HOMEBREW Digest #2550 Thu 06 November 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

  Re: Plastic bucket lauter-tun (Samuel Mize)
  A crazy idea for long term fermenter storage ("Arnold J. Neitzke")
  Trquair House Grain Bill / pumps (David C. Harsh)
  Re: Plastic Lauter Tun (Mark Witherspoon)
  Results of Stuck Fermentation ("Capt. Marc Battreall")
  When to rack question? ("Capt. Marc Battreall")
  RE:When to transfer to secondary? (Steve Haines)
  Squat vs Tall Unitank design notes ("Thor")
  Lager fermentation temperatures (Jeff Renner)
  Re: Wort Stability (Joe Rolfe)
  Malt Mill Review Article (Skip Jonas)
  Yeast Pitching ("John Robinson")
  Re: Magnetic stirrers for yeast culturing/ Vanilla extract ("Jesse Benbow")
  Value of Water Analyses / Gypsum for Acidification / Food-Grade Silicone (KennyEddy)
  RE: When to transfer to secondary? (LaBorde, Ronald)
  Re: Yeast Pitching (George De Piro)
  Droste Dutch cocoa powder (CHADRECORE)
  Sanitizing wort chillers (Danny Breidenbach)
  lag time? (Bryan Gros)
  Starters (Nicholas Bonfilio)
  First Infection (Nicholas Bonfilio)
  High-output gas burners -Reply (jjb)
  Basement brewing ("Raymond Estrella")
  Whitelabs yeast, bare-bones 3-tier brewery ("Steven W. Smith")
  Yeast/Wort/Agar formulae (Keith Busby)
  Molten rocks, dry yeast, and Ma Kettle (GuyG4)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 08:13:13 -0600 (CST) From: Samuel Mize <smize at prime.imagin.net> Subject: Re: Plastic bucket lauter-tun Greetings to all, and especially to: > HOMEBREW Digest #2548 Tue 04 November 1997 > > From: vland1 at juno.com (Vernon R Land) > Subject: Charles Papazian > > Everyone quotes Charles Papazian, is he still alive? I hope so, he just got married! (Happy Halloween, honey, and there's something I haven't told you about myself...) > Also, I use the 5 gallon plastic bucket lautertun described in his book > and it seems to work great. I have not seen any discussion on this type > of lautertun here and was wondering if I am the only one using it? Probably not, but most of the discussion here centers on either (1) more advanced stuff like yeast ranching or RIMS systems, or (2) helping brewers with problems. There's also a good bit of friendly chatter. If someone has a problem with a Zapap, it'll get discussed here; otherwise, there's not a lot left to say about it. It's simple, it works, other methods provide much more process control when you're ready for it. Best, Sam Mize - -- Samuel Mize -- smize at imagin.net -- Team Ada Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 08:42:48 -0500 (EST) From: "Arnold J. Neitzke" <neitzkea at frc.com> Subject: A crazy idea for long term fermenter storage I'm not sure why anyone would want to store beer in the fermenter for extended times, but a simple idea is this, make a mead! Why, you ask? Simple a mead will take a long time to ferment and will produce CO2 for a long time. So, place a blow-off tube from the mead to one of those orange carboy caps with two holes in it, in the second hole put a standard airlock and place this on your beer, the mead will keep dumping CO2 onto the beer for months. Of course this assumes that you have two carboys and the inclination to brew a mead and a beer at the same time. Making a mead is pretty simple and I did my first one at the end of September using Al K's recipe he posted awhile ago on the HBD and it is still bubbling the airlock. I guess if you wanted to protect for an even longer period, you could brew the mead a couple of weeks later and than use the above methode, however I assume that the reason to do this in the first place is because you don't have time at a later date to get to the beer for packaging. Oh yea, in 6 to 8 months you'll have a mead to deal with, darn :) I haven't tried this, it's just an idea. _________________________________________________________ Arnold J. Neitzke Internet Mail: neitzkea at frc.com Brighton, Mi CEO of the NightSky brewing Company - --------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 04 Nov 1997 09:29:17 -0500 From: David.Harsh at UC.Edu (David C. Harsh) Subject: Trquair House Grain Bill / pumps Charles Burns asks for a Traquair House grain bill: According to a former assistant brewer at Traquair House, the grain bill is listed in Noonan's Scotch Ale book (read the text), which states that the grain bill is 99% pale and 1% roasted black barley. To get the same character on the home scale, you will need to take 0.5 gal to 1 gal of the first runnings and reduce them to around 1 pint taking care not to burn them during the process. Traquair does a *very* long boil to get their caramelization in the kettle (i.e. over 3 hours) - ----------------------------- I'm looking for a pump for wort transfer usage out of the kettle (between the chiller and the carboy) I've seen stainless steel March pumps in US Plastic for around $100 - does anybody use these? Is there a better alternative somewhere? Private e-mail is fine and I'll post a summary if there is interest. TIA Dave &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& & Dave Harsh & & Bloatarian Brewing League; Cincinnati, OH & & Red Green uses duct tape - I prefer Parafilm & &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& O- Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 09:39:32 -0500 From: markw at nnr_email_srvr.dowjones.com (Mark Witherspoon) Subject: Re: Plastic Lauter Tun Also Sprach Vernon, >Also, I use the 5 gallon plastic bucket lautertun described in his book >and it seems to work great. I have not seen any discussion on this type >of lautertun here and was wondering if I am the only one using it? I made mine out of a couple of buckets given to me from the SA Brewpup in Philly. They go thru about 20 or so per batch they make. One I drilled 1/8 inch holes in the bottom (some where on the order of over 100 holes). I went down to a restraunt supply and picked up a replacement coffee spigot kit (with rubber washer), drilled a hole just to fit and put it together. As for cloudy runnings, it take me about 10-20 recirc's (using a 4 cup pyrex measuring cup) to get the runnings nice and clear. So don't worry about how long it takes to get clear it does help cut back on the haze that I got the first time I used my setup and did not let it clear. Mark Witherspoon, AKA David Ben Abraham Cherry Hill NJ Hometown of the Flying Fish Brewery Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 04 Nov 1997 09:57:59 -0500 From: "Capt. Marc Battreall" <batman at reefnet.com> Subject: Results of Stuck Fermentation Hello all; A few weeks back I posted a plea for help to Jeff Renner in regards to a Classic America Pilsner (Pre-Prohibition Lager) that had an obvious stuck fermentation. Thanks to Jeff's speedy reply offering his opinions and expertise the resulting brew was saved and so far has turned out fabulous. My guess is that this brew, as with most lagers, will only improve with aging. Here is what I did to remedy the situation: The grain bill was 10 lbs of 2 row and 2 lbs of flaked maize and underwent a mash of 115F/35 min (which later proved to be a factor), 145F/15 min, 158F/60 min, then mashed out at 170F/20 min. It had fermented nicely from OG 1.063 down to 1.040 in 8 days at 42F which was probably too cold as I discovered later. Then the ferment stuck so I racked it to the secondary hoping to arouse the remaining yeast and waited two more weeks. It only fermented down to about 1.030 and at this time realized that something had gone wrong. What I ended up doing was reviving the yeast sediment I had pulled from the primary and re-pitched it thus bringing the fermentation activity back. It is now about 6 weeks later and the SG came down to 1.020 and I believe that is at low as it's going. The beer has a definate protein chill haze, but tastes fantastic! Here is a summary of my lessons learned: #1 Keep the protein rest shorter if not excluding it altogether. #2 Lager primary fermentation temps should be kept between 48-56F - -- (of course I knew that already...colder IS NOT always better!) #3 Go ahead and salvage the yeast from the primary even if you are not a yeast rancher. You may need it and you can always throw it down the drain if you want later. ( I have always done this) #4 Use and trust your hydrometer. (This one's a no brainer for me because I'm a pilot and live by the words "Always trust your instuments") Hope this helps someone out there.... (PS Thanks alot Jeff!) Capt. Marc D. Battreall batman at reefnet.com in The Fabulous Florida Keys future site of "The BackCountry Brewhouse" Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 04 Nov 1997 10:10:11 -0500 From: "Capt. Marc Battreall" <batman at reefnet.com> Subject: When to rack question? Hello y'all; Got a puzzling situation going here. I have a Marzen that has been in the primary for two weeks at 50F and was preparing to rack it to the secondary for conditioning and had an interesting dilemna. For this batch I have been using Greg Noonans' New Brewing Lager Beer as a guideline. According to it, I should "rack the beer off its sediment when its density is one third or less of the wort density (OG). But it should be free of any foam cover". This is where I wonder, which is more important? I had an OG of 1.063 and the SG is now 1.024 which is about 38% but there is about a half inch of foam on top. The fermentation activity has slowed to almost nothing. Or is it more important to get it off the trub? I recently had a problem with a stuck fermentation and I certainly don't want to go there again! Any suggestions will be appreciated. TIA, Marc - -- Capt. Marc D. Battreall batman at reefnet.com in The Fabulous Florida Keys future site of "The BackCountry Brewhouse" Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 10:20:08 -0500 From: Steve Haines <shaines at VERSATILITY.com> Subject: RE:When to transfer to secondary? I have read that you should rack to a secondary when the goal of primary fermentation is achieved, in this case I would wait until fermentation was completed then rack to a secondary. CO2 will still escape slowly from the beer and push out the oxygen. I believe the rotten egg smell during fermentation is normal also. I bring my lagers to room temp. (68-70O) for 3-5 days, and then lower it back down to 40 until I'm ready to bottle/keg. ______________ Stephen A. Haines Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 08:24:01 +0000 From: "Thor" <thor at valhallabrewing.com> Subject: Squat vs Tall Unitank design notes I got the idea for this article after reading George and Laurie FIx's new book "An Analysis of Brewing Techniques". Its a great book to add to your collection in my opinion. Thanks Fix & Fix. The actual article is on my homebrew clubs web site with pictures, tables and acrobat stuff for the equations. If the article refers to a picture, you might check out the site to see what I mean. ( http://www.valhallabrewing.com/dboard/unidsgn.htm ) I apologize for the inconvenience. If your not into unitanks or engineering you might want to tap the old PageDown button. Introduction For quite some time now, I've been planning on building a unitank for my brewery. After designing a traditional Tall unitank, I purchased the new book by George and Laurie Fix called "An Analysis of Brewing Techniques". I was happy to find that the new book had information about unitanks and design considerations that effect fermentation and the finally product. One of the main geometric considerations described in the book is that a squat unitank gave more consistent results than the traditional tall design. With this in mind, I decided to examine some of the costs and problems associated with design of a squat fermenter instead of a tall fermenter. For my study, I used a 24 gallons total volume as a requirement. <pic and caption snipped> In order to compare the two vessels, I calculated the size of the cylinder and cone for each vessel and then did volume calculations. The tall vessel has a radius of 7" in the cylinder because stainless sheet conservation. for example: 24 gallons total volume Tall Squat Height of cylinder 32.9" 17" Height of cone 12.1" 15.6" Radius of cylinder 7" 9" Volume of cylinder 21.9g 15.8g Volume of cone 2.7g 5.7g percentage of wort in cone 11% 26.5% In many unitank fermenters, temperature control is achieved by pumping chilled glycol around a jacket covering the fermenter. Regulation of the temperature occurs either by turning the pump to the glycol on and off or by a valve which regulates its flow. In homebrewery unitanks where the volume is less than 1 barrel, the glycol jacket does not completely cover the vessel. Instead, these fermenters have a small chill band placed around the fermenters' cylinder. For example: <pic snipped> The reason that a chill band is used instead of covering the whole vessel with a jacket is probably to reduce the cost of fabrication. It is assumed that since most to the wort is in the cylinder portion of the fermenter, the small amount of un-chilled wort in the cone will be insignificant. In the squat fermenter design however, there is 2.5 times as much wort in the cone as in the tall fermenter. If you take in account that these fermenters are not design to be filled to the top, you have an even greater percentage of beer in the cone. For example, assuming you fill the fermenter allowing for 20% head space, you now have 1/3 of the wort in the cone in the squat design. It may therefore be necessary to chill the cone as well as the cylinder above in order to avoid large temperature gradients. Possible consequences Assuming that the squat fermenter will require a jacket around the entire fermenter, there are several consequences. These may include: 1) Increased cost of chilling. A larger volume of glycol will be required in the squat fermenter design. Many small fermenters are not insulated with a barrier between the glycol jacket and the outside atmosphere. Since a larger jacket leads to greater surface area to contact the outside air, you can expect larger loses of glycol temperature due to lack of insulation. This may even necessitate insulating the fermenter at additional cost. 2) Increased cost of fabricating the fermenter. This is an obvious problem. There will be very definite cost associated with building a second cone around the bottom to house the glycol and additional costs in getting the glycol to circulate around the jacket uniformly. 3) More problems with cold spots due the the relative glycol chilling to volume of wort at the bottom of the cone. At the tip of the cone, the amount of wort becomes very small. If the volume of glycol in the outside jacket is determined by a constant distance from the inside shell there may be a problem with too much cooling at the base. This may also be acerbated by the fact that the cool wort will want to settle in the cone due to thermodynamic currents. (This may be avoided by making an outside cone with greater than a 60 degree angle so that the distance from the inside jacket is less as you measure close to the tip of the cone but its going to be hard to fabricate.) Comments If I made any of my comments unclear, feel free to email me and I'll try to make it more clear. None of my ramblings are meant to be taken for fact. This is article is meant as a way of discussing unitank design and your comments are very much desired and welcome. - ----------------------------------------------------------- My web page and 20 gallon stainless brewery at http://www.valhallabrewing.com/ AHA club The Draught Board Homebrew Club at http://www.valhallabrewing.com/dboard/index.htm Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 11:38:15 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Lager fermentation temperatures HBDers I've always fermented lagers in the upper 40sF, following what I recalled reading about Continental practice. So it came as a surprise to me this summer when visiting a small, very old Midwestern brewery whose brewmaster said that they ferment at 58 degrees F. Last week, the German trained (Weihenstephan (?) Master's Diploma) brewer at a Midwestern microbrewery told me that they ferment their lagers, including the Pilsener, with Wyeast 2124 at 60 degrees F right from the start! It's a very clean pils. And Dan MacConnell heard from a German supplier that the modern German practice is to ferment at two atmospheres pressure at 68F using a specially selected lager yeast, which also allows rapid lagering under pressure at 50 degrees F! Wow! That means a real shortening of time for commercial brewers who can maintain pressure. One of the Ann Arbor Brewers' Guild members has rigged an adjustable pressure relief valve with guage on a Corney and is trying this yeast. I promised a friend beer for her wedding, and she decided on a CAP only five weeks before the wedding (I've consistently found that women who like beer like CAP, giving lie to that old argument that American lagers were watered down for women). So, following the German brewer's advice (and using some 2124 from that brewery), I'm fermenting at 60F. We'll see how it does. (In spite of pitching 1 fl. oz. thick yeast paste per gallon of aerated 1,048 wort, I had a surprising 36 hr lag time before visible kraeusen. I suspect that this was due to the yeast coming from a 32F lagering tank two weeks post fermentation.) I've checked some of the homebrewing literature about temperature recommendations, and none recommend anything this warm (I don't have any professional texts): Greg Noonan in "New Brewing Lager Beers:" "Ideally, the maximum temperature should not rise above 47 to 52 degrees when employing traditional lager yeasts." Dave Miller in TCHHB: "As a rule, most lager yeasts ferment best at 50^ to 55^F." Miller in "Continental Pilsener" describing PU: "The yeast is pitched at 40 degrees and fermentation lasts twelve to fourteen days at a temperature near 46 degrees F." Same source describing all-malt continental pilseners: "Fermentation is usually briefer, with the temperature being allowed to rise during the process from around 48 degrees F at pitching to perhaps as high as 60 degrees F at the end." Darryl Richman in "Bock:" ...the primary fermentation will be held within the 41 to 50 degrees range, going and staying as low as the brewer believes the yeast will tolerate." Perhaps otherw would like to contribute to this topic. Jeff -=-=-=-=- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan c/o nerenner at umich.edu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 10:26:26 -0500 (EST) From: Joe Rolfe <onbc at shore.net> Subject: Re: Wort Stability a partial how to for doing wort stability.... be carefull how you sample the wort... use sterile glassware, and flame sample at the end of your heat exchanger (if you have one) sample at the post aeration section (if you have one) sample at the end of a hose/pipe - before fermenter and sample at the fermenter before pitching these point will help isolate "parts" in searching for an "unwanted visitor" take another sample after you pitch, this will be used for taking the expected gravity, and you might want to plate before incubation (pick a medium related to the "bug" you are looking for) or use it to put yeast away (how every you choose to do it) the temperature of the incubation is debatable (try 80F or a little higher) the samples of unpitch wort should stay stable for atleast 3 days (no gas no stench, no strange hazy crap....- try sniff and taste (if you dare...) once you have a "bug" you might want to look at them with a scope, gram stain and maybe save it for posterity...who knows lambic are full of everthing these days.... the pitched sample should ferment out in short time, shake it often, if you want to get real scientific you can do populations before and after well got to go joe jrolfe at mc.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 12:25:14 -0500 (EST) From: Skip Jonas <skip at eclipse.net> Subject: Malt Mill Review Article Hi Folks, I've been rummaging through recent copies of Zymurgy and Brewing Techniques, looking for a review of homebrewing-sized malt mills. I thought that I had seen such an article within the last few months but can't find it at the moment. I may have read it in a publication other than the above two...Any help from better-memoried members of the collective? TIA & Cheers! Skip Jonas skip at eclipse.net Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 13:37:46 +0000 From: "John Robinson" <robinson at novalis.ca> Subject: Yeast Pitching Hi all, In HBD #2548, George DePiro posted an excellent article on stepping up yeast starters. I thought I would throw my 2 cents worth in, as much to get feedback from George and others as to toss out an alternative to the approach George posted. I proceed as follows: 1) Pop Wyeast pouch and allow to swell 2) make up 1-2 L of 1.020 wort and put in 1 gallon jug 3) pitch yeast into jug and allow to ferment out 4) Make up more wort, SG about 1.020 5) Drain clear starter beer from 1 gallon jug and goto step 3 One advantage of this approach over George's method is that one does not have to transfer the yeast from one container to the next. One potential disadvantage is that the first addition of wort to the yeast is likely to be a larger than 10X increase, and thus technically one is underpitching on the first addition. Practially I'm not convinced it is a problem. If you stick with half a gallon of liquid, the yeast population will increase each time. If you repeat this two or three times, you will end up with a sizeable collection of yeast slurry. I have not measured how much, and that leads me to another question. Is there a standard way to measure the volume of yeast slurry? I ask because I've seen a 750 ml volume of yeast (slightly less than half a 2L PET bottle) compact into a tight cake two inches high when cooled in a fridge. At what point is it appropriate to measure the volume of slurry? - --- John Robinson "When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. Software Developer I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I NovaLIS Technologies have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know robinson at novalis.ca it is wrong." - Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 09:47:57 +0000 From: "Jesse Benbow" <benbowj at ava.bcc.orst.edu> Subject: Re: Magnetic stirrers for yeast culturing/ Vanilla extract In HBD #2548, Kyle Druey asks about using a magnetic stir plate for growing starter cultures: I think that using a magnetic stir plate would be a great idea for getting a large starter going quickly, but I don't know if it would be worth $75 dollars (I can think of a lot of other brew toys I could spend the money on). At work, we use a mechanical shaker which constantly agitates the culture to get yeast cultures going (not brewing yeast, unfortunately). The flasks are "sealed" with foil caps, so stuff doesn't get in, but there is some air exchange. Cultures that are shaken have much more growth than those that are left still. I assume that this is due to the constant aeration. Someone posted an article here a little while ago about maximizing the surface area of yeast starters for maximum aeration in order to generate a lot of yeast in not so much liquid (Sorry, I forgot the name and digest number, and couldn't find it in the archives). Anyways, I think that a magnetic stirrer would do the same thing (that is, constant aeration, and therefore rapid yeast growth). I looked in some laboratory supply books, and couldn't find a magnetic stir plate for under $75 dollars, so it seems like an OK price if you really want one. ----------------------------------------------------------------- This weekend I'm planning on making a wheat/oatmeal beer that I'd like to add some vanilla extract to at bottling for flavor and aroma. I'm also considering making a tea with some cinnamon sticks and adding that at the same time. Couldn't find anything on adding it at bottling in the archives, so has anyone else done this? If so, how much did you use and how did it turn out? Private email on this is fine, and if anyone is interested in the responses let me know and I can forward them to you. Thanks, Jesse Benbow in Medford, Oregon Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 13:32:08 -0500 (EST) From: KennyEddy at aol.com Subject: Value of Water Analyses / Gypsum for Acidification / Food-Grade Silicone Scott Murman suggests municipal water analyses are not worth the paper their printed on, and asks for comments. I agree that the *accuracy* of the figures they provide are subject to huge variations, and from that aspect, their value is limited. However, what my water's analysis told me very plainly was that I shouldn't be brewing with it. El Paso is located just south of the White Sands NM area, which was formed from the evaporation of an inland sea millions of years ago. What are left behind are huge tracts of gypsum and other salt fields. Thus, my city water has sodium, sulfate, and chloride ions in excess of 100 ppm (from some wells). Alkalinity runs quite high too. Despite the high gypsum levels, the calcium content is a bit too low for reliable mashing. This is what started me on the path to building water from RO water, and ultimately what led me to develop the BreWater water treatment software (available free from my web page -- I've also posted El Paso's water analysis figures if you're interested). ***** Once again a reference to using gypsum to lower water pH has come up, so I thought I'd take this opportunity (speaking of water chemistry) to reiterate that gypsum in and of itself does not appreciably alter water pH. It is the effect of the gypsum's calcium with compounds *in the mash* that form H+ ions (acid), which is the mechanism by which gypsum changes the pH of the mash. Without the malt compounds, all gyspum does is add calcium and sulfate to the water. Note that calcium chloride will have the same acidifying effect on a mash as gypsum, and is arguably a better choice since excess chloride is far less offensive than excess sulfate. Also note that chalk -- calcium carbonate -- will *raise* mash pH despite the calcium content, since the carbonate has a stronger pH "pull" upward than the calcium's downward "pull" when reacting with mash constiuents. ***** Chris Dodge asks about food-grade silicone sealant. I've used DAP #8641, available at Builder's Square (and probably other such stores) for about the same price as the other silicone sealants. It's made by Dow-Corning and is sold as "DAP 100% Silicone Sealant" in the caulk-gun tube (about $4). It doesn't have any more identification that that, other than a note on the UPC symbol that says "Reorder Cat No 8641". It claims 25% joint mobility and -40F to +400F operation. There is a note on the tube which reads: "Safe for food contact: When cured and washed, ingredients which remain or which could migrate to food are listed in FDA Regulation No. 21CFR177 2600" I'd suggest you contact Dow Corning (ask for an MSDS for this product) and/or the FDA (ask for info on the above regulation) concerning this before you just plug away with it, but it appears from this note that you should be OK especially using it in small amounts. ***** Ken Schwartz El Paso, TX KennyEddy at aol.com http://members.aol.com/kennyeddy Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 12:39:34 -0600 From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: RE: When to transfer to secondary? From: Eric Pendergrass <eap at netdoor.com> ..Two concerns I have regard oxidation and diacetyl/off-flavor reduction. ..First, would it be better to go ahead and rack to the secondary while a ..significant amount of CO2 is still being produced (in order that a CO2 ..blanket would more quickly form over the racked beer in the secondary, ..preventing oxidation)? How about using a 2 hole stopper in the empty secondary with airlock installed in one hole and in the other hole a tubing then connected to the outgassing primary. This will purge the oxygen out of the secondary with the gasses from the primary. ???? ..On a related note, I have noticed a rotten egg smell in my fridge, and I ..know this is oft encountered during lager fermentation. Is there anything I ..should or shouldn't do in order to ensure it does not end up in the final ..product? I sort of think of the smell like this - if it's comming out of the airlock, then it's also comming out of the beer. Thanks yeast, good job fellas. Happy Brewing Ron Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 14:08:40 -0800 From: George_De_Piro at berlex.com (George De Piro) Subject: Re: Yeast Pitching Hi all, In response to John's post responding to my post about yeast growing, I have the following to say: 1. First, it is crucial not to underpitch, *especially* during the early stages of the growing program. The main reason is that you absolutely do not want wild bugs getting any kind of foothold in your starter. They could possibly grow to large numbers, along with the brewing strain, and ruin your culture. That would be a bad thing. It is better to step up in too small an increment than too big. (Of course, many of us make good beer even when slightly underpitching during step-ups; I'm just posting the theoretical optimum. If your sanitation is very good, you can get away with a bit). 2. You don't need to use different containers for each step; I use a 1 gallon glass jug for all steps (excess headspace = air = oxygen = good thing for yeast growing). 3. I prefer to let the yeast grow in a higher gravity wort for the last step before pitching. In this way, it is more acclimated to the wort it will ferment. I don't know how critical that is, though. 4. Measuring yeast slurry volume: I haven't a clue! It does compact quite a bit upon cool storage. I just stick with the routine I outlined in my last HBD post. Have fun! George Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 14:29:35 -0500 (EST) From: CHADRECORE at aol.com Subject: Droste Dutch cocoa powder Hey all, looking for a source our substitute and some discussion on Droste Dutch cocoa powder as an ingredient in a chocolate cream stout I wish to make soon to have ready for Christmas. thanks, chad Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 04 Nov 1997 15:35:36 -0500 From: Danny Breidenbach <DBreidenbach at nctm.org> Subject: Sanitizing wort chillers Hi, I'm looking for suggestions on how to sanitize my wort chiller. My wort chiller consists of a coil of copper inside a plastic bucket. I put ice & water in the bucket, then I run the wort through the copper. The copper tube is permanently affixed to the bucket where the tube passes through the bucket wall. I typically clean the tubing after use by simply rinsing. Before use, I sanitize by running boiling water through the copper for a bit before I put the ice & water in the bucket. I'm not convinced that my method is effective, since I've had a couple of batches go gross on me. I don't know that I have a problem at this stage, but I would like to rule it out. Thanks for any advice! - --Danny Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 04 Nov 1997 13:34:18 -0800 From: Bryan Gros <gros at bigfoot.com> Subject: lag time? The "how many cells do I pitch" comments all seem to make the same assumption: the shorter the lag time, the better. Certainly, this is not a bad idea, but there are other measures of yeast "health". Like attenuation. Underpitching will generally result in unattenuated beers. Is lag time the most important thing for a homebrewer to monitor? - Bryan Bryan Gros gros at bigfoot.com Draught Board: http://www.dnai.com/~thor/dboard/index.htm Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 04 Nov 1997 00:58:15 -0800 From: Nicholas Bonfilio <nicholas at Remedy.COM> Subject: Starters Recently there has been discussion about using starters to help reduce lag time and possible infections. I have never used a starter before and am interested in do so. I primarily use Wyeast and I see directions for starters on the packages, but I need to know more than what is printed there. I would like to know how you starter-using folks store your starter until your wort is boiled and cooled. How do you store it to prevent contamination? Do you need to put an airlock on it or can I just put it into a sanitized plastic container with a lid? Do you store it at room temperature or in the refrigerator? Approximately how long do you let the starter prime before pitching into the cooled wort? Nick Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 04 Nov 1997 01:20:05 -0800 From: Nicholas Bonfilio <nicholas at Remedy.COM> Subject: First Infection I read through some of the old HBD archives to find out how to tell with greater certainty whether my latest batch of Red Ale has an infection. I am sorry to say that I could not immediately find an answer. Several of the postings I read were just like this one--someone asking about a possible infection in their batch and no answers appeared. (An Aside: As a result of my difficult search for answers, I realize that it is valuable sending summaries of findings back to the digest in hopes of covering answers for future searchers...) Anyway, I am fairly certain that I do have an infection--I should have expected as much. I noticed a sulferous scent in my batch and after tasting a sip, I had to spit it out because of a sour taste. I racked to my secondary anyway and will ensure it is bad, in a day or two. I mentioned the expectations of an infection because I checked the fermenter for activity the day after brewing and noticed that my air lock "didn't take." I poured more water into the airlock to fix it and heard it drain right into the batch! I had to reseat the airlock before adding more water which finally held the lock appropriately. It only was a day, but I think the damage has been done. I hate the fact that I wasted time and energy only to make an infected batch of beer. I guess the moral of this story is don't overlook the little things and be sure to summarize the responses received from the digest-folk. Nick Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 9:24:59 -0500 From: jjb at vnf.com Subject: High-output gas burners -Reply Likewise, Haven't found anything yet=2E Supposedly, there is company out there called Solar Flow (sp?) that makes burners=2E Haven't tried to find them yet=2E =20 - --John Buchovecky (jjb at vnf=2Ecom) >>> "pkapusta at informix=2Ecom" 11/03/97 05:50pm >>> I'm also interested in brewing in my basement with a high-output gas burner=2E Can you let me know what you find? Thanks, - Pete (Incredibly huge, non-beer-related sig hacked off by irate Janitor. We're serious about this. Wanna see the queue delay go down? Manage your messages better: small sigs, reasonable quotes.) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 97 00:04:28 UT From: "Raymond Estrella" <ray-estrella at classic.msn.com> Subject: Basement brewing Hello to all, Mark K. and Dave both ask about basement brewing, and ventilation concerns. I have a 6' X 11' brewroom in my basement, and use two Superb 35,000 btu propane stoves in it. I installed a 185 CFM exhaust hood at end of the room where the stoves are. You can buy them at Home Depot, or Lowe's - type stores pretty reasonably. I have a 7" fresh air duct 13' away from the brewroom door, but an window partially opened would do fine. I also keep a Carbon Monoxide detector down there, but have never had it go off. An added plus to the exhaust fan is that it vents the grain odors out of the house before they can bother anybody. (Wife) Hope this helps, Ray Estrella Cottage Grove, MN ray-estrella at msn.com ******** Never relax, constantly worry, have a better homebrew. ******** Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 04 Nov 1997 17:52:36 -0700 (MST) From: "Steven W. Smith" <SYSSWS at gc.maricopa.edu> Subject: Whitelabs yeast, bare-bones 3-tier brewery Howdy. A data-point on Whitelabs yeast. I brewed last night: poured the wort from a carboy into a keg to aerate, pitched a vial of "Whitelabs Pitchable English Ale Yeast" at 1:00am, used a wire wisk to further aerate (creating a cool, meringue-like head) and at 8:30am had some visible fermentation starting. I deem Whitelabs yeast pitchable-as-is, but I'll make a starter next time to wake it up (vial was dated 10/22). Wyeast is now my official "2nd choice". On the theoretical side: I've been pondering 3-tier brewery designs, mostly on Scott Kaczorowski and Al K's web sites. I'm leaning toward building mine without the multi-level stand. The equipment required is: 3 converted kegs w/ EasyMasher installed plus a couple lengths of tubing, one Cajun Cooker (170K BTU jet-on-a-ringstand), one hoist w/ block and tackle. The block and tackle would attach to the center of a length of angle-iron about 30" long (picture an upside-down "T"). The angle-iron would go through the keg handles so it could be lifted. I plan to drill a hole at each send of the angle iron and drop a bolt through as a lock. The three tiers are: the ground, on the burner, hoisted higher than the burner. The hoist would be used to raise the hot liquor vessel above the mash tun (which would be on the burner at that point) or to lift a filled keg onto the burner. Since I'm kinda cheap, short of storage space, and already own most of the hardware this setup is pretty appealing. I've got 2 kegs to convert and a hoist to acquire (or build) before this can happen, I'm hoping to get it all together for this Winter. You can be sure it will be fully documented on my cheesy web page if I ever get it built and operational. TTFN, y'all Steve Steven W. Smith, Systems Programmer. Glendale Community College. Glendale Az. syssws at gc.maricopa.edu How many botulism spores can dance on the head of a pin? Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 04 Nov 1997 20:04:24 -0600 From: Keith Busby <kbusby at ou.edu> Subject: Yeast/Wort/Agar formulae I am presently making my first efforts in yeast culturing. The last two batches I made (ESB, OG 1.062, and Trippel, 1.085) with Brewtek yeasts made from slants, first in 10 ml. of "Super Starter" and then 400 ml. of "Super Wort". The stepping up worked fine, but the ESB stuck at 1.025 and I suspect I should have stepped up again. I am a bit concerned about adding a whole litre of starter to 5 gals. on the assumption that it might affect flavor, so should I decant and just pitch the slurry? Does anyone have suggestions for starter wort formulae for the various stages of stepping up? I have just tried 4 tbsp DME per cup water + 1 tsp of yeast nutrient (diammonium phosphate) for both stages, but lag time is certainly a lot longer than with the Brewtek proprietary stuff. Does anyone know what they put in it? I have also used the above recipe + 1 tbsp of agar for culture medium. Does this sound about right? Keith Busby Keith Busby George Lynn Cross Research Professor University of Oklahoma Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies 780 Van Vleet Oval, Room 202 Norman, OK 73019 Tel.: (405) 325-5088 Fax: (405) 325-0103 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 23:25:04 -0500 (EST) From: GuyG4 at aol.com Subject: Molten rocks, dry yeast, and Ma Kettle Michel J. Brown writes, in response to Dr. Draper's knowledgeable incredulity about 1200C rock temps required for Steinbier: " I did confirm the 1200'C rock temp, which I felt a bit high myself. This was told to me by the brewers at Rauchenfels in Coburg, Germany (my old home town), last time I was back there (1975?). Perhaps they are using a different composition of graywacke then what you are familiar with, or maybe they are just blowing methane" Another data point, this time from a sedimentologist with 20 years experience in field geology and with about 5 years of experience lately in melting rocks. Graywacke, or most any other siliceous rock, will partially melt at 1200C given surface pressures, just as Dr. Draper said. Nobody can heat a rock to 1200 C in a campfire. Try 1200 F, if you can get there. I'm trying to imagine dropping this hot rock into cold liquid. Steamburns, anybody? Trust us, we're scientists.;-) My guess is the carmelization, etc. you want in Steinbier don't require construction of a smelter or vitrification plant. A data point on the recent yeast thread: I used liquid ale yeasts for several years, with reasonable success, though if I did not step the yeast up into at least a 1 quart starter, I had problems. Even with the 1quart starter, my lag times to rockin' fermentation were on the order of 24 hours or so. Thanks, George, for posting relative volumetric pitching rates in HBD2548, btw. Lately, I've been using Danstar brand dry ale yeasts in ales, of course, and I've had no worries about lag times (12 hour minimum) and am very impressed with their performance. Interesting and good flavors, good fermentation, etc. I'll still use liquids when I want a lager or something special, but I'm a believer in these Danstar brand yeasts. No affiliation, just a satisfied yadda.... Lastly, on the Kettle thread. For those considering all-grain: No, a zillion dollar Vollrath is not necessary. It might be nice, but it's not necessary. If I'd waited for one, I wouldn't have ever brewed. Blue enamel 8 quart canners have brewed an awful lot of mighty good beer. So have reconditioned scrapped beer kegs, and iron pots for all I know. This is not necessarily an equipment-intensive hobby....illiterate Abyssinians did it for 5000 years, you can do it too. I get a lot of pleasure out of scrounging and manufacturing new equipment for my brewery, but ya gotta brew before you figure what you need. Brew with what ya got, OK! Get a big pot, a lauter tun, a heat source,a thermometer, and a fermenting bucket. Go from there. The rest is nice, but not essential. GuyG4 at aol.com Guy Gregory Lightning Creek Home Brewery Spokane, WA Pa! Is it Beer yet? -Ma Kettle Return to table of contents
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