HOMEBREW Digest #2403 Wed 23 April 1997

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		Digest Janitor: janitor@ brew.oeonline.com
		Many thanks to the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers of 
		Livonia, Michigan for sponsoring the Homebrew Digest.
				URL: http://www.oeonline.com

  water via hot water heater (Heiner Lieth)
  Caustic soda ("Braam Greyling")
  Mash pH (A. J. deLange)
  chiller operation (Tim Eitniear)
  The Price of Good Beer ("Decker, Robin E.")
  Corny Keg Source ("Rosenzweig,Steve")
  Hops growing (Christian O Miller)
  Re: Micro Prices..... (Joe Rolfe)
  Thermometers and Mashing (MaltyDog)
  Spirit of Free Beer (Mark Stevens)
  Temperature Controller ("Bryan L. Gros")
  oak flavor/misc. (BAYEROSPACE)
  Trivia of the Week (Paul Niebergall)
  pH (korz)
  saccharification temperatures (Charles Rich)
  Re: extraction efficiency; lightbulbs (Mike Uchima)
  Part 2, SO,keg cost, kraeusening, ("David R. Burley")
  Part 3, Oak casks, mash schedule ("David R. Burley")
  Part 1 mash pH, and temps ("David R. Burley")
  Thermostat for lagering (John Wilkinson)
  Ultimate Brewing Setup request (Jeff Donnelly)
  Hop Page Update (Glenn Tinseth)
  Bulk honey (Randy deBeauclair)
  re: Counter Pressure Filler Recs (Sharon/Dan Ritter)
  Holding Mash Temp in SS (Ronald Babcock)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 21 Apr 1997 23:32:30 -0700 (PDT) From: Heiner Lieth <lieth at telis.org> Subject: water via hot water heater There are a few logic problems with some of the various comments about not using water that has come through a hot water heater. (Minerals, lead, etc...) I have run a relatively large amount of water through my hot water heater as most of you have (showers, baths, dishwasher, clothes washer,...). If there is stuff building up inside the hot water heater, then, if anything, there will be less of that stuff (by some miniscule amount) in the water you get out of the hot water tap. Concerns about the "water heater build-up crud" in your beer are IMO misplaced. Also, if stuff is precipitating as a result of being in the hot water heater, then that would be a good thing. Afterall, it then settles out in the sediment at the bottom of your fermenter. The cold water, on the other hand, has this stuff in solution. Personally it does not scare me (but maybe that's why I have kidney stones?). Anyway, perhaps logic would suggest that you would want the stuff percipitated out. If you have lead solder on your hot water lines and it is leaching out, then I recommend that you abandon your residence (it's bad for your health). But even in that case I would guess that the molecules of lead in the relatively small gallonage of beer will be miniscule compared to total amount of lead that you are consuming. You'll get more lead just from residue left on your dishes after washing them than from drinking your beer. I personally like using the water from my hot water lines because the likelihood of live bacteria (and other organisms) is much smaller. My hot water heater is near 180F (pasteurization temperature) and most of the water that comes out of it will have had a residence time at that temperature of more than a day. That's pretty good compared to the cold water tap from the standpoint of bacteria. Thus I figure that the water in my hot water lines has some features that should not be overlooked. I particularly like using the cold water that flows before the hot water arrives from the hot water heater. (My hot water heater is a long way away from the kitchen sink). This cold water is pasteurized (not sterile). It has quite a few uses in brewing that seem pretty obvious. Heiner Lieth Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 12:33:59 +200 From: "Braam Greyling" <braam.greyling at azona.co.za> Subject: Caustic soda Hi, Ive got some caustic soda from a local grocery store. I know this is dangerous stuff but I have a problem with extremely dirty old cornie kegs. Can I use this caustic soda to clean the cornie kegs. What concentration should I use ? Will caustic soda attack rubber parts and pipes too ? I am thinking of also cleaning a VERY dirty old beer line with it too. Should I do this or not ? Thanks Braam Greyling I.C. Design Engineer Azona(Pty)Ltd tel +27 12 6641910 fax +27 12 6641393 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 13:01:07 -0500 From: ajdel at mindspring.com (A. J. deLange) Subject: Mash pH Jim Wallace wrote: >1...pH of mash!... I have been trying to keep this in the range OF 5.2-5.5 >to control the extraction of husk tannins. This pH range represents a compromise of the optima for the various enzymes which operate to carry out proteolysis and starch conversion. Tannin extraction shouldn't be an issue at normal mash temperatures. If a decoction is being done then a fair amont of tannin is going to be extracted anyway but a lower pH would help. Nevertheless, this range is still selected to maximize conversion rather than reduce tannin extraction. >I thought I was doing just fine >until I relized I was cooling mash sample to 65F to measure the pH and have >just recently heard that my actual pH at 153F would be ~.35 higher making my >very acceptable reading of 5.3 actually becomes 5.65 putting it in the upper >part of this range. It's the other way around. pH at mash temperature is _lower_ than at room temperature. I hope you didn't get the impression that it's higher at mash temperature from something I posted. I frequently write "pH goes up" when I mean hydrogen ion concentration goes up. When [H+] goes up, pH goes down. It's just a mental block and knowing I have it I try to check everything I post but I miss sometimes when I'm in a hurry (which is most of the time). >...Should I be concerned and use phosphoric acid to acidify this mash? No! If you are in the 5.2 - 5.5 range at room temperature you could be out of range at the low end at mash temp. >...Is there agreement on this .35 pH increase at the higher temp range? Agreement among brewers? Come now. The 0.35 number comes from DeClerk who cites Hopkins and Krause, "Biochemistry Applied to Malting and Brewing", London, 1950 p 199. pH vs temperature is tabulated for 2 mashes. Fix, in POBS, cites I.C. MacWilliam "pH in Malting and Brewing - A Review, J.I.B.,1975 but the numbers are exactly the same as in the table in DeClerk. It's amazing how some pieces of data circulate for years from book to article to book without ever being questioned. As I've checked 2 mashes I can now double the "database" Temp. Mash 1 Mash 2 Mash 3 Mash 4 18 5.84 6.03 20 5.55 28 5.54 5.58 31 5.53 35 5.70 5.90 40 5.48 52 5.65 5.80 63 5.38 65 5.50 5.70 5.46 78 5.40 5.55 Mash 1 - deClerk: "Distilled Water" (Vol I, p267) Mash 2 - deClerk: "Medium Hard Water" Mash 3 - deLange: DWC pale ale malt; water: Alkalinity 71, Ca 21 mg/L Mash 4 - deLange: DWC pilsner makt; water: Alkalinity 18, Ca 5 mg/L Thus I measure changes of about half what Hopkins and Krause reported. Note that the state of the art in pH measurement has advanced somewhat (this is gross understatement) in the 47 years since publication of their book. Note also that there are well known figures in the craft/home brewing community who believe that the target 5.2-5.5 range is as measured at room temperature. A. J. deLange - Numquam in dubio, saepe in errore. - --> --> --> To reply remove "nosp" from address. <-- <-- Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 08:09:42 -0500 From: Tim Eitniear <Timothy_Eitniear at csg.mot.com> Subject: chiller operation I recently purchased a counterflow wort chiller and have a few questions. If i do not have a drain in my bioling pot, what is the best way to get the hot wort to the chiller. I also need to know what kind of tubing I should use to connect to the chiller. Thanks Tim Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 97 9:07:00 -0500 From: "Decker, Robin E." <robind at rmtgvl.rmtinc.com> Subject: The Price of Good Beer Steve asks... >>>In Michigan (Detroit area), micro prices are 8+. Even Sam Adams is like = $7.99. I was in Tuscon, AZ a few weeks ago and their prices were MUCH = lower. Sam Adams was going for $4.99! Is it the stores, the = distributors, or the micros themselves causing the excessive prices?<<<< As the SO of a beer retailer, I can tell you that (in S. Carolina at least) the price of the beer on the shelf is dictated mainly by the distributors. We have a three-tiered system that is heavily skewed to favor the distributors. The retail mark-up on beer in this state is an average 13 - 17%. Do you realize how much beer you have to sell in order to make any money at it?! The brewers sell to the distributors for much less than what you see in retail, which means all the profits are going to the middle man, and in our state its very, very much against the law to do anything about it. (As a retailer, you are not even supposed to know the price the brewer puts on the beer.) As for the disparity in the Sam Adams prices, either the profits are being shared more equally in the north, or the retailers are putting a more realistic mark-up on their beers. The north has probably got better educated beer drinkers than the south <g,d & r>, so the higher price doesn't hurt sales as much as if "bubba" comes in and looks at your $8.99 sixer and compares it to his 2.99 grocery-store-swill sixer. Also, I know that Boston Brewing gives a decent price break for 200 cases. But you have to purchase 200 cases of one beer. No problem for the distributors, but they don't pass on a similar price break unless you also purchase the same 200 cases. So, grocery store chains & discount stores get the break, the rest of us don't. Its awfully tough for a retailer who averages 40-60 cases per week TOTAL, to justify purchasing 200 cases of just one beer. As a parting thought, keep in mind that that .50/six cheaper microbrew you bought at the grocery store was stored with ~200 cases of its brethren in an unconditioned warehouse, or out back of the store in a locked tractor trailer for god-knows-how-long before it was placed on the shelf. Just because it ain't out of date, doesn't guarantee it was stored properly. Goldings --I have to get off this planet!-- Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 06:52:56 PDT From: "Rosenzweig,Steve" <Steve_Rosenzweig at wb.xerox.com> Subject: Corny Keg Source In HDB 2401, Brander Roullett asks On a seperate note, i would like to find sources for 3,5,10 gallon Corny kegs for reasonably cheap. my local HB store has one keg for $50 bucks. i have heard of places that send them for $20 or better. any one got any good sources? To which I reply: try Mayer's Cider Mill at 800-543-0043 They generally only do wholesale to HB shops, but I was talking to the owner and occasionally they get a bunch of used cornies (5 gal). He mentioned $20 each plus UPS shipping, but he may be negotiable on price and/or give quantity discounts. I think he mostly has ball-lock, but may have some pin-lock as well, shipping would be from Rochester NY. No affiliation, blah blah blah, other than buying a few kegs myself and being generally satisfied as a customer. Steve **************** "blessed is the mother that gives birth to a brewer" - old czech saying http://eetsg29.bd.psu.edu/~ford29/erika.html "she doesn't have much choice, you've brewed with her every weekend she's been alive!" - my wife Ann Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 09:10:23 EST From: comiller at juno.com (Christian O Miller) Subject: Hops growing I just bought several hop roots for my backyard. But I heard two different ways to plant them. What's the best way? Should I lay them flat or stand them up in the hole I dig? Private e-mail is okay. Thanks, Christian Miller Brewin' in Durham, CT Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 09:22:13 -0400 (EDT) From: Joe Rolfe <onbc at shore.net> Subject: Re: Micro Prices..... for an example on pricing for a microbeer. i will go case costs as these are documented in most cases. these are some of the average posted prices in Mass. case 24/12oz posted price to retailer is about $20.00 on average if the store buys on a "deal" that may drop anywhere from $1 to as much as $4 per case. the avererage brewery to distributor pricing would be in the range of $12.00 for a larger micro to as much as $15 for a smaller micro. the common figure i had was $13 with say 10 cases on a 100 would get you a price to retail of about $18/cs. If the brewery splits the post off with the distributor price to retailer drops some more... now these $17 - $20 cases are typically sold at $6.50 to $7.50 per six pac on occasion $5.99 for something at price to retailer of $17 can be had. this is a typical Mass markup, other states may vary wildly...by i would venture to guess the markups alongthe way are similar in percentage. it looks like ever step along the way margins are $6-$8 per case. the brewery does the real grunt work, has to pay all the capital equipment costs , the distributors really dont give a crap they take order and do deliveries, the retailer probably could care less - as evidenced by dusty bottles in some stores and very old beer on the shelf. i agree in hole the price/quality of most micros is not what you would expect, hence the potential for paying big buck for crappy beer. joe Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 09:53:59 -0400 (EDT) From: MaltyDog at aol.com Subject: Thermometers and Mashing There has been a thread up here recently about the reliability of various thermometers, especially for mashing. I've been using one of those dairy thermometers, and I'm not happy with it's accuracy-aside from the fact that a friend of mind recently had one break in the mash, ruining a batch. I just bought a digital thermometer, apparently waterproof with a ten-inch probe from Brewer's resource, but I haven't recieved it yet, so I don't know how good it is. I've had a couple of other digital thermometers in the past, but they both got damaged by water, so I'm hoping this one will work better. I mash in a picnic cooler, and the thing that always drives me crazy with the dairy thermometer, and makes me doubt it's reliability, is when I add 2 gallons of boiling water to mash to bring it up to the next rest, stir it in, and the temperature goes down! Anyone else there have that happy to them? Bill Coleman MaltyDog at aol.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 11:37:53 -0400 From: stevens at stsci.edu (Mark Stevens) Subject: Spirit of Free Beer 5th annual "Spirit of Free Beer" homebrew competition June 7, 1997 Vienna, Virginia Sponsored by Brewers United for Real Potables (BURP) .............. Exciting changes in store for this year's "Spirit of Free Beer" homebrew competition.... * More great prizes than ever before! This year, we will award at least 5 "brewer for a day" opportunities, including 3 that will brew your winning recipe. The Best of Show will once again be brewed at Virginia Beverage Company. In addition, one top lager will be brewed at Blue N Gold, and one top ale will be brewed at Oxford Brewing Company. Ribbon winners in every category also win great prize packages. We are awarding several 50-pound sacks of malt, cases of beer, gift certificates from area homebrew shops, sets of glassware, sweatshirts, hats, brewing equipment, books, magazine subscriptions, breweriana, hops & yeast, and lots more.... * More places to enter than ever before... In addition to the 8 drop-off points listed in the competition announcement, entries will be accepted at Shenandoah Brewing Company in Alexandria VA, and BrewMasters 3 in Arlington VA. * Great opportunity to earn judging points... Judging will take place at Brew America in Vienna, Virginia. The location is very close to the I-495 capital beltway, and is adjacent to the Dunn Loring Metro station. We can arrange accomodations for out-of-town judges, we will have an informal pub crawl Friday night, and we PROMPTLY report all judge points. (Great food too! (Look for the return of Jim Tyndall's outrageous grilled bratwursts...) Judges can contact Greg Griffin, gmgriff0 at wcc.com - -------------- Info is available on the BURP web page (http://www.burp.org) Need more info? Contact Mark Stevens, stevens at stsci.edu Return to table of contents
Date-warning: Date header was inserted by ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu From: "Bryan L. Gros" <grosbl at ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu> Subject: Temperature Controller JohnT6020 at aol.com wrote > >Who is the vendor for the thermostat that is used to maintain lagering >temperatures in a adapted chest freezer? I know there have been posts from >satisfied users. Who can find them when you want them? I have also checked >several issues of Zymurgy, BYO and Techniques without finding the ads that I >know I have seen. I asked about this last week, so I'll summarize. The model I have is a Johnson Controller Model A19, Grainger part number 4E047. ($37) This model has a minimum 5 deg. differential. Unfortunately, the thing doesn't come with a cord. What I did, which is what several people also recommended, is get a short (6') three prong extension cord. Figure out where your fridge is and where the plug is and where you want your controller mounted. Strip some insulation and find the black wire. Leave the other two wires alone. Cut the black wire and connect one end to the "red" connector on the controller, the other end to the "yellow" connector. When the temperature of the probe rises, the circuit between the red and yellow connectors is closed, turning on the power to the freezer. Charlie Rich commented that his controller was about six degrees off, so keep a thermometer inside to verify the temperature in the fridge/freezer. There is some more information online at The Brewery, including this picture of the wiring: http://alpha.rollanet.org/library/TempControl.JPG Other people gave me helpful suggestions like use a relay. The other good thing about this model is that there is another terminal which closes when the temperature falls. You could hook up one cord to this terminal and plug in a light bulb. Then, if the outside temperature drops too low, the light bulb will come on to heat up the fridge/freezer. Prior to this, I used the old Hunter Airstat. Worked great (still does), but it only goes down to 40F. Not low enough for lagering, and the chest freezer's thermostat doesn't go high enough. No, it's not for sale. Hopefully this wasn't too confusing; let me know if you have more questions. - Bryan Gros grosbl at ctrvax.vanderbilt.edu Music City Brewers, Nashville TN Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 13:09 -0600 From: M257876 at sl1001.mdc.com (BAYEROSPACE) Subject: oak flavor/misc. collective homebrew conscience: jim wallace wrote, regarding measuring mash ph: ><snip> I was cooling mash sample to 65F to measure the pH and have >just recently heard that my actual pH at 153F would be ~.35 higher making my >very acceptable reading of 5.3 actually becomes 5.65 putting it in the upper >part of this range. i believe it's actually that as the temperature of the mash increases, the ph is lowered. there were several submissions (in response to a letter or an article discussing mash ph) in brewing techniques a while back that discussed this topic. a j delange submitted the most substantial letter, if i remember correctly. so what you want, at 60 deg f or so, is a ph measurement about .35 ph units higher than your desired ph at saccharification temp. if your 60 deg. f measurement is 5.7, that means that your actual mash ph at, say 155 f, would be *roughly* 5.35. ************** jim also wrote: > I have been brewing with all grain for the past year (8-10 batches) and >feel I am getting a much lower extraction than others out there. >12.25 Lbs of grain (AmerKlages,Cryst,Munich) >MashIn at 131F_20min >Convert at 154F_90 Min (drops to 150 at end) >MashOut at 168F_10 >Lauter lasted 1 hr and grain bed stayed at 166-168 >I collect 8.25 Gallons of wort.. >boil off 2 Gallons in 90 Min boil.. >loose .75 Gal as Trub .. >finishing with a batch of 5.5 Gal and an OG of 1.052. this efficiency would be 5.5*52/12.25 = 23.3 points/lb/gal, which is on the low side. there is nothing wrong with the procedure outlined above. the basic things to examine would be the crush of the grain, the ph of the mash (which, based on the previous item, could be a tad low, particularly for alpha amylase at 154 f), the mineral content of your water, the water-to-grain grist ratio (how many quarts of water per pound of grain?), and the accuracy of your temperature and ph measuring equipment. this all has to do with the production of sugar in the mash. if all these things are adjusted appropriately and measured accurately, i don't see any reason why you couldn't get at least 28 points/lb/gal from klages malt with typical homebrew equipment. keep in mind that as the grain bill increases, and necessary mash water volume increases, that efficiency will suffer. how much sparge water were you using? if it's a lot less than 5 gallons or so, you may simply be volume limited in terms of sparge water and thus lautering extraction. still, i would think the extraction could be increased on the above recipe. ****************** al k wrote: > Also, 4 ounces of American oak chips in 5 gallons >of beer is going to give you a *lot* of oak flavour. here's my $.02 on using american oak chips: i had 5 gallons of an og 1.054 ipa last year that i put 2 ounces of american oak chips in for the secondary, which lasted probably about 2 weeks. the final product tasted like plywood that had had a little beer spilled on it. brew hard, mark bayer Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 13:11:38 -0500 From: Paul Niebergall <pnieb at burnsmcd.com> Subject: Trivia of the Week Trivia question of the week: How many times do the letters "hop" appear on a bottle of AB's newest mega-psuedo-micro beverage called "Michelob Pale Ale" (answer at end of post)?? Are they trying to tell us something (beat us over the head, more likely)? Actually, I will give AB some credit (even though the got the wrong hops for a pale ale). With the recent thread about the cost for a 6-pak of micro product (and drawing on years of personal experience) I have come to the conclusion just because it is micro it is not necessarily good beer. What is worse, a small micro run by a group of yuppified investors trying cash in on the latest craze (at exorbitant pricing), or a mega brewery who has shunned taste in the past but now is trying to make an effort to masquarade their brew as micro? Sometimes it's hard to tell. Paul Niebergall pnieb at burnsmcd.com (BTW - I counted 9 references to hops on the bottle I drink) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 13:33:06 -0500 (CDT) From: korz at xnet.com Subject: pH Jim writes: >I thought I was doing just fine >until I relized I was cooling mash sample to 65F to measure the pH and have >just recently heard that my actual pH at 153F would be ~.35 higher making my >very acceptable reading of 5.3 actually becomes 5.65 putting it in the upper >part of this range. I believe you have the pH shift the other way around, but I'm sure that AJ will post a full explanation, so I'll ask something related and very important that has been bothering me for quite a while. I don't recall if it's Malting and Brewing Science or DeClerck's A Textbook of Brewing, but one of these books is self-contradictory on the subject of mash pH. On one page it says to cool the sample before measuring the pH and on the next page it says to measure the pH *at* mash temperature. So which is it? Having the same book say two opposite things has left me unsure all these years. Help! Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 11:44:43 -0700 From: Charles Rich <CharlesR at saros.com> Subject: saccharification temperatures In HBD #2402, Charles Burns expresses his surprise at saccharifiaction rates at low temperatures and describes an experiment that confirms it. This is an excellent HBD contribution, in a form that improves the tone of the digest and ensuing discussions on his topic. I don't have George Fix's brewing science book handy, but it contains a graph that shows enzyme activity over three different temperatures. The lowest temp (I don't recall exactly, but something like 112F or 125F) still yielded about 45% conversion over a period of hours. There are real limits to the efficiency of saccharification though, because it's well below barley starch gelatinization temp (148F, 65C), but can be significant. I still highly recommend mashing in at 135F (57C) and resting there for the proteolytic enzyme's, protein rest benefits. But instead of holding there while your decoc cooks, let it fall to wherever it wants after the rest. You will have denatured the peptidase enzymes, which will be active if you mash in at 122F (50C) and which IMHO will be detrimental to your beer's protein profile. Holding a rest first at 135F will provide a good proteolytic conversion and destroy the peptidase enzymes which would otherwise be active at lower temps. After the rest, withdraw your fraction. Saccharification will proceed more slowly at the falling temps while you convert and cook the fraction. I brewed a Czech Pilsener this weekend using pressure cooked decoc. I pressure cooked the decoc while letting the remaining mash cool as above (I still can't locate big canning jars for pre-cooked decoc). As I had expected, it was much less of an ordeal than hand stirring and the cooked fraction was beautiful. It did not produce *bigger* malt flavor, but *nicer* malt flavor. However, after seeing Charlie Scandrett's suggestion recently re:cooking first runnings for this effect, I will try that next time instead (lazier - good), and trade off improved utilization from greater gelatinized starch. I would pressure cook the runnings during sparging then add back to the kettle. As both CharlieS and Steve Alexander have pointed at, the temperature and time will determine the malty profile. Cheers Charles Rich (Seattle, USA) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 13:51:10 -0500 From: Mike Uchima <uchima at mcs.net> Subject: Re: extraction efficiency; lightbulbs Jim Wallace <jwallace at crocker.com> wrote: > > [snip] > I figure my efficiency to be 75% but others expect 80-90% from > their batches... > > Any Ideas on improving my efficiency? I wonder a little bit about the preoccupation many homebrewers seem to have with extraction efficiency. IMHO, *consistent* extraction from batch to batch is much more important than absolute efficiency. I suppose some people see it as a personal challenge; if you're into that sort of thing, then fine. But personally, I'd rather just spend the extra $0.60 for another pound of grain, and not worry about it... ***** eric fouch wrote: > > Q: How many internet mail list subscribers does it take > to change a light bulb? > > A: 1,331: > > [snip, snip, snip] You forgot "1 to post to the mail list pointing out that the numbers in the joke actually add up to 1678, not 1331". :-) - -- == Mike Uchima == uchima at mcs.net == Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 15:01:26 -0400 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Part 2, SO,keg cost, kraeusening, Brewsters: Jim Booth asks about the commonality of:: >The experience with significant others who greet beer (anybodies-not >Just mine) with the "do I have to?" look on their face. I have one like that. "but I just finished eating chocolate". She does like dark beers, however, and drinks one or two a year. - ---------------------------------------------- On the subject of cornelius kegs and their cost Kiernan O'Connor ( no Irish in your blood, huh?) says: >I've ordered some: will report on the quality. Apparently they come cleaned >by Pepsi. Cost with shipping to NY State makes the keg total $20 per. Don't forget to add in the cost of new O-rings or you will have root-beer beer. Smell the big O-ring when you get your kegs. If it smells fruity or like root beer, replace it. I pay $25 at my local HB store for a fully conditioned keg, clean and with new o-rings. When I got my first kegs about 15 years ago, (kegs were not available at a HB store or anywhere else in those days) I went to a local distributor of soda pop, told him what I was doing and he set me up with kegs,hoses,a cobra head and tank. I learned about o-rings the hard way. I had a root beer lager which was undrinkable. Boiling, bleaching, grain alcohol soaks for a week just would not remove the smell from the rings, but changing the rings for new ones solved the problem. - ---------------------------------------------- Ken Smith asks: >For a 1.050 gravity beer, how much wort do I need to cask >Condition (in a 5 gallon corny) the beer. >If so, how much wort should I use? Well, it depends on the dextrin content of your wort. Assuming you will go down to about FG = 1.015, then you have about 12 ounces of fermentable sugar per gallon of wort. If you want 1% sugar as the condition add 0.01 X 128 X 5 = 6.4 ounces or about 0.5 gallon of freshly fermenting wort. >If not, what would be a better way? I prepare a starter with 4-6 ounces of corn sugar and a tablespoon of malt extract as a nutrient source, boil and cool in about a pint of water. Remove yeast and some beer from the bottom of the secondary with a siphon hose and pitch to the starter. In about 12 hours the starter should just begin foaming. Put this into a Cornie and add your beer. This latter method is much simpler and more reliable in my opinion. You know exactly how much sugar you are adding ( unlike above) It doesn't require you to sterilize a 0.5 gallon of wort in a pressure cooker ( with its tendency to foam) or have an identical beer just starting to ferment. Keep on brewin' Dave Burley Kinnelon, NJ 07405 103164.3202 at compuserve.com Dave_Burley at compuserve.com Voice e-mail OK Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 15:01:23 -0400 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Part 3, Oak casks, mash schedule Brewsters: AlK reports on his experience at Samuel Smith's in Tadcaster, UK. They use unlined oak casks. Thanks for the information. I could not find one clear mention of the practice today ( or in the past) in the UK. The only indication was the Brit Michael Jackson commenting on the use of unlined casks ( implying to me that other casks would be lined) for some of the Belgian Acid Reds.The fact that he noted this and DeClerk's extensive discussion on how casks are lined, led me to believe most casks were lined. And I still believe it was the continental practice to do so for un-aged, carbonated beers, like lagers and such I.E. by far the major portion of the beer produced. It may be that the British Ales today which are refrigerated, consumed rapidly and are poorly carbonated don't need a lining. Lining is a real pain, so I can understand why they wouldn't do it if not necessary. Question I still have though is what was the historical practice in Britain for bitters and the like? I agree that as far as the beer police are concerned one should not put oak in the pale ales or vice versa. I have never tasted oak in any British beer - even the so-called real ales - which was part of my reasoning that the British kegs were lined, I guess. However, if someone wants to put oak in their ale its OK with me and after all this IS homebrewing. Not everyone is afraid to deviate from the "standard" and not every beer will be entered in a contest expecting to get best of style. I admit I like a little hop nose in my lagers however sacreligious that may sound. - ---------------------------------------------- Bruce Baker from way down under in NZ asks for information on mash schedules. My first comment is - what kind of malt and adjuncts are you using in the grist? This is the main determining factor. What kind of water? What kind of beer? The enzyme rests of major importance are the peptidase and protease 121F and 135F, and sacccharification from about 149 - 158 F classically. At the low end of the saccharification range you will produce highly fermentable low dextrin beers and at the high end lower fermentable beer with more dextrins. The optimum temperature for beta amylase is around 145F, I believe, and alpha amylase is around 158F. These broad optima are dependent on mash concentration, pH, calcium ion concentration and other stuff. For highly modified malts like the British Pale Ale malts it is not necessary to hold in the proteinase regions below 140F, as this will often be detrimental to the head forming capabilities. It is common practice to do a single temperature saccharification around 155F by infusion for British style beers. Old style schedules for lager are more complicated, sometimes holding at 93F for the formation of phosphoric acid by phytase action to acidify the wort before moving up through all the holds. Decoction mashing is even more complicated. Most of the mash heating schedules have temperature increments of 1-2 minutes/degree C during the transition between holds when decoction is not involved. Some infusion mashers, especially amateurs who mash in a cooler, use boiling water additions to move through various temperatures in a stepped infusion mash. I suggest you get a copy of Malting and Brewing Science in which they do a thorough job on all these schedules in practice in the 1950's. - ----------------------------------------------- Keep on brewin' Dave Burley Kinnelon, NJ 07405 103164.3202 at compuserve.com Dave_Burley at compuserve.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 15:01:30 -0400 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Part 1 mash pH, and temps Brewsters: Jim Wallace asks: >Lots of Questions: >I have been trying to keep this ( the mash pH) in the range OF 5.2-5.5 >to control the extraction of husk tannins. It may do this also, but the major purpose is to be in the pH operating range of the enzymes. >I was cooling mash sample to 65F to measure the pH and have >just recently heard that my actual pH at 153F would be ~.35 higher The pH at higher temperatures is LOWER by 0.2 to 0.3 units. So you are actually operating at around 5.0 - 5.2 which is OK. The pH optimum is pretty broad. > After my most recent mash I also pulled some grains in a >Separate examination and pressed them with the back of my spoon. That is the way to do it or take a small sample and boil it in the microwave and do the iodine test. >Am I dealing with limited enzyme availability or activity here Probably just enzyme accessibility to the starch. I suspect this problem of starch and your poor efficiency mentioned below are caused by poor milling. Pass the malt through a nip of about 0.008 in. and again through 0.006 in. Measure the nip with a spark plug gauge. The second pass does some additional milling, but it also frees cracked malt from the husk without destroying the husk. This will improve your efficiency markedly and allow you to go to the boil starch free. Be sure to take at least 45 minutes for the sparge. 3...Preserving Extra Wort for yeast starters... I think the summary of the long discussion on this was that at the pH of wort, boiling water temperatures is not enough and you should pressure cook the wort or risk botulism. You should boil this wort again before using it in your beer in any event. - ------------------------------------------ After doing one poorly designed experiment, Charlie Burns says: >My observation really is this - all the temperature's being talked about in >All these posts about decoctions and saccharifcation ranges are to be taken >with a grain of salt. Well, all the useful temperatures cover a range, since the optima for the enzymes are not sharp, but they are well known and have been for decades. Perhaps you need to do a little more reading so you understand all this. >I went back and compared Dave Millers Handbook to Noonan. They both >Recommend protein rests between 122F and 131F. I think I'll try a 125F >Protein rest next time I make a pale ale, boosting after 20 minutes to 155F Actually they recommend holds at BOTH temperatures to reduce gums and higher proteins and produce amino acids. BUT they are talking about pale malts NOT pale ale malts as I recollect. . >And you can bet I'll taste the mash during protein rest to see if it is also >Sweet at that low temp. Malting produces a low percentage of simple sugars so it should taste sweet. Beta amylase is also somewhat active at 135F and can reduce any of the LMW degraded starch/sugars to produce a sweet taste without converting any of the ungelatinized starch. - ----------------------------------------------------------- Keep on brewin' Dave Burley Kinnelon, NJ 07405 103164.3202 at compuserve.com Dave_Burley at compuserve.com Voice e-mail OK Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 97 14:13:43 CDT From: jwilkins at imtn.tpd.dsccc.com (John Wilkinson) Subject: Thermostat for lagering >Who is the vendor for the thermostat that is used to maintain lagering >temperatures in a adapted chest freezer? The thermostats I use are made by Johnson Controls and by Honeywell. They appear identical to me. I got them from Grainger for about $25 but I got them through my son-in-law who is in the business so that may be a wholesale price. For refrigerators I cut the hot wire to the existing thermostat and route it through the thermostat but for my lagering chest freezer I cut the hot wire of an extension cord and routed it through the thermostat and plugged the freezer into the cord. Usual disclaimers and warnings about screwing with house current and the dangers of getting fried apply. If you don't feel comfortable, don't do it. In that case, Williams Brewing (800) 759-6025 sells the same type controller with cord attached to plug into for $49.90 plus shipping. Brewer's Resource (800) 827-3983 has an electronic one that switches both high and low for $99.90. I don't know whether or not the electronic controllers are as reliable as the mechanical types. I don't have any connection to any of the mentioned companies. John Wilkinson - Grapevine, Texas - jwilkins at imtn.dsccc.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 17:47:24 -0400 From: Jeff Donnelly <jeff at geoplex.com> Subject: Ultimate Brewing Setup request I'm famous for buying something, using it a while and then realizing it doesn't meet my needs and into a corner of my basement it goes. I figure that most of you have gotten to this point with your brewing equipment so I'd like to tap your experience with the following question: If you could start over with what you define to be a decent sized budget, what would you buy? I hope to convince my spouse to spend a portion of our income tax refund on upgrading my brewing equipment. I do extract now but am going to just do it and move to all grain and I'd prefer to buy good equipment that is best for the job over several years and spread the cost over several years rather than buy what fits my budget this year. Let's assume that I would rather buy than make but I can make if that's the right thing to do. I am very handy but I have 2 years worth of jobs on the house to do ... I currently own: old fridge couple of corny kegs, CO2 6.5 gal glass carboy canning pot (stolen from unhappy wife) for boiling I think I should buy: 5 gal glass carboy for secondary ss 10 gal brew pot with drain connection Now it gets fuzzy: mashing pot (another ss pot with false bottom and therm?) lauter tun burner for brewing (I think we covered this sufficiently with the cajun cooker threads) mill Part of the issue revolves around, should I go for one of those tiered setups, hot water to mash/lauter to kettle, where all are ss, or is this a waste and I should go for the picnic cooler approach? jeffd at att.com Return to table of contents
Date: 22 Apr 97 16:18:56 -0700 From: Glenn Tinseth <glenn at terrapacific.com> Subject: Hop Page Update The Hop Page (now at <http://realbeer.com/hops/>) has a couple new features. First, the bitterness calculator is available as a JavaScript and allows multiple hop additions = <http://realbeer.com/hops/bcalc_js.html>. = Second, I've created a similar JavaScript that calculates = the ppm of important brewing ions, based on user-supplied = volume and added salt mass data = <http://realbeer.com/hops/wcalc_js.html> Let me know how they work for you -- suggestions for = improvements are very welcome. Cheers, Glenn Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 19:23:13 -0400 From: Randy deBeauclair <debeau1 at provide.net> Subject: Bulk honey Just a quick question for everyone out there. Any one have any suggestions for a good source of bulk honey, for the = purposes of making mead? I live in Southern Michigan, although mail = order would be fine. Thanks for your help. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 19:40:03 -0700 From: Sharon/Dan Ritter <ritter at camasnet.com> Subject: re: Counter Pressure Filler Recs >Does anyone have a recommendation for the best/easiest to use Counter >Pressure filler (besides yet another trip to Home Depot to build my >own!)? Hoptech has a pretty inexpensive model that boasts an "automated" >adjustable pressure relief valve, which on other models seems mostly >"un"-automated but also usually has a hose attached to it which makes me >wonder if the feature on this model is more like a pressure relief >"spray." I've been using the counter-pressure filler from Braukunst (1-800-972-2728 - no affiliation blah, blah) for the past three years. I added a needle valve, which wasn't necessary, but it gave me a higher level of control on filling speed. I'm very happy with it's performance and construction. You might want to check out the Fall 1995 issue of Zymurgy for their Road Test of counterpressure bottle fillers. Dan Ritter <ritter at camasnet.com> Ritter's MAMMOTH Brewery - Grangeville, Idaho Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 20:43:45 -0600 From: Ronald Babcock <rbabcock at rmii.com> Subject: Holding Mash Temp in SS I'm looking for suggestions from fellow converted keg brewers. I have a hard time holding the mash temperature in my converted keg. Currently I am applying heat as needed to adjust the temperature but I find this to be unsatisfactory for the following reasons: 1) I get hot and cold spots varying in temp by as much as 5 degrees. 2) When heat is applied the SS false bottom must rise enough to let grain under it, that has to be circulated out which sometimes is enough to plug up the system. 3) The fluctuating temperature makes it impossible to maintain my desired consistency in quality brewing. I have an idea or two, as I am always looking to improve my system, but some input would greatly be appreciated. I thought of just insulating the keg with some fiberglass batting and covering that with SS or aluminum to protect it from the neighboring kegs burners but the temperature would probably still drop just not as fast. An other idea would be to build a coil and place it in the hot liquor tank maintain the temperature a couple of degrees above the desired wort temp, to compensate for heat loss, and circulate the mash through it to maintain the desired temperature. If anyone has any other ideas I would entertain them as well. Private email would be preferred, as I will post the suggestions as well as my findings. TIA Ronald Babcock rbabcock at rmii.com Denver, CO Return to table of contents