HOMEBREW Digest #4035 Sat 07 September 2002

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  Extraction Effeni. ("Partner")
  Re: new beer tower ("Kent Fletcher")
  re: Efficiency problems ("Steve Alexander")
  lager starters (Marc Sedam)
  Re: Straffe Hendrik & candi sugar ("Sven Pfitt")
  Skimming and splooge ("Sven Pfitt")
  Re: Candi Sugar (Jeff Renner)
  re: Lager Starter Question ("The Artist Formerly Known As Kap'n Salty")
  Re: Dissolved Oxygen Research (Demonick)
  Re: Lager Starter Question (Jeff Renner)
  Re: White Labs 802 Czech Budejovice Lager (Bill Wible)
  Re: Candi Sugar (DHinrichs)
  should I refrigerate? (Sethmfisher)
  Crankandstein Grain Mills ("Cave, Jim")
  Fermenting in primary (BrianS)
  Cider and Perry at the GBBF ("H. Dowda")
  barleywine ("Christopher T. Ivey")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2002 00:47:33 -0500 From: "Partner" <Partner at Netdirect.net> Subject: Extraction Effeni. I've never seen so much drivel in my life until tonight's reply's only one person got it right From: "Dan Gross" <degross at starpower.net> Subject: RE: Efficiency Problems Andrew, Do you check the PH of your water? I have had pretty poor extraction rates when my mash pH is above 5.5. This should not be a concern with darker beers since dark grains will lower the PH. But if you are brewing lagers with almost no dark grains that could be part of the problem. Dan Gross Olney, Md AND what does a RIMS have to do with it????????????? i have one!!!!!!! a SABCO..... and i do it goooooooooooood!!! - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - ---------- Andrew, I assume you're brewing 5 gallon batches? Your 5 gallon coolers are really small for this purpose. You could probably improve your yield if you could achieve a mash-out. Unfortunately, you won't be able to do a mash-out with a 5 gallon tun, as it would require infusing more water than you can hold, you would need a 10 gallon tun, adn a 10 gallon hlt would be better, as well. Barring upsizing your equipment, your only other real option is to make the most of what you've gott [sorry ;)] You want to sparge until your runoff is 1.010, maybe 1.008. You might try experimenting with batch sparging, but then again, you can only get so much water on top of your mash in that tun of yours. Bottom line is, you're gonna make good brew with what you've got for now, so who cares about a little low efficiency? You're at 60% for a recipe base on 75%? Just modify the recipe accordingly, multiply all of the malts/adjuncts by 1.2, and enjoy! What's 20% more malt in a 5 gallon batch? Wait until you get into RIMS or HERMS before you get that anal! Who are we talking about being ANAL here? this was pathetic reply's, everyone knows your PH is to be 5.2-5.6 that IS the answer and I'm sticking to it Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2002 00:19:30 -0700 From: "Kent Fletcher" <kfletcher at socal.rr.com> Subject: Re: new beer tower Bryan Gros asked about > I'm looking for advice on the best place to purchase a new tower > for my kegerator type fridge. Then one I have can fit 3 cornys, > so I need a tower with 3 taps. (snip) > I see at Rapids they have the standard 3" towers with two and > three taps. About $175. Probably what I'll get. (snip) > Will Rapids sell to me direct? Yes, Rapids will sell direct, and they don't seem to mind how small an order you place. Ordered from them a couple of times myself and have recommended them to fellow brewclub members. Good people to deal with, and they have quite a variety of towers. You can also find draft equipment on eBay, though I don't remember seeing a 3 tapper. Worth a look, though. Kent Fletcher brewing in So Cal Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2002 07:03:16 -0400 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: re: Efficiency problems Andrew E Hipkiss asks >I am relatively new to all-grain brewing and am having some serious >difficulties with my extraction. This is an extremely common - even normal problem for the early steps into all-grain. >[...] mashing at 150 F [...] 90 minutes at a rate of 1.2 [qt/lb] >[...] I use 5.25 gallons of sparge water[...] at 168F. >My sparge last around 70 minutes, 2 quarts per 5 min. These figure sound decent. > My final runnings are usually high >around 1.016 - 1.018, and my overall efficiency is around 60% according to >Promash. Any ideas? Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated. Promash will calculate efficiency 6 ways from Sunday, but I assume from your description that you are seeing figures *like*: 0.5lbs of crystal + 8 lbs of PA malt yielding 5 gal of 1.036 wort. That's 60% brewhouse or practical efficiency. The high final runnings are indicative of a poor sparge. I have several suggestions: 1/ Implement a mashout step - bring the mash to around 167F for 20 minutes using a boiling water infusion. See chapter 16 of John Palmer's excellent book http://www.howtobrew.com/sitemap.html for the calculation of the boiling infusion. For several reasons mashout can improve the lauterability of the gristbed. 2/ Examine your grain crush. Malt crushed too coarsely will be very difficult to extract efficiently. Get an experienced all-grain brewer to look at it. This problem can be responsible for huge loss of extraction efficiency. 3/ Mash thickness - A brewer familiar with his hardware and the process can get good efficiency from a 1.2 qt/lb mash thickness, but it is easier to get good efficiency in a thinner mash. I'd suggest 1.5qt/lb mash thickness until you get your numbers up. Do be careful about the mash temperatures since an overshoot is more damaging in a thin mash. 4/ Sparge mechanics & fluid flow. It seems so basic, but when you have a shallow gristbed (and we all do) it's easy to get channeling. That is some of the inlet water flows quickly out to the boiler without picking up much extract on the way. There are simply spots in the gristbed that permit the wort to flow through without much resistance. There can be other compacted zones in the grist which get little flow. Make sure the layer of grist over the false bottom is even and keep the flow low at all times. Underlet the false bottom to prevent compaction. Also recirculate the first several quarts of wort back into the tun. This aids clarity and prevents low gravity underlet from reducing efficiency. 5/ You didn't mention pH but adjusting mash or at least water pH can improve extraction efficiency too. A mash pH around 5.5 or a water pH adjusted to around 6.0 should end any question. This is unlikely to be a major part of the problem but occasionally it is. 6/ Fuggedaboudit - low extraction efficiency is a non-issue. You can resolve it with a little more malt. If you get 60% efficiency and your friends get 80% you'll just need to use a third more malt than they do. That's around $2 per 5gallon batch - not worth worrying about. Low efficiency sparging can actually have a flavor advantage. I'm an advocate of stopping the lauter around 75%-80% of the practical limit for better flavor and less lauter time. No-sparge advocates believe that beers made from the first runnings alone make the best beers and there is something to this POV. The fact is that malt is so cheap compared to the HBers time that efficiency is just demonstration that you have mastered a proper lauter. It's not a key to a better beer. I think a little more experience in the sparge/lauter and some of the tips above will get you where you need to be. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 06 Sep 2002 07:58:52 -0400 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: lager starters Don Miller asks about whether 2 days at room temp THEN cooling is good for a lager starter... You're going to get answers all over the board on this one, but I happen to think what you've done is great. You get solid yeast growth at RT, then get the yeast used to the fermentation environment. However, this is a procedure probably best used if you are willing to wait for your wort to chill down to 50F as well. If you're going to pitch the yeast as soon as the wort is out of the chiller, then there's no reason to get the yeast familiar with a fermentation temperature it won't see for a while. Put more simply...store your starter at the temperature of the wort you plan to pitch it in. I usually just throw it in the fermenter as soon as the wort is chilled, but do get a more controlled (read slightly cleaner) fermentation if I let the wort cool overnight in my chest freezer and pitch the next morning. If your sanitization is good this shouldn't be a problem. Cheers! - -- Marc Sedam Chapel Hill, NC Back to brewing again, but with many iron frames sitting idly by. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 06 Sep 2002 08:19:41 -0400 From: "Sven Pfitt" <the_gimp98 at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: Straffe Hendrik & candi sugar For some reason, my messages are bouncing, so I will try again. Interestingly enough, on my way home from work yesterday I stopped a the local licquor store (TN requires beer over 6% to be sold with licquor and wine) and found they had Straffe Hendrik, both pale and dark. I'll try the pale this weekend. - Braam Greyling queries about Straffe Hendrik and Candi sugar >Hi all, >Have someone ever tried cloning the Belgium beer named Straffe >Hendrik ? >I am looking for a full grain recipe. Can someone help ? >Would appreciate >fermenting temperature and mashing schedule info as >well. ....No help here... >What should I use for a replacement of the candi sugar that they use >in >Belgium Beer ? I use Inverted sugar which I make by using regular cane sugar. I use a five pound bag, add 1/4 cup of corn sugar, and two cups of water. Add 1ml of phosphoric acid and SLOWLY bring to a boil . Simmer till you get the color you want, but be carefull as it will darken rapidly as it looses water. I put this in Ball Mayson jars and save it till needed. You can use lactic, or other acids as well, but i like the neutral taste characteristics of phosphoric. It is used in soda as well as brewing, so I don't see a issue there. rev Steven, -75 XLCH- Ironhead Nano-Brewery http://thegimp.8k.com Johnson City, TN [422.7, 169.2] Rennerian "Fools you are... who say you like to learn from your mistakes.... I prefer to learn from the mistakes of others and avoid the cost of my own." Otto von Bismarck Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 06 Sep 2002 09:31:10 -0400 From: "Sven Pfitt" <the_gimp98 at hotmail.com> Subject: Skimming and splooge Two days ago I skimmed the brown splooge off the top of a batch of hefeweissen that i have in a CCF. I put the skimmings in a glass and covered it with aluminium foil and placed it in the refrigerator. I expected to see a layer of brown gunk from the brown splooge I had skimmed, some yeast from the foam, and some beer. Instead I now have what appears to be a layer of yeast that is over 50% of the volume of the mix, (about a half cup) and the remaining is clear liquid beer! The brown dissappeared! It appears that what I thought was trub that had been carried up to the kreussen is in fact almost pure yeast! It must have turned brown from contact with the air above the kreussen as it dried. Is this the case? rev Steven, -75 XLCH- Ironhead Nano-Brewery http://thegimp.8k.com Johnson City, TN [422.7, 169.2] Rennerian "Fools you are... who say you like to learn from your mistakes.... I prefer to learn from the mistakes of others and avoid the cost of my own." Otto von Bismarck Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 06 Sep 2002 09:55:25 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <JeffRenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: Candi Sugar "Don Van Valkenburg" <dvanv at earthlink.net> writes: >Belgian candi sugar is made from beets. Thus if you can find beet >sugar, you are set. > >BTW, Stein Fillers brewing supply in Long Beach sells granulated beet sugar >at a much lower cost than rock candi. White granulated sugar is nearly pure sucrose and may be made from either cane or beets - you can't tell by taste and the package may not tell you. See http://www.sucrose.com/learn.html for an interesting, detailed and well produced site. Be sure to click on the tabs at the top for the whole story. Up here in Michigan, it's sugar beet growing country. See http://www.sos.state.mi.us/history/museum/techstuf/erlyagri/beetsuga.html and http://www.geo.msu.edu/geo333/beetindustry.html There are a couple of regional brands that are beet sugar (Pioneer Sugar http://www.imperialsugar.com/Pioneer_Sugar/main.htm is one). If you drive along country roads during harvest season in the "Thumb" (look at a map of Michigan and you will immediately know where the Thumb is), you'll see beets the size of footballs and larger lying along the road where they fell out of farm wagons. They are also sold (cheap) by the pickup truck load (as are carrots) to hunters for deer bait (baiting deer is a long standing but controversial tradition in Michigan). Jeff - -- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at comcast.net "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 06 Sep 2002 09:18:41 -0500 From: "The Artist Formerly Known As Kap'n Salty" <mikey at swampgas.com> Subject: re: Lager Starter Question In HBD #4034 Miller, Donald (HQ BIC) Spaketh: === I have not had much success in brewing lagers but I'm not letting that stop me. I would like to ask a quick questions regarding starters. I am building a starter with 2 cups of water and one pint of DME. === Well, for "starters" (yuk, yuk, yuk. I kill me), you really need a larger starter. A pint starter is OK for ales, but consider at least a quart starter for lagers, especially if you'll be starting the ferment cold. A gallon starter (decant the spent beer before pitching) is even better. I generally use at a 2 gallon starter for a 6 gallon batch (or pitch on the cake from a previous batch), and never have fermentation problems (and positive airlock pressure within a couple of hours). Also, taking a pint starter from room temp down to 50 degrees is probably not a great idea. While I will crash out my two gallon starters this way, this is probably a bad idea for smaller starter volumes and will likely cause much of the yeast to go dormant (and stay that way if pitched into cold wort -- may be less of a problem if pitched into warmer wort). Here's my usual starter routine: Start with either an XL smack pack, tube or yeast built up from a slant: Pitch into a couple of quarts of cooled wort, if I'm feeling lucky, or pitch into to 500 ml, then step up to 2 qts. I generally use a stir plate because I found one cheap. I don't really recomend running out and buying one of these at full price. All this is done at room temp Once that has femented out, I sanitize my fermentation vessel, make up 1-2 gallons of 1040 wort, cool it, rack into the fermentor and pitch my two litre starter. Once the large starter has femented out (again at room temp), I usually crash it in the chest freezer down to my pitching temp, which is usually 44-48F. Normally (if I have any canned wort on hand) I decant the spent wort from the starter and pitch a quart or so of fresh wort on to the starter cake the night before pitching. Before racking the cooled (44-48F) wort into the fermentor, I'll decant the spent wort from the starter yeast cake if I didn't do it the night before, and then rack the cooled wort into the fermentor. Optionally (if I have it on hand) I'll give the wort two minutes of pure O2. This seems to give a better fermentation (usually, but not always). Since I've obviously invested a lot of effort into this pain-in-the-*ss yeast cake, I usually pitch one or two more beers on the same cake. The first beers are usually of moderate gravity; but the last beer might be a bock or doppelbock. Hope that helps -- tafkaKs ==== Teleoperate a roving mobile robot from the web: http://www.swampgas.com/robotics/rover.html Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2002 07:42:14 -0700 From: Demonick <demonick at zgi.com> Subject: Re: Dissolved Oxygen Research Thank you for publishing your results. I would be interested in the DO concentration of boiled tap water. My suggestion would be to do a time-based boil experiement. Take initial DO reading, then bring water to boil and periodically take a DO reading. The experiment should run until DO levels stabilize. Thanks again. 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: Fri, 06 Sep 2002 10:43:19 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <JeffRenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: Lager Starter Question Don Miller <dmiller at hq.dcma.mil> writes: >I have not had much success in brewing lagers but I'm not letting that stop >me. I would like to ask a quick questions regarding starters. I am >building a starter with 2 cups of water and one pint of DME. This doesn't make sense - equal volumes (2 cups = 1 pint) and dry malt extract? Something's wrong here. Dan McConnell of Yeast Culture Kit Co. recommends a low gravity starter of 50 grams DME per liter, and this works for me. I also use a pinch (1/16 tsp) yeast energy. >I let the wort starter coll to 74 degrees and then poured the Czech >Pils yeast into the bottle. I let the starter go for about 48 hours >at room temperature. >Yesterday I moved the starter to my chest freezer which is set at 50 degrees ><snip> >My questions are: 1) Should I have this >starter at the 50 degrees right now or did I jump the gun? I do it your way, but others like to start it off cool. No big deal wither way, IMO. >2) Will the 48 hours at room temperature screw up (technical term) >the starter? No. It actually allows for faster reproduction, which I consider to be good. After two days at room temperature, it is probably pretty nearly fermented out if it is a large pitch in a low gravity starter. >3) How long before the starter is ready when fermenting at the lower >termperature of 50 degrees? It will certainly take longer than at room temperature. You could watch the air lock for an indication. I like to make a liter starter in a gallon jug (lots of air) at room temp, then decant it after it settles out and pour another liter on the yeast. I decant this just before pitching, sometimes after cooling to 50F. I do try to pitch into wort that is close to the temperature of the yeast. If I pitch it into room temperature wort, it is only that temperature a short time as I continue to chill with an immersion chiller to 48-50F fermentation temperature. As a very raw data point, last evening I restarted a cup of thick yeast I harvested on July 1 and kept refrigerated since. I had fermented a CAP and a light Helles, so this was third generation. It started right up in the liter of starter in a gallon jug in a few hours and is bubbling. This was pretty old yeast but it smelled fine. I hope it will produce a good beer. Jeff - -- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at comcast.net "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 06 Sep 2002 10:45:02 -0400 From: Bill Wible <bill at brewbyyou.net> Subject: Re: White Labs 802 Czech Budejovice Lager >I'm considering using this yeast for a doppelbock in the >near future. White Labs 802 Czech Budejovice Lager is a great yeast for Czech Pilseners or light lagers. For something more substantial, like your Dopplebock, White Labs recommends (according to their free poster chart): WLP820 Octoberfest, WLP838 Southern German Lager, or WLP920 Old Bavarian Lager (Platinum Strain, seasonal availability). I made a Dopplebock last year with the WLP838 Southern German Lager, and I was less than impressed. I thought about trying the WLP885 Zurich Lager (also a Platinum Strain) for a Dopplebock, even though it's not a first choice on their chart. This is reputed to be Samichlaus yeast. I'll probably try that one this year. Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2002 09:51:00 -0500 From: DHinrichs at Quannon.com Subject: Re: Candi Sugar From: "Don Van Valkenburg" <dvanv at earthlink.net> Subject: Re: Candi Sugar > The only difference between your table sugar and the clear > candi sugar is that most table sugar is cane sugar. Belgian candi sugar is > made from beets. Thus if you can find beet sugar, you are set. Actually it is the other way around in the US. Check the packaging if it is cane sugar it will say so on the package if it is not specified it is most likely beet sugar. Due to import quota's imposed on non-USA cane sugar, most sugar comes from beets. This is done to prop up farmers against much cheaper non-usa sources. We here in the states pay much more for sugar then the rest of the world as a result. That is why candy, pop etc are mostly made with corn syrup rather than sugar it is far cheaper. ******************************************************* * Dave Hinrichs E-Mail: dhinrichs at quannon.com * * Quannon CAD Systems, Inc. Voice: (952) 935-3367 * * 6101 Baker Road, Suite 204 FAX: (952) 935-0409 * * Minnetonka, MN 55345 * * http://www.quannon.com/ * ******************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2002 10:53:00 EDT From: Sethmfisher at aol.com Subject: should I refrigerate? homebrewers- I just tasted a batch of honey porter after two weeks in the bottle. It wasn't bad, had great carbonation ( I primed with honey) but I was wondering if I should now just put it in the fridge, especially since we are in a bit of a heatwave out here ( in southern ca) and I don't have real temperature control. thanks Seth Fisher Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2002 08:56:21 -0700 From: "Cave, Jim" <Cave at psc.org> Subject: Crankandstein Grain Mills Does anyone have any experience with these mills? They look pretty beefy. Jim Cave Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2002 09:01:58 -0700 From: BrianS <schar at cardica.com> Subject: Fermenting in primary Gary Smith writes: <<What's considered a safe time to leave a beer in the primary without negatively affecting the flavor? Is two weeks excessive? I've usually transferred to the secondary within 3-4 days but leaving it in longer would be more flexible for me.>> I have never used a secondary in 10 years of brewing. I always leave my beer in the primary to make sure fermentation is done. I have never experienced any off-flavors as a result, as far as I can tell. My concern with the secondary is that the transfer process is one more place for contamination to creep in, as well as oxidation. I'm also too lazy to clean another set of fermenters and too cheap to buy them. I even went 3+ weeks in the fermenter once when I was away on business and didn't have time to bottle. No problems even then. Brian Schar Menlo Park, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2002 09:03:33 -0700 (PDT) From: "H. Dowda" <hdowda at yahoo.com> Subject: Cider and Perry at the GBBF Ray Daniels notes the excellence of the cider and perry examples at the GBBF. He is right on. There were 50 or so. The trip would have been worthwhile just for these. The difference between these real ciders and what we see in this country in homebrew competitions is astounding. First, there are 10 degrees of dryness from a tangy fruity sweet elixer to a mouth puckering Chablis-like apple wine that would hold its own against many of the finer white wines. Even as a rank novice,I could easily tell the difference between at least five. Regardless of dryness, all of the better examples were clearly possessed of apple or pear aroma and flavor. The difference in mouth feel between the invited examples at the GBBF and our over manufactured products was marked. NONE were crystal clear, none were even sort of clear (nor were the Norman ciders we had in France, unless bottled for distribution outside Normandy). The BJCP standards would seriously fault all of these great quaffs. Maybe we need a category for real ciders. Harold Dowda Planning 'dinner on the ground' and frantically seeking judges for the 4th Annual Palmetto State Brewers' Open September 28. Cash Beer BOS, 7th and higher entry from the same brewer is free, the Just Good Beer Brewoff, a separate Mead/Cider BOS and no category compaction..... http://www.sagecat.com/psb/psbo4.htm Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2002 12:03:03 -0500 (CDT) From: "Christopher T. Ivey" <ivey at ux1.cso.uiuc.edu> Subject: barleywine Greetings, I'm thinking about brewing a batch of barleywine, which I have never before attempted. I'm interested to hear any opinions or advice about other folks' barleywine experiences. In particular, I've heard different opinions about using champagne yeast vs. beer yeast (or starting with beer yeast and adding champagne yeast later), and about splitting a 5-gal batch into two 5-gal buckets during the explosive primary fermentation stage to avoid losing wort through the blowoff tube. Any thoughts about these or other issues? Also--please send recipes! (I can do a partial mash or all extract batch of high OG beer, like b-wine, with my current setup). Thanks! Chris Ivey Champaign, IL Return to table of contents
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