HOMEBREW Digest #2399 Thu 17 April 1997

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  glycogen/enzyme solubility/topping off/keg condition/tannins/aeration (korz)
  BT/ Fast Beers/Cloudy Beers/ Casks/  N2: Yaarrgghhh!!! ("Rob Moline")
  crush size and gelatinization/lautering (BAYEROSPACE)
  Psuedo-decoction Method-Appendix A (Charlie Scandrett)
  good beer in the land o' elvis (egross)
  kolsch (David Johnson)
  Re: Quick beer... (Scott Murman)
  thermometers plus 2 questions (John_E_Schnupp)
  malt mills (LINUSNLILA)
  Re: 40-60-70 (Fredrik Staahl)
  Sanitizer (James.L.Rice)
  BreWater 3.0 / Correction to Crystal Color Controversy (KennyEddy)
  re:Yeast Washing (Charles Burns)
  re:Water Chemistry (Charles Burns)
  thermometer calibrations (BAYEROSPACE)
  Accessibility (pbabcock.ford)
  Re;Hot Water (Paul Niebergall)
  Gott/Igloo cooler mash tuns (John Wilkinson)
  Cloudy beer (Bruce Baker)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 15:55:36 -0500 (CDT) From: korz at xnet.com Subject: glycogen/enzyme solubility/topping off/keg condition/tannins/aeration Here are a couple of items from December of 1996 -- I was going to comment on them earlier, but the darned HBD crashed, so here goes (hopefully Douglas is still on-line)... Douglas writes: >some yeast strains are very stable being used repeatedly(We use ours >over 50 generations). Some need to be recultured after less use. One >thing that wears a culture out is not cooling the beer down before >collecting the yeast slurry even if used directly. This cooling time(2-4 >days) helps the yeast build up glycogens(yeast fat) so itcan reproduce >properlly the next batch. Also the recomended pitch rate would be app. >250 ml/5 gal unless the gravity starts at over1.050, if you change the This concept of a 2- to 4-day cooling of the yeast (presumably at the very end of fermentation) helping to build-up glycogens is news to me. Glycogens are how the yeast store sugars for later use. If the yeast are starved for food, they will survive for a while on their glycogen stores. When you pitch yeast into oxygenated wort, they will first use up the glycogen (the lowest levels are actually at high kraeusen) and then begin to rise again. Perhaps what Douglas meant to say was that gentle cooling of the yeast near the end of fermentation, helps *preserve* glycogen levels for subsequent reuse. Could that be it? Reference: Practical Yeast Management Dr. Paul Monk Brewery Operations Volume #6 (1989 Microbrewers Conference Transcripts) Brewers Publications, Boulder, CO *** Douglas writes: >Again this comes up. This is a good hypothese(unless one is using poor >quality brewing water) No sparging should not produce more maltiness >than sparging except if the beer attenuated more. This could is caused >by the first runnings being more fermentable(see my previous post), the >fermentable (beta enzymes) are more soulable and tend to work in the >liquid portion of the mash wereas the dextrin producing(alpha amalyze) >are active in the thickest part of the mash. This was from the beginning of the "no sparge" discussion, but my concern really was in the "location" of the alpha and beta amylase. My understanding is that all the soluble enzymes (if they're not soluble, how can they be involved in the reactions?) are in the liquid part of the mash and that the thickest part of the mash contains a small fraction of the enzymes of the liquid part (the enzymes would simply be in the liquid that is *between* the insoluble bits in the thick part of the mash). Right? Am I missing something? *** Bill writes: >Should I top off the secondary with water(boiled and cooled stuff)? I >see the advantage as getting a little more final product, and also >eliminating air that may be in the air space. Negatives, possibly a >diluted brew? Topping off the secondary will indeed get you more product... that's about the only advantage. When you rack the beer into the secondary, some CO2 is released due to pressure differences in the siphon and turbulence during transfer. This CO2 will purge the headspace of the secondary so there's little, if any air in there. Whether you want to dilute your brew really depends on what you expected and what you got. A few days ago, someone posted that they mis-read their hydrometer and added too much extract. This person may want to top-off. On the other hand, if you worked your buns off to make an all-grain Barleywine with an OG of 1.124, the last thing you want to do is dilute it! and: >I have stepped right into kegging, since I had a draft system already. >The first four brews I force carbonated with good results. #5 is my first >attempt at natural carbonation. 1/3 cup of corn sugar in probably 4.5 >gal. beer. Now sitting in the living room, since last Wednesday. How long >should I wait until I move it to the basement, where it is probably 40 >degrees F? Two weeks should be enough, as long as your room temperature is not 60F. *** Tim writes: >I know that it is recommended to keep checking the gravity and stop at >1.010 or taste the runnings and stop when you can longer detect any >sweetness but this seems like a real PITA. I suppose if one were to >follow this method one would stop at this point and top off your collection >tank with water. Is anyone still with me? >Question 1) why would I start extracting tannins just because I reach the >magic number of 1.010. 2) why does one extract tannins at all 3) would >anyone take an educated guess whether I probably extracted tannins >with that last gallon of clear runnings 4) is there an easier method to >determine when to stop sparging that I have over looked 5) I'm I being too >anal. 1. You don't. You are extracting some tannins throughout the sparge. At the beginning of the sparge, your mash still has some buffering ability and the pH is hopefully above 5.5. If you are adding 7.0 pH water, the pH is slowly rising since you are taking away 5.5 pH wort and adding 7.0 ph water. As the pH rises, so does the tannin extraction. Another reason there are "more" tannins at the end of the sparge because at the beginning, you are getting a lot of sugar and a small amount of polyphenols (aka tannins). At the end of the sparge, you are still getting a small amount of polyphenols, but you are getting a lot less sugar. Eventually, you can see that you would be adding *only* polyphenols and effectively not adding to your beer's OG. 2. Polyphenol extraction is a necessary evil. Charlie Scandrett suggests crushing less and making do with poorer yield to minimise polyphenol and silicate extraction. I plan to try this. Remember, this is a hobby... we can be very wasteful (15 ppg) and still make beer cheaper than we can buy! 3. I don't need to guess... you did... the question is did you extract enough to be noticeable? If your pH was below 6.0 or so, chances are everthing will be fine. An option is to acidify your sparge water only when you need to... i.e. only at the end of the sparge. Acidifying more than you need to will lower your boil pH and give you poor break. 4. Stop sparging when you have collected enough wort for the boil. Watch the pH and it will not matter what the SG of the runnings are at the end. I'm blessed with water that allows me to get by without mucking around too much with sparge pH for most styles. Paler beers require more care than dark beers because the dark grains lower pH. 5. No... you are asking questions in an effort to improve your beer and brewing technique. That's scientific method, not anal retentiveness! *** Neil writes: >I used to aerate, but one day forgot. The result was a beer with a >freshness that I didn't know was missing. And that slightly off taste >that I had been trying to persuade myself was really quite nice had gone. My only guess is that you have been aerating before the wort is fully cool. If you have significant cold break carryover into the fermenter, you can get by without aerating at all. It also depends a *lot* yeast strain and pitch quantity. Dry yeast needs less aeration than liquid because dry yeast is aerated a lot before dehydration. Also, a package of dry yeast has hundreds (thousands ?) of times more yeast than a package of liquid yeast. Less growth, means less need for sterols, which means less need for oxygen or cold break. Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 97 14:48:48 PDT From: "Rob Moline" <brewer at kansas.net> Subject: BT/ Fast Beers/Cloudy Beers/ Casks/ N2: Yaarrgghhh!!! The Jethro Gump Report >From: BTEditor at aol.com >Subject: Notice to BrewingTechniques contributors >If you submitted anything to BrewingTechniques in the past three months or >sent any e-mail, we'd love for you to recontact us and resend your earlier .>material. Stephen, You mean you lost my 5,000 page treatise on "Gump Brewing"? I hope you haven't lost the $ 1000 fee promised! ;-) >From: James Murphy <murphy at gordy.ucdavis.edu> >Subject: Re: fast maturing beers > - shorten primary and secondary times to a few days, and increase time in >the bottle. If you crash chill when fermentation is complete, you can >skip the secondary altogether. I can promise you that with most beers, if you 'shorten' the primary and secondary to just a few days, you will hear the tinkling of shattered glass at night! Just be sure that your fermentation is finished before priming and bottling. >From: Chris Storey <cstorey at knet.flemingc.on.ca> >Subject: cloudy beer >. The problem is that both batches are very >cloudy. The first is 1 week old and is not clearing at all. My second >batch is the same way. What did I do wrong? Patience, mate, patience. The fastest clearing times I've seen is at least a week in secondary at 38 degrees F., and this is with Isinglass, and gelatin in secondary, then 48 hours in pressurized serving with another dose of Isinglas. (This is a generalization, many factors, including but not limited to Yeast strain, grist bill, etc, will influence this.) Relax, and get started on your next batches, leave the previous ones in the closet for more conditioning and clarification. Pull one out every few days, and drink it, all the while observing the changing character of the clarity, carbonation, and flavor effects. Dr. Gump prescribes a little "Tincture of Time" (TM) for what 'ailes' you! >From: petersonj1 at juno.com (John C Peterson) >Subject: Wooden Casks I> came across a catalog that sold wooden, white oak casks. Do they make a difference or is it just in the mind? >Is there anyone with ideas on how to get them cheaper? Anyone try making one? Wooden casks can lend flavors unobtainable in glass or stainless, but they are a bunch of work. This is the result of the activity of bacteria in the wood that can get air through the wood. My understanding is that American oak imparts a harsher 'wood' note than the preferred French Oak. The Ballantine burton Ale is said to have been aged in wood, and when amounts were drawn off for bottling, the next batch was then transferred to the remainder of the beer in the wood. Sort of a continual process. I'm told that once they were bought out and the new owners got rid of the wood in favor of stainless, the thing that made the beer great was lost forever! I don't have one at hand at the moment, but there is a paper that comes out regularly, called the "Wine Country Classified", that has a bunch of classifieds for new and used casks, some of which go to several thousand gallons. You should be able to get a hold of a copy, if you have a winery nearby and ask nicely. I will post the relevant numbers, when I next receive a copy. I have been told that the McCormick (sp?) Distillery of Westin, Missouri, sells their casks after use for 15 to 20 $ each, but that you have to wash out the charcoal and fit a new bung to the hole they drill to draw of the product for bottling. As for coopering your own, I think there's more art to this than you may realize. I would try for a used one. Graham Wheeler is undoubtedly more familiar with this, are you out there! >From: pbabcock.ford at e-mail.com >Subject: N2: Yaarrgghhh!!! >In HBD 2394, Ken Schwartz suggests that the B&T effect might just be >attributable to the "dissolved" nitrogen in the Guinness; Rob Moline >alludes to a similar suggestion one digest prior (I sense that Scot >Abene will throw his hat into the ring, too)... C'mon, Scott, where are ya? >First, let me say I've seen B&T's made with beers not sporting the >N2CO2 mix. Like BOTTLED Guinness, for instance. Agreed, but the gravities are the key in this case. Petrol and oil behave similarly. >Second, CO2/N2 blends are used to drive beer through systems requiring >higher-than-carbonation-pressure-at-temperature pressure (like a >sparkler head or a "widget" can, for instance) because N2 won't >dissolve in the beer and upset the carbonation - Most of the brew-pubbers I know use a Co2/N2 blend to drive their beer, for the reasons you state, AFTER they carbonate it, by force or closing off the vessel at 75 to 80 percent of fermentation being finished. This eliminates the "CO2 Dance," as I call it, when running a straight CO2 set up. > Will N2 dissolve in beer? Yes, BUT you have to force it in under greater pressure than CO2. With all the recent allusions to Cousteau, lets say you are he, (Jacques) and you are breathing a regular sea-level blend of 'air' from your scuba rig at 150 feet depth. The Nitrogen in the 'air' can 'dissolve' in your blood, and if you ascend rapidly, without depressurization staging, you will develop the "bends" as the N2 comes back out of solution. This is why a diver suffering from the bends is placed in a vessel to replicate the pressurized environment of multiple atmospheres of pressure, to force the bubbles back into solution and allow them to come out in a controlled manner, rather than having the "creamy Guinness Head" appear in his body! As you might imagine, any one suffering from this effect will never get out of Edison! Jethro (Now Serving "If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It" Strong Ale) Gump Rob Moline Little Apple Brewing Company Manhattan, Kansas "The More I Know About Beer, The More I Realize I Need To Know More About Beer!" Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 17:19 -0600 From: M257876 at sl1001.mdc.com (BAYEROSPACE) Subject: crush size and gelatinization/lautering collective homebrew conscience: charlie wrote: >Enzymes are dissolved very quickly and water penetrates all starchy pieces >of grain very quickly, regardless of size (except balls). My point is that the >thermomechanical process (swelling)is the main method of gelatinisation. Flour >only allows the water in the finer starchy particles to heat more quickly and >effectively. >1/ area *is* important (i.e. flour over larger particles) for heat >penetration, 2/ starchy particles become wet faster than most brewers think >they do, >3/ the enzymes are *in* the particle, not just attacking from outside (i.e. >size is not relevant to rate of enzymic action, extraction yes), >4/ heat is the most important gelatinisation process >5/ the range of gelatinisation is greater than most brewers think and is >usually not complete in 1.5 hours at < 70C (158F), by enzymic action or heat. my basic question really is: do the big starch grits in my lauter tun at the end of sparging represent lost extract? if so, what can i do to improve my efficiency, other than improving my crush and reducing the grits in size? how can i better gelatinize and extract the sugar from these starch grits without adjusting the crush? brew hard, mark bayer Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 08:46:18 +1000 (EST) From: Charlie Scandrett <merino at buggs.cynergy.com.au> Subject: Psuedo-decoction Method-Appendix A I am getting lots of offline queries about this, so here is more detail. PURPOSE The purpose is more advanced gelatinization for extract and *flavour* release, and the formation of hot break in the grain bed to complex with lipids and polyphenols during recycling. Denaturing enzymes is not that important with the exception of the staling lipo-oxygenase enzyme in pale lager malts kilned <70C. An added advantage is a hotter more permeable lauter. Sparge water temperature is a separate issue. Because it is a more effective solvent than runnings, the danger of the less polar complex polyphenols being extracted suggests staying below 75C and pH <5.5. METHOD I usually mash in at 58C for a HWMP proteinase rest. I then rise at 0.5C/ minute to ~68C for sachrification rest. After conversion (or nearing conversion, I don't always check) I withdraw about 1/4 of the mash *liquid* at ~68C in an uninsulated container and mashout the remaining mash at 77-78C for 20 minutes. Because I use steam injection, the rise to mashout is very quick. Boiling water infusion mashers could do this quickly. RIMS and external heaters will need more time for this rise. After 20 minutes the withdrawn portion has cooled to about 60C and after the mashout portion has cooled to about 73C, I recombine them for a conversion tempertature of about 70C. After 10-15 minutes I get complete conversion and reheat the whole mash to 75C. I recycle for 15-20 minutes by pump, then lauter. RESULT 33 or more points extraction is fairly easy, but I have a large lauter tun and this method does take more time. With a short, stirred thick boil (i.e. a little above 100C) of first runnings, I get an authentic Pils maltiness. Great care is taken to prevent scorching. With a longer (30mins) pressure boiling (~125C) of first runnings, I get an authentic bock/ double bock maltiness. The results are definitly smoother than conventional decoction. This is no-decoction lager mashing, hence "psuedo-decoction". Charlie (Brisbane, Australia) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 18:52:05 -0400 (EDT) From: egross at emory.edu Subject: good beer in the land o' elvis I am doing the pilgrimage to Graceland and spending a few days in Memphis at the end of the month, and I was hoping someone could point out some decent places to get good beer, places to go, etc. I heard there is a Bosco's brewpub nearby, is it worth a trip? We are staying downtown near Beale Street, but we will have a rental car. Also,if anyone knows of a place besides Java Cabana where an Elvis impersonator can remarry my sister and her husband, don't ask, or even a place where there are Elvis impersonators performing that we can bribe to goof on her Elvis-is-alive believing husband please let me know.I have searched the web, and believe me that weirdness exists in abundance, but apparently not in Memphis except in August during Elvis week.Thanx in advance, lee Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 17:32:55 -0700 From: David Johnson <dmjalj at inwave.com> Subject: kolsch Greetings! I recently entered a home brew competition and scored pretty well in the most part. The reason I am writing is to discuss the beer that did the poorest. I tried to make a Kolsch bier. Of course, there were several problems. First of all, I had been brewing less than a year. Also, I didn't have access to any commercial examples to know what I was trying for. I also didn't have access (at the time I brewed the beer) to this forum to ask the learned community for help. It turned out to be a good beer but not to style. It was a light (srm~6), clear, golden beer with a nice head, decent hop character in bitterness, flavor and aroma and minimal fruitiness. In competition it scored a 26. My idea is to turn my ignorance into expertise. I propose to give a small talk on style to my club (you know - "how NOT to brew a Kolsch") and am looking for info on the style and how TO brew it. For the purpose of discussion, my recipe follows: 1 lb. malted wheat 4 oz. 10 L crystal 2 oz. DWC aromatic malt 6 lb Northwestern Gold 1 oz hallertau 5.2% alpha (45 min) .5 oz cascade 4.5% alpha (45 min) .5 oz hallertau 5.2 alpha (10 min) .5 oz hallertau 5.2 (dry) .5 tsp yeast nutrient .5 tsp Irish moss BrewTek Cl450 kolsch yeast Partial mash (tea bag style) 30 min at 120 deg then raise to 150-155 deg for another 45 min. Boil and add hops as noted. Chill and pitch yeast. Ferment 10 days in glass at 64 deg. then rack to secondary at 54 deg for 12 days. OG1.053 TG 1.012 Private e-mail is OK. Public flogging half-expected. Of course if anyone has an overwhelming urge to send me their own example of the style I'll help with shipping and use it in our meeting.TIA Dave Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 23:57:08 -0700 From: Scott Murman <smurman at best.com> Subject: Re: Quick beer... Al K. said > > Keep those OG's reasonable... the higher the OG, the more higher > alcohols you will get. To get beer in 14 days (kegged, mind you... > bottling you need 21 so it will naturally carbonate), you really > need to stay below 1.050 or so. First, I agree with Al's statement that a good ale can be reached in 2-3 weeks. I see no reason why a good ale can't be created in 5 weeks, no matter the yeast or grain bill. I'm wondering about the first statement. Does a higher OG strictly mean more higher alcohols? In one sense I can understand this, since more sugar == more alcohols of all types, but wouldn't the strain of yeast, and also the temp. of fermentation play a role? Any barleywine brewers care to chime in? SM Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 01:31:35 -0700 From: John_E_Schnupp at amat.com Subject: thermometers plus 2 questions Greetings fellow brewers, My solution to the thermometer "problem" is simple. I use a TC. Glass can break and the bi-metal ones are, IMHO not accurate. Also, the bi-metals and hand-held electronics have short probes. The TC wires I use are teflon coated and 4' long. They are available from Grainger (1T322 $14). There are several options for meters. You can use a dedicated temp meter (e.g. Fluke), there are also DVM's that have K-type TC inputs available and usually are cheaper than the dedicated meters. Expect to pay $50-$150 depending on the type of meter you choose. Grainger sells several kinds of meters from various manufactures. I use a bulk head compression fitting at the top of my brewpot with a piece of 1/4" tubing on the inside. The TC wire is inside the tube and I can adjust it to any depth. Works great for me, YMMV. I use it mainly to monitor temp while using my immersion chiller. Which leads to on of my questions. I whirlpool my wort with limited success. I am thinking of motorizing the process so that I can create a better whirlpool for a longer period of time. I would also benefit by keeping my brewpot covered and, hopefully, faster more efficient cooling. My question is this: At what speed (RPM) should I whirlpool? Also what difference, in fluid dynamics, would there be between a propeller type blade vs. something more like a paddle? Last question: How do you get the yeast out of the bottom of a carboy (I don't do the inverted ferment thing)? I would like to try reusing my yeast and reclaiming it from the bottom of a glass carboy easily seems to elude me as the yeast is fairly caked when I rack the beer off of it. Private e-mail ok. I'll post a summary of the motorized whirlpool with my solution and results as I want to implement this idea on my next batch in a few weeks. TIA. Green Mountain brewer, John Schnupp, N3CNL Colchester, VT john_e_schnupp at amat.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 04:48:38 -0400 (EDT) From: LINUSNLILA at aol.com Subject: malt mills I am interested in building my own grain mill, since I have access to a machine shop. I could probably build something pretty complicated, if I knew the theory behind grain grinding. Why have more than two rolls? How does one seperate the husks from the kernals and grind even finer? Does the finer crush have much effect on a homebrewer sized batch? Any help or pointers will be much appreciated. Thanks In Advance, Linus Hall Nashville Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 14:40:23 +0100 From: fredriks at abel.math.umu.se (Fredrik Staahl) Subject: Re: 40-60-70 Al writes: >Louis writes: >>I've noticed a number of people refer to Dr. Fix's preferred >>mash schedule as "40-60-70"; i.e., a first rest at 40C (104F), >>followed by rests at 60C (140F) and 70C (158F). This is not >>correct. As George says: >> >>http://realbeer.com/spencer/FAQ/Fix-mash.html >> >>> I strongly prefer moderately modified malt for lager beer, >>> and I have found that a protein rest at 50C (122F) has >>> numerous advantages. I have done test brews with a 40-50-60-70 >>> schedule, but little is gained in yield over a 50-60-70 program. <snip> >> >>George confirmed the 50-60-70 scheudle in materials he presented >>in a seminar I produced a few years ago. > >I think that George has reconsidered this... ALSO from >http://realbeer.com/spencer/FAQ/Fix-mash.html, Dr. Fix says >(and pay close attention to the "Note -"): > >>It appears that yield (which is a measure of the extent we dissolve grain >>carbs.) is strongly influenced by the lower temperatures used, while the >>composition of the carbohydrates dissolved (i.e., % fermentability) is >>influenced by the higher temperatures. The following batch is typical of >>the results I have been getting with highly modified malt. <snip> I think it's quite clear that in the first excerpt, George is talking about *moderately* modified malts (like todays lager malts) and in the second about *highly* modified malts (like pale ale malts). My interpretation is that a 40C rest (with a quick boost past 45-50C) is advantageous for pale malts, while it doesn't matter if you use lager malts and plan to do a protein rest at 50C. It's still possible that a 40C rest might do some good with lager malts if you want to do the protein rest at a higher temp (eg. 55-57C), as has been suggested on this list lately. /Fredrik Stahl, fredriks at abel.math.umu.se Return to table of contents
Date: 16 Apr 97 09:49:36 -0400 From: James.L.Rice at scsnet.com Subject: Sanitizer Collective: A friend of mine in the restaurant supply business gave me 4 gallons of commercial sanitizer. The stuff looks like somewhat like idophor. It comes in 1 gallon plastic jugs. The product is DIVERSY ADVANCE. It is labeled as follows: QUAT-SANITIZER-DISINFECTANT cleaner, detergent,disinfectant,sanitizer,deodorizer,virucide,*fungicide(pathogenic fungi),mildewstat(hard inanimate surfaces) ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: n-ALKY (60% C12 30% C16 5% C12 5% C18) dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride 2.25% n-ALKY (68% C12 32% c14) dimethyl ethylbenzl ammonium chloride 2.25% inert ingredients 95.50% The directions say that for food preparation surfaces to dilute 2 oz. per 3 1/2 gal of water. Wet surface for at least 60 seconds and air dry. Has anyone had any experience with this product? Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 11:02:14 -0400 (EDT) From: KennyEddy at aol.com Subject: BreWater 3.0 / Correction to Crystal Color Controversy Thanks to all who responded re my request for brewers' preferences for brewing acids. Looks like I was right about lactic, phosphoric, and hydrochloric being the brewer's choices. Korz mentioned acid blend, a blend of malic, tartaric, and citric normally used for winemaking. He suggested some brewers have used it for brewing beer. I'll consider adding it to the program but I'll have to research it a bit more. Anybody out there using acid blend for brewing? Also, thanks to the several folks who tested BreWater on Windows NT. Seems to work fine. ***** If anyone read my response to Charlie Burns concerning crystal malts, you'll see my math was D-minus at best when I suggested a mix of "30% 90L and 60% 20L". I guess maybe 10% air? The numbers should have been 30% 90L and 70% 20L. ***** Ken Schwartz El Paso, TX KennyEddy at aol.com http://members.aol.com/kennyeddy Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 08:13:36 -0700 From: Charles Burns <cburns at egusd.k12.ca.us> Subject: re:Yeast Washing Cory asks about his yeast washing technique (in hbd 2398): The procedure you described doesn't remove any of the trub. My procedure which will always get at least 3 generations from a smak pack is: 1. Sterilize the jars (boiled underwater for 30 minutes). 2. Leave each jar half full of the boiled water. 3. Pour beer off the sediment. 4. Dump in one jar. (same as you up to here). 5. Swirl the water to disolve the cake and return it all to the first (now empty) jar. 6. Swirl it good in the jar, then let it sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 7. The yeast should still be in suspension while the trub gunk falls to the bottom. 8. Pour the suspended yeast into a second half full jar. 9. Swirl like mad, then let it sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 10. If any trub remains in the 2nd jar, repeat step 8 and 9. 11. at this point you should store the results in the fridge. You can make a starter or not. With enough slurry, a starter really isn't necessary and I quit making them when I have at least 12 oz of slurry to pitch. Just remove the jar from the fridge 12 hours or so before pitching so that it can come up to room temperature. Notes: DON'T BREATH WHEN YOU HAVE THE YEAST JAR OPEN. KEEP THE JARS CLOSED TIGHT AND DON'T OPEN UNLESS YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO. Everytime you mess with the stuff is an opportunity for contamination. If you are on your 2nd use of the yeast, odds are you will get a yeast cake that won't fit back into the first jar. At this point split among two jars at step 5 above. This will then be enough for probably 4 more batches (a $16 savings in my town). I recently started spraying rubbing alcohol around the top of carboys and jars whenenever I open one. It was a tip from a local homebrewer who has over 200 gold ribbons to his credit. Forty-nine cents worth of alcohol in a 98 cent spray bottle. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 08:36:10 -0700 From: Charles Burns <cburns at egusd.k12.ca.us> Subject: re:Water Chemistry Bill Rucker in hbd 2398 asks about ph changes using Lactic Acid. I am not surprised at what happened to him. It seems the reactions of the water are a little unpredicable for those of us without the "water analysis". Could depend on the concentration level of the acid. You also didn't mention what the volume of the water was. I just started doing this for sparge water becuase my mash ph always seems to be right at 5.3 no matter what grains I toss in. My Lactic Acid is an 88% solution according to the lable. My water ph stays between 7.1 and 7.3. My total alkalinity according to my Spa water tester is about 170. When I boil my water (I'm on a well) the ph rises to about 8.5 (random factoid). I add the acid after the water has reached appropriate temperature becuase I'm afraid that boiling will drive off the acid. Anyway, when mashing out with 2 gallons of boiling water, I add 1 teaspoon to lower the ph from 8.5 to 5.5. When sparging I add 1 Teaspoon of acid to lower 4 gallons of water from ph 7.2 (170F, not boiled) to 5.0. Its a mystery to me too. But I did experiment with it before trying to brew with the stuff just to see what would happen. I don't have a water analysis because the only lab around here wants $125. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 12:18 -0600 From: M257876 at sl1001.mdc.com (BAYEROSPACE) Subject: thermometer calibrations collective homebrew conscience: bill wrote: >I have fairly >neutral water, runs about pH 7.3. It is city water but I don't have >the analysis because I wouldn't know what I was looking at. I think >it may be time to get it though, if I can. definitely get it. mineral content is more important than ph for mashing. >Well, I added 1/4 *tsp* of lactic acid to the stike water as it was >heating. I stirred it for a few minutes and then rechecked expecting >to see a pH somewhat lower than 7.3 but what I got was a totally >unexpected 3.5! What the **** happened? Is this the cause of not >having enough buffer capacity in the water? What can be done to >prevent this? The litany of questions could go on of course but if >anyone can comment on this I would appreciate it. i have had similar problems in the past trying to use lactic acid in the mash. the solution, i believe, is this: if you want to use lactic acid, don't add it until you've added the grain to the strike water, take a small amount (based on your experience, which you have some of now), and dilute it in about a cup or a pint of strike or sparge water. now you have a much diluted supply of lactic acid. *check the mash ph first*, then add the acid mix a little at a time, checking the ph as you go. write everything down, and in the future you can use your past results to have some idea of how much you will need. the first few times it will be slow going, but overshooting with the diluted solution won't be as drastic as adding it straight from the bottle. ************ john wilkinson wrote: >Craig Rode was commenting on thermometer inaccuracies and differences between >glass and bimetal types. >I have gone through some of the same agonizing. In trying to calibrate my >long probe bimetal dial thermometer to match my glass thermometer I have >come to a few conclusions? >1) The bimetal type doesn't seem to be linear in its response. i have a couple of bimetal dial probe thermometers: one i got from williams and the other from brewer's resource. i also have a laboratory calibrated mercury thermometer, guaranteed accurate to within .5 deg fahrenheit over the entire range from 32 to 180 deg fahrenheit. i have calibrated both bimetal thermometers in the temperature ranges used for mashing (178 down to about 110 or 120 deg f or so, and neither of them are more than 1 deg. fahrenheit in error over the entire range. i also have noticed that the dial thermometers react *much* faster than the typical glass floating thermometer. i calibrated the bimetals in a small insulated cooler which slowed the heat loss rate. i had the floating type glass thermometer in there as well, just to see how it compared with the mercury thermometer. it tended to lag the mercury and the bimetal thermometers by at least a couple of degrees all the way from about 178 down through the typical lower saccharification temps (~150 deg f). this was with a slow heat loss rate of about 1 degree f every 2 minutes or so. so basically, the glass floating thermometer was *never* that accurate during the entire calibration. i have quit using it except for situations where i know the heat loss is slow and i can leave it in the medium it's measuring for a long amount of time to let it settle in. an example is the final temperature of the insulated cold mash during decoction. i never use it for the initial setting of the saccharification temperature because of the time lag. for that i use the bimetal dial thermometers for their quick response. it also helps to move the probe to 4 or 5 different regions of the mash to make sure the heat is distributed evenly. the bimetal thermometers will react almost instantaneously when a temperature gradient is sensed. the glass floating type is far too slow to even be considered for this. i guess there may be some bad bimetal dial thermometers out there, but if you can calibrate it somehow and show that it's bad, i'd send it back to the retailer you got it from. *********** regarding special b malt: we have tasted several homebrews at the st louis brews club meetings over the past year that used significant quantities of special b, and the one thing that i always tasted was a flavor like raisins. it wasn't bad. brew hard, mark bayer Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 13:23:49 EDT From: pbabcock.ford at e-mail.com Subject: Accessibility Pat Babcock Internet: pbabcock.ford at e-mail.com VO Body Launch Specialist- PN150/1 EAP ****>>>> PLEASE USE PF5 WHEN REPLYING TO THIS NOTE!!!! <<<<**** Subject: Accessibility Accessibility. We hear the word in terms of people's rights. Are your facilities accessible to the handicapped? They have a right to access all public facilities. Are jobs in your company accessible to the disadvantaged? They have the right to an equal chance of employment in your company as anyone else. Accessibility. What about beer? Is there a "right" to good beer? Recently, a friend of mine summed up something that has bothered me about brewpubs and microbrews for quite a while: they are not accessible. Sure, you and I - the readers of this publication - buy micros and patronize brewpubs, but we're not the ones that need to be "converted". And what do those of us without the means to do so give up in order to have better beer? Is it right for those that have learned to appreciate good beer to push our snoots into the air and snobbishly think that Joe Six-pack couldn't possibly do the same? Joe is exactly the person we need to get hooked on good beer. If Joe Six-pack was in the corner store demanding the beers you and I have come to appreciate, the Buds, Millers and Coors might become the rare item that we seek out every once in a while to determine just what the American Ultra Light Pilsner Lager style was all about. Having Joe crave the beers we love might bring about a time when *you* nudge your buddy and ask if that Budweizen wasn't about the best wheat beer they'd ever tried. Joe's thirst for good beer could spawn corner brewpubs where once stood corner bars. Joe could redirect the efforts of mainstream brewers across the country. Joe is a very powerful individual. I know this sounds extreme, but Joe actually has a lot of power. So why do we seem to shun Joe within our little clique? Why do we chuckle when we hear Joe talk about beer? But worse: why do brewpubs predominantly sport "eclectic" menus and eletist pricing? Why does Sam Adams, by all rights a "mainstream" brew, cost so much more than Strohs? Is it truly related to volume, or is it a "premium" thing? If it's volume, then why all micros cost roughly the same? The costs and volumes for each can't be the same. So the question that begs asking is: What will it take to make better beer accessible to more people? Just some thoughts to ponder... Best regards, Patrick G. Babcock PN150/1 Launch - Edison Assembly Plant (908)632-5930 x5501 Route 1 South, Edison, NJ 08818-3018 Fax (908)632-4546 Page 800-SKY-PAGE PIN: 544-9187 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 13:41:21 -0500 From: Paul Niebergall <pnieb at burnsmcd.com> Subject: Re;Hot Water HBDers, I just thought I would comment on the hot water heater thread. What goes into your hot water heater, generally comes out. There is nothing to be afraid of. If anything, inorganics precipitate out in your water heater (that's why it's caked with crud). And maybe you want this crud in you water, it's only minerals. The inside of you water heater may look bad, but it's not going to hurt you. If your water is so overloaded with minerals that it causes a brewing problem, then you shouldn't be using hot or cold tap water without blending with deionized. Yes, the hot water can pick up some lead (presumably from solder) on the way to the tap. But, for most home water systems, this is negligible (don't let infants drink your home brew though, lead can harm them). Anyway, if you are worried , take samples of cold and hot tap water and compare rusults. After you have spent hundreds of dollars on sample analysis fees (you'll have to sample many times throughout the year to get good comparible results - you can't just do it once), you will probably find out that the difference between cold tap water and hot tap water is negligible, especially when compared to the fluctuating levels of ions that naturally occur throughout the year in your water supply. I know someone with a degree in water chemisty will probably slam me with a bunch of water hardness and milliequivalent equations. That will be fine, theories are great. However, meaningful (as in statistically valid, comparible, consistant, repeatable, etc.) data is better and I'll bet you'll have a hard time producing it. Brew On Paul Niebergall Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 97 15:42:47 CDT From: jwilkins at imtn.tpd.dsccc.com (John Wilkinson) Subject: Gott/Igloo cooler mash tuns Al K. writes: >The Igloos are only made to keep things cold >whereas the Gott/Rubbermaid are made to be used with either cold or *hot* >liquids. With repeated use, Igloo and Coleman coolers made to keep things >cold will warp. Perhaps they were only designed for cold and in theory will warp but I have used a 10 gallon cylindrical Igloo cooler for almost two years with no problem. I mash for >2 hours and mash out with boiling water with no apparent harm to the cooler. The rectangular Coleman steel clad cooler I use for a hot liquor tank does warp when filled with hot water. I have to put a box of 500 lead bullets on the lid to keep it down. The Igloo cylindrical, however, has no problems, as I said. ________________________________________________________________________________ As to the discussion of using hot tap water, would filtering before the hot water heater be a solution? I suppose sediment already in the tank could be a problem but perhaps draining the tank as suggested by Tom Pope might help. I have been planning on adding a whole house type water filter to filter the well water in my barn where I do my brewing. I get sand in my water sometimes but few minerals so I figure a fairly coarse filter should do. I have been unsure of whether I should put the filter on the cold water line or on the main line so I would have filtered hot water to use. Any suggestions? John Wilkinson - Grapevine, Texas - jwilkins at imtn.dsccc.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 1997 09:34:19 +1200 From: Bruce Baker <Bruce.E.Baker at tsy.treasury.govt.nz> Subject: Cloudy beer G'day y'all, Over the last year, I've made eight batches of all-grain beers. The first six were wonderfully clear. The last two (a pils and an IPA) were extremely cloudy. The recent batches share a number of characteristics: 1. The new batches were decoctions. Previously, I had raised temperature by turning up the stove. 2. I used different yeasts. Previously, I had used Gervin's (dry)lager and ale yeasts. In the recent batches, I used some other dry yeasts I had on hand (Coopers lager and Morgan ale, respectively). 3. I did a better sparging. Previously, I poured boiling water over the spent grains. Recently, I poured the entire kettle of wort through the grain before pouring warm (170 degree) water through. 4. I used different finings. Previously, I used gelatine. Recently, I used polyclar. 5. I cooled my wort faster (putting the fermenter in the bathtub). Previously I just let it cool overnight before pitching. For the pils batch, I forgot to add Irish moss, so I kind of expected a cloudy beer. However, the IPA was a surprise. My previous batch was beautifully clear. Any ideas? Bruce Wellington NZ Return to table of contents