HOMEBREW Digest #5358 Mon 30 June 2008

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  Sourness/Bitterness Continued-- ("Michele Maatta")
  "just when I think I'm out, they drag me back in again." ("Rob")
  Hops bitterness ("A.J deLange")
  Shops that still have hops ("Dave Larsen")
  Limit of Attenuation (fermentability) experiment (Kai Troester)
  Yeast Performance Versus Pressure ("Mark Prior")
  Re: Fast Ferment Test (Kai Troester)
  wheat ("Darrell G. Leavitt")
  Re: Sour Bitter Perception (Mike Kilian)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2008 23:50:00 -0400 From: "Michele Maatta" <mrmaatta at gmail.com> Subject: Sourness/Bitterness Continued-- I used a much less scientific method than fellow HBD posters, and this has been an interesting thread of posts for me. Thanks to those folks who have a more sound explanation than my own personal preferences. I still read and learn, and enjoy despite not brewing-- I place my knowledge critiquing the brewing skills of the local breweries. Thanks to those who are always passing along great and valuable information! Cheers! Michele Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2008 04:11:33 -0500 From: "Rob" <jethrogump at mchsi.com> Subject: "just when I think I'm out, they drag me back in again." Gump Checks In... The mere mention of CLINI**** Makes my blood ferment! Actually, the man I hold 2nd highest in regard as one of my "YEAST GOD's" (SYNTAX, MY ASS!), only behind Clayton Cone, Tobias Fischborn....told me years ago, as reported here in HBD, that he uses the dreaded CLINI**** in his work. And that was enough for me to have, only once mind you, issued a Public Apology to Dave Burley. Leave it to you b@$t@rds from the HB bloody D to remind me! "just when I think I'm out, they drag me back in again." Cheers! Jethro (Glad to be Here) Gump Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2008 08:29:35 -0400 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Hops bitterness RE: >For me, it is the type of bitterness. There are beers that are harshly bitter, and smoothly bitter. For example, harshly bitter hops include the three C's: Cascade, Centennial and Columbus. Smoothly bitter hops include most noble hops: Hallertau, Saaz, Fuggle, and the like. I can't stand American IPAs, but I love Bohemian Pilsners.< I thought I was the only one who felt this way. Nice to know that I'm not alone! Even so life with Saaz at $3 an ounce - if you can get it - is tough. I've found that Sterling works pretty well for bittering being closer to the smooth side between rough and smooth. Bittered with Sterling and finished with what Saaz I can get the Pils is pretty good. A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2008 09:08:15 -0700 From: "Dave Larsen" <hunahpu at gmail.com> Subject: Shops that still have hops I was in Seattle a couple of months ago. While there, a friend took me to this little hole in the wall brew shop. It was tiny. Mostly they had wine making supplies. However, I was totally surprised because the shop had all the hops that were short in supply: Fuggle, Saaz, Cascade, and the like. I'm guessing that they are last year's crop (or older), so I do not know how much Alpha Acid degredation has taken place. Regardless, if someone was looking for flavor or aroma hops, it would be a good score. The shop was called Market Cellar Winery. I just thought I'd mention it. Dave Tucson, AZ http://hunahpu.blogspot.com/ Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2008 13:20:49 -0400 From: Kai Troester <kai at braukaiser.com> Subject: Limit of Attenuation (fermentability) experiment A wile back I started a series of experiments designed to quantify the affects that various mash parameters have on the fermentability of the resulting wort and the brewhouse efficiency in a single infusion mash. Mostly because much of the literature, especially literature targeted at homebrewers, that I read so far provides qualitative statements and doesn't go as far as how much change can be expected when changing a particular mash parameter. The experiments were micro mashes in a thermos bottle followed by a short boil and fermentation with dry bread yeast at a high pitching rate. The latter was intended to remove fermentation variations by basically creating a fast ferment test environment. So far I have the results for temperature and pH. The series for temperature matches the results mentioned in Palmer's How To Brew. The curve seems to be shiftet a little bit towards higher temps, which I contribute to the temperature loss (about 2 C over the 60 min) in the mash. I'm planning to change the temperature axis from beginning mash temp to average mash temp to mitigate this problem. Interesting was the - 4% attenuation / C slope for temperatures higher than the optimal attenuation temp. I wonder if that relationship actually carries over into practical mashing if mash-out and/or heating of the wort is added. Note, that these results are for limit of attenuation. The mashing temp also affects the ratios of fermentable sugars (glucose, maltose and maltotriose) which in turn will affect the yeasts ability to come close to the limit of attenuation in a realistic fermentation environment. The pH data matches data points I found in the literature, but I didn't see as big of a brewhouse efficiency drop as I expected based on efficiency boost numbers that homebrewers report when they start correcting their mash pH. I'm going to run some experiments with tap water, which has much more minerals than the reverse osmosis water that I used so far. An important result was the attenuation hit that a sub 5.0 mash gets, especially in the light of a recent BYO article where H. Dornbusch suggested that an authentic Pilsner needs to be mashed well below 5.0. At these pH levels I also saw conversion problems (stronger iodine test). In the future I plan to evaluate mill gap spacing, mash time and mash thickness. All the data and more information regarding this work can be found here: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Limit_of_attenuation_experiment I'm interested in data, from both commercial and home brewing, that supports or contradicts my findings, as well as comments and concerns about the methods I used or conclusions that were drawn. Kai Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2008 13:22:04 -0400 From: "Mark Prior" <priormc at gmail.com> Subject: Yeast Performance Versus Pressure I'm fermenting 5 gallons of IPA in a 10 gallon keg and would like to naturally carbonate the beer. I'm at 1.021 now and expect to finish around 1.016 - 1.018. I'm curious if anyone can comment on the impacts of pressure on yeast. I understand that increased pressure can kill the yeast and increase ester production. I'm using WLP51 - White Labs California V yeast. I don't recall at what PSI these effects occur. Does anyone know? Are there any other effects that I should be concerned with? Note: I have a variable pressure relief valve connect to this keg right now. It is set to release the pressure at 16 PSI, for the moment. Thanks for your input. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2008 14:19:08 -0400 From: Kai Troester <kai at braukaiser.com> Subject: Re: Fast Ferment Test > Your "fast" fermentation test is better known both to amateurs and in > the English Sci literature as a FORCED fermentation test (aka FFT) and > has been discussed on this forum for well over a decade. I used to use fast and forced ferment test interchangeably in the past, but then I remembered that some call a test to test the sanitation level buy waiting how long it takes to ferment w/o the addition of yeast forced ferment test. And since this test is known as Schnellgaerprobe in German brewing, fast or quick ferment test seemed more appropriate. > Forced fermentation tests are mentioned in George Fix's last two brewing > books, including an explanation in AoBT. It's mentioned in John > Palmer's "How to Brew". It was certainly mentioned liberally in the > (defunct) "Brewing Techniques" magazine and I would be surprised if it > doesn't appear on an irregular basis in the less technical Zymurgy. I must have missed this. Mostly because little emphasis was put on this test. > The simple FFT described by Kunze requires adding 3gm of dried yeast to > 0.3L of filtered work and this is allowed to ferment for taking > hydrometer readings from day 2 until stable at a temperature controlled > 25C/77F. I got the fast ferment test from Narziss, another German brewing author, who doesn't list as elaborate method as Kunze. He only states that wort is pitched with a very high pitching rate and fermented warm. And most of your dislike of this test is based on the rather complicated method. I don't need that much wort to perform the test. As a matter of fact I only need enough to fill a hydrometer once. Some brewers I know use even less since they work with refractometers. As outlined in the posted article, I resuspend the to be pitched yeast slurry with wort and then leave some behind in the propagation vessel. After adding some more wort I shake it well and place it in a warm spot. The exact temp doesn't matter much. But above 70F is better. After that I just give it time. There is no daily measuring. If that would be necessary I would have dissed the test already. Once the beer lays completely flat, no CO2 comes out of solution and and the yeast settled, generally after 3-5 days, I take the only hydrometer reading I need to take. The sample is degassed at that point and I'm using a more precise 0.990 - 1.020 hydrometer. The total amount of work needed is 5 min max. The idea begind this simplified method for the fast ferment test is simple. The FFT is designed to show the limit of attenuation of the wort. This means that there is a limit how far the yeast can attenuate regardless of temperature and pitching rate/yeast health. The relationship between attenuation and temp/cell count is likely to be asymptotic. 50F may get you 80%, 60F may get you 83%, 70F may get you 84% and 75 may get you 84.5% with the true limit of attenuation being 85% for that wort. Based on that I conclude that as long as the temp is high enough, the result of the FFT will be within the limit of attenuation with a fairly small error. The same is assumed to be true for pitching rate and I plan to show that with some experiments. I'm not sure yet, how big the differences between various yeast strains are, though. > Lab ones (and you'll need a pair) are ~$25/ea and > gain you 0.5dSG resolution but probably less accuracy. Using the hydrometer that I have, I get an accuracy of about 0.2 Plato, which is good enough for what I'm looking for. And if there is a systematic error in my measurements, it will be applied to FFT and actual beer readings. > a modestly experienced HBer has a fairly good > idea what sort of AA% to expect, say within 2 or possibly 3 degreesSG, > or ~5%AA. Estimation is good, but knowing is better > For HB (and medicine too) one should never perform a test that does not > result in an actionable outcome (not for beer production anyway - > curiosity is another matter). I have taken action based on the FFT outcome many times: - account for residual extract when bottling. Especially when I'm rousing a beer and want to get it to cold conditioning faster. With the FFT I only need to make sure that there won't be to much extract left and that diacetyl has been remduced. - start lagering when the extract level is close to the level targeted based on FFT and style - fix a overly sweet beer by adding more yeast and raising its temp. I have done that a few times b/c I didn't get the expetcted yeast performance during lagering and b/c of the FFT I knew that the cause for that sweetness were fermentable sugars. - priming with only residual extract. Called Gruenschlauchen (green racking) in German brewing and I like to use that when I have to bottle a large number of smaller batches (experimental batches). I just pay attention to the current extract of the beer and when it is low enough for adequate carbonation I fill the beer into bottles w/o the use of a bottling bucket or priming sugar. It also works well for Weissbier since the lager amount of yeast in the bottle is not as much of a problem. > So I'm not a fanboy for FFTs. I see. But I wanted to show that many of your objections to that test were based on an overly complicated method of performing it. > if you suspect but cannot detect a defective ferment one can always pull > a sample from the fermenter and re-pitch dried yeast and try an FFT at > that point. I still have to show that this actually works or if rehydrating yeast in an alcohol solution deprived of many nutrients actually gives the same results as a FFT would have given. I tried this with my Maibock, but when the beer was fermented with dry yeast, it didn't go as low as the fast ferment test did. But in the past I have seen differences between a FFT done with the main yeast and bread yeast. > Let me suggest an alternative. Cl*nitest (Clinitest). I'll have to look into this test. Kai Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2008 19:14:10 -0400 (EDT) From: "Darrell G. Leavitt" <leavitdg at plattsburgh.edu> Subject: wheat What do you figure is the essential difference between Torrified Wheat and Malted Wheat in terms of head retention and such? I recently made a Colonial Ale (Blue Spruce tips), and there is so much going on that I am unable to determine the effect of 1 lb of Torrified wheat in this recipe: 2 lb Vienna Malt 4 lb Pale Malt 2 lb Pale Crystal 1 lb Torrified Wheat 1 lb CaraAmber 2 step infusion (148, then 155 F) og was 1.055 fg was 1.012 %abv was about 5.7% Several large handsfull of fresh Blue Spruce tips in the boil, most near the end. Oak Chips in the fermenter. A few cluster hops at the beginning of a 2 hour boil. Way too much going on in this brew for me to see what the Torrified Wheat has done. Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2008 17:41:00 -0700 (PDT) From: Mike Kilian <mikekilian1947 at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: Sour Bitter Perception S said: <If you find sourness (acidity or tartness) and bitterness <so unpalatable, that you cannot enjoy a good coffee, <dark chocolate, a hoppy beer or cannot tolerate a granny <<smith apple or lemonade - then I pity you. You dislike <not merely some specific aroma among many thousands <sensible, but 2/5th of the sensations your tongue is <capable of perceiving and you are doomed to live in <the underworld of Bland. I was hoping that my point was that there are some areas of beer bitterness that I can't appreciate. I can and do judge those styles I know what the style needs to be on point, but it's not what I'd brew at home. Heavily hopped beers are easy to produce. Balanced beers are a bit more difficult, IMHO. Again, while I can appreciate a real Lambic, I don't feel any need to purchase or brew the style. I enjoy sauerkraut and a several cups of good dark coffee (I tend to get the dark roast whole bean and buy 5 lbs at time). I also love dark chocolate. However I do like sweetener with my tea. There are a number of foods that I perceive as sour that I can and do appreciate. A nice vinegar based BBQ sauce on pulled pork is wonderful. So, I don't feel "doomed" and I don't feel that I need pity. Dave said <For me, it is the type of bitterness. There are <beers that are harshly bitter, and smoothly bitter. <For example, harshly bitter hops include the three <C's: Cascade, Centennial and Columbus. Smoothly <bitter hops include most noble hops: Hallertau, <Saaz, Fuggle, and the like. I can't stand American <IPAs, but I love Bohemian Pilsners. Dave, from my brewing past, I agree totally. "Hammering" bitterness is simply a brewing process fault. A good Bohemian Pilsner while similar in IBU's to an American IPA is a better bitterness to my tastes. But so are many Bitter's and ESB's, which I brew quite often. I hope my point is understood -- there are different tastes for different people and I was trying to understand if there was something other than nurture that caused tendencies. Mike Return to table of contents
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