HOMEBREW Digest #4479 Thu 19 February 2004

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  New Take On Reinheitsgebot ("Phil Yates")
  re: Cooling Coils & Pressure Calculations (Dane Mosher)
  Residual Alkalinity ("A.J deLange")
  Re:  Counter Flow Chillers ("David Houseman")
  Re: Crystal Malt Use (Robert Sandefer)
  Light and Dark Munich Malts (Robert Sandefer)
  how do they manage? (Nathaniel Lansing)
  Cooper Carbonation Drops (Bob Hall)
  re: High Gravity Yeast/Many-Generation Brewpubs (Jason Poll)
  Re: Covering starter containers ("Vivian Wallick")
  Re: Covering starter containers ("Rob Dewhirst")
  Bottling without counterpressure ("Steve Dale-Johnson")
  Indefinite Repitching and Yeast Mutation (Alexandre Enkerli)
  4VG and yeast metabolism (Andrew Tate)
  Re:Counterflow chiller (Tim & Cindy Howe)
  Re: How much crystal malt is too much? (Grant Family)
  Re.:  geek alert ("Sean Richens")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 19:25:28 +1100 From: "Phil Yates" <phil.yates at bigpond.com> Subject: New Take On Reinheitsgebot Dane Mosher says: >If you can find people who will pay you >money for wombat beer, then what's the problem? Keep >in mind that if you poison your customers, they will >sue you and spread the word. Now just a moment here Mr Mosher. I'm not selling my beer. I'm a homebrewer! I trial all my beers on my darling wife Jill. Well I did, till she got wise and went back to drinking commercial beers, the most expensive she can find! And she always checks the seal on the twist top for possible interference. Some years back, Jill declared that the best beer I ever made was a wheat beer (even better than the rice lager) and from then on she demanded I make it for her time and time again. The minute I stop, she goes out and buys very expensive beer, just to punish me. So why shouldn't I poison her? Besides, she's busy trying to break my neck forcing me to ride these blasted horses! But Mr Mosher, I'd never dream of poisoning a customer. Perhaps the above circumstances are a good case for insisting on a Reinheitsgebot, at least from Jill's point of view. Phil Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 00:49:05 -0800 (PST) From: Dane Mosher <dane_mosher at yahoo.com> Subject: re: Cooling Coils & Pressure Calculations Michael Noah wrote: "My question is this...I calculate that the standard 120-foot cooling coils offered for sale introduce 60 psi of resistance...That's a lot of CO2 to overcome what looks to be a standard design for a cooling coil." Yes it is a lot of pressure, but it's correct. I recall running those jockey boxes at 50-60psi when I used to do that kind of thing for a living. Less pressure than that and the beer will get too foamy, which is somewhat counterintuitive. There is another style of jockey box that runs the beer through smaller lengths of tubing which are embedded in a thick, flat aluminum plate. These run at less pressure, but are not as good IMO. Be sure to bleed the excess pressure from the kegs when you are done serving to keep the remaining beer from getting way overcarbonated. Aloha! Dane Mosher Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 13:13:51 +0000 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Residual Alkalinity Todd asked about alkalinity values after decarbonation by boiling. If you do a really good job of decarbonation (by using lime for example) you can expect to achieve decarbonation to about 1 mEval (50 ppm as CaCO3). Just boiling on your stove top or King Cooker would probably get you to twice this i.e. 100 ppm as CaCO3. At he low level of pre-boil alkalinity (111 mg/L) your water contains I doubt much calcium or bicarbonate is being removed. The water going in has 50*39.3/20 = 98 ppm (as CaCO3) calcium hardness and 50*11.7/12.15 = 48 ppm (as CaCO3) magnesium hardness. The residual alkalinity is, thus, 111 - (98 + 24)/3.5 = 76 which isn't too bad really and should serve perfectly well for most beers especially if a little darkish malt is added to grists. If you really want to get more of that bicarbonate out the way to do it is with excess calcium during the boil and the best source for calcium I know of in this regard is lime (food grade lime is available as "pickling lime" where canning supplies are sold) because there is no flavor causing anion associated with it. If you are shy on chloride or sulfate then gypsum or calcium chloride are, of course, fine to use as a calcium source. As I stated at the beginning you should be able to get close to 50 ppm alkalinity with lime (or another source of excess calcium) and this would drop your RA below 50 which is enough to make most brewers happy. Decarbonation with lime is a little tricky. If you have a pH meter you can follow Hubert Hanghoffer's method (see his website). Otherwise essentially you add lime, stir it up, let the water settle and decant (I also add a little chalk to supply nucleation sites - don't know if this really helps). You now have clear water with a pH of about 10. This you must aerate or sparge with CO2 to get the pH back down to a reasonable level. Cheers, A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 08:16:48 -0500 From: "David Houseman" <david.houseman at verizon.net> Subject: Re: Counter Flow Chillers Tim asked: >So anyhew, now that I'm pondering a counterflow chiller, > a few questions come to mind. > Any opinions on: > a) minimum diameter for the inner tube > b) minimum diameter for the outer tube > I'm thinking 1/4'' inner 3/8" outer or 3/8" inner > 1/2" outer. I haven't looked into fittings/adapters > etc and that may be a factor as well. > Oh yeah, one other question: Is natural gas pipe > suitable for brewing? Tim, I don't see any benefit to a copper exterior. I found that using a standard 3/4" garden hose works great. In fact I believe it's Listermann who has a great adapter kit that contains all the fittings for 3/8" interior copper tubing inside a garden hose. I made one of these and it works great. Simple. BTW, they may have coils, but you will have to straighten them out first to get one inside the other and then carefully re-coil so as not to kink the copper, a fatal mistake for the new CFC. Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 08:23:39 -0500 From: Robert Sandefer <melamor at vzavenue.net> Subject: Re: Crystal Malt Use I regularly use 1 pound of crystal malt per 5-gal batch of porter or stout. In lighter beers (of which I make few) I generally use no more than .5 pound of crystal malt. While the recipe provided (with 2.15 lbs crystal, .85 lbs Munich, and 1.75 lbs honey malt) has quite a bit of specialty malts, I believe it has a chance at being a good beer. I'm not getting any warning signals per se. I cannot comment on the use of honey malt (as I have not used it). Robert Arlington, VA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 08:33:33 -0500 From: Robert Sandefer <melamor at vzavenue.net> Subject: Light and Dark Munich Malts Since apparently no one read Digest #4476 :) I am asking again: What are the differences (if any) between the taste and usage of light (8L) and dark (16L) Munich malts (of German origin)? PS: Anyone who has used Munich malt (there are a lot of you I'm sure) can contribute to this discussion. What style did you use light Munich malt in? And dark? What amounts did you use? How did the beers taste and how did they differ from a beer without Munich in the grist? Awaiting a plethora of insightful responses, Robert Arlington, VA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 09:21:51 -0500 From: Nathaniel Lansing <delbrew at compuserve.com> Subject: how do they manage? Reading the posts about high gravity beers and the peril they put yeast through made me wonder; how do the big breweries manage to consistently brew 16P worts and have the yeast survive? They even go so far as to dilute their wort FAN levels with corn and rice adjuncts yet still keep the yeast viable. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 09:22:12 -0500 From: Bob Hall <rallenhall at toast.net> Subject: Cooper Carbonation Drops It seems to me that someone asked about carbonation drops some time ago, but I don't remember any posted responses. Has anyone out there tried them? Would be interested in any info as I wait impatiently for a kolsch and pils to bottle condition. Bob Hall Napoleon, OH Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 09:52:46 -0500 From: Jason Poll <jtpoll at mtu.edu> Subject: re: High Gravity Yeast/Many-Generation Brewpubs Dane Mosher comments on a brewpub's multi-generation yeast use: > A few years ago, I heard of a brewpub that repitched indefinitely--more > than 100 batches--and claimed to have great beer. Maybe so, but that > yeast was surely a long way away from where it started. Their customers <snip> Now, first let me say that I totally agree with you -- I'd find it very unlikely that a brewery's 100th+ generation yeast is producing the same beer as the 1st generation yeast (although I wouldn't say it's impossible.) I'm just of the opinion that this isn't necessarily a bad thing. I like the idea of a brewery having their own 'house-yeast' strains -- adding another way that their beers can be truly unique. The only way I'd say these unique/mutated yeast strains would be a 'problem' would be if the yeast are not producing beer that the brewer (or maybe more importantly the brewery's consumers,) finds to be a good beer. Jason Poll Boston, MI Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 08:31:21 -0700 From: "Vivian Wallick" <brewstersyeast at earthlink.net> Subject: Re: Covering starter containers Rob asks about covering starter containers to allow passage of air (and other gases) to pass through without contamination. As a long-time reader, I am finally moved to post and hope to do so with breaking any rules or offending anyone. When working in microbiology labs I have often used plastic foam plugs. Here at Brewsters Yeast we also use them with good results. They come in a couple sizes (I think 75 mm is largest, which may work for your flasks, but probably not for beakers) and can be autoclaved several times before losing their elasticity. I believe we buy them from Cynmar. Fisher Scientific has them also - they're a very standard item in labs. If you have trouble finding them contact us and we'll help. Jack Wallick <brewstersyeast at earthlink.net> Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 12:17:36 -0600 From: "Rob Dewhirst" <rob at hairydogbrewery.com> Subject: Re: Covering starter containers First, thanks to all who responded about covering starter containers. I received many private replies in addition to the public ones posted here. Here's a summary. - A lot of people suggested aluminum foil. This is what I use today and I am specifically trying to increase atmospheric oxygen availability with another solution. So foil is a great cover, but not for my purpose. I mentioned allowing "air to pass but no contaminants." I understand foil will allow escape, but not air coming in. - Foam stoppers from williams brewing. These look like a good solution for large flasks, but not beakers or jars. I am definitely going to try these for flasks. Both soakable in sanitizer or autoclavable(!). - Sterile 4x4s (presumably of gauze) that are used for wound dressing. Available in pharmacies. I am trying these out as well (and a special thanks to the fellow who offered to send me some to try!) for beakers and mason jars. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 11:36:47 -0800 From: "Steve Dale-Johnson" <sdalejohnson at hotmail.com> Subject: Bottling without counterpressure The *other* Steve A (from Arkansas) asked.... >Anyway - has anyone else tried to avoid using the counter pressure bottle >filler? Is it better to just buy the CPBF? What are your experiences? My own completely non-scientific method is to use a *proper* tap - don't cheap out on the cobra tap-, overcarbonate slightly, bleed the keg pressure to a slow non-foamy pour, and then (after sanitizing the tap nozzle) just spin the tap to about a 45 deg angle and stick it in the bottle. Pour until foam comes out the top and cap immediately on the foam. I've been warned that the initial exposure to oxygen may oxidize the beer, but I can't see a single C02 purge cycle witha CP filler changing that in the least - think of the keg filling thread lately..... I have never noticed oxidation in beers bottled this way, but the longest any of mine have remained bottled this way is a few days. Steve Dale-Johnson Brewing at 1918 miles, 298 degrees Rennerian Delta (Vancouver), BC, Canada. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 16:09:56 -0400 From: Alexandre Enkerli <aenkerli at indiana.edu> Subject: Indefinite Repitching and Yeast Mutation Dave Mosher said (HBD 4478): > A few years ago, I heard of a brewpub that repitched > indefinitely--more than 100 batches--and claimed to have great beer. > Maybe so, but that yeast was surely a long way away from where it > started. Our brewclub visited a fairly large Vermont micro where the master brewer claims they have been repitching the same yeast (Yorkshire, apparently) ever since they opened (something like 11 years ago). They don't report any contamination problem and their beers are consistently good. Even though they brew fairly different styles, all their beers exhibit a very obvious "house flavour" that may be due in part to the yeast used. Yorkshire strains are allegedly used by many breweries but produce very different beers. Is it in any way possible that once a yeast strain has adapted to a brewery it may remain rather stable for a large number of generations? An answer to this must have been part of Dr. Cone's Fortnight of Yeast... http://consumer.lallemand.com/danstar-lalvin/fortnightyeast.html He did address mutations... Cheers! Ale-X (in the middle of mashing his first lager) Moncton, New Brunswick (Canada) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 14:48:08 -0800 (PST) From: Andrew Tate <atate at yahoo.com> Subject: 4VG and yeast metabolism I wanted to thank everyone for their replies to my earlier post regarding wort darkening. Your suggestions were most helpful. Since traffic has be unusually low lately, I'd like to throw out a question for the brewing scientists/biochemists. I'm interested in 4VG production from a biochemical standpoint. Does anyone have any information on the pathways, enzymes, genes, etc. involved in the generation of 4VG? How about regulation? Any other yeast metabolism that makes German wheat yeasts what they are, other than flocculation? Anything you guys have would be interesting, even pointers to journal articles. Thanks in advance. Private emails are OK. Andrew Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 19:14:13 -0500 From: Tim & Cindy Howe <howe at execulink.com> Subject: Re:Counterflow chiller >From: Kent Fletcher <fletcherhomebrew at yahoo.com> >Tim, the absolute minimum wort (inner) tube size is >3/8" OD. If you went with 1/4" it would take foreever >to chill 5 gallons. Given that, the minimum outer >tube size you owuld want to use is 5/8" OD, and 3/4" >would be better. Thanks for the input. >As to the last question, what are you asking? >Suitable to run wort through? If that's the question, >the answer is certainly not. The only pipe materials >suitable for wort transfer are stainless steel, >copper, and brass (and machined brass fittings should >be "pickled" to remove surface lead). In these parts, they sell copper tubing with a Natural Gas sticker along the side. It's significantly more expensive than "general" copper tubing, so the purpose of my question was really to ask What makes NG copper piping more expensive than general copper piping? I suppose the answer is really moot, as given the price of the stuff, I'd probably go with a commercial model CF Chiller before I used NG tubing to build my own... Cheers, Tim Howe London, Ont Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2004 10:40:04 +1100 From: Grant Family <grants at netspace.net.au> Subject: Re: How much crystal malt is too much? G'day, Pat (I assume) asked about his grain bill for an American amber ale. >My ... IBUs are right in line. My concern is that I have created >an overly malty, potentially super-sweet beer because of my >liberal use of caramel and honey malt. I think those two statements contradict each other somewhat. Hypothetically, you COULD create a beer with too much crystal malt, but for your (sound) recipe, all I think you'll need to do is to increase the hopping a little bit to counter the sweetness. Your IBU value of 26.1 is quite low in the range of ProMash US amber ale hopping rates (20-40 IBUs). I'd suggest you increase this to ~35 for the amount of residual sweetness you're likely to have. Another option, of course, is to cut back on the crystal - especially if you're not a hophead. Mashing quite low will also counter the sweetness a little bit. The problem with inventing recipes by following style guides (which is exactly what I do!) is that they don't have "values" for everything. That is, you can have a 26 IBU amber ale that seems quite bitter (ie. it has little or no crystal), and a 26 IBU amber ale which is quite sweet (ie. possibly akin to your recipe). Sometimes you have to look closely at a given combination of ingredients and think what unmeasured effects they will have on the beer. Good Brewing Stuart Grant, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 21:06:45 -0600 From: "Sean Richens" <srichens at mts.net> Subject: Re.: geek alert Props to Jeremy for the apoptosis link! That last line about the (sort-of) well-known technique of storing yeast in distilled water was worth the whole article! I've never quite grasped why the water had to be distilled rather than simply not wort until now. Sean Richens Proudly wearing my propellor beanie in Winnipeg Return to table of contents
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