HOMEBREW Digest #2663 Tue 17 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

  First All-Grain (Headduck)
  Heart of Dixie Brew-Off Results ("John W. Rhymes")
  RE: Iodophor & Stainless Steel (Jeff Grey)
  yeast ranching vials (Dave Whitman)
  Berliner and Suddeutsch Weizien from the same mash? (michael w bardallis)
  Controversial Priming ("David R. Burley")
  Dwarf hops,Brett Berliner Weiss,massive point ("David R. Burley")
  Berliner Weiss:  I said WHAT?  / Dave's priming method (George_De_Piro)
  Converting kegs info ("Dave Draper")
  Re:  Allergies/filtering beer (Mark T A Nesdoly)
  Sanitizing O2 Barrier Caps (Ted Chilcoat)
  Foam Control (Mike Allred)
  Staling of unchilled beer/Mash question ("Frank Conway")
  Percy Neame Premium Ale ("Clifford A. Hicks")
  Beersummit Report ("Jeffrey M. Kenton")
  Protein rests and break material/overmodified malts from M&F (George_De_Piro)
  boiling pot/keg (Stephen Rockey) and Rolling Rock (Jason) 3/16/98 (Vachom)
  Hot break--what's it look like? (Doug Moyer)
  Specialty Malts (jamorris)
  re: Partial-Mashing Made Easy (Jeff)
  Sparge Leveler/pH meters/Weight/Chlorine (AJ)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 15 Mar 1998 22:59:16 EST From: Headduck <Headduck at aol.com> Subject: First All-Grain Collective: First let me thank you all for being inspirational and extremely helpful in getting me to this point. I have gotten more good information from the HBD, than all other sources combined. I am sure that all of the contributing members played a large role in making today's brew sucessful. Thanks, especially to Chuck Epp, who I met because of this forum, who came over and offered support and advice. I used a rectangular cooler mash tun/lauter tun a la Brewing Technics Magazine from a couple of months ago. I made what I expected to be a fairly high gravity, highly hopped Brown Ale. A couple of questions: I used 13 gallons of water in the entire procedure, expecting to get 10 gallons of 1.058 o.g. wort. I ended up with more like 8.5 gallons of 1.068 o.g. wort. I don't really mind, I like a large beer. Next time if I use a similar grain bill (23.75# of grain as per recipe from cat's meow) I will use 15 gallons of water. What should I do this time? I have pitched the yeast. Should I add boiled water and get it to a lower specific gravity now, or should I wait and add water later. (good enough for Budmilloors) ?? My gut feeling is just leave it alone and see how it comes out. Other than that, the whole process went amazingly smoothly. I started at noon and was completely done, yeast in the fermenter at 7:00. I can only wonder why I didn't switch to all-grain sooner? BTW, no one has answered my question about using gentle iodine, so I just sprang for iodophor at the brew shop. There seem to be a lot of questions about iodine and iodophor lately. Where are the chemists lurking?? Thanks again for all of the help and good advice. Keep it coming!! Joe Yoder Lawrence, KS (Home of the KU Jayhawks, boy is my town going to be down tomorrow) "Everyone's got to believe in something, I believe I'll have another beer." - --W.C. Fields. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 15 Mar 1998 22:01:39 +0000 From: "John W. Rhymes" <jwrhymes at mindspring.com> Subject: Heart of Dixie Brew-Off Results On March 14, the Birmingham Brewmasters hosted the first major homebrew competition held in the state of Alabama. An excellent panel of 37 judges assembled to evaluate 155 entries from 14 states. All entries were evaluated by three judges, and the judge panel was led by 18 BJCP judges and 6 professional head brewers. Best of Show went to Doug McCullough of the Birmingham Brewmasters for his traditional Bock. Best Ale went to Ed Sieja of the Madison (AL) Sobriety Club for his Belgian Tripel. Best Lager went to Lee Theuriet of the Stanislaus Hoppy Cappers (CA) for his Vienna. Our special category was Potato beers in honor of St. Patrick's Day. Best Potato Beer went to Brian Dueweke of Weekend Brewers in Richmond, Virginia, for his Sweet Potato Stout. See our web site at http:\\www.bham.net\brew\brew-off.html for details of the competition and a full list of winners and sponsors (plus pictures!). We had great prizes from from our sponsors and an excellent weekend. Future competitions will be on the weekend closest to St. Patrick's Day, so keep us in mind! John W. Rhymes -- Birmingham, Alabama jwrhymes at mindspring.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 15 Mar 1998 23:10:18 -0500 From: Jeff Grey <grey at ameritech.net> Subject: RE: Iodophor & Stainless Steel I have heard from a local brewpub brewmaster that it is best not to leave Iodine based sanitizers in contact with SS for a long period of time. He told me that he had left the sanitizer in contact with a large SS vessel for a week and it pitted it ! Luckily the vessel was treated and it was saved. During that treating process he was sweating bullets ! Watch your exposure time. Jeff Grey Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 08:40:50 -0500 From: Dave Whitman <dwhitman at rohmhaas.com> Subject: yeast ranching vials In HBD#2662, Kyle Druey asks what vials to use for making slants: >Which one is the best size/type for slants: > >1) 20 mm OD X 150 mm height, test tube type with rounded bottom > >2) 17 mm OD X 60 mm height (8 ml), flat bottomed > >3) 1 dram (3.7 ml) don't know the dimensions, flat bottomed (this is my >first choice because I can get 49 of them for $19 and they appear easy >to clean and handle) I'm using 2 dram vials, and they work just fine. I suspect the 1 dram ones would still be plenty big. I use those 20x150 mm test tubes for stepping up cultures in liquid media. 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: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 08:35:41 -0500 From: dbgrowler at juno.com (michael w bardallis) Subject: Berliner and Suddeutsch Weizien from the same mash? Dave Burley suggests making Berliner and Weizen from the same batch, adding lactic to the 'Berliner' portion, and making the assertion that the typical Weizen clove&banana components are also present in Berliners (I assume we're not doing parti-gyle, since the whole point is that the same yeast/ferment is used). OK, but what about the OG? Berliners tend to be around 1.030, Weizens 1.045-55. Grain bill? Berliners may have around 25% wheat, Weizens are usually more like 66-75%. Maybe MegaBrewCorp would use this technique to save bux, but why would a homebrewer? Low-tech brewing in Allen Park, MI, Mike Bardallis _____________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866] Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 08:59:57 -0500 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Controversial Priming Brewsters: Hubert Hangofer says: ">IMHO Dave's "controversial" priming method should be discussed in a >serious >and constructive way and not being pilloried on web pages. With no doubt>it >requires much experience and the right feeling to hit the exact point of >attenuation. Dave has this experience but the question is what could be >done do make it reliable to less experienced brewers?" Actually AlK's objection is a theoretical one, that putting in the priming sugar introduces the possibility that some of this sugar will be consumed by the yeast and potentially give some un-reproducible character to carbonation. I agree with his theory and always have even before I tried my "controversial" method. It boils down to a practical issue -Go with theory and get irreproducible carbonation ( sometimes none!) with unpredictable time of carbonation or add an active yeast in the manner I prescribe and get reproducible carbonation. Now why does this happen? 1) If, as prescribed by theory, we just add sugar at the end of the fermentation after a secondary rest then: a) the yeast is in a dormant or nearly so state. b) Additionally, the cell count in the beer is very low - which is one of the points of a secondary rest. c) The beer has a much reduced free amino acid content, having just gone through fermentation, so rebuilding a yeast colony is difficult and is wort dependent, obviously. d) If you use sucrose as a priming sugar as I did for decades, then you are asking the yeast to invert the sugar before they are able to utilize it - one more step. e) The beer has alcohol in it which inhibits yeast growth f) The beer has no oxygen in it to encourage growth 2) If you do as I suggest and prepare a priming starter similar to the kraeusen practice of using a fermenting beer in conditioning bottle fermented Germanic beers then all the above problems go away and you get reproducible carbonation batch after batch. In the case of using sucrose, the fermenting starter yeast produces invertase which externally ( to the cell) inverts the sucrose to simple sugars, glucose and fructose. In providing FANs I add a tablespoon of malt extract to the starter consisting of priming sugar syrup, beer and yeast from the bottom of the secondary. Oxygen gets to the dormant yeast and encourages the growth of the colony and when you bottle, the yeast are immediately active and take up any oxygen instead of it causing harmful oxidation to the beer while the colony builds up. What are the potential areas for error? 1) Yeast concentration and type and temperature of the starter will affect how fast the starter kraeusens 2)Sugar content will be reduced too much by the starter fermentation and the carbonation will be grossly affected. What is my experience? If I wait 12 hours, the starter just reaches kraeusen and it is time to bottle. What if you want to be really sure, despite the fact that most people can't detect a plus/minus 20 % difference in carbonation? Measure the SG of the fermenting starter and add the correct amount to the beers, just like is done in using a kraeusen for bottle conditioned commercial beer. AlK may not have a problem such as others have, since he does not use a secondary and may bottle the beer before it has cleared. His beer on bottling has a higher yeast count, but his beers may also have an inordinate amount of yeast deposit in the bottle. Doing it the way I suggest leaves just a very thin coating of yeast on the bottom of the bottle. How about using corn sugar instead of sucrose? I mistakenly thought that using corn sugar for priming would obviate the use of the priming starter. Not so. I prepared several batches this way and had the same problem I used to have before I began to use the priming starter method. My overall comment? I have been doing this for a long time and it works for me. Try it before you criticize it. 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: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 09:00:00 -0500 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Dwarf hops,Brett Berliner Weiss,massive point Brewsters: Some interesting newsbrief from Breworld online British 'zine: "Plenty of activity is occurring in the middle of the Wandsworth one way system. Youngs' have joined the growing band of brewers experimenting with the new dwarf variety, First Gold. Imaginatively the beer they are producing will also be called First Gold (4.0% ABV) and will be part of their seasonal ales range for the year, along with more familiar brews such as Dirty Dicks and Oregon Amber which contains American fuggles, to the delight of British hop growers no doubt. First Gold (only grown in the UK) will be on sale from May 25th to 9th August." - ------------------------------------------------ Spencer Thomas tells me he has tasted Brettanomyces in Shultheiss Berliner Weiss but it was not apparent in the couple of Kindls he had. I have travelled to Berlin between 1980 and about 1993 and I have had Berliner Weiss periodically, do not recall the brewer and do not recall any Brett character, which in certain beers I like. It is unlikely that I have tried a representative sample of BWs, but Eric Warner does not mention Brett character that I recall. Does anyone know if Spencer's observation is a characteristic or a happenstance of a long transportation time to the US? - ------------------------------------------------- An HBDer, who shall go nameless, takes me to task for pomposity about my PhD degree ( actually I have and MBA also) and "corrects" me about the correct use of the term mass and weight. *My* comment about having a PhD in Physical Chemistry had nothing to do with anything except an HBD contributor was having trouble with his Physical Chemistry and I was offering the possibility of some help. It was AlK who brought it up again and attempted to use it as a form of friendly (I believe) derision. Secondly, you missed the point of my jab at AlK's comment about Physical Chemistry students using mass when they are actually referring to force. The point to my comment had nothing to do with mass versus weight or anything. I was just showing how often the point of a comment is obscured by bullshit when the non-essential comments are extracted from a comment and argued with, as I did with AlK's comment this time and he so often does to mine. Sorry if it was too abstruse for you. In summary, Lets stick to the point of a comment when arguing with it. Other non-essential comments should not be used in an attempt to somehow degrade a point. 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: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 09:14:16 -0800 From: George_De_Piro at berlex.com Subject: Berliner Weiss: I said WHAT? / Dave's priming method Hi all, Dave Burley writes a complete fabrication: "Yep, but talk to George De Piro, he says Beliner Weiss HAS a clovey/banana taste and delbruckii and lots of other stuff which I sincerely doubt. So he discourages using lactic acid compared with a lactic mash. And believes my caution to avoid equipment contamination to be nonsense. I guess he hasn't had much experience or read much about making Belgian beers where the same cautions apply." WHEN DID I EVER SAY THAT!? I just checked my Berliner Weiss post and found no statements resembling the above. There is NO clove or banana in any commercial Berliner Weiss I have ever had! There ARE many other aromas and flavors, though, and simply dosing with lactic acid will NOT duplicate a good Berliner Weiss. As for sanitation, I never said that Dave's caution is "nonsense." What I said was that if you are so sloppy as to get contamination from batch to batch, you are probably already experiencing problems. You don't need to brew a Berliner Weiss to have these troubles! If you are careful about sanitation, you should have no problems. Dave rudely says that I probably have never brewed a Belgian Style beer and therefore don't know much about keeping yeast strains separate. This is utterly ridiculous. Why is there a belief that microorganisms from Belgium are somehow more resistant to death than bugs from the rest of the Earth? The last time I checked, Belgium was on this planet. Dealing with bugs from there is about the same as dealing with bugs from anywhere (on this world). You do not need a separate brewery to try your hand at brewing with those "exotic" Belgian yeasts. I've even used Brettanomyces in my home without contaminating other batches. The problem is that most of these yeasts are VERY distictive, and if you do get cross-contamination, it will be very apparent. If you get cross-contamination between Wyeast 1056 and 1028 (for example), you are less likely to notice the flavor difference. While I'm busy addressing Dave, I'll mention that his priming method, as described recently, will likely produce unreliable results. The quick summary of it is: Make a starter of yeast, sugar, and wort. Allow it to go to high Kraeusen then add a bit to each bottle. Dave believes that this will somehow help prevent HSA (hot side aeration). HSA takes place when the beer is hot. Unless you have some REALLY bizarre brewing processes, bottling is done to cold beer... The other problems with Dave's method are that adding primings of ANY kind to each bottle is difficult, time consuming, and more prone to error than priming the whole batch in a tank. The next big problem is that by allowing the yeast to come to high kraeusen you will have an unknown quantity of fermentable extract left in the solution. This will lead to a level of carbonation different from the intended goal. Sure, you can compensate for this by taking hydrometer readings and calculating how much Kraeusen you should add to achieve the desired level of carbonation, but Dave doesn't mention this, nor is it fun or easy to do. I usually try to ignore Dave, but when he fabricates stuff and attributes it to me, I can't stay quiet. Sorry if this bored you all. George De Piro (Nyack, NY) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 08:11:50 -6 From: "Dave Draper" <ddraper at utdallas.edu> Subject: Converting kegs info Dear Friends, In #2662, Steve Rockey asks for some tips on converting kegs to boilers. I'll shamelessly plug my friend Eric Schoville's page on his 3-tier system, which gives very full descriptions of what he did and has a host of links to other folks' web pages on similar conversions. Taken together, they ought to cover nearly all the bases. Eric's URL is: http://home1.gte.net/rschovil/beer/3tier.html Hope this helps, Dave in Dallas - --- ***************************************************************************** Dave Draper, Dept Geosciences, U. Texas at Dallas, Richardson TX 75083 ddraper at utdallas.edu (commercial email unwelcome) WWW: hbd.org/~ddraper Beer page: http://hbd.org/~ddraper/beer.html Just what we need, another wanker with an attitude! ---Rob Moline (aka Jethro Gump) Return to table of contents
Date-warning: Date header was inserted by mail.usask.ca From: Mark T A Nesdoly <mtn290 at mail.usask.ca> Subject: Re: Allergies/filtering beer Hello All, First, thanks to those who responded to my original post about two weeks ago with their personal observances and tips. Second, I'm very happy to announce that it is NOT yeast that I'm allergic to, so no need for filtering my homebrew. What follows is a summary of what happened to me, posted in the hope that it may help others out there. I started making beer almost 2 years ago. The first few batches were the standard homebrew shop "1 can extract + 2 kg corn sugar" slop. I found that I was allergic to those first few batches. My throat would swell up as soon as I swallowed any beer made in that fashion. I figured that it must either be the yeast, or maybe some byproduct of the fermentation of corn sugar; to test my theory, I switched to all-malt beers. No reaction whatsoever to those. Economics pushed me to all-grain soon after that, which is where I've (happily) been ever since. About two months ago, three things happened at about the same time (which is what made it very difficult to narrow down exactly what I was allergic to): 1) I made a seafood pasta dish with scallops in it, 2) I kegged a weizen a little early (it wasn't quite done fermenting yet), and 3) I bought a different brand of coffee. Long story short: I had a strong reaction to the scallops when we had the leftovers of that first meal. That food allergy sort of put my body's defences on high alert, and I started reacting to things that hadn't bothered me before, particularly that weizen. I took the keg of weizen (my 6th batch of weizen, btw, and I hadn't reacted to any of the previous ones) out of my chest freezer and let it ferment out. After that, no reaction from it anymore, but I was still bothered by my throat swelling up, seemingly for no reason. After three weeks of searching, I finally found out what the culprit was/is: that particular brand of coffee. The wife & I happened to be in Wal-Mart one day, and they had bags of coffee on sale beside the checkout. We picked one up. I can't remember the exact brand name, but it came in a gold foil bag (it wasn't even vacuum sealed). I'm not allergic to other brands of coffee, but there's something in that stuff that I react very strongly to. It has since been disposed of. - -- Mark Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 08:57:28 -0600 From: Ted Chilcoat <tedc at xcaliber.com> Subject: Sanitizing O2 Barrier Caps I read the comments that Al K. made about this. Wouldn't it be just as easy to give the cap a quick swab with a cotton ball dipped in grain alcohol and then cap the beer? This way you wouldn't have to worry about getting bleach or idophore solution into the product. Any comments for the digest, or is this just a bad idea? Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 08:08:49 -0700 From: Mike Allred <mballred at xmission.com> Subject: Foam Control >From: "Frank E. Kalcic" <fkalcic at flash.net> >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. - --------------------------- What effects does this product have on head retention? Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 09:11:14 -0600 From: "Frank Conway" <fconway at wpg.sunquest.com> Subject: Staling of unchilled beer/Mash question I and a friend have been brewing all grain batches for the winter (we did 3 ales and 2 lagers - the winter makes brewing lagers easy, although it's been a little too warm this year), and I have a couple of questions: On mashing, the last time we mashed we added the grain to the cold water in the tun. We then raised the temperature to the first rest using a propane burner. The problem arose in that the mash was quite thick, and there was scorching. Previously we have added the grains to the water which was already at (slightly above) the first rest temperature, but I have a feeling that it is somehow "better" to raise the grains through all the temperatures to the first rest. My partner disagrees, saying the risk of scorching (and the resulting off-flavours) are simply not worth the risk. I tend to agree with him, but was looking for other opinions, and thought there might be one or two out there. So, it is somehow better to raise the temperature of the grains through the entire temperature range from 5C (our water is cold) to 40C? On staling - I keg my beer. I store it unchilled in my basement. When serving, the beer goes through a manifold (cold plate) to get it to an adequate drinking temperature. The beer is wonderful for the first 2-3 weeks, after which its flavour takes a dramatic turn for the worse. Tastes oxidized, but my kegs are not leaking. (I think we have in the past had a problem with HSA during the sparge which we have corrected; could this flavour be manifesting itself over time?) Can stale beer taste this way? I'm thinking this might come from the fact that the beer is sitting at room temperature and is going off. Would refrigeration help? Thanks in advance for your help. - ------ Frank Conway fconway at sunquest.com Senior Software Developer Voice: (204) 956-9771 Sunquest Information Systems FAX: (204) 957-5450 401-175 Hargrave St., Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada R3C 3R8 Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 10:50:33 -0500 From: "Clifford A. Hicks" <simtech at ka.net> Subject: Percy Neame Premium Ale A fellow homebrewer gave me a bottle of "Percy Neame" Premium Ale. It was brewed by Shepherd Neame Brewery in Britain. I would love to be able to get a homebrew recipe for this beer. It seems like an ordinary bitter and the back of the bottle says it is brewed with only malted barley and "Kentish" hops. Has anyone out there had this beer and could you take a stab at a homebrew recipe? Thanks as always. Cliff Hicks simtech at ka.net Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 09:55:39 -0600 From: "Jeffrey M. Kenton" <jkenton at iastate.edu> Subject: Beersummit Report The first Beersummit went off almost without a hitch on Thursday March 12, 1998. I had a little help from AJ Delange in cross-posting my request for attendees, and seven brewers attended. We had quite a cross-section of brewers from beginners to experienced beer judges, and that made for some very interesting discussions. One note: If EVER you find yourself in Washington DC with any amount of time to kill, think first of the Brickskellar. (850 beers in bottle, need I say more) It is located very near the intersection of 22nd and P, across the street from a statue of a man named Schevchenko. If you come from the Dupont Circle and pass the classical architecture of the Amoco station on 22nd, you have gone too far. The awning on the building is visible from the corner of 22 and P. Enter the building and open the door to the Kellar, going down a medium length flight of stairs. So, instead of boring all of you with the details, I will make a webpage, repleat with photos and so forth within a week or so and repost when it is ready. My impression is that everybody had a really good time, and I suggest the idea of a beersummit for anybody visiting a major metropolitan area. Jeff - ------------------- Jeff Kenton brewer at iastate.edu Ames, Iowa jkenton at iastate.edu (515) 294 9997 Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 11:21:01 -0800 From: George_De_Piro at berlex.com Subject: Protein rests and break material/overmodified malts from M&F Hi all, Al K. talks about getting copious amounts of break material when single step mashing DWC malt. When he uses a protein rest, he gets less break. This, of course, makes sense. The larger proteins are broken up in the mash, and therefore do not get coagulated in the kettle. There is a problem with this, though: You want the proteins to get removed, not just get broken up and passed on to the wort. It seems that the common homebrew book notion that protein rests are good for reducing chill haze is not correct. Kunze talks about how it is the degradation products of high molecular weight proteins that cause haze. Doing a protein rest will actually increase haze potential! The only reason to do a protein rest (according to Kunze) is to ensure adequate Free Amino Nitrogen (FAN) for yeast nutrition. Since modern malts are chock full of FAN, this should not be a concern in an all-malt brew. So, the large amounts of hot break Al gets when single-step mashing DWC malt are a good thing as far as I can tell, because it is indicative of good removal of large, undesirable proteins. --------------------------------- While I'm here I'll also post a recent observation. I brewed with Munton and Fison's Marris Otter Pale ale malt this past weekend. While milling the grain I noticed something rather disturbing: a few kernels of malt with acrospires MUCH longer than the length of the kernel! I showed them to my girlfriend and she said, "They're not malt, they're sprouts!" Later that day I was disturbed to find that my OG was a full 8 points below target. Hmmm. Same crush I always use, I think the scale was working...what the heck happened? Maybe I'm too much of a cynical paranoid lunatic, but while I search for answers I can't help but think, "They dump the bad batches of malt overseas and on the homebrew market." Before you think me too insane, I have NEVER noticed a single overmodified kernel in the 1000's of pounds of malt that I have milled (mostly German malt). Maybe I just wasn't paying attention, though...nah! Overmodified malt would have a lower yield than normal malt, and would also explain the lack of hot break I observed. I just got off the phone with my supplier. He not only confirmed that over 10% of the kernels he examined were overmodified, but that he has had problems with the quality of M & F malts in the past (burnt crystal malts). I seconded his complaint of burnt M & F malts (chocolate malt that looked more like black patent). While I was on the phone he checked kernels from a bag of Weissheimer and found no overmodified kernels in a handful. Any other brewers out there who think that some maltsters may cut loses by sending the crap to the really little brewers and overseas markets? Just for completeness' sake: I check the mash pH every time I brew, I used the same mill settings I used 2 weeks ago (with good results) and the crush looked OK. My supplier assured me (and I believe him) that his scale is OK (and my scale agreed). My volume and SG measurements were done using the same instruments as every other brew session, it was a single-step infusion at 155F, etc. This really pisses me off. I have a 1/2 bbl. of IPA in the fermenters that will most likely suffer from thin body and poor heading ability. It took me 3 hours to boil down to my target gravity. Plenty of FAN for the yeast, though (there's always a bright side). Those of you who think that imported malts are automatically superior, beware! For what it's worth, the lot number of the M&F malt being discussed is "5737290 BBE Oct. 98 216935 Marris Otter Whole Otter" Have fun (even though I am not)! George De Piro (Nyack, NY) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 10:47:11 -0600 From: Vachom <MVachow at newman.k12.la.us> Subject: boiling pot/keg (Stephen Rockey) and Rolling Rock (Jason) 3/16/98 Stephen: About converting your keg to a boiling pot--check out this faq: www.eecs.tulane.edu/www/Winstead/keg_conversion.faq.html ************************************************************************* *** Jason: It's nigh on impossible for homebrewers to reproduce commercially made American pilseners like Rolling Rock (Budweiser, Coors, etc.) brewed as they are with significant quantities of grains like corn and rice that are very difficult for homebrewers to control. If you'd like to make a light, refreshing summer beer, how about an American Wheat or a Weizen, a Pale Ale on the lower end of O.G. or a Steam Beer? You might also check out an article available on Brewing Techniques web page about pre-Prohibition American lagers. There's a recipe included that looks interesting. Mike Vachow, New Orleans Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 11:50:44 -0500 From: Doug Moyer <moyer-de at salem.ge.com> Subject: Hot break--what's it look like? Folks, Since the HBD server doesn't seem to be able to strip my email address from the GE format, I'll try this a different way. (So y'all can reply--since I'm sure that is the only reason I didn't get a response. <g> ) 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? TIA, Doug Moyer ~ Salem, VA, USA Big Lick Brewing Collective "If she gives you a Big Lick in public, just smile" Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 20:00:45 -0500 From: jamorris at washington.navy.mil Subject: Specialty Malts Thanks to all of you that helped me before. Your responses were awesome and gave me a wealth of knowledge. Since then my better half sent a copy of TNCJHB. My order will be waiting when I get home. My order included 1 lb of cara-pils dextrin malt. I wanted the benefits of crystal malt without the added color. I thought it should be treated as the other crystal malts and then I read that dextrin malt required mashing. Now I'm concerned that I won't be able to use it without going too in depth. Should I scratch the cara-pils and go with a light crystal malt or will I in fact be able to use it a a 'regular' crystal malt? Sam - I sent you a separate e-mail on this but the server on board went haywire and I'm not sure if you received it. Thanks in advance Ron Morris USS George Washington Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 14:06:42 -0500 From: mcnallyg at gam83.npt.nuwc.navy.mil (Jeff) Subject: re: Partial-Mashing Made Easy Hi All, Ken Schwartz wrote: >If you've wanted to try partial-mashing but have been hesitant to "complicate" >your system, the following may offer you another approach that is about as >simple as it gets, yet produces excellent results. I just wanted to second Ken's advice that partial mashing can be done quite easily and really helps to improve your brew. Its also a great way to learn about mashing and opens up a whole new realm of grains that you can use (vs steeping). I have done about 30 partial mash batches using the "tea-bag" method that Ken described. I am also aware of the possible drawbacks to this method and have worked out ways to avoid them. I use a grain bag from William's Brewing that is designed to fit into a bucket (ie zapap) style mash/lauter tun. These bags fit perfectly inside a 4 gallon SS stock pot that most people already have for extract brewing. AS Ken mentioned, when mashing you need to use the proper water to grain ratio, typicly between 1 and 2 quarts of water per pound of grain. The way I learned to avoid getting grain particles into the boil was just to simply let the mash liquid settle after mashing and sparging and before siphoning into the kettle. By carefully siphoning, you can leave a large portion of the grain particles behind in the mash and "sparge" vessels. When I first started doing these partial mashes, I siphoned everything over into the kettle and had problems with harsh, astringent flavors. After learning how to keep the grain particles out of the boil, my brews greatly improved. A third thing I would also suggest is to make sure you are using an accurate thermometer and keep a close eye on the mash temperatures. You don't want to overshoot the mash temps by much and end up killing all of the enzymes (ie denaturing the enzymes is the proper term). It's better to mash in a little low and boost the temp up using either heat or boiling water. I would highly recomend to anyone doing extract brews that you give some of these simple partial mash techniques a try. They can greatly increase the quality of your brew with very little investment in time or money. You can even do small batch all grain brews with a setup like I have. A 4 gallon stock pot and one of these grain bags can mash up to 8 pounds of grain. By paying close attention to a couple of simple details you can produce great beer with one of these setups. I know first hand, I just won second place with a Dusseldorf Alt in the Boston Homebrew Comp (one step away from being qualified for the MCAB!) that was made with a partial mash recipe. This brew scored 39 points, which "ain't too bad" of a score. Hoppy brewing, Jeff ============================================================================ Geoffrey A. McNally Phone: (401) 841-7210 x21390 Mechanical Engineer Fax: (401) 841-7250 Launcher Technology and email: mcnallyg at gam83.npt.nuwc.navy.mil Analysis Branch Naval Undersea Warfare Center Code 8322; Bldg. 1246/2 Newport, RI 02841-1708 Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 14:29:28 -0500 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Sparge Leveler/pH meters/Weight/Chlorine Mark Berman has an idea for leveling sparge water: If I'm picturing the kitty gadget correctly it works the way a water cooler does i.e. when the water level in the bowl gets low enough that the mouth of the bottle is above the surface of the water air can enter the bottle and does so causing water to run out. After the water rises to the point where the mouth is sealed again water continues to flow until the pressure at the top of the bottle plus the hydrostatic head equals atmospheric pressure and flow stops. If you cut the top off the bottle, the water would all run out as there would be pressure differential between the top and bottom of the water column to support it. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * "Raymond C. Steinhart" asked about refractometers and pH meters. Refractometers are used for extract determination but I don't have any details except that the instruments used are often "immersion refractometers". Can you get a pH meter for under $300 that will withstand 100C and has ATC? Possibly but that's pushing it. The meter itself doesn't care about the temperature range but the electrode does. For brewing you need something with a free flowing junction that's easily cleared of husk particles, bits of acrospire, gums and proteins, that will withstand high temperatures and dribbles only innocuous potassium chloride into your brew. There are many electrodes (double junction, sleeve construction) which meet these criteria but they usually cost in the $130 - $200 range. That doesn't leave much budget for the meter itself. ATC meters tend to start at $200 and go well on up depending on bells and whistles. For brewing you want accuracy, or at least precision, of 0.01 or 0.02 pH in order to be able to see things like the effects of calcium supplementation, pH reduction from returned decoctions, etc.. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Paul Niebergall wrote: >And even better yet, one should say "supporting a force of 2 Newtons" For the 2 kg mass under consideration the force would be 2 Newtons only if the acceleration were 1 m/sec^2. Under normal circumstances on the face of the earth 2 kilograms weighs (i.e. exerts a force of) 2*9.8 Newtons. >But, the phrase "supporting a kilogram weight" is wrong. Kilogram weight is OK. A kilogram weight is 9.8 Newtons. * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Jon Macleod wrote: >There isn't enough chlorine, or enough energy available, in city water >to be making much of anything (except dead bacteria). Chlorine in city water is in sufficient quantity to react with organic material to form Trihalomethanes (THM's) of which chloroform is the most prevalent. THMs are known to be carcinogenic and while the jury may be out on the likelihood that the levels found in city water are high enough to be an appreciable public health risk it is fear of THMs which has prompted the move in the industry towards chloramination as opposed to just simple chlorination. Return to table of contents
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