HOMEBREW Digest #5287 Wed 30 January 2008

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  pH/pH Probes ("A.J deLange")
  one of the best moments (leavitdg)
  Ann Arbor water pH ("Spencer W. Thomas")
  chimay yeast (Matt)
  Entries Now Accepted for Las Vegas Winterfest 2008...it's not too (Scott Alfter)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 08:44:14 -0500 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: pH/pH Probes Aaron, The USEPA secondary MCL (which means it's of concern for aesthetic reasons and not to be taken too seriously if exceded) for drinking water pH is 6.5 - 8.6. WHO and the EEC both have guidelines of 6.5 - 8.5 but Canada requires 6.5 - 8.5 (note: I'm taking this from a publication dated 1992 so things could be different today). Your water might be higher because the source is higher and your water treatment facility does not wish to bear the expense of adjsuting it or because they have set it to this level in order to protect their mains or a combination of the two. Surface water tends to go to pH 8.3 and a calcium hardness of about 50 ppm as CaCO3 dependent on CO2 in the air. Unless Al Gore buys up all our carbon credits the pH will, of course, plummet and life on earth, as we know it will end but how bad can that be relative to this hops shortage? But I digress. Should the source water be unusually soft the water company may push up the pH somewhat to encourage enough precipitation of CaCO3 to slow corrosion. Adding some calcium to the water would be an alternative. If you call the water board and ask for an explanation they will probably give you one. The pH electrode came with a Hach SensION family meter which I bought from them nearly 3 years ago. It is in their catalogue as PN 519365 - 22 (with BNC for the pH and DIN for the ATC element) for $120. It is also available with the single SensION connector. I doubt that Hach has cornered the market on improved pH electrodes and expect that improved longevity relative to what we are used to might be expected from similar quality electrodes from the other manufacturers. A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 09:03:52 -0500 From: leavitdg at plattsburgh.edu Subject: one of the best moments For me, one of the best moments in brewing is when you transfer from the primary into the secondary, take a gravity reading, and have the opportunity of tasting the not-yet-ready-brew. The combination of anticipation, uncertainty, and, often pleasure that ensues is beyond words! I have been experimenting with WhiteLabs Saison (blend) and the sour in the background is quite pleasant. I hope that it is indeed the yeast, and not a result of bad sanitation! Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 11:27:53 -0500 From: "Spencer W. Thomas" <hbd at spencerwthomas.com> Subject: Ann Arbor water pH AJ speculates that "the water company may push up the pH somewhat ... to slow corrosion." as an explanation for the average 9.3 pH of Ann Arbor water. It is my recollection that the pH is set at this level precisely for corrosion reduction, but I can't find mention of it on the water treatment facility's web site (http://snipurl.com/1ylpd, which is http://www.a2gov.org/government/publicservices/ water_treatment/Pages/default.aspx -- broken in two so the line is not too long for the HBD.) They do mention that they soften and then recarbonate the water during treatment. The water report, available from the web site, lists the pH as varying from 8.1 to 9.5 with an average of 9.3. From this, I speculate that they may have set the 9.3 average to prevent the minimum from dropping below 8 or so, but I don't have evidence to back my speculation. =Spencer in Ann Arbor Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 10:47:03 -0800 (PST) From: Matt <baumssl27 at yahoo.com> Subject: chimay yeast I would wager I could produce beer with a hot/solventy flavor, using almost any strain from Wyeast or White labs. (I know because I have done it with a fair number of them!) So I don't think it's a function of the WLP500. The solventiness is likely to be cause by excess ethyl acetate ester, possibly combined with fusels. This is caused by fermentation that is unhealthy in a certain sense (underpitching, underaeration, insufficient nutrients are all potential causes). What gravity and volume was your beer, how much yeast did you pitch, how did you aerate, was it all-grain, and how much adjunct did you use? There are a few good "rules of thumb" for these beers and perhaps you violated one of them--which would mean it might be better to stick with WLP500 and change your process, than to try another yeast using the same process. WLP500 can produce great Belgian style beers when treated a certain way. For instance, many beers from Lost Abbey and Russian River are made with this strain and are not hot or solventy. Whether or not they taste like Chimay is another question though. Matt Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 15:14:46 -0800 From: Scott Alfter <scott at alfter.us> Subject: Entries Now Accepted for Las Vegas Winterfest 2008...it's not too How about a Winterfest that's actually held in a winter month? Las Vegas Winterfest 2008 is just weeks away, on 9 February 2008. We're looking to grow the competition back to what it used to be, and we need your entries! Two bottles and $7.00 is all it takes to get your beer, mead, or cider in. Shipped entries are accepted 21 January to 1 February...in other words, Right Now. :-) If you're coming from out of town to judge or steward, you can save a few bucks and bring your entries with you. This year's competition will be held at the Freakin' Frog, on Maryland Parkway across from UNLV. We'll need all of the judges and stewards we can muster; if you're interested, send me some mail. It's not too late! For more detailed info, see our competition webpage: http://www.nevadabrew.com/twiki/bin/view/Competitions/Winterfest08Announce If you're not familiar with Las Vegas or don't know where to find the Freakin' Frog, look no further than this link (split across two lines because HBD barfs on long lines): http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=4700+Maryland+Pkwy,+Las+Vegas,+NV&i e=UTF8&om=1&z=15&ll=36.104873,-115.137234&spn=0.023647,0.053301&iwloc=addr Thanks, and good luck to all entrants! I'd especially like to thank in advance the judges and stewards, as without them, homebrew contests just don't work. :-) Scott Alfter scott at beerandloafing.org Return to table of contents
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