HOMEBREW Digest #2930 Sun 17 January 1999

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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

  A few announcements... (The HBD Janitorial Staff)
  ph level of water (Michael Rose)
  Brew Watches ("Rob Moline")
  I'm sorry, truly I am, mac users, please reply! (Breadnale)
  Another Bleach data point ("Michael Maag")
  Distiller's malt ("George De Piro")
  Attenuation in IPAs ("Colin K.")
  protein rests and beer character ("George De Piro")
  Decoction Thread (Jim Bentson)
  us-grown european hops (michael w bardallis)
  "Killer" Vienna recipe (Jeff Renner)
  Re: Decoction, Part II (Jeff Renner)
  priming sugar effects on gravity, brewery set up, and making barley wine (Jason Henning)
  re: Yeast Pak temperature, CF chiller cleaning (John_E_Schnupp)
  Foam (Dan Listermann)
  Yeast starters, part 1 (long but useful) ("George De Piro")
  Yeast starters, part 2 (long, but useful) ("George De Piro")
  Re: Non Food Grade Buckets ("Fred L. Johnson")
  RE: non food grade buckets ("John Lifer, jr")

Beer is our obsession and we're late for therapy! Enter The Mazer Cup! _THE_ mead competition. Details available at http://hbd.org/mazercup Send articles for __publication_only__ to post@hbd.org If your e-mail account is being deleted, please unsubscribe first!! To SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE send an e-mail message with the word "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" to request@hbd.org. **SUBSCRIBE AND UNSUBSCRIBE REQUESTS MUST BE SENT FROM THE E-MAIL ACCOUNT YOU WISH TO HAVE SUBSCRIBED OR UNSUBSCRIBED!!!** IF YOU HAVE SPAM-PROOFED your e-mail address, the autoresponder and the SUBSCRIBE/UNSUBSCRIBE commands will fail! Contact brewery at hbd.org for information regarding the "Cat's Meow" Back issues are available via: HTML from... http://hbd.org Anonymous ftp from... ftp://hbd.org/pub/hbd/digests ftp://ftp.stanford.edu/pub/clubs/homebrew/beer AFS users can find it under... /afs/ir.stanford.edu/ftp/pub/clubs/homebrew/beer COPYRIGHT for the Digest as a collection is currently held by hbd.org (Pat Babcock and Karl Lutzen). Digests in their entirity CANNOT be reprinted/reproduced without this entire header section unless EXPRESS written permission has been obtained from hbd.org. Digests CANNOT be reprinted or reproduced in any format for redistribution unless said redistribution is at absolutely NO COST to the consumer. COPYRIGHT for individual posts within each Digest is held by the author. Articles cannot be extracted from the Digest and reprinted/reproduced without the EXPRESS written permission of the author. The author and HBD must be attributed as author and source in any such reprint/reproduction. (Note: QUOTING of items originally appearing in the Digest in a subsequent Digest is exempt from the above. Home brew clubs NOT associated with organizations having a commercial interest in beer or brewing may republish articles in their newsletters and/or websites provided that the author and HBD are attributed. ASKING first is still a great courtesy...) JANITORS on duty: Pat Babcock and Karl Lutzen (janitor@hbd.org)
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 22:47:11 -0500 (EST) From: The HBD Janitorial Staff <janitor@ brew.oeonline.com> Subject: A few announcements... Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager... The Janitorial staff has been doing a little work behind the scenes - repairing creaking doors, polishing the banisters, waxing the floors... The first of these is the new "Competition Calendar", accesible from a pick on the main page at http://hbd.org. This is an interactive application allowing you to enter information regarding your competition and direct users to its homepage. All in all, I believe this is something we've needed for a while. Not only is this handy for those wishing to enter competitions, BJCP judges looking for experience points might look to it in order to find sanctioned competitions in their area, too! Next, in answer to a few queries on the Digest (some dating back to 1995, as a matter of fact!), work has begun on the HBD Mugshot Gallery. When all is said and done, willing subscribers *should* be able to upload their picture and some biography information to be listed (and pictured) on the server for all time. Finally, the operating system is being loaded onto the new server as I "speak". I expect to have this over to O&E Monday (1/18) morning. Due to this, the HBD server and website will be out of commission for at least part of the day Monday, and potentially part of Tuesday. We'll be allowing a Sunday (should be this one...) Digest to publish in order to reduce the queue and prevent losses. See you on the new server! Brewfully yours, The Home Brew Digest Janitorial Staff Janitor at hbd.org Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 21:36:15 -0800 From: Michael Rose <mrose at ucr.campuscw.net> Subject: ph level of water I just started doing the no sparge thing and had a question concerning adding acid to the topping off water. Its possible to top off at 3 different times. 1. pre-boil 2. post boil 3. post ferment What ph should the topping off water be at when adding at any of these periods? Thanks, Mike Rose Riverside, CA mrose at ucr.campuscw.net Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 23:33:22 -0600 From: "Rob Moline" <brewer at isunet.net> Subject: Brew Watches Brewing Watches... Clint Thessen asks about brewing watches....Brew Promotions has the best brewing related gift line in the game.....Unfortunately, their wesite, www.brewgifts.com, while showing some of the better bits is not as comprehensive as their brochure, which again unfortunately doesn't list prices.... Thw 2 watches that they offer have miniature kettles in them, one in stainless, one in copper. As with the rest of their product line, they are quite nice.... phone numbers are- 707-586-1798 California 201-512-0387 New Jersey 800-514-2739 Jethro Gump Rob Moline brewer at isunet.net "The More I Know About Beer, The More I Realize I Need To Know More About Beer!" Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 01:37:07 EST From: Breadnale at aol.com Subject: I'm sorry, truly I am, mac users, please reply! Hello, Alright, I'm sorry, this isn't a beer question, but I'm gonna throw it out anyway, I really do trust this group for some reason, and I'm looking for an answer and don't know where to turn. I bought a mac. I love the computer. Currently, I'm using aol, which was great on my old pc, sucks on my mac, it keeps crashing! I'm told that's common with the mac software for aol!? What internet provider are you mac users using? I'm sorry, I won't use up any more space on non beer related stuff. Thanks for your understanding! Jim Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 08:51:39 -0500 From: "Michael Maag" <maagm at rica.net> Subject: Another Bleach data point The Center for Disease Control recommends the use of 5.25% sodium hypochlorite (household bleach) diluited to between 1:10 and 1:100 with water for disinfection of surfaces. This is for clean up of blood spills, etc. to kill HIV (aids virus) and HBV (hepatitis), etc.. I realize we are not dealing with these pathogens in brewing (i hope), but I offer this info to show the wide effective range of bleach concentration. I use a very precise method of bleach to water measurement, three glugs out of the jug to a half sink of water. Soak 15+ minutes. Mike Maag (Industrial Hygienist) In the middle of the Shenandoah Valley 8*) Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 99 05:11:12 PST From: "George De Piro" <gdepiro at fcc.net> Subject: Distiller's malt Hi all, Jeff in Michigan ponders the amazing diastatic power of distiller's malt. It is indeed higher in diastatic power than your average brewer's malt. According to _Malting and Brewing Science_ there are two categories of distiller's malt. The first is used in the making of grain whiskey. It is relatively high in protein, often being made from 6-row barley. The high protein content is essential for yeast nutrition because the vast majority of the grist will be very low protein grains like corn. The other type of distiller's malt is used for the production of malt whiskey. It is lower in protein than the malt used for grain whiskey and is smoked over peat. These malts are made using a long, cool germination cycle that promotes the formation of diastatic enzymes. It is also kilned at very low temperatures (53-54.5C, 128-130F) to preserve the enzymes. Jeff is correct in thinking that the amylases continue their action in the fermentation. In whiskey making the wort is not boiled, and the mash temperature is relatively low, so the enzymes are not denatured. The goal is to produce as much fermentable extract (and hence alcohol) as possible. Have fun! George de Piro (Nyack, NY) Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 05:59:36 -0800 From: "Colin K." <colink at wenet.net> Subject: Attenuation in IPAs Greetings, I brew IPAs. I have never attempted another style. I have gone all over the board with this style. My latest kick is to try to make an authentic historical brew. But first I need to learn more about attenuation. I have read the starting gravity would be about 17deg P. I have no problem hitting that. I have also read the final gravity would be about 2deg P! My first attempt I used just British 2-row pale malt mashed at 140deg. for 90 min then sparged at 168deg. I recirculated forever, well since I have no pump it seemed forever, probably about an hour and the entire volume of the mash twice. I was never able to get the wort to clarify like I can at 148deg. I only test my thermometer at 212deg. It is always right on. This was my girlfriends thermometer when she ran a bottling line at a winery. She claims it is very accurate. I stirred the mash from the bottom to the top to try to equalize the temp. I used WLP001 yeast at 68deg F because I figured it would give me an higher attenuation than any English yeasts. No starter. After three days I transferred to the secondary and measured the gravity at 4.5deg P. Not very close. I still had a haze. Almost milky. Is this a starch haze? I put some amalase from the homebrew shop in the secondary with the dry hops. I haven't checked the beer in two weeks (I brew at my girlfriends) so I don't know the status of the haze or the final gravity but she says there has been very little activity in the air lock. I guess my question is help! But more specifically: How do I perform a starch conversion test? Can I use Iodaphor? Should I use another rest? Did the Burton Union System used historically keep the yeast in suspension longer? Should I rouse the yeast during primary ferment? Should I use a repitched yeast that is more acclimated to higher gravity? Should I throw some wild yeast in there like the super-attenuator that took one of my batches down to .5deg P? :-( wow did that one taste bad!). I realize a high gravity, high hop rate (11 oz of Kent in 5 additions for a 4 gallon batch), high attenuation brew will be odd to the modern pallet but I am trying to find the limits of the style. So far it tastes like sucking on a hop pellet. But I hope riding in the trunk of my car for 6 months will mellow it out (I don't have a ship handy :-). Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. TIA, Colin K. I have never ordered from Pat's and have no opinion. But I hope I get a reply anyway ;-) Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 99 05:35:19 PST From: "George De Piro" <gdepiro at fcc.net> Subject: protein rests and beer character Hi all, Paul continues with questions about mash schedules, in particular, about decoctions and protein rests. He asked a local brewer about the subject of p-rests and was evidently told: "you at #$%^! homebrewers worry too %^&*($# much about too *&&%^! at #$! little!" and then: "...he has noticed zero difference in his "protein effects," e.g., body and retention, despite the fact that he uses protein rests and despite varying S/T and total protein ratios over the years." Does he really say things like " at #$%^!"? How rude! What do YOU think his beer is like? Just the other night I was in the company of a local brewer, sampling his beers. To my palate they were thin tasting, regardless of the starting gravity. Suspecting the answer (but wanting to be sure), I asked him about his malt selection and mash schedule. He uses malt from Canadian Maltings and a step mash emphasizing a protein rest. I have met other brewers who were insistent that a step mash would automatically make a better beer (I guess because it is harder to do). Oddly, these same brewers are usually apologizing for the poor head retention and/or thin body of their beers, sometimes blaming things like the malt quality. It seems that far too many brewers (both pro and hobby) lose sight of the fact that proteins are VERY important to body and head retention. Producing a dextrinous wort is not going to give the same effect as producing a wort with adequate levels of foam and body-building proteins. A beer can be very well-attenuated and still have a rich body, if it has the right protein profile. It can also taste sweet and malty if hops are used in small quantities. Even a very well-attenuated beer will taste very sweet if no hops are used. By reducing the bitterness, you allow sweetness to take over the flavor profile. To my palate, a very dextrinous beer can end up tasting worty and unrefined (I've done it enough times myself to convince myself of this). While it maybe appropriate for certain styles (like sweet stout), the majority of beer styles taste more elegant if they are reasonably well- attenuated. The use of hops and malts rich in melanoidins (or using mash schedules that produce them) can control the perceived level of maltiness in the beer, rather than high mash temperatures. Have fun! George de Piro (Nyack, NY) Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 11:57:01 -0500 From: Jim Bentson <jbentson at longisland.com> Subject: Decoction Thread Recently Paul Smith asked about any evidence about infusion vs decoction effects on beer flavors. I went back through my records and found a post from Louis K. Bonham in HBD 2395 ( April 1997) that quotes an article in Brauwelt International. It shows virtually no discernable difference. For those of you who have Web access and are unaware of how to use the archives, if you go to http://www.hbd.org, all the HBD's from 1992 to present are available in HTML ( web browser readable) format. You also can search this base so it is VERY useful. This particular post by Louis is in the archives and is quoting a published article, so I am re-posting it without contacting him. Hope you don't mind Louis. ****************************** Excerpt from HBD 2395 (posted by Louis K. Bonham) On the decoction thread, Dr. Fix recently sent me a copy of an article with lots of very interesting data on a number of points that Dr. Pivo (sorry about that earlier misspelling, BTW), Steve A., and other have raised. Check it out: G. Sommer, "Trials for the Optimisation of Mashing Procedure," Brauwelt International 1986 (1), p. 23. This article details Henninger-Brau AG's evaluation of infusion v. decoction mashing, both in laboratory and brewhouse conditions. (It concludes that the qualitative differences in beers produced with decoction vs. infusion mashes were "extradinordinally small," and that, "based on a large number of tasting trials it could be confirmed that the taste was not changed" by converting from decoction to infusion mashing. This article contains lots of good info on other aspects of mashing, incluing the 50-60-70 schedule and data that contradicts the notion that thick mashes contribute anything *except* in the rare case where you need to do a protein rest. Well worth reading. END of Excerpt *************************************************** I hope this helps. The only comment I have is that it was done 13 years ago and I don't know how much malt modification has changed in that time. Jim Bentson Centerport NY Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 13:55:46 -0500 From: dbgrowler at juno.com (michael w bardallis) Subject: us-grown european hops Fred asks: "I would like to hear how well do specific varieties compare? For example, what am I missing by using US Fuggles rather than the more expensive imports? Likewise, "Goldings" grown in the US versus East Kent Goldings. How about Tettnanger, etc.?" Here're a couple I can vouch for: Subjectively and according to some datasheets I've seen (from HopUnion, if memory serves,) US Saaz compares pretty favorably with European, while US Goldings really is no substitute for the real thing. Mike Bardallis Allen Park, MI ___________________________________________________________________ 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: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 13:48:48 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: "Killer" Vienna recipe I suspect there may be requests for the "killer" Vienna recipe, so here is the brief outline: For 1/4 bbl, *7.6 gallons* OG 1.051, FG 1.012 10 lbs. Durst Vienna, 2 lbs. Durst Pils,1 lbs. Briess Carapils 40 minutes at 149F, 40 minutes at 158 (longer than intended), mashout at 170F, 3/4 oz. Hallertauer N. Brewer at 7.5% alpha & 1 oz. Hersbrucker at 3.2% boil 60 min., 1/2 oz. HH at strike, recirc. during immersion chilling through hop bed on false bottom so v. little trub into fermenter. Huge (re)pitch of 8 fl. oz putty consistency Ayinger yeast (orig. from YCKCo), 8 day primary at 48F, 4 week lager at 32F. Elegant maltiness but not sweet. Hop and malt spiciness, almost gingery. Too easy drinking. 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: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 13:47:33 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Decoction, Part II Paul (no last name or location, c'mon, Paul, don't be so shy) "Membership" <mship at mhtc.net> is decocting and doing some good deep thinking. some thoughts on some of his thoughtful questions, but not a comprehensive response: >I have not yet found a >way to step infuse or direct fire in my kegs without (a) too thin a mash by >mashout; or (b) scorch, despite rigorous recirc during the step. Do you have a false bottom in your mash kettle? This should prevent scorching with recirculation - at least it does for me. >If someone has some data or >experience on replicating the "German" characteristic among the darks >without decoction, would you please post or let me know? I agree. I have used Durst dark crystal (90L?) and got good bit of "German-ness." But I don't particularly like to use crystal since the traditional German recipes don't seem to. I was also happy with using the newly available Durst dark Munich malt (16L) - it gave that soft bready/dark melanoidin flavor without the edge of dark malts. Unfortunately, my 100% Munich malt Dunkels seem to suffer from short life. My most recent one,100% dark Munich, gently handled during brewing (not decocted), was great after 6 weeks of lagering at 32F, but after maybe 10 days at 44F serving temperature, it began to go downhill. Not exactly an obvious cardboard or other oxidation symptoms, but it became dull and lost its maltiness. I think it's oxidation. This was even more true of a couple of previous decocted ones - more opportunity for rough handling. I think a little chocolate malt works as an "oxygen interceptor," but I'm reluctant to introduce much of a chocolate note. >I pulled the thick mash after 20 minutes at 140, then >brought the decoction to 158, rested for 20, boiled the decoction, with a >net time for the main mash at 140 of well over an hour. Most who responded >felt I would end up with a very dry beer. That has not been my experience - quite the contrary. I get ~67% apparent attenuation with this schedule. Skipping the 140F rest for a 30 minute149 F mashin and rest has given me 76% AA. I was afraid this would be too low for my most recent lager - a killer Vienna, but it is great. Only trouble is, with an OG of 1.051, it's a little alcoholic and a 1/2 liter while I cook dinner and another 1/2 liter with dinner means I'm pretty well shot for the evening. 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: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 19:53:15 GMT From: huskers at voyager.net (Jason Henning) Subject: priming sugar effects on gravity, brewery set up, and making barley wine Hello- A few questions from HBD 2928: Rod Prather asks about the effects of priming sugar on the gravity of his beer. He noticed that his 1.015 beer went up to 1.019-1.020. This is exactly what I would have predicted. I added 3/4 corn sugar to five gallons of water to see what the contribution was (back when the Crabtree/botting debate was going on). I measured the solution at 1.004 with my narrow range hydrometer. Bob Fesmire asks advice on brewery set up and making barley wines. Like Bob, I too had more than my share of headaches with mashing in a kettle. I switched to Gott coolers and infusion mashing for most of my brewing. It's just so much easier to deal with. I've got single, double and triple infusion formulas if anyone is interested. Another thing that really made brewing easy was a brew stand. I bought $30 worth the 3/4" tube steel. I installed a welding outlet for my neighbor. He tested my work welding up my stand. It's a two level stand. The lowest level is just higher than the top of my kettle sitting on the cooker. The highest level is just higher than the top of my 10g Gott. My brew stand is easily the best investment I've made. It's made brewing so much simpler. When I get done boiling, I use a block and tackle (pulleys) to lift the kettle up high enough to slide the brew stand under. Then I set the kettle on the top shelf. I put my c-f chiller on the lower level and the carboy on the floor. I always test my block and tackle and cleat by hanging on it first. I weigh at least 2 to 5 times more than a brew batch does. My system completely relies on gravity. My brewing has been going downhill for the last 50 batches! I probably would've bought a pump if I hadn't built a brew stand. Now for barley wine, I brewed a Y2K batch starting on Dec 31 and anding on Jan 2! I mashed in New Year's Eve and got about 4 gallons of 1.075 runnings. Then I continued sparging and collected about 4 gallons of second runnings. I sat the first runnings aside (in the garage, below freezing) and boiled the second runnings down to about 1.5 gallons. I left there to cool over night. The next morning, I racked it off the hot break. I understand that hot break will dissolve back in to solution after prolong boiling. Then I racked the first runnings off it's hot break and added the second runnings. I brought this to a boil and shut it off and watched football. Priorities you know. The next day, I again racked off the break and preceded like normal. Well except the hose bib was frozen and I couldn't chill the beer. I left it in the driveway (with a lid on) on the cooker so the 10F winds could chill it. 8-10 hour chilling. I don't know how snow bank cooling can be a preferred method. Anyway, the short version of my method is: 1. Collect the first runnings 2. Collect the second runnings 3. Boil the second runnings down to a suitable gravity 4. Remove the break from the second runnings 5. Combine the runnings 6. Precede as normal. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 18:32:19 -0800 From: John_E_Schnupp at amat.com Subject: re: Yeast Pak temperature, CF chiller cleaning >In HBD #2928, Frank Hight, who keeps his house temperature at 58-60, >asked about how to get his yeast pak going quicker. One trick I use is >to put the pak on the top vents of the VCR which always has some heat >rising from them. This raises the temperature by a few degrees without >cooking the yeast. Here's another idea that I sometimes use in the winter. Place the smack pack in the oven with the light on. Usually the light is a 15W bulb and in my oven will raise the temp into the low to mid 70's. Give family members (SO, kids) specific instructions NOT to use the oven! On cleaning a CF chiller. How about this. I have a brush for cleaning 3/8" tubing. I also use it on my keg dip tubes. Why not snake a line (a piece of copper wire, solid would probably be best) thru the chiller and attach a brush to the end. Pull the brush thru the chiller several times. The feasibility of this depends upon the length of chiller line and the ability to feed the snake line thru the chiller. You could then sanitize the chiller with what ever method you prefer. John Schnupp, N3CNL Colchester, VT 95 XLH 1200 Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 21:41:05 -0500 From: Dan Listermann <72723.1707 at compuserve.com> Subject: Foam I am looking for the correct scientific term for the collapsing of foam. I trust that the recesses of the collective can find this for me. Thanks! Dan Listermann dan at listermann.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 99 18:06:55 PST From: "George De Piro" <gdepiro at fcc.net> Subject: Yeast starters, part 1 (long but useful) Hi all, There have recently been some posts about the hows and whys of yeast starters. I have posted a lot about this topic before, but feel like reiterating some important points for the newcomers to the HBD. I have written an article in the January/February issue of Brewing Techniques magazine that may be very useful to some of you, but to summarize some of the more important points: Why make an adequate yeast starter and oxygenate your wort at pitching? 1. You will reduce off-flavors, particularly excessive esters and fusel alcohols. 2. Your fermentation will get off to a faster start. This reduces the chance of wort-spoiling bacteria from, uh, spoiling your wort. The wort spoilers are bacteria that live and breed in unfermented wort. They cause vegetable-like off flavors that do not fade with time. Once fermentation gets going, these unwanted bugs are killed, but if they have time to work, the beer will be tainted. 3. Your fermentation is less likely to get stuck, and bottle-conditioning will occur in a reasonable amount of time. Why is underpitching so bad? The reason is simple: Yeast need sterols to manufacture healthy cell membranes. They need a minimum of 0.1% sterol to be healthy. They will not reproduce if the budding will cause them to go below 0.1% sterol. Yeast need oxygen to make sterol. A healthy, happy yeast cell can contain, at most, about 1% sterol. Each time the yeast cell divides, about half of its sterol goes to the daughter cell. The math is easy: after just 3 divisions the cell will be at about 0.125% sterol and be unable to reproduce again. If you underpitch your wort, the yeast cells will absorb the available oxygen, use it to make sterol, and start dividing. After about three divisions they will not divide further. If you pitch too little yeast, three divisions will not make enough yeast to quickly ferment the wort, and you end up with a sluggish fermentation. If the yeast get really upset, they will practically come to a stop. You may say, Ah ha! I can just give them more oxygen now, and theyll get happy again! This would work, except that the dose of oxygen will do 2 unwanted things: 1. It will quickly oxidize the hell out of the young beer and render it marginally drinkable (at best; it will be cardboard soup at worst). 2. You will grow too much yeast and get all of the off-flavors associated with excessive yeast growth (high fusel alcohols, etc.). Ask yourself this: are you trying to grow yeast, or make beer? To be continued.... Have fun! George de Piro (Nyack, NY) Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 99 18:09:07 PST From: "George De Piro" <gdepiro at fcc.net> Subject: Yeast starters, part 2 (long, but useful) Hi all, Hopefully the last post explained why you need to pitch a good amount of healthy yeast. You may now ask, "How do I do that?" Since most homebrewers don't have microscopes, they cant do cell counts. Fortunately, there is an easy rule of thumb to follow: The volume of wort that the yeast are being pitched into should never be more than 10 times the volume they are currently in. High gravity worts and lager yeasts should be stepped up less. In other words, a Wyeast pack has 50 mL (~2 ounces) of wort. That means it should be pitched into no more than 500 mL (~1 pint) of wort for its first step. After the 500 mL is fermented out, the starter can be stepped up to as much as 5000 mL (1.3 gallon), but 2 L (half a gallon) is as big as the starter has to be for a typical homebrew batch of 19 L (5 gallon). The starter should be aerated at each step. Constant, or even intermittent agitation will help increase the cell count. The next question you should ask is, "Do I pitch all the starter, or just the yeast at the bottom?" The starter will not taste like wonderful beer. It will have all the off- flavors that are associated with excessive yeast growth. These are different from contamination flavors, so you can taste the starter and still tell if it is contaminated. Flavors associated with excessive yeast growth are higher alcohols (which are kind of harshly alcoholic, even solventy), high esters (fruity; in my experience raspberry is common), and even diacetyl (butter). Contamination off-flavors include phenolic (medicinal, swimming pool, spicy in a clovey way, astringent), vegetal, and butter. Youll notice that butter appears on both the contamination list and the normal starter flavor list. That can be a bit of a problem for you, but if you have not experienced a pediococcus infection earlier, youre probably OK. (Pediococcus are the common brewery bacteria that produce lots of diacetyl.) Since the starter is likely to taste like something you don't want in your beer, you should allow the last step to ferment out and cool it to force the yeast to flocculate. On brew day you can pour off ,most of the fermented starter wort, feed the yeast a fresh pint of wort, aerate it, and then pitch that entire volume into your production wort. Believe it or not, you can get *much* more detail from my Brewing Techniques article, so I encourage you to read it if you are interested in this stuff. I dont get reimbursed based on the number of readers, so don't worry: reading the article will not fill my wallet. Check their web site to see if it is available on-line (thats free). Have fun! George de Piro (Nyack, NY) Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 19:59:45 -0500 From: "Fred L. Johnson" <FLJohnson at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Re: Non Food Grade Buckets Chuck Cubbler asks if its ok to use non food grade buckets: I went through a discussion of this within the last couple of years. The experts I contacted told me that food grade plastic is virgin plastic and is traceable to FDA standards. Non food grade plastic MAY be the exact same plastic, especially the white HDPE, but maybe not. Some non food grade plastic is produced from recycled plastic and can contain some organics that you wouldn't want to be drinking. I believe most of the recycled stuff is not white. - -- Fred L. Johnson Apex, North Carolina USA Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 22:08:04 -0600 From: "John Lifer, jr" <jliferjr at misnet.com> Subject: RE: non food grade buckets Ok, I'll do it again, this is what I wrote last year -almost to the day. I work for a company who makes restaurant equipment including plastic food containers. The NSF mark is from a voluntary testing & inspection company. They audit our company and test the containers for a number of contaminants. The USDA does not really have an inspection or test such as this. They rely on your certification that what you say is ok is really ok. Like most of our food actually! In most cases, companies use much more material that is 'virgin' that is, direct from the material manufacturer, than they can possibly get from a reprocessor or recycler. In almost 100% of the time, I would say that if the container is white or an off white (natural material no color) the container is ok to use. I would be very concerned if I were using a container that had held sheet rock joint compound or the such. As I had said earlier, they may contain UV inhibitors which cannot be used in food containers. There is no test that I know of that you or I can perform that will tell us what the container is made from or if it is safe. I would say that #1 If it previously held processed food it is probably Ok to use. #2 If it is white, or uncolored, it is probably Ok to use. #3 If it is green, red, BLACK, or other bright color, I would use it in the garden to hold dirt! I don't want to discourage anyone from using plastics, I wouldn't use anything else after I had a carboy shatter on me while cleaning it. Just don't use just anything you get your hands on. Being cheap (frugal) isn't the same as being dumb. I would be more hesitant about using a bucket that held something I couldn't eat rather than what the container is made from. Some substances will leach into container and will stay there no matter what you do. John Lifer, Jr. - -- Cornelius Ball Lock Kegs for Sale See Web page for details. http://www2.misnet.com/~jliferjr/Kegs/Default.htm Return to table of contents
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