HOMEBREW Digest #4586 Sun 22 August 2004

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  Try It For Yourself ("Phil Yates")
  Re: CO2 Regulator Problems ("Dave and Joan King")
  O2 & Yeast ("Dave and Joan King")
  Subject: Re: Steam Injection Into Mash Tun -- Anyone Use This? (Gary Spykman)
  link of the week - disinfection effectiveness (Bob Devine)
  Re: New Mashing Ideas (Grant Family)
  Re: New Brewing/Mashing Ideas (John Palmer)
  Growing Hops - Containers? (Chris & Dianne)
  sec: unclass RE: Cutting the top off of kegs ("Williams, Rowan")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2004 21:52:45 +1000 From: "Phil Yates" <phil.yates at bigpond.com> Subject: Try It For Yourself Fred L. Johnson writes: >Hey, I, too, want to believe I can reduce my mash time to 20 minutes, >but please give me some data to convince me it works! Fred I'm surprised that after all these years of brewing, you're still wanting someone else's data on what does and doesn't work. Why don't you try a 20 minute mash for yourself? Then you will have your very own results from your very own experiment. You won't need anyone else's data. If it doesn't work, you won't do it again. Why do so many brewers want data about things they can try for themselves? There is nothing to fear about trying something for yourself (if you are curious) and making your own determination. I sometimes think some brewers prefer to read something in a book, rather than draw their knowledge from their own brewing experiences. I've recently discovered you can make superb beer, without doing any mashing at all. But I doubt my enlightenment would be of any interest in this forum. Phil Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2004 18:25:21 -0400 From: "Dave and Joan King" <dking3 at stny.rr.com> Subject: Re: CO2 Regulator Problems Richard, I think you've got a ruptured diaphragm, or similar leak in your regulator, if you're getting a leak from the vent hole. You'll probably just need to replace it. You can take it apart if you really think you know what you're doing, to try and repair it, but that can be dangerous. I suggest you take the safe route, and just ditch it. FWIW, Dave King (BIER), [396.1, 89.1] Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2004 18:51:23 -0400 From: "Dave and Joan King" <dking3 at stny.rr.com> Subject: O2 & Yeast Yes, the yeast need the O2 to reproduce with. Even a big starter can't begin to hold enough O2 for a 5 gallon batch. It's good to pitch a big starter, near high Krausen, no doubt, but trying to saturate the whole wort (once it's cooled down) is best. You can't practically have too much yeast. Pitching a batch on top of all the yeast from a previous batch, with heavy aeration, gives the best possible results, no off flavors, quick and fully attenuated fermentation. Years of my experience and our club brewers experience agrees with what I've also read many places. You won't oxidize anything in your wort below about 85 F, and in a day or less, the vigorous CO2 production will scrub out any remaining O2. Long lag times provide specific flavors in wheat beers, which would be the exception. Dave King (BIER), [396.1, 89.1] Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2004 23:44:04 -0400 From: Gary Spykman <mail at gjwspykman.com> Subject: Subject: Re: Steam Injection Into Mash Tun -- Anyone Use This? Greetings all, I've been receiving the HBD for years, and finally there is a question that I can answer! A few days ago Charles Boyer asked about using steam in the mash tun. I may, in fact, be an "expert" on this one arcane area of homebrewing. You've heard of RIMS and HERMS, well I use a mashing system which I call a SIMM. This is my Steam Injected Mash Mixer. That pretty much describes the thing, its a fairly elegant contraption which goes into the mash tun and mixes the mash while injecting steam as needed. And it works GREAT! Its so simple to operate, there is no chance of scorching, and because it works in conjunction with the mixer, the temperature is consistent throughout the mash. I can raise the temperature as quickly as one or two degrees a minute, or with the adjustment of a needle valve, as slowly as I want. Whenever the subject of using steam has been brought up, naturally safety has been the primary concern. And rightly so. I am a furnituremaker, and I have been using steam in my shop to soften wood for bending for several years now. It was my initial research in steam bending that led me to the safe system which I now use for both steam bending wood and brewing beer. Most small woodworking shops doing steam bending use some sort of tea kettle with a piece of radiator hose going to the steam box (which contains the wood to be softened). That just sounded too messy and imprecise for me. So I looked at what the large operations did. Well the big boys use a fully enclosed system with pressurized steam, which is much more efficient. "A fully enclosed system using pressurized steam", that was exactly what I wanted. And I knew where to get one. Lucky for me a local tool rental company was going out of business and I was able to get a great deal on a...have you figured it out yet? A wallpaper steamer! It's perfect, I just fill it with water, plug it in, wait about half an hour, and I have steam delivered safely at 12 psi. via a rubber hose with standard air hose quick connect fittings. So there it is, in simplified form, my ultimate home brewery. Or I guess I should say shop brewery, since my setup is at my workshop. I plug the hose from the wallpaper steamer into my SIMM, switch on the mixer, and I'm up and running. I use a thermometer which is installed through the side of the mash tun to read the temperature, and control things manually. I guess if I was really interested I could automate the thing, but so far it's been easy enough to use the thermometer, a timer, and the needle valve to run whatever mash regimen I need. If anyone is interested I could give more detailed info. - -- Gary Spykman G.J.W. Spykman, Furniture & Design 47 Victoria Street Keene, New Hampshire 03431 phone: 603.352.5656 fax: 603.352.5455 e-mail: mail at gjwspykman.com web site: www.gjwspykman.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2004 21:59:31 -0600 From: Bob Devine <bob.devine at worldnet.att.net> Subject: link of the week - disinfection effectiveness All of homebrewers have learned, sometimes by quite hard lessons, of the need for cleanliness. Well how good are the common methods of disinfecting? Cook's Illustrated, a great foodie magazine, looked at cleaning a kitchen sponge with boiling water, bleach, and normal cleaning. Results are measured in CFUs (colony forming units) for the bacteria found on the sponge after each cleaning attempt. Treatment Method: Post-treatment Bacteria Count 1. Boiling water (boiled hard for 3 minutes): 1,000 CFU 2. Bleach solution (soaked in 1/4 cup bleach and 4 cups water for 10 minutes): 2,000 CFU 3. Dishwasher (one regular cycle): 410,000 CFU 4. Soap and hot water (saturated for 2 minutes): 1,400,000 CFU 5. Freeze for 48 hours: 59,000,000 CFU http://www.cooksillustrated.com/article.asp?did=6570&bdc=78840 Standard recommendations for Pasteurization is to boil for 30 minutes or autoclave for 15 minutes. It could be argued that the sponge needed more than 3 minutes to adequately penetrate. And for homebrewers that use bleach, note that they used a 1/4 cup in a quart of water, quite a bit higher than the typical ratio for soaking carboys. Bob Devine Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 2004 13:03:50 +1000 From: Grant Family <grants at netspace.net.au> Subject: Re: New Mashing Ideas At 01:44 PM 21/08/04, you wrote: >Hey, I, too, want to believe I can reduce my mash time to 20 minutes, >but please give me some data to convince me it works! This thread on BeerTools came out when the HBD was in "recess" but got a good flogging on the Aussie digest at the time. A friend of mine corresponded with the guy ("Eric" - I thought it might be Eric Warner, but then he returned from Weihenstephan years ago...) and said there was no way he had been able to get even a 100% pils grist to convert in such a short time. Eric's response was to say that 20 mins at 2.8L/kg (~1.33qt/lb) at a temp of 67-8C (153-4F) should give you conversion. He suggested using coffee paper to filter the wort (emulating the vorlauf used in the sparge) which removes any grain particles which would otherwise give you an incorrect result with an iodine test. Even still, I'd have reservations. Firstly, 20mins at 153-4F will give you a very dextrinous wort even compared to 60mins at the same temp. Also, this style of mashing is less likely to be effective with grists with less enzymes (eg. a high proportion of Munich malt). I'm currently trying it out in any case. Cheers Stuart Grant Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 2004 08:37:19 -0700 From: John Palmer <jjpalmer at altrionet.com> Subject: Re: New Brewing/Mashing Ideas I think the most important idea to hang onto in these sorts of discussions is "Context". Commercial brewing is brewing at its finest and most controlled, but it done thru the arm of finance. When you read about a brewing method or technique that is stated as being better than current practice, are they talking about quality or money? The axiom: Faster, Better, Cheaper - Pick two out of three; applies to all industries, not just aerospace. So, with that thought in mind, let's look at these assertions. (Btw, thanks Charles for posting them, discussion is always good) 1. First Wort Hopping reduces head retention. As a junior brewing scientist, I have got to ask Why and How? And to what extent?! The proteins responsible for head retention can be affected by haze clarifiers, especially the early ones like papain, tannic acid, and bentonite, (Bamforth, ASBC Journal 57(3):81-90, 1999) but look at this context - additives to the wort to promote clarity and shelf life by reducing polyphenols and polypeptides, and the subsequent issues if too much is used. Well, you don't have the article in front of you like I do, but in summary, there is debate about how much the foaming polypeptides are affected. Different brewing chemists have differing data. My point: that accepting a factoid as a general fact is misleading. I will conjecture that FWH is not commonly used in Germany anymore because it may not be economical. 2. (Paraphrasing) Step mashing is of little value because beer drinkers can't perceive improved body due to higher dextrin content. Step mashing with modern malts does not accomplish all that it used to with less-modified malts. It is true that modern highly-modified malts (probably 90% of world production or more) do not benefit from a protein rest because the protein matrix has been fully broken down already during malting. But! that is not the only reason to step mash, you can also step mash using modern malts to change the fermentability profile - making it more fermentable or more dextrinous. Okay, so making a wort more dextrinous may not have a mouthfeel benefit according to one study. Fine, fine, you can still step mash to make the wort more or less fermentable for other reasons, depending on the style of beer you wish to produce. Not everyone brews for the same reasons. And as for extraction efficiency from the mash, that is very true, except that we are not commercial brewers and don't particularly care to achieve that optimum balance between yield and tannin extraction when continuous sparging. We can batch sparge or no-sparge and never worry about tannins in the wort, however long we mash, because the stable mash and sparge pH will inhibit tannin extraction. 3. Wort non-aeration. If you are a commercial brewer and can achieve your optimum yeast population for you batch before you pitch, then there are probably benefits for consistency of flavor from batch to batch. There are also issues with both overpitching and overaeration. I think there are many acceptable solutions. In summary, keep in mind that Weihenstephen and UC Davis and Seibel are about commercial brewing, and commercial brewing is about making the same beer every day at the best cost. When discussing "improvements" or "best practices" it is important to think about the author's priorities and consider the scale. Further discussion is welcome, but I now have to go read Green Eggs and Ham for the millionth time. (my best time is about 2 minutes I think) 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, 22 Aug 2004 15:54:36 -0700 From: Chris & Dianne <johnstonmaclean at shaw.ca> Subject: Growing Hops - Containers? Hi all. I plan to grow hops starting next spring and have a question. Has anyone successfully grown hops from containers, or MUST they be grown in the ground? I'm not sure how extensive their root system is, and I'd like to grow them in a very large pot on the deck, up over an arbour for shade. Any thoughts? Chris Victoria, British Columbia Canada Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 12:04:18 +1000 From: "Williams, Rowan" <Rowan.Williams at defence.gov.au> Subject: sec: unclass RE: Cutting the top off of kegs In #4582, Doug asked: >>>Both seem to have a problem with the width of the cutting edge not matching the target diameter. How do you overcome that? Brew on! Doug Moyer<<< Easy mate! Get fair dinkum and use a grinder - I used my trusty DeWalt grinder and cut the top off an empty and degassed ;-) sankey keg with one disk in about 3 minutes. Align the top of the grinder against the inside of the keg handle rim and use it as a guide to give you a perfect opening around the keg. Cut in a smooth fluid motion and avoid overheating the metal by hovering over the same spot on the lid as you cut down into the steel. This method is easy and safe to do because the blade is spinning on the opposite side of the operator, but still use safety gear - especially goggles! Clean up the very sharp cut edge with some sandpaper and you're in business... Cheers, Rowan Canberra Brewers, Australia [9588.6, 261.5] AR (statute miles) Return to table of contents
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