HOMEBREW Digest #4012 Sat 10 August 2002

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  Brewpubs in Sydney (Brew King)
  MaltoDextrin: How does it work? ("Michael Williams")
  runoff rate (leavitdg)
  hot peppers ("Micah Millspaw")
  How large all grain batches? ("Bridges, Scott")
  Fat Tire Clone (All Grain) ("Milone, Gilbert")
  Enzyme Lifetime and mashing considerations ("Dave Burley")
  bitter taste and alu (Alan McKay)
  building a keg fridge under the counter (Alan McKay)
  re: American Amber Ale (Paul Kensler)
  Re: bitter taste/aftertaste (Jeff Renner)
  re: bitter taste / aftertaste (Paul Kensler)
  Re: Hot Peppers (Jeff Renner)
  Large all grain brewing (LJ Vitt)
  yes...another question about natural gas conversions (Marc Sedam)
  Re: Liquid level control ("Kent Fletcher")
  re: bitter taste/aftertaste (Rama Roberts)
  Re:  American Amber Ale (Peter Torgrimson)
  Stuck Fermentation (Laaglander?) (Wesner Reing)
  Re:  Liquid Level Control (Peter Torgrimson)
  Sparging ("Partner")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2002 22:31:05 -0700 (PDT) From: Brew King <brewking100 at yahoo.com> Subject: Brewpubs in Sydney Hi all, I'm going to be in Sydney/Gosford next weekend to see my beloved Beavers pay BBall against the Sydney Kings. I'm still upset they're not coming to Melbourne. Haven't been to Sydney for a couple of years, and They've closed down most of the Brewpubs in Sydney (except, of course the Lord Nelson's...Bulls Blood, yumm). Can anyone point out any new brewpubs that have opened up lately, and where they're located. Thanks for that. Regards, Dave Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 19:38:53 +1200 From: "Michael Williams" <miwi at i4free.co.nz> Subject: MaltoDextrin: How does it work? Hi all, I am a beginning homebrewer , and I have heard that Maltodextron added to the kit gives extra body, mouth feel, and a better head. Trouble is, there are many different types of maltodexrtin, and nobody that sells it here seems to know how the sugars work with beer in a way that I can understand. How do the sugars work, which is the right one to use, and when would you use fructose if ever? Also, some people use dextrose for priming, others reckon that household sugar is the best. What do the real brewers say? > Mike Williams, > New Zealand. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 09 Aug 2002 06:18:14 -0400 (EDT) From: leavitdg at plattsburgh.edu Subject: runoff rate For those just getting into all-grain: don't rush the runoff rate! Thanks to the many who responded to my recent post, I slowed the collection of about 7 gallons from 30 minutes to 60,....and the difference in efficiency was substantial. At 30 minutes my efficiency had dropped to about 60%!...and when slowing the runoff to 60 minutes, which I just did yesterday, the efficiency (which was computed using ProMash) was back up to about 70%....which is , to me, ok. I appreciate all those who responded to my question....and just for the challenge, am going to look at other ways of effecting the efficiency (pH, temp, ....?). Happy Brewing! .Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 09 Aug 2002 06:51:46 -0500 From: "Micah Millspaw" <MMillspa at silganmfg.com> Subject: hot peppers I have made a fair number of 'hot' pepper beers. If you are putting them into the bottle, slice the pepper lengthwise and just put a half in each bottle. IMHO fresh jalapenos are the best for bottle use as they will yeild a nice bouquet in the finished beer. Chipotles in the bottle are good also, they add some smokiness to the hot, making for a very interesting beer. Micah Millspaw - brewer at large >Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2002 13:31:35 -0400 (EDT) >From: Wesner Reing <wreing at lynx.dac.neu.edu> >Subject: Hot Peppers. >I'm attempting the Dry Heat Chili Ale form the July-Aug Brew Your Own. >And I have a question about putting peppers in the bottle. Since The >majority of the capsaicin is contained in the seeds, should I put a small >slit in the peppers first to make sure that my beer is as hot as possible >or will the "heat" leach out through the pepper anyway? Has anyone brewed >a beer like this? Thanks for your help. >Wes >Brookline, MA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 09:04:55 -0400 From: "Bridges, Scott" <ScottBridges at sc.slr.com> Subject: How large all grain batches? Victor Franklin asks: >I am going to be switching over to all-grain soon. I know the process takes >more time so I wanted to brew larger batches. The thought being I will be >spending the same amount of time on the same volume of beer if I brew a >larger batch (i.e. instead of brewing 3 extract 5 gal batches, brew 1 large >all-grain). >However, I am not sure how large is too large. How much can one reasonably >brew at one time? I already have a good propane cooker. But I haven't >purchased any of the additional equipment yet and wanted to make sure I got >the right stuff. If I wanted to brew a 20 gallon batch for example, does the >logistics of handling that much grain and water etc. make it an exercise in >futility? Been a while since I posted, so I thought I'd respond on this one.... Victor, there are lots of options here. It depends somewhat on how much trouble and expense you want to go to. 20 gallons is still doable but I think it gets you into another level of expense. What you'll find is the investment required goes up as the size/capacity of your equipment grows. Of course, you can also scrounge around for used or discarded restaurant equipment and that will obviously cut your costs. What a lot of people have done is go with a converted 15.5g sankey keg as boiler and/or mash tun. You can buy the keg already made from a company that caters to the home brewing crowd, or you can scrounge the kegs and convert them yourself. You can do about a 12g batch in this considering that you need to leave head space in the keg to prevent boilover and then losses to evaporation and break material. You'll definitely need your propane cooker for this. Making the batch size much bigger gets you into more robust restaurant stuff. You can also use a cooler for the mash tun. One of these is certainly large enough to mash as much grain as you need, either the rectangular kind or a round 10g Gott type. Also then you have to consider how to move all that liquid around. You won't be able to lift 20g of hot wort. So, either you need a gravity set up or pumps. Here's my rig: 3 15.5g sankey kegs serving as hot liquor tank, mash tun and boil kettle. 2 propane cookers, 2 magnetic drive pumps. Since I don't get to devote a day to brewing very often, what I sometimes do is to make 2 10-12g batches back-to-back. You can make some economies of time, by starting batch #2 while batch #1 is still in process. You will definitely be busy for 6-7 hours, but you can get your 20g that way. It took me a while to gather all this equipment, so you may want to phase your way into this. This is one data point. I'm sure that you'll get other opinions. Let me know if I can provide more info. Scott Brewing occasionally in Columbia, SC Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 09:19:55 -0400 From: "Milone, Gilbert" <gilbert.milone at uconn.edu> Subject: Fat Tire Clone (All Grain) Hello All, Does anyone have a clone of Fat Tire Amber ale? I had some while out west, and would like to make a batch. I would really like to do it all-grain. Thanks, Gil Milone Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 09:41:34 -0400 From: "Dave Burley" <Dave_BURLEY at CHARTER.NET> Subject: Enzyme Lifetime and mashing considerations Brewsters: Steve Alexander's excellent comments on enzyme lifetimes failed to point out that the majoity of the lifetime studies are done on bare enzymes and solubilized starch not those complexed with a starch surface and whatever and not in an actual mash. Even those studies with grain present are often highly diluted. Lifetimes of enzymes in actual mashes are most often extended substantially over the bare enzymes. Also, these are usually half lives being reported and not "lifetimes", since the enzymes disappear by a first order kinetic mechanism (like radiation or cooling) , in most cases, which has a log Conc vs time characteristic and never really goes to zero except in a practical sense. Also, we talk of temperatures of activity and such for various enzymes, but these are actually very broad ranges. Remember these same enzymes are active at room temperature and below in providing nutrients to new plants in the seed barley. It just takes longer. Lower temperature mashing ( to make a highly attenuable wort) can be done but it is not practical in the brewing world and it can alter the protein profile which has been largely set at the maltster. The malt itself is also of importance here in a practical sense in that the cooler the roast out on the malt, the higher the total enzyme concentration and the more enzymes active in the mash you will have at a higher temperature. Brits ( who traditionally have a more highly toasted malt than the Germans or the US) typically use 158F as their highest mash temperature. The Germans typically finish out a mash at 162F. Point is, in most cases, longer and hotter than you might judge from enzyme lifetime considerations is usually OK in your mash schedule if your goal is a higher level of dextrins and better efficiency. Other real world characteristics such comments fail to take into account is the wetting out of the starch granule which may take a substantial time in compact, undamaged grain. Gelatinization ( if you reach it before you lose most of the enzyme) does level the playing field somewhat, but even with gelatinization a low temperature hold of a few minutes is beneficial to improving eficiency. Don't be fooled by Charlie P's early books in which he says a 15 minute mash is OK. A starch iodine test on the mash liquid ( i.e. clear wort) in a mash only deals with the <solubilized> starch and some of its higher degrades. This liquid is what you want to measure at the end of the mash to be sure you don't have a "blue" mash and starch in your wort ( leading to cloudy beer) before mashout. Chartlie P in the early days interpreted a negative starch test on the liquid at the end of 15 minutes as being at the end of the mashing period. Wrong! Remember he was trained as an Unclear ( er, Nuclear) Engineer. If you really want to see how you are doing in getting the starch out of the grain, include the mashed ( i.e. squished) grain partricles in your early iodine tests and don't believe the wives' tail that husks give a positive reaction. If you get a dark blue/black reaction you still have starch in your grains. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 09:57:02 -0400 From: Alan McKay <amckay at neap.net> Subject: bitter taste and alu Jeff, It is unlikely this is caused by your alu pot, and you certainly do not want to scrub it bright. In fact, you want exactly the opposite so that your wort never actually touches the aluminum. I use an alu pot with copper inside as well - no problems. You do not mention much about your procedures. It sounds like you may be mashing, are you? Or otherwise are you using grains? You can get a very unpleasant bitterness from grain husks when either your pH is too high (end of the sparge, typically) or your temperature is too high (you don't boil your grains, do you, or mash out at a very high temp?) You'll have to tell us a bit more about how you make your beer before we can help you much. But one thing is almost certain - the problem ain't from your pot. cheers, -Alan - -- http://www.bodensatz.com/ The Beer Site (tm) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 10:06:17 -0400 From: Alan McKay <amckay at neap.net> Subject: building a keg fridge under the counter Brewers, The home renovations are coming along great, and my wife wants to tackle the kitchen counters next. We did some kitchen renovations a few months ago and are still living out of boxes in that part of the house as we try to decide what we want to do with it. Well, I got the OK to dedicate about 30 inches of counter space (below the counter space) to a cold chamber for my kegs!!! (She's a real keeper!!!) This will leave me with a small converted deep-freeze in the basement for lagering, and room below the kitchen counter for 4 to 6 kegs (haven't measured exactly yet) I have a small bar fridge that I hope to rip the coils and motor out of to drive this thing, and plan to insulate all around with 2 inches of blue foundation styrofoam. My current converted deepfreeze has some serious humidity problems, and I'm wondering if I am going to have those same problems with my homemade space. Is humidity going to be an issue for me? If so, what can I do about it? Is there a good website out there that I should be reading? Is there anything else I should be doing besides the blue foam? Like maybe vapour barrier or something (my understanding is that the foam is itself a vapour barrier) Should I be calling a cooling technician? If so, how much is that going to cost me? cheers, -Alan - -- http://www.bodensatz.com/ The Beer Site (tm) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 07:21:16 -0700 (PDT) From: Paul Kensler <paul_kensler at yahoo.com> Subject: re: American Amber Ale Steve Jones notes in HBD 4010 that the BJCP style guidelines for the American Amber Ale differ from my description in HBD 4009, and was thoughtful enough to post the BJCP guidelines. To quote Homer Simpson: &#34;Well excuse me doctor (BJCP), but I think I know a little something about medicine (beer).&#34; This illustrates the differing of opinions that I alluded to in my post. Lots of brewers have _informed_ opinions about the style that differ widely, leading to confusion and the inevitable question: &#34;what the heck is an American Amber Ale anyway?&#34;. In my opinion, the BJCP guidelines are part of the problem. The BJCP guidelines for AAA can be summed up as follows: &#34;Category 6B, American Amber Ale: See 6A, American Pale Ale. SRM 11 - 18&#34; Hm. So if I add some food coloring to my Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone, its an American Amber Ale? Not very interesting, and certainly not enough of a difference to justify its own category. Isn't that the sort of deceptive &#34;brewing&#34; practices that us homebrewers rail against and accuse the &#34;mega&#34; brewpub chains of being guilty of? Yes, there are some differences in the guidelines: Diacetyl &#34;can&#34; be higher. &#34;Some&#34; caramel flavor or aroma &#34;may&#34; be present. The malt / hop balance &#34;may&#34; move more towards malt. It seems as though category 6B was created to protect the pure bloodlines of category 6A (Sierra Nevada clone) and create a catch-all subcategory for anything that is simply NOT a Pale Ale, than to create guidelines for a style that stands on its own. Again, Mendocino's Red Tail Ale is a fine beer so I'm not talking &#34;good&#34; vs &#34;bad&#34; beer - but I don't know that, if given one blindfolded, I would be able to tell that it was an Amber, and not a Pale ale. Such a beer shouldn't (in my opinion) be the defining beer for the style. Anyone who has tasted Full Sail Amber, or Anderson Valley's Boont Amber will know without a doubt that they are tasting something clearly separate from a Pale Ale. Blindfolded, with hayfever, after having eaten lox and onions, in a room full of smokers, you won't mistake these beers for an APA. In my opinion, these beers and ones like them should be the &#34;center&#34; of the style guidelines and not the fringe. Yes, they are clearly hopped with US varieties. Yes, they are bitter. But they are first and foremost malty, caramelly, toasty, etc. and that is what you take away from the experience. At any rate, any BJCP judge worth his or her salt knows that you have to judge a competition entry by style and not by taste, and the current guidelines are certainly clear enough on how an AAA entry should be judged. However, a better understanding of what makes this style of beer unique will lead to more brewers making interesting and distinct American Amber Ales. The BJCP guidelines serve a single purpose - to give us a target against which homebrew competition entries should be judged. The guidelines are created and occasionally updated to reflect the current brewing practices of homebrewers. If as a whole we're making more distinct Amber Ales, then the BJCP guidelines must follow suit - perhaps only after some motivated and well-worded complaints to the BJCP board, but it must happen. Cheers! Paul Kensler Gaithersburg, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 09 Aug 2002 10:21:51 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <JeffRenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: bitter taste/aftertaste "Jeffrey McPike" <n9cqs at insightbb.com> writes: >I have brewed for several years, and have recently had three batches that >had a strong bitterness to them. It isn't exactly a hop bitterness, and it >is worse in the aftertaste than while drinking. ><snip> >Could my beer be picking up a taste from the aluminum? > >Do I need to scrub the aluminum clean between brewings?<ssnip> >Could the aluminum be reacting with the copper chiller? My sympathies. That can be a hard problem to track down. I have an aluminum pot (actually, three) and a copper immersion chiller, and no bitterness problem, so I don't think it's that. First, don't clean the aluminum down to bright metal. I just clean the gunk off with a nylon scrubber, and use a powdered cleaner (like PBW) every once in a while. Some years ago, before I brewed in aluminum, I had a similar problem, and so did one of the other members of our local club that I compared notes with. It was in the back of the throat - a kind of harshness. We finally concluded that it might have been oxidation, although I can't remember why. I think oxidation can cause that kind of harshness. At any rate, by being scrupulous about splashing (at the time, I transferred the mash from a pot to a Zapap), I got rid of it. It may be something else (others may have ideas), but try that. Jeff - -- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at comcast.net "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 07:35:30 -0700 (PDT) From: Paul Kensler <paul_kensler at yahoo.com> Subject: re: bitter taste / aftertaste Jeff, I don't think that the aluminum pot is the source of your troubles. I've got an aluminum kettle that serves every purpose depending on what I'm brewing that day - mash tun, hot liquor tank, boiling kettle - and I can't say that I've ever experienced any similar problem even when brewing pale, delicate styles. I also use copper and brass parts in conjunction with the aluminum kettle (wort chillers, manifolds, connectors, etc.). Studies have shown that aluminum is non-reactive in brewing conditions. Aluminum was once widely used in Europe for brewing, but WWII demands and modern cleaning solutions (which erode aluminum) have largely done away with its use. Current studies also have cast doubt on the supposed relationship between Aluminum and Alzheimers. As for care, definitely do NOT scrub the Aluminum shiny bright - unlike stainless steel where the oxide layer is shiny and reflective, aluminum's oxide layer is dark, dull, and usually gray or brown. You want that layer there! Just use enough elbow grease to remove any solid material that clings to the surface, but don't scrub the oxide layer off. As for what is causing your bitterness... has anything at all changed recently? Did you move to a different area (different brewing water)? Local water supplies often vary during the course of a year - perhaps you've experienced more or less rainfall than usual lately? Changes in pH or sulfate could alter hop bitterness. Are you using different hops? Either different crop year, different form (whole / pellets), or different variety? Did you switch to or from hop bags, or a different kind of hop bag? Could your method of computing IBU's have changed? I think the cause of your bitterness is tied to a change in your ingredients or process, not to infection or the aluminum brew pot. I hope this helps, Paul Kensler Gaithersburg, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 09 Aug 2002 10:38:10 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <JeffRenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: Hot Peppers Wes Reing <wreing at lynx.dac.neu.edu> of Brookline, MA writes: >I'm attempting the Dry Heat Chili Ale form the July-Aug Brew Your Own. >And I have a question about putting peppers in the bottle. Since The >majority of the capsaicin is contained in the seeds <snip> Actually, the majority of capsaicin is in the membrane, or placenta, surrounding the seeds. According to the Whole Chile Pepper Book (Dave DeWitt and Nancy Gerlach, Little brown and Co, 1990), p. 238: "The heat source of chile peppers, capsaicin, is produced by glands at the junction of the placenta and the pod wall. The capsaicin spreads unevenly throughout the inside of the pod and is concentrated mostly in the placental tissue. The seeds are not sources of heat, as commonly believed. However, because of their proximity to the placenta, the seeds do occasionally absorb capsaicin through the processing procedure. For every hundred parts of capsaicin in the placental tissue, there are six parts in the rest of the fruit tissue and four parts in the seeds." I think that the pepper flavor (as opposed to the heat) is important, too, in a chile beer. I think that comes from the flesh. Splitting the pepper may increase that flavor or may not, I don't know, but I think it would increase the heat. Hope this helps. Jeff (25 years out of the classroom and still the science teacher) - -- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at comcast.net "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 08:32:22 -0700 (PDT) From: LJ Vitt <lvitt4 at yahoo.com> Subject: Large all grain brewing In HBD#4011, Victor asked about brewing 20 gallon batches. I argue that you can make larger batches using less than doubling your time, but it is not as fast as a 5 gallon batch. I sometimes do 10 gallon batches instead of 5. I think it takes me about 2 hours longer than 5 gallons. But that is much less than doubling the time it takes. These steps take longer: Milling heating water before mash in mash in temp changes of the mash IF you are doing any. heating sparge water - OK this overlaps with the mash. sparging chilling racking - not on brew day. Converted keg systems do well for 10 gallon batches. However, 20 gallons, you either need a larger setup, or brew 2 beers with the converted keg. I know one brewer with a 3 tier system that frequently does 3 - 7 gallon batches in the same day. When the boil starts on the first batch, he starts another mash. He has managed 4 batches in the same day. I know someone else with a 40 gallon system. He always brews the same beer and has multiple brewers sharing the batch. There is a potential disadvantage to 20 gallon batches: 20 gallons of the same beer instead of 4 different 5 gal batches. That may not be a disadvantage to you. If there is a problem with the beer, you have a lot of it. I suggest becoming an experienced all grain brewer BEFORE making such large batches. I don't intend to discourage you from making 20 gallon batches. My first all grain batches were not as good as my partial mashes I was doing before. So, I'm glad I gained some experience before going to 10 gal. Due to my system limits, I will only do 10 gallon batches if these are true: Grain bill not over 20 lbs - lauter tun limit Not decoction mash fermentation space is easy to meet - I have limited space for cold fermentation - lager, Kolsch, weather is good for outdoor boiling. ===== Leo Vitt Rochester MN Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 09 Aug 2002 11:57:50 -0400 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: yes...another question about natural gas conversions I am on the verge of finally moving into my very first home and feeling particularly grown up right now. The beautiful part is that this house has a "nanny suite" complete with kitchen and bathroom. This has been christened "The Brewery" and so it shall begin. Now I can make some of Jeff's pretzels w/o mucking about the main kitchen. So, this place has a natural gas hookup. I'm very pleased. But since The Brewery is a totally finished space I'm likely going to still brew outside. I'm prepared to build a stand to set this stuff up right with permanent gas lines, a la the More Beer setups. So I went to Home Despot to look at what kinds of gas apparati were available. One intriguing piece was a 20ft natural gas tube with quick disconnects. This got me thinking...which is always dangerous. In this case that could well be a literal statement. I know I can drill out the holes in my two propane burners to accommodate natural gas. This is a good thing. But wouldn't it be great if I could have the piping to the burners permanent, but have a QD natural gas hookup from the gas line to the brewing system which I could attach only during brew days. Since I'd be brewing outside, I figured that the hookup from the gas line (which is conveniently right outside the brewery) could be outside as well. I know nothing about gas piping or hookups or anything like that. Does anyone out there think it's possible to have a outside QD hookup to the house's gas setup that I could, in essence, tap into whenever I need to brew? Would the gas company let me do this if I put in a shutoff valve? Is there a safety issue? Well...there's always a safety issue dealing with gas lines, but if anyone could outline the specific issue that would be great. Cheers! Marc - -- Marc Sedam Chapel Hill, NC Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 09:33:40 -0700 From: "Kent Fletcher" <kfletcher at socal.rr.com> Subject: Re: Liquid level control Tony Barnsley asked: > I run off my sweet wort from the mash tun into an under back (Converted > Corny) and then pump it to the boiler. What I would like to be able to do > is to switch the speed of the pump to different levels depending on the > liquid level in the underback. The pump speed is currently controlled by a >power regulator and depending on the setting of the variable resistor depends > on the pumps speed. Tony, You must have heard this before, but here goes: You are going to destroy your pump motor. Small pumps of the type commonly used by homebrewers are designed to be run at full speed only. That is to say, they use inexpensive motors with relatively lightly insulated windings which are suscepatable to overheating. Using resistor circuits leads to overheating of motor windings due to both lower voltage and lower cooling (the motor fan does not move enough air when it's turning at lower rpm). So even if you used a triac or quadrac circuit to control motor speed by varying the duty cycle instead of voltage, the lower fan speed still results in overheated windings. > With both Floats open I would like the pump to run at a speed that enables > the underback to continue filling (R1) > With the Lower Float Closed the Pump runs faster, probably just about > keeping up with the run off from the mash tun or just a bit less (R2) > With Both floats Closed the pump runs much faster and empties the > underback UNTIL the Lower Float Opens (R3) Remember the KISS principle. ;) Here's a couple a simpler route: Install a solenoid valve in the pump outlet side of the piping, wired to a relay with a holding circuit controlled by two float switches. When the wort rises it closes FS1 first, then FS2. When FS2 closes, it energizes the coil of double pole single throw relay R1. Pole 1 activates the solenoid valve, Pole 2 connects through FS1 to the coil of R1. Thus, closing the higher FS2 switch activates the realy, opening the solenoid valve, and the holding circuit keeps the relay and solenoid valve energized until the lower FS1 opens, deactivating both the circuit until the level again closes FS2. Pump runs at full speed - no strain, no overheating. You can add a normally open momentary switch to override the float switches and pump the down back all the way down at the end of your sparge. Kent Fletcher brewing in So Cal Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 11:03:03 -0700 (PDT) From: Rama Roberts <rama at retro.eng.sun.com> Subject: re: bitter taste/aftertaste Jeffrey McPike wrote: >I have brewed for several years, and have recently had three batches that >had a strong bitterness to them. It isn't exactly a hop bitterness, and it >is worse in the aftertaste than while drinking. Jeff- if you're using tap water as your water source, check with your water company and see if they've changed anything in the time frame you started noticing differences. Increased hardness and maybe other factors will increase the perception of hop bitterness. >Could my beer be picking up a taste from the aluminum? >Do I need to scrub the aluminum clean between brewings? (I wash the >aluminum pot, but I don't use anything like steel wool and actually work to >get to a bright shine inside) >Could the aluminum be reacting with the copper chiller? I don't think any of those are likely, and I wouldn't scrub the aluminum. Scrubing with steel wool will take the oxidized layer off, which will increase any flavors it may be contributing (if any). - --rama roberts san francisco bay area Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 09 Aug 2002 13:02:56 -0500 From: Peter Torgrimson <petertorgrimson at prodigy.net> Subject: Re: American Amber Ale Paul Kensler and Steve Jones commented on American Amber Ale. Typical of this style, I have a third, somewhat different, interpretation. I view this style as the place for ales which are too big ("over the top") for APA. However, Amber Ales do not have to be bigger in OG or abv than APA, and the OG and abv numbers in the style guide are the same as for APA. My perception is that many examples extend the range upward. As Paul points out, a big distinction is in the area of malt flavor. I like his characterization and I agree that black patent and similar malts definitely should not be used. On the other hand, the hop character may also be "over the top" as with North Coast's Red Seal Ale (one of my favorites). This, and similar beers, are too malty AND too hoppy to fit well in the APA category. Thus in this style, the flavor may be dominated by either hops or malt, but there should be good malt flavor. When I judge this style, I am fairly open about malt or hop dominance. I am also somewhat open about bigness, but this should be robust beer. The key elements for me are good malt character with some complexity, and good hop character. The bottom line is: Is this interesting and good beer which generally fits the style? It commonly, but not necessarily, has dry hop characteristics with American hops. Some examples use non-traditional hops for finishing such as Columbus (North Coast's Red Seal) or Chinook (Mad River's Jamaica Red). Peter Torgrimson Austin, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 14:34:19 -0400 (EDT) From: Wesner Reing <wreing at lynx.dac.neu.edu> Subject: Stuck Fermentation (Laaglander?) The Chili Ale, that I asked about yesterday and was hopping to put in the Secondary today, is still at 1.022. I don't have on OG because I broke my Hydrometer right after I started boiling. But recipator gives me an OG of 1.045. The recipe clams that it should finish out at 1.011 and the attenuation at 1.022 would be just 51%. Pretty low. A little Googling comes up with a bunch of sites claiming that Laaglander has attenuation problems. Is this still true? most of the sites looked to be at least a couple of years old. I'll probably just rack this to the secondary and hope for the best, but now I'm worried about the yeast. I had planed to brew another batch on this yeast and now I'm worried that there might be a problem with it. I'm using Wyeast 1056 that was shipped during pretty hot weather (it was 85 here in Boston). When I smacked the pack (which was 25 days old) it took 3 days to swell up to the 1in recommended. I made a starter which seemed fine and was ready to pitch 24hrs after I started it. So my big questions are: Is my Primary done at 1.022? and Can I/Should I reuse this yeast? Wes Brookline, MA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 09 Aug 2002 15:37:35 -0500 From: Peter Torgrimson <petertorgrimson at prodigy.net> Subject: Re: Liquid Level Control Tony Barnsley asks about liquid level control using two float switches. This looks similar to a common problem for boat owners when setting up the bilge pump. To minimize the cycling of the pump, it is common to have two float switches at different levels wired to turn on the pump when the higher switch closes and turn off when the lower switch opens. This can be accomplished simply with a SPST relay wired to the two float switches. I will describe the wiring. If this is not comprehensible, let me know and I will work up a schematic. The upper float switch is wired directly from the power source to the pump motor. The switched side of the upper float switch (the side connecting to the pump) is also connected to the coil of the relay and the other end of the coil connects to the power return. The power source also is wired to the relay switch, and the relay switched side is wired to the lower float switch. The switched side of the lower float switch connects to the pump motor. Thus, the relay coil, and the switched sides of both float switches are connected to the pump motor. In operation, when both float switches are open, the pump is not powered. As the liquid rises, it closes the lower float switch. However, the pump still is not powered because the open relay switch keeps the power from the lower float switch. As the liquid continues to rise, the upper float switch closes. This turns on the pump, and also powers the relay which closes the relay switch, and the already closed lower float switch also supplies power to the pump motor. As the liquid level is lowered, the upper float switch opens. However, power to the pump motor is not interrupted because the relay is powered from the output of the lower float switch. As the liquid falls even lower, the lower float switch opens, removing power to the pump motor and the relay coil, resetting the system to its original condition. This control system uses only on/off control, but can be extended to provide for variable speed control. Eagle 4.0 is a schematic capture and PCB layout program which is available in freeware for very small, non-commercial projects. It can be found at http://www.CadSoftUSA.com. Peter Torgrimson Austin, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 17:25:52 -0500 From: "Partner" <Partner at Netdirect.net> Subject: Sparging Gentleman, start your brew pots!! I have a RIMS.... Sabco's.... I've brewed about 15 batch's on it so far since Apr. The last 4 batches have been an ALT. And what I've noticed on the last 3 batches is...... that during the Sparge. My grain bed is swelling. I have been doing a protein rest at 122F, 30 Min's: then a Sac. rest at 146F for an hour then ramp up to mashout at 168F. During the sparge 173F and runoff. - I bought a Stainless Sparge arm, and use that instead of the hose laided on top of the grain bed, and no matter how fast I introduce water to the grain bed, I can not keep the liquid level above the grain bed. The grains are swelling to double the size of the circulating mash setup. From an 8 gallon level to at least 14 gallons. I use about 5 Lbs.. of Munich in the Alt. and all I can think is that it must be a grain doing this... I also used 1 LB. of Wheat. and other assorted goodies. While I'm sparging I think..( there I go thinking again) Why am I ramping up for a Mashout? When it boils. it's going to denature any emy-zines..... What I look for during the mash is to maximize fermentables.... Comments? Byron 6727.7,8 Apparent ly lost Whoooooooa that puts it south of Chicago, and North of Memphis, In the Heart of the Blues. Return to table of contents
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