HOMEBREW Digest #2629 Thu 05 February 1998

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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

  Sanitizing pumps & tubing (dfikar)
  Re: Computerized Fridge Controller (Mark Riley)
  Safe from oxidization, (kathy)
  temp control programming (Forrest Duddles)
  Strange CO2 taste in keg (Chris Dodge)
  Bite test,Plastic taste,forced fermentation, corny haze ("David R. Burley")
  RE: Counter-pressure Bottlers (Ken Hawkins)
  Sparging Rates (Jim Bentson)
  Liquid Yeasts? (Jon Ingram)
  Kriek kits? (Jon Ingram)
  Protein Rest Primer part deux (Kyle Druey)
  Moravian Malt stats (Charles Peterson)
  Re: Lauter dynamics (Ronald Babcock)
  RE: keg lube (LaBorde, Ronald)
  RIMS vs. Other Methods (PBSys)
  Use of LP Indoors ("Brian M. LeCuyer, P.E.")
  Natural Gas Burners (Tom Riddle)
  Red Greem, growing hops (Mark Tumarkin)
  mashout (smurman)
  late hops (Thomas Buckner)
  Re: unclear beer (Mark Weaver)
  UK Brewery Crawl ("Roy R. Rimmele")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 3 Feb 1998 18:06:12 -0600 (CST) From: dfikar at flash.net Subject: Sanitizing pumps & tubing I recently acquired a magnetic drive pump which I use to recirculate/batch sparge and to pump the cooled wort from my kettle to my fermenter. My question is do I need to sanitize the pump & tubing after the sparge or will approx. 40 minutes of pumping 160-165F wort do the trick, assuming I'm careful not to contaminate the tubing before pumping the cooled wort to the fermenter? - --------------------------------------------- Dean Fikar - Ft. Worth, TX (dfikar at flash.net) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 00:12:57 -0800 From: Mark Riley <mriley at netcom.com> Subject: Re: Computerized Fridge Controller Jens B. Jorgensen asked: >I'm planning to control the temperature of my beer fridge with my >computer. A while back somebody mentioned something about being >careful with the cycle-time so that I don't damage the compressor >or something like that. Could any one offer some parameters like >a min-on-time and min-off-time for the compressor? It's not really necessary to specify a min. on/off time if you think in terms of hysteresis. I put together a standalone freezer controller and included a potentiometer to adjust the hysteresis (or free play) from 0 to 5 degress F. I set it to 3 degrees and haven't changed it since (i.e. the compressor turns on/off 1.5 degrees on either side of the desired temperature). This is sufficient to prevent the compressor from cycling too often. Temperature swings of a few degrees of the AIR in the freezer are considerably dampened by the thermal mass of something like a carboy of beer. Inside the carboy, the temperature is going to be fairly constant. It might be interesting to put a sensor inside the carboy, as well. You could log the temperature differential caused by active fermentation and compensate by adjusting the desired temperature of the freezer compartment lower. Of course, this would only be useful if you only have the one carboy - other carboys at different stages of fermentation would be unduly affected. As to having a PC controlling the relay directly, all I can say is that PC's have a tendancy to crash, hang, or be otherwise ill disposed. Although the circuit would be more complicated, a better idea would be to have the PC set the desired temperature (with a DAC) and do the data logging. Leave the switching to a comparator. If the PC crashed, the comparator circuit will still be active and your freezer will stay at the last set temperature (i.e. your beer won't be ruined). Cheers, Mark Riley The Beer Recipator - http://hbd.org/recipator Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 1998 08:17:15 -0500 From: kathy <kbooth at scnc.waverly.k12.mi.us> Subject: Safe from oxidization, As a follow-up to the scathing review of Harpers brewpub offered on HBD by Eric F., and maybe somewhat defensive HBD rebuttal posting by Phil Wilcox of Jackson MI, he and I invited Eric to meet us at the pub, get acquainted, taste the beers again and meet Dan the brewer. Eric lives away from our fair city and wasn't able to meet, but Tuesday Phil Wilcox and I sampled the food and beer and generally got accquainted. Whatever Eric was picking up as oxidized beer was not obvious to us at our visit. Dan, the brewer was home sick all day but previous visits had found him quite accessible and knowledgeable. The beers were much as Phil W. reviewed on his previous post (clean and safe with the porter coffee'd from hell excepted). It is an interesting challenge to see what niche the brewpub can expect. Al Korzonas's recent interesting article in BT on brewpub marketing strategies and differing clientele desires highlights the problem for local brewers. Within a block of Harpers on tap, exists world class: Bass, Guiness, Bell's amber and Solstice, Goose Island Honkers, plus local products as Michigan Brewing Co. pale ale and Arcadia's Special Reserve. All excellent! I'd hate to have to outproduce any of those products as a brewer. While Harper's choices on the safe side won't draw Al K. from Chicago or Eric from Wherever, Michigan, my wife loves the food and the generally quiet side atmosphere of the pub (us-old folks). While I'll stop elsewhere for most of my zesty beer outings (I really like Honkers or MBC's pale), I appreciated that Dan the Brewer had an excellent rye beer offering as something unusual for the beerhunter. If you're able to visit East Lansing and Harpers, you'll enjoy the visit as pleasant but not great adventure in pubbing. Cheers, Jim Booth, Lansing, MI Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 1998 09:32:34 -0500 From: Forrest Duddles <fridge at Imbecile.kzoo.edu> Subject: temp control programming Greetings folks, Some months back I cautioned against too-frequent compressor cycling when setting up an external temperature controller. The info was directed primarily toward those who use a freezer for fermenting at relatively high temperatures (50-70 degF is high for a freezer), but is also good practice for any refrigeration system - including window a/c units. There are "anti-shortcycle" timers built into many commercial refrigerating devices and in many domestic thermostats used for air conditioning. The minmum off time is usually in the neighborhood of 5 minutes or so. This is to allow system pressures to equalize to the point where the compressor's starting torque is sufficient to bring the compressor up to speed upon the next call for cooling. Minimum off time can often be achieved without the use of a timer by setting a controller differential of 5 degF or so and/or placing its sensor bulb in a location protected from warm drafts when the refrigerator door is opened. Some have suggested placing the sensor bulb in a jar of water to prevent short-cycling - and this will work, but it is really just a means of widening the controller differential. It also serves to illustrate that a fairly wide differential is not detrimental to stable temperature control. After all, we are cooling relatively large thermal masses (carboys and cornies) and the effect of a 5 degree swing in air temperature over a relatively short period will be negligable. Minimum on time is more difficult to control because the cabinet temperature will determine when the compressor should stop. That being said, it is important to realize that the compressor is cooled primarily by saturated refrigerant vapor returning from the evaporator coil. The compressor motor generates quite a bit of heat during startup and a minimum runtime of several minutes is usually necessary for the refrigerant vapor temperature to drop sufficiently to remove this heat. Since this post is primarily in response to a question by Jens Jorgensen, I'd like to address a couple of computer-control issues. I have to admit that I'm a gadget junkie and love hacking things to do what they aren't supposed to be able to. I have a couple of old 8086 laptops laying around that I thought would be usable for temp control on a RIMS. After looking at the options- cost, resolution and reliability, using the laptop didn't make sense *for me*. If you pursue computer control, try to incorporate minimum on/off times and other critical functions in hardware (timers, etc). to ensure that errant software won't be banging your compressor on and off or causing other problems. KennyEddy probably will be a good source for temp sensor information, but in my experience it is difficult to get good resolution and stability cheaply. Incorporating one of Radio Shack's temperature control modules might be one option (I use one of these to control my waterbed heater). These cost $20 or so and provide a lot of bang-for-the-buck. There may be folks out there who will report success with tight control differentials and short on/off times. Many refrigerators are overbuilt and will take such abuse for a long time without trouble. It's a gamble, however, as is running at elevated temperatures. Playing it save, where possible, will help to ensure longevity of the system. Please note that the above information is intended to be general in nature. There may be system-specific conditions which warrant a different control strategy. Some experimentation will probably be necessary when setting up any non-standard refrigeration system. Hope this helps! - --------------------------------------------------------------- Forrest Duddles - FridgeGuy in Kalamazoo fridge at Imbecile.kzoo.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 1998 09:43:56 -0500 From: Chris Dodge <cdodge at ptc.com> Subject: Strange CO2 taste in keg I have been force carbonating and kegging in 5 gallon cornelius kegs for over 2 years now. I am close to finishing a keg of an Octoberfest I have had on tap for about 3 months now. My last couple of glasses have a had a strange taste to them. They have an almost medicine taste and a smell very similar to CO2. My comparison to the CO2 smell comes from smelling my kegs when they are purged with CO2 prior to kegging. There is only 1/2 to a gallon left in the keg. Does anyone know if this is due to the beer being over saturated with CO2, my dispense pressure is around 10 psi. If anyone know why this is happening, please let me know before I keg my next batch of IPA. Thanks Chris Dodge Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 10:22:43 -0500 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Bite test,Plastic taste,forced fermentation, corny haze Brewsters: I think we should appreciate Kyle Druey's efforts at trying to find a correlation between the reported malt analyses and physical properties of the grain. = Also, I appreciate SteveA's cautions about germination = enhancement at the maltsters and 2 row versus 6 row = having different hardness and the different amounts of = albuminoid (soluble) protein generated at various stages = of the germination. I ( and others) have cautioned about = these things in the past. Today the modification of the = protein and the modification of the carbohydrate can = be separated to a large extent in non-floor malted = barley, as I have also recently pointed out. However, = such a cautious position doesn't really answer the = question to which we all would like to know the answer. = Does this malt need glucanase and protein rests or not? = In my experience, the bite test is not a quantitative test, = but it a good, fast indicator in the HB store, in the = absence of malting information, whether a malt is a = pale ale or a pale pilsner type and whether it will = require temperature holds below the saccharification = region (149-158F). If it explodes in your mouth when = you bite it, then you can be assured it is an ale malt = and can likely ( and probably should) be used with = a single temperature infusion mash. More importantly, = this malt may likely be harmed by a protein hold and = the beer head reduced, especially with a hold in the = 122F region exclusively. Otherwise, try side by side = small mashes in a water bath ( no need to do a full = batch) some with various holds and the other without = and see the relative amounts of hot break generated, = as AlK suggests. After fermentation of these samples = evaluate the beer clarity and mouth feel and then you = will know how to treat this malt. In the absence of this = information and the absence of an explosive, mealy = bite, use temperature holds until you get results of = your malt evaluation. - ----------------------------------------------------- Tim Burkhardt has a plastic taste in his bottled beer = that wasn't there before bottling. This taste is often = associated with phenols and such. Possibly what = you taste is due to the beer oxidation during bottling. = If you are using a bottling bucket - don't. Add the = priming sugar solution to each bottle ( 48 teaspoons = in 8 ounces) and siphon from the secondary directly = into the bottle. You avoid beer oxidation and don't have = to sterilize the bucket, your stirrer, etc. Using a priming = starter will also reduce the effects of oxidation as the = yeast are active from the beginning. - ------------------------------------------------------ = Bill G comments "What's the big deal about 0.002 SG" = in terms of predictability of what the final gravity is = expected to be and George DePiro responds that this = difference is about equal to the SG difference for primed = and unprimed beer. George suggests a forced = fermentation will give you a value close to the expected = value for the batch. I suggest you also try Clinitest as it = will tell you with an equal or greater degree of precision = - compared to a hydrometer - if your main fermentation is = finished - faster and a smaller sample. Combining = these two techniques, Clinitest and the forced = fermentation ( while you also do a wort stability test = as George suggests) will tell you as close as you care = to know if it's bottling time. = In his following submission George points out that he = had one-half of his CAP finish out and the other one = was 10 points higher. This clearly demonstrates the = danger in just looking for a steady SG as an indication = that a fermentation is finished. I suppose this might = even happen with a forced fermentation. - ------------------------------------------------------- As far as clarity of George's CAP goes, it may be that = excess gelatin actually made it cloudier if you added = too much and didn't have a lot of hops in the first place = ( as is common in some CAPs). The Polyclar is similar = to gelatin in its action. I wouldn't be afraid to use this = as this chemical is used in a blood substitute = formulation,as I recall. Is it possible you have a starch = haze from not adequately cooking the corn meal you = used for the first time? ( different size grind?) - ------------------------------------------------------- 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: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 08:51:37 -0800 From: Ken Hawkins <kenh at icat.com> Subject: RE: Counter-pressure Bottlers Once again the folks submitting are mind readers of top caliber. I recently purchased what I now believe to be a Foxx bottler. If I couldn't be sure but it appears as such: (a)-------(b) | |-- (c | \ / | (insert bottle hear) Now Bill had said to adjust the Foxx bottler to appear as such : (plug)------(a | b)--|-- (c | \ / | (insert bottle hear) Shout when I make a wrong turn. I do not see what exactly makes this a superior set up for c-p filling, then again fluids were never my strong point in physics classes of old. Could someone please expound on this? Also if we're going through the motions of converting wouldn't putting an elbow on top keep from creating a dead spot which could (insert possible bad outcome here), or at minimal inhibit the flow of sweet liquid gold? The latter question could possibly be the ranting of an anal retentive rookie to the c-p filling circle and if it doesn't matter slap me now. Thanks, Ken; Hit or Miss Brewery, It's either one or the other.... Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 1998 12:06:28 -0500 From: Jim Bentson <jbentson at htp.net> Subject: Sparging Rates In a recent post, Al K qouted an e-mail from Darryl Richman to put forward the idea that sparge rates should be from .22 to .38 gals/min for each sq. ft. of lauter tun cross section area (Note this is NOT collection screen area as J.S. thought). They point to statistics from German breweries as given in Darryl's book on Bock. Unfortunately their quote is taken out of context and IMHO leads to totally incorrect data. Consider a 5 gal batch using a typical 10 gal pot or cooler as the tun.The area of the tun ( 12 to 14 inch diameter tun) as roughly of the order of 1 sq. ft. Assume you are collecting 6.5 gals. At .38 gal/min/sq.ft. ( which is the actual final sparge rate , the .22 figure is the recirculation rate in the book) then using Al and Darryl's method you should collect the entire 6.5 gal amount in 17.1 minutes. I believe that this is way too rapid. Where did they go wrong? Scaling problems. What was left out and is clearly stated in the book is that the grain bed depth in these commercial tuns is still only 10 inches to 23 inches and more importantly the sparge time is the same 80 to 90 minutes suggested by most authors for homebrewing applications In a previous post, I had quoted Noonans book which gives guidelines for sparge rates of at least 30 minutes for grain depths of 6 inches of high husk grain to 90 minutes for 18 inch bed depths. Notice that both the bed depth and sparge times from the German data agrees with Noonan. As many posters have stated here , it is the DEPTH of the bed that is important not the cross-sectional area. I have done a fair amount of work on designing pebble bed heaters for solar systems and am somewhat familiar with the flow problem in a loosely packed porous media. I can expand on this if needed, but the key elements for the sparge process (all of which have been mentioned in recent days) are as follows: 1)The main point is to ensure that the sparge water is in contact with the grain particles sufficiently long to dissolve the "goodies" from the grain. You want low flow rates for this. 2) Although I can't find any reference (pro or con) , I suspect that as the sugars dissolve into the sparge water as it percolates through the grain, the dissolved levels approach saturation levels for solubility at some point. The ability to extract sugars from the grain below this point is then poor. Thus there is some depth ( 6 to 18 in.???) beyond which, little extraction occurs in the beginning of the sparge. As the sugar gets extracted in the upper bed levels, the water can then travel lower before saturating.Thus as time goes on we extract from the bottom of the bed If this were not the case , we would be able to dump all the sparge water in the tank at once, stir and collect all the sugar in one drain. The very fact that we must drain the sparge and replace it with fresh water makes me think that there is some solubilty limiting factor at play. Again I stress that this is postulation, as I don't know the actual solubility limits. Comments anyone? 2) Slower sparges are better than faster ones. They give more contact time and dause less bed compaction. The range of times should probably be 30 to 90 minutes regardless of batch size. 3) Excessive sparge rates may compact the bed and cause the sparge to stick. 4) Following commercial examples, a large tun diameter to grain depth ratio, reduces edge effects and should lead to a more efficient sparge. Sorry for the length of the post, but Darryl and Al carry such weight due to their expertise, that I felt I had to comment in length. Jim Bentson Centerport NY - -- Registered ICC User check out http://www.usefulware.com/~jfoltz Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 1998 12:54:48 -0500 From: Jon Ingram <jgi105 at psu.edu> Subject: Liquid Yeasts? I have brewed a few batches with dry yeasts, now I would like to try using a liquid yeast and I need some help. What is a liquid yeast starter? And what do I have to do step by step to use a liquid yeast? Thanks, Jon Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 1998 13:00:27 -0500 From: Jon Ingram <jgi105 at psu.edu> Subject: Kriek kits? Has anyone ever used one of the Kriek kits that are available? Or, does anyone have any suggestions on how to make these kits taste more authentic, yeasts,etc? Any input would be appreciated. -Jon Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 1998 03:10:10 -0800 From: Kyle Druey <druey at ibm.net> Subject: Protein Rest Primer part deux more on the Protein Rest Primer... From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: protein rest. Steve, I am glad you are taking a personal interest with this topic. I could have taken this offline, but the issue of the protein rest seems to be of particular interest to many HBDers. So as to avoid misunderstandings, I am only interested in obtaining *practical* answers on this issue based on solid references and testing data. If my comments seem aggresive I am not intending any personal attacks here, OK. >The idea is that acrospire length is a good rule of thumb, but not a >religion. Making a differential prediction of the mash cycle needed >based on whether an acrospire length is 0.73 or 0.76 averaged over a >sample size of 30 kernels is probably wrongheaded. I never said it was hard science but only an estimate! I was just trying to develop rules of thumb for us simple folk at home without getting into variance, the Central Limit Theorem, The Empirical Rule, and other such statistical confusions. The number 30 was not haphazard (oops!, I forgot that the sample number must be greater than 30, 31 is fine), rather, it is rightheaded. Using this and the standard deviation can give us a statistically valid *approximation* for the acrospire length for the majority of kernels. 0.845 standard deviations from the average acrospire length will give us the lower limit for 80% of our malt sample. For the Baird Pale Ale the average was 0.76, and the SD was 0.22, the 80% number is then 0.57. This means that we have an 0.80 probability that our acrospire length is greater than or equal to 0.57 of the kernel length, and the relatively high SD indicates that this malt has not been uniformly germinated. For this case then, the 20' rest at 135 F would not hurt, and most likely will help in reducing haze causing proteins not sufficiently reduced by the maltster. The 80% guideline was taken from Noonan's revised book, which I realize has been torched by certain xpurts on the HBD, but I don't see anyone performing experiments to disprove his conclusions. Noonan is the only homebrewing author I know of to provide practical information for us folks at home on how to determine if a protein rest is needed. Until *proven* otherwise, NBLB is an excellent book for the all grain homebrewer! >You should also be aware that the malts you compared were probably of at >least three different varieties, each with idiosyncratic growth/malting >characteristics and that certainly some, possibly all were treated with >gibberellin, a plant growth hormone, which distorts the rate of >development of the grain, and which came into use after the 3/4th length >rule appeared. I suspect a red herring here, but here is some additional information: "A number of *shortcuts* have been proposed to cut down on the time and cost of germinating grain, such as using higher moisture levels in the steep or adding hormones like GIBBERELLIC acid to the germinating grain. Adding hormones is banned in many countries but used in others. The danger with such stimulants is that *uniformity of modification*, crucial to malt quality, suffers in forced, rapid germinations (Fix, AoBT, p. 3)". "In many countries, though rarely in the US, the grain is sprayed during transport with a solution of gibberellic acid (Lewis, Brewing, p. 56)". Looks like the use of this hormone was probably not used on all of my 6 malt samples. I could not find a reference that indicates using gibberellic acid distorts the 3/4 length rule. Lewis seems to indicate that possibly acrospire growth is now lessened "the objective of control in malting is to restrict embryo growth while modification progresses (p. 72)". In addition, Fix states that the growth of the acrospire during germination is incidental to protein modification (PoBS p. 103). Knowing incidentally is much better than knowing nothing at all, IMO. >As for the 'bite' test - the value of this is to test for truly >unmodified grains (klinkers, glassy grains), and to check for hard tips, >where the modification finishes at the end away from the rootlet. The >meaning of different varieties, with different original protein content >having different hardness when chewed is less than crystal clear when it >comes to the question of a protein rest. Steve, I respect your opinions, and carefully consider them. Here is what a few other fellas say about the Bite Test: "*Biting* through a kernel of malt reveals the degree of modification. Thus well-modified malt is *crunchy* throughout and sweet to the taste. Less well-modified mlat will contain hard ends which can be easily discerned by their resistance to *biting* (Lewis, Brewing, p. 62)". "Possibly the *best* measure of malt modification is the kernel's hardness. *Chewing* on a kernel of poorly modified malt is much like chewing on a steel ball bearing. Properly modified malt will have a soft mealy texture caused by breakdown of the hard protein matrix in the endosperm (Fix, PoBS, p. 103)". >The question of a protein rest is necessarily answered only after you >understand the protein profile that a particular malt leaves in wort, >and the potential for haze (which is persumeably the primary issue here) >due to those specific proteins. Why isn't modification representative of the protein profile a malt will leave in the wort and the malt's potential for haze? And yes, haze is the primary issue of concern. You and several others have indicated that modern malts have more than enough yeast nutrients and should not be a concern to us folks at home. So the only remaining issue is reducing haze causing proteins. >If you want to know if you'll have hazy beer you'll need to measure >something more relevant than malt acrospire geometry and malt hardness. >These can only hint at the cause. 'Hinting' at the cause is all I am trying to do. Void of laboratory numbers, us folks at home need simple ways to estimate the haze potential of their malt, which I believe the Bite Test and measuring the representative acrospire length with do. Now Remember, I advocated that the Bite Test and the Acrospire Length should be used *together* to provide a reasonable approximation for malt modification. The acrospire length should be used to confirm the bite test, and not be used independently. I am open to any suggestions you may have to determine malt modification at home so long as it does not require the use of expensive equipment. Al K did provide us with a method for determining if a protein rest is needed but it was 1) ex post facto, we need to determine what to do before mashing, and 2) it was lot specific, there is no certainty that the results from the last batch of malt will apply to the next one. I would also like to see specific time/temperature suggestions for a protein rest, just take a 'shot in the dark' as Noonan did, I won't hold you to it :). At the very least, the Bite Test is particularly relevant for the homebrewer in determining malt modification and its haze potential. Kyle Druey Bakersfield, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 1998 14:36:10 -0800 From: Charles Peterson <chasp at digex.net> Subject: Moravian Malt stats HBDers - I got a response on my malt question from Don O'Connor, spouse of St. Pats owner. He sent me the spec sheets! Here is my thank you to him: Thanks! That pretty much answers my question -- the Moravian pils malt is sufficiently modified for infusion mashing (about 70% of the acrospire at 1/2-3/4 length, and 30% at 3/4 to full) if I understand the sheets and HBD discussion correctly. Guess my slow sparge was my own undoing. Don said that the spec sheets will be posted on St Pats web site. Chas Peterson Laytonsville, Md - -------------------------------------------- Chas Peterson Digex Private Networks Group 301-847-4936 chasp at digex.net Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 1998 14:33:19 -0700 From: Ronald Babcock <rbabcock at rmii.com> Subject: Re: Lauter dynamics Guy Gregory discussed lauter dynamics in HBD #2628. He states: "I believe EM-style equipment is more efficient physically than false bottoms for homebrew size batches because it causes sparge water to flow through the grain, rather than drain down along the bucket/grain edge." I would have to disagree with his opinion. In my own experience I had an EM in the beginning and later switched to a false bottom. My extraction went from an average of 84% efficiency to 90% consistently. Nothing else changed in the system except switching to a SS false bottom. I maintained the same sparge rate and temperature of the sparge water. I also did a test using a 1/2" copper pipe and ran it down into the grain bed, starting form the center and worked my way out after 25% of the sparge water had been used. I took a sample at about 2" at a time pulling the grain out along with the pipe and mixed the grain with distilled water to test the gravity of the wort. I carefully measured the water and used an equal weight of grain in each test. The gravity of each of the four tests (center, 2", 4" and 6" from center. ) were less than .001 SG apart from each other. The difference could be actual variations in the grain bed, my scale only measures down to .1 gram, 500ml was eye-balled on the line on the flask or human error. My conclusion is at least with my setup that I have little channeling due to a false bottom, YMMV. My test was for my own curiosity only. I am not a scientist by any means, the test I preformed my not be the proper way to test this but I think that it gives me a good idea of that I have a consistent flow through the grain bed. The false bottom still has a single point "tube" as a point of pickup as does the EASYMASHER. The design of the false bottom and shape of the MLT probably has a lot to do with channeling. I don't have anything against the EASYMASHER, I just think in my setup the false bottom works better. Ronald Babcock - rbabcock at rmii.com - Denver, CO Home of the Backyard Brewery at http://shell.rmi.net/~rbabcock/ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 16:05:50 -0600 From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: RE: keg lube ...wondered if there is a cheaper source. It looks like something that should be pretty cheap if the right source was found. Any suggestions?... I have been using PAM from wife's kitchen pantry. Just spray tiniest amount on my index finger, then rub O' rings. Ron Ronald La Borde - Metairie, Louisiana - rlabor at lsumc.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 1998 18:29:09 -0500 From: PBSys at softhome.net Subject: RIMS vs. Other Methods From: "Dustin H. Norlund" <dustin at minibrew.com> >1. Temperature Control is far superior to any other type >system. >2. No Need for Mixer or Stiring. As a previous user of an electrical RIMS and current user of an external heating source for my mash tun I have found that automatic control will hold a temperature very close,apparently, without stirring However, if you stir the the mash your temperature will change. Without occasional stirring, recirculating wort will channel through the grain bed, leaving temperature differentials. This effect can be avoided with very slow heating (4 deg/min) Bob Precision Brewing Systems URL http://www.wp.com/hosi/pbscat.html Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 17:26:05 -0600 From: "Brian M. LeCuyer, P.E." <bmlecuy at megavision.com> Subject: Use of LP Indoors <de-Lurking off the starboard bow> On various brew-related websites I have noticed the apparent use of LP gas burners on indoor setups. I understand the potential concerns of leaking LP gathering in low areas, however, what are the ramifications of *burning* LP indoors. Specifically, what are the byproducts of burning LP? Is there potential for carbon-monoxide buildup without adequate ventilation? TIA for the feedback. Brian - Brewing safely in Columbus, Nebraska <re-Lurking> - -------------------------------------------------------------------- Brian M. LeCuyer, P.E. Telecommunications Engineer RVW, Inc. P.O. Box 495 - 4118 Howard Boulevard Columbus, Nebraska 68602-0495 (402) 564-2876 -- Fax (402) 563-3655 - -------------------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 1998 20:27:05 -0500 From: Tom Riddle <ftr at oracom.com> Subject: Natural Gas Burners After a long, painful, absence from brewing due to changing jobs, moving, getting married, etc I am ITCHING to brew again. I used to brew in my garage with a propane Cajun Cooker jet engine style burner, but now I must move my brewing operation indoors to the basement, and hence to natural gas. Does anyone know of a vendor for a NG burner appropriate for brewing in a 1/2 bbl keg ? Does anyone have experience / recommendations to give ? - -- Tom Riddle Portsmouth, NH Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 1998 21:23:44 -0500 From: Mark Tumarkin <tumarkin at mindspring.com> Subject: Red Greem, growing hops Did any of you catch the Red Green Show the other night? On the Handyman's Corner segment, Red got into brewing beer. His system was unique - to say the least. The gadget oriented among you would have loved his creative use of his washing machine as a mash tub ...er... tun. He seemed a little confused about what hops are. He even asked his Possum Lodge members for help, but said that they didn't seem to know much, which he found amazing in light of their collective knowledge of the finished product. So being at a loss but knowing they supplied the bitter flavor, he applied his creativity and came up with using a combination of lemons and rabbit food. Which brings me to my question, I need a little help and advice with hops as well. We've just gotten a new house and I have a great sunny spot along my back fence - just outside the windows of my new brewery. It's probably a little too sunny, as I live in Gainesville, FL - a quick check of the map showed 25n46 - (way south of Jeff, but at least a little north of Capt Marc). I checked the back archives of the HBD as I remembered a thread on hop growing last year. There was mention of the "magical 35 degree line" and talk of definately needing to be between 30-50 degrees. However, several people mentioned hops being grown (although with less than complete success) south of this. I love hops, and so just for the hell of it I'd like to give it a try. I quess my question is - what varieties might do the best under these adverse conditions? I'd also appreciate any tips as to cultivation practices for these conditions (hot weather, and very sandy soil). Also, we're coming up to the season when hopheads with less geographically challanged conditions will be starting to think about getting and planting rhizomes, so any suggestions may help out some others as well. TIA Mark Tumarkin Pura Vida Homebrewery Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 1998 19:05:47 -0800 From: smurman at best.com Subject: mashout A couple of weeks ago I asked for some help understanding how a mashout can improve the brew efficiency. There has been a lot of good discussion about mashout and lautering, and it's definitely helped me understand things better. Amazing what will click into place when you actually stop to think about things. Anyway, I had a couple of thoughts on the mashout step that I thought I'd share. First, I'd say we have to agree that a mashout *can* increase the efficiency in some cases. There have been too many people reporting this behavior to discount it out-of-hand. Many people have reported increases in efficiency of near 10%. I proposed that one of the purposes of a mashout would be to ensure that the beta-amylase was completely denatured before beginning a lengthy sparge. Al K and others kind of poo-poo'd this idea, and to a large extent I agree. If you include a step at 145F for any length of time, then the beta-amylase has already done it's work. Conversely, if you're mashing at 155F, then by the time you're done the beta-amylase is likely completely wiped out. There's some question what happens if you mash in the nether regions near 150F. Surely there's some regions of the mash that are at 145F, just as there are regions near 155F. Including a mashout step here is like an insurance that any beta-amylase that may be lying around gets wiped out before you sparge. I agree though, that it's unlikely to make much of a difference either way. However, none of this really addresses the question I had, i.e. how does a mashout increase efficiency? A couple of people suggested that the mashout reduced the viscosity of the wort, thereby helping to increase the diffusion of sugar during the sparge. I find this explanation lacking on many levels. First, the viscosity of water will only decrease by about 10% from 155F -> 165F, and the sugar-water solution is likely in the same ballpark. In order to see a change in overall efficiency on the order of 10%, I would expect that it would be necessary to have almost an order of magnitude change in the viscosity, not a relatively small change like 10%. Second, I think that molecular diffusion plays a secondary role in the removal of the sugar from the grains. Molecular diffusion in liquids is a very slow process. Think about your Black & Tan. It can take upwards of 30 minutes to completely mix the two beers, even with the agitation of periodically picking up and drinking the beer. If diffusivity ruled, then there would be a low upper limit to how quickly you could sparge - too quickly and you would simply retrieve water from the outlet. This doesn't happen. I think it's clear that gravity is the driving force behind the extraction of sugar from the lauter tun. As long as there's enough water to saturate the grain bed and dissolve the sugar, the denser sugar-water will naturally gravitate to the bottom of the lauter tun. So, if you agree that a mashout step cannot increase the efficiency by either affecting the amylase activity or by decreasing the viscosity of the wort, how can we explain what we observe? While diffusivity is secondary during the sparge, during the mash it is not. While the mash is sitting parked at it's sacc. temperature, the sugar that's produced will try to evenly distribute in the water. The problem is that we usually stop mashing after 60 min. or so, and as I said above diffusion is slow, so there will always be sugar trapped within the grains. I think the mashout step can affect the efficiency simply by the mechanical action of mixing to achieve the next temperature. As we progress from our sacc. temperature to 165F we must mix the mash in some manner. I use a large spoon, Jack Schmidling and Miller Brewing use a rotating paddle, RIMS folks use a pump. The agitation of the grain during the temperature step frees some of the trapped sugar in the grain, making it easier to dissolve in water during the sparge. I think this model can explain how efficiency can increase using a mashout, and I'm curious to hear y'all try to support or punch holes in it. SM brewing in the face of El Nino Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 04 Feb 1998 19:07:36 -0800 From: Thomas Buckner <TBUCK at thegrid.net> Subject: late hops Brewing my favorite pale ale recipe last weekend resulted in a forgotten step(must have been the beer) my hops are added as follows(all are cascade):bittering at start of boil 1.5 oz, flavor at 45 min .75oz, and aroma at 55 min .75 oz. Well I forgot to put in my bittering hops at the beginning. i noticed at around 25 minutes in so i added them, increased my total time about 20 minutes and still added the other hops at the appropriate time from the end of my boil. Will my batch be affected in any adverse way? Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 05 Feb 1998 23:44:40 -0500 From: Mark Weaver <HeadBrewer at eci.com> Subject: Re: unclear beer Just adding a few comments to this posting from Weds 02/04 > There are many factors that might be creating unclear beer, but the > first thing you should ask yourself is if the beer tastes good. Clear > beer is not necessarily the hallmark of good beer. > Very true. In fact, some of the best beers in the world are not filtered (best beers being a matter of opinion, there are those who like Coors Light and then there are those who like Delerium Tremens). > Then you can start experimenting with > other factors while brewing. You could be sparging too fast, sparging > too long, not mashing out, not chilling fast enough and achieving a cold > break, not fermenting out completely--which carries an entire host of > separate possibilties itself. > Also, try adding some Irish Moss (or other finings). You would be surprised how much of a difference that can make. It may also depend on the ingredients you use; wheat and oats etc. may lead to a hazier beer.... Prost! Mark - -- Mark Weaver - Brewer on the Loose HeadBrewer at eci.com 75'02 / 72tii "No, I don't brew heads....." Resume http://markweaver.com2tom.com Web Site: http://markweaver.com2tom.com/home.html Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 98 23:45:39 -0500 From: "Roy R. Rimmele" <flossbos at downcity.net> Subject: UK Brewery Crawl I own a company called Sampler Tours. I have been conducting 10 day independent tours to England and Scotland for small groups for the past 3 years. They have been general sightseeing with special side trips to craft / needlework stores for the clients. We have been staying in B&B's and eating most meals in pubs. (Sorry for the long winded intro...but I wanted to give you background)....Now I'm putting together a 10 day Pub/Brewery Crawl to the UK....I have a starting point with the B&B's and pubs we've utilized on previous trips, but I've never done a brewery tour in England or Scotland. Can anybody help? Have you toured a brewery in the UK? If so, Where? How was the tour? Samples? Would you recommend it for a group of between 5-8? Who did you contact? Do they have a website? You get the idea. I welcome any help you can throw my way. e-mail me at flossbos at downcity.net. Thanks in advance. If anybody is interested in additional information, e-mail me for details. We'll be leaving from Boston November 10 - 21, 1998. Thanks in advance. > _\|/_ > { at at } > =============ooO=(_)=Ooo=============== > Roy R. Rimmele > 255 Route 12 Suite 623 > Groton, Connecticut 06340 > flossbos at downcity.net > flossboss at aol.com 'So much beer.....so little time! > Return to table of contents
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