HOMEBREW Digest #2964 Fri 26 February 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

  Mash pH, Oxygen/wort, (Dave Burley)
  RE: Pump operation questions (MaltHound)
  College homebrew clubs? (Gail Elber)
  Anglo-Saxon Food & Drink (Donald Beistle)
  Response to Jim's AOB post (Paul Gatza)
  Weyerman malt (John Wilkinson)
  Fan running all the time... ("glyn crossno")
  Testing the effectiveness of vacuum evaporation ("S. Wesley")
  Maris Otter (Bill Whittaker)
  Dark = Good, Light = Not Good (Ken Schwartz)
  Re: Two models of vacuum evaporation of alcohol (AJ)
  Better living through modern technology? / chill haze ("George De Piro")
  Rowan "Berries" (Spencer Tomb)
  filter the water? ("C and K")
  Airplane beer ("Spies, Jay")
  Re: Bottled O2 Adapters ("Scott Moore")
  RE: MCAB Recipes, Water analysis, wort pH (Jim DiPalma)
  Cheap Ethanol test (ALAN KEITH MEEKER)
  Re: Mashing, Sparging, Extraction Efficiency (Jeff Renner)
  Yeast storage under Sucrose (ALAN KEITH MEEKER)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 15:47:13 -0500 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Mash pH, Oxygen/wort, Brewsters: Sorry if some of these comments are not timely, I just got back and will answer e-mails and the like as time permits. - -------------------- Dan Cole indicates his pH adjustment routines and asks for comments. My comments: 1) First, adjust the mash pH <after> you mix the grain and the water. 2) There is a big difference in certain enzyme activity between 5.5 and 5.8, so if you want to get to 5.5, then add enough acid ( or calcium sulfate if you are making a bitter) to get it in the range you want. Alternatively, boil the water and cool overnight to produce a low alkalinity water if bicarbonate is the major source of pH raising components. 3) There has been a lot of discussion here on this in the past and I believe that most literature references are for pH of a mash at room temperature. Remember that pH ( as well as a pH meter response) is temperature dependent and if you do not have a temperature compensated pH meter ( which will take care of the meter T dependence), you must cool the sample to room temperature before taking the measurement. I take a 2 oz sample and pour it into an empty sauce pan sitting in a water bath. This is then poured into a small glass and the pH taken. Providing this large surface area cools the sample quickly. You must always ask the reference "do you mean the pH of the mash at the mash temperature or do you mean the room temperature pH?". Since the pH can vary by as much as - 0.3 pH units in going from RT to mash temperature, your RT pH of 5.8 could be 5.5 at mash temperature. Likewise a RT pH = 5.5 could be 5.2 to 5.3 at mash temperatures. Thsi is the pH range recommended in M&BS p.213 (1971) for infusion mashes. "an infusion mash is best carried out at pH = 5.2-5.4. Consequentially, the pH of the cooled wort will be 5.5-5.7. " Because the pH will vary over the mash as the temperature rises it would be confusing to report mash pH as that of the mash at current mash temperature as it would then be dependent on the temperature of the mash and you would have to report both pH and mash temperature. Also, do not just stick the pH probe directly into the mash as you may not have a reference electrode that can take the temperature of the mash or it may even use a mercury salt as a reference which would not do your and other imbibers' CNS system any good. - --------------------------------------- Dan Cole is also involved in an argument about HSA. The opponent making the point that oxygen is not soluble in hot water. First, oxygen is soluble in hot water as well as cold, just less so, Secondly, let's talk wort and not water. It is true that oxygen is less soluble in wort than water due to the specific gravity of the wort at room temperature. However, and this is the main point, we are not just talking solubility, but <reactivity>. DeKlerk ( vol 1 page 339) reports that " the uptake of oxygen by wort is five to ten times greater at 85C than at 45C and three times greater when the wort is roused. " This may explain the perpetual grumbling we hear from AlK about a comment he attributes to Noonan on the solubility of oxygen being higher in wort at higher temperatures. Since AlK has never provided the exact quote, to my knowledge, I presume the above is what Noonan was referring to - the <uptake> of oxygen by hot wort and not the concentration of molecular oxygen in the wort. It is true that the concenrtation of molecular oxygen in water goes down as the temperature goes up. When reactivity is not an issue, the concentration of oxygen in wort is less than water of the same temperature. DeKlerk also reported that "there was a considerable increase in oxygen uptake with a rise in pH." I presume this was due to the increase in the phenolate ( from tannins) anion concentration as the pH goes up. This anion is extremely oxidisable with molecular oxygen. In addition to enzyme reactivity,this is a good reason to lower your mash pH to reduce this oxidation during the boil. So, yes, Virginia, oxygen does react with hot wort and does bring about a bad taste in beer that has been given the moniker HSA recently,although it has been known for many, many decades. It is more important to us as homebrewers since we deal with such small volumes and high relative surface areas. - --------------------------- Rob Moline reports a mysterious precipitate with iodophor. I would guess it could be calcium phosphate - a reaction product between the calcium in the water and the phosphate by product of iodophor allowed to stand overnight. What puzzles me is that the manufacturer didn't respond to his inquiries to his satisfaction. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Kinnelon, NJ Dave_Burley at compuserve.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 15:59:32 EST From: MaltHound at aol.com Subject: RE: Pump operation questions Dana H. Edgell <edgell at cari.net> asks some RIMS pump questions: <<1) I have noticed that some heat exchange RIMS designs on the web include a valve to bypass the HE coil when heating isn't required. Why not simply turn the pump off?>> You could turn on/off the pump, but it really isn't necessary. In fact, if the heating element is controlled on/off as most of the electric variety are, there is no need to bypass the heater at any time. I think the designs that utilize a bypass scheme are the ones that use a heat exchanger (such as in the HERMS style) which cannot be readily cycled on and off. <<2) I have 120VAC to 24VDC plug in adapter and a 24V relay (NOT solid state) to control my pump. Do I need some sort of resistor to control the current in this circuit and prevent overheating?>> The contacts in your 24V relay should be rated for the voltage and amperage drawn by your pump motor. Placing a resistor in line as a current limit would not be a good idea. <<3) I saw a speed controller for an overhead fan motor in the hardware store the other day and it got me thinking. Is there any advantage to electronic speed control of the pump motor vs a downstream valve to control the flow rate.>> Do yourself a favor and pass on the electronic speed controller idea. While a controller can be made which will work by using the correct snubber circuit, many pump motors have integral cooling fans which are needed to exhaust heat from the pump motor. When the motor speed is reduced electrically, the reduced cooling air flow will cause the motor to overheat. While a ball valve on the pump outflow is not quite so appealing from an elegance standpoint, it is a far more effective solution. In my electric RIMS, I have found a standard procedure that seems to work pretty well. 1) Before mash-in I fill the tun with hot tap water and cycle the strike water through the RIMS to heat it up to exact strike temp and purge the RIMS plumbing of any air. 2) I close the flow control valve, shut off the pump and mash-in as is conventional. 3) I do not restart the pump until the mash has rested for at least 15 minutes and I give it a good stir before hand as well. This gets all of the air out of the grain bed before pumping. Initially, I am careful to start with a slow flow at first and gradually open the valve over a few minutes time as the bed sets. The pump runs for the remainder of the mash duration and only the hater is cycled on and off as needed. One last point I'd like to make WRT RIMS and pump recirculation (for those that have made it down to this point must care somewhat); there has been some discussion along the lines of, "Why bother with a RIMS if all malt is highly modified and therefore doesn't need to be step mashed?" Even if a brewer never wants to step-mash, there is a big advantage in being able to maintain a precise mash temperature over a long period of time. There is also the advantage of mashing with fairly thick grist with no dilution should you want to raise the temperature. I am not certain that we can close the issue on stepmashing just because we don't need to do protein rests. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 13:27:43 -0800 From: Gail Elber <gail at brewtech.com> Subject: College homebrew clubs? If you're affiliated with a college homebrew club or know someone who is, could you pass along contact info about the club to me? I want to do a little article on college clubs -- how they cope with drinking-age restrictions, what young homebrewers' perspective on the hobby is, etc. Thanks. Gail Elber Associate Editor BrewingTechniques P.O. Box 3222 Eugene, OR 97403 541/687-2993 fax 541/687-8534 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 16:37:41 -0500 (EST) From: Donald Beistle <dbeistle at arches.uga.edu> Subject: Anglo-Saxon Food & Drink Somebody was looking for info on antique English hops the other day and my former fellow Anglo-Saxonist at the University of Georgia suggested Ann Hagen's books as potential sources. I second this suggestion with the caveat that my recollection is that there is not much on hops in these books beyond the standard note that Hildegard of Bingen mentions hops in her herbal writings and the conjecture that the Romans may have introduced the cultivation of hops to Britain. Nevertheless, these books contain a wealth of information on related subjects, i.e. grains, malting, bees and honey, and water. The bibliographic info follows. Let me know if it helps... TITLE: A second handbook of Anglo-Saxon food & drink: production & distribution. AUTHOR: Hagen, Ann. PUBLISHED: Frithgarth, Hockwold cum Wilton, Norfolk, England, 1995. CALL NUMBER: DA152.2.H29 1995 TITLE: A handbook of Anglo-Saxon food: processing and consumption. AUTHOR: Hagen, Ann. PUBLISHED: Pinner, England : Anglo-Saxon Books, 1992. CALL NUMBER: DA152.2.H34 1992 Waes hael, Don Beistle Athens, Georgia Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 14:12:42 -0700 From: Paul Gatza <paulg at aob.org> Subject: Response to Jim's AOB post Jim Liddil posted some of the numbers from the AOB 1997 tax return last week. My trip to the 16th Annual Kansas City Regional Homebrew Competition has delayed my response until now. I'll be writing about that trip and the KC Biermeisters in the May/June Zymurgy. For those who are not aware of our structure, here's a quick primer. The AOB is the umbrella company which houses shared staff in administration, marketing, production, information services and customer service to work to the goals of the divisional organizations of the AHA, the Institute for Brewing Studies and Brewers Publications. AOB also does international work. We also have an affiliate division, the GABF (Brewing Matters). The way it works on the Income/Expense side is that Brewing Matters (GABF) provides a management fee to the AOB for the work AOB staff does on the festival, which is extensive, and AOB employee salaries already include the work on the GABF. The GABF is a celebration of the diversity of beer and beer culture. The Designated Driver program, limited size of pours, trained security staff and widespread availability of soda and non-alcoholic beer stations promote the responsible consumption of beer as an alcoholic beverage part of our mission. We also have over 1000 AHA members who attend this event. Recent events have led to reducing our staff through attrition and lay-offs to about 25 total staff. We are not the huge monolithic company many make us out to be. We're just beer folks working to promote beer and diversity in beer culture. With your mention of salaries and benefits, I assume that you think those amounts were excessive. Please note that Charlie and Cathy are involved across all of the AOB's work, so that a relatively small amount of their salaries are paid by AHA members. Their salaries are set by the AOB Board of Directors, based on comparisons to similarly sized nonprofits, and the Board is accountable by law to set the pay scales to a reasonable level. I know Cathy has refused raises in the past. Despite the Brew Rat's tag line, Cathy has been supportive of Brian's and my efforts to move the AHA into a more member-driven grassroots association and has taken the lead on the difficult fiscal changes here. Charlie recently volunteered a large pay cut as the overall budget has shrunk. Linda's pay is not salary, but a commission based on advertising sales. As our advertising has shrunk so has her pay. The AOB Board amended its bylaws to place the chairs of the Board of Advisors of the AHA and IBS on the AOB Board of Directors. I will pass along your concerns to the AOB Board through the AHA Board Chair. 1998 was a difficult year for the AOB. I believe it was the first year the organization shrank. The GABF on the Road, the AHA Conference in Portland, the since-cancelled arrangement to sell Zymurgy through newsstands, the investment in certain Brewers Publications titles and the IBES Symposium all posted big losses that were not quite offset by the Craft Brewers Conference. In addition AHA memberships have continued to parallel the decline throughout the homebrewing industry. Tough steps, including layoffs , have already occurred in 1999 to right-size the AOB for what the future brings. Brian and I will continue to do what we can to promote homebrewing and transform the AHA into a member-driven association, so that the AHA can still promote homebrewing by being connected through our members in communities throughout the U.S. We appreciate all of the members and non-members who are participating in promoting our hobby in their towns. Jim's message reminds us that we constantly need to look internally as we promote homebrewing externally. We are doing that as best we can. Thanks for the input. - -- Paul Gatza Director American Homebrewers Association (303) 447-0816 x 122 736 Pearl Street (303) 447-2825 -- FAX PO Box 1679 paulg at aob.org -- E-MAIL Boulder, CO 80306-1679 info at aob.org -- AOB INFO U.S.A. http://www.beertown.org -- WEB Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 16:32:57 -0600 From: John.Wilkinson at aud.alcatel.com (John Wilkinson) Subject: Weyerman malt The last bag of Weyerman Pils malt I bought gave my grain mill fits. I have a Valley Mill driven by an electric motor. The grain kept jamming the rollers. I tightened the belt but still had problems. When I checked the grain I noticed that several were hard as rocks. Last weekend I brewed with HB pale ale malt and had no problems so I don't think the problem is with my mill. Has anyone else had problems with Weyerman malts? I don't recall having problems with it before and hope this one bag was an anomaly. John Wilkinson - Grapevine, Texas Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 18:32:19 -0600 From: "glyn crossno" <crossno at tnns.net> Subject: Fan running all the time... I did the search on 1998 HBDs for FridgeGuy. Great stuff, read it all knew I would need the refresher. The exterior fan on my "new" beer fridge runs all the time? Can this be normal? The temperature adjusts quickly to any thermostat changes. So it does not seem to be working hard to hold temperature. Thanks, Glyn Crossno, Estill Springs, TN Now I can truly lager those CAPs, and precipitate out the chill haze??? Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 21:27:37 -0500 From: "S. Wesley" <WESLEY at MAINE.MAINE.EDU> Subject: Testing the effectiveness of vacuum evaporation In several recent posts I have discussed the possibility of building a relatively inexpensive system to remove alcohol from beer by vacuum evaporation. Unfortunately it is not a simple matter for me to evaluate the effectiveness of this technique for beer because of the difficulty in evaluating the alcohol content of beer. It is, however, fairly simple to determine the alcohol content of a mixture of ethanol and water by carefully measuring the density. For this reason I conducted a series of measurements on the effectiveness of this technique in removing ethanol from a mixture of ethanol and water.(NB - I am using high purity ethanol with about 2% water - not denatured ethanol.) I began by making a series of standard solutions in a 200 ml volumetric flask. These ranged from pure distilled water to 5% ABV. Quantities of ethanol were measured using a 1 ml volumetric pipette. All measurements were made at 20C. The solutions were massed on a digital balance with a precision of +/- .01 g and the densities were calculated. I then plotted a calibration curve of density vs % ABV. Not surprisingly the relationship was linear with all points on or very close to a best fit line. Next I made up 400 ml of a 5% ABV solution and evaporated 10% of the volume at 30C using the equipment described in my earlier post. After adding distilled water to make up for the lost volume I measured the density as outlined above and used the calibration curve to determine that the alcohol content of the sample was 2.6+/-.1 % ABV. Repeating the whole process a second time yeilded the same result. I then made up a third 400 ml solution of 5% ABV and evaporated 20 % of the volume at 30 C as discussed above. After replacing the lost volume with distilled water the alcohol content was determined to be .85 +/-.1 % ABV. These results seem to indicate that the system is performing midway between the expectations of the quasi-static and the evaporation limited models that I discussed earlier. The good news is that I expect that using the same aspirator on a larger volume of solution should push the system more towards the quasi-static model. This should reduce the amount one would need to evaporate to remove a given quantiy of alcohol. I expect to test this idea over the next few days. Regards, Simon A. Wesley Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 21:28:55 -0500 From: Bill Whittaker <puffnstuff1 at prodigy.net> Subject: Maris Otter Well, I've finally got a free weekend, and a friend and I have decided to brew. We decided to whip up a nice ale, (we've dubbed it "Cabin Fever Pale Ale") so I headed to the local brew shop for some sage advice. The shopkeeper suggested I try a malt called Maris Otter for the main part of the mash. Trouble is, I forgot to ask him about the specifics of the malt so I can use the data to formulate a recipe. Can anyone tell me some of the specifics of this malt? I'm most interested in the specific gravity, but anything else you can add would be of great help, like flavor profile, color, efficency, etc... Thanks in advance. Chief - ------------------------------------------- Bill Whittaker - aka <Chief> puffnstuff1 at prodigy.net >Give a man a beer, he'll waste an hour. Teach a man to brew, he'll waste a lifetime. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 05:55:02 -0700 From: Ken Schwartz <kenbob at elp.rr.com> Subject: Dark = Good, Light = Not Good Jason Foster comments that his dark beers taste great while his light beers "have left me underwhelmed". He wonders if his water is to blame. Based on your water analysis, and the fact that you are adding gypsum, I'd hazard a guess that you're overboard on sulphate. This might work in dark, English-style beers since this is more typical of English water makeup. Sulphate can harshen hop bitterness and this would be especially noticible in a light beer with less (none) roasty flavor to compete with. It's possible too that the alkalinity is high enough that only acidic dark grains can ensure optimummash and/or sparge pH. Your water appears to have plenty of calcium in it already, so skip the gypsum except for your English ales. Also, get some good pH strips and monitor your wort & sparge water pH. Mash pH should be in the low 5's (5.2 or thereabouts) while your sparge water should be between 5.5 and 6.0. Lactic or phosphoric acid will do the trick. - -- ***** Ken Schwartz El Paso, TX Brewing Web Page: http://home.elp.rr.com/brewbeer E-mail: kenbob at elp.rr.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 13:58:14 +0000 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Re: Two models of vacuum evaporation of alcohol CC: HBD Simon, RE: > Dear "AJ" As you've come clean, I will too. A.J stands for Andrew John but everyone calls me A.J. > > To understand the quasi-static model consider the following > setup. Two beakers containing ethanol and water are placed in a > bell jar which is completely evacuated at 19C.... > ...I am close to the > quasi-static model and most of what I evaporate is actually > alcohol at first. If this is a valid approach to the problem then it > is not necessary to evaporate 60% of the volume, I think this is quite different from what actually happens, or what would happen, with a large volume of beer but alcohol testing will tell the story so I hope you'll be able to get that going. For it to work the entire volume of beer would have to explode into vapor. You'd remove a fraction of the vapor taking 6 times as much EtOH as water. The remainder, when condensed, would have lower alcohol than originally. > On the other hand if the evaporation limited model is valid > the last thing you want to do is use a reflux column. This is > counterpoductive as it reduces the molar fraction of alcohol in the > wash making it harder to evaporate alcohol. Reflux columns are certainly effective at separating componets or they wouldn't be used. The output of an ideal column (infinite number of theoretical plates, hight reflux rate) would be pure ethanol and only a small amount of vapor would need to be pumped i.e. the amount corresponding to the ethanol content of the beer. Yes, the reflux is effectively distilled and redistilled many times - that's how these things do the job. Reflux columns are clearly called for where good separation of alcohol and water are required but in this application the goal isn't to separate them, just get rid of the alcohol. In that sense, distilling to 30% remaining volume and then supplying 70% DI water is an equally valid approach i.e. I agree and I think I said essentially this in an earlier post in this thread. I am a bit concerned about other volatiles, though. Clearly things more volatile than EtOH (diacetyl, acetaldehyde) will be reduced by either method. This is not a heartbreaker for most brewers where the two substances I just cited are concerned but some hop, malt and ester character may also be lost. Anyway, keep testing and posting. - -- A. J. deLange Numquam in dubio, saepe in errore. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 9:00 -0800 From: "George De Piro" <George_De_Piro at berlex.com> Subject: Better living through modern technology? / chill haze Hi all, Just saw this in the Journal of Fermentation and Bioengineering: "Evaluation of the function of arming yeast displaying glucoamylase on its cell surface by direct fermentation of corn to ethanol" T Murai, T Yoshino, M Ueda, I Haranoya, T Ashikari, H Yoshizumi, A Tanaka Article 569-572 Abstract: We have constructed a Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain displaying glucoamylase from Rhizopus oryzae on its cell surface, which could grow on soluble starch as the sole source of carbon and energy...These results demonstrate that the "arming yeast" developed by a cell surface engineering technique and its further improvement is applicable to direct fermentation of starchy materials. Wow! Think of the time and money savings if future brewers won't need mash tuns! Better living through modern science... --------------------------------------- There has been some discussion of brewers being disappointed by chill haze when omitting protein rests. Some of these folks are using pale ale malt, others are using pils and Munich malts. All of the people have reported better foam stand accompanying the turbidity. Chill haze is caused by proteins complexed with polyphenols, not just proteins. Anything you do to increase polyphenols can increase the haze potential of the beer. Some important points to remember: 1. Clarity of lauter runoff is crucial to the brewing of beer with good colloidal stability. Excessive turbidity of the lauter runoff impedes the formation and settling of hot break, thus allowing haze precursors to make it to the final product. 2. Excessive sparge temperatures, alkaline sparge water, and sparging too long can encourage increased polyphenol extraction, thus increasing the haze potential of beer. 3. Patience is the key. All non-filtered beers exhibit some haze when chilled. The key to producing clear, unfiltered beer is time: store the beer cold for a few weeks to allow the haze to settle. Fining agents can be used to speed things up a bit (polyclar and silica work better for haze removal than gelatin). 4. Pale ale-type malts are all very well-modified (they have been made for single-step infusions for decades). Vienna and Munich malts are also very well-modified. I doubt that any knowledgeable brewer would argue in favor of using a protein rest with these malts. I am unsure of how much protease actually survives the kilning process of pale ale malts, too (it may be too little to be of consequence). Very little (if any) protease survives the production process for Vienna and Munich malts. 5. I would rather produce a beer with good mouthfeel and foam stand that requires some cold lagering to settle haze than produce a brilliantly clear beer that is thin and headless, but that is up to the individual. Have fun! George de Piro (Nyack, NY) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 08:48:43 -0600 From: Spencer Tomb <astomb at ksu.edu> Subject: Rowan "Berries" Mike: We must have seen the same references. I have wondered if there was a larger fruited cultivar of Sorbus aucuparia that was being used. The fruits are very small pomes (like an apple of pear). In fact the "mountain ashes" were once placed in the same genus as the pear. I am not sure what flavors they would impart to beer but they are not good to eat. I think if I wanted something related and maybe more available, I would look at a crabapple or a Amelanchier (June berry or service berry). If you try it be sure and report back to the HBD. Spencer Tomb Mike Wrote: >Has anyone on the list ever used rowan berries (from the European >Mountain Ash) in brewing; either beer or mead. I've seen it mentioned >in quite a few historical texts, but never a recipe. Haven't been able >to try any either. The berries themselves are certainly awful (VERY >tart), but I've really been curious to try something. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 06:59:56 -0800 From: "C and K" <Cuckold at cornerpub.com> Subject: filter the water? Clear blue Columbia River water, fresh from the city water supply. I have brewed extracts from it for a couple years. Find that leaving water sit for a day or two and it gets really "slimey". Made me wonder of the bacteria present. Wife can't stand the water, and drinks only bought carbonated water. I did go to the city for a free water analysis. I was dissappointed with their figures. No mention of carbonate, ph, nitrates, or bacteria. Also, the water changes in the summer, when they supplement the water supply from wells, therefore making any water analysis even more difficult. Finally, we are moving to our own house, and a new water supply. I am nearly 95% completed with my two-tier (thanks to all of you here), and was wondering about pre filtering my water, say, with a carbon filter. Should I filter first, and then send a sample for analysis? Or have it analysed, then go from there? The water is from a small community water supply, and I don't think they will give a free analysis. We live in the desert, and I think our new water supply may be just as slimey as the previous one. As a footnote, we are just downstream of a toxic spill that would make Love Canal look like disney Land. Hanford, Wa., where the govt. is spending Billions (that's right) trying to stop Hundreds of millions of gallons of radioactive liquid (carelessly dumped during the cold war) from reaching the largest river west of the mississippi. Scott and Elke Richland, Wa Seldom correct...but never without doubt Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 10:23:26 -0500 From: "Spies, Jay" <Spies at dhcd.state.md.us> Subject: Airplane beer All - Jeff Luck asked about taking homebrew on planes with him . . . I'm in Baltimore, and my Mom's in CA, so I take homebrew on every trip I take to go out there. I've always carried it on the plane with me. I figure if my eardrums don't explode inside the cabin, neither will the beer; and it never has, not even any leakage with flip top bottles, which will pop their seals if the pressure rises too much. I've also never had any problems with airport security, FWIW. I'd be a bit leary of checking them with your luggage, more from the baggage handlers than the unpressurized luggage compartment. Either may break the bottles, but the former is probably more likely. (apologies to any baggage folk out there in HBD-land). Freezing may be a problem if your flight is more than say, 5 hours, but this is only speculation, as I've never sat in the luggage compartment during a flight to assess the relative ambient air temperature. ;-) Jay Spies Wishful Thinking Basement Brewery Baltimore, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 10:24:05 -0500 From: "Scott Moore" <smoore at koyousa.com> Subject: Re: Bottled O2 Adapters Bob writes: <snip> I really don't want to by a whole cutting rig just to get to the O2 shut-off valve. Has anyone adapted a BenzOMatic O2 cylinder. I'd appreciate some hints. If one doesn't have ready access to medical O2, or is welding-impaired, what solutions remain. Am I left with the aquarium pump. <snip> - ------------------------------------------------------ I just purchased the O2 regulator from Brewers Resource at http://www.brewtek.com . It was $18.95 + S&H. A decent deal if you already have the SS airstone. I remember seeing a light welding kit at Mega-lo-mart for about $38. It looked like the exact same regulator but I don't plan on doing any light welding anytime soon so I went with the other. I have confirmed with a few sources that the welding canisters are identical in quality of gas (pure O2 as far as we are concerned) to the ones that come with the oxygenation kits. Regards, Scott Moore Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 10:40:16 -0500 From: Jim DiPalma <dipalma at omtool.com> Subject: RE: MCAB Recipes, Water analysis, wort pH Hi All, Lot's o' good stuff in HBD2963: John Varady posts his robust porter recipe: >One thing I can say is that using >Bavarian lager yeast gave this beer a much better aroma then I had ever >achieved using ale yeast. Without the ale yeast esters, the toasty, bready, >malty, coffee, toffee aromas predominate, giving the beer a righteous nose > >HBRCP 2.2 Recipe: > >Name: Pine Box O.G.: 1.053 >Style: Robust Porter I.B.U.: 43.5 >Volume: 13.0 Gallons A.B.V.: 5.1 > >Grains/Fermentables Lbs % Hops AAU Grams Min >- ---------------------- ----- --- --------- ---- ------ ---- >Vienna, German 13.50 54 Galena 10.5 60.00 120 >Pale, American 2 Row 5.00 20 Cascade 5.0 56.00 15 >Aromatic, Belgian 2.00 8 Spalt 4.7 50.00 0 >Biscuit, Belgian 1.00 4 >Melanoidin, German 1.00 4 >Chocolate, English 1.00 4 >Special "B", Belgian 1.00 4 >Black Roast, English 0.50 2 I was very gratified to see this recipe, I've been putting Munich, Aromatic, and Special B in my porters for years, and urging my fellow club members to do the same. I love the malty complexity in both the nose and flavor, it's exactly as John describes, malty, bready, coffee, toffee, just wonderful. A huge improvement over my early porters brewed with only pale, crystal, and chocolate malts. Using Vienna in place of most of the pale sounds interesting, I'll have to give that a try. Thanks for posting the recipe, John. ************************************************************************ ***************** Jason Foster writes: >I find my dark beers (stout, porter, brown ale, dunkel) turn out >excellent and I am very pleased with their taste. However, I am usually >disappointed with my lighter-coloured beers. There is usually a sour >off-taste, sometimes more, sometimes less. In particular, my efforts to >brew kolsch and pale ales have left me underwhelmed. > >So, I am searching for a cause. There are a number of possibilities my >set-up is crude by many standards), but my latest theory is my water >composition. I use our municipal tap water and add 1 to 2 tsp of gypsum. >I wonder if this is adequate. Our water analysis looks like this: > >chlorine=2.5 mg/L >chloride=2.8 mg/L >flouride=.8mg/L >calcium=80 mg/L >total hardness (as CaC03)=150 mg/L >sulphate=60mg/L >sodium=4 mg/L >pH=8.2 >Is there something else I should be doing? Yes. Lose the gypsum entirely. My guess is that the sour flavor you perceive is caused by excess sulfate levels, gypsum is calcium sulfate. Looking at your water analysis, you already have plenty of both calcium and sulfate in your water, it does not require treatment with gypsum. The type of off-flavor associated with excess sulfate levels does tend to show up in pale, highly hopped beers rather than dark beers, so that's another clue that's the problem. The other thing I see here that's potentially problematic has to do with your water also, your carbonate hardness is borderline too high at 150 mg/L. Carbonate provides an alkalinity buffer that causes the water to resist drops in pH (like when you mash-in). Use of dark malts in the mash overcomes the buffering and allows proper acidification of the mash, which would also explain why your dark beers are fine and the pale ones not. High carbonate levels tend to make hop bitterness seem very harsh. So, here's what I'd do: stop adding gypsum, see if the problem goes away. My guess is it will. If not, dilute your water with distilled water to get the carbonate level down to ~100 mg/L or so. ************************************************************************ ************************ Rick Georgette asks: >Can anyone tell me the significance of proper wort pH. What should the >correct pH be before and after the boil? You want to deliver wort to the boiler of ~5.5 - 5.7 pH. The easiest way to achieve this IMHO is to take pH readings at two other points in the process where pH is important: the mash and the sparge. Amylase enzyme works best at about 5.2 - 5.4, so this is a good target for the mash. Acidify your sparge water to about 5.7 - 5.8, to avoid tannin extraction during lautering. If you control pH at those two points, the pH of wort delivered to the boiler, as well as at every other later stage of the process, will be just about right every time. There are dangers associated with over-acidification. With wort below 5.0 at the start of the boil, you'll have trouble getting a good hot break, and end up carrying excess protein into the fermenter. Since boiling further acidifies the wort, you'll likely run into problems with sluggish yeast performance as well. If you take care of pH at the two points mentioned above, none of this should be a problem for you. As far as the wort pH after the boil, I *think* it should come out around 5.0 - 5.2, though I've never bothered to measure. ************************************************************************ ********************************* Finally, this rather odd request from Gradh O'Dunadaig: >Hey, Dan Listermann and other engineer-types... Well, I have both an EE and a CS degree, so I guess I'm qualified to answer this question. > so, i live at sea-level and when i am skimming the fecch from my >boiling wort, it gets mildly uncomfortable with my paw in my brewpot. >your task, should you decide to accept it, is to come up with a gizmo so >i don't burn my precious fingers. email me for the street address to >send the royalty checks. > or, if there is an already existing gizmo, could i please be >informed of the location where i might make the purchase? There is an existing device, a very complicated one, the culmination of years of research and application of the latest available technologies. It's called a kitchen strainer. Inexpensive, very effective at removing foam while leaving liquid wort behind, and never needs calibration. Cheers All, Jim Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 10:49:58 -0500 (EST) From: ALAN KEITH MEEKER <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: Cheap Ethanol test There are a number of assay methods available for determining the ethanol content of a solution. Obviously gas chromatography is going to be prohibitively expensive. Widely used but still not cheap are methods in which NADH produced by the action of alcohlol dehydrogenase is monitored spectrophotometrically. Distillation is also a possibility but this too requires somewhat specialized equiptment. For the homebrewer on a budget there may be a cheap alternative: there is an old Amateur Scientist article in Scientific American by C.L. Strong on mead making (sorry don't have the date). In this article he describes a method for alcohol determination: "...consists in measuring the temperature of the vaporimmediately above the boiling soltion, Close a 100-mililiter flask with a two hole stopper. Put about 30 mls of solution in the flask. Insert a thermometer in one of the holes to suspend the bulb of the thermometer above the liquid. Boil the solution and measure the temperature of the vapor to within 0.1 deg C. Subtract the temperature of the vapor from the temperature at which water boils. To find the percentage of alcohol (by volume) multiply the temperature difference in deg C by 1.78 and subtract 3.2 from the resulting product. For example, a temperature difference of 6 degrees indicates an alcoholic concentration of 7.48% (1.78 X 6 - 3.2)." I haven't gotten around to trying this myself so can't attest to how well it actually works. It is certainly simple and requires little in the way of specialized equiptment. It should be easy to validate the method by running some controls... Happy hunting! - ------------------------------------------------------------------ "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: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 10:52:00 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Mashing, Sparging, Extraction Efficiency Drewmeister <drewmstr at erols.com> asks some partial mash questions, but doesn't tell us his name. Names are always nicer than aliases, and where you're from. When ~100 of us got together at the MCAB in Houston two weeks ago, it was great meeting all these people we'd already gotten to know by name and town on HBD. So, anyway: >1. Conversion test: never seems to work the way the say. The iodine does >not turn color right away, but eventually, little black streaks appear. I seldom do iodine tests, but what you're checking for is if there is any free starch in the liquid. I think it should change fairly quickly. Some HBDers know exactly which part of a carbohydrate molecule binds to the iodine, but I don't, so I can't tell you what's happening with your delayed reaction. It sounds like you may need to mash a little longer if these streaks are in the liquid. >2. Recirculation ("vorloff" (sp?)): When taking the first runnings from >the lauter tun and recircing, what is the best and easiest way to add the >wort back on the top of the grain bed without splashing/channeling the >grains. I tried to pour these runnings back into the sparge water tank, >but the particles of grains kept making my sparge arm get clogged, so I >will not do this again. Vorlauf. You should gather it in a large plastic measuring cup or something like it and "lay" it on top of the liquid over grain bed. Don't splash, and don't run it through the sparger. You don't want to aerate it for fear of hot side aeration (HSA). It would be a good idea to attach a short plastic hose to the valve so you can run the cloudy wort into the cup with the hose under the surface - again, less aeration. > >3. How is extraction efficiency measured. I remember reading about this, >but can't remember where. What are the rules of thumb for gravity/gal/lb >of grain??? I used 12 lbs of Crisp British Pale malt, 1 lb crystal and 1 >lb Carapils and wound up with only 4 1/2 - 4 3/4 gals after boiling. The >S.G was 1.070. points*gallons/pounds. So if you have 4.5 gal at 70 pts [(1.070-1.000)*1000] divided by 14 lbs of grain, you have 22.5 p*g/p, commonly but inaccurately called ppg. If you got 4.75 gal, it would be 23.75. 28 would be better, 31 is great. Some homebrewers report 33 p*g/p. They probably lie about their golf scores, too. >4. Along the lines of the efficiency, should I have added some cold water >to get to 5 gals??? I followed the strike water/sparge water/make-up water >guidelines in NCJHB and came up a little short. Now if I was at my target >1.060 with 4 1/2 - 4 3/4 gals, I would not worry, but adding a little cold >water may have gotten me to my target S.G. of 1.062 (according to the >recipe). If measuring S.G. when cool, do you just chill the wort, take >S.G. then add water if S.G. is high??? Yes, top up to your full 5 gallons *if* you're over target OG. Add to the wort, not the finished beer, as you risk oxidizing the beer (O2 is good for cold wort, bad for hot wort and beer). Besides, high gravity ferments diluted aren't the same as diluted worts fermented. More esters and high alcohols. Hope this helps. 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: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 11:15:46 -0500 (EST) From: ALAN KEITH MEEKER <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: Yeast storage under Sucrose Joe Rolfe updates us on his experiences with storing yeast under 10% sucrose... Joe, I have a couple of questions for you. Do you have any data on the percent viability of the long term storage yeasts you were trying to "reanimate"? The fact that you couldn't get a culture going from a loop and had to instead use the whole tube seems a bit worrisome, sounds like you're getting one helluva lot of cell death. Were these the samples that had been stored away for several years? Have you tried any quick and dirty methods like Methylene Blue staining? Is there any airspace in the tubes you are storing in? In Rose's article on yeast handling he recommended filling tubes with sterile paraffin oil, perhaps to help exclude oxygen. I wonder if this would help in maintaining viability? As far as not getting your giant colonies to giant size it may be that your plates are not thick enough, try pouring very thick plates and see if this helps... Good luck! -Alan Meeker Return to table of contents
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