HOMEBREW Digest #4670 Thu 09 December 2004

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  RE: high temp fermentation (Steven Parfitt)
  Partial pressures and flat beer under pressure ("Dave Burley")
  Acetaldehyde CAP ("Dave Burley")
  Re:  acetaldehyde beer (Randy Ricchi) ("Jonathan Westphal")
  Re:  Beer gas folly (Tidmarsh Major)
  Beer Gas (james ray)
  Acetaldehyde / High temp ferment and ruined beer / partial pressures (David Harsh)
  Beer Gas Folly (Calvin Perilloux)
  RE: What is starch content of a pLambic? (Raj B Apte)
  White lab vials (Steve Ruch)
  The Great Decoction Experiment (Denny Conn)
  RE: Welded fittings ("Ronald La Borde")
  Beer gas and pressures (Bill Velek)
  wild cider yeast for beer? (Jeff Renner)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 21:19:05 -0800 (PST) From: Steven Parfitt <thegimp98 at yahoo.com> Subject: RE: high temp fermentation >Hi. I'm a newbie, so maybe this will sound >like a stupid question, but I'd like some >help. > >I made my first all-grain batch Sunday. It's >a brown ale. I used Irish Ale yeast (with >a starter solution) and my starting gravity >was 1.045. > >When I pitched the yeast, my temp was around >65. I wanted to go a little higher, so I >left it in a warm place overnight, thinking >that it would only change 3-5 degrees by >the time I woke up to check on it. However, >by morning, it was up to 78. (Don't really >know how that happened, maybe exothermic processes >from the yeast.) > >So I put it in a cooler, temp controlled place. >I got it down to 72 by the afternoon, and to >66 by the evening. I've kept it at a constant >65 for the past two days. ...snip... >My questions: Is the batch going to be ruined? Will >it be all banana-flavored? Is there anything special >I should do now? ...snip... >Jeff Relax. Worst case it will be a bit estery. You did not use a yeast that is noted for banana, and did not state you used a lot of wheat. Therefore it is unlikely you will get a lot of banana or clove. Most likely a fruity aroma and flavor that defies descripiton. Even at that it should be drinkable as long as you used standard sanitzation procedures. Cheers. Steven Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 06:14:58 -0500 From: "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> Subject: Partial pressures and flat beer under pressure Brewsters: Dan K asks for some more discussion on partial pressures and such to better understand why his Weissbier went flat sitting under beer gas. Some more facts first. 1) nitrogen is not very soluble in water or beer 2) carbon dioxide is very soluble in beer relative to nitrogen. So what does that mean? A lower pressure of carbon dioxide will cause the same amount of carbon dioxide to dissolve as a much higher pressure of nitrogen will cause nitrogen to dissolve to the same concentration. But a higher pressure of nitrogen will not cause more carbon dioxide to dissolve. In a gas mixture a higher total pressure will cause more of the carbon dioxide to dissolve but only because the total pressure of carbon dioxide is higher. In this <solubility> area, the gases constituting a mixture above a fluid <act independently> of each other. You may ask why. And I have to say the reason , for those skilled in thermodynamics, is that the partial pressure in a gas relates to the activity and at equilibrium the activity in the gas phase is equal the the activity ( related to concentration) in the fluid. For those not skilled in thermodynamics, you'll just have to take my word until you bone up on thermo. But the point is, as far as solubility goes, the carbon dioxide doesn't know the nitrogen is there. But physically the total pressure is still the partial pressure of the carbon dioxide plus the partial pressure of the nitrogen. Another way of saying the same thing is :How much of a gas <at equilibrium> which dissolves in a fluid is dependent on the pressure of <just that gas> above the fluid. To be extreme to make a point, you could have a million pounds of pressure of nitrogen above a fluid and it wouldn't affect the solubility of carbon dioxide in the beer. What does affect how much carbon dioxide that is dissolved in the beer is the pressure of the carbon dioxide above the fluid and that is all. So, if you have, say, 20 lbs of total pressure and half of it is nitrogen and the other half is carbon dioxide. The partial pressure of the carbon dioxide is 10 psi. BUT let's say, for example only, 15 pounds pressure of Carbon Dioxide is the equilibrium partial pressure of carbon dioxide above the beer at the cooler's temperature. What is going to happen? The carbon dioxide in the beer will come out of the beer until the partial pressure of the carbon dioxide is 15 psi. What does that mean? The beer has lost carbonation to some extent. Now serve some of that beer (and add more gas). Guess what? gas comes out of the beer to bring the partial pressure to 15 psi of carbon dioxide and the beer loses more dissolved carbon dioxide, etc. As you continue this and withdraw more beer, you will continue to deplete the carbon dioxide in the beer. That's why the beer went flat ( at least for a Weissbier) when using a beer gas mix, but didn't when you pressured it with pure carbon dioxide. Another way to think about this is - at a constant delivery pressure at the tap, a beer with a higher desired carbonation requires a higher partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the gas mix. Hope that is now clear. Please go back and re-read my earlier comments in light of this and if you have any questions please ask them. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 06:23:22 -0500 From: "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> Subject: Acetaldehyde CAP Brewsters: Sorry I punched in before I commented on Bob Barrett's CAP/Acetaldehyde dilemma. You could try 1 or 2 ppm metabisulfite added to the beer. This will complex ( or even react) with the acetaldehyde and remove it from the beer aroma. Do a small amount on a single beer as a test. I would not go above 10 ppm. Give it some time to react. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 09 Dec 2004 08:43:38 -0400 From: "Jonathan Westphal" <Wesjo at reg2.health.nb.ca> Subject: Re: acetaldehyde beer (Randy Ricchi) In HBD #4669 Randy Ricci reports on acetaldehyde using S-23 >A couple years ago I decided to give dry yeast another try, and brewed a lager with S23 dry >lager yeast (Saflager). That beer tasted and smelled like green apple >cider. Randy, could you elaborate a bit on your recipe and brewing procedures for this beer? I have been brewing lagers with S23 and S189 for about two years now, and have never experienced this green apple character you describe. Mine have turned out quite clean, the main difference between the two being that S23 tends to produce a more pronounced malt profile than S189. Lately, I have been using Mauribrew dried lager yeast, and have been pleased with the results as well (though I do find it is quite attenuative and I adjust my mash temperature accordingly). I have only tried DCL's 34/70 once, and found it produced a bit too much fruitiness for my taste. Now I admit I ferment at the upper end of the temperature range, prior to lagering just above freezing for 4-6 weeks. and it did occur to me that perhaps 34/70 was not very tolerant of higher fermentation temperatures. OTOH, others in my brew club have reported the same results with 34/70 even with a primary ferment of 52F. Anyone else care to chime in with their experience with these yeasts? Jonathan Westphal Hampton NB Canada Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 8:15:34 -0500 From: Tidmarsh Major <tidmarsh at bellsouth.net> Subject: Re: Beer gas folly Dan k writes: > - ----------- > { Me ) > I dont buy that for one second. why the pressure being exerted > on the Beer and CO2 in solution is still in 16 psi regardlass of > what the gas mix is. If CO2 came out of solution the pressure > in the keg would increase. > - ---------- Believe it or don't. The beer doesn't care ;-) You've got the empirical evidence right in front of you. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partial_pressure http://www.chm.davidson.edu/ChemistryApplets/GasLaws/DaltonsLaw.html for more info on partial pressure. Tidmarsh Major Tuscaloosa, Ala. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 06:33:19 -0800 (PST) From: james ray <jnjnmiami at yahoo.com> Subject: Beer Gas I have used beer gas to push beer through very long lines, about 100 ft. I think I used about 28 Lbs preassure. This worked well for most beers however those that moved slowly and were hooked to the beer gas for a month would start to drift. Highly carbonated beers like hefeweisen would become flat and low carbonated beers would become over carbonated. I think that was because I used one blend for all my guest beers. This is why there are blends from 40% to 25%. For home use I would'nt mess with it unless I wanted nitro beers on tap and then I would put highly carbonated beer on the same gas. Jamie Ray Olde Auburn Alehouse Auburn, AL jamieray at oldeauburnalehouse.com Montgomery Brewing Co. Montgomery, AL rjraybrewer at aol.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 10:37:24 -0500 From: David Harsh <dharsh at fuse.net> Subject: Acetaldehyde / High temp ferment and ruined beer / partial pressures Hello- Some comments.... > Acetaldehyde troubles > In digest #4668, Bob Barrette laments his CAP with much acetaldehyde. I do wonder just how high the apple flavor is - my personal experience with flawed beers has been that non-beer geeks think that unusual flavors in homebrew are quite acceptable, even at levels that bother us. I agree with recent posters who have suggested you go ahead and serve it admitting that you aren't really pleased with the beer. - -------- > Jeffrey Will <Jeff.Will at valpo.edu> asks the age old question: > My questions: Is the batch going to be ruined? Will it be > all banana-flavored? Is there anything special I should do > now? You have to taste it and find out. My experience with typical ale yeasts is that high temps get fruity and diacetyl-ly. Yeast will sometimes reabsorb the diacetyl, but the fruitiness is there for the duration. Go ahead and do a long secondary, but a taste after primary will tell you if its really needed. The beer may well be out of style and flawed from a standpoint of the style guidelines, but ruined? I doubt it. Let your palate decide. - --------- Dan K (DakBrew at aol.com) asks about partial pressures in beer gas The amount of CO2 (or any gas) in a liquid is a function of the partial pressure of that gas in contact with that liquid. Under most pressure ranges we see in brewing, it is linear - double the CO2 partial pressure, you double the amount of carbonation (i.e. CO2 dissolved). All gases dissolve to different extents - some are very soluble (like CO2) and some are essentially insoluble (like N2). So what does this mean? If you have beer gas (that is 75% N2 and 25% CO2) at 10 psi, you will have carbonation equivalent to 2.5 psi with pure CO2. The flow rate out of the tap will be at a rate from the higher pressure. This gives you lower carbonation, but still a good healthy flow out of the taps. Why do bars with long tap lines use mixed gas? Long tap lines require more pressure to push the beer out. If you maintain carbonation at that high pressure, you'll be serving glasses of foam. Nitrogen doesn't dissolve in the beer, its just along for the ride. So, yes the beer will be under high pressure, but the level of carbonation will be determined by the partial pressure of CO2 in the gas: p*=H [CO2] where p* is partial pressure of CO2 (% CO2 times total pressure divided by 100) H is a constant of each gas at a given temperature [CO2] is the concentration of the CO2 in the liquid All of this assume ideal gas and ideal mixtures, which are of course, incorrect assumptions, but close enough for this application. The detailed thermodynamic description isn't this simple, but I've probably already put enough people to sleep. Total pressure determines flow rate out of the tap Partial pressure of CO2 determines level of carbonation. Calvin is correct - he was talking about carbonation as a function of gas composition and pressure. Dave Harsh Cincinnati, OH Bloatarian Brewing League ChemEng PhD (least important thing last!) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 08:22:51 -0800 (PST) From: Calvin Perilloux <calvinperilloux at yahoo.com> Subject: Beer Gas Folly "Beer Gas Folly" says Dan K? Ha ha! Oh Dan, where did you get YOUR technical degree from? Even just a quick search on Google can show you the science behind partial pressures and gas solubility in a fashion that any normal person with a high school diploma can understand. Try Dalton's Law and Henry's Law: Dalton's Law The pressure of an ideal gas in a mixture is equal to the pressure it would exert if it occupied the same volume alone at the same temperature. This is because ideal gas molecules are so far apart that they don't interfere with each other at all. Actual real-world gasses come very close to this ideal. Henry's Law The amount of any given gas that will dissolve in a liquid at a given temperature is a function of the partial pressure of the gas that is in contact with the liquid and the solubility coefficient of the gas in the particular liquid. [Dan] >> You Lost me right there. Since when did pressure stop being >> pressure? The is still the pressure in the keg is still what >> ever the regulator states. The total pressure is there, yes. The partial pressures of each gas are each there as a fraction. Dalton's Law. Then use Henry's Law for the rest of the argument. >> Huh? I was always under the impression that beer gas was >> used in bars with long runs from the coolers to the taps, >> Regardless of the beer style. Pull out your high school mathematics and run some of the various serving pressure calculations. It might be the case that for long runs, especially from a basement storage area, beer gas *could* be appropriate for serving, since using pure CO2 might in some cases lead to overcarbonation because the partial CO2 pressure would be equal to the total pressure needed to drive the beer. If I get bored later, maybe I'll give an example of serving a low-carbo ale from a basement storage tank. And on a related note, I've heard various instances of some bars actually using AIR to push beer (ugh!), since it's cheap, and they can turn over the beer before oxidation hits badly. In that case, they can use beer gas, CO2, helium, or just about anything of they run through a keg fast enough. But as was said in the complaint, "Hopefuly someone with some technical background can prove one of us right". Someone with more that just a bachelor degree in comp sci and petro engineering. I knew those Physics, Fluid Mech, and PetE courses were good for something, but maybe one of the PhD's on the board can come forward to shout us down. ;-) Calvin Perilloux Middletown. Maryland, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 10:31:26 -0800 (PST) From: Raj B Apte <raj_apte at yahoo.com> Subject: RE: What is starch content of a pLambic? Dave Reidel asks: When you make a pLambic wort, you attempt to make it dextrinous and with some unconverted starch. My question is: how much starch? A few details: 1.047 SG, pils/raw wheat grist, attempted modified turbid-mash but found I couldn't denature enzymes fast enough to prevent full-conversion, pitched XL pack of Wyeast 3278, beer is currently 13 months old, brett character is very good, but too dominant. Dave, I've copied this to the plambic list as well. I have never seen a number for starch in lambic wort. Is there a way to measure it easily? I get lots of starch by adding boiled adjunct (wheat or corn) at 74C or at mashout (85C). Also, I have dumped pounds of starch into a 7gallon batch and gotten some nice, stinky, sour ale. So don't be afraid. I did it by mixing flour and water to make a dough. This I washed in a bucket until I had a gluten (seitan) blob and a bucket of starch water. I boiled the starch water until it was almost paste and then dumped it into my fermenter (the plambic was 3 months old). However, the fact that you have a good Brett flavor means that there was food (of some sort) in the wort. The question is why you didn't get enough lactic acid. Perhaps too much oxygen or something. Adding starch might just feed the Brett, since its hard to get more lactic acid production once the Brett has increased the acetic acid beyond a certain point (acetic acid is quite toxic to lactic bacteria). I would start over and make a sour-mash or regular lambic and hope to blend. I believe that plastic buckets let in too much oxygen--are you using plastic or glass? Oxygen is toxic to Pediococcus and generally supports acetic acid production. If you are impatient, you might add lactic acid directly as well. Has anyone a sure-fire way to get ropiness? That would make the perfect blending stock. raj Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 11:31:29 -0800 From: sdruch2 at webtv.net (Steve Ruch) Subject: White lab vials You should be able to use only half and save the rest. I haven't done only half, but I have sanatized the vial and refilled it from my starter and had no problem with the next batch. Steve. "I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to. I guess," The mans prayer. Red Green Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 09 Dec 2004 11:52:26 -0800 From: Denny Conn <denny at projectoneaudio.com> Subject: The Great Decoction Experiment Hi all! I'm in the process of organizing an experiment to try to determine the flavor benefits of a decoction mash schedule vs. an infusion mash. I realize this has been attempted before, but I'd like to narrow the parameters to just determine if decoction mashes have a benefit to the taste of the beer and if people are able to pick out a decocted beer. We won't be getting into other methods to achieve the supposed benefits of decoction or anything like that. It seems like the only way to collect useful data is to narrow the scope of the quest. If any of you are interested in finding out more and possibly participating, please check out the webpage at www.hbd.org/cascade/decoction. Then contact me through the email link on the page. I hope to publish the results in Zymurgy sometime in the late spring/early summer. ----------------->Denny Conn Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 17:43:14 -0600 From: "Ronald La Borde" <pivoron at cox.net> Subject: RE: Welded fittings >From: "Paul" <paul.mantovani at sbcglobal.net> > >I was wondering how others have accounted for this with welding, or if it's >something I >should even worry about.Thanks, Monty contemplates welding fittings for a thermometer, and one for a sight tube. Well, almost everyone uses welded fittings, but I wonder why. It seems that homebrewers cannot brew without that bright arc! I use a SS keg as a boiler, also as the HLT, but I have no welding. If you drill a hole for your fitting, you can use a bulkhead fitting, one you buy, or one you can make. The thing about welding is that it is so un-changeable. If you later decide to do something different, you are stuck with the welded fitting. Or if you get a newer kettle, huh - how you gonna chop out that fittin? Not to discourage you, but why on earth would anyone want a thermometer in the kettle? I'm sure someone will have a reason, but I must say I've never needed one. If I want to know how the immersion chiller is doing, I place a probe tip on the keg wall using a bunge cord and a sponge as an insulator. If you have this thermometer screwed into the kettle it's something to damage when you clean the kettle. And that probe just waiting to snag your sleeve! Ron ===== Ronald J. La Borde -- Metairie, LA New Orleans is the suburb of Metairie, LA www.hbd.org/rlaborde Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 09 Dec 2004 19:17:30 -0600 From: Bill Velek <billvelek at alltel.net> Subject: Beer gas and pressures In HBD #4669, Dan k (aka 'DakBrew at aol.com') disputed Calvin P's explanation re beer going flat while pressurized with beer gas, and said: "Hopefuly someone with some technical background can prove one of us right." Well, I don't have much technical knowledge, but from what little I can recall, nothing that Calvin said sounds out of line to me. Lots of scientific principles are surprising to those of us who are unfamiliar with them. Take a look at this info: http://www.mcdantim.com/beergas.htm Hope that helps. Cheers. Bill Velek Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 20:59:04 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: wild cider yeast for beer? Brewers I've had an idea that came to me while I watched the airlock bubble on my cider. (I don't like TV). Has anyone ever fermented a beer using the yeast from a spontaneous cider fermentation? Some background. I've always wondered what we lost as brewers and drinkers when we switched to single strain culture yeast. Of course, one thing we lost was bad, infected beer. But mixed ale yeast cultures were used for centuries and I suspect produced a greater complexity when they worked. For example, in an article about Duvel, Michael Jackson gives some insight on McEwan's Scotch Ale of the early 20th century: "The strain of yeast used derives from a culture taken from a bottle-conditioned McEwan's Scotch Ale between the two world wars. This culture had between 10 and 20 strains, which were "taken apart" by the great Belgian brewing scientist Jean De Clerck (who himself studied at Leuven in the 1920 and was an Emeritus Professor there in the 1970s)." I wonder what that McEwan's tasted like. A lot different from the modern stuff, I'll bet. Old British ales underwent a true secondary fermentation in the bottle due to yeast that "kicked in" after the primary fermentation was done. This was Brettanomyces and perhaps other yeasts. I decided to make a cider this year - I hadn't made one in probably 20 years, and I've learned a lot since then. For one thing, champagne yeast makes a mighty dry cider, and I was hoping for something a little less austere, and maybe more complex. I remember that a few years back, Dan McConnell of the Yeast Culture Kit Co. isolated several yeasts from spontaneously fermented cider. I think he, and maybe Ken Schramm, thought that these yeasts made better cider than culture yeasts available. Dan may have even sold one or more of these on slant. But my recollection was that it made a less severely dry, more complex cider. So when I made my cider, I got five gallons of ordinary, unpasteurized sweet cider from our local cider mill. No special blend, and I didn't take the pH. Its SG was 1.044, a little low, so I added 1.5 lbs of local honey to take it to 1.057. I sulfited it with 8 Campden tablets to knock out spoilage bacteria with the understanding that it would merely stun the natural yeast. (Procedure recommended in the book _Cider_ by Annie Proulx (yes, the author of _Shipping News_) and Lew Nichols.) Nothing happened for five days until I realized that the SO2 was trapped in the headspace of the stoppered carboy and keeping the yeasts stunned, so I removed the stopper with airlock and fermentation started the next day. It's been bubbling along nicely for about three weeks now, a bit slower now but still steady. It smells sulfurous, but I've had that experience with beer yeasts and am not worried. No sign of sourness or nasty smells. In fact, aside from the sulfur, it smells pretty nice. SO.... , here is what I'm thinking. I wonder what kind of beer this mix of critters would produce. I'm thinking I could take a few ounces of the cider and inoculate a starter, and then pitch this into wort. But I'm too chicken to try this with an all grain batch. Maybe with just a gallon and pitch culture yeast in the rest. Or maybe make an extract beer for the first time in a long time. I don't want to end up with lambic-like sourness, but cider doesn't turn sour (unless it's exposed to air and it turns to vinegar). Has anyone every tried this? Any thoughts? Jeff - -- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at comcast.net "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
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