HOMEBREW Digest #3202 Thu 23 December 1999

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  RIMS Mash Flow Rate (JOSEPH KISH)
  The Effectiveness of Stainless Steel Immersion Chillers ("Steve Stripling")
  Headin' towards RRims... (macher)
  Tannins (Dan Listermann)
  haze and sanitizers (Marc Sedam)
  White Labs Pitchable Yeast (D.A.)" <drussel3 at ford.com>
  cleaning ("Larry Maxwell")
  temp distribution in mash tun (Susan/Bill Freeman)
  Fouch is improved (Jeff Renner)
  SG to Plato conversion (Demonick)
  RIMs Solutions ("Mr. Joy Hansen")
  'Standard' Method For Calculating Efficiency (Tony Barnsley)
  RE: Boiling yeast starter (LaBorde, Ronald)
  mash tannins ("Stephen Alexander")
  Relay on RIMS (Brad Miller)
  Happy Holidays, Propane, and Extract Efficiency (woodsj)
  new hops ("Marc Gaspard")
  Carbonation and head in British style ale (Calvin Perilloux)
  Efficiency (AJ)
  RIMS woes ("Jack Schmidling")
  Re: stuck? (BsmntBrewr)
  Re.:  dispensing "real ale" ("Sean Richens")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 21 Dec 1999 22:32:59 -0800 From: JOSEPH KISH <jjkish at worldnet.att.net> Subject: RIMS Mash Flow Rate RIMS people sometimes worry about too high a temperature at the output of the heater. If the flow rate slows down too much, OFF goes the heater power! I went to an animal feed store and found that they carry Rice Hulls! The only size was a bale, but I got it anyway. Much less expensive than the homebrew shop! The next recipe included a half pound of rice hulls (A gallon ice-cream container--Full) mixed throughout the grist. I have never seen such a beautiful flow rate! I was even able to increase the flow rate at least 10% or more! This eliminated any concern about too high a temperature at the output of the in-line heater. Rice hulls are here to stay! You should try some! Joe Kish Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 01:15:49 -0600 From: "Steve Stripling" <steves1 at hiwaay.net> Subject: The Effectiveness of Stainless Steel Immersion Chillers Why does the question of SS chillers come up in the first place? For me, I guess 'cause my copper immersion chiller gets really clean after doing its job in hot wort. So then, what s the performance difference between Cu and SS? In HBD #3191, 12/10/99, S. A. Wesley commented on experimental evidence: in HBD #3189-17 Marc Sedam asks about the effect of the lower heat transfer of SS compared to copper on the efficiency of a chiller. Based on some exeriments I did a while back on copper chillers I found that the effective heat transfer coefficient is significantly higher than the published value for copper. This is to be expected because of poor heat transmisssion through the layers of liquid close to the pipe surface. In short this effect contributes substantially more to the resistance to the heat flow than the resistance of the metal. My guess is that there is no need to worry about the lower heat - ---------- Here's a bit more detail from a brewing bud of mine, who works non-beer thermal analysis on a professional basis: It probably doesn't matter which material you use because the heat transfer is limited by the poor natural convection between the tube and the wort. If you were actively stirring the wort somehow, then the tube might make a difference. Certainly the thermal conductivity of the copper is far better than the stainless steel (225 vs 12 btu/ft-hr-degF). Think of the heat transfer between the wort and the water as a series of three conductors, one between the wort and the tube, one across the wall of the tube, and one between the inside tube wall and the flowing water. Skipping the details of the calculations, these values look something like this (all values are btu/hr/degF per linear foot of tube): natural convection from tube to still wort - 0.04 conduction through the tube wall - 21 to 42 for Stainless, 395 to 529 for Copper (range of thicknesses) forced convection from tube to flowing water - 141 And since these are all in series, the smallest one is the controlling resistance. This also suggests that if you want to really cool it fast, you need to somehow stir the wort while the coil is in there to really speed it up. But you knew that already. As Geek Engineers, I think it is our duty to Take Data to verify the results of these calculations. Tell me ahead of time the next time you brew and I will get a data logger to monitor the process (beer, water in/out, tube wall, etc.). We can build a transient thermal model to match the data, then vary all the parameters and build great big useless curves of tube thickness and material versus water temp, flow rate, wort stirring, etc. etc. It won't improve the taste of the beer, but might give us more excuse to drink it. - ---------------------- What the previous paragraph means to me is that I'm gonna buy Lynne's SS immersion chiller, and we're gonna take some data. Pictures at 11:00. Anyone have thoughts regarding measurement points? Another thing I get from the analysis is that a CF chiller has gotta be more efficient ('cause there's flow on both surfaces of the tubing). But how fast does the wort need to cool? (If cost is no object, I'll wager we can cool 5 gallons of boiling wort to pitching temp. in 60 seconds or less.) Have any experiments been performed regarding wort cooling rate vs taste? And finally, I would feel much better if I could inspect and clean the interior surfaces of a CF chiller, even though I know that there is much "good tasting beer" evidence to show me that I'm worrying without cause. Steve Stripling Huntsville, AL Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 08:45:23 -0500 (EST) From: macher at telerama.com Subject: Headin' towards RRims... HI All, [ I tried posting this a couple days ago, but looks like it did not take so here we go again...] The only disappointment I have with the steam-injected manually-controlled rims that I built last January is with my inability to maintain a high enough recirculation rate. I have the heat energy available to raise the mash temperature pretty fast, but cannot do so due to limited flow in the loop when grains are in the mash tun. With only water in the system, I can get about 4 degrees F. per minute rise with 8 gallons of water in the system. But with the grains in there, I get much less flow, and since I hold the return temperature of the heated wort near target temperature, it takes a relatively long time to get a full "slug" of the wort through my steam injector and the mash heated to target. Last weekend I decided to try an idea that someone mentioned recently on the HBD. Rather than return the wort to the mash tun gently through my normal manifold, why not take it to the bottom of the tun, and let it exit forcefully, constantly mixing the grains? My system uses rigid copper tubing and so I brought a half-inch tube to the bottom of the mash tun and with fittings turned it upwards and to the left a bit, so the flow exiting would push the liquid upwards as well as cause it to circulate clockwise. With only water, this worked well. With the tun [15 gallon sankey keg] filled half way, the water I recirculated pushed through the surface and the mass of water circulated clockwise. Home Free! The original poster described a system where the exit flow was directed across the false bottom, but I was afraid doing this would short circuit the mash and that most of the returned heated liquid would be drawn back into the pump, rather than heating the mash. The beer was a wheat beer. Fifty-fifty mix of malted and pils malt. If it works with a wheat mash, it should work with anything, I figured. Well...it did not work very well. Frankly, it was a major disappointment. The problem was that, with the grains in there, the exiting flow from the return tube was not enough to keep the grains in suspension. The grains ended up compacting and as the flow decreased they compacted more and more until things were worse than when I gently returned the wort to the top of the tun. If I mixed things well, flow rate increased and it was possible to raise temperature pretty fast. But I had to continually mix for this to happen. I also ended up with a stuck sparge. Really stuck. I only recovered by mixing in my entire 8 gallons of sparge water, mixing well, recirculating a little, and then pumping slowly to the kettle. Batch sparge, I suppose. At this point I see no alternative for me other than going to a reverse rims setup. Part of my problem is the area of the bottom of my keg, I am pretty sure. But that is something I want to live with and at this point in time I do not want to go with a rectangular cooler. Looks to me like the reduced grain bed depth and increased false bottom/manifold area possible in the cooler may be the key to high recirculation rates for those who use coolers in their rims. My false bottom is copper, with 0.125-inch holes three- sixteenths on center, by the way, and I did not find much in the way of grains under it when cleaning the spent grains out. So the restriction was in the grain bed, or at the interface between the grain bed and the false bottom, and not in the loop starting with the space under the false bottom. Boy am I glad this was a wheat beer! I mean, as compared to something that should be crystal clear in the glass... What's the next step if Reversible Rims doesn't get me the recirculation rate that I want? Hey, I got it! Mash Mixing...the latest and greatest upper-body workout ever found! Hey Honey, check this out. Everybody's doin' it. Just take this paddle...and... VERY good...like another sip of my beer? :-) Still having fun experimenting in Pittsburgh, but starting to tire a bit... Keep having fun! HAPPY HOLIDAYS !!!! Bill Macher macher at telerama.lm.com Pittsburgh, Pa USA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 08:52:01 -0500 From: Dan Listermann <72723.1707 at compuserve.com> Subject: Tannins Micah Millspaw <MMillspa at SILGANMFG.COM>Mentions tannin extraction during mashing. I have only found that my mashes extract tannins when I add dark roasted grains to the mash at striking. I could not make all grain dark beers without a tannic astringency until I found out about this problem. Now I hold the dark grains back until sparging and gently stir them in at that point. There is no need to "convert" dark grains and they seem to give up their flavor and color easily during the sparge. Dan Listermann dan at listermann.com 72723.1707 at compuserve.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 09:34:13 -0500 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: haze and sanitizers Someone posted a comment a few weeks back that got me thinking (always a problem). I used to be able to make crystal clear beers with little effort. The appearance of my IPA was a source of personal pride. Lately I've noticed more haze in the final product. It goes away with time and cold temps (30F for three months) but was previously unexplained. Then my thoughts wandered to my sanitizer. 18 months back I changed from iodophor to Star-San and haven't looked back until now. I've never lost a batch due to the sanitizer, although I lost a couple because I was a moron. But I'm starting to wonder whether or not the sanitizer has some effect on the wort or beer. I use Star-San in/on everything that touches my wort. Has anyone noticed a similar change. Has FiveStar tested out this product as it relates to beer stability or haze formulation? I may use iodophor again with my next few batches to see what happens and will post any observations. Cheers! Marc - -- Marc Sedam Technology Development Associate Office of Technology Development The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 308 Bynum Hall; CB# 4105 Chapel Hill, NC 27599-4105 919.966.3929 (phone) 919.962.0646 (fax) http://www.research.unc.edu/otd Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 09:45:05 -0500 From: "Russell, David (D.A.)" <drussel3 at ford.com> Subject: White Labs Pitchable Yeast I used White Labs yeast for the first time for my last batch, and love the idea I don't need to do multiple step ups days before brew day. LOVE IT. In case my local Home Brew shop is out of a specific strain, does any one carry White Labs by catalog, or on-line ordering? David Russell Ford Motor Co. drussel3 at ford.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 10:10:25 -0500 From: "Larry Maxwell" <larrymax at bellsouth.net> Subject: cleaning Steven Owens said: > A friend suggested building my larger brewing setup inside, > effectively, a big shower stall, so I could hose it down. Does > anybody have any tips on making the cleaning easier? Ease of cleaning was one of my highest priorities in designing my system. The whole setup is on a frame with casters, so I can move it to a place where it can be hosed down. But the real back-saver and burn-avoider is that the mash tun and kettle pivot so that I can dump out their contents and hose them out. No lifting required. I don't have any photos, but the concept is also used in Beer Beer & More Beer's "Tippy Dump" system: http://www.morebeer.com/b32000t.html. Larry Maxwell Atlanta, GA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 09:27:22 -0600 From: Susan/Bill Freeman <potsus at bellsouth.net> Subject: temp distribution in mash tun I found the savonius rotor type mixer found in the drywall section of my local mega home store was ideal for initial mixing of grain and strike water. Mine is about 4 inches in diameter and is chrome plated. This type of mixer pulls very little air into the mix. (bubbles are something drywall finishers abhore) It can also be used from time to time throughout the mashing process to equalize the temp. I have now built a mashtun mixer for the system that rotates at around 2-3 RPM. There is no bandwidth for pics here, but if you will e-mail me I will happily pass the information along as to its construction. "the perfesser" is becoming more and more automated for the mundane chores. Cheers, Bill Freeman aka Elder Rat KP Brewery Birmingham, AL Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 10:15:21 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Fouch is improved Eric.Fouch at steelcase.com wrote: >I took some 220 across the chest >while fooling around with the heater. I got better. Better than ever before? This could explain a lot. Do you recommend this therapy? Reminds me of the headline: "Reagan Better After Being Shot" 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: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 07:43:29 -0800 From: Demonick <demonick at zgi.com> Subject: SG to Plato conversion Reference: Manning, M.P., Understanding Specific Gravity and Extract, Brewing Techniques, 1,3:30-35 (1993) P = -676.67 + 1286.4SG - 800.47SG**2 + 190.74SG**3 Cheers! Domenick Venezia Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 10:41:45 -0500 From: "Mr. Joy Hansen" <joytbrew at patriot.net> Subject: RIMs Solutions Hi Eric and other home brewers, Hope you don't mind thinking about my opinions regarding the efficiency of false bottoms. I think ventured an opinion that each system makes it's own demands on the open area required to keep full flow through the heat exchanger. Which begs other questions, "What is full flow?" and "What is required?" My experience with scorched elements taught me that there had to be the highest flow possible without consideration of shearing. So much so, that I seldom use the heat exchanger to maintain glucan and protein rests. I use infusion for the strike and the ramp to 124 or 133 degrees, depending on the nature of the malt. So, you have to answer a couple of questions so builders basing their decisions on your opinions can make a reasonable decision. The objective for many home brewers is to reproduce favorite commercial styles. I brew Strong Belgian Ales, Imperial Stouts, Scotch Ales, Pale Ales, weissen, and IPA. The malt charge varies between 15 and 30 pounds of malt. For wizenbock, I use rice hulls to assure the permeability of the mash. What is the typical malt weight used for your brews, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 pounds? And, what will be the typical starting depth of the mash? What is the open area per pound of malt? My discussion centers around the original Rodney Morris heat exchanger design. You'll note that Rodney recommended a different pump for 5 gallon and 10 gallon batches. 70% open area for a false bottom might mean a picnic cooler measuring 10X22 inches and 154 square inches of open area. A Gott cooler or converted Sanke of 15 inches diameter would be 123 square inches if 70 open area were achieved. The PBS false bottom, as a guestimate, has less than 75 square inches of open area! Thus, the need for stirring for high flow through the mash and the heat exchanger. Full flow means to me that my Cole Parmer MDX_3 magnetic drive pump can pump about 4.5 gallons per minute with a 3 foot head. Even at nearly 6 feet, the pumping rate is 2 gallons per minute. Without mechanized stirring and combining screen and slotted false bottoms in a converted Sanke wouldn't allow 2 gallon per minute flow rates through the heat exchanger. The additional junk cluttering the bottom of the mash tun just made it more difficult to stir and get minimal temperature distribution through out the mash. Rodney insisted in his Zymurgy presentation that the grain bed depth could not exceed 9 inches in one reference and 12 inches in another statement in the same article. If a brewer thinks about this for a minute he'll realize that the 9 inches starting bed depth will be only 5 inches or less at mashout. The rate of flow gets better as the mash proceeds. The more I read the Morris discussion of the RIMS he proposed, the more I'm impressed with his solution to potential problems. You'll note that even with the large percent of false bottom open area he recommends stirring to maintain a high flow rate while pumping! I placed my pump inlet and outlet well below the heat exchanger and mash tun to be sure that the system would be self priming in almost all situations. Replacement of the original large open area false bottom box with a plate false bottom or substitution of a converted Sanke creates the need to reconsider most aspects of flow through the system. The magic number is one degree per minute temperature raise through out the mash, not just the exit temperature of the heat exchanger. Brewers should check the temperature variation within the mash with a probe. I've experienced 10 to 20 degrees variation through out the mash unless I stirred like mad! So, the system I'm using will handle up to 30 pounds of malt, maintain high enough flow rate through the heat exchanger to almost eliminate scorching (nothing's perfect), reliably reproduce a variety of style mash schedules, accommodates decoctin mash, facilitates underletting, minimizes stuck mash conditions. Admittedly, the run off proves difficult due to the high malt to open area. It's gravity and very slow to get crystal wort. My thoughts are that there isn't much starch in a less than crystal wort due to the efficiency of the mash. I mash until the turbid liquid takes about 30 seconds to develop purple colored particles with iodine. Then, my brews aren't always chill haze free. The temperature is rapidly chilling below freezing and might keep both the lady bugs and the fruit flies subdued so I can do some brewing. The mash/boil is done outside under a canopy and there's nothing to prevent unwelcome vermin from participating in the brewing session. So, have a Malty Xmas and a Hoppy New Year . . . Joy"T"Brew Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 16:28:46 -0000 From: Tony Barnsley <tony.barnsley at blackpool.gov.uk> Subject: 'Standard' Method For Calculating Efficiency JET Wrote <<AJ included his system of calculating brewing efficiency in today's post. It seems to me we should have some sort of "standard method" that we all use but this is not always easily discernible from a brewer's post.>> I agree! I would like to suggest that you all throw away the pts/pound/gallon, and adopt the metric Degrees (Miag?) / Litre / Kilogram. That way I could use programs like Promash with a bit more confidence! Big :-> - -- The Scurrilous Aleman (Blackpool, Lancs, UK) Reply To Aleman At brewmaster Dot demon Dot co Dot uk Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 10:31:06 -0600 From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: RE: Boiling yeast starter From: "John Slavik" <brewer1 at airmail.net> >Thank you for all the replies I received concerning boiling my yeast >starter, in a "Pyrex" Erlenmeyer flask, on my electric range. Good John, but if you would be kind enough to now share that information with us all by posting a summation, we would all know what you do. Private is good, but you see the problem. Ron Ronald La Borde - Metairie, Louisiana - rlabor at lsumc.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 12:06:23 -0500 From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at ieee.org> Subject: mash tannins Micah Millspaw says ... >I think that this topic falls into the category of 'mommily'. [...] >It is very difficult to extract tannins from the grain hulls in a mash. >In fact I'm not sure that I've ever see it done. The ph of the mash is >the limiter. Gotta disagree Micah ... Beer doesn't contain true tannins at all, but does contain tannoids (oxidized phenolics capable of binding to protein) and tanninogens (unoxidized phenolics capable of oxidizing to tannoids. Anyone who has ever sparged down below SG=1.010 and tasted the result knows that the stuff tastes like sweet watery tea. The tea-like flavors are the tannoids - not a momily. The shocker is that about 70% of the total wort tannoids appear in the first runnings. They are less apparent because of the other flavors present in first runnings. Tannoids levels fall (not rise) in later runnings - tho' they don't fall off as fast as sugar levels. pH is a factor in tannoid solubility - and so extraction, but temperature and the amount of water used are also important factors, as are some enzymatic oxidation and phenolic release reactions in the mash. pH adjustment will NOT prevent tannoid extraction, that is a momily. Lower pH reduces tannoid extraction a bit at best (but too low and you again extract more phenolics). Clearly you cannot pH adjust the first runnings which already contain the majority of the tannoids. In a sense tannoids in the unboiled wort are not a real issue anyway since they are virtually all (>97% in one study) eliminated during the boil when they drop out as break. The issue is the creation of new tannoids from tanninogens + oxidation state carriers after the boil. [hsa, oxygen, the sky is falling]. >It is however quite possible to extract tannins from hops >(much more soluble than husk tannins) in the boil and possibly if they >were put in the mash as well. Not so. The malt and hops for a 'typical' brew contain very roughly the same total amount of phenolic material, but the final beer gets about 80% of it's polyphenolics from malt, and only about 20% from hops !! The hop phenolics that are extracted are very much less likely to carry though to the final beer than those from malt. In a paper ['Hop and Malt Phenolics in Lager Brewing', JIB v85,pp23-25] some guys from Molson research (Van Gheluwe & Weaver, not the MacKenzie bros), study phenolics in beer. They begin by stating, "The relative contribution of hops to beer phenolic pool is minor in comparison with the malt contribution [...]". Also "The contribution of malt to haze formation was recognized as more important than that of hops. It was also found that any decrease in the concentration of hop polyphenols in wort increased the protein sensitivity of beer". In this paper, they do panel tastings of beers that have had their phenolics adjusted in various ways. In one the unboiled wort had all of it's tannoids and the major tanninogens removed (anthocyanogen catechins) and replaced with the same total amount of antho..&catec.. but only from hops. IOW the total tanninogen level is the same in this wort - but all of it is from hops - none from malt. The resulting beer got an overall slightly lower flavor rating (maybe not significant), but got very much higher ratings for body, bitterness, and hop intensity ! [ Is this related in some way to FWH ? Hard to see it.] Interesting too that hops and malt can vary wildly in their phenolic content. Who would guess that saaz, in one test, had fully twice the phenolics of hallertau ! I wouldn't sweat the idea of extracting too much malt phenolic by steam injection. The extra localized heat isn't ideal, but it's no worse than a half dozen other factors. Decoction gets the grains hotter yet - no ? -S Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 09:41:15 -0800 From: Brad Miller <millerb at targen.com> Subject: Relay on RIMS To all you RIMSer's out there, do you have your relays wired for always on or always off? Also, does anyone out there use an Omron PID? I was looking for info on the Auto Tune function and all the things I find are really poorly worded. Thanks in advance. By the way, for all those who wanted to know, I live in Seattle, the land of Redhook, Pryamid, Hales and for the ladies, St. Micheale winery. Brad -Yeast, the "Un-Coli" Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 12:53:36 -0500 From: woodsj at us.ibm.com Subject: Happy Holidays, Propane, and Extract Efficiency Happy holidays to all HBD'ers out there. I enjoy lurking and posting occasionally. The knowledge base here is quite impressive and I have learned from the collective. OK, last night I moved my propane tank from the basement out to the garage. Even a very small risk is not worth it, I've seen these things blown up on purpose in the past. John T. writes : AJ included his system of calculating brewing efficiency in today's post. It seems to me we should have some sort of "standard method" that we all use but this is not always easily discernible from a brewer's post. Maltsters usually give an extract percentage based on some combination of coarse and fine grind lab yield . . . or give both FG and CG and let you figure it out. Most [?] of us use gravity in our calculations. I have a table to convert Plato to gravity but would like to have a formula. Do you have one handy or a reference? IMHO we should give our efficiencies in terms of potential yield rather than gross grist weight. I agree that there should be a standard. A few issues ago Zymurgy (yes, I'm a member) published a good article about efficiency and a formula. I've been using this formula and my brews are in the 50%'s for efficiency. Zymurgy also gave some good tips how to increase yield that have given me some good results. I also read that the big guys get around 75% at the most. I read some people getting in the 80's and 90's and I'm skeptical. If you're getting that high a rate then I'm impressed. Are they using a different formula ? The formula is not at my fingertips but it's a function of end of boil Plato gravity, net kettle volume and total grain weight with a multiplier conversion from metric to US. This is not intended to insult anyone so no flames during this time of holidays, good will towards men, and such. It seems like we're not comparing apples to apples......trying to get as much efficiency as possible which should be a common goal of us all. Jeff Woods Camp Hill, PA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 12:48:03 -0600 From: "Marc Gaspard" <mgaspard1 at kc.rr.com> Subject: new hops To the collective: I recently obtained some new hop varieties I'm unfamiliar with, and thought someone might have some information on them. I've already tried the Hopunion and Hoptech websites with no luck. The varieties are: Horizon, 11.0%AAU and Amarillo, 8.3%AAU. Does anyone know what they're derived from, and uses? Considering their AAU's, they seem most useful for bittering, but I'd like to know more about them for possible other uses. Private email is welcome at mgaspard1 at kc.rr.com Thanks. Marc Gaspard Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 14:08:49 -0500 From: Calvin Perilloux <peril at compuserve.com> Subject: Carbonation and head in British style ale Bill Frazier and Bruce Carpenter discuss forced carbonation and head: >...the English beer that I see Morse drinking on PBS Mystery > always seems to have little or no head. English Pale Ale (e.g. Bitter) would have a fairly low level of carbonation in comparison to the usual pilsner/lager style. As for the head, that will depend on where in England it is served. Very little head is the rule in many London pubs. > Also, just the other day I was reading the British version of the HBD > and a couple of fellows were complaining about a pub that served beer > with about 1-inch of head. They felt they were being cheated. In the south of England (e.g. London) the beer is normally quite flat in appearance with minimal head, if any. Drinkers can become annoyed if they see too much head, knowing that they've paid for (a small amount of) air instead of beer. In the north of England, however, a healthy head is expected, and one of my mates from up there always whinges about the flat beer in London. Personally, I like a head on some beers, and the northern (English) ones are said to be designed to handle that with the sparkler on the hand pump, but do like such a beer served in a lined glass, with the pint level marked about half an inch down. Pubs naturally prefer the unlined glasses which are a pint at the brim (gee, wonder why?), and some drinkers encourage them by wanting a top-up to the brim, even on a lined glass. (Try that trick in Germany, I say!) Another item affecting the head on a beer: The now-common use of the sparkler when serving beer in London. Southern (English) beers are (perhaps) not designed to take the turbulence and loss of carbonation induced by the sparkler, leading to an even flatter beer in the end than you might expect in London, once the initial suds fall back. Pubs seem to be installing sparklers in droves, but there are still, thankfully, quite a few where the beer just splashes into the glass, without the dreaded sprrooooosshhhh of the sparkler. It's a nice, "flat" beer in appearance, but the conditioning is there, just waiting for you to taste, unlike the "sparklerised" beer that looks lively and frothy but had all the life squeezed out of it at the tap head. Calvin Perilloux Staines, Middlesex Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 14:35:38 -0500 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Efficiency "JET" asks for a conversion formula from SG to Plato. In No. 3145 I published coefficients for second and third order fits to the tables in the ASBC MOAs. These thus represent the industry standard in the US to within the limits of the goodness of the fits (data on fit residuals is included in the post). What No. 3145 does not tell you is how to get the pounds of sugar per gallon of wort necessary to compute efficiency. This is done by: Pounds extract per gallon wort = (pounds extract/pound wort)*(pounds wort per gal/pounds water per gal)*(pounds water per gal) = (degrees Plato/100)*(specific gravity of wort)*(8.33) The value of 8.33 is the weight of a gallon of water at 20C and the use of this value implies that the specific gravity is 20/20 (i.e. ratio of the mass of a volume of wort at 20C to the mass of the same volume of water at 20C) and that the volume of the wort (which is multiplied by the pounds extract per gallon to give total extract) was also measured at 20C. A little error in temperature won't make much difference but if, for example, the wort volume is measured in the kettle at near boiling temperature the volume will be about 4% larger than it is at room (20C) temperature. On the question of whether one should reference 100% efficiency to the weight of the grain or the weight of the grain normalized by some factor (expected efficiency) I suppose it's a question of personal preference. If I reference to the weight of the grain I don't have to remember or note what the expected percentage yield for that batch of that type of malt was. Indeed, we often don't have that number (though we can now get it for Schreier products at least). The weight basis is the same for every batch of every malt, is consistent and easy to remember. I don't have to remember whether the expected number came from the lot CG, lot FG or some brewing book's tables. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 14:46:13 -0600 From: "Jack Schmidling" <arf at mc.net> Subject: RIMS woes I find all these problems with rims systems most amusing, particularly in light of the fact that they are all self-inflicted wounds. Everytime I suggest that RIMS is a Rube Goldberg business of complicating something that is inherently simple, I get silenced by the fundamental fact that some people do it cause it's fun to be a Rube Goldberg. The only reason I keep flogging away is that it has become so commonplace that many beginners are driven to believe that it is actually a better, if not the ultimate way to make beer and that no serious brewer would stop till he achieved sucess with such a kludge. In a few hours and at a fraction of the cost, one can make a MIXMASHER http://user.mc.net/arf/mix.htm which takes all the tedium out of kettle mashing and have a system that does everything a RIMS is supposed to do and actually work the very first time. This time I will not bother asking what the advantages are but let it go at suggesting there is a far simpler road to hands off brewing. js PHOTO OF THE WEEK http://user.mc.net/arf/weekly.htm HOME: Beer, Cheese, Astronomy, Videos http://user.mc.net/arf Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 22:42:11 EST From: BsmntBrewr at aol.com Subject: Re: stuck? Brewers, Thanks to those that responded privately to my post. Most thought that a FG of 1020 wasn't all that high for a porter. My reasoning for thinking it a stuck is that I thought that it tasted too sweet for what I was shooting for. This was my first shot at a dark brew and I was shooting for 1010 based on the specs from the brewer of Black Raven. A few brewers requested: << Give us more information on your grain bill, fermentation temperatures, aeration, mash temperature etc. anything to determine if it was a stuck fermenation or not. >> Checked my notes, so here goes: 7 lbs American 2 row 1 lbs Crystal 80* 1 lbs Wheat .75 lbs Choc .5 lbs Black Patent OG 1044 Target FG 1010 Single infusion at 153* 45 minutes, iodine test did not turn blue/black Sparged for about an hour Pitched on Windsor yeast cake, plenty of yeast Bob Bratcher Roanoke, VA Star City Brewers Guild http://hbd.org/starcity Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 21:54:36 -0600 From: "Sean Richens" <srichens at sprint.ca> Subject: Re.: dispensing "real ale" Bret has a good point about dispensing "pReal Ale" from a flexible container. It might not be just like from a cask in a country pub in England - unless you visited that pub 100 years ago. I find the PE containers have just a bit too much "plastic" aroma to them - even when using them for water. Maybe you could use one for camping for a few years until that flavour's gone. More seriously, the bags that "bag-in-box" wines (or wine kits) come it are available from homebrew stores, along with the taps. A typical "4 L" bag will hold almost 8 L. I prime with 2 tablespoons sugar, then set my bag-in-box so that I can put a fermentation lock in it. Once it gets to equilibrium I put the tap in, set the box upright, and toss a heavy object on top of the bag to keep it under a bit of pressure. Works nicely, and almost cheap enough to toss the bag out after every batch. Sean Return to table of contents
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