HOMEBREW Digest #4957 Tue 21 February 2006

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  Keg spear update ("pddey")
  War of the Worts Results ("Alan Folsom")
  Re: Avoid excess fusels by skipping the yeast nutrient? (Bob Tower)
  Re: My well water analysis (Calvin Perilloux)
  Advanced Homebrewing Course ("Lemcke, Keith")
  Online stores ("Rick Weber")
  Water Analysis (Dan Jeska)
  re: Do yeast consume ethanol? & more ("steve.alexander")
  More on aerobic yeast starters (Fred L Johnson)
  Re: Do yeast consume ethanol? ("Greg 'groggy' Lehey")
  Breaking News ("Hans Mora")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2006 21:33:49 -0700 From: "pddey" <pddey at netzero.net> Subject: Keg spear update I received some helpful tips earlier in the month when I queryed method and technique for re-installing the spear in a sanke keg for transferring beer from primary to secondary. I report now that I am pleased with the ease and utility of racking with this method. I rec'd my Kegman >insert propietary symbol here I 'spose< kit and was dismayed to realize that after $17 (S&H costs as much as the kit) the kit is nothing more than a snap ring and a replacement 0-ring for the spear. But, overall I'm pleased (and not affiliated). The snap ring is heavy duty; it should last a lifetime under moderate abuse. The kit includes very thorough instructions - obviously avoiding litigation. I followed a tip in the instructions and got myself a good pair of ring pliers and can now manipulate the ring with ease. Before inserting the spear in my keg of done-fermenting IPA, I practiced installing it through a cut-out keg top (my lid for my kettle, perched atop my boil kettle). This was a bit more challenging than the main event on the real keg but it allowed me to find the right combination of socket size and push board for depressing the spear. I cleaned the spear with a soak in TSP and a brush, then boiled it to sanitize. The spear seated smoothly in the fermenter sanke but I still had to use a few light taps on the snap ring to move it a few final millimeters to get it entirely seated in the groove above the spear. Moving beer was a breeze. When done, I remembered to tilt the emptied keg before venting off the pressure; spraying those luscious yeasties around the brewery would be downright rude. No, they had more work to do - a quick dose of low gravity wort to re-vitalize them and a fresh batch of wort the next day. One tip in the kegman instructions that seemed to work quite well: go to the junk drawer and find one of those plastic safety prongs used to keep childrens fingers/prying implements out of the electrical outlets. Or rip it out of the nursery. Use it to jam the ball open on the spear when installing or removing (and hence avoid pressure differential). To repeat the warning you hear whenever someone starts talking sanke kegs: make dam at sure you relieve the keg pressure before attempting removal of the spear! As the brewers safety video advises, treat every keg as though its loaded and never point it anything you don't want to....oh wait, that's getting into a different lesson lost on the VP. I'll be adding additional sankes to the brewery...someday. -paul in Cheyenne [1077, 273] Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 09:31:23 -0500 From: "Alan Folsom" <alan at folsoms.net> Subject: War of the Worts Results The 11th Annual War of the Worts is now history. The Keystone Hops would like to thank the 123 entrants who contributed 322 tasty brews, and the 40+ judges who made the event a success. Congratulations to Russ Hobaugh for his Best of Show Wiezen, and to Ed Walkowski for his BOS Mead, a Black Currant Melomel. Congratulations also to all the other ribbon winners, spread across nine states. Full results can be accessed from the Keystone Hops webpage, http://www.keystonehops.org. Al Folsom Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 08:30:20 -0800 From: Bob Tower <bob at constructotower.com> Subject: Re: Avoid excess fusels by skipping the yeast nutrient? Matt warns of the overuse of yeast nutrients in all grain wort production and possible creation of excess fusels as a consequence. My question for Matt or anyone else knowledgeable in such matters is how does a brewer determine the level of amino acids in a given wort? What are acceptable levels? I use Yeastex in all my brews and haven't noticed an increase in fusels (and I am very sensitive to that flavor/aroma). However, I am not a big fan of high gravity beers so I might only brew a 1.070+ brew once a year. For brews that are in the 1.040-1.060 range I use about 5 grams of Yeastex for a 24 gallon volume. If the brew has adjuncts I may boost the dose to 7-8 grams. I also oxygenate heavily, though I am unsure if that has any impact on fusel production. Bob Tower / Los Angeles, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 09:15:44 -0800 (PST) From: Calvin Perilloux <calvinperilloux at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: My well water analysis Larry Kress reports on his well water in the previous HBD; a selection of the major water components is this: Alkalinity as CaCO3 - 271 mg/L Hardness as CaCO3 - 295 mg/L Chloride - 48 mg/L Sulphate - 24 mg/L Ion Balance - 0.91 Calcium - 67 mg/L Magnesium - 31 mg/L Potassium - 1 mg/L Sodium - 17 mg/L pH - 7.75 What's puzzling me here is a lot of apparent carbonate hardness in the water, which would make for a high negative ion count from the inferred (high) carbonate level, but I'm not seeing enough on the positive ion side. Hmmmm? Perhaps a water chemistry pro could pipe in here, but maybe this is an example of a big ion imbalance that we see on some water reports. Still... Working with the numbers as stated, you have low sulphate water, and so if you're looking to brew Bitter/Pale Ale, you'll be needing some substantial doses of gypsum (CaSO4) to get your water to the Burton-on-Trent levels, something on the order of 0.75 to 0.9 grams/liter. (Roughly half an ounce for 5 gallons) Also, if your carbonates are indeed as high as it seems to me, you should consider distilled water dilutions (or boil-and-aerate then-decant treatment) of your brewing water for some low-carbonate styles like Bohemian Pilsner. In fact, high carbonate and middling calcium might be a problem for various very pale brews. Would one of the mash buffer products be of use? Perhaps. ("5.2" maybe, which might maybe be calcium phosphate and other stuff -- just guessing) Otherwise, you're probably perfectly fine with most styles using darker malts, and to be honest, you might be OK enough with your average pale ales anyway. Calvin Perilloux Middletown, Maryland, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 12:45:10 -0500 From: "Lemcke, Keith" <klemcke at siebelinstitute.com> Subject: Advanced Homebrewing Course I have been getting e-mails from folks who have heard about the Siebel Institute Advanced Homebrewing Course but don't know where to find the full info on the course. The best place for more details is on the web page at http://www.siebelinstitute.com/course_desc/homebrewing.html , where you will find an overview of the course and an outline of the daily content. Please drop me a line at klemcke at siebelinstitute.com with any questions about the course & content, and for questions about registration, housing options, and the amazing Durango area, please send an e-mail to Monique Monson at Fort Lewis College (our partner in the course) at monson_m at fortlewis.edu . By the way, though the course does not start until July 24th, it is already 1/3 full. As last year's course sold out well in advance of the start date, you should contact us soon if you want to guarantee a place in the class. Affordable on-campus housing is also limited, so don't wait too long to register. If you want to make sure you hear about the Homebrewing course in the future, sign up for our Siebel Institute newsletter at http://www.siebelinstitute.com/introduction/newsletter-signup.html . Keith Lemcke Siebel Institute of Technology Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 12:28:50 -0600 From: "Rick Weber" <rick.weber05 at gmail.com> Subject: Online stores Howdy, I've been looking at a few online retailers (ebrew.com morebeer.com and beer-wine.com) and I was wondering if any of y'all have had any luck with them or any other homebrew retailers online. Cheers! Rick Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 17:26:19 -0500 From: Dan Jeska <dan at kzoolf.org> Subject: Water Analysis Seems to be quite a few postings recently on water analysis for brewing. I got a sample of my well water tested by Ward Laboratories in Nebraska, $15 for a household mineral test. Here's the well water analysis for the brewing water I use. If you have some ideas on how suitable this water is for brewing, I'd love to hear your comments. One specific question I have is: should I make calcium additions to the brewing water in the form of gypsum or chalk? I understand that calcium is very important in mash chemistry to control pH and stabilization of amylase activity. The reference material I have says that 50 mg/L are required in the mash. Does the grain contribute some of the Ca++ ions needed? Thanks, Dan Jeska Total Alkalinity, CaCO3, 170 mg/L Conductivity, 0.51 mmho/cm pH, 7.9 Total hardness, CaCO3, 9 mg/L Calcium, Ca, 2 mg/L Sulfate, SO4-S, 10 mg/L Sodium, Na, 112 mg/L Bicarbonate, HCO3, 208 mg/L Chloride, Cl, 8 mg/L Nitrate, NO3-N, 7.6 mg/L Magnesium, Mg, <1 mg/L Potassium, K, <1 mg/L Carbonate, CO3, <1 mg/L Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 18:56:06 -0500 From: "steve.alexander" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: re: Do yeast consume ethanol? & more Fred Johnson asks with notable brevity, "Do yeast consume ethanol?". Yes ! Some do. Most brewing yeast I suspect. I'm out the door in an hour, so I won't be able to supply the level of detail or followup but ... I was was reading my copy of 'Science and Technology of Whiskies", by Piggot, Duncan et al ((extreme thanks to Glen Raudins of Raudins Publishing for helping me obtain a copy of this excellent text)) last week. It states that the Scotch Whisky industry propagates yeast (lager, ale & proprietary distilling yeasts) using an Alko Ltd method. This method involves several steps, but after building up a good size starter at 3-4% alcohol in a low air environment, they dilute this starter by a factor of 5 and bubble clean air through the mix and the yeast mass multiplies by a factor of 10X in 17 hours. The text notes that the ethanol drops from 0.7% (after dilution) to 0.01% as the yeast mass increases. Yes, yeast consume the ethanol as an oxidative carbon source. Another of Piggott's books ("Whisky Flavor Technology" I think) notes that whisky distillers only ferment for ~48 hours before distilling because if the ferment goes longer (note distillers use open fermenters) then there is a n economic loss of ethanol amounting to several percent. For a concrete example follow this link: http://www.ncyc.co.uk/search.php#brew Then select <NCYC number "equals" "1322">. This selects a commercial Irish lager strain. Then select "Aerobic utilisation and growth". This gives a list of potential oxidative (aerobic) carbon sources. The "+" sign next to ethanol means this yeast will use ethanol oxidatively. Most have ethanol marked "Unknown". NCYC 1026 is a UK ale yeast that also consumes ethanol. Please note that there is not very complete information on which strains use ethanol. ============== Matt Baum writes ,,,, re: Avoid excess fusels by skipping the yeast nutrient? > The point: I have read several academic papers which found that adding > AAs to a test wort led to HIGHER final fusel levels. I have read zero > that found the opposite. > Right - all-malt wort typically has more than enough FAN to avoid the excessive synthetic pathway fusel production. 12P all-malt wort seems to typically have 240-280ppm of FAN and it appears that levels as low as 150ppm at 12P doesn't significantly increase fusels levels overall. Having said this, be aware of /Fredrik's comments that yeast consume aminos in a sequence and so yeast can be synthesizing one amino while catabolizing another, and so producing one fusel by the synthetic route and another by the catabolic route. IOW we really can't talk about the general case of "FAN" or "FUSEL" with much meaning. To make much sense we have to delve beneath the general notion of FAN and FUSEL to the specific ones. but time doesn't permit me to go there. You should look harder, Matt. There are many papers dating back to the 1960s which clearly show that adding an amino acid to a ferment almost completely halts the synthetic pathway for the corresponding fusel. > The message is that the addition of nutrients may be a significant > factor that CAUSES excess fusels. And the "dilution" of all-grain wort > by using sugar seems to decrease fusels, even for large fractions of > sugar. That's a pretty broad generalization and I can't completely agree. Yeah, adding more FAN to a all-malt wort is probably generally negative wrt fusels. And at normal gravity, you can add about 30% of extract as FAN-free adjunct and still hit the 150ppm FAN minimum. OTOH certain amino acids have an osmoprotectant role in hi-grav fermentation and perhaps for this reason a higher level of FAN is usually recommended for hi-grav brewing. > None of this is helped by the fact that the suggested amounts for some > nutrients are for essentially AA-free wine or mead, and not beer. It's a tangent, but wine must carries ~100-150ppm of FAN and often another ~20-40ppm of nitrogen in ions accessible to yeast. That's not enough for wine fermentation, but a long way from zero(AA-free). > What I am wondering is "what am I missing here?" If your only choice is to add a mix of FAN to the fermenter at pitching then I agree. OTOH if you could add specific depleted aminos, say the group A aminos, or even a general mix of FAN later in the fermentation to stall the synthetic route ... then you may have an advantage. The levels of the various aminos is not fixed over time and neither is the production of fusels. If the Maxwell Magic Membrane is ever invented we could use it's osmosis to remove some of the FAN from the initial wort, then as fermentation progresses we'd slowly re-introduce FAN. This should keep the fusels under control. OTOH we should note that fusels aren't 100% bad. Certain ones are awful in quantity, but the modest heady-rough-bitter note is not always unwelcome. They become seriously problematic in hi-grav, hi-temp ferments with unhealthy yeast membranes. > Caveats: > 1. We are told that extract often is nutrient-deficient, and may > require AA additions. > 2. Lack of nutrients can be a growth-limiting factor for yeast, and > lead to higher ester levels or even incomplete attenuation. So there > has to be a balance. But the results seem to apply to all-grain beer > over a wide range of conditions. The argument about extract I think applies to the bad-old days when dried malt extract often was adulterated with sucrose. Right FAN is seldoma reason for growth limitation, but I might be concerned w/ very high grav and repitching. If you want to brew a barleywine with 20% adjunct I think you'd be wise to read, and re-read the past two decades of articles on commercial hi-grav (15-16P) brewing and the tricks developed. - -- Bill Velek asks about peltier junctions ... I've used peltiers in a (non-beer)system design and they require a low voltage, high current, are inefficient and do not have a very good lifespan before the junction failure. They do keep the Kyoto treaty types at bay off your back when you throw them in the rubbish .. When my mind turns toward perpetual motion machines and other less practical stuff the idea of cooling things with a Hilsch vortex tube often arises. Not terribly efficient but the bragging rights to refrigeration with no moving parts - hey that's as sexy a Brazilian Victoria's Secret model (if you ignore the moving parts). Here is a repro of one of the old 'Stong' SciAmer "amateur scientists" columns on HVT. http://www.visi.com/~darus/hilsch/ late, run, bye, -S Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 19:09:42 -0500 From: Fred L Johnson <FLJohnson52 at nc.rr.com> Subject: More on aerobic yeast starters As Steve Alexander and others have helped confirm for me that brewing yeast (at least some, and probably most, if not all) will utilize ethanol as an energy source if provided oxygen, I ask the following: Why should we not produce fully aerobic yeast starters, allowing the yeast to grow by providing them a constant supply of oxygen (air) and allowing them time to consume the ethanol? The yeast mass produced in such a starter would certainly be much greater than yeast grown anaerobically. Is there any reason to believe that such yeast would be less appropriate for pitching than would yeast produced anerobically? Fred L Johnson Apex, North Carolina, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 14:42:21 +1030 From: "Greg 'groggy' Lehey" <grog at lemis.com> Subject: Re: Do yeast consume ethanol? [resend: I got a note that my previous message wasn't accurate enough] On Sunday, 19 February 2006 at 22:56:59 -0500, Fred L Johnson wrote: > Will/can brewing yeast use ethanol as an energy source for growth in > the presence of abundant oxygen? No. Yeast produces ethanol, it don't consume it. You do understand that ethanol is the new name for what we generally call "alcohol", right? The press use it when they want to hide the fact that it's really alcohol. For the pedantic: yes, "alcohol" is a generic name for a series of compounds of aliphatic hydrocarbons, created by replacing one of the hydrogen atoms with a hydroxyl group. But in common use, "alcohol" means the prime alcohol in "alcoholic" drinks, which is related to ethane, C2H5OH, and now called ethanol. This is the alcohol referred to on the packaging of commercial beers, e.g. "4.5% ALC/VOL". Greg - -- Finger grog at lemis.com for PGP public key. See complete headers for address and phone numbers. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2006 02:31:01 +0000 From: "Hans Mora" <h_moraae at mindspring.com> Subject: Breaking News Smart Money Equities would like to thank our valued readers for making 2005 a great year. Please continue to support Smart Money Equities by visiting our sponsors and featured advertisers. We would like to introduce you to a company involved in the nanotechnology field. It is widely believed among experts that this could be the next sector to lead an economic boom. Some really Big news expected from this next winner: C0: Nano Superlattice Technology, Inc. Sym: N S |_ T Currentlt trading at: $3.00 Its 1 Week Target is: $5.95 Get in early on this one! A Massive PR Campaign is underway for Tuesday and all this week N S |_ T is going to explode! We told you last time about this one, expect more this time! Please Read All the Recent Press Releases on N S |_ T and Expect some Really Big News This Upcoming WeeK!! ** ACT QUICK, GOOD LUCK & TRADE OUT THE TOP!! ** Return to table of contents
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