HOMEBREW Digest #3921 Mon 22 April 2002

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  bottling: overfiller => undercarbonated. ("Steve Alexander")
  Bad RIMS calcs ("Kent Fletcher")
  Re: Ice Stabilization/HSA problems ("Steve Alexander")
  Re: constant sparge flow rate ("Arnold Neitzke")
  Low Alcohol Beer (George Fergusson)
  primetabs (Joe Yoder)
  AHA Membership ("Carrol McCracken")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 14:24:43 -0400 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: bottling: overfiller => undercarbonated. Mark Anderson writes ... >[...] after three weeks, there isn't a hint of carbonation. Not >a puff. The problem may be that I didn't allow headspace in the neck of >the bottle. Parker Dutro adds >I do know that a head space of an inch or so allows the yeast to utilize the >trapped O2 in their conversion of the sugar and production of CO2 (not sure >how), and for some reason no headspace can prevent full carbonation. Headspace is the problem Mark. If you check the HBD archives you'll find that Al Korzonas and I discussed this phenomena at length several years back. Overfilled bottles undercarbonate or perhaps carbonate only very slowly. Yeast & oxidation processes will use any O2 in the headspace - but this is unrelated to the overfilled => undercarbonated phenomena. Why this happens is one of the unsolved mysteries of homebrewing. Smaller headspace -> higher head pressure (before equilibrium) -> poorer bottle fermentation is a working hypothesis - but lacks evidence and this explanation has some problems. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 01:31:55 -0700 From: "Kent Fletcher" <kfletcher at socal.rr.com> Subject: Bad RIMS calcs In assessing Steven Parfitt's RIMS test, Michael Schrempp wrote: "At 109V, the power of you element should be (109/240)*4500 = 2044W = 2044 J/sec" This is not correct. The actual power of a 240 v 4500 watt element running at 109 v is about 930 watts. Solve for resistance of the element on order to derive power at other than rated voltage. Michael continues: "You have 7.5 gallons of water = 75.6 L of water = 75.6Kg of water" While 75.6 liters of water does weigh 75.6 kilograms, 7.5 GALLONS of water = 28.3875 liters, hence 28.3875 kilos. So, in fact Steven's simulation probably simulated something closer to 13.5 pounds of grain in 20 liters of water. The bottom line is, Steven's RIMS is WAY underpowered for anything larger than 5 gallon batches. I assume Steven is using the larger element at the lower voltage to lower the watt density to avoid carmelization and scaling. You have a few choices: 1. Add a second similarly sized element, as I mentioned in #3920. 2. Replace the element with a 120 volt low watt density model like Grainger # 2E754 at 1600 watts and keep the flow rate high enogh to avoid scorching. 3. Go to 240 volt, increasing the size of your RIMS chamber to hold Grainger # 2E673, this is one of their "Water Wizard" models with a nickel alloy sheath, and the element doubles back on itself to achieve ultra low watt density. 4. Hook up your present element to 240 v and use PWM to drive a solid state relay, then tune the pulse rate to a sweet spot between rapid delta t and scorching. And have a cold one. (Or do like me and go to HERMS!) Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 04:48:43 -0400 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Re: Ice Stabilization/HSA problems Scott Murman comments >> Ice Stabilization [...] the concept is unique to me (and in the HB >>world it seems as well [...] Hardly - HBers have been making eisbock by a similar process for many years and claiming softer flavor and better stability. >surprised you couldn't find anything in the archives, 'cause we did go >over this, and probably more than once. if you're really interested >in this subject i would suggest going straight to the brewing journals >for the how/where/why, and skip Fix's stuff. Same here - it is in the archives under eisbock. Kunze has a great description of the process and it's advantages - and it's a good book for any HBer interested in how the modern Germans brew. >my personal opinion is that it's not something you want to bother with >as a homebrewer. the crystallization process is indiscriminate - it >will remove stuff you want as well as stuff you don't want I have only used this process 3 or 4 times, but never had any control problems. If you freeze too much you can allow it to warm a little and try again - quite easy. If you are freezing a corny or whatever - you can wrap the tank in bubble wrap (or whatever) to modulate the heat flow. If you let it freeze solid it will expand, overflow and make a mess. The "trick" is to avoid quick freezing. If you do it right the ice you remove will have only a small amount of flavor and color - water with a little phenolics & yeast and whisp of trubby stuff. The ice sinks btw so it's simple to rack off the beer. My experience was in removing 5-10% of the volume as ice after 2-3 day chilling period. At one of my local club meetings a few years ago I was served a light bodied dark colored 'beer' and was told that this that the melted ice extracted from an eisbock! Now that brewer obviously froze the beer fast and made a mess of the extraction. Kunze suggests (except for eisbocks) that after ice removal the fermenter be topped with pH adjusted water so the beer maintains a constant ABV%. The resulting beers have a much softer mouthfeel, which is good in moderation, but bad in excess as Scott implied. It won't correct an overly phenolic beer either - I tried this with a too-rye beer once and it was an interesting experiment but a failure. ============ alastair writes ... >I always >considered HSA as the brewing equivalent of an urban legend and paid it >little attention. [...] I also collect my runnings in a separate >container and pour it from a good height into my kettle in what I now >call the 'salute to those who believe in HSA'. So far I've not noticed >any oxidation problems [...] There's a difference between ignorance and not having a latent oxidation problem (and you shouldn't be so proud of the former). I suspect you've never tried to tell the difference Alistair. Tell you what - place a couple of your bottled beers in a warm spot (40C for a week, or 30C for 3 weeks ) while keeping some controls chilled. The temperature boost accelerates the aging processes that have begun with the introduction of oxygen,and culminate with the development of unpleasant changes to flavor compounds. Then chill all the beers to identical temps. Call over a few friends and perform a triangle tasting of the control vs accelerated aged samples. Try a bock or marzen - they work quite nicely. The flavor differences should be obvious. Once sensitized to the changes you'll have less difficulty identifying staling in the future. Some of the better studied oxidation processes are accelerated so that one week at 40C is about the same as 3 months at cellar temps. >I think someone should point out that if HSA is a real effect, it is so >subtle that no one need worry about it. Yeah - aldehydes, fading hop bitterness and a caramel note never develop in HB. All HBs taste identically the same at week 4 and week 15 because it's soooo bloody stable and there are no oxidation changes in the bottle. That's the urban legend Alistair. Major portions of these flavor changes are due to oxidation. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 06:18:44 -0400 From: "Arnold Neitzke" <arnold_neitzke at ameritech.net> Subject: Re: constant sparge flow rate > Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 22:25:38 -0500 > From: "Ryan and Shelly" <furstenau at worldnet.att.net> > Subject: constant sparge flow rate > <SNIP> > If the solution is to keep the tube out of the wort, how do I avoid hot side > areation? Do I keep the tube pressed up against the side of the kettle? > > Please help. My 1st sparge took almost 90 minutes. I would like to shoot > for 45 minutes. > > Ryan, Omaha, NE, USA Ryan It sounds like you have solved your own problem. Put a float on the end of your hose and as the level comes up the end of your hose will too. Arnold Neitzke Brighton Mi (a close satellite to the center of the brewing universe :) Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 07:51:41 -0400 From: George Fergusson <gsferg at clary.gwi.net> Subject: Low Alcohol Beer Hi All- Does anyone have any experience with brewing low-alcohol or no-alcohol beers? I'm talking ABV percentages in the 0.5% to 1.5% range. I'm sure this has been discussed before but I went to search the HBD archives this morning only to receive a "Syntax error at offset.." error. I've been discussing this on the UK-HOMEBREW list but haven't received any suggestions from anyone who has tried doing this. My goal is to brew some of my favorite bitters and pale ales with all the flavor, body, hops, and appeal of the originals but with a fraction of the alcohol. My reasons are that I really like to brew and drink Good Beer but could do with a lot less alcohol in my diet. What I'm thinking of doing is brewing a "regular" 5UK gallon batch with a finished ABV of around 4% and when it's been in the secondary a while, racking 3/4 of it into my cooker, heating it up gently to drive off the alcohol.. when the alcohol is gone, pour it back in the secondary and let it finish up. This would leave me with 25% of the original alcohol, or about 1% ABV. There should still be enough yeast in the beer to bottle condition- if not I suppose I can pitch a bit more at bottling. Figuring out when the alcohol is gone is a bit problematic, but I think I can periodically check the specific gravity to see what kind of progress I've made since the SG will rise as the alcohol is driven off- when it stops rising, theoretically the alcohol is gone but of course, should I keep heating it beyond that point, the evaporation of water itself will cause the specific gravity to continue to rise, so it seems like there is some guesswork required. I'd expect the rate of change of the SG would change (drop) once the alcohol was gone. Another way to solve this problem would be to capture and condense the vapor and taste it, though at the risk of becoming seriously inebriated which is of course, the exact opposite effect I'm looking to achieve with this exercise :) Then again, the Scotch in me cringes at the thought of vanishing all that perfectly good alcohol into the atmosphere so perhaps I'll build a still anyways- I can always run my car on it.. Sound reasonable? One concern I have is driving off other volatiles along with the alcohol, like hop oils, and any other effects on flavor from heating up fermented beer. I suppose that will take some experimentation. Suggestions? George- - ---------------- George Fergusson Whitefield Maine Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 14:59:44 -0500 From: Joe Yoder <headduck at swbell.net> Subject: primetabs Randy Walker asks: The Primetab site says to use 3 to 5 tablets per bottle. How many did you use? Randy, I have had the best luck using 2 1/2 tabs per 12 oz. bottle. Two seemed undercarbonated and 3 was overcarbonated. Maybe we could talk Domenick into making a 1/2 size tab?? Joe Yoder Lawrence, KS Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 17:34:51 -0500 From: "Carrol McCracken" <carrolmccracken at mchsi.com> Subject: AHA Membership Here is another example of a business looking at their expenses and then dividing it by their current membership number to come up with the fee they want to charge. I sure hope (but I would be surprised) someone with the AHA understands and considered economic demand curves. Simple indirect relationship, price goes up, demand will usually fall, so they could end up with the same amount of income as before or sometimes even less until equilibrium is reached. I wouldn't make any bets on them increasing their revenue just yet. Return to table of contents
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