HOMEBREW Digest #3539 Thu 25 January 2001

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  Insulating directly fired mash tun and kettle. (Petr Otahal)
  re: HBD Database? (John_E_Schnupp)
  Tomato Beer (er, wine actualy) (Tom Smit)
  Spruce Tips ("Abby, Ellen and Alan")
  FL pubs, Alligator Ale ("Gordon Strong")
  Ceramic pots reply (BOB Rutkowski)
  re:pitchable tubes & diacetyl ("Nathaniel P. Lansing")
  Be A Man ... (mohrstrom)
  Re: 10 gallon stovetop batches (Aaron Robert Lyon)
  RE: Draft Beer = Headache? (Brad)
  Skunking (AJ)
  natural gas burners (The Freemans)
  Skeptics & distilled water ("Pannicke, Glen A.")
  soldering brass to copper ("Bret Morrow")
  spruce tips ("Paddock Wood Brewing Supplies")
  re: drilling enamel pot ("Heavner, Lou [FRS/AUS]")
  re:spruce tips (Jim Adwell)
  re:Head Space and Carbonation (Jim Adwell)
  Wyeast Pitchable Tubes vs. Smack Packs, Headache,Alligator Ale (happydog)
  funny?  who's calling MHing funny?  like funny "Ha, ha!" funny? (Marc Sedam)
  Wyeast tubes, bottled yeast ("Steven M. Claussen")
  Bypass for Dave (kbooth)
  Subject: Head Space and Carbonation ("Houseman, David L")
  Can I get a description of what "clear" means (Robert Ellia)
  RE: Distilled Water ("S. SNYDER")
  CO2 and headspace/RIMS heating element question ("Stephen Alexander")
  wyeast pitchable tubes ("Joseph Marsh")
  Re: loaf mashing (steven thomas)
  Unwanted smell from beer poured from tap (Richard Foote)
  MCAB III ("Dave Sapsis")
  hops to grow (Clark)
  Some inputs on carbonation levels ("Dan Diana")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 16:43:41 +1100 From: Petr Otahal <potahal at utas.edu.au> Subject: Insulating directly fired mash tun and kettle. I have a directly fired (propane) three tier system and Im looking to insulate my kegs (HLT, Mash, and Kettle) in a fairly permanent arrangement. I was thinking of using fiberglass insulation of some sort. Has anyone done this? What thickness? How easy is it to work with? How fire resistant is it? How effective is it? Id appreciate any help on this, suggestions for other types of insulation would be great too. Cheers Pete Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 01:35:56 -0800 From: John_E_Schnupp at amat.com Subject: re: HBD Database? From: "Drew Avis" <andrew_avis at hotmail.com> >Brewers & HBDers: for fun I've written a small app that pulls archived HBDs >in and enters them in a database, by individual post. <> >Is an HBD full-text >database something people would be interested in having on their desktop? >How far back should such a database go? Already it's huge (~20 meg) with >only three years worth of posts in it! I wouldn't call 20M huge. Barely a dent in a 650M CD. I hadn't thought about it before but it might be a good idea. Make the HBD downloadable and each year I would add to my CD. Might make searching the archives less bothersome that searching via the web. John Schnupp, N3CNL Georgia, VT 95 XLH 1200 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 21:53:05 +0000 From: Tom Smit <lunica at ozemail.com.au> Subject: Tomato Beer (er, wine actualy) Found a recipe, didn't even have to go outside Oz to do it! http://www.peninsulahomebrewing.com.au/Wine_recipes.htm#TOMATO WINE Haven't tried it but probably will. Any experts out there can improve on that recipe for me? Just bottled a shipload of tomatoes I'd sundried over the last four days. Still tons of tomatoes left. Who says organic has lower yield???? Cheers Tom Smit Organic, non-hybrid, non GMO (genetically meddled organisms) Tiny Horses Brewery Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 09:28:55 -0400 From: "Abby, Ellen and Alan" <elal at pei.sympatico.ca> Subject: Spruce Tips Patrick in Toronto wrote "a friend of mine has requested a spruce ale so i thought i would give it a try. a cow orker (ref: t.b.) has access to spruce tips via trees in his folks yard. my question regards timing: should the tips be harvested from trees in the winter, spring, summer or fall? surely the composition of the tips varies through the growing season and possibly tips from a particular time would be most appropriate." I missed finding a bottle of Alba spruce ale from Scotland on my recent trip to Ottawa. It was listed in the vintages catelogue as one of four in a "Historic Ales from Scotland" gift pack. I wanted a comparison and for example my own first spruce tip brew experiment. Sold out. See if you can get a bottle if you are interested there in the big smoke. Maybe you already tried some. Are there others on the market? My plan is to pick tips at a very specific time in spring based upon a swedish exchange student's habits of twenty years ago. Walking home from high school one day in spring with a bunch of friends, he says the swedish equivalent of "wow," dives into a stand of spruces we are passing and starts eating the tips. He explained that when the brown paper coverings of the tips are just cracking and the tips inside as still pale and soft, they are quite mild and snackable. We all tried them and he was right. So, in terms of use in my spruce brew 2001, that's when I'll be picking them. Happens around snow melting time, maple syrup time. Alan McLeod in PEI, Canada Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 08:31:54 -0500 From: "Gordon Strong" <strongg at earthlink.net> Subject: FL pubs, Alligator Ale In HBD # 3538, Frank Russo mentions Alligator Ale and wanted to know about its source. It's probably from a chain of brewpubs called Hops!. They opened one nearby a couple years ago and said it was their 63rd restaurant. They said they make "lager-like ales". I'd avoid this place. They serve their beers at about 33F, none of their beers had any flavors (I thought their name should be "Hops?" not "Hops!"), and the "brewer" was an ex-chef without any training in brewing. In short, it's a "concept" restaurant with little connection to brewing. Last year I was in Naples FL (SW FL) and found it nearly impossible to find any real beer. No pubs except Hops!, which had an irritating Starbucks-like ubiquitousness to it. Only one package store with anything but the usual mega-swill, and that was a half hour drive. Most stores I called told me, "Microbrews? That fad's over. We got the coldest, cheapest beer in the state!" (here we see their target market). One positive note. I was able to find at this one oasis of beer store in a desert of idiots, a wonderful American pale ale from a Miami-based micro called Hurricane Reef. They claimed to have won a silver medal at a recent GABF, which wouldn't surprise me. Their pale ale had a nice caramel flavor and a refreshing Cascade finish. While I only saw one of their beers, I'd certainly try any of their others. If you're trying to find decent places to drink, I'd first try www.pubcrawler.com and see if they have any suggestions. But set your expectations low in Florida. They seem to take beer about as seriously as counting. Gordon Strong Beavercreek, OH strongg at earthlink.net Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 07:53:51 -0800 (PST) From: BOB Rutkowski <bob--o at excite.com> Subject: Ceramic pots reply My local home brew supply shop went out of business and I was able to pick up two brand new 8.25 gal enamel pots (1-boiling kettle/1-HLT) for a very cheap price. My dilema is that I want to drill the pots in order to fit them with a spigot and I'm afraid of chipping the baked enamel coating. My only thought was to put duct tape on either side of the pot, and start with a small sharp drill bit and progressively use larger bits. Thoughts on this process? Does anyone have any experience or any ideas on drilling enamel? Prost, Marty Hello, First post for me, though I glean great info from this place. My wife is a ceramic engineer, so I asked her about your enamel question. Here is her answer... yes he is right...it will chip...He is on the right track though...the duct tape will help lessen the chippage however it probably will not prevent it...will the rubber gaskets for the spigots not cover the chippage and make the pot sanitary and safe? Hope it helps, Bob-O Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 08:47:04 -0500 From: "Nathaniel P. Lansing" <delbrew at compuserve.com> Subject: re:pitchable tubes & diacetyl The figures I've heard for cell counts in the pitchable tubes are in the vicinity of 40 billion viable cells. Assuming a cell density of 100 million/ml in a starter at high kraeusen; pitching a tube directly would be equivilent to pitching a 400ml starter, not anywhere close to the proper pitching rate for a lager. If the cell density of the active starter was 90 million/ml this would be a starter of 444 ml, still not a proper pitching rate. The nice thing about the tubes is; with that size you can properly pitch a starter of up to 4 liters in one step and have the proper pitching rate for an ale or lager in under 24 hours. ---------------------------------------- John Peed tells of a beer with excessive diacetyl taste. He mentioned the grist was >>(9# pale, 2# Munich, 1# lite crystal),<<. I wonder, was the crystal fresh? I've read that older crystal can give a flavor that many people confuse with diacetyl. I would think that the lighter colors of crystal would be more prone to this confusion since they have a more butterscotch-like character to start with. The yeast 1056 is certainly a good choice if you want to avoid diacetyl. Unless the culture had significant petit mutants I wouldn't expect that to be the cause. N.P. Lansing Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 09:02:56 -0500 From: mohrstrom at humphreypc.com Subject: Be A Man ... Mike is driven indoors by the weather: > I have this crazy idea of boiling a 10 gallon batch on my > NG 4-burner stovetop (weather's been a bitch outside). C'mon, Mike, be a MAN! #;-] There is nothing quite so bracing as firing up the pot outdoors on a 15degF (-22degC) morning. It will really put you in touch with your primal ancestors. However - be _very_ careful about what you might touch with wet hands. On the up side, screams for help carry further when the air is cold and dry ... Mark (exploring "Ice-Brewed Beer") in Kalamazoo Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 09:20:30 -0500 (EST) From: Aaron Robert Lyon <lyona at umich.edu> Subject: Re: 10 gallon stovetop batches On Tue, 23 Jan 2001 06:31:20 -0500 Mike Spinelli wondered "I have this crazy idea of boiling a 10 gallon batch on my NG 4-burner stovetop (weather's been a bitch outside). Anybody do this? If so, what kind of pot do you use. I was thinking that a square or rectangular vessel would do best to cover all 4 burners." This is the only way I brew. It may take a little longer to bring everything up to the appropriate temperature, but the results are the same. Anyway, I use a 15 gallon Polarware brewpot to cover the 4 burners and it does so pretty well with its 18" diameter. I could see the possibility of getting a bit more efficiency out of the heat source with something square, but that's for the physics geeks out there to argue about. All I know is that it works and I can brew comfortably no matter what the weather. Hope this helps. -Aaron Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 08:42:22 -0600 From: Brad <bradr at webcatering.com> Subject: RE: Draft Beer = Headache? I read someplace (I think on the budwieser web site?) that the kegged beer is not pasturized while the bottled/canned beer is. I have no idea if this would have anything to do with the headaches, but it is a difference in the two... Brad R. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 10:57:10 -0400 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Skunking Several people pointed out that skunking is not an oxidation reaction yet apparently some breweries ameliorate it with sodium borohydride which is one hell of a reducing agent. ??? A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 08:59:24 -0600 From: The Freemans <potsus at Bellsouth.net> Subject: natural gas burners Also take a look at the higher output burner from Precision Brewing (NAYY): http://www.pbsbeer.com/pbs/pbscat.html I have one of these on natural gas and the output is rated at around 45,000 btu on that heat source. They do not have a pic so look at the following for the burner setup on "the perfesser". http://www.mirageport.com/potsus/newburner1.jpg This burner rocks.... Bill Freeman aka Elder Rat K P Brewery - home of "the perfesser" Birmingham, AL Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 10:02:06 -0500 From: "Pannicke, Glen A." <glen_pannicke at merck.com> Subject: Skeptics & distilled water Doc Pivo wrote: >I am sort of guessing that it is this type of exageration, and oxymoronic >statements, that has made more than just I, just a teeny, tiny bit >scepticle of some of our more well known librarians ability to interpret >things for us. Were it not for scepticism, science, as we know it today, would probably not exist. From listening to those great men and women who challenged the beliefs of thier day we now know that the world is not flat, the sun does not revolve around the earth and that yeast do not "evacuate ethyl alcohol from their bowels and carbon dioxide from their urinary organs". It wasn't until recently that I disproved the common belief that you will grow hair on your palms if you play with it too much. WRONG! You will develop callouses - not grow hair. So Doc, please... always remain a skeptic. It is always a good thing to challenge your knowledge. Failed challenges reinforce, successful ones enlighten. Steven Jones writes of distilled water: >Can a sealed jug of distilled water off of the grocery store shelf be >considered sterile enough to use for yeast management? It very well might be, but you cannot trust it 100% unless it is labeled as sterile. If it is distilled, then it is pure water and the method of distillation ensures sterility - until it is packaged. I would suggest looking for the water in the baby food aisle in your supermarket. I should be distilled, sterile and more expensive per gallon than gasoline. If you turn into a real culturing homo, like me, you'll eventually want the large pressure cooker to make slants and dishes, next you'll want a little cube fridge for your yeasts... it's a sickness - really ;-) Carpe cerevisiae! Glen A. Pannicke glen at pannicke.net http://www.pannicke.net 75CE 0DED 59E1 55AB 830F 214D 17D7 192D 8384 00DD "Designs which work well on paper rarely do so in actual practice" Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 15:16:36 From: "Bret Morrow" <bretmorrow at hotmail.com> Subject: soldering brass to copper Greeting all, I am almost finished making a series of valves that will allow me to easily switch between recirculating the mash liquid and introducing the sparge water from the HLT. I said 'almost finsihed' because I have got a small leak on 1 of the 3 valves. My question is there a better solder for copper/brass connections than the usual 95% tin solder? More details are better! Sorry, I have nothing to add on GM, Aussies, or even clinitest! TIA, Bret Morrow, Hamden, CT Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 09:19:19 -0600 From: "Paddock Wood Brewing Supplies" <orders at paddockwood.com> Subject: spruce tips Patrick asks about Spruce tips :"my question regards timing: should the tips be harvested from trees in the winter, spring, summer or fall?" Most definitely spring. The tips should be small, bright green and very tender, preferably with the waxy protecting tip still semi-attached (remove it, but it's a helpful indicator of age). The spruce beer I made from Sitka spruce from the Left Coast was great. The spruce beer I made from the same recipe but with tips from an unknown "Northern Spruce" growing in my back yard in Central Saskatchewan was foul. Way too resiny for my tastes, but not too far off the tang of the commercially available spruce soda pop. Unless I can get Sitka, I now prefer Spruce Essence which, although not nearly as fun, provides a standardized extract and predictable results. Hope this helps! cheers, Stephen Ross -- "Vitae sine cerevisiae sugant." Paddock Wood Brewing Supplies, Saskatoon, SK orders at paddockwood.com www.paddockwood.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 11:00:43 -0600 From: "Heavner, Lou [FRS/AUS]" <Lou.Heavner at frco.com> Subject: re: drilling enamel pot It occurs to me that it might be possible to score the porcelain on both the inside and outside like you would do to cut glass. I don't know if it would work and have never tried it and don't intend to drill any holes in my enamel pot to find out. Use a punch first to be able to identify the center of the hole inside and out before drilling. As long as the score is small enough to be covered by your bulkhead fittings/gaskets/etc it wouldn't really matter if it exactly matched the final hole and should probably be a bit larger than the eventual hole to make sure you don't accidentally drill beyond the score. You might also be able to use glue or silicone sealant or something like that instead of tape to minimize chipping of the enamel during drilling. Cheers! Lou Heavner - Austin, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 12:02:25 -0500 From: Jim Adwell <jimala2 at ptd.net> Subject: re:spruce tips You need to harvest the new tips in the spring; mature needles don't taste good. The new needles are a brighter, lighter green than the mature ones. I usually harvest a few extra lbs. and freeze them for later use. I have several different species of spruce tree, but I don't know which particular ones. Cheers, Jim "It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it." -- George W. Bush, Reuters, May 5, 2000 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 12:08:34 -0500 From: Jim Adwell <jimala2 at ptd.net> Subject: re:Head Space and Carbonation I've tried various amounts of headspace in my beers over the years, including no headspace at all, and can't see any difference in carbonation one way or another. The only reason commerical beers have headspace in bottles is to allow for expansion of the beer during pasteurization. Cheers, Jim "It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it." -- George W. Bush, Reuters, May 5, 2000 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 17:53:33 GMT From: happydog at nations.net Subject: Wyeast Pitchable Tubes vs. Smack Packs, Headache,Alligator Ale >We bring the Tubes in by special order and ensure they are used within 3 >months, but plan for use within 1 month. We now take extra care with our >Tubes to ensure consistent temperatures. We think they are great, they are >convenient and were very popular with our fresh wort customers, but they do >have a higher risk factor. We prefer Wyeast Tubes to others simply because >we have had no problems in shipping with Wyeast, whereas we have had >consistent problems with other pitchable vials. This is exactly the opposite of the way things have turned out for us. I sell only WhiteLabs liquid yeast and have had VERY few failures. (maybe 2 in 2 years and both folks stated they pitched to hot) My customers insist on White Labs yeast and I have had very few go past the "use by date" On the other hand I have a refrigerator full of out of date smack packs and when I sold them MANY customers would have to delay their brewing date/time in order for the smack pack to swell. The amount of calls I get now stating "I pitched my yeast 24 hours ago, and I have nothing happening" has dropped to maybe one every two weeks down from almost daily! Consistent temperatures when storing any yeast is all ways a good idea. White labs has fixed the problem of leaks when shipping, by changing the vial the yeast comes in. Its now comes in what looks to me to be a "soda bottle blank" or an un blown pet soda bottle. If you go to the White labs web site you can see the ways they tested this new bottle. (one was to throw it against a brick wall as hard as they could. Do that with a wyeast tube!) I have shipped them and they don't leak. I get my White labs yeast directly from White labs in CA. every other friday by FedEx in a styrofoam lined box with cold gel packs and more styrofoam "peanuts" on top . The yeast is still cool when I get it (and I'm on the coast in SC) and the dates on the vials are from 2 to 3 days ago. This is much fresher than the way I used to get smack packs (from my wholesaler via truck) so perhaps this was my problem. I do have one customer that insist I special order the smack packs for him. Anywho. If I sound like I'm big on White Labs Yeast that's because I am. When I sold smack packs I always felt some what uneasy about them. I always felt like I would be hearing from that customer about the yeast in a day or two. With the White labs I don't fell that way at all, It works and its great. Headache with draft beer. I have found that if a beer is filtered I will get a slamming head ache. If its not filtered I'm fine. Yeast is good for you (vit B 12) and keeps you from becoming dehydrated. (Unless you get to much and your not used to it, but I won't go there) Alligator Ale Alligator Ale is brewed by "Hops" However I don't understand the name. They don't seem to use them ;-). I prefer to call the place. "That brew pub that makes 4 beers that are all exactly the same except for the color" They also blend those beers to make 2 other beers that are the same except for the color <grin> Wil Kolb Happy Dog Brewing Supplies 401 W.Coleman Blvd Mt Pleasant SC 29464 843-971-0805 Fax 843-971-3084 1-800-528-9391 happydog at nations.net www.maltydog.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 13:07:53 -0500 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: funny? who's calling MHing funny? like funny "Ha, ha!" funny? Welcome to the world of mash hopping. Hopefully it won't be your last trip. Some of the flavors you've described are things I've experienced as well. The "fuller" flavor of the hopping is certainly something that comes through well in my beers. But the diacetyl I'm not so sure about. I didn't use Cascade for many years (I called it "Cat-cade" for the catty smell I always perceived) but recently did a two gallon batch as a way to get rid of some older hops and make a yeast starter. The beer did have a pungent grapefruity aroma and flavor, much like I'd expect from Cascades. I didn't notice anything unusual. In fact, I quite liked it. I certainly believe what you're saying, but that there might be other sources for the problem. It could be that the hops were old, but I'll assume they're fresh. It could be that the type of hop flavor created when using Cascades as a mash hop are not up your alley. Dunno. Friends of mine who MH with Cascades seem to like it, but again...that's anecdotal. Any help out there from the collective? -Marc Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 10:16:46 -0800 From: "Steven M. Claussen" <sclaussen at mail.kindercare.com> Subject: Wyeast tubes, bottled yeast Regarding the Wyeast tubes, just a data point: I have used the tubes three times with what I consider superb results; i.e., less than 12 hours from pitching to regular airlock activity. However, because I make 10 gallon batches, I first pitch the tube into a liter of wort the night before I brew and aerate the starter like crazy - this likely makes a difference. For reference, the only Wyeast tube yeast I've used is #1272 (American II), and no tube has been more than 2 months old. On saving yeast in a bottle: try putting an airlock, instead of a cap, on the bottle. I've done this, using an alcohol soaked cotton ball rather than water in the airlock, and had great results. Steve Claussen in PDX Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 10:16:18 -0500 From: kbooth <kbooth at waverly.k12.mi.us> Subject: Bypass for Dave Please give our regards to Brewing Brother Dave B.and tell him we miss his imput and wish him well. cheers, jim booth Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 13:33:24 -0500 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: Subject: Head Space and Carbonation This certainly sounds logical to me. But my experience has been that partially filled bottles seem to carbonate to a greater degree than those that are "over" filled with very little head space. Does the CO2 pressure practice seem to be at odds. Perhaps we need some real experiments to prove this and discover the cause and effect relationship? David Houseman Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 15:26:25 -0800 From: Brad Miller <millerb at targen.com> Subject: Head Space and Carbonation rdbedwards at hotmail.com said "you're supposed to only leave a small headspace in the neck of the bottle because if you don't, the bottle is likely to overcarbonate. If you fill a bottle halfway with primed beer it will either explode or blow the cap off into your eye when you try to open it." Chuck P is also quoted as saying the same thing in The Joy but at attributing this to yeast. It seems to me that carbonation is related to head space but rather in the exact opposite way. Ok so what is carbonation? Dissolved CO2 right. And how does the CO2 get dissolved? It's basically where you'll have so much pressure in the head space that some of the CO2 goes into solution. (Well basically that's how it would be in a keg if you just turned on the pressure. In a bottle the CO2 is in solution from the start and reaches an equilibrium with the head space.) So is everybody with me? Ok, now if you have a larger head space then there is a greater capacity for CO2 and therefor not as much will go/stay in solution. A smaller head space more CO2 in the solution given equal priming/volumes of gas. Anyone else with some thoughts? Brad Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 14:13:23 -0500 From: Robert Ellia <rellia at TH.CI.SHREWSBURY.MA.US> Subject: Can I get a description of what "clear" means There has been quite a change of contributors on the "Brewery's" bulletin board and seemingly, fewer responses to my last few questions. I appreciate the ones that I did get. The "good old" contributors seem not to be as active so I will try this location to get some information. SO!! With my first partial mash I did a batch sparge of four pounds of grain. I recirculated the runnings till clear but never really knew what is considered "clear". Initially, it was obvious that it was not clear, (lots of crap in it). As it cleared there was less "crap" but it never got as clear as the beer is out of the fermenter. Should it be??? TIA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 14:23:53 -0500 From: "S. SNYDER" <SSNYDER at LBGHQ.com> Subject: RE: Distilled Water Steve: Oddly enough that reminds me of a story when I was working for a few months in your neck of the woods, Morristown, TN. Some good stories there... Anyway, everyday I had to go to the local Food City and pick up distilled water, in the 1 gallon plastic jugs, about 10 or so, for some environmental work I was doing, for cleaning and such. One day I noticed several of the 1 gallon jugs on the shelf were VERY green. Obviously a bacteria contamination. Just a few of the 50 or so jugs but... I guess it's the old risk vs. reward. You can certainly take your chances (the odds are in your favor I think) but the down side is your yeast could go south. Scott Snyder Trumbull, CT ssnyder at lbghq.com Rotten Rotti Brewing Company - ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 09:48:24 -0500 From: "Jones, Steven T" <stjones at eastman.com> Subject: Distilled water Greetings, all. I've got a question for the water experts out there: Can a sealed jug of distilled water off of the grocery store shelf be considered sterile enough to use for yeast management? If so, it would be quite nice to be able to spend $.80 for water rather than boiling/cooling or pressure canning water to manage yeast. Thanks, Steve Jones Johnson City, TN 36:30:8 N, 82:31:57 W (5:47:38.9 S, 1:17:37.5 E Rennerian) http://users.chartertn.net/franklinbrew - ------- Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 14:24:26 -0500 From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: CO2 and headspace/RIMS heating element question Pete Calinski conjectures ... >Actually, I believe the >amount of CO2 in the beer is the same either way. I, Al Korzonas and others did some experiments on this a long while back in the HBD. It appears that the overfilled bottles either undercarbonate or at least carbonate much more slowly. Altho' not directly measured, there are very clear signs that the underfilled beers (not just the headspace) had more carbonation (by taste and post pour fizz). Filling the headspace w/ CO2 (eliminating most O2) before capping had no impact on the result. I think that shortly after reaching saturation of 1atm of CO2 , bubbles move CO2 into the headspace , and in the overfill case, the headpressure quickly becomes high enough to slow or stop fermentation. The head CO2 should go back into solution and reduce the head pressure and allow more fermentation, but this could take time and so slow the carbonation. This explanation is just a guess and a handwaving argument with some holes, but the phenomena is quite real and reproducible. - --- OK RIMSers - a question. Many hot water heating elements (in the US anyway) have a male threaded attachment point. This threading appears to match that of 1 inch (FIP) standard used in copper fitting, but lacking the taper. For this reason the heating element won't nicely screw into a 1" copper FIP fitting. Should I buy a 1" IP tap or die to resize one or the other - or is there a simpler solution that I am missing ? -Steve Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 14:36:01 -0500 From: "Joseph Marsh" <josephmarsh62 at hotmail.com> Subject: wyeast pitchable tubes Hi all, I've used 4 tubes so far and they all took off within 24hrs and preformed well. In fact I pitched one yesterday at 3:30 pm and it was working this morning. Beer is an ESB at sg 1.052. Some things to consider...I took the yeast tube out of the fridge at 7:00 am so it could warm slowly and throughly, wort was at 70F, yeast was at 70F also. Oxygenation was likely less then my normal level since I have a new CF chiller. I was useing an immersion and ice bath then pumping to the primary with one of those siphon starter pumps. That really gets the O2 in there. Good brewing, Joe Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 14:46:46 -0500 (EST) From: steven thomas <drstrangebrew at mail.com> Subject: Re: loaf mashing Jeff and other fans of archaic beers-- I have a beer more along the lines of the process Anchor used for their Ninkasi (loaf baked on an open sheet followed by wet mash with additional enzymatic malt) about ready to move to the secondary. Not having tested the effeciency before, I just followed the procedure of Papazian's second book. The beer is attenuating nicely, has good taste, and excellent foam stability. There is a small beer (1036 OG) off the second gyle of the same mash, now finished. It has a nice toasted taste and good body for its gravity. The foam stability is good, but not outlandish. The surprise is the foam cling on the glass; a mousse-like thickness and persistance like nothing I've seen before. I would think of following the bake with a wet mash if the loaf dries much or if there is any amount of non-enzymatic starch source in the grist. (I doubt the enzymes are too mobile given the pasty concistency.) An iodine test will tell all. As to yeast, I used Saison Dupont; a bit of a wimpout maybe, but probably not too far off. To me the main points are: a complete mash is possible in the loaf; enzymes survive the process; no extraneous tastes seem to arise. - --Steve Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 15:15:21 -0500 From: Richard Foote <rfoote at mindspring.com> Subject: Unwanted smell from beer poured from tap Barry writes: >I have kegged my beer twice now. All seems ok. The only problem is that >the first 1/2 glass has a smell. The following glasses are fine. If you >leave the tap for about 30min, and then pour another glass, the smell is >back again. The smell is strong and the beer has a taint to it when >drinking. >I have cleaned everything and sterilized the tap and all hoses. It would be helpful to know what kind of smell is being noticed. If we assume that everything was, indeed, cleaned and sterilzed, then it could be that something is happening during the stagnant contact time between pours. Something is being "picked up" between the keg and the faucet outlet. I'm not sure this is it, but I will relate my recent experience with a cider I now have on tap in hopes it might provide some insight. I had carbonated a 7% alc. cider and hooked it up to my draft system. I have the standard ball lock corny fittings, clear vinyl hose, and chrome-plated beer faucet. I had served a draft cider from the same system before and everything seemed fine. With this one though, I noticed more of a taste problem than aroma problem. It had a bitter, metallic off-taste. I reason it was coming from prolonged contact time with brass components of the beer faucet. I figure it must be eating away at the brass due to low pH. I switched to a plastic cobra faucet. Problem solved. Not sure if this experience sheds any light with respect to beer. Some questions: Does your beer have a low pH, such as perhaps a lambic? Does your beer faucet have components prone to attack from low pH? Hope this helps. Rick Foote Whistle Pig Brewing and Home Remodeling Murrayville, GA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 13:31:01 -0800 From: "Dave Sapsis" <dsapsis at earthlink.net> Subject: MCAB III Dear Folks, While it may seem like nothing has been happening, works are under way for MCAB III. A hodgepodge of folks and clubs fom the Northern California area are collectively putting this on, with the help of numerous sponsors. The following is certain: Dates: April 27-29, 2001 Location: Pyramid Brewing Co, in Berkeley, CA We are working on the exact shcedule, but the competition will include the judging, technical sessions, vendors, and an awards dinner/party. We are currently workingout a deal with a local hotel and will post those details as soon as they become available. All materials pertaining to the comp will be posted up at the MCAB III website at www.bayareamashers.com/mcab3. We are still compiling the list of Qualified Brewers, and will be getting notices and information on submissions very soon. General questions should be directed to Mike Riddle who is the comp organizer -- riddle at sonic.net Judges wishing to participate should contact the Judge Coordinator, Russ Wiggelsworth -- RussWig at aol.com Dave Brattstrom is handeling sponsorship, so any of you gnerous folks wishing to help out should contact him. He's at davidb at cdepot.net I'm in charge of the speakers, and the general theme of the technical sessions will be on beer evaluation, flavor/aroma identification, beer flavor space, and judging mechanics. If you'd like to be considered for a speaker slot on one of these or a related topic, please get in touch. You'll be hearing a lot more in the coming weeks, and it looks like it will be a top flight gig. I know I enjoyed putting names to faces for numenrous HBD'ers in St. Louis, so hopefully you'll consider coming out. The Bay Area is usually beautiful in the Spring, and in addition to the event, theres always lots of other interesting things to do. cheers, - --dave sapsis Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 20:00:19 -0500 From: Clark <clark at capital.net> Subject: hops to grow Hi List, Here's a question to get a little discussion started (just what this group needs, right). If you could grow three or four different varieties of hops, what would you grow? In my garden I have 7 bines that will be going into their third year. I have three Nuggett, 3 Willamette and 1 Cascade. The Nuggett produced a huge crop of very potent cones last year, but I am not sure that I like their flavor. Maybe I am using too much. The Willamette set a good crop too but they were quite friable after picking and somewhat grassy in my beer. The Cascade also did pretty well, but once again the flavor was not what I get from pellets or plugs that I buy. All the hops were thoroughly dried on window screening and tightly packed in glass jars and put in the freezer. No sprays were used at any time during their growth. I brew mostly ales but I like to try other styles from time to time. I thought it would be interesting to get a consensus from the list of what the most popular varieties to grow might be. Any thoughts? Dave Clark Eagle Bridge, NY Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 21:01:19 -0800 From: "Dan Diana" <dands at ftconnect.com> Subject: Some inputs on carbonation levels In reference to Benjamin's query, I can't comment on the effect of pressure on yeast but there is a bit of physics that explain why you observe the correlation of pressure to carbonation level. The absorbtion of a slightly soluble gas such as CO2 into a liquid is described by Henry's law. According to Henry's law, the CO2 concentration is proportional to the CO2 partial pressure above the liquid. In an equation form: p(CO2) = k*[xCO2] (1) where: -P(CO2) is the CO2 partial pressure in the headspace -k is referred to as Henry's constant -xCO2 is the concentration of CO2 is solution in molecules/volume Therefore, assuming that you have two kegs of differing carbonation levels, Henry's law would predict that the partial pressures above the beer [i.e. p(CO2)] in the headspace are different. Note that I have referred to the partial pressure of CO2. This is becuase of the fact that the gas in the headspace is comprised mostly of CO2 but it could have air or nitrogen in it. Fortunately, Dalton's law states that the total pressure of gas observed is the sum of the partial pressures of the component gases. Mathematically, p(total) = p(CO2) + p(air) + p(other gases) (2) If you cut to the chase, what this tells you is that one thing you could do to help get more consistently carbonated beers is to pick a fill volume in the keg and optimize p(total) until you get the desired carbonation level. This is purely empirical but it worked for me. Further, I have noticed that when I get a beer carbonated to the appropriate level using this method that the carbonation level remains pretty consistent through the keg's life. In other words, the dependence on headspace volume seems pretty minimal to my eye and palate. Lastly, the hit or miss carbonation of bottle beers which resulted from using wort and yeast to carbonate is what drove me to a keg to begin with. For more details and math, refer to George Fix's principles of Brewing Science. Dan Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001 00:30:43 -0500 From: "Benjy Edwards" <rdbedwards at hotmail.com> Subject: CO2 and headspace size First off - sorry for the length of this post! I guess I'm having trouble putting my thoughts into words... Has anyone noticed the phenomenon of varying carbonation level due to headspace size? There's not much in the literature about it. I'm talking about how the level of carbonation will vary depending on the size of the headspace above the beer. This is most often thought of when bottling - you're supposed to only leave a small headspace in the neck of the bottle because if you don't, the bottle is likely to overcarbonate. If you fill a bottle halfway with primed beer it will either explode or blow the cap off into your eye when you try to open it. This phenomenon also carries over to kegs - I've been having trouble getting my corny kegged beer to carbonate fully, and I think it's because I fill the keg right up to the bottom of the short (gas in) dip tube. I have only seen this discussed in one of my 30+ homebrewing books - Papazian in NCJHB says: "My own observations have indicated that a bottle that is filled right to the top, with no air space whatsoever, will not develop enough carbonation. An air space of 1/2 inch will develop the same carbonation as a bottle of beer with 2 inches of air space. A bottle that is half filled with beer may become excessively carbonated and very dangerous if it explodes. My educated explanation is that insufficient or excessive carbonation, due to over- or underfill is related to the fact that yeast activity is inhibited by pressure. A small air space (overfill) will quickly develop high pressure while a large air space (underfill) will not develop enough pressure to inhibit yeast activity." While I agree with his observations of this concept, I don't agree with his rationale. Why would yeast be affected by headspace pressure? However, I have yet to come up with a satisfactory alternative hypothesis. Anyone have any ideas? Does all this mean I should just not fill my kegs so much? What are your practices in filling corny kegs vs. carbonation levels? Thanks for any and all information! regards, Benjamin Edwards Return to table of contents
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