HOMEBREW Digest #3170 Mon 15 November 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

  Edgar Allan Poe on Ale: ("Darrell Leavitt")
  It's Science VS Engineering (Rod Prather)
  Decoction Mashing (Kevin or Darla Elsken)
  Garbage pails, cider (Jonathan Peakall)
  Huh? (HMFIC)" <pbabcock at hbd.org>
  Cheese making suppliers ("Jack Schmidling")
  Basic Questions (RobertS735)
  wort aeration, cont. ("Thomas O'Connor")
  Headaches ("Robert A. Uhl")
  Mash/Lauter Tun Insulation? ("Jay White")
  PBW ("Steven C. Dragon")
  Barley/Corn Extract ("Susie O'Mahoney")
  Re: Fermenting in garbage cans? (KMacneal)
  oxygenation (Randy Ricchi)
  Pitching and Aeration (Miguel de Salas)
  RE: Fermenting in garbage cans? (Miguel de Salas)
  Diesels and O2 (Jerry Berry)
  Wheat beer woes, need questions answered ("Michael J. Westcott")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 15:33:16 -0400 From: "Darrell Leavitt"<Darrell_Leavitt at sln.suny.edu> Subject: Edgar Allan Poe on Ale: Edgar Allan Poe May 1848 Lines on Ale Fill with mingled cream and amber, I will drain that glass again. Such hilarious visions clamber through the chamber of my brain. Quaintest thoughts --- queerest fancies come to life and fade away; What care I how time advances? I am drinking Ale today! [from http://www.hairofthedog.com/poems.htm] Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 1999 07:36:56 -0500 From: Rod Prather <rodpr at iquest.net> Subject: It's Science VS Engineering > It's engineering, not science. Controlled experiments are a last resort, > since we have a century and a half of good textbooks to follow. Start with > a reasonable but not obsessive brew set-up, and taste your beer. > Well, you just bit on a BIG nerve there and I bet the HBD is flooded with responses to this one. Being in the engineering disciplines I know this is backwards. Often we rely on gut instinct and rule of thumb but when it comes down to brass tacks we have to fall back to pure science. Really, isn't mechanical and electrical engineering just a lower applied echelon of physics and process engineering (what we do when we make beer) simply an applied discipline whose purpose it is to reproduce chemical phenomena. Remember that in machine tool engineering we fall back on metallurgy and the elemental structure of metals to design our machines and tools and the bounds of physics to make the machines move. We would be fools to ignore the chemist as to the ideals of fermentation and diastatic conversion. In addition the chemist would be foolish to ignore the engineer as to the limitations of control available to duplicate his process. Sure, you can cook up a batch from grandpa's old recipe and do just fine. Emperical process will give you the ability to change your results in brewing beer. Still, don't discount the ability of pure science to improve the quality of your home brew. Absorb all you are able. - -- Rod Prather Indianapolis, Indiana Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 1999 09:32:27 -0500 From: Kevin or Darla Elsken <kelsken at adelphia.net> Subject: Decoction Mashing I am planning to make my first Octoberfest style beer using a decocotion mash schedule. I am familiar with most of the process but I have one question that I have never seen addressed here. When the instructions say 'take the thickest one third of the mash', how do you quickly and accurately measure the one third? Thanks for your help. Kevin Elsken Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 1999 07:21:47 -0700 From: Jonathan Peakall <jpeakall at mcn.org> Subject: Garbage pails, cider Kurt is concerned about contamination from plastic primary fermenters: I have used garbage pails for ten years or more. (We used to call our beer "Garbage Pale Ale") At first, I didn't even use food grade pails, just regular rubbermaid types from the hardware store. I sanitize with iodine. My current primary has cranked through over 160 gallons this year alone, with nary a problem. It is beer stained on the inside but this doesn't seem to be a problem. Dan sez his club got 20 gallons from 2,000 pounds of apples. Seems like there might be a typo there, as I got 36 gallons from 400-500 pounds apples. Anyway Dan, if you didn't add a lot of extra sugar or anything, I would just let it ride. Just kegged a batch of Bock after 3 months of lagering. Aaaahhh! The joys of home-brew. Jonathan Peakall ******************************************** "I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves." -- John Wayne ******************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 1999 10:53:52 -0500 (EST) From: "Some Guy (HMFIC)" <pbabcock at hbd.org> Subject: Huh? Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your sliderule calculator.. > It's engineering, not science. Um, don't know how to break this to you, but, for the most part, engineering fields are practical specializations within the various fields of physics (let's not talk about "financial engineering" and "social engineering"). Last time I checked, physics was a pure science... Nit, nit, nit. I'm gettin' pretty good at pickin' 'em! - See ya! Pat Babcock in SE Michigan pbabcock at hbd.com Home Brew Digest Janitor janitor@hbd.org HBD Web Site http://hbd.org The Home Brew Page http://hbd.org/pbabcock "Just a cyber-shadow of his former brewing self..." Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 1999 08:30:26 -0600 From: "Jack Schmidling" <arf at mc.net> Subject: Cheese making suppliers The most common question asked on the Cheese Digest is "where can I buy cheesemaking supplies?" followed by "please recommend a good book for beginners". In order to avoid confilct, I make it a habit not to promote specific retailers or books. I know there are quite a few homebrew retailers that sell cheesemaking products and I suggest that if you do, you should make your presence known to the cheesers. I will compile a list for the archives but only of those who subscribe to and participate in the Cheese Digest. So, introduce yourself to the group and tell us what you sell and what your favorite book is. You need not fear being flamed as the list is pretty skimpy right now. The posting address is coppied in the header of this msg but you will have to dig up the subscribe info from the HBD. (Susbcribe by sending the word "subscribe", less the quotes, to cheese-request@hbd.org. Post to the list by sending your note to cheese at hbd.org. -p) js PHOTO OF THE WEEK http://user.mc.net/arf/weekly.htm HOME: Beer, Cheese, Astronomy, Videos http://user.mc.net/arf Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 1999 11:24:13 EST From: RobertS735 at aol.com Subject: Basic Questions Dear Brewing community.... I have some basic questions, and I would appreciate hearing opinions on them: Q1. Why do we say that a sanitizing boil is 20 minutes in duration? Is there a study somewhere that has experimented on this? What I mean is; do I really have to boil my priming water and sugar for 20 minutes? What about 15 or 12? Same question on chlorine bath... if I make the bath with relatively more chlorine can it be quicker? Q2. First Wort Hopping: Am I missing something here or is the only difference between a FWH schedule and a "normal" schedule that you put the hops into the wort before it begins to boil-as opposed to waiting for the boil to begin- then adding the hops? Q3. Aeration or Oxidation.... when racking wort into the fermenter should I let the hose run down the side of the fermenter and smoothly spread out - thus maximizing the surface area in order to aerate... or do I aim that sucker right down the middle making a big splash? Which seems better? Q4. Reference above #3 which "splash pattern" is better when racking from finished fermenter to bottling bucket to avoid oxidation? Q5. I still use my mouth to start the siphon.... is this a cardinal sin? 39 batches so far- no apparent contamination. Q6. Can I split the boil of my 6.5 gallon wort (after the sparge) into two batches so they boil faster and thus save time? Should I re-join them after the cooling and before pouring or racking into fermenter or pour one then the other? Q7. Can you infer, or even deduce, something (anything) from the nature of the finished beer by looking or smelling the blow-off? I love the way this stuff smells, as does my SO. Too bad it dosen't have a better use. Ideas? opinions? all welcomed and if I get any private replies I will consolidate into a post. thanks. call me Bob in Texas Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 1999 13:17:46 -0500 From: "Thomas O'Connor" <toconnor at nehealth.org> Subject: wort aeration, cont. Hi, again, Collective, Please let me share my $0.02 worth on the subject: There have been many interesting variations on the theme of wort aeration offered, with varying degrees of froth noted from both the fermenters and the corners of the brewers' mouths! FWIW, I've racked up 405 ribbons and medals in Nat'l and Reg'l HBC's to this point simply doing it this way: 1. Rent an O2 tank from a welding supply shop (NOT a medical supply shop. Medical usage is just an excuse to quadruple the cost!) O2 refills are cheap, as are rental fees. 2. Using a few inches of standard plastic tubing, replace the air in your fermenter (I use a glass carboy) with pure O2 (just let it run in for 2 or 3 minutes) and cover with plastic wrap. 3. As your cooled wort is running into the fermenter from your wort chiller (or siphoned from your immersion-cooled brewpot), shake and swirl the fermenter until full. 4. Pitch your yeast culture and, Presto! Great fermentations every time. Never failed me yet! I believe you get perfectly adequate oxygenation this way, and you don't have to fuss with aquarium pumps, aeration stones, air filters, AND unnecessary angst. As I tell my patients, this kind of worry is paying interest on a debt you don't owe. Happy Brewing! Tom O'Connor Rockport, Maine "Is dona an rud a t-ocras, ach is measa an rud an tart." (Irish: The hunger is bad, but the thirst is worse.) Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 1999 12:50:44 -0700 (MST) From: "Robert A. Uhl" <ruhl at austinc.edu> Subject: Headaches Mr. Kenneth Smith wonders why he is getting headaches. Well, I have found that since I started brewing my alcohol consumption has levelled considerably; I consume more of it, but less at one sitting. This leads to the beer at meals hitting a _lot_ harder than the two or three used to. I understand it has something to do with tolerance, enzyme levels and all sorts of nasty biochemistry. The upshot is, if you've reduced your per-sitting consumption, even if your actual consumption over time has increased, you may find that it hits harder, stays in the system longer and can give you nasty headaches. Bob Uhl Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 00:44:00 -0500 From: "Jay White" <jwhite at snip.net> Subject: Mash/Lauter Tun Insulation? I'm building a 2-tiered brewery with two burners - for the Boiling and HLT kegs, but the MLT will not have a heat source. Therefore, I looking for something to wrap or entomb it in ensure no heat loss. The MLT is a 15 gallon Polarware vessel (shorter and wider than a keg) and I was thinking about hot water heater wrap from Home Depot - but I will have allot leftover. Does anyone have any other economical, good insulating, ideas? Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 07:56:50 -0500 From: "Steven C. Dragon" <scdragon at worldnet.att.net> Subject: PBW I have been using PBW and StarSan for several years now. It is a bit pricey, but I do not want to risk any problem with my beers. I have been making 15 gal. solutions to clean my 15 gal. primary fermenter and have never had any problems. But lately I have been thinking about the process and wonder what the Collective has to say. What is the preferred method for using StarSan, as it relates to volume? Would it be AS SAFE to make a smaller volume and spray it on the fermenter? Contact time is 2 minutes. I am not sure how I would be able to keep enough solution on my plastic primary bucket for that long. Any comments on use of the product? Regards, Steve Dragon Boylston, MA Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 08:16:47 -0500 From: "Susie O'Mahoney" <breck at communique.net> Subject: Barley/Corn Extract Anyone out there used the 30% corn extract marketed by St. Pat's? This looks like an interesting alternative to all-grain when making a CAP. If anyone has used it, what kind of points/lb/gal did you get, what color was the resultant beer, yeast/hop combinations, comments in general? TIA, Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 09:00:32 EST From: KMacneal at aol.com Subject: Re: Fermenting in garbage cans? In a message dated 11/13/1999 12:12:36 AM Eastern Standard Time, Kurt Kiewel <kiewel at mail.chem.tamu.edu> writes: << Dave Burley ferments in plastic covered garbage cans. Dave, can you tell us how you sanitize your garbage cans? I have been shying away from plastic fermenters because I'm told that scratches can develop in them. More specifically, non-beer friendly organisms can harbor in the scratches that can be difficult if not impossible to remove or kill. Kurt Kiewel >> I'm not Dave, but I've been fermenting in the same plastic fermenter for 6 years. I sanitize by soaking in bleach water and take care not to scratch the surface when using/cleaning/storing. I also use a plastic bucket for bottling. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 10:20:59 -0500 From: Randy Ricchi <rricchi at ccisd.k12.mi.us> Subject: oxygenation In Saturday's HBD Russ shared his oxygenation results. I was wondering how long he ran the oxygen, and whether or not he used an in-line filter. I've used the aquarium pump method, as well as shaking the carboy a lot, but just this weekend I tried out my new O2 setup, and I oxygenated 5.5 gals of 1.045 pale ale wort for 75 seconds. There wasn't really much surface foaming, and the lag time was no different than the shaking carboy method (approx 12 hrs.). Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 09:56:18 +1100 From: Miguel de Salas <mm_de at postoffice.utas.edu.au> Subject: Pitching and Aeration It seems some people misunderstood my previous post. Dave Burley refers to me as pitching the smack pack of Wyeast straight into the wort (not true, read my original post) and never purposely aerating (not true either. I state in my earlier post that I pour the wort and swirl it. As he himself states, this alone can achieve 80% saturation of oxygen in the wort. Dave: I refer in my original post specifically to the (in my mind) doubtful benefit of going to great pains to aerate some wort. As to underpitching, I only pitch 500 ml of starter in the first brew, then 1 l of slurry from the bottom of the primary fermenter, etc... I reuse yeast usually four times. After the first brew, I doubt very much I'm underpitching. And to tell the truth, the difference in flavour is not that noticeable. You also state that in experiments performed, the attenuation of finished beer changed after the 5th beer fermented using yeast and wort not exposed to oxygen. Well, herein may lie the answer: I have yet to reuse a yeast 5 times. 4 is normal for me. Spencer Thomas refers to the general practice of stating "I've never tasted the effects of <insert your favorite brewing practice ("bad" or "good") here> in my beer," Don't scream, Spencer. I probably should have been more specific. I like ales, and I've never brewed a true lager, as I don't have the right facilities. Therefore, everything I write about refers to ales. I can taste one of my favourite brews, such as Courage Best, or Courage Director's, or Fullers ESB, or others brewed by smaller breweries, side by side with my brew, and judge what the shortcomings of my brew are. I also refer you to what Dave states about oxygen conc. in wort after pouring/swirling, and challenge you to show me that the effort, time and money spent aerating are worth the effort. Miguel de Salas School of Plant Science, University of Tasmania, PO Box 252-55, Sandy Bay, Hobart Tasmania, Australia, 7001. mailto://mm_de at postoffice.utas.edu.au My Moths Page: Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 10:12:39 +1100 From: Miguel de Salas <mm_de at postoffice.utas.edu.au> Subject: RE: Fermenting in garbage cans? Kurt, If you don't use anything on the plastic that can scratch it, it is difficult for the plastic to develop scratches! I usually ferment in plastic for 4-7 days and then into glass. Come to think of it, my plastic fermenter is probably letting oxygen in and aerating the fermented beer! One good reasone to move to glass ASAP and avoid oxydation. Miguel de Salas School of Plant Science, University of Tasmania, PO Box 252-55, Sandy Bay, Hobart Tasmania, Australia, 7001. mailto://mm_de at postoffice.utas.edu.au My Moths Page: Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 17:04:01 From: Jerry Berry <jberry at csn.net> Subject: Diesels and O2 Various commenters have pointed out that spontaneous combustion can occur with oil and O2, citing the diesel engine which needs no spark as proof. C'mon, guys; the diesel gets a very high temp, enough to ignite a diesel/air mixture, by compressing it rapidly, thuis raising the temperature higher than ambient -by a bunch. That arguments a non-starter. Liability disclosure: That said, it's true that pure O2/grease may have a significantly lower ignition temperature than air/grease. Remember high school and the burning steel wool in O2. (Not a pretty sight, but it had to ignited.) O2 is bad stuff; I stick to air. "I'd rather be a lamppost in Denver than the Mayor of Miami." (Sonny Liston, Heavyweight) Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 20:09:39 -0700 From: "Michael J. Westcott" <mikew at sedona.net> Subject: Wheat beer woes, need questions answered I am hoping for input regarding the following issues related to my last brew, a dunkles wheat. I developed the recipe from Warner to some degree, and tweaked according to past success with wheat beers. The grain bill and mash schedule was as follows: 7 lbs. German Wheat Malt 3 lbs. Munich Light malt .5 lbs. German Caramel 1 lbs. Flaked Wheat .5 lbs. Crystal, 40L Mash pH was 4.5 after mashing-in. The problem was with conversion. After following the mash-in at 99F, temp was raised to 122 for 20 minutes, then a decoction was pulled and temp held at 158 for over an hour with no conversion indicated by starch test. Decoct was added to main mash and temps brought through to 158 and conversion was not indicated after over an hour and a half. I decided to hold this temp as long as possible and let the mash sit overnight in the oven. Raised temps the next day and test indicated conversion. If the problem with slow conversion was with the low diastatic power of the malts, why do other recipes having a similar grain bill work OK? Should I add some 2 or 6 row to speed things up? Were mash temps too high? Any help would be appreciated. By the way, beer turned out great, but I would like to avoid the hassle of an unplanned overnight mash next time. Thanks, Mike Return to table of contents
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