HOMEBREW Digest #1943 Wed 24 January 1996

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  Re: Slotted Copper Manifold - don't solder (Jeff Benjamin)
  White Beer (Mike Taber)
  Brewpubs in Taos, NM (BJFABB)
   (Jeff Smith)
  Brew log entries (Matt_K)
  Metal Issues ("Palmer.John")
  Re: Ringwood (Jay Reeves)
  initial ferment temperatures (Paul Ward)
  Re: sugar (Jeff Frane)
  GADUSAHEMP (Rich Hampo)
  Removing Spent Hops and Proteins from Wort ("John Boshier")
  PolyClar (Mark Riley)
  Munich Malt and Pilsener Urquell Yeast (JDPils)
  Sparge Water Temps (Aidan "Hairy Hibernian" Heerdegen)
  Traverse Brewing Academy (Mark Peacock)
  Yeast Harvest w/ Open Fermentation (Tim Laatsch)
   ("John Lifer, Jr.")
  Blow-off and skimming during ferment ("DAVID LEWIS")
  Pumps (Jim Busch)
  RE:Brewing w/Maple Sap (Michael A. Genito)
  Bad Alcohol (Aesoph, Michael)
  Help needed on building masher/boiler. (SAMES)
  Gas (fwd) (Michael Arau)
  Possible Infection (Adam Rich)
  America's Finest City Homebrew Competition (hollen)
  Diacetyl (John DeCarlo              )
  lab equip source (NATEDA)
  Cold Fermentation Cure -- Stupid Copper Manifold Tricks (KennyEddy)
  Plastic Electric Brewery (KennyEddy)
  Why Aerate if you pitch heavily? (Paul Sovcik)
  Heavy Duty Crown Cappers (Jim Doyle)
  Re:Hydrometer Adjustment, When to pitch yeast,Skimming (Bob McCowan)
  Unexpected high gravity reading (Jack Stafford)
  Doctor's opinion on Homebrew (Chris Storey)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 22 Jan 96 10:54:34 MST From: Jeff Benjamin <benji at hpfcbug.fc.hp.com> Subject: Re: Slotted Copper Manifold - don't solder "Lee R. Posz" <lposz at cisco.com> wrote: > I've finally decided to replace my old two bucket lauter tun > system and have opted for a slotted 1/2" diameter copper manifold > in a rectangular shaped 48 quart picnic cooler. > > Is it okay to use the solder to secure the joints or should > I have tried harder to find compression fittings for the > 90 degree elbow joints, etc.? My two cents: don't solder, don't bother with compression fittings. If you're using 1/2" hard copper tubing and the associated couplers, they already fit together relatively tightly. No need to worry about slight leakage at the joints - you've already got giant hacksaw slits cut in a bunch of the tubing anyway! Just fit everything together and plop it in the mash tun. This has a side benefit of being able to take the whole thing apart for easy cleaning. On exception - you *will* need to solder or use compression fittings on any part of the manifold that will sit above the mash liquid level, or those joints will suck air instead of wort. If you're going along the bottom of the tun to a spigot, you've got nothing to worry about. - -- Jeff Benjamin benji at fc.hp.com Hewlett Packard Co. Fort Collins, Colorado "Think! It ain't illegal yet." -- George Clinton Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 10:17:34 -0800 From: Mike_Taber at broder.com (Mike Taber) Subject: White Beer Now that my English Brown Ale is in the primary... I'm thinking about doing a White Beer. I have the specifics of the style (OG 1.0044 - 1.050 - Alc% 4.8 to 5.2 - IBU 15 to 25 - Color 2.0 to 4.0), but don't really know where to start. I know what hops I like, but really can't get the color and OG right. Also, I'm not sure what yeast I should use. So... Do you any of you in HBD land have a suggestion or two? Thanks in advance for any help offered. - Mike Taber <mike_taber at broder.com> Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 12:30:23 -0600 From: BJFABB at ccmail.monsanto.com Subject: Brewpubs in Taos, NM In March, I'll be going to a meeting in Taos, NM. Does anyone know of a good brewpub, or other fine beer drinking establishment in this city? Also, if anyone has a favorite place to eat Southwestern cuisine there, I'd appreciate knowing about it. Of course, an establishment which combines great beer and Southwestern food would be ideal. Thanks in advance; private email replies are fine. Cheers, -Brad Fabbri Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 12:45:26 -0600 From: snsi at win.bright.net (Jeff Smith) Subject: Lance Skidmore asks >"what does DMS taste like"...? This weekend being snowed in (four foot drifts in the driveway) I brewed and tried an experiment based on a recent reference to DMS dripping back in to the wort from brew pot lids (I'm sorry I can't find the author's name). I put the lid of my brew pot over the wort long enough to condense some steam and than poured the steam into a cup. I repeated this about four times, let it cool and than tried it. Can you say creamed corn! A simple test you can try for your friends. Jeff Smith '71 HD Sprint 350SX (Considering conversion to a grain mill motor.) snsi at win.bright.net Barnes, WI Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 14:23:10 est From: Matt_K at ceo.sts-systems.ca Subject: Brew log entries To continue the "Studid Homebrewer Tricks) thread I thought you might get a chuckle out some entries from my brew log. The brew was appropriately named "calamity Christmas Ale". Accidents while brewing: (Homer moves) While picking up pot with hot mash water spill lots of it all over my hands. Doooh!! Result: 1st degree burns on left hand. Halfway through sparge realize that I didn't have enough hops. I thought I had bought 50g packs but they were only 25g. Dooooh! Finish sparge, start boil, borrow Jennifer's car and blast to Microvin. Get Pierre's son at the cash and have to pay full price!! Spill some wort on hot burner while moving kettle. Dooooh! While boiling before 1st hop addition I get sidetracked but my attention is called back to the stove by a loud hissing sound! Nice boil-over/stink. Doooh! Nice (small) fire under kettle from all the boiled over stuff. Double Doooh! Oh yeah, I almost forgot, I forgot to add the gypsum to the mash water. Doooh! Notes: I'm still alive. This is not typical of all my brew sessions!! The beer turned out fine. Matt in Montreal Return to table of contents
Date: 22 Jan 1996 11:20:05 U From: "Palmer.John" <palmer at ssdgwy.mdc.com> Subject: Metal Issues Hi Group, There have been several metal related issues popping up, so I thought I would post a summary. Soldering: Silver Solder is A-OK for contructing brewing equipment. Silver Solder contains 95% Tin and 5% Silver. Tin is supposed to be a haze former, but if you solder the joint right, you are presenting very little surface area for exposure. I use it in my system and dont worry about it. What you *should* be concerned about is making sure that all of your Flux is removed. The flux is toxic and should be thoroughly cleaned. By the way, soldering the manifold pipes is not necessary except where you need to hold it together or provide the port, after all, its supposed to leak. Paint Stirrers: I have seen these at Home Depot - a simple propeller on a shaft that feels to be plain steel with a yellowish coating on it. I talked to our plating expert and he feels that it is most likely zinc plating with a chromate conversion coating. The chromate coating is certainly not healthy, but the amount is pretty small and probably not too dangerous. The zinc plating is not dangerous but is not very wear resistant and would not be good for the yeast. I do not recommend using these for stirring mashes. If you can find one made of stainless steel then fine. Metallized Bubble Wrap: I used this around my Mash Keg. It does indeed succomb to temps above 180F. The lower 4-5 inches has shriveled from the heat of the burner in the year that its been on there. I think it helps a little bit, but there are probably better insulating materials. Plasma Cutters; These arc-based cutters can end up spraying the interior of the keg with atomized iron which will rust and serve as corrosion initiation sites for the stainless. You will need to use a stainless steel Cleanser ie. Kleen King, Bar Keepers Friend; to clean the inside as the iron rusts off for the first few uses. A nitric acid (25%) wash would do the job quickly, but not many people have access to that much acid. Hmmm, that's all of the topics I can think of at the moment. Email me if you have more metal related issues. John J. Palmer - Metallurgist for MDA-SSD M&P johnj at primenet.com Huntington Beach, California Palmer House Brewery and Smithy - www.primenet.com/~johnj/ Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 13:17:54 -0600 From: jay at ro.com (Jay Reeves) Subject: Re: Ringwood Kit Anderson sez in hbd1940: >Geary's is cold filtered through DME. There is no yeast. Ringwood can be >had from Yeast Labs. DME huh? New technique using dry malt extract here Kit? I think you mean "DE" - Diatomaceous Earth - or at least that's what the professional brewers I've talked with refer to it as. It's nothing more than a very fine siliceous material. -J Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 15:27:44 -0500 (EST) From: Paul Ward <paulw at doc.state.vt.us> Subject: initial ferment temperatures After several months of reading postings which were forwarded from a co-worer who is a subscriber, I had to break down and join the list myself so that I could humbly beg your collective knowledge. I'm new to the brewing arts, and have a question concerning initial fermentation and ambient temperature. I'm brewing a 'Rocky Raccoon's Honey Lager' only it will be more of a steam beer as I don't have lagering temperatures and storage available (I know, I live in Vermont...but I heat with a woodstove and it's actually quite warm in my house). My "beer cellar" is actually the spare bedroom, and I can cool the room down some (55 deg. F) by closing the bedroom door. Most recipes say that initial ferment should be done at room temp, but my brew is bubbling away at a pretty good rate. Should I close the bedroom door and cool down my fermenter, or should I keep it warm and let it go like gangbusters? Thanks. - -- If vegetarians eat vegetables, what of humanitarians? Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 12:36:32 -0800 From: jfrane at teleport.com (Jeff Frane) Subject: Re: sugar Al Korzonas writes: >Jeff [that's me!] writes: >>Sucrose does seem >>to benefit the development of a tight, dense head in conjunction with >>high carbonation (see various Belgian beers and Cooper's Ale); > >I find this hard to swallow. I cannot see how the type of sugar used >in the priming could affect the consistency of the head. Jeff -- did >you read this somewhere or is this based upon your observations. I was referring to the use of sucrose in the kettle, and frankly, I can't remember the original context. Probably I was responding to the general perception about the undesirability of sucrose for *any* brewing purpose. So, oh yes, this is based on observation -- as I said, note the mousse in many Belgian ales and in Cooper's. - --Jeff Frane Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 16:12:28 -0500 From: rhampo at ford.com (Rich Hampo) Subject: GADUSAHEMP Thanks to everyone for their input. As of Monday the 22nd at 4 PM, here are the results of the Gross And Disgusting Unscientific Survey about Homebrew's Excessive Methane Production - (that's GADUSAHEMP, for short) The tally was: 14 said "Homebrew gives me more gas!" 1 said "Homebrew sometimes gives me more gas!" 2 said "I notice no difference" 0 said "Budmilloors gives me more gas than homebrew" Talk about overwhelming! So if you are embarrassed, know you are not alone. As far as combatting this, some think that it is caused by the yeast, and suggest filtering, and one person suggested using the product "Beano". I'm sure all of us poor smelly homebrewers would appreciate any other remedies you may have tried. Thanks for your input! Richard Hampo H&H Brewing Ltd. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 96 16:40:06 CST From: "John Boshier" <john.boshier at telops.gte.com> Subject: Removing Spent Hops and Proteins from Wort Hi Everyone: Here is a question from lurker world. While brewing my latest batch of brew, an extract Pale Ale, I had some difficulty while transferring the wort from brewpot to fermenter. I usually brew the concentrated wort (2 gal), chill and then add to 3 gallons of previously boiled and cooled water. Generally I pour it through a strainer to remove hops and solids from the boil. It takes a while and makes a mess. Last night I added a step or two. I wanted to use my new aerating wand (fashioned from an old racking cane that didn't survive an earlier *learning experience*, per the recent thread) so I tried to whirlpool the wort, let it sit, then siphon into the fermenter. I must be doing something wrong because the solids did not settle into the center of the pot in a conical pile. Basically all the hops came through the cane, I still had a mess and no better aeration. Suggestions and advice would be appreciated. Private E-mail is fine. Sorry if this has been addressed already. john.boshier at telops.gte.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 20:07:33 -0800 From: Mark Riley <mriley at netcom.com> Subject: PolyClar Hello All, Being a new subscriber, I no doubt am bringing up a topic that has already been hashed out on this forum. However, I have been unsuccessful in finding any info regarding PolyClar on the Web. So... A couple questions? 1. What is the best way of sanitizing the PolyClar before adding it to the beer? Would boiling the stuff ruin it (seeing as how it is plastic and plastic and heat don't always mix well)? 2. Does it make sense to use PolyClar in the beer and also use Irish Moss in the boil? Is this an overkill? 3. Also, somewhere I heard mention that for the first few days you might want to stir the beer (gently) to get the PolyClar back into suspension and allow it to do a more effective job - sound reasonable? Thanks for any help and/or tips on this topic! - --------------------- Mark Riley Sacramento, CA mriley at netcom.com - --------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 02:39:55 -0500 From: JDPils at aol.com Subject: Munich Malt and Pilsener Urquell Yeast 1) Bob McCowan mentions on 1/22 he is using one of the Pilsner Urquell Yeast strains. Are these available commercially? If so by what name and where? 2) I really enjoy the flavor of Munich malt and have heard mixed reviews of using excessive amounts as the final brew will have an extremely high terminal gravity and be too sweet. If this is true why are there so many recipes available which use 50 - 100% munich malt? I would like to brew a Dunkel, Bock or, Maerzen using a high percentage of Munich Malt if I can acheive a reasonably low, say 1.016 - 1.020 terminal gravity. If someone in the collective has any suggestions as to a recipe and in particular a mash procedure, I would be most grateful. (Private E-Mail is fine ) Jim Dunlap Woodinville, Washington Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 96 18:55:40 EDT From: Aidan "Hairy Hibernian" Heerdegen <aidan at rschp2.anu.edu.au> Subject: Sparge Water Temps Full-Name: Aidan "Hairy Hibernian" Heerdegen Al wrote: | Aidan writes: | | > .. that your sparge water can be ALOT hotter than 168, but | > that dosen't mean your *grain bed* will be .. | | Yes, and you will also recall that I pointed out that Jack's beer | had a slight haze, which may have been starch haze. *snip* | On the other hand, whey you and Jack are measuring your grain bed | temperatures, are you doing so in the very top 1/2-inch of the bed? | Perhaps you did? >From memory .. *strain* .. we measured the temp pretty close to the top, prolly only as shallow as an inch (going by what I understand that to be) and at that depth the grain bed was not over 74 degC. | Sure, I'll bet that the middle of the grain bed is well below 170F, | but all it takes to extract some unconverted starch is to heat the | top 1/2-inch to 180F, no? | | I'm just speculating here for the sake of discussion. What do you | think? I think I'll measure more carefully this time, but seeing as my grain bed is approximately a foot to a foot and a quarter .. that means that the first half inch is only one twentyfourth to one thirtieth of the mass of the mash .. and that is assuming uniform mash density (I'd like to beat it is more compacted on the bottom). I have no idea if this is a significant enough volume to throw a chill haze in your beer. Another thing: how does the solubility of the wort sugars vary with temp? Is it a drastic fall off in solubility? Are the heavier sugars less or more soluble at these typical temps? Hey this is interesting! :) Cheers Aidan 'whose brain hurts from using all those antique units!' - -- aidan at rschp2.anu.edu.au, http://rschp2.anu.edu.au:8080/aidan Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 06:34:13 -0500 From: Mark Peacock <mpeacock at oeonline.com> Subject: Traverse Brewing Academy I looking for some opinions about the Traverse Brewing Academy program = on 22-23 March in Traverse City, Michigan. I received the flyer earlier = this month (from what appears to be the AHA mailing list) and am = thinking about attending. The program includes a "people's choice" competition, seminars and the = requisite beer meals: breakfast(!), lunch and dinner. Friday night is = a reception and the beer contest. Saturday has 5 sets of break-out = sessions -- each break-out session has 4 seminar options. Instructors = include Dan McConnell and Larry Bell. I'm sure some other folks have seen this and am wondering if anyone else = is thinking about going? Regards, Mark Peacock Birmingham, MI mpeacock at oeonline.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 08:25:48 -0500 (EST) From: Tim Laatsch <LAATSCH at kbs.msu.edu> Subject: Yeast Harvest w/ Open Fermentation Hello All, I'm pleased to see the open fermentation thread alive and well. Just wanted to share some observations from my new open fermentation experience. Dan McConnell asked if I top-cropped the yeast---no, but I did harvest the settled yeast from primary after racking to keg. One distinct advantage of open fermentation appears to be the cleanliness of the yeast harvested from primary for repitching. By skimming the krauesen, any trub that made it to the primary is removed and therefore absent from the harvested yeastcake. The yeast that I harvested over the weekend was an order of magnitude cleaner than any of my previous efforts. However, I felt that pseudo-aseptic transfer was a little more difficult, given the large open area of the primary. The beer tasted better when kegged directly from primary than its sister batch, which was fermented closed and kegged after a *secondary* fermentation---the flavor of the open-fermented beer was more mature for its young age (6 days vs. 3 weeks), less rough, and smoother. The skimming of krauesen material seems to have eliminated much of the sharpness associated with young beer. Perhaps the intangible flavor improvement imparted by open fermentation is actually the *absence* of certain undesirable flavors. Anyone more experienced care to speculate further? Please bear in mind that the above observations are from a small statistical sample (n=1). More later on the finished product.... Tim ************************************************************************ | Timothy P. Laatsch | laatsch at kbs.msu.edu | | Microbial Ecology Grad | Head Brewer, Spruce Grove Nanobrewery | | Michigan State Univ/KBS | Check out my homebrewing page on the Web! | | Kalamazoo, MI | http://kbs.msu.edu/~laatsch/beerhome.html | ************************************************************************* Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 07:27:49 -0600 From: "John Lifer, Jr." <jliferjr at felix.TECLink.Net> Subject: Ronald Wrote, >So I guess if it held LME at room temperature it can hold LME at boiling >temperature. After all, one man's room temperature may be another man's >boiling temperature depending on location. HDPE not very good for temperatures in the boiling range. You seem to be using a thick walled container. This will support a higher temperature than if it was a thinner. Just because it held LME at room temperaturem does not mean it will work at elevated tempertures. You have not had a melt down yet, hopefully you won't. I would brew outside with it if I were you to be on the safe side. My SI, would not be very appreciative of several gallons of boiling sticky liquid on the kitchen floor. For anyone else listening, just make sure that the heated part of the element you might use is as far inside, away from the walls of the container you can get, Obviously the element works at a higher temp. that boiling and be sure to give it a try b/f useing wort. Straight water is much cheaper. John in Mississippi Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 14:11:33 +0200 From: "DAVID LEWIS" <LEWIS at hali.edv.agrar.tu-muenchen.de> Subject: Blow-off and skimming during ferment We skimmed the primary fermenters only once, and then just before the green beer was "schlaucht" down to the lager keller. The reason I was told by the journeymen was that the crust and foam that forms during the kraeusen is important for protecting the beer from infection. It is equally important that it be removed before racking, to get rid of the bitterness (as mentioned by others). Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 09:22:17 -0500 (EST) From: Jim Busch <busch at eosdev2.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: Pumps A brewing collegue of mine has a need for a utility pump to CIP his unitank. The pump needs to handle NaOH, caustics, at ~160F and pump 6 feet of head. The GPM is not important but I would venture that 1-20 GPM would be adequate. Any affordable (100-200 bucks) ideas? Ive seen a unit in an old Grainger catelog that I think is made by Little Giant. It is rated at 1/25 HP, and pumps 7.1 GPM at 6 feet head. Anyone use one of these? Thanks, Jim Busch Colesville, Md busch at daacdev1.stx.com A Victory For Your Taste! Festbier, Lager and IPA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 09:23:01 -0500 From: genitom at nyslgti.gen.ny.us (Michael A. Genito) Subject: RE:Brewing w/Maple Sap In HBD1942 Tim wrote: *** From: brokenskull at earthlink.net (Tim & Marilyn) Subject: Brewing with maple sap Has anybody brewed with sap? I am going to try it this year. However. i'm not quite sure how to figure out how much the sugers in the sap will effect the alcohol content. Any help appreciated. tim.....brokenskull at earthlink.net *** Tim, I haven't tried brewing with sap, but I have with maple syrup (pure syrup - not Log Cabin(TM)). Using 2qts of the stuff in an otherwise porter style extract brew produced a nice hint of the maple flavor, but lended the brew to have a bit of a winey taste. Papazian's TCJOHB addresses maple syrup and recommends a large quantity (>1gal). It just wasn't to my particular liking, but then again I've brewed crystal honey lagers and porters and wasn't crazy about them either although many of my friends were. Addressing the quantity of sap issue you raised, remember that it takes approximately 40 gals of sap to boil down to 1 gal maple syrup. I would think there wouldn't be enough fermentables or flavor in raw sap to produce an effective brew. Michael A. Genito, Director of Finance, Town of Ramapo 237 Route 59, Suffern, NY 10901 TEL: 914-357-5100 x214 FAX: 914-357-7209 Return to table of contents
Date: 23 Jan 96 09:43:24 EST From: aesoph%ncemt.ctc.com at ctcga.ctc.com (Aesoph, Michael) Subject: Bad Alcohol Dear Collective: A freind of mine mentioned that the addition of certain substances to any fermenting beverage could produce Methyl alcohol. If I recall correctly, this is the poisonous variety. He specifically mentioned potatoes, other vegetables and certain grains. Is this true, or is he full of nonsense? I always assumed that the homebrewer was perfectly safe under all circumstances... Sorry if this is in the FAQ somewhere, I simply don't have it. Mike Aesoph Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 16:49:58 +0100 From: sames at is.co.za (SAMES) Subject: Help needed on building masher/boiler. Hi there ! I need some positive criticism :-) on a boiler - masher that I want to build. I have not brewed a full-grain beer only mash-extract. I want to build a boiler and masher in one. What I thought I would do is to use a +-10 gallon plastic bin that can withstand the heat and put a big kettle element inside. I am an electronic engineer so I will build myself an accurate temperature controller with which I will control the mashing and boiling. With the controller I would be able to (for an example) keep the mash at 60deg Celcius for 29 minutes and then at 70 for 20 minutes etc etc. I will be able to set the controller everytime like I want it for mashing. For boiling I would just throw the wort in and boil the sweet stuff for as long as needed. sketch: | | | | | --| <-- element | | -------- Is this a bad idea ? Are there anyone who have done this before? Please give me some advice, any suggestions or criticism are welcome. If there is any info on the internet regarding building this kind of masher please point me to it. Thanks a lot. Braam Greyling Design/CAD engineer Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 06:50:20 -0800 (PST) From: Michael Arau <marau at linknet.kitsap.lib.wa.us> Subject: Gas (fwd) - ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 06:42:25 -0800 (PST) From: Michael Arau <marau at linknet.kitsap.lib.wa.us> To: Automagical Mail Responder <homebrew-request@ hpfcmgw.fc.hp.com> Cc: rhampo at ford.com Subject: Gas RH> Has anyone out there in HBD land discovered a cure/preventative for RH> the personal emission of methane that seems to always accompany RH> (with a time lag) drinking homebrew? Not so sure why you experience this phenomenon with homebrew moreso than with commercial beer, but the simple truth is that the gas you are emitting is carbon dioxide. Contrary to popular belief, it is not all burped out. |) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 08:55:07 -0600 From: rich.adam at mayo.edu (Adam Rich) Subject: Possible Infection HBD Readers: I have a probkem with ageing beer and I would like some opinions from the collective. The problem is that my beer gets more carbonated with time in the bottles. Sure, it should for the first two weeks but this happens after 6-8 weeks and is undesireable. No, it does not gush or foam. It is just that the head growes larger when pouring and the bubbles are sharp, as opposed to a nice creamy, smooth beer that I prefer. I prime 5 gallon batches with 1/2 cup corn sugar and bottle in Grolsch style bottles (some 22 ounce Fischer Bottles). I now use iodophor solution to sanatize the bottles, and use a bottle brush routinely. The rubber gaskets are all taken off and put into boiling water for 2 minutes. I try to sanatize everything that comes into contact with the beer with iodophor, but I do rinse with cold tapwater (even though 'they' say this is not neccesary). I use starters, always. I do propagate yeast but only 1-4 passes because I am definitely afraid of contamination problems! I am a partial-mash brewer. I buy extract in 30 pound buckets and I wonder if this could be the culprit? A couple of caveats here. I think this may be a wild-yeast problem. I bake bread every weekend in the same kitchen that I make beer in. However, I quit doing it on the same day! Now I try to clean the countertop with bleach, and I shower before brewing! I also sweep the floor and mop before brewing. All of this is an attempt to reduce opportunity for wild yeast contamination. What is you opinion on the 'problem'? The solution? It seems that I need to polish off each batch in under 6 weeks or else! thanks, Adam Rich richa at mayo.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 96 07:00:51 PST From: hollen at vigra.com Subject: America's Finest City Homebrew Competition Dear Brewers: Thank you for your interest in the third annual Americas Finest City Homebrew Contest. Last year we received about 300 entries and we expect at least as many this year. In past years we have been able to attract a list of impressive beer judges and we hope to carry on that tradition. AleSmith Brewing Co. will be the sight of the judging again this year. Last year it was an empty warehouse; this year it is a fully operational microbrewery. The following are this year's vital facts: 1. Judging will take place on Saturday 3/2/96. 2. Entry fee = $6.00 for the first + $4.00 for subsequent entries. 3. 1996 AHA National Competition guidelines will be used for any and all beverage styles (see Zymurgy winter 1995 issue or contact us). 4. 1996 AHA National Competition recipe and entry forms may be used (Winter '95 Zymurgy). 5. Make checks payable to John Bell and include w/ entries. 6. Ship 2 (two) bottles per entry (1st round plus best of show). 7. Indicate by arrow which side is up, so we can store the boxes properly. 8. Ship entries to: AFC c/o AleSmith Brewing Co. 9368 Cabot Dr. San Diego, CA 92126 9. Entries will be accepted from Wed. 2/21/96 through Wed. 2/28/96. Entries shipped directly to AleSmith will be placed directly in their walk-in cooler. In past years, many of the San Diego county home brew supply shops have been generous to accept "walk-in" entries, which we collect in bulk after the entry window closes. Check with your local (San Diego county only) homebrew supply store, if you prefer this method. Note: Minimum scores for awards are as follows: 35 pts. for 1st place, 30 for 2nd, and 25 for 3rd. Note: The guidelines state that you may enter only one beverage per category. If you enter more than one, your entries will be accepted and judged, but each entrant will receive only one award per category. Note: Due to limited space and concentration level required by the judges, the judging will not be open to spectators or competing brewers. Good Luck, Skip Virgilio Contest Organizer (619)549-9888 wk, 566-7061 hm Dion Hollenbeck Assistant Organizer (619)597-7080*164 wk, 459-8724 hm hollen at vigra.com Bob Whritner Judge Coordinator (619)534-3785 wk, 458-9840 hm whbob at arcane2.ucsd.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 96 10:28:40 EST From: John DeCarlo <jdecarlo at mitre.org> Subject: Diacetyl If you want to know about diacetyl, you can look for powdered butter, like Butter Buds (TM). Lots of butter-flavored foods (like microwave popcorn) are flavored with diacetyl. People describe it differently, from butter to butterscotch. And at very low levels, it does add a nice smoothness. I was at the Coddington brewpub just north of Newport RI last fall. The IPA batch I tasted had the most diacetyl I had ever had the misfortune to consume in any beer. Presumably that was some sort of anomaly, but maybe you could ask the brewmaster what happened and how you could do it. The advantage of using powdered butter (or butter substitute or whatever it is called) is that you can measure out different amounts to add to beer. You can do it in your glass as an experiment. Hope this helps. John DeCarlo, MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA--My views are my own Fidonet: 1:109/131 Internet: jdecarlo at mitre.org Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 10:27:54 -0500 From: NATEDA at aol.com Subject: lab equip source To Randy Reed A good source for lab equipment, etc. is VWR Scientific 1-800-932-5000. They distribute out of NJ and have no local (Beantown) outlet. They have a mega catalogue but can be a bit pricey. Nate Apkon (nateda at aol.com) (Framingham) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 10:40:48 -0500 From: KennyEddy at aol.com Subject: Cold Fermentation Cure -- Stupid Copper Manifold Tricks Russ Snyder sez: > Since I don't have a clever way of keeping the carboy at the required temp. > and cranking the heat up in the house is not an option (house is empty > during the day and can't justify heating it for the beer alone), I was > wondering: Try a heating pad set on LOW under the fermenter (stick one of those "Fermometer" strip thermometers on your fermenter to keep an eye on things). If the low setting is too warm, place a towel between the pad and fermenter, lift the fermenter slightly using a sturdy wire rack or other suitable implement (careful -- 5 gallons of wort wighs 40+ pounds, nevre mind the container) or use a cheapie light dimmer to throttle the pad. And Pat Maloney suggests: > Don't bother soldering the fittings at all. Just slip the straight pieces > into the elbows at brew time and put the thing into your cooler. This > assumes, of course, that the manifold is big enough to sit next to the walls > of your cooler and therefore can't be forced apart once it's installed. Press-fitting works well, and the above caveat is valid considering you have a mess if your spoon accidently scoops up the manifold and disassembles it in place for you. What I do (I use a square Coleman Drinking Water 5)is to lay a sheet of nylon needlepoint mesh (8 holes per inch), cut to size, over the manifold. Not only does it shield the manifold from the onslaught of the mighty spoon, but it acts to a degree as a "false bottom", increasing the drainage area cross-section and (hopefully) improving yield (although the weight of the grain and the heat of the mash deforms the mesh, it still tends to "drape" over the pipe rather than wrapping tightly around it; I'd guess you get a 2"-wide band of false bottom along all pipe sections). Costs about half a buck a square foot at the local crafts store and I believe you can get it on a roll if you want a bunch of it. Ken Schwartz KennyEddy at aol.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 10:40:53 -0500 From: KennyEddy at aol.com Subject: Plastic Electric Brewery Ronald LaBorde suggests electric brewing with plastic buckets, and DonBrew offers temperature compatibility information about various plastics. I thought this sounded like a great thing to pursue; I'm space-limited as far as trying to rig up a keg-based three-tier system (here in El Paso, attics and basements are purely fictional fairy tales and the garage must actually hold a vehicle and the usual suburban junk). I began to think that a three-tier *five-gallon* electric system might be a great way to get a "real" brewery into my garage (and no CO detector required) for a modest investment. My idea was to biuld two plywood boxes, one sized to fit inside the other for storage, and use them along with the floor for the three levels. The hot liquor tank and the boiler would use heating elements, and the mash tun would be a non-heated cooler or insulated-bucket infusion masher thingy. If I'm clever, everything would nest & store inside the largest box (which would have the requisite casters) and tuck away in the corner of the garage. Anyhow, the concern of "scorching" has always come up when electric elements are considered. But scorching is a function not of the total *power* per se but of the *power density* of the heat source; in other words, how much heat *per square inch* is generated. High power density implies excessive heat concentration, which will lead to scorching at some level. The trick is to determine the power density that is scorch-free and design around that. I did some calculations (look out -- an electronics guy doing thermo design is a frightening thing to behold) and figured that my 20-qt stockpot setup on my stovetop experiences a power density of about 50 watts per square inch. Estimating the power density based on a 100,000 BTU/hr cooker tranferring half of that heat to a 15" diameter keg bottom, I figure about 83 watts per square inch. These scenarios are scorch-free, so the range of 50 to 83 watts per square inch should be a valid ballpark figure. Obviously scorching plain old strike water or sparge water is not a concern; a single element with an on-off switch is probably adequate (as long as you monitor the water temperature). So for scorch-free wort boiling the trick is to figure the power generated by your element (Ronald is using a 10" 4500W element) and divide by the surface area of the element wire. In Ronald's case the element is perhaps 22" in length (10" out, 10" back, maybe 2" for the bend) and 1/4" diameter = about 17 square inches; power density is therefore 167 watts per square inch! He claims scorching is not a problem; but control of the overall heat is a goal, suggesting that a lower power level is desirable. This "need" for less power fits in with the 50-83 w/sq-in range I came up with earlier. He proposes a controller based on a light dimmer and a solid-state relay, which would take some rigging but is basically a sound concept. If you're relatively handy with a soldering iron, a more elegant and perhaps less expensive design could be implemented (I guess I'll work on that too). A much simpler approach might be to make any of a number of parallel and series combinations of *many* elements (they're fairly cheap) with simple switches across them. Throwing the switches in various combinations would generate different power levels. High heat to initiate boiling, lower heat to maintain it, that sort of thing. Also, reducing the overall power while "spreading out" the power distribution results in lower power densities and diminished worrying about scorching. While not continuously variable like a light dimmer would be, it would at least offer three or four levels and might be completely adequate. A 10-gallon system based on this concept would be a small step although slower heating and higher power draw would be considerations. The compatibility of the various plastics with boiling temperatures is a concern and if anyone has information in addition to DonBrew's figures I'd be interested to hear about it. Also, whether "plastic taste" might somehow be imparted by using plastic for boiling wuold be a question. A lightly-hopped pale-malt-only brew (or malt & rice) would be a good test batch to look for off-flavors and excessive caramelization. Boiling plain water a few times in the buckets might be enough to pull out all the volatiles. I am presently working through the design of this "brewery" and will gladly post the plans for a working version once I have it running. Any suggestions would be welcome; private E-mail is OK. Ken Schwartz KennyEddy at aol.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 96 09:41:01 CST From: Paul Sovcik <U18183 at UICVM.CC.UIC.EDU> Subject: Why Aerate if you pitch heavily? One thing I'm trying to understand about yeast metabolism, aeration etc... Given that oxygen is important to form sterols in cell membranes, and good oxygenation is important in developing adequate healthy yeast populations, why aerate at all if you pitch an adequate amount of yeast? I would consider an adequate amount of yeast to be the dregs of the previous batch - realistically, 90% of the yeast that has been used to ferment the beer is probably precipiatated out, and ready to ferment again. Why aerate a population like this? They should have more than enough sterols in their cell walls assuming the previous batch was aerated enough, and further aeration could only make the batch overpopulated (overpitched), or cause oxidation. Right? Am I missing something here? -Paul in Chicago FWIW - I really never worried too much about aeration. I may slosh and spray the wort a bit more deliberately when racking to a primary, or shake the carboy (which I rarely use anymore for a primary) for a minute or two, but thats it. The one rule that guides my brewing these days is "Pitch a huge slug of quality yeast and dont sweat the little stuff". Works for me. -PS Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 08:29:32 -0700 From: Jim Doyle <jgdoyle at uci.edu> Subject: Heavy Duty Crown Cappers I recently saw what I would consider the "King of Crown Cappers". It was a free standing table unit made of heavy duty polished steel stock. I was unable to touch it, or get close enough to read any company name which may have been written upon it. I want one. I need one which will not fall over, possibly it will mount to a table? Can anybody help me identify this oh-so-heavy-duty crown capper? Tell me about the heaviest duty cappers out there, and where I can obtain them. It doesn't matter where they are, I can wait for mail order. TIA -- Jim Doyle "640K ought to be enough for anybody." -- Bill Gates, 1981 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 12:10:31 -0500 From: Bob McCowan <bob.mccowan at cfrp.varian.com> Subject: Re:Hydrometer Adjustment, When to pitch yeast,Skimming Of course the hydrometer reading is independent of altitude, but for the experimentalists here's an easy test: measure water. At least you'll know whether the scale is glued to the right spot. ********** As fas as when to pitch yeast, I'd guess that you're better late than early. Given that, start the starter well in advance. If your brew day is delayed, use that as an opportunity to build the starter up some more instead of worrying about your starter going dormant. The liklihood that you'll pitch too much yeast is pretty slim. Just look at what the microbrewers pitch - somewhere around a pound of yeast solids per barrel. If you're really worried about your yeast being active, add the first cooled wort out of your chiller to your somewhat dormant starter and let that get started while you finish your chilling. Let your wort settle and rack the wort off the cold break into a second fermenter. By then your yeast should be going again - in the exact same wort they're going to see. Pitch 'em; they should be quite pleased. ** Skimming - I suppose you could do that, but probably most of the intensely bitter stuff is insoluble and is left behind when you rack out of your primary. Some of it, maybe most sticks to the sloped neck of the carboy provided the volume is right. I haven't noticed differences between blowoff and nonblowoff brews. For me any such effect is lost in the noise; maybe my palette isn't sufficiently fine tuned. Bob - -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bob McCowan voice: (508)-922-6000 x208 ATG/Receiver-Protector fax: (508)-922-8914 CPI BMD Formerly Varian CF&RPP e-mail: bob.mccowan at cfrp.varian.com Beverly, MA 01915 - --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 96 09:25:24 PST From: stafford at alcor.hac.com (Jack Stafford) Subject: Unexpected high gravity reading Yeasterday I brewed the "Sun Has Left Us On Time" Steam Beer from the NCJOHB recipes. I got an OG of 1.102 at 74 deg F. I think there is an error in this recipe: 1/2 lb Crystal malt (40L) 8 lb Alexander's pale malt extract (two 4lb cans) 2 oz N.Brewer hops (7.8 AA) 1/2 oz Cascade hops (5.8 AA) 1-2 pk Lager yeast (Yeast Lab Euro. Lager) I followed the recipe to the letter expecting to get an OG reading in the 1.045 range, as published in the book. Next time I'll use only 4lb Alexander's malt extract and see what kind of reading I get. I think 1.102 is a little too high. Anyone else ever make this beer? Any advice? Jack stafford at alcor.hac.com Costa Mesa, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 12:25:46 GMT From: Chris Storey <cstorey at mail.peterboro.net> Subject: Doctor's opinion on Homebrew My wife works at a hospital as a medical secretary. I don't know how the subject came up about homebrewing, but this doctor of internal medicine said this to her. He asked my wife if I drank my beer before a month old. She said yes. I do. I try it at different stages to see how it is doing. I think everyone does this. He said that it can be poisonous. I can't believe it! Something about the yeast and alcohol at early stages. I really don't think so, but I thought I would ask the collective to see if anyone out there knows of people DYING to try their beer early. Maybe he thought I was making moonshine! Any comments on this? Chris Storey cstorey at mail.peterboro.net Peterborough, Ont.Can. Return to table of contents