HOMEBREW Digest #3237 Tue 01 February 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

  Micorwave Bombs ("Nigel Porter")
  Exploding water ("Doug Moyer")
  Mash efficiency / Microwave bombs / Color evaluation (David Harsh)
  Ernie's Corona mill ("Sean Richens")
  Re.:  Microwave bombs ("Sean Richens")
  Microwave Bombs (TKBFRED)
  Refractometer Calibration (Biergiek)
  Superheated water, congealed keg lube (Dave Burley)
  Beer Color on the Computer (Tom Wolf)
  Standards ("Jack Schmidling")
  John's old home brew (Joy Hansen)
  Practical Brewer download ("Steven J. Owens")
  Phil's educational efforts ("Steve Potter")
  English to Metric Yield (Kirk.Fleming)
  Wine haze (William Frazier)
  Thanks for info (Bruce & Amber Carpenter)
  Re:raw wheat in witbier (KMacneal)
  microwave WHAT ? ("Francois Zinserling")
  Water Analysis Problems, Water Recipe? (Kurt Kiewel)
  Re: Trappist Light (question) ("Brian Dixon.")
  Efficiency improvements (Kurt Goodwin)
  Re: Microwave Bombs (VQuante)
  Biere de Garde Flavour (Graham Sanders)
  Efficiency standards / what is caustic?  We need Siebel! (minor rant) ("George de Piro")
  pH prediction (Ant Hayes)
  Shipping Beer from Germany to the US (Eric Schoville)
  Slaked lime (Dave Burley)
  UK Homebrew (Tony Barnsley)
  Re: Stuck sparge with EM (The Artist Formerly Known As Kap'n Salty)
  RE: Pressure Canner Woes ("Dave Hinrichs")
  PH Meter (Was: raising mash pH) (Carmen Salvatore)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 11:27:20 -0000 From: "Nigel Porter" <nigel at sparger.freeserve.co.uk> Subject: Micorwave Bombs Jack Schmidling asked about boiling water microwave bombs. What is described is something that at work we call erruptive boiling - I am an engineer for a company that manufactures commercial microwave ovens. It is possible for this to happen when heating any liquids in the microwave. AFAIK it is caused by areas forming in the liquid that have absorbed different amounts of energy (and therefore are at different temperatures). This can be caused by poor distribution of microwaves within the cavity. When a spoon is placed in the liquid it can erupt out of the bowl. To get over this problem the liquid should be stirred prior to being placed in the microwave. It should then be removed form the microwave and stirred again during cooking, prior to boiling point being reached, and then replaced in the cavity to finish heating. This method helps distribute heat, and avoids pockets of boiling liquid developing. Nigel Porter Guildford, UK Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 10:09:33 -0500 From: "Doug Moyer" <shyzaboy at yahoo.com> Subject: Exploding water Brewers, Jack asks about the email making the rounds warning people about the risks of boiling water in the microwave. For a fairly extensive treatise on the matter, please see: http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/weekly/aa011900a.htm . In review, it is a matter of nucleation points. (As brewers, we understand the potential of supersaturation if nucleation points are not present.) If the glassware does not have ANY nucleation points, the water can become superheated. After the microwave dings, adding a nucleation site of any type (a spoon) can cause the heat to be released dramatically. So, theoretically, it is possible. But--IT IS EXTREMELY UNLIKELY. According to the link above, there are NO recorded instances of anyone being injured by this phenomena. If you are still worried, let the heated water sit for a bit to cool off. You're not going to drink boiling water anyway, are you? Like everything on the internet that documents horror stories and asks you to send the message to everyone you know, it should be instantly suspect. Even the ones with a grain of truth, like this one, are best ignored. Too much b.s. traffic on the net anyway. Brew on! Doug Moyer Salem, VA Star City Brewers Guild: http://hbd.org/starcity Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 10:29:00 -0500 From: David Harsh <dharsh at fuse.net> Subject: Mash efficiency / Microwave bombs / Color evaluation Greetings- John Palmer published grain yields from common fermentables with methods for converting into overall yield or gravity. Several years ago, Martin Manning did the same thing in an Excel spreadsheet for recipe formulation. Just enter your grain bill in weight percents, initial gravity goals and brewhouse efficiency, and the weights of all grains were calculated. You could also calculate hop additions based on target IBU and had a color calculator also (a little suspect, though). I can forward a copy if anyone is interested. Use is simple and intuitive, which means that I figured it out right away. The best thing about Martin's spreadsheet is that it is in PERCENTS, not pounds. - -------- I suppose the "water bombs" described by js could be real if the water is superheated in the microwave. Then, when the container is removed, the currents and eddies provide nucleation sites and it suddenly boils. I thought things had to be motionless for a long time to get rid of these eddies from filling, though. If your microwave has a turntable, that's probably enough motion to prevent from happening. Now that they've solved Guiness bubble dilemna, maybe someone with a license for FLUENT can waste their time solving this one. BTW, don't sell the history of momilies short, Jack. I'm sure they're in the Old Testament somewhere. - ----------------- Recent discussion of displaying colors and evaluating same reminded me of an old beef of mine. On several occasions, I've been judging and a fellow judge has whipped out the plastic "color guides" to evaluate actual color. Then, by careful analysis, they announce "the style guideline says 7-14 L, this is 15 L" and insist on reducing score accordingly. I've always felt that if its only 1 L too dark and they need the guides to tell, its a little silly. Even more so, with the knowledge of how perceived color is affected by path length. Sorry, just a rant. Dave Bloatarian Brewing League Cincinnati, Ohio Cincinnatians don't need Y2K to panic, just predict 2-4" of snow. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 10:07:54 -0600 From: "Sean Richens" <srichens at sprint.ca> Subject: Ernie's Corona mill Well, Ernie, I figure you now know 11 times more about Corona mills than the rest of us. Do you have any insights to share based on the responses you received? Sean Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 10:20:00 -0600 From: "Sean Richens" <srichens at sprint.ca> Subject: Re.: Microwave bombs That might be an extreme case, but yes, it happens. It's called "superheating". In a smooth container like glass you can heat water to over 100 *C because there's not enough evaporation to take away the heat as long as boiling doesn't occur. As soon as you create some unevenness of conditions by disturbing the liquid a bubble can "nucleate" and all of the water in the container experiences a sudden urge to be steam and makes a mad race for the nearest exit. I have two lab experiences along that line. I once made the mistake of adding activated carbon to boiling water. This nucleated boiling throughout the beaker and the water/steam/carbon mess shot up and left a black stain on the ceiling, never mind the bench, the floor, etc. The second experience is less dramatic, but in one lab we used so much caustic that it passivated all of our glassware (and pitted it, paradoxically) and we couldn't get anything to boil. It would just sit on the hot plate and evaporate. Because of this, when boiling stuff in glass in a lab one usually adds something for the bubbles to form on. Little rocks are the best, with glass beads or a glass rod as second choices when purity counts. The "boil-over preventers" you sometimes see in kitchen stores (little glass or ceramic disks) work the same way. They don't seem to help much with wort in my kettle, but might in yours. If your microwave can tolerate a metal spoon (many can up to a certain size) it's a good idea to leave one in the container while heating. Maybe someone who knows more about microwave ovens can add some more practical advice. Sean Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 11:47:08 EST From: TKBFRED at aol.com Subject: Microwave Bombs Jack Schmidling" <arf at mc.net> wrote: Subject: Micorwave Bombs >If water is heated in this manner, something should > be placed in the cup to diffuse the energy such as a wooden stir stick, > tea bag, etc. Jack, be very careful, lot's of the tea bags are closed with a metal clip. This can cause an explosion too, and you and your son are in the Hospital side by side. Fred Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 13:15:31 EST From: Biergiek at aol.com Subject: Refractometer Calibration >From: William Frazier <billfrazier at worldnet.att.net> >Subject: OG Sample Chiller >>Biergiek wrote "This baby (wort chiller) is going to send the refractometer >>to the museum". >Hey Biergiek - I brew in a museum called the Briarpatch. You still can't >beat a 10 second SG reading with a refractometer. >Bill Frazier >Olathe, Kansas Hey Bill, right you are, bro! I was just poking a little fun at that wacky man Schmidling. If I made $300/hr. like some DB geek I know who lives in Southern FL I would own a refractometer too. One thing though, with my method you never had to worry about calibration. I am still waiting for SteveA to weigh in on the issue of what is the correct temperature to adjust pH too.... Kyle Bakersfield, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 13:22:32 -0500 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Superheated water, congealed keg lube Brewsters: JS' description of a microwave bomb was due to a non-equilibrium state of water known as "superheated" in which the water in the container is hotter than boiling at the given atmospheric pressure. This is often a problem because the cup was washed in a dishwasher and was very clean. Adding a wooden stick ( not a metal spoon) to the cup would provide nucleation sites to allow this water to come to equilibrium slowly and not suddenly with the sudden generation of steam at all levels in the liquid simultaneously ( it is, in fact, self-catalytic) and the horrible results steam and boiling water can have on human skin. Boiling chips fulfill the same service in chemistry where glassware is often very clean and superheating is a well known phenomenon. When microwaves first came out, I was told by the instructor ( yes, I went to a class) that the reason eggs blew up in the microwave was because the yolk needed poking first to avoid steam buildup. After cleaning up exploded eggs I had "polked" and saw exploded white as well, I decided she didn't have the answer. If you put a little oil or butter on the plate, the egg has less tendency to stick and a reduced penchant to explode from steam trapped under the congealing albumin. I still cover the dish with plastic wrap, just in case... - ---------------------------- Lance asks about how to remove the congealed Keg-Lube from his connections and such. I have to wonder what was in the "keg lube" you used, as I don't recall ever having this problem. Sounds like your lube contained an oil which was "curing" like a vegetable oil used in oil paints and to cook with ( corn). Even petroleum oils often need treating with sulfuric acid to remove this source of unsaturation to prevent this in special oils used to lubricate watches and clocks. Oxidation of the oil causes the oil to polymerize to a wax or resin, especially in the presence of metallic catalysts. If deodorized paint thinner won't do it, and if we assume it is a vegetable oil, I would try using a solution of lye ( be VERY careful - glasses and gloves) to saponify the wax into a water soluble soap. You can buy this at your hardware or grocery store. Check the drain cleaner section. You may have to acid condition any SS you end up treating. Check the archives for recommendations. Rubber or plastic probably won't be harmed, but I would give them an acid rinse anyway. If it is petroleum based, likely lye will not work. Don't use "Goo Gone" as the orange smell will lilkely penetrate the rubber and never leave, except to odorize your beer. Another difference may be that I always clean the rings and stuff in hot soapy water each time I keg. Just as a matter of sanitation. I have never put keg lube on my connectors that I can recall. Maybe you should try doing it this way. On this subject, has anyone ever used Crisco as a lube? It probably won't cause rubber to swell as it is vegetable in origin and is probably fully saturated due to the hydrogenation. If you have, what were the results? - --------------------------- Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 11:17:16 -0700 From: Tom Wolf <wolfhrt at ibm.net> Subject: Beer Color on the Computer The recent posts on displaying color on the computer got me thinking. Im an engineer/brewer and make my recipes on a spread sheet that is kind of a living brewing program. I continually change sections to match the mashing scheme or just to play games but it is consistant enough to document my brews and start with an old recipe to make a new one. The thinking thing is dangerous, I have more bad ideas in a minute than you can believe. Anyway, I decided to add color patches to the spread sheet. The spread sheet already crudely calculates Lovibond color based on the fermentables and liquid. I started by dropping AJ Delange's formulas in a spread sheet but got bored when I saw that it would take serious research and some programming to get from the R/G/B numbers to actually changing cell colors. I think it can be done though. I used Xcel's conditional formatting feature to color cells based on my Lovibond estimate. Now my spreadsheet has a strip of cells corresponding to the cells in Dennis Davison's Home Brew Color Guide as best as I could estimate a match by eye limited by Microsoft's crude formatting tools. Now one or sometimes two cells on the strip light up showing color. The result is crude but like the degrees L estimate is a usefull indicator in recipe formulation. I now have a new idea. Bring sample glasses of my beers up to the computer nightly to refine the color match. If anyone is interested drop me e-mail and I will send you an Xcel sheet with the color strips in it. Tom Wolf - Enjoying the good brewing wether in LA wolf1 at ibm.net Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 13:25:22 -0600 From: "Jack Schmidling" <arf at mc.net> Subject: Standards Volker says: einer eMail vom 28.01.00 06:07:50 (MEZ) Mitteleuropaeische Zeit schreibt "Jack Schmidling" <arf at mc.net>: > > The proof of the pudding is in the eating and >> in this case gravity per pound per gallon says it all. >Hm, but now I have the problem to compare that to the metric system which is used in the rest of the world: >degrees Plato per kilogram per liter... >How can we call your propositions a standard??? The standard is the procedure not the measurement units. Living in "the rest of the world" is a self inflicted wound. You will just have to convert to the real units. 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: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 21:18:57 GMT From: happyhansen at scronline.com (<happyhansen at scronline.com>) Received: from cust64.scronline.com ([]) by scronline.com (wcSMTP [447]) with SMTP id 179257769; Sat, 29 Jan 2000 21:18:53 GMT X-Sender: joy.hansen at bbs.scronline.com Message-Id: <v01540b01b4b898d65f9c at []> Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" To: homebrew at hbd.org From: happyhansen at scronline.com (Joy Hansen) Subject: John's old home brew Hi John, Finding myself in a similar situation about 20 years ago, I had possession of a brew that had found it's way into storage in my garage along with other prized possessions moved to the new residence. Over the several years in storage, the temperature varied from below freezing to well over 110 degrees. Questioning the safety of the concoction, I just happened to be taking a microbiology class at a local university, I tested it for the usual type of spoilage organisms. Result - nothing! Couldn't find a single thing wrong with the crystal clear brew that wasn't related to oxidation. A sherry lovers dream? A few weeks ago, my other half kicked me out of the back porch where I stored my prizes at a temperature of 65 - 85 degrees. One brew was 7 years young. All brews were oxidized!!! Except the imperial stout, that is. It was just fine. Everything I ever wanted in a stout was there. Seems like the Classic Beer styles commentary about stouts is correct. Pretty well buffered against oxidation! I sampled most every bottle of the 4 cases I dumped to give up the storage space. Beer coolers are under the carport awaiting a new home. Now I find myself in the induction stages of the Atkins' diet. Will home brewing ever be the same? Joy"T"Brew Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 15:38:28 -0800 (PST) From: "Steven J. Owens" <puff at netcom.com> Subject: Practical Brewer download Darren Robey <drobey at awb.com.au> writes: > As is happens yesterday I had another try after very slow downloads of the > first few chapters. I then tried again yesterday lunch time (Australian > time) at work on an unknown internet link and was pulling 17 to > 18kbytes/sec. I had the whole thing down in an hour. WOW it was quick. > never seen anything like it. The web is tricky that way; one likely explanation that occurs to me is that your work access may have a proxy server and somebody else behind that proxy server may have already downloaded the Practical Brewer pages. Particularly since you're in Australia, where bandwidth to the outside 'net is tight. Sometimes I wish I was running my own proxy server :-). Steven J. Owens puff at netcom.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 22:13:56 CST From: "Steve Potter" <potter_s_l at hotmail.com> Subject: Phil's educational efforts Dear Collective, Several days ago Phil Sides posted that he was going to take some Internet classes from Milwaukee Area Technical College. I e-mailed him to congratulate him on his good sense. I have taken several of the brewing classes offered by MATC - some live, some over the internet. The internet classes I took were the pilot versions of the classes being offered now. Phil asked that I post the e-mail to the HBD, so I am obliging him. >Phil, >I think you will be pleased with the classes. I was involved >in piloting these courses. I found that when you know there is a >test to >be taken at end of the class, I concentrate much more. I >don't know how >many times I have read water chemistry stuff in >homebrew books and my eyes >have always glazed over. After doing the >water class, I am confident that >I finally understand the basics. >When you take the classes, make use of the chat room. I don't >know which industry experts (other than herself) Laurel has lined up >to >assist this time around, but I found it very useful. Laurel, in >addition >to being a great teacher, is also a fine human being. Get >to know her >during the classes and she will always be willing to >answer questions via >e-mail even after the classes have ended. >Cheers, >Steve On re-reading the e-mail I would add two things. First, It is my belief that classes at MATC are the best value on the market. Second, I also think that getting Laurel's e-mail address is worth the cost of taking the class. How often do you get the ear of someone who teaches chemistry, is a Seibels graduate, and brewed with one of the majors for over 20 years. Now that Phil is taking the classes, perhaps he can sing the praises of the classes in three part harmony with Wayne and me. With Seibel closed, it becomes ever more important to support brewing education. Steve P.S. Wayne tells me that Laurel may be offering a brewery design class in the spring. Care to sing lead Wayne? ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2000 22:12:05 -0600 From: Kirk.Fleming at born.com Subject: English to Metric Yield point-gallons per pound to point-Litres per Kilogram would be, roughly: (pt*gal/lb) * 2.2lb/Kg * 4L/gal = 8.8 pt*L/Kg So if a pound of grain yields a gallon of wort at 1.036, or 36 point-gallons, then metrically speaking, the same yield is 36 * 8.8 = 317 point-Litres per Kilogram. That is, a Kg of the same grain yields one Litre at 1.317. Now, someone will want the real conversion factor for Litres to gallons so that the real formula can be expressed to 6 decimal places, but this is a start, I think. Kirk Fleming FRSE, FRSL, MSRP Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 06:06:51 +0000 From: William Frazier <billfrazier at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Wine haze Help- A winemaking buddy of mine in the KC area is having a problem with this years Chardonnel grape wine. The wine has a haze. He has used bentonite and Sparkolloid. He's filtered thru a 0.5 micron filter. Yet the haze persists. I suggested gelatin and cold conditioning (it's been too warm until the last couple of weeks here for natural cold conditioning). He will try a few gallons in the frig. He does this as a hobby yet he has over a 1000 vines and has been making wine for decades. His Chardonnel white wine is some of the best I've tasted so I thought I would post this here, as well as on the HVD, to see if any ideas were out there. TIA. Bill Frazier Olathe, Kansas Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 06:02:51 -0600 From: Bruce & Amber Carpenter <alaconn at arkansas.net> Subject: Thanks for info Greetings, I occasionaly ask for help from this forum and without fail have found this group to be very generous with its advise, tips and suggestions. Thank you all for your recent replies to my Zapap lauter tun questions. Specifically: Bob Carbone Jeff Renner Michael Marshburn Matthew Comstock Fred Wills (and others I left out) Living in the woods of S. Arkansas and 100+ miles from the nearest homebrew shop, this is my only real connection to the brewing world. Thanks again! Bruce Carpenter Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 11:05:50 EST From: KMacneal at aol.com Subject: Re:raw wheat in witbier In a message dated 1/28/2000 12:16:52 AM Eastern Standard Time, "mike o,neill" <mikeo2624 at uswest.net> writes: << I am planning my first attempt at witbier and I have gotten some conflicting information regarding the best form of wheat to use. Martin Lodahl in a artical says to use raw winter wheat Briess says to use flaked and others say just to use malted wheat but I have read that this ends up more like an American wheat beer. I am planning on doing a triple decoction mash so the wheat protein should not be a problem, I hope. Thank you Mike O'Neill(the dead horse brewery) >> Rajotte recommends using flour in witbier (Belgian Beers in Classic Beer Styles series). I recall seeing flour recommended in a recipe attributed to Pierre Celis posted on the HBD several years ago. Based on these recommendations I have used whole wheat flour from the grocery story in several batches of wit with very good results. Keith MacNeal Worcester, MA Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 19:11:33 +0200 From: "Francois Zinserling" <francois at designtech.co.za> Subject: microwave WHAT ? On Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000, Jack Schmidling wrote about : Subject: Micorwave Bombs. Jack, you have been the target of another "internet scare" letter, similar to letters going around slandering important/wealthy businesses. It is also similar to a chain letter, intended to sew misinformation. The idea of microwaves "building up" in a cup of water is about as far fetched as shining a flashlight into a beer can for 2 minutes, then removing the flashlight, and if you look into the can quick enough, you will be blinded for life, because of all the light that accumulated in the can ... heh heh. Thus you can safely boil your next cup of water in the microwave. I would still be cautious as to allow young children to operate it though. Happy Brewing & Boiling Francois Zinserling Professional Engineer (Electronics) South Africa Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 12:22:05 -0600 From: Kurt Kiewel <kiewel at mail.chem.tamu.edu> Subject: Water Analysis Problems, Water Recipe? HBDers, I have just completed my first all grain batch and have been thinking a lot about water chemistry. I've searched the archives but could not find anyone with water similar to mine. I'd like to give you water gurus out there my water supply analysis, my thoughts on it and my proposed course of action. I am hoping for comments on my logic and that you could point out any flaws in my plan. I want to create a water profile that will be conducive to brewing pale ales and lagers at least to the point that I can feel comfortable that my water won't be the source of problems. Water analysis of College Station, TX Calcium 3ppm Chloride 54ppm Sodium 211ppm Total Hardness 10ppm Total Alkalinity 389ppm Bicarbonate 450ppm Carbonate 12ppm Sulfate 8ppm Dissolved Solids 511 pH 8.4 My analysis of the problem: I think the only problems with my water are the high Na and bicarb levels. I believe the bicarb cannot be removed by boiling and subsequently precipitating as calcium carbonate because there is no calcium in the water to begin with. Adding calcium to the water in the form of gypsum (CaSO4) or calcium chloride and then boiling to remove calcium carbonate is problematic because that would raise the sulfate or chloride levels to unacceptable levels. Filtering is an option but there is so much stuff in the water that I'd go through filters so fast that the filtering setup might not ever pay for itself. Any thoughts on this? Without filtering I could dilute my water by half with bottled water to get an appropriate Na level then add 160-170ppm of calcium to remove 425ppm of carbonate-bicarbonate assuming approx. 40-50ppm calcium remains unprecipitated after boiling. My best guess for 20L would be to add 4g of CaCl2 and 6g of CaSO4. By my calculations this would give the following analysis after boiling and decanting which is still problematic because the Na and Cl are out of balance and the SO4 is high. Na 105ppm Cl 181ppm SO4 219ppm Ca 45ppm CO3 35ppm It seems that the more time I spend trying to fix my water the more complicated it gets. So, if I use all bottled water, that stuff you get for a quarter per gallon from the machine outside the grocery store (Carbon filtered, RO, ozonized, etc.) and just add some gypsum, CaCl2, NaCl, and some baking soda that would eliminate the boiling and save a bunch of time. Does anyone have a 'water recipe' for water that has enough stuff in it to make good pale beers? example add 2g of this and 1.5g of that to make 22L of water with the analysis of... Please no tsp. measurements as they could hardly be expected to be accurate. Also could any one propose a plan to fix my tap water? Thanks in advance, Kurt Kiewel, Brewing in Texas Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 12:25:55 -0800 From: "Brian Dixon." <briandixon at home.com> Subject: Re: Trappist Light (question) > I recently brewed a "Trappist Light". I was interested in the Trappist ale > flavor, but wanted to make it lighter in alcohol than many (and another I > just bottled at 8.9 % ABW!). I was surprised that the resultant brew tasted > much like a Hefe....and wonder if this is common? > > Here is the recipe: [snip] > 3/4 ox Willamette at start > 1/4 oz Willamette at 30 > 1/4 oz Willammette at 15 > > chilled and pitched a vile of WhiteLabs WLP500 Trappist Ale Yeast Good, although I always recommend a starter. Belgian ales can get away with a smaller starter, say 2 cups rather than a quart or more, because that will favor the development of the necessary esters in your ale. > > kept the temp below 65F > > Anybody know why this tastes like a "half-a-hefe"? First, you need to ferment at higher temperatures in order to develop the esters that you find in Trappist ales ... like higher than 70 F (75 F would be best.) Secondly, try using British or Continental low- to medium-alpha hops rather than Willamette. ('American' tasting/smelling hops such as Chinook, Willamette, and Cascade should be avoided in Belgian beers.) Brian Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 21:28:35 -0500 From: kurt at greennet.net (Kurt Goodwin) Subject: Efficiency improvements All the talk lately about calculating efficiency has led me back to something that used to bug me. My system only yields about 60-62% efficiency. While it's not that hard to adjust recipes to deal with this, it occasionally irritates me that I can't get better. Following is a brief description of my set-up and procedure, any suggestions to improve would be most welcome. I have a 3 tier system made from 3 31 gallon Sanke kegs. Batches are generally 10-11 gallons into the fermenters. The mash tun has a perforated stainless steel sheet metal false bottom with a pickup tube (1/2 " copper) goinf from under the false bottom to an ball valve. I generally sparge with a loop of copper tubing over the tun with many small drilled holes making a light drizzle over the grain bed. I run sparge water until there's 1/2 - 1" of water standing over thr grain bed so as not to disturb it, I recirc 1-2 gallons of runoff before running into the kettle. I hold the sparge water at roughly 170F. I stop collecting when the gravity falls below 1.008-1.010. Thought it mighht be poor crush at my neighborhood brew store so I bought some pre-crushed malt from the factory - didn't make a big difference. Makes good beer - no real complaints, just feel like I could do better. Any thoughts? Kurt Goodwin kurt at greennet.net Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 23:41:28 EST From: VQuante at aol.com Subject: Re: Microwave Bombs In einer eMail vom 29.01.00 06:07:45 (MEZ) Mitteleuropaeische Zeit schreibt "Jack Schmidling" <arf at mc.net>: > As he looked into the cup he noted that the water was > not boiling but instantly the water in the cup "blew up" > into his face. > Comments please.... It's a common phenomenon. In German language we call it "Siedeverzug", which means "boil delay". If the cup or glass is very clean and does not have any micro-scratches, where steam can form little bubbles, and if the water is also very clean, it can happen, that the water superheats. And if you're later stirring or rousing the superheated water, the heat causes an explosive production of steam. It also can happen on the stove if you're using very new and clean glasses and heating the water very carefully and slowly. But usually, when you're heating the water on the stove, there is enough trouble and movement around to prevent this. So: Not an urban legend... Volker Volker R. Quante Brunnenbraeu Homebrewery Brewing and working in Warsaw / Poland, but definitely a German Homebrewer Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 15:57:57 +1000 From: Graham Sanders <GrahamS at bsa.qld.gov.au> Subject: Biere de Garde Flavour I hope this hasn't been covered in the past (and if so my apologies) I want to brew a Biere de Garde but am having problems with some aspects of this style. I have no problems with the specifications and ingredients to use, that information is readily available. Its more to do with technique and that troublesome flavour question. I have two questions on technique. The first is the type of mash. I was under the impression that the majority of mashes are done as a straight simple infusion. Recently I have been seeing information that decotion mashes are used. Does anyone know which it is? I'm looking at a La Chollette clone. I have also been told that to get that wonderful red hue is to let the wort simmer for a couple of hours after the main boil (with the lid on) to encourage caramalization and that nice red colour. Is there any truth in that? But the big question that I'm sure has been asked many times - How do you get that earthy, cellar type flavour? I would like to know what is the latest thinking and opinions are in this area. I have a bottle of La Chollette that I will attempt to culture both on agae plates and from the dregs in the bottle. I am told that the unique flavour is due to the microflora of the area (like Lambics) and if so logic dictates that a culture from the dregs is my best chance of getting the 'bugs" necessary. Or is there a way of duplicating the style with certain organisms like pLambics. I have also heard that some oak chips in secondary, aged for a year helps. As you can see I'm fishing here Any, and all help muchly appreciated Shout Graham Sanders Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 01:35:35 -0500 From: "George de Piro" <gdepiro at mindspring.com> Subject: Efficiency standards / what is caustic? We need Siebel! (minor rant) Hi all, The thread about efficiency standards is quite vexing to me in some respects. I can understand the need for a standard, but when something like the following is written I get confused: Jack Schmidling says: "Seems like 10 years since I started making the same proposal. I have actually been known to get rude to people who ask me questions about efficiency based on %. It is a totally flawed method of understanding what we are doing as homebrewers. It is based on published values for malt characters, most of which are taken out of old books and are nearly meaningless to relate to the bag of malt we happen to be using." Back to me: Huh? The difference in describing efficiency in pts./pound/gallon versus percentage of the course lab grind is the same as measuring something in inches or centimeters. Both values tell you the same thing, just in different units. They BOTH rely on an accurate malt analysis! If somebody writes in that they only got 20 pts/lb./gallon you still have to ask what the malt they were using could potentially yield to calculate efficiency: oat malt has a lower potential yield than pale malt, which has a lower yield than wheat malt, etc. If you don't care about efficiency, and just want to be able to end up close to your target gravity (which is what most homebrewers care about), then knowing that 1 pound of malt can be expected to yield a certain number of pts/gallon (or the metric equivalent) may be good enough for you. I like to know a bit more about what is going on, though, simply so I can get really close to my target gravity and brew (somewhat) consistent beer. For this, I find that the metric system works best (because it is so easy). I simply calculate how many kg of extract I have per hectoliter, then compare that to the number I would have obtained if the lab course grind had been achieved (corrected for moisture). It really isn't hard. There is another thing that bugs me about specific gravity (as opposed to the Plato scale). SG is not something that means anything to me. What is 1.056? It's heavier than water. So what? 13.8 P means something to me, though: it means that my wort has a density equal to that of a 13.8% sucrose solution. I can visualize that. It's 13.8g of sugar (white stuff) in enough water (wet stuff) to make 100g total. Other's minds work differently, and prefer SG. Use what works for you. - ------------------------------- Steve Owens writes, paraphrasing a local commercial brewer: "He said they used "caustic" but he had no idea offhand what was in it." Back to me: I can't believe Siebel is closing when people are getting paid to brew and don't even know what chemicals they are using. That just seems so wrong (and dangerous)! Yes, perhaps I am being insulting to the brewer being paraphrased, but dammit, isn't he (or she) even a tad curious about what they are doing and the potentially dangerous chemicals they work with daily? The term "caustic" usually refers to sodium hydroxide, (NaOH, lye, Draino, caustic soda). Some brewers, like myself, use it to refer to any alkaline cleaner. I always call Five Star's PBW "caustic" simply because I save one syllable each time I say it (it's a word that gets a lot of use at our brewery). All of those syllables add up! Heck, at the end of a year I've taken at least 10,000 fewer breaths than the person saying "PBW," which means my lungs will last longer, right? Imagine how quickly your lungs would wear out of you said, "Powdered Brewery Wash," 40 times per day. Have fun! 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: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 09:49:27 +0200 From: Ant Hayes <Ant.Hayes at FifthQuadrant.co.za> Subject: pH prediction Yesterday, I used a pH meter for the first time while brewing. The results were a bit odd. My tap water has a pH of 8.3 with an alkalinity of about 120. I used citric acid granules to adjust, aiming for a pH of 6, but overshot, and ended up at 5.2. (Both measurements at about 25C) I decided to use this water anyway. I heated the water to about 90C, and transferred to my mash tun. Waited for the temp to drop to 77C, and mashed in 5kg lager malt, and 250g crystal. I gave the mash five minutes to settle, drew off a sample and cooled it to 20C. The pH was 5.6. Can anyone explain this? I was expecting the pH to be 5.2 or lower. Cheers Ant Hayes Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 07:07:10 -0600 From: Eric Schoville <eschovil at us.oracle.com> Subject: Shipping Beer from Germany to the US All, Can anyone give me info on shipping beer from Germany to the US? I'll be there in April, and a friend of mine wants me to bring him back some beer, and I was curious as to the shipping possibilities instead of carrying it with me. Thanks, Eric Schoville Flower Mound, TX http://home1.gte.net/rschovil/beer/ Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 10:19:41 -0500 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Slaked lime Brewsters: Marc Sedam suggests using "slaked lime", and identifes it as NaOH, to adjust a mash pH. Slaked lime is Ca(OH)2 and NaOH is Lye. The former is relatively safe to handle, but is still basic. Keep it off your skin ( it is used to dehair leather in some processes, I believe) and for sure out of your eyes. Wear gloves and glasses when fooling with this. Lye is even worse as it is hygroscopic and can make up its own highly concentrated solution from the water in the air. Compared to acids, alkaline substances are far worse on your skin and eyes internally as well as externally. They can dissolve your tissue. Exercise caution. No sense in getting hurt while having fun.. - ---------------------------------- Nathan asks about Presto canner replacement rings. I'd check some of these appliance parts stores, maybe even the web. Likely, there are second market rings out there for a line as big as Presto's. Presto IS in the business of selling new products and if the problem is wear and tear on the metal so that closure doesn't pull the edges together, possibly the new ring won't help. Their offer sounds pretty fair, if this is the case. - ---------------------------------- Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 15:24:40 -0000 From: Tony Barnsley <tony.barnsley at blackpool.gov.uk> Subject: UK Homebrew Hi All, To those of you who were members of the Ingest form of UK Homebrew and have been wondering what has happened over the last 10 days, here is sort of an explanation. It appears that somehow the 90+ users of the ingest list have been removed from the system. I spent a few days digging around, trying to contact Thomas at Breworld when finally something somebody had mailed made some sense to my addled brain. I resubscribed this morning and sent a test message. I received a reply saying that it had been sent to the 18 users of the list. So it appears that if you were a member then you will need to resubscribe. To those of you that have forgotten how Send a mail to 'list at ale.co.uk' with the words join uk-homebrew in the message BODY, the subject line is ignored. To leave the uk digest, for those that will want to Send a mail to 'list at ale.co.uk' with the words leave uk-homebrew To send a message to the list send it to uk-homebrew at ale.co.uk But please DONT SEND UNSUBSCRIBE REQUESTS THERE!! Either do it yourself (if you can, thanks Pat for removing me from the HBD list) or mail thomas at breworld.com Sorry for the bandwidth - -- Wassail! The Scurrilous Aleman Schwarzbad Lager Braueri, Blackpool, Lancs, UK Reply To Aleman At brewmaster Dot demon Dot co Dot uk Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 15:40:25 GMT From: mikey at swampgas.com (The Artist Formerly Known As Kap'n Salty) Subject: Re: Stuck sparge with EM I use EasyMashers and similiar arrangments in a number of brewing setups, including a 10 gallon Gott. I don't think the system is particularly prone to sticking, and I run off very quickly (20-30 mins). Some recipes are trickier than others, however. In my one and only only stuck sparge, I was brewing an oatmeal stout using store-bought oat flakes. I am told that oats, especially store-bought, are notorious for producing "gummies" that can lead to stuck sparges. The solution in this case was to add hot water to thin the mash a bot, stir, reheat, let things settle and begin again. Note that "blowing" into the spigot was not particularly effective in this case. You might want to check your recipe. It is also possible that you got a particle stuck in the valve somewhere. Otherwise, the EM isn't any more prone to sticking than a false bottom. TAFKnownAKS Chairman, Alan Meeker Defense Fund Current totals: 1.69 (Canadian), some old keys, 1 can Cruz Campo and 3 Clinitest tabs. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 09:49:18 -0600 From: "Dave Hinrichs" <dhinrichs at quannon.com> Subject: RE: Pressure Canner Woes >Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2000 13:50:58 -0600 >From: Nathan Kanous <nlkanous at pharmacy.wisc.edu> >Subject: Pressure Canner Woes >Hi All, > Presto will give me 40% off any new product in exchange for my old >lid (sounds like some government conspiracy....we'll sell you a new one, >but WE want the old one!).post is "beery". >nathan in madison, wi Not a conspiracy but an effort to reduce lawsuit exposure. Remember a pressure cooker is a bomb that wants to blow, except for the several safety features. I would venture a guess that your old unit only has the one pressure relief (the vent). Supplying replacement parts for old units that do not have the full compliment of protection is asking to lose in a lawsuit. Dave Hinrichs Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 10:51:52 -0500 From: Carmen Salvatore <carmen.salvatore at lmco.com> Subject: PH Meter (Was: raising mash pH) In HBD #3236 Marc Sedam writes: >Oh, and Carmen has the Checker II pH meter. If I recall >that's the one with the metal probe. Actually, after checking (no pun intended), I have the Checker I and yep, it does have a metal probe. >Those meters are only >accurate to 0.5 of a pH unit, which means your pH 5 >measurement could be between 4.5-5.5. Hmmm, I didn't think that they were that bad. The Hanna web site and the doc's that came with the meter claim an accuarcy of +/- 0.2 pH and a precison of +/- 0.1 pH. Then again maybe it's wishful thinking on their part??? I'v never had the opportunity to calibrate it against a quality meter. >Sorry to rain on the >parade, but the meter (IMHO) is not even as accurate as test >strips. At least with the test strips you can see what >"side" of the pH you are likely on because of the degree of >color change. You're not raining on my parade - knowledge/experience is always welcomed. I realize that the meter is not lab quality but the only pH strips I've ever used were the only type my semi-local homebrew supplier carried. I seem to remember that they covered, what I thought was, too large of a range - I _think_ it was 4.0 - 6.0. The strips were also an orange/brown color that I found very hard to read. I couldn't read the things worth a damn once they were dipped into the wort. After using these stips a couple of times I bought the meter. If there are better test strips out there I'd like to give them a try. What are they and where can they be purchased??? Thanks, Carm Return to table of contents
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