HOMEBREW Digest #3786 Tue 13 November 2001

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  Re: Puzzling lager fermentation - any thoughts? ("Stephen Alexander")
  Re: Puzzling lager fermentation - any thoughts? (more) ("Stephen Alexander")
  Full-wort boils ("Daniel Gurzynski")
  Re: Malt fermentability ("RJ")
  Re: Pretzel recipe? (Jeff Renner)
  Re: Full-wort boils ("Drew Avis")
  ANN: StrangeBrew 1.6 Released ("Drew Avis")
  problem with Boss Bottles? ("Charles Brandt")
  Recipie Formulation ("Abby, Davey, Ellen and Alan")
  Propane Burners ("Tim R")
  Pretzel Results ("Donald D. Lake")
  RE: making a starter ("Houseman, David L")
  Chiller Woes (Richard Foote)
  planispiral chiller construction (Rob Dewhirst)
  New York (Aleman)
  RE: My take on Wort Chillers (Brian Levetzow)
  Polygamy Porter News Article ("Bret Mayden")
  Temperature Control ("df ds")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 05:05:40 -0500 From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at att.net> Subject: Re: Puzzling lager fermentation - any thoughts? JeffR notes ... > Munich malt definitely has less fermentability. You may remember > that last week Steve Alexander addressed the question of less > fermentability of higher kilned malts due to low beta-amylase levels > when he addressed a question I posed (referring to British malts. (and asked a similar question offline) PA malts have low BA because of the higher final (dry) kilning temperatures, and Munch also have lower BA levels as a rule. I'd speculate that is because of a temp cycle when drying. Munich has a hot temp cycle when it is still damp to develop the color and flavor. I know it's confusing, but the beta-amylase is more easily denatured in the damp malt at 90C than in dry malt at 110C because of substrate stabilization. -Steve Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 05:19:06 -0500 From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at att.net> Subject: Re: Puzzling lager fermentation - any thoughts? (more) ..... Also Dean's 158F mash-in and thin (1.66qt/lb) mash thickness aren't conducive to high attenuation. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 07:04:28 -0500 From: "Daniel Gurzynski" <daniel at buffnet.net> Subject: Full-wort boils In response to "Bill Pierce" <BillPierce at aol.com> Subject: Full-wort boils In the past I have noticed it is easier to scorch in a pot when the liquid is quite thick as it would be with a large amount of extract in a 2 gallon pot. As well your hop utilisation will probably not be as good due to the increased density of the liquid. Then again there are not too many 6 gallon brew pots out there and they could be a bit intimidating to lift when full, stir to the bottom, etc. One is sometimes forced to compromised so maybe use as much water as you can in the boil and add the rest in the primary. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 07:05:55 -0500 From: "RJ" <wortsup at metrocast.net> Subject: Re: Malt fermentability From: "Fred L. Johnson" <FLJohnson at worldnet.att.net> wrote: <snip> "I believe there was ample opportunity for the yeast (if it had become cold shocked) to consume any fermentables that were available, and my conclusion is that the wort simply was not very fermentable." "We've all read the tables of the amount of extract we can get from various malts, and these generally are right on target for obtaining desired original gravities, but nowhere have I read anything on the fermentability of wort obtained from these. Such would be another very useful malt parameter to publish. (I'm of the camp that believes there is little difference between most brewing yeasts in their ability to ferment a given wort.)" Fred, The tables are fine for OG... However, IMHO, you should guesstimate FG by using the following method: OG based on all of the grain & adjuncts minus OGX based on non-fermentable grain = OGY OGY times the expected % attenuation of the yeast (based on temp./time/etc) = FGX OG - FGX = expected FG example: OG = 1.060 = 60 OGX = 1.015 = 15 (this is equal to 25% of the grist - I wouldn't use this amt, but from the post I can see that some of ya have) 60 - 15 = 45 OGY x %AT (72%) = 32.4 FGX 60 - 32.4 = 27.6 FG, expected NOTE: This equation is only good for regular ale & lager yeast strains, some wine & other types of yeast/bacteria are able to degrade what would be normally non-fermentable sugars, so this method does not apply, to them. RJ <aka Olde Phenomian> 43:30:3.298N x 71:39:9.911W Lakes Region of NH Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 08:26:29 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <JeffRenner at mediaone.net> Subject: Re: Pretzel recipe? Mark Linton <cryptcl at earthlink.net> wrote: >I joined the list a little late, and have been following the lye/pretzel >recipe thread. I keep hoping that someone will attribute an earlier post >with the recipe attached. No luck so far. > >Would someone be so kind as to post it again, or email it to me directly? Glad to, Mark, but since you are new to the list, maybe I should tell you that you can search the archives from a link at http://hbd.org or directly on Spencer's computer (where the archives live) at http://hubris.engin.umich.edu/cgi-bin/dothread. I see that two people have already done such a search for pretzels. While you're at HBD.org, check out the FAQ page. Always a good idea for newcomers to any group. I should let folks know that you can successfully make this without any ingredients other than flour, water, salt and yeast in the dough, although the other ingredients make a little richer, softer pretzel. I made them the other day with 1/3 cup baking soda per quart of water for the simmer and they turned out fine, although with a less intense "pretzel" flavor than with lye. Hope you make these. The do go great with any beer, but especially a Munchener. Jeff Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2001 11:05:18 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <JeffRenner`at`mediaone.net> Subject: Re: Home made German Pretzels? Please note that this post is Copyright 2001 by me because I intend to us it as a basis for a Zymurgy article. Remember, you saw it here first! I welcome feedback that may help me make the article better. Ray - what do you think? Good article topic? -=-=-=-=-=- In Homebrew Digest #3746, "Brian M Dotlich" <BMDotlich`at`cs.com> of Dayton OH wrote: >In keeping with the spirit of Octoberfest, I was wondering if anyone knows >of a recipe for German soft pretzels? Just happen to have one here in my pocket. This is an recipe from an old German baker here in Ann Arbor that I got via a fellow baker. (I have a wholesale French bread "micro-bakery"). My friend got it about 30 years ago and started his business by making these and selling them on Saturday mornings to the huge football crowds heading to Michigan Stadium. Did pretty well. I have made up to 20 dozen with a crowd of volunteers for our elementary school's ice cream social as a fund raiser. They go like hotcakes, err, well more like hot pretzels, I guess. A few quirky things about pretzels. First, in order to get that distinctive pretzel flavor, you have to simmer them a short time in lye water. Otherwise, they are just funny shaped soft salt bagels. Strangely, after they are baked, the lye disappears. perhaps the acidity of the dough neutralizes it. It isn't a dangerously strong solution (1 Tablespoon [15 ml] dry lye flakes per quart (liter) of water, but you don't want to get it in your eyes, and even on the skin it can irritate. If you are making these with children, it's best to use a baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) solution. Of course, you need much more baking soda to get the same flavor. I suppose 1/4-1/2 cup per quart. It's been a long time since I used soda - our kids are grown now. Another thing is that after you simmer them, you need to bake them on a non-aluminum cookie sheet, and as they are wet, they will want to stick like crazy. It helps to drain them a moment on an old tea towel before placing them on the cookie sheet. The old German non-stick solution was to melt bee's wax onto the sheet. The flavor of bee's wax is actually a traditional part of these old pretzels, but I prefer to use silicon-treated baker's parchment. You can get this in rolls at kitchen stores. I get it in boxes of 1000 18"x24" sheets. Perhaps a friendly baker in your town would give you a few sheets. I don't suppose I need to tell you what you can offer in return. I also suspect that a modern non-stick cookie sheet might work, but 25 years ago, I tried a Teflon coated sheet and they stuck to that. Make sure it's lye-proof. Pretzel salt is an important part of the authentic pretzel experience. It is composed of coarse pellets about a millimeter across and looks rather like sleet. Perhaps you could get those for the same exchange as the parchment from a friendly baker who makes pretzels. Otherwise, kosher salt or other coarse salt will work, but these are flakes and not as appropriate. The milk and shortening (I'm sure the original recipe used lard) and all-purpose flour are key to making these soft - don't use bread flour. Some amounts are by weight. This is much more sensible than volume, and European home recipes use this. I hope you have a scale for your hops and grains. Otherwise, the ingredient packages may help convert to volume. This recipe works well in a large mixer or food processor, and I have formatted the recipe for this (see note for hand). *********** Recipe German Soft Pretzels Makes 1 dozen o 2 packets dry baker's yeast o 1/4 cup water 105-115 degrees F (40-45C) o 1 ounce dry milk powder o 3 ounces shortening o 1/4 cup sugar o 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt o 19 ounces all purpose flour (about 4 cups) o enough additional water to make a soft dough - about 1 cup (note - my notes say 3/4 cup, but I think this is a mistake - I'll make up a batch sometime soon and check). Rehydrate the yeast in the 1/4 cup warm water and a pinch of sugar. Be sure to use a container like a plastic cup that won't suck all the heat away. It should foam up in a few minutes. Mix the rest of the dry ingredients in the mixer bowl or food processor *. Add the yeast water when it's well hydrated and foamy, then turn on the mixer or processor and add water until you get a soft dough. Continue mixing according to manufacturer's instructions until well kneaded. * If you make the dough by hand, add the rehydrated yeast and other ingredients with half the flour to a large bowl, stir with a wooden spoon until mixed, then stir in as much of the rest of the flour as possible, then turn out onto a work surface and knead in enough of the rest of the flour to get a soft dough and knead it until it is elastic and smooth, about five minutes. Let the dough rise covered until doubled, probably 30 minutes with all this yeast. Now prepare the lye water. Put cold water in a non-reactive pot, add 1 tablespoon lye crystals (like Red Devil) for each quart. Add the lye to the water, not the other way around! Use normal precautions. You're big boys and girls. Bring to a simmer. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. When the dough is doubled, divide into 12 equal pieces, roll out into 18" lengths, then twist into pretzel shape. This is easy to do but hard to describe with pictures. Start with the dough in an upside-down "U", then cross the legs twice into a double twist. Next flip the top down over the legs and press each part of the loop onto the legs where they cross, making a tack weld. Set aside on a towel and shape the rest of the pieces. Then starting with the first one and using a slotted ladle or spatula (not your fingers), immerse each pretzel in the simmering lye water for 30 seconds to one minute. They should expand and begin to float. Remove it and place on a wet tea-towel to drain and sprinkle with pretzel salt. Now arrange on prepared cookie sheet (you will probably need to use two cookie sheets and bake one at a time) and bake until done. In my oven, this takes about 9 minutes. While they are cooling a bit, pour yourself a well deserved pint and then enjoy the pretzels. These freeze quite well when cool. Thaw them and pop them into the oven to reheat or gently microwave them if you must. - -- 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: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 08:57:03 -0500 From: "Drew Avis" <andrew_avis at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: Full-wort boils Bill Pierce repeats an often heard piece of advice, that "extract tang" is caused by boiling only part of the wort. Now, as an advocate and practitioner of partial wort boils, I have never found my beers to suffer from "extract tang," except for the few occasions early on when I was tempted by cans of extract on sale. These cans were, of course, old stock the brew shop was trying to clear out. My conclusion? "Extract tang" is synonymous with old and stale malt extract. Barley wines, tripels, and IPAs are concentrated wort beers that happen to not have been topped up with water after the boil, and I've tasted many fine examples of these styles that do not suffer from "extract tang", both extract-based and all-grain recipes. My second conclusion? You can make very good beer with a concentrated wort boil if you compensate for a few factors: 1) decreased hop utilization, 2) increased darkening due to carmelization (which is not as pronounced as you'd think), and 3) potential contamination from impure topping-up water. Cheers! Drew Avis, Merrickville, Ontario [694.5km, 56.4] Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 09:02:56 -0500 From: "Drew Avis" <andrew_avis at hotmail.com> Subject: ANN: StrangeBrew 1.6 Released I'm very pleased to announce the release of StrangeBrew 1.6 homebrew recipe calculator and database. And I'd like to extend a special thanks to the HBDers who helped out beta testing this version - you guys are great! As with previous versions, 20% of registration fees are donated to the HBD server fund. Also new in this release, the software will continue to run after the 30 day "trial" period, although with some features disabled. You can read all the details and download the software at http://www.strangebrew.ca/ Cheers! Drew Avis, Merrickville, Ontario [694.5km, 56.4] Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 11:30:50 -0500 From: "Charles Brandt" <chuckuiuc at illinoisalumni.org> Subject: problem with Boss Bottles? Has anybody ever had problems with the flip-top bottles from Boss Bottles (of Bellingham,WA)?? As an experiment, I recently ordered a bunch of the 500ml flip-tops and bottled an APA as usual. To my surprise, I've found that roughly one out of every three bottles is flat! I've been homebrewing for a little over a year and have been bottling with a combination of EZ-cap and Grolsch flip-tops and have never had such a problem with carbonation. I'm a little hard-pressed to believe that it's the brew because: 1) many of the bottles were OK 2) I primed the secondary with additional Wyeast 1056 a day or two before bottling, and 3) this has never happened with my old bottles & gaskets (which I've cycled through ~10 batches to date; OG's ranging from 1.050 to 1.090). Any suggestions from the group would be much appreciated. Thanks, Chuck Brandt Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 12:43:14 -0400 From: "Abby, Davey, Ellen and Alan" <elal at pei.sympatico.ca> Subject: Recipie Formulation I was thinking about my chocolate mild and thinking about Terry's chocolate oranges. I like chocolate ornage anytime. So, I am thinking if I use WGV hops I may bet a citrusy thing happening. So I did that last night. Then I thought about adding Belgian orange peel. How orangy is it? I have never used it. Well, that got me thinking about Scandanavian / Russian breads I like that have rye, anise and orange peel flavours. I know "Hop and Glory" bitter from the Wessex Co-op has licorice in it. So if I make a beer with some rye malt and belgian orange peel and licorice maybe I can immitate the flavours of the bread in a glass. Question: has anyone used fennel seed - which has a nice anise/licorice thing happening - in a beer. I know some seeds have killer oils that destroy heads. Alan McLeod PEI Canada Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 12:06:49 -0500 From: "Tim R" <par8head at earthlink.net> Subject: Propane Burners I'm in the market for a propane burner. I read the recent article in BYO (Nov. 2001) Bring on the Heat. I am planning on buying a propane burner and am leaning towards the 30,000 BTU Cache Cooker sold by Williams Brewing(http://www.williamsbrewing.com/AB1605000/showdetl.cfm?&User_ID=36605 &St=2585&St2=-69723412&St3=43732352&DS_ID=2&Product_ID=418&DID=7) but also noticed that the catalog Beer, Beer & More Beer (http://www.morebeer.com/) sells a similar 70,000 BTU Camp Chef Cooker and a stainless steel 125,000 BTU multi-purpose burner. Needless to say the SS 125K BTU is also very attractive. I appreciate any advice anyone has. Thanks! Timmy par8head at earthlink.net AIM: par8head5 Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 12:32:58 -0500 From: "Donald D. Lake" <dlake at gdi.net> Subject: Pretzel Results I finally got around to try making pretzels this weekend using Jeff Renner's recipe. It was a fun learning experience, especially for my daughter and niece who are both twelve years old. Of course, they squabbled over petty things as only girls that age can do. The dough tasted wonderful although our skill level on making good looking pretzels leaves something to be desired. Some of them looked like scones. We had difficulty making the shape big and thin like Auntie Anne's at the mall. Our's were fat and too doughy. On our next outing, I promised to take the girls to the mall and we'll watch the experts and study their shaping techniques. Thanks to Jeff Renner for providing us the opportunity of a fun(and tasty) family experience. We can't wait to do it again. Don Lake Orlando, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 11:51:10 -0600 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: RE: making a starter Dry yeast should be re-hydrated in water, NOT wort. The dried yeast is not ready for the sugars that are in wort until they prepare themselves for fermentation by re-hydration. I've attended several sessions on yeast and this has been one of the consistent messages delivered. With the newer, purer dry yeasts available and better yeast management, I've begun to successfully use dry yeast regularly...primarily it allows me to brew cost effectively without having to plan days in advance. Dave Houseman SE PA Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 13:30:13 -0500 From: Richard Foote <rfoote at mindspring.com> Subject: Chiller Woes Collective, I had a rather unfortunate thing happen during a brew yesterday. I was "in the zone", and things were going along swingingly. I was hitting all the numbers. I was brewing a CAP. I hooked up a pre-chiller (coil of 1/2" Cu tubing), as usual practice for lager brewing, to my Heart's Super Chiller. I pitched my yeast starter into an empty fermenter and began wort flow through the chiller. Cooling water was on. I was going about some cleaning. When I felt the side of the fermenter (plastic bucket) it felt warm. It was about half full at this point. My yeast is in there! I shut things down and pondered the situation. Plenty of ice in pre-chiller bath--check Chilling water running counter to wort flow--check Cooling water exiting outlet hose--check Cold (not hot) water entering chiller--check Adequate flow rate of chilling water (turned to wide open)--check I resumed wort flow. I went outside to make sure I had flow (it was dark) and felt the outlet water. It was warm. Usually when cooling water is on full, it's cold. I throttled back wort flow to almost a trickle. I yanked the wort outlet hose (wort still running) from the fermenter and ran it over the back of my hand. It was cold. I finished filling the fermenter and stirred. I stuck in a thermometer. It read 75F! That means it was warmer before the problem was discovered! When I had finished (this was the first of two fermenters) I plunged it into the pre-chiller ice bath and left it there. I filled the second fermenter using various--experimental at this point--wort flows and with periodic back of hand testing. The second fermenter (glass carboy) felt strangely warmer than normal too. Into the frig, sans yeast, with it. I am at a loss to explain this. I've used the same set up many times with great results. Can anyone shed some light on this situation? Could there be some blockage inside my chiller? Has anyone experienced anything similar? Am I brain dead? What am I missing? What harm has been done? I am having a crisis! In the name of Gambrinus, you must help me! Rick Foote Whistle Pig Brewing Murrayville, GA "Holy global warming Batman!"--Robin, boy wonder Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 13:50:36 -0600 From: Rob Dewhirst <robd at biocomplexity.nhm.ukans.edu> Subject: planispiral chiller construction For those of you who built planispiral chillers -- how did you make the spiral? The spring-like tubing benders seem very very tedious for such a long length of tubing, as does filling the tubing with sand. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 22:52:40 +0000 From: Aleman <Aleman at brewmaster.demon.co.uk> Subject: New York Fellow brewers, I find it quite stunning that in such a short period of time, I am yet again offering my thoughts and sympathies to anyone who is in any way affected by events in New York. I am sure that all my fellow brewers on the UK home brew list feel very much the same way I do. - -- God Bless America! Tony Barnsley (ICQ 46254361) Schwarzbad Lager Brauerei, Blackpool, Lancs, UK UK HOMEBREW - A Forum on Home Brewing in the UK Managed by home brewers for home brewers Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 18:24:44 -0500 From: Brian Levetzow <levetzowbt at home.com> Subject: RE: My take on Wort Chillers Bob Sheck says: >With the immersion chiller, I just periodically use copper polish on it >to remove the verdigris on the outside, then clean with Logic's A+ >to remove whatever gunk was in the copper polish, then rinse, >wipe down, rinse, rinse, rinse, then into the boil the last >10 minutes before the end of the boil. Yikes! I'm not sure if polishing the chiller is a good thing to do. I, too, enjoy the simplicity of use and cleanup after use (high-pressure squirt from the hose gets most of the gunk off). When the gunk builds up on mine to the point that I notice it, I heat up 3+ gallons of water in my old 4 gal pot on the stove (not too hot, maybe 140F +/-). I then put in a couple scoops of OxyClean, incorporate, and immerse the chiller for an overnight soaking. By morning, all the gunk is gone, and the copper actually looks pretty good. And if the last batch was heavily hopped, it might still be bubblin' the crud away by morning! Beer me. - -- +++++++++++++++ Brian Levetzow ~ Laurel, MD [425.7, 118.5] Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 02:21:02 +0000 From: "Bret Mayden" <brmayden at hotmail.com> Subject: Polygamy Porter News Article A little slice of Afghanistan, right here in the good ol' US of A.... Bret A. Mayden Oklahoma City, OK brmayden at hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 22:04:12 -0500 From: "jps" <segedy at gsinet.net> Subject: BREWING VOCABULARY In the interest in broadening our minds while relaxing and having a homebrew ... M-W had a recent word of the day of interest to brewers: http://m-w.com/cgi-bin/mwwodarch.pl?Nov.09 Here's hoping your brew isn't vapid. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 03:27:06 +0000 From: "df ds" <lyle25 at hotmail.com> Subject: Temperature Control Hi All I have just moved into the kegging game and have managed to score myself a dedicated beer fridge. Does anyone know how to construct a thermostat to control the fridge so that I can dial in temperatures from 0 to 30 degrees celcius? Or, alternatively, if there is any such thing available on the opne market? Thanks Lyle Australia Return to table of contents
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