HOMEBREW Digest #2794 Tue 11 August 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

  Class vs. Keg System (Rick Theiner)
  My Dubbel is good...but..what could make it better? (Jonathan Edwards)
  100 IBUs and Beyond! (Ken Schwartz)
  Repitching 3 wk. old slurry (Dean Fikar)
  100+ IBUs (Jason Henning)
  Re: Oak Casks & Flavor ("J. Kish")
  sulfites (or not) (Dick Dunn)
  blue bottles (Bob Hess)
  American Brewers Guild-Adv homebrew course (Larry Azlin)
  Iodophor (Larry Azlin)
  Re: dry yeast (Tom Lombardo)
  Experience with WhiteLabs English Ale Yeast? (Dan Cole)
  Patron Saints? ("BG Krause")
  Leaded Wine, Natural sulfite, Clinitest ("David R. Burley")
  Misinformation (Robert Arguello)
  Dry Yeast Suggestions (Ken Schwartz)
  Poisoned beer ("Eric Fouch")
  Oak ("Mort O'Sullivan")
  pH optima of enzymes ("Steve Alexander")
  Apology to Lyn Kruger/Yeast ("Steve Alexander")
  Thanks Sam ("Peter Gilbreth")
  Here's Charley ("Peter Gilbreth")
  re: mega IBUs (Jeff)
  Sealing fridges (fridge)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 10:03:50 -0400 From: Rick Theiner <logic at skantech.com> Subject: Class vs. Keg System From: Mike Allred <mballred at xmission.com>: >>My beer budget allows for either this course or a keging system. Is it worth giving up my keg system for now?<< My kegging system is the best homebrew investment I have ever made. You will be amazed at how much easier things become and the sudden possibilities that open to you (force carbonation, no bottling time, dry hopping, and on and on). Get the keg system. Do the class next year. FWIW - -- Rick Theiner LOGIC, Inc. LOGIC at skantech.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 14:15:20 -0400 From: Jonathan Edwards <jdedward at us.ibm.com> Subject: My Dubbel is good...but..what could make it better? hey now, i brewed a belgian dubbel about 2 months ago and just got around to tasting it. it's good..definitely a good beer. i don't know if it's exactly to style or even tastes like a belgian dubbel. i've only had a couple dubbels in my lifetime...if someone could give me some advice to improve upon the recipe or yeast choice, please let me know. i think i may have fermented it too cool...at around 64F. it's very clean tasting....not estery. answers in non-scientifc jargon would be best understood and appreciated! :-) my recipe for 11 gallons: 16lbs Belgian Pilsner 2lbs German Pilsner (out of belgian) 2lbs Belgian Biscuit 1lb Belgian Aromatic 1lb Belgian Carimunich .75lb Belgian Special B 2lbs Belgian Candi Sugar 2oz Styrian Goldings 4.6% 60 minutes 1oz Hallertauer 4.0% 45 minutes White labs P500- Trappist Ale Yeast my typical efficiency is 72%. Mash at 133F for 10 minutes, boost to 155F for 90 minutes. mash out at 168F for 15 minutes. fremented at around 64F for one week in primary then racked to secondary. have kegged 5.5 gallons and will bottle the other half. thanks, jonathan Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 14:26:06 -0600 From: Ken Schwartz <kenbob at elp.rr.com> Subject: 100 IBUs and Beyond! AlK wrote: > Unless they add bitterness via isomerised hop extract, it's physically > impossible to get much over 100 IBUs. The solubility of isoalpha acids in > hot wort is only 120 mg/l and you lose a *lot* of that via break and during > fermentation. My guess is that it's difficult to *reach* 100 IBUs let alone > surpass it. > Al, you may remember the BJ's cask IPA at the NHC "trade show" in Portland last month. Someone apparently brought a sample over to Louis Bonham at the Brewing Techniques booth, where he was performing IBU measurements with some rather fancy Gadget with LCD Display(TM). A piece of paper stuck to cask reported 93 IBU. I remember it certainly having an assertive hop kick, but I wouldn't have guessed 93! There was a post here not long ago stating to the effect that above 50 - 60 IBU the bitterness effect "flattens out" such that increasing IBUs gives less and less effect on the palate. After sampling this supposedly 93-IBU beer I would agree. - -- ***** Ken Schwartz El Paso, TX kenbob at elp.rr.com http://home.elp.rr.com/brewbeer Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 21:39:28 -0500 From: Dean Fikar <dfikar at flash.net> Subject: Repitching 3 wk. old slurry Thanks to all who replied to my query about using Wyeast 1968 for porters and stouts. Nearly all recommended this strain for porters. Seems that not too many have used the strain for stouts. Now my question is what should with the quart of 1968 slurry I have had in the fridge at 38F since 7/28? I plan to brew to brew a porter on Aug. 16th and wonder if I can just add a pint of wort to the slurry at fermentation temp a couple of days before I brew? Have I waited too long and should I just start over and build up a 2 qt. starter (6.5 gal. batch) from a few cc's of the slurry? Oh, I didn't wash the slurry but it seems pretty trub free. Dean Fikar - Too hot to think in Ft. Worth, TX - dfikar at flash.net Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 02:44:44 GMT From: huskers at tir.net (Jason Henning) Subject: 100+ IBUs Hello Friends- In 2791 AlK said: + Unless they add bitterness via isomerised hop extract, it's physically + impossible to get much over 100 IBUs. The solubility of isoalpha acids in + hot wort is only 120 mg/l and you lose a *lot* of that via break and during + fermentation. My guess is that it's difficult to *reach* 100 IBUs let alone + surpass it. What's your source on that? I've heard this mentioned before, I even pasted it one a couple times. Now I'm wondering who said and what they based their comments on. I was in Houston for the PAE lab testing. Louis Bonham did IBU essays for the beers and a couple others as well. One was a barleywine that weighed in at 115 IBUs. Someone needs to inform that brewer his beer is not possible. Cheers, Jason Henning Big Red Alchemy and Brewing Clawson, Michigan Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 22:00:10 -0700 From: "J. Kish" <jjkish at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Re: Oak Casks & Flavor To Badger Roullett, If you are planning to buy a keg so you can serve "kegged" beer at the party, check first and find out which type of keg they are selling. In the old days, beer was lagered in kegs that were lined inside with pitch, which kept the beer away from the wood. (Except in Belgium). Some of the kegs you can buy today may come from the distilleries. These are straight oak that was burned inside, and the bourbon gets it's flavor from the interface between the burned and the non-burned oak. That would NOT be the right kind of keg to use for your beer. (Unless it's a lambic). Better yet, there are stainless steel "kegs" that look just like wood barrels with a plastic coating on the outside with fake 'staves'. Real-looking! Joe Kish Return to table of contents
Date: 8 Aug 98 23:36:38 MDT (Sat) From: rcd at raven.talisman.com (Dick Dunn) Subject: sulfites (or not) "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> wrote: > Alan Keith Meeker makes a fine presentation on the sensitivity of some > persons to excessive sulfites... ... > However, my point was, I know of no problems with the low levels > of sulfites in commercial wines... It can happen, but it's as rare as Dave suggests. However: >...Interestingly most people complain > of these headaches with red wine but can drink white wine just fine. > When bottled, white wine often contains 3 or 4 times as much > sulfite as red wine. I suspect "red wine gives me a headache" is > part of the food additive hysteria that has been fomented in this country ... Bu, ohyyfuvg! Dave, I am trying to learn not to flame, but look: If you don't have any idea what you're talking about, silence is a perfectly viable option. You have no business ridiculing people who suffer a physiological reaction they don't choose and can't control. The headache (and often other symptoms) reaction to red wine but not white wine is very real, surprisingly common (way more common than reaction to sulfites in wine), AND well understood. It is a histamine reaction which has nothing to do with sulfites. - --- Dick Dunn rcd at talisman.com Hygiene, Colorado USA ...Mr. Natural says, "Get the right tool for the job." Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 01:56:21 -0400 From: Bob Hess <robert57 at pilot.msu.edu> Subject: blue bottles Our local brewstore just started carrying blue bottles. Is there an advantage over brown bottles? I have read about brown versus green, but not versus blue. Thanks. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 23:00:28 -0700 From: Larry Azlin <espresso at dsp.net> Subject: American Brewers Guild-Adv homebrew course Mike Allred writes in #2791 > I am seriously thinking about attending the American Brewers Guild 2 day > Advanced Homebrew Course. I have a few questions of the collective first. > ... I took the first offering of this class back in October '95, and found it very helpful at the time. I was just preparing to go all-grain, and perhaps some of those discussions weren't as meaningful as they would be now. I think you have to expect a fairly even mix of all-grain vs. extract brewers, so it may not be really "cutting edge". It is not, however, an intro homebrewing course; there are discussions on mash biochemistry, calculating yields and strike temperatures, various flavor defects, basic yeast handling and propagation, etc. At the time, it was all classroom instruction, so it wouldn't matter where you took it. BTW, I liked this class enough that I just went back for their 4 day "Homebrewers Fantasy Camp". This was a lot more advanced, included plenty of hands-on sessions plus a 2-hour tour of Sierra Nevada, and of course cost a lot more. My impression is that you could contact ABG and tell them what you're looking for, and get a straight answer (as opposed to a sales pitch) on which course would best suit your needs. Usual disclaimers apply - no association, etc. Cheers. Larry Azlin Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 23:14:39 -0700 From: Larry Azlin <espresso at dsp.net> Subject: Iodophor The very useful table for Iodophor that Jason Henning posted in 2791 reminded me of a recent quandary as regards how much to use. My bottle of BTF indicates that 1/4 oz in 2.5 gallons yields 12.5 ppm, consistent with the recommendations of the Fall 95 Zymurgy article. However, Noonan recommends (in New Brewing Lager Beer) a rate of 0.5 oz / gal., seemingly equivalent to 62.5 ppm!!! He also says this is a no-rinse concentration, but it seems a bit too close to the 75ppm that I've seen (somewhere) as requiring a rinse. Comments? Thanks. Larry Azlin Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 05:56:03 -0500 From: TomL at ednet.rvc.cc.il.us (Tom Lombardo) Subject: Re: dry yeast Badger Roullett writes: >i was wondering if there was a good source material (such as a handy web >page) for information regarding the different types of DRIED beer yeasts >available.. such as floculation, flavor profiles, experiences, best with >which style etc. etc. > I find myself plugging Al's book for the second time in less than 30 days. "Homebrewing, Volume 1" By Al Korzonas has an appendix which compares a multitude of dry yeasts and their characteristics. (Yes, there's also one for liquid yeasts.) No affiliation, etc. [Al, where's that new Corvette you promised me? ;-) ] Tom in Rockford, IL (still waiting for "Homebrewing, Volume 2") TomL at EdNet.RVC.CC.IL.US http://EdNet.RVC.CC.IL.US/~TomL Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 08:41:28 -0400 From: Dan Cole <dcole at roanoke.infi.net> Subject: Experience with WhiteLabs English Ale Yeast? Does anyone have experience with WhiteLabs English Ale Yeast? After approx. 2 years homebrewing, I just had my first infected batch. Right now, I think I have to blame it on the yeast (or more specifically the lack of performance of the yeast). Last week, I brewed an oatmeal stout for my next homebrew club meeting and pitched straight from the Whitelabs vial. I know, I know, there have been discussions on this list in the past about whether Whitelabs vials are truly pitchable, but since I was only doing a 2.5 gallon batch, I thought that it would have enough yeast. About 9 hours after pitching, I had "bloops" from the airlock and a fairly decent krausen (with a lot of trub unfortunately carried over from the fermenter). During the heights of fermentation, I never had more than one bloop per 20 seconds or so. As reference, on just about any other yeast, I get one bloop every 5 seconds or so. Five days after racking to secondary (to get it off the trub), I look at the fermenter and see blue/green colonies on the surface. These are not bubbles, these are bacteria or mold. I thought at first, that by racking to secondary with this yeast (described as a high flocculator), I removed the largest portion of the yeast mass, and fermentation was stalled, but I remembered getting bloops in the airlock 2 hours after racking to secondary. So my thoughts are that despite having enough yeast, it just didn't perform fast enough to out-compete anything else. Has anyone else had similar experiences with this strain of yeast? Description from www.whitelabs.com : WLP002- English Ale Yeast: A classic ESB strain from one of England's largest breweries. This yeast is best suited for English style ales including milds, bitters, porters, and English style stouts. This leaves behind some residual sweetness. Attenuation: 63-70% Flocculation: Very High. Optimum Fermentation Temperature: 65-68F. Dan Cole Roanoke, VA Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 Aug 1998 09:03:00 -0400 From: "BG Krause" <bkrause at gwis.com> Subject: Patron Saints? Date: Sat, 05 Sep 1998 08:12:01 -0700 From: John Baxter Biggins <jbbiggin at mail.med.cornell.edu> Subject: Patron Saint of Brewing/Beer??? >Anyone out there know who the patron saint of Brewing or Beer is (if >there is one)??? "Saint Arnold was born to a prominent Austrian family in 580 in the Chateau of Lay-Saint-Christophe in the old French diocese of Toul, north of Nancy. He married Doda with whom he had many sons, two of whom were to become famous: Clodulphe, later called Saint Cloud, and Ansegis who married Begga, daughter of Pepin de Landen. Ansegis and Begga are the great-great-grandparents of Charlemagne, and as such, Saint Arnold is the oldest known ancestor of the Carolingian dynasty. Saint Arnold was acclaimed bishop of Metz, France, in 612 and spent his holy life warning peasants about the dangers of drinking water. Beer was safe, and "from man's sweat and God's love, beer came into the world." The people revered Arnold. In 627, Saint Arnold retired to a monastery near Remiremont, France, where he died on August 16, 640. In 641, the citizens of Metz requested that Saint Arnold's body be exhumed and ceremoniously carried to Metz for reburial in their Church of the Holy Apostles. During this voyage a miracle came to pass in the town of Champignuelles. The tired porters and followers stopped for a rest and walked into a tavern for a drink of their favorite beverage. Regretfully, there was only one mug of beer to be shared, but that mug never ran dry and all of the thirsty pilgrims were satisfied. Saint Arnold is recognized by the Catholic Church as the Patron Saint of Brewers. " >From Saint Arnolds Web Page..... http://www.saintarnold.com No affiliation by me... ( they do have good beer though!) - ---- Brian G. Krause ----- bkrause at gwis.com - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- There are TWO rules for success in life: Rule 1: Don't tell people everything you know. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 Aug 1998 11:01:11 -0400 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Leaded Wine, Natural sulfite, Clinitest Brewsters: To my comment: >The Romans also used to put lead into their wine... Sam Mize says: "Not intentionally..." Actually they did put lead in their wine intentionally to sweeten it. ( sort of the original low-calorie sweetener 8^) ). About 400 AD when the empire was in collapse ( no more slaves from Europe to make wine and do the work) the only wine they could afford was from France and was dry (and not sweet as they were used to) due to the lousy, cold French weather. The Italians added Sugar of Lead to sweeten the wine. Sugar of Lead is lead acetate. Like all soluble lead salts it affects the Central Nevous System and the heavier wine drinkers ( increasingly the nobility as the price of imported wine went up) suffered the most from dementia and eventually death from lead poisoning. There may also have been a problem from the dissoluton of lead from the lead drinking vessels as is so often reported ( and is the source of Sam's comment), since the French wine is so acidic compared to Mediterranean grown grapes. The transport of the wine in then newly invented and poorly constructed oak casks didn't help as the wine undoubtedly spoiled on the way from Marseille to Rome. The spoilage of the wine would produce acetic acid which would react with the lead oxide on the drinking vessels' surface and form lead acetate - Sugar of Lead. This would help explain why this had become a problem towards the end of the Empire and was not apparently a problem for most of the reign of Rome, since drinking from lead and lead alloy vessels stetches back into history. Why didn't all Italians suffer from this? With the collapse of the wine industry ( all those villas stretching from Rome to Pompeii with "barbarian" slaves) the poor farmers raised their own grapes and knew what was in their wine and raised sweet grapes in warm Italy which didn't need sweet additives, unless it was honey and spices. This tradition of the Italians has carried forth to support the home winemaking and eventually home beer making hobbies today. Who could have imagined that we would owe our hobby to the Fall of the Roman Empire! - ---------------------------------------------- Sam MIze also says of my discussion of low levels of sulfite in wines: "You kind of dodged his point. Sulfite is as "all-natural" as salt. That doesn't make it safe, just natural. Some people care." Well, I can't think of anything more natural than salt, can you?? After all we have a fairly concentrated solution running through our veins. Sulfite, as I pointed out, is a by-product of many wine yeasts' fermentation. It is a natural product which they make to protect their turf ( the grape must) from other yeasts and bacteria. Lallemand calls this phenomenon a "killer Strain" of yeast, but it is quite normal and natural. I would be the last person to imply that "natural" meant "safe." ( I mean, plant-derived strychnine is about as natural as you can get). This implied realtionship in many people's mind is an outcome of the despised "health" industry spreading its unsupported load of crap throughout our society for their own enrichment. I implore all readers to be extremely sceptical of unsupported health claims. Likewise, I also implore you to not be whipsawed by claims of danger from ingestion of harmless (or even helpful) things on the basis that they are not natural. I am still awaiting a definitive scientific study which proves that the small dosage of less that 100 ppm of sulfite in commercial wines is harmful to even the most sensitive person. Sam goes on to show that we both agree that irrational fears should not be a driving force in anyone's life. Insist on proof and not glib discussion. - ------------------------------------- AlK asys: "I'd like to thank Dave for spurring me to finally put together that Clinitest page on my website. Rather than clog the HBD with the same old story, you can find my thoughts on this subject" I guess this is the only response you have left, to withdraw from open discussion, since you've never bothered to try or even understand why Clinitest is so great for homebrewers. Just stick to the facts and don't libel me. I know Clinitest is a useful aid in knowing for sure if "the beer is done", I've tried the other methods over decades and found them to be wanting . I simply can't understand someone with your knowledge of brewing, hiding from an improvement in homebrewing technique. - -------------------------------------- Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Kinnelon. NJ 07405 Dave_Burley at Compuserve.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 Aug 1998 08:29:04 -0700 (PDT) From: Robert Arguello <robertac at jps.net> Subject: Misinformation I did not respond publicly a week ago when Al Korzonas declared that my method of Counter Pressure Bottle Filling would result in "Gushers. Guaranteed!!". But I will now... Nonsense! A couple of days ago someone mentioned that they had tried my method of force carbonation, (posted on my web site at http://www.jps.net/robertac/carb.htm), and had found it to his liking. For some reason, Al has decided that all of my methods, (first CP filling and now Forced Carbonation), will result in over-carbonated beer and wrote...... .>Marc posted that he has tried Robert Arguello's Force-Carbonation .>technique and it works well for him (chill beer in freezer for .>4 hours, attach CO2 at 35 psi and then rock for 4 to 5 minutes). .>I'm not comfortable with that method. It seems to work for Robert .>and Marc, but everyone's freezer is different and everyone's beer .>*starting* temperature is different. So if the beer in the keg .>happened to get down to 40F in those 4 hours, 5 minutes at 35 psi .>could give you more than 5 volumes of CO2!!! .>I urge everyone to print out Alan's excellent tables that were .>recently reposted, set the CO2 pressure to the one you need for .>the actual temperature and volumes and then rock the keg until .>the CO2 stops flowing. Actually, since I've personally made the .>following mistake more than once, let me suggest that you .>disconnect the gas line from the keg during shaking. Sure, .>that bubbling sounds cool, but what do you do when beer starts .>climbing up your CO2 hose back towards the regulator? I don't have the scientific knowledge to argue with his assertions except to say that I have force carbonated over 300 batches of beer with this method and 3 to 5 minutes of forced carbonation at 35 psi at 40 degrees F will NOT result in beer with 5 volumes of CO2. I have never actually measured the temp of my beer after 4 hours in my freezer and, in fact, nowadays I don't even have the old freezer and now chill the beer in my large keg fridge, (http://www.jps.net/robertac/fridge.htm), but the results are the same. My keg fridge is set to 40 degrees F. I force carb at that temp for 3 1/2 minutes at 35 psi., then draw a pint to check on the carb level. If further carbonation is desired I continue the force carbonation process for 30 seconds and check again. I force carb every beer I brew and the 10 ribbons hanging in my brewery, (5 of them being first place), would suggest that the process works well. As in any method or process, your mileage may vary and certainly, different levels of carbonation are appropriate for different styles of beer. My Chimay clone, for instance, gets a full 5 to 6 minutes of treatment whereas my English Pale Ale is usually appropriately carbonated after only 3 and 1/2 minutes. As I mention in my article, folks trying this method for the first time should check the carbonation level often during the process. Certainly there are variables that need to be respected. Al correctly mentioned the possibility of beer backing up into the gas line. This can only happen if the pressure in the corny keg becomes higher than the pressure coming from the regulator. While it won't happen during the normal course of force carbonating, it CAN happen accidently and to prevent it completely, I installed a check-valve between the hose and the quick-disconnect. By the time anyone reads this post, I will have updated my web site article to reflect this. ******************************************************************** Robert Arguello <robertac at jps.net> CORNY KEGS FOR SALE! $12.00 each http://www.jps.net/robertac/keg.htm ProMash Brewers' Software - http://www.jps.net/robertac/promash ******************************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 12:20:01 -0600 From: Ken Schwartz <kenbob at elp.rr.com> Subject: Dry Yeast Suggestions Badger asks about Dry Yeasts: > which dry yeast is best in a sweet stout? > which dry yeast is best when making a Pale ale? > which dry yeast is best for making english ales? > which dry yeast is best for doing High Gravity batches? > I've been experimenting with dry yeasts a lot this year, mostly with good success. For the most part I've been using Danstar Nottingham, from Lallemand. This yeast is very neutral, enough so to have made a credible Bohemian Pilsner when fermented at 60F. I've also used it in a barleywine, where it took the 1.092 wort to 1.017 in a few days. Now granted, this was accomplished by dumping the wort onto the yeast cake of a just-racked amber ale, but all nine of our club's Big Brew brewers reported quick complete fermentations with this same yeast when pitched from the foil (2 packages, rehydrated). I have also used the Danstar London in a porter, which added just enough character to complement the beer. I would describe it as midway between "neutral" and "English/fruity". Might be a good choice for the sweet stout. Though I haven't tried their Windsor, it is claimed by Lallemand to be "estery to both palate and nose with a slight fresh yeasty flavor" producing beer that are "usually described as full-bodied, fruity English ales" (see http://www.lallemand.com). The Windsor thus would be a logical choice for your pales and other English ales. Finally, I recently obtained a sample of some DCL Safale S-04, which I haven't seen commercially available but you might be able to get some ordered from a HB store as Crosby & Baker (I believe) distribute this in the US. This yeast fermented with a nicely-fruity finish which would be welcome in a "typical" English ale. Also, John Pilhoefer at Jaxon's brewpub here in El Paso (1997 GABF Gold Medal winner for American Brown) recently brewed a batch of stout using this same yeast which came out well. This same beer will be served at this year's GABF so if you're there and want to try a "dry yeast beer", there's your chance. I have yet to try Cooper's, Edme, or any of the other popular dry yeasts in one of my own brews, but I have sampled others' beers made with these and found them to make good beer. FWIW I use two 5-gram packets per 5-gallon batch. Remember to rehydrate the yeast first, by soaking it in sanitized (boiled/cooled) water (NOT WORT) for 15-30 minutes before pitching. Lallemand recommends around 105F while DCL suggests much cooler water, so read the label. ANd speaking of reading the label, be sure to check the expiration date on the label. Dry yeasts typically can store two years and retain adequate viability, but fresh packs will give faster starts and better ferments. ***** Ken Schwartz El Paso, TX kenbob at elp.rr.com http://home.elp.rr.com/brewbeer Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 Aug 1998 16:59:21 -0400 From: "Eric Fouch" <fouches at iserv.net> Subject: Poisoned beer HBD- In HBD #2792 Sam M said about "poisonous" foodstuffs: >Some people think things are dangerous if processed, and safe if "natural" >- -- you know, like curare, blowfish toxin, or uncooked tapioca... OMIGOSH!!!!!! What about the Manioc Dopplebock I like to make with tapioca granules?!??!! Should I be step-decocting my goods mash in a pressure cooker? Am I slowly killing myself with my beer? I read in the paper today about a new rocket fuel consisting mostly of hydrogen peroxide. It was deemed non-toxic, since it can be diluted in water. Seriously! So, I guess the moral is, dilute your uncooked tapioca, and you won't have any problems. Ditto with your sodium cyanide solutions. I wonder if the botulism toxin is water soluble? Eric Fouch Bent Dick YoctoBrewery P.S. - Parts of this post were in jest: :) ;) :). Put 'em where you like. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 01:32:09 +0100 From: "Mort O'Sullivan" <tarwater at brew-master.com> Subject: Oak Badger Roullett asks: >Ok Al, and all you Beer Brained Buckaroos out there.... >Oak Casks.. how does one tell American and Euro Oak? how can you age a >beer in a SMALL (5 gallon) cask with out adding too much flavor? I seem to remember that you can add Folin-Dennis reagent to shavings of both American and European oak; the Euro oak will turn the reagent a deep blue and began to froth, whereas there will be no frothing and not as severe a color change with the American oak. I believe the Folin-Dennis reagent (mercuric cyanide) reacts with the tannins in the wood and since European oak is much higher in tannins, you get a more severe reaction. (I realize this may not be much help to you without access to Folin-Dennis reagent, but you did ask). Alternatively, you might try to make an infusion of the wood shavings in a little boiling water and then sip the cooled infusion--the more astringent will be European oak (but the American oak will also be astringent so you would pobably need some kind of reference standards). European oak (Quercus sessilis or Q. robur) and American white oak (Q. alba) both impart strong flavours to any liquids stored in them, and depending on how they are treated they will also absorb some of the more volatile flavor components from the liquids. But European and American oak are very different, as has been noted in a few other posts. In general, American oak is much higher in lactones (which is perceived as "coconut" at high concentrations and "oaky" at lower concentrations), whereas European oak is much higher in tannins. If you're going for historical accuracy for a British beer style, you would need to find either English or Memel oak. English oak was used until the reign of Elizabeth I, during which it was nearly completely depleted by the ship building industry. From the mid 16th century until the Second World War, British brewers and coopers used almost exclusively Memel oak, sourced from Russia and imported through the port of Memel on the Baltic. During WWII, the supply of Memel oak was cut off, but then the days of oak casks for beer were numbered by then anyway. As I believe Phil Grossblatt mentioned, the preparation of the wood is as important as the type of wood. For wines and spirits, the inside surface is left rough and heat-treated to various degrees. The heat catalyses pyrolysis reactions with the oak lignin compounds and releases all sorts of flavorful derivatives of syringyl and guaiacyl compounds (e.g. vanillin). For beers, the inside surface is usually smoothed to minimize the surface area and if a mild oak such as English or Memel were used, it would only be treated with a pickling solution of brine and sodium carbonate to neutralize some of the tannins near the surface. If the cask smelled "sweet and clean" after this treatment it would be filled directly with beer. Otherwise, it might be lined with pitch or another suitable resin before filling with beer. Of course there was one well-known brewer of stout who used casks with a rough, charred interior, claiming that the flavor the wood imparted to the beer was desired by its customers. Also, the smallest cask size coopers would make for beer was a pin. A pin held 4.5 gallons and was 16.5 inches long, 11 inches across the head, and 13.5 inches in diameter at the pitch. A cask of this size will have a large surface-to-volume ratio, so a mild, pickled oak or one lined with a resin would be essential if you did not want an oaky beer. Cheers, Mort O'Sullivan Edinburgh, Scotland Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 Aug 1998 15:58:26 -0400 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: pH optima of enzymes Fred L. Johnson asks about pH and enzymes. >So, do the enzymologists have this measurement under control or not? Generally not. The recommended procedures for enzyme parameter measurement specify a temperature , 20C I believe, where practical. So a correction under these conditions isn't called for. Unfortunately many enzyme cannot be practically isolates and measured at this temperature, so it is necessary to understand the conditions under which the measurements were taken. What is probably more important is to understand that the pH optima may shift with temperature too, so a single temp optima measurement doesn't really reflect an optima under other conditions anyway. Basically pH impacts the conformation of the enzyme, which impacts it's activity rate. Think of an enzyme as a largish ribbon of protein that tends to fold into a particular shape. In that shape it can effect it's catalytic role. When it is stretched or deformed it becomes less effective or even entirely ineffective. pH impacts the electrical attraction and repulsion between the different amino acids of the enzyme and so impacts it's shape. High salt levels, probably much higher than in mash water, can have a similar effect. Temperature affects the number of enzyme/source collisions that are energetic enough to cause the reaction, but temperature can also lead to enzymes which spend less of their time in the optimal conformation, which in turn can shift the pH optima. This last effect can shift the pH optima by about -0.2 per +10C, and here I am not referring the temperature dependence of pH [1]. The activity of enzymes can be very greatly enhanced by the presence of cofactors, such as calcium ions in the case of some of the amylases, and zinc and magnesium ions in the case of some yeast enzymes. As a practical matter the pH vs activity curves for malt enzymes are exceedingly wide, and your first concern about pH in the mash should be towards phenolic extraction and protein solubility and coagulation. [1] 'Enzyme Technology', Chaplin & Bucke, 1990 Cambridge Univ Press. Steve Alexander Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 Aug 1998 21:27:34 -0400 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Apology to Lyn Kruger/Yeast All, a couple HBDs back I posted some doubts about Lyn Kruger of Seibel. This was/is entirely unfair on my part. I do not know Lyn or her qualifications, I do not have direct access to her course notes and she isn't here to defend her point of view so my comments were based on second hand, out of context recitations. Enough said, apologies to Lyn Kruger. The course notes apparently represent a short course on practical aspects of brewing, and are apparently largely relevant to commercial operations. These notes appear in my somewhat underinformed estimation to not contain sufficient technical detail to justify some of the extrapolations made by a few students of the class. Out of context and in the forms quoted here, they appear to defy well established models for yeast growth and fermentation and use rather unintelligible definitions for the term 'lipids' among other things. I suspect that the adage about a little knowledge being a dangerous thing is relevant here. I do not claim to be an expert on yeast microbiology; still it is pretty clear that a short course on practical brewing at Seibel does not a microbiologist make either. .I suspect some of the Seibel students need to take a wider perspective as well and dig out those library cards and to question what they have been taught. Taking a short course is often like drinking knowledge from a fire hose. There is no time to seriously challenge the information at the time it is presented. There is therefore a need to question and determine the underlying support for the information later to create a proper perspective. Until you can personally support or reject the things you have "learned" you are really being constrained intellectually by the titles and opinions of others, and have little basis for judgment. By private email a Seibel short course grad points out the terrific qualifications of the Seibel staff. I can't really challenge this, and don't mean to, but it is important to challenge the ideas they present, whether it's George Fix, Lyn Kruger or Ludwig Narziss or perhaps some guy on HBD. If you don't question the ideas - you're not a student, just a trainee. I find that there is a sometimes recently a certain arrogance by Seibel students that they have been enlightened by the the one true method of brewing, followed by a list of techniques that make Miller the beer it is and a recitation of "facts" that the student cannot support. I must admit that I didn't/don't see this at all when Rob and George attended Siebel, but then again I suspect they began with a pretty substantial background. Also I don't think that the methods used at Miller or in Micros are bad, it's just that without understanding the principles and motivations behind these techniques it's impossible to say you really understand brewing or the relevance of the method to various types of brewing. For example it's been stated that 3X is the yeast growth rate in ale breweries; perhaps this is so ( I still have doubts) , but was the purpose to perform quicker fermentations, or to avoid yeast growth byproducts ? If the latter why aren't they pitching a full complement of yeast and shooting for near zero growth (because it would cause zero fermentation right ;^) ) ? Also don't get the impression that I'm stating unequivocally that I am correct and Seibel is wrong. I've presented some pretty good lit references as to why I think I'm right on several key points. Perhaps I'm totally wrong, and the Seibels guys are right, because some new discovery or datum that I have entirely overlooked. I'm just asking that you demonstrate why I'm wrong. A journal reference would be a great starting point. I've also received criticism that I have gotten lost in journals and don't know as much as I think. Perhaps so - but considering the bogus definition of lipids presented and the highly unusual model for yeast fermentation rates suggested, I certainly must have a right to raise doubts and serious questions about what is being stated. I've already posted sources and definition of lipids. The yeast fermentation and growth models I'd like to cite appear in: [1] Engasser et al., Proc. fo the EBC, 1981, p579 and [2] Gee & Ramirez, Biotech and Bioeng. 1988, v31, p224, also [3] Gee&Ramirez, JIB 1994, v100, pp 321. This is all based on work that goes back to the early '60s done by Aryapaa, Nordstrom and others. If these models have been decisively rejected then certainly there is a journal article describing this. Peter, Jim, can you cite a paper ? [BTW I posted the math contents of the Gee&Ramirez model from [3] on HBD 1+ years ago.] Steve Alexander Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 02:12:59 -0700 From: "Peter Gilbreth" <BARLEYWINE at prodigy.net> Subject: Thanks Sam Sam quotes me: > In the yeast thread, Peter Gilbreath said: >What I do see is a lot of evidence that points me to believe that O2 sats >do indeed influence the length of lag. > Actually I said a bunch of hard to follow crap that Mr Mize had the patience to sort through and write it in English. Thanks, Sam Cheers. Peter Gilbreth barleywine at prodigy.net www.barleywine.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 02:37:20 -0700 From: "Peter Gilbreth" <BARLEYWINE at prodigy.net> Subject: Here's Charley I laughed my ass off at Charley: >Now, where was I? Oh yeah, one bazillion and 1, one bazillion and 2, one >baz.... >>Charley (counting yeast instead of sheep) in N. Cal Charley was wanting to know how to guesstimate a yeast count of his slurry: Perhaps if someone had done exactly as you do when you save your yeast, >I store recovered yeast under boiled distilled water in *Quart* jars in the >fridge. >>I normally run the stuff through one wash cycle as described on the Wyeast >>page (www.wyeastlab.com). > and then taken a representative sample (water decanted, slurry stirred) and done a cell count on a hemocytometer and published the results, (maybe with several different sized examples like 4 oz, 8 oz, 12 oz, 16 oz)....maybe you could call your educated guesses (which is what these are ;')*just approximately*. Also helpful would be a viablility count. What the *artistic* brewer (me) should strive to do is to find out which method works best for your equipment and favorite procedures. Then you must be able to replicate it. That's the hard part. Cheers. Peter Gilbreth barleywine at prodigy.net www.barleywine.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 09:03:03 -0400 (EDT) From: mcnallyg at gam83.npt.nuwc.navy.mil (Jeff) Subject: re: mega IBUs Hi All, Al K. wrote: >Unless they add bitterness via isomerised hop extract, it's physically >impossible to get much over 100 IBUs. The solubility of isoalpha acids in >hot wort is only 120 mg/l and you lose a *lot* of that via break and during >fermentation. My guess is that it's difficult to *reach* 100 IBUs let alone >surpass it. I made a barleywine in June of 97 that supports Al's comments about the max solubility of isoalpha acids. Using Glenn Tinseth's online bitterness calculator, the IBUs in this barleyine should be 210 (no that is not a typo!). As part of the lab testing that Louis Bonham did for the Palexperiment brews, he also measured the IBUs in this barleyiwne for me. It meausred out at "only" 115 IBUs. To get to this IBU level I used 16.5 oz of hops in a 5 gal batch, the first addition was 4 oz of 15.4%AA Columbus (60 min boil)! Hoppy brewing (literally), Jeff ========================================================================== Geoffrey A. McNally Phone: (401) 832-1390 Mechanical Engineer Fax: (401) 832-7250 Launcher Technology and email: Analysis Branch mcnallyg at gam83.npt.nuwc.navy.mil Naval Undersea Warfare Center WWW: Code 8322; Bldg. 1246/2 http://www.nuwc.navy.mil/ Newport, RI 02841-1708 Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 09:24:07 -0400 From: fridge at Imbecile.kzoo.edu Subject: Sealing fridges Greetings folks, In HBD # 2792, Al Korzonas brought up an excellent point. It is important to seal any penetrations into a fridge or freezer cabinet. The factory often uses a putty-like substance or rubber grommet where a wire or sensor probe must enter the cabinet. Silicone caulk or plumber's putty make good substitutes. Older refrigerators and freezers often used spun rock wool or fiberglass to insulate the cabinet. Early models relied upon the cabinet liner to act as a vapor barrier and often had problems with ice buildup inside the insulation around the evaporator area. Later models used a polyethylene vapor barrier either glued or gum- sealed to the cabinet liner, or encapsulated the insulation in poly bags before inserting them into the cabinet recesses. Any penetrations made through this type of insulation should be carefully sealed at the cold side of the insulation, and at both penetration points of bagged or wrapped insulation. Newer models are "foamed in place". The fridge cabinet is injected with a two-part liquid which forms a sticky closed-cell foam when mixed. The foam fills any space between inner and outer cabinet walls and adheres to the cabinet surfaces, forming a goog vapor barrier in the process. Penetrations through this foam shouldn't cause problems, but I like to work a little silicone caulk into the foam surface where I drill it to prevent any moisture from wicking into it, and seal any hole made to the cabinet wall with either silicone caulk or putty. Hope this helps! - ---------------------------------------------- Forrest Duddles - FridgeGuy in Kalamazoo fridge at Imbecile.kzoo.edu Return to table of contents
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