HOMEBREW Digest #4655 Fri 19 November 2004

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  Carbonating a Lagering Beer ("Steve Laycock")
  Re: Bottles and Labels (David Radwin)
  ISFET pH Meters (ILRI)" <r.kruska@cgiar.org>
  Re: Roasting Barley (Grant Family)
  RE: Go Wolverines! ("Brian Lundeen")
  I'd rather lurk ("Peed, John")
  pH for homebrewers ("Antony Hayes")
  Fermenting to Thin (Michael Fross)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2004 22:13:57 -0800 From: "Steve Laycock" <slaycock at discoverynet.com> Subject: Carbonating a Lagering Beer Greetings, Mike asked about carbonating his Lager beer while its lagering. "> I'm in the process of making my first lager and I completed the Diacytal rest > and have just gotten it down to lagering temperature (36F). I'm planning on > leaving it at that temp for three or four weeks (OG: 1.048) but was wondering > if I could kill two birds with one stone by carbonating it now." I always transfer my lagers into kegs after the lagering period is completed to give more sediment time to fall out of suspension. If you carbonate now, (I'm assuming that your lagering in the keg) you'll loose that additional step/time to achieve your crystal clear beer that lagers are known for. Also if you carbonate during lagering, and then transfer to (another) keg your going to have to deal with the foaming (outgassing of C02) as you transfer your beer & give yourself additional issues with oxidation as a result. I'd recommend to allow your beer to lager in peace and carb up after your lagering period is complete.... it'll only take a day or 2 to carbonate & be ready to drink. Oh.....Enjoy your first Lager & Congrats!! Next you can do a decoction! :) Steve n KC "Highwater Brew Haus" Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2004 20:45:59 -0800 From: David Radwin <dradwin at sbcglobal.net> Subject: Re: Bottles and Labels Tony Brown wrote: > Otherwise, which beers should I be drinking that have labels that use > water soluable glue for easy removal (and are re-cappable of course)? Sorry for the lateness of my response. In my experience, the beer with the absolutely easiest to remove labels is made by Drake's Brewing Co in San Leandro, CA. http://www.drinkdrakes.com The labels are not paper but plastic that is "shrink-wrapped" onto the bottle, similar to some beverage and medicine bottles. No soaking required--just cut the label off with a box cutter or X-acto knife. I wish I had a photo to show it. Otherwise it is a standard brown pry-off beer bottle. The downside is that I think their distribution is rather limited. I live only 15 miles away and I only discovered it a couple of years ago when they were selling their IPA at Costco. Also, the beer happens to be pretty good. :) David in Berkeley, CA responses to news [ignore this] at davidradwin.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 00:16:44 -0800 From: "Kruska, Russ (ILRI)" <r.kruska at cgiar.org> Subject: ISFET pH Meters Dear all, I appreciate A.J. deLange's recent email about pH meters. I was a frustrated (and broke) pH meter user for years but was fed up with having to buy a new electrode every 10-12 months! A.J. advised me through personal email that I should check out the new ISFET meters. I bought one 15 months ago and am very happy with it. I will post how long it actually lasts! Having said all that, I bought the 0.1 resolution model...so A.J. may be upset with me. The beer has been very good though in the past 15 months! Russ Kruska Nairobi, Kenya Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 23:53:44 +1100 From: Grant Family <grants at netspace.net.au> Subject: Re: Roasting Barley Rowan asked: >Can I bake some of this stout malt and obtain roasted barley from >the stout malt or am I barking up the wrong tree? I reckon you can bake any malt in the oven. I experimented with this quite a bit when I was starting out all grain and didn't have good access to lots of specialty malts like roasted barley. Keep in mind that "roasted barley" is actually actually unmalted and that you won't get the same dry roastiness by roasted the malted stuff. But most stouts probably use black/roasted malt anyway; it's mainly the Guinness clones that require roasted barley. Find a good guide on how to do it, or just make it up your self. My advice is to start at lower temperatures, say 120C, and ramp it up to 200C over about 2 hours. Don't go above 200C as the malt darkens very quickly at this temp (and may catch fire). Good luck, Stuart Grant Hobart. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 08:57:07 -0600 From: "Brian Lundeen" <BLundeen at rrc.mb.ca> Subject: RE: Go Wolverines! > Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2004 06:35:32 -0500 > From: "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> > Subject: Go Black and Blue, > > I did my B.S. at Ohio State Dave, thanks for sharing that. I have long wondered where your BS came from. ;-) Cheers Brian Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 12:00:51 -0500 From: "Peed, John" <jpeed at elotouch.com> Subject: I'd rather lurk I think I'd rather lurk than post, particularly when it comes to things like pH meter threads, but it seems to me that a discussion of some specific experiences with specific meters might be in order. For years I used the cheapy Checker meter. The interaction between the two calibration pots made it a real pain to calibrate, it didn't hold calibration well at all and it wasn't temperature-compensated at all. I tried the Hanna Phep5 for a short time but found the automatic calibration extremely annoying - it was slow, it demanded that you change cal solutions almost instantly and if you dallied at all it would tell you that the second solution was wrong and it would proclaim that forever until you removed the batteries and waited several hours ... if there was any other way to correct that, I never found it. It also had a very large probe, so required a lot of each calibration solution. Finally, I found it to not hold calibration well at all (and I didn't relish going through that cal routine). It finally got so fond of saying that the second cal solution was wrong that it became unusable. In fairness, I have not discussed the symptoms with Hanna and it might turn out to be a problem with the probe. However, having gotten fed up with the PHep5, I decided to go ahead and spring for the Hanna Piccolo. Now THAT's a pH meter! The pros may not think so, but as a home brewer I can say that it appears to me to be a genuine instrument (it appears that there's something to "amplified signal technology" and the explanation on Hanna's Web site makes sense). It's kind of a large, crude looking thing, but it's easy to calibrate, it locks onto readings much more quickly than the other meters I've used, it's very stable, holds calibration well and it's temperature-compensated to 158 degrees F. This is probably the least you can spend and get a really usable pH meter. I see no point in getting a lesser meter because, to me, the lesser meters become more of a distraction from the brewing process than an enhancement ("how long is it going to take to get this thing calibrated/why don't the cal solutions read what they should an hour later/is the reading ever going to stabilize/is the sample cool enough to measure/do I really trust what this thing is telling me?!). And by the way, I just noticed that Williams Brewing has them on sale through the 28th of this month for a $30 savings - need I say that I'm in no way affiliated? One more good thing about the Piccolo is that it doesn't require a lot of calibration solution. I use the center "bobber" part of an air lock (3, actually) to hold the two cal solutions and the sample - just a few cc's of each. One inch holes drilled in a utility shelf hold the sample holders nicely. Should you be so frugal as to not pop for fresh cal solutions yearly? Probably not. Should you pop for the storage solution, and keep a bit in the probe cap between uses? I'm no expert, but I'd have to say yes, absolutely. Kinda long winded, ain't I? OK, I'll go back to lurking now. John Peed Oak Ridge, TN Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 21:43:51 +0200 From: "Antony Hayes" <anthayes at telkomsa.net> Subject: pH for homebrewers pH meters are finicky and expensive to maintain. My sense is that there may be a difference in efficiency, and certainly taste at extremes, but for home application pH meters are more trouble than they are worth. I bought a cheap meter (about $100) which was less accurate than my granny. I was given a more expensive meter (about $500) which is more temperamental than an Alfa Romeo. I now use the council pH specs and fixed acid additions according to time of year and ingredients. Now if I had more money and patience, perhaps? Ant Hayes Johannesburg Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 18:25:10 -0600 From: Michael Fross <michael at fross.org> Subject: Fermenting to Thin Hello everyone, I've been having trouble lately with my yeast fermenting out to much leaving a thin beer. I just tried my first lager, a Vienna. It had an OG of 1.048, but it was very thin. After checking the refractometer, it reads 1.008 as the FG. (and it's just been only lagering for about a week). I was targeting 1.012. Is there anything that I can do to increase the body a bit? Both for this batch and future batches? The obvious answers to me are: 1. Use a less attentuve yeast. But I am not using a highly attentuitive one. 2. Mash at a higher temperature. I usually mash at 152 to 153 degrees. Would #2 above make much of a difference? Say mash at 155F? Many thanks. Frosty Return to table of contents
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