HOMEBREW Digest #2598 Thu 01 January 1998

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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

  Irish Moss and Plastic Mashing Bucket (Keith Robinson)
  MM Ramblings / RIMS or RSMS? / Flexible Suction Piping (Kyle Druey)
  Re: mash time/overnight mashes (Steve Alexander)
  More eficiency ... (Steve Alexander)
  Bad Yeast, Or Did I Kill It? ("Schultz, Steven W.")
  high altitude brewing ("George Schamel")
  Re: Take it off.  PLEASE (dfikar)
  Stuck Ferments. (John Varady)
  Roller Mill Gap Settings (MED)" <Frederick.Wills at amermsx.med.ge.com>
  Re: Corn and Corn Oil (Katy or Delano DuGarm)
  Newbie kegger (Matthew Arnold)
  Husk Extraction,Old Barrels,carbonation ("David R. Burley")
  Re: Coors Light Recipe? (Jeff Renner)
  Lead water filter element add ions? (John Rezabek)
  Trade secrets (Dave Sapsis)
  Cleaning Your Mill (Bob.Sutton)
  Near death experience for a friend (MED)" <Frederick.Wills at amermsx.med.ge.com>
  Re: corn (Jeff Renner)
  LA homebrew & alcoholics (Paul Ward)
  Use of Lactic Acid at Bottling (Jim Bentson)
  NA Brewing (Mike Davis)
  Kegs suitable for brewpots? (Steve Scott)
  No carbonation (Heiner Lieth)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 23:57:41 -0500 From: Keith Robinson <senator at magi.com> Subject: Irish Moss and Plastic Mashing Bucket Just started all-grain brewing a few weeks ago and I have a couple of questions for the collective: 1/ Forgot the Irish Moss -- We just put a batch of Pilsner Urquell-style beer (made with Wyeast 2278) into the primary tonight and it just occured to me that I forgot to put Irish Moss in during the boil. I'm wondering if this will cause clarity problems down the road? We had pretty good hot/cold break and filtered off a lot of trub before it went into the primary. Can I do anything to rectify the situation? Can Irish moss be added at a later date or should I try Polyclar or gelatine? If so, when should they go in? 2/ Plastic bucket with heating element -- are they any good for mashing/boiling? I was wondering if people have any opinions on those British-made Bruheat style mashers/boilers? It's a six gallon plastic bucket with a metallic heating coil stuck in it about an inch off the bottom. Heating is controlled by adjusting a dial on the outside. I can pick one up at low cost and I was wondering if it's any good. Just looking at it, I have my doubts -- Can this sort of thing really maintain even temperatures without scorching the wort near the element? Is it powerful enough kick-up a rolling boil? The particular unit I'm looking at (can't remember the brand-name) was apparently designed for 220 volt outlets but has been converted to run off of a standard North American jack. Is this a potential problem. Thanks in advance for the help. Email me or post if you think others would be interested. Keith Robinson Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 23:16:20 -0800 From: Kyle Druey <kdldmd at lightspeed.net> Subject: MM Ramblings / RIMS or RSMS? / Flexible Suction Piping More ramblings from Jack Schmidling: >But while on the subject, this just seems to me like another strike >against RIMS.... in my opinion.. an overly complicated and expensive >way to do something that is otherwise rather simple and easy. RIMS Complicated? This coming from a guy who designed and markets an adjustable roller malt mill? It certainly is less expensive than the MM! I can tell you have never tried RIMS. I guess you just like single infusion mashes, stirring until your arm falls off, and not having precise temperature control during mashing. Is this same line of thinking employed into the design of the MM? >Nothing on earth can be made without tolerance but I don't understand >the significance of the statement with regard to an adjustable mill. The point is that the MM and VM are constructed with similar tolerances, making the quality of the two products also similar. >The problem I pointed out was that not even god knows what the spacing >is because he did not tell us how deal with the peaks and valleys when You need to convince the solid copper wire I use that it can't obtain a gap measurement. Good Luck! >>"Now I find out that if JS (can't remember which HBD he recently >>posted this) wants to he could sell direct and undercut Listerman (this >>would be less than $75). Why don't you do this (duh, fat profit >>margins)?.... > >You seem to have missed the point. That happens to be >about the wholesale price, i.e what the retailers pay for them. No, I hit the point dead center bullseye. If you did not want the mess of dealing directly with us homebrewers you could sell us the damn thing for $75, and you would still be happy with the profit. You could be like the Yeast Culture Kit Company, selling off your website at reasonable prices, offering excellent products, and if requested providing personal and professional advice to your customers. >Besides, if everyone bought one, we would have nothing to argue about >and the Digest would be far less interesting as a result. Ahh Hah! So all you want to do on the HBD is stir up controversy and arguments just for the sake of your personal entertainment? Let's hope not. >>Washington State Cougars..... > >Can we shut it off after the parade or do we have to watch the game too? I can tell you don't care for football. Just turn off the tube and drink your beer, you will have more fun. *********************************************************************** RIMS, recirculating infusion mashing system - Seems to me to be named incorrectly. RIMS seems more like a recirculating step mashing system RSMS, but this acronym is not quite as catchy and will never stick. Comments? ********************************************************************** Flexible RIMS Suction Piping - Insert 1/2" OD polypropylene (I think this is the material, hard milky white plastic) into 1/2" ID vinyl tubing for an inexpensive flexible connection between your pump and the mash tun. Leave about 1" of vinyl tubing only on each end and insert brass barbed connections which butt up against the poly tubing. The poly tubing does not collapse when heated. Works very nicely, and costs about $2 for the tubing. Much easier than having to solder pipe or purchase expensive braided SS flex hose. Kyle Druey brewing in Bakersfield, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 03:56:47 -0500 From: Steve Alexander <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Re: mash time/overnight mashes Jeff Renner wrote re: phenolic extraction and lactic infection in overnight mashes ... > I frequently mashed over night for years in my home oven set at 150F with > no problems, including the two you surmise could be problematic. None of the 'garden variety' brewing bugs will grow, and most will die at 153F, but this is not sufficient to sterilize the mash and most mash tuns won't fit in an oven! A drop to ~100F is just about ideal for growing thermophilic lactobacilli and some enterobacteria. > These were fairly stiff mashes. [...pH control ...] pH control and a stiff mash will improve the phenolic extraction problem, tho not solve it. You might 'get away' with making a hoppy bitter ale from this wort, but phenols may 'show' in a more delicate style. Why chance it? Are you really so willing to spend 6-10 hours making 'almost great' beer ? I still find the case in favor of overnight mashing to be very weak. Little control over the temp rests (fermentable/unfermentable ratio). Probable infection off-flavors. Probable phenolic flavors. There is additional wort oxidation (HSA) overnight, but many of the oxidized phenols will remain in the break matter. Creating additional oxidized products in the beer in order to eliminate the then-oxidized phenols is a poor trade off since this will compromise flavor and 'shelf-life'. This solution is, as a professor I once had remarked, "like putting spiders in your underwear to handle the lice. It's not elegant". - -- I just reread the Zymurgy article on overnight mashing and I find it disturbing. The whole tone of the article is to make beer with minimal effort, no concern for quality. I don't think the author really likes the brewing process very much. I found another article in Zymurgy v20#2 by Tim Rastetter on juggling two to four brews in parallel to be a much more positive and justifiable method of saving time. Tim automates mash stirring, but still has the flexibility to allow for infusion, step and even decoction mashes. The time required is about 6 hours for the first brew, and about 2 more hours for each additional brew (more for decoction). Claims he can do 4 brews in a 12 hour day using 2 burners, 1 mash tun, 1 lauter tun and 2 boilers, 1 chiller! BTW - Tim took 4 medals at GABF 1997, so the 4 recipes in the article are worth more than a casual glance IMO. If you happen to be in the Cincinnati area his brewery 'BrewWorks', across the river in Covington is a treat. Most of us can't justify the time and effort we put into homebrewing on a financial basis. If the motivation is a passion for making great beer, how can you justify cutting corners with quality when brewing ? If you're not TRYING to make the best beer you are capable of brewing, if you're not enjoying the process of brewing, then why wouldn't you just go buy beer ? Steve Alexander Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 07:02:43 -0500 From: Steve Alexander <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: More eficiency ... Charley Burns was good enough to point out some discrepencies in the efficiency extraction tables he's been using for crystal malts. I thought it was interesting how different the figures are. I wrote (sorting for nationality adding lovibond)...-- Caramel -- (british) Beeston Pale Crystal 27L 1.0311 Beeston Caramalt 45L 1.0309 Beeston Crystal 57L 1.0319 Muntons Crystal 57L >1.0315* Beeston Dark Crystal 97L 1.0323 (german) Weyermann Carahell 12L 1.0330 Durst 40ebc 16L 1.0302 Durst 120ebc 50L 1.0319 Durst 200ebc 66L 1.0296 ==== The Zymurgy v18#4 table says: Brit Carastan 30-39L 1.035 Brit crystal 50-60L 1.034 Brit Crystal 95-115L 1.033 German Carahell ~12L 1.034 German dark caramel 50-90L 1.037 which all all way too high !! In Dave Miller's 'Brewing the Worlds Great Beers' claims Brit 55L 1.026 US crystal 1.024 US carapils 1.030 which seem way too low, tho I have no US figures. Greg Noonan, 'Brewing Lager Beer', gives numbers that calculate as: Carapale 1.0332 Dextrin 1.0332 Caramel 1.0323 which is somewhere in the neighborhood of reality, but high - and Greg Noonan in 'New Brewing Lager Beer' gives Carapils 1.032 C-30 1.0315 C-55 1.0315 C-80 1.031 C-120 1.031 which are actually darned good generic estimates. Al Korzonas, in 'Homebrewing, volume I', gives some lower figures, similar to Miller's but notes up front that these are not theoretical limits, but instead practical values for partial mash conditions. [BTW - Al's book is aimed at extract/partial mashers and beginners, but has the best and most complete flavor/aroma descriptions of roast and crystal malts I've ever found.] I'm sure Papazian has yet other figures. My opinion is that the published tables are quite erratic and inconsistant. I'd use my figures, figures derived from DBCG%&MC%, or Noonan's figures from New BLB. Noonan uses a slightly different, but justifiable calculation. Dave Miller's numbers and the Zymurgy tables hard to justify and seem erratic. Steve Alexander Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 08:56:33 -0500 From: "Schultz, Steven W." <swschult at CBDCOM-EMH1.APGEA.ARMY.MIL> Subject: Bad Yeast, Or Did I Kill It? With family coming to visit in 3 1/2 weeks, I wanted to made a quick, simple batch of beer so they could drink it while at our house and then take a case back with them when they left. An extract batch of Bitter, OG 1.044, with dry yeast seemed like it would fit the bill. I made the beer on Saturday morning and got finished around noon. I didn't re-hydrate the Danstar Nottingham yeast, but rather just dropped it into my pre-boiled, chilled, 2.5 gallons of H20, then poured this water into the carboy to combine it with the 2.5 of chilled wort already in the carboy. Nothing happened. Sunday morning, I added to the carboy a couple of ounces of beer from a nearby batch of fermenting barley wine that had #1728 (Wyeast Scottish Ale Yeast) in it. Nothing happened. Monday morning, I added to the carboy another couple of ounces of beer from the barley wine fermenter, as well as the remains of an old yeast starter (Scottish Ale Yeast, Wyeast #1728). Nothing happened. Tuesday morning, the third day, I decided to "go nuclear" and dropped in a packet of Edme Ale Yeast. By night, fermentation was vigorous and even more so this morning (Wednesday). Thus, I had a 72 hour lag time, plus or minus a couple of hours. I'm really crossing my fingers on this batch, to see how it turns out. Could dropping the dry Danstar yeast into plain water have done something bad to the yeast, e.g., like rupturing the cell walls? Seems unlikely to me. More likely, in my view, is that the yeast was not good. Any informed opinions on what happened, as well as experiences with this yeast (Danstar Nottingham) would be appreciated. Thanks in advance and Happy New Year! Steve Schultz 800 miles east of Jeff Renner Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 07:36:48 -0700 From: "George Schamel" <schamel at bewellnet.com> Subject: high altitude brewing Rob Moline aka Jethro Gump said at the end of his Merry Christmas message > "Roger Grow is a member of "The Tribe" homebrewing club of Longmont, > Colorado. The Tribe currently holds the record for the highest altitude > batch of homebrew. Thanks Curt!" I would like to know more aboout this highest altitude record. I live and brew at an official altitude of 9750 ft just SW of Denver and this is the first time I heard of a claim to the "highest altitude homebrew". Can it be true?? Is there someone else brewing higher than me?? ;-) Please let me know more. George Schamel High Altitude Homebrew 10000 ft and still brewin' ps. I streched it a little in my signature. forgive me Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 08:49:50 -0600 (CST) From: dfikar at flash.net Subject: Re: Take it off. PLEASE >Take it off. PLEASE (Jack Schmidling) . . . >The myth about "once an alcoholic, always an alcoholoic" is a >figment of the nice folks who make a living trying to "cure" >them. Any alcoholic can be come a non-alcoholic by simply >limiting their intake to one glass a day. It's called >a commitment and the will to control it. It's not a disease >it's a lazy brain. > >"Take this note off your page. PLEASE!!! > >This one really bugs me because by saying that, you make it >obvious that you did not read it. > >js > >- -- Jack, This may apply to you but I can say with assurance, as an M.D., that many alcoholics simply can't "limit" their intake of alcohol. In fact I heard one the other day say that if he has one drink he'll have 20 - i.e. he has no control once he starts drinking. Alcoholism *is* a disease, though not in the sense that most lay people associate with the term - i.e. the alcoholic is not a visibly ill person when not drinking. The etiology of the disease is probably multifactorial. It is not a "lazy brain" problem as you state. Please be very careful when trying to apply your own anecdotal experience to against accepted medical knowledge. - --------------------------------------------- Dean Fikar - Ft. Worth, TX (dfikar at flash.net) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 09:56:44 -0500 (EST) From: John Varady <rust1d at usa.net> Subject: Stuck Ferments. I received many responses to my stuck batch problems. Some people asked about my process, some about my measuring equipment and some just wished to sympathize. I knew it was a yeast problem because I would take the sample I measured, aerate it good and put it on the radiator to keep it warm. Overnight the sample would drop to a respectable finishing gravity. Two of the four batches I thought were stuck eventually finished after two weeks. I guess I jumped the gun calling them stuck, but most ferments I witness only take 3-4 days. The other two batches in question are now 3 weeks and 4 weeks into the ferment so I am positive they are stuck. I got many sugestions to rouse the yeast. I plan on kegging the batches, adding some fresh yeast and then flipping the kegs over every couple of days in hopes of keeping the yeast in suspension. I reviewed my process and found that the method I used to aerate my wort had changed. The diameter of the exit hole of the hose through which I pump the wort into the fermentor to aerate had greatly increased and thus the amount of agitation/aeration was greatly decreased (this hole size is adjusted with a worm clamp). I fixed this problem and my 1050 small beer (Babytooth) made last weekend finished at 1015 in 3 days. Now we'll have to see how the 1103 barley wine (Barleytooth) does. Thanks for the collective knowledge. John John Varady http://www.netaxs.com/~vectorsys/varady Boneyard Brewing The HomeBrew Recipe Calculating Program Glenside, PA ***> rust1d at usa.net Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 08:57:11 -0600 From: "Wills, Frederick J (MED)" <Frederick.Wills at amermsx.med.ge.com> Subject: Roller Mill Gap Settings To my statement: >It is my understanding that the main disadvantage to damaging the husks >was the potential of a stuck mash due to inadequate filtration material >integrity in the grain bed. In HBD #2597 Dean Fikar replies: <<Another consideration is excess tannin extraction. The greater the fragmentation the greater the chances of extraction of unwanted compounds from the husk.>> Is this fact or momily? I have heard this oft repeated, but fail to see why smaller particles of husk would cause tannic extraction that would not occur anyway. My understanding is that this is more related to pH and temperature than the physical size of the husk particles. Also, privately, Jim Booth (aka kathy?) replied: <<The finer you grind the bran, the more that gets into the wort where tannins can be extracted. The idea mash is whole bran and fine starch particles for maximum extraction.>> This makes a bit more sense. Can anyone else lend any more info on this theory? I'm not really up on what the bran contributes (either positively or negatively) to a brew. If this *is* the pivotal point maybe by knowing the approximate size of the bran on a given grain one could optimize the roller spacing? Inquiring brewers want to know! Cheers, Fred Wills Londonderry, NH Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 10:14:27 -0500 From: Katy or Delano DuGarm <dugarm at mnsinc.com> Subject: Re: Corn and Corn Oil Jack Schmidling writes: > "But make sure it's degermed, not whole corn meal. The organic stuff > we get > here is whole meal, which makes great corn muffins, but contains far > too > much oil for brewing (although Jack Schmidling uses whole cracked corn > > without complaining). > > Thanks for pointing out my variance from the dogma but I would be > curious > to know where this one comes from. Commercial brewers use corn by the > > train load and I would be very surprised if they degerm it. Jean De Clerk writes (in A Textbook of Brewing, 1:51) that whole cracked corn is never used as an adjunct, but is degermed first. He gives two reasons for this: 1) the corn oil "is positively harmful to the quality of the beer," and 2) corn oil is worth extracting and selling. Lawrence Bradee ("Adjuncts" in The Practical Brewer, Madison, 1978, p. 45) writes that the corn is degermed when it is milled into grits, again to recover the valuable corn oil. He continues that corn meal has been very little used by American brewers. "It is not popular because of its much higher oil content and higher soluble nitrogen content." I've never noticed any difference between using corn meal and corn grits myself. Delano DuGarm Arlington, VA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 15:22:26 GMT From: mra at skyfry.com (Matthew Arnold) Subject: Newbie kegger Well, my first experience with kegging went pretty smoothly, except that I found out that the valve on the regulator leaks like a sieve. Killed off a 2.5# tank on one batch. That situation is being remedied. Unfortunately, it meant that I suffered untold disgrace when my fancy kegging system pooped out on me during two separate Christmas gatherings. The beer was at about 42F and I was dispensing with ~11 lbs pressure. My liquid-out line is four feet of 3/16" tubing with a picnic tap. Theoretically, the diameter and length of tubing _should_ have taken care of that amount of pressure. Unfortunately, the beer came firing out of the tap like a rocket. Any ideas why this might be? It knocks an awful lot of carbonation out. The regulator could be way off, but I have reasons to doubt that. The new regulator should answer that one . . . Also, what effect, if any, will the length and diameter of the gas-in line have on the pressure reaching the keg? I realize that I may be pondering the imponderable here, but I am planning on getting a 10# tank (the only place I can get them refilled is 30 minutes away, and I would prefer not to have to go all that much). If I a) force carbonate every batch after it has been cooled to about 40F, b) dispense at same pressure (about 10-12 lbs), and c) assuming there are no leaks in this system, _approximately_ how many batches should I be able to carbonate and dispense with this tank? Apparently, I don't know Jack, Matt Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 12:08:22 -0500 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Husk Extraction,Old Barrels,carbonation Brewsters: Dean Fikar says when talking about mills and milling: >Another consideration is excess tannin extraction. The greater >the fragmentation the greater the chances of extraction of unwanted compounds >from the husk. I find that I get efficiencies in the mid 80's with the second >coarsest setting on my VM with minimal damage to the husk. I'd rather accept >a slightly lower efficiency rather than risk getting unwanted = compounds in >my beer. Dean, I too have heard this, but dismissed it because the husks are so thin, that I can't see how breaking them into smaller pieces makes the extraction of phenolic compounds more likely. Unless you have some proof of this, which I'd like to see, you can ignore this self-imposed restriction. Try double milling in which you use a coarse first pass followed by a re-mill with a gap spacing of about 0.065 in. This will improve your extraction without substantially changing your sparge rate if you use just the coarse setting. pH of the wort is the primary factor in controlling phenol extraction. Wort is of a natural pH that this isn't really a problem until you get = to the end of the sparge, at which time you can use sparge liquor which has been treated with a small amount of lactic acid. - -------------------------------------------------------- Arnold Nietzke has access to old whiskey barrels from his friend's grandfather. Arnold, my advice, as crude as it sounds, is to cut them in half and make planters out of them, or do like Jack Daniels now does and = use them for charcoal briquettes. Unfortunately, whiskey barrels are heavily charred ( which is why whiskey is brown) and all the vanillin that was in the oak is in the whiskey, which is why they are = never used by the whiskey maker again. Cleaning is difficult at best for well kept barrels. Never use alkaline substances - like bleach - with wood. Use acidic metabisulfute. These barrels sounds particularly infected, so I wouldn't waste my time, money or beverage. Get small, 5-10 gallon, new barrels you can handle. ( 50 gallons weighs 400+ pounds) You'll be much happier. - --------------------------------------------------------- Mike Miles complains about not getting his beer to carbonate for the first time in six years. This time of year, ale yeasts often go to sleep because of the average lower temperature in houses. Try moving your beer off the floor and to a warmer room. If the yeast = doesn't wake up in a few days, make up a starter (tablespoon of malt in 1/2 cup of water boiled and cooled) using yeast from the bottom = of a bottle from which you have emptied 2/3 of the beer. Put the starter mix into the bottle with the remaining beer and yeast. After about = 12-24 hours it should be actively fermenting. Open all the bottles and put some of this active starter into each bottle and re-cap. = 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
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 12:25:17 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Coors Light Recipe? Mark Weaver <HeadBrewer at eci.com> wants to clone Coors Light for a friend. I was going to send this to him privately, but then I figured, what the heck, the queue is short. That's a pretty difficult task you've set up for yourself. Any problems will show up like a rat turd in a dish of ice cream. According to George Fix and Michael Jackson (I think), Coors contract grows and malts its own Moravian II strain of two row barley, which is somewhat closer to continental than typical US two row. Perhaps you could use half US and half German. I'm pretty sure that they do not use corn as you suggest, only rice. I'd guess maybe 25-30%. Aim for a gravity of maybe 1.034, but don't oversparge. Dilute with water if necessary. Hop delicately - 15 IBU max, maybe some Saaz FWH, but take the FWH alpha acid into full acount when computing the IBUs. Watch your water chemistry - keep sulfate as low as possible and the mash and sparge pH correct and don't oversparge, so as not to extract any harsh polyphenols. If your sulfate or Mg is high, you might want to consider using at least some deionized water with some CaCl2, not CaSO3, to adjust Ca++ to maybe 50ppm in the mash. An acid rest at ~35C would help if you have trouble getting the pH down, but I've not had that problem. I just mash in at 40C to solublize enzymes and act to some degree as an acid rest. If you can find flaked rice (try a health food store), you wouldn't have to do a cereal mash, but they're fun. Or you could just cook the rice alone and add it to the main mash. I like 40/60/70C (104/140/158F), and figure that the time spent between 40 and 60C act as a protein rest. If you want to do a cereal mash, here are the fussy details. You have to figure on the heat added by the cereal mash. I generally add it when my main mash is at the temperature that the cereal mash addition will take it to 140F. Mash the coarsely ground rice with 30% malt by weight at mid 150'sF, boil 30-45 minutes, then add to main mash which has been resting no more than 30 minutes at low to mid 130's, which should take it to 140F (may need to adjust temperature), rest 30 minutes, boost to 158F 30 minutes, then mash off, lauter, boil as usual. Ferment and lager as usual for a lager using a malt empahsizing yeast strain such as Bavarian, I should think. 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, 31 Dec 1997 12:46:14 -0500 From: John Rezabek <rezabeks at alpha.wcoil.com> Subject: Lead water filter element add ions? Dear All, I recently purchased and installed a "carbon block" filter element made by "Omni". This particular one is also supposed to remove most of the trace lead from the water as well. The other day, after boiling the begeezus out of about 14 quarts of mash water (adjusted from 9.7 pH (tap) to about 7 with Phos acid)and letting it sit overnight, I had a bunch of precipitate in the bottom of the pot. I know that pre-boiling and decanting is a way to rid one's water of carbonates & bicarbonates (I think) but - I don't normally get this kind / amount of precipitate! Last I checked with the water works, our total carbonates were below 60 ppm or so. So this got me thinking that the lead element in my new filter was doing some kind of ion exchange to get the lead out. But criminey if it's adding ions at that rate it seems it would never last through 500 gallons. If anyone knows the electrochemical mechanisms involved in these lead filters I'd be interested to learn more. Meanwhile I'm going to boil water from an unfiltered tap to see if I get the precipitate again. HNY, - -- John Rezabek rezabeks at alpha.wcoil.com http://alpha.wcoil.com/~rezabeks/hawg_creek.html Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 10:21:11 -0800 From: Dave Sapsis <DAVE_SAPSIS at fire.ca.gov> Subject: Trade secrets Sheesh, little did I know my funky brewing habits would be posted worldwide. I must admit, I look favorably on being regarded as dangerous, in almost any context. I have long held that, for me, the more I at %*! -up, the better the beer tends to turn out. No tabulated data, no regressions (how does one measure at %*!ing -up anyway?), just lots of fun along the way. Boil overs? Sweet!!! Thats why I got that hot water hose sprayer. Stuck mash? At least it aint plugged. In honesty, I must also admit to saying there was no need to stir the second decoct. I was wrong. Had an ulterior motive, however: House flavor. Cheers and slurps, and and a great ninety-eight to all, Dave (133 km NNE of Hog Island Oysters, where 250 smalls are awaiting my afternoon pickup). Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 13:28:00 -0500 From: Bob.Sutton at fluordaniel.com Subject: Cleaning Your Mill Please marvel at my ignorance. I recently acquired a Valley Mill (no, I'm not gonna touch the gap thread) and after completing the crush (two passes) I am stumped over how/if the mill is cleaned. Does anyone bother, or should I just run a handful of grain through the rollers before I begin my next run. I just bagged it to keep the mice out of the chute. TIA. Bob Still ROTFLOL seeing js utter: Can we shut it off after the parade or do we have to watch the game too? Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 13:00:39 -0600 From: "Wills, Frederick J (MED)" <Frederick.Wills at amermsx.med.ge.com> Subject: Near death experience for a friend I have seen it previously discussed and sometimes refuted that hops (especially spent hops) may be harmful or toxic to dogs, especially sighthounds such as greyhounds. Unfortunately, I am writing to report that this is true. On Monday night at about 7pm one of our two greys (named Danny) began to pant for no apparent reason. As his panting became more pronounced we figured that he must have gotten into something (as inquisitive greyhounds are wont to do) and began to look for clues. We realized at this point that on Sunday (brewday) I had failed to remove the spent hops from an open trash barrel in our basement and he had eaten a small amount of them. There was only 2oz. (dry weight) of whole hops to begin with and it looked as if he had eaten less than a quarter of those. We called our local vet and it being after hours were referred to an animal emergency clinic. The vet there gave us advice over the phone to just monitor him for a while and watch to see if he was in gastric distress. Since the advice didn't sit real well with me, I did a web search on "hops toxicity" and hit on the following very informative web page: http://www.shopthenet.net/greyhound/nl/june1996vol2iss2/hops.html It was at this point that we measured Danny's temperature and it was already up to 103.7 F. I called the National Animal Poison Control Center at 1.800.548.2423 as mentioned on the page and spoke to a vet there. He was familiar with the symptoms (panting and fever) and advised me to get our dog to the vet's immediately and have them call back for how to treat the problem. This is exactly what we did. Armed with a print-out from the above web site and the Poison Control Center's number we rushed Danny to the emergency clinic. I am happy to report that, although he had a rough time that night, Danny is alive and well and recuperating nicely. His fever did continue to climb that night to about 105.7 even with the administration of activated charcoal and enemas to flush him out, Intravenous fluids, cold water baths and an anti-fever medication. Apparently the hops main danger to dogs is that it causes them to have a severe fever (hyperthermia) which can be fatal if left unchecked. Once the fever began to break he recovered fairly quickly with no further treatment. I am thankful that I found this information and we were able to promptly advise the local vets on how to treat him. Had he eaten more of the hops, or gone without prompt treatment I am convinced he would not have pulled through. Any brewers with dogs, especially sighthounds, should be keenly aware of this hazard. While most of the reported cases have involved greyhounds, one case was with a Labrador retriever cross. Be careful out there - Fred (and Danny) Wills Londonderry, NH Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 14:57:49 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: corn Jack Schmidling <arf at mc.net> wonders where I get the idea that brewers use degermed corn: >Thanks for pointing out my variance from the dogma but I would be curious >to know where this one comes from. Commercial brewers use corn by the >train load and I would be very surprised if they degerm it. It is my understanding (not to be dogmatic, I think I'm right, but I can't document it easily) that brewers use corn primarily in the form of grits, which are degermed. (They also use corn syrup and solids. White rice, the other common adjunct, is also degermed.) The germ is used by the corn oil industry. In my brief literature search of what I have at home, I found that in 1977, brewing used 1.9 billion lbs of the total 6.2 billion lbs dry milled (degermed) corn products, in the form of grits (Cereal Chemistry, Chapter 11 - Corn Dry Milling: Processes, Products and Applications, Richard J. Alexander, no date available on my photocopy). This author states that grits typically contain 0.6-0.7% oil. In the turn of the century classic by Henius and Wahl, American Handy Book of Brewing (1902), which Spencer Thomas has kindly made available on the web, pages 468-469 at http://hubris.engin.umich.edu:8080/Wahl/ , the authors say raw corn contains 4-5% oil, and that the valuation of corn grits for brewing is based on the oil and water content, with under 0.5% oil excellent, 0.5 - 1.0% very good, and over 2.5% should not be considered for brewing. They say on p. 467 that the danger of using high oil content corn is a "disagreeable, coarse, scraping taste," and on p.468 mention the danger of rancidity. I suspect that this may not be a problem for you if you use freshly milled corn. This of course is an old reference. I don't have at my finger tips any other, more modern one. George De Piro reports (private email) using corn meal at 2.5% oil with no heading problems (and he didn't mention flavor problems, so I assume there were none). He is going to check at Siebel in January (lucky guy) on this matter. 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, 31 Dec 1997 15:30:45 -0500 (EST) From: Paul Ward <paulw at doc.state.vt.us> Subject: LA homebrew & alcoholics Mr. Burley stated: >Well, I have had four people close to me who suffered alcoholism = >and been friends with more. <<case examples deleted>> >I know what alcoholism can do and I know how easy it is for an >alcoholic to fool himself into thinking he's OK - I've seen it up close >and personal. One little trigger can send him off on a bender that >may destroy his life and worse - others' lives. >Anecdotal evidence such as your personal experience is not proof of >anything as it relates to other people. = Ah, excuse me Mr. Burley, but your anecdotal evidence or other people's experience likewise is not proof of anything. >As a result of these personally painful experiences, Jack, >I have no patience for your kind of diatribe in this area, since the >belief that you or others can easily and reliably produce >alcohol-free beer from alcohol-containing beer or that alcoholics >can drink one beer a day is absolute crap and there is lots of >scientific evidence to prove it - deny it if you will- that does not = >change the truth. Excuse me again, but I do not believe that Mr. Schmidling (or anyone else) stated they produced "alcohol- free" beer, rather, they reduced the amount of alcohol, and Jack further reduced his product by adding water to achieve further dilution. As for alcoholics being able to control their habit and limnit themselves to one drink a day, this is as possible as their being able to limit their drinking to no drinks a day. Maybe harder, but still possible. >If any readers out there believe Jack, hang around an >alcoholic for a while and you'll find out what absolute bullshit >Jack's "beer-a-day" contention is. Well, as it so happens, I do hang around alcoholics, lots of them. I will state up front that I am not a doctor, psychologist, or therapist. I'm a jailer with over 17 years front line experience. I don't buy the 'alcoholism as disease' model. Alcoholism is the habitual use of alcohol to the point where it impairs 'normal' functioning. Advanced alcoholism may be lethal. In either event, it is a series of user choices. Both inside and outside facilities, I have seen alcoholics stop drinking. I have also seen alcoholics curtail their drinking and function absolutely normally for extended periods (they're still alive, so I can't say for how long a period of time). My observations are anecdotal, yet nonetheless valid. Alcohol does not create the alcoholic, it is the tool s/he uses to alter perception. Alcohol is the identifier of the condition, not the cause. Mr. Schmidling offeres a recipe for a reduced alcohol insipid sounding beverage (although I have never tried it, I can only imagine...yech). He further states that the amount of alcohol in the remaining potable is below trigger threshold for alcoholics. This, I am sure, depends on the alcoholic. Then again all matters of choice are decided by the chooser. I apologize for the bandwith and mean no disrespect to anyone, but there are alternate views that sometimes need to be brought forward. And, uh, Happy New Year? paulw at doc.state.vt.us Can we get back to brewing issues now? - -- You know, I kind of liked Ebeneezer Scrooge before all those ghosts scared the good sense out of him. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 16:47:59 -0500 From: Jim Bentson <jbentson at htp.net> Subject: Use of Lactic Acid at Bottling Mike Rose recently quoted a stout recipe that called for 40cc of 88% lactic acid at bottling. Dave Burley wrote in that this would be undrinkable and suggested 2 to 4cc as more reasonable for a 5 gal batch. I second Dave's advice. To add a data point, I recently made a Belgian wit from a recipe that called for 12cc of 88% lactic acid at bottling. Since my copy of Rajotte's 'Belgian Ales' give a target pH in the 3.5 to 4.0 range, I decided to add 1cc of acid at a time, stir and measure the pH as I added. I started with 5+ gals of wort at a starting pH of 4.54 and hit 3.72 after only 3 cc of 88% lactic acid had been added. All pH's were measured with a fairly high quality meter that had been calibrated just prior to measuring. Based on this data, I would guess that 40cc ( almost 1.35 oz!!) would, as Dave said, be undrinkable. Maybe they meant 4.0cc and had a misprint . The moral of the story is to ALWAYS add acid slowly , stir well, measure pH as you go and have a target pH in mind to stop at. The target pH can be gotten from any of the many 'style' books. A pH of 4 would probably be a good target number for stouts. Pg 37 in Lewis's 'Stout' gives the pH of Guinness Extra Stout as 3.99. The pH of other stouts mentioned in that book range from 3.6 to 4.5. Jim Bentson Centerport (Long Island) NY - -- Registered ICC User check out http://www.usefulware.com/~jfoltz Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 15:20:24 From: Mike Davis <mdavis at clandjop.com> Subject: NA Brewing I'm a rank novice in the HB circles but wanted to pass along some observations regarding heating to drive off alcohol. As any chemist knows, you can produce ethanol by several chemical processes in the laboratory but you cannot purify it by distillation (which is heating followed by cooling the vapor and collecting the runoff). The reason is because alcohol and water come off as a mixture which varies in proportion as the distillation proceeds. Bottom line is that any heating of a mixture of ethanol and water will "boil" off BOTH alcohol AND water in combination. Some of the increase in FG is due to loss of water in combination with alcohol and there will always be some alcohol left until the whole mess is bone dry. Mike Davis Neosho, MO, US mailto:mdavis at clandjop.com mailto:mdavis at janics.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 17:54:40 -0500 From: sscott at lightlink.com (Steve Scott) Subject: Kegs suitable for brewpots? I know that I've seen converted kegs to be used as brewpots as well as suggestions to use kegs as brewpots. Does anyone have any experience with these. Any problems arise from this usage? Do you rack these off or use a drain in the bottom? If you use a drain how do you avoid problems with HSA? I realize there are a lot of questions here but I want to go to a bigger pot and a keg conversion would be a LOT cheaper than a 15 gal stainless pot. =20 Thanks much. ** The problem with the average family today is that it's=20 impossible to support it and the government on one income. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 15:49:43 -0800 (PST) From: Heiner Lieth <lieth at telis.org> Subject: No carbonation Mike Miles in HBD #2597 experienced problems with carbonation of recently-bottled beer. This seems to happen if you let the fermenter clear a lot before bottling, and then being too careful about avoiding transferring "too much" yeast from the fermenter to the bottling bucket. The problem is apparently worse for yeasts which clump and settle (flocculate) very fast. If you are seeing sediment in each bottle, then you probably transferred plenty of yeast, but you need to wake it up and get it dispersed throughout the bottle. First, make sure the beer is at room temperature. Take each bottle and briefly invert it (there should be a cloud of yeast visible in the bottle) and then setting it back down. Do this two or three times, at one-day intervals. I would check for carbonation again in a week. I have only had this fail on me once. That was a nice steam beer which, in retrospect, probably didn't get enough priming sugar because I was using an imprecise measuring cup. The beer itself was a bit strong for style in both taste and alcohol and had little carbonation. So I brewed a much lighter beer with the same hops and with heavy carbonation and mixed these two whenever I drank from that. That worked out really well, but I then had to drink 24 oz of beer each time, which was a bit of a nuisance (but a pleasant one at that). By the way, with the last few batches that I've brewed, I've tried to have at least one bottle be a plastic 20 oz Coke or Sprite bottle. This allows me to see what is going on in the bottle and I can tell by squeezing the bottle whether it is pressurizing (carbonating). This is a trick that I learned right here on the HBD - (thanks). I've run into one type of PET bottle that needs to be avoided because it leaves a nasty chemical taste in the beer (I think it was either Dr Pepper or Mr Pibb). Heiner Lieth. Return to table of contents
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