HOMEBREW Digest #4888 Mon 14 November 2005

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  CO2 ("Peter A. Ensminger")
  Re: A.J.'s growth metabolites ("steve.alexander")
  Elderflower "Champagne" ("Dave Burley")
  CO2/slits/centrifuge ("A.J deLange")
  Re: Elderflower Champagne Brewing Advice ("Craig S. Cottingham")
  Pressure limit of glass jug (BRIAN AND DAWN BUDRIS)
  Elderflower Champagne Brewing Advice (Thomas Rohner)
  PSBO7  Call for Judges and Stewards. Entry deadline. (fatcat)
  Re: slotted false bottoms ("Mike Sharp")
  Elderflower Champagne ("William Frazier")
  RE: slotted false bottoms (homebrewdigest)
  RE...Slotted False Bottom ("Doug Lasanen")
  TIG Welding Kegs / Back-Purging (homebrewdigest)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 02:30:32 -0500 From: "Peter A. Ensminger" <ensmingr at twcny.rr.com> Subject: CO2 Large breweries and distilleries use CO2 recovery systems and then reuse or sell the recovered CO2. Obviously, this does not make sense at the homebrew level. Based on the following fermentation equation: C6H12O6 --> 2*CH3CH2OH + 2*CO2 You see that 44 g CO2 is produced for each 46 g ethanol. It's easy to calculate the amount of CO2 from a batch of homebrew if you know the volume of beer and the ethanol level (from hydrometer readings). Questions for the collective: 1) Based on commercial brewery production numbers (not available to me), how much CO2 is produced from all commercial breweries in the US? The world? Might be a nice number to toss about at my next cocktail party! 2) Based on global carbon emissions (~7,000 million metric tons per year [see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Global_Carbon_Emission_by_Type.pngref]), what is the percentage of the total CO2 from brewing? Cheerio! Peter A. Ensminger Syracuse, NY hbd.org/ensmingr Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 03:02:17 -0500 From: "steve.alexander" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: Re: A.J.'s growth metabolites Greg 'groggy' Lehey writes .... >Time is on the side of infections. If you pitch a beer and it takes 3 >days to get going, that's 3 days for other organisms to get their act >together. While I like a lot of Greg's posts, this one lacks perspective. The same low temperatures that slow the yeast also and similarly slow the progress of infection organisms. The risk of infection damage is probably not significantly different over the course of a chilly 12 day ferment than a rapid & warm 60 hour ferment. AJ put his finger on the big issue - yeast metabolite flavor. About metabolite flavors .... I've just read of a remarkable results that show that the extent of yeast growth and the amount of esters produced are NOT dependent on temperature *IF* you control for oxygen. You see less oxygen is soluble in warmer wort, so typical uncontrolled experiments often ferment the lower temp sample with more oxygen. This stands the world on it's head again. Many books suggest that enzyme activity.vs.temp rates cause more esters at higher temps, but apparently that's not the typical case. Instead there must be sufficient time for the esters comparably develop despite temps. Several studies show unequivocally that yeast incorporate far lower levels of UFAs in their membranes at higher temps. UFAs are lipids components of cell membranes that require oxygen to produce, so these can only be produced early in the fermentation when oxygen is available. I expect that "warm-start-lager" yeast have a considerable UFA deficit as compared to normal lager fermentation conditions and this must compromise the cell membrane quality. That's not good for anybody. I personally think it's dumb to scr*w up your yeast health for the sake of saving a few hours wait even if you can usually get decent results. When I get a good lager culture started going I'm likely to re-pitch it several times, but not if I compromised yeast health along the way. Fusels are (can be) produced early in fermentation and may be related to poor membrane quality. Yeast leak VDK precursors into the wort in early & mid fermentation then *hopefully* clean it all up (hopefully) as the fermentation fades. Poor membrane quality may reduce their ability at VDK reduction. Low UFA yeast are less cold tolerant, and may attenuate less completely. Despite this I can't point to anything that shows "warm-start" necessarily produces inferior beer. The bit that bothers me more than anything else, is that the warm lager starters I've produced over the years have some weird off flavor components that I can't easily identify. It's not just fusels and esters or even VDKs. My recollection is that it's more like autolysis products (yeast-y creosote taste and coarse bitterness). Does that ring a bell for anyone else ? Does anyone have a description of warm lager ferment off flavors ? -S Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 07:33:59 -0500 From: "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> Subject: Elderflower "Champagne" Brewsters: Daniel is trying something very dangerous. Fermenting sweetened Elderflower wine in a bottle. I know some contend you can make rootbeer by just adding some yeast to a sweetened extract of same and safely get rootbeer for the kiddies. Don't believe it. I know some do it, but I don't believe it is a safe practice. Perhaps using plastic bottles is better, but not much IMHO. If you want to do this sort of thing, I suggest you do it the way they have done it in Champagne for lots of decades or even centuries, but do this with facemask and a leather apron and heavy leather gloves as they do in France. Read about the methode champagneoise. This is a complicated method but it works if you want a dry wine or sweeter one if you add brandy as part of the dosage. Daniel also wants to control the sweetness and not have too much alcohol. All very tough to do without a little modern help. Here is what I suggest. Ferment your wine (include a yeast energizer) with a low alcohol tolerant ( non-S. bayanus) yeast. Clarify it to remove all the yeast with a flocculant and rack carefully, add sugar, both potassium sorbate (package directions) and potassium metabisulfite (60 ppm) chill it to near freezing and carbonate it in a keg. Bottle into cold bottles, cap quickly. Keep cool. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 12:54:43 +0000 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: CO2/slits/centrifuge Think about where the CO2 released in brewing came from. It was extracted from the atmosphere by the barley plant which merged it with water to form sugars and then starches. Brewers, with the help of yeast, simply reverse the process and return the CO2 to the air. Now there are probably those that will claim that W has cronies in the brewing industry and that the CO2 they released caused Katrina and a large part of the population will believe it but I won't be in their number. According to Kunze the traditional lauter plate is made of phosphor bronze or similar material (mine are copper sheet) with slits 30 to 40 mm long and 0.7 - 1.2 m wide at the top surface and a little wider at the bottom so that material cannot wedge in them. There are enough of them that about 10% of the area of the false bottom is free. In mine the slots are 7mm x 1mm spaced every 18mm in staggered rows 7.5 mm apart. I didn't make these so I don't know what kind of a tool was used to punch the material. More modern lauter tuns use a false bottom made up of wedge shaped wire. For small scale brewing round holes work probably just as well and I think perforated stainless steel screening is available. Cut it to size and stick some bolts through in a few places to hold it off the bottom of the vessel and you have a lauter tun. Thanks to the several people who pointed out that there is a large centrifuge in the laundry room. My spouse is suspicious regarding my inspections of it since she has always claimed formerly that I didn't even know where it is. A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 09:34:37 -0600 From: "Craig S. Cottingham" <craig at cottingham.net> Subject: Re: Elderflower Champagne Brewing Advice On Nov 12, 2005, at 19:10, Daniel Pittman <daniel at rimspace.net> wrote: > One of the problems is that the result can be anywhere between very dry > and very sweet, for bottles out of the same batch. I would like to get > a relatively sweet, and relatively low alcohol result, but I am not > quite sure how to go about it. Well, the first thing that I noticed about your recipe was: > The only yeast, traditionally, supplied by the flowers themselves. Since you're relying on random yeast, you're likely to end up with random results. I don't have any experience with champagne yeast, but everything I've read suggests that it ferments dry. Also, your starting gravity is somewhere around 1.052, which I gather is low for both wines and meads, so yeast for making those probably isn't your best choice, either. That's a good starting gravity for cider, though. I've been told that White Labs WLP775 finishes fairly sweet, though their website says it finishes dry. (I have my first batch of cider perking away in the basement, so I guess I'll find out. :-) I have no idea if fermenting straight white sugar will produce any odd flavors, however. If you're going to add external yeast for consistency's sake, you'll want to make sure that the random yeast on the flowers doesn't get in the way. Combine the water (unboiled), sugar, lemon, vinegar, and flowers in a pot; heat to 180 deg F and hold for 15 minutes. This should be enough to pasteurize the... must, I guess it would be. Cool to yeast-pitching temperature and, well, pitch the yeast. Proceed as before. - -- Craig S. Cottingham <craig at cottingham.net> Olathe, KS ([621, 251.1] Apparent Rennerian) OpenPGP key available from: http://pgp.mit.edu:11371/pks/lookup?op=get&search=0x7977F79C Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 10:42:45 -0500 From: BRIAN AND DAWN BUDRIS <budris at optonline.net> Subject: Pressure limit of glass jug Clear DayDoes anyone know what the pressure limit is for a 1-gallon glass jug (apple cider type)? I was going to experiment and try to use them as mini kegs instead of the PET bottles that I currently use. I want to try this because PET can't be used to store beer for more than 3 months without noticeable oxidation. Should a glass jug be able to hold up to the 8-12 PSI pressure that I use to dispense beer without exploding? Also, does anyone know where to purchase glass jugs that are larger than 1 gallon (with caps)? -BJB Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 18:07:31 +0100 From: Thomas Rohner <t.rohner at bluewin.ch> Subject: Elderflower Champagne Brewing Advice Hi Daniel we do this every year, you have to be in the southern hemisphere to have elderflowers at hand now. I used to "brew" this quite like you, but as i started brewing beer and got some fermentation knowledge, i changed some things. 1. I use champagne yeast and some yeast nutrient 2. I let it ferment out completely and add some sugar at bottling time. 3. For the residual sweetness i use some nonfermentable sweetener like Aspartame, since i want the co2 from the bottling sugar. If you do it like this, you have a consistent carbonation and sweetness. We added the sweetener the first time, because the drink was too sour and a bit bitter from the lemons. So we cooled all the bottles close to freezing, opened the bottle, added the sweetener and closed the bottles again. Hope this helps Thomas Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 13:19:39 -0500 From: fatcat <fatcat at sagecat.com> Subject: PSBO7 Call for Judges and Stewards. Entry deadline. The 7th PSBO will be held December 3. Judges are cordially invited to sign-up and enjoy a fun-filled day of great brews, super food and friends. http://www.sagecat.com/psb/psbo7.htm The deadline for entries is NOVEMBER 23. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 11:34:31 -0800 From: "Mike Sharp" <rdcpro at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: slotted false bottoms Michael asks about Slotted False Bottoms. Most of the false bottoms that look like they're slotted are actually made from parallel runs of v-wire, welded together. These have the advantage of not clogging, and they're easy to clean. Typically they're 12-20% open area. This would be ideal, but it's not completely necessary for a small mash tun like a converted keg. Personally, I use perforated stainless in my RIMS mash tun that I cut out of a larger sheet using a Bosch jig saw.. I have a lot greater open area than the "standard" perforated sheet, and the holes are bigger. But it works great, and I can run my pump full blast. When I first dough-in, I might see a few particles get by, but the grain bed itself does the filtering. I can't recall the exact hole size and spacing--I'll check tonight when I get home and send you a separate email. There is also a pre-made screen for a sanke keg that you can buy. My LHBS sells them for about $36, and it's designed to sit in the domed bottom, and goes out the top hole in the key with needing hinges. It's pretty nice, and I'd use it if I didn't already have a couple large sheets of perforated stainless to begin with. There's a fellow at that store that builds larger brewing systems and he uses v-wire screen...he'd probably sell you some (it'll be a lot more than a perforated screen, though). Let me know if you're interested. Zymico also makes a bazooka screen, which is a welded tube out of stainless screen. I've never used it though. I think in a keg you could also use a slotted manifold with good success, but I'm still a big fan of my perforated false bottom. Regards, Mike Sharp Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 16:30:55 -0600 From: "William Frazier" <billfrazier at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Elderflower Champagne Daniel-Your recipe with 1.25 lbs sugar per 1 gallon (Imperial I assume) will be about 12.5 brix or 1.051 specific gravity. If this ferments to dryness the alcohol content will be about 6.7%. Certainly low enough and not high enough for a sparkling wine IMO. No change is needed if you like your current recipe but by increasing the sugar to 1.8 lbs per Imperial gallon you will make a wine with about 10% alcohol...a good strength for a sparkling wine. To get uniformity in your bottles let the wine ferment out completely and then add to your bottles with some additional sugar to "bottle condition". Read up on Champagne making in Lum Eisenman's excellent winemaking book http://home.att.net/~lumeisenman/index.html. Good luck! Bill Frazier Olathe, Kansas USA G'day. I hope this is sufficiently on topic for the list - if not, I am sorry, and apologize for mis-reading the posting advice. I am relatively new to home brewing in a formal way, but for some years now we have been brewing an Elderflower Champagne each year, with reasonable success, but very ad-hoc methods. The current recipe is, per unit: 7 Elder flower heads 1 gallon of cold water 1 1/4 lbs white sugar 2 lemons (thinly sliced) 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar The process is to combine sugar, lemons and vinegar with boiled water cooled to get a suitable temperature for the yeast - around 25 degrees Celsius - and add the flowers themselves. The only yeast, traditionally, supplied by the flowers themselves. This sits for a couple of days, then is bottled directly, and completes fermentation in the bottle. We use plastic soft drink (soda) bottles, which don't explode often, but do deform under the pressure. One of the problems is that the result can be anywhere between very dry and very sweet, for bottles out of the same batch. I would like to get a relatively sweet, and relatively low alcohol result, but I am not quite sure how to go about it. I would love advice. Regards, Daniel Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 19:12:52 -0500 From: <homebrewdigest at myxware.com> Subject: RE: slotted false bottoms Mike responded to my post about Slotted False Bottoms. Here is my reply: What is v-wire? I have been using stainless hose-braid in a smaller mash/lauter tun in the past. My results have been decent but I would ideally like to have a false bottom that is above the output valve on a modified keg. The reason I would prefer this is because I intend to make an automated stainless stir device. I would like the bottom of the stir device to be close to the false bottom without being able to hit any tubing that connects the inner part of the false bottom to the output value. A concern I have with this is that too much mash liquid being below the false bottom where there is no grain might cause problems that I cannot think of without doing a trial run. Does anyone have thought (experience) on (with) this? I have seen similar screens you are referring to, but again I would like to have the false bottom above the valve output. The major objection I have to bazooka type screens is their potential to move around even into vertical positions. My objection to the slotted manifold is the copper and solder, stainless is easier to deal with once it is manufactured. I am very interested to hear about the v-wire you referred to. Is it something I could make myself? I am definitely on a tight budget but I have access to some nice tools (milling machines, lathes, large drill presses, a TIG machine, and other nice things). I am looking forward to hearing about the size of perforated sheet you used. I have seen 3/35" on 5/35" centers pretty regularly. Is yours bigger than this? Thanks for your help and advice, I really appreciated it. Keep the kegs (or bottles) filled, Michael Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 19:36:15 -0500 From: "Doug Lasanen" <Dlasanen at fuse.net> Subject: RE...Slotted False Bottom Re..Slotted False Bottoms. Micheal asks about using slotted stainless steel in his new 1/2 bbl conversion. I have seen guys with folding false bottoms. I would opt for a "Domed" false bottom. I use one that is 9" round. I think the holes are about 1/8" or smaller. Works great and seals better than the larger folding bottoms. Cost about $18 from many online sources such as 3B and our HBD Sponsor. Just my $.02 worth! Cheers! Doug Lasanen Bloatarian Brewing League Cincinnati, Ohio Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 21:19:29 -0500 From: <homebrewdigest at myxware.com> Subject: TIG Welding Kegs / Back-Purging Hello Everyone, I recently welded a 1/2" stainless NPT nipple (picture 1, link below), and a 1/2" stainless NPT half coupler (picture 2, link below) into a 1/2 bbl keg. My TIG skills are decent and I was fairly happy with the results until I looked inside. There was the "black sugar" everywhere and the weld did not penetrate enough to weld the inner side of the keg was to each fitting. I have pictures at http://www.filefarmer.com/2/rompacz/keg/ (paste into your browser of choice). I had rigged a setup where I had the entire hole (at the top of the keg) was covered with cardboard and sealed with masking tape. I had about a 16" piece of 1/2" OD stainless tubing going through the cardboard into the keg. I pushed about 10 CFH of argon into the keg through the tubing, but apparently it did not make it to my weld area. I also plugged the fittings so the argon would not escape through them. Should I not have had them plugged up? Does anyone have any ideas on what I need to do differently next time or what is professionally used? Keep in mind I rigged up my setup. My next question is what to do now? I can grind down the inner part of the half couple, but the nipple with be a challenge (picture 3). How can I have the weld penetrate to the inside? I have though about trying to weld the inner part of the half couple because I think I can get the torch into the keg. I would not be able to weld the inner part of the nipple though. I have also considered trying to grind everything and re-purge the keg and weld it again but penetrate more. I have also considered removing the half couple and nipple and putting weld-less fittings into the keg instead. This would certainly be an absolute last resort. Any ideas would certainly be helpful. Thanks everyone. Keep the kegs (or bottles) filled, Michael Return to table of contents
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