HOMEBREW Digest #4194 Thu 13 March 2003

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  overcarbonated beer; was "AAAAAAH!" (Rama Roberts)
  Anniversary Present (Charles)
  Mazer Cup Mead Competition Announcement (grayling)
  Re: RIMS with two Controllers (David Towson)
  Belgian Dark Strong Ale survey ("Gordon Strong")
  Steeping Munich Malt? ("Marcie Greer")
  Re: A buck a lb project - refridgerant (sic) cooler (Kent Fletcher)
  Re: Another View of CAP (Jeff Renner)
  Descent Homebrew Starter Kit (Ryan Neily)
  PBW=Oxyclean? And more.. (jim williams)
  Re: Several Bitter Beers ("Dave")
  Lallemand Scholarship ("Rob Moline")
  temp (Darrell.Leavitt)
  Dry Lager Yeast ("Dave Burley")
  Roeselare (#3763) (darrell.leavitt)
  re: Increasing Bitterness (Jonathan Royce)
  RE:  Several very bitter beers ("Houseman, David L")
  Re: 2-liter soda bottles and pressure limits (Fred L Johnson)
  Hop Plants ("Kevin Sinn")
  Current Thoughts on Cleansers? ("Shogun007")
  Re: Increasing Bitterness (Jeff Renner)
  Re: CAP and Jeff Renner (Jeff Renner)
  Concrete mills and Re: Increasing Bitterness (Jeremy Bergsman)
  Dry Beer (kerry and dell drake)
  Re: Hydrometer correction (Demonick)
  Dry hopping lagers (Calvin Perilloux)
  CAPs and TMS (can't help myself) (Marc Sedam)
  Re: Batch sparging (Denny Conn)
  RE: foaming stout woes ("Houseman, David L")
  RE: TMS ("Houseman, David L")
  "No Krausen" update ("Ian Watson")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 09:32:15 -0800 (PST) From: Rama Roberts <rama at retro.eng.sun.com> Subject: overcarbonated beer; was "AAAAAAH!" gregman writes: I messed up good this time. I could'nt wait for this scotch wee heavy to go beyond 2 weeks before bottling, big mistake. I guess it was not fully fermented ( DUH ) because I opened one tonight an it gushed. I'm so mad I could dump the whole thing down the drain!!! Those big beers take some time to ferment down in my experience. The hostile conditions (gravity, then alcohol) must inhibit the yeast. If you left it in the secondary, I wouldn't be surprised to see it continue to ferment for another 10+ days. Now that its prematurely bottled, its salvageable, but will take some time and work. First off, immediately put them somewhere cool- and wear goggles and maybe gloves when you handle these. Can't be too careful while you get a feel for how explosive these are. My first and only experience with adding alpha amalyse (to a fermenter- not a kettle. oops.) caused a porter to ferment down to 1.005 in the bottle over the course of a bit more than a month. I rescued it, if you can say that about a beer that dry, by using a technique Roy Roberts suggested- repeatedly "burping" the caps to release the gas, just enough to heer the gas hiss out, but before the beer gushes out. If you do this gently enough, you won't need to recrimp the cap, you just release the bottle opener and it reseals. You'll need to repeat this many times until fermentation stops- in my case, it was probably close to 10 times. - --rama Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 11:04:53 -0800 (PST) From: Charles at thestewarts.com Subject: Anniversary Present Just thought I'd brag. Today is my anniversary and guess what my sweetheart gave me? A brand new REFRACTOMETER! I think I'll keep her around. Now what to get her . . . . I think she needs a digital pH meter. Chip Stewart Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA Charles at TheStewarts.com http://Charles.TheStewarts.com/brewing Support anti-Spam legislation. Join the fight http://www.cauce.org Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 13:38:02 -0500 From: grayling at wideopenwest.com Subject: Mazer Cup Mead Competition Announcement Hello All - I am currently accepting entries for the 2003 Mazer Cup Mead Competition. This competition is open to both homebrewed and commercial entrants. This year's competition is being organized by Ken Schramm (you may know him from the Mead Lover's Digest and other events). The complete information can be found at http://www.mazercup.org/MazerCupbrochure'03.htm But here are the Five "W's" WHO: You WHAT: Your Best Meads, with a $7.00/entry fee, make checks Payable to: Jim Suchy/Mazer Cup Mead Competition (Please include Jim's name) WHEN: Entries Due by March 28, 2003. Judging April 12, 2003 WHERE: Please ship Entries to: Jim Suchy, Registrar, MCMC 38665 Northampton St. Westland, MI 48186 WHY: (AWARDS & PRIZES) The BJCP Mead juging sheet (50 Point scale) will be used; 25 points required for prize eligibility First, Second and Third Place Winners in each category will receive a hand crafted Mazer The Best of Show Winner will receive the Bill Pfeiffer Memorial Communal Mazer First, Second and Third Place Commercial winners will receive a Mazer and Medal. If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them. grayling at wideopenwest.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 14:53:40 -0500 From: David Towson <dtowson at comcast.net> Subject: Re: RIMS with two Controllers In HBD 4192, David Boice is considering using two separate controllers in an electric RIMS, with the purpose of controlling mash temperature, while allowing heater shutoff if the wort temperature exiting the heater gets too high. IMO, this is a severe case of overkill, and much more trouble/expensive than it's worth. If you had a two-input controller that could be used to control mash temperature as the primary control variable, while using heater exit temperature as a limit variable, that would be the thing to do. But since you don't, it's good to remember that precise temperature control to a fraction of a degree is just not needed here. Mashing temperatures are not *that* critical. If you put your temperature probe at the heater outlet and insulate your mash tun, you'll do fine. Just be sure to run some tests with water and a hand-held thermometer to see how much difference there is between the heater outlet temperature and the temperature in the mash tun, and use that knowledge to adjust your controller setting so as to get the mash temperature you want. And be aware that the hotter you want the mash, the more temperature difference you'll get, because the hotter mash tun will lose heat faster to the cooler room air. Of course, if your mash tun is insulated well enough, you may not be able to see any difference. These water tests will get you in the ballpark for starters. If you do see a significant difference, repeat these tests when you do an actual mash, because the ability of a real mash to retain heat will not be the same as with just water. Dave in Bel Air, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 17:12:23 -0500 From: "Gordon Strong" <strongg at voyager.net> Subject: Belgian Dark Strong Ale survey I'm giving a talk on Belgian Dark Strong Ales at the AHA Conference this June and am looking for some help. I'm trying to do a "Designing Great Beers"-type analysis of the style, and am looking for data points from those who either have judged and understand the style well, or who have won medals (any level) at a judged competition. I've put together a fairly detailed survey (16 questions), so there's a bit of a time commitment required to complete it. If you feel that you meet the survey critiera and would like to help out, please send me an email and I'll shoot you a copy of the survey. It's in MS Word format, so please let me know if you need a text-only version. Thanks for any help, Gordon Strong Beavercreek, OH strongg at earthlink.net Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 17:44:03 -0500 From: "Marcie Greer" <tea.dye at verizon.net> Subject: Steeping Munich Malt? In my internet travels I have read the following statement on the BYO web site: "Special malts such as Munich malts, ... are not well-suited for steeping because these ingredients all contain a lot of starch." and yet the partial mash Oktoberfest recipe in BYO this month calls for 1 lb. dark Munich malt (20deg L) to be steeped thusly: "Coarsely mill the two specialty malts and pour them into a muslin bag. Place the bag in at least two gallons of cold water and raise the temperature slowly, for at least half an hour, until it reaches 170-190F" Now the correct use of Munich malt eludes me! I also had little success finding 20deg L Munich malt. Everything I could find is 10deg L (my HB shop guy told me to just use 2 lbs.). I got the two pounds mainly because I really hate to pay $5 and up shipping for a pound of malt through mailorder. I'm mailordering some yeast slants for upcoming brews but that place doesn't have the elusive dark Munich either. Would someone please help me out here? I would like to start brewing this recipe in about a week and I am inclined to follow the instructions in the recipe and the advice of my shopkeeper, but the first statement above is causing anxiety... I am just returning to homebrewing after a 20-year hiatus and things are quite different! Thanks! Marcie Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 18:51:45 -0800 (PST) From: Kent Fletcher <fletcherhomebrew at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: A buck a lb project - refridgerant (sic) cooler Bobz wants to build a refrigeration circuit for his CCF using scrap automotive parts an an electric motor. >Need technical assistance to design a cooling device >using an auto air conditioning compressor and an >electric motor. Specific recommendations for: (snip) >Any thing I have not considered. Okay. >The evaporator would be attached to the conical lid >and detached from compressor unit with flex lines and >quick disconnects. Attached to the lid? do you intend to have the coil immersed in the wort? Can you say "wortsicle"? A coil wound round the exterior of the fermentor would expand the cooling surface area, greatly reducing the chance of icing. Cleaning and sanitizing an immersion evap coil would be a nightmare. For example, it could not be exposed to severe temperatures (you couldn't boil it, for instance) without potential damage to the refrigeration loop. Also, so-called quick disconnects for refrigeration lines are problematic. They are found in automobiles for ease of manufacturing, they are NOT intended to be used for repeated disconnection. The refrigerant charge must be recovered BEFORE disconnection, and then the refrigerant circuit has to me pumped down with a vacuum pump BEFORE recharging with refrigerant. >Electric motor would be 1 hp as this is what I have. >Temp control would be a dead band temp control >(freon bulb type) immersed in the wort. >Freon R22 is the choice at this time but could be >changed to a more greenie type if the gas can >perform well within the task. I don't know that there are any automotive type compressors available that are compatible with R-22. You would at least have to make sure that the suction and discharge pressures of the compressor (while connected to your hacked evap and condenser coils) are compatible with R22's pressure/temperature curve. Not to mention that R22 is not available in less than a 30 pound bottle, not to mention that you can't buy it AT ALL without an EPA certification card. 134a would be a better choice, and you can buy it OTC at an auto parts store. >Interface systems like cooled glycol or ice water in >my opinion would unnecessarily complicate the project. >I have a York piston compressor, a swash plate after >market compressor and a new 1/3 hp hermitic. Actually, a secondary loop system is the only practical way to achieve your goal. It is difficult to achieve pinpoint temperature control with a direct cooling refrigeration unit. The temperature of an evaporator varies with the rate of refrigerant expansion (the refrigerant is in fact boiling inside the evaporator), which is dependant on the amount of liquid refrigerant being admitted into the evaporator, which is, in turn, dependant on the refrigerant pressure in the condenser, which is dependent on the ambient temperature (for an air-cooled condenser). In short, variations of several degrees in a matter of seconds are common in a simple capillary controlled evaporator. In order to get more precise control a thermostatic expansion valve (TXV) is required, and the bulb has to be attached to the evaporator and insulated from the cooled medium, further complicating the system and making an immersed evap all but impossible. >It would be simpler for me to use the hermitic but >then what about all the other homebrewers who could >do the used auto compressor thing with salvage parts. (FYI, it's hermEtic) So you go to a junkyard and scrounge a compressor, reciever/drier, expansion valve, then fabricate an evaporator, then BUY a $300 vacuum pump, and manifold gauge set? Then figure out what refrigerant you can charge it with, and whether or not you can buy it without an EPA card? And maybe if you DO get it running, you freeze a whole batch of just-pitched wort? I don't think even the "techier" homebrewers are likely to do this. >I then wouldn't have to build a walk-in to >accommodate my too large for cooler conical. I think buiding a walk-in might be simpler, possibly even cheaper. Certainly you could find a used refrigerator for less money. Kent Fletcher Brewing in So Cal Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 21:49:38 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: Another View of CAP "Peter Garofalo" <pgarofa1 at twcny.rr.com> writes from Syracuse, NY: >it occurs to me that we normally only hear Jeff >Renner's take on the style. And a helluva burden it is! Glad to have additional input. Otherwise, it becomes too narrow a definition or viewpoint, sort of the way Anchor is the only way to brew a California common/steam. >It is a great style, and I have enjoyed it >immensely. My thanks to Jeff, Ben Jankowski, Del Lansing, and the late >George Fix for reviving it. and Pete Garafalo, who was istrumental in getting it a recognized style. >One thing that I fear may scare off potential CAP brewers is all the >discussion of cereal mashes, using polenta or other corn products. I have >been very successful using simple (though expensive) flaked maize. Really. >It simply blends into the mash, and adds that grainy wonderfulness that is >so hard to define. I agree - I love cereal mashes because they're fun and the way most American breweries treat their cereal adjuncts, but flakes are easy and entirely suitable. And their use is authentic as well. See Wahl & Henius' American handy Book of Malting and Brewing (1902) http://hubris.engin.umich.edu/Wahl/. I hope I haven't scared anyone off. I do try to encourage the use of flakes as the way to go for beginners, especially, and by anyone else who doesn't want to bother with cereal mash. >I have tasted my CAP next to Jeff's (at MCAB IV in >Cleveland last year), and they were remarkably similar. Mine subsequently >fared very well in competition. I tasted Pete's and agree. >I like to mash hop, first wort hop, and bitter >hop. Nothing hits my kettle beyond 60 minutes from knockout, and the hop >flavor and aroma are just fine. I've never tried mash hopping. Marc Sedam has suggested that it works best with soft water. What is your water profile and treatment? >Some folks add a bit of Munich malt, though I >prefer mine as light as Budweiser (in color, that is). Me too. I used a bit of Munich in my first CAP in 1996 (with flakes), but I now brew with just 6-row and corn. BTW, that first CAP took first place in the German Pilsner class in the 1996 B.O.S.S. competition (there being no CAP class at the time). >In short, there are many ways to make the same style. I find this to be one >of the simplest brewing sessions I can manage. Perhaps it simply fits my >equipment and techniques. My recommendation is to do whatever works for you, >but do not delay in making this appealing and rewarding style. Amen, Brother Pete. Testify! 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: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 23:30:39 -0500 (EST) From: Ryan Neily <ryan at neily.net> Subject: Descent Homebrew Starter Kit Can someone recommend me a descent homebrew starter kit? There are so many, and I am not sure what I do need and don't need to get started. The prices go from $55 to $129 and the quality of the kit varies with price as well. Any opinions? - -- Ryan Neily ryan at neily.net Random Quote: There is nothing wrong with Southern California that a rise in the ocean level wouldn't cure. -- Ross MacDonald Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 23:35:28 -0500 From: jim williams <jimswms at cox.net> Subject: PBW=Oxyclean? And more.. That's the rumor I've heard. I'm wondering what the concensus is. Even if it's not as strong, you could probably use more for a similar effect? $10.00/# PBW from lhbs. $7.99/3.5# oxyclean at the grocery store. Questions? Comments? Snide remarks? Does anybody know where to find PBW in bulk? Also, can PBW or oxyclean be kept and reused? If so, for how long, and how would you know that it is still effective? Slimey feel? Cheers, jim Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 21:48:39 -0800 From: "Dave" <brewingisloving at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: Several Bitter Beers >Two, I bought a regulator and stone and started oxygenating the cooled wort >before pitching yeast. I use a $10 oxygen tank from the local hardware >store. I bought the gear from an on-line brew shop and follow the >directions. I believe that the introduction of oxygen might be lowering your FG and changing the balance of what would otherwise be a balanced beer. If your FG's have been the same throughout consecutive batches, then your water could be too hard, resulting in more bitterness. Or, maybe you are doing full wort boils and not accounting for the extra extraction? Dave Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 00:15:12 -0600 From: "Rob Moline" <jethrogump at mchsi.com> Subject: Lallemand Scholarship Lallemand Scholarship I am pleased to announce, as part of Lallemand's commitment to brewers and brewing science, the Fourth Annual Lallemand Scholarship, valued at $3900 USD, for members of the American Homebrewers Association. The winner will attend "Beer Heaven!"...the Siebel Institute, Chicago, Illinois...the oldest and most prestigious brewing academy in the U.S., for the 2003 World Brewing Academy Concise Course in Brewing Technology (Oct. 27 - Nov. 7, 2003). Full details and entry forms can be found at http://www.beertown.org/homebrewing/scholarship.html including reports from past winners of the Scholarship. "Beer Heaven" Awaits! Cheers! Rob Moline Lallemand "The More I Know About Beer, The More I Realize I Need To Know More About Beer!" - --- Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com). Version: 6.0.459 / Virus Database: 258 - Release Date: 2/25/2003 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 06:51:55 -0500 From: Darrell.Leavitt at esc.edu Subject: temp Frosty; Your procedure looks good to me, and I am sure others will comment more completely, but one thing I think is that the initial temp of your sparge water should be higher...perhaps 10 degrees or so...in that it will drop quite a bit over the hour (in the hot liquor tank and in the tun) and this higher initial temp will lessen the drop... Good luck! ..Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 06:33:45 -0500 From: "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> Subject: Dry Lager Yeast Brewsters: Apologies if I missed a major point on dry true lager yeast discussion, but for many years it has been the goal of yeast producers to produce a package stable dry lager yeast, but all have been unsuccessful due to autolysis, as I recall. Some years ago a yeast producer (Danstar??, Llalemand??, Red Star??) produced a dry lager yeast which they removed from the market quickly due to its instability. Back in the 70s I lived in the UK and the dry "lager" yeast available to amateur brewers there was nothing more than an ale yeast with a low flavour profile. Their "lagers" in the pub were nothing but light colored ales ( made with the house ale yeast no doubt) , as well. Unless some new technology has been introduced, I doubt any dry yeast will be a <true> lager yeast. Now fill me in on what I might have missed, please. I would think Gump would have an answer to this if he hasn't already provided it. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 06:50:44 -0500 From: darrell.leavitt at plattsburgh.edu Subject: Roeselare (#3763) I received a pretty thorough description of the Roeselare Wyeast # 3763 from David Wendell at Wyeast Laboratories. If anyone wants it, let me know and I will send. ..Darrell Plattsburgh, NY: 44 41 58 N Latitude 73 27 12 W Longitude [544.9 miles, 68.9~]Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 04:24:47 -0800 From: Jonathan Royce <jonathan at woodburybrewingco.com> Subject: re: Increasing Bitterness Joe Screnock wants to increase his bitterness by boiling 2 cups of DME in 4 cups water with 1 oz of 6.8% Goldings. Joe: There are two problems with your plan: 1) You are not going to get 20 IBUs. Using a dry density of 0.75 oz wt/fl oz for the DME, I estimate that you have 3/4 lb of DME in 1 qt of water. Assuming 45 ppg for the DME, that gives a wort with an OG of 1.135. With 30 minutes of boil time, a wort that concentrated will only have a utilization of 0.083. So, 1 oz of 6.8% hops (6.8 AAU) will only give 8 IBU when added to a 5 gallon batch. (You failed to mention the size of the batch, but I'm assuming 5 gallons.) 2) The initial IBU of the 1 qt of wort that you boil will be something like 168, which is probably way beyond the solubility limit of alpha acids. So, my short answer is that I don't think this will work. Unfortunately, I can't offer an alternative that I've tested. I'm thinking that a bit of hop extract is the answer, but I've never tried this myself. Anyone else? Jonathan Woodbury Brewing Co. www.woodburybrewingco.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 07:54:12 -0500 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: RE: Several very bitter beers Peter, Are you sure what you are tasting is bitterness and not astringency? Bitterness should be very straightforward to calculate what you think you would have. While there may be a number of reasons why you would have a beer with less bitterness than you'd calculated, it would be rare to have more without a math error in IBU calculations or hop weighing error. There are just limits to what you can extract from hops. Infections won't be a source of bitterness either. But if what you perceive is astringency at a high level combined with bitterness then the two can be confused. How grain is crushed, the pH of the mash and sparge water and the duration of the sparge all can affect the extraction of tannins and resulting astringency. Also is the hops. Hops contain tannins. Up to 25% of the resulting tannins in beer can come from the hops. For a given IBU you can use a little of a high alpha hop or a lot of a low alpha hop. The latter will also give you more tannins than the former. So think about which hops you use and not just the total calculated IBUs. Good luck, Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 07:52:58 -0500 From: Fred L Johnson <FLJohnson at portbridge.com> Subject: Re: 2-liter soda bottles and pressure limits Richard is bottling a cider which will condition (carbonate) in the bottle and is considering using 2 liter soda bottles and beer bottles. He asks about how much pressure these can handle. I have no experience with 2 liter soda bottles, but they obviously can handle carbonation quite well, at least at the level one carbonates sodas. I can't imagine one needing to carbonate much higher than this. Regarding beer bottles, I bottle sparkling ciders in 12 oz. glass beer bottles (variety of types) at levels as high as 4 volumes of CO2--VERY sparkly--and have not had problems with breakage. I'll never forget the first misinformation I received as a new homebrewer--that one would risk creating bottle bombs if one ever primed a 5 gallon batch of beer with more than 1 cup of sugar. I guess that person never bottled a proper hefeweizen. Of course, it depends on the bottle, how much pressure it will handle. I've bottled at 4 volumes of CO2 in some pretty light-weight bottles without problems. - -- Fred L. Johnson Apex, North Carolina, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 08:19:41 -0500 From: "Kevin Sinn" <skinner222 at hotmail.com> Subject: Hop Plants Good Morning Beer People! George/Ludwig {Bluestar792 at netscape.net}asked: "Where can I buy hops plants? I would like to grow my own." and Steve Dale-Johnson comments: "For those in Canada who do not wish to go through the hassles and cost of phyto-certification (due to disease concerns), a few varieties are available (Cascade, Hallertauer, Mount Hood, Nugget and Willamette) mail order from Richters' Herbs [www.richters.com]. They are small plants, not rhizomes, and will not produce the first year." I received my order from www.hopsdirect.com on Monday. I live in Canada and had them shipped via USPS. Shipping cost was $3.10US and they arrived in my mailbox 5 days from ordering. Perhaps I was lucky, but there were no problems with customs/duty, phyto-certification or brokerage fees (as there would have been with UPS). Hops Direct sells a large variety of rhizomes, and they were pleasant to deal with and were very accomodating to my "ship via USPS" request. Not affiliated in any way, just a happy customer. Cheers! Kevin Sinn Member of Barleyment for Canada South Brewing at [6537.9, 9.9] Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 05:51:57 -0800 From: "Shogun007" <ShoGun007 at SBCGlobal.net> Subject: Current Thoughts on Cleansers? After a year of downtime during a complete remodel of my basement (aka CB's Brewhaus) I'm ready to fire up the kettles once again. The problem I"m faced with is twofold: 1. Possible Bacterial Contamination - One of the primary reason's I haven't been brewing is that the last 4 batches I did make in the basement were all contaminated with some kind of bug. Beer was great after a few days in primary fermentation but after a week or so after racking, every batch went sour with almost identical tastes, even with different styles of beer. I thought by covering the ceilings and walls, the whole area would be easier to keep clean and bug free, so I stopped brewing and started the remodel. 2. Just plain dirty - I found my stainless screen false bottom the other day encrusted with goo left from cutting tile. It was in the general vicinity of my tile saw and is completely covered with marble and granite dust/water paste mixture (now dry). A number of small equipment pieces such as plastic racking tube, hoses, valves, etc are really dusty and rusty. My glass fermenters have spiders in 'em. A black widow stout right now would actually contain some real black widows. I'll probably toss the plastic stuff out and replace it. What does the collective recommend for a good cleanser for the glass fermenters, stainless kettles these days? Charley (got the brewitchagain) Burns Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 09:02:11 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: Increasing Bitterness Joe Screnock <hts at essex1.com> writes: >The batch is happily >bubbling in the primary now, but I'd like to increase bitterness to >about 50 IBU's (adding about 20). > >My plan is to boil 4 cups of water, 2 cups of DME, and 1 oz Goldings >(6.8%) for about a half an hour. My IBU chart tells me this should give >me about 20 IBU's. I'd then add this to the secondary when I rack it. I've actually had luck just boiling hops with water. You might try that. Two cups of DME in four cups of water sounds like a mighty concentrated wort, which will cut down on your utilization. Another possibility, which I posted here a year ago or so, is hops extract. I got a little bottle (~25ml?) from Adventures in Homebrewing in Dearborn, MI http://homebrewing.org/ (I can't find it in their online catalog). It worked great - gave a boost of very focused, clean, laser-like bitterness and increased foam stand to boot. There are different kinds of hop extract - bitterness is the kind you want. This was a sample that Jay had lying around, but after I sang its praises, he got some in stock. (Hope it's selling). I liked it so well that (shh, don't tell anyone) I'm considering using it SOP for part of my bitterness in bitters. 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: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 09:25:28 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: CAP and Jeff Renner Bill Wible <bill at brewbyyou.net> wrote hopefully: >Speaking of CAP and Jeff Renner, I heard a long >time ago that Jeff was writing a Style Series Book >on CAP. Any progress? How's that coming, Jeff? >I want my copy as soon as it's available! An unfounded rumor. I have been encouraged to do this. Ray Daniels told me that my Zymurgy article was already a long ways toward a book, and George Fix and I spoke of collaborating on something before he became ill. However, this will have to be a retirement project (~5 years if the stock market recovers some and a war doesn't tank the whole economy). I simply don't have the time to do the job I would want to do on this. To do it up right, I would want to research primary sources. That would mean the libraries of the MBAA and Anheuser/Busch, for example. It would probably also require my learning to read German passably as US lager brewers "brewed in German" (the way my Grandma cooked in German) until a hundred years ago or even less. When I lamented the daunting scope of such a project, Dan McConnell (of the late YCKC) said, "Jeff! That's what second editions are for. Just write what you've got now." Maybe he's right, but I'm afraid it would not be something I'd be happy with. So for now, you'll have to do with what I've written in the mags and here. But one never knows, do one? 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: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 09:41:19 -0500 From: Jeremy Bergsman <jeremy at bergsman.org> Subject: Concrete mills and Re: Increasing Bitterness I've been researching the art of making "decorative" concrete for a kitchen countertop. I've learned a couple things that may be useful for those making concrete roller mills so I thought I'd post them. First, concrete is a great casting material. I had visions of these rough rollers looking like concrete on the sidewalk, with bits chipping off into the grain. In fact, in an appropriate mold, concrete can be as smooth as glass. One could easily add material to the inside of the mold to cast grooves into the rollers. Vibrating the mold as you add the concrete helps get the bubbles out and get the fine cement around the sand and aggregate to make a smooth surface. A typical technique is holding a recipricating saw without a blade against the mold and running it a few minutes. Second, one can make concrete a lot stronger with a little know-how (decorative concrete is actually stronger than "regular" concrete). The two tricks are 1) use more cement and 2) use less water. You can buy cement rich blends like Quickcrete 5000, and some of the special mixes previously mentioned here or "Precision grout" mixes are also supposed to be good. To use less water the big trick is to add a water reducer/plasticizer which helps the concrete flow better with the reduced water. Then mix up the concrete with as little water as possible. If you want to mix your own, a recipe for 1 cubic foot is: 24 lbs cement, 1 cubic foot of sand and gravel, and 1+ gallon of water, plus the admixtures as suggested by the manufacturer (will be a couple ounces). ++++++++++++++ Joe Screnock wants to increase the bitterness of a batch of beer. I like to keep both light dry malt extract and hop isoalpha extract around for recipes that don't come out quite right (water comes in handy too!). The isoalpha extract is great stuff. Very clean bitterness. Every brand is different but should come with directions on how much to add for a certain # of IBUs/gallon. - -- Jeremy Bergsman jeremy at bergsman.org http://www.bergsman.org/jeremy Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 05:59:35 -0900 From: kerry and dell drake <drakes at gci.net> Subject: Dry Beer Greetings all: After a 5 year hiatus, I recently returned to brewing. I brew all-grain in 5 gallon batches using a false bottom in a SS pot. My setup is a 3-tier much like the ones from B3, but is home made using Polarware 10-gallon pots. I start with an infusion for the initial sacchrification rest and have a pump/manifold setup to recirculate during the step to mashout temp and to set the grain bed prior to sparging. I only brew ales as I haven't invested in a fridge/freezer for lagering, yet, that is. Anyway, I've noticed that all my brews so far, about 20 batches in the last 5 or so months, have a distinctly "dry" feel to them. This "dry" taste/feel leaves ones mouth a little dried out feeling, especially after a few glasses. It's not nearly as intense as a dry wine, but is similar. Most have been attempts at APA's and taste pretty good over all, except for this one problem. My neighbors love them all, but they usually drink Bud/Miller/Coors so they don't have much background for comparison. I started out doing multi-step mashes, but went to single step mashes after the first three batches in an attempt to isolate this. I have also started using a "settling tank" which is just a carboy in which I let all the hot break settle. I then rack off the clear wort to another carboy, aerate with aquarium pump/.5 micron filter/SS stone and pitch adequate yeast from a starter (I have scaled the batches to give myself about 6.5 gallons in the settling tank which yields 5.5 gallons in the primary and 5 gallons in the secondary. I sanitize using Iodiphor and have replaced all the tubing and racking canes at least twice so far. My fermentation temps are usually around 66 - 68, measured with a stick-on thermometer on the carboy. Before kegging, I completely disassemble the kegs for cleaning and sanitizing and sanitize again once they're reassembled. On the last few batches I even raised the sacchrification temp to 157 degF in an attempt to add body, but it hasn't helped. I have large screw-in dial thermometers on both the HLT and mash tun and have calibrated them using ice water and boiling water and also spot check the mash with a standard 12 inch dial thermometer that I also calibrated. Oh yeah, I've used WhileLabs Amer. Ale and Calif Ale and WYeast Amer Ale and NW Ale yeasts all with this same dry feel/taste. Any advice on this one? Private or public replies welcome. Thanks in advance, Kerry Brewing in Eagle River, Alaska Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 07:16:05 -0800 From: Demonick <demonick at zgi.com> Subject: Re: Hydrometer correction From: "Greg Remake" <gmrbrewer at hotmail.com>: >Are the correction curves standardized, or do they vary with each >hydrometer model? Specific Gravity changes with temperature are independent of the instrument used to measure it. It is an inherent characteristic of the parameter. See the formulas page of the PrimeTab website: http://www.primetab.com/formulas.html Domenick Venezia Venezia & Company, LLC Maker of PrimeTab (206) 782-1152 phone (206) 782-6766 fax Seattle, WA demonick at zgi dot com http://www.primetab.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 08:04:34 -0800 (PST) From: Calvin Perilloux <calvinperilloux at yahoo.com> Subject: Dry hopping lagers Jack Horzempa writes in the previous HBD about his dry-hopped Bohemian Pils, comparing it favourably (nay, better even!) to commercial versions. Admittedly, for those of us who like hop aroma, such a pils can indeed be a lovely beer, especially when the dry-hop rates are well managed. But for those who are EXPECTING a low hop aroma level, as in Budvar and similar beers, the presence of that aroma is disconcerting, disturbing, and even dislikable. Taking it to extremes, some people could even argue that continental pilsners could be well-improved with the addition of Munich and chocolate malt "for more flavour, yeh!", but that means the beer is not to the traditional style. Yet who's to say what traditional style is? And isn't a "better" beer an improvement on stodgy old styles? Not really. I'll give you an example: Some years back, when I was living in Germany, I brought back with me from USA holiday a suitcase full of various American microbrews, some average, some excellent. I invited several Germans brewers (two profis, plus amateurs) for a night of sampling. When we got to some of the dry-hopped beers, the common refrain was "Mmmm, uh, I must tell you that this is NOT the way that one should use hops..." They were expecting the pils/etc. label to reflect the low hop aroma of a typical (name-your-continental-pils). I was a bit dismayed because I *liked* some of these beers, but further experience and thought has convinced me that loads of hop aroma, while enjoyable to me and you, can often be perceived (correctly) as inappropriate. The style guide shows what we EXPECT from a certain beer, and not what we want in our favourite beer. Calvin Perilloux Middletown, Maryland, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 11:27:31 -0500 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: CAPs and TMS (can't help myself) Peter Garofolo talks a bit about the non-Rennerian perspective of CAPs. Peter, you should know that Jeff is the Grand Master of CAPs and just by writing his full name out in a sentence discussing CAPs means that you have sinned. His name should further be refered to as J*ff. Heh heh. KIDDING...J*ff just happens to have more experience with CAPs than most of us. But to further what Peter has said, I have previously suggested (as has J*ff) that flaked maize is just fine in a CAP provided it's reasonably fresh. Also, don't ignore Corn Flakes (tm). They work fine too and have the added benefit of some minerals and vitamins useful to the yeast. Dump a large box of Corn Flakes in the mash and you're off! And you KNOW that stuff is fresh. I have also taken to brewing my recent CAPs with Saflager S23 yeast. I'd love to try the other dry lager yeast, but can't really use 500g. These CAPs are a little fruity, but use lots of floral aroma hops and you'll barely tell. Good enough for me. Unable to resist entering the TMS debate... It's too bad that the TMS price increase came on the heels of their Zymurgy article, but again it's no one's right to purchase a conical SS hopper for $84. Supply and demand suggests that if they see their orders dropping like a rock the price may again drop. Or use the web creatively. Gather a bunch of people (gee...think an email to HBD would work?) together and make a bulk order. Or order 5 yourself, sell four on eBay for $100 (cheaper than their new pricing) and reduce the overall price of the conical for you to below the original pricing. There's always a way that efficient markets lead to the best price. Prices fluctuate, things change...that's why if a deal is too good to be true you should get in on it before it changes. We've all known these hoppers were available for $84 for at least a year, if not longer. I would say TMS moved a lot slower than I may have expected. He who hesitates is lost. I should add that I too lost, as I was considering buying one. C'est la vie! Made good beer without one...that shouldn't change. OTOH, here is an opportunity for an innovative and customer-focused HB shop to buy some hoppers in bulk and offer them to the HB community. You say lemons, I say lemonade. Cheerios! Marc P.S. Thanks to Steve A. - -- Marc Sedam Chapel Hill, NC Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 08:51:26 -0800 From: Denny Conn <denny at projectoneaudio.com> Subject: Re: Batch sparging Hallelujah, another convert! I've been doing nothing but batch sparging since my 3rd AG batch (over 4.5 years now), and frankly I can't see why every homebrewer doesn't. I recently introduced a couple of my club members to batch sparging, guys who have been brewing for over 20 years. Both saw their efficiency go up (although this is definitely not a given), the length of the brewday go down, and were impressed by the flavor of their batch sparge beers. Both told me they're never going back to fly sparging. --------------->Denny At 12:36 AM 3/12/03 -0500, John Palmer wrote: >Step 8 and 9: Sparging Proceure: Okay. Although in my next edition I am >really going to recommend that everyone batch sparge instead of >continuous/fly sparge. It's a lot easier to coordinate, especially for >a first brew. see www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer/HTB_update.pdf Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 11:56:55 -0500 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: RE: foaming stout woes John, Over carbonation would seem to be the problem, whether derived from premature bottling, too much priming sugar or from incomplete mash leaving starch in the final product. That starch may eventually be broken down by any wild yeast and result in over carbonation. I don't believe it's residual proteins but it certainly could be residual starches. Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 12:01:31 -0500 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: RE: TMS Doug Hurst says "Charles Stewart points out the fact that TMS is running an add in Zymurgy. Clearly, more than anything, this points to the fact that they DO want "onesie - twosie" orders. If not, why would they run the add." Whoa, that's a jumping to conclusions. Could it be that TMS wants to sell wholesale to HB shops or other distributors and that the ad in Zymurgy is part of brand recognition or demand creation? That could also be one read on the motives for the ad. Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 12:27:37 -0500 From: "Ian Watson" <realtor at niagara.com> Subject: "No Krausen" update Hi all I bottled the ale I mentioned in digest #4158, about 2 weeks ago, with about 2/3 cups brown sugar in boiled water. It has turned out to be a very bitter (a GOOD thing to a hop-head like me) clear reddish-amber, tasty beer. If I had to characterize it, I would call it a double IPA, except that the FG is 1.001 This is probably due to me adding champaign yeast when I was worried there was no fermenting taking place from the Nottingham yeast. The odd thing is that, when I pour a bottle at room temperature, there is a nice thick head, but a cold bottle yields absolutely no head. I only used 2/3 of a cup for priming, because in the past, 3/4 cup has lead to half the beer 4.5 lb 2 row Pale Malt 2.25 lb Munich Malt 1 lb 6 row Malt 1 lb Carastan Malt 1 lb Flaked Barley 1oz Roasted Barley 1 lb Dextrose Plus lots of Northern Brewer, Cascade and Goldings hops at various intervals :-) Cheers! Ian Watson St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada [235, 71.9] Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
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