HOMEBREW Digest #3601 Sat 07 April 2001

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  Re:  RIMS Question ("Joel King")
  Dogbolter/Wherry Recipe (simon renshaw)
  fermentor cleaning (Alex MacGillivray)
  Pilsner ferment question (Chris Cooper)
  Aging beer (jal)
  Here we go again.... (IndSys, SalemVA)" <Douglas.Moyer at indsys.ge.com>
  Belgian recipes (Jeremy Bergsman)
  A Little More Beery Theory... ("McLeod, Alan PPHM_C'TWN")
  baltic porter ???s, Uniboue yeasts ("Czerpak, Pete")
  RIMS temperature distribution ("Peed, John")
  Efficiency and Rims Heating ("Gustave Rappold")
  Steeping Specialty Grains & Drying Carboys ("Hedglin, Nils A")
  AHA National Homebrew Competition ("Gary Glass")
  Hops ("Keith Menefy")
  Water Chemistry (Travis Dahl KE4VYZ)
  colour cards for malt? ("Sean Richens")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 06 Apr 2001 10:47:42 -0000 From: "Joel King" <joel_d_king at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: RIMS Question Marc Hawley asks in Digest #3600 about raising recirc temperature above the final desired mash temperature in order to more quickly step through the temperature change. Marc - if you have an electronically controlled RIMS and can "dial down" the temperature as it approaches your desired final value, I guess you could get away with this. I would not want to attempt it with a HERMS, where the wort is heated by the mass of water in the HLT, because fine and rapid temperature adjustments are more difficult. Another consideration - do you recirc continuously, even when the desired temperature has been reached? If not, if might be worthwhile to be a few degrees above target, as the mash may have not equilibrated fully - the liquid has reached temp, but the malt is still a little behind, and your (hopefully) insulted tun walls also. Rather than risking overshooting your temperature, why not take into account the time required to change temperature? If your experience is that going from 115 to 152 in your system requires seven minutes, then account for that in your mash schedule and adjust as necessary in future brews. - -- Joel King -- Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2001 04:40:41 -0700 (PDT) From: simon renshaw <brewlad at yahoo.com> Subject: Dogbolter/Wherry Recipe Is there anybody out there who has a recipe for a clone of Firkin Dogbolter and/or Woodeforde's Wherry? Both of these are English real ales. I have searched the web thoroughly but could find nothing. If somebody could shed some light on this problem I would be more than happy! Thanks! Return to table of contents
Date: 6 Apr 2001 03:50:35 AKDT From: Alex MacGillivray <brewbeer at usa.net> Subject: fermentor cleaning I use a 15.5 gal AB keg to ferment in. I haven't had any known troubles with infection but it's a nagging possibility. I'm wondering how those of you that ferment the same way I do are able to clean the insides after bottling. It's almost impossible to visually assess for cleanliness. I use betadine to sanitize before I add the wort. Thanks, Alex Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2001 08:55:49 -0400 (EDT) From: Chris Cooper <ccooper at a2607cc.msr.hp.com> Subject: Pilsner ferment question Greetings all! I have been travelling much of late so my brew sessions have been few, but a couple of weeks ago I stole a Sunday and brewed a simple pilsner. My target was for a basic bare naked Pils. To that end goal the mash was 90% pilsner malt and 10% 6-row, noble hops and Czech. Pils. yeast (Wyeast). I had a healthy starter (a solid pint of thick slurry) and all went very well. I placed the batch in my fermentation fridge in the garage set to 52^F and let it rip. I was on the road for the next two weeks, on Tuesday I racked the batch to a secondary, the aroma in the fridge was grand and the beer was starting to clear nicely but (there is always a "but" isn't there! I just hope that it isn't me!) the gravity was still at 1.032 (OG was 1.052) and there was a yeast cake floating on the top of the batch about 1" thick with the consistency of a kitchen sponge! (I mean I had a devil of a time getting it out of the primary carboy during the cleanup, I had to use a hook of wire to grab it a chunk at a time and pull it out the neck). The beer tasted very nice (although sweet and flat) considering it's stage of development. I have only tried my hand at a couple of Pilsners in the past and don't remember a yeast cake like this before (not even on Ale's for that matter), I was just curious if others have seen anything like this before with the Czech. yeast? Isn't a lager yeast supposed to be a bottom fermenter? Have I missed something? (Confused but not worrying the least little bit, I mean after all I did say it tasted good!) Also, does anyone have a guess at the Attenuation % for the Wyeast #2278 yeast, my notes are incomplete on its characteristics, or an educated guess as to how long it should take to complete its ferment. TIA 8^) Chris Cooper, Pine Haven Brewing (aka. Debbi's Kitchen) Commerce, Michigan Member, Ann Arbor Brewer's Guild (Approximately 25 miles from 0.0 Renerian) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 06 Apr 2001 08:21:56 -0500 (CDT) From: jal at novia.net Subject: Aging beer At a club meeting last night, one of my colleagues mentioned that beer ages faster in smaller containers, specifically, an old ale will reach maturity faster in the bottle than in a keg or carboy. He said this was due to the amount of O2 the beer was exposed to relative to the size of the vessel. Now I can buy this, but only in regard to O2. It seems to me the other non- oxidative processes (there are other processes, aren't there?) underway during maturation would be unaffected by this. Also, if O2 were the only (or the primary) agent here, one could manage to introduce it through sloppy transfer practices, regardless of the size of the vessel. Can anyone shed some light here? Jim Larsen with an old ale aging in Omaha Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2001 09:40:29 -0400 From: "Moyer, Douglas (IndSys, SalemVA)" <Douglas.Moyer at indsys.ge.com> Subject: Here we go again.... In response to Earl's question about aeration of the hot wort, "John Zeller" <jwz_sd at hotmail.com> sez: "This question raises its ugly head every so often and the general consensus seems to be that the problem is largely a myth. Hot side aeration (HSA) is a possibility if you introduce excessive amounts of air into the hot wort with a lot of splashing, shaking, vigorous stirring or mixing, but with normal care it isn't likely to occur. Just be as gentle as you can when transferring hot wort. HSA is not a problem during the actual boiling because the oxygen is driven off by the heat." John! What are you thinking? Dave Burley's heart is just now healing and you're trying to trigger a heart attack? That's cold, man. Of course, it may just be the thing to get Doc Pivo back in the mix... Anyway, if you are interested in learning about the many faces of HSA, and you have a month or two to blow, do a search on "HSA" in the archives. John's statement is a bit misleading, since there doesn't seem to be a general consensus or anything approaching it. My personal experiences seem to support John's statement, though. But, I certainly don't have Bantam Boy GdP's refined tasting abilities, so I am sure that my beer is redolent with HSA-induced faults that would be excessively offensive if I was only sophisticated enough to taste them. Brew on! Doug Moyer Salem, VA Star City Brewers Guild: http://hbd.org/starcity Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 06 Apr 2001 09:51:54 -0400 From: Jeremy Bergsman <jeremy at bergsman.org> Subject: Belgian recipes Don Price <dprice1 at tampabay.rr.com> asks for help > I am looking for recipes (extract/specialty grains) to brew a Belgian > double and tripple. As for recipes, this is a good starting place: http://realbeer.com/spencer/Belgian/ > I would like to use the same yeast for both batches (if reasonable) by > pitching the triple onto the double's yeast cake. You have to be careful reusing the yeast from strong beers. I would say that if you stick to your first plan of making wimpy versions you'd be OK if you could really separate the yeast from the double (to avoid darkening your triple). My advice would be to make a wit (yum) and use the yeast from that for both beers. The wit yeasts from Wyeast and White labs are probably the best places to start for Belgian yeast newbies. - -- Jeremy Bergsman jeremy at bergsman.org http://www.bergsman.org/jeremy Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2001 11:45:41 -0300 From: "McLeod, Alan PPHM_C'TWN" <amcleod at pphm.com> Subject: A Little More Beery Theory... I have received a number of kind replies to the posts on science v. art, most of which contest my mental wanderings, but all of which go to confirm what an interesting place this is. I am going to comment on a few questions in this post. Jeff Renner asked: What would you choose as an example of a "disappearing bone dry Canadian export ale?" Canadian ales - there used to be more companies with more brands on the same theme. In the Maritimes I can think of Olands Old Scotia and in Ontario Molson Old Stock, both higher alcohol (5.5%) and quite ale-ish - dry but malty. I suppose most of the Carling brand line is gone, too. There is a general move to mass produced light lagers in the last 20 years. Other lost ales include Moosehead London Stout (porter?) which I last had maybe in 1983. My favourite small brand mass produced brew is Labatt Champlain Porter which was available in the Ottawa valley at least until 1997 when I last had one. Ugliest packaging I ever saw. The head of Samuel Champlain set on a stark plain butterscotch background. These kinds of brews are being replaced by a greater number of micro-brews on the beer store shelves but they are hardly the stuff of a rural legion hall or a curling rink on a winter Saturday afternoon. Fosters book on Porter describes the loss of examples of that style in the US from traditional (pre-micro-brewing) producers. Jeff also commented: "I hope you can get some of those hop rhizomes. I suspect they are a Cluster type." I actually think the hops are a goldings type. They are not wild. The old road house tavern was owned at say 1880 by the Coles Brewing Co., a long defunct PEI brewer, and I am told that Mr. Coles himself, premier of the province/colony in the 1840's and a Father of Confederation in 1867, brought the hops back from England personally in his luggage. This may be a pleasant myth but I hope, once they are established, to send a sample somewhere. There are no natural hops on PEI as I am aware of. This is the most densely populated rural area of Canada and 100 years ago there was very little woods left anywhere and little original native vegetation. Mike Vachow of New Orleans, LA, has also sent a very detailed response for which I thank him. I do not know if it will be posted to the general board but it touches on commercial standardisation, micro-brew quality, prohibition, and the railroad. I hope he posts it for everyone. Mike particularly pointed out the efforts of Quebec's Unibroue, which is one brewery I support and even own 100 shares of as part of my tax account retirement account (called RRSPs in Canada). Interestingly, and pretty much on point, on March 9, 2001, the Unibroue annual statement included the following comments: "The total number of hectolitres sold was down by 4.2%, going from 66,270 in 1999 to 63,483 in 2000. On the bright side, foreign sales grew by 4.8% overall, with particularly good results in the United States (29.1% increase). For the first time in its brief history, Unibroue experienced a drop in overall Quebec sales (9.1%). "In 1999 the major breweries started distributing imported beers to expand their activity sector, since then the space allotted to our products has been reduced and sometimes completely eliminated in certain chain stores, as well as many beer-drinking establishments" says Unibroue President Andre Dion. "These 'product exclusivity' tactics and the purchase of in-store space have led to the removal of our products" concludes Mr. Dion. "Following a complaint lodged with the Competition Board by the microbreweries last August, the Commissioner ordered an inquiry into the practices of selling and distributing beer in Quebec. Acting on a request by the Board Commissioner, on December 21, 2000, the Quebec Superior Court issued an order by virtue of the law on competition requiring that Molson Canada, Les Brasseries Labatt Ltee, other beer makers and the major food store chains produce information and documents under oath. "Strangely enough, remarks Mr. Dion, since this date our sales have increased by 15.6%." Fortunately, consumers, who have been complaining for the past several months about not being able to find our beers, will once again have the last word." Here, then, an example of the tension between commercial pressure and excellence in brewing occurring right now. We should be all careful in considering what we like commercially in beer as well as in homebrewing supplies (as has been recently discussed.) If you like Unibroue products, vote with your purchases. [Also check out the price of their stock. UBE on the Toronto Stock exchange.] For my part, I may just buy a case of Moosehead Ten Penny Ale Easter weekend when I am in Nova Scotia. Thought it was foul when I was in high school - maybe it was just good ale...maybe not! Alan in PEI Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2001 11:13:15 -0400 From: "Czerpak, Pete" <Pete.Czerpak at siigroup.com> Subject: baltic porter ???s, Uniboue yeasts I've been contemplating what types of "interesting" brews to make this season. One that draws me in is Baltic Porter due to family roots in that area. One of this regions smaller breweries "Heavyweight Brewing" down in NJ makes one called Perkunos Hammer. Unfortunately, I can't get this up here in upstate NY. Other than 20.5 P gravity and 8.2%ABV using munich and other grains with Andrechs lager yeast, thats all I know. Any suggestions from those in the know or any good recipes out there for me to play with. Thanks, Pete czerpak albany, NY PS. Just read that Uniboue up in Canada uses 5 different ale yeasts in their brews per Ale Street News April 2001. I think that this one has been debated here before. Apparently this was from some new brewer of theirs who came from Chimay. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2001 14:20:09 -0400 From: "Peed, John" <jpeed at elotouch.com> Subject: RIMS temperature distribution Marc Hawley asks about temperature distribution in the mash when using RIMS systems. There will be a temperature gradient across the depth of the grain bed when steps are being made and as far as I can see, it's unavoidable. Even if you introduce the wort at a higher than necessary temperature, it still has to perc down through the grain bed, and I find that it takes five to fifteen minutes in my system, depending on the magnitude of the step. I see only two ways to get a very fast temperature transition. One is to add hot water. If no room for that, then the other is to draw off some of the liquid, heat it, add it back and stir it in. I used to use decoctions to reach mash-out temperature but now that I have switched to RIMS, I use recirculation for all temperature steps. No, the temperature steps are not immediate. And yes, there is a significant temperature gradient across the depth of the grain bed until the desired temperature is reached. Does it hurt anything? I don't know, but I have my doubts. I suppose that one day I could make a duplicate batch of a given brew using infusion or decoction steps, but I think I'm going to have to get all my processes a lot tighter before I worry about that ... I just really don't think it makes much difference. I've spent a lot of time in the past worrying about temperature distribution. It's a great way to drive yourself absolutely buggy because there is always a flaw in whatever scheme you come up with, be it with contact with a heat source, distribution of an infused heat medium, stirring, whatever. It's like sanitation: You can drive yourself quite mad if you try to achieve perfect sanitation procedures. I always thought that decoction was a great way to make intermediate and final temperature steps but if you think about it, they're not exactly immediate either, as it takes about as long to heat the decoction as it does to ramp up using RIMS. One really nice thing about RIMS is that once you reach your target temperature, the heat distribution and stability are excellent because you're recirculating temperature-regulated wort throughout the entire mash. So I vote for RIMS steps; I think they're about as fast and effective as any other method. John Peed Knoxville, TN Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2001 14:52:50 -0400 From: "Gustave Rappold" <grappold at earthlink.net> Subject: Efficiency and Rims Heating Hi Folks, Ant Hayes suggests efficiency goes up with larger batch sizes-I've noticed the same effect! I first started mashing in a 5 gallon (19 l) double bucket setup that would hold 12 lbs (5.45 kg)of grain at the most. Even with insulation all around, top and bottom, it would take about 10 lbs to get a 5 gallon 12* Plato wort. When I moved up to my half barrel system, I found it took about 17 lbs for 10 gallons, which works out to 8.5 lbs for 5 gallons, a considerable increase in efficiency. I just parti-gyled a 5 gallon Imperial Stout and a 10 gallon Brown Ale from the same 30 lb. mash and again noticed a higher efficiency than I ever had before! More thermal mass, more enzymes, and more efficient use of equipment all are responsible for the increase in efficiency. Marc Hawley asks about temp control in RIMS, well with that mash I doughed in and rested about 15 min at 60*F, then ramped up to 100*F while I figured out just what salts I had add to my water. Since I was using fully modified malts, I just ramped up to 153*F over about a 20 min. period. My system uses a direct fired M/LTun and I really don't worry about the short amount of time spent at the lower temperatures. A good portion of the ramping time is spent slowing down the temp increase so I don't overshoot the saccarification temperature. The insulation holds the temperature so well, I don't have to worry about loss. Check out my system at http://home.earthlink.net/~grappold and scroll down to and click on Iron Fist Brewery at the bottom of the page. Gus - --- Gustave Rappold - --- grappold at earthlink.net - --- EarthLink: It's your Internet. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2001 14:08:55 -0700 From: "Hedglin, Nils A" <nils.a.hedglin at intel.com> Subject: Steeping Specialty Grains & Drying Carboys Hi, Another screw-up I did making my split-batch of the Newcastle clone was to steep the specialty grains WAY to hot. I wasn't paying attention & the wort boiled over while the grains were in it. At that point, I turned the burner off, thinking it would cool down for the 30 min steep. I guess 4 gal of water has a much higher retention than I thought since it was still about 200 degrees after 30 min. So I'm wondering what this will have done to the beer. When I tasted it during racking to secondary fermentation, it had an unusual zing to it's taste. The closest I could equate it to would be when I had some pickles that had been left out & started to ferment a bit. Also, it had some what of a harsh taste which I assume would be due to oversteeping the grains. After I wash my carboys, I like to seal them with plastic wrap to keep the bad stuff out. But, I don't want to do that until all the water has evaporated out of it since I'd think the water could possibly mildew in the enclosed carboy. It seems to take about a week for all the water to evaporate out of them, & during that time, they are in the corner of one our main rooms with me tripping over them & my wife glaring at them. Does anyone have a faster way to dry carboys out? Thanks, Nils Hedglin Sacramento, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2001 16:34:08 -0600 From: "Gary Glass" <gary at aob.org> Subject: AHA National Homebrew Competition It's time to get those entries in! The deadline for getting entries into the AHA National Homebrew Competition is April 13. For info, rules & regs, entry forms, etc. see http://beertown.org/AHA/NHC/2001/. Good Luck! Gary Glass, Membership Coordinator American Homebrewers Association Voice: (303) 447-0816 x 121 Email: gary at aob.org Web: http://www.beertown.org Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 7 Apr 2001 12:10:12 +1200 From: "Keith Menefy" <kmenefy at ihug.co.nz> Subject: Hops Is there a difference in hop bittering quality/taste associated with the length of the boil? It was recently suggested to me that with our New Zealand high alpha hops that it was better to alter the percentages of early and late additions to the boil. Rather than, as I have always done, adding 75% at the start of boil and the rest close to the finish of boil to reverse the order. That is: 25% or less at the start of boil and the rest within 20 minutes of the end of boil. It would probably be necessary to increase the amount of hops used to compensate for the lost IBUs but if the hop flavour is improved that is not a major problem. Just thinking about the idea it seems to make sense but has anyone tried it? Cheers Keith NZ Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 06 Apr 2001 21:28:54 -0400 From: Travis Dahl KE4VYZ <dahlt at umich.edu> Subject: Water Chemistry A question for all of the chemistry geeks out there: A lot of books, webpages, etc. talk about the need to find out how much calcium (etc.) is present in the water used for brewing. My question is, does this just refer to the calcium ion (Ca++) or to the sum of the dissolved calcium complexes (Ca_T)? -Travis Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2001 20:30:01 -0500 From: "Sean Richens" <srichens at sprint.ca> Subject: colour cards for malt? Let's try this again. The server seems to have a mildly xenophobic bent and didn't appreciate the accents in the message below, so I excerpted it and typed over the stressed vowels: Can't say I've ever heard this question before, but it's a good one. Our fellow brewer from B.A. wants to know if there is some kind of colour card (kind of like the one for checking the SRM of a beer) for checking malt. I can see it being useful for crystal, caramel and Munich malts. All I can think of is performing the standard test method and looking at the colour of the extract. Sean Richens srichens at sprint.ca (that's right, I'm wearing my own clothes today, Brian). From: "Alejandro Roberto La Valle" <alex66 at infovia.com.ar> Existe alguna carta de colores para medir una malta tostada y saber a que tipo pertenece, algo asi como el catalogo Pantone para las tintas o los muestrarios de pinturas Return to table of contents
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