HOMEBREW Digest #463 Thu 19 July 1990

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Yeast starter and wort cooler design mod... ("Gary F. Mason - Image Systems - MKO2-2/K03 - 603884[DTN264]-1503  17-Jul-1990 2051")
  Cream Ale Recipies (Chris Barrett (x37253))
  Wheat beer heads... (Jason Goldman)
  BrewBags, canned extracts and Tradition (S_KOZA1)
  Re: My Daddy's Old Beer Recipe -- a diatribe (Chris Shenton)
  Re: Botulism from malt syrup (a.e.mossberg)
  coors announcement                                           (BOWLINT)
  Brew in bag, botulism (Jay H)
  re German beers/yeast (Chip Hitchcock)
  Re: Botulism from malt syrup (Len Reed)
  Re: Homebrew Digest #462 (July 18, 1990) (Pavel Svitek)
  Soldering and your wort chiller. (Charlie Woloszynski)
  Why Mash?  Well, ... (Martin A. Lodahl)
  various (Pete Soper)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 17 Jul 90 18:01:28 PDT From: "Gary F. Mason - Image Systems - MKO2-2/K03 - 603884[DTN264]-1503 17-Jul-1990 2051" <mason at habs11.enet.dec.com> Subject: Yeast starter and wort cooler design mod... In perusing various notes about starters for yeast, I see more than a few references to adding a small amount of hops to the canned, sterilized wort. There are some exceptions, of course. What is the purpose of the hops? I remembered a note I had seen somewhere (I would credit, but I forgot the source) that mentioned Ts in the cooler. So, I have changed my design to have the two concentric coils each feed cold water in (rather than one long loop being heated the whole way), and exhaust to a single pipe on the way out. That should raise the efficiency considerably. Thanks Stan, for suggesting the ground copper from heavy romex to tie the parts together. Almost ready for the first batch! Cheers...Gary Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 90 07:49:13 EDT From: barrett at Kodak.COM (Chris Barrett (x37253)) Subject: Cream Ale Recipies Full-Name: I've never seen an recipies for cream ales, anybody have one they would like to share? Thanks. Chris Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 90 07:47:31 mdt From: Jason Goldman <jdg at hp-lsd.cos.hp.com> Subject: Wheat beer heads... Regarding Jack Turin's remarks on William's Wheat Advertising copy: I have used their extract and found it to be very good, exhibiting all of the qualities I look for in a wheat beer, including a great head. In addition to Florian's remarks, I'll add that you may want to make absolutely certain that your glass or mug is thoroughly rinsed. A trace of detergent can destroy any head. Jason Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 90 10:31 EST From: <S_KOZA1%UNHH.BITNET at MITVMA.MIT.EDU> Subject: BrewBags, canned extracts and Tradition Hi All, Recent chastising of BrewBags and a referral to the making of beer using canned malt extracts as little more than "instant pudding" brings up the important question of heritage and tradition in the art of homebrewing. Where as some brewers would consider anything less than growing, malting and extracting all of your grains, as well as growing your own hops, to be the only truly traditional and correct way to brew others may feel that the BrewBag concept is equally correct and don't really care that all tradition flies out the window as long as they enjoy the final product. In this entire spectrum I think it safe to assume that most of us lie somewhere between these two extremes. One question that every homebrewer must decide individually relates to how heavily do they weigh tradition and heritage with respect to ease, sim- plicity and cost. As there are probably as many answeres to this question as there are homebrewers we must be careful not to judge anothers techniques or style on the basis of our own feelings or beliefs. Happy Fermentations, Stephan M. Koza Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 90 11:15:59 EDT From: Chris Shenton <chris at asylum.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: Re: My Daddy's Old Beer Recipe -- a diatribe >>>>> On Tue, 17 Jul 90 12:18:41 -0700, Stephen E. Hansen <hansen at gloworm.Stanford.EDU> said: Stephen> [...amature chemistry experiment elided...] Stephen> This should make 5 cases of pint bottles of beer equal to or Stephen> superior to Millers High Life. Proof about 5 1/2%. The recipe was amusing in its naivete, but how much better are ours? We don't seem to have much better of an understanding of things than he did. The usual controversies point this out: aluminum/stainless? boil the grains? extract versus all-grain? And most of our ingredients -- like his - -- don't tell us enough about themselves to allow reproducibility: what *is* in that can of extract? do you know what your grain's Lovibond is? How many of you have gotten your water analyzed? We need to demand that our suppliers tell us what they're selling us, and get more serious with our technique. I hate seeing First Place recipes in Zymurgy which say something like ``Initial Gravity: unknown''; I mean, come on! it must have been pure luck that the batch turned out well! And the whole Homebrew Bittering Units, Alpha Acid Units, etc nonsense is worthless. Noonan begins to talk sense when he uses metrics which relate hop-bittering potential independent of batch size. Pete Soper sent me a great essay on this subject and points out that the utilization is greatly affected by wort pH, dissolved minerals, vigor of boil, ad nauseum. Frankly, I'm continually surprised that we can produce beers as `good' as Miller at all -- it seems a real crap-shoot. At least Miller et al are using some science... Sorry for flaming, but that old-time recipe really brought into focus how close *our* brewing `science' is to witch-doctoring. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 90 15:27:45 GMT From: aem at mthvax.CS.Miami.EDU (a.e.mossberg) Subject: Re: Botulism from malt syrup Paul Mitchelman writes: >there is not proper sterilization. By the way, according to Burrows' >Textbook of Microbiology, 7 oz of botulinum type A would "suffice to >kill the entire population of the world." But how often can you buy botulism virus at the store? :-) aem - -- a.e.mossberg / aem at mthvax.cs.miami.edu / aem at umiami.BITNET / Pahayokee Bioregion Speak in French when you can't think of the English for a thing. - Lewis Carroll Return to table of contents
Date: 18 Jul 90 09:51 +0000 From: BOWLINT%AC%CSC at CSC.ISU.EDU Subject: coors announcement Greetings From Idaho!!! Mike Northam writes about Coors announcement: "Coors said the special strains of barley used in Coors products are grown only at higher elevations in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming." I feel compelled to dispute the information or at least clarify. Just for your information That's not the only reason that Coors grows in the Intermountain west and is expanding it's storage facility. Anheiser Bush is currently constructing a large malting plant it the city where I live, Idaho Falls, Id., this is about 130 miles from Burley. It's storage capacity will be 6 million bushels at the plant, and they are also constructing additional storage facilities with a capacity of 10 million bushels just north of town. They expect to be able to produce an equal amount of malting barley at this facility with production expected to begin in may of 92'. I suspect that Coors is worried that Bush may corner the market in South East Idaho or that with increased competition force barley prices higher (Good news for the farmers, bad news for consumers). Enough politics.. My Name Is Tracy Bowlin and as mentioned above I live in South East Idaho. Idaho Falls is located 100 miles South of the West entrance to Yellowstone Natl. Park, and an equal distance from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I have never brewed at home but have grown Hops for many years as a hobby and have been making (great) wine at home from fruit grown in my yard. Unfortunately wine is not as thirst quenching as a good cold brew on a hot day so I was hoping that I may pick up a few ideas from the interchange here and possibly begin brewing at home in the near future. All suggestions for material to read and sources of information and supplies will be gratefully welcomed. Thankx in advance.... Tracy Bowlin Bowlint at csc.isu.edu  Return to table of contents
Date: 17 Jul 90 23:15:41 EDT From: Jay H <75140.350 at compuserve.com> Subject: Brew in bag, botulism Regarding brew in a bag. From what I have heard it is basically a gimmick for those who have never brewed before, are inclined to try it but don't want to purchase the equipment w/out seeing some sample of the likely product. I have heard the results are not that great. If you know any homebrewers I'd sample their stuff and go the real route, if not for the same price as you can buy beer it's probably worth a try. Regarding botulism and beer, I thought I had seen it in CJOHB that unlike wine nothing poisonous will grow in beer, at least w/out your really knowing the beer is spoiled (I was trying to speed oxidize a beer for a Dr. Beer session and got a really foul contaminant). Now this may only apply to wort, and not extracts in cans (i.e post boil vs. pre-boil) any biologists out there?? - Jay H Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 90 10:34:22 EDT From: cjh at peoria.eng.ileaf.com (Chip Hitchcock) Subject: re German beers/yeast >Secondly, are there any bottles that I may want to bring home >for the purpose of culturing some great german yeast? Papazian's report on a recent trip to Germany says that some (most?) of the breweries that still bottle-carbonate their beer filter out the fermenting yeast and put in another species---low byproduct? low autolysis? (not clear)--- so you may not get what you want from cultivating sediment from German bottles. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 90 9:24:12 EDT From: hplabs!holos0!lbr (Len Reed) Subject: Re: Botulism from malt syrup In #462 michelma at division.cs.columbia.edu (Paul Michelman) writes of Botulism and notes that the toxin in inactivated by boiling. As Paul notes, Clostridium botulinum is an anarobe commonly found in soil. This is why it is especially worrisome in home-canned vegetables. The organism grows in the cans, giving off the deadly toxin. Boiling will disable the toxin, but boling the cans (i.e., simple canning without pressure) won't kill C. botulinum. This is because the organism forms spores that can't be killed except by the higher temperatures of pressure canning. But you don't need to kill the microbe. It is sufficient to prevent it from growing (and hence making toxin). Traditionally, some things such as tomatoes have been canned without pressure. The low pH of canned tomatoes prevents the organism from growing in the cans. Some authorities now recommend pressure canning even tomatoes to be sure, especially since some new strains of tomatoes are less acidic. An alternative is to add acid, perhaps citric acid, when canning. Well, wort is very acidic. I simple-can wort for use in making starters. If the pH of wort is low, shouldn't the pH of concentrated wort be lower? (Here I betray my woeful ignorance of chemistry.) I don't know what the pH of malt extract is, but I suspect C. Botulinum wouldn't grow in it. Many microbes won't grow if the sugar content is too high--this is the principle behind making jelly. I don't have the faintest idea of how sugar concentration affects C. Botulinum, though. There's another way to look at this. If C. botulinum could grow in wort, it could probably grow in bottled beer. (The hops do have some inhbiting effect on microbes.) If that were true, home bottling of beer would be dangerous indeed. It isn't. A great truth of home brewing is that things that grow in beer ruin beer, but not people. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 90 11:02:25 PDT From: pxs at Iago.Caltech.Edu (Pavel Svitek) Subject: Re: Homebrew Digest #462 (July 18, 1990) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 90 13:16:12 EDT From: chw at barnardstar.bellcore.com (Charlie Woloszynski) Subject: Soldering and your wort chiller. In Monday's digest, there was a posting (I forgot by whom) from a fellow brewer who was going to solder some supports between loops in his wort chiller. I'm not sure its a problem, but solder has significant levels of lead in it (~50% depending on the type) and I would be worried that this lead may poison your beer. I seem to remember some comments in Papazian regarding the construction of a wort chiller and using copper wire twisted through the piping to hold it together. That's how I built mine; it's not pretty but works great. Charlie Woloszynski chw at barnardstar.bellcore.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 90 11:02:05 PDT From: Martin A. Lodahl <hplabs!pbmoss!mal> Subject: Why Mash? Well, ... In HOMEBREW Digest #459, Mitch Evans has been increasing the sophistication of his brewing, and asks: > If it's so easy this way, why do folks mash & sparge? Why do anything the easy way, when ... Actually, the method of steeping specialty grains in sub-boiling water works well for extracting the flavor of the grains, but is less than adequate for producing fermentable wort. Malted barley contains some sugars, but is mainly starch. Mashing dissolves the starch, coincidentally releasing enzymes that convert the starches to sugars. These enzymes do their best work at different temperatures and pH, so the characteristics of the wort can be varied over a surprising range by controlling the time, temperature, and pH (and thickness, but let's not make it TOO complex 8-) of the mash, giving the brewer control over the final result that ready-mashed extract could never offer. And let's face it, seeing the mash change as radically as it does between doughing-in and mashing-out makes me feel like an alchemist, trafficking with mysterious powers to transmute materials ... Oh, and by the way, the high kilning required to produce crystal malt, chocolate malt, black patent malt, etc. kills most of these enzymes, so as long as you're looking for flavor from the grains and fermentables from the extract, you're not losing anything by choosing to steep instead of mash. And in HOMEBREW Digest #460, Chris Shenton asked: >Does everyone out there do infusion? seems easiest, and allows you to use >your lauter tun as a mash tun... > >To those who do step-infusion: how are you doing it, on the stove? I do step-infusion. The pale ale malt that responds well to a single-step infusion isn't locally available, and I've had such good results from stovetop mashing that I've never felt the lack. I use an enamelled steel kettle of about 3 or 4 gallons, with a lauter tun made from a plastic wastebasket on the false-bottom-and-grain-bag principle, following Miller's recommendations. Works great. Constant stirring and careful temperature control are important. >Do any of you use decoction? I'd love to hear the answer to this one. Decoction looks intriguing, but I've never tried it. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 90 23:46:25 EDT From: Pete Soper <soper at maxzilla.encore.com> Subject: various Chris Shenton <chris at asylum.gsfc.nasa.gov> writes: >Does everyone out there do infusion? seems easiest, and allows you to use >your lauter tun as a mash tun... I find Miller's stove top method easier and less error prone than infusion or decoction. With Miller's method you dough-in as usual but then simply heat the mash to each rest temperature with the stove instead of adding calculated amounts of boiling water or mash. I did many step-infusion mashes and one decoction mash before switching and have never regretted the change. Stove top mashing is described in Miller's book "The Complete Handbook of Homebrewing". winter%cirrusl at oliveb.ATC.olivetti.com (Keith Winter) writes: > I'm interested in knowing more about this. [slotted pipe mash/lauter tuns] >Does anyone have the description saved that they could send me? The two descriptions I know of are in Bill Owen's book "How to Build A Small Brewery", published by American Brewer Magazine (ISBN 0-9602462-7-4) and the 1986 "All-Grain" special issue of "Zymurgy". My posting wasn't so much a description as a set of questions in preparation for making a new lauter tun. What I made was simply a tun giving a narrower but deeper filter bed and less tendency toward evaporative heat loss than a tun made with the usual large rectangular cooler. The down sides are that my tun is too small to mash in and cutting slots in spiral wound pipe is virtually impossible with a hacksaw (I used a Dremel tool with an abrasive cutoff wheel). Here is a quick description of the Owen's design: A length of 3/8" OD copper tubing is run back and forth a few times along the bottom of a picnic cooler. It is plugged on one end and the other end is fed out through the drain hole (with a tight fit). Slots are cut with a hacksaw, slightly off of perpendicular and 1/3 through the tubing on what will be the bottom side, spaced 1/2 to 2 inches apart. For a 53 quart cooler 11 feet of tubing is called for. The 53 quart cooler is aimed at 10 gallon batches and it should be appreciated that for a 5 gallon batch the grain bed depth might be marginal (IMHO). Owens specifies 1/2 inch spacing for the slots in his booklet but all of his illustrations very clearly show 2 inch spacing, so you figure it out. In operation the grain is either doughed-in and mashed in the cooler using infusion or decoction techniques or else is mashed elsewhere and added to the cooler after mash-off. Sparge water is added either with an elaborate sprinkler scheme (1/2" tubing with a series of small holes drilled along the sides) or else it is just poured in carefully as needed to keep the grain bed submerged. >On another note, I've noticed that in the past couple of digests, the >recipes that have been posted call for 'water crystals'. Now, I'm a "Water crystals" are a mixture of gypsum and epsom salts used to adjust the the mineral content of brewing water. Bill Crick wrote: >Someone asked about fining yeast out of beer to avoid the diacytl reduction. I helped conduct a yeast experiment this year and one thing we found was that for the light gravity beers we made and which were fermented at 65 degrees, Wyeast #1007 produced a *lot* of diacetyl while Wyeast #1084 produced a very noticeable amount. This was with normal aeration and no special fining and the beer was bottled very soon after fermentation had stopped. >J. L. Palladino writes: > What is the current consensus on Edme dry yeast? This yeast came out on top of the other (5) dried yeasts in the experiment I mentioned above and was rated 3rd overall out of 10 ale yeasts, beating two of the four liquid yeasts. Edme made beer with malt and hop character but no "yeast" character. That is it was very neutral. Mike Charlton writes: > It generally takes between 4 to 6 gallons of recycling before ours goes >clear (depending on the type of beer that we are making). Despite the fact that >by the end of hte sparge the owrt has cooled extensively, we always get >extraction rates that are just about bang on what is expected. The slowness and capriciousness of the clarification process, lack of insulation, a built in aeration of the hot wort (falling from the inner to the outer bucket) and a half dozen other things are what drove me to a slotted pipe tun. Dave Sheehy writes about too-rapid runoff from a lauter tun: >You need to constrict the flow of the runoff with a valve or clamp or >something. I have a double bucket lauter tunwhich has a spigot installed on >the outer bucket. I use it to adjust the flow to a trickle. I've used a double bucket tun a few dozen times. In my experience if the filter bed doesn't set, restricting the flow with the tap is completely irrelevant. Either the bed compacts somewhat and starts filtering effectively (and the flow rate goes way down as a result) or else it doesn't and you get cloudy runoff at whatever rate you set with the tap, forever. Gerald Andrew Winters writes: > I tried crushing the grains a little finer, hoping my problem was too course >a crush...This solved my problem immediately. I too believe that a too coarse grind is a hazard. We are so scared of the bugaboo of a stuck mash that we may tend toward coarse grinds, trapping starch in the husks and sometimes preventing the formation of a proper filter bed. Gary Mason writes: >(detailed description of a double coil wort chiller omitted) >Did I miss anything? I hope you can get your hand between the inner and outer coils. If there is not enough clearance then it is critical that the chiller gets rinsed very thoroughly after use to prevent anything from drying onto the coils. Also, you have hopefully read of the hazards of chlorine as an oxidizer by now. Never, never, ever soak your chiller in a strong chlorine solution. It will be covered with green powdered copper oxide and then you have to get out the sand paper (and spread the coils apart if they are too close together). Plastic cling film works very well to seal the gap between the pot lid and the pot during cooling. The remaining problem is that with this tight seal you can't get any benefit from evaporative cooling and the wort tends to stay hot away from the coils without some circulation. I drilled a hole in my lid that is just big enough for a glass lab thermometer to hang into the wort. I can periodically stir the wort a bit and greatly speed up the chilling process and can also check the thermometer to confirm the temperature I'm after (or what I have to settle for :-) My chiller is also a double coil, made with 50 feet of tubing. No, I cannot get my hand between coils and yes, I once oxidized the hell out of the tubing. Now only hot water and wort ever touch my chiller :-) - ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Pete Soper (soper at encore.com) +1 919 481 3730 Encore Computer Corp, 901 Kildaire Farm Rd, bldg D, Cary, NC 27511 USA Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #463, 07/19/90 ************************************* -------
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