HOMEBREW Digest #4900 Wed 30 November 2005

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  Re: hydrometers - bah humbug ! (Bob Tower)
  Eating hop shoots? (was: beer has anti cancer properties?) ("Greg 'groggy' Lehey")
  Re: 18th Century Measurements ("steve.alexander")
  RE:  Tenacious Phenolic Issue ("David Houseman")
  looking for opinions (Paul Waters)
  Burning down the Brewery ... ("Peter A. Ensminger")
  Re: aged grain, and another question. (Jeff Renner)
  Temperatures ("John Adsit")
  Phenols, plastic fermenters and old grain ("Peed, John")
  re: Use of Roasted Wheat (RI_homebrewer)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2005 22:59:23 -0800 From: Bob Tower <tower at cybermesa.com> Subject: Re: hydrometers - bah humbug ! In #4897 Steve Alexander was going over the downsides and limitations of hydrometers: > Ideally we'd like to take hydro readings pre-boil, post chill, > repeatedly through fermentation and at final kegging. Proper > operation of a hydro, including degassing and temperature control, > correct reading procedure is, I suspect, seldom practiced. More > error. What is a good (read: practical considering common equipment and conditions that home brewers have) way of degassing a sample? What is correct reading procedure, since Steve suspects it is seldom practiced? Apart from investing in hundreds (thousands?) of US dollars worth of testing equipment, is there a better way of collecting this data? Or are we stuck with the hydrometer? Or was Steve merely warning us that the readings we are taking are approximations, not dead on measurements? Thanks for the advice. Bob Tower / Los Angeles, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 09:29:32 +0100 From: "Greg 'groggy' Lehey" <grog at lemis.com> Subject: Eating hop shoots? (was: beer has anti cancer properties?) Looks like the "hops stop cancer" story is hitting the general public. But this is the first time I've seen stories about people *eating* hops. Greg - ----- Forwarded message from James Leone <that_isridiculous at yahoo.com> ----- > Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2005 08:38:07 -0800 (PST) > From: James Leone <that_isridiculous at yahoo.com> > To: Greg 'groggy' Lehey <grog at lemis.com>, > Romana Branden <romana at timelady.com> > Cc: LinuxSA Talk <linuxsa-talk at linuxsa.org.au>, LabF <us@labf.org>, > "List, ITShareSA" <list at itshare.org.au> > Subject: Re: beer has anti cancer properties? > > > --- Greg 'groggy' Lehey <grog at lemis.com> wrote: > > ... > >> If you want xanthohumol, chew hops. > > If anyone wanted to make some, it looks like hops is a > > part of Belgian cuisine...I haven't found any recipies > yet... > > "Hops are considered a true culinary delicacy in > Belgium," said Gerard W. Ch. Lemmens, executive vice > president of Morris Hanbury, an importer of British > and Continental hops. "I lived near hop fields and > loved sampling the shoots as they first appeared in > spring." > > http://www.allaboutbeer.com/food/hops.html > > James Leone - ----- End forwarded message ----- - -- Finger grog at lemis.com for PGP public key See complete headers for address and phone numbers Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 05:45:03 -0500 From: "steve.alexander" <steve-test at adelphia.net> Subject: Re: 18th Century Measurements Long Lost Phil on hydrometers .... >Which brings me to the point, just what is your point Steve? > > Is there supposed to be a point to all this ? You must be a religious man Phil. That post was powered by several+ glasses of Great Lakes Xmas ale, which goes down remarkable well for a 7.5%ABV beer. Anyway I think it has something to do with some of the 'hard limits' of life. I don't know why the adjective "hard" applies since most of the time it's like swimming in jello. I'm thinking about things like the Heisenberg uncertainty and the related constant which forms a sort of impenetrable boundary to knowledge ... yes you can gain a bit more on the left side but you have to give it up in the right. Instrumentation of all sorts (not just hydrometers) come a cropper of the same sort of issue - tho' in different ways. We can make more accurate or at least higher resolution instruments *but* there is almost always a higher cost to be paid for the accuracy & resolution. It's a very strange thing but when one looks around at typical measuring devices in a household (typically <$100 value each) we see that these mostly have a relative error around several percent. That means there readings are really are meaningless beyond 2 decimal places. A few of the better ones come in with a bit over 2 digits of useful resolution, and then amidst all this slop and imprecision we have electronic measurements where, for $19.95 and a trip to RadioShack one can obtain a 3.5 digit resolution. There must be an underlying reason that electronic quantities are readily measurable to 10+ bits of resolution essentially for free, and extra 10 bits for a price - but it escapes me at the moment. Surprisingly (and one must appreciate the hard work of physical chemists) many phys-chemical properties are measured with simple tools that barely resolve a single digit of accuracy. Clinitest anyone ? Colorimetric tests are the low-rung in lab accuracy. Mass has long been a high accuracy measurement tool for chemists, but then there is the issue of cost. A $60 bathroom scale will probably resolve a bit over 2 digits and a industrial electronic scale will give about 4.8 digits for $1000, which is a sweet deal while an analytic balance can produce almost 6 digits for a mere $3k. Nice but not for my brewery. AJ writes a nice bit about pycnometers, and although a bottle is just ~$150 and the scale to measure this accurately enough to matter will cost maybe $350 - these costs are ultimately dwarfed by the 60 minute procedure involved for each measurement. Seriously - I want to measure the progress of fermentation continuously and with abt 2 digits of accuracy and a hydrometer (or pycnometer) isn't even a first step in the right direction. You are measuring yeast mass in these and the weirdly varying and poorly characterized relation of temp and volume in wort/beer. Also you are burning off a load of time to make even one measurement per day with a pycnometer. When you are done you have a few SG data points which have to be related back to fermentation progress via indirect means of Balling estimation. No I don't like this one bit. Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation according to OscarW, and that describes the situation. I want that free lunch & the beer. >I thought your post was inspired by "bad hydrometer readings". I'm thinking >here, all the scientific information you've provided would also suggest we >should never have any faith in an ordinary tire (Ozzies read "tyre") >pressure gauge. > > As it happens I just filled all the rubbery pneumatics in my garage yesterday. When I got to my tractor the maximum pressure is 20psig (~150kPa in the civilised world) so I fill it to 20 with the cheesy 50 cent gauge built into the on the pump. Then I use my handsome $1.50 gauge and it reads 29psig and I'm suddenly expecting an explosion of a $300 tire. For all I know the tire is now at 14psig and will roll over the next time I take a spin. Next time I'll use my advanced hydrometery knowledge and make a brine solution the will allow the tractor to float when the tires are properly inflated. Hydrometry is a poor name ... should be hydromancy. Divining the state of fermentation by floating a bit of weighted glass in the fermenter is a sort of divination, no ? My point is this (and I almost convinced myself there was none): the *thing* we really want to measure is the extent of fermentation {or perhaps the decline in fermentable sugars but that's a much hairier topic}. Fermentation is the conversion of N glucose units to 2N alcohol units and 2N CO2 units.along w/ the release of something like 234Joules of energy per mole. *IF* we can measure the decline in glucose units -OR- the CO2 -OR- the EtOH -OR- the heat produced, then we have a direct measure of the fermentation progress and none of this hydromancy measure a vague SG then guesstimate the fermentation progress. Maybe we can revisit the CO2 gas flow meters or devise a means of measuring fermenter mass changes or beer volume changes or ferment in a calorimeter to measure heat. There just has to be a better way. -SteveA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 07:59:03 -0500 From: "David Houseman" <david.houseman at verizon.net> Subject: RE: Tenacious Phenolic Issue Rick, I don't believe your medicinal phenol character is from ingredients. I've use new and old grain frequently as well as hops that have been in my freezer longer than I'd like to admit and have not found this to be a problem. Nor have I found any reference to phenolic character from any of my reading that was attributable to ingredients. The problem is either chlorophenols (sanitizer, chlorinated water) or an infection. Now the later I am all to familiar with. I thought I was very good about sanitation but did have a problem in a couple batches and found the phenolics due to the use of an old plastic racking cane and siphon tubing as well as failing to disassemble my bottling bucket spigot after each use. So look for some common source of infection, particularly plastics and complex assemblies such as spigots with gaskets. David Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 06:23:23 -0800 (PST) From: Paul Waters <pwaters3 at yahoo.com> Subject: looking for opinions I pose a question. I brewed clone batch of celebrator dopplebock this weekend by decoction (double decoction) everything went great, nailed all my targets except one, grrrr! I had what I would call a long lag time before I had noticeable fermentation. I use a counter flow chiller to cool the wort to about 65'/70'F. Then I let the carboy with the fresh wort sit for about 30mins to settle out cold break etc. I then oxygenated it for about 5-7mins with bottled O2 and a sintered stone. I pitched approximately 750ml of a thick slurry after decanting the starter of reactivated yeast (wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager Yeast) that I saved from a previous batch that had been kept at 31'/33'F under finished beer for about 4 months, it reactivated quite well. I then put the carboy in the temperature controlled freezer at 53'-55'F to ferment. It took approximately 40hrs to get a krausen (is that the correct term) cap. The starting gravity is 1.086 Target gravity is 1.018 this is taken from a bottle of celebrator All that to get to my question. My question, is this a crisis? can I get a complete fermentation? and what can I do to prevent a an incomplete fermentation. Paul W Mad Cow Brewing Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 10:40:17 -0500 From: "Peter A. Ensminger" <ensmingr at twcny.rr.com> Subject: Burning down the Brewery ... A recent article in Proc Natl Acad Sci may interest many HBD'rs, particularly those with a bent toward anthropology or interest in aboriginal beers: "Burning down the brewery: Establishing and evacuating an ancient imperial colony at Cerro Baul, Peru" PNAS 102: 17264-17271. The full PDF-reprint is available here: www.clas.ufl.edu/users/sdef/pub/burning_down_the_brewery.pdf Cheerio! Peter A. Ensminger Syracuse, NY hbd.org/ensmingr Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 10:43:27 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <jsrenner at umich.edu> Subject: Re: aged grain, and another question. "Mike Sharp" <rdcpro at hotmail.com> writes from Kent, WA (that's the state of Washington, not Western Australia, for you Ozzies) > Suppose...uh...a friend of mine had some grain that was not only > old (at > least several years), but had been milled as well, and had been > stored in > sealed poly buckets? ;^) > > Common wisdom suggests that your friend's malt is likely to be greatly deteriorated in quality, although the fact that it was in a sealed container will help. Miller malt is far more prone to absorb moisture. > A separate question I've been meaning to ask is this: When you > look at > brewing equipment (usually for brewpubs), you often see that the > bright beer > serving tanks are much larger than the capacity of the brewhouse, and > sometimes even larger than the fermenters. Or you'll see a setup > that has > several large unitanks (say 14 bbls) for fermenting and serving, but a > brewhouse capacity of 7 bbls. I've wondered how they work the brewing > schedule--do you brew two batches, and ferment twice your brewhouse > volume > as a single batch, or do you "top up" the serving tanks with freshly > fermented beer (which seems weird to me)? Is this configuration more > efficient than, say, 7 bbl brewhouse and 7 bbl unitank fermenters? > It is apparently a fairly common arrangement to have the fermenters and bright tanks double the capacity of the brewlength. I first heard of it when Dr. Clayton Cone, the yeast scientist, spoke at MCAB the first year or two in Houston or St. Louis (can't remember which). He mentioned it more or less in passing as a common practice in Germany. He was making the point that it can be advantageous for the yeast to add a batch of aerated wort to newly fermenting wort. He mentioned 14 hours as a typical time between batches, although that seems a little long. I can't say that I exactly understand the economy or efficiency of this. It would seem that investing in a larger brewery would not cost anywhere as much as twice the cost of a smaller one, and would pay dividends every time you brewed. Perhaps it's a way of increasing the capacity of an existing brewery without getting new mash tuns, kettles, etc. So I guess that I'm really not answering your question except to offer Dr. Cone's observation. Jeff - --- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, jsrennerATumichDOTedu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 ***Please note new address*** Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 09:30:26 -0700 From: "John Adsit" <j.adsit at comcast.net> Subject: Temperatures Wikipedia has an interesting article that summarizes a variety of theories on both the origins of the Fahrenheit scale and body temperature. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fahrenheit As I understand it, the original accepted Fahrenheit body temperature was a round number, but it became 98.6 when, after Fahrenheit's death, the scale was recalibrated to make 32 and 212 the exact freezing and boiling points of water. The article lists four theories, omitting the one my own High School Physics teacher suggested: Fahrenheit used his wife's age and weight for the freezing and boiling points. > > 98.6F exactly equaling 37C is a coincidence. > > Why Fahrenheit set up his scale the way > he did is not exactly known. > But either he used someone with an elevated > body temperature to set "100F" or he multiplied > Romer's older temperature scale by a factor to > avoid having to log negative temperatures > outside his home. > John Adsit Boulder, CO Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 11:45:59 -0800 From: "Peed, John" <jpeed at elotouch.com> Subject: Phenols, plastic fermenters and old grain Rick with phenol issues, do you use a plastic fermenter? If so, I'd switch to glass. How about racking canes and hoses - cracked, scratched, stained, need changing? Rubber stoppers old and scarred? How do you chill your wort? How long does it take? Do you use a pump? What is your fermentation temperature (the wort, not the ambient)? What are you doing for yeast? You could pretty well eliminate airborne stuff if you purged all vessels with CO2 and used CO2 to transfer the beer, but I'm betting it's some piece of equipment, or maybe technique (handling). I'd say just about zero chance that it's the grain; bad grain would probably give musty or stale flavors. But I would recommend that Mike's "um-friend" discard that several-year-old milled grain. I wouldn't keep milled grain more than a week. Not more than overnight, preferably. If nothing else, it'll sop up a lot of moisture. Worst case, it would mold. Also, obviously, grain needs to be stored in a dry environment. And whole, not crushed. And as for the dilution issue, I'd use the wort that I ended up with. If you use five gallon carboys, then maybe you should just live with the yield. If you can't live with the yield, then buy some seven gallon (6.9, whatever they are) carboys. I suppose you could brew "heavy" and dilute with cooled boiled water, but that's invasive and asking for trouble. The one thing I would not recommend is brewing in a plastic bucket. They're soft, they scratch and it's almost impossible to sanitize scratched soft materials. Using plastic is asking for trouble, in my opinion. Even if you buy a new one for every brew, they still get scratched just from stacking, handling and storage. Glass is heavy and semi-fragile, bit it's as smooth and as close to impervious as you could hope for, and that counts for a lot. John Peed Oak Ridge, TN Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 19:35:27 -0800 (PST) From: RI_homebrewer <ri_homebrewer at yahoo.com> Subject: re: Use of Roasted Wheat Hi All, In HBD #4899 Tim Lewis from Enfield, CT asked about using roasted wheat in an extract Weizenbock. I've not made a Weizenbock, or used roasted wheat, so I can't really answer your question. However, I did notice that you plan on using munich and dark wheat as specialty malts in an extract beer. Both of these malts contain unconverted starch and should be mashed instead of simply being steeped. The munich malt has diastatic enzymes and can convert itself and probably small amounts of the dark wheat too (which if it's similar to the dark wheat I've used, is about 40 to 50L). Jeff McNally Tiverton, RI (652.2 miles, 90.0 deg) A.R. South Shore Brew Club Return to table of contents
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