HOMEBREW Digest #3280 Fri 24 March 2000

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		Many thanks to the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers of 
		Livonia, Michigan for sponsoring the Homebrew Digest.
				URL: http://www.oeonline.com

  A review of Fix's POBS 2nd Ed. (ALAN KEITH MEEKER)
  Big Brew 2000 Recipe - National Homebrew Day festivities (Crispy275)
  Port Hueneme, CA bound ("Spinelli, Mike")
  Re: outdoor cookers ("J. Doug Brown")
  HBD Post (MAB)
  Competition Brews ("Houseman, David L")
  Orlando Brew Pubs (Mark Tumarkin)
  force carbonating (J Daoust)
  re: Competition Brews ("Curt Speaker")
  Sparge pH (Nathan Kanous)
  Sight tubes ("Strom C. Thacker")
  sparge monitoring - pH or SG? ("Alan Meeker")
  RE: Yeast dump from a conical (LaBorde, Ronald)
  Souring A Fruit Beer (John Varady)
  trip to san francisco ... (ensmingr)
  re: hard cider won't clarify  (+ iron) (Dick Dunn)
  More Real Ale (John Varady)
  Re: HBD#3279 Iron Toxicity (ed basgall)
  Re: Mashed Rice For Dinner? (Jeff Renner)
  Re: searching the archives (Joel Plutchak)
  iron (kathy/jim)
  POBS II review (pt.2) ("Alan Meeker")
  more czech notes,  Brewing book ("St. Patrick's")
  POBS II    part 3 ("Alan Meeker")
  question re: brewing equipment & decoction brewing ("St. Patrick's")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 00:59:05 -0500 (EST) From: ALAN KEITH MEEKER <ameeker at mail.jhmi.edu> Subject: A review of Fix's POBS 2nd Ed. (Part 1) I have finally gotten around to reading the second edition of George Fix's Principles of Brewing Science and while it is somewhat of an improvement over the first edition I'm afraid the second edition is still deficient in several important respects. Before continuing I will preface this review by pointing out that by all accounts Fix is an excellent brewer and I don't doubt for a moment that he brews great beer. In fact, this practical knowledge is readily apparent in his other recent book - An Analysis of Brewing Techniques which I think is well worth the cover price. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for POBS II. Aside from several annoying proofreading errors, it is the /scientific/ content that I find lacking in the new book. It could be argued that most of these errors would cause no great harm in the brewhouse. Still, the book is titled; Principles of Brewing /Science/ therefore the reader is presumably interested in the scientific aspects of brewing although most likely with an eye towards practical applications as well. The book starts off with a very nice introductory overview (lacking in the first edition) in which various aspects of brewing are ranked according to their perceived impact on beer quality. Heavy emphasis is placed on both the quality and quantity of the pitching yeast as well as the potential problems of contamination and oxidation. While this was a welcome addition, useful portions of the first edition apparently didn't make the cut; one notable example being the appendix containing the basic science review material. A review of basic relevant chemical principles would undoubtedly have been helpful to many readers especially since there are instances where chemical terms, such as oxidizing/reducing for example, are used without first being defined and simple yet important concepts like pH are not elaborated on. Approximately 1/3 of the references are new (since POBS I) but I found the referencing to be terribly spotty. Far too much material is presented totally unreferenced and in several places the references cited aren't the primary sources for the information presented. Most of the chemical equations in the second edition are now in balance (with a few exceptions such as the "Strickland reaction") and most of the chemical structures are OK as well though there is a fair sprinkling of incorrect ones including an incomplete alpha acid structure, hop "isomers" which are not truly isomers as drawn, the figure on page 107 labeled "structure of leucine" when in fact it is supposed to be the R group of leucine (actually, it isn't even the correct R group for leucine) but these by and large are minor annoyances. (to be continued) -Alan Meeker Lazy Eight Brerwery Baltimore,MD Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 06:56:39 EST From: Crispy275 at aol.com Subject: Big Brew 2000 Recipe - National Homebrew Day festivities Guess you could call me a worried mother hen, but just two final clarifications when it comes to my Nearly Nirvana Pale Ale recipe. First, I happen to like to boil for 75 minutes vs. 60 minutes. Someone asked me why and I guess I have no particuarlly good reason, just sort of habit. I count the first fifeteen minutes of adjusting my boil to get the best rolling boil without the dreaded boilover. It usually takes me 10-15 minutes to get to the point where I feel confident enough to be able to take my eyes off the kettle for a minute. It is during these fifeteen minutes I typically add my Perle hops. While I have fooled around with first wort hopping, most of my SNPA clones I have not. So I suggest that we just go with an ounce of Perle's at boil. Second, I personally like to mash with about 1.25 quarts of water for each pound of grain. I use a Pico system with just over a gallon of water under the screen, so for 10 lbs. of grains I have a gallon foundation water plus 10x1.25 quarts for er, ah, man it's early, mmmn, oh yeah 12.5 quarts or 3.25 gallons. I am sure people who use different systems have different philosophies, so I am not sure it is really a relevant measure to provide people. As an aside, even before I knew about the AHA using my recipe, I am having my third annual National Homebrew Day celebration on May 6th. I live just south of Ann Arbor, Mi. , so if there are any brewers who may be interested in brewing with bunches of Fermental Order of Renassiance Draughtsmen and Ann Arbor Brewers Guild members, drop me a line and I will give you the details. Last year we brewed over a hundred gallons on over a dozen systems and we had a great time! Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 07:01:36 -0500 From: "Spinelli, Mike" <paa3983 at dscp.dla.mil> Subject: Port Hueneme, CA bound HBDers, My brother is moving to Port Hueneme, CA. Can any of you locals recommend areas to live, apartments, bars, BP's? Thanks Mike Spinelli Mikey's Monster Brew Cherry Hill NJ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 07:04:19 -0500 From: "J. Doug Brown" <jbrown at mteer.com> Subject: Re: outdoor cookers Cookers on the Deck, I have found that by attaching aluminum flashing to the top of a piece of plywood and placing this under my camp cooker has help keep from scorching whatever I am brewing over. My camp cooker sits low (4 inches above the gound) and the aluminum flashing seems to have the effect of reflecting much of the heat back up to my kettle. The flashing will also help prevent a spark or stray flame from igniting hot plywood. Just my 2 cents Doug Brown - -- J. Doug Brown - Fairmont, WV Sr. Software Engineer jbrown at mteer.com jbrown at ewa.com www.labs.net/kbrown www.ewa.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 09:07:28 -0500 From: MAB <mabrooks at erols.com> Subject: HBD Post In a recent post concerning a water analysis: I'm posting this water analysis courtesy of another brewing site on the web. It's quite strange. Seems like it has almost nothing other than sodium bicarbonate in it. Calcium 1.6 Magnesium 0.08 Iron 0.12 Manganese 0.0 Sodium 216.1 Carbonate 28.8 Bicarbonate 478.2 Sulfate 19.4 Chloride 9.6 Flouride 0.6 Nitrate 0.0 Phenolphtalein Alkalinity as CaCO3 24.0 Total Alkalinity as CaCO3 440.0 Total Hardness as CaCO3 4.3 Dissolved Residue (TS) Calculated 754.5 Specific Conductance Micromhos/cm 880 pH 8.8 Total Iron 0.20 Cheers! Marc Marc, It looks like this water has been processed through a water softener. Indications are the very high level of Na+, and subsequently low levels of Ca++. It is likely the water was initially very hard (in the form of CaHCO3). The high levels of dissolved solids and the high conductance are a result of the high levels of Na+ that are substituted for Ca++ in the softening process. This water could be problematic for use as brewing water. I would recommend the use of KCl (Potassium Chloride) pellets as a substitute for NaCl pellets in the softener regenerate tank.....Better for making Beer....Better for your Health. Matt B. Northern VA. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 09:22:26 -0500 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: Competition Brews Bill Tobler asks about submitting a beer brewed with someone elses recipe? Of course you can. In fact, you won't find a homebrew recipe that accurately reflects the actual beer the author made in sufficient detail to duplicate it exactly. Listing the malts, the hops, the yeast and even going so far as to describe the mash schedule and water chemistry is only part of the equation. Your system will have its own characteristics for mash efficiency and hop utilization. You probably won't have the exact grains or malt extract. Your might or might not find the same hops with the same Alpha that has been cared for in the same way. Your fermentation temperatures will most likely vary. Your sanitation habits will be different. And on and on. The bottom line is that a recipe you get from someone is a starting point. Your batch of beer will be unique. So an honestly acquired recipe should not be a concern for entering a competition. Hope you do well. David Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 09:28:33 -0500 From: Mark Tumarkin <mark_t at ix.netcom.com> Subject: Orlando Brew Pubs Stefan asked about brewpubs in the Orlando area. I live in Gainesville, well north of Orlando, so I don't get down there often. However, I can point you to a few places. First, Shipyard Brewing has a brewpub in the Orlando Airport so if you're flying that should be easy. There is also a fairly new brewpub called Oldenberg Grill in Oviedo (NE Orlando). I haven't been there but have heard good things about their beers. There is also the Big River Grille at Disney's Boardwalk. They also make decent beer, though nothing inspired. hope this helps, Mark Tumarkin Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 06:38:12 -0800 From: J Daoust <thedaousts at ixpres.com> Subject: force carbonating When force carbonating, how long do you need to leave the keg under pressure? I am keeping the temp in the mid 40's. I have used one of the various charts to get the pressure, but they only say leave for a long time. Thanks for the help, Jerry Daoust private email is ok Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 09:40:46 +0500 From: "Curt Speaker" <SPEAKER at SAFETY-1.SAFETY.PSU.EDU> Subject: re: Competition Brews Bill Tobler asks about beers for competitions: As judges, we must evaluate the beer on its own; we never see the recipe. We look for two major things: Are there anything wrong with the beer? Off-flavors (diacetyl, DMS, tannins/phenolics, sourness, astringency), off-aromas, obvious flaws. The other consideration is how closely does the beer adhere to the style that it was submitted as? Many a good beer is entered in a competition in the wrong catagory and gets hammered. You end up with a lot of comments on the scoresheet like "This beer would be and ideal <style>, rather than what you entered it as." So knowing the beer styles and being able to place your brew in them is important. Some folks are bullheaded and say "I brewed this beer as an IPA, and I am going to enter it as one, dammit!" In several cases, I have attempted to brew Bohemian Pilsners that them as American Pilsners (BudMilloors type beers) and have actually won ribbons with them. Regarding recipes, if someone posts a recipe to the Internet, it has pretty much become public domain. I think you are free to use the recipe as-is, tweek it a bit, and by all means, enter the brew in competitions to get feedback on how well you have made the beer and adhered to the style. Recipe formulation for beer is a lot like cooking: some folks have a natural knack for it and never need to follow a recipe, others well always follow a recipe exactly as written. To each their own. jjust my $0.02 Curt BJCP Certified (almost National - 2 more points!!!) Curt Speaker Biosafety Officer Penn State University Environmental Health and Safety speaker at ehs.psu.edu http://www.ehs.psu.edu ^...^ (O_O) =(Y)= """ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 08:46:08 -0600 From: Nathan Kanous <nlkanous at pharmacy.wisc.edu> Subject: Sparge pH Del says: "When then do you cut off the sparge? you can no longer monitor pH because it will always remains in the range, so you could run off as long as you want?" Well, to that I say....I sparge with a specific amount of sparge water. When it's gone, I'm done. Ain't rocket science and it's served me well. Generally, I use 1/2 gallon per pound of malt. Works pretty good. No mucking around with hydrometers or really expensive pH meters or useless pH papers. nathan in madison, wi Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 09:54:46 -0500 From: "Strom C. Thacker" <sthacker at bu.edu> Subject: Sight tubes I have a sight tube setup that works (for me, at least) without any extra welding or a bulkhead into the kettle (1/2 barrel sanke). The basic principle is to tap into an existing fitting on the kettle drain. I fitted my kettle drain with a brass T, with a female pipe fitting facing up. Into that I placed a compression fitting, which was attached to an approx. 2' length of polypropylene tubing (polypro tubing is cheap, food grade, and heat resistant, but too stiff to use with hose barbs/clamps). Make sure the tubing rises above the level of the top of the vessel, and you shouldn't need to drain it back into the kettle. This tubing is milky white, but clear enough to see wort or even water through. A couple of inches below the top of the tubing, I wrapped a small piece of approx. 1/2"-wide copper long enough to go around the polypro tubing with a couple inches to spare on either side (thick wire might work, too). I then attached the copper to the top ring of the sanke keg with a ss screw to keep the top of the sight tube stationary. The polypro tubing is pretty stiff, so the whole thing doesn't move around much at all (giving, I hope, consistent volume measures). The fittings should be available at a hardware or plumbing supply store, and I got the tubing from US Plastic (http://www.thomasregister.com/olc/usplastic/) (yadda, yadda). Calibrate and mark with a permanent marker. The trick, which I learned the hard way, is to attach a valve or air cock of some sort to the top of the sight tube. Leave it open except when draining the vessel. If the top is open when you drain it, you will suck in large amounts of air and, at least in my case, the flow will slow to a trickle or stop altogether. I haven't checked to see if my sight tube yields measures consistent with other types of setups, but so far my yields to the fermenter have been consistent with the rough measures given by the sight tube. This setup isn't as pretty as others, but it works for me, it's easy, and it's cheap. Of course, YMMV. Hope this helps! Strom Thacker Newton, MA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 10:30:40 -0500 From: "Alan Meeker" <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: sparge monitoring - pH or SG? Nathaniel Lansing wrote commenting on the practice of acidifying one's sparge water and the subsequent determination of when to end the sparge. "...The pH rise is the "indicator", acidifying the water voids your indicator." As far as I'm aware, the rise in pH is simply an indicator of the fact that phosphates (the major buffering species in the mash) have been significantly leeched out of the grain bed. I don't see how this is any better or worse an indicator of when to end the sparge than using specific gravity. As for myself, I no longer monitor either the pH or the SG of the sparge. I bump up my grain bills by about 10% or so, acidify my sparge water and sparge till I have collected a target volume appropriate for my brewing set up and based on reasonable estimates of my expected mash efficiency and target SG. I've fallen into the camp of people who are willing to take the small $$ loss in exchange for not having to push the sparge too far. -Alan Meeker Baltimore Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 09:27:48 -0600 From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: RE: Yeast dump from a conical >From: "John Todd Larson" <larson at amazon.com> >How do I keep the dump area clean? I assume I dump some trub and junk out >after a few days and then harvest a few days later. Should I try to clean >the outside part of the valve and try to sanitize in place -or- after >dumping trub maybe quickly cover with aluminum foil and leave dirty until >harvest? When visiting Abita brewery in Abita, La., here is what I saw. Another visitor who happened to bring along his mason jar asked for some yeast. The brewer took the jar, went to a large sink with sanitizer in it, rinsed the jar & cover, took a spray bottle of something and sprayed up at the conical tank and valve inner surfaces. Then he sprayed his brush and brushed the exposed area inside the valve, then he sprayed again. He opened the valve, dumped some yeast into the jar, closed the valve, brushed and sprayed again, then handed the jar to a very happy visitor. Ron Ronald La Borde - Metairie, Louisiana - rlabor at lsumc.edu http://hbd.org/rlaborde Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 10:42:55 -0500 (EST) From: John Varady <rust1d at usa.net> Subject: Souring A Fruit Beer I took 4 gallons of Alt that I had fermented with a pilsner yeast and added 12 pounds of mulberrys. It's been on the berrys for 10 days. I'd like to rack it to a 6 gallon carboy and add a lambic culture to sour it. I'd love to get the sour/tartness of a framboise. I'm willing to let this beer set for a few months or more. Which would be the best Wyeast culture to use? I also plan on getting a bottle or two of lambic to dump the dregs in. I realise that this is no lambic and I will not be able to acquired the exact profile of a framboise - this is just an experiment. 4335 Lactobacillus delbrueckii 4733 Pediococcus cerevisiae 3278 Belgian Lambic blend 3112 Brett. bruxellensis 3526 Brettanomyces lambicus >From reading the descriptions of each of these, the 3526 sounds like the best choice. I'd like to hear about experiences with each. John - -- John Varady http://www.netaxs.com/~vectorsys/varady Glenside, PA rust1d at usa.net Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2000 10:53:12 -0500 From: ensmingr at npac.syr.edu Subject: trip to san francisco ... Two San Francisco beers come to mind that you may enjoy depending upon your religious and sexual preference(s). "HE'BREW" ( http://www.shmaltz.com ) is a kosher beer made in San Francisco whose motto is "Don't pass out, passover". "Queer Beer" (formerly at http://www.queerbeer.com ) is an entirely different beer, that some others on the HBD (Fred Garvin?) may be more familiar with. Cheers! Peter A. Ensminger Syracuse, NY Return to table of contents
Date: 23 Mar 00 08:54:49 MST (Thu) From: rcd at raven.talisman.com (Dick Dunn) Subject: re: hard cider won't clarify (+ iron) "Nigel Porter" <nigel at sparger.freeserve.co.uk> wrote: > I wouldn't worry too much about the cloudy cider. For those of you > who have had the pleasure of drinking proper English West Country > cider, you will have found it to be totally flat (ie no carbonation at all), > exceptionally dry and so murky that you cannot see your fingers > through the glass. Two out of three. The West Country style is certainly still/dry, but if you're getting "murky" cider you'd do better to look elsewhere. It will likely be unfiltered and un-fined, which means that it won't be "bright", but you should certainly be able to see through it. Properly made and fermented over a reasonable period (slowly over several months) a good cider will fall clear, especially with the apples they favor in the west counties, which are high in tannins. > Also to buy it, you can normally go to a farm with a container of your > own, and the farmer will go and pull some out of a dubious looking > container in the back of a dirty old barn. Nigel, you're laying it on a bit thick. Yes, you'll find cider in some interesting and old places, but if it looks dubious or dirty you're probably going to be disappointed. We've tried places that are off-the- path and a bit "funky" as we'd say...some of them have good cider while others have thin, mean stuff that's starting to vinegar or oxidize due to poor care. You'd best ask for a taste before you have your jug filled up. For a better start on West Country cider, look for small-scale commercial cider makers first. They'll introduce you to the West Country style with well-made ciders; then when you visit that out-of-the-way farm selling cider around back you'll be able to tell the difference between a style which is new and surprisingly different to your taste, _vs_ one that's just plain bad. If you can get the brochure of the "South West of England Cidermaker's Association", it's got a map to a couple dozen reputable producers, almost all of them small. That will give you a good start. Unfortunately, the copy I've got has no address for the Association, so I don't know where you could get a copy in advance of a trip. _ _ _ _ _ There was a quick question about iron in the same HBD. Just a note re cider: Keep it away from iron! It turns the cider a nasty dark green. - --- Dick Dunn rcd at talisman.com Hygiene, Colorado USA ...Simpler is better. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 11:41:50 -0500 (EST) From: John Varady <rust1d at usa.net> Subject: More Real Ale Lynn notes that this is a fabolous weekend for real ale. However, she missed one! I'll be there, since I won't be in St Louie. REAL ALE RENDEZVOUS 2000 That's right, America's oldest real ale gathering is in its 6th year, and will feature another amazing selection of 12 cask ales from near & far. Many of the beers have been commissioned specially for the event, and each has been maintained according to CAMRA standards and served by gravity or handpump, using no cask breathers or electrikal cooling apparatus. Saturday March 25, 2000 2-6pm $20 includes beer & snacks Dock Street Brasserie 18th & Cherry Streets Philadelphia, PA - -- John Varady http://www.netaxs.com/~vectorsys/varady Glenside, PA rust1d at usa.net Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 11:52:43 -0500 From: ed basgall <ejb11 at psu.edu> Subject: Re: HBD#3279 Iron Toxicity Adam wrote: >Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2000 21:09:14 +0000 >From: jafjmw at wlsfn.force9.co.uk >Subject: Iron - good bad or indifferent? >A combination brewing / cooking question. Everyone agrees that lead is >poisonous; aluminium is debatable. What about iron? I am thinking >mainly about rusty woks and frying pans, but also about iron water >pipes and other sources of iron or iron oxides in liquid or solid >foods. Are they harmful, beneficial as dietary iron, or irrelevant? >Thanks >Adam Funk Hi Adam, These sources of iron (oxides) are generally considered poorly absorbed by the Human intestinal tract, however. this from: http://health.excite.com/content/asset/chat_transcript.524967 "Dr_Krikker Hemochromatosis is a genetic disorder of iron loading of vital organs such as the heart, pancreas, liver, joints and the pituitary gland. It is not only a common genetic disorder, but it is probably the only genetic disorder which when diagnosed and treated is compatible with a healthy and full life span. Without a diagnosis and treatment, these patients go on to develop the symptoms of the iron loading. The symptoms depend on the organs involved. To understand hemochromatosis is to understand the uniqueness of this genetic disorder. " Cheers ed RaidR Nittany Valley Hash House Harriers http://www.rehrig.net/nvhhh/index.html State College Underground Maltsters (SCUM) http://rayleigh.chem.psu.edu/scum/ "Give a man a case of beer and he drinks for a day, Teach him to brew and he drinks for a lifetime" Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 11:57:13 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: Mashed Rice For Dinner? "Phil Yates" <yates at acenet.com.au> pries himself away from the six scantily clad ladies in the billiards room long enough to write: >How will it mash if it hasn't been cooked first? I >thought it needed to be gelatinised before mashing. You're right that corn and rice starch will not gelatinize at mash temperatures. However, there are several factors that make the whole picture not as simple as that. First, starch granules are ruptured in the milling process and this makes them available to solulize in water, which is what gelatinization is. I coarsely mill my rice in a Corona mill into "grits," maybe 1 mm pieces. Secondly, I suspect there may well be enzymatic processes going on other than amalytic that make the mash more liquid. At any rate, you can see it get more liquid (do use sufficient water) with time. After a 20-30 minute mash, I boil for about 20 minutes as I recall. Brewing texts (I could look this up but I have posted it in the past with citations) recommend boiling the rice "grits" until there is just a tiny uncooked kernel in the very center. If you cook further it seems that you don't get as good lautering. Then stir this into the main mash. I usually rest the main mash at around 144F (62C) during the cereal boil, and adding the cereal mash brings it up to my next rest of 158-160F (70C+). Sometimes I have to adjust with the burner or cold water. >I mention this because it means I could now, if I want, cook the rice first >in the masher then add the Barley, even throw in a protein rest and go from >there. I'm sure this way the rice would cause me no trouble. But I can't >imagine how one would mash uncooked rice. I like to do the cereal mash in a small separate pot. I mash in then put it in the preheated oven in the kitchen, then cook it on the kitchen stove or on one of my brewery burners. >Oh and by the way, not only do the ladies like the rice beer, I >do too. I do too, although I generally prefer corn beer. But rice makes a great light lager. It's nice to have a "lawnmower beer" with real flavor. Again, maybe like 1900 Budseiser. 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: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 11:33:16 -0600 (CST) From: Joel Plutchak <plutchak at ncsa.uiuc.edu> Subject: Re: searching the archives In HBD #3274, Jim Liddil asks: >Can't some programming genius out there come up with a better >search engine for the HBD? Google and altavista style comes >to mind. But I am not a programmer and so if I am way over >simplifying forgive me. I'd be among the last to call myself a genius, but I've been programming from 20+ years, and doing web stuff for almost as long as NCSA Mosaic has been around. Personally, I think the HBD search engine is fine the way it is: simple and direct, with no annoying frippery to get in the way. (And thanks to Spencer Thomas for selflessly providing the service!) - -- Joel Plutchak Brewin' and computin' in south-central Illinois Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 13:00:34 -0400 From: kathy/jim <kbooth at scnc.waverly.k12.mi.us> Subject: iron As I understand, iron is a surplus in most of the USA population and we do not need the iron supplements the food industry pushed on us in the last 40-50 years. Man evolved with various parasites and developed an iron gathering mechanism to feed the worms and us. It is being dropped from many vitamin supplements formulas. Iron is a problem in brewing and should be avoided as with enamel cover boiling pots that are chipped, etc. Too much iron in the water is also a problem, but I'll let others elaborate. Iron in skillets, pots, etc is not usually a problem unless you are one of the few people poisoned with retained iron. The use of aluminum is no longer argued as numerous tests establish that except for reacting negatively with the caustic cleaners that the commercial boys/girls use, it brews beer extremely well. In fact traces of copper are more problematic healthwise then elemental aluminum. I'm in the market for a new brewing pot and going aluminum is my path. cheers, jim booth Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 13:17:35 -0500 From: "Alan Meeker" <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: POBS II review (pt.2) POBS review/corrections (part 2) Water Chemistry: The first chapter jumps right into various aspects of water chemistry and treatment options - material of obvious importance to the brewer. Unfortunately, the general reader is unlikely to take away much other than confusion from this section. It would have been nice to include clear descriptions of basic concepts here, such as what exactly pH is, its logarithmic nature and why it is so important. The concept that the carbonate buffer system is a coupled equilibrium between gasseous CO2, various carbonate species, and carbonic acid is lost and was better described in the first edition. It would also have been nice to have clearly defined the somewhat confusing terminology used in describing water chemistry - terms like temporary and permanent hardness for example. A basic description of the phytic acid/phytase system in malt may have been beneficial. The proposed mechanism for acidification by lactic acid is a bit strange, Fix has it reducing pH as a consequence of complexation with calcium but the actual mechanism is almost certainly simple proton dissociation upon the introduction of the acid into water. Indeed, lactic acid certainly lowers the pH in the complete absence of any calcium. Carbonic acid is given similar short-shrift as we are told that since it is "neutral" it thus does not change wort pH. Where things really get muddled (and where most people are likely to get truly lost) is in the description of Residual Alkalinity. RA is given as = <HCO3-> -0.87<Ca2+> this disregards the effects of any magnesium present which may in fact play a significant role depending on the source of the water. Also, the formula differs from that presented by Fix in AOBT where at first RA = <HCO3-> - <Ca2+>/135 then later RA = <HCO3-> - <Ca2+>/35. In fact, if one checks the Moll reference given one finds the denominator of the calcium term is actually 3.5 Introducing the units of German degrees of hardness only complicates things further. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 12:29:54 -0500 From: "St. Patrick's" <stpats at realtime.net> Subject: more czech notes, Brewing book First Wort Hopping (moving last hop addition to first wort) is not practiced in Czech Republic but the first hop addition is indeed before kettle so that boil is reached about same time lauter is finished. First hop addition coincided with putting heat to kettle. So first hops weren't boiling for at least 45 minutes. This may explain the misunderstanding that FWH is practiced. I don't know for sure, but I suspect this contributes a different flavor profile than if first addition were after boil began. Second addition about 10 minutes into 1.5 hour boil, and last at 20 minutes before end. Each addition about same amount of Saaz. Last addition for dark lager was a little less than what it would be for pilsner. I also spent a couple of hours with a member of the tasting panel (which also included retired Pilsner Urquell brewmasters) which evaluated Pilsner Urquell as they switched from oak to cylindroconicals. It isn't quite accurate that the panel reached the conclusion that Pilsner Urquell of today is the same. Over a period of months changes were made to emulate the traditional beer. But as this person emphasized, if you want the Pilsner Urquell of old, you must go to the pub inside brewery (not the bar outside gates) which still serves beer fermented in open oak and lagered in oak. Double decoction is the norm in Czech Republic. However, Pilsner Urquell does indeed use triple decoction, as many have reported over the years. Some Czech breweries are now using German lager yeast (from Weihenstephan). Pilsner Urquell has their own as does Budvar. However, the most popular yeast strain is none of these. I have made some inquiries about acquiring it. One of the most interesting things I learned was that Budvar yeast can be crashed at a higher temperature than the Weihenstephan lager yeast. Budvar can be crashed at 3C while Weihenstephan keeps plugging along and must be brought to about 0. The relative maltiness of Budvar and many other Czech beers I now believe has more to do with the choice and handling of yeast and lagering temperatures than anything else. Jim Busch's post of Wednesday relates to this issue of crashing yeast and leaving residual maltiness. Fullers also crashes the yeast to retain some residual sweetnesss. I have since talked to some brewpub brewers in Texas and this temp difference may be quite significant in a practical sense. It is not too difficult for most with glycol jackets to hit 3C, but 0 or 1 C is difficult. I'm not sure but I think you can hit 3C in most home fridges at the lowest setting. I know there has been just a little discussion about diacetyl in Czech beers ;-) I only want to point out that Czechs control diacetyl in a different manner than most German (and American) breweries. The 3 ways to reduce diacetyl (I was given a nice lecture on this and read it in Kunze later) are 1) diacetyl rest which is used in Germany. Czechs use either 2) krausening (3-5% typically but up to 10%) or 3) reducing pressure in lagering vessel to reduce diacetyl. Paul Smith asked how to get I. Hornsey's book: Here's the Royal Society of Chemistry web page where Brewing by Ian Hornsey can be purchased. It's 17 pounds (about $28) and I'm not sure about shipping costs. http://www.rsc.org/is/books/brewing.htm You can get the chapter on hops off the website and also look over table of contents. Lynne O'Connor Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 13:31:02 -0500 From: "Alan Meeker" <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: POBS II part 3 POBS II (part 3) - --------------------- Basic Biochem: Brewer's yeast do not consume proteins and peptides are not properly considered a "class of proteins." It is said that "Only 20 different amino acids generally appear in enzymes relevant to brewing" of course this is true as virtually all enzymes are made up of just these same 20 amino acids. Fatty acids in the wort cannot be used as substrates in sterol synthesis as they are not in the sterol synthetic pathway. Any oxygen sparing in this situation would be due to the reduced oxygen requirements for UFA synthesis therefore more of the available oxygen could be used for sterol synthesis instead. The graph on pg. 97 shows sterol synthesis occurring over a period of some 2 1/2 days - this seems a bit long. Permeases are located in the cell membrane not the cell wall. The enzyme maltase is not the same thing as the maltose permease, they are separate proteins the latter serving to facilitate transport of the sugar maltose into the cell while the former cleaves the maltose to yield two molecules of glucose. Catabolite repression does not act to "deactivate" permease enzymes, rather their synthesis is inhibited. The formation of acetlylCoA diagrammed on page 91 is incorrect. The acetyl residue does arise from pyruvate but coenzymeA does not. In addition, the two should be linked via a thioester linkage forming a single molecule. It is stated that this is an important compound because it is the "first fermentation product containing sulfur." however, this statement is not strictly true and no explanation is given as to why this sulfur should be important in brewing. The only function of this sulfur is to act as a donor-acceptor for various carbon compounds, it is not a source of the organolepticaly important sulfur compounds found in beer. The enzyme phosphatase is said to "break down phosphoric acid" but its real function is to liberate inorganic phosphates by breaking their linkages to various organic compounds. For instance, phytase is a phosphatase that specifically releases free phosphate from phytate - the major malt phosphate storage compound. The phosphoric acid "breaks down" as a consequence of its own intrinsic propensity to release protons as well as reactions such as those between phosphoric acid and divalent metal cations such as calcium and magnesium. The reaction labeled as illustrating beta amylase action is actually the alpha amylase mechanism. In the esterification reaction on pg. 111 the ester is mislabeled as a carboxylic acid. The sharp decrease described for amylase activity (alpha? beta?) with increasing pH (as opposed to decreasing pH) seems a bit questionable. One reference is given (from the 1950's) and the activity vs pH data in Table 1.9 are presented in a way that unfairly accentuates the decreases in activity at higher pH. Also, this behavior stands in stark contrast to later biochemical analyses of the pH dependence of amylase activities published in the biochemical literature. The activity level of the amylases is a multifactorial property with the variables of temperature, calcium concentration, and substrate concentration, playing key roles in addition to that played by pH. A sound explanation of how all these various factors interact and affect the enzymatic activities of the amylases (particularly during the mash) would have been preferable. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 13:13:55 -0500 From: "St. Patrick's" <stpats at realtime.net> Subject: question re: brewing equipment & decoction brewing I have a couple of questions for people familiar with brewpub and micro equipment in US. I spent some time at several brewpubs and a micro in Texas before this trip to familiarize myself with equipment so I could ask the right questions and look for the right things. It would seem that the only major difference in 2 vessel systems here and in Czecho is the drain above screen in lauter tun. This drain is to draw off decoctions. All brewpub systems I saw here do not have this and I think this is all that prevents brewers from doing decoction. I understand pump requirements for moving thick mash might be different as well. The other issue of whole hops came up as well. Czechs do whirlpool like everyone else and whole hops are a problem in whirlpool there as well. Basically they have a hop-back type vessel to remove whole hops between kettle and whirlpool. This vessel is enclosed and it basically has a wire basket inside. I'm not sure of size but it's much, much smaller than kettle. So my questions are: Are any of the US manufacturers making lauter tuns with a drain above the screen? Is anyone making an enclosed hop-back for brewpubs? I think I saw one advertised from an eastern US or Canadian place (pugsley?)? Lynne O'Connor Return to table of contents
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