HOMEBREW Digest #4857 Thu 29 September 2005

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  re:Mike's Efficiency Problems (John Palmer)
  Re: Conical fementer (Lou King)
  Measuring specific gravity - hydrometers ("A.J deLange")
  Specialty grains in the boil??? (Bill Velek)
  Hoppy Halloween Challenge ("Susan Ruud")
  Upflow infusion Mashing ("Dave Burley")
  Hydrometers and Batch Sparging ("Dave Burley")
  Access to scientific brewing articles? ("Fredrik")
  RE: Efficiency (Steve Jones)
  Re: Upward infusion mashing technique ("Doug Hurst")
  Iodine testing (Nathaniel Lansing)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2005 23:19:13 -0700 From: John Palmer <jjpalmer at altrionet.com> Subject: re:Mike's Efficiency Problems Okay, I think you are right, your crush is weak. I would make your gap more like .035-.04 to get finer particles. You have a good mill, so you dont have to worry about shredding the husks. Also, try letting your mash sit for the full hour. Just for grins. I bet these are the two halves of your problem. Either alone would not be so bad, but combined (poor crush, short mash) is where you are losing extract is my guess. Everything else you describe sounds fine to me. Consensus?? John Palmer john at howtobrew.com www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer www.howtobrew.com - the free online book of homebrewing Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 08:18:49 -0400 From: Lou King <lking at pobox.com> Subject: Re: Conical fementer Eric Schoville asks: <>3) Is it necessary to have 2 ports? In other words is the racking port necessary, or can you just drain all of the yeast off the bottom valve and then rack using the bottom valve?>> to which Steve Dragon responded: <I thought that I would get more use from the racking port, but no, I've never used it. I use the bottom drain exclusively. I suppose that I would use the racking port for samples, if I were inclined. The racking arm seems too small for transfer.> My $0.02 is that I always use the side port. I think pulling out of the bottom port will end up pulling too much yeast, especially if you are like me and don't bother to pull off the yeast periodically as Steve says he does. I do drop off the trub after the first week, usually. The bottom port should be fitted with a full bore 1/2" valve to avoid clogging. Still with flocculent yeast it may "stick" a bit, but seems to fall out after waiting a bit. Steve's CO2 idea sounds good, and I might try that, but it may put the trub into suspension which would mean I wouldn't get the desired effect (dropping off the trub). 12.2 gallons is fine for 10 gallon batches. Note I use a blowoff tube exclusively, because occasionally I do get some foaming out the tube. Lou King Ijamsville, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 12:49:30 +0000 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Measuring specific gravity - hydrometers Hydrometers can be quite accurate provided the instrument is well made, well cared for and used properly. Obviously the $2.50 plastic items intended to be used by amateur wine makers won't give the greatest accuracy but a narrow range hydrometer calibrated for the surface tension of beer will if it is kept clean and dry and read properly. Postings here abound on how to read a hydrometer properly and are found throughout the brewing literature. That said if one wishes to read specific gravity to accuracy of better than about 0.1 P (.0004 SG) other types of instruments are required. The most accurate is the oscilating tube densitometer. See http://www.anton-paar.com/ap/apinternet/html/default/GRAR-5RGC3F.en.0.jsp. Readings out to 5 decimal places and a bit more are possible. This requires temperature control in the measurement cell to millidegrees (yep, about .005C) and frequent calibration with dry air and very pure water. These instruments are, of course, hideously expensive. More within the range of the determined homebrewer is the pycnometer. In the Reichauer form this is indeed a volumetric flask but with an extra long neck. The procedure for use is quite involved. It is set out in detail in Vol II of DeClerck. More practical is the modern pycnometer (http://www.kimble-kontes.com/html/pg-15123R.html - the picture is small and is way over on the right of the page so you'll miss it if you don't look carefully). This is a small bottle closed with a ground glass stopper which mounts a thermometer. There is a capillary stem out the side which can be capped. One cleans the device very thoroughly with a strong oxidizer (chromic acid), dries it and tares it. It is then filled with cool distilled water and the thermometer-plug inserted. This forces water out the capillary. The thermometer is monitored until the reference temperature is reached at which point the capillary tip is blotted (as the contents warm they expand and liquid is forced out through the capillary) and capped. The assembly is then washed with water, alcohol and finally ether and when the ether is evaporated, weighed. The tare is subtracted. This is the weight of the distilled water. The water is then dumped and the bottle rinsed thoroughly with the sample, then filled with the sample and subsequently treated in the same way as the water. The tared weight of the sample divided by the tared weight of the water is the specific gravity (in air - adjustments can be made for in vacuuo value if desired). Accuracy is better than a hydrometer but not justified for simple extract calculations. The usual use of pycnometers is in the analysis of finished beer in which case weighings are made for the beer, the distillate from the beer and the residue from the distillation (thus yielding alcoholic strength, true extract and back calculated original extract) but 4 weighings are required which is rather time consuming. Clearly some corners can be cut. For example if one is very careful not to allow any sample to spill onto the outside of the bottle no washings are necessary and there is no need to deal with nasty ether or alcohol if one wipes the bottle carefully and times things so that it has dried by evaporation by the time the reference temperature is reached. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 10:34:28 -0500 From: Bill Velek <billvelek at alltel.net> Subject: Specialty grains in the boil??? Everytime I think I've got sort of a grasp on this stuff, something else comes along to confuse me. I was under the impression that boiling husk material will cause astringency due to the extraction of tannins. I was therefore under the impression that specialty grains are either crushed and mashed with the other grain, or are merely steeped (not boiled) and are strained before the boil. Now I just came across this webpage re Guinness -- http://tinyurl.com/9ghco -- and note that under the paragraph describing "Boiling", it says: "Now in the kettle, hops and roasted barley are added to the wort and the mixture is boiled." So, is that just likely to be misinformation on the website, or something that Guinness can get away with, or is it actually okay to boil part of your grains? Thanks. Bill Velek Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 10:39:23 -0500 From: "Susan Ruud" <susan.ruud at ndsu.nodak.edu> Subject: Hoppy Halloween Challenge We are now accepting entries for the Hoppy Halloween Challenge until October 8th for all categories but the Halloween Theme Beer Category which must be in by 6pm on October 28th and so it can be hand delivered to the judging session that evening. Please ship your entries to: Dave Trautmann % Hoppy Halloween Challenge 1914 10th St N Fargo, ND 58102 To register your beer online, and or sign up for judging go to http://www.prairiehomebrewers.org/hoppyhalloween.htm Cheers, Susan Ruud Competition Coordinator Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 12:11:08 -0400 From: "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> Subject: Upflow infusion Mashing Brewsters: Bill Velek includes a URL which shows some equipment and refers to an upflow infusion mashing technique. We can both infer the method of recirculating from the bottom to keep the grain bed suspended to some degree and prevent clogging during the mashing step of a RIMS. Feed to the pump would be via an overflow I expect and I would think a small filter or even a "bottom" filter at the top before the return might be needed as protection. Also, the height to diameter would be important in controlling this I would think. Taller being better. I recall a New Orleans (Oh yeah, hope the people are OK)firm and its "Upflow" filter technique used in water treating that was much more efficient at providing filtration. Also, I recall that many filters use a process in which part of the flow is directed sideways across the filter to sweep the surface clean. This has to be done in such as way as to not disturb the primary filter coat, but the filter functions for much longer this way. Good ideas to try with your RIMS. No reason which this couldn't be temperature staged. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 12:36:06 -0400 From: "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> Subject: Hydrometers and Batch Sparging Brewsters: I missed the comment that Chad made that hydrometers are always inaccurate. While I agree weighing a known volume of wort (especially with a pyncnometer)at a known temperature is very accurate, a hydrometer can be also, as long as it is not being used on a fermenting liquid. The bubbles of CO2 from the fermentation collecting on the hydrometer make it impossible to get an accurate reading, even with spinning the hydrometer. - --------------- Denny Conn says: >I don't mean to rag on ya, Chad, but I see these 2 misconceptions (speed and efficiency - DRB) >concerning batch sparging quite a bit and I like to >try to correct them. Batch Sparging is typically less efficient than continuous (or "fly") sparging simply because it is typically faster and does not take advantage of extracting the sugar from the wort trapped in the grain with an ever purer extractant. Slow continuous sparging also provides time for the wort to diffuse out of the grain (aided by the low concentration extractant), whereas batch sparging does not. This is well supported by chemical engineering data and theories. With continuous sparging you should take about an hour and you will do as well as you can with your configuration. So, Denny, I have to say you should stop trying to convince people that batch sparging is more efficient at recovering sugars from the sparge. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 18:30:35 +0200 From: "Fredrik" <carlsbergerensis at hotmail.com> Subject: Access to scientific brewing articles? Hello folks, this is a short one. I noticed that Institute of Brewing & Distilling is now giving temporary free access to full text articles in the Journal of the Institute of Brewing from 2002 - today. Usually you have to subscribe to get access, and I'm sure some on here may subscribe already but I suspect most doesn't, due to the cost to be balanced against a homebrewers budget. I don't know for how long, but as writing this it's still available. http://www.scientificsocieties.org/jib/ Even though the selection is limited it certainly has quite a few articles worthwhile reading, so don't miss out. Goto "past issues" and enjoy the smorgasbord of articles. /Fredrik Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 13:28:55 -0400 From: Steve Jones <stjones1 at chartertn.net> Subject: RE: Efficiency Hi all, This subject has given us two contradictory statements (paraphrasing): 'If you batch sparge, your efficiency will be better' and 'If you batch sparge, your efficiency will be lower'. Just trying to think thru this logically, here are what I would consider to be facts about sparging, assuming proper technique for both: 1. The SG of the runnings produced during a fly sparge will be highest at the start and lowest at the end. 2. Typically a fly sparge is stopped when the SG of the runnings approaches 1.010 3. Batch sparging usually involves 2 batch sparges 4. The SG of the runnings from any individual batch sparge will be pretty uniform. 5. The SG of the 1st of 2 batch sparges will be higher than that of the 2nd of 2 batch sparges. 6. the SG of the 2nd of 2 batch sparges will be considerably higher than 1.010 To me, the obvious conclusion is that because the SG of the last runnings from a batch sparge is higher than that of a fly sparge, that batch sparging will leave more sugars behind, therefore being less efficient. Can anyone point out a flaw in my reasoning? I have done both many times, and typically get about 85% efficiency with fly sparging, and about 70% with batch sparging. The SG of my second batch runnings is normally around 1.025-1.030 on average gravity beers. So when I'm finished batch sparging, there are certainly more sugars left behind than when I fly sparge. I may get flamed for this next statement, but here goes: If you batch sparge and get better efficiency than you did when fly sparging, then I would contend that your fly sparging process was flawed. Steve Jones, Johnson City, TN State of Franklin Homebrewers (http://hbd.org/franklin) [421.8 mi, 168.5 deg] AR Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 13:29:26 -0500 From: "Doug Hurst" <dougbeer2000 at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: Upward infusion mashing technique The term "upward infusion mash" generally refers to raising the temperature of the mash through the addition of near boiling water. This allows for mutiple temperature rests without the need for a directly heated mash tun. Bill Velek seems to be inferring (logically) that the term means re-circulating the mash from the bottom up,rather than the traditional top down. I think some have tried this but I know nothing about the technique. I'd be willing to bet that Great Bear Brewing is performing the former, more common, version of upward infusion mashing. Doug Hurst Chicago, IL [197.5, 264.8] Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 21:43:31 -0400 From: Nathaniel Lansing <delbrew at compuserve.com> Subject: Iodine testing I should been more wordy when I had asked, "Are you testing the grains with iodine for complete conversion?" I assumed you tested the wort, and that will show conversion in approx 20 minutes. You need to test the grain also to see if total conversion has taken place. Once you reach iodine negative in the wort, place about 1/2 teaspoon of grist on a white saucer. Dribble about 1/4 teaspoon of cold water on it and knead the grains a bit with your fingers so to work the water through it somewhat. Test that liquor with the iodine. Keep mashing till that shows negative. You will see it takes significantly longer to really get _all_ the starch converted. Return to table of contents
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