HOMEBREW Digest #4976 Sun 19 March 2006

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  Re: Oxygen Scavenging and Oxygen Barrier (Fred L Johnson)
  beer in PR (Glyn)
  beer in Puerto Rico ("Peter A. Ensminger")
  Cold pitching and use of dry lager yeast (Norman W Jufer)
  A question Re: question ("steve.alexander")
  Re: beer in Puerto Rico ("Peter Garofalo")
  Reveiw of Residual Alkalinity ("A.J deLange")
  Re: A question Re: question ("A.J deLange")
  mini-kegs (MICHAEL MECKEL)
  Corn conversioncereal mash results. A win, mostly! ("Michael Eyre")
  Muncie water ("Fred Scheer")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2006 09:31:05 -0500 From: Fred L Johnson <FLJohnson52 at nc.rr.com> Subject: Re: Oxygen Scavenging and Oxygen Barrier Thanks again to those who have posted additional information regarding oxygen barrier and oxygen scavenging caps. Please note that apparently there are two different strategies and different caps to limit oxidation in the bottle. The caps offered by Paddock Wood Brewing apparently are NOT oxygen scavenging caps, despite the use of the phrase 'oxygen absorbing' in the quotation from the Ask the Brewmaster response. The caps at Paddock Wood Brewing are listed as Oxygen Barrier Caps with the following description. Made in Germany by Brueninghaus. These caps come with 21 flute crimps and Oxygen barrier liners. The Paddock Wood Brewing caps apparently prevent the ingress of oxygen after the bottle is capped. As I stated before, this will do nothing for my problem with loss of hop aroma (and other staling) that is occurring in only a few weeks time and apparently will do nothing to prevent oxidation occurring from oxygen trapped in the bottle. The oxygen barrier caps will only prevent further ingress and should help out with long-term storage. What is more confusing, perhaps even misleading, is the reference to Oxy-Caps by Paddock Wood, although Paddock Wood doesn't sell anything called Oxy-Caps. I haven't been able to confirm that this is actually the name of the caps that Paddock Wood Brewing sells, but it looks much like the registered name, Oxycaps(R), which I believe refers to true, oxygen-scavenging caps manufactured by Crown Cork & Seal. Fred L Johnson Apex, North Carolina, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2006 07:29:57 -0800 (PST) From: Glyn <graininfuser at yahoo.com> Subject: beer in PR Rum. Old Harbor brewpub in Old San Juan is nice. A good break from the rum, but they didn't have growlers when I was there. I highly recommend snorkeling, El Yunque, and and visiting the interior of the island. Crowded but a nice break. Glyn S. Middle TN Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2006 12:46:54 -0500 From: "Peter A. Ensminger" <ensmingr at twcny.rr.com> Subject: beer in Puerto Rico Greetings, Been doing some web searching and discovered "Old Harbor Brewery", a brewpub in Old San Juan: www.oldharborbrewery.com . It apparently opened in August, 2005. They seem to make a Helles, Pilsner, Pale Ale, Stout and a Seasonal. They also seem to have a nice menu. Cheers! Peter A. Ensminger Syracuse, NY Apparent Rennerian: [394, 79.9] Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2006 11:27:48 -0800 From: Norman W Jufer <jufernw at juno.com> Subject: Cold pitching and use of dry lager yeast I was reading several posts to the digest last month relating to benefits of cold pitching yeast, i.e., pitching the yeast into wort cooler than the target fermentation temperatures. For lagers, What I have done in the past is to prepare a large starter from liquid yeast starting at 75 degrees and adding wort daily and cooling by 5-10 degrees a day till the starter is at fermentation temp of 50-55 deg. I am going to be fermenting a bock soon and am planning on using DCL W34/70 dry yeast for the first time. I would like to pitch at about 47 degrees and then ferment at about 53-55 deg. My specific questions are: 1) DCL site indicates rehydrate at mid 80's then cool in 18 deg F steps using cool wort. Am I correct in presuming this procedure is to minimize any reduction in viable yeast count due to pitching cold and would others recommend this procedure? 2) Will two 11g packets be sufficient for a 5.2 gallon batch? 3) The DCL site indicates that aeration of the wort is not necessary. In light of the recent discussions regarding when aeration is beneficial would I be correct in assuming that if aeration isn't necessary at initial pitching that it would be beneficial at roughly 6 hrs after pitching? Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2006 14:59:03 -0500 From: "steve.alexander" <steve-alexander at adelphia.net> Subject: A question Re: question A.J deLange wrote, >[...] Multiplying this by 50 puts us back into the more >familiar ppm as CaCO3. Maybe it's familiarity breeding contempt here, but why can't water chemists move boldly into the 19th century and use molarity and molar equivalents like the rest of chemists ? Is it just me or does the constant factor of 2 or 50 that all numbers inter-relate in the "as Chalk" system seem absurd and distracting ? A few weeks ago I was reading a German water district analysis which used "as CO3" as the references point, I've seen others referenced "as Calcium" - swell, more funny-factors. Of course then we have "grains" and "grains per gallon" as a measure with several definitions. Clarks degrees, German degrees, American degrees, French degrees and degrees of General hardness. These ridiculous units are still widely used. I agree with the priority of Shakespeare's Henry VI, "First thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers", but the second order of business should be drowning all the water chemists. (and why does my thunderbird mailer want to re-spell deLange as derange?) -S Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2006 18:38:04 -0500 From: "Peter Garofalo" <pgarofa1 at twcny.rr.com> Subject: Re: beer in Puerto Rico Peter: Now that you've jogged my memory, there was a brewpub in Isla Verde, between San Juan and the airport. I think it was called "Borrinquen" or something similar. It was quite empty the last time I was there, so I doubt it's still open. The beers were decent, all pretty light, but clean. About average for most brewpubs, but with much more interesting food. If you go to Old San Juan, look for one of the giant parking garages and walk around. It's very European feeling, with narrow streets and cobblestones. The birthplace of the pina colada is marked on a wall plaque. Be sure to venerate this spot with a tall, frozen one! Pete - ----- Original Message ----- From: "Peter A. Ensminger" <ensmingr at twcny.rr.com> To: "HomeBrewDigest" <post at hbd.org>; "Jeff Renner" <jsrenner@umich.edu>; "Peter Garofalo" <pgarofa1 at twcny.rr.com>; "Spencer W. Thomas" <spencer at spencerwthomas.com> Sent: Saturday, March 18, 2006 12:46 PM Subject: beer in Puerto Rico > Greetings, > > Been doing some web searching and discovered "Old Harbor Brewery", a > brewpub in Old San Juan: www.oldharborbrewery.com . It apparently opened > in August, 2005. They seem to make a Helles, Pilsner, Pale Ale, Stout and > a Seasonal. They also seem to have a nice menu. > > Cheers! > Peter A. Ensminger > Syracuse, NY > Apparent Rennerian: [394, 79.9] > > > > -- > No virus found in this incoming message. > Checked by AVG Free Edition. > Version: 7.1.385 / Virus Database: 268.2.5/284 - Release Date: 3/17/2006 > > Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2006 13:05:43 +0000 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Reveiw of Residual Alkalinity Fred wrote off-line that a simple explanation of residual alkalinity might be of interest and mentioned in his note that there is more than one way to write the formula. This is indeed so and the following is an attempt to review the subject briefly. It stems from a paper written by Paul Kohlbach in May of 1953 entitled "Der Einfluss des Brauwassers auf das pH von Wurze und Bier" (The Influence of Brewing Water on the pH of Wort and Beer). In this paper he notes that water residual alkalinity has an effect on the pH in the mash tun and that while there are too many factors involved to allow precise calculation one may attain "tolerable accuracy" by assuming that 3.5 milliequivalents of calcium will balance (ausgleichen) 1 milliequivalent of alkalinity as will 7 milliequivalents of magnesium. "Balance" in this context means that if water with 1 mEq/L alkalinity contains 3.5 mEq/L calcium (and no magnesium) that the pH of the mash will be the same as the pH of a mash made with distilled water. "Residual Alkalinity" is then any alkalinity which is not balanced by calcium and/or magnesium in this sense and the formula for it is RA = Alk - (Ca/3.5 + Mg/7) = Alk - (Ca + Mg/2)/3.5 = Alk - 0.2857*Ca - 0.1428*Mg where RA, Alk, Ca and Mg are all in units of milliequivalents per liter. In fact this formula stands for any units we like as long as they are consistent (i.e. all quantities are in the same units) and proportional to the concentrations in mEq/L. Kohlbach used German Degress of Hardness, each equal to 0.3574 mEq/L whereas in the US we are most likely to use ppm as CaCO3 of which there are 50 per mEq/L. Note that I have written the formula 3 ways each of which is numerically the same (with the exception that there is roundoff error in the last. I personally find it easier to remember that the factor is 3.5 and that magnesium is half as effective in reducing RA and so generally write the formula in the second form above. Either the first or second form has got to be easier to remember than the third. Other forms are required if units are mixed. It is unlikely, for example, that the metal ion concentrations will be reported in mEq/L though this is done sometimes. Most likely they will be reported "as the metal" i.e. as the number of milligrams of the ion is a liter of water. To get to RA in mEq/L we must thus convert the "as the metal" concentrations into mEq/L. To do this we need the "equivalent weight" of the metal ions. For calcium this is 20 grams per equivalent (which means that 20 grams of calcium ions has Avogadro's number of positive electronic charges) and for magnesium it is 12.15 gram per eqivalent (12.15 grams of magnesium ions produces Avogadro's number of charges). Note that we don't even care what Avogadro's number is (it's 6.02E23) just as long as we recognize that that number of charges is "an equivalent". Clearly 1 gram/equivalent is equal to 1 mg per mEq so in order to convert mg/L Ca to mEq/L Ca we just divide by 20. To do the same for Mg we divide by 12.15. The RA formula thus becomes RA = Alk - ([Ca]/20/3.5 + [Mg]/12.15/7) = Alk - ([Ca]/20 + Mg/12.15/2)/3.5 = Alk - 0.01429*[Ca] - 0.01176*[Mg] mEq/L with [ ] representing that the concentration of the metal ions is in mg/L. Most commonly the alkalinity is reported in ppm as CaCO3 while the individual metal hardnesses are reported "as the metal". In these cases Alk in the formula must be converted to mEq/L from ppm as CaCO3 and this is done by dividing by 50 so we get RA = alk/50 - ([Ca]/20/3.5 + [Mg]/12.15/7) mEq/L where alk is understood to mean that the units are ppm as CaCO3 as opposed to Alk which is understood to mean that the units are mEq/L. When the alkalinity is in ppm it makes sense to want the residual alkalinity in the same units and this is done by multiplying the RA in mEq/L by 50: ra = alk - 50*([Ca]/20/3.5 + [Mg]/12.15/7) ppm as CaCO3. Clearly we could go on in this vein for some time. The significance of all this is that, ceteris paribus, the pH of a mash with residual alkalinity (alkalinity not balanced by hardness) will be higher by approximately .084 pH units for each mEq/L of unbalanced alkalinity (.00168 per ppm as CaCO3) than an identical mash made with distilled water. Note that it is possible to have negative residual alkalinity (and some Burton waters do) in which the hardness excedes the alkalinity by more than 3.5 times. In these cases the mash pH will be lower than a distilled water mash. The utility of RA is, IMO, in comparing waters rather than as a tool for predicting mash tun pH since other factors, such as the presence of high kilned malts, can totally overwhelm the reactions which cause the pH shifts due to alkalinity and hardness. In order to facilitate this comparison I have made a chart (which can be seen at http://www.pbase.com/image/57446374) which plots constant RA lines on a alkalinity vs hardness grid. Various well know brewing cities' waters are plotted on this chart. A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2006 13:25:12 +0000 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Re: A question Re: question For Steve, You certainly have a valid gripe the best response to which is possibly simply that tradition dies hard. If you did not need ammunition certainly the posting which just precedes this one will give you extra. When I first started studying this subject I got incredibly confused because 1 mEq/L was called 100 ppm as CaCO3 by some and 50 ppm as CaCO3 by others and I even bought an alaklinity test kit that read in ppm as CaCO3 which was based on 100. When I confronted the manufacturer he responded that 100 was correct. Fortunately, the use of 100 seems to have passed. I haven't encountered it for years. For my money I'll take equivalence (normality) where it applies and molarity where it doesn't. But it isn't fair to go after the water chemists to the exclusion of others. Cereal chemists report the protein content of grains "as nitrogen" and phosphate "as the pentoxide" and on and on. Each industry seems to have its favorite way. In many cases such practice has been established through the action of standards comittees. And it isn't only chemists either. Video voltage, for example, is expressed in IRE units though the Institute of Radio Engineers hasn't been around since the 60's (now the IEEE). The modern jet aircraft with millions of dollars of avionics flies "pressure altititude" which is displayed in feet on the altimiter but is, in fact, a pressure, and referred to as a "flight level". As to your spell checker the only explanation I can offer is that the ghost of my 6th grade teacher, Miss Peseaux, must have taken up residence in your machine for she used to address me as "derange" on a daily basis. You'd better behave! A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2006 05:36:42 -0800 (PST) From: MICHAEL MECKEL <michael_m21234 at yahoo.com> Subject: mini-kegs I have a friend who has been drinking beer from Heineken mini-kegs, and I was wondering if anyone knew whether these kegs were re-usable for homebrewing. He has 3 or four, which would certainly save on bottling time! Thanks... Mike Meckel Baltimore, Md Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2006 09:39:51 -0800 From: "Michael Eyre" <meyre at sbcglobal.net> Subject: Corn conversioncereal mash results. A win, mostly! Hey all. Had a good bit of success in my all grain "Big Corn Mash" last night <wink>. I know it's not entirely about beer, but the process is the same for a CAP, or so I'm told... and I wanted to share what I learned about the whole process to maybe help some others with their cereal mashes and also to pose a couple more questions to the group. And a special thanks to those guys who helped me offline for the last post I made. It worked! On to the process... Ingredients: 10lbs of corn, 2lbs of 6 row barley and 1 lbs of Wheat malt. All crushed through a two roller mill at 0.065" and then 0.034" gap setting. The corn still looked fairly large after passing through the mill, however. I think it sort of squished through the mill a lot, instead of breaking up like the barley does. 8.1 gallons of water was called for (using a very thin mash of 2.5 quarts per lb of grain) in the end run for the 13lbs of grain used. I was hoping for a 5 gallon batch in the end. Process: Cereal mash, yes! This is what I did wrong the last time, and I'm happy to post a success for this run. I took all the corn and 1/2 lb of the barley and threw it in my 1/2bbl keg and brought it to 151 degrees for 30 minutes. After that, it was brought up to boiling temp over the course of 35 minutes (constantly stirring, with no scorch at all!) and held at boil for 5 minutes, then stirred for another 5 minutes and then covered for 10 minutes. It held there for the 10 minutes and was at 208 when I returned. Then it was force chilled with an immersion chiller to 152 degrees and the remainder of the barley and the 1 lb of malted wheat was added at this time. I did a 2 hour mash at between 146 and 152 degrees, stirring every 20 minutes. I tested with a hydrometer every so often and found a gravity of 1.041 at the first 20-30 minute mark and then went up by about 0.001 or 0.002 points or so every other time I tested it and finally leveled out at 1.046 at the two hour mark. The iodine test tested positive (black!) for starch EVERY TIME. I figured it was never going to end, so I just bailed out at this point (two hours! Rats!) and transferred to a lauter tun and lautered the very liquid and manageable mix. Well, mostly. The first 3.5 gallons came right out fine... but the whole bottom of the tun was still full of corn and wash liquid, which I wanted! It was so goopy down there, though, that it wouldn't flow out the valve. I ended up having to 'press' the stuff through a strainer to get the rest of the 1.5 gallons to come loose. The resulting yellow stuff is happily fermenting away upstairs as we speak. My questions: 1. Why is the starch test with iodine (liquid only, no grains in the test liquid) still so positive? Why am I not getting full conversion! I can only assume the corn chunks are too big and they keep leeching out god starch that isn't converting? Do I need to grind them to just about flour? Or am I too low on barley percentage and not getting enough enzymes? Can the 2.5 quarts per lb of grain be TOO thin, spreading out the enzymes too much for a complete conversion? 2. What can I do to help the lauter process? Is *this* why they used to ferment on the grains, because the lauter was such a pain? ;-) I'd rather not ferment on the grains, as it's sort of a mess to do so and I think you'd lose out on the amount you can collect, but maybe I'm wrong. I'd also need a larger fermenter, and I'd have to switch to plastic no doubt, instead of the glass that I'm currently in, which I'd also rather not do. But I'll do what's deemed best by the collective... Thanks for any and all replies! Mike Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2006 17:50:23 -0600 From: "Fred Scheer" <scheer23 at hotmail.com> Subject: Muncie water HI A.J. and Brian: Finnaly my computer is working, and I have to email in hotmail, as AOl does not work. I think their are different ways to get to Muncie [water; RA...] RA = CaCO3 - (Ca*0.714)-(Mg*0.585) if Alkalinity is expressed as HCO3: RA = (HCO3*.82) - (Ca*0.714) - (Mg*0.585) or RA = Alkalinity - (Ca Hardness + Mg Hardness/2)/3.5 Now, we did not taken the color of the beer we brew, i.e., because we use darker grains in our grist, which reacts with malt phosphates. wish full R.A. = (SRM *7.14) Now, which one is the right way to get Muncie? First, as Brewers we look at the chemical properties of Ca, Mg, CaCO3. We take a look at the equivalent weight; for Ca is 20; Mg is 12.2 and for CaCO3 is 50. Now, we convert Ca and Mg to millie-equivalent (mEq), which is: ppm Ca/ equivalent wt = mEq of Ca 65/20= 3.25 ppm Mg/ equivalent wt = mEq of Mg 23/12.2 = 1.88 Now, let's take a look how to convert the total mEq of Ca and Mg to ppm of CaCO3. We add 3.25 and 1.88 = 5.13 5.13 X 50 = 256 ppm of CaCO3; is close to the reported 246 ppm. Now let's calculate RA: RA = 246/50 - [( 65/20/3.5)+(23/12.2/7)] The next step ids to get RA to CaCO3, we multiply mEq by the equivalent weight of CaCO3 [50]; which is 186 ppm and to alkaline for brewing. A.J., thanks for you're postings. Fred Scheer Return to table of contents
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