HOMEBREW Digest #2530 Tue 14 October 1997

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

  burners, maple & honey (Mel D Irvin)
  "As CaCO3"/Honey/Art;Science;Engineering (A. J. deLange)
  Oxygenation (David Whitwell)
  Propane Burner/GABF (Sort of...) (Darrell)
  Re: Vanilla beans (Aaron A Sepanski)
  Re: Prolonged fermentation (Aaron A Sepanski)
  Re: Fermentation Restarted (Aaron A Sepanski)
  Ken Koupal - Retraction Dubbel (Charles Burns)
  chocolate mint stout ("John Penn")
  Pressure Cooker Decoction (KennyEddy)
  Andrew Agar's first mash ("Alan McKay")
  Re: Science in brewing (Aaron A Sepanski)
  re: Even more all-grain ramblings ("Alan McKay")
  Readers and contributors outside of the USA ("Alan McKay")
  enviro-friendly sanitation (dajohnson)
  efficiency (Al Korzonas)
  Semi-newbie Questions (Workforce Development Council)
  EasyMasher vs. Phil's Phalse Bottom (Al Korzonas)
  Question on OG.... (John Mattson)
  Int'l Waters profiles, please!  (was Re: Readers and contributors outside USA) (brian_dixon)
  Winning contests (Scott Kaczorowski)
  Small kettle vs big beer (Charles Burns)
  RE: re: p-cooking wort ("Rich, Charles")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 09:16:21 -0400 From: melathome at juno.com (Mel D Irvin) Subject: burners, maple & honey >Date: Mon, 06 Oct 1997 22:51:30 -0400 >From: James Wolff <jwolff at eci.com> >Subject: Got a burnin' question! > I've only made about a half-dozen batches, but already my >wife >is not a big fan of the brewing process. She loves the end result, >mind >you, but she can do without the "brew stank" (her words) that lingers >in >the house for a day or so after I brew. She has so helpfully >suggested >that I move my beermaking activities to the basement or garage. >However, >neither location has a stove! > >In catalogs and magazines, I've seen propane burners advertised. As I >have >limited funds for my new hobby, I'm hoping to pick one up secondhand, >although from where I'm not sure. What BTU rating should I be looking >for? Got my "king kooker" 170,000BTU from Cabelas (mail order) for < $50 for the same reasons. Boils 5 gallons of water in under 10 minutes. >------------------------------ >Date: Tue, 7 Oct 1997 07:06:20 -0400 >From: i.brew2 at juno.com >Subject: Maple Porter > >I have a neighbor who is a Maple Syrup producer. I wanted to make him >some Maple Porter with his syrup. I have an extract based kit. Would >someone make a suggestion as to how much syrup to add for a 5 gallon >batch? I don't want this to be exceptionaly high in alcohol. Also, >does >maple syrup produce the kind of off flavors that refined sugars do? I >have had suggestions to add from one pint to one gallon to just using >it >to prime at botteling, but no one seems to have really done it, just >guessing. > There is a recipe in Charlies P's second book to use the unboiled maple sap for a recipe. I alos have some good friends who tap trees, and I intend to try the recipe this spring. If I recall correctly it calls for 5 gallons of sap, basically substituting this for water. >------------------------------ >Date: Tue, 07 Oct 1997 09:54:53 +0000 >From: John Penn <john_penn at jhuapl.edu> >Subject: honey > >Honey is about 1.036 ppg and very roughly 1 cup of honey is about 12oz >by weight. So 2/3 cup is about 8oz by weight which is 18 pts. >Compare >this to 4oz of corn sugar at 1.045 ppg which corresponds to 11.25 pts. >to carbonate. So I think 2/3 cup is a little high (~= 6oz corn >sugar), >I'd shoot for 1/2 cup or slightly less depending on how much >carbonation >you want. Hope that helps. I prime almost exclusively with honey, and use 1/3 of a cup (kegging) to avoid over carbonation Mel Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 13:31:23 -0500 From: ajdel at mindspring.com (A. J. deLange) Subject: "As CaCO3"/Honey/Art;Science;Engineering Brian Dixon posted on calculation of bicarbonate from alkalinity as CaCO3. While I agree with the math I don't agree with the use of the gram molecular weight of CaCO3 as the conversion factor between "as CaCO3" numbers and equivalence. I am aware that this is sometimes and I mentioned in a post last week that one alkalinity test kit manufacturer uses this definition as well but most kit manufacturers and authors use the gram equivalent weight definition. In particular, most water laboratories adhere to Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater which uses the gram equivalent definition. Thus the vast majority of brewers receiving water reports will find that the reported alkalinity is the amount of acid required for titration multiplied by 50,000 (and in fact the definition of alkalinity uses 50,000, rather than the actual equivalent weight of CaCO3 which is slightly different) not 100,000 (acid in equivalents, alkalinity in mg/L as CaCO3). With a reported alkalinity of 128 (example in Brian's post) the brewer shouyld assume the equivalence of bicarbonate is (128)/(50) or approximately 2.56 mEq/L. The weight of bicarbonate would then be (2.56)(61) = 156 mg/L. I am still looking for sources (other than Fix - I'm aware of that one) that use the gram molecular weight definition rather than the Standard Methods definition. If anyone can point me at one or more of these I'd like to hear about it. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Honey is, of course, a solution of sugar in water. In particular it is a solution of at least 81.5 Brix (level required to suppress fermentation) but usually not more than 83.5 Brix. Thus a pound of honey will contain 0.815 to 0.835 pound of sugar. One should be able to calculate priming additions on that basis but why waste good honey on production of a little gas? * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * I've been practicing engineering for over 30 yrs (can that really be true?) and have always thougt it was, like brewing, an ecclecticism of art and science. A. J. deLange - Numquam in dubio, saepe in errore. - --> --> --> To reply remove "nosp" from address. <-- <-- Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 06:47:36 -0700 From: dwhitwell at foxcomm.net (David Whitwell) Subject: Oxygenation First, my two cents on the recent discussions about whether or not the HBD is too scientific: Jim Busch said it best back in HBD #1970....if you don't want to read something in the digest, "Piss off and scroll down for crissakes." <G> Has become my philosophy for the HBD and the MLD....keep up the great posts, everyone. Second, thanks to all of you who sent info on oxygenation of my Belgian Strong. It started bubbling in less than 3 hours, and reached high krausen in less than 12, and has been furiously working for the last 6 days (will this thing ever quit?). I found that my aquarium tubing fit nicely into the OA setup's oxygen tank valve, and could be held there and sealed up with duct tape. I'm going to take someone's advice and get a hose-barb fitting to attach my plastic tubing to. Also, it's my second use of my modified "Son of Fermentation Chiller", which really has let me keep the temp constant. You should really check it out at Marty's Homebrew Gadgets, http://hbd.org/users/mtippin/ if you don't have room for a fridge and a temp controller. Finally, a question: I ozygenated using an aquarium stone, and found that the fine bubbles it produced quickly overran my 6 1/2 gal carboy with foam. I figured fine bubbles would be more efficient in oxygenation than course bubbles, but I'm not sure how to overcome this foaming for long enough to get the oxygenation completed. Any suggestions? Brew On! David Whitwell Half Whit Brewing, Tacoma, WA "Because Half the Whits Brew, and Half the Whits Don't" Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 08:50:03 -0600 From: Darrell <darrell at montrose.net> Subject: Propane Burner/GABF (Sort of...) James Wolff asks about Propane Burners: You can look for an old "weed burner" at garage sales. This is the same basic element without the stand. You could then make your own stand, or just make a stand for your brewpot, and aim the burner at the base. If you like to make gadgets, all you have to do is look at one, and they're a snap to make. I made a second unit, and I'll never buy another one again. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> I have 2 questions regarding Brewpubs in Denver that may have been visited during the GABF by some HBD'ers. I was there the week before, teaching a seminar, and couldn't get back up for the GABF, but at least I beat the crowds!!! 1. Did anyone go to the Rock Bottom Brewery, and try their Cask Conditioned Ale? It is their Red Ale (I don't remember the name). I tried one, and I couldn't drink it. Maybe the cask had been there too long, but it was bad. If that was the problem, after enough people tried it, they would have gotten into a fresh cask and it would have maybe been OK. Did anyone else try this beer? Did you try it early or late in the week? What did you you think? They tried to tell me it was fine, but I'm afraid I've had too many real ales in the UK to buy into that. 2. The Pints Pub has their own Cask Conditioned Ale that was an E.S.B. I ordered one, and thought I got a Porter!! It was so dark you couldn't see through it, and it had the complex flavor structure of a Porter. Although it was fresh and served properly, I never would have thought it was an E.S.B. Honestly, if I had just been served this beer as a blind sample, I would have thought I was drinking a Porter. Are the guidlines *really* that broad for an E.S.B.? I thought gold to copper with 14 SRM being the upper end of the scale was the range for an E.S.B. (At least that's how the one *I* just brewed looks!!!) For local Denver-ites who may frequent these places, please don't get me wrong. I love both these places! I'm not trying to slam either one. I'm just commenting on unusual experiences at both estabilishments. I will eagerly go back to both places on my next jaunt up to Denver. Brew on. - -- Darrell Garton Montrose, CO Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 09:56:53 -0500 (CDT) From: Aaron A Sepanski <sepan001 at uwp.edu> Subject: Re: Vanilla beans Have you tried looking for vanilla beans at your area gormet restaurant? I'm sure if you explained your predicament they would be happy give you a hand. You should try natural vanilla, that sounds neat. In fact, if you feel like sending the recipee, please do so. Thanks, Aaron Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 10:10:28 -0500 (CDT) From: Aaron A Sepanski <sepan001 at uwp.edu> Subject: Re: Prolonged fermentation It's not unusual for fermentation to last for 7-10 days. In fact, I no longer us3e the bubling as my indication of completed ferm. Look at the beer. When it gets clear, then rack. Usually 7-10 days. If you have an infection, "bubbling" will still subside, because there is still limited nutrients available. Aaron Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 10:14:04 -0500 (CDT) From: Aaron A Sepanski <sepan001 at uwp.edu> Subject: Re: Fermentation Restarted No this isn't strange, if you think of the headspace in a carboy. You said you had an OG in the 70's. You said it went to the 30's. In order to know that it went to the 30's, you had to check it. When you checked it, you released the pressure in the carboy. Fermentation probably never stopped, but you no longer had sufficient pressure to make the airlock bubble. I could be wrong, just a thought. Aaron Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 97 08:26 PDT From: cburns at egusd.k12.ca.us (Charles Burns) Subject: Ken Koupal - Retraction Dubbel Ken, I got your note from Steve Eason last night but I can't get you're email address to work - keeps bouncing back user unknown. Send me an email directly and I'll send you my home address. Please excuse the use of bandwidth, but he (Ken) promised a bottle of free beer! Charley (thirsty) in N.Cal Return to table of contents
Date: 10 Oct 1997 11:15:01 -0400 From: "John Penn" <john_penn at spacemail.jhuapl.edu> Subject: chocolate mint stout Subject: Time:10:47 AM OFFICE MEMO chocolate mint stout Date:10/10/97 I've been asked about the chocolate mint stout that I recently brewed so I'll post what I did. This is based on a recipe in "The Homebrewer's Recipe Guide" (I think) with some variations so I don't claim credit for this one. The beer is very good and should get better--its only a couple weeks old. There's also an excellent chocolate stout recipe in the Cats Meow that uses a little ginger but this one is almost as good. Any effects from the mint must be very subtle, I can only taste and smell the chocolate in the beer. Next time I'll use more mint. I'll brew it again next spring or summer when I can get fresh leaves but I'll try not to use damp leaves as that may have thrown off my measurements. Here it tis: Mint Chocolate Stout ~9.4 # M&F light malt extract syrup (or 7# Dry malt extract) 1# 60L crystal malt 1# chocolate malt 1/2# roasted barley 1-2 oz black patent 6 oz cocoa ~1.5 oz fresh mint leaves in the boil (15 min? I think) ~1.5 oz fresh mint leaves soaked in a small amount of vodka then added after fermentation slowed. 2 oz Cascade (5.5%) bittering hops (45 min boil) 3/4 oz Hallertau hops (3.1%) (2 min-aroma) Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale Yeast Steep grains, add malt, and bittering hops and boil for 45 mins. Add chocolate (30 mins? I think). This was a 2.5 gallon concentrated boil for a 5 gallon batch. Add mint leaves during last 15 mins? Add aroma hops and cool. Add cooled pre-boiled water to 5 gallon volume. Pitch yeast and aerate. I put about 1.5 oz of mint leaves in a jar with a little vodka and swirled that around. A few days later I added those to the fermenter and the mint aroma in the jar was strong and wonderful. It disappeared pretty much by bottling time so next time I'll probably double the amount of mint and maybe add more to the boil also. Bottled after a couple of weeks. OG ~1.074 estimated, ~1.073 as measured FG ~1.020 IBUs ~30 estimated. Let me know if you try it and how much mint worked for you. I will definately add more mint next time. Chocolate amount is about right. John Penn Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 11:19:16 -0400 (EDT) From: KennyEddy at aol.com Subject: Pressure Cooker Decoction Danny Breidenbach asks about pressure-cooker decoction. I'll answer the question then offer a couple of insights of my own based on my (limited) experience with the method. Pressure cooker decoction aims to emulate the flavor effects of a traditional decoction by pressure cooking thick first runnings from a mash (or a specially-prepared extract wort; see below). This is perceived to be simpler than a traditional decoction while retaining much of the effect in the finished product (the old "20% of the work for 80% of the effect" rule). It is also presumably more effective than simple boiling in its production of decocted flavor characteristics. First, a rundown of decoction mashing for those unfamiliar with the term. A decoction mash is performed by mashing in at some inital rest temperature (maybe 122F), then pulling out a portion (typically 1/3) of the wet grain along with some additional wort. The pulled portion is placed in a separate vessel, brought to saccharification temperature and rested, then boiled. After boiling, it is returned to the main mash. The boiling does several things. The "original" purpose was to liquefy, gelatinize, and liberate starch, to improve saccharification efficiency. This was necessary in the old days when crudely-malted grain was all that was available. Also, it provided a predictible means of temperature control before thermometers were available; the old-time brewers could do a multi-step mash with some degree of precision (art notwithstanding). Finally, and this is where we lead into pressure-cooker decoction, the boiling caramelized the wort sugars in the pulled portion and enhanced formation of melanoidins (compounds made form amino acids and sugars under the influence of high temperature; melanoidins contribute to rich malty flavor). Boiling also extracts tannins and stuff from the husks; this may be part of why a long cold storage -- a *lagering* period -- is needed for these types of beers. The long cold storage precipitates these compounds out of the beer. If we assume that our modern malts do not really require that last fraction of a percent of extraction efficiency be squeezed out, and if we have access to a thermometer, we can make a crude oversimplification and say the "only" benefit of decoction is the flavor it imparts to such classically-decocted styles as continental pilsners and most German lagers. Oversimplified as it may be, that statement does cover a big chunk of the truth. Pappazian, among others, has suggested vigorously boiling a small part of your main-batch wort, until the volume is greatly reduced, thickened, and darkened. Caramelization and melanoiding formation occur much more rapidly when the wort is thick, as it would be in the decoction mash tun. Perhaps easier than boiling relatively-thin fully-sparged wort until it thickens is to divert the already-thick first runnings from the mashtun. And to further accelerate the process, using a pressure cooker raises the temperature to perhaps 240F. The rate of chemical reactions increases rapidly with temeprature, so 30 minutes in a pressure cooker at 240F might be equivalent to a few times that at 212F. Extract brewers can make a thick "first-runnings" wort with 1/2 to 3/4 pounds extract for every quart of first-runnings wort desired. Remember that this extract is part of your total recipe, so deduct the amount used for this first-runnings wort from the total amount called for in the recipe when you add the remaining extract later in the process. You can process this wort while you steep grains and otherwise prepare for your extract brew session. Charlie Scandrett reported previously that a 30-minute open-air boil gave a "good pils maltiness" (paraphrasing) while pressure-cooked wort yielded a "true bock maltiness" (also paraphrasing). His process involves a couple other steps; search the HBD archives for "scandrett" and "p-decoct" to get details. How much wort should be pressure-cooked? Here's how I figure it. In a single decoction, typically one-third of the mash is pulled. This would be mostly wet grain and a little bit of wort. Drained wet grain contains about one pint of wort per pound of dry grain; assume that an additional pint per pound is pulled along with it. We would then have 1 quart per pound of grain pulled. And since we pull 1/3 of the grain, this amounts to 1/3 quart per pound of grain in the total recipe. In a typical 5-gallon recipe of 10 lb of grain, this would be about 3 quarts or so. So Jim Booth's figure of 11 quarts seems high; I wonder if this contributed to Jim's high FG. Maybe he was aiming for a "triple decoction"? In my case, I just kegged an OktoberAle in which I pressure-cooked 1/2 gallon of first runnings. This beer came out quite heavy, malty, and sweet, like Jim's, but there were other factors which may have contributed to this result. I did a 30-minute 138F rest (first time for this) before a relatively-high 154F saccharification (I usually hit 150 to 152), fermented cool for an ale (close to 60F), and I used Wyeast European Ale yeast, known for leaving a malty finish. The amount of wort I "decocted" was probably too small to make a big difference in my final gravity, but Jim's 11 quarts (almost 2-1/2 gallons!) is a pretty big chunk of *his* final product. BTW this beer seems to have some of the best heading character of any beer I've made since the wit I brewed a few months ago (which contains nearly 50% wheat); maybe there really *is* something to the 135 - 140 rest. ***** Ken Schwartz El Paso, TX KennyEddy at aol.com http://members.aol.com/kennyeddy Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 11:24:22 -0400 From: "Alan McKay" <Alan.McKay.amckay at nt.com> Subject: Andrew Agar's first mash Go Andrew! Congrats on finally making the move to all-grain. I'm sure after your very first batch you'll kick yourself in the butt for not doing it sooner. Anyway, to answer some questions : > Questions: 1) Mash water should be about 17-20 degrees hotter than desired > mash temp., right? I'm shooting for a 156F mash, so water at 173-176 > should do the trick, right? With a 1:1 ratio, you can count on 17F drop. More water, less drop. Less water, more drop. > 2) At 1.25 qts/lb., mash would be a touch over 10 qts of water. Sparge > volume would be about 4 gallons? I just sparge until I have enough. But yes, about 4 should do it. At 1.25qts/lb, you'll be looking at maybe a 15F drop in temp once you strike. (This is a ballpark guess) > 3) If I let the mash go for about 75 minutes, it should be OK, no? I > don't really want to worry about pH on the first one -- that can wait until > the 2nd or 3rd try. I always mash for 90 minutes, so 75 will be fine. Don't bother with pH right now if you really don't want to. If something drastic goes wrong and the beer doesn't turn out, make sure you check it next time. The probability of this being a problem is extremely low. -Alan - -- Alan McKay Nortel Enterprise Networks Norstar / Companion / Monterey Operations PC Support Prime Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 10:31:02 -0500 (CDT) From: Aaron A Sepanski <sepan001 at uwp.edu> Subject: Re: Science in brewing What everyone is saying, I agree with. I never said stop using science. I suggested talking to the rest of those people that don't understand it. Include others so that they may learn as well, facilitate their learning process. So know I am getting labled as someone that doesn't appreciate what people have to say, which is simply not true. I do care what people have to say. The longer it gets from my original post, the more misunderstood I become. It is clear I don't know anything about stamps. But now I know that the glue is important. Why can't the lot of us be that way with the science. Explain why it is important. This was my axiom from the beginning. But please don't try and throw something in my face like the fact I don't care what you say, or I am trying to restrict what you say. I am simply not that type of person. I think that all the science users on the HBD are really cheating themselves. You that use the nickel words do touch people, and help them learn, but the amount of people you touch could be increased ten fold if you would just take about 5 extra minutes and explain what it is you are saying. That's what I am talking about. And another thing, Dave. Unless you can read my personal email, than I would think that your statemnet regarding that all the comments I've recieved are in a "gentlemenly" manner to be largely unqualified. It is simply not the case. Aaron Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 11:29:17 -0400 From: "Alan McKay" <Alan.McKay.amckay at nt.com> Subject: re: Even more all-grain ramblings Brian Dixon writes : http://www.magma.ca/~bodnsatz/brew/tips/gadgets/ec-masher.html As Alan points out, the 3rd thing you often see in the bottom of a lauter tun is a slotted copper manifold. Easy to clean, easy to make, slightly lower efficiencies than either of the two above, but CAN be custom fit to virtually any lautering vessel. Alan responds with : Thanks for the plug, Brian. Coming soon to the site is a description of my manifold. The only correction my experience would make to the above is that I actually get better extraction from my copper manifold than I do from my EC-Masher. I do, however, suspect that the Phil's would be even better still, and keep meaning to run some tests on the two of them. The only problem I have with the Phil's, which I've already noted, is how easy it is to knock that damned hose loose from the thing while stirring. This is easily fixed with a piece of copper tubing instead of plastic, so it's no big deal. My friend Andrew designed one, and with his permission I'm going to post it to my page (giving him the credit, of course) -Alan - -- Alan McKay Nortel Enterprise Networks Norstar / Companion / Monterey Operations PC Support Prime Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 11:32:02 -0400 From: "Alan McKay" <Alan.McKay.amckay at nt.com> Subject: Readers and contributors outside of the USA Luke Morris wrote : Whoah ! Shouldn't that be *inter*national ? Don't forget the rest of the world that exists outside the US of A. I have read postings from England, Scotland, France, Germany, Austria, Australia, Venezuela, and a multitude of other countries which are no less important on the HBD. Alan responds with : Here! Here! Add Canada to that list as well, mate. cheers, -Alan - -- Alan McKay Nortel Enterprise Networks Norstar / Companion / Monterey Operations PC Support Prime Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 97 12:04:16 -0500 From: dajohnson at mail.biosis.org Subject: enviro-friendly sanitation Hey all, out of curiosity: My girlfriend and i are wondering what the most effective and ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY sanitation method is. I am currently using plain bleach and water. However, as an environmental scientist, she wants to stop supporting the chlorine industry altogether. I'm assuming that some sort of no-rinse sanitation solution would be best, but are the chemicals involved any better -- from an environmental standpoint -- than chlorine? Can anybody definitely recommend a particular solution (or 2)?? Thanks. dan johnson Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 11:15:04 -0500 (CDT) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: efficiency Alan found he had a bigger difference between an easymasher and slotted copper manifold than I did in my experiment. I'd like to suggest that the difference may be in the rate of taking the runnings. If you take the runnings quickly (I would call anything faster than 5 gallons in 45 minutes to be fast) there will be a bigger difference in efficiency than if you runoff slowly. You see, if the runnings come out slowly, the sparge water that is in the mashtun has time to extract sugars from the stagnant areas of the mash (by diffusion). If you run-off quickly, there is less time and more sugars remain in the stangnant areas. The larger the area from which runnings are taken, the smaller the areas of stagnant wort and the smaller the difference between fast run-off and slow. Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com My new website (still under construction, but up-and-running): http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 11:32:05 -0500 From: Workforce Development Council <lucaer at iols.com> Subject: Semi-newbie Questions Having lurked for months (and learned a lot), I am finally ready to = actually post something. I have three questions for the collective: 1. I still consider myself to be a beginner; I brew with extracts and = specialty grains. I prefer beers with a high degree of maltiness, but = I'm having a hard time getting good malt flavor in my beers. They smell = great and taste O.K. at bottling, but always seem to lose the malt = flavor by the time they are ready to consume. I've tried a number of = different extract brands (best results came with John Bull liquid = extracts) and have used a number of different Wyeast ale strains. Any = suggestions? 2. About a third of the batches I've produced seem to be overcarbonated. = I bottle with light DME, and have tried as little as 3/4 cup. I still = seem to get a very coarse-beaded carbonation. Is it possible that the = use of too little bottling sugar is responsible for the coarseness? In = other words, if more sugar is used, does the resulting higher pressure = produces in the bottle result in a finer bead? I suspect that the coarse = bead I'm getting also has an effect on the perceived malt flavor in the = beer, in that the carbonation tends to strip the flavor right off the = tongue. 3. Despite the problems all batches have been drinkable, and one in = particular turned out very nicely. So, I am going to take the plunge and = enter my first competition. Could some of the more experienced members = fill me in on the protocol involved in these things? The contest is = within driving distance and I intend to hand-deliver the entries. What = do I do on the day of the contest? Is it usual practice to show up, hang = around, and schmooze? All day? How are contestants notified of results? = How do you obtain the evaluation sheets for your entries? How do I avoid = looking like a totally confused neophyte? Am I being too anal-retentive = about the whole thing? (The last question is rhetorical.) Thanks in advance,=20 Rock Lucas Bigger Hammer Brewing Co., V. Ltd. Joliet, IL "A big job takes a Bigger Hammer!" Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 11:35:02 -0500 (CDT) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: EasyMasher vs. Phil's Phalse Bottom Brian writes: >I highly recommend Phil's phalse bottom over the EZ-masher. Both are >just fine. Zymurgy's tests consistently showed the Phil's phalse bottom >returning 2 to 3 pts/lb/gal more extract, e.g. this amounts to an >increase in efficiency of about 7%. Ahem... Al Korzonas' tests *published* in Zymurgy showed a Phil's Phalse Bottom(tm) *in*consistently returning 0.3 pts/lb/gal more than the EasyMasher(tm). Inconsistently, because I admitted this was a single test... a single set of datapoints. The difference between the best and worst (the grain bag in a bucket) systems was only about 3.5 points and the difference between the PPB, EM, Pico and copper manifold was less that that. The issue was the 1995 Special Issue (the Great Grains issue). Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com My new website (still under construction, but up-and-running): http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 09:55:11 -0700 From: jmattson at cport.com (John Mattson) Subject: Question on OG.... I'm puzzled and I hope someone can explain this to me..... I don't want to make no wimpy beers! Maybe someone can tell me why I had such a huge difference in original gravity when extract brewing with the exact same ingredients, using the same method and boiling for the same lengths of time. My last trip to Portland, OR. I picked up five 7 lb. tubs of Light LME at Steinbarts. I brewed 5 gal. last Sunday and my OG was 1.040 using 7 lbs. LME (Steinbarts own brand) It was a 1 hour boil with 1 lb. Crystal malt steeped for 25 minutes at 150, then removed (shut off burner at 150, turned back on for a while when temp dropped to 140). I brewed again Thursday evening using the same ingredients, same boiling and steeping times, but ended up with an OG of 1.022 and I can't figure out why it is 1/2 the gravity of Sunday's batch. What could cause the OG of this second batch to be so low? I checked my hydrometer in plain water and it read 1.000 exactly (thats what it should read in water correct?). While I'm asking questions, is the method and temp that I steep my grains OK? TIA, John (Kelso, WA.) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 97 10:25:19 -0700 From: brian_dixon at om.cv.hp.com Subject: Int'l Waters profiles, please! (was Re: Readers and contributors outside USA) [snip] >>Is it important to homebrewing? Yes -- some of the most active >>leaders meet and communicate here, in a way that other media can't >>support. It provides a national network that feeds discussion and [snip] >Whoah ! Shouldn't that be *inter*national ? Don't forget the rest of >the world that exists outside the US of A. I have read postings from >England, Scotland, France, Germany, Austria, Australia, Venezuela, and >a multitude of other countries which are no less important on the HBD. [snip] >Luke Morris >Brewing in Perth, Western Australia. I am a USA citizen living in the USA who couldn't agree more wholeheartedly. I get almighty sick of only seeing USA-related stuff (not just here, but everywhere). I personally DESIRE, APPRECIATE, and CELEBRATE the diversity that is available and wish we had MORE (beer?)! So, with public support voiced, and my high interest in "things not from the USA" voiced, let me make another request that I made awhile back. That was for water profiles from basically anyone. It's a bonus if it's from an area that has a strong core of brewers (home, micro, or large-scale brewing), but not required. I got lots of responses, but not very many from outside the USA. For example, I got none from England, Scotland, France, German, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, Venezuela, etc etc etc. ... but lots from the USA, and about a half dozen from Canada. How about it everyone? (And a BIG THANKS for those who HAVE sent info...thank you very much!) Do you live in: Canada, England, Scotland, France, Germany, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico (or the USA? Not that I'm ignoring you!) Can you please provide a water profile for your area. pH and the primary ions, alkalinity, and hardness are the basics that I'd like, but would like more if you have it. Here's the basic list: Your water's pH Ca (calcium) Mg (magnesium) Na (sodium) Cl (chloride) SO4 (sulphate) Hardness (as mg/L CaCO3 or whatever. Specify if Ca/Mg or HCO3/CO3 or what?) HCO3/CO3 and/or alkalinity (specify if your numbers are mg/L for the species or mg/L "as CaCO3") And any other ions you care to pass on! Thanks in advance! Brian ....................................................................... Item Subject: WINMAIL.DAT Couldn't convert Microsoft Mail Message Data item to text at a gateway. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 10:40:06 PDT From: Scott Kaczorowski <kacz at nfs.aisf.com> Subject: Winning contests Don Van V. says in HBD 2527 on winning contests: > Brew it BIG and brew it hoppy. I think this has been common 'wisdom' for those who've made a hobby of winning competitions. However, I've recently been involved in several competitions, the Pacific Brewers Cup being one, and IMO, this is not necessarily the case and is dependant on the specific competition. > It wasn't a big surprised to me that a triple won the Pacific Cup > recently. I was very fortunate to have judged on the first round panel that sent this beer to the BOS round (though I am unranked). This was a BEAUTIFUL beer that deserved to win. To dismiss it without having tasted it and it's competition is irresponsible. > However, when was the last time you saw a mild win best of show?? I would prefer to believe that this is rare because it is difficult to brew beers of such delicacy. When was the last time you tasted a Mild that *deserved* to win BOS? Specifically, when was the last time you even heard of a Mild that scored a 44-44-43 like the Triple did? At the Pacific Brewer's Cup, our panel judged 8 beers in almost 4 hours! Yup, we spent *30 minutes per beer*. I don't mean to flatter myself, but I guarantee that those beers all got judged to the best of our ability and within guidelines, with points deducted for out-of-style hopping and body. And in fact (<ulp> - maybe some ammo for you, Don...) the only reason the Tripel didn't score higher was that it had too much body. Was the same care present at other tables? Yeah, I think it was. One example of many competitions that probably proves nothing, sure... > only point to the subjective nature of contests and the > relevance of styles in contests. Judges are after all only human > and respond to alcohol and hops. Not all of the onus should be on the judges here. The brewer is responsible not only for NOT rebottling Duvel, but for also entering their beer in the appropriate category. When entering a beer, I guess one can hope for one of two things: The judges will (for whatever reason) be predisposed towards bigger (specifically, out-of-style) beers, or that they will be more objective. Personally, I'm gonna go with the latter and damn the ribbons. > Thus if you want to win a contest, brew it BIG and brew it HOPPY. > Brew it OUTSIDE the styles guidelines. How 'bout this: If you find yourself with a beer that doesn't fit well anywhere, pick the closest spot. Maybe you'll get lucky and put one over on the judges, maybe you'll get good comments on how to do it better next time, and maybe you'll get both. > Emulating a specific style is an exercise in ones technical brewing > skill and only tests ones ability to use a brew calculator. So which is it? Certainly they can't both be true and obviously the latter is not true. I firmly believe that getting the grain bill right is but a small part of the whole deal. Certainly it's important, but procedure, from yeast selection to mashing to fermenting is many many times more important than mere grist composition. Procedure is what separates the intermediate brewers from the advanced. And procedure is one of the reasons the extract vs. all-grain thing should be less relevant than it is. > It is not a necessarily test of creativity by any measure. > ... > but when it comes to creativity, look to the open category. The Tripel you mention was clearly a very creative beer. It was one of the best Tripels I've ever had, period. Chimay (I'm gonna get hammered for this...) tastes like a wet dog compared to this beer. And yet it bore little resemblence to most commercial Tripels I've had (Westmalle being the closest cousin). That is, it was not an obvious attempt at a clone. (Mike, Don: Have you looked at contract brewing? ;-) > What would happen if we had a contest where beers were categorized > according to their starting gravity within two major sub-groups; > ales and lagers? And---beers were given points for creativity. > Just one idea. And a good one. Sounds like a good project for the club, no? (As a snide aside: Gee, I can't WAIT to taste 2 dozen over-hopped beers...) Sorry for the length, and I hope this did not sound like flames for Don. I would hate to be banned from his shop ;-) Scott Kaczorowski Long Beach, CA kacz at aisf.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 97 11:00 PDT From: cburns at egusd.k12.ca.us (Charles Burns) Subject: Small kettle vs big beer (Al K's reply to the guy with the small kettle): >>Can you borrow a 10-gal pot for the day? How about another 5 gallon kettle and split your hops between the two kettles? You need to take at least 6.5 gallons of runnings and then boil that down to 5.5 gallons (you'll lose 1/2 gallon to hops and cold break) to get 5 gallons in the fermenter.<< [My question]:Does he really need to split the _hops_ between two kettles? Can he get pretty much the same hop utilization and character by boiling all the hops in one kettle and just the left over 2-3 gallons of wort in the other kettle? That way he doesn't have to lose so much wort in the second kettle (half gallon each kettle instead of only 1/2 gallon). I run into this sort of problem myself sometimes with my 8 gallon pot when making a really big beer. What I've done in the past is do the 3 or 4 gallon batch instead of a full 5. Charley Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 11:32:12 -0700 From: "Rich, Charles" <CRich at saros.com> Subject: RE: re: p-cooking wort In HBD #2527 Layne & Katrise Rossi offer Jim Booth advice re: low FG after pressure cooking some his first runnings. >1. Pressure cooking would have caramelized some simple fermentable sugars. >They are only contributing to sweetness this way. Actually, carmelization requires more heat than 15lbs (250F) of pressure delivers. Some may occur at the boundary layer on the bottom of his p-cooker but not much overall. Melanoidins account more for the color change. Steve Alexander and Charlie Scandrett have posted great material re: melanoidin development and carmelization here in the HBD about 3-6 months ago. I've p-cooked the entire wort collection for some beers and don't get unusual FG's; the usual 1012-1016. >2. The Hot break you strained off was mostly yeast nutrients and FAN. I >think that if you would have left some of this for your ferment there would >have been a higher attenuation. No, actually the material is hot break, which is formed from large molecular weight proteins. You really get hot break with conviction under pressure. The peptide and amino acid pool, along with head/body proteins are still happily in suspension. Since Danny Breidenbach asks, why do it? I do it to get that cooked, malty flavor associated with tradional decoctions, without the hassle (p-decoction). When I do it, I p-cook about 2-1/2 to 4 gallons out of a 12 gallon wort collection. I'd have no compunction cooking more but it becomes a nuisance with my current setup. I usually p-cook the first runnings at 15lbs for about 30-40 mins. I think there's room for art here though, longer at lower pressure will develop a different flavor than shorter at higher pressures. Charlie Scandrett has suggested adding additional specific sugars and heat regimens to duplicate specific tradional flavors such as candi, munich malt, etc. A world of effects at your doorstep. When it comes to doing traditional decoctions, nothing beats a pressure cooker for cooking the intermediate decoc fractions, no stirring, no burning, no exposure to air, less fuel. Be sure to use a second vessel with a lid (or covered with foil) to hold your grist inside your p-cooker when doing this. Good luck, Charles Rich (Seattle, USA) Good luck, Charles Rich Return to table of contents
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