HOMEBREW Digest #1938 Thu 18 January 1996

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  Mashing In Techniques ("Craig Rode")
  Imperial stout question (Mike Uchima)
  Re: How to get Diacetyl (James Caldwell)
  Easy cheap non-destructive lauter-tun (Michael A. Genito)
  Plastic Hydrometer? (atlantis)
  How to get diacetyl. (Jim Cave)
  Filtering ("Peter Rust")
  metabolism revisited ("Tracy Aquilla")
  More on Saudi brewers (Stephen_W._Snyder)
  Stuck lager fermentation (freigang)
  Priming ("David N. Pflanzer")
  Steeping Specialty Grains (Steve Armbrust)
  yeast replication, Crabtree again ("Tracy Aquilla")
  Stepping up a recipe? ("James Hojel")
  Re: Gravity Gradient (John DeCarlo              )
  bottle priming CARBONATION (again) and Yeast Bands (Steve Alexander)
  Wyeast Scotch Ale strain ("Tracy Aquilla")
  vented ferments (Jim Busch)
  Fine bead / Plastic carboys / US Amber ale ("Dave Draper")
  Re: Gravity Gradient (Paul Fisher)
  Boiling Extracts (Jerry Minasi)
  Keg modification (Leo Christoffer)
  Would you like some Red Ale in your yeast?/plastic carboys/diacetyl (Algis R Korzonas)
  RE: Now how do you make a grain bag? (Brad Roach)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 16 Jan 1996 09:21:06 -0600 From: "Craig Rode" <craig.rode at sdrc.com> Subject: Mashing In Techniques I continue to try to increase my extract efficiency to 30. The last batch, an addition of gypsum to the mash (assuming everything else was equal, which as we know, it never is) took me from 24 to 27. Better, but not where I want to be. Question: My technique is to put the dry grist (pale ale and adjuncts) in the mash tun, and then dump the strike water at 170F into it all at once, and then mix like he**. The mash ends up at about 152F, and I then place it in the oven preheated at 150F, monitior it for 90 min, mix every 15 min....etc. Is the dumping of water onto the grist annoying my enzymes (or for that matter, the mash's enzymes)? Everything I have read indicates adding grist to water, and doing so slowly. As always, comments appreciated. Thanks to all for info on columbus hops, now I have lots of sources. Craig Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 1996 09:27:32 -0600 From: uchima at fncrd8.fnal.gov (Mike Uchima) Subject: Imperial stout question I have a batch in secondary right now which is based on Papazian's Untold Passion Imperial Stout (from THBC). As this is my first attempt at a higher gravity (low 80s) beer, I have some questions for the brewing collective... Primary fermentation appeared to be pretty normal. A couple of days ago, I racked to secondary, and since then there has been absolutely no activity whatsoever. Zilch. Judging from the water levels in the airlock, it hasn't bubbled even once; this is the first time I've had a batch that didn't bubble at least *a little* in the secondary. (Tasted damn good at racking time, FWIW.) My concern is that I may have a (lack of) carbonation problem once I bottle this batch. My questions: o What is the alcohol tolerance of ale yeast (Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale, in this case)? Has this yeast reached its limit? o Should I just let it clear for a few more days, prime, and bottle (in other words, RDWHAHB)? o Should I add some different (more attenuative?) yeast in the secondary? At bottling time? I also have another batch of ale fermenting (with Wyeast 1098 British Ale); I could pitch some of the sludge from that batch into the stout. o Something else I haven't thought of? Any comments would be appreciated; thanks! - -- Mike Uchima - -- uchima at fnal.gov Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 1996 11:20 EST From: jimcald at ix.netcom.com (James Caldwell) Subject: Re: How to get Diacetyl Curt Speaker asked how to get Diacetyl: Ferment Ringwood yeast at about 70 degrees. Ringwood can be cultured from Geary's Pale Ale (or other Geary's product). I used this yeast for a while and got huge diacetyl when fermented warm. It also gives a "nutty" flavor which would not be out of place in a scotch ale. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 1996 11:10:18 -0500 From: genitom at nyslgti.gen.ny.us (Michael A. Genito) Subject: Easy cheap non-destructive lauter-tun For those interested in trying all grain, here's a cheap, easy way to convert a rectangular cooler to a lauter tun which does not require removing the drain. BTW, there are many other great conversion ideas found in the Technical Library at http://alpha.rollanet.org Get a 2ft length of 3/8"OD copper tubing from a hardware, plumbing supply or home improvement store. Starting about 3 inches up from one end, cut slits with a hacksaw every inch or so along the length of the tubing. Pinch the end (not the end you started with) with a vise or clamp to almost closed, leaving an opening about the size of one of the hacksaw slits. Now bend the tubing ever so gently so as to fit into the cooler, sticking the 3 inch unslit end into the drain opening. The outside of the drain can now be fitted with a length of plastic tubing, and a clamp placed on the plastic tubing to allow the flow on or off. The above allows for a constant, slow, evenly temped extraction. I pour my sparge water over the top of the grain bed using a colander so as not to disturb the grain bed too much. I haven't experienced any stuck sparges, the sparge does not leave much liquid behind, the tubing can be taken out for cleaning and/or easy reuse of the cooler as a cooler. I imagine the same concept can be applied to any cooler that has some type of valve or plug, as long as the valve or plug has a short length of piping to which plastic tubing can be attached. I'm considering making a wort chiller by placing coiled tubing inside a cooler or bucket, the cooler or bucket being filled with ice or ice water, and the wort circulating through this contraption coming from the lauter tun design above being used as a hop-back. Sort of like a counter flow chiller which has no counter flow. Any comments? I've read some postings that make me concerned that the chiller coil may get clogged with hot/cold break material - will this happen if the hop back is used? Michael A. Genito, Director of Finance, Town of Ramapo 237 Route 59, Suffern, NY 10901 TEL: 914-357-5100 x214 FAX: 914-357-7209 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 96 10:57 EST From: atlantis at vgernet.net Subject: Plastic Hydrometer? Hello to the collective- Are there any other KLUTZ's out there? I have just broken my 3rd HYDORMETER in a week. Besides getting expensive, it always happens at the most inconvenient times. My excuses are: they are too small to grip, they are too slippery when wet, the glass is too thin, I've had too many homebrews when using them :-), etc., etc. My question is; Does anyone know if a LEXAN or plastic hydrometer is made for people like me? If so, where can I get one? Any help would be appreciated. I'm new to homebrewing and I absolutely love it. My first batch, (Pale Ale) a partial mash/extract came out fantastic. My second batch an IPA, just got bottled yesterday, and my 3rd, an Irish Red Ale (with my first try with liquid Wyest #1084) finished fermenting today and I was going to rack it to the secondary after taking a S.G. reading, but that's when all my thumbs took over. As long as I can brew my own, I'll never go back to the commercial beers, the difference is so great, it's hard to explain. When I started brewing, I hoped to replicate a Coors or Bud Light. Now I hope that none of my brews turn out that way. Thanks in advance for any info (or any other suggestions) Henry Dondi Dalton, Mass. e-mail: atlantis at vgernet.net Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 1996 8:25:51 -0800 (PST) From: Jim Cave <CAVE at PSC.ORG> Subject: How to get diacetyl. The most effective way I found to maintain diacetyl was to rack the beer early and chill, prior to the finish of the ferment. In the case of lagers, you should rack early, chill (0 C) for a few days and then rack again (off the yeast). The goal is to prevent the yeast from reducing the remaining diacetyl in the beer. I did this successfully with my Scottish heavy (O.G. 1.042), but the diacetyl is definately an aquired taste. Jim Cave Return to table of contents
Date: 16 Jan 1996 11:46:11 GMT From: "Peter Rust" <NOTES.PRUST at A50VM1.trg.nynex.COM> Subject: Filtering I am looking for advice on filtering homebrew. I have revently purchased filtering equipment but have several questions on technique that I can't find answers to in the archives, etc. First, how do you sanitize the cartridge prior to use? How do you clear the sanitizing solution out of the cartridge before running beer through it. I have both a polyprop and a ceremic cartridge. After filtering (I plan to use 2 Corny Kegs with CO2 to drive the process) how do you clean the filter for reuse and how many times can they be reused. Any info appreciated, either on the digest or via private email to notes.prust at nynex.com Thanks. Pete Rust Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 96 09:14:37 pst From: rbarnes at sdccd.cc.ca.us Subject: PLASTIC CONTAINERS Thanks to all who replied to my question last week about the thread size and pitch on corny keg fittings. Although no one replied with information on matching the thread size and pitch, I received several excellent ideas to enable me to switch between an air chuck and a keg gas-in fitting. I plan to attach a quick disconnect on the gas-in line (using air compressor fittings), but I could have also installed a tee to split the gas line to a gas-in fitting and an air chuck. Now that that issue is solved, it's time to tackle my mash water heating system. I'm considering a 15 gal. plastic container with a hot water heater element installed in the side. Someone posted several months ago that this worked with no problems (i.e. not melting the bucket), but I don't remember the wattage of the heater used. I would like to use a 220V, 4000 watt heater, mounted in the side about 4 inches from the bottom of the container. Will the heat from this melt the plastic? Also, the container is somewhat square in shape, the plastic is slightly softer (but thicker) than food-grade pickle-bucket plastic, and originally held solvent but has since been used to store gasoline. Before I make big plans to use the container to heat mash water, does anyone know how I could remove all traces of gasoline from the plastic? I suspect that I might get lots of "don't do it!" replies, but I thought I'd ask. The flat sides of the container would seem to be ideal for mounting heating elements, drains, etc. but I'll find something else if I have to. TIA, Randy Barnes, San Diego Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 96 12:12:30 CST From: "Tracy Aquilla" <aquilla at salus.med.uvm.edu> Subject: metabolism revisited In Digest #1934: ajdel at interramp.com says: >C. D. Pritchard and John Wilkinson are interested in the metabolism >discussions but are suffering some vertigo. If I really understand any of >this stuff I ought to be able to explain it neatly and concisely without >the jargon of the biochemist. Here's my attempt: I'll only address what I see as the most important issues. >7. In fermentation the 6 carbon glucose is split into two 3 carbon sugars >(trioses) and these are oxidized ("oxidation" means to grab electrons in >the same way that oxygen does. No oxygen is involved in fermentation.) to >pyruvic acid (usually referred to as pyruvate). The reaction steps which >describe this process are referred to as the "Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas >Pathway" (or just "EMP Pathway"). Just to muck things up, I'll add that these same reactions (known collectively as glycolysis) also occur during the respiration of glucose. The differences occur after the formation of pyruvate. In fermentation, pyruvate-> acetaldehyde-> ethanol, whereas in respiration, pyruvate is oxidized much more completely through the electron transport chain in mitochondria, yielding significantly more energy. >11. More evolved organisms are capable of oxidizing the 3 carbon pyruvate >to obtain more energy (a total of 28 ATP molecules per molecule of >glucose). This is called "respiration". Again, mucking things up, I'll add that yeast can respire; however, when making beer, they don't (because they don't have to). Most higher eukaryotes are essentially forced to respire, because they can't do fermentation (they lack the enzymes). For example, in mammals (like humans) during "anaerobic metabolism" pyruvate-> lactate, but this is toxic (burning sensation in the muscles) and must eventually be oxidized (after "catching your breath") via respiration. >12. In addition to the CO2, electrons (bound to nucleotides) are also >thrown off. These enter the "electron transport" chain where they >eventually meet with hydrogen ions and oxygen to form water. The >nucleotides are transformed into ATP in this process. ^^^^^^^^ As well as some other important nucleotides (eg. NAD+ and FAD+). >16. Some yeasts, notably brewing yeasts, will not respire, even though >oxygen is present, in the presence of glucose. They ferment (or continue to >ferment if O2 was introduced after fermentation was underway). This makes >sense because a simple pathway is being used. The organism reverts to its >most primitive method of metabolism. As Craig Amundsen noted, nature likes >the KISS system. Not only that, but they don't HAVE to respire, and will only do so if necessary. Basically, like most organisms, yeasts 'waste' resources when they're abundant. (We aren't the only ones!) >17. When oxygen is present and Crabtree effect is operating the yeast >respire the alcohol formed during fermentation. This is "diauxic" >metabolism. But ONLY if sugar is unavailable for fermentation. Therefore, there really is no Crabtree-effect in this situation. >19. If oxygen is present these glucose molecules will flow down the EMP >pathway to form AcCoA. Actually, most of the pyruvate formed through glycolysis is fermented to ethanol, even when O2 is available. Only the fraction needed for biosynthesis makes it to Acetyl-CoA during aerobic fermentation. >Rather than entering the Krebs cycle, much of this >combines with oxygen to form sterol, the stuff of the cell wall. Sterols are used in the biosynthesis of MEMBRANES, not CELL WALLS! This is critical, as these two structures are entirely different. The cell walls of yeast consist mostly of high-mannose carbohydrates. Membranes are composed of a lipid bi-layer containing proteins and other relatively minor constituents. Sterols are a major component of these membranes. >Most of >the oxygen absorbed by brewing strains is not respired but rather used in >this way. In baking strains of S. cerevesiae more respiration takes place. This is basically because when making bread, there usually isn't much sugar available, hence no Crabtree-effect occurs. If baking strains are given sugar, they'll ferment too. >"Does it look right?" "Simplified" eh? ;-) Very nice job, A.J., however, I'm not so sure that this explanation simplifies matters. I think you've just illustrated that it's difficult (or impossible?) to discuss metabolism without using at least some of "the jargon of the biochemist". Tracy in Vermont aquilla at salus.med.uvm.edu Return to table of contents
Date: 16 Jan 96 12:41:50 EST From: <Stephen_W._Snyder at metcapw1.ccmail.compuserve.com> Subject: More on Saudi brewers After reading some of these articles it reminded me of some friends of my in-laws. They were in Saudi on a contract for a couple of years and I was interested in how they made their "Hooch". Here it is: Take one champagne bottle, fill with grape juice, sprinkle some bread yeast in the bottle, put a cap on, wait one week, chill and drink. Ugh! I tried to persuade them to try and make better stuff, but they had no desire. I saw the article in one of those Zymurgy knockoffs (Brew!, Beer! something like that) about putting hard liquor in Near-Beer. Uck! Come on, how desperate are they. It's so easy to make drinkable wine from almost any fresh fruit juice, some sugar (even honey) and some time. Or there are also a whole range of meads, some that are really close to a beer. I would find it a challenge to make good beverages there with limited resources. Steve Snyder Seattle, WA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 1996 12:17:16 -0500 From: freigang at tcpcs2.dnet.etn.com Subject: Stuck lager fermentation Good day all, I have had a lager in the secondary fermentor for quite some time (almost two months) and have seen no sign of fermentaion. The temp has been a fairly constant 45 to 50F and there is an 1" thick yeast cake on the bottom, but when I checked the S.G. I found that it has only dropped from 1.070 to 1.060. Maybe I didn't start the fermentation at a warm enough temp. before cooling to 45F. I have tasted it and other than being too sweet it is very good. I believe that I need to either repitch and/or warm the beer up. I am not however sure of the best way to do this. Should I rack to another carboy before pitching? Should I just warm it and see what happens? Should I make a starter to bolster the wyeast? Do I need to aerate when repitching? HELP!!!! TIA, Private Email preferred. I will post a summary. Al Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 1996 13:23:12 -0500 From: "David N. Pflanzer" <pflanzer at gate.net> Subject: Priming >David C. Rinker <dcrink at widomaker.com> >I have always bottled my beers, priming with either DMS, >dextros, or wort. (snip) Wow, most homebrewers try to minimize the amount of DMS in their batches... and you prime with it :> No, seriously... I am sure you meant DME (Dry Malt Extract). David; Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 96 10:29:00 PST From: Steve Armbrust <Steve_Armbrust at ccm.jf.intel.com> Subject: Steeping Specialty Grains There's been some talk lately about how to steep specialty grains when doing an extract brew. The consensus seems to be to bring the steeping water no hotter than 170 degrees -- to avoid leeching tannins from the grain and causing astringent beer. My question is: does anyone know from personal experience that temperatures hotter than 170 degrees actually result in astringent beer when brewing an extract/specialty grain batch? The reason I ask is that when I was brewing extract batches, I always stuck the crushed grains in a pot, heated the water to boiling, and strained the liquid into my brewpot. I never noticed any astringency from this process. Also, my local Brew-On-Premises, the Glisan Street Brewhaus, has people dump a grain bag of crushed specialty grains into the brewpot, where it stays for the entire length of the boil. Their beers aren't as good as a great homebrew (some seem less than full-flavored), but they don't seem astringent. So what gives? I know I wouldn't go over 170 for a full mash. But for a partial mash, I wonder whether it's as important. Does anyone have actual personal experience? Steve Armbrust in Portland Steve_Armbrust at ccm.jf.intel.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 96 14:52:42 CST From: "Tracy Aquilla" <aquilla at salus.med.uvm.edu> Subject: yeast replication, Crabtree again In Digest #1934: ajdel at interramp.com (A. J. deLange) wrote: >Tracy also commented that lager yeasts should take nearly 24 hours to >replicate because of they are polyploid. This is contrary to my experience >with another lager strain (Wyeast Czech Pils, #2278) which seems to double >every 3 hours or so. This is consistent with the value of u of 0.25 >published in H, B, S & Y which calculates to 2.8. [ u goes in the formula >n(t) = n(0)exp(ut) ]. How does the ploidy effect the division time? Actually, I think you misquoted me there. I think I said it would take S. cerevisiae nearly 24 hours to double "from a static state" (important distinction!). Just as a nitro-burning funny car must accelerate (beginning at zero) before it reaches 250 mph, so must yeast accelerate from zero to their own maximum rate. The yeast in the package are essentially biochemically inactive. Upon activation (mixing with the medium) they begin their various metabolic activities, but they start off very slowly at first, and it takes some time to reach the maximum rate of replication. Before they can bud, the yeast must first synthesize thousands of different proteins, as well as replicate their DNA molecules. Under ideal conditions, S. cerevisiae can double every 90-100 minutes at 30C. However, ideal conditions are rarely met, particularly since it's difficult to keep the oxygen levels high, and the temperature is seldom near 30C (about 85F). The rate of budding in yeast may actually be limited by the rate of mitochondrial DNA replication (this is still uncertain). This is surprising, since the (autosomal) genome is approximately 1.4E7 base-pairs (14,000 kilobase pairs), whereas the mitochondrial genome is only about 50 kilobases, but I digress. The doubling rate is also highly dependent on temperature, being much slower at lower temps. The rate of 3 hours cited above is extremely fast, approaching the practical limit, and it takes time for them to get going that fast. Most strains, under most conditions, never reach this rate, and if they do it doesn't last very long. In any case, I'd be quite surprised if just after slapping the package they double in less than a day, particularly in the case of S. uvarum (lager strains). S. cerevisiae has 16 linear chromosomes, but S. uvarum, being diploid, has 32. Furthermore, considering that lager strains are generally grown at and adapted to lower temperatures, doubling times will generally be significantly longer. Thus, polyploidy may affect the doubling rate by increasing the time necessary for DNA replication, although the physiological state of the cells and temperature are much more critical parameters. then TA said: >>Essentially all fermentable sugars induce the Crabtree effect in >>Saccharomycetes (galactose is one exception), including fructose, maltose, >>and sucrose, but glucose exhibits the strongest effect. and AJ said: >Even galactose exhibits it to some extent but it is a matter of degree. To >quote the scripture (H, B, S & Y) "The effect is expressed in the presence >of fructose as well as glucose but is less marked when maltose, mannose or >galactose is the fermentable carbohydrate. (Vol II, p 593). Then there is a >table on p 594 but maltose is not listed! Thanks for the literature citation. I hesitate to say this, but I wouldn't rely on "the scripture" too much. While H, B, S & Y is clearly one of the great works in the brewing literature, much of the information contained therein is somewhat outdated. :-( My statement about galactose being the exception is from memory, so I may have been mistaken, but if memory serves me, yeast can respire on galactose. (to quote A.J. : "Numquam in dubio, saepe in errore!") Tracy in Vermont aquilla at salus.med.uvm.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 96 18:37:29 UT From: "James Hojel" <JTroy at msn.com> Subject: Stepping up a recipe? This may not be appropriate for this forum, but here it goes anyway :-) Does anyone know of a good formula (or theory) for stepping up recipes (5 gallons to 10 bbl)? What is the impact on hop and grain utilization? I am not presently working at a brew-pub, but I'm toying with the idea. Hence, the need for recipe formulation and a better understanding of how an increase in volume impacts the recipe/beer. Thank you for the patience, JTH Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 96 15:13:55 EST From: John DeCarlo <jdecarlo at mitre.org> Subject: Re: Gravity Gradient >However, when I took a hydrometer reading prior to pitching, >the result was a little low (1.040 for 7 lbs of malt). >but I think that the last chunk of ice which floated on top >may have dilluted the top of the wort; i.e. my overall S. G. >was probably a bit higher. > >Upon thinking about it, I realized that this situation probably >always occurs, especially after it's sat around in the secondary >for a while. From what level should samples be extracted from a >carboy/fermenter to take gravity readings; top, middle, or bottom -- >or does it not matter? Hmmm, a scientific question. I am not a scientist, nor do I play one on TV, but there you go. 1) Mixing ice or water with the boiled wort before pitching the yeast. You want an S.G. reading at this time, and you want it reasonably accurate. There are two approaches I know of: a) Shake or stir the bejeezus out of it. b) Know your volumes and create a similar sample for measuring. The second approach I used for years with small volume boils and it always worked, as far as I know. I would end up with 1.5 gallons of boiled wort and would want to add 4 gallons of cool water (you can put lines on your pot and fermenter at measured intervals or use a marked ruler to determine volumes). So, in the graduated cylinder I used for hydrometer readings, I would put 1.5 units of boiled wort and 4 units of cool water. That way I didn't have to worry about taking a good sample from the fermenter. 2) Primary gravity gradients. Presumably this is unlikely as long as active fermentation is going on. For much later, see 3) Secondary. 3) Secondary gravity gradients. Hmmm. I always assumed that the beer was pretty much of one nature at this point, so there wouldn't be any thicker or thinner parts to form gradients. Anyone know if this is true or not? John DeCarlo, MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA--My views are my own Fidonet: 1:109/131 Internet: jdecarlo at mitre.org Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 1996 15:39:41 -0500 From: Steve Alexander <stevea at clv.mcd.mot.com> Subject: bottle priming CARBONATION (again) and Yeast Bands Some experimental information and resulting new questions ! Well last month when the bottle priming/CO2 equilibrium thread started I posted that I would experiment. To recap, Dave Miller's books suggest that bottle fermentation of priming sugars is a quick process taking several days, but that much more time is required to get the CO2 produced into solution thus carbonating the beverage. I speculated that Miller was probably right, and that the amount of space at the top of a bottle, the head space, should effect the rate at which CO2 equilibrium is reached. Several people posted that this was unlikely since, from their experience, bottles opened early have neither excessive gas pressure nor adaquate carbonation. The experiment involved priming and bottling a beer at several different bottle fill levels and testing the result for carbonation at various times. I haven't accurately measured the various fill levels for this report (tho' I intend to), but I'll guestimate the headspace at 3ml, 20ml, and 60ml and refer to these as overfill, normal and underfill. All measures of CO2 are subjective. I listened carefully to the gas released as bottles were opened, and tasted and smelled with CO2 in mind. The beer for this experiment is an Octoberfest/Marzen beer brewed on 12/1 to an OG of 1059, fermented w/ wyeast 2308 to a FG of 1015. The recipe followed G.Noonan's 'Brewing Lager Beers' recipe fairly closely including a triple decoction mash. Fermentation took place at a temperature of 49F-53F (damn my lack of a lagering fridge) with very little day to day temp variation. Altho the fermentation was completed quite early I didn't have a chance to keg and bottle until 12/26 at which point the beer had completely cleared. Of the 9 gallons, 5 were kegged and carbonated, and 4 were primed and bottled. The bottled beer was primed in carboy with corn sugar at a rate of 23 grams per gallon - or roughly 3/4 cup per 5 gallon. 6 bottles were overfilled, 6 were underfilled and the remainder were filled to normal level. My strategy was to sample only normal fill bottles until the carbonation levels became significant, then to sample and compare over-, under-, and normal fill bottles and kegged beer side by side. As an auxilliary test one primed bottle was fitted with a fermentation lock instead of a cap in order to determine the rate of fermentation in an unpressurized bottle. All bottles were priming fermented at fairly stable temperature between 51F and 54F degrees. The bottle with the fermentation lock started quite slowly showing clear bubbling only on day 3 (after 2 days). The bubbling continued at a slowing rate thru day 6. By day 7 and beyond and bubbling became difficult to detect. For all practical purposes the fermentation appears to have completed in 6 days (day 1 to day 7). My tasting notes follow. 'pffft' refers to the gas release on removing a bottle cap. The method involved opening and listening to the gas release as the cap was removed. Sniffing the beer in bottle. The I poured the bottle, minus sediment, into a glass for tasting and further smelling. day 4 - normal fill bottle has slight gas pffft and some definite tho' very slight carbonation. Quite sweet. Yeasty flavor and slight turbidity. day 7 - normal fill, slight gas pffft and very slight carbonation. Only very slighty more carbonated than day 4. Sweet and turbid. Slight sulphur odor. day 10 - normal fill, more pfft, definite tho' very low carbonation. very noticeable sweetness and a sulphurous odor. (Note that the sulphur smell is common with Wyeast 2308 and other lager yeasts during fermentation). no day 13 sample - out of town. day 16 - normal fill: near normal pffft, yeasty CO2 nose, dry (unsweet) finish compared with previous examples tho' still sweeter than the kegged beer. Approaching normal carbonation (adaquate for an ale, quite low for a lager). Sulphur scent still very noticeable. underfill: full pffft ! more than above! fully carbonated, malty sweet nose, perhaps very slighly sweeter flavor than the kegged beer. Tried a second bottle w/ same results. overfill: modest pffft, suphur nose, yeasty sulphur flavor, much sweeter and much less carbonated than either the normal or underfill bottles above. day 20: normal fill: clear and fully carbonated, no major off odors. underfill: very fully carbonated - perhaps slightly too much! no off sulphury odors. Clear. overfill: yeasty sulphury nose, somewhat undercarbonated for this style but not wildly far off. No bottles were observed with unusually high head gas pressure (as measured subjectively by my ear) as the caps were removed. - -- My conclusion is that the underfilled bottle clearly completed bottle fermentation and cleared more quickly than either the normal or overfilled bottles. The overfilled bottles took longer than normal (and aren't finished yet!). Also note that the normally filled bottles did not complete fermentation nearly as quickly as the bottle with fermentation lock. - -- Why is bottle fermantation and carbonation related in this way to head space, and why is the fermentation lock ferment fastest of all ? I believe that Miller was wrong, for some reason the priming fermentation itself takes longer when capped. One explanation of the increased rate of priming fermentation with increasing headspace is that more oxygen is included in the headspace which it turn effects the fermentation rate. This argument requires that someone explain why the normal fill bottle take so much longer to ferment than one with a fermentation lock attached. Since the amount of headspace isn't vastly different and obviously most of the oxygen in the headspace is expelled thru the fermentation lock. Perhaps significant oxygen passes backward thru the fermentation lock ! The other explanation is that the normal fill bottle has higher average pressure throughout the priming fermentation than an underfilled bottle and that the pressure *SOMEHOW* reduces the activity of the yeast. Osmotic pressure ? - -- One additional mystery to ponder. On several occassions when bottle priming lagers I've noticed that yeast particles (lager yeast seem to form little clumps) gather in bands or layers. The bottom 1/2 inch of the bottle has a turbid layer, them moving upward there are two bands of yeast clumps. Each band is about 1 inch high and the lower one is centered at about 2.25 inches above the bottom . The upper band layer is centered about 4 inches above the bottom, or approximately from the bottle shoulder to down one inch. There is very clear beer above and below each layer. Giving such a bottle a quick twist causes some of the clumps to breakup and it is clear that altho the yeast in the layers seems to aggregate near the bottle wall, that it is certainly not all touching the glass. - -- seeking the wisdom of the oracle of HBD, Steve Alexander Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 96 15:42:13 CST From: "Tracy Aquilla" <aquilla at salus.med.uvm.edu> Subject: Wyeast Scotch Ale strain In Digest #1936: mgaspard at mailer.fsu.edu (Marc Gaspard) says: > I've been using Wyeast 1728/Scotch Ale yeast. I talked to a yeast tech > at Wyeast & he said it's really McEwan's Export Scotch Ale yeast, & should >work up to 1.080 gravity. But I'll warn you, I've been having the damndest >time with it; either it ferments out real fast & then doesn't carbonate, or >like my most recent batch, it starts up again AFTER racking. Lately I've been drinking a Wee Heavy I made with this strain. The original gravity was 1.112 and I pitched a 1/2 gallon starter adapted in steps to high gravity wort (1.080+) and 60F. The mash (about 18 lbs of malt) was done as a single step at 158F for about an hour (about 155 by the end). I also took about two quarts of the first runnings and boiled it down to a thick caramel syrup, added it to the boiling wort, then boiled for two full hours. I fermented at 60F, although it crept up to about 65F at high kraeusen. I then "lagered" it at about 50F for a month and then around 32F for another week. The final gravity was 1.038. Seems high, I know, but I was trying to make a more traditional Scotch ale, where the final is about 1/3 the original gravity (66% attenuation). It hit the mark, very strong and sweet, but clean. I've made a few strong ales with this strain, but this was the strongest ever. I haven't noticed anything peculiar about this strain, and have fermented it as low as 50F with absolutely no problems. It tends to ferment clean and I've gotten up to 85% attenuation with it, even with very high gravity worts. However, I suggest adapting the yeast to a high gravity wort (similar to the one you're brewing) when growing the starter, and pitching a big starter (at least 1/2 gallon), otherwise I'd expect it to be sluggish. I also wouldn't try to bottle-condition any ale of this strength. Interestingly, this kind of beer can use a little extra kick in the CO2 department. The alcohol kills the head! Tracy in Vermont aquilla at salus.med.uvm.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 1996 15:56:27 -0500 (EST) From: Jim Busch <busch at eosdev2.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: vented ferments Phillip writes about open ferments: <One solution I've come up with, and IMHO a workable and simple one, is <to take the aquarium pump + inline filter I use for wort aeration, and <attach the exit hose to the lid of my fermentation vessel. I'm guessing <I'll prop the lid open about 1/2" all around. This should provide good <positive clean airflow out of the fermenter at a steady slow rate, and <prevent any airborne particles from entering the vessel. Easy I feel you are better off leaving the lid on when it is not highly active and leaving it uncovered when it is highly active. Since CO2 is heavier than air, Id think it would be better to have a CO2 blanket on the fermenting beer as much as possible. By using a pump to move the air, you will be displacing the CO2. I have a dog and it doesnt seem to hurt my beer, in fact he is an integral part of all my brewing! Jim Busch Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 1996 08:34:05 +10 From: "Dave Draper" <david.draper at mq.edu.au> Subject: Fine bead / Plastic carboys / US Amber ale Dear Friends, Dave Rinker asks about not getting that fine bead. Dave, you might try adding a little wheat malt and/or flaked barley to the mash. You might pay for it with increase haze, but I have routinely achieved fine, creamy head doing this. Lately, in an effort to track down the source of some haze problems, I have left it out, but it is too soon to tell for sure whether that will affect the heading, but the early signs are that it does. I use anywhere from 200 to 500 gr in my usual 3-3.5 kg mashes (7 to 17 oz in 6.6 to 7.7 lb) of combined wheat malt & flaked barley depending on style. Lynn Ashley asks about using plastic, bottled-water carboys. The short answer is No--don't use them. They are very oxygen-permeable. The food-grade, white-plastic buckets sold in HB shops are another matter--I adhere to the heretical stance that they are vastly superior to glass because (for starters) they simply do not break, are much easier to handle, and are dead simple to get at for cleaning (yeah yeah I know they scratch--big deal, get another one). But the thin-walled bottled-water jobs just won't cut it. Finally, I was very impressed with Dave Brockington's article on American Amber ale in the latest BT. So much so that I immediately brewed one (and I suspect Andy Walsh's latest amber is similarly inspired), being a longtime fan of such beers as Red Tail and Red Nectar. What do some of you big wheels think of that suggested stylistic reorganization? I think it is very useful. Cheers, Dave in Sydney "Pitching your yeast at 70F instead of 90F *does* (in my experience) improve the taste of your beer." ---John de Carlo - --- *************************************************************************** David S. Draper, Earth Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney NSW Australia Email: david.draper at mq.edu.au Home page: http://www.ocs.mq.edu.au/~ddraper ...I'm not from here, I just live here... Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 1996 16:39:59 -0500 (EST) From: fisher at ltpmail.gsfc.nasa.gov (Paul Fisher) Subject: Re: Gravity Gradient Further discussions on gravity gradients......... John DeCarlo says............ > > 3) Secondary gravity gradients. Hmmm. I always assumed that the beer was > pretty much of one nature at this point, so there wouldn't be any thicker or > thinner parts to form gradients. Anyone know if this is true or not? I undertook a further examination of the problem over the last week and my evidence indicates that this isn't the case. It's easy to see the gradients. After a batch has been in a secondary for about a week, take a flashlight and aim it directly at the carboy at various levels. There is definitely a density gradient present, as indicated by the color change and the amount of light reflected back from the different levels in the carboy. Additionally, I've noticed that some yeast perches about an inch from the top in a horizontal layer. I think that these yeasties are just not dense enough to sink on their own. However, if you agitate the carboy slightly, you can get them to sink (this may be a horizontal-vertical surface area thing, sort of like a parachute). There is also the possibility that my batch just hasn't settled fully, I'll wait and see. I think this shows the importance of using a bottling bucket and not bottling directly from the secondary. - --Paul - -- Paul Fisher Research and Data Systems Corporation SAIC/GSC MODIS Support Office Phone: (301) 352-2129 email: fisher at ltpmail.gsfc.nasa.gov Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 1996 16:37:22 -0500 From: Jerry Minasi <jminasi at bccom.com> Subject: Boiling Extracts Please help me understand this: I have been lurking on HBD for four months and am a Extract brewer. I don't have the resources to do full grain brewing yet. I've brewed 36 batches so far and we have been pretty happy with the results. My question is: All the books I've read say "Even though the manufacturer says 'no boiling necessary,' that you should Boil the extracts for at least for fifteen minutes." I assume (yes, I know what happens when you "assume"), that they "process/cook" their malts & hops to the peak of perfection, and then vacuum evaporate the water off. I also understand that continued boiling will boil off the aromatic essence of the hops. So, OK...Who is right? If Boiling is good, why not boil the extracts for two hours? Seem to me that if the manufacturers feel that their product does not need boiling, that they might just know best! I have been using M&F and Ironmaster extracts. I do Two-stage fermentation. also does anyone know if M & F has a home page or an E-Mail address? Private E-Mail Welcome. Thank you...all for all I have learned from your enclosures in the HBD Jerry Minasi jminasi at bccom.com jminasi at bccom.com Jerry Minasi, Shirley, Long Island, NY Retired Lowly Extract brewer tel. 516 924-7019 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 96 16:09:00 PST From: Leo Christoffer <LEO at WV.BE.WEDNET.EDU> Subject: Keg modification I just recently got a 15 gallon Keg that I would like to Modify. I would like to hear from those who could give me some tips before I dive into the project. What tools, techniques do I need to remove the top? Also what do I need for values and other add on? Where can I get the necessary items to make this complete as a modifcation. Private E-mail is fine. Leo Christoffer Leo at wv.be.wednet.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 96 13:46:51 CST From: korz at pubs.ih.att.com (Algis R Korzonas) Subject: Would you like some Red Ale in your yeast?/plastic carboys/diacetyl John writes in his Red Ale recipe: >115 g dry ale yeast That must be a typo. 5 to 10 grams is typical. *** Lynn writes: >I would like to use these carboys for lagering. A thread late last >November indicated that thin-walled polyethylene bottles quickly allow >O2 saturation of their liquid contents. I do not know of what kind of >plastic these clear-blue-tinted-bottled-water carboys are made. Their >wall thickness appears to be about 0.050". According to the Cole-Parmer catalog, polycarbonate (PC) has twice the oxygen permiability of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) I believe that those plastic water bottles are PC. Since HDPE is said (in most HB books) to be too oxygen-permiable for lagering, I would say that those water bottles are also not appropriate. *** Curt writes: >So, my question is, how does one go about increasing the level of diacetyl in >beer on purpose? Aerate a little during fermentation. It increases production and hopefully you will have more than your yeast can reabsorb, thereby leaving some in the beer. Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at pubs.att.com Copyright 1996, Al Korzonas Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 96 17:16:37 PST From: b_roach at emulex.com (Brad Roach) Subject: RE: Now how do you make a grain bag? Gilad writes: >To me the first option seems simple and efficient. Since I have no grain >bag (can't get one here in Israel), I went with the second method. >What are the specs for a grain bag. is the nylon mesh used for windows good >enough (I guess it can withstand the temperature, but is the size right?). >I would like to get suggestion as to how I can make one myself (material, size >etc.). I started making grain/hop bags from nylon mesh paint filters. The Home Depot hardware store has them for about a $1.60. I just fold over the open end of the filter and sew on a draw string. When the bag is done, it measures approx. 6" long by 4" wide. If you decide to make one, you want to rinse it throughly. I doubt that a paint filter is made with food grade nylon, so I would rather not drink all the chemical nasties. Brad Roach Newport Beach, Calif. Return to table of contents