HOMEBREW Digest #1504 Thu 18 August 1994

Digest #1503 Digest #1505

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  Seeking brewpubs in London, Ontario (Jan Holloway)
  New C thread program (cthread) (John Pearson)
  Steam beer--ale or lager? (David Draper)
  Rims fix (kit.anderson)
  Hop twine (michael j dix)
  Homebrew Morbidity (Martin Lodahl)
  Gott vs. Igloo (Bryan Gros)
  carbonation troubles? ("Charles S. Jackson")
  keg boiler drain (Mark E. Lubben)
  low cost of homebrewing ;^) (JerryC3162)
  Homebrew Mail List (MR RONALD L KOONS)
  Mill test (Ulick Stafford)
  Re: Mini-Kegs draft system. (Tel +44 784 443167)
  Keep footnotes smaller! (PAULDORE)
  Brewing Belgian Beers (#4): Oud Bruins ("Phillip Seitz")
  Re: when to add fruit (Mark A. Stevens)
  Higher Temp Lager Strains (PSTOKELY)
  Forfeiture Law (Chris Strickland)

****************************************************************** ** NOTE: There will be no digest administration from August 15 ** through August 26. PLEASE be patient when requesting changes ** or cancellations. ****************************************************************** Send articles for __publication_only__ to homebrew at hpfcmi.fc.hp.com (Articles are published in the order they are received.) Send UNSUBSCRIBE and all other requests, ie, address change, etc., to homebrew-request@ hpfcmi.fc.hp.com, BUT PLEASE NOTE that if you subscribed via the BITNET listserver (BEER-L at UA1VM.UA.EDU), then you MUST unsubscribe the same way! If your account is being deleted, please be courteous and unsubscribe first. FAQs, archives and other files are available via anonymous ftp from sierra.stanford.edu. (Those without ftp access may retrieve files via mail from listserv at sierra.stanford.edu. Send HELP as the body of a message to that address to receive listserver instructions.) Please don't send me requests for back issues - you will be silently ignored. For "Cat's Meow" information, send mail to lutzen at novell.physics.umr.edu
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 15 Aug 1994 16:02:11 -0500 From: holloway at ezmail.ucs.indiana.edu (Jan Holloway) Subject: Seeking brewpubs in London, Ontario Greetings. We're heading up to London, Ontario, for a long weekend this Friday (August 19). Can anyone recommend brewpubs or interesting pubs in the area? If you want to write to me directly, I'm at holloway at ucs.indiana.edu. Many thanks in advance! --Jan Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 1994 16:23:17 -0500 (CDT) From: john at loki.ti.com (John Pearson) Subject: New C thread program (cthread) There is a new version of the C/curses thread program available from the sierra archives (/pub/homebrew/programs/thread/cthread20.tar). The program is called cthread to denote that it differs from the MSDOS version and that Tom Kaltenbach is no longer supporting the C version. You can get the tar file from the archives, which contains the C code, documentation and a Makefile for helping compile the code. Tom has customized thread for the MSDOS environment. The cthread version is a curses (basically, UNIX) version. Make no mistake that CTHREAD (C/Curses THREAD) is still basically Tom's original program (except for bugs which I'm sure I've introduced) with some enhancements. The majority of the credit for the program should still go to him; blame for bugs/problems are mine. If you download this tar file for the new program, PLEASE read the documentation as the user interface has changed enough to make that worthwhile. A brief review of the enhancements: o convert to case insensitive searches CONSTANTLY o change to pattern matching sentences from cyclical target and logical operator prompts (i.e. input is like "malt and mill not miller end<return>" -- or -- "malt & mill ! miller .<return>" see docs for details) o allow regular expression pattern matching in search targets (i.e. gives you wildcard search capabilities) o allow digest files to be compressed, if platform supports, to save disk space (compress, gzip) o highlight all matching lines in a matching message o remove newline requirement for single char inputs o SPACE == [M]ore while paging (like "more", "pg", etc) o [B]ack up option while viewing a message o [R]edisplay option while viewing a message o add "automatic mode" flag on command line (-a) o add pattern matching string command line input o fix a bug with the search for message delimiter within the archive which cut some messages short and found extra, phantom messages o allow passing an alternate message delimiter on the command line I want to publicly thank Tom for his willingness to allow me to make upgrades to this program, and to Steven Hansen for getting it on the archives for us. John T. Pearson pearson at lobby.ti.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 1994 07:39:58 +1000 (EST) From: David Draper <David.Draper at mq.edu.au> Subject: Steam beer--ale or lager? Dear Friends, I would like you to take part in a survey to help our brew club resolve a contentious question: Does the steam beer (California Common beer) style belong in the ale category or the lager category? The club runs an ale competition in the autumn and a lager competition in the spring, and there is a debate over which comp to accept steam beer entries in. So please, one and all, email me your vote in a format like this: It is a (lager or ale) because .... where "because..." is a short summary of why you think what you do (for example, "it's a lager because it uses a bottom-fermenting yeast" or "it's an ale because it is fermented at ale temps" or "it's a Dry Ice Light Belgian Trippel Framboise Bock Altbier because Michael Jackson says so"). I will of course post the results of the poll. Vote today! Thanks and Cheers, Dave in Sydney - -- ****************************************************************************** David S. Draper, School of Earth Sciences, Macquarie University, NSW 2109 Sydney, Australia. email: david.draper at mq.edu.au fax: +61-2-850-8428 ....I'm not from here, I just live here.... Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 94 14:46:21 -0400 From: kit.anderson at acornbbs.com Subject: Rims fix TO: homebrew at hpfcmi.fc.hp.com A number of people have said that they can't get Rodney Morris' RIMS heat controller to work as designed. Tim Poff sent this message to me from the Zymurgy echo on Fidonet. Hello again. At the expense of sounding waaaaay off topic in a beermaking forum; (Trust me Mr moderator, This IS beer-Tech!) I was able to get photocopies of the original rims article today, I owe Rodney Morris a beer if I ever meet him. Concerning your problem getting his temp controller circuit to run, I have two possible suggestions. Figure 1, MT1 is referred as a TRIAC in parts of the article, but is explained otherwise as a QUADRAC. If a triac were used, an addition of a DIAC in series with leg 'G' of the device would be needed to get it working right. Using the Q4015L5 specified could cause this problem, instead order Digi-Key part # Q4015LT which is the quadrac version of the device, or rig in a DIAC as shown in figure 2 of the same article. He has the part numbers for 'T1' and 'T2' reversed from the way shown in the schematic except that the motor controller uses a 4 amp triac and diac, and the temp controller requires the 15 Amp Quadrac. Confused? Me too! These mixups always seem to plague magazine projects. The motor controller looks fine, get a quadrac! Another possible problem relates to buying the Triac devices from Radio Shack. Several months back, I bought 10 triacs from the shack, and couldnt get them to work, I thought I was blowing them out. I spent about 2 weeks of time redesigning, and still couldnt get them to work. Only one unit had a part number, the rest were unmarked, and I cross referenced it to a TIP31 power transistor! I tested the rest and found that they were also TIP31's. It's like buying a bag of potato chips and finding it filled with nails when you get home. Cast a jaundiced eye towards any unmarked devices purchased there. Please feel free to key your colleagues on the HBD in on the fix if it works for you, and if it doesnt, give me some symptoms, and I'll wing it out from there. Hope this fixes you... Kit Anderson <kit.anderson at acornbbs.com> * - --- * CMPQwk #1.4 * UNREGISTERED EVALUATION COPY Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 94 15:51:42 PDT" From: michael j dix <mdix at dcssc.sj.hp.com> Subject: Hop twine Alternatives to sisal: My hops are twining up nylon twine without difficulty. They go part way up the aircraft cable I use to support the pole; I suspect they stop at the point where the cable goes in full sun because it gets too hot. Maybe I should try vinyl covered aircraft cable. One of the seed catalogs we get recommends sisal for pole bean trellises, because it is biodegradeable (at the end of the season, cut down trellis, bean vines and all; and put it in the compost heap.) Could it already be rotting in your location? Alternatively, could the wind at your location be putting a lot of stress in the line? Mike Dix (mdix at dcssc.sj.hp.com) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 1994 16:19:51 -0700 (PDT) From: malodah at pbgueuze.scrm2700.PacBell.COM (Martin Lodahl) Subject: Homebrew Morbidity In HOMEBREW Digest #1500, "KWH at roadnet.ups.com" said: > Subject: Bad rumors..... Indeed. > I hate to bring up such a bad subject, but a person in my brew club > recently "informed" us that Dave Line had died of cancer that was in some > way related to his brewing practice -- wrong use of plastic fermenters, or > something. He also said that Cher Feirstein, who contributed several mead > articles to the Cat's Meow and HBD, had died in similar manner. It sounded > like a bunch of crap to me, but I have no idea what the actual > circumstances were ... I'd love to see his sources. It's my understanding that Dave Line died in an auto accident. Cher Feinstein had been fighting cancer for a long time before her death, but this is the first suggestion I've ever heard that there was any connection to homebrewing. How could such a thing be determined? I think you can pretty much discount that person as a source of information, unless they have some data to back these assertions. - Martin = Martin Lodahl Systems Analyst, Capacity Planning Pacific*Bell = = malodah at pacbell.com Sacramento, CA USA 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! (Unk.) = Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 94 16:58:43 PDT From: bgros at mindseye.berkeley.edu (Bryan Gros) Subject: Gott vs. Igloo I know that we have all decided that Gott coolers are the best since they can handle hot termperatures. Does anyone know if the round Igloo cooler can handle temperatures close to boiling? They seem to be easier to find than the Gott, but no mention of keeping thngs warm. - Bryan Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 94 20:32:03 CDT From: "Charles S. Jackson" <sjackson at ftmcclln-amedd.army.mil> Subject: carbonation troubles? Fellow Brewers, As a relative neophyte (4th batch in the secondary) and proud brewer of the lowly extract brew I am begining to wonder about my carbonation. I was so caught up in the excitement of my first two batches that didn't notice. Now in these last two batches I see something that makes me wonder. The airlock remains balanced indicating no pressure in the secondary carboy. Initially I thought this was how it was supposed to be but my third batch, which is 23 days in the bottle, is rather flat. The batch in the secondary also has a balanced fluid level in the airlock and has shown no positive pressure changes in teh 48 hours since I racked it. I use the dreaded 3/4 cup corn sugar to prime, place into the bottling bucket before the beer and count on the swirling action of the siphoned beer to mix it. My first two batches were both well carbonated. If it is of any help my first was a lager malt with lager yeast fermented at ale temps, second was a pils, third was a nut brown ale and this last was a porter. Also I use all glass and keep the carboy covered in black plastic. What is the optimal time to rack from primary to secondary. If I wait too long what ill-effects, other than off flavors from sitting on the trub too long, can be expected? Can I expect my nut brown ale to increase its carbonation? At what point can I expect that carbonation is maximized? Thanks for all the help. Steve - --------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Brewing beer is far more exciting when it is both a hobby AND a felony!" The Alabama Outlaw Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 1994 21:58:24 -0400 From: mel at genrad.com (Mark E. Lubben) Subject: keg boiler drain I have tracked back and found several postings in the Digest about boilers made from 15 gallon Sanke keg. I have read several articles about how to mount drain valves in the side (weld/braze/solder/screw) so I think I understand that. I gather from the HBD metalurgy series that most brass and copper stuff is ok to use or stainless if I can find/afford it. Now I have a couple of other questions: What's a good way to handle the issue of hops plugging vs complete draining? Tipping to a plain bulkhead drain doesn't seem like the hot setup! The T drain in the Zymurgy gadgets issue looks OK if you mounted it in the domed bottom, but looks mediocre mounted from the side. It looks like it would either leave a lot of wort or require an extreme tilt to get the remainder into the holes at the base of the T. I know an EASYMASHER (tm) can be used. I gather it dips down from the side to fit toward the bottom of the dome. This seems like it would be likely to leave less of the wort than the T but it looks like it will stop for good like a siphon once air hits the screen since the connector is higher. Or maybe "not enough left to worry about"? Anyone have problems with hop pellet scum plugging the screens of one or a 3/8" counterflow chiller? Anybody got any dynamite 'inside the boiler plumbing' ideas (not siphons)? Any bottom drain setups? Quick tips about 'stay away from's welcome too. TIA Mark Lubben mel at genrad.com - --- "That's a keg? It looks like a nuclear weapon." Now my wife KNOWs I'm crazy. - --- Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 94 21:56:03 EDT From: JerryC3162 at aol.com Subject: low cost of homebrewing ;^) Hello everybody, There have been quite a few posts lately regarding the costs of going all grain (which I hope to do someday). Someone said around $275 for all the equipment. This got me thinking about the cost of brewing - here's my list of indirect brewing costs (and I'm extract-only!): * Bottles - I personally had too drink ~6 cases of micro-brew to build up my supply :^) - $120 * Basic newbie setup - $50 * Storage - Had to move two bicycles outside to make room for brewing equipment/beer storage - $400 (cost of rusting bikes) * Electricity - Have to keep house 10 deg cooler than in my non-brewing days (summer only) - $20? month * 3 = $60 Future: * Refrigerator - Need additional frig for lagering - $150-200 (used) * New House - Since I don't have room for additional frig - $175,000 * Divorce - if my wife ever reads this = half? of my net worth = $20 Grand Total = $175,850. So, $275 doesn't seem that bad. My apologies for this frivolousness. - Jerry Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 1994 17:50:44 EDT From: YTJX07A at prodigy.com (MR RONALD L KOONS) Subject: Homebrew Mail List - -- [ From: Ron Koons * EMC.Ver #2.0.P ] -- Please send info Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 1994 02:57:46 -0500 (EST) From: ulick at ulix.rad.nd.edu (Ulick Stafford) Subject: Mill test I notice the Mill test was finally mentioned by, no surprise, you know who. And he complained that no recommendation was made, tsck, tsck. Now, I think the test was the ultimate in pointlessness, because there is no way Zymurgy, who accepts advertising money from the manufacturers could give a biased response. And when they said that the Corona was closer than any of the mills in the test to the 6 row mill parameters they were using as a gauge, it became close to a joke. However, I did read a number of things between the lines the Glattmill had the lowest throughput the philmill was hardest to crank and extra tests were done on a you know what, and an unadjustable you know what at that, which to my mind indicates a bias on the part of the judges. And the greater cost of a you know what was never mentioned. If I were you know who, I would be more than happy with the review, useless and all as it was. (Well, no there was one factoid that may have made the article interesting. That is that twice milled malt was in the desired sieve range, without a greater propotion of small bits. Has anyone noticed better brewing results by double milling?) __________________________________________________________________________ 'Heineken!?! ... F#$% that s at &* ... | Ulick Stafford, Dept of Chem. Eng. Pabst Blue Ribbon!' | Notre Dame IN 46556 http://ulix.rad.nd.edu/Ulick.html | ulick at darwin.cc.nd.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 1994 09:59:27 +0000 From: Brian Gowland <B.Gowland at rhbnc.ac.uk> (Tel +44 784 443167) Subject: Re: Mini-Kegs draft system. In HBD 1502, Arturo Portnoy <portna at rpi.edu> wrote: > I am thinking about buying a minikeg system. The > brands name is Fass Frisch or GWKent. I would like to > hear your opinions......[SNIP] I have three Fass-Frisch mini-kegs plus a plastic airpump. I am very pleased with them and intend to build my collection with a few kegs every month. The plastic airpump works well but seems a little fragile. I can't say anything about either of the CO2 injectors that you can get as I haven't tried them. One word of warning - the instructions say to prime with 1 level tablespoon of fermentable sugar - I've been told that this may be too much and will cause foaming in certain cases - I haven't primed so far so haven't experienced this. There are lots of plus-points to these mini-kegs - my favorite is that I can sit one easily by the side of my armchair when watching a long programme on BBC TV. The BBC is a non-commercial channel so there are no advert breaks where I can rush out to the spare bedroom (brewery) to get another pint. Anyone who has read Dave Line's book "Brewing Beers Like Those You Buy" will know that he would have loved these things for this reason. Cheers, Brian Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 1994 06:27:42 -0400 (EDT) From: PAULDORE at delphi.com Subject: Keep footnotes smaller! If have seen some peoples messages containing HUGE footnotes. Keep them smaller because it wastes space in the HBD and that inturn makes the HBD issues smaller and it takes longer for messages to appear. Yes you should leave your name an email address at the end of a message, but why have a 10-20 line farewell message. Example: [-----------------------------------][---------------------------------] [ ] [ Blah Blah Blah University ] [ xxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx ] [ Drink Beer of Die......... Give me Hops or Give me Death ] [ Mary had a little lamb...... Super Duper Computa ] [-----------------------------------][---------------------------------] I'm sure you can see my point. I'm not pointing a figure at any person or persons, but you all know who you are... Just leave a farewell like mine.. Short and Sweet pauldore at delphi.com ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ||||||||||||||||||| See! Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 94 09:30:31 -0400 From: "Phillip Seitz" <p00644 at psilink.com> Subject: Brewing Belgian Beers (#4): Oud Bruins Brewing Belgian Beers (#4): Oud Bruins Description: 1.045-1.060, 4.8-6% ABV, 15-25 IBU, 10-20 SRM Red, deep copper or deep brown with red tints. Acidic aroma with some fruitiness. Flavor sweet, sour and fruity, esp. cherry-like. Lactic and acetic flavors ok. Attenuation low to medium. Medium carbonation, body medium to full. Addition of raspberries or cherries ok, should blend with other flavors, may provide additional acidity. Low bitterness, no hop flavor or aroma. No diacetyl. Most commercial examples are richly colored with a fruity, acidic aroma and an intensely fruity, sweet and sour palate. Sourness varies in commercial examples, many of which are filtered and sweetened. Can become wine-like with age. Many commercial examples include a secondary fermentation on raspberries or sour cherries, and the flavors this contributes should be clear and should balance with the existing acidity and sweetness. Brewing method: Homebrewers have yet to master this style. It appears that basic grists include pilsner malt, caramel malts, sometimes Vienna or Munich, and sometimes roasted malts in very small quantities for coloring. In some cases the deep color is achieved by long boils. Lactic and acetic bacteria provide the necessary acidity, and these may need a long time to achieve the proper acidity. Additions of lactic acid to finished beer may work. When used, fruit should be added to the secondary at 1-2 lbs per gallon of beer. Any cherries used should be sour! Carbonation is relatively standard, so 3/4 to 7/8 of a cup of sugar should be used to prime a 5 gallon batch. Extract brewers should start with pale extract and use lots of caramel malts. Try to pick a yeast that's not going to attenuate too much. Keep in mind that you're experimenting. However, if you're the first to brew a really good one of these, you will earn a substantial laurel wreath, and perhaps the Homebrew Nobel Prize. Common problems: 1) Inadequate acidity. Add lactobacillus culture, ferment longer, or add lactic acid. 2) Fruit flavors thin or inappropriate. Increase quantity of fruit, or use sour fruit instead of pie cherries! 3) Too light in color. Increase use of caramel malts and/or boil time. Commercial examples: Goudenband (5.1% ABV), Rodenbach Grand Cru (6.5% ABV), Liefmans Framboise (5.7% ABV), Liefmans Kriek Sample recipe: Bill Ridgely's Framboise (partial mash recipe for 5 gallons) RIDGELY at A1.CBER.FDA.GOV 3.3 lbs American Classic Light liquid extract 2.0 lbs Pale dry extract 1.0 lb Pale ale malt 0.5 lb Munich malt 0.5 lb 80L crystal 0.5 lb Wheat malt 0.5 lb dextrin malt 1.0 oz Hallertau (4.2%) boiled for 60 minutes 1.0 oz Saaz (3.2%) boild for 45 minutes 6.0 lbs Tart red raspberries Fermented with Wyeast Belgian yeast OG: 1.062 FG: 1.015 Used step mash for grains--120 degrees for 30 minutes (protein rest), 150 degrees for 60 minutes (saccrification rest). Gypsum was added to adjust the mash pH. Total boil time 1.5 hours. Raspberries were crushed and added to the brewpot at the end of the boil, then steeped for 15 minutes before wort chilling. The raspberries were left in the primary for 7 days, then strained during transfer of wort to the secondary. Total fermentation time: 24 days. Fermentation temperature: 62F. Recommended All-Grain variation (using Belgian malts at 27 points/lb): 9.0 lbs pale ale malt 1.0 lb aromatic malt 1.0 lb wheat malt 0.5 lb caramunich 0.5 lb Special B All other ingredients and procedures remain the same. [Phil's note: This recipe was the closest to the real thing I've tasted, with one exception: it lacked the necessary sourness, although some was supplied by the raspberries. Nevertheless this recipe with an additional acid component or lactic fermentation seems like an excellent starting point for experimentation] Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 94 09:58:48 EDT From: Mark A. Stevens <stevens at stsci.edu> Subject: Re: when to add fruit In HBD 1502, JohnNewYrk at aol.com writes: > STOP!! > > Don't add fruit to your primary. Your wort is at it's most vunerable just > before fermentation begins. Adding fruit to your wort & the dumping it all > into the primary would open up your wort to all kinds of nasties living in or > on the fruit. Fruit is usually added to the SECONDARY, when the yeast has > already asserted itself and there's enough alcohol to discourage bacterial > infection. I don't think "usually added to secondary" is quite right. Fruit can be added to the boil, at the end of the boil along with aroma hops, in primary, in secondary, or even at bottling. As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, Ralph Bucca had an article about fruit beers in the July/August 1994 issue of "BarleyCorn". Here's a passage from his article: "Adding fruit during the primary fermentation is the preferred stage. The fruit should be added after a vigorous fermentation has started. There will be enough active yeast present to make sure that the fruit does not contaminate the beer and that it also begins fermenting. After a week the beer should be racked off the yeast and fruit..." According to Ralph, if you choose to add to secondary, you really need to watch the sanitation. What about soaking the fruit in a mixture of alcohol and corn sugar before adding to the primary? Anybody done this? It seems that it would create a syrup with more intense fruit flavors drawn out, and have the side benefit of sterilizing the fruit to some degree... Cheers! - ---Mark Stevens stevens at stsci.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 1994 10:58:17 EDT From: PSTOKELY at ea.umd.edu Subject: Higher Temp Lager Strains Gene Krauss, my return message to you bounced, so here: Both responses to my query on 65 - 70 degree lager fermentation recommended Wyeast's California Lager #1214, which is allegedly Anchor's steam yeast. Another recommendation was to wrap the primary/secondary in a wet towel and place a fan right on it, in an attempt to cool the vessel. Thanks. I'll be brewing this batch as soon as the local heat wave passes or the baseball strike ends, whichever comes first, and I'll report any results as I drink 'em. Paul S. in College Park, Maryland "You speak in strange whispers, friend, are you not of The Body?" Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 94 11:02:47 -0400 From: stricklandc at cocoa12.ksc.nasa.gov (Chris Strickland) Subject: Forfeiture Law > I'd like to clarify one point, that being while the police can initially > CONFISCATE most anything they want if they think it is involved in some kind > of legal infraction, in order for them to KEEP it, they still have to > convince a court the forfeiture was valid. Obviously you've never had money confiscated on I-95 in Volusa County in Florida. The Sheriff's department can take any large sum of money from anyone just because they think it might be drug money. Most folks that challenge it only get back about 70% of their cash. The rest is suppose to pay for administration charges. If challenged in court the lawyers fees take up even a bigger charge. This story has been on the news and the Sheriff's department has been investigated (only because racial biasis, not for confiscating the money for suspected illegal useage), but the cash seizures still go on. So I sure anywhere else that there is a chance that seizures are evenly closely legal, these injustices will occur. The going to work works only in a perfect world. +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | Chris Strickland | Allin1: stricklandc | | Systems Analyst/Statistician | Email : stricklandc at cocoa12.ksc.nasa.gov | +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 1994 08:20:26 -0700 From: Richard B. Webb <rbw1271 at appenine.ca.boeing.com> Subject: The beginners guide to advanced and all-grain brewing Yet another installment of The beginners guide to advanced and all-grain brewing By Richard B. Webb, the Brews Brother's 1993 Homebrewer of the year part 7 3.2. pH pH is a measure of the acidity of a substance. There are no limits on the pH measurement scale, but because the scale is logarithmic (like the Richter scale for measuring earthquakes), a solution with a pH of 5 is ten times more acidic than a solution with a pH of 6, and a solution with a pH of 4 is ten times more acidic than a solution with a pH of 5. Pure distilled water forms the neutral point on this scale with a pH value of 7. Water that has been carbonated by dissolving carbon dioxide in it (forming a weak carbolic acid) has a lower pH, as does rain water, which absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. (If the rain falls through pollution from car exhaust or encounters sulphur from steel mill or power plant smokestacks, the water becomes even more acidic, resulting in acid rain.) But there are better ways to manipulate the acid/alkali balance of water than carbonization or auto exhaust. Why do we worry about pH? Because the enzymes which convert grain starch to sugar work more efficiently in an environment with a pH value of about 5.2-5.4. Most grains, when suspended in water, tend to force the pH to a value near that range, but sometimes we need to intervene to create the optimal conditions. This is done by adding brewing salts. Why is Burton-on-Trent famous for its pale ales, while Munich is known for its darker beers? It's because of the brewing water's pH. OK, it's really from the dissolved minerals in the water, but that's what changes the water's pH. Lighter grains leave a higher pH in a solution of neutral water than darker, more acidic grains. Water that has a high concentration of Sulfates is lower in pH than neutral water. Put another way, water that is high in Sulfates is good for brewing pale grains in because the resulting pH allows the enzymes to work most efficiently. To sum up, adding Gypsum lowers pH, while adding Chalk raises pH. Burton-on-Trent water is high in Sulfates (just like adding lots of Gypsum), and thus lends itself to the making of pale ales. (This water also accentuates the bitterness of hops, and therefore is useful for making very hoppy beers.) Darker grains, and thus darker beers, are made where the water is high in carbonates. So all of the arguments about matching water to your favorite brewing locale pretty much boils down to getting the right pH balance for the type of grains that you want to use. By the way, if you're putting your spent grains into a compost pile, be sure to add limestone or other "sweetening" agent to the pile. The acidity of the grains will create compost that is too acidic for most plants. One more word about salts and pH. Chalk does not readily dissolve in neutral water. It needs a slightly acidic environment to be suspended in (such as grains in water in your mash tun). Limestone is also chalk, formed into ancient geology from the shells of marine animals which sank to the bottom of the sea when the critters died. Over the millennia, these shells were heated and compressed, forming into hard rock formations. The white cliffs of Dover are just such a geologic structure. Water flowing through these structures can dissolve channels through the rock, leading to long caves that follow the meandering of the river channel that carved it. Water dripping from the tops of these caves leave a little bit of limestone with each drip, resulting in a stalactite hanging from the ceiling, while the water dripping to the floor of the cave piles up the limestone, resulting in stalagmites reaching up from the floor. These caves form natural reservoirs which city folk use to collect highly mineralized water, all the better to make dark beers with! 3.3. Tap Water Because water is such a good solvent, there are often things dissolved in it that don't necessarily make for good beer. I was pleased to read a test survey from my local water district that reported no detectable sources of radioactivity were found in my water. Imagine my relief. However, there are other things in my water that I wish weren't there. Chlorine Chlorine is used in minute amounts to neutralize any organic matter that may have leached into the water source. Water that has been in contact with chlorine for a while, such as that found in your hot water tank, can be considered fairly clean of contaminants. Chlorine should be boiled away before it causes off-flavors in the beer, but who has the time? If you're worried about off-flavors from chlorine, boil your water before you use it for mashing. Otherwise, don't sweat it. Fluoride Fluoride is added to the water to strengthen the forming teeth of young people. It is not a communist plot for world domination as the John Birchers would have us believe. I have not heard of fluoride becoming a problem for brewers. Contaminants This is the everything else category. Run-off from pastures soaks into the ground and into the water supply. Excess pesticides and fertilizers do the same. Oil that is not recycled, gas that spills from a siphon, intentional spills and discharges threaten our health, as well as the quality of the beer that we make. This is where each of us, as stewards of the planet, can do our part to ensure healthy supplies of water for us and for our descendants. And for our beer. Rich Webb Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 1994 08:20:56 -0700 From: Richard B. Webb <rbw1271 at appenine.ca.boeing.com> Subject: The beginners guide to advanced and all-grain brewing Yet another installment of The beginners guide to advanced and all-grain brewing By Richard B. Webb, the Brews Brother's 1993 Homebrewer of the year part 8 3.4. Other compounds in solution Beer is a fascinating collection of chemical compounds all suspended in water. Pure water has a density equal to 1.000. Anything added to that changes the density. The specific gravity and the Baling scale are measures of the amount of suspended particles. Before the invention of these scales, the amount of sugar in a particular batch was a guess at best. One old method of dissolved sugar determination involved an inspector with special leather pants. A bit of beer wort was poured onto a wooden chair, which the inspector then sat on. If, after drying, the chair stuck to the inspectors butt, the amount of sugar dissolved in the wort was deemed sufficient. But we have inexpensive instruments that can measure dissolved sugars a lot easier than that. Get yourself a Hydrometer. It is the single most important tool in your equipment kit. And it's a lot easier on your chairs. Water and alcohol mix very easily together, but they don't weigh the same. One gallon of water and one gallon of alcohol yields a mixture of 50% alcohol by volume, or 100 proof, but there is now less than two gallons of mix. This is because the alcohol molecules fit rather cozily in between the water molecules, physically taking up less space. Thus our intoxicating mixture of alcohol and water would have a specific gravity or density of 0.7939, giving 79.4% percent alcohol by weight. This is why the question of percent alcohol by weight or volume must be addressed whenever comparing the alcoholic strength of a brew. One last mention about living chemistry. The enzymes that promote fermentable sugars are very temperature sensitive. Our compromise temperature of 150-153 degrees Fahrenheit is almost too much for the little compounds to stand. For some reason, the use of one gallon of water for every three or four pounds of grain for the initial mash enables the enzymes to survive and work more efficiently than either a thicker or thinner grain soup. Not that I'm trying to encourage high alcohol beers. Instead, I'm trying to help you get the most sugar, fermentable or not, from the starch that you've purchased from your friendly neighborhood homebrew supply store. The boil You've finally finished draining and sparging the grains in your mash tun. Now what? >From here on out, the procedure is similar to the techniques that you use for extract brewing. But here are some tips that maybe you didn't know. When you are draining the rather warm sugar liquor from your tun into the boiling kettle, don't let the liquid fall too far, or splash up too much. This leads to what is called hot-side aeration, and can lead to some funny aftertastes. Rather unpleasant aftertastes. You should bring the wort to a full and rolling boil before you add any hops, waiting until after the foam, or hot-break, dissolves. There are important chemical reactions taking place in the wort even then. The foam consists of proteinaceous matter that you want to coagulate out of the final beer. Of course, if you want a thick, full bodied beer (nutritious, as the Brits would say), then a long boil, over 90 minutes, will encourage the protein to re-dissolve back into the wort. But there are plenty of non-fermentable sugars in the liquor now, especially if your mash was held at temperatures above 155 degrees or so. This long boil will also make the finished beer darker, due to caramelization and other chemical reactions taking place over time. If you are seeking to keep the beer nice and light, mash at lower temperatures, and only boil for an hour or so. 4. Hops All right you hop-heads, listen up. Be careful with these things! When you were using malt extract to make your beers, those small boiling pots made for a denser liquid than you will be using in all-grain. Consequently, the extraction, or utilization of the hop acids will be greater. Especially if you've read the section about adding Gypsum which accentuates the hops to make the perfect pale ale, your hops are going to be more pronounced in this thinner boiled beer. If you don't do your calculations very carefully, you'll be scraping bitter hop resin off of your teeth long into the evening. Here's how to calculate hop bitterness in beer. Determine the gravity of the boil (GB). If GB is less than 1.050, then the gravity adjustment (GA) is zero. If GB is greater than 1.050, an adjustment should be made to the achieved hop bitterness. Determining the Gravity Adjustment (GA) if GB << 1.050, then GA = 0, otherwise: GA = ((GB) - 1.050)/0.2 To determine the IBU bitterness based upon the added hops and boiling time, use this handy formula. (percents expressed as decimal equivalents, 8% =0.08) This is good for boils up to 60 minutes long, after which the minutes of boil isn't changed. IBU = (Weight_oz * (minutes of boil/200) * (%Acid/100) * 7462)/(Volume_gal * (1 + GA)) To determine the amount of hops of a certain alpha acid needed to match a particular bitterness level, use this formula: Weight_oz = (Volume_gal * (1 + GA) * IBU) /((minutes of boil/200) * (%Acid/100) * 7462) This chart of my own construction shows the IBUs necessary to achieve one definition of "balanced" hop bitterness, based on the original gravity of the wort: Original Gravity recommend IBU 1.010 4 1.020 8 1.030 12 1.040 16 1.050 24 1.060 32 1.070 40 1.080 48 1.090 56 1.100 64 Rich Webb Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1504, 08/18/94