HOMEBREW Digest #4567 Wed 28 July 2004

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  Debugging news... (Pat Babcock)
  Jim Birmingham: what else was taken besides your walk-in beer cooler (Bill Velek)
  Re: Adding gelatin to the keg (Jeff Renner)
  Re: lagering (Jeff Renner)
  Gelatin ("Jim Bermingham")
  RE: I've been robbed (Steve Jones)
  Missing Walk in cooler ("Jim Bermingham")
  IR Thermometer usage ("Steve Laycock")
  Subject: Re: lagering (Derric)
  Protein Rest with Rye in Beer (Elmer Steingass)
  Re: Berliner Weisse, finished! ("Petr Otahal")
  Re: Adding gelatin (David Radwin)
  acid additions to reduce alkalinity (tmeier)
  SEC: UNCLASS Yeast Harvesting (Longish) ("Williams, Rowan")
  Thump, thump, thumpity, thump (Pat Babcock)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2004 22:47:50 -0400 From: Pat Babcock <pbabcock at brew.hbd.org> Subject: Debugging news... Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager... Heh, heh, heh. It's hard to mail the Digest to everyone when you only have two addresses in the distro file. at #$&ing file permissions... On the bright side, it means that no-one got the spam that slipped in despite three Janitors watching the queue. On the not-so-bright side, well... The Chief Nut in the House Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2004 23:20:17 -0500 From: Bill Velek <billvelek at alltel.net> Subject: Jim Birmingham: what else was taken besides your walk-in beer cooler Jim wrote to complain that when he arrived home, he discovered that his newly built walk-in beer cooler had been taken. Jim, you posted that just a few hours ago, and so now that you've hopefully calmed down enough to have a brew, let me suggest that you also check to see if they took your wife, too. I know that we must have our priorities, but my wife gets really pissed when I forget about her due to my beer/brewing. ;-) Cheers. Bill Velek Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 09:52:58 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: Adding gelatin to the keg (Didn't get HBD in the mail, Pat) Doug Moyer <shyzaboy at yahoo.com> asked: >Do any of you add gelatin while kegging? I do when I've got a cloudy or hazy beer, like when I have a poor settling yeast. It isn't necessary with lagers if you've done things right. And many ale yeasts clear on their own. I use grocery store brand gelatin - one packet per 8-10 gallons. I add it to a cup or so of cold water in an oversized pyrex measuring cup, stir it to suspend it, then nuke it to close to boiling to hydrate it. Then I start racking, add some beer to the gelatin, then gently add the beer to the receiving carboy or keg, and finish racking. I figure the swirling from the incoming beer distributes it. Don't add it to an empty carboy or keg as that will chill it and it will set like Jello and stay stuck on the bottom. When I do it in a carboy, it's fun to watch it settle out from top to bottom over a matter of hours. And it really works, pulling the yeast down. BTW, I've never had any trouble with bottle conditioning after fining this way, so it seems to leave enough yeast for this. >If so, what concerns or additional steps do I need to be aware of? Don't use flavored gelatin. ;-) Don't do this too soon; wait until fermentation has well and truly stopped and any excess diacetyl has been cleaned up. Some ale yeasts take a week or more after then end of active fermentation to do this. Way back in the early days of HBD, I suggested that you hould not boil it because this would denature the proteins. It was gently pointed out to me that gelatin *IS* denatured proteins - it's made by boiling things like hooves, bones, etc. Duh! Boiling does produce lumps that stay as lumps in the beer, though. I suspect that this is due to localized dehydration. One theoretical concern is mad cow disease as prions can survive the long boiling process. I haven't heard that it is an actual danger. And for vegetarian friends, I think there is vegetable gelatin. 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: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 10:29:55 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: lagering "Shawn E Lupold, Ph.D" <lupolds at jhmi.edu> writes from Lagerland, where he says he is lost: >I think I'm finally ready to brew my first lager (after more than a >decade of brewing)! Congratulations. Lagers are a whole 'nother world of beer. I love brewing and drinking them. I'm brewing an Oktoberfest Monday for Oktober. > I have a boatload of hopefully simple questions for >you lager heads: > >1) I bottle my beer. How does self carbonation work after the long >lagering process? It works fine, although some people lager after bottle conditioning. I prefer to lager first. Less sediment in the bottle. >Do I need to add extra yeast for bottling? No. I've had no problem, even with a three month lagered doppelbock. >If so, an ale or lager yeast? If you felt you ought to, it would definitely be a lager yeast as they are reputedly more stable. That's what's added to some commercial German hefeweizen beers. >After carbonation, do the bottles need to be stored >at a refrigerated temperature to avoid off flavors? They don't have to, but they will keep better. Lagers are best fresh. Think of them like milk. Keep them at lagering temperature - 32F/0C if you can. and let them warm up to 48F/9C or so before drinking them. >2) I don't have a PID temperature controller. Can I still make good >lagers with a fridge? I can control the temperature relatively well >from ~46 F to 55 F, but I won't be able to do a one degree step down as >I've heard some people ferment lagers. Should be no problem. Before I had a controller, I used a timer with 48 pins that turn it on and off with half hour increments. I found that by setting the fridge to its coldest setting I could get just about any temperature by having the timer turn the fridge on a half hour every few hours. Takes a bit of fiddling to get it right. I wouldn't worry too much about the slow drop in temperature. There is enough mass in a batch of beer that it slows the drop. If you use a yeast that requires a diacetyl rest of 60-65F/15-17C, then you could just turn off the fridge or take the beer out for a day, then turn it back on and or return it, then drop the temperature. Remove the timer and set the fridge to a warmer setting, then turn it down over a couple of days. My fridge will actually freeze a carboy or keg of beer at its coldest setting. You might find yours can do that too. >3) Is it best to pitch at room temp and ramp down to 50 F or can I grow >my yeast starter at 50 F and then pitch when my wort has chilled to 50F? You should grow your yeast at a warmer temperature just to get it done quickly. Some people argue that yeast should be grown at the same conditions as it will be used, but that isn't true. It doesn't have a memory. Yeast labs grow it in incubators. I use a stir plate and the warmth of the motor gets the temperature up to about 90F/32C. Gets things done faster, along with continuous aeration with filtered air and a low SG starter (1.025 or so). I understand that Chris White of WhiteLabs suggests starting your actual beer fermentation at ~70F/19C and then dropping it when fermentation starts. This will get things going faster but I don't like to do it for two reasons. First, because it's not traditional, and I figure that without a convincing counter argument, there is reason to follow tradition. Hundreds of years of practice based on empirical evidence counts for something. Second, because it has been argued here that the early fermentation is when fruity esters can be produced at warmer temperatures. I use an immersion chiller and since I have a well that runs 48F/9C in the winter and 52F/11C in the summer, I get the wort down to within a degree or two of the water before pitching and stick it in the fridge to finish chilling if it isn't there already. I ferment at the traditional 48F/9C and use yeasts that don't need a diacetyl rest. My favorite is Ayinger yeast, sold by WhiteLabs as WLP822 German Bock lager yeast. >4) I've also heard of a higher primary fermentation followed by a much >cooler lagering temp. What works best? Commercial American lager breweries ferment at 55-57F/13-14C. This finishes the fermentation more quickly. But, again, it isn't traditional. But German born, Doemens trained master brewer Fred Scheer (now at Bosco's in Nashville) told me when he was at Frankenmuth here in Michigan that he fermented at 55F, and he turned out great lagers. Our local brewpub ferments and lagers at 55F because they lack the ability to chill to 32F/0C, and I think the lack of cold lagering shows. 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: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 12:22:03 -0500 (Central Daylight Time) From: "Jim Bermingham" <bermingham at antennaproducts.com> Subject: Gelatin Doug Moyer ask if any of us use gelatin while kegging. I don't use it in the kegs but have on occasion used it in the fermenter to clear a cloudy beer. To 1 packet of unflavored gelatin, add one beer to dissolve and add to the fermenter. Starts clearing the beer right away. Rack into the kegs and leave the sediment behind. Jim Bermingham Millsap, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 13:36:01 -0400 From: Steve Jones <stjones1 at chartertn.net> Subject: RE: I've been robbed Arrrggghhh! Now you've done it Dave. Jim thinks I stole his walkin, and now he and some of his back-room good-ole boys are heading up to Johnson City to reclaim it! I guess I'm going to have to go into hiding till the heat blows over! Damn, I thought I had pulled that one off without a hitch! And rather than receiving the digest late last night, I just received it at about 1:20pm today! Steve Jones, NOT from Johnson City, TN NOT at [421.8 mi, 168.5 deg] AR Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 12:39:48 -0500 (Central Daylight Time) From: "Jim Bermingham" <bermingham at antennaproducts.com> Subject: Missing Walk in cooler I noticed in the queue that Bill Velek was wanting to know what else was missing besides my walk-in cooler. Bill nothing was missing. I wished I had a walk-in cooler for my beer but don't. Dave Burley, mistook a post by Steve Jones about his new cooler as coming from me and answered the post Sunday stating that I had a walk-in cooler. Then Monday Steve corrected Dave's assumption. So, Dave gave me a cooler and Steve stole it back. Easy come easy go. It was just another one of my tong in the cheek post. Pat I received two post today. The first one I received at Noon and the second at 12:30PM. Jim Bermingham Millsap, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 13:54:35 -0700 From: "Steve Laycock" <slaycock at discoverynet.com> Subject: IR Thermometer usage Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2004 22:14:53 -0400 From: "National Midnight Star Brewery" <nmstarbrewery at charter.net> Subject: IR Thermometers (No-Contact) I have been researching IR thermometers for measuring the Mash Temperature and the post wort chiller temperature (and as a neat toy!). The concept is that you point it what you want to measure and it gives you the digital result without contaminating anything. A fairly cheap model can be seen at http://www.extech.com/instrument/products/alpha/IR201.html. Anyone have any experience using these IR thermometers to measure the mash temp (of course you will need to mix well prior and it is only a surface measurement) or liquid temps? Any experience to share will help and if you know a better model/price, even better. Thanks in Advance! William Menzl Midland, Michigan [99.8, 344.8] Apparent Rennerian National Midnight Star Brewery nmstarbrewery at charter.net I have been using an IR thermometer to measure the temperature of hot polyurethane resin (I do custom industrial polyurethane molding) for several years now, and started using it for some brewing applications also. The unit I have was about $180 and is very durable. I use it daily and have had no problem with the quality. I have a "Raytek" brand unit. I like the speed of usage, no need to allow the thermocouple to stabalize for a temp readout. Its very usable for my application & I am very happy with its performance/ accuracy. You are correct in the fact that mixing the material to be measured will increase your chances on a better temp readout. I DO NOT use this for the mash however, I found that the real usable mash temps are better taken a few inches below the grain surface using a thermo couple type device. I tried it with the mash early on and wasn't satisfied with the results. I check wort temp, carboy temps, the air temp around the carboy, air temp of refrig., water temp for sparge & mash water, and to boot the laser pointer that is incorporated with my IR unit is a blast to get the cats running in circles and climbing walls trying to catch the "red dot". Its a great tool but you'll still need another conventional digital thermo to round out your thermal monitoring needs. Steve in KC "Highwater Brew Haus" Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 12:13:55 -0700 (PDT) From: Derric <derric1961 at yahoo.com> Subject: Subject: Re: lagering > I think I'm finally ready to brew my first lager (after more than a > decade of brewing)! You'll be sorry you waited so long! :) > 1) I bottle my beer. How does self carbonation work after the long > lagering process? Fine. > Do I need to add extra yeast for bottling? Not usually. To me, carbonation does seem to take a tad longer, perhaps due to the supposedly lesser quantity of yeast. However, I'm only talking about a difference of maybe a week. > After carbonation, do the bottles need to be stored > at a refrigerated temperature to avoid off flavors? No. That said, however, I did have a *perfect* O'fest that changed taste slightly during room temp carbonation and storage. It went from a perfect Spaten O'fest to a sorta Beck's O'fest. :) But it was a slight taste change, certainly NOT an "off flavor." (It lost some "maltiness" somehow, between bottling and drinking, which I blamed on room temp). > 2) I don't have a PID temperature controller. Can I still make good > lagers with a fridge? I can control the temperature relatively well > from ~46 F to 55 F, but I won't be able to do a one degree step down as > I've heard some people ferment lagers. I don't think the one degree step down is necessary for a good lager. > 3) Is it best to pitch at room temp and ramp down to 50 F or can I grow > my yeast starter at 50 F and then pitch when my wort has chilled to 50F? This is debatable. Many will grow it at room temp, then chill and pitch at 50F. Generally most folks say you should pitch into 50F wort and not at a warmer wort. I chill the wort to about 50F and pitch cool yeast. > 4) I've also heard of a higher primary fermentation followed by a much > cooler lagering temp. What works best? I've had excellent results with a schedule like: Primary: 2 weeks at 50F (diacetyl rest @60F the last two days) Secondary: 2 weeks at 50F Lager: 4 weeks at 33F (I step the temp down about 5F/day). Some will avoid the secondary and have a little longer primary and step straight down into lagering. Others lager longer than 4 weeks. Supposedly the longer you lager the better. 4 weeks is about all I can stand and it makes an excellent beer, crystal clear! One other point I had trouble with once... I siphoned cold (33F) lager into a bottling bucket on top of just boiled priming sugar solution... and it didn't mix as it usually does. This technique has always worked fine for me for ales. When I tasted the final drops from the bottling bucket, they were SICKLY sweet - almost pure sugar water. I ended up with some gushers and some not carbonated at all and had to doctor and re-cap the batch. I blamed the non-mixing incident on the drastically different temperatures of the two liquids - thermocline? So I recommend gentle stirring of the priming solution for cold lagers. Derric Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 13:32:28 -0700 (PDT) From: Elmer Steingass <w8av at yahoo.com> Subject: Protein Rest with Rye in Beer Esteemed HBD Readers: We were having a discussion at our last brew club meeting and the question came up about the need to do a protein rest when using rye in beer. I realize that a protein rest will help with clearing, but is this rest really necessary? Inquiring minds want to know. Thanks in advance Goose w8av at aol.com Mmmmm Beer. Woo Hoo!..........Homer Simpson Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 08:41:43 +1000 (EST) From: "Petr Otahal" <petr.otahal at aardvark.net.au> Subject: Re: Berliner Weisse, finished! Chad Hogan from Calgary write: > Briefly: 50/50 pale/wheat grain bill, just shy of 2kg each. 25 minute > protein rest, decoction to 155F with an ounce hallertauer simmered for > 15 minutes in the decoction, 60 minutes saccharification, 165F > mashout, 23 litres collected and left to cool. ~1.032 OG. No boil, Hi Chad, could you please write a your procedure out in a little more detail, specifically times and temperatures for the mash rests, and fermentation temps. This sounds like a beer I would like to try when summer comes around. Thanks Petr Otahal Hobart Tas. Aust. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 17:09:28 -0700 From: David Radwin <dradwin at sbcglobal.net> Subject: Re: Adding gelatin Doug Moyer wrote: > Do any of you add gelatin while kegging? If so, what > concerns or additional steps do I need to be aware of? You might want to warn your vegetarian beer-drinking friends. David in Berkeley CA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 02:21:36 +0100 From: tmeier at real-ale.net Subject: acid additions to reduce alkalinity While looking for a way to calculate how much acid to add to strike/sparge water, I got confused by several things in Greg Noonan's "New Brewing Lager Beer".. (which, by the way is a great book for anyone who is a scientist brewer) Noonan says to calculate how much acid you need to reduce the alkalinity by 185 ppm (mg/L) as CaCO3, you start by multiplying the alkalinity as CaCO3 times the liters of liquor needed, or 185 mg/L x 28.4 L = 5250 mg alkalinity as CaCO3 Now here's the part I don't get. Using 85% lactic acid which bears 1020 milligrams of dry lactic acid per ml, Noonan calculates: 5250 mg alk as CaCO3 / 1,020 mg dry acid/ml wet acid = 5.2 ml of wet acid required So apparently one mg of any type acid cancels out one mg of alkalinity? Doesn't make any sense to me, can anyone explain that? I was directed to this great article by AJ DeLange which covers adding acid to water: http://www.brewery.org/brewery/library/AcidifWater.. AJD0497.html I plugged all the formulas into a spreadsheet, here: http://www.antiochsudsuckers.com/tom/acid.xls Using AJ's method on my spreadsheet I could reproduce AJ's example for citric acid but could not reproduce Noonan's example. Mine comes out to 10.2 ml of 85% w/w lactic acid (1159 mg/L, 1020 mg dry acid/L) required to neutralize 185 ppm as CaCO3 (3.7 mEq/L), so its about 50% off. I checked the lactic acid addition against Hubert's page, http://www.netbeer.org/english/tips.htm and it agreed closely (I don't have the SG for 80% lactic, which he uses, so chalked up the 5% error to that) Does anyone know of a program, spreadsheet, or web based calculator package out there I could use to double check my work for acids other than lactic? Or can any sharper people out there check for errors? And lastly, can anyone who knows say for sure that Noonan's example is in error? Thanks for any help! Tom Meier Nashville, TN Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 11:45:37 +1000 From: "Williams, Rowan" <Rowan.Williams at defence.gov.au> Subject: SEC: UNCLASS Yeast Harvesting (Longish) Hi Folks, Time to stop lurking and ask a question on a subject that has probably been done a thousand times, so I will apologise in advance! In my defence I did scour the HBD archive and whilst I did discover quite a lot, I didn't find an exact answer - hence this post... I had a smack pack of Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast and figured that due to economics, I had better harvest this smack pack rather than tip the contents into the fermenter. The problem is that I'm not sure if it worked! If you don't mind, I will detail my method and humbly seek any sage advice that you pro yeast harvesters can provide me before I attack the next smack pack (a Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager)... I took the 1056 smack pack out of the fridge a few nights before and let it come to room temp (19C thanks to the central heating). I smacked and vigorously shook the pack and let it incubate on the kitchen bench for a couple of days - there was very little swelling (it was stamped DEC 03) and after 2 and a bit days of incubation the pack had swollen but only by an inch or two...I figured that it was probably fairly dormant and or tired (insert technically correct term here!) and the cells needed a good feed and breathe in some fresh wort. I boiled and chilled a 3 Litre 1.040 unhopped wort using the rest of my dry malt extract and some dextrose (because I ran out of DME before I got to the desired gravity) - I reckoned on using 330g of dry malt extract for the 3 Litre starter and used 280g of DME and 50g of Dextrose - is that a problem? I cooled the wort to 23C and pitched the smack pack, stirred through and decanted the concoction into three 2L PET bottles to make three 1 litre starters, figuring the yeast would multiply in the wort and give me plenty of starter to decant into stubbies. I capped the bottles, shook the hell out of them and then fitted Rubber bungs and airlocks on top of the bottles, thus completing that stage. I put the three bottles on a heating pad set to 24C and gave the bottles a rouse whenever I walked past the cellar for the first 24-36 hours - but not too vigorous to risk a suckback on the airlock! There was very little activity - cloudy wort but little or no action and certainly no krausen. I had assumed that the yeast would have been incubated in the smack pack and thus reduce the potential lag time? 24 hours after bottling, I noticed some airlock action and small patches of bubbles on the surface. 48 hours after bottling, same small patches - airlock action but it was slow, not unlike a wort in the final day or two of primary fermentation. No krausen but a steady airlock burp every 5 or 6 seconds. Temp was a steady 24C and the airlocks were sealing well. The three mini worts were still cloudy but they were definitely clearer than at the start of the fermentation. Last night (approx 3 days after bottling) I decided to bottle the starters. I noticed a pale tan sediment in the bottom nipples of the PET bottles (if you catch my drift) and figured that the sediment was a good sign that some yeast multiplication had occurred (note: I didn't strain the wort after boiling but there were no hops so I figured that a bit of hot break material wouldn't be an issue in such a small wort?). I shook the PET bottles to lift the sediment and stir things up - and funnelled the yeast solution into small stubbies (9 in total). Crown seals finished the job and they are went into the fridge last night. All is quiet as I checked this morning before departing for work - no overnight bottle bombs whilst cooling! Sorry about the long saga, but did I waste my time? I didn't get the frothy krausen as I did when I harvested 1028 slurry from a primary fermenter that had a robust porter in it. Did I over dilute the smack pack? Should I have made a 1L starter and done the step up thingy? After 10 years of brewing I have good hygiene, cleaning, sanitation skills - Sod Met, Iodophor, Sod Percarbonate and bloody hot water are all on hand and I have never had an infection in the brewery so far... Any thoughts/comments/advice? Thanks for your patience in reading this... Cheers, Rowan Williams Canberra Australia [9588.6, 261.5] AR miles Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 21:54:26 -0400 From: Pat Babcock <pbabcock at brew.hbd.org> Subject: Thump, thump, thumpity, thump Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager... Ah! The sound of HBD flowing endlessly out the spigot. Today's Adventures with Perl and Kornshell seem to have been a stunning success! In less than 15 minutes, we will know whether the same will work in the mainstream mailing of our beloved brewspaper. Permisson issues have been resolved. Code trial went quite well. Hopefully, nothing overlooked. In any case, the new LOGGING features I added will help me find and fix any enemy combatants in the woodpile, should they pop up. And, as with any such foray into the guts of the Digest, some other nagging problems with old code from other hands have been isolated and eradicated. And, two more features come out of this: the Probe and the ability to mail past Digests to the entire list. Life is good. Hopefully, life will still be good tomorrow, and the Troll will be able to quietly climb back under his bridge and resy until the NEXT time... See ya! The Troll Beneath The HBD Bridge Return to table of contents
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