HOMEBREW Digest #4208 Sat 29 March 2003

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  Hops in Pots? ("Steven Gray")
  Re: White labs 530 abbey ale origins (Steve McKenna)
  Water Discussion A (John Palmer)
  Water Discussion B (John Palmer)
  Fermenter Recirculation #5 - Bad Idea ("Braam Greyling")
  H20 Chemistry (David Perez)
  Sour Mash without the Stink. ("Dan Listermann")
  Diet Rootbeer ("Dan Listermann")
  Brewing terms ("A.J. deLange")
  RE: mineral additions (Brian Lundeen)
  Mineral additions ("Bill Frazier")
  Re: Sugar-Free Root Beer (Jeff Renner)
  RE: RIMS piping flush ("Joris Dallaire")
  Assistance for Australian Brewer ("Roy Strohl")
  yeast autolysis & reuse (Craig Agnor)
  Kettle for Oven Mashing (Stuart Lay)
  copper coil wort chillers ("Hanlon, Steve")
  Diet??? Root Beer (Richard Foote)
  Water treatment was: stream water ... ("-S")
  High Oxalate in Draft, low in bottle? ("Thomas Oakes")
  re: white film(return of the white floaties)/enzymes ("-S")
  Speaking of Piping Flush... (Richard Foote)
  freezing yeast experiment (Rama Roberts)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2003 21:31:47 -0800 From: "Steven Gray" <sn.gray at verizon.net> Subject: Hops in Pots? I am considering starting some hops this spring, but the available garden space is a bit low. Has anyone had any luck growing them in big pots, say 5 to 10 gallons and leaving them there? I wonder if they would survive for more than a season or two as long as I tended them as well as one could in pots. I sure it's worth a try, but I hate to kill good hops...... Seems wrong somehow..... Thanks! Steve Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2003 23:35:49 -0600 From: Steve McKenna <mckennst at earthlink.net> Subject: Re: White labs 530 abbey ale origins Phil asks: > > Does anyone know where this yeast comes from? > > Their web site says, "Used in two of the six Trappist breweries remaining in the world." > So which two would that be? I take this to be a reference to Westmalle, since Westmalle has a "brother" brewery, I believe it's Westvleteren (a.k.a. St. Sixtus), with whom they have a close relationship in both brewing and spiritual matters. I assume they use the same yeast. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2003 21:56:56 -0800 From: John Palmer <jjpalmer at altrionet.com> Subject: Water Discussion A Ed asks some fair questions about brewing water chemistry, kind of on the order of, "But what does is all MEAN??" And several people replied in kind or offered answers to some of the questions. Since I was noted in the literature list, I thought I had better take another stab at it too. However, before we talk about anyone's questions, we all need to repeat the First Rule of Brewing Water: KNOW WHAT YOUR INITIAL WATER CHEMISTRY IS. This is like going into major surgery without knowing your blood type. No, wait, it's more than that, it's like exploratory surgery without telling the doctor what it is that's bothering you. Maybe you just have a stuffy nose. You have got to know what you are working with before you try fixing it. There are 6 specific ions that you are concerned with -- 3 only impact flavor (Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate) and the other 3 mostly impact mash biochemistry and pH (Calcium, Magnesium, and Bicarbonate. If you are going to do anything with your brewing water, whether it is extract or all-grain brewing, you need to know what your starting point is. If a recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of gypsum, DON'T DO IT until you know how much you already have. I will discuss how to use this information on your own water below. To whit: > BTW, I'm in Virginia Beach, VA and blessed with soft water. The > profile is as follows: Calcium - 7 ppm, Magnesium - 4 ppm, Sodium - 18 ppm, Sulfate - 28 ppm, Bicarbonate alkalinity - 20 ppm, Chloride - 17 ppm and a pH of 7.0.< Here is the crucial information: From these numbers you know that the water is similar to Pilsen and can calculate the Residual Alkalinity (near zero) and determine that a base-malt-only mash pH would be about 5.7. This water has no buffering power to speak of. We will use this information later. Most brewing books, mine included, talk about recommended minimum levels/ranges for these ions. I have a strong feeling that these recommended ranges come from big commercial brewing with 30% adjuncts, where yeast nutritional needs may be in doubt. I think that in an all-malt beer, including wheat beers, that there is enough mineral contribution from the malt to satisfy the yeast. This explains the success of brewing beer like Pilsner with low mineral water. > I've noted with interest a number of posts regarding water treatment recently, and I'm getting more and more confused. Before I get into my questions, let me set the context. I've been brewing for almost six years, all grain for about five years. When I first attended the all-grain class at the local hb shop, the owner talked briefly about our local water, and recommended that, for 5 gallons, I add two tsp gypsum to the mash, and two "capfuls" of lactic acid (based on the container size he sold) to the sparge water. I dutifully followed his instructions and for several years brewed terrific beer, mostly American pale ale, American wheat, and German hefeweizen. I should add that I also use a water filter, a Pur model attached to the faucet.< Okay, first point: Why do we adjust brewing water? a. Extract Brewing: For flavoring purposes only. The flavoring ions are Na, Cl, and SO4, are added to the boil. Depending on what your initial water chemistry is, you may want to add more of these three ions to better mimic a brewing city/beer style. In rare cases, you might need to add calcium or magnesium to the brew to facilitate yeast metabolism, if you are brewing with near dead yeast, in a high refined sugar content wort, etc. Rarely. b. All-Grain Brewing: For Mash Performance *and* Flavoring. In this case Ed is brewing lightly colored ales, which do not have a lot of natural aciditiy in the malts. To mash/brew light colored beers, you need water with low residual alkalinity. Hardness or softness of the water (Calcium/Magnesium content) has nothing to do with it (much). The primary factor that determines what type(s) of malts/beer styles a water is best suited for is the Bicarbonate ion. The bicarbonate ion is alkaline and will raise the mash pH. Malts have natural acidity, and darker malts are more acidic. To brew light colored beer in areas of Low alkalinity, you don't need to do anything - the resultant mash pH will be within the desired range of 5.1-5.5 at mash temperature. If you brew dark beers in an area of Low alkalinity, the mash pH will be lower than ideal; if you brew light colored beers in an area of High alkalinity, your mash pH will be higher than ideal. Adjusting the mash pH with calcium, magnesium, and/or bicarbonate to allow you to brew with a certain grainbill/style is the primary reason to adjust your water. And since you are only doing it to adjust the mash pH, you only need to do salt additions to the mash and the mash water volume. Adjustment of sparge water may not be necessary. More on this later. > I guess I've gotten a little bored and want to move into more challenging areas, so I've gotten interested in the idea of matching water to various beers.< Okay, this is a common desire for brewing Dortmunder Export, Burton Ale, etc. But, let's not put the cart before the horse. These styles grew out of the local water conditions, the brewers did not create the water to match the style. Water chemistry is hard to adjust because it is very interactive. Be prepared to accept half the pie, and not the whole pie when you are trying to achieve a beer that is perfectly to style. There is a big, dirty secret when it comes to matching the water of brewing cities, a secret that AJ has talked about in the past, but one that I am not sure if most people understand. The published water reports are usually ANNUAL AVERAGES, often from MULTIPLE SOURCES, and the numbers usually don't add up to the quoted water pH. This means that the listed profile may be physically impossible to achieve, the combination of ion levels listed cannot exist together. So, you need to be satisfied with a profile that is "close enough" and your first cut at "close enough" is to look for a grainbill/residual alklinity mash pH that falls within the desired range. This is where my nomograph, and AJ's Residual Alkalinity Chart come into play. Either one will help you target salt additions to add your known water to approach a mash chemistry for your target style. Once you have your mash chemistry figured out, you can look at the flavor ions to see if there is room to add those. Often, flavor ion additions can be limited to the boiling pot where the quantity of water to treat is smaller and they are easier to dissolve. (Gypsum does not dissolve well in plain water, even in plain hot water; it needs the acidity of the wort.) John Palmer john at howtobrew.com www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer www.howtobrew.com - the free online book of homebrewing Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2003 21:58:06 -0800 From: John Palmer <jjpalmer at altrionet.com> Subject: Water Discussion B > In the literature that is readily available, I find very little information about how to add treatments, specifically at what point in the brewing process. The authors do mention certain types of water adjustments, frequently in parts per million, but little attention seems to be paid to when or how the adjustment should be made. Noonan does refer to treating "brewing water" which implies to me that all water should be treated.< For Extract brewing, add it to the boil. For All-Grain brewing, add it to the mash if for chemistry, and/or to the boil for flavor. It is difficult to add chalk and gypsum to the sparge water because of limited solubility. So, a lot of people add acid to the sparge water. The question that has always nagged me though is, How much do you add? That quantity is going to depend on your water chemistry AND your grainbill. The only way to do it that I know of is by trial and error with a pH meter or test strips. What a pain in the ass. If you cut off your runnings in the teens when continuous sparging, or bump up your grainbill and batch sparge, then I don't think you need to worry about treating your sparge water. > I think that most treatment is done to make the mash more efficient, > but I'm not sure if that's the only thing. I'm also not sure if pH is important beyond facilitating enzyme activity and preventing leaching of tannins.< Mash pH adjustment is done to facilitate the enzyme reactions and to avoid tannin extraction at pH 6 and above. That's all. > So here are the questions. The most commonly used (in my limited experience) water treatments seem to be gypsum, lactic acid, salt, Epsom salt, and calcium chloride. At what point in the brewing process should these be added? < See discussion above. > When an amount is given for 5 gallons, should it be adjusted upward if added early in the process when the total brewing water used will be much higher (i.e., does the stuff evaporate)? < No, the flavor ions do not evaporate. Acids will evaporate, but their work is already done. > What do I really need to know about pH? I know that detailed knowledge is not crucial, because I've made fine beer without ever testing pH. But ignorance is no longer bliss.< Residual Alkalinity helps you predict the mash pH which is the most important. The water pH indicates the buffering power of the water, and the propensity of the mash pH to rise during the sparge, and the resultant propensity for tannin and silicate extraction. Water pH is useful information in that it tells you about the buffering power of the water. Water above 8 pH has a fair amount of buffering power. If it's above 8.5 then it has a lot of buffering power, and if you are brewing a light colored beer, you may have to be concerned with rising pH during the sparge. That's the reason that people add acid. But you can get around that problem by monitoring your runnings and stopping the sparge when the gravity falls off to 1.016 or less (from data in Malting and Brewing Science). Since Ed's water has a residual alkalinity of zero and a pH of 7 (no buffering power), he can brew light colored beers without fear, his mash pH will not rise appreciably during the sparge. > I know that books are written on this subject, and I'd love to find one that addresses these questions in simple how-to form for the home brewer. I've read Palmer, Papazian, Daniels, Noonan, Miller, Mosher, and perhaps the answers are there and I missed them. If anyone has another good reference, please let me know. I have ProMash, and I can't find answers there either.< The brewing software programs like Promash will let you calculate how much gygsum, etc, to add to achieve a certain mineral profile, based on your water. They will help you calculate the amounts based on how much water you plan to treat. Well, I hope this helped. It's a different explanation than is found in my book but I like it. I think I will incorporate these ideas in the next edition. John Palmer Monrovia, CA www.howtobrew.com John Palmer john at howtobrew.com www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer www.howtobrew.com - the free online book of homebrewing Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 09:13:03 +0200 From: "Braam Greyling" <braam.greyling at azoteq.com> Subject: Fermenter Recirculation #5 - Bad Idea David, Why don't you buy a cheap magnetically coupled aquarium pump ? Although it can't stand heat, the plastic wont react with the beer. Regards Braam Greyling Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 05:29:03 -0500 From: David Perez <perez at gator.net> Subject: H20 Chemistry OK here's my thing with water chemistry (other than my complete ignorance of it, despite educated efforts to remediate me). How do you adjust the mineral contents to match a particulate water profile without mucking it all up? For instance, our water in Gainesville FL has: 136 Total hardness (CaCO3) 41 Total Alkalinity 8.75 pH 26 Ca 15.2 Mg 9.5 Na 82 SO4 26 Cl 457.6 HCO3 When I use Promash to calculate the required mineral adjustments to match the "Ideal Stout" water profile, I can't figure out which compound to add. If I add CaSO4 to get the Calcium up it raises the SO4 too high. I played around with each of the compounds and found similar undesirable results. If you chose to respond, please remember that I and the other members of our bjcp study group are total water morons and need it dumbed down. To be honest I don't even really know what I have asked here! Dave Perez Hogtown Brewers Gainesville, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 08:29:01 -0500 From: "Dan Listermann" <dan at listermann.com> Subject: Sour Mash without the Stink. : "Raj B. Apte" <raj_apte at yahoo.com> points out that lactobacillus is anaerobic and requires no O2. Further the aerobic bacteria cause stink so it is to the brewer's advantage to keep O2 at bay. He suggests using an air lock, but I learned a even better way from a friend who makes sour kraut. He sets up the kraut and puts a plastic bag in the vessel that he fills with water to a couple of inches deep. This bag forms a perfect seal over the kraut. I have done this with a sour mash using hot water. The mash had no stink at all. Dan Listermann Check out our E-tail site at www.listermann.com Free shipping for orders greater than $35 and East of the Mighty Miss. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 08:32:48 -0500 From: "Dan Listermann" <dan at listermann.com> Subject: Diet Rootbeer Donald Hellen <donhellen at horizonview.net> >My wife would like me to make a "diet" root beer, without >any sugar. I can make a really good tasting regular root >beer, but if I switch to using an artificial sweetener like >Splenda or Equal, I have some concerns that there may be a >fermentable component in the sugar substitute, even though >the human body may not process it as a sugar. I would highly recommend against trying to do this. The artificial sweetener may not ferment, but it can act as a yeast nutrient to allow the yeast to reproduce and cause explosions. I had a customer who tried this. It caused bottles to blow up. Reconsider selling your kegging setup. It would work perfectly in kegs with artificial carbonation. Dan Listermann Check out our E-tail site at www.listermann.com Free shipping for orders greater than $35 and East of the Mighty Miss. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 14:34:41 +0000 From: "A.J. deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Brewing terms The reason some of the brewing terms are not found in the OED is that they are German words. Trub is an example of this coming from the German Tru:ben meaning to make closudy or turbid (and also bleak, melancholy "Kraut and Ru:ben habe mich betru:ben..."). Krausen means to be ruffled or curled up or frilled. these words have not, perhaps, made it into English officially yet although they are certainly to be found rolling off the tongues of brewers in this country along with other solid German words like Spund, Zwickel, Vorlauf... I believe our wort (especially the way we pronounce it) came with the German immigrant brewers from the German wu:rze rather than through old English. Many English words (about 40%) are of German origin, as is their Queen (with another 15% being of Greek origin as is her consort) and the rest - well, let's not go there. A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 09:38:18 -0600 From: Brian Lundeen <BLundeen at rrc.mb.ca> Subject: RE: mineral additions > Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2003 07:41:08 -0500 > From: Fred L Johnson <FLJohnson at portbridge.com> > Subject: Mineral additions > If one knows the desired ion concentrations of the brewing > water for the region/syle being duplicated, one can simply > add the appropriate amount of salts to the kettle at the > beginning of the boil It is so good to know I am not alone in this practice. If we're doing it wrong Fred, at least we're in this together. ;-) My technique varies slightly, but I approach it with the same philosophy. It's the final concentrations in the finished volume that matter. I do add some salts (and potassium metabisulfite, of course ;-))to the mash water to aid in pH adjustment. What I add, and how much will of course depend on the style. The lighter beers will typically get calcium chloride, the very dark beers get a shot of calcium carbonate. The kettle gets some Epsom salts, some gypsum if sulfates are appropriate to the style, and calcium chloride if it wasn't put into the mash. I've found this seems to suit my water, which is a mix of filtered tap and RO water, YMMV. I use Ken Schwartz's excellent BreWater program for my calculations. I find it works the way I think, if that makes sense. I put in my final volume, the amount of RO dilution being used, and then start playing with salts to hit the numbers I want. Since I don't sparge, I don't need to take sparge water chemistry into account, just what I need for the mash, and the final makeup after dilution in the kettle. The Wizard is way cool as a starting point, but since I can't measure salts to a thousandths of a gram, some rounding is usually called for. ;-) I dunno, maybe this is all wrong, but it's the way I've been doing it for years. Cheers Brian Lundeen Brewing at [819 miles, 313.8 deg] aka Winnipeg Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2003 22:44:08 -0600 From: "Bill Frazier" <billfrazier at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Mineral additions "There have been a number of recent posts regarding brewing water mineral additions. One among us stated that it is best for all of the brewing water should be adjusted at the beginning." I'm one of the "adjust at the beginning" brewers. My Kansas City area water contains enough minerals to please anyone plus a pH around 9.0 most of the year. So, I dilute local water with RO water to get most of the minerals near my target. Then I add some Gypsum or Ca. Chloride depending on the type beer being brewed. This means a LW/RO ratio of 1/9 for pilsners to get the sulfate down to 15ppm. For ales I dilute 50/50 to get Mg and Na low, then add gypsum to get sulfate up to 150ppm. I brew 6 gallon batches and need about 9 gallons of brewing water for a batch. I make up 10 gallons of brewing water a day or so ahead so there's one less thing to do on brew day. That said, some local fellows just brew with city water. I guess that's OK but for lagers and light ales, like a Kolsch, I think you really need to get the sulfate out. Bill Frazier Olathe, Kansas Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 10:45:51 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: Sugar-Free Root Beer Donald Hellen <donhellen at horizonview.net> writes: >My wife would like me to make a "diet" root beer, without >any sugar. I can make a really good tasting regular root >beer, but if I switch to using an artificial sweetener like >Splenda or Equal, I have some concerns that there may be a >fermentable component in the sugar substitute, even though >the human body may not process it as a sugar. > >I also wouldn't know how much sugar that would be added for >carbonation. In the regular root beer recipe, some of the >sugar is used up in carbonating the root beer. The rest >sweetens it. Actually, making bottle conditioned artificially sweetened soda is easier than sugar-sweetened soda - not excess sugar to cause bottle grenades. You simply calculate use enough sugar to carbonate naturally the same as beer, then subtract this amount from the soda recipe and replace this remaining amount of sugar with the equivalent amount of artificial sweetener. When the sugar ferments out, you should have properly carbonated, properly sweet, stable soda. Of course, kegging and artificial carbonation eliminates any fermentation/carbonation problems, and some potassium sorbate helps keep things from growing in kegged soda. I have found that the typical recipe that comes with root-beer extract makes it too sweet, so you might want to consider cutting down. Also, some maltodextrine adds a creaminess that I find pleasant - rather like Hires "draft" root beer. I'm not a chemist, but I'm quite sure that these artificial sweeteners are not fermentable. However, Splenda at least does contain dextrose and maltodextrine as fillers. The dextrose, of course, is fermentable, but there is so little that I don't think it would be a problem. 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, 28 Mar 2003 11:07:36 -0500 From: "Joris Dallaire" <Joris.Dallaire at meq.gouv.qc.ca> Subject: RE: RIMS piping flush Nate wants to knows the various methods used by RIMSers for removing the paste flux from RIMS piping. I run a solution of 1:100 bleach in water and boil with the RIMS. Once it is boiling , let run the solution for about 5 minutes then purge. The paste sticks from the water line to the bottom of the boiler; i wipe it off with a cloth, then rinse the tank with water only and boil again to rinse the piping. Purge again, and rince/recirculate with cold water two more times. Thats about it. If you wanna know for sure if there ain't no paste left, fill the boiling tank, recirculate a bit, and look at the surface of the water: the paste is floating and easily visible as a greasy residue. HTH, Joris Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 12:55:37 -0500 From: "Roy Strohl" <lstrohl at mwc.edu> Subject: Assistance for Australian Brewer This is a request for contact with Australian brewers. I have an Australian friend located in Rockhampton who is in need of brewing advice. I have tried to offer assistance for his brewing efforts from the US, but I think he needs folks who are closer by who would be willing to help him get started. If you would be interested in contacting him, please contact me offline so I can forward your email address to him. Thanks in advance. Roy Strohl Fredericksburg, VA, USA Apparent Rennerian 696.3 127.4 Km Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 09:56:25 -0800 (PST) From: Craig Agnor <cagnor at emerald.ucsc.edu> Subject: yeast autolysis & reuse Hi there, The recent thread on yeast autolysis and the month old slurry of Wyeast #1338 in my fridge has me asking the following question: Can a slurry that has undergone autolysis in a noticable way be recycled for beer making purposes? If so, what procedures are necessary? Can you just pitch a little of the slurry into a starter and be off an running again? Does autolysis pollute the slurry to the point that it is impractical/impossible to salvage? TIA Cheers, Craig Agnor Santa Cruz, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 10:01:56 -0800 (PST) From: Stuart Lay <zzlay at yahoo.com> Subject: Kettle for Oven Mashing I'm looking for the largest kettle that will fit my oven. I set the oven to 170 and stick the mash inside during rests to maintain consistent temps. Right now I've got a 7.5 gallon stainless pot, but it's too small if I want to make big beers (anything over .050). Turns out most residential ovens (not the professional style stoves) have about 12 - 12.5 inches of height available. I know B3 has a 9 gallon pot that would fit so long as the lid isn't on, but it doesn't have handles. Does anyone know of a larger one? Aluminum is OK. Thanks, stuart zzlay at yahoo.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 13:10:05 -0500 From: "Hanlon, Steve" <SHanlon at dnr.state.md.us> Subject: copper coil wort chillers Greetings- I'm new to homebrewing and have yet to brew my first batch. Hopefully I can get that started within a week or so. Budgeting time with a toddler is a science :) Here's my first of most likely many questions. How much water is wasted using the copper coil wort chillers. >From what I understand, cold water from a faucet is run thru the coils while it is immersed in the wort. A heat tranfer takes place and the "hot" water is run into a drain. I realize the amount of water needed to transfer the heat of the wort depends on the temp of the wort, but I am curious how much water will be going down the drain. Are we talking a few gallons or 10? -steve hanlon Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 14:08:32 -0500 From: Richard Foote <rfoote at mindspring.com> Subject: Diet??? Root Beer Donald Hellen writes: >I also wouldn't know how much sugar that would be added for >carbonation. In the regular root beer recipe, some of the >sugar is used up in carbonating the root beer. The rest >sweetens it. >Are there any chemists out there that know whether or not >these sweeteners have a fermentable component? I recommend avoiding the issue by force carbonating your root beer. You avoid the possibility of bottle rockets too! Two to three days at 40 degrees F. and 30 psi works for me. Of course this is only an option is you have draft equipment. Also, the preceding is based on sugar sweetened root beer (7.5 cups/4 gal.). Would non-sugar sweetened root beer force carbonate slower or faster? hmmmm... Rick Foote Whsitlepig Brewing Murrayville, GA P.S. Watch for the Tour de Georgia to go smack-de-dab through Murrayville April 26! Go Posties! (minus Lance--sorry) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 14:12:04 -0500 From: "-S" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: Water treatment was: stream water ... AJ writes ... >[...] but there was plenty of E. coli as well. Little forrest >creatures were pooping in my spring house - that was for sure! W.C. Fields had an aversion to water for similar reasons, but he wasn't attempting to brew beer. I now live on a well system and although I don't have to deal with coliforms and e.coli I do have bugs in my water (acceptable in number and type according to the county bureaucrat). An inadvertent rinsing incident led to a lost batch of marzen which didn't make me happy. It's really nice to have a trustworthy supply of tap water and so I intend to get back to that status. The county suggests dosing wells with chlorine bleach but as a brewer that's a less than appealing option. I'm interested in advice or experience in residential water treatment. Does anyone here have experience/knowledge on whole house UV or Ozone water treatment ? It looks like a good UV system (Sterilite) rated at 12gpm(~45L/minute) is available for ~$450 with an annual bulb replacement for about $100/yr. I haven't found pricing or availability on ozonation systems but these are apparently available too. Any thoughts ? -S(teve Alexander) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 14:17:16 -0500 From: "Thomas Oakes" <tom at element117.com> Subject: High Oxalate in Draft, low in bottle? A family member is a nurse and recently brought home a flyer that outlines a low oxalate meal plan. Certain medical conditions are aided if you take in less oxalate. One of the low, and thus acceptable items, is bottled beer. The flyer suggests "distilled alcohol, bottled beer, and red or white wine is allowed on occasion" On the other extreme, in the high oxalate level column is draft beer. The flyer suggests this should be avoided. Now, I've bottled and I've kegged... I've bottled and kegged the same batch sometimes so how does the serving vessel make a difference? I know commercial bottled beer is treated differently than kegged (pasteurization) but why does one have such a lower amount of oxalate in it? Web research on the subject found that everyone agrees that bottled is good and draft is bad. The presence of oxalate was part of the 'proof' that Sumerians drank beer. I also found a number of old posts on HBD about how to remove oxalate but no mention of the difference between the amount of oxalate ions in draft vs. bottled beer. ==Tom== Thomas Oakes Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 14:50:36 -0500 From: "-S" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: re: white film(return of the white floaties)/enzymes Buck Wilke writes about a white film developing on his beer. It didn't cause any major off-flavors so he hit the beer with campden's tablets. You likely have mold growing on the beer's surface, in my experience it's likely from airborne spores. You're likely to find that such mold growth required a little O2 , so you're loose fitting lid is suspect. SO2 from campden tablets might stop the growth, but you'd better redouble your sanitation efforts next time. If you brew in a damp place like a basement get a dehumidifier so you can drop the RH low enough to prevent mold growth. Don't stir up any excess dust when handling cooled wort. In an unfinished space consider mopping down the area w/ a bleach solution. ==== 'greg man' asks about overnight mashing and got some practical advice from Steven Pfitt now on to the impractical ... >First do coolers lose heat in a linier scale? No. Generally there's a (1- e^-xT) type rate term at time T, but the conductivity and convention and ambient and heat capacity vs temp aren't constant so that's not really accurate anyway. >Will resting the mash over night at say 158F destroy all of the beta enzymes? Resting at 70C/158F for an 1 hour will destroy so much of the BA that it won't make much difference what you do afterwards. More than half the Alpha-amylase will be lost in an hour too. You won't need to worry about any enzymes in the mash on day two. >What about if the mash stays too long at 130F? Will I have a headless beer? >Or will it become very thin in body an mouth feel? No. The proteolytic enzymes are almost entirely denatured by the 158F rest. - -- Your questions are all based on a lousy understanding of what is happening with enzymes in the mash, especially there is a misunderstanding of temperature optima. Crash course. 1/ ALL enzymes act at a higher rate as temperature increases, usually without limit up to the boiling point. [usually 2X to 3X faster per 10C increase] 2/ ALL enzymes denature at a rate which increases rapidly with temperature. Denaturing involves damage to the enzyme which prevents it from acting as a catalyst, and USUALLY denaturing is irreversible. [often 4X-6X increase in denaturing rate per 10C increase] 3/ A "temperature optima" for an enzyme means that for a SPECIFIC rest time period that the optimal temperature will produce the maximal amount of enzyme product. >From rules 1/ and 2/ above we know that at lower temps we have lower activity and lower denaturing rates. At higher temps we have increased activity and increased denaturing rates. A temperature optima for a given enzyme and a fixed rest time means that if the temp is any lower, then the lower activity(1/) dominates the lesser denaturing rate(2/). Above the optimal temp the increased denaturing rate(2/) dominates the increased activity. In a sense the 'optima' occurs when the product change due to the denaturing rate balances the change due to activity rate IN THE SPECIFIC REST TIME PERIOD. Now forget all the BS you read about 122F being the protease optima, and 149F being the beta-amylase optima and 158F being an alpha-amylase optima. Those so-called optima ONLY have meaning when you also specify the rest time period and in these cases the rest times are assumed to be 20 to 40 minutes type figures, not overnight. Let's consider as an example that in a 30 minute mash that beta-amylase(BA) produces a maximal amount of product if held at 65C/149F (which is about right). What happens to the optimal temp if we only have 10 minutes to rest ? Obviously since we only have a short time we can afford to denature enzymes at a higher rate (enough will survive for 10 minutes) and we can thus use a higher temp and higher activity rate. For a 10 minute mash the optimal BA temperature is well above 65C, might be something like 72C/161F ! If we have a much longer time period - say 8 hours for an overnight mash - then the optimal temperature will be much lower. We will optimize the product by reducing the denaturing rate and accepting the lower activity rate. You'll likely find that the temperature optima for an 8 hour mash period will be at least 15C/30F LOWER than the optima that are typically cited for brewing enzymes. The total amount of enzyme product generated at a low-temp&long-time optima is greater than at a higher-temp&shorter-time optima. 2'/ Corollary: Because the 'optima' is a balance between activity and denaturation rates, then reaching any time-temp optima pair for a given enzyme implies the denaturing of much of that enzyme. Higher temps and longer periods beyond the optima will denature even more. For example spending 30 minutes at 65C will denature much of the BA, so will spending 10 minutes at 72C. It's not possible to spend 60 minutes at 70C/158 and still have any significant fraction of the BA or any other enzyme with a lower time-temp optima (proteases, peptidases, phytases) left intact. One cannot reverse the order of the mash steps since the lower temp enzymes will get toasted by the higher temp. The argument above is admittedly handwavey, but is completely supportable. - ---- Some related thoughts: Until the mash reaches gelatinization temps (~65C) you're enzymes will only have a fraction (20-30%) of the goods to work on. Even tho the saccharification optima for an 8 hour mash might be 50C-55C for BA & AA, this won't work since much of the starch is unavailable. The amount of Alpha-amylase in a typical all-malt mash is far more than is needed so only very incompetent mashing leaves starch. Beta-amylase(BA) OTOH is in short supply and every mash schedule should be designed around the idea of getting just the desired amount of BA activity (or fermentability) needed for the beer style. As far as I can see the only practical overnight infusion option is to hit the 65C gel temp or higher on day one and then expect that no significant enzymes will survive overnight. One could use decoction - say mash in at a low temp, decoct all the grist which gelatinizes the starch, then return the grist for a rest temp around 50-55C for a very long overnight saccharification rest. Of course overnight mashing was meant to save time and decoction does the opposite. The overnight mash is a great opportunity to oxidize the wort and to extract tannins from the grist too. I'm not saying I wouldn't do it if there was no alternative, but I can't think of any quality related reason to recommend the procedure. I'd suggest that if you are going to overnight mash that you add enough campden's tablets or bisulfate at mash-in to hit about 20ppm of SO2 in the mash. The SO2 is recommended by some of the German authors, it prevents a good deal of oxidation and wort darkening and inhibits lipo-oxygenase enzymes. I and several other HBers use the method and like it. It appears to improve beer storage life as well. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 16:04:52 -0500 From: Richard Foote <rfoote at mindspring.com> Subject: Speaking of Piping Flush... Brewerz, Nate Hall's recent post brings up a topic I have been thinking about for some time. Nate had asked about flushing RIMS piping. Speaking of flushing... Something that has vexed me for some time is the possible leaching of elevated levels of copper into the constantly re-circulating wort. I know with my naturally acidic well water of 5.8 pH, I get green water in a matter of a day or two when my chemical feed pump goes out or runs out of soda ash soln. It would seem that constantly re-circulating wort of 5.2-5.4 pH and at 100+ degree F. temperatures would lead to elevated copper in the finished wort/beer. This would seem to be true for HERMS and well as RIMS with copper piping. I know many of us have copper chillers, but the contact time is reduced and you don't have the added factor of constantly moving liquid (for prolonged periods) at elevated temps. Now, if you add all the copper piping and re-circulated flow, are there cumulative effects worth concern? Is this reasoning flawed? Are elevated copper levels possible? If so, is it a concern for yeast/humans? Any info. appreciated. TIA, Rick Foote Whistlepig Brewing Murrayville, GA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 13:24:02 -0800 (PST) From: Rama Roberts <rama at retro.eng.sun.com> Subject: freezing yeast experiment Steve Alexander wrote a ton on yeast (thanks Steve), including: " Slurry storage at 0-2C(32-35F) w/ pH around 4.5 is about ideal. " It reminded me, I finally tried freezing half a white labs tube (WY001) to test it as an option to store yeast long term. It was first opened 11/02, so it spent 4 months in the freezer. I thawed it in 60-70F water, then pitched it into 300ml of wort. 2 days passed (at 68F) and there was no noticable activity. It's possible there was some activity while I was away or sleeping, I didn't do a gravity check- but before dumping it a little more than 48 hours later, it was clearly still sweet. So either (most of) the yeast died during freezing, or the yeast were so crippled it took more than 48 hours to get going or ferment down completely. Either way, its not a viable long term yeast stategy. - --rama Return to table of contents
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