HOMEBREW Digest #1166 Mon 21 June 1993

Digest #1165 Digest #1167

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Re: Yeast pitching amounts (Jim Busch)
  Grain Mills: opinions (mills  17-Jun-1993 0920 -0400)
  Amber Wheat Beer (aew)
  Filters, Plato (Jack Schmidling)
  Re: Phil Mill Report ("Manning, Martin P")
  siphoning sanitation (Chuck Coronella)
  Cooling extract wort (LPD1002)
  RE: Subscription Problems (LYONS)
  New Homebrew Store in Pittsburgh? (Stephen Brent Peters)
  Re: Keg Dispensing/How Long on Fruit/Sulfury Aromas (korz)
  Rotten eggs, Fruit, Siphon (Bill Szymczak)
  Eric Warner's Wheat beer book (/O=vmspfhou/S=dblewis/DD.SITE=JSCPROFS/)
  On the Road Again (C.R. Saikley)
  maltmill vs. phillmill (Brian Bliss)
  Great Falls (RON)
  A Few Observations (Martin A. Lodahl)
  Units (George J Fix)
  data point on molasses (Jonathan G Knight)
  malt (RON)
  The Great Grain Mill Saga (Tom Leith MIR/ERL 362-6965)
  John Bull barley wine kit - what to do with it? (Bill Flowers)
  Re: All Grain Systems (larryba)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 17 Jun 93 11:00:20 EDT From: Jim Busch <busch at daacdev1.stx.com> Subject: Re: Yeast pitching amounts In the last digest Mike inquires about one of the most important issues in brewing, yeast growth/pitching quantity: <From: mgerard at caen.engin.umich.edu Subject: Liquid Yeasts <How big of a starter do you need and what is a "normal" lag time at 75 degrees? Also should I start with one big starter or should I start with a small starter (12 ounces) and then transfer to a larger starter (1.5 liters)? The "professional" technique is to pitch a known quantity of cells, usually 12 million cells per ml for a 12P wort. Add 1 million for each degree P, especially with high gravity worts. Some Ale brewers pitch 1/2 this amount. Most of us have no convenient method of counting cells, nor is it required. The practical method for homebrewing mortals is to step up the amount in a 10-1 ratio until an adequate amount of slurry is produced. IF the yeast source is 30 ml of slurry, this can be directly pitched into 300ml of boiled/cooled wort. The 300 ml should probably be stepped up once more to result in 1-3 Litres of pitching yeast. With this amount, you are still only pitching in a 1-20 (or 3-10 litres) quantity for a 20L batch. With a healthy yeast, this will result in minimum lag time of say 3 - 8 hours. Remember that lag time is also a function of oxygen amounts in the wort. For this reason, many brewers inject oxygen to increase the yeast growth during the respiration phase (yeasts will absorb oxygen through the cell wall, using the oxygen, lipids and carbohydrates/sugars in a process called sterol synthesis). If you are culturing yeast, start with a loop of yeast and pitch into about 1.5 ml of wort. Grow one day, pitch into 15 -50 ml of wort, wait one day, pitch into 500ml to 1 liter and wait until visable fermentation has begun to brew (1-2 days). Some brewers prefer to wait until the starter has finished fermenting and pour off the still beer, pitching the slurry only. I have not found this to be necessary but many swear by it and have very good results with it. When pitching slurry, the rule of thumb is to pitch between 1/2 and 1 pound of slurry per BBl of wort, 8-16 oz into 31 gallons. When I use fresh slurry off a unitank, I have 2-3 hour lags when pitching this amount. If you can befriend a local brewery who makes *clean* beers, this method is unbeatable. Good brewing, Jim Busch Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 93 07:56:42 PDT From: mills 17-Jun-1993 0920 -0400 <ferguson at zendia.enet.dec.com> Subject: Grain Mills: opinions I'm eventually going to be interested in getting a grain mill as I move closer to all-grain. One homebrew supply place I go to has a "corn mill" selling for about USD$41.00 or so. It has a hopper (2# capacity) and a crank. Looking into the hopper is a rod that looks like a giant screw. It is easy to adapt an electric drill to this mill, which is a feature I'm looking for. This mill does let you adjust the crush. I've heard a lot of talk lately on roller-type mills. I don't reckon that the one I saw was a roller mill. What are the pros and cons of different types of mills? Also, I've seen talk about the PhilMill and the Maltmill, what do these sell for? Thanks, JC FERGUSON Digital LITTLETON MA USA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 93 12:14:50 -0400 From: aew at spitfire.unh.edu Subject: Amber Wheat Beer I've been enjoying the HBD for about two years now and have always wanted to post one of my original recipes, but untill now I wasn't sure that I had any that were up to the high quality standards that have been displayed herein the past. I think this one is finally good enough. This recipe produces an excellent summer beer. Light in body, but with a nice hop Flavor and nose to make it enjoyable to drink. I also use this as the base for my fruit beers. With 5 lbs. of blueberries added to the secondary it is truely special! Al's Amber Wheat Beer Ingredients (5 or 6 gallon batch): 3.3# Can Mutton and Fisson Light Unhopped Extract 2.0# Bag of Unhopped Wheat Dry malt 1.0 oz. Cascade Leaf Hops (Boil) 0.25 oz. Cascade Leaf Hops (Flavor)Homebrew DigestH 0.25 oz. Cascade Leaf Hops (Aroma) 1 tsp. Irish moss 2 Packages Mutton and Fisson Ale Yeast Procedure: Remove 1 1/4 cup of wheat malt and save in zip-lock bag for priming. Bring 1.5 Gallons water and Malts to a boil. When boil starts fully set your stove timer (watch, hourglass, whatever) to 45 mins. For leaf hops I don't use a hop bag, you can if it makes you feel good. 45 Mins: Add Boil Hops - 1.0 oz. 15 Mins: Add Irish moss - 1 tsp. 10 Mins: Add Flavor Hops - .25 oz. 2 Mins: Add Aroma Hops - .25 oz. 0 Mins: Pour through strainer and funnel(with strainer) directly into carboy with 2+ gallons of cold water as quickly as possible. Fill to top with more cold tap water. swirl carboy to mix hot and cold evenly. Pitch yeast. Notes. This could also be a blonde wheat ale if M+F malt was replaced with a lighter colored malt - say mountmellick unhopped light. Also, If you buy hops in 1 oz. packages you could boost the aroma and flavor hops to .5 oz. each. This shoudn't bee too much. Or save the extra .5 oz. and make Papazians Avigadro's Expiditious Old Ale which needs exactly .5 oz of cascade hops! Enjoy! Al =============================================================================== Allan Wright Jr. | Pole-Vaulters Get a Natural High! | GO Celtics! University of New Hampshire +-------------------------------------------------- Research Computing Center | You keep using that word. I do not think it means Internet: AEW at UNH.EDU | what you think it means. -The Princess Bride =============================================================================== Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 93 11:34 CDT From: arf at genesis.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) Subject: Filters, Plato >From: Jim Busch <busch at daacdev1.stx.com> >It would seem to me that despite the improvement in performance that Jack found with this cartridge, the reusability of a cotton based filter would be low. What do you do to clean and store a cotton filter? I let it drip for a day and then put it in the oven with just the pilot light and it dries completely in a couple of days. If kept dry, it is not much harder to care for that a cotton undershirt. Some folks have suggested just keeping it in the freezer but I would rather dry it. > I am not sure I would want to spend $11+ on a filter that I would have to discard or watch get moldy. Neither would I and I suspect that I will get a lot of use out it if properly taken care of but only time will tell. On the other hand, I do not want to pay any price for any filter that does not do what it is supposed to do. > If you want a cotton filter , my local HW store sells one for $5... I doubt that it is a .5 micron filter. >I would also point out what I posted on rec.crafts.brewing: One must be careful of the point of conditioning that you filter. A period of cold conditioning helps to remove the bulk of yeast in suspension, and results in better filtration. I took that under advisement but it does not affect the results of my cornstarch test. I was trying to evaluate two filters and as long as the conditions were the same, the results were valid. >Micro filtered beer is stripped of important beer constituants, that I definetly want in my beer. I am sure that is true but I do not consider these string wound filters to be absolute in any sense. My guess is that it just might stop more small stuff than a corser filter but to believe that nothing over .5 microns gets through is wishful thinking. <Not willing to accept these results, I purchased a known .5 micron filter cartridge from McMaster Carr and ran some tests on it which convinced me that the .5 micron cartridge that came with the filter, most assuridly was not. >I am not of the opinion that the Filter Store is misleading brewers as to the size of the cartridge. First of all, who said anything about the Filter Store and who suggested anyone was misleading brewers? I specifically stated that I was leaving out the names to give them an opportunity to look into the problem. For the record, I did not purchase mine from the Filter Store but I do not recall the source for the one in the article. It is my understanding that the Filter Store sells pleated filters and are therefore not relevant to this discussion about string wound filters. I was simply reporting on the fact that I received the wrong cartridge with the filter I bought and laid out the method by which anyone can determine if he/she has what is expected. > Why is the McMaster Carr filter a "known" size and the other not?? For the simple reason that the catalog listed it as .5 micron and the one that came with the filter was unmarked and I had not a clue other than the suplier's word that it was .5 micron. He has since sent me two more that are marked .5 micron but they are exactly the same as the one that came with the original and hense, I do not believe the marking is correct. >From: gjfix at utamat.uta.edu (George J Fix) > A particular problem that I am facing is the need to find an alternative to listing the complete Plato/Balling tables relating specific gravity SG to extract E (i.e., % extract by wt. or if you like degree Plato). > E = 668.72*SG -463.37 -206.347*SG*SG. >One can use the quadratic formula to solve the above for SG... Perhaps I am missing something but it seems that if we all spoke the same language, this problem would go away. If it is necessary or useful to brew in Plato or Balling, why not just suggest that whoever makes the ubiquitous homebrew hydrometer simply tune in and make a cheap instrument that reads in Plato or whatever is more useful. As a matter of fact, it seems no more complicated than changing the cal chart inside the instrument and it could read all three scales. js Return to table of contents
Date: 18 Jun 1993 00:42:10 -0600 From: "Manning, Martin P" <manning#m#_martin_p at mcst.ae.ge.com> Subject: Re: Phil Mill Report I was well aware of the circumstances and results of the testing done by Listermann comparing the Phil Mill's output to the Corona and the Maltmill, which I obtained from Listermann over the phone. I have not seen any sales literature from Listermann, except magazine ads. Y'all will note, please, that I did not attempt to compare the Phil Mill to the Maltmill in my recent post, because the testing done was obviously not rigorous. The Maltmill used was not the adjustable type, and hence could not be tuned to match anything, right or wrong. The Corona, however, is a known entity, and it is well understood that a compromise between damaged husks and poorly crushed grains must be accepted. I therefore chose to include that portion of the test results. The data given by Fix comparing the Maltmill to a commercial mill is impressive, but it did not state (in the excerpt) weather the Maltmill used was the adjustable type or not, which would be useful information for any one contemplating a purchase. However, to restate the point I made previously, trying to match the particle distribution of multiple roll machines with single roll types may not be the best course of action because the mechanics of the crushing process are different. This is bourne out by the Corona- the thing to worry about is the quality of the beer that results. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 93 11:37 MTS From: Chuck Coronella <CORONELLRJDS at CHE.UTAH.EDU> Subject: siphoning sanitation Lately there's been quite a lot of talk in the digest regarding the use of proper sanitation while siphoning. I'd like to be the guy who says "Hey don't be so paranoid, keep it in perspective". I _always_ start my siphon by sucking with my mouth, and have yet to discover an infection (knock on plastic keyboard). Sanitation is relatively unimportant at bottling time. Relative to racking off trub, etc. before yeast is pitched, that is. The best way to prevent an infection problem is to pitch a large yeast starter. I'm not saying that it's OK to use dirty equipment, etc., just keep it in perspective. I'll bet that most of us would agree that you don't need to wash your hands with bleach while brewing, right? For me, the trouble of starting a siphon by any method other than sucking on it outweighs the benefit of increased sanitation. Relaxing too much, Chuck Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 93 11:40:45 -0600 From: LPD1002%NYSHESCV.bitnet at UACSC2.ALBANY.EDU Subject: Cooling extract wort Here's another one of those naive questions from a somewhat inexperienced brewer. I am an extract/spec. grain brewer. Usually after the boil, I would sparge the 1 1/2 gallons of hot wort into 3 1/2 gallons of cold water. This would still leave me with a temp too high for pitching. After reading the ongoing thread about a month ago on wort chillers, I started to wonder. Was my beer spending too much time at DMS temps? So for my last batch I took the brew pot off of the stove and put it into a sink that had been filled with very cold water and ice. I covered it and stirred the cold water around it for 10 minutes or so. Then I sparged into my 3 1/2 gallons of cold water. The beer turned out pretty tasty, so it wasn't infected. A little chill haze though. Are there any problems doing this? Is it a waste of time for such a small quantity of wort? Should I just wait 1/2 hour before pitching or should I really not worry and do whatever I feel like doing that day? Steve Septer Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 93 10:50 EDT From: LYONS at adc2.adc.ray.com Subject: RE: Subscription Problems Experiencing HBD subscription problems, ... yes I have also experienced speratic deliveries lately. In my situation I have only missed HBD #'s 1158 & 1163. Chris, LYONS at ADC3.ADC.RAY.COM Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1993 14:09:13 -0400 (EDT) From: Stephen Brent Peters <sp2q+ at andrew.cmu.edu> Subject: New Homebrew Store in Pittsburgh? Hi There, If you would like to see a new homebrew store in the Pittsburgh area, please reply to this message. If you don't mind, please also include the area of the city that is the most convenient for you. Steve Peters = sp2q at andrew.cmu.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 93 13:13 CDT From: korz at iepubj.att.com Subject: Re: Keg Dispensing/How Long on Fruit/Sulfury Aromas Martin writes: >I have solved the problem of getting the right amount of foam when dispensing >beer from soda kegs through a cobra tap in a unique way. As always, the trick >is to get the pressure at the tap to down to just above ambient by matching the >losses in the delivery line to within about 1 psi of the gauge pressure in the >keg. You can size the line such that this happens, but what about resizing part >of it by putting in a restriction? You can't place the restriction at the end >(by regulating the flow at the tap), because the pressure drop is too abrupt. I >have found, however, that you can place a restriction at the quick disconnect, >to get part of the pressure drop, and let the line take care of the rest. > >My Cobra tap has the usual 1/4-in ID tubing, with a 1/4-in flare nut on the >end, which attaches to a ball lock connector. I placed a short piece of 1/4-in >ID copper tube between the cobra tap hose and the connector using a 1/4-in >flare union and two flare nuts. I then squashed the tube (nearly) flat to >create a restriction. The flattened section is about 5/8-in long, and the flow >passage inside is only about 0.020 in or so. With the regulator set for the >desired volumes of CO2, usually 10 to 15 psi for me, it works fine. In fact, I >adjusted the restriction by trial and error to get it to work properly. One >could try using an adjustable restrictor (needle valve?) to accommodate various >tank pressures. Maybe one of the entrepreneurs out there could make a killing >supplying such a thing to the mechanically disinclined. Well, it's a good idea, but then again, not really. The additional fittings and copper tubing are more areas for bacteria to hide and spoil your beer. The simplest solution is to slip some kind of pinch-type hose valve onto the beer line near the keg end of it. These are the plastic siphon hose shutoff clamps that most of us have on our siphon hoses. There are fancier ones with little wheels (like a rack and pinion) that are even more adjustable or the stainless steel ones that are used in labs. As Martin said, though, it needs quite a bit of hose so the restriction is not too close to the faucet so it doesn't foam all over the place. ************************ Frank writes: >In my current creation, I am using about 11 lbs. for a 5 gallon batch. >The question that I have is how long a period time is it recommended >to let the fruit sit on the beer? First of all, that's a good amount of Cherries -- you will get a decidedly Cherry aroma and flavor. I used 12 or 13 (I forget) pounds to make a 5 gallon batch (actually it was 3.75 gallons of beer on 12 or 13 lbs of cherries WITH the pits) and it worked out very well (won a couple of awards even). In any event, I let them sit in the brew for three weeks in my fruit beer, but it's been something like 8 months for my pKriek (pure-cultureKreik). For a regular fruit beer, I think that 3 to 4 weeks (from my experience) at 65F is the proper amount of time. >I will post the recipe. I sought a sweeter end product so I it incorporates >1 lb of crystal and 5 oz of lactose. I used a couple of pounds of Belgian Caramel Pils and 8 ounces of Lactose in 15 gallons of finished beer and it turned out pleasantly sweet. *********************** Rafael writes: >Help! after two days of fermentation a rotten egg smell is >coming out of my bucket. It is a continental light beer, nothing >special. >Should I discarded and start over or should I wait a little >longer? Some strains of yeast have a tendancy to produce sulfury aromas during fermentation. There have been quite a few reports of this from Lager yeasts especially, but I'm sure that some Ale yeasts are capable of producing sulfury smells and still making great beer. Give it some time. I've had smells go away in the bottle too, but personally, I feel a lot better when the smell goes away in the ferementer. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 93 14:36:39 EDT From: bszymcz%ulysses at relay.nswc.navy.mil (Bill Szymczak) Subject: Rotten eggs, Fruit, Siphon In HBD1164 Rafael Bussto asks: >Help! after two days of fermentation a rotten egg smell is >coming out of my bucket. It is a continental light beer, nothing >special. >Should I discarded and start over or should I wait a little >longer? Don't dump it yet! Sulphur compounds giving off a rotten egg smell can be a natural byproduct of the yeast during early stages of fermentation. If this is the case, just wait a few days and the rotten egg smell will go away. (I've noticed a rotten egg smell during early fermentation stages of a weitzen and with starters I've used with lager yeasts. In each case the smell went away after the primary fermentation and the beers turned out fine with no detectable sulphury aroma or flavor.) If the rotten egg smell is still strong after active fermentation has ceased, then consider dumping the batch, or using it as slug bait. Also, Frank Dobner asks: >In my current creation, I am using about 11 lbs. for a 5 gallon batch. >The question that I have is how long a period time is it recommended >to let the fruit sit on the beer? >I have already gone through primary fermentation and have racked the >fermented weiss onto the cherries and would like to know how long it >is that I must now wait. I am sure the answers will be all over the >board but so be it. This is my wife's beer so I wanna do good. Why not simply wait until the sugars in the cherries ferment out, which should take from 2 days to a week depending on your yeast and the fermentation temperature. Currently, I've been fermenting a strawberry-rhubarb ale (10 lbs straberries + 1.2 lbs rhubarb) in which I used a similar process as you, (froze the strawberries, blanched in boiling water for a few seconds, dumped into a 6.7 gal carboy, boiled the rhubarb with 1/4 lbs DME and added on top of the partially frozen strawberries, shook, then racked from primary onto the fruit). You may not have as vigourous a secondary as me since I added a little DME, (my small blowoff tube clogged and I nearly had an explosion). Active secondary fermentation stopped after 3 days, (WYEAST 1056, 68F) but I didn't get to rack off the fruit until 7 days. I plan on letting it sit in tertiary a week or so to let the pulp which got through the siphon settle out. Finally, on starting siphons, I have been using the following method when siphoning into a carboy. I use one of those orange carboy caps with the two tubes sticking out. In the shorter tube (where the air lock is suppose to fit) insert a piece of copper tubing (3/8 OD, about 1 foot long) so that some remains outside and some is inside the carboy. (If you are reracking place a 5/16 ID plastic hose on the bottom of the copper pipe, which is long enough to reach the bottom of the carboy, to avoid aeration.) A section of plastic tubing is used to connect the top of the pipe sticking out of the carboy to a racking cane (I also use copper tubing for the racking cane). Insert the racking cane into the kettle with wort, or primary carboy with the beer to be racked. Connect a 3/8" ID plastic hose to the smaller tube (blowoff) extending out of the orange carboy cap. The siphon can be started by either sucking on this hose, or attaching it to a hand pump (as I do). I sterilize my copper tubing by baking in the oven at 350F for about 1/2 hour and let cool in the oven with the door shut. The carboy is sanitized using 1 oz bleach / gallon of water, and is rinse by twice adding about 1/2 gallon of pre boiled water, shaking and dumping. The plastic tubing is sanitized also by soaking in the bleach solution and rinsing with pre-boiled water. Bill Szymczak Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 93 11:34 PDT From: /O=vmspfhou/S=dblewis/DD.SITE=JSCPROFS/ at NASAmail.nasa.gov Subject: Eric Warner's Wheat beer book ***************************** PROFS Note ***************************** From: DBLEWIS --VMSPFHOU Date and time 06/17/93 13:37:06 To: POSTMAN --NASAMAIL FROM: Dennis B. Lewis <dblewis at jscprofs.nasa.gov> SUBJECT: Eric Warner's Wheat beer book I recently purchased Eric Warner's book _German Wheat Beers_ and have found it to be a tremendous help in quantifying the mysterious tastes of German wheat beers. I have a question for anyone out there (maybe someone knows Eric...) about the recipe formulations in the back of the book. I calculated the extract required from the grain recipes to achieve the desired SG. In almost every recipe I came up with an extraction of 40 pts/lb/gal! I think that these sound more like malt extract (heavy liquid or light dry) numbers. This is not a big problem, but I think the community should be aware of this and make corrections to their own grain bills before starting. One point of help for corrections is that Eric says the recipes are based on 83% extraction from the wheat malt (1.039 max) and 78% from the barley malt (1.035 max). (numbers in parens are mine) Or maybe there is some super German malts that yield 40 pts! Dennis B. Lewis * (713) 244-7809 * NASA/JSC/DH6 Payload Ops Homebrew, The Final Frontier. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 93 18:06:36 PDT From: grumpy!cr at uunet.UU.NET (C.R. Saikley) Subject: On the Road Again Greetings All, Next month, I'll be heading to the Czech Republic. Does anyone know if they make good beer there? If so, any recommendations? Please respond via private email. Thanks, CR Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 93 15:01:11 -0500 From: bliss at pixel.convex.com (Brian Bliss) Subject: maltmill vs. phillmill > >arf at genesis.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) writes: > >The early prototype version I used seemed to work well, i.e. gave a good > crush, and Dan (Listermann) has tested this observation by sifting the grist > through a set of brewery screens, and comparing the (weight) percentages left > on each to published data for 6-roll mills. > > His bar charts show that the MM and Corona are just about identical (bad) and > the Phillmill and the large commercial mill are identical (good). > >George Fix earlier wrote (and jack re-posts): > I received Jack's mill in Jan., 1992. Shortly thereafter it was taken to the > Dallas Brewing Co. (DBC) for the test. The latter was done with a standard > and well established screen sieving procedure. This is described for example > in DeClerck, Vol. 2, pages 321-323. It in effect consists weighing out the > grain fractions that are retained on screen meshes of diminishing width. The > following is what we measured: > > ASBC screen grains retained, % by wt. > screen no. width, mm. MM DBC Mill > ------------ ------------ ------ --------- > 10 2.000 14 13 > 14 1.410 18 20 > 18 1.000 33 32 > 30 .590 25 25 > 60 .250 5 5 > 100 .149 3 2 > Not Retained 2 3 > ---- ---- > 100 100 > > George Fix > I think we're missing the point here. The Data posted by george measures by weight the amount of grain passing through sucessively finer screens. It is a measure of the consistency of the crush of the kernel itself, which is important as far a stuck sparges go. What is more important is how badly the mill shredded the husk material, and the analyses do not meaure that. husk material is light, and will not show up (relatively) in the results, which are by weight. A well shredded husk can also be retained by the medium screens - it is the grain dust which falls though the finer screens. The presence of extra grain dust does not cause extra tannin extraction, the big factor. It can make your sparge stick. As far as the maltmill goes, I'm a satisfied customer. bb Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 93 16:11 From: RON.admin at admin.creol.ucf.edu (RON) Subject: Great Falls A friend recently moved to Great Falls Montana and was hoping to find a local brew supply store. Anywhere in the state of Montana for that matter. ron at admin.creol.ucf.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 93 13:16:59 PDT From: Martin A. Lodahl <pbmoss!malodah at PacBell.COM> Subject: A Few Observations In HOMEBREW Digest #1164 there were several items that "spoke to me." First, William A. Kitch seconded Kelly Jones' call for references in postings (with which I heartily concur), adding: > ... This in not to say that opinions an anectdotal > evidence are not import. They are and should be posted but should also > be clearly marked as such! I couldn't agree more. Opinion and speculation are grand precursors to knowledge, but aren't themselves knowledge. Then Dr. George J. Fix caught my attention: > ... Brewing Techniques. By the way, Vol. 2 will have an article by > Martin Lodahl, which could turn into the most widely read and > discussed article in the history of brewing. He deals with malt > extracts. Wow! Well, I hope someone finds it helpful. At the moment I'm not sure if it will be discussed, or just dissed and cussed. We'll see, pretty soon. > To head off anticipated flames, let me state that I get paid $0 > for being an editor of BT, and authors get the same compensation. The compensation is getting to do the research the articles are based on, and getting to work with the people involved with the magazine, including Steve Mallery, a truly extraordinary editor- in-chief. Finally, Steven Zabarnick set off my alarm bells: > I finally took the plunge -- I did my first full wort boil > this past weekend. I used a new 33 qt ceramic-on-steel > kettle ... This is the same kind of kettle I use, and I think it falls into the "best buy" category. They work great. > I do have some comments and questions about the process, > though. With 5 gals of water and 6 lbs of DME at a rolling > boil, the 33 qt kettle was quite close to full. How does one > do an all-grain boil in a kettle this size, where one needs to > boil about 7 gals? Very carefully. The tip that someone offered here about tossing a few hop strobiles or a couple of pellets into the wort before it begins to boil is a good one, and especially as boil approaches, the kettle must be watched closely. I always partially uncover the kettle at that point, both to avoid boilovers and control the mechanical action of the boil. If it becomes too vigorous, it will splash over the sides. > As I boiled out on the porch and set up to chill in the > kitchen, I had to carry the full, hot kettle with copper > tubing protruding. This was much more challenging then > expected. Dangerous, too. Remember, you're carrying a considerable quantity of boiling-hot, sugar-laden liquid, in a kettle whose handles are none-too-strongly attached. I suspect they're there for handling the kettle when it's empty, not when it's full. I had one handle come off of my kettle, at the best possible time: I was mashing in it, and as I began to lift it from the insulated box there was a sudden *tink!* ... Total fall was a couple of inches, and while the mash sloshed around a bit, none spilled. But it got me to thinking ... > ... Do most people avoid carrying the hot wort by > chilling in place (using a garden hose)? That's exactly what I do. I brew in the kitchen (to my wife's increasing annoyance), and have a quick-disconnect fitting on the faucet. I attach a short (10') hose to that, then to the inflow-side of the immersion chiller. The outflow I direct into the carboy I'm going to use as a primary, to which I've added some <insert favorite sanitizer>. After collecting that 6.5 gallons, I rearrange the hoses to use a small Teel pump to recirculate icewater, to do the rest of the chilling. > ... During chilling > the kettle cover does not completely seal due to the > copper tubing; should I have used plastic wrap to keep out > the nasties? This has bothered me since my first batch using an immersion chiller, but I've never done anything more constructive than fit the lid on the best way I could, nor have I seen evidence of infection because of it. = Martin A. Lodahl Pacific*Bell Systems Analyst = = malodah at Pacbell.COM Sacramento, CA 916.972.4821 = = If it's good for ancient Druids, runnin' nekkid through the wuids, = = Drinkin' strange fermented fluids, it's good enough for me! 8-) = Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 93 13:54:35 -0500 From: gjfix at utamat.uta.edu (George J Fix) Subject: Units I made an assumption in my chlorine calculations I forgot to mention. In particular, I assumed that a liter of solution weighed approximately one kilogram. This is not exact, but for chlorine solutions I believe it is reasonable. I was forced into this assumption because the Siebel data was presented in mg/l (units I prefer), while the best I could get from my bleach friends was liters per million liters. A sentence that was inadvertently left out of my post was " Lets assume that the 52500 ppm figure can be taken as 52500 mg/l". Sorry for the omission, and the confusion it caused. I used 1 oz. per gallon bleach rate simply as a numerical example. This is what I have been using (on tubing), but I am very interest in the success John has been getting with half that rate. This is something I am going to check out in terms of my system. George Fix P.S. Takes to Anthony Johnson and Greg Troxel for asking about the units I was using. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 93 15:29:05 cdt From: Jonathan G Knight <KNIGHTJ at GRIN.EDU> Subject: data point on molasses Al's comments on molasses being better for dark beer are worth noting. I recently put 8 fl. oz. in a ginger beer with 6 lbs. Telford's Extra Pale extract syrup. It's too much! Hopefully more bottle conditioning will improve things. However, thinking back a number of HBD issues to the suggestion someone made that brown sugars and molasses have desirable aromatics that might be lost during a full boil, I put the molasses in for only the last 15 minutes. A couple of years ago I made another ginger beer with 8 fl. oz. molasses and only 4 lbs. of an amber extract. The molasses was virtually undetectable even by experienced palates. So I guess my limited experience suggests that when using molasses, if you want the aromatics, use VERY LITTLE during the last part of the boil; if you want a certain je-ne-say-kwa, dump it in for an hour and you can use more. And Al's probably right about sticking to darker beers anyway. On the aromatic side, though, I used some "demarara" sugar - 1 lb. with 6 lbs. of a light extract - in a British ale last year which was really wonderful. I would not hesitate to accent the qualities imparted by that sugar by moving its addition closer to the end of the boil next time! Jonathan Knight Grinnell, Iowa Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 93 16:34 From: RON.admin at admin.creol.ucf.edu (RON) Subject: malt Due to numerous requests for inexpensive extracts..... Heres an extract that I've had good results with: Specialty Products International Ltd. 820 North 14th St. Erwin North Carolina 28339 919 - 929 - 4277 Pricing for mix and match; hopped or unhopped, Amber, Light, and Dark, or Canadian Lager. Shipped with yeast. $80 / 12 cans east of mississippi $90 / 12 cans west of mississippi other products available from free catalog ps....I'm not a salesman with the company, just always looking for inexpensive supplies Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1993 16:19:33 -0500 From: trl at photos.wustl.edu (Tom Leith MIR/ERL 362-6965) Subject: The Great Grain Mill Saga I recently bought a JS MaltMill(r), the adjustable model, and have got a few things to say about using it for two batches. The first thing I notice is that the quality of the crush you will get is very sensitive to roller spacing. When I got it from a local homebrew shop, the rollers weren't adjusted well at all, and the crush was MUCH too fine. Didn't look any better than a Corona, what with all that dust and small pieces of husk. Turns out the rollers were way too close together. I adjusted it to the reccommended .060" spacing by using automotive feeler gauges. Which brings up a good point: you will not get repeatable results unless you use a metal gague for setting the gap. More on this later. Ayway, I was crushing DeWolf Two-Row, which of course came from a particular bag, and a particular lot-number. The .060" spacing was too loose -- many grains were just cracked in half, but not really crushed. I adjusted the mill, again with feeler gauges, to .057". This provided satisfactory results for the two-row, but was too loose for the CaraPils. I adjusted again to .055", and this provided great results for CaraPils as well as the two-row. But I think it'll be too loose for wheat malt, which I haven't tried yet. Just for fun, I tried .050, and .045 gaps, and the quality of the crush falls off (by visual inspection, no screens) pretty rapidly. Also gets real hard to turn the crank at these close gaps. One big advantage I see to a mill like the MaltMill is that it trivial to reproduce roller spacings. You just turn the thing over, and stick in your feeler gauges. When I set the gaps, I placed the gauges in the center of the rollers, and turned the adjustemnt until there was just enough friction to hold the gauges in place. Then I tightened the set-screw, and checked to be sure the rollers hadn't gotten any tighter or looser. This takes about 30 seconds. I tried using a drill to turn the MaltMill too. This absolves JSP of all liability associated with the machine, but I did it anyway. The drill is a very heavy-duty 1/2" drill, with 0 - 500 RPM speed. I figure I was running it at maybe 100 RPMs. The big thing is I think you get a better crush with a motor because the rollers are turning so smoothly. It IS easier to do, but I think the reason to do it is to get a better crush. I was told that Jack used to produce a motorized version. Things that could stand improvement?? I think the hopper is WAY too small. But it'll be easy to make a bigger one from some scrap lumber. I was disappointed to find no bronze bushing in the eccentric "knob" that provides the adjustemnt. And the adjuster moves too easily when tightening the set-screw -- you have to be more careful than you might want to be. Some kind of metal clips that could fasten the mill to the top of the bucket would be good too. My plans are to mount the MaltMill on a different base, add a permanent motor of some kind, build a bigger hopper, and come up with some kind of wire clip, like you may have seen on some shipping crates, to fasten the base to the pail. And then brew LOTS of great beer. If the eccentric knob wears out, I trust that Jack will replace it. But I'd still like to see a bushing in it. So, it seems there are now three price-points in the small-mill market now: $40 gets you a Corona, $80 get you a PhilMill, and $120 gets you an adjustable MaltMill. Bottom line on the MaltMill?? From my point of view, I'd say if you don't mind the price, its a good machine, certainly better than a Corona Mill. There is even a certain retro-grouch homebrew supplier here in town who is impressed with the results I've gotten with the adjustable MaltMill. And you won't find a genuine roller mill anywhere near its price. ("Genuine" means "two rollers" IMHO) You can make great, award-winning beer with Corona-Crushed grain: I've seen it done. But its less ideal, for sure. The other homebrew supplier here in town has a PhilMill on order. I expect I'll go out and evaluate it, but I don't need two mills. And I'll bet I already have the Porsche. Cheers, t Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1993 12:26:17 -0400 From: Bill Flowers <waflowers at qnx.com> Subject: John Bull barley wine kit - what to do with it? I was just given a John Bull "Barley Wine" kit as a gift. I don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but the problem I see is that this won't make anything like a real barley wine. The kit is a 1.8Kg can of hopped malt extract. The instructions call for combining this with 1Kg of "sugar" (of course, I'd use DME) to make up 14L of wort. By my calculations this would have an OG of 1.057+/-, unless the syrup in the can is almost a solid (a can of DME maybe? NOT!). While this might be a wonderful ale, it isn't even in the ballpark for a barley wine. Does anyone have any experience with this kit? What I'm thinking of doing is cutting down on the water (I have a 11.5L carboy I could do it in) and increasing the fermentables to at least get it up to 1.085 (still low for a barley wine from what I understand, but it would be better), and some extra hops. Perhaps 1Kg of DME, 500g raw (whole) sugar and 20g Goldings. Do the initial fermentation with a good ale yeast and continue the fermentation with a (well started) champagne yeast. Comments? - --- W.A. (Bill) Flowers email: waflowers at qnx.com QNX Software Systems, Ltd. QUICS: bill (613) 591-0934 (data) (613) 591-0931 (voice) mail: 175 Terrence Matthews - --- W.A. (Bill) Flowers email: waflowers at qnx.com QNX Software Systems, Ltd. QUICS: bill (613) 591-0934 (data) (613) 591-0931 (voice) mail: 175 Terrence Matthews (613) 591-3579 (fax) Kanata, Ontario, Canada K2M 1W8 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 93 17:47:04 -0400 From: polstra!larryba at uunet.UU.NET Subject: Re: All Grain Systems In HBD#1162, >I'm trying to gather as much info as I can on all grain brewing >systems before putting my own system together. I've read several >books on the subject but haven't come to a decision on the following >items: > >+ Boiling Kettle - what are the disadvantages of cutting up an old keg? > Is a false bottom neccessary? For a 15 gallon capacity (10 gallon > beer batch) what should I look for in material thickness and other > features. Sanke keg works great. I find it hard to believe that false bottoms work well with bottom heat systems (e.g. propane burners) so I made a copper ring out of some 1/2"od tubing, ran it out the side of the keg through a compression fitting silver soldered as a bulkhead fitting. I did this twice: one with a large ring around the inner circumference of the keg, for the kettle: the slotted ring filters out whole leaf hops fine and for pellets, swirling leaves all the trub and pellet crud in a pile in the dome of the keg. I get all but about a quart of liquid out. The second one is an 8" ring centered in the keg and resting on the bottom. I use that for mashing and lautering. Again the slotted ring filters just dandy and I get excellent extract (100% of expected yeild on my second try). The kegs cost me $10/ea at a recycling yard and I cut 10" holes in the top with ajig saw and a bi-metal blade (make sure you get bi-metal or you will be frustrated!). > >+ Propane burner - Is 35K BTU's big enough? How long to heat 12 gallons > of wort? In spite of what you hear people say, 35kbtu is more than enough. Bigger burners are just blowing heat around the side of yoru keg and wasting propane. A better solution is to make a heat shield that fits over your keg. I made mine out of some 24" flashing. The shield is about 4" biggert in diameter than the keg and the top is folded over to seal. With that in place it takes very little flame to keep 14gal at a roiling boil. > >+ Wort Chillers - Right now I'm using a homemade immersion type. What > are the advantages of the other style? > >+ Thermometers - Where do you find thermometers that are accurate to +/- > 2 degrees? Go to a kitchen supply and get a digital one for about $19. Fast, accurate and easy to read. > >+ Refrigeration/Fermenting - Idealy one would build a walk-in or two. > How do persons of ordinary means accomodate large numbers of fermenters > and kegs? > My regular refer can handle 1 fermenter and four kegs at one time. Gotta run. Cheers! >Thanks, > > -Brian > >- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- >Brian Vandewettering (ADP Dealer Services R&D) Portland, OR >bmv at plaza.ds.adp.com >- -------------------------------------------------------------------------- > > - -- Larry Barello uunet!polstra!larryba Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1166, 06/21/93