HOMEBREW Digest #1054 Wed 13 January 1993

Digest #1053 Digest #1055

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Cider... (bfbrown)
  Pilsener head (Marc de Jonge)
  Community Relations ("ONREUR::JSAMPSON")
  COPS sponsor boycotts (Karl F. Bloss)
  HOPS POST (Bruce Given     )
  Sour Beer (TSAURET)
  Fond fairwells from Micah Millspaw ("Bob Jones")
  subscription request (HUD_TEACHER)
  Lab grade vs. Food grade (Ulick Stafford)
  Plasticizers,CO2,O2,etc... ("Wayde Nie, Eng.Phys. II")
  Lab grade vs. Food grade again (Lou Casagrande)
  Diminishing Yields (C.R. Saikley)
  Re: Our image as brewers (korz)
  Belgian Lovibond correction (korz)
  re : Jamaica (Randy Heflin)
  Homebrew Digest #1053 (January 12, 1993) (Ray Peck)
  Barley wine (Robert Pulliam)
  Re: COLD PLATES leave me cold..... (Tim Norris)
  Re: sparging (McHarry)
  Head, Boiling, Disconnects (Jack Schmidling)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 12 Jan 93 04:22:08 -0500 From: bfbrown at media.mit.edu Subject: Cider... I am wondering wether 1.5 months is enough time A) to bottle hard cider at and B) to drink hard cider at (it looks crystal clear) It fermented very well, and I am looking forward to a clean batch of cider. Please lemme know. Also, as a beer brewer ONLY, I am wondering about how to bottle the cider, 1/2 of which I will prime with corn sugar; is bottling it in beer bottles too dangerous? And do I use the 3/4 cup per 5 gal? Does this figure change for less (i.e. is it nonlinear, like kegging beer?) Thanks for input, BB Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 93 11:47:54 +0100 From: dejonge at geof.ruu.nl (Marc de Jonge) Subject: Pilsener head In HBD #1053 chuckm asks: >My question is..... Has anyone out there been able to brew a pilsener >with such a dense head. I have read Miller's book on pilsener, >but I don't >remember it discussing this point very much. >Any feedback will be welcome. Just a method that seems to work ok for me: (Using a 2-step decoction mash) Add 5 to 10 % of unmalted barley at the beginning of the alpha-amylase rest (around 70C). The reason for this is that unmalted barley contains a lot of proteines, while the protelase enzyme is no longer effective at this temperature, so lot of large proteines will end up in your wort. Note that this is standard practice in many German breweries (only, since they are not allowed to use unmalted grains, they use 'legally malted' barley or cheat-:)malt ) You will need to cold-condition your beer as you are likely to get some initial chill-haze using this method, but that's what I do for almost every beer anyway. Hope this may contribute to solving your head troubles. Marc (Marc de Jonge: dejonge at geof.ruu.nl) Return to table of contents
Date: 12 Jan 93 10:50:00 WET From: "ONREUR::JSAMPSON" <JSAMPSON%ONREUR.decnet at onreur.navy.mil> Subject: Community Relations Perhaps the best way to quell this COPS paranoia would be to invite the off-going watch over for a homebrew to thank them for their service. - -- John Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 93 09:07:45 -0500 From: blosskf at ttown.apci.com (Karl F. Bloss) Subject: COPS sponsor boycotts While in principle, this is a good idea, it won't work with the number of homebrewers around. Considering was a COPS audience, the people advertising were probably Mattel with WWF dolls or something. ;-) Anyway, even the boycott of Sam Adams because of BBC's litigations doesn't seem to be hitting Koch's pockets. Responsible letters where you're not totally flaming the producers would be appropriate. They'll maybe even take time to read them. -K (blosskf at ttown.apci.com) Return to table of contents
Date: 12 Jan 1993 07:06:05 -0700 From: Bruce Given <SCN146 at WACCVM.corp.mot.com> Subject: HOPS POST Time to start looking for Hop Plants !! this is a Note to all Canadians On HBD. Does anybody know where I can Purchase Hop cuttings in Canada ? I have tried to contact CAMRA but from what I can see they don't exist as a National body any longer ... As for bring cuttings if from the U.S ( have you ever dealt with Canada customs/agriculture) endless paper work the cuttings would be dead by time those guys inspected them !! so if anybody knows where I can obtain them please let me know. via email or phone at 514-731-6881 Thanks !!! Return to table of contents
Date: 12 Jan 93 12:46:02 EST5EDT From: TSAURET at hermes.gc.peachnet.edu Subject: Sour Beer I would like any advice or comment from someone more experienced than I regarding a recurrent problem I am having with brewing beer with light DME. Too often when I am brewing a batch of light style beer with all dry malt, I have gotten a beer with a sour taste. This has happened with ale yeast and lager yeast. The Joy of Home Brewing tells me that I'm not cleaning thoroughly, but I find this hard to believe. I have followed the same careful cleaning procedures with light style beers made primarily from a kit and adding only two or three pounds of adjunct malt and gotten very good results. This problem has never occurred with stouts, porters, and dark or amber ale styles that I have brewed with all dry malt. Any ideas? Thanks. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 93 10:49:37 PST From: "Bob Jones" <bjones at novax.llnl.gov> Subject: Fond fairwells from Micah Millspaw I'd like to mention that I'll be leaving the HB digest and LLNL due to cuts in defense spending. Of interest is the fact that my brewery MURPHYS CREEK BREWING CO. will be open sooner because I'll have more time to spend on it. The brewery is located in historical Murphys, a gold rush town in the Sierra foothills, at the corner of Murphys grade road and French gulch road. Kegs should be available by April and bottles shortly after, tours will be avilable, phone 209 736 BREW. There are several wineries in the area as well, so if anyone is going to be in the area, come on up. This digest has been very interesting and I've had a lot of fun interacting with those on it. (Thanks Bob, for the access) Micah Millspaw 1/11/93 Return to table of contents
Date: 12 Jan 1993 14:39:43 -0500 (EST) From: HUD_TEACHER at VAXC.STEVENS-TECH.EDU Subject: subscription request Could you kindly send me information re: subscription to Homebrew Digest? My address is Hud_teacher at sitvax.stevens-tech.edu Many thanks. Sincerely, Michael Feldstein Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 93 15:13:20 EST From: Ulick Stafford <ulick at bernini.helios.nd.edu> Subject: Lab grade vs. Food grade From: Jon Binkley <binkley at beagle.Colorado.EDU> writes- >probably be okay to use for brewing. However, this does not >apply for chemicals or additives. Use Food Grade or USP (pharmaceutical) >Grade chemicals ONLY!! Other grades of chemicals, e.g. reagent grade, >contain significant (read above EPA and FDA limits) of various >nasties such as lead and arsenic. So stick to food grade, at >least for additives. I am not sure if ignorance is the cause of the sentiments here, but the poster seems to have a rather deluded notion about the usefulness of the FDA and EPA, apart from their own self preservation, and defintiely a very poor idea of toxicology. I use regular lab grade phosphoric acid for pH control, and need very little of it. The 0.1 ppm arsenic and .001% heavy metals as lead really have me shaking in my boots!!! The amount I add probably has negligible influence on the level of these elements naturally occuring in my water anyway. Actually, the limits for these contaminents in food grade phosphoric acid (from Food Chemicals Codex. 3rd ed.) are not more than 3 ppm arsenic, not more than 10 ppm HM as lead and not more that 10 ppm flouride. Flouride wasn't even listed, but when chloride was 1ppm, it is safe to assume flouride is neglibile. Lab chemicals are very pure. I suspect that the 'sacred' USP grade phosphoric acid used in tons by Coca-Cola has similar heavy metals profile as this, but it is hardly worth Fisher's while paying the FDA megabucks to have their chemicals approved for food use, so they display not for food use on their containers to cover their legal behind. As homebrewers we produce huge quantities of poison, but we don't consume it all at once. Fearing minor quantities of heavy metals is irrational. If I broke a mercury thermometer in a batch, I'd fish out the bead and brew on. The quantitie of mercury that could dissolve would be negligible and unless you consume mercury everyday you have nothing to fear. If a child eats mercury from a thermometer, you have little to fear. The bulk of mercury will pass straight through the child. However if the child eats a bead of mercury every day, then you would have a problem. I suggest anyone with an irrational fear of very small quantities of toxins read the article on it in the Oct/Nov 92 issue of Garbage magazine. Ulick Stafford Return to table of contents
Date: 12 Jan 1993 15:33:26 -0400 (EDT) From: "Wayde Nie, Eng.Phys. II" <9106857 at SSCvax.CIS.McMaster.CA> Subject: Plasticizers,CO2,O2,etc... If these HDPE plastics are permeable to CO2 then wouldn't O2 (oxygen), being a smaller molecule, be as or more capable of passing through the plastic? Maybe Bruce Mueller can comment? If this is the case then how advisable would it be to put it to long term brewing purposes - ie. Lagering? Is the amout of permeated gas enough to worry about oxidizing your brew and other such problems (Feeding the nasties)? I was always under the impression that Primary Ferment was done in F.G. Plastic, then transfered to a Glass Carboy to eliminate the problems of gas permeable plastics during aging/lagering, etc... If any cares to comment, please do... - ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wayde Nie, Eng.PhysII I used to be indecisive..... McMaster University, Canada But now I not so sure. 9106857 at SSCvax.CIS.McMASTER.CA - ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 93 15:43:14 EST From: casagran at gdstech.grumman.com (Lou Casagrande) Subject: Lab grade vs. Food grade again Bruce Mueller's reply to my posting seems to have more authority behind it than my posting did--as I said, I'm not a plastic chemist, and he seems to have more experience than I. I also had never tried pressurizing these jugs, but other plastics I've used have buckled under pressure. Since Bruce has pressurized them, it sounds reasonable to use them as kegs. To set the record straight, though, I was *not* concerned about CO2 leacing *into* the brew--we produce copious amounts of that gas during fermentation. I don't know about it leaching *out* however--probably not a big concern. Lou Casagrande Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 93 12:20:58 PST From: grumpy!cr at uunet.UU.NET (C.R. Saikley) Subject: Diminishing Yields In a recent Digest, Mike Tavis says: >>my extract rates are plummeting with each batch. My first >>batch yielded 29 pts/lb/gal (a number I never expected to get the >>first time). My second batch dropped to 22 pts/lb/gal and my third >>batch was a miserable 18 pts/lb/gal. [snip] >>All three of these batches had different grains bills, [snip, snip] >>He said, "Well depending on the size of the grain bed, the sparge >>water will be lowered and if it gets too low it won't be effective at >>rinsing the sugars from the grain." >>I said. "That makes some sense because in each successive batch I have >>used more grain -- specifically, the first batch used 8 lbs, the >>second batch 10 lbs, and the third batch 12.5 lbs." To which Jack responds: >I think your friend may have a clue and most brewers seem to be contented if >the temp of the sparge water on target. I have written many times on the >importance of knowing what the mash temperature actually is an not relying on >the temp of the sparge water. I find that even with boiling water going in >at the top, the average temperature of the mash is around 150F. Some years back, I began measuring temperature profiles thru the mash while sparging. Like Jack, I found that my water had to be much hotter than 168 to get the mash up to that temp. This makes sense for at least two reasons : 1) Losses in the system, especially if your sparge water is sprayed over the grain bed. 2) Reaching equilibrium temp. The grain bed is below the optimum temp, thus the water must be higher than optimum temp for the grain/water mixture to equilibrate at optimum temp. The effects of point #2 can be minimized by mashing out. Note also that the temperature difference between grain bed and sparge water will be reduced as the sparge proceeds (ie the mash heats up). With my system, I found that sparging with boiling water was fine at first, but eventually the temp at the top of the bed got up to 185! OUCH! Getting back to Mike's problem, increasing the amount of grains used increases the thermal mass of the mash. Thus the temp of the sparge water would have to be raised to achieve the same equilibrium temp, assuming the same amount of water is added. This is one factor in Mike's diminishing yields. Jack also says, >Assuming that you had complete conversion according to an iodine test before >you started sparging, the fact that the yield was a function of grain >quantity would indicate inefficient sparging and temp is one place to look. Here I disagree. Yield is necessarily a function of grain quantity. Higher gravity beers suffer from reduced yields for fairly straightforward reasons. The extreme example being a barley wine that is not sparged at all. There's so much sugar left in the grains that some even make a second beer out of the second runnings. Assuming you're consistent, one pound of grain will yield x amount of sugar when sparged with y amount of water. If sparged with y/2 per pound or 2y per pound, you will get reduced or increased yields respectively (to a point). If you use 12 pounds of grain instead of 8 for a 5 gallon batch, the ratio of sparge water to grain is reduced, and the yield is reduced accordingly. This is a second factor in Mike's results. As Jack pointed out, getting around the first factor is pretty simple : raise the temp of your sparge water. Getting around the second problem is more of a hassle. You would sparge with more water, and collect more (weaker) wort. Then boil the *%$# out of it to reduce the volume. Some commercial breweries do this. In Belgium there are brewers who boil for up to 6 hours! Personally, I'd rather accept lower yields than boil the day away. Sorry for the length. Happy Brewing, CR Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 93 14:51 CST From: korz at iepubj.att.com Subject: Re: Our image as brewers Jeff writes: >Be a homebrewer! >Learn the secrets of good head. >Rack off as often as you like without being embarrased. >Be able to say words like "sparge" and "fuggles" with a straight face. >Amaze your friends and inebriate your enemies (or the other way around) I'd like to add: Learn the correct pronounciation (and spelling) of words such as: wort, krauesen, gueuze, trub, willamette... Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 93 15:18 CST From: korz at iepubj.att.com Subject: Belgian Lovibond correction I accidentally reversed the numbers on Cara-Munich and Cara-Vienne, so here's the correct list (technically the numbers are from Siebels not DeWolf-Cosyns): BASE MALTS deg L comment Pilsner 1.83 Pale Malt 3.21 Wheat 1.75 COLOR MALTS Munich 7.83 Aromatic 25.7 will convert itself CRYSTAL MALTS Cara-Pils 7.87 Cara-Vienne 21.65 Cara-Munich 77.5 Special B 221 ROASTED MALTS Biscuit 22.5 probably not-enzymatic, i.e. won't convert itself Chocolate 497.5 Roasted Barley 557.5 Roasted Malt 601 Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 93 15:59:04 EST From: Randy Heflin <HEFLINJR at VTVM2.CC.VT.EDU> Subject: re : Jamaica William Seliger asked about breweries in Jamaica. I don't know the details on the brewery, but I can say there is some very fine island-brewed beer. I believe the brewer is Desnoes and Geddes in Kingston. The products are Red Stripe Lager and Dragon Stout. Red Stripe is O.K. (it has a full,if not refined, taste - it's fun to watch the frat boys' sour faces when they first taste it!), but the real treat is Dragon. It's a very enjoyable, extra malty, super potent brew that I couldn't (and still can't) get enough of. I strongly encourage you to seek it out (it won't be hard to find.) Oh, and according to local lore, Dragon has one other important quality. When a local saw me with a bottle in hand, he said while pointing to my girlfriend: "Dragon! Good for you, mon. Makes you do your homework!" ;-) ;-) nudge, nudge. Randy P.S. Are there any HBDers out there in the southwestern Virginia (i. e. Virginia Tech) area? I just moved here a few months ago and am feeling isolated from the good beer experience. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 1993 14:10:52 -0800 From: rpeck at pure.com (Ray Peck) Subject: Homebrew Digest #1053 (January 12, 1993) >Date: 12 Jan 93 02:49:08 GMT >From: mark at verdix.com (Mark Lundquist) >Subject: hose couplers > >I have an idea. Have you seen these quick-disconnect gadgets for hose >connectors? I think you can find them in the garden department. Anyway, >you can install them on your sprinklers, spray nozzle, hose bib, &c. Each >coupler has a threaded male and female half which fit together with an >O-ring seal. From then on you just snap on, snap off. You can get couplers like this, but made to screw onto a kitchen faucet. They are often used to connect portable dishwashers. I have my (low-flow, on-off lever) aerator, Jet bottle washer, and hose all connected to these fittings. When I got the fittings, they tended to pop off if asked to withstand full water pressure (i.e., faucet turned full on, aerator valve turned off). Since they are solid brass, and put together with spring steel C clips, I took them apart and added shims to move the locking balls outward to facilitate tighter locking. I've had no problems since. *Highly* recommended. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 93 16:24:35 PST From: Robert Pulliam <pulliam at monty.rand.org> Subject: Barley wine I would like to take the plunge and make a barley wine. Does anyone have a tried and true receipe that they wouldn't mind sharing. A side note: I had the pleasure (while in San Francisco) of drinking a couple of the new canned Guinness (Mmmm). Last weekend, I made an effort to locate some of this in the Los Angeles area, and came up empty. Does anyone know if distribution has made it here and where I might pick up a few. Return to table of contents
Date: 12 Jan 93 19:12:01 EST From: Tim Norris <71650.1020 at compuserve.com> Subject: Re: COLD PLATES leave me cold..... Cold plates are the most amazing things I've ever seen for serving ice cold beer from warm kegs in the middle of a Chicago August. That's what they're designed for. BEWARE: They are not a great alternative to proper longterm/everyday serving and refrigeration of precious homebrew. At recent 'all draft' beer tasting/competitions here in The Windy City, we've had the darned things freeze up on us and it seems that the only temperature the beer comes out at is 'ICE COLD'. Consider your uses! Think about your long term needs. Shop around at used appliance places, ask them to call when the good ones come in. Refrigerators are our friends, and a good one with a tap or three on the outside IS a great way to serve your homebrew. It's always right where you put it, and it keeps your beer from spoiling! #1 reason not to use cold plates: Much too difficult to decorate with refrigerator magnets. Tim Norris Cold Plate Hater. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 93 18:49:00 EST From: mcharry at freedom.otra.com (McHarry) Subject: Re: sparging In regard to draining the lauter tun before refilling with sparge water: I tried this a couple times (using an Easymash). It didn't seem to make much difference and was more bother. I suspect that what is going on is not a serial dilution, but a kind of general flow from top to bottom with minimal mixing. I actually tried SG samples from the sparge water on top and the outflow: there is quite a difference. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 93 22:50 CST From: arf at ddsw1.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) Subject: Head, Boiling, Disconnects > My question is..... Has anyone out there been able to brew a pilsener with such a dense head.... Any feedback will be welcome. I didn't have a silver dollar handy this afternoon but I had no problem floating a Costa Rican 25 Centimos piece on a glass of the World's Greatest Beer. >From: Jim Busch <busch at daacdev1.stx.com> <From: arf at ddsw1.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) <Add half of your hops as soon as boiling begins. Save one <forth for the end and the remainder at regular intervals <during the boil. >This is not recommended for infusion mashing. I accept the recommendation but what does it have to do with the method of mashing? >The wort should be boiled a minimum of 30 minutes prior to the first hopping. This is due to the need to break down and make floc large proteins that carry over into the kettle. Don't understand this as it is already in the kettle if one is boiling. > After the 20-30 minutes of boiling, there will be large amounts of flocs that can be skimmed off the top. Then add the first hops for a minimum boil of 60 minutes, adding finishing hop as desired. If you hop immeadiately upon boiling you will quickly coat the hops surface with the proteins thereby considerably reducing the hop efficiency. This makes sense and as I do not usually skim because most of the hops is in the foam, it sounds like a good idea just on general principles. However, as my wort is entering the kettle continuously from the lauter tun, it is not obvious when to start the clock. > 1.5 oz of chinook is a lot of hops so I guess this works for Jack. It is a bit much even for my 7 gallon batches and I have reduced it to 1.0. I thought I changed that in the article. Thanks for the pointer. >From: mark at verdix.com (Mark Lundquist) >Have you seen these quick-disconnect gadgets for hose connectors? I think you can find them in the garden department. Anyway, you can install them on your sprinklers, spray nozzle, hose bib, &c. Each coupler has a threaded male and female half which fit together with an O-ring seal. From then on you just snap on, snap off. Great idea and it just proves that you are almost as smart as me because I did all that about a month ago. However, aside from a connection to the sink, the garden size is not convenient for homebrew size hoses. You can however, get similar type fittings that are made for plastic and copper tubing of all sizes. I have them on my wort chiller, bottle filler, lauter to kettle line and everywhere else I could think of. McMaster-Carr carries a complete line of them. (800) 833 0300 js Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1054, 01/13/93