HOMEBREW Digest #4509 Sun 28 March 2004

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  Decoction in a cooler (Dean)
  re: theory of sulfur in witbiers ("-S")
  Decoction ("Spencer W. Thomas")
  Re: Liquid maltose for yeast starters? (Jeff Renner)
  Homebrewers in Wisconsin? ("Eric R. Theiner")
  RIMS system built from espresso maker (Paul Kalapathy)
  link of the week - beermuseum.org (Bob Devine)
  Lager Yeast starter ("Pat and Debbie Reddy")
  Electric Brew Kettle / And immsion chiller question (Lonzo McLaughlin)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2004 20:24:35 -0800 From: Dean <dean at deanandadie.net> Subject: Decoction in a cooler In 4508 Craig Wheeler wonders about the logistics of doing a decoct in a cooler. Craig, I did my first (and currently only) decoction in a large Rubbermaid rectangular cooler and it worked fine. I did a single decoction step to raise the temperature from 130 deg F to 150 deg F. It was a little clumsy but probably because it was my first go at it. My mash notes: 1/3 mash -> 160 deg F and held for 20 min boiled for 15 min Had problems hitting sac rest. Added 1/5 gal boiling water and boiled 2 gal of the mash to get to 150 deg F 5:29 150 deg F for 30 60 min So, I removed one third of the mash and raised it to 160 deg F for 20 minutes, then boiled it for 15. (I probably removed less of the mash in hindsight.) I ended up having to add a little boiling water and boil 2 gallons of the mash to hit my next rest. I can not tell if my sac rest was for 30 or 60 minutes - probably 30. The beer turned out smooth. Tasted great. I can post the promash files somewhere on the web for interested parties. - --Dean - Unscrambler of eggs - -- Take your time, take your chances - ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ It matters not how strait the gate / How charged with punishment the scroll I am the master of my fate / I am the captain of my soul. -- Invictus -- -- William E Henley -- Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2004 00:59:47 -0500 From: "-S" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: re: theory of sulfur in witbiers Tom M wriest ... >One thing we have noticed, is that regardless of yeast >strain, there always seems to be alot of sulfur produced >in the primary. >Could it be that it is not >necessarily yeast strain specific, but that our recipes >use of roughly 50% raw unmalted wheat contributes to >low FAN levels? Yes - you are on to something. >I have found a reference that states in winemaking low >nitrogen levels will favor H2S production. I am not >sure what contribution to FAN levels raw wheat makes in >comparison to say, malted wheat or barley, but my guess >would be "little". Can any armchair brewing scientist >out there answer this puzzle? I don't have figures specific for raw wheat, but back-calculating from a table in BY&F it appears that raw maize(corn) grits generate only 6% the FAN of malt. Of course grits are degermed so this overstated the problem. I expect raw whole wheat should produce something around 25% the FAN level of well modified malt, but I'm certain that figure can vary all over the map. So a 50% malt, 50% raw wheat beer may have something around 2/3rds the FAN of all-malt wort. Normal gravity wort needs and typically has 150-250ppm of FAN and below 125ppm is said to be problematic. The wit might range 100-170ppm as a ballpark so these can be trouble - but not necessarily so. Two beer sulfur compounds that may dissipate are sulfur dioxide, SO2 and hydrogen disulfide H2S. SO2 is present and useful in all beers at low concentration, but gives a sharp stinky battery acid aroma and dry palate in quantity. SO2 is a potent anti-oxidant and is part of the beer preservation story. H2S is the "home perm' aroma which appears and dissipates in many lagers. As certain amino acids run out in the fermentation of a low-FAN wort the yeast are forced to 'manufacture' the aminos from simpler molecules. Two amino acids, methionine, cysteine contain sulfur. The sulfur must come from somewhere and often it involves a mechanism that converts some of the plentiful sulphate (think gypsum) into sulfite - and this can be leaked as SO2 into the beer. Some studies have shown that SO2 production can be reduced by adding methionine alone to the wort. Cysteine can be made from methionine (above) or more likely from the amino acid serine which is abundant in wort. To convert serine to cysteine requires H2S. Yeast will produce the H2S from the SO2 above or from other organic sources of sulfur. If there isn't enough serine (or cysteine) the H2S pools and leaks. Adding serine or pantothenic acid reduces H2S production. (the pantothenate vitamin [coenzyme]) by a circuitous route. Let's not neglect the fact that many wit/weizen yeasts autolyze like mad and this can produce H2S aromas over time too. One means of eliminating H2S is to add copper sulfate in very tiny quantity. This method is outlawed in commercial practice and probably for good reasons as the copper isn't good for humans (or the yeast). I can't recommend this one. -Steve Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2004 09:51:30 -0500 From: "Spencer W. Thomas" <spencer at umich.edu> Subject: Decoction Craig Wheeler is concerned about doing a decoction: >I have a passion for Bavarian Hefeweizen, but performing a decoction >mash intimidates me. I currently perform single infusion mashes in a >10-gallon cooler and I was reading a book on wheat beer that describes >the (proper) mash process as a combination decoction/direct heat mash >... Obviously, I can't directly heat my mash and I don't know if >infusions will thin the mash too much on the way to a decoction. I'm >sure there are many of you who have successfully created true >Hefeweizens using a similar setup as mine, so I'd love to hear from you >how you did it. > Don't be intimidated. Decoctions are EASY. I, too, use a 10-gal "Gott" cooler for mashing. You DO want to do a rest at 40C (104F) to help develop the 4VG (clove) precursor. At least, if you like a clovey weizen as I do. Start with a very thick mash by infusing about 1/2 quart per pound. Hit it with water just above 40C and your mash temp should settle at about 40, in my experience. You want enough water that there are no dry pockets, but also very little "free" water. Then you can infuse up to your "beta" rest at 60C. Pull about 1/3 of your mash for a decoction with just enough water to suspend the grains into a "porridge". Hopefully you've got a big enough stock pot for this. I've used a 3 gallon canning kettle, for example. Heat it on the stove, stirring frequently or constantly depending on your stove and pot. With a thin stainless pot, you'll want to stir constantly to prevent scorching, if you've got a thicker pot with aluminum cladding on the bottom you can stir just "frequently". Aside from scorching, you don't want significant hot spots to denature the enzymes. Anyway, as you heat it, you'll see that the liquid will start to clear a bit as the starch is converted, and stirring will get easier. You can stop for a 10-15 minute rest at 70C if you want, or just keep going to boiling. With most stoves, the mash will heat slowly enough that you don't really need to stop. :-) Once the decoction is boiling, stir to keep it from sticking, and boil gently for 10-20 minutes (longer develops more flavor.) You may want to have a separate pot of boiling water on hand in case your decoction gets too dry. Stir the decoction back into the main mash gently. Check the temperature as you go. A 1/3 decoction should bring your mash from 60C to 70C, but you don't want to overshoot. If you hit 70C early, you can just let the rest of the decoction cool before mixing it back in. If you don't reach 70, you can infuse more boiling water to bring it up. The two critical features of this mash program are the 40C rest for "cloves" and the decoction for a good bready-wheaty flavor. Give it a try, I think you'll like it. =Spencer in Ann Arbor Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2004 10:15:04 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: Liquid maltose for yeast starters? "Steve Dale-Johnson" <sdalejohnson at hotmail.com> writes from Delta (Vancouver), BC, Canada: >The question I have is regarding the potential use of this as a yeast >starter medium... does anyone know whether there are sufficient >concentrations of other sugars in this type of "extract" that would run the >risk of the crabtree effect, or is it possible that this is a good (and much >less expensive) starter alternative to using DME?? I think that the Crabtree effect is not going to be the problem that the complete lack of nutrients (aside from sugars) is. For yeast growth you must have these, which include nitrogen, sterols, free fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins, etc. Your liquid maltose syrup is going to be devoid of these. You could bung in a bunch of yeast energizer and other fermentation aids, but I'd go with DME. And I'd still add some yeast foods. I'll leave the matter of the Crabtree effect to others. I'm not real solid on that. 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, 26 Mar 2004 10:04:55 -0500 From: "Eric R. Theiner" <rickdude02 at earthlink.net> Subject: Homebrewers in Wisconsin? Hey Dudes, I may be relocating to an area near Milton, WI in the near future. It's about 30 minutes southeast of Madison and the other largish town is Janesville. Anyone here know anything about club prospects in the area? Thanks! Rick Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2004 08:34:34 -0800 (PST) From: Paul Kalapathy <chromatoid at yahoo.com> Subject: RIMS system built from espresso maker I recently constructed a RIMS system that uses the water tank from an old espresso maker to do the heating. I thought people might be interested, because it avoids any of the welding/brazing/metal-cutting that a lot of the other implementations require. It was pretty low cost, too. The cost of the pump, heating and control part of the system cost less than $200, half of which was the pump. It only took about a half a day to assemble, once I had all of the parts. More details and pictures are at http://kalapathy.home.mchsi.com/RIMS1.html Paul Kalapathy Springfield, MO Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 10:33:30 -0700 From: Bob Devine <bob.devine at worldnet.att.net> Subject: link of the week - beermuseum.org Homebrewers preserve the long history of brewing. From the dark days of the late 1970s when only 40-some corportate brewers remained in the US, many of the resurgence in brewing came from the ranks of homebrewers. Lots of history is captured at: http://www.brewingmuseum.org/ I post this link now because the museum is about to start a lecture series in April at its site in Milwaukee. And because it highlights a coming fest in May held by the Milwaukee Beer Barons. Lots of fun. from someone who once lived in Milwaukee (and a lot of other places!) Bob Devine Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 13:13:37 -0600 From: "Pat and Debbie Reddy" <reddydp at charter.net> Subject: Lager Yeast starter I'm going to brew my first Lager in 3 weeks. I want to pitch as much yeast as possible - Is there any difference in creating a starter for lager as opposed to an ale? I usually do the 1/2 cup DME in a pint of boiled water routine - decanting and repitching twice for a 10 gallon batch. Any advice is welcome and appreciated. Thanks. BTW...the yeast I plan to use is Wyeast 2042 Danish Lager Pat - --- Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com). Version: 6.0.642 / Virus Database: 410 - Release Date: 3/24/2004 Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2004 17:57:40 -0800 (PST) From: Lonzo McLaughlin <lonkelm at yahoo.com> Subject: Electric Brew Kettle / And immsion chiller question Hello, I currently have a RIMS system with a gas fired kettle. I'd like to convert the HLT and Kettle to electric also. Please send me links and or suggestions on how to design each of these. Specifically what size elements, what types of control system, and how people have these wired. I have an extra PID or two so my thoughts are to just run the HLT off a switch for now and use a PID on the kettle. Also, I have been using a counter flow wort chiller. I'm considering an immersion chiller. what are the pros and cons of the immersion vs the counterflow? Return to table of contents
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