HOMEBREW Digest #4947 Wed 08 February 2006

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  Cask Conditioning Advice Needed (Ricardo Cabeza)
  Yeast Q&A ("Peed, John")
  Re: Thanks for the help; sorry for the delay; I'm planting hops! (stencil)
  More on high lager yeast pitching temperatures (Ken Anderson)
  Temperature Control for Homebrewers (Rick) Theiner <rickdude@tds.net>
  Re: Preserving a yeast starter (Glyn Crossno)
  Rennerian (Glyn Crossno)
  Pete Ensminger's heater question ("Steve Dale-Johnson")
  Ph Perplexity ("Unix Bob")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2006 09:37:34 -0500 From: Ricardo Cabeza <expunged at gmail.com> Subject: Cask Conditioning Advice Needed I really want to cask condition a few beers in a wood barrel. But I need some advice. 1) What kind of wood would you recommend? In the limited reading I've done, several varieties of European Oak (English, Memel/Russian, or Limosin/French) came up. I also heard mention several times that American Oak is generally undesirable. Anyone have any comments, or other varieties of wood to recommend? 2) Should I go with pitched, unpitched & smooth, or unpitched & rough? Anyone ever experiment with the charred oak barrels used by some distilleries? 3) Does anyone know of a good source of where to get a used barrel? Or a reasonably priced new barrel? 4) If I decide to go used, should I strictly stick to barrels that were used for beer? Or are wine barrels OK? 5) Should I plan on aging in the barrel, and then racking to a Corny and pressurizing? Is it feasible (and affordable) to actually cask condition/carbonate the old way in a barrel? 6) Recommended cleaning / storage regimen of the barrel? 7) Anything I'm missing? Thanks in advance, CT Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2006 08:02:56 -0800 From: "Peed, John" <jpeed at elotouch.com> Subject: Yeast Q&A Matt asks how to preserve his unused starter for two weeks. Best way in the world: Just keep building it up. Let the yeast drop out of suspension, decant the liquid off, make up a new starter wort and pitch it in. Put it in a cool, dark place and let it ferment to completion. Repeat every few days until brew time. You don't have a storage problem, Matt, you have an opportunity to build a really nice starter! Try to time it so you can juice it up one last time the morning of the brew and it will be roaring when you pitch it - set your fermenter environment to 50 F and stand back! Bob Tower, why do you pitch into wort that's 5 degrees colder than your target fermentation temperature? Isn't that hard on the yeast? I don't understand the goal. John Peed Oak Ridge, TN Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 08 Feb 2006 11:52:55 -0500 From: stencil <etcs.ret at verizon.net> Subject: Re: Thanks for the help; sorry for the delay; I'm planting hops! On Tue, 07 Feb 2006 23:28:13 -0500, Bill Velek wrote in Homebrew Digest #4946 (February 07, 2006): >------------------------------ > [ ... ] my thoughts are of using a removable lock-pin >at the base of each pole, to be able to just swivel the pole down to a >horizontal position. Until I drop it down to harvest the hops cones, I >will also use cable and stakes for guidelines to help support it against >the wind. Does anyone think that will work? Yes, it works just fine. I use 20-foot masts, made of 2-1/2 and 3-inch pvc pipe - just slip-assembled, no cement - that are socketed on re-bar pins. The pins are pounded into the "soil" about a yard, with 6 inches standing proud. ("Soil" because it's mostly clay with a leavening of marble gravel.) A pair of masts supports a 30-ft spanwire of braided para cord from which the jute bine-support lines dangle. The masts are painted olive green, for esthetics; if you use black Sched40 ABS you probably won't need paint. I use the para cord for guying, and guy at the top and at the midlength coupling. The midlength guy is at 45-deg (15-ft long) and the top guys use the same anchor stakes as the middle ones. I used to use three guys around each pole but have gone to two, as it's easier to rig and unrig single-handed. Just make sure each guy is provided with jamb blocks or equivalent, to permit easy slackening. As to wind loading, well, I'm "lucky" enough to have my hopyard in a seventy-foot square clearing in a second-growth forest; essentially it's a room, with sixty-foot high walls. Because of the thin soil, any squall strong enough to pop a guy is more likely to bring down an ash or a white pine on top of the whole mess. stencil sends [535.2mi, 86.4deg] AR Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 08 Feb 2006 12:49:24 -0500 From: Ken Anderson <kapna at adelphia.net> Subject: More on high lager yeast pitching temperatures I've been unable to get a response from the boards to a concern I have regarding lager yeast pitching temperatures. I understand the idea behind wanting to get your fermentation underway as soon as possible. I DON'T understand the "warm wort" concept though. If the reason you warm your wort is to encourage the growth of microorganisms (the yeast), aren't you also giving just as much encouragement to the BAD microorganisms, like bacteria and other fungus? What am I missing here? Ken ps: I know I've used the term "wort," when "beer" (the yeast has been pitched) may actually be more accurate. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2006 12:53:01 -0600 From: Eric (Rick) Theiner <rickdude at tds.net> Subject: Temperature Control for Homebrewers Hail Homebrewers, I came across the title document a few years back and bookmarked it. Now that I've changed computers and would like to go back a review something, I can't find the original page. I might have the title wrong, but it was something like that... Does anyone have a copy or know where I can find it? It was pretty basic so that a guy like me (who took one required semester of circuits and hated it) could follow it easily. And I might have the title wrong, but it was something like that. Thanks! Rick Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2006 11:40:28 -0800 (PST) From: Glyn Crossno <graininfuser at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: Preserving a yeast starter Personally if it was a big enough starter I would refrigerate, decant and pitch in two weeks. Otherwise I would refrigerate until the day before, decant and feed. With that being said, I am a lazy brewer. I save the yeast cake for 2 or 3 weeks in a sterile jar. Then pitch straight into the fermentor. I generally do not go past 3 generations this way. All the ferments have looked good and the beer has tasted good :D Glyn [7013.1, 8.1] Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2006 12:03:47 -0800 (PST) From: Glyn Crossno <graininfuser at yahoo.com> Subject: Rennerian Not sure where Jeff is but I am closer to here. [480.6, 197.2] Apparent Rennerian Glyn Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 08 Feb 2006 15:31:22 -0800 From: "Steve Dale-Johnson" <sdalejohnson at hotmail.com> Subject: Pete Ensminger's heater question Pete; Just catching up from a couple weeks holiday suffering through Mexican beer. A cheap, simple and self regulating solution for your ales is to find an old waterbed heater and stick it under your fermenter. If you still have spring clean-up in your area, just keep an eye peeled for the inevitable.... Steve Dale-Johnson Brewing at 1918 miles, 298 degrees Rennerian Delta (Vancouver), BC, Canada. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 09 Feb 2006 01:04:51 +0000 From: "Unix Bob" <neutrinodust at hotmail.com> Subject: Ph Perplexity Greetings all, Although I have been making some decent beers for awhile, I have recently decided to pay closer attention to water chemistry. The first thing I did was get a analysis from my water company. The results they supplied were ( among other things) Alkalinity 44ppm Calcium 77ppm Hardness 98ppm Calcium Carbonate 50-100 mg/l Magnesuim (not listed) Ph 8.4 Next I purchased some 'precision' Ph test papers ( No. 4662) from a brewing supply that are supposed to indicate Ph levels between 4.6 and 6.2 and change color from yellow (4.6) to brown (6.2). (Here's where the plot thickens) As an experiment, I decided I needed to 'test' my tap water. To my surprise, the papers did not change color at all. OK, I thought, perhaps my water Ph of 8.4 is out of the range of the test paper so nothing is indicated. During last Saturdays Pre-Prohibition Pilsener ( thanks Jeff), I tested the mash during the sacrification rest and again - nothing, just the yellow indicating 4.6. On a whim, I decided to add 1/8 tsp of baking soda to the mash to see if I could raise the Ph. Voila! The papers indicated a rise in Ph to about 5.2. Now I'm really confused. I would not have expected that grain bill of 6.5Lbs 6-row, 1.5 Lbs rice and 1Lb Maise to lower the PH by 3.8. Out of curiosity today I bought a pool test kit this just to see if my tap water Ph really was 8.4. The pool test kit indicated 8.4 right on the money. I really was expecting to have to add something to lower the Ph not raise it. Can these papers possibly be right or should I look for better method to test my Ph. Any (reasonable) suggestions are greatly appreciated. -Bob in Pittsburgh PA How 'bout them Steelers an 'nat? Return to table of contents
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