HOMEBREW Digest #1947 Mon 29 January 1996

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  hot sparge/skimming & blowoff/wild yeast?/get a second Dr.'s opinion (Algis R Korzonas)
  Blow-off Technique Redeemed (sorta) (John W. Braue, III)
  green o ring on keg (why?) (Robert Rogers)
  that bitter, trubish stuff sure is 'bitters' (Dan McConnell)
  Blowoff tubes and open fermentation (dludwig)
  Munich Mistake (Lance Skidmore)
  SG calc and measurement (Domenick Venezia)
  Yeast metabolism thread, Gott coolers (Al Stevens)
  Cornstarch Recipe (Gary S. Kuyat)
  Problem With Green Bottles (William Moulis)
  CO2 Corney Keg Leak (Greg Holton)
  microbrewery or brewpub systems (Dan_Imperato)
  Brewday from hell award (Mark Redman)
  SHC (Eric W. Miller)
  Cleaning Solder Flux ("Palmer.John")
  Methanol in Homebrew (Gary S. Kuyat)
  Amer. Amber Ale (Bryan Gros)
  Pils malt flavor/mini-keg pressure (BF3B8RL)
  O2-absorbing caps (Jeremy Ballard Bergsman)
  Access to FAQs / Aeration (Lynn Ashley)
  Bottle Carbonation/Charlie's Hot Lager (Steve Alexander)
  Phil's Philler (Denis Barsalo)
  Sparge Temp, Blowoff (Jack Schmidling)
  re: heating bands for wort (Robert Rogers)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 25 Jan 96 17:29:09 CST From: korz at pubs.ih.att.com (Algis R Korzonas) Subject: hot sparge/skimming & blowoff/wild yeast?/get a second Dr.'s opinion Aidan writes (regarding using a >170F sparge water): >I have no idea if this is a significant enough volume to throw a >chill haze in your beer. Not chill haze -- starch haze (hazy at all tempertures). *** Tim writes: >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? Rather than speculate, I did an experiment and had the resulting beer tested at Siebel. I'm afraid that I can't go into details until after publication (in Zymurgy), but one important thing I found was that a significant amount of IBUs were lost when the kraeusen was removed from the fermenting beer. *** Adam writes about a possible wild yeast problem that causes overcarbonation: >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. It could be the sweeping of the floor. This will kick a lot of dust into the air and that's probably the air you are using to aerate the beer, right? You can try aerating in another room or perhaps you might want to buy one of those filtered air aeration systems (the kind with the aquarium pump, filter and airstone). *** Chris says: >...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... >Peterborough, Ont.Can. Sounds like the doctors in our company's new medical plan. The doctor is wrong. Period. Even if you were making moonshine, either it's poisonous or it's not. Sure, yeast converts some alcohol to esters via a process called esterification, but it is not in quantities that would change the beer from poisonous to non-poisonous. See what socialized medicine can do? Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at pubs.att.com Copyright 1996 Al Korzonas Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 1996 08:01:13 From: braue at ratsnest.win.net (John W. Braue, III) Subject: Blow-off Technique Redeemed (sorta) >Mark Riley <mriley at netcom.com> writes: >>*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"). (I believe that thq quotees are arf at mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) and korz at pubs.ih.att.com (Algis R Korzonas), but I won't guarantee it. If I'm misattributing here, sorry). I don't use truly open fermentation (as opposed to covered open fermentation) because one of the components of my household is a free-flighted budgerigar. A truly open fermentation would risk ending up full of avian by-products, including a whole bird if it took it into what passes for its mind to dive into the fermenter (this behavior is documented amongst other small hookbills...some of them *late* small hookbills). I concede that this reason, or its logical equivalent, is not one that will apply to every homebrewer, or perhaps even a majority. Using closed fermentation, then, for reasons of sanitation ("Aack! There are *feathers* in my beer!"), I generally use a standard airlock on a 6.5 gallon plastic carboy. I use a blowoff hose *only* when I expect the ferment to produce so much kraeusen that it will push the airlock out of the lid (and yes, *that* has happened). Blowoff, for me, is a purely pragmatic process to minimize the mess produced by fermentation. Why do I do things in this exact manner? Well, largely because it's the way that I've always done them. Domenick Venezia (I have forgotten his e-mail address) has suggested that I just get a larger fermenter. This, along with covered open fermentation and brewing pseudo-lamic fruit beers, is one of those things that I'll probablly get around to trying someday (say, before the end of the next millenium). - -- John W. Braue, III braue at ratsnest.win.net I prefer both my beer and my coffee to be dark and bitter; that way, they fit in so well with the rest of my life. I've decided that I must be the Messiah; people expect me to work miracles, and when I don't, I get crucified. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 1996 21:30:55 -0500 From: bob at harvey.carol.net (Robert Rogers) Subject: green o ring on keg (why?) the o ring on the co2 side of my keg is green. does anyone know why and can i replace it with a black one? bob rogers bob at carol.net Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 1996 22:20:23 -0500 From: danmcc at umich.edu (Dan McConnell) Subject: that bitter, trubish stuff sure is 'bitters' >From Jeff Frane: <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. <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. <>sometimes called 'bitters'". <> < <So let's be precise, folks. < <- --Jeff Frane Hey Jeff! Let's also be accurate while we are being precise. It was I, not Tim who quoted DeClerck. OK, your point sounds reasonable to me. For the sake of clarity, I shall refer to the trub-containing, non-yeast, bitter material that comes out of a carboy or first rises to the surface in an open fermenter 'bitters' as indicated by Jean DeClerck. In the past, I called it bitter material, trub-laden foam, trub-containing material, truby-stuff and (unfortunalely) trub, because I really didn't know what to call it. You will get no argument from me-it will be a handy term AND easy to spell! So, who invented blow-off (or blow-by)? And if "These are sometimes called 'bitters'", what are they called the rest of the time? DanMcC Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 1996 22:14:37 -0500 From: dludwig at atc.ameritel.net Subject: Blowoff tubes and open fermentation >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. Actually, I think that the blowoff tube method is a pretty clever and simple way of getting rid of the "bitters" that supposedly inhabit the krausen. I say "supposedly" because I'm going on what I've read here in recent posts. I don't have first hand knowledge, as I've never used blowoff and instead use a 6.5 gal carboy(w/airlock) for 5 gal batches and led all of the krausen fall back into the fermenting beer. The presence of bitters got me thinking though since my beers seem to have a certain harshness to them which may be partially the result of my leaving everything in the beer. As far as open fermentation, I wouldn't expose anyone's beer to my basement brewery environment considering my workshop, garbage storage, beercan recycling operation, cat litterbox, etc, all contribute to a pretty nasty air quality. But I want to come up with a way of getting the bitters off my beer while still using my closed fermentation technique. Aside from ease in getting the skum off the beer without blowoff tubes, what advantage is there to open fermentation? -Dave Ludwig in Southern MD Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 1996 20:13:10 -0800 (PST) From: Lance Skidmore <lskidmor at linknet.kitsap.lib.wa.us> Subject: Munich Mistake >Jim Dunlap writes: >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. Jim, some friends and I recently brewed a very nice brew using a -BUNCH- of Munich...by mistake! When I measured the grain out for a brown ale I mistakenly grabbed the light Munich bin instead of the Klages. After adding the darker grains and grinding them all together I realized my error. Fearing that we would have a difficult conversion because of the relatively low diastatic power of the Munich, we upped the grain bill with about 25% Klages. While it certainly doesn't fit any particular style very closely, it's a very rich brown ale with an incredible head. It's not sweet at all and has a very malty profile. The recipe is for 20 gal, so figure accordingly: New Year's Eve Munich-Brown-Goof 39# - Light Munich 10# - Klages 1 # - Chocolate 2 # - 60 lov. Crystal 4oz - Centennial (boil) 6oz - Cascade Wyeast German Ale # 1007 Protein rest at 122 deg F, stepped to 145 F (oops too low), then up to 153F for 45 min. OG = 1.058, FG = 1.013. Had an extremely active fermentation from a third generation of German #1007 harvested from the bottom of a Bock the same day that we brewed. Anyway, it's one of the best batches we've made and I plan on repeating my mistake! Lance Skidmore Port Orchard, WA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 1996 23:27:25 -0800 (PST) From: Domenick Venezia <venezia at zgi.com> Subject: SG calc and measurement In an attempt to create more consistent yeast starters I wanted to better quantify the amount of DME needed to meet target specific gravities. I have encountered a discrepancy between calculated values and observed values that I can not explain. My understanding of specific gravity is that it is the ratio of the weight of a given volume of wort (or any liquid) to the weight of the same volume of water. My examples will all be metric since the system is so easy to work with. Just remember that for water 1 cc (cubic centimeter) = 1 ml (milliliter) and 1 ml weighs 1 g (gram). 100 ml of 1.050 wort should weigh 105 g, arrived at by 105/100. Basically the specific gravity is the ratio of the weight of the volume (in grams) divided by the volume (in ml). Various authors state that 1 lb of DME in 1 gallon of water yields an SG about 1.040. This didn't sound right to me because: 1 lb = 454 g 1 gal = 3785 ml If we assume that the DME has a volume of 363 ml we calculate 4239/4148 = 1.022. Way low compared to 1.040. The magic number of 363 comes from 0.8*454. See below results. So I did a test. 10 g DME in 100 ml water yielded 108 ml of wort. That is, 10 g of DME increased the volume by 8 ml. Calculating we get: 110/108 = 1.0185 Then I measured it with my hydrometer: 1.034 ! To give 1.034 I would have needed 106.4 ml of volume instead of the 108 or 11.7 g of DME instead of the 10. Neither measurement can be off by that much. Equipment included a 3-beam balance (calibrated with analytical lab equipment) and 100 ml graduated cylinders. All measurements were made at a temperature of 20 C which coincidentally is the temperature for which the graduated cylinders are calculated. What gives? Is my brain damaged? Too much lead leached from my brass fittings? Too many cups of styrofoam coffee? Mercury poisoning from that broken thermometer? Too many fusels from not using blowoff? Carbon monoxide poisoning from burning propane indoors? Or simply too damn many homebrews? Domenick Venezia Computer Resources ZymoGenetics, Inc. Seattle, WA venezia at zgi.com Return to table of contents
Date: 26 Jan 96 05:04:21 EST From: Al Stevens <72704.743 at compuserve.com> Subject: Yeast metabolism thread, Gott coolers A couple of digest back Tracy said "Since many people have complained about too much biochemistry lately, I'm not going to get into that here." Please no ! don't stop. I have really enjoyed the technical discussions, It has increased my understanding considerably. Here is a question that just might be right down the yeast metabolism alley. I make some strong beers that can give me a good buzz, but every batch of cider that I have made I don't dare drinking more than one "small" glass at at time because of the awful "cider" head the next morning. Just what are these little beasties making in cider that they don't make in beer ? ********************************* Lots of you seem to be using Gott coolers for mashtuns, I looked for a "Gott" at my local hardware store an they showed me a cylindrical cooler labeled "drinking water" . The capacity was 10 US gallons (gallons shrink when they go north). Is this the thing that I want, is it safe for high temperatures ? Thanks Al Stevens Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 96 7:39:32 EST From: Gary S. Kuyat <gkuyat at clark.att.com> Subject: Cornstarch Recipe Since a few folks have asked about my cornstarch beer... Here it is. For 15 Gallons at 1.042 OG (this stuff is well suited to parties of industrial beer drinkers) 12.0 lbs Schrier 6 row malt 7.5 lbs Corn Starch .4 lbs Special B 4.0 oz. 5%(approx AA) Piscataway NJ Homegrown Hops In a 5gal pot, with a STRONG spoon mix 6.5 lbs Corn starch with 3 gal cold water. Stir well until all clumps are gone (cold water makes this easier). Heat this stirring occasionally until it begins to thicken (about the consistancy of heavy cream) then stir constantly being careful to scrape the bottom of the pot with the spoon. This stuff will get REALLY THICK as it boils, and will burn if you don't keep stirring it. At this point it will be more like shoveling it than just stirring. When you really can't stir it anymore (no liquid left, mixture is well gelled, won't pour out of the pot must be scooped out) it's done. Add this mixture and the 6 row and Special B in alternating layers to your 10 gal mash tun (a.k.a. Gott Cooler). You want to get this well mixed, with no "hot spots" Add as much water as you need to get this to a thick mash. Remember, no hot spots! Boiling cornstarch will eat you 6 row enzymes for lunch! So, be sure to stir well! We're going for a temp of 140F - 145F. This is a good point to go out and do something else. Clean your 5gal pot, go fishing, get some sleep... I usually let this sit for at LEAST 2 hours. If I am around, I will stir it every 15 minutes, the 1st stirs seem to be the most important. I don't worry if I'm not there at exactly 2 hours. You should notice at the end of this, that the mash is CONSIDERABLY thinner. It should also be very sweet. Strain off about 40% of the mash (some liquid here is okay, but you want mostly solids). Put this your pot and slowly (about 1 degF / minute) bring it to 155F. Let it sit for 10 min at this temp, and then bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 5 minutes. Stir this into the main mash to bring the temp to 150F-155F. Let this sit for at least 30min. But longer is okay too. I might eat dinner here, or shovel some snow. Strain out liquid from your mash (no solids) to about 30% of the volume of the mash. Bring it to a boil, and re-add it to the mash for a mash out. Give this a good stir, adding sparge water to fill the tun, and let it sit to settle for 15 min. Sparge can become easily stuck since you will have lots of particulate matter and a pretty small grain bed. I usually let it run til it gets stuck, then stir it up, and recycle until clear. Sparge to 17 gal (or as much as your boiler can hold!) Skim the boil until no more skum forms, then hops are added: 2.5oz at 60 minutes 1.5oz at 10 minutes. I prefer Wyeast California for this beer, fermenting at 60-65F for the 1st week, then rack, then 58-62F for 2 more weeks, then rack and finally lager for about a month at 45F. This beer is a nice lawnmower beer, and folks who have been worried about homebrew have really liked it. The main reason I origanally brewed this was as a tester for different kinds of hops. You can split the unhopped wort into samples, each with a different kind of hops or hopping schedule. It shows the hops in a very neutral environment, but doesn't just taste like "hop juice". Gary Kuyat gkuyat at ix.netcom.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 1996 06:50:10 -0600 From: William Moulis <wjmoulis at facstaff.wisc.edu> Subject: Problem With Green Bottles Previous batches of my beer were done in brown and clear bottles, with no problems encountered, but my last batch was bottled in green bottles along with the brown and clear, problems were encountered ONLY in the green bottles (small white balls, with an almost skin like feel) floating on top of the beer. The bottles were cleaned in the same manner that I cleaned the brown and clear (using a bleach solution) filling and capping of all of the bottles were done in the same manner. All the bottles were put in cases with the open handles covered to keep out sunlight . I would appreciate any input on what the balls are or why this was caused. Thanks in advance Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 1996 08:14:06 -0500 (EST) From: greg at kgn.ibm.com (Greg Holton) Subject: CO2 Corney Keg Leak > ------------------------------ > > Date: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 15:26:43 -0500 > From: knetlb at smtp-gw.spawar.navy.mil (Bob Knetl) > Subject: CO2 Corney Keg Leak > > I have kegged beer for the last 4 yrs. and a just started > experiencing a problem with CO2 leakage. I use previously > driven Coke kegs. I have a 3 keg manifold setup and have > experienced a leak (you can hear a hiss after the connector is > locked in place) between the gas fitting and the keg. It > matters not which of the 3 connectors or the keg (I have about > 7 kegs) I have never changed the o-rings on the keg connector. > Could that be it or the maybe the gas side manifold > connectors are the problem. Anyone experience this problem? > > Bob > I usually replace the o-rings when I pick up a new keg. The small ones on the inlet and outlet fittings are readily available at hardware stores. Even then, you may get some leakage -- try a thin coating of vaseline on all o-rings, including the big one on the top hatch. Greg Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 96 8:21 est From: Dan_Imperato at vos.stratus.com Subject: microbrewery or brewpub systems Hi all, I am posting this for a friend of mine who wants to open a brewpub. He would like to know the sources of 6-10bbl systems. I know of Eliot Bay Metal Fabricating in Washington but can anyone offer other suggestions? Thanks in advance. Dan Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 1996 08:39:28 -0500 From: Mark Redman <brewman at vivid.net> Subject: Brewday from hell award Greetings fellow brewmen (and women)! Although I don't want to hog too much bandwidth with this thread, I HAVE to tell my personal brewday from hell story since the previous stories pale in comparison. I had brewed 5 gal. of porter which was sitting in our spare office. My fiance and I share an office, which has all my homebrew equipment (including a freezer chest), my desk and computer, her desk and copying maching, fax, etc., as well as all her shoe samples (she is in sales). This was before I oxygenated using 100% O2, so late in the evening I decided to go for one last shake of the ol' carboy. You guessed it: 5 gal of unfermented wort slipped out of my hand, cut the hell out of my finger and went crashing onto the new, light grey carpet. I called a bud (you know your true friends at this point) and we spent the next 6 hours pulling EVERYTHING out of the office, pulling up carpet, pulling up carpet padding, etc. Went and rented a steam cleaner, and while sucking up the mess the cleaner foamed up and spilled another gallon of dark porter in one of the few unstained areas in the room. MORE carpet to pull up, padding to throw away, etc. Had to cancel my flight the next day (the misses was away on business, thank God) and spend another 6 to 8 hours trying to steam clean the mess from every nook and cranny, lay down new padding, clean everything in the room that was splashed, etc.etc. Final results: 1) one missed flight and a pissed-off regional manager 2) one pissed-off fiance threatening to leave me if I didn't quit this hobby (I'm still brewing and she's still here) 3) one pissed-off apartment manager having to replace new carpet. 4) A cut finger 5) more than $50 in rental fees for soaps, cleaners, etc. 6) a smell that still hasn't quite gone away (this happened 4 months ago) 7) a perfectly good porter: Gone. 8) about 24 total man hours used. But I'm still brewing away! Cheers! Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 1996 09:31:22 -0500 From: ac051 at osfn.rhilinet.gov (Eric W. Miller) Subject: SHC >I for one have seen somebody set fire to a fart, and believe me, it was >impressive! I guess there is a fair bit of methane there. WARNING: this is extremely dangerous! It's well known that "fart-sparking" is one of the top three causes of "spontaneous" human combustion. Countless high school gym students fall victim to this "funny" trick anually. Let's not add homebrewers to the list! Eric Miller Brewing Safely and Seriously ;-) in Newport, RI Return to table of contents
Date: 26 Jan 1996 07:58:42 U From: "Palmer.John" <palmer at ssdgwy.mdc.com> Subject: Cleaning Solder Flux How to clean off solder flux: Good question. If you do it right, only using a small amount, most all of it will be consumed during soldering with a propane torch. If you used a paste flux, the remainder should be cleaned using a solvent, and for most people that will be Paint Brush Cleaner or gasoline. Then you have to remove the the solvent. A good dishwashing detergent should take care of that followed by a boiling water rinse to thoroughly remove the detergent. By the way, lighting the soldered manifold to get rid of the solvent is not recommended because you tend to bake on any heavy organics that you just dissolved. Liquid acid fluxes usually dont need the solvent treatment and respond to detergent cleaning alone. 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: Fri, 26 Jan 96 11:02:22 EST From: Gary S. Kuyat <gkuyat at clark.att.com> Subject: Methanol in Homebrew Going out on a limb here, but don't you think it IS POSSIBLE that fermentation carried on with spent grains in the wort could produce some methanol? I realize that we of the HBD would never actually do this, but I seem to remember something in a "build your own still" manual strongly encouraging would be distillers to strain the wort from grains for this reason. No real science here, just deductive reasoning. Methanol is wood alcohol, spent grains taste like wood... Gary "dry graining" Kuyat gkuyat at ix.netcom.com Return to table of contents
Date-Warning: Date header was inserted by ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu From: grosbl at ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu (Bryan Gros) Subject: Amer. Amber Ale Don Rudolph started a discussion on Dave Brockington's call for the creation of American Amber as a distinct style from Pale Ale. It is an interesting question as to when a style should be recognized as distinct. While the line between amber ale and pale ale is a bit of a fine one, so it the line between porter and stout. I would agree with the separation of the two styles, mostly based on the presence of the caramel sweetness that helps to balance the hoppiness. You just don't find that in Sierra Nevada PA, for example. Don quoted the 95 and 96 AHA style guidelines. It seems that the differences between the two reflect Dave's arguments. The color description changed from deep amber to light copper. The maltiness description dropped from medium to light. While these are vague words, they leave a big hole open for an Amber Ale style. Also, one of the big examples of the differences in the style can be found in the SF Bay Area. Try a Drake's Ale and a Drake's Pale Ale. The main difference is the amount of crystal malt. - Bryan grosbl at ctrvax.vanderbilt.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 1996 08:23:44 -0500 From: BF3B8RL at TPLANCH.BELL-ATL.COM Subject: Pils malt flavor/mini-keg pressure I have two questions for the collective: 1. I recently finished up bottling and conditioning two ten gallon batches of beer -- one a Kolsch, and one an amber lager. I'm hoping the collective can help me locate a "off flavor" in these two beers. The aftertaste on both have a high unpleasant, almost phonolic sweet taste. I want to call this flavor "earthy" or "sandy" -- I can't simply put my finger on it! I just don't like it. Both used a "small" amount of Belgian Pils malt in the mash (5# for the Kolsch, 3# for the lager), both used a single decoction method, both used Boston Beer Co (TM) Mittlefreu (sic) hops for flavor and aroma. The Kolsch used the Wyeast Kolsch yeast, and the lager use the Bohemian Wyeast strain. Both used cold fermentation about 58F for the Kolsch, and 44F for the lager. This flavor has in the past appeared twice when I used pils malt. With these two early batches my first inclination was that some low level infection had occured. But now I'm thinking this can't be true since I would have seen this sweet phonlic flavor appear in some of the 12 other batches of beer I've brewed. So I'm inclined to think that I simply don't like the flavor of pils malt -- I know of some folks who don't like the flavor of Munich malt for example -- but perhaps there's simply a problem with my sparge, grind, etc. Any thoughts? 2. I have recently purchased two CARBONATORS (TM) for my two mini-keg taps. Now I can use my CO2 regulator to drive the mini taps. Any suggestions on how high I should set the regualtor? Just as a final note to the mini-keg carbonation thread, I have a few years expericence with both the plastic and metal mini taps. A few weeks ago, I was loading a new charge into the plastic tap, and the damn thing sheared off right in my hand!. The CO2 cartridge (16g) had already been pierced, so there was an ear shattering hiss and tiny valve parts bounced off the walls of my basement (fortunately none were driven into my hand). Be careful with those plastic mini taps. FWIW, my plastic mini tap appeared to hold a higher level of carbonation in the keg than my metal tap, but both seemed to keep only a light amount of C0 in the keg. The beer clearly flows better out of the metal tap. I'm using my minis mostly for British beer where low carbonation is welcomed. I'm hoping to attached (very securly) a CARBONATOR (TM) to whats left of the sheared mini and use my CO2 system to drive it hereafter. Private or Public responses welcomed. Chas Peterson charles.b.peterson at bell-atl.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 1996 10:45:42 -0800 (PST) From: Jeremy Ballard Bergsman <jeremybb at leland.Stanford.EDU> Subject: O2-absorbing caps Just a data point: Last night I tasted a "red" ale that I brewed in June. It has now been in the bottle almost 6 months. When bottling I randomly assigned regular and O2-absorbing caps to the bottles. Last night I picked one of each and compared them (as I have been doing for the last 6 months). Both were somewhat oxidized, neither terribly so, and I have yet to find a difference between them. My biggest complaint with my own beer for a while has been oxidation. I am only now starting to make more stable beers. I find that I am rather sensitive to oxidation and it bothers me, so a solution would be most welcome. I don't think these caps are it. Jeremy Bergsman jeremybb at leland.stanford.edu http://www-leland.stanford.edu/~jeremybb/beerstuff/beerpage.html Return to table of contents
Date: 26 Jan 96 14:37:19 EST From: Lynn Ashley <73744.3234 at compuserve.com> Subject: Access to FAQs / Aeration To: INTERNET:homebrew at hpfcmgw.fc.hp.com I've seen several references to brewing FAQs here in the Digest. Where can I access them? If possible, via ftp, since my web access has been buggy lately. Also I understand from someone who attempted to get HB Digests from the archive that they are in some binary (compressed?) format with .Z filename extensions. Are decoders available for PCs to read these .Z files? Are the files available somewhere as ASCII text or PKZIP files. __________________ A note on aeration: I use a hand-held blender to aerate. It is a readily available kitchen tool with a motor in the handle and a set of blender blades at the end of a wand. Its intended purpose is to blend or emulsify sauces in their own cooking or storage container. When held at an angle partly below the surface of the wort it will beat air into the wort with such violence that foaming can be a problem. Proper selection of angle and depth causes strong circulating currents which look as though they probably go to the bottom of the fermenter. Unfortunately I have no way to know how effective this method is compared to others, but due to its violence, my guess is that it is at least comparable. And you can even disguise it a kitchen gadget (possible gift for the SO?). __________________ Lynn. |-------------------------------------------------------------| | Lynn Ashley (lajiao ren) Arlington, Virginia, USA | | 73744.3234 at compuserve.com 38.904N 77.120W 105mAMSL | |-------------------------------------------------------------| Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 1996 18:18:38 -0500 From: Steve Alexander <stevea at clv.mcd.mot.com> Subject: Bottle Carbonation/Charlie's Hot Lager Sorry for the delayed response - I've been on business travel for the past 9 days. Kelly E. Jones is concerned about several issues of this experiment - >2) As for the observation that the air-locked bottle completed in 6 >days, I would be hesitant to conclude this. We're used to considering >a carboy as still fermenting when we see a bubble every few minutes. >Consider that a carboy contains 20l of fermenting wort, a bottle >only 300ml, so we would expect a bubbling rate from the bottle >which is less than 1/60th that of a carboy. At this rate, the >bottle's airlock bubbling could easily go unobserved, or washed out by >the effect of varying atmospheric pressure. So I am guessing that >your airlocked bottle also took over 20 days to fully finish >fermenting, and did so at such a slow rate that airlock bubbling was >not observable after 6 days. The 'reference' airlocked bottle was an afterthought on my part, but instead of counting bubbles, I observed the liquid level/position in the an 'S' type airlock vs a marked position over a period of 30 to 60 minutes as fermentation slowed. Given this I'd be willing to state that more than 90% (very conservative estimate) of the gas vented thru the airlock during the first 6 days of fermentation. If the same were true in the normal-fill capped bottles we would need an explanation of why the CO2 presure & carbonation didn't build up till around 9 days later!! I freely admit subjectivity of the measurements, clearly with better instrumentation we could obtain pressure, O2 and CO2 in solution and in the headspace, SG, and perhaps a turbidity measurement - all vs time; maybe larger samples, better controlled conditions as well. It would be nice but it's not in my budget. >experiments. While I have no reason to disbelieve Steve's >observations, it would be hasty to take these results as the final >truth, whether they support our theorys or not. I totally agree here - it is necessary for someone to try to reproduce these results independently. Verification under other HB conditions is important. Note that my Beer under test contained S.uvarum (Wyeast 2308). It would be nice to see additional experimentation using ale yeasts. I've got lagers on my schedule till the weather warms. I'd suggest just normal and underfilled bottles as test points. The effort required to reproduce the experiment is minimal for anyone who is planning to bottle anyway. I still must say that regardless of the subjective measurement method, that the carbonation level clearly was greater at an earlier date as bottles were successively less filled. This result was quite repeatable from bottle to bottle. The measurement was subjective, but the result was about as incontrovertable as that other subjective effect - dry-hopping imparting aroma and flavor. What isn't at all clear is the mechanism and necessary conditions for the early carbonation of underfilled bottles. Also, with a bit more uncertainty, the result that fermentation at ~1ATM head pressure (the reference airlock bottle) completed well ahead of the normal fill bottles. Certainly this needs a few more data points as well. Charlie Scandrett, whose posts are always fascinating and even tantalizing as exemplified by his comment on the experiment which reads ... >Actually Steve's results have broad agreement with other research on this >subject. G. Fix says that increasing CO2 pressure "tends to retard yeast >metabolism", while quoting a paper, >The Response of S. Cerevisiae to Fermentation under CO2 pressure", >Arcay-Ledezma, J.C. Slaughter, "JIB", Vol 90, 1984. >If anyone can find this article, please let me know! >Commercially, increased CO2 pressure is used to retard diacytel and ester >production in high temp lager fermentation. (18C) The possibility of fermenting lagers at the higher temperature indicated (18C=64F!) should excite homebrew lager fans like me who are limited by the weather. Perhaps fermentation in a corny keg with a pressure relief valve .... Charlie can you supply more information on the method, pressures, the results, the biochemistry? Stevea Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 1996 20:44:36 -0500 From: denisb at CAM.ORG (Denis Barsalo) Subject: Phil's Philler Hello fellow brewers, I got a Phil's Philler for Xmas and tried it out this week, here are my comments and questions. I used to use one of those plastic bottle fillers with the little nipple on the end, I never had any problems with it and found that filling bottles was quite easy. Now that I have Phil's Philler, I'm having to learn how to fill bottles all over again. I have to learn when to stop the flow so that when I remove the Philler from the bottle, I have the "right" head space. I think I finally got it figured out by the 20th bottle or so! :-/ The *biggest* disadvantage I found is that Phil's is a hands on situation, seeing how the filler is "spring loaded", you have to hold on to it while filling the bottle! With the little plastic ones, I used to stick it in the bottle, and do other stuff in the meantime while the bottle was filling. (I use grolsch bottles, so usually I was busy putting the gasket on the bottle I had just filled while the next one was filling, or taking out another couple of bottles from the dishwasher.) Can anyone tell me if I can reach into the top of Phil's Philler and rip out the spring? Will it still work with only gravity (like the cheap plastic ones)? If it won't work without the spring, can I put in a weaker spring that will give under the weight of the Philler? Seeing how this was a gift, I feel like I should use it and not abuse it! :-) Any advice or comments are welcome. BTW, I bought myself, as a one year brewing anniversary present, Phil's Phittings so I can build *my own* CF chiller. I've been borrowing one from a buddy for the last couple of batches and now I feel like I can't brew without it! Maybe for my birthday, I'll get Phil's Spraging Arm! Don't worry, brew happy! Denis Barsalo Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 96 22:27 CST From: arf at mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) Subject: Sparge Temp, Blowoff >From: Mark Riley <mriley at netcom.com> Subject: *Why* is Blow Off Silly? >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"). Let me begin by suggesting that there are no real advantages to the blowoff procedure. So considering that, probably 90% of new brewers use the method, is just seems sort of silly, doesn't it. Not sure how you define "myriad" but lets see where this gets us... Cleaning out a carboy that was used for primary fermentation has got to be number one on the list. Compare that to cleaning out a classic 7 gallon fermenter. If the fermenter is steel, i.e., a brew kettle, sanitizing it requires no more than boiling a bit of water in it for a few minutes. In spite of the yucky taste, blowoff is beer. Worse yet, it is lost beer that the blowoffer went to a lot of trouble and expense to produce. After cleaning the carboy, you gotta clean the hose and the bucket. Most folks put some sort of sterile solution in the bucket and probably sanitize the bucket and tube in case of backup. Skimming an open ferment is fun and zero beer is lost. Skimming is also optional as I have yet to see anyone prove that leaving in on the beer has any effect on the taste of the final beer. It tastes pretty gross but when you drain the beer, it stays behind if you do it properly. So if skimming is not really essential, what is the point in blow off in the first place? If you have an EASYMASHER on your kettle, you can sample the beer as often as you wish during the fermentation. If above, you do not need to mess with a syphon. This may not ber myriad but it is rather silly and I quit. js Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 27 Jan 1996 00:41:06 -0500 From: bob at harvey.carol.net (Robert Rogers) Subject: re: heating bands for wort i got a heating band and used it on my plastic fermenter. it reached temperatures of 80 degrees F. maybe it has to do with the "handle indents" , where it seems to get even hotter? Maybe it's defective alcohol abuse: spilling it bob rogers bob at carol.net Return to table of contents