HOMEBREW Digest #5094 Wed 15 November 2006

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  No-sparge efficiency ("Spencer W. Thomas")
  Infusion in small vessel ("Dave Draper")
  Ascorbic acid vs. sodium metabisulfite ("JONES,AARON K")
  re: HSA...-S's sulfur comment ("Chad Stevens")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2006 23:04:11 -0500 From: "Spencer W. Thomas" <spencer at spencerwthomas.com> Subject: No-sparge efficiency I posted this in 1994. It bears occasional reposting. One nit-picking correction: in the first paragraph, I use the word "sparge", where "lauter" is really the correct term. :-) Here's a table I use to for making high gravity beers from first-runnings, only. I then sparge second runnings to make a weaker beer from the remaining extract. The method is this: mash with the specified water-grain ratio, then drain the bed dry. Use these "first runnings" for your strong beer. You can sparge as fast as it will go, because if your mash is properly mixed, the sugar in the liquor and in the grain are in equilibrium, so no extra sugars will be extracted by going slowly. How to read the table: the first column is quarts of water per pound of grain. The second is the specific gravity of the run-off in "points" (e.g. 105 means 1.105). The third column is quarts of run-off collected per pound. The final column is your extract efficiency in pt-lb/gallon. These are pre-boil figures, so if you boil down from 6 to 5 gallons, you'll get another 15% or so (e.g., 1.105 -> 1.120, which I actually got in my most recent "bombastic beer" attempt). qt/lb SG collect extract 1 105 .4 10 1.25 90 .65 15 1.5 80 .9 18 2 60 1.4 21 These numbers work for my system, and were determined by experiment. Your mileage may (will?) vary. I'm assuming that each pound of wet grain absorbs .6 quarts of water. A recent article in Brewing Techniques gave a figure of .4 qt/lb, which would obviously increase the amount of run-off (and would improve the efficiency). =S Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2006 06:27:53 -0700 From: "Dave Draper" <david at draper.name> Subject: Infusion in small vessel Dear Friends, Todd in Ft. Collins asks about difficulties hitting desired temps under a range of infusion vs. direct heating scenarios. My two cents: You're probably right that spending too much time during direct heating can have a negative impact on your resulting wort, and infusions are thus a good way to avoid that. I've never added cold water to my grain, but simply added the water heated to the temperature calculated to make the mixture what I want it to be. I generally add half my grain to the vessel (I mash in a converted sankey keg), then half the water, stir thoroughly with my paddle for a couple of minutes to make sure there are no doughballs, then add the rest of the grain and the rest of the water and repeat. Never a problem, and I consistently get better than 30 ppg with fine results in the finished beer. So one easy answer is just don't bother mixing with cold water at all. As for calculating the proper temps, there are lots of writeups out there for doing this, and it's included in most all of the brewing software that's out there. Both ProMash and Suds have modules for making the calc, and both have a term called "thermal mass" which is basically a fudge factor that helps account for the fact that your vessel will absorb some of the heat from the water, thus requiring higher temp or more water to get the same final T. For example, I need to set that value to 0.35 in my system (determined strictly by trial and error) in order to hit my targets, which I do to within one degree C every time. On my beer page is some venerable work from Kelly Jones way back when that allows you to compute this stuff by hand. I also live at high elevation (about 5600 here) and I never have a problem with mashes getting too thin; my water boils at 95 C and my initial mass ratios range from 2.3 to 2.5 (kg/l). When I add my mashout infusion it's a lot thinner but by then I don't care, of course. So there should be no trouble doing what you are aiming for. Hope this helps, Dave in ABQ =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- David S. Draper, Institute of Meteoritics, Univ New Mexico David at Draper dot Name Beer page: http://www.unm.edu/~draper/beer.html Don't pick your nose. ---Domenick Venezia Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2006 09:44:00 -0500 (EST) From: "JONES,AARON K" <kjones1 at ufl.edu> Subject: Ascorbic acid vs. sodium metabisulfite Which is the preferred method for oxidation prevention? It would seem that sodium metabisulfite would be preferred for preventing HSA, as it is farily stable (unlike ascorbic acid, which is degraded by light and heat). However, given the added sodium and some folks sensitivity to sulfites, it would seem that ascorbic acid would be preferred post-fermentation. Does this sound reasonable? I have had some moderate oxidation problems with my kegged beer, so I'm seeking to prevent it in the future (I always handle the beer carefully, but sometimes it seems it's unavoidable). Or is a small sodium metabisulfite addition in the mash enough to carry you all the way? Kyle Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2006 15:44:22 -0800 From: "Chad Stevens" <zuvaruvi at cox.net> Subject: re: HSA...-S's sulfur comment Steve Alexander wrote something that I'd like to comment on: "My hunch is that lager yeasts are the better sulfite producers, and most ale yeasts - not so much." That had been my assumption as well, but recently, I've been using ale yeasts at lager temps just to see what would happen; the results have been interesting. For example, I made an alt using WLP001 (California Ale yeast). I started the ferment at 55f and dropped it into the 40's the next day. The result was a noticeably sulfury edge that lingered for several months. A typically European lager note. Point is, I think the free sulfur metabolic pathway may be switched on as a result of ambient temp as much as it is a function of yeast specie. I've seen this in several strains now. Comments? Chad Stevens QUAFF San Diego Return to table of contents
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