HOMEBREW Digest #2297 Monday, December 30 1996

Digest #2296 Digest #2298
		(formerly Volume 02 : Number 017)


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  Re: Wheeler/CAMRA
  Hospital O2 bottles
  Also RE: Re-using Yeast
  Using kegs as sparage water containers
  Micrwave sterilizing
  Any New Books??
  Supply Stores in Washing, D.C. Area??
  Pale Ale & Porter recipes
  Req: Vienna lager Recipe (All Grain)
  Re: Kevin Kane's Mead comment
  Brewing Software
  First-Time brewer
  Transition to All-Grain
  Coffee Stout
  re:  dry hop in primary; extended time in primary
  re:  No-sparge data
  Hydrometer readings and air in the wort
  Making Brewer's Best Kit Better
  Assist me, quick, with dortmunder Chemistry!
  No Dark Beers in Boston?
  Homebrew Digest V2 #11
  Kegs, mini-kegs, Co2 cylinder
  Collecting sparge in a bucket -- safe from DMS?
  Counter-presure bottle fillers
  Need Info on Opening a Homebrew Shop
  RE:  Re-using Yeast

---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 27 Dec 96 11:33:27 EST From: "David R. Burley" <103164.3202 at CompuServe.COM> Subject: Re: Wheeler/CAMRA Brewsters: AlK says: > I've been reading Wheeler's "Home Brewing - A CAMRA Guide" and I've > run across a few questionable statements. > "Most brewers' yeasts also require some hop products to be > present in the wort for normal behaviour to occur." DRB - News to me too, except this may have come from the fact that these unhopped worts are more sensitive to bacteria and would appear to be abnormal if infected. For just this this reason, I always use a hopped wort extract for my starters despite the pain in the butt of keeping extract around in a plastic container in the fridge. > "When transferring beer into barrels or bottles it is important > that precautions are taken to ensure that a minimum of air gets > into solution [oxygen actually, nitrogen is all but insoluble]... > ... if the yeast finds a plentiful supply of air [sic] it will > revert to aerobic respiration [sic] and begin to multiply > significantly. Not only will this produce an excessive quantity > of yeast in the beer, but when the air is used up the yeast will > try to adapt to anaerobic respiration [sic] again, but it may find > a lack of nutrients on which to work and become stuck in a > transitionary phase. Under these conditions the yeast will remain > in suspension and could take a long time to clear down properly." DRB - I presume this is talking about a kegging beer which has sufficient sugar to provide conditioning in the keg. Then I think it is OK, except I don't understand about the flocculation phenomena. > "The presence of calcium sulphate reduces the solubility of > undesirable carbonates." Without consulting solubility constant table to verify this, I presume this is referring the fact that a higher calcium content will depress the solubility of poorly soluble calcium salts. My intuition tells me that carbonate salts are more soluble than sulfate and that this needs some explaining to make sense of it. > Is this right? I thought the solubility of carbonates was a function of > pH and that was it. It is true that you can only precipitate calcium > carbonate if you have enough calcium available, but you need to still > boil-off the CO2 to lower the pH and it's this pH drop, not the gypsum, > that causes the calcium carbonate to come out of solution. Comments? DRB - This pH phenomenon you are talking about depends on the fact that the bicarbonate salt of calcium is much more soluble than the carbonate salt. Adding an excess of carbon dioxide to a slurry of calcium carbonate will dissolve a considerable quantity of calcium carbonate as the bicarbonate salt. Boiling or changing the pH will remove the CO2 and re-precipitate the carbonate. If the pH is dropped low enough the carbonate will decompose and the CO2 will bubble off and the calcium salt of the acid used to lower the pH will predominate the solubility characteristics. > "The addition of acids to the water, such as citric acid or lactic > acid, will also cause the precipitation of carbonates." DRB - As AlK indicated, this is dead wrong for an excess of acid, but I suppose if just sufficient acid were added to knock off the CO2 from the bicarbonate, without the second carbonate one might expect to see a carbonate precipitation. I'd like to see a real-life demo, since it is not a normally encountered phenomenon. > "Calcium sulphate is difficult to get into solution in the boiler, > whereas the problem doesn't exist if it is mixed into the mash." > > I thought it really didn't matter... I thought that as long as you are > not close to the solubility limit of the calcium sulphate, it will > readily go into solution, no? DRB - Well, the key is you are close to the solubility limit of Calcium sulfate since it is so relatively insoluble in water. In the mash, however, the calcium phosphate is so much more insoluble, the phosphate ion from the malt steals the calcium from the sulfate salt and releases the sulfate ion and acidifies the mash. > > "Calcium sulphate is alkaline and actually incrases the pH of the > water to which it is added, but... reduces the pH of the resulting > mash..." > I thought it was virtually neutral, no? DRB - Calcium sulfate is virtually neutral. The first ionization states of calcium and sulfate are as for strong acids and bases. > "Dextrins are mostly non-fermentable, but also contain some very > slowly fermentable sugars." and "Yeast continues to attack dextrins > for many months, even years, and are therefore regarded as slowly > fermenting sugars." > > Is this right? I was under the impression that "dextrins" were unfermentable > by our cultured brewers' yeasts. S. diastaticus, perhaps, but this is not > a desirable yeast in the average brewery. Could this just be a question of > nomenclature? Could Wheeler have meant "oligosaccarides" when he wrote > "dextrins?" Some of the dextrins are somewhat slowly fermentable. I recall reading that S Uvarum can knock down the dextrin level a little over a long time. > > "High mash temperatures favour the extraction of high molecular > weight nitrogenous compounds..." > > Are polyphenols nitrogenous? DRB - Not usually. and I don't think of them as high molecular weight. I agree this sounds like protein material. Maybe it is the fact that the proteases are sensitive to temperature and the proteins don't get broken down in high temperature mashes, and therefore it appears that high mash temperatures are extracting HMW nitrogenous compounds. Keep on brewin' Dave Burley Kinnelon, NJ 07405 103164.3202 at compuserve.com Voice e-mail OK Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 1996 13:51:54 -0600 From: Steve Potter <spotter at Meriter.com> Subject: Hospital O2 bottles A word of warning to those of you thinking about moving up to 6lb hospital O2 tanks. I found one cheap, but it has cost me a lot. In addition to the cost of the usual hydrostatic test there was an another big surprise. When I took the bottle in to be filled, the guy behind the counter asked if I had a perscription. It turns out that in order to have an O2 tank filled that is equipped with a medical gas valve, a perscription is needed. I was able to have them remove the medical valve and replace it with an industrial valve, but I then had to replace a part on my regulator as well. Once I get it all put together I know I will like the system, but when you add the changes to the tank and regulator coupled with the cost of a 2 micron stone, cheap it isn't. **************************************************** The more I learn about brewing, The thirstier I get. Steve Potter Madison, WI **************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 1996 11:12:36 -0800 (PST) From: Heiner Lieth <lieth at telis.org> Subject: Also RE: Re-using Yeast > I plan to rack an ale to the secondary, and to use >the sediment in the primary in my next batch of ale. <snip> >I read in the HBD that some have had success with racking the cooled wort >on top of sediment that remained in a freshly emptied primary fermenter. >I use a glass carboy as my primary. >If this is too risky, or a big mistake, if anyone can let me know, I >would greatly appreciate it. I've also been wondering the same thing, but I'm even more interested in the following similar line of thinking: I don't filter; I prime with sugar. So every bottle that I've ever brewed has lot of live yeast cells (a few million, I guess) in it at bottling. I've been assuming that these cells die once they run out of food, but I wonder if anyone has checked out: (1) if this is the case, and (2) over what period of time? In any case, I know that during the first week after bottling they live and thrive (from the priming). So the following seems a reasonable course of action in dealing with yeast for brewing: Let's assume that you have a bottle of beer that you brewed using a particular yeast that you want to use in an upcoming brew session (I'm guessing that this happens a lot for most of you). A few days before you need the yeast, you prepare 1 cup of hop wort (perhaps just corn sugar and water). After it's cooled to 80F you open the beer bottle and decant off the beer (and drink it) leaving about a quarter of the beer in the bottle. Then sanitize the top of the bottle with alcohol. Swirl the sediment in the bottle and pour the cooled sugar water into the bottle and attach an airlock. In a few days this should be ready for pitching (probably pretty quickly if the beer was bottled in the past two weeks). My questions are: 1. Does anyone do this? 2. Does the yeast in unfiltered beer in the bottle actually die or is it simply dormant? ...If dormant, how long does it take to "wake up". ...If it dies, how quickly does this happen and how long does it take for 95% to die. Heiner Lieth, Davis, California Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 1996 13:15:39 -0600 From: Gary Eckhardt <dcigary at txdirect.net> Subject: Using kegs as sparage water containers Hello all! I'm trying to set up my GOTT cooler mashtun, and although I plan to build a three-tier system in the future with propane burners, I want to try things out beforehand with what I've got. I'm trying to figure out the logistics of getting my sparage water above my mashtun, and then my boilpot below that. I'm also stuck with using my kitchen stove (which ain't bad, BTW, been doing batches on it for over a year and it works great). What I was thinking about was this: The heck with gravity for delivering sparage water, I'll do it under pressure from a corny keg, so I can place the keg at the same height as the mashtun on a counter, and then gravity feed my wort to my boilpot It would make things muuuuch simpler right now. Does anyone see any potential problems with using a corny keg to hold my sparage water (with a towel wrapped around it for insulation) and delivering the water under pressure to my sparage arm? I had planned to install an inline valve in the line from the keg to the sparage arm to control the flow. Right now, with about 5psi and no valve, it makes the arm spin around so fast I think it's going to take off. I've tried a few trial runs with no mash and hot tap water, and it works great, but I was wondering if there was a problem lurking around (temperature retention, CO2 in the water, etc) that I don't know about. Thanks for any info! - ---------------------------+---------------------------------------------- Gary Eckhardt | "in this day & age...music performed by Database Consultants, Inc. | humans...hum!?" --wilde silas tomkyn dcigary at txdirect.net | R,DW,HAHB! gary_eckhardt at realworld.com| R^3 = "Real World. Real Smart. Real Quick." (210)344-6566 | http://www.realworld.com/ Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 1996 13:12:43 -0800 From: "James M. Harper" <harperj at olympus.net> Subject: Micrwave sterilizing Have any of you Bact-T Majors done any research or testing using the microwave oven as a sterilizing device? Jim Harper Sequim, WA Better to understand a little than to misunderstand a lot. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 28 Dec 1996 01:04:48 -0500 From: shane at cais.cais.com Subject: Any New Books?? Are there any books that have come out lately, i.e. past three months?? Or are there any good books coming out?? If so, any good recipes?? Thanks! Shane Saylor, Eccentric Bard Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 28 Dec 1996 01:09:02 -0500 From: shane at cais.cais.com Subject: Supply Stores in Washing, D.C. Area?? Could the members of the list send me a private Email or post here the names, addresses, & hours of any stores in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area?? Thanks! Shane Saylor, Eccentric Bard Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 28 Dec 1996 10:33:35 -0500 From: cefa8059 at dpnet.net (Gregory Cefalo) Subject: Pale Ale & Porter recipes Hello to all! Several of my colleages and I (malt extract brewers) are looking for pale ale and porter recipes. I've perused Cat's Meow, but was wondering if anybody out there has a favorite recipe that maybe hasn't been published. Please send directly to my email so that Homebrew Digest stays at a manageable size, my address is: cefa8058 at dpnet.net. If anyone else is interested in the same collection of recipes, send me your email address and I will forward the recipes that I receive. Thanks in advance, Greg Cefalo Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 28 Dec 1996 17:22:22 -0800 From: "Kelly C. Heflin" <kheflin at monmouth.com> Subject: Req: Vienna lager Recipe (All Grain) I'm looking for some good proven recipes for an all grain, Vienna lager. I'm looking for a medium to full bodied, malty flavor.This is something I'm going to try and stick with to develop a consistent. I want to end up knowing how to make it for myself, fairly strong, and then make a slightly lighter version for all the people that ask for a keg for a party. 5 gallons, all grain please. thanks in advance. kelly - -- Kelly C. Heflin Kheflin at monmouth.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 28 Dec 1996 20:36:04 +0000 From: "John R. Bowen" <jbowen at primary.net> Subject: Re: Kevin Kane's Mead comment Kevin, what is "self-collected 'dark and wild' honey"? The bees collect most of mine. Seriously, I made a light metheglin (hopped, 10 lb honey/5 gal) with some really dark "wildflower (clover, elm, berry, catmint, smartweed, dandilion, apple, etc.)" honey I gathered from my hives in Nebraska about 10 years ago. The honey was stored at RT in plastic jugs and was highly crystallized. It was fairly dark when collected, and over the 10 years, became as dark as any I've ever seen. It also had a "chalky" aroma and had lost quite a bit of the original floral bouquet. I melted it out and used it with Wyeast 1056 followed with champagne yeast in the 2ndary. It finished quite nicely. The chalky taste was gone and the color was like a slightly yellow chardonnay. I certainly wouldn't hesitate to use a strong dark honey again. Perhaps you can help me with another question. I just started a mead with (wildflower) honey that was about half crystallized. It would flow, and I didn't want to heat it, so I just mixed 14 lb to 5 gal, tossed in some Campden and let it sit for 48 hours. The must was quite cloudy, presumably from crystalline material that didn't dissolve. I later heated some of the honey to melt it, and it became as clear as honey usually is. I didn't try to dissovle any of the heated honey in water, but I'm sure it would have made a clear solution. I thought the crystallization was largely sucrose, so why didn't the crystalline matter dissolve in the must? Has you ever seen this? Will it ever dissolve or will the yeast enzymes get it? Will the finished mead clear, or will I have the dreaded "Chewy mead"? Any ideas? John Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 28 Dec 1996 20:23:44 -0800 From: Lee Bollard <leeb at iea.com> Subject: Brewing Software - ------------7EA727B81C924 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Looking for recommendations for Windows brewing software. What works well for you? Requirements: - - Calculates gravity, IBUs, alcohol, mash water volumes/temps accurately. - - Nice printouts. - - Supported by developer (ie, up-to-date, 32-bit available or planned, bugs get fixed, etc) Looking at: - - Brewer's calculator (good, real nice printouts, but written using Borland Object Vision...non-standard Windows gui support...developer has dropped it) - - Sudsw (recipe separate from calculator... never understood this!.. looks like it's being supported and updated...) - - Brewhaha (no calculator for gravities, ibu's etc) - - Brewer's Workshop (maybe good... haven't played much... hasn't been updated in over a year.. anyone been using this awhile??) - - Brewer's Work Papers (32-bit!!... docs mention upcoming bug fixes, but no update in over 6 months... anyone been using this one awhile?) - - Homebrew Recipe Calculator HBRCP, by John Varady (haven't tried yet...anyone been using this one awhile?) - - Tinseth Excell spreadsheet Suggestions? I guess it would be nice if one of the brew mags reviewed ALL these programs objectively... but that's probably too much to wish for :-) Thanks to John Lock's Beer & Brewing Index for links to many of these programs. (http://www.beerinfo.com/~jlock/vlib14.html#windows) - -- - -------- Lee Bollard leeb at iea.com -------- - ------------7EA727B81C924 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-Type: text/html; charset=us-ascii <HTML><BODY> <DT><TT>Looking for recommendations for Windows brewing software. What works well for&nbsp; you?</TT></DT> <DT><TT>&nbsp;</TT></DT> <DT><TT>Requirements:&nbsp;</TT></DT> <DT><TT>- Calculates gravity, IBUs, alcohol, mash water volumes/temps accurately.&nbsp;</TT></DT> <DT><TT>- Nice printouts.&nbsp;</TT></DT> <DT><TT>- Supported by developer (ie, up-to-date, 32-bit available or planned, bugs&nbsp; get fixed, etc)</TT></DT> <DT><TT>&nbsp;</TT></DT> <DT><TT>Looking at:&nbsp;</TT></DT> <DT><TT>- Brewer's calculator (good, real nice printouts, but written using Borland&nbsp; Object Vision...non-standard Windows gui support...developer has dropped it)&nbsp;</TT></DT> <DT><TT>- Sudsw (recipe separate from calculator... never understood this!.. looks like it's being supported and updated...)&nbsp;</TT></DT> <DT><TT>- Brewhaha (no calculator for gravities, ibu's etc)&nbsp;</TT></DT> <DT><TT>- Brewer's Workshop (maybe good... haven't played much... hasn't been updated&nbsp; in over a year.. anyone been using this awhile??)&nbsp;</TT></DT> <DT><TT>- Brewer's Work Papers (32-bit!!... docs mention upcoming bug fixes, but no&nbsp; update in over 6 months... anyone been using this one awhile?)&nbsp;</TT></DT> <DT><TT>- Homebrew Recipe Calculator HBRCP, by John Varady (haven't tried yet...anyone&nbsp; been using this one awhile?)&nbsp;</TT></DT> <DT><TT>- Tinseth Excell spreadsheet&nbsp;</TT></DT> <DT><TT>&nbsp;</TT></DT> <DT><TT>Suggestions?&nbsp;</TT></DT> <DT><TT>I guess it would be nice if one of the brew mags reviewed ALL these programs&nbsp; objectively... but that's probably too much to wish for :-)&nbsp;</TT></DT> <DT><TT>&nbsp;</TT></DT> <DT><TT>Thanks to John Lock's Beer &amp; Brewing Index for links to many of these&nbsp; programs. (http://www.beerinfo.com/~jlock/vlib14.html#windows)</TT></DT> <DT><TT>&nbsp;</TT></DT> <DT><TT>--&nbsp;</TT></DT> <DT><TT>--------&nbsp; Lee Bollard&nbsp;&nbsp; leeb at iea.com&nbsp; --------</TT></DT> <DT><TT>&nbsp;</TT></DT> </BODY> </HTML> - ------------7EA727B81C924-- Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 1996 12:57:24 -0500 From: Rick Snide <Rick at RevolutionSoftware.com> Subject: First-Time brewer I have been interested in homebrewing for some time and recently got a = book (xmas) on homebrewing entitled: Brewing the World's Great Beers - A = step-by-step guide by Dave Miller. Does anyone have any comments on the = quality of this book? Also, I would like to get started brewing a batch = (my first!) on New-Year's Eve and need to purchase all the equipment and = materials. There is a wine/beer making shop in town and I plan to = purchase everything there. Here is the equipment Dave Miller = recommends: 1. 5-gallon enamelware or stainless steel kettle with lid 2. Large stainless steel spoon 3. 6.5 to 10 gallon food grade plastic fermenting bucket with lid that = takes an airlock 4. Racking tube 3/8" O.D. and 5 ft clear plastic tube 5/16 I.D. 5. 5 gallon glass carboy 6. 3-piece airlock and #6.5 drilled white rubber stopper 7. Carboy and bottle brushes 8. Bottle capper 9. Hydrometer and sample jar 10. Dial thermometer 32-212 F=20 11. Scale 0-4 oz or 0-8 oz with 1/4 oz divisions 12. Bottles 13. Fine-mesh nylon straining bag 14. Four 1-gallon jugs (glass) If you were buying all of your equipment now, what would you add or = subtract from this list. Are there some definite do's and don'ts in = terms of sizes, types and brands? Thanks in advance! Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 1996 13:07:09 -0500 From: RitchRon at aol.com Subject: Transition to All-Grain I've been doing extract brewing for about 6 months now, with fair success. I've been thinking about moving to all-grain brewing, but I've got several limitations. I live in a fairly small apartment with an electric stove. This presents the usual sort of problems I've heard regarding using an electric stove for brewing: the burners are too small for a big brew pot and temperature control during mashing is exasperating at best. The size of the place precludes using a gas burner indoors for safety reasons (unless it's safe to set it up next to the fireplace, trusting the flue to provide adequate ventilation?). I do have a small deck I could use for outdoor use, but that idea has problems; it's very exposed to wind and airborne crud, it's unendurable during winter cold spells and it's on the 3rd floor, presenting a possible hazard to downstairs neighbors from boil over or sloppage. (I also don't know how my neighbors would accept the smells....) So: are there any electrical solutions (such as Bruheat, which I've heard good things about) which don't take up too much space? Do any of these have thermostatic controls (which work worth spit)? Alternatively, are there any gas solutions which are safe to use indoors? Above all, perhaps: what's likely to be the SIMPLEST way to make this transition? Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 00:39:25 -0600 (CST) From: Daniel Louis Lanicek <daniell at jove.acs.unt.edu> Subject: Coffee Stout I am considering brewing a coffee stout and I am wondering "How do I add the coffee?" Do I add brewed coffee to the wort or dry-hop it with coffee beans? I have no idea. What is the best method for adding coffee to my stout? - ------------------------------------------------------------------- Daniel Lanicek ------------------------ University of North Texas "Beer is proof that God loves us." - Benjamin Franklin - ------------------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 07:45:23 -0600 From: "Debolt, Bruce" <bdebolt at dow.com> Subject: re: dry hop in primary; extended time in primary Just to reinforce some points made by Al Korzonas recently. I've been using the dry hop in the primary method for three batches over the last year with great results. Just wait until fermentation activity is slow or stopped. At bottling put a sanitized nylon mesh bag over your racking cane and it catches just about everything - pellets or whole hops. No need to even attach it to the racking cane, it will tend to collapse over it after going through the carboy neck. I've also quit using a secondary as Al mentioned and really like this labor saving and oxidation reducing method. I think for most brewers this is simply overcoming a paradigm that you need to use a secondary fermenter. I don't think it is necessary at all if you keep your temperatures from getting too high and bottle in a reasonable period of time. I only use glass fermenters, so keep that in mind. To date I've bottled in 2-3 weeks with no off flavors, autolysis, or clarity problems. Styles have been a Golden Ale (a bitter cream ale, dry hopped), IPA, Alt, and Stout. For many brewers a secondary is not a fermentation vessel at all, simply a clearing vessel to drop out sediment, or a way to delay bottling with less chance of autolysis. If your beer clears in the secondary, why wouldn't it in the bottle? Since I switched to liquid yeast three years ago I don't tend to get much sediment in my bottles regardless of whether or not I use a secondary. The only clarity enhancer I use is Irish Moss. Bruce DeBolt Houston, TX bdebolt at dow.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 10:01:17 -0500 From: "Debolt, Bruce" <bdebolt at dow.com> Subject: re: No-sparge data re: Ken Schwartz's post, 26 Dec. To answer Ken's question my system is a 10 gallon Gott with a simple copper manifold. His Batch #1 used a 5 gallon Gott with copper manifold, Batch #2 10 gallon Gott with Phil's False Bottom. The hardware is very similar, but not identical. When comparing efficiencies and amount of liquid left in the tun of various no-sparge methods I think the final temperature of the mash is a key variable. Keep in mind the mash-out step. I don't do a mash-out, I don't think Ken does either. Ken's numbers and mine are pretty close on efficiency and amount of liquid left in the tun (for his Batch 1). This is pretty amazing considering all the technique and measurement variables possible between us. >From Ken's message >The disheartening thing about this is that you lose 0.5+ qt/lb of wort. This >is much higher than Dr. Fix's figure of 0.32 qt/lb in his experiment. I don't know what Dr. Fix does, but if he performs a mash-out this is a significant difference. At higher temperatures the mash liquid will be less viscous, and I assume, less liquid would be left behind in the tun after draining. There are so many variables here I think the best thing to do is try it and share the info, as Ken has. I plan to continue this practice for at least a couple more batches and will share the data (and taste tests) as they come in. If everything is positive I doubt I will want to sparge again. The pale ale should be bottled within a week. By the way, this is a primary-only fermentation, dry hopped in the primary, two week total in glass. Bruce DeBolt Houston, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 10:38:43 -0500 From: "Peter J. Calinski" <calinski at worf.calspan.com> Subject: Hydrometer readings and air in the wort I have been following the discussion involving hydrometer readings. I had an interesting thing happen last week that raises the question "What effect does the air in the wort have on the hydrometer reading?" I discovered last week that it must have a significant effect. This is what happened. When I wash my hydrometer and the measurement tube, I typically take a reading with just water in the tube; just for practice and to be sure the hydrometer is still calibrated. Last week, while doing this, I got a reading of 0.992 which was quite unusual because I always got a reading of 1.000. Great, was the Erie County (NY) water authority adding vodka to the water supply? Well, a little study and deductive reasoning made me conclude that there was suddenly a lot of dissolved air in the tap water. I decided to boil the tap water and let it cool to 60F, then take another reading. Sure enough, the reading was now 1.000. I concluded it was the air in the tap water. Interestingly enough, the next day, the water was back to normal. (I remember hearing that, during the warm months, the water authority takes the water from the surface of Lake Erie because of the weeds at the lower levels. In the winter they take the water from the lower levels because the surface is freezing. Perhaps I just caught them the day they changed.) I should mention that the tap water was supersaturated. When it came from the tap, the water was cloudy. It took a few seconds to clear before I took the readings. I am sure it was still supersaturated. Anyway, this raises the question, what effect does dissolved air have on the OG reading if the reading is taken after aeration and prior to pitching? I normally siphon from the cooled brew pot to the fermenter with the brew pot located as high as possible and the fermenter on the floor. I hold the end of the siphon hose as high as possible. This gives me a "head" 2 or 3 inches deep on the wort in the fermenter. I add the water to top it off to 5 Gal. the same way. My experiment above indicates the OG reading could be off by a considerable amount (0.008 for the water experiment) if taken after I top it off. Ideas anybody? Also, consider the readings taken during fermentation. The wort is saturated (and perhaps supersaturated) with CO2. At bottling time, what is the saturation level? I suppose if the level of dissolved air remained constant from the OG reading to the FG reading, the difference of the two readings would still give a reasonable estimate of alcohol content. But, matching a recipe OG or FG could still be meaningless. Perhaps some scientific magic counting the number of O2 and C atoms prior to fermentation and CO2 after might show it is a wash but not being a Chem. type of guy, I can't say. Can someone shed some light on this? Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 10:08:12 -0700 (MST) From: Dionysus <dionysus at dionysus.aob.org> Subject: Making Brewer's Best Kit Better My parents, not realizing I switched to all-grain earlier this year, gave me a "Brewers Best" Cream Ale Kit (from LD Carlson) for Xmas. Actually I think it was a hint to brew something that Mom and Dad want to drink. I've gotten hints from Dad before like "You know, I really like Genesee Cream Ale". But I digress. This kit includes: 3.3# John Bull Unhopped Light LME, 2# Light DME, Muntons Dry Yeast, 1 oz. of a package labeled "bittering hops" pellets, 1/3 oz package of Irish moss, 5 oz. priming sugar, and bottle caps. Actually for extract brewers the kit is pretty complete. I though the fermentables were a little on the weak side for 5 gallons, but plugging the ingredients into my brewing software give an OG of 1.041, pretty much right in the middle of the range for this style. The hops are unmarrked as to variety or AA% so I plan on calling Carslon to see if they can provide me any information. The instructions only call for boiling only 15 minutes after hops addition (50 minutes total boil time) so the bittnerness should be minimal, probably more flavor and aroma contribution. But my setup doesn't handle pellets very well so I'd like to substitute leaf hops. Any suggestions on what varieties/quantities may be appropriate for the style or a Genny CA clone. I'd like to try to improve the kit with a little specialty grain addition (Crystal 40L perhaps?). Any suggestions are welcome. Also since who knows when the dry yeast pack was last refridgerated, I plan on tossing it and substituting a liquid yeast, but which one? Whcih of the follwoing Wyeast would be appropriate? 1056 - American Ale, 1272 - American Ale II (fruitier), 2565 Kolsch, or some other strain? Any suggestions would be appreciated. TIA Chuck BernardCH at aol.com Music City Brewers Nashville, TN - Music City USA Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 10:20:27 -0700 (MST) From: Dionysus <dionysus at dionysus.aob.org> Subject: Assist me, quick, with dortmunder Chemistry! Hi all, This is my 20something brew, 3rd pilsner, 3 rd solo all-grain. I need some chemistry help. Quickly! How do i get all these disolved solids in my brew water, Given I still dont have results back on my city water supply chemistry. this will be the mother of all crapshoots... Target profile ca+250 mg 25 na 70 cl 100 so4 280 hco3 550 Hardness 750. My water is not all that hard I dont soften it, If anything its high in Ca+, I always preboil it the night before...Any help would be much appreciated. Other tips on 5 gal stove top double decoction mashing will also graciously be appreciated. Phil Wilcox Poison Frog Home Brewery Frog Eats Bass (Ale Clone) now fermenting... Return to table of contents
Date: 30 Dec 1996 13:30:14 -0500 From: John Penn <john_penn at spacemail.jhuapl.edu> Subject: No Dark Beers in Boston? Subject: Time:2:12 PM OFFICE MEMO No Dark Beers in Boston? Date:12/30/96 I hate it when I ask what dark beers do you have and the response is we have brand X, which is not a dark beer! Spent this past weekend in Boston. In Mama Marie's restaurant, when I asked for a dark beer they said Sam Adams so I said OK and got a Sam Adams Boston Ale (not Lager). SAs Boston Lagers are respectable and some of SAs specialty beers are very good but this was not dark and not too good! Then later that night in the Bell-N-Hand bar I asked for dark beer again and I thought they said Beck's Dark but I think they said Pete's Winter Ale. What gives? Pete's Winter Ale is not dark, don't the bars in Boston carry anything other than Sam Adams and a few other lighter beers? My other peeve was attempting a brewery tour at the Commonwealth brewery only to be turned away saying that they stopped giving public tours, only private and they just hadn't gotten around to changing their ads yet. I'm sure I just went to the wrong places but I came away very dissappointed in Boston beerwise. Maybe you Boston beer saavy types can tell me where I should have gone. Thanks. John Penn Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 96 10:36:51 PST From: RHENDRY at MFOR01.FOR.GOV.BC.CA Subject: Homebrew Digest V2 #11 To: HOMEBR5 --INTERNET homebrew at dionysus. *** Reply to note of 12/18/96 21:03 Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, turn this off, I keep getting resubscibed!! Russ Hendry, RPF Planning Officer Invermere Forest District Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 14:44:07 -0700 (MST) From: Ian Smith <rela!isrs at netcom.com> Subject: Kegs, mini-kegs, Co2 cylinder Waht is the best size CO2 cylinder ? 5#, 10# or 20# for someone who may keg 5 to 10 gall per month ? I brew 6.5 gallons of beer at a time. I have a 5 gallon cornelious (sp) keg and was hoping to use a 5 litre min-keg (1.5 gallons) to make up 6.5 galls. I plan to put the 5 gallon keg in the basement and the 5 liter keg in the refrigerator. That way when I draw a pint from the refrig. the keg will be replenished from the main keg in the basement and have time to cool before I drink my next brew. I was told that you cannot use mini-kegs to force carbonate since they have a max pressure rating of only 10 psi !!! Is this true and if so does anyone know of a stainless steel vessel of about 1.5 gallons capacity that can take up to 30 psi force carbonation pressure without exploding ? Cheers Ian Smith isrs at rela.uucp.netcom.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 17:12:45 -0500 From: Jean-Sebastien Morisset <jsmoriss at qc.bell.ca> Subject: Collecting sparge in a bucket -- safe from DMS? It's winter up here in Canada, and damn cold to brew outside, but it's still possible (dropping a metal box over cooker and kettle). I boil ouside, and the rest of my system is indoors. What I've been doing so far is collecting the sparged wort in my kettle through the kitchen door. This means keeping the door open somewhat, and in these temperatures, I'd rather avoid this. I've been thinking of collecting the wort in a bucket indoors, and when finished, drain the buckets in my kettle. I could then keep the door closed. :-) I don't "mash-out" since I use a Gott cooler to mash, so I've been wondering about DMS levels. The wort will be sitting in a bucket for about an hour while I sparge. Can anyone see a problem with this? Anyone else here brew at -15C completely outdoors? I wouldn't mind comparing notes on system design. :-) later! js. - -- Jean-Sebastien Morisset, Sc. Unix Administrator <mailto:jsmoriss at qc.bell.ca> Bell Canada <http://www.bell.ca/> Routing and Trunking Assignments, Montreal QC. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 21:21:56 EST From: Ken G Smith <sparge at juno.com> Subject: Counter-presure bottle fillers Anyone with advice on Counterpresure fillers? I would like to buy one soon, but have no experience with them and don't know a good one from bad. Any help would be appreciated. Private e-mail ok. Ken Smith Britten & Smith Brewing Where the B.S. stops at the label.... sparge at juno.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 22:26:46 -0600 From: Marty Tippin <mtippin at swbell.net> Subject: Need Info on Opening a Homebrew Shop I've got this strange urge to open a homebrew supply store here in town - seems to me like a good opportunity to fill a void in the community and do something I've always wanted to do (own a small business)... Problem is, I haven't the foggiest idea how much it costs to start a shop, where to look for suppliers, how to go about procuring startup capital, what kind of profits to expect, etc. If any of you kind shop owners out there would care to offer some advice, I'd be grateful... Reply by direct e-mail if you please... - -Marty Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 23:38:22 -0600 (CST) From: Richard Gardner <rgardner at monarch.papillion.ne.us> Subject: RE: Re-using Yeast You wrote: >I read in the HBD that some have had success with racking the cooled wort >on top of sediment that remained in a freshly emptied primary fermenter. >I use a glass carboy as my primary. >If this is too risky, or a big mistake, if anyone can let me know, I >would greatly appreciate it. This will work, but . . . you can improve on your method by "washing" the yeast (and cleaning the carboy while you are at it of the residue that is around the neck). The washing process I'm referring to will take about a day between transferring the first batch, and pitching the yeast for the second batch. What washing does is to remove the trub and old wort that you were not able to fully transfer to the secondary. Basically, sanitize two mason jars and lids (or equivalent containers). Pour some of the remaining slurry from the bottom of the carboy into the jar until it is about 1/2 full. Add sanitized water to fill and put the lid on (I actually usually use my tap water, but it is relatively sanitary; if I had well water I'd boil it). Shake well. When you see the heavy stuff fall out to the bottem (1 hour or so), pour off the top material into the second jar (this gets rid of most of the trub). If there is anything floating, get rid of it first. Top off with water again and shake to mix. Let settle overnight. Pour off the brown fluid (beer-wort) off of the top this time, and use the yeast (chalky white stuff) that settles out on the bottom. (You can repeat this step several times as desired of clear up even more.) So, first time you leave the gunk on the bottom, second time you want the stuff off the bottom. With only a day delay to pitching, you can expect a rather explosive fermentation given the quantity of yeast you will be pitching. This should improve your results on the second beer since the sediment is left behind. The disadvantages I can think of are increased chance onf contamination, and the yeast will be a bit dormant when you pitch it, but I still see it start fermenting within 8 hours. Also, somewhere out there (probably on the Brewery) there is a better set of instructions for washing yeast, including acid washes to get rid of bacteria, but I've had good success with the above simple method. <<<The secret to life is to die young, but to delay it as long as possible!!!>>> Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #2297