HOMEBREW Digest #5137 Fri 26 January 2007

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  re: Wyeast "Lactobacillus Delbrueckii" (-s)
  re: malting wheat (-s)
  water ("A.J deLange")
  Milwaukee water (Joe Katchever)
  Lagering ("Gus Iverson")
  BABBLE Brew Off 2007 ("Dan Morey")
  Milwaukee Water ("Martin Brungard")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 02:38:30 -0500 From: -s <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: re: Wyeast "Lactobacillus Delbrueckii" MattB writes ... >>I am looking for a good lactobacillus that will sour wort during >>primary fermentation, and then leave it alone after that. I have read >>somewhere that l. brevis is the only lactobacillus that can hydrolyze >>"dextrins" (someone please correct that if it's wrong). Therefore, any >>other strain should fit the "leave it alone after primary fermentation" >>part. I'd also like a homofermentative strain, since >>heterofermentative bugs might change carbonation levels and produce >>less lactic acid for a given amount of sugar. Yes, you probably want a homofermentative lacto (like L.delbruckii) The hetero's produce some ethanol & CO2 as well as lactic acid. The homofermenters produce a little CO2 by secondary pathways, but not much. The bigger deal is that the hetero's are much more vigorous in an anaerobic environment. Matt's comments about L.delbruckii producing a great deal of CO2 are disturbing and I'd like to hear a full explanation of that one. Also many lactos are sensitive to hops and ... makes it problematic to co-ferment. Now here is the bit that has caused me to shake my head and grumble when I read supposedly good books from supposed expert brewers, like Warner's "German Wheat Beer", the old classic beer style text. He describes making a Berliner Weiss by adding L.delbruckii with yeast at 15C, then cellaring the beer for 3 month in very cool conditions (7C is suggested). Here's the rub - nearly all lactobacillus have a growth optima very near human body temperature (98F/37C), and many including L.delbruckii will completely stop at 15C. Most lacto's produce alpha-amylase, and many produce sufficient extracellular AA to reduce starches. These enzymes can produce fermentable sugars. A few rare lactos produce 1-6 'debranching' enzymes , but this is a rare case. I wouldn't worry greatly about excessive attenuation, although there may be some. So anyway I'd *suggest* that you consider making a separate unhopped lacto fermentation with a few liters of wort. I'd boil the heck out of that sample, since the warm fermentation provides a nice opportunity for DMS development. Then use a cheap aquarium heater to keep the lacto-ferment on the warm side ~30C might be a good starting point. I've used the aquarium heater before to make lacto cultures from several sources and you can get a really sour effect this way. I had a poor early experience trying to grow lactos from raw grain (DMS & diacetyl), and a much better effect from a plated out grain culture. Never tried yogurt, but the L.adidophilus has similar growth conditions as L.delbruckii. L.casei, also common in yogurt, ferments a bit cooler. My concern would be that a diactyl producer might be unnoticed or even flavor positive in yogurt, but not beer - a guess. fwiw, -SteveA Franklin was wrong: beer is proof that yeast have a two stage carbon catabolism, and that humans prefer ethanol to starch. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 03:45:38 -0500 From: -s <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: re: malting wheat eric stiegman <stiegy at illicom.net> Subject: malting wheat >How does one determine when wheat if >properly modified? The barley float test does not seem to work ??? WTF ??? The only "barley float test" that I am aware of is used to remove ungerminable barley before malting. When you first soak grain a small percentage of the seed will float, and these should be discarded. One traditional means of determining the degree of malt modification is to cut a seed open lengthwise with a sharp knife and see how long the acrospire is compared to the seed length. In barley when the acrospire is 75%-100% of the seed length modification is complete. I've never read a comprable figure for wheat, but you certainly don't want an acrospire popping beyond the seed-end. Chewing a few grains will give you a sense too as the undermodified grains retain a hard core. Just an opinion, but I think far too much is made of the degree of modification. Without adding growth promoters or using pneumatic malting methods, British PA malt used to require 17-20 days (at cool temps), and that is longer than I've ever used. Before ~1900 German malt used to be chitted for just 6-7 days. IMO if you malt your barley for 10+ days and stop the germination befreore things get carried away - then the only consequence is that you'll want to use more extensive mashing. Most enzymes are formed in the 1st 4-5 days and the only advantage of longer chitting is more soluble protein and more easily accessible starch. If you want a malt that really deserves decoction, then the only way to get is is by home-malting for under 7 days. It's worlds different than any commercial malt. >Has anyone ever found a textbook that is only about >malting? No. Malting & Brewing Science has as much coverage as any modern brewing text, which is a couple chapters. Some of the really old brewing books (pre-1945) devoted a lot more space to malting. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 12:51:02 +0000 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: water Joe Schwab posted his water analysis and requested comments on this water's suitability for Bohemian Pils and Helles. The salient numbers were total alkalinity of 99 mg/L as CaCO3, Ca at 35 mg/L and Mg at 11 mg/L. These add up to a residual alkalinity of 80 ppm as CaCO3 which isn't too bad as long as you aren't brewing Boh Pils or Helles both of which are done with soft water. Without treatment this water will produce a mash tun pH higher than desireable. Furthermore, for these two styles, the sulfate (at 30 mg/L) is going to have an adverse effect on hops flavor. The simplest thing to do with this water for these styles is dilute it 4:1 with deionized water or 5:1 with reverse osmosis water (1 part tap water, 4 or 5 parts treated water). IOW brew with essentially deionized water and rely on the tap water to provide traces of the minerals required by the yeast. Mash pH may still require some tweaking by any of the usual methods (if acid is used make it hydrochloric rather than sulfuric). Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 10:20:27 -0600 From: Joe Katchever <joe at pearlstreetbrewery.com> Subject: Milwaukee water Joe Schwab writes: "{I'm an extract brewer who has recently transitioned to all-grain brewing. I'm using my municipal water from the city of Milwaukee and am interested in getting opinions on what I would need to do to the water (if anything) to optimize brewing the kinds of beers I like (mostly light lagers like Bohemian Pilsners and Munich Helles)." Well Joe, I used to brew beer in Milwaukee and found that the tapwater was excellent for brewing beers, especially light lagers. I discovered that keeping control of my pH was a factor that lead to far better beer. Keep it leaning towards the 6.5 pH and below helps. A couple of drops of Phosphoric or some brewing salts will dramatically change your beer. When brewing light beers (in body and color and alcohol), it is especially crucial to pay attention to the water. There is no significant hop or malt presence to mask the water profile. I've noticed that the historical beer towns, like Milwaukee, have good water for brewing. No small coincidence, I'm sure. I brew out in La Crosse, Wisconsin (home of the former G. Heilleman Brewery, now City Brewery - Old Style, Special Export, etc. ) now and have found the well water out here to be exceptional for brewing. It's lucky for us, because I used to brew up in the Rocky Mountains and found the water to be very soft. Forget to tweak your water up there and you'll find your beer flat and lifeless. On another note, you should make your way over to the Milwaukee Ale House on Water Street For their Mid-Winter Brew fest on February 11th. There will be a mass of great Wisconsin beers on tap, including some of mine. If you want some of your homebrew critiqued, there will be dozens of brewers there. A great party. I will be there, swiggin' many good beers and eating some famous Milwaukee knockwurst, too. Cheers, Joe Katchever Pearl Street Brewery La Crosse, Wisconsin - -- Joe Katchever Pearl Street Brewery La Crosse, Wisconsin - -- Joe Katchever Pearl Street Brewery La Crosse, Wisconsin Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 10:55:05 -0800 From: "Gus Iverson" <gus.iverson at gmail.com> Subject: Lagering I'm hoping to try my first lager brew this weekend. I've got a couple questions before I begin or even decide to move forward with this project. I'm in the Seattle area and do not have a lagering fridge either for fermentation or cold lagering. My plan, should I move forward with this project is to put the fermenter outside with a jacket, heater and temperature controller w/probe in a thermowell. High temperatures in the area aren't forecast to be above the low 50s for the next couple of weeks and I should be successful in maintaining a fermention temperature around 48* or perhaps even a touch lower based on the fermenter's thermal mass and adequate insulation. This setup should also allow me to do a decent diacetyl rest by raising the temperature via the controller around day 12 of the fermentation. What I can't guarantee is true cold lagering. I could, I suppose, drop one of the taps in my keggerator (4 taps but room for only 4 cornies in it and I don't believe there's room for a fermenter - it's an 8.8 cf kenmore chest unit) and lager in there but I'd rather not if I can help it. What I could do is keep the fermenter outside or in the garage and lager around 40-45 degrees. Is this cold enough to pass as lagering? What kinds of problems might I expect with these limitations? My plan is to produce a Munich / Vienna lager based on a recipe I'm developing from reading "Designing Great Beers". This will be an all grain beer and I'm planning to use dry lager yeast as I haven't had time to procure liquid yeast to do my traditional stir plate starter. (If I end up brewing an ale this weekend instead, I will be using dry yeast for the same reason). I'm planning to buy ingredients this afternoon or evening so direct replies would be helpful to save time... My basic plan if I move forward: Brew Sunday, cool beer to the 50s before pitching at least 2 packets of rehydrated dry lager yeast, apply heater and jacket, place fermenter outside (expected ambient temperatures in the low to mid 30s). Set temperature controller for ~45-47*s depending on what I think the weather is going to do. Ferment for ~12 days, watching airlock activity. When it starts to slow considerably, raise temperatures slowly into the 60s. Hold there for 2 days, rack to secondary. Drop temperatures back down into 40s, likely placing fermenter in Mylar bubble wrap jacket in my garage to keep temperatures constant. Leave there for up to 4 weeks. Rack to corny, either leave in garage, beg for fridge space from someone, or place in keggerator and lament the loss of variety on tap. Leave for several weeks, or as long as I can ignore the thing. Preferably, wait for some warmer weather to enjoy my nice clean lager. Next year, I'm going to try to start this kind of project sometime in the November time frame, depending on what the weather is doing (or if I've added refrigeration by then, sooner). Thoughts? Thanks in advance. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 18:20:09 -0600 From: "Dan Morey" <dan-at-morey.us at comcast.net> Subject: BABBLE Brew Off 2007 BABBLE and Flatlander's Restaurant and Brewery are proud to present the BABBLE Brew Off 2007. The Brew Off is once again a stop on the Midwest Home Brewer of the Year Circuit http://sphbc.truthbrew.com/mwhboy/. Our competition has steadily grown, reaching 199 entries in 2006 with entries from coast to coast. We are also please to announce the return of the Entrant Appreciation Drawing. One entrant will be selected at random to receive a special gift package. Each entry qualifies you, so the more you enter the better your chances of winning. The Brew Off will be held Saturday February 24th at Flatlander's Restaurant and Brewery in Lincolnshire, IL. Judging will start at 9:00 am. If required a special judging session the Friday evening before the event will be held. We are seeking judges and stewards to help with this event. Those interested can reach any of the Brew Off staff at babble_brewoff at comcast.net. Entries will be accepted February 1st through the 15th. The first entry is $7, with each additional entry being $5. There are several drop off locations in the Chicagoland area. Entries can be shipped to Flatlander's (do not use US Postal Service, Flatlander's will not accept entries By US mail). Full details, rules, and entry forms can be found at the BABBLE website http://www.babblehomebrewers.com. For all that participate good luck and thank you! Prosit, Dan Morey BABBLE Brew Off 2007 - Judge Director http://www.babblehomebrewers.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 17:13:12 -0900 From: "Martin Brungard" <mabrungard at hotmail.com> Subject: Milwaukee Water Joe, You have pretty good water to work with. There is a reason why Milwaukee is a home to beer! A check of the water report you provided from the Milwaukee Water Works indicates that everything balances almost perfectly, so the report is believable. The Residual Alkalinity for the Milwaukee water calculates out to 68 ppm. Only slightly too high for the light and pale style you like to brew. The flavor ions: sodium, chloride, and sulfate are all relatively low, so you can start out with a relatively clean palate and build flavor as needed. For the light styles that you want to brew, it will help to drop the alkalinity just a bit. It appears that it will take about 1/8 tsp of 88% lactic acid in 5 gallons of mash water to drop the alkalinity and resulting mash pH into the desired 5.2 to 5.4 range for a light beer. For the sparge water, you will only have to add 1/2 tsp of 88% lactic to bring the sparge water pH to about 5.7. Be sure to pick up one of those graduated medicine droppers to measure the very small amounts of acid that you need in this water. With the very minor amount of acid you need in this water, lactic acid flavor should not be detectable. With the minor Residual Alkalinity in this starting water, amber and light brown beers will not require any acidification in the mash water. Darker beers will probably need chalk or baking soda to keep the mash pH from dropping too low. Please note that you should always acidify your sparge water as indicated above. I remember Milwaukee fondly. I spent 2 lovely weeks working there in the summer many years ago. On my last day in town, I also managed to catch Summerfest. My buddies then took me to some old German bar on the South side of town and they managed to get me toasted by drinking from the 'boot'. I was still toasted by the time I landed in Atlanta and I managed to get on the wrong plane and ended up in the wrong place. So much for airline sercurity in the old days. Martin Brungard Tallahassee, FL Return to table of contents
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