HOMEBREW Digest #3632 Mon 14 May 2001

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  re: Glycogen level ? ("Nathaniel P. Lansing")
  MCAB3 3rd place German Ale(alt) ("Dean Fikar")
  MCAB3 2nd place Barleywine ("Dean Fikar")
  MCAB3 2nd place Amber Lager(O'fest) ("Dean Fikar")
  hemp plugs, the late Dave Line ("elvira toews")
  Hemp plugs (haafbrau1)
  Spurments and fermenter geometry. ("Dr. Pivo")
  not Iowa! ("Thomas D. Hamann")
  RIMS / HERMS improvement ("Louis K. Bonham")
  You are my Club (BShotola)
  new site (Tom Smit)
  yeast vitality (BrwyFoam)
  Book - lost crops of Africa ("elvira toews")
  RE:  Peltier (thermoelectrics) (Peter Torgrimson)
  MCAB 1st Place Dunkel (Tom Wolf)
  MCAP 1st Place Peach Lambic (Tom Wolf)
  A mystery resolved... ("Dave Howell")
  pyrex (Jim Liddil)
  Fermenter Geometry (David Harsh)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 12 May 2001 07:51:43 -0400 From: "Nathaniel P. Lansing" <delbrew at compuserve.com> Subject: re: Glycogen level ? Steve Alexander >>Sometimes questions like yours are ill-formed and don't admit any correct answer.<< I left some ambiguity in the question mostly because a scenario could be created where *either one would be correct. A culture such a "B" (high glycogen and high mortality) is probably what most brewers get when they feed a stored culture the day before brewing. Unfortunate, but we brew in our kitchens, not in a lab and a bit of fresh wort is added to a culture and shaken a few times then (hopefully) pitched a bit after high kreausen. In that situation the iodine test would be applicable and meaningful. Afterall if all homebrewers had continuous air-feed yeast generators this discussion would be academic, everyone would have *perfect yeast *all the time. >> It was Fix who pickup up this old bone and claimed ludicrously poor fermentation in upright cornies because of the H:W ratio.<< I'm not sure I would characterize his conclusions as saying "ludicrouly poor fermentations". He did say consistent degrees of attenuation and consistent and lower diacetyl levels. It was those two points that lead me to my conclusion that small fermenters with virtually no temperature, pressure, or CO2 gradients must have something in common that would affect these two brewing concerns (attenuation, diacetyl). The first thing that comes to my mind would be the oxygen accessibility. >> But my point remains - it may be CO2 levels or O2 inclusion or something else, but its almost certainly not geometry.<< But the geometry allows greater contact to the atmosphere in a 1:1 HW ratio. 85% increase in contact due to geometry is significant. So right, it could (probably) be oxygen uptake but that ultimate level of O2 would be determined by geometry. Perhaps you don't look at cause & effect as commutative, I see it as the geometry caused O2 uptake, the O2 uptake caused increased yeast health, the geometry caused improved yeast health (indirectly). Fortunately this one thing (of the things we've discussed) could be easily tested by nitrogen purging the test fermenters after normal inline aeration, this should change only the O2 exposure as a variable. If both fermenters had equally poor fermentations then the CO2 inclusion could be ruled out, afterall how much would a N purge affect CO2 entrainment at this scale? The amount of CO2 in atmosphere is pretty small, 300-400 ppm,so the change due to increased CO2 diffusion *out of the test worts would be very small indeed. Unfortunately I see no cost effective use for a nitrogen tank and can not do the experiment. If you have nitrogen at your brewery I would be happy to send you dry malt and yeast to test this, or perhaps George does have nitrogen. If presented with the "challenge" in a constructive manner perhaps he would reconstruct his tests. Unfortunately most people don't like being told they are flat out wrong "in certain cases", their viewpoint ends up being, conversely, they are flat out correct in other cases. This leads to part of the acrimony between between us all. Though I see you like to understand entirely what brewing chemistry is involved, 99 percent of brewers just want to take a low-tech approach to their hobby. I have no problem with either approach. NPL Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 12 May 2001 08:11:28 -0700 From: "Dean Fikar" <dfikar at flash.net> Subject: MCAB3 3rd place German Ale(alt) I thought that was my strongest entry. I'm not sure I'd change anything here. Note that this is a no sparge batch. Madeline's Altbier #4 Brewed on: 11/5/00 Bottled on: 2/20/01 Batch size: 6.75 gal. OG: 1.056 FG: 1.015 Efficiency: 66 % IBU: 58 Color (SRM): 10 Grain bill: Belgian Aromatic 12.0 ozs. Belgian Munich 14 lbs. German Wheat 6.0 ozs. Hops: Hallertau Tradition 5.0 % 1.00 oz. 28.4 gm. 100 min. Perle 8.1 % 2.00 oz. 56.7 gm. 60 min. Yeast: Wyeast 1338 (1.5 qt. starter) Mash Specifics: 1.) Infused 5.25 gal. water at 142F for a 10 min. rest at 133F. 2.) Pulled 2.5 gal. of thick mash, heated to 152F, rested for 15 min., then boiled for 42 min. Decoction then returned to main mash for a 45 min. rest at 149F. 3.) Infused 3 gal. water at 200F for a 10 min. rest at 165F. Boil time: 90 min. Pitched yeast on 11/5/00 at 58F 11/5/00 - temp. set to 60F 11/13/00 - temp. set to 63F Racked on 11/16/00 to steel keg - temp. set to 65F Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 12 May 2001 08:19:05 -0700 From: "Dean Fikar" <dfikar at flash.net> Subject: MCAB3 2nd place Barleywine Big hoppy beer, maybe a little too bitter but could use more hop flavor and aroma. Was runnerup BOS at the "Spooky Brew" in Chicago last fall. Had to mash 50+ lbs of grain in two separate 10 gal. Gott coolers! Barleywine 2000 Brewed on: 1/10/00 Bottled on: 9/23/00 Batch size: 11 gal. OG: 1.1 FG: 1.02 Efficiency: 57 % IBU: 79 Color (SRM): 14 Grain bill: Victory 1 lbs. + 8.0 ozs. Crystal 77 1 lbs. + 12.0 ozs. Belgian Munich 4 lbs. Briess Pale Ale 45 lbs. Hops: Galena 13.0 % 2.40 oz. 68.0 gm. 75 min. Chinook 11.8 % 1.90 oz. 53.9 gm. 75 min. Centennial 9.7 % 1.00 oz. 28.4 gm. 30 min. Willamette 4.0 % 0.50 oz. 14.2 gm. 5 min. Centennial 9.7 % 1.00 oz. 28.4 gm. 5 min. Cascade 6.5 % 2.00 oz. 56.7 gm. 0 min. Cascade 6.5 % 2.60 oz. 73.7 gm. 0 min. (dry) Yeast: White Labs WLP001 (slurry from last batch) Mash Specifics: 1.) Infused 14 gal. water at 173F for a 90 min. rest at 152F. Boil time: 130 min. Pitched yeast on 1/10/00 at 65F 1/10/00 - temp. set to 65F Racked on 1/24/00 to steel keg - temp. set to 65F 5/24/00 - temp. set to 32F Dean Fikar Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 12 May 2001 08:22:55 -0700 From: "Dean Fikar" <dfikar at flash.net> Subject: MCAB3 2nd place Amber Lager(O'fest) This beer is okay but needs more maltiness. I'll be curious to see what the judges' comments were. This is a no sparge recipe. Oktoberfest #4 Brewed on: 5/26/00 Bottled on: 9/23/00 Batch size: 6.5 gal. OG: 1.064 FG: 1.014 Efficiency: 60 % IBU: 24 Color (SRM): 11 Grain bill: Belgian CaraMunich 10.9 ozs. Cara-Pils Dextrine 1 lbs. + 0.3 ozs. Belgian CaraVienne 1 lbs. + 11.4 ozs. Belgian Munich 4 lbs. + 14.0 ozs. Budvar Undermodified 10 lbs. + 13.3 ozs. American Chocolate 0.1 ozs. Hops: Tettnanger 7.5 % 0.50 oz. 14.2 gm. 60 min. Hallertau Mittlefruh 4.2 % 0.50 oz. 14.2 gm. 30 min. Tettnanger 7.5 % 0.50 oz. 14.2 gm. 30 min. Hallertau Mittlefruh 4.2 % 0.40 oz. 11.3 gm. 10 min. Yeast: Wyeast 2206 (slurry from last batch) Mash Specifics: 1.) Infused 6.5 gal. water at 143F for a 10 min. rest at 136F. 2.) Pulled 3.5 gal. of thick mash, heated to 158F, rested for 12 min., then boiled for 45 min. Decoction then returned to main mash for a 30 min. rest at 155F. 3.) Infused 2 gal. water at 210F for a 10 min. rest at 165F. Boil time: 90 min. Pitched yeast on 5/26/00 at 53F 5/26/00 - temp. set to 48F Racked on 6/17/00 to steel keg - temp. set to 32F Dean Fikar Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 12 May 2001 09:20:24 -0500 From: "elvira toews" <etoews1 at home.com> Subject: hemp plugs, the late Dave Line The hemp product I've seen looks like oversized hop pellets about 1.5" long and 3/8" diameter. It is sold as "hemp cake" and I understand that it is the meal remaining after the seeds are pressed for oil. The product was slightly toasted, which gave it a really nice nutty flavour. I've never brewed with it myself, but it seems to be worth a try. At least it would have less oil that straight seeds. I have "Brewing Beers Like Those You Buy", and there's really no alternative to modifying the recipes to modern techniques. Dave Line is credited with the concept of the HBU (or AAU) but it's not used in this book. If you read the opening chapters he explains the reasons behind the use of saccharin, etc., so the recipes can be adjusted for the use of decent yeast. The other ingredients do present difficulties, as the various grades of sugars do not correspond exactly to the North American versions. It is indeed a classic book, as is his "The Big Book of Brewing" which I would love to get my hands on just for the historical value. For a North American home brewer his books are invaluable in understanding just how impossible it is to capture "British Ale" within style guidelines. Sean Richens srichens at sprint.ca Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 12 May 2001 10:22:23 -0400 From: haafbrau1 at juno.com Subject: Hemp plugs OK, here's what I do know, which is very little. They are legal hemp plugs, (imagine small dog er, pellets) that contain NO THC. They were even sent via USPS. They were advertised free via the HBD over a year ago, but no instructions came with them. I would imagine they are what is used in Hempen Ale (tm).That's why I asked in my post for quantity per 5 gal batch, and what to expect as to flavor mouth feel, etc... I simply followed the old adage, " If it's for free, it's for me." BTW, the first free sample or offer from the posters on the HBD was for primer tabs. These things are awesome for priming individual bottles. (As long as we're talking about plugs, I admit that was a shameless one, even if I don't remember the name of the person who sent them.) Anyway, that's why any info on the hemp plugs would be helpful, such as the comment about putting them in the mash (or my my case, just steeping them), as opposed to boiling. TIA again for any help. Private comments are fine. On a sadder note, I've learned of the impending passing of another HB shop. It's called What's Brewing, and it's located in Northfield, New Jersey (That's about seven miles inland of Atlantic City. As it stands, their last day is 5/19/01. Paul I drink, therefore, I am.- Monty Python Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 12 May 2001 20:21:07 +0200 From: "Dr. Pivo" <dp at pivo.w.se> Subject: Spurments and fermenter geometry. Steve Alexander pomtificates regarding fermenter geometry.: > I suspect DeCleck and Fix both suffer from ill-designed experiments > I suspect Alexander suffers from "no experiments". You might try splitiing a few hundred ferments, and surprise yourself by finding out that "virtual brewing" doesn't necessarily lead you to the truth. It sure has shown me quite a few surprises, and you get two or three different beers from the same wort---cool! Dr. Pivo Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 12 May 2001 22:09:10 +0930 From: "Thomas D. Hamann" <tdhamann at senet.com.au> Subject: not Iowa! Genitals aint in Iowa, you have to look at the map of Tassie for that. ruelps, Thomas. >Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 07:30:27 -0400 >From: Ray Kruse <rkruse at bigfoot.com> >Subject: Huh? > >From: TOLLEY Matthew <matthew.tolley at atsic.gov.au> >Subject: WARNING - contains bad accents, references to genitals, Iowa > >Where is Genitals, Iowa? Can't find it on *my* map. > >Ray Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 12 May 2001 12:33:09 -0500 From: "Louis K. Bonham" <lkbonham at hypercon.com> Subject: RIMS / HERMS improvement Hi folks: Recently a number of folks have posted regarding compacted grain beds on RIMS / HERMS systems. I have come up with a fairly simple way to solve this problem. Compacted grain beds are generally caused by pumping the wort faster than it can naturally drain through of the grain bed. In other words, if you open the output from your manifold, below the false bottom, etc., and the flow is 3 gpm, then pumping at 6 gpm is gonna create greater hydrostatic pressure (suction) which will compact the grain bed. As the bed compacts, the flow will decrease, and therefore the suction will increase -- thus compacting the bed even more. Commercial systems avoid this by using a grant, which is often nothing more than a small open vessel into which the MLT runoff flows by gravity, and out of which the sweet wort is pumped. The pump is often controlled by a liquid level switch in the grant, so that the pump is turned off when the level gets below a certain point (thus avoiding sucking air into the system). There is, however, a much easier way, which is similar in design to the "pipe grant" that is found on many commercial systems. All you need to do is to install a "T" fitting on your wort path, and install an additional valve and a sight glass on the new "leg" you have created. (The Beer, Beer & More Beer folks sell some very nice armored sight glasses in various lengths that work great for this application.) For instance, if you are using a converted keg as MLT, the schematic might be something like this: keg - coupling - T fitting - existing valve with the "T" installed upside down, so that the perpendicular opening points up, and then install: perpendicular "T" opening - valve - sight glass. You can always leave this new valve closed to use your system as before. However, when you open it, the liquid level will rise in the sight glass to the liquid level in the MLT. (For this reason, to avoid wort overflowing through the sight glass, it must be as tall as the MLT. You can, of course, calibrate the sight glass so that it can also tell you the total volume in the tun.) When you start the pump, if the level in the sight glass drops significantly and keeps on dropping, you are pumping too fast and you need to throttle the pump down. Obviously, you need to keep your eye on things . . . with this setup, if you don't watch and you start pumping too fast, the level in the sight glass will eventually go to zero, and you'll start sucking air into the system (very bad). However, if you just mark the level in the sight glass (a large rubber gasket or o-ring on the outside of the sight glass works great), you should be able to easily monitor things at a glance. Louis K. Bonham PS -- regarding David Harsh's question in HBD #3631, I should have written that "cyclohexamide kills any brewers yeast present." In other words, if something grows in cyclohexamide-treated beer, it's not something you want there (unless, of course, you're making lambic). Bacteria are resistant to cyclohexamide, and I believe that molds and most wild yeasts are too. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 04:12:55 EDT From: BShotola at aol.com Subject: You are my Club Gentlemen of the froth, I am writing to thank you all for this great exchange called the HBD. I am sitting here tonight reading the posts, sucking my suds, and thinking to myself, "Wow, it is great to have these folks to read every day. They are my buddies." I like the sharing of information and happy brewing spirit. As I type, I am munching microwave popcorn, which is a nice compliment to the slight diacetyl in my amber ale. There have been posts of late concerning the benefits and drawbacks of being a member of a brewing club. I have no club close by and can barely get enough time to make yeast starters anyway, so you guys are my club and I am thankful for it. When I log on and read the HBD, I picture guys (mostly, maybe a few Sheilas) from all walks of life, in a big house party, drinking beer and sharing stories and information. It goes something like this: In the study, there are the science nerds, egos on the line, debating fluid dynamics and the semantics of yeast descriptors. Like schoolboys hot to show off their latest Pokemon card, everything is on the line every post. Whew- its getting stuffy in here, time to move out to the porch to get some air. Out on the porch the keg is tapped and the action freewheeling. The Aussies are tanked, bragging and belching, and newbies stumbling out of cars, going, "Hey brewer dudes, have you like, heard of making beer with bong water?" A couple of thick necked drinkers exchange wife put downs. "She expects me to stop the sparge to bathe the baby! How does a guy get to brew??" In the living room it's a mixed bag. There is a subdued group discussing the history of religion and brewing, pondering that, since Gott means God in German, then it is possible that Rubbermaid could be Tibetan for Buddha. One longhaired Californian keeps trying to establish parallels between Fats Waller and Jeff Renner, both having the same number of letters in his name. Others are milling about searching for the road to sanitation, which is next to Godliness. According to another zealot, there is a perfect beer and Jesus wants him to brew it. In the kitchen, there are bottles on every countertop. Two guys have a wort at full boil, trying to examine the steam issuance between a five-sixths and two-thirds covered boil. One poor fellow is compulsively rinsing yeast tailings and inverting bottles to drain. There is a picture of Charlie Papazian on the refrigerator riding an elephant wearing a cowboy hat. In the basement shop, one gent has his tin snips out, fashioning a brewing sculpture from a file cabinet. Another is experimenting with a whiffle bat, seeing if it would work as a wort thief. Out on the lawn a dog is retching up the remains of his ill fated gorgement on spent Vienna grains. He is not long to live, having blocked his intestinal ability to absorb sufficient nutrients. He might live, tho. There is a Kodak projector in the parlor with a guy showing slides and telling anecdotes of his 1975 Budvar tour. Various brewers are snoozing peacefully on the sofas, picturing buxom lasses pouring frothy steins of beer, no wives in sight. In a bedroom, four computer geeks sit side by side on the edge of the bed in the dark, spectacles illuminated by the screen, cruising beer sites... This is the cyber club I envision each time I read the latest postings. The erudite, the ugly, the eloquent, the ignorant, the misinformed, the passionate, the geeky, the grumpy, ALL of it is fun to read and interesting enough to keep me reading and occasionally writing. Its Mother's Day and I would like to thank you mothers. Keep yer yeast packed and yer corks soaking. Bob Shotola Yamhill Oregon Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 19:26:37 +1030 From: Tom Smit <lunica at ozemail.com.au> Subject: new site Hi all, For any Oz brewing newbies I have found this site that may be of interest http://au.egroups.com/group/ozkitbeers Why not have a look. Cheers Tom Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 07:08:24 EDT From: BrwyFoam at aol.com Subject: yeast vitality Hi! The 66th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Brewing Chemists will be held on June 23-27 at Victoria, B.C. They have just published titles and extended abstracts of the papers that will be presented. There are many which deal with topics that are of current interest to home brewers including the role free fatty acids plays in beer staling and yeast evaluation. One seemed particularly important, and was written by a group of reseachers at Oxford and the Scottish Courage Technical Centre. It is titled "Ale and lager brewing yeast responses to laboratory and brewery storage", and will be presented by Cheryl Jenkins of Oxford. In the course of their analysis they state "Yeast vitality was determined by monitoring glucose induced proton efflux and intercellular glycogen and trehalose level". This is exactly the point I have been trying to make from the start of the yeast evaluation thread. For a yeast cell to simply be "alive" (as determined by utilization of carbohydrates or ability to metabolize dyes) is not sufficient. Contrary to what has been put forward in this forum, one can not ignore intercellular food reserves. It has been my experience that to do so is to invite inconsistent results, particularly with home brew. Cheers, George Fix Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 10:36:46 -0500 From: "elvira toews" <etoews1 at home.com> Subject: Book - lost crops of Africa For those who like to investigate alternative adjuncts: http://books.nap.edu/books/0309049903/html/R1.html#pagetop Online book (the whole book!) with nice browsing features. Covers millets, sorghums, tef, and some lesser-known grains. Lots of thought-provoking analysis of crop yields vs. reliability and sustainability. Would the janitors consider putting a link to it in the library? Sean Richens srichens at sprint.ca Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 09:57:28 -0700 From: Peter Torgrimson <petertorgrimson at prodigy.net> Subject: RE: Peltier (thermoelectrics) Another source for thermoelectric products is Advanced Thermoelectric Products at http://www.americool.com. I haven't used their products, but am interested in this area. Peter Torgrimson Worts of Wisdom Homebrewers Mountain View, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 16:28:35 -0700 From: Tom Wolf <Tom at WolfEmail.com> Subject: MCAB 1st Place Dunkel German Pilsner 4.50 Lb. German Munich 4 Lb. Brown Malt (80 L) 2/3 Lb. Weyemann Crystal 3/4 Lb. Scottish chocolate 1.0 Oz. Black Patent 1.0 Oz. Step Infusion Mash Mash at 104F, 152F, 160F - 30 minutes each. Batch Sparge, drain and do two additional hot water additions. Hops, 23 IBU: Mt Hood, 0.55 oz, 4 AAU, 90 Minutes - leaf Mittelfruh, 0.58 oz, 3.5 AAU, 60 minutes - pellet Mt Hood 0.75 oz, 4 AAU, 20 Minutes Mittelfruh 0.42 oz, 3.5 AAU, 20 Minutes Add 1tsp Irish moss 20 minutes before end. Collected 5.37 Gallon Fermented with Wyeast Munich, 1400 ml starter.. Ferment at 50 F, in two 3 gallon cornies. Transfer to 5 gallon cornie and begin cooldown to 32F on 30th day (gravity 1.020) OG 1.055, FG 1.014 Tom Wolf Valencia CA Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 16:31:11 -0700 From: Tom Wolf <Tom at WolfEmail.com> Subject: MCAP 1st Place Peach Lambic This recipe is for a 10 Gallon batch of straight Lambic. After the lambic developed I added peaches to half and cherries to the rest. It was three years old at the contest and tasting its best so far. Water was half tap and half purified to reduce the salt and chalk content. Malt: Domestic 2 Row, 10 Lb. German Wheat Malt, 2 Lb. Unmalted Wheat Berries, 4 Lb. Canadian Wheat Malt, 2.0 Lb. Belgian Carapils, 1.75 Lb. Durst Crystal 20 l, 1.0 Lb. Turbid Mash: Doe in at 104 F, raise 136 F, 10 min rest. Remove 2/3 (2.6 gallon) of the milky portion at end of 136F rest. Heat the milky portion to 176F. Add it back to main mash to reach 150 F Rest 30 minutes at 150F. Remove 2.6 gallon turbid wort at end of 150F rest, heat it to 176F. Add boiling water to bring the main mash to 162F, hold for 20 min, Add the 176F turbid mash back to raise the grain to 167F, hold 20 min, Recirculate some, sparge with 185F. Hops: Aged Saaz 5 oz 1AAU? 90 minutes Approximately 10 gallons, OG 1.049 Yeasts and Beasts: 2 packages Danstar Nottingham Ale Yeast Pediococcus culture, GW Kent, added at two weeks. At Six Months- Brettanomyces Anomalus culture, (thanks to MB Raines Casselman) Yeast slurry from Cantillon, (again, thanks to MB Raines Casselman) Fermented in two 6 gallon plastic pails with air locks No secondary required, leave it on the yeast and gunk! Start in June in the garage at Valencia California temperatures. Prepare 10 lb.. peaches ahead of time when in season. Drop into boiling water briefly and slip off the skins. Pit and freeze in plastic bags. Thaw and mush up in the bags before adding to the lambic. After one year, add peaches to 5 gallons. Transfer to a cornie keg after 45 days to age. Tom Wolf Valencia CA Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 17:54:24 -0700 From: "Dave Howell" <djhowell at qwest.net> Subject: A mystery resolved... All: I'd been getting a run of bad medicinal and chemical tastes in my beers of late. So, I tried something to make Doc Pivo proud: I ran an experiment. I've just tasted the very unscientific results, and had a very clear, definite conclusion to report. OK: the background. I'd been mashing in my RIMS, and fermenting in either Sanke or 16-gal food-grade white nylon containers that CCC (Alexander's) ships bulk malt extract in. I used them interchangeably. I was getting some horrible tastes (and not always the same dominating component, but always some really nasty detergent-like flavor). Made the beer undrinkable. I decided to find out where the flavor was coming from, so I set up the experiment. I took 12 lbs of ScotMalt extract, 9 gal of water (boiled down to 8), and some Mt. Hood and Sterling hops I had, and purchased a packet of Nottingham dry yeast. As an aside, I ranch my own yeast, and wanted to exclude that variable, as well. I used Nottingham as so many others have had good results with it and I did not want to pay for a pure culture. So, I boiled RO water, diluted with Mesa tap water, added extract, hops, boiled for 1 hour. Counterflow chilled to 74 deg F, put half in a 6 gal glass carboy, and half in the 16 gal bulk malt container. Pitched 1/4 gal of a 2-day (SG 1.040) starter slurry into each, and let it go. A few notes about how I clean/sanitize: I soften the yeast ring and crud after fermentation using Electrasol (automatic dishwasher detergent), rinse, then wash with a weak solution of lye, then a weak solution of phosphoric acid, then rinse with Iodophor. There has never been a brush inside the big plastic container. Then I fermented at 58 deg F for 7 days, then secondary at 60 deg F for two (no airlock activity), and cooled to 36 deg F for 13 days. This beer should have been a darker clean lager (yes, I used an ale yeast...), clean hops, much like Beck's Dark. Kegged both the carboy and the bulk container batch, and force carbonated at 40 psi. Waited four hours (yes, the keg has overpressure, but as I dispense it quickly drops to a regulated 14 psi, usually by the third glass), and had one of each. The plastic/detergent flavor was strong in the batch made in the plastic fermenter. It was completely absent in the glass-fermented batch. BINGO! Anyone want two large 16-gal plastic containers for anything? Or four gallons of slug poison? >From now on, I am fermenting larger batches exclusively in Sankes. Anyway, the drinkable half of the beer has very little fruity flavor, but is not very German lager-like. I am not sure what to call it, but at least it's drinkable. I am posting this NOT to proclaim the dangers of plastic fermentors, nor am I trolling/baiting those who would caution against non-scientific experimentation, nor even trolling anyone who would point out that one datapoint doth not an experiment make. I AM posting this to encourage folks to try to find out what is going wrong with their process or beer their own selves. A little careful thought about what could be the most likely area for spoiling your beer, and an experiment designed to eliminate a host of (even if not all) other variables can go miles to finding out your problem. In my case, I hit it right off the bat, because I had more-or-less suspected the plastic container. Next brew day: 26 May. Beer style scheduled: Munchener Helles (Spaten Premium). NO room for mistakes with this one! Dave Howell Brewing in Mesa, Arizona, where the temperature yesterday hit 104 deg F. "The time has come, the Walrus said, to speak of many things: Of shoes, of ships, of sealing wax, of cabbages and kings, and why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings." --- Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 21:24:41 -0400 From: Jim Liddil <jliddil at liddil.com> Subject: pyrex Never say never. I've had erlenmyers crack when cooled fast. You can view the properties of Pyrex(tm) at: http://www.scienceproducts.corning.com/technical/thermalprop.asp I'm sure Kimble has similar data for Kimex (tm) Yes borosilicate glass can take alot of stress, but in time it will crack particularly along the bended edges. I've had many borosilcate bottles crack when autoclaved. Jim Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 14 May 2001 00:02:16 -0400 From: David Harsh <dharsh at fuse.net> Subject: Fermenter Geometry Stephen Alexander writes on fermenter geometry: > It was Fix ... Anyone with a > passing understanding of the forces of nature must realize that the > statement is in error. For it to be true there must be some differentiating > force applied to the individual yeast cells due to the H:W ratio... > Certain geometries > (like CCs) undoubtedly do aid in circulation which in turn reduced temp > gradients and especially reduces entrapped CO2 and so provide a better > environment for yeast growth and fermentation. But that's CO2 and > temperature and not H:W ratio at work. Perhaps there are other factors I > haven't thought of, but I'll wager a tidy sum it isn't H:W ratio. Steve, you know your biochemistry, but your engineering is weak. You are talking about the effects on individual yeast cells, but I suspect the differences (which are real, btw) are more due to the circulation patterns that develop. A bioreactor with an exothermic reaction (a.k.a. fermenting beer) will have significant performance variations with geometry. Maybe that's why most industrial fermenters are nearer to the 1:1 aspect ratio than the 3:1 like the corny keg. You say that it isn't fermenter geometry, its entrapped CO2 or reduced temperature gradients. But if those changes are the result of fermenter geometry, how can it not be a factor? Can we control temperature in a corny keg? Sure, just put in a bunch of coils to control it where you want it. But then, you'll be adding surfaces in the fermenter and disrupting circulation; maybe even affecting flocculation of the yeast (since disrupting circulation will affect shear in the wort). So I'll personally chalk up the changes in process conditions to geometry. > ...The yeast cells just don't > know/can't feel the fermenter H:W ratio at this scale. I agree. However, it isn't a matter of the individual yeast cells caring about fermenter shape. It is the macroscopic aspects of the process. > If you control for > the other factors I am confident that geometry of our small fermenters will > fall out as a complete non-issue. A well designed experiment performed by a member of the Bloatarian Brewing League recently showed a remarkable difference with fermenter geometry. Side by side ferments of the same wort with similar yeast starters, oxygenation, etc. Differences were clearly noted in a triangle test with total accuracy. If, however, you are claiming that if you maintain exact temperatures, shear rates in the fermenting wort, local CO2 levels, etc. and the results will be the same, then I'll accuse you of being ridiculous because we can't possibly control EVERY factor. I'm not saying that you wouldn't get identical results under these hypothetical situations, just that you can't perform the experiment. > [n.b: of course large commercial fermenters have depth pressure as a factor, > and a poor surface/volume ratio leading to heat trapping, but we are > discussing small fermenters.] Actually, the circulation in a commercial fermenter makes depth pressure a non-issue - yeast aren't seriously affected by mild pressures and the large fermenters actually have lower aspect ratios than the corny keg. I also doubt that a rapidly fermenting wort (which circulates quite vigorously) would have internal temperature gradients - it may be warmer than ambient, but it should be uniform. Dave Harsh Bloatarian Brewing League Cincinnati, OH Return to table of contents
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