HOMEBREW Digest #1266 Mon 08 November 1993

Digest #1265 Digest #1267

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  bottle sterilizing... (abaucom)
  Decoction Mashing (Phil Brushaber)
  oxygen barrier caps (donald oconnor)
  NO SUBJECT                                                        (gbgg5tt5)
  George Fix Chill Haze Talk PART 1 of 2 (Norman Farrell)
  George Fix Chill Haze Talk Part 2 of 2 (Norman Farrell)
  Black and Tan (John_D._Sullivan.wbst311)
  Sticking to Business (Walter O'Briant)
  Kegs/Crabs/Salvator/Plugs/etc. (npyle)
  Recipe Request (Bob W Surratt)
  Difference between Priming w/ gyle and DME (Philip J Difalco)
  Kriek/Sour Mash (LPD1002)
  Bottle labels (mike.keller)
  Bass Ale Recipe and Dry Hop ("Bob Knetl")
  Judge Forum (x-4378)" <Simpson at po2.rb.unisys.com>
  SS Keg Conversion, or How I learned to Love All-Grain. Part 1 (Mike Peckar  05-Nov-1993 1252)
  SS Keg Conversion, or How I learned to Love All-Grain. Part 2 (Mike Peckar  05-Nov-1993 1301)
  SS Keg Conversion, or How I learned to Love All-Grain. Part 3 (Mike Peckar  05-Nov-1993 1303)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 4 Nov 93 16:22:24 EST From: abaucom at fester.swales.com Subject: bottle sterilizing... Paul asks about mass sterilizing bottles... Here's my 1/50 of a $1... I used to sink 2 cases of bottles in a bleach solution and rinse but MANOMAN is that time consuming and I suppose could quickly turn one off of brewing BEER! Check your dishwasher to see if it has a sani-cycle setting. I have used my dishwasher for many (>10) batches and have yet to have any infections. I load up the bottom rack of the dishwasher with all the bottles upside down each on their own peg (it fits about 2 cases) and run through a cycle. I use the water-miser and sani-cycle settings. The sani-cycle setting, according to the dw manual, raises the water temp to >140F for the last 5+ minutes of the rinse. I don't know if water manages to get up into all the bottles but the hi temp seems to sanitize them just fine. Hopefully, you rinse your bottles out fairly well right after you pour the beer (a sure sign of a homebrew addict!) If so, the bottles should be pretty clean to start with (no furry trees rooted in the bottle!). BTW, I do use a small amount of dishwashing detergent in the cycle and have had no problems with beer heads or off-flavors. But you would have to experiment since your water may be too hard or soft to completely rinse the soap away. (a hi-temp cycle with no soap works ok too) I have not tried a batch in a dw without the hi-temp-setting so I don't know if it would be sufficient to kill the enemy. So, If you're thinking of buying a new dishwasher, check to see if it has a hi-temp (sani) setting. It's worth the extra $$$. l8r, Andrew +------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | Andrew W. Baucom Phone: (301) 572-1327 | Swales & Associates, Inc. FAX: (301) 595-2871 | 5050 Powder Mill Road | Beltsville, MD 20705 "Rent this space for your quote!" +------------------------------------------------------------------------+ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 93 15:25:00 -0600 From: phil.brushaber at lunatic.metronet.com (Phil Brushaber) Subject: Decoction Mashing Am I missing something here? Recently I asked how to develop that super malty flavor which comes from German Dopplebocks. Many people were kind enough to write me privately and suggest decoction mashing (along with low hop rates) as the answer. Upon re-consulting Noonan's book on decoction mashing I am a bit confused. Simply put (although there appears to be nothing "simple" about it) it seems to me that Noonan suggests starting out with a low temperature for an initial dough in and then a temperature rise through each of the enzyme steps (protein, sacrification, mashout). It seems to me that he must be talking about mashing in a Coleman Cooler or something as the heat increases are brought about by removing some of the wort at each step, boiling it away from the grain, and adding it back to get the next temperature step. I suppose to a "cooler masher" this allows keeping the mash thick while raising temperatures. I mash in a large canning kettle kept on a stovetop throughout the mash. By turning the stove on I can go through all the heat increase steps without removing ANY of the mash. Since the heat comes from an external source rather than hot wort or water I can keep the mash as think as I want. Am I missing something here? With my setup, won't I be accomplishing about the same thing as a decoction mash?? ... 43 years old and still getting a keg out of life! ___ Blue Wave/QWK v2.11 - ---- - ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- | The Lunatic Fringe BBS * 214-235-5288 * 3 nodes * Richardson, TX * 24 hrs | | UseNet, ILink, RIME, FIDO, Annex, Intelec, LuciferNet, PlanoNet, and more!| - ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 1993 21:55:51 -0600 From: donald oconnor <oconnor at ccwf.cc.utexas.edu> Subject: oxygen barrier caps There was a question a few days ago on rcb about the proper use of the oxygen barrier caps. these caps are either sold as PureSeal or SmartCaps although I think the latter name may no longer be in effect due to some legal mumbo jumbo. the caps have a substance which reacts with oxygen. obviously if the caps did not have some type of activation barrier, they would react with O2 in the air and be useless. The caps are activated by moisture. therefore they should be kept dry before use. Each cap has the capacity to react with 1.2 ml (i presume this is at 1 atmosphere and a typical brewery ambient temperature). this equates to about 6 ml of air which aint much. in other words, if you boil these caps and activate them before bottling, you're wasting your money. the caps are properly used by capping dry and letting the beer activate the stuff. there is no need to boil new caps of any type by the way. i used to do this but it's needless paranoia. these caps really do lower oxygen levels in beer. as a result, the shelf life of beer is extended. this has some value to homebrewers but of course is of particular value to small breweries. it allows breweries like celis to be more flexible in the brewing schedule because it is now possible to store the beer longer and still maintain a fresh and delicious brew. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 05 Nov 93 06:03:07 EST From: gbgg5tt5 at ibmmail.COM Subject: NO SUBJECT - ----------------------- Mail item text follows --------------- To: I1010141--IBMMAIL Homebrew Digest su Subject: Extract storage >Extract storage: In planning for the days that I may not live near a >homebrew shop and/or have not yet gotten into the swing of all grain full >mash beering, could anyone offer tips on storing large quantities of liquid >or dry extracts. Depends on how long you want to store it. My father bought 56lb of dried malt extract. Very soon after, he gave up home brewing. The DME was in a tough polythene sack, tied tightly with string, inside a strong cardboard drum with a close fitting lid. I found it *13* years later, and that persuaded me to start home-brewing. On opening the bag, I found that the 56lbs DME had turned into 56-ish lbs SSME (Solid Sticky Malt Extract). I assume that it had very slowly been absorbing moisture, and compacting under its own weight, until it was one rock-hard lump. I had to use a hammer and chisel to break it up. After 3-4 hours I had weighed out about 50 1lb bags. There were chips of the stuff within a 15 foot radius of where I was chiselling - thats how tough it was. However, I did then go on to make a dozen or so good dark malty brews from it and apart from an occasional excess of treacly taste, slightly lower attenuation than expected, and difficulty dissolving it (even in boiling water) I had no problems. Everyone loved the beer too. Moral: Don't leave it 13 years in a bag in a cardboard drum. Paul Slater gbgg5ttg at ibmmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 93 07:30:06 CST From: nfarrell at ppco.com (Norman Farrell) Subject: George Fix Chill Haze Talk PART 1 of 2 Chill Haze and Fining Agents in Beer Part 1 of 2 I was fortunate enough to catch George Fix's presentation at the 1993 Dixie Cup Milli-Conference. I even had a small enough hangover to take notes. George Fix spoke on chill haze and some recent work with common agents used to enhance beer clarity. I would call them finning agents. The work he presented is to be published in an upcoming sequel/update of Principles of Brewing Science. Since the good Dr. Fix scooped himself, I will try to convey the gist of his talk below including some tables of results. I am grateful for George's enthusiastic cooperation in proofing this posting. I have added further explanation and consulted other sources and as I felt was needed. I have also added editorial comments (you can tell where). Sorry to all for the delay but it was important for George to proof my note taking. This posting will be in 2 parts since the size is over 8k bytes. This talk concerns the causes and treatment of chill haze that are not the result of some technical brewing error. We're talking about colloidal haze, protein/polyphenol complexes. We are not talking about: 1. Biological hazes caused by bacteria, non- culture(wild) yeast or mutant yeast. 2. Starch haze caused by the presence of gums like beta-glucans or unconverted starch. Over sparging, high sparge temperature or alkaline sparge water can all cause this kind of permanent haze. 3. Trace metals can also cause haze problems. Iron levels above 0.05 ppm or cooper above 0.10 ppm are common culprits. The most likely source is from your water supply. Your water character may be variable throughout the year. Seasonal haze problems may not be your imagination. Your water supply may also change sources (Norman's does). Check with your local water department at different times of the year to see if this could be a problem. Norman has found them more than willing to read off the most recent analysis over the phone (call the water plant, not City Hall). 4. Oxidation haze is cause by the time/temperature history of the beer after it has been bottled. Thermal abuse is the enemy here. The telltale sign is a dull lackluster appearance (not you and your drinking buddies; the beer). This problem is sometimes termed "European Import Haze". We are talking about chill haze resulting from protein/polyphenol complexes (protein and tannins) and haze caused by yeast biomass. Note that chill proofing and reduction of yeast biomass are two separate things. Now, let's discuss some of the common fining agents. Irish Moss Irish moss is (according to Norman's dictionary) the dried and bleached seaweed of the red algae variety. The two most common species are Chondrus crispus and Gigartina mamillosa. The active ingredient is called carrageen (carragheen) and is sometimes a synonym for the seaweed itself. Irish moss is said to aid in precipitating coagulated proteins. It is normally added about 10 minutes before the end of the boil at the rate of 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per 5 gallons (by most homebrewers). Fix adds Irish moss at 15 minutes left in the boil. Some recipes call for a "pinch". The use of Irish moss has several advantages and raises some concerns for the (home)brewer. Advantages: 1. Irish moss is a processing agent; not an ingredient. It will not survive the boil kettle. For this reason, it can be used under the "German Beer Purity Law". 2. Infections are not a concern since Irish moss is added during the boil. 3. A negative charge makes Irish moss selective for large molecular weight proteins. Concerns: Since proteins have important roles in the fermentation cycle and in the finished beer, any agent that removes proteins should give concern in the following areas: 1. Will it remove too many low molecular weight proteins (amino acids) and have a detrimental effect on the fermentation? 2. What effect will the protein removal have on the body, viscosity and head formation/retention of the finished beer? The Punch Line Sorry to say folks, but at the levels employed by "most" homebrewers, Irish moss has no effect whatsoever on chill haze, beer foam or body/viscosity. So, I should give up using Irish moss? No way. The problem is not with the material but with the dosage. Irish moss dosage rates do not scale down linearly from commercial to homebrew brew length. Norman's digression on scale up/down: Malt or malt extract is an example of an ingredient that scales more or less linearly. Ignoring efficiencies of size and equipment design, the amount you use (as dictated by desired initial gravity) can be easily estimated from the ratio of brew lengths to pounds of malt(extract). For instance, if your brewing buddy has a recipe for 10 gallons of Old Welding Glove Barley Wine that calls for 25 pounds of malt extract and you only wanted to make 5 gallons of Old Welding Glove, just use 25 pounds times ( 5 gallons divided by 10 gallons ) equals 12.5 pounds. Scaling other things up and down is not always so easy. Sometimes assuming a simple linear relationship is way off. And now, back to George: Although it is not much of an increase (over what we normally use), the correct level seems to be about 1 tablespoon Irish moss for a 10 gallon batch. The result of experiments was a good hot and cold break. Fermentation with a "picky" yeast, Wyeast Bohemian Lager, produced little noticeable effects on body, beer foam or viscosity. Irish moss is available in several forms: large flakes, refined flakes and powder. Use slightly less powder than flakes. Rehydrate the flakes in plain water before using. DO NOT rehydrate the powder. How good a job does it do? Let's talk first about units of haze. The American Society of Brewing Chemists has defined the following scale: ASBC Haze Units Description 0 brilliant < 100 very clear < 200 slight dullness < 300 see through haze > 400 murky Now, the next time you call your friend's brew murky, you'll know what your talking about. The DeClerk Test was used to evaluate various brews made with the different forms of Irish moss. The test is fairly severe: 5 days at 140 degrees F then 2 days at 32 deg. F and finally warm up to 50 deg. F and inspect the beer. The results are below. Batch ASBC Haze Units Control (no I. M.) 400-500 Powdered I. M. 100-150 Refined Flake I. M. 150-200 Large Flake I. M. 170-200 As you can see, the proper use of Irish moss will help with chill haze in your brew. End of part 1 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 93 07:31:34 CST From: nfarrell at ppco.com (Norman Farrell) Subject: George Fix Chill Haze Talk Part 2 of 2 George Fix Presentation on Chill Haze from the 1993 Dixie Cup Milliconference Part 2 of 2 Isinglass >From seaweed to fish parts. Isinglass is derived from the internal membrane of certain fish bladders (a Brazilian catfish and a Saigon kingfish). As you buy it, it is almost 100% collagen. Isinglass has an isoelectric point of >5.0 and will have a positive charge in any medium whose pH is <5.0 (ie. in beer with a PH of 4.5). Yeast will have a negative charge. The rest is hopefully easy to figure out. Effectiveness may vary somewhat with yeast strain. Isinglass is most effective in reducing yeast biomass and is an excellent compliment to Irish moss. It is certainly better than beechwood chips or aluminum slats. The dosage rate in the UK is 60 mg/l. Full effect will take about 48 hours. It is most commonly used in Great Britain's cask conditioned ales. George recommended 30 mg/l for a 5 gallon batch with preparation as follows. Drop the PH of 6.0 ounces of sterile water to 2.5- 3.0 PH with your choice of tartaric, citric or phosphoric acid. dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of isinglass. Hold in refrigerator over night. Do not let this material see any temperature above 50 degrees F. It will decompose and become useless. Norman has read other recipes and the directions on your package may be different. Siebel has isinglass already mixed with acid blend ready to go! Those wishing to observe the German Beer Purity Law will have to lower the PH with the help of some critters. Norman wonders if those wishing to be vegans should leave all the cask conditioned ale for the rest of us. Results of test brews treated as above in soda kegs with a 3 day contact time showed significant reduction in yeast biomass: cells/ml in mg/l isinglass dosage finished beer 30 0.15 - 0.25 X (10)^6 60 0.01 - 0.10 X (10)^6 Other Possibilities Polyvinylpyrdlidone, PVPP, or Polyclar is a positively charged plastic powder that works against the protein/polyphenol complexes. Tannins are adsorbed and fall to the bottom of the vessel where they can not complex with the proteins. PVPP has no effect on foam or body but does reduce both hop bitterness and beer color. Add at the rate of 0.067 ounces per gallon of finished beer. PVPP may be added to the beer at the beginning of storage or mixed with diatomaceous earth in a filter. Activated silica gel can also be used. It acts by collecting the proteins instead of the tannins. Norman assumes that Dr. Fix did not give it much air time because of limited availability to homebrewers. Tannic acid has a large phenolic structure which selectively reacts with high molecular weight proteins. The bottom line is that this is the "active ingredient" in beechwood aging. Don't tell AB/Houston but there are those who say it does not work very well. Tannic acid has very little effect on beer foam. Filtration Now we're getting serious. Isn't this what the big brewers do? Norman remembers a good presentation on filtration by Steve Daniel from the 1992 AHA National meeting. It may be found (in written form) in the Just Brew It! book covering the meeting. Cartridge filters have gained popularity with homebrewers and if used with C02 to push the beer will not cause aeration problems. Rinse your filter with sterile beer first. Pumping the beer is another matter. Some pumps (Little Giant among them) have been found to introduce air. Air is drawn into the pump housing and vigorously forced into the beer. Not too good, especially when you thought you were improving your beer. Plastic filter housings can develop this capability over time and damage your beer. Fix prefers stainless steel (don't we all) but winces at the price (don't we all). You may precoat the filter with sterile (cheap) beer and diatomaceous earth. Fix prefers a 3 micron stone (porcelain) filter cartridge over plastic (polypropylene). Why a 3 micron filter? Consider what you are removing from your beer. That's right, a filter will impartially remove all particles above a certain size from your beer. A filter is a dumb device. In order to be smarter than your filter, look at the following table and then we will discuss. Membrane filter results Filter microns Property 0.22 0.45 1.0 3.0 Cntrl Abs. Ext. (deg. P) 2.25 2.3 2.43 2.5 2.5 IBU (mg/l) 26.1 25.9 26.2 27.1 27.5 Color (deg. L) 2.9 3.2 3.9 4.6 4.6 cells (mg/l) 0 0 0 1-10 10^5 The control beer is unfiltered so it gives a good idea of what you are starting with. There isn't much effect on gravity until you drop below 1 micron. Bitterness starts to be affected below 3 microns. George interjects: "Remarkably, IBUs are little affected by filtration. The small differences in the numbers reported are likely due to errors in measurement. I did these with the ASBC (chemical extraction) procedure, which is not as accurate as chromgraphy. Errors of the order 5% are not uncommon with the ASBC procedure." Color takes a hit below 3 microns. Cell count is nearly zero at 3 microns. The results tell you that filtering to less than 3 microns is stripping color, flavor and body out of the beer. Three microns will not sterile filter (pediococcus is about 0.8 micron BTW) but it will leave the beer chill haze free but basically intact. You don't even want to know the degree to which some of the Mega brewers are filtering their beer. George told the sad tale and his time ran out. Next up was Paul Farnsworth to delve into cask conditioning but that will have to wait for another day. As for me, I will revise my use of Irish moss as a result of this presentation and since I am an ale fanatic, I will try isinglass next time I keg (which will be soon). End of Part 2 of 2 Norman (nfarrell at ppco.com) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 1993 06:09:14 PST From: John_D._Sullivan.wbst311 at xerox.com Subject: Black and Tan Hi all, Keith sez: >There is a Black & Tan available in bottles. It's put out by a brewery in >Saranac, NY (USA). Obviously it's not layered. I believe the label says they >mix one of their lagers with one of their porters and bottle it. Not a bad >brew. This is called Saranac Black and Tan, it's actually a German Lager and Irish Stout mixed, and it's quite good I think. It's made by FX Matt's in Utica, NY.They also contract out some beers, such as Sam__l Ad_ms (tm)- Disclaimer, etc.etc. (Hope I'm all legal now James).FX also makes a Saranac Golden Pilsener (very light, nice hop nose), and a Saranac Lager (deeper color,more bittering hops, less hop nose). I think all are pretty good. Be talkin to Ya, John Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 05 Nov 93 09:58:48 EST From: Walter O'Briant <WOBRIANT at UGA.CC.UGA.EDU> Subject: Sticking to Business I subscribe to HBD because I want to learn more about *beer, homebrewing, and DIRECTLY related issues*. What gives some subscribers/readers the idea that it is OK to introduce issues which are highly personal, have nothing to do with brewing good beer, and far too often resort to language which is almost certain to be offensive to some of us because it is vulgar and out of place in this forum? Let's keep in mind that this is a *public* forum, and that not everyone has a tolerance for language which is crude in their judgment. In particular, maybe some of us need to re-think what we include in our signature line as well as how much space we are consuming with it. It would also be helpful to me if headers or signatures gave a clearer indication of where the sender is located. I look forward to continuing to receive HBD. I'm in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Georgia, and I've been brewing about twenty years. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 1993 08:48:12 -0700 From: npyle at n33.stortek.com Subject: Kegs/Crabs/Salvator/Plugs/etc. Ed Wolfe asks about converting some SS kegs for brewing equipment. I seem to recall some sage advice in the Zymurgy Gadgets and Equipment issue. Check it out. ** Just curious: has anyone ever seen a crabtree? Our yeast apparently know a bit about it; you'd think a species as advanced as ours would know more than yeast... I've seen crabs of all types (except those scratchy ones!) and trees of many types but no crabtrees. ** Jim Kent asks about Salvator: > . How do they make that stuff so sweet ? I thought it tasted of >licorice (sp?) as well. Any time I try to make a high gravity >dark beer it ends up becoming to dry (and sometimes even harsh) >after a few months in the bottle. (Havent been able to maintain >cold temperatures for real lagering yet ;() I think you said it right there, Jim. You need the cold temperatures to knock the yeast down, where they can't keep working on your sugars. You might work especially hard on sanitation, too, as any wild yeast or bacteria may break down some dextrins into maltose and the like. Then the yeast will take it from there. Cold filtering would help. Drinking it in the first 3 months works well, too. I have the same problem, BTW. ** Tom Kaltenbach says: > The recent Hops FAQ has got me wondering again about hop plugs. For >those of you who are not familiar with them, they consist of dried whole >hops, compressed into a 1-inch diameter cylinder that's 3 or 4 inches long. >The plugs are segmented so that it is easy to break off smaller chunks. This either misleading or Tom has seen some plugs I haven't seen. The standard plugs come in 0.5 oz. bungs, approx. 1" in diameter, approx. 0.5" long. They are stacked, usually, in two columns of 5 (I think), packaged in foil for a total weight of 5 oz. My point is that you "break" off a known quantity of 0.5 oz of hops, not just some unknown "smaller chunk". ** Todd Taylor, I'd make a 3 gallon batch to start. The problem with making a 5 gallon batch with a small kettle is that you will leave lots of sugar in the grain because you don't have the means to boil more liquid. Its not a disaster but its very inefficient. It is typical to use about 2 pounds of grain (or less) per gallon of beer, but it all depends on your goal OG and your extract efficiency. Cheers, norm Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 93 08:25:01 PST From: Bob W Surratt <Bob_W_Surratt at ccm.hf.intel.com> Subject: Recipe Request Text item: Text_1 I posted this last week & never heard from anyone. So here goes again. I'm looking for a couple of extract recipes to clone Watneys Red Barrel AND Red Tail Ale. I looked in The Cats Meow II, but didn't find them. I'm sure that somebody out there in HBD land has attempted to duplicate these. So if you have and are willing to share, please send me a copy of these. I am an extract brewer, so please gear towards that. Thanks for listening!! Bob Surratt Folsom, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 93 11:11:28 -0500 From: Philip J Difalco <sxupjd at fnma.COM> Subject: Difference between Priming w/ gyle and DME I don't see too much difference between priming with gyle and DME, especially if the gyle was originally malt extract based. Could someone elaborate? Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 93 10:00:09 -0700 From: LPD1002%NYSHESCV.bitnet at UACSC2.ALBANY.EDU Subject: Kriek/Sour Mash After spending far too much money on bottles of kriek for my girlfriend, I decided that I should try to make a p-Lambic. Has anyone tried the sour mash method and kriek recipe in the back of TNCJOHB. It sounds like it should work, as long as I can get a hold of the 2 strains of Belgian yeast. If anyone has had successful results (or unsuccessful) or has made this type of beer with another method, I'd like to hear about it. Direct E-mail will be fine and much appreciated. At $5.00 a bottle, I can make a lot of my own. ;-) Steve Septer LPD1002 at NYSHESCV.BITNET at UACS2.ALBANY.EDU Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 93 03:28:00 BST From: mike.keller at genie.geis.com Subject: Bottle labels In HBD 1163 Dion writes: ||I would like to make some labels for my bottles, but a little || ||more creatively than I currently make with WordPerfect. A || ||friend has Corel Draw and that would be fine, but I do not || ||have several hundred dollars to spend on software. Can || ||anyone suggest software for DOS or Windows, (or even X for || ||that matter) which would be suitable to make *really* nice || ||bottle labels with? Must have lots of fonts available and it || ||would be really nice to be able to fit text into any shape || ||(like in a crescent shaped banner). || Well, my first choice would be to ask my friend if I could come over and play with Corel Draw on his machine.<g> The next option, if you have Windows already, is to try the Windows Paint program. If you stick to black and white, you'll be able to get some decent artwork going for your labels. The one thing that IS going to cost you some bucks is getting exactly that "fit text into any shape" feature. That is a most desireable feature, and I don't know of any low-end software that allows you to do that. BTW, I suggest option number one. I'm doing some labels in Corel Draw right now (I was working on my design as I captured this HBD, so I mean RIGHT NOW), and placing text on a curve looks really spiffy and is lots of fun! mike keller, beer sysop, food and wine RT, GEnie "homebrewers don't just recycle, they refill!" Return to table of contents
Date: 5 Nov 1993 08:26:13 U From: "Bob Knetl" <bob_knetl at amber.spawar.navy.mil> Subject: Bass Ale Recipe and Dry Hop Subject: Time:08:15 OFFICE MEMO Bass Ale Recipe and Dry Hopping Date:11/5/93 Does anyone have a reliable recipe for making a Bass ale using malt extract (non-all grain recipe). Also I am finishing up a Bohemian Pilsner and dry hopping it. In the past I have used whole hop plugs and never worried how long I left them in the chilled secondary fermenter. When using hop pellets can you also leave them in the secoundary until ready to keg/bottle? Bob Knetl Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 05 Nov 93 09:46:00 PST From: "SIMPSON, Mark (x-4378)" <Simpson at po2.rb.unisys.com> Subject: Judge Forum Howdy Brewpeople! I just received my judgemanship certificate from AHA this Spring. I have heard rumors that there is a forum dedicated to this sport. Does anyone out there know the subscription address??? Thanks, Happy Brewing! Mark Simpson e-mail: simpson at rb.unisys.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 93 09:54:42 PST From: Mike Peckar 05-Nov-1993 1252 <m_peckar at cscma.ENET.dec.com> Subject: SS Keg Conversion, or How I learned to Love All-Grain. Part 1 All it took for me to convert from all-extract to all-grain brewing was stumbling across an orphan 1/2 bbl rounded stainless steel keg at a scrap yard. For, not only was I able to easily fabricate a simple brewpot from this keg, but an entire methodology for all grain brewing using a few extra contraptions in conjunction with the keg's faucet. Both the methodology for brewing and a detailed plan for modifying the keg are explained herein. But first, more about the keg itself. The rounded type keg which I used is commonly known as a "Golden Gate"- type keg. This is to be distinguished from "Sankey" type kegs, which are characterized by their straight sides, built-in handles on top, and rounded top and bottom. Both hold 1/2 Barrel, or 15.5 gallons. While the flat-sided Sankey-type kegs have the advantage of built-in handles, they have the disadvantage of not having a built-in flat section on the bottom side for installing the drain faucet, as do the Golden Gate-type kegs. This may or may not be a problem if you are trying to repeat what I did, but there is no doubt that trying to install a faucet on the rounded bottom side of the Sankey-type keg may not work to well without first having a sleeve welded on. I do know of at least one person who managed to bang a flat in the bottom of a sankey keg so he could install the faucet with standard screw-thread plumbing fittings as I did. So, with standard parts available at most any hardware store and simple tools (which if I didn't have, my neighbors or friends did), I was able to put together not just a big brewpot, but a simple, easy way to brew 10 to 13 gallon all-grain batches with little fuss and no welding. The only major new investment was for a Propane Burner. I of course had to move my brewery from the kitchen into the basement, and I located the burner under a window where a fan could vent the propane fumes, etc. Be warned, though, that the propane tank's label clearly discourages use of propane indoors. The keg conversion itself took one Saturday and cost less than $20: In short, you cut a big hole in the top of the keg and install a drain in the bottom side using standard 1/2 inch I.D. standard thread plumbing supplies. I tried to bang out the hardwood bunghole, but it was in there so tight, I decided to just leave it be. No problems after 10 batches with that. Because I used standard plumbing threads, with a nipple that extended out into the inside of the keg, I found that I could add removable accessories to the set-up so that in one vessel I could mash, brew, and even primary ferment. Only lautering would require the temporary transfer out of the keg into food buckets. For sparging, I used a standard toilet stand-off and attached a couple feet of copper tube, bent it into a pretzel, and drilled a series of 1/16th inch holes in it. This screws onto the inside of the faucet. I also fashioned what I call a "Trub Bypass", which is nothing more than another copper toilet floor stand-off with a bend which I attach the same way as the "copper Pretzel". This allows me to primary ferment right in the keg so I can rack my beer directly from the faucet, bypassing the trub on the bottom of the keg. It works just great: input is adjustable from the very bottom of the keg up to about 7 inches above the bottom. I must rack as soon as possible off primary, though, to avoid infection. Also, this implies that I do not separate the wort from the cold break material before pitching. If this sounds distasteful, optionally you can use this trub bypass to rack off into another primary fermenter after the boil if you wish. If this be your preferred method, call the Trub Bypass a "Cold Break Bypass" instead. The basic process I use for all grain brewing with my new toys is as follows: Crush your grain; install the Copper Pretzel, calculate your water requirements for mashing and put that amount of water in the keg, Heat sparge water with propane and mash-in. I find no heat is necessary to maintain mash temp, but I do wrap the keg in a camping pad. Next lauter out of the spigot into food buckets. You do need another source of hot water for sparging, such as hot tap water mixed with boiling water in food buckets. I use my old brewpot on the kitchen stove. Fwiw, I've never needed more than four food buckets for dealing with all this. Now, clean out the spent grains and remove the copper pretzel. Install the trub bypass and pour in the wort from the buckets. Brew as normal. Chill with wort chiller. Option 1: Aerate, pitch yeast and cover the keg (I use aluminum foil). After fermentation stops, rack from the spigot directly into Cornelius kegs (I use a short section of sanitized garden hose fitted to the spigot to minimize aeration while racking). Or, rack into a bottling bucket, prime, then bottle. Option 2: after chilling the wort, let the break settle, then rack from the keg directly into carboys or fermentation buckets, allowing aeration during transfer. If you use the keg as a fermentation vessel, you must get the hops out before you pitch. Simply use muslin bags. This also assures the plumbing won't clog up on racking. A friend who uses my system and prefers racking to primary just throws his hops in, but prior to attaching the Trub Bypass, fastens a Chore-Boy on the end with brass wire to filter out the hops. All sorts of fun experiments can be made, like centifugal decanting ala the big boys. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 93 10:03:49 PST From: Mike Peckar 05-Nov-1993 1301 <m_peckar at cscma.ENET.dec.com> Subject: SS Keg Conversion, or How I learned to Love All-Grain. Part 2 ASSEMBLING THE EQUIPMENT: If you have trouble locating the parts in the list, it may behoove you go to a plumbing supplier first, as they are sure to have all the parts. The parts for the drain assembly are the same parts for a standard faucet you would see on the side of a house for a garden hose. The parts listed below are what I used; I chose brass fittings, but I see no reason why you couldn't chose any other standard material that can stand up to the heat from the propane burner. I found that keeping it as simple as possible worked well to my benefit since by selecting a standard plumbing thread, it allowed me to incorporate interchangeable and removable pieces into my design, making the whole process of brewing simpler and more relaxing! A friend prefers the Ball-type, lever-actuated faucets. These are a bit more expensive, but will definitely decrease the chances of clogging up the faucet. A good investment, but you'll have to use tubing other than a garden hose for racking as mentioned above. Parts: 1 15.5 gal. Stainless steel Keg, Please obtain it legitimately. 1 1/2" faucet, flush-mount, brass. Inside-threaded. $2.25 1 1/2" x 1" pipe nipple, brass, counter-threaded. $1.17 1 brass nut to fit pipe nipple. Fits 11/16" wrench. $0.75 2 washers, ~ID 1" ~OD 1 3/8". Galvanized. had these lying around. Comments: You can substitute a faucet with the threaded nipple "built in", i.e. the faucet has an outside-threaded extension. The problem with these is that there is no flange for flush mounting against the outside of the keg. Ideal would be a faucet with a flush-mount flange and a built-in nipple extension with outside threads. I didn't bother asking for one at the plumbing supply shop since I had already bought the above parts. Parts for optional Copper Pretzel and Trub bypass tube. 2 1' Copper floor stand for toilet or sink, w/ brass compression fitting on one end and flange to ID 5/8 on other. ($2.25 ea.) 2 Feet of 5/8 OD soft copper tubing. 1 1/16" Drill bit. You'll burn out a couple drilling holes. Comment: Feel free to use the "slotted pipe" method here, i.e., instead of drilling holes, hacksaw some slots. Also, many Homebrewers get fancy and build sparging devices analogous to really small septic leach fields. Knock yourself out. Tools, etc. Flair pen. 11/16" wrench. Ear protection. Eye protection. Power Drill. Drill bit, about 1/4", metal-cutting. Reciprocating saw ("Sawzall"), preferably variable speed. 1/2 round metal file or honing wheel insert for power drill Emory paper 3-in-1 oil. Bimetal sawblade for reciprocating saw. ($1.89) 7/8" bimetal hole saw. ($6.97) Mandrel for above to fit your power drill. ($7.60) Comments: Bimetal blades are a must for cutting stainless steel. You can probably hack the drain hole by drilling a bunch of holes with the drill and then filing it round, but the $15 investment in a good hole saw/mandrel is worth it, and can be re-used in the future for such things as installing a beer faucet in your fridge! Use a reciprocating saw with variable speeds if you can find one. I found that at "6", my saw wouldn't cut at all, but cut through the steel like butter at "4". Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 93 10:07:31 PST From: Mike Peckar 05-Nov-1993 1303 <m_peckar at cscma.ENET.dec.com> Subject: SS Keg Conversion, or How I learned to Love All-Grain. Part 3 Procedure for converting keg: Mark off your opening hole with the flair pen. try to find a lid you can use and size the hole based on your lid. You only have a little cheese here with a Golden Gate-type keg. Drill pilot holes for the saw blade using 1/4" drill bit and 3-in-1 oil. Have a helper steady keg while you drill the top with bi-metal blade in reciprocating saw. Both you and your helper should wear eye and ear protection. Use oil liberally at cutting edge and rest the saw every few minutes to prevent overheating. Relax, have a homebrew. Smooth edge with stone or hone then emory paper. Mark hole for faucet from inside high enough up from bottom of keg so that the flange will clear the bottom. Drill out 7/8" hole, hone, sand, and install faucet, using washers & nut w/ 11/16" wrench. The drain hole must be made on a flat surface. If using the cylindrically-shaped keg, i.e., Sankey, which does not have a flat section for a drain, you will have to bang a flat with a hammer or otherwise force a flat. Procedure for fabricating Copper Pretzel for mashing. The Sparging device. Basically a thing that allows the liquid stuff to be separated from the solid stuff in the mash. The holes or slots face down. sweat or clamp a two foot section of soft copper to flanged end of stand-off. Drill holes on one side only. I made three rows of holes with each hole about 3/8 inch apart. Optionally, use a hack saw to cut slots perpendicular to the length of the tube every 3/4 inch or so. Saw only 1/3rd through the diameter of the tube. Hammer down the open end to seal it shut. Carefully bend the tube into a pretzel shape, keeping in mind the holes will face down, and bending the tube such that gravity will help drain the liquid inside the tube, i.e., the part of the tube closest to the crimped end should cross over the top of the part of tube closest to the brass fitting. Make the thing any shape you want: I chose this design because it doesn't require futzing with too many different joints and tees and elbows, etc. Procedure for fabricating the Trub Bypass for fermenting in the keg. This device will allow you to ferment your beer in the same keg in which you brew. It allows for the draining of the fermented beer off the trub. Or, use it to rack from the keg into primary bypassing the cold break. The floor stand is simply a copper tube flared to 5/8" at one end and molded at the other, with a 1/2" female compression fitting at one end. It just screws right onto the protruding nipple on the inside of the keg. Bend it with care so that when attached to the nipple, the flared end sticks up a couple of inches from the bottom of the keg. I got a little fancy and bent it so it followed the contour of the bottom of the keg into the center and then bent up from there. Take care not to kink the tube too badly while bending. Adjust the intake height for trub or break bypass simply by bending it up or down to the desired height. With practice, you'll get a better idea on what height to set it at for particular brews. Comments on the whole setup. The biggest advantage is simplicity. A single vessel for all your all-grain and/or extract needs up to bottling. A lot of friends have expressed concerns about unsealed fermentations, but as long as pitching rates are good, and you resist the temptation to "peak", i.e., disturb the headspace, there should be no problem. An initial purging of the headspace with C02 helps, too. The disadvantage to this system is the fact that since it is both a mash/lauter tun and brew kettle, the whole process takes longer, as you have to decoct into buckets and then wait while you rinse out the spent grains before you can start to brew. Also, since the sweet wort is sitting in buckets, you can't start heating up the wort before sparging is complete. To work around this, the next obvious step is a separate mash/lauter tun. Since you have already built the sparging device, the logical choice is another half barrel keg with faucet. With two barrels, you essentially have a traditional brewery, but there are myriad setups and possibilities for improving on this very simple basic brewing set up, like a pump system from sparge water transfer, uC controls, ad nauseum. >From crush to pitch usually takes four hours. Another important note. At first, I built an easymasher ala Schmidling, though I prefered to call it a "screen penis". I had a couple problems with this. First, sparging rate was poor at lower mash temps (compared to what I got with the copper tubing device); in fact, I had a couple of stuck sparges. Second, the device didn't have the physical strength to stand up to mash-in, i.e., it deformed, and once, broke off while I was stirring in the grains. Its rather difficult to solidly clamp a screen around a pipe, even when the pipe is outsied-threaded. In Schmidlings's defense, though, the device was very simple to fabricate and yielded satisfactory results when it did work, though I got no higher than 30 pts extraction. All things being equal, the copper tube yielded consistently better results, and, though it was a PITA to fabricate, it was well worth it. Mike Peckar, the penurius, paltry, parsimonius, yet pedantic picobrewer. Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1266, 11/08/93