HOMEBREW Digest #3219 Wed 12 January 2000

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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

  R.E.  Hop loss ("David G. Humes")
  Bottle Fillers. Regualor check valves, Sparge SG, Entropy, (Dave Burley)
  Lager Brewers: Request for critique and tips ("Guy and Norine Gregory")
  tannins / Munich malt and final gravity / adjuncts defined / beer in regulator / bottling techniques ("George de Piro")
  Sears Zone (kathy/jim)
  Pewter, lead, and care instructions ("Sean Richens")
  Capping Twist-off Bottles ("Patrick Flahie")
  Bottling with Coffee Flavorings? (DawgDoctor)
  Decoction Mashing (DawgDoctor)
  Ken: should I remove scum (Ken Pendergrass)
  Re: Valley Mills ("Vinbrew Supply")
  Corny kegs ("Jens P. Maudal")
  Re: Help needed on All Grain (Tony Barnsley)
  Russ' efficiency ("Paul Smith")
  BB upgrade to Valley Mills (MaltHound)
  Graham Wheeler's Efficiency (Brad McMahon)
  Re: Scum Skimming (Joel Plutchak)
  Poor All-Grain Extraction (Dan Listermann)
  Ruined Regulator ("Hornberger, Brent")
  Re: Help needed on All Grain (Jeff Renner)
  Shipping across state lines. ("Alan Meeker")
  AJ's calorie question ("Alan Meeker")
  Shipping and Handling ("Jack Schmidling")
  Re: Help needed on All Grain ("Brian Dixon")
  Dave Burley's amazing carrot diet! ("Alan Meeker")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2000 11:33:38 -0500 From: "David G. Humes" <humesdg1 at earthlink.net> Subject: R.E. Hop loss Brian, >and the OG in the kettle was 1.122 (whew!), >but after racking to the primary through my usual Chore Boy, and topping off >to 5 gallons, the OG had dropped to 1.103 If I read this correctly, then your SG loss has more to do with topping off than loss to the hops. There's no question that you will lose some amount of your total points to the hops. But there should be no loss in specific gravity, just less wort due to that retained by the hops. Then if you top off, the final wort is diluted and thus the drop in SG. Since your total point calculation uses the same volume (5 gallons) for both before and after racking, I have to assume that the after racking SG was taken after you topped off. Your approach is interesting. You seem to be more concerned about having 5 gallons in your fermenter than hitting target gravity. Otherwise, why top off? If you have the right gravity in the kettle, then just accept the loss of volume to the hops and don't top off. Alternatively, you can do as you suggested and account for the loss. I generally do this by just adjusting the batch size to account for the loss of about 0.5 gal. wort per 5 gallon batch. However, if you are using an unusually large amount of hops, you may want to be more precise. According to Noonan, "New Brewing Lager Beer", page 327, "1lb of spent hops retains .72 gal. of wort." Also, "1 lb of hops displaces .12 [gallons] and absorbs 1.8 gal. of wort in the copper." So, your 6 oz of hops would retain 6/16 * 0.72 = 0.27 gal. I'm guessing here that Noonan is referring to whole hops. I'm not certain if the absorption would be the same for pellets. I have heard of some brewers sparging hops to recover otherwise lost extract. On the homebrewing scale, I see no reason to do this. There's too much risk of extracting undesirable compounds. It's better to just accept the loss and adjust the recipe accordingly. Cheers! - --Dave Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2000 11:45:24 -0500 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Bottle Fillers. Regualor check valves, Sparge SG, Entropy, Brewsters: Michael Owings - Chairman of the Allan Meeker Defense fund -( let's hope he doesn't need it) asks about counter pressure bottle fillers and are they worth the bucks? Like most things it all depends. If you are going to a party and want to fill a few soda pop bottle on the way out the door. I wouldn't spend the money. Just fill the bottles as Ken Schwartz suggests on his website or even a tube pushed into the cobra head which goes to the bottom of the bottle seems to work. On the other hand, if you want to have a relatively foam free and sort of oxygen free filling of a lot of bottles which you want to cap and keep for a while, you should do a counter presssure fill. I have the Braukunst CP botttle filler , having made my own, read about other designs and such. The Braukunst has an interesting difference over all other fillers with which I am familiar in that it has a spring loaded ball and needle valve arrangement which lets you set the pressure in the bottle and control the bottle pressure during filling such that foam never forms while the bottle is filling, since the pressure differential between the keg pressure and bottle pressure differential is very low. I also saw a recent CP bottle Philler from Listerman, I believe, in which the beer is siphoned ( and thus the feeder keg must be elevated) under a pressure head. This may have the same effect, but I couldn't really tell from the explanation. Phil can you enlighten us on this apparent innovation? BTW flushing the bottle with CO2 is helpful as some CP bottle fillers suggest, but you cannot count on just this method to reduce staling oxygen from the head. It is best if the beer "fobs" in the bottle, making a small head of CO2 on the bottle and even overflowing a little before the cap is put on. This removes the majority of the O2. Be careful in removing the filling tube, as I have noted that often a scratch or tap on the side of the bottle will cause excessive foaming. If this happens I just refill the bottle. - ----------------------------------------------- On Bud Melton's subject of check valves in regulators and how not to fill the regulator with beer. It is a good idea to use a check valve, but I wouldn't depend on them. Keep the regulator and CO2 tank elevated above the top of the beer in the keg. When the pressure is the same on both sides of the tube, siphoning takes place (just as it does at atmospheric pressure) as Phil's bottle Philler shows. If the regulator or your connections leak, however, you can still have a problem. Be sure to disconnect the gas tube and fill the gas into the keg from the "in" side and don't fill beer above the bottom of the "in" tube. I would try to clean the regulator unless you believe it is leaky or it sat filled with beer for some time. Even if you are unsuccessful, you will learn something about beer gadgets and at least have that pleasure, as gadgeteers know. - ----------------------------------------------- Bryan asks how one would measure the sparge runnings' SG easily. Before I disovered how fast and easy it was to take a few drops and run a Clinitest during the end of the sparge, I used to collect a 100 ml sample in a SS pot and cool it to 60 F by immersing the pan bottom in an ice water cold bath. - ---------------------------------------------- Sorry, but Steve Dunkerkirken is ABSOLUTELY wrong about gases not remaining mixed in a cylinder. I suggest you ignore his post from the beginning to the end. Gases do not spontaneously separate and the gases are not remixed as he describes. Can you say entropy? - ------------------------------------- Brian you can test your theory about how much you lose in your hops by taking the hops and trub and solution which remains, make up a solution to a convenient known volume and measure the SG. Back calculating, and with the aid of an SG/% Sugar table, you can determine the amount of sugar you left in the hops and trub. - ------------------------------------- Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2000 11:13:55 -0800 From: "Guy and Norine Gregory" <guyg at icehouse.net> Subject: Lager Brewers: Request for critique and tips Colleagues: After some time as an all-grain brewer, I'm finding myself moving more toward lagers. Brief self analysis suggests to me that most lagers seem to require a bit more attention to detail than my ales to achieve a high quality brew, thus seem to offer a bit more for me out of this wonderful hobby. Currently, my brewing process is pretty much the same as for ales. I stepmash in a canner on a burner, with the usual attention to oxidation, chilling, temp control, etc. Where lagers seem to differ for me is in hop scheduling, yeast, and the fermentation regimen. I generally add rehydrated irish moss and Wyeast yeast nutrient to the boiling wort about the same time as I toss in "flavor" hops. After chilling, I aerate when transfering to the carboy, and I pitch a wyeast lager yeast, generally Wyeast Bohemian. I always make a starter, generally by following the directions on the Wyeast pack, but making fresh wort twice...once for to pitch from the pack, and once more. This yields around 75-100 mls of yeasty sludge in the bottom of a 500 ml flask. I usually pitch this sludge and about 300 mls of actively fermenting starter wort into the carboy. I have a temp controlled fridge where I primary ferment, holding the temp at 50F. I transfer to a corny-keg secondary about 2 weeks later, when the main kraeusen falls. Here it stays, and I lower the temp every 2 days 2 degrees or so, until I reach 33F. At that point, I continue to secondary ferment about 2 weeks longer. I then transfer into a serving corny, lagering that at least a week more at 33F. I've been impressed with the clarity of the finished product, though often the primary has about 1/2 gallon of goop in the bottom of the carboy at transfer time. I often taste and smell distinct sulfury notes, and a lot more residual sweetness than I would think, on transfer to the secondary. There's usually a smaller than expected gravity drop at that time, also, but by the time the secondary is finished, the sulfur seems to be gone and the gravity is about right, though sometimes a bit higher than I expect. If you other lager brewers out there have some tips, I'd appreciate your suggestions on how best to modify my process to make better beer, eh? And Jeff, looking back, annually you tend to update folks on your current thinking on CAP brewing...any new ideas for the millenium? Cheers, all... Guy Gregory Lightning Creek Home Brewery Spokane, WA Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2000 15:32:36 -0500 From: "George de Piro" <gdepiro at mindspring.com> Subject: tannins / Munich malt and final gravity / adjuncts defined / beer in regulator / bottling techniques Hi all, I feel like I'm bathing in tannins lately... In the midst of this tannin discussion Kurt Goodwin asks what professional brewers do with regard to sparging and tannin control. I have read enough (and tasted enough beer) to convince me that short sparging is the way to go. "No sparge" is not an option for me; my 10 bbl system does not have a big enough mash tun to yield 10 bbl of wort if there is no sparge at all. I do routinely accept efficiencies in the 60% range, though, because I would rather dilute my wort to volume with plain water than continue sparging. I find this is particularly beneficial when brewing low gravity beers. One can maintain some degree of maltiness even at 9.5P (1.038 or so). Although I have not worked at a large brewery, my understanding (from reading and discussions with brewers from large places) is that they are often too concerned with economy to be as "wasteful" as I am, or you can be at home. Quality is not everything to everybody. On the other hand, I have read (in Kunze) about using the latest spargings to mash in the next batch. Despite the fact that accountants find this practice very agreeable, any brewery even slightly interested in quality does not do this. The reasons are several, including the poor flavor of the beer made in this manner. I don't have my books with me at the moment (a rare day off), but if anybody really cares enough I'll find the page numbers. I think that Steve Alexander has done a more than ample job in documenting stuff about tannins, though. - ------------------------------------ Marc Sedam writes a bit about getting a higher than expected finishing gravity from a beer brewed with a substantial amount of Munich malt. While he doesn't say what the gravity was, I can chime in with similar experiences. There is a reason for this, which Mort O'Sullivan (whatever became of you?) wrote about at length about a year or so ago. In short, the kilning process used to make Vienna, Munich, and crystal malts renders the dextrins in them (and some of the starch) invulnerable to enzymatic action. That is why crystal malt can be mashed without making it fermentable. Munich and Vienna malts will yield more fermentables than crystal malts, but they will still leave you with relatively high finishing gravities. Adding enzymes will not cure this; it is not a lack of enzymatic power in the malt, it is the fact that the dextrins are not going to be affected by malt amylases. Search for Mort's original posts if you are more curious. He knows far more than I (about beer, at least, and computers, too, I think). - ------------------------------------------- At least one person in a recent digest incorrectly referred to crystal malt as an adjunct. While this is not a pet peeve of mine, I feel that it might be useful to write the proper definition of adjunct here: An adjunct is anything, other than malt, that supplies fermentable material to the wort. Examples of adjuncts include sugar, corn, rice, and unmalted barley or other raw grains. Any malts, including crytal malts, are not adjuncts. - ------------------------------------------ Bud Melton got beer in his regulator and fears that it will be an endless source of infection. While it is not good to get beer in your regulator, it has happened to me countless times (both at home and at the brewpub). It has not proven an easily taken apart and examined. If new parts are deemed necessary, they can be ordered from Rapids (phone number is at work). - --------------------------------------------- I know that I should just "page down" every time I see the word used to describe female brewers, but I haven't been electrocuted yet: Dave Burley has posted a lot of dubious verbiage to this tome, but the recent beer-related one that caught my eye was his suggestion that it is easier and more consistent to prime every bottle of beer individually than to prime it as a batch. This is something Dave writes every once in a while, and it really makes me wonder if he has ever brewed a batch of beer. Priming each bottle individually is about the most tedious, error-prone method of carbonating a beer that I could imagine. It is hard to believe that anybody who has actually done this would advocate it. A method that I have written about in the past is far more consistent and less tedious than Dave's. It also addresses Dave's valid concern about aeration of the young beer in the priming tank. It is a technique that I credit to my friend Bill Coleman. Simply use a Cornie keg as your bottling tank. Clean the tank, fill it with hot water or the proper concentration of no-rinse sanitizer, push the liquid out with CO2, and voila! You have a sealed, anaerobic bottling tank. Hook up a "liquid out" fitting to the keg and add your primings (funnel and hose) and siphon your beer into it. There is no need to leave the lid open as Dave suggested in a recent post about kegging; just hook up a "gas in" fitting to vent the keg. No air will get in. Pressurize the keg to seal it, shake it up a little bit to mix in the primings, and you're ready to bottle. Apply about 5 psi to the keg to push the beer into your bottles. When I used to make 10-15 gallons of beer at home, I would often bottle part of the batch and keg the rest. Using this technique made it easy: I would clean and sanitize the keg, fill it with beer and primings and bottle it, then fill the keg with the rest of the beer and force carbonate it. I only had to clean one vessel! Joy! Have fun! George de Piro Living all over eastern NY C.H. Evans Brewing Company at the Albany Pump Station (518)447-9000 http://evansale.com (under construction) Malted Barley Appreciation Society Homebrew Club (Brooklyn, NY) http://hbd.org/mbas George de Piro C.H. Evans Brewing Company at the Albany Pump Station (518)447-9000 http://evansale.com (under construction) Malted Barley Appreciation Society Homebrew Club http://hbd.org/mbas George de Piro C.H. Evans Brewing Company at the Albany Pump Station (518)447-9000 http://evansale.com (under construction) Malted Barley Appreciation Society Homebrew Club http://hbd.org/mbas Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2000 16:53:46 -0400 From: kathy/jim <kbooth at scnc.waverly.k12.mi.us> Subject: Sears Zone I know the 2/3rds of the people on the list are sick to death of this topic, so please page down now. NPR's People's Pharmacy had an extended discussion Sat with with Dr Sears who pushes the "Zone Diet" materials available for $99 at his web page. His "stick" is that the low fat diets emphasizing carbs, which crank up insulin production and lead to fat storage and and hunger which cranks up calorie and results in a epidemic of "fatsos". He wants 40% calories from protein and 30% each from fats and carbohydrates. The body is not thrown into ketosis as with the low carb diet. He said eat like your grandmother told you. Meat/protein at every meal balanced with "eat your vegetables" or lots of relatively low carb vegetables (as spinach instead of carrots). Fats are important to have at the 30% level (take that cod liver oil and use olive oil) but in moderation as the typical USA diet is typically 40%+ calories from fats. I've not tried this diet, but it sounds pretty reasonable. Are there those of you out there that have studied Sear's "Zone Diet" and if you'd email me your recommendations, I'd be grateful. I suspect the insulin management scheme may be mostly his way to a personal fortune through publishing, but that is only the cynical me speaking. to kbooth at waverly.k12.mi.us Also, how does alcohol/beer fit in under this regimen. Sears says "a glass of wine with cheese is OK at bedtime". I prefer brandy or scotch. Thanks for your assistance. jim booth Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2000 18:23:04 -0600 From: "Sean Richens" <srichens at sprint.ca> Subject: Pewter, lead, and care instructions I got off my duff and found the info for myself. Apparently modern pewter uses antimony in place of lead, so the issue is purely one of not tarnishing the metal by storing acidic foods or beverages for any length of time. If it's an heirloom, of course, you don't know what it's made of. Links: http://www.cerciellos.com/caring.htm http://u2.doityourself.com/clean/pewter.htm http://www.shirleypewter.com/history.html So I fearlessly drink from my 95% tin modern German pewter tankard (c/w lid!) as I write. I can't wait for summer so I can use it to keep the wasps out of my beer! Sean Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2000 18:00:48 -0500 From: "Patrick Flahie" <flahiepa at msu.edu> Subject: Capping Twist-off Bottles Common wisdom often states that necessity is the mother of invention, and I am in serious need of some invention! Santa brought me a couple cases of Rogue's Smoke and Scotch Ale this year. These beers are bottled in 7 oz twist-off bottles that would be perfect for use in barleywines and meads. However, everything that I have read says that twist-off bottles can't be used by homebrewers. Although standard cappers and caps may not be suited for these purposes, is there any method of capping these bottles? I would hate to see them returned for a mere 10 cents and never be heard from again. Patrick Flahie Jackson, MI Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2000 20:40:59 EST From: DawgDoctor at aol.com Subject: Bottling with Coffee Flavorings? Anyone ever bottled with flavored coffee syrups? I bottled a stout tonight, and before adding priming sugar to the bucket, I filled three bottles. I then added about 3/4 tablespoon of Hazlenut, Irish Creme, and Vanilla flavoring to one of the three. Will post the results in about 14 days. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2000 20:55:06 EST From: DawgDoctor at aol.com Subject: Decoction Mashing Would someone please point me to a good reference on decoction mashing, or provide a good description? I tried searching the archives, but discovered over 1600 references to previous postings. Thanks Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2000 19:02:54 -0400 From: Ken Pendergrass <kenp794 at earthlink.net> Subject: Ken: should I remove scum Ken, Ken asks should I remove fermentation scum. IMHO it woun't make any difference one way or the other. Over the past decade I did a lot of primary and secondary fermentation in 5 gal carboys. Which precludes removeing scum. I like my beer a lot! Currently I'm getting more than a little paranoid though about injuring myself on a 10 year old carboy. So I'm tending toward plastic tuns. Do it the way you like to. I beleive commercial breweries do it both ways too. Regards a different Ken Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 01:00:02 -0500 From: "Vinbrew Supply" <devans at greenapple.com> Subject: Re: Valley Mills There is no markup for the HB shop. Plus we have to buy two of them. They do work. If they would wholesale I would carry they're mills. I also happen to think that JSP is a better designed mill. That is a personal opinion however, and I am certainly not trying to start another mill debate. I like the JSP. I even have a T-Shirt that say's so. If you really want a Valley Mill, and there is no reason why not, then go direct. The address is below. MaltHound Yowls out: "You can buy Valley Mills directly from the manufacturer at: http://www.web.net/~valley/valleymill.html Valley Brewing Equipment They also are carried by a few homebrew shops, but I am told by my local HBS owner that the retail markup is not very good (only ~10%), therefore, not many retailers want to carry them and prefer to do business with one of the other mill manufacturers." Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 09:44:00 +0100 From: "Jens P. Maudal" <jens.maudal at c2i.net> Subject: Corny kegs Help please!!!!!!!! I am representing "Norbrygg" the Norwegian Homebrewers Society, and we are badly in need of Corny kegs. If any of the collective know of a source for second hand kegs in good condition at a reasonable price, please tell us. We can't immagine a life as a homebrewer without Corny's. We need at least 300 kegs, a place on the East cost would be best, less transport cost from there. I am sorry for using the list this way, please have me excused. SKAAL! Jens - -- Jens P.Maudal e-mail: jens.maudal at c2i.net Drammen Norway Greetings from "BottomsUp Brewery" +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ My humble page: http://home.c2i.net/bottomsup/index.htm Norbrygg: http://www.stud.ifi.uio.no/~ketilf/norbrygg.cgi +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 12:03:20 -0000 From: Tony Barnsley <tony.barnsley at blackpool.gov.uk> Subject: Re: Help needed on All Grain Russ Hobaugh Wrote: << Why is my extraction so low?>> Poor Crush?, Low pH - Distilled Water with that amount of Dark grains should go fairly low on its own, Thermometer Accuracy? Channelling of Sparge water in the Tun. <<The zapap is uninsulated, could that contribute to the low efficiency? >> Could do, if the temperature was to fall very low over the mash time <<What is an "average" extraction rate(if there is such a thing)?>> Mine varies between 70% (Badly Crushed Malt), and 89% <<It was VERY bitter, which has subsided only slightly. Anybody else think he calls for WAY to many hops in most of the recipes in this book or is it just me?>> Well one factor that may be of use is that the recipes are for 5 English Gallons, about 6 1/2 US Gallons (23 Litres), so that may have some bearing on the bitterness. You may well find that it mellows in time. Also Graham Assumes a constant 20% utilisation figure which If your kettle utilisation figure is significantly higher (mine is around 25%) then your beers will be 'over hopped'. For what its worth, I usually run GW Recipes through my own spreadsheet to determine hops and Grain bill, then I find that I do get close to the intended beer. One other thing is that If you used the hops as given you will end up over hopped (slightly) You should have compensated for gravity i.e. Stated weight * (42/54) = Weight to use The problem with clones is that it sometimes takes a few attempts to get close. The more I brew the better I know my systems quirks, and the more I can compensate at the recipe formulation stage - -- The Scurrilous Aleman (Blackpool, Lancs, UK) Reply To Aleman At brewmaster Dot demon Dot co Dot uk To unsubscribe email list at ale.co.uk with leave uk-homebrew in the message body. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 07:08:37 -0600 From: "Paul Smith" <pksmith_morin at msn.com> Subject: Russ' efficiency Russ Hobaugh writes about his mash efficiency: >>Why is my extraction so low? If I am figuring correctly, this was only about 55%,... Here's my two cents. Russ - Depending on your post-boil volume (from 6.5 to 7, I estimated about 5 gallons post-boil), for a brewhouse efficiency I got about what you estimated - 57%. I get about 95% extraction, so I would say the grain amount is not your problem. I did a comparable test with my system and the grain bill you listed would have given an OG of 1.070. Additionally, I do not think the uninsulated mash tun was your problem. You undoubtedly lost some heat and moved from 153 to considerably lower over the course of the 90 minutes, but all this would do would be to move the saccharification from a beta/alpha range more squarely to a beta range (anywhere from low 140's -149), so you'll end up with a drier finish to your beer. It would have nothing to do with extraction, unless you moved so quickly out of any amylase range altogether (e.g., from 153 to 120's) that you halted saccharification. I can tell you that I used to brew in the middle of the country, at 3:00 in the morning, at 10 below, with an uninsulated converted - keg mash tun (yes, I am certifiably insane), and, saw no real change in extraction. Without any time tables before me, I believe that starting at 153 would give you a good "jump start" on saccharification so that even if you cooled way down, within 30-40 minutes most (if not all) of your available starch would have been converted. Three things come to mind. Firstly, distilled water is always problematic. Both alpha and beta have optimal pH ranges of 5.2 to 5.5; unless you treated your mash with some salt or acid, your pH was probably way too alkaline for an efficient amylosis. Also, further down the line, your yeast may be starved for calcium and you may find difficulty getting a finished ferment. Secondly, what is your milled grist like? If it's too coarse, you will not get as much out as you could, as gelatinization (the dissolution of the starch in the endosperm, so enzymes may "attack" the starch better) is simply not taking hold as much as with a finer grist, and you will not have as much "available" starch. Ideally, if looking at the flour, fine, coarse, and husk percentages in the grist, you want about 56% to be "fine," with only about 8% to be coarse (source, Kunze). "Coarse," "fine," etc., are measurements made with a sieve, but you can eyeball your grist and get an idea. Finally, I would slow down your sparge a bit. Mine, as an example, is a full hour and a half, at times an hour and three quarters. I do not think this is your main problem, though; an hour is still a patient sparge. You could try a technique I've switched to and advocated now for some time, "burst sparging." You recirculate and allow first run-off as per normal, until your grain bed is nearly visible, then dump your sparge water (slowly at first, as you do not want to cut "channels" in your bed) on top of the grain bed until 2-3 inches of water column is achieved. Allow it to runoff slowly, until the grain bed is again visible, and repeat to completion of your sparge. You probably know that your runoff rate will be slow at the beginning of the sparge and increase as your runoff viscosity decreases with lower gravity. Doing your sparge this way causes a "pumping" action to occur: Rather than a slow mixing of sparge water with the wort trapped in the grain, allowing pure sparge water to "sit" as a quantum on top of the bed sets up essentially a pump as the density differential is greater, and extract is "pushed" out. My efficiency jumped from 85% to 95% once I adopted this technique. Hope this helps. It's still beer, so enjoy your bitter! Paul Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 08:46:05 EST From: MaltHound at aol.com Subject: BB upgrade to Valley Mills I would like to interject a homebrew related note here in the GMO/ Flame Fest digest... I have a follow up on some info I gave last week about the Valley Grain mills. I sent off an email request to the folks at Valley (valley at web.net) about upgrading my early style mill to one with ball bearings. I received a reply from them that the ball bearing upgrade can be ordered for $25 US plus $4 shipping (note no handling this time!) The upgrade includes the two end blocks with the bearings and instructions on conversion. While I have not had any problem with the mill running in it's present configuration (plastic bushing style bearings) It seems like a reasonable enough price for the upgrade. I thought that maybe some other readers that have older mills like mine may be interested. Regards, Fred Wills Londonderry, NH Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 00:28:13 +1030 From: Brad McMahon <brad at sa.apana.org.au> Subject: Graham Wheeler's Efficiency Russ Hobaugh" <Russ_Hobaugh at erm.com> wrote: This recipe came from Wheeler and Protz' book "Brew Your Own British Real Ale". The hops called for were .8 0z of Challenger, .5 oz of Target for 90 minutes, and .5 of EKG for 15. I thought this was a lot of hops for an ESB, but followed the directions. It was VERY bitter, which has subsided only slightly. Anybody else think he calls for WAY to many hops in most of the recipes in this book or is it just me? This tastes much more like an English IPA than any ESB or Bitter, especially Fullers. Graham Wheeler assumes 20% utilization for hops (see p22) which is generally regarded as low. My setup gets about 30% efficency using pellets. Also check p21 for his AA% levels. His recipes calculate Challenger at 7.7% and Target at 11.2% I look at the IBU listed (in Fuller's ESB's case: 35) and work from that knowing the hop varieties and proportions. All the best, Brad Aldgate, South Australia Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 08:41:24 -0600 From: plutchak at lothlorien.ncsa.uiuc.edu (Joel Plutchak) Subject: Re: Scum Skimming In HBD #3217, Dave Burley writes: >Ken Smith asks about skimming "the scum" off the fermenter >during the fermentation. That scum in top fermenting ale >yeasts is a combination of yeast and complexed tannins and >proteins. It tastes very bitter and has perhaps led to the >idea that leaving it there will cause excess bitterness in >the beer. However, it is insoluble as demonstrated by it >coming out of solution and cannot make the beer bitter. ... >A few years ago , Al Korzonas did an experiment in which he >demonstrated that it didn't make any difference to bitterness, >skimming or not. I don't know if he did that experiment, but he did do and write up a comparison between using a blow-off method during primary fermentation versus not doing so. One can think of the blow-off method as similar to skimming-- the "scum" is removed in either case. I'm almost certain he found that it distinctly did make a difference in bitterness of the finished beer. (Comments, Al?) - -- Joel Plutchak Brewing in the [Flat|waste]lands of East-central Illinois Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 09:51:47 -0500 From: Dan Listermann <72723.1707 at compuserve.com> Subject: Poor All-Grain Extraction Russ Hobaugh ( Russ_Hobaugh at erm.com) complains that his efforts at all grain brewing are not producing the efficiencies that are expected. It is very common for new all grain brewers to have poor efficiencies because they are very fearfull of stuck mashes. They follow the "just barely crush the malt" advice published in many books. It is my belief that this advice is outdated with the advent of better mills compared to the old Corona. I see newbees in my store who plop a bag of malt on my counter that first appears to have not been crushed at all. I ask them if they have a mill and they answer that they have already crushed the malt in the back. I tell them that they aren't going to get much out of that grist and they answer "What about stuck mashes?" Stuck mashes aren't the end of the world and are far more likely to be caused by trying to run the sparge too fast than over crushed malt. Try crushing your grain finer. I crush to the point that there are almost no visible whole corns in the grist. Dan LIstermann dan at listermann.com 72723.1707 at compuserve.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 09:00:51 -0600 From: "Hornberger, Brent" <Brent.Hornberger at wilcom.com> Subject: Ruined Regulator >My question is, is my regulator ruined? I would assume it would be a >constant source of infections, so I have planned on scrapping it. Is >there anything I can do to clean it? If not, does anyone have a use >for a contaminated regulator? I've never had this happen, but I noticed in Superior Products catalog on page 241 there are replacement gauges for regulators. They are between 5-10 dollars. I also noticed some gaugeless regualtors that can be pre-set. Has anyone tried these? Brent www.bcbrewery.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 10:00:40 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Help needed on All Grain "Russ Hobaugh" <Russ_Hobaugh at erm.com> about low extraction on his >Fullers ESB clone <snip> >Water treatment: distilled water with 1 tsp. of DME/gallon. <snip> I was shooting for an ESB with a SG of 1.054, and ended up >with 1.042. I think your problem may lie in your water - I've never heard of adding DME to distilled water as a treatment. Was this a typo? Did you mean gypsum? If not, then you had none of the calcium needed for efficient conversion. I'd suggest 1-2 tsp. gypsum for the whole batch. >The zapap is uninsulated, could that contribute to the low efficiency? Could be. When I used a zapap, I found that the fottom of the thick styrofoam shipping container for a 7 gallon carboy from St. Pat's exactly fit the zapap up to the top of the outer bucket. I bubble wrapped the rest and pus a circular piece of styrofoam on the lid. Kept the temperature a lot more stable. >What is an "average" extraction rate(if there is such a thing)? This was just discussed a week or two ago. See archives http://hubris.engin.umich.edu:8080/cgi-bin/dothread >Without buying a RIMS, how can I improve this, or should I be content with >55%, >and >count on that and increase the amount of grain I use to compensate? I'd suggest getting the zapap to work first - I made hundreds of gallons without any problems. >This recipe came from Wheeler and Protz' book "Brew Your Own British Real >Ale". ><snip>It >was VERY bitter, which has subsided only slightly. I didn't do the calculations, but (a) your hops utilization efficiency would be higher with the lower gravity boil and (b) the bitterness in an ESB at 1.054 is balanced more by the higher gravity. Jeff -=-=-=-=- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, c/o nerenner at umich.edu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 10:24:41 -0500 From: "Alan Meeker" <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: Shipping across state lines. A glimmer of hope: INDIANA LAW AGAINST INTERNET ALCOHOL SALES OVERTURNED A federal judge has ruled unconstitutional an Indiana law prohibiting residents from buying alcoholic beverages from out-of-state sellers and having them shipped to their homes. The law also applies to ordering and selling alcohol via the Internet. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Allen Sharp in South Bend, Ind., declared that the 1998 law interferes with interstate commerce. "This court now, and has always been, greatly reluctant to wield the federal Constitution against state legislation," Sharp said. "But here, the result is inescapable because these statutes on their face discriminate against out-of-state commerce." Similar laws are in place in 18 other states, but the Indiana law was the first to be challenged, said Robert Epstein, attorney for the plaintiffs. -Alan Meeker Baltimore Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 10:29:30 -0500 From: "Alan Meeker" <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: AJ's calorie question AJ asks a great question: > > Alan Meeker wrote that carbs yield 3.9 cal/ g in the calorimeter and 3.8 > > kCal/g in the brewer. The 3.8 number is very close to the 686 kcal/mole > > value published in biochem books for the change in Gibbs energy when > > glucose is burned to water and CO2. But the value retained in the ATP > > formed during respiration is only 38% of this or 263 kcal/mole > > equivalent to 1.45 kcal/g. Typo? Not a typo AJ, and I'm sure if you think about it you'll realize the answer... the remainder is given off as heat! -Alan Meeker baltimore Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 09:12:56 -0600 From: "Jack Schmidling" <arf at mc.net> Subject: Shipping and Handling From: MaltHound at aol.com >As an aside, I have never understood why mailorder merchants insist on charging for "handling". Shipping, sure, but wouldn't they have to "handle" the mill if they were wholesaling it to a retailer?..... I can't speak for others but here are some of the reasons: When we ship a mill, there is a box, packing material and the labor involved that must be included in the cost of the product. If we included this in the base price, then dealers who pick up at our factory would be paying for something they do not recieve or want. We add a $2 surcharge to the actual shipping charge and call it "handling". If we just called it shipping, people would look at the postage or UPS charts and say we were gouging them. On the other hand, they might take the liberty of just looking up the charge and adding it to the check if they prepay. This creates more hassle to straighten out. So, you are right, it is a way of burying costs but is not necessarily unscrupulous. "It's just a flimsy excuse to mark-up an item IMO and should be included in the quoted price. Then you run into the problem of multiple items shipped in the same box. You don't want to pay for 5 boxes if you buy five items that are shipped together, do you? Life always seems so simple until we have to live it. js PHOTO OF THE WEEK http://user.mc.net/arf/weekly.htm HOME: Beer, Cheese, Astronomy, Videos http://user.mc.net/arf Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 07:36:10 -0800 From: "Brian Dixon" <briandixon at home.com> Subject: Re: Help needed on All Grain > I mashed this at at 153 for 90 minutes. Added 2 quarts boiling water for mashout, > waited 10 minutes, and then sparged with 170 degree water over a 1 hour span. > I used a zapap system to lauter. First runnings were about 1.080, I stopped at > about 1.004. Total was about 6.5 to 7 gallons. Boiled for 90 minutes. > SG was only 1.042. > > And now the questions. > Why is my extraction so low? If I am figuring correctly, this was only about > 55%, how > can I get that up. I was shooting for an ESB with a SG of 1.054, and ended up > with 1.042. > I had a similar experience with my first ag--an irish stout. > > The zapap is uninsulated, could that contribute to the low efficiency? Russ, I double-checked your calcs and came up with the same numbers (always a safe thing to check!) ... at 70% extraction efficiency, you'd get a original gravity (OG) of 1.053 (379.38 points time 0.70 divided by 5 gallons). I think you made an error saying you treated your water with DME (dry malt extract?), so I'll assume we really don't know what you did here. Here's the big players in efficiencies that are off: 1. Your crush. You want the internal part of the kernal crushed as fine as you can without a) tearing up the husks (adds tannins) or b) producing so much powdery residue that you cause slow or stuck sparges. 2. Sparge time. If your sparge is taking less than about 40-45 minutes, slow it down. 3. Sparge temperature. Your 170 F water is ok, but you could increase it to about 180 F or even hotter if you keep an inch or inch and a half of water on top of the grain bed. 4. Mash pH. Use a good pH test strip, such as a triple-color or ColorpHast brand (not those 'Precision' yellow papers!). Let your pH papers take about 4-5 minutes in some grain-free liquid from the mash to settle. Aim for a pH of around 5.2 to 5.3. It'll still work above and below this a bit, but this is ideal. Mash time is important too, but at 90 minutes you are doing fine. Don't drop below about 45 minutes though, and more than about 2 hours is a waste. Iodine tests don't tell the whole story either, so it's best to get everything else right and then trust the clock. 5. Other. The Zapap thing will get you by, but is not the best choice for efficiency. Keep your bucket with the spigot on it and go buy a Phil's Phalse bottom (about $13) and you'll see a vast improvement. Another thing, often overlooked, is measurement error. I went 'round and 'round trying to figure out why I was getting 90% to 95% efficiencies (what!) and finally got it all squared away by borrowing some calibration weights and being more careful with my hydrometer. First, I calibrated my electronic scale that I use for weighing grain ... now I look up the desired weight on a table and determine what the scale should read to give me that. I also looked up the weight of 1-gallon of water and weighed it out to calibrate a 1-gallon container, then continued on to calibrate dipsticks for my various pots ... so I could get accurate volume measurements. Now that I've done all that, and insist on measuring gravity at temps very close to the 60 F calibration temp (to minimize correction error), I find that I actually get a very consistent 68% to 70% yield ... disappointingly low, but I've read that you get better beer at these efficiency rates and I'm very happy with the quality results, so I don't worry about it. Good luck! Brian Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 10:51:01 -0500 From: "Alan Meeker" <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: Dave Burley's amazing carrot diet! Dave just doesn't get it... >Alan Meeker proved my point that >your body could not possibly utilize >all that you eat, as though you are >a Bomb Calorimeter.. >Point is I was correct >that what we eat is not what our body >consumes, and Alan's carrot weighing >and approximation of caloric content >example proved that. WHAT? How you read a refutation to something you've posted and then say that it somehow proves you were correct is truly puzzling. >That was my point, not that you would >gain 135 pounds or 1200 pounds if you >ate one extra carrot a day beyond your >caloric needs In your original post you were supporting your "point" with the dubious "fact" that you'd gain 1200 pounds by eating an extra carrot a day. It was the /outrageousness/ of this figure - 1200 pounds! - that you cited as "proving" your position and indeed it would lend some support to your position if it were true. I showed you that the /correct/ figure is in fact /reasonable/ yet you somehow conclude that this /proves/ you correct! Return to table of contents
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