HOMEBREW Digest #720 Tue 10 September 1991

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  First mash...... resulting questions.... (Jim White)
  Missing 718, is it out there anywhere? ("DRCV06::GRAHAM")
  O2 (Russ Gelinas)
  The Home Brewery (IO10676)
  HomeBrewery (Walter H. Gude)
  info please (Russ Gelinas)
  questions:  copper cleaning and old recipes (Thomas Manteufel 5-4257)
  Wort Chillers (Bob_Konigsberg)
  Fermenters (Loodvrij)
  HD 718 Lost In Space... (MIKE LIGAS)
  Honey beer (Judy Bergwerk)
  Cooling (Bob_Konigsberg)
  Fast Fermentation (Kent Dinkel)
  wheat malt and mashing (florianb)
  Grain mill (Carl West)
  Decoctions are a stirring experience (Norm Hardy)
  Nitrosamines (Jack Schmidling)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 09 Sep 91 08:37:02 EDT From: JWHITE at maine.maine.edu (Jim White) Subject: First mash...... resulting questions.... Tied mashing some grains last night, for the first time. As a result I have a couple questions. Iodine testing: Having never done this before, I decided I'd do an iodine test right at the beginning of the mash, so I'd have a benchmark comparison. I took a tablespoon or so of the mash and put it in a white saucer a dabbed a couple drops of 'tinture of iodine' into it. Though I didn't expect the sample to, instantly, turn jet black.... I was unable to notice any significant color change! The tincture is a dark reddish color to begin with, so when mixed it did effect a color change, but nothing like I expected. After about 45 minutes at 152 F, I rpeated the test, and again noticed no color change. Did I use the right stuff? This iodine was like what we used to apply to cuts, etc. Is there a colorless iodine I should've used? Is there a better way to ascertain the status of the starch conversion? I also tried a taste test, hoping to notice a difference in sweetness, but I felt this was also inconclusive. Sigh .... Modification: The malt I attempted to mash, was purchased locally at a Gormet/Health/Natural food store. It was labelled Pale Grain Malt and upon asking, I was told it was a 2 row 'European'. That's all fine, but they didn't know if it was modified or not. Since I couldn't be sure I decided to do a protein rest prior to starch conversion, but now to my question. Is there a way to determine if a grain is modified, fully modified, or unmodified? If so can this be accomplished at home, and without sophisticated equipment? Return to table of contents
Date: 9 Sep 91 08:36:00 EDT From: "DRCV06::GRAHAM" <graham%drcv06.decnet at drcvax.af.mil> Subject: Missing 718, is it out there anywhere? I seem to have missed 718 on last Friday. The Miami archive seems to have missed it too. If anyone got a copy, could you email it to me, and I'll be happy to service other requests for this issue. Dan Graham Beer made with the Derry air. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 1991 9:42:00 EDT From: R_GELINAS at UNHH.UNH.EDU (Russ Gelinas) Subject: O2 Here's a data point on adding oxygen after ferment has started. I made a full mash (!) recipe this weekend, but ended up with only 3 gallons of wort in the carboy. I pitched the yeast (Wyeast Chico ale slurry from the previous batch) and went to sleep. The next day there was a nice small but very dense krausen on the brew. I added 2 gallons of boiled cooled water to it (and of course it foamed and splashed a lot), and within 2 hours it was fermenting harder than any I've ever seen. I've pitched slurry before and the ferment was strong, but this was still *much* stronger, so I blame the O2. Yeast use up the O2 in their reproductive phase, correct? So the O2 should have helped them to make lots of other little yeasties, all of whom like to eat. Hopefully too, there'll be a nice thick slurry to save for the next batch. Russ (what happened to HBD #718?) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 09 Sep 91 09:59:07 EDT From: IO10676 at maine.maine.edu Subject: The Home Brewery Having just recently moved from Iowa, I did quite a bit of business with The Home Brewery out of Ozark, MO. All mail-order business, that is; I never actually visited them. I have the following to say about the operation: * Their prices are ordinarily good, but not outstandingly so. They were cheaper than our local homebrew shop, but only marginally so with P&H, so we usually only ordered things that we couldn't get locally. * They do have good delivery time to the midwest, no doubt due to their rather central location. We wuold typically receive orders within 2-3 days after placing them. * My only major complaint: They had very poor accuracy in filling orders. I would guess that over half of the orders we placed with them had some sort of error - usually just a wrong item, such as the incorrect type or brand of malt extract or hops, but annoying nonetheless. If they could clear this up, I would wholeheartedly recommend them; it happened so frequently to us, though, that I can't believe it was just a statistical anomaly. That's about it. I don't want to imply that nobody should order from The Home Brewery, but take care that they understand _exactly_ what you want and understand that you're probably taking your chances with them anyway. Sterling Udell Big Dog Brewing Cooperative - Eastern Division IO10676 at maine.bitnet IO10676 at maine.maine.edu SU0751G at maineiac.umcs.maine.edu Sterling at gandalf.umcs.maine.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 91 08:32:23 CDT From: whg at tellab5.tellabs.COM (Walter H. Gude) Subject: HomeBrewery My experience is that they have been great. They have what's in the catalog and in the one instance they didn't they knew it and suggested a suitable substitute. Walter Gude Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 1991 10:42:07 EDT From: R_GELINAS at UNHH.UNH.EDU (Russ Gelinas) Subject: info please I'm looking for the names of all the microbreweries in New England. Rather than clutter up the HBD, send me personal mail, and then I'll post a complete list to the digest. Thanks. BTW, the name of the Polish beer in question is Zywiec. Any comments? Russ Gelinas r_gelinas%unhh.unh.edu at mitvma.mit.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 91 10:22:38 CDT From: tomm at pet.med.ge.com (Thomas Manteufel 5-4257) Subject: questions: copper cleaning and old recipes Thanks for the replies to my query about a beer-proof plug. I have two questions: 1) I have a 8ft or so length of soft copper tubing I can use for an immersion wort chiller. It has green spots on it where water splashed on it a few times while it was sitting neglected out in the shed. I would like to clean it off non-abrasively so I don't scratch the tubing. Beside boiling vinegar, what else can I use to clean the outside? And is it better to run the cold water to the bottom of the coil and let it cool as it comes up and exits, or should I run the cold water through the top of the coil and let the coldest water cool the hotest wort? 2) Two of my brothers are civil war nuts, and I would like to suprise them by brewing an authentic 1860's style beer. What where americans drinking in 1860, and where can I find a recipe? Did they use any ingedients we don't use anymore (like sassafras)? Any substitutions? Thank You, Thomas Manteufel, B.S. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 91 09:13 PDT From: Bob_Konigsberg at 3mail.3com.com Subject: Wort Chillers Regarding John Otten's query about the copper tubing based chiller with the cooling fins attached: I would be concerned with the solder in such a thing. Unless you can verify that lead free solder (house plumbing now requires such) was used in manufacturing the cooling unit, acidic liquids (such as wort) can extract lead from the solder. If it is lead free, then the fins should increase the heat transfer efficiency of the unit. BobK Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 91 17:13:27 WET DST From: Loodvrij <csc228%central1.lancaster.ac.uk at hplb.hpl.hp.com> Subject: Fermenters Thanks for the wealth of replies I got asking about fermenters. The consensus seemed to be that I cut a hole in the lid of the bin to fit a lock. I was also warned of other possible areas for infection. A couple of people suggested I try getting Carboys from the chemistry lab, and this I intend to try. Thanks again. - -- - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Bruce J. Keeler, Lancaster University, Lancs., United Kingdom. | | JANET : csc228 at lancs.cent1 | | INTERNET : csc228 at lancaster.ac.uk | - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 1991 09:41:00 -0400 From: MIKE LIGAS <LIGAS at SSCvax.CIS.McMaster.CA> Subject: HD 718 Lost In Space... I did not receive HD 718 nor did quite a few people between Ontario and California by the sounds of it (I tried many personal appeals to have it forwarded to me). Furthermore, it's not to be found in the mthvax archives. What's up?! Anyone get it? I was kinda disappointed after synthesizing and submitting a few letters to this issue which appears to be lost in space. If you received HD 718 and would be kind enough to forward it to me I'll gladly return the favour to many others. Mike Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 91 09:55:28 PDT From: judyb at waldo.asd.sgi.com (Judy Bergwerk) Subject: Honey beer In reply to: / Date: Sun, 8 Sep 1991 11:36:14 -0400 (EDT) / >From: Peter Glen Berger <pb1p+ at andrew.cmu.edu> / Subject: Status and Stout / Can I make Papazian's honey / lager recipe at room temperature? Will this make it a "steam beer", / and what will it taste like? I made this recipe for my first batch 1 1/2 years ago. I think it came out good. I used lager yeast, and did the initial fermentation at room temp. It was in the secondary for about three weeks in my garage (about 60-65F). I remember it tasted pretty good at first, and aged really well. I didn't finish it off until last fall. Judy Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 91 10:52 PDT From: Bob_Konigsberg at 3mail.3com.com Subject: Cooling I'd like to know what systems folks have used/are using to keep their fermenting beer down to acceptable levels. Ideas that have come to my mind (but I don't know about the effectiveness/affordability of) are refrigerators on a time clock, small boxed rooms with small air conditioners and such. Any ideas? Thanks in advance. BobK Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 91 11:56:51 mdt From: Kent Dinkel <dinkel at hpmtaa.lvld.hp.com> Subject: Fast Fermentation Full-Name: Kent Dinkel Hello Homebrewers, Hoping to benefit from the collective wisdom of the more experienced brewers! On Saturday (9/7) I started brewing my 4th batch. It's an attempt to brew a bitter consisting of: 6.6 lbs Munton Fison Amber Malt Extract 13.2 bittering units (bu) worth of hops (bu = alpa content * ounces) .5 ounces Cascade hops (finishing) 2 pkgs Munton Fison Ale Yeast The problem (or maybe it's not a problem) is that the fermentation seems to be completing in half as much time as my previous batches (from ~10 days to ~4 days). Here are the gory details .... After pitching the yeast (I pitch the yeast immediately after adding enough cold water to fill the carboy), fermentation was going great guns after only 2 hours! (usually it takes at least twice this long). However, things have slowed down considerably and I went from the blowout hose to the fermentation lock after only 1 day (usually it takes 2-3 days before it's slowed down enough to go to the fermentation lock). After only 2 days in the carboy, I'm down to 1 bubble/minute out of the fermentation lock (usually this takes at least seven days). At this pace, it looks like fermentation will be finished in a couple more days. I've used Munton Fison yeast and malt extract before (although I used specialty malts in previous brews), but fermentation took about twice as long as this batch. I don't *think* the temperature is involved since I ferment in my basement and it's *cooler* now than my during my previous fermentations. Are 4 - 5 day fermentations uncommon? Am I worrying too much? If my worrying is justified, any suggestions for remedies? Sorry, I don't have specific gravity readings -- I'm trying to keep my time down to 3-4 hours/batch (excluding drinking, of course!). A couple of the homebrewers that got me started suggested not bothering with specific gravity readings. Their opinion was that the additional risk of infection from opening the fermenter was not worth getting the specific gravity reading which is useful only to tell friends the alcohol content of the beer. (I'm sure that specific gravity is useful to the more serious all-grain homebrewers.) They convinced me that determining when the fermentation is complete can be adequately performed visually by counting the bubbles/minute out of the fermentation lock. Should I break down and buy a hydrometer? Thanks in advance for your help, Kent -- the worry wort (pun intended :-)) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 09 Sep 91 12:40:26 PDT From: florianb at chip.cna.tek.com Subject: wheat malt and mashing In as much as a wheat seedling has the ability to convert the starch in the kernel to sugar necessary for pre-photosynthetic growth, it seems reasonable that wheat has sufficient enzymatic content to convert the starch in a mash. Perhaps it is a matter of temperature and time that dictates just how well the conversion takes place. I normally use 3# wheat malt, 3# 6-row barley malt, and 1# munich malt for a medium wheat beer. I usually calculate the expected og of my beers before mashing. This recipe comes out within a few points of the theoretical value, so the 50/50 ratio is good for wheat and 6-row. ********* >From time to time, I read and note various techniques for settling the mash and sparging. The usual technique mentioned in the books involves spraying or sprinkling 178 F water over the mash to sparge. In former times, I did this, but was always unhappy with the results, which were cloudy finished beer. In the last year, I have been using a different technique suggested by my brother-in-law. Its success in my case has been born out by 20-30 batches of beer. It is the following: The mash is performed in a picnic cooler of the rectangular variety, large enough to hold all of the mash and all of the sparge water. After the mash is complete, I add all the sparge water at once, at the temperature 178 F. Then, I stir it to evenly distribute the grain slurry throughout the water. I then let it sit for a "long time", usually 1/2 to 1 hour. When I can open the lid and see that the mixture appears clear on top, I begin to draw off wort from the tap at the bottom of the picnic cooler. This initial runoff (about 1-2 gallons) is poured back into the top of the cooler, making damn sure that the contents of the cooler are not violently disturbed. After that, the wort is allowed to run out at whatever rate it wants to into the boiler pot. I don't pay any attention to how fast it comes out. My only objective is to get it out. As soon as I have half of it run out, I begin to heat it on the stove, using a second pot to catch the second half of the runoff. By the time it is all run out, there is only a little while left before the boil begins. This technique differs from the usual in that I don't use fresh sparge water to rinse the "end" of the grains. Noting once more that my conversion efficiencies come out close to the theoretical values and also that the clarity of my final beers has improved, I must conclude that this technique is better. It certainly makes mashing more enjoyable for me, since I don't have to let the runoff go at some attenuated rate in order to improve sparging efficiency. Being an impatient person, I hated that part anyway. Explanation? Perhaps the "long time" sitting in the coole allows the water to fully dissolve the available sugars, so that longer runoff times are not needed. In any case, it sure works for me! Florian Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 91 14:30:12 EDT From: eisen at kopf.HQ.Ileaf.COM (Carl West) Subject: Grain mill This past weekend I visited the Brimfield Fair. (the flea market to end all flea markets, I walked for 5 1/2 hours and covered less than half of it) Among other things, I came home with a grain mill that appears to be able to a fine job of crushing malt without pulverizing the husk. Or making relatively fine flour. The problem? The hopper is rather small. I would like to be able to put in more than 10oz of grain at a time. True, I can increase the capacity with careful use of a cut-off 2 or 3 litre soda bottle. But I might be interested in a larger hopper for it if I could find one. Which leads to the other problem; I don't know what make it is. It says `MADEinPOLAND' on the handle and has `OB' in a circle on the side of the main casting. The whole thing is tinned castiron except for the grinding plates which aren't tinned. Any ideas what make it is? What *did* I get anyway? Carl Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 91 18:55:23 PDT From: polstra!norm at uunet.UU.NET (Norm Hardy) Subject: Decoctions are a stirring experience This being the summer of the decoction mash for me, I thought I would pass along some observations of the process and the results so far: (1) Some people erroneously think that doing a decoction mash will produce a maltier beer with aromas reminding them of Munich (or thereabouts). I have found that this is true when using German malted barley. But when using Klages, don't count on it. (2) Doing decoctions (double or single) with Klages leads to a further attenuated beer. This was true while using Wyeast 1056 Sierra yeast. Example: my typical 1056 ale goes from OG 1.046 to FG 1.013 or 1.014 as a rule, doing a step mash or a single infusion. With decoction mashes, here is what has happened: (Case 1) OG 1.048 to FG 1.010; (Case 2) OG 1.048 to FG 1.011; (Case 3) OG 1.044 to FG 1.009. These were all my "typical" ale of 7-8 lbs Klages, .5-1 lb Crystal, etc. The temperatures were 65-70f. Again, it seems that the decoction mashes cause more of the maltose to be available to be eaten by the yeast. (3) The taste is as expected dryer than usual, but smooth. Is it worth the time and arm strength? For German malts, yes; you can get more of the malt character with the extended mashing process. For Klages I would say yes for a dryer beer only. Those who prefer a heavier body (for their beer) should shy away from the aerobic workout of decoction stirring. Norm Hardy Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 7 Sep 91 08:48 CDT From: gargoyle!ddsw1.mcs.com!arf at charon.amdahl.com (Jack Schmidling) Subject: Nitrosamines To: Homebrew Digest Fm: Jack Schmidling RE: Article 240 (86 more) in rec.crafts.brewing: From: Paula Burch Subject: nitrosamines in homebrew? >I have read that beer is full of nitrosamines. I rarely drink commercial beer, and so I wonder: Does homebrew contain nitrosamines? ARF says: I have been patiently waiting for someone to clear up this issue but not seeing any knowledgeable response, I will put forth what I know, which is just enough to be dangerous. Years ago, in the late seventies, I think, when the nitrosamine business was first recognized, a report was published listing the concentrations in commercial beers. I only recall a few benchmarks but it should provide fuel for thought. At the very top was Heinekins and lots of imports. Bud was right up there with them but I don't remember the exact position of amount. Coors was at the very bottom with no detectable level. The "media" told us that there was something in Coors' process that had something to do with heat (or lack of) that prevented nitrosamines from forming. Shortly thereafter, "they" told us that all breweries had switched to this process and the problem just went away. I didn't believe a word of this whitewash but that was about the time I quit drinking and I am now very sorry that you brought it up. jack schmidling Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #720, 09/10/91 ************************************* -------
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