HOMEBREW Digest #3085 Sat 17 July 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

  Rhubarb Mead (ernest baker)
  RE: temp controllers (LaBorde, Ronald)
  Sparge Efficiency (Kirk.Fleming)
  Re: Why Homebrew ("John A. MacLaughlin")
  Brew pubs in CA (Brad Kuhns)
  redox potential, (RCAYOT)
  Tastykake (Marc Sedam)
  Bottle with CPBF? ("Houseman, David L")
  Re: Why Homebrew (Spencer W Thomas)
  re: why homebrew? ("Bayer, Mark A")
  Cleaners (Jim Larsen)
  Mini-Mash vs Decoction? ("Scott Church")
  I word, baking ("Paul Niebergall")
  Basement ("Crossno, Glyn")
  Keg Pressure for Wheat Beer (Brian Kuhl)
  More on Dr. Pivo (John Wilkinson)
  Mash thickness/FG (John Wilkinson)
  Sterilzing Phil's Phillers (Bobpreed)
  Fruit Fly/ Yet another Dr. Pive rant... (ALAN KEITH MEEKER)
  Why homebrew? (Pat Babcock)
  Back in town,  HBD Clinitest Experiment Part 1 (Dave Burley)
  HBD Clinitest Experiment Part 2 of 2 (Dave Burley)
  Bread, Beer, and What Emeril Said (Lester Long)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 08:13:15 -0700 (PDT) From: erniebaker at webtv.net (ernest baker) Subject: Rhubarb Mead Never made Mead before, but right now I have three gallons of mead in the primary working away in the first week. I would like to make a rhubarb mead and guess the rhubarb is prepared and added to the secondary. This is a 3 gallon "must" of just honey, water, nutrient and Wyeast 3632 dry mead yeast. How do I prepare the rhubarb, how much, when, and how long in the must. Would appreciate help on this one, anyone out there in HBD land brew this before??? Ernie Baker 29 Palms, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 10:19:22 -0500 From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: RE: temp controllers From: Randy Ricchi <rricchi at ccisd.k12.mi.us> >trouble with molds >growing when too much moisture builds up in the freezer. I thought I could >avoid potential problems (mold,scum in the water that holds the temp >probe) >by using rubbing alcohol or vodka for the liquid medium for the temp >probe. >Would either of these alcohols harm the temp probe? TIA I think you could use cooking oil instead of water. Be sure you don't spill it all over (messy cleanup). If you used water though, why not use a mason jar with a plastic substitute lid. Drill a hole for a rubber grommet, pass the probe in tight, then the water would be sealed inside the jar with little or no evaporation. Ron Ronald La Borde - Metairie, Louisiana - rlabor at lsumc.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 10:23:40 -0500 From: Kirk.Fleming at born.com Subject: Sparge Efficiency John_E_Schnupp at amat.com asked, >When adding the water for mash-out the mash >gets fairly "soupy" (at least it seems thinner than I'd like). I'm >using a spreadsheet someone sent me that seems to indicate that the >first runnings are drawn off before the water for mash-out is added. >Is this correct? I think when you refer to adding "water for mash-out" you're talking about sparging, so with that assumption I believe the answer depends completely on your equipment, grain bill and personal preference. I've not heard of anyone intentionally brewing this way, but when I've done it accidentally with, say, oatmeal stout with too much oatmeal, the results were disastrous. With 'normal' pale ale grain bills, there didn't seem to be any effect positive or negative. And... >I've been having low efficiency and could see where >it might increase my efficiency if I get the initial high sugar >portion of the mash extracted before I boosted to mash-out. What is "low" [survey question, BTW]? It's certainly possible, but I doubt it would be measurable or repeatable. If the final runnings are the same in the cases where you do and don't conduct a pseudo batch sparge, as I'd describe it, then I truly believe you will have pretty much the same yield. Also, my experience indicates huge efficiency variations apparently due to mash tun aspect ratio, and no measurable efficiency variations due to a wide variety of lauter techniques. >If it is correct to take the first running before going to mash-out, do >I need to recirculate twice? Or do I add the mash-out water gently >(sprinkler) so as not to disturb the grain-bed/filter I created >during the recirculation I did to collect the first runnings? It isn't a matter of being 'correct', I don't think. But I don't understand your reference to recirculating "twice"--it's a semi-continuous process, no? In any case, once you've decided to lauter, then you're lautering. By that I mean, by definition the sweet wort is going into the kettle. At mash out you could certainly recirculate, especially if you're running a direct fired mash/lauter tun with a false bottom and want to stop the mash without the use of sparge water. I see no point to these exercises, though. If I want a 90 minute mash I begin mash out with hot water at something like 80 minutes (as though I actually care if the mash goes 70, 80 or 90 minutes). This is not a mash out in the strict sense of bringing the entire mash up to mash out temp. I simply don't bother to run the temperature up with the burner--my palate would never notice, nor would the palates of anyone I drink with. Kirk Fleming FRSL FRSE Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 11:14:39 -0400 From: "John A. MacLaughlin" <jam at clark.net> Subject: Re: Why Homebrew In HBD 3083 randy.pressley at SLKP.COM asks whether cost is the main reason people get into homebrewing. I doubt it; my illusions in that area did not survive my first two or three batches. Somewhere I have read that there are just two things to like about brewing: the process and the product. I think that sums it up well. Blessed are we who enjoy both. I agree with Randy about wine-making also. I got into brewing in hopes of making palatable sulfite-free wines for my wife, and after a year or two decided that I'm not likely to live long enough to become a competent vintner because the feedback comes so slowly. Fortunately she likes some of my ciders. Unwilling to throw out all that good equipment, or to make only ciders and meads, I tried a beer kit and discovered that I really could make an ale as agreeable as those I had found in Bedfordshire. A life-changing epiphany indeed! Incidentally, I have discovered that (though the selection is not large) it is possible to buy sulfite-free wines in the USA. The trick is to ask for alcohol-free instead of sulfite-free and then read the label carefully. - - - - - - - - - - - Anyone who has even a superficial understanding of the biochemistry of brewing must agree with Dr. Franklin that beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 08:17:04 -0700 From: Brad Kuhns <brad at p-r-c.com> Subject: Brew pubs in CA Hi all, I am going to be in CA in the Walnutcreek and Redding area this weekend and was wondering if there are any good brew pubs to check out? Thank you in advance Brad Kuhns Portland, OR Return to table of contents
Date: 15 Jul 1999 12:00:50 -0400 From: RCAYOT at solutia.com Subject: redox potential, AJ writes: "Mark Bayer asked if it is possible to measure the oxidation in beer quantitatively. Yes, it is. You will find this discussed in DeClerk at some length. Whether these measurements are meaningful or not is a separate question which is on my ever growing list of things I'd like to look into some day." What is being measured is Oxidation potential, not the amount of oxidation that has occured. One needs to account for something called kinetics, that is the speed at which the chemical reaction takes place, and the possibility that the oxidation that has occured is or is not reversible (reducing chlorine to chloride does not make chloride a reducing agent in this context). That said, what a great idea! and thanks for the post! All the talk about HSA, and oxidation recently led me back to reading Dr. Fix's article, and review some of his other informaiton. Basically what he is saying is that HSA and CSA lead to STALLING, which is a complicated chemical reaction where an oxidized compound, over time, is itself reduced by oxidizing something else. The chemicals in beer change over time, and the time is LONG when talking about homebrew, and even longer when talking about beer packaged with yeast. So, what this means is that HSA does lead to accellerated stalling, but in the homebrew context, may not be important. It probably is important to brewers who want to ship beer around the world. So these homebrew experiments that reportedly don't see any effect of HSA, well, considering the circumstances, are we surprised? As for using commercial information in the homebrewing context... it really depends on the information, fundamental information can be very helpfull, however, research on production methodology has to be taken in context, WHY is the information being developed? Just drink some of that stuff and you know why, it is not for the great taste, it IS for the less filling! And I really do like the baking analogy! and Steve: "I know from private email that at least one person did. Obviously I didn't.I could discuss Pauls' comment in terms either of the logical error contained or of the manners I supposedly lack but ... not here." Who really gives a SH*T what you got by private E-mail! Regards, Roger Ayotte Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 11:48:16 -0400 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: Tastykake OK. We can bash each other all we want, but let's not beat up on Tastykakes. What could possibly be wrong with those sweet, delicious Butterscotch Krimpets? They blow Twinkies out of the water. Oh, right...make it beer related...Krimpets do not, for all their merits, go well with beer. Well, maybe a milk stout. Cheers! Marc "Free your mind and your ass will follow." -25th of May Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 11:46:35 -0400 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: Bottle with CPBF? I bottle and keg beer. When I keg I use my CPBF to fill bottles for competitions. But when I bottle beer, I've continued to use my standard, spring loaded bottle filler. I was thinking about hooking up one of my CPBF's to my bottling bucket and gravity filling bottles as I normally do but use the CPBF's ability to clear the bottles of air and fill with CO2 as a method of eliminating as much O2 in the head space. I wouldn't leave any pressure in the bottle prior to filling but rather just use the mechanism to purge air from the bottle. Does anyone do that today? Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 13:51:57 -0400 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Re: Why Homebrew A few years ago (1995, to be precise) I ran a 3-week online survey about homebrewing. The full results can be found at http://realbeer.com/spencer/HBsurvey/SRV-summary.html, but I'll include here the top answers to "why do I homebrew". I've added a "Score" column, which has two numbers. The first is computed as 3*(number of 1st choices) + 2*2nd + 3rd, the second is computed using the AHA "Ninkasi award" system: 6*1st + 3*2nd + 3rd. The "Resp." column gives the percentage of responses that included the reason in their top 3. The answers are listed in descending order by the first score. Note that "Save Money" comes in 6th on this list, and was mentioned by only 19% of the respondants. Of course, this survey is totally non-scientific, since the respondants are self-selected, and "stuffing the ballot box" was possible. But it's still interesting. Total responses: 368 What are your top 3 reasons for brewing? Enjoy finished product 1st 2nd 3rd Score Resp. 149 91 45 674 | 1212 77% Enjoy the brewing process 1st 2nd 3rd 90 105 61 541 | 916 70% Share beer with friends 1st 2nd 3rd 27 47 84 259 | 387 43% Prefer homebrew 1st 2nd 3rd 39 43 52 255 | 415 36% Brew non-commercial styles 1st 2nd 3rd 24 33 54 192 | 297 30% Save money 1st 2nd 3rd 9 24 37 112 | 163 19% Enter|win competitions 1st 2nd 3rd 14 3 12 60 | 105 8% =Spencer Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 11:16:49 -0700 From: "Bayer, Mark A" <Mark.Bayer at JSF.Boeing.com> Subject: re: why homebrew? collective homebrew conscience_ randy wrote: >It would be interesting to know if cost >is the main reason people got into homebrewing. i got into homebrewing because i saw it as a way to create and enjoy diverse beer styles in fresh condition. that was influenced by the first homebrew i ever had, which was an excellent all-grain bitter. plus, beer is simply a topic that interests me. cost was not a driver. if imported beers got to us fresh and inexpensive, i would have still decided to be a brewer. in fact, here's a thought experiment: suppose you change professions and become a brewer, and you produce 3 or 4 beer styles in your brewery. all are styles you enjoy. would you still homebrew? brew hard, mark bayer stlmo Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 13:19:12 -0500 (CDT) From: Jim Larsen <jal at oasis.novia.net> Subject: Cleaners This has been discussed before, but I thought I'd share my experience. No pseudonyms or misleading titles were used in the creation of this post, and no one is accused of deceit. I've been cleaning the crud out of my fermenters (6.5 gal carboys) by soaking for 3-5 days in a strong bleach solution (per Al Korzonas). This works great, provided you plan ahead. For last weekend's brew session, I had been lazy and not got the carboys soaking until the morning of. This has happened before, and usually results a fair amount of work with a carboy brush. This time I used .25 cup Electrasol dishwasher detergent in hot tap water, as recommended in this forum some years ago. After three hours of soaking (during mash and boil), most of the crud had lifted off the surface of its on accord. A quick wipe with the carboy brush and a good rinsing yielded sparkling clean carboys. I've also used Electrasol on my cornies (since TSP has become difficult to find) with good results. My thanks to whomever first posted of its use. Jim Larsen Shadetree Brewery Omaha, NE 1.0 Deg S 12.1 Deg W Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 14:41:22 -0700 From: "Scott Church" <schurch at gte.net> Subject: Mini-Mash vs Decoction? Howdy fellow Brewvarians, I am wondering about the use(and ways around) of the "decoction" mash. Have any of you brewmeisters used an infusion or step mash with unmodified malts? Most information on the subject of decoction mashing seems to indicate that various necessities occur during the actual decoction (reducing protein/starch complexity, slow enzyme acidulation, more acceptance to alpha-amylase activity, dissolves protein gums, deoxygenates mash, and better extract yield...amongst other thingies). What about using unmodified malt in a step mash, with a mini-decoction?(not used to adjust temp., just for boiled benefits) What about using modified malt with a infusion or step mash, and doing a mini-mash with unmodified malts?(like a decoction) Would this "mini-decoction" impart enough of the "European malt's" flavor? How would the fact that "all" of the unmodified malt was "boiled" effect it's input? Large decoctions are difficult for me to do with my current setup.(and obviously time consuming) .................. Scott, Tampa, Fl. Just a guy wondering about some things 'dat he doont know! Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 13:51:52 -0500 From: "Paul Niebergall" <pnieb at burnsmcd.com> Subject: I word, baking Lester Long writes: >I guess I'd better start looking for a tatoo artist who can tastefully execute >"idiot" on my forehead, because before I gave up sparging altogether, I used >high-quality pH *test strips* to track my addition of acid to sparge water. >Apparently fooled myself into thinking the strips were telling me what I needed >to know, as well. Paul, did you mean to exclude test strips, or did you simply >mean "without the aid of testing"? Sorry, I didnt mean to offend. I should have said "without the aid of testing" rather than limiting my discussion to pH meters alone. For the record, however, I have never seen a pH test strip that actually worked good enough to be used for anything other than getting a rough idea weather a clear, colorless liquid is acidic or basic. If you have better luck with them, and it works in your brewery, you are exempted from the derogatory "I" word. For that matter, I suppose there are a extremely few number of people out there who's water source is so consistent that they no longer need to test it and they know from years of experience that they always have to add 2 mL of lactic acid to their sparge water and this NEVER changes. These people are exempted also. Of course, it would take many hundreds of pH tests to support doing this. Jeff Renner Writes: >Funny you should use that analogy, Paul. As long time readers know, I have >a French bread bakery in a separate part of my home that I've run for >nearly 20 years, starting as a very part time business when I stayed home >with the kids (who are now grown), and now full time. What you suggest we >wouldn't do is exactly what I did when I was developing my recipe for >traditional French baguettes, something that is virtually not available in >most parts of the country, and even much of France. I produce on basically >an overgrown home-scale, not much like a regular commercial concern. Regardless of how tiny the amount of bread is that you produce, you have crossed over the line from a hobby to a business. Like it or not, this clearly puts you in "profit" mode (or at least in a sustainable loss mode). >Early on, I read all the bakery engineering and science texts I could lay my >hands on, ...... I dont have a problem with this at all. Doing a little research before you enter a commercial business is a good idea. But you cant tell me that 20 years later you are sitting there in your bakery with a pH probe stuck in one of you loaves of bread. >I also have taught many adult education classes on bread making, and am >able to tell students why they do something, not just what. This helps >them get a feel for the bread and not just make it out of a cook book. >They can adapt recipes confidently. I couldn't have done this without the >"big-boy" research and texts. Similarly, I think we can learn from >"big-boy" brewing research, as long as we keep our eyes on traditional >technique and the final product. And that is good too. Just as every student who has had a formal education in cooking has probably had more than their share of food chemistry classes, and then promptly forgot 90 percent of what they learned the first time they had to prep 50 pounds of onions or a group of more than 10 people walked into their restaurant. All that stuff has a place but it doesnt have to be re-visited, used (abused), and debated on a daily basis. No chef in the world would argue that according to page 219 of his well respected text book, your baguettes are a failure because the text clearly states that you must achieve a temperature of 358.76 degrees for the Malliard reactions to be optimized, and that your records show that you missed this temperature by 1.53 degrees. No, what they would do is taste, feel, and smell the product. It is as simple as that. (As I am writing this I am imagining Wolfgang Puck sitting in his kitchen right now taking a specific gravity reading on some beef stock he just made. Imagine the profits from high-end gourmet catalog sales of the Puck "Signature" line of Hydrometers.) Anyway, I guess I owe a little clarification on my part. Jeff's points are very good and well taken. I also am a very big fan of science when it is applied properly. What I dont like is somebody in cyber space telling another person (through the HBD) that their beer will turn out horribly because their text book says so. Or that you cant make good beer unless you are able to understand complex biochemical processes or measure everything down to the 3 decimal place. Dr. Pork Chops and Beer Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 15:08:49 -0500 From: "Crossno, Glyn" <Glyn.Crossno at cubic.com> Subject: Basement I have lived in 4 houses in east and middle TN. All had basements! However with the rocky ground and shallow frost line most builders don't like to build that way. Also in East TN they are a handy way to level the house on the hill! Warm in winter, cool in summer. Great for fermenting! Glyn "Working in Spokane" Crossno Estill Springs, TN Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 14:06:06 -0700 From: Brian Kuhl <brian.s.kuhl at intel.com> Subject: Keg Pressure for Wheat Beer Hello All, I asked this before but got no replies. I'll give it another shot... I just got setup to keg my homebrew! I am very happy I don't have to bottle any more. I have a question on carbonation however. What are some of you setting the pressure gage for this type of beer? I read that the volumes of CO2 for wizen is 3.7-4.7. This seems extreme. At 35 degrees F., This should equate to ~21-31 PSI. Am I in the right ball park? Brian Kuhl Folsom, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 16:09:53 -0500 From: John.Wilkinson at aud.alcatel.com (John Wilkinson) Subject: More on Dr. Pivo Lester Long wrote (among other things): >Newbie: Hey guys, is that Pivo a real doctor or what? >Somebody (maybe even Pivo): No, he just calls himself that. It's a satiric >pseudonym. Satiric or satyric? I suppose only the good Dr. knows. John Wilkinson - Grapevine, Texas Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 16:13:19 -0500 From: John.Wilkinson at aud.alcatel.com (John Wilkinson) Subject: Mash thickness/FG I know I have read this several times before but can't find it now. What affect does mash thickness have on the fermentable/unfermentable ratio of the run off? I seem to remember that it is supposed to affect it but I can't remember which direction or why. Does a very thin mash tend to produce a less fermentable wort? John Wilkinson - Grapevine, Texas Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 18:00:16 EDT From: Bobpreed at aol.com Subject: Sterilzing Phil's Phillers Recently I purchased a metalic bottle filling (Phil's Bottle Philler) and I have a question about how to adequately sterilize it. In the direction that came with the filler, it says to "Rinse in Clorox water to clean. DO NOT SOAK". Is that really all that is needed to sterilize it, just "rinse" with Clorox water? I thought all sanitizers (i.e. bleach, one-step, etc.) needed a longer contact time than rinsing. After I rinse it, do I then rinse with hot water? Any good suggestions? As always, private e-mail are fine. Thanks. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 18:57:38 -0400 (EDT) From: ALAN KEITH MEEKER <ameeker at welch.jhu.edu> Subject: Fruit Fly/ Yet another Dr. Pive rant... ____________________________________________________________________________ Fruit Flies: OH NO, not the fruit fly in the starter thread again! "The fruit fly was apparently cooked for some 10-15 minutes, will this be OK?" well my answer would be "probably" but personally I would pitch (as in throw away!) it. Why take the risk? Some bacteria (mostly their spores) can survive normal boiling temps, this is the whole reason we use autoclaves in the lab and pressure cookers at home for canning liquids. I would be especially leery of using this material for /culturing yeast/ as you are apparently planning to do since any contamination could easilly be amplified up in the later stages of starter preparations... At any rate, this topic was discussed ad nauseum awhile back, so search the archives and you'll find more than you ever wanted to know! _____________________________________________________________________________ Professional Titles: I haven't been able to post much recently, though there are a lot of interesting threads floating about. Unfortunately, it seems to me that many of the more practical questions are being drowned out by the rising tide of way off-topic bickering and name-calling. However hypocriticaly, here I am wasting (hopefully only a little) bandwidth on the Dr. Pivo thread. Maybe I'm the only other one, but I do have to lean towards Steve Alexander's side on this issue. There have been posts claiming that it was obvious that the individual(s) going by the Pivo name were not, in fact, bona fide doctors. Well, I'll fess up that it was not obvious to /me/. "Pivo's" use was compared to many well-known examples such as: Dr. J, Dr. Demento, Dr. Pepper, Dr. Ribs, etc., etc. but I submit that there is a BIG difference between the use of the title doctor in a non-technical field/entertainment-industry setting versus an area such as brewing (that, contrary to the Luddites has a large and important technical/scientific component) where the title carries some weight and that's my main point. Implicit in the title are a degree of training and competence beyond the majority of laypersons. Booksellers make use of this when they prominently include the "M.D." next to the authors of health-releted books, or "Ph.D." on psychology/self-help titles, etc. These labels lend a certain air of authority to the works. The title Dr. (as in PhD) is especially powerful in technical areas where it implies the bearer has a decent understanding of science. The process and products of science, in turn, carry enormous weight in our society. Advertisers exploit this all the time (correctly or incorrectly) when they claim that their product has been "Scientifically proven to.." or "Scientific studies show that..." or "4 out of 5 doctors surveyed recomend..." Of course I certainly agree that the title "Dr." is no guarantee that information obtained from that individual will be either useful, accurate, or authoritative. What kind of doctor is he/she? an M.D.? Ph.D.? Homeopath? What field does this person work in? What experience does he/she have? How competent are they? Steve's example of Geore Fix is well taken. I'll admit that I felt better buying a book about brewing science written by "Dr. George Fix." It was only after I received the book and read the back cover that I discovered he was a /mathematician/ and, after reading the book, discovered that he didn't have a stellar grasp of biology or chemistry. Maybe I'm just being overly sensitive because I'm in the process of finishing up my own PhD and feel that my eventual title should actually /mean/ something when it's tacked onto the front of my name. As John Houseman might have said, "I'll get my PhD the old fashioned way, I'll EARN it." (Of course, he was only television actor... "I'm not a doctor but I ..") -Alan Meeker ____________________________________________________________________________ Further, it seemed mean-spirited to slam "newbies" saying that if they were too intimidated to ask too bad, they get what they deserve. Also, to say, as several posters have, that people use this title all the time in a humorous manner Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 19:29:51 -0400 (EDT) From: Pat Babcock <pbabcock at mail.oeonline.com> Subject: Why homebrew? Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager... I got into brewing because it's what the little voices said to do. Really. And the little bastages have had laryngitis lately - or so it would seem... - See ya! Pat Babcock in SE Michigan pbabcock at oeonline.com Home Brew Digest Janitor janitor@hbd.org HBD Web Site http://hbd.org The Home Brew Page http://oeonline.com/~pbabcock/brew.html "Just a cyber-shadow of his former brewing self..." Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 20:32:04 -0400 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Back in town, HBD Clinitest Experiment Part 1 Brewsters: Just got back and am working my way through HBDs and e-mail at warp speed. Thanks for the comments and questions. - --------------------------------- Thanks to SteveA for the references on maltotetraose fermentation he provided two weeks ago.. Unfortunately, he still doesn't get it. A theoretical argument just is not going to deny the <results> I get with Clinitest. Where are your results on a brew at the end of the fermentation - when you get the same Clinitest result 3 days apart - not on primed HB or chilled, filtered commercial beers? I keep trying to address Steve's arguments, using the data I have at hand, but find that it will do no good - since it just serves to divert attention from the real issue, so no more BS and no more theorical argument. I am sure HBDers gave a collective "whew!" As I have indicated in past discussions, I have no idea if Clinitest is even responsive to maltotetraose ( or for that matter maltotriose) at all. For sure, I do not now how responsive Clinitest is to it. Likely it is not responsive stoichiometrically, as Fehling's is known to be not stoichiometric but is consistent for a given sugar, but not the same for each sugar. A fact I have pointed out many times. It seems possible to me that as the chain of glucoses lengthen, Clinitest may become less responsive on a percentage basis, at the very least. Clinitest is not responsive to sucrose and perhaps chemically similar higher saccharides are not responsive for the same reason. Truth is I don't know and don't care, since it is irrelevant to my observation. Logically, my results are consistent with Clinitest being non-responsive to these higher unfermentable polysacharides, as I get Clinitest of 0% with some lagers, yet an FG on the order of 1.010-- 1.015. If the references Steve indicates are correct and maltotetraose remains unfermented in <all> beer, then Clinitest is not responsive at all to maltotetraose, based on my results of 0% with some lager yeasts. Speaking slowly....... the point is there could be a pound per gallon of the higher sugars like maltotetraose and if Clinitest is not reponsive, the Clinitest reading would be zero. I hope that it is clear that all those theoretical arguments are meaningless in the face of facts. What amazes me is that we have had volumes of boring discussions on and off-line for the better part of a year!!! and NOT ONE person who contests my results has actually done an extremely simple experiment. My e-mail indicates and logic dictates that other HBDers are just as amazed as I am, if not moreso. The fact that Al K and Louis (Korzonas) Bonham were doing the Clinitest Bop at the latest beer fest (as reported by Jethro) does amuse me, but makes me wonder if my trust and patience has been mis-spent..... Now let's try to focus on the actual discussion about the results I get with my beers and Clinitest and why it is important to HBD readers if my results are extendable to your beers. If these results are correct you can detrmine the *absolute* end of fermentation (EOF) using Clinitest without any foreknowledge of what the final reading on a hydrometer is supposed to be. Why is this useful to HBD readers and not necesssarily so useful to commercial brewers? HBers make a whole variety of experimental beers (by both design and mistake!) and have no knowledge of what the final gravity (FG) should be. Commercial brewers make the same beers over and over. Why do you care? Low amounts of sugar do have an effect on the overall character of the beer as commercial brewers know. Chilling and filtration allow these brewers to control this quantity. If Clinitest works for most or all varieties of beer and not just mine ( an unliklely event),and perhaps even barleywines ( unknown by me) the homebrewer can evaluate successful beers and more closely duplicate them. Part 2 to follow. Here's your chance to help generate some results and belay all the criticisms about no data. I am proposing an HBD-wide Clinitest Evaluation. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 20:47:06 -0400 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: HBD Clinitest Experiment Part 2 of 2 Brewsters: Part 2 of 2 Let's address that issue here and now. I suggest SteveA and AlK actually do an experiment (and I'd like Louis to do some also as he promised oh, those long months ago!) as I have described it in detail. It is easy. Just leave your beer in a secondary in contact with yeast until the Clinitest reading is constant over a three day period or perhaps a week for cold fermentations - use your judgement. Typically, I "drop" ( i.e. transfer) the <actively fermenting> beer after the head has <just> fallen - say 2 to 4 days after pitching) to the secondary fermenter, including some yeast from the bottom of the primary. Getting to a constant Clinitest value could possibly take several weeks in some unusual cases with highly floccculent yeast and low temperatures. I have never had to wait that long and if I did, I would "drop" it again including all the yeast. You must be certain ( especially in the case of lagers) to include yeast in the transfer. Yeast flocculation is a major factor in determining how much of the residual sugars are consumed. Contrary to SteveA's opinion, bringing wort into contact with flocculated yeast does produce fermentation. Normally, I find that I get expected results with Clinitest when the beer has somewhat cleared in the secondary, but is still cloudy. Typically, a couple of weeks after <apparent> fermentation has ceased, I get 1/2%. By the next week or even in three days, I get 1/4% or even <1/4%. If you do this the way I describe you probably will find, as I do that the reading will fall over several days from 1/2% to 1/4% and if you wait long enough, I have the indication that it will fall to <1/4% and sometimes to 0%. I do not always wait for it to go below 1/4% before I keg or bottle it, so I cannot say for certain that all batches will eventually go to <1/4%. I suspect so, however. In some cases, I have had a reading of 0% Clinitest with lager yeast. There is no denying <my> results of many years. Can these results be extrapolated to others' beers? I'm pretty sure they can be, but cannot say until someone actually does a real experiment for which Jim Liddil and Jeff (Dr. Pivo) Irvine have both asked. A far better experiment, I suspect (never having done it myself), is one Louis Bonham has proposed using the ASBC end of fermentation test (EOF) in which the fermentation is stirred ( under airlock) to prevent yeast flocculation or at least keep the yeast in contact with the wort. I am told these results always give a lower FG than the bulk commercial fermentation - which is consistent with flocculation playing a role in the final sugar content of the beer. Commercial beers have a somewhat higher Clinitest than one might expect if we were to assume that commercial beers are taken to completion (EOF). Many aren't - what with sterile filtration and chilling to clarify. For the first experiment use an OG of <=1.070 just to check it out as that is the highest OG at which I normally operate.Do this carefully and I am sure you can duplicate my results or if you can't, keep good notes so we can understand why not.. Continue this stirred fermentation test until Clinitest is constant over several days The same Clinitest result three or four days apart is how I define EOF with Clinitest for most fermentations. I predict that in every beer with an OG of 1.070 or lower you will get a Clinitest reading of 1/4% and likely <1/4%. Be sure to record all kinds of data, like OG, the kind of yeast, the pitching rate, the temperature, dropping time and the like, so that if we get an outlier we can be confident of the result. Use a good yeast, good pitching rate, oxygenated fermentation to guarantee the yeast will stay active. With highly flocculent yeasts you may have to stir or drop to get the beer to finish at the EOF. Never having recorded Clinitest determination above OG = 1.070, I still *suspect* that for beers with higher OGs ( and for sure lower OGs) you may get the same result, if the alcohol content has not affected the yeast other than to cause flocculation. I suspect my technique of dropping an actively fermenting beer along with some of the yeast from the bottom into the secondary may be one reason some could get different results if they ferment to completion in the primary. It is common in commercial practice with highly flocculent ale yeasts to "drop" them at least once during a fermentation to promote the yeast to finish the fermentation or at least reduce the residual sugar content. In these cases, the entire batch including all the yeast is transferred to another fermentation vessel. I usually include just a portion of the yeast in my racking. I can imagine for OGs greater than 1.1 that some resudual sweetness will remain, based on my experience with S. cerevisiae in wine and the inability of some strains to finish to dryness. In any event, these barleywines are not part of the argument at the moment ( until we can distinguish between unfermented sugars and higher polysaccharides by analysis), but are of interest to all concerned. Louis is arranging to have these analyses done. I don't know, but I would expect that a stirred Barleywine made from a high quality wort ( good FAN, perhaps added B - vitamins and yeast hulls with oxygenation), a high pitching rate of yeast from a well oxygenated starter and stirred should fall to within 1/4%, given yeast that can remain viable at the higher alcohol content of these wines. Not surprisingly, residual sugar will be recorded by Clinitest and could produce a potential for misinterpretation of the usefulness of Clinitest as a tool for us, i.e. mistakenly assuming that Clinitest is responding to dextrins rather than the residual sugar. Until we know more, we should restrict our work to less than 1.070, later extending it to barleywines. The problem in all these experiments is to distinguish between residual sugar ( i.e. not being at the EOF) and a potential response of Clinitest to dextrins ( which worries AlK, despite the indications to the contrary) . Louis Bonham has been working with an analytical chemist/HBDer to develop a test protocol to do this analysis. It would be great if several HBDers were to try this stirred fermentation experiment. Take a small sample of wort ( ~ 1l ) after the bulk fermentation is active ( say 24 hours) and <constantly stir> under airlock to a constant Clinitest result ( i.e. identical reading over a three day interval (longer may be necessary with cold fermentations). Report the results here. Compare your results by doing hydrometry at the (EOF) on both beers Be sure to use the Clinitest <KIT> with eyedropper and reagent tablets and NOT Clinistix. You will have to ask the pharmacist to special order it - takes about 3 days. It will be interesting to compare these results with the fermentation procedure as you you normally carry it out. So be sure to do both. Frankly, I know it is perhaps a little dangerous to throw out an experimental procedure with such sketchy details as above, but if you record a lot of data we can determine if results are anomalous or not. Looking forward to some actual results - other than my own. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: 16 Jul 1999 02:33:38 -0000 From: Lester Long <LesterLong at redneck.efga.org> Subject: Bread, Beer, and What Emeril Said In HBD 3083, Jeff Renner weighed in on baking (I knew it was coming when Paul brought up the comparison of brewing to baking). The result was, to my mind, the most succinct and enjoyable post I've seen on art vs. science, or what-the-homebrewer-can-learn-from-industry, or whatever you want to call those dichotomies which really aren't. >It's a triumph of tradition over science, but it was helped by science. I especially liked that line, because I try to hold to tradition in brewing (bock for the spring, Oktoberfest for the fall, throw in a pinch of black malt to keep the witches off). I can smell that good french bread now!! Smells sort of like Paulaner Salvator. I mentioned in a separate post that the best thing I've gained from the HBD was the idea of using a pressure cooker to do a pseudo-decoction (search the archives for those terms, and for Charlie Rich and Charlie Scandrett). Before reading about using the pressure cooker, I was trying to achieve the flavor I was after (MALT and MORE malt) by varying ingredients alone. Every recipe you've ever seen lists different ingredients, but they all say to boil the wort. In cooking, is a vast range of flavors and cuisines achieved by boiling alone? No, there are all kinds of ways to cook things, with vast variations in the amount of heat applied to the food. Reading the above-mentioned posts, it was brought home to me that boiling *doesn't get the wort hot enough* to deliver what I was looking for. I know some out there are hollering "decoction, you clown" at this point, but that always seemed like too much work to me. To make a long story shorter, I got a pressure cooker, and used it on 100% of the wort on a beer with exactly two ingredients: Munich malt and one kind of hops (Saaz). Several months later, I'm drinking (finally, after years of trying) something that approaches what I aspired to (a malt sandwich). Thank you Charlie Rich and Charlie Scandrett. Emeril Lagasse has been mentioned, too. I heard Emeril Lagasse say on his TV show that he started out as a baker's apprentice and moved to cooking from there. He pointed out that cooking is a by-the-seat-of-your-pants thing, and you can make things up as you go along and get away with it. He said that baking was not at all like that, being more like chemistry than art (my words, but his were close). With baking, he said, there was no room for varying from the letter of the recipe, because the recipe would fail. How this ties into brewing, I'm not sure, but it explains why my bread turned out like crap for so long! Even the instructions which came with my bread machine (it makes fine bread, by the way) stress the importance of following the recipe to the letter. Return to table of contents
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