HOMEBREW Digest #2555 Wed 12 November 1997

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  No Sparge & No sparge tactics (MED)" <Frederick.Wills at amermsx.med.ge.com>
  Another informal survey (Mike Froehlich)
  Re: Yeast starter pH - followup (Scott Murman)
  Stainless steel kettles are inferior (Al Korzonas)
  Maredsous (Al Korzonas)
  cleaning carboys (Al Korzonas)
  Decoction/Extract brewing (Al Korzonas)
  WST and a few others (George J Fix)
  Fixing Enamel Pot ("Michael Kowalczyk")
  Re: Root Beer in a Corny ("GP Kea")
  Intoxication Quotient ("Michael Kowalczyk")
  e-mail address (mthouse)
  Iodophor Alternative? (AllDey)
  Re: summery: cleaning carboys (emccormick)
  Brass (MCer1235)
  WYeast Homepage? (Jon Bovard)
  Real Ale Festival ("John W. Rhymes")
  diacetyl removal ("Andy Walsh")
  Dry Hopping, Iodophors, Vorlauf (Chasman)
  Yeast slants and cell viability. (Clifton Moore)
  Re:Yeast cultures and Stir bars (Alex Paredez)
  Choreboy (tm) (RobertS735)
  Flushing the Brew (EFOUCH)
  RE High sg (haafbrau1)
  Slow fermentation on cyser (Vicky Rowe)
  Re: Black Barley instead of Roasted Barley (Jeff Renner)
  Keg conversion (RICH WOOD)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 11:32:47 -0600 From: "Wills, Frederick J (MED)" <Frederick.Wills at amermsx.med.ge.com> Subject: No Sparge & No sparge tactics In HBD 2551 Dennis Waltman writes: <<One uses an extra third of grain in the mashtun, and uses the regular schedule of temps. Then after mashout, drain the tun of liquor. Later (for us while the 1st is boiling) additional water is added to the mashtun aiming for a 165F temp (a little more than a quart per pound of grain), mixed and allowed to sit. This liquor is drained in a no sparge method and a second beer (a small beer) is made.>> This is similar to the way in which I mash routinely, but with single batches. The "normal" method of mashing out is by adding boiling water (or removing, boiling and returning a portion of the thin mash in a decoction) to bring the entire mash to the desired 168 degrees F. I decided to streamline my process by draining the first runnings to my brew kettle first and then add boiling water to the remaining grain bed. This allows me to begin to heat the 1st runnings while still sparging and reduces the amount of boiling water needed to bring the grist to mash-out temp. It is my theory that since the majority of the enzymes are in the liquid part of the mash, by heating the first runnings in the kettle they will be denatured rapidly. The main function of my adding the boiling water to the mash-tun is to help free any remaining sugars trapped in the husks. At that point one could either batch sparge these runnings as well to retain a malty profile, or commence a traditional fly-sparge. I realize this wouldn't be considered a "no-sparge" technique, more like a "single batch-sparge". It does allow a pretty good malt utilization (~75%) with minimal effort. I do pay attention to the pH of my sparge water and typically acidify it to ~6.0 with a few mls of lactic acid before use. Comments? Fred Wills Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 12:54:49 -0600 From: Mike Froehlich <MFroehlich at microcraft.com> Subject: Another informal survey Hell Fellow Brewers, Here are a few questions regarding what kind of brewers are we: 1) When you are ready top pitch your yeast into the cooled wort, you find yourself at either too little volume or too high of a gravity for the beer you want to make, do you: A) Add boiled water to bring the volume up or reduce the specific gravity B) Keep the beer the way it is and go for the extra alcohol content C) Start over because your life as a perfectionist has clouded your ability to think 2) You have been brewing for 12 hours and your volume is too much (i.e. 7.0 gallons of beer for a 5 gallon batch). Do you: A) Keep boiling for another 2 hours to reduce the volume to 6 gallons B) Add more malt and hops and go for the extra volume C) Stop where you are, start cooling, and get another fermenter ready D) Start over because your life as a perfectionist has clouded your ability to think Your responses will be polled and I will present them in a future HBD. I started thinking about these questions on Sunday after brewing all day (12 hours) with my buddy and getting a Dopplebock of 1.124 starting gravity even though we were shooting for a 1.100. We decided to keep the alcohol true and we kept to the motto of "Brewing our beer BIG and HAPPY". See ya! Michael Froehlich Scientific Programmer Micro Craft Trisonic Wind Tunnel 400 Duley Road mfroehlich at microcraft.com El Segundo, CA 90245 (310)335-1585 Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 10:54:29 -0800 From: Scott Murman <smurman at best.com> Subject: Re: Yeast starter pH - followup > <BT> warns about using high carbonate water (such as I have) for > yeast starters. The reason for this is the high pH of this water > favors bacterial growth. It states that the pH of the starter wort > should be no higher than 5.3. It suggests that if you are in doubt > about your water, then use distilled water (although I guess pH > corrections with phosphoric acid, etc. would be OK as well). > - > Dave Muzidal I have been experimenting with my micro-starter ingredients for some time now. I have been yeast ranching for a couple of years, and maintain a working library of about a dozen strains. I use sterile water storage. I used to take an eyedropper of the sterile water/yeast and use that to directly innoculate 50 mL of DME prepared wort. This worked well, but I had one miscue, so I started streaking the sterile water yeast onto a petri dish. This would grow well, and I could scrape a good amount onto a loop and innoculate 50 mL of DME wort. The problem I started having was that the 50 mL micro-starter would never get started. It seemed to be somewhat dependent on the storage age of the yeast, but I really don't have enough data points. I tried many different experiments to find the source of my problem (damn, that scientific technique rears it's ugly head again). After reading an old post by Dave Whitman, and reading about BrewTek's "Super Wort" a while back, I tried adding some yeast nutrient to my DME for making micro-starters. This has done the trick. The question I have is "what is actually causing the micro-starters to start in the new setup?" I don't really believe that the addition of yeast nutrient is providing the yeast with vital minerals they otherwise wouldn't be getting. My reasons for this are 1) the yeast grow very well on the agar-DME petri dish without any yeast nutrient addition, and 2) I find it hard to believe that the DME production process is somehow robbing the all-malt wort of every last trace of prime mineral content. Again, I'm not talking about sluggish activity, I'm talking about zero growth activity. I suspect the micro-starter pH may be the culprit. I've tried different brands of DME, but always the lightest available. My water profile tells me our average water pH is around 9 (!!), although that's so high I've always taken it with a grain of salt. I'm pretty sure the generic yeast nutrient I'm adding is actually diammonium phospate - aka DAP, which if my high school chemistry memory can be trusted, will lower the pH of the solution. I'm sorry I haven't had a chance to run the obvious tests to check if my pH hypothesis is correct, but since the subject is current on the digest I'd thought I'd throw this into the discussion. Does anyone else have any thoughts on the micro-starter pH, and is my assumption that DAP is lowering my pH plausible? SM Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 13:22:28 -0600 (CST) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: Stainless steel kettles are inferior Ron writes: >It seems like so many of us are nearly hypnotized over >the idea of stainless steel, stainless kettles, stainless everything, >and of course in an ideal world that would be the first choice. Funny... Paul Edwards and I were discussing this over a couple of glasses of Cask-Conditioned Real Ale at the Real Ale Festival this weekend. Buy him a beer when you see him and maybe he'll tell you the story about his *titanium* kettle, fermenter and immersion chiller (which doubles as a bicycle frame) ;^). Stainless steel? Naaa... I'm going to replace all mine with titanium! Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 13:46:32 -0600 (CST) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: Maredsous Saul writes: >I was given a couple of bottles of Maredsous Abbey Ale (Belgium). It is >a bottle conditioned ale and I can see the yeast at the bottom of the >bottle. Does anybody know anything about this yeast? Can it be used to >produce a Trappist ale (as can Chimay)? Only if you are a Trappist monk... no kidding... "Trappist Ale" is not a style, but an indication of who made the beer. But seriously, not only should that yeast be usable for Trappist-style ales, but since Maredsous is made by the same brewery that makes Duvel (notice the similarity in the bottle shape?), it could be one of the two yeasts used to make Duvel. Except for Orval (which is bottled with a blend of five yeasts), I don't know of any other Belgian brewers who use a *different* yeast for bottling than they did for fermentation. 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: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 14:13:53 -0600 (CST) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: cleaning carboys Mike writes: > 25 or so responses so far. All are about the same, fill with water, >clorine and/or dishwasher soap/TSP/B-Brite/etc. Soak for 24 hours then >rinse well. Perhaps this is not a problem if you have a different tapwater than I do, but I got a white film that would not come off from soaking as little as 24 hours in washing soda (sodium carbonate). Since sodium carbonate is the main ingredient in most dishwasher *detergents* (NOT SOAPS... NEVER USE THE FOAMY DISHWASHING LIQUID FOR BEER VESSELS) and sodium percarbonate is the main ingredient in B-Brite and One-Step, I believe you could have the same problem. It may take a few times to become noticeable on clear glass, but I noticed it immediately on brown bottles I soaked for as little as 24 hours. Eventually, I got the white film off by soaking in lemon juice and water. Incidentally, I tried a test with PBW from 5-Star and found that while 24 hours did not show a noticeable film, 3-days did. If you use an acid-based sanitizer (like iodophor *with* phosphoric acid... no, not *all* iodophor has phosphoric acid (or any acid) in it), then the white film is a moot point... it will come of during sanitation. I soak my carboys in bleach solution (for months sometimes) and limit the soaking in PBW, B-Brite or One-Step to 15 minutes. 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: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 14:21:22 -0600 (CST) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: Decoction/Extract brewing Bob writes: >Beer Friends: This morning I was making a batch using my normal extract >technique which includes the addition of two pounds or so of grains, steeped, >and I had a thought. >If single or even triple decotion is a good thing for you all-grain guys, >then would there be any noticeable effect of doing a decoction on my grains? >What I propose is the normal two pounds of cracked grain steeped for the >regular 20-30 minues at 158, then take the runnings and the grain to a boil. >Then sparge and add to the LME and other liquid.... does this seem to have >any potential? It would work presuming your pH was reasonable (below 5.5) and if you are using any grains that contain starch, you could not do the decoction on the *entire* grain bill. You did say you were steeping... if you have grains that contain starch (Pale Ale malt, Pils malt, oats, flaked wheat, etc.) then you are actually mashing, not steeping. Steeping is enough for chocolate malt, crystal malts, etc., but not starchy malts or grains. The reason you should not boil the entire grain bill is that even after a rest at 158F there is still some percentage of starch trapped in the grains. Boiling releases that trapped starch and if you have boiled the entire mash, there are no enzymes to convert the released starches. In a real decoction mash, this is the reason that you only take the liquid part of the mash (Noonan calls it "the thinnest part") for the final decoction (the one that takes the mash to mashout). 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: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 15:32:40 -0500 From: LNUSTRUK.CZLSSB at gmeds.com Subject: Verdigris Verdigris - Our plumber went took that "Funship Single's Cruise" from Pensecola to the Haitian Coast and came back with a very bad case of Verdigris. Blisters, Pus, Festering, Discoloration - it was almost as bad as the Hoboken, NJ canned wort Botulism outbreak. Musta been over exposed to green IUD. Other symptoms of Verdigris include: Metallic taste in mouth, frequent urination, gastric bloating, - or exactly what would be expected by consuming a six-pack of any AB product with a label with the words "crafted" or "clean" on it. My witty sign off follows: >BTW I *am* a homebrewer. How the hell do you think I ended up in a >commercial brewery? I homebrew 20+ batches a year as well as 100+ >commercially. You? Geeze I'd love to hang around the brewery with you bud. C. Carman. (The other one.) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 97 15:06:09 -0600 From: gjfix at utamat.uta.edu (George J Fix) Subject: WST and a few others There is an old brewer's phrase which states that "... detrimental wort infections will occur only if you are brewing in a sewer...". As one who has been burned over the years in every conceivable way, I tend to be somewhat skeptical about such remarks. However, I do agree that other yeast oriented issues are vastly more important to finished beer quality. The three I discussed at the '92 National Meeting in Milwaukee (see Beer and Brewing, Vol.12) were the following: 1. Direct cell counting 2. Testing viabilities by staining 3. Checking for bacteria with elementary methods like HLP. I can say without reservation that the single most important improvement in my own personal brewing during the '90s has been folding these three tests into my usual brewing routine. Viability is particularly important, and usually overlooked. For example, in a test we did with some local homebrewers using both dry and liquid yeast, not a one was even near the rule of <== 90%, and several were orders of magnitude below. This was exactly what I was doing before I started checking viability. Yeast with low viability will not distroy a beer, but they do have pernicious way of taking what should be a great beer and rendering it ordinary. Whenever I mention things like this I usually get flamed by either Chris Kagy or sometimes others for "taking the fun out of homebrewing". Here I plead innocent. All the tests are user friendly, and can be done with a good inexpensive student microscope (and HLP does not even require that). Besides looking at our yeast up close is a hoot, and one of the (many!) things I think is fun about brewing. What the detractors consistly overlook is that gold can not be made from lead. If one is looking for quality improvements in the beer they are brewing, then extra effort will be required. BTW I also do a WST with each brew, but not because of any particular concern about wort spoilage. Rather I see it as something like a report card on my cleaning and sanitation program. The point here is that we generally use the same procedures for the equipment in wort cooling that are used for other critical equipment (fermenters, maturation tanks, et al). The grading system I use was discussed at one of the early AHA national meetings (see Beer and Brewing, Vol 6, 1986). If a sample of unpitched wort can remain stable for at least 72 hrs. I give my C+S procedures an A. If the time interval is between 60 and 72 hrs. a B is assigned, while 48-60 hrs. gets a C. Anything less fails. Low grades tend to come back and bite us in the a**. About that there can be no doubt, the only issue is how hard the bite is going to be! Cheers. George Fix Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 15:51:40 -0800 From: "Michael Kowalczyk" <mikekowal at megsinet.net> Subject: Fixing Enamel Pot I took the advice of a recent HBD post on fixing an enamel pot and it didn't come out as expected. Maybe I used the wrong stuff. I used DURO White Plastic for Porcelain Repair. It didn't say "No Lead", and the max temp was 350 degrees instead of the 400 quoted in the post. The active ingredient is Xylene and Petroleum Distillates ( I know, sounds spooky, but I used it anyway). I fixed all of the scratches, chips, and Thin spots using 2 coats. After 7 days, I boiled some water to see if it would stand up, and a lot flaked off. I'm thinkin' it won't stand up to the rough stuff of a metal ring and an immersion chiller. Question: Anybody have good experiences with using Porcelain Repair and have a brand that they can recommend? Please be specific so I can call around instead of drive around. Question: Are Xylene and Petroleum Distillates a bad idea around food products? - Mike from Chicago NB=0 - IQ=0 Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 10:22:47 -1000 From: "GP Kea" <lifeline at pixi.com> Subject: Re: Root Beer in a Corny A question, I've been brewing for a while and have been doing all of my brews in 5 gallon cornies. I've been hankering to make some root beer (for the neighborhood kids) but I still hate washing bottles and I figure why fiddle with yeasts, etc. if I don't have to. What I want to do is mix the root beer extract, water and sugar in a corny, chill and force carbonate. Shouldn't be any problem, right? Now the question, I've been told that the root beer will taint my keg and dispensing equipment and you can't or will have a hard time cleaning it all out for that next batch of beer. Anyone have any experience with this? I don't want to waste a set of gear dedicated to just soda. (I like the kids, but not that much) Can I clean it? ..with what? ..and how? Thanks in advance for your kind assistance. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 18:09:17 -0800 From: "Michael Kowalczyk" <mikekowal at megsinet.net> Subject: Intoxication Quotient I've been thinking about this forum lately. Lets see... hummm... a bunch of people get together and talk about beer. Since we all have normal jobs we tend to answer the emails after dinner, talk w/wife, play with kids, kids bedtime, etc... I was wondering what the likelihood of intoxicated posters (sounds like a rock group... )? Mathematics Formulas: NB=xx - Number of beers. Simple. How many beers have you had in the last sitting. IQ =xxx% - Percent intoxicated. Can be figured out by (the number of beers it takes you to be intoxicated) / NB. Now why would I propose adding an gauge of intoxication? I think it would help when reading a post to know the state of the poster. If that person is tanked, then maybe I wouldn't be so quick to take offense. At least I would re-read the post a few times to see if it was a bit more clearer. Or, to really make it clear, I'd try to get my IQ to match the poster's. By putting the NB and IQ at the end of the post I then have a gauge as to whether I SHOULD sent it. (My rule of thumb is to not send any posts if my IQ is > 30%. - Mike from Chicago NB=1 - IQ=10 p.s. So noone takes offense, this was meant as a really funny post. If I hit my target, there should be a large number of brewers rolling on the floor now. If not, sorry - I'm only human. :-) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 20:10:05 -0500 From: mthouse <mthouse at concentric.net> Subject: e-mail address I finally bought a computer, no Malcolm it's not a Mac. Got sick of constantly repairing the lap top from work. My E-mail address at home is mthouse at concentric.net. Any personal mail should be sent their. Business mail is still ok to sent to mhouse at glgt.com. Sorry for the confusion, but the e-mail police are watching!! Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 20:39:09 -0500 (EST) From: AllDey at aol.com Subject: Iodophor Alternative? Someone recently commented about an inexpensive alternative to the iodophor we buy at the homebrew store. I checked at my local farm and ranch store tonight and sure 'nuff, they sell a dairy product called Udder Clean (or something like that) for $7.77 a gallon. This beats the heck out of the $12.95/qt my pals at the brew store soak me for. The label said 1 oz per 3 gals results in 25 ppm. Iodophor was listed as the active ingredient. So, oh wise collective, will this work? Can I invest my savings in a pressure cooker to ward off botulism spores? Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 21:31:08 -0500 From: emccormick <emccormick at usa.net> Subject: Re: summery: cleaning carboys Michael Rose inquired about cleaning carboys: For what its worth, I use a jet spray bottle washer to rinse them. From there, they get moved into the bathtub, a little bleach dumped in and then filled with hot water to soak a couple hours. Anything still stuck on after that can be taken off with a carboy brush. We have very hard water here and if left too long to soak, the carbonates will settle out and glue themselves to the bottom of the carboy. The fastest way to remove THAT problem is empty the carboy completely, pour a little white vinegar in the bottom and slosh it around until it dissolves the white precipitate. Dump it, then rinse with hot water using the jet washer again. If you are concerned with an infection after that, rinse it one more time with an idophor sanatizer and let it air-dry. When it comes to sanitation and cleanup there don't seem to be very many shortcuts. - -- <Ed McCormick - e-mail: emccormick at usa.net> Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 22:09:34 -0500 (EST) From: MCer1235 at aol.com Subject: Brass Hi all! I saw the posts to the HBD about copper and had a question, is this also a problem when you de-lead brass with vinegar and peroxide? I did this to my brass valve and left it in for too long and it turned really ugly and had some green scum/discoloration? I cleaned it with hot water and scrubed it a bit, but it is still ugly. Any suggestions? Should I worry? Rene' Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1986 02:43:41 +1100 From: Jon Bovard <j.bovard at student.qut.edu.au> Subject: WYeast Homepage? With a company with the poularity, turnover, products and feedback of A yeast supplier youd think they would have their own homepage. Same goes for Yeastlab. (true the Yeast culture kit company is on-line but not ALL of its yeast are listed!- and you dont know what you might want till you see its profile!) Anyone clarify this Enigma..its been bugging me for a while now. Cheers JB Brisbane AUS Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 23:05:50 +0000 From: "John W. Rhymes" <jwrhymes at mindspring.com> Subject: Real Ale Festival I want to congratulate Ray Daniels and the Craft Beer Institute on the success of the Real Ale Festival in Chicago this past weekend. I flew up from Birmingham and had an excellent weekend. More cask conditioned beers than I could possibly sample, good speakers, and a well run event. I have previously attended the AHA conferences in New Orleans and Cleveland. For those who have not attended one of the big brewing events, I recommend the experience -- not only for the speakers, but for the opportunity to meet a lot of the folks we recognize from HBD and from the publications we rely on. John Rhymes Birmingham Brewmasters http://www.bham.net/brew/masters.html Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 17:39:41 +1100 From: "Andy Walsh" <awalsh at crl.com.au> Subject: diacetyl removal Has anyone used Maturex L from Novo Nordisk Ltd to eliminate diacetyl? Is this available to homebrewers anywhere? If so, what were the results like? Or is this cheating? Andy. PS. This is an enzyme treatment (acetolactate decarboxylase) that directly transforms acetolactate to acetoin, eliminating diacetyl from the process. It is said to reduce beer maturation time by the manufacturers. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 23:05:27 -0800 From: Chasman <cwhudak at gemini.adnc.com> Subject: Dry Hopping, Iodophors, Vorlauf Hello all Lenny's having some problems with dryhopping with pellet hops: >Questions: Do hop pellets always float to the top? Have others had >contaminations during dry hopping. I know that both batches were >uncontaminated before dry hopping. I can't see that dry hopping is worth >the risk at this rate. AFter about 20 batches, I have NEVER had a >contamination until I started getting fancy. I tossed a whole days work >(full mash) down the toilet. I don't think I'll dry hop again. > I have a couple of comments. First, try to avoid using pellets for dry-hopping. Like most vegetable matter, the majority of the hop material will indeed continue to float. But, unlike with whole hops, separating out this crud when you rack is a nightmare! I've found that just dumping the hops unhindered through the hole in the carboy is the easiest way. Racking can be accomplished quite easily with a racking cane which has a nylon hop sack over the end, tied up real nice like. I've never had a problem with racking in this fashion---great yield and very simple. As far as the contamination goes, I've never had a problem. There are alot of variables so it's hard to say what your problem was. Sure, neither beer was contaminated before you dry hopped but that may be coincidence. They may have developed the infection based on some other problem with or without the addition of hops. One problem that I see is that you mention stirring several times. Stirring= oxygenation which certainly will provide a great environment for aerobic bacteria like acetobacter. If you plan on doing any mixing, it's a good idea to purge your secondary with CO2 before you rack and then gently swirling the carboy to get the hops wet. Even this is not really necessary. Left on their own, capillary action will wet the hops fairly well. It's unfortunate that your first experiment with dry-hopping was so negative--it is a great way to get that special hop character to your brews. Michael asks about Iodophor: >I have on hand a particular brand and model of an iodophore and wonder if >someone can help me decide if it is appropriate for no-rinse use in the >brewery. >It's called "Wescodyne" and is subtitled 'Tamed Iodine.' >'Detergent-Germicide for Hospital Use.' <snip> >What troubles me is the reference to 'detergents.' The final descriptive >statement says "Wescodyne is an excellent cleaner. It contains several >synthetic detergents." Hmmm..many iodophors use a polyol surfactant as an ingredient; basically a polymeric hydrocarbon skeleton with multiple hydroxyl groups. It serves as a wetting agent, reducing the surface tension of your sanitizing solution so that it wets the surfaces to be sanitized, especially metals like SS thus providing better sanitation via longer contact time. Theoretically they could be called "detergent" though it's debatable. Detergents aren't as bad as soaps as far as causing foam problems. Many breweries use detergent based cleaners for CIP (caustic mixed with detergents, water chelaters, etc) and other hand cleaning. Detergents rinse much better than soaps and so usually don't hang around to cause problems. For sanitizing, I use something called Solution I/O which is supplied by a commercial dishwashing service. It is an industrial strength Iodophor and I use it no rinse at 20-50ppm. I have noticed no deleterious effects on foam stability with the use of this product and I use it to sanitize tranfer lines (both siphon hoses and 1 1/2" triclamp transfer hoses) as well as for fermenters, gaskets and other small parts which come into intimate contact with beer or wort. OTOH, better safe than sorry, I'd find an MSDS for this product (the place that you got it should have one on file, it's the law) or a product data sheet which has a complete ingredient list before you risk any of your hard work (i.e. beer) on an unfamiliar product. Even though it is used in hospitals, it may not be designed for food-contact applications. Greg asks about the benefits of recirculation: >Howdy all. Are there any reasons for/benefits from recirculating the run-off >from the mash tun (until clear) other than to remove the particulate matter and >bits o' grain? As far as I know, that's the only reason. >If that's the only reason we choose to recirculate, then why not >simply pass the run-off through, say - a coffee filter, until it runs clear? Well, other than the possibility of imparting that elusive flavor component in a cup of Yuban, the biggest problem is the sheer quantity of material you would have to filter. There is quite a bit of small particulate matter which would quickly overwhelm even a large coffee filter (ever sat and waited for coffee to drain through a coffee filter when it's *not* clogged?) This would mean that you would have to change the filter several times and start mucking around in all that hot wort (HSA anybody?). While in theory, it would work, in practice, there are some obvious bugs which would have to be worked out. That shouldn't be too much of a problem; noone could ever accuse the HBD of not being a creative bunch ;) Simply put, your grain bed is the most efficient *and* convenient filter to use. I think that recirculation is used because of its sheer simplicity and ability to reliably achieve good results. Then there's that romanticism of continuing to use "traditional" brewing techniques (can anyone say decoction? hehe). BTW mikey, I like your version of the Serenity Prayer....ROFL That's my take, I'm out... C-- Charles Hudak cwhudak at adnc.com ICQ# 4253902 "If God had intended for us to drink beer, he would have given us stomachs." - --David Daye Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 22:22:25 -0800 From: Clifton Moore <cmoore at gi.alaska.edu> Subject: Yeast slants and cell viability. <fontfamily><param>Times</param><bigger><bigger><bigger><bigger>I am in the process of learning how to judge the health of my yeast slants. I understand full well that there are a thousand ways to look at the questions relating to the care and feeding of yeast cultures. I intend to offer a sketch of what I do, and ask a few questions. I have been rather successful for the past year, at gathering and keeping yeast cultures alive. For the most part, I use agar slants in screw top test tubes. Since buying a high quality high school grade microscope at a garage sale this summer, I have had some success at viewing stained cells to determine health. The idea as I understand it, is that the stain, methylene blue, is resisted by living yeast cells, but that dead membrane is readily permeable. My scope has a max magnification of 400X which I find very nice for viewing individual yeast cells with a resolution that makes identification of the nuclear membrane and a number of organelles easily viewable. The process of getting anything better than a rough estimate of viability percentages is currently a problem, but a rough state of health is rather easily determined. One observation I made today that calls this simple staining response into question is that I sampled and stained some active late secondary beer. The surprise was that 25 to 50% of the yeast cells took up stain, and would thus be thought dead. It just seems unlikely that there would be this many suspended dead yeast cells in a two week old ferment. At the same time, volumes of washed yeast collected from this same ferment upon transfer to secondary, look to be almost entirely viable. If this method of sensing viability is accurate, then a quick look at a slant sample would tell you how urgent a re-slant was. My observations of some of my older slants have yielded interesting but less than illuminating results. A 9 month old Wyeast 1056 showed 20% viability. This was about what I would expect from the reading I have done. This slant would be old, but has plenty of life in it to get a new slant going. Then there was the Culture Kit A13 slants. One was 9 and the other 3 months old. Both slants looked to me to be 90% viable. Go figure. So I need to know, "does any of this make any sense to you?" In as much as I have been careful not to mention pitching rates or wort oxygenation, I hope that this post will not start any fights. Information relating to the details of yeast propagation has been hard to come by, and I would appreciate hearing what others have done. Clifton Moore <<cmoore at gi.alaska.edu> or post to HBD </bigger></bigger></bigger></bigger></fontfamily> Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 23:54:00 -0800 From: Alex Paredez <aparedez at sdcc14.ucsd.edu> Subject: Re:Yeast cultures and Stir bars Hello all, There are a few reasons not to use a whole slant for your starter. 1) If you are making your own slants from some source of yeast you want to minimize the number of generations from the original culture. Each time you propagate the yeast it has a chance to mutate and loose the qualities that it had when it was originally selected. It is true that it could take a turn for the better, but I don't know if testing it on a batch of beer is worth it. So I am saying that if you use a whole slant you will have to propagate more yeast and thus move farther away from your original culture. 2) A pure culture is always started from an individual colony. By selecting an individual colony, you can avoid accidentally putting in some sort of contaminant in your culture. You see when you spread a plate the goal is not to have a lawn of microbes, but rather a bunch of individual colonies that started from individual cells. You should use these individual colonies to make starters, and when your slant gets old, or you are on the last colony you should start a new culture. It is just good technique to start a plate or culture from a single colony. Just a note on making a magnetic stirrer. I use the real ones all the time and I just had one piece of advice for the fellow making the stirrer. Use a speed control on your electric motor. Whenever you start those machines up you have to go from slow to fast. If you try to start on fast the magnet will just sit there vibrating. Well good luck. -Alex Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 08:41:23 -0500 (EST) From: RobertS735 at aol.com Subject: Choreboy (tm) Beerlings: For years have heard about use of Choreboys (tm) as filters for the end of the racking cane. I have a very nice Ale fermenting away at the moment and have dry hopped it with leaf hops. I bought a Choreboy yesterday and noticed several things about it which I refer to the collective about: 1. Seems to ave an industrial strength oil or other residue on it. How do you clean it to get it clean enough to go into YOUR beer? 2. Any clever ideas about afixing the little sucker to the end of your cane? 3. Do you use the whole thing or cut it in two pieces? 4. Sanitize with Chlorine as normal? My answers to the above include- (1)soap... rinse... soap... rinse, (2)Rubber Band, and (3) yes cut the sucker in half.... (4) yes Chlorine, but not too long...other ideas? Bob Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 08:52:11 -0500 From: EFOUCH at steelcase.com Subject: Flushing the Brew Date: Tuesday, 11 November 1997 8:41am ET To: Sendout From: Eric.Fouch at STC001 Subject: Flushing the Brew HBD- I have stayed silent on this topic for too long. I didn't want to ruffle feathers, or insult anybody, but people are just getting too carried away *In My Humble Opinion*. Let me start by saying I have made a few gawd awful brews. The experiment with sweetened condensed milk comes to mind. Then there was the insipid orange "beer" made from the second runnings of a "no sparge" batch. My whole point is, as homebrewers, we have a certain responsibility. Unlike the Geneticist, who can "euthanise" his mistakes, WE HAVE A RESPONSIBITLITY]]] I have never dumped a batch of bad beer, be it in the toilet, sink, on the ground or over an ex-wife......... (Mental note: New use for bad beer). Even before I was homebrewing beer, I found a use for those left-over stale Budweiser keg bottoms. I fondly remember marinading a whole deer in three gallons stale beer, two gallons BBQ sauce, various nefarious spices and what-not, resulting in a sumptious Bambi-cue. So, a call to all REAL homebrewers: Sit up straight, stop complaining, and DRINK YOUR BAD BEER] At the very least, try to "save" it] Bottle up that soured infetco-brew in three liter PET bottles for future use as marinade, pressure can it in pint jars, and have a lifetime supply of stout innoculant (for that Guinness clone) or run it back in the kettle, pastuerize at 165 F or so, repitch and see what you end up with. What's the worst that could happen? You enter it in a contest as a pLambic? PLEASE] no more (insert whiney voice here) "I think it was infected, so I poured it down the drain" posts here. BE A MAN]]] (or a brew chick)]] Take responsibility]]]] Invent a new style]] Drink your mistakes]]] Tounge in cheek mode off No sig file Eric Fouch efouch at steelcase.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 08:25:16 -0500 From: haafbrau1 at juno.com Subject: RE High sg Sounds to me like the recipe for a 5 gal. batch, not a 3 gal.! Somebody goofed. Paul Haaf haafbrau1 at juno.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 08:56:26 -0500 From: Vicky Rowe <vrowe at us.ibm.com> Subject: Slow fermentation on cyser Hi fellow homebrewers! Got a problem for the collective. I am making a cyser, and the little sucker won't get going on a ferment worth a darn. Here's the particulars: Recipe: 5 gal pastuerized apple cider 1 lb brown sugar 2 lbs clover honey 10 cinnamon sticks palmful ea of dried lemon and orange peel (abt. 1.5 tsp ea) palmful ea of crushed cardamom, allspice I brought 1 gal of the cider to 160d and added honey, brown sugar and spices, stirring to mix well. I simmered at this temp for 15 minutes. When simmering was done, I strained the mixture into a 5 gal carboy, onto 3 of the remaining 4 gals of cider, reserving 1 gal for secondary. Rehydrated 1 pkg Pastuer champagne yeast. When temp reached 77-80 deg, I pitched the yeast with yeast nutrient, and shook the carboy for a few minutes. The SG at this time was 1.080. I then airlocked it and wrapped it in a blanket to ferment. 4 days later, no sign of fermentation except that I had positive pressure in the airlock. One day later, no positive pressure! This was Sunday, and the brewshop wasn't open til Tuesday, so, panicing that I was making a lot of vinegar, I rehydrated and pitched 2.5 tsp of bread yeast. On Tuesday, still no sign of fermentation other than positive pressure. So, I went to the brewshop, picked up a package of Wyeast dry mead yeast (I've had good luck and great ferments with this stuff), smacked it and pitched it the next evening (Wed). Well, I had a bubble here and there in the airlock, and positive pressure, but no obvious fermentation. At this point, puzzled and out of ideas, I went to the American Brewmaster and talked with Mike. He felt that I had a *very* slow fermentation due to the fact that I keep my house at 68-70d F, and on the floor, where the carboy is, would be much cooler, say 63-65. He recommended setting it near a heating vent to warm it up til fermentation kicked off vigorously, then move it back to it's normal place under the bar. This I did on Friday. Well, here it is Tuesday again, and it only bubbles when the heat is on! I checked the SG and it's sitting at around 1.070 (kinda hard to see thru the glass/cider haze in the carboy). So, I have had a *little* fermenting, but not very much. BTW, I've done two batches of mead by just pitching the Wyeast pack smacked, and have had happy yeasties both times, bubbling merrily away at 1-2 bubbles/sec for days! The mead batches sit just a few feet away, so I don't think ambient temp is the issue. Both the meads did their primary ferment in a bucket, not a carboy. So, I have several suppositions: 1. Cider doesn't like to primary in carboys. 2. Yeasties are cold and won't do their thing. 3. I got bad yeast (not likely, this shop is pretty reliable) 4. I'm not meant to have hard cider. 5. Auuuugggghhhhh! So, fellow enthusiasts, I would greatly appreciate any ideas you might have as to how to kick the ferment up a little higher. I don't want it roiling, cause I know I'll get a better flavor with a slow ferment, but this is ridiculous! Thanks in advance for your suggestions. Vicky Rowe Tyro Meadster Vicky Rowe Notes Administrator, Merrill Lynch Server Farm "No good deed ever goes unpunished" --Unknown Email: IBM: vrowe at us.ibm.com Home: rcci at mindspring.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 09:29:48 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Black Barley instead of Roasted Barley In Homebrew Digest #2554 (November 11, 1997), Dan Cole <dcole at roanoke.infi.net> wrote about his all grain oatmeal stout: >Instead of Roasted Barley I actually picked out some black barley. Since my >typical brewday starts at 5:00AM on Sunday, I'm going ahead with the >brewing, but wanted some expert opinions on what my brew will be like. British roast barley is around 550 Lovibond in color, which is what you want for a stout. US (at least Briess) roast barley is more the color of chocolate malt, ~350L. I once made a Guinness clone with this that turned out way too pale, then HBDer Dave Sapsis pointed out the difference, and the important of getting UK roast barley. I have recently begun seeing US black barley at 550L, which I suspect is very much like UK roast. So I think you have blundered into exactly the right product for your brew. I wouldn't change your infusion temperature at you suggested. Things should turn out fine. Serendipity reigns! 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, 11 Nov 1997 09:34:24 -0500 (EST) From: RICH WOOD <RIWOOD at spf.nsc.com> Subject: Keg conversion Does the plug in the side of the keg hold up during the boil or do I need to weld a plate over the hole? On the verge of full volume boils! Rich in ME Return to table of contents
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