HOMEBREW Digest #2818 Mon 07 September 1998

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  freezer & email (fridge)
  More on Campden Tablets (AJ)
  Brewing Clip Art ("Chip Upsal")
  RE: Moisture in grains (LaBorde, Ronald)
  RE: Alt, Pils, Centrifuge (LaBorde, Ronald)
  Whitelabs Edinburgh Yeast (Dan Cole)
  Green Hops (Jack Schmidling)
  More Clinitest ("Steve Alexander")
  Gravity calculation ("charles beaver")
  Oak Chips (Michael Lewandowski)
  The Fall of American Ale ("Mort O'Sullivan")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 5 Sep 1998 08:05:46 -0400 From: fridge at Imbecile.kzoo.edu Subject: freezer & email Greetings folks, In HBD#1817, Pete Perez asked about why the bottom of his freezer is colder than the top, and where the temperature probe should be located. Cold air is heavier than warm air. As the evaporator coils in the cabinet wall (there usually isn't a coil in the bottom) remove heat from air inside the freezer cabinet, the cold air will fall to the bottom of the cabinet. This will force any warmer air to the top. This action will setup an airflow pattern that is shaped somewhat like a doughnut, with cold air falling down the outside of the doughnut and warm air rising through the center. This air flow will be disturbed by whatever objects are placed in the freezer. In actual use, I have found that when loaded with cornies or carboys, the controller probe agrees with the liquid temperature when it is placed 6" or so from the top and 2" from the side wall. Note that any cornies, etc. that touch the side walls will be colder due to contact with the much colder evaporator coil. Some experimentation will probably be necessary to get the probe location just right. In the same HBD, John Welsh reported success with his fridge by replacing his start capacitor with a "Hot Shot". These starting aids are often carried on service trucks to use as a last resort when standard repairs aren't successful. They are useful when an old, worn compressor won't start properly with standard electrical components in good working order. A hot shot or similar device increases the motor starting torque to compensate for motor windings with a few shorted turns, or higher internal friction due to wear. The higher torque has been known to damage the motor/compressor mountings (inside the can) in some cases. In Ken Sullivan's case, it is important to isolate the problem, if possible before buying parts. The problem may be simple (I found a bug lodged between contacts in a controller once). Ken mentioned that his freezer didn't make any sound when he plugged it in. If power was applied to the compressor, and it wasn't able to start, it would emit an audible buzzing sound for a few seconds before the thermal element would open with a loud click. This would repeat every minute or two until the compressor burns up or the thermal element fails (I've seen these literally in ashes). The absence of any noises makes me suspect something other than the starter relay/capacitor. Please note that my email machine has been rendered unable to receive mail due to some firewall work our IS department is undertaking. I'll see what I can do to remedy the problem early next week. In the mean time email to duddles at cc.kzoo.edu should get to me. Hope this helps! - ---------------------------------------------------- Forrest Duddles - FridgeGuy in Kalamazoo duddles at cc.kzoo.edu (For now) Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 05 Sep 1998 09:10:15 -0400 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: More on Campden Tablets Nathan Kanous asked whether I was referring to a water boil or the kettle boil when I said that sulfur dioxide from the Campden tablets which is not oxidized by chlorine, chloramine or otherwize would be driven off in the boil. I was referring to the kettle boil. If chloraminated water is boiled, the chloramine is quickly driven off and there would be no reason to use the Campden tablets. Nathan also asked about the effect of SO2 on his mash/wort. SO2 is a reducing agent and will, thus, try to find something to reduce. If it is successful it will become harmless (unless you are already marginal on sulfate level WRT a Bohemian Pils) sulfate. Things it could reduce might be melanoidins (i.e. the SO2 can aid in the formation of reductones) or atmospheric oxygen (i.e. it can undo a little HSA). Steve Holat also wrote saying that he had heard about this idea on the UKHBD (have I been scooped by the Pommies?) where the recommended dose is about 4 times what I'm recommending. I'm sticking with my recommendation based on my measurements. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 5 Sep 1998 06:53:01 -0600 From: "Chip Upsal" <brewerchip at trail.com> Subject: Brewing Clip Art I am setting up some web pages for local breweries. I am badly in need of brewing clip art. Has anybody found a good source for this? Chip Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 5 Sep 1998 09:32:50 -0500 From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: RE: Moisture in grains From: "Gregg A. Howard" <ghow at compuserve.com> >I found a donut shop that bought all their icing ready-made >(most made it in-house) and was able to collect enough 3.5 >and 4.25 gal. buckets (no 5 gal; icing is much denser than water) >with lids in a few weeks to store all my grain. 50 lb of 2-row is >just over ten gallons. >................. >I sacrificed one ugly bucket with a 2" hole saw and got 40 >or so plastic disks that I cut from edge to center to make >reusable tags that snap on the bails so I know which bucket >is what. Thanks Gregg for some great tips. This is why I love the digest so much. It seems that people just keep the idea mill running all the time. I have been making tags from transparent plastic, but they were difficult to read. The idea of using the white buckets cut up is great! Here's a tip from this end - I find the tags very useful to tag my corny kegs. Good to put your name, any notes about the keg condition, etc. I use plastic tie wraps to attach the tag to the keg handle. Just leave the tie wrap loose and write with a marker pen and you have a waterproof tag that can remain on the keg throughout the entire cleaning cycle. Many large groceries now have bakery's and also will give you all the buckets you ever care to ask for. Ron Ronald La Borde - Metairie, Louisiana - rlabor at lsumc.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 5 Sep 1998 10:20:24 -0500 From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: RE: Alt, Pils, Centrifuge >It is odd that someone mentioned a homebrew centrifuge for yeast starters. >Scientific American put their blender based centrifuge article on the web >but it was tinier than a doctor's office model. The recent starter discussion >had just caused me to contemplate using a stout cord and 2 liter plastic bottle >like a bolo in the back yard. The neighbors already know I'm crazy... Hi, Mark. If you really want to convince your neighbors try this: Securely tie down a 2 liter yeast starter on each blade of a ceiling fan and let 'er rip. Remove every living creature from the area first! Ron Ronald La Borde - Metairie, Louisiana - rlabor at lsumc.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 06 Sep 1998 04:53:11 -0400 From: Dan Cole <dcole at roanoke.infi.net> Subject: Whitelabs Edinburgh Yeast This morning, I am beginning an all-grain Scotch Ale (I am shooting for the AHA Export Scotch Ale style). For yeast, I am using the Whitelabs Edingurgh yeast, but one thing on their web page caught my eye this morning. The temperature range for the yeast, is outside the normally recommended range for the style. By all sources Scotch Ales were brewed in below normal temperatures (in the 50's F), yet this yeast looks like it wants normal ale temperatures and would not perform well in the lower range. Does anyone have any experience with this yeast? Description from www.whitelabs.com: WLP028- Edinburgh Ale Yeast: Scotland is famous for its malty, strong ales. This yeast can reproduce complex, flavorful Scottish style ales. Attenuation: 70-75%. Flocculation: Medium. Optimum Fermentation Temperature: 65-70F. Does not ferment well under 62F. Thanks, Dan Cole Roanoke, VA Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 06 Sep 1998 07:29:41 -0700 From: Jack Schmidling <arf at mc.net> Subject: Green Hops I have this urge to make the next batch of beer using freshly picked green hops but never having done this before I don't wish to risk a whole batch when a simply question might save some grief. Is there any reason why hops must be dried before use? js - -- Visit our WEB pages: http://user.mc.net/arf ASTROPHOTO OF THE WEEK..... New Every Monday Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 05:45:30 -0400 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: More Clinitest In my last post on this topic I concluded that a Clinitest reading of 1/4% represented a certainty of a complete fermentation, but that readings perhaps as high as 1.25% might also represent complete fermentation depending on the properties of the wort. I've performed Clinitest readings on a handful of personal beers and commercial beers, results follow. I had my wife, who is very familiar with Clinitest and very uninterested in beer both for the same reason, read the color charts for results. + and - indicate values slightly above or below the readings stated. One matter that makes the Clinitest readings problematic is that the kit measures volumes using an 'eyedropper'. It was fairly obvious that the drops of beer were smaller than the diluting drops of water because of the difference in surface tension between the two. This would tend to make the readings below lower that the actual reducing sugar concentration. For a better reading the beer and diluting water should be volumetrically measured by other means. My efforts. Ale 36 (brown ale) 1/4% Ale 37 sparge (SG=1.043) 1/4-% Ale 37 no-sprg(SG=1.071) 1/2% Commercial Pyramid Alehouse ESB 1/4% Spaten UrMarzen 1/2% Aventinus Wheat Doppelbock 3/4-% Tucher Bajuvinator Doppebock 3/4% I have a few more commercial beers to test and will report more later - but as you can see figures above 1/4% in dextrinous commercial beers are not rare. On the other hand - I suspect that 1/4% is the most typical final reading for less dextrinous normal gravity beers. One other note of interest is that there isn't a strong correlation between the Clinitest readings and the subjective sweetness of the beer - perhaps because of the sweet flavor of caramelized sugars and the lack of flavor of most dextrins. The Spaten was subjectively much sweeter that the no sparge ale #37 which most would consider a dry strong ale. It was also subjectively sweeter than one of the doppelbocks - to my tongue anyway. Steve Alexander Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 09:57:12 -0500 From: "charles beaver" <cbeav at netnitco.net> Subject: Gravity calculation I have a question for the HBDers that I have been wrestling with for a while. If I brew a beer with an OG of say 1.059 and a batch size of 9.5 gallons, and pitch 1.5 gallons of OG 1.040 starter, what is the resultant OG of the batch and how can I calculate it for future sessions? My thinking is that I should account for the fermentables in the starter as well as the dilution that occurs to the batch when formulating the recipe. It doesn't help to measure the OG after pitching since the DME in the starter would have fermented out. This also brings up the question of decanting the liquor off the yeast slurry and not adding it to the wort. This would avoid the problem in the first place. Any comments would be appreciated. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 12:53:36 -0400 From: mlew at mail.ioa.com (Michael Lewandowski) Subject: Oak Chips I am considering adding oak chips to the secondary for some aging. I'm concerned about microbes hiding in the wood pores infecting my brew. How should I sanitize the chips? Thanks in advance! Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 22:15:42 +0100 From: "Mort O'Sullivan" <tarwater at brew-master.com> Subject: The Fall of American Ale Steve Alexander asks: >What were ales like in the mid 1800s in the US ? Anyone know ? Jeff ? Perhaps >the change was due to improved yeast handling techniques - tho' certainly not >pure culture techniques. Perhaps flavor or transportability or clarity/color >in the more available clear glass mugs that were the deciding issues. Perhaps >the advances in industrialization and transportation or even refrigeration that >made large scale commercial lager brewing possible. I'd love to hear about it. In 1907, a British brewer by the name of Thomas Hyde took a tour of American and Canadian ale breweries and made some interesting notes in a paper he presented to the Institute of Brewing when he returned home. Most of the paper is devoted to the current state of ale brewing and what the brewers had done to compete with the rise of lager. However, Mr. Hyde does say a little about ale brewing before the turn of the century. He says that, prior to the 1890's, "the two principal types of ale were known as stock ale and lively or present use ale. The stock ale is like our English stock ale, of high gravity, hopped down in cask, and stored a few months before sending out. This type of ale possesses a harsh, old flavour, and is only consumed in the more northern States and Canada. The lively or present use ale is much lower in gravity and is not stored at all, but is heavily krausened and placed in a warm store to generate violent cask condition, which must be sufficient to entirely empty the cask when on draught. The pressure generated is as high as 70 lb. per square inch. The casks are specially made, the heads being 4 inches thick. "The lively ale was always thick and creamy on draught and had a pronounced old yeasty flavour which could not be called agreeable. Considering, therefore, the two classes of ale, there is no wonder that the ale brewer across the water was in great danger of being cleared out by the brewer of lager beer, simply because a light, brilliant beer was undoubtedly better suited for the beer-drinking public of that country." Some other interesting comments from the article: - --Once lager brewing became well-established in America, ale brewers began to use the same equipment and, in general, practiced cold conditioning and forced carbonation with ales. It was believed that the "brilliant ale" thus produced would compete more favorably with lagers. - --Ale served in America by the turn of the century was a "clean, cold, and sparkling" product and would not suit the taste of the British working man, who likes more weft in his beer. - --The weather and the marketplace were two major influences on the type of beer produced: During the trying American summers, "the brewer has to produce a bright, brilliant, cold beer for which there is a demand. In the coldest of weather, they still like the beer cold and bright, like the lager beer. The cosmopolitan type of the people has to be reckoned with, with all their different tastes and fads which they have become accustomed to in the country of their birth or from whence they came." - --Pitching rates for ales were relatively low for American breweries, rarely exceeding 1/2 lb. per barrel, and a 48-hour lag period was common. Despite this slow start, Mr. Hyde remarked on the healthy state of the fermentations and the "great quantity of strong, sweet-smelling yeast." - --Yeast was stored in the cold room between harvesting and pitching to keep it "as pure as possible and free from contamination." - --Considerable amounts of raw grains (corn and rice primarily) were used in the mash for ales as well as lagers--primarily to dilute the protein content of the highly diastatic American malts, as low-protein European malts were prohibitively expensive due to trade restrictions. There are very few technical specifications of the ales given, but an article from a few years later shows that by 1910, the average American ale had an O.G. of approximately 1061-1063 with an apparent attenuation of between 55-65% (about 4.8-5.6 alc by weight). The average British bitter from the same period had an O.G. of about 1044-1048 and an A.A. of about 65-72% (about 4.1 alc by weight). So, conditioning and serving differences aside, it is apparent that American and British ales were different animals by the turn of the century, and probably much earlier. - --- Sources: Hyde, Thomas. "Practical Notes on a Visit through American and Canadian Ale Breweries." _JIB_. 1907 v.13 (v.4 new series), pp357-370. Tolman, L.M. and J.G. Riley. "A Study of American Beers and Ales." _JIB_. 1917 v.23 (v.14 new series), pp298-322. Heron, John, and Walter A. Riley. "The Carbonation of Beer in Bottle." _JIB_ 1902 v.8, pp297-312. - --- Cheers, Mort O'Sullivan Return to table of contents
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