HOMEBREW Digest #3234 Fri 28 January 2000

[Prev HBD] [Index] [Next HBD] [Back]

		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

  Re: Practical Brewer download & quality ("Peter J. Calinski")
  Re: Color; Overnight Mashing (LaBorde, Ronald)
  Invert Sugar/Honey/Lovibond ("St. Patrick's")
  Re: Efficiency vs. Yield (MaltHound)
  keg conversion parts ("Dan Michael")
  Non-Alcoholic Ginger Beer Recipes ("Steven J. Owens")
  hop storage ("Stephen and Carolyn Ross")
  Overnight mashing ("Paul Niebergall")
  raw wheat in witbier ("mike o,neill")
  Filter Components made of plastic ("Dan Schultz")
  Quoting Efficiency vs yield (Steve Lacey)
  Rodenbach's demise (Mark Tumarkin)
  Misc replies ("Houseman, David L")
  Color ("A. J. deLange")
  Noonan (William Frazier)
  Re: How to raise mash pH? (Jeremy Bergsman)
  Re: Trappist Light (Dan Cole)
  repitching yeast, other newbie questions (Nina Cohen)
  Bottles in South Africa ("Evan James")
  Re: How to raise mash pH? (Carmen Salvatore)
  Pressure relief valve for pin lock (Coke) keg ("Steve Blanchard")
  Glasses ("A. J. deLange")
  re: Efficiency vs.Yield ("Jack Schmidling")
  Sparge Temperature Variations ("Peter J. Calinski")
  Stuck sparge with EM...Hmm... (Midwest Brewer)
  RE: Yet ANOTHER Sparging Question (LaBorde, Ronald)

* Beer is our obsession and we're late for therapy! * Entry deadline for the Mayfare Homebrew Competition is 3/15/00 * See http://www.maltosefalcons.com/ for more information 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 FROM THE E-MAIL ACCOUNT YOU WISH TO HAVE SUBSCRIBED OR UNSUBSCRIBED!!!** IF YOU HAVE SPAM-PROOFED your e-mail address, you cannot subscribe to the digest as we canoot reach you. We will not correct your address for the automation - that's your job. The HBD is a copyrighted document. The compilation is copyright HBD.ORG. Individual postings are copyright by their authors. ASK before reproducing and you'll rarely have trouble. Digest content cannot be reproduced by any means for sale or profit. More information is available by sending the word "info" to req at hbd.org. JANITORS on duty: Pat Babcock and Karl Lutzen (janitor@hbd.org)
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 12:23:27 -0500 From: "Peter J. Calinski" <PCalinski at iname.com> Subject: Re: Practical Brewer download & quality Doug Moyer wrote: ___________________________________________________________________ Brewers, I've started the arduously slow process of downloading the Practical Brewer (see http://www.mbaa.com/membonly/publication/pdf.html ) I am guessing that many of you are doing the same, since the best I can get is just over 1 Kbyte/s. (I have a lightly loaded 112k ISDN at the office, so I suspect the bottleneck is at the mbaa site.) Can someone with good bandwidth post the pdf's on their site and let the rest of us know? (Would that be illegal?) Also, the image quality is terrible! Has anyone converted this to formatted text? (Would that be illegal?) Any tricks for printing the files as is to get a decent output? ____________________________________________________________________________ ____ Well, I tried. I downloaded the TOC, Index and first three chapters. What a pain, I was going to propose that as a group, we split up the chapters between us and run them through an OCR program to convert to text. That should reduce the volume of data by a factor of 3-5 and also allow searches. (Just load up a chapter in Acrobat and search for the word "beer". It won't find it because the files are all images.) I did a trial run on my idea but wasn't successful. Acrobat won't save or export so I did cut and paste into a graphics program. I then saved it as a GIF file and loaded it into my OCR program. Unfortunately my OCR program requires at least 150 DPI resolution and it says the image that resulted from all my gyrations was of lower resolution. Anyone have a better OCR program? Also, it would be nice to get it back onto PDF files. This would require an Acrobat generation program. I don't have one nor access to one. I'm not up on copyright issues but if we did it as a group and made the new version available to the MBAA, they might like the idea. Pete Calinski East Amherst NY Near Buffalo NY Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 11:43:35 -0600 From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: Re: Color; Overnight Mashing From: "G. M. Remake" <gremake at gsbalum.uchicago.edu> >Thanks to those who responded to my request for help in developing a recipe >color swatch in my Excel brewing program. The consensus was that it cannot >be done accurately. I am constantly amazed at how difficult, contorted, and convoluted the computer industry and it's architects have made the entire color display systems we all try to use. Coming from the television industry, I can appreciate how splendidly the engineers have crafted the concept of color display and color vision, having researched and optimized the NTSC system in an intelligent manner. Not to say that the NTSC system as a whole is without flaws, but the concept of RED, GREEN, and BLUE as the primary colors, with the ability to adjust both the contrast and brightness of all three colors individually was the successful decision. The constipated thinking computer industry has missed the whole concept of black level, white level, and we end users have reaped the hideous consequences. The best one can hope for is a display card that allows adjustment of white level or contrast, but no provision for adjusting black level. This is such a basic and simple concept, that one simply shudders that these people (I certainly would not call them designers) were allowed to run amuck. Knowing the failures of the computer systems in use, you still have a chance to approach your goal by compensating in your software to attempt forcing the display to give a reasonable color value. What you need is a color reference, like a card or photograph that is distributed with your program. Then, built into your software is a set of standard values to look at on your monitor. Since you now have a reference card with the colors as THEY SHOULD LOOK ON THE MONITOR, you then do what the architects should have done, and adjust the monitor gains, and brightness levels to make the monitor look as much like the card as you can. Now if the architects had not completely missed the concept, you would be able to adjust the gamma of each color (RED, GREEN, BLUE), at your operating system, or your hardware system, but alas, no such luck. You can program into your software the facility to do this with a lot of effort. Then each user would be able to make the monitor and the reference agree as close as possible, and then the values would be true for all your color output. Take a look at Photoshop and check out the monitor setup section to see one clumsy but somewhat successful attempt of working around the many problems. Ron Ronald La Borde - Metairie, Louisiana - rlabor at lsumc.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 12:27:59 -0500 From: "St. Patrick's" <stpats at bga.com> Subject: Invert Sugar/Honey/Lovibond As was mentioned by others, beer lovibond indicates absorption of blue light (430 nm). Honey 'color' scale is called the RED Lovibond scale and indicates absorption of 560 nm light (green-yellow). The standard method today is known as Pfund but the common method involves comparing the honey to an amber colored wedge. For example, the clover I have now is 25 mm while california orange blossom is 35 mm lovibond. As Matthew Comstock noted, invert sugar is the principle sugars of honey (dextrose=glucose=corn sugar, and fructose=levulose=fruit sugar) Honey is in fact made from sucrose (floral nectar is primarily a sucrose solution) by the action of the enzyme invertase (in the bees). Yeast have invertase as well. In addition the the National Honey Board website, you might find the pbs site about the nova show about bees of interest. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bees/buzz.html Lynne O'Connor St. Patrick's of Texas http://www.stpats.com Brewers Supply 512-989-9727 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 14:02:17 EST From: MaltHound at aol.com Subject: Re: Efficiency vs. Yield In a message dated 1/26/2000 3:46:30 AM Central Standard Time, John_E_Schnupp at amat.com writes: Fred sed, >I hereby propose that for homebrewing purposes (and HBD communication) we >institute a standard of quoting yield in a points per pound format instead. "That being said, what is "typical" to be considered "good"?" Like most things, it depends. I guess you could make a broad statement that you should expect somewhere from 28 to 32 pts/Lb of final yield (ie wort in the fermentor), depending on your set-up. That would be for standard OG worts using "traditional" lautering schemes, etc. Also, as someone recently noted in another message thread, there are losses that occur in the kettle due to wort trapped in the trub. Higher OG worts are likely to have a lower yield because of the difficulty in rinsing out all of the sugar during lautering. That is unless you sparge longer than normal and then boil down to the desired high gravity. Fred Wills Londonderry, NH Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 12:02:38 -0800 From: "Dan Michael" <dmichael at avuhsd.k12.ca.us> Subject: keg conversion parts I am going to convert my 15.5 gallon brew pot and another keg into a mash/lauter tun and kettle with valves welded into the bottom. I am not very handy I need a list of parts and the reccommended sizes that I should use. I need a list of everything I would need so my father-in-law can do the welding and cutting. thanks Dan Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 12:31:19 -0800 (PST) From: "Steven J. Owens" <puff at netcom.com> Subject: Non-Alcoholic Ginger Beer Recipes Folks, Lyn Howard (Lynhbrew at aol.com) writes: > Harry, I have had some success with Ginger Beers. It depends on what > you are trying to get for a flavor profile. Does your mother > remember anything more about the beer like color, lingering > sweetness, aroma, alcohol level, carbonation. What made her really > like the beer. If you know this you can probably formulte a recipe > to come close. I often bring a keg of homebrew to my friends' poetry readings or art openings. The kids and various teetotalling adults get kind of left out, so I've been thinking about brewing up some batches of ginger beer (one of my favorite soft drinks - I prefer Stewart's ginger beer to the sweeter Jamaican Ginger beer), cream soda, and/or root beer. Can anybody suggest some good recipes for these? What is in the "tonic water" used with italian soda syrups? I've had thoughts of just force-carbonatic a keg of water and bringing the keg and a couple bottle bottles of Torani syrup. Steven J. Owens puff at netcom.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 15:00:22 -0600 From: "Stephen and Carolyn Ross" <rosses at sprint.ca> Subject: hop storage J Daoust <thedaousts at ixpres.com> asks if it's possible to store leftover hops in freezer in a Ziploc. Of course it is! Ideally, you'd use an oxygen barrier bag, and either vacuum seal it (this is what we do at Paddock Wood Brewing Supplies- where we sometimes nip into larger bags to package smaller quantities) or pack it in nitrogen. Hop pellets, leaf hops, and plugs will store differently, pellets and plugs will fare best in the short term. For home use, suck as much air out of the bag as you can, just before sealing it. Temperature is the largest factor in hop alpha acid stability., so popping them in your freezer is a great way to save those leftover hops for another batch. I'd use them within 6 months to be sure of freshness. And don't forget to label them, including alpha acid. I had one batch that I accidentally used Yakima Magnum (14% aa)... but that's another story.... For more info you may wish to check out www.paddockwood.com/storage.htm cheers, Stephen Ross, brewing in Saskatoon, SK Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 15:58:53 -0600 From: "Paul Niebergall" <pnieb at burnsmcd.com> Subject: Overnight mashing Overnight mashing has worked well for me on a number of occasions. I have not experienced any problems with mash souring because the high temperature of the infusion water pretty much pasteurizes the mash tun and it's contents. Before anyone starts in with the "I read in a book that you need to reach 180 degrees to pasteurize........." line of B.S., please remember that pasteurization can take place at much lower temperatures IF the contact time is increased. I cant give exact number but 5 hours at 150+ degrees is plenty good enough for me. The temperature generally drops to the mid 130's over night. Tho, I do try to minimize the temperature drop by infusing late at night and then getting up early the next morning to brew. The only potential problem that I see is sparging at a lower than ideal temperature. But this really has not proved to be a problem. I sparge a 130 degree mash bed with 170 degree water and still get better extraction than with a traditional 90 minute mash and warm grain bed sparge. My data shows that a low temperature grain bed at mashout is not a problem, despite the books that say a higher temperature is optimum for extraction. (wort viscosity, dissolution of sugar molecules, blah, blah, blah.). Missing the optimum for one variable (like temp.) does not always result in disaster, especially when overcompensating in other areas (like extremely long mash times causing better and more complete conversion). That said, what I have found to be even better than just overnight mashing is mashing AND sparging in one evening followed by brewing the next day. To me this is the best way to brew. I start the mash on a Friday night after dinner, give it a nice long conversion period (2 to 3 hours) while doing house stuff, and then mashout a still hot grain bed around 10 or 11 p.m. I then collect the wort in a five gallon bucket and place the bucket in the fridge over night to cool. When I get up the next morning, the perfectly crystal clear wort is carefully siphoned off of the gunk (starch mostly) that has collected at the bottom of the bucket. This method also provides flexibility because I can leave the cold, unboiled wort in the fridge until Sunday if I need to. Somebody wrote: >I hereby propose that for homebrewing purposes (and HBD communication) we >institute a standard of quoting yield in a points per pound format instead. >Certainly everyone knows that you will get different pts/lb for different >ingredients, but it really is a simpler and more effective way of comparing >yield results. I am all for that. Let's compare apples to apples (points to points) instead of "relative" efficiencies. Nathaniel writes: >Some anectdotal evidence, I was making tea and inadvertently >spooned in some malto-dextrine instead of corn sugar. >That cup of tea certainly had quite a bit of mouthfeel >compaired to a "normal" cup. Forget the dextrines. Did you percieve any tannoids in your cup of tea?? Paul Niebergall Burns & McDonnell pnieb at burnsmcd.com "Illegitimis non carborundum" Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 16:47:47 -0600 From: "mike o,neill" <mikeo2624 at uswest.net> Subject: raw wheat in witbier This is my first posting all though I have been lurking in the shadows for some time,finally got the courge to try the deep end. I am planning my first attempt at witbier and I have gotten some conflicting information regarding the best form of wheat to use. Martin Lodahl in a artical says to use raw winter wheat Briess says to use flaked and others say just to use malted wheat but I have read that this ends up more like an American wheat beer. I am planning on doing a triple decoction mash so the wheat protein should not be a problem, I hope. Thank you Mike O'Neill(the dead horse brewery) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 15:16:27 -0000 From: "Dan Schultz" <dschultz at primenet.com> Subject: Filter Components made of plastic Dave H. noted his concern of getting plastics that handle hot water when designing a filtration unit. Unfortunatley, he is incorrect as their are many plastics that will handle these temps and higher. He probably would have been more correct to note that since the Sear's Filters were designed to be commercially feasible (read profitable), they did not design the products with hot water in mind. Burp, -Dan >From: "Dave Hinrichs" <dhinrichs at quannon.com> >Subject: Filter answer and question >As one of the designers of the Sears models the reason that are only for >cold water is the materials used cannot take the high water temps and still >perform to specifications. Since all filter housings that I am aware are >made of plastics I do not think you can get a hot water rated filter >housing. <snip> Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 10:19:40 +1100 From: Steve Lacey <stevel at sf.nsw.gov.au> Subject: Quoting Efficiency vs yield Fred Wills asks us all to start quoting extraction in terms of pts/lb instead of % efficiencies. Whilst I sympathise with Fred's objectives, to achieve some sort of standardisation, I can't agree. Most of the recent % quotes have been to do with mash performance. If we just quote yield in pts/lb (is there a working metric alternative to this unit?) we then need to consider the entire grain bill to decide whether Bloggs' system has performed spiffingly or is just a bunch of crap. I for one don't want to do that and am happy to accept that Smith got 65% with one method and 85% when he cranked up the Whimmer-Jammit. Please tell me if I am way off the mark or missing the point, because it has been known to happen before. Fred has a point that there is rarely any qualification as to what we precisely mean when quoting a "percent efficiency". Perhaps one of the more learned Brewsters could post a short treatise on the different, potentially confusing, ways that percent efficiency can be calculated. Future posters citing extraction efficiency might then be better able to qualify the number they are citing. I am hoping that extraction efficiency means the pts/lb yield compared to the theoretical yield based on the ratings of all the ingredients - 'cos that's what it means to me. Cheers, Steve Lacey Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 18:55:32 -0500 From: Mark Tumarkin <mark_t at ix.netcom.com> Subject: Rodenbach's demise Todd Crane writes about the possible demise of Rodenbach Alexander (and possibly others later). You may recall a spoof story going around sometime back about a merger between Rodenbach and Orval. The spoof was supposedly about new marketing of combined products under the name of ... Orval Rodenbacher. Just a funny joke at the time, but maybe it would have been a good thing had it been real. It would be a shame to lose such unique beers. Mark Tumarkin Gainesville, Fl Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 21:34:13 -0500 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: Misc replies Saflaer Yeast - I just used this for the first time and fermented at about 47oF. This fermented very clean. Given the option of brewing at the last minute, it affords great flexibilty for lager brewing much as Lallamand has done with ale yeasts. Re-using yeast - you can certainly re-use yeast many times. Eventually it may mutate. At some point one may need to wash the yeast and get rid of the dead cells. Most advanced texts provide the details that Darrell is seeking. Wyeast Kolsch 2565 - I've used this yeast numerous times for both Kolsch and Alts. It has always performed well for me, fermenting cleanly. Primary fermentation however was relatively cool for an ale, in the mid 50's. Hop Storage - I've stored hops for considerable time. Best to do so in sealed containers flooded with CO2 and stored in the freezer. All perishables will eventually degrade but I've used pellets stored for a couple years as noted without apparent problems. Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 06:43:29 +0000 From: "A. J. deLange" <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Color Greg seems determined to go ahead with the color color from SRM experiment Spencer's and my caveats aside (and I'm not against that by any means - just appreciate the caveats). There are probably dozens of ways to do this but the following will give you a color that is very close to a real beer color - in fact it will give you something like the average color for a beer with a particular SRM based on the sample of about 65 beers I measured. Remember that SRM is a fair predictor of beer lightness/darkness but not a good predictor of beer color. I'll give the formulas and then in brackets, [...], the values for a beer of SRM 10. 1. Calculate luminance, Y Y = 94.6914*exp(-0.131272*S) where S is the SRM value [25.48] 2. Calculate chroma, x x = 0.73978 - 0.25442*exp(-0.037865*S) - 0.017511*exp(-0.24307*S) [.5640] 3. Calculate chroma, y y = 0.197785 + 0.260472*exp( - ((x-0.491021)/.214194)^2 ) [.4297] 4. Calculate chroma, z z = 1 - x - y [.0063] 4. Calculate the ratio W W = Y/y [59.30] 5. Calculate X X = W*x [33.44] 6. Calculate Z Z = W*z [0.374] 7. Calculate R R = 1.910*X - 0.533*Y - 0.288*Z [50.18] 8. Calculate G G = -0.985*X + 2.000*Y - 0.0280*Z [18.01] 9. Calculate B B = 0.058*X -0.118*Y + 0.896*Z [-0.73] The RGB values are for the primaries as defined by the FCC for broadcasting in the US (surely you didn't think there was only 1 set of RGB primaries). Set these into the RGB model in the computer. Obviously, the negative value should be set to zero. It's a function of modeling error, roundoff etc. It's just telling you that beer isn't blue! If you set the example RGB values into your computer you'll see a very dark reddish patch that you won't think looks at all like beer. If you are sitting in a dark bar, you also get the impression that the beer is very dark so you hold it up to the light so that you can see the color or, in extreme examples, use a penlight or some other source. You can effectively do the same thing on your computer by scaling R, G and B so that R is at 100. For the example above R=100, G = 36 B = 0 will give you the same color as 50/18 but it will be brighter and you may think of it as being more beer like. If you do this scaling, however, you destroy relative luminance information. A beer as light as 10 SRM removes 75% of the light passing through it (Y = 25 really roughly means 25% of the light is coming through). If you try to maintain luminance, you quickly run out of dynamic range on your monitor. Your eye and the real world have tons more dynamic range than your computer monitor. Film is a little better and that's what lets the Davison Guide work (though the colors are, in the case of some patches) not beer colors. Note: I'm a little suspicious of the Z coefficient for green but I'm overseas and can't check it. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 06:36:33 +0000 From: William Frazier <billfrazier at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Noonan Kurt Kiewel wrote "In fact, I've had the proper equipment for lagering and all-grain brewing for quite some time but after reading Noonan's book, "New Brewing Lager Beer" I thought that all-grain brewing would be more complicated than Quantum Mechanics. As I recall,Noonan outlines the procedure for and expounds on the virtues of triple decoction mashing. A process entirely too complicated for a first time all-grainer." It does seem a bit daunting doesn't it. However, if you read Nonnan's Seven Barrel Brewery Brewers' Handbook you will find "When brewing for malt character, how many decoctions are made is less important than that a (single) decoction is boiled for at least 20 minutes, and for up to 45 minutes, to develop flavor." I've brewed some very malty beers with one decoction. Start the mash at a suitable saccharification temperature and after about 15 minutes pull the very thickest 1/3 to 1/2 of the mash. Apply heat, stir constantly and boil this as suggested by Mr. Noonan. Then cool this with a little RT water so it is at or above the temperature of the main mash. Return the decoction and rest for about 30 minutes. Sparge and boil. Regards, Bill Frazier Olathe, Kansas Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 23:49:13 -0800 From: Jeremy Bergsman <jeremybb at leland.Stanford.EDU> Subject: Re: How to raise mash pH? "Troy Hager" <thager at hcsd.k12.ca.us> writes: > BTW, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area (specifically in San Mateo on the > Peninsula). [snip] > I have a very acidic mash! > > Now I started adding chalk (CaCO3) to the mash in increments of 4g. I know > this is way overboard but I just wanted to see the effects. I added > the chalk because that is the only thing that I know that brewers use to > raised the pH of > the mash. After stirring, taking a sample, and cooling, I tested it with > both papers. My readings barely moved. The Peninsula down through parts of Mountain View, including my home, but not including Palo Alto, is on the Hetch Hetchy water system. This water is, as you note, quite soft, and produces an overly acidic mash. All of your observations jibe (it's not jive is it?) with mine. I believe that your problem is that CaCO3 takes a long to raise the mash pH. I suppose its insolubility is correlated with a slow rate of dissolution, so even if there are sufficient protons available to sop up any CO3-- produced this is still a slow process. I use about 1 t of baking soda (NaHCO3) in my 10 gal system to bring up the pH. As for why the mash pH is too low to begin with I've been stumpted by that for a while. One would assume that the low pH from the tap is carbonic acid resulting from CO2 pick up and I would assume that this wouldn't prevent the malt buffers from correcting the pH. Possibly my proximity to both the water and lab equipment and AJ's knowledge could work it out. - -- Jeremy Bergsman jeremybb at leland.stanford.edu http://www.stanford.edu/~jeremybb Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 05:50:09 -0500 From: Dan Cole <dcole at roanoke.infi.net> Subject: Re: Trappist Light >I recently brewed a "Trappist Light". I was interested in the Trappist >ale >flavor, but wanted to make it lighter in alcohol than many (and another I >just bottled at 8.9 % ABW!). I was surprised that the resultant brew >tasted >much like a Hefe....and wonder if this is common? <snip> >chilled and pitched a vile of WhiteLabs WLP500 Trappist Ale Yeast <snip> >Anybody know why this tastes like a "half-a-hefe"? I have just had a similar experience. I brewed a triple with the same yeast. Everything was fine with it and I was very happy with the flavor. I put 3 bottles in the 'fridge for a about a month to prepare for a meeting of my local homebrew club, and upon tasting at the club meeting I was surprised that this was a belgian; it tasted exactly like a HEFE (cloves and all). All the Belgian funkiness had faded leaving a very alcoholic HEFE behind. I suspect the yeast, but don't know anything certain. Just another data point. Dan Cole Star City Brewers Guild www.hbd.org/starcity/ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 06:36:10 -0500 From: Nina Cohen <nina at swva.net> Subject: repitching yeast, other newbie questions What a great discussion group! I just joined this list, and also just started brewing with a friend of mine. We've just graduated from boiling up the can of hopped malt extract and throwing in the dry yeast packet (shudder) to experimenting with hops, specialty grains, and liquid yeast cultures. The excellent discussions I've been reading here for the last couple of weeks have given me much useful information and food for thought. I do have a few questions concerning the effects of various ingredients and procedures on the flavor of the finished beer. A little background: our first batch turned out, in my opinion, way funky. My friend liked it fine, but I thought it was harsh, bitter, totally lacking in body, and tainted with an odd off-flavor that I can only describe as reminiscent of beef boullion. Pretty bizarre, eh? Batch one was your basic hopped syrup kit with an extra half-can of unhopped syrup thrown in. We stuck the wort outside to cool, and it took nearly an hour. We used the dry packet that came with the kit and just pitched it straight into the bucket. The beer took almost two days to start fermenting, and didn't do any intense foaming up as far as I could tell. The second batch was a hopped brown ale kit, again with an extra half-can of unhopped syrup thrown in. We added half an ounce of Kent Goldings hop pellets in a little muslin bag for the last 5 minutes. This time we stuck the bucket of wort in a trash can full of cold water, and it cooled in just 20 minutes. We pitched in a vial of White Labs English Ale yeast. We actually measured the O.G. this time - great technological advance. It was 1.043. The batch took less than 12 hours to start bubbling through the fermentation lock. It was down to 1.014 when we bottled it 12 days later. This batch tasted considerably better to me. It had more flavor and body, though a bit cloying. Not much hop flavor or bitterness. However, it still had a funky kind of bitter aftertaste and some of that off flavor, though both were a lot less noticeable than the first batch. The third batch, however, was a different story. We brewed it on the same day we bottled batch 2, and we repitched the yeast out of batch 2's fermenter. Here's how we handled the yeast: we boiled a quart mason jar and lid for 15 min, then dumped a bunch of the thick, pasty yeast stuff straight from the bottom of the bucket into the jar. We put the lid on without tightening the ring down, and stuck the jar in the fridge until about an hour before pitching, when we took it out to let it warm up again. Batch 3 was made with 6 pounds of dry amber extract, an ounce of Cascade whole hops stuck in for the entire 45-min boil, and half an ounce of Kent Goldings pellets for the last 10 min. Batch 3 was bottled 15 days late. I just tried a bottle after only 6 days of conditioning, and I can't believe the results. It actually tastes very good, clean, with a decent balance of malt and hop flavor, some hop aroma, and no harshness or weird off-flavors. So one question: why did we get such different results? Here's what happened differently in batch 3: a.) we used a glass carboy instead of a plastic bucket; b.) the beer foamed up within 12 hours, and got so vigorous that it blew all sorts of junk out the airlock and dribbled all down the carboy (we didn't even consider a blow-off tube, since our first two batches never foamed up that way. We replaced it with a clean airlock when the major foaming died down); c.) we used iodophor for the first time, instead of One-Step; d.) we rinsed the bottles and most of the equipment after sanitizing; e.) when pouring the hot wort (1 1/2 gal) onto the cold water in the fermenter, this time the wort ran down the sides of the carboy instead of just falling right onto the water. Though this had the unfortunate effect of putting hairline cracks in the carboy, I wonder whether it also did a better job of aerating the wort. We didn't do much agitating of the wort once it was in the fermenter for any of our batches. Of all these factors, which do you guys imagine could have had the most significant impact on the flavor of the beer? I know there's no way of really knowing, but I'm trying to learn what things are most important to pay attention to. Aeration, yeast handling, vigorous fermentation, sanitizer use. . .so many things to consider. And we haven't even begun to consider the quality of our well water, the use of any clarifying agents, adding minerals, refining our siphoning techniques, racking into a secondary fermenter, etc. A last question involves repitching yeast. Glen Pannicke and Jeff Renner had very useful things to say on the subject. What I wonder is: what's the best way to store yeast sludge taken from the bottom? Is a week about the longest one can reasonably expect it to stay good in the fridge? I love how much complexity is involved in this pastime. If I really got into it, I could learn stuff about chemistry, biology, physics, even a little practical engineering, all through brewing. I'll just concentrate on getting consistent results with extract brewing first, though, before taking the plunge into a whole new level with mashing and all that scary stuff. Salut, Nina Cohen Floyd, VA nina at swva.net Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 15:07:22 +0200 From: "Evan James" <evan at telemessage.co.za> Subject: Bottles in South Africa Hi all, This is to all the South African brewers on the list (if any). I am sick of cleaning out bottles so I phoned Consol Glass, and they are willing to sell a single lot of 750ml beer bottles to me. A lot consists of 784 bottles. This will cost R980.00, or R1.25 per bottle. Not only can't I afford this, I don't need so many! Anyone want to contribute towards a lot? Regards, Evan Dembskey Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 08:46:10 -0500 From: Carmen Salvatore <carmen.salvatore at lmco.com> Subject: Re: How to raise mash pH? In HBD #3233 Troy Hager asks how the raise his mash pH: This is exactly the same situation I have. Did the same experiment as Troy and had the same results. I have a Hanna Checker II pH meter and have used it for the last couple of batches (they were last year as I haven't brewed in a while) and my mash pH was ALWAYS under the recommened range. Recalibrated/checked the meter - resampled the mash - same result - mash pH at or below 5.0. Even with a grist of all pale malt and 1/2 pound of light crystal. Unfortunatly I am unable to offer any suggestions/remedies. As such, I too would be very interested in others input/suggestions on this. I would include the water boards report here but it very similar to Troys/Pilsen - very soft. BTW I live in central NY, Utica to be specific. Carm Salvatore Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 06:44:33 PST From: "Steve Blanchard" <steve_blanchard at hotmail.com> Subject: Pressure relief valve for pin lock (Coke) keg I am making the transition from bottling to kegging and, after acquiring all the necessary equipment, decided to do a dry run and carbonate water in my Coke pin lock keg. I could not get a seal around the pressure relief valve in the lid. The keg was under pressure when I bought it so know that it did hold pressure. The pressure reilef valve on this keg is a screw-in plastic valve but don't know where I might be able to find a replacement valve. It is also possible that the leaking is coming from the silicone seal around the valve but I cleaned it off to no avail. Any thoughts from the collective?? ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 15:45:27 +0000 From: "A. J. deLange" <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Glasses RE Dave Sapsis's comments on the typical competition cups' suitability for judging color: the "we" I referred (the phrase was "the cups we use") was the majority of us when we judge. I'm not the most experienced judge but I have done it a few times in a couple of states and have always been given those same little cups whose main virtue, as I understand it, is that they are odorless. I don't particularly advocate them for use in judging color or for any other aspect of judging. I went back and found the data I had taken on the Davison guide. I had bought two, cut one up and put the pieces into a spectrophotometer which had been spiffied up with software (after I did all the beer work by transferring spectra to my laptop) to measure and calculate tristimulus color automatically. Push the button, sit back and a couple of minutes later you have X, Y, Z or x, y, z. From the beer measurements I knew the relationship between SRM, Y and the path so that I was able to calculate SRM values from the measured Y values assuming 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 cm paths. I had heard or read that the guide was supposed to simulate 5 cm worth of beer to match this cup we're discussing but I did not really know whether this was true. The idea was that when the SRM data calculated from the measurements assuming various paths is fit with a straight line (plotting the calculated SRM vs. the Guide patch labels) the fit with the slope closest to 1 should correspond to the path which is the path for which the Guide was designed to work. That path turned out to be 10 cm, not 5 - I didn't remember this right in my previous posts. Actually, at this point I'm not sure whether the cups aren't 10 cm. Sorry for any confusion. When a 10 cm path (4") is assumed, the maximum error is about 2 SRM for the guide based on the beer set from which my SRM vs Y model is derived etc. This is instrumentally measured. As Dave points out, when compounded with errors due to the observer, the light source, the background, the shorfalls in SRM etc. the Guide is questionable as a source of precise data but it was never intended to be a source of precise data and if we recognize this I think it's OK to use it to get a general idea. I take the one I didn't cut up to contests all the time. If I thought a beer was too light or too dark for style I might compare it to the guide but I would never write on the score sheet the value I determined using it. Dave comments on the basic suitability of SRM for describing the color of beer. I think he has a point. SRM is a laboratory mesurement which can really only be carried out with laboratory equipment to a reasonable degree of accuracy. It is important to commercial brewers who are looking for consistency more than anything else. I happen to enjoy analyzing my beers as much as I enjoy brewing them so I like to have SRM to a decimal place or two and I like to have values for other parameters too but I guess I don't see a practial way to incorporate measurement of any of these into the typical homebrew contest environment. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 09:51:09 -0600 From: "Jack Schmidling" <arf at mc.net> Subject: re: Efficiency vs.Yield From: John_E_Schnupp at amat.com Fred sed, >>I hereby propose that for homebrewing purposes (and HBD communication) we >>institute a standard of quoting yield in a points per pound format instead. >That being said, what is "typical" to be considered "good"? 21 is a nice number. Seems like 10 years since I started making the same proposal. I have actually been known to get rude to people who ask me questions about efficiency based on %. It is a totally flawed method of understanding what we are doing as homebrewers. It is based on published values for malt characters, most of which are taken out of old books and are nearly meaningless to relate to the bag of malt we happen to be using. Unless the brewer has the real analysis of the malt in hand and the ability to work that into his measurements or a lab capable of determining the values for the malt, it is nonsense to use this method. It's like basing the luck of a fishing trip on the oxygen content of the lake water. The proof of the pudding is in the eating and in this case gravity per pound per gallon says it all. 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: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 10:30:17 -0500 From: "Peter J. Calinski" <PCalinski at iname.com> Subject: Sparge Temperature Variations Andrew Nix asked: _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ The other question is, has anyone ever measured the temp of the 2-3" water column above the grain bed to see what type of temp drops are associated with heat transfer from the water in going from the hot sparge water tank, through the sparge arm and convection while falling through the air to the water above the grain bed? _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ This doesn't quite qualify as a direct answer to your question but I did make some measurements during the sparge this past Monday. I used a 7 Gallon plastic bucket with about 10.5 lb. of grain After the second step it was at 158F. Then, I had to let it sit while I ran to the store to replace the hydrometer I broke that morning. When I returned the grain bed was at 145F. I started to sparge with 170F water. I keep it within +/-2F with an electric heater in the HLT. I had a temperature probe at the bottom of the grain bed. I kept 1-2 inches of liquid above the grain bed. It took about an hour for the SG to drop to 1.000 uncorrected for temperature. This would correct to > 1.010 assuming the runoff temperature is above 118 or so. I started the sparge with a grain bed temp of 145F After I collected 2.5 Gal. the grain bed was at 150F After I collected 3.5 Gal. the grain bed was at 156F I didn't take any more readings but this says 170F water probably never reached the lower grains. The result was 5 Gal. of SG 1.051 (temperature corrected). I think this gives 24.3 ppg or 69%(??). Pete Calinski East Amherst NY Near Buffalo NY Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 10:14:48 -0600 From: Midwest Brewer <mgeorge at bridge.com> Subject: Stuck sparge with EM...Hmm... Jack S sez: > "If you experienced a sudden slow down after pouring the 2 gallons back, I would suspect the way you poured it might have disturbed the filter bed. It is rarely necessary to draw more than a pint off to clarify the wort. By taking two gallons you not only waste a lot of time but significantly drop the temperature of the mash by putting it back in." Huh? I routinely recirculate a gallon for my 5 gallon batches. The first 3 quarts I run full bore, and the last a bit slower. The first 3 almost always are murky, the last one only begins to clear somewhat toward the end. Temp drop? I'd like to see data points on this. > "Stirring and scraping only causes stuck sparges and is never a cure." Hmm...I almost always gently rake / stir the grain bed in one form or another during the sparge, and I've never really had one get stuck, even with 20-25% flaked grain in the mash. Doing this breaks up the top layer of coagulated material that can lead to channelling in the grain bed, which in turn leads to poor efficiency. Stuck sparges are usually from compaction and air space between the grain bed and the filter. Not from stirring IMO - I thought that was a way to get things flowing again. > "There is absolutely no point in trying to get crystal clear wort as subsequent process steps will clarify the beer." Geez...all this time I've been recirculating for nothing I guess...but you are the brewer of the WGB, so it must be gospel. You want to know the single most important thing I've learned to help the flow from the lauter tun? Mashout. Since I've done that I've improved my beers significantly. MWB Glen Carbon, IL Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 10:33:28 -0600 From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: RE: Yet ANOTHER Sparging Question From: Andrew Nix <anix at vt.edu> >Do other folks do this, keep some of the sparge water heating to maintain >temp, rather than putting all of the water in the hot water tank and >risking losing some temp??? I have never used a insulated storage vessel to hold the sparge liquor, but your picnic cooler sounds good. You might like to try using an electric heating element in the HLT to maintain the temperature. In my system, I use 240 volts at 4500 watts because it is the only source for heating and maintaining the HLT temperature. If you have some other method for attaining the initial HLT temperature, and just need to hold it to a set temperature, you could easily use a 120 volt element. Check out hot water heating elements at the hardware store. >the other question is, has anyone ever >measured the temp of the 2-3" water column above the grain bed to see what >type of temp drops are associated with heat transfer from the water in >going from the hot sparge water tank, through the sparge arm and convection >while falling through the air to the water above the grain bed??? If so, >please share your results. I may do a test this weekend to see what temp >drops there are and I may heat my sparge water to a little higher temp to >account for losses in going from the hot water tank to the grain bed. No, I have not measured the temp. but I suspect it is much lower than the temperature in the HLT. I normally run the HLT temperature up to 175F or so, and this seems to give me a mashout of 165f. >OK, one more....those floating thermometers (Brewer's Best I think), anyone >else have a problem with the rubber handle coming off if you put them in >water that is getting close to boiling (the glue fails). I had BOTH of >mine come off this past brew session, one was brand new, the other I've had >for years!!! I tossed mine, it seemed like the quintessential mark of a beginning homebrewer. :^) Ron Ronald La Borde - Metairie, Louisiana - rlabor at lsumc.edu Return to table of contents
[Prev HBD] [Index] [Next HBD] [Back]
HTML-ized on 01/28/00, by HBD2HTML version 1.2 by K.F.L.
webmaster at hbd.org, KFL, 10/9/96