HOMEBREW Digest #104 Sat 18 March 1989

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Plastics in Brewing (Steve Anthony)
  chill haze, yeast storage, spleen venting ("1107-CD&I/VIRUS DISEASES")
  Faulty email links (mhalley)
  Crystal Malt (Algis R Korzonas +1 312 979 8583)
  re: finings (Darryl Richman)
  Finings (Andy Newman)
  Readership Survey (lbr)
  Two Stage Fermentations (mailrus!ulowell!cg-atla!ima!wang7!gpk)

Send submissions to homebrew%hpfcmr at hplabs.hp.com Send requests to homebrew-request%hpfcmr at hplabs.hp.com
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 17 Mar 89 09:41:03 EST From: Steve Anthony <steveo at Think.COM> Subject: Plastics in Brewing Date: Fri, 17 Mar 89 03:00:04 est From: homebrew-request%hpfcmr at hp-sde.sde.hp.com (Are you SURE you want to send it HERE?) Apparently-To: realhomebrew%hpfcmr at hp-sde.sde.hp.com Date: Thu, 16 Mar 89 18:14 EST From: Mike Fertsch <hplabs!uiucdcs!meccad.RAY.COM!FERTSCH> Subject: Brewing in Plastic There has been some discussion recently regarding brewing in plastic water-bottle carboys. I've heard that these plastic carboys contain potentially toxic compounds (plastisizers and other nasty chemicals) which can be released into fermenting beer. Apparently the acidity and the alcohol in the wort cause the nasties to be released. The carboys are FDA approved for water only - presumably water does not cause the plastic to release solvents. The water-bottles here at work clearly state "Not to be refilled with any other liquids - NSF approved for water only". I believe that the FDA has what's called a Food-Service grade plastic; ie, a plastic that is approved for storing foods in. They're not suppose to leach any of the nasty chemicals into the food, although we'll probably find out different in a few years! My brewing process is the veritable two stage process. The first is in one of the 7 gallon food grade plastic buckets and after the fermentation activity subsides, I rack to a glass carboy for the remainer of the fermentation. I suppose that the entire fermentation can be done in a food grade bucket with no adverse effects, but there are doubtless other opinions. I'm not sure if the release of solvents into beer is a real effect, or if these stories are just a way the water companies try to reduce bottle losses. I'd play it safe, and not use them for fermenting beer. If I did use them for beer, I'd stick to low-alcohol batches, not the Barley Wines. I would think that the acidic content would be more critical than the alcoholic content, but I'm no chemist! Return to table of contents
Date: 17 Mar 89 10:14:00 EST From: "1107-CD&I/VIRUS DISEASES" <henchal at wrair.ARPA> Subject: chill haze, yeast storage, spleen venting Andy Newman writes the following: "It usually seems clear until I hold it up next to a bottle of commercial ale at which point it becomes apparent that it is still somewhat dull colored. It never gets any clearer than that. Worse yet, when I chill the beer, it devlops a very decided chill haze." I, too, have experimented with different finings, and found that irish moss added to the end of the boil did the best to resolve much of my chill haze and other clarity problems. However, I agree that homebrewed beer never looks as clear as the factory beer. I am sure the reason is that the commercial brewers use sophisticated centrifugation methods and filter their beer. I have heard that homebrewed beer can be filtered using diatomaceous earth (there have been ads in Zymurgy for diatomaceous earth filters, I think). Also, there are filtering devices made for the wine maker that are pretty simple to use, but I have never heard of these devices being used for beer. I prefer not to use them, but there are a variety of proteases available that can break down soluble proteins (has anyone tried to use the meat tenderizer products to remove proteins, it seems possible, but I wouldn't want them in my beer.) Recently, there was an inquiry about freeze guard. Generally available reagents available include DMSO and glycerol (glycerine). DMSO is available from many sources as a "health care item". Its sale is restricted in some states. It can be used at a final concentration of 7.5 to 10%. Personnally, I don't like DMSO because of the smell and it is not an entirely safe chemical. Glycerine (glycerol) can be purchased from your local pharmacy. Buy the USP grade. You should sanitize glycerol (in a boiling water bath for 20-30 minutes) or sterilize (in a pressure cooker for 15 minutes) it before use. It can be used effectively at a final concentration of 10-20%. A suggested method is to grow a five milliliter (ml) culture of yeast to its peak activity and then add 1 ml of glycerol. The culture then should be placed immediately into the freezer. When you are ready to make a starter culture, thaw the 5 ml culture quickly and add it to 25 to 50 ml (or about 1/8 to 1/4 cup) of wort. When this is fermenting strongly transfer to 1 pint to 1 qt of wort. Continue culturing the yeast until you have sufficient amounts for a strong fermentation (1 qt for ales, 2 qts for lagers). I received the registration information for the AHA conference in June. I was a little taken back by the registration fee of $240 for members and $290 for non-members. Do others find this registration fee a little high? I think that the AHA should find a way to subsidize the conference fo that the fee is under $100 at least so that more can afford to attend the meetings. By the way, Charlie Papazian and the AHA apparently are going to be available through a SIG on Compuserve soon. I wish that they were simply tied into BITNET to participate in this forum which is obviously more active. Erik A. Henchal <WRAIR.ARPA> Return to table of contents
Date: 17 Mar 89 12:50 -0330 From: <mhalley%MUN.BITNET at CORNELLC.ccs.cornell.edu> Subject: Faulty email links Sorry for this, fellas, but Darryl has a point. I am on bitnet, using a university mainframe terminal. Although I can reach the network address MOST of the time, there are many of your home or commercial addresses which DO NOT link. This is true of ATJ at MIRROR, who wrote to me successfully. I haven't been able to answer him -- just get the mail back as "undeliverable". I now say to him -- Yes, will be in Mass.; watch for departure message and send me surface coordinates, as Darryl did. If I can't email you, I can send a postcard, yes? I'm thrilled that so many of you want to meet and hash over brewing experiences. Will plan to connect with as many as possible. May not always be possible to connect with meeting times, but will do bestest. Keep cool (or at least room temperature) and I'll talk at you later. Cheers, Batte Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 89 10:49:36 CST From: hplabs!uiucdcs!iwtsf!korz (Algis R Korzonas +1 312 979 8583) Subject: Crystal Malt Re: Jim McCrae's question about specialty grains in extract brewing Crystal Malt is almost completely carmelized (fermentable) sugar, so I don't believe that mashing it would be of any use. Roasted grains (roasted barley, chocolate malt, black patent, etc.) probably have had their enzymes killed via the roasting process, so again, I don't believe that mashing would do anything to them unless (this is a guess, so correct me if I'm wrong) you added some enzymes by using something like DMS in your mash. I have not tried mashing yet, but intend to as soon as I have the space and equipment (lauter tun, wort chiller, BIG brewpot, etc.). Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 89 09:01:49 PST From: Darryl Richman <darryl at ism780c.isc.com> Subject: re: finings From: Andy Newman <NEWMAN at Venus.YCC.Yale.Edu> Subject: Finings "The lighter beers are going to force me to come to grips with an "ongoing problem I've been having trying to get my beers (almost "exclusivly English-style ales) to clear. " [...] Within "one to two weeks, the beer will have cleared ALMOST entirely of "yeast matter. It usually seems clear until I hold it up next to a "bottle of commercial ale at which point it becomes apparent that it "is still somewhat dull colored. It never gets any clearer than that. "Worse yet, when I chill the beer, it devlops a very decided chill "haze. Do you use adjunct grains? Do you take care not to boil them? If you don't you'll extract tanins that, together with the protiens in the extract, will form chill haze. Another way to reduce the comibination is to boil longer and wait until after the "hot break" before adding hops. This causes much of the larger protiens to agglomerate and fall out of solution. Do your best to leave this trub behind when you rack into your primary, and from primary into secondary (this stuff is good food for a variety of spoilage organisms). You probably can't match filtered beer for clarity, but then filtered beer can't match homebrew for body. --Darryl Richman Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 89 09:53:17 PST From: Darryl Richman <darryl at ism780c.isc.com> From: unet!mccrae!jimmc at Sun.COM (Jim McCrae) "My current brewing practice is confined to reasonably "sophisticated extracts. I use a lot of crystal malt, because "I really like the results. I usually add the grain along with or "shortly before the finishing hops, and occasionally I steep "them without letting them come to a boil. You should try not to boil grain. It extracts tanins from the grain husks that will make your beer astringent. It can also add to chill haze because the haze is made from the combination of tanins and protiens. If you don't want to bother with a temperature controlled mash, put the grain in your water and strain it out before you reach boiling. But really, tanins begin to extract from the husks above about 175F. "My question is: does the added grain in fact go through a "limited mashing process in the wort? I'm talking about careful "addition, pre-boil or at the very end, not boiled to excess. "If this is the case, I may talk myself into trying all-grain soon. If you don't boil the grain, and if you are using grains with some enzymatic abilities (crystal has none; it's already been mashed for you by the maltster), then, yes, you are mashing. The whole point of mashing is to get the diastatic enzymes in the grain to convert the grain starches into sugars. This happens at about 148-160F. If you aren't at this temperature for a while, you aren't mashing. When you do all grain, there is enough thermal mass that you can add the grain to hot water such that it comes to equilibrium in the range and will hold the temperature for an hour with no problems. (I mash 15 gallons worth of beer, and I just set it and forget it.) The most fuss with all grain is lautering the mash afterwards. You need to have a lot of hot water available and some means of straining 10lbs. of grain. This isn't a problem if you're prepared, but a collander is not going to cut it. There are lots of different solutions to the problem; just look through any reasonable homebrewing book. --Darryl Richman Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 89 19:41:10 EST From: lbr at gatech.edu Subject: Readership Survey In issue 100 Darryl Richman <darryl at ism780c.isc.com> writes: > I'd be interested to know who on this net is qualified by more than a > bit of experience. My personal claims are 4 years of brewing. I do > try to read each book that comes down the pike, including "The Practical > Brewer," which is a bit thick literally and figuratively; but as to > formal claims, I have none. (It took me 12.5 years to get my bachelors > in CS!).... It took me four years not to get my PhD in CS. (I did get a consolation MS.) I've been brewing since 1980, but only for four years. After I moved to Atlanta I didn't have the space or time for a few years. Has anyone done a readership survey for this newsletter? I'd be interested in knowing something like the following: 1) How long have you brewed? 2) Are you an AHA member? 3) Grain, extract, or extract with added grain? 4) Major reference materials (books, etc.) used. 5) How much do you brew? More come to mind: keg or bottle, refrigeration, liquid yeast, whole or pellets, sparging method (if applicable).... I'd be willing to collect and tally the data. Don't send me e-mail, yet, though. We'd need to decide on the questions and on a standard format. (I'd prefer not to have to tabulate the answers by hand.) Len Reed gatech!holos0!lbr Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 89 15:58:27 EST From: hplabs!mailrus!ulowell!cg-atla!ima!wang7!gpk Subject: Two Stage Fermentations I have been receiving the HBR for a while now, and I enjoy it very much. I've gotten lots of useful information from all of you. I am a relatively new brewer, currently aging my seventh batch. I have brewed batches with extract only, extract and specialty grains, and recently, combination extract and mashing as described in TCJoHB. I am pleased with the results of the combination extract-mashing brews, so I am now considering going on to try all-grain brewing. I have noticed that there is a lot more trub that settles to the bottom of the fermenter (5 gallon glass carboy) within a few hours when I use combination extract-mashing than when I do all extract brewing, g. I was wondering if I should move to a two-stage fermentation when doing all-grain brewing, or even with extract-grain brewing. I use a single stage fermentation method, with a blow-by tube for the first couple of days, and a fermentation lock for the remainder of the fermentation. My cellar stays between 60-65 degrees during the winter, and t my fermentations take from 10-16 days to finish. Usually the wort sits in the fermenter for two weeks, at which point I bottle it. I would like some opinions as to whether I should try a two stage fermentation, siphoning to the secondary fermenter after the first couple of days of fermentation, or if I should stick to what I am doing. With two-stage fermentation, there is an increased risk of contamination during the siphoning. However, is it bad for the wort to sit in the primary fermenter with the trub and the settled yeast for two weeks? I have recently seen Beer and Wine Hobby mentioned, and I would just like to put in my two cents worth and say that I do all my business with them, and have been very pleased. I always receive my orders within three business days after mailing it. They also seem to have a good selection. Thanks in advance for your help. Greg Khederian Wang Labs - Lowell, MA Return to table of contents
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