HOMEBREW Digest #4793 Wed 22 June 2005

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  Re: Help with Harshness (Fred Johnson)
  Re:  Help with Harshness ("David Houseman")
  Paintball tank regulator made cheap & easy ("Steve Laycock")
  re: Bernzomatic cylinder - Portable CO2 ("C.D. Pritchard")
  Re: Help with Harshness ("Richard S Sloan")
  Re:cleaning barrels (apte)
  Re: Bottle Conditioning and Storage Temps... (Jeff Renner)
  Cleaning Oak Barrels ("Eric R. Theiner")
  RE: cleaning barrels ("Brian Lundeen")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 07:21:47 -0400 From: Fred Johnson <FLJohnson at portbridge.com> Subject: Re: Help with Harshness Matt is having a problem with his beers becoming "harsh" with time. I believe I have the same problem as Matt, and I am still trying to figure out the source. In my experience, the problem really only occurs with fairly highly hopped beers, which I think is the most important clue to my problem and I suspect it is Matt's as well. I never have this problem with hefeweizens, Belgian wits, dubbels, or tripels. Definitely with all my American and English Pale Ales/ESB, IPAs, ambers, and pilsners. All my beers are bottle conditioned. All my highly hopped beers will start off as very pleasing with nice hop flavors. After the bottle is carbonated, and I'm starting to consume them, I'm saying to myself, "What a nice beer!" But over a few weeks time, they invariably lose those nice hops flavors and become much less appealing. Some might call them "harsh". What I think Matt and I are experiencing is the bitterness left behind after the hop flavor components (and perhaps malt flavors) are gone. I believe the problem is simply oxidation that is spoiling the fresh flavors. Are there other things besides oxygen that could spoil these flavors? I have tried about everything I know to keep oxidation down after the boil: purge secondary with CO2 prior to transfer from primary, careful bottling. Perhaps the problem is the result of hot side aeration during the mash, which I am NOT very careful to avoid. (I know this may not apply to Matt, since he experienced this with an extract beer.) Would someone care to help me design an experiment to identify the problem? Fred L Johnson Apex, North Carolina, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 08:02:15 -0400 From: "David Houseman" <david.houseman at verizon.net> Subject: Re: Help with Harshness Matt, It's difficult for anyone to ascertain what you mean by "harshness" since our senses vary. However your thoughts about the chlorine may have merit. Soaking plastic in bleach does require a good deal of rinsing and then letting it dry. And since you know that your water has chlorine or chloramines then this is really suspect. Chlorophenols are likely to be a problem. Perhaps as the bottles age, some of the other flavors are becoming more subdued, bringing the chlorophenols to the fore front. I suggest you take some of your beer to a local club meeting and get opinions from other brewers, especially if they are experienced BJCP judged. For that matter, enter some of this into a competition for the feedback. Good luck, David Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 09:42:53 -0700 From: "Steve Laycock" <slaycock at discoverynet.com> Subject: Paintball tank regulator made cheap & easy "Have any of your club members come up with an inexpensive way to regulate the pressure out of these little cylinders?" Mike, we had our monthly meeting last night & one of the guys had his 20 oz paintball cylinder there and using it. What he and the others did is simply use a standard off the shelf regulator and adapt over to the paint ball tanks "gas out" fitting. From memory he thought it was an 1/8 to 1/4 adapter and that Fox Equipment has this adapter. I looked in my Fox catalog and on page 35, I found this p/n 05B01-158 "Male Pipe Reducer" (Male pipe thread to male pipe thread) "that should work" (That's assuming that the thread size is in fact 1/8 x 1/4 that is needed to adapt these two parts together,you'll need to verify the size....and all for less than $1.00 for the adapter. I've seen these units work wonderfully and intend to set one up for myself. I've already got the paintball tank fitting with a braided SS hose (i'll probably pull the braided hose off and use the above said adapter and go from there. Happy plumbing! Steve Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 11:10:07 From: "C.D. Pritchard" <cdp at chattanooga.net> Subject: re: Bernzomatic cylinder - Portable CO2 Spencer asked about the co2 cartridge tire inflater type gizmos: It also appears that you don't get any control over the pressure -- it just shoots the contents of the cartridge into the keg? One manually controls the pressure by briefly bumping the release. A pressure gauge between the keg and the gizmo helps a lot. Just don't bump the release with the keg end dead-ended or the gauge will be ruined. Details at http://chattanooga.net/~cdp/3lkeg/3lkeg.htm. c.d. pritchard cdp at chattanooga.net http://chattanooga.net/~cdp/ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 08:50:18 -0700 From: "Richard S Sloan" <richard.s.sloan at us.hsbc.com> Subject: Re: Help with Harshness Matt <baumssl27 at yahoo.com> wrote: >>I could really use some help figuring out the cause of a harsh taste >>that is making a lot (at least 4 recent batches) of my beers less >>enjoyable. Without being able to describe the off flavor, I would try changing just one thing each time you brew to nail down what is causing the off flavor. I would start by brewing a batch with bottled spring water instead of the tap water. If that doesn't remove the off taste, switch from bleach to Iodophor for sanitizing on the next batch. You can try using the beer flavor wheel to help figure out what you might be tasting http://www.brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue5.6/flavorwheel.html Richard Sloan XXL Brewing Co., San Diego, CA "One size does not fit all" - ----------------------------------------- *********************************************************************** This E-mail is confidential. It may also be legally privileged. If you are not the addressee you may not copy, forward, disclose or use any part of it. If you have received this message in error, please delete it and all copies from your system and notify the sender immediately by return E-mail. Internet communications cannot be guaranteed to be timely, secure, error or virus-free. The sender does not accept liability for any errors or omissions. *********************************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 09:40:12 PDT From: <apte at parc.com> Subject: Re:cleaning barrels Marc asks about cleaning the oak taste out of a new barrel. Marc, I just fill with hot water, let stand a day, and drain. Repeat until the effluent is not too oaky, then sulfite the barrel once and fill. Typically 4-5 fills gets most of the oak out, but enough remains to add a gentle oakiness. Alternatively, you could fill will mead for 2 months, drain and fill with something else, &c. In two months the mead will get a good dose of oak, but not too much. Because of the pH and alcohol, it only takes a few beverage fills to de-oak a barrel. raj Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 14:43:07 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <jsrenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Bottle Conditioning and Storage Temps... "Michael Eyre" <meyre at sbcglobal.net wrote: > it's hot outside now; it's also darned > hot in that room, with days approaching the mid 90's lately. What > effects, if any, does this kind of temp have on bottled beer? I know > it's no good for an active fermentation to get that hot, but what > about > bottles? Should I move 'em all downstairs into the basement where's > its > 70 degrees? All the staling reactions are going to proceed faster at that temperature, including non-light stimulated skunking (it can happen) and oxidation, as well as any biological deterioration from micro- organisms. I vote for moving them, even though it's a bother. Even 70 degrees (21C) is not all that cool. I'd prefer 55F for ales, or, for lagers, 40F. Jeff - --- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, jsrenner at umich.edu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 ***Please note new address*** Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 15:45:28 -0500 From: "Eric R. Theiner" <rickdude at tds.net> Subject: Cleaning Oak Barrels Marc asks about cleaning barrels... >My question is in regards to cleaning the initial "oak" >out. My instructions say to use sodium carbonate (soda >ash) for chemical cleaning, or steam. I tried steam and >got a lot of steam but could never get the water to run >clear. I noticed that OxyClean has sodium percarbonate >and sodium carbonate as ingredients. Well, how much oak do you want to remove? I don't know much about barrels, but I do know that in many (all?) cases, the barrels are charred. I'm thinking someone else can chime in on this... What I DO know about is "refreshing" or "sweetening" used barrels. Yes, I make a product for that called Barrel Oxyfresh (there-- that ought to tick off someone<g>), but OxyClean is very similar in composition as long as you use the non-scented, non-detergent containing version. Use 0.5 oz per gallon of cold water in your barrel and roll it to mix in the product. You'll need to remove the bung and let it gas off, so only put it in to roll the barrel. Even then, do it outside 'cos it might blow the bung out during the rolling. Simply top it up and let it set for a few hours. Afterwards, rinse it and (this is VERY important!) follow the same procedure with 0.25 oz citric acid per gallon of cold water. Roll it again, give it a few minutes, then dump it and rinse it one last time. Hope that's helpful, Rick Theiner Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 19:07:08 -0500 From: "Brian Lundeen" <blundeen at mts.net> Subject: RE: cleaning barrels > Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2005 16:35:02 -0400 > From: Marc Sedam <alechemist at bellsouth.net> > Subject: cleaning barrels > > Hey all, > > I have a french oak barrel that I intend to use to age mead, > beer, and wine (not at the same time). I've swollen the > barrel and it currently sits with metabsulfite solution in it. > > My question is in regards to cleaning the initial "oak" out. My answer is, don't, unless you're in a bustin' rush to neutralize your wood. Best way I know of to break in a new barrel is to barrel ferment and age some good Chardonnay. High end kits work just fine. Chardonnay can take a lot of new oak, and the fermentation side of it helps it integrate into the flavoUr profile. Fill 2/3 for fermentation, top up with tank or carboy fermented Chardonnay when fermentation is over. Leave all the lees in there, stir them up once a week. Keep it like this until you think there is enough oak. Then leave it in longer because you'll be flat out wrong. The overt oakiness will fade. Oak it till it hurts. If by chance you do overdo it, you can always blend with some unoaked at bottling time. Now, this process could take you several months. Still, you paid dearly for that oak (unless this is one of those sweet deals I always hear about but never experience myself, like "I was sitting down having a few glasses of vino with this guy, and it turns out he owns a winery and he says, here Marc, have a French oak barrel" or something like that... As usual, I digress). Be patient, and make use of it. Cheers Brian, in Winnipeg Return to table of contents
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