HOMEBREW Digest #3782 Thu 08 November 2001

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  Caustic Comments ("Bob Sutton")
  Re: Cloudy Beer (David Edge)
  re: gott conversion (Emily E Neufeld)
  re: CF chiller ("Mark Tumarkin")
  RE: Wheat Aroma - Berliner weisse ("Donald D. Lake")
  Re: Yeast Starters & stirrers (Demonick)
  Re: Plastic Pipe Use (Jeff Renner)
  Industrial vs. Medical Oxygen ("Berggren, Stefan")
  Re: Cloudy Beer ("Houseman, David L")
  Bottle conditioning vs. kegging ("Crouch, Kevin E")
  Kokanee clone recipe (Al Beers)
  Coffee oils in Stout ("Berggren, Stefan")
  Cloudy beer ("Peter Fantasia")
  Cloudy Beer ("Bret Mayden")
  Re: pretzels / lye (Mike Lemons)
  Wort chillers (John Wilkinson)
  Clear beer (John Wilkinson)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2001 23:09:37 -0500 From: "Bob Sutton" <Bob at homebrew.com> Subject: Caustic Comments Pretzel time again, and I need to start another oatmeal stout... once I find a suitable lye source... Jeff Renner suggested that Reagent grade would be overkill. Maybe not. Even ACS Reagent Grade is not for use as a food additive. However many other "reagent grades" are appropriate for food applications. Look for a "Reagent Grade" which meets or surpasses specifications of the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP), the National Formulary (NF), the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC), the European Pharmacopoeia (EP), and/or the British Pharmacopoeia (BP). So... where do you go if your local bakery won't share its inventory of food-grade lye... First, recall that lye is a pseudonym for sodium hydroxide (NaOH), or more commonly commonly caustic soda, which is supplied in flake, pellet and aqueous solutions. So it's just a matter of asking in other places. - your local pharmacy - a chemist friend that works in a QC lab - your favorite brewpub or microbrewery (sodium hydroxide is commonly used as a cleaning agent) - your doctor's office You could even call a bulk supplier of food grade caustic and ask for a sample kilo for evaluation purchases hehehehehehehe !!! In any case, basic grocery store lye, such as Drano and Red Devil Lye, is not as pure and uncontaminated as laboratory or food-grade lye and may contain dangerous contaminants (mercury and lead are common impurities). Now doesn't baking soda sound like a good option... ? from the South Carolina foothills Bob Fruit Fly Brewhaus Yesterdays' Technology Today Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 06 Nov 2001 23:49:07 +0000 From: David Edge <badger at sett.u-net.com> Subject: Re: Cloudy Beer Craig Olson asks: What's your experience and what have *you* done to get clear beer? Using Irish Moss at the rate of 1g / 5 litres we get adequately clear beer. One _wheat_ beer dropped completely bright with this treatment. I couldn't be bothered filtering - and comparing the glorious nutmeg and apple flavours of Calwer-Eck Braeu (unfiltered) with normal German Pilsners wouldn't want to. David Edge - -- Ralf and David Edge Signalbox Brewery, Burton-on-Trent, UK Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2001 19:56:01 -0600 From: Emily E Neufeld <eneufeld at juno.com> Subject: re: gott conversion Disregard this post if you are a gadgeteer. You can easily convert a Gott cooler by removing the old spigot, and replacing it with a bung from a small minikeg, and then running a hose through the bung from the outside to a modified copper manifold set up inside. Regulating the wort flow can be done with clamps or some other gadget. I did this a few years back and have had great results. This might be too simple for many folks. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2001 06:56:26 -0500 From: "Mark Tumarkin" <mark_t at ix.netcom.com> Subject: re: CF chiller Marc Sedam writes about the advantages of counter-flow versus immersion chillers - "While an immersion chiller works great for many brewers, I've found that the overall water used for 10 gallon batches and larger is too great." Yes, an immersion chiller uses more water - but that's not a problem for me. My brewery is fairly close to my garden, so I simply attach a garden hose to the chiller and water the thirsty plants with the run-off. It's water I'd be using anyhow. You also wrote - "Lastly, the reason I moved away from the immersion chiller was the 10 gallon batch I was trying to brew 2 years ago. Set the chiller in the kettle, turned on the water, and went about cleaning up everything else. When I came back to check the temps the kettle was nearly full! 5 gallons of water seeped in through a leak in the chiller. Took another 2 hours to boil off the liquid. Beer was good, though. I decided to drop the $75 on a professionally manufactured chiller (Heart's MaxiChiller, which I love, NAYYY)." Wow, I can imagine that sort of brew-day adventure might "chill" your affection for the immersion chiller. But I'm assuming that the immersion chiller leaked at the fittings (the interface between the copper piping and the plastic tubing/garden hose)? That seems most likely unless it was a pin hole leak in the tubing itself, which probably wouldn't put out the addtl 5 gals in the short time it takes to chill. My system sometimes leaks at this interface but I've put a gentle swan-neck bend in the pipes using a cheap tubing bender. This simple tool looks like a large spring that you slide over the pipe and you can then put a gentle bend in the inlet and outlet ends of the immersion chiller without crimping it. This puts the interface outside the kettle such that any leaking doesn't get in your wort. Another simple trick to increase the efficiency of an immersion chiller is to fill a plastic milk jug with water and put it in the freezer (don't fill it quite full so you leave some expansion room). Then use a small copper coil in a second kettle with the ice & some water as a prechiller, inline before your immersion chiller in the boil kettle. Run the immersion chiller without the ice for a while but then when the temp of the wort drops you can add the ice to get better efficiency in your heat exchange cooling. You may not find this necessary but the ground water here in FL is never cold enough to cool the wort as much as I'd like. Mark Tumarkin Gainesville, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 07:52:26 -0500 From: "Donald D. Lake" <dlake at gdi.net> Subject: RE: Wheat Aroma - Berliner weisse >I've just received some judging sheets from a competition where the judges >noted that the beer (a Berliner weisse) could have used more wheat flavor >and aroma. Mike, Your recipe looks great. The only thing I see is that perhaps the last rest at 162F was too high. Try lowering it to 158F and see if that gives more of the wheat profile. The BJCP guidelines say that "Lactic sourness dominates and can be quite strong, but some wheat flavor should be noticeable." Berliner weisse is an very unusual beer and most people, including BJCP judges, have consumed very few of them. Commercially they are not available in Florida and I can only count one or two people in my homebrew club who have brewed one. Don't give up. For better feedback, try entering a bigger competition with possibly more experienced judges (i.e. Blue Bonnet, AHA, Sunshine Challenge & Dixie Cup). Don't forget that Berliner weisse can improve with considerable age. Don Lake Orlando, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2001 05:29:33 -0800 From: Demonick <demonick at zgi.com> Subject: Re: Yeast Starters & stirrers From: "Jones, Steve (I/T)" <stjones at eastman.com> >I recently acquired a magnetic stirrer for making my starters and >wanted to make some comments about it. > ... >I realize that my initial step up is higher than the usually suggested >max of 10x, > ... >Any comments? Check out "Confessions of a Yeast Abuser" at http://www.primetab.com/yeaststarter.html You'll note that I don't step up. I innoculate straight into 1700 ml of media. This saves some time. I also grow the starter aerobically which is the why I use the stirrer. I don't understand the value of a stirrer in an anaerobic starter. Why not just swirl occasionally? Finally, when the starter is fermented out, stick it in the refrigerator for 24 hrs to REALLY drop the yeast into a nice cake, so the supernatant can be decanted off. Cheers! Domenick Venezia Venezia & Company, LLC Maker of PrimeTab (206) 782-1152 phone (206) 782-6766 fax Seattle, WA demonick at zgi dot com http://www.primetab.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2001 09:20:26 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <JeffRenner at mediaone.net> Subject: Re: Plastic Pipe Use Nils Hedglin <nils.a.hedglin at intel.com> writes from Sacramento, CA: >I know you're supposed to throw away plastic pipe after some use to ensure >no infection gets into your wort, but is this just with piping used to >transfer wort, or does it also apply to water-only pipe like from Hot Liquor >Tank to the Mash Tun? I have been using some lengths of plastic hose for years with no problems. I just boil them before use. It discolors them, but they work fine. Certainly sanitation is not particularly important anyway for any pre-boil equipment such as your second example. Jeff - -- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at mediaone.net "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2001 09:36:13 -0600 From: "Berggren, Stefan" <stefan_berggren at trekbike.com> Subject: Industrial vs. Medical Oxygen Hello All, I am contemplating using Oxygen, via cylinder to aerate my wort so that I can get a nice take off. I have spoken with various welding supply companies and some weld engineers about the difference between medical grade and industrial grade. They all spoke candidly and said that the only difference is that one (medical) is assayed for purity and other than that they are the same. What type of O2 should I use to aerate my wort? Has anyone had experience with using industrial grade? Stefan Berggren from Madison, WI People who drink light "beer" don't like the taste of beer; they just like to pee a lot. --Capital Brewery, Middleton, WI Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2001 10:20:35 -0600 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: Re: Cloudy Beer Steven St.Laurent points out 6 tips to address cloudy beer. Well if black patent works, that's a new one for me. Not sure how that would go with a Pilsner but then I haven't tried it. Number 7 on the list would be filtering, but most of us don't do that. I will attest to the fining however. There can't be much simpler than the use of gelatin or isinglass in a secondary carboy for a few days prior to bottling or kegging. And it works like a champ. I'll also attest to lagering; time and temperature do work their magic for many causes of haze or cloudiness. But it doesn't solve it for all causes. The combination of the right mash, hard boil, kettle finings, beer finings and time/lagering I've found to solve just about any problem and results in bright beer. David Houseman SE PA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2001 16:28:29 -0000 From: "Crouch, Kevin E" <Crouch.Kevin at emeryworld.com> Subject: Bottle conditioning vs. kegging >All this does bring up a question. I'm moving to kegging shortly so I wonder if anyone has bottled some of a batch and kegged the rest and which was clearer/better tasting? I'm curious if bottle conditioning causes some haze producing products that forced carbonation avoids? Does bottle conditioning produce esters that kegging does not?" Steven, I have a few thoughts on this subject. First of all, like anything relating to brewing, "better tasting" is style/personal/mood dependent, so I won't tread there. However, I will relate an experience I had with a ale not too long ago. Experimenting a bit with Aromatic malt, My buddy Steve and I brewed 10 gallons of random ale, and fermented it in the upper 60's with White Labs Edinburough Ale Yeast(which is quite warm for this yeast). Steve's carboy sat around in the secondary for many weeks while I kegged up my half as soon as it was still and threw in in the refer for instant consuption. My 4.234 gallons of beer went accross my palatte estery and quite buttery with a noticeable hoppiness... and I loved it. Reminiscent of the magic that comes from a *fresh*, inspired pint of Redhook (**I in no way claim to make beer that represents, infringes upon, replaces, or surpasses the trademarked Redhook Ale**). When Steve finally came around to bottle and bottle-condition his 4.233 gallons, my ration was nothing by a hazy memory, with the exception of a few pressure-filled bottles for posterity, but when he called me up with a foamy pint, he used words such as clean, malty, Reminiscent of the magic that comes from a bottle of MacClays (**he in no way claimed...yada yada**). When I tried it, I concurred, it was a COMPLETELY different beer. I hypothesize that most of the transformation occured in the warm secondary, where the reduction of diacetyl and esters was encouraged by the presence of the yeast sediment. His was also perfectly clear whereas my kegged beer never cleared entirely. Interestingly enough, when we tried a bottle of my non-bottle conditioned ale next to his extensively warm-conditioned and bottle-conditioned ale after many months, they were still entirely different beers, though mine had started to clean up into a maltier speciment as well. I have read quite a bit about using 1 t0 2 day warm conditioning for diacytel reduction, but I wonder, could the same processes that are occurring at 35 F in a long lagering process simply be occuring faster in warm conditioning? Even if the chemical mechanisms themselves differ, it seems that the final result is much the same. Any ideas? Kevin Crouch Vancouver, WA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2001 08:47:56 -0800 (PST) From: Al Beers <beersal at yahoo.com> Subject: Kokanee clone recipe Greetings all, A friend at work LOVES Kokanee (Columbia Brewing- BC) from Canada. He has tallked me into trying to brew it. Anyone out there have a clone recipe? All grain or extract is fine. Thanks in advance. Al Mt. Clemens, Mich. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2001 11:06:49 -0600 From: "Berggren, Stefan" <stefan_berggren at trekbike.com> Subject: Coffee oils in Stout Hello all once again, I am planning on brewing a coffee stout soon and would like some advice about using coffee in the recipes. I am worried that the oil from the coffee might ruin the lovely creamy head that I am searching for. Also is best to add beans to the wort boil or add brewed coffee to the boil or primary? I have also heard of cold brewing coffee to eliminate the oils in the coffee liquor, has anyone tried this route? Stefan Berggren from Madison, WI Draft beer, not people...... Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2001 19:17:19 -0500 From: "Peter Fantasia" <fantasiapeter at hotmail.com> Subject: Cloudy beer While reading the posts concerning cloudy beer I couldn't resist putting in my 2 cents. I ask myself what is it making my beer cloudy? Protein? That's good for you. Yeast? Also good for you. When I see a beer in somebody else's glass that's cloudy, I ask them what they're drinking. It's either a microbrew or a homebrew, not a budcormiller. Guess which one I'm going to order? After brewing for ten+ years I have a problem. My wheat beers are not cloudy enough! By the way somebody asked how to get more wheat flavor in their berliner. My suggestion is to look at your mashing schedule and reduce or delete the protein rest. I've been using single infusion mashes for my wheats(up to 70% wheat) and I have no problem with conversion or stuck runoffs. Go figure. One of the great things about homebrew is that it contains all the things major manufacturers filter out to prolong shelf life. Unfiltered beer tastes better than filtered beer. Just ask Michael Jackson. Enough ranting. If you still need clear beer follow what was previously posted about a good hot break, cold break and careful siphoning. Otherwise RDWAHAHB Sorry for running on, Pete Fantasia Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 01:19:15 +0000 From: "Bret Mayden" <brmayden at hotmail.com> Subject: Cloudy Beer I've used Polyclar (PVPP)twice & have been very impressed with it. I used it to clear beers that were *very* cloudy in the secondary (more so than usual). It only took 2 days to clear the beer. Of course, stirring it in will also rouse the yeast, so your clearing time may be longer depending on the flocculance (sp?) of your yeast. (If yeast is causing your cloudiness, that may require a different fining anyway.) Polyclar drops out the phenols very aggressively (although, according to literature I've read, not proteins), so it may affect the flavor of your brew (although in my cases it did not). WARNING: add a *very little* bit of this stuff at a time - it provides nucleation sites for the CO2 & the beer will foam like a mad dog! Stir it in well with each addition, until you reach the max amount stated on the bottle/in the instructions (2 tsp per 5 gal. Bret A. Mayden Oklahoma City, OK brmayden at hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 19:48:39 -0800 From: Mike Lemons <ndcent at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: pretzels / lye I searched Usenet for information on the purity of Red Devil Lye and found a pretty lively discussion among the illegal drug makers. Unfortunately, the discussion consisted of "Don't use it, you moron" and "Shut up, you know-it-all." One of them wrote to the company that makes it to find out what the impurities are and they never got a reply. This place was recommended by the illegal drug makers as a source of food grade NaOH: http://vegansoapworks.com/cgi-bin/web_store.cgi Their product is rated as "USP" which means it is pure enough to make pharmaceutical products in the U.S. Pharmaceutical grade is slightly higher grade than food grade, such that a chemical cannot be pharmaceutical grade without also being food grade. Basically, "USP" means that if something bad happens to you because you swallow it, it won't be because of impurities. You can also get NaOH from www.fishersci.com. The main impurity in Red Devil Lye is probably sodium carbonate, which won't hurt you. The impurities to worry about are the heavy metals such as lead, arsenic and mercury. These metals attack the nervous system to make you stupid or crazy. Small children are especially vulnerable. You should never add any chemical to food or beer that is not certified as food grade. Red Devil Lye is not certified as food grade. I have a chemistry book that states that the production of soap through the mixing of sodium hydroxide with fat is the second oldest chemical production method known to man. The oldest is the production of ethanol through fermentation. It seems that mankind had a desire to get drunk long before mankind had a desire to get clean. Mike Lemons Carlsbad, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 21:51:22 -0600 From: John Wilkinson <jwilkinson at goquest.com> Subject: Wort chillers Tom Williams wrote: >You probably got a ton of answers to this, but here's my $0.02 anyway.... > >You wrote: "I have been thinking about making one of those copper coil >wort chillers and I was wondering would it be more efficient to run cold >water through the coil submerged in the wort or run the wort through the >coil submerged in cold water?" > >I'm not sure of the answer to your thermodynamic question, but I am positive >that the thermal efficiency difference between water in the tubes and wort >in the tubes is insignificant compared to the cleaning and sanitation >concerns. Design it to run water through the tubing and sanitizing is >ridiculously easy - just let the coil sit in the kettle for the last 5-10 >minutes of the boil. > >I made mine from 3/8" copper tubing from Home Depot. I forget how many feet >of tubing, but I made it by bending the tubing around a large (3lb.?) coffee >can. The "in" and "out" tubes form the handle, shaped sort of like a giant >ladel, with the pair of in/out tubes bent at 90 deg. at the top for easy >handling. I wove a couple of lengths of #12 copper wire up and down the >coils to stiffen them, and used a compression fitting to connect to a garden >hose thread (in) and shoved a piece of flexible hose on the other (out). > >With Georgia tap water temperatures and GENTLE back and forth agitation, I >can cool 6 gal of boiling wort to under 90F in less than 10 minutes. In >Maine, you will probably do better than that. Watch out for the water >exiting the cooler when you first turn on the cooling water - it will be >HOT! The copper tubing will burn your hand for the first minute or so. I >brew on the back patio and water the plants with the outlet stream. > >I don't know why any homebrewer bothers with a counterflow chiller. I have gone both ways, first using an immersion chillers, then a CF chiller, and now both. An immersion chiller works well if you stand over the kettle to jiggle the chiller or have some method of stirring the wort while chilling. If the chiller is just left in place it takes a long time to chill the hot wort. I first chill with the immersion chiller then run through the CF chiller to get down to final temp. I like the immersion chiller for dropping out the break before the fermenter but like the CF chiller because it gets the wort a lot closer to the temp of the water used. Cleaning a CF chiller is not as bad as imagined. I flush immediately after use with hot water and then siphon TSP solution through and let it set a few hours, sometimes over night. I flush again with hot tap water then siphon Iodophor solution through and let it set in the tube until next use. I have not had a problem in several years of doing this. John Wilkinson in Palestine, Texas Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 21:51:17 -0600 From: John Wilkinson <jwilkinson at goquest.com> Subject: Clear beer Craig Olson wrote: >Today I ran out of homebrew (egad!) and bought a six of a good local >microbrew and was struck by it's clarity. (LaConner Brewing Co. ESB, BTW - >great stuff) Anyway - most all my beer is cloudy. It tastes great so I've >never worried about it much but that crisp clear pint of LBC brew has got >me thinking. I've read everything I can get my hands on about filtering, >clarifiers, finings & such I've not yet grokked what's needed to get clear >beer. What's your experience and what have *you* done to get clear beer? I use gelatin from time to time but I think what clears my beer most effectively is time. A couple of months or more in the lagering fridge does wonders. I find that if I can get my brewing enough ahead of my drinking that my beer gets to spend a few months in the lagering fridge it improves the clarity. I keg my beer and run from the fermenter to a keg with a out dip tube shortened about an inch and put that keg in the lagering fridge. The lagering fridge is a chest freezer with a substitute temp. controller to keep it about 34F. When I get ready to put a beer on line I transfer it from the keg in the fridge, without moving it, to another keg, which has been purged with CO2. The shortened dip tube in the secondary keg leaves less than a pint in the keg but it usually has all the crud that has settled out. Also, while I am transferring to the serving keg I watch the transfer tube for crud. If the beer in the line starts looking cloudy, I stop the transfer. Also, when the secondary keg empties I cut the transfer immediately as that is when the crud tends to be swept up off the bottom of the keg. It is funny how the sediment tends to stay on the bottom until the last when it will be sucked up into the output. I know this only applies to kegged beer but I recommend going to kegs. It is lots easier than bottling. It requires having a separate beer fridge for the serving kegs but used refrigerators are fairly cheap. The lagering fridge from a chest freezer is fairly cheap from some place like Sam's or Costco, or even cheaper if you can find one used. I know a lot of people don't like to spend anything on brewing equipment but if you are serious about it and consider that homebrew is a lot cheaper than equivalent commercial beer of the same quality, if it exists, then the cost of a little equipment is trivial. I drink a lot of beer so I figure I have more than paid for my equipment. John Wilkinson Return to table of contents
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