HOMEBREW Digest #1799 Fri 04 August 1995

Digest #1798 Digest #1800

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  Bad Beer Recovery (Chris Strickland)
  Dry Hopping with pellets (DCB2)
  Iron in Brewing Water (Russ Brodeur)
  Brewpubs/Micros in Mississippi (Jeff Foley)
  Immersion Chillers - One mo' time ("mike spinelli")
  Polyclar and Fining (Rob Reed)
  Brewer's Gold (Alan Folsom)
  Aerating (gravels)
  Counterpressure filling (Jim Busch)
  2-step all-malt? (Russell Mast)
  Re: Counterflow Wort Chiller (Per Brashers)
  Mashout sans sparge as inducement to all-grain wanna-trys? ("Fleming, Kirk R., Capt")
  More Ranting on CPBFs/Modified Foxx Filler ("Fleming, Kirk R., Capt")
  Re: Stirring with Immersion Chiller (Richard Stueven)
  New & Improved Aeration process (kdschida)
  Lost temp control info?/Veggie gelatin? (Benjamin T Drucker)
  Aeration equipment sanitizing (John W. Carpenter)
  Stirring the Chill / Sparge Storage (Rich Larsen)
  NOTE 08/03/95 16:13:29 ("THOMAS STOLFI")
  Colorado Brewpubs ("THOMAS STOLFI")
  No bubbles in bottles (Rolland Everitt)
  California Lager Yeast (DragonSC)
  Sparging is a waste of time. Don't do it. (Ken Willing)
  Re: Low $$ Thermostats (Jack Stafford)
  re:Gelatin fining... ("Matthew W. Bryson")
  CP Bottle Filling (Tim Laatsch)
  Re: pellet dry-hopping (PatrickM50)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 17:55:15 -0400 From: cstrick at iu.net (Chris Strickland) Subject: Bad Beer Recovery I had a bad batch of beer (smelled like rotten vegetables). I re-boiled it (covered to minimize alcohol loss), added 4 cups of corn sugar (5 gallon batch), then a package of dry yeast (don't remember the brand). Refermented (actually I was just trying to get good yeast for natural carbonation). When I bottled the smell was gone, I've tasted the bottle. It's not my best, but it's still better than Bud (not saying much). Cost: 20 minutes to boil and put in fermenter. ~70 cents for yeast corn sugar was cheap (10 lb bag). Probably spent less than $1.50 to recover the beer. Again, I'd rate it about half between Bud and my typical homebrew. - -------------- Chris Strickland cstrick at iu.net Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 95 4:27:14 PDT From: DCB2%OPS%DCPP at bangate.pge.com Subject: Dry Hopping with pellets In HBD #1798 Pat asks: >Has anyone tried to dry hop with pellets? What should I do to ensure that >contamination will not be introduced into the lagering carboy? I don't >want to boil the pellets since that will defeat the purpose of the dry >hopping. Yes, I do it with my "Pride of Milford Bitters" all the time. What I do is take a cup or two of water and bring it to a boil. As soon as it's boiling I remove it from the heat and dump in the hops. This acts to pasturize them and doesn't boil out the aroma. I let it steep for 5-10 minutes then dump the slurry into the fermenter. When bottling time comes the hops have settled out with the yeast quite nicely. Just rack the beer off the yeast, prime and bottle. I've heard that the hops can just be dumped in but I guess I'm a little AR about sterility :-). David Boe David Boe | "Having some wattery tart hand you Pacific Gas & Electric Co. | a scimitar is no basis for the DCB2 at pge.com | formation of a government!" Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 95 08:46:46 -0400 From: r-brodeur at ds.mc.ti.com (Russ Brodeur) Subject: Iron in Brewing Water I recently moved to SE Mass from central PA and have noticed a big difference in the water. My spring water in State College was very hard (~250 ppm) and had a relatively neutral pH (7.1) whereas my town water in Franklin is rather soft and acidic (30.5 ppm & pH 6.7). I detect a "metallic" taste in the water here in Franklin, and found its Fe level was 0.18 ppm. The low pH also seems to dissolve some copper from the pipes, yielding a pretty blue precipitate in my sinks and showers. My question is: is 180 ppb a detectable iron level, or is the metallic taste due to something else (Cu maybe)? Is there an easy way of reducing the iron level? (that's two questions) I want to brew a pilsener with this water, but will resort to bottled water if I need to. I have a bitter and a wit under my belt up here, although I haven't tasted the wit yet. The bitter's pretty good, IMO, although the "hoppiness" seems to be reduced dramatically relative to others I've brewed with much harder water. Any advice from the water Gurus would be greatly appreciated. TTFN Russ Brodeur (r-brodeur at ds.mc.ti.com) Return to table of contents
Date: 03 Jan 00 23:16:14 -0500 From: Jeff.Foley at f1.n309.z1.fidonet.org (Jeff Foley) Subject: Brewpubs/Micros in Mississippi I am new to the homebrew scene(still have not brewed my first batch). I am in the process of getting info together and so forth. My job as a government contractor, is sending me to Southern Mississippi(Hattiesburg) For 3 weeks. I was wondering if anybody knew of any brewpubs or micros in that area I could check out. TIA Jeff jeff.foley at f1.n309.z1.fidonet.org jeff.foley at aatwbbs.usa.storm.net ... DOS=HIGH? I knew it was on something... *** BBS and Fax: (520)459-2412 [Exported by the Internet Connection 2.1/Registered 08-02-95 16:11:03] Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 1995 09:46:03 -0400 (EDT) From: "mike spinelli" <paa3983 at dpsc.dla.mil> Subject: Immersion Chillers - One mo' time Brew dudes, Since everyone's talkin' about stirring w/ immersion chillers, I just HAD to throw in my 2 cents. o Made chiller outta 50 ft. of 1/2" copper o Made a pre-chiller out of 30 ft. 1/2" copper which sits in an ice bath to chill tap water before it gets into the main 50ft. chiller. o Drilled 2 holes into a 20 qt. SS lid. One hole in middle to hold one of those 2 ft. long white plastic paddles, other hole to drop in a 18" long 3" dial candy thermometer. At 10 mins. before end of boil, throw the 50 ft. chiller in the boiling keg. At end of boil, turn of propane, Insert sanitized paddle in keg and up through hole in SS lid (I had to cut off the very end of handle to fit in hole). Close lid down. You'll have gap on side where chiller tubes enter and exit. Put aluminum foil around gaps. Drop thermometer thru other hole, connect all hoses to pre-chiller and main chiller, then let'er rip. Paddle handle can be rotated thru lid to keep wort moving. Dial thermometer stares you right in the face so you can watch temp. drop as you're stirring. When dial reads below 80 F. you're done. 'Bout 20 mins. Mike Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 1995 08:57:25 -0400 (CDT) From: Rob Reed <rhreed at icdc.delcoelect.com> Subject: Polyclar and Fining Erik Larson asked about fining with Polyclar: >I used to regularly add a teaspoon or two of Polyclar to either >my secondary (at the midpoint of my standard two-week >conditioning period) or to my bottling bucket just prior to >bottling. However, I frequently noticed a rather funny >plastic-type aftertaste in my bottled product. I have used Polyclar for several years in quantities of 2 tsp/5 gal to 2 tbl/5 gal without any off-flavors. I formerly added Polyclar at racking, but due to occasional foaming, I now add to 2ndary when airlock activity is minimal. I wouldn't advise adding Polyclar to your bottling bucket. Polyclar is effective for fining polyphenols from your brew; it doesn't do a very good job on protein or starch haze. >My experience has been that two packets of Knox gelatin, >dissolved in 1 pint of 160 deg. F. distilled water, does a better >job than Polyclar at removing particulates from the conditioning >beer. I think you are using too much gelatin. I believe Noonan prescribes 1/8 tsp./gal, no? I use 1/2 tsp to 3/4 tsp / 5 gal. and obtain good results in a 14 day secondary cycle. I have found more is not better with gelatin; the excess gelatin doesn't settle very well in my experience. A good fining agent for protein haze is bentonite slurry - prepared a la Miller - or Silica Gel (I believe Williams in CA sells it). Rob Reed Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 1995 07:57:58 -0700 From: folsom at ix.netcom.com (Alan Folsom) Subject: Brewer's Gold In the May-June issue of Brewing Techniques Pete Slosberg says that his Wicked Ale is dry-hopped with Brewer's Gold. I'm planning on trying to produce something similar, but wonder about this. Garetz' book on hops opines that Brewer's Gold is not a good aroma hop. Has anybody out there ever used it for that purpose? What are your opinions? Any comments, or suggestions for a replacement to make something similar to Wicked Ale would be appreciated. Thanks - Al F. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 03 Aug 95 11:08:30 EST From: gravels at TRISMTP.npt.nuwc.navy.mil Subject: Aerating >Kinney Baughman writes about aerating with a wand I saw the same posting on aerating wort the easy/cheap way, sometime ago, and I have been doing ever since. When the wort is done boiling I carefully pour it into my primary fermenting bucket. (collective gasp!) I know, I know, but it works for me with no adverse effects. I then add cold water to the 5 gal. mark (can you say "newbie chiller", can't wait to get my 8 gal. brewpot!) and then cool using my emersion chiller. When the wort is cooled I attach my aerating wand, (made by heating up a heavy duty sewing needle (a thin nail will do) until red-hot and poking 12-16 holes 2" from the end of a straight plastic racking cane) to the valve of the primary bucket. I then let gravity do it's work and splash the wort into my bottling bucket. You must make sure that the end of the cane doesn't go into the wort or you will have a beer sprinkler on your hands and this could irritate the boss,:^O not to mention the increased cleaning time. The next step is to start transferring the wort back to the primary in the same manner and at the same time add the starter. This distributes the yeast evenly through the wort and gets them into suspension faster. I've used this method on the last three batches and have had pretty good luck so far. I know that some of you will ignore this method because it doesn't include any neat techno-gadgets. I like gadgets too, but I can't justify the cost of purchasing an airstone (and sanitizing hassle) or an oxygen tank.:^) I hope this helps someone out there, it sure helped me. Hoppy brewing! Steve "Homebrewing, it's not just a hobby, it's an adventure!" Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 1995 11:41:40 -0400 (EDT) From: Jim Busch <busch at eosdev2.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: Counterpressure filling Kirk asks: <After having read subject review I drew the following conclusions: <1) There is no apparent correlation between the price of the various <counterpressure fillers and the amount of air they introduce into <the bottle I think this might have been related to operator error, to a large degree. <3) By far the best performance in limiting introduced air into < solution is obtained with the $.20 tube-in-the-faucet solution I find this to be a highly controversial finding. <Finally, I again raise the question of the value of the bottle oxygen purge. <Assuming flow into the bottle is not turbulent at the surface OR that the <surface of the beer going into the bottle is covered with a foam head, how <could purging the bottle of air be of any value whatsoever? Turbulent flow and loss of some saturation levels are inherent in all bottling operations, be they a $1/2 million dollar Krones or a tube in the bottle. Top filling Krones lines actually have significant turbulent flow, and this why complete removal of O2 in the bottle is essential prior to filling. Long stem fillers have much less turbulent flow and this is the way homebrewer fillers work. It still exists and therefore any bottle that will be stored or shipped for days should be evacuated as well as possible. I strongly believe in both methods where needed. I routinely fill 2L bottles with the hose off the tap for homebrew meetings and then use em within a few days. For longer term shipping and competition a counterpressure filler makes perfect sense. Jim Busch busch at mews.gsfc.nasa.gov "DE HOPPEDUIVEL DRINKT MET ZWIER 'T GEZONDE BLOND HOPPEBIER!" Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 1995 10:47:34 -0500 From: Russell Mast <rmast at fnbc.com> Subject: 2-step all-malt? > From: 00bkpickeril at bsuvc.bsu.edu (Brian Pickerill) > Subject: Sparge now, boil later? /Best Corny $ /When order extract? > So, I was wondering if it would be possible to > get a decent brew by sparging one night and boiling the next. Sounds like a great way to get an initial lactic ferment to make a sour beer. Seriously, you might be able to get it to work without an infection, but if you _do_ want to make a soured beer this way, just toss a little bit of (unmashed, unpasteurized) malt husks in there and let'er rip. Either way, you'll be boiling the next day, which will halt any infection or souring process in its tracks, so whatever sourness (etc) you may have will be as much as you're likely to get, unless you reinfect it. If you're going to do this, be very careful with sanitization, and I suggest you start with a beer that won't be devasted by a little sourness, like a wheat or a stout, for instance. > Maybe I should just stick to extract until the kids are older. Maybe you should find a thirstay baby-sitter who'd watch the kids for a few beers. > - --Brian K. Pickerill <00bkpickeril at bsuvc.bsu.edu> Muncie, IN Muncie's too far for me, though. :-) -R Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 1995 08:51:14 -0700 (PDT) From: per at hydrogen.CChem.Berkeley.EDU (Per Brashers) Subject: Re: Counterflow Wort Chiller <clipped> There's got to be a formula, but none of my books get that specific. Any ideas, suggestions? TIA! <clipped> Disclaimer first, I am not a chemist. Nor do I know what I am saying. :-} I have recently gone through the effort of building a counterflow chiller. In fact it was so recenly that I have not tested it yet. But here's what I learned..... Water is THE standard. That is it has a thermal capacity of 1, so the formula looks like this 1:1. The time slope therefore is 45 deg. that is to say the way to cool any wart is to make sure your volume of cold water is _at_least_ the same as the volume of the wort. So if you use a small space betwene the inner tubing and the outer tubing the flow will have to be great. To calculate it all out just figgure out how much wort you have, and how many gpm your tap is set to (use a 5gal bucket and a timer /5) and adjust from there, the volumes should match pretty closley, with in 25 percent *over* Keep in mind that it is 1:1, so the more the flow, the more the waste, you won't be able to over ride physics with pressure. ;-) Well that's my 2 cents on the matter. Per Brashers Network Services, CChem Domain per at cchem.berkeley.edu Home brewer for the last 4 years. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 03 Aug 95 10:03:00 MST From: "Fleming, Kirk R., Capt" <FLEMINGKR at afmcfafb.fafb.af.mil> Subject: Mashout sans sparge as inducement to all-grain wanna-trys? In #1798 Eamonn made a tongue-in-cheek about the problem of having extra time on your hands if you skip the sparge, and also cited my comments regarding the cost of not sparging. I hope to clarify my comments in #1797 before a big flamefest starts among the experts. The reason for my post was really two-fold: to provide a comparison between two ways to do the same brew (Spencer's example and mine), and also to expose the way I compute volumes in preparation for a mash (trolling for feedback?). In hindsight, the cost issue of having to use some extra grain may be of interest to non-grain brewers who remain so due to concerns about equipment requirements. I mentioned that skipping the sparge could reduce the need for tankage and reduce brew time. If you haven't noticed, many brewers indicate they haven't tried mashing yet because of a perceived big equipment and time requirement. I hate to see folks miss out on the enjoyment unecessarily. I think the calculations given by Spencer and me indicate one could do a full mash, save some time, and still spend less on the ingredients than with extract. NOTE: I'm not implying Spencer agrees with my viewpoint here, but just pointing out what his results suggested to me. Eamonn is right: I don't plan to drop the sparge. However, if I know in advance of a brew session that I'll be short on time, for example, Spencer has provided info that can be used to shave 30-60 min. KRF Colorado Springs Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 03 Aug 95 12:23:00 MST From: "Fleming, Kirk R., Capt" <FLEMINGKR at afmcfafb.fafb.af.mil> Subject: More Ranting on CPBFs/Modified Foxx Filler RE: #1798 (Counterpressure filler review data) I said there was no apparent correlation between the cost and performance of the various fillers tested. Actual numbers are: Correlation between cost and introduced air: ~0.5 Correlation between cost and retained CO2: ~0.5 Correlation between introduced air and retained CO2: ~0.37 No big deal, I just think this means you can't predict performance based on cost, nor can you draw any conclusion about one kind of performance based on the other. Nothing earthshaking here. Regarding the Zymurgy article data I found that: 1) The most expensive unit introduced nearly the most air into the beer (a tie with one of the low-priced units) (Zahm & Nagel) 2) Two of the three least expensive units did the best at keeping air out of the bottled beer. (Beverage People and Braukunst) 3) The 2nd cheapest unit had the best overall performance (Braukunst) This to me implies some manufacturers either don't know what the design requirements are for good performance, price their products arbitrarily, or incur wildly varying production costs. What's the source of the introduced air when using the CPBFs? In use, they are virtually closed systems. After the bottle is purged there should be NO source of air at all (except the air in the neck of the bottle after the CPBF is removed). Where's the air coming from? And why would a $370 filler introduce over 50% more air into your bottled beer than a 20 cent plastic tube? NOTE: North Brewery Supplies in Wisconsin (414-761-1018) resells the Foxx CPBF refitted with high-quality, comfortable valves, and all hoses/fittings needed to bottle from ball- or pin-lock Cornies. Price is about $60 roughly. Since the Foxx unit took its biggest hit on its valves, Brian North deserves credit for refitting with real valves and a complete hose 'harness'. Usual disclaimer applies. KRF Colorado Springs Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 1995 11:20:59 -0700 (PDT) From: rstueven at netcom.com (Richard Stueven) Subject: Re: Stirring with Immersion Chiller I recently worked out a way to suspend my immersion chiller so that it's mostly near the top of the kettle rather than sitting on the bottom. This cut my chilling time by about 25%. No stirring necessary...let convection do the work! have fun gak - -- Richard Stueven rstueven at netcom.com ============ gak & gerry's garage brewery & hockey haven ============= ====================== castro valley california ======================= Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 95 11:44:36 PDT From: kdschida at vines.dsd.litton.com Subject: New & Improved Aeration process First of all, thanks to everybody who sent me info./help concerning shelf life of bottle conditioned beer and also for those holiday recipes, they all look much better than last year's kit. Yesterday I had a BRAINSTORM!! (or maybe it was a brain-"fart", you decide after reading my idea) With all this talk lately about the importance of aeration (to be quite honest I've never done this yet... I'm so ashamed), has anybody thought about or tried adding food grade H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) to the wort prior to pitching yeast. I mean, it's only oxygenated water. I don't know if it would be better to add it during the boil, or just add it to the fermenter after the cooling stage, but it would seem you'd save a lot of time & hassle. Comments please. One more thing on this though. While checking out "CatsMeow3" home page on the internet, I saw & read Jack Schmidling's article titled "WORT AERATION PRIOR TO PITCHING" dated Aug 14, 1993. His test involved four 500ml samples which were all aerated different ways. (#1 = Control: no aeration, #2 = siphon simulation, #3 = pumped and "squirted" into fermenter, #4 = aerated w/ aquarium pump & fine mist airstone) Out of the four test worts, he found no difference between the lag time from pitching yeast to start of fermentation nor rate of ferm. Is this aeration stuff for real, or just a bunch of hog-wash?? What is this supposed to do anyway (ie. enhance flavor, let you spend more time drinking while brewing, etc.)? Please inform me... I'm a 1 year novice & would like to improve my brewing prowess. Kurt Dschida, from Antelope Valley, CA where 100+ temps. are common during the summer months. Good thing I'm not brewing right now; It's a better thing I have some homebrew to enjoy!! kdschida at vines.dsd.litton.com 76132.733 at compuserve.com (or 76132,733 in C-Serve) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 03 Aug 1995 12:05:23 PDT From: Benjamin T Drucker <benjamid at pogo.WV.TEK.COM> Subject: Lost temp control info?/Veggie gelatin? To the person who posted the info about a cheap ($7) temp control unit on the Aug 3rd digest: I killed your article before I wrote down the phone number! Ow! Would you repost or send me mail, please? Sorry about that. GELATIN! Does anyone out there use veggi gelatin? Do any professional brewers use it? If it's just as effective as horse hoof gelatin, I would like to try it. Thanks. ben Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 95 16:31:20 EDT From: jwc at med.unc.edu (John W. Carpenter) Subject: Aeration equipment sanitizing In #1797 TimRields at aol.com says that because of his airstone, he finds it impossible to dry out the hose, which could lead to contamination. What I do is get a syringe and attach it to the other end of the hose and pull ethanol through the airstone and hose. This will sanitize the airstone and hose, and it doesn't matter if it remains wet. Nothing is going to grow in ethanol. -- __________________________________________________________________________ | John W. Carpenter | | | Department of Biochemistry | | | UNC School of Medicine | Never trust a brewer with an inseam | | Chapel Hill, NC 27599 | larger than his waistline. | | CB# 7260, (919) 966-6781 | | | email - jwc at med.unc.edu | | |__________________________________________________________________________| Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 1995 15:47:33 -0500 From: rlarsen at squeaky.free.org (Rich Larsen) Subject: Stirring the Chill / Sparge Storage On Stirring the chill, I have always stirred, with the cover off, and have never (kok kok knocking on wooden head) had an infection since I started chilling. I simply drop the chiller in the boil along with the spoon I'm going to stir with 15-30 minutes before the end of the boil. I'll drop the temp from boiling to around 70F in 15 minutes. BTW, I'm using 50 ft of 3/8 copper coil. Probably only about 45 feet are the actual cooling coils, the other five feet are the riser and hose connection. _________ 00bkpickeril at bsuvc.bsu.edu (Brian Pickerill) asks about storing the sparge for 24 hours. I wouldn't recommend storing it for this long. There are all kinds of Lactobacteria and other nasties hanging out on the grain that will probably get a pretty good foothold and sour the extract in that time frame. __________ => Rich <rlarsen at squeaky.free.org> ________________________________________________________________________ Rich Larsen, Midlothian, IL. Also on HomeBrew University (708) 705-7263 Spice is the varity of life. ________________________________________________________________________ Return to table of contents
Date: 03 Aug 1995 16:13:16 GMT From: "THOMAS STOLFI" <OBCTS at CWEMAIL.ceco.com> Subject: NOTE 08/03/95 16:13:29 cancel article Aug03,12:41,14927 Return to table of contents
Date: 03 Aug 1995 16:13:16 GMT From: "THOMAS STOLFI" <OBCTS at CWEMAIL.ceco.com> Subject: Colorado Brewpubs Hello All: I will be attending a seminar in Denver next month and will have a few extra days to hit some Micro/Brewpubs. If anyone has any info on places to go in the Denver/Colorado Springs/Fort Collins/Boulder area please send me private email at OBCTS at CWEMAIL.CECO.COM. Thanks in advance. Tom Stolfi OBCTS at CWEMAIL.CECO.COM Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 1995 17:42:44 -0400 From: af509 at osfn.rhilinet.gov (Rolland Everitt) Subject: No bubbles in bottles I just bottled my first batch, and am concerned at the lack of any apparent activity in the bottles. O.G. was 1.040, yeast was RTP London Bitter Ale yeast. Fermenting temperature was 70 F (in my basement - coolest place in the house these days). Fermentation was rapid, dropping to 1.014 in about four days or less. I racked to the secondary, and after one more day, fermentation had apparently all but stopped. I bottled at 1.004, priming with corn sugar direct to the bottles (yes, I know it's not the best way). I am confident in my sanitary conditions, and the amount of priming sugar was adequate (8.9 grams / 1.5 liter bottle). I see no bubbles. The haze in the bottles is slowly settling. Am I too impatient? Is there still hope? What went wrong? Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 1995 19:08:10 -0400 From: DragonSC at aol.com Subject: California Lager Yeast In a message dated 95-08-02 03:58:15 EDT, you write: > Wyeast 2112 is supposed to work best at 58-68 degrees. Is the usual room >temperature of my place (about 75 or so) going to ruin my beer? >Should I even bother trying to do a lager? Any advice? I made an 11 gal. batch on Memorial Day and fermented it in high 60s-low 70s using Wyeast California Lager. Transfer to secondary one week later seemed normal, but at bottling a week after that where temps were consistently in the low 70s, I tasted a slight smokiness. A month later still there, but stronger. I have determined that it is not my RIM system burning the wort, but actually phenols from the yeast (probably due to autolization)! It takes a half bottle of thinking about rauche bier before the taste buds get used to this one! I would say it will ruin your beer. Stick to ales in this heat! Steve Dragon Stark Road Brewery (a division of D & S Industries) Worcester, MA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 4 Aug 1995 09:09:44 +1000 (EST) From: Ken Willing <kwilling at laurel.ocs.mq.edu.au> Subject: Sparging is a waste of time. Don't do it. Why sparge? Eamonn's point seems to be that since we shoot so much time on the rest of the hobby, why not shoot a few additional hours on sparging too? Fair enough, I guess, if you have an overriding devotion to brewing as a "hobby". But personally, my motives are more mixed than that. I happen to live in Australia where it's next to impossible (and horrendously costly) to get *any* decent beer... For me, more than 50% of the reason I brew is simply to get beer I can drink. And I don't mind cutting a few corners (i.e. "cheating"), if I can still end up with a respectably drinkable product. I hope there's room in this hobby for people who have pragmatic motives. But be that as it may. The fact is, you get a much better product by not sparging. So don't do it. Think of the malt grain as like an onion, with outer layers and inner layers. (The malt, once it has been crushed into particles, doesn't *quite* fit this picture, but the geometry of what I'm about to say remains essentially the same.): The complex carbohydrates that make for what we call "maltiness" are concentrated in the outer layers of the grain in the first place. Then, during kilning, these flavor elements are changed and enhanced tremendously (melanoidins, etc.). -- It's the scorching/heat-alteration of the outer layers that contributes by far the majority of these good chemicals. When you put the grain in water and enzymatically convert some of the carbohydrates, you don't end up with a completely undifferentiated mush. What you get is still little blobs of fibrous grain. By the end of the mash-out, the outer layers tend to have gone into solution. But the inner layers still cohere. The substances that have come off the grain *first*, outermost layers first (like peeling an onion), is what you're getting in the "first runnings". When you start washing more water through those little blobs, though, what you are getting a higher and higher proportion of is just simple sugar molecules. Hence the more you sparge, the more you're diluting flavorful maltiness and merely tapping off sugar which will get fermented. So: Use a little more grain (about 1/3 more), and obtain your intended OG with first runnings alone. You'll get a much maltier beverage. Simple as that. If you're a malt freak, like myself, give sparging away. PS -- WARNING: The above opinions are those of a total non- expert. The results are as indicated, but the explanation may well be fanciful. If anybody can tell me it's wrong, I'll be happy to hear it. Ken Willing <kwilling at laurel.ocs.mq.edu.au> Sydney, Australia Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 95 17:10:37 PDT From: stafford at alcor.hac.com (Jack Stafford) Subject: Re: Low $$ Thermostats I've been using my refrigerator's thermostat. The settings go from 0 to 6. Right now it is set at 1.5 to achieve a very steady temerature of 48 degrees F. Food seems to spoil a tad sooner but the lagers it puts out are fantastic. In April I made the Rocky Racoon's Lager in the NCJoHB (Papazian). It fermented for over 5 weeks in the 'fridge. Now I know why they say this brew is award winning. Right now I have a Honey Maple Bock fermenting away. I used a Wyeast culture (Bavarian lager) and racked it last weekend. It still has a way to go to completion, but I'm in no hurry. The hydrometer sample was very tasty and read 1.034 mmmm :) In my case the thermostat in the fridge is workin' just fine. BTW its a 16cu ft Sears that you defrost yourself. Jack. stafford at alcor.hac.com Yeast of Eden Homebrewers Costa Mesa, CA USA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 95 21:29:03 EDT From: "Matthew W. Bryson" <MWBryson at LANMAIL.RMC.COM> Subject: re:Gelatin fining... Erik Larsen mentioned that he had switched form polyclar to Knox unflavored gelatin because of a plastic taste. Having never used polyclar, I can't comment on its effectiveness. However, isinglass is very difficult for me to come by, so I've been using gelatin for about 2 years with great success. YMMV. Matthew W. Bryson Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 04 Aug 1995 00:23:34 -0400 (EDT) From: Tim Laatsch <LAATSCH at kbs.msu.edu> Subject: CP Bottle Filling Hey All, I agreed wholeheartedly with KRF (kirk?) regarding the counterpressure bottle filler (CPBF) review article in Zymurgy. I decided to give the $0.20 CPBF a try. To recap, it consists of a short siphon tube attached to the picnic tap of your corny keg. I tried dispensing the chilled brew to chilled bottles at 2,3,4,5,7, & 10 psi and experienced excessive foaming at all levels and lost a good bit of beer in the process. I could only fill the bottles to about 7/8 the normal level, with the remainder being foam. I found the ideal level to be around 5 psi, which would have worked well if I had several bottles ready to fill and executed bottle-to-bottle transfers perfectly without any stopping. Every time I stopped filling, the brew ran out of the dispensing tube all over the counter and the restart was foam city. Does anyone else have a different experience? And can anyone suggest the optimal dispensing pressure? Thanks for any help. Bones *=============================================================================* | Timothy P. Laatsch | email: laatsch at kbs.msu.edu | Aspiring | | Graduate Student-Microbiology | biz phone: 616-671-2329 | All-Grain | | Michigan State University/KBS | fax: 616-671-2104 | Homebrewer | | Kalamazoo, MI (Home of Bell's) | obsession: American Pale Ale | & Scientist | *=============================================================================* Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 4 Aug 1995 01:29:31 -0400 From: PatrickM50 at aol.com Subject: Re: pellet dry-hopping In a message dated 95-08-03 06:18:15 EDT, Pat Humphrey writes: >Has anyone tried to dry hop with pellets? What should I do to ensure that >contamination will not be introduced into the lagering carboy? I don't >want to boil the pellets since that will defeat the purpose of the dry >hopping. I've successfully dry hopped my last three ales with pellets in the secondary fermenter and have a few suggestions: 1) Put the pellets into a loose-woven cheesecloth bag, or "hop sack" and weigh it down with 20 - 30 sanitized marbles per oz. of pellets. Some hop "dust" will still get out of the sack and float to the top, but it's not enough to worry about. 2) Allow a little extra room in the carboy for the pellets to expand in the sack. 3) Ignore the millions of champagne-like bubbles that will start developing after 12 hours or so. Seems the pellets are evidently releasing CO2 from solution through some magic of science and not really contaminating or causing an unwelcome fermentation as it appears! ( I could be wrong about the actual cause of the bubbles, but all three brews turned out great!) Don't wait for the bubbles to stop - just go ahead and bottle whenever you think the hops have had their desired effect. My last batch was a Cream Ale that was still a little too cloudy for me after 2 weeks of dry-hopping - no doubt due to the constant upward activity of the tiny bubbles. So I racked it off the hops to a tertiary glass carboy fermenter and 95% of the bubbling went away. It was perfectly clear at bottling time a week later. Hope this helps. Pat Maloney 4) Try to curb your frustration at trying to get the bag of marbles and hop debris out of the narrow neck of the carboy after you siphon the beer into your bottling vessel. Just take your time. Another homebrew helps at this point. Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1799, 08/04/95