HOMEBREW Digest #4209 Mon 31 March 2003

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  Re: White labs 530 abbey ale origins (Bill Rogers)
  RE: Palmer water discussion ("Dan Gross")
  solenoids: Normally CLosed ("Bruce Dir")
  The Mini Keg Carry-All ("Jonathan Royce")
  Things ("Dan Listermann")
  Yeast for Oktoberfest ("Rob & Robin Beck")
  Re: copper coil wort chillers ("Kevin Morgan")
  does anyone have a Sabco Brew Magic?? ("jim williams")
  Water Discussion C (John Palmer)
  solenoids and mash mixers ("K. Gold or G. McLane")
  Re: Hops in Pots? (stencil)
  NOT !: Fermenter Recirculation #5 - Bad Idea ("-S")
  re: yeast autolysis & reuse ("-S")
  AHA Board election deadline (Jeff Renner)
  Well water (Calvin Perilloux)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 21:00:04 -0800 (PST) From: Bill Rogers <bill6beers at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: White labs 530 abbey ale origins Phil Flannery asks about White Labs 530 abbey ale origins ... >Their web site says, "Used in two of the six Trappist breweries remaining in the world." >So which two would that be? Scott Murman has some web pages with his own notes on yeast strain origins. White Labs WLP500 Trappist Ale yeast is supposed to be from Chimay. So that rules out one of the six (Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle, Westvleteren, Achen). Here's Scott's site for reference: http://smurman.best.vwh.net/zymurgy/yeast.html I don't know the real answer to your question, but I have a theory. Last year I visted the Saint Bernardus brewery in Watou, near Westvleteren. They said Saint Bernardus used to contract brew for the brothers until about 1990 at which time Westvleteren started/resumed brewing for themselves. St Bernardus handed over the recipes, but not the house yeast. The brothers were forced to find an alternate source of yeast. Westmalle came to their aid. So, it seems that Westmalle and Westvleteren have (or had at one time) the same yeast. Perhaps this is what White Labs is selling as WLP530. In Nov 2002 on hbd Don Van Valkenburg posted that "Lovers of Orval might want to try using a new yeast available from White Labs soon. It will be one of their Platinum series available (I think) in January under the name of Bastogne. I obtained a vile of this yeast on a tour of Orval while on a Belgium tour last year. I sent it to White labs with the hope/expectation that they might make it available to the homebrewing community - and they did." He continues, "However, you might want to know that Orval actually uses three cultures. The one I asked for at Orval will be available from White Labs is the first, primary fermentation yeast. I was told they later introduce ... <Brettanomyces>. <snip> Anyhow, finally for bottling they use a bottom fermentating yeast (lager)." This 'Bastogne', or Orval, yeast is labelled WLP510. Also note that Scott Murman's site lists 3 Trappist Wyeast strains. This to me indicates that Chimay, Rochefort, and Westmalle are each unique and are not shared among each other. Y1214 Abbey Ale. Source: Chimay. Y1762 Abbey Ale II. Source: Rochefort. Y3787 Trappist High Gravity. Source: Westmalle. Other strains of note: Y1388 Belgian Strong Ale. Source: Duvel (Moortgat). Y3522 Belgian Ardennes. Source: La Chouffe Finally, I've seen very little written about the beer from Achen so I don't know how they fit into this mix. I've only sampled one of theirs, and that was during a beer tasting holiday party of epic proportions so I remember very little about its profile. Bill Rogers Madison, WI Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2003 06:23:01 -0500 From: "Dan Gross" <degross at starpower.net> Subject: RE: Palmer water discussion I want to thank John Palmer for his thoughtful comments on water chemistry. In combination with what others have posted, I may actually be able to get my head around the water chemistry issue some day! Dan Gross Olney, Md Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2003 07:47:38 -0600 From: "Bruce Dir" <thedirs94 at msn.com> Subject: solenoids: Normally CLosed Here is my dilemma, I have two Normally Closed N/C solenoid valves from McMaster-Carr. I = read on Nemasket Rivers HERMS site that he is "forcing one valve to be = Normally Open N/O". How is this accomplished. I will be running the = solenoids from 2 Omega SSR relays and the signal is coming from the = CN9000 Omega PID controller. Is there such a thing as a Normally Open SSR? This is what it appears = to have labeled on his schematic on the website. I would like to save = the cost of purchasing a N/O solenoid because they are much more = expensive than the N/C units I have I have. Thanks for any input you have. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2003 11:30:07 -0500 From: "Jonathan Royce" <jonathan at woodburybrewingco.com> Subject: The Mini Keg Carry-All Hi all: Just thought I'd share with other Mini Keggers out there my most recent find. I was at Kohl's the other day and near the checkout they had a display of Speedo Neoprene "Slings". Apparently meant to be a womens' hand bag for the beach or pool, but to my homebrew-disturbed mind I thought: "Mini Keg Cooler". So the next day I came back to Kohl's with an empty minikeg and sure enough, the thing is almost perfect. It has a small pocket on the front big enough for CO2 cartridge and the dispenser and enough room inside for the keg and several ice packs. Funny that I'd just been looking at the neoprene sleeve offered by Williams' for $19.99. But the "sling" is $16.99 and IMO is much more practical, because it can hold all of the minikeg accessories as well. Here's a link to some pictures: www.woodburybrewingco.com/MiniKegCarryAll.html Happy brewing! Jonathan Woodbury Brewing Co. www.woodburybrewingco.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2003 11:38:07 -0500 From: "Dan Listermann" <dan at listermann.com> Subject: Things "A.J. deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> writes:< Many English words (about 40%) are of German origin, as is their Queen (with another 15% being of Greek origin as is her consort) and the rest - well, let's not go there.> What if we want to go there? IIRC Philip, while being a Greek prince, is descended from the Danish royal family. Dan Listermann Check out our E-tail site at www.listermann.com Free shipping for orders greater than $35 and East of the Mighty Miss. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2003 10:39:10 -0600 From: "Rob & Robin Beck" <3rbecks at sbcglobal.net> Subject: Yeast for Oktoberfest Would the White Labs WLP 833 Bock/Ayinger strain be a good choice for an Oktoberfest? Thanks Rob Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2003 19:41:46 -0500 From: "Kevin Morgan" <kevin.morgan2 at verizon.net> Subject: Re: copper coil wort chillers It also depends on the temperature of your cold water. I've never measured the volume of water that I USE (not waste) to chill my wort. The important point is that it doesn't have to be wasted, I run the water into my garden. To answer your question its going to take at least 10-15 gallons to chill 5 gallons of wort. Kevin......Brewing in south Jersey >How much water is wasted using the copper coil wort chillers. >From what I understand, cold water from a faucet is run thru >the coils while it is immersed in the wort. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 05:19:11 -0500 From: "jim williams" <jimswms at cox.net> Subject: does anyone have a Sabco Brew Magic?? I guess this goes for any RIMS!?? I just got mine. The thing is great, but, I'm having a problem hitting and raising temps. I'm wondering what your experiences are? It seems like it takes 15 min. or so to actually achieve the temp. I'm looking for., by the time it drains out the bottom, goes through the heater, ends up on top of the mash, then filters down through the mash.... at this rate, how is a protein rest really possible?? What is your method? Again, I guess this goes for any RIMS system as it seems that it would be a common problem!? cheers, jim Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 08:05:56 -0800 From: John Palmer <jjpalmer at altrionet.com> Subject: Water Discussion C Dan Jeska wrote me with a question about my previous Water Discussion posts, saying that my use of water pH to describe buffering power was confusing. I read back through it and realized that he was right. I had made a logical translation between higher water pH = higher alkalinity that I neglected to explain. I also misused the term Buffering. Buffering is where a substance in solution is able to associate or disassociate with small changes in pH in order to maintain chemical equilibrium, with the result that the pH of the solution is stabilized. The bicarbonate ion (HCO3-) is not the buffering agent, although it does change its state to the carbonate (CO3--) ion with pH. It is the buffering power of the organic acids in the wort that buffer the mash pH. The alkalinity of the water taxes the buffering power of the mash. To describe the effect of alkalinity in water you can make the analogy of it being the Height, Width, and Depth of a large object. The pH would be the height, the alkalinity (ie. bicarbonate/carbonate ion concentration) would be the width, and the residual alkalinity would be the depth. So, you might look at the pH of some brewing water and say, "Wow, the pH is 8.4, that's pretty high." But a tall object is not necessarily very big, it could be just a tall stick. So now let's look at the width of the object. Water that is low in all minerals can have a high pH if the cation/anion balance is on the alkalinity side (i.e., the alkalinity as CaCO3 or [HCO3] is low, but still higher than the cation concentration). Conversely, you can have water that is high in alkalinity, but has a lower pH because the cations (Ca, Mg, etc.) balance the alkalinity. So by looking at the alkalinity number (ppm) we can compare the relative width of two tall objects (water samples). The two brewing water samples can have the same pH, but one could have twice the alkalinity (bicarbonate ion concentration) as the other. We would therefore perceive it as being bigger. But now we need to look at the third dimension, the residual alkalinity. Residual alkalinity does not scale 1-to-1 with water pH because the milliequivalents of the calcium and magnesium participate in a chemical reaction with malt phytin to neutralize the bicarbonate ions according to the equation (quantities expressed as milliequivalents per liter): Residual Alkalinity = Alkalinity - (Ca/3.5 + Mg/7) So, to determine your mash pH, you need to know your residual alkalinity and decide on your beer style accordingly. The combination of the residual alkalinity and the color of the malts used will determine the brewers success in consistently achieving successful mashes, but the total levels of minerals in the water play a huge role in determining the flavor profile of the beer. Beers with the same color (and thereby probably the same residual alkalinity water) can have widely different flavor/characters. Consider Burton Ale versus most other Pale Ales, or Dortmunder Export versus Vienna: the residual alkalinity is the same (or close) but the total mineral content between these waters are quite different. Residual Alkalinity is the depth. To come back to my reason for writing this post, water pH, alkalinity, and residual alkalinity are related, but have different effects on the mash. By itself, water pH does not mean much, but it can provide an indicator that the mash pH might rise towards the end of continuous sparging. The actual amount of alkalinity that comprises the water pH and the resultant residual alkalinity will tell you how much and how fast the pH might rise (depending on your grainbill, batch size, lautering design, phase of the moon, etc.). It is the difference between big and merely tall. Hope this helps, John John Palmer john at howtobrew.com www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer www.howtobrew.com - the free online book of homebrewing Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 14:27:30 -0500 From: "K. Gold or G. McLane" <ktgold at umich.edu> Subject: solenoids and mash mixers Two unrelated questions for the HBers in the know: Got myself a box-frame solenoid from mcmaster.com (part #70155K48, 120V/ 7/8" stroke/ continuous duty, 12VA power rating) for service in my brewery. Plan to control it with my Johnson Controls A419 120V controler, which tells me it can handle a full load of 16 amps, among other things. It also lists somthing called "pilot duty" and lists a rating of 125VA for the 120V range. So I thought I was fine, based on my somewhat limited knowledge of electronics. But then a few posts lately have mentioned that inductive loads, which I think solenoids are, can burn out controllers (the posts were mostly about PID's, but I'm interpolating here.) Any help is appreciated. Second question: I wasn't going to do it, but fate...there was an ice-cream maker at my local Kiwanis for a song, so I grabbed it. Works great, 120V/1.8A motor, though I can't find more info than that on it. Searching around for a way to make a mash-mixer blade and shaft, I found the dip tube and the cut top from the Sanke I just converted to my boiler, and with a couple cuts with my bi-metal, I can make a nice mixer blade and shaft in a jiffy. BUT: there's a rubber/plastic gasket and ball valve at the bottom (top, really, but the design puts it upside down) of the shaft, as well as a spring and clamping collar. The less I need to futz with this thing, the better, and I assume it must be beer-grade stuff, but will mash temps be a problem? Will I have to remove it? Some archive posts mentioned this solution (dip tube as shaft) when I bagan seaching, but couldn't find the answer to this issue. While we're at it, is the ice-cream maker motor sufficient to mix 20lbs of wet grain? Thanks in advance, Greg McLane in sunny Ann Arbor, MI Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 20:09:15 -0500 From: stencil <etcs.ret at verizon.net> Subject: Re: Hops in Pots? In HBD 4208, Steven Gray asks: > Has anyone had any luck growing them in big pots, say 5 >to 10 gallons and leaving them there? > Yeah; but firstly, think more in the line of 40-50 gallons. The large plastic planters used for patio shrubs and the like work well, as would (I guess) oak half-barrels. >I wonder if they would survive for more than a season or two as long as I >tended them as well as one could in pots. > Remember that you're not going to have any yield to speak of until the third season or so. My two pots are into their eleventh years BUT one was subjected to radical re-potting in the Spring of 2001 and the other will almost surely get cleaned out next year, divided, and repotted. Things with roots, in pots, get potbound. Another matter is overwintering. My pots are sunk into the "soil" (solid clay - this is Berkshire County, in Taxachusetts) adjacent to the foundation wall and there is a deck built over them, about 18" off the surface. The bines grow through removable slotted segments of deck board. If the pots were left above ground it would take heroic measures to keep the rootball from freezing and maybe bursting the pots during subzero stretches. You *can* drag the plastic pots around and into shelter; I do this with some taxus that that huddle through the winter in a deerproof corral - but the yew is a tougher breed than the hop, and even so there's a significant loss rate most years. I do raise a dozen plants in soil of the "back yard," which is a brambly slope, maybe 25 yards on a side, overshadowed by 60-foot maples and oaks. These, like the potted ones, are Liberty. Every couple of years - this year will be one - I "cultivate" with pickaxe and mattock to reduce the growth of side roots beyond two feet or so and to get some leavening in. Yields are minuscule, two or three ounces dried per plant, but what the hell, the journey's the destination. stencil sends Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 18:51:48 -0500 From: "-S" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: NOT !: Fermenter Recirculation #5 - Bad Idea Dave in Bel Air writes ... >I had begun an experiment to >determine the effects of using a pump to provide continuous recirculation >of the contents of my cylindro-conical fermenter while fermenting a >high-gravity (1.075) porter. [...] > To my >great disappointment, I discovered that the new rotor shaft I had installed >... had been rather impressively damaged by the seven days of >recirculating the fermenting wort. [...] >Whatever modest benefit may have >accrued from recirculating the fermenting wort was not worth the cost of >rapidly tearing-up an expensive pump. I've a question Dave. Why is fermenter recirculation a "Bad Idea" just because your pump was a dud ? You pointed out a lot of good reasons why fermenter agitation is a good thing for beer fermentation. A few months back I posted on a journal paper that examined the impact of various levels of turbulence introduced via a propeller vs beer characteristics and the conclusion favored a modest level of turbulence in the fermenter for faster fermentation with no negative consequences. If your pump wasn't made for continuous service or if it was but doesn't hold up to week-long use then you have a bad pump. Fermenter recirculation is still a great idea. I appreciate every serious attempt to convey a decent HB experiment to HBD, and Dave Towson has my kudos there, but let's properly place the blame. You have a badly designed or improperly designated pump for this application and fermenter recirculation is still a great idea. BTW I use peristaltic recirc pump in starters and have used stir plates on full 6 gal ferments for flocculent yeast like WY1968. It's the best solution IMO. -Steve ps - I'll refrain from pointing out that your CCV fermenter is 'sposed to self recirculate but doesn't do a good job on the HB scale and doesn't even recirc at the right times on a large scale. The fact is that a $15 motor-shaft-prop will beat a $1500 CCV into the ground for fermentation characteristics. (OK - so I didn't refrain - sue me). Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 20:04:57 -0500 From: "-S" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: re: yeast autolysis & reuse Craig Agnor says, >Can a slurry that has undergone autolysis in a noticeable way >be recycled for beer making purposes? Yes absolutely. Use 1 tsp of crummy slurry in a cup of low grav starter wort and if it takes off well and smells clean just step up the starter to conventional starter volumes. The amount of autolysed product is to small to matter at that point. >Does autolysis pollute >the slurry to the point that it is impractical/impossible to salvage? Not unless the amount of autolysis is overwhelming. A healthy ferment removes much of the damaging content of autolysis - the lipids released. You can't repitch autolysed slurry, but you can use it to create starter cultures. -S . Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 21:30:36 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: AHA Board election deadline Brewers Tuesday, April 1 is the deadline to submit your vote for the American Homebrewers Association Board of Advisors. See http://www.beertown.org/homebrewing/election.html to see the candidates' statements and to vote. There are eight great candidates for three positions, but don't let the difficulty of choosing stop you from voting. The AHA means to be member driven, and voting for your board is the first step. The AHA is the only national representative of homebrewers and their interest, and more memberships benefits are being added such as the Pub Discount Program. New pubs are being added, and members can help get them on board (I've gotten the ball rolling here in Ann Arbor). If you aren't a member, there is still time to join and vote. Jeff Renner AHA Board of Advisors - -- 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: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 18:41:55 -0800 (PST) From: Calvin Perilloux <calvinperilloux at yahoo.com> Subject: Well water >From Steve Alexander: >> I now live on a well system... >> The county suggests dosing wells with chlorine bleach >> but as a brewer that's a less than appealing option... >> Does anyone here have experience/knowledge on whole house UV >> or Ozone water treatment? We've got well water and whole-house UV water-treatment. It works well, and unlike chlorination, there's no residual in the (brewing) water, so the water stay fine for brewing purposes. (For those who haven't investigated it yet, all they do is hook that device inline to the main water line. You'll need a 120V hookup nearby. Easy.) Caveat, though: When you get one of these installed, you'll then be killing the bacteria only as they enter the water lines in your house. Fine, but that doesn't mean you're killing the ones that are already living in your pipes! So when we had the system installed, they dosed the well with chlorine, let it sit in the pipes for some time, and it then was flushed out, killing the beasties. There was no chlorine apparent in the water a week or so later. But I'll point out that they "said" the bacteria were killed off in the poes, but in the back of mind, I'd be surprised if the chlorine was 100% effective instead of 99.99% effective, given that there are no doubt rough spots in the piping that could harbour bacteria like rough spots in a fermenter do. So I still boil my brew/rinse water but really haven't noticed problems on the few times I got slack. If you do a routine chlorination, preferably during off-times in your brewing schedule, you might be able to ignore this concern. Note that the UV system doesn't work well if your well produces cloudy/turbid water, for obvious reasons. But then if you do get murky, dark water, you're probably not brewing with it. Calvin Perilloux Middletown, Maryland USA Return to table of contents
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