HOMEBREW Digest #4671 Fri 10 December 2004

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  Re: The Great Decoction Experiment ("Greg 'groggy' Lehey")
  wild cider yeast for beer? ("Todd Snyder")
  Jeff's spontaneous cider yeast for beer (ALAN K MEEKER)
  Carbonating kegs off the CO2? ("Chris Tweney")
  Re: External thermostats ("Todd Swearingen")
  Siphoning methods (Jim Eberhardt)
  0.5 micron airstone help! ("Rowan Williams")
  Collapsed inner tubing in CFC (Steven Parfitt)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 15:29:22 +1030 From: "Greg 'groggy' Lehey" <grog at lemis.com> Subject: Re: The Great Decoction Experiment On Thursday, 9 December 2004 at 11:52:26 -0800, Denny Conn wrote: > 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. FWIW, Ray Mills called for a similar experiment on the Australian Craftbrewers list recently. I believe he's on hbd as well, so you'll probably hear from him. A couple of weeks ago I tried something pretty close to what you're talking about: two brews with the same malts (50% Pilsener, 50% M&uml;nchner), hops (Tettnang) and yeast (Wyeast 1318 London Ale III). One was step infused and the other decocted. This was my first decoction on such a scale, and I didn't get the temperatures as exact as I would have liked. The intention was, however, to match the step infusion. You can see the gory details at http://www.lemis.com/grog/brewing/brew-41.html (infused) and http://www.lemis.com/grog/brewing/brew-42.html (decocted). The results? I bottled the brews last weekend. I had somehow expected the beers to be more different, but what I found was: * The infused wort fermented much faster initially than the decocted wort. It's difficult to believe that this happened by chance. * The decocted wort attenuated much more than the infused wort (74% vs. 65%). The yeast is rated at 71 to 75% apparent attenuation; I typically get relatively low attenuations, which I attribute to my attempts to get a lot of dextrins in the wort. * Both the wort and the beer differed in pH. The infused beer was pH 5.4 before fermentation, pH 4.3 afterwards. The beer was pH 5.5 before fermentation, pH 4.4 afterwards. The beers tasted different at bottling, of course, but nothing that couldn't be summarized by these details. I was expecting more body in the decocted beer, but if anything it's the other way round. I couldn't recognize any difference in colour. Greg - -- Finger grog at lemis.com for PGP public key. See complete headers for address and phone numbers. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 10:04:25 -0500 From: "Todd Snyder" <tmsnyder at buffalo.edu> Subject: wild cider yeast for beer? Hi Jeff, You wrote: - -------------------------- 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 - ---------------------------- I've done this, used the sludge from a batch of spontaneously fermented cider to ferment an extract framboise in an attempt at a sour beer. The recipe (from memory unfortunately)was a can of Brewferm Framboise (which supposedly has 2kg of raspberrys in it) and 2-3 lb of muntons extra light DME. No other hops other than what was in the can. It was a simple recipe because I was interested in what the cider culture would produce. I was hoping the beer would have some of the characteristics that the cider had. The spontaneously fermented cider leaves a lot of sweetness behind but also a ton of sourness I assume from lactic fermentation, and lots of apple aroma. Honestly I have no idea why people make cider with champagne yeast unless they enjoy drinking rocket fuel. It's tough to leave any sweetness behind when using champagne yeast and it makes really boring, non-complex, cider as you said. The beer however was dissappointing, very little sourness, medium/high bandaid phenols, no diacetyl or hop aroma/flavor (both ok for syle), hardly any raspberry character, some low levels of barnyard flavor and aroma. It finished at a normal to dry gravity. I can't tell you how it is after 2-3 years though because I'm pretty sure I dumped the bottles, it didn't seem to improve with about 1 year of age. Hope this helps, Todd Snyder Buffalo, NY Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 10:34:45 -0500 From: ALAN K MEEKER <ameeker at mail.jhmi.edu> Subject: Jeff's spontaneous cider yeast for beer Jeff, if you are going to try using the yeast from your spontaneously fermented cider to brew beer then I would certainly take your own good advice and only try this on a small fraction of your wort. While the results may be interesting (perhaps even tasty) why risk the whole batch?! I've also wondered what beers must've tasted like before the advent of single strain culturing. Probably pretty godawful for the most part which made it all the more reason to celebrate a truly outstanding batch. Another issue would be reproducibility. If you do get results that you like it may be difficult to replicate since you will be dealing with a mixed strain and the proportions of the various subpopulations won't be stable initially and some may be lost altogether. Similar situation as with a lambic. Good luck, please let us know how this turns out... -Alan Meeker Baltimore Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 07:42:43 -0800 From: "Chris Tweney" <ctweney at sonic.net> Subject: Carbonating kegs off the CO2? Here's a CO2 physics problem for those of you in HBD-land... I just got my first kegging setup. I have 3 kegs but only 1 CO2 regulator. A manifold is not in the picture (for now). I'll probably drink 1 keg at a time, so the other 2 will have time to sit and carbonate without shaking them. What I would like to do is hit kegs #2 and #3 with a certain amount of pressure, take them off the gas, and let them sit (refrigerated) until keg #1 is empty. I wonder if there's a way to calculate the volumes CO2 I will get from zapping the keg with a certain amount of pressure and then disconnecting. Say I want 2.4 volumes at 45F. Serving pressure would thus be around 14-15psi. I imagine that if I put in 15psi initially, then disconnect the gas, the CO2 will dissolve into the beer and drop the pressure. So I will need extra pressure. But is there a formula to calculate how much extra pressure I need to arrive at the 2.4 volumes with no additional application of gas? Any help is appreciated. -chris Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 12:42:34 -0600 From: "Todd Swearingen" <tswearingen at paragoninc.net> Subject: Re: External thermostats Chris asked about using an external thermostat with a side by side refrigerator/freezer and running them independently. I have not used a side by side specifically, but it should be possible if it uses two separate internal thermostats. The standard fridge I use only has one thermostat and diverts air from the freezer into the fridge space. I replaced the original thermostat with a Johnson Controls thermostat since it is completely mechanical and can be placed entirely inside the fridge space (instead of mounting external and running the probe inside and splitting a power cord). This is a much cleaner installation. Basically you remove the original thermostat, then just run the wires to the new controller mounted inside. This keeps power to the fridge continuously (so the light/fans/etc still work) and cycles the compressor just like the original thermostat, only with a broader control range. If your side by side has two thermostats, you could do the same for each. Todd Rocket City Brewers Huntsville, AL Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 16:17:52 -0600 From: Jim Eberhardt <jim at jacysplace.com> Subject: Siphoning methods All the recent talk of pumps has made me think of siphoning (mainly because, without a pump, I still siphon) and I'm wondering if anyone has any good ways to start a siphon. I've tried several of the piston-style gizmos with limited success; they work sometimes, but work poorly with carbonated liquids, when the occasional hop leaf gets sucked in, and are difficult to start with a low liquid level. In a pinch I've also tried the start-the-siphon-by-mouth-after-rinsing-with-sanitizer method but this still seems like a good way towards wort infection. Are there any recommendations for effectively starting a siphon? Thanks, Jim Wichita, KS Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 16:53:59 -0800 From: "Rowan Williams" <rowan at canberrabrewers.org> Subject: 0.5 micron airstone help! I recently purchased a 0.5 micron SS airstone to use when I want to aerate my yeast starters and wort. Problem is, I can't get any air through it! I purchased a 210L per hour Penn Plax air pump (model 2K4UK)which is a dual outlet unit, after the single outlet unit failed to push more than the odd bubble through the stone. I put a 3 way airflow control valve in line to combine the two airstreams into one and I got nothing out of the stone! Looks like an aquarium air pump is not good enough for a half micron airstone? Any help or suggestions would be appreciated - the airstone is brand new and doesn't appear to be blocked and the tubing is surgical grade from a nearby hospital. I'd rather not have to return the airstone but at this rate, all its doing is blocking the airflow to the starter/wort! Cheers, Rowan Canberra Brewers Club Australia Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 19:02:07 -0800 (PST) From: Steven Parfitt <thegimp98 at yahoo.com> Subject: Collapsed inner tubing in CFC I've beenusing a CFC made from an outer copper tubing of 7/8" and a 3/8" inner copper tubing. The length is about 25', and it was made about seven years ago. Over the past couple of years I have noitced that it has not been flowing well. It has continued to degrade until in a brewing session a couple of months ago I ended up using only my immersion chiller to cool the wort. So I was debating buying a commercial one, or at lest asking Santa for one until a frined of mine tole me he had 25' of 3/8" refrigertion line I could have for $4. I cut one end off the ole chiller, soldered the new tubing to the old tubing, and cut the other end loose. It took three hours of beating, banging and in general the best physical work out I have had in years to get the new tubing in place. The old tubing had collapsed in no less than six places. Some as short as 1", and th worst a full 3' section was squashed flat. What the hell happened? ===== Steven, -75 XLCH- Ironhead Nano-Brewery http://thegimp.8k.com Johnson City, TN [422.7, 169.2] Rennerian "There is no such thing as gravity, the earth sucks." Wings Whiplash - 1968 Return to table of contents
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