HOMEBREW Digest #4901 Thu 01 December 2005

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  Holy Hydrometers! ("Phil Yates")
  Re: hydrometers - bah humbug ! (Scott Alfter)
  Rennerian co-ordinates ("simon vogel")
  RE:  Tenacious Phenolic Issue ("steve.alexander")
  Re: looking for opinions (jeff)
  Bicentenary All Grain Brew... ("Cave, Jim")
  Responses to Phenolic Issue (Rick) Theiner <rickdude@tds.net>
  Chloramine removal by activated carbon filtration ("Wiscer")
  Multiple Batch Fermentation ("Doug Hurst")
  Make it stooopppp! ("Peed, John")
  Eating hops (David Edge)
  Are You a Penny Stox Player? ("Gloria William")
  Hydrometers ("A.J deLange")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 18:06:05 +1100 From: "Phil Yates" <phil.yates at bigpond.com> Subject: Holy Hydrometers! >That post was powered by several+ glasses of Great Lakes Xmas ale, which >goes down remarkably well for a 7.5%ABV beer. Well then Steve, I take my hat off to you being able to supply all that information after several+ glasses of 7.5% beer. I wish I had have been at the party. Last experiment I conducted after "a few too many" was the urine samples in the schooner glasses to determine why I wasn't adding instantaneous weight during alcohol consumption. BTW, can anyone tell me how it is possible to drink so many glasses of beer in a certain space of time, as opposed to say just water? >Next time I'll use my advanced hydrometery knowledge and >make a brine solution that will allow the tractor to float when the >tires are properly inflated. Or you could come and have a look see how we do things here at Maple Downs. After 5 years of depilating drought, the skies have finally opened and she's giving us a drenching. I sit here on the porch with a beer watching my tractor float around in what only could be described as brine - this is a mixture of horse and cattle rear end deposits mixed in mud and heavily diluted. >Is there supposed to be a point to all this ? You must be a religious >man Phil. Yes my good man, there is a reason for all. Not that I've found it yet. Now on the strength of that, I'm gunna go swill down yet another Schofferhofer Hefeweizen, and be back in time to see the tractor do yet another floating round of the ranch. Phil Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 23:13:24 -0800 From: Scott Alfter <scott at alfter.us> Subject: Re: hydrometers - bah humbug ! Bob Tower wrote: > 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? I'm surprised nobody's mentioned refractometers yet. They're cheaper than you think (I bought mine from an eBay seller for ~$50 shipped, and I've seen them as low as $35 shipped...it's mostly a matter of timing), and they need only a few drops of liquid to get a reading. For beer, you want one that reads 0-32 deg. Brix, and has automatic temperature compensation. Once you verify a 0 deg. Brix reading with distilled water (you can tweak it if necessary), you can pull a sample at any stage of the brewing process, drop it on the business end of the refractometer, and get a reading. ProMash has a built-in utility that'll determine true specific gravity from refractometer readings taken at any point after the yeast is pitched, given an initial (pre-pitching) reading. Hydrometers are a cast-iron pain in the *ss to use. I could never be bothered to take regular readings with one. The refractometer is so much easier to use that it's no big deal to track gravity from pre-boil to the keg. _/_ Scott Alfter / v \ Visit the SNAFU website today! (IIGS( http://snafu.alfter.us/ Top-posting! \_^_/ rm -rf /bin/laden >What's the most annoying thing on Usenet? Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 01 Dec 2005 09:24:06 +0000 From: "simon vogel" <vogelsimon at hotmail.com> Subject: Rennerian co-ordinates Jeff's new address noted -does this mean we've all moved as well ? Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 01 Dec 2005 06:18:51 -0500 From: "steve.alexander" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: RE: Tenacious Phenolic Issue RickT asks about his persistent phenolic flavor. The strong vibrant chlorophenolic flavor does requires some source of chlorine and that's either your water or your sanitizers. Iodine has a uniquely medicinal flavor too, but I expect an old hand like Rick Theiner can tell the difference. You potentially could get some very funky flavored mold growth in poorly stored malt and yes it could taste medicinal. I would expect this flavor to be apparent in the sweet wort and not develop later. Now other phenolic flavors can be derived from infection, for example the clovey 4VG, as in weizens, is copiously produced by wild yeasts and this can be perceived as medicinal or smokey too. It's reported that some Belgian ale yeasts will overproduce 4VG at higher fermentation temps too. Poor quality barley - feed barley for example, will give an unmistakable "plant bitterness" phenolic character, but I don't think you'd call it medicinal. If it's that tingly chlorophenoloc flavor - look to your water and rinsing procedures. If you strongly suspect the malt, then I'd expect this to be related to some surface mold infection and you might detect it by simply ringing a few ounces of grain/malt and tasting the rinse water. The tongue may not give quantitative results, but it's a damn fine instrument. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 04:33:23 -0800 (PST) From: jeff at henze.us Subject: Re: looking for opinions Paul: > Then I let the carboy with the fresh wort sit for > about 30mins to settle out cold break etc. What is the purpose of letting the cold break settle for 30 minutes prior to adding O2 to it? I've been just adding O2 as soon as I get done putting the wort in primary - is there an advantage to waiting? > My question, is this a crisis? can I get a complete > fermentation? and what can I do to prevent a an > incomplete fermentation. I wouldn't think it's going to be an issue that it took 2 days to get started, so long as sanitation was good. Especially since it was a lager. Can't tell you why it took that long to get rolling, but it's happened to me with ales and the beer was just fine when it finished (and it did finish where it should have). - --Jeff Canton, MI Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 07:27:19 -0800 From: "Cave, Jim" <Cave at psc.org> Subject: Bicentenary All Grain Brew... Yes, the 200th all grain brew is coming up! I started brewing in 1977 when many of you were in diapers and I still have a 25 litre glass carboy that was used for that first batch! My first all grain brew was on March 28th, 1991 and I have brewed 197 since then. I thought to commemorate this special event, that I would solicit the HBD community to formulate the recipe for me. My 100th AGB was a Barley wine--a somewhat disappointing effort. I would suggest that I would once again brew a barley wine. My yeast will be White Labs dry English ale. I have the following ingredients: Gambrinus ESB malt. Special "B" Chocolate Malt Some sort of a British dark crystal malt I have various lager malts, wheat malts and Munich malts, which wouldn't seem to style. East Kent Goldings Pellets Styrian Goldings Pellets Hersbrucker (saving this for a later pilsner) Horizon Pellets (13.5% AA Base Bittering) Northern Brewer Leaf (6.5% AA) Don't have the alpha's handy on the EKG and SG hops, but I normally shoot for a total IBU, and adjust the 1st addition accordingly to account for the IBU's on the later additions. I generally achieve about 85% efficiency (E.G. about 19.5 kg of Ale malt achieves an OG of 1.050), and can mash up to 30 lbs fairly easily. Maximum batch size is about 50 litres, but I expect that this brew will be less. Normally I keg, but I will bottle this batch. I don't have a problem with using some small amount of malt extract or sugar to adjust the gravity upwards. I will make a normal pale ale the week before and use much of that yeast for the barley wine, so consideration of a starter in unnecessary. Go nuts Boys and Girls! Jim Cave Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 10:12:05 -0600 From: Eric (Rick) Theiner <rickdude at tds.net> Subject: Responses to Phenolic Issue Thanks for all the comments on my question about phenolics. It looks like the consensus is that it remains a sanitation issue, so that's what I'll address... new hose, disassembly of things that can be disassembled (and haven't been), and fierce cleaning of fermenters (maybe I'll try out that new thingy that goes onto the end of your drill for scrubbing out carboys). Rick Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 09:45:12 -0800 From: "Wiscer" <wiscer at hotmail.com> Subject: Chloramine removal by activated carbon filtration I've seen conflicting information on the degree that activated carbon filtration will remove chloramines from water. I've seen reports that say that you can't remove chloramines unless you use campden tablets or go to the extreme of reverse osmosis filtration. But I've also seen statements indicating that activated carbon filtration will remove the chloramines, sometimes this is with the caveat that you need a long contact time to have any significant effect. Is there a definitive answer to this question? If carbon filtration works, does the flow rate through the filter matter? If slower is better, how slow are we talking here...should it take an hour to run 5 gallons through an activated carbon filter to remove the level of chloramines present at typical levels in my water? What I have been doing is a very slow carbon filtration, essentially a light trickle out of the filter, such that it takes hours to fill the mash tun and HLT tank (for a 10 gallon batch). Since I am doing this the day before I brew, it isn't much of a problem, but if such slow filtering doesn't remove more of the chloramines, then I'd like to shorten the process. If filtering only removes a small amount of chloramines, then I would probably skip the filtration entirely since my water is otherwise excellent, nice and soft and able to be modified to approximate just about any water profile pretty easily (my thanks go out to the Sierrra Nevada and our water guys at the East Bay Municipal Utility District!) Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 01 Dec 2005 13:28:04 -0600 From: "Doug Hurst" <dougbeer2000 at hotmail.com> Subject: Multiple Batch Fermentation Many commercial breweries use fermenters which are 2-5 times larger than their brewhouse capacity. I feel the best reason for this is consistency. Blending multiple brewhouse batches will eliminate minor variations which have occured in the brewhouse. Mega brewers often run somewhere around 5 of their 10-14 daily batches into one fermenter. Micros generally don't brew more than 2-5 batches per day. I would guess the majority simply run a double brew day into one double capacity fermenter. The general procedure is to pitch a large yeast mass with the first batch and aerate each time the fermenter is topped up. Multi batching allows for increased economy because one larger fermenter costs less and uses less real estate than mutiple smaller ones. Capacity vs cost is a major issue to the megas when they selling 36packs for $11.99. Keep in mind they've developed high gravity brewing to increase capacity with minimal capital outlay. Doug Hurst Chicago, IL [197.5, 264.8] Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 11:33:12 -0800 From: "Peed, John" <jpeed at elotouch.com> Subject: Make it stooopppp! Steve, I don't understand why you want to monitor the fermentation progress continuously at all, let alone with great precision and accuracy; it seems a very invasive activity to me. I mean, one of the first things a neophyte brewer should be told is, "Leave the beer alone and let it ferment - don't risk introducing nasties into the fermentation environment by checking the gravity every day. Or even every two or three days. Just watch the bubble rate." Little Beer Peep 101 - leave the yeast alone, they'll come home, leaving alcohol behind them. If I were trying to make a bajillion gallons of Budweiser every day, day in and day out, then perhaps constant precise monitoring would be important. But for making a variety of first-class beer, beer that has slight variabilities but is consistently excellent, I need to concentrate more on things like procedure and sanitation and finding the highest quality ingredients. I mean, I'm a driven brewer, but there are more important things to worry about. A hydrometer alerts you to major discrepancies so you can correct them. Cool the sample to a reasonable temp; spin the hydrometer; bounce it off the bottom of the cylinder; wait until most out-gassing has stopped; bounce and spin again; read the gravity and temp; make a temp correction if necessary. Are you two points off pre-boil or post-boil? Your beer will still be to style. Maybe it's a measurement error. Who cares? It just isn't that important. But monitoring continuously, with great precision? That will tell you that your fermentation is proceeding normally; so will counting seconds between air lock bubbles. Oh, I know that's imprecise, but that's the whole point: Precision just doesn't matter in this case; it's the trend that matters. The beer is almost certainly going to ferment just fine whether you monitor it or not. And if you start and finish within two points of your targets, think that's all the precision you need. So no offense, but please, stop splitting hydrometer points and tell me the best place you've found to get the highest quality malt and hops. John Peed Oak Ridge, TN Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 01 Dec 2005 22:35:56 +0000 From: David Edge <david.j.edge at ntlworld.com> Subject: Eating hops Greg observed: > If anyone wanted to make some, it looks like hops is a > > part of Belgian cuisine...I haven't found any recipies > yet... At the hop museum in Tettnang (DE), there's a hop season menu from a Gasthof that is composed entirely of hop sprout dishes. They're coming into fashion in the UK at the ludicrous end of the price spectrum, I suspect as hop producers look for ways of dealing with the surplus. David Edge Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 02 Dec 2005 12:44:41 +0000 From: "Gloria William" <gwilliam_sk at charlottenc.nefn.com> Subject: Are You a Penny Stox Player? On the Rise Newsletter - November Issue, 2005 In ths issue we are going to profile a company involved in the Red Hot homeland security sector. Also recently entering the Oil/Energy Industry! This company's st0ck is very much undervalued considering the potential of the industry and the position of the company. (The perfect time to get in) A Huge PR marketing campaign has just started for Fridays trading and runnning all of next week. So grab as much as you can up to $0.10 range. We all know it's the big announcements that make these small gems move. Company: Vinoble, Inc. Symb0l: VNBL . OB Recent_Price: $O.O55 2 Day Target_Price: .10 30 day Target_Price: .20 Trading_Alert issued for Fridays Trading! Get in Early and make some cash!! Don't Wait Act Early VNBL is goign to Move nothing but Up!!.. Expect Some Big News next Week!! Read Why we believe VNBL will give big returns on investment: About the company: Vinoble, Inc. is a holding company, which is identifying and acquiring operational business opportunities in the areas of homeland security, security information systems, and other security services to provide long term growth for its shareholders. Vinoble believes that the opportunity to build a successful business in the security sector is unprecedented. The terror attacks on the United States on September 11, 20O1 have changed the security landscape for the foreseeable future. Both physical and logical security, have become paramount for all industry segments, specially in the banking, healthcare and government sectors. While the focus for Vinoble is on North America, the opportunity for security services is worldwide. According to Giga, a wholly owned subsidiary of Forrester Research, worldwide demand for information security products and services is set to eclipse $46B this year. Why we believe VNBL will give big returns on investment: * At this time much of VNBL's focus is on RFID (Radio frequency identification) technology and it's uses in the oil and gas industry. This is technology which uses tiny sensors to transmit information about a person or object wirelessly. * VNBL is developing a form of RFID technology which allows companies and governments to wirelessly track their assets and resources. Such technology has huge potential in the protection and transportation of materials designated "High Risk" were they to fall into the wrong hands. * VNBL works on integration of the two afore mentioned systems in order to create "High Security Space" in locales where it is deemed necessary. Locations which may take advantage of such systems are airports, sea ports, mines, nuclear facilities, and more. ***N E W S*** 9/6 Vinoble to Enter the Oil and Gas Sector 9/9 Vinoble Agrees to Acquire and Interest in an Oil and Gas Prospect 10/13 Vinoble Finalizes Asset Acquisition Latest News: MALIBU, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 17, 2005--Vinoble, Inc. announced today that it has completed and executed a definitive agreement in acquiring a minority interest in the Oil and Gas Prospect known as the Clovelly Prospect. Since its discovery in 1950, the field has produced in excess of 30 MMBO (Mi||i0n barrels of oil) and 200 BCFG (Bi||i0n cubic feet of gas). In September, Vinoble disclosed to shareholders its intent to enter the oil and gas production industry by announcing that it entered into a Memorandum of Understanding whereby acquiring a minority stake in the Clovelly Prospect. Subsequently, the Company has complied with the terms of the MOU and has finalized an agreement for the investment. While oil prices remain staggeringly high and gold reaching an 18 year peak at over $485 per ounce, the Company is excited about entering two strong markets where demand is high and additional supply is necessary to satisfy the demand. ORX Resources, Inc., the operator of the Clovelly Prospect expects dry well production to begin in 4 to 6 weeks. Vinoble also expects to begin conducting an exploration and 700 meter drill program on the Hazard property in early 2006. We believe that this is great news for VNBL. Just at the time when more domestic oil operations are starting up, VNBL comes in with a great product and solid acquisition. Put it on your radar now!! ** Act Early ** Please watch this one trade Friday and next week! Go VNBL!!! ____________________________________________________ Disc|aimer: Informati0n within this emai| c0ntains "f0rward_l00king st4tements" within the meaning of Sect10n 27A_of the Secur1t1es_Act of 1933 and Sect10n 21B of the S3cur1t1es Exch4nge Act of 1934. Any st4tements that express or inv0|ve discussi0ns with respect to predicti0ns, g0als, expectati0ns, be|iefs, p|ans, pr0jecti0ns, objectives ,assumptions or future events or performance are not statements of hist0rical fact and may be "f0rw4rd l00king statements."In compliance with Sect10n_17(b), we disc|ose the p4yment of 25OO do||ars pri0r to the pub|ication of this report. Be aware of an inherent conflict of interest resulting from such p4yment. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 02 Dec 2005 01:45:18 +0000 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Hydrometers The reason I missed the hydrometer commentary was because I never got #4897! So I just checked it out in the archives and I've got a couple of observations. First is, that as I have noted before, one must have a fairly good hydrometer (or preferrably narrow range set of hydrometers) take care of them (keep them clean, don't drop them) and use them properly which means insert them dry, wait for them to equilibrate (surface tension effects) and read them properly which means according to the manufacturer's instructions . The issue here is with respect to the meniscus: should the reading be taken at the top of the meniscus or by sighting across the surface of the liquid. In either case it is preferrable that the hydrometer be one made for brewing as these are calibrated for the surface tension of wort/beer not water. It is the position of the ASBC that readings "only slightly less precise" than those obtained with pycnometer or digital density meters can be obtained when hydrometers are of proper type and are properly used. They do not say what "slightly" means but do mention interlaboratory collabarative experiment error of around 0.00008 for digital density meters. Steve mentioned a lot of factors which bear on the workings of hydrometers. A properly made hydrometer inserted in a sample at the proper temperature (ASBC wants attemperation to 0.1 C) should read the sugar content (Plato) or specific gravity. Clearly with sugar content (Plato scale hydrometer) there is no issue with repect to apparent/true nor with temperature (as long as the sample is at the proper temperature for the instrument). Ten percent sugar by weight is ten percent sugar by weight at any temperature. With a specific gravity scale true/apparent isn't much of an issue either as a true specific gravity of 1.040 corresponds to an apparent gravity of 1.040048 (the Plato tables go out to 6 decimal places) but there is a problem in entering the ASBC tables (20C/20C) with a hydrometer calibrated for some other reference and measurement temperature. There are formulas for conversion (in fact the ASBC tables were converted from the (20C/4C) Plato tables. I was a little puzzled by Steve's comment about the Plato tables indicating that the SG of sucrose solutions do not change in proportion to pure water as temperature varies. AFAIK the only Plato table is the 20/4 one and that must have been enough of a WPA project with pycnometers and balances just by itself. Were there other measurements made at other temperatures? In any event the SG of sucrose solutions do change relative to water as a function of temperature - not by much, grant you but they do change. I thought Steve's most interesting comment was about the potential for yeast to effect the hydrometer reading. As the hydrometer displaces yeast when it is lowered into the sample if the yeast have an effect it will be seen. Intuition says that as yeast are in suspension until they floc and then they either go up (top cropping) or down (bottom cropping) and take a fairly long time to do that they must have a density pretty close to that of beer. Furthermore, as a barrel of beer gives me only perhaps 600 ml of compacted yeast they are a small percentage (about 0.5%) of the total volume and shouldn't have much effect. I opined the other day that one ought to be able to easily acheive 0.2P accuracy with a hydrometer without taking too much care. I added to that the hypothesis that yeast shouldn't make much difference and, as I have a beer in the fermenter, figured that they wouldn't mind if I got into work a little late for the sake of brewing science. The beer is a fest which started out at about 14P and is now down in the 6's. I took a sample into a hydrometer jar and poured it back and forth several time to degass it and then lowered a 0-8P hydrometer into it (I don't do the rigorous cleaning protocol - just a rinse after each use). I put enough sample in the jar that the fluid displaced overflows the top (as the ASBC likes) and then read at the top of the meniscus (as I never got instructions with these hydrometers I don't know if that's the right way or not but it is the way I've always done it with these hydrometers). I read 6.2P. Then up to the lab where I centrifuged a portion of the sample and ran the rest straight through a density meter. I got three identical readings of 6.33 P corresponding to SG of 1.02497. For the centrifuged sample I got 3 readings of 6.26P for an average SG of 1.02470 (SD .000005). Conclusions: Accuracy of better than 0.2P easily acheived and I should read at the bottom of the meniscus. If I do so I should be within 0.1P (.0004SG). The presence of yeast made a difference of 0.07P corresponding to 0.00027SG (note that the ASBC requires that samples that are not bright be filtered before measurement). For precise work yeast should be removed. Now as we are all good scientists here we need to recognize that this is a single experiment at one level of gravity on one beer etc. and not go publishing far and wide that hydrometers are as good as densitometers (which they weren't in this experiment anyway) but we do have at least one data point that shows that maybe we should look at our hydrometers in a somewhat more favorable light. Finally let's observe that if we start with 10P wort and have a standard deviation of 0.1P in our hydrometer readings that the standard deviation in an ADF calculated from a pair of hydrometer readings is 1.4%. Thus ADF from such readings is easily the measure of fermentation that Steve seeks; good to almos 2 significant digits. Return to table of contents
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