HOMEBREW Digest #2544 Thu 30 October 1997

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

  Irish Dry Stout pt. 2 (Fredrik Staahl)
  RIMS questions (John_E_Schnupp)
  Airlocks (Mike Spinelli)
  Steinbier Rock Temp. (David S Draper)
  4 hour mash - off tastes? (Ian Smith)
  Rusty Nail Porter ("Goodale, Daniel CPT-- 4ID HHC DISCOM CDR")
  re BT hydrometer calibration method ("Graham Wheeler")
  Dry hopping ("Todd McAllister")
  BAAD BT article on Calibration, Stuck secondary,Dry hops, ("David R. Burley")
  re:Spices added at bottling time (neumbg73)
  non-electromechanical/Fermentation chiller (mcveyp)
  Tequeza/ Agave brew (Don H Van Valkenburg)
  RE: new contest categories (Don H Van Valkenburg)
  rockbottom bashing (Charles Burns)
  Re. Welding Question (John Palmer)
  Yeast Strain Questions ("Travis, Brian")
  Extract: Good, yes. As Good . . . ("Michael Gerholdt")
  Re:  New Contest Categories ("Brian M. Rezac")
  picnic cooler mash/lauter tun, pumpkin (Vincent Voelz)
  Hydrometer calibration (Al Korzonas)
  Artful Pitching Rates (Paul Niebergall)
  The Perfect Airlock (George De Piro)
  Re: Gas -- Natural vs. Propane ("Paul A. Hausman")
  Re: Optimizing Airlocks (Lou Heavner)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 11:10:12 +0100 From: Fredrik.Stahl at math.umu.se (Fredrik Staahl) Subject: Irish Dry Stout pt. 2 ----------------------- IRISH DRY STOUT ----------------------- GUINNESS (Draught) ================== "Massive hop presence with pronounced roast barley notes. Ripe bittersweet balance with tart fruit and great length of hops, fruit, coffee, and chocolate notes. A world classic, jet black beer with enormous complexity and character." [1] Smooth and full, aftertaste with a hoppy acidity. [2] Ref. [1] [2] ========================================= OG [Plato] 40/[9.75] 39 Alcohol (%vol) 4.3/4.2 4.2 IBU 48 45 Colour (EBC) 125 130 WATER: The St. James's Gate brewery uses Dublin water, but the Park Royal brewery outside London uses water from the Thames Valley Water Authority, and claim that they use no water treatment. [1] GRAINS: Pale malt, roasted barley (9%) and flaked barley. [1] Pale malt, roasted barley (10%) and flaked barley (25%). [2] MASH: Old procedure: Mash in with 2.1 l/kg at 64.5 C (148 F), rest 70 min. New procedure: Mash in at 62 C (144 F) with added beta-glucanase, raised slowly to 64.5C (148 F) for conversion. [1] HOPS: The old procedure was to add the hops when the kettle was 2/3 full. [1] Several varities are used among whose Goldings may be the most dominant. [2] FERMENTATION: The wort was cooled to 17-18 C, then rises to 23-27 C. This took about 36-48 hours. It was then centrifuged, cooled to 8-9 C, fined with isinglass and lagered at 7 C for at least 5 days. Then gyle is added and the beer heated to 20 C and conditioned for 72 hours. [1] (Lewis also mentions the Guinness Flavor Essence (GFE), but he doesn't say which of the many versions of Guinness this is added to.) The fermentation temperature is 25C. [2] MURPHY'S ======== "Distinctively toasty tasting, malty, and very dry." [1] Not as offensive as Guinness but drier than Beamish with a hint of well-toasted bread. A firm but light and smooth body. [2] "A distinctively toasty-tasting, malty, interpretation of the style." [3] Ref. [1] [2] ========================================= OG [Plato] [9.09] 37.8 Alcohol (%vol) 3.88 4.2 IBU 33 35-36 Colour (EBC) 117 Grains: Pale malt, a small portion of chocolate malt and roasted barley. [2] Hops: Only Target. [2] BEAMISH ======= "Creamy, chocolatey, least dry of the Irish stouts." [1] A distinctive chocolatey tone, a silkey body and and a very tasty hop character. [2] "Creamy, chocolatey and delicious - least dry of the style." [3] "Roast barley, chocolate and hops in the mouth, bitter finish with some fruit and hop notes and slight astringency. [4] Ref. [1] [2] [4] ================================================================ OG [Plato] 39/38/[9.53] 39 39 Alcohol (%vol) 4.2/4.1-4.2/4.11 4.2 4.1 IBU 38-40/37 38-42 40 Colour (EBC)[L] 124/120-140[46-53] WATER: Demineralized, carbon filtered, salt treatment. [1] GRAINS: Ale malt and roasted barley mashed at 62 C (143 F), mash thickness 3.5 l/kg. [1] Chocolate malt dominates instead of roasted barley. Once raw wheat was used to give a firm head, but this has been replaced by wheat malt to increase attenuation. [2] HOPS: Bittering: Target, Challenger, Perle, Aroma: Challenger, Goldings, all pellets. [1] The hopping schedule includes Challenger, Goldings and German Hersbruck. [2] BOIL: Boiled for 90 min., Irish Moss added. [1] FERMENTATION: Fermented at 22 C (73 F) for 75 hours. Finings added. [1] REFERENCES [1] M. J. Lewis, "Stout", Classic Beer Style Series 10, Brewers Publications, Boulder, Colorado, 1995 [2] M. Jackson, "Michael Jackson's Beer Companion", Reed Consumer Books Ltd., London, 1993 (I only have the Swedish edition, so some of the comments above are my own sad re-translation of the Swedish text.) [3] M. Jackson, "Michael Jackson's Pocket Beer Book", 1995 ed., Reed Consumer Books Ltd., London, 1994 [4] G. Wheeler and R. Protz, "Brew Your Own Real Ale at Home", CAMRA, 34 Alma Road, St Albans, Herts AL1 3BW, UK - -------------------------------------------------------------- Fredrik Staahl Tel: int + 46 90 786 6027 Math. Dept. Fax: int + 46 90 786 5222 University of Umeaa E-mail: Fredrik.Stahl at math.umu.se S-90187 Umeaa, SWEDEN WWW: http://www.math.umu.se/~fredriks On tap: Black Hole Stout *** Nemo saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit *** - -------------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 05:21:02 -0800 From: John_E_Schnupp at amat.com Subject: RIMS questions Beerlings, I'm getting my RIMS together and have a few questions before I make a mistake that will cost me $$$. 1. Can you get HSA by the splashing of the sparge water? I want to heat my sparge water in my brewpot and pump it to the HLT. I would be using a non magnetically coupled pump (read not my RIMS pump). 2. Will my RIMS pump overheat or suffer other damage if the output flow is restricted too much? I'd like to use the pump during sparging but am concerned that the low flows required for sparging may overheat the pump. I don't want to have to buy a new pump after a couple of batches. TIA, John Schnupp, N3CNL Colchester, VT 95 XLH 1200 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 97 09:07:14 est From: paa3983 at dpsc.dla.mil (Mike Spinelli) Subject: Airlocks HBDers, An airlock thread seems to be developing, so I thought I'd resubmit my rather unorthodox approach to airlocks for comments/criticisms. Scaling up from 10 to 25+ gallon batches has forced me to reexamine my brewing procedures to help lighten the workload. Having to prepare 4 or 5 conventional 3 piece airlocks at the end of 9 hour brewday seemed a real PITA. What I now do is simply place a double folded piece of aluminum foil right over the carboy mouth. Form it snugly over the edges and forget about. Obviously, the C02 can escape since I've yet to have a problem with the foil blowing off. Not being a science man, I'd like comments on my procedure in terms of comparing to the conventional airlock. If the job of an airlock is to keep out nasties, it seems to me that the foil can do this nicely. Having used the foil on the last 20 or so carboys w/o a problem tells me that the foil does the job. Mike Spinelli Mikey's Monster Brew Cherry Hill Nj Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 09:19:25 -0600 (CST) From: David S Draper <ddraper at utdallas.edu> Subject: Steinbier Rock Temp. Dear Friends, Michel Brown wrote, referring to the temperature of the rocks used in making steinbier: |>Nine, mein freund! Actually it is made by heating Graywacke rocks to 1200'C |>then dumping them into the boiling tun... [snip] This temperature cannot be correct. Graywackes will be more than 50% *molten* at 1200 C and atmospheric pressure. Either it is actually 1200 F (about 650C, much more reasonable) or the number 1200 is a transcription error. Even granite or a high-grade metamorphic rock will be at least 30% melt, and probably a lot more, at 1200C, depending on the minerals present in the rock; 1200 C is where much more "primitive" compositions, such as basaltic lavas (e.g. the stuff that's been coming out of Kilauea in Hawaii for the past several years), *begin* to crystallize at atmospheric pressure. Melting rocks is what I do for a living, so I am for once speaking with some authority. Please folks, don't try to heat your rocks to 1200 C unless you want to make magma! Cheers, Dave in Dallas - -- David S. Draper ddraper at utdallas.edu Fax: 214-883-2829 Dept. Geosciences WWW: hbd.org/~ddraper Electron Probe Lab: Univ. Texas at Dallas 972-883-2407 ...That's right, you're not from Texas... but Texas wants you anyway... Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 08:15:03 -0700 (MST) From: Ian Smith <rela!isrs at netcom.com> Subject: 4 hour mash - off tastes? I usually end up doing a 4 hour 153 F mash out of convenience/schedule etc. Does anyone know if this can cause any off flavors or tastes in the resulting beer (usually English ales)? I have heard that overnight mashes might give you a sour mash but this shouldn't be the case in 4 hours. Do the enzymes keep on "muching" at the sugars even when all the starch has been converted at the 60-90 minute mark? Is this a bad thing? Cheers Ian Smith isrs at rela.uucp.netcom.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 09:31:00 -0600 From: "Goodale, Daniel CPT-- 4ID HHC DISCOM CDR" Subject: Rusty Nail Porter Dear HBD Hive, Recently produced a partial mash porter (I'm really an all grain kind of guy, but I wanted to use up the extract). I've made some pretty bad beers in my time, but this is the worst. The first sip tasted like I just sucked on a rusty nail. I've never encountered such a metallic off taste and am at loss to explain it. My best guesses are: 1. Old extract 2. Too high SG without conditioning starter (some bad math on my part) 3. Lousy central TX tapwater 4. chips in enamel pot 5. just wait a few months and it will go away (AKA wishful thinking) any help is much appreciated, private e-mail fine. Turbo Dog 6 ANNUM TURBUS CANIS Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 16:19:09 -0000 From: "Graham Wheeler" <Graham.Wheeler at btinternet.com> Subject: re BT hydrometer calibration method Harlan Bauer in HBD 2542 had trouble calibrating his hydrometer to a procedure given in the September issue of Brewing Techniques. My guess is that 1.035 is dead on. The procedure given in Brewing Techniques is not accurate.The author seems to have forgotten to take account of the specific volume of the salt (if that's the proper term). Salt has volume, even when dissolved. By dissolving 50 grams of salt and making that up to one litre, you do not end up with one litre of water plus 50 grams of salt. The weight of water in that solution less than 1 kilogram (1 litre) by whatever is the weight of water the salt has displaced. Simlarly, if you take one litre of water and add 50 grams of salt to that, the volume will increase, so, although it will weigh 1,050 grams in total, it will not weigh 1,050 grams per litre. The true sg could be calculated if we had an accurate figure for the specific volume(?) of salt, but I don't have access to that sort of information. You could perform the calibration just by using the indicated weight on the scales, which might be what the author of the article intended, but there are not many scales that will weigh 50 grams of salt to sufficient accuracy, and also weigh 1 kilo of water plus the weight of the flask plus the salt to a similar accuracy. The way I would tackle it would be to get a precision measuring cylinder, put 1 litre of distilled water in it, then add 50 grams of salt to THAT. Make sure the the salt is dissolved fully, then measure the new volume. The sg can then be calculated by dividing the total weight (1,050 grams) by the new volume. Any convenient volume and weight of salt can be used. Also, I would prefer to use sugar solutions rather than salt solutions. Hydrometers are, theoretically at least, affected by surface tension. I suspect that the surface tension of a sugar solution is closer than salt to what we would expect in beer (although that may not necessarily be true). Dave Whitman has shown by experimentation (private correspondence) that the effect of surface tension on sg is negligible as far as beer is concerned, particularly at lowish gravities that we commonly employ, but it may be a wise precaution to get S.T. as close to beer as possible. Graham Wheeler High Wycombe England Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 09:41:20 -0700 From: "Todd McAllister" <TODDMC at corel.com> Subject: Dry hopping >>>>>>>Chris Tirpak Wrote:<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< >I just did my first batch of beer involving dry hopping and now need to = bottle or keg >it and am not sure about what to do. > >I added the hops when I racked to a secondary. So now that I am about to = bottle >or keg I need to know the best way to get rid of all the hops. I am = thinking about a >metal wire strainer or a cheesecloth. Anyone want to tell me what has = worked for >them? > >I looked through the FAQ=27s at realbeer.com and went back through the = archives at >HBD but everthing I found just talks about adding the hops.=20 >Thanks, >Chris Tirpak >chris=40tirpak.com Chris, I just did my first Dry-Hop about a two months ago and (an amber ale with = cascade hops for bittering, finishing and dry) it was the absolute best = beer I=27ve ever brewed. I had the same question as you and I asked my = friendly local homebrew shop about using a nylon mesh strainer that I use = when transfering the wort to the primary. He didn=27t seem to think it = was a good idea due to loss of yeast that may be needed for carbonation. What I did do was after the secondary fermant died down, I lowered the = temprature of the secondary in a water bath with a t-shirt draped over it = and let it lager for a good ten days so all the big stuff would drop out = of suspension, then was careful to rack off the top and leave a good inch = at the bottom. This atually turned into a very clear and wonderfully = hoppy brew. I just did an IPA using fuggle hops for the dry, but the overall hoppiness = is not a prevelant as it was with the amber using the cascade. (In fact, = I liked it so much, I=27m doing another amber this weekend=21) -Todd McAllister- toddmc=40corel.com =22Drink ale, live lager=22 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 11:49:45 -0500 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: BAAD BT article on Calibration, Stuck secondary,Dry hops, Brewsters: Harlan Bauer says: >After reading "How to Get the Most out of Your Measuring Instruments" in= the >most recent issue of Brewing Techniques, I decided to check the accuracy= of >my "trusty" hydrometer. It was a real eye-opener! First, I checked it in= >distilled water, something I had done before: 1.000, just like it should= be. >Then, following the instructions in the article, I measured 50-g NaCl in= to >my 1000-mL volumetric flask (Class A). The gravity should have read 1.05= 0, >but instead read at 1.035. Not even close. I too read that article last night and = was appalled at what a poor job the authors did in a magazine I normally respect very highly. Shame on them! It is obvious that the authors never tried the calibration with the sodium chloride, never showed how to calibrate for pressure differences, etc., etc. In my handy dandy Chemical Rubber Handbook 56th ed., p D-253, the density of the solution of sodium chloride at 20 degrees C for 50.6 grams per liter is 1.033. Corrected to 60 deg F this would be almost exactly 1.035. = Your hydrometer sounds perfect - the article is screwed up! Some more numbers: g/l NaCl density at 20C 10.1 1.007 20.2 1.014 30.6 1.021 40.0 1.028 50.6 1.033 60.3 1.042 71.2 1.049 80.0 1.055 91.2 1.062 100.2 1.068 = These number are based on anhydrous solute, so if you want to be extra R/A you should = dry the salt at 110C for a while, although sodium chloride does not pick up a lot of moisture from the air. While we're at it, here's sucrose probably a better candidate for this use due to its similarity, better solubility and high purity: g/l density at 20C 10 1.0039 20.1 1.0078 30.3 1.0117 40.6 1.0156 50.9 1.0178 61.3 1.0236 71.8 1.0277 82.4 1.0317 93.1 1.0358 103.8 1.0400 204.3 1.0785 263.8 1.1009 and Maltose g/l density at 20C 10.0 1.0041 20.1 1.0063 30.3 1.0121 40.6 1.0162 50.9 1.0202 61.3 1.0243 71.9 1.0283 82.4 1.0323 93.1 1.0363 103.8 1.0403 136.6 1.0505 158.5 1.0603 181.4 1.0691 216.0 1.0801 288.1 1.1100 A refractomer is pretty useless for this kind of use, but it can be useful as a quick test for standardized cases. = Personally, I wouldn't bother with it. I certainly wouldn't use a hydrometer for determining endpoint of a fermentation ( see Clinitest), although it can be useful for determining the estimated alcohol content ( +/- 0.5%) along with the OG. = The normal hydrometers are OK for this use, since the estimated error in the calculation is so high, take less sample and are much cheaper. - -------------------------------- = M. Duppong says: >I'm brewing up a Brewer's Resource Brewtek American Brown Ale, using the= >Wyeast that came with the kit- an American 1056 (I think). >Primary fermentation was for 6 days at 68F. Racked to secondary, stored= in >a dark 64-66F closet. So far, I have yet to see one "blurp" from the >airlock (from my casual observations in the last week). Me thinks the >secondary is stuck. Probably not stuck, just finished. = Racking it probably removed most of the yeast and kicked off a lot of the CO2. = If you moved it to a colder spot that can sometimes shut down an ale fermentation like 1056. If you want to know if it is finished = or not get the Clinitest KIT with tablets *not* test sticks ( may need to special order at your pharmacy). and = check it for residual sugar. If is is less than 1/2% sugar, put it somewhere cool and allow it to clear for a few more days and then prime and bottle as usual. = You may wish to add a fermenting Kraeusen starter made from the secondary yeast to be assured it will properly carbonate. If it's not finished, then make up a starter from the secondary yeast, = move it to a warmer place and finish it out. If you want more info, see past issues of HBD on Clinitest Kit use in determining fermentation end point. - ----------------------------------- Chris Tirpak says: = >I just did my first batch of beer involving dry hopping and now need to >bottle or keg it and am not sure about what to do. >I added the hops when I racked to a secondary. So now that I am about >to bottle or keg I need to know the best way to get rid of all the >hops. If you used whole leaf hops, then use = a Choreboy scrubber attached to the bottom of the racking cane. If you have rabbit pelleted hops, than the problem is a little more difficult. Try fastening a piece of boiled nylon screening or a ball of cheese cloth to the bottom of the cane. = Above all do not "filter" these off by allowing the beer to pass through the air. Having a few bits of hops isn't all that bad and I have had some small bits in the early days of "real Ales" drinking in Britain. Next time use whole hops, if you didn't. Think about using the hops in a cheesecloth bag. - ------------------------------------- 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, 28 Oct 1997 11:58:46 -0400 (EDT) From: neumbg73 at snyoneva.cc.oneonta.edu Subject: re:Spices added at bottling time In regard to Dennis Putman's Q: Just thought I'd relate my only experience with this: I just bottled a porter a few weeks ago, and to the last 1 or 2 gallons I added a strong tea of spices. I Just boiled the water for about ten minutes, threw in the spices ( I used ginger root and licorice root), and boiled for maybe another minute or two. Then dumped the tea into the bottling bucket. The spiced porter came out great with no sign of infection. bernie-kb2ebe The Secret Caverns Pico Brewery Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 10:01:14 -0700 From: mcveyp at kingman.com Subject: non-electromechanical/Fermentation chiller I tried ducting the cooling tube thru a "dorm" fridge. There wasn't enough coldness to cool. If I run tap water thru my chiller, I cool the wort to pitch temp in 30-45 minutes. So, I got a 5 gl bucket with lid. Attached an inny & outy PVC hose bib thread to the top & bottom. I fill it with ice and shunt the tap water thru the pre-chiller and in to the wort chiller. The cooling time went down to 20 minutes. Even simpler is to wait the 30 minutes. I can drink another beer within that time. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 09:13:14 -0800 From: steinfiller at juno.com (Don H Van Valkenburg) Subject: Tequeza/ Agave brew Anheuser-Busch is test marketing an agave-beer with additional flavor of tequila/lime added in post fermentation. They can't use the trade name tequila, because that is protected by NAFTA -- only tequela made in Mexico can be so named. So they came up with a variation on the spelling; Correct me if I am wrong, but I think they spell it Tequeza. Has anyone tried this stuff? What do you think? I have done a couple test batches with a 40/60 ratio of agave to malt. Came out prety good, but I still have some tweaking of the recipe to do. I had been thinking about doing a contract brew with agave, but the person who was going to finance the venture got cold feet. I think the basic concept has great marketing potential --kind of would fit into the Mexican restaurant/Corona crowd. Comments welcome Don Van Valkenburg steinfiller at juno.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 09:44:16 -0800 From: steinfiller at juno.com (Don H Van Valkenburg) Subject: RE: new contest categories Alan Talman writes: >I am now planning the Second Annual Homebrew Contest to be held next March. > I would like to offer alternative categories for the really good beer that >doesn't really fit well into the AHA style guidelines. GREAT IDEA!! >Current alternative category ideas include; >1.Beers brewed with at least 25 ingredients. >2. Don't know what it's called, but it tastes good. Try to at least group them by SG and IBUs -- wouldn't want to judge a 1.080 low hopped against a 1.045 pale, high IBU >3. At least 50 HBU's [or 60] Don't try to judge anything for two days after judging this category >4. No hops at all. [How many spruce beers can YOU judge?] You might call this GRUIT -- the old English name given to ales before they started using hops. BTW, there were many spices besides spruce that were used. >5. My first beer. I like this one -- would be less intimidating to first time brewers. One possibility is categorizing according to their starting gravity within two major sub-groups; ales and lagers? And---beers were given points for creativity. Just one idea. The Nineteenth Annual California State Homebrew Competition organized by the San Andreas Malts had a good solution for this: They had all the major categories and in addition to a few subcategories they had "other" ; i.e. if you had a wheat that didn't fit into any subcategory, it would be wheat/other, or pale ale/other, or porter/other. Don Van Valkenburg steinfiller at juno.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 97 10:10 PST From: cburns at egusd.k12.ca.us (Charles Burns) Subject: rockbottom bashing I was going to stay out of this until I saw: <snip> >> Rock Bottom has never claimed to make "English ales" or "German lagers" >> but "American ales and lagers"... >So don't give them traditional English or German names. I was in Seattle the last 3 days, at the Hilton, 1 block from Rock Bottom. I remember 2 of the names: Brown Bear Brown Flying Salmon Stout Not very English I'd say. And by the way, they were both Excellent brews, along with the grilled smoked salmon filet. Hmmm. My mouth just started watering again... Charley (back from Seattle) in N.Cal Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 10:09:49 -0800 From: John Palmer <jjpalmer at gte.net> Subject: Re. Welding Question Joe asked what he should do with some apparent slag on the backside of his TIG welds on fittings in his stainless steel kettle. My first thought is that TIG welds should not have slag. Usually only stick-arc welds (SMAW) or flux cored MIG welds have slag. So, a) it was not TIG or b) it is not slag per se. Nevertheless you have something gray and nonmetallic on the backside of your welds. If (a) then it IS slag and you need to grind it off. I suggest using a Dremel tool. If (b) then it could be heavily oxidized filler metal caused by not having a shielding gas on the inside. Here again, it would be good to grind it off and expose fresh metal that can be cleaned and repassivated. After grinding it out, take some stainless steel cookware cleaner (ex. Revereware cleanser) and scour the area to remove any free iron from grinding plus any local discoloration due to oxidation from the weld. Rinse it with fresh water and dry it. Then let it sit indoors for a week to let the chromium oxides reform (repassivate). Then it should be fine. John Palmer metallurgist, AWS CWI jjpalmer at realbeer.com www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer/ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 13:22:00 -0500 From: "Travis, Brian" <btravis at mail.egleston.org> Subject: Yeast Strain Questions Does anybody have any knowledge of what yeast strain Anchor Brewing uses in Liberty Ale or the yeast strain Yakima Brewing uses in Grant's IPA? And are these strains available to the homebrewing community through either commercial sources or private yeast ranch collection? Thanks for any info any of you can provide! Brian Travis tarvus at mindspring.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 13:23:39 -0500 From: "Michael Gerholdt" <gerholdt at ait.fredonia.edu> Subject: Extract: Good, yes. As Good . . . Matthew Arnold is a bit upset. He asks: >How is brewing with extracts not "doing it yourself?" This must be somewhat emotive and rhetorical, because the answer is clear. If you are using a syrup as your chief ingredient in making beer, you are not doing the following: Picking the grain(s); milling the grains; converting the soluble starches to sugars; extracting the sugars. The steps above are significant and do entail some attention and achieved skill. Matthew continues: >I choose what extracts and in what amount, I choose the >type of yeast (and I have used both liquid and dry), amount of specialty >grains, amount and timing of hop additions. My beer is very much done myself. Quite a bit much, yes. But not nearly as much as going from all grain. >>Extract is a lazy way to make a batch of beer. If you really enjoy the >>hobby then go for it make the best beer you can the same way the "Big Guys" >>do. >I'm sorry, but this is utter bunk. It is a cheap shot to call extract brewers >lazy. To be picky, the above quote does not call extract brewers lazy. It says "Extract is a lazy way to make a batch of beer." For many who regularly make all-grain beer, to consider making an extract beer with its savings in time and effort would seem like something of a luxury - a self-indulgence. I'd be being lazy if I decided at this point to make an extract beer. Whip it up and be done in 3-4 hours! That's making beer? <g> And what does make it laziness, _for me_, is this: Though I've made and tasted many fine extract beers, I just don't agree with those who maintain that extract beers are as good as all grain beers. Sorry. It may not be the "politically correct" thing to say at this juncture, but it's my belief. Certainly I've tasted *some* extract beers that were better than *some* all gain beers. But we're talking a bell curve here. Fresh grain beers are, in my experience, better than commercially extracted and condensed and rehydrated syrup beers. On the whole. Other things being equal. >Sorry about the tirade but this really annoys me. And, yes, I am going to try >my hand at all-grain brewing as my previous posts have shown. Not because I >feel I _must_, but because it is something I've always _wanted_ to try. I can >very easily see myself brewing with extracts again, especially the recipes I've >particularly enjoyed. Write back in a couple years and tell us how many of those wonderful rehydrated beer recipes you went back to after coming up with all grain versions of the recipes and enjoying the difference. I liked my beers made from commercially extracted and condensed syrups, too, and felt similarly about them. But I haven't felt that buying syrup and replicating them would be a good use of either my brewing time nor my drinking pleasure since moving to all grain. As in anything, YMMV. Enjoy the brew! Michael Gerholdt Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 11:34:40 -0700 From: "Brian M. Rezac" <brian at aob.org> Subject: Re: New Contest Categories Alan Talman wrote: > I am now planning the Second Annual Homebrew Contest to be held next March. > Our first contest was very successful but ordinary. For the next contest I > would like to offer alternative categories for the really good beer that > doesn't really fit well into the AHA style guidelines. I expect 125 entries. > > Please don't spam me for encouraging 'punk' brewing. I love a hoppy IPA just > like the next HBDer, I just think brewers make some funky stuff worth > judging. And the beginners are discouraged from entering by the guideline's > fine print. > > Current alternative category ideas include; > > 1.Beers brewed with at least 25 ingredients. > 2. Don't know what it's called, but it tastes good. > 3. At least 50 HBU's [or 60] > 4. No hops at all. [How many spruce beers can YOU judge?] > 5. My first beer. > > Well, as you can see I need help with interesting categories. I would like to > encourage newbies to enter and I think the AHA styles are too rigid for some > casual brewers. My experience last year was that many newbies had good beer > that they entered in the wrong category because they didn't have the > understanding of the guidelines they needed. Any help? private email ok. Alan, It sounds like you're describing a category that is already popular with many competitions. It's known by several names around here; The Just Beer, Strange Brew, Big Beer or Weird Beer Category. I've seen it described several ways. Sometimes the category is described by the minimum HBU's or Starting Gravity. Sometimes it's described by, "A beer that doesn't fit into any style guideline". Personally, I love these type of categories for competitions, but I think they work best as an additional category rather than the category for the entire competition. Even though it may seem like there are many beers entered in the "wrong" category, many times most beers are entered correctly. If a brewer does brew a beer that nails a particular category, he or she will usually want it judged against like beers. I, also, think these categories encourage newbies and casual brewers to enter competitions. And I'm all for that! However, you also want to encourage experienced brewers to enter. Good Luck & Good Beer! - Brian Brian Rezac Administrator American Homebrewers Association (303) 447-0816 x 121 (voice) 736 Pearl Street (303) 447-2825 (fax) PO Box 1679 brian at aob.org (e-mail) Boulder, CO 80306-1679 info at aob.org (aob info) U.S.A. http://beertown.org (web) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 12:40:45 -0600 From: Vincent Voelz <voelzv at winternet.com> Subject: picnic cooler mash/lauter tun, pumpkin I'm looking for a 10-gallon picnic cooler to serve as a dual mash tun and lauter tun with a false bottom. Preferrably I want a big tall cylindrical cooler, like the "McDonalds" coolers, because it already has a spigot and because my current lautering device uses Phil's Phalse Bottom, which hopefully can be easily transplanted. I have had bad luck finding anything except the rectangular coolers. Anyone know where to find these? Costs? Satisfaction? Please email me directly, as I don't subscribe to HBD (but I read it on the web) Another topic: I'm about to make a pumkpin ale in a few days, anyone know pros/cons of small pumpkins vs. large pumpkins? The farmers' market worker said the small ones were "good for baking" -- hence good for beer, too? Vincent Voelz voelzv at winternet.com http://www.winternet.com/~voelzv Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 12:42:50 -0600 (CST) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: Hydrometer calibration Harlan asks about his hydrometer being off considerably. I skimmed that article, noticed that salt was mentioned and put it in the back of my head as "something to check on some day." I don't know how much salt you need to make a 1.050 SG solution (maybe 50gm in 1000ml is right, but just the use of salt raised a red flag in my head). What I *can* tell you that both the Plato and Balling scales are based on *sugar* (sucrose (table sugar), to be exact) and here's how you check the accuracy of your hydrometer using regular table sugar: Get a very accurate scale. Weigh out 12 grams of table sugar. Add 60F water (or whatever temperature your hydrometer is calibrated at... it will say on it... some newer ones are calibrated at 68F or 20C) to that sugar until the solution weighs 100 grams (i.e. add 88 grams of water). Mix well. This, by definition, is a 12 Plato solution (very close to 1.048 OG). Had you used 10 grams of sucrose and 90 grams of water it would have been 10 Plato... 15 grams == 15 Plato... etc. Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com My new website (still under construction, but up-and-running): http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 13:34:47 -0600 From: Paul Niebergall <pnieb at burnsmcd.com> Subject: Artful Pitching Rates Brewers: Ah, the art versus science debate lives on. It was written in HBD 2542: >>Accepted pitching rates are from 0.75 to 2 x 10^6 cells per ml per Deg >>Plato of the wort (low end for ales, high end for lagers). So for 5 >>gallons (19 liters) of a 1.052 OG wort (about 13 deg Plato), I come >>up with 19000 ml times 13 times 0.75 x10^6 or 185 billion cells on the >>low end and about 500 billion cells on the high end. That's >>anywhere from 6 to 10 times the amount of yeast you're getting in >>the tube. High gravity beers need even more. Accepted by whom? Are these the optimum pitching rates that are accepted by Mega Swilleries? If 0.75 to 2 x 10^6 cells is truely the low end, what if I only had 0.74 x 10^6, should I then not pitch my starter? A range is a range, the limits are arbitrary. Aside from optimal performance of my yeast culture (whatever that is), do these optimum pitching levels really apply to my home brewery? >>Now as to whether the amount of yeast in the tube is sufficient for >>pitching into five gallons of >>beer, I guess it depends on what you >>call "sufficient". Certainly White Labs is selling you more yeast than >>Wyeast, but neither is sufficient in my mind for pitching directly. But a >>12 hour lag time is just not aceeptable in my brewery. Better than >>the 24-36 hours from a swelled pack of Wyeast, but not acceptable. Come on now 12 hours isn?t that bad is it? That means that if I pitch my starter by midnight on a late brewing evening, I can expect my wort to be actively brewing by lunch time the next day. Sounds pretty acceptable to me. >>Bottom line, make a large enough starter to get the quantity of yeast >>you need, oxygenate it well, and oxygenate your wort well, too. You'll >>be glad you did. I agree in making a large starter, oxygenating it well, and oxygenating wort too. But, actually the bottom line is whatever you find it takes to make good on a consistent basis in your home brewery. If someone consistently pitches a White Labs ?pitchable? starter (or a swollen smack pack - sans starter for that matter) and consistently comes up with good results (no matter what the lag time), then this is acceptable and the amount of starter used was indeed ?pitchable?. You could pitch a gallon of yeast starter, oxygenate with pure O2, have a 1 hour lag time, and still end up with crud. >>If you can't or won't make a starter, just rehydrate a couple or three >>packs of Nottingham dry yeast. Just as all-grain beers aren't >>necessarily better than extract beers, liquid yeast, improperly handled >>or used, is not necessarily better than dry. Conversely, just as extract beers aren?t necessarily any worse than all grain beers, pitching a less than optimum cell count in your starter isn?t necessarily any worse than pitching the optimum amount - If it works for you. Brew On, Paul Niebergall Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 16:38:45 -0800 From: George_De_Piro at berlex.com (George De Piro) Subject: The Perfect Airlock Hi all, The simplest, most effective airlock I can imagine for homebrewing fermenters would be of a design similar to the pressure relief valves on cheap(er) pressure cookers. A small weight perched on a vent. When the pressure is high enough to lift the weight, it is vented. Otherwise the weight remains on the vent, sealing it from outsiders (O2 and bugs alike). The mass of the weight determines the maximum pressure. Heck, it could even be set so that your beer would carbonate. I should patent this thing and market it, shouldn't I? Nah, I doubt that it would differ enough from the version on pressure cookers to be patentable... Have fun! George De Piro (Nyack, NY) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 16:00:36 -0500 From: "Paul A. Hausman" <lion!paul at saturn.planet.net> Subject: Re: Gas -- Natural vs. Propane In HBD #2542, Steve Scott Wrote: : :On Sat, 25 Oct 1997 00:13:18 -0400, you wrote: :>First off, I know what comes out of my LP tank, but what do you call :>"natural gas"? (and don't say "a fart" -- I mean the stuff you cook :>with!) :Actually they're both the same thing - methane. No they are not! "LP" is an abreviation for "liquified *propane*" gas. Propane is C3H8. Natural gas is exactly that, it is hydrocarbon gas from underground. It's chemical makeup varies somewhat, but it is primarily methane (CH4), some ethane (C2H6), and very small percentage of propane and higher molecular weight gasses. :>I know this next question has been answered before, but I always get :>confused. I've got my cajun cooker -- or some compatible propane :>cooking device. If I want to have a natural gas line dropped down into :>my basement to use this puppy, what conversions are in order? Converting a gas burner from one fuel to another requires re-porting. This is because different gasses burn best at different fuel/air mixtures. In basic principle, a gas burner consists of five parts. 1. Gas Source 2. Pressure regulator 3. Gas port 4. Air Intake 5. Burner (bad ascii graphics alert!) 5 _T_ ______ooooo =============(___)=======} ooo | 1 ----------- 2 3 4 The ratio between the size of the gas port and the air intake/burner construction is what determines the air/fuel mixture. For a given burner setup, the bigger the gas port (represented as "}" in my lousy diagram, the richer the fuel/air mixture. I believe that methane (natural gas) requires a larger port than propane. Your local heating supply place (or someone else on this list) may be able to tell you how much larger. For some commercial burners (e.g., stoves and hot water heaters) you can buy propane or natural gas ports. For Cajun Kookers and other cheap burners, I have heard of people re-porting them with a power drill and properly sized drill bit. :>Also -- does the :>cost of converting a (paid for) LP cooker end up being more than buying :>a natural gas cooker? Where does one find natural gas cookers of this :>type. : :The major problem with converting a cooker such as this or finding a :methane cooker is that they're both designed to be used outdoors. :Neither has any means of shutting down the gas flow if the main burner :goes out. This is especially scary when considering the amount of gas :this could dump into your house in just a few minutes. 1 cubic foot of :methane has slightly more than 1000 btu. So your 100,000 btuh burner :would dump 100 cubic feet per minute. Find a burner that will shut down :the gas valve if the flame goes out if you're planning on brewing :indoors. At the risk of revisiting the "propane indoors" tirades, This is true. The fire/explosion hazard of natural gas is less than that of propane, because propane is heavier than air (wants to head for your basement) while methane is lighter than air (wants to head for your attic and out). However, either one can pose a significant hazard if you do not know what you are doing or if you do not pay attention. Also, gas burners designed for outdoor use may generate substantial amounts of CO2 and or carbon monoxide, neither of which you want building up in your house. If you do go ahead and install such a device indoors, either study up on it *a lot* or get help from someone who you are confident knows what he/she is doing. Make sure you consider potential leaks and provide adequate ventilation for combustion gasses. My suggestion is, if this sounds like too much work, stick with slower cooking or work outside. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 16:08:32 -0600 From: lheavner at tcmail.frco.com (Lou Heavner) Subject: Re: Optimizing Airlocks Steve Alexander asks about reducing O2 diffusion through an airlock when beer is kept for long periods under an airlock after visible fermentation is complete. Maybe Dave Whitman's suggestion of a barrier bladder is the best alternative. I'm not sure how permeable ballons (rubber or mylar) are to O2. But since there will be little or no CO2 production, a small balloon would work. Leakage around the fittings should be no more than would occur with a conventional airlock. Any CO2 that is actually produced will simply expand the balloon. The balloon could even be purged with a shot of CO2 immediately prior to placement. Replace your airlock with a stopper fitted with a piece of tubing. Before inserting the tubing, poke a balloon through it so that the lip of the ballon can be folded up around the outside of the tubing. I'm not promising you won't tear a ballon or two trying to put it together with a tight seal. Let's see how good my ascii art is... BBB B B B B B B TB BT BTB BTB SSSSBTB BTBSSSS CSSSBTB BTBSSSC C SSBTB BTBSS C C BBB BBB C C C ~ ~ B= baloon; T= tubing; S= stopper; C= neck of carboy Regards, Lou <lheavneratfrmaildotfrcodotcom> Return to table of contents
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