HOMEBREW Digest #4804 Tue 19 July 2005

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  FOY, 2005-Response- Jerry Scott ("Rob Moline")
  FOY, 2005 -Response- methlyene blue ("Rob Moline")
  FOY-05-Mixed Strain Yeasts ("Rob Moline")
  Subsitution for Special B malt? ("BILL KUNKA")
  Re: Ballantine Ale Clone (asemok)
  Re: Turbo Tap ("May, Jeff")
  Special B ("Spencer W. Thomas")
  RE: Malt Chart ("Meyer, Aaron D.")
  Results of the E.T. Barnette Homebrew Competition (Scott and Cherie Stihler)
  MCAB VII Reminder / Website ("David Houseman")
  Anaheim Water ("Martin Brungard")
  Re: Solera Bourbon Barrel beers ("Martin Brungard")
  Response: FOY, 05-Immobilized Yeast/GMO/Cell Death/Strain #'s ("Rob Moline")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 22:15:50 -0500 From: "Rob Moline" <jethrogump at mchsi.com> Subject: FOY, 2005-Response- Jerry Scott From: jerry & Lilly Scott Subject: Fortnight Of Yeast, 2005 Q. I am getting ready to go to Germany for a couple of weeks. Please duscuss methods of harvesting and transporting yeast samples from the brewies I am likely to visit. In particular I am interested in what it would take for me to harvest and culture samples from my favorite Lager and Hefe Weizen (both from are from Mahr's Brau in Bamberg. The Lager is their "Ungespundet" (non-filtered) beer and so I would think that a sample should be fairly easy to harvest from a bottle of either. However, if it would be practical to bring two or three more yeasts home I would certainly like to. Thanks Jerry Scott Jerry, The best way to transport yeast is on slants of YM or wort agar. YM agar is commercially available from various producers like Oxoid, Difco, or Himedia. You can produce wort agar yourself by adding 1.5-2% agar to regular wort. The yeast can be isolated by putting the bottle in a fridge and let the yeast settle, than decant the beer and take a loop (or toothpick) full of yeast and inoculate the slants. The problem is that you might have some trouble at customs if they find your yeast cultures. Therefore the easiest way to pass customs is to bring the beer itself in its original bottle and isolate the yeast at home. BUT this only works for the non-filtered lager beer. The Weizenbier will most likely have different yeast in the bottle than used for the main fermentation. Weizenbier producer tend to use lager yeasts for bottle conditioning because of their better flocculation properties. If you visit the brewery you could also ask the brew master if he could give you a little sample of his yeast. If you mention that it is for home brewing and not for commercial application I am sure he will give you some yeast slurry. You should keep these samples refrigerated as much/long as possible and you should be able to keep the yeast alive until you are home. There you can cultivate the yeast on slants or plates. But customs might be a problem again for this option. Tobias "The More I Know About Beer, The More I Realize I Need To Know More About Beer!" - -- No virus found in this outgoing message. Checked by AVG Anti-Virus. Version: 7.0.323 / Virus Database: 267.9.1/51 - Release Date: 7/18/2005 Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 22:21:39 -0500 From: "Rob Moline" <jethrogump at mchsi.com> Subject: FOY, 2005 -Response- methlyene blue From: David Edge <david.j.edge at ntlworld.com> Subject: Fortnight Of Yeast, 2005 - methlyene blue In the last fortnight of yeast you mentioned the methylene blue technique. I use methylene blue, but am not sure how long it lasts or what its failure mode is - does it make live cells look dead or dead ones look alive when it goes off? It's not easy to find so I'd like to use it as long as possible. Regards David Edge Derby, UK David, It becomes more and more difficult to differentiate between dead and alive cells the older your methylen solution is. This means you will end up with more light blue cells and it depends on how the person who does the microscopic exam interprets the blue color. I don't know what kind of methylen blue you have (powder, stock solution or ready to use) but the ready to use solution should be ok for 3 month. Stock solutions can be kept for much longer; the powder can be kept almost indefinitely. Tobias - -- No virus found in this outgoing message. Checked by AVG Anti-Virus. Version: 7.0.323 / Virus Database: 267.9.1/51 - Release Date: 7/18/2005 Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 22:26:23 -0500 From: "Rob Moline" <jethrogump at mchsi.com> Subject: FOY-05-Mixed Strain Yeasts Hi, long time lurker here. I am very intrested in traditional brewing practices, and in researching the methods used in the past it is very hard to find information about yeast, primarly because brewers were unaware of its existance untill recently. I would like a mixed strain yeast that I can reculture infinatly. The goal would be to develop a mix of yeasts that would be a 'house blend' and would mutate over time. The reculturing technique would be scooping off the yeasty head of active beer, using the sludge at the bottom of the fermenter, or simply pouring part of the old batch into the new one. The fermenter will eventualy be a wooden barrel, so that should help to carry the yeast over between batches. Is it feasable to continue this for years? Will yeast mutations cause undrinkable beer? The alternative is to use wild yeast in every batch, which would allow an amount of consistancy and reduce the chances of contamination of the yeast culture. Is this a better option? If so, what types of wild yeasts are good for making beer? I know specific wild yeasts are associated with certain plants, what plants can I grow that will have tasty yeasts on them? Thank you very much for your time. If possible, answers to both sets of questions would be very helpful. Looking foward all the info this year! -Will in oregon. Will, I assume you will produce ale styles if you want to use traditional brewing practice. In this case reusing the yeast for indefinite times is possible. There are a couple of breweries which reuse their yeast for more than 10 years now. You will have some mutations over time like changes in flocculation, sugar use and so on... but undrinkable is a very subjective measure. I probably have a different definition of undrinkable than you do. The most common yeasts in beer are Saccharomyces species but you can also find some Brettanomyces (see lambic beers) or Torulaspora. Wild yeasts in beer are not so much originated from plants/raw materials than from the environment in your fermentation room (air, fermentation vessel...). All yeasts that are originated from malt or hop will be killed during the boiling of the wort. One way to get the "wild" yeast from your house flora is to leave strong hopped wort without yeast in an open fermentation vessel and wait until it starts to ferment. You will have initially all kinds of yeast and bacteria in your wort but the hop and the fermentation products (alcohol and CO2) will be selective and only a few yeast species and bacteria will survive in the finished beer. You can crop the yeast start a new batch. If the beer is to your liking you can use the crop yeast as your "house blend". Tobias - -- No virus found in this outgoing message. Checked by AVG Anti-Virus. Version: 7.0.323 / Virus Database: 267.9.1/51 - Release Date: 7/18/2005 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 00:12:30 -0400 From: "BILL KUNKA" <wkunka at vianet.ca> Subject: Subsitution for Special B malt? OK I have been unable to find any special B malt and have a recipe for a barley wine that calls for a 1/2 pound of it, what can i use in place of it? Does Special B malt go by another name? Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 00:24:27 -0400 From: asemok at mac.com Subject: Re: Ballantine Ale Clone On Jul 17, 2005, at 11:10 PM, pulsarxp at earthlink.net wrote: > Does anyone have a clone receipe/formula for Ballantine Ale? > I would really like to hear from anyone who could help me out. > I can't find one searching the web. Very frustrating! > Thanks, > Lee Even more frustrating is the change that Ballantine Ale has undergone in it's various moves from owner to owner (and the brand is apparently up for grabs again, in a portfolio of brands and labels being offered by present owner Pabst, who is apparently now interested in getting out of the brewery business). It's still not a bad beer at the price it sells for, but the flavor profile began to change (and not for the better) 20 years ago. It is now a totally different beer masquerading under the great Ballantine name. There are aspects of the current brew that evoke the original profile, but it's an elusive shadow of its former self, most notably in the diminished hop character and increased "corn" sweetness.. I have been experimenting with clone recipes for both the regular Ballantine Ale (pre 1985) and the late, lamented, (and as yet unmatched by any microbrewery) Ballantine India Pale Ale. When I finally nail them (and I will...I am remarkably close on the IPA) they will certainly be posted here for the enjoyment of all those who remember that a big brewery once made products that would put a lot of microbrews (and especially most brewpub stuff) to shame. Stay tuned. And if you find something before I do, let me know!!! cheers, AL Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 10:02:46 -0400 From: "May, Jeff" <Jeff.May at uscellular.com> Subject: Re: Turbo Tap Pretty impressive videos on the web page. I can see where concession stands could really benefit from these. Actually, I have been working on something very similar for filling bottles. Since I now use a picnic faucet to fill bottles with conditioned beer from my kegs, I have been trying to reduce foaming. I use really cold beer and chill the filling apparatus and bottles. But I still wanted to reduce the turbulence of the beer hitting the bottom of the bottle when you start the flow. I have attached one of those nylon spray diverters (used to aerate wort as you rack) to the end of the fill tubing. Now I had to really shave it down and take off one leg to make it fit into the bottle, but the important parts are still there. To fill, you place the diverter against the bottom of the bottle and press the lever. This is basically the same concept as the turbo tap. I honestly haven't done any side-by-side testing, but it seems to work. One drawback is that the diverter is still a little too large in the neck and it pulls some beer and foam out as you remove it from the bottle. As long as you go slow, it's not too bad. I need to come up with a smaller overall design. Jeff May Wilmington, NC AR[649.7,148.6] There I go building gadgets again Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 10:18:18 -0400 From: "Spencer W. Thomas" <spencer at spencerwthomas.com> Subject: Special B Bill asks about substitutions for "Special B" malt. That's a tough one, because Special B has a unique flavor profile. You can get the color and caramel contributions with a dark crystal (90L - 120L), but many of them are more "burnt" tasting than the "raisiny" character that Special B provides. I note that Northern Brewer (www.northernbrewer.com) carries Dingemans Special B. I haven't used this one, I've used the DeWolf-Cosyns, but they're now out of business, so I guess Dingemans is it. =Spencer in Ann Arbor Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 09:32:29 -0500 From: "Meyer, Aaron D." <Aaron.Meyer at oneok.com> Subject: RE: Malt Chart >>> Subject: Malt Chart? Is there such a thing as a really thorough chart/listing of grain malts including degrees L? <<< Grain lists included with brewing software likely have what you like. I personally use BrewSmith and every malt/grain in the database includes color, maximum percent of grainbill, and some other tidbits. I would assume that ProMash would have a similar database. Both packages have trial versions available on their web sites. Keep in mind any values you get on a chart or database are not necessarily accurate as malt color can vary by batch and season. You might see if your HBS gets a spec sheet with their malts as it will have batch specific information. BrewSmith: http://www.beersmith.com ProMash: http://www.promash.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 06:48:05 -0800 From: Scott and Cherie Stihler <stihlerunits at mosquitonet.com> Subject: Results of the E.T. Barnette Homebrew Competition Please join us in congratulating Rob Beck of Kansas City, Missouri for winning Best of Show in the 2005 E.T. Barnette Homebrew Competition. Rob has entered this competition for several years and it seems that his persistence has finally paid off. Results, pictures from the judging, links to our prize donors etc. are given at the following URL: http://www.mosquitonet.com/~stihlerunits/ScottsDen/Beer/Events/ETB2005.html We'd like to thank entrants for supporting the competition. We'd also like to thank the judges for evaluating the all the excellent beers. Cheers, Scott & Cherie Stihler Fairbanks, Alaska [2874, 324.9] Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 17:49:26 -0400 From: "David Houseman" <david.houseman at verizon.net> Subject: MCAB VII Reminder / Website Plans for MCAB VII are hardening as announced below. Almost all those who qualified (I believe I contacted all but one) have been notified that they are eligible to enter. We certainly hope that if you qualified you will chose to enter. This is also a heads up that we will need the best judges [that money can't buy] to judge MCAB, so make plans now to be there. I'm estimating that we will need a bit more than 20 judges. Ten AM flights followed by lunch and 10 afternoon flights. The MCAB web site has been updated (thanks to Chris Clair) and is available at www.hbd.org/mcab. The following is a Summer re-run of the previously posted announcement: We have finally been able to lock down the time and place for The Masters Championship of Amateur Brewing for 2005. MCAB VII will take place on Saturday, September 17th, at the Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant in North Wales, PA. The organizers of the Qualifying Events for this competition have submitted the names and contact information for most of the qualifiers. Some contact information is missing; get the word out about this competition. Individual emails will be sent to those for whom we have contact information soon. Remember that the competition will use the categories and guidelines in place during 2004, the 1999 set of guidelines. The MCAB web site, www.hbd.org/mcab, will be updated for this year's competition in June. Until then all qualifiers should crank up the kettles or get out those stowed bottles of beer and prepare to send in your entries. The entrance fee will be $5/entry this year to offset competition costs. Checks should be made out to David Houseman. Entries should be sent to arrive by September 12th to: Keystone Homebrew Attn: Alan Folsom 779 Bethlehem Pike Montgomeryville, PA 18936 David Houseman MCAB VII Competition Organizer Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 17:11:56 -0800 From: "Martin Brungard" <mabrungard at hotmail.com> Subject: Anaheim Water Keith has a problem with his Anaheim brewing water. His beers aren't coming out to his satisfaction even after diluting it. He didn't mention in his post what he was diluting with, but that doesn't matter. A true master, A.J. Delange, recommended a strong dilution of 5 parts RO to 1 part tap. A.J. also recommended that there are several brewing calculators and articles on the web to help in formulating water. All of these are good recommendations. There is a little more that Keith should know about his water. I found information on Anaheim water quickly by visiting the Anaheim Water Utility web site and reviewing their water quality report. The city had included a comprehensive analysis of the water composition. Many water reports are not that complete. Keith, there is good reason why you can't brew good beers with this water. The typical ionic concentrations reported by the water utility follow. Calcium 86 ppm Magnesium 32 ppm Sodium 80 ppm Potassium 6 ppm Sulfate 252 ppm Chloride 90 ppm Alkalinity 116 ppm The water is pretty hard at 347 ppm, but the combination with the alkalinity leaves the Residual Alkalinity at 36 ppm. This suggests that the water will produce good mashing performance for pale beers. Water with a Residual Alklinity of between 50 and -50 ppm can be expected to produce the proper mash pH when using a pale malt grist. The hardness indicates that the water certainly isn't suited to brewing a pilsner! The Alkalinity indicates that the Bicarbonate concentration of the water is 141 ppm. This is a little high, but the hardness balances this out nicely as attested by the acceptable Residual Alkalinity. The real problem with this water is the flavor ion concentrations. The sodium concentration is generally too high for any beer and the sulfate concentration is too high for many beer styles. Some references suggest that the sodium concentration can be up to 100 ppm. I recommend keeping it to 50 ppm or below. This is even more critical when the sulfate concentration is high. This water's sulfate is very high! So the combination that exists in this tap water is going to produce a very harsh beer. A.J.'s recommendation for dilution with RO water is good in most cases. Unfortunately for Keith, if the RO water he uses is produced from his tap water, he can expect that the sodium concentration will still be around 32 ppm after RO treatment. This is because most RO membranes have poor rejection of sodium. Where RO will reject about 90 percent of most ions, only about 60 percent of sodium is rejected. That could still leave Keith with a somewhat marginal water. He would not want to try a dilution in his case. Keith should use pure RO for his brewing. He should also avoid any sodium additions since the water will have a moderately high starting concentration. Just a word concerning water supply for anyone receiving a portion of their water supply from the Colorado River. This covers southern Arizona, California, and Nevada. The river water is notorious for its high hardness, sodium, and sulfate content. The recommendations presented above, probably apply to brewers in those areas too. The Anaheim water is a combination of Colorado River water, local groundwater, and northern California water. Keith, sorry for bringing the bad news about your water supply. Martin Brungard Tallahassee, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 17:22:13 -0800 From: "Martin Brungard" <mabrungard at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: Solera Bourbon Barrel beers If the upper staves of the barrel are drying out when the barrel is partially full, maybe the answer is to apply a wet towel to the exterior of the barrel to keep them wet? Then the task is just to keep the towel wet. Maybe a wick coming out of a bucket would work to provide a longer term exterior water supply to the towel? Martin Brungard Tallahassee, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 20:50:03 -0500 From: "Rob Moline" <jethrogump at mchsi.com> Subject: Response: FOY, 05-Immobilized Yeast/GMO/Cell Death/Strain #'s From: Bob Devine Subject: Fortnight Of Yeast, 2005 Some questions about yeast. If any of these are answerable, please let me/us know. 1) what is the current status of brewing with immobilized yeast? I've read papers over the past decade on this topic that showed some promise. Will this ever make it into actual use (wasn't there a German brewery that tried it?). Granted, this is unlikely to affect us homebrewers directly but it could have a secondary affect if all the majors move to that style of brewing. Clayton: The commercial application of immobilized yeast technology has arrived in the wine industry. Lallemand Inc. has been marketing encapsulated yeast for the past three years. It is a more expensive approach but in certain applications it is worth the added cost: 1. Certain styles of wine require residual sugars of 3 - 5%. It is very difficult and expensive to stop an actively fermenting yeast at an exact residual sugar level. Encapsulated yeast in a bag can easily be removed and the fermentation stops at the desired sugar level. 2. Certain strains of yeast can selectively remove malic acid from the grape fermentation while the main sugar fermentation takes place or has finished. When the desired amount of malate has been consumed, the bag of encapsulated yeast can be removed. 3. Certain genus of yeast that are normally considered spoilage yeast, when used under very controlled conditions, such as bags of encapsulated yeast, can impart the desired level esters, then be removed without contaminating the fermentation and perhaps contaminating the entire winery. 4. Certain powerful yeast can be encapsulated and added to a stuck fermentation to complete the fermentation to dryness. I imagine that the use of immobilized yeast in the brewing industry will start in speciality beers, where special strains of yeast can be added then withdrawn when desired. Tobias: there are a couple of groups working on it but as far as I know there are no commercial applications yet. One problem they have is that the beer taste does not meet the requirements although the fermentation itself works reasonably well. I personally don't believe that this will be used by commercial breweries in the next couple of years... but who knows. 2) Genetic engineering has been in the news. Recently, a very simple virus was constructed. Grand claims of moving on to other artificial organisms have been proposed. Are there any groups contemplating building a better yeast? Clayton: Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) offer great potential. However, GMO is not looked on favorably in the food industry. Lallemand receives many request for letters of assurance that none of our organisms are GMO and that none of products used to produce our products are GMO. Tobias: Again there are a couple of groups working on genetically modified yeast for different applications including brewing (e.g. faster diacetyl reduction). But I don't know of any brewery using GMO yeast since you have to label it and customers are not open in general to this concept. 3) Why do brewing yeasts die? Is it from lack of nutrients? Damaged cells, maybe from oxidation effects? Telomere limit? Or is there a sinister "lemming" conspiracy here? ;-) Clayton: There are numerous causes but primarily it is due to Stress and old age. Prolong periods in the stationary phase eventually causes a metabolic imbalance resulting in death. Not enough oxygen during the growth phase resulting in a leathery cell wall as the alcohol builds up preventing the transport systems from bringing in nutrients (sugar) and expelling the alcohol. The build up of alcohol inside the cell becomes stressful and toxic. Lack of certain minerals and vitamins can result in death. Low alcohol beers at 3-5% are much less stressful that high alcohol beers at 9 -10%. 20% alcohol beer is very stressful. Up to 80% of the yeast die immediately due to the high osmotic pressure. Repeated and poor control of the acid wash stresses the yeast and can cause some of the cells to die. Buds and young daughter cells seem to be more susceptable to misshandling of acid washes. Yeast can multiply about 20 times before the bud scars on the surface of the cell become so great that there is no more room for another bud. This cell will soon die. Most stresses are acentuated as the temperature rises, during fermentation and storage. Tobias: Yeast is like any other living organism... it ages and eventually dies. Any stress will shorten the lifespan. This can be oxidative stress but also nutrient deficiency, thermo stress, osmotic pressure, alcohol.... 4) Are the number of yeast strains increasing or decreasing? Have brewers winnowed down the number of active strains? Or are new and beneficial mutations still being developed? Clayton: I will let Tobias speak for the brewing industry since he was at one time in charge of a yeast collection for a brewing school. I will comment on the wine industry. 20 years ago we marketed three strains of wine yeast taken from a university culture collection. Today we have over 500 strains in our culture collection and market over 100 strains, all isolated from active fermentations at premium wineries through out the world. A few were isolated from the soil of premium vineyards. Each strain has a particular characteristic that is desirable for a certain style of wine. The opportunity to obtain new strains of wine yeast is much greater that beer yeast because of the natural micro flora of grape juice verses beer wort. Beer wort is sterile, so there is very little chance in isolating a new strain from an actively fermenting beer wort. It is possible to isolate a new strain that has adapted or mutated. Grapes harvested from an open vineyard are loaded with micro organisms from the soil, wind, insects, hands, equipment, crushers, etc. There is no pasteurization stage. The acid pH, osmotic pressure and alcohol eliminates all but a select few yeast and bacteria which end up doing the fermentation. Every vineyard, every winery, every grape varietals, every fermenter, every season offers the potential of us isolating a new and exciting strain. Nature has thousands of strains that have never been touched. We are beginning to isolate beer strains in wineries (Italy)that produce very good wine. The goal of using commercially produced naturally isolated strains of wine yeast is to overwhelm the indigenous micro flora in each fermenter with a specific strain of yeast. There are numerous strains of our wine yeast that produce excellent beer and I believe offer the brewing industry a new source of yeast for brewing. There is a mind set by many brewers that wine yeast will make the beer taste like wine. That mind set will be a stumbling block to finding new strains of yeast for beer production. Tobias: In theory the number of strains should still increase through natural mutation. But breweries are selecting the yeast to fit their production and desired flavor so I would say the number of strains actually used in larger breweries is declining. - -- No virus found in this outgoing message. Checked by AVG Anti-Virus. Version: 7.0.323 / Virus Database: 267.9.2/52 - Release Date: 7/19/2005 Return to table of contents
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