HOMEBREW Digest #4615 Wed 29 September 2004

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  Hot Side Aeration with March 809 and Barbed Brass NPT Fitings (homebrewdigest)
  20 min mash? how bout 10 hour mash? ("Steve Arnold")
  sweetening dry cider (Randy Ricchi)
  Electronic SG measurement ("A.J deLange")
  Re: Jeff's third degree (Jeff Renner)
  Beer, beer, beer, beer! ("Pat Babcock")
  Re: Apple Cider Final SG?? ("Rob Dewhirst")
  Re: re: getting started ("Jon Olsen")
  co2 tank inside the fridge (CRESENZI)
  2004 Novembeerfest Homebrewing Competition ("Jim Hinken")
  Re: Jeff Renner's Oktoberfest recipe (Jeff Renner)
  Novembeerfest Correction ("Jim Hinken")
  Jeff Renner's Oktoberfest recipe/German malts ("Kevin Kutskill")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 23:44:42 -0400 From: <homebrewdigest at myxware.com> Subject: Hot Side Aeration with March 809 and Barbed Brass NPT Fitings Hello, I have been having problems with hot side aeration with my March 809 pump. My kettle has a very short 3/8" male NPT pipe welded into it. I have a 3/8" brass ball valve on this pipe, sealed with Teflon tape (which I have brewed 4 or 5 times with, the Teflon tape that is). To the valve I have a 3/8" NPT to 3/8" barb fitting. I seal the threads with Teflon tape before each use. I have a hose clamp on the tubing connected to the barbed fitting. When I run the pump and attempt to restrict the flow of the liquid (wort) by adjusting the valve it begins to bubble (HST) at a certain point. The problem is that I need there to be less flow since my chiller can't cool it rapidly enough. I have tried to tighten both the NPT barbed connector against the valve (the valve is very tight on the kettle pipe piece), and the hose clamp with slight change, but not as much as I need. I have tried making it work with cold water in the past since this problem has arisen before and I was able to move the water with no aeration. Does anyone have any ideas or has any run into this problem. I am thinking I may use a light dimmer (rheostat) with my pump the next time I brew (this weekend). Any ideas, suggesting, and help is much appreciated. Thanks. Best regards, Michael Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 23:24:45 -0500 From: "Steve Arnold" <vmi92 at cox-internet.com> Subject: 20 min mash? how bout 10 hour mash? With all the talk about mash time a couple of weeks ago, I thought I would share my experience on the other end of the spectrum. I was brewing an all grain APA. My intended brew day (Saturday) had deteriorated into a honey-do day, and Sunday wouldn't work either. My only (somewhat) reasonable option was to brew on Friday night after work. Not wanting to be at it till the wee smalls of Saturday morning, I decided to set my mash before going to work on Friday morning and finish brewing when I got home. After work (mash start + 10 hours), the temp in my Gott mash tun had dropped from 150F to 135F, and I thought I detected a slightly sour, kind of spoiled smell in the tun. With no other option, I began sparging, and happily, did not notice the sour smell again. Perhaps it was caused by something to do with the interface of the air and the surface of the mash. At any rate, it was not detectable at all for the rest of the process, and subsequent samples tasted fine. Same batch, different topic: The beer had reached its target gravity of 1.015 after 7 days. I wanted to stop fermentation, so I racked to the secondary and crash cooled to 35F. All evidence of fermentation quickly disappeared. I did this because two recent batches have over attenuated down to about 1.002, and I had been pretty unhappy with the results. Anyway, I thought I would pitch my 10 hour mash experiment into the mix. Comments anyone? anyone? Bueller? My name is Steve Arnold and I approve this message. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 07:51:43 -0400 From: Randy Ricchi <rricchi at houghton.k12.mi.us> Subject: sweetening dry cider How would Splenda be for sweetening cider? Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 13:23:37 +0100 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Electronic SG measurement The only means of electronic SG measurement in common use (that I am aware of anyway) is the vibrating U tube. This is a small u shaped piece of glass tubing into which the sample flows. It is excited by a piezoelectric device and another device picks up the vibration. By comparing the amplitute and phase of the excitation and pickup voltages the resonant frequency can be detected (the excitation frequency is swept). Insertion of the resonant frequency into a simple equation yields the mass of the tube and hence, since the volume is known, the density of its contents. There are lots of nuances with respect to temperature (must be regulated to millidegrees) and viscosity (can be estimated by the time it takes for the oscillations to damp) but meters based on this principal are widely used in many industries and are the standard in the brewing industry. BUT they require the beer to be thoroughly degassed because gas bubbles in the tube decrease its mass (displace heavier beer) and make the contents appear to be less dense than they are. This can be a problem. The ASBC protocol for degassing beer is usually sufficient (mechanical agitation) but suffers from potential loss of alcohol as it is very volatile. I wouldn't recommend heating as this will drive the alcohol off even faster. This might not be of so much concern if using hydrometers (where specific gravity is to be measured to three decimal places) but if one is using an oscillating tube meter 5 or even 6 decimal places of accuracy are sought. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 09:57:05 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: Jeff's third degree "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> wrote >Jeff Renner comments that a third degree polynomial was added to Promash and >suspects this helped Promash to be more accurate. The third degree polynomial (as I recall, it may have been some other type of equation) was not added to make it more accurate as such, but rather, the new version of ProMash includes a new feature allowing a refractometer to be used after fermentation has started and alcohol is present. Th formula for this was dug out of the literature by Louis Bonham with help from, as I recall, A.J. deLange, perhaps others. See http://hbd.org/hbd/archive/2923.html#2923-13 for one post. I think there may even have been some adjustment or refinement but this may have been for some other formula that Louis was involved with. >I guess there are still minor problems if you are having discrepancies. I >doubt a third degree polynomial wouild do it unless the details of >unfementables were known from the beginning. I don't think I said anything about a discrepancy in ProMash. I did get bad results using earlier spreadsheet software, but that may have been user error from confounding Brix and Plato. ButI had several versions from different people and they didn't agree. Promash seems to agree with a hydrometer. 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: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 10:06:45 -0400 From: "Pat Babcock" <pbabcock at hbd.org> Subject: Beer, beer, beer, beer! Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager... I wanted to drop a note to the Digest, publically thanking good friends Jeff Renner and Mike O'Brien for setting up the "Pat Babcock Homebrew Relief Project" - that was when Jeff suggested that those who appreciate the Digest and what goes into it should pop a few fine homebrewed beers into the mail for me. There have only been a few who made the effort, but each contribution was sublime, well enjoyed, and more incentive to get my collective crap together so that I can fire my own brewery once again! But, in particular each one was a reminder that folks realize that there is a passel of work that goes into keeping this beast alive, and that they appreciated it. I thank all who have sent me samples of what, I hope, the HBD has helped them to create over the years. Thanks again, fellow Beerlings! It's great to know that this isn't entirely a "thankless" job :^) - -- See ya! Pat Babcock in SE MI pbabcock at hbd.org Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 09:23:29 -0500 From: "Rob Dewhirst" <rob at hairydogbrewery.com> Subject: Re: Apple Cider Final SG?? > From: Grant Family <grants at netspace.net.au> > My (limited) experience is that stopping cider at anything other than > dryness is very difficult. Once your yeast (natural or otherwise) has > started, it very difficult to get it to stop, especially without sulfites. I have had much better luck retaining residual sweetness and especially apple aroma since I started using WLP775. I make about two batches of cider a year, and out of all the changes I ever made, this was the most dramatic. I have tried ale, wine and mead yeast as well. rob Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 09:42:25 -0500 (CDT) From: "Jon Olsen" <burnunit at waste.org> Subject: Re: re: getting started Robin Griller writes: > From: Robin Griller <rgriller at chass.utoronto.ca> > Subject: getting started > Unlike many others, I'm a great believer in just jumping in with both > feet and going all grain from the start, which is what I did (well, I'd > done three or four kits ~15 years before). What it takes to do that is > I spent several months reading, accumulating equipment, and figuring > out the basics of grain brewing, then did it. I had a rough first day I want to echo Robin's comments. I had taken about a 2.5 year break from brewing and when I came back, I (almost) immediately switched up to all grain. This is my line of reasoning: beer brewing doesn't Have to be engineering. It can be more like, you know, cooking. Like with a recipe and your kitchen know how. I just took a little _more_ know how. And equipment. But we'll get to that later. When I lost my need to make a certain extraction percentage or hit an exact style target, my anxiousness dissolved (unless that was the alcohol talking) and I felt a lot more relaxed about all grain. Maybe it was the realization that, if I wanted to, I could just keep the mash hot for an hour (140-158F) in an ordinary picnic cooler! Woah, I thought, this is so much different from the last time I tried to brew partial-mash (didn't understand how to keep it at a high-but-not-boiling temp and panicked and used the oven at a low temp and it seemed to take forever or something). Why I didn't get that before, I don't know. But somehow the shift in my head happened and I realized that the special equipment (mash tuns with lautering manifolds, big outdoor burners, cut off kegs, sparge arms, pumps, counterflow chillers, etc) were great, but not totally necessary! I mean, they make the hobby more convenient, or allow you a greater degree of control over minute parts of the process- which enables you to either be more efficient, or more exactly match a given style. All of this is fine, and there's nothing ignoble about any of these reasons for using the extra equipment, but if I'm careful, and learn what's happening in the all grain process, then why not use what's around me to get the job done (inspired in part by Alton Brown's m.o.). Also, I was totally intimidated about the equipment costs and the terminology. So I learned what was happening in the mash (oh, I think I get it. the right amount of heat activates the enzymes and over time the enzymes make the starches into sugar) and what the sparge did (oh, I think I get it, there's all that sugar suspended in the grain now, so you gotta strain it out) and that efficiency isn't as important (oh, I think I get it, the whole "match the flow rate of the outflow to the recirculation of your sparge water" or whatever thing, which totally baffled me and made me all anxious, is nice, but not totally necessary. Because if you spend a few more bucks on grain, you'll have a lot more sugar and can sort of batch sparge, which tastes better anyway!) So I read and re-read the stuff about how mashing works and let it sink in and then very carefully mashed in a plain cooler and carefully used a hand strainer (yes, like a colander) and a measuring cup to drain out the wort from the grain, 4 cups of mash at a time. I later determined that some kind of large scale lauter tun is WAY more convenient (I took a drill to a spare bucket and made a zapap tun). This first batch, "proof of concept beer" was terrible (I used too small of a grain bill with way too large of a hop addition. Or I oxidized the hot wort. In any case it was awful, worst thing I've ever brewed- the color of urine and a hint of plastic in the flavors. Appalling. So I've let it rest for several months to see if the flavors scale back at all, minimal progress, it may be a lost cause.) But it proved to me that I can get brewable sugars from a pile of crushed grains, which as far as I was concerned, was the same as casting a magic spell and altering the fabric of space-time!! The second all grain (4 weeks later) was the best thing I've ever brewed. I wanted to enter it into a contest so badly! But I drank it all instead. Their loss. Basically, you don't Have to think like an engineer (no offense to the many brilliant engineers who have advanced the cause of homebrewing when the rest of us flaky cooks were still learning how to boil water) to make great homebrew! Like the best homebrew. The best beer you've ever tasted. Unbelievably fresh, malty, complex, alchemical... So, if you're thinking about starting out, and you're willing to really focus your reading (and re-reading: I had to re-read Palmer's chapters about mashing about 10 times) and spend a couple tens of bucks more (I highly recommend a lauter tun of some kind, an immersion chiller, and a really big brew pot) you can start with all grain. Oh yeah, and I do recommend going with a good sized ale first- pilsner is frickin' hard- cuz the ale lets you fudge a little and gives more room to hide off flavors. You know, think like a cook. Like when you're cooking, and you decide to make souffle for the first time, I learned it was a lot easier to make a savory cheese one than a lightly sweet chocolate one (maybe not a great example, but I hope you get the idea). Or it was easier for me to make pancakes than it was to make perfect crepes; flat omelets before puffy ones; or the fruitiness and quirks of ale yeast make me think of the way a little salt makes cookies better. These are difficult analogies. But when I started all grain, I felt much more like a cook than an assembly plant (which is kind of how I felt with extract) or a precision guided engineer. JonO Minneapolis Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 14:55:54 -0700 (PDT) From: CRESENZI <cresenzi at sbcglobal.net> Subject: co2 tank inside the fridge I am new to kegging. I am starting out with basic equipment to include soda keg and picnic tap. Now because I am using a picnic tap I thought I would not have to drill any holes in my second fridge. Not that I have a problem drilling holes in the fridge I just want to be a little more experienced before I drill the holes. So I started with a picnic tap. Now I heard both you can and cannot keep the co2 tank in with the keg. I am force carbonating the beer so I had to put it in the fridge now so I did and so far I don't see any problems. Is there any good reason why I can not leave the co2 tank in the fridge that is not apparent to me yet? Any feedback would be nice. cheers! Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 17:27:04 -0700 From: "Jim Hinken" <jim.hinken at verizon.net> Subject: 2004 Novembeerfest Homebrewing Competition The 2004 Novembeerfest Homebrewing Competition will be held Saturday, November 6, 2004, at Larry's Brewing Supply in Kent, Washington. Novembeerfest is open to all amateur brewers. Beer, Cider, and Mead will be judged in accordance with 1999 Beer Judge Certification Program guidelines. BJCP guidelines can be found on the web at http://www.bjcp.org/beerstyles.pdf. Entries are $5.00 with three 10 to 14 ounce unmarked bottles required for each entry. The entry deadline is Monday, November 1. Complete rules and entry forms are available on the Brews Brothers website at www.brewsbrothers.org Entries may be dropped off at or shipped to Larry's Brewing Supply 7405 S 212th Kent, WA 98105. 253-872-6846 Entries may also be dropped off at: Mountain Homebrew and Wine Supply 8520 122nd Ave NE, Suite B-6, Kirkland, WA 98033 425-803-3996 Bob's Homebrew Supply 2821 NE 55th ST Seattle, WA 98105 206-527-9283 The Cellar Homebrew 14320 Greenwood Ave. N. Seattle, WA 98133 206-365-7660 The Beer Essentials 2624 112th St. #E-1 Lakewood, WA. 98499 253 581-4288 For Additional Information Contact Kevin Fawcett kevin.fu at mindspring.com Jim Hinken brews.brothers at verizon.net Terry Elston terry at larrysbrewing.com Beer Judges and Stewards: If you are interested in judging, learning about beer judging, or stewarding at Novembeerfest, please e-mail Jim Hinken at brews.brothers at verizon.net. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 20:45:31 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: Jeff Renner's Oktoberfest recipe "Kevin Kutskill" <beer-geek at comcast.net> wrote: >C'mon Jeff! Don't tease us . . . . I love (and frequently brew) your >"Killer Vienna" recipe--are you willing to share your Oktoberfest recipe, >too? Well, I guess I'll have to bow to popular pressure. It's nothing special except for a faux decoction. The mash got a little over complicated chasing temperatures. Here it is for 8 gallons (~30 liters) at 1.060 (a little big) into the fermenter, 7.75 gallons into a 1/4 bbl keg. FG 1.022, a little high, 5.4% abv. Would have preferred FG 1.015-17. Color about 12L. 72% efficiency 13 lbs (5.9 kg) Durst Vienna (German) 4 lbs (1.8 kb) Durst Munich (20 EBC, ~10L) 1 lbs (0.45 kg) Dingemann Caravienne (24 L) 16 gallons fairly alkaline well water plus 2 tsp caCl2 0.75 oz. (21 g) whole Mt Hood hops at 4.4% AA First Wort Hopped 5.5 IBU 1.5 oz.(42 g) Mt. Hood 80 minutes 15.6 IBU 0.5 oz Mt Hood 15 minutes 2.4 IBU Any good German-type noble hops or equivalent would work. I have been using some very nice Mt. Hood. Bitterness calculated per Tinseth, FWH assumed to yield 75% of full boil. WhiteLabs 822 German Bock (Ayinger) yeast. One quart starter first, then decanted, then three quarts added, fermented out, decanted, sediment pitched. 1/8 tsp Servomyces zinc supplement last 15 minutes of boil I mashed in 4.5 gallons of water at 176F and it settled in at 156G, too hot, so I added 1/2 gallon cold water and it went to 140F, so I added 1/4 gal. boiling water and it settled in at 146F. Note - I don't recommend this mashing schedule. ;-) I would aim for about 146-148F for more fermentability than I got. I also added 1-1/2 Campden tablet to avoid oxidation of the mash. Faux decoction: After 45 minutes I pulled ~2 gallons (7.5 liters) fairly dry grain from the mash and put the 2 gallon pot into a 22 qt/21 liter pressure cooker and cooked at 15 psi (1 atm) for 15 minutes. I could use fairly dry grain without worrying about scorching since I wasn't heating it directly. Meanwhile, the main mash had dropped to 138F, so I heated it with the burner and recirculation. The temperature varied in the mash from 148-153F. I allowed the decoction to cool to 0 psi and opened the pressure cooker. The malt was noticeably darkened and smelled yummy and malty. I added it to the main mash which raised it to 158F (70C). I rested it there another 35 minutes, but I probably didn't need to mash that long. After the lauter, 80 minute boil and chilling to 50F/10C, I aerated and pitched the yeast. White kraeusen at 18 hours, high kraeusen at 24 hours. Finished fermenting in seven days. Transferred to keg. Lagered 6 weeks. Adjusted carbonation. Transferred to completely purged keg with pressure - closed system. Served at O'fest party where it was very popular, Aroma - rich, toasty malt with subtle spicy hops underneath. Tastes very nice - rich, spicy from Vienna malt and the hops, sweet, some dark (not roasty) malt notes, enough bitterness to balance. Very clean and rich. Light hop flavor. Long, clean light bitter finish with lingering malt. Best served at ~45-48F/7-9C, which brings out the malt. If it's too cold it's whacked out of balance. Summary - A little dark but within style guidelines, a little sweet. Could have dropped the caravienne or done better on the mash temperature? But all in all, I was very pleased. Hope you'll brew it. 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: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 18:09:33 -0700 From: "Jim Hinken" <jim.hinken at verizon.net> Subject: Novembeerfest Correction The Zip Code for the Novembeerfest ship to address in my previous post was incorrect. It should read Entries may be dropped off at or shipped to Larry's Brewing Supply 7405 S 212th Kent, WA 98032. 253-872-6846 Thanks Jim Hinken Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004 22:00:27 -0400 From: "Kevin Kutskill" <beer-geek at comcast.net> Subject: Jeff Renner's Oktoberfest recipe/German malts Thanks for the recipe, Jeff--between this, and your German soft pretzel recipe, this will be almost as good as being in Munich. I have noticed (I think) that you seem to use mostly Durst malts for your Vienna and Oktoberfest. Is this because of local availability, or preference due to quality of the resulting beer? For that matter, what is the opinion of all the other HBD all-grainers with regards to German malts--is there an advantage of one malt brand over the other for different styles? Here in my neck of the woods ([51.2, 63.9] Apparent Rennerian, or Clinton Township, MI), I have Weyermann and Weissheimer malts easily available. Of the two, I prefer Weyermann--it seems to have a cleaner malt character. I am sure my LHBS can get the other grains (if I bought a full sack), but is there a "best" German grain? If so, which one? Kevin beer-geek at comcast.net Return to table of contents
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