HOMEBREW Digest #3268 Thu 09 March 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

  lightstrike my fire ("Dave Sapsis")
  RE: Wort collection manifolds ("Martin Brungard")
  to rest or not to rest ("Dan Senne")
  to rest or not to rest ("Dan Senne")
  acid washing & flocculation. ("Stephen Alexander")
  seed (Randy Ricchi)
  Real Ale Festival (Randy Ricchi)
  Stupid Kegging Trick (bernardch)
  Recipe formulation help/ the good Dr. (SRNagley)
  Duvel? ("Duck")
  High finishing gravity (Jbstrunk)
  Koji down under (Steve Lacey)
  pseudo-science ("Stephen Alexander")
  the ultimate snooze ("Stephen Alexander")
  nips ("Alan Meeker")
  Question re: Higher than anticipated FG (darrell.leavitt)
  Pivo's sales pitch ("Alan Meeker")
  WLP800 Pilsner-Lager ("Darrell Leavitt")
  Fw: Jason's Palexperiment comments ("Alan Meeker")
  Fw: Wyeast XL ("Alan Meeker")
  Fw: The continuing saga of..... ("Alan Meeker")
  dorm size fridge ("Paul E. Lyon")
  Prost to Paul Smith (David Sweeney)
  Plastic beer Kegs in the UK (OSULLS)
  Beer microscopy (OSULLS)
  Mommily Exposed/Yeast & Oxygen ("A. J. deLange")
  re: FWH (J.L.)" <jduncan1 at ford.com>
  Clone: Red Stripe Lager (Jason Jackson)
  Re: High Finishing SG's (Jeff Renner)
  Re: fridge compressor controls (Jeff Renner)
  Cover for "open" fermenter (Jeff Renner)
  re: MEAD pitching rates (Dick Dunn)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2000 12:09:00 -0800 From: "Dave Sapsis" <dsapsis at earthlink.net> Subject: lightstrike my fire I received only one reponse to my little quiz, but then in came from 0,0 Rennerian, hence should carry some weight. While the repsonse waffled a bit, it was basically correct -- ie, " NOT VERY BLOODY LONG". A: 1) 60 seconds. In this instance all six samples were correctly identified, yielding a probability of significance somewhat less than 100%. ******* Paul N. probably unwittingly uncoveris the true reason for his obstinance by revealing he tends to work with the interpretation of scientific findings in the legal realm. My experiences in this type of work have revealed similar bias on otherwise rationale folks. >Right underpitching "can" be a bad thing. But we still have not >established a clear relationship (at least from a scientific standpoint) >that under pitching causes bad beer. You are only fooling yourself if >you think that there is more than a just a few shreds of scientific >evidence out there that actually proves this. It is more of an anthill >of misguided experiments and a mountain of emotions, speculation, >and innuendo. If you are going to use science to prove a point, >then use it correctly. If the point is to test something as "bad" thats a tough one. What is bad to me (say all that VB drank in Victoria, OZ) is good to others (all that VB drank in Victoria, OZ). If it is objective, measurable parameters such as fusel oil content, esters, apparent attenuation, etc., that's something altogether different. One of course could design an experiment that tested pitching rates against blind tasters who simply qualified beers as good and bad, but such strictly subjective measures are tough to make sense of (see above). There are dozens of research papers in reputable journals documenting the strong inference between pitching rates and various parameters in beers. This should not be surprising, as it is easy to design experiments to test pitching rates, and pitching rates are a common controllable factor in beer production. Even if one disregards the greater potential for contamination to make a foothold as one reduces the pitching rate (as evidenced by the PAE, contamination is pretty common in homebrewed efforts -- SHITE! EVEN MINE!) clean ferments have still documented a number of what are commonly considered beer flaws from low pitching rates. But if you are uncommon, and if you like the results, go for it. Again, those looking for proof should ask either a mathematician or a lawyer. Science can only disprove, and that subtle wrinkle makes all the difference. - --dave, sacramento Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 07 Mar 2000 15:19:48 EST From: "Martin Brungard" <mabrungard at hotmail.com> Subject: RE: Wort collection manifolds Using stainless steel hose braiding for an intake filter for mash tuns has proven to be an excellent idea. I have used one for the past several months with no ill effects in my RIMS. The question in this case is whether a reinforcement is needed to prevent collapse of the hose braid. I do not use any sort of reinforcement in my setup and in my experience, there is no need for the reinforcement. I saw someone post that they had tried the hose braiding and it collapsed, but I can only assume that they were a little 'ham handed' when they were stirring their mash. If you are careful when stirring, I don't think you need to worry about collapse. I did try using the hose braid over a slotted soft copper tube early in my RIMS experience. The braid/tube assembly did not provide the flow that I needed. After I thought about it for a while, I realized that the open area of the hose braid was much greater than the open area offered by the slots I put in the tubing. You would have to literally 'swiss cheese' the tubing to have enough open area. To maintain the hose braid in a uniform layout, I stitched the braid together where its runs touched together. I used very thin copper wire to stitch it. Another option could be to insert a thick copper wire through the entire hose braid and then you can arrange the braid around the bottom of your tun. It should hold its shape due to the stiff wire. Martin Brungard Tallahassee, FL "Meandering to a different drummer" ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2000 17:03:20 -0600 From: "Dan Senne" <dsenne at intertek.net> Subject: to rest or not to rest I'm planning to try something a bit different when I brew this weekend and would appreciate any suggestions... This batch will be a pale ale using the following grain bill and mashing in a converted cooler. 6# Weissheimmer pils 2# Munton pale ale 2# Briess 2 Row 1/2# Carapils In the past I have always done single infusion mashes, but I've been a bit disappointed with my extraction rates lately and so am planning to dough-in at 104F (40C) for about 30 minutes and then infusing with boiling water to boost the mash temp. to around 154F (68C) where I will hold it for 60 minutes or so. Given the types of malts I'll be using, am I better off doing it this way, or should I just omit the 104F rest and do a single infusion? Thanks for any advice, Dan Senne Collinsville, IL Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2000 17:04:18 -0600 From: "Dan Senne" <dsenne at intertek.net> Subject: to rest or not to rest I'm planning to try something a bit different when I brew this weekend and would appreciate any suggestions... This batch will be a pale ale using the following grain bill and mashing in a converted cooler. 6# Weissheimmer pils 2# Munton pale ale 2# Briess 2 Row 1/2# Carapils In the past I have always done single infusion mashes, but I've been a bit disappointed with my extraction rates lately and so am planning to dough-in at 104F (40C) for about 30 minutes and then infusing with boiling water to boost the mash temp. to around 154F (68C) where I will hold it for 60 minutes or so. Given the types of malts I'll be using, am I better off doing it this way, or should I just omit the 104F rest and do a single infusion? Thanks for any advice, Dan Senne Collinsville, IL Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2000 19:54:39 -0500 From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: acid washing & flocculation. NP Lansing posts ... >Last time I checked lower flocculation equated to greater attenuation. Greater attenuation implies lack of flocculation - not the other way 'round. You confuse cause and effect. Normally, after a growth limitation is reached, and rapid fermentation & attenuation slowed, then yeast cell surface properties change. This change in cell surface properties together with external conditions induce flocculation. If you provide better yeast growth conditions you can extend growth, extend rapid fermentation, improve attenuation, delay the normal cell surface changes and so prevent flocculation. See my late June '99 "Flocculation" post for references. Artificially destroying cell surface features by acid washing reduces flocculation, but does NOT extend growth conditions or energy reqs (fermentation) and so is unlikely to improve attenuation. I could certainly be wrong, so could the lit, so a reference to your suggested advantages of acid washing would be very interesting to see. All of the sources I see state that acid washing is indicated for infection reduction (not removal) and so is an expedient. It alters fermentation characteristics, so is a QA problem. NPL: [[ >From slant to 5 ml starter, from 5 ml to 50 ml, [...step - step - step ... ] Which is more likely to yield pitching yeast that falls into the mentioned acceptable standards? ]] ?!!?. Danstar uses the same step-up process. The issue is sanitation not step up procedure. That HB sanitation methods are inferior in some cases is certain. That they are usually adequate and sometimes even superior is also certain. This was never an argument of mine. I canNOT get the range of yeasts I wish in dry form, so I keep a modest yeast library and replate etc.. I can apparently do this and get at least comparable flavor results to these commercial yeast vendors. I base this on the number of replates vs commercial source starters I flushed due to off-aromas&flavors (0 vs 2 in the recent past). I have absolutely nothing against dry yeast, and am very pleased that Danstar, publishes infection figures. [Note that Danstar's <16 CFU/ml is far better than any source suggests from your acid washing regime]. What I did say was that A-B is a lot closer to perfection than Danstar, and that even such low infection rates as reported can cause flavor problems. Nat, I'm very happy that you are seeing good brewing results from acid washed yeast. The lit on the topic is a lot less enthusiastic than you. I am not in a position to say it is bad, but the lit doesn't support it as a QA procedure, nor to improve attenuation, nor to afford true removal of infections. 'nuff said - let's take it off-line if you've nothing to support your POV, Steve Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 07 Mar 2000 21:21:32 -0500 From: Randy Ricchi <rricchi at ccisd.k12.mi.us> Subject: seed Does anyone know of a source for 2-row barley seed? I would also like to plant some heather, but I can't find it in any seed catalogues. TIA for any responses. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 07 Mar 2000 21:30:50 -0500 From: Randy Ricchi <rricchi at ccisd.k12.mi.us> Subject: Real Ale Festival I haven't seen any postings about the upcoming Real Ale Festival in Chicago. Anyone from the HBD going? Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2000 21:33:13 -0600 From: bernardch at mindspring.com Subject: Stupid Kegging Trick Last Sunday I kegged up a batch of tasty dry stout for a St. Patrick's day party. Added my boiled and cooled primings solution to the keg and racked the green beer into the keg. I don't regularly keg but remember this particular keg having a problem in the past with getting a good seal around the lid. Applied a thin film of keg lube (Standard keg lube from Williams brewing) on the O-ring. Placed the lid on the keg, closed the bail and applied CO2 gas to get the lid to seat. Hmmmm. . . lid doesn't want to seat. Turn up the pressure to 10-12 psi. Lid still won't to seat. Think to myself I've got the lid on backwards, I'll open the lid rotate it 180 degrees and reclose. That should do it. Opend the lid and in my fidgeting to rotate it, the now well lubed O-ring slipped off the lid and, BLOOP, into the keg, rapidly sinking to the bottom of the beer. Much (rather loud and colorful) cursing ensued. Tried fishing the O-ring out with a racking cane to no avail. Sanatized a new O-ring and finally got the keg to seal. The beer seems to be carbonating normally as Tuesday evening cracking the pressure release indicated a fairly good pressure build-up from Sunday. What I'd like to know are: a) What effect will the (sanitized) keg-lube covered O-ring have on the finished product? head retention, taste, both? b) Am I the first person in the history of homebrewing to have done this? c) Is my O-ring ruined (IMOR)? d) Any suggestions? Chuck Bernard bernardch at mindspring.com Music City Brewers, Nashville TN Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2000 23:30:40 EST From: SRNagley at aol.com Subject: Recipe formulation help/ the good Dr. Brewers, I don't know if the rest of you have them but several of my friends, including my golf partner, are of the Bud/Miller/Coors ilk. They see me drinking a beer that actually has some color to it and immediately say "I don't like dark beer." My mission has been stated and it is to brew a batch of dark beer that these guys will drink and enjoy. Maybe even have some flavor (heaven forbid - but hey, I've got to drink it too). I generally would hate to ask for a recipe. I usually start out with something planned but often end up flying by the seat of my pants, adding an extra 1/2 lb of this grain here, rounding up the hop addition there, etc. Anyway I was I was thinking of something like a Munich dunkel. I don't need it to be black, but definitely dark, not just amber. No porters or stouts and while I can't make a true lager, I'll use as neutral an ale yeast as I can find. The real question I'm asking I guess is "What kind of specialty grains should I use to get a good dark color and be as bland flavorwise as possible?" I would assume a little of a very dark malt would be better than using a lot of crystal. Would the use of flaked maize help dummy down the beer for these guys? I do brew all grain. Any help to bring beer salvation to these guys would be greatly appreciated. On another front - while perusing a copy of Yankee Brew News, I came across an article "Tasting Panel - Maine Flagship Brews, part 2" where one of the tasting panel members was listed as "Dr. Steve Victor, a.k.a. Dr. Pivo - world traveler." He apparently is a regular to this YBN forum. If what I understand is true, this is not the poster to this forum, right? How many "Dr Pivo's" are there anyway? Is this like George Forman's sons who are all named George? Should they be forced to append a Roman numeral to their assumed title in order to keep them straight? As a disclaimer I do enjoy the good Dr's posts, even though I may not understand all his references. Thanks for any help. Steve Nagley Old Forge, Pa Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 00:34:40 -0800 From: "Duck" <duck48858 at yahoo.com> Subject: Duvel? Anyone have any ideas to help me produce a Duvel Clone? Here's what I know about Duvel so far: Two-row summer barley with a color of 2.5 to 5.5 is infusion mashed to give an OG of 1056. Saaz and a type of Styrian Golding hops are added at three points (when I don't know) during the boil. Dextrose is added before primary fermentation to bring the gravity to 1068. The brew is divided into two unequal portions, one for each of the two yeasts they use. (I plan to use Wyeast 1388 for one and culturing the yeast for the second from the sediment of a bottle of Duvel, if it's still alive that is.) Primary fermentation takes place for 5 or 6 days at a temp between 60F and 82F. This is followed by a secondary fermentation during which the temp is gradually lowered to 30.2F. Cold maturation is continued for three to four weeks before the temp is dropped to 26.6F to achive final precipitation and compaction of the yeast. The brew is then filtered (I'll just rack it a third time) and dextrose is added to bring the gravity up to 1073 (this sounds way too high to me! Perhaps this should be the amount of dextrose needed to bring the gavity to 1073 as if it had been added to the wort.This would be a much smaller amount.) One of the two yeasts is added (I'll use the stuff I get from the bottle, of course) and it is bottled and conditioned for 14 days at 71.6F. It is then stabilized for 5 to 6 weeks at between 39F and 41F. Many Duvel addicts then keep the beer in there own cellers for at least three months before opening it. Sounds like a royal pain in the ass, huh? Well, I've got to tell ya, this is my all time favorite beer and I'm compelled to clone it. If anyone has brewed a Duvel clone, has any suggestions, or is interested in brewing one let me know. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 00:53:52 EST From: Jbstrunk at aol.com Subject: High finishing gravity Recently my extract beers have been finishing with a sg around 1.02 or so. Any comments on how I can get them closer to 1.01 or lower?? I am brewing IPA's and Scotch Ales. A brewer friend says not to worry since they have lots of unfermentabales in them, but unlike Charlie I do worry about my home brew. Thanks in advance. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 17:25:53 +1100 From: Steve Lacey <stevel at sf.nsw.gov.au> Subject: Koji down under I have been interested in making sake for a while but have not been able to find a source for koji in Australia (Sydney). The sake/koji post by Glen Pannicke and Mutsuo Hoshido's sake home brewing web page have got me all excited again, so I thought I might as well throw it to the learned digest community. So, anybody know where the *&^(& at # you can get koji in this country?!!? You got any out in Burradoo, Phil? Kampai Steve Lacey Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 02:43:53 -0500 From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: pseudo-science PaulN writes ... >it has taught me all too well how science can be >misinterpreted by the "librarians" out there and manipulated by >the expurts in order to bolster their own high opinions of themselves >and lure the unknowing and ignorant down a false path. Yes, namecalling is always a sign of a strong well reasoned argument. I have for years now suggested that anyone with a technical interest use their library card and evaluate sources firsthand. Even sci-lit suffers from deficits in the language, typos even erroneous conclusions sometimes worse. That is exactly why it is placed in public view. Not because it is perfect, but because it needs to be perfected. That abbreviated second hand HBDposts are more imperfect is not an argument in favor no "librarians", no references, and no interpretation - just the opposite. PN>I am a scientist, [...] PN>If you are going to use science to prove a point, PN>then use it correctly. Your credentials would be more convincing if you understood that proofs are not to be had outside of mathematics and theology. It's the root of a lot of misconceptions. PN> You are only fooling yourself if PN> you think that there is more than a just a few shreds of scientific PN> evidence out there that actually proves this. Oh ? Did you do a lit search or is this one of those 'manipulations by expurts for self aggrandizement which lead people down the wrong path' which I've recently read about ? Claiming that you are the penultimate scientist so there is no evidence is pretty weak tea unless you can back it up. Let's see the lit search noting articles you've reviewed before declaring there little evidence. - -- Your statement "under pitching causes bad beer" has not been suggested except by you as a strawman argument. I suspect it is a general truisms with exceptions. To get to a more accurate view we should invoke more detailed arguments, but I'll have to send you to the library for this. Please let us know what you find so we can ridicule and demonize you for your efforts. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 05:51:22 -0500 From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: the ultimate snooze Yeast pitching rate variations, open fermenters, lower than recommended fermentation temps and relative unimportance of lag times have all had advocates in HBD archives. it's good to revisit these issues, but you're a long way from your original iconoclastic point - 'underpitch you'll just love it' - as an unqualified suggestion. >Yep, as I said the professional advice seems pretty sane... Yep, unless they report in a journal or it involves A-B, then it is garbage - right ? More than a little self-serving. >Pretty different than the accepted norms here, though. Really ? Seems mostly in range to me. The pitching rates and open fermentation are certainly practiced regularly by some. I do see some folks racing for shorter lags, but I don't think I've ever seen an advocate for this as a 'norm'. The low ale fermentation temps are the least common, but I don't recall anyone arguing that low temps would 'ruin your beer'. >> Apparently Pivo's converted up-the-kilt spy-cam is malfunctioning. Read it again, no one suggested you were a Scot. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 07:40:58 -0500 From: "Alan Meeker" <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: nips Tom Moench is looking for nips. Williams brewing (mail order/on-line) has some very nice dark green nips for sale. They are heavy duty w/ a punt in the bottom - just the thing for barleywines! -Alan Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 08 Mar 2000 07:52:48 -0500 (EST) From: darrell.leavitt at plattsburgh.edu Subject: Question re: Higher than anticipated FG I brewed recently an "Irish Valentine Ale" (Irish for the yeast, valentine for the day that I was doin the brewin). It came out having a higher gravity than I'd expected, and I'd really like to know why. Here is what I did: 4 lb Optic (new 2 row from Fawcetts) 4 lb Munich 1 lb Crystal 1/4 lb Torrified Wheat 1 lb Belgian Caravienne I do a partial boil (I know I need a larger kettle...): standard 2 step infusion (148F for 60, 157F for 60) in 3 gallons water... Well, at the end of both rests I tested with iodine and it turned black both times! I do often expect this the first time...but both ti mes? So, incorrectly thinking (I now think) that there was not enough enzyme to convert the malts (and not being sure that the munich had enough diastat ic oomph in it...which I now think it DID have)...I ADDED ANOTHER POUND OF THE OPTIC.....re-established the heat at 158 (or so) and let it sit for 45 more minutes. Well, it finally showed negative for starch... So, I pitched a vile vial (I know it should have been stepped up...perhaps THIS is the problem!) of WhiteLabs Irish Ale Yeast ...kept it between 65 and 69 F for a week, transferred to secondary, bottled a week later only to find that the final gravity had only gone down to 1.024! The first runnings were 1.15, the Original gravity (after adding 1 gallon of water) was 1.07....and as I stated above, the final gravity was 1.024 Is this a simple case of too much fermentable for too little yeasties? I know (or more accurately, I think that I know..) that the addition of the final pound of Optic was probably, perhaps, most likey, ...not needed...but is this what did it for the final gravity? OR, is it that the crystal and caravienne leave a lot of unfermentables? Or is it all of the above? ..Darrell <Terminally Intermediate Home-brewer> Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 08:17:32 -0500 From: "Alan Meeker" <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: Pivo's sales pitch Pivo is at it again! > "It seems these fellows use literature as weapons of argument rather than sources of information." Geee doc, you're right. What was I thinking? Using literature citations in an "argument" (though we civilized folks on this side of the globe prefer the term "debate"). Silly me. Why, I should be using other more reliable sources of information - like astrology or reading goat entrails perhaps?? > "Hey... I've got an idea! Let's make them accountable!" Sounds good to me. Of course, I suppose we aren't allowed to hold you to the same high standards eh? > "Let's see what Alan Meeker has to say about pitching rates when he's not > looking it up for the sake of this argument, but is looking it up for > ANOTHER argument: ....... This means using 2 -10gram packages to reach the "commercial" pitch rate." > Hmmmmm. Different truths according to the argument. Huh? Did you learn to read in school doc? This is in agreement with what I wrote concerning your pitch rates : "Interestingly, this rate of about 10 grams dried yeast per 5 gallon batch is in fact pretty close to the "commercial" pitching rate! So this is what he means by "underpitching?" No wonder he doesn't see any problems!..... As I said, "pretty close" - a factor of two is pretty close for pitching rate. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 08:16:03 -0500 From: "Darrell Leavitt" <Darrell_Leavitt at esc.edu> Subject: WLP800 Pilsner-Lager Does anyone have much experience with WhiteLabs WLP800 Pilsner-Lager Yeast? I ask in that it has taken off again on me and I cannot understand why! Here is what happened: I brewed a German-Style Pilsner (on 1/22/2000) [8lb Franco-Belgian Pilsner malt, 1/4 lb Torrified Wheat, 1 lb Cara-pils] ....etc...one stage infusion at 155 F, chilled and pitched about 500ml of WLP800 slurry from previous batch (harvested about 2 weeks prior to re-use)... Well, I let it cool down slowly (after I noticed it bubbling away)... a couple of degrees per day .. sort of...then tried to stabilize it at around 50 F [50-55 F is apparently optimal for this yeast]....Now, it seemed to have subsided a lot (about 16 days later) so, one evening I decided to let the temp come up to 60 or so for a diacetyl rest....Here is where the story gets interesting: the next morning the activity was so strong that I had to call into service my old trusty blow off apparatus! Do you think that I should have let this go longer in the primary...or was it too cool? I have now placed it in a cooler part of the house...letting the temperature slowly moderate...back toward 55 F... Anybody know what gives here? ...Confused... Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 08:25:54 -0500 From: "Alan Meeker" <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: Fw: Jason's Palexperiment comments Jason Henning wrote: > > There are 5 samples that finished > >1.020 or above (1.020, 1.0208, 1.022, 1.0232, 1.0233). That's 14.7% of the > >samples finishing 4.9 gravity points above the average. Jason, was there any correlation between the lag time and the finishing gravity or contamination levels? -Alan Meeker Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 08:27:03 -0500 From: "Alan Meeker" <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: Fw: Wyeast XL Steve writes: >What Paul failed to mention was the >experiment notes say: "new Wyeast American Ale extra >large smack-pack ". These are 175ml packs (5X). >Wyeast page claims: "Average cell counts are 35 - 75 X 10^8/ ml" >At that rate you could hit 10^7c/ml in 5 gallons with >25-50ml of smack-pack. Steve, these numbers seem incredibly high! Has anyone actually counted the number of cells in one of these XL packs? Sources I have seen range from 1 - 5 billion cells /total/ for a /standard/ Wyeast smack pack. This is for a volume of some 40 - 50 mls which breaks down to 1 x 10^8 cells/ml which is in keeping with what I and others I get for saturated healthy yeast starters. Back of the envelope calculations show that a 5-gallon batch (~ 19 L) started from this small Wyeast smack pack would be some 100-fold underpitched - based on the reccommended rates. If the XL packs are only 4X greater in volume then you'd still be underpitched by 25X. However, if the cell numbers you are quoting are correct then you would be hitting target pitch with the XL pack. Are they doing something different with the XL packs to pack SO many yeast into such a small space?? -Alan Meeker Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 08:28:35 -0500 From: "Alan Meeker" <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: Fw: The continuing saga of..... Paul writes concerning the Palexperiment: >What we get are some fairly generic >conclusions that are pretty much in line with the prevailing theory of >the day on the HBD: Underpitching leads to long lags, leads to >bad beer. While this probably is true, the "experiment" does not confirm >or deny this. But Paul, you are criticizing the experiment for not being rigorous enough to confirm or deny the high pitch rate hypothesis yet you were the one who held this experiment up as proof that low pitching rates don't cause problems - you can't have it both ways! So it wasn't perfect, it was a big undertaking and I for one applaud their efforts. It's still one of the best experiments I've seen conducted outside of the professional research circles. -Alan Meeker Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 08 Mar 2000 08:31:05 -0500 (EST) From: "Paul E. Lyon" <lyon-spamless at osb1.wff.nasa.gov> Subject: dorm size fridge Jay asks about a dorm size fridge to use in a fermentation chamber. I use a dorm fridge with its door removed to keep my kegs cool under my bar. I built an insulated box under my bar that can hold 4 kegs plus. The fridge is just mounted near the top of the box, and sealed to the box with duct tape. I have a computer fan blowing on the cooling element (freezer box door ripped off) all them time. I found that if I shut the fan off when the fridge shut off, ice built up on the cooling element. I have the fridge set on the warmest temp possible and it still keeps my kegs too cold, at about 40F. I think it could easily get down to the mid 30's if I wanted it to. So I'd say that Jay could easily use the fridge if his box is well insulated to reach fermentation temperatures. He will need to use his external fridge control to get warmer than 40F though. One thing I had to add to my set up is a long plastic container with a towel draped in it to catch all the water that condenses on the cooling element. My fridge has a ledge in the back, so I need the towel to wick the water from that ledge into the plastic container. I say go for it. I know it will work. Thanks, Paul Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 07:51:34 -0600 From: David Sweeney <David at stulife2.tamu.edu> Subject: Prost to Paul Smith Prost! to Paul Smith for his excellent review of his recent British beer tour in HBD #3266. This is the kind of post that makes brewing fun and keeps me in the hobby. It's nice to hear something *positive* about *beer* for a change. Good job, Paul. David Sweeney Texas A&M University david at stulife2.tamu.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 13:52:41 +0000 From: OSULLS at uk.ibm.com Subject: Plastic beer Kegs in the UK Steven Cavan replied... >snip John Herman <johnvic at earthlink.net> asks about plastic casks in the UK. Sounds like an EDME pressure barrel. They take CO2 sparklers, have a float for the dib tube, and perform quite well. Transfer from primary to EDME barrel, like to a cask, and the finishing ferment provides the carbonation. The sparkler provides replacement CO2 after dispense. We used to stock them, but can no longer get them in North America. Perhaps someone else has a source? >Snip This is true, but things have moved on a bit since the EDME pressure barrel. There is now a barrel called a 'Beersphere' which as the name implies is a spherical high grade plastic barrel with three dumpy moulded feet for it to stand on. Capacity about 5.5 Gallons. It has a floating take off pipe and tap (spigot). The cap(O ring sealed) is a screw on 4 inch opening, so good for cleaning access(you can get your arm in to clean it) Incorporated in the cap are two valves, one to allow excess (dangerously high) levels of pressure to vent off safley. The other valve accepts a screw on CO2 cylynder which can be screwed on or backed of hence you can give a timed burst of CO2 to pressurise the sphere as you dispense the brew. I have used three of them for 10 years, and apart from occasionally having to replace rubber seals and O rings they perform well. I don't know about availability in the US, but they are called 'Beersphere's' or 'Rotokegs', and I know a company called Hambleton Bard make them, see contact details, unfortunatley they dont have a website...... Hambleton Bard Ltd Home Brewing Conslt, Bailey Dv, Norwood Indust Est, Killamarsh, Sheffield. (0114) 247 0660 To dial this number from outside the UK, please first dial the local country's international access code followed by 44 114 247 0660 Sean O'Sullivan UK Swansea Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 14:01:39 +0000 From: OSULLS at uk.ibm.com Subject: Beer microscopy Take a look here.....http://microscopy.fsu.edu/beershots/index.html Some amazing shots of different beers under different conditions, see the technical data link for more info on how the shots are taken Sean UK Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 08 Mar 2000 14:20:30 +0000 From: "A. J. deLange" <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Mommily Exposed/Yeast & Oxygen I'm free! Years of reading the postings of the self appointed experts here (you know who you are!) had left me envious of their educations, knowledge and experience and from that envy grew respect. I see the error of my ways now and only contempt and gall remain. You know what did it? This pitching rate thing. While thinking about it I asked myself "If there is no scientific evidence that the industry standard pitiching rates are valid is pitching anything at all really required?" It's been a hard night, folks, pouring over journals, old BT's and breing texts an the result is I CANNOT FIND ONE PROPERLY CONDUCTED SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION WHICH TESTS THE HYPOTHESIS THAT YEAST NEED TO BE ADDED TO WORT TO MAKE BEER. Sure, there were lots of references to pitching rates and tables of data and stuff like that but not one triangle test between beers made with and without yeast, not one Latin square, not one Student's -t. Then, as dawn, the rosy fingered, spread her mantle over the winter darkened sea of my dying lawn, I remembered the sacred words of the Reinheitsgebot "... zu keinem Bier Stu:ke mehr als allein Gersten, Hopfen und Wasser..." You see anything in there about Hefe? It's a hoax and I've been taken in. We've all been taken in. I'm so ashamed. All those $3.99's into the hands of the local unscrupulous merchant who smiled while he took my money and added insult to injury by pressing on me not only those silly slap packs but nutrient and DME to feed the parasites they contained. All those messes in my long suffering wife's kitchen starting days before brew day. Lugging the heavy oxygen bottle.Iodophor. No more! To the new readers: Learn from my experience. There will probably be a chorus of protests here from posters (you know who you are you, you self appointed experts) who will tell you that you need to put yeast into your wort to make beer . Don't believe them. Make 'em prove it. Scientifically.Those old German guys didn't pitch yeast in the 16th century so why should you? Those Germans, they make pretty damn good beer. Right? And please, you self appointed experts, you, no accounts of worts that didn't get pitched for whatever reason (like wort stability test samples) that stank like a sewer after a couple of days. Those reports are just of facts - not scientific facts. We want real science here like, you know, what the EPA or some of those other govenment agencies give us in real scientific things like MSDS and enviromental impact statements. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * To the really new readers: It's a joke. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * To Dr. P looking for literature re additional oxygen effecting beer flavor: Quite by coincidence the JASBC which just came has an article by Uchida and Ono on beer flavor stability. One of the factors they explore is wort dissolved oxygen - both the level and the phasing i.e. they look at suppling oxygen only at pitching as opposed to oxygenation at pitching and then at subsequent intervals. This was found to have an effect on stability and, therefore, flavor as the beer ages. I think these guys have done quite a bit of work in this area (they're with Suntory) so you might try looking for their other publications. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 09:36:11 -0500 From: "Duncan, Jack (J.L.)" <jduncan1 at ford.com> Subject: re: FWH I just have to throw in a contrary opinion on this subject. As with Stephen Cavan, I have no scientific data to back what I am writing. My experience with first wort hopping is that the IBU contribution is NOT the same as adding the hops at the beginning of the boil. My experience closely matches what George Fix found, which is that the IBUs didn't increase much above what a late-addition provided (see http://brewery.org/library/1stwort.html) Surely, if FWH provided a similar bitterness as adding at the beginning of the boil, then the IBU difference Fix reported would have been much greater than 5! Are there any other quantitative studies on this? As for ProMash (satisfied customer, etc.), that program now allows for the user to change the IBU contribution for FWH. I have mine set to -50%, and get a bitterness that I consider appropriate. Jack Duncan Attica, MI Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 08 Mar 2000 09:07:30 -0600 From: Jason Jackson <jcjackson at jrpower.com> Subject: Clone: Red Stripe Lager Hunting for a Red Stripe (or something close) recipe. My friends love this Jamaican Lager, anyone have a clue as to where to find a recipe? Thanks in advance. Jason Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 09:45:54 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: High Finishing SG's Jeff Woods of Camp Hill <PAwoodsj at us.ibm.com> writes >Been having some higher-than-normal finishing gravities in the >last few brews.<snip> >Here's my situation, been brewing >IPA's and ESB's with starting gravities in the 60's and low 70's. The >yeast gets going quickly and strong. Activity has ended at 1.016-1.018. >I want a lower FG and remove some of the residual unfermented sweetness. Jeff, I'm not sure you are having a yeast problem at all. I think it's doing what can be expected - apparent attenuation of ~75%, which is typical. I think you have two choices that strike me immediately that don't involve yeast. You can try mashing below 150F, although I am not sure that will have a big effect, or you can substitute some sugar for the last 10 points or so of gravity, as the Belgians and English do with their big beers. That will dry them out a bit. I suppose champagne yeast is another possibility. Jeff -=-=-=-=- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, c/o nerenner at umich.edu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 09:36:44 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: fridge compressor controls Brewers A salute to Forrest Duddles, the FridgeGuy in Kalamazoo, who answered another fridge question in the best tradition of HBD. It was succinct, knowledgeble, useful, well written, clear and easily understood (even by non-engineers like me), with PARAGRAPHS, and he signed it with his name and location. A great resource, like so many we have here, who lives too close to 0,0 Rennerian for us never to have shared a beer. Hope we can soon. Cheers! Jeff -=-=-=-=- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, c/o nerenner at umich.edu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 10:20:12 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Cover for "open" fermenter Brewers I like fermenting my ales in an open vessel so I can watch them and collect top fermenting yeast for repitching. I ferment my 1/4 barrel batches in an 10 gallon aluminum stock pot which I used during the brew to heat mash and sparge water. It has a 1/4 turn valve at the bottom and I sanitize by boiling a little water in it. But I do like to keep the floating stuff in the air from settling on the ferment, notwithstanding success with this in traditional commercial breweries. So I've often covered it with the lid or a wide sheet of plastic wrap. But the kraeusen sometimes is too high and hits the lid. Sometimes I've added an extension to the pot of aluminum foil, but that's awkward. Last brew I hit upon a new cover - my old retired 8 gallon enameled steel canning kettle/brew kettle. It has about 1-1/2" greater diameter than my stock pot, so I inverted it over the pot and rested it on the stock pot's handles. A little like a petri dish cover, but it doesn't rest on the top rim of the pot itself. It sits up over the fermenter with lots of room for high kraeusen, and air can get in around the 3/4" gap around the sides, but not much dust. Jeff -=-=-=-=- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, c/o nerenner at umich.edu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. Return to table of contents
Date: 8 Mar 00 08:18:17 MST (Wed) From: rcd at raven.talisman.com (Dick Dunn) Subject: re: MEAD pitching rates Chester Waters <cwaters at home.com> asked: > On a parallel thread to all the recent posts on pitching rates, I'd > like some advise from the 'spurts on pitching rates for meads. I'm > planning a Orange Blossom Mead when my last lager goes into keg. I'd > like it to finish semi-sweet and plan to use the Wyeast sweet yeast. For > a OG around 1.010 in a 5 gallon batch, how much should I step-up the > smack-pack, and for that matter, should starters be mead/honey, or will > other fermentables do? What gravity is suggested for the starter 'wort'? First, I'd suggest that if you can get the White Labs sweet mead yeast, use that instead of the Wyeast. In the experience of various meadmakers (including myself) the Wyeast sweet mead yeast is finicky. Part of it seems to be an unusual susceptibility to inadequate nutrient. I can't tell (haven't been motivated to experiment enough) whether it might also be fussy about pH, but I think it's just a matter of nutrient. The character- istic we've seen is that the fermentation starts nicely and the gravity drops pretty good for a while, but the fermentation just goes slower and sllooooowwwweeeerrrr, with no clear end of fermentation. It would be a good idea to sorbate with this yeast to prevent a restart in bottles. Step up a couple stages from the smack pack. If you're trying to maintain delicate honey character, don't use all malt for the step-up. With the Wyeast, I'd suggest a starting gravity under 1.100, lest you end up finishing much sweeter than you want. That is less than a gallon (12 lb) of honey for 5 gallons...a good first try would be 10 lb. > I don't want to drive off the volatile orange blossom aroma by boiling, > so I plan to pre-boil and chill my water, and maybe pasteurize the honey > at 160F in its shipping containers (at least it will be liquid enough to > pour) first... Assuming the shipping containers are plastic, I wouldn't want to get them that hot. An alternative approach: Bring your water to a boil, take it off the heat, stir in the honey, mix thoroughly and cool. Realize that meads are nowhere near as susceptible to contamination as beers. - --- Dick Dunn rcd at talisman.com Hygiene, Colorado USA ...Simpler is better. Return to table of contents
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