HOMEBREW Digest #4959 Thu 23 February 2006

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  Crystal (Oscar Hammond)
  Re: FAN requirements for fermentation ("steve.alexander")
  Water Analysis, Part....Doh! (Dan Jeska)
  More water analysis (Calvin Perilloux)
  Mail order & Compost follow up (Glyn)
  What is acceptable beer? ("Fredrik")
  Re: another water report ("Martin Brungard")
  Warm Lagering? [Sec: Unclassified] ("Williams, Rowan")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2006 21:47:53 +1100 (EST) From: Oscar Hammond <ozcah71 at yahoo.com.au> Subject: Crystal Hiya, I've seen a lot about Crystal Grain/malt. I understand you have to steep it to get the benefit from it but what I don't really get is what you do get from it. Can some one fill me in on what it does to beer. How do I use it? How long do I steep it for? How much should I use? (I am still using kits so please take that into consideration). Any help would be most appreciated. Catchya Osc Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2006 07:19:43 -0500 From: "steve.alexander" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: Re: FAN requirements for fermentation Jeff Renner wrote: >> wine must carries ~100-150ppm of FAN and often >> another ~20-40ppm of nitrogen in ions accessible to yeast. That's >> not enough for wine fermentation > > And yet, it occurs! ;-) > With no help from added FAN sources. And has for millennia. > What did you mean, Steve? Sorry, that explanation was abbreviated into silliness after an 8kB bounce. I don't generally add nitrogen when making wine, yet achieving full attenuation isn't much of a problem. I'm away from home & my references at the moment, but the 100-150ppm FAN and 20-40ppm came from a wide study of vinifera in upstate NY. None of the must obtained for the study was in the supposed 'optimal' range for FAN which is (from memory) 350-500ppm FAN in wine must. Some sources suggest about twice this level - I can't explain why. Note that a 22P wine must has about 2.5 times the fermentables, and needs about 2.5 times the yeast growth as a 12P wort (more sugars, less dextrins in wine must) so we might reasonably extrapolate the minimun 150ppm of FAN for wort to about 375ppm FAN minimum for wine, and this matches the wine lit. Wine only rarely has than minimum amount of FAN in the must. So what is happening here ? The ~30ppm of N (in non-FAN but yeast accessible forms, nuclueotides for exaple) ~2mmol of N, can be used to synthesize about 210-225ppm of additional FAN. So the must has ~125ppm FAN PLUS enough N to synthesize another ~220ppm of FAN for a total ~345ppm FAN and that matches the minimum needss pretty closely. Wine-must has a lot more N than listed above as protein. I've read that some of the protein degrade late in the wine fermentation. Maybe it's grape proteases. Yeast produce some exracellular proteases too, and to consume some di- & tri- peptides, even in beer. Given all this, I have no idea why additions of ~1000ppm of DAP (~210ppm of N) is ever needed in wine. That's more than the total N req I believe. A supplemental 150ppm of DAP seems more sensible in theory. Also wine carries much higher levels of fusels than beer, hidden behind much bigger flavor levels. The amino imbalance is less of an issue. Also wine is fermented with S.cerevisiae, a sibling of ale yeast, also S.bayanus, a half-brother of lager yeast - those I trust to act like brewing yeasts, Wine ferments also include a range of wild & furry molds and even initially bacteria. The impact on nitrogen use is as clear as mud. == MattB writes more, on fusels & amino acids, ... I know of know simple HB friendly means to assay FAN. It's probably sufficient to assume that any malt (other than home malted) produces ~20-25ppm of FAN per Plato, 240ppm to 300ppm in a 12P wort for example. Raw grain produces some but a lot less. Sugary adjuncts are effectively zero. If you use good malt for say 75% of the OG you have enough FAN. Beyond that it's dicey. On adding FAN to wort. I don't view this as "a lot of caveats" but rather a different strategy. Yeast catabolize excess amino acids and produce fusels as a result. Yeast also synthesize missing amino acids and produce fusels as a result. The task is like Goldilock's bears, to avoid the extremes; neither too much nor too little aminos during growth. Matt astutely points out that adding FAN to all-malt wort at the beginning is "too much". My point is that adding some (and maybe certain) aminos to wort in mid-fermentation may help by preventing the "too little" case. >I'm not sure AA/fusel "pairs" is a correct way to describe >it, This describes almost the entire issue. < iso-butanol, valine > < 2-methyl-butanol, isoleucine > < 3-methyl-butanol, leucine > < 2-phenyl-ethyl alc, phenylalanine > This leaves only n-propanol among the flavor active fusels in beer, and it has a somewhat complicated origin related to amino synthesis, which I can't explain at the moment. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2006 08:46:57 -0500 From: Dan Jeska <dan at kzoolf.org> Subject: Water Analysis, Part....Doh! Thanks to Jeff and Calvin for bringing to my attention what should have been obvious to me before I submitted my post....I used softened water for the sample I sent in to Ward Labs. Sometimes a grasp of the obvious is just outside my reach. Anyway, I have contacted the good folks at Ward Labs and asked them to send me another samlping bottle, we'll start the whole process over again in about a week. Dan Jeska Brewing in Prairieville, Michigan (85.5, 277.7 Rennerian) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2006 06:55:35 -0800 (PST) From: Calvin Perilloux <calvinperilloux at yahoo.com> Subject: More water analysis Ah, this is the week of water analysis! First off, recap of Dan Jeska's water from day before yesterday, then on to Dave Clark's from yesterday. (1) Dan Jeska's softened water I blathered on about Dan Jeska's water, and buried in the middle I commented: "This isn't coming out of a water softener, is it?? (Please say no, but it sure looks like it to me.)" And indeed Dan *is* on a water softener, as Jeff Renner also correctly guessed. Note to brewers: Brewing with softened water can be problematic, as you might have guessed from my comments yesterday. It is best avoided, and if you have a water softener at home, get your brewing water from a tap BEFORE the softener, not after it. (2a) Dave Clark's hard well water sample Some selections from the reports: Well Spring sodium 124 <-- ! 5 calcium 114 45 magnesium 17 7 total hardness CaCO3 356 142 sulfate SO4-S 12 5 chloride 196 <-- ! 1 carbonate CO3 <1 <1 bicarbonate HCO3 272 130 total alkalinity CaCO3 223 107 Dave, you're right. Your well water looks like a train wreck, specifically a salt spill after a train wreck. :-) OK, it's not terrible, but it's not that great for brewing. It looks almost like you're on top of a salt mine, wih all the sodium and chloride ions. You could get the carbonate down with the boil+aerate/cool/rack (BACR) treatment, but the NaCl problem is intractable and I'd be looking at distilled/RO dilutions for most styles. As for the spring water, it's much, much better. That's good brewing water. The carbonate can be removed (partly) with the BACR treatment, to give you a pretty close water for Bohemian Pilsener or other soft-water beers. For (English) pale ales, adding from 2 to 6 grams of gypsum for five gallons will get you in the ballpark, or even more for "Burtonised" water. But for most typical mid-range brews, this water is fine. I wouldn't even bother mixing in any of your well water. Skip the well, use the spring! Calvin Perilloux Middletown, Maryland, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2006 08:43:30 -0800 (PST) From: Glyn <graininfuser at yahoo.com> Subject: Mail order & Compost follow up I have enjoyed ordering over the years from: http://www.grapeandgranary.com/ also I have used: " THIS YEAR'S HOME BREW DIGEST BROUGHT TO YOU BY: Northern Brewer, Ltd. Home Brew Supplies Visit http://www.northernbrewer.com to show your appreciation! Or call them at 1-800-681-2739 Support those who support you! Visit our sponsor's site!" Most of the time now I try to visit All Seasons in Nashville TN when ever I am up that way. The only time I get an odor from my compost is when I am out of town and unable to turn it, and winter. The odor is only noticeable when you do finally turn it. The compost in the end is GREAT! I encourage all to give it a go if you grow anything. Glyn So. Middle TN Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2006 20:00:03 +0100 From: "Fredrik" <carlsbergerensis at hotmail.com> Subject: What is acceptable beer? > Bob Tower writes "My question for Matt or anyone else knowledgeable in > such matters is how does a brewer determine the level of amino acids in > a given wort? What are acceptable levels?" I think the most accurate answer got to be that if you beer is tasty - it is acceptable in that case ;-) Seriously, this is the ultimate measure for a brewer isn't it? :) Trying to definining the measure is IMO the first step of anything. I think there are many good points to try to understand that yeast, and what it "needs", but obviously we are not yeast farmers, we are brewers and exploit our yeasts to achieve the desired flavours without the slightest respect of cellular anxiousness :) The fact that I may learn what the yeast "wants" doesn't mean I will supply it, unless it suits my selfish goals. How evil, but we are bigger! I think that while we are discussing all these very interesting things, there are different measures of "success". The conditions that imply "success" for the yeast farmer, may not coincide with the ultimately balanced beer flavour. Set aside the technical aspects, there are alot of personal preferences involved too. The nitrogen regulations in yeast seems to be fairly complex, and while there is the complication that aminos are utilised in a kind of order - it's not quite that simple either in the sense that they are not utilized in a *strict* order, or even strict groupwise order, just almost. There seems to be many regulatory and sensory systems that regulated the amino utilisation. I don't quite get it yet, but I'm working on understanding it. I've read several papers on the topic and the nitrogen regulations, as well as a few tests where it's clear that there exists feebacks between the difference regulatory systems in the yeast. For example, the nitrogen regulations are tweaked also in response to the sugar source available. I recall one paper which indicated that "what is the preferred nitrogen source", may depend on the carbon source, making it all even more interesting, unpredictable and impressive for something so small :) /Fredrik Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2006 17:10:36 -0900 From: "Martin Brungard" <mabrungard at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: another water report Dave Clark presented an interesting comparison of waters available to him. He mentioned that both waters taste fine. The test results are below: Well water ph 7.6 sodium 124 potassium 4 calcium 114 magnesium 17 total hardness CaCO3 356 nitrate NO3-N 4.6 sulfate SO4-S 12 chloride 196 carbonate CO3 less than 1 bicarbonate HCO3 272 total alkalinity CaCO3 223 iron 0.02 total dissolved solids 720 and now the spring water: ph 7.8 sodium 5 potassium less than 1 calcium 45 magnesium 7 total hardness CaCO3 142 nitrate NO3-N 0.7 sulfate SO4-S 5 chloride 1 carbonate CO3 less than 1 bicarbonate HCO3 130 total alkalinity CaCO3 107 iron 0.02 total dissolved solids 174 The well water is pretty darn hard stuff. I'm surprised that Dave says it tastes 'just fine'. It should have a noticable taste. The spring water isn't too bad, but Dave erred when he mentioned it was 'fairly soft'. Compared to the well water, the spring water is soft. But in the real world, even the spring water is moderately hard. The high ionic content of the well water makes it much less suitable than the spring water for brewing. The high sodium and chloride contents of the well water will make it tougher to create a softer flavor profile. I would avoid using this water if the spring water was available. The spring water's moderate hardness and alkalinity add up to a residual alkalinity of about 71. This isn't too bad for brewing amber and darker beers. Its not ideally suited for a pilsner though. pH adjustment measures would be needed to brew a pale beer with the spring water. As usual, all sparge water should be pH adjusted down to about 5.7 to avoid tannin extraction. The big advantage the spring water has is that the 'flavor' ion contents are fairly low. That means that Dave wouldn't have to worry about excessive concentrations of those ions like sodium, chloride, and sulfate. He can always add these ions as needed for the style. Dave won't have to worry about mixing. He should only use the spring water and add minerals to achieve the desired water style. But, distilled water will be needed to make a good pils. I suggest that a 1:1 mix of distilled and spring water should be appropriate for a pils. Martin Brungard Tallahassee, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2006 13:34:39 +1100 From: "Williams, Rowan" <Rowan.Williams at ag.gov.au> Subject: Warm Lagering? [Sec: Unclassified] Hi all, I understand the importance of low pitching and fermentation temps for lagers...so much so, that I lashed out and bought a temp controller for a surplus fridge. I have a cellar that stays around 18C / 64F for most of the year. If I cold ferment my lagers, give them a diacetyl rest and then keg the beer under a CO2 blanket, am I undoing all the good work by leaving the kegged lager in the relatively warm cellar? Will the lager yeast residual in the keg throw unpleasant notes into the finished beer whilst it sits in the cellar??? My brew fridge is unfortunately somewhat small in size...I can either ferment or serve or condition kegs, but not more than one task at a time. So, unless I want to abstain from drinking for a few months, lagering in the fridge is not an option... Your thoughts? Cheers, Rowan Williams Canberra, Australia [9588.6, 261.5] AR (statute miles) - ----------------------------------------------------------------- If you have received this transmission in error please notify us immediately by return e-mail and delete all copies. If this e-mail or any attachments have been sent to you in error, that error does not constitute waiver of any confidentiality, privilege or copyright in respect of information in the e-mail or attachments. Return to table of contents
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