HOMEBREW Digest #4585 Fri 20 August 2004

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  Re: New Mashing Ideas (Fred Johnson)
  Racking tip ("Jason Pavento")
  Subject: Re: Drying green hops (John Oconnell)
  A Bear of Discriminating Taste (Tidmarsh Major)
  The hows and whys of salvaging a brew (Mike.Szwaya)
  Re: Listen to your yeast (Derric)
  CO2 Regulator Problems (Richard Feight)
  Re: New Mashing Ideas (from internet post) (Tim Howe)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 07:23:46 -0400 From: Fred Johnson <FLJohnson at portbridge.com> Subject: Re: New Mashing Ideas These are just a few comments regarding Charles' (Boyer?) post of some controversial brewing practices discussed somewhere on the net. First off, it would be appropriate for the author of the information quoted to be identified. Perhaps we could engage that author in some more discussion on the HBD. The author addresses the source of the perception of "rich body" in beers, with the premise that dextrins have been believed (falsely) to be the source. He describes an experiment in which dextrins were added to beer and no one could detect a difference in body and states that the source of perception of body is unknown. But then the author concludes, "With the fully modified malts available to us today, it is pointless to do anything other than a single step infusion mash", to which I have one question. Who in the world believes that the ONLY thing step mashing does is produce more dextrins in the beer? Granted the experiment may indicate that increased dextrins is not the source of the perceived "rich body", but to conclude that step mashing is not necessary to produce rich body based only upon the cited experiment is not reasonable. I'm not saying he is wrong. I'm just saying that there is little evidence to believe he is correct. The author goes on to describe a simple, 20-minute, single infusion mash and contends that longer mashes can only be detrimental. Perhaps this is so, but the author's argument only begs the question of what causes the perception of "rich body" in beers, which the author admits is simply not known. Nowhere is the recommended short mash compared by a taste test to the step mash. Hey, I, too, want to believe I can reduce my mash time to 20 minutes, but please give me some data to convince me it works! Fred L Johnson Apex, North Carolina, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 06:08:12 -0700 From: "Jason Pavento" <jpavento at entravision.com> Subject: Racking tip On Wed, 18 Aug 2004 in HOMEBREW Digest #4584 Steve Smith <sasmith at in-tch.com> writes about racking when there's floating fruit and/or hops: "Several times I tried to rack, which resulted in continued plugging of the racking cane, and I got tired of rinsing out my mouth and lips with Maker's Mark (which is much better sipped slowly) to lessen the chance of contamination by mouth when restarting the siphon." Hey, here is what I do to start a siphon without "having" to resort to bourbon: Get a turkey baster. Take off the bulb at the end and sanitize the body. You can then stick the 'pointy' end in the end of your siphon tube and suck through the end the bulb used to be on. Once there is enough liquid in the tube you can pull off the baster and point the tube into the fermenter/keg. This way the beer never flows past tubing that has touched your dirty mouth and all you have to sanitize is one end of a turkey baster. Cool? Now, where is that Jack Single Barrel - I'm thirsty... Jason Pavento Brewin' Rehab Homebrew at The Boilover Brauhaus Milford MA 01757 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 09:59:18 -0400 From: John Oconnell <joconnell at martinriley.com> Subject: Subject: Re: Drying green hops >>>I just finished watching an episode of Alton Brown's "Good Eats" in which he dried fresh herbs using whole-house furnace filters and a box fan. Me, too. I saw the episode last year and have done one dried batch this summer. I can't vouch for results in brewing yet (they're still in the freezer) but even using plain woven filters, and setting one layer of hops out on each filter face, the whole batch dried nicely after about 36 hours (more hops dried in a more humid place). They looked like all the dried whole hops I've ever seen. I plan on picking again soon. The only complaint is that 30 minutes of picking resulted in about two ounces of dried hops! Obviously I'm not taking this activity seriously enough. John O'Connell Atlanta Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 10:20:33 -0400 From: Tidmarsh Major <tidmarsh at bellsouth.net> Subject: A Bear of Discriminating Taste A bear in California seems to have a distinct preference for Rainer beer over Busch (Rainer's not available in these parts, so I can't comment on just how discriminating said bear is, however): "He drank the Rainier and wouldn't drink the Busch beer," said Lisa Broxson, bookkeeper at the campground and cabins resort east of Mount Baker. Fish and Wildlife enforcement Sgt. Bill Heinck said the bear did try one can of Busch, but ignored the rest. "He didn't like that (Busch) and consumed, as near as we can tell, about 36 cans of Rainier." http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/186757_beerbear18.html Tidmarsh Major Tuscaloosa, Ala. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 07:22:38 -0700 From: Mike.Szwaya at clark.wa.gov Subject: The hows and whys of salvaging a brew What a joy the HBD is back. Much thanks to Pat & all others who helped out to get the digest up and running. I have a brew sitting in a carboy that pooped out early which I'd like to salvage. I'd like to not only know how to get things moving again but why I should do the things I'll hopefully be recommended to do. I have a 10 gal. all-grain batch of American Brown Ale at 1.058 which was pitched with 400 mL of Wyeast Kolsch. The yeast is 2 generations old with no prior ferment problems. The 400 mL is unrinsed slurry from a previous batch. 2 tsp. each of yeast energizer and nutrient were added. It was aerated for 1 hour using an aquarium pump, sanitary filter, and SS stone imm. after knock-out. It was then set in the basement where it took off like a bomb within a few hours at 70-72F. Within 1-2 days, activity stopped and the fermentation head fell. A week later I checked the gravity and it was at 1.028. It's been sitting there ever since doing nothing but getting the stink eye every time I put my bike away in the basement. I've read through some old HBD's that I've printed out and came up with more questions than answers. 1. I obviously need to pitch more yeast. How much more, assuming I have a theoretical FG target of 1.014? And do I need to do anything to it before pitching? How can I ensure that the yeast I pitch is up to the job? I have a healthy batch of lager yeast under lees that I can draw from another batch I brewed that same day. We're obviously not talking about a medal winner here but something is better than nothing. It's 90+ degrees in Portland and I'm starting to get thirsty. 2. Any thoughts as to why it pooped out? It had oxygen, nutrients, and relatively ok temperatures. Bad luck? Dumb luck? 3. Can anyone explain the difference between aerated wort and aerated/oxygenated yeast that George Fix discussed? I don't fully understand how I can oxygenate my yeast, or even why I would want to. However, in instances like this I suppose it would be useful since I can't add O2 to the partially fermented wort/beer. 4. There was a discussion a while back in Nov '03 about flocculation where Steve Alexander chanted "growing yeast never flocculate; flocculated yeast never grow". This was followed by a general statement that if growth conditions are restored, both flocculation and attenuation will take care of itself. How can growth conditions be restored in a batch like this, especially if I can't provide O2 to the existing yeast now settled on the bottom? Backing up a bit, something, and maybe it wasn't the O2, was a limiting factor. How can I tell what it was/is and correct it? Thanks for reading. Mike Szwaya Portland, OR "It's a dog-eat-dog world and I'm wearing Milk Bone underwear." - Norm Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 07:45:05 -0700 (PDT) From: Derric <derric1961 at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: Listen to your yeast > Heard the end of an interesting report from NPR on > the way home this evening. Scientists at UCLA are > listening to the sounds made by yeast. > > http://www.npr.org/features/feature.php?wfId=3859762 I heard the story too. The interesting thing to me was that they said the noise increased when the temperature increased (ie. the yeast sped up) and that the yeast "screamed" when a LOT of alcohol was added and the noise quit when a chemical was added that stopped yeast activity (killed them?). Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 08:42:17 -0700 (PDT) From: Richard Feight <richardfeight at yahoo.com> Subject: CO2 Regulator Problems Can anyone explain why my CO2 regulator pressure valve hole near the screw regulating pressure blows CO2 out when I turn the CO2 on to presurize my keg? Background: This occurred after I found my CO2 empty one day due to a leak. After fixing the leak, i pressured the kegs and became nervous about leaving the CO2 on so I turned it off. The next time i went to pressurize the keg....CO2 pressure blew out the CO2 regulator hole near the screw. I finished the kegs quickly before they went flat ;) but am hesitant to buy another keg until i figure out the solution to my problem. Could it simply be because my keg has too much pressure? If i buy another half barrell and release the pressure, will it pressurize a usual rather than release the through the hole?...Help!!! Thirsty in Michigan Rich Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 20:19:04 -0700 From: Tim Howe <howe at execulink.com> Subject: Re: New Mashing Ideas (from internet post) Very interesting post. While I can't comment on FWH as I've never attempted it, I will comment: >1) First Wort Hopping: > >retention. The current technique is to begin hop charges 10 minutes after >the onset of a vigorous boil. Weihenstephan's professors contend that if Interesting point. I've recently adopted the idea of using the "boil" hops to calm the frothiness early in the boil. I've also recently noticed reduced head retention. Going forward, I'm going to adopt the 10 minute wait. >2) Step mashing as a method of increasing dextrines to increase the >viscosity (mouthfeel) of beer: > >achieved much faster than once believed. The current recommendations for >all fully modified malts is a mash at 68~70C/154~158 with a pH of 5.3 for >only 20 minutes prior to recirculation until the runnings are clear. Then >sparge with 168 degree water, stopping the runnings at 2.5P/1.010SG. Then >top up to kettle volume. Running beyond this gravity floor will only I discovered the 20 min mash in a roundabout way. I adopted batch sparging earlier than most, and discovered that a rest was required after stirring the sparge water into the mash tun. While I never determined precisely how long a rest was required, I did discover that a 10 min rest was insufficient, while a 20 min rest was not, so it has been my practice for the last 6 years to rest my sparge 20 min. My theory, now apparently confirmed, was that when I stirred in the sparge water, I liberated more starches that needed time to convert. I will note, however, that I have not tried to back up the primary mash from 60 minutes, although I have been considering a rest at mashout. >3) Wort Aeration: > >If possible, don't! The reason is that it is not the wort that needs the >oxygen, it is the yeast. By oxgenating the wort instead of the yeast >starter, it will cause an over production of cells due to the excessive >oxygen presence. This then leads to the production of unwanted esters and >higher alcohols that will compromise beer flavor. I've had good results with the primitive "splash" method, for the first pitch of a yeast. Further discussion however is needed when it comes to re-pitching. It would seem to me that oxygenating a wort where the yeast has been re-pitched from a primary would be mandatory, unless you wanted to rescue a little yeast, and go through the starter routine again. Cheers, Tim Howe London, Ont Return to table of contents
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