HOMEBREW Digest #791 Mon 30 December 1991

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Re: Pitching Starters (Dean Cookson)
  query:  Oxidation and Crystal Malt (Thomas Manteufel 5-4257)
  BJCP exam ("Spencer W. Thomas")
  Sparge temperature (korz)
  Beer Hunter (korz)
  Fermentation times versus vessel size (Chris Shenton)
  summary of bottle filling discussions (Paul S R Chisholm)
  Testing for SS or Al (Mike Zentner)
  Information wanted (William Munson)
  Beer Hunter  (Jack Schmidling)
  Superior Products (larryba)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 27 Dec 91 08:44:54 EST From: Dean Cookson <cookson at mbunix.mitre.org> Subject: Re: Pitching Starters I've been pitching my starters pretty much when the wort for my current batch is ready. (I prepare a starter the night before, and then when it's time...) Seems to work pretty well so far, and it fits with the RDWHAHB philosophy of life. But, I've been wondering lately. Is there a good reason why I shouldn't make my starter right in my fermenter, and then just pitch my wort on top of it, instead of the other way around? Dean Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 91 08:58:54 CST From: tomm at pet.med.ge.com (Thomas Manteufel 5-4257) Subject: query: Oxidation and Crystal Malt Here's a question for the experts: We all know that pouring hot wort through an atmosphere containing oxygen (like ours does) produces oxidation and off-flavors due to chemical interaction with oils from the hops. How much interaction is there with sugars and other flavors from the grains? Like many other beginning-to-intermediate brewers, I steep my crystal malt at 170F for half an hour, and then pour this through a strainer into the brew kettle. The last batch I made had a lot of crystal (1.5 #), but the taste was not what I would call "sweet". It tastes very "grainy". Did pouring the hot steep water oxidize it? If so, not having a lauter tun (yet), what is the best way to transfer this to the brew kettle sans grains? Should I invest in a grain bag (and would it hold cracked crystal)? Thank You for any useful information, Thomas Manteufel IOFB Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 91 15:15:05 EDT From: "Spencer W. Thomas" <Spencer.W.Thomas at med.umich.edu> Subject: BJCP exam One more to add to Jim Homer's list, according to the December newsletter of the Ann Arbor Brewer's Guild: Frankenmuth, Michigan April, 1992 Carrie A. Pummill / P.O. Box 210 / Bridgeport, MI 48722 They are also planning a set of teaching sessions, starting in January (two one-hour sessions per month in J, F, M, A, at $5 each. Not clear how many of these you "have to" attend.) Intent to register (name, address, phone) to the above address by Dec 30, more info sent out by Jan 7 (at least about the teaching sessions). =Spencer W. Thomas HSITN, U of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 spencer.thomas at med.umich.edu 313-747-2778 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 91 15:17 CST From: korz at ihlpl.att.com Subject: Sparge temperature Jack writes: >The experts all agree that the temperature of sparge water should be around >170 degs F for maximal extraction. I think, however, that we have a problem >extrapolating a commercial process to home brewing and if a homebrewer uses >water at 170F, he will not achieve the same results. > >First of all, most commercial brewers sparge with a shower-like sprayer that >impinges directly on the malt. I've wondered about this. Intuatively, I figured that a shower-like sprayer would be the best way to evenly distribute the sparge water and minimize the disruption of the grain bed, and planned to include such a device in a lauter tun I've been planning to build. However, wouldn't spraying the sparge water oxygenate it? Wouldn't the resulting oxygenated water create oxygenated wort, which at temparatures above 80F, would quickly produce oxidized wort? Now... what do all of you think about this? Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 91 16:19 CST From: korz at ihlpl.att.com Subject: Beer Hunter Dan Graham writes that he thought the Beer Hunter was a bad show and a waste of time. Granted, some of the episodes were better than others and, in terms of brewing information, I would place the British episode in fourth or fifth place out of the six. I even pulled out my Beer Hunter Videos (obviously, I was inspired enough to buy them from the Discovery Channel) an re-viewed the British episode. You're right Dan, there's not a lot of information for us brewers, but I don't think that these videos were targeted towards people of our level of beer knowledge. On the other hand, I love British and Belgian beers *passionately* and I could watch the Beer Hunter Videos once a month forever -- never growing tired of them. I think they are worth every penny I paid for them and also used my purchase of the videos as my vote that the Discovery Channel should create more episodes. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 91 09:43:14 EST From: shenton at cpstnd3.alliant.com (Chris Shenton) Subject: Fermentation times versus vessel size I've done a few wheat beers semi-recently and noticed something odd in the last 2-3 batches. I did 10 gallon batches, then split into two carboys, one a 5-gallon, the other a 7-gallon. The larger one -- which was not filled all the way to the top -- finished in a week or so as usual. The smaller, filled all the way up to the neck, is on it's third week. Both were pitched from the same 750ml starter, and they both look and smell fine. The fermentation still looks fine: lots of fine bubbles at the neck, yeast sediment on the bottom... The first time I noticed this, I suspected inadequate rinsing of the bleach, so this time, I was extra thorough. Both times, the large carboy finished well before the small one. Any ideas? Thanks. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 91 23:47:33 EST From: psrc at sewer.att.com (Paul S R Chisholm) Subject: summary of bottle filling discussions Well, I'm glad my posting started a lot of discussion! Here's a summary of the follow-up articles in rec.crafts.brewing. Similar (partially identical!) discussion appeard in the Homebrew Digest. HBD also had some positive and negative reviews of Phil's Philler. This has a hole at the top and a hole at the bottom, so you can withdraw the wand without taking out the beer and increasing the headspace. Some people Worry (for shame!-) that a bottle filler causes more oxidation (because of spraying through the smaller opening, rather than throug the whole opening at the end of the siphon tube, I guess). The solution is to tilt the bottle at the beginning, and stick the end of the bottling wand into the bottom "corner" of the bottle. The wand's end is soon covered with beer, and no amount of spraying will cause any extra air to be mixed in with the beer. Also, if the end of the wand (or siphon tube, or whatever) isn't much lower than the end of the siphon tube in the priming carboy (or whatever), the beer will be siphoned slowly, at low pressure, reducing spraying. (This works for any bottle filling procedure.) Another problem is the bottle filler has beer in it. When you lift the filler from the bottle, that beer doesn't go into the bottle, and the headspace is greatly increased. Even if you fill the bottle almost full, the resulting headspace is larger than some people consider optimal. You can fill the bottle, move the filler to the top of the bottle, and press the tip of the filler to drizzle enough beer down the side of the bottle to reduce the head space. There are two kinds of fillers. One kind has a spring. The other has a stopper that's held down by the weight of the beer. The latter is slower. Does that mean oxidation is less of a problem? I expect it's easier to finish filling (using the side-of-the-bottle trick) with a springless filler. My take on all this is that there are ways to use a bottle filler to reduce problems (and reduce Worry). I didn't find enough evidence of problems to bottle my beer without a bottle filler. Here are some of the articles. (I generally quote the first person who raises a particular point.) From: kswanson at casbah.acns.nwu.edu (Kurt Swanson) > Bottle fillers are guilty of 2 things, that the bent tube technique is not: > 1 - Oxidation. The wort sprays out in the beginning. > 2 - Extra headspace. Partly because of the head that #1 puts on it, but also > because the tube takes up volume that is removed. From: John.DeCarlo at p109.f131.n109.z1.FidoNet.Org (John DeCarlo) > I started using one and found that I needed to keep a cup of beer as well to > pour into the bottles to top them off--the default head space caused by the > volume of the filler in the bottle is way too much for me. Now if it had a > manual release at the top, so you could finish filling the bottle, it would > be great! > As for the oxidation from spraying, someone gave me a hint to lift the > bottles to reduce the height and pressure differential, so there would be > less spraying. From: Paula.Goldman at f131.n109.z1.FidoNet.Org (Paula Goldman) > During my last bottling, I tried tilting the bottle and only partially > depressing the bottle filler until enough beer had flowed out to cover > the nozzle. This reduced the amount of spray (oxidation) and also the > amount of foam built up. I've found the same excess air space problem > that you have, but am able to remedy it by partially depressing the > nozzle in the neck of the bottle (again, at an angle) to add the extra > beer. From: ldl2142 at galileo.rtn.ca.boeing.com (8472 BE32R) (a.k.a. Layne D. Lommen) > The guy at the local homebrew supply store here in Kent, WA (Larry' Brewing) > sold me a bottle filling setup that seems to provide an excellent solution > to most of the problems associated with bottle filling. It allows me > to fill bottles with little splashing or bubbling, allows me to easily > stop or start the flow into the bottle, and allows me to fill the > bottle as full as I want. (Layne included a voluminous description, and an ASCII drawing of what this looked like. Please refer to his posting for these. From: pals at inland.com (a.k.a. Randy Pals) > RE: Bottle fillers. With mine, I fill the bottle to within 1/8 inch > of the top. Remove bottle filler, and the level in the neck is perfect - > about 2" from the top. This provoked a rebuttal: From: inc at tc.fluke.COM (Gary Benson) > Two inches is not even close to my idea of "perfect" headspace. I try for > 1/2" or less and apparently the bottle filler cannot achieve that. > I like my filling gizmo just fine. It is a plastic medical tube pincher that > must cost about 50 cents or so. It can be positive on or positive off, but > with a "ratchet" feature, you can adjust from a full flow to a tiny trickle. > It is even shaped conveniently to permit hanging it on the side of the > bucket without stopping the syphon. I place it a few inches from the end of > my syphon hose and fill the bottles down the side; when I need to move > things around, get more bottles closer, or move the current work aside, I > just hang it up with no worries about the syphon turning off. Paul S. R. Chisholm, AT&T Bell Laboratories, paul.s.r.chisholm at att.com att!sewer!psrc, psrc at sewer.att.com, AT&T Mail !psrchisholm I'm not speaking for the company, I'm just speaking my mind. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 28 Dec 91 13:25:03 -0500 From: zentner at ecn.purdue.edu (Mike Zentner) Subject: Testing for SS or Al Jay Hersh writes: > in these two metals. I think you'll need a CRC handbook to find the densities, > but if you want to make sure the pot you have is indeed SS you can submerge it > in water, check the displacement (probably best to use metric). > Then weigh it, and divide the weight by the volume to get the density. > > If I recall the old discussion, the densities of Al and SS are signifiantly > different that it should be pretty apparent if you've got the wrong one. > Keep you're receipts :-).... As I recall, the density difference is about a factor of 3. Don't bother trying to measure by displacement because it will be difficult to get an accurate measure in a vessel with such a large diameter. Just estimate the thickness of the metal used (use one of those devices that clamps around whatever you're trying to measure...even a suitably modified compass will work). Then you know the diameter of the pot as well as the height, account for the bottom as well and calculate the volume of material. Weigh it and you then have the density. Compare the weight with what a similar amount of aluminum would weigh, and if your pot is more than twice that weight, you can be pretty sure it isn't aluminum. Mike Zentner zentner at ecn.purdue.edu Return to table of contents
Date: 28 Dec 91 08:16:19 From: William.Munson at p0.f242.n260.z1.fidonet.org (William Munson) Subject: Information wanted Re: Information Wanted Hi All! I just bought a used roto-keg for $10. This thing has absolutely the worst CO2 system ever invented. They actually expect an "O" ring to hold in the pressure of a "powerlet". Needless to say, it doesn't. I have a couple of questions to put to the group. 1) Is there an "improved" powerlet system for this keg? 2) Is there a standard gas fitting which is designed to go into the hole for the powerlet system? Thanks in advance! WM Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 91 08:52 CST From: arf at ddsw1.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) Subject: Beer Hunter To: Homebrew Digest Fm: Jack Schmidling Now that the "Beer Hunter" series has spent itself on Discovery, it seems a critical review is in order. The most serious criticism is that there is simply too much fluff, what we call "waterfalls", coming back to the same scene, over and over to fill in for voice-over. The brewery stuff goes by in a flash but we get singing and dancing ad nausiam. The bus trip to the barley field was a classic in killing time to fill out the segment. He seems a little uncomfortable as an actor. I have the same problem and am sensitized to it in others. I really got tired of watching him DRINK beer. I am NOT saying that it isn't worth watching, uninteresting or shlocko; it's just not what I, as a homebrewer, had hoped for or as a producer/director expected from someone so highly touted. Like so many other series, this one could have been improved greatly by editing down to a one hour show. Finally, I find it amazing that one would pay for advertising of a video tape that was being screened in the same time slot. Why would anyone buy it as opposed to just taping it? I suspect a deal was cut for rights to screen it at no cost, in return for free ad, with Discovery getting a piece of the tape sales, if any. js Return to table of contents
Date: Sun Dec 29 10:27:08 1991 From: larryba at microsoft.com Subject: Superior Products A couple of weeks ago someone mentioned Superior Products as having a clearence on Volrath pots. I called them up and got a copy of the flyer and noticed some other bargins in there that might be of interest to the HBD crowd. On page 45 there is a two tap beer draught arm for $79. Two new faucets alone cost more than this unit. THe two faucets are mounted in a SS arm that stands about 10-12 inches high. Also on page 45 is a pressure regulator. It states it is a nitrogen regulator with two gauges, but then they mentioned it being used for beer. Sounds like a CO2 regulator to me. $23.50 Last item, also on pg 45 is a Beer Brute: a platic barrel with Beer draught tap (on top) and hardware to hold your CO2 bottle. It is designed for holding a pony keg and ice for a party. Looks like a bargin at $75. If you have money to burn they have lots of other cool goodies in the flyer: large industrial refers (great for lagering/fermenting), industial strength stock pot burners ($$$), SS shelving, sinks, etc. Dial thermometers ($4.90), Beer Tapster (like beer brute, but industrial with a built in refer - $700) Great theater pop corn maker ($375). Anyway, the flyer was pretty cool: 1-800-328-9800, it is fun to thumb through it and dream of great parties and breweries. Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #791, 12/30/91 ************************************* -------
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