HOMEBREW Digest #4591 Fri 27 August 2004

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  Beer in Syracuse ("cyserman")
  re: freshly harvested malt (what to do with it?) ("-S")
  re: measuring and adjusting mash pH ("-S")
  bromelain use (=?iso-8859-1?q?Arthur=20Gonzales=20III?=)
  A Full Mash Beer In Ten Minutes! ("Phil Yates")
  Re: pLambic (Jeff Renner)
  Re: Yeast Strain's Effect on Beer Color. (Jeff Renner)
  beer color related to yeast strain (Brad Nicholson)
  insect damage to barrels (Jeff Renner)
  Hoppy Halloween Challenge ("Susan Ruud")
  barley (not yet malt) (leavitdg)
  Thermocouples & rims, etc.... ("Mark Nesdoly")
  Vancouver Brewpubs ("Bill Riel")
  Carbon Water Filtration / Filter Storage and Sanitation (homebrewdigest)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 22:18:18 -0500 From: "cyserman" <cyserman at comcast.net> Subject: Beer in Syracuse If you go to Syracuse, you must visit Clark's Ale House (22 beers and one sandwich) http://www.beertravelers.com/details/newyork/clarks.html The Blue Tusk a few blocks away. Not only a full deli//bistro, and many quality beers on tap, they have a separate small bar that is all Belgian beer http://www.bluetusk.com/ If the proprietor is on the premises, tell him I sent you And of course The Middle Ages Brewery has been mentioned http://www.middleagesbrewery.com/ if that proprietor is on premises, please tell him I sent you There are a fairly decent number of good places in the vicinity, but you can find out about them at the places above, and it will take you awhile to work your way through what they have to offer. cyserman Amor est vitae essentia - Love is the essence of life. Carpe Cerevisi - Seize the beer! http://www.musiccitybrewers.com/ Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 01:34:08 -0400 From: "-S" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: re: freshly harvested malt (what to do with it?) The long lost Darrell of Levitt claims .... >My brother just left me with about 30 lb of freshly harvested malt from his >trip to Nova Scotia. Hahahaha - your brother is quite a joker or perhaps the Nova.Scots have a wetter summer than usual. The grain we brewers typically use is BARLEY and only after it has been wetted, spouted, dried and de-culmed is it called "malt". Actually many (not all) grains can be malted successfully. If you have any questions about this very basic process I'd suggest you memorize (and teach your children) the famous Robert Burns poem, "John Barleycorn" which describes the malting process in the context of distilling well enough to prevent any generation of prohibitionists from driving our ilk into oblivion. Ahh the collective memory ... One version goes .... http://www.informatik.uni-hamburg.de/~zierke/steeleye.span/ songs/johnbarleycorn.html (and I did so like Steeleye Span in the day ) Or a more literal Burnsian version ... There was three kings into the east, Three kings both great and high, And they hae sworn a solemn oath John Barleycorn should die. They took a plough and plough'd him down, Put clods upon his head, And they hae sworn a solemn oath John Barleycorn was dead. But the cheerful Spring came kindly on, And show'rs began to fall; John Barleycorn got up again, And sore surpris'd them all. The sultry suns of Summer came, And he grew thick and strong; His head weel arm'd wi' pointed spears, That no one should him wrong. The sober Autumn enter'd mild, When he grew wan and pale; His bending joints and drooping head Show'd he began to fail. His colour sicken'd more and more, He faded into age; And then his enemies began To show their deadly rage. They've taen a weapon, long and sharp, And cut him by the knee; Then tied him fast upon a cart, Like a rogue for forgerie. They laid him down upon his back, And cudgell'd him full sore; They hung him up before the storm, And turned him o'er and o'er. They filled up a darksome pit With water to the brim; They heaved in John Barleycorn, There let him sink or swim. They laid him out upon the floor, To work him farther woe; And still, as signs of life appear'd, They toss'd him to and fro. They wasted, o'er a scorching flame, The marrow of his bones; But a miller us'd him worst of all, For he crush'd him between two stones. And they hae taen his very heart's blood, And drank it round and round; And still the more and more they drank, Their joy did more abound. John Barleycorn was a hero bold, Of noble enterprise; For if you do but taste his blood, 'Twill make your courage rise. 'Twill make a man forget his woe; 'Twill heighten all his joy; 'Twill make the widow's heart to sing, Tho' the tear were in her eye. Then let us toast John Barleycorn, Each man a glass in hand; And may his great posterity Ne'er fail in old Scotland!! === Or in a less poetic description ... Barley is an interesting grain that has a rather short growing season and can tolerate low water conditions quite well ... very well attuned to the Northern climes and the more desert like regions. Rather subject to mold in wet areas tho'. Fresh barley should be dried or seasoned for seveal months after harvest. Very fresh barley has a low germination rate ... natures way of assessing the season. Keep the grain cool and relatively dry for a couple months after harvest. Next use a zapap or similar and drench the grain for at least 12hrs and up to 23 hours a day until the grain gains 40% to 45% water weight. 2-3 days will do it *but* measure. For example start w/ 10lbs of grain soaking and when the drained weight hits 14lbs stop soaking. Do use chlorinated "city" water throughout and also consider using a limed water (food grade lime is available for pickling cucumbers) as an early rinse for several hours. These measures help reduce bacterial and mold infections, and the basic lime water will remove a lot of husk phenolics too. After the 40+% water is in the grist (and I prefer the low end of the range near 40%) then spread the grain out on a cool cement floor or on a window screen in a several inch deep layer and turn several times a day. The grains will begin to sprout and the rootlets (culms) will reach about the grain length and the sub-husk acrospire about 75% of the grain length in 10-13 days. If you keep the water levels low-ish (~40%) then you can afford to spray off or even rinse off the germinating grain if necessary - NOT too much please. At this point the grains are fully modified and ready to dry. Germinating malt heaps are *always* infected so the use of chlorinated and limed soaks is a big advantage. Turning the pile often and creating some air flow (fan) is a big advantage. Some sunshine and frequent turns helps. A little funk and even a fair bit of diacetyl aroma is OK but if you can't stand the smell of your malt heap, the malt is ruined - toss it. You can make "wind malt" by sun drying the grains if you live in a dry climate, or you can zip the grain in a pillowcase and toss them in the clothes dryer if your wife is out of town. In any case you must stop the germination process in a hurry by drying the grains. An extra day of germination will shockingly reduce the amount of carbohydrates available for brewing. Oh yeah - the culms (rootlets) detatch while drying and should be discarded (bitter). I have found that a large crock-pot w/ lid does a nice job of 'stewing' grains for making light crystal, but use your imagination. Dry in a very low oven (<230F) for diastatic malts. As long as you are going to the trouble of malting I will suggest that you try making some *traditional* pils malt for decoction - not the overmodified stuff from .cz and .de . To do this soak to only 32-35% moisture and then terminate the germination at day 5 or 6. The enzyme levels are are near peak around day 4 - and so the primary change as the germination proceeds is more protein and starch breakdown. Plan on a protein rest then a serious decoction boil for this stuff. Another malt type you can consider is bruhmalz or melanoidin which is something like Munich malt but better., Seal some of the malt at late germination in an air tight container and watch it brown out as the oxygen fails. Then dry at a higher oven temp to the color of dark crystal - yum. In any case be sure to dry the heck out of the malt - dry malts last for years, slack malt will self-destruct in a short time. - -- Some of the other grains (oats, rye and likely wheat) are a fair bit more difficult to malt well ... typically more infection prone when huskless or with thin adherent husks. Same basic procedes tho'. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 01:42:46 -0400 From: "-S" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: re: measuring and adjusting mash pH Mauricio writes ... >What I do is: >Take the water alone at room temperature and correct the Ph to 6 - 6.2 I do the same (well ~6.5) and highly recommend this method. Once you've broken thru the carbonate buffering barrier the malt will typically carry the mash to the proper pH range without a lot of fuss. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 08:23:51 +0100 (BST) From: =?iso-8859-1?q?Arthur=20Gonzales=20III?= <bokolobs at yahoo.com> Subject: bromelain use Well... I wonder if you could help me. If someone chooses to use it, how much bromelain should one use to brew, for example, a thousand liters of beer? What are the circumstances that one should use it? Thanks. Arthur Gonzales Philippines Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 20:23:40 +1000 From: "Phil Yates" <phil.yates at bigpond.com> Subject: A Full Mash Beer In Ten Minutes! Dave Burley says: >SO if efficiency and an improved mouthfeel and , >more importantly, flavor is desired, I suggest step mashing and a longer >mash time than 20 minutes. What is the rush when you look at the time >for all the other steps? This is a hobby! Dave is dead right with regards to time saving. Shaving time off the mash will shorten your day, but not by much. All the other processes take so long, there is no easy way to drastically shorten a day's brewing if full grain brewing is your go. As Dave points out, it is a hobby. In answer to Bill Velek and Jim Bermingham, I'm still enjoying beers that have been made from the full laborious process, but I'm not doing any mashing. I'm not doing any sparging or boiling either. I'm not taking up six hours of a day to brew and clean up equipment. I'm just plain cheating. I've got on to a concept where a brewer does all the hard work and hands his wort over to me to ferment. Okay, I pay for his wort, but the price is damn cheap when you consider the hours I save. My hobby (as Dave rightly says it is) simply got out of hand. The demand for my beer was such that I became a slave to the process. Jill was the worst offender, threatening me with constant retribution if I ever dared let the kegs run dry. But she still wanted fences fixed, horses fed, paddocks slashed etc. How much spare time do you get, being a poor farmer? Ray Kruse seems to find enough time to paint American flags all over his barn, but then, he hasn't brewed at all for years. How can a hapless guy win? Now I have a way of keeping my kegs full of beer without doing the hard work. I just tinker around with fermentation. I guess a kit or extract brewer could almost say the same thing. But without wishing to offend anyone, I've never enjoyed a beer made from extract, they always taste tinny to me. So that's where I am with brewing at the moment. I dare say I will get back to full mash brewing for myself, when time permits. In the meantime, I'm having a lot of fun doing nothing but fermenting, and enjoying the results. Phil Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 09:06:43 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: pLambic Bill Gornicki gornicwm at earthlink.net of CRAFT Homebrew Club here in Michigan writes: >The "Flaked Wheat" was chosen over the "Raw" because my shop >does not carry the raw wheat. I think there are two meanings of the word "raw" as we use it in regards to brewing grains - either unmalted or uncooked to the point of gelatinization of starches. Flaked wheat is obviously the former, not the latter, and I think this is what's germane in regard to using wheat in a mash. Even uncooked raw wheat will be gelatinized in the mash. Probably not all of it, though, and this might make a difference. >Where could I obtain raw >wheat in the future? Is this wheat sold as animal >feed? Would most health food stores carry this product? Your standard hippie health food store. Come on over to Ann Arbor for dinner at Arbor Brewing Co. some day and go to the Fourth Ave Peoples' food Coop beforehand. It's about three blocks away. (An insider's secret - you can park for free in the courthouse parking lot across from the Coop after 5:30 pm. It's never full that early and parking, especially weekends, is tough in AA.) Get soft wheat berries. ( I don't know why they call them "berries." They aren't.) It is more specifically soft, white, winter wheat. The winter part is unimportant for brewing purposes - it simply means it is planted in late summer or early fall and overwinters. But the fact that it's soft is important - there is less protein and it the protein (gluten) is not as strong as in hard wheat. This means easier grinding and potentially easier/better brewing. The fact that it is white is of some potential benefit - red wheat is higher in tannings and phenols than white. Soft, white winter wheat is what they use for brewing in Belgium, from what I understand. Grinding wheat is where a Corona mill works better than a roller mill. >Organic would be the way to go, I suspect. It makes no difference in the brewing or beer, but I think it's always a nice idea for other reasons. The Coop wheat is organic. >I am fairly comfortable that starches >were left behind. Again, its only a guess... An easy way to get starch in the wort is to throw a few tablespoons of flour in the boil near the end. (Thanks to Randy Mosher for this tip in a Zymurgy article on Witbier a few years ago). Mix it up well in some water first (as in making gravy) or you'll get lumps. 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, 27 Aug 2004 09:45:05 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: Yeast Strain's Effect on Beer Color. "Dan Listermann" <dan at listermann.com> wrote: >A dramatic display of this effect was seen at the National Conference in >Chicago last year. Dragon Mead brewing split a 3 barrel batch amount 17 >yeast strains IIRC. All lined up across a bar, the color variation was >remarkable to observe. To give credit where credit is due, it was actually fellow AHA board member Chris "Crispy" Frey who did this experiment with Belgian yeasts. He brewed at Dragonmead, then took home 17 carboys (he had to borrow some) with different yeasts and fermented them at home, then kegged them and brought them to Chicago. There was a lot of Belgian-style beers left and we were drinking them at AABG functions for some time after. A great experiment. It really showed off the differences in yeast character. (A tantalizer for what may be coming to NHC 2005 in Baltimore, Crispy says he wants to repeat this with a different category of yeasts.) >>Any theories as to why this happens? > >I don't know. Maybe the sugars that some yeasts are capable of fermenting >and others are not contain pigment. I am not convinced that this is an actual phenomenon. I think it may be due to different amounts of suspended yeast. I think if the beers were all well fined or filtered they would have the same color. Suspended yeast can have quite an effect on perceived color. 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, 27 Aug 2004 10:01:15 -0400 From: Brad Nicholson <Brad.Nicholson at duke.edu> Subject: beer color related to yeast strain >From: tmeier at real-ale.net >Subject: beer color related to yeast strain > > >10 gallons of wit, split in two fermentors. One pitched >with WL Witbier yeast, other pitched with WL Wit II. > >The Wit II is much lighter in color. Both were shaken to aerate, >and both have flocculated out. Hello, I brew 10 gallon batches and ferment in two 6 gallon buckets/carboys with different yeast strains. Sometimes the color differences in the finished beer are quite apparent. My take on it is that different yeast isolates express different cell surface proteins or flocculins. If the compounds in the beer that provide the color are charged, then they might stick to the yeast cells during the ferment. This leads to the possibility that the finished beer depends on not just what the yeast puts in (esters, alcohols) but what it takes out (charged molecules that affect color or flavor). Any ideas on this hypothesis? Cheers, Brad - -- Beer and loafing in North Carolina. [brad.nicholson at duke.edu] Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 10:09:30 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: insect damage to barrels Steve Jones <stjones1 at chartertn.net> writes: >The last few days I've noticed several >spots on the barrel (all located at joints) that seem to >be tiny piles of sawdust. When I brush them away I don't >see any evidence of a hole, so if it is some kind of >insect it must be microscopic. Is it possible that it is >a result of the positive pressure inside the barrel? Or >do I have some kind of bugs in there? > >If it is bugs, how do I get rid of them? No insecticides, >as they could permeate thru the wood into the beer. It >might be a reason to coat the barrel with something to >lock out the air, suffocating the bugs and having the >added benefit of minimizing oxydation potential. This sounds like powder post beetles. See http://www.msue.msu.edu/msue/imp/mod02/01500546.html, http://www.doyourownpestcontrol.com/powderpostbeetles.htm My brother-in-law in California had these in a used wine barrel he had and was aging wine in. He also didn't know what to do. You could see little pinholes in the wood that the powdery sawdust came from. I researched the problem a bit for him and came up with nothing. I was surprised that a google search for ["powder post beetle" barrel] didn't get any relevant hits, as I would think this would be a problem for commercial wineries and distillers. He only aged the wine a year or so and then bottled it, so it never became an actual problem. Perhaps they stop when they hit liquid and leaks are so slow that they clog up? The above web sites and others all suggest insecticide control. The only non-toxic control I can think of is diatomaceous earth, I don't think you could get it into their tunnels. Good luck. 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, 27 Aug 2004 10:39:30 -0500 From: "Susan Ruud" <susan.ruud at ndsu.nodak.edu> Subject: Hoppy Halloween Challenge The Prairie Homebrewing Companions wish to announce the 7th Annual Hoppy Halloween Challenge which will be held this year on October 23rd. Entries will be accepted from September 20th thru October 1st and the Best of Show on October 23rd. We are again having a special Halloween Theme Category. All of the information can soon be found on our web page at www.prairiehomebrewers.org The Hoppy Halloween Challenge is again part of the High Plains Brewer of the Year http://www.kcbiermeisters.org/highplains.htm and the Midwest Homebrewer of the Year Award http://www.sgu.net/mwhboy/ so get those brewkettles going!! Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 11:43:53 -0400 From: leavitdg at plattsburgh.edu Subject: barley (not yet malt) thanks Fred. I meant to say that it was freshly harvested barley...and that my concern was that being feed barley it is probably too high in proteins to use in brewing, but I am uncertain, and hate to throw it out? ..Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 09:24:29 -0700 From: "Mark Nesdoly" <mnesdoly at ouc.bc.ca> Subject: Thermocouples & rims, etc.... Thanks for all of the great information. A lot of you mentioned that you can buy a thermocouple for about $20. To me, that's more like $30 CDN. I think that's expensive, especially considering that I then need an instrumentation amp to go along with the thermocouple for about another $30. Total cost: $60. I can buy a digital thermometer IC (integrated circuit) that's accurate to +/- 0.5C (about 1F) for $7. And it doesn't require the amp. And for the person who asked, it's the Dallas Semiconductor DS18S20, $7.06 from digikey. Someone also mentioned that the response time of the ic would be much too slow for the system. Yes, I'd agree that it would be slower than a bare thermocouple, *but* I have one of the DS18S20's hooked up right now, and if I place my finger on it, the measured temperature starts to increase within 1 second. If I had one of the metal can ICs, it would react a lot more quickly. Considering that I'm going to be mashing about 20 lbs of grain and about 8 gals of water, there's no way the mash would heat up too fast for the sensor to follow it. There's simply too much thermal mass in that much water & grain. And yes, I'll be doing a quasi-PID type of control, not a simple on-off. Actually, the code behind a PID controller is very simple to write; getting the system properly tuned is another matter. But, again, since there is such a large mass of grain & water to mash, I really question whether full PID control is really required. Consider this. I'll be using a standard electric water heater element, but at 120V. At that voltage, I can expect maybe 1500W of heating from it. If you don't even consider the grain, just the water, there's roughly 8 gals (30 litres) of mash water for a 10 gal batch of beer. The specific heat capacity of water is 4200 J/kg - degC. That means that if you want to heat 1 kg (= 1 litre) of water up by 1C, then you need 4200 Joules of energy to do so. For a 1500W heater to deliver 4200 J of energy, it would need to be on for 2.8 seconds. Therefore, to heat up 30 litres of water by 1C, I'd need to run the heater full blast for 84 seconds. With the grain added in, it would actually take longer, but since I can't find what the specific heat of crushed barley is, this simple calculation will have to make do. Can you see where I'm going with this? If I was trying to control the temperature of a one litre mash with a 1500W heater, then yes, I'd probably need full PID control. For a 30 litre mash - I simply don't think so. There's way too much thermal mass in the mash - it's temperature can't change all that quickly. It's like getting your three year old to help push your truck out of the mud. Eventually they may do it, but it will take a long time. Someone mentioned that they got an old omega-type controller for $45 used - I'm assuming that's $45 US - that's about $70 CDN. My controller consists of: a $10 LCD, $7 encoder (knob), $10 microcontroller and couple of other assorted electronic odds & ends that I have laying around. Total cost will be somewhere around $50 once it's done, including the temperature sensor. Add to that a $27 solid state relay, and it's complete. Still much cheaper than a thermocouple and a used controller, or a thermocouple, amp and my home-made controller. I guess where I'm going with this (and my reason for posting in the first place) is: why does everyone run a PID controller on their rims system? It's overkill. Before I get my head bitten off, I'll restate that: in my opinion only, a PID controller on a rims is overkill. Of course, once I get my beast built and test it, I will post full results of its performance for those who are interested. - -- Mark Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 09:52:07 -0700 From: "Bill Riel" <up883 at victoria.tc.ca> Subject: Vancouver Brewpubs Marc Sedam asks about Vancouver brewpubs: >Hey all, > >I'll be in Vancouver this coming week and would like a recommendation on >brewpubs in the area. I know there are about 5 pubs, with a few more >breweries. Anyone have a preference? You've already got some good answers, and I'll throw in my 2 cents worth: Darrell wrote about Dockside and Granville Island and thought they were a bit mediocre: this I concur with. I'd give both of them a pass, though having lunch on the deck at Dockside is pretty nice. Sailor Hagar's was recommended: this used to be my favourite brewpub in the Vancouver area but sadly it is no more :-( However the brewer has some new digs, and while I haven't been there, I've head nothing but good things about it:Central City Brewing. I believe that Steve Dale-Johnson mentioned this and where to find it. I respectfully disagree with Steve regarding Big Ridge in Surrey - I don't find their offerings very interesting, and I find Yaletown the most interesting of the Mark James pubs. Steamworks in Gastown is definitely worth visiting as well. If you can, I strongly recommend that you make time for a trip over to my home town (Victoria). We've got some interesting brewpubs here, all within walking distance of each other, and I'd be happy to play the role of beer guide if you drop me a line. Oh, one more thing: there is a small brewery in Vancouver that I do think is worth checking out: Storm Brewing. Head brewer James does some pretty interesting beers. Cheers! Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 21:35:39 -0400 From: <homebrewdigest at myxware.com> Subject: Carbon Water Filtration / Filter Storage and Sanitation Hello everyone, I recently purchased GE GXWH04F water filter canister along with the FXWTC activated carbon paper filter from Home Depot. I have read a good amount on similar filtration setups on HBD. I have a few points I would like some knowledgeable / experienced readers to help clarify for me. I have a concern about the potential of bacterial growth in the tubes, fittings, etc through which the filtered water runs through. The removal of chlorine and chloramines leaves the water without any bacterial inhibitors, thus creating an invitation for bacteria to flourish. Is my logic correct? I can keep all the lines exiting the filter clean with Iodophor but can I keep the filter cartridge clean? This brings me to my second concern; the storage of the filter cartridge when not in use. If the cartridge is left in the water which was in the filtering canister could bacteria grow on it? Drying seems like a good option, but there will still be some bacterial growth since it would take at least a few days (3+) if dried at about 73 degrees F and slightly under 50 % relative humidity. Also I do not know if the filter can withstand repeated drying. Is it possible that it cannot handle this? If it was to be dried, how could it be dried rapidly to minimize bacterial growth? Keep in mind there is a good amount of plastic on the filter cartridge and the filter canister is not supposed to exceed 100 degrees F water. If the cartridge cannot be dried, or dried rapidly enough, it may be a good idea to store it in some sort of sanitizing agent, or can it ruin the filter? Does anyone have any experience with this (which sanitizers, what percentages, soaking time, etc)? Does the filter need to be flushed with water from your source for a few minutes (how many) before each use after soaking in a sanitizer? Thank you everyone for you the amazing information that you post on HBD. Everyone, keep brewing! - Michael Return to table of contents
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