HOMEBREW Digest #3498 Fri 08 December 2000

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  RE: Celis and a question ("chuck duffney")
  Lost smoke, My Lactic mash,tropical Wit (craftbrewer)
  re: lauter design/FB question/zinc for Graham ("Stephen Alexander")
  Smoked beer ("Dean Fikar")
  False Bottoms & manifolds ("Pannicke, Glen A.")
  Cost of malt... (Drew Avis)
  Cost of malt... (Drew Avis)
  RE: RIMS Heaters (Jonathan Peakall)
  Re: False bottoms (Demonick)
  clever move by Pierre (Marc Sedam)
  Re: Iron Removal (Spencer W Thomas)
  smoked beers ("Kurt Schweter")
  Braid Manifold Information (Martin_Brungard)
  PBW and copper (RiedelD)
  dark grains in mash (Frank Tutzauer)
  Pumps (Site Acquisition)
  Repost of False Bottom Study (John Palmer)
  Sabco False Bottom (Mjbrewit)
  Addendum to Flow Study (John Palmer)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 00:12:07 -0800 From: "chuck duffney" <cduffney at mail.wesleyan.edu> Subject: RE: Celis and a question >From: Beaverplt <beaverplt at yahoo.com> >My question is this. I've been reluctant to use >anything but a bleach solution for sanitizing. Call me >old fashioned, but I was leary of no rinse products. >After my soapy beer disaster I've been rethinking my >prejudices. My local brew supply has a white powder >that is sold as a rinse free sanitizer. It doesn't go >by any of the names I've read in HBD. In fact it >doesn't have a name on it and the part timer working >that day didn't know anything. The stuff looks like >sugar. Can anyone venture a guess what it is? I know >sanitizers have occupied a lot of space in previous >HBDs and I feel bad about bringing it all up again, so >feel free to pick on me for not paying closer >attention. > >Thanks >Beaver beaver, haha. whoooo. anyway. i use the stuff you are talking about. it just calls itself no-rinse sanitizer. some came with my starter kit last year, so i figured i'd start with that. to be honest i'm on the other side of the coin. i was scared to use bleach cause, well, i'm lazy and i was afraid that i wouldn't rinse enough and end up drinking bleach. so this past fall i bought a bunch more of that stuff. it's great. i used to ferment in plastic buckets, got my first glass carboy beer fermenting now, and it worked great for them. i'm sure it's just as good with glass. the nice thing is it doesn't sting either. sometimes i find it necessary to stick my hands where they'll come in contact with the wort. i just dunk my hands in it before i do this. i did that last monday and i have a bunch of cuts on my hands; felt nothing. so in short, great stuff. not too expensive. btw, just to make sure, the stuff i'm thinking came in a plastic bag (perhaps it also come in other containers), and if i recall correctly it a brownish label with black and white letters, but i don't know which is the background and which is the text. chuck_d you're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on. -dean martin Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 19:06:53 +1100 From: craftbrewer at telstra.easymail.com.au Subject: Lost smoke, My Lactic mash,tropical Wit G'day All Well I'm into the christmas spirit well and truely. tapped my annual Christmas Rauch and the baby is a beaut. Got 38 litres of this baby to drink and dont think (no it wont actually) last til christmas. My Rauch is idea, beautiful nose of smoke but nicely (wait for it people) BALANCED with the malt and hops. No wonder I love it, Still all this talk about lost smoke flavour. Now I have never had it happen to me, even with six months of lagering. BUT I have seen it with Kit beers in as little as 2 months, and also seen it with the use of liquid smoke. Which raises the question why. Chemistry wise I'm guessing that most of the volitiles are lost already before you start, whats left is a small proportion of the potential flavours you could capture I think this statement bears merit From: "Ray Daniels" <raydan at ameritech.net> Subject: Smoke Having talked to many smoked beer brewers in the last several years, I have never found one who had had one of these "lost smoke" experiences. According to them, the real determinant of smoke flavor in the finished beer is the smokiness of the malt itself. This may be discerned on a gross scale (e.g. Is it smoky?) by tasting the malt, but at a practical level seems to depend entirely on tasting the finished beer.<<<<<< Now Dr Pivo will tell you about my home roasting experiences, and that includes Smoking my own grain. I smoke my grain 3 weeks before I use it and let it air only that amount of time before I use it. It may be my perceptions, but sh+t, it smells like smoked grain, not the crap you buy thats six montrhs old. This I see is the problem with loss of smoke flavour. Again you can compensate >>>>Clearly the smoke flavor delivered by malt declines with age. When working with a seasonally produced inventory of malt over as little as six months, some brewers increase the proportion of smoked malt used by 30 to 50 percent in order to achieve consistent flavor results.<<<<< But you are flogging a dying horse. This is just going trying to make the best of a very bad situation. Anyone who wishes good stable smoke flavour should seriously look into your own smoking. Plus you can use different woods for great flavours. Hey in the tropics, I use all sorts of Rainforrest timbers, (settle greenies). Perhaps I should call it a Rainforrest Rauch. Shout Graham Sanders Oh kegged my Wit. Thats the one with wheat flour and lactic mash. People what can one say and still be modest - SHIT IM GOOD. And recommend this lactic mashing for a wit, beats a splash of lactic acid hands down. much more complexity. Like me. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 04:09:39 -0500 From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: re: lauter design/FB question/zinc for Graham Martin Brungard says ... posting some very interesting notes on lauter design writes ... ... <<I submit that there is a minimum ratio of open area to tun bottom area exists below which, a FB or manifold system will not operate satisfactorily. I know from experience that the hose braid system works acceptably even when the grist includes 45 percent wheat and oats with the remainder Pils malt. No rice hulls. For my 10-inch bucket tun, the bottom area is about 78-square inches. The ratio of open area to bottom area in this case is actually greater than 1 if you buy the argument that the entire surface area of the braid is open area. I am more inclined to say that the ratio is actually around 1 (100 percent) in practice. That explains the apparent success in using this material. >> What I must conclude is that the braid Martin has been able to obtain is a *LOT* more open with larger inter-wire gaps than the stuff I tried a few years back (also from Loews). My dense braid manifold attempt clogged instantly. As for the minimum ratio of open area to tun bottom - I believe it's actually quite small. I use a slotted copper manifold which is probably under 4sq.in of open area in a sanke of approx 200sq.in bottom area. I suspect getting an even distribution of 'holes' into the bottom is a lot more important than the area above some minuscule lower bound. Consider how much flow you would get thru 4sq.in as a single aperture - far more than is desirable for a decent sparge. I recirculate wort in batches larger than most RIMS systems can handle (15gal for example) and under deep grain beds including a recent one with a decent percentage of raw rye (worse than wheat) w/o difficulties save one. I must start the recirculation pumping slowly until the filterbed is formed. After that full throttle is fine. I've read similar comments from RIMSers. == With all the talk of false bottoms(FBs) let me ask a question of the advocates. How do you transfer wort to your lauter tun ? Scooping a 22lbs of grist and 8gal of mash water by hand seems like a hot, sticky nasty job to me. I was at a friends home the weekend before last and he was making just under 40 gallons of 1.100Sg wort. I don't recall the grist bill, but obviously we're talking well over 100lbs of malt. Scooping by hand is NOT a realistic option. Has anyone explored waste pumps for the transfer ? If you have a RIMS or a HERMS obviously the FB goes in before the mash begins and the you don't have a transfer problem. The small price is that you can't elegantly perform decoctions (which are IMO nice but over-rated anyway). === Graham Sander writes ... >So many people may not see any benefit with a zinc addition if >there water is high in zinc to start with. In fact they may actually >.see ill affects. Micronutrient additions will only benefit people who >have relatively pure water (like me). Zinc in your water source is irrelevant Graham, tho' manganese may be an issue ! In most parts of the world potable water can't have much zinc in it, but zinc extractable from malt (according to a post AJ deLange a few years back - HBD archives) ran about 85ppm. Essentially all of sweet wort zinc comes the malt (and may vary w/ malt supply of course). So why do yeast need more zinc ? Because almost all of the zinc is left in the break material ! AJ measure/estimated 98% was lost. I've seen texts that comment on similar high percentages of zinc lost in the break. AJ's wort (or was it beer) still came out at 0.3ppm which should be OK *but* yeasts need for zinc increases as manganese levels increase. There is some confusion in determining 'optimal' levels of zinc for yeast, but 0.2ppm is often cited, and up to several ppm may be needed if manganese is present. Zinc becomes potentially problematic at 5ppm and above. >Whets a critical level in your >water. I'm still researching and experimenting, but I wouldn't do it >if your water is above 0.6mg/L zinc, unless you really know what >you are doing. I agree - but I doubt any wort made with potable water and with decent break is above even 2ppm, so an extra 1/2ppm is unlikely to cause a problem with toxicity. Zinc, and manganese and copper (also calcium, magnesium ...) are metal ions which are absolutely necessary in these minute quantities for effective enzyme function in yeast (and humans). Zn, Mn and Cu are all to a great extent removed in the break matter, but zinc most of all , Mn and Cu in the 60%-70% removal range as I recall. >But I must warn people. >Any plant will naturally show benefits with addition of nutrients, >then it will stabilize, meaning that additional nutrients will have no >benefit what so ever. Then it will decline as the nutrient becomes >toxic. Thanks for the warning, but no one is suggesting otherwise. All of these ions can be toxic to yeast at high concentration, but the same is true of sugar ! The point is that wort often (not always) does not contain sufficient zinc for optimal yeast performance and is rarely very high in zinc. If you have sufficient zinc then extra won't help, but ~0.5ppm addition will help in many cases and is unlikely to be toxic to your yeast. Do heed Graham's point, that more isn't always better, but I assume you've all stumbled across that life-lesson in a drinking session sometime. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 06:52:15 -0800 From: "Dean Fikar" <dfikar at flash.net> Subject: Smoked beer I have a great interest in brewing smoked beers. I always smoke my own malt and would agree with Ray Daniels' post that the degree of smokiness of the finished beer is related to the smokiness of the malt. However, I have found that the smokiness of the finished beer definitely decreases with age, at least down to a certain point. This is particularly true with heavily smoked beers, in my experience. In fact, the first smoked beer I ever brewed, an oak smoked Wee Heavy, was actually quite disgustingly smoky for about three months after fermentation. I nearly tossed the beer at that point but fortunately held on and noticed definite improvement by about five months. The beer was awesome after about seven or eight months. So, what you see (or rather smell) initially is not necessarily what you get weeks or months down the line. For those of you, like me, who like a lot of smoke flavor and aroma in their beer I have found that if the mash smells very smoky to the point that it is almost sickening after being around it for a couple of hours then I will usually like the finished product. I also have found that I prefer to soak the grain briefly in chilled water before placing it on the smoker. In my experience the grain will pick up a little more smoked flavor than if smoked dry. I also think that wet smoked malt lends a little richer taste to the beer and is not quite so phenolic. I like to use the malt within a few days of smoking it which guarantees freshness. I have not used commercially smoked malt, mainly since I don't know for sure how fresh it is. Besides, smoking your own malt is great fun! If you prefer big, in-your-face smokiness in your beer I would recommend trying oak. It seems to give a little smokier flavor and aroma without being too harsh compared to some of the other commonly used woods I have tried. I'm looking forward to getting a copy of Ray Daniels' smoked beer book and reading more about this great style - while sipping on a nice smoky Scotch ale, of course. Dean Fikar Fort Worth, Texas Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2000 09:39:31 -0500 From: "Pannicke, Glen A." <glen_pannicke at merck.com> Subject: False Bottoms & manifolds Regarding the recent threads on false bottoms : Does anyone in this forum have a RIMS/HERMS system employing a false bottom and an outlet placed directly on the bottom of the mash tun? Now this is not a design for those firing the tun directly with gas, but it may be an option for those employing an exchange coil and/or electric element for all of their heat. My current design (on paper) has the mash tun outlet placed directly on the bottom with a fine screen covering the inlet. Since there's no fire on the mash tun, why would I need to mess with a pickup tube and potential losses of wort? Please, if anyone knows of a reason NOT to do this, let me know. I don't want to ruin a keg and find out the hard way ;-) See tagline below. Carpe cerevisiae! Glen Pannicke http://www.pannicke.net "Designs and schemes which work out nicely on paper rarely do so in actual practice." Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2000 14:13:57 From: Drew Avis <andrew_avis at hotmail.com> Subject: Cost of malt... Guys, for some reason I can no longer post to the HBD - I've tried several times & keep getting this bounce. Any idea of what I'm doing wrong? Drew On Dec 6 Patrick from Toronto sez: >i'm in Canadaland as well (Toronto) and get my CDN two row for $30 per >25 kg. i don't have to have it delivered though... In resonse to Wayne, who wrote: > 1.. I can buy Cdn 2 row grain for about $37cdn per 25kg. or spend > $69 cdn for Maris Otter. I plan to brew mostly pale ales and > bitters. Is it worth it to pay the extra for Maris Otter or other > premium grains? Geez guys, where are you getting your malt? A bunch of brewers here in Ottawa go in w/ a guy who drives to Montreal every 6 months or so who buys a pallett of malt from Canada Malting (10 sack minimum, 20 sack mini-van capacity max) for $18/25kg sack of 2-row, or $27/25kg sack of Hugh Baird pale ale (which is very nice, I might add). I believe there's a Canada Malting in Toronto - you should check it out. Drew Try StrangeBrew Software: http://www.geocities.com/andrew_avis/sb/ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2000 14:13:57 From: Drew Avis <andrew_avis at hotmail.com> Subject: Cost of malt... On Dec 6 Patrick from Toronto sez: >i'm in Canadaland as well (Toronto) and get my CDN two row for $30 per >25 kg. i don't have to have it delivered though... In resonse to Wayne, who wrote: > 1.. I can buy Cdn 2 row grain for about $37cdn per 25kg. or spend > $69 cdn for Maris Otter. I plan to brew mostly pale ales and > bitters. Is it worth it to pay the extra for Maris Otter or other > premium grains? Geez guys, where are you getting your malt? A bunch of brewers here in Ottawa go in w/ a guy who drives to Montreal every 6 months or so who buys a pallett of malt from Canada Malting (10 sack minimum, 20 sack mini-van capacity max) for $18/25kg sack of 2-row, or $27/25kg sack of Hugh Baird pale ale (which is very nice, I might add). I believe there's a Canada Malting in Toronto - you should check it out. Drew Try StrangeBrew Software: http://www.geocities.com/andrew_avis/sb/ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2000 07:01:05 -0800 From: Jonathan Peakall <jpeakall at mcn.org> Subject: RE: RIMS Heaters Mike asks about RIMS heaters: I use a 220v 1500 watt electric element that I run on 110v. This doesn't get as hot as a 110v element, which is good. If one is going to use an electric element, I think it is key to make sure you have good flow past it. My RIMS system initially used a false bottom, which never had great flow, and I could taste extra caramel and so on in the beers. Since switching to a manifold, I have as much flow as the pump can take, and back to normal levels of caramel. As to using a rotating sparge arm, I tried this, but one has to recirculate for a few minutes prior to using it, as just a grain or two will plug it up. I wound up using a simple "tee" return on top of a 5 gallon bucket lid drilled with holes. I also mount the float switch for the sparge system on the lid. To be honest, I don't really RIMS much any more. My dough in water temp brings me very close to the desired mash temp, so I only use the heater if I came in a little low temp wise, otherwise I just recirculate for 10 min or so at the end of the mash for clarity. I get the same extraction either way, and I lose less than a degree over an hour mash. And for some reason, the non-rimsed beers seem to taste "cleaner". Dunno why, but maybe being heated to above mash temp in the heating manifold does it. Sometime I am going to try a heat exchanger system that never allows recirc temp to exceed mash temp, and see if that is it. And if you have any other questions, please feel free to write me and ask. So many helped me put my RIMS system together, notably CD Pritchard. Although I don't use the heater, the system is still an AWESOME beer making machine. Brew day is sooo easy. Now if I could only make an auto racking/kegging mahine.... Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 08:27:46 -0800 From: Demonick <demonick at zgi.com> Subject: Re: False bottoms The recent discussion about false bottoms and wall effects may benefit from the following description of my perforated pizza pan FB for a Gott cooler. Note that the shape of the pizza pan and the fact that the holes are in the bottom of the pan only keep any holes at least an inch from the wall of the cooler. In the cool ASCII drawing below, the \o (inside the thick-walled tubing) is the rolled edge of the pizza pan. The following Gott modification does not float, has only about 1 quart of dead space and routinely gets over 30 pts/lb/gal, but it involves a bit of work. Purchase a 12" stainless steel unperforated pizza pan. Tape 1/4" graph paper on the pan and dent it every 1/2" with a drill set, then drill 1/8" holes at each set. You can purchase perforated pizza pans and avoid all the drilling. At a boating supply store I bought a 5/8" a brass bulkhead fitting. This fitting is threaded internally for 3/8". I also purchased a hose barb with 3/8" threads, and 2 flare elbows. I flared a short arc of copper tubing (6") and drilled a larger hole in the side of the pizza plate that a flare elbow threads into. The other elbow is on the inside side of the bulkhead fitting. The hose barb goes on the outside side of the bulkhead fitting. There are many other ways to envision the connection between FB and the outside world. Were I to do it over again I believe that I would put the elbow in the center of the pan and run copper tubing straight over the top to the bulk head fitting. The tubing could be secured by tie-wraps through a few holes. About 3.25 (cut to fit) feet of 3/4" to 1" thick-walled tubing (Tygon in my case) was slit lengthwise and fit all around the edge of the pizza pan. This forms a tight seal with the bottom and sides of the cooler. The bulkhead fitting with external hose barb and internal flare elbow fits into the spigot hole of the Gott. The perforated pizza pan with circumferential tubing seal and flare elbow lays upside down on the bottom of the cooler and the short arc of flared tubing connects the 2 flare elbows. Everything fits together finger tight. : : |<-- Inside wall of cooler | | _____________________________________________ | | / Perforated Pizza Pan \ | | ___/ \___ | |/ o/\ <-- 3/4" to 1" thich-walled tubing(slit) /\o \| |\___/ \___/| `------------ Bottom of cooler ---------------------------' I'm planning on adding some pages on general homebrewing topics to the webpage below. A strongly opinionated missive on yeast starters will probably be first. Cheers! Domenick Venezia Venezia & Company, LLC Maker of PrimeTab (206) 782-1152 phone (206) 782-6766 fax orders demonick at zgi dot com http://www.primetab.com FREE PrimeTab SAMPLES! Enough for three 5 gallon batches. Fax, phone, or email: name, shipping address (no P.O.B.) and phone number. (I won't call. It's for UPS in case of delivery problems). Sorry, lower 48 only. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2000 12:22:09 -0500 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: clever move by Pierre Who said microbrewers aren't good businessmen? Pierre Celis starts a brewery in Texas. Gets big. So big that he needs/wants a nationwide distribution network. He sells a stake of his brewery to Miller, gets to keep running it, and gets preferential treatment in product placement. HE (yes, Pierre was the trigger) exercises the option for Miller to buy out his brewery for a quite tidy sum. Gets richer. Miller (what else did you expect) finally realizes that a brewery which produces .03% of its annual production (15000 bbls out of 41 million) is not cost effective, looks to close down the brewery and sell off the rights to produce the beer. Re-enter Pierre looking for financial backers because he "can't do it himself". Who wouldn't want the namesake involved again?\ Pierre. If you're out there reading this, you are my new hero. I turn my Belgian prayer rug towards Austin. -Marc Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2000 14:41:01 -0500 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Re: Iron Removal Another way to remove iron is to chlorinate the water. This causes the iron to precipitate as "rust". You then filter it through sand to remove the "rust," and through activated charcoal to remove the chlorine. (Which makes me think that it's not actually the chlorine that is doing it to the iron.) This is the setup that my folks have for drinking water at their cottage. I am really not sure of the chemistry, but it works. =Spencer Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2000 14:44:17 -0500 From: "Kurt Schweter" <KSchweter at smgfoodlb.com> Subject: smoked beers has anybody tried smoking oak or fruit woods and then add them to primary or secondary ? seems like it would work just a thought Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 14:36:35 -0500 From: Martin_Brungard at urscorp.com Subject: Braid Manifold Information Steve Alexander wrote: "What I must conclude is that the braid Martin has been able to obtain is a *LOT* more open with larger inter-wire gaps than the stuff I tried a few years back (also from Loews). My dense braid manifold attempt clogged instantly." I have not had the problems Steve had with clogging of the braid. I would think that the braid Steve used is the same as mine. The wire spacing is tight, with only 1 or 2 mm holes at each of the junctures where the braids cross. I am curious how Steve was doughing in and stirring. I have had similar problems as Steve if I doughed in or stirred while the pump was on. I think there is a strong tendency for the grain fines to immediately get pulled onto the braid before the rest of the husk can help set up a filter around the braid. This is exactly the same in well screens that I deal with in my engineering practice, the soil formation is always relied on to provide the real filtering of fines from the formation. The purpose of the screen is to hold the coarser particles in place and for them to eventually form the filter layer. Because of the fineness of the braid, it is imperative that excessive grain fines be kept off. Let the grain bed settle briefly before restarting the pump. Steve mentioned the success he had with rolled screen manifolds, aka...easymasher type. The great thing about the copper or stainless screen material is that the openings are more than large enough to easily pass all the grain fines through the system until the husk filter is fully formed. That luxury is not present for braid. The only consequence of running the pump when stirring with these intakes is that the fines run through the pump until the filter bed is reset. Steve asked if the braid is structurally sound. I haven't had a problem with the strength of the braid or any crushing. I am very aware of the braid whenever I stir though. I am pretty sure you could mangle it with no problem if you aren't careful. Another post asked about the type of return he should use for a RIMS. He ponders a sprinkler or a outlet manifold. If you believe the arguments on hot-side aeration, I would never use the sprinkler-type distributor in a RIMS. The aeration potential is one reason, but another is the increased heat loss as the hot wort falls through the air. I have always used an outlet manifold as shown on C.D. Pritchard's website. http://hbd.org/cdp/rims_inf.htm That page contains a great deal of useful information. In a quest to further reduce the aeration potential and heat loss in my mash tun, I place a piece of plastic bubble wrap insulation over the top of my outlet and mash. The insulation was cut to fit my tun and just floats on the wort surface. I have no idea if it does any good, but it is absolutely no problem to use, so I do! Don't forget to send me your information on the type of lauter tun filter, open area, and tun bottom area. Several people already have. Thanks. Martin Brungard Tallahassee, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 15:03:24 -0500 From: RiedelD at pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca Subject: PBW and copper I recently soaked my boil kettle with about 3 gallons of PBW solution in it. The solution was actually reused from a pass through a corny/stainless tap setup. I used on the order of 1 TB of PBW per gallon of (initially) hot tap water. The solution turned a fairly vibrant sky blue. My kettle has a copper manifold with a brass flare fitting in it. I'm assuming that the colour is coming from the copper, but it sure looks like CuS04... this concerns me. Is this possible? I don't really know where the sulphate would come from... my water is low in pretty much everything. So, 1. What is it? 2. Am I harming the equipment? 3. Should I do any special rinsing? cheers, Dave Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 15:36:01 -0500 (EST) From: Frank Tutzauer <comfrank at acsu.buffalo.edu> Subject: dark grains in mash I would like to start a discussion about when to add dark grains in an all-grain mash. (By "dark grains" I mean primarily black patent, roasted barley, and chocolate malt--not dark crystals, Special B, or anything like that.) I have been brewing since the early 90s, mostly extract with specialty grains, but I have nearly 30 all-grain mashes under my belt--a small handful five or six years ago, and the rest in the last 18 months. Looking over my logs, I discovered that I have made only two all-grain beers that had any dark grains at all. The first was a dry stout that had a pound of roasted barley and a quarter pound of black patent (all batches were 5 US gallons). Both were added at mash out and the beer was very harsh and astringent. Given that this was only my second full mash ever, it makes more sense to attribute any flaws to recipe formulation and general incompetence in conducting the mash rather than to any specific detail like when I added the dark grains. The second beer with dark grains was a porter using 3/4 lb of chocolate malt. This beer was brewed more recently in my all-grain life (in fact, I just drained the keg three or four days ago). The chocolate was in the mash for the full 90 minutes, and the beer was superior--a nice round, smooth character with no harshness at all. Obviously, these two mashes don't give me whales of experience on the subject. So I put it to the Digest: When do you add your dark grains to an all-grain mash, and why? I'm interested in practice and opinion. --frank Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2000 14:39:56 -0800 From: Site Acquisition <SiteAcquisition at Home.com> Subject: Pumps Does anyone have a good source for food grade pumps. I have a three tier all grain system, and while gravity is great, sometimes is needs assistance. Thanks! Fermentos at Home.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2000 16:19:54 -0800 From: John Palmer <jjpalmer at gte.net> Subject: Repost of False Bottom Study Background (Manifold Experiments) Many of you are familiar with my fluid flow investigations using common food coloring and corncob burnishing media. A couple years ago, I posted http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer/fluidflow.html which detailed my initial investigations into lautering flow to a manifold. Appendix D of my book htpp://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixD.html summarizes those findings. Earlier this year, I rigged up a glass bottomed aquarium with a manifold to repeat the experiements. The difference was that this time I supported the manifold about 2 inches off the bottom using stiff wires, and the manifold only extended about 2/3 the length of the aquarium. The result was that the grainbed was not rinsed anywhere below the horizontal manifold. The euclidean fluid flow model had predicted that it would, whereas engineer's intuition (or common sense, take your pick) said that it wouldn't. Common sense won out. In the 1/3 of the tun beyond the manifold, the dye showed the flow angling to the manifold, just like in the 2D euclidean model. http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer/ff1.jpg Initial http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer/ff2.jpg Flow after 5 minutes. http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer/ff3.jpg After 15 minutes. http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer/ff4.jpg View from behind the pickup, showing lack-of-flow region. I then angled the manifold at 10 degrees to horizontal, and repeated the experiment. This time, the grainbed was rinsed behind/under the manifold due the horizontal component of the vectored manifold. http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer/ff5.jpg The wort in fact flowed uphill thru the manifold. What this means is that you can shape a manifold to fit a hemispherical bottom, and you can recover wort from the lowest point. The rules for using manifolds can be summarized by: 1. A deeper grainbed gives more uniform flow, all else being equal. 2. The manifold tubes should be spaced no more that 4 inches apart for most uniform flow. 2 inches is about optimum. 3. Keep the outside tubes half of the spacing distance away from the wall to discourage channeling (preferential flow) down the walls. 4. The more tubes covering the bottom of the tun, the better. The outlet pickup does not need to be centered on the array. It can be off to one side without affecting uniformity of flow. False Bottom Experiments After investigating the behavior of lautering flow to manifolds, I wanted to do the same with false bottoms and watch to see how the dye moved into the grainbed. Would it move evenly? Would it flow preferentially to the area around the pickup? Would it channel down the sides? Would moving the pickup off center have an affect? First, let me thank Dan Listermann for graciously donating the false bottom, specifically cut to fit my aquarium. That Phils Phalse Bottom material saved me many hours of labor and tinkering to achieve an experimental setup that I could have confidence in. Experiment 1 - Pickup Centered For the first experiment, the pickup was centered on the false bottom. The pickup extended about a half inch below the false bottom, and the false bottom was evenly supported off the bottom of the aquarium by 1 inch screws (every 4 inches). The pickup tube and siphon was 3/8 inch ID and came up over the side of the aquarium. The flow was controlled by a plastic stopcock, which rested on the ground. There was about 2.2 feet of head height. As before, the corncob media grainbed was about 6 inches deep, and a 2 inch water layer was maintained over it by a means of a sparging manifold. The corncob media is uniform and about the same size as the coarser grist particles from a 2 roller grain mill. At time = 0, a whole bottle of food coloring is stirred into the water layer above the grainbed, the sparge water is started and then the stopcock is opened at what would be considered a fast flow rate for lautering. Previous experiments have shown that a fast flow rate does not change the shape of the gradient. If I was actually trying to extract something from the corncobs, my extraction would suffer, but in this case I am just looking to see how the water moves thru the grainbed. http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer/ff6.jpg Result: With the pickup centered, after about 2 minutes of flow, it was obvious that the dye was flowing into all areas of the grainbed evenly. The dye front followed the contour of the grainbed to an even depth as viewed on all sides of the aquarium. http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer/ff7.jpg As the flow progressed, I noticed that one corner of the aquarium was flowing faster that the rest. This was a corner where I had not shimmed the edges of the false bottom completely, leaving a tiny gap. The dye could be seen to be angling down in that corner ahead of the dye front elsewhere in the grainbed. http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer/ff8.jpg Observing thru the glass bottom, the dye did not emerge uniformly from all areas but instead emerged somewhat along the edge of one quadrant. http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer/ff9.jpg Within a few minutes however, the dye had emerged from nearly all areas. In a 9x20 inches area tank, with only 1 pickup in the center, that was impressive! I let the water run, to rinse the whole system of dye. At all times, the concentration of dye below the false bottom seemed uniform. Experiment 2 - Pickup Off-center In the second experiment, the pickup was moved to where it was centered with respect to the width, but was only 3 inches from the wall along the length. The experiment was set up like the first and the flow was started. Results: Again the dye front was uniform as it descended into the grainbed. There seemed to be no depth gradient along the length of the tank. As flow progressed, faster flow was again observed in the corners, but the volume of that flow was quite small compared with the rest of the false bottom. (I had shimmed the false bottom pretty well.) All in all, I could not discern a difference in uniformity of flow between the two experiments. Experiment 3 - Pickup Off-Center, Wide Open I completely stirred and resettled the grainbed before starting the 3rd experiment. As mentioned, the flow rate does not seem to change anything, but I thought I would try it and see. Maybe I would compact an area of the grainbed and be able to observe an effect. I ran the second experiment again, but did it with the stopcock wide open. http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer/ff10.jpg http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer/ff11.jpg This time I observed more compaction effects. There seemed to be areas of less color as the dye moved thru the grainbed. Observing thru the bottom, the dye emerged along the sides first, but quickly spread out to cover most of the area. http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer/ff12.jpg compaction http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer/ff13.jpg bottom view (badly framed) All in all, I could not determine any significant difference compared to the other two trials, except that the observed compaction may imply poorer extraction from that area versus the rest of the bed in real lauter. Conclusions: 1. All other conditions being equal, false bottoms work better - they lauter the grainbed more uniformly. 2. Based on my observations, it is very important to seal the edges of the false bottom to prevent preferential flow down the sides. I think that if you can design the false bottom so that the openings are, for example, a half inch away from the wall, or make the false bottom domed but smaller than actual width, you will avoid any channeling issues. 3. The pickup tube does not need to be centered. It can be off to one side without significantly affecting the uniformity of flow. 4. Avoid lautering too fast, as you may compact portions of the bed and cause lower extraction. - -- John Palmer Palmer House Brewery and Smithy http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer How To Brew - the online book http://www.howtobrew.com Let there be Peace on Earth. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 19:40:51 EST From: Mjbrewit at aol.com Subject: Sabco False Bottom This is a reply to the person who experienced problems with his Sabco false bottom collapsing at times. I have been trying to figure out how that could happen. The only possibility I can come up with is you had it upside down. I've had over 35 pounds of grain in mine and never had a problem. Or, is it possible they improved the design and you bought an early version? Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2000 16:29:27 -0800 From: John Palmer <jjpalmer at gte.net> Subject: Addendum to Flow Study I have had a couple emails asking for this to be re-posted, so there you go. For Mauricio, a manifold is an arrangement of slotted copper tubes. The arrangement is typically rectangular. Like this: ||===============|| || || ||===============|| || ||== outlet (see Appendix D of my book ||===============|| for more info) || || ||===============|| For the record, I still use a manifold myself for all my brewing. Why? Because I can make it myself, it is strong and won't collapse under a heavy grainbed or stirring. I can stir thru it to keep the grain on the bottom from scorching during active heating of the mash. And with proper design and spacing, a manifold will lauter just as uniformly as a false bottom. (okay maybe only 98% as good, I am still testing...) When I stated "All other conditions being equal, false bottoms work better..." above, I glossed other a lot of conditions that may impact the efficiency of a false bottom or manifold for a particular brewer's setup. If all conditions are equal, a false bottom will lauter more uniformly, but only by a small amount if the manifold is well designed. Wasn't trying to start a jihad or anything... ;-) John - -- John Palmer Palmer House Brewery and Smithy http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer How To Brew - the online book http://www.howtobrew.com Let there be Peace on Earth. Return to table of contents
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