HOMEBREW Digest #1852 Mon 09 October 1995

Digest #1851 Digest #1853

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  Long Lager Lags. (Jim Cave)
  Icecream Maker to Wort Stirer (Raybans7)
  Juveniles, beer, and the gestapo... ("Pat Babcock")
  molasses (Mark Ruhe)
  10/10 -- A Day in the Life of Cyberspace (http://www.1010.org/) (Bits)
  Brewing Ingredient Categorization (Kirk R Fleming)
  New Brewery (Bird)
  Announcement, Bavarian Lager and Graf VIennas... ("Pat Babcock")
  RE Honey in Beer (Tim Fields)
  Re: SS Keg and welding (hollen)
  Wyeast 1214 Abbey at 53^F and still "banana heaven"??  Help?? (Robert S Wallace)
  Extraction Efficiency, Agitation, and Recirc (Kirk R Fleming)
  All-Grain Burner ("James Linscheid")
  Composting Grains (IHomeBrew)
  Brewing Software (CHARLIE SCANDRETT)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 7 Oct 1995 8:52:18 -0700 (PDT) From: Jim Cave <CAVE at PSC.ORG> Subject: Long Lager Lags. Mark Thompson is concerned about the length of lag in his lager fermentations. Mark: The cause is underpitching and the cure is to pitch more yeast. How much? The equivalent of 50% of the yeast recovered from a primary fermentation. The same concern applies to ales, but the problem is accentuated in lagers, with the colder temperature of the fermentation. Dan McConnell is the main proponent of adequate pitching. His advice is simply to plan your brewing schedule for several batches of beer and repitch the yeast from one fermentation to the next. I've been doing this whenever possible and found that it is even more important for lagers. It isn't unusual to find lag times of several days if you are only pitching a starter the equivalent of 5% of the wort you are pitching. Having said that, one of my best dunkels ever which won several times in the lager class had a lag of several days. Now, I reserve wort from each batch of beer and freeze it. This lets me get a pitching rate of about 10% of the volume of the beer and it is adequate to start the first batch. To do this you need to keep several batches of frozen wort on hand to match the beer you are brewing. These need to be boiled first for 10 minutes or so to sterilize prior to making up the starter. Jim Cave Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 7 Oct 1995 14:31:04 -0400 From: Raybans7 at aol.com Subject: Icecream Maker to Wort Stirer While back home, I was visting my old friend who got me interested in homebrewing. He was showing off his set-up in his basement. The thing that most impressed me was his home made wort stirer. He has taken an icecream maker motor and built a set of adjustible brackets that set in either side of the stove. He drilled the shaft, tapped it, and put a set screw in it. He has two differnt stiring attachments for it. We didn't brew any beer but he showed it off and I can see that it would really be handy. He also mentioned that you need to secure the cord away from the burner. His extention cord is dropped from the ceiling and the moter has a about a 2" cord and a store bought cord end on it. He wouldn't admit to burning up the cord but I pretty sure he did! Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 7 Oct 1995 15:06:11 +0500 From: "Pat Babcock" <pbabcock at oeonline.com> Subject: Juveniles, beer, and the gestapo... Just a data point: I remember a case a while back in Michigan (last year?) where a father was brought up on charges of child abuse when a neighbor witnessed him giving sips of beer to his young child and reported him to the the department of social services. As I recall, the charge 'stuck', and the child was removed from the household. I don't know any other extenuating circumstances (if any existed), but this was enough for me to realize that anything, no matter how innocent you may think it may be, can be used against you in a court of law. Based on this, I recommend keeping your child's beer sipping history a 'dark little secret' or, perhaps, the gestapo might knock on YOUR door... Pat Babcock | "Beer is my obsession, and I'm late for President, Brew-Master | therapy..." -PGB and Chief Taste-Tester | "Let a good beer be the exclamation point Drinkur Purdee pico Brewery | at the end of your day as every sentence pbabcock at oeonline.com | requires proper punctuation." -PGB SYSOP on The HomeBrew University - Motor City Campus BBS (313)397-9758 Visit the Homebrew Flea Market via http://oeonline.com/~pbabcock Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 7 Oct 1995 15:16:39 -0700 From: mtruhe at ucdavis.edu (Mark Ruhe) Subject: molasses I'm interested in adding molasses to a porter but have never used it before. I'm going to remake a fairly well rounded porter(OG56) in hopes of getting it just right and I thought the addition of a bit of molasses might be interesting. Any info on the kind (blackstrap, heavy, light???) and how much, as well as priming with molasses would be greatly appreciated. Private e-mail is ok. Mark (mtruhe at ucdavis.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 7 Oct 95 23:48:37 -0400 From: Bits <bits at tenten-mail.1010.org> Subject: 10/10 -- A Day in the Life of Cyberspace (http://www.1010.org/) Hi, I saw your email address on a web page and thought you might be able to help us. We're looking for on-line pioneers to help us capture a global portrait of life in the new, digital renaissance. On 10/10 the Media Lab is hosting "A Day in the Life of Cyberspace." We are trying to find people whose lives have been touched deeply by digital media and the Net: - kids, teachers, families, newlyweds, pets on the Web; - people in war-torn areas like Bosnia or Tibet who can stay in touch with humanity because of the Net; - the youngest and oldest users - people in every country on earth, - astronauts in orbit (we will link to the space shuttle on 10/10 if the launch proceeds) - .... For instance, my Aunt Min is 80 and has her checkup every month by holding a telephone to her chest: the remote computer diagnoses her pacemaker! Or, during the riots in Tiananmen Square, real news reached the outside world first through e-mail networks. The Pope's mass on 10/8 will be "cybercast" into the Web. If you can help contribute to this, by sending pictures, sounds, or words, or if you know someone who might, please browse http://www.1010.org/. You can also send mail to info at 1010.org for an automatic help response (Tell it: "send description" for a longer explanation). By the way, keep watching the web site for daily changes--with real surprises on the 10th! Please help spread the word! Thanks, - Steve Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 7 Oct 1995 22:05:07 -0600 From: flemingk at usa.net (Kirk R Fleming) Subject: Brewing Ingredient Categorization I've been building a data model for a Suds-like application. Because different categories of brewing ingredients have different attributes, I need to define what those categories are. Also, I'd like to put all possible ingredients in a minimum set of categories. I currently have these categories: 1) things that contribute sg and color 2) things that contribute IBUs 3) things that contribute neither sg or IBUs Category 1 includes all grains (malted or not), malt extracts of any kind, any non-grain sources of sugar (starch adjuncts, fruits, honey, molasses, etc). Attributes of things in this category include: sg, attenuation limit, color contribution. Category 2 includes hop products of any kind. Attributes of things in this category include %alpha acid content and "type" or "format". Category 3 includes spices and water treatments. The only attribute here is the item name, although color contribution may be an option. The main (if not only) reason to distinguish these categories is to associate the proper set of attributes for each category of ingredient, and to prompt for the input of that set depending on what ingredient category is selected. IOW, when you add in a new hop type you wouldn't be prompted for "SRM:" color. Do these categories seem ill defined or incomplete? Any comments regarding this scheme would be greatly appreciated via private mail. KRF Colorado Springs - ------------------------------------------------------ "We can help the cause of pale ale both by drinking it and brewing it as much as possible." Terry Foster - ------------------------------------------------------ Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 7 Oct 95 23:21:43 MDT From: roberts at Rt66.com (Bird) Subject: New Brewery Hello, fellow brewers. I believe the last time I posted to this list was over five years ago (not counting any comments on hopped-up beer engines). That was also the last time I brewed: a series of moves, too-small kitchens and having all my brew stuff buried way at the back of a storage unit kept me from my pastime. That has all changed now -- I have plenty of room in the insulated garage of my new house, and I've taken the opportunity to rebuild my set-up from scratch, and if you'll pardon a longish post, I'd like to describe it to you. (BTW: I apparently have several recipes published in "Cat's Meow". I say apparently because I've never seen the book, but I still get at least one email message a month from someone with a question or comment one one of the recipes: Tina Marie Porter and Tres Gatos Ale are two that I've had a lot of feedback on. Cheers, enjoy!) Home brewing has changed in the past 5 years: propagation of liquid yeasts, roller mills, and 15-gallon tower systems have all become common technology to home brewers. I've also noticed that the general level of expertise resident on this list has increased significantly. Having the opportunity to rebuild from scratch, I decided to do it really right this time. Borrowing from ideas presented in "how-to" micro brewery books, as well as from some of the knowledgeable folks on HBD I've put together a system with which I am very happy. The finished brewery is a 15-gallon capacity gravity flow tower system. I located a liquor store that agreed to sell me 15.5 gallon kegs for $15 each: I bought four and cut the tops off of three of them. (The fourth is my primary fermenter when I brew a ten-gallon batch.) I cut a 1/2 inch hole at the base of two of the kegs and had a stainless steel fitting TIG welded on the outside of each keg. A ball valve, some 3/8 copper tubing and a flare fitting completed the hot water tank. I located a source of heavy gauge stainless screen (~1/16 inch thick) and a guy with access to a lathe and plasma torch. $30 later I had a false bottom for the mash tun. Some more 3/8 copper tubing & fittings and the tun was set to flow into the kettle. Three Cajun Cooker-style propane burners supply heat to all vessels. One cooker is about 1 1/2 foot tall, and the other two are about 3 1/2 feet tall; I have them set up so that the top of the mash tun is even with the base of the hot water tank, and the base of the tun is even with the top of the kettle. I scrounged around some salvage yards and came home with a prize: a 1/3 HP electric motor with an all-brass centrifugal pump (it cost me $25, but it easily retailed for $300 when it was new). I use the pump to get water up into the hot water tank, and to pump ten gallons of cooled wort into the 15.5 gallon fermenter (the hole on one of those kegs takes a #11 stopper). Do not, unless your name is Arnold, try to pick up a 15.5 gallon stainless steel beer keg full of wort and try to lift it four feet up onto the counter by yourself... Get a friend to help, or pump the wort there. I've had the pleasure at this point to have brewed 8 batches with the new system. The first three were five-gallon batches so that I could get the feel of the system: I was not sure how difficult it was going to be to control the heat in the mash tun. It turns out that the mass of the vessel itself provides quite a thermal flywheel. It is only sometimes necessary during an hour-long infusion mash to add a little heat to maintain 152 - 155 F. The end result: I am pleased to announce that the extra special bitter is freely flowing in the Roberts' household these days... In a future post I'll describe a procedure that I'm using which allows one to safely propagate and freeze pure yeast culture slurries and successfully revive them later to make starters. P.S. The next addition to the brewery will be a roller mill that can be motorized. Any suggestions? - -- "24 hours in a day...24 beers in a case...coincidence?" Doug Roberts roberts at rt66.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 8 Oct 1995 10:03:32 +0500 From: "Pat Babcock" <pbabcock at oeonline.com> Subject: Announcement, Bavarian Lager and Graf VIennas... This is attempt three! Didn't get confirmation for the previous two, so I must assume they're somewhere lost in cybeerspace. Got confirmation for the last submission I made, so here goes... AN ANNOUNCEMENT... Ken Schwartz's (KennyEddy at aol.com) Fermentation Chiller Plans are now available on my homepage in their entirity - drawings, et al! If you are "WEB Capable", for the sake of his sanity :-) please access this page rather than asking him to send it (URL: http://oeonline.com/~pbabcock , select Howdy, Homebrewer, then page down to "Handy Documents" - I know, I know! I'm working on a "faster" index...) AND A QUESTION... I recently made a Graf-Style Vienna using Bavarian Lager yeast rather than my usual choice of British Ale. This recipe really kicked out the DMS during fermentation (~48 F 2 mos), and the resulting product, though the underlying "Negra Modelo" flavor profile seems evident, is LADEN with DMS. It has also been described as 'soapy', 'gassy', and as 'having that "home brewed" flavor'. I'll add to this that it has a 'pepsi' head - fizz and it's gone. When rinsing the glass, the water foams up and holds, indicating (to me, anyway) that this beer has good heading potential. Bottle conditioned for 1 month at 68 F; prime was DME, grain bill wasn't spectacular. For ten gallons: 15.5 lbs pale 2 row, 1/2 lb caramel, 1/2 lb 20 L crystal, 1/2 lb dark crystal, 6 oz black malt. 13.33 gal of sparge/mash liquor was treated w/ 2T CaSO4 (poor choice, in retrospect. SHould have used the carbonate...) and 1-3/4 t lactic acid. pH 5.57. at 160 F. Mashed in at 140 F, held for 30 minutes. Boosted to 154 F held for 60 minutes. Boost to 160 F, held for 15 minutes. Sparged at 170 F for 60 minutes, collecting about 12 gallons of 1.045 wort (31.76 pt*g/p) in the boiler. Boiled for (Yikes! Think I found the source of the defect!) 45 minutes (according to my notes...) to ten gallons of 1.053 wort. Hop additions 1.25 oz tettnanger at 45 minutes remaining, 1 oz Styrian Goldings at 30 mins, and 1.25 oz Saaz at 15 mins remaining. I've since remade this recipe using German Pilsener malt as the base, no CaSO4, and with a 100 minute boil. DMS was still evident from the airlock until I iced down the fermenter. If nothing else, this lends credence to the "boil long and open" thread that Jim Busch, Algis Korzonas, et al were weaving a month or two ago. But the question remains: Does Wyeast 2206 require particularly low fermentation temperatures to do a clean job??? I await the infusion of your knowledge. (Or would that be a decoction?) Pat Babcock | "Beer is my obsession, and I'm late for President, Brew-Master | therapy..." -PGB and Chief Taste-Tester | "Let a good beer be the exclamation point Drinkur Purdee pico Brewery | at the end of your day as every sentence pbabcock at oeonline.com | requires proper punctuation." -PGB SYSOP on The HomeBrew University - Motor City Campus BBS (313)397-9758 Visit the Homebrew Flea Market via http://oeonline.com/~pbabcock Return to table of contents
Date: 08 Oct 95 11:29:06 EDT From: Tim Fields <74247.551 at compuserve.com> Subject: RE Honey in Beer I received this reply to my recent posted question about honey. With the author's OK, I am reposting it for general consumption. From: thomasd at uchastings.edu (Douglas Thomas) I have found that a very good light clover honey has never affected my meads, but a darker one often gives a strange off flavor unless boiled and skimmed. Fruit honeys are the best, but for a dark brew (I make a spiced blackberry melomel with it) I use Blue Curl honey. I can only find it coming out of the Central Valley of California, but it has a very fine taste with a kick at the end. Maybe try that! Orange honey is expensive, and is not often very orangey. If you live near a independant bee keeper, ask them about the individual characteristics of each honey. I had the luxory of having a friend whose father kept bees when I was young. My family received 5 pounds of honey a month from him and I learned about the differend tastes. Pine honey is a nice dark honey with a reddish cast. Strong!!!! Eucalyptus honey I would only recommend for eating. It has an astringent quality one must learn to like. The sage honeys can give asthmatic and pollen sensitive people reactions. Finally, try cappings honey, or crystalized honey. Easy to measure and a very distinct, potent taste Hope this helps D. Thomas Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 8 Oct 1995 11:10:29 -0700 From: hollen at vigra.com Subject: Re: SS Keg and welding >>>>> "Jeff" == Reynolds, Jeffrey S <jsr0 at NIORDS1.EM.CDC.GOV> writes: Jeff> I've recently purchased a Firestone stainless steel keg to Jeff> convert into a boiler/kettle and have a few questions. I've Jeff> read the keg faq and it states that oxy-acetylene cannot be used Jeff> for welding stainless steel. I talked to someone at a machine Jeff> shop that confirmed this and said it was impossible to weld ss Jeff> with oxy-acetylene. I know a retired man who used to weld for a Jeff> living and said that he has welded ss with a torch many times Jeff> (but not using Tig or Mig). What's the deal with oxy-acetylene? Jeff> If my acquaintance can weld the keg with a torch using ss wire, Jeff> will it be safe? It surely is not impossible to weld SS with an OA torch, it just does not come out well at all for *food grade* applications. There will be a ton of slag embedded in the weld. You need shielding gas to protect the weld area when it is heated or the SS will oxidize very badly. TIB leaves beautiful clean welds that clean up smooth. MIG is not good for welding kegs either because in most cases, you are welding a thick coupling to a thin keg wall and you need to be able to put the majority of the heat on the coupling and the filler rod right in the joint. With MIG, the filler rod is where the heat goes and you run a very high risk of either burning through the keg wall, or not penetrating the coupling. It can be done, I have done it, but it took many passes to get the weld to hold water. Jeff> The keg I have has a bung hole in a piece of steel with a seam Jeff> around it. Also the keg itself has two seams running completely Jeff> around it horizontally. Can I assume that these welds will be Jeff> safe even under the heat of a propane burner (i.e. that these Jeff> welds are Tig or Mig and are safe) ? Or should I look for a Jeff> seamless keg? No such thing as a seamless keg. Welded seams are as strong as the base metal if done right and kegs which at one time held pressure are done right. dion - -- Dion Hollenbeck (619)597-7080x119 Email: hollen at vigra.com Senior Software Engineer Vigra, Inc. San Diego, California Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 08 Oct 1995 16:17:32 CDT From: Robert S Wallace <rwallace at iastate.edu> Subject: Wyeast 1214 Abbey at 53^F and still "banana heaven"?? Help?? HBD'ers: Having posted this to r.c.b. and receiving no replies, I hope to get some feedback about a recent "observation" I made following my last attempt at an Abbey-style Belgian ale. After mashing with virtually an all DWC grainbill, a wort with an OG of about 1.072 was fermented at 53 to 58^F with the Wyeast 1214 Abbey strain (Chimay). The freshly pitched wort was aerated (aquar. pump/airstone), and fermentation proceeded normally. I have read here, and in other brewing forums, that this strain should be fermented below 60^F to avoid the isoamyl acetate/banana ester production in high amounts. After seconadary fermentation (all in glass) at bottling, the banana 'scent' (stench?) was quite apparent, and other than this the flavor of the finished still beer was wonderful. I have heard that following conditioning the isoamyl component in the aroma/flavor profile is attenuated. My quetions are: - Is it true that there is a reduction in the isoamyl acetate levels during bottle conditioning? Does it rely on yeast activity or is it an abiotic process? - Have other people experienced this despite <60^F fermentation? - For how long must I "lager" (condition) this ale? - Will the beer always have a 'banana' overtone? (I find this detracting.) Advice and/or reports of parallel experiences would be helpful. Any Belgian Beer Brewers know how to bash the banana bite of my brown beautiful beer? Thanks! Rob Wallace - --- Robert S. Wallace Assistant Professor of Botany "In cerevisia veritas est." Dept. of Botany - Iowa State Univ. Ames, Iowa 50011-1020 rwallace at iastate.edu FAX: 515-294-1337 +_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_ooo000ooo_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+ Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 8 Oct 1995 14:18:10 -0600 From: flemingk at usa.net (Kirk R Fleming) Subject: Extraction Efficiency, Agitation, and Recirc Sometime back I was talking about how my extraction dropped by about 20% after moving from a stir-in-the-pot technique to recirculating with a false bottom. To get accurate predictions I had been using an efficiency number of 83% in SudsW, which worked quite well batch after batch. Then, after going to the false bottom and recirculating exclusively, that number had to be tweaked down to 65-68%, and most recently, a disturbing 55% (unfair--I used a batch sparge). I decided with today's brew to recirculate to maintain temperature (i have no choice with a false bottom) but to not worry about setting the grain bed until the last 15-20 minutes of the mash. For the rest of the mash I occassionally stirred with a spoon, as well as returning the wort to the top of the bed with great vigor (as much as possible without aerating). To my complete astonishment, I had to pump up the efficiency number in SudsW to 89% to make actuals agree with predicteds (volume and gravity) in the kettle. With the exception of the lowest extraction number I've ever gotten (using a batch sparge to save time), my records indicate that the only difference between the very low yields and the high yields is the stirring of the mash (or the gross disturbing of the grain bed surface). Again, I'm finding about 20% difference. Naturally I'm pleased, because I was able to keep the sparge down to about 20-25 minutes with moderate gravity final runnings, yet still get a good deal from the grain. OTOH, I'm just baffled that relatively little mechanical agitation improves yield this much. If you have data indicating similar or contradictory results would you please email me? I'd appreciate even a brief msg--although there's no need to say, "Duh". :-) Oh, the other surprising result was that I could seriously abuse the grain bed and still get clear or nearly clear runnings. Once the mash reached about 145F (roughly) things ran clear despite any rough handling of the grain bed, with the exception of outright stirring. Grain bed thickness was about 7", with a 'thin' mash. KRF Colorado Springs - ------------------------------------------------------ "We can help the cause of pale ale both by drinking it and brewing it as much as possible." Terry Foster - ------------------------------------------------------ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 21:59:48 +0000 From: "James Linscheid" <jlinsche at teleport.com> Subject: All-Grain Burner I am getting ready to do my first all-grain batch and was wondering what size burner to get. Right now, the only readily available burner is a 30,000 BTU Camp Chef. Should I hold out for a 100,000 BTU unit? I am using a 1/2 barrel keg as my boiler, and will be doing 10 gallon batches in the future. Thanks for any advice in advance! James Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 8 Oct 1995 22:27:53 -0400 From: IHomeBrew at aol.com Subject: Composting Grains Hi, Does anyone have any experience composting their spent brewing grains? If so, I'd like to hear about your method. My trash consistently appears to be a 99% mixture of used coffee grounds and spent brewing grains. I know there is a better way to dispose of these items. Your input is appreciated. Prost! Clark Ritchie Tacoma, WA Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 95 13:08:56 +1000 From: CHARLIE SCANDRETT <merino at ozemail.com.au> Subject: Brewing Software I must have a "hit me!" face, I'm really asking for it this time! Could everyone post me their opinion of the best brewing software and why? Yes, yes I know about the inaccuracy of IBU calculations, I use a dartboard for that. (when my eye is in an IBU of 150 is not out of the question!) Is there real value in the rest of it? Or should I stick to my calculator and charts? I'm a bit isolated out here and seldom pick up other brewer's opinions anywhere but on the HBD. The other serious brewers I know are my fathers WW2 generation who would use a slide rule if they used anything other than scales and an experienced eye and nose. Thanks, Charlie (Brisbane, Australia) "It needs some more, I don't know what yet, but it needs more of it" Norm (82 years, still brewing) Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1852, 10/09/95