HOMEBREW Digest #2989 Sat 27 March 1999

[Prev HBD] [Index] [Next HBD] [Back]

		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

  POSSIBLY Incomplete Message: Poor Extraction Causes (Dan Listermann)
  CO detector recall (BsmntBrewr)
  wheat lager ("Mary Schramer")
  Question: Reheating Wort in Microwave to Maintain Grain Bed Temp..OK ? (darrell.leavitt)
  Yeast Storage on Slant --- Age? (Bob Noonan)
  Alcohol Estimation Comparison (AJ)
  Where is "unitconv"? ("Alan McKay")
  MI Beer Bars ("Matthew  Hahn")
  Water/Diacetyl (AJ)
  Where in the World is Norm Pyle? ("Drew Avis")
  Re: homebrew shops (John Wilkinson)
  Apologies (Dan Listermann)
  info on lager yeast cultures ("Marc Sedam")
  Homebrew Judging - why? (MaltHound)
  Maple Syrup and Diacetyl (Wade Hutchison)
  Brewshops need all of us (KLGT)

Beer is our obsession and we're late for therapy! Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild's 13th annual Big and Huge - 28 March 1999: Rules and forms at www.globaldialog.com/madbrewers 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: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 20:56:48 -0500 From: Dan Listermann <72723.1707 at compuserve.com> Subject: POSSIBLY Incomplete Message: Poor Extraction Causes DL:<"I trust that Jack means that the moisture can increase vary 20% from what is is supposed to be such as 5% to 6% instead of adding 20 percentage points to the content such as going from 5% to 25%??> JS:<Sorry but I DID mean it as a variation in absolute moisture content. Shocking, isn't it? Malt is extrememly hygroscopic and will absorb vast amounts of water if given a chance.> I just soaked some DC pils in water for about four hours and measured the moisture content. (Microwave on lowest for a hour to dry ) It was about 25%. I have never seen grain that I was not malting that damp. I very much doubt that that much moisture could be picked up without intentional abuse. Folks should try this themselves. It is easy and enlightning. DL:<If the moisture content did vary, I doubt that that the extraction rate could be measured on a practical level. Say that you had a malt that was spec'ed at 36 points on a coarse grind dry basis with 4% moisture and your system's efficiency was 90%. 36 * (1-.04) * ..90 = 31.10 points. Add 25% more moisture ( 1% ) and you get 5% moisture. 36 * (1-..05) * .90 = 30.78 points. Not that many common hydrometers could reliably pick up a .0032 change in gravity. While this is a 1% difference in extraction, it is not much to measure.> Jack's contribution to context: DL:"If the moisture content did vary, I doubt that that the extraction rate could be measured on a practical level....> JS:<Precisely my point and precisely why worrying about it and debating it is such a waste of energy unless you include all the variables starting with hydrometer accuracy. The crush quality is only one of the many variables but it's effect is much farther into the noise than moisture content. > JS:<For some anecdoatl experience, I was never able to achieve extraction above the mid 20's no matter what I did until I change to DC Belgin malt. It immediately went to the low 30's and has never changed in 5 years. "What does this say? It's in the malt folks.> DL:<That is a huge change to blame on moisture. Let us see if we can calculate how much moisture it would take to go from 25 to 30 points per pound per gallon. The typical spec sheet for DC Pils is 35.6 points extraction for coarse grind dry basis. Moisture is listed as 4.2%. Lab extraction on an "as is" basis would give you 35.6 *(1-.042) = 34.1 points. 88% efficiency gives you 30 points per pound per gallon. Assuming the same 88% efficiency 25 / .88 = 28.4 points. (35.6 - 28.4 ) / 35.6 = .20 or 20% moisture. In other words to account for this extract change a malt would have to absorb enough water to go from 4.2% to 20 %. I doubt that you will ever see malts with that kind of moisture and if you did, you could quickly tell that something was very wrong by chewing.> JS:<I said "it's the malt" not the moisture. DC malt is packaged and shipped in plastic lined bags and I store it a humidity controlled room so the moisture content is very low. My judgement was that the DC malt is a very high quality malt that produces a very high yield relative to what I was using before. Malt can't get much dryer than when it leaves the kiln. All it can do is add moisture and this increases the weight so one thinks he is using more malt and his "yield" is less.> DL:<OK, That is a huge change to blame on malt moisture content. DL:<I think that Jack may be right that the change in malt caused his apparent increase in extraction, but it is not for the reasons he believes -stale and old malt. More likely the DC malt crushed better at the gap his mill was set at and the other malts needed a tighter gapped mill.> JS<:I have run many if not all of my tests using the same DC pils malt and as long as all the grains are crushed, it matters not a twit what the mill is set at or for that matter, whose mill I used. There is no way a grain of any malt I know of can pass through a .045" space without getting crushed, ergo, fixed mill produces same yeild as tweeked mill.> I think that we can agree that uncrushed malt would give very poor extraction. I am not so sure that you will agree that floured malt will give the greatest extraction, but let us assume that you would. If one were to plot a scale of "crush" against extraction, as one progressed from no crush to flour the extraction rate would increase. The line would probably look like x = tan y or a curve similar to landau bars on a hearse. The object would be to find a point on the curve that gave the greatest extraction before lautering problems set in due to the lack of filter material. This curve can be found. I have started to do a sort of "congress mash" using different crushes gauged with standard sieves. The preliminary data is starting to show this curve. The grist remaining on the #10 screen seems to be a good indicater of extraction since it retains the endosperm attached to hulls that is not crushed to flour and not ful Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 23:34:31 EST From: BsmntBrewr at aol.com Subject: CO detector recall Brewers, I don't recall seeing any post on the subject so I thought I would chime in. Last week I heard a blurb on the radio that Nighthawk and Saber CO detectors are being recalled. It appears that some detectors are giving inaccurate readings, going off late or not going off at all. I guess you need to contact the manufacturer or retailer for details. The news blurb didn't provide the specifics for returns, exchanges or refunds. I thought this might be of some importance for the indoor brewers using propane and natural gas. Brew On! Bob Bratcher Roanoke, VA Star City Brewers Guild http://hbd.org/starcity Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 04:44:23 PST From: "Mary Schramer" <maryschramer at excite.com> Subject: wheat lager anybody ever make a wit type brew using lager yeast? if so what was the result and what strain did you use? thanks kevin F schramer _______________________________________________________ Get your free, private email at http://mail.excite.com/ Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 08:17:23 -0500 (EST) From: darrell.leavitt at plattsburgh.edu Subject: Question: Reheating Wort in Microwave to Maintain Grain Bed Temp..OK ? I use a Zappap sort of...and realize that a good deal of heat is lost in the recirculation and sparge...I have tried insulating,.. but also have tried drawing off a pint, zapping it in the microwave, then returning it to the top of the grain bed. I have found that this DOES help to maintain the temperature of the grain bed...but wonder whether I may be getting something else that I may not want by heating the sweet wort in this manner. I have never let it boil, but I am certain that I have let the heated pint go over 170 F. Does anyone know of problems that can/ may be encountered in this way, or is it perfectly ok to reheat this way....OR, may this depend upon the style of brew that I am attempting to make? ..Darrell <in Plattsburgh, NY> Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 13:58:09 GMT From: bnoonan at acadia.net (Bob Noonan) Subject: Yeast Storage on Slant --- Age? Hi HBD readers This is one of the few posts I have had in the last few years of lurking. I have a Brewer's Resource large slant of yeast that I bought about a year ago. I used it once and resealed it with Paraseal and have kept it refrigerated since. Question is should I just through it out, Use it or what? If I made a starter with it what should I look for? So what's the opinion of the collective should I not be so cheap and just buy a new slant or what. Posts or private E-mail OK. Thanks :-)> So Many Beers ... So Little Time. Bob Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 14:11:38 +0000 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Alcohol Estimation Comparison Given the discussions of the last couple of weeks on alcohol content determination I thought readers might be interested in some comparative numbers from my last effort, an IPA of sorts. 1. Apparent attenuation (method I posted in #2969): 5.84% ABV 2. Ebuliometry, 1:1 dilution: 5.44% ABV 3. Ebuliometry, no dilution : 5.63% ABV 4. Enzyme: 5.64% ABV 5. Distillation/gravimetry: 5.46% ABV With regard to the first method note that I never actually measured the gravity in the fermenter. The OG I used in the calculation was based on gravity measured in the kettle and the subsequet dilutions it went through in coming up with the final volume of beer (which includes addition of water to replace evaporation). The final gravity measurement was made with a hydrometer (narrow range). Even so, the result is not too bad in comparison with the others. Ebuliometers are great for wine (dry) and not so good for beverages with high content of sugars, proteins, etc. These substances cause the boiling point to be increased (the alcohol causes it to decrease) and correction factors are published. The main problem with beer is that it froths, foams, bumps etc. within the boiler making it hard to get a stable temperature reading. It helps if the beer is warm and, therefore, thoroughly degassed but dilution 1:1 with water helps greatly in obtaining a stable temperature reading and, in addition, lowers the protein - sugar concentration to the point where the correction is less that 0.04%. The standard deviation for this set of measurements is 0.162% with the largest deviation (that of the most approximate measure i.e. the first) being 0.24%. From these data at least, it looks as if the apparent attenuation method is pretty good. We must not, of course, draw global conclusions from measurements on 1 beer. More data! - -- A. J. deLange Numquam in dubio, saepe in errore. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 08:27:14 -0600 From: "Alan McKay" <amckay at nortelnetworks.com> Subject: Where is "unitconv"? Hi folks, About a year ago someone out there sent me a copy of their "unitconv" program. After several system upgrades, I go looking and it is no longer on my system. Anyone know the program I'm talking about? It converted just about anything under the sun. thanks, -Alan - -- Alan McKay OS Support amckay at nortelnetworks.com Small Site Integration 613-765-6843 (ESN 395) Nortel Networks Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 10:15:26 -0500 From: "Matthew Hahn" <mchahn at earthlink.net> Subject: MI Beer Bars I will be vacationing in St. Ignace, MI, on the lower part of the Upper Peninsula (near Mackinac Island) this summer. Any good beer bars/brewpubs in the area, or between there and Cleveland that anyone could recommend? TIA. Private emails welcome. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 10:35:03 -0500 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Water/Diacetyl Alessandro asks > 1) Is it possible to calculate alkalinity (with reasonable precision)? given Ca, Mg, SO4, Na, HCO3-, pH and hardness. Yes. Assuming that the pH is less than 8.6 or so simply divide the bicarbonate mg/L by 61 to get alkalinity in milliequivalnets per liter. Then multiply by 50 for the more familiar alaklinity in ppm as CaCO3. >2) Is it possible to predict how the same water parameters will be *after boiling*, with the only measurement of post boil Ph? No. If the water was hard enough to precipitate chalk you will have, post boil, a solution of calcium carbonate and bicarbonate in equilibrium with solid chalk. Eventually this will come into equilibrium with the air and the pH will depend on the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere on that day. What you can do is measure either the alkalinity or the hardness (both simple tests but the alkalinity one is simpler) before and after. Alkalinity and hardness in ppm as CaCO3 will both decrease by approximately the same amount. pH will change, possibly by a couple of points, and Mg will change a little. Na, Cl, SO4 will not change (except to the extent that water is evaporated during the boil). * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Jeff Renner asks for speculations as to why the diacetyl level in the same beer in the same pub from the same delivery might differ over time. The obvious answer is the one he suggests: continued fermentation with diacetyl production. Remember that the final step in diacetyl formation is an oxidation so the speculation about O2 at kegging, which they don't seem to worry about much in British kegging operations, might indeed be a factor. I'd like to suggest contamination with undesired organisms. As everyone knows, cask conditioned ale _will_ become contaminated with lactos if it isn't finished in a few days. The soft spile is porous and while I don't know if that is the source, it stands to reason that it could be. In the same time period Jeff was "researching" Ridleys, I was "researching" Theakstons. On three successive nights in 3 different pubs I got one pint that was definitely lactic, one that was spot on and one that was phenolic to the point where I could hardly finish it. I assume that the latter picked up some wild yeast. This suggests to me that a variety of orgainisms have the opportunity to get into the beer at the brewery and in the cellar. Perhaps one of these was the source of the diacetyl Jeff tasted. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 08:01:29 PST From: "Drew Avis" <andrew_avis at hotmail.com> Subject: Where in the World is Norm Pyle? Sorry to bother the entire HBD with this, but I need a working email, phone #, or address for Norm Pyle, author of the Hop FAQ (http://realbeer.com/hops/FAQ.html). His last post was courtesy of Rob Moline, so I don't know if he's even on email any more. Thanks! -Drew Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 12:27:59 -0600 From: John.Wilkinson at aud.alcatel.com (John Wilkinson) Subject: Re: homebrew shops >Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 19:32:15 -0600 >From: Linus and Lila Hall <lnlhall at bellsouth.net> >Subject: homebrew shops > >For the love of God and all that is holy, > >Stop with the Homebrew Shop Thread(tm)! As an atheist, am I compelled to continue the thread? If so, I don't know what to say as I am completely satisfied with my local homebrew shops. John Wilkinson - Grapevine, Texas Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 13:27:22 -0500 From: Dan Listermann <72723.1707 at compuserve.com> Subject: Apologies I evidently accidently sent a draft posting to the HBD yesterday. Very sorry. Dan Listermann Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 14:26:06 -0500 From: "Marc Sedam" <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: info on lager yeast cultures I'm just getting into lager fermentations and saw confusing information on how to propagate lager yeast for fermentation. Normally (for all two lagers I've done) I pitch the yeast in a smack pack as is in 2.5 gallons of 1.040 oxygenated wort, ferment for a week at 45F and transfer to a secondary, wash the yeast/trub cake from the primary fermenter, and pitch the washed yeast directly in a 5 gallon batch. I asked David Logsdon of Wyeast Labs (no personal interest in co., blah, blah, blah) to tell me how Wyeast steps up their cultures. A snippet of his e-mail is included below. <SNIP> Our prodcures for lager yeast propagation is to start it at 65-75 F. for 24 hours. Drop it approx. 10 F per day. An example would be to start at 75, 24 hrs, bring in wort at 65, set fermenter temp at 55, ferment at that temp or turn down to 45 the following day. Your practice of harvesting yeast and pitching at 45 F is not uncommon. Some brewers prefer a long lag on lager fermentations, with the slow start. It is also common to allow the fermentation temp to rise to 57F at terminal gravity. <SNIP> Having not yet compared the two procedures, clearly David feels that my process creates a long lag time comparatively speaking. If I notice a dramatic difference in these processes I'll post the results. I didn't see similar instructions in the yeast FAQ, so I thought this might be of general interest. Cheers! Marc Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 15:00:14 EST From: MaltHound at aol.com Subject: Homebrew Judging - why? Warning: The following post is a bunch of philosophical ramblings that IS intended to bait further discussion. For some time now I have wondered why there is such an apparently strong tie between homebrewing and a compelling need to have it judged and scored. For some reason (unknown to me) competitive judging is inextricably associated with homebrew and homebrewing at all levels. Why is this? Certainly, I can understand that when brewers are starting out they need reassurance that what they are producing is of a reasonable quality. Identification of defects through unbiased tasting is of value especially to those with an untrained palate. Perhaps as they begin to reach their brewing goals they enjoy the egotistical gratification of winning awards and prizes. Everybody like to be stroked now and then, eh? The part of the whole homebrew competition scene that I don't understand is this: What would make an accomplished brewer who knows fully well that they make excellent beer want to submit their beer for evaluation? To begin with, the premise that all competitions are born from is that a winning beer is one that most exactly matches a particular style. These styles are defined by descriptions and guidelines that are established by the same people that perform the judging of these events. This means that all beer competitions are merely "target shooting" to hit a particular style guideline. I think a lot of entrants are (at least subconsciously) of the impression that the best beer will be the winner. I suppose that depends on how you define what "best" is. There has been a flurry of discussion about the fallibility of human judges as well as the entire judge certification process. Certainly it should come to no big surprise to anyone that humans are prone to err. There is absolutely no way possible to have a process that relies on human analysis that is truly objective. Doesn't that all put a shadow of doubt in anyone else's mind about the intrinsic value of judging homebrew? An interesting exercise would be to submit a sample of commercially produced beer that is generally accepted to be the epitome of that style to several different homebrew competitions and see what scores and comments are assigned to it. Is it possible to have a homebrew that scores higher than the "benchmark" of a particular style? I would pose that it should not be since the style guides were created to express that beer not vice versa. Personally, I went through a period where it was important for me to send my beers for tasting and evaluation. I won some prizes and have some ribbons and tee shirts to show for it. But eventually, I realized that (for me) the whole homebrew competition thing is a meaningless exercise. If there are other (perhaps even more) accomplished brewers out there that feel the same way about competitions, doesn't that mean that the people that *are* entering these competitions are competing against a limited field? In other words, (and I realize this is not true) if all of the truly good brewers felt that homebrew competitions were a waste of their time, wouldn't that mean that the only people actually competing were less than great brewers? What would that do to the meaning of winning first prize? I would imagine that subscribers to this list are apt to represent a greater percentage of "advanced" brewers than the general population since we all tend to devote a larger amount of time and energy to the hobby on average. So I ask the wise and experienced collective: What would make you enter into competitions fully knowing the limitations that exist? What makes those brewers that have multiple ribbons on their brewery walls continue to enter? Why do so many homebrewers in general feel the need to compete? Fred Wills waxing philosophically and donning asbestos suit in Londonderry, NH Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 15:35:08 -0500 From: Wade Hutchison <whutchis at bucknell.edu> Subject: Maple Syrup and Diacetyl Comments on Al's comments: > >Pete writes: >>I am going to be brewing a maple amber in the coming weeks to appease my >>SO. I checked the archives but opinions vary on when to add the syrup >>for maximum maple flavor and aroma. I have about 1 to 2 qts to work >>with for a 3 to 5 gallon batch. I'm not sure which size I'll be >>doing..... I did several extract batches with maple syrup, and 2 or 3 quarts of grade-A syrup produced a nice subtle flavor in a 5 gallon batch. I _did_ notice that fermentation was slower, and bottle conditioning was very slow in both batches. Is there something in the syrup that inhibits yeast growth? I've wondered about that for a few years now. >> >>When is it best to make additions of syrup to retain maple flavor and >>smell though bottling. I have also seen that it takes longer to >>ferment. > I added at the last 10 minutes of the boil - add the syrup, and turn off the heat when the wort comes back to a boil. Didn't seem to hurt the flavor or aroma any. Sorry if you've gotten 30 answers to this already - but it was (finally) something I have experience with. >Jeff writes (quoting John): >>>I recently tried using a diacetyl rest on my CAP. <snip> >>>Unfortunately for me, I definitely smelled diacetyl at bottling. >> >>I hate diacetyl in lagers myself, so I sympathize. You can take solace, >>perhaps, in the fact that many historic American lagers had the stuff, >>according to Fix. Ugh. > >Depends on the lager... recall that moderate diacetyl is acceptable in >Bohemian Pilsners. Look for diacetyl in Pilsner Urquell... yes, it's >in there. > >Al. > Now theres a good question - is there a guide somewhere that lists what flavors can be found in some commercial beers? I don't really know what Diacetyl tastes like, so is there a reference beer that I can find to get an idea of the flavor without going to a beer doping kit? What would be a good example of diacytel? phenolic? Any other consistant flaw? -----wade hutchison whutchis at bucknell.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 19:54:59 -0500 From: KLGT <kimlgt at usa.net> Subject: Brewshops need all of us >From a retailer's point of view, may I add this one tidbit? There is no such thing as a bad customer, with the small exception of the customer that shoplifts or bounces checks. All customers, defined as those spending money, are needed and wanted in any business. The idea of loyalty is good and I hope the stores that deserve it and earn it, get some. (including mine-I hope) But this is a big bad world. The market forces that control commerce will prevail. The businesses which treat customers well, will survive, the others won't. So don't worry. Spend your money where it makes you feel good. You can't do anything about a store that will have to go out of business because their rent is too high, or health insurance went up 17% this year . You can't help it if Yellow Page ads cost thousands per year. So, relax, you are a good customer. You can't help it. All customers are good. Forgive this unsigned post. I just didn't want to taint it, by making it into an advertisement for my business. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Get Your Own Free Pop or Web Based Email and a 10MB Web Site for FREE at: http://www.nettaxi.com! =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Return to table of contents
[Prev HBD] [Index] [Next HBD] [Back]
HTML-ized on 03/27/99, by HBD2HTML version 1.2 by K.F.L.
webmaster at hbd.org, KFL, 10/9/96