HOMEBREW Digest #4687 Fri 31 December 2004

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  Happy New Year! ("Pat Babcock")
  Wyeast 3822 ("melanchthon")
  Commercial yeasts: mixtures of strains? (Fred Johnson)
  Finishing fermentation in kegs ("melanchthon")
  Slaked Lime Treatment ("A.J deLange")
  Re: Commercial yeasts: mixtures of strains? ("Dave Burley")
  Yeasty flavors ("Peed, John")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 01:39:00 -0500 From: "Pat Babcock" <pbabcock at hbd.org> Subject: Happy New Year! Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your rendition of Renner's Egg Nog... Wishing you all a happy and safe new year! - -- See ya! Pat Babcock in SE Michigan Chief of HBD Janitorial Services http://hbd.org pbabcock at hbd.org Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 07:05:06 -0500 From: "melanchthon" <rhayader at bellsouth.net> Subject: Wyeast 3822 I recently purchased some Wyeast "Dutch Castle" #3822 from Nothern Brewer. I did this because I didn't remember seeing it around before and its description sounded interesting so what the heck, right? After searching some books and the web however, I can find no recipes using it or accounts of experiences with it, only people asking the same questions I am. Can anyone enlighten me about this? Even a rough recipe style idea would be extremely appreciated! Chris Hart D ungshovelerson & Son's Brewery Gainesville, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 08:26:09 -0500 From: Fred Johnson <FLJohnson at portbridge.com> Subject: Commercial yeasts: mixtures of strains? Dave Burley made an interesting statement in his recent post regarding Wyeast 1318: > If this is a true London yeast mixture of powdery and flocculant > strains and > not a single strain,... I was not under the impression that the yeast strains we purchased could be a mixture of strains unless stated so on the package. Is it true that London "strains" are often mixtures? I do realize that we aren't necessarily getting a clone, but I didn't realize we were getting known mixtures. If this is true, it is a very important point, as Dave noted. If one is selecting yeast from the secondary rather than the primary, one will be propagating yeast with significantly different properties. I, personally, don't usually save a repitch the yeast from either fermentor. I save part of the starter in the fridge and grow that up as a new starter for the next batch, so I don't think I've selected the powdery strain away from the more flocculant strain. (I don't want to get into the Clinitest thing again. I was never convinced that a beer with a lot of unfermentables will give the same results by Clinitest as a beer without a lot of unfermentables when fermentation is complete.) Fred L Johnson Apex, North Carolina, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 09:08:25 -0500 From: "melanchthon" <rhayader at bellsouth.net> Subject: Finishing fermentation in kegs I have an additional, perhaps stupid, question. When I have finished fermenting in the secondary in carboys and proceed to keg my beer, I get a gravity reading and force carbonate. Sometimes a keg will go right into the fridge and sometimes it will sit in my office at room temperature for even a few months. These are all ales and what I want to know is: Does the kegged beer under pressure ferment further at room temperature as it sits? I believe I heard somewhere that pressure suppresses the yeasts fermentation abilities. I know I can attempt another reading but I want to know first in theory if this is possible. So should I begin taking readings also on the day I put the kegs in the fridge? Chris Hart D ungshovelerson & Son's Brewery Gainesville, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 15:11:39 +0000 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Slaked Lime Treatment I think part of the confusion with regard to statements to the effect that slaked lime (quick lime works just as well but is a little trickier to handle and store) is ineffective in treating water with high levels of permanent hardness is that lime treatment is thought of as a way of softening water when in fact it is actually done to reduce alkalinity i.e. to decarbonate. When the hardness is temporary there are equivalent amounts of calcium and bicarbonate (in fact the temporary hardess is defined as the amount of bicarbonate equivalent to the calcium) and the rection is Ca(OH)2 + Ca(HCO3)2 ---> 2CaCO3 + 2H2O. For permanent hardness one must add calcium equivalent to the remaining bicarbonate and the reaction becomes Ca(OH)2 + 2Na(HCO3) + CaCl2 --> 2 CaCO3 + 2H2O + 2NaCl in which I used calcium chloride as the source of the extra calcium. Note that in both cases all the calcium precipitates and in both cases the pH is not effected (thoretically). This is the basis for Hubert's scheme in which the lime is added to a portion of the water and the rest then added gradually until the pH falls back to its original value. So decarbonation is possible in both cases. The difference is that with temporary hardness you get rid of the bicarbonate. Period. With permanent hardness the bicarbonate is removed but it is replaced by the anion of whatever salt you used to supply the extra calcium. The concentration of anion is equivalent to the alkalnity removed. Why not use extra lime to get the calcium? The reaction to clear all the bicarbonate would be: Ca(OH)2 + 2NaHCO3 + Ca(OH)2 --> 2 CaCO3 + 2H2O + Na+ + 2OH- in other words the pH would go up (extra hydroxyl ions) and you would have replace bicarbonate alkalinity with hydroxyl alkalinity when your goal was to reduce total alkalinity. Over time CO2 from the air would dissolve 2CO2 + 2Na+ + 2OH- --> 2NaHCO3 and you'd be right back where you started from. The particular water in question is alkaline to the extent of about 2 mval (100 ppm as CaCO3). As a practical matter one can expect to decarbonate to about 1 mval using lime and that's with a well controlled process. Hubert Hanghoffer is the guy to see about how to do it most effectively but his scheme requires a pH meter (to detect the leveling off of pH drop mentioned above). Given the low calcium level we can say reasonably accurately that the 1 mval removed by lime treatment would be replaced by 1 mval of chloride (35 mg/L). The real problem with the water in question is the whopping sodium level. There is no simple way to remove this and so the best plan might be to blend the well water with RO or deionized water say 1:3. This will reduce the sodium to 17 ppm, the total hardness to 4 ppm and the alkalinity to 25 ppm as CaCO3. You ought to be able to do a decent Pils with that plus perhaps a pinch of calcium chloride. The high sodium level and low calcium beg the question as to whether this water has been run through an ion exchange softener either in the house or at the well ("private well" suggests that it could be a community well serving a small group of houses or it could serve only one dwelling). If a softener is involved you'll want to bypass it for brewing. The other thing of concern is the high pH. 9.3 is above the WHO approved level for potable water and the high sodium level with that pH suggest leaching of something into the water. I'd assume the lab eould have warned if anything were amiss. A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 12:13:40 -0500 From: "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> Subject: Re: Commercial yeasts: mixtures of strains? Fred, I know Wyeast provides some mixed strains but I believe these are identfied as such. No guartantee that yeast identified as actual strains of London yeasts aren't composed of a mixture of strains, though London ale yeasts classically had a powdery and a flocculant strain and often two or more of each. This corrected for the various fermenting conditions and permitted the beer to finish out quickly and with a unique flavor profile. This likely was not a choice as when these original yeast were developed there wasn't even an understanding of how fermentation worked. But a good lesson of how we have progressed technically under the influence of skilled adepts. I thought you had tried Clinitest and had a kit. My point about the Clinitest was that it would provide you with some pertinent information about apparent attentuation ( that is, are the yeast finishing out the sugar?). This is information which you can get no other way without using Clinitest. Why not tie your other arm behind your back also? {8^) Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 12:14:13 -0500 From: "Peed, John" <jpeed at elotouch.com> Subject: Yeasty flavors Denny suggests that I look at all aspects of my brewing process to find the source of yeasty flavors in my cream ales. I agree, but I don't know where to look! Obviously, the best way to remove yeasty flavors is to remove the yeast, and the best way to do that is filtration. That can be argued any number of ways, but I've proven to myself that probably the best thing you can do to improve the flavor of your beer is to properly filter it. Although I can't be certain that I've seen this notion backed up in the literature, experience tells me that tiny hop particles, proteins and other particles cling to yeast cells and if you remove the yeast cells, you also remove all this other stuff. The result is that the taste of the beer is much cleaner, better defined and more refined, with cleaner malt flavor and less harshness in the bitterness. I've heard it said that filtration only improves the appearance, not the flavor - in no way is that true. I've also heard it said that filtration has no place in home brewing, and that also is completely untrue - filtration is as much a key to excellent homebrew results as just about anything else. It isn't all that complicated and it requires very little equipment beyond the standard keg setup, but it does involve extra time and work, and you have to learn how to do it correctly. But that rant aside, and having filtered the yeast out of the beer, where now do I look for the source of yeasty flavors? I've read Fix's Principles of Brewing Science and An Analysis of Brewing Techniques, and I can remember having seen only one reference to yeasty after-flavors. I know darn well that I highlighted it, but I'll have to look very methodically to find it again. At any rate, I remember thinking that it was fairly obscure and probably not a common problem. Other than that, I have no idea what to suspect, other than the yeast strain. I'm betting that's the source, and I'll let you know the results of future attempts with other yeasts. Bear in mind that we're talking about a very subtle flavor here, in a beer that demands subtlety. I want a very subtle corn sweetness in the finish, balanced by a clean, subtle hop briskness - not bitterness, just briskness - and anything else (other than a very gentle hint of maltiness) will pretty much stomp all over the beer. Even a whisper of yeastiness will come across as a shout, and you'd never detect it in an American Pale, or most other styles. I will say this: lagering helps cream ales, and the yeastiness is diminishing as it ages. John Peed Oak Ridge, TN Return to table of contents
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