HOMEBREW Digest #3005 Thu 15 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

  long ferment/O2, yeast & shelf life/Nitrogen head/O2-absorbing caps/beerstone (BrewInfo)
  cask-conditioning/Brettanomyces/Unitap/protein rests/sulphury (BrewInfo)
  Purchasing a RIMS (mike megown)
  "Bubble-gum" in Belgians.... (pbabcock)
  re: Sanitation and septic systems (John_E_Schnupp)
  Re: Known Alcohol Levels ("Matthew  Hahn")
  Hop Oils and Essences ("S. Wesley")
  Who you callin a brewster? ("Jim Kingsberg")
  re:Sanitation and septic systems (MaltHound)
  corn syrup, mashing, and enzymes (Marc Sedam)
  Long mash, dextrins and mouthfeel; Also Bud data (Ted McIrvine)
  Re: Sanitation and septic systems (Jeff Renner)
  RIMS heating control ("Doug Moyer")
  SG to Plato and back (Domenick Venezia)
  kegging questions ("Czerpak, Pete")
  Sweet! (Tim Anderson)
  update on Stainless in Seattle ("Marc Sedam")
  CO2 tanks, kegs, & shelf life of kegged vs. bottled homebrew ("George De Piro")
  Known Alcohol Levels (jsulli - Jeremy Sullivan)
  Split-batch boiling ("Patrick Michael Flahie")

Beer is our obsession and we're late for therapy! Enter the Spirit of Free Beer! Competition 5/22/99. Details at http://burp.org/SoFB99. 2000 MCAB Qualifier! Enter the Buzz-Off! Competition 6/26/99. Details on the HBD Competition Calendar for June 1999 (http://hbd.org). 2000 MCAB qualifier! Send articles for __publication_only__ to post@hbd.org If your e-mail account is being deleted, please unsubscribe first!! To SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE send an e-mail message with the word "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" to request@hbd.org. **SUBSCRIBE AND UNSUBSCRIBE REQUESTS MUST BE SENT FROM THE E-MAIL ACCOUNT YOU WISH TO HAVE SUBSCRIBED OR UNSUBSCRIBED!!!** IF YOU HAVE SPAM-PROOFED your e-mail address, the autoresponder and the SUBSCRIBE/UNSUBSCRIBE commands will fail! Contact brewery at hbd.org for information regarding the "Cat's Meow" Back issues are available via: HTML from... http://hbd.org Anonymous ftp from... ftp://hbd.org/pub/hbd/digests ftp://ftp.stanford.edu/pub/clubs/homebrew/beer AFS users can find it under... /afs/ir.stanford.edu/ftp/pub/clubs/homebrew/beer COPYRIGHT for the Digest as a collection is currently held by hbd.org (Pat Babcock and Karl Lutzen). Digests in their entirity CANNOT be reprinted/reproduced without this entire header section unless EXPRESS written permission has been obtained from hbd.org. Digests CANNOT be reprinted or reproduced in any format for redistribution unless said redistribution is at absolutely NO COST to the consumer. COPYRIGHT for individual posts within each Digest is held by the author. Articles cannot be extracted from the Digest and reprinted/reproduced without the EXPRESS written permission of the author. The author and HBD must be attributed as author and source in any such reprint/reproduction. (Note: QUOTING of items originally appearing in the Digest in a subsequent Digest is exempt from the above. Home brew clubs NOT associated with organizations having a commercial interest in beer or brewing may republish articles in their newsletters and/or websites provided that the author and HBD are attributed. ASKING first is still a great courtesy...) JANITORS on duty: Pat Babcock and Karl Lutzen (janitor@hbd.org)
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 17:56:16 -0500 (CDT) From: BrewInfo <brewinfo at xnet.com> Subject: long ferment/O2, yeast & shelf life/Nitrogen head/O2-absorbing caps/beerstone More ancient topics (but I'm pretty sure most have gone unanswered (or at least "underanswered" (can you tell I've programmed in Lisp?)))... Todd writes: >Suddenly, my fermentations seem to be taking a really long time. I ferment >in the basement, where temperatures stay 65-68f, and my secondary has gone >from a historical 1 week to 4 weeks+. My last two batches will not stop >bubbling (not a ton; maybe on bubble through the airlock every 2-3 >minutes). In the past, all pressure and activity would subside within 7-10 >days. Is this a sign of infection? Should I cool them down to halt >activity? The only change to my process for the last two batches is a >switch to a converted keg brew kettle and full 5 gallon boils. Cooling >occurs quickly with an immersion chiller. Does this observation signal a >problem or does everything sound ok? (these are partial-mash ales with >Irish or British Wyeast and I have historically not taken gravity readings) When you have a long fermentation, the two most likely sources are underpitching and underaerating. When I read the first sentence, these two sources immediately came to mind. Then, further down, I read about the change to the process and that pretty much sealed it for me... I suspect that underaeration is the problem. When going to full boils, you simply don't have all that aerated makeup water to add... boiling removes virtually all dissolved oxygen and then unless you aerate (or oxygenate) well after cooling, you will have sluggish yeast performance. *** Fred writes: >I have always been under the impression that commercial brewers have a >bigger problem with air than do homebrewers since the yeast have been >filtered out in commercial brews. I have always been under the impression >that the yeast in homebrew will gobble up what little oxygen gets introduced >into the beer during gentle transfers so that the oxygen really isn't a >problem unless one is VERY careless in the transfers. In other words, does >prepurging the receiving vessel REALLY make a significant difference? also Brook writes: >When priming beer for bottling, why worry about small amounts of oxygen >(from the bottling bucket, etc) staling the beer? Wouldn't this oxygen >actually help the yeast ferment out the priming sugars? I read the comments >that oxygenating cold wort is essential, so what's the difference? I >understand the wisdom of low oxygen bottling with carbonated and filtered >(dead) beer. With that in mind, what affect does filtering beer (to remove >yeast) have on the shelf life? While it is true that the yeast in the bottle will consume oxygen in the headspace (or dissolved in the beer via splashing) experiments done by George Fix indicated that only a *portion* of the oxygen in the headspace was consumed by the yeast. So, while the yeast will indeed decrease the damage done to the beer by oxygen introduced at bottling time, it will not eliminate all damage. Purging the receiving vessel will help somewhat (I usually try to do it, when I can) but recall that there is always *some* dissolved CO2 in the beer and this CO2 comes out of solution during siphoning thanks to agitation and pressure differences, so this evolving CO2 will form a small protective blanket on the beer (not enough to protect from serious splashing, though). Shelf life is a combination of many factors. Oxygen is a major one. Protein is another. Filtering removes some of the protein, which then won't be around to form hazes and flocs (so there is a minor shelf-life benefit), but it also removes the yeast which, as discussed above, does provide *some* protection against oxidation. *** Dave writes: >NItrogen in the gas bubble is what causes Guiness to have >a long lasting head. Nitrogen is not very soluble in beer >( about 1/10 as much as CO2 if memory serves) What >causes a head to fall is the diffusion of the CO2 through >the bubble wall, since it is soluble in the beer. When a >Guiness head is formed, it is the CO2 which forms the foam first >and then the mechanical action of the sparkler replaces >some of the CO2 with nitrogen, which being less soluble >does not diffuse out so fast. The head thus lasts longer if >all the other things in the beer foam wall ( like proteins and >hop/protein complexes) prevent the draining of the wall >and weakening it so it bursts. I've read this several times in HBD from various posters and I'm still not 100% convinced. I'm very skeptical that the bubbles actually contain nitrogen. Furthermore, if gas diffusion through the bubble walls indeed is what causes their ultimate collapse, then why is the protein content of the beer the greatest single factor in whether a beer has good head retention or not? Dave sounds very confident, but let's not forget AJ's signature (incidentally, why is it the posters that are the most believable, those that include the most disclaimers and references?)... *** Eric writes: >I've gotten some "oxygen absorbing" bottle caps supposedly to prevent >oxidation. It is said that Celis and some others are using them now. >It is said that you do not sanitize, even more so, don't even get them >wet. I was told to cap and then tilt the bottle just to get the beer to >touch the cap and thus "activate" the oxygen absorption. I haven't >actually bottled much until recently and I believe I've been producing >much better beer than in my past of bottling, so I can't tell if my beer >is being *saved* I suppose its a pretty darned easy experiment for me >to try. Say, use two types of caps and see what different temperatures >and storing times do to the beer? Anybody else used these caps...found >them to be worth the dollar extra per gross, not that a dollar is much >but it is almost a third more expensive. I don't suggest using the caps unsanitised. They are indeed activated by moisture (70% RH or more, if memory serves) but the action is not instantaneous. I have personally spoken with the lead engineer who developed the Oxygen-absorbing SmartCaps (now called PureSeal "A"). I asked about sanitising with boiling water, iodophor, bleach and percarbonate-based sanitisers (like B-Brite and OneStep). He said to use bleach or iodophor because the boiling and the oxygen released by the percarbonate-based sanitisers will "use up" the oxygen-absorbing capabilities of the caps. As for whether they are worth it, The Chicago Beer Society did a side-by- side comparison (easy to duplicate, when you think about it) between regular and oxygen-absorbing caps. The main difference they found was that the beer in the O2-absorbing caps retained it's hop aroma significantly longer than the beer capped with regular caps (split batch). *** Mike writes: >I use a caustic to soak away beerstone (Keg Clean), then use a non-chlorox >sanitizer. Is that right? I thought that caustic was inherently alkaline and so is beerstone (mostly calcium oxalate). I thought that you needed acid to remove beerstone, not alkaline... George? George? Rob? Anyone? Al. Al Korzonas, Lockport, IL korz at brewinfo.com http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 18:35:13 -0500 (CDT) From: BrewInfo <brewinfo at xnet.com> Subject: cask-conditioning/Brettanomyces/Unitap/protein rests/sulphury My list of pending questions is really getting very long. I apologise for two long posts one after another, but otherwise I simply won't catch up! Dan writes: >My wife bought me a hand pump for Xmas so naturally I HAD to switch from >bottling to draft. Now I need to know if there are any tricks to cask >conditioning in a corny. Do I treat it just like a big bottle,..add priming >sugar and wait? Quite simply: yes. You want it to be slighly less carbonated than a typical bottled beer (roughly 2 volumes, I suggest). Note also, that you want to vent it to the atmosphere while you are serving (or the handpump simply won't stop pouring (unless it has a shutoff, but those are for keeping the beer from falling back into the cellar, not to keep it from running)). I haven't used my handpump in quite some time (I've been bottling more lately and haven't brewed too many beers that lend themselves to handpump in the recent past), but when I did, I would cheat a little. Although I'm a card-carrying CAMRA member, I did use CO2 to purge the air out of the corny keg before storing it for the night. What I would do is vent the cask by opening the overpressure vent and then leave it open during serving. When I was done serving, I would disconnect the beer engine, hook up the CO2 at 5 psi or so, and then pressurise and vent the keg several times. Otherwise, since the casks would last a week or two, the beer would be very oxidised by the time I was done with the keg. *** Andrew writes: >I've never tried a Lambic beer, but I enjoy the smell of brettanomyces in >wine. It seems to me that it would go well in dark, earthy beers. Can >anyone think of non-lambic beers with brettanomyces? Has anyone tried using >it in any of their brews, lambic-style or otherwise? How controllable is >it? I spoke to a professional winemaker about this, and while he greatly >enjoys brettanomyces in 20-year old Bordeaux, he is very scared of it >getting into his wine. "Barnyard" and even "dung" is his favourite >description of it. Yes. Orval has Brettanomyces among the bottling strain mixture. Brett is what gives Orval that "bubblegum" aroma. I have used pure cultures of Brett (and some simply from commercial Lambic dregs) in several pLambics. I have not had any problems with Brett infection in any of my non-pLambic beers. Note that it takes the beer a good 8 months to develop that "horsey," "earthy" aroma. *** Tom writes: >I went down to my local gas supply store to get a refill on my c02 tank. >The guy told me about a new product that they (Merriam-graves a NewEgland >Chain) sell for pushing beer out called Unitap. It seems that Unitap in a >mix of C02 and nitrogen, they say it's better then C02, it pushes beer >faster longer distances with less foam. I wonder if anyone has tried this >product, or is it something that bars would use and not homebrews? Jack Schmidling has tried it and reported (in his usual SuperSkeptic fashion) that it didn't make much difference in his beer. There are two reasons you might want to use a N2/CO2 mix. One is that you have to push beer a long distance (or up several stories of a building). If you used pure CO2, the high pressure you would have to use to get a decent pour rate would overcarbonate the beer. A 75/25 N2/CO2 mix means that you can set the regulator to 48 psi and the beer would only "see" 12 psi of CO2 pressure. The other reason you might want to use this gas is to get a Guinness-like pour in your beer. You need a restrictor faucet (either a real Guinness faucet or a faucet with a sparkler-like end... well, I guess you could open a regular faucet only a tiny bit...). Again, you if you used 75/25 mix, you would use 4 times the pressure of CO2 that you wanted. If you used a 60/40 mix, you would use 2.5 times the "normal" CO2 pressure. *** Mark writes: >I've been following the protien rest debate for some time >and over the last year I've made several ales and lagers >without using a protien rest and have found that these very >same beers have a stubborn chill haze that won't go away >with "lagering". Now, supposedly the pros say that a >protien rest is "unnecessary with todays malts" but do >these same pros not care about chill haze because they're >all filtering their beers and this is a non-issue for them? Regarding protein rests, there are two things that I have long been advocating here in HBD. One is that you should *try* to brew with a malt without a protein rest and then only add a protein rest if you are unhappy with the results (too much break in the fermenter, haze, etc.). The other thing that I have been a strong advocate of is that if you do add a protein rest, do it at around 135F. This is contrary to virtually every Charley Papazian recipe (and most in other books too), but the fact is that it favours protease over peptidase and thus does not completely break all the proteins down into amino acids (thereby killing head retention and body). I'd like to point out that Ray Daniels' article in Zymurgy "122 Farenheit" had both the action of the enzymes and the temperatures *backwards*! By the way, I concur with the person who responded to this query that you could try reducing your polyphenols (watch sparge pH, sparge temp, mash pH, don't overcrush... worst case, try polyclar after fermentation). *** John writes: >When making lagers I have always lagered in carboys with airlocks until the >last few batches. The last three batches I have done are lagering in Cornelius >kegs with a vent hose from the gas in connection to a jar of water. Is the >vent hose or an airlock necessary? I have always assumed it was to provide >an escape path for the sulphurs and other things being gotten rid of during >lagering. However, in thinking about it, I find I can't explain to myself >how these things are vented if there is no CO2 being produced. If there is >no pressure being generated there is no bubbling of gas into the airlock to >carry off products of lagering. The only way I can think of is by diffusion >but this would seem to imply introduction of oxygen into the headspace. Is >venting not necessary when lagering? If not, where do the sulphorous odors >go? I wondered about that too, but the fact is that you can lager in bottles! I've done it. I had a Traditional Bock that was extremely sulphury (it smelled just like home perm solution) for four months in the bottle (lagering at 40F), but miraculously the smell went away and the beer won several ribbons. I've recently read in a professional text (sorry, can't recall which one) that the yeast will convert the sulphur dioxide in the beer to sulphate (so, presumably the apparent bitterness would go up, eh?) if given enough time. Al. Al Korzonas, Lockport, IL korz at brewinfo.com http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 21:17:03 -0400 From: mike megown <magobrew at erols.com> Subject: Purchasing a RIMS I'm thinking about buying a RIMS in the near future. The only one I've seen for sale is the BREWMAGIC system by SABCO. Does anyone else know of any places that seel RIMS? If so please email me the URL's. mailto: magobrew at erols.com thanx! Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 21:21:00 -0400 (EDT) From: pbabcock <pbabcock at mail.oeonline.com> Subject: "Bubble-gum" in Belgians.... Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager... Al sez: > Yes. Orval has Brettanomyces among the bottling strain mixture. Brett > is what gives Orval that "bubblegum" aroma. Really? I got the bubble-gum aroma from fermenting an Orval clone with WYEAST 1214 Belgian Ale yeast. I was not aware that this was Brettanomyces nor contained any. The aroma was so intense at initial racking that I swore someone was breathing little-league breath right next to me. It wasn't until several weeks later that Brett. got anywhere near the carboy - again, unless Wyeast 1214 is or contains it. See ya! Pat Babcock in SE Michigan pbabcock at oeonline.com Home Brew Digest Janitor janitor@hbd.org HBD Web Site http://hbd.org The Home Brew Page http://oeonline.com/~pbabcock/brew.html "Just a cyber-shadow of his former brewing self..." Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 22:20:54 -0700 From: John_E_Schnupp at amat.com Subject: re: Sanitation and septic systems Paul, >What do the brewers with septic systems do with their used >sanitation fluid of choice? Here's a question I feel I can answer. Our small condo association recently had to install a replacement leach field due the primary field exhibiting signs of failure. Overloading the septic system with water is one way to get a system to fail. The solids that are in the tank will not have time to properly settle and can get flushed into the field there they may clog pipes (if the solids chunks are large enough) and will clog the much smaller openings in the gravel and soil. Once the soil/gravel bed is plugged the problems continue until one day there's septic water coming out the lowest drain in your house. All, ok 90%, of all my brewery water goes outside. My cleaning/sanitizing solutions get dumped over the bank outside my patio. The chill water (I have an immersion chiller) gets piped out via a garden hose over the bank too. On brew day I probably use about 150 gallons of water, this includes the chill water. I also dump the spent grains and hops in the woods. The dregs of my fermenter get dumped in the woods. The lugging is a PITA, but replacing a leach field is a whole lot more expensive. On a typical 1000 gallon single family system you may be ok since you and you alone are responsible for what goes down the drain. In my situation, with a multi- user system, I can't control what others dump and how much. If a couple of families decide that laundry day is the same day as my brew day, the system could get overloaded. You might try doing some searches on the net, use something with septic included as you search parameters. John Schnupp, N3CNL Dirty Laundry Brewery Colchester, VT 95 XLH 1200 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 04:02:11 -0400 From: "Matthew Hahn" <mchahn at earthlink.net> Subject: Re: Known Alcohol Levels Phil Wilcox writes: >My collection of beer literature doesn't have much to say about percise >alcohol levels of Anheuser Busch products. I spent an hour or so this >weekend trying to track down the Alcohol % of US produced Budwiser. I may >have passed the master brewer exam on the BUD web site, but I didn't come >away with the answer I was looking for. Does anybody else out there know? >Is there a list of known alcohols in commercial examples I did not uncover >in my HBD Search??? > Call 1-800-DIAL-BUD and they will give you all the info you need. They also have a brochure which they can probably mail you which contains that info. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 07:34:59 -0500 From: "S. Wesley" <WESLEY at MAINE.MAINE.EDU> Subject: Hop Oils and Essences From: Simon A. Wesley Subject: Hop Oils and Essences In HBD #3004-2 Al Korzonas asks about experiences with Hoptech hop oils. A few weeks back I ordered three different varieties of Hoptech's (Std. Disc.) hop oils (East Kent Goldings, British Blend, Cascades) and both varieties (Spicey, Floral) of their hop essences. I have done a few tests using both commercial non-alcoholic beers and some of my own NA beers. I was primarily interested in the effects of the hop essences on the beers so most of my more careful tests involved adding varying amounts of hop essences to commercial NA beers. The hop essences are supposed to add late hop flavour as distinct from the oils which are supposed to add dry hop aroma. The spicy essence is also supposed to improve the mouthfeel of the beer. My results with these products were a bit mixed. Like Al I found that adding a lot more of these products than the accompanying literature suggested was required to achieve the desired results. I found that it was necessary to add almost the maximum suggested amount of the spicy essence before its effects became perceptible. I didn't notice any substantial impact on the mouthfeel of the beer. Once the effect was perceptable (and up to about 2 times the recommended dosage) it did, in fact, help out both Miller Sharps and O'Doul's Amber and make them much more like regular beer, although they were still clearly identifiable as NA beers. I also experimented with the coors product and found it to be unredeemable because of the overpowering flavor of cornflakes breakfast cereal. The floral essence was rather dissapointing. Its impact on flavor was barely perceptable to my taste. Surprisingly though, it did seem to accentuate some of the other flavors of the beer (malts) and also helped to improve the flavour of the beers. I had to go to about 1.5 times the reccomended dosage before I started to notice any effects. I was much more pleased with the East Kent Goldings and Cascade hop oils. They performed much closer to expectations, although again I found myself working around or slightly above the maximum recommended dosage to achieve reasonable results. The British blend was a bit dissapointing although it did produce some modest effects. There were, I am pleased to report, no sea monkeys in the beer. I should comment that when I ordered these Garetz pointed out that they are not intended to be used to supply all of the flavor or aroma in a beer, merely to supplement it, so I was not too surprised to find that the beers didn't undergo a magical transformation. I should also remind everyone that taste thresholds vary widely from person to person and from flavour compound to flavour compound, so my inability to detect a flavor may have a lot more to do with me that the products. I did make every effort to conduct these tests under optimal conditions for my palate and the oil bottles were vigorously shaken prior to use as recommended by the litterature. It is also important to note that it took UPS 13 days to deliver these products from the west coast to Maine so they may have suffered somewhat in transit. I have kept the products refrigerated since I DROVE to the UPS warehouse to pick up the shipment myself. (I'll spare you any ranting about that whole fiasco.) Generally speaking I felt that the products could be used effecively to improve the flavour and aroma of both home made and commercial NA beers. The effects were a bit one dimensional and lacking in complexity, but they certainly do help. In principle they could provide a simple way to improve commercial NA beers for those who don't want to go to the trouble and expense of making NA beers at home. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 07:42:51 -0500 From: "Jim Kingsberg"<jdkingsb at hewitt.com> Subject: Who you callin a brewster? On HBD 3004, Dave Burley addressed us as "Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 15:39:27 -0400 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Long mash, dextrins and mouthfeel Brewsters Bret Morrow did an excellent experiment in which he determined that alpha amylase continued to be active..." Sorry Dave! I dont have the qualifications to be a brewster! More properly, Im a (home)brewer. Brewsters are women who brew. Just like baxters are women who bake. There now you've made me pick my first nit on the HBD. Respectfully, Jim Kingsberg chief brewer, taster, bottle boy, kegger, Fugowee Brewery. Evanston, IL Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 09:48:45 EDT From: MaltHound at aol.com Subject: re:Sanitation and septic systems Paul Haaf <haafbrau1 at juno.com> writes: <<I'm sure not everyone brewing has city sewer, whereas you can dump anything that doesn't rot out or clog your drain pipes. What do the brewers with septic systems do with their used sanitation fluid of choice? I go to great extremes to not let my iodophor mix and my chlorine water go down the drain. Since they are designed to kill off microbes, which your septic tank depends on, how do other brewers dispose of their spent liquids? >> City sewer? What's that? While you are correct that flushing sanitising fluid down the drain into your septic system would be marginally detrimental to the desireable microbes, the actual quantity of sanitizer is relatively tiny in comparison to the holding tank volume. Dilution would appear to be the key here. I justify it to myself this way: Sanitizing brewing hardware I only use a few tablespoons of bleach. OTOH when washing a load of white clothes I use 1/2 cup or more of chlorine bleach, which goes down the same drain. I would have to start worrying about the latter chlorine source first. Regards, Fred Wills Londonderry, NH - where "We don't need no stinking sewers." "Flush free or die!" Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 10:01:30 -0400 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: corn syrup, mashing, and enzymes Dawn Watkins asked a question about priming ciders... My recent experience with ciders is that you decrease the amount of priming sugar slightly (like 1/2c in 5 gallons) unless you want a super-fizzy cider. Cider doesn't have the mouthfeel that beer does (lack of proteins) and this effects the perception of carbonation on the palate. Corn syrup, especially store-bought versions, are not appropriate as they contain preservatives/anti-microbial agents to prevent fermentation in the bottle--just the type of thing you're trying to induce. You may want to try and prime with fresh, home-pasteurized apple juice (hold at 180F for 30 minutes) but I can't provide an estimated amount. The new Brewing Techniques has an article on the sugar content of certain fruits, but I don't recall if apples are on there. Gail? Any help? Noonan's "Brewing Lager Beer" also talks about the 15 minute mash for well-modified malts. However he's very clear that this result is under ideal laboratory conditions. While the mini-mash may be "finished" in 15 minutes under these ideal conditions the only end-point being measured is starch conversion, not satisfactory organoleptic properties. In other words, just because starch conversion is finished doesn't mean the other important attributes of the mash (like appropriate protein degradation) have been taken care of. I happen to use the mash schedules listed in Fix' "An Analysis of Brewing Techniques" which depend on the type of malt being used. The malt profile and head retention of my recent beers have come out much more balanced and consistent. YMMV. On the opposite side of the coin we have long (overnight) mashes. One aspect of the overnight mash that hasn't been addressed yet is mash thickness. A thick mash is much more favorable to enzyme stability than is a thin mash. When I'm looking to maximize enzyme life span (no, they're NOT alive) I use a 0.8qt/lb ratio. Beta-amylase is much more heat labile than is alpha-amylase. Dave Burley correctly states that as the temperature rises the enzymatic conversion of substrate increases. In fact, for barley beta-amylase this conversion hits its peak a few degrees before the enzyme denatures. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I seem to recall that the maximum activity (Kmax?) is at 62C, followed by a near complete removal of activity via irreversible denaturation at 65C. Again, these values are under ideal laboratory conditions (in fact, they're for purified beta-amylase) and your mash is not one of them. In the real world (and a world that has a very thick mash) it is likely that a small amount of beta-amylase activity remains during an overnight mash, provided you don't spend a whole lot of time in the 68C+ range. When the mash passes back through the beta-amylase temperature range some conversion will occur, although I'm sure the activity will have been compromised and conversion will be more sluggish than the first pass through. In a thin mash I would argue that none of the beta-amylase activity would remain. Enzymes need excess water to denature, so limiting the available water will help preserve activity. This is why enzyme activity is faster but more short-lived in a thin mash. BTW, another way to limit the available water is to increase the sugar concentration of the solution--precisely what's being done during the mash. Why? Because carbohydrates are hygroscopic (i.e. sucks up water) and each carbohydrate molecule (simple or complex) has water molecule(s) associated with it. At high sugar concentrations a great deal of the water is associated with the sugars in the wort, leaving less "available" water around and slowing down the denaturation of enzymes. Yet another advantage of the thick mash (OG is higher). If you want to maximize conversion in an overnight mash, create a thick mash (0.8 qt/lb) and leave it overnight. In the morning double the amount of water (new ratio 1.6 qt/lb) and raise the temperature up to 170F gradually. Doing an infusion you could add measured amounts of boiling water to do this, but I'm a direct-fire guy so I can't help you here. A 20 minute ramp through the saccharification range would be fine. Sparge and you're on your way. I've used this procedure and it works well (not over converted nor under converted). YMMV, again. By the way, what exactly is wrong with using a carboy for your primary fermenter? Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 09:14:33 -0700 From: Ted McIrvine <McIrvine at ix.netcom.com> Subject: Long mash, dextrins and mouthfeel; Also Bud data > From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> > Subject: Long mash, dextrins and mouthfeel > Bret Morrow did an excellent experiment in which he > determined that alpha amylase continued to be active > longer than the typical 90 minute mash. The point is, > any starch or high MW carbohydrates can still be > chopped down in a longer ( like an overnight) mash. I'd like to add two comments to Dave's helpful post. First, an overnight mash works very well for styles such as Belgian Ales that are highly attenuated. Secondly, recirculating quite a bit (I often recirculate a gallon or more) is another way of chopping long chains into shorter chains of fermentable sugars. A good way of getting mouthfeel is to increase melanoidin production with a very long boil. > > Most of [Charlie P's advice] it wasn't very good, > like pouring hot wort through > the air ( see picture), using a carboy for a primary, > short mashes, bad iodine test method ( first ed) and > the like. I had to unlearn almost everything I read in Charlie P. His recipes are worse than his brewing advice. But I don't see what is bad about using a carboy for a primary. (I tend to either use 2 carboys or a 6.5 gallon carboy. Glass is easy to sanitize.) Someone asked about Buttwiper, er I mean Budweiser brewing data. According to Fred Eckhardt's "The Essentials of Beer Style" (1989) the 1987 Bud had an OG of 1.044 and a FG of 1.0008 with 10.5 IBUs. That is almost an inspiration to carbonate some water and enter it as a light American lager. Cheers Ted Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 10:27:57 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Sanitation and septic systems Paul Haaf <haafbrau1 at juno.com> is concerned that his disposal of chlorine and iodphor in his septic system will kill the necessary bacteria in it. My first septic tank is 1500 gallons; your is probably something like that. The little bit of sanitizers we put in them are going to be so diluted that they will have no effect. After all, people have been using a cup of bleach or more in washing machines that empty into septic systems for years. Jeff -=-=-=-=- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan c/o nerenner at umich.edu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 11:17:50 -0400 From: "Doug Moyer" <shyzaboy at geocities.com> Subject: RIMS heating control RIMSers, Most of the web sites I've looked at for RIMS have fairly complex controllers for the inline heating element. I'll go that route sooner or later, but for the short term, I would like to use more manual control. (And, no, I can't search the archives, as my company's server balks at Spencer's "8080" address.) I have a 10 gal. beverage cooler mash tun with a pump to recirculate during the mash. (See http://hbd.org/starcity/brewers/doug_m.html ) I used my pump for the first time the weekend before last, and lost a lot of heat during the mash. I used a boiling water infusion to bring the temp back up, but I would prefer to add an inline heating element for occasional boosts during the course of the mash. I don't want to get too fancy until I have time to design my own controller. In the mean time, I'd like to take the manual approach. Do any of you control your element manually? How? A dimmer switch? On/off switch? Any advice would be appreciated. Brew on! Doug Moyer Star City Brewers Guild: http://hbd.org/starcity Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 08:19:46 -0700 From: Domenick Venezia <demonick at zgi.com> Subject: SG to Plato and back > From: JPullum127 at aol.com > > i'm a little confused about the term plato. is there a formula to > convert specific gravity to plato and vice versa? SG to Plato at 60 F: P = -676.67 + 1286.4SG - 800.47SG**2 + 190.74SG**3 SG of 1.050 yields 12.34P The other direction is less accurate over an SG of about 1.060. Again at 60 F: 260 SG = -------- 260 - P These equations and plotted accuracy curves were published in: Manning, M.P., Understanding Specific Gravity and Extract, Brewing Techniques, 1,3:30-35 (1993) Domenick Venezia Venezia & Company, LLC Maker of PrimeTab (206) 782-1152 phone (206) 782-6766 fax orders demonick at zgi dot com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 11:32:14 -0400 From: "Czerpak, Pete" <Pete.Czerpak at siigroup.com> Subject: kegging questions Anthony and Julie Brown ask a number of kegging questions. About what size CO2 tank to buy, economics point to the larger one. Typically, it costs about the same to refill either the 5lb or the 15 lb so it depends on how often you like going to the refill place. Plus, with the 15lb one mounted in the fridge, it might cut into the keg space more, ie. room for less future expansion on beer variety. My 5 lb cylinder has lasted for about 12 five gallon batches. I typically just leave it connected to the keg being served although I have been lately switching it from one keg to another since I haven't bought a gas distributor yet. Keg do not lose their carbonation when disconnected and beer isn't being served unless they leak. Carbonation will drop if you disconnect the gas and continue to serve beer using just the finite gas in the keg as the serving pressure. If you do leave the same pressure on the keg the whole time (from full of beer until unhappy empty), carbonation level actually goes up slightly as the keg gets closer to empty (past the half full mark for me). Additionally, I have found that beer tends to stay better in the keg than with normal bottles filled via bucket and bottle conditioned since you can purge most all of the air out of the beer and head space in the keg preventing oxidation effects. Of course counter pressure bottling would make bottles a less oxidation prone process also. Cheers and keg on!! Pete Pete Czerpak Process Engineer pete.czerpak at siigroup.com Pete Czerpak Process Engineer Schenectady International Inc. - Chemical Division ph (518) 347-4554 fax (518) 347-4175 pete.czerpak at siigroup.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 08:36:54 -0700 (PDT) From: Tim Anderson <timator at yahoo.com> Subject: Sweet! Is it just me, or do a lot of recipes these days call for huge amounts of crystal? Perhaps the collaborator milk stout is supposed to be sweet, but 1.5 pounds seems like Kool Aid makings to me. And in a recipe book my wife gave me for Christmas, recipe after recipe has a pound or more. Heavens! I seldom use more than 4 oz, unless I'm hopping the crap out of it. I don't care for beer on my pancakes, thank you. 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
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 11:49:27 -0400 From: "Marc Sedam" <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: update on Stainless in Seattle Just so I don't spread unwarranted rumors, Stainless in Seattle is still up and running. There may have been a few technical glitches in the website (i.e. I never received an e-mail response from them that was sent to me) which have since been ironed out. Thanks to those who responded...they are accepting orders. The website is http://www.beeronline.com (no affiliation, blah, blah, blah) and they do have some great SS supplies for mashing. Marc Sedam Brouwerij Zuytdam Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 12:32 -0800 From: "George De Piro" <George_De_Piro at berlex.com> Subject: CO2 tanks, kegs, & shelf life of kegged vs. bottled homebrew Hi all, Either Anthony or Julie Brown asks if they should get a 5 lb. CO2 tank or a larger size. I can speak from miserable experience: the larger size is the way to go. The gas is cheaper when bought in larger quantities and you will make fewer trips to the store to get the bottle refilled. It is sometimes nice to have a small bottle for lugging to parties, but otherwise the bigger the better. The Brewing Brown than asks: "I am going to begin kegging soon and was wondering if anyony knows how long a pressurized and refrigerated keg of homebrew will keep. Will it go bad faster than bottles or lose carbonation at some point. Anyone know how long a keg will retain carbonation after disconnecting from the co2 tank??" To which I respond: If you keep oxygen out of your finished beer, keep it cold, and don't contaminate the keg by getting back flow from a dirty line or fitting, the beer will keep for quite some time. This is, of course, dependent on style. Lighter flavored beers will lose their subtle characters with time, whereas fuller-flavored beers will change, but perhaps less obnoxiously (just like commercial brew). In fact, it is easier to keep oxygen out of your beer at packaging if you keg rather than bottle. My procedure is to clean the keg (take it apart every time and use a .22 caliber rifle barrel cleaner to get the gunk out of the dip tube) and then sanitize it by filling it with nearly boiling water (be careful!). I then reassemble it and let it stand 15 minutes with a small amount of CO2 pressure (so that the cooling and contracting liquid doesn't create a vacuum that could potentially destroy the keg). I then push the hot water out of the keg with CO2 (you can collect this water and bring it back to a boil and use it to sanitize another keg or two). This leaves me with a clean keg that is completely free of oxygen. I then transfer the finished beer directly into the keg through the "liquid out" fitting (using the "gas in" fitting as a vent) and voila! Kegged homebrew with very little oxygen pickup! Beer packaged in such a way should be more stable than your average homebrew-bottling procedure could achieve. You'll learn exactly how long your beers can keep by drinking them and taking tasting notes. I have found some big beers (like a 1.062 Oktoberfest or a 1.066 IPA) can stay palatable for several months. As for the question about the beer retaining its carbonation with the CO2 tank disconnected: it will maintain carbonation a *very* long time as long as the keg has no leaks. Simply store the keg with the amount of CO2 pressure that was required to carbonate the beer. There is no reason to store it with the gas tank attached. The world of kegging is quite a wonderful place. Once you have all the equipment and you get it all figured out, you will wonder how you ever enjoyed the hobby previously. Have fun! George de Piro (Nyack, NY) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 11:49:37 -0500 From: jsulli - Jeremy Sullivan <jsulli at acxiom.com> Subject: Known Alcohol Levels :From: Philip J Wilcox at CMS on 04/12/99 05:12 PM : :My collection of beer literature doesn't have much to say about percise :alcohol levels of Anheuser Busch products. I spent an hour or so this :weekend trying to track down the Alcohol % of US produced Budwiser. I may You can call the 800 number on their labels and request nutritonal information (don't laugh.) I did the same web search as you before stumbling across the "easy" way. My curiosity piqued, I also called Miller, Coors, and Strohs. Here is a little info for you. It's about a year old and doesn't cover the low-alcohol states. Beer - %alc/calories Budweiser - 5/145 Bud Light - 4.2/110 Bud Ice - 5.5/148 Michelob - 5.1/157 Michelob Light - 4.3/134 Michelob Golden Draft - 4.8/151 Michelob Golden Draft Light - 4.1/110 Natural Ice (Mmmmm - not) - 5.9/156 Miller Genuine Draft - 5/143 Miller Genuine Draft Light - 4.5/110 Miller High Life - 5/143 Miller Lite - 4.5/96 Miller Lite Ice - 5.5/125 Milwaukee's Beast - 4.5/128 Coors - 4.87/148 Cooors Light - 4.15/101 Zima - 4.78/184 Old Milwaukee - 4.53/136 Old Milwaukee Light - 4.26/111 Colt 45 - 5.6/? BTW, Strohs makes a LOT more beer than I thought they did. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 12:51:02 -0400 (EDT) From: "Patrick Michael Flahie" <flahiepa at pilot.msu.edu> Subject: Split-batch boiling Hello all: I am gearing up for my first all-grain batch next weekend, and I have a question for the collective. I have a mash-tun with a false bottom that is ready to go, but I don't have anywhere to boil a five gallon batch (still stuck in the kitchen). My plan is to take the first 3 gallons of runoff into one pot and bring it to a boil while I run the remaining 3 gallons into another pot. I can boil both simultaneously and stagger their finish times to accomodate cooling. I am unclear on how to handle hop additions. I was planning on just putting half of each hop addition in each pot (adjusting for time), but I don't know if the differences in gravities will make a significant difference. I am inclined to "relax, don't worry", but if there is an easy adjustment that can be made I'd like to try it. I understand that this is probably an isolated situation, but if someone has some experience to share I'd appreciate it. Thanks. - --Patrick Flahie Jackson, MI Return to table of contents
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