HOMEBREW Digest #3167 Thu 11 November 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

  yeast stuff (pt2) ("Alan Meeker")
  Strong Ale Homebrew Competition ("Greg Lorton")
  ASBC color, Toasted Grain (Dave Burley)
  Anchor Brewing Dates Demystified (Midwest Brewer)
  Alternative Systems (Rod Prather)
  active oxygen in PBW (Joe Gibbens)
  Anchor date code (The Holders)
  water woes ("kenandkim")
  Winemaking/Brewing (Bob Sheck)
  Star San foaming (Sharon/Dan Ritter)
  Cold-side aeration (Steve Lacey)
  Yeast Energizer: Wow! Unbelievable! What is it? ("Todd W. Roat")
  Re: Protein Rest Side Effects (KMacneal)
  Aeration-Pitching/Widgets (AJ)
  Yeast Starters, oxygen and the like, Part 1 (Dave Burley)
  re-winemaking ("Nathaniel P. Lansing")
  Yeast starters, oxygen and the like Part 2 (Dave Burley)
  Yeast Starters, oxygen and the like, Part 3 (Dave Burley)
  Minor rant (Spencer W Thomas)
  Anchor code, Yeast and stuff (RCAYOT)
  methylene blue (Biergiek)
  Unidentified Hop Pest (Dennis Himmeroeder)
  Yeasty Boys (Eric.Fouch)
  Brewing Poem (John Wilkinson)
  Home Malting update (Clifton Moore)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999 15:05:37 -0500 From: "Alan Meeker" <ameeker at welch.jhu.edu> Subject: yeast stuff (pt2) yeast post part 2 > ---------------------------------------------- > ORGANIC AND FATTY ACIDS:: > > "The release of medium and long-chain fatty acids during fermentation is > probably associated with some loss of yeast viability and subsequent cell > lysis. This may also occur during the conditioning phase." > > "The concentration of fatty acids formed as a result of yeast metabolism is > inversely related to fermentation rate. Thus, those parameters that increase > fermentation rate, such as elevated temperature and pitching rate, result in > decreased accumulation of fatty acids. However the provision of oxygen would > appear to be of overriding importance. High concentrations favor yeast > growth, with a concomitant requirement for increased synthesis of membrane > lipids. This depletes the acetyl-CoA pool such that less is available for > the formation of medium-chain fatty acids." > > "Pyruvate is secreted into the wort during the phase of active > fermentation...in later stages, when yeast cell growth has ceased, it was > re-utilized and the accumulation of acetate occurred." > > ESTERS: > > "Conditions that prolonged the period of active growth, and consequently > lipid synthesis, such as continued low levels of aeration, reduced ester > synthesis." > > "The total quantities of esters produced during fermentation are influenced > by the wort gravity , the availability of oxygen, and the temperature." > > "An increase in the concentration of oxygen supplied to the wort at the > start of fermentation is associated with a progressive decline in the ester > content of the resultant beer. It is assumed that since increased oxygen > availability promotes greater yeast growth more of the acetyl-CoA pool is > utilized in biosynthetic reactions, thereby restricting that available for > ester synthesis." > > HIGHER ALCOHOLS: > > "Regulation of the biosynthesis of higher alcohols is complex since they may > be produced as by-products of amino acid catabolism or via pyruvate derived > from carbohydrate metabolism." > > "The total concentration of higher alcohols produced during fermentation is > linearly related to the extent of yeast growth." > > CARBONYLS: > > "Acetaldehyde accumulates during the period of active growth. Levels usually > decline in the stationary phase of growth late in fermentation.beer are not > associated " > > "As with the higher alcohols and esters, the extent of acetaldehyde > accumulation is determined by the yeast strain and the conditions of the > fermentation. Geiger and Piendel reported that the yeast strain was of > primary importance. However, elevated wort oxygen, pitching rate, and > temperature all favored acetaldehyde accumulation." > > "...peak diacetyl concentration occurs towards the end of the period of > active growth. The reduction of diacetyl takes place in the later stages of > fermentation when growth has ceased. The concentration of diacetyl present > in fermenting wort is a function of the rate of formation of alpha > acetolactate precursor... these reactions are influenced by the yeast > strain, ...wort composition, the type of fermentation vessel used and the > fermentation conditions. These complex interactions have been studied > extensively, frequently producing conflicting results." > > SULFUR COMPOUNDS > > "The majority of sulphur compounds present in beer are not associated with > fermentation but are derived from the raw materials used. > However, the concentrations of hydrogen sulfide and sulphur dioxide are > dependent on yeast activity...primarily determined by the yeast strain used. > ....peak of hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide production occurs in the > second or third day of fermentation. Presumably at this time the > sulfur-containing amino acids in the wort have been utilized." > > "The formation of excessive levels of hydrogen sulfide during fermentation > is therefore associated with conditions that restrict yeast growth. In this > regard, the provision of adequate oxygen at the time of pitching is a > critical factor." > ----------------------------------------------- > This post is getting a bit long so I'll finish up here. Overall, it looks to > me that there is support in the literature for both direct as well as > inverse relationships between some of the more notorious flavor-active > compounds and actual growth of the yeast during fermentation. Also, there > appear to be /many/ confounding variables, not the least of which include > wort amino acid profiles and concentrations, amount of dissolved oxygen in > the wort, yeast health, the particular yeast strain being used, fermentation > temperature, etc. > > -Alan Meeker > Baltimore MD Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999 12:17:29 -0800 From: "Greg Lorton" <glorton at cts.com> Subject: Strong Ale Homebrew Competition Tyce Heldenbrand, organizer of the Strong Ale Homebrew Competition in San Diego, sends the following message... Reminder - The Strong Ale Homebrew Competition (SAHC) will be held on Saturday, November 27th. Entry fees are $5.00 entry and the entries are due between now and Friday, November 19th. All beers should be brewed with an original gravity of 1.080 or higher. Please ship or hand deliver all entries to: SAHC c/o Del Mar Stuft Pizza 12840 Carmel Country Rd. San Diego, CA 92130 There are 7 categories for the SAHC and they are listed at this website http://www.stuftpizzafran.com/sahc%20styles%20up.html To register online go to this website: http://www.softbrew.com/sahc/entry.html If you are interested in judging at this event, you can register online at: http://www.softbrew.com/sahc/judge.html The awards ceremony will take place at the Strong Ale Festival at the Pizza Port in Carlsbad, CA on Saturday, December 4th approximately around 7:00 p.m. Any questions can be emailed to tyce.heldenbrand at wfinet.com Tyce Heldenbrand, Organizer Oceanside, CA Cheers, Greg Lorton, Competition Minion Carlsbad, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999 15:21:20 -0500 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: ASBC color, Toasted Grain Brewsters: AJ says that the color measurements on a Caramel No.300 couldn't have followed the ASBC method exactly. Surely the method prescribes the measurement using dilution to stay within the good performance instrumental contraints? Like maybe an Absorbance in the range of 0.1 to 0.5 or something. - ------------------------------------------ Maria Wehrbach asks about toasting grain. Malt is toasted <before> crushing, normally. Temperatures. There is no single temperature as it depends on what you intend to make. I use the following with pale or pale ale malt: Crystal Malt - soak in cold water overnight, Put it in a deep cookie sheet or similar and cover with aluminum foil. Raise the temperature to150- 160F for 11/2 - 2 hour and then to 250F , uncovered, for up to 1/2 hour with frequent color checks. Cool grain should be crispy caramel and translucent reddish. Crush it and compare with a commercial product. Munich and Vienna Cure the lager malt at 212-225 for three hours in the oven. Lighter lower T is Vienna style, higher T and longer time is Munich style. I don't know if these will have much in the way of enzymes but should be used as adjuncts - that is with pale malts which contain enzymes.. If you want to toast grains like barley 375F for 1/2 hour and 425F for 1/2 hour. If you want to roast barley, 375F for 1/2 hour and then to 450F. When 10% of the grains are very dark, this is time. Be careful when you remove the pan from the oven, as they will be smoking and can ignite spontaneously. Douse the grains immediately with water to stop the smoke. Use within a week. If you want more styles let me know. - -------------------------------------------- Rod Prather calls me curmudgenly ( with his tongue in his cheek, I hope!) for reminding readers that a carboy is not the preferred device to carry out a primary fermentation, IMHO. Perhaps we should rename this method, as "open" fermenters imply that the wort is exposed to the air. Nothing could be further from the truth. The plastic sheet forms an airtight seal and as the CO2 is released from the fermentation the sheet bulges up and excess CO2 escapes around the edges once the pressure reaches a certain level, controlled by the rubber bands' tightness. As far as requiring a nice clean fermentation area or not, the plastic sheet covered plastic fermenter is far superior to a carboy in this regard, since you are fermenting under a slight CO2 pressure. This is the best condition to keep undesirables out, as those who work in industry know, a positive pressure is always used to avoid contamination from dirt ( electronics) or infectious bugs ( like Ebola pressure suits). And as I mentioned, the ease of cleaning vs a carboy with its bathtub ring and gunky hoses ( especially removing all that microbe hiding gunk ) is far superior. And if you have a runaway fermentation from the yeast, temperature or OG there is no need for fancy foam depressors, since the plastic sheet will do that automatically with no mess whether you're there or not. As the fermentation slows, no air is drawn in or can diffuse back as the sheet just collapses, but is still tightly held and the CO2 atmosphere is mantained in the fermenter. Maybe we should call it "low CO2 pressurized fermentations" which is more to the point. Curmudgenly? I think not! Well-intentioned? Yes - ----------------------------- Keep on Brewin' Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 09 Nov 1999 17:48:03 -0600 From: Midwest Brewer <mgeorge at bridge.com> Subject: Anchor Brewing Dates Demystified Here is what I have found about Anchor Brewing's date scheme: Anchor Brewing uses a complex coded three-character bottling date. The first number is the last digit of the year. The next letter is the month and the last character is the day. The months are coded: J = Jan, F = Feb, M = Mar, A = Apr, Y = May, U = Jun L = Jul, G = Aug, S = Sep, O = Oct, N = Nov, D = Dec The days 1-26 are coded A-Z while days 27-31 are coded with the last digit of the day. Thus 9AJ was bottled on April 10, 1999. MWB Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 09 Nov 1999 07:10:41 -0500 From: Rod Prather <rodpr at iquest.net> Subject: Alternative Systems The SS 55 gallon drum system is curious to me. I don't think I can comment. Who knows, it might just work. Never know. I have also seen the three tiered "Sculpture" type brew systems. I see no reason why the system with the Peak stand, the Peak burner shelf, the Peak gas line and the Peak water system wouldn't work. With the height of these towersI do believe they should add the Peak Step Ladder to their list of available items. Looks to be difficult to access. - -- Rod Prather Indianapolis, Indiana and Jeff Renner isn't the center of the Universe Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999 18:28:24 -0600 From: Joe Gibbens <jgibbens at umr.edu> Subject: active oxygen in PBW Hi, Do any of the chemists out there know what the chemical compound responsible for the active oxygen in PBW is? Joe Gibbens Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 09 Nov 1999 17:41:30 -0800 From: The Holders <zymie at sprynet.com> Subject: Anchor date code I forget where I got this, but its the same thing they tell you at the brewery. * How to read the Anchor date code: First digit: last digit of the year Second digit: the first previously unused letter of the name of the month, i.e. J=jan, F=Feb, M=March, A=Apr, Y=May because M and A are already used. Third digit: The day, A-Z=1-26, 7=27, 8=28, 9=29, 3=30 (oh looks like zero), 1=31 Is that confusing enough? Wayne Holder AKA Zymie Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999 20:57:24 -0500 From: "kenandkim" <kenandkim1 at prodigy.net> Subject: water woes HBD water wizards- Recently moved from Virginia where I had some of the finest brewing water one could wish for to New Hampshire where I now have a much wider of brewpubs to visit (Hooray!) but brew water that is lousy with sulfury, rotten eggy, (or should I say Hydrogen Sulfide enriched) smells and from what I've been told, a good bit of iron. The questions is, can I somehow brew with it. From experience I know that whatever is in your water is in your beer and if your water tastes pretty good, chances are it will make a decent beer. Suffice to say I haven't had a glass of the stuff yet (the water). I've got a carbon whole house filter and a counter top carbon filter and the water still comes out with a touch of the sulfur smell. Any chance for a brewable water here? I have not gotten a water analysis yet, but the fine print isn't so important to me while I've got this bigger problem. TIA for any and all advice from those more water wise than myself. P.S. Shared knowledge and/or experience from local live free or diers will earn you a bottle of barleywine! Ken in Epping NH Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 09 Nov 1999 21:17:33 -0500 From: Bob Sheck <bsheck at skantech.net> Subject: Winemaking/Brewing > Curt Speaker (Speaker at Safety-1.safety.psu.edu) writes: > I wonder why there is such a division between wine > and beer. Very few people make both and yet they are > closely related. I make both- although I don't like tying up a carboy for the 6-12 months for my wines. Still, I prefer drinking beer, so that's what I make the most of. Some of my friends enjoy wine, and I make it for gifts, mainly. As a craft, I will try fermenting anything! Bob Sheck bsheck, me-sheck, abednigo! Greenville, NC email:bsheck at skantech.net or see us at: http://www.skantech.net/bsheck/ (252)830-1833 - ------------- "Madness takes its toll -- Please have exact change!" Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999 21:18:32 -0700 From: Sharon/Dan Ritter <ritter at bitterroot.net> Subject: Star San foaming I just tried Star San as a sanitizer for the first time. I have been using Iodophor for as long as I can remember but, because I don't want to dump any sanitizer into my septic system, I have been dumping the used Iodophor on my driveway or in the field below my house. Star San is billed as being more environmentally benign so I decided to try it. What's with all the foam? It's like sanitzing in bubble bath! Has anyone been using this sanitizer successfully without all that foam? Or should I just ignore the bubbles clinging to the inside of my vessels after I pull them out of the Star San? Dan Ritter <ritter at bitterroot.net> Ritter's MAMMOTH Brewery - Hamilton, Montana Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 16:44:10 +1100 From: Steve Lacey <stevel at sf.nsw.gov.au> Subject: Cold-side aeration Miguel de Salas at UTas replied to a thread on aeration: >In 5 years brewing, 3 of which have been all grain and I also grow my own >hops, I have never once gone to any greater lengths aerating my beer than >to pour the water from a height or give it a good swirl with a long, >plastic spoon. Just to add substance to murmurs of a possible antipodean conspiracy, I wish to side with my twelve-fingered friend (just kidding Miguel, I know you weren't born down there). I am very happy with the lag times and finished product I get from splashy splashy wort transfer or frantic spoon waggling. Just what is this north American obsession with airstones, oxygen tanks and hours and hours of bubble, bubble toil and trouble? Give it a rest. The beer will taste just as good and eventually even the callouses will go away. Steve Lacey Brewin' under-aerated, under-pitched delicious ales and lagers in the City Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 07:04:13 -0500 From: "Todd W. Roat" <emcreg at one.net> Subject: Yeast Energizer: Wow! Unbelievable! What is it? Had a stuck batch of scotch ale. Yes, really stuck: no temp fluctuations, low attenuation, 3 consecutive daily reading no change in gravity - stuck at 1.033 down from 1.050. Anyway, threw in some Carlson yeast energizer and within 12 hours I have this ungodly, ferocious fermentation going. Huge, foamy, knarly head blowing handfuls out the blowoff tube. WAY, WAY better than the original fermentation was (the original with WYeast 1056 was gentle, subtle ferment: just a 1/2 inch of foam, steady quiet bubbling). Im afraid to get near this new "energized" ferment - I think it growled at me last time I approached it to take a look ;^) Anyway, enough ranting. Im just so thrilled. My questions is "Why not use this in every batch if it helped that much!" Todd Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 07:13:55 EST From: KMacneal at aol.com Subject: Re: Protein Rest Side Effects In a message dated 11/10/1999 12:19:50 AM Eastern Standard Time, jdickins at usit.net writes: << I've got a question about mashing a wheat beer. I want to do a decoction to get the benefits from it, but I don't like the side effects that come with the long protein rest at 50C. >> What are the side effects that come with "the long protein rest at 50C"? Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 12:45:27 +0000 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Aeration-Pitching/Widgets For Miguel: Try pitching properly and aerating well. You may be surprised at the results. You have the potential to make beer that is substantially better than the commercial stuff you have been comparing to. American and Ozzie brewing practices are well known for producing less than exciting beer. Most of the imports you will obtain are stale. It doesn't take a lot of extra effort to grow up a starter and aerate. Proper pitching is one of the "secrets" that distinguish the really good homebrewers from the flock. I've heard so many guys say that this extra step was the one that really moved their beer quality forward and I number mysef among those. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Phil sent me a copy of the post you saw today so I responded directly. Here's what I said: I can tell you what I think happens. The widget, probably filled with nitrogen gas (to prevent exposure of the beer to oxygen), at ambient pressuregets tossed into the can which is then filled with carbonated beer. A couple of drops of liquid N2 are added and the can is sealed. It then goes throug flash Pasteurization which increased the pressure in the can greatly as the nitrogen vaporizes. Apparantly it does not do so completely before the can is sealed. The high pressure forces beer into the widget (whose interior is still at atmospheric pressure). The can then cools and pressure equilibrates at an atmosphere or so above ambient with the widget containing beer. When the top gets popped the pressure in the headspace and the beer instantly drops to ambient but the pressure in widget cannot drop so fast because it communicates to the beer only through a tiny hole. This results in a thin stream of beer being forced into to can through the hole and the agitation this causes has a similar effect to that of the sparkler in a real draft system. The older widgets were fixed to the bottom so the beer made a fountain up the side of the can. I assume the release of pressure causes the new, loose-ball widget to start flopping about, spinning etc. Subsequently Phil wrote back asking how certain I was that this is the process. I'm quite confident that the bit about the liquid nitrogen is correct. This is documented in books like Kunze's. What happens when the lid is pulled I'm not so sure of. I can't see through the can and even if I could Guiness is too dark to see through! - -- A. J. deLange Numquam in dubio, saepe in errore. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 09:15:48 -0500 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Yeast Starters, oxygen and the like, Part 1 Brewsters: Migel de Salas considers all this aeration of worts to be momilies since he pitches the big smack pack from Wyeast and never purposely aerates and he likes his beer. Kyle wants a simple rule of thumb on how to know the pitching volume of yeast easily. All part of the search for the optimum flavor stability of beer, I am including both apparently disparate subjects here because they are definitely related, First, Miguel, I share some of your ( and others') scepticism based on the incredibly small amount of oxygen dissolved even in saturated wort. AJ DeLAnge ( see the HBD archives 2 or 3 years ago) did an experiment in which he measured the oxygen content of wort after pouring through air and I believe got numbers like 60% saturation in one pour through air and then 80% and such. So it is possible to get oxygen into a wort, especially in the small quantities of wort we handle, almost accidentally. There may be no need to aerate 5 gallon batches, but as the quantities go up, the surface to volume ratio decreases significantly and the oxygen incorporation with it. AJ also did an experiment , I believe, in which he measured oxygen content after pitching and found that the oxygen was virtually gone within a half an hour after pitching. Now how, you and I and others ask can such a rapid disappearence have any effect on future generations of yeast when we know there will be colony growth over the next several days? We also know the yeast will grow by a factor of 3 to 5 times and maybe more in the case of many homebrewers. Sounds like the amount of oxygen is essentially insignificant, doesn't it? Well, long before AJ and most others were on the beer scene, Brits in M&BS did an experiment in which they fermented successive batches of beer in which neither yeast nor wort were exposed to oxygen. Within five batches a substantial decrease in attentuation was noted, and I surmise a change in the flavor and texture of the beer. The only change? an "insignificant" amount of oxygen dissolved in the wort.. This a fact. How do we rationalize it? Other work has shown that a lack of oxygen can cause changes in biochemical pathways with subsequent changes in aroma ( increase in esters, e.g.). How can we explain these events, knowing the effects of small quantites of oxygen are apparently chemically insignificant and not even around for the majority of the yeast growth? The answer is sharing of membraneous material. Since the majority of the chemical conversions take place at these membranes, they act like multipliers and affect the outcome of a chemical reactionmany,many times compared to the small changes in the chemical constituion of the membranes Mother cells bud and share some of their hard earned sterols and other membrane building substances with their daughters. As the fermentaton progresses, the amount of oxygenated material decreases on a per cell basis. The daughter cell grows to maturity building membranes and carrying out biochemical reactions utilizing many sources of ingredients from the wort ( and not needing oxygen to do it since the wort supplies these). During this activity many side products are produced which flavor the beer, since in its pure sense, sugar digestion will not produce these small but flavorful compounds. Mother cells have only a limited supply of these membrane building substances ( which control the influx of compunds form the wort as well as the mitochondrial utilization of the substances) and with each new daughter cell its supply decreases. Changes in these membranes when taken to extremes can result in a totally different taste to beer. Part 2 provides the guidelines Keep on Brewin' Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 09:18:43 -0500 From: "Nathaniel P. Lansing" <delbrew at compuserve.com> Subject: re-winemaking Jack, you want me to send you a free bottle of wine, I have an even _better_idea; you buy a Selections Premium wine kit and wait over a year for it to mature and try it. I don't want to be blamed for switching a commercial wine to a home vintner label. The data you judged concentrates by is 20 years old, by your own words. They don't put them in cans anymore and the Canadian market is so large (40% of wine consumered is homemade) the only way to a good market-share is to provide _superior_ quality wines in concentrate form. Some kits are concentrated only 33%; that leaves a lot of character compared to the 48 oz can + 8 lbs of sugar days. Oh, and I tasted plenty of pale ales and German wheat beers from extract that couldn't be discerned from all grain, it's a matter of process and freshness. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 09:23:33 -0500 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Yeast starters, oxygen and the like Part 2 Brewsters: Part 2 of Yeast starters, oxygen and the like. Now how can you maintain flavor stability in your beer if you are going to pitch the same yeast more than once? 1) Pitch a large enough and healthy starter such that the desirable membrane building substances are available. This will allow the yeast to get through the fermentation. How large is enough? Theoretically, a single cell can be a source for fermentation, but if all the nutrients are not supplied a difference in flavor will likely be noted between this and a recommended starter level. So how do you get a healthy starter? Use an OG - 1.020 to 1.040 starter of pure malt extract or wort , stir exposed to air through a sterile cotton ball or bubble in sterile air at the same temperature of your fermentation. The combination of a good wort with plenty of FAN and oxygen will give you yeast with the maximum of sterols and the like in the yeast. Be sure to pour off this starter beer or you will be adding lots of, perhaps, undesirable flavors. You may even want to wash this with cold, sterile water, but I don't bother. 2) Now how much to pitch? And why not just use all the yeast from the last batch just by running the wort onto that? Since the yeast generate these flavor compounds during yeast growth, the amount of growth affects the flavor of the beer. To get flavor stability from batch to batch with recycled yeast it is important to pitch the same amount each time. With ales, usually more highly flavored from the yeast than lagers, it is important to use enough yeast such that 3 to 5 increases in growth will occur before the end of the fermentation. With lager yeasts about twice this amount of yeast will be more appropriate which reduces this yeast flavor component and focusses more on the malt and hops components. How to do this? Part 3 answers this. Keep on Brewin' Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 09:26:10 -0500 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Yeast Starters, oxygen and the like, Part 3 Brewsters: Part 3 of Yeast starters, oxygen and the like A five gallon batch of an ale will require 5 to 6 ounces of yeast slurry according to Daniels in Designing Great Beers, I believe. Take your empty starter vessel, pour in 6 ounces of water and mark the container. Add 12 ounces and mark that. Now when you do your starter buildup you will know if the quantity of yeast slurry that settles out is the appropriate amount and just as importantly the same amount. Why not pitch onto the yeast cake of a previous batch? 1) Because these yeast are stressed having just finished an anaerobic fermentation . My solution? Take the appropriate amount of yeast and repitch it to a starter and allow it to grow over night in a stirred starter bottle exposed to air. Failing access to a stirrer just pour the starter from vessel to vessel occasionally. FOAM! 2) Because the yeast will not grow and produce the appropriate level of flavor compounds. 3) more often than not, I do not want to pitch directly with the same yeast to avoid having too much beer of the same variety. I then wash the yeast cake to remove any residual beer and store under sterile water in a capped beer bottle in the fridge. I always pitch this to a starter before utilizing it. But is flavor stability the only factor determining the pitching rate?, since it seems if you always pitched the same quantity of yeast you should get flavor stability. The answer in this practical world is, of course, No. Pitching rate is at such a level because there are competing microorganism like wild yeast and bacteria which can spoil the beer by changing the flavor due to their growth. Pitching a large quantity of yeast will drop the pH quickly, form a CO2 barrier and in some cases actually kill competing yeast. All elements which allow desirable yeast to predominate. There is also that nasty thing called "efficient capital utilization" in the business world of brewing and a fermentation that takes in 3 days is better than one that takes 4 days or longer, since the fermentation vessels will be freed up to produce more beer with the same capital. As such they would like to maximize the yeast pitched. Homebrewers do not need to worry about this aspect of homebrewing. The recommended levels of yeast are therfore bounded by two competing principles. Maximum yeast to prevent competiton and maximize the fermentation rate and minimum to develop lots of flavor. So this leads me to the surprising conclusion that the recommended pitching rates are the MAXIMUM that should be pitched in order to maintain a well flavored beer from desirable yeast with inconsequential flavor instabilities from competing microorganisms. And why I do not recommend directly pitching onto a previous batch's yeast cake. Should we bother to add this much? I think so, largely from concerns about competing micro-organisms and especially if we recycle our yeast. Do we <need> to? Probably not, as experience has shown. Keeping your yeast free from competing organisms by using a large starter is especially important if you recycle your yeast. Past indications by brewers that five yeast recycles was the maximum you could do without getting "mutations" was likely due to infection not mutation. So how does this explain Miguel's ( and others') observation that "underpitching" is OK? First Miguel does not recycle his yeast, apparently. Secondly, he does get some oxygen, even if accidentally. And pitching the large pack he gets enough yeast to favorably compete with other organisms. Most importantly, perhaps is the constant amount of yeast leads to his acceptable and stable flavor of beer from batch to batch. Keep on Brewin' Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 10:06:31 -0500 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Minor rant Every time I read a post that says "I've never tasted the effects of <insert your favorite brewing practice ("bad" or "good") here> in my beer," I want to scream. Maybe you haven't. But that doesn't mean it's not there! Most of us (and I include myself here) are not able to be totally objective about our own beers. Get some other experienced beer tasters to try it, preferably "blind" (i.e., they don't know it is YOUR beer). Until you do so, I won't believe your unsupported assertion. By "experienced taster" I mean someone who has spent some time training himself or herself to taste and identify various beer components. "I've drunk a lot of beer in a lot of places." is not necessarily a qualification for this "job." I don't have to know what a Koelsch tastes like to know what diacetyl tastes like, and to recognize it in a purported Koelsch. (Anti-flame note: nowhere in the above did I say "BJCP." A goal of the BJCP is to turn out experienced tasters, but not all BJCP judges are experienced tasters, and not all experienced tasters are BJCP judges. So let's just leave that bit of politics out of it, OK?) (Geek disclaimer: Yes, I am aware of the desirability of controlled experiments and triangle tests. Those require modification of the brewing process, and incredible attention to detail which most of us don't have. A single data point proves nothing. Your mileage may vary. Contents may have settled during handling. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of the HBD management.) =Spencer Thomas in Ann Arbor, MI (spencer at umich.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: 10 Nov 1999 09:01:06 -0500 From: RCAYOT at solutia.com Subject: Anchor code, Yeast and stuff Now that we all have exquisite knowledge of the Anchor Brewing's bottling code, can we move on to other subjects? ;) The yeast discussion is taking on classic proportions! I lets look at the discussion, we have Miguel de Salas saying, whoa! he pitches a stepped up wyeast pack and gets good beer, then we have others like Alan Meeker who is researching some very interesting aspects of yeast growth and fermentation. To this I would add, my comments: Tweaking your homebrew process is what most of us are discussing here. And Miguel is correct, we can make not just good beer, but great beer by using the simplest of techniques, to which in-line oxygen injection, and a hemocytometer are not critical components! However, we must also understand that some developments have helped make great improvements in our beer, to name a few, pure yeast cultures (why didn't we just stay with Red Star?), Higher quality malt extract (I can remember being happy to be able to find a can of John Bull extract that was less than a year old!) high quality malted barley (anyone ever try to brew with a sack of "brewing grains"?) I don't know about the rest of you brewers out there but just going to a full wort boil made huge improvements in my early beers! Never mind the next step of going all grain (and never looked back!)! What I am trying to bring up here is the fact that this hobby had some very humble beginnings and we have made great gains. I recently looked over some of my early homebrewing books, by Dave Miller, Charlie Papazian, and others. the information in those books, by today's standards is woefully out of date, and in a lot of cases just plain wrong. I can imagine 10 years from now, we homebrewers will look at some of the information we are receiving now and dismiss it outright, like Dave Millers admonishment that mashing for at least 90 or even 120 minutes was absolutely necessary for good beer! I guess I have been brewing long enough have confidence that I can "monitor the situation" before adopting a new brewing practice. I would like to advise any beginning to intermediate brewer out there reading the HBD that Miguel is correct, great beer can be made simply and has a lot to do with care and craft. Keep on Brewing, and Alan, where is the second half of your post? Roger Ayotte Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 10:34:30 EST From: Biergiek at aol.com Subject: methylene blue I wrote: >PS - on a related note, does anyone have a >protocol for measuring What I was trying to say: does anyone have a protocol for measuring yeast viability using methylene blue? Jim Liddil gave me some instructions that I misplaced. Kyle Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 11:38:56 -0500 From: Dennis Himmeroeder <dennish at palmnet.net> Subject: Unidentified Hop Pest I just cut down my nearly dormant cascade hop vines down here in Florida, and noticed that the stems were infested with some sort of scaly bug approximatley one-eighth of an inch in length. These bugs looked like green bumps on the stem and they were very soft, they had no discernible legs or head. Higher up on the vines were cottony patches also one-eighth of an inch in length. Also the vines seemed to brown and die prematurely. Can anyone identify these critters, and prescribe some sort of chemical to control them in the next growing season. It would be preferable to have an organic mix that I could formulate myself. Thanks, Dennis H. Melbourne Beach, Florida. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 12:11:00 -0500 From: Eric.Fouch at steelcase.com Subject: Yeasty Boys HBD- Kyle rambles at length: >The rule of thumb I keep reading about is to limit yeast >growth (generations) to 3X-5X for lagers, and 8X-10X for ales. The Sieble Educated Techno Super Brewer (I saw his cape) at Canal Street Brewing Co (they are on Monroe Street, and make "Founders Ales"- go figure) told me that the optimal yeast growth was 4 generations. I don't know if that is for ales or lagers, or if it is directly scaleable. I'll try to nail him down on this soon. >From what I know (forgive the simpleton explations, I was educated in >the state of Michigan) the amount of yeast to pitch is measured by the >number of viable yeast cells. The rule of thumb is 1.5E6 cells/ml/degree P >for lagers, 0.75 cells/ml/P for ales. Yeah right- we have codemonkey rules about who gets into our state, and you wouldn't make the grade. >The problem is that the yeast will have to work so hard to >do this (multiply several hundred generations?) that undesirable fermentation >byproducts will be produced, resulting in a fouchian butt rot type of brew. Two words- Darth Maul Dunkle. >Kyle >Bakersfield, CA > >PS - on a related note, does anyone have a protocol for measuring A ruler works for me. Eric (I have twelve inches, but I don't use it as a rule) Fouch Bent Dick YoctoBrewery Kentwood, MI "Everything that can be invented, has been invented." - CHARLES DUELL, 1899- Head of the Office of Patents Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 11:14:37 -0600 (CST) From: John Wilkinson <John.Wilkinson at aud.alcatel.com> Subject: Brewing Poem A Brewing Poem by, George Arnold 1834-1865 (short but happy life?) Beer Here, With my beer I sit While golden moments flit: Alas! They pass Unheeded by: And, as they fly, I, Being dry, Sit, idly sipping here My beer O, finer far Than fame, or riches, are The graceful smoke-wreaths of this free cigar! Why Should I Weep, wail, or sigh? What if luck has passed me by? What if my hopes are dead,- My pleasures fled? Have I not still My fill Of right good cheer,- Cigars and beer? Go, whining youth, Forsooth! Go, weep and wail, Sigh and grow pale, Weave melancholy rhymes On the old times, Whose joys like shadowy ghosts appear,- But leave to me my beer! Gold is dross,- Love is loss,- So, if I gulp my sorrows down, Or see them drown In foamy draughts of old nut-brown, Then do I wear the crown, Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 08:47:57 -0900 From: Clifton Moore <cmoore at gi.alaska.edu> Subject: Home Malting update A quick update is that I have for years played with small batch malting, trying sizes from test tube to bucket. Having learned the importance of a good steep and arranged for the production of malting varieties in interior Alaska, I now have tons of good quality barley and a garage full of malting plant. It is your Old World floor malting utilizing plastic olive drums for steep vesicles, 55 deg F garage temp for the germination bed environment, and a kiln made from plywood, dimension lumber, a honking big fan, plumed into my house hydronic heat and an old pallet made of galvanized steel to support the "piece" (volume of green malt). I am at present putting 100 lb. batches through the works, with a phase delay (start a fresh batch )of three to four days. The dwell time end to end is 10 to 13 days. Thus far I have been putting a large quantity of time into building and modifying the works, but I anticipate that once stable it will require about 30 minutes, twice daily for routine germination bed maintenance and steep water changes with an additional hour or two thrown in every three days to start a new batch, and move material through the plant. I have thus far produced volumes of slightly undermodified, low kiln malt that extracts nicely and tastes great. I look forward to arranging the room and the time to do some 10 gallon brewing with this malt, but for now I am limiting this to test mashings on hand grab samples. The most important thing I have discovered is that pumps and fans generate a kind of noise that, while reassuring and warm to my ear in much the way a ships motors are to a sea captain, can be interpreted by say a wife as most disturbing. I thus have stringent hours of allowable industrial activity in my garage. It may be noted that the master bed room is above the garage. How hot is "low kiln"? The kiln takes about 10 hours to dry and cure 100 lbs of green malt. The current max temp is 135 deg F as this is the overheat switch setting on my fan motor. While at first bothered by this, I find that the malt is nicely cured at this temp and has no detectable green notes. A planned squirrel cage fan with a belt drive will allow for the placement of the motor outside the kiln and will thus allow for higher temp curing. Why the undermodification? I believe this is due to not imbibing enough water in the steep and thus water starvation towards the end of the germination cycle. I am playing with a variety of steeping schedules to trade off the low temperatures, (which seem to best favor synchrony and total percentage germinated vs. dud seeds), against the quicker water uptake that results with warmer steeps. It should be noted that other than loss of synchrony, higher steep temperatures foster microbial activity of a complex and thus far indeterminate nature. What are you going to do with all that malt? (Have you been talking with my wife?) We have here in Fairbanks a rather small but active home brew community and two micros. Seems to me that I should be able to get it out there in the market somehow. It needs to go someplace as the grain impaction is getting to be a problem within the confines of the garage. Mashing observations: I have found most commercial pale malts to be much like making cake from a mix. My malt is not yet so well behaved. I suspect undermodification in that I never can mash to the point that doing an iodine test on the grains will not result in a positive for starch if I crush the mash with a spoon. The sweet liquor is clean and starch free rather quickly, but even after 90 min. the enzymes have been unable to penetrate some of the grain chunks. Decoction mashing would probably yield favorable results in that I suspect decoction was first employed to deal with this very problem in medieval malt. When I get around to figuring out a lab method for doing a course grind / fine grind comparison, I expect my suspicions to be confirmed. So I am thinking that all the old rests may serve me well in using this malt. I have yet to use an acid rest, but it may be advisable, and a protein rest has been part of my standard batch method for years, not that I believe it is required in modern malts, but I find it a nice starting point for mashing in. It is my hope that this post will stimulate some discussion. Have at it. Respectfully, Return to table of contents
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