HOMEBREW Digest #3179 Fri 26 November 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

  water treatment for Iron, Manganese ("Schrempp, Michael")
  Boilover Preventer ("Humphrey,Patrick")
  valley mills (Regan Pallandi)
  Benzene and public safety ("Glen Pannicke")
  RE: Grain Mill (Bob Sheck)
  An Apology (Eric.Fouch)
  Re: First-wort Hopping (james r layton)
  Re: Smoky Scotch Ales, Decoction Mashing, & Open Fermenters (KMacneal)
  RIMS overheat fail-safe (Jonathan Peakall)
  BT - How Are The Mail-Outs Handled? (Ron and Sharon)
  Peristaltic pumps (Louis Bonham)
  Re: First Wort Hopping (Jeff Renner)
  Re: Home Malting/Breadmaking (Jeff Renner)
  Re: further to open fermentation (Jeff Renner)
  Home malting update/ evaluating water uptake in steep (cmoore)
  acidity of Wit ("Sean Richens")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 11:04:23 -0800 From: "Schrempp, Michael" <michael.schrempp at intel.com> Subject: water treatment for Iron, Manganese Help, my well water has Iron and Manganese. My few brewing books say these are both bad for brewing, but don't describe a way to clean them up. Anyone out there have a good reference or a specific remedy? Meanwhile, I'm brewing with jug water. Mike Schrempp Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 15:10:49 -0600 From: "Humphrey,Patrick" <patrick.humphrey at abbott.com> Subject: Boilover Preventer Back in HBD 3174, Alan Prezant asked about his pyrek boilover preventer and if it would work. I am sure it will but there is a much cheaper solution. I have posted this in the past but I will again here... In the lab we use what are called boiling chips in flasks when we do reactions. They are simply small inert materials such as glass or plastic beads that give a rough surface where bubbles can form. They smooth out the boil very nicely. I have used marbles in the past and they have worked fine but the best solution I found is to go out into the street and find five or ten small rocks about 1/4 inch in diameter. If you can't find small ones, break a larger rock into smaller pieces with a hammer. Clean them off with a scrub brush and throw them into the kettle. They work great and can just be thrown away when your are finished. I have used them many times with great success. I know it sounds goofy but it really works. Cheers, Pat Humphrey Lake Villa, IL Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 10:43:00 +1100 From: Regan Pallandi <regan at esb.net.au> Subject: valley mills Firstly, I should say that I think that the VM is quite a good product. However, I thought I should realate my experiences with them. About 2 years ago, I started bringing the VM into Australia. Since that time, I have sold a modest number to the mash brewing community. All who have bought one have been very happy. However, I also use one in the shop, and here is where some problems have started. I motorized the mill a while back, and after a while, the nylon bearing blocks melted and fused with the roller end. Valley sent me a new set of ball-bearing blocks, which they initially wanted me to pay for. After a few things were pointed out to them, they carried the cost. Now, the mill is, in technical terms, knackered. The passive roller jams or stalls so often, that milling any quantity of malt is an exercise in frustration. I have asked them to send me a new roller mechanism, which they are happy to make me pay for. When the problem was pointed out to them initially, the silence was deafening. Buying the JSP mill would have been an option, but the aussie dollar (aka the Pacific Peso) would have made this too pricey. So, I can say the mill is nice, providing a very good crush, but customer service is so-so. Finally, I thought the only way around the stalling roller, would be to make them both driven. Anyone have thoughts or ideas on how this might be done? Gears, belts, wheels? cheers, Regan in Sydney Eastern Suburbs Brewmaker 149 Clovelly Rd. Randwick, 2031 N.S.W. Australia ph/fax (02) 9399 8241 mailto:regan at esb.net.au Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 18:51:47 -0500 From: "Glen Pannicke" <gpannicke at email.msn.com> Subject: Benzene and public safety Dave Burley stated on Tue, 23 Nov 1999: > Glen Pannicke says about Benzene: > "Benzene is a carcinogen" > Unless I missed something, it has been only > proven so in specially selected, tumor > susceptible mice. But, he is right it is > *legally* a carcinogen. > And he says benzene is highly toxic and is > absorbed through the skin, through ingestion > and breathing the vapors. > In my own experience, benzene is not toxic in the > sense I believe this word should be used. - that is > poisonous and life threatening. First, thanks to Frank T.'s posting on the subject. I think it's safe to say the question of benzene in dry ice and it's relationship to homebrewing is dead. So in order to keep this posting on-topic, for any homebrewers who have a question regarding the safety of any chemicals which may be present in their brews, please visit one of the following websites for further information: http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/sis1/ http://hazard.com/msds/index.html http://ntp-server.niehs.nih.gov/Main_Pages/Chem-HS.html http://www.epa.gov/ngispgm3/iris/ Secondly, Dave, you *HAVE* missed a lot. In my own defense, I do not post health information as important as this is without adequate and reliable resources. If I want to post on a "feeling" or a "skepticism" I'll do so on something like FWH, HSA or pitching rates which only effects the flavor of my beer, not my health. Being a Biologist and a certified HazMat Technician, I'm pretty familiar with some of the more common hazardous materials and their effects on the human system. The information which I posted was directly from the Condensed Chemical Dictionary, 8th Ed. (a bit brief in reference to toxicity and a bit old, but I just don't make this kind of stuff up). Search some of the databases presented above for "benzene". You're likely to find a quote such as this: "Benzene is classified as a "known" human carcinogen (Category A) under the Risk Assessment Guidelines of 1986. Under the proposed revised Carcinogen Risk Assessment Guidelines (U.S. EPA, 1996), benzene is characterized as a known human carcinogen for all routes of exposure based upon convincing human evidence as well as supporting evidence from animal studies. (U.S. EPA, 1979, 1985, 1998; ATSDR, 1997)." You'll also find adequate references to human and animal studies which may convince you that benzene and other such chemicals are potential hazards. Most of the human data are based upon occupational exposure studies since we're afraid to cram our own species full of enough chemicals to kill 'em or give 'em cancer. But we're not afraid to jam a buttload of some noxious crap into a mouse (whose system is closer to ours than you'd like to admit) to see if it's a carcinogen or to determine the LD50 toxicity exposure limits. I hope that you'll change your mind on this issue and take appropriate measures to minimize your exposure to these kinds of chemicals at work - for your own health. Brew Hard! - or - Brew Naked! But not at the same time ;-) G ================================ Millstone Alehouse alehouse at homepage.com http://alehouse.homepage.com ================================ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 19:57:00 -0500 From: Bob Sheck <bsheck at skantech.net> Subject: RE: Grain Mill Well, I tried to send this direct to you, Contractor Bob, but the mail kept bouncing. So if you see it here, then consider my opinion based on using both (And I've also had the displeasure of putzing around with the Valley Mill too, at a friend's place). I've used them before I bought my Schmidling mill. Your a contractor, so you must know tools. Well, figger if you want to buy some cheap Chinese thing or a quality made tool. I'd say it's pretty much the same with grain mills. I've had my Schmidling mill for the last 4-5 yrs and I'm glad I made that choice. Yes, I bought the adjustable, but have only putzed with the adjustments a few times. Now it's set to where my grain is just broken. I get suitable extraction with very little cloudiness from 'flour' which I notice the Corona makes a lot of. Sure, it converts and can be filtered out through recirculation, but this is one more damn thing to futz with in an already long brew day! - ---------- >There are many grain mills available on eBay. Corona hand >mills are selling from $25 to $40. If they are any good. > >Contractor Bob Bob Sheck bsheck, me-sheck, abednigo! Greenville, NC email:bsheck at skantech.net or see us at: http://www.skantech.net/bsheck/ (252)830-1833 - ------------- "Madness takes its toll -- Please have exact change!" Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 09:25:00 -0500 From: Eric.Fouch at steelcase.com Subject: An Apology With regards to the sig line of my last post, I made a personal reference to an individual regarding something that happened on another mailing list. I did this in jest. It was not received well by the person I referenced. After sorting through the details, and the effect it had, I offer a public apology to the offended party. This is usually the part where I attempt to insert other pieces of humor, because I am irretractably extroverted. But, as a show of good faith, I make no jokes with this post. I am sorry for the offense I perpetrated. I hope this post will precipitate a string of apologies related to this event. Happy Thanksgiving, All! Eric Fouch Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 08:38:14 -0600 From: james r layton <blutick at juno.com> Subject: Re: First-wort Hopping Matthew Arnold asked a recurring question which really needs some research to provide a definitive answer: >My big question is this: How do people calculate the bitterness contributed >from the first-wort hops? I calculate the bitterness of first-wort hops the same as I would for hop additions during the boil. For example, 1.0 ounce of first-wort hops followed by a 90 minute boil equals 1.0 ounce of hops added at start of a 90 minute boil. This method has served me well so far, but I know that there is some controversy on the subject. The fact is, we'll probably never know until a group of home brewers get together and do an experiment. Something along the lines of the Palexperiment should provide enough data points to lend some statistical support to the results. Jim Layton Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 10:17:02 EST From: KMacneal at aol.com Subject: Re: Smoky Scotch Ales, Decoction Mashing, & Open Fermenters >From what I've read, the smoky flavor for Scotch Ales does not come from smoked malt. You can use smoked malt, but it wouldn't be true to style. I have used peat smoked malt from Williams Brewing in scotch ales & porters very successfully. It doesn't take a lot (1/4-1/2 lb. in a 10+ lb. grain bill for 5 gallons). I decoction mash when brewing wheat beers, maerzens, bocks, etc. and haven't noticed any large differences in the sparge between those beers and beers brewed by infusion mashing. I only mill my grain once and keep the valve throttled back so the sparge doesn't happen too quickly. My primary fermenter is a large (~8 gallon) plastic bucket with a lid and an airlock. The only times I've used a glass carboy with a blowoff tube is when I had something going in the plastic primary. As a result, most of my beers ferment in primary with the yeast head collapsing into the beer before I rack to secondary. I haven't done any side by side testing of closed fermenter vs. blowoff but I haven't noticed anything adverse in the beers brewed in the closed fermenter, no anything particularly outstanding of those brewed using a blowoff tube. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 07:29:22 -0700 From: Jonathan Peakall <jpeakall at mcn.org> Subject: RIMS overheat fail-safe Howdy All, A quick question for you RIMsers out there: I am setting up my control system with a PID controller, and want to put in a overheat fail-safe that would shut everything down in case of overheat, say due to a clogged pump. I have been considering thermistors, but can't seem to find any information on how to calculate the temp values from the resistance values. Does anyone else have such a fail-safe, and if so, what do you use? TIA, Jonathan Peakall ******************************************** "I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves." -- John Wayne ******************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 09:33:28 -0600 From: Ron and Sharon <biohazrd at graceba.net> Subject: BT - How Are The Mail-Outs Handled? Happy Thanksgiving to the Collective! I have only one question/observation regarding the BT debacle. What is the order that the mail-outs are being handled? I am one of those who had just resubscribed to BT before they went belly up. I'm out the $30.00 at this time as I figure that I may have received one issue on the new subscription (their calculation not mine but I'll go along with it). I've had magazine subscriptions go out of business before and every time I was given a subscription to another publication for the remainder of the subscription. This has happend at least twice. One of the new magazines I actually liked better. This is the first time I have ever lost money in a mail order operation (I'm 42 by the way so this covers a long period of time). So no matter what anybody has to say about how people are working for little or no pay, the closure of the operation was NOT handled properly. By the way, we are being offered "news stand" price for our subscription balance not issues left on the subscription, this is rip number one. I get the promise of 4 back issues instead of the 5 issues left on my subscription. I sent in my request for back issues (4 of them) the day after I got the notice in the mail. I would have mailed it the same day but the post office was closed when I got the letter. Now I see on the HBD that some people have received their back issues while I still wait. Now if I mailed it back the next day, why was I not at least near the front of the line? The issues are being sent out based on availability (of course) so I figure now that the prime back issues are long gone. I appreciate the fine work BT did when it was in business, and I'm willing to cut them some slack in their final days, but, I don't have any precidence for this type of treatment in all my years. I figure the $30.00 is gone at this point. It seems that it took an exceedingly long time to finally discover that the publication was defunct. I kept waiting for my next issue and my wife called and called to see if there was a problem with them receiving the resubscription to the constant drone of a recording repeating "Your call is important to us..." A recording saying "you're screwed, get in line" would have been better. Send Flames To: Ron and Sharon Montefusco biohazrd at graceba.net www.graceba.net/~biohazrd Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 10:24:22 -0600 From: Louis Bonham <lkbonham at hbd.org> Subject: Peristaltic pumps Hi folks: There've been HBD discussions periodically that mention using peristaltic pumps (a/k/a tubing pumps) for RIMS systems, etc. In the past few months I've scored a number of them in the surplus channels and have been playing around with them. (If you're not familiar with how peristaltic pumps work, there's a neat set of diagrams illustrating this at:) http://www.masterflex.com/products/work.htm These pumps are perfect for many homebrewing purposes. Unlike most of the magnetic drive pumps we use, peristaltic pumps do not need to be primed, don't clog from reasonable amounts of particulate matter, can handle boiling liquids, can run dry without ruining the pump, and don't introduce any air or produce any cavitation during the pumping process. Further, most of these pumps have built in motor speed controllers, so you can slow down the flow rate without the need of a throttle valve. Most importantly, because the liquid only touches the inside of the tubing (and never touches an impeller, pump head, etc.) if the tubing used is sanitary, you run no contamination risk from the pump. Most of the peristaltic pumps and heads that are out there are too small for most brewing uses. The Masterflex family of pumps (which is what you'll usually find surplus) are divided into four types: C/L pumps -- precision lab "dosing" pumps, with flow rates from 0.002 ml/minute to 37ml/minute. Way too small (think: IV pumps). Forget them. L/S pumps -- general lab use, and includes most of what you'll find surplus. Most of the heads generate flow rates that are too anemic for our purposes. However, the largest L/S pump heads take 3/8" ID tubing and can generate a flow rate of about 2 liters / minute. Probably too slow for RIMS use, but more than adequate for wort chillers, wort/beer transfers, filtration, etc. These pumps list for several hundred dollars (motor and pump head), but can often be found surplus for $50-75; often less. Just make sure that the head is a big one (3/8" ID (#7018), 3/8" ID thick wall (#7035), or 1/4" ID thick wall (#7024)) or is a "quick load" head that can handle 3/8" ID tubing. I/P pumps -- "industrial process" pumps, heads handle larger tubing and faster flow rates (up to 13 liters/minute with 1/2" ID tubing; 17 liters/minute with 5/8" ID tubing). Perfect for our purposes. Downside: these pumps list for $1000+, although I've been able to score them surplus for under $100. B/T pumps -- heavy duty pumps that can generate flow rates of up to 45 liters / minute (using 1" ID tubing). Downside: the heads *alone* list of over $1500, and I've never seen them available surplus. One other thing . . . in general, you can't just throw any old tubing in these pumps and have them work well . . . they prefer tubing that's precisely extruded to fit the tubing bed of the pump head. Needless to say, the stuff isn't cheap in the 25' or 50' lengths they sell, and I've yet to find a place that sells it by the foot. (If anyone knows of such a place, or has a some I/P 82 (1/2" ID), L/S 18 (3/8" ID), or L/S 24 (1/4" ID, thick wall) Masterflex tubing that they could sell me, lemme know.) LKB Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 10:42:53 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: First Wort Hopping Matthew Arnold <revmra at iname.com> asks: >How do people calculate the bitterness contributed >from the first-wort hops? Based on the article Jeff R. quoted, I've always >calculated them as if they were added with 20 minutes left in the boil. I've >seen others who say that you should figure a _greater_ bitterness contribution >than if you added them at the start of the boil! The German method is to ignore the increased bitterness resulting from the longer boil. I think that your interpretation of treating them as if they were added -20 minutes is good. >I want to try my hand at a pilsner again this winter. >Such a delicate beer could be thrown way out of whack by over-bittering. >Thoughts? Hearsay? Innuendo? This is the style that the investigation was done with, and from my experience, it works great. I do take into consideration the extra bitterness, even thogugh the taste panelists found it to be more pleasing, when formulating. I generally hop a little low - low to mid 30's IBU by formula on my CAP. This works out just about right. 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: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 11:12:23 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Home Malting/Breadmaking Thanks, "Keith Menefy" <<kmenefy at ihug.co.nz>, for updating us on your malting. I also prefered the flavor of my home malt to commercial malt, although it gave low extract. I used 6-row feed barley, though. I haven't done it on as grand a scale as you or Clifton Moore. >Has anyone tried malted barley flour in bread making? 0.1% malted barley is typically added to bread flour to provide enzymes for yeast metabolization. There is not enough natural sugar in wheat for long (flavor producing) fermentation, but there are enough damaged starch granules from the milling process for the amylase to act on. This damage accomplishes the same thing as gelatinization at higher temperatures. In the old days when grain wasn't bred to resist premature sprouting in the head and when drying and storage might not have been as good, there was a natural level of amylase from sprouted wheat that was sufficient for this. I notice that my flour bags lately have a stamp on the ingredients that blacks out the "malted barley flour" and adds the word "enzyme." My guess is that they're adding fungal amylase. I suspect, however, that you were asking about malted barley flour for flavor. The problem with using very high levels of this is that proteolytic enzymes make the dough sticky and poor rising. There are bread flours with added malted wheat available in England, I understand. I suspect that they have denatured the enzymes somehow. I have coarsely ground malted wheat and mashed it and then raised the temperature to inactivate the enzymes before adding it to bread dough. It made it sweeter and gave a malt flavor, but I didn't care that much for it to do it again. Why not try it and report back? 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: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 12:56:19 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: further to open fermentation Robin Griller <rgriller at chass.utoronto.ca> writes on Dave Burley's assertion that open, uncovered fermentation by homebrewers runs the risk of contamination >the *current* practices of >british and belgian commercial brewers and many homebrewers who open >ferment and top crop (harvest from the yeast head) is plenty of evidence >that he is completely mistaken. Dave goes on about these being >historical practices; this is just not true--many british breweries, for >example, open ferment *and* harvest and repitch the yeast from the yeast >head without contamination. I have seen this practice and must say, that while many breweries do ferment open and repitch yeast for years in some cases, this does not mean the yeast is not contaminated. One case in particular - I visited Ridley's in Essex earlier this year. They won GABF medals earlier this decade but their beer is generally considered by local CAMRA types to have declined. I brought some yeast back and Dan McConnell (Yeast Culture Kit Co.) analyzed it and found what he suspected were mutant or wild yeasts and some bacteria. I suspect this may cause a problem only if the (unpasteurized) beer is kept more than a week or two. Indeed, the diacetyl levels of their bitter became unpleasant to me in week old beer, even though it was from a newly broached cask. Earlier casks were better, though still nothing to write home about. There may well have been other reasons for this, but repitching of the yeast wasn't helping things. I think that good, even great beer can be made with open fermentation, but I feel it is in spite of it, not because of it. Ridley's has a new brewer, so I hope that their former quality will return. The cleaned up yeast is a fine one that I like very much. I myself ferment in a stock pot with the lid on when I'm not skimming. While this may keep oxygen off the yeast head, I figure it keeps lots of boogers off it too. I repitch many times. 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: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 10:42:25 -0900 From: cmoore at gi.alaska.edu Subject: Home malting update/ evaluating water uptake in steep Every three to four days I have a 100 lb. batch of malt going into burlap sacks from my garage maltings. The process has been challenged as a product of my having received a broken rib while playing hockey last week. Heavy lifting is restricted and anything but the most mild shoveling effort has been relegated to the use of hoists. I have a block and tackle attached to a trolley that was intended for this purpose, but I rarely used it, preferring instead to simply throw shovel loads of grain from place to place. I have made two 10 gallon batches with malt from this plant, and was pleasantly surprised by how well behaved the mash was. It came off clear and tasty, and has fermented well. The first batch is still a bit green, but even now shows great promise. I have some photos, and a plan to post a malting page on the local Alaska Home-brew Supply web page at www.ahsbeer.com. This retail outlet has co-located with Ravens Ridge Brewery in an industrial garage out by the Fairbanks International Airport (FAI). It is a synergistic arrangement that has surprising benefits to the entire brewing and consuming community. AHS has sold some of my malt and I look forward to getting some feedback on others experience in brewing with it. Techniques report. Water content in steeped barley seed: The objective of the steep is to cause the seed to imbibe enough water to carry it through the entire germination process. Additions of water during germination are said to encourage root and germ growth, but to have little effect on conversion and thus should be avoided in that it adds to malting losses while having little effect on seed conversion. I have been steeping for an extraordinarily long period of three days. I change the water as needed (once or twice) and have been playing with the temperatures of the steep water. The colder steeps (<40 deg F) result in a water content of 40%. At closer to 50 deg, F I am getting more like 43% water. I would like to see 45%. Water content evaluation method: I take a small hand grab from the steep and blotter it on a paper towel. The sample is placed on a screen of known weight and is weighed. I write down the total weight and subtract the tare weight of the screen. The sample is placed in the oven set to 260 deg F for 90 minutes. After drying, the sample is again weighed. The dry weight is subtracted from the wet weight (original total weight) yielding the water weight. This is divided by the tare adjusted weight of the wet grain resulting in the water content percentile. I have used higher temps for shorter times but found my results were higher and I feared that at 350 deg F I might be driving off some organics. On the other hand, it may be that my current method at 260 deg F is under reporting the water content. Your thoughts? Sincerely, Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 17:40:48 -0600 From: "Sean Richens" <srichens at sprint.ca> Subject: acidity of Wit Since the collective is on the subject: I've never been a big fan of most Wit beers, but I once tried one that blew me away called "Blanche de Silly". Despite fervent searching, the closest thing I can find is "Titje Blanche" from Brasserie de Silly with a similar design of label. The flavour isn't the same though. It's fairly similar to Hoegaarden or Blanche de Bruges - lots of orange and coriander and wheat and weirdo yeast, but hardly sour. The "Silly" (pronounced "seeyee" I'm sure) was powerfully sharp, removing layers of hop resin from my tongue with every swallow (it was a major evening at the Rotterdam in Toronto trying to taste as many different beers as wallet and metabolism would allow). I would love to track it down, but all sources deny any such thing ever existed. Has anyone encountered this beer? Robin Griller, are you lurking here? Return to table of contents
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