HOMEBREW Digest #5111 Wed 20 December 2006

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  Re:  What's The Temperature, Kenneth? (harry.backenass)
  Ginger Ale (HBD 5110) (Mark Garthwaite)
  Fermentation temperature ("Peed, John")
  A lot of foam on the first pint of the day... (Michael Eyre)
  Glyn asks about Imperial Porter or other great Porter recipie's ("Steve Laycock")
  For our fearless Lager! ("Steve Laycock")
  Re: What's The Temperature, Kenneth? ("Greg 'groggy' Lehey")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 7:40:35 -0800 From: <harry.backenass at charter.net> Subject: Re: What's The Temperature, Kenneth? I haven't tried this myself, but one item that you could probably use to monitor the temperature inside the fermenting wort is a type of probe thermometer available at pet stores for aquariums. They are inexpensive - I saw some at a PetSmart for $10 or so. Harry Backenass Somewhere in Middle America Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 09:42:58 -0600 From: Mark Garthwaite <mgarth at primate.wisc.edu> Subject: Ginger Ale (HBD 5110) A question regarding the adaptation of Jeff Renner's ginger ale recipe: Do you carbonate this and if so to what degree? Or is it mostly still and just pushed via CO2? -Mark in Madison, WI Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 09:43:10 -0800 From: "Peed, John" <jpeed at elotouch.com> Subject: Fermentation temperature Steve asks about fermentation temperature relative to ambient. Steve, you're a thinkin' man, and you're gonna do just fine as a result - most people just believe what they want to believe, rather than actually try figure out what's really going on. Fermentation is definitely an exothermic reaction, so the wort is definitely warmer than the ambient temperature. And yes, the more vigorous the fermentation, the more heat is generated, which makes it one of those nasty positive-feedback situations - the higher the ambient, the higher the wort temperature and the more vigorous the fermentation, and the more vigorous the fermentation, the higher the wort temperature. To keep an average ale at 68 F when it's at peak fermentation, you will need to keep ambient temperature 6 to 10 degrees cooler; 60 to 62 is a safe bet if you have to go by ambient. Better yet is to stick one of those digital liquid crystal thermometer strips on your fermenter, assuming it's a glass carboy or metal keg (a plastic bucket is too good an insulator for a Fermometer do you any good). Those things really aren't very good though - I don't rely on them to be any closer than within 3 or 4 degrees of actual wort temperature. How would I know? Because I've cross-checked them with a much better device. And this is a nice blend into your second topic, the remote-probe thermometer with the steel braid jacket that develops problems. My local Wal Mart has a remote-probe digital oven thermometer that has a silicone-jacketed probe cable that's sealed where it joins the stainless probe. The probe is about 6" long and is nearly straight, which makes it easy to drop into a carboy for a quick measurement. The cable is smooth, very flexible and easily cleaned and sanitized. Not only that, they appear to be accurate to within close to a degree (several units checked against a good glass thermometer). They do have quirks - Max, Min and Alarm buttons that could be useful, but which are just annoying to me. And the only way to turn them off is to remove the battery. But they don't draw much current, so no real need to turn them off. And mine has locked up once or twice in several months of use, so just keep in mind that it can happen (R&R the battery to fix that). I believe the name is AccuRite, and they're around $15. I highly recommend them for periodic checks of fermentation temperature or for monitoring mash temperature full-time (mash temperature stratification is a whole nuther thread). The electronic part of the unit doesn't like being immersed in water any more than you do, and it'll last about as long under water as you would. Fortunately, though, if you ever do dunk it, it should work fine again after allowing it time to dry out. So, ale at peak fermentation: 6 to 10 F higher than ambient. After 2 days, the difference drops about 2 degrees a day. The temperature differential for lagers seems to be 6 to 8 degrees at peak fermentation, with the same sort of reduction there-after. John Peed Oak Ridge, TN Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 19:05:00 -0800 From: Michael Eyre <meyre at sbcglobal.net> Subject: A lot of foam on the first pint of the day... And that about says it all. I'm getting a small burst of foam on the first pint of the day (half day? Some period of long-ish rest between pints) with all subsequent pint pulls being picture perfect. I've got a 1 foot rise to the shank and through-the-door faucet and a 4.5 foot gas line length based on my calculations. I'm chilled to 38 degrees F. I figure this should be just about right, and seems to work perfect for most things.... but I look like a bit of an amateur on the first pint of the day. Any idea what gives? Mike Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 13:09:51 -0800 From: "Steve Laycock" <slaycock at discoverynet.com> Subject: Glyn asks about Imperial Porter or other great Porter recipie's I too would appreciate a great porter recipe. A friend of mine is a nubie in the homebrewing world and has been pestering me for a good porter recipe to brew up. I havent dug through my personal recipe archives, but would appreciate like Glyn a proven recipe for that perverbial "wonderful porter". Thanks so much for your help! Steve in KC Highwater Brewhaus "I know it is not a "true" style so say robust. I just find it funny with all the "Imperial" beers coming out right now, seems to be the current trendy thing. So does any one want to share a great recipe? Thanks, Glyn in S. Mid. TN" Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 13:36:18 -0800 From: "Steve Laycock" <slaycock at discoverynet.com> Subject: For our fearless Lager! I would like to take this time to personally thank Our fearless Lager Pat Babcock for his time and frustration in maintaining this board over this year and past years! Thank you Pat & all of your little elf's (real or imaginary) that have helped you through yet another year of the HBD!!! We all appreciate your diligence with keeping this board together, clean of computer trash and moderate the occasional wild fires that pop up between those passionate brewers that frequent and contribute to this "Library of Alexandra" This place is truly a special place for an unending source of Brewing information. Information ranging from the seemingly insignificant to the unimaginable complexity that fuels our craft. Thanks to all the contributors that keep things going for us lurkers to glean from. I've pondered many a question that I have found addressed and answered on this forum. I wish you all a Blessed Christmas Celebration & a Malty New Year!! Steve in KC (P.S.. Pat look for a contribution check from me (and hopefully others), for your never ending HBD expenses & Thank you again!!) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2006 11:58:39 +1030 From: "Greg 'groggy' Lehey" <grog at lemis.com> Subject: Re: What's The Temperature, Kenneth? [Breaking attribution to adhere to list policy] On Tuesday, 19 December 2006 at 13:47:39 -0600, Daniel, Steven J. (JSC-NS)[AND] wrote: > Merry Christmas everybody! > > I have a question regarding refrigerator temperature control during > fermentation. My controller, like most others I've seen, monitors the > air temperature inside the refrigerator to determine cooling demand. I > would assume there must be some heat generated by the fermentation > process, and this would result in a delta between the controller > set-point and the actual temperature of the fermenting beer. So, if a > beer is actively fermenting in a refrigerator set at 50F, how much > hotter will the beer be than the air? It varies during the fermentation. It can go as high as 5<forbidden degree symbol>C at the height of fermentation. > Would the delta be greater for a warmer ferment (i.e. ale fermenting > at 65F) since the fermentation is more vigorous? In general, yes. > It seems that I would need to set the refrigerator at a slightly > lower temperature than I want the beer to be, but the question is > how much lower? Depends on lots of factors. In general, you're better off measuring the wort temperature. This is what I do--see http://www.lemis.com/grog/brewing/temperature-control.html for details. > On another note, I have an observation related to digital > temperature probes that I'd like to pass along. <Interesting story > removed> I am contemplating whether to attempt to grind off the > crimp and pull the innards out of the stainless tube, then pot the > innards with silicone sealant and reinsert. This may ruin the probe > if I'm not careful, but it may also make the probe more water > resistant if I'm successful. Any thoughts on this? We've had a fair amount of discussion of temperature probes and where to place them, both on this list and (more) on the Australian Craftbrewers list. I've always advocated placing them on the surface of the fermenter, while others have placed them inside. My arguments are hygiene on the one side, and ease of control on the other: the temperature in the wort is not constant, and it takes longer to react to external influences, making it more difficult to control the temperature. The down side is that you want to measure the temperature of the wort, not the outside temperature. I use polypropylene fermenters, which means that a small patch of bubble foil will insulate from the outside. Glass should be similar, but with metal fermenters there's a danger that the outside temperature could influence the reading too much. Greg - -- Finger grog at lemis.com for PGP public key. See complete headers for address and phone numbers. Return to table of contents
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