HOMEBREW Digest #3692 Wed 25 July 2001

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  Re: Stir Plate for Yeast Starter (Mike Lemons)
  Competition results (Scott & Cherie Stihler)
  re: Underfermented IPA ("Mark Tumarkin")
  Yeast Viability ("RJ")
  Re: priming concerns ("RJ")
  Re: draft box questions ("RJ")
  Re: Recipe help (Jeff Renner)
  Re:Recipe help ("RJ")
  Re: Underfermented IPA ("RJ")
  Re: priming concerns (Demonick)
  Removing chlorine/chloramine ("Strom C. Thacker")
  Re: Harvesting yeast for freezing ("Peter Fantasia")
  Underfermented? (Perez)
  pH (Jan-Willem van Groenigen)
  electric brewing system (joseph540)
  Silica Gel ("Richard T. Perry")
  Re: Recipe help (Jeff Renner)
  Underfermented IPA? (Alan McKay)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 21:48:43 -0700 From: Mike Lemons <ndcent at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: Stir Plate for Yeast Starter Wouldn't a magnet moving at high speed damage the yeast? I've considered building a magnetic stirrer for high-gravity fermentations in a five gallon carboy. I would use a bar magnet on the would be used to periodically rouse the yeast off the bottom. I haven't done it because I am afraid that instead of waking up the yeast, I would smash them to bits. There is a device, called a wrist shaker, that you clamp an erlenmeyer flask to. It has a motor that sloshes the contents around. I have assumed that this device is used to prevent damage to the yeast. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 00:48:29 -0800 From: Scott & Cherie Stihler <stihlerunits at mosquitonet.com> Subject: Competition results The results of this year's E.T. Barnette Homebrew Competition are in. The overall quality of the entries was once again extremely high this year. We received a total of 64 entries from 13 states. Please join me in congratulating A. J. Zanyk for winning Best of Show and the $500 that goes along with it!!! **** Best Of Show (BOS) ***** Brewers Winning Beer/Mead Style BOS - A. J. Zanyk Peach Melomel 2nd - Frank Marsh Bavarian Dunkelweizen 3rd - Mark Forrester Helles/Maibock ***** Light Ale Class ********** Brewers Winning Beer Style 1st - Pete Devaris Belgian Specialty Ale 2nd - tie! Bill Brooks & Jud Robison India Pale Ale 2nd - tie! Jud Robison & Bill Brooks Koelsch Style Ale 3rd - tie! Frank Marsh Biere de Garde 3rd - tie! Pete Devaris Witbier ******* Dark Ale Class ******** Brewers Winning Beer Style 1st - Frank Marsh Bavarian Dunkelweizen 2nd - Randy Pierson Foreign Extra Stout 3rd - J. Rothstein, W. Borth Russian Imperial Stout & C. Goldstein ******* Light Lager Class ******* Brewers Winning Beer Style 1st - Mark Forrester Helles/Maibock 2nd - Rob Beck Helles/Maibock 3rd - Susan Ruud Oktoberfest ******* Dark Lager Class ******* Brewers Winning Beer Style 1st - Pete Devaris Doppelbock 2nd - Ted Hausotler Munich Dunkel 3rd - Glenn Thomas Doppelbock *** Specialty/Mixed Style Class **** Brewers Winning Beer Style 1st - Pete Devaris Spruce Pale Ale 2nd - Steve Schmitt Smoked Doppelbock 3rd - Vincent Rokke Witbier ******* Meads ************** Brewers Winning Mead Style 1st - A. J. Zanyk Peach Melomel 2nd - Breck Tostevin Pyment 3rd - Mike Westman Traditional Still Mead For more information regarding the result of this competition go to the following URL: http://www.mosquitonet.com/~stihlerunits/ScottsDen/Beer/Events/ETB2001.html Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 07:48:03 -0400 From: "Mark Tumarkin" <mark_t at ix.netcom.com> Subject: re: Underfermented IPA Dave Perez comes out of lurking mode and asks about an underfermented IPA. First, welcome out of lurking mode Dave. I know there are a number of other Hogtown Brewers in lurk mode on the HBD, but it's good to see you post. To the rest of you, Dave is a new brewer who's off to a great start. His Scottish Ale took first place in our in-club contest last month. If you ask him real nice he might tell you the story of his first brew day - truly a brew day from hell story with an inspirational ending, but I digress.... I think I'm the one that recommended Option 1 before? The question being, how under fermented/under attenuated is it? If just a bit, I think Option 1 is best. If quite a bit, you have to worry that it might start fermenting again and create bottle bombs. In that case, keep it cold and drink quickly, and open carefully, paying close attention to see if carbonation level is increasing over time. If the carbonation level does start to increase, carefully open each bottle to release pressure and then re-cap. Opt 2 risks oxidation and/or contamination You could always try Option 3 and/or 4 with a very limited number of bottles as an experiment. Personally, I'd worry about exploding bottles if they begin to referment in the bottle - but that brings up the question of whether the residual sugars are fermentable or not. Anyway, bring a bottle of the IPA to the club meeting Friday night and we'll try it and talk about it again. Mark Tumarkin Gainesville, FL > > The offerings are: > > 1 - Shut up and drink it! > > 2 - Purge the air out of a bottling bucket, open the bottles, pour them in and > pitch some more yeast (1056 in this case). > > 3 - Pop the tops, drop a few grains of Nottingham, recap and see if that > works. > > 4 - Same as 3 but use one Prime Tab. > > Options 3 and 4 seem like potential pyrotechnics. Any thoughts??? > > Dave Perez > Gainesville, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 08:32:58 -0400 From: "RJ" <wortsbrewing at cyberportal.net> Subject: Yeast Viability Okay... I know I'm gonna get blasted for this, but... For the life of me I can't understand all the hoopla when the suject of yeast viability comes up between homebrewers. I've been brewing since 1978, and all-grain for at least 7 years now... In the last 8 yrs that I've maintained written records, I've brewed 195+ 5 gallon batches (with over 150 using liquid/slat/slurry yeast), and to date have yet to have maybe 2 batches that I would consider having had an issue with yeast (they were Belgian Ales, and previously never tasting one, thought the beer was bad... In retrospect, I through out "good" beer). When you consider that prior to segregation of yeast and as an actual component of beer (only in the last 100 or so years)... It's profound to think that anyone ever brewed before hand or that it was any good! Heck, the brewers of old used to take the yeast from a brewing batch and dry on a "stick", for later use. Granted many of the beers were probably sour, but, dark enough to mask the off flavors we would perceive today, since we're soooo stylistic. I guess what I'm getting to is... The issues we raise as a group, often to newbie's, about yeast getting old or transitioning thru to autolysis... What brewer out there, that's been around the block, hasn't taken a bottle of Chimay or some other brand (that came across the ocean in a hot ship hold for weeks, then sat on a shelf for months, most likely unrefrigerated) and re-used the yeast in the bottom of the bottle? Making a good or great brew from it! Where was all the bad stuff, then? I must say, that I've had yeast stored under the original fermented wort for months and reused it without issue. That's not to say that I've never had yeast go bad under these circumstances, a quick whiff from the flask will pretty much tell you whether it's good or not... But, I often think that we've evolved into greater than purists. Nuf said. I'll go back to just responding to other poster's issues! Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 08:49:37 -0400 From: "RJ" <wortsbrewing at cyberportal.net> Subject: Re: priming concerns David Brandt <jdlcr at flash.netdex.com> wrote: "Dear HBD'rs, Sometimes when I prime my beer it foams. The last time it went nuts and almost overflowed the priming bucket. It was an Oatmeal Stout with a bit of lactose added at the end of the boil. A few bubbles (and I mean very few) were rising in the secondary after a week but its gravity was as expected -what with lactose added. My syrup was cooled to a bit above room temp. What causes this foaming at priming time, why can it foam at different rates, and does this occasional event encourage oxidization?" Sounds to me, like one or more things are happening here... 1) It wasn't finished fermenting 2) You fermented in a cooler place than where you went to prime it and, in both cases, stirred up the yeast, which responded to the new food source.... A good rule of thumb, is to bottle when the bubbler is blowing less than 1 bubble per minute... Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 08:56:52 -0400 From: "RJ" <wortsbrewing at cyberportal.net> Subject: Re: draft box questions Date: Sun, 22 Jul 01 16:38:14 -0500 Marc Donnelly <marc at targetadv.com> wrote: "I recently got a two product draft box - cooler with two taps on the front and 50+ feet of SS tubing on the inside. design information: 50 feet of 5/16 inch O.D. SS tubing 5 feet of 1/4 inch I.D plastic tubing to connect the draft box to the keg/corny. I was wondering what suggested pressure to despense beer at? Also would it differ, depending if I was using a corney keg or real 16 gallon keg." The second most frequent cause of foaming in a draft beer system (High Beer Temperature at keg or glass No. 1) is system pressure balance. The pressure on the beer regulator gage must be set equal to the pounds of resistance calculated in the formula below. Compute the regulator setting (gauge) pressure by: Pressure = length of beer line x Line Resistance + Lift x 0.5 where the length of beer line is its length in feet Line Resistance is given in the resistance given in the beer line chart below Lift is the height in feet of the faucet above the keg connector or serving tank. Example 1: faucet is 1 foot above the keg, line is 5 feet of 3/16 beer line. the total resistance is (5 ft x 3.0 lb/ft or 15 pounds) + (1 feet x 0.5 lb/ft or 0.5 pounds) = 15.5 pounds. Answer: set regulator to 15 pounds. Example 2: faucet is 5 feet above the keg, line is 15 feet of 1/4 beer line. the total resistance is (15 ft x 0.85 lb/ft or 12.7 pounds) + (5 feet x 0.5 lb/ft or 2.5 pounds) = 15.2 pounds. Answer: set regulator to 15 pounds. Line Resistance by beer line I.D. Use with the ballance instructions above. Line ID (inches) Resistance (pounds) Volumn/foot (ounces) 3/16= 3.0 1/6 1/4= 0.85 1/3 3/8= 0.20 3/4 1/2= 0.025 1 1/3 Keg Temperature & Pressure Chart (for all 100% CO2Systems) Keg Temperature (F) 35 36-37 38-39 40 41-42 43-44 Internal Keg Pressure (pounds) 10 11 12 13 14 15 Minimum Applied Pressure (pounds) 13 14 15 16 17 18 Maximum Pressure (pounds) 16 17 18 19 20 21 I hope this helps... Plz note, info was absconded from: http://ceisites.com/kegman/index.html Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 09:00:53 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <JeffRenner at mediaone.net> Subject: Re: Recipe help Jim of Buffalo NY <Hop_Head at webtv.net> wrote: >I was thinking of an American Cream Ale. I would like >to make it reddish without adding too much flavor. How can I accomplish >this? I'm thinking a small amount of roasted barley, black patent, or >chocolate in the mash, maybe 4oz. or so. This will be a 10 gallon all >grain batch with maybe a few pounds of flaked maze or something to "thin >it out". I'm thinking tettnang, hallertau or something similar. You've pretty well described my McGinty's Irish-American Red Ale. Your suggestion of German hops would work fine. Here is my post from February with the recipe. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from other brewers who have brewed this. As I note on the preface, a single step infusion works fine - that's how I do it now. Hope this fits the bill (Buffalo Bill, that is). Jeff 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0 Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2001 12:23:39 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: alternative St Paddy's brew Brewers Let me suggest an alternative to stout or green beer that I suggest every few years, Irish-American Red Ale. Here is my post from several years ago. I've received good feedback from happy brewers. Feel free to substitute ingredients or modify procedure, of course. There's just time to brew it if you keg and force carbonate. A little iffy for bottling but it should work.. A mash note - I have done this since my original post with a single step infusion and it worked fine. I used gelatin to clear the beer before kegging. Don't worry about Cluster if you can't get it. And Wyeast or White Lab's Irish yeast is essentially the same (Guinness) as YeastLab's, which is no longer produced. Let me know how it turns out if you do brew it. Jeff -=-=-=-=-=- It's about time to think about brewing a beer for a St. Paddy's Day party. How about something different from the usual stout or green beer, something with an American touch? I've made an Irish-American ale that I figure is similar to what was served in Irish neighborhood taverns in the Northeast 100 years ago, although I have no proof. Maybe like McSorley's? It's sort of a red ale with corn, flaked barley, medium crystal and a touch of chocolate. It's a little stronger than a British session beer, a little less than typical US beers (due to higher FG), and certainly less strong than the authentic ales of a century ago, but they didn't have to drive home then. This is popular with Killian's drinkers as well as real ale fans as it has enough interest to hold them. Resist the temptation to up the bitterness as it is inappropriate in this style. McGinty's Irish-American Ale 5.25 gallons at 1.044 5.5 lbs 6-row (US 2-row should work, too) 1.75 lbs flaked maize 0.75 lbs flaked barley 0.5 lbs crystal 30L 2 oz. chocolate Mash 154F 60 minutes. Actually, though, I did a 40/60/70C mash (30 minutes at each step) adding the corn at 60C. The 40C rest may have helped break down beta-glucans in the barley, and passing from 40 to 60 over 30 minutes or so effectively gave me a protein rest, which may have made the beer clearer. Irish moss might not hurt. Bittering hops - Cluster (I used 3/4 oz for 19 IBU) Finishing hops - Golding (Domestic would be fine) (I used 1/2 oz for 15 min. for 4 IBU and another 1/2 oz at knockout) (FWH might be nice here) Target 23 IBU Irish Ale yeast YeastLab A05 OG 1.044 FG 1.015 - -- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at mediaone.net "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 09:12:59 -0400 From: "RJ" <wortsbrewing at cyberportal.net> Subject: Re:Recipe help Hop_Head at webtv.net wrote: Subject: Recipe help "... I was thinking of an American Cream Ale. I would like to make it reddish without adding too much flavor. How can I accomplish this? I'm thinking a small amount of roasted barley, black patent, or chocolate in the mash, maybe 4oz. or so. This will be a 10 gallon all grain batch with maybe a few pounds of flaked maze or something to "thin it out". I'm thinking tettnang, hallertau or something similar. The people that will be going are not really "real beer" drinkers. I figure if I brew a light ale with reddish color, I might be able to cure them of their "fear of the dark". You know, anything darker than Bud is "dark"..." If you're really brewing for your friends, why add the coloring at all?... Cream Ales made with maize are slightly more golden than Bud. If you want a little more color, I'd suggest a 10 to 20L caramel malt in the 4 to 6 oz range. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 09:23:09 -0400 From: "RJ" <wortsbrewing at cyberportal.net> Subject: Re: Underfermented IPA Perez <perez at gator.net> wrote: "I have an IPA (Harpoon Clone) that is under fermented. I have solicited much advice from the great brewers of my homebrew club, The Hogtown Brewers, but thought I would spread the wealth or the risk, as the case may be. This is a potentially great beer if I can solve this problem. Otherwise I have to do as one has suggested and drink it as is. As that is the first advised solution I received I should say I am looking for others that may suit my taste buds better. The offerings are: 1 - Shut up and drink it! 2 - Purge the air out of a bottling bucket, open the bottles, pour them in and pitch some more yeast (1056 in this case). 3 - Pop the tops, drop a few grains of Nottingham, recap and see if that works. 4 - Same as 3 but use one Prime Tab." Options 3 and 4 seem like potential pyrotechnics. Any thoughts??? If it's under-fermented, I guess that I'd have to go with No.1... If what you mean is it's uncarbonated, then No.3 would the be the best way followed by No.4 (if No.3 doesn't work), short of forced carbonation in a keg. I would definately urge you not to use method No.2 as oxidation or that good ol'e cardboard flavor may result. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 07:31:32 -0700 From: Demonick <demonick at zgi.com> Subject: Re: priming concerns From: David Brandt <jdlcr at flash.netdex.com> >Sometimes when I prime my beer it foams. The last time it went nuts and >almost overflowed the priming bucket. > ... >What causes this foaming at priming time, why can it foam at different >rates, and does this occasional event encourage oxidization? The fermentation creates CO2 and it dissolves in the green beer. Over time the green beer becomes supersaturated with CO2. This simply means that more CO2 is in solution than may theoretically be expected. It is similar to boiling water in a glass container in a microwave. The lack of nucleation sites in the smooth glass container can allow the water to superheat well above the boiling point without bubbling. Disturbing the superheated water can start a violent, sometimes explosive, boil. In much the same way the supersaturated CO2 solution in the carboy is looking for an excuse to foam. By racking the green beer it is disturbed enough to release the excess CO2 as foam. Provided that you are using a sealed fermenter this is easy to prevent. A few days before bottling violently rouse the yeast morning and evening. This is done by vigorously swirling the carboy to resuspend all the yeast and trub that has settled to the bottom of the fermenter. The beer will foam like crazy and the airlock will run like a machine gun. This is actually good for your beer. It may force the fermentation to completion by waking up some of the yeast for a bit and it releases the excess dissolved CO2. Surprisingly it has been my experience that the "gunk" quickly settles out and within 12 hours is as clear as it ever was. I usually do this twice a day throughout my secondary and then leave the carboy undisturbed for 24 hours before bottling. Using this rousing technique reduces the amount of dissolved CO2 to 1 volume which makes for consistent priming calculations because you always know the CO2 level that the green beer is starting at. As to whether the foaming in the bottling bucket causes oxidation. I would say yes. The bubbles provide lots of surface area for the diffusion of air into the beer. This may or may not matter depending upon how fast the brew is consumed. The faster a brew is consumed the more forgiving it is to oxidation - the O2 simply does not have enough time to do its dirty work. That's why real cask ales that will be drank within a few days can be allowed to fill with air. 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 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 10:36:17 -0400 From: "Strom C. Thacker" <sthacker at bu.edu> Subject: Removing chlorine/chloramine Dan in Minnetonka cites A.J. deLange's recommendation to use campden tablets to remove chlorine and chloramine from water: > >Also, from the Green Bay Rackers web site & A.J. deLange >(http://www.rackers.org/newsletters/9811news.shtml): > >Another option is Campden tablets. You can effectively remove 3 mg/L of >chloramine or 6 mg/L of chlorine from twenty gallons of water by >adding a single >695 mg Campden tablet. All you need to do is add the crushed Campden tablet to >cold water, stir, and let it sit. Is it necessary to add it to cold water, as Dan suggests, or is it ok to add it to warm or hot water? I typically fill my mash tun with hot tap water (~130F) to save time and propane. I've been using campden tablets as directed, but not in cold water. Are they doing any good? Thanks, Strom Newton, MA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 11:23:18 -0400 From: "Peter Fantasia" <fantasiapeter at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: Harvesting yeast for freezing Denis, Harvesting the kraeusen is a good way to get a small amount of pure yeast to step up in a starter for later pitching. In order to freeze yeast for long term storage you want the maximum amount of yeast cells to survive the freezing and storage process. That was why the author recommended yeast slurry. How a smaller number of cells would fare in the same solution I don't know. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 11:48:25 -0400 From: Perez <perez at gator.net> Subject: Underfermented? Well it figures, I fell into that newbie trap of not giving enough info. So let's fix that fopa, shall we. I made the partial mash version of the Harpoon IPA clone from Clone Brews. Mini Mashed at 154 deg F for 90 min 3.25 lb.. 2 Row Pale .5 lb.. Crystal 60L 4 oz. Toasted 2 Row 1 oz. Roasted Added then boiled 60 min 4 lb.. Alexander's Pale LME 1.5 lb. Muton's Light DME Lots of Cascade and Fuggle Hops Pitched Wyeast 1056 instead of the recommended 1098 from a weak starter into a shaken carboy. Lag time was about 18 hours and fermentation lasted about 4 days. Bottled early at 8 days. Carbonation is fine. Hops are fine. It just tastes cloyingly sweet. Not the nice malt body to support the great hop kick. I hope the more complete picture helps you help me. Thanks Dave Perez Gainesville, Fl Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 09:09:52 -0700 From: Jan-Willem van Groenigen <groenigen at ucdavis.edu> Subject: pH O.K., I promise that I will try to stop this thread, because I realize all of you are probably fed up with pH by now.... Steve writes: >Hubert is, as usual, correct. My samples were centrifuged rather than >filtered and kept in a tap water bath, measured with a Denver AP-25 >http://www.denverinstrument.com/adlarge.htm with a stated accuracy of 0.002 >pH ) [at 22.4C +- 0.2C]. Probably the nicest 'tool' I own right up there >with my Kubota. I am *NOT* implying accuracy beyond the capabilities, just >regurgitating readings and the mean value of some repeated readings. A pH meter with a stated accuracy of 0.002 is nothing special in science; in our labs we have several of them (or even more accurate). However, that does not automatically translate into readings with accuracy up to 0.002 (let alone three decimals). The problem, for one, is that your calibration solution is only accurate up to 0.02 (or sometimes, 0.01) pH unit (as Matt mentioned in his posting). And that is only with a new buffer solution. After using it for a while, the pH will probably slip a bit. Therefore, it does not make any sense to include a third decimal. Steve, I don't argue with most of what Hubert says, but the whole quote from his post was: >It's possible to measure pH with a reproducibility of less than 0.02 - but >only if you know about all the pitfalls and take care of them! If you don't, >you may soon find your values far off (say more than 0.1, maybe 0.2) even if >using a high end pH-meter, while another tester using simple equipment but >paying attention to the pitfalls will be in the right ballpark! Apart from the calibration issue, are you so confident that you avoided all the pitfalls? for one, did you keep all three solutions AND the calibration solutions within 0.1 degree Celcius, as Hubert requires for his accuracy? That seems to be an achievement in itself, even in a water bath! >The ~0.030 pH differences between fermenters are very real and >reproducible. I agree with you that reproducibility is very important. However, reproducibility in terms of scientific experiments does NOT mean that you measure your solution twice, and get the same reading. It DOES mean that anybody can repeat your experiment, and will come up with the same results. The guys who claimed they produced cold nuclear fusion in their lab a few years ago probably measured what they saw several times, but unfortunately it was not reproducible by other scientists, so now they are the laughing stock of the scientific community. If somebody else would do your experiment again, measure the pH again, and would come up with the same numbers (in three decimals!), you would have proven the reproducability of the results of your experiment. The fact that you get the same readings twice is merely a matter of precision, not accuracy, and can be very misleading. You have insisted in the past that experimental results are only useful if they come with a statistical significance level attached. Since you didn't have any reps in your experiment, you cannot provide any significance level with these results, and I'm very sceptical as to whether it would be possible to prove significant differences based on differences smaller than 0.1 pH unit. I would invite you to come up with any paper in a serious scientific, peer-reviewed journal that has pH measurements with 3 decimals. If there is, I'm sure there is a lenghty apology in the next issue. Cheers, JW. Return to table of contents
Date: 24 Jul 2001 13:23:26 -0700 From: joseph540 at elvis.com Subject: electric brewing system Dear all, Thanks for keeping up a great forum! I hoped we might start a discussion of the use of electric elements in brewing systems. It seems to me a really elegant solution to the problems faced by those of us who live in colder climates and want to brew indoors for much of the year. But it is really hard to find such systems. My question is -- why? I am most interested in the use of electric elements to heat the kettle, since that seems to be where there is real reluctance to use electricity. The use of electric elements in mashing systems is becoming more and more common with the spread of interest in RIMS systems in the world of homebrew. A quick search of the web shows that many people have figured out the benefits of using immersible electric elements, sometimes coupled to temperature controllers, in the hot liquor tank. But the use of such elements in the kettle is still quite rare, and consequently the possibility of putting together an all-electric 5 to 10 gallon (~ 20 to 40 l.) system remains for the most part unexplored. [I should note two prominent exceptions to this last comment. One is the 5-gallon plastic system by Ken Schwartz (http://home.elp.rr.com/brewbeer/plasticbrew/electric.html), which has received some comment on these pages. This is the extension of the old "Bruheat" idea. The "Bruheat" seems to have fallen out of favor, I guess because people did not like boiling in plastic. The other, which has been oddly overlooked, is Ray Steinhart's truly mind-blowing system (http://www.mastermolding.com/Beer/index.shtml), which uses stainless Sanke kegs. The only commercially-produced example I can find is the BC-50 "Brewing Comerade" by Stainless Steel Specialists T.L. (http://www.stainlesssteelspec.com), which looks spectacular, but is expensive. The benefits of electricity are sort of obvious -- it is clean, and it is well suited to indoor brewing since it does not produce carbon monoxide, soot, etc. It is also possible to automate an all-electric brewing system with temperature controllers, pumps, and the like. This in itself should appeal to the tinkerers in our midst. For those who want to get really into it, think of the possibility of going solar with your brewing! One of the big questions about electric elements to heat the kettle has concerned scorching of the wort. Without a doubt, this is a problem, but it does not seem insurmoutable. In response to a curious email, Ray Steinhart noted that he has not had trouble with scorching in the kettle. He uses four elements in the kettle, which he says creates a nice circulation of the wort during boiling. By using 1100 watt elements, he has also kept the watt density low. (He says he has had more problems with scorching on the RIMS heater -- a problem he solved with a temperature controller.) A less elegant solution might involve using a commercial-grade electric element *below* the kettle, with an aluminum or copper plate in between to diffuse the heat more evenly. (We should also recognize that scorching/caramelizing is not only a problem with electric elements. Look at propane burners like the King Kooker!) I myself am not a great tinkerer. There are now lots of really nice propane-fired all-grain systems available commercially. I would love to see some more electric alternatives. I should say that I have no axe to grind here. I am just toying with ideas. What do others think? Are there other problems that I am not seeing? Anyone out there have experience using electric heating elements that they want to share? Joe Gerteis Hello? Hello? Hello? - --Joe Broccoli - ------------------------------------------------- Get your free at Elvis e-mail account at Elvis.com! http://www.elvis.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 09:05:51 +1200 From: "Richard T. Perry" <perryrt at hotmail.com> Subject: Silica Gel Glen A. Pannicke asked about silica gel. Now, I'm a beginning brewer (third batch last weekend!) but as an aircraft mechanic, I'm fairly familiar with silica gel. You CAN get it in big tubs, Glen, but I recommend not. The product we use out here (I work for Raytheon on a US Army base at about 9N 168E) is called Dessicite 25, made by Engelhard. It comes in packets of various sizes, and meets a military spec (MIL-D-3464.) A quick web search found a site talking about it - http://jj-paper-packaging.com/engelhard.html (I have no connection with them - just turned up first on the old search engine.) I recommend the product highly - they work great out here in what's a pretty humid environment. To reactivate, you drop in an conventional oven at 250ish for 12 hours. One BIG safety note. Don't EVER get silica gel into anything intended for consumption. I saw a torn packet get left out in the weather (in the trash), and the birds got to it - that was way up there on the list of sickest things I've ever seen. It expands in water, see... like in a stomach. Bad Thing. That's why the packets are so nice - they're pre-sealed. No hassle. Coupled with good packaging techniques, they're great. However, malt is different than aircraft parts, so read the instructions before use, huh? Regards, Richard T. Perry perryrt at hotmail.com "Fraser, there's a guy on my corner who asks me every morning if I've seen God; do you really think he expects me to point Him out?" "Well, you know, Ray, if you did, perhaps he'd stop asking." Ray Vecchio and Benton Fraser, "Hawk and a Handsaw", Due_South Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 19:11:04 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <JeffRenner at mediaone.net> Subject: Re: Recipe help Brewers An update on McGinty's Irish-American Red Ale. By coincidence, Bob Barrett of AABG and HBD gave me a bottle of his latest example of this brew for my opinion. I just tasted it and sent him this note. "I've just opened the Irish-American Red ale. Very nice beer! When I first opened it and poured it at fridge temp, it had little head (although it was plenty carbonated) or smell. A taste gave me mostly a little buttery diacetyl and little else except carbonation. Just too cold. So I gave it ten seconds in the microwave and a shot with a "pocket beer engine" (a syringe), which really opened it up. "Now it is a very nice, easy drinking, balanced beer. I really like balance in beer, although some unbalanced beers like IPA or stout are nice too. Anyway, on the nose is a nice toasty caramel malt, with no discernable diacetyl now, although that may be there just supporting the malt, and some minty hops aroma. Smooth on the palate (knocking down the high carbonation helps this), slightly sweet with some hops flavor and low but noticeable hops bitterness. Nice finish with malt sweetness vying with lingering bitterness. "In other words, I like this beer!" Hope this adds additional encouragement to brew this. Jeff - -- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at mediaone.net "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 19:22:49 -0400 (EDT) From: Alan McKay <amckay at ottawa.com> Subject: Underfermented IPA? Dave, You have given us a diagnosis without giving us enough information to really help you with the problem. What makes you think the beer is underfermented? What was the Original Gravity(OG)? What was the Final Gravity (FG) ? Or do you mean it is undercarbonated in the bottles? How much priming compound did you use at bottling time? What did you use? Sugar? Honey? Malt Extract? How long has it been in the bottles? At what temperature? It could very well be that the only required remedy is simple patience ... If it really is undercarbed - i.e. you added too little primer at bottling time - then #4 would be your best remedy. Underprimed is rarely (if ever) because of too little yeast, but rather too little yeast food. cheers, -Alan - -- "Brewers make wort. Yeast Makes Beer." - Dave Miller's Homebrewing Guide http://www.bodensatz.com/ What's a Bodensatz? http://www.bodensatz.com/bodensatz.html Return to table of contents
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