HOMEBREW Digest #1056 Fri 15 January 1993

Digest #1055 Digest #1057

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Re: Diminishing Yields (Joseph Nathan Hall)
  re:enzymes in pale malt (Jim Busch)
  lab vs food grade, Krausening, and The Brews Paper (Ulick Stafford)
  Homebrew supplies in the Midwest... (Michael  Gerard)
  HDPE and Lab Chemicals (Bruce Mueller)
  decoction mashing (Roy Styan)
  The Dangers of a High Temp Sparge (korz)
  RE: Mead Questions (Hardy M. Cook)
  Cold plates, Mash tuns (Arthur Evans)
  skimming ("Knight,Jonathan G")
  Pete's Wicked Ale (Leo Woessner)
  COPS and Civil Forfeiture (Richard Stueven)
  Cold Plates (Jack Schmidling)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 13 Jan 93 20:43:48 EDT From: joseph at joebloe.maple-shade.nj.us (Joseph Nathan Hall) Subject: Re: Diminishing Yields CR says (Jack says): ) I find that even with boiling water going in ) >at the top, the average temperature of the mash is around 150F. ) ) Some years back, I began measuring temperature profiles thru the mash while ) sparging. Like Jack, I found that my water had to be much hotter than 168 to ) get the mash up to that temp. This makes sense for at least two reasons : ) [etc.] I doubt that it makes much difference what the temperature of the mash during sparging is so long as it is relatively hot and <165-170F. If it's <168F, sparge slower. The sugar *will* diffuse out, no matter what the temperature is. ) [etc.] ) 1) Losses in the system, especially if your sparge water is sprayed over the ) grain bed. This is easily avoided if you have a cover over the bed. I have a Zapap-type setup and have a perforated lid on my inner bucket. Usually the stuff coming out of my sparging setup is pitifully cold (140-155F) but I get yields in the 30-33 points/lb range for barley malts, so it can't be hurting me. Not much, anyway! ) As Jack pointed out, getting around the first factor is pretty simple : raise ) the temp of your sparge water. Getting around the second problem is more of a ) hassle. You would sparge with more water, and collect more (weaker) wort. ) Then boil the *%$# out of it to reduce the volume. [...] Old British Beers suggests collecting wort until the gravity has fallen to 15 points below the target gravity (i.e., 1.085 for a beer that is to be pitched at 1.100), then, if you want, boiling whatever you collect afterward separately until it reaches 15 points below. I have no evidence to support my belief, but I think this should reduce carmelization and color changing effects. ================O Fortuna, velut Luna, statu variabilis================ uunet!joebloe!joseph (609) 273-8200 day joseph%joebloe at uunet.uu.net 2102 Ryan's Run East Rt 38 & 41 Maple Shade NJ 08052 Copyright 1992 by Joseph N. Hall. Permission granted to copy and redistribute freely over USENET and by email. Commercial use prohibited. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 93 9:12:23 EST From: Jim Busch <busch at daacdev1.stx.com> Subject: re:enzymes in pale malt In the last digest Jeff wrote: <Date: Wed, 13 Jan 93 13:03:05 MST <From: Jeff Benjamin <benji at hpfcbug.fc.hp.com> <Subject: Re: Diminishing yields <Also, make sure your later grain bills didn't include disproportionately <high percentages of specialty malts like Munich or crystal. If you <don't have enough pale malt, you won't get enough enzymatic activity to <get a full conversion. (Try the iodine test next time if you're not <sure -- a drop of iodine in a bit of mash liquid will turn purple/black <if there are still unconverted starches. In general, this is not true. Domestic malts will contain more enzyme potential than you could ever use. Even modern continental malts will have enough enzymes for just about any all malt beer. The use of Munich and crystal malts in just about any reasonable percentage will work fine. I believe low yields are primarily related to methods of mashing and lautering. All other variables being the same, if your extract goes down when your grain bill goes up, check the lauter tun. When I was using the Zapap method, there was a breakeven point where more malt yielded the same extract. I blame this on the compaction and loss of efficient lautering due to higher grain mass. I have a friend who uses the (IMHO) poorly designed Phils lauter tun and he has the exact same problem with compaction yielding lower extract efficiency. My complaint with the Phils system is that the tube from the false botom has to rise up out of the false bottom to then exit the bucket. This can lead to a problem with an air bubble forming inside the tube. I have seen extremely slow runoffs that I think are due to this design. Of course, anyone can correct this (and see if Im right!) by simply drilling a hole in the bottom and plugging up the normal tube outlet. Jim Busch Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 93 10:06:09 EST From: Ulick Stafford <ulick at bernini.helios.nd.edu> Subject: lab vs food grade, Krausening, and The Brews Paper Jon Binkley responded to my article with a number of inaccuracies and an arrogant attitude. I thought that the idea of this forum was to pass brewing information of use to brewers, rather than passing old myths, like that lab grade (ACS grade) chemicals will kill you quicker than 5 ml of sodium penthathol (or whatever). Myth 1. Food grade chemicals (Codex) are purer than lab chemicals -NOT. ACS grade is the highest grade that can be obtained resonably, unless it's not good enough and ACS will set a higher standard for manufacuturers to aim at. ACS standards are improved as technical feasibility of production improves. Food grade is that which satisfies certain health standards for toxins. For instance, I listed certain parameters for lab and food phosphoric acid. Both have the same heavy metals as lead requirement, but for the other parameters the lab grade was much, much, better than the food grade. Myth 2. Lab grade is cheaper than food grade -NOT 500 g of phosphoric acid costs around $25 from Fisher or $12 from Sigma. I am sure Coca-Cola pays much less. But the problem is that food grade phosphoric acid does not seem to be available in small quantities. CAVEAT: While I am very happy that lab grade phosphoric acid is better than food grade, this may not be the case for all chemical you may use. However, be aware and educated. Question all statements that are not backed up by solid evidence, especially those where the reason is no better than you're not supposed to because the government say so. And beware of supposed experts wearing underpants on their arms!! Other things. I noticed in r.c.b that many people have been defining krausening as priming with sterile wort, rather than the correct definition - priming with a small quantitiy of beer in the krausen stage. The source of this misinformation seems to be Charlie P.'s book. Perhaps he should write an erratum pamphlet (a sheet wouldn't be big enough). Anyone seen a paper calle The Brews Paper? Ulick Stafford ulick at bernini.helios.nd.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 93 12:09:56 -0500 From: Michael Gerard <mgerard at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Homebrew supplies in the Midwest... Does anyone know of any homebrew supply places in the midwest (specifically near Ann Arbor, MI)? I found one place here but it is still less expensive to buy the grain from St. Pat's in Texas and have it shipped up. There should be some place near the "grain belt" that sells grain. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks Mike Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 93 9:33:17 PST From: Bruce Mueller <mueller at sdd.hp.com> Subject: HDPE and Lab Chemicals Wayde writes in HBD#1054, >If these HDPE plastics are permeable to CO2 then wouldn't O2 >(oxygen), being a smaller molecule, be as or more capable of passing through >the plastic? Maybe Bruce Mueller can comment? Well, you might think so. Chemistry isn't that simple :'(. I had to get the numbers this time (I knew the other answer, but not quantitatively) so here they are: Permeabilities in cm3xmm/s/cm2/cmHg (yes, pressure in cmHg) at 30C: O2: 10.6 CO2: 35 H2O (vapor, 90% rel. hum., 25C): 130 For comparison purposes, the numbers for PET (soft drink bottles): O2: 0.22 Wow! CO2: 1.53 H2O (same cond'ns): 1300 My reference is "Polymer Permeability" edited by J. Comyn. It's a British book I believe. Isn't that PET amazing at keeping O2 in or out? Lou in the same issue "accused" :) me of pressurizing my HDPE jugs. Actually, this isn't true. I counted on the airline to do the reverse--the hold is at low pressure, the bottle filled at about sea level. But based on this, about 1/2 atm vacuum not causing any liquid leakage AND HDPE's strength, I extrapolated to the pressurized case. Extrapolating is sometimes dangerous, but I certainly wouldn't worry in this case, because HDPE is not brittle. Please DO NOT pressurize ANY water bottle style carboy, glass or plastic. Come to think of it, one of the British contributions to homebrewing is the polypin (see Dave Line's "The Big Book of Brewing"). These are polyethylene and used as "kegs". Probably not the best idea, in light of its oxygen permeability (Wayde referred to this). On another note, Ulick had a great point about non food grade chemicals. I trust the assays on these (e.g. ACS grade) as much as or more than the USP variety--they are generally purer. In HBD#1055 Jon recommend again against these, unless one is aware of toxicology. This is a good point. Would some- one knowledgable about toxicology enlighten us about the "real" limits for long-term consumption of e.g. lead? I think most homebrewers who would go to the trouble of obtaining lab-grade chemicals also would have sufficient ability to calculate their "dosage" of such nasties (simple dilution). I hope so. I hope this time more than the header gets through! Yours in brewing, Bruce Mueller Analytical Chemist by training Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 93 09:43:53 PST From: rstya at mda.ca (Roy Styan) Subject: decoction mashing I have been experimenting with decoction mashes for the last 5 or 6 brews, and have been experiencing a common problem with each. The final gravities have all been very high, typically 1025. This seems to be independant of yeast strain (I've used several different ones, both lager and ale) and only somewhat dependent of mash temperature. With very low temps (64C - 65C) I have brought the gravity down to 1018, but this is not always the case. So what gives? Does docoction destroy more of the alpha enzymes than beta, yielding full conversion, but with lots of dextrins? Is it possible to get a low final gravity with decoction? - Roy Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 93 11:28 CST From: korz at iepubj.att.com Subject: The Dangers of a High Temp Sparge Recently, there's been some discussion of sparge water temperatures. At least two brewer's have suggested using very hot boiling or almost boiling water for sparging. The ususal argument against using sparge water over 170F is that additional tannins are extracted from the grain above this temperature. I agree that a too-hot sparge will make your beer a bit astringent (due to the increased tannins), but there's another reason for keeping the sparge water below 170F, and that is STARCH EXTRACTION. Once you're done with the saccharification rest, you should make very sure you're not extracting any more unconverted starch from your grains. One very cloudy beer I've tried in the past was, upon further investigation, sparged with boiling water. Finally, I've brought this up once in the past, but no one commented and I just forgot about it, but I'd like to bring it up again for the sake of discussion: Could it be that we don't want the grain bed during the sparge to be *AT* 170F, rather we want the *sparge water* to be at 170F and we should let the grain bed (in an insulated tun) settle at whatever temperature it wants? Can someone who has "Brewing and Malting Science" please look this up? Darryl, what sparge temp is used for Pilsner Urquell? Comments? Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1993 15:38:18 EST From: hmcook at boe00.minc.umd.edu (Hardy M. Cook) Subject: RE: Mead Questions I began brewing mead this past fall. I didn't use acid blend in my first batch and it turned out just fine, and I did include it in the batch I made last week though to soften the alcohol warmth. As for honey, you can get dependable results from Clover honey. I buy mine in five pound jar at the local Price Club discount house (less than five dollars a jar). Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 93 12:51:45 -0800 From: arthur at chiba.esd.sgi.com (Arthur Evans) Subject: Cold plates, Mash tuns -> Cold plates and other serving devices Since there's been some discussion of cold plates for serving beer here, it might be worthwhile to mention that there's an article in one of the Zymurgy special issues (I think it's the "gadgets" issue) has instructions for building a "mini-jockey-box." Basically, this consists of a water cooler with a beer line running through it. On one side you have a serving tap, on the other side you have a line running to your keg, and inside the cooler you have a coil of copper tubing ("look, officer! it's a condenser!" sorry--wrong show) connecting the two. Beer flows through the line and gets cooled by the ice that you cleverly placed in the cooler for this purpose. Anyway, it sounded like it would work and not cost too much, and best of all, it's yet another excuse to play around in the garage with power tools. (And isn't that half the fun of new equipment?) Anyway, I've seen some version of these jockey boxes at a number of events (beer festivals, outdoor concerts, etc.), and they seem to work all right, but I'd be interested to hear if anyone has tried making one at home. I'm thinking of making one for my illustrious brother's wedding (to serve beer, not as a wedding present-- so don't get your hopes up, Stew). -> Mash tuns On a completely unrelated topic, I'm contemplating the leap into all-grain brewing after many a year of extract brewing. I'm thinking about constructing a picnic-cooler type mash tun, and I'm wondering what size I need. The local Sears sells 5-gallon coolers, but I suspect that's too small for making 5-gallons batches. Can anyone who has this kind of mash tun tell me 1) what size they have, 2) what size batches they make (how much grain, how many gallons), and 3) where they scored the damn thing? Many thanks to anyone who can help me on this, -arthur Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 93 15:06:20 cdt From: "Knight,Jonathan G" <KNIGHTJ at AC.GRIN.EDU> Subject: skimming I've been following the discussion on skimming with interest. Tell me, someone, would this skimming at the beginning of the boil be recommended for extract brews as well? So far it has been discussed only in relation to all- grain procedures. This isn't called skimmy-dipping, I suppose....? Jonathan Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 93 17:58:46 EST From: woessner at psych.purdue.edu (Leo Woessner) Subject: Pete's Wicked Ale I would like to try to clone Pete's Wicked Ale. I would appreciate anyone who has made such a ale, to post the recipe, and/or mail me a copy. A friend of mine ne mine has just started to brew and very much enjoys Pete's Wicked Ale. Being a beginer I would like a extract recipe. Any sujestions on O.G., Hops, and malt will be very helpful. Over Christmas I visited my parents in Colorado and had the fortune to visit the Walnut Street brew-pub in boulder. The served a tremendous stut called Devils Thoumb Stout. It was a mild stout (closser to a Porter) with a coffee aroma and taste. I was taken by the way in which the maltyness of the beer went with this coffe-like flavor. I asked the man who gave us a tour about the beer. He tpld me that there was no coffe in the beer but they used generous amounts of amounts of chocolate-malt to achieve the flavor. He was not teriably informativev , so I am not totally convinced that there is no coffe in the beer. Last week- end I made a porter with 3/4 pound of chocolate malt to try to get the coffee- like flavor. Recipe: 3.3# John Bull dark malt extract 3.3# Munto and Fision light extract 1/2# amber DME 3/4# chocolate malt 1oz cascade hops(60 min)(4HBU 2oz fuggles hops(60 min(10 hbu) 1oz cascade hops (steep 20 min while cooling) 1/8 oz Hallertau hops(steep)(Just because I had them ;-) Whitebread Ale yeast If anyone out there has made a stout or a porter similiar to Devils Thomb stout I would appreciate a recipe. I also would apreciate any recipies, tips, hints, or magic spells that would help me make such a stuot or porter. Thanks in advance Estes oF Manang Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1993 15:02:45 -0800 From: Richard Stueven <gak at wrs.com> Subject: COPS and Civil Forfeiture If you're frightened, angered, or just curious about the idea of police entering your home or car, seizing everything you own, and forcing you to sue the government to get it back, you'll be interested in a series of articles from the Pittsburgh Press. The series is called "Presumed Guilty", and I have ASCII and PostScript versions available to anyone who asks. Being somewhat off the topic of brewing, this will be the only time I'll bring this up on HBD, but email conversations are welcome. I figured the recent uproar justified this single article. thx gak Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 93 23:10 CST From: arf at ddsw1.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) Subject: Cold Plates I feel like Don Quixote on this issue but when I find something that really works, I tend to be a real crusader....... >From: orgasm!davevi at uunet.UU.NET (David Van Iderstine) >I've had some experience with these things, which was not good. I made the mistake of adding ice over the cold plate before I had beer running through it. It seems that ice crystals formed *inside* the plate's tubes, with the result being incredibly foamy beer at the tap that did not go away for days (it was a looong party! :-). I am not sure how or why ice crystals would form inside but they would quickly go away when the warm beer hit them and they certainly are not the reason for the foaming. >The advise I was given (I'm afraid much too late!) was to get the beer running first, then chill the plate down. In my case, it is always hooked up so there is always beer in the line. You do have a different situation but not likely to have anything to do with foaming. In the likely event that THAT advise didn't work either, try mine. Turn off your brain and crank up the pressure. Don't think about it, it causes migrains. Just DO it! Try 25 or 30 lbs. I guarantee you, there is some pressure somewhere that will pour properly and with a cold plate it is about twice what you are used to. >From: "Chauncey T. Griggs" <grig0009 at student.tc.umn.edu> >In HBD#1054, arf at ddsw1.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) writes: >>I didn't have a silver dollar handy this afternoon but I had no problem >>floating a Costa Rican 25 Centimos piece on a glass of the World's Greatest >>Beer. >Is that anyting like a wooden nickel??? :^) Who me? No, actually it is about the size of a quarter but is made of aluminum. You should have heard my wife when HER glass of beer had a dime and a quarter on the bottom and 25 Cetimos on the top. She politely suggested that I conduct my experiments with my glass. Actually, I think I could float a quarter if I took the time to build up the head in the traditional way but it was an afterthought after pouring the beer. I will report back after I try it. js Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1056, 01/15/93