HOMEBREW Digest #5209 Wed 18 July 2007

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  Refractometer Question ("Grant Stott")
  Re: old hops (Jeff Adelsberger)
  re: Lingering acetobacteria? ("-s@adelphia.net")
  rr:cloudy beer ("Ubi")
  Dark Beer, Headaches and Hangovers ("Raymond T. Gaffield")
  RE: Cloudy Beer ("Art & Liz  McGregor")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2007 17:36:24 +1000 From: "Grant Stott" <gstott1 at ncable.net.au> Subject: Refractometer Question Having trouble setting up outlook 2003 so my post gets thru. This is try No.3 I have been using a refractometer for the last half dozen or so brews using Promash to adjust the F.G result. About 3 brews ago I broke my hydrometer jar & as the refractometer has been accurate enough for my requirements have not bothered replacing it. Recently I brewed my annual batch of Stout using Jeff Renner's excellent Brown malt stout recipe & I noticed that trying to use the refractometer to make a reading is very difficult as there is a lot of blurring that occurs when trying to take a reading that is not present when doing light coloured beers. So my question is, is there a readily accessible online article that explains this, or is there a simple explanation on why this occurs that I am unaware of. All factual explanations readily accepted. Regards, Grant Stott Victoria Australia mmmm Beer (Homer Simpson) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2007 07:56:04 -0400 From: Jeff Adelsberger <jeffade at mac.com> Subject: Re: old hops Re: old hops Tom, I've heard pellet hops do very well when kept at cold temperatures. I'd say it will definately be worth it to try them out. you may want to bump up the recipe usage slightly as the alpha and aroma will have faded. If they are leaf hops I'd tread lightly and do either a small batch or something where it won't be a big loss if it turns out to be hop light. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2007 09:20:11 -0400 From: "-s at adelphia.net" <-s@adelphia.net> Subject: re: Lingering acetobacteria? Doug Moyer asks ... ================================================== "Distilled" white vinegar means the vinegar is concentrated (see the definition of 'distilled'). It does NOT mean that the vinegar passed through a reflux still. "Distilled vinegar" may include viable aceobacteria. treat it accordingly. ================================================== >Once you mix the vinegar with the diluted bleach, won't that kill any viable >acetobacteria? Isn't that the whole purpose of the exercise? Right Doug. Any bacteria in the vinegar+bleach sol'n will be killed. My point is that you should treat a bottle of vinegar in the brewery in much the same way you'd treat a bottle of pond water. I recall hearing an HBer once considering adding vinegar to a stout to give it a little guinness-like 'tang' (or maybe it was to make his n.euro ale more 'flemish' in character - I don't quite recall). He was convinced this was safe since bottles of white vinegar are labelled "distilled". Distilled merely means "concentrated", and it does not automatically imply that the high temperatures of a reflux still were applied. This method might work without problem, OTOH you might end up with a lingering infection in the bottle or keg that will turn your slightly acidic ale beer into salad dressing. Note that acetobacteria are among the few that can tolerate the low pH and consume the ethanol in finished beer or even wine. I don't actually know how industrial vinegar is concentrated, but I can imagine that the expensive process of reflux distillation is avoided and something like reverse osmosis filtration is performed on a fraction and remixed with conventionally filtered remainder. FWIW the sort of filtration used on mass market beer greatly reduces but does not eliminate yeast cells. On several occasions I've resuscitated a brewing yeast from a bottle of Michelob. Filtration is generally not sterilization. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2007 09:35:54 -0400 From: "Ubi" <oobyjooby at cs.com> Subject: rr:cloudy beer Is there the possiblity that the malt has gone slack? If is has taken up 15% moisture it may have lost some diastatic power and you are passing on some unconverted starch. Do you check mash with iodine? Ubi Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2007 22:43:57 +0200 From: "Raymond T. Gaffield" <raygaffield at mac.com> Subject: Dark Beer, Headaches and Hangovers Hi, A non-brewing friend commented to me recently that I had change his life, or at least his drinking habits, by introducing him to the rich splendors of dark beers. Unfortunately, he has subsequently discovered that it gives him headaches and as a result, he has stop drinking them. I have done some brief googling and found the following 2 pieces of info that raise some more questions. 1. Chemicals called amines either dilate (histamines) or constrict (tyramines) blood vessels in the brain, either of which may cause headaches in a small segment of the population. Chocolate, vanilla, beans, nuts, bananas, cultured products like cheese and yogurt and fermented products, especially dark beer, soy sauce and red wine are all significant sources of tyramines. 2. The amount of flavor compounds in the drink will increase the hangover, so a dark beer, or stout, such as Guinness will produce a worse hangover than drinking the equivalent amount of alcohol diluted in water (basically Vodka). My questions : I have found more than one reference to #1, the blood-vessel constricting tyramines, Does anybody have any additional information ? Is this the culprit and thus is my friend a part of the unfortunate minority of people that are affected by this ? Is #2 factual ? Will flavor compounds really increase the effects of hangovers ? Related to the 2nd Q: Is there scientific basis for some beers producing more hangovers than others ? The web, via my google, is filled with war stories, commentary, and advice about beers that do or don't produce hangovers. Lastly, do any commercial beers actually contain preservatives ? Again cited by many as a source of hangovers or increased hangover effects. Thanx. Cheers, Ray Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2007 21:55:52 -0400 From: "Art & Liz McGregor" <a.l.mcgregor at verizon.net> Subject: RE: Cloudy Beer Hi Everyone, My experience with batches is that they usually comes out clear after sitting in the secondary for 4-5 weeks, but once refrigerated it gets chill haze. I don't add anything to clear the beer, but the chill haze usually clears up (drops to the bottom of the corny keg) by the time the keg is half gone (about a month?). However, I recently made a pale ale using a pound of Malted Oats, toasted to 350 F for 10 minutes, and it has not cleared at all, even after 2 months in the fridge. I make extract beers (plain LME) with specialty grains steeped and/or mini-mashed for color/flavor. I've never had a beer stay cloudy so long, even my wheat beers. One a separate note, I plan to brew my 300th batch this weekend! I started brewing in the spring of 1993. I tried all-grain for 8 batches but had to switch back to extract beer as a compromise for family harmony (it was taking too much time and my wife was wondering if the homebrewing was becoming more important than family life/time). One day I'll drag out the all-grain equipment for another try, but probably not for a few years, since I still have too many kids at home and not enough time. - --------------------------------- Hoppy Brewing, Art McGregor <A.L.mcgregor at verizon.net> (Northern Virginia) Return to table of contents
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