HOMEBREW Digest #1923 Sat 30 December 1995

Digest #1922 Digest #1924

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  Acid Sanitizers, Sugars in British Brewing ("James Hojel")
  Chicago Water (SSeaney)
  Candi Sugar (C. Rosen)
  How much sugar should I add? (Nick E Costanzo)
  Yeast Washing ("Lee R. Posz")
  Astringency (JohnPyles)
  Water (Monty Brown)
  Growing and mixing up Hops ("Lamon, Mark")
  re: Columbus Hops (DHatlestad)
  Mother of all Momilies (Charlie Scandrett)
  Using Phil Mills (Todd Mansfield)
  Re: Broken Thermometer (Douglas R. Jones)
  Freezer Conversion (dludwig)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 28 Dec 95 20:24:16 UT From: "James Hojel" <JTroy at msn.com> Subject: Acid Sanitizers, Sugars in British Brewing Collective, I have two questions that are not related: 1) I have been using an acid based sanitizer (Star-San) and love it (Oh, regarding the cost, I'm willing to pay for peace of mind!!). Question: what is the shelf-life of Star-San? 2) A fuzzy fat bearded man gave me some books last week on Real Ale. Reviewing the recipes, I noticed that the British are very fond of using sugars. The two primary types used are cane and inverted sugars. My first task is obtaining these sugars. Does anyone know where one can purchase these sugars in the USA and/or how to make them (inverted)? Another question that arose is what exactly do these sugars contributed to the beer. Other than the obvious alcohol, what do these sugars contribute as far as taste, body, and aroma? Is it possible to use 2-row and a low mash temp. to substitute using sugar? In conclusion, I'm trying to get a grip on brewing with sugars and how to substitute for them while retaining the desired characteristics. Thank You - - - - JTH Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 1995 09:51:28 -0500 From: SSeaney at aol.com Subject: Chicago Water Hello, I recently moved to the Chicago Suburbs (Naperville). I've been told that I don't have to worry about water treatment. Where I live receives city water from Lake Michigan. Does anyone know if Chicago water needs to be treated for all grain brewing? Thanks, Steve Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 95 08:46 CST From: crosen at wwa.com (C. Rosen) Subject: Candi Sugar Maybe I am unclear on the concept, but is candi-sugar any different than the rock candy I used to eat when I was a kid (25-30 years ago)? As I recall, we would sometimes make it ourselves by suspending a string in supersaturated cane sugar water. And I forgot to post yesterday that the bottle of Iodaphor (B-T-F brand) spcifically says NOT to use hot water. Harlan Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 30 Dec 1995 00:24:06 -0900 (KST) From: Nick E Costanzo <ncostanz at emh.kunsan.af.mil> Subject: How much sugar should I add? Here is a quick question to the collective knowledge of HBD. I have been a homebrewer now for almost two years and have had many people tell me to add anything from 1/2 cup to 1 cup corn sugar. I understand that the answer will vary, but can anyone out there give me something scientific? I currently use 3/4 cup corn sugar and have been successful most of the time, but I have had a few beers that overcarbonate in the bottles and are almost useless. I have two batches of beer currently in secondary fermenters. Here's the info that I have collected so far: Batch #1: California Steam Beer, starting g 1046, currently still bubbling every 70-80 seconds at 1016 g. Batch #2: Octoberfest, start 1044, currently 1015, still bubbling every 50 seconds. I know that both of these batches are close to their final gravity and almost ready to bottle. I just want to addd the right amount of sugar and not over prime them. Any comments or help can be addressed to me directly at ncostanz at emh.kunsan.af.mil or posted here. Thanks. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 1995 09:51:23 -0800 From: "Lee R. Posz" <lposz at cisco.com> Subject: Yeast Washing I've been brewing all-grain beers with liquid yeasts for almost two years but have never attempted to "repitch" yeast from one batch into another. I downloaded the yeast.faq and after reading it, I thought the process of "washing" the yeast sounded like a good method given my usual brewing schedule. I racked a porter into the secondary last night and attempted the procedure as it was outlined in the yeast.faq. What I ended up with is a 1 quart mason jar about 80% full (appx. 4 oz of trub, 1/2-3/4 oz of yeast, and 20 oz of beer). My questions are: 1) How long should it take for the separation to take place after agitating the jar (with boiled water and trub/hops/yeast taken from the primary fermenter)? I poured off about half of the first jar after 10-15 minutes. It looks like I got all the yeast but too much trub/hop material. 2) Is 1/2 oz to 3/4 oz of yeast enough? (it's more than I typically get using a Wyeast package in a pint of starter) 4) What's the best way to pitch the yeast I got into a starter before I brew another batch? (i.e. pour off the beer, try to separate the yeast from the trub one more time, etc.) I've been reading the HBD for some time, it's a great resource of information! Happy New Year! Lee R. Posz Houston, TX Lee R. Posz - Systems Engineer Gulf Coast Region | | Cisco Systems, Inc. :|: :|: 9301 Southwest Freeway, :|||: :|||: Suite 660 .:|||||||:..:|||||||:. Houston, TX 77074 ciscoSystems Phone: 713.778.5616 FAX: 713.779.5699 "The Science of Networking Networks" Internet: lposz at cisco.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 1995 13:20:39 -0500 From: JohnPyles at aol.com Subject: Astringency Don Rudolph wanted to discuss astringency - ----------------------------------------- I recently racked a Pilsner to the secondary fermenter, and while tasting the brew, I noticed a slight astringency, felt as a dryness on my cheeks and tongue..... - ------------------------------------------ There should be some discussion of how you can tell youv'e got an astringency problem. Astringency, from a sensory evaluation standpoint, is often confused with bitterness. I have judged in competitions where judges take off points for a beer being "too bitter". In many cases, after talking it over, they are tasting astringency. When I question them on where they are tasting all the bitterness they say on the middle of their tongue. To me this is astringency. If you are not tasting it on the back of your tongue, it must be something other than bitterness. Don describes it as a dryness on his cheeks and tongue. It can be very puckering, or it can taste like "bitternes" in the center of your tongue. I write this so that the discussion can focus on the right thing at least from a sensory evaluation perspective. Return to table of contents
Date: 29 Dec 95 15:07:48 EST From: Monty Brown <75176.3033 at compuserve.com> Subject: Water Greetings! I am just getting started all-grain brewing. I've done 3 extract batch and one all-grain IPA. I am getting ready to do a bock and was wondering what I should do to treat my local water or should I just give up and go buy RO water at the water store. Here's the analysis from my water department: Calcium 4 ppm Chloride 71 ppm Flouride 1.3 ppm Magnesium 1 ppm Nitrate .006 ppm Sodium 266 ppm Sulfate 112 ppm Total Hardness/CaCO3 15 ppm ph 8.2 Total Alka as CaCO3 369 ppm Bicarbonate 450 ppm Carbonate 0 ppm Dissolved Solids 678 ppm P. Alka/CaCO3 0 ppm I've read Dave Miller's and CP's books and I know to boil the water to get rid of the Bicarbonate. Will this drop my ph enough and what about all that Sodium? Any help would be appreciated. TIA, Monty Brown - Hewitt, Texas 75176.3033 at compuserve.com ******************************************************************************** Something funny should go here, but I can't think of anything 'cause I'm out of beer! ******************************************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 95 12:09:12 From: "Lamon, Mark" <mlamon at intp.intp.com> Subject: Growing and mixing up Hops I have been growing my own Hops in Western Washington for three years. It is a wonderful addition to a homebrewing hobby. I have a question. I have heard that if I plant and grow two different kinds of Hops next to each other they will "cross polinate" and this will create a problem. Does anyone know about this? It doesn't seem likely to me. Also a question on sweetness. I have heard that mashing at 160 degrees F as opposed to 150 degrees F will result in a sweeter beer as the sugars produced at the 160 range are less fermentable. Is this true? OK and now I should supply a couple of answers. I have found that Flaked Wheat and of course Flaked Barley is a wonderful addition to beer to add a nice foam or "head'. I use one quarter pound of flaked wheat for each ten gallons and double that for flaked barley. The flaked barley for dark beer and flaked wheat for light beer. Happy Holidays Mark Lamon Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 1995 17:00:50 -0500 From: DHatlestad at aol.com Subject: re: Columbus Hops We got a first hand look at Columbus hops growing on the bine this summer in Yakima. The cones are quite large and fairly dense. Breaking the cones open reveals medium yellow lupulin in massive quantities. The head brewer at Fish brewing commented that when he gets boxes of vacuum sealed pellets the pellets often have to be chipped apart; they stick together due to the quantity of resin. As is typical with high alpha hops, the bines grew agressivly with large bunches at the tops of the trellises. The bines appeared to be rather prolific cone producers as well. I got a warm reception at last month's brew club meeting for my very hoppy pale ale that had been late hopped and dry hopped with Columbus. At the time, the beer was still a little young. It has an even better nose now after two weeks in the fridge. During the late summer, hops are more plentiful than grass clippings in Yakima. Cheers, Don dhatlestad at aol.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 30 Dec 1995 09:23:44 +1100 From: merino at cynergy.com.au (Charlie Scandrett) Subject: Mother of all Momilies Jack Schmidling replied to Dion Hollenbeck >From: hollen at vigra.com >To expand on this, my approach is to put the motor lower than the mill and on a hinged platform and let the weight of the motor be the only "clutch". As soon as the mill gets jammed, the small pulley on the motor just slips on the V-belt. JS>In retrospect though, it really is not idiot proof as a heavy motor hinged JS>so the center of gravity puts all the weight on the belt could produce JS>enough tension to distort the shaft. JS>Just for the record, we are not talking about bending the shaft in the usual JS>sense. Just applying enough stress with no noticeable bend will do the JS>same job as a hack saw. The stress travels around the shaft as it turns JS>and eventually, just falls off. Without "highly technical, complicated, super precise information" we are in danger of creating more momilies as Jack has here. A "momilie" is really just a poorly researched assertion, or "factoid", unsupported by scientific method. He is referring to bending of the shaft by the weight of the motor, this bending becomes flexing as the shaft rotates, the alternate compression and expansion of the metal lattice causes metal fatigue and the shaft snaps. I decided to flex my library card and check this out. When a shaft has a bending moment applied it curves in a "Radius of Curvature". If a 20 lb motor was hung on a pully 1 inch out from the bearing, on a 3/4" shaft its ROC would be about 450 yards, i.e. a deflection of only 0.00003 inches! Steel can take this easliy. I didn't bother to calculate how many millions of lbs of malt Dion would have to crack before metal fatigue set in, because I am sure his liver would give out first. You setup is safe for this lifetime Dion! Jack Schmidling also created a couple of biological and chemical momilies. >From: Jim Cave <CAVE at PSC.ORG> >Subject: Adding yeast the next day Jim > I don't have a problem with delaying pitching up to 8 hours, providing the beer is cooled immediately. The problem I have is the slow cooling. 1st, you increase the opportunity for contamination, no matter how careful you are with your sanitation. Remember, sanitation is NOT sterilization, and wort at 100 F is mighty tasty stuff and bacteria replicate at incredible rates at that temp. Air attemperation is just too slow a cooling process. 2nd, DMS production will be excessive, particularly with the standard North American malts which are of the low-kiln temperature variety (i.e. lager malts). JS>These factoids have been out there for years and seem to be chipped JS>into homebrew legend but experience (mine) does not seem to support JS>either claim. JS>Some of the best beers I have made were cooled simply by putting the JS>lid on the kettle and letting it sit over night to cool. JS>The notion of sanitation vs sterilization is cute but can you name even one JS>common contamnination of beer that can survive 90 minutes of boiling?. JS>There are only a handful of organisms in the whole world that are not killed JS>by boiling (the source of botulism being one) but they are not likely to JS>find their way into your beer and probably couldn't survive there if they JS>did. I can't imagine many bacteria surviving, but the spores of many (especially "Pediococcus") would. The point to early pitching is simply that fermentation lowers the pH of the wort making it a hostile environment for bacterial growth. JS>For all practicle purposes, if you put a lid on the kettle after the boil, it JS>is sterile and will stay that way for a long time. It may remain not seriously infected, but "sterile" is a misuse of english, sooner or later such a technique would produce noticible bacterial off flavours. The cooling of headspace in the kettle must draw fresh air into the pot. What you can sometimes get away with is not good brewing practice. JS>DMS is another boogyman that the experts love to write about but for us JS>mere mortals who enjoy our beer and the compliments we get from JS>other mortals who enjoy our beer, I say BAH! JS>If a wort chiller is intimidating, try making beer without one and let your JS>own taster be the judge. There is flavour threshold for Dimethyl Sulphide, determined by empirical testing.(DMS is the sulphury stuff that is produced from SMM (S-methylmethionine-yes, forget it now!) during heating) A guy called Meillgard determined that less than this threshold is totally insignificant, up to twice this level is noticable and over twice the flavour threshold is a significant flavour. Some people like a bit of sulphur flavour in their beer. There is a HBD subscriber from MT. Isa in NW Queensland, Australia who would *never* notice DMS in his beer. That is because the local copper/zinc mine stack regularly dumps choking sulphurous fumes on the town. These fumes are only "choking" to outsiders because locals become desensitised to them. People become desensitised to all kinds of brewing flaws. The people at "The Brewery" (http://alpha.rollanet.org/) have a post of mine in the technical library under "Thermodynamics of Wort Chilling" in which I have tables for calculating the boil time and cooling time effects on the DMS threshold. If you want a ready reckoner to determine the effect of your technique on DMS, have a look. There is no doubt that Jack's technique will smell/taste to most of us like a freshly opened can of corn. We can't all be as desensitised as Jack Schmidling. > Geeze Gary! You've got serious equipement there, surely building a $30 chiller won't tax your pocket book or your technical prowess!!!! JS>That seems simple and in his case maybe so but think of all the novices JS>out there who will go on adding cold water to their boiled extract brews JS>because they ARE intimidated by wort chillers and lots of other JS>seemingly complicated stuff needed to make "good" beer. Putting the kettle is a bathtub of ice water and *stirring* both water and wort is a simple "low tech" solution. A reasonably intelligent Rhesus monkey could do it, unless he was very, very timid. JS>I have seen this hobby go from an extreme paucity of reliable information JS>to an overabundance of highly technical, complicated, super precise JS>information that simply overwhelms the beginner. <snip> Lost in the middle JS>is that it is now also easy to make really JS>good beer. There is simple, easy beer, and complicated, difficult beer, and there is good beer and great beer. The ideal many strive for in homebrewing is to make great beer easily. But, I sometimes throw together some hopped kits, no sugar, well aerated, liquid yeast, some late hop and produce good beer. However like quickie sex, good beer is OK when you don't have the time or patience for the alternative. It lacks a certain "wonderfulness" Algis Korzonas talks of. JS>p.s. I am sure you are all delighted to see that I have solved my posting JS>problems and seem to be resuming my role as momily buster..... We can "bust" real momilies simply by taking our library cards and a *little* trouble to find out what some scientific folk have established with a *lot* of trouble. But, we could flex our library cards till they broke and we would still be ignoring the Mother of all Momilies. You see, our mothers usually taught us that, by presenting our demands and objections as provocation or tantrums, they were: 1/Likely to get attention more quickly 2/ Less likely to be met with a reasoned response, and 3/ Probably be rewarded in return for just shutting up. Unfortunately, this formative lesson in life seems to come up cronically in HBD discussions without ever being challenged. Charlie (Brisbane, Australia) JS>"I say BAH!"------the Bart Simpson retort. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 95 22:43 EST From: Todd Mansfield <0002033006 at mcimail.com> Subject: Using Phil Mills >Anyone have any suggestions to improve this setup without getting >rid of the Philmill as I can't buy another one now. Bill, Worse things could happen than to own a Phil Mill. I've had one for a couple of years now and really like it. To better manage the mill's grist efflux, I made a funnel out of the top of a 2-liter soft drink bottle. I punched a hole at the 'wide end' of the funnel (just where the bottle's wall becomes vertical). The mill's set screw runs through this hole, holding the funnel in place at the bottom of the mill. Till recently I drove my Phil Mill with a variable speed 3/8" drill. I could start, stop, re-start etc. with no problems, even with the hopper full. As always, your (drill's) mileage may vary. I never liked the original mounts that came with the mill. I should have simply bolted the mill directly to the table (or whatever). But I never did, since I like to mill outdoors. Recently I mounted the mill in a small (home-made) table top with two pulleys, a belt and a 1/4 HP motor. It now turns at 240 RPM (the mill that is), with ample torque for those full-hopper starts. I *strongly* recommend using belt guards with a set up like this. I do. The motor simply wouldn't stop if clothing or body parts got caught in the pulleys. I haven't gotten fixed up with a larger hopper yet, but would like to hear how other digesters have done it. As always, I'll be happy to give more details if you send a note. Standard Disclaimers Apply. Todd Mansfield 2033006 at mcimail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 1995 21:47:34 -0600 From: djones at iex.com (Douglas R. Jones) Subject: Re: Broken Thermometer Pat wrote: >I recently brewed a batch of IPA, during which my glass thermometer broke >after hitting the wort chiller. The thermometer was a Brewers Best floating >thermometer (the kind with the metal beads in the base to balance it.) >The part with the alcohol didn't break, however, the outer shell did and >all of the little metal beads spilled into the wort. Does anyone know if >these beads are made of lead? If so, is my beer ruined or is the >amount to small? I was successful in removing almost all of them, >but I'm sure some made their way into the primary. The temp >when the thermometer broke was somewhere around 150!F. I did much the same thing...or rather my brew partner did. In our case the metal beeads and some of the wax got into the kettle. I strained the wort after boiling. I *think* I got some/most of the beads. Certainly some of the wax was lost into the batch. I noticed no unusual flavors and I had seen no ill affects. So I would think theat you have nothing to worry about. Doug Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 30 Dec 1995 02:20:09 -0500 From: dludwig at atc.ameritel.net Subject: Freezer Conversion Hi all. Hope everyone had a very good Christmas and New Year! Santa was good to me this year and brought me a 10 cu ft chest freezer. Same place where I bought the freezer (my wife sent me off with green light! Yee Ha) I retrieved a Hunter "Set 'n Save I" which is a digital programable house thermostat. Not sure if this is related to the Airstat or whatever it was called. The unit is designed for 26 VAC so I built a transformer/rectifier/relay arrangement. The thermostat uses a thermistor which happens to be the same one sold at radio shack. I've used a temp probe made from one of these thermistors for all of my more recent batches with good results. I ended up frying the original thermistor and bought a new one and made my new probe. So far the frig works pretty good. I am noticing some condensate on the upper side surfaces of the frig interior but no pooling of water after about a week of operation. Lowest programmable temp setting is 40 deg F. The unit will display down to 32 deg F. Compressor cuts on at 2 deg above set temp and cuts off at 1 deg below set temp. Freezer was $250 (floor model), thermostat - $27 and power supply/relay parts - $22. Now I'm ready to Lager! -Dave Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1923, 12/30/95