HOMEBREW Digest #1830 Wed 13 September 1995

Digest #1829 Digest #1831

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  starters/repitching (Dan McConnell)
  heavy metals, starter cultures (Rolland Everitt)
  Wyeast 3068 (Mark Roberson)
  Infected Beer?! (Daniel Louis Lanicek)
  re:lots o' things (Larry Scaringelli)
  warmed beer? (Carl Etnier)
  100 % wheat malt (Rob Lauriston)
  BJCP exam to be held in Wichita ("Lee C. Bussy")
  An idea to be ripped apart by the HBD collective (Kevin McEnhill)
  RE:  Stuck Fermantation or High Finishing Gravity? (Russ Brodeur)
  air stones (Pierre Jelenc)
  Cheap and reliable wort chillers?  Where and how much $$ ? (Kenneth K Goodrow)
  Yeast Quality, take two (Harralson, Kirk)
  slurry pitch, roasting (Russell Mast)
  Bad fg/brew length planning/aerators/pitchrates/hotbreak Q (Kirk R Fleming)
  Re: Yet more on labels (bugs) (Shawn Steele)
  Re: Aging Thread (Dean Miller/BOSTON/PART/CSC)
  Keg Modification Question (Steve Alexander)
  Aging Beer (jwolf)
  SEEING RED? (rbarnes)
  Where's the carbonation? (Tim_Fields_at_Relay__Tech__Vienna)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 11 Sep 1995 18:19:58 -0500 From: danmcc at umich.edu (Dan McConnell) Subject: starters/repitching From: "Pat Babcock" >o I usually pitch from a 1.5 l starter, from a 400 ml starter, > from a 35 ml starter from an inoculation look that has touched > greatness in my slant. In his posting, Dan states that "1L is an > underpitch for a 5 gal batch". I buy this as my lag time is not > as short as I'd like (eventually would like to get to a few > hours lag, but from my starter; not from dregs). What is > considered adequate for a 5 gallon batch? Perhaps a liter/ > gallon expression would be most helpful to those who do 6.5 and > 7 gallon batches. Also, when we say 1L, are we referring to a > one liter starter, or a one liter yeast cake? Pat, you just pushed one of my hot buttons. About once a year, I get up on the old yeast starter soapbox. This is a good time since we are now entering the 1995-96 brewing season. I urge everyone to think like a probrewer, not a homebrewer. REPITCH! That's what the professional brewers do, amateurs should too. I'll get to that in a minute. Recommended pitching rates for ales range from 5-10 million cells/mL. Rates for lagers and strong beers are twice this figure. A typical yeast cell population peaks in a starter culture at about 50 million cells/mL, therefore it is easy to calculate that a 1:10 dilution (1L in 10L) gives 5 million cells/mL. This is a minimum pitching rate. Since 5 gal=18.9L pitching 2L of yeast starter (not cake) will give approx. 5.3 million cells/mL. Brew length Approx. cell count Millions/mL at specified Starter Volume 1L (1.06qt) 2L (2.11 qt) 3L (3.17 qt) 4L (4.23 qt) 5 gal/18.9L 2.6 5.3 7.8 10.6 6.5 gal/24.6L 2.0 4.1 6.1 8.1 7 gal/26.5L 1.9 3.8 5.7 7.5 The best way to get this rate with minimal trouble and expense is to repitch. Like Pat, I start from slants, picking up a large loopfull of yeast and inoculate 20 mL of sterile wort. Pop it in an incubator and it will be active the next day to pitch into 200mL and the third day into 2L. I make the 2L stronger so that it won't dilute the high quality wort (too much) if I must pitch the entire contents. If I planned ahead and can decant the spent beer from the culture, that's better. My favorite brewing schedule is to do 2 back to back brews 1 week apart. I will make 15 gal of "drinking beer" OG, 9-10P (pitched with 6L of starter) and follow that by brewing 5 or 10 gal of "better beer" the next weekend using harvested yeast. Since I have been using open fermentation and prefer top cropping (British or Belgian) yeast, the harvesting is easy. There must be a FAQ on this somewhere, but here goes anyway.....I must be feeling verbose..... This schedule is somewhat dependent on the particular yeast strain. Some strains do not top crop well. I prefer to brew with those that do. I think that most brewers should use a *minimum* number of different strains until you understand how each performs. Day 1-2 of ferment-skim off the nasty looking dark foam and throw it away. Day 2-3 of ferment-skim off the clean yeast cake and save-I use a sterilized wide mouth canning jar. Refrigerate. Some strains will tolerate a week or so, some do not. Brew again (at least by the next week) and pitch the harvested yeast. Expect the shortest lag you've ever seen. Brew again, repitch....... Brew again, repitch....... >o What should be the indication that it is time to step up. I > usually step up immediately (immediately is a relative term) > following high kraeusen in the preceding step. Is this ok? The best indication is the next opportunity after kraeusen. I usually step the next time I get a chance. I do beer-work in the evening, so that means 24 hour intervals. Theoretically speaking post kraeusen is best, but practically speaking most people must deal with real-life before beer-life. When in doubt delay the step by a day. I don't think that it is an issue to get too concerned about. If you make your starter media to a low SG the process is faster. Yeast are forgiving unless you really insult them. >o Is there a good (read: inexpensive) reference on yeasts that > includes identification info? With pictures so I can compare > what I see under the scope to known varieties (or am I all wet > with that approach)? Kreger van Rij is *the* text. With luck your library will have it. It is expensive (read: good), but if you copy the important sections (25-30 pages) you will have what you need. It really is impossible to make an identification based on microscopic examination alone. For instance, Brettanomyces are very characteristic, but fermentation/assimilation tests are still absolutely required to make an identification, and even then its not a cakewalk. With that said, I will say that I can recognize characteristic cellular morphology of the strains that I look at frequently. The American is rounded, the Belgian is elongated as is the weizen, Brett looks like brett. etc. Not diagnostic by any means, but comforting. ================ >From Al K: >we know that sudden cooling >can shock yeast... but what about rather fast warming? Can we take that yeast >starter out of the 40F fridge and let it warm up to 65F in a few hours without >shocking/damaging/insulting the yeast? I think that warming is not as significant provided you do not go too high. Probably not much above 30C. Lager strains are particularly sensitive-don't get them anywhere near 37C. I retrieve frozen cultures from -80C to 20C in a few minutes by placing the vial in cool running water. Al, if you actually insult your yeast, she will repay you in kind. DanMcC Stochastic Resonance PicoBrewery Brewer of Regal Lager (a palindromic style beer) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 1995 20:57:25 -0400 From: af509 at osfn.rhilinet.gov (Rolland Everitt) Subject: heavy metals, starter cultures There has been some discussion lately about the effects of zinc and other metals in wort and beer - both on the yeast, and on the beer drinker. I found some information in _An Introduction to the Biology of Yeasts_, by M. Ingram (Putnam & Sons, 1955). In the chapter on yeast growth, the author presents two tables which shed some light. I have tried to reproduce them here. Concentrations of Trace Metals (mg/l) Required for Maximum Yield When Growing Yeasts (Data of Olsen and Johnson, 1949) Fe Zn Cu Sacc. cerevisae 70 200 12-15 Sacc. cerevisae 150 150 -- Mycotor. lipolytica 25 70 -- Tor. utilis 100 25 -- Inhibition by Some Trace Elements of Growth of Yeast in a Synthetic Medium (Modified from White and Munns, 1951) Category Order of concentration Elements giving complete inhibition Very poisonous 10 p.p.m. or less Ag, Cd, Cu, Hg, Os, Pd Poisonous 100 p.p.m. As, B, Be, Co, Cr, F, Li, Ni, Sn, Te, V Slightly poisonous 500 p.p.m. Al, Fe, Mo, Mn, Pb, Se, Tl, W, Zn Non-poisonous No inhibitory action at 500 p.p.m. Ba, Ce, Cs, La, Rb, Sr, Th, Ti, U, Zr Realizing that a milligram/liter (mg/l) is equivalent to a part per million (p.p.m), we can compare optimal amounts of zinc, copper, and iron to toxic levels. It seems that S. cerevisae (I assume two different varieties) like 70-150 mg/l of iron, and 150-200 mg/l of zinc, but are totally inhibited by 500 mg/l. I don't know what concentrations of these metals are toxic to humans, but I suspect that 500 mg/l would significantly inhibit humans as well as yeasts. It is comforting to know, however, that strontium and uranium are not poisonous to yeast. There has also been some talk lately about starter cultures. I am indebted to several of you who sent private responses to my own zymurgically-challeneged questions. I ran across something in the same source (Ingram) that may be of interest. "The work of Wildiers...showed in 1901 that some yeasts would not grow in simple synthetic media, unless there was added a little of either an old culture fluid, or an extract of yeast cells; yeast ash was not effective. He thought this indicated the existence of a substance produced by the yeast, and vital to the growth of the yeast, which he called 'bios'. Wildiers' results were confirmed in 1919, and the stimulation of yeast growth..has come to be called the bios effect." He goes on to identify the "bios factors" - they are vitamins. I interpret this to mean that inclusion of some yeast sludge or fully-fermented beer in your starter will promote growth. I would be interested to hearing opinions on this. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 1995 21:24:32 -0600 From: roberson at alkali.chem.utah.edu (Mark Roberson) Subject: Wyeast 3068 Collective Wisdom; I have gotten conflicting advice about the 3068 Weihenstephan wheat yeast; I have it in my head that in order to maximise the clove character you should keep the fermentation temperature below 50F, but the guy at the brew shop swears that it is an ale yeast which will poop out below 60F. I've cruised everywhere I can think of on the net, without learning anything. Would anyone have any advice? I ask because I did my previous batch at 58F and got almost complete banana flavor with little detectable clove; way disappointing as I have been guzzling a lot of Franziskaner Hefeweis and I hate giving that much cash to the wackoes at the state liquor monopoly. Mark Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 1995 23:58:59 -0500 (CDT) From: Daniel Louis Lanicek <dll0001 at jove.acs.unt.edu> Subject: Infected Beer?! Okay, I may have brewed my first bad batch (it's only my 4th batch). The beer is real cloudy which suggests bacterial infection, but there was no deposit ring on the bottle. The beer does not taste like it's supposed to (it's a weizen). The beer could be better but it does not taste bad. My question is "can I still drink it?" The beer is definitely drinkable (although not the best tasting batch I've brewed). Will the bacteria make me ill or is the beer not really infected? I would hate to have to pour out 5 gallons of beer. Thank you in advance, Dan Lanicek Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 1995 23:11:10 -0700 From: scarin at primenet.com (Larry Scaringelli) Subject: re:lots o' things Aubrey Howe howe at shemp.appmag.com wrote Hopback: (paraphrased) he strains his still hot wort through his lauter tun after cleaning the tun and lets it flow through to his boiling kettle to be chilled Q: The double siphoning I see here of hot wort looks like an engraved invitation for HSA. Asking because besides from that problem it seems like a good way to strain out hops in wort. In addition isn't a hopback a way to strain the wort through fresh hops if so then isn't this just am elaborate strainer and not a hop back. No flame intended just asking. Also was reading in r.c.b. about placement of temp probe on the hunter airstat. The thread centered on outting the probe in water for a more consistent temp but also stated that the probe had to be treated. any responses or suggestions on this. A quick mead question: I brewed a batch of "white angel" prickly pear mead using papazians recipe. I was interested in bottling this one half still and one half corbonated. I see no reason why this mead can not be carbonated but I would appreciate any thoughts you might have. As usual Email fine will post responses if appropriate. TIA Larry _______________________________________________________________ Nothing can tear you apart If you keep livin' straight from the heart Though you know that you're gonna hurt some The magic will come J.Buffett scarin at primenet.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 09:27:22 +0200 (MET DST) From: Carl Etnier <Carl.Etnier at abc.se> Subject: warmed beer? Anyone heard of heating up beer, like a sort of luke-warm tea? I recently read Frans G. Bengtsson's book, "Roede Orm"--don't know whether it has been translated to English or, if so, what its name is--about a Viking who lived a thousand years ago and travelled from his home in southern Sweden to all over Europe. He was, of course, impressed to encounter the exotic drink called "wine" in his travels in Spain and France. What struck me most about the drinking in the book was the Scandinavian custom the author described of heating up beer before drinking it. When guests came, the Vikings in the book were as likely to put some beer on to warm as we are to put on the tea kettle or coffee pot, or pop open a homebrew (no warmer than room temperature). "Roede Orm" is no "Clan of the Cave Bear", so there aren't many details about making the beer or the temperature it was warmed to or anything like that. Is there anyone who has had experience with warmed beer? If so, what style, how warm, and what time of year? My own experience is very limited. In a Malmoe bar in June I was served an English ale (forget which one, maybe Spitfire) ice cold, so it could hardly be tasted. I grew tired of warming the thing in my hands and asked the waitress to heat it up in the microwave. It got too warm, of course--maybe 40 C. It was yet another frustration the evening I returned to the wretched beer culture of Sweden after more than a week in Belgium and Germany, so I was mainly just peeved. In retrospect, it might have tasted good on a November night. While at Liefmann's brewery, I picked up a spiced brown ale, with fruit I believe, designed to be warmed liked mulled wine. It is at home, waiting for the Yule-tide season. My knowledge of warmed beer, in other words, is based on one fictional account of Viking life, one waitress's mistakes, and an anticipated tasting of a warmed Christmas ale. Any insights into the culture of warmed beer, either historically or today, are appreciated. Carl Etnier A Yankee in Sweden (now on assignment in Switzerland, beer purgatory) Number of days since last snowfall: 8 or 10 or so; I've lost track Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 95 04:11:07 -0700 From: robtrish at noif.ncp.bc.ca (Rob Lauriston) Subject: 100 % wheat malt There have been some posts lately about making a 100% wheat malt beer. I have been told by a semi-reliable source that wheat malt has NO beta-amylase. Can anyone confirm this? For the fun of experimentation, I've tried boiling the wheat portion of a wheat beer without barley and I've gotten a very thick gluey mess. Doing this again with a small portion of barley and resting at 65'C, it thins right out. I know another brewer who has had the same experience. Wheat malt and barley malt can't have the *same* enzymatic ability. Apart from sheer experimentation, I personally can't think of a reason to use 100% wheat malt in a beer; it's like doubling the dose of a medicine expecting it to be twice as effective, or having a bizzillion IBU's because you like a hoppy beer. But each to his own. I also know a pub-brewer who did make a 100 % wheat malt beer, though I never tasted the result. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 07:00:55 +0000 From: "Lee C. Bussy" <leeb at southwind.net> Subject: BJCP exam to be held in Wichita Greetings! Just wanted to let everyone know that the BJCP exam is being given in Wichita KS on October 21st. If anyone is interested please let me know asap so I might plan things. Lodging can be facilitated or arranges so please don't let that stop you.... we also have a fime brewpub here and we *will* be going right after the test. Reply via E-mail or call (316) 267-2391 after 5:00pm. - -- -Lee Bussy | When guns are outlawed, how are | leeb at roadkill.org | we going to shoot the liberals? | Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 08:15:02 -0400 From: kevinm at rocdec.roc.wayne.edu (Kevin McEnhill) Subject: An idea to be ripped apart by the HBD collective Howdy, I think that I came up with this idea the last time that the live steam injection thread was kicked around. Its kind of a cross between a RIMS set-up and live steam injection. Now a little background about my experience level. I have never brewed an all grain batch. In fact, I have never even gone to partial mash yet. I have graduated to plain extract with my own hops. With ten batches, five books read and about two years of lurking around here, I think that I know the basics about mashing. The idea is to use the steam from the pressure cooker to add heat to the mash and to move the wort through the grain. By running the steam through the airstone, it is broken up into thousands of bubbles. When those bubles start to move up, the take a little wort with them. By using a preferated stack, the wort is able to leave as soon as it clears the grain bed. The valve in the steam line would allow you to regulate the amount of heat that you are injecting so that you can maintain a temperature as well as steping up to the next rest. The recirculating would come as a result of the steam injection and can not be controlled separetly, but from what I have read here, recirculating does not seem to be a major factor. WARNING! LAME ASCII ART FOLLOWS! _________V_____________ / ^ \ | | |<------------Copper Tubing with | Valve | SS airstone at | | | | bottom. o | | | | /----|----\ |~~~~|~|~|~~~~|<-----Mash Level | | |gggg| | |<---|------Perfeated 'Stack' | | |gggg| | |gggg| | | |/^^^| O |^^^\|<-----False Bottom |_________| |_____________| Pressure Cooker Mash Tun There could be two weaknesses that I see with this system. One there might be a problem with HSA, I do not think that the problem is from the steam bubles (once the steam starts to build pressure, all of the oxygen will be vented), the place that I am worried about is where the bubbles brake the surface. The second problem would be sparging, if you were to just dump in the sparge water, you have a one inch channel already made down the center. I think that you could solve this problem by scooping some of the grain off the top and filling the stack or by putting a plasic rod in it. I plan on trying this on water only this weekend to see if I can even hit the temperatuer the I want. I would like to hear from anyone that can see a problem with this or if you have an idea to make it better. ********************************************************************** * * /|~~~~~| I was told by my wife that * * kevinm at rocdec.roc.wayne.edu * | | | if I brew one more batch * * * | | | of beer she would leave me!* * Kevin McEnhill * \| | * * * |_____| I'm going to miss her :-) * ********************************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 95 08:57:46 -0400 From: r-brodeur at ds.mc.ti.com (Russ Brodeur) Subject: RE: Stuck Fermantation or High Finishing Gravity? >Date: Mon, 11 Sep 95 09:38:42 EST >From: "MSG Richard Smith" <QR1661 at trotter.USMA.EDU> >Subject: Stuck Fermantation or High Finishing Gravity? > >I brewed 10 gallons of all-grain using 19lbs English 2 row and 3 lbs of >English crystal. Everything went perfectly, and I hit my target of an >OG of 60 a little high at 62. What was your strike temp? Temps in the mid-upper 150's F will result in higher FG's than those at the lower end (145-55 F), as a rule of thumb. > <<snip>> >I took a gravity reading on the 6th day after 3 days of absolute zero >activity and got readings of SG 26 in each carboy. You have an apparent extract of about 58%. This is a bit on the low side, again suggesting too high a strike temp as the culprit. BTW, rapid fermentation (2-3 days), especially with dried yeast, isn't at all uncommon, in my experience. I have had similar experiences with some liquid strains as well, most notable WYEAST Labs' Irish ale. >My own conclusion is that I should have used a more attenuative yeast >(liquid?) to hit my desired final gravity of 14-15. Is liquid yeast the >only answer or is there a better dry type to use with OGs over 50? I feel that having a greater ratio of fermentables:non-fermentables in the wort would have a much more favorable impact on your attenuation than the specific yeast strain. If you get 75% attenuation, which should be easily achievable with either dry or liquid yeasts, you should get a FG around 15. IMHO, I wouldn't want it much lower with that high an OG due to the alcohol maybe dominating the flavor. A two-step mash, with rests at 145-50 and ~ 160 F, both for 30 min, should provide a good fermentable wort while still yielding high extraction efficiency. Increasing the time at the lower temp rest will increase the amount of fermentables. Wort aeration is another important factor. In my experience, aerating the at #$% out of the wort prior to pitching (and during the initial fermentation stage) greatly speeds up fermentation (at least time to high krauesen). I have also read that a well-aerated wort will produce yeast with higher alcohol tolerance. I cannot substantiate this from my own experience, though. But again, aeration is surely very important. I had this same problem about a year ago. I was mashing with rests at 140 and 158 F, both for 30 min., and getting low AA, with FG's in the low 20's. This was too heavy, IMO. I raised the temp of the first rest to 145-50 F, and have been routinely getting my FG's into the 10-15 range, which I prefer for most styles. Just my $0.02. TTFN Russ Brodeur (r-brodeur at ds.mc.ti.com) "if you get confused, listen to the music play"... Ben Franklin at ->-- --<- at Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 95 9:12:44 EDT From: Pierre Jelenc <pcj1 at columbia.edu> Subject: air stones In HOMEBREW Digest #1829 Rob Emenecker <robe at cadmus.com> asks: > Instead I > have opted for using an aquarium pump to aerate my cooled wort. The two > problems I have experienced with this method is 1) sanitizing the small > aquarium airlines/tubing is a PITA (but I will tough it out) and 2) the > airstones I have like to float to the surface. 1/ Sanitize with iodophor then run the pump on empty for a few minutes. You do not need to filter the air; the walls of the air-line will catch anything worth catching. 2/ thread the tubing into a rigid wand (copper tubing, plastic racking cane, etc) to keep the airstone at the bottom. Pierre Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 09:11:24 -0500 (CDT) From: Kenneth K Goodrow <goodrow at orion.etsu.edu> Subject: Cheap and reliable wort chillers? Where and how much $$ ? I am looking for a wort chiller and am on a tight grad. students' budget. I have considered making my own, but my time is quite tight as well. If I ordered through mail, which are the best places to purchase such an appratus? 800 #s? Prices? Your input is appreciated and private posts will be fine. Kenn Goodrow East Texas State University, which will be Texas A&M University in September 1996 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 95 12:07:59 EST From: kwh at roadnet.ups.com (Harralson, Kirk) Subject: Yeast Quality, take two I posted two questions in HBD 1819 which went by unnoticed. Several people sent private mail asking me to forward any info I got privately, so other people have similar concerns. It seems that a number of people want to know more about saving and reusing yeast, and are questioning their current procedures. I think this is a great thread, and would appreciate any info anybody has to share. >I follow the procedure for parallel yeast propagation as outlined in the yeast >faq, and have had fairly good results to date. The last time I prepared the >parallel cultures, I found myself questioning some of my procedures: First, >when I separate the suspended yeast into bottles, there is almost inevitable >oxidation. I pour the liquid into the bottles, and there is considerable >foaming (I try to minimize contact with siphons, etc. for sanitation purposes). >I also get a lot of foaming/oxidation when I save the yeast from the secondary. >Of course this is used fairly quick, as opposed to saving bottled cultures. >Second, I would imagine letting this yeast sit literally for months causes >autolysis. Now, do these conditions which we normally try to avoid like the >plague affect, ruin or mutate the yeast, or do they just cause off flavors, >etc. in the resulting beer? If the beer only is affected, I don't care because >I discard all but just enough to suspend the yeast to pour it. However, if the >yeast themselves are affected, and carry over these characteristics into the >next batch, I care a lot. Comments? Kirk Harralson Bel Air, Maryland Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 11:09:11 -0500 From: Russell Mast <rmast at fnbc.com> Subject: slurry pitch, roasting Another data point - if I can work the timing right, I will often brew on the same day as I'm racking from primary to secondary. I rack during the boil, and then point the out end of my cooling apparatus right into the primary fermenter from the previous batch. Saves cleaning and I often have lag times in the 6-8 hour range. Never had a problem with excessive trub that anyone can taste over the other problems in my beer. (I use a hop-back, fwiw.) > From: "Lynne O'Connor" <stpats at bga.com> > Subject: St. Patrick's of Texas, Inc. Reading the HBD and responding? Maybe I should give these folks another chance. (Except lately my UPS service has been pretty funky, I wonder if it's worth it.) Anyway, I thought Jay was saying that he ordered on Monday and the stuff was shipped on Thursday, not Tuesday as Lynne wrote here. Maybe I misread. It will be interesting to watch this unfold. > From: Jeff Benjamin <benji at hpfcbug.fc.hp.com> > Subject: Pitching rates > > ... However, it's clear that a 1L *yeast cake* would probably be over- > pitching by a bit. Brings to mind a question I saw asked here once and forget the answer. Is there such a thing as "over-pitching"? How much is too much? What will happen if one overpitches, and is there any practical way I, as a homebrewer, could possibly overpitch? > From: "Mark J. Wilk" <mw5w+ at andrew.cmu.edu> > Subject: fermentation ?'s > > > Just did an extract ale. Pitched the yeast two days ago, at 78 degrees, > and I still have not seen an fermentaion. What yeast, how much, etc? Maybe you didn't aerate enough, maybe you underpitched. Side note - I have nothing to say about labels, and I'm proud of that fact. > From: chamber at sunland.gsfc.nasa.gov (Keith Chamberlin) > Subject: Stuck Belgian Ferment? > Also had a question about Belgian specialty grains. How come most > of the roasted grains, chocolate, black, unmalted, have higher > Lovibond ratings than English and American grains. I asked this > once before but didn't get any response. It's because they are darker than the other grains. I'm not sure how else one can respond to this. They are roasted more, or hotter, or, uh, differently, that makes them darker. Why are some "whole wheat" breads darker than others? Just how they're made. Some maltsters offer a ~300L "roasted barley" and a ~500L "black barley", others only a ~500L "roasted". I assume there isn't much difference between these except degree of roastedness (and that the 500s are equivalent regardless of name), but I may be mistaken about this. Comparing a 20L munich/aromatic to a ~20L toasted/biscuit/victory or a 20L light crystal, it's obvious there are many differences between specialty grains besides just Lovibond. Brings to mind another question - is there a difference between chocolate malt and black patent malt BESIDES the degree of roasting? If you have a "chocolate" malt from one maltster than weighs in at 500L, is that a better match for another maltsters 550L "black patent" or a better match for their 300L chocolate? -R Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 10:14:56 -0600 From: flemingk at usa.net (Kirk R Fleming) Subject: Bad fg/brew length planning/aerators/pitchrates/hotbreak Q "MSG Richard Smith" <QR1661 at trotter.USMA.EDU> asked about his high ale fg (wort built from pale crystal malts only): > I split the batch into two 5 gallon carboys and pitched one with...2 > packages of Doric dry yeast and the other with...[2 pkgs of M&F] dry > yeast...[on the] 6th day after 3 days of absolute zero activity... > [sg = 26] I don't think the difference in attenuation levels between any two ale yeasts is very significant. No, liquid yeast is not the answer, IMO. My first suspect would be wort aeration--if you were borderline in aerating your lower gravity ales, then you may be underaerating here. It may be significantly harder to aerate an og 62 than say an og 40, and if you aerated when it was 75-80F instead of 65-70F, then that compounds the problem of getting O2 into solution. You *did* aerate, right? joep at informix.com (joep) asks: > I...recently purchased an 8 gallon pot. This will...allow me to start > my boil with 7 gallons, losing 1.5 to evaporation and .5 to hot/cold > break. Does this make sense? If I sparge to 7 gallons with which to > start the boil (60 minute boil), will I be ok? Am I better off sparging > less and adding some water? I think several brewers here do indeed top up after the boil--stopping the sparge a little early to keep kettle volumes under control. With an 8 gal pot, you should be able to boil 6.5 gal down to a final 5.5. You'll have to determine your own reduction rate: 1 gal/hour is a starting est. For a 60 min boil, shoot for 6.5-6.75 gal in the kettle after sparging. Boil for 60 min and measure your volume to get your rate. You can then stop and take whatever sg you get, or continue until you get the target og. If that takes 90 minutes or so no biggie. Rob Emenecker <robe at cadmus.com> asked about airstone floatation. I use the plastic, disposable 'airstones' available at $.80US for four. On the outside of the end of the air line I've threaded on two 1/4-20 ss nuts far enough to leave about 1/2" of exposed tubing beyond the last nut. Then I just squeeze on the plastic aerator. This is just enough mass to sink the pup. Jeff Benjamin <benji at hpfcbug.fc.hp.com> provided yeast pitching rate information: 5 ml of thick yeast slurry per liter of wort. Lebesch then mentioned that during a healthy fermentation the yeast cell count increases about 6 fold, and I recall deClerk mentioned 10. These two figures are close enough to one another for my purposes. What the heck Lebesch is talking about here? It seems two things are going on: 1) You want to step your starter in such a way (thru timing and feeding) that, during each step, yeast population doesn't increase by more than 6-10 times, and 2) you want to get the recommended pitching rate of about 90 mL of thick slurry into a 5 gal batch. If someone else can explain what Lebesch was talking about I'd like to hear it--especially the references he made to "wort volume increases", which really left me dumbfounded. In any case, Jeff said: > This doesn't address the question of *when* to step up or pitch your > starter (in fact, the last sentence says "ferment to completion"; that's > probably not what you would do normally when stepping up your starters). No, it doesn't address it at all. But yes, that is exactly what I do in stepping my starters--let the yeast settle out quite completely, then decant the spent wort and prime with fresh, heavily aerated wort. I also pitch that way as well--give the yeast 1 day to settle out then pitch just the precipitate. > However, it's clear that a 1L *yeast cake* would probably be over- > pitching by a bit. Yes, by 1 order of magnitude. My calculations indicate 90 mL of thick slurry. For a "mostly decanted" starter, leaving just enough wort in the jug to assist in stirring up a highly flocculant yeast such as #1968, then I use the larger, convenient figure of 1 US fluid ounce per US gal which is the number I ballparked from Fix's book. I'm talking a very pourable soup here now with the consistencey of thin pancake batter. Al K writes: > The scum is actually the infamous Hot Break. ..and what puzzles me is that several (I think) homebrew books talk about having to boil for about 30 min to generate the hot break. I've found the hot break *always* forms prior to the onset of the boil, and *never* appears afterward. Anyone else seen that statement? Comments please! KRF Colorado Springs Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 09:49:39 -0600 From: Shawn Steele <shawn at aob.org> Subject: Re: Yet more on labels (bugs) > I have one question about the practice of sticking labels on > bottles using milk----doesn't it attract bugs? > > I have used milk successfully to adhere labels but my wife > immediately got concerned about the bug angle. My solution? I > sprayed _Off_ bug repellent into the milk solution <no connection to > _Off_, blah, blah.> > So far, so good. > > Is the bug problem a valid concern when using milk for labels? Well, I was more concerned about the milk rotting and smelling bad, but in answer to your question, I haven't had any problems with bugs or rotting milk, and some of my labels are on bottles of unrefrigerated mead that have been out for well over a year. Very little milk is needed to apply the labels (probably less than an ounce/case, but I've never measured it). Perhaps the small quantity used doesn't attract enough bugs or bacteria. Personally, I'd probably be more worried about the off chemicals that close to my bottle :-) - shawn Shawn Steele Information Systems Administrator Association of Brewers (303) 447-0816 x 118 (voice) 736 Pearl Street (303) 447-2825 (fax) PO Box 1679 shawn at aob.org (e-mail) Boulder, CO 80306-1679 info at aob.org (aob info) U.S.A. http://www.aob.org/aob (web) Note: When replying to my messages, please include enough of my message so that I know what you're replying to! :-) Return to table of contents
Date: 12 Sep 95 12:43:57 EDT From: Dean Miller/BOSTON/PART/CSC Subject: Re: Aging Thread To continue on with this aging thread... I brewed an IPA in the beginning of '94, bottled it in the end of January and stored it at cellar temparatures (50-60) for a month. At that time it tasted good, but after about a month it began getting a little "harsh" (the only way I can think of to describe it). In April a friend of mine had me tile her floor and I took along a couple of bottles to keep me company. This past Sunday, 9/10/95, I was looking through this same friend's refigerator and, lo and behold, what should I find but a bottle of this same batch of IPA. I thought to myself, myself.. this is probably septic fodder, but I opened it and tried it. It was the best bottle of IPA I have ever had. It was smooth, no harsh edges, and had a mellow character to it that I would not ever have believed. Just another datapoint in the on-going aging thread. And now back to our regulary scheduled religion thread.... Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 13:19:51 -0400 From: Steve Alexander <stevea at clv.mcd.mot.com> Subject: Keg Modification Question Greg Holton responses in HBD #1829: >> From: rlarsen at squeaky.free.org (Rich Larsen) >... >> I'm in the process of modifying a Sanke Keg into a Mash/Lauter tun and >> another into a boil kettle. >... >> What kind of fittings do you use? I'm leaning toward the compression or >> bulkhead fittings, but I'm not sure if they'll seal well. >> > > >I'm happy with my arrangement, done with inexpensive off-the-shelf brass >hardware. The fitting that goes through the keg is a 3/8" compression to >1/2" female pipe thread adapter. A 1/2" brass ball valve is spaced away from >the outside of the keg with a 3-4" brass nipple. The gasket (inside) is >copper, which I made by cutting off the end of a copper pipe cap, then drilling >the appropriate sized hole. > ... >------------------------------ I have a very similar setup except I believe I used 3/8" nipple, a couple of additional comments on construction. You should get a 'hole saw' for stainless steel to fit a hand drill in order to make the hole. SS is very tough to drill. I believe that 5/8" is the proper size for a 3/8" pipe. I've found thick nylon washers at my local hardware store which are the proper size to act as the inside gasket in place of the copper gaskets Greg cleverly made. As an external nut on the nipple, you can find chromed flat nuts the proper size to fit the pipe threads. These are often kept over with the electrical conduit materials. These are NOT for wort contact. You may want to get a brass nipple with an especially long threaded end to hold the nut+bulkhead+gasket+internal_fitting. You can find a real plumbing shop (not a DIY) which custom cuts and threads pipe - they can extend the threaded portion. Alternatively get a thread cutting tool (die ?). Stevea Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 95 13:45:12 EST From: jwolf at smtplink.penril.com Subject: Aging Beer Some time ago, I asked if anyone knew what really (chemically, mechanically, and biologically) happened during the aging of beer. I had a pretty weak response and I assume that meant that no one really knew. OK, I accepted that. Well, a few weeks ago, I was enjoying a nice cask conditioned pale ale (just like in England, warm and flat in a full pint glass) in my local brewpub (OldTown Brewery, Gaithersburg, MD, Highly recommended) and noticed that the Brew Meister was there. I was lamenting that my nice high OG (1.065) ESB took two months to age and asked him how long he aged his beer. He said ONE WEEK!! Whoa... He informed my that the beer MUST BE AGED CHILLED! (After the first week, that is to let it carbonate (if desired)). He said that the aging is predominately settling of yeast, proteins, and particulate matter from the grain husks that carries tannins and other off-flavors out of the beer. If the beer ages at room temperatures, the yeasties stay active and in suspension and delay the clarification and conditioning of the beer, not to mention adding metabolic residue in an uncontrolled and non-reproducable way. SO, I have made up another batch and have placed HALF of it in the fridge after the first week in the bottle. It comes out on Wednesday (tomorrow) and I will compare it to the control batch that is aging in the basement (my normal practice) which should be nasty after only two weeks. I will let the collective know how things work out. Sure, I know someone will say (of course you idiot, everyone else knows this) or others will disagree, but this is sure news to me. Let's keep the comments on this forum since it will probably be interesting to all. If desired, my email address is: jwolf at penril.com Regards Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 95 11:36:24 pst From: rbarnes at sdccd.cc.ca.us Subject: SEEING RED? What makes a 'red' ale? I remember reading that the style was characterized by the addition of a particular grain (roasted barley?), but I have checked my books and can't find the source. The Cat's Meow has a '7-mile red ale' but the only added grain is crystal malt. The term 'red' has been used a lot lately (Red Dog, Red Wolf, etc.) I am particularly interested in duplicating (as closely as possible) St. Rogue Red and/or Red Nectar (even if they're not "true" reds). Any recipes or ideas appreciated. Partial mash/extract or all-grain and I'll convert the recipe. TIA - Randy Barnes Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 95 14:59:47 EST From: Tim_Fields_at_Relay__Tech__Vienna at relay.com Subject: Where's the carbonation? I'm posting this question on behalf of a brewing buddy that changed jobs and, to his horror, has no internet access! He obviously failed to ask 'the' primo important question in the job interview ;-) It's an interesting quandary - pls let me know what you think. I *will* post summary of any and all responses. The problem: no carbonation in the bottled beer. Batch Statistics: American Red Ale, extract, mail order kit from Alternative Beverage. DME, and some specialty grains, etc. OG 1042, FG 1010 1056 yeast. Pitched slurry from 1 pt starter. used 1 tsp Irish moss, added to boil. 3 days primary, 10 to 14 days secondary, fermentation temp between 65F and 70F bottled with oxygen absorbing caps using between 3/4 and 1 Cup priming sugar Bottles kept between 65F and 70F for first week. After finding no carbonation at 1 week, he moved one 6-pak to a warmer room - say 70F to 75F. Left the rest at 65F to 70F. At 3 weeks, a little carbonation in both areas. Been 2 months now, and he says the batch is "vastly under-carbonated". He finds this curious because this was the most priming sugar he has used to date, and all other batches were reasonably carbonated for his taste. He noted at bottling that the beer was absolutely crystal clear (reddish as it should be) - the clearest he had made yet. He wonders if so much yeast had settled out in secondary that there was not enough left to react with the bottling sugar. This doesn't ring quite true with me, but I admit to being a bit stumped. Rogue batch? Is this a case of "should have listened to Dave Draper and measured sugar by weight and not volume"? What do you think? -Tim Tim Fields / Vienna, VA, USA / timf at relay.com "Contemplate this on the Tree of Woe" ... Thulsa Doom "So many recipes, so little time ..." "Beers me" "reeb!" Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1830, 09/13/95