HOMEBREW Digest #2552 Sat 08 November 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

  Another one for the Homebrew Lawers... (TheTHP)
  Force Testing: Followup ("Louis K. Bonham")
  re: On Esters... / diacetyl too (Charles Burns)
  Re: Rodenbach clone (Sheena McGrath)
  sigs; esters; Dr. Farnsworth (Samuel Mize)
  verdigris (Al Korzonas)
  mini brew (Mason Harris)
  RE: Yeast culturing ("Kensler, Paul")
  When to rack... (Al Korzonas)
  RE: Molten rocks, dry yeast, and Ma Kettle (LaBorde, Ronald)
  Extract brewing, yeast, water and pH (David Muzidal)
  Sanitizing Wort Chillers (Tom_Williams)
  CO2 Generator ("Morton, Mike")
  Storage of yeast (Troy Hager)
  Big 'ol helping of crow (Chasman)
  ester degradation ("Andy Walsh")
  Science and art :^) ("Michel J. Brown")
  re: Parti-gyle ("Michel J. Brown")
  Compression Fittings (Mark_Snyder)
  dry hpping in keg (Paul)
  Re: pitching.... (Joe Rolfe)
  aeration age of slants and Maredsous abbey ale (Saul Laufer)
  Yeast at Bottling and extract brewing ("David Johnson")
  reading a hydrometer in dark beer... (Lou Heavner)
  Re: Carbonation of first 2 batches (Spencer W Thomas)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 10:23:53 -0500 (EST) From: TheTHP at aol.com Subject: Another one for the Homebrew Lawers... Work Christmas Party Ale...with a Twist Greetings all, after conversing with the party organizer of this years christmas party who was lamenting the Cash Bar from last year, I volunteered 2 cornies of ale for the party. After the requsite discussion of non-payment for beer and the legality of home brewing in Michigan, (Bill is on the Senate Floor). A new interesting point came up. The party is to be held at a bar owned by one of people on staff. So assuming that the bar owner doesnt refuse my gift of 2 kegs... Are there any laws pertaining to the giving away of beer for free in a bar? One of the party orgainzers thought so but wasnt sure. A more insidious question would be a liablilty question in case of an accident. What says the great collective? Sincerely, Phil Wilcox Poison Frog Home Brewery Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 06 Nov 1997 10:28:42 -0600 From: "Louis K. Bonham" <lkbonham at phoenix.net> Subject: Force Testing: Followup A quick followup on my force testing post, summarizing responses to the mail I've gotten: 1. Corrections: proper spelling should be "actidione" and "cycloheximide." Also, although's Dr. Farnsworth's manual says that the actidione "will kill the yeast, so anything that grows is bacteria," Jim Liddil and others have pointed out that it will *not* kill quite a few non-saccharomyces yeasts and molds. Ergo, while running the force test with and without actidione is a good test to see if your yeast is a contamination vector, you can't necessarily assume that anything that grows in the actidione-treated wort is bacterial. 2. Dr. Farnsworth's lab manual is not published, and I'm *not* at liberty to make copies of mine. I'm trying to get in touch with Paul (he's in Tahiti doing an installation) to see if he's willing to let me make copies or if he'd sell them to those of you who are interested. (The manual is part of Paul's brewery consulting package.) 3. The recipe for the actidione solution: 100 mg cycloheximide + 100 ml distilled water. Keep it in the refrigerator, as it is somewhat thermolabile. You can also purchase the solution ready-made from Seibel, Scientific Service (Paul's business, but he's not available for a while), and other places that cater to hard-core homebrewers or to the craft brewing industry. Cycloheximide is available from the usual chemical supply houses; it runs about $25 / gram. (1 gram would make up a liter of actidione, or enough for 1000 tests). PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE -- while probably no more toxic that lots of stuff we all have around the house, treat this stuff with respect and keep it away from little hands -- cycloheximide is nasty stuff. AND MARK THOSE ACTIDIONE-TREATED SAMPLES!!! To use: get some disposible luer-lock syringes (I use the 10cc size) and fitting 0.22 micron filters. Fill the syringe, attach the filter, and add 1 ml of the solution to the sample. (I keep the container of my stock solution and the partially-filled syringe+filter in a jar in my beer fridge, so it's just a matter of opening the jar and dispensing.) 4. I've just learned that the Brewing Science Institute (www.problemsolved.com/bsi) sells a lot of pre-prepared differential media at really good prices -- $0.80 per tube or plate), and thus it's now possible for us to do more sophisticated tests cheaply and without access to a lab or having to buy lots of media that has a limited shelf life. Currently available: LMDA: Add a few drops of your sample to this plate, and in a couple of days you'll not only know if there's any bacteria, you'll be able to identify which of the 8 most common genera of brewery bacteria are present -- without a microscope! And this test does not need anaerobic incubation, making it easy enough for most of us to use. HLP: The old standby for assaying for lacto's and pedio's. HRM: Tests for bacteria, while killing off brewing yeast. Doesn't tell you what's growing, however. It's thus equivalent to the wort + actidione force test, but gives results a little quicker and accentuates the growth of bacteria. LCSM: Test for wild yeast (Saccharomyces and non-Saccaromyces). LWYM: Tests for Saccharomyces wild yeast. Starch Agar: Tests for starch-digesting wild yeast. Wort Agar: All purpose agar for yeast culturing/storage. Petite Mutant Agar: Tests for petite (respiratory deficient) mutants. Absolutely essential if you repitch your yeast many times (Dr. Farnsworth suggests running this test every 10 repitches to make sure the yeast hasn't mutated too much.) The BSI folks tell me they will sell you any combination of these, or even a customized test kit that's complete with all necessary media, reagents, and step-by-step instructions. Louis K. Bonham lkbonham at phoenix.net Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 97 09:20 PST From: cburns at egusd.k12.ca.us (Charles Burns) Subject: re: On Esters... / diacetyl too Steve Alexander gives us some great in depth technical information on the formation of esters in HBD #2549,thanks Steve. I've got two questions that are a bit more pragmatic, ie I need to know the best way to both eliminate and to promote esters and diacetyl while at the same time achieving as rapid a fermentation as possible. These could possibly be cross purposes, that is, making a beer that accentuates style guidelines, but making it FAST. I'm guilty of having little patience, tough for a brewer. After spending 9 grueling weeks in a beer judge training program, I have come to much more appreciate some of the more subtle nuances of taste and aroma. I have enjoyed some fantastic beers (one of them was even a belgian, Grimbergen Dubbel) during this time and have decided to try and make some of 'em. This was my whole intention in doing bjcp training and I'm still undecided whether I'll even take the test next month. To the question on esters: Some styles (Imperial Stout and Foreign Stout for instance, and some bitters, depending on which style guidelines you worship) call for high degrees of esters and low diacetyl. If esters are produced early in fermentation, should we start fermentation warm and after the fireworks are over, reduce the temp later? We don't want to create the higher alchohols, just the esters. Reducing temp might also raise diacetyl levels which are inappropriate for that style. I think it depends on WHEN during fermentation these compounds are produced and what temperature they are dependent on. To the question on diacetyl: Again, depending on which style guidelines you subscribe to (if any) and how your tongue works, some beers require some diacetyl (strong scotch ales for instance). Is there a way (aside from yeast selection) to maximize the production of diacetyl, minimize its loss (from aging or other factors) while keeping the fermentation going quickly without trashing the beer from other respects. I think this post is rambling a bit, but my main question is, can we maximize either of these two characteristics of beer by either starting fermentation warm and then cooling off, or starting fermentation cool and then warming it up. If these compounds are produced during the "lag time" and are produced more at high or low temperature, is it advisable (or not) to set temperatures based on this knowledge and whether or not you wish to maximize or minimize the production? See, now that I have a fermentation chiller (thanks to Ken Schwartz's plans) I can actually control this now (yep, I'm a control freak and proud of it). Charley (not controlling enough) in N.Cal Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 06 Nov 1997 09:39:12 -0800 From: Sheena McGrath <sheena at gte.net> Subject: Re: Rodenbach clone Dear Homebrewers: I have been thinking about making a Rodenbach clone. Since I don't have a barrel, I might use a plastic bucket and some wood chips. Does this sound feasible? Thanks to all who reply, Sheena Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 12:13:56 -0600 (CST) From: Samuel Mize <smize at prime.imagin.net> Subject: sigs; esters; Dr. Farnsworth Greetings to all, and especially to: > HOMEBREW Digest #2550 Thu 06 November 1997 > (Incredibly huge, non-beer-related sig hacked off by irate Janitor. Maybe we should put a policy in the header: sigs > 225 letters (3 full lines) may be replaced with "[HUGE SIG - RUDE OR CLUELESS POSTER]". > HOMEBREW Digest #2549 Wed 05 November 1997 > From: Steve Alexander <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> > Subject: On Esters ... > > Due to enzymatic action ... > ethyl acetate arises from ethanol and acetyl-CoA > ethyl caproate arises from ethanol and caproyl-CoA > isoamyl acetate arises from isoamyl alcohol (a fusel > alcohol) and acetyl-CoA. Great data! Do these have different specific flavors? P. Edwards wrote in HOMEBREW Digest #2548 "ethyl acetate (the solventy ester)." Where can I find out which esters provide clove, banana, etc., so that using your data I can control which I get? > From: "Louis K. Bonham" <lkbonham at phoenix.net> > Subject: Force Testing > > Here are the three I typically use, which are adapted > from Dr. Farnsworth's lab manual. Could you provide a more specific reference? (I probably SHOULD know to what book you are referring, but I don't.) Best, Sam Mize - -- smize at imagin.net HELP US HALT LONG SIGS! # # # # # # # # # # # # # (85 chars :-) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 12:45:54 -0600 (CST) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: verdigris While looking up the spelling of something, I ran across "verdigris" in Webster's dictionary. It is said to be the blue-green substance that is formed from the action of acetic acid (vinegar) on copper and is *poisonous*. Webster says it is made up of copper acetate. Now I know this has been posted to HBD before, but since then, I've also seen vinegar suggested as a way to clean copper chillers. I have also read where Lambic/Lamiek brewers (no, the real ones in Belgium) use beer that has gone super-acetic for cleaning the beerstone off their copper kettles. Presumably the copper acetate is very soluble in water? Presumably rinsing well after cleaning with vinegar will render the copper item safe for brewing again? I don't want to start another frenzy... let's just discuss this calmly... let's limit our posts to what we know as *fact* and resolve this without a lot of speculation which will only confuse most and drag the discussion out unnecessarily. 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: Thu, 06 Nov 1997 22:56:44 +0000 From: Mason Harris <smharris at ed.co.sanmateo.ca.us> Subject: mini brew Hello! This is my first post to the list. Does anyone out there have any experience with the all plastic mini brew from southern California? It is a conical type fermenter made from 1/4 inch plastic. What are your experiences with this unit? How have you liked it? Any problems with it? Any thing I should know before I buy one? If you have any information regarding this unit, please e-mail me personally. Thank you very much. - -- Mason Harris, MA (\ SMCOE Educational Audiologist -{ ||| 8- smharris at ed.co.sanmateo.ca.us (/ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 13:53:40 -0500 From: "Kensler, Paul" <PKensler at itcmedia.com> Subject: RE: Yeast culturing Keith Busby was asking about yeast culturing and stepping up. I have been culturing for about a year, and typically take the yeast from slant into a 10 - 50 ml starter, and then step it up to a 400 - 500 ml starter after 2 days. I make the starter from unhopped pale DME and of the same gravity as the wort I will be pitching it into, so as to not affect flavor or gravity. This usually gives me strong, healthy fermentations with 6-8 hours lag time. However I have noticed that with Brewtek yeast strains in particular, I have always had longer lag times, and less attenuation (final gravities in the 1.020 - 1.030's) and flocculation. Adjusting the starters for yeast nutrients and oxygenating the wort have made no difference. The beers always end up tasting good with no off flavors, just high in the FG. I have not had this experience either with Wyeast strains I have put onto slant, or with Yeast Culture Kit Company yeasts. I can only surmise that this performance difference is related to the difference between my brewing techniques and the propagation techniques used by Brewtek. Paul Kensler Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 13:24:14 -0600 (CST) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: When to rack... Capt. Marc writes: >I have been using Greg Noonans' New Brewing Lager Beer as a >guideline. According to it, I should "rack the beer off its sediment >when its density is one third or less of the wort density (OG). But it >should be free of any foam cover". >This is where I wonder, which is more important? I had an OG of 1.063 >and the SG is now 1.024 which is about 38% but there is about a half >inch of foam on top. I have not looked up the actual text, but I believe that the problem here is misinterpretation of the "one third" either by Noonan or by Capt. Marc. I've seen that "one third" rule written before, but what it was for was the proper time at which to do the diacetyl rest. Furthermore, it was not "one third of the OG" but rather "when one third of the attenation remains," i.e. when the beer has progressed 2/3 of the way down from the OG to the FG. Therefore, when you begin with an OG of 1.063 and are expecting an FG of 1.016, that's 47 points of difference. One third of 47 points is about 16 points. So, 2/3 of the way from 1.063 to 1.016 is 1.016 + 0.016 = 1.032. Now, having said all that, I simply go three to four weeks in the primary on lagers (I *only* use a primary for ales) and then rack to a secondary, regardless of the SG, foam, etc. In fact, I would prefer there to be a little foam and fermentation still going on because it would mean that any oxygen that was introduced would quickly be sucked-up by the yeast in suspension and any air in the headspace would be purged out by continued yeast activity. 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: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 13:36:27 -0600 From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: RE: Molten rocks, dry yeast, and Ma Kettle Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 23:25:04 -0500 (EST) Guy says: ...Lastly, on the Kettle thread. For those considering all-grain: No, a ...zillion dollar Vollrath is not necessary. It might be nice, but it's ...not necessary..... ....but ya gotta brew before you figure what you need. Brew with ...what ya got, OK! Get a big pot, a lauter tun, a heat source,a ...thermometer, and a fermenting bucket. Go from there. The rest is ...nice, but not essential..... I fully agree. It seems like so many of us are nearly hypnotized over the idea of stainless steel, stainless kettles, stainless everything, and of course in an ideal world that would be the first choice. But you can make great beer with plastic kettles. I paid $7.00 each for my 15 gallon HLT and my 15 gallon kettle. I am using electric heating elements inside and most happy with the rig. I am using all three vessels, HLT, Mash Tun, and Kettle on the same level (about 2 feet off the ground), I do not need any ladders, but am using two pumps. The money I saved on the kettles paid for the pumps and dinner with the wife. My wife, of course :>)) Happy Brewing Ron Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 14:47:58 -0600 From: David Muzidal <Dave.Muzidal at dssc.slg.eds.com> Subject: Extract brewing, yeast, water and pH I recently posted a question regarding the pH of my yeast starter. Due to some responses I got (and from feedback I received from a few folks I emailed privately) I decided to take a closer look at the pH of my extract based beers. My water is high in bicarbonates (93mg/L) and low in calcium (30mg/L) and magnesium (3mg/L). The combination of this water with light DME resulted in a wort pH of 6 for my yeast starter. After adding some yeast nutrient the pH went up to around 7. The starter fermented out OK, but it was never as active or healthy as I thought it should be. With the optimum pH before fermentation being in the low 5's, the high pH was probably not a good way to get the yeast started out. I never thought much about the water I used because I was making extract beers. I am now starting to think it does make a difference, at least from a pH perspective and the effect it has on yeast performance. The batches I seem to have trouble with are the ones using light malt extracts - they all seemed to ferment rather feabily. My ales and stouts that contained darker malt extracts or darker specialty grains all fermented and turned out very well. After witnessing the pH of my yeast starter I concluded that the pH of my wort might be high as well for these lighter batches (same water, extract and approximate gravity as the yeast starter) where the pH probably fell into the correct range on the darker batches due to the acidity of the darker malts and grains. In addition, I thought the low calcium (which would precipitate out during the boil due to the high bicarbonates) might be hindering my beer from clearing. Add to that the fact that my local water company uses chloramines and there are many sources for potential problems here. I just brewed another batch on Monday and decided to try using bottled drinking water. This water had small amounts of calcium chloride, magnesium chloride and sodium bicarbonate added for flavor and I thought it would be more suitable than using distilled water (a water analysis is on the way from the manufacturer - Ozarka). The combination of this water and light DME resulted in a wort pH of 5.5 before boiling - just about perfect. I also seemed to get a much better hot break than I had in the past. I decanted most of the liquid off of my yeast starter before pitching it into the wort at a = temperature of 64F. I held the temperature at 64F and there was slight activity in 6 hours. It is now bubbling at a rate of about once a second and seems much more vigorous and healthy than the same batch I brewed a couple of weeks ago using the same recipe and fermentation temperatures but with tap water and a couple gallons of distilled water (pH unknown). The last batch bubbled at a steady rate of once every two seconds for six days before trailing off (as did most of the other light batches I = brewed that I can recall), and this seems suspect to me. The current batch = built up to 1 bubble/second over the course of two days and now seems to be starting to decrease. This is more like the activity I remember with my darker ales, and I am fermenting at a much lower temperature to boot = (64F versus 70F). To be fair, I am using a different yeast this time - = Wyeast American Ale II (1272?) versus Wyeast American Ale (1056) in the = previous batches. But I'm not sure I would see much difference in the = activity of these two yeasts under optimal conditions. I guess a lot of this may be conjecture on my part at this point, and it may be a little premature to be optomistic, but I will know in a few weeks if my suspicions are correct. If this batch turns out well, I = will at least know that it was possibly either the pH of the wort or the mineral/chloramine content of my tap water that caused me problems. If I am then able to brew another successfull batch using the same method and bottled water I will be convinced my hunch was right (especially if I try Wyeast 1056 again). If this batch fails, too, then I may need to look at my process, which I really believe is sound. I will post the outcome in a few weeks, so keep your fingers crossed! Special thanks to Dave Draper, Al Korzonas, John Wilkinson and A.J. deLange for their input (and putting up with my dissertations). Dave Muzidal Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 16:37:17 -0500 From: Tom_Williams at cabot-corp.com Subject: Sanitizing Wort Chillers Danny Breidenbach writes about sanitizing wort chillers: "My wort chiller consists of a coil of copper inside a plastic bucket. I put ice & water in the bucket, then I run the wort through the copper." I use an immersion chiller (running tap water inside the copper tube) which I sanitize by placing it in the kettle for the last few minutes of the boil. I like this because it is simple and easy to clean up after. I find that with constant, gentle agitation of the chiller during cooling, the tap water is cool enough to chill 3.5 - 4 gallons (I'm hoping Santa will bring me a 33qt pot so I can do full boils) of boiling wort to ~85F in about 8-10 minutes, even in the summer here in Atlanta. You may be surprised at how much the agitation affects the cooling rate. I think that the typical immersion chiller cools roughly twice as fast with agitation than if left alone. Therefore, I haven't bothered with pre-chilling, BUT.... A suggestion from an old HBD, can't remember who: Get a second, perhaps smaller, immersion chiller, and connect the two in series. Use the bigger coil as I described above, and when the wort has been cooled about half way, immerse the smaller coil in a bucket of ice water. Some experimentation should tell you how cool you should get the wort prior to the ice bath. Tom Williams Dunwoody, Georgia Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 16:32:53 -0800 From: "Morton, Mike" <mmorton at unocal.com> Subject: CO2 Generator Upon reading several of the posts regarding aeration of beer when racking to a secondary fermenter I thought I might add my 2 cents. What I do is flush the secondary fermenter with CO2 (nothing new) but I do it rather unconventionally (no CO2 tank). I have constructed (with about 10 minutes work) a CO2 generator that I think does a fairly adequate job at displacing air with CO2 in the secondary. Here's how: Materials: 1 gallon jug or similar closed container A few feet of tubing A 2-holed stopper that fits jug Duct tape (Red Green says use this for everything) One of those orange plastic carboy cap thingers with the two appendages (my kids say it looks like a snail head) Vinegar - some Baking Soda - some (this ain't big science) A snot rag..er..kleenex (no association...with Kleenex that is) Ingredients sound familiar...like the fire extinguisher you made in Scouts? Okay...now put the vinegar in the jug. Put the baking soda in a kleenex, fold the corners together and tie corners with a string. Add vinegar to the jug. Feed string of baking soda "bag" through one hole in the stopper of the jug. Stuff baking soda bag into jug being careful not to break it and making sure soda bag is suspended above the vinegar, place the stopper in the top of the jug. Put a small piece of duct tape (or any other kind) on the string extending through the hole in the stopper to keep it from falling into the vinegar before you are ready. Put orange cap (sanitized) onto carboy. Put one end of tubing into hole of stopper on jug (the one without the string running through it), the other end onto one of the orange cap tubes. Pull up duct tape on top of jug stopper to allow baking soda to fall into vinegar, replace tape over hole and swirl so that the magical reaction takes place. Voila! CO2 in...Air out. Some additional thoughts: Sometimes I am concerned (not worried) about acetobacter (sp?) contamination so I boil my vinegar first...if anyone knows if this is a possibility I would appreciate some feedback as I also boil vinegar before cleaning beerstone out of my carboy (I like overkill). Also warm vinegar speeds up the reaction with the baking soda (and beerstone). Don't use too much vinegar/baking soda or you will spew the mixture into the carboy...yes it is very much like a fire extinguisher. Does anyone have any data on volume of CO2 produced? I am sure I am not filling the entire secondary. What my intention is to merely get a bit of CO2 onto the bottom of the carboy (CO2 is denser than air???) before racking the beer in. As beer fills the carboy the cushion of CO2 rises and air is displaced. My apologies if this has been posted a bunch. No physics or chemistry intended. Flames/Accolades welcome. Cheers, Mike Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 18:11:40 -0700 From: Troy Hager <thager at bsd.k12.ca.us> Subject: Storage of yeast Fellow Homebrewers, I am new on the digest experience (and what a HUGE bit of daily experience it is) and have been talking to John Thomas (Hobby Beverage) about collecting and storing yeast from the fermentor. I have talked and read a lot about this and it seems everyone has a different answer. I wrote: After collecting it in a sterilized jar and storing it in the fridge, how long have you kept it and successfully pitched it into a new batch? John wrote: This is a big discussion. If you keep it long a few weeks you must feed it because it settled to the bottom with all the dead cells. So you have a mixture of old cells and live cells (about 30%). I read a few days ago the best way is to make a starter a few day after you store the yeast then you can store the new batch for a longer period. I have stored the clean yeast, the starter, for over a year in the ice box. Just had a discussion with the Brewing Science Institute people in CO and here is what they said about the yeast crop issue. I think this is what I was trying to say but whatever I said this is from the experts. "Slurries directly from labs such as Wyeast will last two weeks at 38F (a good general storage temp for both beer and yeast) with little ill effect. They have been aerobically propagated and are much "cleaner" than slurries cropped from fermentors. If you do not wish to wash or otherwise treat your entire mass of cropped yeast for storage, or you fear contaminating it in the process, you may always take a small amount of it (about like what you got from Wyeast originally), store that at 38F, and two days before brewing, propagate it up via a starter culture. This will ensure that what you pitch is healthy and highly viable." Just save a small amount and you will build your own taste. ______________________ Does anyone have the bottome line on this? Some say never to save it, some say to wash it and save it, some say don't wash it and save it, some say save it and freeze it, some say save it and culture it up... Help!!! Troy A. Hager Franklin Elementary School 2385 Trousdale Drive. Burlingame, CA 94010 259-3850 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 06 Nov 1997 22:12:08 -0800 From: Chasman <cwhudak at gemini.adnc.com> Subject: Big 'ol helping of crow Fellow HBDers, I would like to publicly apologize to any that might have taken offense to any of my recent postings (especially Jeremy). It is not my intention to offend or inflame. I have found, though, that often times, one finds oneself so caught up in the fray that one takes comments very personally and, unfortunately, responds in kind. Of this, I am all too guilty. In addition to this, my style tends to be very sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek (ask those that know me personally) and as such, many of my comments which may have been made light heartedly, in the bland, harsh spotlight of plain text, may be misconstrued as being overly insensitive, defensive or derogatory. I will try to be more sensitive to this. Again, I apologize to any whom I've inadvertantly or intentionally embarassed or chided. Conduct like that is not acceptable on this or any other digest. C-- "Comments expressed are those of the author and may not be in good taste" Charles Hudak cwhudak at adnc.com "If God had intended for us to drink beer, he would have given us stomachs." - --David Daye Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 19:54:04 +1100 From: "Andy Walsh" <awalsh at crl.com.au> Subject: ester degradation Esters arise in beer during fermentation in a complex fashion due to activity of a number of yeast enzymes (alcohol acyl transferases). These enzymes are deactivated as yeast budding ceases, thus ester production slows. Although esters are also slowly produced from beer acids and alcohols non-enzymatically, the converse is also true, and esters break down into constituent alcohols and acids. The reaction favours the reverse direction (ie. esters decrease) post fermentation. Enzymatic breakdown of esters occurs via esterases released from yeast cells after cell-lysis. ie. yeast release enzymes that reduce esters to acids and alcohols after fermentation. Top fermented beers lose esters more rapidly than lagers. The nett result can be a reduction in isoamyl acetate of 35% after 6 months for unpasteurised beer. All the above was taken from Belgian researchers, who were specifically looking to reduce the amount of ester degradation that occurred during storage of bottle conditioned beers. My own experience concurs with this. Coopers is an excellent example of beer that is fruity when fresh, and solventy/phenolic when aged. I am therefore a bit confused by Al K's comments about the reverse happening. Another often neglected ester source is hops.Dry hopping in particular can dramatically increase ester levels. Hop esters do not smell specifically like hops, as has been demonstrated via isolating the hop ester fraction by CO2 extraction. Hop esters are also reduced to acid/alcohols and transesterified by yeast to other esters (mainly acetates). Andy. ref: Neven et al, "Flavor evolution of top fermented beers", TQMBAA, v34(2) 1997 p115. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 03:23:48 -0800 From: "Michel J. Brown" <homemade at spiritone.com> Subject: Science and art :^) >How many botulism spores can dance on the head of a pin? That would depend on three variables; first: the cross sectional area of the pin's head. Second, on the ambient temperature; and last, whether the spores are doing rave dancing, or are just jumping around to the beat of brownian motion (no affiliation, just another scientific person with the same last name). Qualitatively, this can also be expressed by the aphorism: as many red herrings that swim in the sea ;^) Dr. Michel J. Brown, D.C. homemade at spiritone.com http://www.spiritone.com/~homemade/index.html "Big Man don't drink no stinking light beer!" "Big Man drink beer what got BIG TASTE!" Big Man Brewing (R) 1996 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 03:54:59 -0800 From: "Michel J. Brown" <homemade at spiritone.com> Subject: re: Parti-gyle >If anyone has an idea how the term Parti-gyle came to be, or perhaps I'm >mispelling it, I sure would be interested. Yes, you did misspell indeed! The term for which you are searching is actually "party-girl"! This is a female person who enjoys home brewed beer, and pays for equipment, supplies, and ingredients for her favorite home brewer :^) I even married one 8-) Dr. Michel J. Brown, D.C. homemade at spiritone.com http://www.spiritone.com/~homemade/index.html "Big Man don't drink no stinking light beer!" "Big Man drink beer what got BIG TASTE!" Big Man Brewing (R) 1996 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 08:34:19 -0600 From: Mark_Snyder at wastemanagement.com Subject: Compression Fittings Mark Snyder at WMI 11/07/97 08:34 AM Bill questions the adequacy of compression fittings for attaching 1/2" copper tubing in his yet to be converted keg. Bill, keep in mind that the compression fitting will be located inside of the keg, where any minor leaks won't matter. You can leave the compression ring and nut on the copper tube and not disconnect the fitting when cleaning, and even devise different internal apparatus that will connect to the fitting via another ring and nut set if you desire. Any leakage you experience will be far less than the flow through the screen and siphon assembly and will just contribute to flow to your counterflow chiller and/or fermenter or boiling kettle (whichever be the case). Mark Snyder Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 97 08:38:04 -0500 From: Paul <pedwards at iquest.net> Subject: dry hpping in keg Rich wrote: >I recently dry-hopped a batch by throwing a hop boiling bag containing >an ounce or so of whole leaf hops directly into the cornelius keg. I am >getting quite a lot of hop particles in the glass when I dispense. The mesh of a hop bag is relatively coarse. What I've done that works well is to us a fine mesh stainless steel "tea ball" that i picked up in a coffee store. A a few HB shops sell them, too. Mine cost $3 or so. Anyway the tea ball is about 2 inches in diameter, or a little larger. It's two hemispheres of stainless screen, with a hinge on one side and a latch on the other. Mine will hold two 1/2 ounce hop plugs very nicely. I sanitize the tea ball, put in one or two plugs, latch it, and drop it into the corny. I do still get a few small bits of hop escaping, but you have to look very hard to see them. Also, if I think the beer will be in the keg for more than a couple weeks after conditioning, I'll transfer the beer to another keg using a jumper hose & CO2, so the beer doesn't get _too_ much dry hopping. Hope this helps... - --Paul Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 09:29:51 -0500 (EST) From: Joe Rolfe <onbc at shore.net> Subject: Re: pitching.... with all the talk about size of the starter.... just remember that volume is not the correct way to determine how much...granted it works and the results are pretty duplicable... the "real" way is to determine the number of viable cells you (the brewer) want to start with...yeah i know 90% or more dont have the tools to measure this.... the viable count will vary from strain to strain and the brewing set up you have...amoungst a 100 other variables... joe rolfe jrolfe at mc.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 07 Nov 1997 09:33:42 -0500 From: Saul Laufer <laufers at vaniercollege.qc.ca> Subject: aeration age of slants and Maredsous abbey ale I read in HBD 2551 of Pat Babcock's and Jim Larsen's system of using aerating with oxygen. I never thought of aerating the starter with oxygen and it seemed so easy to simply shake the erlenmeyer flask containing 200ml of DME, starting from a slant and then shaking 500ml etc. What I do aerate is the 5 gal of wort with two 15 sec blasts of oxygen as suggested by Liquid Bread. I have done this for the last 5 batches and have had lag periods of about 12 - 20 hours. While I have read that slants should be recultured every 2-3 months I recently pitched from a slant that was a year old (it got overlooked in the reculturing process) and stored in my beer fridge. The yeast was viable and produced a most delicious brown ale. I have not given up reculturing after 3 months but does anybody have opinions about keeping slants for longer periods (6 - 12 months). I was given a couple of bottles of Maredsous Abbey Ale (Belgium). It is a bottle conditioned ale and I can see the yeast at the bottom of the bottle. Does anybody know anything about this yeast? Can it be used to produce a Trappist ale (as can Chimay)? Saul Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 08:38:32 -0600 From: "David Johnson" <dmjalj at inwave.com> Subject: Yeast at Bottling and extract brewing This is just a data point about adding yeast at bottling. I did this for the first time with a Belgian Strong Ale I made for this years Christmas brew. I added a packet of dry EDME ale yeast by rehydrating and adding it with my priming sugar at bottling. I have made several observations. I tasted before and after conditioning and I noticed a definite but subtle "British character" after conditioning. Of course, I was looking for it. It conditioned much faster than my other high gravity beers and the flavors (high alcohol...9% ABV) came together faster than my other big beers. I had expected about 6 months before it was ready but it was quite presentable in 2. In fact it placed second in a competition. The judges did not mention the british character I noticed. Am I right in thinking that fresh yeast helped the flavors mature faster in the bottle? A thought on extract brewing. A lot of people when giving advice on extract recipe formulation advise not to use hopped extracts. This is sound advice in most instances. There are two chronic problems with extract brewing that hopped extracts can help address. One is lighter color in the final product. With a properly chosen hopped extract, one can use it in place of the bittering hops and shorten the boil and minimize darkening. I know that the flavor will not be perfectly to style but there is debate on how important the flavor impact of bittering hops is. This makes selection of high quality flavor and aroma hops more important. Secondly, in beers where getting enough hop bitterness out of a concentrated wort boil is a problem, one can supplement the bitterness with a portion of properly selected hopped extract. Please note that I have said properly selected. Part of the problem with properly selecting extract in general is lack of information from the producers. (much like not having lot info on malt). Dave Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 1997 08:59:36 -0600 From: lheavner at tcmail.frco.com (Lou Heavner) Subject: reading a hydrometer in dark beer... From: Joe Sever <JPS at cbord.com> Subject: Help - I don't want flat barleywine! I just racked a 3 gal. batch of barleywine, for which I used Wyeast #1728 (Scottish Ale). It tasted delightful at racking, at which time the SG was about 1.027. I say "about" because I never seem to be able to "see through" the meniscus... Joe, You might try diluting your sample with an equal quantity of distilled water. Then read the hydrometer and calculate the affect of dilution. For liquid density of diluted wort/beer, it ought to be pretty easy do this without a labfull of fancy glassware and maintain reasonable accuracy and precision. If the sample is still too dark, try shining a flashlight through it. Lou Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 07 Nov 1997 11:16:39 -0500 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Re: Carbonation of first 2 batches Carbonation definitely changes the flavor of beer. It does several things: * Dissolved CO2 produces carbonic acid, which makes the beer slightly tarter, and balances the residual sugar. This might account for the perceived reduction in "smoothness" in your porter. * The bubbles "tingle" your tongue and produce a perception of "sharpness". * CO2 outgassing from the beer carries aroma compounds with it, and increases the perception of, among others, hop aroma. =S Return to table of contents
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