HOMEBREW Digest #3751 Wed 03 October 2001

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  Re: Gravity of Apple Cider (gsferg)
  pH adjustment ("Ray Daniels")
  Beer economics/pricing (Rick Magnan)
  Re: undermodified malt (Joel Plutchak)
  To decoct or not to decoct... (David Harsh)
  Czechvar v. Budvar ("H. Dowda")
  Re: Cider OG (Rob Dewhirst)
  Forgetting the protein rest with Budvar undermodified malt ("The Artist Formerly Known As Kap'n Salty")
  Re: hoegarrden ("Kurt Schweter")
  Gravity of Apple Cider (LJ Vitt)
  Gravity of Apple Cider ("Andrew Moore")
  Re Mash and Kettle pH (John Palmer)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 02 Oct 2001 06:38:30 -0400 From: gsferg at clary.gwi.net Subject: Re: Gravity of Apple Cider >Does anyone know off-hand the typical gravity of unfermented apple cider. >I (of course) can take the gravity myself when I buy a gallon from the >store, but I was planning to use a gallon of it in a brew and I'm trying to >plan ahead. I would expect it could vary *considerably* depending on the type of apples used. You'll probably have to get what you want to use and measure it. FYI I'm planning on making a batch of hard cider this fall myself- it's a long-standing tradition around here where I live- many farmers have 50 gallon kegs of it in their cellars. The question everyone asks about hard cider is "How hard is it?" and the inevitable answer is "So `ard yah gotta chew it." 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, 2 Oct 2001 05:46:37 -0500 From: "Ray Daniels" <raydan at ameritech.net> Subject: pH adjustment Mike Szwaya, after performing a mash that included an acid rest and use of pH-adjusted sparge water, winds up with overly acidic wort. He then asks: > - What else could (or should) I have done for pH management? More chalk? Left it alone? Leave it alone is the right answer. Skip the acid rest. Don't acidify your sparge water. These steps are rarely necessary. > - What sort of effects on the finished beer can I expect from what happened? Most literature warns of too high a pH, but what happens when it's too low? Overly acidified worts produce beers with a very dry, almost barren effect. Remember that mass market brands, whose adjuncts dilute the natural pH buffering effects of malt generally have the lowest pHs found in finished beers, down to the upper 3.X range. As pH drops about 1.0 during fermentation, you may well be below that. I remember the beers produced at a brewpub I was familiar with. They followed an overly aggressive water acidification program for all of their beers. The resulting beers were so dry that you needed a glass of water after drinking a couple of them just to quench your thirst. I've been down this acidification road. I used to put lactic acid in my sparge water based on "the buzz" that it was needed. At least nine times out of ten, it isn't. A bit of calcium (CaSO4, gypsum or CaCl2, calcium chloride) in the mash and in the sparge water will usually do the job -- and even that isn't always needed when dark grains are employed. Designing Great Beers covers this manipulation in the water chapter. Depending on the source you consult, mash pHs should be pH 5.2 to 5.5; the high cutoff for lauter runnings is pH 6.0. If you are not running outside these parameters, leave it alone. Personally, my water runs in the range from 7.9 to 8.3 pH and except for a few batches during 1993, I haven't used any acid in my beers. If I'm worried about the carbonate content of my water for something like a pils, I simply dilute with distilled water and go from there. Hope this helps. Ray Daniels Editor-in-Chief Zymurgy & The New Brewer Don't Miss: Real Ale Festival - www.realalefestival.com - Feb 28-March 2, 2002 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 08:43:12 -0400 (EDT) From: Rick Magnan <magnan at jimmy.harvard.edu> Subject: Beer economics/pricing I've a couple of non-homebrew questions about the price of beer. The first is back when I was visiting Germany, almost 10 years ago, we were getting half-liters of great beer for less than our friend was paying for little shooters of diet cola. How was that possible? Beer costs much more than soda to produce - were they just charging was the market would bear? And what I read the price of draft in Prague is so out of whack for what we pay for good beer here in the US (and yet the hotel price is not so different). Is it all taxes? I can still recall when we would bring Molson back from Canada because it was so much cheaper (which hasn't been true for a long while now because of taxes there). And in a similar vein, why is NA beer as expensive or nearly as expensive as regular beer. I seem to recall seeing recently that 40%+ of the cost of beer (in the US) was taxes, shouldn't NA beer be priced closer to soda? Certainly it costs as much if not more to produce but that would be more than offset by the tax savings. Rick Magnan, Wellesley, MA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 08:24:04 -0500 (CDT) From: Joel Plutchak <plutchak at ncsa.uiuc.edu> Subject: Re: undermodified malt In HBD #3748 Stephen Alexander opined: >I'll probably get nuked for saying this, but decocting well modified >malts is a lot like driving an off-road 4x4 vehicle on city streets - it >looks and sound 'cool', but it's just a waste of energy and money. Dunno where you live, Steve, but in places that have a recognizable winter a 4x4 is often quite useful on city streets. Somehow, the use of that particular analogy seems more fitting than you might have intended. :-) >I believe that decoction using a Weissheimer or Durst makes just >a little difference - but it is a very small and subtle difference and >it will cost you hours to accomplish. Louis Bonham wrote a BT >article years ago comparing decocted vs RIMS brews and (experimental >problems aside) there is no great payoff to justify the extra toil. I read that article years ago and wasn't convinced by the data back then, either. Where were the statistically significant data points? What about those of us who don't (to paraphrase) waste hours of toil and lots of cash on RIMS and other gadgets? And what ever happened to brewing as a hobby, where "toil" is a large part of the reason many of us brew? >You can often get the same effect by judicious choice of malts or boil >schedule. I'd be interested to hear what judicious malts can be used to get that great, deep, decocted malt flavor I've tasted in beer from breweries like Victory and from homebrewers who don't toe the Lewis line on decoction. If I could do that with my standard infusion mash I'd jump on it. Recipes, I want recipes! Name names! Be specific! - -- Joel Plutchak <plutchak at [...]> Infused and simmering in East-central Illinois Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 02 Oct 2001 09:35:17 -0400 From: David Harsh <dharsh at fuse.net> Subject: To decoct or not to decoct... Stephen Alexander <steve-alexander at att.net> wrote: > I'll probably get nuked for saying this, but decocting well modified > malts is a lot like driving an off-road 4x4 vehicle on city streets - it > looks and sound 'cool', but it's just a waste of energy and money. You don't need to decoct in order to get good conversion from the malt, but the other flavor characteristics from decocting are very difficult to get without the decoction process. For the cited example of PU, I would agree that decoction isn't required, but if you are brewing a Salvator or Celebrator - sorry - you need to decoct. And lets be honest, if energy and money were our primary concerns, we'd be buying commercial beers instead of brewing ourselves. Dave Harsh Bloatarian Brewing League Cincinnati, OH Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 06:29:15 -0700 (PDT) From: "H. Dowda" <hdowda at yahoo.com> Subject: Czechvar v. Budvar Had Budvar on tap in Dusseldorf (great littlr place called the Pilsner Urquell that has very fresh U Fleku, PU and BV on tap and wonderful East Europen food), cans direct from Europe and CV from Asheville, NC in the last year. The tastes were very similar, but like Eric T. I noted a minor sharpness in the CV which in no way detracted from the experience, it was just different. The canned BV was much different, not nearly as pleasant, but still BV. Curiously, there is a difference between the taste in the 12 oz v the 22 (16) oz., the sharpness is emphasized somewhat. The smaller bottles seemed more carbonated that the larger (no I did not actually measure, except by IBU - international burp units). Perhaps the effect of increased carbonation in bottles v. draft could produce what I noticed. Then, maybe not Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 02 Oct 2001 11:03:37 -0500 From: Rob Dewhirst <robd at biocomplexity.nhm.ukans.edu> Subject: Re: Cider OG > > >Does anyone know off-hand the typical gravity of unfermented apple cider. 1.045-1.048 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 02 Oct 2001 11:22:13 -0500 From: "The Artist Formerly Known As Kap'n Salty" <mikey at swampgas.com> Subject: Forgetting the protein rest with Budvar undermodified malt I use St. Pats Budvar under modified pretty regularly for my pilseners and have forgotten the protein rest a couple of times. In neither case did I have a sparge problem. I also decoct fairly routinely, which sometimes causes (very minor) difficulties at the start of my run off, but have noticed no difference when omitting the protein rest with the Budvar. Personally, I think the perils of omitting the protein rest for the Budvar malt are probably overstated, at least as applies to home brewers. My lautering setup involves an easymasher-type device. I also filter my lagers, so haze is never really a problem. This is an excellent malt, by the way. I have found that is less "coarse" in flavor than the other pilsener malts I've used. ************************************** Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 02 Oct 2001 12:34:01 -0400 From: "Kurt Schweter" <KSchweter at smgfoodlb.com> Subject: Re: hoegarrden Rob, you mention a recipe for hoegarrden could you share ? Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 09:56:19 -0700 (PDT) From: LJ Vitt <lvitt4 at yahoo.com> Subject: Gravity of Apple Cider Robert Dittmar writes: - ------------------------------ Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 10:16:46 -0500 From: Robert.D.Dittmar at stls.frb.org Subject: Gravity of Apple Cider >Does anyone know off-hand the typical gravity of unfermented apple >cider. >I (of course) can take the gravity myself when I buy a gallon from the >store, but I was planning to use a gallon of it in a brew and I'm >trying to >plan ahead. >As I said, just a ballpark number would be fine. I just want to plan >for >enough starting gravity from other fermentables to hit my target O.G. >Thanks, >Rob Dittmar >St. Louis, MO I see the gravity of fresh pressed cider vary from year to year. I think it is due to weather -- how much rain, etc. In 1993 - The great flood year for the Mississippi, I have a lower gravity. I see a range of 1.035 to 1.050 from the same orchard. Because of this, I may make decisions about if I want to add surgar or not, and how much if I do. - Leo Vitt Rochester MN Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 02 Oct 2001 14:22:20 -0400 From: "Andrew Moore" <abmjunk at hotmail.com> Subject: Gravity of Apple Cider A recent batch of hard cider made from grocery store apple juice had a OG of 1.060: 5.5 gals of apple juice with 4 cups of granulated sugar added. It finished at approximately 1.000. I hope this helps. Andrew Moore Richmond, Virginia Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 02 Oct 2001 13:56:03 -0700 From: John Palmer <jjpalmer at gte.net> Subject: Re Mash and Kettle pH Mike asked about the low mash and kettle pH (4.7) he measured when decoction brewing a Munich Dunkel using soft Portland water. His grain bill was half low-modified lager malt, half Munich malt, and some carafa malt added at mashout. First, we need to note that there is a distinct possibility that the pH meter was out of calibration. But let's assume the readings are accurate and were taken at mash temperatures. If the readings were taken at room temp, that would indicate that the actual pH at mash temperature was about 4.4, which is really low. Second, let's look at the brewing water. While I don't have a specification sheet in front of me, when I did look at it a couple of years ago for my book, it was the closest thing I have seen to Pilsen water anywhere. In other words, practically distilled with very low mineral content. Therefore this water is most suitable (as-is) for brewing very pale beers, not Dunkels. For a dark beer you would need water with more alkalinity to buffer the natural acidity of the Munich and carafa malts. At the end of the decoction mash, the pH was 4.9, which is below the "ideal" mash pH of 5.1-5.3. I attribute the low pH to the use of the Munich malt, carafa, and decoction mashing regimen. Adding the carafa at mashout was a good idea to minimize the affect of the carafa on the pH during the mash. At this point Mike added lactic acid to the sparge water to bring the pH down to 6. This was not a good idea because Portland water has no buffering alkalinity, and thus the pH of the mash/runnings is not expected to rise significantly during the sparge. Adding acid is pretty good idea if you live in an area of high alkalinity, like Texas, when trying to brew pale beers. Adding a total of 1/2 teaspoon of chalk (calcium carbonate) to the 18 gallons in the kettle did not accomplish much due to the high natural acidity of the malts/wort. 1 teaspoon of chalk per gallon is approximately 158 ppm of carbonate. At 18 gallons (preboil), this equates to 8 ppm of carbonate or about 6 ppm of Alkalinity as CaCO3. Not much considering that the water for dark beer areas like Munich is about 125 ppm Alkalinity as CaCO3. As for what to expect for the taste of this batch, I believe the literature says to expect astringency, similar to when the pH is too high. Unfortunately I don't have Malting and Brewing Science handy, and I did not write that detail down in my book. Doh. Hope this helps, John John Palmer Monrovia, CA homepage http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer How To Brew - the online book http://www.howtobrew.com/sitemap.html Return to table of contents
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