HOMEBREW Digest #524 Wed 24 October 1990

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Low cost brew-stuff (UIUC High energy physics Dept)" <CBL at uihepa.hep.uiuc.edu>
  competition, bottle rules (Kim Mills)
  Edme bashing, revised. (617)253-0885" <CASEY at ALCVAX.PFC.MIT.EDU>
  BrewCap experience (Tom Maszerowski)
  re: BrewCap (Jay Littlepage - Global Information Resources)
  Re:  BrewCap upside-down carboy (Tim Phillips)
  Apples... (sandven)
  Funny Smelling Starters (bob)
  For what it's worth (Dave Durkin)
  icing wort (mike_schrempp)
  Re: BrewCap & a comment on taste (Sheridan Adams)
  Re: BrewCap (Ken Giles)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 23 Oct 90 06:41 CDT From: "C. Luchini (UIUC High energy physics Dept)" <CBL at uihepa.hep.uiuc.edu> Subject: Low cost brew-stuff Can anyone give me a reference to a source for large quantities of _*cheap*_ brew stuff? Between the 11 people I know who are brewing, we go through about 10-12 batches a month (20-25 cases). At $15 per can of extract, it's getting expensive. -C. Luchini Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 90 08:38:18 -0400 From: kim at nova.npac.syr.edu (Kim Mills) Subject: competition, bottle rules I will be involved for the second year in organizing our brewing club's annual competition. The rules on bottles (caps only, size) always present difficulties to some of our members. Can anyone describe why these rules are used in sanctioned competitions? What do brewers do who keg their beer? Thanks, Kim Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 90 09:35 EST From: "JEFF CASEY / (617)253-0885" <CASEY at ALCVAX.PFC.MIT.EDU> Subject: Edme bashing, revised. Dredging up a weeks-old topic: Edme Bashing. I was the one who defended Edme vigorously, submitting the results of an old experiment with many different yeasts, to refresh your memories... ...but I now have 2 kegs full of beer brewed about a month ago (a red bitter and a stout, both partial mashes, both using Edme). They started out ok, but seemed over carbonated when I started drinking them. Fortunately, since they are in a keg, I can relieve the pressure. The over-carbonation hasn't stopped, however, and they are starting to pick up odd flavors. It is as if there is either an infection or a super-attenuative yeast in there munching away, but incredible quantities of CO2 are being generated long after fermentation should have stopped. (The stout, by the way, sat in a secondary for an extra week or so, with nearly no action at the end). This seems to be the keg equivalent of gushing bottles. Has anybody else seen this keg behavior (you can reply to me if you don't want to clutter the net)? I still believe that Edme used to be pretty good stuff, but there is probably a batch out there with some pretty bad contaminants. I for one will stop using it for awhile (switch to Whitbread). I hope nobody ruined a batch due to my bad advice. Relax, don't worry, have some foam. Jeff Casey casey at alcvax.pfc.mit.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 90 10:15:49 EDT From: moscom!tcm at ee.rochester.edu (Tom Maszerowski) Subject: BrewCap experience In HOMEBREW Digest #523, 10/23/90 polstra!jdp at uunet.UU.NET (John Polstra) writes: >Do any of you have any actual experience using the BrewCap closed >fermentation system? The more I think about it, the more it appeals to >me. I felt the same way. In theory, it is the ideal fermentation system for home since it avoids contact with the air until the beer is actually in the bottle. In practice, it is a difficult and, dare I say, worrisome, way to brew. The first problem is building a stand to hold your carboy upside down. I used two plastic milk crates ty-wrapped together. Even with this, it is not simple task to turn over 5 gallons of wort in a carboy, you may want help. The actual fermentation went smoothly, as far as the beer goes. I was unable to completely empty the carboy neck of trub no matter what I did. Thus, come bottling time I was forced to fill the first couple of bottles with the sediment. Even after the carboy was empty the trub remained in contact with the glass. I used pellet hops so there was no chance of blocking the tubes, this may have been a factor. In spite of all of this the theory is still sound and I may even try it again some day. - ---------- Tom Maszerowski tcm at moscom.com {rit,tropix,ur-valhalla}!moscom!tcm "I brew the beer I drink." Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 90 08:18:49 PDT From: jayl at EBay.Sun.COM (Jay Littlepage - Global Information Resources) Subject: re: BrewCap I haven't tried the official BrewCap for closed fermentation, but I can share my experience with my homemade BrewCap clone, which I put together primarily for bottling. It always seemed that starting a siphon was about as un-sanitary a practice as a homebrewer could have, so I thought i'd try gravity instead. In my setup there is nothing to the long tube, it is just a vacuum breaker. The short tube is 3/8in. rigid tubing; I melted the end shut with a soldering iron and drilled a number of tiny input holes on the sides of the tube. These holes sit just above the settled yeast, and I havn't had a clog yet. I built a shelf in my garage (3/4in. plywood covered with a scrap of carpet, with a hole in the middle for the carboy neck) and use a bungee to keep the inverted carboy from tipping here in earthquake country. I still go through a normal primary/secondary fermentation. Shortly before bottling I invert the carboy on it's shelf to let the yeast settle into the neck. This is a pain, and is the only time I have lost the cap (yes, it's a real mess!). Once it's set up, though, bottling is a breeze, very little trub gets into the bottles, and the yeast is ready for collection. I hadn't thought about a closed fermentation, but now i'm intrigued. If someone has tried it I hope they write about it. Jay Littlepage jayl at homebrew.sun.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 90 08:57:38 PDT From: tcp at phobos.ESL.COM (Tim Phillips) Subject: Re: BrewCap upside-down carboy > Fermentation is done in a 7-gallon carboy that is supported > upside-down. A 2-hole stopper is used in the mouth of the carboy. > Through one hole of the > stopper is a long stiff tube that reaches up all the way to the highest > part of the inverted carboy (i.e., to what would normally be the bottom > of the carboy). Through the other hole is a short tube that is > normally closed off. One more problem you may encounter: when emptying the trub or filling the bottles, the long tube (i.e. the fermentation lock) is going to suck a lot of air. It's probably best to take the lock off temporarily. Any ideas on how to do blow-off with this method? In case of clogging, is an upside-down beer volcano better than right-side-up (e.g. the floor is easier to clean than the ceiling :^)? Tim Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 90 10:19:07 MDT From: sandven at hooey.unm.edu Subject: Apples... Hola - Being the farsighted individual that I am - I completely ignored the past postings on cider recipies. I had no plans for doing this, but last weekend was invited to a small town here in New Mexico (Nambe) and ended up working to harvest apples ( Jonathon and Winesap ? ). Anyhow, there is a hundred year old community apple press, and when I got home Sunday night I had 9 gallons of cider in the back of my car. I froze 4 gallons, and decided to brew something with the rest. The local homebrewing shop owner was out of town, but his wife was there. She knew next to nothing about brewing so I just went for it. I added the following to the five gallons of cider. 1/8 tsp. sodium meta-bisulfite (to kill wild yeast) 4 lbs. of corn sugar 5 tsp. pectic acid (?) (to stop browning) 2 tsp. tannin (adds astringent wine flavor) 2.5 tsp. acid blend (???) I then waited for a day, then added 2 tbsp. of yeast nutrients and pitched one and a half packets of champagne yeast (red star). I waited to pitch the yeast to let the bi-sulfite produce SO2 and kill anything wild in there. I am planning on brewing it like beer for now. I'll rack it in a few days. I guess I really want to know how this recipe sounds. I basically took a wine recipe and cut the acid blend/tannin amounts in half to try and keep the stuff sweeter than wine. I would like to have it slightly carbonated in the bottle and was wondering if I should prime it with a cup of corn sugar - or will the alcohol level kill the yeast ?? I kind of want it to come out like sweet wine, with a fair amount of alcohol, but still carbonated like sparkling wine. I think that adding the sugar will make more alcohol and keep me from being able to carbonate it in the bottle. The O.G of the stuff was 1.095. Thanks for any information, Steve (sandven at wayback.unm.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue Oct 23 12:59:24 1990 From: semantic!bob at uunet.UU.NET Subject: Funny Smelling Starters On funny smelling starters: On all of my previous batches of homebrew I have only used dry yeast. Further I have always pitched right into the carboy and had a vigorous ferment going in about 8 hours. (All where ales) In making my last batch of brew I decided to get my yeast started a couple of hours early. So I boiled up a half cup of light DME with two cups of water, cooled it (covered in the freezer) until it was 75F and pitched in my dry yeast (Whitbread). I noticed the yeast didn't stir into the starter at all, but since this was the first time I've tried a starter I assume this is normal. A while later, maybe an hour or two, the starter is kicking away and forms a nice foamy head. Well I was happy! But then I noticed this odor. So I stick my nose in and there is this nasty smell. It was very sulfury and estery (Like grape skins). I got worried :-(. But it was all the yeast I had around, except for some Fleischmans Bread Yeast. So I tried not to worry and pitched the starter into the carboy as usual. Unfortunately I broke the carboy (A story for another day) and lost five gallons of a beautiful red ale, Aarg! So I don't have any idea if my starter was contaminated. Anyway my question for discussion is: Is it alright for starters to smell funny? Or did I have some bad or dead yeast and either a bacteria or wild yeast had taken control of my starter? Yours, for stainless steel carboys, - -- Robert A. Gorman (Bob) bob at rsi.com Watertown MA US -- - -- Relational Semantics, Inc. uunet!semantic!bob +1 617 926 0979 -- Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 90 12:47 EDT From: durk at dialogic.com (Dave Durkin) Subject: For what it's worth The colder weather is coming on us and it got me to think.... When I was living in England, I had a problem brewing in the winter. The houses there usually are not heated when no one is home. And, as you can well imagine, this posed a problem with breeding ale yeasties. But, I came upon an idea. I bought a submersible aquariam heater (long, glass cylinder type going for around $20-$25 in any pet shop) and, after soaking it in sterilizer, placed it in my primary fermenter. I was using a plastic bin fermenter, so I cut a hole in the lid to accomodate the electric heater and cord. I then cut a wedge out of a solid rubber stopper, placed the cord in it, and glued the wedge back in place. In the beginning, I was a little nervous about infections because the heater has a twist knob on it with lots of ridges in it as well as some other good hiding places for nasties. But I have had absolutely no problems with the set up. I would think that the mouth of a carboy is big enough to swallow the heater and the same sort of stopper arrangement could be made even with the airlock in place. But, I have never tried it. If any one has to ferment in a cold basement, this may be a solution. Cheers, Durk Dave Durkin | "If Abe Lincoln were alive | Dialogic Corp. durk at dialogic.com | today, he'd turn over in | Parsippany, NJ 07054 durk at dialogic.uucp | his grave" -- Gerald Ford | (201) 334-1268 x105 Return to table of contents
Date: 23 Oct 90 08:26 -0800 From: mike_schrempp%29 at hp4200.desk.hp.com Subject: icing wort Someone asked about my calculations for the amount of ice to add to the hot wort to cool it. Well, here is what I calculated: W = the amount of boiling wort (in any convienent units) I = the amount of ice (in the same units as the wort) T = the final temperature after the ice melts Some constants: The specific heat of water is 1 (some units of heat/weight per degree F) The latent heat of fusion of water is 143 (same units) An assumption: The specific heat of wort is the same as the specific heat of water The process: To simplify the calculations, I calculate the cooling capacity of the ice and apply this to the boiling wort. At this point, I have a quantity of wort (W) at some temperature, and an amount of water (I) at 32 degrees F. I then calculate the temperature when these are mixed. Well, here goes The cooling capacity of the ice, Q = 143 * I When this cooling capacity is applied to the boiling wort, the temperature drop will be (143 * I)/W, so after the temperature of the wort will be: Tw = 212 - 143* (I/W) Now, mixing this cooled wort with the ice cold water, we get a final temperature of: W * (212 -143 * (I/W)) + (I * 32) T = --------------------------------- (W + I) (212 * W) - (111*I) = -------------------- (W + I) In practice, we know how much wort we are starting with and the temperature we want to end at and would like to know how much ice to add, so the equation above can be solved for I: 212 - T I = W * ------- (T in degrees F) 111 + T or, 100 - T I = W * -------- (T in degrees C) 79.4 + T Example: 1.5 gallons of wort to be cooled to 65 degrees F. 212 - 65 I = 1.5 * -------- 111 + 65 = 1.25 gallons The big catch here is that you will lose a lot of heat out through the sides of the pot when it is hot, so if the ice all melts, you will wind up below the target temperature. I did. Well... thats the end of math class for today. Don't forget to do your homework (HAHB), and I don't want to see any more of those Bart T-shirts in class! Mike Schrempp Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 90 13:48:16 CDT From: sja at gath.cray.com (Sheridan Adams) Subject: Re: BrewCap & a comment on taste > Date: Mon, 22 Oct 90 15:26:18 PDT > From: polstra!jdp at uunet.UU.NET (John Polstra) > Subject: BrewCap > > For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, here's the > idea. Fermentation is done in a 7-gallon carboy that is supported > upside-down. A 2-hole stopper is used in the mouth of the carboy. > ... Through one hole of the > stopper is a long stiff tube that reaches up all the way to the highest > part of the inverted carboy (i.e., to what would normally be the bottom > of the carboy). Through the other hole is a short tube that is > normally closed off... > Since the carboy is inverted, the long tube extends up into the head > space above the surface of the wort. CO2 escapes through the long > tube, which on the outside is connected to a standard fermentation > lock. One problem??? I see with this method is that the CO2 would never be able to force all of the air out of the container. The space above the tube would contain air since it seems to me that any CO2 that went above the tube would flow down the tube and be replaced. I don't know if this should be a serious consideration on not. One thing I haven't seen mentioned concerning the tatse of product B after trying product A is this: Some foods/flavors can desensitize the taste buds on your tongue. I learned this the hard way. After brushing my (I used Aquafresh if that matters) I tried drinking a Mountain Dew. The taste was almost enough to curl your hair. Anything relating to sweetness was gone. I believe this is why wine judges use something to "cleanse their palates" between samples. It's to re-sync their taste buds. - -- Of course, I've been known to be wrong on at least one occasion. Sheridan J. Adams sja at grog.cray.com (612) 683-3030 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 90 08:40:55 PDT From: keng at epad.MENTOR.COM (Ken Giles) Subject: Re: BrewCap My brother has one of these. I helped him with a batch, once, from brewing all the way to bottling, using the BrewCap for fermentation. Overall, it works pretty well. The biggest problem we had was with the settling trub sticking to the shoulders of the inverted carboy. The instructions for the BrewCap warn you about this, recommending that you rotate the carboy quickly back and forth about its vertical axis in order to dislodge the trub. This was only moderately successful. I estimate that 1/4 of the trub could not be removed because of this problem. Also, the draining process has to be done daily, so that the compacted trub doesn't clog the drain tube. I see why loose hops would be a problem if you use a hop bag. Dry hopping does seem impractical, though. We used a homemade wooden stand. Simple to build, but you have to do it, or buy one. It doesn't use a stopper, but a cap instead (hence the name BrewCap). The cap fits over the mouth of the carboy and is fastened by one of those ratcheting cable ties. I don't know what those are called. Its like the ties that you see the police using to handcuff protestors. The provided tie has a tab that lets it be loosened as well. We didn't have any problem with leakage. It made a solid seal. There is some variation in carboy mouths. Don't you have to specify the type? One neat thing about this setup is that priming can be done by simply submerging the drain tube in the priming solution and lifting it above the carboy. It will syphon right into the carboy. It's an odd thing to see, even if you understand the physics behind it. It feels like a magic trick. In summary, if you: o don't mind daily attention to your wort (draining trub) o don't worry about getting rid of 100% of the trub o are willing to build or buy a stand o don't plan to dry hop (unless you have a clever method) then you'll probably like it. Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #524, 10/24/90 ************************************* -------
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