HOMEBREW Digest #4896 Wed 23 November 2005

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  HBD: Odd final gravity ("David Houseman")
  Low final gravity ("Dave Burley")
  Odd, low, final gravity (gornicwm)
  Beer transfers ("Dave Burley")
  Making Oxidized Beer ("William C. Tobler")
  RE: Hop storage ("JONES,AARON K")
  RE: Hop storage ("JONES,AARON K")
  CO2 Carboy Transfer ("Jay Spies")
  Dilution during fermentation ("Oswald John PA US")
  Yeast ("Donald Coleman")
  Transferring beer ("Peed, John")
  Dry-Hopping and some miscellaneous beer and brewing-related stuff (Bill Velek)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 07:01:50 -0500 From: "David Houseman" <david.houseman at verizon.net> Subject: HBD: Odd final gravity On Monday, 21 November 2005 at 11:52:05 -0900, Alex MacGillivray wrote: > I don't want to call this a problem because it's really not. I'd just like > a little feedback from the community. > The last several batches of beer I've made, including an oatmeal stout, > have fermented all the way down to 1.010. I've been sticking to Wyeast > 2112 and 1056 mostly, although other yeasts have produced the same effect. > Five years ago I did a Trappist with an OG of 1.084 and it also > fermented out to 1.010. > > Anyone else have this experience? Low saccharification temperature is often the cause of low final gravities since there are fewer unfermentable dextrins remaining. Since this has occurred in several beers, have you checked your thermometer(s)? You may think you are at 152 when you are really at a much lower temperature. Calibrate them to boiling water and freezing water. This has happened to me. Boiling water at sea level is 212oF; lower at higher altitudes. Make a slurry of crushed ice and water to check at the low end. 98.6 is another reference point. David Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 07:29:45 -0500 From: "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> Subject: Low final gravity Brewsters: Alex MacGillivray has a low FG "problem" (or puzzle) that really isn't a problem. The "residual" SG at the end is an indication of a number of things but most often is an indication of the unfermentable content as modified by the alcohol content. Higher unfermentables result from a high mash temperature profile during saccharification and the lower FG are due to higher alcohol content from low mash temperature profile during saccharification Your low FGs tell me your "problem" brews had a low temperature profile for most of your saccharification step and generated a lot of fermentables and thus a lot of alcohol and fewer remaining fermentables than is typical of your brews. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 08:09:33 -0500 (GMT-05:00) From: gornicwm at earthlink.net Subject: Odd, low, final gravity Alex discussed an issue with low final gravity: I also take Spencer's stance on checking your instruments. Hydrometers and Thermometers need to be carefully monitored. Several members of my club (CRAFT - Michigan) have digital thermometers and many of these thermometers have been quite off as of late. In many cases, if the device is bumped a skewed reading will show. You may have a lower saccrafication temp than you think... Bill Gornicki CRAFT Homebrew Club Michigan Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 08:57:16 -0500 From: "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> Subject: Beer transfers Brewsters: Steve Park asks if he should transfer his beer with CO2 to help prevent oxidation. Under normal circumatsnces you may be OK, but I'd suggest that you not pressurize your glass carboys as they are not made for that. Accidents always happen when the circumstances are not normal! If you are worried about this source of oxygen (probably not too significant) You can just fill the head space with CO2 as the beer leaves, by siphon, by having a three hole stopper in the carboy. One for beer , one for CO2 and one open to the atmosphere to prevent you pressurizing your carboy. Let gravity do the moving of the beer via siphon. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 08:20:30 -0600 From: "William C. Tobler" <wtobler at houston.rr.com> Subject: Making Oxidized Beer I could use some advice on a project I'm doing for a research friend. He is doing some research on preventing oxidation in beers. They already make a product that is used in Soda pop. (Apparently oxidation is a big problem in soda making.) My end is the easy part, brewing the beer. I brewed a English Bitter (mild) for the test, as it is a light colored, low hopped beer. I'm racking it to the secondary today and will bottle in a couple of weeks after it clears. We decided to add the agent at bottling time for various reasons. My question is what would be a good way to Intentionally oxidize a single beer without going overboard and keep infection possibilities to a minimum? I have lots of equipment in the brewery, including SS aeration stones, pure O2 and HP Air. The basic procedure would be: Get bottles ready Boil and cool 3/4 cup priming sugar and add to sanitized bottling bucket. Rack beer to bottling bucket (Bottling bucket will be sitting on a large magnetic stirrer with a large teflon stir bar inside) I plan on running the stir bar only long enough to mix the sugar in the beer thoroughly, and not making too much of a vortex. My problems start here: The first half of the beer will be untreated beer. Some bottles will be filled as normal, and some need to be oxidized intentionally. My question is how to go about that without going overboard. i think pure O2 is overboard. Air pumped thru a 5 micron SS stone would work, but foaming would be a problem if I tried to do it in each bottle, plus each bottle would be different. So, 2.5 gallons of the beer will be untreated. 1.25 gallons of that will be bottled as normal, so I bottle the first 13 bottles right out of the bucket. The next 1.25 gallons need to be untreated and oxidized. I was thinking of racking that into a clean and sanitized 2.5 gallon plastic water bottle, shake it up for one minute and then bottling after it settles out, getting 13 bottles. (I'm just guessing on the 1 minute, but is shaking for 1 minute going overboard? Just splashing seems to be a big enough problem for some people.) The next 2.5 gallons need to be treated. So we add the magic potion to the remainder of the beer and gently mix in, maybe using the stir bar. Then we bottle the next 13 bottles off the top There should be about 1.25 gallons left in the bucket, so we oxidize the remaining beer in the bottling bucket by shaking the same amount of time we shook the 2.5 gallon water bottle and then bottle after it settles. Some questions: Will the air space in the bottling bucket (for the last 1.25 gallons) have the same amount of O2 in it as the 2.5 gallon water jug, which should have about 21 percent? I'm think that there may be some residual CO2 that came out of solution during all this bottling. Will it make much of a difference if the air space is only 18 percent? We can probably get the instruments to measure O2 percent in the airspace if necessary. The guy works in a big lab. I could also purge the air space in the bottling bucket with air before I shake. But then that would be doing something to the treated beer that I did not do the the untreated beer. (These scientists get weird about stuff like that.) The reason for the magnetic stirrer is to get the sugar mixed in well. When I used to bottle, I had some issues with that problem. We have a member in our club who adds sugar solution to each bottle, and is very consistent. I cold enlist him to be in charge of adding sugar to each bottle. Or, I could use prime tabs, but I really don't have any experience using them. I do not want over carbonated beer. Adding 3 prime tabs per bottle is what I have heard. How long will it take for the oxidized flavors to form? 4 weeks? Two months? There really are not a lot of beers to play with. Maybe I should try and get some 6 oz bottles so he has more bottles to play with. Any and all input will be appreciated. Well, if nothing else good comes of this, at least I taught a new guy how to brew last week. Bill Tobler Lake Jackson, TX (1129.2, 219.9) Apparent Rennerian Brewing Great Beer in South Texas Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 10:09:23 -0500 (EST) From: "JONES,AARON K" <kjones1 at ufl.edu> Subject: RE: Hop storage While brewing from my tiny apartment, I buy 4 oz bags of whole hops from HopTech, and whatever I don't use I store in a mason jar (or similar), and pack them in tightly. What little air mixes in with them doesn't seem to hurt when stored in the freezer, and going from the warm to cold temperature causes the lid to form a nice pseudo-vacuum seal Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 10:09:58 -0500 (EST) From: "JONES,AARON K" <kjones1 at ufl.edu> Subject: RE: Hop storage While brewing from my tiny apartment, I buy 4 oz bags of whole hops from HopTech, and whatever I don't use I store in a mason jar (or similar), and pack them in tightly. What little air mixes in with them doesn't seem to hurt when stored in the freezer, and going from the warm to cold temperature causes the lid to form a nice pseudo-vacuum seal Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 10:27:57 -0500 From: "Jay Spies" <jayspies at citywidehomeloans.com> Subject: CO2 Carboy Transfer All - Steve Park (now we know who ya are) sez: >>>Any good setups/tips for moving beer around like this? Will carboy caps seal well enough? If I use carboy caps, what's the best way to hook up the CO2 to the cap?<<< Well, my .02 on this: when I fermented in carboys I made a little rig with an orange carboy cap, a male-male ss hose barb, a SS racking cane, and a couple worm drive band clamps. I'd stuff the (I think) 3/8" hose barb into the angled, smaller arm of the carboy cap (really gotta work it in there, or you could use a 1/4-3/8" hose barb adapter if you can find one) and put the racking cane in the vertical hole where it's supposed to go. 2 small band clamps secure these 2 pieces, and then a larger band clamp secures the orange carboy cap around the neck of the carboy...DONT overtighten! ;) By hooking up CO2 to the hose barb and a hose from the cane to a liquid QD I was able to transfer under pressure from a carboy to a keg. Since I transferred from primary, the carboy was filled with CO2, hence no oxidation. Then I would use jumper lines to go from keg to keg from secondary to serving/lagering kegs. Again, purge the receiving keg of sanitizer with CO2 and no oxidation. If you still pick it up, it ain't from your transfer....watch for occurences of HSA or other pre-chill introduction of O2 in your process. I am very sensitive to oxidative flavors, more so than any other, and this process nixed the oxidation in my beers almost completely. A few caveats of MAJOR importance... Carboys are NOT pressure vessels, and when they break, they break ANGRY. I used no more than 2 psi to transfer the beer. The liquid should *just* flow up the racking cane. The last thing you want is an exploded carboy. I take no responsibility for goofballs who pressurize their carboys to 20 psi b/c they're too impatient to transfer it with 2 psi... Second, don't overtighten the band clamp around the neck. Self-explanatory. Now I ferment in a Sabco ball-lock storage keg and I transfer via CO2 with as much pressure as I want. Welcome relief from the stress of pressurizing a glass carboy. Hope this helps, Jay Spies Head MAshtun Scraper Asinine Aleworks York, PA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 10:36:02 -0600 From: "Oswald John PA US" <john.oswald at cibasc.com> Subject: Dilution during fermentation Hello All, I like to brew a 5 gal batch (DME's mainly) in my 5 gal glass carboy. Often when the fermentation would get going - out the top it would come - sigh , yield loss. So more recently I have been shorting the water in the final wort, pitching the yeast and only trimming up the water to the intended level AFTER the fermentation slows. Is this common practice? Am I sacrificing quality somehow and missing out on even better taste? With my most recent batch, I used a cold snap to chill the wort to 50F and this seemed to also slow the start and seemed to have a reduced Krausen. Thanks for the advise. John Citronelle AL (near Mobile) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 11:00:33 -0600 From: "Donald Coleman" <dcole89 at hotmail.com> Subject: Yeast From: Don: Subject: cost of yeast Its been some years (lazy) since I brewed a batch of homebrew, and I was wondering if you cultured your yeast in slant tubes, or used the yeast in the bottom of the bottle to start another batch. Or what do you do to reduce the cost of yeast? What are some good books on working with yeast? Don Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 09:29:34 -0800 From: "Peed, John" <jpeed at elotouch.com> Subject: Transferring beer Steve asks about transferring beer with CO2. Carboy caps work fine with no clamps for transferring beer, but you'll probably need radiator hose-type clamps if you want to transfer yeast slurry. I happened to have a stainless barb coupler that works great for attaching the gas-in hose to the cap; you ought to be able to find something in nylon or brass at any mega home mart. You generally don't need more than a press fit with the barbs. A bent racking cane works fine for the beer-out tube. I use a straight racking cane to purge/transfer to carboys and a keg-out connector to purge/transfer to kegs. The gas-in hose has the barb on one end and the beer-out line as nothing on one end (it gets clamped onto the racking cane) - all other ends and fittings have nylon quick disconnects so they can be easily changed from one fitting type to the other (gas-in is QD'd too). I got an extra CO2 tank and regulator to dedicate to the ferment room. Since I have another tank for carbonating/serving, I opted for a single-gauge regulator for the second tank - I don't know how much gas I have left, but when it runs out I can get by on the other tank if need be. A couple of psi will transfer beer. To transfer yeast slurry, you'll probably need clamps, upwards of 5 psi and a good bit of time. I don't like to exceed 5 psi in a glass carboy - I have no idea whatsoever what the pressure limit is, but I don't want to accidentally find out. I don't remove the yeast-guard-cap from the end of the racking cane any more (too invasive) - I just tilt the carboy and it still picks all but the last cup or so of the slurry. People think I'm nuts to go to all this trouble, but I love it - it just isn't that much trouble once you get all the stuff assembled. I'm not sure it's necessary, but it can't hurt because it's hands-off/super-clean/no-air, all the way from the boil kettle to the serving keg. I don't really think this will solve oxygenation problems, but it's one more good step toward brewing clean. Two more tips: Pinch the hose and lift it in sections if necessary, to get the air out and get full flow. When purging, you can sniff the outlet until you detect CO2 (your nose will react violently to CO2) - don't purge too fast or you'll just mix the CO2 with the air. John Peed Oak Ridge, TN Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 14:53:28 -0600 From: Bill Velek <billvelek at alltel.net> Subject: Dry-Hopping and some miscellaneous beer and brewing-related stuff 1. I recently read that dry-hopping should be done in the secondary as opposed to the primary, and as I think about that, some thoughts come to mind, i.e., sanitation and oxidation. For sanitation, I'd think the secondary would be better because of the alcohol content, yeast population, and little food for the bacteria unless it is acetobacteria; but for oxidation, it seems like dry-hopping the secondary will add a lot of oxygen, through either stirring (bad), or using a weighted hop-bag which will also carry air to the bottom (also bad). Now, if we dry-hop in the primary where oxygen is good, how do we avoid the risk of infection; is hop-tea the better choice? Comments? 2. Found this interesting article about female brewers in ancient Peru: http://tinyurl.com/cmtv7 3. I formed a moderated mail-group called "BrewingEquipment" which is EXCLUSIVELY for the discussion of equipment; I'm not trying to draw any brewers away from this or any other brewing group where so many other brewing issues are discussed. After just over a month, our membership is now 270, and we welcome any brewer who is interested. You will need to fix the link, below, which I've had to munge in order to be able to post this to HBD: http://groups.yah o.com/group/BrewingEquipment -- add the missing "o" to Yahoo to fix the link. 4. Related to that, I was not able to get Yahoo to let me do all that I wanted, so I am building my own Glossary, which will eventually include photos of most of the stuff listed, plus some other neat features; I'd appreciate any input or corrections that any of you can provide to me; the link is http://home.alltel.net/billvelek and then click on Glossary. 5. Homebrewers to challenge the U.S. Army!! My page also has a link in the upper-left corner to "Use Your Computer's Spare Power ..."; this is about a very worthwhile "distributed computing" project to safely donate your computer's spare power, such as when you are sleeping, for research to benefit all of mankind, e.g., AIDS research. Anyway, I have just formed a TEAM called "HomeBrewers", and I'd like for all of us to join together and try to beat the U.S. Army and a lot of other groups in a competition in this regard; they have a big head start, but I know that we can beat them. Joining won't cost you much more than a few minutes of your time to install a very safe program; just be sure to select HomeBrewers as your team, and also select your country on your profile page; they are two different things, with points going to both of them. I hope this hasn't been too off-topic. Thanks. Bill Velek Return to table of contents
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