HOMEBREW Digest #2372 Wed 12 March 1997

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		Digest Janitor: janitor@ brew.oeonline.com
		Many thanks to the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers of 
		Livonia, Michigan for sponsoring the Homebrew Digest.
				URL: http://www.oeonline.com

  AFCHBC correction #3 (hollen)
  Topping off... (Dave LaRocque)
  Stuck fermentation, CO2 toxicity and wort composition (Alex Santic)
  PH Meter Haywire (Russ Kruska)
  Brew-Tunes (Jim Nasiatka)
  competition announcement (Mark Taratoot)
  Re: Conditioning (Scott Murman)
  Converted kegs (David Root)
  (U) (UTC -05:00)" <rbyrnes2.ford at e-mail.com>
  Yeast Starter Tasting, Pitching a Bottle of HB ("Herb B Tuten")
  Yeast Starter Viability (tsg)
  Brew Music ("Aaron Herrick")
  Beer Filter Treatment ("C&S Peterson")
  All Wheat Conversion ("C&S Peterson")
  Wyeast 1275 (Thames Valley)/ 1318 London Ale III (Charles Epp)
  Grain Addition Timings (rkienle)
  Decocting Pale Ale Malt - how to create headless, bodyless beer (Charles Burns)
  re: Floating Sediment (Charles Burns)
  Filtering Hops from Primary to Secondary (JeffHailey)
  Lagering in Secondary or Bottle? ("Michael K. Cinibulk")
  heterofermentative bacteria (George J Fix)
  Liquid Transfer using Peristaltic Pumps (TOM ELIASSEN)
  S.G. contribution from raspberries (shaun.funk)
  Custom Keg refridgeration (Kevin.Cavanaugh)
  Souring mashes/beers (DAVE BRADLEY IC742 6-7932)
  Gypsum in Sparge Water (SClaus4688)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 10 Mar 97 19:39:33 PST From: hollen at vigra.com Subject: AFCHBC correction #3 Thanks to the information superhighway, I can get results of our competition out almost before the last glass from BOS is emptied, however, I can also make a fool of myself instantly in front of unprecedented numbers of my peers. However, the third edge of the sword is that by posting these results quickly, one judge and one steward saw them and were able to spot a mistake. I apologize to all for this. German Dark Lager 13 First Stephen MacMillan - South Nevada Ale Fermenter's Union Second Patrick Mckee - Redwood Coast Homebrewer's Assoc. German Light Lager 14 First Edward Little - Foam on the Brain Second Frank Leers - Quaff Third Elizabeth Smith - Inland Empire Brewers - -- Dion Hollenbeck (619)597-7080x164 Email: hollen at vigra.com http://www.vigra.com/~hollen Sr. Software Engineer - Vigra Div. of Visicom Labs San Diego, California Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 1997 22:58:16 -0500 From: Dave LaRocque <davel at ids.net> Subject: Topping off... Many thanks to those of you who had taken the time to reply to my question regarding the explosive IPA. In resonse to may of you... Yes, I am married and yes, I did clean up the linen closet, but still had to spend two nights on the sofa. Next query(in two parts): 1> What are the pros and cons of adding boiled, then cooled water to the scondary to make 5 gallons? I have a 5 gallon mark on the outside of my carboy that I measured but have never reached it in secondary. I have thought about adding pre-boiled, cooled water to equal 5G but haven't had the guts to attempt this. 2>IPA recipe as follows: 3.3# muntons amber extact 3# Amber DME 1# crystal malt 1 oz Chinook (10.9% AA) - Boil 1 oz Kent Golding UK (5.0% AA) - Finish Makes 5G. My question... This is VERY light bodied for me. How can I give this a bit more body while retaining the flavor and characteristics of an IPA? TIA again. - --Dave Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 1997 23:48:20 -0500 (EST) From: Alex Santic <alex at salley.com> Subject: Stuck fermentation, CO2 toxicity and wort composition I'm having some problems I've never experienced before and finally decided to put them before the collective in case anyone cares to comment. I apologize for the length, but this takes some explaining. It involves a batch of porter with about 82% M&F pale ale, 7% Beeston crystal, 3% DWC Munich, and 8% DWC roasted malts, with a simple 90 minute mash at 152F. I used Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale for the first time. Attempt #1: I did a mini-mash to get starter wort, but had difficulties getting clear run-off from the small mash, so I fermented out the starter and pitched only the slurry. An additional glitch involved blowing off the airstone while oxygenating. I contented myself with shaking the carboy with perhaps some extra O2 still in the headspace. Primary fermentation was noticeably short and not as vigorous as expected. Attenuation was from 1.050 down to 1.030. I eventually abandoned this batch as my first hopelessly stuck fermentation. Attempt #2: This time I reserved some wort from the mash, boiled it for 15 minutes, force-cooled and pitched some slurry salvaged from the stuck batch to make a 1200ml starter. I went away for a few hours and boiled/cooled the main wort upon my return. This batch was oxygenated thoroughly and just in time to pitch the starter at high krausen. Primary fermentation was a little longer, but still short. Oddly, the beer kept swirling and fermenting vigorously after the krausen completely dropped, with large-ish bubbles swarming across the surface. I've never seen that before. My beers more often hold a head of foam for a while after primary fermentation is done, but this was the opposite effect. This batch went into the secondary at 1.020 only 2 1/2 days after pitching. Better than the previous try, but still not fermented out. A good bit of yeast settled, but a lot remained in suspension. Gas through the airlock was a little more than just CO2 from the primary fermentation coming out of solution, but just barely. The fermentation was neither finished nor completely quiet, but going nowhere fast. After 4 days in the secondary, the SG was about the same. I tried a thorough rousing of the yeast by racking to a tertiary fermenter with an open-ended racking cane. I simply vacuumed the slurry during the transfer to get it mixed thoroughly in the tertiary. This had no significant effect on the fermentation, but I noticed along the way that the beer seemed to have an unusual amount of CO2 in solution. When I tried swirling the tertiary, I got a huge torrent of bubbles through the airlock and a thick layer of foam over the surface of the beer. I have been able to repeat this dramatic performance at will for two days now...it just stays saturated. I get perhaps a few bubbles per minute without swirling. I can't really say what's going on, but I'm convinced this has some relation to a discussion in BT's Readers' Tech Notes regarding stuck fermentations and CO2 toxicity. For some reason, CO2 stops escaping from the wort in a normal manner, and builds up to levels which suppress fermentation. If anybody cares to read the material beginning on page 14 of BT 4.5 (American IPA cover story) I think you will see the connection, although the author was having problems worse than mine. I am hoping that manual intervention by swirling the carboy will help coax the fermentation to completion, but I don't know yet if it's working. I continue to get torrents of CO2 every time I do it, so something is happening in there. The brewer with the problem in BT solved it by leaving the cold trub in his wort. I don't know why this would apply in my case. I do filter my cooled wort through the spent hops, but there's always some cold break in the fermenter. I haven't changed procedures from previous normal batches except for using all-grain starter wort. I also can't explain why these two worts have seemed less foamy than my others. Alex "Who Never Thought He'd Have a Dysfunctional Fermentation" Santic New York, NY Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 08:51:00 -0800 (PST) From: Russ Kruska <R.KRUSKA at CGNET.COM> Subject: PH Meter Haywire Hi all-- Yesterday's brew session (10 gallon batch of IPA) was going along smoothly and I was adjusting the mash pH with lactic acid while boosting the temperature of the mash from 125 to 155 degrees. Everything was going smoothly as I was getting a reduction in pH of 0.1 for each teaspoon of 10% lactic acid (I had made adjustments from 5.9 down to 5.6). I wanted to continue and get this down below 5.5 when suddenly my meter readings were bouncing all over the place (even up to 15 !!!). I had just calibrated the meter about 6 weeks ago with 4 and 7 buffer solutions. I also cool all readings to room temperature as I do not have ATC with my old meter. Any suggestions ??? BTW, I did NOT get a very good hot break, but both fermenters are fully fermenting... Russ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 00:27:29 -0600 From: Jim Nasiatka <Jwylde at interaccess.com> Subject: Brew-Tunes Musical choices here at the H-H brewery vary wildly depending on our moods and the styles we're brewing. It's ranged the gamut from Nitzer Ebb and NIN across to the Dead and Tracy Chapman. I think the most unique mix of tunes whas for our Schitzophrenia Espresso Porter - Done on a Hangover Sunday afternoon with music provided by Pansy Division, Tribe 8, Joan Jett, Mona Lisa Overdrive, Cinderella, and Testament. (this was of course followed by some of Chicago Public Radio's Jazz Forum, and the Grateful Dead hour.) All the money in the world is no match for hard work and ingenuity... ____ \ / Nothing is so strong as Gentleness; JWylde at interaccess.com \/ nothing so gentle as real strength Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 00:06:31 -0800 (PST) From: Mark Taratoot <taratoot at PEAK.ORG> Subject: competition announcement Heart of the Valley Homebrewers Present: The 15th Annual Oregon Homebrew Competion and Festival At the Oregon Trader Brewery 140 Hill Street NE Albany, Oregon 97321 (Off Street Parking Available) Saturday, May 10th From 11 am to 5 pm JUDGING FOR THE 24 RECOGNIZED AHA BEER STYLES PLUS ALL THREE MEAD CATEGORIES We are looking forward to continuing the tradition of this festival in its fifteenth year as the longest running competition in the Pacific Northwest! This years activities will incude several displays, a raffle, food concessions, and the opportunity to meet and talk with some of hte best and most experienced homebrewers anywhere! Details on entry requirements will be available soon. Contact Jennifer Crum at bennyj at peak.org or Mark Taratoot at taratoot at peak.org, or Visit our Web site at http://www.peak.org/~taratoot/fest.html Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 00:07:11 -0800 From: Scott Murman <smurman at best.com> Subject: Re: Conditioning Brian Pickerill wrote: > In my experience, letting it sit > in secondary won't do that much good, it's the bottle (or keg) conditioning > under pressure that will develop the flavor most. OK, I'll bite. What is it about being under pressure that is affecting how the yeast go about their business? It's my, often limited, understanding that when people refer to conditioning or aging of a beer they are referring to the yeast removing secondary fermentation byproducts and higher alcohols from the green beer (sour or other strange brews not included). At the same time, the yeast are often removing desirable fermentation byproducts BTW. How does pressure affect the yeasts performance? SM Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 07:00:41 -0500 From: David Root <droot at concentric.net> Subject: Converted kegs Bubba Phillips (swp at datasync.com) Asks about slag in his keg. First I would have partially filled the keg with water before cutting the top off. I just left the stale 2 gallons of beer in mine. A wire wheel will remove the slag the best without affecting the stainless. After welding stainless, a wire brush or wire wheel brings the chrome to the top to keep it stainless. They also make a round disk by 3M called a Rolock (sp?) disc that is mildly abrasive. This disk works wonders on stainless, and is what I used to dress the keg after cutting the top off. I have a question about Hops. I have grown them for 3 years. Last year I picked 15 hop cones. Not a good yield. Do you think watering them every day will help? They are not in total sunlight and the soil has some clay in it. Thanks. David Root Lockport NY droot at concentric.net Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 08:11:41 EST From: "Rich Byrnes USAET(UTC -05:00)" <rbyrnes2.ford at e-mail.com> Subject: (U) >From: Dckdog at aol.com >Subject: brewing music.... >I wonder if anyone out there has any thoughts on the music they prefer to >listen to while brewing. Our kitchen could be filled with anything from Type >O Negative to King's X to Bach to Korn to SR Vaughn to old Genesis to Orb to >Coltrane to Patti Smith to Replacements to Them Jazzbeards. Eclectic is the >order of the day. Maybe you should listen to different music depending on >what type of brew you are working on...... >Brew On.. >Dean Try the soundtrack to Rocky Horror (Time Warp pale ale?) or my personal favorite: Monty Python Sings WARNING! Don not, under any circumstance listen to anything Scottish or Irish while brewing, many Celtic performers wear plaid while recording and you definitely don't want that in your brew! On a related note, Atwater Block brewing Co will be openeing their doors to the public on St. Patty's day. Atwater is a new brewery in Detroit specializing in German Beers. Their brewmaster, Tom Majorosi comes right from Germany, he admits to never having homebrewed in his life, he started right off the bat in a brewery and has been their ever since. All his ingredients will come from Germany including a special proprietary pils yeast strain kept on reserve at Weiphenstephan (?). They will be starting with a Helles and a Dunkel, but by summertime will have Kolsch (OK, Kolsch style bier, let's not start an international incedent) Alt, Weizen, Bock, etc... I can't wait! Fermentaciously Yours, Rich Byrnes Fermental Order of Renaissance Draughtsmen \\\|/// phone #(313)323-2613, fax #390-4520_______o000_(.) (.)_000o rbyrnes2.ford at e-mail.com (_) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 08:30:10 -0500 From: "Herb B Tuten" <herb at zeus.co.forsyth.nc.us> Subject: Yeast Starter Tasting, Pitching a Bottle of HB Greetings all, Last night I made a yeast starter from Wyeast 2124 (Bohemian Lager) and will build it up for brewing a Pilsner this Saturday. Normally I decant some of the starter 'beer' to taste and see if the starter is ok just before I pitch. My question is: How do you check a yeast starter if the yeast is one which produces 'off'' flavors initially but improves with time? I've read several accounts of this yeast producing bad flavors early, but becoming excellent after lagering. Any ideas? Larry in Little Rock asks about pitching a bottle of homebrew. Yes, this works. I recently had a starter which showed no bubbling. I was pressed for time, and left it alone until boiling my wort, and I hoped. Then I opened it and tasted a bit of the 'beer' inside. Yuk, terrible! So I drank some brews during the boil and carefully replaced the caps atop the bottles with sediment left inside. These were from a Wyeast 1056 batch. At pitching time I had 3 of these and poured them in. The lag phase was a bit long, but the batch turned out well. This is not the recommended method, of course, but in a pinch it works. Cheers, Herb herb at zeus.co.forsyth.nc.us Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 08:23:35 -0500 From: tsg at eng1.netlink.com Subject: Yeast Starter Viability I have a yeast starter (Wyeast 1056) that I started about a month ago and haven't been able to use (I know, I know). About once a week I pour off the liquid and refeed it with new wort. The liquid I pour off always smells as I expect the yeast starter liquid to smell (like yeasty beer). My question is whether I should attempt to use this or whether I'm out of my mind to even consider it. I'll certainly be tasting the liquid before I try brewing with it (and will be using relatively inexpensive ingredients too). Thanks, Todd Goodman in Boston, MA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 07:56:12 -0000 From: "Aaron Herrick" <chemstat at phoenix.net> Subject: Brew Music I'm a little in line with the "wierder is better" class of brewers "The Rites of Spring" Stravinsky -for brewing with my girlfriend "Symphonie Fantastique" Berlioz- for brewing alone "Carmina Burana" Orff- For brewing with other people "Ride of the Valkiyries" is always good for sparging. It is important for the mash to sing at the loudest possible volume. One more note on this thread: I've been trying to work up a "Bohemian Pilsner Rapsody" in tribute to Freddie Mercury. Anyone familiar with the lyrics to Bohemian Rapsody, email me alternate snippets relating to brewing and I will post back the completed version. Here's a (bad) example: Origianl Text: Pils lyrics Galileo! Dirty Hoses! Galileo! Dirty Hoses! Galileo! Dirty Hoses! Galileo! Dirty Hoses! Figaro, magnifico -o-o- The infection's in my beer-beer-beer Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 97 09:20:57 UT From: "C&S Peterson" <CNS_PETERSON at msn.com> Subject: Beer Filter Treatment Hbders - In providing those of you interested in filtering your beer, I thought I'd pass along a procedure tid-bit. As I've written here before, my introduction to filtering has been littered with problems. It was taking over an hour to get 5 gallons through my filter (I got it through the Filter Store Plus; it was the 0.5 micron poly filter) on my second batch, and despite extensive back-washing, the situation never seemed to improve. After my 6th run through, the thing finally crapped out. In frustration, I tossed the filter cartridge out. So when I called the Filter Store today, I learned some valuable info. The rep (Patti) suggests that you soak the filter in mild bleach, caustic, or even iodaphor solution for 24-48 hours before you backflush. This breaks down all but a few of the embedded "gunk" particles clogging the filter. This would have been nice to know BEFORE I threw the filter cartridge out. Now it looks like I'll be shelling out $40 for a new one...... Now this is in direct contrast to when I called the Filter Store after I first got the kit. I wanted to know maximum temps, could I store in iodaphour, etc. They said that storing for a long time in bleach would break down the filter core, so don't do it. It looks like I just spoke with the wrong person (she did admit that she wasn't as familiar with the "beer filters" as Patti, but she was emphatic enough about the storage recomendation that I figured I wouldn't risk losing a cartridge over long term storage in a mild bleach solution. Oh well.) When I did talk to "Patti" she did suggest that you could store the cartridge in the freezer; an idea which I sort of like. She also mentioned that she knows of folks getting over 200 gallons out of one of these things. So I'm still a little skeptical, but ordered a new poly 1 micron filter for a second chance. Chas Peterson Laytonsville, Md Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 97 09:14:09 UT From: "C&S Peterson" <CNS_PETERSON at msn.com> Subject: All Wheat Conversion HBDers - S. Askey writes about conversion problems with an all-wheat batch of beer. I was wondering, did you use rice hulls for a filter bed? In my most recent batch of all-wheat, I had to add a little amylase enzyme to get close to conversion b/c I added the rice hulls mid-mash and they appeared to have a *lot* of rice grains embedded in them. I too never reached the conversion I usually see, but it was close enough, and the extra starch only added a little cloudiness to the finished beer, which you would expect in a wheat beer anyway. Also, a decoction mash might help a bit in getting full conversion with a grain like wheat. Strictly from grain analysis, there should be enough enzymes in the wheat malt to mash itself (or so it has been said by reputable sources in the HBD -- I myself am no grain expert and haven't ever looked at a lot analysis....). Never fear, All-Wheat is one hell of a beer, Chas Peterson Laytonsville, Md Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 10:03:50 -0600 From: Charles Epp <chuckepp at ukans.edu> Subject: Wyeast 1275 (Thames Valley)/ 1318 London Ale III Hello fellow brewers: What is your experience with Wyeast's 1275 Thames Valley strain? This is one of the relatively new strains, and I'm curious about its performance and characteristics. When I visited England a few years ago I was very impressed with the Henley (Brakspear) ales, supposedly the source for 1275. Also, I can add another data point on 1318, London Ale III. Although Wyeast reports that attenuation for 1318 should be 71-75%, other brewers have reported in this forum very sluggish ferments and poor attenuation when using that yeast (although performance may be improved when fermenting above 70 F). I recently used 1318 in an Old Ale and had a long (2 1/2 week) ferment at 68 F, with a miserable 66% attenuation, even with repeated rousing through vigorous shaking of the carboy. Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment, but I've got an ESB going with 1318 now, and I'm trying to keep it above 70 to see if temperature, as others reported, makes much difference. I'll try to report results when this is finished. In the meantime, I'd appreciate any observations on 1275 Thames Valley. Private email is fine, and I'll post a summary. Chuck in Lawrence, KS Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 11:16:57 -0600 From: rkienle at interaccess.com Subject: Grain Addition Timings Way back last week or so, Al K. wrote: >Back in 1988 or 1989, I asked Dr. George Fix about this exact point >(more specifically, I asked if mashing crystal would break down a lot >of the dextrins we typically seek from crystal malts)... his response >was that he uses the crystal malts for their flavour contribution and >that he controls fermentability (i.e dextrin content) of the resulting >wort by choosing appropriate mash temperatures, so he adds all the >malts together at the beginning of the mash. I've wondered about this myself, and while all of the above makes sense, it leaves me wondering; if adding crystal early really does break down its dextrins, and one follows this procedure (surely the most common), and therefore utilizes the crystal only for flavor (and color), doesn't this practice obviate the full potential of what the crystal malt offers to the finished beer? What, if anything, would be lost in waiting until the end of the mash to add the crystal, therefore capitalizing on its full potential to maximize body and head retention (not insignificant concerns!)? Or, alternately, what is gained by adding it at the beginning? The only thing I can think of is color, since the longer the crystal is exposed to the wort, the more intense its color contribution. Sacrificing body/head for the sake of color doesn't seem like a particularly desirable trade-off to me. For what it's worth, and though I've not done a direct head-to-head (excuse the pun) comparison, I will say that I've experimentally brewed some pretty flavorful beers by waiting to add the crystal until mash-out. So I'm not sure it "hurts" to do so. It does bring up some additional, potentially more important, points, however (at least for me), about the timing of grain additions. Since different grains merit different mash procedures, what does one do when combining them for certain styles? It's common procedure, for example, to wait until mash-out to add a little black patent for clarity, so it's not like the practice of timing a grain addition is completely unheard of. But there are more complex situations to consider. Although pale ale malt doesn't require a protein rest, many other malts do. Therefore, what procedure is best when making a pale ale that also contains, say, a little Vienna, Victory or roasted malt, some Crystal, and maybe even a bit of malted wheat-all of which presumably benefit from a low-temperature rest? Is it okay for the pale ale to also receive such treatment though it doesn't require it? Or does this further support a possible need to vary the timing of grain additions? Cheers4Beers, Rob Kienle Chicago, IL rkienle at interaccess.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 97 09:32 PST From: cburns at egusd.k12.ca.us (Charles Burns) Subject: Decocting Pale Ale Malt - how to create headless, bodyless beer I have now attempted 3 decoction brews. The first was the strawberry blonde just to see if i could do it. Found all kinds of temperature control problems with thick mashes to start with, cold concrete patio sucking heat out of mash tun and the need to do an incredible amount of stirring to get temperatures to stablize. The beer turned out very poor indeed. Has almost a dishwater taste too it, that was before I added the strawberries. I'm experimenting with Lactose and Dextrin to bring it back from the dead. It was all-grain made with mostly Pale Ale Malt from Great Western. My next attempt was to brew a Marzen with nearly 100% Vienna malt (from GW - American), recipe from Cats Meow III. This was done on superbowl sunday with about 12 assistants, all of which were slightly less buzzed than I was. First rest went well but the decoction went up to boiling in about 5 minutes, way too fast. We boiled it for 15 minutes and began transferring back to the rest mash. Remembering my problems with cold concrete sucking the heat out of the mash tun, this time we had it inside on a couple of cushioned chairs. However, we just couldn't get stable temp readings (didn't stir it enough is my guess). So when I thought it was too hot (like almost 170f) I poured in some cold water. Ended up with the infamous 145F mash again and gave up. Finished brewing - it smelled great. Well, I kegged it the other night and force carbonated (2 week primary at 54F, 3 day diacytl rest at 62F, 2 weeks at 40F, 1 week at 33F) Its very clear (yeah, no protein left in it). Same dry, no body taste, but nice color. Actually much more drinkable than the strawberry but I'm not sure what that dishwater taste is coming from, other than I thought it was the temp control problem. I was bound and determined to beat the decoction beast so I tried again. I wanted a nice malty flavor under some very bitter goldings in an ESB. Ok so sick the beer police on me, decocting a traditional English Ale is probably a hanging offense, but what do you ever learn without trying something new. I pulled together my Pale Ale malt, cara-pils, crystal 60, .5 lb wheat ingredients and once again struck out on the trail of a successful decoction. Well, this time I stayed 100% away from the homebrew until AFTER the decoction was returned to the rest mash. Perfect. Hit the first rest at 140F for 20 minutes then cooked about 75% of the grains with some additional water. Took about 20 minutes to bring it to 158F (very hard to do with a cajun cooker, you gotta stir and stir and modify the heat little by little - no time for resting or drinking). Then brought it to boiling for 20 minutes, returned it slowly to the main mash and STIRRED LIKE CRAZY! This time it hit 160F and I left the tun open for about 10 minutes, stirred again and it was at 158F. I slammed it shut for an hour and it was 155 when I reopend it. Couldn't ask for much better, but boy was I exhausted, 2 hours into the brew day and hadn't even started sparging yet. Well, blah blah blah, everything went as planned. Used 100% East Kent Goldings for bitter, flavor and aroma. Kegged it 3 days ago with another .5 oz EKG in the keg (in a bag). Same damn taste. Its driving me crazy - no body in the beer, no malty flavor AT ALL. Actually it is even more drinkable than the marzen but not what I expected. In private email with Dave B, he was surprised (nearly sicked the beer police on me) that I was decocting pale ale malt and asked if I had any head retention problems. Duh. We'll call these the "invisible man of beers", no head and no body (but a few hops and strawberries here and there). So, what kind of malt should I ask for. When I look at all the supplier catalogs (i've about given up on local brew shops) I see under the heading "Pale Malts" listed Pale Ale from Great Western and Hugh Baird and some DWC. Then I see Pilsener Malt. No where do I see Pale Malt next to a price. Take a look at Hop_tech's online catalog and you'll see what I mean. http://www.hoptech.com/grains.html How are we supposed to know which of those grains to use for decocting an Oktoberfest or Bock or any other lager? What really throws me if this is true (wrong malt) is why the Marzen recipe of almost all Vienna malt also turned out poorly (other than temp control). Help! Damned and Determined to Conquer Confusing Decoction! Charley Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 09:37:32 -0800 From: Charles Burns <cburns at egusd.k12.ca.us> Subject: re: Floating Sediment I'll try the obvious answer. Could it be that the stuff floating suspended is really hop spooge? When you rack the beer to secondary, do you place a filter over the end of the racking cane? I normally use a piece of nylon gauze, sanitized, then wrapped over the end of the racking cane and tied on with a plastic/wire wrap. Sring would work too. This "filter" picks up trub, hop and yeast gunk and keeps it out of the secondary. If I dry hop in the secondary, I use a filter again when going into the keg. I used to bottle and did the same thing when racking to the bottling bucket. By the way, do you really boil the gelatin? I always mix it in cold water becuase it tends to "gel" on me and turn into jello. I found mixing it in cold tap water works much better and since the beer is already fermented out, there has never been an infection issue dumping it into the secondary on top of the beer. Good Luck, Charley Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 13:11:23 -0500 (EST) From: JeffHailey at aol.com Subject: Filtering Hops from Primary to Secondary My second batch is now hapily fermenting in the primary! However, I had a few problems which I need help in fixing. Mainly, I got a lot of hop spooge (that is a great word, isn't it?) in my primary because I got in too big of a hurry. My strainer is too big both for the neck of my carboy fermenter, and also for my funnel. This being the case, I decided to siphon the cooled wort into the carboy. Next time, I will definately use a chore-boy to strain the wort going into the siphon. Meanwhile, I have all kinds of hops in my primary, which I definately don't want in my bottled beer. I will be racking the beer to a secondary shortly, and would like to filter the hops at that time, but I'm also afraid of oxidation. Any good ideas? E-mail replies are fine. I will post the results for any future newbies searching the archives. Thanks! Jeff Hailey, reformed Bud Drinker Brewing in Tulsa, OK Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 97 13:16:11 -0500 From: "Michael K. Cinibulk" <cinibumk at ml.wpafb.af.mil> Subject: Lagering in Secondary or Bottle? Brian Pickerill, Muncie Malt Mashers, Muncie IN writes: ....any big (high gravity) brew will take a couple of months of bottle conditioning to get really good, maybe more depending on how big it is.... In my experience, letting it sit in secondary won't do that much good, it's the bottle (or keg) conditioning under pressure that will develop the flavor most. I use a secondary carboy for most beers, but only until it drops clear and I get the chance to bottle/keg. This reminded me of a question that I keep forgetting to ask. What is the best way to lager if priming in the bottle to carbonate? In secondary and then bottle, or bottle when fermentation is complete and then cool to lager? Does a closed system matter (to allow CO2 to scrub out H2S, etc., which BTW I never see occuring)? Does pressure matter as Brian claims? Is there enough yeast present if we rack the beer of off the thin yeast cake in the secondary? Does OG of the wort or style (Pils vs. Doppelbock) matter? I would prefer to bottle and carbonate first and then lager in the bottle. Mike Cinibulk Bellbrook, Ohio cinibumk at ml.wpafb.af.mil Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 97 12:42:44 -0600 From: gjfix at utamat.uta.edu (George J Fix) Subject: heterofermentative bacteria i In HBD#2371 S. Alexander writes: > BTW G. Fix in PoBS claims pediococcus are hetrofermentative, > every other source I've checked lists pedeococcus as > homofermentative... Most pedios known to me are capable of producing acid and large amounts of diacetyl among other things. This is what I meant by heterofermentative, i.e., produces more than one product. Alexander continues: > ...maybe another case for AlK's errata web site Sure, but who is looking after the dismal signal to noise ratio on this forum. George Fix Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 13:33:07 -0500 From: TOM ELIASSEN <TELIASSEN at aot.state.vt.us> Subject: Liquid Transfer using Peristaltic Pumps Like many others, I tend to loose it when it comes to siphoning. In my search for techniques and/or equipment to help me perform this task I began to think about the use of a peristaltic pump to get my beer from one carboy to another. I used to use this type of pump when I was working in the environmental consulting business. Sampling groundwater for volatile organic compounds requires that the collection method not introduce air during sampling. Seems we have the same concern when we are trying to rack from one fermenter to another. The important features of this type of pump is that they are self-priming, do not introduce significant air to the liquid and liquid in the tube does not touch anything in the process. I began looking in the scientific catalogues for a cheap peristaltic pump and so far have come up with the VWRbrand Variable Flow Mini-Pump. This pump is listed at $119.00 which is still relatively expensive but considering the cost of other brewing equipment these days may be worth the cost. Anyway, I am writing this message to find out if anybody else has first hand knowledge with using these pumps in home brewing. - ---------------------------------------------------- Tom Eliassen teliassen at aot.state.vt.us Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 13:37:31 -0500 From: shaun.funk at slkp.com Subject: S.G. contribution from raspberries Yesterday I brewed a Raspberry Wheat Ale. The ingredients included 6.6 LB=20= M&F=20 wheat extract, and 5.25 LB frozen raspberries. The berries were added to t= he=20 kettle immediately after the boil was complete. I dumped the whole thing t= o=20 the carboy with enough water to yield 5.5 gallons. I aerated and pitched=20= my=20 yeast before remembering to take an S.G. reading. =20 I am trying to approximate the S.G. of this wort. I recently brewed a=20 dunkelweizen with the same amount, brand, and type of extract. For a 5 gal= lon=20 batch this beer resulted in a O.G. of 1.049. Based on this I calculated th= at=20 the contribution of the extract to my new batch ( assuming all other things= =20 being the same) would result in a O.G of 1.0445 without the raspberries. My question is what participation should I expect from the raspberries with= =20 respect to S.G., either per pound or per 5.5 gallon batch? Private e-mail= OK. Shaun Funk shaun.funk at slkp.com =20 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 13:42:07 -0400 From: Kevin.Cavanaugh at gdc.com Subject: Custom Keg refridgeration I have a question regarding custom refridgeration for my beer kegs. I would like to make a refridgeration unit designed specifically for cooling beer kegs so that valuable fridge space is not taken up. I want to make this somewhat portable (just wheel it to destination and plug it in), so I prefer not using a standard off the shelf small fridge with door compartments, freezer, etc. I use the cylindrical 5 or 3 gallon soda kegs. I am wondering if it is possible to wrap the kegs in a cooling coil that is custom fitted. Is this possible with off the shelf plumbing ? How do I figure cooling requirements ? I am assuming if I build this, all I would have to do is have it charged with freon by a dealer. I would appreciate any info that would help me get started or pointed in the right direction. If this has to be manufactured, who does this ? Thanks for any help Kevin Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 19:06:41 +0000 (GMT) From: DAVE BRADLEY IC742 6-7932 <BRADLEY_DAVID_A at Lilly.com> Subject: Souring mashes/beers RE the current thread on souring mashes, I checked back to Nov. '96 when I was looking for info on the Aeonbrau / Head Start Cultures product called LactoCaps. The following summarizes the responses I got from the HBD continuum: 1. LactoCaps are made and sold by Aeonbrau: 706-548-7051 (Spencer, Jeremy Bergsman, Mark Tumarkin) LactoCaps strain: most agree its a lactobacillus but nobody says which. Spencer says it is a brewing strain. No response from the quite busy proprietor Dr. Brian Nummer, author of the article in Brewing Techniques in mid-'96 about bacteria cultures in brewing. 2. Lacto capsules sold at health food stores: (MB Raines-Casselman, Michael Gerholdt, Rian Rademeyer) The strain should be listed on the package. Several folks told me its usually lactobacillus acidophilus. Rian from South Africa said their version contains lactobacillus Rhamnosus and Bulgaricus bacteria. Leaves some question what your caps may really contain... 3. Brewing strain? MB Raines-Casselman said lactobacillus brevis is, "the appropriate strain for souring beer." I think this differentiates souring beer from souring mashes. Summary: I'd guess the grocery/health food store capsules might create a sour mash or wort. I suspect the LactoCaps strain may be l. brevis. Anyone know how different these strains are (?) and if either one is tolerant of hop components? Are l. brevis and acidophilus both cultured at 100-110F as posted recently? Several brewers refer to difficulty in growing both Pediococcus and lacto. brevis strains too. If you've got any specific info beyond the above for me, I'd love to read it! As always, summary to the HBD will follow as appropriate. Dave in Indy Home of the 3-B Brewery, (v.) Ltd. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 14:39:49 -0500 (EST) From: SClaus4688 at aol.com Subject: Gypsum in Sparge Water Greetings from from the banks of the Willamette in the shadow of the Cascades. I've been lurking here for a while, and came across an article last week by A.J. deLange on pH that called into question the need for gypsum in sparge water. Because his assertions seemed at odds with information I've come across in commonly available homebrewing publications, I thought the following EMail dialogue (reprinted with his permission) might be of interest to others in the homebrewing community (my comments are marked with carrots; Mr. deLange's are not). My initial Email: >In the 3/4/97 HBD, you said: >"There is no reason to add gypsum to sparge water. It does not lower the pH >of water by itself (in fact it usually increases it slightly)." >While I defer to your much greater knowledge on the issue of pH (the BT articles >nearly sprained my brain), I respectfully dissent from your opinion on gypsum in >sparge water. >As I understand it, gypsum can buffer increases in pH. I also understand that pH >goes up during sparging as the acidic wort is replaced by the more neutral sparge >water. As pH goes up, the potential for leaching tannins from the grain husks >increases. Adding gypsum to the sparge water buffers the pH increase and lowers >the potential for tannin leaching. >Feel free to tell me why I am wrong. >-Steve Claussen in PDX. - ---------- AJ deLange's reply: >>As I understand it, gypsum can buffer increases in pH. Buffering capacity refers to resistance to change in pH due to the addition of acid or base. Part I of the pH article indicated that buffering capacity is maximum at pH values near the pK (log of the dissociation constant) of the acid in the buffer system. The only acid in normal brewing water that has a pK in the range of pH's normally encountered is carbonic with pK's at 6.38 and 10.3 thus carbonate is the only buffer which needs to be considered in brewing liquor. In the mash there are organic acids and phosphates from the malt and the calcium from gypsum (or chloride) reacts with the phosphates thus changing the phosphoric/dihidrogen phosphate balance and thus the pH. There are then two buffer systems in operation: the carbonic and the phosphoric. Gypsum is the salt of a strongish acid (HSO4-) with a pKa of 1.92 and a strongish base (Ca(OH)+) with a pKb of 1.2 thus Ca(OH)+ is a slightly stronger base than HSO4- is an acid and solutions of gypsum should be slightly basic. Salts are generally thought of as being useless as buffers at pH's greater than about 1 unit of pH away from their pK's. The pKa of HSO4- is 3 pH units away from pH 5 which is, we hope, about as low as mash pH would ever go, thus the sulfate system has little buffering effect. Now gypsum will have a stronger buffering effect than say calcium chloride as the pKa of hydrochloric acid is less than 0 but the effect is not appreciable. >>I also understand that pH goes up during sparging as the acidic wort is replaced >>by the more neutral sparge water. As pH goes up, the potential for leaching >>tannins from the grain husks increases. This is consistent with my understanding. >>Adding gypsum to the sparge water buffers the pH >>increase and lowers the potential for tannin leaching. The buffering is not appreciable and tends to go in the wrong direction. In a simple experiment I did last night adding 200 mg/L gypsum to DI and well water resulted in no change in the pH of the DI water and a .02 pH increase in the well water which is moderately alkaline (about 100 ppm as CaCO3). >Feel free to tell me why I am wrong. Strictly speaking, your'e not. It's just that the buffering effect of gypsum is too small to be of appreciable value at sparge water pH. Cheers, AJ - ---------- Our follow ups: >So, just one more question to try to get to the bottom of this, and possibly increase >my understanding. Won't the (calcium in the) gypsum of the sparge water react >with the phosphates from the malt of the mash into which it is infused "thus >changing the phosphoric/dihidrogen phosphate balance and thus the pH, >"thereby keeping pH low enough to minimize tannin leaching? The phosphates come from phytin and reacts with calcium at mash-in to release the phosphates which combine with calcium (precipitating insoluble calcium phosphate) and releases hydrogen ions. As you mentioned in your last post the increase in pH occurs when the hydrogen ions and soluble phosphates (H2PO4- and HPO4-2) are washed away leaving the insoluble (precipitated) phosphates behind. Thus when calcium bearing sparge water is added the conditions are quite different from what they were at mash-in. There is no phytin nor are there soluble phosphates left in appreciable amount (i.e. the solution is dilute with respect to phosphates) to combine with the calcium to release hydrogen ions. Cheers, AJ Return to table of contents