HOMEBREW Digest #801 Tue 14 January 1992

Digest #800 Digest #802

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Natural History Magazine Hops article (Paul Ford 312/702-0335)
  Bogus Postings, Trihalomethanes (Jack Schmidling)
  radioactive brew (chip upsal)
  Re: Weiss vs. Weizen? (Chris Shenton)
  Re: fermentation times vs vessel size (Chris Shenton)
  Chlorine removal, and re: moribund metheglin (JW Smith)
  Brew it at Home, a Review. ("DRCV06::GRAHAM")
  What Yeast for high OG beer? (Desmond Mottram)
  Mailing List (rayl)
  dropping glass carboys (tamar more)
  Long Tall Lauter Tun (Jeff J. Miller)
  Re:  Homebrew Digest #800 (January 13, 1992) (Richard Childers)
  When to Pitch? (martin wilde)
  re: faucet adapter (Bob.Mastors)
  Re: Homebrew Digest #800 (January 13, 1992)  (John Dilley)
  Treating Sparge Water + BJCP exam (korz)
  Re: glass (carboys) (korz)
  Re: crystal + BODY (korz)
  Re: Oxidation (Tim P McNerney)
  pH Pen (C.R. Saikley)
  Chiller,alchohol.weight.vs. (Chris McDermott)
  yeast bank questions (Frank Tutzauer)
  Mead Nutrients (Bob Jones)
  Lots of questions about brewing (randy)
  Redistribution of HBD (Darren Evans-Young)
  Carbonating in SS Kegs (Brian Capouch)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 11 Jan 1992 13:53:49 -0600 (CST) From: CS_PAUL at gsbvxb.uchicago.edu (Paul Ford 312/702-0335) Subject: Natural History Magazine Hops article I've fallen dreadfully behind in my HBD reading so excuse the repetition if this has been mentioned already. The January issue of Natural History had a nice article on Hops in the regular feature 'A Matter of Taste' by Raymond Sokolov who writes about food from around the world. He visited the Willamtte Valley and describes the various steps in the production of hops. He describes one of the hazards in the early days of hops processing -- 'drowning' in the deep chambers where the dried hops were stored before baling. What a way to go. He referes to Papazian's 'New Complete Joy of Homebrewing' regarding the role of hops in beer -- bittering, aroma, head retention, flavor characterisitcs of different strains, etc, and makes a small plug for homebrewing to any reader interested in learning firsthand about the role of hops in beer. He confesses his primary interest is consuming hops themselves -- the tender spring shoots, which apparently are a delicacy in Belgium, eaten like asparagus. No one in Oregon who he met had ever eaten hop shoots but it was suggested that the shoots should probably be earthed over to keep them sweet and tender. He included two recipes: Creamed Hops from 'The Belgian Cookbook' (Atheneum, 1970) 2lbs hop shoots, simmered 10 minutes, heavy cream and butter for the sauce, topped with poached egges, salt and pepper to taste; and Hop Sprout Salad from 'Bavarian Cooking' (Kochbuch-Verlag, Munich, 1983) 2lbs sprouts, boiled, and drained, marinated in a vinagrette for an hour or so. I don't recall seeing any mention of eating hop shoots in the digest. Anyone ever tried 'em? - -- Paul Ford Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 11 Jan 92 13:14 CST From: arf at ddsw1.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) Subject: Bogus Postings, Trihalomethanes To: Homebrew Digest Fm: Jack Schmidling First of, STOP THE BUBBLE MACHINE. I am being inundated with mail, including warnings from Rob, about those two articles at the end of the last HBD. Kindly note that they are dated October and I had nothing to do with reposting them. I will offer no public comment on how or why they were reposted but rest assured, THAT is not my way of making points. >From: R_GELINAS at UNHH.UNH.EDU (Russ Gelinas) Subject: why boil H2O? >Second, my water has chlorine in it. Not a lot, but enough to smell/taste and enough to combine with chemicals found in grains to produce nasty, possibly carcinogenic things like chloramines (?). Jack S., our resident amine-phobe ;-), can fill you in on that concern. In this case it is trihalomethanes. They are a product of the reaction between chlorine and organics found naturally in just about any water in the world. They are highly carcinogenic and represent a serious health hazard that no one wants to talk about. It is entirely possible that the majority of human cancers are a direct result of chlorination of drinking water. The problem is that politicians would be held responsible for epidemics of cholera or other water born diseases but finger pointing is ineffective with a disease that takes 30 years to show itself, so they just make believe it isn't there. The problem is surfacing in the soft drink industry in California. Additional chlorine is added just before bottling to assure shelf life and the trihalomethane level is causing concern. It looks as though they are going to voluntarily modify the process to avoid bringing publicity to the issue. The soft drink industry just does not need an "alar affair". That's not to say that pop is good for you, they just don't want you to know how bad it is. The good news is that trihalomethanes are very volatile and evaporate quickly when water is boiled. So, by boiling water, you get rid of the thm, in addition to the chlorine, that would be available to make more tmh if left in. I have been boiling all my drinking water for years and my new 10 gal SS pot has raised the process to a new dimension. What turned me off, before I knew about thm were the grotesque vegetables that used to grow around my swimming pool. Where ever the garden was in range of water splashed from the pool, the vegies exhibited cancer-like growth. That was enough evidence at the time and further information confirms my early suspicions. js Return to table of contents
Date: 11 Jan 92 18:20:43 EST From: chip upsal <70731.3556 at compuserve.com> Subject: radioactive brew Peter Karp ask: about raido active isotopes and the bottleing process. I beleve the brewerys mearly pass the cans through some sort of divice that uses raidation to detect how full the cans are. How much raidation stays in the can I could not tell. Chip Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 11 Jan 92 21:12:32 EST From: Chris Shenton <chris at endgame.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: Re: Weiss vs. Weizen? I thought I knew the answer to this: Weiss is N. German light and tart one, Weizen is S. German heavier stuff with S. Delbruekii. After mentioning this to a friend, someone next to me basically called me an idiot, that I had it backwards as far as the names are concerned (but not the styles). After his accent revealed his heritage (Bavarian), I had to believe him. Also, doesn't the label say ``Spaten [Munich] Weissbier''? Why is this so hard to pin down? Misinformation in the books, general ignorance of foreign languages, or something else? Prost! Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 11 Jan 92 21:18:20 EST From: Chris Shenton <chris at endgame.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: Re: fermentation times vs vessel size On Thu, 9 Jan 92 15:03 CST, korz at ihlpl.att.com said: >cpstnd3.alliant.com (Chris Shenton) >> I've done a few wheat beers semi-recently and noticed something odd in >> the last 2-3 batches. I did 10 gallon batches, then split into two >> carboys, one a 5-gallon, the other a 7-gallon. The larger one -- which >> was not filled all the way to the top -- finished in a week or so as >> usual. The smaller, filled all the way up to the neck, is on it's >> third week. > >I have seen this effect before. I think it is not related to the size >of the vessel but to the amount of headspace in the vessel. I think >when you fill the vessel to the neck you remove the trapped air (oxygen) >used by the yeast during the first stage of fermentation. This limits >the total population to a value lower than optimum and the fermentation >takes longer. korz> The reasoning seems sound, and it is true that oxygen-deficient wort korz> will cause your yeast to have trouble reproducing, but 2 gallons of korz> air sitting on top of your 5 gallons of wort are not going to enter korz> the wort unless you shake. I think the rate that the air will dissolve korz> into the wort, if it simply sits quietly, is very slow and aeration korz> during the filling of the carboy would be several orders of magnitude korz> more than aeration from the air sitting quietly. Comments? I now remember (I haven't been home for a few weeks) another difference in the two fermenters. The 7 gallon had an airlock, while the 5 used a 1" blowoff hose into a jar with about 3 inches of water. Could the larger back pressure from the latter inhibit fermentation? Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 92 21:18 CST From: jws3 at engr.uark.edu (JW Smith) Subject: Chlorine removal, and re: moribund metheglin First, thanks to those who replied to my question concerning the metheglin that wouldn't ferment. I added 4 tsp. of yeast energizer, and within 2 hours the stuff was bubbling away. Moral: whatever "yeast energizer" is, use it when making mead! Concerning chlorine in your water: I had a conversation with the water chemist at our treatment plant about chlorine in our water, since I have had what I suspect are massive chlorophenol problems with my brew so far. He suggested that rather than boiling all my water, which takes lots of time and gas, I should just leave a carboy full of tap water out in the sun for a couple of hours. This, he claims, will drive off most of the chlorine if the carboy is loosely covered. One must exercise caution to keep the neighborhood cats out of your carboy, but otherwise this method seems to work well.... Also, for those who have high levels of bacteria, with or without chlorine, or for those who simply wish to be anal about sterilization, he suggested using ultraviolet light rather than boiling, for energy conservation purposes. They use a 254 nm wavelength blacklight in the lab to kill everything dead; he suggests surrounding a carboy of water and the proper blacklight with aluminum foil and leaving overnight. Another option is a gadget which is listed in the Cole-Parmer catalog; it's a UV water sterilizer which works on demand. They come in 1 or 2 gal/min flow capacities and a range of power requirements, and range in price from $340 to $500. Or if you are adventurous and want to build your own, replacement lamps for this gadget are $32. None of these are cheap, but they may be worth it to you in time reduction or peace of mind.... | James W. Smith, University of Arkansas | jws3 at engr.uark.edu | | There's a long, hard road and a full, hard drive | | And a sector there where I feel alive | | Neither NASA nor the U of Ark. is responsible for what I say. Mea culpa. | Return to table of contents
Date: 13 Jan 92 08:10:00 EDT From: "DRCV06::GRAHAM" <graham%drcv06.decnet at drcvax.af.mil> Subject: Brew it at Home, a Review. I received a copy of Jack Schmidling's "Brew it at Home" last Thursday, and thought I'd post a review. I am aware that this video has been the object of a lot of flack, but it does deserve a review nonetheless. Since I am virtually blind, I was especially interested to see (hear) how well this product could be used by the visually impaired to get them started in homebrewing. The AHA videos, while very fine, are so visually oriented that they are useless to one like me. My wife watched the video with me, she has been my assistant in most of my brewing, and thought that the video effects and, especially, the closeups of the yeast and the timelaps work was very good. I had observed from some of his postings that Jack has good powers of description. Beings as I can't see, I am very sensitive to this. These powers are employed in the video as well. I tried to imagine that I had never heard of brewing beer at home before and listened with an ear to how good the descriptions were. They were excellent. Never mind that I might disagree with Jack on some technical points of brewing for the beginner, the description could get anyone with a fourth grade education started, while not talking down to a grad student. I thought the tack of starting with root beer and moving to beer was good. I was very happy with the lack of "patter" conversation during the actual brewing stages. Only the essential information was given. It was clear and understandable. There are moments of silence while things are being, I assume, stirred, etc., but that's all right. I perfer that to a useless patter that is so common among the television chefs and chefettes. My wife was disappointed that Jack didn't go into the mashing process, but I told her that this was a subject for a future video. I feel that that Jack delivered on what he said the video was for. It would be just fine to help anyone get started in brewing. It would be most helpful for a visually impaired person getting started. He does explain some things that I had to figure out for myself since not all postings in the digest are complete primers on brewing. My first batches were rather haphazard, but they worked. While I never used sugar in a batch as Jack recommends, I still think if a person follows his suggestions, they will not be unhappy with the results. There are some areas for technical improvement, but I'll not deal with those since this is not a professional augio-video forum. I do recall that there was one complaint that Jack didn't mention the AHA in the video. This is not a problem, so far as I am concerned. While he may well have done so, he surely is under no obligation to give them, nor anyone else free advertising. (Comments, thoughts, or flames to me directly!) >From my audio only perspective, this is a good video and I can recomment it with no reservations. Dan Graham - graham at drcvax.af.mil (508) 475-9090 ext. 2352 Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 92 12:38:31 GMT From: des at swindon.swindon.ingr.com (Desmond Mottram) Subject: What Yeast for high OG beer? Yesterday, as an experiment, I started to ferment a brew made from unsparged wort. This is British style beer made with pale and crystal malt. I mashed more grain than usual (with more water) so that I could run off a couple of gallons of neat wort before sparging the rest as normal. I boiled the neat stuff with hops separately, racked it, cooled it, racked it again and then kicked it off with a good beer yeast. I knew it was going to be strong but hoped the yeast would cope. However, the OG turned out to be 1084! This, I'm pretty sure, will kill the yeast before it gets anywhere near finished. I've heard that a wine yeast can finish the job off but have no idea what to try. I don't have access in the UK to the strains I've seen mentioned in HBD, but my local homebrew shop does have a large range of wine yeasts, conforming to different wine styles and grape varieties. Is this a good idea and can anyone suggest what type of yeast to go for? Can anyone offer experiences with brewing high gravity beers please? Thanks, Desmond Mottram des at swindon.swindon.ingr.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 92 09:19:32 -0500 From: rayl at hphcrl.canada.hp.com Subject: Mailing List Hi, Please add my name to your mailing list. Thanks, Ray Langdeau HP Canada rayl at hphcrl.canada.hp.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 92 09:27:04 EST From: tamar more <ST402676 at brownvm.brown.edu> Subject: dropping glass carboys for all the people dropping and breaking their galss carboys: our supplier carries nifty metal handles that attach to the neck of carboys. makes carrying a full one MUCH easier. If you can't find these handles, I can post where we got ours. tamar Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 92 9:25:17 CST From: jmiller at anubis.network.com (Jeff J. Miller) Subject: Long Tall Lauter Tun Since getting my large brewery set up I have been having lots of problems with good sparge techniques. The brewing vessel is an old piece of dairy equipement that is tall with a diameter of 26". It has an inverted dome on the bottom that drains out a spigot. It came with a 6" grate that would fit over this drain. So... because of the large number of grains that I use, I would try to sparge out of the pot through the small grate. Because of the slopping sides of the inverted dome this mostly didn't work. I often get stuck sparges and it is a REAL hassle pulling the spent grains out. Since this pot is also used for the boil I also take a real hit on time and heat loss as I have to wait for all the wort to drain out, clean the pot, and then start up again. Well... keep visiting those junkyards because this weekend I think I found the solution. I found a stainless screen bucket that looks like it was once used as a filter for some sort of large laundry drying machine. The bucket is heavily reinforeced with 1/4" steel and has a bar across the top that will work good as a handle. The bucket itself is 18" across and 3' high with a slight dome on the bottom. The one thing that I have been thinking about is possibly creating a tube that with lots of water outlets drilled into it that can be placed in the middle of the bucket to force the sparge from the center out over the entire height of the bucket. Any comments? - -- Jeff Miller Network Systems Corporation Internetwork Group 7600 Boone Avenue North jmiller at network.com Minneapolis MN 55428 (612)424-4888 Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 92 07:35:59 PST From: Richard Childers <rchilder at us.oracle.com> Subject: Re: Homebrew Digest #800 (January 13, 1992) Beer making news .... I'm just bottling my first batch. Thinking about dosing it with a tablespoon of honey per five gallons to see what it will do, but I don't know if it's the wise thing to do, and it's too early to relax and have a homebrew ... -=*=- I noticed, in the last Digest, a repost of an old article by Jack Schmidling. It looked like it had come from him ... and so I flamed him, privately. Jack told me he hadn't done it ... which suggests that one of his enemas - um, enemies - did it. He seems to have quite a few, and they apparently do not object to stooping to the level of dirtying HBD with their abusive and amoral tactics. I don't see why Jack would fart in his own pew, as it were. This is a major source of pleasure to him ... as to the rest of us. As it so happens, only a day or so ago I commented to one of JS's enemies on the net that they were making themselves look incredibly bad with their ways, and that whatever differences I'd had with Jack, I'd never been threatened - which I have been, for addressing this other group of people. I pointed out that Jack was a solid contributor to Home Brewer's Digest. Then this occurs. It makes me wonder. While I can't comment publically on whom this might be, since I'd be beset by a pack of lawyers drooling to profiteer from controversy and the possibility of a libel suit, I guess I can privately request the records from HDB HQ, to try and see where this message came from, if not Jack Schmidling, and if any person explicitly requests a copy of the email I sent, referred to in the previous paragraph, I'll probably honor that request. I'd like to find out who thinks this is an acceptable tactic to practice ... otherwise, it will just happen again. And the mail header should show the relay systems ... and the relay systems can verify the header's contents. Or not, as appropriate. -=*=- After all, if you're not Jack Schmidling's enemy ... you must be his friend. Right ? So much for the Land of the Brave and the Home of the Free. - -- richard ===== - -- richard childers rchilder at us.oracle.com 1 415 506 2411 oracle data center -- unix systems & network administration "Anything is possible, if you don't care who gets the credit." -- Harry Truman Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 92 16:25:26 GMT From: martin at daw_302.hf.intel.com (martin wilde) Subject: When to Pitch? I recently read somewhere that most commercial brewers have their yeast in the fermenter (the hungry beasties ready to go) prior to filling it with cooled wort. They say the beasties start working as soon as the fermenter starts filling. I have been using this procedure (put the yeast starter in the fermenter before filling with chilled wort) for some time now. I have heard rumors that the little beasties (the yeast) would take longer to start re-production since they are "buried" under the weight of the wort and it is harder to make their way to the top. any comments... Thanks martin martin at daw_302.hf.intel.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 92 09:41:34 MST From: Bob.Mastors at Central.Sun.COM Subject: re: faucet adapter A little while ago I asked for any experiences people have had with the William's faucet adapter and quick disconnect system. There was general agreement about how well it worked. It leaks a little but not enough to bother anyone. It is easy to snap connectors on and off the adapter. Everyone who responded liked it. So I bought the faucet adapter and the connection for my bottle washer. I like it. Its easy to use. It does not leak (yet). It appears to be very well constructed. As one person noted: > One thing you should be aware of is that it does not provide any aeration to > the stream of water. Indeed it does not. But I actually like it better without the aeration. I wonder why its considered a feature. A different person pointed out that the snap on plastic garden hose adapters could be used. I use these on my outside faucets and they work great. The William's system looks cooler though. Bob ======================================================================= Bob Mastors Voice: 719-528-4664 /\ mastors at rmtc.Central.Sun.COM Fax: 719-548-1009 /\/ \ Rocky Mountain Technology Center / \ \ 5465 Mark Dabling Blvd.; Colorado Springs, CO 80918 ======================================================================= Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 92 09:03:41 -0800 From: John Dilley <jad at aspen.iag.hp.com> Subject: Re: Homebrew Digest #800 (January 13, 1992) > Date: Fri, 10 Jan 92 10:37:40 -0800 > From: John Dilley <jad at aspen.iag.hp.com> > Subject: Re: Radioactive isotopes used in breweries > > ... > Another use of radioactive isotopes is neutron bombardment of a > sample for sterilization purposes. The neutrons kill all life in > whatever it is you bombard, so it'll "live" forever (in its lifeless > form, of course :-). First off, thanks to Michael Hall for the authoritative response to your question! It's always nice to have an appropriate scientist on the mailing list when a topic such as this comes up! :-)! Second, I hope I am the first to point out my error in the above: I don't think neutron bombardment is actually used to sterilize foods; it may be used to sterilize other things, but the sterilization plant I read about in this morning's paper used Cobolt-60 as a source of gamma rays (electrons, not neutrons) to kill bacteria and prolong the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. And any food not sealed won't "live forever", of course. Bacteria will still grow on them; I was thinking only of those space food paks hermetically sealed in foil. Sorry for the earlier misinformation. In other news, my first batch is conditioning right now. I had a sample of it last night (after four days) and it's quite flat. Did I put in the wrong amount of conditioning sugar? Or is the carbonation level expected to rise much between day 4 and 7-10? I made this batch from the first recipe in the New Brewer's Handbook (John Bull light malt extract, dextrose, Cascade hops pellets). Thanks! -- jad -- Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 92 11:14 CST From: korz at ihlpl.att.com Subject: Treating Sparge Water + BJCP exam Bob Jones asks if treating sparge water is necessary. Noonan, Miller and (I think) Papazian all agree that sparge water should be treated. The reason being that too alkaline a sparge will extract astringency out of your grains. I read this to mean that if your tapwater is not alkaline then it's okay to use it "straight." Al. P.S. I "survived" the BJCP exam with only a sore writing hand and a fried brain. The questions are very broad, like: "Discuss and distinguish beer styles X, Y and Z." and "Describe and distinguish three methods of process-A." I took it mainly so I can judge at competitions and learn more in *that* way AND to try to do my part towards making competitions better (I had read that there was a shortage of judges). Plus, with the level of quality that homebrew has achieved, I'll bet that some of the best beers in the world will only be available at the Regionals and at the Nationals and I may just be lucky enough to drink one of them! Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 92 11:29 CST From: korz at ihlpl.att.com Subject: Re: glass (carboys) Bob writes: >that very instant, slip! A mere 2 or 3 inches drop to the edge of >the metal deep sink was followed by an angry crash of glass and splashing >chlorinated water. Man, if you want to empty a carboy quickly, this >works :-) Luckily, I suffered only a very minor cut on my thumb. I use a special handle that fits on the neck of a 5 gallon carboy (I don't know about other sizes). It is metal, coated with orange plastic, and attaches with machine screw and wingnut. I only have one and move it from one carboy to another (I have yet to find a need to carry two carboys at once). I believe I got it at Lil' Olde Winemaking Shoppe (708-557-2523). Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 92 12:13 CST From: korz at ihlpl.att.com Subject: Re: crystal + BODY Bob writes: >A few digests back, someone discussed the damages crystal malts suffer >at mash temperatures. This intrigued me, and I gave it a try in last >night's brew. I rested all but the crystal at 155F, did an iodine test >which showed no remaining starch, and then added the crystal and >began the raise to 170F. An iodine test after the crystal addition >also showed no starch. Could this mean that there is very little/no >convertible starch in crystal malt? I believe Miller recommends >mashing it to extract the remaining starch and the full goodness of >it. What about other specialty malts? For instance, do the sugars >in chocolate malt need only be steeped, as in extract brewing, or >are there benefits of giving them a full mash? It is my understanding that, well-made crystal malt will contain little starch. The benefits of crystal malt are: its characteristic caramel flavor, it adds caramel color, it adds body, and it increases head retention. It has no active enzymes. For body and head retention without caramel color or flavor, dextrine malt (Cara-pils (tm)) can be used instead. In a person communication around 9 months ago, I asked George Fix about mashing crystal malt. The debate at the time in the HBD was about whether dexrines or proteins give a beer body. By the time I figured it all out, I forgot to post it to the HBD. Here's an edited version of our discussion: Dr. Fix-- Recently, a question came up in the Homebrew Digest regarding mashing Crystal Malt as per Dave Miller's book (p. 54 - USING SPECIAL MALTS). A debate came up as to whether mashing the Crystal Malt will break down the complex carbohydrates (unfermentable ones) we are seeking by adding Crystal Malt into simple sugars and lose the body, heading, etc. gained by using Crystal Malt. I decided to check in your book, Principles of Brewing Science (which I have just started reading) and could find lots of info on the enzymes, but could not find which types of carbohydrates are found in Crystal Malt. Do you have this data? I imagine that there are a wide variety of long sugar chains which would probably be mostly converted to fermentables by the enzymes during mashing. Am I correct? The little bit of starch left in the Crystal Malt is probably best left unconverted and the grains simply steeped at 170F or so and then sparged along with the mashed grains, right? Al. George Fix's response: I feel it is best to mash crystal grains in the same way pale malt is mashed. This will indeed break down high molecular weight proteins down into small and medium weight proteins, however these make positive contributions to a beer's body, foam, and flavors. The same is true of the high molecular weight proteins. The latter, on the other hand, tend to be unstable. They will fall out of solution in both fermentation and aging, as well as being only partially solvable in finished beer. I have found this effect to be quite important in amber and dark beers. In beers which use only a small fraction of color grains it probably doesn't matter whether they are mashed or not. George Fix Then I asked: Prof. Fix-- Thank you for your response. I can tell that you are another believer in the body==protein-content theory. Is there any experimental proof of this? Can a low-protein/high-dextrin beer have a lot of body also? But this is another issue. My main concern remains unanswered, namely: "Doesn't mashing crystal malt break the unfermentable sugars down into fermentable ones, thereby resulting in the fermenting away of the unfermentables that we seek by adding crystal malt in the first place?" Al. Dr. Fix replied: Both unfermentable dextrins (alpha-glucans) and proteins contribute to a beers body. Of the two, viscosity measurements show that proteins are more important. This can be directly verified in small volume brewing experiments. Try a normally mashed all malt beer as the control. Then do a "diat" version with a long and extended low temperature mash. The finished beer will have almost the same protein spectrum, but much less alpha-glucans. It will be stronger in alcohol content but thinner in body. This illustrates the effect of dextrins. Next do a third brew where, say, 15% of the malt is replaced with a dextrin corn starch. The latter has no proteins and approximately the same carbohydrate structure as crystal malt. Compare the three test brews taking their different alcohol content into account. A point I forgot to mention in my last message is that the main reason I use crystal malt is for color and for its special flavoring. Mashing crystal malt is the best way I know to get both. Other procedures that have been put forward --e.g., boiling-- tend to extract husk constituents that I find unpleasant in finished beer. George Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 92 10:15:14 PST From: tpm%wdl58 at wdl1.wdl.loral.com (Tim P McNerney) Subject: Re: Oxidation Well, this is the way I have always looked at it. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong. oxidation - chemical reaction in which oxygen and some other compound react to form an oxygen containing comound. Thus, the oxygen is not easily available to be used in the aerobic processes of the yeast and forms unwanted compounds in the beer. This is bad in brewing. aereation - a physical process by which oxygen is disolved in a liquid, but does not react with any other component. Thus, the oxygen is still free and available for aerobic reactions by the yeasties. This is good in brewing. Am I missing something here or does this sort of explain why you want lots of oxygen in your beer but oxidation is a no-no? - --Tim Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 92 12:07:28 PST From: grumpy!cr at uunet.UU.NET (C.R. Saikley) Subject: pH Pen Thanks for the review of the pH pen, Russ. Now maybe I'll know how to use the damn thing ;-) A couple of things I wanted to add. >Standard solutions are available at 4 and 7 pH. Not exactly >ideal for brewers who are looking for 5.0 - 5.5 pH. I am investigating making >my own standard solution by mixing portions of the standards. I don't think this will work. The standards are buffers, which means that if small amounts of other stuff gets dumped in, the pH will remain unchanged. This is why they are useful as standards. Compare this to say, distilled water. It has pH of 7, but the addition of small amounts of nearly anything will cause a change in the pH. You may be able to mix the two standards and get something with the appropriate pH, but it will lack the stability of the standards. >Yet I could make the argument that the pen will pay for >itself by my not needing to replace my supply of papers as they run out. At >current prices, that ought to be in about 200 batches... I bought one of these from Edmund Scientific a couple of years back. It lasted only about 7-8 months (15 or so batches) before it died, even though I followed all of the maintenance instructions. It's a cute addition to the brewery, but I haven't felt a need to replace it. CR Return to table of contents
Date: 13 Jan 1992 15:44:07 -0500 From: Chris McDermott <mcdermott at draper.com> Subject: Chiller,alchohol.weight.vs. Chiller,alchohol.weight.vs.voulume I have a question on the best way to use a chiller in extract brewing. I recently built a counter-flow chiller [thanks to Mike Zentner for the plans] and used it for the first time yesterday. This is my procedure: Boil 3 gallons of tap water and run the boiling water through the chiller, with no counterflow, in order to sanitize it. I save the output for later use (yes thanks to the HbD advice I received, I now boil all my water. Thanks.) Do my regular extract boil, this produces about 2.5 gallons of concentrated wort. Run the wort through the chiller to cool it and send the output to an empty, sanitized carboy. Top up the carboy with the now room temp (or there about) water that I had boiled before. Aerate the wort in the carboy and pitch my starter. Rack to a secondary, when fermentation begins to subside (2-4 days). Now, how do the rest of you do it, or what would you recommend that I change? Second question: Do hydrometers indicate potential alchohol content by weight or volume? And is there a way to convert one to the other? Chris McDermott, [homebrew, not just for breakfast anymore] <mcdermott at draper.com> Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 1992 16:28 EST From: Frank Tutzauer <COMFRANK at ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu> Subject: yeast bank questions Well, I've finally purchased one of these yeast bank deals for long term storage of my yeastie boys. The kit came with a bottle of blue liquid called "Freeze Shield" (glycerin?). Anyway, what you do is make a starter, divert some to a small test tube, pour in the Freeze Shield, shake it up, and freeze. So far, so good. But when you're ready to wake up the yeasties, you thaw, and dump it into a new starter. The directions don't say explicitly, but it sure seems like you're supposed to dump the whole thing--Freeze Shield and all-- into the starter wort. Assuming I'm correct, what will this stuff do to my brew???? I don't know much chemistry, but this Freeze Shield junk is not something I would have added on my own. Will it make a difference, or is there some way I'm supposed to separate it from the yeast? Thanks, - --frank  Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 1992 15:18 PDT From: Bob Jones <BJONES at NOVA.llnl.gov> Subject: Mead Nutrients ****************************************************** The following submitted by Micah Millspaw ****************************************************** To Sgt.Iceman : The urine smell/taste in your mead is a result of the yeast nutrient. Don't use the ammonia salt type nutrients for meads. Their use and appearance in recipes is the fault of CP. The smell/taste will go away in a year or so. A excellent yeast nutrient for meads is available (mail order) from Great Fermentations of Santa Rosa in Califorina. Its use will result in much cleaner and faster ferments and better mead that you can drink with out waiting a year. Mortibund Methiglin use some yeast nutrients you may still be able to save your mead. Great Fermentations Santa Rosa, 1 800 544 1867 (and on I don't work for them) A few months ago I posted a large blob of info on mead making methods. If someone wants a copy ask Bob Jones and I will have him E-mail it, or if there is enough interest I can repost it. About radioactive isotopes in brewerys. They use them in a process similar to medical X-rays to check the fill level in cans. Bottles are checked opticaly. This check is required by the BATF for tax reasons, over fill a container and you will be fined in addition to paying the extra tax for the volume of overfill. Mess up a couple million cans and you got trouble. MICAH MILLSPAW 1/10/92  Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 92 17:55:40 EST From: randy at rdr.com Subject: Lots of questions about brewing First I'd like to say thanks to everyone (Stephen Russell, Joshua Grosse, and others) that gave me the excellent information to help me with my first all-grain mash. I haven't actually done it yet (it's hard to find the time) but I feel much better prepared than before. Anyhow I have some more questions. 1) What is a good off the shelf beer to "steal" a good lager yeast from? A local beer shop here in Reston, VA has an excellent (IMHO) selection of fresh beers imported from all over. However, I've heard that some breweries actually filter out their brewing yeast then pitch a special "conditioning yeast" at bottling time, and others that pitch more than one strain of yeast (Sierra Nevada perhaps?). 2) Can someone provide me the phone # and/or address of Zymurgy so's I can get a subscription? 3) About a year ago I acquired one of those old-fashioned Anheiser Bush "Golden Gate" kegs (just to cover myself, I didn't steal it, a friend found it in the attic of a house he bought -- and let me tell you, a few ounces of Budweiser sloshing around an empty keg sitting in an attic for a year or two produces quite a smell when opened :-( ). Anyhow this is one of the older kegs with the wooden "bung" in the side and tap fittings at the top middle and bottom side. This is the very same keg that is pictured in Papaizan's Complete Joy of HB (the first one) in his kegging appendix. ANYHOW (the point at last) I would like to acquire the tap hardware for this keg; this would consist of a pump (for the top hole) and a "picnic style" tap and hose with the corrent connector (for the bottom hole), and am interested in hearing of any suppliers for such hardware. 4) Lastly, I'm looking for a recipe for an all-grain honey/ginger lager. I checked in the cat's meow and didn't find anything I liked. Anyone? Thanks in advance! Randy Tidd randy at rdr.com (BTW I did get this mail address fixed). Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 92 18:32:24 CST From: Darren Evans-Young <DARREN at UA1VM.UA.EDU> Subject: Redistribution of HBD I'd like to remind HBDers that they can subscribe to HB via the BEER-L list at UA1VM. Simply send an interactive message: TELL LISTSERV AT UA1VM SUBSCRIBE BEER-L Firstname Lastname or send mail with a body of: SUBSCRIBE BEER-L Firstname Lastname dont include signature with the mail method. There are currently 170 subscribers of HBD through BEER-L at UA1VM. Darren Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 92 21:24:16 -0600 (CST) From: Brian Capouch <brianc at zeta.saintjoe.EDU> Subject: Carbonating in SS Kegs I've come into a number of old SS beverage kegs that I'd like to use to store homebrew from my new (and soon to be tested) 1.5 bbl brewhouse. I'd like to do a survey of what those of you out there who've done it consider to be the best method of carbonating beer in such kegs. I've been told that it's impossible to carbonate in these kegs properly without a stone in the bottom, and I've been told that it's easy to carbonate in them without even shaking them. I don't know who to believe, so I'm asking this group. Thanks Brian Capouch Saint Joseph's College for Children brianc at saintjoe.edu Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #801, 01/14/92