. The less excess volume you have to deal with in your overall process the faster and easier is everything. If you are not brewing at the edges of the envelope you will brew better beer. An extra pound of malt can save you an hour or more, with faster sparge and shorter boil. It takes me an hour to boil off 1 gallon of volume. If I can collect 7 rather than 9 gallons I've saved at least 2 hours. Cheers! I hope this helped. Domenick Venezia Venezia & Company, LLC Maker of PrimeTab (206) 782-1152 phone (206) 782-6766 fax orders demonick at zgi dot com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 11:37:52 -0400 (EDT) From: ALAN KEITH MEEKER <ameeker at welch.jhu.edu> Subject: Is there such a thing as an autoclave-resistant organism?? Allen Senear related an interesting story from his lab experiences... - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Everybody was happy. Until we got about a case and a half into the Miller, and then started to try to use the bottles. Whenever we put any bacterial growth media into them, something would grow overnight. Some bottles were washed and autoclaved (empty as well as full) a half a dozen times, but we could never sterilize them. So we finally had to dump the bottles and give up the experiment, except, of course, we did dutifully finish the last couple of cases of beer. A month of free beer was a real boon to an impovrished grad student. I have no idea what was in those bottles, but there was some kind of spore that was resistant to standard autoclaving conditions (we did use several different autoclaves while trying to sort this out, so it wasn't simply due to a single defective machine.) At the time we assumed it was yeast spores (that yeast has spores was about all any of us knew about yeast at the time.) After working with S.c. in the lab since then, I strongly doubt it was yeast. But there was certainly something in at least that one batch of Miller that a standard autoclave just couldn't kill. Allen W Senear Big Water Brewing Seattle - ----------------------------------------------------------------------- OK I'd like to get to the bottom of this idea of "autoclave-resistant spores" Is there any credible scientific evidence for the existance of ANY form of life (spore, virus, mycoplamsa, rodent, etc) that can resist autoclaving?? (sorry, no prions please) I've heard rumors of such things over the years, most recently from a labmate of mine who thinks he "remembers hearing about some resistant spores in microbiology once." This has been my experience with this idea - that someone has heard about it somewhere, but I've never been able to find any mention of this phenomenon in any medical microbiology text I've looked in. I use autoclaves all the time and only rarely seen contaminations and these invariably turn out to be the result of a faulty autoclave, improper run (especially too short a time to allow large liquid volumes to attain temperature), or post-autoclave contamination due to broken seals, etc... perhaps one of these was responsible for your experience Allen, although you did seem to rule out a few possibilities since you say you did several runs, sometimes with the bottles unfilled and in several different autoclaves. So, does anyone have any REFERENCES on the existence of autoclave-resistant life forms?? Perhaps Dinococcus radiodurans is somewhat resistant, I'll have to check my notes... Enquiring Minds Want To Know!! -Alan Meeker Baltimore, Md Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 11:23:07 -0500 From: "Brett A. Spivy" <baspivy at softdisk.com> Subject: A newbie bottler question? Well, thanks to the help of over twenty people who responded by email to my "Newbie Question" about equipment requirements, and particularly to the help of Bob Carbone aka "The Beerslayer" who owns the closest HB shop to Shreveport, I now have the minimum required equipment for the intermediate brewer (of which I'm not - yet). Much thanks to all and I will be sending the name and phone number of the Mexican Carboy distributor to the persons that have requested that information shortly. Now my question - I'll be asking Bob this later and my have the correct (is there such an absolute in HB) answer by the time anyone responds. I have created a label for my beer - please no moaning about bottling vs kegging. The label has a small are at the bottom to write in the style, and is designed so that I can PRINT the style in when I have enough of any one beer to make that practical. It also has an area to write/print OG, FG, Alch. %, Caloric Values, Brew Date, and Bottle Date. The net result is that the label is pretty impressive and professional looking (at least I think so), and I don't want to screw it up in the application. I would also like to avoid the toilsome labor involved in scrubbing off a Becks, St. Pauli Girl (the foil top), or Sam Adams label (this was almost enough to send me back to the Beerslayer to purchase a kegging operation). What adhesive and application technique do you seasoned brewer / bottlers recommend for my labeling? Where is it commercially available? Is there some version of this adhesive I can make? So far, my best option is Crayola TM washable GlueStick which is totally water soluble, stick like the devil to glass (till its wet), and is EASY to apply. it is expensive though, and it will take two full sticks (maybe three) to label 56 bottles. Thanx . . . Brett A. Spivy baspivy at softdisk.com 318-469-1199 Anytime (cellular) 800-844-4486 7:30am-4:30pm EST Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 12:39:40 -0400 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Calcium Phosphate, Champagne Corks Brewsters: Matt B. accuses me of being all knowing. Thanks! But I don't accept the title. He accuses me of relying on books for my knowledge. To that I say Thanks! I do accept that characterization. Would others so choose, I would certainly be happier. I cannot understand why anyone would be annoyed that I care enough for the HBD readership to take the time and care to provide quotations from real experts on brewing, rather than my sole opinion. Does anyone understand this? Can you provide a valid psychological analysis? Matt, I can only comment that your dissertation on various equilibria in a wort is interesting, but seems to confuse pKa and pKsp, unless I read it incorrectly. The point of the pKa ( I assume you mean this and not the pKsp?) of CaHPO4 being what it is, supports my point that this salt dissociates by releasing a proton and precipitates as the tri-calcium phosphate salt in the presence of a more soluble (than calcium phosphate) calcium salt like calcium sulfate. I will provide you a quote from, you guessed it, M&BS (1st edition, p 210): "The addition of calcium sulphate, and to a lesser extent magnesium sulfate, to a mash results in a desirable reduction in pH..... For example, at wort pH: 3Ca(^+2) + 2HPO4(^-2) = 2H(^+1) + Ca3(PO4)2(ppt)" Thus, the calcium ion releases protons from the protonated phosphate ions and the pH falls. Which was my point. Relative to the bicarbonate/carbonate equilibria this can be treated as a strong acid source. This is the major driving force for pH control at wort pHs. If HPO4 ion behaves this way there should be no doubt in your mind that the more acidic H2PO4 ion does also. Hydorxy apatite is, of course, not formed at wort pH, which was why I asked why it was being discussed as if it were important at wort pH. - ---------------------- Zemo discovered what I painfully found out some time ago ( after the bottles had been filled!), not all California champagne bottles are built to take a standard crown cap. Some, in fact, are really fake tops and won't take a crown cap even if you had the correct diameter. Since this is a Belgian beer, why not just take high quality wine corks, partially (3/4) insert them with a corker and wire them down? If you can find them, real champagne corks are available but I believe you need a specially designed corker. If you can't get to a wine corker ( rent one from the HB store?) you can alternatively use a plastic champagne cork wired down. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 19:30:07 +0200 From: "Dr. Pivo" <irv at wireworks.se> Subject: Sinology and Sodomy Dave Burley seemed a bit miffed by "Secret Squirrel" correcting his ancient Chinese transcription, and wandering speculations. > The translation of the sounds are mine, but your "pee joe" > makes me wonder why the Western spelling I have > seen is beijo I do believe he explained it to you, if you were listening instead of preparing your rebuttle. I actually thought that was a quite good mnemonic, and one I wish I'd thought of myself (though surprisingly, this word, I learned quite rapidly), and if used with the right tones, I'm sure would be understood. I am not faulting Mr.Burley for not having a better knowledge of Chinese. It is a frightfully difficult language for Occidentals because of the tonality, and true fluidity is only achieved by the talented, the dedicated, or the drunk (it's surprising how a couple of those 620 ml jobbies lubricate your mouth, and allow you to make a fool of yourself enough times until you get it right... and like everywhere else, if you learn the polite phrases first, people EVERYWHERE are amazingly helpful). I'm not surprised that Mr. Burley's knowledge of Chinese transcripture is about 50 years out of date, that seems concurrent with his industrial brewing thinking. I am not even expecting Mr. Burley to admit he is "wrong"... we wouldn't want to establish any new precedents. What I do take exception to, is his language abuse... > otherwise we have to distrust what you > say to some extent as we do "Dr. Pivo" for the same > reason. I may not be the most talented English speaker, but I do know that "we" is a "collective" or "plural" pronoun, and requires it to be more than "one" before being used. This is rather like abusing yourself behind the barn, and then saying: "'We' had a good time". Now, I don't want you doing that (not the barn part.... let that be every individual's choice). I mean the LANGUAGE abuse part. Furthermore, this really got my goat.... > For all we know, > Secret Squirrel and Dr. Pivo could be the same > > person, especially since the comments were all > delivered one after the other "Secret Squirrel" is NOT my signature. I'm not saying I haven't had sexual relations with a squirrel, just that I've kept them clandestine. I would never announce that publicly. I'm just not the sort to "kiss and tell". Finally, the barn part you may continue as much as you like, but this is just too much.... > we believe in exposing ourselves > honestly and openly. please don't. Pijiu Dai Fu Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 13:47:52 -0400 (EDT) From: Paul Shick <SHICK at JCVAXA.jcu.edu> Subject: Using epsom salts for hop plants? Hello all, I have a quick question for the hop growers in the collective. Last year, my bines had a bit of yellowing in the leaves, especially in the late summer. I vaguely recall that this is due to a magnesium deficiency, and that epsom salts are the cure. What procedure should one use for applying epsom salts? In solution? Just sprinkle in a handful? The hops are looking so good this year, I don't want to screw it up. Thanks in advance for any information/experiences. Paul Shick Basement brewing in Cleveland Hts OH Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 14:07:11 -0400 From: "Frank J. Russo" <FJRusso at coastalnet.com> Subject: Pasta Beer Greetings one and all! I have seen many strange but interesting postings in the digest so I know you won't mind mine. A few months ago while cooking some pasta and having a beer I noticed when I was done, with the pasta that is, the water I cooked in was very heavy. Starch I said to myself. It was what my father always rinsed off of the pasta after it was cooked. Next question: Can I use it, this starch loaded water, to mash my grains in? Why not! A few weeks later I went on to make a wheat beer, using 25% wheat malt extract plus grains. I mashed my grains in the water I used to cook and rinsed some pasted that morning. I mash for 2 hours, doing an iodine check for the presents of starch periodically. The rest of the process was normal. OG 1.057 FG 1.010 Well it has been in the bottle for 6 weeks. And I have taste tested it. And I am very pleased with what I have come up with. Great head, smooth body, No off flavors that I can detect. Remember my main purpose in home brewing is to please ONLY ME! My local brew club will be getting a chance to taste this at our meeting this month. Has anyone else done something like this? Any comments? Frank FJRusso at Coastalnet.com Havelock, NC Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 23:11:40 -0400 From: Bob Sheck <bsheck at skantech.net> Subject: Lifting converted-keg kettles >From: "Donald D. Lake" <dake at gdi.net> ?Subject: Lifting converted-keg kettles >With 5 gallon batches, the weight was testing my limits. I am hoping >someone has come up with a technique so that two people can lift that >red-hot kettle, safely. > Don- I'm rather surprised that Jack Schmidling or Dan Listerman haven't got an Easy-Keg-Krane or Phil's Keg Phlier or similar device. Bob Bob Sheck bsheck, me-sheck, abednigo! Greenville, NC email:bsheck at skantech.net or see us at: http://www.skantech.net/bsheck/ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 11:39:57 -0700 (PDT) From: Steve Jackson <stvjackson at yahoo.com> Subject: Indiana homebrew legalization (of sorts) As I've posted here on a couple of occasions, Indiana homebrewers have been trying for the last three years to clarify several points of Indiana law pertaining to homebrewing. Under current law, it is legal in Indiana to make one's own beer or wine at home, but it is not legal to remove the beverage from the premisis. As of July 1, that will change. Today (May 11), Gov. Frank O'Bannon signed into law House Enrolled Act 1104. The bill clarifies that homemade beer and wine can be taken taken to locations other than the home in which it was made for educational, evaluational or testing purposes. In short, this makes homebrew club meetings legal, as well as competitions. The bill also allows licensed establishments (pubs, restaurants, brewpubs, breweries and wineries) to allow homemade beer or wine to be brought onto the premisis for the above stated reasons. I know of at least a couple pubs/restaurants/brewpubs in the Indianapolis area that have wanted to host FBI meetings but could not for fear of losing their liquor license. I'm sure the same thing has happened in other parts of the state. The law goes into effect July 1. A couple people deserve thanks for making this possible. The first is State Rep. Brian Hasler (D-Evansville), who has carried the homebrew language for the last three sessions. He deserves credit for that, as well as for protecting the homebrew language in HEA 1104 this year. (While language regarding youth tobacco use was included in the bill, he fought off attempts to add other alcohol-related language that could have affected the bill's chances for passage.) Also, fellow HBD'er and FBI'er Paul Edwards deserves credit for getting the legal effort under way, notifying homebrewers throughout the state and testifying at committee hearings. Thanks also goes to the many, many homebrewers who emailed or called or wrote the legislators encouraging them to vote for this bill. Every communication did help our cause. -Steve in Indianapolis _________________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Free instant messaging and more at http://messenger.yahoo.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 11:42:24 -0700 From: Bryan Gros <bryang at xeaglex.com> Subject: laws When I moved to Nashville in 96, most people I talked to said that they thought homebrewing was mostly legal since it wasn't strictly prohibited. The Common Wisdom After looking into the laws, I found that there was a law which made "home production of alcohol" illegal. Of couse, it was mostly aimed at moonshine, but it was general enough to cover beer and wine as well. There was an addition added making home winemaking legal. Several people contacted the legislator that sponsored the wine bill and got a homebrew exception pushed through. An interesting process to observe... ******* "Stephen Alexander" wrote: > >Cutting Sanke tops with a Dremel !! Ron LaBorde either has access to the >thinnest Sanke's or the most powerful Dremel I've ever heard of. Steve: it's not the torque, it's the RPMs :-) - Bryan Bryan Gros Oakland CA gros at bigfoot.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 12:05:18 -0700 From: Troy Hager <thager at bsd.k12.ca.us> Subject: Prague Alan and Jim write about experiences in Prague. I was there for a week in '95 and absolutely loved it. It is the most beautiful gothic/dark city I have ever seen. The bridges over the river, the castle on the hill, it all brings back great memories. Be sure to check out the bridges after dark to see many musicians and meet a lot of interesting people. We also spent time in the famous U Flecka pub that Jim describes, and found it nice but *very* touristy. The beer was indeed excellent, but extremely expensive compared to the other pubs we drank at. I suggest you drop into some of the less frequented side-ally pubs that are very plentiful and you will find the beer superb and the prices cheap! The fresh PU on tap is absolutly a treat! We often went to the markets and bought large bottles (about 20 oz or so) of excellent beer for what was about 30 cents apiece US if I remember right - a beer lovers heaven. Have a great time! -Troy Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 15:07:26 -0500 From: "Rob" <brewmasters at texasbrew.com> Subject: Colorful Wits I'm not a Wit lover and I only make them for my sister when she visits from Chicago.That is until I made my latest batch. What I don't like about the Wheat beers in general is the flavor especially with the Weihenstephan yeast. That is why I wanted to blend a pretty neutral yeast. The results turned out great and this is going to be one of my regular beers (if not my main beer) My Question is best if you see the beer in the secondary fermenters. http://www.texasbrew.com/wit.html I was wondering why the yeast would make such a large difference in colors. And why would this believe it or not one of my clearest beers? I did let them sit in the secondary for around 3 weeks but there is hardly any chill haze to it. TIA for any help. Rob in West Texas. Brew Masters 426 Butternut Abilene, TX 79602 1-915-677-1233 1-888-284-2039 savebig at texasbrew.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 16:09:48 EDT From: JPullum127 at aol.com Subject: keg conversion thanks for all the replies but i guess i didn't make clear what i wanted. i can handle getting the top cut out but i would like some ideas for a drain system that will leave most of the break and hops pellets residue and drain most(all) of the beer. once again thanks for the help marc Return to table of contents
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