HOMEBREW Digest #4906 Wed 07 December 2005

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  RE: Chloramine removal by activated carbon filtration ("Mike Sharp")
  re: Hydrometer readings ("steve.alexander")
  British Bitter taste, chloramine removal (Nathaniel Lansing)
  RE: More Hydrometers (Steven Parfitt)
  So you want to monitor your gravity through the fermentation? ("Steve Laycock")
  RE: Pilsner mash schedule/decoction experiment ("Mark Prior")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 6 Dec 2005 23:10:22 -0800 From: "Mike Sharp" <rdcpro at hotmail.com> Subject: RE: Chloramine removal by activated carbon filtration By the way, when I said "I'd steer clear of AC-only filtration, because of the bacterial seeding problems associated with it." I probably should have added, "unless you're certain you will always thoroughly boil your water, and won't be tempted to add makeup water to cooled wort *without* sanitizing the water." Regards, Mike Sharp Kent, WA [1891.3, 294deg] AR Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 07 Dec 2005 04:51:50 -0500 From: "steve.alexander" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: re: Hydrometer readings Bill Velek states, >[on intermediate SG readings] ... what exactly could you DO about any >of it anyway? it's either fermenting or not [...] You could know more for the next time. If we really believed Bill's argument that we'd eschew blood pressure and heart rate readings, since the only matter of concern is whether the patient is dead or alive. I happen to subscribe to the somewhat mystical notion that knowledge itself is a good, and more is universally better than less. I'm sure there truly is "useless" knowledge, knowledge which can have no practical importance, but it's extremely hard to find an example. IF we had more observational data, we'd have more things to correlate effects against and there would then be more opportunity to discover relationships. >2. I have to question Steve about the yeast affecting gravity; note >[...] the yeast are not 'dissolved' in the beer (although I don't know >if that is actually necessary), but rather would be analogous to fish in >a pond. If the fish are swimming up against the bottom and sides of a >boat, then the boat will be more buoyant, but if they are minding their >own business, I don't see how their presence in the water could add >anything to the buoyancy of the boat any more than the even denser >stones and gravel sitting on the bottom. Fred Johnson offers this explanation ... >I believe Bill Velek is essentially correct in that the yeast in >suspension contribute little to the hydrometer reading. I believe >bouyancy is related to the molar concentration of the solutes. Sorry - that's not right at all. The yeast in suspension count and the buoyant force is dependent on the "bulk density" of the quasi-fluid, not the molar concentration. The buoyancy force was described without analysis by Archimedes, and although it's a brilliant insight, and a wonderfully concise statement it deserves a better examination. Of course the energy of the buoyancy hydrometer(or boat) system is at a minimum in the equilibrium state. It takes energy to pull the floating hydrometer up or to push it down. The energy per unit distance represents the displacement force involved. We all realize that the force it takes to displace a floating hydrometer up or down is just a tiny fraction of the force needed to move the non-floating hydrometer up or down in air. Why is that ? If we pull the hydrometer upward the hydrometer movement against gravity requires exactly the same energy in any case (E = g * M * d). The difference in the floating case is that there is a NEARLY equally offsetting energy re-couped by the falling wort level. Similarly if we push the hydrometer downward the energy normal obtained is nearly offset by the force and energy of the rising liquid. Now if we have yeast in suspension and if placing a hydrometer in the media cause the level of these yeast to rise, against gravity, then they are part of the buoyant force which is offsetting the gravitational force downward on the hydrometer. Generally, anything in suspension impacts buoyancy. Placing a boat on a pond does cause a minuscule but determinable rise in the level of the pond, and if fish are displaced upward by launching a boat, then they are part of the bouyancy. Actually fish have a bulk density that matches water unless they are rising or dropping - so there is negligible impact. Yeast and other tiny particles may be held in suspension by a variety of forces even if they are heavier than the solution. It would require a rather detailed analysis of the various forces to determine the actual contribution to SG. Now here is a wild fact. M&BS v2, pp544 states that the density of yeast cells in fermenter has been determined at about 1.073. At high ferment wort/beer is measurable in the grams per liter so yes they could have a little impact. The stones at the lake bottom or sediment in a hydrometer tube are not displaced and are not part of the buoyant force calculation. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 08:43:57 -0500 From: Nathaniel Lansing <delbrew at compuserve.com> Subject: British Bitter taste, chloramine removal Dave Riedel asked about getting that Brit flavor in his bitters. Victoria has very soft water, 2 grains/USgallon, you need to add Burton salts. Your water is so soft you will need about 4 teaspoons for 5 gallons (20 ml for 19 liters). It will get that tangy finish. /////// The general recommendation for chloramine removal with GAC is reduce the flow rate for chlorine by 3. If the flow for your filter is 1 gallon per minute, the chloramine removal rate would be 1 gallon/3 minutes. The use of a monolithic block AC cartridge helps improve the removal rate compared to a granular cartridge. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 06:34:36 -0800 (PST) From: Steven Parfitt <thegimp98 at yahoo.com> Subject: RE: More Hydrometers All of the technical discussions have been rather interesting, however I feel they miss the point for most of us. I don't need a reading to 1.XXXnnn points. I want to know if I have a problem. Ballpark numbers do well to tell this. I take a reading out of the chiller and before pitching with a hydrometer and take a brix measurement with my cheap ATC unit. If they agree, I have a good reading and a ballpark idea of my OG. I don't care if I'm off by 0.002 SG. When I rack the beer to secondary I take a sample and take both readings again. Yea, they are off a bit, but I only want to know if the beer is progressing well. Did it drop from 1.06x to the 1.02x range in the first week? If it looks like 1.03X or greater I may have a problem. When I think the beer is finished (airlock activity nill, yeast dropped and wort clear) I take a reading and again look for the TG. Does it look like it is in the range that I expect (+/-.001)? 0.0002 tolerance is not needed. 0.001 is do-able and acceptable. It's just a tool, like a lot of other instruments. Measuring cup, erlinmeyer flask, pipet, gallon stock pot..... 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: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 14:36:12 -0800 From: "Steve Laycock" <slaycock at discoverynet.com> Subject: So you want to monitor your gravity through the fermentation? Having not read every hydrometer post (some got kindof sticky and long winded), I'm hoping that this hasn't been mentioned already... but here goes! I too am of the analus retentus type and like to know the progress of my fermentation's & have been "monitoring" my fermentation's this year with a simple process. I fill a sanitized hydrometer tube with wort after wort aeration and yeast pitching. This hydrometer tube then becomes a "dedicated" testing vessel for that batch. Fit the top of the tube with a standard air lock & set the wort sample next to your fermentor (so the sample tube is subjected to the same temp as your ferment) Now you have a parallel sample as to what is in the fermentor vessel. You can now take a gravity reading on that batch as often as you like, WITHOUT the risk of contaminating your 5 or 10 gallons of precious cargo. You will need to remove the krausen to get accurate readings during active fermentation, but that only takes a few moments using a sanitized 1/4 tsp. measuring spoon (or anything small enough to skim the krausen off the top) I always sanitize my hydrometer before inserting in the hydrometer tube, this keeps infections risks down for the sample. For the first couple batches I left the hydrometer in the wort during the process, but found that the krausen likes to dry on the hydrometer shaft thus effecting the reading. I'd end up cleaning it off for readings & decided it'd be easier to leave it out during active fermentation to eliminate this problem. After ferment settles down and the krausen has essentially disappeared you can leave the hydrometer in the solution for "constant" monitoring if you like. You'll just need a hydrometer tube tall enough to accommodate the hydrometer with an airlock fitted on top of it. What I have found is that the sample ferments at a very close rate as the bulk batch. Initially I sampled the 6 gallon batch at various intervals as well as the sample batch and compared the reading. In my "testing" I found that the overall fermentation rate and final gravity are sufficiently close to each other to use as a reasonable gauge for where your SG is at. >From what I remember, I'd say the difference didn't vary much over a single gravity point. I've intended on gathering "accurate" data on this process and submitting it as an article to this forum, but as with many thing in life.... just hasn't happened yet. I've shared this process with some of my "ZZ Hops" brewing brothers and several have showed interest in trying this monitoring method. "It works for me" Steve Laycock "Highwater Brew Haus" Pleasant Hill Missouri Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 07 Dec 2005 19:17:16 -0500 From: "Mark Prior" <priorm at hotmail.com> Subject: RE: Pilsner mash schedule/decoction experiment Aaron asks for opinions regarding producing a malty pilsner production. My suggestion would be to decoct the beer if you are interested in a more complex and malty beer and are not concerned with color pickup. Also, pay attention to your yeast selection as well. Back to the decoction question. After performing isolated decoctions on and off for the last 10+ years and not really being able to discern if it was worth the extra effort, I decided to do a semi-side by side experiment this year. I brewed the same Octoberfest recipes twice over a period of serveral weeks using all of the same equipment and ingredients. One beer was produced with a 150 to 165 RIMS mashing cycle while the other was produced using an abbreviated decoction with rests at 131, 147 and 155. The batches were allowed to age for over three months then assessed side by side by a variety of drinkers and brewers. The flavors and aromas of the two beers were very similar when they were very cold but differed as they warmed. The decoction batch flavors remained complex and well blended as it warmed while the flavors from the other batch became flat, drier, less complex and more fragmented. This was my opinion and the opinion of numerous other drinkers as well. The decoction batch was preferred by most (for what it worth). My method of decoction does not take me substantially longer to brew than a standard infusion or RIMS mash (it does however require more effort!). My notes say, I hit my first rest ( at 131) at 7:00pm and finished a 90 minutes boil at 12:20am. Less than 5 1/2 hours from first strike to boil off. I use a water infusion to raise the mash to 131. Immediatly after mashing in, I pull about 1/3 of the mash and heat it to boiling, stopping for 5-10 minutes around 158. After a 30 minute rest at 147, I pull about 25% of the mash for the second decoction. After returning the second decoction to the main mash, I rest briefly at 155 (15-30 minutes). I then sparge slowly (about 60 minutes) without mashing off. This procedure is abbreviated compared to a some of the classic decoction mashing profiles, but it does produce a perceivable flavor difference in my opinion. Good luck! Mark Prior Return to table of contents
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