HOMEBREW Digest #4884 Wed 09 November 2005

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  Bob Hall - Therminator ("Murray Aldridge")
  RE: Bad year for hops (Bob Hall)
  Chillers/Tips ("A.J deLange")
  Ale yeast for cooler temps? (Trevor LaRene)
  Re:aluminum immersion chiller (Denny Conn)
  Summary of recent queries (Francisco Jones)
  Tea flavor and dry hopping (Mark Beck)
  A.J.'s growth metabolites (Francisco Jones)
  Licorice Abbey (leavitdg)
  New MCAB Leader Announced ("David Houseman")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2005 16:26:13 +1100 From: "Murray Aldridge" <aldridge at fjc.net.au> Subject: Bob Hall - Therminator Hello all Re Therminator - I bought a Therminator earlier this year after being somewhat skeptical about its effectiveness and ease of use. As assured by the distributor it works brilliantly on a gravity feed with no need for a pump (with the boiler at bench height and the Therminator and the carboy at ground level - ie the wort flows out the boiler tap to the Therminator on the ground, then into a hose going up to the rim of the carboy and down to the end of the tube at the bottom of the carboy). Seems as quick as a normal transfer with out the chiller. Every time it has chilled to within 1 - 2 degrees Celscius of the tap water temperature. It is much quicker and more effective than the immersion chiller and, by adding hops just before or during the transfer I find I can obtain that elusive hop aroma that is often missing from late added hops (guess it really works just like a hop back would). The more effective chiller leads to a better cold break and and to beers that have cleared quicker in secondary, and often better, than before. Expensive, yes but I love it. No doubt similar plate chillers could also be used. I put this right up there with the discovery of glass carboys and kegging. Murray Aldridge Sydney Australia. Liability limited by a Scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 09 Nov 2005 07:52:53 -0500 From: Bob Hall <rallenhall at henry-net.com> Subject: RE: Bad year for hops It was a bad year for hops in the flatlands of NW Ohio too. I set out my first rhizomes this spring, only to carry water and battle drought (and Japanese beetles) most of the summer. The two Ultras struggled to survive, but made it through. The Glaciers seemed to be more hardy, trellised to 8 ft and produced an ounce or so of hops (which will be used to flavor my next ESB). One of my brew-buds who had a bumper crop of Cascades and Centennials last year reported nada this summer. While the local corn and soybean crop seemed to battle the drought and 90F temps OK, it was a tough one on hops. Bob Hall Napoleon, OH (your first, or last step into the prairie) 65.3, 189.7 AR Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 09 Nov 2005 13:27:01 +0000 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Chillers/Tips RE Bob Hall's post: 1. Plate chillers are pretty cool (pun, if you can call it that, intended) but they have their downside and that is cleaning. To clean them you have to completely disassemble them and that can be a bit of a chore. It's not something you have to do after every brew - the conventional flushing and back flushing should serve for that but eventually you have to tear them apart and clean out the crevices and corners of the strange stuff that builds up inside them. Obviously it is very important to keep hop flowers and stems from entering the chiller. If one of those got wedged in there I think there is little hope of getting it out without disassembly whereas with a counterflow I think you could probably push it out with a piece of wire. Another thing to think of is that there are good counterflow chillers available. Someone (Hearts in Florida?) used to sell (and may still) a small heat exchanger designed for use as a water cooled condenser in refrigeration equipment. It is amazingly effective for its size. The inner tube is finned so that transfer of heat to the coolant is multiplied both by the extra contact area and the turbulent flow that the fins cause. You can put about a gallon per minute through one of these and come out within 10 degrees of the cooling water input temperature (if I remember correctly). 2. Tips to improve the brewing experience: Get away from Mama. Don't brew in her kitchen. Don't let her in your brewery. Seriously, having a separate place to brew as far as possible from the main flow of domestic activity as possible has added imensely to the pleasure of brewing for me. Equipment doesn't have to be taken out of storage and set up and it doesn't have to be put back in storage at the end of the brew day - all that is necessary is to get everything clean. You can leave it where it fell and go back the next day and tidy up putting everything in its place ready for the next brew. I'm a decoction fan so not having to face 2 hours of cleanup at the end of a 12 - 14 hour brew day is a big plus. Another big plus is a sloping floor with a drain or drains and a hose connected to hot and cold water with a pistol type sprayer at the end. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2005 8:37:21 -0600 From: Trevor LaRene <larene4 at tds.net> Subject: Ale yeast for cooler temps? Vincent asks: "Any suggestions on an ale yeast that can do a little better at cooler ale temps?" I don't know what yeast you used, but I routinely make ales using dry Nottingham, at 50 degrees F. (Basements gets pretty cool in the winter up here in Green Bay, WI.) At that temp, Nottingham ferments very clean, quickly, and drops clear. Works every time. Hope this helps. Trevor Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 09 Nov 2005 08:42:24 -0800 From: Denny Conn <denny at projectoneaudio.com> Subject: Re:aluminum immersion chiller I think that what you're missing is that there are hundreds (thousands?) of people who use copper wort chillers and don't get oxidized wort! While I can't see anything wrong with an AL chiller, I certainly don't see a compelling need for one, either. --------------->Denny At 11:56 PM 11/8/05 -0500, you wrote: >Hi all, > >I'm in the process of putting together a new kettle. I >decided on Aluminum because I need the thermal >conductivity (had scorching problems with stainless). The >health questions didn't convince me. And new, 6mm thick >stock pots are readily available for < $100. Then I started >wondering about my immersion chiller. > >I have read that copper--if its not cleaned with acid >before use--does oxidize wort. So, it makes sense to make >an immersion chiller from Aluminum rather than copper. The >thermal properties are close, and I'll get less oxidation. >Because I use tubing and clamps, the lack of solderability >doesn't bother me at all. > >Has anyone tried this? Am I missing something here? > >raj Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 09 Nov 2005 13:45:49 -0600 From: Francisco Jones <frandog at earthlink.net> Subject: Summary of recent queries Many thanks to all who responded both on- and off-line to my two recent queries about measuring evaporation rate and fermentation rate vs batch size. In summary: -Boil-off evaporation occurs as a volume per unit time, and should be specified as such (ie gal/hr). 1.3 gal/hr appears to be a good approx. figure for those of us with converted sanke boilers and king kooker (tm, NAYYY) style burners set to "Saturn V". -Batch size _by_itself_ should not change the fermentation rate / time-to-ferment. [rhetorical, off topic]: Do spammers actually think that we finish reading their bulls**t (or is it horses**t?) once we realize what it is we are reading?! Sheesh! Francisco Jones Kankakee, IL [256 magnetic/196 nm] AR Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 09 Nov 2005 12:03:10 -0800 From: Mark Beck <beckmk at whitman.edu> Subject: Tea flavor and dry hopping I just made a batch of Bitter (extract with steeping grains, OG ~ 1.038) that has a very distinct tea flavor. To my taste buds it really tastes like iced tea, although most of my friends don't find the flavor as overwhelming as I do. In any event, this is not the first time this has happened (but it probably is the strongest flavor). I've had it happen with all grain batches as well. I'm trying to figure out where it's coming from. I just read in the latest Zymurgy that "low alpha acid flower hops are prone to giving off a tea-like flavor when used in large amounts in dry hopping." This tea-flavored batch of mine had 3/4 oz of 6.5% alpha Cascade dry hops (they were about 1 year old, but had been stored vacuum sealed in the fridge). Despite this level of dry hopping, there is essentially no Cascade hop flavor or aroma present. Does anyone else out there feel that this could be the cause? Are there other factors--such as the age of the hops? My luck with dry hopping with Cascades has been mixed--sometimes I've gotten decent hop aroma and flavor with only 1/2 oz, and other times I've gotten very little aroma and flavor. Mark Walla Walla, WA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 09 Nov 2005 14:07:27 -0600 From: Francisco Jones <frandog at earthlink.net> Subject: A.J.'s growth metabolites A.J. writes: |I'm also aware that the Whitelabs website advises pitching at |70F and dropping to 48 - 55F only after things are well under |way. I'm too chicken to do this being nervous enough about |the growth metabolites in a starter of such volume grown at 70F. This is what I normally do when making a lager. Seem like more of a time saving measure than anything else. Now I'm sure I should already know the answer to my question, especially since I'm up to date on reading all the recent HBD activity on yeasts (FOY, etc.). But nevertheless, I'm not quite picking up what A.J. is putting down, above. What is the relationship between this technique and the starter growth metabolites, and why, if at all, should I be nervous about doing the above? Thanks. Francisco Jones Kankakee, IL [256 magnetic/196 nm] AR Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2005 15:44:21 -0500 From: leavitdg at plattsburgh.edu Subject: Licorice Abbey For those of you who like Licorice: I just tasted an Abbey to which I added (to 1/2 of the batch) 1/2 oz of Anise Abstract at the time it was bottled. The Licorice taste is there, but not overly so. Yum! Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 09 Nov 2005 18:47:14 -0500 From: "David Houseman" <david.houseman at verizon.net> Subject: New MCAB Leader Announced I'm pleased to announce both the location of the 2006 MCAB and that the MCAB program has a new overall leader. Curt Stock, St. Paul, Minnesota, has agreed to take on the role as leader of MCAB with the concurrence and blessing of Louis Bonham who is stepping aside to focus on his business interests. Curt will host the 2006 MCAB in St. Paul and is looking to have this in March. Specifics have not been worked out yet; Curt will follow with appropriate announcements. Additionally, the informal MCAB committee felt that in order for MCAB to continue it needed a home rather than bouncing around. Curt will host MCAB in the St. Paul area in the future. However, as the MCAB leader he will continue to examine what is best for MCAB and may direct MCAB to other venues as appropriate. Curt will continue to have the support and advice of the MCAB committee. Curt has extensive competition experience including; stewarding, judging, cellar master, and competition organizer for the 1st Round Midwest Region of the 2005 AHA National Competition. Curt's goal will be to organize the efforts of the MCAB Qualifying Event competitions and establish consistency for the Masters Championship of Amateur Brewing. He will provide a high quality contest in which the hobby's best brewers will face-off to prove their exceptional amateur brewing skills. Finally, MCAB is adding the Upper Mississippi Mash Out competition to the list of MCAB qualifying events. The existing MCAB qualifying events will continue until further notice. The current MCAB web site, www.hbd.org/mcab will be updated with information about the 2006 MCAB as these plans develop. Please join me in thanking Curt for stepping up to take on this competition program and wishing him the best of luck. David Houseman MCAB committee Return to table of contents
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