HOMEBREW Digest #3203 Fri 24 December 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: Boiling yeast starter (summation) ("John Slavik")
  FG and Porter ("Paul Smith")
  amarillo hops and windsor yeast in porter, also prima pils ("Czerpak, Pete")
  BJCP Exam Interest? ("Houseman, David L")
  RIMS (Jonathan Peakall)
  StarSan and Haze ("Stephen and Carolyn Ross")
  Re: haze and sanitizer and stuck fermentation ("Sieben, Richard")
  Maximizing efficiency ("Stephen and Carolyn Ross")
  flow rates, RIMS, HERMS, mixers (Susan/Bill Freeman)
  Bitterness/psi (William Frazier)
  Jack and RIMS ("Houseman, David L")
  Mixers ("Scholz, Richard")
  Rodney and RIMS (WayneM38)
  metabolize alcohol & diet (kathy/jim)
  Impossible things are happening every day! (Pat Babcock)
  2nd Place 'Scottish Strong Ale' winner ... me! ("Brian Dixon")
  HBD Santa (Michael Kowalczyk)
  Specific Gravity to Plato / Efficiency (Kevin or Darla Elsken)
  Take a look (LaBorde, Ronald)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 00:43:32 -0800 From: "John Slavik" <brewer1 at airmail.net> Subject: RE: Boiling yeast starter (summation) From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) >Good John, but if you would be kind enough to now share that information >with us all by posting a summation, we would all know what you do. The consensus of the replies I received concerning boiling my yeast starter, in a Erlenmeyer flask, on my electric range were that it would be ok: 1. As long as the flask is made of "Pyrex. 2. As long as the flask is not directly heated while empty. I will continue with the electric range as I find it more convenient than setting up my cooker outdoors. Once again thanks to all that replied. Happy Holidays, John brewer1 at airmail.net visit my SC-RIMS Homebrewery http://web2.airmail.net/brewer1/ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 07:05:52 -0600 From: "Paul Smith" <pksmith_morin at msn.com> Subject: FG and Porter Bob wonders about his FG for his porter. Bob - Your grain bill seems great to me, although with over 10% crystal I don't think you're going to get much lower. One of my porters has about 9% crystal, and I mash at the same temp - 153; My FG is 4.5, although my OG is higher (13.2 P, 1054). However, are you sure you're getting complete conversion? I've always found the iodine test to be more or less ineffective with dark, especially opaque, worts. I do know that in the past when I mash in at the low saccharification range, say 149-151, I have at times needed to go beyond 1 hr for full conversion. My current regimen is to typically mash in at a low saccharification range for 20-50 minutes (145-153, depending on the final product and associated dextrin balance I am seeking) and, to ensure conversion, I bump the mash up to 158 to conversion. I think you probably are getting conversion (153 is "safer" than 151 over 45 minutes), and your FG seems normal given your crystal %, but if you're unhappy with the FG I would look to mashing longer. Bumping it up to 158 prior to conversion will not help with the FG, as this will only bring about more dextrins, but it will help with other considerations, like starch haze (meaningless, probably, with Porter) and possibly shelf stability. Secondly, are you oxygenating your wort? Despite the recent HBD threads where some believed there is no need for oxygenating, I think there is good science to support the need for wort aeration or oxygenation. Whereas the lag time between unoxygenated and oxygenated worts can indeed be virtually the same, depending on the OG (yours is probably low enough not to worry as much - my OG's are usually 15-16 P, 1060-1070), the yeast in unoxygenated worts will tend to "poop out" earlier as they require O2 for adequate lipid synthesis, reproduction, and cell membrane "health," in preparation for the "work" ahead. Yeasts thrown into unoxygenated worts are simply not as robust and healthy, and will tend towards unsatisfactory growth rates and ferments (especially through multiple generations). Good Luck, Paul Smith Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 09:51:47 -0500 From: "Czerpak, Pete" <Pete.Czerpak at siigroup.com> Subject: amarillo hops and windsor yeast in porter, also prima pils Happy Holidays to HBD land: Marc Gaspald asks about some new hop varieties. I have tasted Amarillo hops in an American style pale ale. they can be used in a similar fashion as cascades although they are higher AA%. the ale was hopped entirely with amarillo (bitter, flavor, and aroma) by the way. It was served at the Pump Station in Albany NY and brewed by George Depiro. Perhaps he can chime in. I had never had or heard of them until about 4 weeks ago. any comments George Depiro?? Also, Bob Bratcher had a porter finish with a high FG using Windsor yeast. I have 2 commments. My experience with the yeast (for only 1 batch) was in an ESB. It also finished about 1.020 - 1.022 from a OG of about 1.050. It is a fruity type yeast but I think the attenuation on it is such that it just finishes high. I pitched 2 or 3 rehydrated packets into a 3.5 gallon batch. I also found that it never settled out properly even when chilled. I would also say that the 1 lb of crystal that you used in a 1.045 beer may contribute to the high FG. just my take..... now about the Prima Pils by Victory Brewing in Philly. excellent, so very very smooth. nice and crisp. any ideas on the hops, hopping, schedule or yeast? it is the one US brewed German style beer that I have truely enjoyed. any info out there would be great. you all need to try Victorys stuff - I have had their Old Horizontal barley wine, their Imperial Stout, Hop Devil IPA, and now Prima Pils. Wow, what a lineup. Have to get to Philly to sample at the brewhouse sometime. regards and happy holiday brewing season, Pete czerpak Albany, NY pete.czerpak at siigroup.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 10:47:44 -0500 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: BJCP Exam Interest? I notice more posts from brewers in Roanoke so perhaps there is interest in competitions and judging as well? If there is any interest in taking the BJCP Exam in S/W Virginia, Roanoke, area later in the Spring, please reply to me -- private responses are OK. If we can get enough interest we can schedule an exam in order to seed more judges in that area. David Houseman BJCP MidAtlantic Representative Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 07:49:47 -0700 From: Jonathan Peakall <jpeakall at mcn.org> Subject: RIMS >I find all these problems with rims systems most amusing, particularly in >light >of the fact that they are all self-inflicted wounds. Maybe we hear most about RIMS problems because this is a forum where people seek advice. Those whose RIMS work well probably don't post. My RIMS works great. I get good flow rate, no scorching, no stuck mashes. >Everytime I suggest that RIMS is a Rube Goldberg business of complicating >something that is inherently simple, I get silenced by the fundamental >fact that >some people do it cause it's fun to be a Rube Goldberg. While I have very much enjoyed the learning/building process of my RIMS, and feel that I have a better understanding of brewing for it, it has done much more for me than just being Rube Goldberg. I can really make the same beer again and again, or fine tune a recipe, changing it only slightly. Where I brew, ambient temps vary widely, and the temp/liter tables for dough in never worked for me. I always wound up adding cold water to bring the temp down, or decocting to bring it up, stirring madly all the while. >The only reason I keep flogging away is that it has become so commonplace >>that many beginners are driven to believe that it is actually a better, >if not the >ultimate way to make beer and that no serious brewer would stop till he >>achieved sucess with such a kludge. For me the point is consistency and repeatability. I always (*almost*) made great beers in my pre-rims days. They were just a little *different* great beers. I don't knock this process at all. I think your machine looks great, and would serve many well. Trouble is I don't think I could make my favorite Bock turn out *exactly* how I like it time after time. (From Jack's web page) >Human intervention is required to monitor and adjust the heat source but I >>really doubt that many RIMS users go to a football game after setting up a >mash. Surely, half the fun of using it must be watching it work. While I don't go to the game, I do other brewing chores during the mash, come and change a couple of valves, and then go away again as it sparges. This allows me to keg, rack, clean, etc. Which is great. I brew with two other guys, and we often brew 10, rack 10 and keg 10 gallons of beer in one session. As well, we always found that operator error is the greatest variable, and so I prefer to leave the mash temp to the PID. >Mashing in an inslulated cooler requires no stirring but you >are stuck with one mash temperature and complicated step mashing/resting >is >impossible. I do step mashes all the time, Jack. In fact I have done an overnight 7 step mash for a plambic. (Which actually turned out lousy, but not due to the mash) While I slept. The system has an overheat shut off and a breaker and an alarm, so I felt safe sleeping. It's only beer, after all. >In a few hours and at a fraction of the cost, one can make a MIXMASHER Now ya got me Jack. Can't answer that one. ******************************************** "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: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 10:04:29 -0600 From: "Stephen and Carolyn Ross" <rosses at sprint.ca> Subject: StarSan and Haze On Wed, 22 Dec 1999 Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> wondered if anyone has experienced any haze problems with StarSan. I switched from Iodophor to StarSan about a year ago and have not noticed any change in the clarity of my beer. Not all of my beer is clear, however, so your results may vary. I would be interested in anyone else's experience. I am so impressed with StarSan, I think I would keep using it, even if it did result in a slightly hazy product. I don't see how it could. Chemists, could an acid based sanitizer affect a change in clarity? Stephen, brewing in balmy Saskatoon, SK ______________________________________________ The Rosses Stephen, Carolyn and Sam rosses at sprint.ca 306.665.8336 "Vitae sine cerevesiae sugat." Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 10:14:34 -0600 From: "Sieben, Richard" <SIER1 at Aerial1.com> Subject: Re: haze and sanitizer and stuck fermentation Marc Sedam asked if anyone else had noticed an increase in haze after switching to Star San. NOPE. I suspect something else has changed in your brewing. Maybe your mash schedule is different? Higher protein level in the malt you are using? Different hops maybe? You are drinking it sooner than you used to? Did you forget to use your Irish Moss? There are plenty of ways your problem could have developed, but since the haze goes away after 3 months of cold storage, I would not expect this to be an infection problem as that would get worse, not better. As to Bob Bratcher and his 'stuck' fermentation, I may be wrong, but I think your fermentation is done. The mash temp for a single infusion seems a little high and you may have a lot of unconverted starch in the final beer. (Although it is odd that you didn't get an indication of this in the iodine test) I wonder if your sparge liberated additional starch (my first thought). Rich Sieben Island Lake (northwest nowhere from Chicago) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 10:24:22 -0600 From: "Stephen and Carolyn Ross" <rosses at sprint.ca> Subject: Maximizing efficiency On Wed, 22 Dec 1999 Jeff Woods <woodsj at us.ibm.com> asserts "......trying to get as much efficiency as possible which should be a common goal of us all." I have to disagree Jeff. I am less concerned about maximizing efficiency than I am about getting the desired flavour. I brew is such small amounts (5-10 gals) than even a drop in efficiency as large as 20% is really not an issue. Only predictable efficiency is required for proper recipe formulation. I heartily agree with you that brewers should indicate how they determine their posted efficiency ratings. I much prefer recipes that list percentages and IBUs than in quantities of grain and hops. A large brewery needs to be concerned about maximizing efficiency and profit. I don't. I believe that maximizing efficiency is done at the expense of flavour. If I were feeling really purist, I'd use only the first runnings. As a compromise between cost and quality I do two batch sparges. Yes, my efficiencies are lower. But it's pennies lost and tasty beer gained. my $0.02 worth... cheers! Stephen ______________________________________________ The Rosses Stephen, Carolyn and Sam rosses at sprint.ca 306.665.8336 "Vitae sine cerevesiae sugat." Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 10:38:56 -0600 From: Susan/Bill Freeman <potsus at bellsouth.net> Subject: flow rates, RIMS, HERMS, mixers Having played with all of the above for extended periods of time over even longer periods of time, the following granules of reason have been gleaned. RIMS works, but I find that recirculating wort past an in line electrical heating element is NOT the best course of action. You are asking for burned wort flavoring in your favorite brew sooner or later. Heat exchange systems offer the same benefits of temperature control without that unfortuitus possibility. Whether the heat exchange takes place inside the HLT or in a separate heat exchange unit, the direct contact with the heat SOURCE is eliminated. For obvious reasons, a heat exchange coil in the HLT is the simplest, but in the case of "the perfesser" there are 8000 watts of heating elements already in that HLT and I opted for a separate exchange coil using a counterflow chiller in reverse. It is very possible that by using a good thermometer and watching things carefully one can gain all the benefits of such a system without all the electronics and run the whole thing manually. One item I have found to be necessary recirc systems is a grant. Grain bed flow rates can be enhanced through the use of rice hulls, but a grant which allows no suction on the grain bed goes a long way in preventing compaction. A grant can be as simple as a pot under the outflow from the mashtun with a pump pickup in its side. Almost every brewery out there, large or small, uses a grant for just this purpose. By the same token, almost every brewery out there, again large or small, uses some sort of mixer in the mashtun. Most of these turn at much reduced speeds of 1/2-3 RPM. Of course they usually have massive gear motors to move them through several hundreds of pounds of wet mash. Mixers for home breweries can be as simple as a paddle and muscle power or powered by larger drill motors on up to small gear motors. Having said all this, I must add that I am anal about gadgets. I frankly don't care what it costs (within reason) as long as I can get it to do what I want it to do. Hence all the bells and whistles and buttons and switches on "the perfesser". From the questions I get it would seem that there are quite a few folks out there who feel the same. Hey, this is a hobby and hobbies are supposed to entertain us. Small scale brewing and brewing systems provide this entertainment as well as an end product we can call our own and enjoy. Enough of the soapbox. "the perfesser" can be found at: http://www.brewrats.org/HWB/er Cheers, Bill Freeman aka Elder Rat KP Brewery, Birmingham, AL Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 16:40:21 +0000 From: William Frazier <billfrazier at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Bitterness/psi I have a couple of questions for anyone who might have some info; Bitterness - For a 60 minute boil how much reduction in hop bitterness extraction could you expect for whole flower hops held in a hop bag versus the same hops floating freely in the boil? Pressure - For an average beer, primed with 3/4 cup corn sugar per 5 gallons, what will the pressure (psi) be inside bottles once fully conditioned? TIA Bill Frazier Johnson County, Kansas Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 10:36:40 -0500 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: Jack and RIMS As always, Jack has valid observations about the real world. I would like to point out another reason to use RIMS other than any solved by his MixMasher. We all know to recirculate the wort until it runs clear prior to running off to the kettle. But how long is that? How clear can or should it be? Well, I've found through empirical evidence, nothing scientific, that I can run the wort for 20 minutes and get it as clear as bright beer. This I've found has significantly improved my beers by lowering the tannins (ok, tanniloids or whatever) that get into the kettle. But 20 minutes of hefting a pot is a lot of elbow grease. So I went to a pump. This solved the problem but created another -- during the process the temperature of the mash fell significantly. So in went the RIMS heater inline and voila, I vorlauf to bright wort and maintain the temperature. Well since the heater is in place anyway, I find I can start the process a little sooner and use the RIMS to move from the sacrification temperature to a mashout temperature to improve yield. And as any of the RIMS geeks will point out, moving back further in the process allows all the mash steps to be accomplished. I just don't do that because I prefer to just use single step mashes or decoctions. But can do RIMS step mashes if needed. The bottom line is that one can justify the RIMS from either end of the process, I chose the back end. Or one can just enjoy the hunt, the quest for the gadgets.... David Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 14:06:25 -0500 From: "Scholz, Richard" <RScholz at refco.com> Subject: Mixers Collective, With all this talk of the need for mixing in RIMS systems and Jack's thoughts on his mixer design. I thought I would try cobbling together a mash mixer of my own. I'll start with a gear motor, rated at 50 ft/lbs torque at 3rpm connected to a paddle of some type. Bill Freeman uses a "savonius rotor type mixer". I searched the net for these and found them for $10-$30 depending on size, but searching for grain mixers ( I thought these might mix the mash best) I found this site: http://mueller-trade.com/Mixing/Agitator_Types.htm <http://mueller-trade.com/Mixing/Agitator_Types.htm> I wonder if anyone has personal/professional experience with these more application specific mixing blade designs? - --- Richard L Scholz Brooklyn, NY (212) 587-6203 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 16:14:25 EST From: WayneM38 at aol.com Subject: Rodney and RIMS In a message dated 12/22/99 11:12:39 PM Central Standard Time, homebrew-request@hbd.org writes: << The more I read the Morris discussion of the RIMS he proposed, the more I'm impressed with his solution to potential problems. You'll note that even with the large percent of false bottom open area he recommends stirring to maintain a high flow rate while pumping! >> Has anyone ever met Mr. Morris? It would be an interesting discussion if he would care to visit us here on the HBD. Please invite Rodney to join our discussion of the evolution of this "Rube Goldberg business of complicating something that is inherently simple", AKA RIMS, if you know him or somebody who does......... Wayne Botanist Brewer RIMS builder cause it's fun to be a Rube Goldberg. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 16:22:26 -0400 From: kathy/jim <kbooth at scnc.waverly.k12.mi.us> Subject: metabolize alcohol & diet Thinking further about msmiley's comments, wouldn't dieting a low calorie diet AND drinking beer, have the same problem that a low carbohydrate dieter would have drinking beer? In either case one has to metabolize body fat while metabolizing alcohol. My doctor flat out stated it was impossible to drink beer and lose weight. I didn't press him on whether it was a metabolic problem where alcohol interferes with the metabolization of fat and ketones as you state, or would it be just a problem keeping total calories down. Cheers, jim booth Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 20:04:30 -0500 From: Pat Babcock <babcockp at mediaone.net> Subject: Impossible things are happening every day! Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager... Jim sez.. > My doctor flat out stated it was impossible to drink > beer and lose weight. I didn't press him on whether > it was a metabolic problem where alcohol interferes > with the metabolization of fat and ketones as you > state, or would it be just a problem keeping > total calories down. Your doctor is apparently a yutz. I lost over 30 pounds last October through December. Kept it off, too. And could stand to lose another 20 or so. Anyway, you think I stopped drinking beer? Nope - not this kid. Now, I'm not sticking up for any "beer diet" or carbo-diet or whatever type of diet is lurking about these days, but I do know that I lost the weight whilst still enjoying my beers to my usualy level and degree. And there was nothing wrong with me to cause me to lose the weight in spite of the beer consumption. I simply thought I was too fat, so I cut back on the munchies and picked up on the exercise a tad. And I drank beer and lost weight. Tell me: what does the ol' doc say about beer drinking in general? I think it's just a prejudice. - 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: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 18:09:00 -0800 From: "Brian Dixon" <briandixon at home.com> Subject: 2nd Place 'Scottish Strong Ale' winner ... me! Not too bad! Entered my latest 'big beer' in the St. Louis Brews 1999 Happy Holidays Homebrew competition and got second place in the 'English and Scottish Strong Ales' category! Saw Jackie Rager and George Fix entered in the same contest and lots of different states were represented, so I'm feeling good about my beer doing as well as it did. For those who might be interested here's the particulars: Willy Warmer Wee Heavy, 140-Shilling Scotch Ale (Brian Dixon) OG: 1.110 FG: 1.042 (approx. abv 9%) 12 lbs Teleford's Pale Ale 2-row 1 lb 10 oz Cara-Amber 1 can (3.3 lbs) John Bull unhopped Amber 1 can (3.3 lbs) John Bull unhopped Light 2 1/2 oz 5.5%AA Fuggles, leaf 2 oz 6.6%AA Goldings, leaf Slurry from 1 1/2 gallon starter made from Wyeast #1275 Thames Valley No Irish Moss or other finings used. Water treated to match Edinburgh 'soft' water. Standard 3/4 c. corn sugar for priming. 2 hour mash at 158 F. 90 minute boil, all hops added 45 minutes before end of boil. 14 days in the primary at 62 F, 7 days in the secondary at 62 F. 5 months in the bottles when entered in the contest. The beer turned out a beautiful ruby red and was perfectly balanced ... those in the Pacific Northwest might say that more hops wouldn't hurt ... but then I'd have to call it a Barley Wine instead! I'd say it was about right for a Scotch Ale ... nicely balanced. Not too high or low. Have fun! Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 1999 09:04:07 -0800 From: Michael Kowalczyk <mikekowal at megsinet.net> Subject: HBD Santa I posted a week or so ago about buying a regulator for those disposable red O2 tanks... I got a ton of replies. The most promising one pointed me to http://www.brewtek.com/aerator.html The oxygen regulator is SP-90 for $18.95. I was just about to call them when Peter Owings of MD emailed me and said he had one lying around and would send it to me... Came in the mail today and it will work great. Just in time for my next batch on Thursday. Thanks Peter, I raise my (very full) glass to you! And thanks everyone else for your great suggestions. Merry Christmas. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 22:59:52 -0500 From: Kevin or Darla Elsken <kelsken at adelphia.net> Subject: Specific Gravity to Plato / Efficiency In HBD 3202, Domenick Venezia gives the following formula for converting specific gravity to Plato: P = -676.67 + 1286.4*SG - 800.47*SG^2 + 190.74*SG^3 In Greg Noonan's New Brewing Lager Beer, the following formula is given: P = -616.868 + 1111.14*SG - 630.272*SG^2 + 135.997*SG^3 Both yield similar results. Anyone know why the difference? (P.S. The significant digit madness is the author's, not mine...) - --------------------------------------------------------------- Regarding the recent postings about efficiency...It occurs to me that there are two separate and distinct factors that can affect efficiency: 1. The mash procedure (the quality of the malt crush, the effectiveness of the particular mash routine, the quality of the malt itself, etc.) 2. The effectiveness of the sparge (i.e. how well you rinse the grains) I have been thinking about how to measure each of these efficiencies. Does anyone have any thoughts or know of any references that might be of help? Happy Holidays, Kevin Elsken Little Boy Brewery Bethel Park, PA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 22:47:03 -0600 From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: Take a look Take a look at my rig, I am just getting web started. I have high hopes for this home page. Any suggestions welcome! http://members.xoom.com/rlabor/ Ron Ronald La Borde - Metairie, Louisiana - rlabor at lsumc.edu Return to table of contents
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