HOMEBREW Digest #3252 Fri 18 February 2000

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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

  Yeast Questions ("Jeremy J. Arntz")
  Looking for conical bottom plastic fermenters (Joseph Gibbens)
  pitching rates and dumb beer ("George de Piro")
  continuous O2 and honey post ("Joe O'Meara")
  Drunk Monk Challenge, March 4, final notice ("Steve McKenna")
  skunky beer (Ray Kruse)
  some more pitching rates. ("Dr. Pivo")
  No Blues With Eric ("Phil & Jill Yates")
  Re: Pitching Rates (David Potter)
  Pensacola Beer Hunting (Richard Foote)
  Beer in St. Louis ("H. Dowda")
  Awful outcome of filtering hot water (Paul Shick)
  Re: Pitching Rates ("Scholz, Richard")
  Flow Meters, Auto sparges and Phill for Dictator (Jonathan Peakall)
  Not all Yeast are Created Equal (RCAYOT)
  Son of Pivo (Ted McIrvine)
  The Pivo Regime (The Artist Formerly Known As Kap'n Salty)
  transporting carboys, rebottling ("Foster Jason")
  Bacteria and yeast ("Paul Niebergall")
  Creating "off" flavors in good beer (happydog)
  Re: PBW concentration and expense (Brian Rezac)
  Ray's judgement ("Alan Meeker")
  BrewCap vs. Fermentap (Kim.Hansen)
  Wyeast invitation (Chris Cooper)
  high temperature wort settling (Joseph Gibbens)
  Re: Help needed on high SG ("Richard")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2000 21:27:36 -0500 From: "Jeremy J. Arntz" <arntz at surfree.com> Subject: Yeast Questions Yeast Questions I am interested in yeast "ranching". I've been reading archives issues of HBD about the culturing and freezing of yeast samples. I have a few questions regarding information that I've come across. 1. What should the specific gravity of the "base" wort be? I've read 1.040, but I also believe that I've read 1.020. 2. What recipe should be used for the wort? Again I've read 2 Tablespoons of DME in a cup of boiling water. What about hops? 3. I am also interested in how streaking for isolated colonies reduces or eliminates mutations? 4. Does anyone know of a good book on yeast propagation the is in-depth and accurate, yet is semi-easy to read? I am especially interested in storing and quality control. Thanks! J. Arntz Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 01:10:50 -0600 From: Joseph Gibbens <jgibbens at umr.edu> Subject: Looking for conical bottom plastic fermenters Anyone know where I can find a plastic conical bottom fermenter that can handle a 10 gal batch size? The SS conical project is not looking hopefull. Joe Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 02:19:05 -0500 From: "George de Piro" <gdepiro at mindspring.com> Subject: pitching rates and dumb beer Hi all, Troy writes: "This discussion about lowering your pitching rates for better beer has really piqued my interest. This tears down *every* piece of information I have ever read regarding this topic." Back to me: This isn't really a discussion; it's two guys (Burley and the self-proclaimed "Dr. Pivo") claiming something that brewing scientists and commercial brewers long ago proved false. Troy says: "As Dave B says, "yeast growth with the associated by-products are an important part of beer's flavor. Pitching larger quantities of yeast in fact "dumbs down" the impact of the yeast growth on beer flavor." I take that to mean, short lag times, ie. little yeast growth, means a "dumber" beer as Dave and Dr. Pivo are saying." Back to me: Whoa! Yes, yeast growth by-products are important to beer flavor, but you need not abuse your ferment by under-pitching, etc. to get yeast growth! The yeast will grow in brewer's wort regardless of the amount you pitch. The key is to not over-grow the yeast and thus yield an obnoxiously high level of fusel alcohols, etc. The "dumbing down" of beer character is achieved by using very high levels of tasteless adjuncts (rice and corn - yes, I consider corn to be relatively tasteless in beer) and the use of miniscule quantities of old hops (A-B ages their hops for 3 years before they consider them "ripe"). A-B's Budweiser has a distinctive yeast character despite it's "commercial" pitching rate. It's the rice that makes it relatively bland. Troy then says: "Dave also says, " I think the middle ground is an important place to consider..." I was wondering if he (or anyone) would be willing to give a middle ground lag time for homebrewers to shoot for. Assuming excellent sanitization , what is a reasonable lag time that would allow for enough yeast growth to realize the benefits in flavor?" Back to me: There is no simple answer to this. Every yeast strain is different, and every beer style requires different flavor profiles provided by the yeast. In my opinion, Bavarian Weizen yeasts make the best beer when underpitched (by commercial lager standards). At my brewery I pitch the Weizen with about 3 million cells per mL, which is about 4 times less than the commonly quoted bland pilsner pitching rate. If you go much lower than this, I find that the beer will become solventy tasting. I guess there are some that would consider solvent a flavor attribute, but most (including myself) consider it a defect. Understand that Weizen yeast (and many other bold strains like Belgian types) are NOT good examples of typical yeast performance. The flavors that most beers will acquire from yeast abuse (i.e., underpitching) are NOT pleasant to most people. If you like the solvent flavor of ethtyl acetate or the heady, harsh character of fusel alcohols, by all means underpitch your wort. Most people do not like these flavors, though. A "full-flavored" beer will express its fullness in malt, hops and balanced yeast by-products that result from a healthy fermentation. Messing with your yeast (underpitching and/or underoxygenating) will yield unpredictable and often unpalatable results. You most certainly cannot expect to harvest and repitch yeast from such a fermentation. This is really a pointless argument. Countless commercial brewers and brewing scientists have demonstrated the results of "proper" fermentation management. If a couple of homebrewers, whose beer most (none?) of us have ever tasted, wish to question these well-tried practices, that is fine. Be aware that these guys are in the minority, though, and unless you taste their beers and find them acceptable, question their assertions. My beer is commercially available for all to taste, if you come to Albany or to the monthly meeting of the Malted Barley Appreciation Society in Brooklyn, NY. Draw your own conclusions. Have fun! George de Piro C.H. Evans Brewing Company at the Albany Pump Station (518)447-9000 http://evansale.com (under construction) Malted Barley Appreciation Society Homebrew Club http://hbd.org/mbas Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2000 23:24:22 -0800 (PST) From: "Joe O'Meara" <drumthumper_2000 at yahoo.com> Subject: continuous O2 and honey post About the use of honey which I originally commented upon a few days ago, I do think that the use of 2 lbs of honey in a 5 gallon batch could be reason for a slightly long ferment, although inadequate yeast at pitching may also be the trouble. My thinking is along the lines, that using 2lbs (which should contribute about 85 gravity points or so to a 5 gallon batch), <snip> I'd just thought I'd add my two cents worth. I went through my notes, and found that I added 2 lbs of honey to my honey apple wheat ale (the original Mad Dwarf), and my OG was .070. This was in conjunction with 6.5 lbs M+F wheat extract and 2 12 oz cans of apple juice concentrate. Like I said, just my 2 cents worth. ===== Joe O'Meara Mad Dwarf Brewery (AKA my kitchen and coat closet) ICQ # 60722006 http://homebrew.4mg.com __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Talk to your friends online with Yahoo! Messenger. http://im.yahoo.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 02:45:06 -0600 From: "Steve McKenna" <mckennst at earthlink.net> Subject: Drunk Monk Challenge, March 4, final notice THE DRUNK MONK CHALLENGE: Final Notice! March 4, 2000 Sponsored by the Urban Knaves of Grain Last chance! Entries must arrive between this Saturday and next (Feb. 26). Only 2 bottles, just $5 per entry, cool prizes too! The Details: The Urban Knaves of Grain will host the 2nd Annual Drunk Monk Challenge homebrew competition on March 4 at Two Brothers Brewery in Warrenville, IL. The competition is AHA/BJCP sanctioned and will accept all styles of beer, cider, and mead according to the 1999 BJCP style guidelines. It is a qualifying event for the 2000 Midwest Homebrewer of the Year Award. Once again, we'll feature the Menace of the Monastery, a special category for beer styles which recall the monastic brewing traditions of Belgium and Germany: Belgian dubbel, tripel, pale, strong pale, and strong dark ales, plus German doppelbock. Requirements: 2 bottles. $5 fee per entry ($4 each for 5 or more entries) for the main competition; just $2 each for Menace entries. Entry deadline is Feb. 26. Many Options: Ship your entries to The Drunk Monk Challenge, c/o Two Brothers Brewery, 30W114 Butterfield Rd., Warrenville, IL 60555. Or drop them off in person at The Brewers Coop, located at Two Brothers Brewery; or at The Homebrew Shop, 1434 E. Main St. in St. Charles. Or bring them to the Feb. 24 UKG meeting at John's Buffet in Winfield, IL, or to CBS First Thursday on March 2 at Goose Island brewpub in Chicago. Judges and stewards can also bring entries on the morning of the competition. (First Thursday and competition-day entries must be preregistered by mailing paperwork and fees to our shipping address before Feb. 26.) Prizes: Ribbons for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each category plus BoS and Menace. 1st in the Best of Show and Menace of the Monastery rounds also receive a commemorative plaque. Complimentary DMC tasting glass for all volunteers. Speaking of Volunteers: Please help! BJCP judges and apprentices, please contact judge coordinator Joe Formanek (jformanek at griffithlabs.com, 630-378-4694) or competition chairman Steve McKenna (mckennst at earthlink.net, 630-305-0554) to volunteer. Fun stuff: Volunteers Party the night before. Potluck dinner at the brewery after the competition. Plus the ever-popular raffle. Information, Rules, and Entry Forms: Available at the competition website, http://www.synsysinc.com/srcoombs/ukgdmc/ukgdmc2k.htm, or contact Steve McKenna. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 06:23:58 -0500 From: Ray Kruse <rkruse at krusecontrols.com> Subject: skunky beer Well, now that the Baron of Burradoo has been ousted by the local constituency and has sought refuge with the Baron of the Southern Highlands, he has finally come clean on the skunk scent story. Yes, it is true that when Phil posted here on the HBD that skunks didn't exist in Oz and that he'd never smelled the aftermath of a skunk, I emailed him privately and offered to send him some hunting scent. I had to wait until hunting season got closer before beginning the search, and then ended up mail ordering the stuff from Michigan. It arrived with the Postman visibly upset, soon upsetting the secretary and both of my business partners. The bottle apparently had leaked. I put on some rubber gloves and took it to the main sink in the washroom to open the package. Surprisingly, the bottle had neither leaked nor broken. I rewrapped the bottle in bubblewrap, wrapped that in a kitchen trash bag (rolled and folded to provide multiple layers), and then sealed the little bundle in three Ziplock bags. The rest is history. Phil has been debaroned and the local postal supervisor isn't any too pleased with him. But now he knows what a skunk smells like. And as for returning the bottle, I'd rather that you didn't. I'd suggest that you dig a hole about 2 meters deep, lay in some plastic, gently set the bottle on the plastic, and then fill the hole with cement. Post warning signs. As for the comparison of skunk and Eric Fouch's brew that I was allowed to sample, I never made any such comparison. All I said was that his pumpkin ale didn't have any chunks in it. He has paraphrased me correctly in other parts of his post, though. Now, let's have a brew. Ray Kruse Glen Burnie, PRMd rkruse at bigfoot.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 13:11:31 +0100 From: "Dr. Pivo" <dp at pivo.w.se> Subject: some more pitching rates. Kyle offered some sound advice on this subject: > > If you are curious, your starter volumes should be atleast 1.5 gallons for > lagers and 0.75 gallons for ales to achieve the minimum recommended pitching > rate of 10 million cells per ml of chilled wort. Try it this way, then try > it the Doc's way, and then judge for yourself, then do whatever you think > makes your beer taste the best. I would only like to append it by saying that you do this "side-by-side", that is, with the exact same wort so you are truly controlling your variables. It is only you who knows what you like, and by doing it in a controlled manner you'll find out if it is really the thing that you think made a difference, or if you are just getting to be a better brewer in an infinite number of ways, and assigning this success to the wrong part of the process. As to Alan Meeker's thoughts and questions, I do believe he is soon to matriculate from the Dave Burley school of "If you stay in school long enough, you'll probably irritate the pants off of somebody, and they'll give you a degree just to be able to stop having you around". been there, and promoted and sent those lads along their way.... sure does make it a lot more peaceful around the office. I don't think you "get it" Alan, and I don't think you are going to. But you will probably always be right. PS: This is really not my fault. I don't really give a stink about how poor the beer is in the US, and how assured they are that they all live in brewing heaven..... Phil made me write this stuff... he thought the self serving Yanks needed a stirring up, and held a virtual roasted wombat and a tail-less cat pointed at my head until I sat at the keyboard. Jill stood behind him and encouraged him the whole time: "Give to 'em Phil! Give it to 'em!" ... I promise. She's been cheesed at me ever since the HBD dive trip from Port Douglas fell through: "That's it folks, just climb aboard.... no, no need to take your passports along, it just makes everything too easy when they start asking questions later, when the boat returns to port empty." That and the threat of more mpegs of sausage stuffing ani (surely that must be the plural form of anus?), and the decision was made. signing off with the only comment I consider appropriate. (*) Dr. Pivo Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2000 00:19:48 +1100 From: "Phil & Jill Yates" <yates at acenet.com.au> Subject: No Blues With Eric Let me diffuse a growing misconception. Eric and I have had no falling out. We always argue like this. We are in love. (this is Jill speaking) I would like to thank Steve Lacey for his discussion on the Eastern Long Necked tortoise/turtle/terrapin. To any Australian brewer who has not smelt a skunk, I can concur with Steve that it does indeed smell similar to a frightened chelodina longicolis. It's not from their urine though Steve, they excrete it from glands as a defense mechanism, much as I expect the skunk does. But getting back to the subject matter. Doc Pivo contributes some interesting thoughts on pitching rates (which he promised us some time ago he would do) and I think he is right. Not because I know. Not because I can scientifically prove it. Not because I happen to be a reptile keeper. Doc Pivo is suggesting that all you have read is not necessarily gospel. That there are a huge number of variables out there that have not been proven either way. Doc Pivo challenges the American way of making beer. The Americ(k)an way of life. And all this because at a party he was forced by Eric to try one of his dreadful pumpkin lagers! I don't blame the man for being disgusted! Quitting Whilst Ahead (or still have a head) Phil. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 09:58:27 -0400 From: dlpotter at ns.sympatico.ca (David Potter) Subject: Re: Pitching Rates > Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2000 23:40:58 EST > From: Biergiek at aol.com > Subject: Pitching Rates <snip...> > If you are curious, your starter volumes should be atleast 1.5 gallons for > lagers and 0.75 gallons for ales to achieve the minimum recommended pitching > rate of 10 million cells per ml of chilled wort. Try it this way, then try > it the Doc's way, and then judge for yourself, then do whatever you think > makes your beer taste the best. I can only assume that these discussions relate to pitching the sediment/slurry from 1.5 gallons and not pitching the whole 1.5 gallons. A couple of days ago I racked a lager from the primary and then poured off about 1200 ml. I gave 250 ml. to another club member and then pitched just under 1 litre into another 23 liter lager which then took off like a freight train. The other brewer reported his fermentation started quickly also. I would have liked to compare the difference between 250 ml. slurry and 1000 ml. slurry. - --- Should I assume that when people talk about stepping up a starter that they are (for example) pitching 50ml smack pack into 500 ml, and pitching 150 ml slurry from the 500 ml into 2 liters or are people taking all of the first 500 ml and adding that to 1.5 litres of starter to make the second stage... - --- Yeast starters seems to be pretty basic stuff but I often find these 'basic' topics are discussed in fragments leaving a new/relatively new brewer like myself unsure/confused/or worse about the actual procedure. Is anyone actually pitching 1.5 gal of yeast starter into a 5/6 gallon batch? David Potter Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 09:09:16 -0500 From: Richard Foote <rfoote at mindspring.com> Subject: Pensacola Beer Hunting I will be in Pensacola, FL for a few days at the end of the month. Does anyone have any recommendations on beer stores worth seeking out? I'd like to bag some big beers that are, at this writing, still prohibited from delighting the taste buds of Georgians. Private emails welcome. TIA Rick Foote Whistle Pig Brewing Co. Murrayville, GA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 07:01:44 -0800 (PST) From: "H. Dowda" <hdowda at yahoo.com> Subject: Beer in St. Louis What are the best places in St. Louis for beer. Will be near the arch without a car. Thanks __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Talk to your friends online with Yahoo! Messenger. http://im.yahoo.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 10:21:45 -0500 (EST) From: Paul Shick <SHICK at JCVAXA.jcu.edu> Subject: Awful outcome of filtering hot water Hello all, Just a quick follow up to the "hot or cold water through the carbon filter" thread. I was warned that activated carbon tends to give off all of the accumulated crud it's adsorbed when heated above 100F or so, but not until after I had made 11 gallons of strong bitter using water from my household hot water tank run through the filter. Last night I finally worked up the courage to sample the batch. What a shame: perfect clarity, some nice malt, hop and fruity notes, totally overwhelmed by an odor that I can best describe as being like sniffing a bowl of dust. The taste was exactly what the aroma promised: there's a good bitter hiding under a horrible dusty/chemical flavor that coats the tongue alamingly. Ah well, at least it's an imaginative way to lose a batch. Certainly much more creative than just a pediococcus infection, eh? So, don't (repeat DON'T) ever run hot water through a carbon filter! Just thinking about that flavor might put me off beer for a while. Paul Shick Basement brewing in Cleveland Hts OH Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 10:27:39 -0500 From: "Scholz, Richard" <RScholz at refco.com> Subject: Re: Pitching Rates Troy Hager asks in HBD 3251: ><snip> I was wondering if he (or anyone) would be willing to give a middle ground lag time for homebrewers to shoot for. Assuming excellent sanitation , what is a reasonable lag time that would allow for enough yeast growth to realize the benefits in flavor? > 2-4 hour lags are the middle ground, even when pitching wort onto a yeast cake already in the fermenter. Try, as I have for a lager, pitching a 1 liter of yeast slurry meant for a 1 bbl ( 31gals) commercial starter into 10gals of wort. I got a 20min. lag to the first bubble out the air lock. The beer was a Bohemian Pilsener and was very clean and crisp, but with little yeast character at all. I still think it is hard to over pitch on the home brew level, but you may find pitching rate like the above would "dumb down" a Belgium-style ale as very few esters would be produced if the yeast ran out of fermentables in a generation or two. Just another data point. Richard L Scholz Brooklyn, NY MBAS - Feb. 18 last day for entries to BoB contest Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 08:04:48 -0800 From: Jonathan Peakall <jpeakall at mcn.org> Subject: Flow Meters, Auto sparges and Phill for Dictator Howdy All, A couple of questions for you RIMSers out there: Has anyone found an inexpensive flow-meter out there? I would like to be able to keep an eye on the recirculation. I have seen a few out there, but VERY expensive. As well, those of you with auto-sparges, how do you control the water level in the mash tun? I have a bilge pump switch/relay set up that works great, but is non food grade plastic. And has anyone else noticed that Phill Yates is the only one here who make sense? I think he should be declared "Dictator for Life of the HBD. Either that, or we should lock him, Dr. Pivo, Dave Burley and Capn. Jack in a small room with a case of Budwieser and see who emerges victorious. Return to table of contents
Date: 17 Feb 2000 09:57:00 -0500 From: RCAYOT at solutia.com Subject: Not all Yeast are Created Equal A lot of discussion about pitching rates been going on. One thing to remember is that all yeast are not created equal! The idea that a starter is a starter is a started, adn it is the VOLUME of starter that indicates the quantity of yeast is just not true. the other thing that a lot of people assume is that the health of the yeast is also a constant. What brewers need to remember is that the health of yeast may vary, one may have a high number of very stressed out yeast, pitch them into well oxygenated wort with lots of free amino nitrogen, phosphorous, calcium etc, and build up the health of the yeast in the wort, which ferments out well, or one could get a really marginal quantity of very healthy yeast and pitch into wort with poor oxygenation etc and they will be very stressed by the time they ferment out the beer. Another example would be the brewer that stirs, and incrememtaly feeds and oxygenates a 500mL starter made with high wuality wort with yest nutrient, and another that pitches a wyeast pack into 500ml of malt extract, doesn't give it oxygen, or over oxygenates the starter without feeding it. These different methods of starter production would, in my opinion, produce very different yeast populations, maybe different numbers of yeast cells, maybe not, but certainly the ability of the yeast to adapt to a given wort, and ferment it out in a desireable and predictable way would be very different. Add to that a difference in wort quality, oxygen level and temperature at pitching, and there are too many variables to even think about. what does all this mean? It means that there are very few absolutes in this area, it all depends..... Oh yeah, except the comment that was made aobut yeast "growth' and fusel alcohols, I agree, higher yeast growth means higher fusels. Roger Ayotte Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 11:17:35 -0800 From: Ted McIrvine <McIrvine at ix.netcom.com> Subject: Son of Pivo Alan Meeker <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> wrote: > > What's up with this Dr. Pivo concept? First there is one, then there are > many, then they have left the digest, now he/they is/are back! It is a scary concept... personally I prefer people who post using their real names. Not only may this increase the level of civility, perhaps posters will take the trouble to spell decently. Assuming a fake title and then presenting some ideas with substandard literacy is distressing to me. > > PIVO(S): > > If you search the archives, you will find that there is an "exact" > recommendation of pitching rates and number of generation turnovers. > > You will also find that "nobody has done anything about finding out if > these numbers are relevant." > This in particular makes me wonder. There are considerations that are overlooked in the dogmatism in this discussion. For example, if one wants to make a highly-attenuated beer, a higher pitching rate will ferment more completely. If one wants to make an estery beer, a lower pitching rate can be a good thing. (All of this assumes a pitching rate in which yeast has to multiply ten times or LESS.) Autolysis is a bigger danger with high pitching rates, especially if one is pitching dead yeast cells. Fusel alcohol production is a bigger danger with lowe pitching rates especially at higher fermentation temperatures. Getting a judicious balance between yeast growth and adequate active yeast is probably the key for most brewing situations. Ted McIrvine McIrvine at Ix.Netcom.Com (Supressing his usually signature file that indicates the possession of an irrelevant academic doctorate) Rennerian Coordinate: Almost as far due east as possibile without being in the Atlantic Ocean Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 16:19:20 GMT From: mikey at swampgas.com (The Artist Formerly Known As Kap'n Salty) Subject: The Pivo Regime As much as enjoy Dr. Pivo, my own experience tends to dicate high pitching rates. I saw the quality of my lagers rise when I took to: 1) Slowly cooling my starters to lager pitching temps (48F or lower in my case). 2) Doing much larger starters (slurry from 1.5-2 gallon starters in 6 gallons). This tends in my case to work out to about 35-40x10e6 cells/ml. I may also pitch on the yeast cake from a recent primary. Advantages (in my case) included better flavor, no stuck or underattenuated ferments -- a problem I used to have regularly-- and the ability to be a good bit less anal about sanitiation (during primary fermentation, at least). I believe Dr. Pivo mentions the latter. I am beginning to suspect that I can also pretty much dispense with step 1 with no ill effects, and just crash cool the large starter. As for ales, I really have no idea 'cause I don't brew them -- I believe it was DeClerk who opined, "Generally speaking, ales are for little girls", but I could be wrong... On the other hand, I would be interested in the good Dr.'s exact procedure for brewing with undersized starters (starter quantities, ferment temps -- general fermentation regime) as I'm willing to try anything at least once, provided it doesn't involve feces and sharp objects. - -- TAFKAKS ************************************** Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 09:20:15 PST From: "Foster Jason" <jasfoster at hotmail.com> Subject: transporting carboys, rebottling Thank you to everyone who replied to my question about transporting a carboy to get it to a walk-in cooler. You were all very helpful. I was overly concerned with oxidation because I wasn't factoring in that the atmosphere in the carboy would be carbon dioxide. the tips on not breaking the carboy are helpful too. One other quick question (because I screwed up last night). I bottle my brew, rather than keg (personal preference as well as not having the will to purchase the equipment). I have a wonderful porter I wish to enter in a competition. Due to some poor planning and enthusiastic consumption, I only have some 680 ml bottles left - which obviously are too big for a competition. I wanted to "rebottle" the beer into standard bottle sizes, but without losing carbonation (natural, not forced, carbonation). I thought I had my bases covered (had everything a refridgeration temperatures, a planned siphon to prevent splashing or agitation, etc.) However, clearly I didn't have my bases covered. I made a huge mess, and may have messed up a few bottles of a wonderful beer. Is there a better way to rebottle beer without making a mess, losing precious liquid and killing carbonation? Jason Foster Edmonton, Alberta, Canada ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 11:35:05 -0600 From: "Paul Niebergall" <pnieb at burnsmcd.com> Subject: Bacteria and yeast I would like to add (if I may be so bold) to an excellent post by Mr. Lansing concerning stray bacteria possibly being present in commercially available yeast. There is a certain amount of bacteria (and lord knows what else) in just about everything that we eat, drink, or otherwise consume with our bodies. But is that really a problem? The yeast products that are offered for sale to the home brewing public are not guaranteed to be 100 percent bacteria free. I doubt that many home brewers would be willing to pay the added cost of obtaining yeast products that are certified or guaranteed to be completely free of bacteria. (I think Mr. Lansing made this point very well). The beauty of purchasing something like a live yeast product is that the performance easy to establish and track. And it doesn't take a microscope to do it. I think you know what is coming next. It is the old argument that goes, "I been using this product (or this practice, or procedure, or whatever) for years and have never had a problem." Kinda makes your skin crawl doesn't it? The point is that thousands (perhaps millions. At the very least, hundreds of thousands) of batches of home brew have been made with commercially available yeast products. Most of these batches do not end up contaminated to a such a degree that would be perceptible to even G. DePiro's exquisite palate. Most contamination is a result of bad sanitation practice. A few problems may attributable to bad QA/QC on the part of the company that sells the yeast. Ultimately we (the consumer) are the final QA/QC on these types of products and I just havent seen a whole lot of people out there that are claiming that their beer was infected by bad yeast that they purchased. I think if that was the case, word would get around and the suppliers of tainted yeast would soon be out of business. Sooooo, it is an imperfect world that we live in. Get over it. A guess that's why we have beer. Paul Niebergall Burns & McDonnell pnieb at burnsmcd.com "Illegitimis non carborundum" Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 19:45:31 GMT From: happydog at nations.net Subject: Creating "off" flavors in good beer Hey Folks I am looking for some information on "off" flavors. More exactly I am looking for info on what to add to a perfectly good light beer (used as a base) to cause it to have off flavors such as DMS, Acetaldehyde, esters, and any others that a brewer might run into. I have seen this info someplace but just can't remember where. The reason I want to do this is to educate The Low Country Libations Home brew club at our next meeting. One member needs this education dearly. This members seems to pick the "off flavor of the month" and tag every ones beer with it except his own. My latest Pils got a dose of it last time I gave him a sample and rather them tell him he is nuts I decided to educate him as well as the rest of the club (my pils is fine, every loves it and no one can taste the flavor he tagged it with except him) I am cutting myself close here as the next meeting is this monday evening (Feb 21 Ott Ott) so e-mail would be grate Thanks Wil Kolb Happy Dog Brewing Supplies 401 W.Coleman Blvd Mt Pleasant SC 29464 843-971-0805 Fax 843-971-3084 1-800-528-9391 happydog at nations.net www.maltydog.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 13:09:50 -0700 From: Brian Rezac <rawhide at oneimage.com> Subject: Re: PBW concentration and expense Troy Hager wrote: >I have been reading the high accolades that PBW has elicited in this forum >and decided to order and try some myself. I read on the bottle as well as on >the Five Star site to use one oz. per gallon to clean fermenters, etc. I >bought a lb. for about $12 including shipping. > >When I realized that at this concentration my $12 will only clean about four >5 gal kegs I found that this is a very expesive product! It does do a very >nice job of cleaning though and I really love the rinsablility (much better >than TSP). > >I am wondering how others use it without breaking their bank accounts: Fellow HBDers, First of all, I should explain that since my departure from the AHA, I've been at Five Star. Actually, Five Star's chemist and co-owner, Charlie Talley, was waiting at a local brewpub to buy me a beer and talk to me about a job the very day I got canned. I have been reading the HBDs and I want to thank everyone for their support. Now that Santa brought us a nice computer for Christmas, I promise to be a more-active participant. Anyway, two of my main responsibilities at Five Star is to handle their malt sales (they had just aquired the contract for importing malt from Malteries Franco-Belges) and re-address the products, prices and sizes available for homebrewers. So, without sounding like a commercial, let me try to answer Troy's questions. >1. Is this the concentration you use? I notice they sell a two oz pack for >homebrewers said to clean a 3-5 gal fermenter... that is not the >concentration that Five Star recommends... what's up with this? No. The directions on the labels are for commercial use. For homebrewers we recommend 2 oz. of PBW per 5 gallons of solution. Let me explain the discrepency. With cleaning and sanitizing chemicals, there are three main factors, concentration, temperature and length of time of exposure. Basically, if one of these three factors is decreased for whatever reason, another must be increased to obtain the desired effect. Commercial brewers are usually using PBW for CIPing a kettle or fermenter and the actual exposure time is often reduced. Therefore, they make it up with a higher concentration. Other considerations are the amount and type of soil and the cleaning system. Commercial brewers have spray balls in their CIP systems. If one hole in the spray ball gets clogged, a blind spot could develope where the solution doesn't come in contact with a portion of the kettle or fermenter. The increased concentration breaks down the soils more rapidly and avoids the clogging. The homebrew sizes were originally developed as samples for commercial breweries and still have the original labels. Chemical labels need to be approved by the FDA and once approved, nothing additional can be added. However, our homebrew kits have the applicable instructions and we are about to begin a program of inserting instructions for homebrewing and other uses for PBW in each jar. I will get better instructions listed on our website as well. >2. How long is it good for? Can I soak a keg one night, another keg the next >and my fermenter the next? Will it last that long and be as effective at >room temp? PBW does get "used up" it doesn't last forever. The answer to your question depends on the amount of soil. However, I have seen 2 oz in 5 gallons clean 5 filthy carboys, one right after the other with each one soaking about 15 - 20 minutes. Soaking overnight is perfectly alright. I have found that the rinsibility can be affected when soaking 24 hours or more. If this happens, just add a little StarSan in your rinse water and that should take care of any residue. >3. How do breweries use it in such large quantities without going broke? Like anything else, when you buy in larger quantities, the price goes down. At least that's how it usually works. One point that we identified is that Five Star had homebrew sizes of products that were reasonably sized and priced if one brewed 2 to 4 times a year and they had brewery sizes and prices for commercial brewing. The problem is that Five Star didn't have product sizes and prices that fit the brewing schedules and budgets of brewers like most of us on this forum. But, as I've said many times, homebrewers will find a way. Many homebrewers just bought chemicals from their local commercial brewers or bought a 50 lb. pail from Five Star and divided it up. Now, I know it's ridiculous to think that homebrewers will shake in their boots when you mention that something is illegal. But you do need a license to pack or repack food-grade chemicals. The real issue is that Five Star could lose their license if we don't take every precaution to prevent repacking. This is why homebrew shops can't buy in bulk, repack and resell chemicals like they can do with malt. (Please don't tell me if you know some who do.) What we came up with is what I call, Homebrew Bulk Pricing. It's basically a bulk purchase that you can still run through a homebrew shop. While I don't want to get into a commercial about the Five Star products, I would greatly appreciate any input on the idea of bulk purchasing through the shops. You can check the details on our website listed below. Thanks for your time! Even though I never left, it's great to be back! - Brian Brian Rezac Five Star Products & Services brezac at fivestarchemicals.com http://www.fivestarchemicals.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 16:08:34 -0500 From: "Alan Meeker" <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: Ray's judgement > Mr Meeker >has assumed the role of resident scientist in here though again privately >Ray tells me he can't make a decent beer (Sorry Ray, I couldn't resist!) >Cheers >Phil Yates Phil, do you really think I'd waste any of my /good/ beer on Ray?? Assuming he could tell good from bad he wouldn't be able to handle it - he'd end up crashing his SUV! -Alan Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 16:58:34 -0600 From: Kim.Hansen at state.sd.us Subject: BrewCap vs. Fermentap Hello! I've been interested in fermenting via an inverted carboy style, and I see two major ones on the market: the BrewCap and the Fermentap. Does anyone know the major advantages/disadvantages of each, and can you recommend one over the other? Public postings and private email-s are welcome. Thanks for any information. Kim Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 18:38:32 -0500 (EST) From: Chris Cooper <ccooper at a2607cc.msr.hp.com> Subject: Wyeast invitation Greetings All! It's been a while since my last post. An update "Pine Haven Brewing" has been evicted from "Debbi's kitchen" and now resides in "My Garage" (except on really bitterly cold winter days when even a 60K-BTU portable Dragon and my propane fired brewpot can't manage to nudge the thermometer up a bit, my wife takes pitty and has actually suggested that I come back into "her" kitchen and use my old split-pot stove-top method. God bless her!). One advantage of the new location is that there is space for a lagering fridge (a 1950's vintage Norge with a Johnson's Controler attached)! The recent "Dr. Pivo" posting and responses (life getting you down a bit, the daily digest seem a bit lack-luster, I know just toss a "Dr. Pivo" log on the fire and watch the flames shoot!) have caused me to examine my yeast selection and pitching rate practices. I was very pleased to see Wyeast Labs' David Logsdon post the other day and am glad to know that they (Wyeast) monitor this forum. I have used Wyeast products for several years and am a satisfied customer. I have a request for Mr. Logsdon: As Wyeast is a major supplier to the Home Brew market place I wonder if they (Wyeast Lab's) would supply this forum with the following information: # Your thoughts on the ideal starter size for a pseudo standard size 5-gal(US) batch of Ale. # Your thoughts on the ideal starter size for a pseudo standard size 5-gal(US) batch of Lager (Pils). # Your suggestion on techniques for stepping up a 50(ml) Smack-Pack to the appropriate starter volume (using standard Home Brew supplies , i.e. DME, Growler Jugs, 22oz bottles, yeast nutrients, etc.). # Any other recomendations or "recipes for success" with regards to proper handling and useage of your product in the Home Brewery. As this forum has Home Brewers at all levels of experience perhaps some of your suggestions could be marked as "newbie hints" or "advanced". Please note that I am not asking for an "official statement" but only for informal suggestions to help Home Brewers use your product to it's best advantage. I would also extend this same challenge to any and all other yeast supply companies and|or their representatives who monitor this digest. Chris Cooper, Pine Haven Brewing (aka. Debbi's Kitchen) {at least in winter!} Commerce, Michigan Member, Ann Arbor Brewer's Guild (Approximately 25 miles from 0.0 Renerian) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 18:41:05 -0600 From: Joseph Gibbens <jgibbens at umr.edu> Subject: high temperature wort settling Hello, There have been some atricles in the past about how break material can be removed by allowing chilled wort to settle for a few hours in a separate tank before transfering to a fermenter. The disadvantage of this is a greater risk of infection. What if I wanted to remove the hot break only, but have a counter-flow chiller. If I insulate my kettle to try to minimize convection currents, and allow it to gradually cool to about 180 F, will the hot break settle out? With hot and cold break, are the two breaks formed at separate discreet temperatures, or does the solubility limit of break material keep changing as the wort temperature decreases? If the "hot break" gradually comes out of solution as the temperature drops, where is the line drawn between hot and cold break? Joe Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 20:06:55 -0800 From: "Richard" <seaotter at orland.net> Subject: Re: Help needed on high SG OK, thanks to all who responded with help. This is a case where I would like to give my local homebrew shop a good piece of my mind. When I went in there I was going to buy their British malt only rather than the Laaglander, it was the owner that convinced me that I needed it for "a little body". Then later before I started I had a hunch that replacing some of the Laaglander with some honey would be good...again I was talked out of it!. Bah!! Better to follow my beer instincts next time. So this is my plan: 1) After 1 week in the secondary, the SG is basically unchanged at 1.042. I am going to pitch champagne yeast tomorrow on the very off chance that it might work. If it doesn't, I figure no harm done as it should just settle out. 2) I am going to withhold judgement on the hops until it is close to bottling time. Tasting it tonight the balance seemed slightly improved. It has a *lot* of very wild ester qualities which are rather interesting combined with the coriander and cardamom, so I don't want to mask that too much. It almost reminds me more of a sweet fruit wine than a beer. 3) Having a couple of homebrews first convinced me not to worry so much about this batch. May be OK. 4) Thanks to the person who suggested blending it with another beer...that may be what I eventually do. After drinking most of what I had pulled out for my SG determination tonight (whew! Enough alcohol so that after a while you don't notice too many nuances of taste!) I poured the rest into a cherry wheat beer. The resulting brew was *very* tasty. I may end up blending some of this with something else at bottling time. I'll keep you all informed of my ongoing experiment. Thanks again. Rich Return to table of contents
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