HOMEBREW Digest #3437 Sat 23 September 2000

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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

  fridge won't start (fridgeguy)
  rH/pH/Dissolving starch ("A. J.")
  RE: Beechwood chips and Hefeweizen ("Dennis Lewis")
  1st wort hopping & mash hopping (Jay Pfaffman)
  White Labs Yeast (Althelion)
  Controlling a Gas Heater ("Peter J. Calinski")
  Brewery Automation & Open Kettles ("Pannicke, Glen A.")
  Home made crystal malt (Dave Burley)
  maltiness (Randy Ricchi)
  wort recovery (Randy Ricchi)
  Grain Extract Virgin (Beaverplt)
  Wood Alcohol (Bill_Rehm)
  Culturing yeast from beer sediment (Brian Myers)
  Boddingtons Pub Ale ("G. M. Remake")
  Re: Plastic carboys ("Shane A. Saylor, Eccentric Bard")
  mead fermentation ("Atticus & Kitty")
  Weak yeast yeild weak offspring? (Charley Burns)
  DMS/persistent infection (Harlan Bauer)
  Re: HBD Sponsorship (Christopher Farley)
  Goose Island ("pksmith_morin")
  HBD doing DSL ("Alan McKay")
  infection troubleshooting ("Louis K. Bonham")
  boiling vanill beans (J Daoust)
  amber ale (Clark)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 09:00:18 -0400 From: fridgeguy at voyager.net Subject: fridge won't start Greetings folks, In HBD#3435, Scott Jose asked for help with his fridge that initially starts when plugged in, but then immediately quits. The compressors used in domestic fridges have two motor windings. Both are used during compressor start-up, then the start winding is removed from the circuit after the compressor comes up to speed. A small relay is used to engage the start winding when needed. The compressor start relay can be one of several types, but the most common is known as a "current relay" and will be plugged right onto the compressor's wiring terminals. I suspect the contacts are dirty or worn in this relay and that it is not propery engaging the start winding in the compressor motor. There is also a thermal/current overload device wired in series with the compressor motor. If the compressor draws excessive current, or if the overload gets weak, it may "snap" open for a minute or two. This can be tested by immediately plugging the fridge back in after the comressor quits. If nothing happens for a minute or so, a click is heard, and the compressor again tries to start, the overload has likely opened. If this happens it would be wise to unplug the fridge and remove the terminal cover and relay from the compressor. There will be three terminals on the compressor. These are usually labeled C (common), S (start), and R (run). Using a multimeter set on its lowest resistance range, measure the resistance between the C and R terminals and the C and S terminals. Then set the meter to its highest resistance range and measure the resistance between each of the three terminals and ground. If the compressor motor is good, there will be a comparatively high resistance between the C and (usually) R terminals, and a comparatively low resistance between the C and (usually) S terminals. The reason I hedged a bit here is because the actual resistance values and their relationship vary a great deal by compressor make and model. You should measure infinity between each of the compressor terminals and ground. If the resisances aren't close to what I described above, please post your findings and I'll try to interpret them. It is possible that the motor windings are damaged. If the resistances look ok then I'd suggest replacing the relay and overload. They are both common repair items and can be obtained from most appliance parts retailers. Bring the old ones along for reference. Hope this helps! - ---------------------------------------- Forrest Duddles - Fridgeguy in Kalamazoo fridgeuy at voyager.net - -- Is your email secure? http://www.pop3now.com (c) 1998-2000 secureFront Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 13:16:27 +0000 From: "A. J." <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: rH/pH/Dissolving starch For Edward: rH is an archaic (50 year old) way of expressing the redox state of a system. It is familiar to brewers because DeClerk and other authors of his time use this term. As the name implies there are some similarites with pH. Just as the pH is related to the log of the activity (sort of an ionic pressure - for all practical purposes the concentration of) hydrogen ions, rH can be defined in terms of the log of the pressure of hydrogen gas in a sense electrode required to explain the potential difference observed between it and a reference electrode pressurized to 1 atmosphere with hydrogen. While hydrogen is not used in either sense or reference electrodes today (except in special laboratory applications) one can easilly calculate the rH from conventional ORP (Oxidation Reduction Potential) measurements made with platinum combination electrodes if one wishes to compare the rH of his beer to values found by DeClerk. The redox state of a beer is defined in terms of electical potential measured between an inert (platinum) and reference (Ag/AgCl or similar) electrode. This voltage depends on the pH and the the log of the ratio of the concentration of oxidized substances to reduced substances in the beer. In converting to rH the pH factor is backed out and this is one of the advantages of rH - it is a measure of redox state and not the pH at which it is measured. Obviously the higher the oxidation state the faster the beer will stale and so keeping it in a reduced state is very desireable. If you stick an ORP probe in beer and watch the meter you will see the ORP climb slowly as oxygen from the air gets into the beer. Drop in a vitamin C tablet or a campden tablet and you will see the ORP plummet. I've often wondered why, in all the discussions of staling, we don't see more reference to the relationship of rH/ORP to beer staling. The ASBC procedures don't even have an ORP test though I think the "indicator time test" is still done for wort in Eurpope. Measuring ORP is a bitch because the sample must be protected from air during collection, storage, transport and analysis. Perhaps that's the reason. The remark about the the pH dyes was based on the fact that some of them really indicate ORP and work because ORP depends on pH. Obviously, such a dye wouldn't be a very good pH indicator in a solution which contained a strong oxidizer or reducing agent. I've seen sources say that pH stands for "pundus hydrogenii" which translates as the "weight of hydrogen". In others the reader is told that the p stands for "potenz" which means power in the sense that concentration of hydrogen ion equals 10 raised to the power of minus the pH. Both refer to S.P.L. Sorrenson's original paper which, as I have never seen it, I cannot comment on. Can't really answer the question about the maly root. Wouldn't know one if I tripped over it. Speaking generally, tannins are very very weak acids and shouldn't shift the pH. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * For Dave B.: yes, getting the starch to dissolve did require heat and yes, the resultant solution was pretty thick and yes, I think that doesn't matter in determination of specific gravity unless you are using an oscillating U tube meter (in which case you have to compensate for it) but I don't think most home brewers do that. Remember that "pycnometer" literally means a meter for thick things i.e. things you couldn't float a hydrometer in. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 10:06:44 -0400 From: "Dennis Lewis" <dblewis at lewisdevelopment.com> Subject: RE: Beechwood chips and Hefeweizen > In the lager facility they were displayed in the tea strainer thingy... in > the following video presentation of the brewing process, a brewery worker > was shown raking the chips in the bottom of one of those gigantic tanks. They use the torpedo-shaped "tea strainer" to process the chips. It keeps them together during caustic cleaning and sanitizing with very hot water. Then they transport the chips into the tank using that container. It fits thru the manway. > beer... however, I can't believe I was served their specialty > Hefeweizen out of a BOTTLE! I am a major weissbier aficionado and this is the proper and best way to serve hefeweizen. In a Bavarian beergarden, you will always be served a hefe out of the bottle. You may see weissbiers on tap in a bar, but the vast majority of weissbier is bottled. Bottling allows for a couple of things that can't be done in a keg: (1) The beer is much more carbonated (like 3.5 volumes) than regular beer. That makes for difficult and foamy dispensing from a keg. It's foamy enough out of the bottle. (2) The brewer can make sure that each bottle is dosed with the proper amount of yeast. Keg-dispense requires special mechanical agitators that are problematic. (side note: I got a tour of the Paulaner brewery last year and was told that they are using a special process that keeps the yeast in suspension in their weissbiers. Details were extremely and intentionally sketchy.) Dennis **A fine is a tax for doing wrong.** **A tax is a fine for doing well. ** Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 09:05:42 -0500 From: Jay Pfaffman <pfaffman at relaxpc.com> Subject: 1st wort hopping & mash hopping OK, so what's the deal with 1st wort hopping and mash hopping? I've been on the list only for a week or two (to the detriment of getting work done on this Ph.D. nonsense that I started 5+ years ago) & I've seen a little about mash hopping (e.g. "Real Brewers Mash Hop"). I have since found a few sentences in a book about 1st wort hopping, but it still doesn't make much sense. The author of the book really didn't get it either. I've recently become a all-grain brewer and have more recently borrowed a 80qt kettle, so I'm working on getting a bigger mash/lauter tun so that I can make a 10 gallon batch. Also exciting is that for the first time ever I'm brewing faster than I can drink, but that's only because I don't have anything that's carbonated yet. Finally I can tell this story to a group who'll truly appreciate it. My domain name is now relaxpc.com, but just over 6 years ago, I registered relax.com for our computer consulting business. I'd been reading Papazian, and "Relax" seemed to be as useful in working with computers as in home brewing. (My business cards at the time said "juggler, home brewer, guitarist, computer consultant"--I was really only a computer consultant, but it was Vermont where the motto is "Moonlight in Vermont, or starve." I digress.) Anyway though we didn't get the name with the intent to sell it, someone finally made an unsolicited offer for relax.com which we couldn't refuse, and I was forced to give up my "lifetime" email address & URL. We did make a tidy profit, though not by west-coast standards. The contract put some restrictions on our use of the word relax, so now I must say RelaxPC. Don't worry. Have a homebrew. - -- Jay Pfaffman pfaffman at relaxpc.com +1-615-343-1720 (office) +1-615-460-9299 (home) http://relax.ltc.vanderbilt.edu/~pfaffman/ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 10:19:57 EDT From: Althelion at aol.com Subject: White Labs Yeast Hey, I've now used White Labs' yeasts in about ten batches. I'd like to note the following observations: 1) White Labs yeast, doesn't matter what type - lager or ale, function very well. Most of my ales made with a one quart starter begin fermentation in six hours. Lagers take a little longer to start, but still begin quite quickly. 2) I get good attentuation with these yeasts. (Note: The last dunkel I made using 75% munich malt only got down to 1019. Previous threads discussed munich malt and attenuation. I'll probably only use that high a grist percentage of munich in bocks in the future). 3) I prefer the taste of Wyeast, style to style, over White Labs. The only exception may be the White Labs East Coast Ale yeast which compares favorably. I'm wondering if anybody else has made similiar observations? Have I been tastebud-washed from using Wyeasts for so many years? I'm bottling a northern brown ale tomorrow night made with the White Labs Edinburgh. I hope to taste a second exception. Side Note: I personally enjoy the ramblings from down under. Most Aussie influence I usually get is eatin' at The Outback and listenin' to Midnight Oil. However, sometimes the phoenetic spellings are hard to decipher. Whenever I encounter this problem though, I can usually encode the verse with help of a dram or two of a fine single malt. Later Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 10:35:10 -0400 From: "Peter J. Calinski" <PCalinski at iname.com> Subject: Controlling a Gas Heater An alternative to a sparker is a glow plug. These are typically used in the oven section of a gas range. I have no idea what the parts would cost new but if you can salvage them from an old range, it should be simple. In a typical gas range, order to ensure that the gas isn't turned on unless the glow plug is glowing hot, the glow plug is wired is series with a special gas valve. The gas valve opening function is controlled by a bimetallic strip. When the operator turns on the switch, the glow plug (which is a very fragile ceramic so handle it gently) resistance is quite high, high enough that the bimetallic strip doesn't heat up and keeps the gas off. As the glow plug heats up to a roaring glow, it's resistance decreases and the bimetallic strip heats up and bends, thus opening the valve. The glow plug then ignites the gas. This system is considered safe since, if the glow plug isn't hot, gas can't flow. All you would need is a 110V relay to close the circuit like the operator does. While you are salvaging, consider grabbing the oven temperature control also. It should have a range from 170F to 450F. It may not be accurate enough for this application but who knows. Also consider that the bulb which measures the temperature would have to be placed in the boiling wort. I don't know how long it would last. Boiling wort is a nasty environment. Just some ideas I had. Never tried it myself although I did repair the bimetallic strip in my oven once. Pete Calinski East Amherst NY Near Buffalo NY Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 13:30:49 -0400 From: "Pannicke, Glen A." <glen_pannicke at merck.com> Subject: Brewery Automation & Open Kettles Todd was helping Mike with brewery automation and mash control: > Or maybe there is a electronically >inclined person lurking that could come up with an electric 'eye' that >would verify that the flame is lit and send a signal of 0 or 5VDC to be >read by the parallel port? That's something to work on later. A photoresistor or phototransistor (IR) would work by sensing the light emitted from the flame. Both would have to be shielded from ambient light, however. The photoresistor would have to provide input to a comparator so that when the voltage through the photoresistor exceeds the level predetermined by the other input, the output would go high. Same with the phototransistor, plus you can fiddle with the bias on the transistor to adjust sensitivity. Your other option is to use a thermocouple just like you have in a gas furnace. This senses the heat and again, you'd have to do a voltage comparison. You don't really need an A/D converter for a go/no-go situation like this. From troubleshooting my gas furnace one day, I found that it had a photosensor monitoring the manifold and a thermocouple monitoring the pilot. If you can make the photosensor work, go that route as it is an instant indicator and the thermocouple has a lag time since it needs to heat up. You may find heat resistant photosensors for furnaces in HVAC supply catalogs which might do the trick. You'll still need a watchdog in your code, but it should be only a few seconds. E-mail me if you'd like example schematics for the above-mentioned circuits. ==== Brian Lundeen suffered temporary befuddlement by the idea of a boiling fountain: >>The wort is then passed >> back through the MIDDLE of the tank (below the wort level) >> and shot through a "boiling fountain" to a point above the wort level where it >> is dispersed by an adjustable spreader and allowed to fall onto the >> surface of the wort. All kinds of agitation and splashing going on here! >But... but... but... won't that lead to... I know... I dribbled and shook a bit when I first saw it, but then the image of Dave Burley parading around this device with a big sign on a stick with the words "steam blanket" appeared before my eyes. I then came to know and was filled with the spirit (of brewing). And I said Hallelujah!! ;-) Now Dave Lamotte gets back to me with a quote from Kunze regarding covered kettles: >While I am very open about my boiling Kunze goes into considerable >detail on the design of such industrial kettles and observes that the >discharge vent always has an opening 1/6th the diameter of the kettle. >If my maths are correct this would give an area of only 3% of the kettle >surface area (1/6 is 17%). This is a fairly tightly fitting lid. Pun intended, huh? I guess if you couple this covered kettle with the resulting steam blanket, I can now understand why a boiling fountain would not introduce O2. Logic would also dictate that the fountain would achieve the same, if not better, mechanical forces in play than as with a very vigorous boil but at a reduced thermal load. Much of what I've come across regarding the boil seems to stress the physical mixing, shearing, etc.. forces of the vigorous boil. I'm sure this can be overdone as well. As for Fix's quote regarding balance in boiling, this seems to fit. One reason for boiling is to drive off volatiles by the combination of heat and exposing more of the wort to the liquid surface, but don't over do it. I tend to believe that using a boiling column can maximize volatile removal without the need to throw so much heat into it. It would be interesting to attempt this on a homebrewer's scale and taste the results. > The kettle exhaust is also fitted with a flap which enables it to be >completely sealed during heating in order to conserve energy. Why this >is so? ... Sounds like a case of industrial cost savings to me. I'd assume so. Unfortunately, many of the really technical texts at some point become obsessed with reclaiming/conserving resources and reducing waste. Hey, they're trying to run a business, right? ==== Lastly, I would like to thank the numerous people who replied to me privately regarding my latest RIMS questions. There is so much diversity in the RIMS & HERMS design, making a choice as to what would work best for me is the hardest part! Carpe cerevisiae! Glen Pannicke http://www.pannicke.net PGP Fingerprint: 75CE 0DED 59E1 55AB 830F 214D 17D7 192D 8384 00DD Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 13:33:10 -0400 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Home made crystal malt Brewsters: Hans Aikema did some experiments in which he proved that only about 20% of the malt will be extracted without crushing. Seems right as proper milling is a critical requirement for good extraction efficiency and malt has about 15-20% extractables as I recall. Part of the reasaon for the crush is to expose the starch to the enzymes, but the main reason is to wet out the interior of the malt so the reactions can proceed. If the interior were wet ( see below) then crushing would not be necessary to get a substantial reaction in the uncrushed grain and a high extraction rate potential. However the large grain size of the uncrushed barley would mean the rate of extraction woud be extremely slow. As Hans also notes uncrushed grain does not impede the flow of the sparge water. SO crushing is important for 1)exposing the interior of the grain to water to provide reagents for the saccharification 2) provide access for the enzymes in solution 3) provide a short pathway for the sugar to move out of the grain into the sparge water 4) slow down the rate of flow of the sparge water through the bed so that the efficiency of extraction is high. Hans also concludes that he can't make crystal malt from pilsner based on his experiments. And I say you can, but you must first soak the malt overnight or longer in cold ( refrigerator) water, so the hydrolysis and enzyme solubilization can take place and the saccharification be completed in the oven. To do this, the soaked malt is drained and placed about 1" deep on a baking sheet and covered with aluminum foil and the temperature raised to 155F ( measure the grainbed T with a thermometer poked through the foil) where it is held for 30 minutes after it reaches 155F while saccharificaton takes place, the foil is removed and then the temperature is raised to around 350F ( I believe) to caramelize these sugars. Do it for a time period ( 30 minutes to 11/2 hours) to get the desired color. Always take a number of grains, cool and crush them and extract in boiling water to estimate the color. I often take a portion of the grains at various time periods during this final caramelization for various specialty blending purposes. This is from memory, so for the exact details check out the HBD archives where I have detailed my methods of preparing various specialty malts from pilsner malts. When I started brewing, these specialty malts were not available in the US and I had to develop my own methods by reading M&BS and other professional book and journals. If memory serves, CharliePs NCJOHB has an Appendix on this also. I didn't read the details in Graham Sanders' pages and pages of material, but if he didn't give his pilsner malt an overnight soak he won't really have a crystal malt. A dry roast such as you did, Hans, will produce various grades of a "biscuit" type of malt, which as Graham says is excellent immediately after you toast it. - --------------------------------------- Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 15:54:44 -0400 From: Randy Ricchi <rricchi at ccisd.k12.mi.us> Subject: maltiness A lot has been said about using Munich malt to get a nice maltiness in beers made with an infusion mash. Another thing to consider is the BRAND of munich malt. A few years ago I made a lager with 100% munich ( I didn't keep track of brands, but I'm pretty sure it was Durst) malt, and it did have that german malt character. This past winter I made an all munich malt lager using Weisheimer munich malt, and didn't get the same kind of maltiness. I got a toastiness from this munich malt. This is not very scientific, since I did use different yeasts in the two beers. However, I also made an all Vienna malt lager this year, 11 gallon batch, and split the batch in two. I pitched Brewteks E. European lager yeast in one, and another Brewtek yeast in the other (American pre-pro type, I forget the name and I'm at work right now). The Beer brewed with the E. European lager yeast had the finest malt character I have ever found in any homebrewed beer. Authentic, soft, German maltiness. This beer turned out to be a beautiful Vienna style lager. The other yeast was clean but didn't accentuate the malt character. I brewed other all Pilsner malt beers using the E. European yeast, and theye were clean, but didn't have the maltiness of the vienna malt beer. So, you have to consider that not only the malt type, but brand, and also yeast can make a difference in the maltiness you get in the final product. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 16:00:35 -0400 From: Randy Ricchi <rricchi at ccisd.k12.mi.us> Subject: wort recovery A little wort recovery technique I've been using lately: After I immersion chill, I cover and let the break material settle for 30-45 minutes. Then I siphon off into my fermenter. I stop syphoning when the racking cane starts to pick up break material. I pour this remainder into sanitized 1/2 gallon mason jars, cover with foil, and put into the freezer for an hour or so. In that time, the trub settles to the bottom half of the jar and you can pour the clear top half off into your fermenter. Or you could leave it sit in a refridgerator for awhile until you need some wort for yeast starters. If it's been sitting awhile, just pour the clear top portion into a sauce pan and re-boil for 10 minutes, cool, and use. I haven't bought dry extract for yeast starters for a long time now since I started using this method. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 13:01:29 -0700 (PDT) From: Beaverplt <beaverplt at yahoo.com> Subject: Grain Extract Virgin Well, summer's over and this weekend's weather is supposed to be crappy. Sounds like a great opportunity to make a fresh batch. I was all set to do my first all grain until I saw the recipe for "Ucleduckfay Outmeal Stout" in the much maligned Complete Joy of Homebrewing. Anything with that name has to be tried. It's a grain/extract recipe so I guess you could say I chickened out on the all grain part. The reason for this post is to ask if anyone has any last minute advice (sort of like asking for last rites) Hopfully all the stuff I've learned by reading this rag will pay off. I also want to pass on some sage advice. Never, ever, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night. Cheers Jerry "Beaver" Pelt __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Send instant messages & get email alerts with Yahoo! Messenger. http://im.yahoo.com/ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 15:17:23 -0500 From: Bill_Rehm at eFunds.Com Subject: Wood Alcohol Doug Brown asked about wood in beer and the creation of wood alcohol. The answer is no, this will not create wood alcohol. Wood alcohol is a by-product of burning wood in the absence of oxygen. The technical guys will give a better answer, but I do remember way back in high school we "distilled" wood making wood alcohol and charcoal (Mr Goodspeed if you are listening I did learn something from you!). So don't worry about wood and beer making wood alcohol Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 09:04:19 +1200 From: Brian Myers <BrianM at AdvantageGroup.co.nz> Subject: Culturing yeast from beer sediment Dave Edwards and Matthew Tolley were discussing yeast ranching... DME will work fine, but the best food for yeast is, of course, wort! On an earlier brew day, just save a liter or two of your wort before pitching, put it in a reasonably clean PET bottle, and put it in the fridge. When you're ready to culture (from a commercial beer or your own homebrew), pour as much wort as you need into a saucepan, boil for a while to re-sanitise, cool, aerate, and feed your yeast. I've done this many times. You will probably not see any foam from the first feeding, and there might be only a little airlock activity, but you should see a line of 'crud' in your bottle that will let you know the yeast has been working. Also, a taste will tell you if the sweetness is gone. Feed for the final time on the day before you want to pitch it and you should get a quick start. I've had especially good luck culturing Chimay and Hoegaarden White this way. Hope this helps, Brian Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 15:39:00 -0600 From: "G. M. Remake" <gremake at gsbpop.uchicago.edu> Subject: Boddingtons Pub Ale Hello all, My wife really enjoys Boddingtons Pub Ale, and I'd earn many beer bullets if I could brew something similar. Surprisingly, a search of the archives turned up only one recipe. It suggested an OG of 1.035 using 96.5% pale malt, 0.5% black malt, and 3% sugar, with 30 IBUs from a mix of many hops at 60 and 15 minutes. I'd prefer a few more data points. To my tastes, Boddingtons is somewhat heavier and less bitter than the referenced recipe would suggest, and I'd expect to see a bit of crystal in the grist. There seems to be very little hops flavor or aroma, so limited late additions appear appropriate. Can anyone share a recipe with which they've had success in replicating this ale? Perhaps someone can provide accurate basic data like OG, IBUs, SRM, etc.? Thanks for any help. Cheers! Greg Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 18:34:05 -0400 From: "Shane A. Saylor, Eccentric Bard" <taliesin2 at earthlink.net> Subject: Re: Plastic carboys > A couple HBD'ers out there asked whether plastic carboys were Okay to > use as fermenters. The two plastics identified were no. 1 (PETE) and 3 > (V). Also, those plastic water bottles used on commercial water coolers > were also mentioned. I'm not sure what kind of plastic my home brew kit is. But I got a clear plastic hose with it and plastic carboy that looks like its a one of those 5 gallon paint buckets that major contractor use. Thoughts? And BTW, the kit itself is about 5 yrs old. Unused. :-( - -- Everything on this earth has a purpose, and every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence. --Mourning Dove, 1888-1936 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 09:02:14 -0400 From: "Atticus & Kitty" <katticus at earthlink.net> Subject: mead fermentation What a great forum! Just got my computer and didn't think I would find anything like this out there. I've been brewing for a few years now and have done well with some ales and lagers and not so well with a double bock. My love for Vikings though has prompted me to start a small batch of mead. It is a different task. I found that I didn't quit get a vigorous initial fermentation from my "basic" recipe. It did act up in a couple days, starting w/ a bubble (or two) every 35-40 seconds. The pace picked up over the next week until it got to about 1 bubble every 15 seconds. Then it slowed back down and stopped all together in almost 2 weeks. From the research I did on the web (all very different opinions!) I decided to rack and taste. What I had was a cloudy, sparkling, sweet and somewhat yeasty mead. Not terrible or anything but not the "drink of the gods" I was hoping for. I've let it set now for a week and though the air lock has a bubble in it I have yet to see one come up & it is still cloudy. Is this normal considering my recipe? Should I just be patient and let it sit ( a general theory on various sites) I've read some previous emails & it seems as though this sparkling will ferment away (if I let it). If that's the case I can see why it's yeasty but if not then it seems an awfully quick fermentation (something I had not expected from a mead). Recipe: 2 Lbs clover honey (not sue bee) 1Lb buckwheat honey 1 Gallon of water 1 Pkg. Red Star Champagne Yeast (started in a cup of 90 degree water) 1 Tsp Mead Yeast Nutrient I pasteurized the must then after cooling added the starter and nutrient. If anyone has any feedback I would REALLY appreciate it as my brew store is a little lacking in knowledge of meads and the book I have doesn't really cover this problem ( if it is even one). Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 19:33:05 -0700 From: Charley Burns <cburns99 at pacbell.net> Subject: Weak yeast yeild weak offspring? I made a Russian Imperial Stout (1.105 og) a few weeks ago. I dropped the wort on top of the yeast cake from a 1.054 og amber. It was Wyeast 1968. Fermentation took off like a rocket. Blew out the airlock, made a mess oozing out of the primary. Smelled like heaven. Then all of a sudden it just quit. Made it down to 1.047 and stuck. So after waiting 2 weeks, I pulled a Wyeast 1056 smakpak that was 18 months old out of the kegerator and smakked it. Took a full 9 days for it to fully expand. Dropped it into a quart of 1.054 (left over amber wort) and it took 3 days to build a krausen. My idea was to use this 1056 yeast to try and finish off the the RIP ferment, but at this point I have my doubts if its going to go. It seems like the old tired weakend yeast, can't get going even in fresh wort. I added another quart of 1.054 wort this evening now that the starter is at high krausen. I'll dump the whole thing into the RIP in the morning, but do you think I'm just wasting my time and energy? Is the 1056 yeast basically beyond its useful life at this point? Charley Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 01:30:11 -0500 From: Harlan Bauer <blacksab at midwest.net> Subject: DMS/persistent infection Brad Richards asks about possible causes for a persistent infection leading to elevated DMS levels. Elevated DMS levels are a tell-tale sign of an enteric infection. Enteric bacteria are a class of wort-spoiling bacteria (as opposed to beer-spoiling bacteria) which infect the wort PRIOR to the onset of active fermentation. Once fermentation has begun, however, the production of alcohol and the lowering of the pH create a hostile environment toxic to this class of bacteria. This is one reason that adequate pitching rates and aeration are so important--if you can get the wort fermenting quickly enough, the alcohol and relatively low pH will kill the enterics before they have reached a number great enough to produce DMS levels at or above flavor threshold. However, there are 2 distinct aromas that DMS may take. One is from bacterial infection, and smells VERY strongly of rotting vegetables; the other aroma is not bacterial in origin, and smells more like creamed corn, the ocean or oysters (I do not detect DMS as creamed corn), and is a natural part of the brewing process and is expelled during the boiling process. This is one of the main reasons for conducting a vigorous boil in an open kettle (the others being greater hop utilization and the development of the hot break). Given your attention to sanitation, and the fact that your lag times are relatively short, it would seem unlikely from your description that the cause of your elevated DMS levels are bacterial in origin. The more likely cause, without actually having smelled your beer, is that: >The kettle remains closed from the time the chiller >goes in (10 minutes before the end of the boil) until the chilled >wort's in the primary. This is rather a long period of time in which the naturally occurring DMS is trapped in the kettle without being able to dissipate. The resulting condensate (rich in DMS) collects on the lid, and drops back into the wort. This is precisely the reason that commercial kettles have a condensate ring inside the stack to prevent this DMS-rich condensate from dripping back into the kettle. So, those are the two primary causes of DMS in the finished beer. Without resorting to fancy lab equipment, how do you determine the cause of the elevated DMS levels? It's rather simple, really, and involves training your nose to distinguish between the two. Bacterial DMS can usually be found in a failed Wort Stability Test, so that becomes your first reference point. The other "type" of DMS can be found in Rolling Rock, and many German lagers--a Munich Helles would be a good choice because of its relatively low hopping rate (hops tend to mask the aroma). Now, once you have trained your nose to easily distinguish between the two, go back and smell you beer against these two reference points. Which does it smell more like? If it does, in fact, turn out to be bacterial in origin, look to OVER sanitization with chemicals, especially in your starters, which could weaken your yeast strain causing incomplete or disordered fermentations. If it turns out not to be biological in origin (which I suspect), remove the lid from the boiling kettle until the wort has cooled to ~120-140*F, and THEN place the lid on the kettle. By this time, very little DMS is being produced, and even less condensate is collecting on the lid of the kettle only to fall back into the wort. IMO, it is almost impossible to have an enteric infection above flavor threshold (assuming you don't throw a kitchen sponge into a kettle of cooled wort) if reasonable sanitation is practiced and adequate quantities of fresh, viable yeast is pitched along with adequate aeration, since the fermenting beer acts essentially as a sanitizer. Blasphemy? Not when you understand the distinction between Wort-spoiling bacteria and Beer-spoiling bacteria. I hope this helps. I'd like to second the accolades Bill Stewart at Moving Brews has recently been receiving here. I bought some things from him a few years ago, and I can't recommend him highly enough. He definitely knows what he's selling and will sell you the pump you NEED, even if it costs less than the pump you thought you needed. No connection, just a very, very satisfied customer. He's definitely one of us. Harlan. __ Harlan Bauer Malt does more than Milton can Murphysboro, IL To justify God's ways to man... <blacksab at midwest.net> --A. E. Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 02:32:47 -0500 (CDT) From: Christopher Farley <chris at northernbrewer.com> Subject: Re: HBD Sponsorship Eric Schoville wrote: > I question whether or not a DSL line is the best possible > solution for the future of the HBD. While I can see some definite > advantages of this route, mainly immediate access to the server by Pat, > the cost of $2400 per year seems extreme. I don't know. I think a DSL connection would be ideal for the HBD. Having access to the server would eliminate almost all extended server outages. And DSL, bandwith-wise, is probably just fine for the HBD. I'm not sure what HBD's subscriber base is, but we send a 6-10K newsletter to 5000 subscribers and it takes about 2-3 hours with a meager 128K IDSL connection. > If we can find another host > for the server, wouldn't that be preferable to paying $2400 per year and > having advertising on the server. Speaking as someone who has expressed a strong interest to Pat in the full $2400 sponsorship, I actually think it is important to be concerned about the potential commercialization of the HBD. As someone who has followed the HBD for many years, I think there is a lot of value in the non-commercial tradition of the HBD. If hbd.org were inundated with animated, rotating banner ads, and the digest itself had sales pitches inserted between every message I think hbd would suffer greatly. On the other hand, if done properly, 'corporate' and individual sponsorships would raise all the needed funds and wouldn't compromise the integrity or fundamental mission of the hbd. Even if you were to limit 'corporate' sponsors to a simple name + URL/800 number in the masthead (and I think you should), I can't imagine you'd have trouble finding somebody to fund HBD year after year. I think that hbd is worth $2400 a year or more, and I have been very excited at the prospect of having my business associated with HBD sponsorship for the next 365 digests. I mean, for me it's a no-brainer. I spend a lot more money on other forms of advertising that are *way* less worthy, way less useful for the hobby, etc. HBD is like the "Science" or "Nature" of the homebrewing world. Since I told Mr. Babcock that Northern Brewer would be a willing donor, I've been checking my email hourly to see if we'd actually get an okay to send in a check. Perhaps I'm a little too excitable regarding this... > Surely amongst all of the > subscribers, someone knows of a company or school who could host the > HBD. There's a huge difference between having a server hosted somewhere and having the hardware actually at your disposal. The chatter of the hard drives, the flashing lights on the router... On the other hand, there are undoubtedly cheaper ways to host the HBD. On the other other hand, there *is* a willing sponsor out there (here! here!). - ---- Christopher Farley Northern Brewer / 1150 Grand Avenue / St. Paul, MN 55105 www.northernbrewer.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 03:46:07 -0500 From: "pksmith_morin" <pksmith_morin at email.msn.com> Subject: Goose Island Hi Will - Goose Island has two brewpubs; one at 1800 Clybourn, north of downtown, and the other at 3525 Clark Street, again north of the Loop, in Wrigleyville (by the Cubs' Ballpark). The production facility is at 1800 Fulton Street, in the "Warehouse District." You can e-mail me, and I can arrange a tour of the production facility, if you are in the area. Through several incarnations there, I am now the Distribution Manager. You can also e-mail for more info on the pubs. Cheers, Paul Smith Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 06:33:56 -0400 From: "Alan McKay" <amckay at ottawa.com> Subject: HBD doing DSL I have have to agree that $2400 US sounds pretty extreme for DSL! Though in looking at the page, I don't see where Eric got that number. Up here we can get DSL or Cable Modem for about $50 CDN per month. So in a year that's less than $500 US including taxes. Someone on the service provider side of that DSL connection is making an awful pile of money, if it is a real figure. I've already recommended my ASP at http://www.istop.com/. Their prices http://www.istop.com/webprice.html are amazingly cheap, and especially so for the HBD since it's Canadian dollars. I have no affiliation other than that I am very pleased with their service. I guess there is an advantage to having the server right at your fingertips, but there are also advantages to having someone else back it up on a regular basis, and keep the backup tapes stored off-site. In general I think the idea of advertising on the web page is a good one, if it can fly and help pay for the digest. I for one read HBD on the web, and wouldn't mind one bit if there were ads there. Anyway, whatever happens I'm sure it will work out fine. cheers, -Alan - -- http://www.bodensatz.com/ What's a Bodensatz? http://www.bodensatz.com/bodensatz.html Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 06:55:27 -0500 From: "Louis K. Bonham" <lkbonham at hypercon.com> Subject: infection troubleshooting Hi folks: Brad Richards laments his possible infection problems and wonders what to do. Some suggestions: (1) Run wort stability and pitched wort stability tests. (Check the HBD archives for "wort stability test" and "Bonham" and you should find some of my prior posts on this topic -- IMHO, these should be done as a matter of course by serious brewers on every batch) This should give you a decent idea of whether your beer is infected ab initio (e.g., from transfer hoses) or from the yeast starter. (From your description of your procedures, I suspect that you may be getting contamination from your starter.) Of course, if the WST / PWST tests come out clean, but the beer still turns out infected, then your infection vector is probably downstream from your fermenter (e.g., kegs, transfer hoses, etc.) (2) Plate out some of the contaminated beer on LMDA to ID what the bugs are. If it's a pedio infection, replace all your plastic and get downright medieval on cleaning everything else -- pedio can be a real bitch to get rid of. All the best -- LKB Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 06:23:07 -0700 From: J Daoust <dowquest1 at home.com> Subject: boiling vanill beans Has anybody used a vanilla bean in the boil for the last 10 minutes or so?? I am thinking of trying it but have had one question about tannins... Thanks, Jerry Daoust Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2000 09:56:02 -0400 From: Clark <clark at capital.net> Subject: amber ale Hi list, A couple years ago I enjoyed a "winter brew" that was flavored with raspberry and nutmeg. I believe it was one of the Pete's Wicked series of beers. It was a nice flavor combination. Of course I want to make my own version of it, but I haven't found a recipe that looks right and I'm not ready to design my own yet. From what I have learned this was an Amber Ale with flavor added. What makes an ale an amber ale? Does anyone out there have an all grain recipe for a suitable ale to fit this style? After bottling for a year and a half, I just kegged my second batch. I love it. No bottles to rinse and rinse. No buckets to wash, no caps to buy, no priming, no concerns about low carbonation. After a long hot day in the foundry, I can go downstairs to the fridge, draw a big cold glass of beer and read the HBD. It's great. I gotta get a life! Thanks to all of you who offered advice on getting started with kegging. Now I need more kegs. Dave Clark Eagle Bridge, NY Return to table of contents
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