HOMEBREW Digest #4407 Sat 22 November 2003

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  mixed yeast fermentation ("-S")
  Replies on Beer Classification Systems (Alexandre Enkerli)
  re: flocculation ("-S")
  RE: Beer Classification and BJCP Styles ("David Houseman")
  Re: Carbonation Level for Dunkelweizen (Jeff Renner)
  BJCP Guidelines (gornicwm)
  an interesting style (Marc Sedam)
  Dallas Shops (neils)
  Yeast ranching ("Bill Kunka")
  Re: Dunkelweizen Carbonation (Robert Sandefer)
  Oxygenation, flow rate, air stones, saturation ("Rob Dewhirst")
  Widmer yeast (Randy Ricchi)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 01:57:10 -0500 From: "-S" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: mixed yeast fermentation Dave Burley notes ..., << "I also hope some lightbulbs will go on in home breweries around the world that maybe a blend of yeasts will produce better results. It does require a blend at pitching of primary stable strains of yeasts for each brew or the results, like yours, will be unpredictable from batch to batch. This will obviate yeast recycling. >> I buy the idea that using several yeasts *could* produce a better tasting beer, but I think the old practice brewing with mixed yeasts at a brewery spoke to a lack of sanitation and the English pattern of rejecting pure culture practices till well after WW2, rather than an intention to make better beer. When you consider all the differentiating growth factors that would naturally impact any two yeasts, it is absolutely impossible that those old traditional breweries had a stable ratio of their several yeasts. I doubt one could even grow stable ratios of two distinct yeast in a modern lab setting ! This goes to your suggestion that one should pitch a blend of the two yeasts to get predictable results. A better method is to separately ferment two portions of wort and blend the resulting beers to get repeatability. You could even blend in the glass if you wish. You could then reuse the yeast and experiment with blending ratios and several yeasts easily, as winemakers do. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 03:28:38 -0500 From: Alexandre Enkerli <aenkerli at indiana.edu> Subject: Replies on Beer Classification Systems I won't intervene further on this subject but I did want to express my gratitude to everyone who replied to my post on classification systems. I'm relieved to see every comment is thoughtful and insightful. These comments also bring diverse points of view (with some commonalities) and raise several fascinating points (alternate uses for and fringe benefits of classification systems, expectations, typological criteria and parameters, historicity...). Drink for thought! I'm also glad nobody seemed to interpret my post as an attack on the BJCP, its members, or even its guidelines. I reiterate my deepest respect for all of what the BJCP has brought to our world. Oh, and for those who might disapprove of the thread, I'm sorry to have started it but it has really helped me a lot. Thanks to all! Alex (aka Ale-X), in Montreal [555.1km, 62.8] Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 04:15:01 -0500 From: "-S" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: re: flocculation Dave Burley writes ... << Oregon Alt wonders why his beers stop fermenting partway through, but stirring speeds them on. In a word - flocculation. >> and contends that stirring counteracts flocculation. Flocculation does not cause the end of fermentation, it's a coincident symptom. The cause of slow and apparently stopped ('stuck' or 'sticking') fermentation is that the yeast are not growing. This is a much simpler and more direct explanation. Even yeast which do not flocculate can 'stick' - and stirring would obviously have no deflocculating effect on these. Brewing yeast flocculate when the cell surface properties change via at least two distinct genetic mechanisms. For brewing yeast these mechanisms are suppressed whenever growth conditions obtain. Yes, yeast stop fermenting (or slow down vastly) when they flocculate, but they only flocculate because they can no longer grow. Stirring yeast does not change their cell surface properties, and cause them to DEflocculate. Typical stirring cannot even yield separate cells - they remain flocced. It's been shown that the deflocculation process involves restoring growth conditions and then allowing time for the yeast to synthesize new surface proteins. That's exactly what happens when you add a kreusen or priming addition or repitch a flocculated yeast cake. The correct question is this .... What causes growth to cease and why does stirring fix it ? Some common nutrient deficiencies involve oxygen related lipids, amino acids and biotin. Other factors that can impair and even stop growth are high alcohol concentration, high CO2 concentrations and low pH. CO2 and O2 are both affected by stirring, and a mere 40mg of O2 would be a substantial boost to a 5gal batch. Yeast enjoy low CO2 levels (around 0.25 atm) as they can use some of the carbon for biosynthesis. At 1 atm the CO2 reduces growth by two known mechanisms (and fermenters often contains 2atm of CO2 at peak fermentation). CO2 impairs the yeast's ability to create the redox balance (sort of a yeast acidosis). That causes an imbalance in the fermentation pathway which ties up phosphates and also reduced the internal cell pH - which in turn reduces the activity of one of the enzymes on the pyruvate energy pathway. High CO2 levels especially late in the fermentation at lower pH give your yeast cells a serious hangover ! The cells lose the energy flux necessary to signal growth conditions and the flocculation mechanism is enabled. The cell surfaces change, they clump and drop to the floor in a coma awaiting more energy. With hi-alcohol or hi-gravity and low lipid levels the yeast have a different problem. The cell membranes, which are meant to be selectively permeable become too weak and overly-permeable with low lipid levels. Healthy yeast expend a large fraction of their metabolic energy pumping ions across cell membranes against the osmotic pressure. Low lipid yeast cells expending far more since the ions are leaking back in - low lipid yeast operate like the bilge pump on a leaky ship. They also have problems keeping their internal metabolic operations functioning efficiently because of this. Again flocculation follows and autolysis hot on it's heels in this case. Somehow stirring alleviates some growth limiting restriction. Stirring certainly removes CO2 and may add a little O2. This is the likely explanation of why stirring works. << One solution, especially in London, [...] or to move ( "drop") the entire batch to another fermenter to finish it off.. >> The practice of dropping is associated with English yeast which have high oxygen requirements. There is little doubt that "dropping" removes CO2 and adds O2. As the Monty Python sketch goes .... << This is a late parrot ! It's a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace ! If you hadn't nailed him to the perch he would be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolic processes are of interest only to historians ! It's hopped the twig ! It's shuffled off this mortal coil ! It's rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible! This is an Ex-parrot ! >> OK - flocculated yeast are not dead like Graham Cleese's parrot, but throwing them up into the wort is every bit as ineffective as nailing a dead parrot to the perch. It cannot even separate the flocced cells, much less reverse the flocculation bioprocess. Here's the mantra - "growing yeast never flocculate; flocculated yeast never grow". Restore growth conditions and both flocculation and attenuation will take care of themselves. This applies generally. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 07:57:47 -0500 From: "David Houseman" <david.houseman at verizon.net> Subject: RE: Beer Classification and BJCP Styles Robert, Look at Category 24, Specialty/Experimental/Historical. This is an open category. Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 10:04:41 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: Carbonation Level for Dunkelweizen "Don Scholl" <dws at engineeringdimensions.com> writes from up the road at Twin Lake, Michigan: >I'll be bottling my Dunkelweizen tomorrow and I would like to know a >carbonation level (volumes CO2) that you use or is specified for it. One of the very best books in the Classic Beer Style Series is Eric Warner's _German Wheat Beer_. Part of its great appeal to me is that his German training resonates with my own German-American anal fussiness. Warner has a lot to say about carbonation, and uses the very useful grams CO2/100 ml (per cent CO2 by weight) for carbonation rather than volumes CO2, which I find far more intuitive and useful. The nice thing about this is that since one gram of sugar produces very nearly 0.5 grams of CO2, it is easy to determine how much priming sugar to add (don't forget to take into account the dissolved CO2 present already in your finished beer). He writes (p. 39), "Perhaps the most striking quality of Weissbier is its high degree ofcarbonation. German lagers may have a CO2 content of 2.3 volumes (0.45 percent by weight), and American lagers may be slightly higher, but Weissbiers are even more effervescent. Levels range from 2.8 to 5.1 volumes (0.55 to 1.0 percent by weight). Weissbiers at the higher end of the scale tend to bed too gassy, and it is easy to become bloated by just one of the. I prefer beers that have a CO2 content of less than 3.6 volumes (o.7 percent by weight), but many of the popular Weissbiers in Germany have a level that is higher." He goes on to write (p. 25) that carbonation levels for Dunkles Weissbier is similar to that of pale Weizen. Warner shows a clip-on manometer that is placed on a bottle to monitor the pressure build-up during bottle fermentation. Since you probably don't have one of these, let me suggest a simple way of monitoring the progress of carbonation that occurred to me a little while back - fill a half liter PET soda bottle while you are bottling. You can check carbonation by how hard the bottle becomes. Of course, since PET bottles are not oxygen impermeable, you should ddrink this beer early. And, if you have fridge space, keep all the beer cold as weizenbier has a poor shelf life. I sent this suggestion (for all beers, not just Weizen) to Zymurgy, where it was published recently. As editor Ray Daniels commented, it is surprising that such a simple idea had not occurred to anyone before, or at least that it had not been promulgated within the homebrew community. It seems that it should simply be SOP for all bottling, and should be suggested in beginning homebrew books (attention John Palmer and Charlie P). Cheers 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, 21 Nov 2003 10:28:44 -0500 (GMT-05:00) From: gornicwm at earthlink.net Subject: BJCP Guidelines I'm sure that most brewers out there, especially brewers that brew competitively, have two types of brewing etiquette - "guideline" brewing and "playtime" brewing. Even if you are "Clone" brewing, you are still using a type of "guideline". Your guideline happens to be the physical beer you are after and not the description of what the beer should be. I would argue that its just as rewarding to brew a style that indisputably nails the BJCP guidelines as it is to develop a "creative" brew that satisfies all of my personal tastes regarding how I think a particular brew should taste. In both instances, skill and care are needed to develop a GREAT beer. I also hope that skill and care was taken to formulate the BJCP Guidelines. I would have a hard time believing that IBU, SRM, and gravity requirements for the styles were pulled from a hat. I trust that research was done, in this respect. I am faithful that it was. I think most brewers in general have a desire to break from the norm, so even if a homebrewer is brewing per guideline, the temptation to sway from guideline specific brewing always exists...and God bless it!!! Guidelines "guide" the brewer. I don't think that BJCP Guidelines were ever intended to be the "Rule Book for Homebrewing" and they should not be treated as such. They are by no means the be all end all to brewing and, in my opinion, should not be abused in this way. Go ahead and argue about the guidelines because that's what they're there for. C'mon, what would a homebrew club meeting be without a good, old-fashioned bitch session about the style guidelines. ;-) Give the guidelines a break. It is impossible to capture all of the intangibles that a beer is delivering to a persons senses, but the BJCP Guidelines come awfully close. Beer styles are both historic and evolutionary and that is what makes homebrewing so fantastic - it allows us to taste the past as well as develop new flavors for the future. Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 13:17:22 -0500 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: an interesting style Someone's posting yesterday reminded me that creativity is a good thing. I've recently had 2-3 beers that had a grain bill of a stout but were fermented with different strains of Belgian yeasts. All of these "Belgian Stouts" (there I go...classifying again) were really interesting and refreshing beverages. If you're in a creative funk, give it a try. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed them. - -- Marc Sedam Chapel Hill, NC Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 13:31:09 CST From: neils at texas.net Subject: Dallas Shops I hate to cloud the digest with non-brewing related stuff but I'd like to ask any hbd-ers from Dallas a question. Do you know of any shops in the DFW area that carry Bert Grants and/or Bridgeport products? Both companies' websites have distribution in the Dallas area. Despite the great selection at Central Market and Grapevine here in Austin, neither of these folks' products are available here and I'll be in the Dallas area over the holidays. Appreciate any input. Happy Brewing! Neil Spake Austin, Texas Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 16:40:57 -0500 From: "Bill Kunka" <wkunka at tbaytel.net> Subject: Yeast ranching This is my first post to the digest, and I have been brewing for a few years. This week end I am going to make the jump to all-grain. My question is, is there a way to store yeast long term? I am planning to brew a Koelsch and am using the Wyeast Koelsch ale yeast. Bill - --- Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com). Version: 6.0.537 / Virus Database: 332 - Release Date: 11/6/2003 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 16:17:19 -0500 From: Robert Sandefer <melamor at vzavenue.net> Subject: Re: Dunkelweizen Carbonation This year I made two dunkelweizens and primed each with 1 cup corn sugar. Therefore, these beers probably had ~2.7 vol CO2. http://hbd.org/brewery/library/YPrimerMH.html suggests that German wheat beers should have 3.3-4.5 vol CO2, but I am not that confidant of my bottles. Plus, my beers were plenty spritzy for my taste. Robert Arlington, VA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 17:14:33 -0600 From: "Rob Dewhirst" <rob at hairydogbrewery.com> Subject: Oxygenation, flow rate, air stones, saturation I recently moved up from the very expensive disposable 1.1 cu ft disposable 02 cylinders to a 20 cu ft 02 tank. I also have attached to this tank a medical oxygen flow regulator and a 2 micron airstone. I understand that about 90 seconds of pure oxygen introduction with a 2 micron stone can saturate wort to about 9-12 ppm, but at what flow rate? Certainly the flow rate out of the stone makes a difference. Also, since I cut my oxygen costs by almost exactly a factor of ten, I am considering oxygenation after pitching, at a continual but much slower flow rate than at pitch time. I have read that some commercial breweries do this for up to 24 hours. What is a safe oxygenation duration time to start with? 1 hour post pitch or so? at what flow rate? Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2003 20:47:19 -0500 From: Randy Ricchi <rricchi at houghton.k12.mi.us> Subject: Widmer yeast Does anyone know if Wyeast or White Labs has the Widmer hefe-weizen yeast, and if so, what the product number/name is? TIA Randy Return to table of contents
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