HOMEBREW Digest #5100 Mon 27 November 2006

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  Re: plastic carboys (Alan Semok)
  Home Brewing in The Netherlands? (Bob Tower)
  Use of Sparkolloid and bottle conditioning (Fred L Johnson)
  RE: Metabisufite ("David Houseman")
  Metabite in the Mash ("A.J deLange")
  Plastic fermentors ("Dave Draper")
  Mash Mixing ("Jay Spies")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 01:20:13 -0500 From: Alan Semok <asemok at mac.com> Subject: Re: plastic carboys On Nov 27, 2006, at 12:13 AM, Andrew Kligerman <homebre973 at yahoo.com>wrote: > I was wondering if anyone > has any problems with using the plastic clear > carboys for secondary fermentation, as they are > cheap and prevalent in water coolers now? Do > these sterilize well with diluted bleach well? > Thanks, > Andy from Hillsborough No problems whatsoever...I have used both plastic and glass carboys for years and can safely say that there are no issues re sanitizing with bleach. The plastic ones are indeed a LOT lighter in handling. Have ever secondaried in them for as long as 2 months with no issues whatsoever. cheers, AL Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 2006 22:39:36 -0800 From: Bob Tower <bob at constructotower.com> Subject: Home Brewing in The Netherlands? I have the opportunity to live and brew beer in The Netherlands (in Hoorn, which is about a 30 minute rail ride north of Amsterdam) for 4 months next year in order to supply non-Heineken beer for several art exhibitions being put on by the University of Utrecht. Evidently, the Dutch REALLY like beer so I'm going to have to work hard! I was wondering if any of you know of any Dutch home brewers groups or organizations. Also, I will need a source for supplies (both ingredients and equipment). My Dutch contact says that she has heard of Dutch home brewing groups and will try to locate them for me, but I was just wondering if one of you out there already has some knowledge in this area. Any help, tips or ideas would be of great assistance to me. Thanks in advance! Bob Tower / Los Angeles, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 07:17:26 -0500 From: Fred L Johnson <FLJohnson52 at nc.rr.com> Subject: Use of Sparkolloid and bottle conditioning I have grown tired of having cloudy beers. I recently had another muddy beer after two weeks in the secondary with a respectable final gravity and with no activity. I decided to use some gelatin and Sparkolloid to clear this batch. Within only several hours of adding the fining agents, the beer had become crystal clear. (I hadn't seen such a beautiful sight in my brewery in years!) I bottled this beer a couple of days later, but I feared that it would take several weeks to carbonate, if at all, so I added 250 microliters of the lees from the secondary to each bottle. It has only been a few days since bottling and the bottles haven't fully carbonated yet (no surprise), but the lees have settled to the bottom in a VERY loose pellet above a very clear beer. I essentially now have two cases of amber snow globes! I'm sure the beer will carbonate, but I have little hope of being able to decant off of this loose pellet without leaving behind more beer than I'd prefer to waste. I'm guessing that this is the way Sparkolloid is always going to behave and that I should have used unfined beer or a fresh yeast to carbonate the bottles. Any advice you'd like to offer? I'm considering taking the next step to filtering my beers. Can I bottle condition a filtered beer by simply reserving some of the batch before fining and filtering it and then mixing in the unfined, unfiltered beer at bottling time? Fred L Johnson Apex, North Carolina, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 07:45:08 -0500 From: "David Houseman" <david.houseman at verizon.net> Subject: RE: Metabisufite Fred, While someone may come up with a measurement of oxidation, probably the best is your senses. And there is a way to objectively measure this. The triangle test is what I'd suggest. Make one batch of beer but oxidize 1/2 of it. At bottling this is much easier. Since you are looking for effects in the mash you may just have to make two batches trying to control all other variables. That's going to be the most difficult part, IMHO. Once you have your two beers (one with metabisulfite and one without) have these tasted blind. The triangle test involves tasting three beers (items), two are identical and one is different. The objective is to pick out the one that is different. This can be repeated several times, in different combinations, to eliminate chance. While the test is not numerical, it is objective. Can you sense the difference between a beer treated with metabisulfite and one that hasn't been, when all the other variables are kept the same. Good luck, David Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 12:59:02 +0000 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Metabite in the Mash One could, and apparently brewers formerly did (see DeClerck), measure the oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) of their worts and beers. This is a relatively simple measurement in which an ORP electrode (a relatively simple affair with a platinum band and a reference junction) is calibrated against quinhydrone at a couple of pH's. The electrode produces a voltage which is proportional to the redox potential of the beer and the pH after the reference voltage is accounted for. The typical pH meter has a millivolts scale which can be used to make the measurements. The catch is that the sample must be protected from air and that pH and ORP electodes must be simultaneously immersed. If you try to do this in an open beaker the ORP just soars as oxygen is dissolved from the air and that in itself, I suppose, tells us something about the efficacy of adding reducing agents to the mash in view of the fact that we are going to pump oxygen into the wort to at least 100% saturation and probably more. So what one would probably want to do is measure finished beer as it is possible to draw it from fermenter or keg into a air-purged measurement chamber. The investigator would be looking for lower ORP in beers brewed with metabite as opposed to those which were not. A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 06:21:50 -0700 From: "Dave Draper" <david at draper.name> Subject: Plastic fermentors Dear Friends, Andy from Hillsborough asks in #5099 about using plastic fermentors after having broken a glass carboy. This is exactly why I never use glass, combined with all the hard surfaces in my brewing environment, just not worth the risk to me when the results are every bit as good when using the *proper* kind of plastic (PET). I've ridden that hobby horse here for years and won't repeat it now. However, ordinary water-cooler plastic is NOT the correct kind, it's way too permeable to oxygen, will probably impart plastic-like off flavors, and is difficult to sanitize. Recently, a firm called BetterBottle has come out with what look just like plastic water- cooler carboys, but which are in fact made specifically for homebrewing out of high density PET. They come in 3, 5, and 6-gallon sizes and have an option to be fitted with a nifty spigot down at the bottom that has an ingenious method for drawing the beer off right down to just above the sediment. No more siphoning, everything is gravity driven. I have two of the 6-gal models and I absolutely love them, they're totally unbreakable, very easy indeed to clean and sanitize, and are the best of both worlds IMO. Check out their site at http://www.better-bottle.com/ for the details, and they can be ordered from such online vendors as Midwest and Beer, Beer, and More Beer. Usual disclaimer, just a satisfied customer, etc etc. Cheers, 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 ...yeast contain the mechanism of their own destruction. ---Charlie Scandrett Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 10:32:59 -0500 From: "Jay Spies" <jayspies at citywidehomeloans.com> Subject: Mash Mixing All - Been a while since I've posted here....probably a few years, but Doug Moyer's post intriugued me... Doug says he's concerned about mash bed compaction crushing his twin bazooka screen setup. Man, Doug, you must be running that pump full throttle or have a ten foot high mash tun to deform two bazooka screens. I have exactly that setup in my MT - 2 bazooka screens connected to a T so that the whole thing looks kinda like an "H". I recirc the whole mash (I have an all-electric CFC heat exchanged 10 gallon single-tier HERMS system running dual pumps) and I have yet to even have a slow runoff. What I do is flood all the lines with water the night before, and then when I recirc I throttle the flow on the MT pump back to what would normally just come out of the spigot naturally. I have never run the pump wide open for more than a few seconds, and then only to clear air bubbles. My mash has never compacted. Bazooka screens are tough little buggers, so if you're deforming them it sounds like you're running waaay too much flow. As an aside, I see a grant as a useless introduction of air (at least in my system). Just throttle the flow back and see if that helps. Cheers, Jay Spies Head Mashtun Scraper Asinine Aleworks York, PA Return to table of contents
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