HOMEBREW Digest #3892 Mon 18 March 2002

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  Using pH test paper:  How?? ("Parker Dutro")
  RE: Beer to style ("David Houseman")
  RE: Asheville NC ("Steve Jones")
  oxidized wort/oxidized hops ("Steve Alexander")
  re: w3068 ("Nathaniel P. Lansing")
  Re:10 gallon cornies (Bill Wible)
  Stuck final gravity (Al Klein)
  New York (Al Klein)
  Re: oxidized wort/oxidized hops ("Phil Yates")
  Out of Style (Calvin Perilloux)
  Secondary fermentation inactivity (Micah Anderson)
  Iodophore Stain Removal ("Fred L. Johnson")
  Update: Bill Pfeiffer Memorial Mazer Cup ("Jason Henning")
  Club lists on HBD server (Pat Babcock)
  Daniel's water woes (Pat Casey)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 23:35:53 -0800 From: "Parker Dutro" <ezekiel128 at edwardwadsworth.com> Subject: Using pH test paper: How?? Why not use a pH test kit, the kind with a guide sheet showing different colors representing acidity levels and the vial/liquid test solution. Fill the vial halfway with water and put three drops of the stuff in and compare it to your chart. I used them when I used to grow flowers and they worked weel. Is there a reason we couldn't use these bad boys? Parker Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 07:55:06 -0500 From: "David Houseman" <housemanfam at earthlink.net> Subject: RE: Beer to style "I am curious what the judges out there think of when seeing a beer recipe not to style. For instance a Bitter that clocks in at 1.041 when the guidelines call for a maximum SG of 1.038? The slightly stronger beer should taste better and potentially mask some flaws. Do judges in the AHA contest see recipes? Would an ordinary bitter be kicked up to Special Bitter? What about a Bock at 1.060 when it should be 1.068? Not that I am speaking from personal experience. :>)" David, No, judges do not see the recipes. We only get a bottle of your beer that has been marked with a number so that it is anonymous. We're told what style it is and we judge to that style. Some judges will be more sensitive to and aware of the subtle difference in what the original gravity of the beers. Many will not. The minor differences you noted, 1.041 vs. 1.038 or 1.060 rather than 1.068, may not be noticeable in the final beer, dependent on the malts and hops used and mash schedules. It's the final beer that we're tasting, not the original wort. But if you start with a gravity that's too high and don't balance with additional hops, it may throw off the final balance. Or you result with too much alcohol that's noticeable in the flavor profile. If you started with a lower OG than the style guidelines call for it might still turn out to finish on style, but again you might need to correct the hops to match. A Bock at 1.060 OG that was mashed to yield more unfermentable dextrins may compensate for the lower OG and turn out tasting right on style. Remember that the style guidelines are just that, guidelines. Enjoy and have fun. Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 07:56:09 +0100 From: "Steve Jones" <stjones1 at chartertn.net> Subject: RE: Asheville NC Brad asked about places in Asheville, NC. Asheville Brewer's Supply is on Wall St downtown - Andy is the proprietor. Jack of the Wood Brewpub is on Patton Avenue - good Irish pub atmosphere, good beer, but I've never eaten there. Barley's Taproom - not a brewpub, but has 40+ taps, and good pizza. Asheville Pizza - On Merrimon Ave, this is a brewpub/pizza parlor/Movie Theater. Great place that used to run B movies, but now is first run. French Broad Brewing - new micro near Biltmore - I've heard from a few folks the beer is good, but don't know if they give tours or what. Highland Brewing - micro in the basement of Barley's, great beer. Go down and ask for a tour. Steve Jones Johnson City, TN stjones1 at chartertn.net http://users.chartertn.net/franklinbrew Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 08:22:42 -0500 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: oxidized wort/oxidized hops Phil Yates beckons .... >. But I'm curious about this point: > Most of us go out of our way to get as much oxygen as we can into our wort > just prior to dumping in our yeast. What happens if we don't dump in our > yeast, or not immediately? In one reference it was noted that saturation levels of O2 in fresh wort will disappear via oxidative processes in about 7 hours - no yeast needed. I just read a paper that suggested that under brewery conditions that it was best to oxygenate the wort four hours after pitching since that's about when the yeast are ready to use oxygen. This paper also suggested that variability in when yeast ae reaady to use O2 is one of the factors that determines the variability in pitching-time O2 requirements for various yeast. > What happens if we run our wort from the kettle, heavily aerate it and put > it in a sealed container free from infection? What happens if we leave it > there for a good month before throwing in our yeast? The free O2 will be long gone into oxidation products. I'll go you one better. I've pressure canned wort (~13P pale ale unhopped) and kept one jar for 2+ years at room temp - the stuff has turned dark over time, leaving cleared wort and thick break on the bottom. It was not particularly oxidized at the time of canning. In honor of your question I've opened the jar. The color (in a wine glass) is like cola - brown with hints of red. The aroma has a big tootsie roll tone with a thin almost floral malt aroma on top - not at all fresh but a certain vibrant sense to the aroma. Really a quite attractive aroma - tho' very odd. The flavor is of course sweet (it is unhopped wort) but with unexpected tart 'tinny' acidity - strongly tasting of aldehydes .... not cardboard so much as autumn leaves. Its quite reminiscent of a bottle of white vermouth that I once came across that was stored uncorked for months - sweet & swimming with aldehydes. If you swish the stuff around on your palate the tootsie roll and some stinging aldehydes come thru. I think I'll pitch yeast in this stuff just to see what happens. > My bet would be that the end product would have serious oxidization > flavours. At least the stale wort would be oxidized. No amount of oxidation of wort is good, yet all worts pick up oxygen during processing (and especially our small batch sizes). Yeast fermentation is capable of driving the effects back for a while, even reversing certain aspects of oxidation, but times and temps give advantage to the less palatable oxidation products. > Now I reckon that is a very good description of resulting oxidization > flavours in beer. Rusty or metallic. A tinny note in this one, but cardboard, aldehydes, ranidity .... -S Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 09:12:50 -0500 From: "Nathaniel P. Lansing" <delbrew at compuserve.com> Subject: re: w3068 I talked to a technician at Wyeast to see if he had any insight as to the problem of lower clove flavor with repeated pitching; he has reports of it from a few pubs but not all users have the problem. If it was a matter of how the yeast was harvested raised the question of "would the POF gene be related in some way to floculation?" that seemed questionable but not totally ruled out. The best guess that we agreed upon is that was the pitching rate that would most likely cause the effect in that, though not an ester, the 4VG produced would be in lower proportion to the banana ester since a high pitching rate would produce a greater heat-kick which would increase the banana ester proportion, making it seem like there was lower clove production. This would happen if cooling capacity wasn't sufficient to keep up with the heat-kick, which is maybe why only a few pubs experience the problem. Without pitching rate numbers, methods of harvesting, and fermentation temperature profiles it is very much a shot in the dark. I do remember a discussion here (or maybe the other beer forum) of how British researchers recommended a pitching rate of about 2.8 million/ml for proper flavor developement in weisenbier. Here's some interesting stuff I just found: >>A number of factors are very important to fermenting a good >>weisbier. Some of these factors are: >>Open Ferment - to skim off the bitter resins during the initial hop drive. >>Temperature (for proper phenolic.ester mix) >>Pitching Rate (1% active slurry by volume) >>Aeration and/or underaeartion for proper ester production >> (aerate 25% of wort) (used without permission from... http://www.tiac.net/users/tjd/bier/stark3.html ) Somewhere along the way I also saw some mention of (dare I say it?) fermenter geometry. N. P. L. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 10:41:07 -0500 From: Bill Wible <bill at brewbyyou.net> Subject: Re:10 gallon cornies Steve asks about 10 gallon cornies. The 5 gallon cornies are commonly available, though the word is that they are going to be getting harder to get soon, because the soda companies are switching to the 'bag in box' systems. The 3 gallon cornies are still relatively available, though I've found them difficult to come by, and expensive when they can be found. The ones I have for my own use I bought new. The 10 gallon cornies, in my experience, are the rarest birds of all. I have never had one, and do not know the dimension. They are not commonly available, and when they can be found they go for outrageous prices. I've seen them go for over $200 each on ebay. The reason they are so hard to come by is that everybody cuts them up and makes conical fermenters out of them, due to their size. They are highly desireable, and are next to impossible to get around here. They are no longer made as far as I know, so you can't even buy one new. Bill - -------------------------- Brew By You 3504 Cottman Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19149 215-335-BREW (PA) 215-335-0712 (Fax) www.brewbyyou.net - --------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 12:25:05 -0500 From: Al Klein <rukbat at optonline.net> Subject: Stuck final gravity Walter J Doherty asks: >I'm thinking about re-aerating and pitching a good starter to see what >happens. I would - but without the aeration. Pitch at high kraeusen. (Make the starter with a little of the wort that's stuck.) >My second thought is that, since this was an all-grain brew, maybe the >mash temp was too high, leaving me with a bunch of unfermentable dextrins. >It was a pretty new setup and I'm now unsure about the temperature >calibration. But the wort tastes sweet - are dextrins sweet? Yes - that's one way of making the final beer sweet. If that's the problem you have a sweet beer. If not, the repitching should bring the SG down. Just don't go too far in the other direction and brew bubble gum - 65-68dF is good. - --- [Apparent Rennerian 567.7, 95.9] Al - rukbat at optonline dot net Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 12:27:45 -0500 From: Al Klein <rukbat at optonline.net> Subject: New York Kevin Boyer said: >Rocky Sullivans down on Lex is a neat place as well, but a wee bit out >of walking distance. www.rockysullivans.com But it's easy to get around Midtown with busses - they're all over the place. - --- [Apparent Rennerian 567.7, 95.9] Al - rukbat at optonline dot net Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 17 Mar 2002 09:02:47 +1100 From: "Phil Yates" <yates at acenet.com.au> Subject: Re: oxidized wort/oxidized hops Steve Thanks for your response. I was hoping you might comment on the matter. During the last six months or more of drama with Ansett Airlines, my only brewing has been using wort kits. These are a full mash wort made to a gravity of about 1054 and sold in 15 litre containers. It is recommended to dilute them with 3 to 5 litres of water. I was adding my own hop tea. Very handy if you need to keep up a supply of beer but haven't the time to be doing full mashes. Interestingly Steve, this brewing concept is akin to the idea you floated a couple of years back with your "Brave New Brewery" posts. Also interestingly, Jeff Irvine claimed when he was out here that if someone else would go to the bother of producing the wort, he would be quite happy to spend his days simply experimenting with the ferment. After six months of using wort kits, I can comment that one can produce some excellent beers this way but it is hardly a rewarding or satisfying concept. I guess it just depends on what you want from your brewing. Well we all want a good end product, but the process required to achieve that is really what brewing is all about. But to get on to the reasons for my oxidization (oxidation- same thing as far as I know) questions. In one beer produced from a wort kit I detected some slight oxidization flavours. Now this could not have happened here. Having achieved success with my "Yeast under CO2" experiment I now pump the Baron's Brewhouse full of CO2 prior to any brewing activity. This of course requires brewing with an oxygen mask on but a well worthwhile precaution all brewers should take. I digress even further. It occurred to me that during packaging of the wort kit, it is highly likely that some oxygen is getting into the wort. This is just the time when a brewer would want O2 in his wort assuming he is about to pitch his yeast. Well I note Steve you have a paper suggesting about four hours later, and this may well be true. But oxygenated wort (even in sterile packaging) surely should not hang around for any length of time prior to fermentation. Thanks for your answer Steve. As you well know I am a bumbling fumbling buffoon of a brewer with not an ounce of scientific background to back up my outrageous statements. As for your description of your two year plus wort in a jar which you opened for my benefit, I can only say I like it. The description I mean. Please pursue the concept of a dictionary of beer descriptions. I'm going to start sniffing everything in sight in the hope of being able to contribute. I guess this means I am going to have to take my oxygen mask off! Cheers Phil Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 16:52:41 -0800 (PST) From: Calvin Perilloux <calvinperilloux at yahoo.com> Subject: Out of Style David Craft asks about beers that are entered in the wrong category in a comp, specifically an example of an over-gravity Bitter. >> The slightly stronger beer should taste better and >> potentially mask some flaws. Do judges in the AHA >> contest see recipes? Would an ordinary bitter be >> kicked up to Special Bitter? The slightly stronger one might well taste better indeed, but a good judge takes that into account. Too much body, or too high an apparent alcohol content, can signal to a perceptive judge that this beer is "Out of Style". It can still be good beer, but it wouldn't get full points because the raison d'etre of a session bitter, for example, is NOT to have something overly flavourful, heavy, and alcoholic. It's a tough part of being a judge, too, reminding one's self that this great beer in front of me is, well, not quite what we wanted. Do the judges see the recipes? No. And if that were to be used in a Nazi attempt to enforce style guidelines, some people could just "adjust" the copy of the recipe to match, so it would be pointless. That said, there is many a time when, as a judge, I would have LOVED to have seen the recipe to find out what the brewer did to get a particular flavour/aroma attribute (++ or --). And finally, would the beer be shifted category? No. I've even seen that point debated in organisations outside the BJCP/AHA as they developed guidelines, and the BJCP probably debated it for 30 seconds, too. What kind of hell would break loose if the comp organiser started assigning beers to a different catergory... and the beers did poorly! Oh, no, not a chance on that one! Besides, part of being a "good brewer" is knowing that you have XXX and not YYY style in your bottle, regardless (and I can say this from experience) of what your original brewing intent was. Calvin Perilloux Middletown, Maryland, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 21:54:42 -0500 From: Micah Anderson <micah at riseup.net> Subject: Secondary fermentation inactivity Got together with some friends the other week to collaboratively make some beer. Each of us has a basic setup, so we could make 5 gallons a piece, resulting in three different batches for our sampling pleasure. A porter, a nut brown and a spruce lager. Everything went just fine, we used liquid yeast, malt extract, some leafy hops, etc. The primary fermentation went well on all of them, the porter ended up not having any foam on the top once finished (the others had a small layer). We moved everything into the secondaries and the lager took off bubbling the airlock, the nut brown and porter were silent. Almost a week later, the nut brown and the porter still haven't bubbled the airlock. Did we loose our yeast somehow? We pretty much did everything the same, sanititzed everything... should we just be patient? We are fairly beginner at this, but have done a batch before without problems... Thanks for any insight you might have! Micah Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 17 Mar 2002 07:09:50 -0500 From: "Fred L. Johnson" <FLJohnson at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Iodophore Stain Removal Is there a good way to remove Iodophore stains from vinyl flooring, Formica counter tops, etc. Stains on kitchen surfaces resulting from a brief exposure to Iodophore often disappear or at least diminish considerably after several days. More recently, however, I am seeing what look like Iodophore stains appearing on my kitchen vinyl floor where there was no obvious initial stain. It looks like many small exposures to dilute Iodophore are showing up now. If I don't get help soon, my wife may kill me. If I have to get new flooring (and we needed it anyway), does anyone have recommendations of a resistant material? Polyurethane finished hardwood? Tile? Perhaps just something darker than white would be helpful. - -- Fred L. Johnson Apex, North Carolina USA Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 17 Mar 2002 10:45:58 -0500 From: "Jason Henning" <jason at thehennings.com> Subject: Update: Bill Pfeiffer Memorial Mazer Cup Wow! What a way to kick off the Bill Pfeiffer Memorial Mazer Cup judging. We had 15 judges knock out 12 flights. We had planned on only a single session but after the pizza break, 8 of the judges said they were ready for another session. An organizers dream! We really had a solid group of judges and the meads were fantastic too. I think that we'll be able to maintain our schedule since we had such a productive first day. We've got 5 flights and Melomels mini-bos scheduled for weeknight sessions. That should leave us with just the Best of Show on Saturday. I will, of course, post all the details then. And the last thing I'll say is the quality of meads is just amazing. Great job folks! Cheers, Jason Henning Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 17 Mar 2002 22:17:07 -0500 (EST) From: Pat Babcock <pbabcock at hbd.org> Subject: Club lists on HBD server Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager... If you are a club or other organization using the majrodomo list server on HBD, be advised that it has creashed and is being rebuilt. The RBL system appears to not have been impacted by this (unless you subscribe to the Digest version). We are working as quickly as possible to resolve this issue. Your patience is appreciated. - -- - God bless America! Pat Babcock in SE Michigan pbabcock at hbd.org Home Brew Digest Janitor janitor@hbd.org HBD Web Site http://hbd.org The Home Brew Page http://hbd.org/pbabcock [18, 92.1] Rennerian "The monster's back, isn't it?" - Kim Babcock after I emerged from my yeast lab Saturday Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 15:06:45 +1100 From: Pat Casey <patcasey at iprimus.com.au> Subject: Daniel's water woes Daniel Chisholm asks about his water and measuring its pH, 1.The missing instructions are probably about how long to hold the strip in the sample and how long to wait before reading it. Why not give the shop a call and ask? 2. Reading the strip - hold it and the chart on a piece of white paper or card and read in natural light. 3. pH, temp and ATC - We've just had some discussion about this on the Oz Craftbrewing list. pH specifications are given for room temperature. The pH of a hot sample will be about 0.3 to 0.4 less than at room temp. Automatic Temperature Compensation compensates for variances in the workings of the meter caused by different temperatures, it does not compensate for pH changes in the sample caused by temp differences. So if you take a reading of a sample at 50 deg C the ATC compensates for the variance in the meter's workings caused by the 50 deg temp; the reading you will get is the pH at 50 deg, not what it would be at some standard temp. The sample must be cooled to room temp. I don't about papers and temp but I presume they would be unaffected, but as specs are given at room temp, again the sample must be cooled. If you buy a pH meter get one with a resolution of 0.01 and accuracy of +/-0.02. That way you can be sure about the accuracy of the second digit, use the third as an indicator. Anyway pH can be changeable depending on factors like the homogeneity of the sample, chemical activity etc. 4. US$80 -100 for a water analysis seems a fair bit to fork out, in Australian terms given a lousy exchange rate, AUS$160 -200, it's a bit more than a day's work on average earnings, pre-tax. Will spending the money give you the best return on improving your brewing? Remember the analysis will only be accurate for when the water sample was taken, and if the well is relatively shallow the water composition could vary with the weather. With an analysis you'll get a nice set of figures, but still you'll need to know what they mean and what to do with them. What does the water taste like? Collect a sample of rain water and compare it to what's in your well. Does it lather easily? Do your ordinary kettles - tea, coffee etc - have any deposits? It sounds like you live in a smaller community, so try asking around about local water characteristics. Try a pet or aquarium shop - they may also be able to measure the pH of a water sample, swimming pool shop, well digging contractors, the local library might have some information, government offices either geological or agricultural, neighbours, local farmers, farmers' co-op. Plenty of people use water and have an interest in what it contains geology or agriculture, neighbours. You should be able to get enough information to give you something to work on, if it doesn't give you the results you want then get the analysis done. 5. High terminal gravities - mash temp, accuracy of your thermometer? Pat, living at Lawson (pop 2,500, altitude 732 metres) in the Blue Mountains 100km west of Sydney with water softer than Pilsen Return to table of contents
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