HOMEBREW Digest #2639 Tue 17 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

  Short note on slotted copper lauter tuns... ("Michael G. Zentner")
  re: Moldy taps & EM low flow problem ("C.D. Pritchard")
  Osmotic Presssure ("David R. Burley")
  fuller's esb ("Dulisse, Brian K [PRI]")
  Antifreeze/Butter Pils (AJ)
  Boiling O2 caps (RMerid7682)
  Re: Wyeast 3942 ("Arnold J. Neitzke")
  re: removing foil labels ("Greg Pickles")
  Extract advise (JGORMAN)
  Mail order Companies & disaster averted ("Michael E. Dingas")
  Fw: Palexperiment - Update ("Michel J. Brown")
  Mash efficiency (ricjohnson)
  Foil Label Removal ("Grant W. Knechtel")
  re. Welding Copper to Stainless / KennyEddy ("John Palmer")
  HB in Taiwan ("Alex Aaron")
  Sherry flavors (Dave Williams)
  Chloramine / Indoor Propane Use (MED)" <Frederick.Wills at amermsx.med.ge.com>
  Brunette (OCaball299)
  A wupass stout.. ("Joe K. Chang")
  Pale Ale experiment (Randy Ricchi)
  GA (slightly technical, sorry) ("Mort O'Sullivan")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 07:32:11 -0800 From: "Michael G. Zentner" <zentner at combination.com> Subject: Short note on slotted copper lauter tuns... I saw a short time back a lament about how one bends copper in a tight radius to connect pipes in these tuns. Unfortunately, I missed a couple of digests and didn't see the followup, if any. I apologize if this has been posted, but in case not, here goes. It didn't work for me either, so the first thing I tried was plastic tubing, which of course when heated to mash temperature, softened and kinked. However, if you take some of your copper tubing and cut ringlets between 1/8" and 1/4", and stuff them inside of the short section of tubing, you can then curve it 180 degrees and connect two sections of slotted copper nicely. It also makes disassembly for cleaning easy. Mike Zentner Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 08:23:12 From: "C.D. Pritchard" <cdp at chattanooga.net> Subject: re: Moldy taps & EM low flow problem Here's a summary of replies I got on ways to prevent mold growth: Pat Babcock recommends rinsing the ends of taps with water via a spray bottle (set to stream, not mist) and then letting them drain over a drip pan. The pan is connected with hose to a 2L Pepsi bottle. Occasionally, the bottle is emptied and the drippage system rinsed with bleach water. Charles Hudak says to always give the tap a couple of shakes after use and a good cleaning with PBW solution when the keg is drained. For beer that isn't dispensed very quickly, he noted that the lines will gunk up from having beer sit in them. Domenick Venezia says to rinse the tap and lines after each use. An extra keg can be filled with water or keg/tap/line cleaner and used to rinse the tap and lines. Jeremy Bergsman suggested keeping the taps in salt water and giving them a quick shake before dispensing brew. THANKS guys! - - - - - - >From an Jack Schmidling vs. Danny Breidenbach exchange: >>That's even with the inside copper tube rotated so the intake is above >>the outlet of the apigot. When it's rotated down near the bottom of the >>kettle, I think most impartial observers would characterize the flow as >>a "trickle." >There is obviously something wrong as it should make no difference >whatever how the tube in rotated. Pardon my butting in... If tubing to the EM is below the spigot and flexible tubing is connected to the spigot, there'll be a trapped air pocket in the tube/spigot. Like air trapped in the upper portion of a siphon, this will greatly reduce the flow by reducing the effective flow area. Flushing the air out by squeezing on the flexible tubing downstream of the spigot (like one does with a siphon) might help expell the air; otherwise, replumbing or an air vent valve will be needed. c.d. pritchard cdp at chattanooga.net http://chattanooga.net/~cdp/ Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 09:23:43 -0500 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Osmotic Presssure Brewsters: C.D. Pritchard responds to Dominick Venezia's suggestion that recirculating during sparging was a desirable thing to do and that it had something to do with osmotic pressure. Neither concept is correct. C.D. Pritchard says: >I've not recicrulated while sparging- I SWAGed the highish concentration of >sugar in the recirc. wouldn't extract enough sugar to make the gain worth >the pain (i.e. not enough osmotic pressure). Both Spencer Thomas ( I believe) and I declined to comment on the incorrect use of the term "osmotic pressure" as a prime driving force for sparging in previous contributions, but I guess it's time if this idea is spreading. Osmotic force requires a semi-permeable membrane across which this pressure can be developed. To my knowledge the significantly greater ( if any at all) part of the wort is not held back by a semi-permeable membrane. Sparging is a diffusion and rinsing driven engine and the most efficient method is to have high concentration sugar diffuse into pure water. Continuous sparging in which the wort is not circulated, but fresh water is continually applied at the top of the grain column is the most efficient method. This is a so-called "plug flow" for you Comical Engineers out there as far as the rinsing goes, but is complicated by the fact that the capillaries contain wort and must be emptied by diffusion. Get your pencils and sliderules out!. - ----------------------------------------------- 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: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 09:25:49 -0500 From: "Dulisse, Brian K [PRI]" <BDulisse at prius.jnj.com> Subject: fuller's esb i bought some fuller's the other day; noticed that the packaging was different, but didn't think anything of it. got it home, poured a bottle and sipped - tasted different. not bad, but different. when i was about halfway through, the glass, a thought occurred to me: this bottle tasted very similar to what i remembered the domestic (i.e., english) version of the esb tasting like (as of 2 years ago, when i visited the brewery, fullers was exporting a version to the states that was brewed to a slightly higher og, with more ibu). looking at the packaging more closely, it now has a tiny blurb about "original version" or something like that. anybody else noticed this? anyone have any info? bd in lovely central new jersey Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 10:17:00 -0500 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Antifreeze/Butter Pils RE: the lady who tried poisoning her husband by putting antifreeze in his beer: Ethylene glycol won't kill you. Its the oxalic acid it oxidizes into that kills you (gets the kidneys). The enzyme that catalyzes this oxidation is alcohol dehydrogenase. Thus a treatment for ethylene glycol poisoning is a dose of ethanol which ties up the ADH giving the body time to excrete the glycol as glycol. The message here is that the wise man will always maintain a "prophylactic" titer of EtOH in his bloodstream when changing the antifreeze. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Pat Babcock asked for suggestions on reducing the diacetyl character of his Pils. First we need to note that diacetyl is an important part of the character of the nominate species: Pilsner Urquel. I'd suggest obtaining a few bottles of PU and doing a side-by-side comparison with the home-brew. If the home-brew is no more diacetylish than the PU then you'll know that the diacetyl is not excessive for the style although it clearly is for your taste. Do this with some friends. Sensitivity to diacetyl varies greatly among people. You may be unusually sensitive. To lower the diacetyl level while keeping the same yeast strain and grain bill try a shorter diacetyl rest at a higher temperature: say 1 - 2 days at 65 F, followed by crash cooling. Another technique is to add some kreusen beer at the end of fermentation. The idea here is to effect diacetyl take-up by dosing with lots of very active yeast as contrasted to the diacetyl rest where yeast activity is given a boost by raising temperature. Each scheme has its downside. The higher temperatures of the diacetyl rest can lead to ale like qualities so that you really should experiment with a variety of rest times and temperatures until you find the optimum. This is hard to do for the occasional home brewer. The downside with kreusening is that you get young beer components reintroduced at the end of fermentation. Lagering should deal with those, however. As has been posted here a thousand times diacetyl is a byproduct of valine synthesis. Thus the extent of diacetyl is determined to some extent by the amino acid profile of the malt and so the particular malt chosen has an effect. The yeast strain itself is probably the major factor. (I still have an unconfirmed suspicion that PU's "secret" is that one of the five yeast strains they supposedly used is a big diacetyl producer.) So, obviously, I'd suggest trying again with a different malt and yeast strain. I use the DWC malts with Wyeast's Czech Pils strain, don't do a diacetyl rest and don't find diacetyl levels as high as I'd like them. Finally, extended lagering cures almost everything but the resulting beers, while extremely smooth and mellow, are often somewhat insipid. This is why long (more than three months) lagering works best for beers that are really loud to begin with (Festbiers, Bocks). Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 14:05:41 EST From: RMerid7682 at aol.com Subject: Boiling O2 caps bernie kb2ebe asks about boiling O2 barrier caps. As someone has already posted, don't. One of the wholesale suppliers of homebrew supplies covered this in their newsletter to their retailers about a year or so ago. They recommended as first option a mixture of Sodium Metabisulphite Solution at 2 oz per gal of water. Just a quick dip in solution and shake off excess and cap immediately. Second option was iodine solution such as Iodophor. Same as before, quick dip, shake, and cap. The O2 barrier caps are activated by moisture and you lose all O2 protection with more than a quick dip in sanitizer solution. They go on to mention ozygen based sanitizers, using one they market and say they are not recommended because the O2 scavenging agent will adhere to the released O2 from the hydrogen peroxide and have very little left for the headspace in your bottles. They also state that the Metabisulphite is recommended by the manufacturer of the O2 barrier crowns. Roger Meridith Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 13:26:38 -0500 (EST) From: "Arnold J. Neitzke" <neitzkea at frc.com> Subject: Re: Wyeast 3942 Well... Why do you ask What Where When Wyeast On 13 Feb 1998 EFOUCH at steelcase.com wrote: > > Wyeast pronounce Wyeast? > That wasn't too "scathing" was it? > > Eric Fouch > Bent Dick YoctoBrewery (Pronounced - "Eric's Basement") > Kentwood MI > efouch at steelcase.com _________________________________________________________ Arnold J. Neitzke Internet Mail: neitzkea at frc.com Brighton, Mi CEO of the NightSky brewing Company - --------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 11:58:02 -0800 From: "Greg Pickles" <gregp at wolfenet.com> Subject: re: removing foil labels In HBD 2638, Ray Estrella writes: >I was wondering if any one has found an easy way to get >the foil-type labels off of Sam Adams bottles. I used to have a devil of a time getting these labels off until I stumbled on this technique: I disolve about 3/4 cup of sodium carbonate in about 4 gallons of water in an old 5 gal pail. I then soak the bottles in this for 5-10 days (depending on the temperature and when I have time to get back to them). After soaking the labels just slide right off. This works for most labels but there are a few brewers that use a much tougher glue - I usually just recycle those bottles instead of messing with them. I seem to have an endless supply of bottles that need the labels removed (all that research, y'know) so I just stick another batch in the pail when one batch comes out. I find I can easily run 5 batches of bottles through before replacing the solution. BTW TSP works fine too (maybe a little faster) but sodium carbonate is easier on your hands and the environment. Sodium carbonate is readily available in most hardware and paint stores as "TSP substitute". You can also find it in some markets as washing soda. Hope this helps. Greg Pickles, Seattle WA Return to table of contents
Date: 16 Feb 1998 16:03:27 -0500 From: JGORMAN at steelcase.com Subject: Extract advise I am adding on to Charles Ehlers advise to making good extract beer. He mentioned adding ice to the wort to cool it down. This is a method that I would not personally recommend. Funky things grow in the freezer and contaminate the wort if you use ice. If you are going to use ice, DO NOT USE ICE CUBES. Use a sanitized closed container and sterilized water. Because I am too lazy to make a wort chiller, I use an ice bath (snow works best if you have some), and top off the wort to five gallons with 33 degree water, which was stated in Charles' post. This will cool the wort for me in 15 min to a half hour. Jason Gorman River Dog Brewery Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 09:57:17 -0500 From: "Michael E. Dingas" <dingasm at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Mail order Companies & disaster averted Like most, I'm always looking for ways to cut my costs. The obvious choice was to try ordering supplies mailorder. So, I located a shop with two locations in neighboring states. I sent an initial inquiry to each regarding their pricing, shipping & handling costs, questions about grain crushing, etc. I also set each a 'test' order to see what the difference in price would actually amount to. The company I chose was The Home Brewery. The Florida location never replied. Not so much as a "thank you but we can't deal with you", or "your test order is too much for us to handle. Send us a real order.." etc. Nada, Zip. The second location was out of Kentucky and apparently provide a bad email address. I located the HB website and notified them by email of the problem. Again silence. What's up with this company? Has anyone dealt with HB and what kind of service did you get? With so much shady dealings on the Internet, I don't understand why I'm having so much trouble getting a civil reply out of them. Regarding disaster: I recently bought a glass carboy at an antique mall (7.5 Gal for $19.50). I checked it over pretty good before buying and used it to brew some beer. Today was bottling day and I discovered a large crack in the base. Much worse & I would have been cleaning up 6.5 gallons of beer from the carpet! I currently have two large rope-handled containers, mostly used for cleanup. In the future they will hold my carboys until it's ready for the bottle. A word to the wise... Mike (warner robins, ga) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1987 13:54:26 -0800 From: "Michel J. Brown" <homemade at spiritone.com> Subject: Fw: Palexperiment - Update - ---------- > From: Michel J. Brown <homemade at spiritone.com> > To: rust1d at usa.net > Subject: re: Palexperiment - Update > Date: Monday, February 16, 1987 1:51 PM > > >The brews will be entered into competitions and the resulting scores will > be > >tabulated. In the aftermath, we should have a lot of data to mull over and > >from this we might be able to get some interesting statistics. > > John, why don't we rate each others beer blindly, and submit the taste test > to the web page, and whoever gets the most points is the rank and file > winner!?!?!? There won't be any contests around my neck of the woods until > the Rose Cup (Rose Festival is in June entries recieved by May), or the > Oregon State Fair (entries recieved by July). We could send one or two > bottles to each person on the list, and get each others beer to evaluate. > We could have a blindly generated cap code that we'll use for > identification by the web master/mistriss as we post our results. Forms for > evaluation are on the BJCP web page at http://www.bjcp.org (score sheets). > What do you think? Also, I'm still troubled by the hop bill -- I keep > coming up with 63 IBU's acording to Tinseth's formulary :-/ Great for an > IPA, not so good for an OPA (Oregon Pale Ale which is traditionally 75% > BU:GU (bitterness to gravity ratio)). Where do you get your figures from > John? TTYL, God Bless, ILBCNU! > > > Dr. Michel J. Brown, D.C. {Portland, OR} > 2222 miles due west of Jeff Renner > 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: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 17:10:53 -0500 From: ricjohnson at SURRY.NET Subject: Mash efficiency I am an extract brewer. Recently I have been evaluating some brewing software. All the computations require mash efficiency. What should an extract brewer enter for this? Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 14:22:10 -0800 From: "Grant W. Knechtel" <GWK at hartcrowser.com> Subject: Foil Label Removal In HBD 2638 Ray Estrella asks: > I was wondering if any one has found an easy way to get the >foil-type labels off of Sam Adams bottles. I think that J.K. is getting >back at us by making it impossible to clean the darn things off. Any >advice? (Besides not buying the product....) I've had good luck putting warm water-filled bottles in a five gallon bucket, covering with warm water to above the neck labels, adding a couple of ounces of household ammonia, and slapping a lid on. Come back the next day and take out the label-free bottles with rubber-gloved hands. I use warm rather than hot water because the ammonia smell is even stronger with hot water. Rinse well and wash before further use. Make sure none of the foil flakes stick to the inside of the bottles. It does my cheap soul good to reuse beer bottles beer, it peeves me that some of my favorite Pacific Northwest craft brews only come in screw-top bottles, such as Grant's and Redhook. I seldom buy them now for that reason. Sam Adams is pretty good beer, and brewed just down the road in Portland... -Grant Neue Des Moines Hausbrauerei Des Moines, Washington Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 15:11:49 -0800 From: "John Palmer" <jjpalmer at gte.net> Subject: re. Welding Copper to Stainless / KennyEddy Hi Group, I lost my hard drive last week (totally spontaneous) (except that its Windows 95) and am trying to catch up. Someone asked how to weld copper to stainless. To the best of my knowledge, it can't be done. Revereware and the like are made by Cladding - mechanically squeezing the metals together until they stick, or electroplating. You could braze the two together, or even solder the two together (that's how I join copper fittings to stainless pipe) but it would take a LOT of heat to do that to the full bottom of a kettle. You would need to put the items in a brazing furnace rather than using a torch. ** Ken, I have tried responding to a couple of your posts, but I always bounce. The responder says that your mailbox is not accepting mail from my address. ?? John Palmer metallurgist and welding engineer Monrovia CA Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 15:36:04 -0800 From: "Alex Aaron" <aaaron at pacbell.net> Subject: HB in Taiwan To all, To clarify my post. I live in Oceanside, CA. I just don't want to carry equipment or ingredients in my baggage. Thanks to All, Alex Aaron - Oceanside, Ca http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Fortress/5125/index.html Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 18:42:57 -0500 From: rdavis at gator.net (Dave Williams) Subject: Sherry flavors Greetings Brewers, I opened a bottle of American Pale Ale last night that had been stored at room temperature for about 7months after counter pressure bottling. I had saved this beer to compare with subsequent batches. It had a distinct sherry flavor so it was obviously a victim of oxidation somewhere along the line. Since I have a problem with procedure somewhere in my system, I'd like to try to narrow down the probable cause. So my question is this; at what point in the brewing process is oxidation most likely to create the aldehydes that are responsible for the sherry flavor in my beer? Is HSA the culprit or have I been reckless in my racking? This problem has not reared its ugly head until now because I've stored all of my beer in the fridge until it's consumed and none of it has lasted long enough to become stale. But I want to enter some competitions and I would be mortified to recieve a judging sheet that recommends entering my brew in a *wine* competition. Which leads to my second question. How long does it take at room (or UPS truck) temperatures for a beer to develop the sherry flavor thing? I've got a German Pils lagering (almost done) that I wanted to enter in a competition in May. Will my beer be ruined by then (WMBBRBT)? My grain bill for the Ale was 95% Briess 2-row and 5% domestic Crystal malt. Hops were Willamette, Hallertaur, and Cascade. Yeast was Wyeast 1056. Any insight would be apreciated and, of course, private e-mail is fine. Cheers, Dave Williams Newberry, Florida Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 17:55:55 -0600 From: "Wills, Frederick J (MED)" <Frederick.Wills at amermsx.med.ge.com> Subject: Chloramine / Indoor Propane Use "Martin Brown" asks: <<Does anyone out there in HBD land know if chloramine will kill my yeast,preventing fermentation?>> Probably not. But you will not like the taste that it will cause in your finished beer. Chlorine and Chloramine are the cause of many of the plastic-like and band-aid like flavor and aroma flaws found in homebrews. The best way I've found to remove Chloramines from your brew water is to pass any water that will be used in the brew through an active carbon filter. I have used a tap mounted Insta-pure brand filter (no affiliation) with good success. It will cost you around $25 for the filter housing and 1st filter. The manufacturer recomends replacement of the filter media after 3 months of use. Replacement filters are pretty cheap at ~3 for $12. Sorry for the delayed response, just catching up on Emails... ************* Now for a question I have: I continuously read about the inherent danger in using propane burners indoors. The gas being heavier tends to pool at floor level and can then be ignited by an ignition source. Boom. This is obviously a scary scenario, and one to be avoided... but just how real is this danger? If this is such a dangerous situation, why do many people have bottled LP gas (propane) delivered in large bottles or to tanks that remain outdoors but the gas is then run into the house to fuel furnaces, cook stoves and ovens as well as water heaters? Wouldn't any of these appliances be just as likely to malfunction with the same end result? These appliances, unlike the typical homebrew burner, are usually left unattended and would seem to present an even bigger hazard in that regard. I would think that the biggest chance for leakage would occur at the appliance, not from the gas bottle. Perhaps this is my misunderstanding. Would running a hard gas line from a bottle outside to a homebrew burner used indoor be less risky? Also, why wouldn't Natural Gas which is lighter than air tend to pool-up at ceiling level and present the same hazard in reverse? Especially in winter months when houses are closed up tight and these heating appliances are typically in use? Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 19:43:19 EST From: OCaball299 at aol.com Subject: Brunette To the All-Knowing Collective, First, and foremost, I would like to echo my fellow part-time lurkers in thanking the collective for the constant enlightments in brewing and other issues through this valuable medium. Keep em comin. Second, I have recently returned from a business trip to Germany where several colleagues presented me with gifts... of the hopped and fermented persuasion...Which I was able to bring back with me. Well, one of these little beauties was a Belgian called Brunette which sits at 9% ABV. After savoring this malty brew I fell in lust with it, as I often do after partaking in most European brews. My plea to the collective is: has anyone else had this pleasure, have you been able to concoct a recipe and how did it turn out? FYI... I'm an extract/partial specialty grain brewer. Due to the amount of alcohol is this beauty, I would probably go for a 3 gallon batch. I would be most appreciative to receive your recipes, thoughts, suggestions, comments... and samples too... TIA. Omar Caballero - Aurora, IL ocaball299 at aol.com "Today is only yesterday's tomorrow" - Uriah Heep So have another Homebrew! Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 19:46:21 -0700 (MST) From: "Joe K. Chang" <jkchang at U.Arizona.EDU> Subject: A wupass stout.. Fellow brew dudes.... I need some help........ I'm wanna brew a wupass imperial stout, but haven't been able to find a good extract recipe... I am looking for something in the 9-11% alcohol range and I am an extract brewer... i know.. i'm still a wimp.. Please help!!!!! private email is fine.... <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> Joe Chang University of Arizona jkchang at u.arizona.edu or jkchang at engr.arizona.edu <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 21:56:07 -0500 From: Randy Ricchi <rricchi at ccisd.k12.mi.us> Subject: Pale Ale experiment I see one problem with John Varady's proposal for a pale ale experiment (2/16/98 HBD): not everyone get's the same extraction efficiency. >From what I've seen on the HBD, extraction rates for pale ale can range from 25 to 35 pts./lb./gallon. John's suggestion is that everyone use 10 # grain and should shoot for 1.054 OG at 5 gallons U.S. If the original gravity rule is adhered to, there could be a large variance in the total gallons brewed, which could affect the IBU's achieved from a given hop charge. If the 5 gallon rule is adhered to, there could be a large difference in the original gravity of the beers, and obviously this would also affect the flavor outcome. I would second the suggestion that someone else made on the digest a while back that the rules state the batch size and O.G., and it's brewers choice to determine how much grain he/she uses to achieve those results. Anyway, thats my $.02 U.S. :^) Randy Ricchi Way Nort' in da U.P. of Michigan, eh! Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 22:46:37 -0000 From: "Mort O'Sullivan" <tarwater at brew-master.com> Subject: GA (slightly technical, sorry) Regarding gibberellins, Jason Henning says: >I don't see anything that suggest germination uniformity. I think if >gibberellic acid were use, the original poster would have had just as = >much >endosperm length variance, just sooner. > >So, how much did I miss the boat by? I don't think you missed the boat at all. GA will likely only exaggerate unevenness between dormant and non-dormant grains. Then Dave Burley adds: >By reducing the dormancy of the barley, Gibberellic Acid >improves the consistency of sprouting . . . I know that Kunze says application of GA leads to "shortening of dormancy" but there is very little evidence to support this position. Dormancy is really not very well understood, much less the effect GA has on it. But all the evidence I've seen shows no obvious correlation between dormancy and GA. To eliminate unevenness of germination (isn't that what we're after here?) I would again recommend an air rest during the steep, and also using barley of just one variety and corns of uniform size. > . . .SInce it interferes with basic biochemical growth >mechanisms, its effect is multiplied and it doesn't take >much to be effective. This seems a little too vague. The best model I've seen for the biochemical mechanism of GA goes something like this: GA is a hormone (specifically, it's a tricyclic diterpine) that activates a complex receptor on DNA in the aleurone and "turns on" the gene that codes for alpha-amylase. This gene then gets transcribed into many copies of tRNA and each of these in turn is transcribed into many more copies of mRNA which in turn provides the information to synthesize many many more copies of the protein alpha-amylase. By this mechanism one molecule of GA is responsible for the production of thousands and thousands of enzyme molecules. That's why so little is needed. The problem is, if a grain is dormant, none of this can happen. Dormancy has been partly attributed to increased levels of abscisic acid (ABA) in the grain (as well as other not-so-well-understood factors such as changes in the permeability of the pericarp and possibly physiological changes in the aleurone). ABA causes the synthesis of proteins that inhibit the polyadenylation of mRNA, and since mRNA needs to be polyadenylated before it's transcribed into a protein, the whole GA mechanism described above gets shut down before any enzyme is synthesized. This is probably why there is no clear correlation between addition of GA and elimination of dormancy. Remember, this is just a model. I'm sure what actually happens is infinitely more complex (for instance this model ignores the effect of GA on protease and B-glucanase levels). Regarding the safety of GA-treated products, I agree that it is widely used and approved by all the appropriate agencies and is probably completely safe. However, in the interest of consumer awareness I thought I might mention that the fungi that are used to commercially produce GA also produce not-insignificant levels of mycotoxins (Deoxynivalenol can easily reach levels of 100 ppb). But if I were worried about mycotoxins from GA-treated foodstuffs (which I'm not), beer would be my last worry. Do you eat seedless grapes? BTW, I must mention that a lot of my knowledge of GA comes by way of Prof. Geoff Palmer, who has done a tremendous amount of work on GA and its effects on barley. - ---------------- Cheers, Mort O'Sullivan ICBD (Edinburgh, Scotland) tarwater at brew-master.com Return to table of contents
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