HOMEBREW Digest #1950 Thu 01 February 1996

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  'ennery  "iggins & Bumping up starters (Steve Adams)
  Cornstarch & Boiling / Long Mash (Gary S. Kuyat)
  galvanized pipes ("Keith Royster")
  LPG, how many brews? (THaby)
  Bottle carbonation - an observation (Tim Bezek)
  Canned homebrew? (krkoupa)
  Plastic-electric-home-brewery (Richard_Okambawa)
  Blowoff tubes and presence of bitters (dhvanvalkenburg)
  Rootbeer (SSLOFL)
  Blow Off III (Bill Rust)
  Cold plate success (Mark Montminy)
  Hunter Airstat Zener - replacement instructions? (Ted_Manahan)
  flocculation (Scott Woodfield)
  Brewpubs in San Francisco ("Herb B. Tuten")
  Valley Mill (Jack Schmidling)
  Munich Helles (Mark & Vonnie Mrozinski)
  Cleaning blow off tubes, Aeration (Mark Riley)
  EasyMasher ("Richard Smith")
  Extended primary fermentation summary (DEBOLT BRUCE)
  Re:  Open Fermenters (J. Matthew Saunders)
  Mills, Flux, Temp Controllers, Keg Stuff (MJT15)
  Grain Volume / Heat Capacity (KennyEddy)
  Question: Slow cool wort from boil to 130F? (Michael A. Genito)
  Fermenting under pressure/ comments (Ken Schroeder)
  oxidation of the wort (John Miller {83802})
  Krausen and DMS (Robert Bush)
  Re: YES, I must be doing something right!! (Mike Uchima)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 30 Jan 96 10:44:17 edt From: paa3765 at dpsc.dla.mil (Steve Adams) Subject: 'ennery "iggins & Bumping up starters Pat: Well, I can't believe I'm answering this but try <dy i CEE' til> or <dy AS' i til> where the third and second syllables are accented respectively, according to The Random House Desk Dictionary, rated as the best dictionary of its type in the world. I've used a lower case i here to indicate a schwa -- generally represented by an upside down e in pronunciation keys. The schwa is supposed to be the sound of vowels in unaccented syllables in spoken English. It is somewhere between a short "i" and "e" (or u) to my way of thinking but more clipped and in the back of the throat. (And I refuse to argue with anyone about any of this. I'm just reporting what the linguists preach.) The "a" in the second pronunciation is clearly intended to be a short "a" -- you know, the way it sounds in apple or as. But since there are 64 ways of pronouncing a, e, i, o, and u around the English speaking world, I doubt that we can come to an agreement in the near future as to whether the "as" in diacetyl sounds like "as" or "ass" to any individual's ear. I personally find it most natural to use the second pronunciation, and never gave it a second thought. And now that I've made myself into as big an ass as possible, I'll stop with the English lesson and get back to beer. I've been trying to determine whether one can go from a 50 ml smack pack or a slant to a thousand milliliters. I know you're supposed to increase by ten times -- from 50 to 500 and so on -- but some people have told me that you can go directly to 1,000 or more, that it will just take longer for the stuff to grow. I guess the point here is that I don't feel like making up too many starters, but I'd like to pitch with as much yeast as practicable. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks SA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 96 9:55:47 EST From: Gary S. Kuyat <gkuyat at clark.att.com> Subject: Cornstarch & Boiling / Long Mash Regarding two issues raised with my posted cornstarch recipe: 1) Why Boil the Starch? This has to do more with my own experience than with a truly scientific reasoning. I had noticed lower than expected yields (much lower) with unboiled cornstarch. Without boiling, the cornstarch seemed to be "in suspension" rather than actually "dissolved". Again I don't know if this is actually the case, but boiling definately changes the nature of cornstarch and water. After boiling, my yields GREATLY improved. I actually get more extract out of cornstarch than straight sugar! 2) After 2 hours at 145 why go to 155? The decoction taken to get to 155 is boiled. This frees starch from the grains which even two hours at 145 seems not to get. The 6-row I use (Schrier) still seems to have useful enzymes after the 2 hour mash, and these work on the new starch released from the boil. Another issue with this recipe is its "evolution" rather than design. The starch boiling was actually instituted at a time when the mash time was significantly shorter. The boil helped the extract, but I still had starch left at the end of the mash. So, I extended the mash. I never went back to "unboiled" starch. This recipe is more trial and error than brewing science. Since it produced the beer I wanted, I didn't really question the methods (until now). I guess this is a good time to ask the gurus: Any issues with boiling the starch? Do you think it helps in a 2-hour mash? Are there "appendixes" in this recipe, useful at one time, but now just hanging out doing nothing? I believe that there are still enzymes available after 2 hours, and a batch made without the decoction at 155 did seem "thinner". Hard to describe what I really mean here, but it just tasted ... well, thinner... In case you care, the amounts of 6-row and cornstarch are to give me a mix of approx 90degress Lintner (sp?). This figure should be okay for a mash. Any issue here? Finally, brews made with this much extract from corn SUGAR instead of corn STARCH tast cidery; why doesn't this? Gary Kuyat gkuyat at ix.netcom.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 11:10:32 -0500 From: "Keith Royster" <keith.royster at ponyexpress.com> Subject: galvanized pipes I'm sure that this has been answered recently, but the search engine for the HBD archives doesn't seem to be working so I must bring my question to you all again. I am halfway into the contruction of my new 3 vessle RIMS system (all-grain, here I come!) and I was planning on using an inexpensive galvanized pipe as the housing for my electrical hot water heating element (SS=to expensive and plastic is a fire hazard). But before I do this, it seemed only prudent to ask what effects this might have on me and my beer. Will the galvanized coating dissolve, and what will it do if/when it does (overreactions and anecdotal horror stories are welcome, but will probably be ignored)? Also, recommendations for other alternative are welcome. TIA Keith Royster - Keith.Royster at ponyexpress.com at your.service - The Affordable Web Page Provider Mooresville, NC - Specializing in small and medium sized businesses. Check us out at - http://www.wp.com/ at your.service/ Voice & Fax - (704) 663-1098 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 96 9:04:22 CST From: THaby at swri.edu Subject: LPG, how many brews? Hello brewers, I was wondering how many brews you can get out of a bottle of LPG when using a Cajun Cooker or similar type burner when doing full wort boils (5 gals.)? I think I'll get three, four if Im lucky and that seems low to me. Thanks for the help. Tim. thaby at swri.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 96 12:13:01 -0800 From: Tim Bezek <tjb at alpha.sunquest.com> Subject: Bottle carbonation - an observation All, I would like to add my observation in regard to the recent bottle carbonation topic. I recently bottled a Steam beer using both 16 oz and 12 oz bottles. The very last bottle was a 12 oz that was filled about halfway. If was a 5 gal batch primed with 5 oz of corn sugar. I tried the half-full bottle after about 7 days. It produced a rather large "pffftt" sound when opened and was well carbonated with good head. About 3 days later, I cracked a full 12 oz bottle, it too was pretty well carbonated. I proceeded to drink several of the 12 oz bottles over the next week or so. After being in the bottle nearly 3 weeks, I tried a 16 oz bottle. It had very low carbonation! This was observed in each of 3 16oz bottles opened. After about 4 1/2 weeks, the 16 oz bottles are now pretty well carbonated. By the way, all the bottles were sanitized, filled, capped, stored, etc at the same time and in the same manner. Anyone else ever notice that larger bottles take longer to carbonate? Of course this was not a scientifically controlled experiment. Actually it wasn't even intentional, it just worked out this way! Tim Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 96 09:52:58 PST From: krkoupa at ccmail2.srv.PacBell.COM Subject: Canned homebrew? A comment from my neighbor got me thinking about homebrew packaging. Kegs and bottles work just fine so why consider other options? OK, now don't dwell on the following quote, but my non-homebrewing neighbor tells me that "beer isn't beer unless you hear the pffffft from opening the can." So, HBD collective, what does it take to put your homebrew into an aluminum can? I know, "Yikes! - What's the point?" I want to find out how ridiculous it is to can homebrew by answering the following questions: 1. Does anyone make a can filler/topper/sealer on the homebrew scale? 2. How outrageous is the price for the minimum starter model? 3. Can :) you get supplies (without having to buy a warehouse-worth of bulk materials?) 4. Are aluminum can filling machines available for rent? 5. Do you can-condition like bottle-conditioning? Or do you pressurize with CO2? It might be cheaper to dispense beer from a keg and play an audio recording of an aluminum can opening. No, my neighbor's name isn't Pavlov, but it just might work. Ken Koupal krkoupa at ccmail2.pacbell.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 12:58:16 -0500 From: Richard_Okambawa at UQTR.UQuebec.ca Subject: Plastic-electric-home-brewery Bread and beer! (Hello! in ancient Egypt) First I must thank everyone out there who contributes to this high level Forum on beer and home-brewing. The recent debate about plastic electric brewery is very great. Here is my experience on the subject. I buid 3 years ago a HDPE buckets / versatile immersion heater system for all grain brewing. I use this system for mashing, sparge water heating and wort boiling in my home-brewery. I have boosted the capacity of the system to 1 hl (6-8 h brewing time). The heart of the system is the immersion heater of 3 kW (I need two heater of 3 kW to produce 1 hl ) buid from hot water element tin-silver soldered hermetically to one or two copper tubing 90 cm lengh. Electric connexions are made of high temperature wire (isolated with asbestos ) rated at 20 A. You can use 4 kW element . Out of the copper tubings, I used regular wire, 25 A. I've got a heating circle from a conventional electric cooker. I cut the "pluging end" isolated the electric conductor and connected it to the first part of the apparatus. To use the system, you just have to replace the fuse of the tall heating circle by a 20 A fuse, remove the corresponding cercle and plug securely the Versatile heater. The heater is controlled with the corresponding control switch at the top of the electric cuisiniere. The system is elegant and versatile. The home hot water is readily OK for the protein rest if you have to do it. When I reach the desired temperature during mashing, I remove the heater and use it to heat the sparge water. I begin heating the wort during sparging when there is enough wort to fully submerge the heating element. Qui dit mieux? The great but contournable difficulty of the use of this system for mashing is grain and plastic burning. Me, I merely put a SS pan on the bottom of the mashing plastic tank to avoid direct contact of the heating element with the bucket and agitate non-stoply the heater, the control switch seted at 7 (position before MAX e.g 7). This stuff is fantastic as it distribute the heating energy on a time basis ( it is not a thermostat; e.g. 10 s on 5 s off for position 7, 8 s on and 3 s off for position 5) helping avoiding grain burning during mashing and caramelisation during wort boiling. I am planning to use a centrifugal pump to agitate the mash or, better, build a presto-type steam generator direct steam injection heating. I hope this will help in the debate. Feel free to require additional information if some parts of this text are badly presented. Richard Okambawa 860 Ste Ursule Trois-Rivieres, Quebec Canada G9A 1P1 e-mail: richard_okambawa at uqtr.uquebec.ca Tel: (819) 693 6445 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 96 09:56:06 PST From: dhvanvalkenburg at CCGATE.HAC.COM Subject: Blowoff tubes and presence of bitters Dave Ludwig writes: >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. >>>snip< >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 The best way to eliminate the presence of bitters is to not put them into the wort in the first place. Try using lower alpha hops or boiling them for shorter period of time. If you ever get a chance to visit San Francisco, go on a tour of Anchor Brewing Co. When you are there take a good look at their fermentation tanks. They are huge shallow wadding pools completely open to the room with a screen door where workers go in and out. Albeit they have controlled, filtered air(and lots of it) going into the room and out via the screen door. The only thing a blow off tube does for the beer is act as an elaborate airlock, which only serves to keep out nasties when your brewing environment is less than sanitary. Large open fermentation, on the other hand, DOES provide necessary oxygen. If I could control the air quality for the room where I ferment my beer, I would do open ferments every time. However I can't and I use a 10 gal. corney keg for my fermenter just filled to about 9 gallons, and simply open the pressure relief valve or make sure the fittings(gas/liquid-no down tube) are loosely screwed on. This also allows the CO2 to escape. When I do end up with more wort than anticipated, and thus a full fermenter, I am forced to use that silly thing called a blow off tube. Thanks, JS for the appropriate adjective. BTW, I once did do an open ferment with success with only a clean window screen on top of a straight sided 15 gal ss pot to keep out the fruit flies. Result: No problem, good ale, but with the dust that accumulates in my garage, I think I would be pushing my luck to use this method all the time. Don Van Valkenburg dhvanvalkenburg at ccgate.hac.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 13:10:16 -0600 From: SSLOFL at ccmail.monsanto.com Subject: Rootbeer Sorry if this has been discussed in past HBD's - If so, just point me to them! I have made homemade rootbeer in the past from the extract kits available at the local homebrew shop. (This way my future nieces and nephews can taste my homemade beverages - they are not old enough for beer and wine) For those not familiar with these, you buy the rootbeer flavor syrup, add it to 4 lbs. of sugar and 4 gallons of water, and throw in a pack of wine or champagne yeast. Simply stir this mixture well, and bottle right away. Easy, fun, tastes good, no alcohol (I'm told - please verify), and costs about $6.00 total for a four gallon batch. My question is, why don't all of the bottles explode?!! You throw in 4 pounds of sugar into 4 gallons with a pack of CHAMPAGNE yeast!! The final rootbeer is very sweet - just like commercial rootbeer, so the fermentation must stop early. They are heavily carbonated, but not dry. Champagne yeast usually ferments away very dry - and can withstand very high alcohol contents. The only explanation I have come up with is that the yeast quits due to high CO2 pressure within the bottle. However - if this were true - we would never have to worry about glass grenades because the yeast would never be able to withstand the pressure needed to explode the bottle. There are many people that can tell you that this is not true - anyone who has ever had a bottle explode (and there are many!). Can anyone out there offer an explanation? Maybe it is a simple one that I am overlooking - those are the hardest to see at times. Collective? ... Tracy in Vermont? (I'm a big fan!), ...anyone? Thanks, Shane Lofland (sslofl at ccmail.monsanto.com) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 15:07:11 -0500 From: Bill Rust <wrust at csc.com> Subject: Blow Off III In HBD #1947 Jack writes... >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. Couldn't agree more. I got yeast and trub dried on the inside of my glass carboy, not pretty... <snip> >Skimming an open ferment is fun and zero beer is lost. Just now doing my first open ferment, and again I agree. Something very gratifying to a 'hands on' approach to brewing... <snip> >This may not ber myriad but it is rather silly and I quit. Thanks loads for giving us your reasons. I'm not sure I'm ready to write it off completely, but I must admit, I prefer open fermenting for the above reasons. On another topic, I am trying my hand at krauesening (?? dang, that's hard to spell...) I'm using CP's method for computing the amount of gyle to prime with (1.2 quarts at 1.048 starting gravity to be equivalent to 3/4 cup sugar). However, I once heard that this is not 'true krauesening'. To do that you need actively fermenting wort. Wouldn't that have a lower gravity, and thus lower it's ability to prime? If so, 1) Does anyone have a method for computing the amount to add, and 2) At what point in the process? Any help on this would be appreciated. Cheers, ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bill Rust, Master Brewer | Blessings of your heart, Jack Pine Savage Brewery | you brew good ale. Shiloh, IL (NACE) | --Two Gentlemen of Verona, Shakespeare ------------------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 16:55:42 -0500 From: Mark Montminy <markm at dma.isg.mot.com> Subject: Cold plate success Sometime back in December'ish, I asked for feedback from anyone with experience using a coldplate in a kegging setup, rather than putting the keg/s in the fridge. Unfortunately, the only responses I got were from people who said they'd considered it, but never done it. I had offered to get back to them, but alas I've lost thier addresses (as I always do). For those interested, the setup; One of those little 1.7cf "dorm" fridges. Installed inside is a cold plate, purchased from Foxx. Kegs and CO2 sit beside the fridge at room temp. Tubing runs into the fridge to the cold plate, and from the plate to a fridge mounted faucet. I opted for a 2 line plate, so I have a second "squeeze" faucaet floating loosely in the fridge. There are several plates available from Foxx, most notably a 5', 12' and 18' model. I went with the 12' unit. It fts comfortably in the fridge, standing against the back wall. I intended to lay it flat, but the thickness got in the way of the shelf on the door. With plate and plumbing, I still have room for about 12 bottles, a big bag of baking yeast, hops, and misc stuff. How's it work? Great. The fridge at it's lowest setting maintains ~42F. While I haven't tested to see how many glasses I can draw through it before the temp drops, I did "torture test" it. Whilst flushing the beer lines, I filled the keg with scalding hot tap water. I was able to draw 3 22oz glasses of _cold_ water before the water started to warm up. My guess is that short of a party with continuous serving, it'll suffice for most peoples needs. I suspect it may even keep up with that. Cost? ~$60 for the plate with 4 fittings. Knock off about $20 for the single line model. Why not just use a full sized fridge, sometimes available for free? One, the cost to run it is (I'm assuming) higher, and it takes up considerably more space. My little fridge sits atop a filing cabinet next to the computer. The ultimate computing accessory! - -- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Motorola ISG (508)261-5684 Email: markm at dma.isg.mot.com ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Love cannot be much younger than the lust for murder. -- Sigmund Freud Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 14:15:54 -0800 From: Ted_Manahan <tedm at hpcvn2ax.cv.hp.com> Subject: Hunter Airstat Zener - replacement instructions? Full-Name: Ted_Manahan Another request to the collective wisdom: My Airstat quit working recently. I suppose the zener diode blew out, as has been reported by several people. Searching the HBD archives, I was unable to find the instructions for fixing it. Can you help me? Specifically, I need information on how to identify the failed diode. I have information that tells me it's a 24V/5W diode. This can also be two 12V diodes in series. OK, great. Now, which one of those components needs to be replaced? Thanks for your help - Ted Manahan tedm at cv.hp.com 503/715-2856 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 18:26:20 -0500 (EST) From: Scott Woodfield <scottw at gwis2.circ.gwu.edu> Subject: flocculation The other day I started a Bitters extract recipe. I pitched WYeast #1098(I think) (british ale) at 62 deg F and got good fermentation started in 18 hours. I didn't have much blow-off material as in my previous 6 batches. Now two days into the still very active primary fermentation, there are multiple 0.5 cm globules of tan material churning around in the fermenting beer with some resting on the bottom and some floating on top. Is this some kind of bizzare flocculation that I haven't seen before or is it contamination? Scott Woodfield (202) 994-4537 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 16:33:35 EDT From: "Herb B. Tuten" <HERB at zeus.co.forsyth.nc.us> Subject: Brewpubs in San Francisco Hello all, Can anyone recommend a brewpub/microbrewery or two in San Francisco, CA? I'd like to find a good one for dinner when I visit there in March. Thanks. Herb herb at zeus.co.forsyth.nc.us Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 96 22:15 CST From: arf at mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) Subject: Valley Mill The Valley Mill seems to have created a lot of interest based primarily on their claim to have stainless steel rollers. Their ad specifically states stainless rollers and the Zymurgy review repeats the claim. Glatt created confusion by saying the mill was stainless but Valley leaves no such ambiguity in their ad. I have several times stated my opinion that they are either nuts or it is not true based on our experience and the need to offer stainless rollers as a very expensive option. It has recently been reported on Compuserve that a caller to Valley was told that the rollers are not stainless. Needless to say, there is a conflict here and it looks like our Friends at Zymurgy have done another dis-service to the community by not telling it straight in a review. I do not wish to create a stir based on heresay so I would appreciate it if someone who owns one or has talked to Valley could report the facts. Don't be fooled by the shiny look. Listerman has his plated but it is strictly cosmetic as the plating starts coming off with the first use and eventually is gone completely. js Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 22:41:10 -0600 From: mdmroz at mail.ip.portal.com (Mark & Vonnie Mrozinski) Subject: Munich Helles To the collective wisdom, Please share your favorite Helles recipe or direct me to your favorite. I have craved this concoction since my Bavarian holiday years ago. Thanks to all! Mark Mrozinski "Life, as brewing, is all about discipline" Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 21:28:31 -0800 From: Mark Riley <mriley at netcom.com> Subject: Cleaning blow off tubes, Aeration David Ard in HBD #1946 writes: >The other problem I found with the blow off method was cleaning the >tube and the carboy. The plastic primary fermenter cleans very easily, >while the carboy and tube does not. I soak my blow off tube in a bleach solution for 30 minutes then put a small piece of wet paper towel wadded up (not too big) into the tube and use water pressure from my faucet to push the piece of paper through a few times. Works like a charm - just make sure the wad isn't too large and you hold the tube to the faucet tightly or it's water all over the place - I know! *** Regarding the aeration issue: If you're doing a concentrated wort (extract) recipe, wouldn't it be sufficient for the cold water in a carboy to already be aerated when the wort is added? The 3.5 gallons of aerated water ought to suffice for the full 5 gallons of water/wort combined. Another question: I've read (somewhere) that the first thing to go is the hop aroma (as well as flavor) if your fermented beer is inadvertantly aerated through splashing while racking/bottling. So, how is it that aerating your cooled wort isn't going to do this very same thing (i.e. kill hop aroma/flavor)? Is this a trade-off made for the sake of healthy yeast metabolism? -Mark- Sacramento, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 96 07:42:16 EST From: "Richard Smith" <QR1661 at trotter.USMA.EDU> Subject: EasyMasher Jeff, in response to your posting in HB1949- >I've seen a number of ads for the EasyMasher....Any comments here? The severe winter weather here in NY recently forced me to give up brewing outside in my 3 tiered converted keg 10 gal system. So, I made a 5 gal brew system for stove top use in the kitchen based on the easy masher gizmo. Setup is as follows: Mash/Lauter tun made from easy masher in 5 gal ss pot; Boiler made from salvaged 1/4 keg with 3/8" ball valve spigot; Sparge water heated in a 4 gal ss pot and a 2 gal ss pot and poured by hand over top of grain bed. I just used this system for the first time last Sunday; got about 31 points/lb extraction (a little better than my 10 gal system). No problems with the sparge, in fact, it only took about 45 minutes to collect 6 gals of wort and the runnings were still at an sg of 1.018. Pretty good. You can hold about 10-11 lbs of grain while using about 1.33qts water/lbs grain but that tops off the system; so you can make up to about an OG 1.060 brew easily. BTW, that was the OG for the brew I just made. As you surmised, this system is real simple (and cheap) and that's what attracted me to it. I think a 33 qt canner might work better as a boiler, the 1/4 keg is kind of bulky. And you can figure out any number of ways to heat and hold sparge water. I am a fan of kettle mashing so I recommend this way; lots of control over your brew. Good Luck. -Jack in West Point ******************************************************************* Richard J. Smith qr1661 at trotter.usma.edu 72154.516 at compuserve.com ******************************************************************* Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 96 07:46:23 -0600 From: DEBOLT BRUCE <bdebolt at dow.com> Subject: Extended primary fermentation summary Following is a summary of replies from my request which asked for information from brewers who had let beer sit in a primary fermenter for more than one week. This was prompted by recent problems I've had with oxidation and wanting to minimizing transfers of fermented beer. Thanks to everyone for the feedback. The consensus seems to be it's no big deal to let ales sit on the trub for two weeks or more. I don't plan to let my beer sit much longer than a week in the primary, but now I won't worry if it stays for two weeks. I'll report any tasting comments in the future if one batch sits for an extended period. Now I have another question that should have been asked on the first request. Does anyone dry hop in the primary after the fermentation activity has slowed? This would be my only major reason for using a secondary in the future. Reply summary: Matt Grady, Burlington, VT, gradym at btv.ibm.com Usually does two week fermentations in a primary for ales. Has lately been experimenting with 3-5 days in a primary, followed by 1-2 weeks in secondary and favors this method (BD- this was my usual practice). Benefits are a clearer beer, less bottle sediment and cleaner taste, especially within 3 months of bottling. The flavor difference is noticeable, but subtle. Still hasn't decided if it's worth the extra effort. Steven W. Schultz <swschult at cbdcom.apgea.army.mil> Typically brews using a secondary fermenter. Only made a few batches with primary fermenter only. The beers were okay - cloudy, and perhaps slightly less good overall, but acceptable. With ales wouldn't mind doing only a primary fermentation, but with lagers and high-gravity ales that sit on the dregs for weeks and months, he worries about off-flavors. Has recently tried the following to minimize aeration: plastic fermenter, with a spigot on the bottom, bottling bucket would be fine. When racking to a carboy (secondary), simply run a long hose from the spigot into the bottom of the carboy. Seems to introduce less air into the process, but just started doing it, so doesn't really know if it will work or not (BD- sounds like a good idea to me). Jim Dipalma, dipalma at sky.com When changed brewery from 5 to 10 gallons, eliminated the secondary fermenter and lets beer sit for two weeks in the primary before kegging. Has done 30 batches this way, no problems with autolysis, off-flavors, or clarity. Some of these beers have scored high in competitions. Unless he uses a very non-flocculating yeast, the beers are generally clear in the primary after 2 weeks. In his experience a secondary fermenter is more trouble than it's worth for ales that finish in less than two weeks. Mark C. Bellefeuille, mcb at abrams.com, Phoenix, AZ One time left an oatmeal stout sitting on the trub in a glass fermenter for a total of 8 weeks - not planned, just happened. No off flavors at bottling. Even bottles drank 4 months later didn't draw any complaints. Has since switched to a temp controlled freezer and doesn't worry about 2-3 weeks on the trub. Has an IPA ready to keg that's been in the primary for 6 weeks, will report flavor soon (BD - tell us Mark!). John Girard <jungle at hollywood.cinenet.net> Asked a similar question earlier, responses matched his experiences: in short, no one had had a confirmed autolysis problem, even when leaving the beer on the trub in the primary for more than one month. One guy who worked at a brew your own facility said relatively mild beers that had sat in a plastic primary for 6 weeks had no negative flavors from the plastic or autolysis. John's guess was that autolysis varies significantly with yeast strain, environmental conditions. Beer style and personal taste probably play a role as well. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 09:53:36 +0100 From: saunderm at vt.edu (J. Matthew Saunders) Subject: Re: Open Fermenters Bryan writes: >What do advocates of open fermentations use as fermenters? Perhaps >Charlie P.'s book is the reason most people use carboys, but the other >big reason is that they are easy to get and are pretty cheap. > >Where do you find a 7 or 12 gallon crock? And are these crocks lined >so they are not porous? Do they fit in the fridge (for lagering)? I think most folks use food grade pails. That's certainly how I've been brewing for the last 7 years or so. I do my primary fermentation in a 6.5 imperial gallon pail and my secondary in a carboy. You can get such handy pails at a variety of locations such as: 1) Home Brew Shops. 2) Restaurant Supply Stores 3) Restaurants (make sure that it didn't contain pickles or olives or sumpin' like that and clean it REALLY well) As for fitting in a fridge, it shouldn't be a problem as long as its not a full fridge or a small fridge. Cheers! Matthew. ===================================================================== "Burn it, son, burn it. Fire is a great refiner." J. Matthew Saunders saunderm at vt.edu http://fbox.vt.edu:10021/S/saunderm/index.html/page_1.html ====================================================================== Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 96 10:15:22 EST From: MJT15 at infoctr.chrysler.com Subject: Mills, Flux, Temp Controllers, Keg Stuff Hello All, Well after lurking for some time I finally can type fast enough to try and participate. This is my first post and I just had to share some thoughts. A couple of digests ago there was a discussion about grain mills and my experience has been nothing but good with the philmill (no association). It seems to me that an adjustable mill is a lot more flexible than one that is not. Although it is small the difference in grain size between 2 and 6 row malt most deffinatly warrents the use of adjustment for the most efficient grinds. On the subject of temp controllers for the fridge (I do know the diff. of the activity and the appliance). My partener and I have been using a Honeywell temp controller and again these are worth every penny of the 30 to 50 dollar price. The ones we have can be set to controll rising or falling temps and therefore can be used to control lagering temps in the northern climes we inhabit. Keg o-rings both top and in out fitting type need to be replaced when they leak or before use in the case of the lid ring to keep from having a pepsi-Pils. A neat little trick I use instead of vasaline is to wet the o-ring on the in/out fitting with water before pushing on the ball or pin fitting. This little bit of lube makes getting them on and off a breeze. And lastly I'm not a welder or a pipe fitter so when I was looking to modify my wort chiller I was a little worried about soldering the fittings. I found things much eaisier than expected. Not that I want to become a plumber because of my success but my confidence of tackeling copper pipe sweating in now at least solidified. And along that note I found a water soluble non toxic silver solder flux at the local hardware/plumbing joint (no pun intended). It left no visible residue and imparted no flavor upon first use in a Pils batch just recently out of the primary and now being lagered. Thanks for a great forum and I look forward to contributing in the future. home e-mail is Biergiek at aol.com opinions expressed are my own ***JEEP/TRUCK-RWD TRANSMISSION-CHRYSLER *** * Michael Tomaszewski (313) 956-1660 * * BEER IS LIFE'S BLOOD - M.T. Zymurgist * ******************************************* Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 10:35:27 -0500 From: KennyEddy at aol.com Subject: Grain Volume / Heat Capacity ***Christopher M. Goll asks about 5-gal grain capacity: Seems some long-forgotten but well-appreciated homebrewers some time ago posted relevent info which I'll try to regurgitate from memory (which is better than from the stomach X-b ): Volume of 1 lb grain = 0.08 gallons = 0.32 quart Heat capacity of grain = 0.6 - 0.8 times that of a quart of water (let's say 0.7) 10 lb grain takes up about 0.8 gallons or 3.2 quarts. At 1.3 quarts/lb grain mash thickness, this yields total volume of 3.2 + 13 = 16.2 quarts, or a little over 4 gallons. 10 lb of grain has a heat capacity equivalent to 7 quarts of water. So the same 10 lb mash (with 1.3 qt/lb water) would have a heat capacity of 13 quarts + 7 quarts = 20 quarts or 5 gallons of water. This for step-strike temperature calculations. 1.3 qt/lb is a pretty good all-around ratio, for a single infusion. Should you wish to do two or more steps strictly with water additions, start with perhaps 0.8 qt/lb for the first strike and figure from there, to keep the mash from being too thin. Assuming 75% efficiency you should have no trouble making 1.050 gravity brews. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 11:06:31 -0500 From: genitom at nyslgti.gen.ny.us (Michael A. Genito) Subject: Question: Slow cool wort from boil to 130F? A local brewpub has a newsletter which has a "brewing tips" column from the brewpub's braumeister. A recent tip said that you should let your wort cool slowly from boil to 130F - this will improve the clarity of the finished beer. Any one else ever hear of this? Any comments? 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: Wed, 31 Jan 96 08:36:01 PST From: kens at lan.nsc.com (Ken Schroeder) Subject: Fermenting under pressure/ comments Since work has calmed down somewhat, I am able to try catching up on my HBD reading. From this reading I have a couple of questions and comments. There has been referance that fermenting under pressure is not a good practice. I have recently tried this and found no noticable effects. The idea came from a very good brewer who sugested a 40psi environemnt in a corny keg for secondary. He uses this practice, I have and I haven't notice any ill effects. Can anyone elaborate on the effects of such a practice? Tracy, Al, George, anyone? The second question stems from a recent problem in my brewery. I brewed a Martzen and allowed it form a cold break before transferr to the primary fermentor. I attempted to aerate with pure O2 but found my bottle empty. Since it was to late a night to get another, I shook the carboys, pitched and set them in the ferment refridgerator. The next morning I got a fresh O2 bottle and aerated, though the ferment was just beginning. I am curious if this practice may cause oxidation or other ill effects. The second ariation was within 12hrs of the first. Any takers? Next my comments, are directed toward the new HBD members. In my efforts I catch up to the daily postings I have noticed that some posters are completely discrediting some practices. In particular, Jack has commented that blow-off is silly. I would like to disagree. My technique applies a blow off for highly focculent yeasts (London Ale 1968, and German Ale 1007). I do this so I may fill the carboys fairly full and allow the kaursen to "blow" out the top. The purpose is to get more beer into the secondary via more beer in the primary. Unfortunatly Jack's post (as several of his does) paints a picture that this is simply a bad practice. To this end I must comment: "Jack, it may not work for you, but it may work for others." All breweries develope induvidual practices and what works for one brewery may spell disaster of the next. For example, Jack has stated in the past the Irish Moss doen't work in his brewery. From memory, it cloggs his Easy Masher. In my brewery , Irish Moss works beautifully and I use it in every brew. On the other hand, hops in pellet form, cloggs my boil kettle plumbing. What doesn't work for me may work for Jack. So, new HBD readers, I would caution you that nearly all information and debates presented in this forum has many sides, and absolutes should be a flag to seek other opinions. Sorry for picking on Jack, for Jack is one of the best at offering a counter point in a discussion (and his mill is wonderful). I just take most of the opinions here with a grain of salt and try things out in my brewery to determine if an idea works for me or not. I encourage all readers that empirical testing in your brewery is the only true test for ideas presented here. (And Jack, keep up the posts, your posting often present another point of view.) And last: THANKS TRACY! Your posts are some of the most informative I have seen in the HBD. Keep it up! (If you write a book, I'll buy it!) Ken Schroeder Sequoia Brewing ( where I've learned some chemistry and some biology) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 12:43:36 -0500 From: John Miller {83802} <jwm at swl.msd.ray.com> Subject: oxidation of the wort On one hand it's been posted that one should minimize the oxidation of the wort. On the other, one reads about these people busting up their carboys trying to airate their wort. Personally, I thought oxidation was only a problem during and after fermentation. Thanks, ~John Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 18:52:49 +0100 From: bush at shbf.se (Robert Bush) Subject: Krausen and DMS Hi all, I bet you thought I was going to write about foam, didn't you? Well I ain't! I would like to know where the definition of the word "krausen" comes from. I've seen it in so many posts now that I'm actually starting to believe my eyes. I've always thought of it as being a way of priming with actively fermenting wort as in krausening (German) or gyle-worting! A common method in Germany. Another (American?) definition seems to have developed where most people speaks about "krausen" as being the foam or the head of their fermenting wort. Where does this come from? Maybe some Germans out there can shed some light on this? BTW, I don't want to sound like a school-teacher, I'm just interested in how the word developed and if anyone else uses my definition so that I know you'll understand me if I'm posting something about (my definition of) krausening in the future. DMS: Some guy posted that he primed with DMS and was corrected by others. I haven't seen him defending himself so I'd better help him. Maybe it's not what he thought of but there is actually a malt extract called DMS, made by EDME. In this case DMS stands for Diastatic Malt Syrup and it contains enzymes necessary to convert starch into fermentable sugar (just as present in malt). In ordinary malt extract these enzymes are destroyed when they make the extract ( high temp.). Now, I don't see why anyone would want further starch conversion to take place in the finished beer so it's not a good idea to use EDME DMS for priming. ========================================================================= = WASSAIL! = = = = Robert Bush E-mail: bush at shbf.se = = Eskilstuna, SWEDEN = = = ========================================================================= Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 11:49:13 -0600 From: uchima at fncrd8.fnal.gov (Mike Uchima) Subject: Re: YES, I must be doing something right!! Dave Scroggins <daves at mushie.cdc.hp.com> said: > Jack says: > > > 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. > > I don't think there is a comparison. I think it would take WAY to much > trouble to clean that primary gunk out of a carboy, let alone the > associated tubing. On the other hand, it's not too much trouble to clean > my primary because it's got such a large opening. FWIW, cleaning the gunk out of the carboy doesn't seem to be such a big deal, as long as you don't let it dry out after racking the beer. Most of it just rinses out; a couple of minutes with a carboy brush takes care of the rest. Given that it only takes a few minutes, how can it be that big of an issue? I generally don't use a blowoff, but on the one occasion when I was forced to use one (nuclear Weihenstephan yeast :-)) I cleaned the tubing afterwards by just jamming it over the end of my jet spray bottle rinser... WHOOSH, all clean! There may be other good reasons to use/not use a carboy and/or blowoff, but IMO cleanup doesn't appear to be one of them. - -- Mike Uchima - -- uchima at fnal.gov Return to table of contents