HOMEBREW Digest #5598 Tue 01 September 2009

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  RO Water Treatment/Lagering Temps. ("A. J. deLange")
  Re: Opinion on yeast? (S-23 temp) (Calvin Perilloux)
  Re: Opinion on yeast? (stencil)
  RE: Does dry hopping add flavor? ("David Houseman")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2009 23:38:47 -0400 From: "A. J. deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: RO Water Treatment/Lagering Temps. There are, unfortunately, no simple answers with regard to how to tailor water for brewing because there are so many variables. It was the trial and error efforts made by the brewers of history in trying to produce decent beer from the water that they had available that produced the diversity of beer styles we enjoy today. While it is true that RO units do not remove all ions equally well (for example the GE unit I have gets more than 99% of magnesium ions but only 92% of bicarbonatae) it is generally safe to start with the assumption that the water is ion free unless there is an inordinate amount of some ion present in the supply. Anaheim water will have alkalinity of between 100 and 200 ppm as CaCO3 depending on which of its sources it is drawing from and/or how it is blending from its sources. At worst you could expect the alkalinity of your RO water, therefore, to be 20 ppm as CaCO3. While this is not 0 it is a modest level. Simply add the salts to the water. There is no need to use CO2 (or other acid) unless sodium bicarbonate or calcium carbonate (chalk) is being added and the situations where you would want or need to do that are few and far between. As a general rule of thumb for starting out you could try adding 1 tsp calcium chloride (dihydrate - the kind sold at your local HBS) and 2 tsp gypsum (also sold at LHBS's) and a half tsp of epsom salts (readily available from merchants which if I describe them by the usual name given to their establishments will cause my post to be rejected) to 5 gallons of RO water and see how you like the result. If the hazes you had been observing were caused by insufficient calcium in the past this blend should take care of that. But haze is sometimes protein haze so use a protein rest (I know, that's not considered necessary any more but I know what happens to me when I skip it at least when I use Maris Otter). If you want recipes for various waters I still have some posted at www.wetnewf.org. You can use these as a starting point for more detailed treatments. Some of these do call for the use of carbonate and bicarbonate and therefore sparging with CO2. Don't undertake that elaborate process unless you really want to create the water of e.g. Burton. In most cases you can skip the carbonate/bicarbonate and just use the other salts. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Lager yeasts like cold. The colder you can operate them the cleaner the beer will be but there are limits. I try to get the temp down as fast as I can to around 48 but as wort exits my chiller at around 55 and I pitch inline obviously the yeast are exposed to the wort for some time at that temperature. It's my understanding that megalagerbrewers chill to 42 and pitch at that temperature allowing the temperature in the fermenter to rise to 48 before they cut the cooling in. I will note that I have had trouble getting certain strains from a certain manufacturer to perform at lower temperatures and have had to operate them in the mid 50's. Once fermentation is complete (i.e. specific gravity doesn't drop noticeably over a period of a couple of days) then lagering at as close to freezing as you can get the beer is the order of the day. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2009 06:31:40 -0700 (PDT) From: Calvin Perilloux <calvinperilloux at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: Opinion on yeast? (S-23 temp) Josh, If you're talking about fermenting with S-23 at room temperature for a week, you'll end up with a fruity ale-type beer, not a Bock at all. It's bad enough to go a full day or so at high temps, but a week? I've brewed lighter lagers at varying pitching temperatures (due to commercial considerations), and using the same lager yeast the cold-pitched ones are cleaner and superior to the ones pitched at 60-62 F. I haven't done that with S-23 specifically, but my educated guess is that it would act similarly. I've used S-23 with good results in the 50-55 F range. In my experience, it slows down a LOT if you take it much under 50 F. I'd never use it at 70 F, not even pitching temperature. (I pitch lagers in the mid to upper 40's if possible, letting the fermenting wort then warm to primary fermentation temperature of 50 F or so.) Calvin Perilloux Middletown, Maryland, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 01 Sep 2009 12:44:11 -0400 From: stencil <etcs.ret at verizon.net> Subject: Re: Opinion on yeast? On Tue, 01 Sep 2009 02:22:31 -0400, in Homebrew Digest #5597 (August 31, 2009) Josh Knarr wrote: > > >Fermentation temp for lagering - start out at room temp for a week >then put it in the freezer? Drop the temp to "as low as it will go"? Try to get to the intended ferment temperature at or even before pitching time. The whole rationale is that lager yeast are bred to function at lower temperatures and when they operate in warmer environments they produce ale-like compounds. Let them play unsupervised for a few days at warm temps and you will have well-chilled ale. After a few weeks of cold lagering they might re-ingest those flavors, but maybe not. Recognize that, external controller or no, the freezer still is a freezer and will try to get its contents down to 0F or below as soon as the controller applies power to it. When you get to your target temp (50F or whatever) the controller will cut power to the freezer - but the interior walls still will be at a subzero temperature. Therefore try to deploy the fermenter as far from the walls as possible and ensure that the remaining volume of the freezer is well loaded with water jugs, bacon, and filled kegs as is practical. Likewise position the sensor probe as far from the walls and as close to the fermenter as you can. If you opted for the Johnson controller that uses a pneumatic bulb and copper tube, beware of too-frequent flexing of the tube, which will lead to brittling and cracking. >since the Palmer book uses the 45F to 55F consistently to lager while >the Saflager packet has a much higher range on it. > The yeast manufacturer's advice takes precedence - unless someone advises you to treat a specific brand or type, differently. gds, stencil Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 01 Sep 2009 18:51:14 -0400 From: "David Houseman" <david.houseman at verizon.net> Subject: RE: Does dry hopping add flavor? Jim, So what does brewing for yourself versus for competition have to do with concern for aroma. Frankly whatever the reason to brew, if it's not going to be a good beer then what's the point? And to me aroma is a key component of any beer. Not that high hop aroma should be present on every beer or style but where it's appropriate I want great hop aroma whether it's just for me, a guest or to enter in competition. Dry hopping does affect most aroma, although I do pick up some additional hop flavor. Or it could be just the mixing of senses. Hop aroma is largely contributed by late hop additions in the kettle. Add hops in the range of 20 to 5 minutes to go in the boil. Isomerizing hops extracts hop acids for bittering. Hop flavor is extracted from hop resins and oils. So yes, you can get achieve good hop flavor without dry hopping. David Houseman Return to table of contents
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