HOMEBREW Digest #4036 Mon 09 September 2002

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  BarleyWine Fermentation ("Scott & Lisa")
  Re: Crankandstein Grain Mills ("arnold_neitzke")
  re: Lager Starter Question ("Steve Alexander")
  re: extractiondDifficulties ("The Artist Formerly Known As Kap'n Salty")
  Re: Primary vs. Secondary ("Chad Gould")
  dramatically lower efficiency (Aaron Robert Lyon)
  Re: "Extraction Effeni."  (sic) (Kent Fletcher)
  RE: Barleywine ("Dan Gross")
  Pot fermentations (Roger & Roxy Whyman)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2002 23:55:58 -0500 From: "Scott & Lisa" <scottandlisa at mindspring.com> Subject: BarleyWine Fermentation I don't know what happened to my first post, somehow it got truncated right in the middle - or I had already had too many homebrews to accurately type my question! Anyway, I recently brewed a batch of barleywine. Everything went fine with the primary fermentation; however, when I racked to secondary, I only got about 3.5 gals. into the 5 gal. carboy because of siphon problems. The brew has been in the secondary for about a month, has reached its target gravity, but is still very cloudy. I'm concerned about leaving it too much longer in the secondary because of excessive headspace and oxidation issues. Any opinions? Scott Greenbrier, TN Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 7 Sep 2002 07:23:44 -0400 From: "arnold_neitzke" <arnold_neitzke at ameritech.net> Subject: Re: Crankandstein Grain Mills > Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2002 08:56:21 -0700 > From: "Cave, Jim" <Cave at psc.org> > Subject: Crankandstein Grain Mills > > Does anyone have any experience with these mills? They look pretty > beefy. > > Jim Cave Jim I have one and love it. I bought the adjustable model, that adjusts at both looked a little small to me though). I wanted to build my own base anyway, so thid worked great for me. Hope this helps Arnold Neitzke - Brighton Mi (Just a bit north of Renner) Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 7 Sep 2002 09:35:46 -0400 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: re: Lager Starter Question Donald Miller writes ... > I am >building a starter with 2 cups of water and one pint of DME. I let the wort >starter coll to 74 degrees and then poured the Czech Pils yeast into the >bottle. I let the starter go for about 48 hours at room temperature. >Yesterday I moved the starter to my chest freezer which is set at 50 degrees [...] Hmmm - well I generally agree w/ the comments of Marc Sedam and Kap'n Salty (Cap'n Crunch's evil twin) but let's take it a bit further. I don't know what the DME+water formula gives, but starters should be around 10P and not above 12P. Also the Kap'n says your starter is too small but so is his. You should pitch 5gal of lager wort with the yeast from at least a half-gallon starter and preferably a full gallon! Because of this I'd suggest next time you brew a pale modestly hopped wort you make a few extra gallons to freeze for starters. I agree with Marc's methods but not his line of reasoning. Yeast don't generally 'get used to' or acclimate to their environment in the sense that the handle it better or ferment more efficiently when grown for a couple generations under comparable environments. They have simple metabolic behavior based on the environment and it's worthwhile trying to understand that behavior. Lager yeast achieve the highest growth rates around 30-35C(!), but they accumulate unsaturated fatty acids (necessary for alcohol tolerance, os-pressure tolerance, cold-shock tolerance and lower ester & fusel flavor product generation) preferentially at lower temps and only when oxygen is present. You can grow a lot of yeast mass at high temperatures, but you should plan on growing them in a cold oxygenated environment - fattening them up - before pitching into cold wort. Just dropping the temp in the now anaerobic starter has no positive effect. A 'cool grown starter' should do as well or better than a 'warm grown starter' when pitched into warm wort , so it isn't acclimatization at work here. The notion of yeast acclimating to environments leads folks to do bad things to their starters like allowing high salt concentration (a la Burton) or high gravity starter worts or high alcohol concentrations. These are always counterproductive to producing an optimal starter. It's just torturing the yeast and getting no benefit. It's no coincidence that all of the eight lager fermenting schemes described in Kunze begin by pitching the yeast into oxygenated wort cooled to BELOW fermentation temps and then permit a temperature rise to fermentation temps. >1) Should I have this starter at the 50 degrees right now or did I jump > the gun? You are probably too late. A starter step size should ferment out almost completely in 2 days at room temp. I'd suggest stepping up & reoxygenating the starter at 50F. >2) Will the 48 hours at room temperature screw up (technical term) >the starter? The 'starter beer' fermented at room temp may have a poor flavor profile with excess esters, fusels & VDKs. A pint in 5gal might be OK, but if you were adding a 1/2gal or more you'd certainly want to separate the yeast from the starter beer. Again the yeast are likely to be cold-shocked when they go from RT to 50F and I'd try to make them happy about fermenting at 50F temps before pitching. >3) How long before the starter is ready when fermenting at the lower > temperature of 50 degrees? >From various tables, commercial 12P lagers are fully attenuated at 9C(47-48F) in 7 days. Your yeast may not be happy about the 50F climate shift and they've probably almost fully attenuated the starter before this so it's anyone's guess. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 07 Sep 2002 11:07:54 -0500 From: "The Artist Formerly Known As Kap'n Salty" <mikey at swampgas.com> Subject: re: extractiondDifficulties Andrew E Hipkiss asks >I am relatively new to all-grain brewing and am having some serious >difficulties with my extraction. You'll no doubt get a lot of answers on this, ranging from poor sparge to mash pH to improper attire (plaid) when brewing. While there are any number of possible causes for poor extraction, the firat thing I'd check for as a newbie is whether or not you are really collecting the volume of wort you think you're collecting, and whether or not your post-boil wort volume is really what you think it is. Being off by a gallon or so when brewing small batches (5-6 gallons) can result in significant errors in your calculations. If you haven't already done so, consider calibrating your pots so you can be sure that a given level of liquid in the pot equals a given volume (be aware boiling wort takes up more volume than cooled wort -- 4%, I think). This seems to be a pretty common issue with new brewers not yet familiar with their equipment. If volume estimation isn't the problem, then you can optionally start worrying about the other stuff. Or -- as others have mentioned -- just don't worry about it at all and scale your recipies up a little. Repeat this mantra to yourself: "Grain is cheap ... Grain is cheap" until you get comfortable with the idea. In the end efficiency really isn't that big a deal, at least until you begin to approach the capacity of your mash tun with higher gravity beers. Hope that helped -- tafkaKs ==== Teleoperate a roving mobile robot from the web: http://www.swampgas.com/robotics/rover.html Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 7 Sep 2002 14:34:18 -0400 From: "Chad Gould" <cgould11 at tampabay.rr.com> Subject: Re: Primary vs. Secondary > I have never used a secondary in 10 years of brewing. I always leave my > beer in the primary to make sure fermentation is done. I have never > experienced any off-flavors as a result, as far as I can tell. My > concern with the secondary is that the transfer process is one more > place for contamination to creep in, as well as oxidation. I'm also too > lazy to clean another set of fermenters and too cheap to buy them. > I even went 3+ weeks in the fermenter once when I was away on business > and didn't have time to bottle. No problems even then. The maximum time I have left a beer in the primary is three weeks, and I had no problems. I think you can go a bit longer than that without yeast autolysis occuring - 4-5 weeks, perhaps. I have heard of people fermenting barley wines in just a primary for a year or more. Aside from the risk of autolysis, I think the main advantage you gain with a transfer to a secondary is clarity and less sediment in the bottles. Perhaps there are other advantages I'm not aware of, but there is a risk of additional infection and oxidation with a primary -> secondary transfer. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 7 Sep 2002 19:38:59 -0400 (EDT) From: Aaron Robert Lyon <lyona at umich.edu> Subject: dramatically lower efficiency Brewers, I recently scaled my brewing operation down to 5 gallons to fit into a small Chicago apartment. I'm using my old mash tun (10 gallon Gott) from my 10 gallon batch days, but have been getting significantly lower gravity readings than I would expect with the amount of malt I'm using. I usually enjoy brewing big beers, but have ended up with readings as low as 1.084 when using 21 lbs of grain. Nothings else (grind, etc) has changed. What can I do to pull more sugars out of the mash? Should I forget the sparge and just fill and drain the tun after starch conversion? Would that be the least bit helpful? I used to get 70-75% efficiency (sometimes higher) with no problem. Public or private e-mails would be appreciated. Thanks. -Aaron ____________________________________________________________________________ Aaron Lyon - grad student / homebrewer / hasher "Give me a woman who truly loves beer, and I will conquer the world." -Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941) Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 7 Sep 2002 18:39:39 -0700 (PDT) From: Kent Fletcher <fletcherhomebrew at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: "Extraction Effeni." (sic) Falling somewhat short of proving Sir Arthur Eddington's theorem, Byron typed: > Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2002 00:47:33 -0500 > From: "Partner" <Partner at Netdirect.net> > Subject: Extraction Effeni. > > I've never seen so much drivel in my life until > tonight's reply's (snip) > this was pathetic reply's, everyone knows your PH > is to be 5.2-5.6 > > that IS the answer and I'm sticking to it > > Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh This coming from a guy who thinks that wild ducks are darkening his brew: "Now I know I'm facing Mallard Reactions (Deeper Colour)," from http://hbd.org/hbd/archive/3946.html#3946-21 and wants to learn about "yeast acclamation" in zero gravity: "What is interesting to me is yeast acclamation. For 10,000 years, it;'s been done with gravity, time to adjust for the next 500 years." from http://hbd.org/hbd/archive/3933.html#3933-15 Byron, I'm sure we all bow to your superior brewing knowledge, after all, "everyone knows" that there can only be one answer to ANY question about brewing, and that high final runnings and lack of a mash-out couldn't possibly have anything to do with reduced extract efficiency. Kent Fletcher brewing in So Cal Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 7 Sep 2002 22:26:12 -0400 From: "Dan Gross" <degross at starpower.net> Subject: RE: Barleywine Chris asks for advice on his first barleywine. I have brewed a few with varied results. The main problem that I have run into is getting a good balance of malt and hop flavor. Barleywine is a tough one to ferment all the way down because of the high original gravity. Yeast choice is important, but the amount of yeast you pitch could be more important. Lots and lots of healthy yeast is needed. There are several ale yeasts that should be able to do the job if you pitch enough from a starter that you prepare in advance. The other big problem is hop utilization. A high gravity wort does not extract hop bitterness as efficiently as a normal wort. Fal Allen and Dck Cantwell's book "Barley Wine" suggests that you should add 4% more hops for a wort above 1.100. The real fun with barleywine is that it can be drinkable for years to come and they change considerably over time, usually for the better. Dan Gross Olney, Md Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 08 Sep 2002 20:45:01 -0600 From: Roger & Roxy Whyman <rwhyman at mho.com> Subject: Pot fermentations Bill asks about; fermenting in a SS Pot I regularly ferment in a 10 gal. SS pot with a lid. I don't have the luxury of a nipple, so I have to siphon. My SMO is never to remove the lid until it's time to tranfer. Then I raise one side of the pot about 2 in. to get the most out by putting the raking cane into the low side. Always comes out very clear with very little, if any, yeast. Since I brew 16.5 gal batchs, half my wort also goes into a 10 gal. cornie. This is where I always harvest my yeast, but I wouldn't be afraid to harvest from the pot, it's just easier to get the yeast out of the cornie. Never had a problem. Roger Whyman Parker, CO Return to table of contents
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