HOMEBREW Digest #2570 Sat 29 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: bubblegum & Brettanomyces (Jeff Renner)
  Mash Efficiency (Tim.Watkins)
  Dispensing 3 beers/one co2 regulator (Michael W Bardallis)
  More about starchy beer (George De Piro)
  Sparklers for Beer Engines ("C&S Peterson")
  water softeners (Edward J. Basgall)
  Re: Coffee Stout ("Robert D. Dittmar")
  Counter Pressure Filler Help (Denis Barsalo)
  RE: Mash Efficiency ("Pat Babcock")
  Re: rye beers (Sheena McGrath)
  Good Advice gone bad (Rust1d)
  Water Softener (Al Korzonas)
  Kegging equipment (shaun.funk)
  magnetic stirrer (John_E_Schnupp)
  Starch in beers (Al Korzonas)
  Oats in Extract (Joseph S. Kallo)
  Brewing w/corn sugar (Al Korzonas)
  Re: Rousing the wee beasties (Scott Murman)
  Re[2]: bubblegum & Brettanomyces ("Brian Thompson")
  dingasm at worldnet.att.net (John Wilkinson)
  Choreboy Improvement,Softened water/RO ("David R. Burley")

A Public Service Announcementi (experimental feature): Check out the "Le Premier Spectacle De Houblon du Monde" - The PALE ALES home brew competition. Entry deadline is Dec. 4th, 1997 Visit their website at www.angelfire.com/biz/paleales for more info. NOTE NEW HOMEBREW ADDRESS: hbd.org Send articles for __publication_only__ to homebrew at hbd.org (Articles are published in the order they are received.) If your e-mail account is being deleted, please unsubscribe first!! To SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE send an e-mail message with the word "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" to homebrew-request@hbd.org. **SUBSCRIBE AND UNSUBSCRIBE REQUESTS MUST BE SENT FROM THE E-MAIL **ACCOUNT YOU WISH TO HAVE SUBSCRIBED OR UNSUBSCRIBED!!! IF YOU HAVE SPAM-PROOFED your e-mail address, the autoresponder and the SUBSCRIBE/UNSUBSCRIBE commands will fail! For "Cat's Meow" information, send mail to brewery at realbeer.com Homebrew Digest Information on the Web: http://hbd.org Requests for back issues will be ignored. Back issues are available via: Anonymous ftp from... hbd.org /pub/hbd ftp.stanford.edu /pub/clubs/homebrew/beer E-mail... ftpmail at gatekeeper.dec.com (send a one-line e-mail message with the word help for instructions.) AFS users can find it under... /afs/ir.stanford.edu/ftp/pub/clubs/homebrew/beer JANITORS on duty: Pat Babcock and Karl Lutzen (janitor@hbd.org)
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 28 Nov 1997 09:56:23 -0500 (EST) From: Small Change <schd at pluto.njcc.com> Subject: PALE ALES LAST CALL FOR ENTRIES, DEADLINE DEC. 4, 1997 Happy Thanksgiving Day Pilgrim Brewers! Homebrewers on Homebrew Digest, here is the last call for entries for our competition, please pass it on. We have gathered more prizes and need many entries to award the best brewers! You will need to get the entries in the mail immediatly! _______________________________________________________________________ From: Kent Brehm, President PALE ALES My Fellow Homebrewers, On behalf of PALE ALES, I would like to invite you to enter our competition "Le Premier Spectacle De Houblon du Monde" - (The Hoppiest Show on Earth). Many homebrew and craft brewing businesses were kind enough to donated more than 60 prizes for the competition. For your convenience, the sponsor and prize list, styles guidelines, downloadable entry forms and bottle labels can be found at our homepage/website: www.angelfire.com/biz/paleales. Please visit and check out the links to our sponsors. We update this site on a regular basis and will announce our winners immediately following the final round, BOS judging. You are welcome to come to Triumph on Monday, Dec. 8 for the awards presentation, "Bitterest Beer Face Contest" [a special batch brewed extremely hoppy, just for the occasion!] and meet the Best of Show (BOS) panelists. Such notable people as Jim Parker, Director of AHA, Ed Busch [the man who made homebrew legal in New Jersey], Lew Bryson [of the Malt Advocate and Ale Street News], Adam Rechnitz [part of a team that legalized brewpubs in NJ], and a number of other folks involved in the brewing industry. This should be a fun time as the "Bitterest Beer Face Contest" will be digitally recorded and prizes awarded. Expect door prizes galore. THE RULES. Entry Deadline is Dec. 4th, 1997. Entry fees are $5 each for the first two entries and $2.50 each for subsequent entries. Make your check payable to PALE ALES. All 28 styles of beer, Meads and Ciders will be judged, incl. two special categories for Red and White Wines. We reserve the privilege to collapse categories. Brewers may enter as many categories, as often as they wish, provided the entries are from different recipes. Send two (2) 10-14oz, brown or green glass bottles only for each entry. Bottles and caps must be free of any identifying markings or graphics. Grolsch style bottles are not acceptable. Bottle identification tags should be attached to the bottles by rubber bands. Do not use glue or tape. If you would like your score sheets returned, please attach a SASE to your entry. Score sheets can be picked up at Princeton Homebrew after the competition. Please, pack you beers very carefully and Mail entries to: Princeton Homebrew, 82 Nassau St. #20, Princeton, NJ 08542. ### Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 10:39:01 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: bubblegum & Brettanomyces Al Korzonas <<korz at xnet.com> wrote: >There are four things that lead me to believe that >this "bubblegum" yeast is Brettanomyces: > >* it is extremely slow-growing (takes three months to ferment a 1.050 wort) <<snip> I was going to wait until my warm fermented CAP was done lagering to respond to this, but I guess I'll jump in here. I fermented a CAP at 56F using a very large pitch of Wyeast 2124 (25ml yeast paste/gallon) and got a bubblegum flavor at the end of the ten day primary ferment. I don't know whether this is from 2124, a mutant or a contaminant. I suspect one of the latter two. I certainly don't think it is Brett. Not in ten days. I got the yeast from a micro where it had been sitting at the bottom of a 15 bbl. tank at 32F for two weeks, so the yeast may have been stressed. It took a couple of days to start in spite of the pitch rate, so this is suspicious. 56F shouldn't have been too warm, since the micro ferments at 60F and produces a clean pils. The only other time I had this flavor was with my first all grain lager in about 1984. I used all pilsner malt, but had to use dry Red Star "lager" yeast. That's all we had back in those primitive days unless you were a real pioneer. Who knows what it really was or how contaminated it was. The beer was either like Fleers or Topps. I can't remember. ;-) I hope this new one lagers out since it's for a friend's wedding. I'm not sanguine, but my wife says no one will care. I hope she's right, but I'm such a perfectionist I know I'll have to bite my tongue to not make apologies. I'm not ready to draw a conclusion about fermenting 2124 at 56F on the basis of one trial, but I don't think I'll do it again. I did it this time because I wanted to save a few days. 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: Wed, 26 Nov 97 10:45:51 EST From: Tim.Watkins at analog.com Subject: Mash Efficiency Greetings Collective, While calculating my mash efficiency for my last batch of brew ( a stout), I thought about something that I didn't know the answer to. I'm sure it's been discussed here before, but a quick search of the archives didn't address this one point. Here's my grainbill for the stout: 7 lbs. Muntons Pale Malt (2-row) 1 lb. flaked barley 1 lb. roasted barley Now, after mashing and sparging, I collected 5 gallons of 1.054 wort. Using these numbers, I get about 30pt-gal/lb. However, is this a fair way of calculating it, because it kind of assumes that all the grains you used have the same theoretical yield. If, you would weight each grain for it's potential, you would come up with different numbers. For example. Flaked barley had a yield of 30pt/lb. If I assume that all of this was dissolved in the wort, and the roasted barley (20pts/lb) was also, I can immediately subtract 50pts from my calculations. 5 gallons of 1.054 wort yields a total of 270 pts. 270 - 50 = 220 pts. Now, 220 pts divided by 7 lbs (pale malt) will give my about 31.5pt-gal/lb of efficiency for the pale malt. I know this is not a big deal at all, but it would help me to improve my consistency from batch to batch, if it can be reduced this way. It was my understanding that grains like crystal, roasted barley, and other grains that do not need mashing would easily dissolve the sugars therefore getting close to 100% efficiency from them, whereas the real work involves getting the most out of the base malt. Tim Lowell, MA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 10:55:47 EST From: dbgrowler at juno.com (Michael W Bardallis) Subject: Dispensing 3 beers/one co2 regulator Dan asks about dispensing his ales and lagers with a simple tee between gas in fittings: > When all three are hooked up together the co2 eventually leaves the pils and disperses to the >stout and ipa, Check valves are a step in the right direction. They'll prevent the lager from losing condition until you start dispensing it. As the level drops in the keg, the beer will lose co2 to the headspace in the keg, if your dispense pressure is lower than needed to keep the correct level of co2 dissolved in the beer at serving temp. The problem with boosting your dispense pressure to equillibrate your pils is, of course, that your ales will slowly acquire that high co2 level(and all taps may possibly dispense too quickly). Shutting off the gas to the ales when not dispensing is the easiest way of dealing with this problem. Having friends assist you in drinking the beer quickly is another. Shutoff valves for each keg can be purchased with integral check valves, often connected together in a simple manifold for not too may bux. Foxx in Kansas City is one source, and your friendly homebrew shop proprietor can surely help you locate what you need. Mike Bardallis, Allen Park, MI (home of that big tire) Now serving ordinary bitter and punkin ale on tap. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 10:54:37 -0800 From: George_De_Piro at berlex.com (George De Piro) Subject: More about starchy beer Hi all, It seems that my post about starchy beer from certain extract kits needs some additional info added to make it clear to everyone. I was *not* saying that *malt extracts* made with oats, etc. are bad. What I am saying is that starchy adjuncts cannot be steeped in the kettle in the production of beer. Starch must be converted to sugar prior to fermentation. This is usually accomplished during mashing. The major reason that you do not want starch in your wort is that it provides food for wild microbes. Brewer's yeast do not metabolize starch, but other microbes can. No matter how good your sanitation is, you will have some invaders in your wort. The keys are to minimize their numbers by good sanitation and to create an environment that is unfriendly to them. By putting starch in the wort, you are providing the invaders a food source with no competition from the brewer's yeast. It may take a while for the invaders to build up their numbers and ruin your beer, but ruin it they will. The beer may become overcarbonated with time. It may also develop off flavors and aromas. Starch is not what gives oatmeal stout its allegedly silky mouthfeel. The oats are mashed with all the other grains, so the starch they provide is converted to sugar. The same thing goes for flaked barley and other starchy grains. They must be mashed! You can steep crystal and roasted malts because there is very little starch left in them. For those of you who don't know, but may be interested, there is at least one major beer style that benefits from a starchy wort. Lambic beer is fermented by a wide assortment of yeasts and bacteria. The starch in the wort provides food for the organisms that might otherwise be out-competed by the fast-growing Saccharomyces species. Without a starchy wort, Lambic might not be quite as characterful as it is. I now return you to the "Marital Counseling Digest" Have fun! George De Piro (Nyack, NY; no, it's not a funny way to say "New York," it's a town in the NYC 'burbs!) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 97 16:19:50 UT From: "C&S Peterson" <CNS_PETERSON at classic.msn.com> Subject: Sparklers for Beer Engines HBDers - Just to kick in a little on the beer engine thread. A friend of mine build a plunger type BE per the Brew Your Own article. It worked pretty well, IMHO, but the most difficult and kluge-like portion of the project was the sparkler head. If you look in BT you'll find several suppliers of BE parts. Yesterday I ordered two sparkler heads (0.7mm holes). These plastic little gizmos are kind of expensive (~$9) for what they are, but may be the missing link for providing a *real pour* from one of the plunger BEs. I plan to rig (not sure how yet) one sparkler to a picnic tap (psudo-real ale, you might call it), and give one to my friend for use with his plunger BE. I'll read out any results when they become available. Anyone tried this already? Chas Peterson Laytonsville, Md Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 12:01:39 -0500 From: ejb11 at psu.edu (Edward J. Basgall) Subject: water softeners Hi Jeff, I worked for a water softener company in college as an installer. Basically what a water softener does is employ an ion exchange resin to remove hard ions (Calcium) and replace them with soft ones (Sodium). Not so good if you are on a sodium restriced diet and you dring a lot of water. Essentially, this allows you to lather up while showering, and saves the appliances (hot water heater, dishwasher, wash machine) from calcium scale build-up. I would recommend tasting and/or testing the water with the unit bypassed to see if it's good for brewing. There should be a handle behind the unit to bypass it. Let a nearby cold water faucet run awhile to flush out the line. If no bypass, try to find or install a spigot outside of the treatment system, usually the exterior hose faucets are not on the softened line. Follow the pipe from the main into the house and see if it T's off anywhere before the softener. The T outlet will be an unsoftened line. I would use that for my brewing water once I've had it tested or gotten water composition data from the local supplier. good luck cheers ed basgall SCUM State College Underground Maltsters State College, PA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 09:43:13 +0000 From: "Robert D. Dittmar" <Robert.D.Dittmar at STLS.frb.org> Subject: Re: Coffee Stout HBD Collective: Tim Dennis inquired in HBD #2566 about brewing a coffee stout. I have been hoping that someone would post a recipe to the HBD in reply to that post but I have not seen anything as of yet. Does anyone have a recipe for coffee stout that they could share with me or post to the HBD? I have become enamoured with this style after tasting Redhook's Double Black and wanted to give it a try for my next batch. If anyone could share their recipe, I would be greatly appreciative. I'm an extract/specialty grains brewer, but I could easily convert an all-grain recipe. Thanks much. Rob Dittmar St. Louis, MO Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 11:56:58 -0500 From: Denis Barsalo <denisb at CAM.ORG> Subject: Counter Pressure Filler Help Keggers and Bottlers, I inherited a CP filler and have attempted to use it. I would like some advice, or some "directions" so that I can maximize its usefulness. The way I understand it is this: 1. Connect CO2 with regulator to keg and CP filler 2. Connect beer keg to CP filler 3. Mount bottle in CP filler 3. Pressurize bottle by opening the gas valve on the filler 4. Close gas valve 5. Open beer valve to fill bottle 6. When beer flow stops open release valve 7. When bottle is full, close beer valve 8. Open release valve, remove bottle Is this the proper procedure? I seem to get very foamy beer when I follow these procedures. Should I be using cold bottles? Should I use higher pressure? (Right now, I'm using 18 psi.) What is the recommended pressure to use to fill beer bottles? How high can I go? Denis Barsalo (Dorval, Quebec) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 11:49:24 -0500 From: "Pat Babcock" <pbabcock at oeonline.com> Subject: RE: Mash Efficiency > Greetings Collective, > While calculating my mash efficiency for my last batch of brew ( a <SNIP> > However, is this a fair way of calculating it, because it kind of > assumes that all the grains you used have the same theoretical > yield. If, you would weight each grain for it's potential, you > would come up with different numbers. For example. Flaked barley > had a yield of 30pt/lb. If I assume that all of this was dissolved > in the wort, and the roasted barley (20pts/lb) was also, I can > immediately subtract 50pts from my calculations. Very good points! Our method of determining efficiency for any adjunct loaded batch does kind of leave you high-and-dry for determining the exact contributions of the base malt. Knowing exactly what is being extracted in your system would help you in your recipe formulation immensely. However, doing so by your proposed method causes you to make some assumptions. For instance, you assume that the adjunct grains WILL deliver their full potential in your system. This isn't very likely. In effect, you end up potentially short-changing the contribution of the pale malt, and end up with nominally higher gravities than your calculations would anticipate. Still in error; you simply switch the direction. A better method would be to make a beer from 100% pale malt - NO adjuncts - using your system and your normal procedures. Measure the efficiency of this batch to give you an idea of what you extract from the base malt in your system. Mind you, this too has a built in error in that their are no enzyme-free/limited adjuncts loading the enzymes provided by the pale malt but, again, for the majority of us, the pale malts we used have more than enough enzymes to convert themselves and all their friends (Sounds like one of those evangelical religions, doesn't it? "Have you been convertted? Join us in the holy sacharrification!"), so I offer that the differences will be trivial. You might also do a batch like this on a cycle to ensure you (a) get a database going: the more datapoints, the better representation you get of your system and (b) capture any gains or losses from changes in your methods. See ya! Pat Babcock in SE Michigan pbabcock at oeonline.com Home Brew Digest Web Site http://hbd.org The Home Brew Page http://oeonline.com/~pbabcock/brew.html Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 09:38:16 -0800 From: Sheena McGrath <sheena at gte.net> Subject: Re: rye beers Wise Ones! I want to make a rye beer with 8 pounds Klages and 4 pounds rye malt? What would be the best way to mash it? I understand that I'll need a good book and some brews handy, but I don't want to be at this all night. Any suggestions? Sheena Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 13:15:36 -0500 (EST) From: Rust1d <rust1d at usa.net> Subject: Good Advice gone bad Mike D. writes in HBD 2567: "My comment that the beer should not be allowed to sit on the sedimentation for long periods brought a direct email response from a more seasoned homebrewer. (BTW, John, yours was the only response to my submittal.) The basic message was that after I had considerable more brew-sessions under my belt (only have 5, so far) I would be more inclined to leave batches sitting on sedimented yeast for 3-4 weeks or longer because cleanup was such a pain. Such a philosophy seems to reflect that perhaps the joy of homebrewing has lost its luster. What was once a pleasure is now a chore." This is my response via private email on 11/20/97: "I'm sure this is just one of many emails you will receive. Beer sitting in the primary for three weeks is not a concern. I routinely leave ale in the primary for this long (I don't use a secondary for ales). I will usually leave it for 3-4 weeks and then keg directly from the primary or transfer to a carboy and bottle. It is much more sanitary (less chance of infection) and much less headache. You being new to the hobby, however, have probably not gotten tired of sanitizing carboys and racking beer. After you get a couple of dozen brews under your belt you too will consider skipping the secondary (it also helps to have a dozen carboys in which to leave beer in)." I just wanted to clear up what I was directing Mike to do. By skipping racking to a secondary, you reduce the risk of exposing your beer to oxygen and infections. In my opinion, cleaning and sanitizing carboys is a chore that I can do without and is not part of the joy I get from homebrewing (especially lifting a carboy full of water). What I was referring to was how as a newbie you will want to "play" with your beer and probably want to rack it. You will probably have to rack it to keep from going stir crazy with no hobby related stuff to do. Once you have made several batches and no longer feel the need to play, you will be able to relax and let the beer be. I routinely have 4-6 carboys of beer sitting around, so if I feel the need to do some beer related activity, I bottle or keg (or stare at the airlock). If I don't, then the beer sits till I do. Believe me, homebrewing has not lost its luster. One taste of my IPA and you too would agree, racking to a secondary container is not necessary. While on the subject of cleaning carboys, is 1 teaspoon of TSP and 1 teaspoon of bleach per gallon a good cleaner/sanitizer? I currently use just bleach which will eat away most deposits in 2-3 days (another advantage to having many carboys, you can let them soak). Krausen rings will occasionally survive such a soak so I have considered using CTSP in the dosage specified. Will this be effective? Should I cut back the TSP level since the bleach will do some of the cleaning? My wife has her own tap in the beer fridge. So long as that pours forth beer to her liking there is never a complaint about expenses/time spent. Once you have a three tier brewery, pumps, chillers, kegs and fridges purchased, this hobby can be pretty cheap. I just glad I got it all before we brought a house. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 12:30:45 -0600 (CST) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: Water Softener Jeff asks what a water softener does to your water... Well, if it's an RO softener then it makes virtually ion-free water to which you will want to add back some brewing salts to get reasonable results (sulphate for Bitters, IPAs, Dortmunders, etc.; a little carbonate/bicarbonate for the very dark beers; a little calcium for all beers). Most water softeners are the ion-exchange type (the kind into which you put a block (or crystals) of salt). This kind of softener works by replacing calcium (bad for the home, good for brewing) with sodium (less bad than calcium for the home, bad for brewing). Therefore, you should bypass an ion-exchange water softener for brewing (both extract and all-grain). 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: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 13:41:17 -0500 From: shaun.funk at SLKP.COM Subject: Kegging equipment Being the great husband that I am, I bought my wife a new refridgerator last month ( with alterior motives, of course)=2E Wit the old fridge as my newest piece of homebreing=20 equipment I am now ready to take the plunge into kegging=2E I am in the process of making up my christmas list, which=20 will include a heavy presence of kegging equipment=2E I have found a source for an entire setup, keg, co2 tank, dual guage regulator, and lines for $149=2E However, I=20 don't think any one gift giver is going to spring for the=20 total system=2E So I will list the items individually with price and source(mail order, most likely) =2E So far I have located reconditioned ball lock cornies for around $23 with shipping=2E I have found a dual guage regulator for $50 with no shipping charge=2E The lines and=20 fittings don't concern me=2E They are cheap enough and=20 available locally=2E My main concern is the CO2 tank=2E =20 I have a couple of questions on which way to go=2E =20 Let me first say that I have tried all the fire extinguisher,=20 welding supply, and beverage distributors in town and=20 they either want to lease me the tank ( $70/yr ), sell me a 20# tank for $100+, or only recharge but don't sell CO2 tanks=2E 1) What size should I be looking for? I have seen=20 everything from 2=2E5# to 20# tanks=2E I understand that a 5# tank will last for about 8-10 kegs=2E Going price for a 5# tank seems to be about $80=2E I brew about 15=20 times a year and still plan to bottle the few big beers and meads that I make=2E Should I get a larger tank? 2) Are used tanks OK? I know that your tank needs=20 to be re-certified every 5 years, and if it fails the test it is rendered unusable ( a hole is drilled in=20 the cylinder)=2E If I go with used, can expect some=20 kind of guarantee, what kind of product lifetime can I expect? TIA, Shaun Funk Moon Shadow Brewery Clemmons, NC shaun=2Efunk at slkp=2Ecom I'll put something cute here when I come up with it Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 01:05:19 -0800 From: John_E_Schnupp at amat.com Subject: magnetic stirrer I would first like to thank those who responded with information about stirring magnets and where to get them. I now have several more neat website bookmarks. I opted not to purchase, instead, I successfully constructed my own stirrer and it cost me $0.00 :-) Here's my approach: Stirrers: Dave Burley suggested that I make my own stirring magnets by using a nail in some sealed tubing, I opted for this approach. I cut several lengths using a nail that fit inside some teflon tubing. I then sealed the ends by melting them, be careful with this as it can be easy to catch the tubing on fire. I made 3/4", 1", 1.5" and 2" stirrers. The nails were from my workshop and the tubing was scraps obtained from work. I now had to figure out how get these little suckers to spin in an erlymer flask. Magnets: I have some *very, very* strong magnets that I also got from work. In their former life they were used to couple a robot which is inside a vacuum chamber to it's motor which is at atmospheric pressure. The little beasties are about 1" square and 1/4" thick. I'm not sure of their composition but I'll bet they are some rare earth ceramic type magnets. Anyway, the stirrers I made were attracted to them in a big way, but how do I get the magnet to spin. Motor: I considered several different ways of making the magnet spin. Several folks told me that 300-500 RPM was probably the minimum acceptable speed. In order to have some sort of speed control, I decided that a DC motor was the way to go. I also wanted to be able to attach the magnet directly to the motor shaft instead of having to use pulleys or gears. Last week as I was cleaning out my garage to make room for the car, I came across something and the proverbial light bulb turned on, a muffin fan. I am quite a pack-rat and had several sizes and types. I settled for one with metal blades (steel I think, judging by the way the magnet was attracted to it) and rated at 18 VDC. I tested the fan without the magnet and found that it worked down to about 10 VDC, below this and the fan would just stall. I centered the magnet on the hub and tried again. The magnet didn't seem effect the fan at all. I made a case from some scrap wood in my shop. I found that the magnet needed to be fairly close to the stirrer in order to maintain the magnetic coupling at high speeds. I constructed the case so that the bottom of the flask was slightly less than 1/8" away from the bottom of the erlymer flask. To do this I cut a hole in the center of a piece of 1/4" plywood (so the magnet can rotate) and adjusted the height of the fan until I had the desired coupling. A fan with a plastic case will require attaching a magnet with some sort of epoxy type glue. Results: This baby rips. When I first tried it out I used a 1" stirrer. It actually stirred too much so I made a 3/4" stirrer which is much more to my liking. I found that about 12 VDC gave me a nice whirlpool with it's vertex at the stirrer. I know this isn't a lab quality device but for the price (free for me, a few $$ if you need to buy one or more items) you can't beat it. John Schnupp, N3CNL Colchester, VT 95 XLH 1200 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 13:24:13 -0600 (CST) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: Starch in beers Joe writes: >Okay, now I'm worried. Whats wrong with unmalted adjuncts? I am >biting my fingernails waiting for my oatmeal stout to finish >conditioning. If the grain is geletanized (as I assume the flaking >process does, as per Papazian) and added as an adjunct before the >wort is boiled (and removed when it does), why is there risk for >infection? And why would someone worry much about haze in a stout? Gelatinization only allows the starch to be extracted from the protein matrix which binds it together in the grain. It does not mean that the starch is converted to sugars and dextrins. That conversion requires mashing and mashing requires enzymes... something that unmalted grains don't have. Therefore, to use unmalted grains, you must use some proportion (usually no less than 50%) of some malted barley or wheat for the enzymes and you must mash (you know, keep it between 150 and 158F for roughly an hour). >As for starchy beer not being very good, I assumed that it was just >the starch content that gave an oatmeal stout its characteristic >mouth feel. Is this incorrect? This is my second batch brewed, so >bear with me if my questions display my ignorance. It's not surprising that you may be confused about this because I feel that Charlie's book has been misinterpreted by many on this point. It's not starch that gives oatmeal stouts it's creaminess... there are other compounds at work. I want to say beta-glucans, but don't quote me on it... I don't have my usual reference books here. You don't want starch in any finished beer... the reason that people *say* starchy beer is at risk for infection is because part of what keeps beer from spoiling is that there is little there for any microbes to eat (the yeast have eaten most of it). This is probably an exaggeration at best, because whatever can eat starch can probably eat dextrins too and we don't talk about high-dextrin beers being more susceptible to infections, do we? Starchy beer doesn't taste good at best and there's little point to including something in your recipe that adds nothing to the beer except a starchy flavour and permanent haze. As for your oatmeal stout, don't worry about it, but get some oatmeal stout extract (William's carries it, maybe others?) next time and hold off on adding unmalted grains till you do begin mashing. 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: Wed, 26 Nov 97 13:34:18 -0600 From: jkallo at snaefell.tamu.edu (Joseph S. Kallo) Subject: Oats in Extract Thanks to all who responded to my questions about using unmalted adjuncts. Several responses indicated that having starch in your finished beer was invitation for infection. I am still not sure if my procedure would have produced residual starches. I used a pound of flaked oats and added them as I do other specialty grains. That is, I put them in a grain bag and placed the bag in my kettle which I then began heating. When the water reached 170F I removed the heat and allowed the grains to steep for 15 min. After the steeping period the wort was abot 160F and I heated it back up to 170F at which time I removed the grain bag. I pseudo-sparged with ~180F water to bring the wort level back up to 3gal. I read the responses to my question at my office this morning and got so worked up I headed home after class to check a bottle out (this of course was simply an excuse to drink one today rather than wait the two weeks I promised myself I would). I don't think long term infections/off flavors are going to be an issue with this batch. Joe's Oatmeal Stout: More proof that the best things in life are ephemeral. JK - -------------------------------------- Joseph S. Kallo Department of Philosophy Texas A&M University jkallo at snaefell.tamu.edu - -------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 13:38:21 -0600 (CST) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: Brewing w/corn sugar John writes: >Graham Wheeler's book Brew Your Own Real Ale at Home has a recipe for Fuller's >London Pride which calls for invert sugar. I tried making invert sugar with >cane sugar and citric acid but do not know whether it actually inverted or not. >I don't think it makes much difference anyway. In another of Wheeler's books >he substitutes ordinary table sugar for invert in recipes. 1. Fuller's no longer uses any refined sugars in their beers (according to Reg Drury, Director of Brewing at Fuller's), 2. At the times and pH we would encounter making our own invert sugar, only a very small percentage of the sucrose would actually be inverted. Wheeler is correct in substituting table sugar for invert because the yeast will invert it for you (invertase... they cannot use sucrose without first inverting it). Invert sugar syrup is made because inverting even a very small amount of the sucrose is enough to keep the syrup from crystalising (well, actually to reduce crystalisation significantly). 3. I must warn you that Brew Your Own Real Ale at Home presumes very poor extract yield and relatively poor hop utilization. If you do get the book and do try to use the recipes, I suggest recalculating all the grain and hop bills to account for your yield and utilization, which is very likely to be considerably higher. The book mentions this, but only *after* all the recipes. 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: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 11:54:24 -0800 From: Scott Murman <smurman at best.com> Subject: Re: Rousing the wee beasties John Wilkinson wrote: > Steven Smith says he is having a hard time getting an ESB yeast to > ferment because of floculation. If the yeast is Wyeast 1968 I have > had no problem with it if well aerated or oxygenated. I usually get > about 75 percent appare nt attenuation without ever rousing the > yeast. It does seem to require good aeration at pitch time but I > don't know that it is any more demanding in this respect than any > other yeast. I've found that the highly flocculant yeasts like Wy1968 will eventually ferment out, but it takes a little longer. I've had good luck using a little less priming sugar, and then letting the beer bottle condition. At first the beer will be somewhat sweet, but then after 3-4 weeks, after the remaining yeast munch the remaining sugar and drop out, the beer really rounds into shape. I'm serving just this for Thanksgiving. I aerate with pure O2 BTW. Rousing the yeast IMO will not really provide you with improved performance unless you can do it constantly (ala the Sam Smith's stone set-up), and could lead to problems. SM (in Cybeeria) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 97 12:02:19 -0800 From: "Brian Thompson"<bthompson at mfi.com> Subject: Re[2]: bubblegum & Brettanomyces Al K. writes: >I've used perhaps 50 strains of Saccharomyces over the years and I don't >recall a bubblegum aroma from any of them. While my brewing experience pales in comparison to that of Al's, I do have to disagree on the above point. Maybe my nose is simply a victim of the power of suggestion, because I have read in a couple sources (Patrick Weix's Yeast FAQ being one of them) that Wyeast 1024 (Belgian Ale) gives a fair amount of bubblegum aroma if fermented at a high temp. But I brewed a dubbel about two weeks ago using this yeast, and my starter (kept at a pretty constant 80'F) smelled like a bubblegum factory when I pitched it. There were definitely hints of banana, but the bubblegum aroma was dominant. I fermented the batch at around 65'F and noticed far, far fewer bubblegum notes in the finished product. Banana esters were more dominant, but not overpowering BTW. I also notice slight bubblegum notes in Chimay Red. Just a small datapoint. Brian in San Francisco Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 97 14:03:26 CST From: jwilkins at wss.dsccc.com (John Wilkinson) Subject: dingasm at worldnet.att.net Mike Dingas questioned the practice of leaving beer on the sediment for 3 weeks or more. My brewing situation is perhaps odd in that I brew on the weekend at a place I have out of town. I usually brew one weekend and rack the next but not infrequently I cannot get back the next weekend and leave the beer in the fermenter for two weeks. Occasionally it has gone three weeks. I am now setting the dubious record of five weeks. I brewed on the 25th of October and didn't get back until last weekend. However, I had conflicts and could not rack then. I will finally rack off the sediment Friday, after Thanksgiving. I won't reuse the yeast as it is the last of my usual series of three with the same yeast. I expect the beer to be fine, though. I guess I will find out. John Wilkinson - Grapevine, Texas - (brewing in Palestine, Texas) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 15:22:16 -0500 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Choreboy Improvement,Softened water/RO Brewsters: Aaron S. says: -I then tried pouring the cooled wort through my funnel, straining out t= he -hop slime. It was soon coated, and I resorted to a method of pour, clea= n the -strainer, pour, clean the strainer... Mark Nelson says: >I've never been very successful with pellet hops and siphoning them out.= = To >make a short story long, I resort to funneling everything into the primary, >letting the ferment go with all that trub for the first 3 or so days, th= en >going to secondary. I figure this gets the beer off of the trub before = it >can cause too many problems. Aaron S. and Mark's comments on difficulties of removing hops and trub from the wort involving filtering, etc. etc. All techniques deemed, at the best, unsanitary and more importantly, perhaps, a messy PITA.. First, I always remove the wort *from* the hops leaving = the spent hops in the boiler. I generally use whole leaf hops, because the Morris Hanbury plugs are so wonderful (Yadda,Yadda) and because I have always felt (without proof) that the small bits of hops in the rabbit pellets could on occasion sneak by and plug things up. Although, I do have an improvement on this process detailed below that may work with the rabbit food pelleted hops. I have detailed this method of removing the wort from the hops numbers of times in the past under the title of "Choreboy". Take a look in the archives if you have any questions. This simple process of attaching a three dimensional, = open weave filter of large relative surface area = ( sounds high tech for a pot-scrubber, doesn't it?) to the bottom of the cane allows you to use the the hops themselves as a filter to produce clear trub-free wort. For a long time I have used = a soap-free Choreboy copper metal turnings scrubber and without fail it produced the desired results. I tip the boiler and when I finish, the hops are virtually dry and I can't wring more than = a few milliliters of wort from them. So now to the issue at hand. I invited one of my buddies to watch me brew a couple of weeks ago and he helped me clean up. {8^) To my horror, I found him scrubbing my pots with my extra Choreboy hop strainer! {8^( . Having destroyed that one, I later found out he left the other Choreboy in the hops ( I pull the cane out of the Choreboy when I'm finished = and and retrieve the Choreboy later) and then he dutifully carried the brewers grains and hops out to the trash. So much for inspired cheap help! These events conspired to send me out to buy a new hop strainer. I couldn't find a Choreboy at this particular small grocery store, but I found a really excellent alternative to a Choreboy. I used it yesterday for the first time and it is terrific= =2E I bought the Scotch Brite Strainless Steel Scrubber. It is much fuller than the Choreboy, shaped like a hair bun ( you know those hair arrangements you used to push a pencil into of the girl seated in front of you in your hormones-out-of-control days). It looks like it could be unwound for all kinds of interesting projects in the filtration area. Perhaps unroll it and wrap the helical SS strip around the copper sparger tube in the bottom = of the cooler to minimize plugging by grain, esp for RIMS. = It is also superior in that the cane can easily be pushed into the center and it stays on the cane without wiring or other accoutrements. See, all that youthful training helped! I'm going to gradually sneak up on the rabbit pellet problem with this strainer when I can't get whole leaf hops I desire, since I believe it might work at least with a mixture of pelleted hops and whole leaf hops. - ------------------------------------------- Jeff Haley has lately moved to Homebrewer's Heaven = in Texas from Homebrewer's ( and even beer drinker's) Hell in Oklahoma and asks about the effect of softened water on his brewing. = For one thing all those minerals that were in your water are gone and only sodium remains. That can be an immediate health problem for some with high blood pressure and long term for many if you don't start taking mineral supplements to replace this valuable source of trace ( and not so trace) minerals. I suspect that long term consumption of just sodium is not good for you. Now that I've given you the rationale to use with your SO go out and spend $200 to get a small RO (Reverse Osmosis) filter which will produce mineral ( including sodium) free water for drinking and brewing. It is available at Home Depot and similar stores and water conditioner businesses. With even minimal skills and tools you can install it in an hour or less under your kitchen sink or wherever you want the supply. You will make wonderful lagers if you just use this water with no additions. Other beers can easily be made by adding minerals to this water with no messy calculations. I have a water softener (to keep the iron from chewing up my copper water pipes) and an RO unit which produces about 6 gallons per day = (specs say 10 gallons) I fill up 10 one-gallon plastic bottles over a two day period and keep those around for brewing when I want. This water makes great coffee and ice cubes, too. I wouldn't trade it in for anything! - ----------------------------------- Keep on brewin' Dave Burley Kinnelon, NJ 07405 103164.3202 at compuserve.com Dave_Burley at compuserve.com = Voice e-mail OK = Return to table of contents
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