HOMEBREW Digest #2560 Tue 18 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

  North Carolina Piedmont Homebrew (Mike York)
  Correction!!!--Wyeast Lager strains and higher fermentation temps ("Charles L. Ehlers")
  Replacement Parts for Fasch-Frich Tap ("LARSONC%DOM13.DOPO7")
  Re: more about yeast starters ("Arnold J. Neitzke")
  Re: Pump Placement (Bob.Sutton)
  Justifying Beer Making ("Lee, Ken")
  Belgian yeast (Kit Anderson)
  re:Barleywine conditioning (Charley Burns)
  joys of growing hops (kathy)
  Ferment question ("MICHAEL L. TEED")
  Microscopes (Dave Johnson)
  re: Yeast Slant Prep (Michael A. Owings)
  ferment question - oops ("MICHAEL L. TEED")
  Missing HBD / Oxygen / "Attitude" / Nazis (Samuel Mize)
  Great to be wrong - Homegrown hops (Don H Van Valkenburg)
  Yeast Slant Prep ("Capt. Marc Battreall")
  Greets ("Matthew Stierheim")
  Pectin/pectic enzyme (emccormick)
  Pizza stone on stovetop (Robert Parker)
  Preservatives in cider (neumbg73)
  Timmerman's yeast? ("Kensler, Paul")
  Bad Batches (Al Korzonas)
  RE:  Wyeast lager strains (fermentation at higher temps) ("Riedel, Dave")
  Re: Bugs! (Richard Stueven)
  magnification required ("Paul A. Baker")
  grain storage ("Andrew D. Kailhofer")
  Slow chilling (Al Korzonas)
  re:  simple sparging tip ("Kirk Harralson")
  Winterfest ("Kirk Harralson")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 08:53:51 From: Mike York <myork at asheboro.com> Subject: North Carolina Piedmont Homebrew Hi Everyone, I have to agree with David C. Harsh. A good homebrew can be made without perfectly chilling the batch. My favorite wort mixes include good North Carolina Piedmont well water (the well dug down through 150 feet of granite), along with extra hops, crystal malt, five cups of corn sugar, and a can of malt extract: John Bull is a favorite. The process goes something like this: The crystal malt is the first ingredient; poured in one and one half gallons of water, brought to a boil and sparged. A heated can of extract is then dumped in the goulash along with one half ounce of hops; the other half ounce of hops is thrown in at the end of the hour long wort boil to simmer for a couple of minutes. The wort is again sparged. My brew pot of hot steaming wort is then floated in a sink full of the cold deep-well water. When the wort has cooled down some--about thirty minutes after changing the water three times--the wort is poured in a five gallon capacity carboy filled with three gallons of cold water. Then two packs of yeast are dumped in the carboy and toped off with more cold water--leaving about an inch of air space. When I spatter the finishing cold water on top of the yeast, plenty of bubbles develop--oxidation occurs. Within 5 to 6 hours a tremendous fermentation develops. A blow off tube is inserted in the carboy the first day because the fermentation is so vigorous--lose a little beer but don't have an explosion. The second day a three piece cylindrical air lock is placed on the carboy of fermenting wort. The wort bubbles vigorously for three days--then slacks off for about a week. After two weeks the ale is bottled. The result is always the same--a strong wonderful tasting brew. The longer the ale is aged in the refrigerator the better it gets. Mike William Mike York Jr. "Shagging Forever" 129 Vaughn York Rd. Staley, NC 27355 910 824-8937 myork at asheboro.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 08:05:10 -0600 From: "Charles L. Ehlers" <clehlers at flinthills.com> Subject: Correction!!!--Wyeast Lager strains and higher fermentation temps Just re-read my post and realized I'd said part of it backwards. What I meant to say was, "Because I use a refrigerator w/ freezer, and still use the freezer, I have to rely on the refrigerator's thermostat to control the temp. No matter how HIGH (not low) I set the temp control for the freezer, the temp doesn't GO ABOVE (not drop below) 45 degrees F. It usually hangs around 42 degrees F." I'm forced to lager below the optimum temperatures, and can't follow the schedule Noonan recommends, but the yeast still ferments well. <<Date: Sun, 16 Nov 1997 19:19:15 -0600 From: "Charles L. Ehlers" <clehlers at flinthills.com> Subject: Re: Wyeast Lager strains and higher fermentation temps Dave, I use Wyeast for all lagering and some ales. Because I use a refrigerator w/ freezer, and still use the freezer, I have to rely on the refrigerator's thermostat to control the temp. No matter how low I set the temp control for the freezer, the temp doesn't drop below 45 degrees F. It usually hangs around 42 degrees F. I've always lagered very successfully, in spite of what Wyeast publishes as the temp ranges (I use a calibrated refrigerator thermometer to track the temp.)>> Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 08:25:44 -0500 From: "LARSONC%DOM13.DOPO7" <Erik.Larson at MS01.DO.treas.sprint.com> Subject: Replacement Parts for Fasch-Frich Tap Date: 11/17/1997 09:16 am (Monday) From: C. Erik LARSON To: EX.MAIL."homebrew at hbd.org" Subject: Replacement Parts for Fasch-Frich Tap Greetings, I have a Fasch Frich Party-Fasser 5L mini-keg tap (the approx $70 forged metal version) on which the plastic regulator arm has been broken. This is a small threaded piece which attaches to the plastic regulator dial via a button type pinch fitting on one end, and which on the other end screws into the forged tap body to adjust CO2 release. I am missing the plastic button for the dial connection as well. Do anyone know if a source for replacements parts? I'd hate to have a $70 tap rendered useless for lack of $1 in parts. Private e-mail is fine to: erik.larson at treas.sprint.com. Thanks, Erik Larson Washington, DC and Ellicott City, MD Taxman/Brewer Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 07:37:28 -0500 (EST) From: "Arnold J. Neitzke" <neitzkea at frc.com> Subject: Re: more about yeast starters On Tue, 11 Nov 1997 LBarrowman at aol.com wrote: [SNIP] > I have had great success (lag time ~3 or 4 hours) by pitching my starters > into a gallon jug with 1/2 pint wort and then feeding them 1 pint per day > until the day before brew day when they get 1 pint every 12 hours. (starter > substrate: 1# DME per 2 gallons) I usually end up with ~3 quarts final > starter volume. I hate dumping off the liquid before I pitch because there > are so many yeast cells suspended in it. I think the lazy (or dead) ones are > lying on the bottom. > [SNIP] > > Laura > Charlotte NC > > ------------------------------ > I'm a believer, 3 hours after pitching and ACTIVITY! Here is what I did. Saturday 6:00am removed yeast from the refrigerater, and placed on the counter to warm up. 7:30am made a wort with 1 cup of water and 2 1/2 tablespoons of DME and added to the yeast (in a 2 liter pop bottle), did the same again at 7:30pm Saturday. Sunday I brewed, at 4:00pm I pitched the yeast in some well areated wort and by 7:00pm there was activity. By 5:00am Monday morning, it was at the top and headed to the blow off tube. To areate this time, I let the wort fall about 2 feet to a wire strainer that was inside a funnel sitting on top of the carboy. The yeast I got was from a AABG club member, it was about 35ml by volume and had a nice layer of yeast at the bottom which had been stored for about two weeks in the frig. This is the first time I have had this short of a lag time in two years of brewing, what's worse is that it didn't take me all that much more time to treat the yeast right, to get it to perform this way. This will now be my standard practice. Thanks all for this discussion and information. _________________________________________________________ Arnold J. Neitzke Internet Mail: neitzkea at frc.com Brighton, Mi CEO of the NightSky brewing Company - --------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 8:40:00 -0500 From: Bob.Sutton at fluordaniel.com Subject: Re: Pump Placement Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 12:17:13 -0500 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> pondered: >>>Ted Hull gives an excellent dissertation on pump cavitation and recommends placing the pump between the boiler and the chiller to avoid cavitation caused by frictional losses in the chiller.<<< >>>Doesn't the high temperature of the water on the boiler side cause cavitation more so than the cooler side due to the much higher vapor pressure of the hot water? Also wouldn't the materials of construction of the pump be happier at the cooler temperatures?<<< Probably - it depends... If the change in vapor pressure going from hot to cold exceeds the additional pressure losses imposed by the cooler and the extra piping, the pump will be less likely to cavitate, installed downstream from the cooler. A simple illustration: Let's assume the cooler reduces the boil from 212F to 170F. The tendency of a pump to cavitate is referred to as required net positive suction head (NPSH). NPSH is calculated as the prevailing pressure at the pump inlet, less the vapor pressure of the solution. Vapor pressure at 212F (water) is ~ 14.7 psi Vapor pressure at 170F (water) is ~ 6 psi Hence, the available NPSH increases by 8.7 psi when the solution is cooled from 212F to 170F - all else equal. This means that as long as the additional frictional resistance imposed by the cooler and its piping is equal or less than 8.7 psi (in this example), the pump's tendency to cavitate will not increase when located downstream from the cooler. In addition to Dave's supposition regarding the materials of construction, the pump seals/bearings will be less likely to fail when operated at the lower temperature. Bob Fruit Fly Brewhouse Yesterdays' Technology Today Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 07:57:04 -0700 From: "Lee, Ken" <KLee at resdata.com> Subject: Justifying Beer Making I wanted to know how others that read this digest, can justify the expense to their spouses? I usually make a batch of beer once a month. I use an infusion mash with all grain, and it typically takes most of the day. I started yesterday around 9:00 in the morning, and was ready to pitch the yeast at 5:00. I made a nut brown ale and it had to boil 2.5 hours... The two biggest complaints I get are: When is the expense going to stop? The other is the amount of time it takes to brew using all-grain. I seem to have made the mistake of telling my wife all the money I would save by making my own been at home; especially when I brew from all grain. This sounded great at first, but when the expenses started to add up... A mash/lauter tun, a false bottom, etc. Now I want to make 10 gallon batches so that I don't have to spend as much time brewing (fix problem number 2), although that is something that I really love to do. When I explained that to brew bigger batches, I needed a bigger brewpot (more $$$), this got back to problem number 1. To try and save money, I have gone back to using dry yeast. I was suprised as to how well my beer has been turning out lately as well. I can create a five gallon batch for around 15 dollars. I think that is a pretty good deal. Has anyone else had to deal with these _other_ types of problems when brewing beer? Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 08:56:22 -0800 From: Kit Anderson <kitridge at bigfoot.com> Subject: Belgian yeast Al K wrote; > "Except for Orval (which is bottled with a blend of five yeasts), I don't > know of any other Belgian brewers who use a *different* yeast for bottling > than they did for fermentation." Chimay uses a single strain bottling yeast that is different from the fermentation yeast mix. That's why culturing from a bottle will give you a totally different flavor than Chimay. - -- Kit Anderson ICQ# 2242257 Bath, Maine <kitridge at bigfoot.com> "I had the right rib, but it musta been the wrong sauce" - Dr. John Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 07:28:01 -0800 From: Charley Burns <cburns at egusd.k12.ca.us> Subject: re:Barleywine conditioning Rob asks about carbonating a barleywine in hbd #2558. I just had a similar issue to deal with (actually the exact issue). After a 2 week primary and a 1 month secondary (dry hopped) I added some priming sugar and bottled my barleywine (OG:1.119, FG:1.025). After 4 weeks it wasn't carbonated at all so I decided to repitch and rebottle. I considered changing yeasts but I was afraid that the new yeast may eat more than the priming sugar. At 1.025 there's still a lot of sugar in the brew and changing the yeast might render more of that sugar fermentable (different yeast strain). So i repitched the same (1056) yeast. I took some previously harvested 1056 (about an ounce of slurry) and dumped it into the bottling bucket with the barleywine after pouring it all back into the sanitized bucket. Stirred it up with sanitized spoon and rebottled. I did this yesterday and will cross my fingers for the next couple of weeks. Hoping to drink one for Thanksgiving. Actually I WILL drink one, carbonated or not. Charley Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 10:25:17 -0500 From: kathy <kbooth at scnc.waverly.k12.mi.us> Subject: joys of growing hops Kevin Scharmer writes about the joy of having homegrown hops. My neighbor has an elaborate garden often featured on garden tours. I have my hops growning next to her vegetable and herb garden and when the tours come through they quickly look to the novelty of my hops, what they are and how they are used. I set up a hop exhibit and give out samples of homebrew. The neighbor grouses about the tour distraction but likes a glass of homebrew. Cheers. jim booth, lansing, mi Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 09:59:27 -0600 From: "MICHAEL L. TEED" <MS08653 at msbg.med.ge.com> Subject: Ferment question .int homebrew at hbd.org Greetings all, After seeing a noticeable difference in my ferments since brewing in my new rims system I paid some attention to things (read: make measurements) and wondered why a few things I observed happened. Any comments on why would be appreciated. Brew was a Imperial stout, post boil 13 gallons of 1.065 brew. I put the beer in 3 carboys, (2) 5 gal and (1) 6 gal, aerated with venturi tube style aerator with plain old air. Filled carboy 1 with 4 gals, #2 with 4 gals, #3 with 5 gals ( 1 gal headspace in each ). Wort temp of fill #1 was 76 c, #2 was 72 c #3 was 68 c. Divided yeast from previous batch into 3 carboys evenly. Now heres where things get odd. Carboy 1 filled up to the neck in krausen, did not overflow. #2 took off just as fast as #1, but spewed into the airlock for 8 hours, #3 lagged 1&2 by 8 hours, and spewed into the airlock for about 3 hours. SO the questions are: 1) Why such a difference between the 3 same beers with the same pitch amount of yeast, I can see why #3 might have lagged as it may have had less yeast than 1&2, also being cooler. Does the pitch temp make that large of a difference? 2) My ferments ( 2 of 2 ) have been more explosive using the rims vs my old plastic brewery system ( still all grain, but with the rims I went to a new mill, no more corona ), does a rims contribute to this? 3) I have much higher and 'lacier' krausen compared to the old system, and less ' brown spooge ' on top of krausen than in the old system, any comments on why? Is this any indication of head retention in the finished beer? I tasted last weekends brew, a pale ale, upon racking and it tasted quite well considering I used old 6 row, but certainly the beer was not ready for any evaluation, but this gives me confidence that the beer is turning out well in the new system. Any comments would be appreciated.... Thanks. Mike Teed ms08653 at msbg.med.ge.com Sure is nice doing 15 gal batches!... Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 11:03:23 -0500 From: Dave Johnson <djohnso at OPIE.BGSU.EDU> Subject: Microscopes Greetings Tom and fellow HBDers, Welcome to the amazing world as measured in microns. Most inexpensive microscope are quite capable of telling us much about our beloved nectar. A magnification of 400X is quite sufficient to distinguish yeast and bacteria, which probably its most important use. The 400X is typically achieved by a 10X ocular lens and a 40X objective lens. Now as to what you're actually looking at. Yeast are spherical and roughly 10-20 microns in diameter. When dividing they will have a small "yeastlette" cell budding off. Bacteria, OTOH, come in 3 shapes, spherical, rod, and helical and are roughly 1/10th the size of yeast (I've only seen spherical in my beer). They may or may not be colonial. They divide in equal halves when reproducing. Determining yeast viability is another common use by the homebrewer. By adding a drop of methylene blue you can get an approximation of yeast viablility. Non-viable yeast cells will absorb the stain. Affordable microscopes can usually be obtained through the surplus dept. of most any college or university. I hope this helps. Don't neglect to look at good old pond scum. Jurasic Park will pale in comparison ;-). Regards, - -- Dave Johnson djohnso at opie.bgsu.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 16:24:17 GMT From: mikey at waste.com (Michael A. Owings) Subject: re: Yeast Slant Prep > Question #1 - Is the agar they sell properly prepared with nutrients and > do I need to do anything special besides prep it in a pressure cooker? You need to make up a wort of SG 1.020 to 1.040, and add the agar to that (yeast nutrients are optional, but I use em). When I make up slants I generally add 2 tablespoons DME to 125 ml (about a half cup) of hot water. I bring this to a boil in the microwave. Then I stir about 2 grams agar into the hot wort, along with a little yeast nutrient until the agar is completely dissolved. I pour this into slants -- small screw-cap test tubes, in my case. This makes maybe 20 slants? I dunno -- I usually have a lot left over. Then I pressure cook at 15psi for 20 minutes or more. > Question #2 - I only bought 2 oz. How many blank slants can I expect > based on an average. I you figure two grams per 20 slants, a hell of a lot. This figure will of course depend on the size of your slant tubes. Brewtek recommends using 20 grams per LITER of wort! You can probably get away with 15 grams per liter. A liter of wort/agar solution will go a long way. If you use 15 ml test tubes for slants, figure 5 ml/ per tube. So you'd get maybe 200 slants from a liter? and 2oz is enough for maybe 3 liters of solution (I can't remember how many grams to the ounce. Is it 30 or so?). The point here is that 2 oz of agar will keep you busy for quite a while. I'm still working on a 2 ounce jar after a couple of years. Note that I keep yeast under distilled water for long term storage, and these days just use plates and slants for initial revival of the yeast from the distilled water. *********************** Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can. *** And the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they pissed me off *** Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 10:31:16 -0600 From: "MICHAEL L. TEED" <MS08653 at msbg.med.ge.com> Subject: ferment question - oops .int homebrew at hbd.org OOPS! Temperatures in my previous question are F, not C. Big difference. Sorry about that.. :{ Mike Teed Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 11:00:51 -0600 (CST) From: Samuel Mize <smize at prime.imagin.net> Subject: Missing HBD / Oxygen / "Attitude" / Nazis Greetings to all, OK, I have enough copies of HBD #2290 (v2 #10)! Thanks! Six copies, and only one the wrong issue. The real jolt was apparently getting one from owner-homebrew-digest at dionysis.aob.org -- but it's just because the email was forwarded, everybody else cut-n-pasted it into a new message. (Thanks for the shock, Denis!) - - - - - - - - - - OXYGEN USAGE BY YEAST: Someone posted a quote about O2 increasing lag time because it lengthens the "respiration" phase, other comments followed. I thought the HBD microbiologists has established these points about S. Cervisiae (or however you spell the fancy name for beer yeast): - Respiration refers to a specific metabolic process. - S.C. do NOT respire in the presence of fermentable sugars. Instead, they ferment. - S.C. DO use oxygen at the start of the ferment, to build up cell membranes, which makes them healthier. So oxygenation may have some effect on lag time -- possibly even making it longer, as the article suggests -- but its main impact is to strengthen the yeast and improve the quality of the fermentation. Do I have it right, or have I missed some important discussions? - - - - - - - - - - ATTITUDE: A lot of "attitude" has been showing up on HBD recently. We all have different goals, which require different levels of effort. Nobody is stupid or foolish for taking more pains with their beer than you do. If you get result X without bothering about procedure Y, that's good data to publish. It's also fair to say that procedure Y is not "necessary" or "important" if it makes only a subtle difference. If you do this without name-calling, people may actually pay attention to you and learn something. If you are abusive, people will ignore your opinion. If that's what you want, just don't post it. If you enjoy a fight, please post to alt.flame instead of HBD. - - - - - - - - - - NAZIS: This is long, and I apologize, but I feel strongly about it. I find it offensive to hear people called "Nazis," even "in jest," unless they are in fact totalitarian fascist murderers. I'm not talking about the insult, I'm talking about forgetting who these monsters were, and who their intellectual heirs really ARE today. The Nazis were not just "mean bad guys" or overly strict. They sought total control of all humans, and killed millions of "inferior" Jews and slavic people. My uncle died stopping them. I detest calling people "Nazis" even if I hate and despise the people. The term certainly has no place in polite disagreement. If you consider Nazism fit matter for jokes, if you feel I have "no sense of humor," I won't even try to change your opinion. Just bear in mind that I and many others immediately and drastically lower our opinions of people who abuse this word. Email saying I take this too seriously will be considered an implicit request for several copies of the entire HBD botulism thread. :-) Best, Sam Mize - -- Samuel Mize -- smize at imagin.net -- Team Ada Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 09:58:33 -0800 From: steinfiller at juno.com (Don H Van Valkenburg) Subject: Great to be wrong - Homegrown hops kevinFschramer writes: >I am now proudly serving up an IPA brewed exclusively >with homegrown hops and IMHO it is delicious. The ale features >mainly chinook (my biggest crop) and some cascade...sure i don't >know the exact ibu....sure it tastes a little different than >commercially grown... This is one time I am glad to be proven wrong. At the time of my post when I recommended against using homegrown hops my only input about their use was negative including many posts I had read on HBD about those with problems and not hearing the success stories. The most typical comments were of beer tasting like straw --hops were probably over dried, left on the vine too long or both. Or, beer tasting like grass -- hops were not dried or aged at all. Proper drying, aging (oxidation) and storing is necessary. I don't think you can just pick them and throw in the kettle, as some say they did. However since making that post I have heard from several who had successfully used homegrown hops. Along with these successes I would like them to report on how they processed their hops. Although I have not taken nor seen any survey on the subject, I am still curious as to the number of successes vs. failures. I suspect that those successful, are so because they correctly processed and dried the hops. I also suspect that there are more failures than success stories - -- just a guess. Maybe we could take a survey some day..... I do know that many are successfully using homegrown hops. Sometimes there is value in making a fool out of oneself -- it can be a learning experience Don Van Valkenburg steinfiller at juno.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 13:19:53 -0500 From: "Capt. Marc Battreall" <batman at reefnet.com> Subject: Yeast Slant Prep Howdy Gang, got another yeast prep/storage question: What about re-using the agar that is left over from a used plate/slant afterwards? What I mean is, after you have plated out a strain and either transferred it to a slant or starter, why not pressure cook that agar/wort thats left in the plate? I mean, won't it melt it and re-sterilize it making it useable in another plate/slant? Any pro's or cons from the collective? Let me know. Its not that I am cheap, but I have a few strains on plates now that are ready to transfer to slants for storage and I don't have any fresh agar in stock. Thanks, Marc - -- Capt. Marc D. Battreall batman at reefnet.com in The Fabulous Florida Keys future site of "The BackCountry Brewhouse" Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 10:26:38 PST From: "Matthew Stierheim" <vilt at hotmail.com> Subject: Greets Greetings fellow brewersters I'm realy now to this brewing process and my question deals with my first ever batch. For this batch I used a Pale Ale extract kit. Please not flames I will eventualy start doing this all grain this just seemed easer for my first batch. Well to the point I followed all directions with the exception that i added a # of honey becouse I like a light honey flavor in my beer. My SG was 1.040 at time of pitching. What I want to know if how long should this take to ferment? I pitched 3 weeks ago and I'm still getting a few bubbles a min activty in the air lock.. Is this normal? I'm I just worring for no reasion? TIA Matt ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 11:32:39 -0500 From: emccormick <emccormick at usa.net> Subject: Pectin/pectic enzyme Pete and Chris Stelter asked about pectin enzyme... Its the same thing, though generally referred to as pectic enzyme. I really don't know how much to really add. I think I used around a teaspoon with the cider I did last year. It came up absolutely crystal clear and a light straw color. It did take months to do so, so be patient with your cider. If I recall, I THINK I added around 5# table sugar to it to up to alcohol level of the batch. Using Red Start Pastuer Champagne yeast, it fermented out bone dry. I added 8 oz lactose and should have added another packet of yeast at bottleing as it did not carbonate. Needless to say, I drank it anyway <G>. - -- <Ed McCormick - e-mail: emccormick at usa.net> Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 14:15:43 -0500 (EST) From: Robert Parker <parker at parker.eng.ohio-state.edu> Subject: Pizza stone on stovetop Someone suggested using a pizza stone under the brew kettle on an *electric* stove to distribute the heat from the burners. Would this work on a gas stove or would the flame damage the pizza stone? BTW, I use an 8 gallon canning pot sitting on two burners. Rob Parker parker.242 at osu.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 14:12:46 -0400 (EDT) From: neumbg73 at snyoneva.cc.oneonta.edu Subject: Preservatives in cider Hello. A friend of mine works at an orchard and they are dumping the "out of dtate" cider they havn't sold. Instead of dumping it, my thoughtful friend gave me about 20 gallons worth. However, even though the jugs say no preservatives added, my friend seems to think that some are added. I've been trying to ferment 5 gallons of the stuff with a packet of EDME's for about a week now. Not much activity is happening, so I pitched a packet of champange yeast, 2 days ago. Still not much is going on. There is 'some' airlock activity....about 1 bubble per minute...and fermentation temp is at about 68 deg. I think the perservatives are inhibiting normal fermentation. Is there any hope to purge the effects of the preservatives or should I just (*snif*), dump the stuff?? TIA...Private e-mail is fine -bernie neumbg73 at oneonta.edu kb2ebe Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 12:48:46 -0700 From: "Kensler, Paul" <PKensler at itcmedia.com> Subject: Timmerman's yeast? Does anyone know whether or not the yeast on the bottom of Timmerman's wit is viable and/or the original fermenting yeast? The bottle label describes it as a lambic -- Is it a pure S. Cerevisiae culture, or does it have some Pediococcus and Brettanomyces in it? Any info on this beer or yeast would be appreciated (is there an information source on Timmerman's on the web?). If anyone is interested, I plan on culturing this yeast to a small (1 gal.) test batch soon. I have already checked the extensive list of bottle-conditioned beers on Anders Lundquist's web page, and Timmerman's was not listed (http://www.nada.kth.se/~alun/Beer/Bottle-Yeasts/ for those of you that missed it). Thanks, Paul Kensler Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 14:09:11 -0600 (CST) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: Bad Batches Sorry about the old topic... Dave writes: >Rich Sonnischen has experienced 10 bad batches, off-flavors, etc. and gav= >e >some details of his brewing techniques. Rich, sounds like the Charlie P >Overflow/carboy method of primary fermentation has another victim. Do you= >r >primary fermentation in a open container (like a 6 gallon plastic contain= >er >covered with a lid or plastic sheet) and get rid of that contaminated >overflow hose which no one knows how to clean reliably. Also, I don't kno= >w >at what alcohol content a solution becomes a good disinfectant and not a >food source for bacterial growth, but I would use more conventional thing= >s >like bleach and boiling water. I'm sorry Dave, but I have to disagree with you most strongly. I'm quite certain that you have no scientific proof that a single batch was ruined by the use of a blowoff tube. I've brewed over 150 batches using a blowoff tube and of the half dozen that had infections, all of them were traced to problems *other* than the blowoff tube (most were due to aeration with wild-yeast-infested room air). About 50 or 60 batches ago, I switched to 6-gallon carboys for 5-gallon batches... I still put a blowoff tube on there, but only two or three have actually blown off. Once my research (published in Brewing Techniques) showed me there was no flavour benefit from the blowoff method, I modified my system quite simply because I'd rather not lose those two or three 12-ounce bottles of finished beer to blowoff. I clean my blowoff hoses (1.25" OD, incidentally) by soaking them in bleach solution. They may be stained, but there is no crud to harbour any microbiota. By the way, how is an offending wild yeast cell or bacterium going to swim (virtually all are non-motile) against the current of blowoff or is it going to leap into your beer before the blowoff begins? As for alcohol, 70% ETOH is better than 100% and therefore seems to be most common. The contact time for it is 15 minutes (as it is with bleach solution) which is why (along with the fact that it flams [George Carlin], i.e. is flammable) that I recommend it not be used as a spray sanitizer for parts and surfaces. See MB Raines' article in the second or third issue of Brewing Techniques for more on alcohol and bleach sanitizing (alas, she did not cover iodophor and percarbonate-based sanitizers -- and now we have Oxine and StarSan!). Bottom line: DON'T BLAME BLOWOFF HOSES FOR INFECTIONS! 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: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 12:39:05 -0800 From: "Riedel, Dave" <RiedelD at dfo-mpo.gc.ca> Subject: RE: Wyeast lager strains (fermentation at higher temps) Thanks to all who responded to my questions regarding Wyeast lager strains and higher than optimum fermentation temps (special thanks to Jeff Renner, Mark Lubben and Wyeast's Dave Logsdon. Jeff is currently fermenting a Classic American Pilsner at 56F- he'll report on the success of that batch (which tasted good going into the secondary) in early December. Jeff suggested 2206 (Bavarian) for my Vienna, Dunkel and Maibock and 2124 (Bohemian) for my Czech Pils. Mark pointed out that placing the carboy directly on the concrete floor and up against the concrete walls in the corner of the basement should help get things 5F or so cooler. Dave, who had an info booth at the Canadian Beer Festival this past weekend, made a great and simple suggestion: cool the wort to 50F before pitching. This should help the beer ferment out at an average temperature quite a bit less than my cellar temperature of 57-58F. cheers, Dave Riedel, Victoria, BC, Canada Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 10:40:26 -1000 From: Richard Stueven <gak at molokaibrewing.com> Subject: Re: Bugs! Aloha! Thanks to all who responded - too many to even count! - to my question about my grain's infestation. They're flour beetles, and there are a number of ways to get rid of them. The most effective solution seems be to set fire to my house and all of the grain therein, thereby roasting the wee beasties. I might be able to get away with simply feeding the grain to our local pig and fumigating the house, thereby poisoning the wee beasties, but the first option sounds like more fun. (Insert maniacal laughter here.) have fun gak - -- Richard Stueven gak at beerismylife.com http://www.aloha.net/~gak The Moloka`i Brewing Company http://molokaibrewing.com Beer Is My Life! http://beerismylife.com Breweries On The Web http://www.aloha.net/~gak/beer/brewwww.htm Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 14:49:15 -0600 From: "Paul A. Baker" <pbaker at facstaff.wisc.edu> Subject: magnification required Tom Clark writes: How much magnification does it require to look at yeast through a cheap microscope? I happen to have an inexpensive microscope but don't know really what is required. (I am pretty ignorant about biology but I still make some pretty good beer by following advice from guys like you. Tom, I have a cheapo microscope I picked up this summer at a flea market for $12. I can see yeast cells clearly at 150 x. Paul Baker pbaker at facstaff.wisc.edu (608) 263-8814 Wisconsin Center for Education Research http://www.wcer.wisc.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 15:58:14 -0600 From: "Andrew D. Kailhofer" <andy at aerie.bdy.wi.ameritech.com> Subject: grain storage "Raymond Estrella" writes: : Janssen Skylard asks, : >into one large ziploc kept at room temp. in the closet. Is there a better : >way to store them? How long will they safely keep before I have to trash : them? : [...] : or need. Grain that is kept dry should keep over a year, although I have no : hard data on extract potential loss with aging. Anybody? : [...] This last weekend I attended a workshop on Malt here here at the local tech <http://www.milwaukee.tec.wi.us/> as part of the precursors for what they hope will be a new brewery science program. Even if it's only 4-hour workshops right now, it's still pretty neat. Anyway, I asked a question much like yours of one of the maltsters from Briess Malting Company <http://www.briess.com/> (one of the nice things about living in the state where most of the malt used in North America is produced), and she said that they recommend that all of their malt be used within three months (the "best if used before" sort of recommendation). Now, she's mostly used to people who get (at a minimum) an entire palette (sp? I mean a "skid") of grain, but she seemed pretty grim about the prospect of using grain that we as much as a year old. The two issues before you are (a) quality degradation from either oxidation, lipid polymerization (rancidity) or very slow Maillard reactions, or (b) infestation. If you could get rid of any O2 (and keep it away, which is definitely harder) and keep your malt dry (<5% H2O/weight) and cool (<70F [a total swag]) you could probably avoid (a). The (b) part is harder to stop. As far as I can see, you have three main types of possible infestation: fungal, insect, and rodent. You can probably know about the last one without too much trouble---if there's no holes gnawed in your containers, you're probably safe there. The first and the second are harder to know about. Bottom line: You might loose enzymatic power, you might gain off flavors. Does the grain work? Does it smell and taste good? If you can answer both of those questions with "Yes, well enough." you should keep using the grain. Of course, ideally we could make enough beer that we wouldn't have silly problems like not using grain fast enough! Andy - -- Andy Kailhofer Work: 414/678-7793 FAX: 414/678-6335 740 N Broadway, Room 430, Milwaukee, WI 53202-4303 andy at aerie.bdy.wi.ameritech.com pXoXstmaster at ameritech.com (w/o the Xs) PGP pub key fingerprint: EC 61 41 4E A2 66 49 45 57 EA 1A 0C 59 81 8C AF Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 16:03:38 -0600 (CST) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: Slow chilling Sorry if this has been discussed, but I feel compelled to comment anyway... Jack writes that he found no difference in beer that he did not force-chill with a chiller, but rather: >I simply put the lid on the kettle shortly after end of boil >and transfered to the fermenter in the morning. The feasability of this procedure has to do with a lot of things. First let me give the requisite scientific spiel... Malts contain varying amounts of a chemical called s-methyl methionine (SMM -- I hope I spelled it right). Heat causes this chemical to become dimethyl sulfide (DMS). The rate of change is dependent on the temperature. Dr. Fix gives a formula for it in his Principles of Brewing Science, but also says elsewhere in the book that it is produced above 70C (actually, I read this as meaning that below 70C the rate of production is pretty much inconsiquential). DMS in finished beer comes off as a cooked corn aroma. People have varying sensitivity to DMS (i.e. some can't smell a high level of it, others notice it even in small amounts). DMS evaporates in the steam of the boil, but if you catch the steam and condense it back into the wort, you will re-introduce the DMS. A long, vigorous boil will boil off more of the DMS than a short simmer. The reason that slow cooling of wort can be a problem with DMS is because once you turn off the heat, the boiling-off of the DMS that was produced stops, but until the wort drops below 70C there is considerable SMM conversion to DMS. Finally, some DMS is driven-off during fermentation... research has shown that ale yeasts drive off more than lager yeasts [PoBS]. Now, on to the practical brewing stuff. The reasons that Jack and his wife and the guests at the O'fest party did not notice a difference between the force-chilled and slow-chilled beers is some combination of: 1. the malt is low in SMM (higher kilned malts, such as Vienna and Munich are typically much lower in SMM than very pale malts like Pils), 2. all the people are relatively insensitive to DMS (unlikely), 3. the kettle lid was on during the boil for all batches and the DMS fell back into the wort making all high in DMS, 4. Jack used a long vigorous boil and most of the SMM was "used up" and most the DMS that was created from it was boiled off, or 5. the fermentation was such that it scrubbed-out enough DMS to make the difference un-noticeable. Notice that I didn't even mention the issue of infections taking hold during the cooling and spoiling the batch. There is a class of microbiota called "wort-spoiling bacteria" which often give vegetable-like off-aromas only to be killed by alcohol later when the yeast create it. These usually don't cause the beer to become undrinkable, but rather there is a slight "off" smell... often, as I said earlier, like carrots, cooked cabbage, etc. Several hours are often enough to give them time to do their damage. I once made a small batch of very high-DMS beer once when I allowed my wort to cool slowly. It was undrinkably high in DMS. While I support your right to brew the way you want to Jack, I don't think it's a good idea to presume that you have considered every possible variable that can cause problems and that everyone's beer will turn out acceptable like yours did. Therefore, I feel that you shouldn't make blanket statements like "[wort chilling is] just something to stimulate endless discussions and entrepreneurial juices..." Next thing you know, Oliver Stone will be making a movie about it. Bottom line: Chill quickly. 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: Mon, 17 Nov 97 17:13:50 -0500 From: "Kirk Harralson"<kwh at smtpgwy.roadnet.ups.com> Subject: re: simple sparging tip Alan Edwards <ale at cisco.com> writes about sparging: >Last time I brewed, an interested friend was helping out, and >suggested just floating a tupperware lid on the grain! I just poured >the water onto the lid and it kept the grain from being disturbed. >It worked like a champ, and freed up a hand! I have always gently poured sparge water onto a saucer resting on top of the mash to minimize disturbing the grain bed. This was not my original idea, of course, I read it in some introductory brewing book. Lately, I have been wondering if this is not a recipe for channeling. It seems like the sparge water would run down the edges of the grain bed, and not distribute evenly. Comments? Kirk Harralson Bel Air, Maryland Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 97 17:31:24 -0500 From: "Kirk Harralson"<kwh at smtpgwy.roadnet.ups.com> Subject: Winterfest Well, I know I'll get blasted for this one, but I've got to ask anyway. I have never seen any information on what makes a "Winterfest" beer, so I assume it is strictly for marketing, and not really a beer style. My problem is that I really love Coors Winterfest. I know, I know, everybody shuns the Budmilloors swill, but this is different. And I know, I'll get e-mails that say "if you like Coors Winterfest, you've GOT to try this brand". I've tried them all, and I keep coming back to the Coors -- there is something very unique about it. I'm not a big fan of trying to clone commercial beers; it's easier just to go buy them. However, for the other nine months of the year when this is not available, I would love to brew something similar. Would this be characterized as a simple Fest beer, like a Vienna, or low-gravity Marzen? If anyone could help me with this, I would greatly appreciate it. Kirk Harralson Bel Air, Maryland Return to table of contents
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