HOMEBREW Digest #1053 Tue 12 January 1993

Digest #1052 Digest #1054

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  sparging (Brian Bliss)
  Pilsener head (CHUCKM)
  COPS again (Russ Gelinas)
  re:kettle mashing pt 3 (Jim Busch)
  Lab Grade vs. Food Grade (Jon Binkley)
  RE: sparge water temp, precrushed grain (James Dipalma)
  Cold Plates (Rick Myers)
  Re: Our image as brewers (Jeff Benjamin)
  flame off, OK? (Mark Lundquist)
  Plasticizers (Bruce Mueller)
  Carbonation, Yield, Fillers (Jack Schmidling)
  Re: Cops! (Nick Zentena)
  Breweries in Jamaica??? (William Seliger)
  Belgian Malts (korz)
  RE:Charcoal Water Filters (CompuCom) <v-ccsl at microsoft.com>
  hose couplers (Mark Lundquist)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 11 Jan 93 04:07:49 CST From: bliss at csrd.uiuc.edu (Brian Bliss) Subject: sparging > The chemistry professor asked why the homebrew professor didn't totaly >drain the mash tun before adding any sparge water. She said that we would get >the best possible extraction rate if we followed this "two-part' sparge. There >was no definitave answer presented so I made my offer to post to this group. Unfortunately, when the liquid is drained entirely from the grains, gravity compacts the grain bed, leading to stuck sparges. Keeping the water leve above the grain bed helps keep the grain bed loose, and facilitates the circulation of sparge water while preserving the filtering properties of an undisturbed grain bed. Indeed, Some brewers sparge this way (Pierre Roujette (sp?) for one, if you've read his book.) Now that my Zapap lauter is on its final leg, I just may adopt the method if it works well with the picinic cooler/slotted copper pipe manifold style lauter which will replace it (apparrently, such a sparge system is less prone to "sticking" than a Zapap lauter) bb Return to table of contents
Date: 11 Jan 93 08:10:59 EST From: CHUCKM at PBN73.Prime.COM Subject: Pilsener head Hello everyone, Having just talked with a Polish friend of mine who has frequented Pilzn (and U Fleku) many times.... We were talking about the thick head the pilseners have. M. Jacksons video (beer hunter) shows this and he actually floats a coin on the head. My friend attests to this as he has actually done it. My question is..... Has anyone out there been able to brew a pilsener with such a dense head. I have read Miller's book on pilsener, but I don't remember it discussing this point very much. Any feedback will be welcome. Thanks in advance, chuckm Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1993 10:23:19 -0500 (EST) From: R_GELINAS at UNHH.UNH.EDU (Russ Gelinas) Subject: COPS again Well, which address is correct wrt. the COPS program? Is it STF productions or Barbour/Langley productions? As someone mentioned, there's more to a still than copper tubing, and homebrewing chillers always have one end that has a faucet attachment. I picture the tubing on a still as being used in a different manner. And, the people who watch shows like COPS are *exactly* the ones who need to be educated. We might have bumped into an iceberg here folks.... Russ G. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 93 10:35:12 EST From: Jim Busch <busch at daacdev1.stx.com> Subject: re:kettle mashing pt 3 In the last digest: <From: arf at ddsw1.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) <Subject: KETTLE MASHING <Add half of your hops as soon as boiling begins. Save one <forth for the end and the remainder at regular intervals <during the boil. This is not recommended for infusion mashing. The wort should be boiled a minimum of 30 minutes prior to the first hopping. This is due to the need to break down and make floc large proteins that carry over into the kettle. After the 20-30 minutes of boiling, there will be large amounts of flocs that can be skimmed off the top. Then add the first hops for a minimum boil of 60 minutes, adding finishing hop as desired. If you hop immeadiately upon boiling you will quickly coat the hops surface with the proteins thereby considerably reducing the hop efficiency. If you dont care about efficiency, I guess it doesnt matter as long as you account for the reduced efficiency. 1.5 oz of chinook is a lot of hops so I guess this works for Jack. Also, if you are adding hops at 30 min. to end of boil, these will contribute significantly to the overall IBUs, so this should be taken into account. Jim Busch Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 93 08:35:48 -0700 From: Jon Binkley <binkley at beagle.Colorado.EDU> Subject: Lab Grade vs. Food Grade I agree with Lou Casagrande that the Lab Grade plasticware will probably be okay to use for brewing. However, this does not apply for chemicals or additives. Use Food Grade or USP (pharmaceutical) Grade chemicals ONLY!! Other grades of chemicals, e.g. reagent grade, contain significant (read above EPA and FDA limits) of various nasties such as lead and arsenic. So stick to food grade, at least for additives. Jon Binkley Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 93 10:41:58 EST From: dipalma at banshee.sw.stratus.com (James Dipalma) Subject: RE: sparge water temp, precrushed grain Hi All, In HBD #1052, Mike Tavis writes: >I said, "I never take that temperature. I just make sure that the >sparge water is about 168-170." >So what do you guys think? Should my sparge water temperature depend >on the size of my grain bed or do I need to go back to the drawing >board? IMHO, maintaining the temperature of the sparge water at 165F-170F is less important than maintaining the temperature at the surface of the grain bed at that level. Many brewers use some means of diffusing sparge water as it's added to the lauter tun. I use a Zapap system with a collander sitting on top to diffuse the sparge water I add, which then falls 2-3 inches before striking the surface of the liquid covering the grain bed. It has been well reported in this forum that water that is diffused then passed through air in this manner cools rapidly. I sparge with water at ~190F, the temperature at the surface of the grain bed is ~165F, the temperature of the runoff ~150F, and these numbers are consistent with grain bills that vary between 9-13 pounds of grain. Your mileage may vary Mike, but try heating your sparge water enough to get the grain bed to 165F-170F. ******************************************************* Also in HBD #1052, John Rogers writes: >I would like to start mashing. I also would like to save >some money and buy the grain in bulk (55 pound sack). Since I do >not own a grinder I would be interested in information on storing >crushed grain. >What is the shelf life of crushed malt? (i.e what age / >storage conditions will affect mash results, flavor or any other >important characteristics? I wouldn't recommend this at all. Once malt has been crushed, it deteriorates quickly. There was a post on r.c.b a while back, wherein someone related a conversation with the headbrewer from a well known microbrewery. This headbrewer stated that if it was necessary to grind the malt at night before adding it to the mash tun the next morning, he increased the amount of the base malt in the grain bill by 10%. This was done to compensate for the extraction lost by the grain sitting around pre-crushed *overnight*. >Does the benefit of crushing your own grain outweigh the >possible negative affect of pulverizing (rather than grinding) >the grain by using a "non-optimized" home crusher? Yes! It's very important to get the crush right! Grinding it too coarse results in low extraction, grinding it too fine (and thus pulverizing the husks, which sounds like what you're planning to do) results in poor filtering and a hazy finished product. Consider buying a mill. Whatever money you spend, you'll eventually recover it in the savings from bulk grain purchases. I buy 55 pound sacks, and the cost per pound is less than half of the cost of a pound of pre-crushed grain. By the second sack, I'd already saved more than what my mill cost. Cheers, Jim Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 93 9:02:35 MST From: Rick Myers <rcm at col.hp.com> Subject: Cold Plates > Superior Products at (800)328 9800 carries the cold plates. A single > product plate costs $37. I can not yet comment on how they work since > mine hasn't arrived yet, but I'll be able to do so in a week or two. I picked one up at a local auction, along with a 10lb CO2 tank, a stainless bar sink, 3-3gal. Cornelius kegs, the faucet a bar dispenses soda/liquor/water out of (lighted, with solenoid box and hoses), and some other goodies - all for 50 bucks!!! I haven't used the cold plate yet, as I haven't found a need, but I plan on keeping it handy. Moral: Homebrewers, check your local auctions regularly for this kind of stuff! > I've already got the spare fridge, but I can't ferment ales and keep > kegs at drinking temp at the same time so I decided to go ahead and > get the plate for use when the fridge is being used for fermenting. I'm just going to get another fridge, instead of using the plate, so I will have one fridge for serving, one for fermenting, and one in the kitchen for food! - -- Rick Myers rcm at col.hp.com Information Technology Specialist Hewlett-Packard Network Test Division Colorado Springs, CO Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 93 9:54:40 MST From: Jeff Benjamin <benji at hpfcbug.fc.hp.com> Subject: Re: Our image as brewers mark at verdix.com writes: >Folks, I am concerned about the image that we project to new readers >of r.c.b and the Digest. > >Yes, I'm talking about the fact that two of the regular posters to >these forums have the usernames "gak" and "arf". Are these the words >that we want others to associate with homebrewing and homebrewed beer? Mark certainly is right, this isn't good. But there are so many other homebrewing words with *good* connotations, like "sparge" and "counterflow wort chiller". In fact, I've had this idea for a while to write a sort of "call to homebrewing": Be a homebrewer! Learn the secrets of good head. Rack off as often as you like without being embarrased. Be able to say words like "sparge" and "fuggles" with a straight face. Amaze your friends and inebriate your enemies (or the other way around) ... If that appeal doesn't attract new brewers, I don't know what will. - -- Jeff Benjamin benji at hpfcla.fc.hp.com Hewlett Packard Co. Fort Collins, Colorado "Midnight shakes the memory as a madman shakes a dead geranium." - T.S. Eliot Return to table of contents
Date: 11 Jan 93 17:57:01 GMT From: mark at verdix.com (Mark Lundquist) Subject: flame off, OK? Yesterday I posted an article about the unappealing sounds of the names "arf" and "gak". If you have read that article and are getting ready to send me some flamage over it, please stop right now and read this carefully: IT...WAS...A...JOKE !!! I've gotten a couple of flames already -- incidentally none from gak or js (a.k.a "arf", I know what it stands for, thank you kindly). I take full responsibility, I should have included at least one ":-)" for those who forgot to take their humor pill. Clearly, the humor wasn't as obvious as I intended, and some people actually thought I was serious, and took me to the woodshed for being uptight about other people's usernames. I just though we could use a little injection of humor, that's all. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 93 11:05:57 PST From: Bruce Mueller <mueller at sdd.hp.com> Subject: Plasticizers Lou Casagrande was concerned about lab grade plastics for brewing. Three issues he was concerned with were: >by absorbing carbon dioxide ... >leaching of "plasticizers" >DO NOT use the jug for a keg or for anything that becomes pressurized. I am a chemist and agree 100% with the first, especially in regards to HDPE. This plastic is notorious for its permeability to CO2. However, I do not agree with the second or third. In the second case, Lou went on to say that all plastics contain plasticizers. Not true. And in the case of lab grade plastics, plasticizer migration is unacceptable. From a safety standpoint, a few years ago Nalgene (a big manu- facturer of lab plastics) had a problem with bottles cracking after long-term exposure to certain chemicals. I believe that the plasticizer they had used migrated out (either into the solution or the surrounding air), stiffening the bottle. They recalled these bottles. Well, reformulation must have occurred to alleviate this. If a plasticizer is still used, it must be much less likely to migrate. Thus, unless used for long-term storage, virtually none will be leached out. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if washed well in hot, detergent-laden water before use (a good practice anyways to remove any mold release from the outside, easing labeling), even long-term (e.g. 3 months) storage should not be a problem. In this case, I would wash between each long-term period to remove any plasticizer which can migrate from the inside surface of the bottle. Third, these bottles tend to hold pressure reasonably well. I have used them numerous times to ship stuff which will go in an aircraft's hold, which is not well pressurized. They don't leak! Now, at higher pressures (20 psi?) the worst which would happen would likely be a slow leak at the cap (and some through the walls--remember the CO2 permeability), not the catastrophic case Lou predicts. Yes, I would definitely place the pressurized container where catastrophic failure would not be disastrous in other ways just to be safe. I'll step down from the soap box now. Bruce Mueller Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 93 10:20 CST From: arf at ddsw1.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) Subject: Carbonation, Yield, Fillers >From: mcnally at wsl.dec.com >Many HBD's ago, Jack S. described a wonderful-sounding contraption called a "cold plate", I think. I have the impression that the thing is some sort of in-line rapid-chilling device that chills beer from a room-temperature pressurized keg on the way to the glass. Is that correct? Right on! >If so, can these things be bought for not much money (i.e., less than the cost of a spare fridge to keep the kegs in)? They start at $37 for a single product unit and are available with up to four pathways for dispensing 4 different products simultaneously. They are available from Superior Products. Call (800) 328 9800 for catalog or to place an order. They really are the Cat's Meow. >From: bliss at csrd.uiuc.edu (Brian Bliss) >First of all, you need to get the beer cold before you agitate it, That is good advice in general but I would not want to have those without fridges to think that it is absolutely necessary. Because I use the above cold plate for dispensing and counter-pressure bottling, I do not ever refrigerate my kegs. I force carbonate at room temperature which ranges from near 80F in Summer to as low as 55F in Winter. I use the same procedure regardless of the temperature. I start at 50 lbs and gradually reduce the pressure to around 25 lbs after the initial rush while shaking. I lower the pressure each time the drop in pressure slows down while shaking. With the cold plate, the pressure can be left at 25 lbs for normal foam free dispensing. The very narrow SS tubing in the cold plate simulates a very long feed line so there is a substantial pressure differential from keg to tap. You can dispense at just about any pressure as long as the keg is given enough time to equillibrate. Unlike most systems, foam is usually cured by INCREASING the pressure and the post chilling is death on foam. >From: mtavis at gemini.hyperdesk.com (Mike Tavis) > I've been very happy with the results so far, but I have noticed a disturbing trend -- my extract rates are plummeting with each batch...After many different discussions, one of my brewing buddies asked, "Has the temperature of the wort coming out of the lauter tun been the same?" >I said, "I never take that temperature. I just make sure that the sparge water is about 168-170." I think your friend may have a clue and most brewers seem to be contented if the temp of the sparge water on target. I have written many times on the importance of knowing what the mash temperature actually is an not relying on the temp of the sparge water. I find that even with boiling water going in at the top, the average temperature of the mash is around 150F. This assumes that you maintain an inch or so of water over the top of the grain bed. Take a thermomenter and poke it around. I guarantee you will become a believer. Assuming that you had complete conversion according to an iodine test before you started sparging, the fact that the yield was a function of grain quantity would indicate inefficient sparging and temp is one place to look. The other would be in the method of sparging. Make sure to maintain at least an inch of water over the grain and stir or "cut" the mash several times during the process. Use a long knife to cut through it radially and circumferentially while trying not to disturb the area near the false bottom or screen. I stir the mash thoroughly after all the sparge water is in and let it settle again for a last run. The gravity of this last run is 10 to 20 points above what was coming out befor stiring. >From: lager!wtm at hellgate.utah.edu (Tom McCollough) > I am in the market for a counter-pressure bottle filler. Before constructing my own, as it seems many HBDers have done, I would like to find out about commercially available fillers. In my experience, it seems that all the producers use a single probe for CO2 and beer. I am not sure how this can work but I guess it does. The one I made has a two hole stopper with separate gas and beer lines. One goes to the bottom and the other ends at the stopper. Nothing goes out the gas line till the bottle is completely full. Perhaps someone can explain how the single probe filler works and why people insist on making them that way. >From: mark at verdix.com >Yes, I'm talking about the fact that two of the regular posters to these forums have the usernames "gak" and "arf". Are these the words that we want others to associate with homebrewing and homebrewed beer? I am sure you will agree that they aren't very appealing. "Hey, would you like to try some of my homebrew?..." "Gak!! Arf!" Surely, you jest? Probably not. Well, be comforted by the fact that things could be worse. ARF stands for the Amateur Radio Forum and was at one point in my life, more important than home brewing. Your comfort should come from the fact that there is also a Better Amateur Radio Forum out there and the host of BARF is not interested in homebrewing. js Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1993 16:12:49 -0500 From: Nick Zentena <zen%hophead at canrem.com> Subject: Re: Cops! Personally I'd rather have a list of the sponsers of "COPS" I think a letter to the sponsers with the suggestion of a boycott or an actual boycott of thier products would have a greater effect. You would also figure that the various homebrew suppliers in the US would also be interested in clearing this up. Nick ***************************************************************************** I drink Beer I don't collect cute bottles! zen%hophead at canrem.com ***************************************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 93 15:58 CST From: wseliger at chinet.chi.il.us (William Seliger) Subject: Breweries in Jamaica??? Does anyone know of any Breweries in Jamaica??? I will be flying into Montego Bay and staying in Runaway Bay, but might be tempted to travel to Kingston to visit a brewery. Thanks in advance, Bill Seliger wseliger at chinet.chi.il.us W 1(708)640-2718 H 1(312)907-9686 Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 93 17:09 CST From: korz at iepubj.att.com Subject: Belgian Malts Chris writes (in his description of his 1-gallon test batches): > Recipe 3 Recipe 4 Recipe 5 > -------- -------- -------- >Belgian Pale Malt 2 # 1.5 # 1.5 # >Belgian Caravienne 1 # >Belgian Aromatic 1 # >Cascades (boil) 1/8 oz 1/8 oz 1/8 oz >Cascades (aroma) ~1/16 oz ~1/16 oz ~1/16 oz >Irish Moss ~1/4 tsp ~1/4 tsp ~1/4 tsp I'd just like to point out that Recipe 4 equates to a 5-gallon batch with 5 lbs of crystal malt in it. The DeWolf-Cosyns Belgian malts that begin with "Cara" are caramel or crystal malts. In general the DeWolf-Cosyns malts fall into four categories (I'm not sure, however, who created these categories). The comments are based upon comments provided by DeWolf-Cosyns and the degrees Lovibond are the actual results of the first test of the malts (also provided by DW-C). Although I don't think that they said anything about it, I assume that if Aromatic (at 25.7L) will convert itself (i.e. can be mashed alone), then surely their Munich should also. Note that Roasted Malt is basically Black Patent. BASE MALTS deg L comment Pilsner 1.83 Pale Malt 3.21 Wheat 1.75 COLOR MALTS Munich 7.83 Aromatic 25.7 will convert itself CRYSTAL MALTS Cara-Pils 7.87 Cara-Munich 21.65 Cara-Vienne 77.5 Special B 221 ROASTED MALTS Biscuit 22.5 probably not-enzymatic, i.e. won't convert itself Chocolate 497.5 Roasted Barley 557.5 Roasted Malt 601 Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 93 14:37:28 PST From: Scott Lord (CompuCom) <v-ccsl at microsoft.com> Subject: RE:Charcoal Water Filters >Date: Wed, 6 Jan 93 8:32:16 EST >From: Jim Grady <jimg at hpwarga.wal.hp.com> >Subject: Charcoal Water Filters IN HBD #1050 Jim Grady was concern with activated Charcoal having too much bacteria. >Back in HBD #1040 (24 Dec. - I just caught up from the holidays!) Darryl >Richman says: >> There is no need to boil all your water before you brew. If your water >> comes with a lot of chlorine, an activated charcoal filter will remove >> it. You need only boil and decant your water if you have a lot of > and my backyard neighbor (who sells filters & such to >industry) active charcoal filters are _great_ breeding grounds for >bacteria. In addition to collecting all sorts of organics for them to >munch on, the media itself promotes growth. What you need to look for when purchasing a active charcoal filter is to see if it bacteriastatic witch means that the filter will inhibit the growth of bacteria. this is done by impregnating the active charcoal with silver oxide .This will kill all bacteria that try's to live in the filter. Return to table of contents
Date: 12 Jan 93 02:49:08 GMT From: mark at verdix.com (Mark Lundquist) Subject: hose couplers I have an idea. Have you seen these quick-disconnect gadgets for hose connectors? I think you can find them in the garden department. Anyway, you can install them on your sprinklers, spray nozzle, hose bib, &c. Each coupler has a threaded male and female half which fit together with an O-ring seal. From then on you just snap on, snap off. When I get a few extra bucks, I'm going to pick a few up and install them on my faucet adaptor, bottle/carboy washer and wort chiller. Then I can just snap and unsnap things instead of screwing and unscrewing. It seems like I'm always screwing my bottle washer on for something and then realizing I need water, or something else like that. You could also get one of those Y-connector things with a valve on either arm -- then you could always draw water even if something is hooked up to the faucet. Another possibility would be to get one of those kitchen spray nozzles on the end of a length of vinyl hose. That might come in handy. - --mark Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1053, 01/12/93