HOMEBREW Digest #3607 Sat 14 April 2001

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  Re: Fermentation stalled (Steven)
  Mini Kegs (Dan Listermann)
  vienna (Darrell.Leavitt)
  2 QUESTIONS ("Hill, Steve")
  Mini Kegs ("Pannicke, Glen A.")
  Trip to DC (Steve Funk)
  poor attenuation all the time ("John Zeller")
  Wort bombs / HSA / Minikegs and philtaps (David Harsh)
  Re: CO2 cylinders ("McGregor, Arthur, Mr, OSD-ATL")
  AHA & Toll Free Numbers ("Gary Glass")
  Soapy beer - revisited (Beaverplt)
  An Answer For Ray And A Question For Steve ("Helen Pay")
  RE: Starter Grenades ("Steven Parfitt")
  Champagne or Beer ("Todd Hannemann")
  Re: lube ("Dave Sapsis")
  A Sad Day. ("Matthew Saunders")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 07:51:29 -0400 (EDT) From: Steven <stevensl at mindspring.net> Subject: Re: Fermentation stalled I tend to get quick finishing fermentation at my brewing temps, ~70-72 , 3-4 days max. A fellow brewer thought he had a stuck fermentation till he noticed his primary lid was cracked, thus bypassing the bubbler. Worth checking for leaks. Steven St.Laurent ::: stevensl at mindspring.net ::: 403forbidden.net /"\ \ / ASCII Ribbon Campaign - Say NO to HTML in email and news X / \ Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 10:01:30 -0400 From: Dan Listermann <72723.1707 at compuserve.com> Subject: Mini Kegs < "Tom Williams" <williams2353 at hotmail.com>Comments about Mini Kegs: <Steve wrote about his mini keg experiences: " 2) I had some leakage around the tap/keg joint when the tap was inserted wet." I have this type of leakage nearly every time, and I find that it limits the life of the CO2 cartridges. If there were some way to stop this leakage, the kegs could be kept cold and carbonated in the fridge for several days. Anybody have a solution?> It is probably not leaking at the tap / keg joint and, if it is, for the German taps. a little keg lub on the dip tube threads should seal it. The German taps tend to leak at the cartridge / regulator junction. The cartridge must seal against a hard plastic surface. Again a little keg lub on the tip of the cartridge along with a bit on the threaed portion of the cartridge holder to ease screwing should cure this problem. Another problem can be that the CO2 is simply being disolved into the beer. Turn the regulator off when not dispensing. I have dispensed beer from these kegs over the course of months without problems. <" 3) Getting the carbonation levels right is tough - The first 5 gallons was primed with 4 oz corn sugar, the second with 5 oz. SWMBO was unhappy both times. I'll try 6 oz next month. " How do these priming rates compare to the rates you use when bottling? I have tried putting corn sugar directly in each keg, but I have never been satisfied with my carbonation results. (I read somewhere that they should be primed less than bottles).> I recommend priming with 1.5 tablespoons of corn sugar directly into the keg. This can be easily controlled plus kegging can be accomplished directly from the fermenter without the bother of a bottling bucket. <" 4) Drying the kegs out is no fun - I ended up using rolled up papertowels and shaking. the bung lip keeps a good deal of water in the keg that will not drain out. " I have exactly the same experience. I have given up trying to dry them. I just make sure they are sanitized and rinsed well, and I cover the openings when stored empty. I don't think a little rinse water left in the bottom matters.> I used to get all carried away drying the kegs. I have found that a reasonable shaking is usually fine. The real important part is to be sure that there is no sediment left in the keg. I don't seal the opening for storage. If you feel a need to do this, use paper towels. It is important that the kegs eventually dry. Never use a keg that smells funny. Clean it first. If you still feel a need to get all the water out of the kegs, the rolled up paper towel works great or you can just put a bit of towel inside the lip of the keg and leave it inverted for a hour or so to wick the water out. <I have some kegs which were bought from a homebrew store specifically for this purpose, and some which I bought with beer in them (Grolsh, Warsteiner). Both perform equally well.> Mini kegs from commercial breweries work great, but the bungs are much more difficult to remove compared to those sold for the homebrew market. You will probably destroy the rubber part of these bungs when attempting to remove them and care must be taken to avoid scratching the area around the lip of the hole. Scratches, while not the end of the world, will rust in time. < Also, I have a different brand tap - mine is a Fass Frisch. How well does the Philtap regulate the CO2?> The Philtap does not have a regulator. It uses a CO2 dispenser. When the beer flow starts to slow, a quick burst of the trigger restores the flow. The German taps are generally used as "on / off " valves too since leaving the regulators on all the time can cause the CO2 to simply disolve into the beer if set too high and the level of the setting is difficult to determine. It is better to just use it to restore pressure as needed manually. Dan Listermann Check out our E-tail site at www.listermann.com! Visit the anti-telemarketing forum. It is my new hobby! Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 11:03:48 -0400 From: Darrell.Leavitt at esc.edu Subject: vienna Pete asks: Comment on your hopping schedule to us in terms of your brew being too sweet/malty please. Also, how did the slurry do in its previous pitch that you harvested from? When you took your gravity going to secondary, was the beer warmed to about room temp or did you correct for temp with your hydrometer. Its possible that a 50F hydrometer reading would be reading higher by maybe 0.002-0.004, making your brew more what you would think at 1.016ish for room temp. I respond: I do not have my records with me here ... but as I recall I used 1 oz of Hallertau (about 6 aa) as bittering, and the same with 30 min left....it was a 90 minute boil. The previous batch that the slurry came from (German Lager) also came out with more residual sweetness...and the final gravity, as I recall was around 1.02.....not as low as I'd hoped for...I attributed this to my not-so-accurate temperature control system: ice in a trashcan... The sample that I drew for the hydrometer had warmed up..as well... ..Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 11:31:44 -0400 From: "Hill, Steve" <Steve.Hill at apfs.com> Subject: 2 QUESTIONS First question. What are the advantages/disadvantages of a thick mash vs. a thin mash? Second: How deep of a grain bed is too deep? (looking to mash roughly 100lbs in a 55 gallon drum) Thanks Steve Hill Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 12:12:29 -0400 From: "Pannicke, Glen A." <glen_pannicke at merck.com> Subject: Mini Kegs Tom wrote: >Steve wrote about his mini keg experiences: > >" 2) I had some leakage around the tap/keg joint when the tap was >inserted wet." >I have this type of leakage nearly every time, and I find that it limits the >life of the CO2 cartridges. If there were some way to stop this leakage, >the kegs could be kept cold and carbonated in the fridge for several days. >Anybody have a solution? I read this incorrectly the first time. Thought it was leaking around the bung & the keg, not tap and bung. How old are the bungs? Maybe they should be replaced? I have the Fass-Frisch metal tap and Fass-Frisch bungs, however, I always purposefully wet the tap tube before inserting it as it helps to make the process much easier. Got a beer shower once before and wrung my shirt out into a glass - hey! No waste! Maybe your tap OD and bung ID are not a perfect match. It might be best to use either matched Phil tap & bungs or Fass-Frisch tap & bungs, but do not mix them. They should work together, but who knows. Carpe cerevisiae! Glen A. Pannicke glen at pannicke.net http://www.pannicke.net 75CE 0DED 59E1 55AB 830F 214D 17D7 192D 8384 00DD "I have made this letter longer than usual, because I lack the time to make it short." - Blaise Pascal Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 09:16:15 -0700 From: Steve Funk <steve at hheco.com> Subject: Trip to DC I'm a long time HB'er but only recently joined this HBD. This is a very interesting group and I'm sure I'll be able to come away with many new insights. Most recently the HSA issue. Thanks for the input. To get to my question: Can anyone point out some "must see" brew pubs/microbreweries in the D.C. area? I'll be there for a week and want to hit as many as I can. To reciprocate, I live in SW Washington State and would be happy to offer my opinion on the locals here (Washington/Oregon). Cheers, Steve "To brew beer is benevolent to drink it is divine" Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 09:34:07 -0700 From: "John Zeller" <jwz_sd at hotmail.com> Subject: poor attenuation all the time Rick, I've given your problem some thought. Here is my feeble opinion on the sitution. 1. "Doing step mashes in a kettle with polar ware false bottom. The bottom gets too hot and kills enzymes. There is a little over a gallon of wort under the false bottom that can't be stirred." I also use a Polarware with the SS perforated false bottom. I draw off the hot wort from under the fals bottom while applying heat and stir it back into the mash to get better heat distribution. This method works very well for me. 2. "Could also just be inconsistent mash temp by heating the mash under the kettle. I think that uneven temperatures in your mash may very well be part of the problem. Use the manual recirculation as described above. 3. "I initially infuse with 1.33 gal for a protein rest at 122. I think this might be too thin." This is on the thin side. A better ratio to try would be 1.10 gal/per lb. plus an additional gallon to fill the dead space below the false bottom. A protein rest is not necessary unless you are using undermodified malt which would be an unusual exception. I would skip this step and shoot for the target mash temp. with your strike water. Part of the problem may again be uneven temperatures in your mash while ramping up to mashing temp. from the protein rest. 4. "I may be racking too early. Not enough yeast to finish the job." I doubt it. There is always enough yeast in suspension to get the job done under normal circumstances. It would be very unusual if this was actually the problem for some reason. 5. "during racking co2 transfer method may overly carbonate the beer so yeast becomes inactive." Not a chance at all. You aren't applying enough pressure over a long enough period to dissolve any appreciable CO2 into the wort. This is definitely not the problem. "My sacrification temp is 153 degrees" Given the above problems with temperature control, your mash temp. may have actually risen above this temperature resulting in the production of less fermentables thereby reducing the attenuation some. Lastly, IMHO your attenuation is very good. If you had an O.G. of 1.055 and a F.G. of 1.014 then I calculate it at 74.5%. I think 75% is considered about normal for most yeasts. Your fermentation rate does seem a little slow. I would use a large starter to improve the rate if you are not already doing so. You seem to have what we call a non-problem out this way. Brew on! Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 12:53:49 -0400 From: David Harsh <dharsh at fuse.net> Subject: Wort bombs / HSA / Minikegs and philtaps Greetings- Jeff Greenly <greenlyj at rcbhsc.wvu.edu> made some grenades: > ...1 gallon wort with a small amount of hop pellets and light DME > to 1.060, placed it in new, sanitized Ball brand jars fresh from > the grocery, put rings and lids on, and then placed them in > SWMBO's canning cooker for 45 minutes at full boil. The lids popped... You obviously had an infection from some sort of spore forming microbe. The only way to kill these is by pressure cooking them. I don't wish to start the b*t*l*sm discussion again, as its never been proven one way or the other. Chris White told me that pressure cooking is the only way to be sure nothing is in your starter worts; he said he had an article upcoming in BYO that covered the basics. Just follow the same rules as canning a low acid vegetable and you shouldn't have a problem. And for what its worth, if they were truly sterile, there would be no need to keep them in your fridge. - ------------ On HSA- This has been beaten alot, but I personally think you really have to abuse beer to get an oxidized (cardboard) flavor. Burley correctly pointed out the harm from doing the Papazian with boiling wort through a kitchen strainer. Excessive heat after bottling is the only other situation where I've encountered cardboard ale, if you don't count a bunch of half filled bottles of Limestone Ale from the Lexington brewery I tasted several years ago. <rant mode on> However, oxidation does provide inexperienced judges with something to write on their scoresheets when they can't think of anything else to say. <rant mode off> - --------------- On mini-kegs and the philtap: I like minikegs for the purpose of taking a small quanity of beer somewhere, but I've only counterfilled them and have never carbonated in them. The philtap is very well designed - the nicest feature is that you can dispense either upright or with the keg on its side, which means it can fit on a refrigerator shelf. No affiliation, although Dan's a Bloatarian and his retail store is a half mile away. I will say that they aren't that much more convenient to haul around than a three gallon keg since they don't have handles. Dave Harsh Bloatarian Brewing League Under curfew in Cincinnati, OH [30", 0] Listermannian coord. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 13:53:03 -0400 From: "McGregor, Arthur, Mr, OSD-ATL" <Arthur.Mcgregor at osd.mil> Subject: Re: CO2 cylinders Jason Gorman <JGORMAN at steelcase.com> writes >I have an old CO2 cylinder that failed the hydro test. Is there any way to >refurbish it so it will pass and can be reused? Are there any places that >take them in on trade or is it a boat anchor? If you take your tank to a gas supply retailer like "Roberts Oxygen" or some other welding supply shop you might be able to exchange it for a similar tank filled with CO2. Typically you take an empty 5, 10, 20 lb. tank to the gas supply shop and exchange it for a full one, then pay for the gas ($10-20). If your tank doesn't have any large noticeable markings to indicate that it failed, you should be ok. The gas supply shops test (and maybe fix) the tanks on a regular basis Art McGregor Northern Virginia (USA) email: arthur.mcgregor at osd.mil Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 16:26:04 -0600 From: "Gary Glass" <gary at aob.org> Subject: AHA & Toll Free Numbers Hi All, I hope I can clear a few things up, and calm some frayed nerves. Wow, I never would have dreamed that a simple message about the National Homebrew Competition entry deadline could have stirred up such controversy! First off, I know Ken Johnson's post was not intended to be a personal attack on me or the AHA, and I appreciate the fact that he called me to tell me that. I have met Ken, shook his hand, and think he is a good person. Ken has certainly made his contributions to the AHA in the past as site director of Northwest region for the first round of the '99 National Homebrew Competition as well as through his help with the '98 AHA National Homebrewers Conference in Portland. The truth is I didn't include any phone number in my message to the HBD other than my direct line which appears in ALL of my email messages because it is in my email signature (as it is below). My message was intended to direct those interested in entering the NHC to our website where homebrewers can find information and forms for the contest (the deadline for entries was April 13, so I hope you got your entries in!). It wouldn't have hurt to have included the toll free number, but it wasn't intentionally left out. Believe it or not, there is no conspiracy here at the AHA to keep our toll free number a secret, in fact we don't have any conspiracies in the works--although if any of you can think of a good conspiracy that would help promote homebrewing please share it! My thanks to Rob Moline for coming to my defense. It is truly an honor to have Rob, a member of the AHA Board of Advisors and a great brewer to boot, stand up for me when he perceived I was being unduly attacked (although, I repeat, I don't think I was)--thanks mate, I appreciate it. Trust me, when Rob says that the AHA staff is not in it for the money, you can believe him! I wouldn't be here if I didn't believe in the AHA and the need for a national organization to promote our way of life--homebrewing. I'd be the first to admit that the AHA has had it's problems in the past, but the AHA staff and especially the AHA Board of Advisors are working hard to improve the Association and to better serve the homebrewing community. I am absolutely open to criticisms of the AHA from homebrewers--I will hear anyone out--but I am even more open to suggestions on how to improve the Association. I think the AHA has already begun making significant improvements, and we look to continue to do so. If you have ideas to share with us, don't hesitate to contact us, and yes, you may call us toll free at 888-U.CAN.BREW (that's 888-822-6273, I know the W is not really part of the number, but it does make it easier to remember the number :-), this number will take you to member services during AOB business hours, or email me at gary at aob.org. I would also encourage AHA members to contact the members of the AHA Board, these are the unsung heroes of the AHA. This group of volunteers (including regular contributors to this forum such as Rob Moline, Dave Houseman, Louis Bonham, and of course our revered HBD janitor Pat Babcock) has made significant strides in moving the direction of the AHA towards a more grass roots, member driven organization. Email addresses for the Board members can be found at http://www.beertown.org/AHA/Legal/ahabylaws.htm, so drop them a line. Yours in Brewing! Gary Glass What's that number again?: 888-U.CAN.BREW :-) Gary Glass, Membership Coordinator American Homebrewers Association 736 Pearl Street Voice: (303) 447-0816 x 121 PO Box 1679 Fax: (303) 447-2825 Boulder, CO 80306-1679 Email: gary at aob.org U.S.A. Web: http://www.beertown.org Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 12:50:08 -0700 (PDT) From: Beaverplt <beaverplt at yahoo.com> Subject: Soapy beer - revisited You all may recall that a couple of months ago I opened my first bottle of an oatmeal stout that was my first try at grain/extract and found it tasted soapy. My assumption was that is was soap and that I hadn't rinsed very well. A few wise ones amongst the group cautioned me not to dump the batch out quite yet because it may not be soap, but rather that it hadn't aged enough yet and the taste might be not soap but the hops in an immature beer. It's been 2 months now so I just tried another bottle last night and found the soap taste is gone. At least it is in that bottle. What I also discovered was the flavor is a little weak. It appears my extraction was not very good. All in all, I'd say I learned quite a bit from this one batch. Thanks to everyone who helped and encouraged me. ===== Jerry "Beaver" Pelt That's my story and I'm sticking to it Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2001 07:26:48 +1000 From: "Helen Pay" <hpay at optusnet.com.au> Subject: An Answer For Ray And A Question For Steve Ray Kruse asked a question of me regarding my last post (now I am sorry Ray that I am into cross dressing again and making an appearance as Helen). He asked "has what?" Ray the missing word was "ended". It was there when I sent my post but somehow got eaten up by Pat Babcock's computer. But moving on, Ray has raised an interesting point. He suggests the use of lactic acid to the sparge water will hold the pH down and sparging then can be carried on (presumably forever) without extracting tannins. Well can it? Not that I would want lactic acid in my brew (unless desirable) but I ask a serious question. If the pH of the sparge water was held below 6.0, would it mean that tannins cannot be leached from the grain bed? I have always seen the pH rise (during sparging) as being a natural consequence of the "run off" getting closer to the pH of the sparge water (in my case around 7.5) as less sugars are available to extract. I seem to magically reach the required wort quantity in the kettle when "run off" pH reaches about 5.9 and there sure doesn't taste like there is anything like sugar left in the "run off" at this point. The ratio of grain to water seems to work out at about 1 to 6 by weight. This includes the water used in the mash. I have always seen these ratios as simply being God's will and I would never have thought to explore it further before acquiring my instrument of heresy, being the pH meter. I must admit these days it gets more use testing the water in the turtle tank. So a question for Steve Alexander, or anyone with an answer. Can you keep tannins from leaching out of the grain bed by perpetually keeping the sparge pH below 6.0? I'm curious to know anyone's thoughts. Cheers Phil (Cross Dressing As Helen) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 20:24:42 -0400 From: "Steven Parfitt" <the_gimp98 at hotmail.com> Subject: RE: Starter Grenades Jeff Greenly has been practicing making granades. ....light DME to 1.060, placed it in new, sanitized Ball brand jars fresh from the grocery, put rings and lids on, and then placed them in SWMBO's canning cooker for 45 minutes at full boil. The lids popped, so I know there was a good seal. After, they were allowed to cool to room temp, and then they were placed into the fridge for future use. Almost every one of them burst in some way... Jeff, Was the "canning cooker" a "Pressure Cooker" or a "Hot Water Bath" canner? The hot water canner is only good for acidic foods like tomatoes. You really need to use a pressure cooker at 15LBs/in^2 for 15 minutes or more. A hot water bath will not kill bacteria to the level that a pressure cooker will. Steven Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 22:57:36 -0400 From: "Todd Hannemann" <mustangcoupe at mediaone.net> Subject: Champagne or Beer Champagne or Beer... that is the question..... I recently brewed a batch of an amber ale... Today was the taste test... I was planning on opening all of the 5 gallons at the after singing party for my new house, BUT it tasted like Champagne not beer.... can anyone tell me what might have gone wrong with the batch? Todd Hannemann Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 20:04:31 -0700 From: "Dave Sapsis" <dsapsis at earthlink.net> Subject: Re: lube Marc (who is always right) wrote: >All this talk of rusty bungs and rugby makes me wonder if I'm in Oz. > This reminds me once again to sing the praises of incorporating Astroglide into your lifestyle. A while back I contacted the manufacturer to suggest the slogan: "From Brewhouse to BathHouse...make it a part of your life". Funny tho'...didn't get an answer back. Now maybe if we include the footy field..... Trust me: cleaning this stuff is not a problem. --dave, sacramento Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 21:14:37 -0600 From: "Matthew Saunders" <matthews117 at home.com> Subject: A Sad Day. Collective, It is with great sadness that I have to report the death of one of our own and one of our finest. Kenny Lefkowitz passed away last month in his home. He was the founder of the New River Valley Brewing Company. I worked with him for about a year and a half starting in 1999 at Vintage Cellar in Virginia. Although I had already been brewing for many years, he taught me more in that short time than I had learned on my own since the 80's. He will be missed. Please say a short prayer or just have a moment of silence for a wonderful brewer. Matthew Saunders, now in CO. Return to table of contents
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