HOMEBREW Digest #1376 Sat 19 March 1994

Digest #1375 Digest #1377

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  Two-Stage Fermentation ("Robert H. Reed")
  Utilization vs Boil Grav. (b_regent)
  Mail Order Hop Rhizomes ("LYMAN, Michael D.")
   (Rich Larsen)
  Netherlands ("Mark Jansen")
  IBUs in hopped extract? (Allan Rubinoff)
  Washington DC Beer Expo (Derek Montgomery)
  Copper Manifolds ("Thomas Kavanagh, Curator")
  re:Animal products??? (AYLSWRTH)
  Re:  Food grade sealant ("Glen A. Wagnecz, X6616")
  rooting hormones and hops... (SIMJONES)
  Re:  Treatment of Specialty Grains ("Glen A. Wagnecz, X6616")
  Re: Hops/cheap Bpubs/EM/Doppesl (Jim Busch)
  Real kegs (Eugene Sonn)
  Montreal pub/restaurant (Lee=A.=Menegoni)
  RE:DE-LIDDING (greg.demkowicz)
  Specialty Grains (Milstead Robert)
  re:Broken bottle when capping, part 1 of 2 (AYLSWRTH)
   (Allen Ford)
  re: Broken bottles when capping, part 2 of 2 (AYLSWRTH)
  A few questions ("Michael J. Poaletta")
  Mega brewing/Specialty Grains/Eis (npyle)
  Hop Utilization, Scotch Ale (Mark Worwetz)
  Frozen Yeast Storage (COYOTE)

Send articles for __publication_only__ to homebrew at hpfcmi.fc.hp.com (Articles are published in the order they are received.) Send UNSUBSCRIBE and all other requests, ie, address change, etc., to homebrew-request@ hpfcmi.fc.hp.com, BUT PLEASE NOTE that if you subscribed via the BITNET listserver (BEER-L at UA1VM.UA.EDU), then you MUST unsubscribe the same way! If your account is being deleted, please be courteous and unsubscribe first. FAQs, archives and other files are available via anonymous ftp from sierra.stanford.edu. (Those without ftp access may retrieve files via mail from listserv at sierra.stanford.edu. Send HELP as the body of a message to that address to receive listserver instructions.) Please don't send me requests for back issues - you will be silently ignored. For "Cat's Meow" information, send mail to lutzen at novell.physics.umr.edu
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 17 Mar 1994 22:19:57 -0500 (EST) From: "Robert H. Reed" <rhreed at icdc.delcoelect.com> Subject: Two-Stage Fermentation Shawn writes regarding he benefits of two-stage fermentaion: > > Can anyone convince me why I should use a double stage fermentation > process? > I can share with you a few reasons why I use two-stage fermentation: 1) Secondary fermentation provides additional time for the beer to clear - results in less sediment in the bottle 2) Secondary fermentation done properly allows the fermentation to go to completion - thus improving uniformity in carbonation - depending on the yeast used, and the carbohydrate makeup of the wort, there can be a fairly large range of fermentation times required to 'ferment out'. 3) Secondary fermentation is somewhat of a convienance factor: I have anywhere from two to five fermentors running all the time. The two-stage process allows me to package the finished beers at my leisure without concerns of autolysis (can occur is beer is left on a large yeast mass for too long) 4) Many big beers and all meads require very long aging times to ferment out / age / clear. I feel this is best performed in a secondary. 5) Five-gallon carboys result in a higher packing density in my fermenting closet. 6) I prefer to fine beers in the secondary upon the completion of secondary fermentation. These are some of the reasons why I use two-stage fermentation. In the final analysis, you will have to decide which road to travel. Rob Reed Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 1994 23:34:20 -0800 From: b_regent at holonet.net Subject: Utilization vs Boil Grav. In response to the recent arguments regarding hop utilization vs boil gravity, let me start of by saying that I myself have not seen any studies that prove that boil gravity does or does not affect hop utilization. But in Marks (Garetz) defense, I think most people out there are simply not understanding his arguments correctly. In speaking with Mark and reviewing his book, it is obvious that he agrees 100% that a partial boil DOES affect kettle utilization. His claim is that the reduced utilization is due to reduced wort volume, not a higher boil gravity. So it would hold true that brewers would see an increase in utilization when they switch from a partial to a full boil. He also goes on to say that higher gravity does affect hop utilization during fermentation (the amount of IBU's that remain post fermentation). Mark says that he has a paper from a study done of this very subject that corroborates this. It would be great if someone out there in HBD land would also due a study of utilization vs boil gravity, and measure IBU's prior to fermentation. You may or may not agree with Marks comments, but at least try to read his messages correctly before slamming him. - --bob b_regent at holonet.net - --- ~ KingQWK 1.05 ~ Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 94 08:30:00 EST From: "LYMAN, Michael D." <MDL3 at NIORDS1.EM.CDC.GOV> Subject: Mail Order Hop Rhizomes Anyone aware of mail order sources for hop rhizomes? Thank You. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 1994 08:38:35 -0600 (CST) From: Rich Larsen <richl at access1.speedway.net> Subject: Well, I never did get a real good answer to a qustion I posted a while back. I can't believe this has never been done in the North East in Maple country. I made up a "wort" of maple syrup and water and fermented it. A very interesting concoction with mead like qualities, with a maple/caramel overtone. High level of alcohol (around 10%) so I would have to surmise that maple syrup is very fermentable. (for those that asked) But I still have no traditional name for the stuff. Its too good to not have a actual name. Maybe some of you in Vermont can ask around at some of the maplers (is that a word?) Thanks. BTW there seems to have been some confusion with my sig. I have received a couple of inquiries as to the whereabouts of the new brewpub in Midlothian. I apologize for the confusion, and have changed my sig to rectify the problem. => Rich Rich Larsen (708) 388-3514 The Blind Dog Brewery "HomeBrewPub", Midlothian, IL (Not a commercial establishment) "I never drink... Wine." Bela Lugosi as Dracula Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 94 16:47:41 CST From: "Mark Jansen" <lets2608 at stud.let.ruu.nl> Subject: Netherlands Hello! I am an editor of a Dutch magazine about beer, called "PINT-nieuws". This is the magazine of the Dutch beerconsumers union, in which we give information about beer and breweries in Holland, brewing techniques, the latest developments on the beermarket etc. At the moment we're also working on an article about the newest trend in beer: icebeer. In Holland it's so new that we don't even know it. So, my question is: have you any information about icebeer: it's produktionproces, marketing and succes? If people are interested they can get information on Holland via my e-mail address or write to: PINT, P.O. Box 3757, 1001 AN Amsterdam, The Netherlands. - ----------- m.s.jansen at stud.let.ruu.nl Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 94 09:59:16 EST From: Allan Rubinoff <rubinoff at BBN.COM> Subject: IBUs in hopped extract? Does anybody know how to obtain reliable information about the number of IBUs in hopped malt extract? The Zymurgy special issue on hops has a table listing the number of HBUs in several hopped extracts, but I suspect these values aren't accurate. Even if they are, I'm unsure of how to convert these values to IBUs, because I can't figure out what to use as a reasonable value for %utilization. Presumably, the utilization obtained by the extract producer would be pretty high (> 30% ??), and since the alpha acids are already isomerized, utilization in the finished beer should not be affected by wort gravity and volume, boil time, etc., etc. Utilization is reduced during fermentation, but not enough to account for the discrepancies I've found. For example, I've brewed several beers using Munton & Fison hopped amber extract (plus additional extracts and specialty grains). According to the Zymurgy table, a can of this extract has 12.5 HBUs. Now, if I try to convert this to IBUs, based on my standard 3-gallon batch size: HBUs * %utilization 12.5 * %utilization IBUs = --------------------- = ------------------- 1.34 * #gallons 1.34 * 3 or approximately 3 * %utilization. This means that even if I figure on a modest utilization figure like 15%, the finished beer should have about 45 IBUs. This is definitely *not* the case. Based on comparisons with commercial brands, I would guess I get more like 25 IBUs, which would put utilization at about 8%. So, what's the deal here? Is my logic wrong, or are the Zymurgy numbers screwy? If it's the latter, where can I get more accurate information? - Allan Rubinoff <rubinoff at bbn.com> Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 94 10:06:30 EST From: Derek Montgomery <DM1461A at american.edu> Subject: Washington DC Beer Expo Here's a public service announcement......if anyone has additional info to add please post it. Usual disclaimer, etc. Washington DC Waterfront Beer Expo - March 26, 1994 - 12 noon - 4 pm Philip's Flagship Restaurant 900 Water Street, SW Washington DC "...sample great beer from local and national breweries such as Blue Hen Oxford Class, Oldenberg, Rogue, Wild Goose, Frederick Brewing, Miller <gasp>, Olde Heurich, Potomac River Brewing, Weeping Radish and many others." "Free beer glass - samples - gifts - food - homebrew supplies - brew clubs.." Admission $12 -- for more info call DNA Productions at 703-222-5394 Cheers, Derek (dm1461a at american.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 94 10:22:35 EST From: "Thomas Kavanagh, Curator" <TKAVANAG at ucs.indiana.edu> Subject: Copper Manifolds In this morning's HBD, Jack S. made some comments about false bottoms, EasyMashers(tm) and copper manifolds, to the effect of > The em is utterly simple, works like a charm and is cheap and easy to build or buy. > The copper pipe manifold is an alternative but is grossly complicated and difficult to build compared to the em and I don't know of any commercially available nor why one would want one. I do not wish to disparage Jack's products--I lust after a Malt Mill(tm)--but I would like to say a few words in favor of my version of the copper manifold. A disclaimer first: I have tried to draw this thing in ASCII, but it doesn't work so well: // || \\ // || \\ ||====|| ||======= \\ || // \\||// __ //-- \\ || || || || || ||--| || || || ============== My manifold is constructed from pieces of 1/2" copper tubing bent over my knee into a circumference to fit the ID of my mash tun (a five gallon SS pot); with a diameter and a radius. [Imagine a circle superimposed over a cross, with one arm of the cross removed]. A standpipe comes up and over the rim of the pot and through a stopcock, to a short piece of 3/8" tube. All of the fittings are t-compression joints. The circumference, diameter and radius have lots o' slots cut on the under side with a hacksaw. The whole thing is placed into the mash tun at the beginning of the mash. [I do both decoctions and infusions, using my oven as a warming chamber]. At sparge time, I attach a hose at the stopcock, suck on it to start a siphon, and stand back, merely keeping the water level up. The flow can be adjusted with the stopcock, or a clip valve in the hose, or both. Since starting to use this, my extraction rates have averaged 30+ points, and I have been able to cut back on some of my grain bills while keeping the OG in line with style. It can be easily taken apart for cleaning. I have also discovered that I can put it into my boil kettle to use for racking after cooling. This way I can also dispense with hop bags: the whole hops act as a filter to keep out the break. Now as for 'utterly simple'/'grossly complicated' to build, the only tools I needed to build this one and one for my brother were a pipe/tube cutter, a hacksaw, and my knee. I did not need to dedicate my $50+ 5 gallon SS mash tun pot only to brewing, nor did I need to find a jobber who could cut a hole in a SS pot. tk Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 94 10:34:29 EST From: AYLSWRTH at MANVM2.VNET.IBM.COM Subject: re:Animal products??? I sent this note as e-mail to Pete directly, but after reading it, decided there may be some interest in posting it to hbd as well. I hope you all will forgive me for what some will no doubt think is a waste of bandwidth. But, this is of some interest to beer drinkers, I think, so I hope you agree. It is also something to think about if you give your homebrew to vegetarian friends, or those on a strictly kosher diet. Some may not appreciate it if you use certain clarifiers. Please feel free to send flames or comments to me as private e-mail - I absolutely will not respond to future posts on this thread in the hbd to prevent what has happened on alt.beer. Pete - This is a thread that has received a lot of posts on alt.beer. You may want to check there to follow the complete thread. I fear it has probably gotten out of hand, especially if veggie lists are now saying that "beers like Guinness contain animal products." The answer is that some brewers use isinglass or gelatin as a fining agent to clarify their beers. Isinglass is made up of fish stomachs and gelatin, of course, is a similar animal product. These clarifiers are added after primary fermentation and allowed to settle to the bottom of the fermentation vessel - carrying yeast and haze-causing proteins with them. The beer is then racked off the trub, including clarifiers. There should be extremely little, although undoubtedly some, of the animal products remaining in the beer. However, some vegetarians do not want to consume any product in which animal products have been used. Also, I have heard that using such products during any portion of the production is not kosher. Thus, the concern. This needs to be balanced, however, by the fact that these are only some of the products used for clarifying, and it is not clear how many, or which, commercial breweries use such products. Other clarifiers include Irish Moss, which is seaweed; Polyclar, which is a plastic of some sort; and just letting the beer sit for a longer period of time - all beers will naturally clear eventually. Filtering over beachwood or charcoal can also help clarify a beer. As I have pointed out in alt.beer, the real problem here is that it is difficult for people to find out whether their favorite beer(s) use animal products. Breweries do not have to list any ingredients, and even if they did, it is unclear whether the FDA would count a clarifying agent as an "ingredient" anyway. Some people have suggested some German breweries do use animal products to clear their beers. A suggestion of mine is to find out about some of the new "organic" beers being put out. They are attempting to meet the needs of the vegetarian/health-oriented market by using completely organic grains and processes. I have never tried any of these beers, but can try and find you the names of some of the microbreweries doing this, if you are interested. Good luck trying to spread reasonably intelligent information on this topic. As I have discovered on alt.beer, people love grabbing onto something like "beer contains animal products" and terribly inflating the issue. The recent posts on this thread are coming very close to turning into a flame-war on vegetarianism itself, instead of continuing to discuss the real issue here. Thomas Aylesworth Dept. PX8/Space Processor Software Engineering Loral Federal Systems, Manassas, VA -------------------------------------------------------------------- Internet: aylswrth at manvm2.vnet.ibm.com | PROFS: AYLSWRTH at MANVM2 Phone: (703) 367-6171 | T/L: 725-6171 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 94 10:34:46 EST From: "Glen A. Wagnecz, X6616" <wagnecz at PICA.ARMY.MIL> Subject: Re: Food grade sealant You can get food grade sealant at most hardware stores, e.g. Home Depot. The type I use is made by GE, and if my memory serves me, is a silicone rubber. Look at the label and specifically look for the statement "Can be used for food contact surfaces". There's usually also the FDA standard that the stuff complies to listed alongside. Don't use anything that doesn't satisfy the above, as other types contain mildew inhibitors and fungicides that you don't want in your beer! Just take a good look in the caulking shelf ofthe bathroom related sector of your store, at the Home Depot, there were about 3 choices out of about 30 total that satisfied the above. Hope this helps- Glen Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 1994 11:50:50 -0400 (AST) From: SIMJONES at upei.ca Subject: rooting hormones and hops... In October a couple of years ago (in Cambridge Ontario) I found hops growing all over the ruins of an old farm building. I took a few pieces (12") of rhizome, sprinkled them liberally with rooting hormone and lay them about a foot deep in the ground. The following spring 2 or 3 shoots appeared and over the course of the summer the plants grew all along my chain link fence at the back of the yard. Lots of cones were produced. Unfortunately this wasn't done "scientifically" so no untreated rhizomes were planted. My suggestion is that if you've got the hormone, use it. Good Luck Simon Jones (SIMJONES at UPEI.CA) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 94 10:51:21 EST From: "Glen A. Wagnecz, X6616" <wagnecz at PICA.ARMY.MIL> Subject: Re: Treatment of Specialty Grains I totally agree. I feel that the mash step is for the purpose of converting starches to fermentables and that's it. Say your adding some dextrine (carapils) to get a little better "mouthfeel" or body to your brew. Would not converting the unfermentable contents to fermentables, which the yeast would now be able to eat, negate the intended effects? In other cases, the effect is less benign than above. With more potent specialty grains, such as black patent or roast, mashing can actually produce undesired astringency or result in longer than usual conversions (large volume of discussion regarding these two side effects can be found in previous issues and is not listed for the sake of bandwidth!). Glen Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 1994 11:12:30 -0500 (EST) From: Jim Busch <busch at daacdev1.stx.com> Subject: Re: Hops/cheap Bpubs/EM/Doppesl I wrote: > > I think it is intuitively obvious that the higher OG of a ferment will tend > > "scrub" more hop character out of a beer. And Jeff replied: > I don't know how "intuitive" it is, Jim. What is there about a > high-gravity ferment that would "scrub" hop character? OK, I was *really* on the fence here. I think it is obvious that the hop character/aroma will be reduced, but isoacids may not. Do isoacids have the ability to adhere to yeast biomass? If so, then higher OGs should reduce the overall IBUs in the finished beer. ??????????????? Have I been drinking too much of my Barleywine lately???? RE: brewpubs > Sprecher Brewery, Milwaukee, WI - This is a microbrewery, not a brewpub. It > was started with approx. $10,000 using mostly converted dairy equipment. You get what you pay for. Ever check the shelf life of a Sprecher product?? Next time your in DC, get one at the Brickseller. > From: arf at mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) > Subject: False Bottom Museum > I hate to sound pompous but, the easy masher has relegated the false bottom to a location next to the dinasaurs in the museum. I can't think of a single advantage other than potentially faster lautering with a false bottom and that has questionable value in homebrewing. > The false bottom, unless carefully made and fitted will cause no end of grief with scorching and junk getting stuck in the line. Even then, you have to live with the dead space under it and recycle wort till it clears out. > > Actually, I do not know of any way to deal with the scorching problem with a > false bottom. It almost precludes mashing in the same kettle. Broken record time?? Your last statement is the real issue here. Sizable breweries who want a flexable mash schedule do not mash in the same vessel as they lauter in. Usually the mash tun is also the brew kettle. RIMS systems avoid this, and make use of a false bottom just fine. In my system I use a flase bottom in my combi open fermenter/lauter tun. I use my kettle for mashing and boiling wort. Two vessels, extremely flexible mashing programs, no scorching. I can also lauter weizens and Wit beers with ease. > > >Doppelbock > > > > > >1 cup Roasted Barley > I agree that this will not make a Dopplebock. They have no roasted character. > German breweries were not allowed to use unmalted barley, under their purity > law, but they do have "chit malt" which is basically barley that has just > barely been malted. This gives them the characteristics of unmalted barley > but lets them get around the law. They also often use "colored malt syrup", which is essentially a condensed malt coloring product. Interesting stuff. > From: glent at falstaff.cache.tek.com (Glen Tinseth) > Subject: Wort Gravity and Utilization of Alpha Acids: Data!! At last!! > > who don't want the details here is the jist. Two worts, 1.086 > and 1.043 (all grain) each boiled with the same amount of hops, > in the same size pot over the same burner. The initial volumes > were identical. > > The HPLC showed that the utilization in the kettle for the high > gravity wort was 20%, for the low gravity wort it was 42%. This That is fascinating data, especially for people brewing bitters, as I believe there is no printed "homebrewer" info that implies numbers above 30%, yet this seems to be the results in brewing a bitter with out diluting. No wonder Phils bitters are so different from mine, I do high gravity preferment dilution, he doesnt. Good brewing, Jim Busch Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 1994 11:13:22 -0500 (EST) From: Eugene Sonn <eugene at sccs.swarthmore.edu> Subject: Real kegs Hi to the HBD braintrust, I have searched and yet been unable to find information of how to put homebrew in a real keg, you know the type you could buy Bud or other such beer in. A friend of mine is throwing a birthday party and wanted to know if I could brew up a keg full of homebrew for the occaision. I would think the only trouble is how to get the valve out while you fill it and how the get it back in afterwards. Dispensing with an air pump isn't a problems since it will all be consumed in one night. Thanks in advance, Eugene Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 94 11:13:18 EST From: Lee=A.=Menegoni at nectech.com Subject: Montreal pub/restaurant I will be traveling to Montreal next weekend, In a recent Ale Stree News Michael Jackson mentioned a restaurant that use Belgian beer in the preparation of foods. If anyone has any details on it like name, address and phone number please send them to me at Lmenegoni at nectech.com TIA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 94 10:25:20 -0500 [EST] From: greg.demkowicz at circellar.com Subject: RE:DE-LIDDING >>Date: Thu, 17 Mar 94 09:22:08 EST >>From: Bob_McIlvaine at keyfile.com >>Subject: De-lidding SS Kegs >> >>While I won't argue that a air powered grinder is a good >>way to cut the top out of SS kegs, I can assure you >>that a sabre saw with a bi-metal blade wil NOT take ^^^^^^^^^ >>4 hours. It takes about 10 minutes and does a very >>nice job. "...13-14" hole in the top of the keg. (You can also use a hacksaw blade, but ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ it will take you 4 hours, or bring the keg to a local auto muffler shop,..." Bob, Let me quess, your a proof reader right?? Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 94 11:28:00 PST From: Milstead Robert <rmilsted at Zellar.Vantage.GTE.COM> Subject: Specialty Grains Michael Inglis writes: > If the grains used will only impart color, then adding them at the > beginning of the mash is acceptable. Question: Would a given quantity of a high lovabond specialty grain such as black patent or roasted barley impart more color if added at the beginning of the mash as opposed to adding the same quantity at mashout. I have not tried a controlled experiment but my impression from the one time I did this was "Wow, that's dark!". Anybody have anything a little more scientific? ----------------------------------------------------------------- Bob Milstead RMilsted at Zellar.Vantage.GTE.Com ----------------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 94 11:30:56 EST From: AYLSWRTH at MANVM2.VNET.IBM.COM Subject: re:Broken bottle when capping, part 1 of 2 I am breaking this into two posts due to its length. The first concentrates on people's comments on bottles. The second on cappers. I've never received so much e-mail from a post as I did from the one last Monday talking about the bottle that broke while I was capping. Since it seems to be of interest, I shall post a summary of the mail I received. To refresh your memory, I was bottling a pale ale this past weekend and one of the bottles broke at the neck in my capper. This was the 6th batch of beer I have bottled. For the previous 5 batches, I used 100% refillable bar bottles (Bud, etc.). For this batch, I had 28 refillables and 20 non-refillables, mostly Sam Adams, Celis, and Dominion. The bottle that broke was a non-refillable. I asked if people thought the problem was likely the bottle, the capper, or a combination of the two. Unfortunately, as with almost all advice on the net, different people get different results, so there was no consensus (not even a clear majority). However, I will share this in the interest of giving everyone some more data points and opinions to chew over and let everyone decide for themselves what they want to do with it! First, I fear there is a little confusion out there about exactly what a refillable bar bottle is. Several states have laws that say that all bottles can be returned to the distributor for a deposit. Thus, bottles will frequently say "returnable for x cents deposit" on the label. These are not necessarily refillable bottles. Refillables are bottles that are used primarily in bars, which have thicker glass, and which the bars return to their distributor for a deposit - whether or not the state in which the bar resides has a bottle law. Many, but not all, non-refillable bottles have the words "Do Not Refill" in raised letters in the glass near the bottom of the bottle. The best way to tell whether a bottle is refillable is to compare it with one you know is refillable - the refillable bottles are clearly thicker. Most U.S. microbreweries use the non-refillable bottles. However, the jury is definitely out as to whether the bottle was really the problem. People seem to break both kinds, but from the mail I received (certainly not a statistically accurate sample), those who use non-refillables seem to break more bottles that those who use refillables. But people use different methods and types of cappers, so it is hard to say definitely that the problem was the bottles. For example, several people who say the break bottles also said that they bake the bottles to sterilize them. I don't do that myself, so it wasn't my problem, but it may (or may not) exasperate other problems. Any more data points from people who bake bottles? Here are some sample comments about bottles: "I've bottled a whole 2 batches so far . . . and have broken 1 or 2 bottles in both batches. . . . I too have a dual lever, metal capper . . . I bake my bottles to sterilize them prior to bottling . . . " "I have not noticed a difference in the bar bottles vs the returnable micro bottles after they have been used upwards of 5 times. I oven sanitize and let the oven cool overnight with the bottles in it . . . so far so good." ". . . most of the bottles I break are returnables . . . Bottles like Guinness or Anchor Steam are a superior design to returnables, and if I were to avoid a particular design it would be non-returnables shaped like returnables . . . I would blame the bottles rather than the capper." (I should point out that the above comment is particularly controversial - which is why I included it - since I think most homebrewers use long neck bottles, both refillables and non- refillables. Perhaps the Guinness/Anchor steam shape is preferable for non-refillables, as he implies? Any more data points?) "The last two times bottling beer I had a whole bunch of bottles break. This included Sam Adams bottles and super strong champagne bottles. I had baked the Sam Adams . . . and thought I weakened them. But when I lost a bunch of champagne bottles I realized a little investigation was in order. My theory is as follows: It turns out that the new caps I had bought are a lot stiffer than my old caps. The extra force required would break the bottles." (I should point out that I am using the same plain gold crown caps I have always used, so this is not my problem - but could be a problem for some?) Thomas Aylesworth Dept. PX8/Space Processor Software Engineering Loral Federal Systems, Manassas, VA - -------------------------------------------------------------------- Internet: aylswrth at manvm2.vnet.ibm.com | PROFS: AYLSWRTH at MANVM2 Phone: (703) 367-6171 | T/L: 725-6171 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 1994 10:38:40 -0600 (CST) From: Allen Ford <allen at darwin.sfbr.org> Subject: Jack S. writes: >I hate to sound pompous but, the easy masher has relegated the false bottom >to a location next to the dinasaurs in the museum. I can't think of a single >advantage other than potentially faster lautering with a false bottom and >that has questionable value in homebrewing. >The false bottom, unless carefully made and fitted will cause no end of grief >with scorching and junk getting stuck in the line. Even then, you have to >live with the dead space under it and recycle wort till it clears out. >Actually, I do not know of any way to deal with the scorching problem with a >false bottom. It almost precludes mashing in the same kettle. Having never used the easymasher, I can comment neither on its virtues nor its faults. I can, however, state with emphasis that the false bottom is a long way from becoming an endangered or extinct species. And with good reason. 1)The *dead space* under the false bottom (known to brewers as foundation) allows for easy addition of heat to the mash for temperature correction or for step mashing. The scorching problems can be avoided by recirculating while applying heat. It is especially effective if a curved copper tube is connected to the inside of the outlet fitting such that the liquid pick-up is at the bottom center of the mash tun under the false bottom. Some recirculation provides an extremely clear runoff. 2)Stuck mashes are not a problem (provided the grain is milled well) because of the large drainage surface area. If a mash sticks, it is simple to re-float the grain bed by reversing the flow and pumping into the bottom of the mash tun. 3)Cleanup is quick and easy. Simply remove the false bottom and hose it off. If brewers are having problems using mash tuns with false bottoms, I suspect that problems can be traced to one or both of the following problems: 1)The false bottom was poorly designed and/or implemented 2)The user is not familiar with the proper use of his/her equipment. There is no doubt that the easymasher is cheaper than a well-made false bottom. How does one perform a step mash using the easymasher? Can heat be applied to the bottom of the mash tun without scorching the grains that are in contact with the bottom? How does one unstick a stuck mash? How large a mash tun will an easymasher drain effectively? =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Allen Ford <allen at darwin.sfbr.org> =-=--=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= =-=-= Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research San Antonio, Texas =-=-= Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 94 11:37:42 EST From: AYLSWRTH at MANVM2.VNET.IBM.COM Subject: re: Broken bottles when capping, part 2 of 2 This is the second part of my summary of responses I received to my post about breaking a bottle when capping. This deals with comments about cappers. See part 1 for comments about bottles. As for comments about the types of cappers, this too was controversial. I heard people swearing that each type of capper (Double lever, like mine; and bench model) was best. Also, apparently some double lever cappers are adjustable to fit different size bottle necks. Mine is not. Those with adjustable cappers claimed that they fixed similar problems by adjusting the screws on the capper. Here are some comments: "I use the same type of double lever capper that you are using. Also, during a recent bottling session we broke the neck clean off of a regular longneck bar bottle. My suggestion is to check the screws that hold the capper plates in place and the cap holder at the top which on my capper screws out. Turns out our screws were loose :-) and the capper plate was slipping down over the bottle lip resulting in the broken neck." "I've broken about 3 bottles in 15 or so batches with the double lever capper. I've switched to the single lever capper and have had one break in about 5 batches. Most of these bottles were the refillable type." "100% of my bottles are non-refillables . . . and only one like yours that broke while filling. My capper is a floor model. I think it's even less gentle to the bottles than your double-lever design. Consider: yours develops the vertical force needed to crimp the cap by grabbing the strong reinforced ridge of the bottle neck. My floor model generates the force by compressing the entire bottle. The weakest parts of the bottle are probably the straight, thin sides and the joints where the sides meet the bottom and the neck. Mine failed at the side/neck joint--squashed like a bug." "Is your capper adjustable? Mine is and maybe that's the problem. Also I've thought that the problem might be that the levers need to be lubricated each time you bottle." "I've had this problem -but mostly with odd shaped bottles using an Italien wing capper . . . My cheap- bench capper won't bust a bottle unless it's set at the wrong height and REALLY forced! The wing capper is much more likely to find a fault in the bottle." (That was from the 3-16-94 hbd). So, what am I going to do? Well, I think I will continue to use a mixture of both refillables and non-refillables. I will also start lubricating my capper, as a couple people suggested, and attempt to make sure I am applying equal force on both levers when capping. If I continue to have more problems with non-refillables than I do with refillables, I will write a follow-up post and stop using non-refillables. I was a little surprised by a couple of notes I got from people suggesting that they break far more bottles than I do when capping and don't worry about it. I'm all for not worrying, but it is a hassle when a bottle breaks, and if I can do anything to decrease the chance of it, I will. As for my comment about "if a bottle can't stand the force of my capper, how will it stand the force of carbonation", I have been convinced not to worry. As a couple people pointed out, they are really very different forces. Carbonation applies equal force to all points of the bottle. Both types of cappers place force at particular points on the bottle, points that may be weak to begin with. Well, I hope you all find this post worth the bandwidth. I'd love to hear more from others who either have or have not experienced this problem. Thomas Aylesworth Dept. PX8/Space Processor Software Engineering Loral Federal Systems, Manassas, VA - -------------------------------------------------------------------- Internet: aylswrth at manvm2.vnet.ibm.com | PROFS: AYLSWRTH at MANVM2 Phone: (703) 367-6171 | T/L: 725-6171 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 94 11:23:47 EST From: "Michael J. Poaletta" <MP0824A at american.edu> Subject: A few questions I am a beginner homebrewer and have a couple a questions for some more knowledgable soul than myself. My second brew is an IPA based on Papazian's recipe in The Complete Joy of Homebrewing. I roasted the malted barley as the recipe called for. However after ten minutes the barley was not the reddish hue it was supposed to be. I let it roast 5 more minutes but it was still not slightly red. It was a little darker though so I took it out, cracked it, and used it anyway. My second problem was with the O.G. after my brewing was completed. Rather than being in the 1.048-1.052 range it was supposed to be, the O.G. was 1.065. I also noticed what appeared to be sediment of some kind in the sample ( which was 62 degrees at test time). I made sure all the grains were removed so I don't think that is the problem. If anyone out there could shed a little light on my questions I would be eternally grateful. Did I screw up royally or am I worrying needlessly. Secondly. I plan on adding oak chips to the IPA during the secondary fermentation. When would be a good time start secondary fermentation. How long should I leave the chips in for? How many chips should I use? What is the best way to sanitize oak chips? I would appreciate any help in these matters. Thanks Mike Poaletta Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 94 9:53:08 MST From: npyle at n33.stortek.com Subject: Mega brewing/Specialty Grains/Eis Jeff Franes writes about industrial brewers: >As I said, they *are* concerned with hop utilization in concentrated >fermentation because they more concentrated they can make their >ferments, the more beer they can pump out with the same volume of >equipment. Jeff was discussing hop utilization, but I'd like to diverge a bit. Assuming the large brewers brew high gravity worts, and dilute *after* fermentation, try to follow this. They must use a relatively large amount of grain to create these high gravity worts, which means they have relatively large mash/lauter tuns. Then they must boil down this relatively large volume of water, which means they have relatively large boilers. They then ferment this concentrated wort in relatively small fermenters. Finally, it is diluted back to a normal concentration before carbonation bottling. This may or may not require a relatively large holding tank. My point/question is that everything is (relatively) large except the fermenters, why? Is it because they mostly brew lagers, and they require a long time sitting in the fermenters? Maybe this is why they have a bottleneck on fermenters, but it seems a little strange to me, to go to all that trouble. ** Michael Inglis writes: > My Take on When to Add Specialty Grains: > In almost every case, the specialty grains should be added at the >mashout stage. The only case specialty grains should be added to the >primary mash and mashed is when a certain specialty grain is added only for >the color factor and the specialty grain in question has both a dextrine and >color character associated with it. There are actually many cases where the specialty grains should be added to the main mash, rather than at mash out. Your example is one, but what about the case where you want to use dark grains in foundation water that is a little high in carbonates? I can imagine someone wanting to brew a dopplebock, thus they don't want the water any harder than necessary. The pH of a pale mash in this type of water could be too high, but they don't want to add a bunch of gypsum to lower the pH. In this case, dark grains in the main mash is the ticket, as they would bring the mash pH down without hardening the water. Also, I'm quite sure that adding the dark grains to the main mash would extract more of the goodness of the grain, so that you could get away with less of the dark grain. For this reason, I think it is important to mention when the specialty grains were added for a particular recipe. I believe that most commercial brewers add all grains at mash-in for maximum utilization of the grain, for what that's worth. ** Regarding "ice-brews", I have tasted a new Coors product called "Eisbock" 0 pronounced "Ice-Bock". At least they got the name right; the beer is better than the regular swill, but not too exciting to me. It is not very strong, like I would expect an Eisbock to be. It even has a beautiful package, complete with goat. This is marketing brilliance; they are responding to the Ice-brew phenomenon (I can't think of anything else to call it), AND the micro-brew popularity with a single product! The label even says to look for their new "Weizen Beer" - pronounced "Vite-zen Beer", coming this summer. I'm not making this up! Norm npyle at n33.stortek.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 1994 09:53:03 -0700 (MST) From: Mark_Worwetz at Novell.COM (Mark Worwetz) Subject: Hop Utilization, Scotch Ale Howdy from Zion! In the recent thread about hop utilization and wort gravity, I have not noticed anyone refering to the chart provided in Papazians NCJOHB (page 268). This chart provides hop utilization based on density of boiled wort and boiling time. I have been using it to cross check IBUs of recipes I have received from "Winner's Circle", "Cat's Meow", etc. It seems to work pretty well for me and most of the recipes fit the style specs. that Charlie provides. Am I being totally naiive? Should I graduate to a more sophisticated method of IBU calculation? Should I (gulp) worry? On another subject, Papazian states that Scotch/Scottish Ales are fairly lightly hopped. ie. (14-16 IBUs for a Scotch). When I have tasted McEwans and MacAndrews Scotch Ales, I have had to agree that the hop bitterness is very low, and hop aroma is non-existent. The problem I have is with recipes I have seen for prize winning Scotch Ales that specify hopping in the 30-50 IBU range. According to Charlie, this is more the Old Ale hopping rate. Once again, should I graduate to a more specific style guide, perhaps Noonan? I look forward to your replies! TIA Mark Worwetz (Mark_Worwetz at Novell.COM) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 1994 10:16:34 -0600 (MDT) From: COYOTE <SLK6P at cc.usu.edu> Subject: Frozen Yeast Storage Kelvin told me he was concerned about the defrost cycle on his freezer causing problems for his frozen yeast cultures. Got an idea for frozen storage which might help with this problem: You know that jelly-like blue ice stuff? Depending on the vessels you choose to freeze into (epi tubes are my preference, or the tubes with screw caps designed for freezing!)... You can use a small (homemade?) styrofoam container, or tool box- trinket boxes, you know with all the drawers for random bits of stuff. (depends on how many, how much freezer space etc etc.) Just be sure to get deep drawers so the tubes will fit! Pack the container with the jelly (cut open the freezer bag, and goosh it out, or if it's solid type, cut pieces) and place a thin piece of styrofoam on the surface. Cut holes for the tubes to fit in, and dig out some of the jelly. Place tubes in position, and put the whole thing in the freezer. Sealing it up while warm with silicone might not be a bad idea (glue the foam in place on top and let it sit overnight, then freeze...) Once unit is frozen, tubes can be removed. Now even if the freezer goes into defrost mode- the blue ice stuff should remain frozen long enough to endure the warming period and keep the cultures frozen. This approach is used in molecular biology labs to keep restriction enzymes (read VERY expensive and delicate!) stable while in use. Lots of supplies are shipped on gel-ice in biology and chemistry labs. See if a friend has a few laying around. Sheets of styrofoam can be taped together (clear packing tape is a good way to go) to form a box. Or just hit a sports store, and buy a few bags. They are pretty cheap. The idea is handy for organization. You can categorize that way, but the foam box might insulate better. Anyway. Just a random thought I thought others might find useful. |\ |\| \/| \-\-\- John (The Coyote) Wyllie SLK6P at cc.usu.edu -/-/-/ \ | ---- Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1376, 03/19/94