HOMEBREW Digest #4742 Fri 18 March 2005

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  sour (Darrell.Leavitt)
  RE: Sourness in saison (Steven Parfitt)
  Oxygenation, hot-side aeration, and other topics ("Christian Layke")
  Brewmaster Needed in Hagerstown, MD (Chip Stewart)
  RE: nasty old air ("Brian Lundeen")
  Judges - NHC Eastern Regionals ("Dave Wohlfeil")
  March pump 809 issues (jeff)
  R.E. Pumping sparge water ("Dave Humes")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2005 07:15:30 -0500 From: Darrell.Leavitt at esc.edu Subject: sour Perhaps a safe way would be to use saueracid malt? Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2005 05:47:52 -0800 (PST) From: Steven Parfitt <thegimp98 at yahoo.com> Subject: RE: Sourness in saison Brian Schar Queries about Saison: >I am brewing a saison in a week or two. ....snip.... >Imagine my surprise to find that saison yeast likes >high temperatures (up to 90 degrees!) for >fermentation. ...snip... >"Farmhouse Ales" also notes that saison, particularly >historical examples thereof, has some degree of >sourness, possibly Brett. ....SNIP... I need to brew another Saison as well, but am not waiting on warm weather. Just wrap a towel around the fermenter and keep it warm with a heat lamp. Check it at least every six hours to adjust the position of the heat lamm to control your temp. I used WLP Saison for my last two batches. It turned out nice and 'tart' fermenting at 76f (thermostrip on the cargirl. I dont' think 80s or 90 is necessary. I would describe the flavor of Fantom and the rest of the commercial Saisons I have tried as tart rather than sour. I believe the tartness can be achieved solely by selecting the proper yeast and fermenting slightly warm (relative to english and american ales). 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
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2005 09:21:31 -0500 From: "Christian Layke" <clayke at wri.org> Subject: Oxygenation, hot-side aeration, and other topics I'm enjoyed the thread on oxygenation and oxidation and appreciate the great posts. It seems that home-brewing texts emphasize wort aeration/oxygenation because they anticipate that homebrewers will be pitching unhealthy yeast and underpitching at that. If we have found a way around these problems, then perhaps we run the risk of over-oxygenating and therefore oxidizing our finished beer. I'll going to experiment with not oxygenating my next two batches, a hefeweizen and a weizenbock. I'm going to just pitch a well-aerated starter with the hefe. For the weizenbock, I'll do the same and then repitch after 4 or 5 days with another starter. I'll post my results. On the other hand (there is always another hand in this hobby, isn't there?) In flipping through some brewing books recently, I've noted these lauter tuns with 10 to 20 tall spigots each producing a steady stream of hot wort that falls a good foot into a trough (see for example page 91 of the Classic Beer Styles Bock edition or the discussion of DeKonick in Michael Jackson's book on Belgian beers). Some of the pics show large amounts of foam from the active mixing. The argument that the scale of commercial equipment usually reduces the ratio of surface area to total volume and thereby minimizes the risk of hot-side aeration makes sense in general, but wouldn't this method of monitoring the lauter run a great risk of incorporating a lot of air into virtually the entire volume of run-off? Wouldn't it seem that this might run the risk of hot-side aeration? Do they mitigate this risk somehow that isn't evident from pictures? Or, is the threat to our finished beer from aeration prior to fermentation not so serious as to get bent out of shape? For my stir-plate starters I use a set-up that emulates what biologists use. I read it here on HBD, but can't remember whom to thank. I slit three short pieces of gas line tubing and pop them over the lip of my Erlenmeyer flask. I then invert a wide-mouthed canning jar over the flask so the inside bottom of the jar rests on the pieces of tubing. Voila! A 1/8 inch gap for easy gas exchange, but a pretty arduous route for any nasties to navigate. My experience would indicate that a gap this size allows enough oxygen to get in to meet the yeasts' reproduction needs--can any cellular biologists confirm this for the digest? Best of all, I can boil the starter in the flask and the steam will sanitize the whole set up. Souring a Saison: Most modern Saisons aren't noticeably sour in my experience, but if you want to go for it, I would think you are looking more for lactic sourness than brett funk. Some of the aged bottles of Saison Pipaix are quite sour and austere, but they have been using a CC fermenter since the late 1990s, so I have a feeling that any bottles produced since that time will only get dryer with age instead of sour and dryer. I have heard that Wyeasts Dutch Castle Yeast gives a tartness, but in my experience the White Labs yeast does not. Adding some food-grade lactic acid may prove to be the easiest easy experiment (wouldn't live up to the Reinheitsgebot, but then this is a Belgian beer), although I would love to hear the results of your mini-batch. Have a great weekend, Christian Layke Takoma Park, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2005 08:08:57 -0700 From: Chip Stewart <Chip at stewartsplace.com> Subject: Brewmaster Needed in Hagerstown, MD I've been gone for a while due to the purchase and setting up of a house, studying and taking of the MD bar exam, opening of SWMBO's business and job search. Well, I've settled, passed the bar (exam, that is), been sworn in, and SWMBO is almost ready to open her antique store. Still working on the job search. Time to start brewing again. Anyhow, a friend of ours is planning on opening a brew pub in Hagerstown, Maryland (about 75 minutes Northwest of Washington, DC). He has the building. He has someone to run the food side. What he doesn't have is a brewmaster. He said if the right person comes along, he may be willing to put them through Siebel Institute training. If anyone here is interested or knows someone who might be, please have them contact me at the e-mail address below. Thanks, Chip Stewart Hagerstown, Maryland Chip at StewartsPlace dot com http://www.StewartsPlace.com "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." - George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004 http://www.thesmokinggun.com/graphics/movies/0805041bush.mov Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2005 09:20:35 -0600 From: "Brian Lundeen" <BLundeen at rrc.mb.ca> Subject: RE: nasty old air > Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2005 11:37:02 -0800 > From: "Peed, John" <jpeed at elotouch.com> > Subject: Bottling > >I don't understand why you would filter > your starter > air but aerate the wort with whatever air happens to be in your little > corner of the world at the time. Those of us who use a stir plate bring plain old air into our starters. Methinks Jeff is just a little overprotective of his babies, and we shall just quietly snicker at his paranoia. ;-) > Nor do I understand why > people talk about > splash-stirring their wort, or pumping vigorously to mix with > ambient air, > then going to the trouble to use a fermentation lock to > prevent contact with > ambient air, which is supposed to be fraught with bacteria > and nasty wild > yeasts. Is this not a contradiction? > I guess it's a contradiction if you accept that is why you are using a fermentation lock. The lock is designed to provide a barrier that permits an exchange of gases so that pressure doesn't build up in your fermenter. Under most conditions, that does involve letting gas out. However, air can also be admitted. For example, when activity stops and the contents cool, there will be a slight volume reduction that can cause the dreaded suckback and admission of air. For that reason, many people like to use vodka as a liquid, although I find it evaporates too quickly. I use metabisulfite solution. The lock is preferable to just leaving the neck open because nasty bacteria bearing things like fruit flies will be attracted to your beer or wine, and can fly in. They are also better than a solid bung, even if you are certain your activity is completely stopped. I've seen bungs popped from carboy volume fluctuations due to ambient temperature variation. Cheers Brian, in Winnipeg Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2005 11:19:40 -0500 From: "Dave Wohlfeil" <wohlfeil at apk.net> Subject: Judges - NHC Eastern Regionals We are looking for beer judges for the American Homebrewer's Assoc. NHC Eastern Regionals. They will be held Friday April 22, 2005 (evening session), and Saturday April 23, 2005 (morning and afternoon sessions) at J.W. Dover in Westlake, Ohio. Lunch and Dinner will be provided on Saturday. If you are interested please contact Dave Wohlfeil - wohlfeil at apk.net. For more information on the NHC's please see www.jwdover.com or www.beertown.org/events/nhc/index.html Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2005 08:09:48 -0800 (PST) From: jeff at henze.us Subject: March pump 809 issues While we are on the subject of pumps... I recently got a March model 809 (1600RPM, 1/100HP, 3.1GPM/1.8PSI Max) and although the LHBS says everyone else loves this pump, I find I'm not having much success. I realize that there are not many things that could be wrong with the pump itself and that the most likely cause of the problem is how I have it hooked up (or it's the wrong model for this application), so here's a description of how I'm using it and the problem. I have a 5 gallon Igloo round cooler for a mash tun. It has a full diameter false bottom (SS with holes all over it - Phil's?) that has worked very well for batch sparges in the past. This feeds into a standard bottling bucket spigot attached to the cooler (wide open), which goes to a 3/8" line to the pump. The pump has 1/2" fittings and a ball valve on the out side. This then goes to another 3/8" line through the heater and on up to the sparge arm, which is 1/2" copper tubing in the usual "H" pattern. Here's the problem - this pump has a heck of a time getting to the point where it can actually pump liquid (even after filling the line up-to and after the pump with water), and when it finally does pump, it does so very slowly. To get it to the point where it'll pump, I have to un-mount it, move it around to get rid of all the unseen air inside the impeller cavity (for some reason, gravity flow alone doesn't work), stop it, start it, stop it, move around some more, stop, start etc. for about 5 minutes before I can get the thing running. The pump is mounted per instructions below the level of the tun, and I've tried it with the output pointing both up and sideways with the same results. Total height the water has to be pumped is only about 4-5 feet up from the pump (the pump is about 1 foot below the mash tun). I won't even begin to try getting it going with just mash runnings, so I get it running with water and leave it in the pump and line while I dough-in. I was told that my problem is that I'm sucking air into the pump on the low pressure side and that my hose size was too large, so I dropped down from 1/2" hose to the 3/8" line I'm using now, and using the same 1/2" barbs which are now extremely tight (and clamped). I can't manually pull air into the line if I tried (I have) and no air is visible in the clear hoses. I get the same problems. I can rule out the water starting to boil under low pressure - I have the same problem with cold water as with warm/hot. I'm also not trying to pull the water at all, and pumping it out slower than I am able to let it free-flow out of the mash tun. Once the pump is fully primed and running, the flow is (barely) adequate but my main problem is how hard it is to get going. I'm not trying to pump too fast - I'm closing down the output to just a fraction of what it's capable of. I've done this test with just hoses to/from the pump and to/from a bucket of water with the same results - hard to start and .5GPM maximum flow through 1/2" lines at 1 foot of head. My questions are: is this the wrong pump for this application? The pump morebeer.com sells is a 1/25HP model with higher specs all around. Jeff Renner speaks of sucking air on the low side in order to oxygenate the wort while recirculating to cool it - no way this pump would handle that! Jeff - what kind of pump do you use? Does everyone have this problem getting their pump going? Could this pump have a problem in the machining of its (bronze) pump head that is causing it to cavitate? The impeller and magnet turn freely without a problem. Sorry for the long post... Thanks for any insight you can give, - --Jeff Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2005 16:31:09 -0500 From: "Dave Humes" <dhumes001 at comcast.net> Subject: R.E. Pumping sparge water I've been pumping sparge water with my system for several years now and believe that the problem really is dissolved air that's breaking out of solution in the pump. Here's why. My mash tun and HLT are on the same level. So, I pump out of the bottom of the HLT into the top of the mash tun. When I first started brewing on this system, I preboiled all of my brewing water the night before I brewed to remove the chlorine. And I never had a problem with air getting entrapped in the pump. But, later I purchased a filter for my brew water and no longer had a need to preboil. That's when I started having problems with air collecting in the body of the pump. So now the pump will run OK for a few minutes, but the output gradually slows down to a trickle. I just stop the pump for a few seconds, and a large air bubble will slowly come out of the pump and go up the sparge line. Then I restart the sparge and it's OK for another few minutes. It's a pain, but I'm always there during the sparge, so it's not that bad. I use a March 1/25 HP pump. So, you may want to try preboiling just to see if it solves your problem. If it does, then you know it's not a leak. - --Dave Return to table of contents
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