HOMEBREW Digest #4568 Thu 29 July 2004

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  My Berliner Weisse method (Chad Hogan)
  Thank You Pat ("John & Joy Vaughn")
  Morning Stout Tastes Better (hazan)
  Noonan's Water Calculations ("A.J deLange")
  acid additions to reduce alkalinity ("Fred Scheer")
  protein rest with Rye in Beer ("Fred Scheer")
  Priming in soda kegs? (Greg Tatarian)
  Re:Protein Rest with Rye in Beer (Denny Conn)
  I Hate Bottling ("Dave Larsen")
  AHA Mead Day ("Gary Glass")
  Lagers by Shawn (Leo Vitt)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 21:33:10 -0600 From: Chad Hogan <chad.hogan at gmail.com> Subject: My Berliner Weisse method I'll describe it as it actually happened, rather than as I planned it. I used somewhat less than two kg each of pale and wheat malt. I reserved a small amount of each, so I estimate perhaps 1.8 kg each actually made it into the mash. I heated 10 litres of water to 57C for dough-in, leading to a temperature of approximately 54C in the mash. I stayed at this temperature for ~15 minutes for a protein rest. After this, I pulled out approximately 4 litres of stiff mash into a pot for decoction. I heated this to boiling, added an ounce of Hallertauer hops, and simmered it for approximately fifteen minutes, stirring constantly to avoid scorching. I returned this to the mash. The temperature raised to approximately 63C, too low for my saccharification rest. So, I performed another small decoction, this time only long enough to heat the mash to boiling. I added this back to the mash, and the temperature was raised to 68C. Next time, I will decoct a larger amount to accomplish this in a single step. I am new to decoction mashing so this was a learning experience for me. Once 68C was reached, I left this for a saccharification rest for 60 minutes. In the meantime, I heated sparge water. After 60 minutes, I added four litres of water at 80C to raise the temperature for mashout. Then I sparged with water at approximately 75C. I collected the first four litres of first runnings and poured it back in for a vorlauf. After this, it ran relatively clear. In total, I collected 23 litres of wort from the mash. I did not boil at all, the wort went straight into a carboy. OG: ~1.032-1.034. I had no trouble with a stuck mash at all, most likely due to the higher temperature mashout. I added a small handful of the reserved grain, covered the opening with foil, and placed the carboy in my kitchen to cool. I added grain to the carboy a couple of times each day. Within 24 hours a krausen had formed and there was obvious churning. I let it continue like this for approximately four and a half days. The temperature in the room was approximately 20C. At this point, gravity dropped to approximately 1.024-1.026. I believe that if the wort had been aerated it might have fermented out completely. This might be something I'll try next time. With this batch, I put the hot wort right into the carboy so undoubtedly dissolved oxygen was very low. Next time I will consider chilling the wort, aerating, and pitching yeast immediately. We'll see. Anyhow... when it tasted tart enough for me, I took the entire volume and heated it to boiling and simmered lightly for around ten minutes. It was not a hard boil, but it did reach boiling temperature. I did not want the souring to continue, so I used this to kill off the bacteria and wild yeast and allow my yeast starter to take hold and finish the job. Then I chilled, aerated, and pitched a yeast starter made from Cooper's. It stayed in primary for approximately a week, and secondary for another week at ~18C. It was easily finished within this time, as it was such a small beer. I primed fairly heavily and bottled. Final gravity was about 1.006. Chad Hogan Calgary, Alberta Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 21:36:26 -0800 From: "John & Joy Vaughn" <hogbrew at mtaonline.net> Subject: Thank You Pat Your latest forays into the code have produced gold. Today I received Tuesday's and Wednesday's HBD's. Life is good, except for the fact that I am unemployed after Friday. Thank you for your hard work. When I get another job, I'll send another donation. John Vaughn Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 12:35:35 -0000 From: <hazan at ptdprolog.net> Subject: Morning Stout Tastes Better My thanks to the trolls under the bridge for their undying loyalty in making my mornings so much richer. Yes, the HBD is back and receiving it makes my morning stout taste so much better. My hope is that the three billy goats never trod on your endevors again. Al Hazan NE Penn. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 13:54:11 +0100 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Noonan's Water Calculations Without going through Noonan's calculations in detail I was able to spot a couple of problems with his approach. First off acids aren't usually spoken of in terms of their normality unless you are operating at pH well above the acid's pH - a situation that usually pertains only with strong mineral acids. Even there you need to be a bit careful because sulfuric acid's 2nd pK is 1.9 and the acid can be labeled with normality only if the resulting solution into which it is being put will have a pK more than 3.9 (a general rule of thumb is 2 pH units). Now that I think of it the only application in which I have ever seen sulfuric acid labeled with a normality is in titration cartridges used for measuring alkalinity where the end point is around 4.3 (more than 2 above 1.9). For lactic acid the pK is around 3 and mash pH is a bit over 5 so the rule of thumb is satisfied, the acid will be mostly dissociated and this error is a small one - one that can be ignored. Another eye-catcher in Noonan's book is the statement that at pH 7, 81% of the alkalinity is bicarbonate. That's not true. At pH 7 81% of the carbo moles (moles of carbonic + moles of bicarbonate + moles of carbonate) are bicarbonate, approximataely 29% are carbonic and very, very few are carbonate. But carbonic does not show up in an alkalinity measurement - only bicarbonate (and carbonate if there is any). Thus all the alkalinity is due to bicarbonate at pH 7 and bicarbonate and alkalinity are approximately equivalent. Equivalent means that the number of milliequivalents of bicarbonate, obtained by dividing the ppm as CaCO3 by 50, is approximately equal to the alkalinity, expressed in millieqivalents per liter, and as ppm as CaCO3 is the equivalence multiplied by 50 the bicarbonate as CaCO3 and alkalinity as CaCO3 are also approximately the same. This is only true at pH low enough that carbonate is unappreciable (which is the case for most brewing applications). Note that alkalinity is the number of milliequivalents of acid required to shift the pH down to 4.3 where almost but not quite all the bicarbonate is converted to carbonic. Next thing is that the amount of bicarbonate to be removed depends upon the mash pH desired. At pH 5 all but 5% of the total carbo has been converted to carbonic and at pH 5.4 all but 10% at pH 5.6 all but 15%. Thus consideration of the desired strike pH is necessary in calculating the amount of acid needed. The other thing I noted (and on 2nd reading I see that Tom referred to it) is that Noonan appears to assume that 88% lactic acid weighs 1 gram per ml. It is acually more like 1.2 gram/mL. So ignoring that is the source of an error of 20% magnitude. Finally, and this is another small error, in shifting pH by adding acid to a bicarbonate system one has to add some extra acid beyond that required to neutralize the bicarbonate. Water at pH 4 has a hydrogen ion concentration 1000 times higher than the concentration at pH 7 (but it's still only 0.1 millimole per liter). The algorithm set forth at the web site Tom mentioned considers all the nettlesome details I've referred to above some of which Noonan ignores. Thus I'm not terribly surprised that the differences are 50%. But in the real world of beermaking 50% error is not really that bad. One should assume that level of error from any calculation and add the acid very slowly in increments of say 10% of the calculated volume, stir, wait, check pH and then add more. Experience should be your ultimate guide. The calculations are only to get you into the ball park. BTW I agree that Noonan's book is top drawer. He's not a water chemist (nor, for that matter am I) but his books have taught me much of what I know. Cheers, A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 08:19:42 -0500 From: "Fred Scheer" <fhopheads at msn.com> Subject: acid additions to reduce alkalinity The subject of pH and alkalinity is large to discuss here in depth. First I recommend finding out what your alkalinity in your area is. For example, at our location (Boscos, Hillsboro Village, Nashville, TN) we have a alkalinity of 53 mg/L (as CaCO3) and a pH of 6.55 at 22*C. You also should look at your total hardness; in our case it is 96 ppm/L. As you see, we are in no need to ad any form of acid, which in my experience makes the finished beer very dry in aftertaste. For homebrewers as yourself, you can adjust water quite easily. If your water has a less than ~ 60 ppm in hardness and the pH is around 7, you are lucky and don't need acid in the water. When your brew-water has a high hardness and a higher ph (as discussed), boiling your water and adding Gypsum will help correcting the water. If your water has a pH of 7.5 and hardness of more than 300 ppm, some homebrewers correct the water with adding FOOD grade acids. In this case you neutralize carbonates, but not eliminating too much calcium. Lot's of homebrewers correcting the situation by calculating a certain amount of distilled water to their "home" water. Also, before adding any acid to your brew-water, please make sure that you look up the water composition of the "beer style" origins you attempt to brew. The NEW BREWER (Association of Brewers) had lots of good articles on brew-water. Also, if you go through past discussion on water, AJ Lange has posted extensively here on the subject. I have contacted in the past AJ myself several times and discussed water with him, I don't think he minds to discuss with you the scientific side more in details. Also, the Music City Homebrew Club in Nashville, TN (www.musiccitybrewers.com) is a good source of help. Fred M. Scheer Nashville, TN Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 08:45:33 -0500 From: "Fred Scheer" <fhopheads at msn.com> Subject: protein rest with Rye in Beer Elmer: We at Boscos just finished brewing our award winning (GABF) "Rays Honey Rye; which was originally formulated by Chuck Skypeck (Owner/Headbrewer for Boscos) and no other than Ray Daniels. Rye is strongly flavored, and therefore a lower amount should be used in your batch. Most Craft Brewers that I know use 10 - 20% rye in their formulations. Most German Brewers I know who brew "Roggenbier" (Rye Beer) stay in the <20% range. Like wheat, rye comes in hulled form, rye also has a high water retention capacity and will create a sticky mash. Rye is high in B-glutan, which are starches made up of long strands of glucose molecules, which increase wort viscosity. As you see, it is more important to give your mash a longer beta glucan rest. And, in case you want a more trouble free homebrew, you still can use Rye Flakes. Please let me give you a method for homebrew with Rye: For a 5 gal recipe, mash in your rye with 14 qt of water to get a mash temperature of 154 - 156*F. Hold for at least 75 minutes at that temperature, stirring gently after 30 minutes for ~ 3 minutes. Sparge with a sparge temperature of 177*F (you see, a bit higher than normal), and PLEASE, don't ad any acid in your mash or sparge water. I hope this helps, Fred M. Scheer Nashville, TN Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 07:08:39 -0700 From: Greg Tatarian <gregtat at pacbell.net> Subject: Priming in soda kegs? Hello all, I'm back to homebrewing after 9 years off. I have what may be a stupid question, but is it feasible to prime one's beer for carbonation in a soda keg? It seems the vessel is certainly made for the pressure, so why can't one just prime as normal for bottling, but rack into the keg? Laugh if you must, but please don't be shy to respond; I've got a fantastic-smelling all-grain Trappist ready for secondary fermentation in a couple of days, and I've got more kegs than bottles! Cheers, Greg Tatarian Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 08:59:45 -0800 From: Denny Conn <denny at projectoneaudio.com> Subject: Re:Protein Rest with Rye in Beer As you may have heard, I make a LOT of rye beers. A protein rest is completely unnecessary, IMO. I've never used one and had no problems due to not using one. I do a single infusion mash about 153F for my rye beers. Rogue is now brewing a commercial version of my recipe (they call it Gone Awry) with the same single infusion mash. Save yourself some trouble and go with the single infusion. -------------->Denny At 11:30 PM 7/28/04 -0400, Elmer Steingass wrote: >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 > Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 19:56:15 +0000 From: "Dave Larsen" <hunahpumonkey at hotmail.com> Subject: I Hate Bottling I absolutely love brewing, and almost everything about it. I love formulating recipes, selecting ingredients, mashing, sparging, boiling, fermenting, kegging, and imbibing. However, if there is one thing I've always hated, it is bottling. I used to prime the beer in the bottle, using a bottling bucket, priming sugar and a spigot. I hated it. It was such a chore and would always leave a layer of sediment in the bottle. Now I bottle straight from the keg using a counter-pressure bottle filler, just like the big boys, and I still hate it. Even though my bottles are crystal clear, it always spews beer all over my kitchen and equipment. I end up with beer all over me, my hair, and my eyeglasses. It is a simply a task I detest. Bottling usually entails a lot of screaming, cursing, and fuming. In fact, I think that after a bottling session, it is usually the closest I ever get to getting divorced. I just thought I'd say that. Does anybody else hate anything about their brewing process? Dave Tucson, AZ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 16:05:30 -0600 From: "Gary Glass" <Gary at aob.org> Subject: AHA Mead Day Don't forget, the American Homebrewers Association's 3rd Annual Mead Day, held Saturday August 7 (always on the first Saturday in August) is fast approaching. Check out www.beertown.org/events/meadday/index.html for details, then grab some honey, grab some yeast, grab some friends, grab a loved one, and get ready to get sticky! This year's official Mead Day recipe comes to us from three-time Meadmaker of the Year, Byron Burch. This recipe took best-of-show for mead at the 2001 AHA National Homebrew Competition. Here are the specifics: "Epiphanaic Exspearmint" Mead with Fresh Spearmint Ingredients for 5 U.S. gal (19 L) 18 lb clover honey 4 gal. water (or enough to make 5 gal of mead) 4 Tbs tartaric acid 1 Tbs malic acid 8 oz bruised spearmint leaves 2 oz The Beverage PeopleTM yeast nutrient for mead (or 2 tsp each of yeast energizer and yeast nutrient) 4 tsp acid blend 10 g dry Prise de Mousse wine yeast 6 g Sparkalloid 5 tsp stock Sodium Metabisulfite solution (after fermentation) O.G.: 26o Brix (Approx. 1.110 SG) Total Acid 6-6.5% Instructions Heat water until warm, turn off stove and stir in the honey until it is dissolved. Boil five minutes, skimming, and add nutrient and acid. Cool to room temperature and transfer to a sanitized fermenter. Sprinkle yeast on the surface. Stir in after 12 hours. Ferment two to three weeks. Place spearmint leaves in a mesh bag in another fermenter and rack mead onto the leaves. Age one week, then fine with Sparkalloid (boil in 1-2 cups of water for 15 minutes, then stir into mead) and add Sodium Metabisulfite. Age four more weeks, rack off the lees, then bottle. Feel free to use this recipe or any other you care to come up with. Happy fermenting! Gary Glass, Project Coordinator Association of Brewers 888-U-CAN-BREW (303) 447-0816 x 121 gary at aob.org www.beertown.org P.S. If you're into mead, check out the International Mead Festival, 11/5/2004 - 11/6/2004, in Boulder, CO: www.meadfest.com - --- Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com). Version: 6.0.727 / Virus Database: 482 - Release Date: 7/26/2004 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 17:07:34 -0700 (PDT) From: Leo Vitt <leo_vitt at yahoo.com> Subject: Lagers by Shawn Shawn asked some lager questions. I have made lagers using ordinary refrigurators with an external temp controller. Some of my practices may have their slack side. This is a hobby after all. >1) I bottle my beer. How does self carbonation work after the long >lagering process? Do I need to add extra yeast for bottling? If so, >an ale or lager yeast? After carbonation, do the bottles need to be >stored at a refrigerated temperature to avoid off flavors? I too bottle condition lagers. Sometimes, the yeast is not viable after the long lagering periods. My solution is to add some dry brewing yeast when priming the beer. Lager or ale will do. My theory is the tiny bit of fermenting that it takes to carbonate is not changing the flavor significantly. I go through the dry yeast rehydration practices. Dry yeast instead of liquid because it is easy to store, and put to use when needed. It's inexpensive too! Liquid lager is worth the trouble and cost as primary fermenation yeast. >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 use a controller that is not PID. In the days before you could buy an off the shelf external controller, I made one from a controller that is intended to be a temp controller for a walk in cooler. I need two parts - the controller and an extension cord that I could cut up and use the parts. When you say you can control the temp between 46F and 55F - do you mean you can keep it stable? I would not like to have it changing withing that temp range. But a stable (+/- 2F) temp somewhere in that range will work fine for primary fermentation. >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? I do starters at room temp. Is that best? That could be debated. The purpose of a starter is to grow yeast not make beer. Its the sediment I'm after, especially with the larger starters I use for lagers - 3 quarts in a one gallon jug. I want to throw out most of the liquid when pitching into the primary fermenter. >4) I've also heard of a higher primary fermentation followed by a much >cooler lagering temp. What works best? I use about 50F primary, and as close to freezing as my frig will go for secondary. That's about 36F. The frig's internal termostat takes over once the external controller is set low enough. My primary fermentations can take as long as 3 weeks. About 2 months for seconary. 2 degree steps per day - I don't worry about it. Several times, I have had new primary fermenting lagers, one moved to secondary and one half way through secondary. That makes it hard to take the one that is moving through daily temp changes. I just move it into the seconary frig, but after the diacytal rest. What's a Diacytal rest? Did I spell that right? lol! Warm up the beer at the end of primary fermentation to room temp in the primary fermenter. The yeast should absorb any diacytal that is created during fermentaton. I let is sit there 2 days. Then rack and move into secondary. Room temp in this example is not 80F! I use room temp when it is in the 60s or low 70s. ===== Leo Vitt Sidney, NE Return to table of contents
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