HOMEBREW Digest #2911 Sat 26 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.
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  7 oz bottles (Marc Hering)
  Yeast starter and aeration ("Fred L. Johnson")
  Ommegang yeast/ cleaning/ fruit flies/ metallic beer ("George De Piro")
  RIMS ramp time ("RZUK")
  CAP ("RZUK")
  mills etc (Jim Liddil)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 25 Dec 1998 03:14:51 -0500 From: Marc Hering <mhering at acd-pc.com> Subject: 7 oz bottles Regarding the Person seeking out 7 oz bottles, I know that this probably is Blasphemous, but if I remember correctly Scudwiser makes 7 oz "Nips" that I believe may be useful, the only thing that I do not remember is wheather they were twist off or not,,hopefully not ;) Marc Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 25 Dec 1998 08:17:14 -0500 From: "Fred L. Johnson" <FLJohnson at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Yeast starter and aeration To the starter experts out there: I would like to refine my starter culture process to improve pitching rates with minimal hassle. Here are my thoughts for your critique. My goal is to have as much yeast as possible in a 3 liter wine bottle for a 5 gallon batch. I typically start with yeast that have been cultured from 2 liters of uhhopped starter that has fermented out and then stored in the refrigerator in 12-16 ounce beer bottles. For a 5 gallon batch, the supernatant is decanted off one of these stored bottles and the yeast is pitched into approximately 2 liters of fresh wort in a 3 liter wine bottle. This has worked pretty well but I would like to push this a little further as follows. I intend to aerate this 2 liter starter intermittently for several hours using an aquarium pump and a 0.45 micron filter to prevent contamination. (Suggestions are welcome for how long to aerate.) Is this starter certain to become contaminated? After the starter has fermented out and the yeast have settled, I will decant the supernatant and pitch the slurry or give the slurry a little fresh starter a few hours before pitching. The assumption here is that extra aeration will promote additional growth. Comments please! Also, should the gravity or composition of the starter wort be adjusted to accomodate more yeast growth. Remember the goal is not to make drinkable beer here but to produce a bunch of happy yeast. Also, assuming that the above method improves yeast growth, I am certain that I am going to have some difficulty determining if the starter is contaminated or not. I usually taste the starter supernatant for off flavors before pitching. I don't think I will be able to tell the difference between the inevitable off flavors produced by the high yeast growth and off flavors produced by a mild contamination, so that I will need a way of determining if the culture is pitchable or not. (If the contamination is severe, I'm pretty sure I'll know it.) Suggestions please! - -- Fred L. Johnson Apex, North Carolina USA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 25 Dec 98 08:47:32 PST From: "George De Piro" <gdepiro at fcc.net> Subject: Ommegang yeast/ cleaning/ fruit flies/ metallic beer Hi all, and Merry Christmas, Joe asks if anyone has had success culturing yeast from bottles of Ommegang's Hennepin ale. Yes, it can be done. When the beer was first released back during the summer I had no trouble getting fast growth. I think freshness is the key. The yeast in Hennepin is the same as that used in their dark ale. At Ommegang they ferment at ~75F (24C). If you ferment cooler the yeast does not attenuate fully (in my experience). If you are concerned about getting stupefying levels of fusel alcohols at that high a temperature you can pitch a strong, active starter into the wort at ~65F (18C) and allow the heat of fermentation to bring the temperature up to the desired target. Pitching the yeast into cooler wort will slow it down during the early phases of very rapid growth, thus reducing higher alcohol production. - ------------------------------------------- Joe also talks about stainless cleaning, wondering why anybody would advise against the use of acid. He also mentions a certain cleaner making his hands very slippery. Using acid at home for cleaning your brewing equipment is dangerous and unnecessary. It is also not good for the environment (acid should be neutralized prior to disposal). Scrubbing may make you sweat a bit but it works well and is very safe. The only brewing vessel I have that ever gets beer stone (calcium oxalate) build-up is my kettle. None of my glass fermenters have any build-up in them. The kettle is easily scrubbed. PBW does a good job of removing most everything without too much effort on my part. If a cleaning agent makes your skin slippery it is because it is caustic. The slippery feeling is the fat in your flesh being turned into soap. No, that isn't healthy. The chemical reaction is called "saponification" and yes, that is how soap is made (fat, usually from a vegetable source, is reacted with caustic). I guess you could take advantage of this reaction to save some money: rather than buying soap, you can just rub caustic on yourself in the shower and make soap "in situ." Better living through chemistry! Better yet, wear GLOVES and EYE PROTECTION when playing with acids and bases! Have a source of fresh water nearby to wash yourself should you get the stuff on your body. - -------------------------------------------------------------------- There is once again talk about the "fruit fly beer." Evidently, it won third place at a contest so some people are assuming the accidental adjunct did no harm. If I recall, the original writer said that he had not seen the judge's comments yet. There are some important things to keep in mind: 1. The beer's placement in a category is meaningless. Heck, I've won first place in category with scores of 30, and second with a 42! The judges' comments are the most important thing to look at. 2. The judges may or may not be very competent. You have to see their comments to make that call. The owner of this beer could clarify things by writing about the beer's flavor. Also, plating the beer out on LMDA (available from Brewing Science Institute) would be a good check for bacterial contamination. If one is very lucky, the unwelcome fruit fly may be uniquely fastidious about personal hygiene and may not introduce enough unwelcome microbes to hurt anything. Do you feel lucky? I wouldn't use a starter with a fruit fly in it. Fruit flies are a common brewery pest and are a cause of concern for commercial brewers. Do what you feel is best. - ---------------------------------------------- Aaron complains that his Christmas beer tastes metallic. Metallic flavors are usually a sign of oxidation, and are common in many commercial beers, especially the imports. Be careful about air pick-up at racking and bottling time. Ho Ho Ho! George de Piro (Nyack, NY) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 25 Dec 1998 09:59:17 -0500 From: "RZUK" <rzuk at IX.netcom.com> Subject: RIMS ramp time The consensus is the 122f rest with modern malts is only used in unique recipes. My equipment is RIMS based with a PID controller (thanks to Mike Bardallis a fellow member of the Downriver Brewers Guild). My ramp time is 1.75 degrees/min. If I use a 100 F rest and the next rest is 140 F it will take 23 min getting there. Perhaps this is too much time in the 122 F corridor if I want to avoid the 122 F point. What are my options? If I start with 1 qt/LB water in mash for the 100 F rest and add 1/2 qt/LB 200 F additional water to kick start the ramp time what is the upside and downside of this procedure ? bobz ------------------ 40 miles NE Jeff Renner Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 25 Dec 1998 09:59:44 -0500 From: "RZUK" <rzuk at IX.netcom.com> Subject: CAP I am planning to brew a Classic American Pilsner -ref J. Renner. If I use 2 row brewers malt will I fall out of style. I suppose it will not be representative of pre-prohibition but what is with modern malts. What would be a good step mash profile for such a brew ? bobz Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 25 Dec 1998 15:33:55 -0500 From: Jim Liddil <jliddil at azcc.arizona.edu> Subject: mills etc Jack Schmidling reiterated an important thing to keep in mind about milling and homebrewing. As homebrewers we are not making beer for money so getting that last bit of extract is not all htat important. I think it is important to measure your extract efficiency at first and see how well you are doing. If you are in the 28 pts/lb range then I wouldn't worry about things too much. One can make decent beer with any mill and setup. Only if your extract is low should you look at what you are doing. But of course this is a hobby that many people tweek. You don't need a JSP mill and a RIMS unit but there is a certain amount of fun and challenge in building stuff for me. WRT to mills I think most all the mills on the market are OK. But keep in mind that it takes a few years for a mill to be really market tested. Look at what happened to the Glatt mill. Also I was reminded about how abrasive grain is to aluminum. The original Listemann mill our club had had an aluminum deflector plate inside that was literally ground away by the malt passing by it. I'll say that the company did replace it but I have not used the mill since and have not idea about current construction. I sort of look at my JSP mill like a piece of Stickley furniture. Jim Liddil Return to table of contents
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