HOMEBREW Digest #3703 Wed 08 August 2001

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  Stuck Fermentation: Update (Smith Asylum)
  RE: Software Piracy ("Sam Ritchie")
  re : light flavoured ale (Alan McKay)
  New Guy (gsferg)
  Dry Hopping with pellets ("Branam, Mike")
  Copper toxicity ("Bruce Garner")
  Ergot again ("John Bonney")
  Beer in Europe ("Eric R. Theiner")
  Sparge Water Distributors (Martin_Brungard)
  Re:  Live organisms in boiled wort? (Richard Seyler)
  Re: Software Piracy ("Vernon, Mark")
  Fw: Oxidation during lautering ("T & S Klepfer")
  Re: Plumbing for a three-tier RIMS (Rob Dewhirst)
  New Campaign from CamRA ("Pete Calinski")
  opensource brewing software (Rorik Peterson)
  Plumbing for a three-tier RIMS ("2brewers4u")
  Trub ("Tom Clark")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 06 Aug 2001 23:27:24 -0700 From: Smith Asylum <smithly at neta.com> Subject: Stuck Fermentation: Update Well, I listened to everyone who chimed in and made my decision based on trying to stay true to the original recipe. You all may recall that I had started at 1.085 and couldn't seem to break the 1.033 barrier. Well, I stepped up a yeast starter 3x to 1/2 a gallon, pitched and let it go for two weeks at 73 deg. I bottled last night with a FG of 1.014. Admittedly, it had lost some of the body that was appealing to me when I taste tested it, but I think it will be fine after some carbonation and bottle conditioning. Just for the record this brew was in fermenters for nine weeks. Lessons learned? 1) With high gravity beers, pitch a healthy starter and save the yeast from the primary in case you have to pitch again. I can't wait to crack one open. 2) Get a larger growler if your on a 3rd step and you're going to 1/2 gallon. I got yeast all up through my airlock and down the sides of the bottle. Made a real mess. Prolific little buggers, eh? Thanks to everyone who provided advice. There are a number of ways I could've achieved similar results. I was just partial to staying with the yeast solution and keeping as close to the recipe as possible. Schlange! Lee Smith Chandler, AZ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 15:27:17 +0800 From: "Sam Ritchie" <sritchie at e-comm.com.au> Subject: RE: Software Piracy Christopher Farley writes: > > You know, homebrewers being what they are (thrifty and crafty), it's > surprising that an important, free, open-source, cross-plaform homebrew > software project has not yet emerged. Or am I overlooking something? > > Any interested programmers out there willing to contribute? I'd be > willing to donate a mailing list/web forum and a cvs repository at > the very least... > I'm interested... I've actually started to put together an xml schema for a cross-platform, cross-measurement-unit recipe file format - I would prefer it to be a community owned and driven concept; if we managed to get a software project going, it would be an ideal forum for feedback & further development. In other words, count me in for the project. Sam. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 08:19:11 -0400 (EDT) From: Alan McKay <amckay at ottawa.com> Subject: re : light flavoured ale Tal writes : "I don't have the patience or time to make a lager" [...] "I was considering a Kolsh but do not have a good recipe" I've got good recipes for a Koelsch-style beer on my webpage, but this is not your style if you do not have the patience for lagering, since it must be lagered at least 3 weeks at near freezing. cheers, -Alan - -- "Brewers make wort. Yeast Makes Beer." - Dave Miller's Homebrewing Guide http://www.bodensatz.com/ What's a Bodensatz? http://www.bodensatz.com/bodensatz.html Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 07 Aug 2001 08:24:17 -0400 From: gsferg at clary.gwi.net Subject: New Guy Hello All- I'd like to introduce myself- My name is George Fergusson, I live in Whitefield Maine, I've been reading this list about a week, and I've been homebrewing in earnest for about 4 months. I've been using kits so far but I cooked up my first all-grain batch last weekend using a Rubbermaid 5 gallon water cooler as a combination mash/lauter tun (read about it in an old Zymurgy magazine). Being somewhat challenged for a big enough cooker I made a half-recipe (2.5 gallons) of so-called Bass Ale, hopped the bejesus out of it, and dumped it in my fermenter where it's merrily fermenting like there's no tommorow. Actually, I'm not totally new to brewing.. back in the 70's we used to make something vaguely similar to beer that we affectionately called "joy juice" that got you horrendously drunk, with the added side effect of also making you fart like a cannon. It musta been the Baker's Yeast. Home brewing has come a long, long way :) Ayuh. When I'm not brewing beer I pass my time as a unix system administrator and Oracle DBA doing admin and DBA stuff for a Dot.com. George- - -- George S. Fergusson <gsferg at clary.gwi.net> Oracle DBA, Programmer, Humorist PGP Key: http://clary.gwi.net/gsferg/gsferg at clary.asc - -------------- I am a man, I can change, if I have to, I guess. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 08:20:44 -0400 From: "Branam, Mike" <Mike.Branam at ccur.com> Subject: Dry Hopping with pellets I brewed an all grain Fuller's ESB this past weekend and will be racking it next weekend. The recipe calls for it to be dry hopped. The hops I got are pellets. Can I just sprinkle them into the top of the secondary carboy or do I need to put them in a hop sack? I usually add unflavored gelatin to the secondary a couple of days after racking. Will this cause a problem with the hops? Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 07:27:50 -0500 From: "Bruce Garner" <bpgarner at mailbag.com> Subject: Copper toxicity Tony brings up the question of copper toxicity in a primary ferment. I have toured Ridley's Brewery in Essex. Their open fermentors are copper lined and have immersed copper cooling coils a few inches in from the sides of the fermentor. Bruce Garner Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 09:18:35 -0400 From: "John Bonney" <john at ruthsx.com> Subject: Ergot again [Mike Vachow]"Some historians argue that the bizarre behavior of many of the women targeted as witches is consistent with the hallucinogenic effects of ergot poisoning." I'm glad you brought this up, I just watched a documentary on this very theory. More clues pointing to this conclusion were recently uncovered (I believe) near the Salem area. Somebody found a mummified body in a swamp near the area (once again I'm pretty sure it was Salem, or at least some other area that had a "witch" problem). The person had clearly been brutally murdered. There was a huge gash in the throat that was cut from ear to ear, and an area of the skull was caved in. The folks that believed ergot was responsible for the belief in witches were granted the right to analyze the contents of the cadaver's stomach. Upon testing the sample, they found that the victim's last meal was indeed ergot contaminated rye. Other facts the documentary pointed out involved an ergot breakout from a bakery in France that had made a batch of bread from ergot contaminated grain. This happened sometime in the 1940's or 50's. Hundreds of people died. All of them experienced the same type of symptoms as reported during the Salem witch trials for someone who was considered to be "bewitched." Hallucinations, cold sweats, the feeling of bugs under the skin, and convulsions and the like. Many of the victims reported seeing blood on the ceiling, demons, lions, monsters, and all sorts of other fun stuff. One woman was reported to have jumped out of her second story window because she thought there was a lion in her room. She was saved by her night gown catching on a nail or something outside the window, only to die later from the ergot poisoning. It was a cool documentary. The funny thing was that even the people in France (and remember this was in the 50's) thought that the bakery and/or the baker was satanistic, and had demonized the victims. The townspeople paraded the caskets of the dead down the street past the bakery. They believed this until the test results came back positive for ergot poisoning. Stuff like that makes me wonder how ignorant we're going to look 100 years from now. "Those idiots believed in global warming! Chuckle chuckle" Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 07 Aug 2001 09:22:34 -0400 From: "Eric R. Theiner" <logic at skantech.com> Subject: Beer in Europe We recently returned from 2 weeks in Germany and Austria. Of the cities listed by Aaron, Munich is the only one that we hit, and only spent a little over a day there. Here are some specific things that floated to the top of my head regarding beer: 1) Go to Kloster Andechs. It's about 30 - 45 minutes to the West of Munich and well worth the trip. It's a monastery on top of a mountain near Lake Amersee and I'm sure that any beer drinker in Munich can give you exact directions. And the coin operated breathalyzer next to the bathroom is worth a mark<g>. 2) Before we went, it was 50/50 on going to the Hofbrauhaus. I say that it's worth the trip. We went during the day and it wasn't very crowded-- a great time to soak up the ambiance. And the beer is good (but then, I didn't have a bad beer over there). 3) PLEASE go to the Spaten Brauhaus for me. We walked right by it as we headed from the Hofbrauhaus to the Residenz, but due to timing and my son (2 years old-- not very hardy on trips), we never made it back. Spaten is one of my favorites-- particularly Optimator, but I guess they wouldn't have that during Sept-Oct. 4) The English Garden is a great place to walk around and experience a buzz. The buzz comes from a beer garden next to the Pagoda (what it's doing in Munich, I don't know) in the center of the English Garden. If the weather's nice, you may spot some nude sunbathers as well. Lastly, you may know this, but I was really surprised at how reasonable everything was. A grosse (liter) Helles was generally 6 - 8 marks (3 - 4 $US), and I got pretty used to shelling out 3 - 4 marks at most for a kleine (half-liter) just about every place we stopped in Germany. Have fun! Rick Theiner Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 09:59:48 -0400 From: Martin_Brungard at urscorp.com Subject: Sparge Water Distributors Thomas Klepfer asked about sparge water distributors for a new mashing system. There are a couple of points that can be made without getting totally into HSA effects. I've seen several sprinkling systems on the market or created by homebrewers. I agree with the premise that we need to gently distribute sparge water across the grainbed without disturbance. When creating my system, I considered using a sprinkler. There were a couple of reasons why I didn't use one. The complexity of a sprinkler was a minor concern to me. But I did have another consideration. Since I was creating a RIMS, I knew that there may be some grain particles in my flow. I assumed that clogging was a very real possibility in my system. Large holes in a distributor system would be needed to reduce clogging potential by passing grain particles back onto the bed. Flow from these large holes would not be too kind to the underlying grainbed if it fell any distance. I assumed that sprinklers would probably have smaller holes. I found the distributor manifold shown on C.D. Pritchard's website ( http://chattanooga.net/~cdp/rims_inf.htm ) meets my goal of gentle recirculation and sparge distribution. The other advantage of this system is that the distributor can be suspended directly on top of the grainbed. I like C.D.'s configuration since it creates a ring around the tun. I can still stir the mash without removing the distributor. The other advantage is that the pipe into the tun is on the side of the tun, so you can hook it to the side of the tun. I have seen distributors that are H shaped, but they don't have the advantages I just mentioned. Additionally, prudent water management will keep the grainbed completely submerged when using one of these distributors. There are at least 2 reasons why keeping the grainbed submerged is a good idea. The first reason is that allowing the water level to fall below the top of the grainbed will increase the effective stress on the bed, making it a little more likely that the bed will compact and potentially create a stuck mash. The second reason is that the hot water helps keep the upper portion of the grainbed from cooling. An occasional dribble of hot water probably can't be depended on to keep the surface grain as warm as if it were submerged in hot liquor. After thinking further on the subject of sparging, I did also consider that a rain of sparge water falling through the atmosphere could pick up some oxygen, but its probably not really a concern since the water is hot and the oxygen solubility in the water is pretty low. HSA may be more of a potential with a sprinkler, but its probably minor considering the sparge water temp. It is probably more of a concern in a RIMS since the mashing temp is lower. Also, the sparge water will certainly loose more heat as it falls through the atmosphere compared to if it is directly downlet onto the bed. The other reason I believe that homebrewers use sprinkler systems is because the big boys use them. After my trip to Great Lakes Brewery last week, I recognized some of the necessities created by large brewing systems. I don't believe that they could use the distributor system that I recommend in their brewery. It would get in the way. A sprinkler system can be fabricated into the top of the tun, out of the way of their operations. They just learn how to brew effectively with the sprinkler system despite the shortcomings. The point here is that small brewing systems (less than 15 gal) can easily use a submerged distributor system and there are definite advantages compared to sprinkler types. Martin Brungard Tallahassee, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 10:12:41 -0400 (EDT) From: Richard Seyler <seyler at arches.uga.edu> Subject: Re: Live organisms in boiled wort? On Mon, 6 Aug 2001, Dan Temple said: > > I just read (in a Danish homebrewing book from 1970) > the following: > > Wort contains organisms that are not killed by > boiling, so unless you get the yeast going quick, > these can get the upper hand and give the beer a sour > taste. > > Is this true? I have always assumed that the boiled > wort was as sterile as could be. Many organisms, especially endospores, can withstand boiling temperatures. But the longer the boil, the less survivors there will be. In microbiology, the time it takes to kill 90% of the population at a given temperature is known as the decimal reduction time. Having said that, the real concern is not heat resistant organisms native to the wort, it is outside contamination by spoilage organisms such as lactic acid bacteria and wild yeasts. While these microorganisms can be found in malt, they are not generally regarded as heat resistant. And, (I dare say) most infected beers are the result of contamination post-boil. So, the advice to get a brewing yeast culture going quickly is the same. This is why large healthy starters are so strongly advocated. > I also read in the book that: "Top fermenting yeast is > mostly used for English style ales. It is not possible > to achieve proper subtleties of flavour with this kind > of yeast". This is a generalization; British ale strains in particular produce fermentation by products that have estery flavors. On the other hand, there are some relatively clean ale strains. But in general, lager (bottom fermenting) strains have cleaner profiles. - --Tad Seyler Microbiology Dept. Univ. Georgia Athens, GA 30602 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 09:12:08 -0500 From: "Vernon, Mark" <Mark.Vernon at pioneer.com> Subject: Re: Software Piracy >You know, homebrewers being what they are (thrifty and crafty), it's >surprising that an important, free, open-source, cross-plaform homebrew >software project has not yet emerged. Or am I overlooking something? > >Any interested programmers out there willing to contribute? I'd be >willing to donate a mailing list/web forum and a cvs repository at >the very least... > >- -- >Christopher Farley >www.northernbrewer.com Chris, I think the reason is that ProMash, for $25 or so, is a great deal - and a great product. As a programmer in a former life, I can appreciate the effort required to create such a full featured application. I have no affiliation with ProMash - just an extremely happy user. Mark Vernon, MCSE, MCT Sr. Network Engineer Global Infrastructure Pioneer, A DuPont Company EMail:Mark.Vernon at Pioneer.com Text Paging: 5153601729 at msg.myvzn.com Office:(515)270-4188 Cell: (515) 360-1729 They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. -- Benjamin Franklin Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 10:11:15 -0500 From: "T & S Klepfer" <lee-thomas at indian-creek.net> Subject: Fw: Oxidation during lautering Christopher Mika asks: >One other issue I could use some input on is in the design of a sparge arm > or ring for the mash tun as well as a return for the liquor in the SMART >system. My mash tun is a converted 1/2 barrel keg with a 10 inch opening at >the top. Any advice, instruction, or web addresses for sites describing >similar systems would be much appreciated. >Thank You, >Chris Mika I posted a question the other day about the possibility of aeration and oxidation, while lautering, from "sparge" devices (sprayers, rings, etc.). Predictably, the responses I received ranged from "don't worry about it" to "worry about it, prevent all sources of aeration". After thinking about it, my solution is to make a copper tubing ring that rests on the surface of the grain bed, with holes facing the walls of the mash tun, and attached to the outlet of the HL tun with plastic tubing so that its depth in the tun can vary depending on grain bill size. Keeping the level of water above the ring should prevent any foaming or aeration. Thanks to everyone who gave me advice - it's very much appreciated. Hope it helps Chris too. Thomas Klepfer Medina, Texas Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 07 Aug 2001 10:27:41 -0500 From: Rob Dewhirst <robd at biocomplexity.nhm.ukans.edu> Subject: Re: Plumbing for a three-tier RIMS > >I am considering using a hard-piped system >with built-in diverter valves to control the flow of liquids through the >system. I am not sure how well this might work. I also was wondering if QD >fittings will work on a hard-piped system to aid in disassembly for a >thorough cleaning. I hard-piped my RIMS and I'll never go back. I tried using valves and found it a pain. This may be due to trying to use standard ball valves and not true diverter valves. I also worried I wasn't getting them clean enough. I used 1/2" copper pipe, because it's cheap, safe and easy to use. Once you get good at sweating 1/2" copper, you can make modifications easily (I've done it during the mash once). Instead of using diverters, I use copper unions to quickly disconnect and reconnect components. These are available at any hardware store, but I would get stainless 1/2" unions from Moving Brews (they're pretty much the same price) or get some tri-clamp fittings. I summarized my quest for plumbing disconnects in an issue of HBD a couple of weeks back. An average brew session only has one or two "replumbs" where the pipes have to be dis/reconnected. If you think it out in advance, it helps. Previously, I used braided flexible tubing but found it too much of a hassle to keep clean. I throw all my brewery plumbing in boiling water at the end of the brew session. I only have one piece of short plastic tubing in the whole system because I haven't devised a way to account for varying thickness of the grain bed. One thing about long lengths of copper pipe -- they get HOT and you have to be careful while brewing. Most of the details with some pictures can be found at: <http://hairydogbrewery.com/equip/> That may answer more specific questions. I am sure there's something I learned in construction that I've forgotten to mention. >One >other issue I could use some input on is in the design of a sparge arm or >ring for the mash tun as well as a return for the liquor in the SMART >system. My mash tun is a converted 1/2 barrel keg with a 10 inch opening at >the top. I stopped trying to find sparge arms that worked and now sparge with the same return manifold I use during the recirculation mash. Since the return manifold doesn't restrict the flow at all, I've found I have very good control of the inflow of sparge water from the HLT. >Any advice, instruction, or web addresses for sites describing >similar systems would be much appreciated. <http://brewery.mvlan.net/homebreweries.html> has a lot of links to RIMS. Many of the sites linked from there have moved, but there's still enough there to be helpful. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 12:11:53 -0400 From: "Pete Calinski" <pjcalinski at adelphia.net> Subject: New Campaign from CamRA I types this in. It was in the Aug 7 edition of the Wall Street Journal. Excuse the typo's LONDON-Beautiful, naked bodies lying on a bed of barley are the focus of a new ad campaign for-would you believe it?-traditional British ale. The British brew most associated with beer bellies and beards is getting a total image makeover in an effort to attract young, especially female, customers. In a poster campaign launched last week across Britain, the Campaign for Real Ale-a group of ale aficionados- ditched pictures of the archetypal, flatcapped bloke propping up at his local pub. The ads depict a blonde model, naked except for two strategically placed flowered hops, lying with her arms outstretched in sheaves of barley-an image much like actress Mena Suvari's bed of roses in the ads for the 1999 movie "American Beauty." A male version of the ads also will be pinned up on street corners and in about 10,000 pubs across the country. The campaign, which is targeted at 25 to 35-year-olds, sports the tagline "100% NATURale." The effort doesn't come too soon. Sales of real ale-nonpasteurized brew swimming with live yeast and strong flavors-have fallen as a share of the total United Kingdom beer market. Primed by heavy advertising by such foreign lagers as Budweiser and Stella Artois, the British have been steadily switching from ale to lager, the cold, golden style of beer that predominates in most parts of the world. As a result, about 400 ale makers hold about 15% of the market in the U.K. Moreover, all but 1% of that figure is concentrated in the hands of big companies because smaller microbrewers don't have the money to market their products, says Mike Benher, director of communications and campaigns for the Campaign for Real Ale. "People aren't drinking real ale, because it has an old image of flat caps to it," Mr. Benner says. "We're trying to modernize the product and talk about its positive qualities, which are that it's a natural product made out of hops, malted barley and water." The ale-campaign people believe marketing real ale as a wholesome alternative to lager-which is generally mass-produced-will appeal to young people who are attracted to natural and organic products in other sectors such as food and cosmetics. Hops used in making ale aren't grown organically, since they are easily prone to disease, but they are natural and contain no preservatives, Mr. Bennet says. The ad campaign isn't the first attempt to breathe new life into ale sales. Ale brewers started rushing out cooler versions of their brews last year in an effort to attract younger drinkers who were turned off by the warmer temperatures at which ale has traditionally been served here. They have also tinkered with the look and feel of their beer, steering away from dark and heavy texture to make it look more light and frothy."We're taking the big lager companies straight on," Mr. Bennet says. "We're fighting back." Pete Calinski East Amherst NY Near Buffalo NY ******************************************************************** *My goal: * Go through life and never drink the same beer twice. * (As long as it doesn't mean I have to skip a beer.) ******************************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 11:29:45 -0800 (AKDT) From: Rorik Peterson <ffrap1 at aurora.uaf.edu> Subject: opensource brewing software Christopher Farley asked if there was a free opensource homebrew software project. Yes, there is: QBrew. It is still being expanded and improved, but that is the nature of opensource code. I use it and find that it provides all the attributes of ProMash that I ever used. Check it out at http://www.usermode.org/code.html If it doesn't provide all the features you're looking for, let the development team know (or better yet, get involved yourself). There are also pre-compiled binaries available for Debian and SuSE Linux, or you can build your own from source. It uses the Qt widget set, which is also freely available at www.trolltech.com. If you're looking for a Windoze or Mac port, I don't know of any, but then what is the point of a "free" program after purchasing a proprietary OS? Rorik Peterson Fairbanks, Alaska Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 19:06:26 -0500 From: "2brewers4u" <2brewers4u at home.com> Subject: Plumbing for a three-tier RIMS Subject: Plumbing for a three-tier RIMS My RIMS is simple.... Liqour on top (gravity to fill mash and sparge) mash tun and kettle below liqour tank. I use the pump to recirulate the mash. Out of the bottom of the tun, to the pump, to the heater chamber, to the "H" copper tubuing (inside tun for gentle wort distribution), and back out the bottom of the tun. When sparging, use the gravity. Open the sparge/liqour valve slightly, and the valve going to the kettle. A little practice and the system runs itself...here is a good page to start: http://home.att.net/~JackSue/index.html Just read all info. There are many diagrams that will show you exactly what I mean...dude, it is failsafe!!!!! Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 20:20:30 -0400 From: "Tom Clark" <rtclark at eurekanet.com> Subject: Trub I woul;d like some advice... When making beer from a kit, the instructions advise to pour the contents of the brewing kettle into the fermenter. It says nothing about filtering out the trub in the botom of the kettle. However, I have usually poured the cooled wort through a stainless steel collander to remove most of the trub. I am wondering.... If I don't filter at this point, will the finished beer have more hops flavour? Will the several days in the primary create off flavours if the trub is still in there? Tom Clark Return to table of contents
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