HOMEBREW Digest #3729 Fri 07 September 2001

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  hop deterioration ("Sean Richens")
  measuring salt with hydrometer ("Sean Richens")
  re: esters (steve-alexander)
  one more thing (steve-alexander)
  Looking for Homebrew Clubs/Starting a New one (Help!) ("Joseph P. Spencer III")
  RE: A few notes on making Pumkin ale ("Steven Parfitt")
  Anchor Brewery Tour ("David Craft")
  RE: cheap shot ("Houseman, David L")
  Kegging in PET and Tap-A-Draft, ("Pete Calinski")
  Ball lock -> pin lock? ("Drew Avis")
  Re: Homebrewing in Japan (stencil)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2001 23:03:15 -0500 From: "Sean Richens" <srichens at sprint.ca> Subject: hop deterioration Best answer for Strom's question can be found at: http://www.brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue2.1/garetz.html If your hops were in the freezer you might be off the scale - in the right direction. Sean Richens srichens.spamsucks at sprint.ca Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2001 23:08:59 -0500 From: "Sean Richens" <srichens at sprint.ca> Subject: measuring salt with hydrometer To use a hydrometer's SG scale to determine the concentration of various substances, use various common chemical references. For my money, try to find a CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. If it's an older edition (1970s) there's tables titled "concentrative properties of aqueous solutions" which will answer any question you could ask about solutions of 100-odd substances. Any homebrewer should copy the tables for dextrose and sucrose, as a minimum. Other options are Lange's Handbook of Chemistry or Perry's Chemical Engineers' Handbook. There are many others, just check the reference section of even the pokiest library (well, the downtown branch) and you should find something. If your circumstances really make that impossible, email me at the address below (with the obvious deletion) and I'll try to get you something. Sean Richens srichens.spamsucks at sprint.ca Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2001 06:12:14 +0000 From: steve-alexander at att.net Subject: re: esters Paul Campbell points to a nice article on the Breworld website about ester formation in beers. He specifically points to the data point showing an increase in isoamyl acetate ester with decreased pitching rate and low oxygenation. There are at least 4 distinct mechanisms for producing esters in beer fermentation (ignoring that hops aroma compounds are rich in esters, fruit too). The one that deserves prominence is the esterification of alcohols by acetylCoA, an important intermediate compound in yeast metabolism via an alcohol acetyl transferase(AAT) enzyme. Fatty acids may also be involved in the conversion. Paul is particulatrly concerned with the isoamyl acetate (one of two banana-like esters) which is esterified isoamyl alcohol - a fusel. To increase the ester levels of a beer you really only need to 1/ find a yeast that produces enough of the specific AAT enzyme for that alcohol/fusel, 2/ provide conditions that produce the fusel precursor, 3/ drive the yeast metabolism to a point where the acetylCoA is produced in excess of need and pools in the yeast cell and 4/ get all the precursors (perhaps including fatty acids) to the same place. As any brewer might guess, yeasts produce roughly constant amounts of a particulatr ester compared to total esters. It's a property of the yeast that when they produce esters they have a characteristic ester flavor and probably relates the the yeasts specific tendency produce fusels and the AAT enzymes. Alcohols: Ethyl acetate (solvent aroma) is esterifies ethanol + acetylCoA. Ethyl Caproate (appley) is esterified ethanol and CaproylCoA (a product of fatty acid synthesis or breakdown). The production of the fusels, like isoamyl alcohol has two metabolic terms, one related to cell growth (so lower pitching rates increase this) and one related to the uptake of a corresponding amino acid. In the case of isoamyl alcohol the amino acid is leucine. I haven't tried it, but adding leucine to a wort may increase the banana esters if fusels are the limiting factor. OTOH don't offer me any if it just increases the fusels. The acetylCoA and it's fatty-acid-CoA cohort results from glycolysis and from fatty acid catabolism. If you restrict yeast growth in most any way (a few exceptions) you will get a pooling of acetylCoA. I suspect this is usually the rate-limiting step in ester production. If you remove some growth factor from the yeast then the yeast will cease to grow before attenuation is completes and they will pool acetylCoA and produce esters. If you underoxygenate your wort your yeast will cease to divide from a lack of sterols and unsaturated fatty acids(UFAs) and will also get acetylCoA pooling. Getting all the precursors together has an interesting twist to it. It is now widely suggested that increasing the UFA content improves the selectivity of cell membranes keeping more fusels out and so reducing ester levels. So what impacts ester production ? /Temps - generally increased temps increase fusel production and increase the rate of the AAT enzyme reaction. May make cell membrane more fluid and permit the fusels in. /Nitrogen (amino acid levels) - More aminos relative to fermentables generally means higher ester levels. Low amino levels stop growth but (special case) also prevent acetyCoA pooling - so low aminos mean less esters. /Pressure - if you ferment under pressure the CO2 level in the wort builds up which reduces the pyruvate (aceylCoA precursor) metabolism and also reduces certain fusels so you have lower ester levels (and also slower growth). /Pitching Rate - generally underpitching generates more esters tho' there are several possible reasons why. The lit on the topic generally shows a significant change in pitching rate (like 4X) is needed to have much impact. /Suspended solids - generally reduce ester levels! In the case of trub the fatty acids and zinc in the trub encourage growth and so reduce acetylCoA levels. *BUT* even inert solids, like sand added to wort reduce ester levels. Probably because these act as CO2 nucleation points and reduce CO2 level increasing growth rate ... /Increased UFAs added to the wort derease ester levels. Likely they improve membrane integrity keeping the precursors apart, but they may also gum-up the enzyme works. The UFAs also encourage growth, reducing the acetyCoA pooling, reducing esters. /Oxygen - O2 and even small amount reduce esters dramatically. O2 is needed by the cell to produce UFAs and production of UFAs uses up acetylCoA directly. So adding O2 is a triple whammy to esters - it causes the cell to use up acetylCoA, increases the cell membrane integrity and also incourages growth - all reduce esters. Open ferments result in decreased ester levels. BTW if any of you have a certain HB science book please turn to the pages that discuss ester production and cross out the example given of soap as fatty-acid. Soap is saponified FAs and glycerol. The vegetable oil, olive oil on your cupboard are good examples of almost pure fatty acids. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2001 07:09:04 +0000 From: steve-alexander at att.net Subject: one more thing Paul C also states (re esters) ... >1) Oxygenation is essential for yeast growth with low >pitching rates In brewery fermentations O2 is necessary for yeast growth - period. Oh yeah they can take a big gulp of air and stay under for 3-4 generation but they have to come back up sometime. >2) Yeast growth results in higher ester production (so >not good for "clean" lagers) Ummm - sort of true. Yeast growth produces esters by the synthesis term I mentioned but lack of yeast growth when they are stalled by lack of a growth factor like UFAs will generally will cause AcetylCoA pooling and so greater ester generation. This also causes slow fermentations and a host of problems. Your best bet for low esters is to pitch at a recommended rate (few HBers pitch so well) or even a bit higher. This doesn't encourage excessive growth as underpitching does, but still allows the yeast to grow till full attenuation is achieved (if you are lucky). >My question [...] if one were making a clean >lager style, should you pitch huge but NOT >oxygenate (the latter to discourage yeast >"growth")? No - lack of O2 will make for some cranky ester producing yeast. For minimal esters pitch big and oxygenate continuously. Unless you like stale aldehyde flavors you should stop the oxygen 8-16 hours after pitching tho' you could use an open primary fermenter. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2001 02:12:31 -0700 From: "Joseph P. Spencer III" <spencer79 at nethere.com> Subject: Looking for Homebrew Clubs/Starting a New one (Help!) Hello HBD! My name is Joe Spencer, and I am fairly new to the Digest. I have been looking for a good homebrewing club here in San Diego for a few months now, but to no avail... Every good club is more than 20 miles from downtown! If I am missing one that you know of I'd appreciate some info :o) Another way to look at this is: if there ARE no clubs in the area, do you all (as the armchair experts) see this as a worthwhile opportunity to start one? I have often heart that homebrewing clubs are a great way to learn techniques, share recipes, and run/attend competitions. Also give ya a few new drinking buddies! Have any of you ever started a club, and can offer advise? Please let me know. Respectfully, Joseph P. Spencer III Staff Editor, DSK Historical Publishing, Inc. www.dskonline.net Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2001 08:25:03 -0400 From: "Steven Parfitt" <the_gimp98 at hotmail.com> Subject: RE: A few notes on making Pumkin ale Bob Sheck Replies to "JF": >First, you GOT TO mash the pumpkin along with the malt. So >you must do an all-grain mash. >Choose whatever grain you want. I think a nice CACA or >CAP base recipe goes well here. You may leave out the flaked >corn/rice though as you will be getting the pumpkin starch to convert. >And you must cook the pumpkin, too. Now here's some advice- >I use about 3 medium-sized (about 10 pound) pumpkins that I >slice into strips and bake in a 350 F oven until soft. Are you saying 10 Pounds total, or 30 Pounds? For what size batch 5 Gallon or 10 Gallon. 30 Pounds of pumpkin sounds likke a alot of starch ajunct for even a 10 gallon batch of CACA..... What percent total grist do you recomend for the Pumpkin? I home can Pumpking every couple of years, and have a half dozen or so pints left I believe. The process I use for canning is to cut the pumpkin in half and scoop the seeds out. Place the halves open side down on an aluminium cooking pan. Bake at 350 for about an hour, till the hull is softened and blistered, and the insides start to become tender. Let it cool a little while. Cut in strips and seperate the hull. The flesh comes out stringy. I put this in a big pot, add Brown sugar and some (not much) clove, mace, and nutmeg. Cook this down for an hour while mashing it with a big spoon to break up the big pieces. Then scoop into caning jars, put the lids on and pressure can them. Real pumpkin pie is not custard mush, it is stringy! Pumpkin Porter, that might be interesting..... Steven, -75 XLCH- Ironhead Nano-Brewery http://thegimp.8k.com Johnson City, TN 5:47:38.9 S, 1:17:37.5 E Rennerian "Fools you are... who say you like to learn from your mistakes.... I prefer to learn from the mistakes of others and avoid the cost of my own." Otto von Bismarck Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2001 08:43:15 -0400 From: "David Craft" <David-Craft at craftinsurance.com> Subject: Anchor Brewery Tour Greetings, I had the privilege of visiting the City by the Bay last week. It was cool, breezy, misty, warm, sunny and anything else you can imagine from one block to the next. I called ahead and booked a tour at the Anchor Brewery, makers of the famed Anchor Steam, in my opinion the best beer made in America. Tours are M-F at 2pm and you must call ahead. We had about 15 in our group and it was not full. I imagine 20 would have topped us out. In checking public transit, the #19 bus stops right at the brewery on Potrero Hill just south of Downtown and the new Ballpark. We picked up the #19 bus at Market and head out the 10 or so blocks to the Brewery. The building is a nondescript tan, three story, converted Chase and Sanborn Coffee roasting building in a working class part of town. After entering the standard 1960s era double glass doors, we headed up to the third floor. You walk through a small office area, 4 desks, and then into a richly paneled tasting room. Cabinets lined the wall with memorabilia inside and on the walls. A bar lined the back wall, 6 taps and lots of glasses. Through the glass on the left were the copper vessel crucial to what we love to do. After waiting a few minutes our guide, Kevin, came in wearing his white coveralls with Anchor patch and name on the front. As he gave a little history other white suited men and women came in for a taste while on their break. He promised a taste when we finished. For our tour we simply walked down the three flights and back up for a taste. The brewery is incredibly small for what I expected. Three copper vessels for mash, lauter, and boil. That was it. One batch at a time! Well, actually three if they are good. All of the vessels are on one floor so gravity was no help in moving liquids around. Only after the beer was fermented was it sent downstairs. Fermentation occurred on the third floor in large open stainless pans, just like 100 years ago. The room did have positive pressure and filtered air, so the beer was not really exposed to the elements. The beer is fermented at about 55 degrees. The other ales were fermented in conventional tanks. Once sent downstairs the beer in mixed with fresh fermenting wort (one day old) from upstairs, which provides it's natural carbonation. After aging a week or so, it is bottled or kegged. The bottle is pasteurized for 20 seconds at 160; the kegged was not (I think). All of what I refer to is the Steam, which is 80% of the production. The other beers may be treated differently, I didn't ask. Ah, back upstairs for a taste. I had tried all of the beers before, Steam, Liberty Ale, Porter, and Barleywine. I had not tried the Wheat or the Small beer. The wheat is not fermented with German Yeast so it lacked the Banana-Clove taste. It was a crisp and slightly tart golden ale. The Small beer is made from the second runnings from the Barleywine and is only sold in quart bottles. It was ok................ They also make a Christmas Beer, I had to buy a sample case to get two of those. I have not tried them yet. I hope some kind brewer in the West will mail me a few sixes of this Christmas specialty when it comes out this fall. It sells out quickly!! After tasting and meeting many on the staff, they were all very casual and friendly, We headed off with a few souvenirs in search of Old Potrero Whisky. They make it there but cannot sell it there. This is a single malt Rye aged for a year or two in "toasted" not charred Oak Barrels. This gives it a lighter color, but it still checks in at 124 proof. I found it at a nearby liquor store for $65, but was convinced it worth it. It is!! After returning home I added some water and smelled the fresh rye and toasted aroma. The taste is bread with sublte hints of rye and slightly sweet. It is absolutely the best Whiskey (it is really not Whiskey or Scotch or Bourbon, but that is another subject.) I have ever had. Certainly worth every penny. When you consider the strength and that you dilute it, the price becomes more reasonable. So I am still a big fan of Anchor Beer, the most expensive micro in our area, but worth it. A local company selling great beer nationally. Will they expand, Kevin said no. They were close to maxing out now and that would be it.................I hope so! Cheers, David Craft Greensboro, NC Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2001 08:30:57 -0500 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: RE: cheap shot While I cannot comment on Dan's assertions about the JSP vs his PhillMill I can comment on Bob's: "And, per an "optimum" gap, you may be right, but most home brewers use the same malt time and time again and obtain consistent results without readjusting the mill rollers between every brew." I don't know what all the other brewers do, but I find that I do adjust the rollers on my mill with every brew. I don't use the same grain each time. My grain varies from undermodified Czech pilsner malt to American malts to D&C to several British malts and both malted and unmalted wheat. Dan's assertions about one gap setting being a compromise and not optimal for any one grain is correct in my opinion. In fact, I've found that the best crush is obtained by two passes through the mill, the second with a closer setting than the first. This seems to be better in terms of yield and husk breakage than just one pass at the closer setting. It seems to better simulate the crush from commercial multi-roller grain mills. So, IMHO, an adjustable mill is preferable in the long run, whichever one you buy. Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2001 10:14:05 -0400 From: "Pete Calinski" <pjcalinski at adelphia.net> Subject: Kegging in PET and Tap-A-Draft, The recent thread about kegging in PET and the Tap-A-Draft is pushing me to resurrect an old project of mine. I have resisted the move to kegging because I don't have the refrigerator space. I like to keep 5 or 6 different homebrews on hand so I can pick the style depending on my mood, thirst, etc. For a long time, I wanted to develop a more compact "keg" system so I could fit 5 or 6 in the fridge. I would still use a 5 or 10 pound CO2 tank and regulator and build a manifold and valves to pipe the CO2 to the separate "kegs". I planned on using separate "cobra" style taps for each "keg" I had zeroed in on components from what was called the "Double Drafter". Some of the components of this system included: >Quick Disconnect, Keg-A-Liter $1.80 > 38MM Tap-Cap $3.60 (A cap for the 3 Liter Soda bottle with 2 hose connections) > Squeeze Faucet $8.25 > Check Valve $1.35 > Three Liter Soda Bottle $0.50 Unfortunately, before I could get my butt in gear on the project, Double Drafter disappeared. I have considered the Tap-A-Cap but without the valve or CO2 cartridges. That leaves just the 6-liter PET bottle. Unfortunately morebeer wants $6.95 each for them. A far cry from $0.50 for a 3 liter. I have found a source for 6-liter but they only sell by the pallet load. So, can anyone help me get this project back on track? 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: Thu, 06 Sep 2001 17:53:29 From: "Drew Avis" <andrew_avis at hotmail.com> Subject: Ball lock -> pin lock? Folks: I have a line on some nice ball-lock kegs. The problem is, my system is currently pin-lock. Are the theads on the two types of kegs compatible? IE could I just take off the ball-lock fittings & replace them w/ pin-lock, or do I need to get new ball-lock fittings for CO2 in and beer out? Thanks in advance for any info you have, Drew Avis, Merrickville, Ontario Visit Strange Brew: http://www.strangebrew.ca Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2001 14:47:54 -0400 From: stencil <stencil at bcn.net> Subject: Re: Homebrewing in Japan On Thu, 6 Sep 2001 00:10:22 -0400, James D. Annan wrote in Homebrew Digest #3728 (September 06, 2001) > > >[ ... ] > >Oh, another question: is it safe/sensible to use screw-top PET bottles >for beer? I saw them for sale in a HB shop. Seems easier than crown >capping, cheaper, no heavy breakable glass bottles or expensive capping >tool... > This has worked just fine for me using recycled softdrink pints. Usually I stay with my collection of greenglass swingtops - Grolsch bottles - principally because they are prettier and it's easier to get them back entire when they're loaned out. We don't drink enough soda to create a fund of replacement caps. Some will caution against PET's permeability to oxygen; don't use it if you're brewing archival beer. For all that, I'm dubious that very many O2 molecules at 3psi partial pressure will wade upstream against ca. 25psig CO2 in the bottle... YMMV. stencil sends RKBA! Return to table of contents
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