HOMEBREW Digest #3345 Wed 07 June 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

  Absolute Best Advice (AZ4RAYS)
  Genny ("Kevin Kutskill")
  re: freezing grains and the nays have it. - no the chicken-little's have it. ("Stephen Alexander")
  Re; Dry Lager yeast (Chris Campagna)
  Re: Genny ("Patrick Michael Flahie")
  re: mash pH ("Nathaniel P. Lansing")
  Elvis Sighting #7,345,827 and thermometer ports (Jim Adwell)
  Plato Scale ("A. J.")
  lactic acid (Jeff Renner)
  Re: Mead in the style guide (Spencer W Thomas)
  Re: Beechwood Chip Usage at A-B (Spencer W Thomas)
  Re: Yeast Propagation and Grain/Water Ratio Questions (Spencer W Thomas)
  Re: HSA in mash system? (Paul Shick)
  update on attenuation in lagers. (JDPils)
  Re: Infrared Thermometers ("Timmons, Frank")
  mash pH (jim liddil)
  Lactic? (AJ)
  water purification (Jim Liddil)
  "Neutralize" (AJ)
  Crystal vs Carmelized Sugars (Charley Burns)
  Re: Brewing Software & Chico Day Trip (Chris & Linda)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 00:58:08 EDT From: AZ4RAYS at aol.com Subject: Absolute Best Advice In mild response to Johnathon Peakall and his Gardening Expertise. It is obvious that you have not gardened in my neck of the woods, or maybe even in any but your own. To risk another 'blanket' or even assenine 'absolute' statement. All the gardeners around here must rototill or make bricks. Master gardeners, Ag. extension advisors, and the like all rototill. Reportedly, and in my experience, the earthworms survive and the mulches (yes we 'do' organic) get down into our clay and caliche soil all the way into the root zone. One of the few things I still say with absolute authority and unchallenged certainty at this stage of my life is "Never say never and hardly ever say always". We can't all be right about every thing all the time. Have a great day, loosen your bowtie, and 'Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew." Patrick be kickin' back now. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 05:48:51 -0400 From: "Kevin Kutskill" <beer-geek at home.com> Subject: Genny Never did a side-by-side tasting, but I was at a beer tasting event, and had a chance to taste Genny Cream Ale. My first thought was "tastes like my cream ale". Mine is a little darker, but the taste is close. Maybe could use this as a starting point. =============================== Pop's Old Cream Ale Batch number: 7 Batch size: 10.5 Style: Cream Ale Date Gravity Plato Brewing: 1/7/00 1.050 12.4 Racking: 01/10/00 1.022 5.6 Bottling: 01/16/00 1.013 3.3 Alcohol: 4.0% (w/w) AAlcohol: 5.0% (v/v) Ingredients: Belgian Pale Ale 7.0 pounds 1.019 S.G. 2.0 SRM 60 min mash Pilsner 7.0 pounds 1.019 S.G. 1.5 SRM 60 min mash Flaked Rice 3.0 pounds 1.008 S.G. 0.3 SRM 60 min mash Cara Pils 1.0 pounds 1.003 S.G. 0.2 SRM 60 min mash Tettnanger 1.0 ounces 60 min 6.0 % AA 11.2 ibu leaf Kent Goldings 0.8 ounces 30 min 6.6 % AA 5.3 ibu leaf Kent Goldings 0.8 ounces 15 min 6.6 % AA 2.7 ibu leaf Water Treatment: Mash water amount: 26.0 Strike temperature: 168 deg Fahrenheit Sparge water amount: 36.0 quarts Sparge water temperature: 170 deg Fahrenheit Extraction efficiency: 81 % Sparge liquor collected: 11.5 gallons Topping water amount: 0.0 quarts Boil size: 11.5 Gallons Mashing schedule minutes degrees Fahrenheit 60 146 75 170 90 170 Fermentation YeastLabs American Ale Primary fermentation: 6-1/2 Gallon Carbouy Secondary Fermentation: 5 Gallon Carboy Fermentation schedule days deg Fahrenheit 0 72 27 72 ====================== Kevin beer-geek at home.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 07:21:31 -0400 From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: re: freezing grains and the nays have it. - no the chicken-little's have it. Pivo says ... >I was >quite sure as well that at least ONE person would be able to envision >all manner of theoretical objections, and warn against it. I was also >quite sure that this person had never investigated this in any organized >manner, and had in fact "never frozen a single kernel". It's so nice to know you think so much about me Doc, tho' sad that you apparently lack a life. There isn't enough lit available to investigate freezing malt in an organized manner. I have noticed that in your field physicians are not required to personally contract every disease they treat, before expounding on general principles of treatment and prevention. If I had frozen some malt myself it would only provide one undetailed data point - right ? Proves nothing. I've never had malaria or personally observed a malaria case, but I can certainly cite it's cause and method of transmission. That I've never frozen malt has nothing to do with the accuracy of my statements. [ story omitted ...] >I never noticed a difference at all. Difference to what ? You had no control to base a difference on. >Nobody wants to give "bad >advice" so everyone with actual experience shuts up, [...] Sad if true (unlikely). I would like to see ALL the information and experience that can be had on this topic presented. What is wrong with that ? Why does Pivo argue in favor of IGNORING informed speculation. He would like to say that he didn't experience problems in his single case uncontrolled test, so there are none, but that is speculation too. Without comparative experiments it is impossible to say what differences are. It isn't impossible to consider what some of the differences might be tho'. There are very few questions of real complex systems that yield up a definitive yes/no answer. Pivos position is that since there isn't a clear cut answer, that no one should express a cautionary concern. The same mindset that would burn books with differing opinions and ideas. He is determined to misread my "purified enzymes are denatured upon freezing" as the same as "your beer is ruined", and needs a course in critical thinking. >I am going to pass on a little "cure" for these situations. ... > Then you reply: "I bet you a hundred dollars I've been involved in many challenges (not bets) here and the call for experimental tests has some major pitfalls associated with it. When making a bet or challenge there MUST be a clear cut PRE-agreement about the matter being tested, the methods and the determination of the outcome. Otherwise there isn't a solid basis to accept a challenge. There is too much room to weasel out. Also if all parties do not share in the tests effort and expense, then the non-paying party can snipe till the test is outrageously expensive and impractical. The costs must be shared and limited in advance. Who would bet on a poker hand if the rules for hand priority and division of the 'pot' were under discussion? == >[Y2K frenzy ... earthworm/rototiller nonsense] The problem is NOT the warnings that worms are killed and some computers will fail. It's the LACK OF JUDGMENT by PIvo and the other chicken-little alarmists who don't evaluate these risks rationally but see every concern as a 'sky is falling/beer is ruined' issue. Does freezing affect malt quality ? I don't know and have never said one way or the other. I have pointed to two issues (grain quality loss during freezing dehydration and the loss of beta-amylase during freezing) ("Shelf life dating of Foods", Labuzza, 1982, 0-917-678-14-1, and the BRENDA enzyme database). >Anyhow, if you put some grain in the freezer over night, and then brew >it next to some nonfrozen stuff, treating it exactly the same, I bet you >a hundred bucks you wouldn't be able to pick them apart in a blind tasting. I agree, but the poster asked about long term freezer storage, not overnight. I only have expressed concerns, not the chicken-little 'your beer is ruined' that Pivo falsely reads into my posts. Am I willing to bet $100 that "your beer will be ruined" if the malt is frozen for a year ? Absolutely not . The malt may or may not produce discernibly different beer after a year in the freezer, but there are rational reasons to be concerned that it may. That's all I ever said despite Pivo's wacky distortions. >Any takers? > >I rather thought not. Why would I take a bet against my judgment ??? Odder still why would Pivo offer a bet which makes no serious challenge of the issue - (overnight freeze) ? Next he'll offer me $100 bet that the sun will rise in the morning. Since Dr.Pivo is the poster-boy for "HSA doesn't matter", maybe the following challenge will interest him. - -- HSA Challenge -- I claim that if an HSA experimental brew with oxygenation in the mash and prior to chilling is performed that the oxygenated beer will become defective in flavor before the unoxygenated (no purposeful HSA) control beer. Outline: A pair of bock or marzen beers, (details, specs TBD) will be brewed by a mutually agreed upon competent lager brewer, not a bet participant or associate. One sample will be brewed in an entirely conventional manner, except for added precautions for the avoidance HSA. The second will be brewed identically except that oxygen will be injected at points during the brewing process(TBD). Post boil handling is to be identical for both. The brewers judgment of a difference or problem (defective fermentation, contamination) will invalidate the test and require a retest. At the point the beer is declared to be ready by the brewer, and at monthly intervals afterward, the beer will be subjected to triangle taste tests. A statistically significant finding (level TBD) that the beers can be reliably differentiated and that the oxygenated beer is inferior in taste; OR failure to find such a difference in 12 successive tests determines the outcome. All expenses and fees for the brewer and testers to be borne equally. An additional amount of $500 to be deposited by each to an escrow account - 'winner take all'. Perhaps some club with a recognized lager brewing member and enough (~12) competent beer tasters would be willing and able to perform the test for a contribution. I'd need to fill in the details a bit before this can be considered a bona fide offer, but I wonder if Dr.Chicken-little is interested in pursuing this ? One cluck for no, two clucks for yes. Why the larger $$amount ? It would be nice if my winnings exceeded my costs. == Pivo jibes that I don't brew, and don't experiment. He needs to learn that it's rude to lie, and moronic to make declarations in ignorance. Tho' not as often as I'd like, I've brewed 23 full batches (5-12gal) and quite a few (~14) <1.5gal tests batches since Jan 99. Conducted 3 triangle taste tests and 8 outlined & recorded tests of brewing related issues and equipment in that period. Steve Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 07:37:45 -0400 (EDT) From: Chris Campagna <campagna at umd5.umd.edu> Subject: Re; Dry Lager yeast In response to the recent post concerning which dry lager yeasts actually work, I'll have to throw in a positive vote for Superior dry yeast. I have used this at both high (i.e. 65F) temps and at 50F and had very good results. The warmer temps certainly don't produce a real lager, perhaps you would call it a steam beer. At the higher temps it still did not turn out to estery, IMO. I have a poorly insulated room in myhouse which I use for lagering int eh winter. It hold between 45 and 50F during the colder months and I lager like crazy to take advantage of this. I brewed 2 CAPs this past winter using identical recipes, but in one I used the Superior yeast and the other was White Labs Czec Pils. Both are very good, but he dry yeast version actually seems a little more malty and cleaner to me. This yeast is also an excellent flocualtor, so it came out very clear after only a month and a half of lagering. Chris Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 07:49:17 -0400 (EDT) From: "Patrick Michael Flahie" <flahiepa at pilot.msu.edu> Subject: Re: Genny In HBD #3344, BIL2112L asked about Genny Cream Ale... Sometime last year, there was a brief discussion of Classic American Cream Ales (CACA) on the HBD. This was an ale "equivalent" of the Classic American Pilsner and an attempt to recreate American beers the way they used to be. If you search the archives for 1999 and 2000 using the acronym "CACA", you should be able to get Paul Shick's recipe that started the thread. It's still in my queue of things to brew -- along with Jeff Renner's mild recipe posted in May. Others may be better able to comment on its similarity to Genny Cream, but it would probably be a good start. Hope this helps. Patrick Flahie Jackson, MI, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 08:25:39 -0400 From: "Nathaniel P. Lansing" <delbrew at compuserve.com> Subject: re: mash pH AJ brings up >>Checking the actual offset and slope and the response time of the electrode might lead to some insight but for now, based on limited info and admitedly speculating, I'd look at the water itself. Silicic acid from the still? What's the conductivity (or resistivity) of this water?<< The response time is well within the manufacturers spec of 20 seconds. I try to take good care of the instrument and refresh the storage solution every 6 months or so. Isn't a Ph meter just measuring the conductivity of the solution? I've suspected the water source myself for a couple of years. I've tried difference sources and always come out with about the same pH on what is sold as distilled water. I came across on source selling "distilled water" that says "prepared by ozonation." I didn't bother testing that source. I'll try to get a sample of my water to another meter Tues. or Weds. to confirm my meter function. This low test water Ph is what is driving the pH of the initial mash low and once it was buffered with the Ca-sulphate and grist the pH fell into the normal range for a mash; which was really the point of the experiment...{will 150 ppm Ca++ adjust a pale malt mash to normal pH}. It was really a silly experiment since so many sources say Ca ++ at 50 to 150ppm will bring about an properly adjusted mash Ph. (unless the water is highly carbonate) N.P. Lansing Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 08:30:31 -0400 From: Jim Adwell <jimala at apical.com> Subject: Elvis Sighting #7,345,827 and thermometer ports Jonathan Peakall writes, among other things: >>>> And think how silly we'll all feel if it turns out that The National Enquirer is right and Elvis is alive and pumping gas for a living in Boise, and that Aliens have been walking among us for years. <<<< And lest the good Doctor P. think this is all just beer farts or HSA, Plastic Bottle Man was in Boise the other day, and actually saw Elvis, who was pumping gas (probably from the homebrew he was drinking) while roto-tilling a potato field. And it is an indisputable fact that there are Allens among us, even here at the HBD, although most of them spell it 'Alan'. So there. My thermometer port is a brass 1/4 x 1/4 compression coupling, used to join two 1/4" soft copper pipes, some SS or brass washers, and a short length of 1/4" copper tubing. These things come in various sizes for various size copper pipe, and also can adapt different size pipes, such as 1/4 x 3/8, etc. I use larger ones as bulkhead fittings in my mash system. I have successfully used this "system" on HDPE plastic buckets, SS and aluminum pots. Some pictures are here: http://home.ptdprolog.net/~jimala/brewery/bulkheads.html Cheers, Jim Jim's Brewery Pages: http://home.ptd.net/~jimala/brewery/ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 13:04:31 +0000 From: "A. J." <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Plato Scale Bill asked about the advantages (if any) of the Plato scale over the specific gravity scale. The two are actually two parts of the same question. That question is "How much sugar (extract) is in a gallon (or liter or whatever volume unit you like) of wort or beer?" There are several applications where we want to know that. Certainly if we know how much extract we have per gallon and multiplyh by the number of gallons of wort we have prepared we know how much extract we've extracted and by ratioing that with the amount of grist we used are able to determine how efficient our mashing was (or wasn't). In addition to that, most beers are designed for a particular starting sugar level. The "12 degree" Pilsners of Bohemia are an example. They start from 12P wort. I still remember a bloke telling me the beers in the Czech Republic are incredibly strong - 12% alcohol - "It says so right on the lable!" and indeed it does say 12% on the lable but that means that the wort was 12 Plato i.e. 12% sugar by weight - 120 grams of sugar (well, extract really) per killogram of wort. After fermentation we like to know the "true extract" i.e. the amount of extract which has not been converted into alcohol or carbon dioxide. The difference between original extract and true extract can be used to calculate the alcohol (and CO2) produced using tables originally produced by Balling. So how do we figure out how much extract is in a liter of wort? By measuring its density (or really specific gravity) and looking up in a table to see what the sugar content of a sucrose/water solution with that density is. These tables were originally prepared by Balling and then corrected by Plato and the "Normal-Eichungskommission" established by the German government in 1900 to make sure that the German brewing industy had data that were very precise (a small chuckle here is probably still within the bounds of political correctness). The tables were prepared by making up sucrose solution and measuring their densities. The strength of the sucrose solution (grams of sugar per 100 grams of solution) goes in one column and the specific gravity (ratio of the density of the solution at 20 C to that of water at 20C) goes into the other. This is the way the tables in use by the American Society of Brewing Chemists (ASBC) look today. We need both columns of the table for many applications. Because we have the table (or a mathematical fit to the tabular data) we can convert back and forth between the columns readily and it does not, therefore, matter whether the hydrometer or density meter we use is calibrated in specific gravity units or Plato (or Brix) units. Hydrometers often come with both printed on the scales and densitometers certainly have both scales in their firmware. If pycnometers are used then the result will be in specific gravity units and the tables must be used to convert to Plato where the Plato value is required. Using the 12P example again, we would measure 12 on a Plato hydrometer or 1.040 on a specific gravity(20C/20C) hydrometer. This wort would contain 120 grams of extract per kilogram of wort. We also need to know that the specific gravity of such a wort is about 1.037 times that of water at 20C so that the extract in a liter of beer can be calculated at (120 grams/kg)*1.048(kg/liter) = 125.8 grams per liter which can then be multiplied by the number of liters in the wort to obtain the total number of grams of extract in the full length of the brew. Thus the scales are equally valid as long as you have the means to go from one to the other. I think Europeans do (except the UK) tend to use the Plato scale more frequently and there is some appeal to doing things that way. 12P meanin 120 grams per killogram which is pretty close to 120 grams per liter (though its really 125.8) says more to me than 1.048 grams per liter i.e. the Plato tells you about approximate sugar content very quickly. When confronted with "OG 1.060" I divide the 60 by 4 to get 15 which is a crude approximation and then think "about 150 grams per liter". So as a personal preference I think in Plato but I have to be honest and say I got that way because many years back I bought a set of three precision hydrometers (which I still have - touch wood) which were calibrated in Plato and have had little experience with the specific gravity ones. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 09:48:05 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: lactic acid Brewers The Ann Arbor Brewers' Guild was just given five one-gallon jugs of 88% lactic acid by a local micro that discovered it wasn't necessary to adjust Ann Arbor ciry water after all. This will be useful to those of us on wells, though, and for doctoring beers like wit, stout or weisse. At this Friday's meeting we will be filling the 80 8-oz. plastic bottles I got . There has been a bit of discussion here on the use of lactic and phosphoric acid to reduce alkalinity for brewing pale beers. Of course this is useful for my special love, Classic American Pilsner. My SOP is to pre-boil and decant my water, often using CaCl2 in the boil, sometimes adding it after. This is wasteful of propane and a bother, so I'm looking forward to trying lactic acid. I'm curious what the reaction is and what happens to the Ca++. I'd love to not have to add any more because I don't like adding extra anions. (Did anyone ever investigate calcium lactate or calcium phosphate as Ca++ sources?) 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: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 10:25:38 -0400 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Re: Mead in the style guide I have seen meads and ciders entered in homebrew competitions, where the rules explicitly said "no meads or ciders". Brewers want to make them. Brewers want to enter them in competition. If nobody made them, nobody entered them in competitions, then we wouldn't have categories for them. And really, there is a continuum. Beer, fruit beer, wine. Well, we draw the line at wine, since there is already a separate wine-making community (although have you noticed how many homebrew shops also have wine-making supplies?) Beer, honey beer, braggot, mead. Another continuum. But apparently wine-making does not usually encompass mead, so we take 'em. Personally, I make beer and mead. I find mead-making to be closer to beer-making in its process than to wine-making (excluding wine-making from extracts). I pretty much don't brew from extracts any more. Do I complain about extract-brewing articles? No. I accept the fact that people are diverse in their interests, wants and needs. Personally, I'd be more concerned about the bogus "advice" that "the professor" hands out sometimes than about articles about the "wrong" kind of fermented beverage. What a bunch of whiners! :-) :-) :-) =Spencer Thomas in Ann Arbor, MI (spencer at umich.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 10:30:18 -0400 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Re: Beechwood Chip Usage at A-B >>>>> "Clint" == Clint Thessen <hausbrauer at freewwweb.com> writes: Clint> ... Per Steve Michalak, a master brewer from A-B Clint> who was at MCAB II, the beechwood chips are used as a Clint> settling surface for their highly flocculant yeast, Clint> irregardless of what the marketing folks. This allows the Clint> yeast to come into contact with more aging beer than if it Clint> settled on the bottom of the tank. Wait a minute. Are you saying that if they didn't use the chips, the yeast would settle EVEN FASTER, and there would be EVEN MORE acetaldehyde?!?! Wow. All this time I've been blaming the beechwood for helping the yeast to floc faster, and thus contributing to the acetaldehyde. If you're right (and I have no reason to doubt Michalak's statement), then I've had it exactly backwards. =S Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 10:42:33 -0400 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Re: Yeast Propagation and Grain/Water Ratio Questions Why step up your yeast in a starter? This one's been covered a BUNCH of times, seems to come every couple of months in this forum. Here are my reasons: 1. Yeast like company, and grow better when they're not lonely. :-) Apparently there is some truth to that statement. 2. Another reason is that bacteria grow a LOT faster than yeast. Once the yeast reach a significant concentration (yeast per volume of wort) they tend to suppres bacterial growth. But if the bacteria get going more quickly, you'll get bad-tasting beer. 3. Yeast will reproduce only a certain number of times before they quit (without oxygen). 3 times is the oft-quoted number, leading to an increase in the number of yeast of about 8x. If you start with too few yeast cells, you may not end up with enough yeast to fully ferment your wort. And the ones you do get will be "stressed" and will spit out more "interesting" tasting substances. One of the most common effects (imho) of underpitching is beer that is not fully attenuated, and is thus too sweet. =Spencer Thomas in Ann Arbor, MI (spencer at umich.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 10:57:35 -0500 (EST) From: Paul Shick <SHICK at JCVAXA.jcu.edu> Subject: Re: HSA in mash system? Hello all, Jeff Calton writes to ask about potential Hot Side Aeration difficulties with his current procedure of mashing in a kettle and then moving the mash into a lauter tun. Jeff, as long as you're reasonably gentle in ladelling the mash into the lauter tun, it's unlikely that you're incurring much damage from oxygen, especially with a lighter beer like your Pilener. Dumping the whole mash into the lauter tun from a height of 8 feet might not be a great idea, though.... Lots of HBDers have made good beer using separate mash and lauter tuns for many years (and it's probably the most common commercial practice, too.) Having said that, many (although not all) homebrewers are perpetual tinkerers, and are rarely content to keep using the same system for long, even if it produces really good beer. There's a lot of fun to be had from playing around with one's system, especially on the wort production side of things. So, if you're looking for an excuse to redesign your mashing system, go for it. If you prefer to stay with your current set up, you have little to fear from HSA. Paul Shick Basement brewing in Cleveland Hts OH Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 10:59:31 EDT From: JDPils at aol.com Subject: update on attenuation in lagers. Greetings, Back in January I posted five years of attenuation results with brewing lagers as a funtion of the % munich malt in the batch. With > 25% munich malt I always get a little higher final gravity than I would like and what commercial brews acheive, according to the info I had. My efforts focused on reducing my mash temp to get more fermentable and getting a slurry of Wyeast 2206 yeast from a local brewpub. I then made an Octoberfest and did a single infusion at 153 as opposed to a double decoction. The beer started fermenting in 4 hours at 52F and finsihed in the primary in 7 days. When I bottled this batch I was suprised to only get 71.5% apparent attenuation when I was hoping for > 75%. I started to think about what else I could try. I then thought about the fact that my three floating glass thermometers never read the same as each other during mashing, but did at room temp. For four years I always beleived majority rules between the three. When I brewed my next batch of ale I decided to check them against boiling water. Since I am at 350 feet above sea level I expected them to read 212F. Instead, two read 202 and one 212F. So when mashing the Pale Ale I used the correct one and to my suprise the attenuation numbers for these yeasts was 5% higher than I had acheived in the past for any style of ale with normal gravities(1.040 - 1.065). What this means is for five years my mash temps have been high. So my next lager with large amounts of Munich I will be using this floating thermometer and a new digital one to make sure I am at the correct temp. (I don't plam on immersing it). I will also repeat using a brew pub slurry. When I do this I should know if I can improve from the low 70's to the mid to high 70's in apparent attenuation. Since I always boil water for both sparging and sanitizing my chiller ,I plan on calibrating my thermometers against boiling water during each batch as a safeguard. So the moral of the story is don't assume anything is what it appears to be, even though you have done it that way for years. Keep on brewing and enjoy the results! Cheers. Jim Dunlap Woodinville, WA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 09:46:52 -0700 From: "Timmons, Frank" <frank.timmons at honeywell.com> Subject: Re: Infrared Thermometers dr smith asks about infrared (IR) thermometers. I have used one that I borrowed from the chemical plant where I work. We use them to read temperatures of things that are inaccessible or too hot to read with a contact type probe. They work on the principle that every object above absolute zero emits some amount of infrared radiation proportional to its temperature, with a multiplier called the emmissivity thrown in to account for the type of surface, its geometry, surface roughness, and color. They do work on liquids, and even on liquid/solid mixtures. The cheap ones have a fixed emmissivity, usually 0.9, which is fine for fairly dull metal. In order to get a good accurate measurement, I would advise getting one you can adjust the emmissivity on. You will need to experiment to determine the emmissivity of the surface. To do this, take direct readings with a calibrated thermometer and compare them to the IR reading, then adjust the emmissivity until they match. I found that the IR device was not very accurate unless I did this, with readings off by 4 to 5 degrees F, and also that the repeatability of the reading was not very good, so I'm not sure it is worth buying one. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 13:58:08 -0400 From: jim liddil <jliddil at vms.arizona.edu> Subject: mash pH This is from a previous post of mine: Mon, 11 May 1998 11:50:54 +0000 I did my own version of the pH vs Temp malt measurement. Quick and dirty and I'm sure many will find faults in the methodology but here is the data for all to review. University Water: Alkalinity145 Calcium 52 Chloride 14.5 Hardness 159 Magnesium 6.8 pH 8 Sodium 38.8 Sulfate 66 TDS 319 I also used water from a Barnstead Nanopure water system. The water read 17.7 megaohms resistivity. This is a system that produces pyrogen ultrapure water Type 1. The malt was the Czech Pils malt from St. Pat's of Texas. Malt analysis is on their webpage (www.stpats.com) pH Meter: Corning model 340 Resolution: 0.01 unit pH, 1 mV Accuracy : 0.01 pH, 1 mV Note: I know AJ mentions having 0.1 mV resolution but those units retail at more than $500 in the VWR catalog. Electrode: Orion/ROSS Sure-Flow Semi-micro Combination electrode Temp range up to 100 C. The electrode is 7 months old. The pH Buffers were pH 4 and 7 and come from VWR scientific. They are their house brand. The thermometer was a VWR digital traceable instrument with 0.1 C resolution. Meter was calibrated and pH and mV measurements taken: pH=4 189 mV pH=7 17 mV I prepared a pound of malt and then weighed out 13 grams samples into beakers. In the process I tried to keep the mix as uniform as possible though this is hard to do with ground malt. (an experimental short coming) I added 100 ml of either tap or ultrapure water to each beaker. The water was drawn from the tap or filtration system into polypropylene beakers and allowed to equilibrate for 1 hour prior to start of experiment. Samples were them mixed and temperature and pH measured. Temp 76 F (all samples) Tap water Mash Sample # pH/mV 1 6.58/43 2 6.62/36 Samples were placed in water bath at 145 F for 30 minutes with occasional stirring. Sample reach 145 F after approximately 20 minutes. The water bath was setup at the pH meter so that temp was constant (+/- 1 F). pH/mV at 145 F pH/mV 1 5.85/84 2 5.84/84 Samples cooled on ice to 76 F pH/mV 1 6.15/65 2 6.16/65 Type 1 water mashes 76 F pH/mV 1 5.70/91 2 5.75/90 145 F 1 5.47/104 2 5.45/105 76 F 1 5.84/84 2 5.78/87 I left 13 grams of malt at 76 F during the whole test (~60 minutes) and after this time the pH/mV were 6.26/59 I checked the pH meter after the experiment and the buffer reading were identical to those at the start This experiment represents an N=1. Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 15:45:43 +0000 From: Jim Liddil <jliddil at azcc.arizona.edu> Subject: pH measurements part 2 Decided to do some more experimenting. I used a more "normal" mash thickness of 13 grams of malt in 30 ml of water. I preheated everything including my mash water and mashtun (beaker) to 150 F. I then added the malt and water to the beaker at 150 F and let it go for 30 minutes at 150 F. I took the pH at 150 F and it was 5.41 and the mV reading was 108. I then cooled the sample to 70 F in a water/ice bath (undershot 76 F) and took the pH/mV (5.69/92). The buffer mV for 4 and 7 respectively were 190 and 18. I did this in duplicate and surprisingly the numbers were all the same. Jim Liddil North Haven, CT Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 14:09:29 -0400 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Lactic? Jeff writes: >...so I'm looking forward to trying lactic acid. > I'm curious what the reaction is and what happens to the Ca++ I assume he's referring to the reaction when hard, alkaline water is boiled and in particular when it's been supplemented with CaCl2 (which he does) during or after the boiling process. At the risk of answering the wrong question, when carbonate water is boiled CO2 is driven off. To maintain equilibrium some bicarbonate converts to carbonic consuming hydrogen ions and raising the pH. This results in conversion of some bicarbonate to carbonate which releases hydrogen ions thus limiting the pH increase. If the product of concentrations of carbonate and of calcium are above the solubility product for calcium carbonate it precipitates. This causes conversion of more bicarbonate to carbonate so the system is losing carbo at both ends: as the gas (nic) and as solid precipitate (nate). The system doesn't know whether a particular calcium ion came from the supplemental calcium chloride or the calcium in the water originally so some of each is precipitated. Several reactions are taking place 1. H2CO3 --> H2O + CO2 represents the CO2 gas driven off 2. HCO3- + H+ --> H2CO3 represents conversion of some bicarbonate to carbonic to replace part of the lost CO2. The consumption of H+ ions is responsible for the increase in pH. 3. HCO3- --> H+ + CO3-- represents conversion of bicarbonate to carbonate with a release of hydrogen ions which partially offsets (initially) the hydrogen ions being consumed by reaction 2. At "equilibrium" the pH is constant and the number of hydrogen ions released in this reaction matches the number consumed by 2. 4. CO3-- + Ca --> CaCO3. This is the precipitation of calcium carbonate. The sum of the individual reactions can be written as 2HCO3- + Ca++ --> CaCO3 + CO2 + H2O. The idea behind extra calcium is that extra calcium increases the ion product for a given level of carbonate so that it takes less carbonate to reach saturation and, as a result, decarbonation should be more effective. As a practical matter, good decarbonation will get you down to about 1 mval i.e. alkalinity of 50 ppm as CaCO3. Jeff mentions that he doesn't like adding a calcium salt because the desired extra calcium comes paired with an undesired anion. Use lime! Ca(OH)2 increases the calcium, doesn't add sulfate or chloride and raises the pH thus improving precipitation. "But what about the hydroxide alkalinity?" you ask. Monitor the addition of lime slurry to hit pH 10 intitially. It will creep back as chalk precipitates (add a little chalk before adding the lime to serve as seeds). When pH reaches 9 decant (if the solid material is settled). If it is somewhat higher than 9 you can wait for CO2 to dissolve from the air and lower it a bit. If not over 10, don't worry. If done right, the water will have alkalinity of about 50 which should be a lot better than it was when you started. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 11:20:33 -0700 (MST) From: Jim Liddil <jliddil at VMS.ARIZONA.EDU> Subject: water purification AJ wrote: >In other words, I suspect the source of the water. in response to Nathanial Lansings post on mash ph etc. It was indicated the water came froma glass still. These devices are notorious for becoming contaminated. This is info I got in conversations from corning and barnstead, both makers of stills. People don't clean them on a regular basis. The still itself can become contaminated with various organic materials, salts etc that do not volatilize. The recieving vessel goes uncleaned for long periods of time is my general experience. Water, being such a great solvent is easily contaminated. I'd suggest as AJ did you get some other water. Also take a sample from the still and send it ot barnstead for a free analysis. In the mean time disassemble the still, chromic acid treat it and the collecting resevoir and then collect the water fresh from the still into beaker cleaned with alcoholic KOH. :-) Jim Liddil North Haven, CT Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 14:24:58 -0400 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: "Neutralize" A couple of digests back I wrote: >Each 3.5 milliequivalents of added calcium will "neutralize" one milliequivalent of alkalinity at any >level of alkalinity that your water supplier would be allowed to furnish to you...... I got a private e-mail pointing out that the whole point of "equivalent" units is that they are just that: equivalent so 1 milliequivalent of A should react with 1 milliequivalent of B and this is so. What in fact happens with the calcium is that 3.5 milliequivalents of enter into a complex reaction with malt phosphates which result in precipitation of hydroxyapatite and dibasic calcium phosphate and release 1 mEq of hydrogen ions. These hydrogen ions neutralize the alkalinity. I put quotes around the word to hint that it is not neutralization in the usual sense. I can see how this was confusing and it was probably not the best way to express what I was trying to get across. I apologize for any confusion caused. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 15:58:07 -0700 From: Charley Burns <cburns99 at pacbell.net> Subject: Crystal vs Carmelized Sugars I read with interest the repost of crystal malt fermentability and the follow up discussions.Trying to take that very busy and complex discussion down to some useable facts that can be implemented in the brewing process generated the following thoughts. Seems that the non-fermentable sugars then are complex molecules of long length, similar to the dextrins we've known about for some time. But dextrin has no flavor (read that somewhere and tasted some "dextrin powder" one time). Yet carmelized sugurs in Crystal malt has a lot of flavor. Wonderful flavors in fact. And I've always wondered how they get through to the final product if they ARE fermentable. Seems like fermentation would significantly alter or eliminate those flavors. I once brewed a strong scotch ale with 20 lbs of pale malt and 4 ounces of roasted barley. Trying for a Traquir House ale clone (what a wonderful and expensive beer). It definitely has a sweet malt flavor to it, very similar to cracker jax. So I pulled off the first gallon of clear runnings and boiled it on the kitchen stove for an hour until it was much darker than I started and wayyyyy thick. Like a malt syrup. Very tasty, the wife stole some from me for her ice cream. I dumped the rest back into the main kettle for a 2 hour boil with the rest of the wort. The point here is what? I think I created the crystal malt flavor and color without the crystal malt. I was trying to replicate the Traquir recipe and process from the reading I had done in several publications (Michael Jackson's book was one of them). Is this creating the same flavor compounds as kilning the stewed malt to make crystal? These high temperatures required also help to explain the wonderful malty flavors generated by decoction, no? When I have boiled a decoction for at least 15 minutes, I get the wonderful aroma of cracker jax (carmel) and then boil for 5 more minutes. I suspect that boiling a decoction for less time than it takes to produce that aroma is not long enough. Is it possible to create our own "crystal malt extract" by this process? Could it be stored and used in future brews? Would it cost more than its worth? By the way, the traquir house clone came out ok. Too strong, too sweet. Had a head that would stand all day two inches high. Charley (crystalizing some brewing plans) in N. Cal Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 19:56:33 -0500 From: Chris & Linda <celteck at swbell.net> Subject: Re: Brewing Software & Chico Day Trip > Brewing Software??? (Dan Martich) You may want to try "Brewers Notebook" for the Mac, it is freeware. If you can not find it let me know, and I will send it to you. > Hello all, > Are there any good brewing software out there? I think I've come across > one or two but I'm still unfamiliar with what I should be looking for. > > Brewing Calculations? Inputting recipes? etc. > > I have both platforms but is there anything for the Mac? > Alan, Chico is about 2.5 hours or so from S.F. but well worth the trip. I have made it a few times myself as I have family in both S.F. and Chico. Chris > ------------------------------ > > Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2000 10:00:56 -0400 > From: "Alan Meeker" <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> > Subject: San Francisco trip > > Greetings, I'm heading off to San Francisco this month and would like to get > any suggestions as to what to see out there (beer-related or otherwise) Any > info will be appreciated. Will I be close enough to Chico for a day trip? > > -Alan Return to table of contents
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