HOMEBREW Digest #4763 Fri 22 April 2005

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  Kvass and Quick Drinks (Alexandre Enkerli)
  re: Kettle Braid ("Williams, Rowan")
  Motorizing a Philmill. ("Dan Listermann")
  Delayed cooling ("Dan Listermann")
  Current events + lager temps ("Jason Gross")
  Fermentation, Esters, Fusels (Matt)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2005 23:06:25 -0500 From: Alexandre Enkerli <aenkerli at indiana.edu> Subject: Kvass and Quick Drinks Been thinking about this while reading Mosher's /Radical Brewing/. Can't brew right now (living on a dry campus) but will soon be back to brew-friendly Montreal. Have people experimented with kvass and other quickly fermented drinks? One advantage I see is that one could experiment with all sorts of flavourings (herbs, spices, fruits...) and then transfer some of those experiments to beer. It sounds like kvass itself was often flavoured with peppermint. Also, it seems to have some of sourness/tartness which could in fact make it quite refreshing... Using some homebrew ingredients and methods, we could probably make something quite decent and very thirst quenching. Boiling with hops, using pure yeast, etc. I'm thinking about different grains to complement the rye, playing with some "crazier" herbs and spices (I personally like hibiscus flowers), using some of those sugars (jaggery, turbinado...), etc. Then, experimenting with microflora could be cool too (say, with lactobacillus). Plus, it should be easy, cheap, and quick enough to do. Trying a few small batches shouldn't be too much of an issue. A related theme is that of fermenting the last runnings of a normal mash. Of course, it's been a common method in many parts of the world but the idea here is to go wild with it and do different experiments. None of these would be normal-strength in beer terms. That's ok, there are times we need other things to drink besides good homebrew. Because oxydation doesn't need to be an issue, bottling in plastic could be easy and economical. You can then "bleed" the bottle once in a while if carbonation is too strong but one would think that putting those in the fridge would slow fermentation enough that you can drink the thing for a couple of days... No, I don't mean to enter any of this in homebrew comps or to try and impress fellow brewers with them. They're just to have fun and, hopefully, to get some refreshing drinks that you care less about than good beer. Anybody has experimented with these ideas? The archives have kvass recipes and a few comments but how about experimentation? Cheers! AleX in South Bend, IN http://dispar.blogspot.com/ Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2005 15:06:35 +1000 From: "Williams, Rowan" <Rowan.Williams at ag.gov.au> Subject: re: Kettle Braid Thanks for the reply, Michel, and all those helpful brewers who PM'd me! >Good day, Rowan! How's the home brew scene in your area of Australia? In the nation's capital, Canberra, the brewing scene is on the up and up thanks to an active brew club and an enthusiastic (some would say driven ;-)) club president - Stephen Neilsen (aka Dr. Ulysses S. Kurtz!) - who is busily preparing for the Big Brew Day 2005 (Canbeera Chapter) at Kastle Kurtz and a phone hookup with our US bretheren on the day (or evening depending on which end of the phone you're on!)... We are looking forward to the onset of winter where we eagerly consume pint after pint of dark ales and lagers and prepare to brew the pale and amber thirst quenchers in anticipation of another long, hot, dry summer at the end of the year! I have a Yorkshire Bitter and an Irish Red Ale conditioning and a Dry Stout nearing the end of primary as I type! >I take it you are going to be using unlined braided SS hose, right? You betcha - the Happy Hooker I intend to fit into the kettle is 2m long (about 6.5 feet) so I'm hopeful that this sort of length is sufficient. I've been given a very simple and effective solution to shape up the braided hose (er, after I pull out the rubber lining, of course); I can run a length of copper wire up the hose braid to help me form up the shape that I want the braided hose to take, within the kettle. >The caveat if I recall correctly was that he had to use a lot of braided >unlined SS hose to do what you're planning. It looked like a spiral >with a center draw off to the drain, and the outside end was simply >blinded off. Noted - I'll make sure that I don't stretch the hose - the last thing I want is a canyon-like opening for the pellet debris to enter...In fact, I will probably start to use plugs and (hopefully home grown) flowers in addition to the pellets to aid in the filtration. Does the whirlpool lift the pellet debris into the centre of the kettle or is it the case that pellet residue is too light and simply settles where it sees fit after the whirlpool? >I feel that a simple wire mesh screen tube works just as well, albeit not >for pellets as they will plug a screen right away...[snip] Therein lies my problem - I almost exclusively use pellets. I note that, at least within this digest, opinions tend to vary about the risk of blockages with braided hose - some do, some don't. Anyway, I'll give it a go and see what happens, but I'm not looking forward to a worst case scenario of having to clean out a CFWC!! >The only concern I have is what kind of heat source do you use? Three ring burner and I'll place a heat shield around the keg base to minimise wind effects outside, yet still permit airflow. It delivers a nice strong rolling boil, but admittedly does take a while to build up a head of steam, pardon the pun!! Cheers, Rowan Williams Canberra Brewers Club [9588.6, 261.5] AR (statute miles) - ----------------------------------------------------------------- If you have received this transmission in error please notify us immediately by return e-mail and delete all copies. If this e-mail or any attachments have been sent to you in error, that error does not constitute waiver of any confidentiality, privilege or copyright in respect of information in the e-mail or attachments. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2005 08:28:20 -0400 From: "Dan Listermann" <dan at listermann.com> Subject: Motorizing a Philmill. Randy Pressley writes,"I'm curious as to why there is a warning in the manual about not motorizing the Phil's mill? " I am not sure where he got this idea but the instructions actually tell you how to motorize the Philmill. We highly recommend powering Philmills with 1/2" corded electric drills. They can triple manual throughput with a whole lot less sweat. Dan Listermann Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2005 09:07:17 -0400 From: "Dan Listermann" <dan at listermann.com> Subject: Delayed cooling Michael J. Brown discusses the effect on delayed cooling which he feels could cause diacetyl and maybe DMS. I cool in sealed containers with a large fan. I use cornys with over pressurized N2 ( not CO2 or O2 ), five gallon buckets with gasketed lids, sankeys with a tri-clover seal, 15 gallon plastic barrels and even plastic bags contained in headless plastic barrels. This practice maintains the pasteurizing effect of the boil. When I first tried this, I expected diacetyl since that is a common belief. I did not find it or DMS in my beers. I have been cooling this way for about three years now. None of the beers that I have entered in competitions have ever been noted as having this fault. This subject came up with Lynn Kruger of Sieble at the AHA conference in Chicago a couple of years ago. I believe it was in reference to whirlpools and the delay in cooling that they see. She said that diacetyl will not form if the wort is cooled below 140 in 90 minutes. This explains why I don't have this problem with my fan cooled beers since 140 is no problem in that time frame. I developed this method of cooling to try to brew almost anaerobically. The idea was to cool in a sealed corny and inject liquid yeast into it with O2 using antifoam to control foam. The only air exposure in this process was the yeast injection. The fan cooling method's great advantage is that you don't have to pitch the yeast until you want to and I seem to have eliminated lactic infections in my summer brewing. I realize that most brewers would find this useless, but we have been making wort for sale here in five gallon buckets. They keep for months this way. Dan Listermann Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2005 09:54:54 -0600 From: "Jason Gross" <jrgross at hotmail.com> Subject: Current events + lager temps I hate to be a pessimist, but the future looks grim, people. A story in today's local paper reads: "Lowest-ever Barley Crop Forecast By BLAKE NICHOLSON, Associated Press Writer Barley in the nation's top-producing state is likely to hit rock-bottom this year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting North Dakota production to be 1.2 million acres, only three-fourths the size of the 2004 crop and the lowest level in recorded history..." Also heard on the radio this morning that the hops in Washington and Oregon (80+% of US crop) are starting to feel the effects of draught. This year's harvest isn't looking good. Hopefully the yeast won't go on strike. Any thoughts on what their signs would read? == On to mandatory brewing content. I searched the archives and found a lot of first lager jitters questions, but not this one. I recently finished setting up a converted chest freezer. She's a big old dog. Ten corny's and a CO2 tank so far. Therefore, my old beer fridge has been converted into a lagering control facility. I brewed a Maerzen last weekend (I know it was late) as the inaugural batch. I'm looking forward to turning Jeff Renner's CACA into CAP. Sounds biblical. Now, the yeasts' optimal fermentation temp is 48 F. I've got the Ranco set to turn on at 53 F and off at 46 F, where the temperature is measured in the enclosed air. Is this OK? What's an acceptable temp swing? What about when I ease it down to lagering temps? I'd like to increase the range, so I don't burn out the compressor in one season. Any objections? The fridge is in a soon-to-be hot garage. What are good settings? My thoughts are 31-39; but that sounds kind of warm on the high end, although it probably won't be there too long. Sorry for thinking out loud. Thanks, Jason Gross Mandan, ND Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2005 09:34:28 -0700 (PDT) From: Matt <baumssl27 at yahoo.com> Subject: Fermentation, Esters, Fusels Thanks for the help, AJ and Steve. I have not had a Tetleys since AJ's post, but I had a Piraat the other day (on draft but I don't know if it matters) and I think that may be an example of high ethyl acetate. Not too bad a beer though. Since I posted my question on esters and fusels, I've read and thought a bit more about fermentation and tried to come up with the simplest view of it that still captures what I've been able to absorb from the more science-oriented posts on the HBD. I wonder if people would agree that the following does that--if so I wish someone or some book had told my these things (and not filled my head with other things) when I started brewing. 1. When you pitch the yeast, each cell has a "lag time" while it reaches some rough equilibrium with its new surroundings, and then it begins fermentation. 2. The rate of this fermentation is determined by yeast energy needs, so it only occurs at a reasonable rate when a cell is actively reproducing. 3. Hence, in a decent fermentation the total yeast growth is proportional to the amount of sugars consumed (i.e. a specific amount of yeast growth is required for a given beer). I think Steve agrees with this. 4. This required amount of total yeast growth can only occur if there are sufficient nutrients (FAN, amino acids, minerals). If a nutrient runs out before the sugars do, fermentation will "stick." In an all-malt all-grain wort these should be present. As extract ages, some nutrients may become bound up in reactions, hence extract beers may require added nutrients. 5. Since we require a given amount of growth, choosing the pitching rate is the same thing as choosing how many generations of yeast will have to be produced. (!) 6. To keep reproducing for a given number of generations, the initial yeast cells must store up enough cell-wall material (sterols). Oxygen is required to make this material. It cannot be made once fermentation activity is significant, because the oxygen is quickly scrubbed out of the wort by the CO2 bubbles. (I am ignoring trub and late oxygen additions.) Hence, the fermentation go to completion only if the average cell of pitching yeast gets enough oxygen to make and store enough sterols to reproduce for the required number of generations. 7. Some or maybe even all of this oxygen can be provided in a yeast starter. Hence, for those of us without oxygen tanks, etc, making a well-aerated yeast starter can really help. 8. For a given temperature and yeast strain, there is basically a set amount of fusel, ester, and diacetyl production that will occur during a full, strong fermentation. Pitching rate, aeration level, etc, don't matter much as long as the fermentation is strong to completion. If the fermentation "sticks" (i.e. something else runs out before the sugar does) then additional fusels and esters may be produced, and the yeast will not be healthy enough to reduce the diacetyl. Maybe I was out of the loop, but the vast majority of this was completely lost on me as a beginner, even after reading the popular books. This may be because these statements are not true. One innaccuracy may be if "second generation" cells also have access to oxygen, but it doesn't change much. I'd appreciate any comments on whether this picture is the truth, and where it may be glaringly not the whole truth. Matt reply to baumgart at myway dot com Return to table of contents
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