HOMEBREW Digest #2584 Tue 16 December 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

  Mysterious Noche (Lizardhead)
  more hydrometer stuff (Dave Whitman)
  Question about winemaking (Jorge Blasig - IQ)
  Re: Top Ten (bthumm)
  re: band-aids and oats (Lou Heavner)
  re: instrument for sampling (Lou Heavner)
  RE:Starch and dextrins in beer ("Kensler, Paul")
  Re: Priming (Lou Heavner)
  dark malts/viennas-ofests/kitchens (Dave Sapsis)
  RE:  glycol jackets (ETSA)" <Jackson.Bill at etsa.com.au>
  Instrument for Sampling (Mark Garthwaite)
  Toppin' up the kettle (Michael W Bardallis)
  clini-to-rest ("Andy Walsh")
  sanitize times (kathy)
  Re: Zymurgy problems? (Steve Zabarnick)
  syringe technique attribution (mwmccaw)
  Has this happened to you? (Andrew Ager)
  RE:  torrefied wheat ("Kensler, Paul")
  Don't go rushing to throw out your carboy and blow off tube (George De Piro)
  Re: Zymurgy problems? ("Brian M. Rezac")
  Sparge Manifolds/Keg Conversion ("Rock Lucas")
  Glass Airlock (Rust1d)
  Yeast for a huge ale? ("Steven W. Smith")
  Re: CW/CCW (Richard Stueven)
  Re: help with rye beer (Sheena McGrath)
  Lager characteristic identification ("Riedel, Dave")
  torrefied wheat (Andrew Stavrolakis)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 11 Dec 97 12:46:18 -0700 From: Lizardhead <memerson at fone.net> Subject: Mysterious Noche >From: headbrewer at juno.com (Mark D Weaver) >Subject: Buena Noche Metallic flavour Mark, I recently picked up a sixpack of the Noche myself, and know the "Flavor" of which you speak. I have had some experience with a flavor such as this, and "racked" my brain for weeks/months figuring out what was producing it. I would best describe the flavor as a light metallic/astringent smoke character. Not pure metallic, definitely not iron, and the flavor may expand in the glass due to CO2 release. This mystery flavor appeared in only one of our regular production beers and none of the others. Water, Yeast and Hop varieties were ruled out due to the fact that we were using them in other beers without developing the "flavor". To this day I don't have a definitive, concrete answer to what caused the problem, but we found that our maltster had recently begun producing a "Peated malt" as well as some other specialty products for large brewers, and they were unsure of how this production may have been effecting their other products. My suspicion was that a high roast malt (chocolate or black) immediately followed a specialty roast (coffee or peated) and was somehow tainted. We discarded our chocolate and black in current lot numbers, and started fresh. The problem diminished significantly, but was still noticeable in small amounts (you might say I became hyper sensitive to this "flavor") until our lots of higher L crystals were used up as well. I'm afraid I can't drink the other 5 Noche Buenas in my fridge, and so I save them for friends who don't mind the "flavor". For me, the "flavor" will always dominate my senses and launch me on a reminiscent trip I'd rather not take. Hopefully you'll never find yourself trying to rid yourself of this flavor in your own beers, but if you do, feel free to drop me a line. later, Mark Youngquist Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 14:58:41 -0500 From: Dave Whitman <dwhitman at rohmhaas.com> Subject: more hydrometer stuff Brian Dixon asks: >Question: I'd like to use the CRC Handbook of Chemistry to assist with >calibrating my hydrometer ... since lately there's been some discretion >between mine and my brother's. > >On p.D-275 of the '83-'84 edition, is a table that shows specific gravity >versus lbs of solute dissolved per gallon (or grams dissolved per liter). >I guess you just dump the required weight of sugar into a container that's >calibrated in gallons (or liters), then add and mix water to get to exactly >1 gallon (liter), right? That way, you have the required gallon (liter) of >solution with the required weight of solute (invert sugar). My question >has to do with what the handbook calls "sugar". The top of the page says >(at T=20C) to use "invert sugar" where "invert sugar" is an "equimolar >mixture of fructose and glucose obtained by hydrolyzing sucrose." Now I >would guess that table sugar (sucrose, eh?) would be naturally hydrolized >just by sitting around in my Oregon atmosphere. Shouldn't it be accurate >enough to just use the required weight of the table sugar as-is? Or is >this "invert sugar" described in the handbook something else? Ah, these young whippersnappers with their newfangled editions of CRC. In my '73 edition, that section stopped at page D-246. We never needed those extra pages back then, and they're just causin' you grief now. <grin> Your proposed procedure for making the solution is correct, but the substitution of sucrose for invert sugar is a bit iffy and would give incorrect results. The data you need is a few pages earlier in that same section of the book (D-229 in my '73 edition, D-??? in yours) in a table that gives many properties of sucrose solutions of different concentrations. The labels are sufficiently cryptic that you probably just paged by it without noticing what was there. The A% by wt. column tells you the composition of the solution (in this case on a weight/weight basis). The specific gravity column is labeled D with 20 as a subscript and a superscript. In my edition, it's the 3rd column. For example, to make up the A% 15.00 standard solution, you would weigh 15.00 g of sucrose, then add enough water to bring the total weight up to 100.00 g. According to the table, SG at 20C/68F is 1.0610. If you're calibrating the hydrometer, you'll want to generate a temperature correction function anyway. Warm your standard solutions to 90F or so in the microwave, then take a series of readings at different temperatures as it cools. Use the slope of the observed curve to fudge the "known" SG at 68F to 60F or whatever you want your baseline temperature to be (not strictly rigorous, but the error will be small). Compare the observed baseline temperature reading with this corrected "expected value". Alternatively, you could do what I did and just fit the entire multiple solution/temperature dataset to a correction function in both observed SG and temperature. Dave Whitman dwhitman at rohmhaas.com "Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not Rohm and Haas Company" Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 17:38:44 -0300 (GMT-0300) From: Jorge Blasig - IQ <gisalb at elmer.fing.edu.uy> Subject: Question about winemaking Dear friends, it is almost impossible for me to brew good beer during the summer. Temperatures go as high as 30 C or higher and beers would be to fruity according to what I know. I know there are several methods to cool the batch but I do not think I can use any of them now. I consider brewing wine. I have prepared meads with good success. Wheather conditions are good to brew wine during the summer here in Uruguay. I read several articles about wine making and have some recipes too. So I am prepared. I have a question though: how should I use sulfite (methabisulfite) to stop fermentation and stabilize the final product according to my taste? I know you are all brewers but I would appreciate if anyone can send me some information or at least an Internet address where I can find anything about this subject. I have explored the NET with no success. May be any of you could help me? Thanks, Jorge Blasig Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 97 10:13:45 CST From: bthumm at entergy.com Subject: Re: Top Ten >>Just thought I'd pass this along, so that all you advanced brewers >>could gauge how much you'll have to ramp up production to break >>into the TOP 10. 8^) Sure, anyone can produce 27.2 million hectoliters of beer. The problem is selling it... Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 15:23:23 -0600 From: lheavner at tcmail.frco.com (Lou Heavner) Subject: re: band-aids and oats From: Bill Goodman <goodman at apwk01g1.nws.noaa.gov> >In HBD 2577, Steve Jackson <stevejackson at rocketmail.com> wrote: >> To provide one datapoint, one of my first batches received a >>infection >> (likely wild yeast, since fermentation also behaved funny by >> continuing much longer than it should have) that eventually made >>the >> beer undrinkable due to an increasingly strong band-aid phenolic >>aroma >> and flavor. {snip} >I had the same problem with my first homebrew attempt a month ago. I >used unboiled bottled water for the entire batch and ended up with a >phenolic-tasting batch. Wonder if this could also have come from >inadequately rinsing chlorine bleach sanitizing solution from my >fermenter and other equipment? In any case, I got wise for my second >homebrew attempt by boiling all water and using Iodophor to sanitize >instead of chlorine bleach. Bill, I've known several people who got that band-aid smell. It usually happened on about their 3rd or 4th batch and got progressively more objectionable everytime they brewed. I am convinced that each of those cases was an infection. In fact, one of my friends pretty much nailed it down to his bottle filler. His solution was to ask his wife for a kegging system for his birthday and that worked. He makes good beer again. If it happens on your first batch with virgin equipment and you really paid attention to cleanliness and sanitaition, then chlorine may be the culprit. My opinion is that it is usually an infection that produces that smell unless you are using water treated with ClO2. >Now on to a question about my second attempt last week, an oatmeal >stout. For a 5-gallon batch, I steeped 0.5 lb. steel cut oats (i.e., >not pre-gelatinized like rolled oats) with 1 lb. of other specialty >grains (crystal, chocolate, roasted) at about 160 degrees F for 45 >minutes before combining with other malt extracts. Was this the >correct >way to handle steel cut oats? My homebrew supplier says that sounds >OK, >but I read some postings to the rec.crafts.brewing newsgroup, in >response to someone else's questions about oatmeal stouts, that say >you >must cook steel cut oats first to pre-gelatinize, and then mash. I'm >confused...which is correct? How will my brew turn out? The bad news is that oats do need to be gelatanized in order to make the starches available. The good news is that since you are not mashing, you don't want those starches. There are other constituents of oats which help make its contribution unique. I don't know how your beer will turn out. Worst case is that it won't have much shelf life before resident undesirable bugs begin to feed on any starch which came from the oats and make it taste/smell yucky. With any luck, you may have stumbled on a way to make an oatmeal stout without mashing. If it were me, I'd not take any chances and start drinking it early and often. Cheers! Lou fermenting and formenting in the Silicon Hills, aka Austin, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 15:29:52 -0600 From: lheavner at tcmail.frco.com (Lou Heavner) Subject: re: instrument for sampling Greetings, Nick asks about an instrument for taking hydrometer samples. I use a glass turkey baster that I found at the mall. Plastic ones work and are cheaper, but I like being able to see clearly the sample being drawn, figure glass is easier to sanitize, and don't want anybody to confuse it with the one used for basting turkeys! It also makes a great siphon starter. Cheers! Lou Fermenting and Formenting in Silicon Hills, aka Austin, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 15:21:17 -0700 From: "Kensler, Paul" <PKensler at itcmedia.com> Subject: RE:Starch and dextrins in beer I have a single data point, following up on George DePiro's comments: George said: "A few issues ago (snip) Al questioned my statement that starchy beer will lead to infections by supporting bacterial growth. He pointed out that there are other compounds in the wort that... (snip)" I recently made an "experimental" batch of Belgian Wit (one of my favorite styles). Typically, I do an all-grain batch with half pils malt, and half raw wheat flakes (plus some rice hulls to assist the sparge). Given that wits are traditionally cloudy partially due to the large amount of unconverted starch (and for other reasons that do not pertain to the starch thread), and given that my wits usually turn out very clear, I decided to experiment by boiling the raw grains and removing about a gallon of liquid. The remaining grains and liquid were mixed with the pils malt and mashed for an hour. During the sparge, I added the starchy liquid to the runnoff, then boiled, fermented and packaged as usual. Results: The beer had a very cloudy appearance, and threw an incredibly dense chill haze (no surprise). The flavor and body were spot-on, and I declared it my finest wit ever. Two weeks later, there was a thick purplish-gray chunky sediment on the bottom, all the bottles were overcarbonated, the flavor and aroma were off, and the final gravity had dropped a couple of points. Clearly, I had a secondary infection, and the remaining wit was poured down the drain (thankfully, I drank most of it before it was spoiled). In 3 years and 40 batches of brewing, I have never had an infection, so I am reasonably sure the it was caused by wild yeast or bacteria feeding off the starches. Paul Kensler Keeping his wits about him in Plano, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 16:02:13 -0600 From: lheavner at tcmail.frco.com (Lou Heavner) Subject: Re: Priming Greetings, Michael Kowalczyk asked about his flat oatmeal porter. I made my first batch of beer with oatmeal, a stout, 2 months ago. It too, tasted good, but never carbonated sufficiently to get, let alone sustain, a head. I used "too much" (almost 25% of the grain bill) oatmeal because I wanted to use the whole container and the small size was too small. Quaker 2 minute oats. I figured that oatmeal affected heading since it is oilier than other grains and that my beer's problem was from using too much. My recipe even had a half pound of wheat for improved heading to no avail. Never had a heading problem before with all-grain or extract except for one lager which finally carbonated. It just took 5 or 6 weeks and was probably due to lack of yeast at bottling time after cold lagering. 9 weeks later and this oatmeal stout still isn't properly conditioned. It will be all gone before it gets a head unless a miracle occurs this weekend. Just another oatmeal datapoint. Is this a common problem? Lou Fermenting and Formenting and FREEZING in Silicon Hills, aka Austin, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 15:12:49 -0800 From: Dave Sapsis <DAVE_SAPSIS at fire.ca.gov> Subject: dark malts/viennas-ofests/kitchens As someone has actually said something nice about me on the forum (thanks Charley), I am encouraged to creep out of my shell. One point regarding dark grains: they have high variability, both within and between maltsters. Black barley *should* be reserved for unmalted barley grain that is roasted to the approximate degree that patent is. It is relatively common for UK maltsters to make this, and increasingly, US maltsters are following suit. A really enlightening comparison is to compare a tea made with the lighter "roast barley" from someone like Briess, with the black barely from someone like M&F or Hugh Baird... they neither smell nor taste similar tp me. Remember that to make these darkest grains (somewhere over 600 Lov frequently) the maltster is practicing controlled burning -- a topic that is near and dear to me. The trick is to get it to the edge, but not end up with charcoal. Tricky indeed. ****** I fully agree with George regarding the dumming of the distinctions between Viennas and Ofest/maerzens. If we agree that smaller, drier, more minerally interpretations represent the former, and the distinctly toasty-malty fullness represent the latter, the way the specs read makes no sense . If you want, do away with both and call them amber lagers and be done with it. Lump or split, dammit, just dont do both at the same time! ****** And how can I pass up commenting on the ownership of the room reserved for the art of cooking? All I know is that whenever there is a mess (anywhere) it is, most assuredly "his". And to be quite honest, most of the time she be tellin' da troof. Thats my cue to scram out dat briar patch! Cheers, - --dave in Sacto (~80 miles due south of Paradise) "By and by she let on Moses been dead a considerable long time, an I stopped listnin den, as I don't take no stock in dead people". --Huck David Sapsis Fire and Fuels Specialist CDF Fire and Resource Assessment Program 916.227.1338 dave_sapsis at fire.ca.gov Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 09:52:59 +0930 From: "Jackson, Bill (ETSA)" <Jackson.Bill at etsa.com.au> Subject: RE: glycol jackets Manuel, I cant help with the glycol etc but I have seen some small wineries here use swimming pool solar water heater tubing wrapped around their stainless steel tanks with brine passed through them. Insulated with "Lots" of bubble packing wrap! Where I saw it it was working in 40C heat on tanks upto 6000 litres and holding (I pressume) 8-12C temps. Bill Bill Jackson Adelaide, South Australia >I am a student who chosed a project about building a homebrew machine, >and i am interested in building a glycol jacket for my fermenter, but i >have no idea how to do it. >How i have to build the jacket ? It is a conventional baffled jacket? >A half pipe jacket ? > Manuel Munarriz Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 17:35:06 -0600 (CST) From: Mark Garthwaite <mgarth at primate.wisc.edu> Subject: Instrument for Sampling For sampling beer from a fermenter, I've used a 25 mL graduated pipet and simply mouth-pipeted (like they told you not to do in chemistry lab!). I'm not sure where you could find any commercially (I "borrowed" mine from work) but maybe there are some laboratory supply companies you could try. Hope this helps. -Mark Garthwaite Madison, WI (mgarth at primate.wisc.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 19:24:05 EST From: dbgrowler at juno.com (Michael W Bardallis) Subject: Toppin' up the kettle Tom Clark asks about topping off with boiling water... Tom, I've been topping off my kettle in exactly the manner you have described (or nearly) for years. My kettle is a 33q enameled canner, and I make my volume adjustment at 20 minutes from the end of boil. From experience I know that 6gal at 20 minutes from strike = 5 gal chilled wort in my carboy. Recently I've seen some data in print stating that excessive (>15%) evaporation rates are bad (little about why, though), and considered posing a question similar to yours. How's your beer? Mine's great, despite typical evaporation rates of 15-25% without even considering topping-up volumes. Everybody's process is different, and the key is to find what works within your system. Read, study, ask questions, but most important, brew a lot and keep good notes. My next kitchen experiment will be to brew a pale beer with a proven recipe and procedure, but a less vigorous boil than usual and see what happens. I'll keep ya posted... Mike Bardallis 28 miles east of J. Renner, 1/2 mile west of the big tire. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 23:06:09 +1100 From: "Andy Walsh" <awalsh at crl.com.au> Subject: clini-to-rest I just had to stick my pointy little head into Clinitest. I felt what was missing in this debate was some actual data. The question is - can Clinitest accurately measure the wort sugars, or just glucose, which is what it is supposedly calibrated for? The wort sugars are generally fermented in the following order- glucose, fructose and sucrose maltose maltotriose Some super-attenuating strains also ferment a little maltotetraose. Maltotriose is really a key sugar to monitor for fermentation, since most strains do not completely ferment it out. It is also the last to be fermented. Any decent fermentation monitor should be sensitive to maltotriose. Although yeast generally ferments in the above order, this is not strictly true. Maltose will not be fermented only after *all* glucose is gone. Some yeasts will not glucose repress maltose and will ferment maltose right away. Some may not ferment 100% of glucose, or maltose. It all depends on the strain, the original wort composition and the fermentation conditions. ie. At the end of fermentation we would generally expect beer to contain mainly dextrins, maltotriose, maltose, fructose and glucose (approximate decreasing order), but it may contain any or all of these to some extent. You just don't know. The Clinitest is based on the reaction of copper sulphate with a reducing sugar. Pretty much all of wort carbohydrates are reducing sugars, since they all contain glucose units at the end of the polymer chain. (Fructose doesn't, but is still a reducing sugar. Sucrose isn't a reducing sugar, but is *rapidly* converted by invertase to fructose and glucose, which are reducing sugars). The thing is, that the extent of the reaction decreases with the length of the polymer chain. I tested Clinitest with 1% by weight of each of the following- glucose (ACS grade - Sigma Aldrich) glucose (homebrewing grade) fructose (Select Foods - healthfood shop) maltose (90% - balance is glucose and maltotriose - Sigma Aldrich) maltotriose (95% - Sigma Aldrich) maltodextrin powder (homebrew shop - known as corn syrup in Australia) malt extract (Coopers) The accuracy to 1% would be well within 5% of that for all except the last. I used a 0.01g accurate scale to measure weights (usually ~0.8g in 80g total to give 1%). The last I just diluted a 1.032 wort, as measured by hydrometer. I also measured sugar level as measured by Diastix glucose reagent strips, which are specific to glucose only. I would have liked to include maltotetraose but it cost too much! (I was extremely careful with dissolving/mixing, and prerinsing equipment first with the solution to be measured before measuring. All reagents were freshly opened. ie. no water) I would first like to say I found the colour interpretation difficult. Even when using 1% ACS glucose I thought the mixture colour was a bit different from 1% on the chart. Also, one must measure exactly 15 seconds after boiling stops. Colour changes after this should be disregarded. Here are the results - sugar Clinitest Diastix glucose ******* ********** ***************** ACS glucose 1% 1% homebrew glucose 1% 1% healthfood fructose 0.75-1% 0 90% maltose 0.5 - 0.75% 0 95% maltotriose 0.25% 0 maltodextrin 0.25% 0.1% malt extract 0.5 - 0.75% 0.1% Clinitest reads low for the major sugars left after fermentation. Maltotriose typically forms 10% of wort gravity in an all malt wort. eg. 1.050 wort has ~5 SG points of maltotriose.The lowest measure on Clinitest is 0.25%, corresponding to about 4SG points of maltotriose as being the minimum resolution for this sugar. One of the most common fermentation disorders is an inability to ferment this sugar. Clinitest will not normally detect this. In addition, as one does not know the final sugar composition, a reading on Clinitest of 0.25% could mean very different things since it does not measure the different sugars to the same degree of accuracy. Conclusion - Clinitest does not give an accurate portrayal of final sugar concentrations. It may be useful as a general fermentation indicator, but I won't rush out to buy one. However, if you want a glucose monitor, Diastix are great! Anybody know how to measure maltotriose? Clinitest - courtesy of Calvin Perilloux homebrew sugars - courtesy Regan Pallandi of Eastern Suburbs Brewmaker also Sigma Aldrich (I paid for these! OUCH!) note- I am not defending hydrometers here either **** Another note on George Fix's recent post on sugar conversion during a step mash. Apart from the rapid conversion at or below 60C (as I commented on before), I would suggest the initial jump at 40C is due mainly to soluble carbohydrates already present in grain. The amylase enzymes are active during the germination and malting process (particularly beta amylase) and convert some of the starch into sugars during this period. This is significant and is why malted barley tastes sweet (forget the silly conversion in the mouth theory!). **** In the interests of accuracy I would suggest people are a little more careful when stating where they come from in relation to each other. I found a great website so you can get it just right. See http://www.indo.com/distance/ Andy. from Dave Draper's house, go 8583 miles (13814 km) (7459 nautical miles) west-southwest (248.8 degrees) as the crow flies and there I am (or maybe that's Calvin's place!) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 09:19:35 -0500 From: kathy <kbooth at scnc.waverly.k12.mi.us> Subject: sanitize times I use a variety of ways to sanitize my fermenters and I'm curious about the contact times needed. For example: 80 proof vodka 160 proof vodka 190F water 205F water chlorine bleach at 1t/gal chlorine bleach at 3T/gal If someone has practical brewing recommendation info, I would appreciate the assistance. jim booth, lansing, mi and 65 miles wnw of Jeff Renner. (U of Mich folks suggest that they not only have the the #1 football team but they are the standard by which or from which almost everything should be measured. I'm afraid this is being reinforced by use of Renner as the current location reference point. However, until Jan 1, 1998 I too will bow and scrape to the convention.) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 09:37:28 -0400 From: Steve Zabarnick <steve at snake.appl.wpafb.af.mil> Subject: Re: Zymurgy problems? Sandy in Indianapolis wrote: >When I got my Zymurgy last week the binding immediately started falling apart! >I have never had >one do that (and its a good thing as they get alot of abuse!) > Yeah, mine did the same thing. I also noted an incredible abundance of typo's in this issue. Quite an inauspicious beginning for the new editor. Steve Zabarnick Dayton, OH The largest market in the US without a brewpub. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 08:51:01 -0600 (CST) From: mwmccaw at ix.netcom.com Subject: syringe technique attribution I apologize for being scholarship impaired. I have liked and used the syringe technique for so long, that I completely forgot that it had an originator, and failed to go back and read up to properly attribute it. This great technique is one of Jeff Renner's many contributions to the collective, and I have devised a way to never forget that fact again. Henceforth, whenever I demonstrate the technique, I will call it by its new name: "Rennerizing" the pint! Thank you Jeff! Mike McCaw Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 09:05:20 -0600 From: Andrew Ager <andrew-ager at nwu.edu> Subject: Has this happened to you? Greetings. I just bottled my first all-grain beer last night, and realized that I really grossly miscalculated my water requirements. When I finished chilling the beer and took a gravity reading, I got 1080, for a supposed 1046 pale ale. TG was 1022, just about right for a 1080 beer. Looks like I whipped up a Strong Ale of some sort.... Irritatingly, the beer is pretty astringent. Does this dissipate with time? Before my next batch, I think I'll get some acid to bring that sparge-water pH down, and some pH strips. Cheers, Andy in Chicago, about 4 hours west of Jeff (except when there's a lot of traffic, when it's more like 5.5 hrs.) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 08:04:13 -0700 From: "Kensler, Paul" <PKensler at itcmedia.com> Subject: RE: torrefied wheat Andrew posted a question about the "proper use of torrefied wheat", saying: "I brewed a barley wine with the following particulars: 97% british pale (maris otter) 3% chocolate 3% torrefied wheat" ... and goes on to describe a gummy, stuck sparge. Andrew, I have used raw wheat, wheat flakes, and torrefied wheat in much larger quantities, and have never had such difficult results as you experienced. However, I recently heard that some folks have reported gummy sparges when using marris otter, specifically Hugh Baird (I see you listed your pale as British...). Could that have been the culprit? Have you used Maris Otter before? FWIW, I have used Maris Otter only once (about 75% of the grain bill), and had no sparging problems then either... Despite what caused the gummy sparge, you could use a low-temperature glucan rest to help break down the gums that seem to be present, and / or use a couple handfuls of rice hulls in the mash tun to help the sparge. I regularly brew Wits, using flaked wheat for a full half of the grain bill. Using rice hulls, I have never had a stuck sparge. Hope this helps, Paul Kensler Plano, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 09:14:16 -0800 From: George_De_Piro at berlex.com (George De Piro) Subject: Don't go rushing to throw out your carboy and blow off tube Hi all, Dave Burley writes about the evils of blow off tubes and closed fermenters (i.e., carboys). He encourages the use of a plastic pail covered with plastic wrap. While you can get acceptable results using his method, plastic pails are actually quite a bit more difficult to keep in sanitary condition than glass carboys. Plastic scratches easily, and once it is scratched, it is no longer useful as a sanitary vessel. While I agree with Dave that a dirty blow off tube can cause infection of the batch, there are some VERY easy ways to avoid problems: 1. Leave enough headspace in the carboy to prevent blow off from occurring. Al K.'s experiment showed that allowing the foam to settle back into the wort had no appreciable impact on beer flavor. 2. If you must use a blow off tube, use a new one each time. Short of that, sterilize an old one by boiling it. Yes, you can boil vinyl tubing. It will turn white, but after a few days it will clear again, and it doesn't matter anyway! I always boil all of my tubing to sanitize it. Dave also mentions using hot bleach. This is not recommended; cold bleach is much better. At high temperatures the chlorine that is in the bleach is driven off into the atmosphere, leaving it an ineffective sanitizer/oxidizer. Look at it this way: ever notice how bad hot bleach smells? Cold bleach doesn't smell nearly as much. That's because the chlorine is staying in solution, where it is useful. Sodium hypochorite (bleach) is a form of chlorine added to some municipal waters, including my own. It is volatile enough that it will dissipate upon heating, or even allowing it to stand overnight. Of course, we use much higher concentrations when sanitizing our equipment, but if you heat it, it will not stay in solution long. Nonvolatile chemicals like sodium hydroxide (a.k.a. lye, caustic soda) can be used hot to clean brewing vessels (but impractical at home, and very dangerous). I find that an 8 hour soak in cold bleach solution will usually remove all fermentation gunk (a technical term) from a glass carboy. If it doesn't, wait a little longer! Sometimes you can get a rough-looking deposit on the glass if the bleach is in contact with it for too long, but it is easily removed with a bit of distilled vinegar (acetic acid). As an aside, I find that PBW from Five Star works even better at removing gunk (no affiliation; where can I buy it in 10 pound quantities? Those little sachets are too expensive and too small to be useful to me!). Have fun! George De Piro (Nyack, NY) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 10:10:32 -0700 From: "Brian M. Rezac" <brian at aob.org> Subject: Re: Zymurgy problems? Sandra L Cockerham wrote: > Subject: Zymurgy problems? > > When I got my Zymurgy last week the binding immediately started falling apart! > I have never had > one do that (and its a good thing as they get alot of abuse!) > > Sorry to waste the space, but if its a bad issue overall, thought you all > would like to know. Sandy, I have never seen an issue of Zymurgy do that either. Please contact me directly with your mailing address and I will have it immediately replaced with a good copy. - Brian Brian Rezac Administrator American Homebrewers Association (303) 447-0816 x 121 (voice) 736 Pearl Street (303) 447-2825 (fax) Boulder, CO 80302 brian at aob.org (e-mail) U.S.A. http://beertown.org (web) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 11:20:49 -0600 From: "Rock Lucas" <lucaer at iols.com> Subject: Sparge Manifolds/Keg Conversion After reading the posts on construction of sparge manifolds, I built one = from copper tubing, slotted, to fit in the bottom of an old bottling = bucket that I use for a mash tun. I was satisfied with the results but = cleaning it was a PITA. Also, later posts about the toxicity of that = black/green gunk had me concerned. So I had the following bright = idea...which may not be that bright. I would appreciate any feedback. After repeated trips to the hardware store, I decided to build a = manifold from half-inch PVC pipe. The only copper piece is a half-inch = 45-degree elbow, the female end of which is a snug slip-fit into the = inside of the spigot on the bucket. The manifold is octagonal, and rests = on the bottom of the bucket with slots up. I was concerned about the use = of PVC cement, so the whole thing (about 15 short pieces and elbows) is = press-fitted together. It fits together nice and snug, but comes apart = for cleaning. Since the mash tun will never be heated directly, = temperature tolerances of the pipe shouldn't be a problem. Also, since = it comes apart, the slots can be turned up,down, or sideways if = experimentation seems in order. Slots were cut with a Moto-Tool cutoff = wheel. The whole thing took under an hour to build, might have cost ten = bucks and I still have 6 feet of pipe left if I want to play with = different manifold shapes. Is there any reason not to use PVC for this? I haven't seen any mention = of this and wonder if I'm missing something. Secondly, I recently acquired a keg which I intend to use as a boiling = kettle. Just thought I'd add my experiences to the ongoing keg = conversion questions. If you are currently using a large stock pot as a boiling vessel, use = the lid to mark a circle on the top of the keg. Then cut the top of the = keg out *inside* the outline of the lid. Now your stock pot lid can = serve as a lid to the keg. You also avoid cutting the handles off the = keg. Cutting the top of the keg out was fairly simple. Drill a hole big = enough for the saw blade to start the cut. I used a reciprocating saw = with fairly short hacksaw-type blades. Took about 10 minutes and 5 = blades. The blades didn't last long enough to get dull; they broke. Take = it slow, they get hot and brittle. Also, set the keg on an old piece of = carpeting or a rug and fill it halfway with water. This will cut down on = the noise and help hold the keg in place. By all means, wear eye and ear = protection. My ears rang for an hour afterwards. Deburr the edges of the = cut with a file or Moto-Tool. Rock Lucas =20 Bigger Hammer Brewing Co., V. Ltd. Joliet, IL Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 12:40:22 -0500 (EST) From: Rust1d <rust1d at usa.net> Subject: Glass Airlock Mike writes: >Also, does anyone know where I might get a glass airlock? Seek out your local neon shop. They should be able to bend one up for you in a matter of seconds practically free of charge (or for a beer). My wife is a neon bender and has made some for me. She even blows chambers in the glass. These are handy if you need to have a custom airlock. I needed them to bend downward so a carboy could fit in a fridge with an airlock. She makes signs for home brewers if anyone is interested in a custom made neon beer sign (and does not have some other aspect of brewing that could use the money more). Dan Asks: >i'm curious if anybody out there has experience with composting their brewing waste? Yeah, and it stinks to high heaven! The amount of protein in spent grains is enough to make it smell like a dead animal as it decomposes. You should mix some soil into the fresh compost to get necessary enzymes and bacteria into the mix faster. This will aid in composting. By the end of winter my compost pile will contain about 250 lbs of frozen grains. That is gonna stink! You'll probably smell it downtown from my Glenside location. Andrew wonders: >I brewed a barley wine with the following particulars: >97% british pale (maris otter) >3% chocolate >3% torrefied wheat <snip> >but I hesitate because of the almost stuck tedious sparge, which >I also believe was the result of the wheat. Recent postings to rec.crafts.brewing have indicated that the Marris Otter pale ale malt is most likely to be the culprit behind your slow sparge and not the wheat. I don't even think 3% wheat flour would be enough to effect sparge much. Have you used the Marris Otter before? Do a deja-news search in rec.crafts.brewing on Marris Otter for the related posts. Apparently it is very soft malt. John Varady http://www.netaxs.com/~vectorsys/varady Glenside, PA - Exactly 21,193.623 miles from some place else. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 10:42:52 -0700 (MST) From: "Steven W. Smith" <SYSSWS at gc.maricopa.edu> Subject: Yeast for a huge ale? Beinvenidos, y'all. In the seemingly eternal search for the ultimate doppelbock-type ale recipe (too impatient for lager), I'm seeking a yeast recommendation. Being brief, my recipe creates a wort with original gravity of around 1.075 to 1.087 and roughly 40 IBUs*. I fermented it with Whitelabs English Ale (attenuation 63 to 70%) and it finished too sweet for my liking and slightly wimpy in the ETOH department. I ended up boiling an ounce of Tettnanger in 2 quarts of water and adding it to the "pretty much finished" beer to help balance it. Might Wyeast "German Ale" yeast or Whitelabs "California Ale" (73-80% att) be more appropriate? I'm shooting for a big/huge, malty beer with "some" residual sweetness. * I'd like to thank: Layne of "Layne and Katrise", John Wilkinson and Bob Reissfelder for all their help in calculating gravity and IBUs! TIA, of course. Steven W. Smith, Systems Programmer. Glendale Community College. Glendale Az. syssws at gc.maricopa.edu Pretty far from the folks with good maps... right about *here*. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 08:05:16 -1000 From: Richard Stueven <gak at molokaibrewing.com> Subject: Re: CW/CCW Aloha kakou! There's an excellent discussion of the physics of the whirlpool in the new "Brewing Techniques" issue. In short, the magnitude of the rotation is important, but the direction is irrelevant. have fun gak - -- Richard Stueven gak at beerismylife.com http://www.aloha.net/~gak The Moloka`i Brewing Company http://molokaibrewing.com Beer Is My Life! http://beerismylife.com Breweries On The Web http://www.aloha.net/~gak/beer/brewwww.htm Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 10:33:03 -0800 From: Sheena McGrath <sheena at gte.net> Subject: Re: help with rye beer Collective: Thank you for your help with my rye beer question. I finally girded up my loins (or can only guys do that?) and brewed yesterday. It was an all-day job, let me tell you. I did a goods mash (40-50-60-70-BOIL!!) and then re-mashed the whole thing. It ran off like magic, but the wort felt like glycerin, which was kind of weird. I guess that's the high viscosity everyone talks about. Now it's fermenting nicely, so I will never fear rye again. Sheena PS Unlike Vicky, my cats regard brewing as the first sign of the apocalypse, and run like mad from it. Oh well. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 11:20:52 -0800 From: "Riedel, Dave" <RiedelD at dfo-mpo.gc.ca> Subject: Lager characteristic identification Perhaps some of the more experienced tasters can help me out with this... I've come to recognize a distinct aroma (possibly taste too, it's difficult to separate the two) in certain lagers. To me, it has a corn-like aroma, sort of sweet. I've noticed it in Upper Canada lager and several european lagers (some lesser known Danish ones I seem to recall). I don't think I notice it in Beck's. Can anyone hazard a guess as to what this is? I don't really like it, so I'd like to know how to avoid it in brewing. Is it DMS? Is it a yeast characteristic? I can imagine that it's pleasing to some palates, so I don't think it is necessarily a flaw. Thanks for any and all opinions... cheers, Dave Riedel - Victoria, BC, Canada Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 14:22:13 -0500 From: Andrew Stavrolakis <andrew_stavrolakis at harvard.edu> Subject: torrefied wheat Thanks for the input... >From Paul Kensler (edited)... >some folks have reported gummy sparges >when using marris otter, specifically Hugh Baird...Could that have been the culprit? Have you used Maris Otter before? I have used it, but never in conjunction with a decoction mash. I chose the decoction route in order to enhance extraction and flavor. Using a single temp infusion mash at 154F I had fine sparge results. Could boiling a fraction of the grain (twice) have worsened the M-O tendency to stick? >Despite what caused the gummy sparge, you could use a low-temperature >glucan rest to help break down the gums that seem to be present, I thought about this, but I did rest at 40C (104F) for about 20 minutes. Should I rest lower or higher to break down glucans? BTW, the fact that the wheat is torrefied doesn't make it any gummier, does it? Isn't all wheat, malted or whatever, huskless? >or use a couple handfuls of rice hulls in the mash tun to help the >sparge. I haven't seen these at my brew store. Also, incidentally, M-O is the only british pale they sell. I've thought about substituting their pilsener as a base malt, but they insist it needs a protein rest as well. I don't know what brand it is. I don't mean to start up a to-protein-rest-or-not thread, but I've used it to make export and oktoberfest lagers w/ a protein rest that are very clear, but alas, also headless. I think they also have a belgian pale malt (Dewolf Cos.?)...how about using that? I want to add that I'm not really speaking from a wealth of experience here, I've only been brewing beer for 8 months, all grain for 5. Most of what I know I learned right here on the hbd. Thanks, -Andrew andrew_stavrolakis at harvard.edu ************************************************************ Andrew J. Stavrolakis Controller LASPAU: Academic and Professional Programs for the Americas 25 Mount Auburn Street Cambridge, MA 02138 phone:617-495-0543 fax: 617-495-8990 email:Andrew_Stavrolakis at harvard.edu http://www.laspau.harvard.edu Return to table of contents
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