HOMEBREW Digest #3576 Fri 09 March 2001

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  AOB Promotions ("Paul Gatza")
  science vs. art (Jeremy Bergsman)
  RE: mackelson triple stout recipe ( Contractor )"
  Re: Making Polish Brews? (Brunnenbraeu)
  N.C. Outer Banks ("Eric R. Lande")
  Re: Dusseldorf and their beers ("Fred Waltman")
  Polish Brewing ("Abby, Ellen and Alan")
  Zinc (BrwyFoam)
  re: wyeast 1728 (scothch ale) (Don Price)
  reuse Wyeast 2112 - suggestions? (Don Price)
  Question: Substitute Vienna for Munich malt? (leavitdg)
  London Visit (Bill Steadman)
  This just in... (Jim Adwell)
  O'fest ALE??? (BOB Rutkowski)
  nottingham starting at cold temps ("Czerpak, Pete")
  Fermenters ("AYOTTE, ROGER C")
  Ring around the collar ("Glen Pannicke")
  Fermenter Geometry ("Houseman, David L")
  Cylindroconicals (AJ)
  RE: CC fermentors and reality (LaBorde, Ronald)
  cornies vs CC: another HBD quagmire ("Alan Meeker")
  Re: CC fermentors and reality ("Bill Riel")
  Steeping Grains For Flavor and Color ("Andrew Moore")
  Alternative conical fermentor ("Todd M. Snyder")
  RE: reality (Brian Lundeen)
  Questions from a new brewer ("Hedglin, Nils A")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 12:29:21 -0700 From: "Paul Gatza" <Paulg at aob.org> Subject: AOB Promotions Mark Tumarkin sent me this question: >I saw the news on your new position with the IBS. Congratulations. How will this affect your work at the AHA? Seems like you'd have to split your time, I'd hate to see the AHA getting less attention. Just wondering.< Here is some background, and then an answer to the question Mark poses. Institute for Brewing Studies (IBS) Director David Edgar will be leaving the Association of Brewers (AOB) in May. To fill that void, the AOB is restructuring the jobs and job descriptions of the two membership division--IBS and American Homebrewers Association (AHA). The former parallel structure of a director and administrator for each division was only partly successful, being hindered by the extensive administration that each division faces daily, and some duplication of efforts and communications with our shared marketing, production and membership services departments. The solution is a diamond-shaped restructuring with one director for both AHA and IBS, a membership coordinator for AHA and a membership coordinator for IBS, and one administrator for both AHA and IBS. This change means a promotion for me to serve as both AHA director and IBS director, Susan Smith to IBS Membership Coordinator and Gary Glass to AHA Membership Coordinator. Gary has done outstanding work in his 14 months as AHA administrator. His promotion is much deserved, and will lead to his development and hopefully long-term retention. The new responsibilities will free me up from a load of administration and will also free Gary up from much of that as well. We will be hiring a full-time AHA/IBS administrator to handle the much of the burdensome but necessary work, such as stuffing envelopes and processing the 3000 or so National Homebrew Competition scoresheets. My focus will largely be on working with the two boards of advisors, coordinating the magazine team (which was consolidated a year ago under Ray Daniels, editing, Stephanie Johnson, art and production, and Julia Herz, advertising--everything except for the director positions), communicating with the media, improving our membership services abilities, and working in-house to see that the AOB staff all knows what parts of each project they are responsible for. I will also be out on the road, combining AHA and IBS work in my travels; for example, if I am at a professional conference in Boston, I will get in touch with members of the Boston Wort Processors to see about gathering with homebrewers. Gary will work on developing members and coordinating the activities of the members through our program work. Gary has already taken over our program that has some homebrew supply retailers selling AHA memberships, and is testing membership materials that already is enabling liaisons to represent AHA at tables at different events. Gary will also be continuing to working to improve our website to be more of a portal to the beer world. Much of the Sanctioned Competition Program work will fall to the administrator, as well as Techtalk, member support for the day-to-day requests we get here, and managing a lot of our database work. This change will also give us the organizational flexibility to shift the administrator where they are needed most; for example, when NHC scoresheets come in, the administrator will shift more hours to AHA and vice versa when we have an IBS mailing. We have not had the time under our current structure to work on getting new members through our grassroots networks, and this structure should allow us to dedicate more resources to that area. The part of my work that will get less attention is the Great American Beer Festival. I have worked on the competition side of the festival for 8 years, including two years running the judging. The database manipulation and cooler sorting coordination responsibilities are no longer mine, but I will still maintain a role with judge communication and making this 1800-entry competition run smoothly onsite. I expect my role here to go from 400 hours beyond my full-time divisional work down to about 50 hours. I hope this answers any questions anyone might have. Yes, this is a big challenge, but with the ever increasing help of the advisory boards and smoother coordination with the AOB staff, we are all aware of the hazards to avoid and rewards of the new structure for the members of the AHA and IBS. Paul Gatza Director-American Homebrewers Association Association of Brewers 736 Pearl St. (303) 447-0816 ext. 122 Boulder, CO 80302 (303) 447-2825 fax mailto:paulg at aob.org Join the AHA at www.beertown.org Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2001 15:59:55 -0500 From: Jeremy Bergsman <jeremy at bergsman.org> Subject: science vs. art No, it's not that old debate again. Stumbled across this while browsing for help with my new microscope (really!): http://www.microscopy.fsu.edu/beershots/beerphotos.html - -- Jeremy Bergsman ------------------ \ | Look! | / \ | New contact info | / _\/ ------------------ \/_ jeremy at bergsman.org http://www.bergsman.org/jeremy _ _ /\ /\ / \ / \ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 09:44:50 +1030 From: "Wrightson, Barney ( Contractor )" Subject: RE: mackelson triple stout recipe Hi Steven, There are at least three recipes here http://www.brewery.org/brewery/cm3/recs/05_toc.html that claim to be Mackeson's clones. I am currently brewing a batch of the third one in the list (oddly enough called Mackeson Triple Stout Clone) which the author claims to be as good if not better than the original. It appears to have potential after about a week in the fermenter (It appears to have finished fermenting), but as it is my first batch and the fact that I have never actually tasted the original, I can't vouch for it's similarity to Mackeson's itself. (BTW I didn't add the salt or citric acid - a combination of not really wanting to and forgetting.) HTH Barney Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 23:33:33 EST From: Brunnenbraeu at aol.com Subject: Re: Making Polish Brews? In einer eMail vom 05.03.01 07:34:22 (MEZ) Mitteleuropaeische Zeit schreibt Abby, Ellen and Alan <elal at pei.sympatico.ca>: > In 1991 I taught English in the Polish coastal City of Kolobrzeg and > enjoyed the local brews quite a bit...quite a bit. There was a > characteristic caramelly tangy aspect to most Polish beer that was > unlike the Czech beers more common here and which is not as pronounced > in the export Okocim or Zywiec you can get in Ontario. I expect the > Lublin hops is key but is there anything else to be done? Maybe I'm a little late, but as always I'm way behind with my beer- and homebrew-digests... Could it be, that the specific caramelly tangy aspect came from diacetyl? A lot of the local brews here in Poland has currently a rather high diacetyl level. But then I don't know how it was ten years ago. By the way: Meanwhile it is possible to enjoy the local brews much more than only 'quite a bit' - a lot of good lagers grew up. Main effort is on strong beers for the fast kick, though. But the situation is going better and better. As to the hops: I don't believe that Lublin hops is the 'culprit', 'cause I've cultured some in my garden and used it in my brews without caramelly tangy notes. But who am I to assess the high arts of brewing - just a little dumb beer drinker and homebrewer... Cheers / Zum Wohl / Na zdrowie, Volker Volker R. Quante Brunnenbraeu Homebrewery Brewing and working in Warsaw / Poland, but definitely a German Homebrewer Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 01:16:38 -0500 From: "Eric R. Lande" <landeservices at juno.com> Subject: N.C. Outer Banks I will be taking a vacation with my in-laws in the spring to North Carolina's Outer Banks and staying in a town called Avon, NC. I'm going to need to drink...a lot! I am praying to the HBD Beer Gods for guidance as to where to find our beverage of choice. My fear is that if I wait until I get there and ask locals, they will point me to some of the nearest places to get a frosty Bud. :-( Does anyone know where to find great beer (I'll even settle for good) in or near Avon, NC? Eric Lande Doylestown, PA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 23:13:02 -0800 From: "Fred Waltman" <himself at FredWaltman.com> Subject: Re: Dusseldorf and their beers Mark van Bommel writes about Dusseldorf, mentioning the four brewpubs in the city center: "Zum Schlussel, Im Fuchsen, Schumacher and Schlosser" I'm not usually one to pick nits, but this cuts close to my heart -- zum Uerige is the fourth (and *best* in IMHO) of the brewpubs. There is a resturant in the Altstadt called "Brauerei im Goldener Ring" that serves Schlosser, but is not (currently) a brewery. Zum Uerige does do a wheat beer that is nothing to write home about (I wouldn't say it is bad, just not as interesting as the alt). Im Fuechschen also does a wheat ("the silver fox") that I have only seen in bottles. There is a wheat beer brewpub in nearby Cologne (called Weissbrau). (Am Weidenbach 24, a short tram ride south from the Dom) BTW, next Thursday (March 15th) is one of the days that Schumacher does their "special" beer -- Uerige calls their's "sticke" but Schumacher calls their's "latzenbier." You will find me and a couple of other American homebrewers there doing a serious tasting. So I hope Mauricio can make it and anybody else who happens to be in the neighborhood. Fred Waltman Culver City Home Brewing Supply (Los Angeles area) www.StickeWarriors.com for pictures of past trips to Dusseldorf Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2001 07:01:48 -0400 From: "Abby, Ellen and Alan" <elal at pei.sympatico.ca> Subject: Polish Brewing Hello Volker R. Quante in Warsaw. I dn't know if you you replied to the digest as well. Thanks for your reply from Warsaw the very location of my inquiry. It could be a combination of the lublin hop and pronounced diacetyl that I recall - memory and flavour is a funny thing - but the effect was not one of error but of sytle in the beers we had from the better Pomeranian breweries from Szczen (I know I spelled that wrong) to Gdansk. The shipping was so random in 1991 that you could never rely on what you would find in the shops so I recall that when you found the Gdanski it was reason to ... have some brew. Okocim had one brew from the border near Bohemia that was fantastic but I did not keep a label. We only saw that beer once in Kolobrzeg. Why don't you describe how you get supplies in Warsaw. You said you grew your own hops but are there any other particularities you face there or is Warsaw now a place you can find anything you need? Alan in PEI Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 06:20:28 EST From: BrwyFoam at aol.com Subject: Zinc The widely quoted article by Geiger (Chair of Brewing Technology at Weihenstephan), et al on yeast minerals has just appeared in an English translation in the latest issue of Brauwelt Int'l. For history buffs this is essentially the procedure used by AB and others around the turn of the century called " yeasting the mash". Zimmermann's 1905 text has an excelent discussion of it as well. Cheers, George Fix P.S. Rob there will be a copy heading to Iowa this pm. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2001 07:50:41 -0500 From: Don Price <dprice1 at tampabay.rr.com> Subject: re: wyeast 1728 (scothch ale) Pete says "I have used Wyeast 1728 only once and it was in a strong scotch ale. OG was in the neighborhood of 1.100ish and FG was about 1.030ish. In no way do I find this beer too sweet. malty yes, sweet no! When compared to similar commercial scotch ales, it was right on the money in terms of taste." <big snip> FWIW, the brew has been judged a few times and no one has deemed it too sweet. In fact, it pulled in two first places in Boston and Brooklyn this past february." Pete, How long did they age before winning? I'm ageing my 1728 Scotch Ale (not a bad name come to think about it) extract/grains batch now and after 1 month (1.024 & sweet) it is just isn't quite right. The recipe directions give a generic fg of 1.010 to 1.015 and said it should be ready to drink after 3 weeks. The collective response seems to agree that the fg target is probably too low and 3 weeks not nearly long enough. I guess I need to go find a commercial example to get a better idea of my desired enpoint while I let it age a few months ...life can be tough. Don Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2001 08:01:10 -0500 From: Don Price <dprice1 at tampabay.rr.com> Subject: reuse Wyeast 2112 - suggestions? My first batch of California steam beer clone is just about done and I was considering recyling that big batch of Wyeast 2112 California Lager yeast. Any suggestions for my second batch? A dark strong lager of some sort maybe? Technique questions. I've never tried yeast reuse. Any comments on using the yeast washing procedures from the Wyeast web site? Or should I just dump a new batch on top of whatever is left after racking off the first one? Don Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2001 08:28:29 -0500 (EST) From: leavitdg at plattsburgh.edu Subject: Question: Substitute Vienna for Munich malt? I am getting ready to do an Oktoberfest, and wonder...would the brew suffer terribly if I were to substitute Vienna for the more conventional Munich malt? I suppose that I'd need to attend to the color..perhaps a bit of crystal?.... but the taste should be close...or should it? I have a huge bag of Vienna...so need to start brewin with it... .Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 08:07:10 -0600 From: Bill Steadman <Bsteadman at elicheesecake.com> Subject: London Visit I am attending the IFE Food Show in London, March 20-27th. Any recommendations for a pub crawl and/or brewery tours would be appreciated. Thanks, Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2001 09:10:15 -0500 From: Jim Adwell <jimala2 at ptd.net> Subject: This just in... "Cognitive Dissonance" Blamed in Brewing Death Hogwash, MN: Authorities are blaming the death of Gomer Timpson, 33, of 123 Goose Pecker Ridge Road, on severe chronic cognitive dissonance disease (SCCDD). Mr. Timpson was found in his garage/brewhouse with his head stuck in a plastic brewing bucket Saturday morning by his wife, Thelma. "He couldn't decide whether to buy the More Beer Stuff Than You Can Ever Imagine conical yeast progagator, or the MacroBrew temperature control and command computer. It was really eating him up," a tearful Mrs. Timpson exclaimed. "I told him a million times to brew in the kid's wading pool, like his brothers, and his father before him, but he wouldn't listen. He had to have his gadgets." When ambulance crews arrived at the scene, they were unable to reach Mr. Timpson until the massive 18 tier HyperMax brewing tower was removed by an emergency crew from the local homebrewing club. Mr. Timpson is survived by his wife, Thelma, four brothers, two sisters, and his beloved brewdog, Ralph. Cheers, Jim "She's so anal-retentive she can't sit down for fear of sucking up the furniture." - Jennifer Saunders Jim's Brewery Pages: http://home.ptd.net/~jimala/brewery/ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 09:17:22 -0500 From: BOB Rutkowski <bob--o at excite.com> Subject: O'fest ALE??? I was out at a local burger joint by Randolf AFB just outside San Antonio, TX. They had some 200 bottled beers. (Wish I could have just started in the A's.) Anyway I had a Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewery (ant recipes out there?) Used to live 2 blocks from the brewery. Then I saw a German Octoberfest/Marzen. As I generally like lagered Octoberfest's this was labeled as an ALE. I forget the darn name on the bottle, but it was imported by a CO company? Is this another way to brew one of my favorites? It didn't taste like the usual O'fest's I am used to. If out this way stop by Blue Star Brewing. Good brews. I loved the cask conditiond ale. Tight Lines to all. Check out my website at: WWW.HOMESTEAD.COM/BOBS_PAGE_FISHING/PAGE1.HTML or get me at voicemail at: 1-888-Excite2 extension: 618-239-9131 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 09:22:09 -0500 From: "Czerpak, Pete" <Pete.Czerpak at siigroup.com> Subject: nottingham starting at cold temps I brewed a batch of porter on my "snow day" this past Tuesday. The east coast got hammered pretty good as we have 17 inches from the storm in my town and 31 inches in a town maybe 15 miles away. Anyways, it was a standard 5 gallon allgrain porter batch. I pitched 3 packs Nottingham dry yeast that were rehydrated for about 15 minutes starting at 106degF. batch temp was about 60-70degF upon pitching. aeration was my standard, shake the carboy a few times. The room is at about 60-63degF. Does anyone have slow starts of NOttingham at this temperature range? I saw airlocking begining to bubble every 5-15 minutes after about 32 hours of no activity. Through these periods of no activity I swirled the carboy contents for a bit as well to help aerate. I havent used dry yeast in a while but don't seem to remember this much lag time. Dates were okay on the yeast although they have been in the fridge for maybe 6 months. Thanks, Pete czerpak albany, NY Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 08:23:00 -0500 From: "AYOTTE, ROGER C" <RCAYOT at solutia.com> Subject: Fermenters Boy, I WAS enjoying the CC discussions until.. Well, let me say thank God for the Pagedown Key! I would like to add my comments to the discussion. I have been using Stainless Steel fermenters for a couple of years now and I must say that I don't think I will ever go back to glass, except possible for long term conditioning or lagering is I run out of keg space. I believe the data presented by others who claim superior fermentations with larger diameter/height fermenters. Although a 7g carboy is not too shabby in the d/l or l/d if you are talking about 5 or 6 gallons in them, somewhat better than 5g carboy, and much better than a cornie. I believe the real benefits of SS kegs as fermenters is the ease of use, durability, cleanability etc. I use two types of kegs. 1. 10g ball lock keg. Very good for 8g batches, which I then split into two 5g kegs. The fermentation can be open (leave lid off) or closed (blow off tube on gas out fitting), transfers are done with sanitized tubing and CO2 pressure reducing exposure to air and microorganisms. Cleaning is a small problem, but very manageable, I use dishwashing detergent with a little bleach after a cursory scrubbing with a long handled brush. I have a flexible thermometer strip adhered to the outside of the keg to monitor fermentation temperature, and control the fermentation temp in my fermenchiller (Thanks Ken Schwartz!). Handling full kegs is a little awkward but with sturdy handles it's okay and I never worry about dropping it and breaking glass! 2. 15g Sankey. I use this keg in my refrigerator for 10-13g batches of lager. The large diameter of the keg makes for a good l/d aspect, and I fashioned a large rubber stopper ( a carboy cap will work if you stretch it enough) with a SS dip tube and gas tube, I can do CO2 pressure (low pressure!) transfers, can handle the beer without worrying about breaking glass. Cleaning this fermenter is a real challenge, and inspection is difficult, although sanitation can be achieved with steam by placing the fermenter (keg) on a propane cooker and boiling about a gallon of water in it until steam comes out the top! In summary, there are a lot of advantages to fermenting in SS closed systems. I transfer the beer out of the fermenter into another vessel for conditioning (usually 5g cornies). Sure these are not the best vessels for conditioning because of the tall l/d, however, I usually drop the yeast in my ales by placing the 10g keg in the refrigerator for a couple of days to a week before transferring and there is only a little yeast in the 5g cornie when I go to clean the keg when it is empty. I also store the kegs in my refrigerator so keeping the beer over a little yeast doesn't seem to hurt it in the time it takes me to drink it up! Yeast harvesting in these fermenters is not really a problem because its just lying there in the bottom of the fermenter after I transfer the beer to my conditioning tanks. Probably as easy as a CC, just add a little bit of sterile water, swish around and either dump or CO2 transfer to a mason jar, let settle in a fridge and repitch. I usually don't repitch unless I am brewing a very large beer. From my experience with these inexpensive SS fermenters, I can see the attraction of these CC's, however, I believe that lower cost alternatives can overcome many of the limitations of glass carboys. The only thing I haven't been able to replicate with my SS fermenters is the ability to harvest top cropping ale yeast from my open fermenters, but that's another long story best saved for another post! Roger Ayotte Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 09:46:54 -0500 From: "Glen Pannicke" <glen at pannicke.net> Subject: Ring around the collar Tom & Jason both seem to be having a problem with Ring around the collar in the bottle. >>On several of my last batches of beer I get ring around the collar. .... >>I was wondering if it could be caused by priming with DME? " >I have also experienced this, and was recently offered an explanation by my >friendly neighborhood homebrew supplier. He said that priming with DME (I >do this also) results in a "mini-krausen" in the bottle, and the ring is the >result. He further asserted that priming with corn sugar would not do this. I prime with all manner of fermentables, including DME. Never have I seen a ring a round the bottle neck when using DME. I can say that you will see it if you have and infection in your bottle, though. Use a bottle brush & detergent to scrub out your bottles before sanitizing and storing/refilling them. This kills the nasties and destroys the stuff they hide behind in the bottle. Sorry, the "mini-krausen" line is a load of crap. =================================================== Glen A. Pannicke glen at pannicke.net http://www.pannicke.net "I have made this letter longer than ususal, because I lack the time to make it short." - Blaise Pascal Check http://pgpkeys.mit.edu/ for PGP public key 75CE 0DED 59E1 55AB 830F 214D 17D7 192D 8384 00DD ================================================== Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 09:56:53 -0500 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: Fermenter Geometry George Fix's comment about cornies being the worst possible primary fermenter, the thread on CCs and the defense of both the cornies and CCs raises the general question about optimal geometries for fermenters. What is the best geometry, specifically for homebrewing scale brewing? I've used 1/2bbl kegs, carboys and plastic bucket fermenters (for primary). I tend to plastic buckets since the lifting is easier on my back than carboys. But I do use whatever is available at the time and suits my mood. Lots of these hanging around. BUT, should I pick one or the other, perhaps depending on style for optimal performance of the yeast and final beer flavors? Let's discount for this discussion any issues with sanitation and focus on geometry. Is geometry and yeast strain related? If tall and slender is not good, how short and squat is good? All the way to a cool ship construction? I have personally found that weizens do better in shallower vessels. What about various other ales? Lagers? Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2001 11:37:40 -0400 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Cylindroconicals WRT to my comments on temperature uniformity within cylindroconicals and Steve's comments in reply note that I was not arguing for or against them. Merely pointing out that the temperatures within them are pretty uniform - especially in the smaller units that homebrewers are likely to use (i.e. I don't doubt that gradients would be larger in units where the core is feet from the wall as opposed to inches). And yes, the rising CO2 bubble stream is definitely an important factor which I forgot to mention. Even at the very end of fermentation it looks as if there is a little fountain of beer being propelled upward by the bubble stream at the dead center of the unit. With regard to the comment on beer density - during fermentation the unit is operated well above the hump in the density curve (by the way, I have just run an experiment in which I found that the density of wort, or more precisely sucrose solutions, does not change in the same way as that of water in other words SG (20/20) does not equal SG (30/30) does not equal SG(40/40) etc though the deviations are small) so that the gradient would drive an upwelling in the center. If I were to lager in this tank at say -1 C (which I can't do because it isn't insulated) the colder beer at the wall would be lighter than the warmer beer in the center suggesting that there might be a downwelling at the center. I loudly support Eric's comments that people should do what they are happy doing. We brew for fun but the definition of fun varies from brewer to brewer. For me it's gadgets and hang the expense to the point that SWMBO's begins to guess what some of these things actually cost). Some people drop 10's of thousands on a BMr. I have a cylindroconical and a beatup pickup. That said, I do very much like the idea of cylindroconicals for homebrew use and I'll take a few minutes to tell you how the CC is used at WetNewf which I hope will convey the advantages as I see them. Most important to me is that since I have switched to the CC my brew day is much shorter and I am much less tired at the end of it. I have always tried to get 10 - 15 gallons out of each brew. In the old days I had to clean, sanitize, fill and move three carboys. I wonder of the old back would allow me to do that any more. Now I fill the CC with iodophor the night before and drop the hose from the kitchen (where I brew - the CC is in the basement). During the boil I connect the chiller (Hearts) to the beer hose and pump and blow the iodophor backwards through chiller and pump with CO2 this sanitizing the beer path from the pump inlet hose to the fermenter. The interior of the fermenter gets a boiled water rinse (with a sprinkling can) and, after connection of the chiller to the cold water line, some boiling water from the HLT is run through the chiller to rinse out the iodophor. At the conclusion of the boil, the pump inlet hose is connected to the kettle nipple and we're collecting and chilling wort. This takes half an hour to an hour depending on how fast I run the wort through. As wort comes into the CC the chiller is set for 32F so the chill band finishes the job that the wort chiller starts. It usually takes about an hour after the fermenter is full to pull it down to pitching temperature (40F for lagers) at which point the yeast goes in followed by 3 minutes with an oxygenating stone. The controller is now set for fermentation temperature (48F) and everything is on auto from there until the fermentation is within a degree P of terminal at which point the controller is lowered to about 38 to get the beer down to 40 for conditioning and dropout of the yeast. The lid goes on at this point to trap the evolved carbon dioxide so that the beer is naturally carbonated. After a week or so of conditioning, the yeast cake is "blown down" a couple of times (a day or two apart). The internal pressure of 10 - 15 psi really helps expell that stuff. At this point the beer is ready for counterpressure transfer to Corny kegs. The setup for doing this is pictured at http://members3.clubphoto.com/aj258779/Demo_Album/photo4.jpg?1 A couple of things you may note from the photo: The lid design on this unit is very poor. It is supposed to seal with 6 tabs and toggles and that never worked from day one (I rather think I was a beta tester for this design). The problem is easily solved with C-clamps as the photo illustrates. Second is that the concerns about sanitation in the valve are, in large measure, relieved by the use of TriClover "sanitary" plumbing and valve. These are in common use in the dairy and brewing industries (and others as well). They do need to be cleaned but have fewer places to harbor nasties. I think the beer made this way is much better than what I used to make in carboys and attribute that not to the cone angle or aspect ratio but to the fact that fermentation parameters are now under much tighter control. I should also allow something for accumulated experience I suppose. AJ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 09:41:54 -0600 From: rlabor at lsuhsc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: RE: CC fermentors and reality >From: "Murray, Eric" <emurray at sud-chemieinc.com> > >It seems odd to me that Mr. Alexander finds it necessary to try and convince >everyone how and what others should brew with, so much so that he goes to >quite lengthy means to prove others wrong. Steven does provide good >scientific data from time to time that is useful, but tends to go off on >rants occasionally when no one asked for his opinion. Oh no, I was glad to get his opinion on the CC fermenters. Heck, I was just about to kick dents in my old corny fermenter, when just in time our hero Steve comes up with the logical facts. Ron La Borde Ronald La Borde - Metairie, Louisiana - rlabor at lsuhsc.edu http://hbd.org/rlaborde Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 11:17:04 -0500 From: "Alan Meeker" <ameeker at mail.jhmi.edu> Subject: cornies vs CC: another HBD quagmire Cylindroconical vs Corny: Just throwing my $0.02 worth in on this heated topic. As I still only use glass fermentors I don't feel particularly biased one way or another on this issue. On the other hand, this means I can't speak from experience for either system. However, I anticipate someday (hopefully soon!) moving to a system with better temperature control so I've been reading over these posts with more than a little curiosity. In particular, I think Steve Alexander has raised a couple of valid points which will most likely become buried in the minutiae, rhetoric, and ad hominem attacks which inevitably build up around such discussions on the HBD. First, there's the cost/benefits question, i.e. - whether or not the benefits (if any) of a homebrew CC set-up justify the costs involved over the more common keg fermentor system. There's also the question of whether or not the money might be better spent first on other equipment used during other stages of the brewing process (water purification, RIMS, beer filtration, or CP bottling for example) which, of course, will depend upon one's current set-up. Second, Steve points out that much of the performance data available on CC fermentors comes from systems that are MUCH larger than what we will typically be using as homebrewers and it is not to be expected that the properties seen with larger CC designs will scale down to our smaller systems - this is a /very/ important point to keep in mind when comparing the two systems!! One should always have reservations when extrapolating from industrial-scale processes down to the homebrew scale. Claims for or against significant superiority (or lack thereof) of one design over another will be stronger when side-by-side comparisons are conducted by non-biased individuals keeping all other parameters (wort, yeast, temperature, etc.) equal and the resulting beers are tested in blind taste tests by qualified tasters, a tall order indeed!! -Alan Meeker Lazy Eight Brewery "Where the possibilities are infinite" Baltimore, mD Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2001 08:47:24 -0800 From: "Bill Riel" <bill.riel at home.com> Subject: Re: CC fermentors and reality On Thu, 8 Mar 2001 00:23:49 -0500, Eric Murray wrote: >It seems odd to me that Mr. Alexander finds it necessary to try and convince >everyone how and what others should brew with, so much so that he goes to >quite lengthy means to prove others wrong. You must be reading more into Stephen's postings than I'm seeing, because I haven't seen him attempting to tell anyone what to brew with - from what I can see, all he's done is expressed skepticism over some of the claims made about small scale CC fermenters, and questioned whether the potential advantages are worth the premium $$ you pay for one. And, while I wouldn't say that I necessarily share his opinion on this subject, I think it's valuable that he's expressing his skepticism. These things are expensive! Especially in comparision to the miniscule cost of the alternatives. For those of us who don't own these things but would possibly consider buying one in the future, this is exactly the type of discussion that's worth following. imo, of course. Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2001 12:33:48 -0500 From: "Andrew Moore" <abmjunk at hotmail.com> Subject: Steeping Grains For Flavor and Color Thanks to all of you who replied directly to my question regarding the proper techniques for steeping specialty grains. I think it is worthwhile to share a couple of the suggestions for those (like me) who may be lurking novices. It seems that the exact temperature isn't critical; somewhere in the 140F-160F range is the right neighborhood (and removing before boiling IS critical). This temperature range can be controlled by heating to the target and then turning off the eye (for those who heat using an electric range) for the duration of the steeping period (20-45 mins). It turns out, though, having too much water can be a problem, causing possible over extraction. Therefore, the next time I brew, I plan on starting with 2-3 quarts of water to generate the "tea," removing the grain, and then proceeding with the rest of the wort boil. Thanks again for the help. Andrew Moore Richmond, Virginia Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2001 13:02:38 -0500 From: "Todd M. Snyder" <tmsnyder at buffalo.edu> Subject: Alternative conical fermentor Greetings all, With all this talk of SS conical fermentors and associated cost, I'm wondering... Has anyone ever used a plastic conical tank for fermenting? US Plastics has a couple 15 gallon models made of FDA approved polyethylene that look like they might work pretty well. $59 for the tank and $47 for the stand seems pretty cheap compared to $800! One question is, what is the angle of the conical section of the SS tanks? These plastic ones are 60 degrees. Is that steep enough? Has anyone heard of these being used for brewing? Todd Snyder Buffalo, NY Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 12:08:07 -0600 From: Brian Lundeen <blundeen at rrc.mb.ca> Subject: RE: reality Eric Murray writes: > It seems odd to me that Mr. Alexander finds it necessary to > try and convince > everyone how and what others should brew with, so much so > that he goes to > quite lengthy means to prove others wrong. Steven does provide good > scientific data from time to time that is useful, but tends > to go off on > rants occasionally when no one asked for his opinion. > > If someone wants to ferment their beer in their kitchen sink, > and enjoys > doing so, who are we to try and convince them otherwise. > The purpose of this forum is to help people become better brewers. Sometimes that means discouraging people from practices that they "like" if the accepted wisdom indicates that it is the wrong thing to do. Even if they aren't convinced to change, at least it might prevent someone else from repeating those mistakes. Steve is doing exactly what he should be doing as one of the experienced and knowledgeable voices in this group. > Some have posted that they enjoy what they consider to be > advantages of > using various fermentation vessels. They are sharing what > they enjoy doing > and that they like using the various methods and results from > those methods. > Brewing equipment is an individuals option and is a personal > preference > based on what the particular brewer likes to use and enjoys. > As long as the > brewer is satisfied with the means and the product. That is all that > matters. I don't think that anyone is trying to force Mr. > Alexander to go > out and buy a CC I snipped some stuff above for brevity's sake but I believe I have captured the essense of your argument. If you feel the snipping has misrepresented your views, I apologize. In any case, if people are content to just do what they like and not change, I don't see why they would even read this forum. This forum is about learning. One side has espoused the benefits of brewing with CCF's. Steve has made what I consider to be valid arguments against the units. Look, if these things cost $30 I don't think we would even be having this discussion. The fact that they are extremely expensive (for the S/S ones anyway) makes a thorough discussion of their actual benefits over other less costly fermenters an important topic for this forum. Please don't discourage Steve from a discussion where I can actually follow what he is saying. ;-) Brian Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 12:40:25 -0800 From: "Hedglin, Nils A" <nils.a.hedglin at intel.com> Subject: Questions from a new brewer Hi, Just joined this digest. I've have brewed a few recipes a number of years ago, but am now picking up brewing again & realizing how much I've forgotten. I brewed a batch of the Cat's Meow Honey Porter over the weekend & that brought up a number of questions. 1) As you boil the hops, do you leave the previous bags of hops in when you add the next hops? I never saw anywhere in the recipes that it said to remove them, & I was pretty sure that you did, but I just wanted to check. 2) Forgetting that I was splitting the Fuggles into 2 separate boiling & finishing batches, I didn't buy enough cloth boiling bags. Instead of using a huge nylon bag for my 1 oz of finishing hops, I tried to reuse the bag that I had steeped my specialty grains in. There ended up not being enough cloth left to tie in a knot after I cut the previous knot off the grain bag, so I used the nylon bag anyway, but would this have been OK to do? After rinsing the grain out of the bag, I boiled it in some water & let it soak in the Idophore solution I was keeping my utensils clean in. Is reusing cloth boiling bags an acceptable idea in general? I know they're pretty cheap, but reducing extra waste is always good. 3) The Perles pelletized hops had significant amount of powder in it. All the Perles bags were like this, but the Fuggles I bought were not. Does this indicate something wrong with the hops, like pellet degradation over time, or low oil content to hold the pellets together? 4) To cool the wort, I submerged the boiling pot into an ice bath, but we didn't buy enough ice, so it was melted well before the 75 degree target. I just continued to run cold water into the bath & was finally able to get the wort down to the proper temprature. But, to add the cooling, I was also stiring the wort with a plastic spoon. Was either having the wort exposed to the air for at least 15 minutes while cooling or stiring a bad practice? I'll probably be looking to get or make an immersion cooler soon, but until then, any suggestions on how to do it better? 5) Speaking of immersion coolers, any reviews of coolers on the market or good instructions on how to make one myself? 6) I'm pretty sure I got this one answered by reading the New Complete Joy of Home Brewing but, is aerating the wort during racking to the carboy good or bad? Originally, I thought bad, but the book said that aerating at this time is good since it provides extra oxygen for the yeast's resperation phase. I must have been thinking of aeration during racking from primary to secondary fermentation & during bottling. 7) If I read the hydrometer correctly, my starting gravity was 1.093 (including temprature correction). From the little I've been able to find this seems very high for a Porter. The recipe listed an OG of 1.062. Other than changing the yeast from Wyeast 1084 "Irish Ale" to Coopers Ale Yeast, I kept all the rest of the ingredients the same. Did I do something wrong (or maybe right) to get such a high gravity? 7) This may have also been answered by the book, but I'm not sure. About a day after the porter was brewed, I started to notice a very strong & bad smell coming from the carboy. I expected the standard yeasty/bread smell, but instead I got a bad smell that I couldn't really identify. It seemed to be a very sour smell, or maybe it was just a very stong alcoholic smell from the fermentation. The book says that a sulphur smell could occur, but I think I would have recognized that. The bad smell finally went away once the fermentation slowed down significantly, about 3 days after it was brewed. 8) This also leads me to my next question. The book said that the rotten egg smell could be caused by an improper fermentation temprature, but didn't say what improper was. I'm using Cooper's Ale Yeast & my basement has been between 60-64 degrees. Should I be concerned about this temprature range? 10) For reasons having to do with a story too long to go through here, I curious to find out if anyone has used peat, like used in Scotch whiskey, for brewing? I know nothing about whiskey distillation, so I have no idea how it's used there to know if it could be translated to beer brewing, or what it's affect would be. 11) I am eager to try lots of different recipes & variations on the same recipes, but don't want lots of huge carboys sitting around my basement. I think I'd rather start with the same basic recipe & make 5 different 1 gallon batches, changing the ingredients slightly to see their affects, than rather 1 5 gallon batch. Have people done this before & is it feasable? Are there any special considerations for brewing smaller batches like this? I currently have 2 6.5 gal carboys & 1 5 gal. If I'm going to be brewing smaller batches, should I use the 3 gal carboys instead? Like I said, a number of questions. Just wait until I get ready to do my 1st all-grain batch. Thanks for your patience, time & knowledge. Nils Hedglin Sacramento, California Return to table of contents
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