HOMEBREW Digest #811 Tue 28 January 1992

Digest #810 Digest #812

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  re: autoclaving carboys (The Rider)
  wyeast accidents (dave ballard)
  sanitizing agents (Jonathan A. Rodin)
  eisbock (homer)
  red star (Russ Gelinas)
  Practicing with poetic license (Dennis J. Templeton)
  Eisbock (Bob_Konigsberg)
  sparging (sherwood)
  RE: Dave Miller's brewpub (jmp)
  Iodophor (korz)
  Culture equipment (Dennis J. Templeton)
  Wyeast Cultures ( George Fix )
  Re: To Blow-Off Or Not? (korz)
  Yeast and head retention (Conn Copas)
  Axbridge Beer Kit (trwagner)
  New on hbd, high-gravity brew (Tom Lyons)
  Re: trub in the primary (was Interesting Experience) (korz)
  Re: PUMPING BEER (korz)
  PH readings (Jeff Chambers)
  When to add lactose? (Stephen Russell)
  Ph Ranges (Mike Fertsch)

Send submissions to homebrew at hpfcmi.fc.hp.com Send requests to homebrew-request@ hpfcmi.fc.hp.com [Please do not send me requests for back issues!] Archives are available from netlib at mthvax.cs.miami.edu
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92 12:41:00 GMT From: fetzerm at Sdsc.Edu (The Rider) Subject: re: autoclaving carboys From: "The Rider" <mfetzer at ucsd.edu> Date sent: 27-JAN-1992 12:36:40 CUT >Someone asked if anyone had access to large lab equipment, and if so, have >they tried autoclaving carboys. He was worried about the glass cracking. > > We do, we did, it did. Scratch one carboy. I wasn't going to comment on this thread, but this response forces me to. We've autlcaved carboys many times. Never has one cracked. This is opposed to the experience of some friends, who decided to boil their wort in the autoclave. That carboy *did* crack, scratch 5 gals of beer. *BUT* I am certain that it's all a function of the individual carboy (no imperfections, please) and also, you probably have to use the slow vent cycle... As I said, 2 carboys of mine have been through the autoclave half a dozent times (we usually find it's too much of a hassle to take them to the lab) but they're all quite healty... Take care, Mike ................................................................................ Michael Fetzer Internet: MFETZER at UCSD.EDU UUCP: ...!ucsd!mfetzer BITnet: MFETZER at UCSD (use FETZERM at SDSC for BITnet SEND) HEPnet/SPAN: SDSC::FETZERM or 27.1::FETZERM Return to table of contents
Date: 27 Jan 1992 8:24 EST From: dab at pyuxe.cc.bellcore.com (dave ballard) Subject: wyeast accidents hey now- a friend of mine (the now-infamous oz) and myself have both had packages of wyeast #1056 (american ale) pop while we were bursting the yeast capsule. neither one of us used extreme force or anything, the seam on the side of the pack just split. is anyone else having this problem?? later dab ========================================================================= dave ballard "Life may not be the party we hoped for, dab at pyuxe.cc.bellcore.com but while we're here we should dance." ========================================================================= Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92 09:16:26 -0500 From: rodin at ftp.com (Jonathan A. Rodin) Subject: sanitizing agents I recently moved into a house with a septic tank. After reading up a bit on the way septic tanks work, I became concerned that dumping the chlorinated water I use to sanitize will disrupt the workings of my septic system. Is this a real problem or am I worrying overly (I'm getting a homebrew to relax with right now)? Are other sanitizing agents (TSP, metabisulphite, etc.) better vis-a-vis my septic system. Are they better for the environment in general. What are the trade offs using different chemicals for sanitizing? - ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jon Rodin ftp Software, Inc. voice: (617) 224-6261 rodin at ftp.com 26 Princess Street fax: (617) 245-7943 Wakefield, MA 01880 Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92 08:48 MST From: homer at drutx.att.com Subject: eisbock I know a former brewmaster from the EKU-28 brewery. He said that when he worked there, that freezing was not used in the process. The high alcohol was reached by rousing the yeast during fermentation. The beer was racked between fermentation vessels several times to keep the yeast going. Jim Homer att!drutx!homer Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 1992 10:53:40 -0500 (EST) From: R_GELINAS at UNHH.UNH.EDU (Russ Gelinas) Subject: red star As a clarification, it's Red Star *ALE* yeast that produces those not-so-pleasant fruity flavors, especially at high temperatures. I've had much success with Red Star LAGER yeast; it's hearty, quick to start, and clean. Not as clean as liquid, but good for a dry lager yeast. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92 10:55:27 -0500 From: djt2 at po.CWRU.Edu (Dennis J. Templeton) Subject: Practicing with poetic license I see in the last HBD that ol' Jack S. has advanced from being simply the world's greatest brewer to being authority on community water supplies and medicine too. Nay nay, I say. Dear Jack; you cannot destroy the botulism toxin with a pressure cooker. You are out of your league on this one. dennis (M.D. Ph.D.) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92 08:43 PST From: Bob_Konigsberg at 3mail.3com.com Subject: Eisbock A couple of notes here. I've got a book on Cider making which discusses both freezing and distillation. 1) Freezing for the purpose of concentrating the alcohol is in fact illegal, most folks know that. 2) What is more interesting is the books discussion of problems with freezing. Although their discussion is limited to cider, it will apply here. One of the things that proper distillation does is to separate out stuff called heads (substances more volatile than alcohol), and tails, (substances less volatile than alcohol), both of which are generally undesireable side products of fermentation. The problem is that by separating out the water alone by freezing, it concentrates these substances (fusel alcohols, etc.) in the remaining beer, as well as the alcohol, and may make it taste worse. By way of example, hard cider concentrated in this fashion is called "cider oil". Draw your own conclusion. 3) Another item discussed is that if you are going to do this, don't use a high gravity brew to start with. Apparently (as an extreme case), high alcohol cider (substitute beer), is a little too resistant to freezing to enable good separation. I'll try to remember to look up in the book any general guidelines that apply for those who wish to try it. BobK Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92 08:55:36 -0800 From: sherwood at adobe.com Subject: sparging I have been thinking about switching from extract to all-grain. There is a limit to the number of vessels I would like to purchase, namely one (a fellow brewer uses a 20-gal SS pot with a SS screen held off of the bottom an inch with a valve below; this should make both a good mashing/boiling vessel). I also do not want to buy another burner. How to provide sparge water is thus my problem. Dave and I got to talking, and he said that his water heater will get up to 150F -- if it got to 160F he would use that. Nifty idea -- no sparge vessel needed, no extra burner, and you have pressurized hot water that can be piped (er, hosed) anywhere. I like it. I know small hot water heaters (like for mobile homes) are not particularly expensive. So, has anybody tried this? If the best we can do is 150F, would that still work reasonably (not ideally, maybe, but reasonably?)?. Alternatively, we could replace the thermostat if higher-temp ones are available. Anybody know if they are? So many questions; so few answers.... Thanks much, Geoff Sherwood Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 1992 11:17:12 -0600 From: jmp at shoe.wustl.edu Subject: RE: Dave Miller's brewpub In HBD810, Brian Bliss asks about the location of Dave Miller's brewpub in St. Louis. It is called, oddly enough, The St. Louis Brewery. It is at 21st Street and Olive Boulevard (I think that Olive is the correct cross street). The phone number is 241-2337. The easiest way to get there is to get to Union Station, which is at 22nd and Market streets, and go north, that is to say, away from the front of Union Station. Go north for a block, and look to your right. It is pretty easy to spot. Jerome Peirick peirick_j at wums.wustl.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92 11:30 CST From: korz at ihlpl.att.com Subject: Iodophor Has anyone used Iodophor for sanitizing bottles, carboys, etc.? I got some from Foxx Equipment, but the instructions only talk about concentrations for glassware and dishes (apparently, it's used in the restaurant industry). I need to know what concentration to use for our homebrewing use. Help? Thanks. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92 12:52:05 -0500 From: djt2 at po.CWRU.Edu (Dennis J. Templeton) Subject: Culture equipment Occasionally the question of where to buy culture equipment comes up on the net and the recurring problem is that most supply companies will only sell to "authorized" labs (sheesh!). I've found a company that encourages sales to individuals, using mastercard or visa payment instead of a university P.O. The company is Cole/Parmer, and I'm looking at their 1992-1993 Plasticware catalog. Their number is 1-800-323-4340. Their prices are about the same as the other scientific supply houses. They'll probably be more willing to send you the catalog if you use some bogus company name when you call. This catalog has petri dishes, culture tubes, plastic tanks, tubing, and valves that might come in handy. They also have a hand-held pH meter for $43 that's cheaper than my homebrew supplier. And, no, I do not own stock in this company. dennis Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92 11:30:48 CST From: gjfix at utamat.uta.edu (George J Fix) Subject: Wyeast Cultures ( George Fix ) Mike Lelivelt in HBD#810 asks about yeast cultures at Wyeast. I have not had practical experience with all of them, but this is what I do know. The Whitbread dried culture is made in England, and distributed in the US by Siebels of Chicago. This is where Wyeast got their stock culture, although they now keep it on slants, or at least this was the case as of a few years ago when I last talked to Fred. Remarkably, slant systems can be effectively used even for multi-strain cultures, and this is but one of a long list of reasons why it is such a practical system for yeast maintenance. The other ale culture which I have had some practical experience is the Chico or American Ale culture. I believe it is the same as Siebels BRY-96, which in turn is the production yeast at SN. It is most certainly a pure single strain. I find it makes excellent ales in the moderate gravity range (say up to 13.5 deg or 1.054). Whitbread, on the other hand, makes excellent high gravity ales. No.2 in this three strain culture is an incredible fermenter. I am familiar with four of their lager yeast. I conjecture that the Bavarian strain is the same as W34-70. The strain 2308 is the same as W308, better known to some as Wisenheimer. Both are pure strains. W34-70 is widely used in Germany today and makes excellent lager beer. It tends to be sensitive to high trub levels. Also, it tends to be somewhat of a slow starter when first pitched, however it gets much better in this regard when it is reused. The Bohemian strain is reported to be from Pilsen. It is dramatically different (and better) than the "Saaz pitching yeast" available from ATCC in Rockville, Md. The latter is also from Pilsen, and is a very strong ester producer. Darryl Richman brought back yeast from Pilsen from which two strains were isolated. One called strain W is very close to the culture at ATCC, and does not make good beer. The other, called strain D, produced some of the finest lager beer that I have ever made. It is less fruity than the Wyeast culture and produces rounded, soft continental flavors. It is less sulfury than W34-70, but a tad fruitier. I believe it is different from the strain at Wyeast. Check with Darryl if interested. The American Pilsner strain is reported to be AB's production yeast. It produces apple like flavors found to some degree in all AB products. The culture from Wyeast, however, can have on occasion very strong apple flavors. These will diminish to some extent with aging, nevertheless measured acetaldehyde levels are always well above what is normally thought of as acceptable. It is my belief (totally without proof) that the Wyeast culture (unlike AB's production yeast) is a multi-strain culture. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92 12:11 CST From: korz at ihlpl.att.com Subject: Re: To Blow-Off Or Not? Jim Farley writes: >John DeCarlo writes: > >> If I had to try and say something relatively unbiased in >> conclusion, I would say that if you don't use a secondary >> fermenter, you may well benefit from having stuff removed during >> blow-off. OTOH, if you rack to a secondary fermenter shortly >> after high kraeusen, you are leaving behind a fair amount of >> trub in the primary, thereby avoiding any need for blow-off. > I disagree. The (alleged) benefits of blowoff are the removal of higher (fusel) alcohols and (from my own obsevations) some hop oils. Some brewers swear by the blowoff method, others consider it a waste of beer -- I used to be in the former camp, but I'm trying to be objective and plan to do a few experiments to see if I can tell the difference. >I agree with John's advice wholeheartedly. However, the major >reason that I use a blow-off tube is not because I don't use a >secondary, but because of the fear of gook getting spewed all over >my kitchen when my airlock gets blown off by CO2 pressure during the >first few days of fermentation. Is there an alternative method for >avoiding this that I am unaware of? The most common way is to use an oversized primary. I know that 6 and 7 gallon glass carboys are available and although I don't recommend using plastic fermenters, there are 11 gallon plastic food-grade buckets available. On a related note, Friday I brewed up a Cherry Stout. I miscalculated my and brewed up about 5.5 gallons. I put 5 in a glass carboy and 0.5 in a gallon jug. Since there are whole cherries in this batch, and I could not split them accurately (in the proper proportions) between the carboy and jug, this will not be a good test for blowoff versus non-blowoff. Back to my point. I put two 3.3 lb cans of John Bull dark unhopped extract, 1.5 lbs of DME, 1 lb of Crystal and some non-fermentable grains in this batch, which is not really a high OG: not including the cherry solids (no way of knowing how much sugar they add to the wort) the OG for 5.5 gallons was 1054. Oh yeah, I also steeped 2 oz of flaked barley while the wort went from 125F to 165F. Pitched Wyeast #1084 - Irish Ale yeast. The blowoff was incredible! This morning (monday) the kraeusen has fallen, the total blowoff was about a half of a gallon. The point I'm trying to make here is that I suspect that even a 7 gallon carboy would have needed a blowoff hose. I can't even imagine how much blowoff there would be in a 1112 OG beer like EKU 28 Kulminator! Have any of you really-high-gravity beer brewers successfully brewed without blowoff? Chuck-- have you? Oops again -- I failed to mention the ferment is being done at 66F. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92 15:46:15 GMT From: Conn Copas <C.V.Copas at loughborough.ac.uk> Subject: Yeast and head retention I've been combing the literature (and the archives) on factors which affect head retention, and one thing which is conventionally neglected is yeast strain. On the other hand, I've seen some brands which advertise this as a plus, and it accords with my experience. So what might be the mechanism ? Obviously, we need to rule out factors which are only indirectly related to the strain, such as degree of attenuation, rapidity of bottle conditioning, preferred working temperature, etc. I'm thinking more in terms of fermentation or maturation by-products. Any ideas ? Re dried yeast, I saw a recent claim that top fermenters survive the drying process less successfully than bottom fermenters. The result being that dried ale yeast tends to contain a high proportion of spores, as opposed to dormant cells (presumably), which makes for an inferior ferment in some fashion which escapes me and for which I would welcome an explanation. Thus, so-called dried ale yeast may in fact more closely resemble lager yeast. I'm wondering if this is an alternate explanation for why dried yeasts are so attenuative; it's not just because they are inherently vigorous, but because they are biased towards a particular strain. Ideas ? Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 1992 16:22:18 -0500 From: trwagner at unixpop.ucs.indiana.edu Subject: Axbridge Beer Kit Howdy all brewers. Last October, I was milling through my local liquor store in search of George Killian's Red (now THAT's a great beer!!) However, much to my disappointment, Indiana does not distribute Killians at all! (damn). I spotted a beer kit called Axbridge Beer Micro Brewery. I thought it was a cool thing. I gave it a glance a few times when I returned but left without the kit due to its price. (I still wanted one though, even if it did cost $39.95) The kit is basically a sealed plastic bag inside a synthetic woven bag on the outside. At the bottom of the plasitc bag, sitcking through the outside one, is a spout. At the top is a plastic cap with a valve. All you do is add about 60 oz of HOT water to the mix *inside* the bag, add another 340 oz of cold water, toss on the brewers yeast that is included with the kit, cap the bag, and wait for about 21 days. (of course, I will wait about 28 days). The cap with the valve is supposed to keep the pressure inside the bag and add co2 throughout the process. It is an English Ale and is supposed to clear after 20 or so days. I purchased and finished setting up the kit on Saturday the 25th of January. When finished, I will release a result for those interested. My question is this. Has anyone else out there tried a micro brewery like this (or this exact one), know of a BETTER price, know if these kits can be purchased mail order, or if they can be re-used? Thanks Ted ____________________________________________________________________________ _ Ted Wagner aka "Guardian Angel" trwagner at ucs.indiana.edu (via Eudora) o__ o__ o__ o__ Indiana University _.>/ _>/ _ _.>/ _.>/ _ home of the "WORLD's Greatest College (_) \(_)\(_) (_) \(_))\(_) weekend.........The Little 500!" ____________________________________________________________________________ _ Return to table of contents
Date: 27 Jan 92 16:33:23 EST From: Tom Lyons <76474.2350 at compuserve.com> Subject: New on hbd, high-gravity brew This is my 1st submission to the digest, though I have received it for quite a while through Compu$erve's Beer forum. I brewed a high-gravity bock last weekend, and wonder what I can do to get as complete a fermentation as possible. My SG reading was 1.136, part of which I think is attributable to some trub in my sample, but it still is chock full of fermentables. I pitched Wyeast London Ale, cause it's what I had. How well will that yeast do, and should I attempt to rouse it when fermentation slows/stops? Should I add another strain later in fermentation? If so, what? In the interest of general information, here is my recipe: 8 lbs pale malt 1 lb Vienna malt .5 lb chocolate malt 2.5 lbs dark extract syrup 2.5 lbs light DME 1 oz Chinook 12.5% alpha boil 1 oz Hallertau finish Grains mashed in a RIMS. Extracts added to boil. Forgot my Irish Moss <slap>. I'd like to get the gravity as low as possible, I mean I don't expect 1.009 or anything but I sure don't want to see it stop at 1.070 or similar. Thank you thank you thank you. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92 18:11 CST From: korz at ihlpl.att.com Subject: Re: trub in the primary (was Interesting Experience) Steve writes: > I brewed up a dopplebok a couple of weeks ago and had an interesting > experience. I'm working my way up to all-grain (I do partial grain now) and > had made use of some new equipment. When I was done, I had about 3.5g of > wort and added that to 1.5g of water. My method todate has been to let this > settle overnight, and then siphon the beer off the settled trub and then > pitch the yeast. I've found that this has led to a minimum of sediment in > the finished product. However, my brews have had some infection problems > in the past few batches, so I've avoided the plastic pails I was using and > just pitched directly into the carboy that had the beer, trub and all. I > had waited until the beer was about 70F before pitching, and there was a > good 2-3" of trub at the bottom of the carboy. > > After three days, nothing. Relaxing, I looked at my logs from the previous > batch, where I used the same yeast (WYeast, Bavarian Lager). It had taken 3 > days for that to show signs of activity. So I waited. After 5 days, still > nothing. Now, worried, I reasoned that I had a bottom fermenting yeast that > was down there in the trub looking for things to eat and not finding > anything. So I got a siphon tube, sanitized it and stirred the muck up. Two > days later, it was off and running. It's still (1 week later) going crazy! > The 2-3" of trub has been blown up into suspension by the activity of the > yeast. It is absolutely amazing to watch. I suspect your wort simply needed oxygen. > So I think I solved the immediate problem; this batch. But the longer term > problem remains. How to avoid getting the trub in the carboy. How do you > netbrewers deal with this? I was thinking of a 6g carboy, adjusting the > recipe to fill it and then after the trub had settled, siphon to a 5g and I feel that there isn't a problem with leaving the beer on the trub for a short while, say, a few weeks. You can reduce your trub by cooling in your kettle (the added advantage of being able to aerate as you pour into the primary without fear of oxidation (as long as the wort is under 80F)) thus getting your cold break in the kettle rather than the primary. This implies an immersion chiller. If you use a counterflow chiller, you get the same benefit but you need to cool as you transfer and then rack off the cold break. Cooling your wort quickly gives the additional benefit of reducing DMS in your beer, which is produced while your wort cools from boiling to 140F. Shortening that period of time will reduce how much DMS gets created. Since you mentioned Lager yeast, I assume you will be fermenting for a long while at cooler temperatures. That's when I think you need to worry about getting the wort off the trub. I suggest that you get an immersion wort chiller, siphon the cooled wort off the cold break into a 6 gallon carboy, then after three weeks rack off the trub into a 5 gallon carboy. I know you mentioned "cheaper and easier" and I suggested a more expensive, more difficult way. Sorry. Well, on second thought, if you cooled your wort in the kettle, by say, putting it in a tub of icewater, that would be cheaper than a chiller. I think you've described the easiest way, though, so I'm afraid I can't help you there. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92 18:28 CST From: korz at ihlpl.att.com Subject: Re: PUMPING BEER Dan writes: > I'm doing some mental designing for a medium sized basement brewery. I > want to use a pump of some sort to move beer or wort from one vessal to > another. A peristoltic pump is out of the question because of cost. I've > been looking at the Little Giant SC serive magnitic drive pumps. [stuff deleted] >This pump does 470 gallons per hour and costs $119 from "That Fish Place," > so would be a pretty good deal if it's useable. I've been thinking the same for a while -- a pump would make siphoning obsolete and sanitation easier. However Dan, you mentioned that a peristaltic pump is out of the question because of cost, but the Coleman-Palmer catalog has peristaltic pump heads for $80. Drive motors begin (I think) at $125, but there are a lot of $20 motors out there. If you're willing to spend $119, I think you should be able to put together a peristaltic pump. I'm not familiar with the Little Giant SC, but one very important characteristic of the kind of pump we both are looking for is: SELF-PRIMING! If the pump you get is not self-priming, then we're back to square one -- siphoning. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92 16:01:48 CST From: motcid!red!chambers at uunet.UU.NET (Jeff Chambers) Subject: PH readings Greetings, Is there a better (and also cheap) way to determine the PH of your grist than with typical PH papers? I take a reading and for the life of me I can determine the PH with any kind of accurracy. Do other people has this problem of should I consult an eye doctor? Shifting Gears, I tried "Samual Smiths 'Pure Brewed Lager Beer'" over the weekend since it was the first time I've heard of it. Since the Oatmeal Stout is one of my favorites, I thought the lager deserved a try. I must say that it was exceptionally smooth with a nice bitter kick at the end. Unfortunately, I won't be drinking a lot of them, though, as they are $11 a six here in Chicago. Jeff Chambers Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92 21:51:17 EST From: srussell at snoopy.msc.cornell.edu (Stephen Russell) Subject: When to add lactose? I have read that certain sweet stouts (i.e. Mackeson's) add lactose (milk sugar) at both boiling and bottling. What I am wondering is, if lactose is really unfermentable by beer yeast, why should it matter when it is added? Does it react in some way during fermentation that I am not aware of, or at least change in flavor profile? FYI, our club (the Ithaca Brewers' Union of Ithaca, NY) is having a Stout and Porter competition for St. Patrick's Day. Only 2 bottles and $4 per entry required. 5 categories, 3 prizes in each category. If anyone is interested, send me e-mail directly and I'll send you information. Cheers, STEVE Stephen Russell...srussell at snoopy.msc.cornell.edu, srussell at crnlmsc3.bitnet - ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92 13:49 EST From: Mike Fertsch <FERTSCH at adc1.adc.ray.com> Subject: Ph Ranges martin wilde) found a machine for PUMPING BEER: >I just recently purchased a pump for pumping beer. It was a Teel >pump. The specifics are as follows: > - a chemical magnetic drive pump. good. > - designed for sanitary conditions. good. > - pumps fruit juices (beer should have no problems!!!). not an issue. > - ph range of 5-9. HUH? Mu understanding is that beer has a ph lower than 5.0 Wort is in the low 5's, and fermented beer is more acidic. My guess is the dissolved CO2 acidifies the beer. > - temperature range of 32-180 degrees. good. > - gravity feed (will not pull a column unless primed). I'm not sure what graviry feed means. I can start a siphon, and the beer moves by gravity feed! The capacity of the pump seems a little high, but should be useable. Most pumps I've seen are either much to fast (tens of gallons per minute) of much too slow (liters per hour). I'd like a pump in the 0.5-1 gallon per minute range. I'm not sure what makes these pumps (any pump), but I'd be worries about oxidatation. If an impeller spins around, pushing the beer, I'd think it would oxidise the beer. Any comments? Mike Fertsch mikef at synchro.com Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #811, 01/28/92