HOMEBREW Digest #4235 Fri 02 May 2003

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  RE: Why I Decoct when I mash ("Bridges, Scott")
  Theakson Old Peculiar Yeast ("Dan Listermann")
  Liquid Level Control ("Reddy, Pat")
  The Definitive History of Rennerian Coordinates (Jeff Renner)
  RE: decoction (Michael Hartsock)
  re: Extremely high ABV ("-S")
  Thanks!! (Bill Tobler)
  Re: float valve ("Rob Dewhirst")
  Torrified Wheat ("Jay Wirsig")
  starch haze, continued...and very long (Marc Sedam)
  Residual Chlorine (Kevin White)
  re: Why I Decoct when I mash ("-S")
  Mash Ph Questions ("Dave Larsen")
  mash level control ("Stephen Weiss")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 1 May 2003 08:16:04 -0400 From: "Bridges, Scott" <ScottBridges at sc.slr.com> Subject: RE: Why I Decoct when I mash Caryl (sounds like Carl) writes: >Why do I spend 4 hours mashing why I could produce the same beer with a 2 >hour, maybe even 1 hour mash? snip >According to Eric Warner's book, "German Wheat Beer" (#7 of the Classic >Beer Style Series): snip >This above paragraph (along with the rest of this book) and a conversation >or two with some German relatives who own and operate a small town brewery, >are the main reasons why I go through the trouble. But, nevertheless, I'm >going to attempt to brew the same beer twice (as close as I can) and just >change the mash schedules to see which I prefer. Caryl, I agree that Eric Warner's work is very good. I have read it although I admit it was some time ago. I wonder if there has been any change to the world of commercial German brewing since it was written. I'm guessing it is maybe 10 years old?? Of course your other reference is current, so that is at least one negative data point to my question. I'm not questioning your logic, I'm just curious if the information in the book is still relevant to the majority of commercial German weizen breweries. I'd be interested in hearing the results of your experiment. BTW, even when I make hefeweizens I don't decoct. I guess that makes my beers somewhat less than authentic. :) Scott Brewing in Columbia, SC Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 1 May 2003 08:57:47 -0400 From: "Dan Listermann" <dan at listermann.com> Subject: Theakson Old Peculiar Yeast "Jay Wirsig" <Jay.Wirsig at usa.dupont.com> asks about a yeast recommendation. I developed a kit to brew this beer based on Wheeler's book and, if I may say so myself, back to back tasting showed that it is real close. While the yeast may not have cool numbers in its name, require days of preplanning with sterile things or cost a lot, I found that Muntion's Gold does a great job. I can't recommend it enough. Dan Listermann Check out our E-tail site at www.listermann.com Free shipping for orders greater than $35 and East of the Mighty Miss. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 1 May 2003 08:25:21 -0500 From: "Reddy, Pat" <Pat.Reddy at mavtech.cc> Subject: Liquid Level Control <A friend of mine wants to control the level of his mash tun during sparging. He is looking for some kind of level controller to control the liquid above the grain bed during sparging. He wasn't happy when I told him to go buy a toilet boil water controller and use it. I was just wondering if anybody was doing this and if you are, I could use some details. My friends computer is off line for an unknown period of time, so he can't ask himself. Thanks in advance!> Bill, Is the system in question PLC controlled? If so, you have an endless amount of options. I use 4 proximity sensors that are designed specifically for level control in a vessel with site tubes. The are very small, clamp on the site tube, and run anywhere from $30 to $100. Or, you can be patient and keep an eye out for things like this on eBay. I got mine for $12 - for all 4! Industrial controls are extremely cheap on eBay. If anyone is interested in very small, food grade plastic, threaded float switches capable of switching 120V AC, I have about 12 that I don't plan on using. If interested, send me an email and I'll send pics. Will trade for beer! Pat Reddy MAVERICK Technologies (618)281-9100 x134 pat.reddy at mavtech.cc Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 01 May 2003 09:28:37 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: The Definitive History of Rennerian Coordinates Caryl Hornberger Slone <chornberger10 at comcast.net> in Ft. Wayne, IN is >Curious how/why Renerrian(sp) coordinates came to be. This question comes up every once in a while. Here is an updated version of what I posted in January, 2002. Rennerian Coordinates is (are?) a bit of silly fun that goes back about six years. It all grew out of my semi-annual request that posters tell us their name and location. It fosters community and might help answer questions. After one such request, Dan McConnell, a former HBDer and owner of the late Yeast Culture Kit Co., poked some gentle fun at my requests and signed his post something like, "five miles south-east of Jeff Renner, the center of the homebrewing universe."* Spencer Thomas (host of the HBD archives) then posted that he was one mile south-east of Dan, or six miles southeast of the center.** It took off from there. Soon more and more people were relating their location to the center of the homebrewing universe. Hey - as long as they included their actual location, it accomplished what I was after. Then Jason Henning, self appointed "Senior Rennerian Coordinate Developer," who by an amazing coincidence now lives only 12 miles from here*** but at the time lived in Portland, OR, regularized it by defining "Rennerian Coordinates," the first number the distance in miles from [0,0] Rennerian, and the second the bearing in degrees. There was some discussion that the first number should be the bearing, but the readership seems to have agreed with Jason's original definition. Then a couple of years ago, Steve Jones and Brian Levetzow independently developed Rennerian Coordinates calculators. Steve beat Brian by hours, but his has some bugs for some locations, so Brian's calculator is now at the HBD FAQs http://hbd.org/rennerian_table.shtml. BTW, when using the calculator, be sure to use a negative number for west longitude or you'll get weird numbers). [BTW, if you click on the "Geo Coords" button, you'll go to the government's Tiger Maps http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/gazetteer, which are way cool. Also, it's fun to check out http://www.topozone.com/, which gives lat/long coordinates of your cursor as you move it]. About three years ago Jason defined [0.0] Rennerian as me, not my brewery, and as such, a mobile coordinate. In HBD in 8/00, he wrote, "Only when we plant you will [0,0] Rennerian be static." I replied that I could wait. But a bit later, HBD janitor Pat Babcock****** decided that [0,0] should be static, and defined my brewery (N 42* 17" 47.0", W 83* 49' 34.2") as [0,0] Apparent Rennerian. It's all been fun. The main thing is to include your name and location when posting. Rennerian Coordinates are optional. Jeff * Dan's actual coordinates are [3.6, 115.9] Rennerian ** Spencer's actual coordinates are [5.1, 116] Rennerian *** Steve is at [422.5, 169] Rennerian **** Brian claims to be precisely at [426.641261,118.44861064] Rennerian ***** Jason is at [12,30] Rennerian ****** Pat is at [18, 92.1] Rennerian - -- 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: Thu, 1 May 2003 07:38:18 -0700 (PDT) From: Michael Hartsock <xd_haze at yahoo.com> Subject: RE: decoction While I'm a single step infusion mash guy, I do want to know more about decoction. Most books don't really address it, and honestly, I wouldn't know how much to pull or how long to boil, so a thread on some basics of decoction would be great!! mike ===== "May those who love us, love us. And those that don't love us, May God turn their hearts. And if he doesn't turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles So we'll know them by their limping." Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 1 May 2003 10:58:14 -0400 From: "-S" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: re: Extremely high ABV Guy says, >I noticed Dogfish Head brewery produces a 23% ABV >[...] What type of yeast strains can survive such high >alcohol levels, Many brewing yeast will handle 15% abv if you treat them real nice but you'll probably need to select a particularly sturdy variety and treat it well. Maybe finish w/ champagne yeast. My question is - why do you want to do this ? >and is there some special technique they use to >accomplish this? Successive feedings and sufficient pitching & repitching are the methods. Read about Sam Adam's Millenium (~20% ABV I think) on their website - they seem to have started this trend. Start with a fairly conventional gravity wort and just keep adding concentrated extract along with repitchings. You'll need truly massive amounts of high quality pitching yeast. Personally I'm not a huge fan of hi-alc fermentation beers. Many are plagued with offensive fusels, oddly strong esters and unfermented excessively sweet sugars. There are exceptions, but beer fermentation above 9%ABV is often a formula for odd tasting results. I have tasted several beers well above this level made with the eisbock process, and some of these were quite excellent - smooth and malty without the stressed fermentation flavors. -Steve Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 01 May 2003 10:58:00 -0500 From: Bill Tobler <wctobler at sbcglobal.net> Subject: Thanks!! Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions on the Mash Tun level control ideas. I'll pass all this on to him. He has a three tier RIMS with the sparge tank on top, Mash Tun in the middle and the HLT and Kettle on the bottom tier. His problem is he can't see inside the mash tun without climbing a ladder and looking in. I had two suggestions right off the bat. If he was going to be in attendance all the time, put a small mirror up there so you can see inside the top of the mash tun or a sight glass might work, if you could keep the grain out. That should not be a problem as he uses a false bottom. A tee off of the drain would work just fine for the sight glass. If you want to go mow the yard during the sparge, then you need to get a little fancy with the float switches and such. I'm going to buy a bigger chest freezer today. I'm out of largering room, and need to brew some more. Cheers, and have a great week. Bill Tobler Lake Jackson, TX (1129.7, 219.9) Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 1 May 2003 10:59:59 -0500 From: "Rob Dewhirst" <rob at hairydogbrewery.com> Subject: Re: float valve > Go to www.grainger.com and enter "float valve" as the product search > key. There are a number of items available, and at least some of them are > quite inexpensive. just be aware that many inexpensive float valves have galvanized parts on them. I bought one from grainger for a chicken feeder and I know it had a galvanized steel float arm. I am pretty sure your never supposed to use galvanized metals in brewing. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 1 May 2003 12:29:38 -0400 From: "Jay Wirsig" <Jay.Wirsig at usa.dupont.com> Subject: Torrified Wheat I have seen several all grain recipes using torrified wheat as an ingredient. What is the intended effect (in the beer) of using torrified wheat when brewing? Will using malted wheat provide the same effect? >>Jay This communication is for use by the intended recipient and contains information that may be privileged, confidential or copyrighted under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby formally notified that any use, copying or distribution of this e-mail, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited. Please notify the sender by return e-mail and delete this e-mail from your system. Unless explicitly and conspicuously designated as "E-Contract Intended", this e-mail does not constitute a contract offer, a contract amendment, or an acceptance of a contract offer. This e-mail does not constitute a consent to the use of sender's contact information for direct marketing purposes or for transfers of data to third parties. Francais Deutsch Italiano Espanol Portugues Japanese Chinese Korean http://www.DuPont.com/corp/email_disclaimer.html Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 01 May 2003 14:18:57 -0400 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: starch haze, continued...and very long I'll start by saying I'm not much into the published journal references. Not because they're not useful, but to find the original source that states what types of polysaccharides each particular organism uses would take too long and the searches would likely have to be over a 60 year period. So for those who want incontrovertible proof of this position will be disappointed. Sorry. That being said, let's step back. Starches and sugars (and gums) all fall into the loose category of "polysaccharides." The simplest polysaccharide is glucose (and fructose). All other polysaccharides are collections of glucose molecules, bonded together in varied and sundry forms. Glucose and maltose (2 glucoses) are easily fermented by nearly all brewing yeasts and other sugar-consuming organisms. From maltose, there is an inverse relationship between length of the polysaccharide chain and fermentability, with anything larger than a four glucose chain being unfermentable by all but the most bizarre yeasts--none of which being common in brewing. Those that can ferment these longer chains (>4) often give off unpleasant byproducts of fermentation and aren't useful for traditional brewing. In some texts, unfermentable short-chain polysaccharides are also called *dextrins*. Let's get more complicated. Polysaccharides can also be straight (amylose) or branched (amylopectin). In general, amylopectins will be less fermentable than amylose due to the branching. Literally, think of a polysaccharide that looks like a tree without its leaves and you get a reasonable picture of amylopectin. In amylose (and the other simple, fermentable sugars) the glucose molecules are connected by "alpha 1-4" links. These links are easily broken by both alpha- and beta-amylases. Amylopectin has "alpha 1-4" links also, but the *branch points* are connected by "alpha 1-6" links. These links are NOT broken down by any enzymes which exist in all-grain beer brewing or by brewing yeasts. These links can be broken down by other microorganisms and their enzymes. In brewing, beta-amylase degrades any straight-chain polysaccharide (including dextrins, amylose, and the branches of amylopectin up to the branching point) by chopping off two glucose molecules (maltose) at a time starting at the very end of the molecule and stopping at a branch point. This is convenient since brewing yeast love to ferment maltose. Alpha-amylase chops up any polysaccharide randomly, ideally creating lots of short chains which are either (a) fermentable themselves, or (b) straight chains that beta-amylase can further degrade. Ideally all of the amylose was converted to sugars between 1-3 glucose molecules long, and the amylopectin is degraded to lots of short-chain amylose (which is further fermented or degraded), leaving a few, large "trunks" of unfermentable amylopectin behind. This "trunk" is called the "beta-limit dextrin". Got that? Good. But all of the above is only appropriate for yeast and beer making and just lays the groundwork for answering the question at hand, i.e. why starch haze is bad for beer stability. So, to finally answer the question asked we need to consider what other organisms might be interested in what we're creating. From this point, take your pick. Many organisms (bacteria, wild yeasts, etc) love to "feed" on polysaccharides. It's why "wort agar" is a very common growth medium in microbiology labs. But these other microorganisms may not be as limited in what they can digest/ferment as yeast can. Lactobacillus delbruckii can certainly ferment polysaccharides that brewing yeast cannot. For proof, make a Berliner weiss. The FG of your standard Berliner weiss wort is about 1.033. You can generally get this to ferment down to 1.006-1.008 with regular, well-attenuating brewing yeasts. Add L. delbruckii and the final gravity will drop down to 1.000-1.002. Someone has already brought up the many microorganisms present in a lambic, whose survival relied on their ability to compete for polysaccharides that remained unfermentable by brewing yeasts. When you create a beer with starch haze you are basically telling any stray microorganisms in your wort "Here's some food. Eat at your leisure." Over time they will degrade these starches/polysaccharides because the limitations on what these microorganisms can ferment are not the same as the limitations on brewing yeast. As they ferment, some will definitely create CO2...hence, the gushers. Others will convert the polysaccharides into alternate byproducts (like lactic acid). Others will create byproducts so unpleasant that you'll sewer the beer. Will this always happen? No. Not if the non-yeast microorganism count is sufficiently low. Can you prevent this from happening? Keeping the beer at or neer freezing will reduce the activity of any microorganisms in the beer. Or drink it very quickly. Witbiers can have a starch haze, but these are products best drunk fresh. But if you want to prove the general to yourself, boil a tablespoon of corn flour in two cups of water and leave it exposed to the air with a cheesecloth cover. See how it smells in a week...or even two days. Hope this helps. Sorry for its length but there's a lot of ground to cover to get to the conclusion. Maybe Steve A. can help with the references if he's feeling generous. - -- Marc Sedam Chapel Hill, NC Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 01 May 2003 15:32:47 -0400 From: Kevin White <kwhite at bcpl.net> Subject: Residual Chlorine For the chemists and biochemists among us: If really scrungy bottles are rinsed in a heavy chlorine solution (for example, 1 cup 2.5% sodium hypochlorite to 5 gals water) and some chlorine odor remains after rinsing, then is there residual chlorine present after the bottle dries? If so, will it more easily rinse off after drying? If not, how can it be eliminated? Kevin White Columbia, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 1 May 2003 15:34:14 -0400 From: "-S" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: re: Why I Decoct when I mash Caryl Hornberger Slone writes about decoction and wheat beer, >According to Eric Warner's book, "German Wheat Beer" (#7 of the Classic >Beer Style Series): >"[...] If an authentic Weissbier is desired, however, at least a single >decoction mash should be employed." If you want tradition - then sure put on the liederhosen and decoct. Does it make a significant flavor difference tho' ? I've never claimed that decoction makes no flavor difference, but the chemicals, furanones and related heterocyclics, that are suspected of being involved in the flavor difference, and their precursors, are far more prevalent in dark malt and crystal malt than in low kilned pils malt, and even the yeast variety is involved in converting precursors into these flavor compounds (which may be why some yeasts give a more malty flavor). I've strongly argued that proteolysis rests, (which are usually part of a decoction schedule) are no longer of any value with modern malts and actually damage beers head and foam. Kunze says the same and suggests a decoction mash-in at 62C and a decoction steps to 70C and 78C - for barley malts. I am not willing to say the same of wheat malt - I just don't have the data needed. I have seen Kolbach and SNRs for wheat malts which are typically quite high (43-50%) but the amount of protein in wheat malt is also 10-40% higher than barley malt. Kunze argues that the high modification and high protein levels in wheat malt aren't good for the beer. He also states that, "to obtain a typical wheat beer aroma a *restricted* protein degradation is preferable. A relatively low quantity of nitrogen compounds in the wort leads to a livelier more pleasant wheat beer". He also states that an excess of beer FAN and peptides leads to less fermentation byproducts - which are desirable in wheat beer. If Kunze's right you should select a low protein (<14%), low Kolbach or SNR (<40%) wheat malt. I haven't found any in a cursory search. For wheat beers (aside from Kristallweizen) Kunze suggests a single or double decoction with a mash-in at 35-37C. Mash boiling for 20 to 25 minutes, and a main wort mashing ratio of 1:2.8 to 1:3 (1.4 to 1.5 qt/lb), and final attenuation is very high - 78-85% apparent attenuation. I think you'd need to avoid any rest in the 45-55C to meet Kunze's req for limited proteolysis, also extended rests in the low saccharification range (62-65C) will be necessary to achieve this attenuation. Getting from 37C to 62C (or a least 58C) will be quite difficult using decoction. It might be better to step from 37C to 62C by a conventional step boost and save the decoction for a later step. >But, nevertheless, I'm >going to attempt to brew the same beer twice (as close as I can) and just >change the mash schedules to see which I prefer. That's great - but a difficult challenge. I'll applaud your effort if you post the results. See if you can plan a triangle tasting of these and add in the questions about what is the perceived difference between the two (did anyone bring that up in discussing triangle recently ?). >I've read over some of the old posts to this subject, and I don't believe >that I can just add some specialty malts to accomplish the same beer. What is the basis for your belief ? Have you tried & compared side-by-side brews yet ? I have and frankly it's difficult to hone in on the real differences in flavor and aroma in decoction vs infusion beers just because there are so many variables, like the quality of the fement and the details of the mash schedule - details which are never identical. Also the differences from decoction are a lot smaller than some folks would have you believe. Generally folks claim that decoctions give 'maltier' flavor and sometimes a more aromatic (stronger) malt aroma. There is no doubt that you can get these features in large quantity by infusion mashing vienna, munich and melanoidin malts, as well as darker crystals. Adding these and staying true to style is sometimes a challenge in pale beer styles. Kunze suggest munich and crystal additions are legitimate for wheat beers. If color is the issue then use vienna malts - several (Durst and Breiss') come in at around 3 Lovibond. I don't have any precise formulations, but my experience w. pils leads me to believe that you could add over a pound of Durst vienna to replace 1lb of pale malt in the infusion case without ending up as dark as the decoction wort. The infusion beer w/ vienna should be maltier and more aromatic than the decoction beer too I suspect. If you don't believe it that's your business, and maybe you're right in this case - I certainly haven't compared decocted vs infused wheat malt. Maybe adding a little dark wheat malt to the infusion would emulate wheat decoction flavors better. Plan to experiment if you are serious about determining if infusions can match decoction results. I think that in general the answer is yes - a little extra dark malt makes a similar flavor/aroma contribution as decoction without the hassle. FWIW, lower extraction rates, such as with no-sparge, also improve malty flavors unquestionably. Plan on making a serious couple tries at this Caryl, before you condemn the method. I think you'll find, as I have that making near identical beers w/ infusion vs decoction is much harder than it sounds. After making extra dark malt additions to the infusion there doesn't seem to be any consistent advantage to decoction - tho' the beers are never identical. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 01 May 2003 21:56:18 +0000 From: "Dave Larsen" <hunahpumonkey at hotmail.com> Subject: Mash Ph Questions When I took the all-grain class at the local brew shop about a year and a half ago, one of the things we added to the mash liquor was a little lactic acid to adjust the Ph. I remember we were told that it was recommended to be around 5.2 or something to that effect. For my first couple of all-grain batches, I faithfully adjusted the Ph of my mash liquor to around 5.2. It was about four or so batches later that I was doing some reading on the subject when I realized that it was really the mash Ph that needed to be 5.2, not the mash liquor, and that I had misunderstood what that was about. As a result, because mash Ph can vary from recipe to recipe, the amount of lactic acid that I really should be adding also needs to vary. My questions are this: How do you decide how much or how little acid to add to adjust Ph for various recipes? Is this something that I should even worry about? I know that mash Ph can effect efficiency. Are there any other reasons I should worry about it? I guess what I'm saying is that I do not understand this subject very well. Any enlightenment would be helpful. Thanks, Dave Larsen Tucson, AZ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 01 May 2003 21:56:48 -0400 From: "Stephen Weiss" <stephen_weiss at emoryhealthcare.org> Subject: mash level control I use a Ebay bought masterflex peristaltic pump with 2 heads. (cost total about $100). At setting 2 with 3/8 inch norprene tubing it pumps into and empties the mash tun at an identical rate, (about 1.5 cups/minute), so level is never an issue. I can leave it alone for an hour and have a beer. Steve Return to table of contents
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