HOMEBREW Digest #1944 Thu 25 January 1996

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  *Why* is Blow Off Silly? (Mark Riley)
  Klages/greasy caramel/frozen yeast/ (Algis R Korzonas)
  Manzaniillo, Mexico!? (Rob Emenecker)
  Re: Who is Crabtree? (Jeff Renner)
  RE: care and feeding of corney keg? (Bill Rust)
  Using Cornstarch/Potato starch (Paul Sovcik)
  TSP residue ("Richard E. Larsen")
  Doin' the carboy shuffle ("mike spinelli")
  RE:"American Amber" Style (Don Rudolph)
  re:  Open fermenters in commercial breweries (DEBOLT BRUCE)
  Re: open fermenters redux again dejavu (Jeff Frane)
  Pitch timing/slow laeuter (lauter) (Algis R Korzonas)
  hop oil vs. hop resins/DME filtering (Algis R Korzonas)
  PET bottles - O2 permeability (Rolland Everitt)
  Wyeast 1968 ESB and a vinyl aroma/flavor ("Scott J. Mindrebo")
  IYWIDR.../Moving/COOL!/Crabtree/Thydrometer/Layers ("Pat Babcock")
  Plastic tank summary (rbarnes)
  Sparge Temp, Blowoff (Jack Schmidling)
  Amusing Homebrew Story (Jeff Hewit)
  Honey Wheat Beer. (Bucket99)
  Re: priming with honey ("Scott J. Mindrebo")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 09:22:42 -0800 From: Mark Riley <mriley at netcom.com> Subject: *Why* is Blow Off Silly? >*Blowoff is probably the silliest procedure >*that has ever been developed for making beer. I am hard pressed to think >*of even a single redeeming feature. The advantages of "open" fermentation >*are as myriad as those for blowoff are lacking. >I have to agree with Jack here. I think that blow-off is a step back. >About the only advantage is that it is good for those that can not check or >manage their fermentations frequently. With all due respect, it seems silly to slam the blowoff technique without providing any reasons why it is inferior. I'd be interested in hearing just a few (out of the "myriad"). Thanks, -Mark- - --------------------- Mark Riley Sacramento, CA mriley at netcom.com - --------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 96 11:44:25 CST From: korz at pubs.ih.att.com (Algis R Korzonas) Subject: Klages/greasy caramel/frozen yeast/ Ken writes: >What, exactly is Klages malt? Is this a brand name or a style? It is a strain of barley that is declining in popularity with growers. In the midwest, all the growers have stopped planting Klages and most are planting Harrington. There is still some Klages grown in the west. Growers change barley strains periodically because of disease resistance. Maris Otter is another strain of barley that many people think is a brand. *** Spencer writes: >Put the desired quantity of sugar in a heavy saucepan. Heat it on the >stove, *STIRRING CONSTANTLY* until it melts and browns to the desired >degree. Pour out onto greased foil to cool. DO NOT pour it into ^^^^^^^ >water, as it can cause explosive boiling. Surely you wouldn't want to make caramel for brewing by pouring it onto a greased surface! I would pour it into a teflon pan that has been washed thoroughly with plain old washing soda and water (no soap). *** Larry writes: >I followed with interest the recent thread about preserving yeast in >the freezer with glycogen. Anyone know if Wyeast adds such a substance >to their liquid yeast packs? Or whether Wyeast is still viable after >freezing or being slightly frozen? Glycerin, not glycogen, is added to yeast cultured before freezing. Glycogen is the carbohydrate that yeasts use for storing up energy (carbo-loading?). I had a box full of Wyeast packages sit on my doorstep in the dead of the Chicago winter for at least 12 hours -- I don't know if the yeast got slushy or not (someone finally brought them in), but the temperature was well below freezing. The yeast showed no ill effects and brewed some very good beer. *** Andy writes: >This thread has made me wonder that perhaps the open fermentation has a >significant contribution to the high levels of diacetyl in the lager. >But why not the bock? Could they be using different yeasts for the lager and the bock? Some yeasts simply make a lot more diacetyl than others. >The beers are also kegged and delivered by truck (only recently >refrigerated) to another hotel in Sydney (the Australian Hotel in the >Rocks). The lager diacetyl levels here are even higher, making it almost >undrinkable (sob). The increase in diacetyl seems to indicate to me that it could be due to a Pediococcus infection. Any sourness? Strong diacetyl stench has been called "sarcina sickness" and was due to a Pediococcus infection. Perhaps the alcohol level in the bock is high enough to impede the growth of the Pedio? Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at pubs.att.com Copyright 1996 Al Korzonas Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 96 12:49:35 PST From: Rob Emenecker <remenecker at cadmus.com> Subject: Manzaniillo, Mexico!? Hello to all! Okay, I admit to having a brain fart regarding my question about styrofoam. I never did consider the fact that they sell styrofoam cups which we drink out of. Gosh is my face red. Onto other things.... has anyway had any experience with local brews/wines/foods in Manzanillo, Mexico. We will be vacationing there in early March and would hate to pass up any opportunities to try the local fare and indiginous brews. - --Rob **************************************************************************** | (remenecker at cadmus.com) | (RobEmnckr at aol.com) | | Cadmus Journal Services, Inc. | Brewery Manager, Standing Rock Brewery | | Linthicum, Maryland 21090 | Proud Purveyors of "Hairy Dog Homebrew"! | | 410-691-6454 / 684-2793 (fax) | (410) 859-9169 (voice only) | **************************************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 96 12:57:16 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Who is Crabtree? A. J. deLange and Tracy Aquilla answered my question in private email. Here is Tracy's slightly more complete information. Thanks, both. -=-=-=-=- [snip] >>my previous life as a history teacher leads me >>to another question - who was/is Crabtree of the Crabtree Effect? >H.G. Crabtree was a biochemist who lived during the first half of the >20th century. I don't know if he's still alive (I doubt it). The >original work from whence the term arose was "Observations on the >carbohydrate metabolism of tumors" Biochem J. 23:536, published in 1929! Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan c/o nerenner at umich.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 13:12:23 -0500 From: Bill Rust <wrust at csc.com> Subject: RE: care and feeding of corney keg? Just a quick note... Bob writes: >also, how can i tell how much is still in the keg (without opening it)? I have an easy way to tell. Just take the keg out of the cooler for about 20 minutes and look at the sides of the keg. Condensation will form only where there is beer on the inside of the keg. It will be intuitively obvious to the casual observer (sorry, old math joke...) where the level of the beer is. Later... ------------------------------------------------------------ Bill Rust, Master Brewer | Jack Pine Savage Brewery | The Brew Cru Shiloh, IL (NACE) | 'Get Off Your Dead Ass and Brew!' ------------------------------------------------------------ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 96 12:10:18 CST From: Paul Sovcik <U18183 at UICVM.CC.UIC.EDU> Subject: Using Cornstarch/Potato starch Someone ( I forgot who) mentioned the use of cornstarch in brewing. - -------------------------------------------------------------- Paul Sovcik | Email- U18183 at uicvm.uic.edu University of Illinois at Chicago| Department of Pharmacy Practice | Dilute! Dilute! OK! OK! Chicago, Il | Exceptions Eternally? Absolute none! I have been considering using cornstarch and/or potato starch as an adjunct for a while, but I dont have too much information on it. I would imagine that starch would be 100% convertible to sugars in a mash, so how does the use of it compare to using flaked corn or real potatoes? In other words, does one pound of cornstarch to four pounds of malt equal 20% adjunct, or is it much higher? Also, does using starch give mash/lauter problems, or is it an easy adjunct? Thanks, Paul - -------------------------------------------------------------- Paul Sovcik | Email- U18183 at uicvm.uic.edu University of Illinois at Chicago|PJS at uic.edu Department of Pharmacy Practice | Dilute! Dilute! OK! OK! Chicago, Il | Exceptions Eternally? Absolute none! Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 12:42:40 -0600 (CST) From: "Richard E. Larsen" <rlarsen at prairienet.org> Subject: TSP residue I've seen a lot of posts about TSP residue on bottles and I have a similar problem. My wife and I were going to paint the living room, but first we had to wash down the walls. TSP is the product of choice for this of course. During the process of washing, some drips from the ceiling fell on a glass curio cabinet. Needless to say these went un-noticed. Well the end result is a $400 cabinet with white streaks stained into the glass. My obvious question now is... how do you get the TSP stains off glass? This will be useful also for those who have residue on thier bottles as well. Also note, that this is Red Devil phosphate free TSP. I know, I know... thats what the P is in TSP, but I suspect it is a similar compound. Please respond on the HBD as I'm currently looking for a new Cybersuit. => Rich Larsen, Midlothian, IL (Lost in Cyberspace) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 13:45:55 -0400 (EDT) From: "mike spinelli" <paa3983 at dpsc.dla.mil> Subject: Doin' the carboy shuffle Fellow brewers, With all this talk on aeration and such, i've got a question: A little background first: What I do to aerate is as follows: 1 Fill carboy w/ wort cover top w/ plastic wrap, cover w/ my hand and shake the SHIT outta it for about 5 minutes. 2 Swirl up starter, flame the opening and pour into carboy, then cover w/ plastic wrap and shake again for a couple more minutes. Now after this workout, I've got a good pump going in my arms and back and usuallly there's about 4 inches of froth atop the wort. Seems pretty good. no? NOW MY QUESTION: What am I really doing to help the yeast? Since I'm covering the top while shaking, no additional 02 is getting in right? It seems all I'm doing is getting what 02 is in the wort out of suspension. My system seems to work since I get quick starts and complete ferments. But could someone explain if getting the existing 02 out of solution is better/worse/same as introducing more 02 as in w/ 02 tanks/aqua pumps etc. Thanks, Mike in Cherry Hill, NJ Return to table of contents
Date: 23 Jan 96 14:32:49 EST From: Don Rudolph <76076.612 at compuserve.com> Subject: RE:"American Amber" Style I'm surprised nobody in this august body has mentioned the American Amber Ale article in Brewing Techniques (BT) by Mr. Brockington. Finally, "Dave in Sydney" (david.draper at mq.edu.au) writes in HBD #1938: >... I was very impressed with Dave Brockington's article on >American Amber ale in the latest BT. So much so that I immediately >brewed one (and I suspect Andy Walsh's latest amber is similarly >inspired), being a longtime fan of such beers as Red Tail and Red >Nectar. What do some of you big wheels think of that suggested >stylistic reorganization? I think it is very useful. I'm definitely NOT a big wheel, but like the big wheels, I have an opinion on just about everything! First of all, I think Dave Brockington is VERY knowledgable about styles, and his success in homebrew competitions bears this out. However, I do take issue with his claim that American Amber should be considered a style unto its own. The article describes the evolution of this style from its beginnings at New Albion/Mendocino (Red Tail Ale), propagating to other American micros as the "movement" gained momentum. According to Brockingtion, the American Amber style is defined by a crystal or caramel accented maltiness, supported by a firm to modest hoppy character. My contention is that American Amber is really American Pale Ale, and the pale ale style already incorporates these fine Amber brews in its definition. As Brockington states in the article, the designation "Amber" is really a marketing consideration, and therefore one could conclude it is not a stylistic consideration. Micros were loath to call a copper or amber brew "pale", or (GASP) "bitter", because it would confuse consumers accustomed to golden brews (Bud, Miller, and their ilk). It also helped to delineate their golden ales and blond ales from the richly colored pale ale product. It is clear from the article, and from common sense, that the so-called Amber Ale is a direct descendant of the English Pale Ale. American Pale Ale owes its unique character to the use of domestic malt and hops. And, like its English cousins, APA is a broad style category that includes malty, hoppy, complex, simple, light and dark examples. That is the joy of the style, IMO. Brockington argues that one cannot really compare Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, for example, to something like Red Tail or Full Sail Amber. They are "different sensory experiences". The crystal character of the latter dominate the flavor profile when compared with the former. This is certainly true, but I would argue that a great deal of latitude already exists in the style definition. My argument is that APA is a definition that will accommodate SNPA along with "Amber" beers as Brockington defines them. >From 1995 AHA Style Guidelines: "6. American-style Ale (a) American Pale Ale -- Pale to deep amber/red/copper. Low to medium maltiness. High hop bitterness. Medium hop flavor and aroma. Use of American hops such as Cascade, Willamette, Centennial (CFJ-90), etc. Fruity/estery. Low diacetyl OK. Medium body. Low caramel character OK." >From 1996 AHA Style Guidelines: "6. American-Style Ale a) American Pale Ale - Range from golden to light copper color. The style is characterized by American-variety hops used to produce high hop bitterness, flavor and aroma. American pale ales have medium body and low to medium maltiness. Low caramel character is allowable. Fruity-ester flavor and aroma should be moderate to strong. Diacetyl should be absent or present at very low levels. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures." >From Tim Dawson's style definitions: (See http://www.mv.com/ipusers/strange/styles.html) "American Pale Ale In comparison to its English counterpart, it is slightly less malty, in the range of low to medium. It is fruity and estery with some crystal malt providing a bit of residual sweetness. A distinction of the American version is the high hopping of American varieties. Dry hopping is appropriate. Stock ale is generally in the pale ale style, and is a slightly stronger version meant for longer storage. Pale to deep amber/red/copper. Low diacetyl is OK. Commercial examples: Geary's Pale Ale, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Shoals Pale Ale, Hopland Red Tail Ale, Red Hook Ale, Long Trail Ale, Samuel Adams Boston Ale, Carrabassett Pale Ale, Harpoon Ale." In all above definitions, the crystal (caramel) and malt character that Brockington claims are the required and defining element of the Amber style are included in the style characteristics ("Low caramel" and "medium maltiness"). And, although drinking Sierra Nevada and Red Tail are different sensory experiences, so are drinking Sam Smith's and Bass, or Redhook ESB and Fuller's ESB. Do we really need another style category for American Amber, or are we splitting hairs? Do we acknowledge the "amber" moniker as not only a necessity born out of marketing concerns, but stylistic concerns as well? Discuss. Don Rudolph Seattle, WA drudolph at ix.netcom.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 96 16:21:00 -0600 From: DEBOLT BRUCE <bdebolt at dow.com> Subject: re: Open fermenters in commercial breweries Three years ago I was in Davis, California and went to the Sudwerks brewpub just off the highway heading to the mountains. They had at least one large rectangular open fermenter, visible from the bar area behind a glass wall. At the time I had just started homebrewing and was shocked that the fermentation would be carried out without any covering. Don't know if that is still their set-up. I'm not a fan of most lager beer, but their pilsner was excellent. If you are going skiing in the Sierras it's on the way and not far from Sacramento. Should be easier to get to than the breweries mentioned the last few days - Pilsner Urquell, and the English and German ones. Bruce DeBolt Lake Jackson, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 14:21:25 -0800 From: jfrane at teleport.com (Jeff Frane) Subject: Re: open fermenters redux again dejavu Lee Bollard wants to know: >Open ferment in the boiling kettle? Why rack? > >I use hop bags, so I don't need to rack to eliminate hops. >Can I do the primary ferment in the boiling kettle after >removing the hop bags, cooling the wort, and pitching? Any >disadvantages to this method? > Part of the process is getting wort off of the hot break; this is *crucial* to brewing good beer. Although there is argument on either side about the necessity of getting it off the *cold* break, there is no argument about hot break. ========================================================== On a sideline, I notice a number of people referring to the scum on top of the krausen as "trub"; this is, I think, a form of confusion and the term should not be mis-used. A few years ago, there was a little fracas on r.c.b. about whether "yeast trub" was appropriate; fortunately, the forces of Light seem to have won that one and it would be good if people were more precise. There is, after all, a real vocabulary associated with brewing and it's not up to homebrewers to corrupt it. Tim Laatsch has it right: >Ref: De Clerck, A Textbook of Brewing, 1957, Vol 1, pp 401 (The text is >his, any typos are mine): > >The eliminted bitter material is found partly in the head which should be >skimmed off carefully to avoid adding sharpness to the beer. In top >fermentations, the resins are found mixed with the yeast which has risen to >the surface, and are removed along with the yeast at skimming. So as not >to include too much bitter material in the yeast, the first heads formed on >the surface before purging of the yeast are skimmed off. These are >sometimes called 'bitters'". > So let's be precise, folks. - --Jeff Frane Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 96 15:11:41 CST From: korz at pubs.ih.att.com (Algis R Korzonas) Subject: Pitch timing/slow laeuter (lauter) I'm afraid that with the likes of Tracy and Dan (both professionals in microbiological sciences), my posts on the proper time to pitch are of rather light weight. While it is true that perfectly good beer can be made with yeast that is pitched when glycogen levels are low, I was posting what I have distilled from several articles that I read on this topic. The importance of glycogen may be very strain-dependent and by no means are the two articles that I previously referenced the only ones on this topic. Others have written (articles of which I have not been able to get copies) that they found no correlation between glycogen levels and the problems that Pickerell, et. al. have found (high diacetyl, high acetaldehyde, low attenuation...). I agree that it is far more important that you pitch a large volume of yeast than when you pitch it. I do still believe that a day or two after high kraeusen (from what I've read and experienced) is better than pitching just when the starter is reaching high kraeusen. As Dan pointed out: >Breweries that repitch their cultures (all) over many >generations, consequently ALWAYS use yeast that has completed its work. >Since the fermentation is complete, this is certainly WELL past the log >growth phase. And, therefore, well past high kraeusen. This would answer Brian's question: "...how much worse off are the yeast if we wait, say, until they've settled out (so that we can pour off the liquid)?" If we follow commercial technique, then we can assume that everything should be okay, as long as we pitch enough and don't let it sit for a week or two at room temperature (which depletes the yeast's glycogen also!). What I do these days is make up a 2 liter starter (stepped up from a 300-400 milliliter starter, stepped up from a Wyeast package or a 50ml starter made from a slant). From a Wyeast package, I start a week before brew day. From a slant, I start 10 - 12 days before. If the 2L starter peaks too soon (more than two or three days before brew day) or I cannot brew when I had planned, I pour off half of the starter and add some more 1.040 or 1.050 wort. This procedure gives me fast starts, quick ferments, low acetaldehyde (with the yeasts that I've used) and the expected attenuation for each strain. On the other hand, if I'm brewing on the spur of the moment, I'll just rehydrate one or two packages (depending on the gravity of the wort) of Nottingham or Coopers or Munton & Fison dried yeast in a cup of 100F water and pitch that. I prefer to plan ahead and use the liquid yeasts and the big starters, but that's not always practical. *** Charlie writes: >5/ Lauter/sparge slowly, especially for rice adjuncts. This reduces tannins >as we know (as does low pH), but it also reduces head destroying >lipids(oils). Protein rests are often blamed for the effects of these >lipids. It has been calculated that there is 3-5 times as much of the >positive head retaining protein fraction in pale, well modified malts that >are infusion mashed as is necessary for a good stable head. Are you sure about this? Slow laeutering will *reduce* tannins and lipids? I would say that slow lautering would give *more* opportunity for tannins and lipids to be extracted. Are you referring to the calcium reactions in the beer -- is slow sparging going to make that big a difference? On the other hand, I think that a reasonable pH (5.0 to 5.5) will take care of any tannin extraction concerns so that's probably a moot point, but I believe that to reduce lipids, you want to recirculate the first runnings more (this is from memory -- see Micah Millspaw and Bob Jones' article on this in Zymurgy about two or three years ago). Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at pubs.att.com Copyright 1996 Al Korzonas Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 96 13:17:47 CST From: korz at pubs.ih.att.com (Algis R Korzonas) Subject: hop oil vs. hop resins/DME filtering Ken writes: >There are many effects from boiling, not the least of which is sanitation. >Additionally, though, one would have to include hop oil utilization (oil & >water don't mix, remember?)... <snip> While the rest of Ken's reasons for boiling were very good, what he meant when refering to hop utilization was the resins and not the oils. The oils are responsible for the aroma and boil off very quickly (binding with malt components in "1st wort hopping" notwithstanding). The alpha acids are in the resins not the oils and in fact are quite soluble in hot wort, but will drop out of the wort when you cool it. If you boil, then you isomerize them to isomerized alpha acids (or iso-alpha acids) and those have a much higher solubility in cooled wort and, subsequently, beer. *** Kit writes: >Geary's is cold filtered through DME. There is no yeast. Surely Kit means DE (diatomaceous earth, a common filtering media) and not DME. Don't try filtering through DME at home, kids! *** Jeff writes: >3. I almost used papain in at bottling. Does anyone have any advise on >proper usage? If you must use papain, put it into the fermenter and let it sit a week. I recommend against using it, however, since it is not very selective when it comes to which proteins it breaks down and you will probably get a very thin-bodied beer. *** Denis writes: > Can anyone who has had problems with high diacetyl levels decribe >the taste for me? > Why would one want to increase or decrease this taste? Diacetyl smells and tastes like butter or buttescotch. It is usually considered a flaw in most lagers and is an integral part of many ales such as Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale. *** Gary writes: >I have noticed while brewing this that a lot of scum accumulates on the surface >of the boil. <snip> >I have not noticed any down side to this skimmming, but maybe there is one? >Anybody know for sure what's in this scum I skim? It's mostly protein and some hop resins, but because of all that cornstarch you added, it appears to also contain a lot of starch. This is part of the infamous "hot break" that most brewers say you *must* remove (although the brewmaster at Westmalle refuses to remove the hot or cold break). It does not hurt to remove it and if you boiled long enough, it would dissolve back into your beer. DeClerck (or is it Malting and Brewing Science) says that hot break can interfere with yeast and can lead to haze in the beer. Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at pubs.att.com Copyright 1996 Al Korzonas Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 19:08:52 -0500 From: af509 at osfn.rhilinet.gov (Rolland Everitt) Subject: PET bottles - O2 permeability I am going to risk electronic ostracism by reviving the thread on PET (polyethylene) bottles. The general wisdom seems to be that PET bottles may be OK for short-term (a few weeks) storage of beer, but that they are unsuitable for long-term storage because they are somewhat permeable to oxygen. This explanation leads inevitably to the question "if they can't keep O2 out, how do they keep CO2 in?" I believe I recall an explanation that involved the comparitive partial pressures of the gasses inside and outside the bottle. This never quite made sense to me, but I accepted it. Recently, however, I ran across some interesting data in _Food Science_, by Norman Potter (AVI, 1978). Potter presents several tables on the physical characteristics of packaging films. The data of interest were attributed to _Modern Plastics Encyclopedia Issue_ (McGraw- Hill, 1976). The permeability of low-density polyethylene to various gasses was given as follows. gas transmission cc/100 Sq. In./24 Hr/ gas mil at 25 C. O2 500 N2 180 CO2 2700 My source did not discuss the test method. It would be nice to know the thicknesses of test specimens, and the pressure (or partial pressure) differentials across them. All the same, the data suggest that polyethylene is much more permeable to CO2 than to O2. Also, if my understanding of partial pressures is correct, the partial pressure differential for CO2 (in a bottle of carbonated beer) is greater than for O2 - so how come O2 can get in, but CO2 can't get out? Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 18:20:05 -0600 From: "Scott J. Mindrebo" <dmindreb at gator1.Brazosport.cc.tx.us> Subject: Wyeast 1968 ESB and a vinyl aroma/flavor Has anyone had problems with Wyeast 1968 ESB throwing a vinyl aroma/flavor lately? About 2 months ago, one of our club members invited several of us over to yeast ranch Wyeast smack packs of 1968 and the new 1272. The innoculation method employed uses a sterile syringe which is plunged into a bulging smack pack that has been sanitized in a bath of Iodaphore. Several mls of yeast/wort solution are extracted and the needle is flamed. We then place several drops of the solution on either slants or in test tubes that contain about 5ml of sterile wort. We flame the needle before plunging and innoculation. A new syringe is used for each yeast pack. When we are done innoculating, the remaining contents of the smack pack are poured into a quart starter for the following brew day. One brewer made a split batch of cream ale (all grain) two days later using the quart starters of Wyeast 1272 and 1968 that came directly from the smack packs. These were bottled after 8 days in a primary fermenter at 65 degrees F. A new batch of slightly different cream ale was brewed the same day and pitched on the yeast/trub dregs in the primary fermenters. This split batch was bottled 7 days later. Both 1272 batches were fine, the 1968 batches had a vinyl/spicy flavor, indicative of infection. A couple of weeks later, I brewed an all grain brown ale using a vial of 1968, cultured from the syringe. This batch was fermented between 62 and 65 degrees F and was bottled after 16 days in the primary fermenter. At bottling, the beer tasted fine though not very complex. In the bottle, it developed the same vinyl aroma and flavor. Looking at Papazian's "Troubleshooter's Chart" (see THBC, pg 406) for phenolic profiles it lists plasticlike. Looking at what causes this profile left me more perplexed. 1) Both of us use RO water to brew with. No chlorine in water. 2) We both used pure yeast strains, Wyeast 1968. Although possible, it is highly unlikely that we introduced the same wild yeast or bacteria during innoculation of 5ml vials via sterile syringe vs. pitching smack pack into quart starter. 3) We both did our normal sparging and did not boil any grains. 4) We both use Iodaphore as our sanitizing agent, not bleach. 5) No new hoses were used during siphoning or bottling and 6) The bottle caps used were the ones we always used. I can only think of 4 reason for developing the vinyl profile. The sterile wort in the 5ml vials and the quart starter were contaminated (unlikely, as they were processed in a pressure cooker per standard procedure), the prepackaged sterile syringe was contaminated, Wyeast 1968 can throw vinyl aroma and flavor at temperatures of 65 degrees F, or the contents of the smack pack were contaminated to begin with. Have I missed anything? Why IMBR? I have exclusively used Wyeast for the last twenty batches and have had good results (not affiliated bla bla bla...). Do I need to review my sanitation process or am I just in denial? Both batches of cream ale were dumped and I haven't decided what I am going to do with the brown ale. Sorry for the long post :-( **************************************************************************** Scott J. Mindrebo | "some people say life's like a | merry-go-round | I think it's more like a ferris wheel Lake Jackson, Tx | cause sometimes you're up, dmindreb at gator1.Brazosport.cc.tx.us | sometimes your down" - Todd Rundgren **************************************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 19:28:43 +0500 From: "Pat Babcock" <pbabcock at oeonline.com> Subject: IYWIDR.../Moving/COOL!/Crabtree/Thydrometer/Layers Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lahgah... (That's Australian for lager. I'm multilingual...) - -------------------------- Greg? You had to ask... Keep in mind that I work in an automotive plant, and I interface with engineers in other assembly plants. Anyone who suggests that we might just be one big, happy family - well... If You Want It Done Right, Then You Must Just (the 'f' word)ing Do It Yourself. Remember: you asked. (I left the expletive out to protect the squeamish.) - -------------------------- The Drinkur Purdee Pico Brewery, BabsTech Enterprises et al are migrating up (?) to Windows 95. Please don't lose faith if an echo request or a for sale/wanted post takes a wee bit to make it up to the web site. - -------------------------- Kudos to C.D. Pritchard for a very cool aeration solution! Also, for the fish-pump impaired: Consider check valves at the aeration ports! This could prevent the occassion jet of wort caused by that errant hop petal. Hmmmm.... - -------------------------- Jeff (Renner)? Didn't you leave out a very prominent Crabtree in your question? What about Miss Crabtree from the Little Rascals?!? Hmmm?!? - -------------------------- I think I saw a hyrometer/thermometer combo in the Williams Brewing catalog. - -------------------------- Having been experimenting a bit with freezing the bejeebers, er, um - alcohol out of some darkish brews, I 've experienced stratification in the thawed product; particulary if left alone while thawing. Dunno whether this indicates anything regarding the beer being of 'one nature' - just another thought starter. Of course, the freezing process helps this along as components of the brew freeze at different rates. Could this also occur in the resting beer? Have at it... See ya! Pat Babcock in Canton, Michigan (Western Suburb of Detroit) pbabcock at oeonline.com URL: http://oeonline.com/~pbabcock/ Take advantage of the Drinkur Purdee document echo! Send a note to pbabcock at oeonline.com with the word help on the subject line to see what's on tap! Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 96 17:00:34 pst From: rbarnes at sdccd.cc.ca.us Subject: Plastic tank summary Thanks to all who replied regarding my proposed use of a plastic tank for heating mash water (former gasoline tank). The overwhelming response was, as I expected, "DON'T DO IT!" Most thought that the gas smell/taste could never be removed, while others feared that the electric element could cause the tank to catch fire if run dry and left unattended. Given my brewing methods, this is a valid concern. Also, some were concerned that the type of plastic was probably not food grade, and might impart off (or dangerous) flavors. To continue my quest for "Randy's Simplified Brewing System"(TM), I checked with local restaurant surplus stores (they sell used restaurant equipment), and found a stainless steel, box shaped vessel approx. 1 1/2' X 1 1/2' X 1'. Total volume is ~ 2.2 cu. ft., material thickness approx. 22 ga. As it turns out, it was a restaurant trash can! Cost = $10 U.S. I calculate this at about 15 gallons (correct me if I'm wrong), and the straight sides should enable me to easily attach a heating element, sight glass, drain, temp probe, etc. If it doesn't work, I still have a great trash can. The plan is to securely mount this on a wall near the ceiling of my garage, and use gravity to drain the water to my mash/lauter tun. Of course I'll clean it first. Also, does anyone have more details on making a 220V temp controller using parts from an electric stove or oven? I have an old electric range top, 220V, but are *each* of the four heating elements 220V or are they split to two 110V circuits? Are there any publications which have diagrams, parts lists, etc? I've followed recent threads on this subject with great interest, but I'm somewhat electronically challenged and need lots of guidance. Thanks in advance - Randy Barnes, San Diego Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 96 21:16 CST From: arf at mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) Subject: Sparge Temp, Blowoff >From: korz at pubs.ih.att.com (Algis R Korzonas) >Yes, and you will also recall that I pointed out that Jack's beer had a slight haze, which may have been starch haze. Not sure which beer "had" refers to but I feel comfortable in stating that, with the current state of the art at the World's Greatest Brewery, any haze in my beer is time related and not process related. After 30 days there is zero haze in the lager I make. > Note that indeed if you have a lot of heat loss between the hot liquor tank and the mash bed, your sparge water will be much cooler by the time that it hits the grain bed. That's about 10 ft of 3/8" copper tubing. Lot is the word. However, when it was two feet, I got the same results. > 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? Quite so and keep in mind that there are several inches of water above that top 1/2" and I defy you to find 180F anywhere in the mash. >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? My guess is no but I'm not sure I understand the statement. >I'm just speculating here for the sake of discussion. What do you think? Just speculating of course but even if the premise is correct, what does "extract some converted starch" mean and why must we assume that "some" would have any measurable effect on the finished beer? ................. But speaking of starch, I humbly confess to the first total bust of a batch at the WGB. Al would have gotten little argument out of me if he said this was starchy. Yesterday's batch seemed to refuse to convert and after two hours, the iodine test looked like ink and I gave up and mashed out. I really knew I was in trouble when it failed to settle out and leave that nice clear inch on top of the grain. It looked pretty much like oatmeal. When I opened the EM, it ran for a pint or so and then just clogged up hopelessly. First runnings were about 1.070 and I called the whole thing off. The only winners were the chickens. Instead of the usual spent grain, they got some pretty tasty stuff. I apologize if I sent this already but my computer was down and I have not seen the reaction I expected.... >From: jfrane at teleport.com (Jeff Frane) >I think it's a matter of semantics, and of fermenter geometry. If it's in an open fermenter, even with a lid on it, it's open.....A cylindro-conical fermenter (most common thing to see in a micro or brewpub), it's clearly closed -- that is, completely contained. Same with a carboy, whether the hole is up or down; the fermenter is clearly contained. How bout a carboy without an airlock? >Open fermentation has to do with the shape (wide and wide open, and with access. How bout those ubiquitous, 7 gal plastic jobs that fit your geometry definition but are designed to poke an airlock in the hole in the lid? >In an open fermenter, even one with a loose-fitting lid, you can skim, you can dip, whatever, and well, it's different. That seems to be the accepted definition but it does confuse the uninitiated and it begs for a better term. >What I don't fully understand is why it's taking Jack 10 days to reach a stage that isn't even completely clear. In 10 days, I'm drinking my beer. I will bet that beer is not lagered at 40 degs F. You wouldn't want to drink mine in ten days. >From: Scottie617 at aol.com >All of this talk about open and almost open and closed fermentation has me confused. Could somebody please explain to me the advantages of open fermentation versus blowoff? Glad you asked. This is another one of those areas where my opinion is less than meek and equivocal. Blowoff is probably the silliest procedure that has ever been developed for making beer. I am hard pressed to think of even a single redeeming feature. The advantages of "open" fermentation are as myriad as those for blowoff are lacking. Try simplicity and ease of use as the basic cover all. > Why would you take the chance of contamination? The anal retentive types will tell you the risk comes every time you open it to peek or skim the foam. Neither of which you need to do but that is another issue. My favorite advantage is that if you ferment is a kettle, all you do to "sterilize" it is boil a quart of water in it with the lid on for a few minutes. >I thought that blowoff was a step ahead, not behind. It is a giant leap backwards. Carboys make great secondary fermenters for beer or wine but they are the wrong tool for primary and using them with blowoff technique is like trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear. > How do you repitch from an open fermentation? Not sure what you mean but there is half an inch of stuff on the bottom you can do anything you want to with. > Cant you do the same with a blowoff? Sure and all the rest of the mess that goes with it. Aside from that, I have no strong feelings one way or the other. js Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 23:03:37 -0500 From: jhewit at freenet.vcu.edu (Jeff Hewit) Subject: Amusing Homebrew Story I recently heard a second-hand (third-hand?) story about homebrew that I found rather amusing. A guy makes a batch of homebrew, and stores it in a closet. Somehow, a fire breaks out in the closet. The heat from the fire causes the bottles to burst, and the homebrew puts out the fire. Not only is homebrew a health drink (all those B vitamins in the yeast), it's also a fire safety device. Pretty versatile stuff, huh? - -- - ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Jeff Hewit Eat a live toad first thing in the morning, Midlothian, Virginia and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 23:12:45 -0500 From: Bucket99 at aol.com Subject: Honey Wheat Beer. Howdy all, As a fairly new brewer, I have many successes and a few failures, (My own fault) but one batch has me totally stumped. My wife, whom likes to help me brew, complained that she didn't like MY choice of the beers we brewed (Mostly Pale Ales, and Pilsner's ). So she suggested a Wheat Beer, especially her favorite, a Honey Wheat. Well, I gave it a try and needless to say, I did not get what I expected. It has a very pronounced Yeasty flavor, and is over carbonated. For a 5 gallon Recipe I used the following. 5 lbs light malt extract (60 % wheat / 40% Malt) 2 lbs Light clover honey 1/2 Oz Cascade Hop pellets for bittering. 1/4 Oz Cascade Hop pellets for aroma. Boiled one hour, (Extract, Honey and bittering hop pellets. Aroma hop pellets added last minute of boil. Cooled and pitched at 78 F, with Wyeast Liquid yeast, (Bavarian Wheat Yeast). Fermented in primary (Only) 8 days. Closed fermentation. OG 1.040 FG 1.010 This recipe had an incredible amount of trub, More than any other beer I have brewed. It also ended up with a large amount of sediment in the bottles (3/16 inch ,est). My questions are, does adding honey to a recipe cause the increased sediment, or did I screw up and rack too early? (There was no visible fermentation at the time). I realize most wheat beers have a mild yeasty taste (an example would be Boulavard Wheat from Kansas City), but this seems excessive. Needless to say I am now a little apprehensive of trying wheat / honey beers again for awhile. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 22:27:32 -0600 From: "Scott J. Mindrebo" <dmindreb at gator1.Brazosport.cc.tx.us> Subject: Re: priming with honey In HBD 1941 Bryan Gros comments on my brown ale primed with a cup of honey: >Hopefully this was a 10 gallon batch, or you're looking at >an overcarbonated beer.! The batch size was 5 gal. I used the table on page 182 of Papazian's THBC which said to use a cup of honey/5 gal for bottling. Is this table wrong? This was the first time I primed with honey. The beer definitely has a nice head after two weeks. I am getting ready to dump it anyway since it is already ruined :-( See my posting on "Wyeast 1968 and a vinyl aroma and flavor." **************************************************************************** Scott J. Mindrebo | "some people say life's like a | merry-go-round | I think it's more like a ferris wheel Lake Jackson, Tx | cause sometimes you're up, dmindreb at gator1.Brazosport.cc.tx.us | sometimes your down" - Todd Rundgren **************************************************************************** Return to table of contents