HOMEBREW Digest #2780 Tue 28 July 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

  big brewing 3 (Jim Liddil)
  big brewing 2 (Jim Liddil)
  Upright Freezer (fridge)
  Female Brewing; Extract Water; Club Comps (Ken Schwartz)
  Scaling up: The next step?; Yeast from Brewers; getting into it (Results)
  Pitching Temps??? (hollen)
  Re: Soot, Propane Burners (Stephen Jorgensen)
  Beer Marketing/call for tasting notes ("Steve Alexander")
  IM // jettison the phloater // carboy safety (Scott Murman)
  Soot, Propane Burners (Amber/Bruce Carpenter)
  Bubble in Racking Cane ("Peter J. Calinski")
  SS and Chlorine ("Peter J. Calinski")
  Getting yeast from breweries (SBireley)
  How do I remove TSP stains from my carboy? ("Winkler, Jeff")
  Re: Homebrewing and Big Scale Brewing ("Steve Alexander")
  Scaling up to marginal levels... ("Rolfe, Joe")
  High FG (Charley Burns)
  pyrex carboys (ALAN KEITH MEEKER)
  Pear Cider (Charley Burns)
  Fermenting in SS Cornies - Temp Control. (Badger Roullett)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 26 Jul 1998 16:40:34 -0700 From: Jim Liddil <jliddil at azcc.arizona.edu> Subject: big brewing 3 >>Steve Alexander wrote: >>>The Irish Moss question - After using IM religiously for a few years I >>The general view at Siebels is that IM is a bandaid. >[...] >>. Heviewed it as a band aid approach for poor brewhouse techniques. In >>his experience of brewing millions of barrels of beer he saw no need >>what so ever. >Probably all the beer he's made is filtered - which makes IM rather >irrelevant to his commercial style operations. > Again if one uses proper techniques in mashing and lautering (pH control, oxygen pickup, brilliant wort etc) then one should get a good break in the kettle. Then one whirlpools the wort and cools it and ferments it. Filtration is a major pain even for the big guys. DE expensive and hard to dispose of. The folks from Miller said they want to make sure the wort is very clear before it goes to the chiller. Cooling 900 barrel batches of wort is no trivial matter. And during a filter run of 5000 barrels you won't want to break down the DE filter. They need to keep the DE feed rate low. Filtering is used to make beer brilliant not to filter out junk from improper brewing practices. Oh and FWIW in Germany they can not use IM. >>Steve Alexander wrote: >>>Removing cold break is widely held to produce beers with cleaner >>>flavor. [...] Removing excess fatty acids in the break, beyond the >>>amount that your yeast can consume is a good thing in that it removes >>Guess what the majority of the big brewers do not remove coldbreak. I >>asked the people at Siebels from Miller, Molson and Amstel and they do >>not remove it.Niether does Coors. If these light lagers can get away with >>leaving the cold break I really don't think it matters to us either. But do >>what you want. You are better off removing the fatty acids on the front >>end. This means getting a brilliant wort run off from the lautertun. > >The big boys are brewing with 6 row, not 2-row and that rice adjunct has >about 5X less fat than barley. I suspect that the big boys don't sparge as >much (or need to) as HBers (most of the fat is in the late runnings). Also >notice that most HBers don't have a 1meter+ grainbed to filter through. >The bigboys have gone to nitrogen scrubbing of their wort and are >designing low oxygen pickup methodologies into >their brewing facilities - oxidation is a primary reason you don't want the >fat in your beer. Altogether you are straining to draw a comparison >between HB and Mega methods. Actually Miller is using mostly 2-row these days due to the poor quality of the current 6-row crop. Also they are brewing 16P wort and as mentioned above for High Life doing all malt mashes. I fail to see what grainbed depth has to do with this. If one recirculates the wort until the Imhoff reading is less than 50 mg/L then the fatty acids in the wort should be reduced accordingly. The big guys do have high tech mashtuns but they also run the rakes all the time and move them up and down in the mash as they sparge. These guy have to be running at 95% efficiency. When you are running though 3 million pounds of grain a week a percentage point here and there is a big deal. The do all kinds of things to recover final runnings and such. And since they transport their beer they have to make sure the beer is stable to start with. I specifically asked about cold break removal and all the instructors said the jury is still out. I asked about this after the main malt instructor was gone. From Kunze "But even values of 150 mg/L are sometimes regarded as normal. It is therefore necessary to point out that there are conflicting views about the importance of cold break removal. Most breweries do not remove the cold break" And since money does not matter so much we can do things like making sure we have a brilliant wort (< 50mg/L imhoff cone sediment) and then sparge sparingly or not at all. I don't understand the whole thing about grainbed depth. If one recirculates properly then all one is doing is removing the sugars provided the sparge temp and pH is correct. As more solvent is added more substances are extracted from the grain bed. But then are they re absorbed by the bed? Again the big guys are constantly cutting the grain bed. the racks also move up and down through the bed and they produce high gravity worts. I think good brew house practices apply to what ever scale one is brewing on. >BTW - Next time you get to ask about Coors methodology you might ask >about a paper in ASBC 1982, pp 57 by some Coors experimenters., >Ruocco and Mabee. They did some tests of trubby, whirlpooled and >filtered worts, at various levels of >oxygenation. In the tasting results - all were acceptable, but the filtered >wort beer won out decisively over the high trub wort. The whirlpool >separated wort nosed out the filtered beer - tho less clearly. Total >trublessness might >not be the ideal, but trub removal is most likely a plus. I agree that hot break removal is a good thing and this is what a whirlpool is used for. cold break is removed via flotation or aeration. Filtration is a mess and nobody at Siebels new of a commercial operation doing this. You state that the paper showed that "The whirlpool separated wort nosed out the filtered beer" My point exactly. Remove the hot break but don't obsess about the cold break. And This is only one paper. I go the impression from Siebels that there are just as many opposing views. In the 15 liter pilot plant at Seibels they apply the same basic principles regardless of recipe formulation. We are homebrewers and we can do what we want. I think it is great that you are not taking what I have said as the gospel and are questioning what I presented. We should all keep open minds. Jim Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 26 Jul 1998 16:43:54 -0700 From: Jim Liddil <jliddil at azcc.arizona.edu> Subject: big brewing 2 >German pils malts are *maybe* a notch less >well modified than US malts, but I think you'd really need to pick a >particular maltster and malt to draw a conclusion here. Basically I am in an indefensible position here since I can provide no data to support what I was told. But I would also argue that there is more to malt analysis and modification the S/T or Kolbach index. But malt of low Kolbach index _may_ still exist. In the May Brewers Digest "Gleanings from German Brewing School" the author notes that at Doemens he was taught to use a 15-20 min rest at 50C for malt with a Kolbach of 35%. Weak, but it's all I've got. Also again I failed to clearly state the point I was trying to make. Most malt analysis I have seen whether they be typical or lot analysis lack various data. Many times these analysis sheets do not list data which can prove useful to the brewer. Sheets from Wyermann and other European malts do not list a DP. They may only list a fine/corse crush difference with out actually listing the coarse crush extract or they may not list a fine coarse difference at all. Acrospire length is usually not listed. Nor are other important parameters such as Mold, broken kernels, foreign seeds, character of the endosperm, homogeneity, beta-glucans, FAN, alpha amylase, wort pH. George Depiro presented his woes with maris otter malt. Only after he had problems with the malt did he find out why. Al K mentioned numerous times about DWC malt that produced a great deal of break, maybe the lot analysis would point out why. I had a 50 lbs bag of DWC pils that caused me no end of lauter problems. I have always used an EM and this is the only bunch of malt that gave me stuck mashes. I finally got smart and would use it as only a small percentage of my grist. Unfortunately the shop I got it from had torn the lot tag off so I could not find out what was wrong. In the past folks have posted to the HBD about stuck mashes etc even though they have not changed their setup. If they had an actual lot analysis maybe they would see if the malt was the problem. Malt may have a "normal" kolbach and protein, but have wide variations in acrospire length. It may contain more mold than except able, or the moisture content may be high (which leads to premature degradation of the malt). The big guys certainly have the advantage that they can reject malt that is out of specs or blend it. AB has set incredibly low limits on what they will except as far a mold and fusarium levels. Miller is moving in the same direction. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 26 Jul 1998 21:01:58 -0400 From: fridge at Imbecile.kzoo.edu Subject: Upright Freezer Greetings folks, In HBD #2778, Victor Farren found a deal on a used freezer, but discovered that the shelves contain evaporator coils. He asked if it's possible to bend the coils out of the way. Many, if not most upright freezers are made with evaporator coils in the shelves. The coils are typically made from soft aluminum tubing. Even though some folks have reported success in bending the coils, I don't recommend trying this. The tubing quickly work-hardens and may split when it is bent. A good deal can quickly turn bad if this happens. Upright freezers without shelf coils, and chest freezers are better suited for brewing use, so I would keep looking. Good deals on freezers aren't too hard to find. People often don't want to move a freezer when they move to a new house or apartment. Check moving and garage sales. Also ask a few Realtors if they know of a freezer someone wants to get rid of. Hope this helps! - ---------------------------------------------- Forrest Duddles - FridgeGuy in Kalamazoo fridge at Imbecile.kzoo.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 26 Jul 1998 19:30:04 -0600 From: Ken Schwartz <kenbob at elp.rr.com> Subject: Female Brewing; Extract Water; Club Comps Sam Mize asks (#2774) about getting women more involved in brewing. Based on the results of the AHA Nationals, especially in the mead and cider categories, I'd say they are both present and capable. ===== Bill Goodman asks whether one should use distilled water for extract brewing. Since we don't know what was in the original brew water, it kinda doesn't matter, but if you make a bunch of wild assumptions, you can guess that about 1/3 of the concentration of minerals in the original water at the manufacturer will make it into the final wort. (Extract manufacturers use the evaporated and re-condensed water collected from one batch in their next batch; figuring extract is around 80% solids = 20% water, the rest of the water minus some loss is collected. So say 70% of the new batch is essentially distilled water, and 30% is local water). Thus, distilled water makes sense, and you can augment the wort with the other 2/3 of the minerals if you know/guess anything about the extract's origin. ===== Jim wants to know about homebrew club comps for crowning a Brewer of the Year. Jim, we (Borderline Brewers) do the same thing, though we like to think of the comps as a lot more than just a contest for an annual winner. First, it provides focus and a theme for each meeting. Second, it gives us all a chance to try out our judging chops, and we strongly encourage "newbies" to judge. While this may skew the results, we keep enough "old timers" on the panel to help guide and normalize the judging, and those who think they don't know anything about beer styles get a hands-on lesson, and usually are first to volunteer (and learn and improve) the next month. Also, we award ribbons each month, and points (1st = 5, 2nd = 3, 3rd = 1) which are tallied at year's end to determine Brewer of the Year. As for styles, our resident German brewer insists on having the Oktober meeting at his house (thanks, Klaus!!), so you can guess the style for that month. We sprinkle in the several AHA Club-Only comps (though we never seem to send the winners off -- looks like I have a Competition Czar to scold...), and pretty much make up the rest, with Stouts, Porters, and Holiday Beers gravitating toward the cooler months, with Wheat and Steam (oops -- California Common) appearing in summer (but not always). We also occasionally have wide-open "Ale" comps or the infamous "Battle of I-10" wherein we compete with the Desert Quenchers up the road in Las Cruces, NM. - -- ***** Ken Schwartz El Paso, TX kenbob at elp.rr.com http://home.elp.rr.com/brewbeer Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 26 Jul 1998 21:04:03 -0500 From: Results <results at win.bright.net> Subject: Scaling up: The next step?; Yeast from Brewers; getting into it >> For scaling up, I'm curious about two things. First, what are >>the easy steps for scaling up for home brewing. Second, what are the >>very-low-end options for scaling up for, say, a microbrewpub? >> >Check out the Michigan Brewers Guild web page: >(http://www.michiganbeerguide.com/current.htm) for an interesting article >on a micro (in the true sense of the word!) and future meadery that is >operating in our area. Their name is Dragonmead and they are basically a >microbrewery using 1/2bbl homebrewing equipment. It seems their plan is >to use their small size to maximize the number of styles available to >their customers. Yep... There has been speculation that Wisconsin will have around 100 of these things within a few years. Here we use dairy equipment becuase we can get a hold of it easily... The process is still the same. We brew about the same as home brew but in 4 to 8 bbls.. One point.. These guys aren't going to be brewing any mead if they want to brew beer. You can't have a meadery and a brewery in the same building.. Danny Breidenbach sez: >Are most (all) brewmasters so generous >with their yeast, or is asking such a thing a great, huge favor? No problem for us little guys; save sewering it if nothing else... I don't know how well you'd fair with the larger ones, esp. if they have propietary yeast. The important thing with us small huys is to schedule things ahead of time. For us, we use 5 or 6 different strains of yeast so you might want to check when the right one is going to be available. >From Samuel Mize: >> For brewpubs ... Is there any way to edge into this level of brewing >> for less than $5K? >I suspect the licensing and legal paperwork will consume most of $5K. (I >assume you're in the USA.) Depends on where you are. For us out here where we don't have to contend with municipal governments that are too self important, licensing cost us a total of about $700 including the feds and the bonds... If you are unlucky enough to be in a large metropolitan area, you can probably chew some real change.. >The only thing I can tell you for sure is to do ALL the research and make >sure you'll be able to get licensed and operating, BEFORE you drop the >money on the equipment! There are more hoops to jump through than most >people realize. Amen. The Federal forms are about an inch of paperwork. One of the inspection questions is "where is the money coming from to start this".. i.e. you better have enough to get going on. Wisconsin is brewer friendly, so paperwork for them is not a problem, but I could well imagine that there are places where it isn't so nice. BTW expect that EVERY level of government will have a say in what you are doing; some more than once. We are lucky and have only 5 permits... Randy Lee Viking Brewing Company Dallas, WI http://www.win.bright.net/~results Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 26 Jul 1998 20:15:54 -0700 From: hollen at woodsprite.com Subject: Pitching Temps??? For the past 40 batches I have been very careful to pitch between 70 and 75F as I have heard is correct. Today, my water supply was warmer than normal and my CF chiller only managed to cool the wort to 82F. Well, I pitched anyway. As normal, within an hour, I had activity in my blowoff hose. So, the higher than normal pitching temperature appears to have been OK for the yeast. So, this brings up a question. How many of you have pitched at "abnormally" high temperatures with success? How high? Have there been any strange fermentation products as a result? Maybe "the collective we" have been thinking of too narrow a "safe" range for pitching temperatures. Just some grist for the mill. B-} dion - -- Dion Hollenbeck Email: hollen at woodsprite.com Home Page: http://woodsprite.com/hollen.html Brewing Page: http://hdb.org/hollen Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 26 Jul 1998 23:29:44 -0500 From: Stephen Jorgensen <sjorge2 at uic.edu> Subject: Re: Soot, Propane Burners The only cause I know for soot is incomplete combustion, which is almost always due to a lack of oxygen. I would suggest putting more distance between the pot and the burner with something that will allow a greater amount of airflow to the flame. If there are any vents in the bottom of your grill, make sure they are fully open. An alternate approach for the gadget-happy would be to use some parts from a welding apparatus to feed oxygen directly into the gas line just before it reaches the burner. I'd feel nervous about it myself but if you know someone experienced with welding equipment I'd ask them about it. A trip to a well stocked hardware store and a few hours of tinkering would probably do it. Hope this helps, Stephen Jorgensen sjorge2 at uic.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 03:17:23 -0400 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Beer Marketing/call for tasting notes Tom Bergman and Jim Busch's comments on the topic of micros and their market focus caught my interest - >Tom Bergman makes some very good points about micros and their >strategic focus which I agree with entirely. It never ceases to >amaze me how folks get into the business and think that if only they >had a huge brewery they could sell tons of beer. It doesn't work that >way in todays crowded market where consumers have hundreds of >choices. The brands need to be built before the huge brewhouse goes >in. This comment is 'dead on'. Actually there was an article in Barron's (a financial rag) about a year+ ago. At that time it was possible to contract brew beer for less than it cost A-B to produce !! This was before BostonBeer(Sam Adams) bought several good sized facilities so that equation may no longer hold, but still the point is that production capacity isn't the limiting factor in making a success in the beer market today. Instead production capacity is going begging because few brewers can figure out how to design and market products for distribution very far beyond their local micro facility. The distribution channels are another interesting part of the story. A couple years ago A-B and the other majors reportedly were inducing their distributors to stop carrying micros aside from their captive brands (redhook, celis, etc). Sam Adams apparently got very active in forming their own distribution network. I certainly see a lot of SA delivery trucks now - never did before. I don't know what the other mega-micros like Pete's(Wicked) and SierraNevada did - but they're still available. I would imagine that getting a micro beer distributed these days is pretty difficult. Maybe Jim Busch could comment on that. The local upscale groceries are loaded with brands of micro beers I've never tried and probably never will. Weird colored labels, strange shaped bottles and gimmicky boxes don't impress (does Apollo ale explosively outgas like Apollo 13 ?). The descriptions are totally inadequate - if the labels clearly indicate some broad category lager/ale/stout often that's about all you're likely to get. Maybe it'll say 'golden ale' a codeword for bland. Some are good, but frankly I've tasted a lot of 'also rans' too, and a few truly bad beers. A couple years ago someone gave me a years membership to one of the monthly delivery beer 'clubs'. I have never tasted so much diacetyl and DMS except when tasting beginning HBers first attempts. The average distributed micro is much better, but unless I hear some good words from HBD, or a friend, or happen to taste the beer in a restaurant or at a 'fest - it's just going to have to wait on the shelf. That's sad because there are undoubtedly some great beers out there that deserve recognition. On that note I'd like to suggest that we all recognize truly outstanding beers you may come across by posting, but also by entering an evaluation on the 'pubcrawler' website. This website is a real resource for choosing micro beer, unfortunately a lot of times you only see one person's opinion displayed - and I have seen examples of places that I know have very good beer get a bad write-up from a single source. Maybe the beer was bad that day - but it would be better to get enough entries to form a statistical sample. Steve Alexander Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 00:36:43 -0700 (PDT) From: Scott Murman <smurman at best.com> Subject: IM // jettison the phloater // carboy safety Steve Alexander and Jim Liddil were talking about Irish additions > >>The Irish Moss question - After using IM religiously for a few years I > >The general view at Siebels is that IM is a bandaid. > [...] > >. He > >viewed it as a band aid approach for poor brewhouse techniques. In > his > >experience of brewing millions of barrels of beer he saw no need > what so > >ever. I had a similar response as Steve when reading Jim's comments. While it may be true that IM is a band-aid, it's a band-aid that many homebrewers need. If we were using commercial systems with tall grain beds, and computer-controlled perfect sparges, and making the same batch time and again, then I'm sure many common HB practices would be different. But we're homebrewers, and we use pizza pans with holes punched in them, and check our sparges during commercials, and are half-crocked by the end of a brew day. We need our band-aids to make up for poor brewhouse techniques, because our brewhouse is usually the back half of a garage or a moldy basement. Personally, I've made beer with and without IM, and sometimes I think it's made a difference removing some stuff that might later be soluble in my beer, so I try to use it when I can. Because I don't have a perfect sparge. The question I think is more relevant is "Can Irish Moss cause any damage to beer?", not "Is it beneficial?" // The issue of how to keep the phloating bottom in place is making the rounds again. I bought one of these when I got my Gott cooler. I had 4 stuck sparges in a row. I finally put together a homemade easymasher knock-off for about $1, and I've been happy ever since. The best way to make use of a phloating bottom, IMO, is to put it in the garbage. If you're really worried about the $$, ask for a refund; I've heard Listerman Inc. stands by their products. Jumping through hoops to make something that was poorly designed in the first place workable, is like trying to run a $3k computer with Windows. Uhh, whoops. Nevermind. // The best advice I got for handling glass carboys was this - whenever sanitizing or cleaning them, do it in a bathtub (the sanitizing or cleaning that is). This way you only have to slowly tip them over to empty them. No lifting or carrying of full carboys required. And the tub gets sanitized as well. I would love to primarily (pun intended) use plastic or stainless, but I then I couldn't see what's going on. To drop the full carboy of wort into my chest freezer I nailed pieces of 1/2" crap wood into a cross shape (total of 1" thick). At the end of each cross I drilled a hole, and ran two pieces of truck rope through two points each of the cross. This makes a simple support/sling for dirt cheap. If you wanted, you could add caster wheels to the bottom to roll the thing, but I've never bothered since I only really need it to lower into my chest freezer. SM Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 06:18:12 -0500 From: Amber/Bruce Carpenter <alaconn at arkansas.net> Subject: Soot, Propane Burners >Subject: Soot, Propane Burners >I used the side burner on my gas grill recently and totally sooted up the >bottom of my wife's sauce pan. I don't want this to happen to me (my >kettle, actually) when I start using a propane burner for boiling wort. >Therefore, I would appreciate recommendations for propane burners that don't >soot up the kettle. >And-- are there any "secrets" which contribute to soot-free boiling? When I camp, I wipe full strengh dishwashing liquid (Dawn, Joy, etc.) on the bottom of the skillet for cooking directly over an open fire. Be carefull not to miss any spots. Afterwards, cleanup is a breeze! Don't see why this wouldn't work with propane as well. Bruce Carpenter bacarpenter at netcenter.net Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 25 Jul 1998 21:05:12 -0400 From: "Peter J. Calinski" <PCalinski at iname.com> Subject: Bubble in Racking Cane Bob Devine wrote: I find that I often get a bubble formed when my racking cane joins the tube. Often the CO2 comes out of solution at this point because of turbulence and/or shear of the joint. I have the same problem and so I ran some experiments. I concluded that, although some of the bubble may be due to CO2 coming out of solution (because of negative pressure in the siphon) or turbulence at the joint, most of my bubble effect is due to leakage at the cane/tube joint. I noticed that the bubble formed faster when the input to the cane was starting to get blocked by hops/trub. This may increase the negative pressure in the siphon. I found that if I put two or three plastic tie wraps or a small hose clamp at the cane/tube joint, the bubble didn't form. YMMV. Pete Calinski Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 08:16:03 -0400 From: "Peter J. Calinski" <PCalinski at iname.com> Subject: SS and Chlorine In a previous HBD, philgro wrote: >Subject: chlorine attacking stainless(not) [snip] > Though it may be a fact that chlorine CAN attack stainless,in real >life,it ain't worth worrying about,especially if were just talking >about an oz or 2 of bleach. On two occasions I mistakenly left my "PhilsPhiller" (which is stainless steel I believe) in a bucket of bleach solution (~ 2oz/5Gal.) Both times a black film similar to soot or lampblack formed where the "PhilsPhiller" touched the plastic bucket and/or plastic tubing. Any idea what it is? Why does it form where the plastic touches the SS? Is it doing any harm? BTW it takes a lot of rubbing to get the film off the plastic. Pete Calinski Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 98 08:17:41 EST From: SBireley at renex.com Subject: Getting yeast from breweries Danny Briedenback wrote: >OK folks, I keep hearing about lucky dogs who live near breweries and >manage to >get nice large batches of slurry to pitch into their homebrew. So >what's the >technique for getting to the point where you can do this. I know >that if I >walked into the brew-pub near me and asked how I might manage to >sneak a pint or >two of slurry, the people would look at me like I was nuts Just call and ask. We have found the breweries near us to be very accomodating. They all started as homebrewers, and appreciate other homebrewers who care enough about brewing good beer to pitch alot of healthy yeast. We have found that they don't mind sharing some knowledge also. The one limitation is that many of the breweries only keep one or two strains so the types of beer you can brew using their yeast are limited. I would recommend calling first to avoid disrupting their day. Steve Bireley Northern VA Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 09:09:41 -0400 From: "Winkler, Jeff" <jeffw at finall.com> Subject: How do I remove TSP stains from my carboy? I tend to clean my carboys after use with a water/bleach mixture and then add several tbsps of TSP to soak for several days. Well, I screwed up and left a carboy full of this solution for about two weeks. This weekend I finally emptied my carboy and now I have this white film on the inside of my carboy that nothing seems to remove. I've scrubbed and resoaked with bleach and it will not go away. Does anyone have any ideas on how to remove this?? jeffw at finall.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 10:13:09 -0400 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Re: Homebrewing and Big Scale Brewing After seeing this follow up bounce off the 8K limit I'm going to trim it way back. Apologies to JimL who may respond to the unposted part. And apologies if I misrepresent any of Jim's points - I just need to cut back on the quotes. Gee - for two guys who really don't disagree on many points we seem to be having a pretty good argument. Jim Liddil wrote - >I may have implied this but as I also wrote "but the bottom line is >does the beer you make by what ever process taste good to you?" The issues are really not particularly subject to taste. No one want's excess phenolics in their beer, nor haze. The questions are cold break removal and the use of Irish Moss and the value of the Kubessa process. 1/ I'm not an advocate of IM, just the opposite, but you can't really make the argument that because a "millions of barrels" brewer - who undoubtedly handles finish turbidity with filtration sees no value in IM that therefore it's of no value to HBers who seldom filter. 2/ I like the effects of cold break removal in my HB lagers - but JIm states the megas don't use it so it's unnecessary. He seems to think you should just vorlauf until your wort is very clear and then separate hot break - like the megas do. Problem is that extreme recirculating of hot wort in a HB setting is an HSA problem. Much easier and safer to remove cold break. RIMsers have an advantage here - at least the recirc if not the HSA. Again Mega hardware and methods don't scale down to HB. > I specifically asked about cold break removal and >all the instructors said the jury is still out. [...] >Most breweries do not remove the cold break" It doesn't surprise me that US megas don't. I guess I'd like to hear what is currently done at wehenstephan or a traditional german lager brewery too. I suspect tho' that HBers, aside from RIMsers don't produce sweet wort at the same clarity level as US megabreweries and can't without oxidizing the begeebers out of their hot wort. >"The whirlpool separated wort nosed out the filtered beer" My point exactly. Don't crow - the difference was not statistically significant, and we certainly don't know anything about trub levels in HB wort vs whirlpooled mega-wort. But an educated guess is that Megas out clarify HBers so other measures might be needed for HB. 3/ Also I'm not an advocate of the Kubessa process - I've never tried it nor see the need. It *may* reduce excessive phenolic level and produce stable beer. Is the beer good ? Is the process economic compared with control of malt sources and mashing methods ? Those are two different questions and the answer that the bigboys don't use it does not imply that the result is or isn't good. Jim also notes that Miller uses about 60% 2-row malt, 40% adjunct and they (is this your point really ??) don't use the Kubessa process. I wouldn't expect this malt bill to be problematic re phenolics. Do you ? > If a process like this was worth >the extra time and effort the big brewers would be doing it. And the big >guys do worry about polyphenol extraction. I'm certain that all the Megas have very good QA measures. Doesn't mean they've rejected the Kubessa process for quality reasons tho'. - -- Why do the Germans make undermodified malt (and I don't concede they do) ? Jim first argues energy cost, then malting capacity utilization - that is more modified malt takes longer to process so less malt produced per year. The fans and conveyor energy in a malthouse are entirely swamped by the cost to dry malt - malt house utilization is a real cost but German malt and English malt aren't particularly different in price, I seriously doubt you can mount much of an argument that british energy or malthouse space is less expensive than German. This dog won't hunt. We both concur that maltsters could do a lot better job of making complete and accurate malt data available. >We are homebrewers and we can do what we want. I think it is great that >you are not taking what I have said as the gospel and are questioning what >I presented. We should all keep open minds. No gospel on this forum including the above, everything is subject to question. You can leave your credentials at home - you have to argue the case here using the available evidence. "the bigboys do it" really isn't an argument grounded in fact. They undoubtedly do "it" for a good reason, but without the reasoning and background behind it you cannot apply their results in another environment like HB. Again - my overall point is that HB isn't Megabrewing scaled down and their methods aren't always directly applicable. HB is much closer to older style brewing with a selective and ever increasing set of modern advances. Basic yeast propagation and some degree temperature control, pH measurement, O2 or airstones and a few pumps we have. Theory we have. Nitrogen charged wort, low temp boils, oxidation measurement and control, Kubessa mashes, centrifugation and effectifve whirlpools are somewhere in the future with exogenous enzyme additions. Same here re the open mind and thanks for responding Jim, Steve Alexander Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 10:16:55 -0400 From: "Rolfe, Joe" <jrolfe at mc.com> Subject: Scaling up to marginal levels... > > Jim Busch mentioned/answered Steve Owens in digest 2778.... > > >> Second, what are the very-low-end options for scaling up for, say, > >> a microbrewpub? > > >IMO, forget it. Its hard enough to make this business viable with > >capitalization on the order of 2 million dollars much less 5K. That > >said you could cobble together lots of home made SS or 55 gal oil > >drums, work you butt off forever, have beer of questionable stability > >and never make a dime. Ask Joe Rolfe about this, and he had (still > >has?) some nice 2 and 4 BBL unis. > There have been some that have prospered tho. I remember when I started a basement brewery, there were several others in the country - i think you have to have a bigger goal nowadays tho, Shelf space is short, the consumer is confused and there IS a lot of questionable beer out there now. (One of those basement type starters i think is New Belgium??) Putting scratch breweries together is tough, and long work. Dont skimp on the fermenters or brite tanks. Once I got good hoses and PHE, stability (the beer - not mine;) increased dramatically. Repitched the primary fermetnation strain for over a year and it stayed pure as the driven snow. Conical tanks for most yeast strains are by far better than dish bottoms. You can whip up a brewhouse for short cash but keep saftey in mind. Plus if it is less than engineered properly, plan on lots of upkeep work. ( i dont mean polishing copper either). 10 to 15bbl is a base starting point unless you have some other parameters in your favor (like own the bar/restaurant and the building). Many have done it on small systems, but like Jim, a few other commercial types lurking here and I know brewing, is fun ONLY when it is a hobby. Once you make it a biz - you need to change your view. Sure it can be fun at times. But the question is does it pay the bills. It is just a matter of volume and where the sales are taking place (on or off premise). Brew Techniques had a little article in the Market Digest ( or similar named directory listing brew materials, I am not connected with BT - btw). Yes I do have these tanks, leme see 3 -- 2.5bbl conicals, 5 -- 5.0bbl conicals twin 90 gal MT/LT perf SS false bottoms, and a 200 gal (GR VOL) electric or gas fired brew kettle and a whole lot of other crap too...and to make it even better, i have not brewed in two years.... soon to change tho... I think I need to see my mentor in Montreal soon...... Good Luck and Great Brewing... Joe Rolfe Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 98 07:47 PDT From: caburns at egusd.k12.ca.us (Charley Burns) Subject: High FG I said: > My situation is this: A high gravity Oktoberfest 1.075 OG being fermented at > 52F with Wyeast 2206. Within the first 9 hours I had a nice krausen and > fireworks display fermentation inside my Son-of-fermentation-chiller. After > 14 days the gravity had fallen to 1.031. I'm hoping for 1.019-1.021. After 4 > more days (18 total) its down to 1.028. Its still bubbling, but very slowly. Jim Busch responds: You dont mention the mash temps but I assume you had a rest in the beta amylase region. If so then I would look at yeast cell pitching counts/viability and O2. BTW, thats one mighty big Ofest! (you could wait another week and see if you drop the last 2P to 5P FG.) [me] The decoction rested at 158F and then the rest mash came up to 156F when I returned the decoction to the mash tun. Both temps a little on the high side which may have been the problem to begin with. > Is there any danger from such a loooonnnngggg primary? [Jim} Not if your sanitation procedures are good. Problem is more of final gravity. Did you do a forced fast ferment? This is crucial to determine the real degree of fermentability and hence to decide if the problem is wort composition or yeast related. [me again] Is the forced fast ferment where we take a sample and ferment it at high temps? If that's it, no I didn't. Since the stuff is still active, does it make sense to try that now? Its been in primary 3 weeks now. On Friday I raised the temp to 60F. On Saturday the gravity was 1.025 - getting closer and still working so I figure I can just go another week and see what happens. My original target was 1.068 (a big fest but not a giant one). I had a hard time measuring total volume in the new kettle and probably overboiled it. Charley Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 10:40:27 -0400 (EDT) From: ALAN KEITH MEEKER <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: pyrex carboys Kris Jacobs wrote concerning pyrex carboys... "Think of the the implications this would have on sanitation -- boiling wort goes into a clean vessel that it sanitizes upon entrance, vessel can be air locked up and cooled at liesure without worry of infection, no coils of copper and/or garden hose to worry about, etc..." Actually Kris, you could go one step further and do your boil in the carboy as well, really sanitize the heck out of it! Unfortunately there are a few problems with this idea. One, pyrex vessels of this size are damn expensive! Second, while you would indeed be sanitizing by boiling it is not equivalent to sterilization. There are bacteria that produce heat-resistant endospores that can survive normal boiling, this is in fact why things are sterilized by autoclaving (pressure cooking) where you can attain temps higher than the 100 deg. C of boiling water. Of course sanitization is usually good enough for homebrewing purposes but one reason this is true is that in "standard" homebrewing practice the hot wort is usually cooled fairly quickly and then a sizable quantity of yeast is pitched which will quickly outcompete the relatively miniscule number of contaminating organisms. The yeast further discourage growth of unwanted organisms by quickly dropping the pH as well as spewing out noxious substances like ethanol. Unfortunately, your propopsed method of cooling in the carboy itself would require a LONG period of time until the temp was cool enough to pitch brewer's yeast, time for any unsavory bacteria to gain a foothold in your beer leading to potential contamination problems. Personally, I doubt there would be enough bacteria surviving a long boil to do much harm but do you really want to take the risk? Thirdly, and perhaps more detrimental to your finished beer is the fact that during the long cooling period chemical reactions such as oxidations and "browning reactions" will be taking place and their rates will be accelerated because of the high temperatures (relative to room temp). Remember that water has a high heat capacity and there's a lot of volume compared to the surface area of that carboy. I would bet cooling to pitch temps would take a couple of days. Fourth, I believe there is some evidence that you obtain a bettter cold break if the wort is chilled quickly but I'm not sure about this fact, maybe someone else will comment...? But then again who really knows? If you do get one of these and try it out let us know what the results are. Maybe it'll be the best beer you've ever tasted! Good Luck! -Alan ______________________________ Alan Meeker Baltimore, MD ______________________________ Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 98 08:55 PDT From: caburns at egusd.k12.ca.us (Charley Burns) Subject: Pear Cider I finally got around to trying the Wyder Pear Cider. It was really nice on a hot July afternoon. I looked at Cat's Meow and found only 1 recipe that looks a bit complex and bizarre (12% abv is a bit much). Where can I find a simple pear cider recipe and how many pounds of pears do I need to crush to get 1 gallon (I'll scale up)? Charley (hot and sweaty)in N. Cal Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 09:34:50 -0700 From: Badger Roullett <branderr at microsoft.com> Subject: Fermenting in SS Cornies - Temp Control. Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 16:26:44 -0700 From: Steven Gibbs <gibbs at lightspeed.net> Subject: fermenting in SS cornies " When I ferment in the kegs I use a blow off method by attaching clear tubing to the CO2 /Gas side connector and putting the other end in a container filled with water and clorine bleach. I can attest to the durability of the fermenting kegs and I have even dropped them without slicing my feet open or having my wife clean up the mess. I have placed them in the pool, water bath or fermentation/lager chest. They simply work great." I have a couple of questions regarding this idea of fermenting in teh stainless steel cornies.. 1) how high do you fill it? i would be nervous of filling it to a full 5 gallons for blowoff reasons. the diameter of the hole of connector with out the poppet is pretty small, and could result in a blown tube or somehting. how do you handle that sort of thing? 2) tempeture control. your idea of the water bath is intriguing one. if you put into a water bath (say in a one of those 6 1/2 gallon buckets left over from your first brew kit) with water in it, how much does the tempeture of the cornie fluctuate on a hot day? would you even have to watch the temp, if you started with reasonable chilled water? I imagine the water would act as an layer of insulation, and maintain a fairly std. tempeture? any of you number crunching brewer types got any ideas on this? Badger ********************************************* Brander Roullett aka Badger Brewing Page: http://www.nwlink.com/~badger/badgbeer.html Badgers Brewing Bookstore: http://www.nwlink.com/~badger/brewbook.html In the SCA: Lord Frederic Badger of Amberhaven, Innkeeper of the Cat and Cup Inn Return to table of contents
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