HOMEBREW Digest #2660 Fri 13 March 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

  mash steps/enzyme questions/nitrogen scrub/HSA/filtering/slow cooling (Al Korzonas)
  Using Bleach on Sankey Kegs (Doug Geiss)
  Water profile questions ("Reed,Randy")
  autolysis/priming/tank geometry/headspace air/mashout/10% sucrose/diacetyl/same ingredients/soapy (Al Korzonas)
  Thermocouples (Todd Etzel)
  Water/Oxygen (AJ)
  Kegging questions, electrian's silicone ("billyboy at onr.com")
  Iodophore ("Keith & JoAnn Zimmerman")
  Call for Recipe- Sheaf Stout (Michael Tucker)
  Comment on TC-probe probblems (Chris Cooper)
  Shield for Cajun cooker (MIS, SalemVA)"
  Chilling, Cleaning, & Palexperimenting (John Varady)
  Lactic Acid usage (dajohnson)
  Pilsen Water (KennyEddy)
  York Brewfest (John Varady)
  chlorine data (Samuel Mize)
  RE: Cleaning Sanke Kegs (LaBorde, Ronald)
  FW: Wort aeration and foaming ("Frank E. Kalcic")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 15:25:27 -0600 (CST) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: mash steps/enzyme questions/nitrogen scrub/HSA/filtering/slow cooling More old, but no less important topics: Randy writes: >I recall a discussion about a brewpub? out west somewhere (my memory is >good, just short) that started out with infusion, went to step and went >back to single infusion due to problems with haze and the like. On the flipside, according to Eric Toft (a brewmaster at a German brewery), many German brewers are going from triple- to double-decoction and from double- to single-decoction brewing *partly* because of increasing modification in their malts (and partly because of energy costs). He said that they were finding their beers were coming out watery and lacking in body... reducing the number of temperature rests fixed the problem. George Fix has written many times that excessive protein rests in fully- modified malts result in "insipid" beer. *** Thor writes: >First, if you use a false bottom in your mash tun, how much of the >enzymes are in the mash portion and how much in the liquid portion >below the false bottom? Are the alpha and beta amylase linked to the >starches or are the mostly soluble? Does recirculation of the wort in >a RIMS system create a larger portion of enzymes in the liquid >fraction? I have hear that using various grist to liquor ratios can >greatly saccharification. Is this due to the nature of the enzymes? The answers are: most, mostly soluble, I don't know, yes. Part of the reason decoction mashing says to decoct the "thickest" (i.e. the grain part) of the mash is because the majority of the enzymes are in the liquid (thinnest) portion of the mash. The reason that grist-to-liquor ratios affect the fermentability of the wort is because the fermentability is dependent on the life of the beta amylase and thicker mashes tend to protect beta amylase from denaturing. Actually, another reason *may* be because the products of saccharification and liquifaction do impede the enzyme activity and there is a possibility (just a guess) that the beta and alpha amylases may be impede to varying degrees. >The other topical question I have is about nitrogen gas. After >visiting a local homebrew store, the owner told me he uses nitrogen to >push extract out of the barrel because its less reactive and cost >less. I know that nitrogen is sometimes used in packaging hops as >well. I was wondering what effect bubbling N2 through a 100C hot boil >kettle would have. Is there anything that the nitrogen gas could react >with in the beer? What would be the consequences? Funny you should mention that... bubbling N2 through hot wort will scrub out some volatiles. If you take the A-B Beer School, you will be shown how they run hot wort down a cylinder while blowing air upwards. I suspect (yet I've been unable to get a hold of my contact at A-B) that while they say "air" I'm pretty sure they are really using nitrogen. I suspect that in an effort to save money, they are boiling as little as possible and as a result are not boiling off enough dimethyl sulfide (DMS) so they resort to scrubbing. Note, that you may also scrub out hop aromatics... *** Brian writes: [snip] > so I poured the mash in to my 5gal >cooler, and sparged. The temp of the mash was about 162F at the time >will >this cause hot side aeration, and what does that mean, will my beer >taste >different, how will I be able to tell? I have heard of at least one other case where HSA problems were traced to non-delicate handling of hot mash, e.g. 'plopping' it into a lauter tun. But others have had no problems. Could be that the people who did, were also pushing the limits on the hot aeration (or aeration at an improper time) in other ways too. Darker beers should be more bullet proof as the melanoidins help to prevent staling and oxidation. Lighter beers will require more delicate handling. Yes and no. Darker beers will initially taste fresher, but I've read where other compounds in the beer will have a stronger affinity or the oxygen than the melanoidins and will "steal the oxygen" away from them. Actually, I'm pretty sure it's just electron transfer, but you can think of it like this. I believe the same process is involved with polyphenols too. *** John writes: >The practice of filtering homebrew and force-carbonating in a keg has >become pretty common. My homebrew shop sells maybe a couple set-ups >(pretty much variations on wine filters); probably yours does too. One >of last year's Zymurgy's did an evaluation of filters, and they were far >from equal. I think they were getting down close to sub-micron levels of >filtration. The beer has to be forced through; typically either a >garden-sprayer type mechanisim is used, or a corny keg using CO2 to push >the beer through (and into another corny). The article failed to mention or even consider the effect of pressure on the filtration of beer. Higher pressures can have a strong effect on the efficiency of the filter. Ed Busch (yes, Ed, not Jim). in a talk at an AHA Conference a few years ago explained it like this: Consider that the yeast is flexible, like a little bag of water (and he held up a ziplock bag of water). Given enough pressure, a yeast cell can be pushed through a pore much smaller than it's body (and he illustrated this too). So, would the filters preformed differently if they had all been run at the same pressure? Maybe, maybe not. I was very troubled, however, when the author talked about a particular housing allowing a higher pressure to be used (with no mention of the phenomenon described by Ed, which I parapharsed above). *** Eric writes: >I was wondering what the effect, if any, time has on cooling wort. I >made my first 5 gal batch last week and it took me about 12 or 13 hours >to cool the wort down to 70 degrees to pitch the yeast. This was with >putting the bucket in a bath tube with cool water. I was wondering if >this was going to have any effect on my beer or not? Maybe the effect will be noticeable, maybe it will not. By now, you will have already tasted the beer and will know. There are two things that are of concern when it comes to slow cooling: wort-spoiling bacteria and DMS. Wort-spoiling bacteria usually give beer a vegetable-like off-aroma, like boiled carrots or cabbage. They do their damage when the wort is cooling and then die when the alcohol level rises during fermentation. DMS is also a vegetable-like aroma, but it's more like cooked corn (others say cooked parsnips). DMS is produced from SMM (s-methyl methionine) when the wort is hot, but is boiled off. When you turn off the heat and put on the lid, you stop the boiling-off, but you don't stop the production until the temperature drops considerably. A third reason to cool quickly, is that fast cooling results in better cold break production. If you don't want to invest in 25 feet of 1/2" copper tubing and some hose, you can chill your wort by dunking it into icewater or a snowbank. 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, 11 Mar 1998 16:31:28 -0500 From: Doug Geiss <dgeiss at ford.com> Subject: Using Bleach on Sankey Kegs Jeff Renner wrote(about cleaning Sankey Kegs): "Soak the inside with bleach water for a few hours and boil the valve/drawtube to sanitize it." Uh, Jeff, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought bleach (chlorine) pitted stainless steel. I have always used B-Brite or Iodophor to clean out my corny kegs. Just checking, Doug Geiss not from Ann Arbor, just going to school there...... Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 17:29:49 -0500 From: "Reed,Randy" <rreed at foxboro.com> Subject: Water profile questions Dear Collective, what do you think. I am in the process of buying a house and had the water tested. I know I shouldn't brew using water from the house's water softener, but the test was conducted using kitchen sink (softened) water. I plan to get another test of the water that comes directly from the well, depending on what feedback I get from you. I will list only items that I know are important to brewing. Coliform and fecal/e. coli were absent. Item Mg/L Sodium 105 MA guidelines max 28 Mg/L, Federal are 250 Mg/L Potassium .35 Iron .08 Manganese ND not detectable (probably stripped out by softener) Magnesium .03 Calcium .25 PH 6.50 Turbidity 1.0 Conductivity 596 TDS 357.6 Alkalinity 55.0 Chlorine ND Chloride 130 Hardness .77 Nitrate .30 Sulfate 13.2 The water test company remarked that the iron quantity is high, as is the Sodium. The pH is very close to the limit for being acidic, and this may be related to having Chloride and Sodium present in these amounts. Should I get another test done of water sampled before the water softener. Should I buy another house? Should I relax? If I used the water as it comes out of the softener (as it is above) what treatment is warranted? For Ales and for Lagers? Thanks in advance for your help. Randy Reed ===================================================== "Homebrewers are like dogs teaching each other how to chase cars."----------------------- Ann Reed ===================================================== +-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_- +Local*Brewing*Company++++++++++++++++++++++++ +RREED at FOXBORO.COM+++++++++++++++Surfing*the++ +Randy*Reed++++++++++++++++++++++Information++ +BJCP*Recognized++++++++++++++++SuperBikePath+ +Beer*Judge/Potscrubber++++++++++++++++&++++++ +South*Shore*Brew*Club+++++++++++++Web*Wired++ +(Boston,*MA*Area*-*South)++++++++++++World+++ Visit SSBC at http://members.aol.com/brewclub/ +-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_- Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 16:37:05 -0600 (CST) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: autolysis/priming/tank geometry/headspace air/mashout/10% sucrose/diacetyl/same ingredients/soapy Dave writes: >I would think that yeast which had been pasteurized would >not be able to autolyse since they are dead and no enzyme >functions are working. I also have the impression that live >yeast keeps the beer fresher longer - but that is with ale yeast. >Lager yeast can continue to chew up carbohydrates and >I suspect have a higher tendency to autolyse, since they are >equipped with a good set of enzyme systems. Maybe the brewers >pasteurize after conditioning *because* they use lager yeast >to bottle condition? Just because the yeast are dead doesn't mean their enzymes are denatured. Consider how long alpha amylase survives at 140F and I believe that 10 minutes at 140F is one pasteurisation unit, no? Secondly, lager yeast are indeed able to eat a *small* number of sugars that ale yeast are not able to eat, but I don't think this is any measure of the "strength" of their enzyme systems. Furthermore, autolysis would be due to proteolytic enzymes (wouldn't it?) and carbohydrate metabolism is a whole different set of enzymes, no? I think this speculation may be a little bit extreme. *** Dave again posted his priming method with which I disagree. I have been meaning to put together a web page to which I can point when he posts about this or some of his other... er... contraversial methods. I really have to get to that some day. *** John writes: >A friend, employed at local brewery, and I were discussing what effects >the size, shape, and orientation of the primary fermenter vessel has on >the attenuation and flavor of a beer. Is there a noticable difference in >taste based upon the size and orientation (vertical versus horizontal) >of the conditioning vessel where they be bottles, kegs, grundys, 15 or >30 gal tanks? Lets limit the discussion to glass or stainless steel as I >know wooden kegs will impart a differnet taste. If so, why? Some yeasts simply don't ferment well when the aspect ratio of the fermenter is much taller than it is wide (like 3:1). There have been many theories as to why this may be (pressure, eddy currents, etc.) although none have been without some holes (i.e. DeClerck's initial experiments were done on 1-liter batches... so much for pressure). Two common yeasts that exhibit this behaviour are the Whitbread Ale strain and Wissenschaftliche 34/70 (reportedly Wyeast #2124 in an old article by Dave Logsdon, other association in other texts). I have not read of any such effect during *conditioning*, but that is not to say that there isn't an effect. *** Paul writes: > I'm in the middle of my winter run of lagers, and I've been mulling >over a recent posting by Jethro DePiro/George Moline from Seibel. They >report that introducing oxygen at bottling is many times worse than hot >side aeration. The data they posted, I'm guessing, must come from >counter-pressure bottled beers. Shouldn't bottle-conditioned beers be more >resistant to sloppy bottling than CP filled? My guess is that active yeast >would gobble up most unwanted oxygen very quickly. George Fix reported on an experiment he did in which air was introduced into the headspace of bottle-conditioned beers and then the beers were tested some time later. I don't recall where this was published... it may have been a personal communication. The bottom line was that less than half of the oxygen was believed to have been consumed by the yeast. More than half had either reacted with the beer or was still in the headspace. *** Dave writes: >I always thought the maximum on the mashout temperature >was to avoid starch gelatinization of any remaining bits of >unreacted starch. Keeping the pH of the sparge down was to >control phenol extraction. I think we may have a problem with terminology here. Gelatinisation takes place at much lower temperatures than mashout (it would have to, right?). The actual temperatures depend on the grain variety, but they are generally below 140F. Above about 176F the starch granules in the steely tips literally *burst* out of their protein matrix. *** Duane writes: >In reference to the "yeast storage in distilled water" thread, an >alternative method is to store the yeast in a 10% sucrose and water >solution (1.040 OG) that has been sterilized beforehand in a pressure >cooker as advocated in Pierre Rajotte's "First Steps in Yeast Culture: >Part One". Rajotte states that some of Hansen's (of Carlsberg fame) >cultures had been reanimated after 47 years of storage. Personally, I >have only attempted this on 1-year-old cultures, but they were revived >with no problems. Yeast stored this way must be kept very cold (the exact temperature has been posted in HBD a few years ago). Above this magic temperature, the sucrose is *fermented*! *** Joe writes: >Please tell me if I'm misinformed. Is it true that some hops can lead to >excess diacetyl in finished beer? You've been misinformed. >I was told, and am sceptical, that Saaz hops have been known to cause >elevated levels of diacetyl in finished beer. Now I do taste some in >Urquell, but I assumed it was developed mostly from malt constituents an >yeast strain which don't completley get rid of it. You are *correct* sir... the yeast giveth and the yeast taketh away. The yeast produce the precursors of diacetyl and it just so happens that the PU yeasts (there are allegedly 5 strains at work) are not very good at reabsorbing the diacetyl produced. I have, however, noticed that Hallertauer Mittelfrueh does have some "buttery" character which can be mistaken for diacetyl, but I think it's unlikely that the compound is actually diacetyl. *** John writes: >An interesting suggestion by Jim Poder was to put together a box of various >ingredients and let the brewer build whatever beer they can from the >contents of said box. Maybe in the future this would be fun to try. This has been done. Originally (as far as I know), it was done by the Chicago Beer Society in something they called "The Invitational Brew-Off." Every year had an interesting twist that was at the brewers' disgression (the year I won, you were *required* to use a box of breakfast cereal of your choice). More recently, the same type of competition has been organized by the AHA ...they invite the previous year's winners. *** Eric writes: >My significant other says that she tastes a soapy flavor in some >homebrew. Upon tasting the beer myself, I can not detect any soapy >flavor whatsoever. Does anyone know what this flavor could be? She >must have a much lower flavor freshold than I do, to my benefit! Soapy flavours are said to come from fatty acids. The First Draft Brewclub of Madison, Wisconsin did a side-by-side split batch where half of the wort got most of the hot and cold break. That half had a "fatty-soapy" taste that the break-free half didn't. A weak or too-sort boil will also increase your wort fatty acid content. Weak fermentation can also be a cause. 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, 11 Mar 1998 14:00:51 -0800 From: Todd.Etzel at eos.lmco.com (Todd Etzel) Subject: Thermocouples There was a recent post about a temperature giving a 15 degree error in the indication. I can think of a couple possible causes. 1. The new controller is configured for a different type of thermocouple. The type of thermocouple should be stated somewhere on the controller. The two most common types of thermocouples are type T and type K. Type T is copper/constantine, and will have one copper wire and one silver wire. If it has a connector on it, it will usually be blue. A type K is chromel/alumel, and both wires will look silver. The connector will usually be yellow. 2. The controller can handle multiple types of thermocouples, and the wrong one is selected. While most controllers can only use one type, there are some that can use multiple types. The thermocouple type would probably be selected in software, and the documentation would tell you how to find out which is being used. Hope this helps. Todd Etzel Monrovia, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 21:43:52 -0400 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Water/Oxygen Joe Shope posted his water report and asked for comments. I usually answer these requests privately but Joe's report is very interesting in a couple of ways. Here it is: pH 7.5 Ca2+ 45 ppm Fe <0.03 ppm Mg2+ <0.01ppm Na+ 1.08 ppm SO4- 6.0 ppm Cl- 1.4 ppm HCO3- 190 ppm hardness 235 alkalinity 156 First, I don't think I've ever seen a report with such a high ratio of calcium to magnesium. This water just doesn't have any. Second, it is standard in the industry to express hardness and alkalinity as 50 times the number of milliequivalents/L of those quantities. In this water all the hardness comes from calcium which is at 45 ppm. With calcium's equivalent weight of 20 we have, therefore 2.25 meq/L from which it looks as if Joe's water company is one of the few that multiply by 100 instead of 50 as they report 235 (which is pretty close to 100 times 225). It is most unfortunate that both these methods (i.e. multiplying by 50 or 100) are still in use as it causes terrible confusion. In cases where there is no way to check (as here where we can look at the calcium) you really don't know what you have. The standard practice (as given in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater) is to use 50. I haven't been able to find the 100 scheme publised anywhere but when I bought a handful of alkalinity test kits for comparison one of them read double the value indicated by all the others on the same sample and so 100*meq/L lives on. The residual alkalinity of this water is RA = 1.56 - 2.35/3.5 = 0.88 mEq/L. Thus this water will need calcium supplementation, mineral acid and/or dark malt to get the pH down to where it ought to be. Total calcium would have to be at 5.46 mEq/L (109 mg/L) in order to zero the residual alkalinity (at which time the mash would probably go to an acceptable, if not optimum, pH). Obviously, one could add calcium chloride and/or calcium sulfate as both chloride and sulfate are low. Joe wants dry beer and so the sulfate needs to be augmented for that purpose and gypsum will increase both calcium and sulfate. If more sulfate is desired epsom salts can be used as the magnesium is effectively non existent in this sample. Magnesium also cancels residual alkalinity at the rate of 1 mEq for each 7 mEq of magnesium. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * MVachow at newman.k12.la.us asked about data on aeration methods. I have some limited experimental data. Eight small holes in a piece of tubing in line between the output of a Volrath pot (lauter tun) and the hose to another Volrath pot on the floor (kettle) raised the DO content of water which had been deoxygenated to 22% of saturation to 49% of saturation. Not very impressive. Pouring water which had been deoxygenated to 1% of saturation back and forth between containers (waist high to floor) gave the following levels Pours DO 0 1% 1 33% 2 60% 3 75% 4 85% 5 90% 6 92% 7 94% 8 95% 10 96% Two and a half gallons of water deoxygenated to 7% were placed in a 5 gal carboy and shaken. The following results were obtained Time DO 0 7% 1 min 57% 4 min 80% 6 min 84% 8 min 87% When the same volume of water was subjected to sparging with compressed air through an airstone: Time DO 0 8% 1:22 58% 2:14 72% 3:36 85% 4:59 90% 5:57 93% 7:35 97% 8:35 99% When the same volume of water was sparged with pure oxygen: Time DO 0 8% :10 26% :31 42% :46 73% 1:01 96% 1:27 121% 1:46 137% 2:10 154% The overall message is pretty clear. O2 levels assymptotically approach the partial pressure of oxygen in the gas being sparged . For air this is 100% (of the level in air). For pure O2 it is 500% (of the level in air). Thus sparging with O2 will get you to 100% very quickly (and higher if you want). All the standard disclaimers about uncontrolled variables (flow rates, container configurations, etc.) apply here. I believe the data do fairly represent what one can expect from each of the tested aeration methods. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 21:29:33 -0600 From: "billyboy at onr.com" <billyboy at onr.com> Subject: Kegging questions, electrian's silicone I remember a while ago someone suggested carbonating a keg through the liquid out post@ ~32 degrees F on a cornelius keg... has anyone tried this and care to comment? Will the CO2 dissolve more effectively into the beer with this method? Will it have more CO2 mouth feel, and head retention? My kegged beer has a good foamy head(no fish-eyes) but still feels relatively flat and lacks the tiny CO2 bubbles that rise up to keep the head going. It does manage to get better with time. I suppose I just answered my own question, but a little feed back can't hurt. Another concern is "dispensing" pressure. I pressurize my kegs at around 12psi at 45F(2.4 volumes) for a few days then drop the pressure to 7psi for dispensing. Will the beer eventually lose it's carbonation(decreasing CO2 volume) into the increasing airspace as it's poured out glass by glass? - ----- I found some silicone spray in the electrical dept. at Builders Square, toxic you say? It's FDA certified(that isn't saying much) and advertised as having a "Food grade formula" product. Manufactured by CRC, it costs around 4 bucks. Thanks for letting me re-hash some old topics, Bill Brewing in Austin, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 03:18:33 -0600 From: "Keith & JoAnn Zimmerman" <keithzim at computron.net> Subject: Iodophore The subject of Iodophore only working if the solution is in a certain pH range (do not remember what) was brought up at our homebrew club meeting. Most members had not heard this and have been using Iodophore for some time and the pH of the solution most probably was not in the range discussed. If this were true one would think that these folks would be experiencing sanitation problems. Would like some information from someone with some expert knowledge of Iodophore. Keith Zimmerman keithzim at computron.net Lake Jackson, Texas Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 08:35:46 -0500 From: Michael Tucker <mrtucker at fayettevillenc.com> Subject: Call for Recipe- Sheaf Stout Can someone point me towards a good recipe for Australia's Sheaf Stout? Not being a stout drinker, this one did tickle my fancy.... not too mention my tastebuds. All hail the collective wisdom and thanks in advance..... :-) - -- Michael R. Tucker Fayetteville Observer-Times New Media Online Producer mrtucker at fayettevillenc.com work- http://www.fayettevillenc.com home- http://www.frii.com/~mtucker Tel. 910-609-0635 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 08:38:03 -0500 From: Chris Cooper <ccooper at a2607cc.msr.hp.com> Subject: Comment on TC-probe probblems Greetings all! I have been using an industrial temperature monitor for years in my brewery. The unit I have is made by Doric an is of scientific quality. The probes are SS and have a flexible SS jacket about 3 feet long, the probes are ablut 6" long. This system worked very well as I had 3 probes and a TC-switch allowing me to monitor temperature in three locations. After several uses I also noticed that my readings were becoming quit flakey. Finally one of my probes failed to register anywhere near the correct reading. I performed a post-mortem on the probe and removed the flexible jacket at it's junction to the probe body. At this point the TC wire was fully potted in to the probe tube with some type of epoxy and at this point the wires were fully corroded. We talk about the Ph of wort and I know that it is acidic but this really drove the point home to me. If you are using TC's you need to make sure that the actual wires are protected from the wort or you will have to replace them on a fairly frequent basis. I have since purchased an extended length probe (16") and use my remaining short probes in TC wells only. Even with the long probe you must be careful to avoid condensed wort on the leads eating away at the wire over time. Chris Cooper , Commerce Michigan --> Pine Haven Brewery <-- Chris_Cooper at hp.com --> aka. Deb's Kitchen <-- (about 15 miles North of the HBD server) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 09:33:27 -0500 From: "Moyer, Douglas E (MIS, SalemVA)" Subject: Shield for Cajun cooker Steve Yavorski asks about using a shield for his outdoor propane burner. I've found that it is best (for me) to hang the shield so that the top is an inch or two below the liquid level. I used a couple of converted hangers to hang the converted trash can from the converted keg. If you hang the shield too high, then the sides of the keg above the wort get too hot, and the wort will scorch at the boil line. Because I am hanging it, there isn't an issue with availability of air (oxygen) for the flame. We cut the opening in the bottom of the trash can so the hole's diameter was about a half inch larger than the keg/pot's diameter. Once I started using a shield, it made a huge difference in boil consistency. I never have to watch the boil anymore. It also takes much less flame. Actually, I've been overboiling lately. I start with 7+ gallons and end up with <5 in a 70 minute boil. (I ended up with a foreign stout this weekend <g>) After the boil, I unhook the hangers (which are actually cool enough to touch) and drop the shield. My burner is up on a circle of bricks, and the shield rests on this. I then spray the sides of the keg/pot with the hose until it stops hissing. Once I started doing this, I cut 15 minutes off of my chilling time. Using an immersion chiller with a pre-pot coil immersed in ice water, I chill to <80 F from gas cutoff in about 10 minutes. - -------------------------------------------------- My question to the collective: I've read several times that people recommend bringing the wort to a boil, skimming off the hot break, then starting the hop additions (and associated timing). As I bring my wort to a boil, there is a lot of fairly fine foam that forms on the surface, which passes through my kitchen strainer if I move it too quickly. I can get a lot of it out with patience, but it takes several minutes. Is this the hot break? What the heck is hot break, anyway? What does it look like? Cheers! Doug Moyer ~ Salem, VA, USA Big Lick Brewing Collective "A Big Lick makes your mouth feel good" Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 09:46:39 -0800 From: John Varady <rust1d at usa.net> Subject: Chilling, Cleaning, & Palexperimenting Keith Writes: >So this past brew session I placed the immersion chiller in >the kettle and then used the pump to recirculate the wort from the >bottom back to the top of the kettle, being careful not to cause >HSA. I use a very similar method to chill my wort. I use a counter-flow chiller and to sanitize it, I pump hot wort through it and back to the top of the kettle but below the wort surface to avoid HSA. I let this run for about 5 mins to sanitize the chiller and when the boil is over I just turn off the heat and turn on the water. The wort continues to be recirculated through the cf chiller and back to the top of the kettle during the entire cooling process. When I hit the temp I want I turn off the water and transfer to fermenters. Some advantages I have found: * This recirculation will form a whirlpool for you if you position the return hose at the right angle. * Uses less water. * If you use whole hops in the boil, the recirc will form a great filter bed to catch the break material. * After chilling below 80F, you can lift the return hose above the surface to induce aeration. I have been doing this for about 18 months without one person commenting on HSA in my beer. - -- Art Beall posts his process for cleaning sanke kegs and asks: >Maybe someone out there in HBD land has a better >idea or method. Please speak up. Your process sounds like overkill. Using a high pressure rinse, PBW and a long hot soak could probably eliminate most of the elbow work. I ferment in sankes sometimes but I have the top chopped so I can reach in and scrub. To sanitize, I put it on my burner and blast with 100k BTUs for a couple of minutes with a cup of water in the bottom and a lid on the top. It gets to be a pretty harsh environment in there with all the steam. - -- The Palexperiment is in full swing. Malt and Hops have been secured and shipping will be done next week. There are 45 brewers that will be participating (much more then the 12 I wanted to limit it to). Here's a recap on what we are doing: We will all brew using the same exact amounts of ingredients and same basic brewing techniques to make the same volume of wort which will be fermented by the same strain of yeast. We will then have the data and the beers compared to see the variations that can be produced by the different systems used. An offer has been made by Brian Rezac of the AHA to have "the AHA pay for (or get donated) the lab tests on all the samples". We are still waiting to here more on this from Brian and hope that it pans out. Brian is one of the participating brewers. If you want to follow the experiment closer you can watch the web page. It is currently hosted at: http://gatekeeper.bdsinc.com/~jjorgens/ We also have our own mailing list server set up to discuss the experiment, with subscription information on the page. - -- Those in the vicinity of The General Lafayette Inn & Brewery near Philly PA are invited to come down on Saturday March 21st to sample some of my Boneyard Pale Ale which will be unveiled that day. I won a contest they had and got to play brew meister for a day on thier 7 barrel system last week. Mmmm, Mmmm, Hoppy. Peace! 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: Thu, 12 Mar 98 09:55:22 -0500 From: dajohnson at mail.biosis.org Subject: Lactic Acid usage Hey all, well, i've decided to try and acidify my sparge water and have decided to go with Lactic acid (i hope this is the right choice). I have posted water treatment questions before because it seems that my water is particularly alkaline (pH of around 8 or so). I boil all of my brew and sparge water and add gypsum for the mash, but i'm still having some difficulties as far as extracting some harshness (astringency?) in my brews (primarily the lighter stuff). I'm pretty careful with my sparge water temp., so i'm relatively sure that that is not the problem. So, i'm thinking about acidifying my sparge water and seeing if that helps. Can someone please help me with the specifics of this and give me some guidelines on which acid to use (lactic v. phosphoric), how much to use and how to go about it? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a bunch. dan johnson Conshohocken, PA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 10:02:01 EST From: KennyEddy <KennyEddy at aol.com> Subject: Pilsen Water John Palmer asks about modifying some bottled water to match a Pilsen water profile. Adding about 0.7g (about 1/4 tsp) CaCl2 to 5 gallons of this water would get you your 10 ppm (and 18 ppm Cl), but I believe there is a bigger issue at work here. Even 10 ppm is probably not enough to properly acidify the mash to ideal pH; this is why traditionally an acid rest was done. You can add a bit of lactic or phosphoric acid to the mash to accomplish this without increasing the original water's profile. Using lactic acid would closely approximate the acid rest. Check your dough-in pH befor adding acid. ***** Ken Schwartz El Paso, TX KennyEddy at aol.com http://members.aol.com/kennyeddy Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 10:02:16 -0800 From: John Varady <rust1d at usa.net> Subject: York Brewfest Those who will be attending the Brewfest this weekend in York PA, stop by the Red Bell Brewing Co booth and say hi. I will be there helping them sling beer. One for you, one for me, one for you, one for me. 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: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 08:59:34 -0600 (CST) From: Samuel Mize <smize at prime.imagin.net> Subject: chlorine data Greetings to all, and especially to: >HOMEBREW Digest #2657 Tue 10 March 1998 >From: George_De_Piro at berlex.com >Subject: Chlorine removal ... > Very nice work, AJ! I love to see myths exploded! It was nice work, and I do like to see hard data presented. I don't think chlorophenolics are a myth. I personally had a slight plastic taste in my beer, which disappeared when I started using a simple end-of-faucet charcoal filter. Perhaps both chlorine and other factors must be present for the problem to show up. For one thing, the more chlorine to start with, the more taste I would expect -- if the water is not unpleasant to drink, it shouldn't create a big problem. > I've been to several breweries where NOTHING is done to remove > chlorine from the water! Were they using heavily chlorinated water? > As for my experience, my tap water is chlorinated using bleach (it's a > small, old water company). I have been using a carbon filter for > about a year now. Before that I simply let the water stand overnight > (which was sometimes only 4 hours or so). Bleach isn't chloramine, and it degrades to salt water. So either of these should be adequate. What's your point? >From: revmra at skyfry.com (Matthew Arnold) >Subject: Re: chloramines ... >a chemist for the water system in a town just south >of Green Bay. He told me that I could take care of the chlorine/chloramine in >our water by boiling. The water chemist at Dallas I spoke to, who also does consulting on water chemistry, said that boiling would not remove chloramine. My expert can beat up your expert. I suspect that the conventional wisdom comes from testing for aquarium owners, for whom even a little chlorine means dead fish. Perhaps boiling will degrade or remove some chloramine, but not all. >I am very sensitive >to chlorine (my wife claims she can't smell it out of the tap) so I think I >would have noticed some weirdness by now. It's a very different flavor. I doubt that sensitivity to chlorine aroma would translate directly to sensitivity to chlorophenolics. - - - - - It's the same as ever in brewing: if you don't have a problem, you don't have a problem. Don't fix it. If you do have a problem, listen out for things to try. (Fix your brewing problems, if you can afford his consulting fees...) Best, Sam Mize - -- Samuel Mize -- smize at imagin.net (home email) -- Team Ada Multi-part MIME message: " ", " ", " " (hands waving) Fight Spam - see http://www.cauce.org/ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 09:16:52 -0600 From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: RE: Cleaning Sanke Kegs >From: Art Beall <bealla at bellhow.com >Maybe someone out there in HBD land has a better idea or method. Please speak up. I have been considering the purchase of a high pressure washer to use for pressure washing my vinyl siding on the house and brewery. I am wondering if any one has experience/data on it's use for cleaning kegs, etc. It would seem to be ideal because it has hot water, pressure, and I believe also chemicals can be added to makeup a cleaning solution. What say?? Ron Ronald La Borde - Metairie, Louisiana - rlabor at lsumc.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 98 07:45:13 -0800 From: "Frank E. Kalcic" <fkalcic at flash.net> Subject: FW: Wort aeration and foaming A couple of postings have come up regarding aeration: There was a very good article in BT by on aeration/oxygenation effiency. Find it on the web at http://www.brewingtechniques.com/library/EditorialIndex.html#Aeration . The article was written by Dennis Davison and is in the Sept/Oct 1996 issue (V4No5) A product I've used with very good success is "Foam Control". The addition of 2 to 3 drops (not 1tsp as recommended by the vendor) per 5 gal added to the fermentor vessel prior to filling with cooled wort really cuts down foam production when aerating and fermenting. Available from http://www.hoptech.com . This product allows brewers to "increase" the volume of their fermentors by reducing the amount of headspace required as foam production is reduced drastically. If added prior to aeration, it will allow you to aerate almost indefinitely. Watch out for over aeration. No affiliation etc. Frank E.Kalcic Sunnnyvale,CA Return to table of contents
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