HOMEBREW Digest #1387 Fri 01 April 1994

Digest #1386 Digest #1388

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  kettle (Alan B. Carlson)
  Re: Wort Chillers (matth)
  dry hopping ("Dana S. Cummings")
  wort chiller use (Matthew Howell)
  RE: extract vs grain costs at 1BBl level (Jim Busch)
  Oktoberfest/Marzen Recipes (Paul J. Schumacher)
  RIMS Comment (Bob_McIlvaine)
  barley wine questions (student)
  FW: DWI on the Information Super-highway ... (Murray Knudson)
  hlep (CSTASW1)
  Interbrew-Vatican Merger (Frank J Dobner +1 708 979 5124)
  Several questions (John Williams)
  Re: RIMS info request (Dion Hollenbeck)
  copper ingestion ("DANIEL HOUG")
  IrishMoss/Beer&Light/GrainBedDepth/Underpitching/DryIce/CherryBeer (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583)
  fruit beer (TARVINJ)
  Beer IRC? (BIO)" <tillman at chuma.cas.usf.edu>
  Chillers Compared/Re: Is this an OK way to brew? (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583)
  A smaller airlock (Patricia Doran - HTMG/W94)
  Rusty Kettle (Mark Schnitzler)

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, 31 Mar 94 11:40:25 CET From: Alan B. Carlson <alanc at adb.gu.se> Subject: kettle I am heading back "home" to Los Angeles tommorrow (April 1 - no, no joke) to visit my parents for a couple of weeks - hope we get better weather than here in Sweden - and would like to get a kettle to do full boils with (10 gallon or larger). I'd like to buy stainless if it doesn't cost a fortune, otherwise it'll have to be an enameled. BTW, my parents live in Norwalk. Please send replies via email (let's save bandwidth on the digest :-) ). I'll have my PowerBook and modem with me in the States. Thanx, Alan - ------------------------------------------------------------ Alan B. Carlson Phone: +46 31 772 10 73 University of Gothenburg Fax: +46 31 772 10 99 Department of Information Systems email: alanc at adb.gu.se Holtermansgatan 1 S-412 96 Gothenburg SWEDEN - ------------------------------------------------------------ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 94 07:28:19 EST From: matth at bedford.progress.COM Subject: Re: Wort Chillers >I have been reading the HBD for some months through the CompuServe beer >forum library. Lots of good information --some not so good. My particular [snip] > >The coiled copper wort cooler is a fine invention, but most people are >using it incorrectly and inefficiently. For someone who has been reading for some months you seem to have missed some very pertinent information. There are 3 basic ways a wort chiller can be used: 1) An immersion chiller where a coil of copper pipe is immerrsed in the boiling wort. Cold water is run through it to cool the wort down. Advantage(s): Simple to make & use No need to have great concerns for sanitation or fear possible problems from splashing hot wort about. Disadvantage(s): Not the most efficient method. Tends to use more water than other methods. Not really a concern for non-drought stricken areas IFF (note the IFF) IFF the water is reused for some other purpose. Average area of wort cools most slowly with this method. 2) An immersion chiller (your style) where the copper coil is submerged in an ice bath and the wort is sucked/piped/pushed/dragged/whatever through the pipe. Advantage(s): Fairly efficient, simple to make, specific areas of wort are cooled down in a much shorter period of time. DIsadvantage(s): Have to siphon hot wort, possibly sanitation issues 3) A counter-flow chiller, where the a copper coil/pipe is nested *inside* some other pipe, usually of the garden hose variety. The wort is siphoned through the copper pipe in one direction, while water is siphoned through the garden hose in the other (this the counter part of counterflow). Advantage(s): Very efficient. Fastest method for cooling down a specific area of wort. Disadvantage(s): More difficult to make a work with to some extent. Siphoning hot wort, sanitation issues. >I siphon the wort *through* the >coil with the cold water, snow, ice, blue ice or whatever, in a large pot >on the outside. >saved. Then I siphon water from the hot water tap --but not necessarily >very hot, it'll be sanitary enough-- Define 'enough'? Any wort particles left behind? This is most peoples biggest fear behind using a chiller in this manner. >through the system and wash out the >B-Brite, also washing out the secondary; I then cover the secondary with >clean plastic wrap. After the boil, I strain the wort into another 5-6 >gal. container and set it beside the pot in the darkroom sink. Additional >hops can be added now if desired, so long as they are fine enough not to >plug up the tubing. Then, I siphon the wort through the coil and allow the >cooled wort to splash foamily into the secondary which is sitting on the >floor, hence much lower. The temperature will probably be down around >80^F and yeast can be pitched immediately. At this point I remove the >brewing vessel and siphon about a gallon of pure, hot water through the >tubing and take any other steps to make sure it is as clean as possible, >inside and out. So, while your method works fine for you, others choose other methods. Many people will tell you you're using yours incorrectly as they feel you`re supposed to run water through the coil, not wort. Whatever floats one's boat. I would, however, suggest that you take your method a little bit farther and make the water bath colder, thus dropping the temperature even farther, like in the mid-hi 60's range. I don't recall the exact temperature right now (anyone else?) but you'll get a much better cold break somewhere in that range than you will at 80 degrees F. -Matth Matthew J. Harper ! Progress Software Corp. ! {disclaimer.i} God created heaven and earth to grow barley and hops. Now he homebrews. DoD #1149 EGfc #0xed Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 1994 07:51:04 -0500 (EST) From: "Dana S. Cummings" <dcumming at moose.uvm.edu> Subject: dry hopping First a quick summary of my process before I pose the ?'s. I am an extract brewer using specialty grains for body, flavor, etc. I start w/ ~3g. cold water, boil grains, remove, add extract & hops, boil for 1hr. Last 15min. add finishing hops. Rack to 3-4g cold water pitch ~70f. After 3-6 days rack to secondary for upto 7 days more. Question--Is dry hopping more appropriate for primary or secondary fermentation? Question2--If you dry hop in glass carboy(primary or sec.) how do you remove the hop cones without aerating the brew? Many thanks in advance. Dana Cummings dcumming at moose.uvm.edu dscummin at emba.uvm.edu Burlington, VT Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 94 08:13:41 -0500 From: Matthew Howell <howell at ll.mit.edu> Subject: wort chiller use I could'nt agree more with Glenace L. Melton and his posting in #1386. I utilize my wort chiller in exactly the same way, and it has worked wonderfully, shaving at least an hour off my brew times. The first chiller I made is simply 20 ft of 1/4" copper tubing coiled up, with tubing attached to the ends for input and output. The first time I used this setup, I immersed it in my sink filled with ice water. The wort was literally ice cold coming out. In fact, I had to wait for the batch to warm up to pitch the yeast! (There was an incredible cold break that day, let me tell you!) Now I simply adjust the tap water to about 80 degrees, and I can pitch immediately after filling the carboy. As far as sanitation goes, I have been flushing the chiller with boiling water before and after, and I have had no trouble to date. I too would be interested to hear if there is danger in cleaning wort chillers with vinegar, as I do this occasionally. Thanks to all you brewers out there, experienced and not, I have learned much and look forward to each day's posting. Prosit! Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 1994 09:48:08 -0500 (EST) From: Jim Busch <busch at daacdev1.stx.com> Subject: RE: extract vs grain costs at 1BBl level Scott writes: > Subject: Tumbleweed Trip Report (try # 2) > > The economics (on their scale) is interesting. High quality extract costs > about 50% more than high quality grain (in very large quantities, on a per > pound basis, including shipping) But you only get 75% of the grain's weight > as extract, so the cost difference is maybe 25%. To save $.20/# of extract, > the brew time (labor cost) more than doubles. Plus you have to store 2 tons > of grain, deal with the FDA, more equipment, etc. (numbers are approximate) > Thus there is a definate batch size break point. I agree with this concerning the labor efforts/costs, but I cant follow the raw ingredients costs. A domestic 2 row malt runs about $12/50 Lb sack. Interestingly (frustrating?) is that some malts from Europe can be had at even cheaper rates, likely as a result of EC economic policies( this is even *after* shipping!). Using a 50Lb sack of domestic per one BBl, an extract of around 1.050 can be attained. To do an equivelent using DME would require roughly 36 lbs of DME (correct me if Im wrong here). Now, Im not up to date on the bulk costs of Alexanders DME, but even at $1 per Lb, we have a 300% difference in cost. Clearly, Im missing something here, Kenny doesnt get good deals on malt, or the 25% difference is incorrect. The malt prices are for real, albeit usually unavailable to the homebrewer. In fact, our local micro will soon be exprimenting (and hopefully me to!) with these EC malts at rediculously subsidized prices. > From: wyatt at Latitude.COM > Subject: Mashing Enzymes > > The reason that I was slightly concerned about enzyme destruction > from heat was that I read in "Brewing Techniques" magazine that the > DeWolf Cosyn Pale Ale malt could only handle an extra 15% adjuncts. > I have been using it in Scotch Ales and wanted to increace the amount > of Biscuit Malt (which has no enzymes) in my batches. I realize that > Cara-Pils and Special B don't need mashing but I usually add them into > the mash at the begining of the mash instead of the mash-out. Does > this eat up extra enzymes? I would certainly think so. Maybe I will > just put them in at the mash-out next time and go for it. BIscuit and Special B can be used without concern with Pale ale malt, Pils malt and Domestic malt. You can mash them or add at mash off, but the results apparently are reduced. Good brewing, Jim Busch Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 1994 09:46:08 -0500 From: de792 at cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Paul J. Schumacher) Subject: Oktoberfest/Marzen Recipes Marzen style brew? I recently tried Beck's Oktoberfest which I picked up at a local beverage store. It was excellent! It was amber colored with just the right amount of sweetness countered by hop bitterness. I assume that the sweetness comes from the use of crystal malt, but I'm not sure of how much to use and what other adjuncts should be used. Since I'm still an extract brewer, I'd also need a reccomendation on the appropriate malt as well as the type of hops. Please post a recipe or send private e-mail if you made a successful batch for the Marzen season! Happy Brewing Paul ### Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 94 10:50:08 EST From: Bob_McIlvaine at keyfile.com Subject: RIMS Comment I've been using my RIMS for several months now. It has gone through a couple of re-designs to correct aeration problems in the plumbing. I have not experienced the astringency that George mentioned. I have very little plastic tubing, almost all of the plumbing is copper, the tun is Stainless, and all copper is not soldered, but copper brazed. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 1994 09:41:31 -0800 (PST) From: student <vlib3521 at sfsuvax1.sfsu.edu> Subject: barley wine questions So far I am an extract brewer with sights on more advanced stuff. Right now I have a barley wine in the primary fermenter. I got the recipe out of Williams Brewing (mailorder) Catalog Highlights. I fiddled a bit with the recipe, but the starting gravity was l.095 and the recipe said to ferment for 5 days and then rack to a glass carboy for 5 months before bottling. I used Red Star champagne yeast to allow fermentation to progress into higher alcohol levels and four days into the fermentation everything seems to be going well (I haven't rechecked the gravity yet). My questions are two-fold. Do I prime when I rack to the carboy? What gravity should be achieved before I transfer to the carboy or is it critical? I would appreciate anyone's suggestions, recipes etc. on brewing higher alcohol beers. Beryl Moody San Bruno, CA vlib3521 at sfsuvax1.sfsu.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 94 09:56:33 PST From: Murray Knudson <murrayk at microsoft.com> Subject: FW: DWI on the Information Super-highway ... unbelievable!!!!!!!!!! Trust Congress? Not With This Unbelieveable Lair of Slop PC Computing, April 1994, page 88. By John C. Dvorak When Vice President Gore began talking about the Information Highway, we all knew the bureaucrats would get involved more than we might like. In fact, it may already be too late to stop a horrible Senate bill from becoming law. The moniker -- Information Highway -- itself seems to be responsible for SB #040194. Introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy, it's designed to prohibit anyone from using a public computer network (Information Highway) while the computer user is intoxicated. I know how silly this sounds, but Congress apparently thinks that being drunk on a highway is bad no matter what kind of highway it is. The bill is expected to pass this month. There already are rampant arguments as to how this proposed law can possibly be enforced. The FBI hopes to use it as an excuse to do routine wiretaps on any computer if there is any evidence that the owner "uses or abuses alcohol and has access to a modem." Note how it slips in the word 'uses'. This means if you've been seen drinking one lone beer, you can have your line tapped. Because this law would be so difficult to enforce, police officials are drooling over the prospect of easily obtaining permits to do wiretaps. Ask enforcement officials in Washington and they'll tell you the proposed law is idiotic, but none will oppose it. Check the classified ads in the "Washington Post" and you'll find the FBI, National Security Agency, and something called the Online Enforcement Agency (when did they set that up?) all soliciting experts in phone technology, specifically wiretapping. It gets worse. The Congressional Record of February 19, 1994, has a report that outlines the use of computerized BBSes, Internet, Inter-Relay Chat, and CompuServe CB as "propagating illicit sexual encounters and meetings between couples -- any of whom are underage... Even people purporting to routinely have sex with animals are present on these systems to foster their odd beliefs on the public-at-large." A rider on SB #040194 makes it a felony to discuss sexual matters on any public-access network, including the Internet, America Online, and CompuServe. I wondered how private companies such as America Online can be considered public-access networks, so I called Senator Barbara Boxer's office and talked to an aide, a woman named Felicia. She said the use of promotional cards that give away a free hour or two of service constitues public access. You know, like the ones found in the back of books or in modem boxes. She also told me most BBS systems fall under this proposed statute. When asked how they propose to enforce this law, she said it's not Congress's problem. "Enforcement works itself out over time," she said. The group fighting this moronic law is led by Jerome Bernstein of the Washington law firm of Bernstein, Bernstein and Knowles (the firm that first took Ollie North as a client). I couldn't get in touch with any of the co-sponsors of the bill (including Senator Ted Kennedy, if you can believe it!), but Bernstein was glad to talk. "These people have no clue about the Information Highway or what it does. The whole thing got started last Christmas during an antidrinking campaign in the Washington D.C., metro area," Bernstein said, "I'm convinced someone jokingly told Leahy's office about drunk driving on the Information High and the idea snowballed. These senators actually think there is a physical highway. Seriously, Senator Pat Moynihan asked me if you needed a driving permit to 'drive' a modem on the Information Highway! He has no clue what a modem is, and neither does the rest of Congress." According to Bernstein, the antisexual wording in the bill was attributed to Kennedy's office. "Kennedy thought that technology was leaving him behind, and he wanted to be perceived as more up-to-date technologically. He also though this would make amends for his alleged philandering." Unfortunately, the public is not much better informed than the Senate. The Gallup Organization, at the behest of Congress, is polling the public regarding intoxication while using a computer and online "hot chatting." The results are chilling. More than half of the public thinks that using a computer while intoxicated should be illegal! The results of the sexuality poll are not available. But one question, "Should a teenage boy be encouraged to pretend he is a girl while chatting with another person online?" has civil rights activists alarmed. According to Kevin Avril of the ACLU, "This activity doesn't even qualify as virtual cross-dressing. Who cares about this stuff? What are we going to do? Legislate an anti-boys-will-be-boys law? It sets a bad precedent." I could go on and on with quotes and complaints from people regarding this bill. But most of the complaints are getting nowhere. Pressure groups, such as one led by Baptist ministers from De Kalb County, Georgia, are supporting the law with such vehemence that they've managed to derail an effort by modem manufacturers (the biggest being Georgia-based Hayes) to lobby against the law. "Who wants to come out and support drunkenness and computer sex?" asked a congressman who requested anonymity. So, except for Bernstein, Bernstein, and Knowles, and a few members of the ACLU, there is nothing to stop this bill from becoming law. You can register your protests with your congressperson or Ms. Lirpa Sloof in the Senate Legislative Analysts Office. Her name spelled backward says it all. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 94 23:23 BST From: CSTASW1 at vaxa.hw.ac.uk Subject: hlep help Return to table of contents
Date: 31 Mar 94 19:38:00 GMT From: fjdobner at ihlpa.att.com (Frank J Dobner +1 708 979 5124) Subject: Interbrew-Vatican Merger UPI-Vatican Well, it did not take long for Interbrew to aim their commercial weaponry south to the Vatican. As it appears the Vatican and Interbrew are in discussions leading to a commercial merger. Interbrew, the Belgian megabrewer/marketer, has had its eye on the vast wine and liquer cellars of the Vatican for some time. Supposedly, the catacombs in and around Rome have been used for some time in laying down these products. As told, the merger will round out Interbrew's presence in southern Europe as well as enhancing their product line into both the wine and spirit area. THe Vatican will maintain its ecclesiastical arm as its primary business. In a joint interview with both the Pope and Father Guido Sarducci, it was also learned that this venture did cause some stir in the Vatican ranks but they are both confident that the organization can be shored up. Note that the general audience masses on Wednesday mornings will continue in the piazza in front of St. Peter's basilica. The Pope, however, may not be drinking wine during mass anymore. It could now quite possibly also be beer. Yeah! Frank Dobner Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 1994 17:03:27 +0500 From: John Williams <jwilliam at hartford.edu> Subject: Several questions Fellow Brewers: Several questions. 1) I am looking at a Coronna bench capper in the Williams's Catalogue. They seem to like it but it looks like it is all plastic. Is this thing any good? Has anyone used one? 2) I used the new Wyeast wheat yeast (#?). I tried it upstairs in the coat closet and within 24 hours, it had sent blow off onto the floor and walls. I replaced the air lock with a 1" tube and had no trouble after that. The result is my fermentor has been banned from the upstairs. I still want to brew ales and other warm fermentors in the winter but my basement is 50 to 55. Does anyone have ideas on how I can heat a small space to 60 or 65 degrees? I am thinking of something just big enough to hold a 7 gallon carboy with blow off tube. This winter I just used lager yeast and enjoyed the cold. 3) My b-brite has hardened. How can I soften it up again and keep it from solidifying? 4) I purchased some brewing software for formulating recipes, Brewer's Calculator. It needs to know how my extract will contribute to the original gravity. Is there a rule of thumb for that or do manufacturers have that information? 5) If anyone has a favorite oatmeal stout recipe using Williams dark oatmeal extract, I would like a copy. Thanks and all answers can be sent directly if you don't think the answer has any general interest. jwilliams Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 94 11:46:28 PST From: hollen at megatek.com (Dion Hollenbeck) Subject: Re: RIMS info request >>>>> "slkinsey" == slkinsey <slkinsey at aol.com> writes: slkinsey> As someone also did recently, I would like to request any slkinsey> and all info on building a RIMS system. Design, what/where slkinsey> to buy, etc. would be greatly appreciated. I am not a real slkinsey> electronics-type techie, so try to make it easy for me. I slkinsey> would much rather buy components than have to wire/solder slkinsey> them together like is described in the "gadgets" special slkinsey> edition of Zymurgy. Bottom line on a temp controller, there are three ways you can go. You can wire wrap one, you can do a printed circuit board, or you can buy a PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) Temperature Controller from one of the commercial suppliers (Cole-Parmer or Omega). The commercial units can run as low as $180, and up to as high as $500 depending on what features you want. Also, with a commercial unit, they will only switch 3 amps, so you will also need to get a relay, which will run you another $30 or so, and they need a thermocouple or RTD to sense temperature which will run anothe $30 or so. Some people have suggested that you can get these parts surplus for less $$, but I have never seen them at the surplus stores I frequent. I built my own by enlisting the help of one of the Electronics Engineers here at work and we did a wirewrap version of the Morris design. This is what I have been using for 7 batches now and it works just fine. I am currently working on getting a PCB version working, but I am having a few technical difficulties with the etch process. When I get that solved and the board works, I plan to go out to a fab house and get a bunch made, and they will be for sale as a kit. Just solder in the parts and off you go. slkinsey> I am also interested in what people have to say about the slkinsey> advantages and disadvantages of the system. For example, slkinsey> George Fix, in his recent Zymurgy review of the Brew Magic slkinsey> RIMS system mentioned that many RIMS systems sufered in that slkinsey> "the overall malt character of each was less than ideal, slkinsey> often with an out-front grain astringent tone." Has this slkinsey> been anyone's experience? I recently entered three beers in competition and got two first places. All were done on the RIMS. There *were* judges comments about astringency, but only in the beer which did not place, not on the first place ones. Judges comments also indicated a nice malty aroma and flavor. The winners were a porter and a specialty porter with licorice. Regarding advantages of all grain with a RIMS system, I set up the system, add water, begin recirculation and temp boost, wait until it reaches 125F, dump in the grain, let it do a protein rest for 20 min, turn the dial to 153F, let it go up to there, wait while it mashes for 90 min, turn the dial to 168F, let it get there, wait for 20 min mashout and then use the pump to pump the wort to the wort boiler while adding sparge water at the top of the mash tun. Most of my time is spent sitting around with brewing buddies, drinking beer and talking beer, and glancing at the temp readout now and then. Can't imagine an easier system. slkinsey> What is the deal with hot-side aeration in a RIMS system + slkinsey> how do you prevent this? I don't have any HSA problems because my liquid return into the mash tun goes through a slotted copper manifold which is underneath the level of the liquid on top of the grain bed. Also, you should read George Fix's latest comments about the BrewMagic system which says that other RIMS systems he has seen have had foaming and HSA and astringency problems, but the BrewMagic has none of them. These were the last ones he made here in the HBD. There is a file of information in archives on sierra.stanford.edu regarding RIMS. I got lots of good information about RIMS there, as well as from asking questions here and in r.c.b. If you have any other specific questions, ask away, I would be happy to answer them. dion Dion Hollenbeck (619)675-4000x2814 Email: hollen at megatek.com Staff Software Engineer Megatek Corporation, San Diego, California Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 1994 14:21:56 CST From: "DANIEL HOUG" <HOUGD at mdh-bemidji.health.state.mn.us> Subject: copper ingestion In reply to Roger Lepine's query regarding copper and vinegar producing a toxic substance, here's more than you probably wanted to know. Essentially, the acidic (as opposed to acetic!) vinegar has the potential to leach copper from any copper utensil if there is sufficient contact time. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) regulates copper as a contaminant if it is found at levels over 1.3 mg/l in drinking water. Please understand, copper is also an essential trace element in our diet so don't get alarmed at the thought of copper in your brew or water supply. Copper poisoning of individuals has occured in carbonated beverage dispensors when the acidic carbonated water in a post-mix carbonator has backed up into the supply water line due to the lack of an appropriate backflow preventer. What does this mean for us as homebrewers? Probably not too much. I use a copper wort chiller, immersed in boiling, acidic wort and I don't feel it is a problem due to the short contact time (however, notice how shiny clean it comes out?!!?). One situation where it definately would be a problem is where there is extended contact time ie in a fermentation or dispensing vessel, including tubing. However this would also alter taste unfavorably and I doubt anyone uses copper containers in this manner. Personally, I would be leary of a copper boiling kettle but this is strictly my paranoia because I am so involved in the implementation of the SDWA in my work. Yeah, I know about the big gleaming copper vats at the big boys' breweries. Just never, ever use a lead product ie solders in constructing equipment as the chronic and acute toxicity levels are far lower and much more consequential. Dan Houg daniel.houg at health.state.mn.us Return to table of contents
Date: 31 Mar 94 23:36:00 GMT From: korz at iepubj.att.com (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583) Subject: IrishMoss/Beer&Light/GrainBedDepth/Underpitching/DryIce/CherryBeer Jason writes: >An instructer told me that Irish Moss >would help to clear up the beer. Ideas on this? Is it true? If >so, at what stage do you add it to the wort and how much do you >add? It will make your beer clearer if you have chill haze (haze that appears only when the beer is chilled). There are ways to reduce the proteins and tannins that cause chill haze without Irish Moss and I would suggest looking them up in Miller's or Papazian's books before trying Irish Moss. Irish Moss is used in the last 15 minutes of the boil and helps proteins coagulate, taking them out of solution. The recommended amount is 1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon for a 5 gallon batch, depending on how much protein you have to start with (too much Irish Moss can make your beer cloudier) and refined, flaked IM is much better than powdered and/or unrefined. ********** Keith writes: >In HBD #1385 Al mentioned that wavelengths of light other than UV can also >be harmful to beer. This is the first time I have heard that. Anyone have >any more info? I looked for a file I knew I used to have that contains an bunch of info about light and beer. It came from a series of posts about this subject about three or four years ago in HBD so you should be able to get it out of the archives. Offhand, it's easy to see that UV is not the only culprit because: 1. UV is not transmitted very well through standard glass, so the bottle should be enough protection if UV was the only problem, and 2. Fluorescent lights will skunk beer as well as sunlight and they don't give off much UV (otherwise we would all get nice tans at work, right? UV fluorescent lights are made of special glass (quartz?) and you can get them for the office -- there have been studies...). ******* Mike writes: >My suspicion is that the lesser grain bed depth is the >main culprit. I would estimate that the depth dropped from 6"-7" to about >4". Can anyone comment on this phenomenon? What is the optimal grain bed >depth? I would agree that the grain bed depth was the culprit. I've read (but forget where) that the optimal grain bed depth was 18 inches and that number just stuck in my head. I believe it was associated with a micro- brewery or brewpub, but if our screen size was similar, then the ideal grain bed depth should also be similar, no? Consider that if we used the same screen type as a micro, then we could picture our home setups as being one small cylinder of grain cut out of the micro's giant (by our standards) laeuter tun. Makes sense to me... On the other hand, the easymasher screen is centrally located and a much finer mesh, so maybe the numbers would be quite different? ******* Sam writes: >Someone mentioned in yesterday's digest that pitching a straight >packet of Wyeast into 5 gallons is underpitching. Okay, I believe you, >but what do I do about it. The answer is: make a starter. The way I do it is: 1. a week before brewing, I pop the Wyeast package 2. the package usually puffs up in two days, even if it's older 3. make up a 16- to 32-ounce mini-batch of 1.030 beer (I made up a chart I keep on the wall that shows me how many ounces of Dried Malt Extract for each size of starter) -- I just boil it for about 10 minutes and then force-cool with ice to room temp 4. put it in a sanitized bottle (I used to use Chimay bottles, but now I just make the starter right in an Erlenmeyer flask, which sanitizes it) 5. aerate it well, pitch the yeast, affix an airlock 6. let that ferment out (usually four or five days at 72F) 7. when it's time to pitch it into the batch, swirl up the yeast from the bottom of the bottle and pour it in Now, technically, this too is underpitching, but it's a lot better than just pitching from the package. Technically, you would want to add your 16 ounce starter to a 3/4-gallon starter and then use that in a 5-gallon batch. If you are concerned about adding 3/4 gallons of spent starter to your beer, you could just start three days earlier, let the yeast in the starter settle out and then dump off most of it before swirling up the yeast at the bottom. >Is [dry ice] pure enough to just toss into my wort >in order to cool it. I've heard it is not very sanitiary -- mold spores, some yeasts and some bacteria can survive. >I was going to use 7 pounds of amber malt >extract, seven pounds of cherries, a small amount of bittering hops >(cascades-7.5% AA), and maybe a half pound of crystal with a Lovibond >rating of sixty. I am shooting for an ale with a slight cherry aroma and >flavour Sounds good to me. I think you have the right idea -- I judged fruit beers in the AHA 2nd round last year and the winner had LESS fruit flavor/aroma than MOST of the losers! It's supposed to be beer, after all. As a data point, for a really intense cherry flavor/aroma, I used 13 pounds of dark, sweet, Washington cherries with 3.5 gallons of purecultured Lambiek. I figure that about half amount would have been a gentle cherry flavor/aroma. Important: 1. sanitize the cherries somehow -- I froze, then dipped them in boiling water for a few seconds, 2. don't add them till the secondary so the main ferment does not scrub out all the cherry flavor/aroma, and 3. use a BIG blowoff hose or have 50% headspace in your secondary! Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 1994 16:29 PST From: TARVINJ at axe.humboldt.edu Subject: fruit beer Summer is coming and I am planning to brew many fruit beers. Blackberries are particularly attractive to me for this, not only for their delicious flavor but also because they are free for the picking. I also have raspberry bushes, though I am not sure whether I will get enough fruit for even one batch of beer. I have also heard of a farm near my home where blueberries can be picked for a fraction of the grocery store price. Some research in this area has indicated that putting the fruit into the wort before fermentation results in a loss of fruit flavors and aroma so I found and plan to use the following method: add the fruit to the secondary fermenter before racking the beer into it and then rack the fruit over the beer. Anyway, my question is how do I avoid bacterial infection in this process? Here are some ideas I have heard/thought of: 1. crush and pasteurize the fruit at about 170 F for 20-30 minutes this will kill a lot of germs but will it kill a lot of the flavor as well? 2. Autoclave it in jars at the lab where I work. But how long and at what temperature? And will the lingereing Odo-clave taste get into my beer? 3. pressure cook it in jars. How much water in the pressure cooker? How long? 4. Just wash it well and do a lot of praying? Comments on these methods and other suggestions would be very apprectiated. Thanks a lot. Jay Tarvinj at Axe.humboldt.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 1994 19:33:30 -0500 (EST) From: "Tim Tillman (BIO)" <tillman at chuma.cas.usf.edu> Subject: Beer IRC? I recall reading somewhere that there is an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) devoted to beer and/or homebrewing. This is suppose to be something like CB on CI$ or RTC on GEnie. Of course, I could be really confused. Could someone give me the information. Email responses are OK. Thanks! Tim Return to table of contents
Date: 31 Mar 94 23:38:00 GMT From: korz at iepubj.att.com (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583) Subject: Chillers Compared/Re: Is this an OK way to brew? [END] writes: >The coiled copper wort cooler is a fine invention, but most people are >using it incorrectly and inefficiently. I siphon the wort *through* the >coil with the cold water, snow, ice, blue ice or whatever, in a large pot >on the outside. I'm afraid I must disagree. Neither less efficiently nor incorrectly -- there are three basic types of wort chillers: 1) immersion, 2) counterflow, 3) the kind you describe. The counterflow-type chiller is slightly more efficient than the other two, and type-2 and type-3 chillers produce slightly more compact cold break. >First I siphon about a gallon of >B-Brite through this system, which sufficiently sterilizes the inside of >the copper tubing and also the secondary. Again, I think you may just be lucky -- the recommended contact time for sanitation with Sodium Percarbonate-based sanitizers like B-Brite and One-step is 15 minutes. Sure 9 out of 10 batches there may be no problem, but I'd rather not risk it. Also, I'm pretty sure that Percarbonate will do a number on copper -- have you looked at the inside walls of the chiller lately? >After the boil, I strain the wort into another 5-6 >gal. container and set it beside the pot in the darkroom sink. Additional >hops can be added now if desired, so long as they are fine enough not to >plug up the tubing. Then, I siphon the wort through the coil and allow the >cooled wort to splash foamily into the secondary which is sitting on the >floor, hence much lower. I just counted two transfers, from kettle to container and then from container to fermenter. >The temperature will probably be down around >80^F and yeast can be pitched immediately. Hmmm? What if it's not? What if it's 90F or 60F? With an immersion chiller, you can run warm water through it to warm it back up if you overshoot (like I did last Monday night). Also, the cold break that formed during the chilling is now in your fermenter -- with my immersion chiller, the cold break can be left in the kettle. If you want to let it settle and then go to a fourth container, that would be four transfers for your method versus one transfer with mine. It's not wrong to use an immersion chiller the way I do -- it's just different than the way you do. I have weighed the pros and cons and prefer to immerse the chiller into the wort (which will definitely sanitize the chiller). ******* Jonathan writes: >For every 5 gals of beer I want to make I boil 1 gal >of water with 1 tsp. of gypsum, 3/4 tsp. citric acid, and 1 tsp. of salt >for water treatment. I use 8# of dried malt, and 1-1/2 # grain. I hold the >temperature at around 150 for an hour or so then bring it to a boil, add Since you are acidifying your water, I assume that the "grain" is malted barley (i.e. pale ale or pils malt). If it's crystal malt, then there's no reason for adding the water treatments -- the malt itself will drop the pH into the right range unless you have a lot of carbonates in your water. You don't mention straining out the grain -- removing it before the boil will remove a lot of astringency you would be getting if indeed you boil the grain. >the final hops, and let it sit (unheated) for around 20 mins. I sparge it >through a strainer, using the rest of the water to rinse the mash/wort. Why let it sit around? Surely it won't cool to a reasonable temperature in that time and this will only increase the amount of DMS that is produced. Running hot wort through a strainer is a guaranteed way to create Hot-Side Aeration problems (sherrylike/cardboardy flavors/aromas). Your beer would improve greatly if you first cooled the wort with an ice bath or with a chiller. If your water is chlorinated your beer would further improve if you pre-boiled and then chilled the 4 gallons in the fermenter. The >This also cools the wort sufficiently to allow pitching the yeast. I use a >starter of 7 grams dried yeast (per 5 gals) that I make as I prepare the >wort, putting the yeast in the starter at 90 degrees. Primary fermentation According to three major dry yeast manufacturers, you should rehydrate your yeast in sanitized 90-110F water, not a starter. >is done in a garbage pail (hence the name "Garbage Pale Ale") and after >the foam settles, (usually 2-3 days) rack it into carboys, let it stay >there as long as I can stand it, and bottle with 3/4 cup corn sugar per >5 gal. The beer always turns out clear and tasty. Any feedback welcome! This procedure can make good beer. Try the changes I propose and see if it's not even better. Regarding the level of scientific orientation, I enjoy both the art and the science of brewing... others may just like the art. We all work together via the HBD, other electronic forums and via books/magazines to share what we've learned and read. You don't have to know Krebs cycle to brew a prize-winning Scottish Ale. You have posted your process and I've suggested some changes -- you might try them and then either like or dislike the results. I know the science behind the Hot-Side Aeration (and would refer you to George Fix's article on it in a recent Zymurgy if you want more details) but all you really need to know is that cooling before aeration is what you need to do to reduce it. If you like the results, then you don't need to know the science to benefit from the process improvements. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 1994 20:59:00 -0500 (EST) From: Patricia Doran - HTMG/W94 <pdoran at acs.ryerson.ca> Subject: A smaller airlock I recently began homebrewing and while I have had success in producing both pale and dark ales, I would like to take the big leap and brew some real good lager. In my basement I have a small refrigerator (approx. 24" high) which I believe would be ideal for use as a lagering fridge. My problem is this: while my glass carboy fits quite nicely in the fridge on its own, once the airlock is in place (I have a standard airlock, approx. 2" high) the combined carboy-airlock unit is about 1.25" to tall to fit upright in the fridge. While I might be able to remedy the situation by tilting the carboy, what I would really like to do is to get a smaller (i.e., shorter) airlock so that the unit can stand upright. My questions are: a) does anyone know of a short airlock that is readily available - visits to my local homebrew stores in Toronto have been futile; and b) would using a shorter airlock be o.k. as far as the brewing process is concerned? Any info or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. PDoran Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 1994 01:28:29 -0600 (CST) From: schnitz at wuecona.wustl.edu (Mark Schnitzler) Subject: Rusty Kettle I have aquired a 6 gal enamel pot. Unfortunately some of the enamel in the bottom of the pot is gone and a thin layer of dark rust is there instead. Coments on its viability as a brewpot and thoughts on fixes? Thanks Mark *--------------------------------------------------------------------------* | Mark Schnitzler schnitz at wuecona.wustl.edu| *--------------------------------------------------------------------------* Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1387, 04/01/94