HOMEBREW Digest #4432 Mon 22 December 2003

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  Process Control ("Brendan Oldham")
  RE:  Scorching Mash (Bill Tobler)
  Schwarzbier/Beer to try in Germany/Diets (David Harsh)
  re: Schwartzbier (Chet Nunan)
  RE: Fermentation chamber; Reverse RIMS ("Steve Jones")
  Boiling HLT ("Patrick Hughes")
  Chocolate Saison (darrell.leavitt)
  Schwarzbier ("Mark Kellums")
  mother of vinegar (Alan McKay)
  grain steeping? (Dan)
  Re: Schwarzbier (Rama Roberts)
  Last oops of the year (Pat Babcock)
  Link of the week Dec 13th (Bob Devine)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 00:48:56 -0700 From: "Brendan Oldham" <brendan_oldham at hotmail.com> Subject: Process Control If you're interested in control and measurement systems (iow, if you take mashing a little too serious), I recently found a PDF on Honeywell's website entitled 'Fundamentals of Industrial Instrumentation'. As a non-scientist, I found explanations of process characteristics and controls (including PID) interesting. Warning: File is quite large 32MB and site registration required. >From www.honeywell.com, follow links below: Automation & Control Products Industrial Measurement and Controls Literature Finder Other IM&C Products General & Sales Literature Fundamentals of Industrial Instrumentation (downloadable for free). P.S. Be forewarned, after spending hours learning about this stuff, I realized that my PID controller's self-tune function provided precise enough control for my needs. Proceed only if you're curious! Boulder, CO Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 07:45:53 -0600 From: Bill Tobler <wctobler at sbcglobal.net> Subject: RE: Scorching Mash Yesterday, Thomas said; Hi all i have been thinking about this for a while. We use JSP's EasyMasher for a couple of years now with very good results. When i stir enough during the heating periods, i have no scorching. But the EasyMasher looks a bit twisted after some use. I was thinking about a electric stirrer, but this wouldn't work with the EasyMasher....snip Thomas, check out the link below to Jack's web site. He uses an electric mashmixer, and likes it a lot. He gives details on how to build your own, but does not sell them. http://schmidling.netfirms.com/mix.htm Bill Tobler Lake Jackson, TX (1129.7, 219.9) Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 09:12:54 -0500 From: David Harsh <dharsh at fuse.net> Subject: Schwarzbier/Beer to try in Germany/Diets Greetings- Several things with a quick $.02 On Schwarzbiers- I travelled to Germany last summer and was amazed that many local schwarzbiers do not have nearly the roast character of a Klostritzer. In fact, many could easily be confused with a dunkles - no significant roasted character. I was really surprised that none of these beers were nearly as dark as Klostrizter either. Interestingly, the beers were labeled "schwarzbier", but if you wanted one you ordered a dunkles. I guess the Germans don't make quite the distinction that we do. Someone asked about what beers to drink in Germany- On the aforementioned trip, I stuck to whatever was made in the local town. Every city had its local brewery and all the beers were fresh and well made, typically weizen or schwarzbier. Where was I? Heidelberg, Erbach, Ulm, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Meersburg, Schonwald, Bacharach, Miltenberg. Took two days into Alsace and can only tell you that this is not an area where beers are the dominant beverage! My official description of the local brew in Ribeauville was "inoffensive". Somewhere (actually in the box with the pictures I took), I have a list of what I drank with some tasting notes - if you have any interest, contact me offline and I'll dig it out. On diets- I always pay attention when someone tells me about their great new diet. Everyone I know who is or has been on the Atkins is eating less. These are people who I know well and its pretty obvious that they are restricting their caloric intake. Either that or they've started a big exercise program. I haven't read any peer reviewed literature about diets, and do think the basic premise behind the Atkins seems sound. And lets be honest, if it works for someone, great. It just seems like some combination of "eat less and exercise" is always part of the equation. I guess everyone's mileage may vary.... Enjoy the holidays! Dave Harsh Bloatarian Brewing League Cincinnati, OH Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 08:11:48 -0800 (PST) From: Chet Nunan <katjulchet at yahoo.com> Subject: re: Schwartzbier I recently bought some Dingeman's de-bittered black malt to experiment with - anyone know how this compares to the Carafa? I was planning on cold steeping 1/2# for a 5 gal. batch. Thanks! Chet Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 11:55:48 -0500 From: "Steve Jones" <stjones1 at chartertn.net> Subject: RE: Fermentation chamber; Reverse RIMS Thanks for the plug on my Fermentation chamber, Martin. Glad to hear someone else has utilized the concept (though you already told me at the NHC). I did have to replace the fridge, though, but the one I started with was very old and I knew the compressor was on its last legs when I bought it (it had one of those hard-start thingies on it). My new one has been going strong for over 2 years now. On reverse RIMS, I remember several years back a file or two (powerpoint, I think) that Micah Millspaw put together on this concept. I think I have a copy of the files at work, but I don't want to infringe on any implied copyrights, so will not extract any info from them for posting without permission from Micah. Hopefully Micah will respond and make it unnecessary for me to do so. I had given some thought to experimenting with this concept myself, though using a HERMS instead. I thought of adding a pair of ball valves to the mash tun, one just above the false bottom, and another just below the lowest expected liquid level, with elbows on the interior pointed in opposite directions. I'd use the top one as the supply, and return it to the lower one, setting up a circular motion within the mash. I don't see a problem with letting some of the grain get into the system, but you could put a SureScreen(TM) on the top one to prevent grain influx. Or, how about putting a coil in your mashtun and circulating hot water thru it to heat your mash? Sort of the reverse of a HERMS design but not recircculating the mash (RHEMS)? This would totally avoid the compaction problem, and you could even employ some kind of manual or powered stirring mechanism to help with heat transfer. I developed some problems with CTD several years back that was aggravated by manually stirring my mashtun. I built a vertical stirring mechanism out of 1/2" copper tubing, spacing several tees as close together as I could for the depth of the mashtun, with tubes about 6" long soldered into them such that they were staggered about 20 degrees apart in a spiral fashion. I flattened each of these at about a 30 degree rake angle, and the top of the assembly goes thru a 1 x 2 oak slat. At the top is an elbow, a 4" piece horizontally, another elbow, a 6" vertical piece, and an end cap. This serves as a crank style handle to rotate it with much less effort than stirring with a spoon. I stabilized the lower end by putting a stud in the false bottom that the stirring mechanism fits over, sticking up into the end of the tubing. You can vary the length and/or the spacing of the flattened tubes to avoid pickup tubes, thermometer stems, etc that protrude into the mashtun. Stirring draws the mash up thru the center of the coil, and down around the outside of the coil. You could use an extra SS kettle lid with the stirring mechanism permanently mounted, adding either a gear motor or a pulley system. Just some thoughts - I've not done any actual design on anything other than the stirrer. Steve Jones Johnson City, TN [421.8, 168.5] AR http://hbd.org/franklin Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2003 10:14:07 -0600 From: "Patrick Hughes" <pjhinc at eriecoast.com> Subject: Boiling HLT Dan Morey is considering keeping his HLT at boiling to achieve rapid rest changes in a HERMs system. Won't this denature the enzymes that pass thru the heat exchanger? I have been worrying that my method of keeping the HLT around 170 - 180 to achieve rapid ramp times is damaging to the enzymes or at the very least screwing up my wort composition by widely varying the wort temp that I am shooting for although the temp of the mash itself winds up where I want it. I have been brewing [ more like an ongoing experiment] with HERMS and have been monitoring the temp. at different points in the system. Even at a fairly fast flow rate the wort exiting the heat exchanger is 1 -3 deg. F. of the HLT. I am going to move in the opposite direction that Dan is suggesting now placing an inline thermometer at the coil output and keeping the HLT as close as possible to my desired step temp. Sacrificing speed and eliminating multi steps to achieve consistent and stable mash temps. I insulate my tun and have checked different spots in the mash repeatedly to find only a 1 deg F. difference in top to bottom of the tun if any and some of that difference comes from me taking the lid off and monkeying around with it. I am inclined to lean more toward the school of thought that multiple mash steps are unneccssary with the malts I buy off the shelf. And after reading Noonans work; accurate, consistent, and stable mash temps are what can really make the difference in wort composition.Maybe I am worrying too much, but I am not pleased with my beer and I need to keep looking for ways to improve. Patrick Hughes Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2003 09:40:15 -0500 From: darrell.leavitt at plattsburgh.edu Subject: Chocolate Saison There has been some discussion of Chocolate Ales on the HbD lately, so I thought I would take the opportunity to share a Chocolate Saison recipe that I just sampled, and that I felt tasted rather good. Chocolate Saison: six pounds 2 row (Golden Promise) Malt one pound Fawcett Brown Malt one pound Chocolate Malt one pound Wheat Malt two pounds Fawcett Dark Crystal two pounds CaraPils Malt two ounces Lactose (sugar of milk) Single step infusion (at the higher end, around 158F) for 1.5 hr Mashout. First runnings were 1.070 Boil Gravity was 1.055 Og was 1.064 Fg was 1.013 %ABV was 6.7% Yeast was 4th use of WhiteLabs Saison 2 hour boil. Hops were: 2 oz EK Goldings at start of last 60 .25 oz Fuggles at 30 .50 oz Fuggles at 15 [IBUs were about 41] One halfof the batch went into a PartyPig ,as is. The other half went into bottles with a small amount of Licorice Extract. The regular Chocolate Saison (in the Pig) tastes wonderful. The Licorice Saison, to me, tastes good as well but one needs to like licorice. Happy Brewing! and Happy Holidays! ...Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2003 10:52:01 -0600 From: "Mark Kellums" <infidel at springnet1.com> Subject: Schwarzbier Hello, I just happened to have made my first schwarzbier this past November. For a five gallon batch I used 12oz de-bittered black malt, 8oz Carafa II, 8oz of medium crystal, and munich malt for the rest of the bill. Wow, I have to say it turned out fantastic. The glass I had last night had notes of chocolate, expresso, somewhat sweet and malty. It's very smooth. I highly recommend the de-bittered malts. For the record I hopped w/ homegrown Vanguard, fermented w/ the Whitlelabs 833. Mark Kellums Decatur Il. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2003 12:05:16 -0500 From: Alan McKay <amckay at neap.net> Subject: mother of vinegar I've never made malt vinegar, but I've made lots of fermented dill pickles and sauerkraut (details on my website). For anyone who would like to make malt vinegar but cannot find the Mother, you can simply make your own with cabbage or cucumbers. Both of them have acetobacter naturally living on them, which is why both can be made to spontaneously ferment in kraut and dills. In my batches I get a thick film of Mother of Vinegar on the top of the bucket, and this can be skimmed for malt vinegar. For making pickles and kraut I learned that salt content is quite important to the health of the acetobacter. There is a certain concentration they prefer : 8 cups water to 1/2 cup pickling salt. Question for "-S". It seems one does not add salt to malt vinegar. Could this be why it takes so long to ferment? My pickles and kraut take 2-4 weeks quite reliably. And you mentioned that the malt vinegar takes several months. Also a note to folks not to use any plastic for both beer and pickles/kraut/vinegar. Personally I wouldn't even use the same glass but I'm paranoid. Also do not store the two together. Otherwise you could be making a lot more malt vinegar than you really want ;-) cheers, -Alan - -- http://www.bodensatz.com/ TCP/IP: telecommunication protocol for imbibing pilsners (Man-page of Unix-to-Unix beer protocol on Debian/GNU Linux) Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2003 13:24:50 -0500 From: Dan <dan at zlater.net> Subject: grain steeping? A simple question.... I was wondering, when I make my extract brew, and I steep crushed grain in a grain bag should I squeeze the grain bag or just brew with what's in the pot? Thanks, Dan S Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2003 14:02:04 -0800 (PST) From: Rama Roberts <rama at sun.com> Subject: Re: Schwarzbier Keith has more questions about schwarzbier. Serendipitously, I just brewed a slightly bastardized version yesterday, (using steam beer yeast to mimic lagers in my ale-only system). I'm just catching up to this thread, but agree with everyone on the use of carafa. > I'd probably add some Munich malt for character. That's what I did. And a little caramunich. > What percent of the grist should the Carafa be? Promash told me to add 3/4# to my 6 gallon batch to reach the right Lovibond. > Would a cold water extraction of black malt successfully tone down the > roastiness or am I going to need to break down and locate the real > thing? I wouldn't try it, unless you're not adverse to producing something more porter-esque. This was my first schwarzbier, and my first time using carafa, but I think that grain *defines* this beer. I ate a few grains, and its flavor is uniquely scharwbier to me. Here's my recipe. Its still in primary, so I don't know how accurate this will be- but at least its one more point of reference: 8# domestic 2 row (should really be pilsner to be accurate) 2# munich 1# caramunich 60 .75# carafa 2oz hallertauer mittelfruh, 4.5AA Single infusion mash at 150F, batch sparged, first wort hopped. Color and aroma were both good, hopefully my choice in yeast works out. I can follow up after it cellars if there's interest. - --rama Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2003 21:39:05 -0500 (EST) From: Pat Babcock <pbabcock at hbd.org> Subject: Last oops of the year Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager... I've just rebuilt a rather important section of the HBD system after it was accidentally whacked. All should be in order, but, just in case you suddenly find yourself reading the HBD ont eh web rather than in your mailbox, you might need to resubscribe. Particularly if you had just subscribed between 12:00 am Saturday and 9:30 pm Sunday... - -- - God bless America! Pat Babcock in SE Michigan pbabcock at hbd.org Home Brew Digest Janitor janitor at hbd.org HBD Web Site http://hbd.org The Home Brew Page http://hbd.org/pbabcock [18, 92.1] Rennerian "I don't want a pickle. I just wanna ride on my motorsickle" - Arlo Guthrie Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2003 20:10:27 -0700 From: Bob Devine <bob.devine at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Link of the week Dec 13th [This is from last week but it got rejected by the HBD filter due to an non-ASCII chararacter. So, imagine that O:l is spelled with an umlaut...] Have you brewed an ale recently? If you ever wondered where the name came from, it is derived from the Swedish word for beer or ale. O:l is pronounced something between "ohl" and "uhl". Find out more about Swedish beers at the Swedish Homebrewers Association including some recipes at: http://www.shbf.se/ http://www.shbf.se/eng.index.php (English version) If your Swedish is a little rusty and the above link is hard to read, try this very detailed introduction to Swedish brewing and beers. http://www.xs4all.nl/~patto1ro/swedintr.htm Bob Devine Return to table of contents
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