HOMEBREW Digest #4242 Sat 10 May 2003

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  Super Siphon ("Todd Kirby")
  Exotic critters, and I'll get to beer eventually (Michael Grice)
  uh oh, the dreaded religion vs science thread ("Reddy, Pat")
  Decongestants and BJCP (nlkanous)
  Great Taste of the Midwest -- tickets selling fast (Brew Wisconsin)
  Re: Vinegary Smell in Cornie (Jeff Renner)
  YEA!! I think... (Bill Tobler)
  Re: Faux Decoctions ("The Artist Formerly Known as Kap'n Salty")
  Selection pressures on bacteria vs.  Barley and the ecology of beer ("Cave, Jim")
  Water/Photons/Waves ("A.J. deLange")
  Hoff Stevens kegs ("H. Dowda")
  Dunkelweizen and Munich malt (Robert Sandefer)
  wyeast 3763 and oud bruin (jim williams)
  Grant and reverse HERMS ("K. Gold or G. McLane")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 9 May 2003 00:06:48 -0400 From: "Todd Kirby" <synapticblitz at yahoo.com> Subject: Super Siphon OK...first a greeting. I'm not new to HBD, but have recently re-joined the list after several years of being away from brewing. I just recently made my first batch in several years, and it is good to see the air locks popping again! As I was breaking out all my old brew equipment, I once again found my Super Siphon...anyone else use these in brewing? The head is copper and has a glass marble inside, so they're pretty inert for sanitizing (I boil mine). Sometimes it's the simple things that are a real joy. These things work great for transferring from carboys, etc., so I thought I'd share the idea with the list since I've never seen them mentioned. I have no commercial interest, just a satisfied customer! It's good to be back! And it's cool to see that people still use the Rennerian coordinate system...I guess I'll have to figure mine out! Warmest regards to old acquaintances I have here (and to everyone else too obviously!) Todd Kirby, Ph.D. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 May 2003 00:27:01 -0500 From: Michael Grice <grice at binc.net> Subject: Exotic critters, and I'll get to beer eventually Joris, brewing in Canada, wrote: >Well, Michael, i don't know why those pests have to come from Malaysia >or Paraguay or other third-world "evil" countries. I'd fear more a super >genetically-modified grain from Modsanto screwing up the whole ecological >equilibrium. And in that field, we "civilized" countries are making our >own bad luck faster every day. > >Soon we will have pesticid-resistant genetically adapted critters coming >from everywhere. Now, *that* will be the world's scariest story. As a >matter of fact, do they grow hops or barley in Malaysia and Paraguay? >Just my two cents. Joris, I picked Malaysia and Paraguay more or less at random. See, introducing random critters from other parts of the world occasionally has a nasty side effect. Look at zebra mussels in the great lakes. The problem is not that these critters come from "evil" countries; the problem is that they don't have much competition here. It works both ways. Rabbits, for instance, are apparently now a destructive pest in Australia. This is one reason why customs asks you when you come into a country if you've been to a farm lately or if you're carrying produce, etc. I'll stop now, and I promise not to get sucked into the other portion of the thread... Chile beer: I have to disagree with the brewer formerly known as Steve on this one. Chile is just another potential adjunct, better than some and worse than others. If you object to the use of dried orange and other spices in beer, fine. Used subtly, chile can enhance the flavor of beer and, ur, well, almost anything else. (You probably wouldn't like chile chocolate cake either, but I swear you don't know what you're missing.) Now pumpkin in beer--that's just sick and wrong. But I don't particularly care for pumpkin pie, either. Steve Dale-Johnson asks why decoction doesn't extract tannins and other nasty compounds from the mash. I've been wondering about this myself. I suspect this is at least in part because you don't boil the decoction with very much water, whereas when you steep grains you use a lot of water. The small amount of water used in decoction may extract the same amount of those compounds per gallon of water, but you're using much less water so the total amount extracted is much smaller. I'm sure this is all grossly oversimplified, and I look forward to hearing about it from someone else on this forum... Michael Middleton, WI US of A Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 May 2003 08:13:59 -0500 From: "Reddy, Pat" <Pat.Reddy at mavtech.cc> Subject: uh oh, the dreaded religion vs science thread Wow, that was intense. Certainly an interesting read. Can we stick to beer now? Besides, any educated man knows we humans are all Raelians. www.rael.org Pat Reddy MAVERICK Technologies pat.reddy at mavtech.cc Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 09 May 2003 09:30:55 -0400 From: nlkanous at netscape.net Subject: Decongestants and BJCP Morning, Decongestants work by causing vasoconstriction. This decreases blood flow to the nasal mucosa. It also decreases mucous production. They "dry you up." I'm going to guess that this may have been included in the BJCP Guidelines because if you have decreased mucous production, the aromatic compounds would be less effectively "delivered" to the olfactory nerve. The real question is "does it really make a difference?" I'm going to say that it may be worse to taste beers in brewpubs where there's lots of smoke and lots of acetic aromas from beer spilled on the floor than after taking decongestants. Further, would we be worse off to have our beer judged by an allergic judge who took some pseudoephedrine before the competition or a nicotine junky who just stepped out for a "drag" before tasting your flight? Anyhow, I'd bet the guideline is based on the decreased blood flow / mucous production that occurs after using an oral (or topical) decongestant. TTFN. nathan in madison, wi Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 May 2003 09:58:43 -0400 (EDT) From: Brew Wisconsin <brewwisconsin at yahoo.ca> Subject: Great Taste of the Midwest -- tickets selling fast Just to give people a heads-up: Tickets for the Great Taste of the Midwest craft beer festival in Madison (9 August, 2003) went on sale May 1. By Wednesday (May 7), we've been advised by our ticket sales chair, fully two-thirds of the tickets had been sold. If you're planning to go, be advised that tickets will be gone later this month. Ordering information at http://mhtg.org ===== Now go have a beer, Bob Paolino Columnist, Great Lakes Brewing News Member, North American Guild of Beer Writers Winner: 2001--Culture Feature (Gold), 2000--Travel Feature (Silver) ***Sometimes alcohol and driving do go together --my car consumes more alcohol than I do.*** http://www.afdc.doe.gov/afv/ethanol.html *** Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 09 May 2003 10:10:46 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: Vinegary Smell in Cornie John McGowan <jjm1 at comcast.net> writes from Hopewell, NJ: >I gave a friend a cornie full of beer. He drank the beer and held onto the >keg for about 6 months. I just got it back (the keg that is). I rinsed it >out and filled it with PBW solution (5 TBSP PBW and 5 gal H2O) and let it >soak for about 2 hours. The keg is immaculate inside but has a noticeable >vinegar smell -- stronger than plain white vinegar. I checked the gaskets >and they seem fine. Any suggestions how to get this smell out before I risk >using this keg again? You can successfully disinfect the keg itself this way, but it is very difficult to get the fittings. I have know brewers that had house infections that they couldn't clear up until they took care of these. I would remove them and disassemble them in case there is any gunk (scientific term) inside, then boil or even pressure cook them and the O ring. Be sure to soak the draw tube entirely. You can do this in the keg or in a long tray such as a dry wall compound tray. I like to use bleach for disinfecting and cleaning my kegs - a weak solution won't harm them (1 TBS/gal) if you don't soak too long. Be sure to fill the keg to overflowing to disinfect the openings and also because the greatest potential for corrosion is at the liquid/air interface. Jeff - -- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at comcast.net "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 09 May 2003 09:13:53 -0500 From: Bill Tobler <wctobler at sbcglobal.net> Subject: YEA!! I think... Yea!! The good news...I took two first places in the National Homebrew Competition. Boo... The bad news, All the beer is gone from both styles. One is a Steam Beer, I might have time to brew and send that one. The other, Cat. 1, American Larger, fat chance. I going to try anyway. It's brewing as I write. 3 weeks at 29 degrees, a quick force carbonate, counter pressure 3 bottles and off it goes. Kinda the same with the Steam. Isn't this sport fun? Categories 1 & 6. http://www.beertown.org/events/nhc/1st_round.html#south On the other side, A friend was over the other day, drinking my beer again, and we were talking about, you guessed it, how we brew, again. (We seem to do that a lot.) When he circulates his HLT, the return line is above the water line sometimes. The return line is too short. I said something stupid like, "Wow, you're aerating your hot liquor!" I saw the worry lines pop up, and he got worried. Does he have anything to worry about? I'm not sure. Thanks in advance, Bill in Texas, doing two emergency Brews in the next few days. Lake Jackson, TX (1129.7, 219.9) Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 09 May 2003 09:16:32 -0500 From: "The Artist Formerly Known as Kap'n Salty" <mikey at swampgas.com> Subject: Re: Faux Decoctions === Craig has questions about Faux Decoctions === Let's hear some specific details of the styles brewed, the equipment and methods used as well as impressions of the effectiveness of this procedure relative to traditional decoction techniques (how much time and/or effort is saved via faux decoction over say a single decoction and is the effect on flavor comparable). ================================================== Back to me: In truth, we're not really talking about a Faux decoction here; what we are doing is really a single BIG decoction. For more information on my procedure, see my reply to Brian from a couple of days ago. In the meantime, here are some answers/clarifications from my original post: > And to the rest of the faux decocters out there, what sorts of mashing > equipment are you using (i.e. what type of mash tun: Easymashers, false > bottoms, slotted manifolds, ...etc.)? Can faux decoctions be done > easily on a RIMS system? Has anyone tried to recirculate > during the decoction instead of stirring by hand? I have used both an easy masher and a false bottom. (These days I use mostly a false bottom.) I have had occasional stuck lauters with the easy masher, but these were easily cleared by blowing into the outlet tube. Care in beginning the initial run-off will generally prevent this problem. Decocts in general should be thick; I think you would have difficulty recirculating a decoct, since the boiling mash is relatively water-poor. In other words, there's really no way to avoid stirring like hell. > What mashing conditions make this procedure easier? How thick/thin should > the initial mash be in order to draw off enough liquid to retain some > enzymes and not leave the decoction mash so thick that it is difficult to > stir and easily scorched (It seems like it'd be hard to stir the entire > boiling mash in a 1/2 barrel mash tun if it were as thick as my usual > '~1/3 of mash' decoctions)? I generally start with 1.4-1.5 qt/lb. As I mentioned earlier, I scoop the mash solids out with a large sieve, leaving the liquid behind, rather than draining off the liquid. The end effect is the same, however. I can scoop out the mash faster than I can drain the liquid, so this method is also marginally faster. Stirring is no more difficult than with a smaller decoct, but bear in mind we're talking six gallon batches here. For larger batches, YMMV. > What techniques are used to cool the decoction back to mashing > temps: cold water? an immersion chiller? recirculating through the > counter flow? The mash cools relatively quickly once heat has been removed. A bit of stirring and SLOWLY adding it back to the tun keeps the whole shebang under 160 with ease. If you're adding the liquid back into the tun, I imagine that the process will be the same, depending on the temperature of the liquid. Take it slowly and you should be OK; just monitor your temperature carefully. There should be no need for an external cooling mechanism. A couple of other points: As far as styles go, I've used this method for dunkels, helles beers, ofests, viennas and bohemian pilseners. Personally, I think that the lighter beers actually get the most benefit from decoction; others may disagree. In any case, compared with the addition of melanoidin-laden specialty malts, the differences in flavor are subtle, but discernable. Decoction does appear to lend a roundness or softness to beers. I have found the effects to be equivalent to a double decoction (I have done two side-by-side comparisons, but not triangle tests). In fact, I really don't ever bother with a double decoct anymore. This should only add around 45-60 minutes to your brew time (a lot of this depends on how long it takes you to bring the decocot to a boil. Slower = less scorching, which allows a longer boil period). After remixing the mash, I allow another 30 minutes or so for a rest. For me, this isn't really a net increase in brew time, since if I omit the decoct I usually just do a longer sach rest. I wouldn't worry much about "taking the plunge". This is a pretty easy technique to try out, and you're not likely to trash your beer should you make a mistake Hope that helps -- tafKaks ==== Teleoperate a roving mobile robot from the web: http://www.swampgas.com/robotics/rover.html Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 May 2003 08:19:22 -0700 From: "Cave, Jim" <Cave at psc.org> Subject: Selection pressures on bacteria vs. Barley and the ecology of beer I note that a proponant for scientific creationism posted to the HBD. While there remains considerable debate about the relative contribution of natural selection (A process of Evolution) and Scientific Creationism (literal interpretation of the events in the Bible or other religious belief) to speciation, most of the scientific community tends to follow the former rather than the latter. While one may still debate whether species have evolved by natural selection, the process of natural selection is no longer a theory. It is a fact: it has been demonstrated in the laboratory and the bacterial resistance is one very good and irrefutable example of this process. WRT the "Worlds Scariest Story", lets first be clear that the selection pressures on rogue or drug resistant bacteria and malting barley are very different. Neither "chooses" or "selects" (an unfortunate anthropomorphic term) their evolution, the process is simply those individuals that have an advantage over others will have a higher probability of surviving to reproduce. In the case of bacteria, those that have any amount of tolerance to drugs would have a survival advantage and thus have a higher probability of reproducing. After many generations, (although over a very short time frame from the human perspective) drug tolerant strains of bacteria develop. This is really true natural selection, albeit from human induced pressures. However, the process of selection of barley strains is entirely that of selection by humans or artificial selection--and the process is very, very, very rapid indeed, relative to natural selection. So intense is this selection process that the genetic variation in individual straints of malting barley is very small indeed. In the overall ecological and evolutionary sense, barley have a mutualistic relationship with humans: both species benefit from the relationship. The barley provides us food and drink and we cultivate it, protect it from competing species and intense grazing pressures and thus ensure its survival to reproduce, even if not all individuals of the species are able to reproduce. If a barley strain developed that wasn't appropriate for malting, it better have good characteristics for some other use for humans, or we wouldn't farm it and it would become extinct. That would not be in the best "interests" of the barley that really depends on its commensalism with humans to survive. So the moral to the story is: Being eaten or malted isn't all that bad! Jim Cave, biologist. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 09 May 2003 16:07:16 +0000 From: "A.J. deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Water/Photons/Waves Denny asked about well water with pH 6.9, Na+ 9, K+ 1, Ca++ 62, Mg++ 13, Total hardness 209 (as CaCO3), SO4-- 36 Cl 4 CO3 < 1 znc HCO3- 83. This is good water: high on the calcium and low on the bicarbonate. It's residual alkalinity is only 17 ppm as CaCO3 so it should be fine for the brewing of almost any beer, even those made completely with pale malt. The only thing that might be problematical is the high sulfate level which will be a problem where fine hops are used. Dilution with low ion content water is a fine way to handle this. To tune this up for Dortmund style start by adding about 80 mg/L sodium bicarbonate. This will get the sodium up to Dortmunder levels and get the alkalinity about right. You'll still need some gyspsum, calcium chloride and chalk though. Dortmunder water is pretty salty! * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * The only God(ess) I wish to see discussed in HBD is Ninkasi. Nonetheless, the "is light a wave or particle" comment caught my eye. I haven't heard that one since my (anthropologist) uncle tried to bait my father (engineer) 40 years ago. It is, neither. It is a form of energy. It has wave nature and particle nature. When it's cleaving the side chain from an isohumulone molecule (on the way to skunking beer) it is the particle nature that explains the phenomenon. When the correct wavelength is being picked out of a broad spectrum by a diffraction grating in order to allow us to measure bitterness, the process is best explained by the wave nature of light. Don't forget that matter has a wave nature as well. Even things like bowling balls have wavelengths (albeit rather short ones). Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 May 2003 10:46:25 -0700 (PDT) From: "H. Dowda" <hdowda at yahoo.com> Subject: Hoff Stevens kegs I noticed on the Real Ale Fest. site that some people were serving real ale from H-S kegs. Has anyone had experience with using these instead of firkins. Will the bungs, splines etc used on std firkins work? Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 09 May 2003 14:35:36 -0400 From: Robert Sandefer <melamor at vzavenue.net> Subject: Dunkelweizen and Munich malt First, I would appreciate any dunkelweizen recipe anyone cares to share. Second, I am interested in the final color of a beer brewed from 100% Munich malt. If anyone in the Group has brewed such a beer, what color was it? Orange? Red? Brown? Thanks in advance. Robert Sandefer Arlington, VA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 9 May 2003 15:47:32 -0700 (PDT) From: jim williams <jimswms at yahoo.com> Subject: wyeast 3763 and oud bruin so, I'm gonna try this new yeast out. I love a good oud bruin. I'm hoping somebody may be able to help me out on formulating a recipe. I plan on fermenting it out, racking to secondary and leaving it there for a year or so, then bottling. maybe, blend a little at this point too. we'll see. anyway, any help in this matter would be great. I'll be doing a 10 gal. batch. Also, I've heard that when using lambic yeasts, it's good to not reuse the equipment because it's hard to get the bugs out. true? false? would this stuff be used in the same way? cheers, jim Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 09 May 2003 00:38:33 -0400 From: "K. Gold or G. McLane" <ktgold at umich.edu> Subject: Grant and reverse HERMS Been cobbling together a HERMS-style brewery for the past several months, and I keep running into problems. The most frustrating was the pump cavitation. Seems like no matter what I did to get positive flow to the pump, my March 809 screamed like a banshee until I fed water straight from a bucket. (Yes, I know it's not self-priming.) So, I think I need a grant. But then I got to thinking, and archive searching, and puttering with pots and tubing...which leads me to my "so has anyone done this" question: Why not put the HE coil in the Grant? Sort of a reverse-HERMS, but not in the mash itself but in the Grant...GERMS? I have an SS 5-gallon thermos with a spigot at the bottom (no kidding - its a thing of beauty - great for low-grav/partial mashes and works as a fermenter too - rummage sale item), which I would use for the Grant. I could put a HE coil into the Grant, then run most of the mash liquid into it, and using quick disconnects, redirect the pump to send boiling water though the slightly motor-agitated coil, up to my HLT. The temperature controller would be at the Grant outlet, and would power the pump and the agitating motor. When the temp got to where I wanted it, I would run a recirc. Then, to keep the temp in the right place, I could gravity-feed hot liquor from the HLT back through the coil and into the boiler (someday, this could be automatic, but for now, it would be manual). The boiler could be used to reheat the liquor at that point, to become sparge water (or maybe it might be spot on 170 deg. at that point...could I be so lucky?) SO: -has anyone set this sort of thing up with good/bad result? -what are the pitfalls? Some thoughts on obvious pitfalls and how to handle them: -"aeration of the mash". Grants do this. I wonder, does a dose of CO2 help? The heavier-than-air thing might just keep a pillow of CO2 on top of the mash liquid. -"lots of clean-up". Hey, another pot to hose out doesn't bug me. Wouldn't be a homebrewer if I didn't have a fetish for doing dishes. -"complication". Yup, but I already have most of the pipes in place from my various other trials. No turning back now. -"grant's not necessary". Maybe my pump is defective...all I know is that I need to feel secure that I'm not going to fry my most expensive piece of equipment (excepting my Polarware pot). -"stuck mash". Big problem. Potential deal-killer. How much mash liquid can be run off without getting a stuck mash? The SS perf screen I use is pretty good, I've drained the pot completely and not had problems in the past. I'm hopeful. - ---------------------- Thanks to Alan Meeker and Chris Colby for their well-written and well-reasoned responses to the evolution/creation thread. This is an issue that lots of folks feel very passionate about, and it's good to see that this forum can support calm, thoughtful discourse free of mud-slinging. (Notice I wrote CAN support...not ALWAYS supports...) Greg M. Ann Arbor, MI, homebrewing center of the Universe Return to table of contents
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