HOMEBREW Digest #2915 Thu 31 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

  Local Competitions (Bowden Wise)
  Re: Unique adjuncts ("Braam Greyling")
  Re; collective advice ("Rob Ball")
  "The Apparent Death of Santa" (Eric.Fouch)
  Mill design (Ken Houtz)
  RE: No More Samichlaus .. .. (Bradd Wheeler)
  plastic bucket fermentation and 12 points of light (spilikin)
  Metals in water (AJ)
  autoclaving/yeast storage (Jim Liddil)
  Re: Samichlaus (The Brews Traveler)
  hemp cake ("BsmntBrewr at beer.com")
  Gram Scales/Hydrometers (Harold Dowda)
  mash in / 3 tier/ safety (Lee Menegoni)
  Fruit Fies Won't Die (Paul Niebergall)
  Wyeast #3333 (Matthew Arnold)
  Mills & extract efficiency (michael w bardallis)
  samiclaus ("J. Matthew Saunders")
  using steam for RIMS (MicahM1269)
  Electric Stove Steam Boost - A follow up... ("William W. Macher")
  More steams RIMS thoughts... ("William W. Macher")
  Temperature Control (Tom Clark)
  Mills and extract efficiency (Jack Schmidling)
  Re: Electric Stove Steam Boost - A follow up... (Jeff Renner)
  bottling times (John Herman)
  Good & Bad Grains, Good & Bad Advice (Ted McIrvine)
  Adjuncts/Fruit Flys, Good/Bad Grain hints... (Joe Rolfe)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 00:56:35 -0500 From: Bowden Wise <wiseb at acm.org> Subject: Local Competitions I am in upstate NY (albany) and recently made a batch of Octoberfest and have been getting rave reviews from friends. I thought it might be fun to enter it into a homebrew competition. How do I found out about those in my area? Anyone else entered their brews in a competition? What is it like? Bowden wiseb at acm.org Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 09:53:25 +200 From: "Braam Greyling" <braam.greyling at azona.com> Subject: Re: Unique adjuncts George and everybody else I once had a rooster ale. The brewer threw a cooked chicken into the primary. It was a heavy brew (OG around 1070). Only the bones were left when it was transferred to secondary. You couldnt taste the chicken but the beer had a richness that I havent tasted before. It sounds gross but it was actually not a bad beer. Regards Braam Greyling Snr. Design Engineer Azona(Pty)Ltd tel +27 12 6641910 fax +27 12 6641393 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 07:43:23 -0500 From: "Rob Ball" <robball1 at earthlink.net> Subject: Re; collective advice Hello Cory, Try St.Pats of Texas 512-832-9045 the have a great slelction of cookers and also have the valves you are looking for in braas or stainless ,great place call and they will send you a free catalog.Plus they are close to you . Take Care,Rob Ball Gotta go Gotta brew!!!!! Take Care +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Rob Ball robball1 at mail.earthlink.net Way to old to grow up now!! +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Return to table of contents
Date: 30 Dec 1998 08:32:00 -0500 From: Eric.Fouch at steelcase.com Subject: "The Apparent Death of Santa" HBDr's- Ted wonders about the demise of Samichlaus. According to Michael J. on his beerhunter page: On December 6 (St Nicholas' Day) there will be a day of mourning over the decision to end production of Samichlaus ("Santa Claus", in Swiss-German), the world's best-known Christmas lager. This extremely strong (14 per cent), creamy, peppery, warming, brandyish, chestnut-coloured was launched in 1980 by the Hurlimann brewery, of Zurich. The beer has since been brewed on the saint's day every year, and released 12 months later, with a "vintage" date on the label. In 1996, the brewery was acquired by a rival, Feldschlosschen, in the spa town of Rheinfelden, near Basel. Wishing to concentrate on its mass-market beers, Feldschosschen has decided that the batch of Samichlaus brewed in 1996 and released in 1997 will be the last example of this speciality. They claim that sales are uneconomically low - although it is widely celebrated by beer-lovers outside Switzerland. At least one other brewer in Switzerland would like to revive Samichlaus, but no agreement has been reached. This was quoted totally without permission from MJ's beerhunter page. I have found a few bottles around Grand Rapids, but have not tried it yet. Eric Fouch Bent Dick Yoctobrewery Kentwood MI Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 98 09:02:21 -0500 From: Ken Houtz <kenhoutz at nut-n-but.net> Subject: Mill design - -- [ From: Ken Houtz * EMC.Ver #3.0 ] -- I've been toying with the idea of building a mill. The recent thread on various mills has been enlightening and has raised some questions: Given that a coarse knurl is good and given that .080 and .060 are good settings, my question is precisely how is the .080 measured between two knurled surfaces. That is do you just use feeler gages and thereby get an approximate crest to crest setting or do you try to get an approximate pitch line setting ? Any opinions regarding diameter ? I assume bigger is better. If so what is the practical limit ? Is there any experience with wooden rollers such as hard maple ? Is there an optimum surface speed for milling ? All thoughts appreciated. Ken Houtz, Port Charlotte, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 09:20:49 -0800 (PST) From: Bradd Wheeler <braddw at rounder.com> Subject: RE: No More Samichlaus .. .. Unfortunatley this is true, there will be no more Samichlaus. I'm told by a distributor friend in Boston that they did in fact brew last year but that batch is only available as part of the variety packs that they are now selling. This, I beleive, is an attempt to sell off all remaining stock so get it now or never get it again. The word is that they did not brew it this year so the 1997 vintage was the last. Bradd Wheeler >My wife went looking for Samichlaus as one of my Christmas gifts. >Striking out at the better distributors in New York City, she crossed >over to a behemoth beer/liquor store in Elizabeth NJ. The assistant >manager (who knows and loves good beer) told her that Samichlaus was no >longer being made. He did succeed in finding some vintage variety packs >of Samichlaus. >Has anyone else heard anything about this? And does anyone have a >better Samichlaus recipe than the one in Zymurgy a few years ago? >Ted McIrvine >McIrvine at Ix.Netcom.Com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 07:07:05 -0800 (PST) From: spilikin <spilikin at yahoo.com> Subject: plastic bucket fermentation and 12 points of light 1) One good reason to use a glass carboy for fermentation rather that a plastic bucket: small deep scratches in plastic buckets are hard to sanitize and *may* harbor unwanted bacteria (on a positive note, they may harbor wanted bacteria). 2) How does anyone know if the yeast we use and consider "uncontaminated" are from a brewery that used open fermentation and contaminated by a fruit fly? _________________________________________________________ DO YOU YAHOO!? Get your free at yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 10:21:58 -0500 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Metals in water John Sandlin asks about removing metals, in particulat iron, from his water. Iron is the only metal that can be removed easily and this is accomplished by simply aerating the water which oxidizes the "clear water iron" (Fe++) to Fe+++ which forms a gelatinous hydroxide that precipitates especially at higher pH. This can be filtered out with tight filter paper or by passing the water through a couple of inches of clean sand which will turn an ugly brown as the iron is caught by it. Success is indicated by an output stream which does not taste metallic or better by measurement with a test kit (e.g. Hach test strips Cat. 27453-25, $14.95 measure down to 0.15 mg/L; Hach Phenalthroline/Color Disc kit Cat 1464-00, $39.50, measures down to 0.1 mg/L). You will definitely be OK if the iron level is less than 1 mg/L. The EPA secondary limit (above which the water is considered safe but not aesthetically pleasing) is 3 mg/L. I just checked for a local micro and found their water to be at about 1.4. Nobody has ever called their beer metalic. Other metals require more exotic treatment. A good ion exchanger will take out metals but will also take out other ions so the result is largely deionized water which would have to be supplemented with minerals for most brewing applications. Brita pitchers and similar products contain ion exchangers. Essentially the same comments apply to reverse osmosis units. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 08:36:43 +0000 From: Jim Liddil <jliddil at azcc.arizona.edu> Subject: autoclaving/yeast storage Joe Rolfe wrote: > On spores - I did come across some info that there are spores (mold/yeast) > out there that can survive autoclaving. At least this is what I was told > by several industry people. Never proved it, thankfully. > I put my reputation on the line that these industry people know not of what they speak. Having over seen the operation and installation of two autoclaves in the last 15+ years I feel confident in saying that if an object is autoclaved properly that NO life forms (as we now know them) will survive. This means that the object in question is at 121 C for 20 minutes in steam at 20 psi. This does not mean a cycle time of 20 minutes. This means the object is actually at this temp for the 20 minutes and thus the cycle time may be longer. We routinely test using ampules of Bacillus stearothermophilus and Bacillus subtilis var. niger spores to test whether or not the objects we autoclave are truely sterile. This means placing these ampules in to boxes or in the middle of bags of biohazard waste. I could spew more references and such but that's pointless. > From: "Dave Whitman" <dwhitman at fast.net> > Subject: Large yeast storage experiment 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. > First let me say that the experiment by Dave is a very good effort at answering a largely unstudied question. Let me point out what I thik are some various experimental conditions which should be changed to improve the results. Fist the water being used is from a home RO unit. I know that this is probably what is available to the majority of folks out there but based on what I have seen in cell culture over the years it represents a significant source of problems in cell viability. I would suggest that the experiment be carried out using endotoxin free (or water with very low levels) that has a resistivity of 16 megaohms or more. A home RO unit may produce significant amounts of endotoxins due to the nature of how they are constructed. Other things to consider are the use of higher quality agar free of any contaminants or toxins. And the use of wort from all grain mash vs extract from a can of unknown origin that may or may not be low in nitrgoen or other nutrients. I would use YM agar from one of the various biological suppliers to eliminate this variable. Also it is not clear from the discussion on the web page whether a t=0 measurement of viability was made. though in theory this could be obtained from the RD plates I suppose. It would be useful to have data for the first few days as well to allow one to see if the viability lose is immediate or follows some sort of decay curve. So this is what I see from a quick read of the data. Jim Liddil Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 08:42:14 -0700 From: The Brews Traveler <BrewsTraveler at adamsco-inc.com> Subject: Re: Samichlaus Yes Virginia, there is no Samichlaus. Every year on Saint Nicholas's Day - December 6th, the beer was brewed and bottled exactly one year later. The last batch was made in 1996 and bottled in 1997. If you look at the bottle you purchased it should have a 1997 bottling date (unless your lucky enough to find an old vintage). The Hurlimann brewery was purchased by Feldschlosschen and after some highly questionable marketing research, they determined there was no market for the beer. Without telling anyone they did NOT brew in 1997 and have no plans to do so in the future. For more information and to sign the Samichlaus condolence book visit: http://www.breworld.com/samichlaus - -- John Adams The Brews Traveler http://www.adamsco-inc.com/BrewsTraveler Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 10:31:09 -0500 From: "BsmntBrewr at beer.com" <BsmntBrewr at beer.com> Subject: hemp cake Brewers, Many of you might remember seeing a post from Doug Evans of VinBrew Supply in Carroll, Ohio ( No affiliation ) offering a pound of hemp cake to the first few brewers to respond to his offer. Well I did and I now have it. Question 1: Has anyone used this product before, if so please describe your methods and results? Question 2: Will this product result in a positive on a drug screen? My guess is no. I have had several people tell me that it will but they seem to have based their opinion on nothing that they chose to relate. Would like to see responses posted to the digest since I have searched the archives and had little luck uncovering anything on this topic. Thanks to all who post on this wonderful resource. Bob Bratcher Roanoke, VA Star City Brewers Guild http://hbd.org/starcity Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 07:50:36 -0800 (PST) From: Harold Dowda <hdowda at yahoo.com> Subject: Gram Scales/Hydrometers I have an electronic, digital scale that measures by 0.1 oz rather well (about 2.8 grams mol. Super for hops.....was (I recall $9.95) from bgmicro.com A good source for neat electronic stuff. Worth a visit if you tinker. Usual blah blah.... I am con fused, doesn't everyone have a $200 set of gravity measuring gear? Pleas DO pay attention to the crass commercial below. They give me free e-mail and the neatest on-line games. _________________________________________________________ DO YOU YAHOO!? Get your free at yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 11:03:45 -0500 From: Lee Menegoni <Lee.Menegoni at digital.com> Subject: mash in / 3 tier/ safety Nathan Kanous response to: Richard Myers asks about mashing in with his 3-tier system. Should he buy a larger pot or put up with reduced flow (can't just dump it in) from his converted keg. Two things. First, one option involves putting out more cash to buy a newstock pot. If you've got the cash and don't mind buying another pot go for it. Don't do it. Deal with the reduced flow, it is safer. You don't want to be lifting and pouring hot or boiling water, its an invitation to injury. A larger pot means more mass and more water. What you are doing now sounds unsafe since the pot is most likely very full. Even at a gallon a minute it would only take about 5 minutes to mashin a typical batch. You can add grain and stir while the water flows in and most likely end up with a more uniform mash temp then when dumping all the water in . Lee Menegoni email: Lee.Menegoni at Compaq.Com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 10:05:46 -0600 From: Paul Niebergall <pnieb at burnsmcd.com> Subject: Fruit Fies Won't Die Rod writes regarding fruit flies in starters: >Taste alone is not enough to judge this type of damage. You have >introduced a bacteria source to a sterile medium, your starter, >cultivated it and have then transferred that to a second medium, your >wort. Taste is the only judge. What other type of damage can bacteria do besides effect the taste? (O.K. I guess it could make you puke, but at those levels of contamination, you would certainly be able to taste it). If you cannot taste the effects of the bacteria, then the bacteria levels present in your beer are not sufficient to cause damage. How about other forms of damage such as cloudiness or gushers? If the bacteria levels are sufficient to cause these problems I *speculate* the following: 1). Most home brewers (who actively read the HBD) would not submit beer exhibiting these characteristics for judging because they know better. B). The judges are competent enough to detect a beer that is adversely effected by bacteria contamination C). You would be able to taste it The above speculations are much more positive than assuming a home brew submitted for judging was really contaminated but the judges could not detect it. >If you have a desire to trust just what bacteria that might be, be my >guest. Personally, I find it of questionable hygiene. Assuming you are not brewing under sterile conditions, some level of bacteria will be introduced into all beer that is brewed at home. In home brewing you are always "trusting" that the bacteria will not take over and cause a problem. I never said fruit flies were hygienic. and Ron says: >Naah, you got it all wrong, Paul. A single data point is just a >possible hint or beginning. Only after MANY concurring data >points after carefully controlled conditions can you then have a >fact. Absolutely true! But, so far we only have one real data point versus a lot of speculation. As I said in my previous post *The posted data does not indicate that fruit flies cause bacteria contamination problems with beer.* MANY additional data may indeed change this conclusion. So far we have not seen any. George needs to have a home brew and chill for a while. He attacks me by name calling and tries to defame my reputation with his slander. I am accused of *defiling* the HBD (like I am a homebrew rapist or something), *spitting venom* (King Cobra Malt Liquor), *fabricating stuff* (whatever that means), and *improperly* quoting his posts. George, these are pretty strong words and quite venomous. If you are going to make false accusations, please set the record straight and tell us what it was that I *fabricated* and *improperly* quoted. The other accusations are so vauge, I will not ask for clarification on these. (I will assume that you were in a fit of rage and could not help yourself) And for the sake of other readers and contributors that have something of value to say, let*s stick to the facts and leave the name calling and other B.S. out of it. Brew On, Paul Niebergall Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 16:04:36 GMT From: marnold at ez-net.com (Matthew Arnold) Subject: Wyeast #3333 As a part of a Christmas present I received, I got a smack-pack of Wyeast #3333 German Wheat. Does anyone have any experience with this yeast? I'm more familiar with #3068 Weihenstephan Wheat. Thanks, Matt - ----- Webmaster, Green Bay Rackers Homebrewers' Club http://www.rackers.org info at rackers.org Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 11:13:07 -0500 From: dbgrowler at juno.com (michael w bardallis) Subject: Mills & extract efficiency Tom sez: "ok, every one keeps taking swipes at the corona and debating to adjust or not to adjust." "that makes 10.09 lb grain/10 gal brew or approximately 1 lb/gal with extract of 1.034. I use a corona. so the real question should be to roll or not to roll" OK, so yesterday I posted advice to Richard to avoid a flour mill. Today my question to Tom is, "How's the beer?" Efficiency, as has been pointed out by Jack S. and others, ain't too critical on a home brew scale. I'd put beer quality, and secondarily, ease of lautering, before extract efficiency. I have been using a Corona for nearly ten years, mainly because at the time I bought it, your choices were: a) Corona, b) smashing your malt with a brick. The beer is good. Filterability is fine with all types of grists & adjunct mashes, using slotted copper, although it set like a rock every time I tried to use Phil's Phalse. Efficiency is 28-29 pts/lb/gal. If I was buying a mill today, of course I would buy something designed for the job. But there is usually something else I actually _need_, something that would improve the beer, or improve a different sort of efficiency- *time* efficiency, and that's where my ~100 bux goes. ps. I do admit a sort of evil glee in telling folks who ask particulars about an award-winning beer that it was created with a Corona, steel-on-enamel kettle, and (usually) domestic ingredients. Knowing your tools, and your palette, is what's important. Mike Bardallis Allen Park, MI "Gravity increases as you near the equator" (the Grievous One explains Foreign Extra Stout) ___________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com/getjuno.html or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 11:21:54 -0500 From: "J. Matthew Saunders" <saunderm at vt.edu> Subject: samiclaus Ted asks: >The assistant >manager (who knows and loves good beer) told her that Samichlaus was no >longer being made. He did succeed in finding some vintage variety packs >of Samichlaus. Has anyone else heard anything about this? Indeed this is true. As I understand it, the Swiss brewery was purchased by a mega-swill company who then decided discontinue the high gravity beer as a product line. I can point folks towards a supply of vintage dated Samiclaus from 95, 96, and 97. Email me privately and I'll give you the URL and/or 1-800 number of where to order. Cheers! Matthew. =========================================================== The Arts in Technology--Creative Consulting and Contracting J. Matthew Saunders (540)951-3090 saunderm at vt.edu http://www.dogstar.org "We have to work in the theatre of our own time, with the tools of our own time" --Robert Edmond Jones =========================================================== Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 11:23:20 EST From: MicahM1269 at aol.com Subject: using steam for RIMS >Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 04:12:26 EST >From: ThomasM923 at aol.com >Subject: Using steam >Bill Macher wrote about using steam in a RIMS setup in HBD #2913. It is a >fascinating idea, however there is a real problem to be dealt with in the >design of the heating chamber. >I wrestled with this design problem for a while until I decided that I would >go a different route entirely. If anyone has a solution it would be >interesting to hear it. An alternitive is to not use direct steam injection ( although this is the most efficient ). But to build a parallel tube heat exchanger and heat that with the steam. A triple parallel tube exchanger may be constructed quite cheaply from copper pipe / fittings and lead free solder. Basic skills with a hack saw and torch are needed. The exchanger diameters should be kept small to optimize the cross section of wort to the area exposed to the tube wall ( and heat ). The wort should run thru the center tube, steam thru the middle tube and wort thru the outer tube. If you want to be more efficient and get more heat into the wort per pass thru the exchanger, the wort should run thnru the middle tube and double back thru the outer tube as it flows thru the exchanger. This type of heat exchanger is likely the best 'bang for the buck' type in a home contruction/use enviroment. Also it removes the risk of wort damage from the steam, which is not very pure from a home pressure cooker, I'm certain. Micah Millspaw - brewer at large Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 10:41:52 From: "William W. Macher" <macher at telerama.lm.com> Subject: Electric Stove Steam Boost - A follow up... Hi all, Gee...did Jeff (Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu>) just rap me on the knuckles in HBD 2914 and imply that my post adds little to what is to be found in the archives related to steam in home brewing? I dunno... But I do know I have been thinking about steam a lot over the past months, so much so that I may not have been clear in what I tried to express...an idea that could help electric- stove brewers. Steam has been used by homebrewers (at least one, hi Charlie Scandrett down where the summer sun is shining :-)) for boiling, but my recollection is that it has been the primary heat source, and has been super heated. This is accomplished by first creating the steam in a vessel (pressure cooker), and then passing the tubing which carries the steam through a flame (under the pressure cooker) to super heat it before dumping it into the boiling kettle. This is somewhat complex, as it requires stainless steel tubing within the flame and some way to hold the pressure cooker above the flame, and so on. Not something you can through together in minutes and use on the kitchen stove, especially on an electric stove. Complaints I have read about brewing on electric stoves relate to scorching of the wort, and inability to get a good boil going when actions are taken to reduce scorching. The main action taken to reduce scorching is to put some kind of spacer between the boiling pot and the burner. Like a bent wire coat hanger or something similar made specific for the task. At least that is my understanding. Unfortunately, along with reduced potential for scorching, there is also reduced potential for heat transfer... The point I was trying to make in my post the other day was that using steam as an auxiliary heat source could help counter the loss in energy input that occurs when the boiling pot is moved away from the electric burner (by inserting a spacer) to prevent scorching. Or, that steam could add heat input to the boil, even if no spacer were used, in the event that one electric heating element could not heat well enough on its own. Getting steam from a pressure cooker to the boil pot is very simple to accomplish. Maybe a 30 minute project after you gather a couple fittings, a short piece of copper tubing, and an old pressure cooker. So it is something that anyone with a little interest and a couple dollars could try, with little risk of losing much out of one's pocket. And it does not impact the wife's kitchen or stove at all. The pressure cooker can sit directly on the burner, for maximum heat transfer. The water will not burn or scorch. The steam can carry considerable energy to the boiling pot, and it looks like there will not be excessive condensate adding to the final boil volume when it is all over. The point is not to use the steam to accomplish the boil, but rather to add enough additional energy input to the pot to produce a rolling boil that may be unattainable using only the electric heating element. I do not brew with electric burners. But I do want to pass on ideas that might help fellow brewers enjoy their craft. I have not seen mention of the use of steam as a supplemental heat source in home brewing. I have searched and read a lot about steam in the archives over the last year. Anybody doing this currently? From what I can see this may be an easy way to reduce scorching potential on the electric stove and to keep that wort churning! I would not call this reinvention. Rather it is application of an existing idea in a new way...maybe. Is this already being done by our electric-stove-brewing brothers? If so, sorry I wasted the bandwidth! Won't surprise me if I am the last to know :-) Hope these thoughts are of use to someone...of no real use to me, I brew with gas...and make some pretty good gas of my own too...sometimes...whoops...sure is a good way to keep the pests out of the kitchen on brew day!...Oh! Sorry honey, did not see you standing behind me...I was just joking, honest! (yea, right...) Bill Macher....Pittsburgh, PA....USA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 10:46:16 From: "William W. Macher" <macher at telerama.lm.com> Subject: More steams RIMS thoughts... Hi all, While my post in 2913 was meant to suggest a way electric-stove brewers might get rolling boils like I do with natural gas, the steam injected rims has caught the most attention! Thomas Murray (ThomasM923 at aol.com) comments in HBD 2914: >Bill Macher wrote about using steam in a RIMS setup in >HBD #2913. It is a fascinating idea, however there is a >real problem to be dealt with in the design of the heating >chamber. If the steam source is turned off at some point >during the mashing cycle, the temperature in the steam >injection pipe will cool and the steam will condense. A >vacuum will be created, and your recirculating wort will >be sucked back into the pressure cooker... This is probably the very reason that Charlie Scandrett has suggested dumping steam into the top of the hot liquor tank (venting to atmosphere, but inside the tank above the liquid level) rather than closing off the steam line with a valve. My simple experiment essentially did this when I took the weight off the pressure cooker lid. The moment I took the weight off, steam flow into the water in the kettle stopped. There may have been some condensation within the copper tubing, but there was no banging or vibration in the tubing, and it is unlikely there would be any suck-back if you do it this way. There probably would be a little condesate trickling into the wort, but not enough to matter much in the practical sense. Of greater concern to me is pressure in the recirculation line pushing the liquid back up the steam line when steam is not being forced through the line. I plan on accounting for this by running the steam line up a few feet above the highest point of the return line from the RIMS pump, doubling it back on itself, insulating it, and then connecting it to the steam injection point. I will measure the pressure in the recirculation line where the steam injector will be placed, and make sure that the steam line has more elevation than the pressure can raise the liquid being pumped. My guess is that, as long as you keep some steam flowing in the tubing and out the dump line, oxygen getting into the line will not be a concern. I will probably place the valve that dumps the steam near the steam source. I also expect that my system will be manually controlled, at least at first and possibly forever :-). Ronald La Borde - rlabor at lsumc.edu comments: >I wonder if you would consider injecting the steam >directly into the mash and totally eliminate the need for a >chamber. With the chamber, the steam could overheat the >enzymes because of hot spots. With the steam injected >into the mash, only the very small area near the 'feathers' >would possibly get overheated to destroy the enzymes. >You are really trying to heat the mash, so why not do it >more directly? The reason that steam has caught my imagination for the RIMS application is that it should be kinder and gentler than the electrical heating element that is commonly used. Steam is self limiting in the maximum temperature that it can impart into the liquid that it is being injected into. In our low-pressure application, this steam cannot heat the recirculating liquid more than about 220 degrees F, in my shoot-from-the-hip-at-the-moment estimation. The actual max will depend on the backpressure in the system, but since this certainly will be only a couple pounds at most, the maximum temperature cannot be much above the boiling point of water (unless we superheat the steam, which is another subject and something not needed here). Also, designing the injector so that there are more, and smaller, exiting points for the steam may help to disperse the heat more rapidly. And since the steam collapses so quickly, the resulting dynamics within the liquid may actually cause a rapid evening of temperature within the liquid. Compare this to ability of electric heater elements in RIMS systems that have reportedly, at least in some cases, to have needed cleaning due to buildup of a burnt-on(?) film. It is likely that the surface temperature of the electrical element in normal rims operation is much greater than 220F, and they seem to perform well. This is what I have read, I have never seen one. There is an article at the Brewing Techniques site (sorry, don't have the url handy) where someone has used direct injection of steam into the mash tun. But they had to keep stirring the mash with the tubing that was injecting the steam, if my memory serves me correctly. My fear is that without mechanical agitation of the mash, one could easily develop hot spots in the mash tun, and bring portions of the grain to boiling temperatures if steam were injected directly (without mechanical agitation). Great opportunity for denaturing enzymes and leeching out tannins? To me this seems like opportunity for variability that I do not need. Seems simpler just to keep a rims a rims, and inject the heat into the recirculation line... If anyone is (or has) built/used a steam-injected rims, I would really like to hear from them! All advice is highly welcomed! Bill Macher....Pgh, PA...USA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 11:37:04 -0500 From: Tom Clark <rtclark at eurekanet.com> Subject: Temperature Control It gets pretty cold in my brewery this time of year. (It's 15 degrees outside this morning) To counteract this, I placed my fermenter in a big old porcelain canner, and then filled the canner to the rim with water. An aquarium heater placed in the canner maintains the temperature at 70 degrees quite effectively. It is adjustable so I could use warmer or cooler temperatures but, right now I'm working off a batch of red wine. Tom Clark - several hundred miles south of Jeff but it's still cold! Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 09:47:29 -0800 From: Jack Schmidling <arf at mc.net> Subject: Mills and extract efficiency Dan Listermann <72723.1707 at compuserve.com> "Jack Schmidling writes:One thing occurs to me is the fact that no one else making mills uses the coarse knurl that we use on the rollers .... "Unless the Maltmill has changed recently, the Philmill has been using the same coarse pitch knurl for the past three and a half years. Well, I have not bought a PM for awhile but the one I have has a very fine knurl. If you changed it, I'm flattered again. Just proves that we are the standard of excellence. However, I am speaking for a two roll mill and all bets are off with one roll and a fixed plate. It would not surprise me that such a mill needs tweeking for different sized grain. ""Tom & Dee McConnell" <tdmc at bigfoot.com> "ok, every one keeps taking swipes at the corona and debating to adjust or not to adjust. "before you all go any farther, check this out for extract efficiency: You point out a very common Momily. Contrary to popular opinion, the maximum efficiency would occur if the malt was ground to fine flour. Unfortunately, traditional lauter tuns can not deal with flour so we have to crush the malt in such a manner as to keep much of the husk in tact. As the Corona is designed to make flour, it is not hard to believe that one can achieve excellent extraction. Adjusting it is a compromise between pulverizing the husks and allowing whole grains to pass through. It the lauter system can handle the fine grist, the extraction can exceed a two roller mill. Extraction is only effected when going the other way and passing whole grains. The advantage of a two roller mill is that it is impossible to purverize all the husk and easy to set up so no whole grains can pass. In the long run, better extraction may result but it is not an inherent advantage over the Corona. The Corona has lots of shortcomings but extraction is not one of them if adjusted correctly. js - -- Visit our WEB pages: http://user.mc.net/arf ASTROPHOTO OF THE WEEK..... New Every Monday Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 11:46:31 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Electric Stove Steam Boost - A follow up... At 10:16 AM -0500 12/30/98, William W. Macher wrote: >Gee...did Jeff ...(Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu>) >just rap me on the knuckles in HBD 2914 and imply that >my post adds little to what is to be found in the archives >related to steam in home brewing? I dunno... I hope not, but as I wrote to Bill after rereading my post, it seemed to have an unintentional condescending tone to it, and I apologize. I just wanted to point him in the direction of previous posts on the subject. Even if there had been nothing new, I wouldn't intentionally knuckle-rap or condescend. I was in a hurry when I wrote it and didn't take enough care. 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, 30 Dec 1998 11:52:56 -0500 From: John Herman <johnvic at earthlink.net> Subject: bottling times This question has to do with British style ales. I use corn suger for priming. If I store my bottles at room temperature, how long before corn suger has fully fermented? Once it has fermented, how long before the CO2 has disolved into the ale? Once I put the bottle to cool, is there a re-adjustment of the CO2? Generally I find that 2 week in the bottle is not as good as a few weeks more. I just don't get the same degree of carbbonation. Thanks, John Herman Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 12:05:35 -0800 From: Ted McIrvine <McIrvine at ix.netcom.com> Subject: Good & Bad Grains, Good & Bad Advice I feel a little bit like my upper-level college students, trying to sort out good and bad information. For example, in George & Laurie Fix's "Marzen, Oktoberfest, Vienna" one can read a diatribe about the poor quality of Vienna malts (which doesn't match my experience with Dewolf-Cosyns Vienna malt) and see their recipe which calls for a Vienna without Vienna malt (pp. 35-37, pp. 55 ff.). In contrast, the Vienna at Great Lakes Brewery seems to be loaded with Vienna malt (and it is a prize-winning and great-tasting beer) as does a recipe recently posted by Jeff Renner. How does one sort out the good information from the bad? (Yeah, I know I should buy Al K.'s book.) And how does one reconcile the differences between common brewing wisdom and actual beer style? For example, I've never seen a recipe that tastes anything like classic Scottish styles such as Belhaven, Froach, Skullsplitter, or Traquair House. I actually believe that these four exemplars would do badly in a well-judged competition using AHA style guidelines. And Belgian ales of 15 plato are illegal to brew in Belgium, but fall into the AHA gravity range for Dubbel and Saison! Finally, I've been brewing almost exclusively with Dewolf-Cosyns malt for my last 80 batches and get much better results than with Munton & Fison and Briess. But I'd like to try a British malt for stouts and Scottish ales... is Hugh Baird or Maris Otter of comparable quality? Ted McIrvine McIrvine at Ix.Netcom.Com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 12:22:56 -0500 From: Joe Rolfe <rolfe at sky.sky.com> Subject: Adjuncts/Fruit Flys, Good/Bad Grain hints... An interesting adjunct: An exbrewmaster from a large brewery once told me that they had a rodent problem. Not a real problem as most breweries have some type of rodents running about at times but the rodents were getting into the postmill silo.... the poor little bastards got put right into the mash, should we call the animal rescue folks. Another story had the rodent going thru the mill somehow. Ill bet that hurt. Fruit flys have been known to harbor acetic acid bacteria (at the very least). If you look at it under a scope they are motile short rods. They are stricly aerobic, Gram -, Catalase +. Some results from an infection of this sort would be lowered pH, haze, ropiness. These are some what pH sensitve (optimum 5.4 - 6.3). pH of 5.4 is close to that of knockout wort. These are not hop sensitive. From this you can say they are wort spoilers rather than beer spoilers. Depending on when the little bastard got in there, you may not notice the problem till the beer is older if ever. Depends how many got going (bugs tend to double ever twenty minutes) and how much O2 got in during bottling. You got lucky.... (source Siebels Microbiological Methods and class notes.) Some general hints on grain and determining if bad/good. I'll probably catch hell for saying a few of these but so be it. Flame away. DO NOT BUY PRE CRUSHED GRAINS (unless you watch them crush it and you intend to use it within a day or so). Initially limit the number of grains used - stick with one base malt, use it until you get control/experience. One of the bad things about homebrewing is all the changes are too easy to make. This can be a good thing also but not to start of with allgrain. To much change while trying to get a handle on the process is bad. Once you obtain some consistency the change one thing at a time. I'd buy bag quantities and split it up if you dont intend on using within a reasonable time. Most bags are sealed in an inner plastic. If you do store it - do it right (not a rocket science thing). Sealed plastic tubs, resealed bags - airtight, cool and dry. Keep good notes on the mashin volumes (water/grain). Get and keep the mash/lauter process under control pH, time, temps, runoff and sparge flow rates, first runnings, last runnings and full kettle specifics all should go in the notes for that particular brew. In most cases an iodine test is not really needed, but if you are doing a single infusion of the more well modified malts and it has not converted within 30 min. You can assume you have some pretty bad malt. At a course I took at UC-Davis - Dr Lewis mentioned 15 minutes for these malts. Maybe G.DePiro can chime in something about the floater/sinker test, I dont have the books here. There are other tests but they are beyond the scope of most homebrewers and commercial operations. I do have an test which used Mblue to determine modification, this from Siebels. Small mash some if you wish. But the next item takes real care if you do. Use accurate tools to measure the process. The smaller the volume the more accurate you need to be. (example if your doing a 4 bbl batch 5 pounds of grain is not going to make a big difference, not so for a 5 gallon batch. not a great revelation here - right) As G.Depiro said look, smell, feel and taste it see if you can detect the steely tips of under modified malt. Grossly undermodifed and you can break a tooth on the stuff. This is tough to do if your buying a full bag. The senses are the art part of brewing - dont forget or underestimate them. Train the senses and you cant go wrong. When buying grain notice how the place stores it, is it thrown in the corner somewhere, or did they think about storage. . You can ask the store some questions, not sure how they will answer it but hell ask anyway, everytime you go in there, keep records on what they say. See if you can figure out by what they are saying if they even have a clue...some do, others will tell you whatever they think you want to hear. 1) When did you buy it? 2) Who did you get it from? 3) Up to date spec sheet for it?? Check the bags for a encoded batch numbers etc. Look for mouse turds in the area, this is often why the store may unbag it. If after several visits you get different answers to some key questions I'd go look for a new shop. Easier said than done in some parts of the country. Or try purchasing from a local micro brewery. If you end up getting a bad batch - tell someone, anyone..here, the store. But have data to back it up. Malt is probably the tougher of ingredients to monitor. And in general crap flows downhill. Even the big guys get bit by changes. They have the knowhow, labs and tanks to fix these little blips and roll with the punches. Homebrewers with less experience may not even notice. Others will scratch the head an wonder what the hell did I do wrong... Probaly missing a few others too. But enuff said for now. With this anyone should be able to do quick check on the malt. Happy New Year and Good Luck and Great Brewing Joe Rolfe Return to table of contents
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