HOMEBREW Digest #2968 Wed 03 March 1999

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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

  U of Brew (Scott Murman)
  Re: College Brewing (Robert Uhl)
  The Best of Brooklyn 2 results ("George De Piro")
  Mash Efficiency (Dan Listermann)
  MCAB Weizen recipe ("George De Piro")
  MCAB booty (GuyG4)
  Re: when to add rice hulls ("Jim & Shelly Wagner")
  re: Teflon Washers (John_E_Schnupp)
  Delirium Tremens/Best of Brooklyn (Ted McIrvine)
  NA beer (Jeremy Bergsman)
  Mash paddles and sparge manifolds (Jason Henning)
  Inoculation loops ("Brian Wurst")
  EtOH analysis; SG measurement (Louis Bonham)
  Innoculation loops (Jeff Bitgood)
  re:Yeast microphotographs (contaminated?) (Charley Burns)
  alcohol determination (ensmingr)
  Re: Mash Paddle (Tidmarsh Major)
  re: mash paddle ("Drew Avis")
  Devilish Duvel (Leo Barendse)
  re: teflon washers (David Kerr)
  ebulliometry ("Philip J Wilcox")
  Acid levels in Wit Beers (Nathan Kanous)
  college brewing/domestic vs. imported malts (Adam Holmes)
  Methylene Blue test for yeast viability. (ALAN KEITH MEEKER)
  RE: Teflon Washers ("Dana H. Edgell")
  Yeast Viability ("Eric McIndoo")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 13:27:04 -0800 (PST) From: Scott Murman <smurman at best.com> Subject: U of Brew Dan related his college brewing stories from the early 70's, which reminded me of how I got started. This has little to do with Gail's question for BT, but it's still somewhat interesting (for me anyway) to look back on. When a neighbor-friend of mine and I were starting to get into social drinking, about early high-school age probably, we saw an ad in a magazine to "Brew Your Own Beer At Home". The magazine was probably Hustler, or some variation. In Michigan at the time they had just raised the drinking age to 21, and we were looking at a long wait before anyone would even believe our fake ID's. The magazine ad said nothing about age limits, and the address was somewhere in the UK, so we scrounged the $15 or so, and sent off our orders, with dreams of never-ending kegs of beer dancing in our heads. About a month later we received a small package that contained a can, a foil pack of yeast, minimal instructions, and a re-order form. Our first brew was in a small wastebasket hidden in the corner of the basement. My buddy had a large aquarium set-up, so the odor went unnoticed. It was bad (about 50% sugar I think), but it was pseudo-beer, and we were hooked. We spent much of the summer stashing buckets full of hooch throughout the woods around our houses. When we discovered that the girls weren't impressed by our alco-swill, we had to find other means, and the brewing died out. When I was in the dorm in college my freshman year, and faced with a similar need to obtain an illegal alcohol buzz, we started making some meads. I didn't know it was mead at the time, I just knew it had sugar, and I could turn it into alcohol. We would get some honey, and some stolen pie filling from the dorm kitchen, some bread yeast (yeast was yeast to me back then), and combine with water in a 2L soda-pop bottle. The stuff would ferment, and that soda-pop bottle would be hard as a steel pipe with the pressure. With the fruit flavors, the sweetness, and the fizz!! it wasn't bad, and this time the girls were imperessed! For years I brewed extract batches with a buddy of mine, who got to run the show because he had a big pot and a carboy. When he moved, I started on my own. That's when I discovered the HBD, all-grain, lagering, yeast ranching, and a whole new world. That reminds me, I still have to send my HBD server-fund check... -SM- (a long way from twig-filled alco-swill) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 18:03:33 -0600 From: Robert Uhl <ruhl at austinc.edu> Subject: Re: College Brewing > Gail Elber from Brewing Techniques asks about college brewing clubs. I > brewed my first batches in college back in '73. They were horrible > prohibition brews and it so scarred me that I didn't brew again for 13 > years. I operate a homebrew shop about two blocks from Cincinnati's > Xavier University. I thought that I would see a lot of student > business, but I get more profs, parents and maintenance men than > students in here. I > think they lack the a delayed gratification factor needed to brew. Not quite true; some of us (myself & my roommate, for example) are quite willing to endure the wait. It's the difficulty of making a good batch under our circumatances that gets to us. Outside of school, I have had but one bad batch. Inside, I've had two good batches! Of course, I've been brewing since I was 16 (my mother gave me a kit for Christmas), so that may have something to do with it. Bob Uhl Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 01 Mar 99 20:19:57 PST From: "George De Piro" <gdepiro at fcc.net> Subject: The Best of Brooklyn 2 results Hi all, Just a quick note to announce the fact that the Best of Brooklyn 2 is now history, and it was an amazing success! We received *412* entries from all over the United States, making it the biggest homebrew competition in New York City history (and possibly New York State history, too). We had over 80 judges and stewards attend the event, which amazed even the most well-traveled judges. Top prize went to Chris Lavoie, of Albany, NY, for an American brown ale. The winner of the "First Time Contestants Best of Show," a special category that was judged by a panel including Charlie Papazian and BJCP Master judge Pete Garofalo, went to Bill Novy of Wycoff, NJ for his porter. A complete listing of winners can be found at our website at http://members.aol.com/MaltyDog/bob99.html Be sure to check out our sponsor page and patronize the great folks that helped us put on a fantastic contest. Special thanks go out to the Brooklyn Brewery, who once again proved their support of homebrewing by donating space and personnel to the event. Even more thanks go out to the army of judges and stewards that gave their time to our contest, and to the Malted Barley Appreciation Society members that worked so hard to make the event happen. Have fun! George de Piro, Malted Barley Appreciation Society, "Brooklyn's Best Homebrew Club" Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 20:53:24 -0500 From: Dan Listermann <72723.1707 at compuserve.com> Subject: Mash Efficiency John Thompson asks about mash efficiency and pH. I must say that I only bother to take the pH of my mash out of academic curiosity and can't recall ever feeling a need to adjust it. I regularly get 30 points per pound or more per gallon. More than likely he is barking up the wrong tree. I have found that the primary cause of poor extraction is a grind that is too coarse. This is a very common problem among those new to all grain brewing. They go overboard on the advice about "just cracking the grain" for fear of a stuck mash. A stuck mash is not the end of the world and a crush has to be really fine to cause problems. I tend to crush my grain very fine to explore how much is too fine. I don't get stuck mashes and I haven't been able to detect any tannic astringency in my beers. I believe that the "just crack the grain" advice was meant for a world of Corona mills that is largely past. The second most common cause of poor efficiency is a quick lauter. If you are lautering in less than 45 minutes, you are leaving something behind. Dan Listermann dan at listermann.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 01 Mar 99 20:45:43 PST From: "George De Piro" <gdepiro at fcc.net> Subject: MCAB Weizen recipe Hi all, John V. started the trend of posting MCAB-winning recipes to the HBD, and asked about my Weizen recipe. As with all my recipes, they are free for the asking. Here it is: HefeWeizen #9 (catchy name, huh?) Brewlength: 14 gallons (25.2 L) SG: 1.053 FG: 1.010 Weyermann Malz: Wheat malt light: 15.0 lb (6.8 kg) (the light refers to color, not the caloric content) Pils malt: 6.0 lb (2.7 kg) Munich malt light: 4.0 lb (1.8 kg) Hops: 3.5 AAU German Hallertauer, 75 min. (no metric conversion) 3.5 AAU German Hallertauer, 40 min. Single decoction mash: Mash-in at 44C (111F) and rest 20 min. Heat to 56C (133F) in 15 min (or faster) and immediately pull decoction (about 4 gallons, very thick) Heat decoction to saccharification temperature and rest 10-20 minutes Heat main mash to 62C (144F) while decoction rests Heat decoction to boiling and boil 15 min. Return decoction to main mash to bring temperature to 67.5C (153.5F) Rest until iodine negative then heat to 74C (165F) for late saccharification (I like that term better than "mash out") Vorlauf until wort is clear, lauter with acidified water (pH 5.8) Boil until hot break formation is evident before first hop addition Total boil time = 110 min. Whirlpool to remove hot break, chill to 16.6-18.3C (62-65F). Oxygenate and pitch yeast. The MCAB-winning beer used a Weizen strain from an Austrian brewpub (thanks again, Hubert). Wyeast 3068 works well, too, and in fact was used for the batch that qualified me for the MCAB. 3068 tends to be more estery than the Austrian yeast, but fermenting in the low 60'sF produces balanced results (I prefer phenolic Weizenbier to those resembling banana plantations). Ferment at about 16-18C (61-65F) until fully attenuated. I usually bottle condition my Weizens, priming with saved wort, but the MCAB batch was kegged and forced carbonated because of time constraints. I don't think that hurt anything. Some of you are probably wondering why I include a protein rest in the mash schedule (given my ranting about their uselessness). I feel that the rest at 44C is important to the development of ferulic acid in the wort, which is then converted to the clove- like 4-vinyl guaiacol by the yeast during fermentation. Resting the main mash briefly around 55C helps produce a hazy beer while not destroying head retention completely. Be warned: I have made headless Weizenbier by overdoing the protein rest. One day I'll omit it completely and see how it turns out. If I were to make this beer with an infusion mash rather than a decoction I would replace all of the Pils malt with light Munich and perhaps even add a bit of dark Munich malt for the extra melanoidins. Some experienced palates have commented that the beer is seems a bit big for a Weizen. I attribute this to the very low hop rate, which enhances the malty character of the beer. The astringent phenolics from the yeast are really relied upon to balance the beer, rather than hop bitterness. My opinion of this beer: The phenol/ester balance leans towards the phenols, with a nice, spicy clove character slightly dominating the fruity tones. The malt aroma is quite prominent. No hops are discernable. The color is orangy-gold with a fluffy, white head, and the beer is murky. A soft malt flavor dominates, but is balanced in the finish by phenolic astringency. The fruity, banana flavors are pleasant, not overwhelming. The only faults I find in the beer are a *slight* solvent note and the fact that the keg is nearly empty already. The mouthfeel is full and creamy. CO2 is a bit on the low side for a Weizen, but I kind of like that. Now I'm thirsty! Have fun! George de Piro (Nyack, NY) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 21:24:36 EST From: GuyG4 at aol.com Subject: MCAB booty Yeah, well, I have a complaint about all this self serving backslapping going on around the MCAB. I mean, Louis made an appeal to those of us who through sloth or poor brewing didn't qualify, and said DeFalco's had T-shirts. So, I phoned, and ordered one, just like he asked. A bit of trouble ensued, but not much, and next thing I know my wife of 19 years has a brand new MCAB T-shirt. "It came for you", she said, " and it's only an XL, and the design is great, but who in %&*! at is Pat Babcock?" she asked. I said...give me back my t- shirt...she said..."Brew better, and get your own!" So, who do I see about this? Cheers...it sounds like a good time was had by all. Guy Gregory GuyG4 at aol.com Lightning Creek Home Brewery Mom got a new T-shirt from MCAB, and all I got was this lousy beer! Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 21:59:52 -0500 From: "Jim & Shelly Wagner" <wagner at toad.net> Subject: Re: when to add rice hulls Hi all.....Darrell, I just used rice hulls for the first time while doing an all-grain Lambic with approx. 40% wheat, both malted and flaked wheat were used. I run a combo mash/lauter tun and what I did was add them directly to the mash. I was impressed....I run a "customized" RIMS system and not only did I not have a stuck sparge....I had no problems with my recirc. As far as using a system that utilizes a seperate mash and lauter tun, my guess is you would still want to add during the mash rather than putting a "bed" of rice hulls down in the lauter....you would prevent your false bottom from clogging, but I feel that you would still run the risk of sticking the mash.....anyone else with any thoughts? Cheers...Jim Wagner Pasadena, Maryland WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may actually CAUSE pregnancy! Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 22:23:44 -0800 From: John_E_Schnupp at amat.com Subject: re: Teflon Washers Bill, >I need 6 or so, ID about .83" (27/32?), with a reasonable OD >(1.25"?). >If you don't have any, do you know where I can find some? I work in the semiconductor industry. We use teflon washers on some cylinder gases (to seal the regulator to the cylinder). I'm not sure of the ID or OD, but I don't think they are large enough (based upon the sizes you mention). I'm not sure how thick you need the washers to be. If you are trying to seal two flat surfaces, you may be able to use the insides of a 3L PET soda bottle. You can remove the inside seal (usually light blue) with a toothpick and cut a hole in it. If you are trying to seal a flat surface to a curved one, it might or might not work, depending upon the radius of the curve. Also, what about a piece of food grade cut-your-own gasket material (silicon perhaps)? I have two small pieces at home that are about 1/16" and 1/8". I used the thick one to make a seal for my heater element on my RIMS (I don't know how well it works yet, the RIMS has yet to be fired up). Unfortunately, I got only two small pieces that were sized for my application. John Schnupp, N3CNL Dirty Laundry Brewery Colchester, VT 95 XLH 1200 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 02 Mar 1999 01:34:06 -0800 From: Ted McIrvine <McIrvine at ix.netcom.com> Subject: Delirium Tremens/Best of Brooklyn Tim Anderson was wondering how to brew Delirium Tremens. I've come darn close, but my color is always too dark. If one brewed a Belgian Trippel and only took first runnings, that would reduce the phenols (present in many Belgian strong ales but less so in DT) as well as the boil time that darkens other Belgian strong ales. I'd also go for a kilogram of light candi sugar. Pitch a mountain of yeast and ferment it on the warm side! You gotta love the pink elephant on the bottle. I missed the Best of Brooklyn which evidently was on the 27th despite the fact that one of their web site said it was on 2/7/99 and the other one had been taken down. (I was sober, honest!) Oh well, maybe next year one or both of us will get it right and my horseblanket lambic will really be intense. Until then, I'll waste my beer on the judges at the Homebrewers of Staten Island Competition which is coming up. (How much bribe do I have to pay to get the GOBSI twins to judge meads?) Ted McIrvine McIrvine at Ix.Netcom.Com > From: Tim Anderson <timator at yahoo.com> > Subject: Ah, Belgium: still searching > > I posted awhile back about the wonderful aroma of Delirium Tremens. > Several people pointed out that it's the yeast. <SNIP> > > I insist on being able to brew a beer that smells like DT! It is my > right! Uh, any suggestions? Anyone? Anyone? > > tim Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 01 Mar 1999 23:04:34 -0800 From: Jeremy Bergsman <jeremybb at leland.Stanford.EDU> Subject: NA beer Just when the HBD is getting boring one of these great threads comes along! I'd like to offer a few ideas: RECIPE: As mentioned, the processed NA beer could be dry hopped, or late hop or dry hop essences added (e.g. www.hoptech.com) to replace lost hop aroma components. Would malt aroma components be lost? Probably not so much but presumably there will be some loss. Depending on the tolerance for alcohol in the final product a very aromatic malt such as DWC Aromatic might be mashed, lautered, boiled, and fermented, with the resulting beer being added to the NA stuff. A big loss may be the esters and DMS (loss of these may also a possible cause of the perceived sweetness decrease?). What if the Aromatic malt beer I suggested above were fermented at high gravity and/or rather warm? We all know that high gravity ferments produce esters in greater than linear proportion to gravity. An addition of 1% barleywine strength beer would only raise the EtOH by ~.1% but might have a favorable effect on aroma? TECHNIQUE: Why the aspirator? You will either use a lot of water or have to buy that recirculating pump. Why not just buy a pump to pull the vacuum? Is it more expensive? It would seem to me you are more interested in capacity than getting the pressure super low, so a "vacuum pump" may not be required. This is off the top of my head, but how about some type of water pump pulling on water in a sealed container which is attached to the outlet of the evaporating chamber? This way the pump seals only have to water-tight, not air-tight. Also, could one avoid the anti-foam by slow degassing? - -- Jeremy Bergsman jeremybb at leland.stanford.edu http://www.stanford.edu/~jeremybb Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 02 Mar 1999 08:43:46 GMT From: huskers at voyager.net (Jason Henning) Subject: Mash paddles and sparge manifolds Hello Friends- In HBD 2967, Jeff Beinhaur <beinhaur at email.msn.com> says he broke his plastic mash paddle wants to know what to replace it with. Well, I bought a 8' piece of 1"x (one by). I cut pieces for my 10g kettle and 15.5g keg and marked them off in half gallon increments. I've been meaning to put liters on the other side so George DePiro can brew with my set-up! Getting some sandpaper to smooth it down with. Total cost is under $5. - ------ My sprinkler arm broke and I was in a bind at mash out. Thinking on my feet (this seldom gives good results), I grabbed a piece 3/8" and hammered one end shut. I fashioned it in to a loop and bent the tail up. I drilled several holes in it. Then I grabbed the 1x and cut a chunk to lay across the Gott. I drilled a hole just big enough to put the tubing through. Shazma! A sparge manifold and bracket built in under 5 minutes. The sparge manifold and 1x holder where suppose to be temporary. I did drill the holes out bigger to get better flow rate. But after 20 batches or so, I haven't done a thing to change either one. If it ain't broke, don't buy a different one! Cheers, Jason Henning Big Red Alchemy and Brewing Clawson, MI - An hour from (0,0) Rennerian Brew to Live Live to Brew Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 07:35:24 -0600 From: "Brian Wurst" <brian at mail.netwave.net> Subject: Inoculation loops Bob Scott writes in HBD#2967: - -------------- Scott Murman brought up innoculation loops, My question is there any reason why a paper clip (straightened out and the tip rounded into a loop) is not acceptable? - -------------- Paper clips are plated steel and will readily give up their plating with repeated use as an inoculation loop. As a one-shot loop they should be OK. As an alternative, I use stainless wire from a MIG welder. Any welding shop has it and it is in spools of a mile or so (hyperbole added). A beer or two will convince the guy to let loose with a few feet, enough for a yeast culturing lifetime. A needle nosed pliers will fashion it into the shape you need or desire. My first loop is still in good shape after 5 years of use. Happy Trails! Brian Wurst brian at mail.netwave.net Lombard, Illinois "Nature has formed you, desire has trained you, fortune has preserved you for this insanity." -Cicero Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 02 Mar 1999 08:40:53 -0600 From: Louis Bonham <lkbonham at hypercon.com> Subject: EtOH analysis; SG measurement Hi folks: AJ posts a nice summary of some of the various alcohol assaying methods that are out there. A few annotations to this list: > *ASBC Beer -2A/B > Distillation and gravimetry: 100 mL of beer is diluted to 150 mL and > distilled. 100 mL of distillate is collected and its specific gravity > measured. Alcohol content is obtained from tables or the polynomial fits > to the table data [AJ] published a couple of days ago. Three very picky but important nits. First, you should start with exactly 100mls of *degassed* beer -- the MoA suggests using a 100ml volumetric flask and then using about 50mls of distilled water to rinse it out (the beer and the rinsings all go into the still). Second, you distill over slightly less than 100mls and then dilute with distiled water to make up exactly 100mls (use a volumetric flask as the receiver). Third, to obtain high precision (percentage alcohol to two decimal places), you'll need to measure the gravity of the distillate *very* precisely (i.e., with a pycnometer or a digital density meter). Additionally, please take note that under current BATF regs, you may technically be required to have BATF permission / registration to run this test. (Under federal law, stills used to process alcohol must be registered with the BATF. There are, of course, exceptions for small scale laboratory stills -- but the laws specifically exclude from these exceptions any use with alcoholic beverages.) On the other hand, I wrote the BATF, explained what I wanted to do and requested written permission, and received a letter of authorization in a very prompt fashion. (If anyone is interested lemme know and I'll tell you who/where to write.) [And of course my fellow Texans also have to get the requisite state labware permits for any sort of distillation equipment!!] > ASBC Beer - 2C > Refractometry: A refractometer calibration curve is obtained for beers > of the type being brewed using one of the other methods. Once the curve > is in hand, the refractometer can be used to measure the alcohol content > of the beer directly Not quite. This method requires precise measurement of *both* the density of the beer and the refractive measurement of the beer. As I posted in the HBD a while back, you can get decent enough results by measuring the density and refractive index of a sample and plugging those values into a formula (see also DeClerck Vol. 2 on this). The calibration curve is needed for quick and precise determination of alcohol levels in many batches of the same beer (e.g., at a commercial brewery -- see Siebert's article), but for our purposes a calibration curve is overkill (if you need the high degree of precision, you should just use the distillation method). > Oxidation to acetate: A distillation apparatus is set up and the alcohol > vapor bubbled through a potassium dichromate solution (strong oxidizer) > which oxidizes it to acetate. The amount of dicromate remaining is > determined by adding iodide which it oxidizes to iodine. The iodine is > assayed by thiosulfate titration (DeClerk, Vol II p 444). I recently scored some ancient labware from a former commercial winemaker. It's called a "Combi Tester," and was produced by Fritz Merkel Gmbh (Germany). The guy I got it from said it was used, inter alia, to assay alcohol levels (apparently, this device is the official German method of determining wine EtOH and total acidity levels). Unfortunately, it didn't come with instructions; however, this looks like this is the test it is designed to run. Has anyone out there ever heard of or used a Combi Tester or could point me toward a possible source on how to use this? Regarding Simon's dealcoholization methodology, I wonder whether it wouldn't just be easier to use the refractometry method I outlined before -- but it does sound like something worth investigating. OTOH, I suggested something similar to Dr. Farnsworth a few years ago (take the gravity of exactly 100mls of degassed beer, boil it until it was reduced by half, make up to 100mls with water, take the gravity of the dealcoholized beer, and calculate the percentage alcohol), and he simply told me "that doesn't work. You have to measure the distillate." I don't understand why these methods wouldn't work (perhaps the real scientists out there can explain it to me), but needless to say Paul does have a bit of experience in this area (and a PhD in fermentation science!). ====== Peter J. Calinski asks > Anybody have any other ideas about how to measure SG? Not necessarily > continuously. To answer this and some of Peter's other questions, the big boys use a nifty device called a digital density meter. The newest ones just take a small bit of sample, and give you an immediate, temperature corrected, highly accurate, measurement of the SG of the sample, and some could even be mounted in a fermenter or mashtun to allow for continuous logging of gravity. The bad news: these devices cost several thousand dollars, and I have yet to see them show up in any surplus channels. Rats. Louis K. Bonham Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 02 Mar 1999 08:47:27 -0600 From: Jeff Bitgood <jbitgood at planassoc.com> Subject: Innoculation loops > Scott Murman brought up innoculation loops, My question is there any > reason why a paper clip (straightened out and the tip rounded into a loop) > is not acceptable? I don't see any reason why not. Just be sure to make yourself some kind of handle for it, or you'll burn the crap out of your fingers when you flame it. ;o) If you ever order from or go to a scientific supply store though, you can get a dozen loops for about 2-3 bucks. I've been using those during I think about 10 sessions now, and I still have all of them, so they do last a while. Jeff Bitgood Madison, WI Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 07:15:21 -0800 (PST) From: cburns at jps.net (Charley Burns) Subject: re:Yeast microphotographs (contaminated?) Michael A. Owings posted some very cool photographs of yeast at: http://www.swampgas.com/brewing/hemo.html I took a look and saw some thing that are NOT round. Was this sample contaminated? I have some yeast that IS contaminated. Can I send you some to take a photograph of? Its contaminated (I'm nearly 100% certain) with Pediococcus Damnosus. Charley (still picking this infection) in N. Cal Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 02 Mar 1999 10:51:57 -0500 From: ensmingr at npac.syr.edu Subject: alcohol determination Many HBDers have discussed techniques for measuring the alcohol content of beer, some of which are rather expensive and difficult. Let's not forget the old cheap and simple method of estimation from measurements of OG and FG! (see: http://www.npac.syr.edu/users/ensmingr/beer/beerdata.html ). Given the OG and FG, several empirically derived formulas estimate the alcohol content (alcohol-by-volume, ABV in (ml alcohol)/(ml beer)) of beer. Dave Miller (The Complete Handbook of Homebrewing, 1988, Storey Communications) gives a simple formula, where the empirically derived constant (0.75) has dimension of (g beer)/(ml ethanol): (a) ABV = (OG - FG) / 0.75 A convenient number is the percent alcohol by weight (ABW) of beer, which has dimension of (g ethanol)/(100 g beer). This is easily calculated from the ABV, the density of ethanol (0.79 g/ml), and the FG: (b) ABW = (0.79*ABV) / FG If the FG of the beer is unknown, but it has "normal" levels of alcohol and attenuation, then the ABW may be estimated as: (c) ABW = (0.78*ABV) George Fix [see Homebrew Digest 880-9] gives another formula, proposed by Karl Balling many years ago: (d) ABW = [P(initial) - RE] / [2.0665 - 0.010665*P(initial)] (P, Plato; RE, Real Extract; see http://www.npac.syr.edu/users/ensmingr/beer/beerdata.html ) Jan DeClerk [A Textbook of Brewing, 1957, reprinted by the Siebel Institute in 1994] also gives a method for estimating the percent alcohol by weight (ABW) of beer based on measurements of the specific gravity (FG) and refractive index (RI) of beer. Unfortunately, DeClerk expresses refractive index in "Zeiss Units", an out-dated metric. Louis Bonham [see Homebrew Digest 2923-13 & Homebrew Digest 2925-3] converted DeClerk's Zeiss Units to the more commonly used Refractive Index (RI): (e) ABW = 1017.5596 - 277.4*FG + RI*[(937.8135*RI) - 1805.1228] Example: The original gravity of a wort is 1.070 and the final gravity of the resulting beer is 1.015. The beer has a refractive index of 1.3466. What is the alcohol level? According to eq. a ABV = (1.070 - 1.015) / 0.75 = 0.0733 v/v (= 7.33 %) According to eq. b ABW = (0.79*0.0733) / 1.015 = 0.0571 w/w (= 5.71 %) According to eq. c ABW = (0.78*0.0733) = 0.0572 w/w (= 5.72 %) According to eq. d ABW = [17.06 - 6.21] / [2.0665 - 0.010665*17.06] = 5.76 % According to eq. e ABW = 1017.5596 - 277.4*1.015 + 1.3466*[(937.8135*1.3466) - 1805.1228] = 5.79% Cheerio! Peter A. Ensminger Syracuse, NY Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 02 Mar 1999 10:17:54 -0600 From: Tidmarsh Major <ctmajor at samford.edu> Subject: Re: Mash Paddle Jeff Beinhaur asks about a sturdier mash paddle than the plastic one he killed with 24 lbs of grain. I have a wooden mash paddle that I ordered from St Pats that I've been happy with. The paddle says it's a Cajun Crawfish paddle, but it obviously works well for grain. You might also look for restaurant supply stores. The local one here in Birmingham, Ala., has a variety of wooden and stainless mixing paddles (similar to the one from St Pats) ranging from 2 to 5 feet in length. Regards, Tidmarsh Major Birmingham, Alabama Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 02 Mar 1999 08:23:23 PST From: "Drew Avis" <andrew_avis at hotmail.com> Subject: re: mash paddle "Jeff Beinhaur" asked about mash paddles: My big plastic spoon also broke during one mash-in. I bought a bigger plastic spoon, which didn't break, but became kind of soft and squishy and ineffective for stirring a thick mash. Soon after I noticed a large wooden paddle at a nearby Chinese restaurant supply store. It's shaped a bit like a canoe paddle, but smaller (about 3" long). Cost me $6.50 (in pretend money $CDN). It is a superb mash stirrer - stiff enough to really stir with, and big enough to ward off marauding intruders who forgot to stock up homebrew for the Y2K meltdown. There's a picture of it on my web site. If you're a courageous whitler, you could even make your own. Regards, Drew > My plastic paddle broke while try to mash in 24lbs. of grain in a > ten gallon Gott cooler. What are most people using to stir the grain > with? I've seen the ads for Phil's Mash Paddle but haven't seen it > in any stores. I'd prefer not to use plastic again. Any suggestions > would be appreciated? - -- Drew Avis, Calgary, Alberta Visit Strange Brew with Drew: http://fast.to/strangebrew ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 10:09:40 -0700 From: Leo Barendse <leo.barendse at jpl.nasa.gov> Subject: Devilish Duvel I thought I had recultered the bottom yeast of a bottle of Duvel successfully(plenty of yeast in 1 liter starter ). I pitched it in a 1090 Duvel clone and nothing happened for 24 Hours. I had to save the Batch by repitching . This must be a bottle conditioning yeast !!!!!. Any brewers out there with similar experiences ???????????? Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 02 Mar 1999 12:59:13 -0500 From: David Kerr <dkerr at semc.org> Subject: re: teflon washers Bill Graham (the "Superstar" of wrestling, or the evangelist?) wrote: > I'm in a bind. I'm ready to put together my new mash tun and > boiler and have all the pieces and have test fitted it all together. > Except.... I need teflon washers. > McMaster Carr sells 'tubes' and sheets of teflon for 100's or even > 1000's of dollars. Actually, McMaster has flat teflon washers (search on "flat teflon washers" using the "by keywords" option from their home page). The largest ID I see is .812, OD 2", .1" thick for $5.80 per. If you're willing to put a hole saw to your precious teflon, a ten-pack of .750 ID, 1.500 OD, .062 thick washers could be had for about $15, including UPS ground shipment - part # 95630A254. > If you can help me, I'll be so overcome that I'll want to kiss you > (but I promise I won't). I'll appreciate your restraint. Dave Kerr - Needham, MA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 13:26:36 -0500 From: "Philip J Wilcox" <pjwilcox at cmsenergy.com> Subject: ebulliometry From: Philip J Wilcox at CMS on 03/02/99 01:26 PM Hi all, I regularly have my Uncle Phil do ebulliometry testing for me, especially when I forget to get a Starting Gravity. He is a home and commercial vintner and does some commercial lab testing for a number of local wineries. Here is his take on the topic: The two most common methods for determining ethyl alcohol for home vintners and small commercial wineries are boiling point depression (ebulliometry) and distillation followed by determining the distillate's specific gravity. There are other methods acceptable to the Bureau of Alcohol Tax and Firearms (BATF) but they are most commonly used by larger operators due to the high cost of equipment and greater technical proficiency necessary for good results. Most small wineries choose ebulliometry. The equipment is easy to use, takes less time than distillation, and is accepted by BATF. If many tests are done, the higher purchase cost of an ebulliometer is more than offset by higher productivity. Another advantage of an ebulliometer is that it is much more durable than glass distillation apparatus. The ebulliometer will withstand a lifetime of rugged use and the only likely breakage is the thermometer, about 10% of the unit's cost. Distillation may be slightly more accurate than ebulliometry, but in the author's opinion (he owns both sets of apparatus) they produce equivalent results. In the hands of a casual user, the ebulliometer may give better results because more care must be used in distillation, i.e. measurements of volume must be exact and all solutions must be brought to constant temperature. Also, a hydrometer, even a good one, should be calibrated at several points. You really can't assume that one bought "off the shelf " is accurate. High sugar levels or extract can detract form the accuracy of an ebulliometer. One method of correction is to subtract .05% alcohol from the calculated value for every 1.0% remaining sugar. The most widely used ebulliometer, and one that is approved by the BATF, is the DuJardin-Salleron Model #360. It has changed little in a century. You may be able to pick up an old one that does not look very pretty but works perfectly well. A shiny new chrome model can be purchased from Presque Isle Wine Cellars (North East PA) for about $580. Special thanks to my uncle P.E. DeVore PE of DeVore Cellars. Phil Wilcox Poison Frog Home Brewer Warden-Prison City Brewers AABG, AHA, BJCP, HBD, MCAB, ETC., ad nausium... Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 02 Mar 1999 13:09:11 -0600 From: Nathan Kanous <nlkanous at pharmacy.wisc.edu> Subject: Acid levels in Wit Beers Hi All, Interested in finding out how sour wit beers are. I've tasted Celis, Dentergems, Blanche de Brugges and Hoegarden and am curious about the quantitative levels of lactic acid contained in these brews. Lots of information states that some lactic tang is present and some even admit to using a lactic fermentation, but how much acid is in the finished product? I'd like to have some guideline from which to experiment. I don't think just knowing the pH of the products will help because of the differences in buffering capacity of the waters used. Besides, I don't have an accurate way to measure pH (other than cheap pH strips). Any help would be appreciated. Thanks. nathan in madison, wi Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 12:27:55 -0700 (MST) From: Adam Holmes <aaholmes at lamar.ColoState.EDU> Subject: college brewing/domestic vs. imported malts I just wanted to add one more data point for college brewing. I started brewing my freshmen year in college. Made some malt extract/corn sugar junk that turned out awful. The amazing thing was that we did it secretly in the dormitory without even a stove! Not reccommended. I got interested for awhile but could never make beer that was better than swill. I blame Charlie Papazian for that. He should have told me that there was lots to worry about and you should never relax. So I did a few more batches but quit for a couple years. Now I'm in graduate school, found some better books on brewing (thanks hbd, Dave Miller, Ray Daniels, and Brewing Techniques magazine) and am all-grain brewing. Graduate school is nothing like undergrad the same way that all-grain is nothing like extract (at least for me). I brew in my one room apartment so, if I can do it, anyone can. I meet lots of students/faculty who brew and they probably would check out a brew club if they knew it was available. There is a local homebrew club here but they do not advertise much, are awful about getting newsletters out, and often have no formal presentations during meetings. Still, I would attend their meetings but I have classes at that time. Question about using domestic malts vs. British malts: I just got done brewing 8 batches using Breiss 2-row domestic pale malt. I was wondering how my beers would be different if I switched to a British malt (or even a lager malt). I brew British style ales using a single infusion mash. Thanks, Adam Holmes Fort Collins, CO private email OK Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 16:23:30 -0500 (EST) From: ALAN KEITH MEEKER <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: Methylene Blue test for yeast viability. I'm conducting some studies on yeast viability with two main goals in mind. First, I'm trying to get a feel for the potential problem of autolysis - that is, I'm trying to sort out the widely conflicting reports posted in past HBDs on this possible problem. What I've read so far reminds me of Y2K - some say "no worries" some "armageddon." My hunch is that both camps are probably right depending upon the circumstances and the strain of yeast being used. Second, as co-caretaker of our local brew club's yeast garden we're trying to judge which ways work well for short/long term storage of our strain collection. In a pilot viability experiment I took 1084 (Wyeast Irish Ale) and grew it aerobically to what appeared to be stationary phase. At this point the viable yeast count was 6 x 10E07/ml and the yeast dropped out of solution. I'm checking how the yeast viability changes in the flocculated yeast pellet. After one week the number of cfus had /increased/ 58% (to 9 x 10E07/ml). Currently, at two weeks it has dropped back down slightly to 8.5 x 10E07/ml. Interestingly, separate aliquots of the original culture kept in the refrigerator (4 degC) give exactly the same numbers (so far). One of the things I'd like to have handy is a quick and dirty indicator for estimating yeast viability. Most of the sources I've seen say methylene blue staining is an acceptable method for estimating viabilities in S. cervisiae. However, I have also seen HBD posts implying that this method is unreliable. In the American Brewer's Guild supplement that was referred to recently (on the topic of CO2 inhibition of yeast growth) methylene blue is mentioned as the most commonly used method for measuring viability but that it is "only accurate at viabilities above 85%" and "many recent studies" show it may be more like >90%. There are no references given, does anybody know what studies they are citing? It isn't obvious to me why the percent viable cells per se should affect the methylene blue staining. In the few experiments I've done so far (all with 1084) I've gotten excellent correlations between staining and viable cell count by plating. I have however found that the staining is highly sensitive to dye concentration. A range of 0.0075% - 0.01% works well in that dead cells stain within 5-10 minutes and there is no appreciable change in staining for at least an hour. In contrast, a threefold increase in dye concentration, to 0.03%, results in rapid staining of all the cells both viable and non-viable. Does anyone have any good info on the utility of methylene blue staining??? Cheers -Alan Meeker Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 13:42:46 -0800 (PST) From: "Dana H. Edgell" <edgell at cari.net> Subject: RE: Teflon Washers Bill Graham wants teflon washers without spending 100's of dollars... Look in your yellow pages under plastics for a local supplier. They should be able to sell you a small sheet of Teflon.If you can't find a local supplier, US Plastics usually has good prices. (Sorry no catalog at work to get a phone nyumber/website, a web search should find them) I got about 1 ft square piece (actually a bit larger as they used a piece of "scrap") from my local supplier (San Diego Plastics) for about $10. Being cheap I actually hesitated at this price but decided to go for it as it should be a life time supply. NOTE: teflon is hard to cut into washers. I use the point of an exacto-knife and make small indents around and around the outline of my desired circle until I get all the way through. It doesn't take very long after you get the hang of it. Dana - ------------------------------------------------------------------ Dana Edgell edgell at cari.net 2939 Cowley Way #G http://www.quantum-net.com/edge_ale San Diego, CA 92117 (619) 276-7644 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 14:46:54 -0700 From: "Eric McIndoo" <emcindoo at micron.net> Subject: Yeast Viability Hello. My name is Eric McIndoo and I currently work in the field of Microbiology. I have the perfect facilities for doing viability studies on various storage protocols and was wondering if someone could send me a list of the various protocols and problematic strains and I could run viability, both short term and long term. Also, if anyone wants to test a certain strain they could send it to me, just email for my address, especially if its a lager yeast since I don't have a lagering setup right now and banking lager yeasts would be less productive for me. emcindoo at micron.net Return to table of contents
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