HOMEBREW Digest #3147 Mon 18 October 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

  Copper phosphorous brazing rod (ThomasM923)
  Poppets/Cyser/CO2 (AJ)
  Re: Cyser problem. (Steve Thompson)
  Idaho brewers? (Rick)
  Where's Waldo ? StepUps, Chemostats (steve-alexander)
  force-carbonating (JPullum127)
  Czech Pilsner and Malt ("St. Patrick's")
  Sanke conversion ("Mr. Joy Hansen")
  Re: Yeast Starter Step Sizes ("Sean Richens")
  Starter Stirrer? (phil sides jr)
  re: Starter Step-Up Rates (Jim & Paula Adwell)
  Scorched Bock (Thomas S Barnett)
  Yeast Nutrient (Biergiek)
  Aussie malts - questions on the Imported stuff (Jon Bovard)
  Step-up Rate Documentation (Biergiek)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1999 08:52:29 EDT From: ThomasM923 at aol.com Subject: Copper phosphorous brazing rod There was a time when I had grandiose visions of building my own copper boiler. It was a short-lived pipe dream, and I've long since come back to my senses. During this period of delusion I had picked up some copper phosphorous brazing rod to experiment with. I never did, until I uncovered it this weekend during a long promised cleaning of the basement. My curiosity was piqued and I tried it out on some bits of copper I had laying around. It is an amazingly easy material to use, flowing like a dream and filling large gaps in a single bound. I have a lauter tun manifold that I am building out of copper tubing that I was going to join together with jeweler's (cadmium free) silver solder which requires very tight fitting joints. It would be quite a bit easier if I could use the copper phosphorous brazing rod. I've looked for info on whether this material is food safe or not, but I have not found any. I have found that "white phosphorous" (phosphorous in powdered form) is toxic in fairly small amounts. Does anyone have any information on this brazing material? Oh, by the way, hats off to Pat Babcock and all for getting the HBD back on line. I had no idea how to waste all the time that I had been wasting before it went away... Thomas Murray Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1999 13:22:30 +0000 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Poppets/Cyser/CO2 Bob P asked about removing poppets. I've never had any trouble with these at all. Perhaps the "secret" is to push them out from the top rather than pull them out from the bottom. Simply place the fitting right side up on the bench and push down on the poppet with the closed tip of a needle nosed plier or some similar instrument and the poppet should pop free. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * For Calgary Penn's cyser I can only suggest patience. Meads don't take off the way beers do, especially under cool conditions. The cider should supply plenty of nitrogen and 18 hours should be enough time for most of the sulfur dioxide to have escaped. I have had great success with the Pasteur strain with both meads and ciders. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Stu Ing asks about small CO2 bottles. The amount of CO3 required to carbonate beer depends on the level of carbonation desired. Let's consider very high carbonation as 3 volumes of CO2 per volume of beer. Five gallons is 19 L which is pretty close to a mole of the gas at room temp thus 3 volumes of CO2 is about three moles which which weigh 3 x 44 = 133 grams - about 4 ounces. Thus the smallest bottle will be enough to carbonate and dispense (approximately another mole would be required to displace the beer during dispense). As the unit cost of CO2 is inversely proportional to the size of the container it is purchased in it would seem sensible to condition with gas from the largest container and dispense with gas from the small ones for convenience. I have seen ads for doo-dads which take a selzer bottle cartrige in an appliance which attaches to the gas quick disconnect fitting. - -- A. J. deLange Numquam in dubio, saepe in errore. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1999 09:11:48 -0400 From: Steve Thompson <viking at jellico.com> Subject: Re: Cyser problem. The only thing that I would suggest would be to find a place about 10-15 deg. warmer. Sounds like everything else is in order; althought I would have waited somewhat longer to pitch since you are using campden. I've found that cysers tend to take longer to ferment out that the rest of the mead family but they have always started out just like the others... Good luck! Steve Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1999 11:30:24 -0600 From: Rick <allirich at isu.edu> Subject: Idaho brewers? Hello folks, Just a quick query to see if there are fellow homebrewers in the Pocatello, ID area. I just moved to Pocatello and would like to get in touch. private email please Thanks Rick allirich at isu.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1999 14:49:35 +0000 From: steve-alexander at att.net Subject: Where's Waldo ? StepUps, Chemostats As I write this post, I sit in a hotel in Southern Stuttgart sipping a Schwaben Brau Pils about to join in the local Filderkraut fest. I'll be here thru the end of month on business and have only sporadic access to HBD (as one of my co-workers said in broken Engish - 'Its a hard life for a hard guy like me'). PatB can rest assured that my check for back dues will be in the mail as soon as I return. OTOH the beer, food, people, and exchange rate are great, as was the Stuttgart O'fest the week before last. Sorry for the line-wraps, netmail bites. ==== KyleB writes on Starter Step-Up Rates > -I think I read in the HBD archives that Steve A. > 4X was correct for lagers, and 8X for ales? Actually Kyle the 4X and 8X is the relationship between the final starter size and the batch size. That is - for 5gal of lager wort you should pitch the yeast from 1.25gal of starter ! You shouldn't take such figures too seriously - it's the viable cell count that matters. And the suggested pitching rates do depend on the yeast - and the viability can change overnight. As for step-up rates - I think they are almost nonsense. You don't want to pitch slantful into 10bbl of wort because the ever present infections will in evitably overtake the yeast. One thought is that you I should feed the yeast continuously, and at a rate so that they won't go anaerobic on you (from too much glucose primarily) - which you would by stepping up at 2X or greater). A conflicting thought is that such continuous feeds *may* prevent the yeast from transitioning from glucose to maltose and eventually to maltotriose. That is it may actually help select for yeast that won't consume maltotriose. That would be bad. You should really examine information on chemostat and bioreactor design. Jim Liddel(the Idi Amin of HBD ?) mentioned the chemostat before the crash - but I am afraid he left the impression that it was a designed for optimal growth. It was not. It was designed to study growth parameters by creating steady-state continuous growth. The chemostat cell culture remains in exponental (log) phase, but the growth per unit medium (wort) may be extremely low. And it produces overflow cells at a continuous rate, not in big pitchable amounts. A chemostat and a few simple diff eq's can yield an amazing amount of information in nutrient req's and growth rates. Bioreactors are designed for product growth - things like producing human insulin by growing genetically modified E.coli in a bottle - still not the same thing. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1999 11:00:17 EDT From: JPullum127 at aol.com Subject: force-carbonating my friend just got a sparkler head to go with nitro/c02 mix. i need a rough idea of how long and at what pressure to force carb a 15 gallon keg to work Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1999 14:16:55 -0500 From: "St. Patrick's" <stpats at bga.com> Subject: Czech Pilsner and Malt The Czech Moravian malt, which I have imported for the past 2 years, is indeed well-modified. Kolbach > 42. Malt specs are on our web page (now linked from grain page). I spent 10 days in August visiting Czech breweries and maltings. My hosts, escorts, and interpreters were maltsters. Michael Jackson was with us for 4 days. Here's a couple of points about brewing Czech pilsners. 1. Last rest should be at 72C. 2. First wort hopping is unheard of in Czech brewing. With all due respect, the information contained in the Brewing Techniques article was incorrect (note the source was a marketing guy). This is not to say first wort hopping or dry hopping are undesirable, just they are not part of Czech brewing. 3. I have the Budweiser Budvar yeast strain. I sent it off to Wyeast which has agreed to maintain it. Available to breweries thru Wyeast and homebrewers exclusively thru St. Pats. It will be known as Budvar (Wyeast no. 2000). (Wy2K was too cute) Available October 28. I also have Budweiser Budvar hats and shirts. Lynne O'Connor St. Patrick's of Texas Brewers Supply Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1999 14:56:54 -0400 From: "Mr. Joy Hansen" <joytbrew at patriot.net> Subject: Sanke conversion Ian Smith asked about converting a sanke to a corny. I use a Sanke as a fermenter and have cut out the standard fitting to the oval shape for a corny lid. I use glass as a secondary. This isn't the only approach; however, it works for me. It's not easy to cut the oval shape out of a sanke top. With a lot of patients, I drill the perimeter with nitride tipped bits, use a saber saw or sawsall to break the sanke fitting out. Then, I use rotary files to finish the final shape of the oval. The plastic top kegs have a smooth interior lid and a corny lid will seal easily "if" one uses the Williams corny "o" rings. The metal topped sanke has strengthening ribs bent into the metal. I used an anvil and hammer to more or less flatten the area around the oval. With patients, the shape can be fashioned so a corny lid can be sealed with the Williams corny "o" ring. It's obvious that the legs of the closure lock must be shortened as necessary to assure adequate pressure to seal the "O" ring, yet allow the closure to operate. To siphon to the secondary, I do not remove the corny lid. I remove the blow off and insert the siphon tube into the sanke. In fact, once the lid is sealed, I do not break the seal until it's time to clean the sanke. This might prevent vermin or debris from dropping into the brew. I also use Hoptec antifoam in the fermenter to limit the amount of blow off. Don't know it's affect on brew head. I haven't got past the mash requirements for good head yet. Anyway, since the corny lid modification is intended as a means to clean the sanke, I can say it works great. I can reach all the areas I can't see. My arm is too large to fit through the corny opening, so I brush the areas I can't reach. PBW does a great job at removing most of the debris. I never had much confidence about the cleanliness of a sanke that I couldn't know for sure I scrubbed the entire interior. For comparison, it takes considerable effort to remove the residuals from the upper level of the ferment in glass fermenters. For fermentation, I drilled a ~3/4 inch hole to accept clear PVC. This is routed with hose barb elbows over the side of the keg and into a blow off container. The safety valve is left in tact, just in case the Mr. Murphy visits. I ferment 8 to 13 gallons in the primary and a combination of bottle sizes for the secondary. This setup fits into my beer cooler and I use a temperature controller to adjust the fermentation temperature. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1999 15:43:18 -0500 From: "Sean Richens" <srichens at sprint.ca> Subject: Re: Yeast Starter Step Sizes You can, indeed, work your way up from a single yeast cell, and that single cell is usually pitched into a small tube, and so on. Under sterile conditions it will eventually grow exponentially to consume the entire food supply. However, if you want your yeast cell to perform in a specific way, the conditions will make a difference. In the pharmaceutical plant where I work, we do some pretty big step-ups early in some processes, but the rule of thumb is to make the last few transfers between 5X and 20X. The actual step size is optimized for the particular organism, product, etc., but the point is that happy bugs don't mind so much putting their energy into making product instead of making more fungus. Sure, we could pitch 5 mL of starter into a multi-thousand-litre fermenter, but we're trying to make antibiotics, not fungal biomass. If you pitched 5 mL of starter into 5 gallons of well-aerated wort under sterile conditions you would have no trouble making yeast. The beer might not be so good. Sean Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 00:46:19 -0400 From: phil sides jr <psides at carl.net> Subject: Starter Stirrer? John Schnupp writes: >...getting 1/4"-3/8" of yeast. One final quart is added and the stirrer is >turned on without aeration. I go about my brewing and 4-5 hours later... John, can you elaborate on this 'stirrer'? Did you make it etc...? Phil Sides, Jr. Concord, NH - -- Macht nicht o'zapft ist, Prost! Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 12:02:51 -0400 From: Jim & Paula Adwell <jimala at servtech.com> Subject: re: Starter Step-Up Rates Kyle is asking about starters: >It is time for the HBD to weigh in on this matter, what say yea all? Hmmm. My starter procedure is more or less as follows: I pitch a standard Wyeast smackpack into 2 quarts of 1.030 wort with perhaps 15 IBU worth of hops I have previously canned, in a glass 1/2 gallon milk bottle. Half of this is pitched 24 hours or so later into 2 quarts of canned wort in my primary fermenter. The rest is allowed to ferment to completion, and stored in my basement, or refrigerator. The next day I pitch freshly made wort onto the starter, aerating by splashing and/or running the wort down the inside of the fermentor. I usually shake the fermentor for a while, too. When I want to use the yeast again, I add a quart of canned wort to the milk bottle, let it ferment for 12-24 hours, shake well to mix the yeast with the liquid, add half of that to 2 quarts of canned wort in my fermenter, and so on. I typically reuse the yeast 4 or 5 times, then throw it out and start over with a fresh smackpack. Someday I will see how many times I can reuse the yeast before infections or mutations set in. I always get reasonably fast starts; depending on the yeast strain and chance factors, from 1 to 6 hours, even though sometimes I am lax in aerating the wort. Since I have been using this procedure, I use a 12 gallon Pyrex carboy to eliminate the blowoff tube necessary when I used a 6.5 gallon carboy. So far, I have not had any problems with infections. My beer has improved noticeably. I suspect that my pitching rate may be sub-optimal, but I probably won't change my procedure, since the results are good. I make only ales, use American Ale II, European, German, and Swedish Wyeast smackpacks mostly. Jim's Brewery Pages: Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 13:35:34 -0500 (CDT) From: Thomas S Barnett <barnets at mail.auburn.edu> Subject: Scorched Bock Hello All, I recently made a bock. Upon transfering to the secondary i tasted it and noticed a burnt/smoke flavor. I had expected such, as there was some scorching while adding heat to the mash. I plan to lager this beer near freezing for a few months. Will lagering help get rid of the burnt/smoke flavor? Thanks. Tom Barnett. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 20:15:50 EDT From: Biergiek at aol.com Subject: Yeast Nutrient What makes a good yeast nutrient, and is there an economical source for this? The offerings are homebrew stores are outrageously priced. My idea is to use 1/3 DME and 2/3 table sugar to make my yeast starters. I step up my starters 3 or four times, and the final step up volume can be 2 gallons for lagers. About 2# of DME is required for the starters using all DME, and with DME at $3/lb and table sugar at $0.30/lb., I would like to limit the DME use. With 1/3 DME I am guessing that the yeast will need some added nutrients to grow properly. Any ideas? Kyle Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 1999 10:24:29 +1000 From: Jon Bovard <jonbov at dingoblue.net.au> Subject: Aussie malts - questions on the Imported stuff Hi all. Long time no brew! Here in Aus. we will be apparently getting our first batch ogf imported malt arriving some from the UK. I imagin Englsih lager malt is nothing to rave about (compared to aussie lager malt) but I guess that there ale and particularly crystal malts will be first rate. first off the rank Id like to make something in the order of Bass ( i wish). Which of below and in what %quantities would be suitable?? cheers Jon Brisbane australia MALT/COLOUR(EBC) Pale ale - Halcyon 5.3 (Maris Otter/Sargent cross) Lager (Alexis Pilsener malt) 3 Amber 110 Crystal 145 Chocolate 1110 Black Malt 1270 Available end of November 1999 Maris Otter Pale Ale 4.7 (fully modified winter 2-row) Munich 11.8 Caramalt 28 Brown 70 Pale Chocolate 900 Roast Barley 1220 Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 20:27:31 EDT From: Biergiek at aol.com Subject: Step-up Rate Documentation I was able to find a reference for yeast starter step-up rates in Fix's latest book on pp. 74. He suggests using a "geometric" step-up rate, i.e. 2X, 4X, 8X, 16X, etc., although, he does not explain why. Thanks to all who mentioned that the reason for using a step-up for a starter is to minimize bacterial growth and allow the yeast to dominate the starter culture. Makes sense to me! Anyone have a reference as to whether starter temperature is important? In the same book, Fix suggests that the starter culture should be propagated at the same temperature as the beer is fermented at. I did see a post from several years ago that MB Raines suggests growing the starter at room temperature. Seems to me that maximizing healthy cell counts is most important outcome for yeast starters, and this can best be achieved at warmer temps. rather then cooler temps. I would like to hear others weigh in on this issue, or any other yeast topics. Kyle Return to table of contents
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