HOMEBREW Digest #2909 Thu 24 December 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

  seeking "splits" (ThomasM923)
  GFCI tripping (Jeremy Bergsman)
  Semi-pro roller mill (JohnT6020)
  Large yeast storage experiment  at  t=3 weeks ("Dave Whitman")
  Re:  Anderson Valley Hop Ottin IPA (John Murphy)
  Food Sealer ("Houseman, David L")
  RE: food sealer (Jim DiPalma)
  RE:MiniKegs ("M. Przytarski")
  Gobs of Honey (Paul Ward)
  Re: Mead Some Questions Answered (Jeff Renner)
  Re: Bugs (Jeff Renner)
  Carbon Monoxide (ALAN KEITH MEEKER)
  Big Bend Brew-Off '99 ("Roberts, Ned")
  Seasons Greetings! (pbabcock)
  RE: Cheap Scale (Doug Kerfoot)
  yeast storage (ALAN KEITH MEEKER)
  Some Mead Questions Answered (Ted McIrvine)
  Minikegs (Ted McIrvine)
  CO, Fruit Flies (Paul Niebergall)
  Vinegar, Mini Kegs and Adjusting Mills (Dan Listermann)
  Re: Midwest Homebrewer of the Year? (Joel_Plutchak)
  bugs, CO, and frozen carboys ("silent bob")
  yet more mills ("George De Piro")
  Bottle conditioning, bottle headspace, and CO2 levels ("Dave Humes")
  Seal-A-Mealer ("Michael J. Dale)
  Christmas idea ("Val J. Lipscomb")
  Under da hood (Al Korzonas)
  vinegar (William Frazier)
  Grain for barley wine (William Graham)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 00:43:24 EST From: ThomasM923 at aol.com Subject: seeking "splits" About 18 years ago I lived in Syracuse, NY. I remember a couple of brands of beer that were available in little 7-8 oz. bottles; the bottle size mysteriously refered to as "splits". One brand was Old Vienna, a Canadian import, and the other was Matt's. I was wondering if anyone knows if either brand is still available as "splits". They would be great bottles for barleywine or old ale. Thomas Murray Maplewood, NJ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 21:54:09 -0800 From: Jeremy Bergsman <jeremybb at leland.Stanford.EDU> Subject: GFCI tripping Richard Johnson <ricjohnson at SURRY.NET> writes that his beer cooler is tripping his GFCI. One GFCI that I installed had a comment in the instructions to the effect that it should not be used with appliances that leak current to ground (duh) such as refrigerators with condensation-preventing door heaters. Possibly this is your problem? I'd bet Forrest could give some advice on disconnecting same. - -- Jeremy Bergsman jeremybb at leland.stanford.edu http://www.stanford.edu/~jeremybb Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 08:00:19 EST From: JohnT6020 at aol.com Subject: Semi-pro roller mill Can anyone lead me to a source of a semi-pro grain roller mill, that is, a motor driven mill with one to three HP drive. I came across one in a San Diego malt shop just like the one I would like to have. This one was made by C.S.Bell Co; but, when I contacted that firm they said they had discontinued making roller mills. I contacted a local animal feed store that had a roller mill for processing farmer's grain. Unfortunately it was ten HP and I could not find a maker's name on it . . . covered by shroud that I did not dare ask the owner to remove just to satisfy me. 73, JET = John E. Thompson johnt6020 at aol.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 08:04:48 -0500 From: "Dave Whitman" <dwhitman at fast.net> Subject: Large yeast storage experiment at t=3 weeks I'm carrying out a large experiment to compare storing yeast under sterile DI water and two salt solutions (NaCl, KH2PO4) that are intended to minimize osmotic shock to the yeast while optionally controlling pH as well. I'm studying two yeast strains in each medium: Wyeast 1968 ale and Wyeast 2272 lager. The experiment will run for at least 6 months, but I will periodically report results as they come in. Today I've got viability data at t = 3 weeks: yeast DI NaCl KH2PO4 ale 73% +/- 15% 92% +/- 12% 90% +/- 18% lager 59% +/- 14% 29% +/- 14% 52% +/- 16% For the ale yeast, there is a strong suggestion that both salts are giving better viability, but the scatter in the data is too high to be 95% confident that the difference is real. NaCl seems to be a disaster for the lager yeast; the precipitous drop in viability is statistically significant. Any difference for the lager yeast between DI water and KH2PO4 is lost in the noise. The lager yeast has also has significantly lower overall viability when compared to the ale yeast. This might be inherant in the two strains, but could also be an artifact of selection - the lager culture was freshly purchased at the start of the experiment, but the ale yeast has been maintained under sterile DI water with periodic reculture for 4 years so that storage-intolerant cells could have been weeded out. Rather than take up more HBD bandwidth, I've posted full experimental details at: http://www.users.fast.net/~dwhitman/yeast/ Given the differences I'm observing between the two yeasts, it'd be very interesting to expand this experiment to additional strains. If anyone would like to join in the effort, I'd welcome collaborators. - -- Dave Whitman dwhitman at fast.net Hunched over a microscope near Philadelphia (somewhat East of Jeff Renner) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 08:27:39 -0500 From: John Murphy <jbm at ll.mit.edu> Subject: Re: Anderson Valley Hop Ottin IPA Colin K. (colink at wenet.net) writes: >Can anyone give me any information on recipe formulation for Anderson >Valley Hop Ottin IPA. I am particularly interested in the hop selection. >I heard from a sometimes reliable source the dry hops are columbus which A couple of years ago (before the IPA was bottled), I made it up to Boonville to visit the brewery and Buckhorn Saloon. I remember being told there was Columbus in the boil. I think it's all Columbus, including dry hopping. I recently had some on tap at the Toronado in S.F. and it was one hop blast. Cheers John Murphy jbm at ll.mit.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 09:41:09 -0500 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: Food Sealer Jay's looking for a way to seal O2 barrier bags. Simpler than that is mason jars (or mayonaise jars or whatever). They're O2 (and just about everything barrier) and you can flush them with CO2 and close easier than buying and sealing plastic bags (IMHO). If you don't have mason jars now, buy pasta sauce that come in mason jars and keep the jars. The lids can be reused for this application. Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 09:50:28 -0500 From: Jim DiPalma <dipalma at omtool.com> Subject: RE: food sealer Hi All, Jay Spies asks about food sealers: >Anyone have any idea where I can get one, and not have to pay $150 like the >one that is used in my local brew shop?? Anyone have one they'd like to >sell that's not trashed?? The only ones I can find are those "Eurosealer" >things that make a ridiculous little seal about as big as a staple. I bought one from Walmart-online (http://www.wal-mart.com/) a few months ago, it's called the Deni Freshlock Turboseal Food Vacuum Sealer. It's got three heated wires, two for making a double seal, the third is a cutting wire that can be selectively disabled. It's designed to be used with a roll of polyethylene bags, the cutting wire doesn't quite cut through the metallic O2 barrier bags I get from Hoptech, but the unit does make a very good seal. It also has a vacuum pump - I found it a little tricky to orient the bag correctly at first, there's a little gizmo about 1" long that has to go between the two halves of the bag, the rest of the bag has to lie flat against a foam strip to form a seal. Once I got the hang of it, the vacuum unit worked well, sucks all that nasty air right out of the bag. Since I'm an Anal Brewer(tm), I also purge the bag with CO2 before using the vacuum, just to be sure I've removed as much O2 as possible. Operating the unit is fairly idiot-proof, a feature I always look for :-). Orient the bag, press down lightly on the lid of the unit. You can hear the vacuum pump start up, when a vacuum has been acheived, an idiot light goes on. Press down a bit harder and the sealing/cutting wires are activated. When a seal is acheived, another idiot light goes on, you're done. Simple enough, but the unit even comes with a training video. :-) Cost is $54.95, plus $3 shipping. There is also a $24.95 version that doesn't have the vacuum pump, which may be a viable option if you have a CO2 tank and can purge the bag before sealing. Standard disclaimer, no affiliation, yadda yadda. Cheers, Jim Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 09:12:30 -0600 From: "M. Przytarski" <m.r.p. at ix.netcom.com> Subject: RE:MiniKegs >1) I saw several messages ion the archives saying not to use bleach to >clean them because of oxidation of the plastic interior. Is this true, and >if not bleach what can you use to sanitize them? Idphour (I think that's how you spell it) works best. I have been using mini-kegs for 3 years now and that's all I use. Also here is a GOOD tip you need for Mini's that I learned the hard way. After use, clean well and then stand vertical in your stove (so the hole is up) and heat in the stove at 150-200 deg for an hour or so, and leave them in until cool. This removes all the water from inside the kegs as it turns it to steam which escapes through the hole. If you leave water in them you will discover that mold grows as well as rust. I lost 2 Mini's to rust before I figured this trick out, not to mention that mold is a real pain to get out of the damm things. >2) Saw several posts that said most kegs use 2-4 cartridges to dispense >entire keg, Is there a better way? as they are expensive. Like maybe a >regulated co2 tank? If its taking 2 to use you have a problem, bad seal or such. Mine use one and I can keep them in the fridge for up to a week with that one. (But I usually tap a MINI for get together, and therefore the keg never lasts longer than a day anyway). I suppose if it was longer than a week it would require 2, but I close the valve when not in use and such so I never had to use 2. Hope this helps. Mike Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 10:10:41 -0500 (EST) From: Paul Ward <paulw at doc.state.vt.us> Subject: Gobs of Honey The recent series of posts concerning the use of honey in beers has given me the impetus to go a little wild. I was recently given 5 pounds of native honey. I don't want to make a mead, and at the rate I use honey this is enough for my next 3 incarnations. I was thinking of a honey/wheat double or triple something or other. My rough thoughts are along the lines of 6 lbs. wheat malt, 4 pounds of pale malt and the 5 pounds of honey. I've used honey twice in the past (though never in this quantity). The first ale came out very dry, the second onee came out with some residual honey aroma and sweetness. My understanding is that honey is almost completely fermentable, although it will take a while to ferment out. I'm not really looking to devleop a strong honey profile, just free up some space in the cupboards. With this in mind, I am looking for suggestions as to a hopping schedule. Hop for the grain content only, or should I make some allowance for sweetness from the honey to balance? Also, should I use a standard malt ale yeast or one of the wheat yeasts? Suggestions gladly accepted. A little bird let me know that I can expect a 40 quart kettle under the tree this christmas. This pretty much wraps up all my basic needs, but does present a new problem. Due to some unfortunate experiences concerning wort, electric kitchen range, and momentary inattention I have been banished to the deck when it comes to boiling. When I boiled a concentrated wort in my 28 qt. kettle I would carry it in to the kitchen sink (double basin) and run my imersion chiller there. I don't think I want to carry a full volume of boiling wort into the house with snow & ice on the bottom of my shoes <<shudder>>. My garden hose is currently frozen into it's winter coil and will stay that way until April. Is natual cooling of about 6 gallons of boiling wort to pitching temps something that can be done within a reasonable amount of time when the temperature is zero or below, or should I just buy another garden hose? Paul in Vermont paulw at doc.state.vt.us - -- According to government height/weight charts, I'm seven and a half feet tall. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 09:33:22 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Mead Some Questions Answered "Mike Key" <flakeys at ibm.net>, whose web site is http://www.homestead.com/chicagogangsters/Key.html, writes: >I'm attempting my fist mead soon. Must be a Chicago gangster thing. ;-) Jeff PS I'll leave the answers to the mead questions to someone who knows mead. -=-=-=-=- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan c/o nerenner at umich.edu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 09:59:22 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Bugs rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) has weevils in his grain. I can't believe he passed up an opportunity for such a slamdunk pun: >I notice about a dozen weevils >(see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil) One of the advantages of a cooler climate is that bugs don't grow as well. So far, I haven't had any, even in two year old malt. Once they get established (confused flour beetles and India meal moths are other grain pests), they can be hell to get rid of. If you have room to freeze the grain, that should kill the adults and larvae, although not the eggs. That works for the moths, at least. I have a problem with them in the kitchen pantry, but so far not in the nearby bakery or the basement malt storage. Pheromone traps work pretty well for these moths. I get them from Gardens Alive (812-537-8650, yadda, yadda). I think you need to contact your supplier so he can try eradication. In Michigan, at least, food establishments (including brewery suppliers) are inspected regularly by the Dept. of Agriculture, which definitely frowns on such infestations. See no wee..., no, I'll refrain, it was Ron's. Jeff -=-=-=-=- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan c/o nerenner at umich.edu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 10:46:46 -0500 (EST) From: ALAN KEITH MEEKER <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: Carbon Monoxide Scott Murman wrote asking about the impact of Silent Bob'e post on dwellers of smoky pubs: Silent Bob wrote: > The level needs to be multiplied by the time of exposure to > really get an Idea of the risk. A low level for a long period of time > is just as dangerous as a high level for a short period of time. > Hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood, binds irreversibly with > CO. This means that that O2 carrying capacity is permanantly lost until > that hemoglobin is replaced. The life span of a red blood cell is about > 120 days. This means that the CO from one expsosure is not completely > eliminated for 120 days, and the effect is cumulative. I don't believe this is quite correct. CO binding to haemoglobin is NOT irreversible. If it were then this, coupled with the relatively long halflife of haemoglobin would mean that nearly all of a chronicaly-exposed individual's haemoglobin would end up in the form of carboxyhaemoglobin resulting in a quick death. CO forms a coordination complex with the haem iron where oxygen would normally be bound. It is not forming a covalent bond but its affinity for the haem iron is some 100-250 times that of oxygen. Treatment for severe cases of CO poisoning involves artificial ventillation with 2 atm of O2 which hastens haemoglobin's conversion back to oxyhaemoglobin. As far as effects of second hand smoke on pub workers/denziens I suppose one way to look at it is to compare the patron's exposure to that of the smokers themselves. Mainstream cigarette smoke contains about 2-6% CO. For your average smoker mean carboxyhaemoglobin levels are about 2.5% compared to levels for a "normal" (nonsmoker) individual of about 0.4% CO-haem levels up to 5% do not usually result in clinical symptoms. Thus, since smokers themselves are not expected to show any gross symptoms of CO poisoning it is hard to imagine those exposed to second hand smoke to show any such symptoms. Please note however that this certainly does not apply to symptoms resulting from other cigarette constituents such as irritation from particulates, exacerbation of allergies, asthma or other lung ailments, not to mention all the nasty carcinogens present in cigarette smoke! All in all it would appear that as far as cigarette smoke goes CO is the LEAST of your worries... Sorry for the (nonbrewing) off-topic post. -Alan Meeker Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 10:50:05 -0500 From: "Roberts, Ned" <robertsn at fdhc.state.fl.us> Subject: Big Bend Brew-Off '99 The North Florida Brewers League of Tallahassee, FL is hosting the Big Bend Brew-Off '99, an AHA sanctioned competition on January 16, 1999 at The Buckhead Brewery & Grill. Entry forms can be obtained by contacting Ned Roberts at nedr at tfn.net or (850) 562-7105. Rules may be viewed at "www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/~northflo". Open to all AHA styles, entry fee is $5.00, along with three bottles of your finest homebrew. Deadline for submitting entries is January 14, 1999. Any one interested in judging at the competition should contact John Larsen, Judge Director at jlarsen at nxus.com or (850) 385-1666. Happy Holidays from the Big Bend Brew-Off '99 staff. Ned Roberts, Competition Organizer nedr at tfn.net Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 10:43:53 -0500 (EST) From: pbabcock <pbabcock at mail.oeonline.com> Subject: Seasons Greetings! Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager... Wishing you all the most Blessed and Merry Christmas; Happy (Hoppy?), Healthy and Prosperous New Year. (And Peaceful, Happy Holidays to all whose holidays this season do not list amongst those noted.) During this Holiday Season, let's look out for each other, ourselves and our loved ones by savoring the flavor responsibly. Maybe as a special gift to your particular group of friends, you volunteer to be the designated driver at a get together this year? There can be no greater gesture towards those you hold as friends and family than to look toward their safety! Wishing you all the best this Holiday Season! Cheers! (Now where'd I put that recipe for egg-nog porter?!?) See ya! Pat Babcock in SE Michigan pbabcock at oeonline.com Home Brew Digest Janitor janitor@hbd.org HBD Web Site http://hbd.org The Home Brew Page http://oeonline.com/~pbabcock/brew.html "Just a cyber-shadow of his former brewing self..." Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 10:49:34 -0500 From: Doug Kerfoot <dkerfoot at macatawa.org> Subject: RE: Cheap Scale Kelly C. Heflin Asks about cheap scales: Having been previously tortured by dealing with cheap scales, follow my advise and just say no! Now I use volume rather than weight. Even under good storage conditions your malt will pick up moisture from the air. If I am recalling correctly, the weight can change for a given volume by as much as 20%! And since most cheap (under $25) scales are so inaccurate, unreliable and just plain hard to use, your recipes could potentially be off by 30 or 40%. (IMHO) So, borrow a friend's or the local homebrew shop's scale and mark a measuring cup or other vessel at the one or two lb level from a newly opened bag of grain. As the grain absorbs moisture, the volume and your results, will stay the same. Not only will it be more accurate, it is MUCH easier and faster to measure as well. I use primarily Durst Pils malt and Munton's Pale malts and I haven't seen a significant enough difference between them, when freshly opened, to warrant separate measuring cups. After I had done this for about a year, I read Greg Noonen's recommendation in Brewing Lager Beer for using volumetric measuring. He agrees with me, so he must be right. :) -Doug Kerfoot "I like beer" Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 10:56:52 -0500 (EST) From: ALAN KEITH MEEKER <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: yeast storage While we're on the topic thought I'd throw in my 10,000 lira's worth: I have several yeasts I've stored for over a year now on the surface of YPD slants in the refrigerator. I've just struck them all out onto petri plates to check how they are doing and they all look fine in that they all produced plenty of yeast colonies. While this "experiment" wasn't quantitative by any means it seems clear to me that brewers yeast stores well under these conditions, at least ca one year. The strains were: 1056 1098 3068 1084 1272 2565 and EC1118. - ------------------------------------------------------------------ "Graduate school is the snooze button on the alarm clock of life." -Jim Squire -Alan Meeker Johns Hopkins Hospital Dept. of Urology (410) 614-4974 __________________________________________________________________ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 11:17:47 -0800 From: Ted McIrvine <McIrvine at ix.netcom.com> Subject: Some Mead Questions Answered It sounds as if you want to use clean yeast (some mead-makers love wild yeast) and DME would be a better culturing media. For a wild yeast, a mixture of apple juice and DME works well. The recipe may be recommending fruit juice for the acidity. There are a variety of ways to acidify mead. A powdered blend of tartaric and other acids is available and can help a plain mead. If you use fruit, this will acidify it without help, but requires much longer aging. Mead is extremely susceptible to oxidation except during the period between cooling and fermentation. Therefore I prefer to age mead for a longer time (3-4 months) in the fermenter and bottle a finished product that will be drinkable sooner. I use oxygen absorbing caps, which aren't that costly. You imply that you are going to boil your mead. I merely heat it to 140 for about 15 minutes and top it off with cold filtered-water. The meads that I've boiled lose some of the honey aroma and flavor. Finally, Sparkaloid (tm) is the best mead clarifier I've ever used. Ted McIrvine McIrvine at Ix.Netcom.Com > > Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 09:54:41 -0500 > From: "Mike & Lynn Key" <flakeys at ibm.net> > Subject: Mead Some Questions Answered > > I'm attempting my fist mead soon. It's a simple recipe: 15 lbs. honey, acid > blend, yeast energizer, Irish Moss, and Wyeast Sweet Mead Yeast (#3184). > Questions: 1. To make a yeast starter the yeast package says to add the > yeast to diluted fruit juice. What kind of juice? How much diluted? Is it OK > to use DME instead? 2. Should I use my Oxygenator to aerate the must once it > is in the carboy? 3. Is mead subject to oxidation due to hot side aeration? > 4. Is it critical, as with beer, to quickly cool the must? Should I use my > wort chiller? 4. My recipe calls for 6 months of bottle aging. Should I cap > with oxygen absorbing caps? Thanks. > - ---- > Cordially, R. Michael Key Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 11:22:19 -0800 From: Ted McIrvine <McIrvine at ix.netcom.com> Subject: Minikegs Minikegs were the worst brewing investment I've ever made. A complete outfit for stainless kegs only runs $10-20 more. My minikegs leak, they are flimsy, and the cartridges are expensive. (I've spent more on cartridges for kegging 4 batches in minikegs than I have for CO2 for about 30 batches in kegs.) A regular keg can be chilled in a pail of ice, so even the size advantage of a minikeg is an illusion. Ted McIrvine > > Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 10:33:09 -0500 > From: "Stuart Baunoch" <sbaunoch at homeruns.com> > Subject: MiniKegs > > I am looking to buy a set of minikegs. Does anyone know if BrewHaHa has a > web site? If so what is the address? If not can I get a number to call ? > > 1) I saw several messages ion the archives saying not to use bleach to > clean them because of oxidation of the plastic interior. Is this true, and > if not bleach what can you use to sanatize them? > > 2) Saw several posts that said most kegs use 2-4 cartridges to dispense > entire keg, Is there a better way? as they are expensive. Like mabey a > regulated co2 tank? > > Stuart Baunoch, Sturbridge, Massachusettes > sbaunoch at homeruns.com > Inventory Control Specialist, Hannafords Homeruns Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 10:29:59 -0600 From: Paul Niebergall <pnieb at burnsmcd.com> Subject: CO, Fruit Flies Silent Bob writes: >As for this thread on Carbon Monoxide: I do not know off the top >of my head what safe exposure limits are, but some important points >need to be made. The level needs to be multiplied by the time of >exposure to really get an Idea of the risk. A low level for a long >period of time is just as dangerous as a high level for a short period >of time. In case anyone was wondering, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) considers 1200 ppm of CO to be *Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health*. The recommended exposure limit (REL) is 35 ppm. This means a worker can breath 35 ppm CO for up to a 10-hour workday during a 40-hour workweek. A ceiling level of 200 ppm is listed which means a level of 200 ppm should not be exceeded at any time. As Silent Bob indicates, the 35 ppm REL is a time weighted average value. So theoretically, since a brew session is much shorter than a 50-hour work week, one can breath levels higher than 35 ppm and less than 200 ppm with no ill effects. That said, a few discalimers apply. Do not try breathing these levels unless you have confirmed and understand the information posted above. If you need help, hire a professional industrial hygienist or a toxicologist. It is not my fault if you turn blue. Also, please buy a CO meter. They are cheap and easy to obtain (Wally World stocks several models) Regarding fruit flies, Rod wrote: >I am afraid that if I found a fruit fly in my starter, I would start over or >use a fresh yeast pack and forgo the starter completely. Fruit flies are >a primary carrier of wild yeast and your starter would have been >heartily contaminated. You probably have a bit of acetic acid in your >beer, too. I think Rod is missing the point of the fruit fly post. The fact that the Fruit Fly Bitter won third place is *proof* that at least in this one case, the fruit fly was not a *primary carrier of wild yeast* nor was the starter *heartily contaminated*. Aside from speculation, we have yet to see much in the way of actual proof that fruit flies have caused a contaminated batch of beer. Brew on, Paul Niebergall Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 11:46:41 -0500 From: Dan Listermann <72723.1707 at compuserve.com> Subject: Vinegar, Mini Kegs and Adjusting Mills Keith chattsworth writes: <Planning my next brew and Id like to save a few gallons to make some malt vinegar. > I have never seriously tried to make malt vinegar, but I have made some great mead vinegar. You have to make the wine / beer first. 6% alcohol is supposed to give the right amount of acid. Spirits can also be diluted to make vinegar. I made scotch vinegar once. The cluture is called "mother of vinegar." The directions tell you to gradually increase the volume by doubling or so. I recommend this. When I tried to cut corners I got poorer results ( contamination if you can believe it ). The fermentation requires oxygen. The best way is to use a wide mouth jar and cover it with a paper towel held in place with a rubber band. A great jar is one of those "sun tea" jars. They have a very wide mouth and a spigot so you can draw off clear vinegar without disturbing the sediment or the mother. It is not necessary to cluture the mother. You just drain most of the vinegar off and refill with more wine / beer. Stuart Baunoch writes about mini kegs: <1) I saw several messages ion the archives saying not to use bleach to clean them because of oxidation of the plastic interior. Is this true, and if not bleach what can you use to sanatize them? 2) Saw several posts that said most kegs use 2-4 cartridges to dispense entire keg, Is there a better way? as they are expensive. Like mabey a regulated co2 tank?> I really like the size of these kegs. They don't take up much space and you can rotate brews morely often. I clean them with "One Step" or "Straight A." I can't recall trying bleach, but of hand I don't see why that would not work. One problem with cleaning them is that they are difficult to totally drain. I have found that turning them upside down with a strip of paper towel tucked in the hole to wick out the water works well. Put the inverted assembly on a paper towel to absorb the water. The best way to deal with the CO2 cartridges is to use the pressure valve as an on/off valve only. I only turn the valve on when I need more gas to move the beer. If the valve is left on all the time, the CO2 will disolve into the beer and you will waste the cartridges and have foamy beer. If you do this and use a bit of keg lube on the tip of the cartridges you should be able to get two kegs per 16 gram cartridge or a keg per 8 gram. "The Carbonater" 2 liter bottle caps can be used as an adapter for a CO2 tank and regulator. It will need a rubber washer with a hole in it. I used a piece of tire patch. The kegs can become over pressured. They will bulge at 60 psi or so and ruin the keg. This usually doesn't happen if you use a tablespoon of sugar per keg to prime. However sometimes an incomplete fermentation or a wild yeast can cause this problem. We now manufacturel a bung that has been modified with a pressure relieph valve that vents at 30 psi until the pressure goes down to about 20 psi so the kegs won't bulge. Always hold the diptube when breaching the bung. If you try to push the tap in dynaimite plunger style, you can buckel the dip tube. About adjusting mills. My store stocks about 76 different grains. I crush or let my customers crush their grain free in a prototype two roll mill. It is infinitely adjustable with just the twist of a knob; no set screws, eccentric bushings or fixed positions. I look at every grist that passes through when I use it and adjust when it seems too fine or too coarse. I am sure that I could find an adjustment that would be fine for the bulk of the grains and not overly harmfull for most of the rest ( try rye malt sometime ). But the mill is easy to adjust, so why not go for the best you can get? Dan Listermann dan at listermann.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 12:18:44 -0600 (CST) From: Joel_Plutchak <joel at uiatma.atmos.uiuc.edu> Subject: Re: Midwest Homebrewer of the Year? In HBD #2908, Paul Kerchefske asks: >Does anyone know what happened to the web page that carried the >midwest Homebrewer of the Year web page? The old page says it >doesn't exist. Thanks. My understanding is that the MWHBY program has been turned over to another person. However, I don't recall seeing any announcements about it, and have seen zero updates or corrections since August. I fear the MWHBY program is effectively dead. You can see a copy of the August files at <http://helios.insnet.com/~peroulas/mwhboy/>. - -- Joel Plutchak Champaign, Illinois Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 12:21:13 PST From: "silent bob" <holdenmcneil at hotmail.com> Subject: bugs, CO, and frozen carboys Holiday greetings all, I have also seen these bugs in grain, but only in raw pearled barley from an organic food store. My question is, does their presence necessitate a protien rest, and at what temp??? Yes, as a medical professional, I can affirm that long hours in a smoky pub will impair the oxygen carrying capacity of hemoglobin. I don't know how the CO levels compare to a propane burner, but I have to guess it is much lower. Besides, the tar is probably of much greater significance to your health. Condolences on the loss of a carboy to old man winter. This from a fellow bonehead ;~) Later- Adam ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 98 15:56:21 PST From: "George De Piro" <gdepiro at fcc.net> Subject: yet more mills Hi all, The debate over adjustable vs. fixed mills continues. Since the queue is short, I'll respond to Jack's post (in which he responded to my post). Those of you who are completely disinterested can page down now. I said: "1. Different malts are different sizes and require different gap sizes to efficiently mill them..." Jack responded: " Can this "efficiently" actually be measured or tasted? If so (which I doubt) is the measured value significant?" To which I say: Actually, the efficiency of the crush is quite easily measured, and most certainly can effect the beer's character. Too course a crush will yield low extract. Anybody with a hydrometer can measure that. A low pre-boil gravity means either making a beer other than what the brewer intended or boiling longer to concentrate the wort. That will effect flavor. How significant these effects are is up to the consumer of the beer. Jack again quotes me: " Wheat malt is not properly crushed in a mill that is optimized for two-row barley. Some raw grains are even smaller." and then says: "But what if the mill is optimized for all known types of malt? This may sound pompous but why are you assuming that the fixed mill is optimized for two-row barley and later on you even draw a distinction between US and European two row." To which I respond: Please explain how a gap of fixed size can be perfect for crushing grains of various sizes. Wheat malt is not the same size as barley malt, oat and rye malts are also different, etc. Jack then responds to my comment about placing the blame for poor extraction efficiency on an improper crush, saying: "As a manufacturer of both milling and lautering equipment, I could not disagree with you more. Once one gets out of the Corona class, varying the crush is tweeking at the margins. Virtually every customer I have ever talked to with yield problems blamed on the mill, eventually found that the problem was either the malt or the lauter system or process. I would put the greatest burden for variability on the malt, in particular, bottom end American malt." To which I say: Well, we'll disagree! As somebody who has brewed thousands of gallons of beer and crushed thousands of pounds of malt on several different mills (both homebrew and commercial mills), I'll still say that a poor crush will definitely hurt your extraction efficiency. Water chemistry is probably the least of all the causes of poor extraction, and sparging really isn't all that tough to master. I will agree with Jack about the variability of malt being a factor, although in general it has not been a problem for me. The only malt I have had trouble with is Muntons. I had a sack of severely overgrown malt from them which yielded much less extract than it would have if it was first quality. The poor customer service I received from their US distributor really soured me on their malts. Wolfgang Kunze, in _Technology Brewing and Malting_ talks a bit about when to mill finely, when to mill coarsely, and mentions that the grist quality effects the mashing process, brewhouse yield, fermentation, beer filterability, beer color, taste and overall character. He unfortunately does not go into much detail about these important points, but I have recently quoted other sources that talk about the importance of wort clarity out of the lauter tun and how it can effect the separation of hot break, which in turn effects fermentation and' therefore overall beer character. (I don't have the paper with me now; I think I referenced it here within the last few weeks). I am sure Jack's fixed mill can be used to produce excellent beers. Some people, like me, are always looking for improvements in their beer's quality. Milling as efficiently as possible is one way of reaching the goal of better beer. As Jack points out, the choice is yours. Have fun! George de Piro (Nyack, NY) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 16:33:57 -0500 From: "Dave Humes" <humesdg1 at earthlink.net> Subject: Bottle conditioning, bottle headspace, and CO2 levels Greetings, I just came accross the following article that postulates that low CO2 levels can result in bottle conditioned beers from overfilling and thus restricting oxygen available to the yeast. The article was was written by Mark Dobner of Shepherd Neame Breweries in Great Britian. The overall subject is the formulation and preparation of an authentic Bavarian Weiss beer for production in a traditional British infustion mash system. Bottle conditioning is a secondary topic. It is somewhat long for posting on the digest, so here's the link to the full text and I'll quote the relevant section. http://www.breworld.com/the_grist/9804/gr2.html "The bottle beer production increased the logistical dilemmas since this beer required to be krausened with wort to 1Plato above the racking gravity. In rough terms this meant a 10% wort addition had to be made to the beer in BBT prior to package. Furthermore, the beer had to undergo the same convoluted route including sterilisation in the keg plant pasteuriser. " "A bottom fermenting lager yeast cultured up in a 30-litre keg was then pitched in to the beer immediately prior to racking on the bottling line. The pitch rate desired was 0.5 million cells per ml. No oxygenation was given to the beer at this stage but our German colleagues in association with Michael Hoeck calculated that sufficient air in neck would provide the yeast with the oxygen required. This meant good control was required during packaging, as over-filling here would have a significant effect on the final carbonation level achieved in bottle. The fermentation in the bottle would be expected to increase the carbon dioxide level from 0.5vols to 3.5vols." This seems a bit counter-intuitive to me. I thought that it has been pretty much universally accepted that priming sugar or wort added at bottling time was rapidly fermented, and that little if any respiration takes place, or for that matter is desirable. If there's any truth to this idea, it would explain the positive correlation between CO2 levels and bottle headspace that has been reported by several on the digest and observed by myself also. On the other hand, since the article is talking about the formulation of a Bavarian Weiss, maybe a larger than usual amount of yeast growth in the bottle is considered desirable and contributes positively to the overall profile. Then, the effect on carbonation would just be a seconday issue, albeit one that had to be calculated in order to arrive at the proper carbonation level while achieving the desired flavor profile. Dave Humes >>humesdg1 at earthlink.net<< Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 16:06:31 -0600 From: "Michael J. Dale <mdale at mediaone.net>" <mdale at mediaone.net> Subject: Seal-A-Mealer I have some experience with these things as I am an avid dehydrator. For something like hops, a cheaper version of these gadgets would probably be sufficient, and one can be had at Sears. However, the caveat is that the cheaper ones do not really develop a great vacuum and you would really want a higher quality one, using a piston vacuum pump rather than a fan to develop the vacuum, if you were planning to package any other types of food. This is especially important for foods with liquids in them. Hops, being small and dryish, would be ok with the lighter vacuum. mjd Yes, but in the morning I shall be sober. - Winston Churchill Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 16:32:34 -0600 (CST) From: "Val J. Lipscomb" <valjay at NetXpress.com> Subject: Christmas idea Best of the season to one and all, A pretty decent idea,very seasonal, has come my way. For us clods who cram our CO2 bottles and such into corners and wedge 'em between stuff to keep'em upright,there is a better way. A plastic Christmas tree stand,in 6 or 8 inch capacity, does the job superbly AND on Saturday they'll be on sale (most places) for half price. Attribution for this notion goes to "Dagger Dick" Thackston, brewer,fellow Bock'n'Alien and thinking guy, who had a spare stand lying around when he bought his Oxy bottle. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good beer, Val Lipscomb-brewing in cold,wet San Antonio Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 17:00:16 -0600 (CST) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: Under da hood Sandy posts some details on brewery design. I'd like to add one that I plan to incorporate in mine... you may want to also. If you buy a hood, it will probably already have this feature, but since many of us are do-it-yourselfers, it's likely that we may make our own. If so, do as Sandy suggests and go look at the design of a commercial hood. More than likely it will have a lip inside the bottom edge to catch condensate. The kitchen range hood at home (which I've long outgrown, now brewing 1/2bbl batches) used to drip condensing water back into the kettle if the lid was left off. Considering all the oils on the inside of this kitchen range hood, I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't have something to do with the occasional batch that had bad head retention. By the way, a few years ago I priced new commercial exhaust hoods with supply air. I believe they BEGAN at $3000 in the catalog I was looking. Check your local Yellow Pages for "Restaurant Supply - Used Equipment." Besides things like hoods, you can also get HUGE used kettles and lots of shiny stainless steel things (happy, happy, joy, joy!). Hoppy Holidays. Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 03:09:17 +0000 From: William Frazier <billfrazier at worldnet.att.net> Subject: vinegar Keith asks about making malt vinegar. I have an old home vinegar book that refers to vinegar made from malt. It says "malt vinegar can be made at home easily, especially if you are a homebrewer. At bottling time, some of your wort could simply be set aside to make malt vinegar". This doesn't make sense since we usually only bottle finished beer and not wort. I also make wine. Several years ago I ended up with ten gallons of Concord wine and I really don't care for it's flavor. I bought a Vinegar Mother from the homebrew shop, diluted some wine 50:50 with tap water, added the VM and let it set for a year in a carboy covered only with cloth. It made very good vinegar. After the vinegar was syphoned from the carboy some VM was left so I added more wine and water to restart the process. It's a lot easier than making beer. Since the Vinegar Mother makes vinegar from the alcohol I would suggest starting with some beer that didn't turn out quite right. Don't dilute with water since the alcohol content of beer is much lower than wine. The book says 5% alcohol is the very least needed for a decent vinegar. Also, I kept the vinegar upstairs away from my brewery and winery in fear of turning it into a basement vinegar factory. Bill Frazier The Briarpatch Home Brewery Johnson County, Kansas Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 20:59:23 -0700 (MST) From: William Graham <weg at rmi.net> Subject: Grain for barley wine Greetings and Christmas Salutations: I'm planning on a batch of barley wine very closely following the "Big 10/20" recipe that I've seen here. I would like to use Briess "Brewers Malt" which is, from the Briess web site, a lighter malt than their pale ale malt, "suitable for all beers". I've noticed that almost all bw recipes call for at least pale ale malt, if not the british pale ale malts. My experience tasting most bw's is that the taste is "muddy" or "complicated", and doesn't seem to have a single "theme". (Some examples that do not have these problems are Bigfoot and Old Forhorn which, to my tongue, are "coherent"). Anyway, to simplify the malt signature (but still keep it heavy), I would like to user the lighter malt. Will this do what I want? Will I just get an insipid bw? Does anyone even understand what I'm trying to say/ask? Bill "...the only way to deal with bureaucrats is with stealth and sudden violence." - Butros Butros-Ghali Return to table of contents
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