HOMEBREW Digest #3159 Tue 02 November 1999

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		Digest Janitor: janitor@hbd.org
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  Dry hopping and, er, mash thickness and saccharification (CLOAKSTONE)
  hop teas (Rod Prather)
  Yeast Growth ("Alan Meeker")
  Hop Teas ("Alan Meeker")
  Old Ale Festival ("Gordon Strong")
  Corny kegs (get used to the new name)" <knurdami at iname.com>
  Mash chemistry Q:  dropping pH (Paul Kensler)
  [p]Lambics - Autolysis & Retaining Microbes ("Mark Nelson")
  Re: Are brewers being marginalized by Winemakers? ("Bill Riel")
  Apollo 13, hopping lagers and ales (Dave Burley)
  Sanitizing my stir bar (Nathan Kanous)
  pLambic "disinfecting" (Nathan Kanous)
  Re: bubbles, tiny and otherwise (Spencer W Thomas)
  Re: The Flavor (Spencer W Thomas)
  Beer kits vs. wine kits at retail ("Sean Richens")
  (?)Hablan Espanol? ("Sean Richens")
  RE: Sweet Potato Aroma (Bob Sheck)
  Re: Hocking? ("Jack Schmidling")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 02:52:37 EST From: CLOAKSTONE at aol.com Subject: Dry hopping and, er, mash thickness and saccharification Just got to John's post re: the better aroma achieved with whole leaves v. pellets when dry hopping, and I wanted to put in my two cents. I have used both. As I am moving closer in my own experimentation to doing "what I would do in a commercial situation" I went some time ago to using pellets throughout my process. On balance, I have achieved better results with pellets in terms of fresh hop aroma and drop-out when dry-hopping. While it is true that hops are subjected to a harsh regimen during pelletization, it is also true that, having been made, they do not oxidize as readily as whole leaves (less exposed surface area). As I make a great many English ales in my lineup, I use EKG, Northdown and Fuggle quite frequently. When I was using whole hops, the English varieties were simply not fresh; plugs were better, but I have found that pellets are markedly better still. Of course, all this is so much dribble, and anyone would be well advised toss out all opinions in favor of self-induced trials! BTW, some time ago I posted re: mash thickness, heat, and beta amylase v. alpha amylase conversion. I got severely flamed by the scientists in the community. My butt still smolders, however I still think I was on the right track. I did find an interesting supporting cite for those who are interested: it's in Ray Daniel's Designing Great Beers, in his discussion on Pilsner Urquell's method (pp. 246-247) (no connections, etc. - but buy the book, it's an excellent tome and a great resource). The gist of the section is that PU achieves a very rich, dextrinous wort despite a saccharification temp of 146. Daniel's explanation centers around the amylases' lower heat resistance in a thin mash, and beta's relatively greater heat lability. I suppose by "lower heat resistance" he is in a way supporting what the scientists were in a tizzy about, namely, that a thin mash ensures the transport of heat more readily than a thick mash, not that it is "heat" and not "temperature" which matters (my original post). Ah, well, at the end of the day I think the essence is thus: a thick mash, at any given temperature, "shields" amylases more than a thin mash, and because beta amylase is more heat labile than alpha, beta will therefore more readily break down in a thin mash - even in what we would believe to be an optimal beta range. Midnight ramblings and I've got to go to work soon. Cheers to all and good night, Paul Smith Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 01 Nov 1999 04:39:41 -0500 From: Rod Prather <rodpr at iquest.net> Subject: hop teas I have also tried hop teas using plugs. I did not boil the tea but instead steeped them in water set at a starting temp of 180 degrees for about 10 or 15 minutes (sorry, it was an off the cuff experiment and my notes were lost in about 3 bottles of good homebrew). The purpose was to extract flavor and aroma without focusing so much on increasing bitterness. The result was tasty with a wonderful nose. I recommend experimenting with hop teas especially where a late hopping nose and palate is desireable. My personal opinion is that the tea gives you more control than many late hopping techniques. Still I cold dry hop my fermenters in addition to the dry hoppin because the flavor is different still. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 08:24:49 -0500 From: "Alan Meeker" <ameeker at welch.jhu.edu> Subject: Yeast Growth > Subject: Yeast Generations ??? > > Could someone other than Fred Garvin please elaborate on how yeast multiply > during the growth stage of fermentation? (no diagrams please, and use words > less than 3 syllables if possible) I am interested in understanding how one > can limit yeast growth to 3X-5X for lagers and double that for ales, and why > this is important. Thanks. > > Kyle Yeast cells dou-ble. They di-vide by gett-ing bigg-er, then they split in two. Each time they do this they have to make enough cell stuff to give to each daugh-ter cell. There's cell stuff called "ster-ols" need-ed for the yeast mem-brane. These ster-ols can only be made from scratch by the yeast if they have O2. No O2 means each daugh-ter gets one half of the mother cell's ster-ols. After 3 or 4 cell splits like this, the ster-ols are so dil-ute that the yeast can no longer split in two. How far they can grow will de-pend on how much (if any) O2 is a-round and how much ster-ol the pitch-ing yeast had to be-gin with (how much O2 did they get while grow-ing in the start-er). Also, you can stop keep yeast from grow-ing by starv-ing them. They will stop when food runs out. Why worry? Some think too much wort go-ing to make yeast bod-ies in-stead of beer... -Al-an Meek-er Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 08:45:28 -0500 From: "Alan Meeker" <ameeker at welch.jhu.edu> Subject: Hop Teas > > Jeff asks about Hop Teas: > > > I did a brief search of HBD archives and found many posts on hop > > teas but not how to make and add. How are hop teas made ? I've > > read about steeping hops at certain temperatures for 2-4 hours and > > short boil methods. Do you add the tea at end of boil or after primary > > while racking into secondary ferment ? It seems there would be > > sanitation precautions with adding after primary. What are the most > > effective methods ? > > Jeff, it sounds like you want more hop FLAVOR not bitterness. If so, you > should MINIMIZE the time you steep the hops to make a hop tea. Unlike the > alpha acids, many of the flavor compounds are volatile (will be driven off > and lost with increased time) and heat-labile (destroyed be heating). If I > were you, I'd take my cue from the best advice of tea afficionados - steep > the tea in water that is less than boiling, and not too long. > > Mike Maceyka and I recently used a hop tea for our "Hoppiest Beer on Earth." > We probably went a bit overboard for your purposes (but then again how much > of a hophead are you?) we boiled about two cups of water (sanitizing) then > steeped an ounce of Cascade pellets for about 15 minutes. Strained all of > this through a standard coffee filter into our beer at bottling. This > procedure seemed to result in a strong character similar to the aroma one > gets just after making a hop addition to the boiling wort kettle - just what > we were after. > > I wouldn't worry too much about sanitation - if anything, because of the hot > water used, this method should be cleaner than conventional dry-hopping > which few (I don't know of any) people have trouble with... > > > -Alan Meeker > > Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 08:53:14 -0500 From: "Gordon Strong" <strongg at earthlink.net> Subject: Old Ale Festival Does anyone know when the Old Ale Festival will be held this year? I'm not talking about the Real Ale Festival in Chicago; I'm interested in the one held at the White Horse in London usually around Thanksgiving. Gordon Strong strongg at earthlink.net Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 09:34:24 -0500 From: "Brenda(get used to the new name)" <knurdami at iname.com> Subject: Corny kegs Does anyone know where one might get "used" 10 gallon corny kegs. I was looking for some and the only ones I could find were about $300 new! I am using 5 gallon kegs now and that is a bit too much money to make the upgrade. One more thing, has anyone tried to make (or have information about making) an Adventinus clone? Thanks, Dan Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 01 Nov 1999 09:35:15 -0500 From: Paul Kensler <paul.kensler at attglobal.net> Subject: Mash chemistry Q: dropping pH I recently observed something that puzzled me, and was hoping for an explanation. I brewed a batch yesterday, and measured the pH of the mash to be 5.2. After sparging was over (the SG of the final runnings were 1.014) I measured the pH to be 4.6... Isn't the pH supposed to rise during sparging? I recently moved from Texas to Michigan, so this was my first batch in my new home (with my new water supply). I did a two-step infusion mash for 30 minutes at 146F, then 30 minutes at 159F using 90% Durst pils and 10% malted wheat. I mashed and sparged with plain old Lansing city tap water - no mineral or acid additions. I measured the pH using the typical pH test strips sold in HB stores. Sparge water was 170-175F. I have called the Lansing water dep't and asked for a water analysis, but I haven't received it yet. Their web page states that the city's water is obtained via wells, and is "processed to remove 80% of the mineral content". What would cause the runoff pH to drop instead of rise? What effect, if any, would a dropping pH have on the mash and resulting beer? Does this present any problems? Benefits? All the literature I've read seems to focus on the detrimental effects of too high a pH. Is there any thing I can do to keep the pH up? I believe that adding calcium would help buffer the pH - maybe calcium carbonate? Do the laws of chemistry, as related to mash pH, change the closer you get to 0,0 Rennarian? ;-) Aside from the odd pH phenomenon, the batch went perfectly normal - standard efficiency for me (70%), normal boil, wort tasted, smelled and looked fine, fermentation is going as hoped, etc. Thanks, Paul Kensler Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 11:27:09 -0500 From: "Mark Nelson" <menelson at mindspring.com> Subject: [p]Lambics - Autolysis & Retaining Microbes I recently brewed up my first ever lambic/plambic. And, have the following questions... 1) I've read that autolysis in a young, fermenting lambic is OK -> preferable. The idea being that the autolyzing yeast provide nutrients for all the other microfauna. Has that worked for others? Should I rack off the yeast, or let nature run its course? 2) Matt Arnold wrote about an approach for pitching a new batch of lambic into a used, uncleaned carboy from which he had just bottled. Any comments on that approach? Have you used it successfully? Thanks in advance. Mark Nelson Atlanta, Georgia Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 01 Nov 1999 08:45:34 -0800 From: "Bill Riel" <briel at uniserve.com> Subject: Re: Are brewers being marginalized by Winemakers? Alan McKay wrote: >Here in Ottawa within the last 2 years the brew stores have less-and-less >beer stuff, and more and more wine stuff. 3 years ago when I moved here >when the brewstores put out their quarterly sales fliers, 60% roughly of >the stuff on sale was beer stuff. Now it's more like 20%. The >mega-bookstore >in town Chapters used to have a beer section that was 3 and almost 4 shelves >in size. Now it's only less than 1 shelf, and wine takes up about 5 >shelves. Wow - I haven't noticed this in Victoria. Here Chapters has a decent selection of beer books, but not as good as the smaller (but very classy) Munro's bookstore. I would guess that in both cases the beer section is larger than the wine. >Maybe it's just because of the onslaught of wine-on-premise, I don't know. >There is now even a "co-op" wine-on-premise here in town where you >walk in the door, make a wine, then bottle someone else's batch from a >month ago, and walk out the door. A month later someone else comes >in and bottles yours. Hah! I've never heard of that, but I suspect that would be illegal in BC (yeah, we've got some of the weirdest liquor laws in Canada). >Is this happening everywhere, or is it just here in Ottawa? I haven't noticed the trend here in Victoria, but I suspect that we have quite a large number of active homebrewers in this city. Victoria CAMRA is the largest CAMRA chapter outside of the UK - while not a homebrewing organization, most members of the Victoria chapter are homebrewers. What I have seen is a dramatic increase in the number of brew on premises outlets (though to be fair, most of those do wine as well). But the homebrew shops that I frequent seem to have about the same ratio of beer to wine stuff as they did two years ago. Though really, none of them stock as much as I'd like (this leads to periodic trips to the mainland to visit the Mecca of homebrewing, Spagnols :-) Cheers, Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 12:22:29 -0500 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Apollo 13, hopping lagers and ales Brewsters: I was considerably older than 7 when Apollo 13 went boom, I sweated for them, live and I have seen the movie and other specials. Sean Richens says oxygen and grease was the principal suspect. It may have been suspected, but I believe the explosion was not due to grease and oxygen, but to a mechanical failure, like a contol valve. Nevetheless, grease and plug flow with hammering of presssurized gases and static electricity generated in non-electrically conducting or non-grounded tubing is a problem with oxygen in contact with organics. So take care. - -------------------------------------------- I disagree with many BJCP judges and others who say a good lager should not have a hop aroma. I agree with Dr. Pivo, Roger Ayotte and other rebels who say they should. You only have to drink some of the Eastern European and Czech beers to know that hops are part of the beer aroma. Besides, I like hoppy lagers and it IS my beer and why I make it. It may be that <modern> German beers do not have much aroma, but then, neither does Budweiser! I suspect his was not the case last century with either. This may be the origin of this dispute - what makes good beer versus what pleases the accountants and shareholders. Rather than a hop tea added to the secondary, I routinely add hops at the nose for lagers. I also recommend a hop tea, with the wet hops included, as a way to "dry hop" in the secondary for British ales, in contrast to adding the plain dry hops. I believe this improves the extraction and provides some infection protection, although there are those who contend this is not necessary. Perhaps this is not necessary for kegs of beer which will be consumed in a week or so after dry hopping in the British tradition, but I do it, since I rarely consume a keg of beer in a week! The hops boiled in a loose cheesecloth bag makes it easier to rack to the kegs or bottles. A wire hook from a clothes hanger makes it easy to remove this bag from the carboy after racking. The bitterness added to the beers from any of these above practices is minimal since the inversion of the bittering acids takes time and boiling to be effective in bittering the beers. - ----------------------------------- Brian Bonser asks for speculation ( and experience, but I don't have any) on how to handle sweet potatoes in a brew and suggests a "full blown triple decoction" as the answer. I speculate that a good roast of the potatoes in the oven would capture the caramelly flavor your SO wants or microwave ( to gelatinize the starch) will allow you to do a stepped infusion mash, with all the low T holds, to manage any protein. This will allow you to take advantage of the full enzymic power of your malt to reduce the potato starch, which the decoction ( normally done with 100% malt) will not. I would mash the cooked potatoes roughly to get good extraction. Also, I would probably invest in a pound of rice hulls to get a good flow during lautering. Don't forget the marshmallows! Keep on Brewin' Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 01 Nov 1999 11:56:47 -0600 From: Nathan Kanous <nlkanous at pharmacy.wisc.edu> Subject: Sanitizing my stir bar Can I sanitize my stir bar properly but just cleaning it and leaving it in a small jar of vodka? I suspect it would be in the vodka a couple weeks at a time, if not more. Anybody got any ideas how virulent pediococcus and such are when exposed to 50% ethanol solutions? Just trying to make it simple. nathan in madison, wi Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 01 Nov 1999 12:07:30 -0600 From: Nathan Kanous <nlkanous at pharmacy.wisc.edu> Subject: pLambic "disinfecting" At the risk of being proven wrong, I'll speak. Matt recommended that we can use a strong bleach solution in a nice long soak to avoid cross contamination from pLambic into our other beers. I'll go out on a limb and say he's half right. The long soak part. I've recently re-opened Fix's Analysis of Brewing Techniques and I believe he mentioned that bleach is not very good for pediococcus. However, you could use your iodophor or a nice quaternary ammonium compound or whatever. Just don't expect the bleach to do the trick. Always open minded, open mouthed, and willing to be proven wrong... Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 01 Nov 1999 13:22:07 -0500 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Re: bubbles, tiny and otherwise An old posting with a pointer: >From HBD 761 Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1991 8:39:52 -0500 (EST) From: TSAMSEL at ISDRES.ER.USGS.GOV Subject: Bubbles This may have already been noted but the October PHYSICS TODAY has an article on the physics of beer bubbles. (Through a Beer Glass Darkly) pp48-52. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 01 Nov 1999 13:32:41 -0500 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Re: The Flavor >>>>> "Campbell," == <Paul.R.Campbell at is.shell.com> writes: Campbell,> yes diacetyl is present over a significant range. I'm Campbell,> not sure I'm experienced enough (taste wise) to pin the Campbell,> caramel flavour solely to this though; what I think is But that's not what I said. Or at least it's not what I meant to say! What I meant to say was that perhaps the diacetyl in combination with the caramel-like flavors from the malt give the caramel flavor he's looking for. I would never suggest that diacetyl by itself smells like caramel. But aromas combine synergistically sometimes, and this might be one of those times. For example, at least to my nose, the combination of East Kent Goldings hops with high diacetyl ends up smelling like rancid butter. Separately, they're nice (or at least tolerable in the case of the diacetyl) but together.... YUK! Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 14:13:37 -0600 From: "Sean Richens" <srichens at sprint.ca> Subject: Beer kits vs. wine kits at retail Yes, I've noticed all of the local outlets emphasizing wine kits. The simple truth is that "dump and stir" will make a passable wine (good enough to keep my hands off the lager until it's ready) but ultimately crappy beer. The average borderline alcoholic will deal with a wine kit but not serious beer brewing. Don't ever be afraid to special order. You pay for the stuff the weekend after it arrives, but the retailer doesn't pay the wholesaler for 30 days. Great for their cash flow! It helps to know something about their suppliers, and if you regularly order and promptly pay for stuff they will be less secretive about it - I frequently request that my retailer order hops from Brew King because their customer support is great. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 15:17:58 -0600 From: "Sean Richens" <srichens at sprint.ca> Subject: (?)Hablan Espanol? Hi there & Hola! I'm taking an introductory Spanish class at the local continuing ed., and for one class we had to talk about our hobbies. I went nuts trying to find stuff on the web in Spanish (Yahoo Espan~ol, etc.) where I could find words not in my dictionary, like carboy, racking, etc. What has anyone found on the web in Spanish apart from a couple of breweries? Any clubs? I finally found a great lexicon site at: http://www.eurodic.echo.lu This has various industry on-line lexicons tied together so you don't have to guess, just type in the word and the languages and it pops up a bunch of suggestions together with which industry uses them. Anyway, I didn't go so far as to describe sparging, or "vorlaufverfahren", but I still took along pictures copied from Dave Miller to use as flash cards. Sean Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 01 Nov 1999 21:10:18 -0500 From: Bob Sheck <bsheck at skantech.net> Subject: RE: Sweet Potato Aroma Bryan - >I am planning to make a sweet potato lager soon, and my girlfriend insists Girlfriends <and wifes, for that matter> always insist! I would plan on baking those sweet potatos (or microwaving them) then mashing them coarsley and doing an all-grain mash (much the same as if you were doing a pumpkin ale). Get rice hulls and mix in for the sparge or you will get to know the meaning of 'stuck.' Now I don't know if there is a chemical equivalent of 'sweet potato' aroma like other artificial flavors, but I would try this as a begining. Good luck and please let us know how it went! Bob Sheck bsheck, me-sheck, abednigo! Greenville, NC email:bsheck at skantech.net or see us at: http://www.skantech.net/bsheck/ (252)830-1833 - ------------- "Madness takes its toll -- Please have exact change!" Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 16:11:49 -0600 From: "Jack Schmidling" <arf at mc.net> Subject: Re: Hocking? >Maybe he has a job he actually enjoys? That my friend is an oxymoron. It's not a job if it is enjoyed. (Actually, I know he does)... I would bet you a great deal of money that he would prefer mine, viz., retired. >And hey, Jack, arent you still hocking easymashers? Not sure what your definition of "hocking" is but where I come from, it means stealing. If you mean hawking as in selling, the answer is still no. When you build a better mousetrap, you do not have to "hawk" it. Beyond inventing it, I have little to do with it. The kids in the neighborhood make them and my wife handles the details. js PHOTO OF THE WEEK http://user.mc.net/arf/weekly.htm HOME http://user.mc.net/arf Return to table of contents
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