HOMEBREW Digest #4259 Sat 31 May 2003

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  RE: igloo mash tun ("Rick Gordon")
  Rennerian coordinates, etc. (Travis Dahl KE4VYZ)
  Berliner weiss update, recipe, details (Marc Sedam)
  BJCP guidelines ("Greg R")
  Food Grade Quick Disconnects (Caryl Hornberger Slone)
  Water Chemistry ("Patrick Hughes")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 00:35:34 -0400 From: "Rick Gordon" <regordon at bellsouth.net> Subject: RE: igloo mash tun I use a 5 gal cylindrical cooler, the brown barrel shaped one not the newer orange ones, as a hot liquor tun for my sparge water. I don't like using plastic for the mash because sometimes I want to do step infusions or need to bump the heat back up. Nothing beats my 30 liter ss Bitburger keg/mash tun for that. I had to take out the spigot and use a #2 rubber stopper with a piece of tubing jammed in the hole as an outlet. A pinch valve regulates the sparge flow. I have used it for almost ten years and the only problem is some deformation of the sides due to the heat. I usually heat the sparge water while the mash is working and acidify it with a dollop of lactic acid. Different thread: I switched from my homemade "Easy Masher" type system to an ss false bottom. (I had been wanting one for years!) It is really cool, but I get a lot more junk in the first runnings and tend to get a little more scorching if I use heat during the mash. I've already had to adjust the crush a bit courser. Not sure it was worth the switch - no noticable increase in efficiency etc."If it ain't broke..." Anyone else have this experience? Rick Gordon [580.2, 181.4] Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 08:08:11 -0400 (EDT) From: Travis Dahl KE4VYZ <dahlt at umich.edu> Subject: Rennerian coordinates, etc. Oooh, ooh, ooh! A question on the digest I can answer! In Steve Dale-Johnson's post he says: "Brewing at (1918, 298) Miles Apparent Rennerian (I'm west of Jeff ... shouldn't the degrees be negative???) Vancouver, BC, Canada" Well, it would be if these were Lat. Long. coordinates, but Rennerian coordinates are polar (does the term vector ring a bell?). This means a distance and a direction from "The Center of the Homebrewing Universe". And, of course the direction is just a number between 1 and 360. Although I suppose instead of 298 degrees, you could say -62 degrees. Being from the Pacific NorthWET originally, I understand how a waterlogged brain can alter your thought processes. I suppose, though, that I should actally figure out what my coordinates are now that I've gone on about them... Travis [1.8, 98.3] Apparent Rennerian (No, being close to the center, doesn't automatically make you a good brewer!) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 08:48:10 -0400 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: Berliner weiss update, recipe, details I'm about to brew up my annual Berliner weiss and have been doing some more reading and reviewing of my previous posts to the HBD. I think I've summarized things appropriately here, and this will be my procedure for Monday's upcoming brew. For the record, I used Eric Warner's "German Wheat Beers", Ray Daniels' "Designing Great Beers", and a BT "Brewing in Styles" article [Jan/Feb] by Florian Kuplent, and my own experience as sources. Since this is such a wacky style, I thought I'd go for more details rather than fewer. Grist--50/50 mix of barley and wheat. I used 2-row DWC pilsner malt and DWC wheat malt. Start off with 3lbs of each for 5 gallons. If your extraction is too good, you just wind up with more beer. That would be too bad. <grin> Brewing liquor--I used my very soft tap [40ppm] water as-is. The literature suggests that you boil WHOLE hops (at 1.3-1.5oz/5 gallons of finished beer) in the mash water for an hour, then cool. Pellets are not an acceptable alternative and will only cause more problems in the lauter/sparge. The whole hops help in lautering. It is also acceptable to add a small amount of calcium carbonate at mash-in. Not necessary, but it won't hurt either. Mash--It is suggested that the mash ratio be 3-3.5qt/lb. One-third of the total mash liquor (sans hops) is added at dough in. For god sakes, dough in at 95F and hold for 15-20 minutes (or 5-24 hours if you want 'natural' sourness). I have made a Berliner without this step and my mash took 5 hours. The next one I made used this rest and took 50 minutes. Next, add remaining 2/3 of the water (with hops) to reach the protein rests of 117F (15min), 122F (15min), and 128F (15min). I fully, wholly, and unequivocally recommend a decoction for the temperature rise from 128F to 148F to help break down the highly viscous components in the mash and improve lautering. Pull a thick decoction and boil for 40 minutes (if you do a double decoction you only need to boil each decoction for 20 minutes). Add back and hold for 20 minutes. Raise the temperature to 156F (via heat or decoction, your choice) and hold for between 30 minutes and five hours. [Explanation: If you have held the mash for 5 hours at dough-in, hold for 30 minutes. IF you plan to inoculate the wort with lactobacilli, hold for 30 minutes.] There is no raise to mash-out temps. Sparge--You can use one of two methods: (1) sparge with water at 170F to bring the temperature of the mash up slightly; (2) sparge with boiling water [yes, you read right] to help stop lactobacilli growth. Be sure to cut the mash frequently to avoid channeling. The decoction and hops should help loosen the mash some, but begin runoff very slowly. The OG of the wort should be between 1.028-1.032. Mash efficiency will be low (65-75%), but the decoctions should help some. I have sparged with boiling water for all but one Berliner and the final flavor is fine. Boil--More appropriately, don't. If you plan to inoculate with lactobacilli, cool the wort down and pitch the culture when it hits 95F. Let cool naturally and sour over the next 24-48 hours. When the desired sourness is reached (requires daily tastings...sorry), bring the wort to a boil for 10 minutes, or hold at 190F for an hour. Chill back to pitching temps and pitch a VERY healthy starter (cell counts akin to a lager). Yeast--Neutral ale yeast, preferably German. This is one place where I think dry yeast would work great, provided it has a neutral flavor profile. If you skim the yeast off the top during kraeusen it will help limit continued souring of the beer as much of the lactobacilli will rise to the top (so sayeth the literature...I haven't experienced this yet). 'Bugs'--Pure lactobacillus culture can be obtained through a special order from Wyeast (#4335). I'm no expert in culturing bacteria, but I pitched it in a quart of wort and pretty well ignored it other than a good shake every once in a while, out of fear I'd contaminate my yeast ranching equipment. As with all other non-yeast buggers in your brewery, cleaning and sanitation post-Berliner weiss are of the utmost importance. Fermentation--This year, I'm brewing up 15 gallons and will ferment using a slightly different method. Ten gallons of wort will go in my Mini-Brew fermenter to be fermented with WhiteLabs WLP003 (German Ale II). Five gallons of wort will go in a carboy, pitched with the lactobacillus culture, and moved to my attic. Carbonation: When both fermentations are complete I'll move them to a Sankey keg with three cups of corn sugar for priming. As part of it's nature the finished beer is served with between 3-4 volumes of CO2. Yep, that's a lot. Aging: Age for three weeks (or until the sourness is acceptable) in warm temps (60-75F), then store at 40-45F for extended periods. Hope everyone gets to try this style at least once. It's a very refreshing beer and perfect for the North Carolina summers. Things have been pretty mild here so far and I'm hopeful this will be finished and ready to drink by the time the heat starts to get oppressive. Cheers! Marc - -- Marc Sedam Chapel Hill, NC Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 09:50:18 -0500 From: "Greg R" <gmrbrewer at hotmail.com> Subject: BJCP guidelines This question is for certified judges and how they interpret the BJCP guidelines when evaluating a beer. The BJCP guidelines suggest a range of original gravities and IBUs for every style, e.g. for APAs the OG range is 1.045 - 1.056, and the IBU range is 20 to 40. Does this imply that a beer of 1.045 OG and 40 IBUs is equally in style as a beer of 1.056 OG and 20 IBUs? Using the BU/GU ratio, this suggests a range from 0.36 to 0.89, which covers a very wide spectrum of flavor balances. Or is the correct application of the guidelines to pair the low end of the gravity range with the low end of bittering and high gravities with high bitterness, suggesting a BU/GU range from 0.44 to 0.71? The latter interpretation seems to make more sense, but becomes limiting for other styles such as IPAs, where incorporating this interpretation results in a BU/GU range of 0.80 to 0.80 (compared to 0.53 to 1.20 using the former interpretation). Obviously, original gravity and bitterness alone do not completely describe a beer, and many other factors are evaluated when judging. I do not enter competitions, but I like to use the guidelines to assist me when formulating new recipes, particularly styles I have not brewed or even tasted previously. Understanding how judges have been trained to evaluate recipes will help me to better interpret unfamiliar styles. Cheers! Greg in Chicago Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 11:14:25 -0500 From: Caryl Hornberger Slone <chornberger10 at comcast.net> Subject: Food Grade Quick Disconnects Hello, I'm trying to find a good cheap source of some no-frills quick disconnects for my home brewery. I've found some at grainger that are a good price, but they're steel bodied and zinc/gold dichromate plated. I can't find out anywhere if this is a safe material or not. Does anyone out there know of this material's health properties (aka fda certifications?) or know of a good, cheap source for brew-grade quick disconnects? Thanks, Caryl Hornberger Slone Ft. Wayne, IN Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 23:11:28 -0500 From: "Patrick Hughes" <pjhinc at eriecoast.com> Subject: Water Chemistry Brewed last weekend armed with a PH meter after deciding that the harshness/astringency problems I have been experiencing for several years, was coming from the sparge. I looked at every other angle before delving into water chemistry[trust me] believing that good beer can be made while knowing little about your municipal water. But since I moved I can't get away from this bitterness problem. I started out by figuring out how much acid is needed to bring my 7.5 ph water into recommended ranges for sparging. I conducted the mash with almost all pilsner malt. I heard many times on this forum and other sources the mash PH will usually take care of itself. and it did, with the ph at 5.7 - 5.8 not optimal but I thought this was acceptable. While mashing; my HLT was heating the sparge water to 170 - 180. The mash took a longer then usual as I went ahead and added minerals to achieve a Dortmund type water profile. This was after mashing for 45 minutes at 148. I wanted to see what happened to the ph of the mash with these minerals . The ph went down slightly but not much. The ph meter was new, calibrated to manufacturers recomendations and I used the double dipping method for testing. Any readings that I was unsure of I let the sample cool to roomtemp and tried again. The ATC feature of the meter worked fine as I got the same readings consistently at different temps. When i was ready to add acid to the sparge water, which is sitting at 180, I took a sample let it cool and tested to find the PH at 8.2. Ther were no minerals added to the sparge water. Did the PH rise from something precipitating out? Is there a solution to this or should I plan on this happening every time? Patrick Hughes Return to table of contents
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