HOMEBREW Digest #3316 Thu 04 May 2000

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  Peroxide: Being "Fair" to Your Mates... (Wes Smith)
  Forgive us St Arnould & Brewing in the Southern Highlands (Wes Smith)
  Belgium (Marc Sedam)
  Yeast questions ("Strom C. Thacker")
  Monitoring The Rate Of Fermentation ("Poirier, Bob")
  Yeast propagator (RCAYOT)
  New Garage (read: brewhouse) (Epic8383)
  Big Brew Virtual Brew (Richard Foote)
  Bleach vs. Stainless - Momily? ("Grant W. Knechtel")
  rinsing bleach (Jeremy Bergsman)
  Another mash hopping report (Trevor Hyde)
  Burner conversion and safety ("Stuart E. Strand")
  re: yeast question (ALABREW)
  Sparge volume ("Russ Hobaugh")
  Bad Starters ("Chris Strickland")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 18:17:13 +1000 From: Wes Smith <wessmith at ozemail.com.au> Subject: Peroxide: Being "Fair" to Your Mates... Well "fair go" fellow brewers, All this talk about the use of H2O2. Dr Pivo reckons that we are suffering from the tall poppy syndrome down here in Aus land because we have 6% H2O2 available at the local chemist! (pharmacia) He obviously didnt take a stroll along Oxford Street in Sydney during his visit. All those "loverly" chaps with groovy hair holding hands and indicating other unmentionable practices as the mince along. How can you expect to get the truuuly blonde look with 3% H2O2 Dr? Definitely a case of the end (?) justifying the means I reckon. In one of my previous lives I also used to buy H2O2 in bulk at 35% as an oxidiser for a copper etchant (I hasten to add!). We effectively diluted to around 5% for use but had found that the weaker commercial solutions lost there effectiveness very quickly and we could not predict the reaction as we could from the 35% solution. And it was definitely cheaper. Handling was not a real issue as we were also handling many other nasties for the complete process. Just be aware that weaker (3 or 6% solutions) of H2O2 have a definite shelf life at their stated strength. Now I must contact that nice chap Bruce and see what colour his hair is these days - might even introduce him to the Baron down at the Burradoo Hilton this Friday night. Doubt he will be interested in a game of pool though.... Wes Smith Bloke's Shed Brewery Southern Highlands Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 21:49:06 +1000 From: Wes Smith <wessmith at ozemail.com.au> Subject: Forgive us St Arnould & Brewing in the Southern Highlands Forgive us St Arnould, We are but humble brewers, albeit bonded by this fabric we call the HBD, but subject to the weaknesses and foibles of this race we call human. We strive as individuals to advance the concept and skills of brewing and present them to the broader community in the blind hope that those who drink our favorite tipple will find the galaxy of flavour, taste and aroma in a "real" beer exciting and rewarding and join us in common worship. Unfortunately the advent of the change of millennium ( that should get the mathematicians going!) seems to have given rise to a bout of heart rending confessions of past errors and just plain stuff ups. Even the Baron has weakened (?) and admitted to 2 major transgressions on the same day! Unforgivable! Now we see the spectacle of various experienced and and serious US based brethren also declaring their past brewing sins. This is all too much and has caused me to go into introspective mode (navel gazing I think it is called). While I have been threatening to brew for some 35 years, it is only in recent times I have finally had the time (?) and place (space) to set up. Not to say that I did not pursue a demonic interest in the malt beverage. In fact I saw (and enthusiastically sampled) the output of the first micro in Boston back in the '80s. I refer to the Commonwealth Brewing Company just a couple of blocks from the Boston Gardens. For its time a great drop. And then that bar in Harvard Square (cant remember the name) that had 100 or so beers on sale. And the advent of Sam Adams - wonderful stuff. But still I didnt brew. In fact I cooked. Seriously for some 30 years, initially as a matter of survival but then for fun and the sheer challenge. I became very interested in Chinese cuisine - hey with a 5000 year history they must have something right! I reached a point after many years where I could replicate many of the classic dishes - including a genuine beggars chicken - but still I was not happy. Many of the subtle flavours and textures continued to elude me. It was about this time that I realised I had learnt enough to know I knew nothing. I believe I have arrived at this same point in brewing. The Baron's post a couple of days back got me thinking. When you find yourself picking holes in bottled Pilsner Urquell, Grolsh and even Hooegarden Wit - all suffering from oxidation and decidedly stale (I was going to say skunky but decided not to - cant take the risk!) then you have to question whether you have lost the plot or moved to another plane. The Baron alludes to this in his post - we are either very good or right off the rails with a lot too learn. I believe the latter applies and look forward to moving to the next plane - oh, and lots more sampling with the Baron. Phil also talked about brewing in the Southern Highlands. I dont know how many mash brewers there are in Australia but I do know the Southern Highlands mash mob. There's Brian from Robertson (Where they made the films Babe 1& 2) a 15 year brewer and brew shop owner just 1 vessel short of his full mash kit, Martin who is Dutch by birth and extremely passionate about Belgian styles, Barry who started brewing in the UK in the Dave Line days, Paul of dancing fame who is currently setting up his brewhouse after recently relocating from Sydney and Paul who has temporarily suspended his brewing due to ill health. And then us Barons. Not too shabby for a population of 35,000. And we sample like crazy - but dont all visit the Burradoo Hilton. Got to go and check some carbonation levels. Wes Smith Southern Highlands. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 09:13:38 -0400 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: Belgium Of course there are many beer-related places to visit in Belgium, but I'll suggest the two easiest: 1) Cantillon Brewery Museum--pick up a few fresh bottles of gueze 2) The Beer Temple-- This is right off the Grand Place. OK, it's a bit of a tourist trap, but they do have hundreds of beers, beer glasses, and lots of gift packs built especially for the traveler (like two bottles of beer and two glasses in a cardboard box with a built-in handle). They also had lots of the Brewferm kits FWIW. Cheers! Marc - -- Marc Sedam Technology Development Associate Office of Technology Development The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 308 Bynum Hall; CB# 4105 Chapel Hill, NC 27599-4105 919.966.3929 (phone) 919.962.0646 (fax) http://www.research.unc.edu/otd Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 09:37:57 -0400 From: "Strom C. Thacker" <sthacker at bu.edu> Subject: Yeast questions Kevin asked about a peculiar smell in his yeast starters: >Can any of you guess what that smell is? Others will probably answer your question more technically than I, but the odor/sensation may have simply been CO2 that was released when you agitated the starter. CO2 can create a sharp, painful sensation if you breathe it. Smell it again after it has fermented out. Give it a taste, too -- if it tastes fine, it's probably ok to use. Hope this helps! Strom Newton, MA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 08:51:50 -0500 From: "Poirier, Bob" <Bob_Poirier at adc.com> Subject: Monitoring The Rate Of Fermentation Greetings. I've become a big beer freak - barley wine (Sierra Nevada's Big Foot, Avery Brewing Co.'s Hog Heaven, Brooklyn's Monster Ale), Imperial stout (Victory Brewing's Storm King [the best I've had so far], Brooklyn's Black Chocolate Stout), Scotch ale (Belhaven's Wee Heavy & McEwan's Scotch Ale), dopplebock (Ayinger's Celebrator & Spaten's Optimator), etc., etc., etc. It logically follows that I'd like to try and brew these styles myself. After reading all the fantastic response by Dr. Clayton Cone (via Rob Moline - thanks a bunch Rob!!), I've decided that it's imperative that I give my future batches of big beer the best possible chances of success. I'm zeroing in on the yeast & fermentation. A few times Dr. Cone mentioned oxygenating the fermenting wort after a specific amount of time. My question is, what is the best way for a homebrewer to determine the actual onset of fermentation?? I'm relatively certain that there are things happening in the pitched wort prior to the production of CO2. Would it be beneficial to monitor the DO level or pH of the fermenting wort, in order to gauge how far things have gone?? I know that oxygenation very early on is very good, while oxygenation very late is a no-no. If it's OK to oxygenate at say the 14th hour (per Dr. Cone's response to a question by Marc Sedam in HBD #3307), how can I accurately determine when the fermentation is in it's 14th hour?? Thanks! Bob Poirier, a.k.a. Bubba East Haven, CT I used to guzzle, now I sip (and enjoy it a helluva lot more). Return to table of contents
Date: 03 May 2000 08:56:52 -0400 From: RCAYOT at solutia.com Subject: Yeast propagator Date: Tue, 02 May 2000 14:43:54 -0400 From: "Pannicke, Glen A." <glen_pannicke at merck.com> Subject: Yeast propagator Glen, Read your post, very interested in a yeast propagator myself, however, I think you may want to reconsider a few of your basic premises: Cylindroconical: Yeah I know you said that some breweries use one for a propagation.... The reason you give is to better collec the "middle portion" leave dead yeast and trub behind etc. Well, I think that is where you are going a littel awry, those yeast cuts are discussed in the context of collecting yeast from a full size brew. In the case of growing yeast for homebrewing from a slant or smack pack, you don't have to worry about that. If you set aside some wort from a previous brew or make up some from DME, you can always filter it (use a coffee filter) after the hot and cold break form and then can it and get trub free media. I would think, that for me anyway, the propagator should: 1: Be easily sterilized, not just sanitized. Big difference here, it is important especially if you start from slants where the innoculum is really small. 2: Should be able to add nutrient and oxygen (air) without contaminating the starter. 3: should be able to be agitated, preferably magnetic stirrer. 4: If one follows the add food and aerate, protocol, you can add smaller increments of food (sterile wort etc) and oxygenate like the commercial propagators do rather than "stepping up" as homebrewers do. 5: The yeast could be harvested for brewing by placing it in a refrigerator to knock down the yeast form suspension, and draw off the liquid. On brewing day, direct the initial chilled wort runnings (from your counter flow wort chiller) into the propagator, resuspend, then innoculate and oxygenate your wort. Re-Oxygenate 12-14 hours after pitching (per Clone's recent E-mails). All of this is really great, and is necessary when starting yeast from slants or smack packs, but for ale yeast, by far the BEST (and I mean that as one of the few absolutes in homebrewing!!!) method of harvesting yeast for re-pitching is to scrape the yeast laden head off of a top fermenting strain of yeast during primary fermentation! There are only live fermenting yeast there in prime health, and no trub, hops junk of any kind, just really clean live fresh yeast. This is practiced in may breweries and is an age old tradition. This harvesting off of the bottom of a cylindro-conical is a recent phenomenon born of the need to perform primary and secondary fermentation in the same vessel. I envision a one or 2 liter erlymeyer flask equipped with a stopper that has several holes in it: 1. Gas evolution- via fermentation lock, however, it needs to be really skinny. 2. oxygenation stone, can this be left in the starter? is it okay to leave the oxygenation tubing attached and then just run the O2 in when needed? 3. Addition of media. I envision a dropping funnel of some sort, easy to come by in a good lab, however, how do you sterilise the media in THAT? 4. Flat bottomed to acocmodate a magnetic stirrer? 5. Temperature control? Operation would mimic the process outlined by Fix, and CLone: a. Innoculate with small amount of media, oxygenate, continuous stirring? b. When fermentation rate starts to subside, add an aliquot of food, oxygenate c. Repeat. d. Harvest by pitching the whole thing, if this is as efficient as I think it might be there could be significantly higher level of yeast per volume than typical homebrewers "stepping up" procedures. Questions: How much incremental food? when feeding do you oxygenate immediately? after 14hrs like Clone suggests? Is there really a benefit to continuous stirring? Well this looks like a rather longish post, I hope it stirs up some additional ideas and comments! Roger Ayotte Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 11:09:40 EDT From: Epic8383 at aol.com Subject: New Garage (read: brewhouse) I'm buying a house and will be building a 10'x16' garage on the property, only it'll only look like a garage to the untrained eye. Sure, I'll put my toolchest and ramps in there, but this will be my new brewhouse. Suggestions, floorplans, etc. are what I'm looking for. I currently use a 3 keg system with recirculator/sparge pump. Definitly a sink, cabinets, fridge (or two), maybe a gas stove for decoctions. Is there any downside to storing grain in the rafters? It gets a little warm during the summer (into the high 90's and high humidity). Personal emails are ok-you may also have seen this post on the aol boards. Thanx- Gus Rappold Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 11:14:56 -0400 From: Richard Foote <rfoote at mindspring.com> Subject: Big Brew Virtual Brew Hello Collective, The Chicken City Ale Raisers are happy (at least right now since everything seems to be working) to announce the availablity of their web site featuring live video and chat for Big Brew 2000 using our patented (only in our own minds) Virtual BrewTM approach to the brewing process. The site is up now at: Drop by and visit. The video right now is from the tape of our 1997 Virtual BrewTM that was held at Whistle Pig Brewery and Home Remoldeling. The chat is working right now, but it's best if someone else is logged on so you don't sit there talking to yourself. Our Virtual BrewTM is designed to show live video of each step of the brewing (all grain) process and allows viewers to ask questions about each step as it happens. We welcome inquiries from anyone who may want to contact our webmaster at rlouise at home.com to discuss technical possiblities of links and computer geek stuff beyond my limited understanding. See you May 6! Rick Foote Whistle Pig Brewery and Home Remodeling Murrayville, GA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 09:29:00 -0700 From: "Grant W. Knechtel" <GWK at hartcrowser.com> Subject: Bleach vs. Stainless - Momily? Roger Ayotte asks in HBD 3315 -snip- "What are the currently "accepted" (momilies?) that will soon be, or should be discarded by the homebrewing community? How about: "Don't use bleach to sanitize stainless steel, it will corrode it?" How about it? Can we generate a list of things we should question that are now current practice? Roger Ayotte" IMHO this doesn't qualify as a momily. Household bleach will indeed pit stainless. I have seen stainless completely corroded through, albeit at long contact times and high concentrations. My understanding from a fellow homebrew and chemist who worked for many years in a chlorine production plant is that the caustic strips the protective oxide layer and chlorine then attacks the unprotected metal. Sorta like one guy holding ya down and another kickin' ya in the kidneys. At the concentrations we use it in homebrewing, ie diluted roughly a hundred times this doesn't happen very quickly. If you choose to use bleach as sanitizer for your precious cornies or stainless fermenters, be sure to keep contact time to the minimum. I for one use iodophor on stainless, bleach on everything else but have been known to use bleach in a pinch. I also rinse my iodophor. IMHO this is the best possible use for megabrewer swill. Prost! -Grant aka LabRat Neue Des Moines Hausbrauerei Des Moines, WA, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 09:47:12 -0700 From: Jeremy Bergsman <jeremybb at leland.Stanford.EDU> Subject: rinsing bleach It is often said, most recently by Bill Wible, that bleach requires a lot of rinsing. Why is this? I have measured the effluent from my carboy after rinsing using the chlorine test strips and it seems to follow the normal rules of dilution. Is the bleach supposed to be sticking to the glass or is it more of a loaves and fishes situation? As for rinsing with tap water, I agree that this seems silly, but I boil water in a small saucepan with a good lid and this is enough to rinse 2 carboys. Cheap, easy, fast, cheap, effective, and cheap. - -- Jeremy Bergsman jeremybb at stanford.edu http://www.stanford.edu/~jeremybb Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 13:04:50 -0500 From: Trevor Hyde <Trevor.Hyde at marquette.edu> Subject: Another mash hopping report I tried mash hopping my last beer, an ordinary bitter. I did not use any hop additions during the last 75 minutes of the boil, so that I could detect any flavor or aroma from 2 ounces of Kent Goldings leaf hops added to the mash. In contrast to the other report I read of mash hopping, I did not have an increase in efficiency or a great aroma or taste contribution (it was noticable, but certainly much lower than I would expect from that quantity). It contributed a considerable amount of bitterness as well; I am guessing about 15 IBUs (about equivalent to the same amount in a 10 minute boil in my system). Trevor Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 14:37:19 -0700 From: "Stuart E. Strand" <sstrand at u.washington.edu> Subject: Burner conversion and safety I am setting up my brewery in my new house and I wish to convert my propane burners to methane and to make them safer. Any suggestions for how to do this? I believe that I will have to get new jets or drill out the existing ones. Since the brewery will now be in my basement instead of in the detached garage I would like to make sure that the gas supply shuts off in the event of a flame-out. I had intended to purchase new or salvage a control unit off a water heater. One set up each for the boiler and the mash water. Have others done this? Any pitfalls? - -- = Stuart = _________________________________________________________________________ Stuart E. Strand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . sstrand at u.washington.edu Box 352100,Univ.Washington,Seattle,WA 98195 v/206-543-5350 f/206-543-3254 Home page: http://faculty.washington.edu/sstrand/ Schedule: http://faculty.washington.edu/sstrand/StrandSched.html Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 17:15:26 -0500 From: ALABREW <alabrew at mindspring.com> Subject: re: yeast question kevin m mueller wrote: I put my nose to the neck of the 2.5 gal carboy that I was using and the smell nearly knocked me over. Its a hard smell to describe, but it was very sharp on my nose. I'll bet what you were getting was the CO2 which, of course, is nothing to worry about. It will burn your nose to smell it. I first ran accross this at the brewery when I was helping wash out the fermenting tank, I stuck my head in to see if I was cleaning under the rim and it nearly knocked me over. Next time you ferment in a bucket, stick you nose in before you rack and get a wiff - OUCH!! Kim - -- Kim and Sun Ae Thomson ALABREW Homebrewing Supplies http://www.mindspring.com/~alabrew mailto:alabrew at mindspring.com Birmingham, AL Home Beer and Wine Making Specialists Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 19:01:50 -0400 From: "Russ Hobaugh" <Russ_Hobaugh at erm.com> Subject: Sparge volume I completed my 4th all grain batch last week, and I have a question for the collective on the volume I am getting out of my sparge. The latest beer was an Irish stout. I started with 10 lbs of grain, and between the mash and the sparge, I used at 8 gallons of water. After a 90 minute boil however, I was down to 3.5 gallons of 1.070 wort. I added 1.5 gallons and actually hit my SG of 1.050. I think it was luck! So far all of my all grain batches so far have come up short of the volume I am trying to reach. Usually because I need to stop the sparge because I am at 1.010. How do I get the volume up to hit 5 gallons at the end of the boil? Or is this not something to be concerned about(I did use bottled water to add after the boil). While I am on stouts, any suggestions on a grain bill for a really strong roasted grain taste but still balanced? This is still in the secondary but my grain bill was: 7.5 lbs of Pauls Stout malt 1 lb M&F non-malted roasted barley 675LV 1 lb flaked barley 6 oz British crystal 120LV 1.5 oz of Target(8.1aa) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 21:42:46 -0400 From: "Chris Strickland" <chris at new-horizon.net> Subject: Bad Starters Twice now I have popped a packet of Wyeast (American Ale) to have the packet puff-up, but when I made the starter it didn't seem to go well. When pouring into my wort, I didn't have a fermentation by the next day, normally I have at least a few bubbles starting the next day. I always buy two packets of yeast, so I went ahead and popped it, and then poured into my wort the next day. It started to ferment the next morning. I'm using a 750 ml bottle (champagne) with about 2 oz of dry extract in about 500 ml of water. Maybe I'm not allow the wort from this to cool enough before I pour in the packet of Wyeast. Also, what's the difference between American Ale Yeast (1056) and American Ale Yeast II (1272)? Thanks Return to table of contents
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