HOMEBREW Digest #4606 Wed 15 September 2004

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  Groggy's beefs ("Pat Babcock")
  Mash Enzyme Optima (John Palmer)
  Re: Warm fermenting, part 2! (Scott Alfter)
  Optimum pH ("A.J deLange")
  Re:  Autoclaving equipment ("Dennis Collins")
  Spirit of Belgium 2005 - January 14-16 ("Rick Garvin")
  Re: Growing Brett & Belgium (Joe Preiser)
  New kegger having problems -- they won't hold pressure! ("markmier@netzero.com")
  Warm weather yeast ("Nick Nikiforov")
  HERMS set temperature (Steve Funk)
  sec: unclass Brew Stand Design ("Williams, Rowan")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 01:24:39 -0400 From: "Pat Babcock" <pbabcock at hbd.org> Subject: Groggy's beefs Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your... Ah, forget it. Though I don't believe that within the Digest is the place for the rest of this discussion, I will address it here since Greg's comments appeared here, and in the hopes of allaying any forthcoming comments. The Digest is *NOT* the correct place to make suggestions for Digest operation. I would also appreciate private email stating a problem rather than the segways into a posting, such as that which Greg provided - it's not just him, though: many others have as well. The place to communicate with me is through my email address; not through a Digest post. To his first comment, Western-ASCII; not Western European (ISO 8859-1). In the "Old Days" there was such a beast. Perhaps it's time to strike that option from the FAQ since it is apparently confusing people and/or the WESTERN-ASCII label no longer exists. In the future, I hope to modify the Digest to substitute "legal" characters for those it encounters from non-ASCII character sets, automatically convert HTML to plain text, and to automagically wrap long lines; however, there are many other projects in the queue ahead of these, and, in terms of coding, it's now a solo act. First, though, I will modify the code as you suiggested: to show the offending line for the non-ASCII stuff. Second, yes. My mailer, too, is encumbered with the modern inflexibility in setting lines lengths, so, to follow the HBD rules, I must manually chop them if I wish to post from this mailer. And since I missed chppping one line in my reply to you, the Digest rejected my post and I had to resubmit - just like everyone else's. Third, publishing the SPAM trigger words would make the technique rather pointless. There would be those intrepid spammers who would put the list to good use, limiting the protection it affords the Digest. I will publish those words that are not SPAM triggers and that also make the server simply die on a post so that they can be avoided in posts. Fourth, yes. It is necessary to preclude mail having p*stmaster in it from reaching the Diges - mail that *should* have gone to the p*stmaster address does not belong in the Digest; therefor, it makes sense to prevent such mail from entering the queue. You, as a Digest reader, would derive little value in knowing that so-and-so's mailbox is over its limit, or has been suspended, or the other administrivia that normally comes with that address attached. And, if a sysadmin couldn't figure out how to configure his/her server to send error messages to the errors-to address rather than the reply address, chances are the rest of their configuration is flaky, and those notes would be of limited informational value even to me. Certain of your comments have prompted ideas which will enhance the Digest's functionality and user-friendlines. Thank you, I do appreciate it; however, I'll say it again: the Digest itself isn't the place for this discussion. Private email will suffice. - -- See ya! Pat Babcock in SE MI pbabcock at hbd.org Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2004 23:27:45 -0700 From: John Palmer <jjpalmer at altrionet.com> Subject: Mash Enzyme Optima Yesterday Greg asked a question about what the actual optimums are for the mash temperature and pH for Alpha and Beta Amylase, regarding a message on the German homebrewing forum. In short, different sources have different sets of numbers. And, because of the .3 pH difference between mash temperature and room temperature, you have to be cognizant of what temperature the reading was taken at, or know that the source is quoting the pH as measured at the standard temperature of 20C. For instance: Malting and Brewing Science, Volume 1, p.279 9.14 - Mashing and pH "The addition of some salts to the mash alters the pH as outlined above. In addition the pH of a mash or wort alters with the temperature. At 65C (149F) the pH of the mash will be about .35 unit less than at 18C (65F), owing to the greater dissociation of the acidic buffer substances present. Therefore enzymes whose pH optima are known from determinations at 20C (68F) appear to have a higher pH optima in the mash if this is cooled, as is usual, before the pH is determined. An infusion mash is best carried out at pH 5.2-5.4. Consequently the pH in the cooled wort will be 5.5-5.8." And as an example of one notable source: Kunze, W., Technology of Brewing and Malting, 2nd Ed. p. 193 Beta Amylase: 62-65C (144-149F) pH 5.4-5.5 Alpha Amylase: 72-75C (162-167F) pH 5.6-5.8 (these pH optima are likely quoted at 20C) Also, the type of starch substrate seems to make a difference as well as how the alpha and beta are separated. Lots of room for interpretation here. 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: Tue, 14 Sep 2004 23:55:03 -0700 From: Scott Alfter <scott at alfter.us> Subject: Re: Warm fermenting, part 2! On Tue, 14 Sep 2004 at 10:54:56 -0400, pacman at cox.net wrote: > This morning I received a whole lot of email saying > that I should try Belgian styles, which are fermented > at much warmer temperatures than many other ales. > I enjoy a good Belgian, so I decided to do some > Googling. Unfortunately I am getting mixed messages. > > See: http://brewery.org/library/mashtun/belg.html > > brewery.org says repeatedly that these styles are > fermented at below 65 degrees. The few belgian styles > that don't say below 65 degrees don't say anything at > all. So I ask you this: which Belgian styles of beer > should be fermented (and I mean the entire fermentation, > I cannot do any of it below 77 degrees, and really, > I'm looking at close to 80. Randy Mosher wrote recently that abbey ales have been fermented as high as 80 degrees; this is done, in part, to encourage production of the esters that give a good dubbel or tripel its character. I recently made a tripel that turned out fairly well, with a fair amount of clove flavor to it. It was fermented at 76 (room temperature, since the beer fridge currently has a Jever clone lagering in it) with WLP500. The recipe is something like this: * 6.5 lbs. extra-light DME (the lightest you can get) * 2 lbs. turbinado sugar * 1 lb. Cara-Hell malt * 2 oz. E. Kent Goldings 6% 60 min. before end * 1 oz. Saaz 4% 15 min. before end * WLP500 Trappist Ale yeast (make a starter) Steep the grain in a bag for 30 minutes in one gallon at 150 degrees. Fish the bag out, add another gallon of water, add the extract and sugar, and bring to a boil. Boil for 60 minutes, with hops added according to the times listed above. Chill, rack into the fermenter, top off to make 5 gallons, pitch the yeast, and let it bubble away for a couple or three weeks at room temperature before packaging. _/_ Scott Alfter / v \ Visit the SNAFU website today! (IIGS( http://snafu.alfter.us/ Top-posting! \_^_/ rm -rf /bin/laden >What's the most annoying thing on Usenet? Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 12:56:00 +0100 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Optimum pH As I mentioned in yesterday's post I was in Belgium last week (to Jim Liddil: get away from Brussels' crowds of tourists; drink any beer anywhere - you won't be dissapointed) for the XI DeClerck Chair which is a conference presented every other year jointly by the faculties of the KUL and UCL (both translating as Catholic University of Louvain but the former being in Leuven where Flemish is spoken and the latter in Leuvain-la-Neuve where French is the language). The old hands will recognize the name of Jean DeClerck, arguably the worlds foremost brewing scientist, living or dead, whose 2 volume "A Textbook of Brewing" is seldom out of reach even though it was published in the 50's. The title of this year's conference was "The pH Paradox in the Malting and the Brewing Process". Academics, brewers (from little outfits like Interbrew) and one home brewer (you can probably guess who that was and to this day I still don't know how this came to pass) presented papers on the effects of pH on the various aspects of beer making. Simply put, the paradox is that there is no optimum pH. As Greg's post of yesterday points out alpha amylase works best at a range of pH's that is quite removed from the best range for beta and these are just 2 enzymes of the hundreds involved so in answer to his question as to whether there are other factors the answer is "Yes, lots". Some of these have to do with FAN production, wort and beer viscosity (which are more important to commercial brewers who have to filter the stuff), colloidal stability, microbiological stability, flavor stability, Maillard (browning reactions) and on and on. The last presentation was on the traditional acid beers of Belgium and the chairman of that session observed that these beers violate nearly all the guidelines presented during the preceding three days of papers. So there it is. An optimum pH would only exist as a mathematical abstraction: the pH which maximizes the weighted sum of desireable beer attributes (e.g. you'd have to trade off things like fermentability and longevity in the bottle). Practically speaking, strike pH's of 5.2 - 5.6 should serve most of us as homebrewers with the best point (the one that produces the best beer) in that range determined experimentally. Let me leave the technical for a minute to comment on the social. The differences between drinking beer with guys who bought more breweries last year than the total gallonage you have brewed in your lifetime are amazingly few. I think a brewer is a brewer is a brewer at whatever the scale and they all seem to be nice folks! A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 09:17:36 -0400 From: "Dennis Collins" <dcollins at drain-all.com> Subject: Re: Autoclaving equipment John Harvey in HBD 4604 laments an infected brew. Alas, John, I feel your pain. After a long period of success, to get an infected batch is certainly disheartening. I recently spoiled an entire batch of IPA and I was devastated. However, don't panic. I hardly think that autoclaving your equipment is necessary. When I threw out my IPA, I did do some "house cleaning", and have brewed 3 perfectly good batches since, and autoclaving wasn't on my list of fixes. Here are some things that I think will help: 1. Are you handling your yeast properly? Are you making starters using proper sanitation techniques? I would look at this first. 2. Taste your starter before you pitch. I know this sounds weird, but you can head off a disaster with just one simple taste. No, it won't taste like beer, but believe me, if your starter has gone south, you will know it. Just flame the rim of your starter jug really good and pour a little of the starter wort into a shot glass before you pitch it into your wort. Keep some dry yeast handy in case you discover that your starter is bad. 3. Replace your plastic hoses periodically. Plastic does not last forever and it's relatively cheap, so do this probably once a year depending on how often you brew. 4. Brew often. Equipment that sits around for months at a time accumulates "stuff". The more you use it, the less time that "stuff" has to make a home in your equipment. 5. Don't EVER put your equipment away wet. This includes hoses. After you rinse out your hoses, grab them by the end and spin them around quickly to get rid of as much moisture as possible. Hang them vertically in an area that gets some circulation, don't put them into a closed box. 6. Ferment in glass, or replace your plastic fermenter periodically. Plastic doesn't last forever as I've mentioned before. Small scratches (or big ones for that matter) can harbor nasties that may never come clean. I know there are a lot of people here who swear by plastic fermenters, but I'm not disparaging plastic at all. I'm just saying that you will decrease your risk of infection by going with glass or getting a new plastic bucket. You said you were paranoid, so I think this is a perfectly reasonable recommendation. 7. Use a no rinse sanitizer. Removing a piece of equipment from a sanitizing solution, shaking off the excess, and using it immediately will go a long way towards minimizing infection. My sanitizer of choice is Iodophor mixed to 12.5 ppm, but there are others to choose from as well. 8. Lastly, take a close look at all your post boil procedures. Minimize the time from knock-out to installing an air lock, and minimize the number of items that actually contact the wort. From the time the burner is turned off, cover your kettle if possible. Leave your hoses in sanitizer until right before you use them. I am certain you can fix your problem with resorting to an autoclave. Hope these suggestions help. Dennis Collins Knoxville, TN http://sdcollins.home.mindspring.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 10:08:43 -0400 From: "Rick Garvin" <rgarvin at garvin.us> Subject: Spirit of Belgium 2005 - January 14-16 The Brewers United for Real Potables (BURP) homebrew club is sponsoring the Spirit of Belgium 2005 Conference on January 14 through January 16, 2005 in Arlington, Virginia. This celebration of Belgian and Belgian-Style Beer will feature speakers from Belgium, England and the United States. More information is available at http://www.burp.org/events/sob/2005/. Cheers, Rick Rick Garvin, rgarvin at burp.org BURP Fearless Leader Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 09:50:52 -0500 From: Joe Preiser <jpreiser at jpreiser.com> Subject: Re: Growing Brett & Belgium > > Subject: Growing Brett > > I have heard that Arthur Tome of the Pizza Port has produced a beer > fermented with all brett. Anyone have sucess growing Brett into a > culture that would be able to do this? I have had very poor luck > keeping it alive as it grows. Does ok in the lambic/orval clone when > it is mixed. > > Yes, I have read the lambic faqs. > > Thanks, > Bill in Southern CT > > > Bill, I haven't tried culturing Brett. I can confirm that Tomme Arthur did indeed have a beer at this year's AHA Conference that was fermented with 100% Brettanomyces. It, however, wasn't one of the usual two Brett. strains we're used to (B. lambicus & B. bruxellensis). I believe it was B. anomalous. Don't ask me where he got it (probably wine country) or how he cultured it though. > ------------------------------ > > Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2004 10:27:32 -0700 (MST) > From: Jim Liddil <jliddil at VMS.ARIZONA.EDU> > Subject: Belgium > > Long time reader mainly lurking for a while. I finally have a > chance > to go to Belgium. i'll be staying in Brussels. I will only be there three > days. So can folks suggest a must see bar, beer stores and choolate shop? > Any beer that you would only have in Belgium? A must have? any other cool > suggestions welcome. > > Jim Liddil > North Haven, CT > > Jim, some places to visit in Brussels are: Bier Circus (Awesome beer selection) Rue de l'Enseignement, 89 (through at least the end of the year) -then- Rue de l'Enseignement, 57 (new home sometime Feb-Mar 2005) La Mort Subite (Sells unsweetened Mort Subite lambic) [not owned by the brewery producing the lambic of the same name] 7 rue des Montagnes aux Herbes Potageres In 't Spinnekopke ("In the spider's web") [Great food-usually cooked w/ beer-for dinner] 1 Place Du Jardin Aux Fleurs There are several beer cafes (bars) around the Manneken Pis statue. I can't remember their names at this time. There's the Brewer's Guild Hall in the Grand Place and a brewpub on one of the streets leading to the Grand Place but the latter wasn't that good when I last tried it a couple years ago. In case you weren't aware, meals in Belgium aren't what we're used to in the US. Depending on where you're staying, breakfast will be Continental with the possibility of a hard-boiled egg and cold cuts. Locals usually have a cold plate of cheese & pickled veggies for lunch. Dinner is the big deal and is usually a multi-course event; often with a set menu. "Snacks" are available throughout the day and are quite substantial and always of good quality. They include the Belgian national food, frites, spaghetti, lasagna, kababs (similar to gyros), etc.; all freshly made. There are _tons_ of restaurants all around the Grand Place. In 't Spinnekopke offers great beer and the food is excellent and often prepaired with beer. They serve beer during the day but only serve food (IIRC) in the evening. Can't help you on the chocolate front. The shops around the Grand Place will carry some high quality stuff but you'll pay dearly for it. Joe Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 15:06:53 GMT From: "markmier at netzero.com" <markmier@netzero.com> Subject: New kegger having problems -- they won't hold pressure! Greetings from a long time lurker, first time poster. I've been brewing extracts/cider/mead for about 10 years now. A few months ago I finally made the plunge and bought a Cornelius kegging system from morebeer.com. I'm very happy with it for the most part, or I should say I am very happy with the one keg that actually works. I'm not very happy with the quality of (4 of the 5) used kegs I got. Out of 5 kegs that I bought, I can only get one of them (currently full of IPA) to hold pressure. I am wondering if there is any trick to it. When I got them, I also bought new gaskets and all kinds of spare parts, extra poppets, posts, relief valves, lubes and all that. When I got the kegs from morebeer, I totally took them all completely apart, cleaned everything, replaced all the gaskets and some of the poppets, lubed up the posts with the thicker paste lube (a morebeer product), and lubed up the gaskets with the spray lube (also a morebeer product). Actually, one of them had the posts so stuck that I had to lengthen my ratchet with a pipe, and used another pipe for leverage to pry off the post. I damaged the threads on that one, which was I guess my fault but the post just would not come off any other way. And now, like I said, 4 of the 5 kegs won't hold pressure. At all. It leaks out noticeably as soon as I turn on the gas. 2 of them from the lid, and 2 of them from poppets. What am I doing wrong? I've tried every permutation of post/different poppets/spacer rings (some of them came with white plastic spacer rings that fit underneath the poppet), and I've tried replacing the lid gaskets, lubing, not lubing... I don't know what else to do. Did I just have bad luck and end up with 4/5 junky kegs? Does anyone have any suggestions of what else I can try? By the way, the 5th keg works like a charm. :) Mark Mierzejewski Kirkland, WA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 16:01:20 -0400 From: "Nick Nikiforov" <NNikifor at dos.state.ny.us> Subject: Warm weather yeast It has always a challenge for me to keep a steady ferment temp of 70 degrees. I brew ales and starting out I was constantly getting ferment temps between 70 and 75. Definitely do NOT use Nottingham dry yeast if you are at 76 degrees. The off-flavors are not as nice as the fruitiness you get from WL Burton, European, or British Ale yeasts. I now ferment in an old chest freezer in my cellar that maintains a constant temp all summer of 70 degrees +-2degrees. In the winter the inside is around 55. The freezer is 50 years old and I have never turned it on. It was in the cellar when I moved into the house. Glad I kept it. Fits three 5 gallon buckets. Nick Albany NY Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 16:21:51 -0700 From: Steve Funk <steve at hheco.com> Subject: HERMS set temperature I would like to ask the HERMS users in this group about the set temperature for the heat exchange media. This is water in a HLT for me. When performing temperature ramps, should the set temperature be close to the target temperature or can it be set a fair bit higher? In other words, is there a limit on the set temperature that shouldn't be exceeded in order to prevent permanently denaturing the enzymes? Can the mash enzymes tolerate a brief period of say 88C/190F? Obviously, I would like to set the temperature to the highest tolerable value to minimize ramp times. I have PID control on the heater in the HLT, so risk of temperature overshoot is minimal. What is the highest set temperature that isn't detrimental to the mash process? Thanks, Steve Stevenson, WA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2004 11:46:07 +1000 From: "Williams, Rowan" <Rowan.Williams at defence.gov.au> Subject: sec: unclass Brew Stand Design G'day all, After being chased out of the kitchen by SWMBO who prefers the smell of freshly baked pies to the aroma of my bittering hops (pagan woman!!), I need to build a brew stand for my all grain system that I'm currently developing. I need a brew stand that will hold a 5 Gal Electric HLT, 10 Gal Rubbermaid mashtun and a keg shaped kettle with three ring burner. I have a counterflow chiller, but no pump so I need to design a gravity fed system. Now, I'll readily admit that I'm no chippie, but I reckon I could build a stand with slotted steel angle, a grinder and my cordless drill with a 10mm screwdriver socket. Does anybody know of a website (other than morebeer or brewtree.com) that has plenty of design plans or pictures of brew stands that I could look at to assist me in designing my own brewing sculpture? Thanks in advance, Rowan Williams Canberra Brewers Club [9588.6, 261.5] AR (statute miles) Return to table of contents
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