HOMEBREW Digest #4622 Thu 07 October 2004

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  Re: weissbier mashing ("Greg 'groggy' Lehey")
  Cavitation vs. Ventilation ("Mike Sharp")
  Tanal B ("zuvaruvi")
  Re: Warm Lager Fermentation - Thanks! ("Rowan Williams")
  sweet stuff ("-S")
  Re: Cider and "low attenuation" yeast (Fred Johnson)
  Aging cider? (Ed Jones)
  cavitation/oxidation (Joe Yoder)
  Re: Suitable Grain Mill for Batch Sparging? (Denny Conn)
  lambic question (Rob K)
  re:weissbier mash ("Rick Gordon")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 12:43:33 +0930 From: "Greg 'groggy' Lehey" <grog at lemis.com> Subject: Re: weissbier mashing On Tuesday, 5 October 2004 at 22:09:51 -0400, Ken Pendergrass wrote: > This summer's trip to Europe has left me with a taste for Bavarian weiss > even though I was only in Munich for about 3 hours and then on to > Austria. How much of weiss is the mash and how much the yeast. Heh. There have been lots of discussion about that. It's best to avoid the issue and say "there's a bit in both". > Is it really necessary to decoction mash with modern malts to make > an authentic weiss? I don't think many use decoction for Wei&szlig;bier (sorry, not allowed to write the correct letter in this mailing list; it's the German double s that looks like a Greek beta). But it's important to keep a rest at about 43&deg; (degree sign) Celsius, about 110&deg; Fahrenheit. Hanghofer recommends about 30 minutes. This encourages the formation of compounds that, in combination with the yeast, give the typical Wei&szlig;bier flavour. If you're looking for the flavour you found in Munich, Wyeast 3068 is probably the best choice of yeast. Greg - -- Finger grog at lemis.com for PGP public key. See complete headers for address and phone numbers. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2004 20:20:01 -0700 From: "Mike Sharp" <rdcpro at hotmail.com> Subject: Cavitation vs. Ventilation Marc Sedam states that cavitation won't oxidize your beer, and goes on to list an example. However, I have to disagree. Marc was describing what's called "ventilation", not cavitation, and the two are completely different things altogether. Ventilation occurs when low inlet pressure allows air into the fluid. Cavitation is simply the fluid boiling at low pressure. True, they often occur together, because low pressure can produce either or both. But to be accurate, they're not the same thing. At your wort's temperature when leaving the kettle, it doesn't take much of a pressure drop to cause boiling. It's probably worse at the impellor. But it would probably take a great deal more pressure drop to suck air in, unless your plumbing or pump housing was leaky. I don't doubt that this brewery had issues that were solved by replacing the pump head, but it wasn't cavitation. Chilling the wort before the pump is nice, but the head loss on the chiller can be a problem as well. What you need is called "Net Positive Suction Head." ;^) Regards, Mike Sharp Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2004 22:21:36 -0700 From: "zuvaruvi" <zuvaruvi at cox.net> Subject: Tanal B Anyone using Tanal B? Any anecdotal comments with regard to colloidal stability improvement? Haze reduction? Use in the mash? In the boil? Thanks, Chad Stevens QUAFF San Diego P.S. Jeff, how big is your suitcase? Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 00:02:20 -0700 From: "Rowan Williams" <rowan at canberrabrewers.org> Subject: Re: Warm Lager Fermentation - Thanks! Thanks to everyone for the insights into lager fermentations at higher than normal temps. Several yeast strains were mentioned and I intend to try at least a few of them and see how the beer turns out. Pat: Thanks for the tipoff, but I already pester Col on a regular basis as his shop is only a couple of klicks from my house! He has been a great supplier of Wyeast strains in the past and will continue to get my custom. I like making yeast starters to save a bit of money and so I tend to prefer the liquid yeasts to the dry yeasts. Mind you, I always have a few sachets of W34/70, S33 and K-97 on hand in case I have a flat starter on brewday! Dave: Yes, I have got a fridge, but it is still the household fridge number 2, and I haven't got the budget to go out and pick up a fridge temp controller (maybe Xmas will fix that ;-)). Marc: Thanks for the ideas re the California common yeast and the German Kolsch strain - I had my first taste of a Kolsch at last months brew club meeting and it won't be my last - it's great! And I have got some Saaz pellets in the freezer so the recipe is looking quite good! By the way, I didn't know they sold All Black tops in S.A.? Perhaps the kiwi's have an invasion going that they've kept to themselves? Lord knows they must be getting sick of Bondi! ;-) Steve D-J: Yep, I will have a go with the 2278 Czech Pils strain - I wonder if it ferments out quickly?? - The only time that the beer will be "warm" will be during primary fermentation. I can give the beer plenty of time to bulk cold condition in secondary, in the fridge. I hope 10C is cold enough - the 5 Gal plastic secondary fermenter has to share shelf space with the milk, butter, cat food etc! As I said, it's the household fridge number 2 until I buy SWMBO a nice new fridge later this year and commandeer this one for my nefarious purposes!! So, I will persist with a fermentation at 64F / 18C and then toss the secondary into the fridge for a few weeks at 10C. I have had success in the past with kit lagers using this method - I just wanted some assurance that I can get away with this technique using an all grain recipe. I now have that assurance and a way ahead - thanks again folks. Cheers, Rowan Williams Canberra Brewers Club [9588.6, 261.5] AR (statute miles) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 05:00:30 -0400 From: "-S" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: sweet stuff Marc Sedam makes many good points , among them ... > 3) Stevia powder > The question at hand is whether stevia powder is fermentable, not whether or > not it has calories. It's reportedly not fermentable and is stable over a decent temp and pH range. > As for the knock on Splenda...I don't consider > chlorinated sugar to be an abomination to man or ridiculously artificial. > I've drunk enough city water to ensure a chlorine intake in life. Not gonna > kill you or even hurt you. Uhhh - I know Marc knows better .... but of course free chlorine in tap water is not the same as the bound chlorine in Splenda. We all contain loads of easily dissociated chlorine salts and need them to survive. Our environment contains many chlorinated organic compounds - some which are notoriously dangerous to health and others harmless. The presence of the chlorine in organic compounds certainly raises concerns - but it's only a warning flag. The fact is that Splenda(sucralose) and the metabolic fate of it's components has been studied and as best anyone currently knows the stuff has little or no ill effects at very substantial doses. For stevia extracts (mostly the active diterpene glycosides ) duplicted studies showing some "metabolically activated steviol" product is mutagenic, but there is no demonstration this unidentified product occurs in human stevia consumption. Stevia reportedly causes insulin release which is to say it interferes with human hormonal systems. There is at least one study showing stevia lowering rat fertility. Stevia's safety is at best very murky. I am NOT suggesting that sucralose is entirely safe nor that stevia is harmful. I am suggesting that one judge such things on evidence rather than the romantic thought that "natural" equates to "safe" or the erroneous thought that a cursory look at chemical conformation can determine safety. OTOH safety isn't everything (or even very much) but that's for a different post. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 07:26:57 -0400 From: Fred Johnson <FLJohnson at portbridge.com> Subject: Re: Cider and "low attenuation" yeast Jon and Megan Sandlin recently asked the question of why not use a "low attenuation" yeast to leave a little residual sugar in cider. Certainly this is a reasonable question considering that the yeast companies describe their yeasts in terms of their level of attenuation, and one would assume that the figures for attenuation for the yeast are tell you what the yeast will do. Such was also my assumption until I repeated discovered that the figures often don't really apply. For example, many homebrewers have attributed low attenuation levels in their beers to the published yeast attenuation levels. But by far the most important factor in attenuation among homebrewers is not the yeast but the composition of the wort. Low attenuation is by a huge margin more likely due to unfermentables in the wort, not the particular characteristics of the yeast. So the figures published by the yeast companies are next to worthless in my opinion for most homebrewing applications. Unless the yeast companies were to get together and generate some standard wort with which they test all their yeasts and publish the attenuation levels under those conditions would I have any confidence that the attenuation numbers would be useful. Even then, the figures would only apply to the particular wort they tested and the figures would not tell you what to expect with your wort. I have complained about this on the digest on more than one occasion, and no one has refuted my position. Someone please set me straight if I'm missing something here. So if we apply this to cider, we find that cider contains very little nonfermentable sugars and that just about any yeast you can find will completely eat up these sugars, leaving you with a dry cider. I've tried adding lactose to cider and lots of it, but lactose isn't very sweet. I recommend Splenda, preferably the liquid concentrate available to the commercial food product folks, not the powder available to consumers. The latter is a very different product. Fred L Johnson Apex, North Carolina, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 05:41:22 -0700 (PDT) From: Ed Jones <cuisinartoh at yahoo.com> Subject: Aging cider? I saw a post in today's digest where the brewer said he was going to age his cider until the Spring or Summer. Does cider benefit from long-term aging? Perhaps I was wrong in thinking that after a couple of weeks in the fermenter, I'd rack to kegs, chill, carbonate, and age for a few weeks before drinking. Should I consider aging longer? I don't bottle anything anymore so that suggesstion is definitly out. :-) Thanks, Ed ===== Ed Jones - Columbus, Ohio U.S.A - [163.8, 159.4] [B, D] Rennerian "When I was sufficiently recovered to be permitted to take nourishment, I felt the most extraordinary desire for a glass of Guinness...I am confident that it contributed more than anything else to my recovery." - written by a wounded officer after Battle of Waterloo, 1815 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Oct 2004 09:13:19 -0500 From: Joe Yoder <headduck at swbell.net> Subject: cavitation/oxidation Marc Sedam wrote: 1) Pump issues Everyone hit on one clear solution--the valve on the outflow end of the pump. But there was a post in the mix that stated cavitation wouldn't oxidize the beer. That's not true. In fact cavitation can oxidize your beer faster than just about anything else. A pro brewery on the East Coast asked me to help troubleshoot a beer they were brewing that was having wicked oxidation problems. Nothing in the brewery had changed. I guessed that the pump had micro-cracks in the pump head that was sucking air in on the way to the fermenters, oxidizing the bejeezus out of their beers. They went back to the brewery and found that this indeed was the case, replaced the pump head, and had no further problems. Don't underestimate this as an issue. Cavitation did not cause the oxidation. It was damage to the pump that was caused by cavitation that caused the oxidation. This may seem to be a fine point, but it is significant and could lead people to misunderstand what cavitation is. Cavitation occurs when the vapor pressure of the liquid becomes higher than the critical level (boiling point), since the vapor in the pump is simply the vapor state of the liquid, it does not contain significant oxygen and will not oxidize the beer. It is still a poor practice to allow a pump to cavitate and it should be avoided at all costs, as it can damage the pump and a pump that sucks air WILL oxidize the beer. Joe Yoder Lawrence, KS Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Oct 2004 09:40:24 -0800 From: Denny Conn <denny at projectoneaudio.com> Subject: Re: Suitable Grain Mill for Batch Sparging? Steve Smith, in an attempt to save himself a few bucks, asks if a Corona mill would be suitable for crushing grains used in batch sparging. Steve, no matter what your sparge method, I still feel that crush is the #1 factor in efficiency. I use a JSP adjustable, and when I cranked the gap all the way down, I saw my efficiency rise 5-6 points. I'm not going to get into whether the Corona is suitable for crushing grain or not. The point is that the sparge method doesn't matter to the crush. If you think a Corona is suitable, go for it. Personally, I love my JSP! ----------------------->Denny Conn Noti OR Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 17:10:55 -0600 (GMT-06:00) From: Rob K <rngkent at earthlink.net> Subject: lambic question I have a two year old lambic that I would like to force carbonate instead of bottle.I understand that I would have to dedicate keg, and dispense lines to lambics, does it also mean I have to dedicate co2 tank and regulator? Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 21:32:55 -0400 From: "Rick Gordon" <regordon at bellsouth.net> Subject: re:weissbier mash My best Weizens have always been from decoction mashing, but I've made some excellent ones with a straight infusion mash. Get Eric Warner's book from the Assoc of Brewers for a good treatment of the style and decoction brewing in general. I think Eric also recommends an acidification step that I sometimes skip (it's been a while). Decocting requires a heat-able container to boil the decoction, but you return it to the main mash which, in theory, raises the temp of the whole mash close to appropriate levels. In practice I have never gotten this to work and always end up putting heat to my 30 liter keg/mash tun anyway. I wouldn't try it without a heat-able mash tun myself. Decoction mashing is a royal PITA (add an hour or more to your usual brew time) but I do think it improves the final product - lots of debate about that though. It may simply be that the extra attention required during a decoction brew session is what makes it come out better, but who am I to argue with success... For a first run, I would stick with what you know and do an infusion mash (relax, don't worry etc). The weizenbier character really mostly comes from the clove-ish/banana-ish contribution of the weizenbier yeast's fermentation byproducts. There is no substitute for a "real" weizenbier yeast and there are probably several strains available from your local HBS. American style wheat beers are fine, but they aren't the same. Prost! Rick Gordon Lilburn (Atlanta), GA Return to table of contents
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