HOMEBREW Digest #393 Fri 06 April 1990

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  *BIG* Blow-off (Steven Smith)
  Re: *BIG* Blow-off (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583)
  Digital Hydrometer
  Re:  uses for spent grains; honey (CRF)
  tip tip (R_GELINA)
  Charlie's Flames (LLUG_JI)
  honey aroma and SOME wierd barley wine (florianb)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 5 Apr 90 09:55:08 EDT From: gca!smith at uunet.UU.NET (Steven Smith) Subject: *BIG* Blow-off David I always use a filled carboy as a primary fermenter, and almost always get some amount of blow-off. I typically get a quart to a half-gallon, I have never quite gotten a gallon out. Sounds like a pretty vigorous fermentation you've got going there. Examination of the blown-off liquid generally makes me pretty happy that it is being removed from the beer I drink. A lot of the hop residue and various oils tends to come out. As an experiment you may want to try a small taste of the blow-off just once. (Only if there is no bleach or other sanitizer in it). Now as to topping off, no, I have never tried this. One thing I typically do with ales is to skip secondary altogether. I find that fermentation is typically done in one to two weeks, and I go directly to bottling from there. With the vigorous fermetation you have I would not be surprised if your fermention is done soon. If you do rack and plan to leave it in the secondary a while my opinion is that the air space is no problem as long as fermentation is still going when you rack. The yeast will quickly produce a "blanket" layer of CO2 that insulate the surface of the beer from oxygen. If you do top off I have one word of caution. A friend of mine was once trying to add an oak flavor to his beer. He boiled oak chips for a half hour, discarded the chips and added the water to his mostly fermented brew and replaced the air lock. As the water cooled it decreased the pressure in the carboy, which sucked his airlock water back into his brew. As he had used bleach in his airlock solution he was quite bummed and poured out the lot. One last note on the topic of losing brew through blow off. I finally went out and purchased two new carboys, one 7 gal and one 6 gal. I now start my lagers in the 7 gal. carboy (just proportionally increase the recipes). After primary I rack to the 6 gal. carboy. Between blow-off and discarding the sludge at the bottom of the primary I usually completely fill the 6 gal. secondary. This technique has been very successful, with the benefit that I usually get 2 1/2 cases per brew. The same approach could be used with a 6 gal. primary and 5 gal. secondary. Good luck, Steve Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 90 10:55:46 mdt From: hplabs!hp-lsd.cos.hp.com!ihlpl!korz (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583) Subject: Re: *BIG* Blow-off Dave writes: >now there's a large air (right now it's only C02) space in the top >of my carboy. Is this a problem? You've hit the nail on the head -- the operative "word" being CO2. As long as you've got this blanket of CO2 on top of the beer, you won't have oxidation problems as long as you keep the end of the blowoff tube under water (or under blowoff liquid). I don't even switch to an airlock till I go to the secondary. I suggest not doing anything (except of course RDWHAH). When you transfer to the secondary, the process of siphoning will release some dissolved CO2 and create a new blanket (since CO2 is heavier than air). >is this amount (almost a *GALLON*) of loss normal? I usually get 1/2 to 3/4 of a gallon of blowoff, but higher SG batches, higher temperatures, and different yeasts could easily produce more. One thing that could cause an increase in blowoff is too small a blowoff tube (diameter): if it begins to clog, the beer will pressurize, carbonate, and could really foam up when the clog gets pushed through. Once, a clog in my blowoff tube didn't get pushed through -- the one-hole stopper I was using blew out. Too bad I wasn't there, if it had to happen, at least I would have liked to have a photo of the 6 foot beer volcano (no kidding - right up to the ceiling, judging from the stain). I've used a 1/2" I.D. blowoff tube since that day...it hasn't even come close to clogging. Al. Al Korzonas - Hickory Hills (just SW of Chicago), IL Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 90 10:21:10 PDT From: c9a-aa at dorothy.Berkeley.EDU (Todd Matson) I submitted this file a couple of weeks ago, but I don't think it was ever posted. I have talked to some large brewers, and they have been responsive, but I am having trouble getting feedback from home brewers. If you can not post it for some reason, please send me a note. Subject: Digital Hydrometer Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a small, inexpensive sensor that can measure the density of a liquid. I have learned that such a device would be useful for home brewers to measure the specific gravity of a fermenting wort or must. If home brewers are responsive, my group would consider producing a digital density sensor and marketing it through home brew shops and clubs. The hydrometer will consist of a small box with a digital display that contains the necessary electronics. A switch will select the active sensor (the hydrometer will accept input from as many as four sensors). Each sensor will be the size of a toothpaste cap and will be attached to one end of a six foot wire (the other end of the wire will plug into the box). The wire will be inserted into the carboy through the stopper. The sensor will remain in the brew throughout fermentation and the display will be updated continuously. Thus, measuring the density will be convenient and will introduce no risk of infection. We anticipate that the hydrometer will be sold with one sensor, and that additional sensors will be sold separately. I would like some feedback: Are people interested in a digital hydrometer? If so, please give me an idea of what you would pay for such a device. If I get a good response from home brewers, my colleagues and I will certainly proceed with the project. Todd Matson / c9a-aa at dorothy.berkeley.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 90 14:57 EST From: CRF at PINE.CIRCA.UFL.EDU Subject: Re: uses for spent grains; honey Hi, All! Chris Shenton writes in dig. #392: >I don't have any cows, but I am trying to start a small garden in my small, >urban yard. Can/should I use the spent grains as a mulch? If so, do I first >have to let them compost? I don't see why not; and yes, you would have to compost first. I think that if you didn't, you might have problems once the grains started to decay. Also: another consequence of boiling honey (apart from scorching it, which ruins your wort) is carmelization. This can affect flavor and the entire fermentation process. Yours in Carbonation, Cher "The first cup of coffee recapitulates phylogeny." -- Anon. ============================================================================= Cheryl Feinstein INTERNET: CRF at PINE.CIRCA.UFL.EDU Univ. of Fla. BITNET: CRF at UFPINE Gainesville, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 90 16:27 EST From: <R_GELINA%UNHH.BITNET at mitvma.mit.edu> Subject: tip tip Here's a Q-tip cleaning tip: A Q-tip will fit nicely into the thin part of a water seal (the part nearest the beer), so if you ever get grunge in the seal, after you bottle the brew, soak the seal in warm water, and then go at it with the q-tip. It worked great for me..... RussG. - ---- I'm NOT getting kickbacks from Q-tips......... Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 90 12:15 EST From: <LLUG_JI%DENISON.BITNET at CORNELLC.cit.cornell.edu> Subject: Charlie's Flames The Reasonable Majority or Homedrug Making and the Berlin Wall Charlie Papazian Not too far from where I live there is a computer company engineer who was a homebrewer. His boss discovered his hobby and in persuasive terms suggested that such avocation was unbecoming of a company employee and that he should stop such activity. The engineer sold his equipment and is no longer brewing beer. On a brief vacation in the countryside of Colorado I was enjoying a beer. A boy of eight or nine years approached me and asked, "Hey mister, you gonna get drunk?" A junior high school student from Wisconsin wrote me asking for information to complete her social studies assignment: an essay titled, "Why Does Alcohol Continue to be an Accepted Form of Drug in American Culture?" In Michigan a child came home with a worksheet. Question number three instructed: "Circle the following pictures that are drugs." There were several pictures including a hypodermic needle, a pile of powder, pills, milk and a bottle of beer. He got that question wrong because he failed to circle the bottle of beer. Sen. Ted Kennedy recently introduced an amendment to the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, making reference to alcoholic beverages as a "gateway drug." Children are being taught that beer can lead to cocaine and crack. So now we may be considered homedrug makers. In a contemplative mood, I imagined how great it must feel in Berlin these days. The Wall has been torn down. The Wall that tried to keep so many things hidden from an entire population. I read with uncomfortable amusement how pieces of the wall have been brought to this country as souvenirs. It seems to me that now another kind of wall is being built around us and our children. I have mixed feelings when children 'learn' their parents are drug abusers for having an occasional beer. There is a lack of discrimination here that alarms me. Are objectivity and reality being distorted? Who is protecting whom? If walls are going to be built, then how are our children going to react years from now when the walls inevitably are torn down? I don't believe many people are noticing what's going on and what the consequences will be. Sometimes this interferes with enjoyment of my beer. There is a battle being waged out there, but it doesn't seem that one ever hears from the people who make beer or enjoy it. We hear the beer industry's facts supporting their legitimacy: 187,000 brewing industry jobs and a payroll of $1.3 billion, $4.5 billion in taxes, $860 million in rice, barley and hops, $4.5 billion in glass, steel and aluminum. But really now, what is meaningful to the millions of individuals who responsibly enjoy the pleasures of a glass of beer? Whatever became of good old-fashioned quality of life, friendships, memorable meals, good times, an enthusiasm for enjoying life and respecting life with all of its titillations? Whatever became of gut feelings? The arm you would wrap around your buddy? The laugh? The stuff that life and beer can be so much about? We're not all abusers. We're not all alcoholics. Tell me, gang, are we a part of a reasonable majority or am I a minority? I'd like to enjoy my beer without feeling too unusual (somehow, I'd never feel criminal, even if they outlaw it). About 20,000 people will read this editorial. My guess is that 95 percent of you make beer. You are brewers and have more respect for this stuff we call beer than the rest of the American population. You can have major impact by helping inform others that beer can be respected and enjoyed. Be aware of what's going down. I'm a brewer, too. The celebration and enjoyment of beer should not be inhibited by ourselves; to do so would defeatist. The joy is what we have going strongly for us. Our expressions of responsibility, enthusiasm and pride are what will make a difference. Let people know how you feel. (This editorial may be reprinted with credit and without permission.) SPRING 1990 ZYMURGY (uploaded by John Isenhour with apologies to Charlie for any typo's) <EOF> Return to table of contents
Date: 05 Apr 90 17:45:39 PDT (Thu) From: florianb at tekred.cna.tek.com Subject: honey aroma and SOME wierd barley wine In #392, Louis Clark says, >The reading I've done on making mead indicates that is, indeed, something to >lose by boiling honey. There are some light, aromatic compounds that are >easily driven off by boiling. What these sources recommend is pasteurization, Yes, I agree. Forgot all about those aromatics. They are what give different honeys their characteristic flavors (I believe), like blackberry flowers, for example. Now here's a good one for the experts. My recent batch of barley wine (og=1.090), fermented with Wyeast's champagne yeast, is almost due to bottle, having terminated at 1.030. I followed the sg closely on this one, checking about once per two weeks fo fermentation. It's been going for about four months in the carboy (secondary). Under nearly constant temperature conditions (Delta T = 5 degrees at most), the sg dropped to 1.025, then climbed gradually up to 1.030 where it is holding constant at present. Can] anyone speculate on how sg can dip and then climb up again under these conditions? Can water evaporate out of an air-locked carboy? Florian the puzzled, but relaxed. Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #393, 04/06/90 ************************************* -------
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