HOMEBREW Digest #1642 Fri 27 January 1995

Digest #1641 Digest #1643

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  where to get CO2 tanks / cask conditioning (How come the future takes such a long time to come when you're waiting for a miracle  25-Jan-1995 0928 -0500)
  Cheap Erlenmeyer flasks; Oatmeal Stout; Cat's Meow 3 ("Harralson, Kirk")
  AFCHBC Contest Announcement (Dion Hollenbeck)
  Stout Substitutions (M.Marshburn/D202)
  Philly area HB shops ("Peter Gothro")
  all grain-taking the plunge (ray fugitt)
  Bleeding excess pressure from 5l mini kegs (david lawrence shea)
   ("Davis G. Hunt")
  kegging problems (Kyle Kotwica)
  tampa bp/miss outlaw/kegging ("Wallinger, W. A.")
  Misc Topics ("Houseman, David L [TR]")
  Chile Beer recipe wanted... (Steven M Verdekel)
  Brewing a PU clone ("Lee A. Menegoni")
  Re: Sourdough beer (Bill Vaughan)
  D-C Belgian Pale/Munich Malt/Lager Starters ("Timothy P. Laatsch)
  Fermentap vs Brewcap & a question ("Dave Ebert")
  Ultimate Czech Pilsner (Don Rudolph)
  Decoction/Grain Bed Depth/Mash-out and Sparge ("Fleming, Kirk R., Capt")
  Rakes/polyclar+isinglass/goobers/sulphites (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583)
  Middle ages water. (W. Mark Witherspoon)
  where to get cheap/good 5 gallon popkegs (William Perry)
  Red Beers - Rot (Gary McCarthy)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 25 Jan 95 09:40:43 EST From: How come the future takes such a long time to come when you're waiting for a miracle 25-Jan-1995 0928 -0500 <ferguson at zendia.enet.dec.com> Subject: where to get CO2 tanks / cask conditioning >Date: 23 Jan 95 15:27:00 -0600 >From: korz at iepubj.att.com (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583) >Subject: sparge water/lightstruck?/cardboard/low-cost kegging setup [...] >$120 for CO2 tank, gauge, connectors, hoses and faucet (What most people, >incorrectly call a "tap" is actually a "faucet." A "tap" is the connector >that plugs into a Sankey, Golden Gate or Hoff-Stevens keg.) is probably a >used CO2 tank already. A new 5-pound CO2 tank will set you back at least >$80-90. Plastic connectors are usually $4-6 each, hose is about $1/foot, you can do better than this. i bought my _entire_ system from BCI in TN (800-284-9410) for $125 or so and that was with the more expensive 3 gal keg. they sell used c02 tanks, 10#, for $36, single-gauge reg. for $32 or so, 2 plastics disconnects at 3.20/ea, faucets (picnic-style) for about $4, and hose is $0.35/ft. stainless disconnects are about 8.75/ea. so, for about $85 bucks or so, you can be pretty well set up. i agree with Al, blow off the 2-guage regulator. in general, HB shops buy from places like BCI. then, they have to mark-up. you can too buy at "wholesale". after 2 yrs, my setup is still working fine. >Date: Tue, 24 Jan 1995 10:10:31 -0500 (EST) >From: Jim Busch <busch at eosdev2.gsfc.nasa.gov> >Subject: RE:casks/priming > >Kirk asks: > ><What is the distinction (for American amateurs) between >cask conditioning and priming in the keg? The terms seem >to be synonymous as I've seen them used. personally, i think they are one in the same. cask-cond basically means the beer goes thru a small fermentation/conditioning in the keg vs. in some huge sendonrary fermentation tank. the boys at budweiser don't prime their kegs, they just load 'em up with CO2 from a tank vs. allowing the yeast to chomp on some additional fermentables, such as sugar. cask-cond ale is "live" beer, vs. budwieser int he keg is pretty much dead, filtered to no end, etc. cask-ale _might_ be a bit cloudy, however, this being undesirable, lots of english brewers producing cask ales _do_ filter and/or use isinglass. i think the biggest distinction between cask ales and keg beer is alive vs. dead beer. cask-ales still have _some_ yeast in suspension, where as keg beer, it is usually completely filtered out. jc Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 95 11:16:00 EST From: "Harralson, Kirk" <kwh at roadnet.ups.com> Subject: Cheap Erlenmeyer flasks; Oatmeal Stout; Cat's Meow 3 In the latest catalog from American Science & Surplus, they announced they now have reasonably priced borosilicate glass (eg Pyrex(tm), Kimax(tm)) labware. The description says it is "student grade, which is good enough for anything fut the most exotic applications". The 500ml Erlenmeyer flasks are $3.50. I will probably get a couple of these for making starters. I have heard that these should not be used directly on an electric stove, so I will probably use the microwave to boil, and let them cool naturally, etc.. If anyone is interested, their number is (708) 982-0870. I was inspired by the discussion a few weeks ago about oatmeal stouts, and had to drink a few Samuel Smiths to remind myself how much I love it. My next beer will probably be based on the Sand Pit Special Stout recipe posted by Glen A. Wagnecz in HBD 1630. There was a follow up post about oatmeal causing stuck or difficult sparges. Does anyone have any words of wisdom on avoiding this, or just not worrying about it? I have heard of using rice hulls to avoid stuck sparges in wheat beers, but have seen little regarding oatmeal. Someone asked about the Cat's Meow 3 the other day. I have browsed it online from Spencer's web page, but have not seen in text file format. It clearly states that it is an electronic guide only. I don't have a web browser at home (yet), and I don't look for and plan recipes at work, so I guess I'm out of luck. Is there any plans to put this in file format? Kirk Harralson Bel Air, Maryland Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 95 08:15:53 PST From: hollen at megatek.com (Dion Hollenbeck) Subject: AFCHBC Contest Announcement Here is the final and completely updated announcement of the America's Finest City Homebrew Competition for 1995. Requests for entry packets should be sent with a US Mail address to the Email address listed below. The bottle forms can be obtained via Email in MSWord format only. No other forms are available via Email. Standard AHA entry and bottle forms are acceptable. Entry packets will be distributed via US Mail. For those of you in or near San Diego, entries will be accepted in person at most of the local homebrew supply shops. Call before bringing them in. Also, entries will **NOT** be accepted in person at the UPS shipping address, Alesmith Brewing Company. dion Dion Hollenbeck (619)675-4000x2814 Email: hollen at megatek.com Staff Software Engineer Megatek Corporation, San Diego, California - -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Second Annual America's Finest City Homebrew Competition Dear Brewer, Thank you for expressing an interest in AFCHC. Last year the contest was a success due to those of you who submitted over 170 entries and an outstanding group of judges. The second annual contest promises to be even better than the first. This year, all entries will be shipped and judged at the same site, therefore your beers will be less likely to be agitated once received. Like last year, we will be judging all AHA beverage styles including cider, mead, and sake. We will also send each entrant the judges score sheets for his or her entry, as we did in '94. The one area that we had a problem last year was in packaging. Many of the entries came in bottles other than those outlined in the AHA guidelines, and many of the beers had the bottle ID form taped to the bottle, rather than rubber banded. Please follow the AHA guidelines for bottle size, bottle color, and attachment of bottle identification forms. Ship beers to: AleSmith Brewing Company 9368 Cabot Drive San Diego, CA 92126 Entries will only be accepted February 27 through March 8, 1995. For those of you in San Diego, entries are being accepted at most of the homebrew supply stores. Entries will NOT be accepted in person at AleSmith Brewing Company, only via UPS. Two bottles per entry will be required, as there will be a best of show. The entry fee will be $6.00 for the first entry, and $4.00 each for each additional entry. Make check payable to QUAFF!!! The judging of the beers will be held Saturday, March 11, 1995 at AleSmith Brewing company. Due to the size of the room, and the concentration required by the judges, the judging will not be open to spectators. We are using the American Homebrewers Association rules, regulations, style descriptions and categories, so please refer to the Winter 1994 issue of Zymurgy magazine or call with questions. All AHA beverage categories will be accepted and judged. For those shipping their beers, please mark boxes with arrows pointing up, so we can store your beer right side up. Thanks again for your interest. Cheers, Skip Virgilio Ted Newcomb Paul Laskin Contest Organizer Judge Director Competition Registrar (619) 566-7061 (619)552-8293 (619)438-9332 Dion Hollenbeck (hollen at megatek.com) is your email contact Return to table of contents
Date: 25 Jan 95 10:14:50 EST From: M.Marshburn/D202 at cgsmtp.comdt.uscg.mil Subject: Stout Substitutions Collective wisdom of the HBD I would like to brew the Barrel of Monkeys Wheat Oatmeal Stout in Papazian's HBC. However, I don't have the wheat malt, roasted and roasted black barley. I do have D-C pale ale malt and specialty malts like biscuit, aromatic, special b, etc... Can I make the roast and black malts from the pale ale by baking it in the oven??? Temp, length of time??? I have whole wheat flour bought at a power show. Its whole wheat threshed and ground by turn of the century power (horse etc.) equipment, could I use 1/2lb or so in the mash as replacement for the wheat malt??? Post or private will be fine. TIA Mike Marshburn m.marshburn/d202 at cgsmtp.comdt.uscg.mil Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 08:23:35 PST8PDT From: "Peter Gothro" <PGOTHRO at marvin.ag.uidaho.edu> Subject: Philly area HB shops Hello All! Rick Gontarek was asking about Philly area HB shops, so here's my $.02 worth: When I was living in Newark, DE, I used to go to Wine Hobby U.S.A. in Stanton, DE (between Wilmington and Newark), and I also heard of a fireplace shop/nome brew store in Ambler, PA (west of Philly I think). Hope this helps. Pete Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 09:35:14 -0800 From: rfugitt at ix.netcom.com (ray fugitt) Subject: all grain-taking the plunge I am ready to take the plunge, I'm looking for suggestions on a all grain system. I am looking to buy one, not make it. The biggest limitation is I live in an apartment, not alot of room. I am interested in a system that has it's own heating source if possible, my stove does not heat up well. Dealers replies welcome. Thanks in advance. Ray Fugitt rfugitt at ix.netcom.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 13:04:49 -0500 (EST) From: david lawrence shea <dshea at ucs.indiana.edu> Subject: Bleeding excess pressure from 5l mini kegs After my recent posts about never having any problems with excess pressure in my mini-kegs, guess what? I returned home last night to find that my keg of Hefeweizen had begun doing a number on my keg. I found away to rid it of the excess pressure however. I got an ordinary knife (silverware) and got under the lip of the bung and pressed hard into the center of the bung. If you do it hard enough, a small opening will let the excess CO2 escape. When you remove the knife, the bung seals back up. David L. Shea Indiana University dshea at ucs.indiana.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 95 12:22:16 CST From: "Davis G. Hunt" <BU01801 at MUSICB.DCCCD.EDU> Subject: I would like to request service to this list serv. I am a home brewer, and would like to swap tall tales and recipies. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 95 10:30:49 PST From: kotwica at ATS.ORST.EDU (Kyle Kotwica) Subject: kegging problems This kegging stuff seemed so fool proof; I guess I'm no ordinary fool. I recently got a cornelius keg system, and have been trying to force carbonate my beer. Its been a couple of weeks and I've drunk at least a gallon of flat beer. Several times a day I shake the keg for a minute or so. Its been charged at 30 lbs the whole time, and still every time I take a glass of foam ( and let it turn into beer) its flat. To make matters worse now after all my messing around every time I shake it some beer starts working its way back up the line towards the CO2 canister. After I set it down the incoming CO2 pushes the beer back into the keg but still.... Return to table of contents
Date: 25 Jan 95 11:03:08 PST From: "Wallinger, W. A." <WAWA at chevron.com> Subject: tampa bp/miss outlaw/kegging From: Wallinger, W. A. (Wade) To: OPEN ADDRESSING SERVI-OPENADDR Subject: tampa bp/miss outlaw/kegging Date: 1995-01-25 12:47 Priority: - ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1. will be visiting tampa soon - would appreciate brewpub recommendations ----- 2. seems that steve in al has outlaw neighbors, including me, in ms. there is a bill in committee in the house to correct this abomination. for those brewing rebs out there - calls can be made to chairman of the rules committee, bill endris, at 601-359-3355 and your state representative regarding house bill 398, and to your state senator regarding senate bill 2097. ----- 3. and finally my disertation on first-time kegging - WARNING LONG POST: Here's the procedure I followed during my first kegging experience. I did not find a detailed procedure in the array of books that I read on the subject, and thought that this might be of interest to other 'beginners'. I also look forward to improvements I could make from the 'pros'. My system consists of a 20-pound CO2 bottle, a two-gage regulator, and 5-gallon Cornelius kegs with pin lock attachments, a pressure line to run from the regulator to the inlet (2-pin) side of the keg, and a tapper line to run from the outlet (3-pin) side of the keg to the tap. Process 1: Pressure Test the Keg 1. attach the regulator to the bottle and tighten the fitting 2. attach the pressure line to the regulator and tighten the fitting 3. attach the pressure line to the keg (press down and turn to lock on the pins) 4. ensure that the set screw on the regulator is screwed out to avoid over pressuring the keg 5. slowly crack open the CO2 bottle valve and watch the low pressure gage if the pressure exceeds 20 psi: a. close the valve b. reset the regulator pressure by screwing out the set screw c. repeat at the beginning of step 5 6. once you have ensured that the pressure is below 20 psi, open the valve about one full turn 7. screw in the regulator set screw until the keg pressure is 20 psi 8. close the valve 9. slowly crack the regulator fitting that is attached to the bottle to bleed the high pressure side 10. then quickly retighten the fitting to avoid depressuring the keg if you lose pressure repeat from step 6 [Question - is there usually a check valve on the high pressure side of the regulator?! 11. leave the pressure on the keg overnight to ensure that there are no leaks 12. if the keg doesn't hold pressure then it may require reconditioning [Observation - I lost 4 psi overnight, due in part to a cool temperatures, which I judged to be OK! 13. disconnect the pressure line at the keg 14. depressure the keg by depressing the inlet fitting with a screwdriver do not stand directly over the fitting while depressuring [Question - do some folks simply do a soap test to check for leaks and be done with it?! Process 2: Sanitize the Keg 1. make sure the keg is depressured and open the keg 2. fill the keg 1/2 way with hot tap water, add 1 ounce of bleach, and fill to the top with hot tap water 5. close the keg and shake the contents 6. attach the pressure line to the keg 7. attach the tapper line to the outlet fitting on the keg 8. open the CO2 bottle valve to pressure up the keg 9. once pressured up, open the tap until you smell bleach at the tap 10. close the valve and disconnect the pressure line from the keg 11. let the keg stand for 30 minutes don't let it stand longer - chlorine can attack the stainless steel [Question - any interest in a thread on the pros and cons of other sanitizing agents for kegs?! 12. depressure the keg through the tap 13. open the keg and pour out the contents - the tapper can be left attached to the keg 14. rinse the keg with hot tap water and drain the contents - repeat this twice more 15. refill with enough hot tap water to cover an inch of the outlet line at the bottom of the keg 16. reconnect the pressure line to the keg 17. open the bottle valve long enough to lightly pressure the keg, then close the valve 18. disconnect the pressure line from the keg 19. depressure the keg through the tap to rinse the tapper line and tap 20. disconnect the tapper line from the keg 21. open the keg and pour out the contents Process 3: Filling 1. rack the beer into the freshly-sanitized keg 2. close the keg 3. attach the pressure line to the keg 4. open the CO2 bottle valve to fully pressure the keg 5. disconnect the pressure line at the keg [Observation - I did not have to close the valve when disconnecting the pressure line! 6. depressure the keg by depressing the inlet fitting with a screwdriver do not use the outlet fitting since you would get a faceful of beer 7. repeat steps 3 through 6 twice more to purge oxygen from the keg 8. repressure and let stand as required to achieve the desired carbonation level [Observation - I was unfortunate enough not to have room left over in my spare refrigerator for the keg. Well, the water in my pool is 56 degF, so I put the keg on the ledge in the deep end of the pool with the CO2 bottle on the side of the pool. In addition to being the most stable heat sink around my house, the top of the keg is just below the surface of the water, so I re-verified that I had no leaks. In addition, the keg is in a mild-chlorine 'bath' to ensure external sanitation - and no one swims this time of year so there's no p in ool either.! WAWAs world and the land of beth's finger beer &:-[o Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 95 14:05:00 EST From: "Houseman, David L [TR]" <DLH1 at trpo3.Tredydev.Unisys.com> Subject: Misc Topics Patrick asks why his all grain beer came out so bitter..... There's a good chance that this is not bitterness, but tannin astringency from too high pH and/or temperature of the sparge water. This topic has been covered in detail so I won't try to cover here; just recognize that as the problem rather than excess bitteress from hops. Jim comments on the high cost of Irish Moss.... Two factors here, how much it costs, per once for example, and how much you use. The cost per once isn't high, in fact one ad in Zymurgy has this at $5/lb! But remember that you only use from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon (more recent wisdom based on George Fix's testing) per 5 gallon batch. One tablespoon of irish moss can't be but a few grams so the cost to use this, especially given the return, is miniscule. Dave Houseman Groundhog Brewery Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 11:09:42 -800 (PST) From: Steven M Verdekel <steven at cyber.cyber.net> Subject: Chile Beer recipe wanted... Bill Vaughn: If you have that recipe for chile beer laying around, I would sure be interested in looking at it, as I am sure many people on here would. It seems most of my recent batches have been of the specialty variety, ie..coffee, and chocolate beer but I have yet to brew a chile beer. This sounds good. (I bet some of the beer purists out there CRINGE at the mention of 'chile beer'...but then again they aren't homebrewers!) Steven at cyber.net Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 95 13:24:54 EST From: "Lee A. Menegoni" <lmenegoni at nectech.com> Subject: Brewing a PU clone Guide lines for makinng a PU clone: When trying to clone any world class beer one must pay attention to the water, hops, grain and yeast. Brewing a quality PU clone is a long brew day , fermentation and lager . You can cut corners but you compromise the product The water in Pilsen is very soft, it is low in sulphur and calcium. Use the softest water you can and don't add gypsum. You may need to buy water for this type of beer if your tap water is very hard. You may want to add some calcium chloride to help lower mash ph with a very soft water. When in dought add nothing. Hops, one word, Saaz, whole or pellet your choice, it may take as much as 1/4 lb with some of the low %aa stuff that has been around. The hopping level in part is related to water hardness the harder the water the lower the hopping since you don't want to produce harsh bitterness,. Low to high 30s IBU depending on water, PU is in the low 40s . When I used 3.1%aa Saaz I added 2 oz for 60minutes 3/4oz for 30 minutes and 1 oz at the for 2 minutes. You have to be careful with the last two additions or you get too much flavor and overpower the malt. Grain: use a quality Pilsner malt like Ireks or Durst. You may want to add no more than 10% Ireks or Durst Munich and a couple percent of DC Caramel Pils. If you use the Cpils steep it in 160F water and add at mashout. Based on previosly published information I don't use DC Belgian Pils , it is too modified and produces less malty chracter than the German malts mentioned. Yeast: Try the Wyeast Chech Pils or 2206, 2124 produces an adeqauate product in a shorter amount of time but IMHO it lacks in malty character. Mashing: Do a double decotion, Hit 100F for your first rest. After 10 minutes, pull a thick decotion of about 40% of your grain. Heat the decotion to 152 hold for 20 minutes and heat to boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Add to main mash until you hit 120-122 infuse with hot or cold water as needed. Let sit for 5 minutes and pull another 40% decotion and heat to 152. While the decotion is mashing in the 150s heat the main mash to 140, you don't want to do a protein rest much longer than 15 minutes or you get to much protein degradation and a thin beer with poor head retention. Let the decoction sit at 152 for 20 minutes and boil 10. Add this to the main mash and hit 156-158. Mash until converted. Heat main mash to 170 for mashout, hold 10 minutes. Becareful of hotside airation. This beer should be fermented in the mid 40sF, after the krausen has fallen, 2 weeks or so, you want to raise the temp 5 degrees for a couple days to do a diacetyl rest . Then lower the temp 5 degrees every 12 hours until you hit your lagering temp. 40F works but 33 is better. Let sit another day to let yeast settle out and rack to secondary . Let lager for at least 6 weeks. Its now ready to keg or bottle. This is a lot of work, I brew it once a year. Lee Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 1995 12:19:33 -0800 From: bill at oilsystems.com (Bill Vaughan) Subject: Re: Sourdough beer I have been making sour mash stout for some years. I've tried "wild" (grain husks/atmosphere) lactobacillus and yogurt culture to sour the mash, but about 3 years ago I settled on sourdough culture. It has a very clean lactic flavor, is entirely predictable, and its fermentation rate is much slower than yogurt culture or wild lacto, probably because it seems to want a higher fermentation temp than the others. A slow fermentation rate is important for my recipe because I stop the lactic fermentation when it reaches a pH of 3.9 in order to get the sweet wort (a misnomer in this case) to the degree of tartness I like. (The recipe is partial mash -- I use about a 14# mash for a 10-gallon batch and bring it up to strength with 12# of extract.) The flavor is quite neutral. I don't get any hint of "sourdough bread" in the beer, whereas with yogurt culture I did get a slight hint of yogurt flavor. (My friends swore they couldn't taste it, but I could.) As for wild sourmash, it might be traditional, but I will pass. There is too much chance of spoiling the batch. It is entirely unpredictable, sometimes never seems to get sour enough, sometimes too sour, sometimes develops off flavors. So it's sourdough stout for me. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 15:55:10 -0400 (EDT) From: "Timothy P. Laatsch <LAATSCH at kbs.msu.edu>" <LAATSCH at kbs.msu.edu> Subject: D-C Belgian Pale/Munich Malt/Lager Starters Hey HBDers, I have finally found a place to buy DeWolf-Cosyns Belgian malts. My question: is the D-C Belgian Pale Ale malt a suitable well-modified malt for most pale ales? I'm thinking ahead toward spring and would like to refine my all-grain technique by tweeking various parameters in a series of pale ales. A 50-lb. bag is the economical way to go, but I wanted to get some ops on the D-C pale ale before sinking a load into it. Now, back to the present. I'm planning to do two Munich Dunkels, one of which will be a standard step infusion mash and the other of which will be a simple single decoction step mash. I want to see if I can detect a noticeable difference between the two with respect to maltiness in the flavor profile. The recipe is based on that given by Noonan: 5.00 lbs German Durst Pilsner malt 3.50 lbs German Durst Munich malt 1.00 lbs German Durst 50L Crystal 0.50 lbs American Cara-pils malt 7.0 AAU Saaz pellets (boil) 0.25 oz. Saaz finishing hops At 80% efficiency (homebrewer's) according to SUDS, I get an OG of 1.055---should end up a little higher based on my previous experience with my setup. The questions: What degree of modification can I typically expect from a German malt? I am specifically concerned whether a protein rest is necessary/detrimental for this beer. I had intended to use a 40/60/70 mash for well-modified malts when it occurred to me that these may not be fully-modified. Will the Saaz hops carry this beer out of standard style?---Noonan recommends Hallertau. Lastly, the only yeast I have on hand is Wyeast Bohemian Lager, which isn't traditionally recommended for this style. Will it still perform satisfactorily for a Munich? Its profile description is for big residual maltiness, which is what I'm after. On a side-note, what is the maximum percentage of the grain bill that can be Munich? I've read %100, but what kind of effects does an all-munich grain bill have on flavor? Last and certainly not least.....Can someone please summarize the appropriate steps for starter-culturing a lager yeast? I've seen an infinite number of variations, to the point of getting me completely confused. I plan to let the Wyeast pack swell at the upper end of the lager temperature range (about 54 F), pitch to about a 0.5 qt starter at the same temp, and then step to a 0.5 gallon starter at the same temp. I have heard some people suggest starting lager yeasts a little warmer to build up cell counts and for a quick start in the wort, then cooling slowly to actual fermentation temp. What works best and why? Wow, what a barrage of questions this post turned out to be! I apologize and wish to thank the collective wisdom for the recent thought-provoking discussions on the digest. As always, email is fine, but perhaps some of these issues are of general interest, especially a definitive lager culturing routine and the notorious protein rest. BREW ON! Bones ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Timothy P. Laatsch Graduate Student in Microbial Ecology/Bioremediation Michigan State University Kellogg Biological Station Kalamazoo, MI laatsch at kbs.msu.edu Brew Free or DIE! +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 14:25:07 MST-0700 From: "Dave Ebert" <DNE at Data.HSC.Colorado.edu> Subject: Fermentap vs Brewcap & a question You may recall that a few weeks back I asked if anyone had heard much about the Fermentap. I received very few responses about the fermentap and some people wrote me about the Brewcap. To learn for myself I asked Santa for a Fermentap for Xmas (got it!) and I bought a brewcap from my local brew shop this past weekend. I've brewed one batch with the fermentap and I'll be doing a batch with the brewcap in the near future. Once the fermentation is complete I'll publish my opinions on the two devices. On another note. Ever since I began brewing I noticed that even though I strained the wort through two screens when pouring it into the primary fermenter (glass carboy) I had a good couple of inches of sediment even before the yeast began working. This past weekend I started a wheat beer and put some irish moss in to help clarify as usual. But this time I decided to settle the wort for 24 hours, rack off the top of the sediment and then pitch the yeast. Other than the fact that I run an additional slight risk of contamination are there any reasons why this technique wont help me in having cleaner brews? The fermenting wort is clear and you only see the sediment of the yeasties not the normal junk. Experts....your comments please? Dave Ebert dne at data.hsc.colorado.edu Return to table of contents
Date: 25 Jan 95 16:42:35 EST From: Don Rudolph <76076.612 at compuserve.com> Subject: Ultimate Czech Pilsner In HBD #1640, Darryl asks via Matt about cloning an authentic Czech Pilsner. Since I started brewing six years ago, my purpose in life has been to create a perfect Pilsner Urquell clone. I haven't succeeded. I still have a purpose. I've been to the brewery and saw how they do it, I've tasted the bitter/sweet nectar fresh from the lager tanks, and I still fall short of the mark. For those interested, here are some considerations for creating the ultimate Pilsner: Malt - Czech malt is undermodified compared to the malts we buy here. The best results I have obtained have been with European malts, specifically the Belgian Pilsner malt. I haven't used Ireks (German) malt, would any- one like to comment on this malt? How does it compare to Belgian? The worst attempts have been with domestic malts and malt extracts. The rich, malty character of PU cannot be duplicated with these ingredients, IMO. Mashing - Triple, Double, Single decoctions, infusion mashing. I've done 'em all. In Pilsen, they use a triple decoction mash and rests for acidification, protein degradation, and saccarification. This intense mash regimen is dictacted by 1) Soft water, and 2) Undermodified malt. The fully modifed malts we use here don't seem to benefit much from a decoction when brewing pale beers, so I haven't had any better results with decoction over infusion mashing. What's missing from my infusion brews is that malty, carmelly aroma and flavor that is likely the result of melanoidins produced during decoction. To get this character in my brews, I use a light crystal (20-40L) in small amounts (.25 - .5 lb/5 gal). It's not quite the same, but it's close. Water - Seattle is blessed with soft water. This is good. If you have high carbonate or sulfate water, its very hard to get the hop character just right. If you don't have soft water, you may to start with distilled water and add minerals matching Pilsen's water. Or, use less hops. Hops - As I stated above, getting the hop character just right is a real challenge with a PU clone. PU is a bitter beer (isn't it about 40 IBUs ?) but the bitterness is very smooth, and without any harshness. In Pilsen, they add hops in three lots, which gives the beer a complex hoppy character. To duplicate this, use soft water, Saaz hops added to the kettle at 60,30, and 5 minutes before the boil. Be generous, and aim for at least 35 IBU. To get that wonderful, big hop nose, late hop with at least 1 ounce of Saaz. I have used up to 2 oz. Try and get Saaz plugs (not pellets), they seem to endure the travel and abuse better than pellets or whole hops. Don't dry hop, the character imparted by dry hops just isn't the same as PU. Yeast/Fermentation - A good lager yeast is essential. I've used Wyeast Bohemian and Czech with excellent results. Both are sulfur producers and need time to condition out. Chill quickly, rack off cold trub, aerate very thoroughly. Then, pitch a large, clean, healthy starter, and ferment at lager temps (45-55F). When I tasted PU at the brewery, the yeast character was very evident, and expressed itself as a sulfury note just at the threshold of perception. Also, lager in a cornelius keg as long as you can stand it, for up to 5 months. Further Reading - Some good books are out there that address some of the technical and esoteric issues of brewing pilsner beer. For starters, try Miller's "Continental Pilsner". I also learned alot from Noonan's "Brewing Lager Beer", a treatise on decoction mashing. Richman's "Bock" is also enlightening on malts, decoction mashing, and melanoidin production. Recipe - My closest yet is: 9 lb Belgian Pilsner Malt 8 oz CaraPils Malt 6 oz 20L Crystal Malt 7 AAU Saaz 60 minutes 3 AAU Saaz 30 minutes 1.5 oz Saaz 5 minutes Wyeat Czech or Bohemian yeast, slurry from 1/2 gal starter. OG 1048-1053, TG 1010-1016 Mash-in at 145F for 20 minutes, raise to 155-158 until conversion. Sparge, boil at least 90 minutes, force cool to 45F, rack off trub, aerate, and pitch. Primary ferment 10 days at 48F, slowly cool to 40F, rack to secondary (keg). After 30 days, lower temp slowly (2 deg per day) to 32F and lager at 5-10 psi for up to 5 months. Fine with gelatin if necessary. This is a very difficult beer to brew well. Every mistake and flaw is easy to see or taste. The pale color, delicate palate, and impeccable balance are hard to get just right and easy to screw up. PU's been brewed for 100 years, maybe in 100 years I'll get it right! Don Rudolph Seattle, WA 76076.612 at CompuServe.COM Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 95 15:00:00 MST From: "Fleming, Kirk R., Capt" <FLEMINGKR at afmcfafb.fafb.af.mil> Subject: Decoction/Grain Bed Depth/Mash-out and Sparge >From HBD #1640: >Matt K asks: I'm looking for details on decoction mashing, which malts require it... My understanding was that decoction referred ONLY to the means by which temperature was controlled in a mash, and had nothing to do with any particular mash schedule. Specifically, according to my source(s), decoction means nothing more than using hot make-up water to heat the mash, or using some mash liquor removed from the tun and heated, to do the same. I'm getting the idea there is much more to it than this...someone please illuminate! And >J Busch responds to Zeek's re: grain bed depth question... What does Zeek mean when he suggests his recirc "is not effective", and what are the implications of various grain bed depths? Our grain bed, for a typical 12 gal brew, is about 8-10 inches, and I was actually concerned about it being too deep (for some reason). What I DO notice about the grain bed is that it doesn't seem to have the gradient of particle size often described: to wit, there isn't any detectable layer of fine dough on the bottom, followed by successively coarser stuff on top. Finally, we've seen many references to stuck mashes and long sparge times. Our sparges go about 15-20 min for a 10-12 gal batch. We pump from the mash tun into the kettle about as slowly as we can, and at the same time pump from the sparge tank into the mash tub at the same rate, trying to keep a layer of water over the grains. We're concerned that a "good sparge" should ideally take much longer, possibly to afford the entrapped goodness enough time to get dissolved by the sparge water and carried off. On our last batch, the last runnings from the mash tub had a gravity of 10 (corrected), which I know is a little higher than 2 Plato (a recommended stopping point). Our filter trays have 3/32" holes spaced evenly about 7/16" apart, and there are about 900 of them--this is for a mash tun built from a Sankey keg. We've let our mash level go well below the surface of the bed, and had no trouble recovering flow, and this even with 1/2 lb of wheat malt. Should we be striving for a slower-flow sparge for any reason? Kirk R Fleming The TurboSparge Corporation - flemingkr at afmcfafb.fafb.af.mil - BEER: It's not just for breakfast anymore. Return to table of contents
Date: 25 Jan 95 15:53:00 -0600 From: korz at iepubj.att.com (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583) Subject: Rakes/polyclar+isinglass/goobers/sulphites Jim writes: >Rake'ing (or knifing) the lauter is merely using a long thin >device to cut verticle channels through the grain bed in the >lauter tun. I use the handle end of a long SS spoon. I like >to cut in a pie shape pattern, be sure not to cut deep to the >filter bed, stay a few inches above this. Lauter tuns have >rakes installed in the better breweries to do this, it helps ^^^^^^ >to remove the spent grains, lift overly compacted grain beds, >and keep hard to lauter beds from becoming stuck. Actually, it has nothing to do with the quality of the brewery. In Britain, I asked every brewmaster if they ran the rakes during the lauter and every one of them (eight or ten) said "No! They only use the rakes to remove spent grain." The answer to why infusion mashing breweries do not use rakes during the lauter can be found in Hough's Biotechnology of Malting and Brewing (sorry, don't have the page handy) or, I'm sure, in Malting and Brewing Science by Hough, et. al. The reason that decoction breweries *must* use rakes is because boiling the decoctions removes the entrapped air from the mash. In infusion mashes, this entrapped air makes the grain bouyant and thus the grain bed "floats" slightly. This keeps the bed from compacting. I've also spoken to Greg Moehn, the brewmaster at Chicago Brewing Company about this and they run the rakes on and off for their Red Ale, Porter and Lager, but run them continuously for their Wheat. Once they did stop the rakes on the wheat and had to climb in there with shovels. So, this implies that even with an infusion mash, when using sticky ingredients like wheat, the rakes are required in some systems. Furthermore, Jim writes: >A rest at 128F using pale ale malt will certainly make a clearer beer, >one that will not taste too good, either. Finings like Isinglass, are >actually *foam positive*, ie, they increase the foam stand on a beer, >really! Polyclar will latch on to large proteins and settle them out, >if your beer has enough medium proteins, your foam will still be OK. >Have you tried real cold conditioning, for 2 weeks at 31F? THis will >drop many beers clear. BTW, isinglass drops yeast by a electrostatic >charge effect, followed by mass accretion, which causes sedimentation. >Polyclar drops proteins. If you have a real vigorous boil and are >careful in leaving the hot trub in the kettle, then protein haze using >pale ale malts is not a normal problem. Careful, careful, Jim... Polyclar (PVPP) attracts tannins, not proteins. I still contend (and this is based solely on my own preliminary tests) that a short protein rest of about 15 min at 135F will decrease break formation without affecting head retention and body significantly, even with a fully modified malt such as British Pale Ale malt. You have to consider the affects of peptidase and protease separately! Actually, I believe that all finings work electrostatically except one who's name escapes me and possibly bentonite. ********* Kirk writes: >After witnessing the incredible spectacle of huge flocs precipitating out to >form a 2" thick layer of sponge on the bottom, the beer appeared to be >quite free of suspended material. > >Today, my associate called to report the beer is now a suspension of >"millions" of little stringy, gooey looking snow-white particles (we have >labeled them "goobers", for now), in a highly turgid state. You've described cold break. The beer should turn out fine. Yes, it was probably the wheat malt that made for all this cold break... wheat contains significantly more protein than barley. ******* Richard writes: >I've always used sulphites of sodium for sanitizing >everything (because the person that I brewed with >used it). It smells really toxic, but rinses right away. >Lots of books/posts/... say bleach is >a popular choice. However, I find that the bleach smell >is really hard to get rid of, and I don't want my beer >smelling or tasting like the neighborhood swimming >pool. Sulphites don't actually sanitize anything. In an acid environment they produce a sulphur gas which inhibits the growth of yeasts and some bacteria. Bleach is an alternative, but, as you suggest, is not easy to rinse off of some surfaces and is not very environmentally friendly. I prefer to use Sodium Percarbonate, which is available commercially as One-Step Sanitizer and B-Brite. I do use bleach for some things (Smartcap sanitation) and Iodophor for others (kegs, stainless, etc.), but prefer to use One-Step wherever I can. It is the most environmentatlly friendly sanitizer and can be used without rinsing (well, if you don't count boiling water!). Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 18:38:34 -0500 From: mwithers at hannibal.atl.ge.com (W. Mark Witherspoon) Subject: Middle ages water. The reason bear and wine were the things to drink then and now was the pollution of the local water supply. The water over there then was full of bacteria (typhus, ameboa, step,staff, etc..). The boiling of the wort and the fermenting (alchol creation) would destroy all or most of the bacteria content. Now days the local water is so full of heavy metals that boiling will cause most of them to drop out or be absorbed by the grain, protein, and yeast. Fresh grape is relitivly bacteria free, so fermentation would keep the bacteria count down or out. Mark Witherspoon Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 95 20:21:45 EST From: William Perry <William.L.Perry.13 at nd.edu> Subject: where to get cheap/good 5 gallon popkegs Hi, Sorry to post here and not on the news group, but our news server is having its midlife crisis right now and has decided not to accept postings for some odd reason. Anyway, I am interested in purchasing or finding 5 gallon pop kegs. I have tried all of the bottlers in south Bend, Indiana (no laughing please) and they were not helpful at all. If anyone has suggestions on where I might get them relatively cheap I would appreciate it. The cheaper the better according to my wife. I would be interested in buying 4 or so for all of the different brews. Thank you very much, Bill Perry Return to table of contents
Date: 25 Jan 1995 16:49:34 GMT From: gmccarthy at dayna.com (Gary McCarthy) Subject: Red Beers - Rot There has been some bandwidth recently about the Red Beers in the marketplace nowadays. Before I brewed, I like Killians Red, when I could find it on-tap. But todays Salt Lake Tribune, in an article titled Red Beer: Is it Real?, mentions Rot. "There is something called Rot, which is a rare, aged red German beer, but nothing about its making or style comes near the red beers sold now". This a Knight-Ridder News Service article, so it may be in your local paper also. Does anyone know anything about Rot, and does anyone have a recipe(perf all-grain)? Gary_Mccarthy at dayna.com When the going gets tough, the tough get ice cream. Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1642, 01/27/95