HOMEBREW Digest #2993 Thu 01 April 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

  Re: Guinness/real ale type taps ("Michael Maag")
  Old/Stale Malt or Bad Crush, Water softeners (Joe Rolfe)
  Returned mail: User unknown (Stephen Klump)
  Publicizing homebrew events (Gail Elber)
  Canadian Bud... Acetaldehyde? ("Riedel, Dave")
  Re: Big Brew '99 Milk Stout ("Brian Rezac")
  Guiness head, Soft water (Dave Burley)
  Re: Soapy taste (Nathan Kanous)
  Amplifier Chip ("J.Kish")
  Re: judging, why? (MicahM1269)
  autolysis (Jason.Gorman)
  Beer Flavors, Phreds Phirst CAP (Eric.Fouch)
  Sugar Substitute ("Trevor Good")
  The dreaded topic...Filtering ("Philip J Wilcox")
  Correct pH for hop tea? (mike rose)
  competitions, Using yeast from one batch for a second batch, 100 (LaBorde, Ronald)
  Beer characteristics & commercial examples (jsulli - Jeremy Sullivan)
  Venturi stout faucet and judging ("silent bob")
  Help with RIMS problems (Paul Shick)
  diacetyl, PC control of RIMS, Stuck RIMS mash, mashing/steeping, skunky/sulfur (Dave Burley)
  RIMS Stuck? (Joy Hansen)
  Re: Spiffy new TI chip for Index of Refraction (Wade Hutchison)
  MI Brewpubs (Nathan Kanous)
  Braggot (Nathan Kanous)
  Re: 100 Gal Limit (Tim Anderson)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 12:50:33 -0500 From: "Michael Maag" <maagm at rica.net> Subject: Re: Guinness/real ale type taps I asked: Is there a Guinness type tap, or a tap for a beer engine, or a sparkler tap that is designed to draw atmospheric nitrogen into the beer by a venturi tube or the like? If not, is there a style of tap that might be modified to do the job? I would like to dispense ale with CO2 and have the tap "suck" air (mostly nitrogen) into the beer stream. Any ideas? Steve replies: Why would you want to do this? The point of these taps is to release CO2 from solution and create a thick dense head, not to aerate the beer. I reply: I want to simulate drawing some of the ale into a syringe along with air and squirting it under the surface of the ale in the glass. I want to simulate the action of the "widget" in the Guinness can which releases nitrogen into the beer. I have read the CO2/Nitrogen mix in the Guinness on tap or in the Pub Draft cans is what gives Guinness it's characteristic head. I want the CO2 and the atmospheric Nitrogen to mix in the tap on the way out. I want to avoid using compressed nitrogen if I don't have to, seems like a waste since air is mostly nitrogen. Eh? Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 13:06:56 -0500 From: Joe Rolfe <rolfe at sky.sky.com> Subject: Old/Stale Malt or Bad Crush, Water softeners More two cents on the bad crush/mbad malt debate.... Dan Listermann dan at listermann.com 72723.1707 at compuserve.com said: >"Old and stale" malt is not the cause of poor extraction. > Poor crushes are the primary cause of poor extraction. Ok I'll agree for the average novice poor extraction is going to come from poor process. But once you get by this issue, if you constantly use the same process (by keeping somewhat reasonable records - I was pretty anal for a while then backed off a little) and lets say you brew the same beers (which I did) and even before lautering your first wort is way off (let us say first wort normally was 1085 to 1090 and you get a first wort of 1060). Volume of grain(wt), water(liters), temp and ph are in control (as they were). The runoff/finished/boiled hopped wort was hazy (more so than normal but iodine looked as tho it converted). And lets fatten the pot a bit by saying " I just dipped in to a new metric tonne that arrived last week - this did not happen in yesterdays brews - same grain vendor/malting house". No date/batch codes to boot. And fatten it again by calling another 'friendly' local microbrewer - who got a shipment recently from the same vendor/malting house who says he has the same problem (crappy extract and hazy product)... Guess what we both did with the malt - sent it back, three times in 4 years this happened....Another good reason why blending in a micro is not a bad thing to do if you can afford it (extra tanks just for the uhoh...). My guess old - stale malt...(maybe old and stale is not the proper term) - crappy malting?? - who knows/who cares ( i wonder if they were ISO9000 certified ;)...the bottom line is the malt is bad/out of spec. Call it what ever you want it is S**T malt. And we all know that whatever (insert any big brewery here) does not want you - the uncontrolled pico breweries of the world - will get it - eventually. And you'll all scratch your head, maybe some cussing and what the F*** is going on here...- because most dont keep good records or brew often enough. But as a good friend has me now saying ' You know what - you'll still have beer at the end of the day '. Thanx Dan (not you DL another Dan=), I could not agree more... George, Marshall E. <MGeorge at bridge.com> Asked about Water Softeners and Brewing I got one of those salt based ones too, it is great for ripping out iron, manganese amoungst a few others like calcium (a bad thing to have ripped out). It also bumps up the sodium and cloride - a bad thing for blood pressure and beer in excess. I am due to get a before and after check test done soon. I'll repost the results when I do. I have two tests from ages ago, but they were done by different companies with different 'checmical callouts' and three yrs apart, so I wont confuse the masses with that data. *****QDA****** Best thing to do: if your raw water tastes good/smells good, adjust the pH and us it. If the iron is high (>1-2ppm) you may want to blend (raw/soft/someone elses supply) to get it below .5ppm or lower, check your raw water calcium content and determine how much you need to add back. You'll probably want to avoid CaCl. Cl will be high enough for most beers after a 50/50 blend. I would not use soft for mashing - without adding some calcium in. For extract I doubt that it matters much. Yeast dont like high iron content and you wont like the beer much (IMHO). Good Luck and Great Brewing Joe Rolfe Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 14:05:25 -0500 From: Stephen Klump <StephenKlump at compuserve.com> Subject: Returned mail: User unknown Hello All, There seems to be common organoleptic confusion between diacetyl and DMS. The best way to clear the air and your noses would be to sit down with a bottle of Rolling Rock and one of Bishops Finger - preferably without the skunk to confuse the palate. Side by side comparison of the two will show creamed corn vs microwave popcorn (respectively). good luck and happy tasting. cheers! Stephen stephenklump at compuserve.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 11:52:06 -0800 From: Gail Elber <gail at brewtech.com> Subject: Publicizing homebrew events If you are organizing a homebrew competition or beer festival and are hoping to draw participants and judges from a wide area, don't forget to let the bimonthly brewing magazines (especially BrewingTechniques <g>) know about it far, far in advance. The event may seem far away to you, but we work far ahead -- for example, I'm currently working on the May/June issue. We don't need full details, just the basics. I often see competitions announced here on HBD that are too late to get into the BT calendar. And I just discovered by chance that the New England Real Ale Festival will be in April this year (www.redbonesbbq.com), and we won't have announced it. Bummer! Eventually the Web will make all this irrelevant, but meanwhile, remember us. Gail Elber Associate Editor BrewingTechniques P.O. Box 3222 Eugene, OR 97403 541/687-2993 fax 541/687-8534 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 11:56:48 -0800 From: "Riedel, Dave" <RiedelD at pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca> Subject: Canadian Bud... Acetaldehyde? George De Piro writes: > Acetaldehyde: smells like freshly cut pumpkin or unripe apples. > Also smells like Budweiser (its easier to smell it if the beer is > warmer than the typical serving temperature of Budweiser). So, is this the same for Canadian brewed Budweiser? It's brewed under license by Labatts. I can't get the US Bud here. (Not that this is usually a problem). cheers, Dave Riedel Victoria, BC Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 13:15:36 -0700 From: "Brian Rezac" <brian at aob.org> Subject: Re: Big Brew '99 Milk Stout In HBD #2991, Matt Arnold wrote: >I was very disappointed that the official AHA recipe would include steeping >grains that are only going to give you starch in your beer. Flaked barley and >flaked oats do need to be mashed with 2-row/6-row/pale ale/etc. malt otherwise >they are adding nothing but starch. They also say to use Carapils. That's OK if >you're using DWC Carapils (which can be steeped) but it's bad if it's Briess >(which cannot). I guess I would have hoped that at least the AHA wouldn't be >giving out such bad brewing advice. Matt makes some excellent points. He is correct. Flaked barley and oats do need to be mashed with equal or greater quantities of enzymatic malt. I also agree with his comparison of DWC vs. Briess carapils. When Paul and I worked on stepping down the original 11 Bbl recipe, these issues were raised. Our goal, however, was to provide an extract/steeped grains version of the Collaborator Milk Stout. The dilemma is if we used pale malt and reduced the pale malt extract in the appropriate quantities, we would end up with basically an all-grain recipe with a little extract in it. So, knowing that homebrewers have been using these ingredients this way for years, we opted for simplicity over efficiency to encourage participation of homebrewers at all levels. At the time, folks were chompin' at the bit to get the recipe, so we made a quick decision. Let me point out, however, that there is nothing "official" about the recipe. We've provided the original 11 Bbl recipe so that the advanced brewers can step-down it down themselves to fit their system if they choose. I often encourage brewers to tweak it anyway they like to fit their system or the availability of ingredients. The real purpose of Big Brew is not to brew exact replicas of Collaborator Milk Stout, but simply brew together. I will add a note to the Extract version of the recipe annotating the suggested use of enzymatic malts. (One nice thing about Big Brew is I can update the site directors via email.) But, I would prefer to create a good, solid extract/steeped grains version of the recipe with readily available ingredients. I am open to suggestions. Please take another look at the recipe at: http://www.beertown.org/bigbrew99 You can post your suggestions here on the HBD, or email me directly at brian at aob.org Thanks for your help. I also invite everyone to participate in the AHA's Big Brew '99! E Pluribus (Br)Unum! - {From Many, One (Brew)!} Brian Rezac Administrator American Homebrewers Association 736 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO 80302 303 447-0816, ext. 121 brian at aob.org http://beertown.org Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 15:54:53 -0500 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Guiness head, Soft water Brewsters: In responding to an HBDer's question about the potential existence of a tap that used air at atmospheric pressure to mix in air to produce a Guiness type head, Steve Ashton said "why would you want to do this, the purpose of a Guiness tap is to remove CO2 and produce a head" Not quite right, Steve, or at least mis-leading to some extent. To produce a Guiness type head it is necessary to provide agitation to the beer in the presence of air or nitrogen gas ( via a sparkler plate, e.g.)such that you cause "breakout" of the CO2 and yield bubbles which contain both CO2 and nitrogen or air. The latter gases are less soluble in the beer than CO2 and therefore, as long as the bubble wall is stable, these gases will stay inside. This gives an extremely long lasting foam. Things that provide a stable cell wall are surfactants like water soluble proteins and other long chain water soluble organic solids. With a pure CO2 bubble, even with a stable bubble wall, diffusion of the soluble gas through the wall leads to an early demise of the foam. - ---------------------------------- Marshall George just moved into a house with a water softener and ponders the effect on his all grain brewing. It will have an effect. Largely, the major effect is that you have switched from a water that basically has alkaline earth ions ( calcium and magnesium ) to one which has alkalai metal ions ( sodium). It will have an effect on the mash pH and on the mouth feel of the finished beer. Perhaps more importantly your whole family will no longer get any minerals other than sodium from the water ( bad). Solve both of these problems easily by installing a Reverse Osmosis (R-O) water purifier under your kitchen sink, so that everyone including the local brewer can have de-ionized water. This R-O should cost you about $200 or less if you install it. Feed your family dolomite pills or Citrical with magnesium and a little zinc to ensure proper bone growth and maintenance. You may want to bring the calcium up to at least 50 ppm, so that you have the proper enzyme stability ( especially if you mash at a high temperature) and to assure the proper flocculation of the yeast to promote beer clarity. Calcium chloride will produce a smooth, full mouth and calcium sulfate will produce a bitter, dry finish and accentuate the hops. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Kinnelon, NJ Dave_Burley at Compuserve.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 15:59:51 -0500 From: Nathan Kanous <nlkanous at pharmacy.wisc.edu> Subject: Re: Soapy taste There it is....Bickham's Focus on Flavors. Brewing Techniques July / August 1998: Soapy, goaty, butyric flavors are due to fatty acids and associated esters which may be minimized by minimizing contact with trub, selecting different yeast, or better separation of wort from trub. Question...how do you chill and transfer from boil to fermenter? nathan in madison, WI Nathan L. Kanous II, Pharm.D., BCPS Clinical Assistant Professor School of Pharmacy University of Wisconsin - Madison 425 North Charter Street Madison, WI 53706-1515 Phone (608) 263-1779 Pager (608) 265-7000 #2246 (digital) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 22:26:37 -0800 From: "J.Kish" <jjkish at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Amplifier Chip Wade Hutchison, Can you find out the name of the amplifier chip from your electronic buddy? We are interested! Joe Kish jjkish at worldnet.att.net Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 07:56:26 EST From: MicahM1269 at aol.com Subject: Re: judging, why? In a message dated 3/28/99 11:13:01 PM Central Standard Time, homebrew- request@hbd.org writes: << > From: MaltHound at aol.com > Subject: Homebrew Judging - why? > > So I ask the wise and experienced collective: > > What would make you enter into competitions fully knowing the limitations that > exist? > What makes those brewers that have multiple ribbons on their brewery walls > continue to enter? > Why do so many homebrewers in general feel the need to compete? > > Fred Wills >> I would say that for many (not all) it has much more to do with competition rather than the desire/ need for feedback from the judges. I think that many homebrewers use the need for feedback on their beers to justify what they really want, to enter and win. Competiveness is very much a part of human nature, and accounts for a lot of the things we do. BTW, my wife banned me from competing in brewing competitions several years ago. micah millspaw- brewer at large Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 08:29:00 -0500 From: Jason.Gorman at steelcase.com Subject: autolysis I did some searching in the archives, but could not find the information I was looking for. From what I have read, autolysis is basically the spilling of the yeast guts into the beer. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't this basically yeast nutrient? If you transfer to a secondary and add some DME, will you get renewed fermentation and rid yourself of the rubbery autolysis taste and smell? RDB GR, MI Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 09:46:00 -0500 From: Eric.Fouch at steelcase.com Subject: Beer Flavors, Phreds Phirst CAP HBD- A few comments on the flavor profiles (defects) in commercially available beers. Homebrewing Volume I has a whole section on particular beer flavor descriptors, and the commercial beers they are found in. Here is where one would normally put in affiliation disclaimers, but I'm afraid we can't do that. Fred has found a few typos and sentence fragments in Al's book, and being the first to bring these to Al's attention, Fred fully expects to be prominently featured in the credits, sit back and retire when the royalty checks start rolling in from Homebrewing Volume I, 2nd Edition. Then AND ONLY THEN will I allow him to retire from his gig in my brewery's Male Escort Service. ************************SAA**************************** (Serious Announcement Alert) Also- in conjunction with my homebrew club The Primetime Brewers, a local microbrewery (Canal Street Brewing) and, I think, The Michigan Brewers Guild, we are trying to put together a tasting seminar with a commercial kit to dope up beers and educate brewers on flavor descriptors and their sensitivity to them. We need to get attendance up to 30 or so, and we keep hovering around 25. Cost of the seminar would be $30 per person. If anybody in the West Michigan area is interested, drop me a note, and I'll get you more information. **********************End SAA**************************** Fred and I did our first CAP this week: 2.5 pounds polenta 7.5 pounds Pale Ale Malt (Briess) .25oz Home Grown Northern Brewer (FWH) .75 oz HGNB at 60 minutes Cereal mashed 2.5 pounds malt with the polenta for 30 minutes at 158 (Mashed in at 130, and brought the temp up to 158 across 30 minutes). Then boiled the cereal mash for 30 minutes. Then we mashed the remaining 5# of malt at 153F for 45 minutes, added the cooled cereal mash to hit 158 for 15 minutes. We sparged to 6.5 gallons into Fred's False Keg Top Bottomed (non phloating) Brew Keg, and boiled it in the garage on Fred's modified water heater natural gas burner. We cast 5.5 gallons of cooled wort at 1.050 into the fermenter, and put it in the fridge overnight to cool the last 10 degrees or so down to 47F Then Fred pitched the 2112 yeast from a one gallon starter the next morning, and we got activity 24 hours later. Fred's kinda pissed at me, 'cause he thinks I screwed up the starter: I pitched a 2112 smack pack (fully expanded) into 1/2 gallon 1.040 starter at room temp. After it fermented out, I poured off the liquid, and pitched another gallon of 1.040 starter on the yeast. After it fermented out, I put the starter jug in the fridge at 47. 24 hours before brewing, I dumped off the liquid, and poured in another quart of 1.040 starter, and left it in the fridge. It was at high krausen when I pitched it into the CAP Wort. I challenged Fred to critique my starter growing technique, and he just muttered something about lining the reception area with Visqueen for a "bachelor" party, refilling the KY dispensers and royalty checks. If any body would like a photo of Fred's False Keg Top Bottomed Brew Keg, or any of the other modifications we have done in Fred's Craft Corner, let me know, and Fred'll scan the photo's in after he downloads the hidden camera footage from the "bachelor" party. Eric Fouch Bent Dick YoctoBrewery and Male Escort Service Kentwood MI Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 09:07:17 -0600 From: "Trevor Good" <t.good at printwest.com> Subject: Sugar Substitute I have a friend who has recently bought his starter kit for home brewing. He is starting the way we all did with kits and corn sugar. The only difference being he is diabetic. We work in a print shop that printed a cookbook for diabetics. It called for Splenda to replace sugar in most recipies. As far as we know Spenda is a sugar derivitive. Is there a sugar substitute for kit beers? Will DME work well in kit beers? What do other diabetics use to replace sugars if anything? Will yeast react to Splenda in the same way as sugar? Thanks in advance Trevor Good Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 10:57:15 -0400 From: "Philip J Wilcox" <pjwilcox at cmsenergy.com> Subject: The dreaded topic...Filtering From: Philip J Wilcox at CMS on 03/31/99 10:57 AM About a year ago the photo lab at work purchased a new processor and a new water filtering system came with it. The old one I got for free. Includeing the the lovly short range Trend thermometer now installed in my recirc loop. After brewing for 4 years and never finding a need to filter a beer. I now have a stubborn Helles which refused to fall bright after using what is rumored to be Ayinger Lager yeast? Anybody know if this is a known Non-flocker? Beer was brewed in December with Tom Plunkard we split the batch, he used his yeast, and I stopped at the local Micro to get mine. His is brilliantly bright with no chill haze. My beer Tastes just as incredible and smells awesome but looks more like an American wheat at times. So I scrounged and got the fittings and tubing I needed. Once again cleaned the filter, unwrapped the Spun/wound filter cartride I also got from work and put it in the chamber and screwed the chamber into place. This is one of the short versions (5"?) not the long 10" ones I see in BT or Zym. To my surprize it did not fit tight? Shouldn't it? I had a half of keg of Star san hooked it up so went ahead and ran it through the filter. It went right through, with little to no noticeable restriction. It flowed at 4 psi and increased without a lag to 10 psi when applied. Frustrated I stopped and took apart the filter and from what I guess there is a 3/8 to 1/2 in gap involved here. What gives? Am I missing a mechanical part? What proceedures are you other filter-ers using? TIA to all who reply, If you want to be annomous, I can repost from private email... Phil Wilcox Poison Frog Home Brewer Warden-Prison City Brewers In Jackson, MI 32 Mi. West of Jeff Renner AABG, AHA, BJCP, HBD, MCAB, ETC., ad nausium... Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 07:32:13 -0800 From: mike rose <mrose at ucr.campuscw.net> Subject: Correct pH for hop tea? I'm making a hop tea by boiling a quart of water with hops for one minute then adding this to the secondary. Does anyone know what the correct pH for the quart of water should be? Thanks, Mike Rose Riverside, CA mike at hopheads.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 10:52:10 -0600 From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: competitions, Using yeast from one batch for a second batch, 100 >Subject: competitions >What makes those brewers that have multiple ribbons on their brewery >walls continue to enter? >Why do so many homebrewers in general feel the need to compete? The very drive for achievement that makes the ribbons appear on the walls in the first place. - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - ------------------------------------------------------------ >Subject: Using yeast from one batch for a second batch >...Then let settle. Transfer >off the stuff on the top. Repeat this and then pitch the stuff on the >bottom into the second batch. The good yeast will be in the middle, and one is supposed to agitate, pour off the top and collect the middle. Easier said than done! I have never had any luck pouring off the top without remixing the whole mess again. I had this idea to use a turkey baster and insert into the middle and suck up the good stuff, but as soon as I tried the stuff on the bottom seems to just leap up into the baster. So I would try this next time: Use some 3/8 OD tubing connected to a baster or large syringe, and try sucking from the middle with a racking cane cap put on the end of the 3/8 tubing, hopefully this will work. - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - --------------------------- >Subject: 100 Gal Limit >What's the penalty if we exceed this? >Who's keeping track? >What's the big deal, here, anyways? Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - --------------- >Subject: RE: One tier system >The stand is a recycled >rack that weighs about 150 pounds. I added two casters on one end that >touch and roll when I pick up on opposite end of stand. This way I can >move out to an open spot to brew. A real easy way to get a one tier stand is to order a metal wire two shelf cart, with casters from a mail order industrial catalog. Will cost you about $150, and it's perfect for a brewing one tier stand. Water cannot collect on the wire shelves, and no drilling is needed, just bolt stuff onto the wire shelves. - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - --------------------- >Subject: "I Hope Your Chooks Turn Into Emus... The whole idea of whining about back door purchases misses one important piece of logic: What's the difference if one purchases through the back door, or another competing homebrew shop. Unless there's accounting incest, what difference can it make to the success or failure of another shop? I fail to see how either method could or should be prevented. Ron Ronald La Borde - Metairie, Louisiana - rlabor at lsumc.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 11:47:51 -0600 From: jsulli - Jeremy Sullivan <jsulli at acxiom.com> Subject: Beer characteristics & commercial examples > How would you describe Sam Adams Boston Lager? I find the "pine tree" flavor > overpowering. Maybe I'm overly sensitive to whatever flavor that is, but I > could barely stomach the beer. > > I'm a new homebrewer, and relatively new to beer in general. Please pardon my > newbieness. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 09:50:12 PST From: "silent bob" <holdenmcneil at hotmail.com> Subject: Venturi stout faucet and judging Hello fellow brewers, The question was raised about using a venturi device in a faucet to introduce nitrogen into beers to produce a "draught" or "guinness" style head. The idea is good, but would require a relatively high flow rate to work. Also, venturi's are engineered to work properly at very precise flow rates and pressure drops, so gas pressure regulation would have to be very precise. As for judging.... We all know that we all have different sensitivities to all of the relevant flavor compounds. We all also have unique subjective tastes. Most of us prefer bigger beers. Most of us are impressed by beers that push the limits of hoppiness, maltiness, "bigness" etc. for a style. And, we all have varying abilities to evaluate ou own biases. I have long thought that the BJCP should keep a database of all score sheets including the judge, score breakdown and specific flavor characteristics recognized by the judge (yes, this would require changing the score sheets, scanable ones pehaps?). Every flight of beers should contain a commercial "reference beer" that is close in style, but not necessarily exactly the style being judged. Statistics on how each judge scores in general, what they are sensitive to, and their biases could be collected and returned to each judge. By using commercial reference beers, data for one specific consistant example can be used to compare an individual judge to a large pool of judges judging the same beer. This diatribe only scratches the surface of this idea, but I think that you can all see what I am getting at. Judging is inconsistant, alot of judges misidentify flavors or miss them completely etc. This is the only way that I see that we can continually evalute judges and judging. Sorry for the lengthy post, and I just put on my asbestos underwear in anticipation of the responses, so have at it. Happy Brewing!! Adam C. Cesnales (250 miles SE of Jeff Renner) in the armpit of America, Youngstown, OH Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 13:28:57 -0500 (EST) From: Paul Shick <SHICK at JCVAXA.jcu.edu> Subject: Help with RIMS problems Hello all, Bill Macher wrote in with a tale of his troubled first encounter with his RIMS. Bill, don't despair! I'm firmly convinced that there's a learning period with any new system, and that you'll grow to love your new set up, eventually. My initial experiences with my one-tier basement setup were pretty traumatic, too, but it's now reached the point where I can brew 11+ gallons in about 4 hours, including clean up, without any sweat. Bill' questions: >Question: Is it desirable to size the screen/manifold/false- >bottom hole size such that some fines ARE re-circulated back >to the filter bed (thereby not plugging the system)? Can the >screen be too fine? My guess is too fine of screen is bad...even >if the area of the screen is large. Remember, the grain bed is supposed to do the filtering, once it's set up. As long as you can keep your valves clear, having some grain flow through early on isn't a problem. Eventually the bed sets up well enough to prevent further grain from passing through. >Question: If I have a tight fitting false bottom, does a >manifold under it offer any positives? I am beginning to >think not. Some people feel this is a real plus. My (commercially made) false bottom lets enough grain through at the beginning of recirculation to clog my gate valve, unless I clear it periodically with a quick opening and closing. After a few minutes of flow, this usually clears up. A recent batch of bock, though, was screwed up by having grain coming through during the runoff to the kettle, for no reason that I could sort out. I had to recirculate the wort until it cleared again, after I had started adding sparge water, so that I was diluting out the runoff more than I planned. My scheduled doppelbock became a plain dunkelbock. At that point, I would have paid a lot for a manifold under the FB. This hasn't been a problem in any other recent batch, though. >Question: Is it desirable to rest the mash, after dough in, >for a bit before turning on the rims pump? Yes, this lets the grain bed set up. I usually rest for about 20 minutes before beginning recirculation, but 10 minutes would almost certainly be enough for my system. >Question: What kind of flow rates should I expect to get in >a RIMS? I can get about 3 GPM with water by itself. This depends on the depth of the grain bed and the grist. The torrified wheat you mentioned in your grist is awfully "sticky." My suggestion would be to go for the slowest flow rate that you can tolerate with your heating system. In my case, I use a natural gas burner under the converted keg, and I usually keep the flow at less than one gallon per minute while I run the burner (on low!) This gives me about 1-2 degrees rise per minute, which is all I'm really looking for. Those doing more extreme step mashing might need quicker temperature rises and faster flow. Your idea of a 5 gallon shakedown run probably wouldn't have helped, by the way, because the shallower grain bed might have caused even worse flow-through problems. >Question: Is my beer ruined? (just joking...) If my initial batches with my "semi-RIMS" turned out okay, anyone's will! Search the 1997 archives under my name if you want to hear about another disastrous maiden run. Hang in there. It'll get to be great fun. Paul Shick Basement brewing in Cleveland Hts OH Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 14:11:03 -0500 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: diacetyl, PC control of RIMS, Stuck RIMS mash, mashing/steeping, skunky/sulfur Brewsters: David Harris says: "oxygen is not required to do the job of oxidizing the alpha aceto lactate, Ca++, Zn++ and Fe+++ will do the job." I doubt it, since the reduction of these ions (except Fe+++) in an aqueous environment is pretty tough and unlikely with an organic reductant for any of them, IMHO. Fe could be the exception, but is undesirable in beer, anyway and often low in concentration. Perhaps you did not mean this exactly, as you went on to comment on the need for calcium and zinc in the enzyme train. Could you further explain this, as now I am left with the impression that you believe diacetyl formation can take place in beers which have Ca, Zn or Fe as long as there is some residual a-acetolactic acid in them and that oxygen is not important. - --------------------------------------- Wade Hutchinson's comments on using a recycle loop with a centrifugal pump to prevent cavitation reminds me that one of the faults with a centrifugal pump often is that it beats up enzymes, malt and the like. Recycling may exacerbate such a problem. Have any RIMSers found such trouble to be significant with centrifugal pumps? As Wade mentioned, the vapor pressure of the fluid is a controlling factor to the cavitation of the pump. Therefore, as you get to higher temperatures, cavitation probability increases. Check out your pumps at operating temperatures. Wade, I am sure we would all appreciate knowing more details about how you used a PC as a controller. I have a couple of 386s that are destined for just such duty. There are cards available for this application as well as using your PC as an electronic instrument. - ----------------------------------------- Bill Macher's description of his trials and tribulations with his Steam RIMS reminds me of why I have never tried it. But a couple of comments on your procedures are in common with all other spargers. 1) always have foundation water covering your false bottom before you put in the mash.This will help prevent plugging, 2) screen wire in my experience is too small and plugs. Use larger holes. Likely your 1/16" slots were also too small. File them open with a triangular file. In the early days, I also made the incorrect assumption that smaller was better and stuck a mash. The holes in my Zapap type design were just a little under a 1/4 inch as I used my soldering gun to make the many holes in the plastic tub. Thinking that this was too big, I covered it with plastic screen wire. To my disbelief, it stuck. I removed the screen wire and on subsequent mashes, I have never had a problem. You may also wish to turn the slots on your manifold down so that you prevent physical plugging and reduce the dead volume. This will help reduce the recycle time to a clear wort. 3) a very critical factor with RIMS is the grist size itself. I recommend you try my double grind procedure ( see the archives) this will give an active flow rate and excellent extraction. The lesson? It is the mash particles themselves which form the filtration bed and all the manifold or false bottom has to do is to support the big pieces of malt and not get plugged by the small ones. - -------------------------------------------- Charley Burns asks about the difference between steeping and partial mashing. The biggest difference is whether or not the malt has active enzymes and starch. Too often we see recipes in which starch containing malts and adjuncts are just steeped or held at high temperatures which denature the enzymes. This can lead to poor extraction and often cloudy, starchy brew in danger of ending up like a bad Lambic in which bacteria thrive on the remaining starch after it has been bottled. Steeping for me means using enzymeless and starch free malts like crystal, chocolate, etc. and can be preferably carried out at high temperatures, just like making coffee. Mashing is required for all the other malts and adjuncts. Which means keeping the extraction and mashing temperature below 160F for at least 1/2 hour and perhaps lower and longer. 1.5 to 2.0 quarts per pound is a good water/grist ratio. Higher amounts of water prevent enzymes blockage by the products and speed up the rate, but at too high a ratio the overall rate can be lowered. - ------------------------------------------ John WIlkinson hits it on the head. Sulfury is not skunky as Budweiser would have you believe. I have often heard it said here that green bottles are the contributor to the skunkiness of beers which come wrapped in light tight boxes. Not so in most cases. Some European beers, particularly northern European beers, are sulfury as a result of the yeast. I believe (notebook not here) it is Wyeast European Lager III which has this strong character and which I often use when reproducing this style. - ------------------------------------------ Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 19:35:02 GMT From: happyhansen at scronline.com (<happyhansen at scronline.com>) Received: from cust22.scronline.com ([]) by scronline.com (wcSMTP [445]) with SMTP id 665541808; Wed, 31 Mar 1999 19:34:57 GMT X-Sender: joy.hansen at bbs.scronline.com Message-Id: <v01540b01b327a6269729 at []> Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" To: homebrew at hbd.org From: happyhansen at scronline.com (Joy Hansen) Subject: RIMS Stuck? Just a quick recommendation for a RIMS pseudo false bottom based on my experiences. Use a commercial or home built false bottom similar to the PBS punched stainless or a Stoelting grate. The high strength of these units is critical to prevent false bottom collapse when the pump is operated against a stuck or near stuck mash. Then, instead of fighting the issue of a stuck mash when clarity isn't an issue, install motorized mash mixer that has a scraping blade to travel not more than 1/8 inch above the false bottom. For those converted keg pseudo R. Morris users, most have experience similiar to mine - flow is adequate as long as the false bottom can be stirred and scraped. Hours of time for the ramps and lots of sweat and tears to save the mash. The motorized stirring will make anyone a convert at first glance! H & R has a motor that turns at 3.3 RPM, is geared, and has adequate torque to move a house! I left the handles on the sanke keg (the rest of the rim cut out) and this serves as the mounting for the bracket to hold the stirring motor. I mounted a fitting in the center of the bottom of the keg and use it to: 1) provide a center support for the false bottom, 2) provide a pathway for the supply liquor to the mash, and 3) provide a bearing/mount for a stirring shaft which connects to the motor shaft. Rather than take up a lot of HBD space, if anyone is interested in a schematic of the setup, I can post an e-mail with this as an JPEG attachment. The mash schedule involves a dough in, infusion to a beta glucan rest, RIMS to saccharification and mash out temperature rests. When the mashout is complete, I do a manual recirculation for sweet wort clarity. I let the liquor flow by gravity and return the outflow to the mash until the liquor is clear. If it's necessary to pump the liquor to the brew kettle, I would install a grant to collect the gravity out flow and then pump to the kettle. For the small amount of mashout run off, the bucket transfer to the kettle isn't a big deal. The two pseudo sparge are accomplished likewise. Strike water is added to the mash cake, stirred with recirculation to reach the mash out temperature, manually recirculated for clarity, and then transferred via gravity to the kettle. My batch size for the fermenter is planned to be at least 8 gallons. The sweet wort from the mash is typically 5 + 3 + 3 gallons. This accomplishes an 80 percent or better extraction. An additonal 3 gallon pseudo sparge increases the extraction into the 90s. The temperature of the mash out and pseudo sparges is up to the conscience of the brewer! So far, this technique prevents stuck mash and accomplishes what I think is an attainable and reproducible schedule. I'd appreciate a description of alternate successful RIMS mash schedules. I'm out of pocket for several weeks at happyhansen at scronline.com and I cannot send attachments from this address. If anyone has interest, send the e-mail responses to joytbrew at halifax.com. It might be some time before I can return to Scottsburg, VA and reply with the schematic. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 15:22:09 -0500 From: Wade Hutchison <whutchis at bucknell.edu> Subject: Re: Spiffy new TI chip for Index of Refraction Well, in theory this should work. The Index of Refraction of a water ethanol mixture, at 28C should fall between 1.357 (pure Etoh) and 1.332 (pure water). The resolution should give you accuracy to within 1 part in 5000. Thanks for the info, I'll be looking into this for work, actually. -----wade hutchison > >Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 09:05:00 -0500 >From: "Peter J. Calinski" <PCalinski at iname.com> >Subject: Refractive Index. Can This Measure It? > >In HBD #2986 Louis Bonham described the use of refractive index to measure >alcohol content. By coincidence, Texas instruments just announced a new >device to measure the refractive index of liquids. > > http://www.ti.com/sc/docs/psheets/newdocs/specfunc.htm <snip> >The TSPR1A150100 Spreeta liquid sensor has a dynamic range of 1.320 to >1.368 refractive index units (RIU) >with a resolution of 5x10-6 RIU. The physical dimensions of the Spreeta >sensor are shown in Figure 7 on page 8. The output of the Spreeta sensor is >a series of analog pulses, one per clock cycle, from which the refractive >index of the liquid is derived when the voltages are digitized and >processed with the proper algorithm. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 14:46:50 -0600 From: Nathan Kanous <nlkanous at pharmacy.wisc.edu> Subject: MI Brewpubs Ken Pendergrass mentions: But in northern MI I can think of 2 not yet mentioned. One is on the south edge of Gaylord. Which is about an hour south of the big mac bridge. This place is huge and abuts the freeway (US23) you can't miss it. It's on the east side of Isn't this the Big Buck Brewery? Kind of like the McDonald's or Budweiser of brewpubs in my opinion. Huge. Appeals to the massess of deer hunters that only spend a few hours a year in the woods and fewer tastebuds enjoying good beer. I wasn't real impressed with their beers, but opinions are cheap. nathan in madison, wi Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 15:01:17 -0600 From: Nathan Kanous <nlkanous at pharmacy.wisc.edu> Subject: Braggot I've never made a braggot before. My father-in-law raises bees (any of you Michiganders want honey? He prefers to sell bulk when nobody has any...if you get my drift). I can get as much clover / wildflower (mostly clover) honey as I'd like. I've been a little intrigued about making a braggot. I'd like to hear from some people that have made braggots in the past and have experience. Tried and true recipes preferred, but we all have to start somewhere. TIA nathan in madison, wi Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 14:38:56 -0800 (PST) From: Tim Anderson <timator at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: 100 Gal Limit Bob Sheck wishes to know: >>> Subject: 100 Gal Limit What's the penalty if we exceed this? Who's keeping track? What's the big deal, here, anyways? <<< I my case, it's a combinitation of marriage and age. Even if I was single, I'm much too old to try for 100. I barely have the energy for one. tim === Please ignore the advertisement below. Thank you. _________________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Get your free at yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com Return to table of contents
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