HOMEBREW Digest #4120 Mon 16 December 2002

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  head retention (darrell.leavitt)
  RE: Converting to Natural Gas (Donald and Melissa Hellen)
  Pumpkin Beer ("David Craft")
  RE: Cylindroconical Fermenter ("Sven Pfitt")
  Pumpkin Beer (nlkanous)
  Mead not fermenting - Help!!! ("Mike Kessenich")
  re: Mash tun outlet filters ("Steve Alexander")
  Woodworking - Beer Case Plans? ("Henry Van Gemert")
  Converting propane burners to natural gas (David Towson)
  Re: Woodworking - Beer Case Plans? (David Radwin)
  Re: Brewing as a profession ("Steve Alexander")
  Re. WL vs Wyeast ("Steve Alexander")
  Grolsch rubber washers (Ralph Link)
  Fw: Belgian Wit - recipe questions ("Gregor")
  Carlsberg Porter Imperial Stout Recipe Wanted ("Angie and Reif Hammond")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2002 05:38:21 -0500 From: darrell.leavitt at plattsburgh.edu Subject: head retention jeff; I generally add a pound of wheat malt to most all of my brews for head retention. I suppose that if you are extract brewing that you can add a pound of wheat DME (dry malt extract) to get the same effect. I read it here several years ago and it seems to work fine for me... The only problem that I have found in that regard is when I use too much of an ingredient that is high in oil...like malted oats... ...Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2002 08:37:50 -0500 From: Donald and Melissa Hellen <donhellen at horizonview.net> Subject: RE: Converting to Natural Gas Jason asked about converting an LP burner to natural gas. The outdoor cookers are made to run on high pressure propane. I've heard that you can run them on high pressure natural gas also, but you'd need a commercial gas line and regulator installed to take advantage of it. I think you will find that you are stuck with a lower BTU. I hope I'm wrong, because that's what I wanted to do with mine--run it on a residential gas line (not commercial high pressure). Don Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2002 08:52:26 -0500 From: "David Craft" <chsyhkr at bellsouth.net> Subject: Pumpkin Beer Greetings, I agree with the last post. You can cut out the pumpkin, bump up the crystal by about 50% and spice to get the effect...........60L Crystal will also give you the orange color......... If you must use pumpkin, use a can or two of Libbys in the mash...............I have tried it with fresh, canned, and without and the without is just as good. Don't tell anyone though........... David B. Craft Battleground Brewers Homebrew Club Crow Hill Brewery and Meadery Greensboro, NC Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2002 09:12:41 -0500 From: "Sven Pfitt" <the_gimp98 at hotmail.com> Subject: RE: Cylindroconical Fermenter Jennifer/Nathan Hall reports on her/his experience with a Cylindroconical Fermenter >Just racked my first-time-ever-in-the-cyclindroconical to a keg and >let me >be the first to say it's a hell of alot easier than siphoning! >I built >this fermenter from Toledo Metal Spinning's 12.2 gal hopper >and the Zymico >conversion parts. 10 minutes to sanitize the keg and >that's all it took. >.... ...snip... >One more thing - I'm using the hopper lid that TMS has designed for >this >particular hopper (14 ga. SS) without any type of pressure seal. >Maybe I >got lucky on this first batch, but there appears to be no >increased >airborne contamination risk. Lagering may be a different >story. Congrats on the Joy of Cylindorconical Fermentation! I too use a CCF. Mine is 17.5 Gallon, custom made. If I were to buy another, I'd go the route you did with the Toledeo Metal Spinning Hopper and Zymico kit. Nice setup. I too enjoy the ease of racking off trub and the beer when it is finished. Much easier than the carboys. I still use carboys and just bought another 6.5 gallon one, but my next purchase will be a second CCF. I don't have many concerns about contamination in the winter, However in the summer I tape the lid in place to keep fruit-flies out. They are my biggest concern. They seem to be able to get through the tiniest gap, kind of like roaches.... (Duct Tape, just another of the 1001 uses..) I'm going drill a couple of holes in the lid to allow me to add an air lock and maybe a thermowell. Steven, -75 XLCH- Ironhead Nano-Brewery http://thegimp.8k.com Johnson City, TN [422.7, 169.2] Rennerian "Fools you are... who say you like to learn from your mistakes.... I prefer to learn from the mistakes of others and avoid the cost of my own." Otto von Bismarck Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2002 10:06:33 -0500 From: nlkanous at netscape.net Subject: Pumpkin Beer Good Morning, Keith recently posted his recommendation based upon reading information from others about NOT using pumpkin in a pumpkin beer. I have to respectfully disagree with Keith. I've only brewed 2 pumpkin beers. The last one was in 1997. I took the last bottle to the Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild Holiday Party last weekend. I can tell you that this beer clearly tasted of pumpkin. Yes, you could taste the "squash" in with the spices, malt and crystal malt. At five years this beer was as good as it's ever been. If I were making a pumpkin beer and wanted it to taste like pumpkin, I'd use pumpkin. If you just want a beer that has pumpkin spices then go with just the spices. I followed Charlie P's recpie in the NCJHB except that much of the spices were added to secondary. Be very frugal with your spices if you try that. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. nathan in madison, wi Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2002 09:46:32 -0600 From: "Mike Kessenich" <mkessenich at charter.net> Subject: Mead not fermenting - Help!!! Hello all! I've been reading the digest for a while now and appreciate all the exchange of good information. I made a variation of Apple Pie Mead two nights ago and see no signs of fermentation. I pitched Wyeast 3632 Dry Mead Yeast directly into the cooled mead. The yeast was manufactured 09/04/02. When I checked this morning I noticed that My basement temp. was 62 degrees so I moved it upstairs to 70ish temps. My questions are: Was the yeast too old? Is the temp too cold? Should I pitch more yeast? Should I aerate again? Any suggestions would be appreciated! Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 23:23:58 -0500 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: re: Mash tun outlet filters David Towson notes ... >When recirculating, >some degree of pump throttling is needed to prevent excessive flow that >would compact the mash. This throttling is done with a partly closed >valve. Little bits of grain, if allowed into the valve, get caught and >build up, causing blocking of the aperture. That requires occasional >"burping" of the valve to clear out the crud, and restore the flow to an >acceptable level. IMO, that is a real pain. If your valve is clogging after the first pints of vorlauf then you have failed to "set" a filterbed. You should not see a continuous trickle of grist in the vorlauf which "requires occasional '"burping"' of the valve to clear out the crud". The trickle of grist includes a trickle of smaller particles too these should be removed too. >An outlet filter eliminates this problem. No - it only eliminates large grist particles - it doesn't remove the smaller particles. As I posted before, it misses the point of lautering. The lauter should separate the soluble extract from mash solids yielding clear wort. Clear wort and grist-free wort are two different things. You can remove grist using a few mechanical sieves, or by running wort through a filter cloth, but this grist-free but turbid wort carries a lot of undesirable lipids. There are studies that show increasingly deep gristbeds make for better filtration & clearer wort. Properly "set" filterbeds with pump recirculation (RIMS, HERMS etc) produces remarkably clear wort. If you have a trickle of grist in the vorlauf then you haven't created a filterbed capable of producing clear wort. Perhaps there is something wrong in the false-bottom fit or manifold design. Trapping large grist in a mechanical "after filter" won't stop smaller particles is not a method for obtaining clear wort. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2002 14:50:53 -0500 From: "Henry Van Gemert" <hvangeme at edcen.ehhs.cmich.edu> Subject: Woodworking - Beer Case Plans? Bill Wible writes: *I'm looking for woodworking plans to build *one of those old wooden beer crates to store *Grolsh bottles in. The cardboard boxes they *come in are cheap and fall apart after not much *use. Bill: I use the 15 pack cases from 22 oz Budweiser products (for some reason, the Bud containers hold up better than the other brands). The Grolsches fit good, tho a little snug, and they stack well up to 3 high. A 5 gal batch typically fills two cases with maybe a couple extra if you fudged and went a little high in volume. On another note, I find the 1/4" coloured stickers to work well on the Grolsch lids to differentiate between different batches. I put one of the same colour (or with the same initial, if I'm using two batches with the same colour) on the record page in my brewlog so I remember what type of beer 'that' colour stands for. Of course, a PostIt note on the outside of the case with the style and bottling date helps too, but for thoses 'extras' that didn't fit in the case a sticker is nice. Easy on, easy off, no sharpie marks on your caps, they're great. I might be moving to the larger ones soon as the bifocal years are overtaking me...... Henry in Portage, MI www.1Gallon.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2002 15:04:08 -0500 From: David Towson <dtowson at comcast.net> Subject: Converting propane burners to natural gas IN HBD 4119, Jason asks: "I was wondering if anyone has successfully converted from propane to natural gas burners?". He then goes on to give some details of how he has tried doing it. He is using a rather large orifice, and is getting a lot of yellow in his flame. A little yellow is generally a good thing in a furnace or water heater because it indicates a slight oxygen deficiency, and that will make the steel parts being heated last a lot longer. If you have an oxygen-rich flame, you'll have more efficient combustion, but you'll also oxidize (rust) the steel at a rapid rate, which means you'll get to replace the unit a lot sooner than you'd like. But judging from the size orifice you quoted (1/8-inch) and the amount of yellow you have, I think your orifice is way too big. I have converted all three burners of my B3 brewing rig to natural gas, and have been completely satisfied with the result. These burners came with orifices cleverly made by B3 out of short pieces of 1/8-inch pipe that also serve to support the burners. The orifices were made by drilling through solder plugs that had been poured into the last quarter-inch or so of the short pipes (the end that screws into the burner). I determined the optimum size hole for natural gas by trying progressively larger holes until I started getting too much yellow. The I re-melted the solder plug in my test piece, and backed-off a couple drill sizes. Over time, I have played with the orifice sizes a bit to optimize factors other than just combustion efficiency. For example, I use a heat exchanger as the primary means of controlling mash temperature, but I like to use a small direct flame under the mash tun to make temperature steps happen a little faster. So I don't want a "blaster" flame under the mash tun. I also want to limit the flame size under the boiler so I get a boil-off rate of about a gallon per hour, and not much more. But I want a good hot flame under the hot liquor tank because I'm usually in a hurry to get that water heated. So I now use three different size orifices. The HLT has 0.090", the mash tun has 0.076", and the boiler has 0.078". The size orifice you need depends on the pressure in your natural gas piping, and also somewhat on the heating value of your gas. At my house, the pipe pressure after the regulator at the meter will support a column of water about six inches high. This is commonly written as 6" w.c., where "w.c." stands for "water column". This means of measurement is used for very low pressures because it's convenient and cheap. By comparison, normal atmospheric pressure will support a water column of about 33 feet. If your pressure is a lot different from mine, or if your burners are a lot different, then my sizes won't mean anything to you. So I suggest you conjure some way to start over, and work your way up slowly until you just start to see yellow, and then quit. And unless you can't get a decent boil-off rate (rates around ten percent per hour are fairly common, but others may disagree), then I suggest you not worry about turning your burner into a mega-blaster. Dave in Bel Air, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2002 20:54:54 -0800 From: David Radwin <dradwin at sbcglobal.net> Subject: Re: Woodworking - Beer Case Plans? > I'm looking for woodworking plans to build > one of those old wooden beer crates to store > Grolsh bottles in. The cardboard boxes they > come in are cheap and fall apart after not much > use. See my newly-posted design at <http://hbd.org/forums/messages/366/13313.html>. If your bottles are over 10" high, you will need to modify the design or they will stick out the top. David in Berkeley CA - -- David Radwin news at removethispart.davidradwin.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2002 01:18:49 -0500 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Re: Brewing as a profession Bill Wible notes ... >BTW - Jim Kock is one of the rare the exceptions in brewing, >and by far not the rule. Keen grasp of the obvious Bill. (it's Koch btw). Big financial success is the exception in every field. If you don't like the Boston Brewing example look to the dozens of small breweries that were built in only a few decades. Sierra Nevada, Redhook, Rogue, Stone, .... My point remains that success, even large scale financial success if that's your goal, is not impossible even in fields that generally offer little remuneration like brewing. Bill continues ...... >I also didn't mention a few other 'little' >negative things about professional brewing, >like how much liability insurance for a >brewery or brewpub costs, how organizations >like MADD are working to bring down the alcohol >industry, and [...] .... >Liability insurance is certainly one of, if not >the single biggest expense for a brewery, and >its more if you have a brewpub. No way. I've been involved in 4 start-ups, 2 in fields with extreme liability, (medical equipment design and flight critical avionics). In each case chicken-little types come out of the woodwork to say it's impossible without paying millions in insurance and raising bogeymen arguments like above. Short answer - it's not true and any MBA can explain this to you. Could MADD create a new era of prohibition "at any minute" ? That's improbable. It could happen, but it's decades away and IMO declining in probability as the boomers age. The reasons the tobacco industry was so effectively gutted has a lot to do with the rapidly declining number of cigarette smokers (<25% of adults vs 66% for alcohol) and the relative political insignificance of smokers (young, low income, lesser educated). Beer is demographically more exposed than wine for example, but the number of beer drinkers ... When the MADD-types convince 75% of the population that alcohol is unacceptably evil then once again a tyranny of the majority will effect a remedy to our freedom to choose. I do agree with Bill that Zima and hard root beer and the like are the alcohol industries worst nightmare since they could be seen as inducement to underage drinking. If Joe Camel shows up in a Zima ad it's curtains. >And why would you want to take all the risk and expense >of starting your own so you can either get crushed by AB >or squashed by the gov't? Someone with a defeatist attitude always gives up before trying, because they can't see the possibility of success. The same argument above would apply to Bill Gates when he could have been crushed by the Gov't, IBM. I'm not arguing that brewing is a low risk path to wealth, that would be nonsense. The fact is that there is never a low risk path (for obvious reasons). For those willing to take risks tho' it is not impossible to build a significant brewing business in the current market. I see absolutely nothing to prevent the creation of another Rogue, Pyramid, Stone, SN sized brewery at this time. - -- Scott Bridges comments make a lot more sense and show that he's seriously considered the business issues. I don't know SC laws nor Scotts financial means, but breweries generally have a better growth potential and lower liabilities than brew-pubs. With all that distance I won't 2nd guess Scott's decision to leave brewing before he started. Giving away a lot of the company to VCs in a first round generally isn't a very good plan I'd agree. >Micros require the ability to bottle, keg or both. [...] >Keeping air out of the bottle costs serious money. [...] >A good bottling line can cost $1,000,000. Kegging is attractive for obvious reasons, but automated keg operations are expensive too. I agree about the O2 exclusion at bottling, and I'm sure one could truthfully write that a good bottling line can cost $2m or $4m ... . Somehow smaller facilities do competently bottle for a lot less. >Don't do it because you think you will make a bunch of >money. Agreed - but also don't avoid it with the thought that money cannot be made at brewing either. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2002 02:37:11 -0500 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Re. WL vs Wyeast Bill Wible writes ... >The major concern is that White Labs now all but owns >the yeast market. That's news. What do you base this on Bill ? Last rumor I heard had the Wyeast sales down 25% in the past few years while the small brewing market took an even bigger plunge. Doesn't sound bad in a relative sense. >White Labs was the first to make 'pitchable' yeast. Really ? I thought Saccharomyces Supply Co. appeared earlier and I doubt they were the first either. >White Labs has done an incredible job of advertising and marketing. >They are very well known now. Meanwhile, as I've said before, >Wyeast has pretty much sat on their reputation as the original >yeast supplier. They have no marketing programs, and it doesn't >even look like they're trying to compete. [...] >They aggressively market, and Wyeast has not done any of this. Agreed. >The major suppliers Like LD Carlson stopped carrying Wyeast a couple >months ago. They switched entirely to White Labs. I'm told its >'one or the other' due to refrigerator space concerns, and everybody >has told them they want White Labs. Very interesting info Bill. >I want both!! I'd like to not see there be only one yeast supplier. >I think there's room for 2, and I like having choices. I'd love to see both (and even more), but I doubt the market will support even these two. I do appreciate your comments on the specific yeasts Bill. Long ago I called for such comments and the silence was deafening. I really made a habit of WY1028 a few years ago, but I moved on to WY1098 and WY 1968 which I currently prefer for common ales. If I work the 1968 well (it's very flocculent) I get great attenuation and flavor. I don't like WY1056 at all - find it boring beyond words - but that's me. I've had problems with the WY1338 on two occassions and better luck a 3rd - never seems very vigorous. I think I've used all the Wy- lager line up except maybe the Danish lager yeast - but I always return to WY2124, WY2278 and WY2308 as strong favorites. The WY3068 seems more than a little twitchy as far as getting consistant results - but all of the weizen yeast I've tried are this way. WY3787 has given me several terrific results too but it's very temp sensitive. I've really just begun exploring the WLP lineup, but the WLP002 is winning, the WLP004 is very similar to the WY1084. The WLP023 is fine, but not a favorite flavor profile for me - it deserves another try. WLP800 is giving a very nice flavor to a recent lager. Like Bill and DaveH I'm not trying to encourage anyone to badmouth either vendor, but there are clear differences beyond the yeast properties which are clearly up to vendors. Is the selection of yeasts sufficient to cover needs? Is the culture sufficiently active to meet expectations? Is the method of delivery an issue? I've only had rare problems w/ a WYsmack-pak that took longer than expected to inflate. I've had worse luck with the WY pitchable tubes, several tookoff slowly in the starter and I'd currently refuse to use one w/o a starter. The Whitelab tubes have had a much lower incidence of slow starts - one only (one other that was past the due date doesn't count in my book). I'd consider pitching one directly. I do think the date/quality control issues are much more critical w/ the slurries. I just realized that WY carries tubes for wine yeast (so does WL) - wish I had known. Building a starter for wine is a bit more difficult than for beer. WLs beer yeast lineup has seemed a little plebian in the past but they are adding interesting yeasts at a great rate. I don't care for the yeast-blend idea that appears in a few wyeast offerings, but it's not a negative that they offer it. The Wy brett & lacto and other specialized offerings are unmatched. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2002 08:57:47 -0600 From: Ralph Link <ralphl at shaw.ca> Subject: Grolsch rubber washers Does anyone know of a supplier or manufacture or the Grolsch rubber washers. I am looking for a supplier who is not too expensive. Private email are fine. Thanks Ralph Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2002 16:42:37 +0100 From: "Gregor" <gregor at blinx.de> Subject: Fw: Belgian Wit - recipe questions Colleagues, I plan to brew a Belgian Wit soon: The recipe for 50 litres OG 1.049, 19 IBU looks like this: grain: 5,0 kg Pilsener 0,6 kg Sourmalt (Weyermann) 0,4 kg flaked oats 4,0 kg flaked wheat (pre-gelantinized) hops: 70g East Kent Goldings, pellets 4.5%alpha, 70 min boil 30g Spalt Select, whole 6.2% alpha, 20 min boil spices: 25 g dried bitter orange peels 10 min boil 20 g crushed coriander seeds 5 min boil mash schedule (kettle-mashing): 10 min at 57 degrees C 45 min at 61-63 degrees C 45 min at 70-72 degrees C Mash off at 78 degrees C Yeast: Wyeast Belgian Wheat #3944 What do you think, will this become a good wit? Another question: How to crush the flakes? Will my unadjustable JSP Maltmill deliver a good enough crush for the flakes? I have no other mill. Should I mix the flakes with the malt and mill it together, or is it better to mill the flakes seperately? TIA best regards Gregor Berlin, Germany (sorry, I lost my rennerian coordinates somewhere) > Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2002 17:01:29 -0500 From: "Angie and Reif Hammond" <arhammond at attbi.com> Subject: Carlsberg Porter Imperial Stout Recipe Wanted I was wondering if anyone had a recipe for Carlsberg Porter Imperial Stout that they would share? Yes, that is the name on the bottle. Jackson describes it as having a "splendid 'burnt toffee' palate". I would also be interested in recipes for some of the other excellent Danish beers such as Turborg Julebryg (Christmas beer). I have been doing web searches and have not found anything yet. TIA, Reif Hammond Durham, NH Return to table of contents
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