HOMEBREW Digest #4811 Wed 27 July 2005

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  Re: "need water help" (Ricardo Cabeza)
  Fortnight Of Yeast, 2005 - Follow up - acetate regulation ("Fredrik")
  Priming with dextrose/DME (Fred Johnson)
  Re: Ballantines ("Craig S. Cottingham")
  Water Chemistry ("A.J deLange")
  Re: Need Water Help ("Martin Brungard")
  Water help (3rbecks)
  Re: How much DME to prime? ("Mike Westcott")
  Re: ballantine (asemok)
  Ballantines ("J. Paul Thomas")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 23:50:39 -0400 From: Ricardo Cabeza <expunged at gmail.com> Subject: Re: "need water help" Randy - First of all, I wouldn't brew anything except a Russian Imperial Stout with that water. The main issue is the alkalinity. Everything else appears to be fine. To answer your questions: Q1: How confused am I in the above? I wouldn't even bother to learn all of that stuff. I make my own brewing water from 'scratch' using distilled water. It's cheap and is guaranteed to produce good results. Q2: Is my understanding of the relationships of carbonate hardness to alkalinity, and general hardness to total hardness to Ca + Mg, even close to accurate? See above. Q3: If so, why are my aquarium test kit results so different from the city analysis? Are they that inaccurate, or does the calcium, magnesium, and alkalinity typically vary that much over time in a given municipality? Or am I missing something? It would help to know where you live. Many municipalities 'blend' water from several different sources. I.E. 50% aquifer, 50% surface water from a lake or river. They change this blend quite often, depending on seasonal variances and demand. The point is that the numbers you obtained from your municipality are subject to wide variances. So your 'aquarium' tests may not be lying to you. In addition, many cities increase the alkalinity of their water to help prevent corrosion of metal piping. Q4: Palmer has a spiffy chart for relating alkalinity and hardness to appropriate beer styles at http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter15-3.html . This seems way easier to understand than anything else I've seen on the topic. Have folks here had success with this? Sorry can't help there. Q5: If I ignore the aquarium test kits and just go with the city analysis, any recommendations for adjusting it for various beer styles? (I only do ales, but brew everything from koelsch to stout). I've been diluting my tap water with varying amounts of RO (the lighter the style, the more dilution), but based on Palmer's text, it doesn't look like this alone will cut it. See below. If you absolutely must brew with tap water, I'd take three steps: 1) Filter your tap water through a carbon filter for chlorine and chloramine removal. 2) Boil your water before brewing with it for at least 15 minutes (helps remove chlorine and alkalinity). 3) Consider acidification. Use food grade lactic acid if you're a purist. But food grade Hydrochloric or Sulphuric acid would work fine too. Hydrochloric acid would add some chloride, which may be beneficial to your mineral profile. The issue of course the seasonal variances in alkalinity from the 'blending' as described above. I assume you don't want to waste your time figuring out the alkalinity of your tap water every time brew. I suggest that you start from scratch. Most grocery stores sell distilled water, which is essentially 100% pure water (I personally prefer distilled water to RO water because RO filters don't always remove all ions). It's not hard to add your own minerals prior to brewing. If you do go in this direction, I would strongly consider using Calcium Chloride. Just make sure you know which kind you're getting. They sell two kinds - anhydrous and dihydrate. The calculations for each type are a little different. If you do decide to go in this direction I can give you some more help on all of the calc's. I've found that many of the homebrewing books are inaccurate. Papazian himself said that he hates chemistry! I happen to have a chemistry degree, so I like to pretend that I know what I'm doing. -CT Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 07:28:00 +0200 From: "Fredrik" <carlsbergerensis at hotmail.com> Subject: Fortnight Of Yeast, 2005 - Follow up - acetate regulation Thank you very much for your responses. Since I have a particular interest with acid production of yeast, mainly acetate, I take to opportunity to submit a follow up question specific on trying to make sure I understand the regulation of acetate production. I've read a few articles on the topic and from what I think I understand, during anaerobic fermentations it's a cytosolic aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALD3) that seems responsible for acetate production, via NAD+ regeneration? For some reson I did not find this in the S.C genom database (http://www.yeastgenome.org/) Is it newly discovered, or why? So it seems that acetate production has to do with the NAD+/NADH level in the cytosol as well as perhaps the cytosolic acetaldehyde stress? Since acetaldehyde is supposedly a highly stressful and toxic compound I assume that unless it's promptly converted into ethanol maybe because of too high NAD+/NADH level (due to for example glycerol production?) or because of elevated acetaldehyde pools due to glycolysis overflow, the yeast has no choice but to to dispose the acetaldehyde as acetate(??), even at the cost of beeing counterproducing regarding cytosolic pH, this conversion should also help restore the redox balance i the event that it was skewed due to . The only "sense" I can see in the acetate production atm, is that it is 1) either a way to get rid of the (even more) toxic acetaldehyde, when that starts to pool for some reason, 2) or a way to generate NADH when called for. Then if you ontop of this relate to nutrition and limited growth. Would it be decent enough to say that a reduced growth *might* in some cases lead to increased acetate because a declined demand for acetyl-CoA and thus less consumption of NAD+? So making some acetate make make up for that? Or is the mechanism another one? Also, since I've seen reports with correlations on elevated glycerol (HOG response) and elevated acetate as a means to restore the skewed redox balance caused by glycerol production? I've seen the HOG response would induce ALD3, and the cytosolic enzyme making acetate. Can you briefly comment on this? Do you think it is anywhere near the truth or I am missing some other keys? Is there any chance that simple sugars, may induce a moderate HOG response? Now sucrose may be different as I still don't know the rate of inversion on the bulk sugar, but 1P glucose or fructose would initially have the osmotic influence as 2P maltose? Any chance the simple sugar - HOG response - acetate, can be a factor? So far I made most of my sugarbrew tests with sucrose, could sucrose and the surface bound invertase enzymes somehow cause a HOG responses by messsing with local sugar gradients around the cell wall and cell membrane cause an apparent higher osmotic stress somehow?? /Fredrik Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 07:52:28 -0400 From: Fred Johnson <FLJohnson at portbridge.com> Subject: Priming with dextrose/DME Mike asks about priming with sugar versus dry malt extract. The DME can be considered by weight equivalent to dextrose (or quite close) in the gravity it will produce when added to water (wort). However, in contrast to dextrose, DME is not 100% fermentable (range is probably 65-75%--I'm guessing, but Promash apparently goes to values approaching 50% according to your post), and the amount of carbonation DME will produce will be correspondingly lower. An obvious problem with priming with DME is that the fermentability of DME is not on the label and you'd have to determine the fermentability to more precisely know how much CO2 it will yield. Fred L Johnson Apex, North Carolina, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 07:43:40 -0500 From: "Craig S. Cottingham" <craig at cottingham.net> Subject: Re: Ballantines On Jul 26, 2005, at 09:56, "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> wrote: > I think the grassiness came from Fuggles and about that same time I > believe > WA hops sold as Hallertauer were actually Styrian Goldings or Fuggles > which > are the same bine, just the first is seedless. Others may be able to > confirm > or deny this. According to Hopunion's "Hop Variety Characteristics", published in 2003: * Willamette is a triploid variety of Fuggle. Fuggle and Styrian Golding are listed as possible substitutes. * Mount Hood is a triploid variety of Hallertauer. Crystal and Hersbrucker are listed as possible substitutes. Ray Daniels in "Designing Great Beers" refers to Willamette as seedless. I have seen that mentioned elsewhere. > We must also consider Cluster hops which were popular in the > USA and were around at this time as a potential bittering hop with a > relatively low nose. "Hop Variety Characteristics" describes the aroma of Chinook as "piney", among other adjectives. Unfortunately, it also says that Chinook was released in 1985. Simcoe has a "very unique, pine-like aroma", but was released in 2000. No other hops are described as piney. Then again, I believe it covers only hops which were in acreage in 2003, and possibly only those available to Hopunion. Also, the aroma of Australian Pride of Ringwood is described as "quite pronounced but not unpleasant", which is far from descriptive (and sounds almost like damning with faint praise :-). - -- Craig S. Cottingham craig at cottingham.net OpenPGP key available from: http://pgp.mit.edu:11371/pks/lookup?op=get&search=0x7977F79C Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 12:57:15 +0000 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Water Chemistry One of the main problems with water chemistry specifications is that different municipalities measure and reprort different things and don't always stick to the standard terminology. They also measure different parameters at different times and often publish only average readings. The parameters you report are immediately suspicious since the negatively charged ions total 7.2 milliequivalents per liter whereas the positive ones only total 3.6. Clearly some things have not been reported or have been under reported or over reported. The only other cation which should be present in any appreciable quantity electrically should be potassium but it's not likely that it is there to the extent of nearly 3 mEq/L (over 100 mg/L) Looking at the numbers they gave you your calculation for "total hardness" is correct at 164 ppm as CaCO3. "Carbonate hardness", also known as "temporary hardness" is the amount of total hardness equivalent to bicarbonate. Your total hardness is 46.8/20 = 2.34 milliequivalents per liter plus 11.5/12.15 = 0.946 mEq/L for a total of 3.28. Alkalinity is approximately bicarbonate/61 = 6.098 mEq/L or the alkalinity number divided by 50 or 6.1 mEq/L. As there is much more alkalinity than total hardness the carbonate or temporary hardness is equal to the total hardness i.e. 3.28 mEq/L or 164 (multiply by 50) ppm as CaCO3. If the total hardness is less than the bicarbonate then the carbonate hardness is equal to the bicarbonate concentration and the difference between the total hardness and the temproaray hardness is called the "permanent" or "nor carbonate" hardness. General hardness should be the total hardness but I don't think I've ever heard it called this. When this water is boiled 1.28 - 2.28 mEq/L of hardness should precipitate leaving about 1 -2 mEq/L or 50-100 ppm as CaCO3. Q1: You are starting to get the idea. Keep studying Q2: See last paragraph above. Q3: Aquarium test kits are not terribly accurate and water chemistry does vary temporally as for example with snow meltoff or when you utility buys from a neighboring one to meet demand peaks. Try getting analysis kits from a supplier whose market is the water industry such as Hach or Lamotte. Q4: John is the master of nomography! Q5: The main problem with the city specs are excessive alkalinity balanced by minute hardness. Residual alkalinity is a whopping 265 so that mash tun pH is likely to be quite high unless a fair amount of dark malt is used or the water is adjusted. You might try simply adding some gypsum to the water - this is the traditional ale brewer's fix but a lot is going to be required to get that RA down. Another approach is to add lime which will drop carbonate and add calcium to the mash. The process is a little tricky, however, and requires that you can measure pH reasonably accurately. Anothe scheme would be to add gypsum (increases calcium and sulfate) or gypsum and some calcium chloride (adds more calcium) and then boil. The increased calcium will strip out more bicarb but sulfate and chloride levels will rise. High sulfate is certainly a characteristic of British ales but you can over do it. Experiment! A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 06:04:33 -0800 From: "Martin Brungard" <mabrungard at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: Need Water Help Randy included a lot of investigative work in his post. Its a good thing since I think it enabled me to ferret out his problem. Randy included the city's water analysis data. Most of it didn't look too bad. But upon examining the ion balance, it was apparent that something was amiss. The anion milliequivalents were much higher than the cation's. Fortunately, the simple aquarium test kit results helped to find the problem. The carbonate hardness test kit result of 160 ppm does agree well with the calculated total hardness based on the city's numbers. That suggests that the calcium and magnesium numbers are probably correct. The thing that stood out as odd, was the bicarbonate concentration. At 372 ppm, it increases the anion milliequivalents to a relatively high level compared to the cations. I suspect that there may have been a miss-communication between the city and Randy with regard to the bicarbonate and alkalinity content for the tap water. To balance the milliequivalents, I dropped the bicarbonate concentration to 149 ppm. That equates to an alkalinity of 122 ppm. Overall, the combination of hardness and alkalinity isn't too bad for brewing. Randy will need to adjust the alkalinity lower when brewing lighter colored beers. I suggest acid as an easy solution. The water is probably OK as-is for brewing brown and black beers. In answering Randy's questions: 1. Randy is understandably confused. I think something was mis-quoted or mis-interpreted in the water report. 2. Chemically, hardness has nothing to do with alkalinity. Total hardness and carbonate hardness are directly related. 3. I think that the aquarium test kits are generally accurate, but only in broad resolution. Part of Randy's confusion came from attempting to apply the hardness result to alkalinity. I suggest that Randy obtain another test kit for alkalinity. There are many municipalities that have a variety of water sources. Their water quality can vary widely. Randy's solution of using cheap test kits can provide some indication as to the general condition of the water at a particular time. I am in the process of assessing the general accuracy of some test kits. Test kits are not a bad idea for brewers with variable water quality. 4. John Palmer's chart is a great resource for brewers. It does provide very important understanding of what to do with your brewing water, but it cannot tell all the story. But it is a start! Chemistry is a tough subject. The Residual Alkalinity concept and John's chart are important (and easy) first steps. A brewer should still try to delve a little deeper to understand the rest of their water chemistry. 5. As mentioned above, it appears that the city's alkalinity number may be off. Acidification is the solution in any case. It will take care of the moderate (or extremely high) alkalinity. Please refer to AJ Delange's paper on acidification in the HBD library for help. Randy shouldn't need to cut with RO for most styles excepting very light and delicate styles. Martin Brungard Tallahassee, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 09:17:36 -0500 From: <3rbecks at sbcglobal.net> Subject: Water help Randy's water seems pretty good for brewing, except for the hardness ( carbonate/bicarbonate). If it were my water, I would lower the pH and the hardness with food grade phosphoric acid and possibly add a little calcium chloride. Diluting this water with RO water will reduce the hardness, but it also lowers the rest of the minerals in the water. Using acid will lower the hardness and leave the minerals intact. Rob Beck Kansas City Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 07:49:01 -0700 From: "Mike Westcott" <mwesty at cableone.net> Subject: Re: How much DME to prime? > From: "Mike Westcott" <mwesty at cableone.net> > Subject: How much DME to prime? >To get a somewhat precise measure of DME, I sought out a couple of sources, >the >"primer on priming" which can be found online suggests weight of DME 30% >more >than dextrose when priming, but Promash indicates almost double the >weight of DME >versus dextrose, in fact upwards of 11 oz. of DME. I should add to my post above that the DME scalar in system settings of Promash will allow the amount of DME proportion to be varied based on user experience, etc. (thanks Jeff Donovan). Perhaps to clarify my main question in the previous post, what might be a solid median value to use when multiplying upward for DME vs. dextrose (by weight)? Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 11:43:45 -0400 From: asemok at mac.com Subject: Re: ballantine On Jul 26, 2005, at 11:07 PM, Request Address Only - No Articles wrote: > I doubt that Bullion hops (and especially distilled hop oils from > Bullion) > were used in the original formula since these are relatively new, > coming > onto the UK scene in the 1920s. > As far as yeast go, I suspect something like the original Yuengling > yeast > would be close to the yeast used that would be available today. Ballantine used Brewer's Gold hops, at least they did in the 50's, 60's, and 70's. In fact, in the 70's they produced a third ale (in addition to the XXX and IPA) called BREWER'S GOLD that was quite fine as well. As far as the yeast goes, it is generally accepted as fact that Sierra Nevada uses yeast that originated at Ballantine in Newark ...so your best bet would be BRY 96 (aka, Wyeast 1056...or whatever your favorite supplier's "version" is). That 6-12 months of aging is very important too, as I found out in my experiments. It is almost as significant a factor as the hop oil. cheers, AL Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 16:25:54 -0400 From: "J. Paul Thomas" <wacket at mindspring.com> Subject: Ballantines As some others have indicated, I have no idea what kind of Ballantines it was I loved to drink. I suppose I didn't know there was anything but "Ballantines." It was just so nice to sit in a quiet tavern using the wet glass to make the three interlocking circles on the table and softly hum: "Make that royal three ring sign and ask the man for Ballantines." However, on page 86 of Randy Mosher's "Radical Brewing" there is a picture of a "Ballantines Sparkling Ale" label, and on the same page a recipe for "Telltale Ale - American Sparking Ale." Does anyone know how Sparkling Ale fits into the Ballantines equation? Cheers, Paul Thomas Return to table of contents
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