HOMEBREW Digest #3566 Mon 26 February 2001

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  re: zinc ("Stephen Alexander")
  calibrating thermometers (Jeremy Bergsman)
  re: Miami, FL Brewpubs ("Mark Tumarkin")
  Re: Calibrating thermometers (Demonick)
  Fightin' Canucks ("elvira toews")
  calibrating thermometers (JDPils)
  Kansas City Bier Meisters - Correction ("Mike Porter")
  So How About The Beer? ("Phil & Jill Yates")
  RE: Chillers ("Houseman, David L")
  RE: Irish brews ("Houseman, David L")
  Pubs in Dublin ("Warren White")
  electric kettle ("Marc Hawley")
  Thermometer Calibration ("Bret Mayden")
  RIMS problem ("Matt Hollingsworth")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2001 02:16:10 -0500 From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: re: zinc Paul writes ... >I had the impression, though, that >a typical all-grain wort had plenty of zinc from the malt itself, >as documented by A.J. DeLange in some 1998 posts. Steve Alexander >responded to AJ's measurements, though, pointing out that most of >the zinc (and other metals) ends up trapped in the hot/cold break, >unavailable to the yeast. AJ's later measurements on finished beer >seem to rebut this, as does earlier lab work by Narziss. Huh ? Nearly all of the malt zinc in AJs measure was lost between the malt and the wort. He didn't measure separately for break loss. He ended up w/ 0.2ppm in wort of one beer as I recall of a potential 40ppm or some such. 0.2ppm is fine for some yeast, and suboptimal for others. There is a dependence on Mg level too. I can't predict whether a Zn (or copper or Mg) addition will help your fermentation, but it's far from clear that all malts in all break removal schemes provide sufficient Zn for optimal yeast performance. Some JIB papers suggest higher Zn removal figure than AJ got, and correspondingly high removal rates of copper and other metal ions with break. There are a couple of confounding factors here. Not all zinc is available to the yeast, and yeast can use some zinc trapped in trub carryover. If Narziss says something different I'd love to read it. Got a reference ? In a Brauwelt Int'l 1997 (Issue 1, pp 16) Narziss discusses getting improved yeast performance in high gravity brewing and suggests lowering the wort pH to 4.9-5.0 because this makes Zn more available to yeast and ... "Being a co-enzyme of alcohol dehydrogenase, zinc has a decided influence on the fermentation curve". In this case he makes zinc more accessible rather than adding zinc, but one could certainly increase the availability by adding zinc too. >The Cleveland water analysis >lists no detectable zinc. Perhaps Lake Eire derived water is zinc deficient, but you'll be happy to know that it has all the mercury and zebra mussels needed for yeast nutrition ! >Finally, Dan Steadman suggested that the conical fermentor >is at fault A sub-15gal cylindroconical owner and his money are soon parted. Seems a terribly expensive way to harvest yeast, and the principles of large CC fermenter that improve fermentation performance don't apply on the smaller scale. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2001 08:57:49 -0800 From: Jeremy Bergsman <jeremy at bergsman.org> Subject: calibrating thermometers In addition to boiling and ice water, most people have access to a thermometer that is (should be) accurate around 98.6F. - -- Jeremy Bergsman ------------------ \ | Look! | / \ | New contact info | / _\/ ------------------ \/_ jeremy at bergsman.org http://www.bergsman.org/jeremy _ _ /\ /\ / \ / \ Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2001 09:07:09 -0500 From: "Mark Tumarkin" <mark_t at ix.netcom.com> Subject: re: Miami, FL Brewpubs H Dowda writes: "In Miami near SE 2nd Ave, no car. Are there any brewpubs in the area or, for that matter, in Miami or Ft. Lauderdale, woth a visit? " as to the no car, Miami isn't the most public transportation friendly city but it does have the Metrorail (a monorail system). I believe you'll be close to it on SE 2 Av. it will take you to a station just blocks from the Titanic Brewery. The stop will be called either University or South Miami - don't remember, you'll have to check. The address is 5813 Ponce de Leon Blvd, phone 667-2537. I'm sure if you call they'll give you more accurate directions. The brewer is Jamie Ray, a real nice guy and a hell of a brewer. Tell him I said hi if he's in when you visit. They have a very nice assortment of beers on tap - check out Capt Smith's Rye - World Beer Cup winner, Jamie's also won medals at GABF. The food is also excellant- good restaurant, not just brewpub fare. You ask about Ft Lauderdale too - more of a problem without a vehicle. Not much in Ft L, but if you get access of a car, you could check out Brewzzi in Boca Raton (just a few miles N of Ft L). Call 561-392-2739 for directions. They have won a GABF gold for their Alt and a silver for their Munich Helles. Florida is a beer wasteland, but there are a few good beer oasis if you look. The Titanic is one of my favorites. Mark Tumarkin Hogtown Brewers Gainesville, Fl Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2001 07:51:44 -0800 From: Demonick <demonick at zgi.com> Subject: Re: Calibrating thermometers From: "Pete Calinski" <pjcalinski at adelphia.net> points out: > ... Using the freezing and boiling temperatures to calibrate can > introduce a problem because of non-linearity over the range. ... I am > most concerned at mash temperatures. Actually, the technology employed in most thermometers is very nearly linear. However, if you want to check near the midpoint of the freezing to boiling range, YOU are a highly accurate temperature standard, and most households have a highly accurate thermometer in this range. I can imagine 3 different places to stick the thermometer, your mouth, your armpit, and the third you'd probably need help with. To check your thermometer, first take your temperature with a standard fever thermometer, then use your brewing thermometer and compare. Domenick Venezia Venezia & Company, LLC Maker of PrimeTab (206) 782-1152 phone (206) 782-6766 fax orders demonick at zgi dot com http://www.primetab.com FREE PrimeTab SAMPLES! Enough for three 5 gallon batches. Fax, phone, or email: name, shipping address (no P.O.B.) and phone number. (I won't call. It's for UPS in case of delivery problems). Sorry, lower 48 only. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2001 11:14:36 -0600 From: "elvira toews" <etoews1 at home.com> Subject: Fightin' Canucks Alan in PEI writes: >The commona usage here is "Upper Canadian" which is a sub-species of >"come from away." Utterly derogatory until one has a visit to the >Kingston Brewpub after which all such prejudice falls away. Good thing I'm from Lower Canada. Now if that don't get a rise out of an Albertan ;-) Sean Richens srichens at sprint.ca Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2001 19:10:59 EST From: JDPils at aol.com Subject: calibrating thermometers Pete wrote, << Just a comment. Using the freezing and boiling temperatures to calibrate can introduce a problem because of non-linearity over the range. I am not too interested in being accurate at the two end points. I am most concerned at mash temperatures. I use a very accurate "standard" thermometer to calibrate my thermometers in the 150F to 170F range. That is where the accuracy is needed. I then check the thermometer's error at around 70F so my final chillout is close. >> Pete, Why do you beleive the candy or metal probe thermometers are non linear? I would think that they are linear. Do you have any refernece marterial on the topic. I am really interested since I spent years mashing in about 5F over what I thought until I used the boil/ice bath to calibrate. (By the Way all the beers I made with inaccurate measurements were great). The glass ones have a liquid in it which should expand at a linear rate until it goes thru a phase change. The metal probes, I beleive are bi-metal and also have a linear thermal expansion coefficient. I would agree there is some non linearity at the extremes in terms of phase changes or suffucient temperature to cause alloying of the bi metals. Cheers, Jim Dunlap Woodinville WA Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2001 20:56:25 -0600 From: "Mike Porter" <mike at dynamicanalysis.com> Subject: Kansas City Bier Meisters - Correction Due to a data entry, error Rick Georgette's (note that this is the correct spelling) entry was listed as an extract brew in our records. IT WAS NOT AN EXTRACT! It was one of the best all grain beers that I have tasted in a long time. It WAS the best of show and it WAS the All Grain best of Show. My apologies to Rick for the mistake. We are currently examining the data base to determine which beer actually represented the Extract BOS and will post as soon as we complete the analysis. Mike Porter KCBM Competition (will it ever be over?) Coordinator Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2001 22:21:09 +1100 From: "Phil & Jill Yates" <yates at acenet.com.au> Subject: So How About The Beer? So what has become of the Yates/Pivo pilsner? Well it has settled down to be a most enjoyable drop to drink. Certainly no sign of diacetyl and strangely enough not the hoppiest of my creations, rather odd considering the hop additions we poured into the kettle. Did the three hour boil knock the hops on the head? I think not. We kept adding hops right up to the finish of the boil. But we were using real Czech saaz and usually my hops mostly come from New Zealand. The Doc insisted we use the real thing which he brought along for the days brewing. Apart from the hops, the rest of our raw materials (malts and yeast) were new to the Doc so it was always going to be a "let's see what happens" result. I would class it as a more hoppy version of a Coopers Pale Ale rather than anything much like a Pilsner Urquell. But it is a most enjoyable beer and has won instant popularity amongst the beer enthusiasts of Burradoo, who number many. These are the folk who are not homebrewers but interested beer drinkers and I find their opinions most useful in assessing the beers I am making. I promised the Doc I would run a parallel brew using a standard boil time and a three hour boil time to assess any difference in the final beer. Yeah well, when I get around to it. Just for now the Doc has returned to Sweden and I am left with nearly 50 litres of a most enjoyable beer. And as I seem to be almost the only Aussie left in here, I think I'll just sit back and drink it all to myself! Cheers Phil Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2001 11:16:53 -0500 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: RE: Chillers The dualing chiller thread is interesting in that there seems to be a real cost premium for the copper-outside-copper designs. As Eric points out he's very pleased with his "fearless" and says it works as well as the all copper models. I have one I made with the 3/8" copper tubing inside a 3/4" garden hose. I don't have an all copper chiller to compare against but mine seems to cool at the rates claimed by the all copper models. These all copper models look great, but in reality do they work better? I certainly understand the need for a copper inter tube for maximum heat transfer to the water, but what value is there to the outside cold water jacket to be copper? Some heat transfer to the surrounding air and that could be positive or negative depending on the ambient air temperature. Has anyone done a side by side comparison of cooling efficiency? As far as cleaning/sanitizing, I suppose one could boil the entire all copper units to sanitize it, I'd wager you'd still have to clean the inter tube anyway or the buildup would have negative impact over time. Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2001 11:28:59 -0500 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: RE: Irish brews Greg, Thanks for the kind words. IMHO you could brew a number of beers with the same yeast. I sometimes try to purchase a specific yeast for a specific style, but often use something close and it works fine. Just look at the qualities of the yeast and then look at similar styles of beer. An ale yeast that provides good attenuation and provides low levels of fruitiness could be used in brown ales, milds, stouts, etc. Even the pale ale would not be too far out of character. With all the variables in brewing, getting an exact yeast is not that critical. Of course there are specific styles that really require a specific yeast, such as Weizens and many Belgians. But then you can make a Weizen then use the yeast for a Weizenbock or Dunkelweizen. Or brew a Belgian Pale Ale then use the yeast in Belgian strong ale. My favorite is make a Wit and use the yeast for a Tripel. One of the things that I recommend if you want to make several beers from the same yeast is to begin with the lightest and less hoppy beer and progress to the darkest and hoppest. Also go from the lower OG beers to the higher OG beers. I simply rack off the primary of one beer while I'm brewing the second and then just knockout of the kettle through my counterflow chiller to the same fermenter with the yeast bed. Fermentation is very quick and effective. So do a mild and use the yeast for a dry stout then use the yeast for an Imperial Stout. Or make a Helles and then use the yeast to make a Bock then a Doppelbock. Good luck, Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 10:35:16 +1100 From: "Warren White" <warrenlw63 at hotmail.com> Subject: Pubs in Dublin Hi folks... I believe somebody was looking for somewhere to drink in Dublin. Try the Porterhouse Pub/Brewery in Parliament Street, the beer's a good change from the norm... Several great brews on tap. They make a Stout/Porter that makes Guiness pale in comparison. Be warned though, this place is that busy it's a veritable madhouse... Friday nights are standing, sardine style room only. Highly recommended though. Check out their website. <http://www.cartref.demon.co.uk/eng/porter.htm> Cheers! Warren White - Melbourne, Australia Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2001 17:57:06 -0600 From: "Marc Hawley" <Marc_Hawley at email.msn.com> Subject: electric kettle I use 6000 watts in my HLT. This will raise 10 us gallons of water 5 degrees F per minute. I use 5000 watts in my boiler. This will make a very violent boil in 12 or 13 gallons. I usually turn off one element and boil with 2500 watts. This will make a moderate rolling boil. 2500 watts will boil off just under one us gallon per hour. I am using regular hot water heater elements, not the low watt density types. They don't actually scortch, but in wort they build up scale. I found out the hard way that if you just "relax don't worry" and let this scale build up batch after batch, it will cause too much heat to build up inside the element and the element will fail in spectacular fashion. I actally melted one of these babies. I had droplets of molten metal on the bottom of my boiler. Now I use a copper scrubbie on the boiler elements after each boil. The heat of vaporization is the energy used to boil the wort. Below the boiling point, the added heat causes the temperature to rise. At the boiling point, the added heat coverts the liquid to gas while the temperature remains the same. In theory. In distilled water. In practice, however, I'm sure all brewers have observed complex phenomena at the boiling point of wort. There does seem to be a sort of a pause before the chaotic, bumpy boil, the sticky foam-over boil, the "no dear, it's not a good time for me to eat lunch" boil, and finally the clear, rolling, relaxing, steady boil. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2001 23:59:33 -0000 From: "Bret Mayden" <brmayden at hotmail.com> Subject: Thermometer Calibration Pete Calinski posted: "Using the freezing and boiling temperatures to calibrate can introduce a problem because of non-linearity over the range. I am not too interested in being accurate at the two end points. I am most concerned at mash temperatures. I use a very accurate "standard" thermometer to calibrate my thermometers in the 150F to 170F range. That is where the accuracy is needed. I then check the thermometer's error at around 70F so my final chillout is close." Good point. Ice & boiling water baths (corrrected for barometric pressure) are a standard calibration technique for thermometers in the instrumentation field. Calibration of, and comparison to, a lab-grade mecury instrument helps determine linearity. A quality (i.e., lab-grade) instrument will show very little or zero non-linearity (or hysterisis) over its range. And I certainly agree that accuracy is critical at mash temps. How did you check accuracy in the middle of the range? What type of instrument is your standard thermometer? Do you adjust your mash procedures for errors from your thermometer? If so, how do you do this? Bret Mayden Oklahoma City brmayden at hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: 25 Feb 2001 16:12:41 -0800 From: "Matt Hollingsworth" <colorart at spiritone.com> Subject: RIMS problem Hello, I tried e-mailing this to Richard Sieben, because he has the same system I do. The e-mail was returned as undeliverable. Is Richard on here? Anyway, I'll copy and paste what I wrote to him, in the hopes that one of you fine folks can help me figure this problem out. Up until now, the only real problem I've had with the system is that it pulls too much husk material through no matter what I do. Nothing stops this from happening. I've tried slowing runoff, longer recirculation etc, but to no avail. I solved this problem by creating what I call the Hop Front. The recirculation on this system gets the wort completely clear, with no turbidity. The husks sneaking through don't make it turbid, but I don't want them in my beer. I took a one quart jar and popped small holes in the lid. There's a bigger hole in the center, for the runoff tube to go into. I put one ounce of low alpha hops in the jar. The runoff tube goes to the bottom of the jar to avoid splashing, and this also makes the runoff go under the hops. The hops are then pushed up to the top and act as a filter to stop the husks from getting in the beer. I've had great results with this. Now, I'm running into a problem that I've never experienced before. My beers are turning out way too husky. It's harsh and kinda astringent and has the taste of spent grain husks. Foul! The bummer is that I can't figure out what's causing the problem. I have only two theories left, which I'll share with you at the end of this letter. My techniques have not changed at all, yet the beer has. Using the Hop Front and this RIMS system, I took 17 medals last year in competition. So, I've had other people evaluating my beers and haven't seen this mentioned nor have I encountered it before. Anyway, I looked to the normal reasons that huskiness would occur. I am definitely not oversparging (and in fact, today, my first runnings had the husky flavor before I had even sparged at all). My sparge water's pH is adjusted to 5.7 or so and the temp is never over 170. The grains are crushed very coarsely, not shredded. I cleaned my system with beer line cleaner last week just in case there was residue in the heating element. Rinsed thoroughly with 30 gallons of water. The only two theories I have left are problematic. They are: that the time the grain spends in the mash is too long and the husk character is getting extracted because of this. Or, that I'm recirculating for too long and the same thing is happening. These theories trouble me because, as I said, I haven't changed techniques at all. I've brewed about 30 batches since I got the system, all using the same technique, and only the last 6 have been ruined (mind you, 6 is enough to drive me to despair!). Here's what I do: Say I have 15 pounds of grain. I'll add 22 quarts of water at cold temp, around 55 or 60, to the mash tun. I then add the grain and stir it in. I give the paddle a couple of turns by hand. Then I start the system up and set the first rest for around 100. I know this may not be strictly necessary, but it's on the way, so what the hell. I have a 30 minute acid rest. Then, if it's just a straight ale, I'll set the next temp at 151 or so, for 60 minutes. Then a mash out rest at 167 for 10 minutes. Then I recirculate. It takes a while to clear up, so it's usually about 40 minutes of recirc. All these times have the ramping time added to them for total time in mashtun. In the past, I've had some beers that spent 60 minutes at 100. They had an even longer time in the tun, but didn't have any husky character. Over the last few weeks, I've paid special attention to my technique but have been unable to determine what the cause of the problem is. This week, I could definitely taste the husk taste in the runoff, so I know for sure that that flavor is coming from something done pre-runoff. The only thing left to try that I can think of is this: Heat up my water a bit before adding it to the mash tun so that my initial mash temp is already at the 100 degrees, or even higher. And try to recirculate less. That one'll be hard, though. The wort never runs clear before 20-30 minutes. I've been brewing for about three and a half years and am at batch 80. In all that time and all those batches, I've never seen this before. Sorry the e-mail is so verbose, I just wanted to try to get a complete picture presented. Any and all help or insight would be greatly appreciated. Cheers! -Matt Return to table of contents
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