HOMEBREW Digest #3295 Mon 10 April 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

  Budweiser Engineered Barley (Fred and Sue Nolke)
  re: Hops in the primary ("Doug Moyer")
  RE: Soldering RIMS heater connections (Jonathan Peakall)
  (no subject) (Bob Landry)
  Re:Everything you know is wrong (Jim)
  re-restarting stuck wine ("Nathaniel P. Lansing")
  Digital Timers ("Jimmy Hughes")
  (no subject) (Joe Kish)
  Re: Soldering RIMS heater connections (Jeff Lutes)
  bitter beer (BUILT RIGHT)
  Is Dave Oxidising? ("Phil & Jill Yates")
  Re; Hey Mabel ("Peter J. Calinski")
  Popcorn (DakBrew)
  2nd Annual Palmetto State Brewers Open Results ("H. Dowda")
  Re: Off-Topic: Vinegar (Scott Murman)
  Soldering RIMS Connections (Mea & Marvin)
  vinegar from beer ("Stephen Alexander")
  re: HSA ("Stephen Alexander")
  attenuation again and again/Thanks ("Stephen Alexander")
  hand-held refractometers (Regan Pallandi)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 07 Apr 2000 22:02:16 -0800 From: Fred and Sue Nolke <fnolke at alaska.net> Subject: Budweiser Engineered Barley The April issue of "Wired" has a double page spread of August Busch III and a grower standing in a barley field reaching the horizon, with the leader "getting to the very soul of beer". It goes on to say "We're breeding barley varieties that offer the best taste and consistency for our brewers, and the most versatile growing characteristics for our dedicated growers. Of the many varieties of barley that they grow, there are two basic types. Two-row is for smoothness and sweetness. Six-row is for crispness. Our brewmasters blend them to provide Budweiser with just the right balance, just as they've done for 123 years....." The question to you all is; has anyone ever come accross a factual basis for the statement that "Two-row is for smoothness and sweetness", or is this a continuation of the 123 year tradition of letting the Bud marketing boys dream up unrelated words with which to sell ever more tasteless beer. And how does "crispness" relate to six-row? Or are these perhaps barley characterisics that came from that nightmare you had where everything went wrong that could, and you ended up including rice in your grain bill instead of your chinese carry-out. So maybe it's compared to rice that six-row and two-row taste smooth, sweet, and crisp. When first we practice to deceive.... Fred Nolke, Anchorage Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000 11:56:31 -0400 From: "Doug Moyer" <shyzaboy at yahoo.com> Subject: re: Hops in the primary Brewers, While discussing Charles Sprigg's concerns about all the stuff in his fermenter, Jeff Renner sez: <snip> >I'm hoping it will settle out and when I rack to my secondary I'll have nice >clear beer. What are the chances of that? Very good if you used pellets. Whole hops are probably going to be a bit more trouble. It will still be beer, you may just get a little less than you planned on. Now you know from experience what not to do. </snip> I think Jeff's point is that the whole hops will hold back some of your precious beer. That isn't really a problem with regard to whether the beer will drop clear, which might be one interpretation of Jeff's comment. Some of my clearest beers (I don't filter, and the beers are never colder than serving temp of ~45F) were dry hopped IPAs, where I used loose whole hops in the secondary. (Of course, I have had a hop cone make it into the keg and get stuck in my "out" poppet keeping the elixir from reaching my glass. Sigh.) Either way, don't worry. Charlie got that much right. Brew on! Ing. Makju Salem, VA Star City Brewers Guild: http://hbd.org/starcity "There is a very fine line between 'hobby' and 'mental illness.'" ~ Dave Barry Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 08 Apr 2000 12:08:31 -0700 From: Jonathan Peakall <jpeakall at mcn.org> Subject: RE: Soldering RIMS heater connections Tom and Dee wrote about solder power connections for a RIMS: >>in a word don't. Heavy current carrying wires can heat up. If they >>heat up to much, the solder may melt and run or fracture and >>create a bad joint which will heat even more. If it runs and ends up >>on some portion of the metal frame and you touch it - crispy critter. >>So..... even if you think crimp or screw connectors are a pain, for >>heavy current wire, they are what you should be using. Now, I'm not claiming to be an electrical engineer. However, I have done an awful lot of wiring both for myself and for a living, on boats, cars, airplanes and houses. I find it hard to believe that soldering the connections for a RIMS heater is a bad idea. Firstly, solder has a higher point of melting than insulation. If a wire is hot enough to melt solder, you are going to be melting your insulation. Secondly, if one has wires that are getting hot enough to even think about melting solder, there is a a fundamental problem to the system, perhaps under gauge wire or poor connections. In any case, there is an underlying issue that needs to be resolved. In a properly designed system, breakers or fuses will trip before solder can melt. I can say that in all marine applications that I have seen, all connections are soldered. Of course, in marine applications, corrosion of the terminal is an important issue, and soldered connections are not as prone to degrade. Poor connections are one of the greatest contributors to overheating wire. I personally have never seen or heard of a situation where an otherwise correctly functioning system has failed due to solder melt off. And I find it hard to see the amount of solder used in a correctly soldered connection going very far. Perhaps a way over soldered joint on a poorly designed/built system might have that trouble, but if that is the case, it is not the practice of soldering connections that led to the failure, any more than your runny nose is responsible for your cold. Just my $.02. Any real electrical genius have any words of wisdom? Jonathan Peakall Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 08 Apr 2000 13:14:50 -0600 From: Bob Landry <utahbob at jps.net> Subject: (no subject) Subject: OG vs. FG: Do I got a problem? Just bottled a run of a porter that went from an OG of 1.063 to an FG of 1.020. This FG seems kind of high to me, but then I've never done a brew with that high an OG. Am I about to experience the exploding bottle syndrome, or is this difference within reason. Bob Landry Utah: where homebrew ingredients are sold as food. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 08 Apr 2000 17:02:57 -0400 From: Jim <jimala at apical.com> Subject: Re:Everything you know is wrong Rick Magnan writes: "Phil, Jim and Eric have reported how they were led astray by know-it-alls in books and people and that so much of it was complete and utter BS after some experience had been gained." Being admittedly slow on the uptake, this insight of experience has yet to reveal itself to me. Perhaps its that I've only been at it 8 years and 70 batches. Perhaps I'm just overlooking the obvious. Does this simply mean that you have discovered you can ferment in an open container OR a closed system? That you can use a blow off tube OR not? That your secondary does not reek of autolysis "rubber" stench in a week's time? Please, share with us these many published and widely held falsehoods that have, and continue to mislead so many of us so that we too, may be freed from the shackles of unrighteous brewing advice!" But how would you know if _my_ advice is 'righteous' or not without verifying it for yourself? Have you learned anything from 8 years of brewing? Have you never deviated from the 'gospel' in whatever book you learned to brew from, even accidentally? Never tried something different and perhaps even outrageous just to see what would happen? Never badly mishandled hot wort and had your beer turn out okay, and even perhaps great? Never run out of sanitizer and just rinsed out your fermenter with tap water and _didn't_ have infected beer as a result? (Lucky me, I don't seem to have much of a bacterial load in my water system.) Never run a 'spurment' a la Pivo? And on and on.... I am NOT suggesting that you or anyone else stop reading beer books or reading anyone's posts in the HBD or anywhere else, just that you apply logic, critical thinking and your own empirical knowledge to other's ideas and pronouncements, and keep in mind that 'authorities' aren't necessarily right because they sound authoritative. Dr. Pivo du jour, Jim's Brewery Pages: http://home.ptdprolog.net/~jimala/brewery/ Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000 17:15:27 -0400 From: "Nathaniel P. Lansing" <delbrew at compuserve.com> Subject: re-restarting stuck wine Mike said >>it wouldn't hurt to just toss a packet of K1V in and see if it fixes the problem before he launches off on a crusade.<< Silly me, I thought he'd want a method that would get it going and finish it up without any more failures. Didn't know he'd want to try a "let's see what happens" approach. N.P.(Del)Lansing Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000 18:20:27 -0400 From: "Jimmy Hughes" <inspector at bmd.clis.com> Subject: Digital Timers I have found a neat digital timer for timing my boils. See below... Happy trails to you, 'til we meet again.............. Check out the free items, go to, http://www.ncinspections.com scroll down, click on the free after rebate link........ Save money, enjoy........ Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 08 Apr 2000 19:15:14 -0700 From: Joe Kish <JJKISH at worldnet.att.net> Subject: (no subject) If Lou Heavner's grandmother can take a sip of his "Carlings Red C.A.P.", she will recognize the beer from her youth if he uses regular corn. The only corn that don't need a Cerial Mash is flaked maize, but that does not give a lot of flavor. Popcorn has NO flavor. Go to an Farm animal feed store and buy a bag of 'cracked corn', also called Albers' Chicken Scratch. It's not as fine as corn meal so it won't give a stuck mash. Mix some six-row pale with it and hold it at 148 degrees F for 20 minutes, then simmer for a half hour. Mix it with your main mash. You won't be sorry. Grandmother will want another glass! So will you and your friends! Joe Kish jjkish at worldnet.att.net Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 08 Apr 2000 22:09:19 -0500 From: Jeff Lutes <jlutes at osprey.net> Subject: Re: Soldering RIMS heater connections Someone named Tom & Dee McConnell stated: >in a word don't. Heavy current carrying wires can heat up. If they >heat up to much, the solder may melt and run or fracture and >create a bad joint which will heat even more. If it runs and ends up >on some portion of the metal frame and you touch it - crispy critter. In a word, B.S. I have worked on all sizes of large current circuits way beyond what your going to pull with a RIMS heater and have soldered many of the connections and never had a problem. The melting point of a good electrical solder is quite high...normally higher than the melting point of the wire insulation (ever noticed that as you solder a wire, if you're not careful, you'll end up melting some of the insulation close to the joint?). My point is, if your drawing enough current to melt your solder, you've got enough to torch your wire! As for electrical shock, as I've stated before, I suggest putting your whole system on a GFI circuit. Gemus Brauen Haus Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 06:57:28 -0500 (CDT) From: BUILT-RIGHT at webtv.net (BUILT RIGHT) Subject: bitter beer i made a german ale beer from a kit. beer look,s good .and is clear Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 22:41:18 +1000 From: "Phil & Jill Yates" <yates at acenet.com.au> Subject: Is Dave Oxidising? Sorry, I don't mean to be rude. In fact it would be unkind of me to make fun of Dave Burley. Like him or hate him, he is certainly consistent. And whilst he is giving Phil Wilcox a beating about the ears for using strong language and failing to boil with the lid half on, well perhaps I had best slip out the back door. As for being a saviour of new brewers. Well I don't think that part fits me well either Dave. If you haven't completely confused them with your science, I am sure I must have with some of my lunatic stories. But hopefully someone has had a laugh along the way. Cheers Phil (Wilcox? - how did he slip in here?) Bullshitter Of Burradoo And User of Strong Language Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000 18:00:34 -0400 From: "Peter J. Calinski" <PCalinski at iname.com> Subject: Re; Hey Mabel Good luck, I hope you find the recipe. If you do, please pass it to me. Black Label was my one and only beer for nearly 30 years. Then I discovered homebrewing. That's why they are almost out of business. I cut way back on purchases. I still try to keep some around as a tradition. The last case of cans I bought around Thanksgiving was too far gone. It seems I had (have) quite a reputation as a Black Label drinker. This past Thursday an old friend that I hadn't seen in over 10 years dropped by. After just minutes of "how are the wife and kids etc.", he asked, "Do you still drink Black Label?" About 5 years ago, I ran into my old collage roommate that I hadn't seen since I left school 25 years before. Same damn story, "Do you still drink Black Label?" I guess a guy could be known for worse things. Pete Calinski East Amherst NY Near Buffalo NY Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 10:50:08 EDT From: DakBrew at aol.com Subject: Popcorn Lou Heavner asks "any opinions as to whether or not popcorn could be used? Would you try to crush the kernals or dry (air) pop it and add to the mash? Wish I could brew as many 'spurments as our beloved doc pivo. TIA..." You will get a number of opinions on this one. However I have this experiment going right now, a CAPCA (Classic American Popcorn Cream Ale) I decided to go with Ale yeast because I am unwilling to wait 2 months for results. I will be racking 10 gal to secondary today It tasted good when it went in to primary. I hit the target gravity right on the nose. 11gal of beer at 1.054. In short Popping the corn with Air seems to have gelatinized the starch in the corn. Only time will tell if the beer is any good. If you think it will save time over a cereal mash and boiling to gelatinize the starch think again. Wile it saved time on brewday, the day before It took me 8 1/2 cup batches in the hotair popper to pop 2lb of Popcorn. And then I realized it was taking up most of a trashbag in volume so I started to crush it by hand to reduce the volume. After that I started crushing each batch before adding it to the bag. The grain bill was Pilsner malt 10lb wheat malt 5lb Popcorn 4lb (weighed before I popped it with a hot air popper) CaraMunich 2lb (this was for color mostly I would cut back to . 5 or 1lb for a closer to style batch) Cara-pils 1lb Mash Strike with 7gl H2O to hit 164F The Popcorn took up a lot of volume (one fairly full 13gl trash bag. inspite of being crushed by hand after popping) so I added it to my Mashtun (converted Keg) with the water. it shrinks up some when it gets wet. I heated the water Popcorn mixture to strike temp and added the rest of the grain. Rest at 164F 30 min Raise temp with heat to 158F Rest 60 min Raise temp to mash out 168F with 2gl of boiling water and direct heat. Hold 15 min Sparge with 170F water First Wort Hop with 2 oz Sazz Collect 13.5 gl of sweet wort Hops FWH 2oz Sazz 3.1 Alpha 60 min 1oz Northern Brewer 7.2 alpha 30 min 1oz Northern Brewer 7.2 alpha Chill to 64 F and Pitch 4 Packets of Notingham rehydrated yeast. I will definatly Post actual tasting notes on this beer as soon as they are available. Cheers Dan K (Dan Dan The Popcorn Man) Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 10:14:42 -0700 (PDT) From: "H. Dowda" <hdowda at yahoo.com> Subject: 2nd Annual Palmetto State Brewers Open Results http://www.sagecat.com/results.htm __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Talk to your friends online with Yahoo! Messenger. http://im.yahoo.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 11:17:56 -0700 (PDT) From: Scott Murman <smurman at best.com> Subject: Re: Off-Topic: Vinegar regarding making vinegar - i've been doing it with some of my less spectacular meads and beers. i've heard that starting a new "ferment" from a small portion of the mother helps the result. i.e., instead of "pitching" onto the complete mother, grab a small culture from a smaller bottle, etc. and build that up again. anyone have more than idle speculation on such? -SM- Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 09 Apr 2000 12:40:16 -0700 From: Mea & Marvin <mcmc at loop.com> Subject: Soldering RIMS Connections RE: So..... even if you think crimp or screw connectors are a pain, for heavy current wire, they are what you should be using. Tom & Dee McConnell (tdmc at bigfoot.com) Littleport, Ely, Cambs (UK) Actually before you solder anything a strong physical connection, i.e., splice, crimp, clamp, etc., must be made first. After the strong physical connection is established you can solder to your heart's content. Done correctly it will only improve the connection by reducing resistance. If solder melting from heat ever becomes an issue, you have too much current draw for the application. A correctly soldered joint will not have enough excess solder to run or drip anywhere. Mine is a vast compendium of largely useless knowledge. Marvin Campbell Culver City (A small mining community south of Beverly Hills) Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 00:12:23 -0400 From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: vinegar from beer John S Thompson asks ... >Does anyone know how to make vinegar from old (red or white) wine? Not exactly. I've been making vinegar from late runnings after no-sparge and from starter beer for a couple years now. I have not had contamination from either vinegar or sauerkraut making affect my brewing. After the wort (preferably ~SG=1.050, unhopped and with some colored malt) has fully fermented a starter acetic acid culture is introduced which converts the alcohol to acetic acid(vinegar) over a period of 4 to 8 weeks. Air/oxygen is needed to convert ethanol into acetic acid, but wild airborne bacteria can result in cultures that continue the oxidation and produce acetone. I doubt that dregs from commercial wine vinegar is a good source of a starter since vinegar is pasteurized, filtered and sugar is added. It's like trying to get a yeast culture from a bottle of Bud. You can buy a clean culture (a 'mother of vinegar') from many HB shops for a couple dollars. If your local HB shop doesn't carry this call http://www.grapeandgranary.com/ 800-695-9870. I am not aware of any good books on the topic, tho' I have a couple awful ones (pamphlets). Contact me off-line if you need specific information. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000 23:10:06 -0400 From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: re: HSA Pivo writes that "HSA rides again". Among the obligatory and now tiresome personal innuendo against me he says .. >I might briefly reiterate a little spearmint I did [...] >At the end of the boil, I let a portion go flying through the air [...] >HSA was a "no-show" I see you still are having problems accurately reading my posts. I wrote both last year and just recently that the trans-2-nonenal formation most associated w/ staling is (according to the lit) related to ENZYMIC OXIDATION IN THE MASH. Your 'speriment which gives oxygen access to beer long after the enzymes are gone, then you taste it at 8 weeks, is nearly irrelevant to this issue - as I told you last year. What part of "Your experiment fails to test the hypothesis" are you having difficulty with ? -S Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 16:56:34 -0400 From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: attenuation again and again/Thanks First ... What is meant by the attenuation of brewing yeast. The British 'National Collection of Yeast Cultures'(NCYC) categorized their lager and ale cultures by the following statement. >Attenuation >An indirect measurement of the conversion of wort sugars to alcohol. >The coding relates to the attenuation achieved after 6 days: >1.006-1.008 : 5, 1.008-1.010 : 4, 1.010-1.012 : 3, >1.012-1.014 : 2, 1.014-1.016 : 1. >ie 1 denotes a product which is sweet at the end of fermentation > with a high S.G. (1.016) 5 denotes a product which is dry at the >end of fermentation with a low S.G. (1.006) Sadly I know nothing more about the conditions of this 'test'. Whether Wyeast uses the same method is unclear. Also obviously most lager fermentations are not over after 6 days. Incidentally - you can get from the UK NCYC website to Jeff Renner's name/email in three mouse clicks !!! [take that Kevin Bacon]. Is this guy connected or what ? === Doug Moyer says ... >All you librarians out there: what does the literature say about variations >between COMMON strains of yeasts and their ability to process various >sugars? There is significant variation among brewing yeast ('Yeast Catalog' lists some) in the specific sugars they can ferment - *BUT* Doug - the sum of all of these odd sugars in wort is not sufficient to sustain the argument.. The NCYC range implies about 8 SG apparent degrees (abt 6.5 real degrees) of attenuation difference among yeasts. Consider a wort assay, 1.0430SG. [43 degrees] 3.6 deg NON-carbohydrates. 30.1 deg fermentable sugars [sucrose, fructose, glucose, maltose, maltotriose] 7.8 deg dextrins of DP5 or greater (not fermentable by brewing yeasts) Of the remaining 1.5 real degrees we have - 0.46 from isomaltose (not considered fermentable) 0.19 from DP3 other than maltotriose (including any raffinose) 0.81 from DP4 sugars (abt 0.6 deg of this from maltotetraose) As you can see the last three items add to 1.5 degrees which is far less than the 6.5 real degrees NCYC ranges - yet these are the only items which are in serious question. Even if you threw in *all* of the DP4 thru DP8 saccharides into question it would not account for even half difference. === >Most of the variation that I've seen discussed on the hbd refers only to >lager yeasts' ability to ferment mannose (or perhaps another dextrin), I *think* you mean raffinose or melibiose. As Doug suggests these are not of concern in wort. There isn't enough to bother with. >Assuming you had identical wort composition, why would 1056 attenuate >differently from 1728? Simple question. Anyone have a answer that isn't >just a WAG? The answer is obvious by deduction. As Alan Meeker said, the difference is that the *supposedly* fermentable sugars are not always or completely fermented in time (6 days). Alan and I differ in our explanation about which sugars *might* be left over. I have never heard it suggested seriously that brewing yeast might lack invertase to consume sucrose (worth only 0.77deg anyway), but the lit regularly reports incomplete consumption of maltotriose. The maltotriose is worth 4.1 deg of real attenuation, which explains much of the NCYC (~6.5 deg) range. When yeast reach their growth limits, then as a result their energy use and fermentation rate drops and also as a result their cell surface properties change and they (usually) flocc and drop. I cannot fully explain why yeast would not continue to ferment at a slow rate after flocculation *IF* fermentable sugars are left. The reason why they will bottle ferment is that the priming sugar acts directly to remove flocculation and restore growth conditions. Healthy cell surface properties can be restored and so fermentation continues. This assumes that sugar was the growth limiting factor. == On a more speculative note, DaveB's support of DeClerc could be correct yet this definition of attenuation differences (6 day limit) still be useful.. I still have doubts but that's a different matter. It actually makes sense to me that yeast not consume every last molecule of fermentable sugars. At some point the concentration drops sufficiently that their energetic needs cannot be met. At what point is an interesting question. ======= Thanks to Hubert Hangofer (via Jeff R) for the insight into FWH. And thanks again to Lynne at St.Pats for the excellent posts. I was especially interested to read what she wrote re Czech mash thickness (thinness) which supports the content of M&BS, and contradict a BT article on the topic. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 12:28:53 +1000 From: Regan Pallandi <regan at esb.net.au> Subject: hand-held refractometers Hey all - I have had a request from a customer to locate a hand-held refractometer. Can anyone provide info on availability/suppliers and prices for such an instrument? thanks, Regan Eastern Suburbs Brewmaker 149 Clovelly Rd. Randwick, 2031 N.S.W. Australia ph/fax (02) 9399 8241 mailto:regan at esb.net.au http://www.esb.net.au Return to table of contents
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