HOMEBREW Digest #4131 Sat 28 December 2002

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  Re:hop back construction and placement (FRASERJ)
  Re: Hop back construction and placement ("Matthew D. Schultz")
  Re: hop back construction and placement (David Towson)
  Re: UMANI (MSG) (Jeff Renner)
  Fermenter recirculation #3 (David Towson)
  Refractometer's ("Fred Bonjour")
  Sigh... (Larry Bristol)
  Ferulic acid rest for Weizenbier (George de Piro)
  Pub Discount Program (Patrick Mahoney)
  Re: hop back construction and placement (Ed Jones) ("Gilbert Milone II")
  UMAMI? (David Towson)
  Brewing with Partial Mash / Extracts ("Jodie Davis")
  RE: MSG ("Jodie Davis")
  re: UMAMI ("Steve Alexander")
  New B3 false bottom (David Towson)
  Umami ("Dave Sapsis")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 06:40:44 -0500 From: FRASERJ at Nationwide.com Subject: Re:hop back construction and placement Ed Jones asks about building a hop back. I know exactly the container you are talking about, I bought a smaller one, about 8 inches tall and made my hop back out of it. Bought it at Easton actually!!! Anyway, the problem I had with it is the silicon/rubber/whatever seal that comes with it. Once it is wet, it is extremely slippery and almost impossible to lock down between the lid and the canister. I have used it three times and have given up. I plan on visiting the scrap yard over near Fifth Ave to see what I can pick up that I can get modified to suit, they have lots of stainless scrap there. Apart from that problem, it worked quite well. John M. Fraser Pickerington, OH http://rims-brewing.tripod.com The conical fermenter is on its way........see http://rims-brewing.tripod.com/rims_brewing_conical_fermenter.htm for details Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 7:16:35 -0600 From: "Matthew D. Schultz" <matt.schultz at tds.net> Subject: Re: Hop back construction and placement Ed, I too am building a hop back, and as far as placement, I plan on having it mounted directly on the drain of my boil kettle. I then hook up my counterflow chiller, and then I have a pump attached at the base of the counterflow. The reasons for the placement are not only logistic, but necessary for my particular setup. Most of my system is low to the ground (I just don't like the idea of having boiling wort above my head), and with the hop back and counterflow mounted, I only have 7 inches of space until I hit the ground. To feed the wort into the fermenters, I have a pump(March MDX-MT3)mounted on the ground. On the entry to the hop back, I have a ball valve with which to control the flow of the wort into the hop back chamber. And in the bottom of the kettle, I also throw in a new copper scrubby ($.45) to help filter the proteins and and other scuzzies that result from the boil. As far as materials are concerned, I'm using a stainless steel canister from Target ($9.99). I've seen these same canisters in other people's setups, so I'm assuming that it'll work fine. The nice thing about it is the flip-top lid that is clear so I'll be able to see what's going on inside. Once I get it place, I'll try to let you know how it works. You can get these suckers at target by using the folowing link: www.target.com/gp/detail.html/ref=br_1_5/601-1468896-7088103?asin=B000066B6A I hope this helps! Matt Schultz Madison, WI Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 08:34:45 -0500 From: David Towson <dtowson at comcast.net> Subject: Re: hop back construction and placement In HBD 4130, Ed Jones asks for hopback suggestions. I made one quite easily from a standard whole-house water filter canister (minus the filter cartridge). I stuffed a copper pot scrubber into the recess in the top to keep hops from leaving the canister, and fitted a half-inch O.D. hard plastic tube in the central hole so that hot wort pumped in through that port would be routed to the bottom of the canister. This required reversing the normal sense of flow through the canister. That is, "in" became "out", and vice versa. I made the tube fit snugly into the central hole by passing it through a drilled stopper that had once been used with an airlock. I adjusted the length of the tube such that it just bottomed in the canister when the top was screwed on. That kept the tube from coming loose. To prevent the tube from being blocked by pressing against the bottom of the canister, I drilled a quarter-inch hole through it from side to side about a half-inch from the bottom. To use the thing, I first insert the tube into the canister (not the top), and hold it in place centrally while I put in the hops. The end of the tube that has the drilled stopper sticks out the top of the canister such that it will seat in the central hole when I screw on the top. I can cram about two ounces of whole hops into the thing. This hopback offers a significant amount of impedance to flow, so you don't want to put it before a centrifugal pump, as that would likely starve the intake. Put it after the pump (that is, between the pump output and the chiller), and it works fine. Having said all this, I will add that I don't use it anymore, as I have found that a hop charge added to the kettle at the end of the boil seems to work just as well, and it's a lot less trouble. However, I think the hopback makes a nice filter for removal of pelletized hops, provided of course, that you use whole hops in the hopback. Dave in Bel Air, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 09:13:12 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: UMANI (MSG) Domenick Venezia "Demonick" <demonick at zgi.com> wrote from Seattle, WA (that's the state of Washington for you Ozzies, not Western Australia): >My first thought is that we need a little more explanation of what Fred is >talking about. UMANI? Is that an acronym? Is this an inadvertant post, >meant for another list? Who are Laine, Phil, Neil, and Hong? I suspect that Fred cross-posted to HBD and the Music City Brewers, as I recognize those names from my visit to them in October. Umami is a Japanese word for a newly recognized "basic taste," supposed to be equal to the others - sweet, sour, bitter and salty. It is, as Fred wrote, described as meaty, brothy, etc. It was in the news a couple of years ago. See http://www.redherring.com/insider/2001/0209/tech-mag-92-taste020901.html , http://www.certifiedsavory.com/umami/ Hope this helps. Jeff - -- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at comcast.net "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 09:23:39 -0500 From: David Towson <dtowson at comcast.net> Subject: Fermenter recirculation #3 Well, it's been three-and-a-half days since I started this experiment, and the bubble rate from the blowoff tube has dropped to less than a bubble-per-minute. So it appears that fermentation is nearing completion. However, even though the garage temperature is holding at 57 degrees, the thermoelectric cooler is still having to run occasionally to hold the fermenter temperature at 68 degrees. This suggests that the work being done on the fluid by the pump may be contributing a significant amount of heat, as it doesn't seem likely the fermentation is providing much anymore. I'll run some tests to measure this after I get the porter out of the fermenter. I don't have a specific gravity reading yet, as all the fermenter ports are tied up with the pump, and I don't want to remove the lid. I will let things continue as they are for another two days, and then stop the pump and cool down to 45 degrees to drop the yeast. Then we'll see what I've got. New subject: Thanks to Domenick for the very interesting post on Monosodium Glutamate and product labeling. One of my grandchildren has a food allergy, and I was pleased to pass that post on to my daughter. Dave in Bel Air, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 09:52:25 -0500 From: "Fred Bonjour" <bonjour at myexcel.com> Subject: Refractometer's Northern Brewer (no affiliation) has a refractometer 0-32Brix with ATC on sale for $59. I'm thinking of ordering it, but think of the adage "if it's too good to be true. . . " Any thoughts on this. http://www.northernbrewer.com/ Fred [37, 60.9] Apparent Rennerian - ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 26 Dec 2002 09:17:46 -0600 From: "Bill Frazier" <billfrazier at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Refractometer Matt Schultz has questions about refractometers. Matt - Check out www.piwine.com for refractometers. I have one similar to the $98.00 non-ATC model they currently sell. I mainly use it for grape work but have used it to monitor the specific gravity of wort as it drains from the tun to kettle. I'm not sure it's worth the extra $ to buy a ATC model. Presque Isle says there is only a 0.3% difference in Brix measurements over a +/- 10C range. Regardless, since you only need a drop of wort for each measurement it quickly comes to room temperature when it contacts the instrument. The 0-32Brix scale models measure up to 1.140 sp.gr. This should be sufficient for any beer we make. Brix 24 is usually the highest I encounter in my vineyard and my wines contain higher alcohol content that my beers. Refractometers are great little instruments. The main advantages are rapid testing and small sample size. Regards, Bill Frazier Olathe, Kansas Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 09:08:48 -0600 From: Larry Bristol <larry at doubleluck.com> Subject: Sigh... "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." --- Benjamin Franklin - -- Larry Bristol The Double Luck Bellville, TX http://www.doubleluck.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 11:11:44 -0500 From: George de Piro <george at EvansAle.com> Subject: Ferulic acid rest for Weizenbier Hi all, Bill wrote in to say that he accidentally skipped his standard low-temperature ferulic acid rest while making Weizenbier the other day. He worries that it will lack clove character. There most likely will be plenty of precursor in the wort, anyway, resulting in plenty of clove character. I have found yeast selection to be much more significant than a low-temperature rest. Wheat malt also has more clove potential than barley malt. The low-temperature rest can have an undesirable impact on head retention and body of the beer. Too much protein degradation occurs at such low temperatures. As a commercial brewer, I gave up the low temperature rest about a year after the brewpub opened. My reasons for this were to save time and improve the beer's head retention. While my analytical tools are only my tastebuds and those of our staff and customers, I have noticed no difference in the amount of clove character in the resulting brews. I'll not give in to the temptation to comment on some of the non-beer topics that people have felt the urge to post. Some of them are certainly enlightening... Have fun! George de Piro Head Brewer, C.H. Evans Brewing Company at the Albany Pump Station 19 Quackenbush Square Albany, NY, USA 12207 (518)447-9000 Brewers of Kick-Ass Brown: Twice declared the Best American Brown Ale in the USA at the Great American Beer Festival (2000 & 2002)! Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 09:20:08 -0800 (PST) From: Patrick Mahoney <pmmaho at yahoo.com> Subject: Pub Discount Program Brewers: Initially I was quite sceptical about the AHA's Pub Discount Program. Living in Virginia with its archaic alchohol laws, I doubted that this program would be beneficial to me as an AHA member. 2 weeks ago we visited Rock Bottom Brewery in Arlington, Va. Unfortunately the discount cannot apply to alchoholic beverages (Va. law), but it did apply to any food purchases. We enjoyed an excellent meal, and the beer was very good. I especially liked the Stout. The food discount was more than sufficient to make this program more than worthwhile to me. Also I tipped the waitress on the full amount of the bill, not the discounted price. Good job, AHA! Paul M. Mahoney Star City brewers Guild Roanoke, Va. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 12:39:29 -0500 From: "Gilbert Milone II" <gilbertmilone at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: hop back construction and placement (Ed Jones) Ed, You could probably get away with an inline home water filter. I've seen them used sucessfully. They sell them at home depot etc. -GIl Milone > > Date: Thu, 26 Dec 2002 06:14:11 -0800 (PST) > From: Ed Jones <cuisinartoh at yahoo.com> > Subject: hop back construction and placement > I've seen some stainless steel pasta canisters in the home section of > several stores that have plastic lids with snap down clamps. You've > seen the ones I'm talking about. Will the lids and rubber seal hold up > to near-boiling wort? I like this idea because I keep the empty hop > back in the system on the input side of the chiller. I like to sanitize > my chiller by recirculating boiling wort for 5 minutes. Prior to > chilling the wort I could drain the hopback via a small petcock on the > bottom, add hops, seal, then chill the wort through the hopback. > Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 12:52:32 -0500 From: David Towson <dtowson at comcast.net> Subject: UMAMI? Is this a reference to the female parental unit? Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 13:19:37 -0500 From: "Jodie Davis" <jodie at ga.prestige.net> Subject: Brewing with Partial Mash / Extracts Chris asked about stepping up to partial mashes. I just did the same about six months ago. Preparing to do so I found the article you reference. As it turned out I didn't need to convert recipes. Most of the recipes in BYO have a partial mash version. And Clone Brews and Beer Captured provide instructions for brewing all three ways. When you buy equipment for your partial mash setup, do be thinking ahead. One of my beers got a third in a competition, so my next brew, this weekend, will be all grain. That ribbon sure egged me on! The only thing I have to buy is a bigger wort chiller to handle the full boil, otherwise what I had works. Uh, except we are looking at one of 3B's sculptures for sometime in 2003 ;) (And since I'll be brewing on my new TV show it's tax-deductible. Happiness is!) Jodie Davis Canton, GA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 13:19:37 -0500 From: "Jodie Davis" <jodie at ga.prestige.net> Subject: RE: MSG Domenick, Thanks for the explanation about MSG. Am glad to have the info about hydrolyzed animal protein, one of those ingredients that has always sounded suspicious, and now I know for sure--red flag! Jodie Davis Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 13:38:24 -0500 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: re: UMAMI Fred Scheer writes ... >Now, my question is if food contains monosodium glutamate (MSG), >couldn't there be a misperception of the UMAMI flavor? ??? I can't really parse this thought Fred. It's like asking if sugar in food creates a misperception of the sweet flavor. I'd say no - it creates or increases the normal the normal perception. No misperception is involved. MSG does add a salty edge too as you already noted. I happen to hate the way glutamate is use in cheap canned soups - it adds a strong, very odd and long lasting aftertaste. OTOH a comparable umami flavor is present in a lot of Chinese food - but it's expected and not so unpleasant there. I think that talking about taste in terms of salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami is a bit like talking about the aesthetics of a violin in terms of the amount of wood required. There are many subtle aspects to taste beyond the above. We all know that bitterness from hops is a fine thing yet bitterness from tannins is a bad - quite different in taste. A sampling of natural and artificial sweeteners should convince one that all sweetness is not the same and the differences can't be entirely attributed to the other basic flavors. These two examples make little use of the sense of smell which is vastly more sensitive and almost inextricably tied to taste. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 16:06:56 -0500 From: David Towson <dtowson at comcast.net> Subject: New B3 false bottom When I bought my "brewing sculpture" from Beer, Beer and More Beer several years ago, it came with a stainless false bottom made from material about 0.034 inches thick. I soon discovered that it was easily bent into interesting shapes by the combined forces of grain weight and pump suction. This was due to its light gauge, and also to its being supported at only five rather concentrated points. Because the supports were only about an inch high, it also had a cutout to accommodate the drain valve and a tube extension that went down near the bottom of the vessel. And there was almost a quarter-inch gap between the outside edge and the wall of the mash tun. So between the thin, easily deformed material and the sizeable openings, I found the thing quite unsatisfactory, and I stopped using it for mashing. Instead, I reverted to my Sabco converted keg with its sturdy 0.062-inch-thick false bottom supported all around its edge by the concave bottom of the keg. Since then, I have been using the original B3 false bottom as a hop filter in the kettle, where, with the help of a piece of plastic window screen to cover the cutout, and a slit-hose gasket around the edge, it works pretty well. Now, B3 has dropped the original design, and they are selling a new false bottom made from material that is about 0.051 inches thick, stands about two inches high, and has no cutout and less edge gap. I bought one of these for more convenient use as a hop filter, and I am quite pleased with it. There are still five supports, but they are now made from stainless strip stock instead of short pieces of 3/4-inch stainless tubing, and the new supports contact larger portions of the false bottom, thereby distributing the load more evenly. The new higher supports allow the false bottom to clear the valve and dip tube, which is how B3 could eliminate the cutout. I still consider the Sabco arrangement superior, and I will stick with that for mashing. Of course, the price I pay for this is lifting a much heaver vessel to the topmost position on the "sculpture" (rack). But those who have a B3 rig, and are dissatisfied with the performance of the old false bottom, may wish to check out the new design. I think it's a significant improvement. You can see it on the B3 website www.morebeer.com . And I suppose I should mention that my only connection with B3 is that of a very satisfied customer. Dave in Bel Air, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 18:49:25 -0800 From: "Dave Sapsis" <dsapsis at earthlink.net> Subject: Umami Umami is no acronym, but rather a Japanese term for a perception first identified near the turn of the century (applied to seaweed broth). In addition to the fine descriptors that Fred gives us, I would also include a few others: "savory", "meaty", and "rich". It indeed appears to be from glutamates which are complexed glutamines -- a very common animal protein, and a pretty common vegetable one too. Interestingly, the *flavor* of umami is often associated with aged or fermented foodstuffs. Note how mushrooms (particularly those other than common button-whites) like portobellos, morels, or crimini have a meaty-brothy kind of aspect to them. How about Reggiano Parmesiano? And another fine example is fermented soy beans. Ooooh-mommy! Its tough to describe, but once you get it you typically get it. While Dominick is correct that MSG (simply the Sodium salt of glutamate) acts also as a neurotransmitter, recent work isolated a sensor in rat taste buds entirely unique to glutamate. Hence its elevation to "5th taste" status. It appears to be quite similar in acting as a flavor enhancer much like salt and sugar. To my taste a little goes a long way, and like most things of the brave new world, has been co-opted by seeking an easy solution to a tougher problem (how to make things taste good). At high levels it has been shown to cause just the kind of adverse symptoms that Dom referred to. This flavor can indeed make it into beer. Recently at a competition the fruit-special panel called me over to try a very strange entry. I cannot recall the special ingredient, but it was very uncommon -- something like acorn squash or zucchini or something -- I cannot recall specifically. After trying the sample I was struck by a very strong and familiar analog for the flavor (the flavor did not trigger any association with the actual special ingredient), and struggled to place it for a while. I knew I was tasting a strong, meaty-brothy, faintly soy like flavor, and then it hit me: Maggi. Those that don't know what this stuff is (and no self-respecting foody would call attention to using it) it is a bottled gravy enhancer/darkener that can be found in most supermarkets. It is made largely from vegetable derived glutamines (hydrolyzed wheat gluten and soy protein) along with some other crap. I find it rather vile, but it does convey the flavor. Food science has been progressing quite dramatically over the last few decades, both to good and bad ends. There are now hundreds if not thousands of "flavorists" working to isolate, develop, and market new foods. Not surprisingly, most of this is directed at the emergent "fast/prepared" market segment. Ugghhh. Happy New Year, All - --dave, sacramento Return to table of contents
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