HOMEBREW Digest #5058 Thu 14 September 2006

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  share a drink with your boss (LA Times) (leavitdg)
  RE: Re: Mead for Dummies?/ quick mead (Steven Parfitt)
  Re: Mead in seven weeks ("Al Boyce")
  Degree of yellow color in beer....is that what all this is about?  Part 1. (mabrooks)
  Degree of yellow color in beer....is that what all this is about?  Part 2 (mabrooks)
  Keg Conversion FAQ ("NS Teddy Winstead, MD, MS")
  Beer, Lambert & Bouguer ("A.J deLange")
  Thanks, and I mead it ("drscholtz")
  Refrigeration Help!! ("Doug Lasanen")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 07:08:35 -0400 From: leavitdg at plattsburgh.edu Subject: share a drink with your boss (LA Times) ?You don't need to golf with the boss to get a raise. Just share a beer.? >From LA Times: http://email.latimes.com/cgi-bin1/DM/y/e8NO0J8sCv0G2B0HrUK0E6 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 05:29:02 -0700 (PDT) From: Steven Parfitt <thegimp98 at yahoo.com> Subject: RE: Re: Mead for Dummies?/ quick mead I suspect there is no such thing as a good quick mead. I'm trying it any way since my daughter is getting married and asked me at the last minute ( at two months to go) if I could make a mead. I made two meads. 1 - ABC Lite - this is a variation of the venerable ABC recipe, but cut back to use # of honey in the 5 gallon batch. It fermented with 71B and dropped clear after three weeks. 2 - Straight blueberry honey mead. 6# honey in a 5 gallon batch with a bit of yeast nutrient added. 71B again. At three weeks out, both have dropped clear. The ABC Lite is at 1.002 (due to the DME) and appears to be finished. It is hazy, and sharp tasting. The BB Mead is at 0.996 and also appears to be done. It is not as sharp tasting as the ABC Lite, but still has undesirable flavor components of a young mead. I have 5 weeks until the wedding. I seriously doubt either of these will age out sufficiently in time. One though I had was to rack to a corny and blast it with an air stone and 02 from a tank. This would accelerate the oxidization of the mead and possibly accelerate the aging process. It seems I have read somewhere about aging wine by doing this. Any thoughts? 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: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 07:35:45 -0500 From: "Al Boyce" <aboyce at mn.rr.com> Subject: Re: Mead in seven weeks >>>>> "drscholtz" == drscholtz <drscholtz at comcast.net> writes: drscholtz> Can anyone out there help me out with a no-fail recipe drscholtz> that can be served 6-7 weeks from now? I heard Ken Schramm (author of The Compleat Meadmaker) speak at Fargo last year, and had a BOTTLED mead of his that was seven weeks old. It was not only completely attenuated, but was amazingly delicious! Since then, I have had several Curt Stock meads (two-time winner of AHA COC Mead competition, and 2005 AHA NHC Meadmaker of the year) that were seven weeks old, and they were likewise fabulous. The trick is yeast health and nutrition. The Schramm method is to start by hydrating two packets of dried yeast in a solution of 104F water with GoFerm added to it. Then take the amount of yeast energizer and yeast nutrient that you would normally add all at once, and to divide it in eighthts. Make your mead IN A PLASTIC BUCKET with room to spare, put in the first eighth, then oxygenate the heck out of it and pitch your yeast. For the next four days, open up your bucket every 12 hours, add another eighth of your energizer/nutrients, then stir it vigorously to whip more oxygen into it. BE CAREFUL with the first few stirs - the CO2 that is released will want to foam your mead right out of the container. The combination of A) The nutrient/energizers delivered in an "as-needed" basis; B) the release of the CO2 which is essentially retarding yeast growth, and C) the addition of oxygen every 12 hours will supercharge your yeast growth and make them very healthy. A side benefit is that healthy yeast will not produce the "rocket fuel" fusel alcohols which are usually very unattractive in meads. Schramm says that if his mead is not DONE in 28 days, he feels he's done something wrong. Rack your mead, and leave it for another three weeks to drop clear, and bottle. If Ken or Curt is reading this and I've misrepresented their technique, I hope they'll chime in and correct me. But I've been using this method on my meads for about 6 months now, and it works every time. BTW: This technique was documented in the Nov/Decc 2005 issue of Zymurgy in Schramm's article on mead. - Al Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 08:18:35 -0700 (PDT) From: mabrooks <mabrooks12 at yahoo.com> Subject: Degree of yellow color in beer....is that what all this is about? Part 1. In a recent post A.J explained the Tristimulus method for color determination in Beer and explained that the Larger breweries will prob be soon moving to this method. This is likely due to the fact that the Tristimulus method is an "approved" water quality analysis "method" and it is really measuring the percieved color of beer, a spec set at 430 nm is not measuring anything but the yellow color of a beer...not what we are really after is it? Anyone who disagrees with this please inform me how you can measure the absorbance of anything othe r"color" in the spectrum at 430nm as this is the spectrum at which only the yellow color of a solution is measured, period! no other dominant colors! While people who own a spec may think they are one step above everyone else I throw this out to chew on: Coherence physics explains that only certain types of Lasers can approach "True" monochromatic light output, LED's are the "next best thing", and lastly (what everyone reading this who has a spec is likely using) -tungsten filament lights are the worst at producing monochromatic light. Why is this important ? When one is using a Tungsten Filiment Spec to determine "Color in an aqueous solution"(beer is 90+ percent water), one will not be using a "true" source of monochromatic light, hence one will have a certain amount of error inherent in the readings...Please refer to the following links for more info on this: http://www.chem.vt.edu/RVGS/ACT/lab/Experiments/Exp_11-Beer's_Law.html http://www.chem.vt.edu/chem-ed/spec/beerslaw.html http://www.chem.vt.edu/chem-ed/spec/spectros.html Please note the following info in these links: (which has been my take on this topic all along and is corroberated in these links) "Unfortunately, however, the condition of monochromatic light upon which the Beer-Lambert Law is based is not obtainable in the laboratory. Since more than one wavelength of light passes through a solution at the same moment, deviations from the law are observed over much of the available spectrum, and non-linearity is observed in the Beer's Law plots. An absorbance reading in such a case will indicate a concentration which may be quite different from the actual concentration of the solution. The object, therefore, of much preliminary laboratory work in optical analysis is to find a suitable wavelength band where the deviation from the law will be only slight or negligible" - ie. The "wavelength of maximum absorbance". Hence the SRM outlined by the brewing industry cannot, in any way shape, or form give the "concentration or quantity" of color of a beer, rather it gives a "degree" of light absorbance in the yellow color spectrum, ie. at 430nm. This is important, as at 430nm a spec is detecting the absorbance in the yellow color spectrum by the transmittance of violet light (430 nm)through a cuvette. (again at 430nm one is only measuring the "yellow" color in the beer!) I think we all agree that we cannot obtain a beer "Color concentration" from the spec, and being the case then how does one apply Beers law to this "Color" measurement, especially when it has been shown that it is non-linear?. The purpose of Beer-Lamberts law is to allow an analyst to determine concentrations of individual species as they relate to a corresponding color absorbance wavelength, specific to the species and methodology one is trying to measure (its not a "general applies across the board to all solutions everywhere law" for use on specs). An analyst (when using the Beer-Lambert law) is trying to measure a "concentration change" by correlating it to a change in the amount of color absorbance at a specific wavelength that is specific to the absorbtion characteristics of species being measured, as outlined in the link and above ...that is what the "c" in Beers Law is is for, to determine concentration change as it relates to observed color change at a narrowly focused wavelength (to limit inherent nonlinearity) at a peak of maximum absorbance (again to limit inherent nonlinearity)for the species of interest! Please read over the links provided and come up with your own conclusions. I happen to teach this particular method/topic as part of a Graduate level Engineering water quality Lab course, I have over 18 years of experience in the water quality/water chemistry/water analysis field (beer is 90+% water)....I know how it works, why it works and the problems/interferences associated with it....I have applied Beers Law to measure species concentration in 1000's of samples, I used specs and Beers law extensively for my Masters Thesis work. I have examined beer with specs, unfortunately without a "Peak of maximum absorbance" it is impossible to reduce error enough, hence, the non-linearity of Beers Law does not allow for accurate beer color quantification/measurement "with respect to Beers Law". For example: Because Beers Law is inherently non- linear, diluting a sample 1:1 and getting a corresponding measurement difference on spec that seems to correlate to the dilution,at 430nm, does not validate that Beers Law is at work! I agree, as I stated before, that there may be a species present in beer that does follow Beers Law (why wouldnt there be?), unfortunately according to the SRM method, the said species would only be detected at 430nm (yellow color absorbance spectrum) and I can assure you there is no "peak of maximum absorbance" in beer at 430nm, in fact there is no peak of maximum absorbance at all, which does not allow use of Beers law with any accuracy, precision yes, accuracy no!. As a side note: in case some are confused about yellow at 430nm, when 430nm indicates a violet source color band, one must remember that a yellow color will exibit maximum absorption in the violet spectrum and vice versa....e.g. a red sollution will exibit maximum absorption in the Green spectrum. Remember your ROYGBIV color triangle... See part 2 for more info.... Cheers, Matt B. Northern VA. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 08:20:48 -0700 (PDT) From: mabrooks <mabrooks12 at yahoo.com> Subject: Degree of yellow color in beer....is that what all this is about? Part 2 Part 2.... Again is "relative degree" of yellow color what everyone is really after by using a spec?..."relative degree" of yellow color in their beer? Seems pointless esp. for a dark beer, with lots of roasted malts, hey what about that Killians red stuff, I wonder what the color of that is...looks red to me...but if I measure it on a spec at 430nm I will not be able to detect any absobance in the red color range will I ?, This spec stuff at 430 is just too simplistic! Again, a spec set at 430nm will certainly give you an idea of degree light transmittance through a substance that absorbs in the yellow color of the spectrum - more or less, but in no way can it give you a "concentration or amount, or a unit of measurement" as one must have a standard curve or a constant derived from a standard curve.....I feel tha tby limiting the scan to 430nm we are neglecting alot of other absorbance colors here...dont you agree? When it comes to absorbance many diiferent species present in a aqueous sample may contribute to the overall color of the sample and you cannot discount them by neglecting to look for them at other wavelengths in the spectrum...can you? Reading the info in the links provided, please note that in order for Beers Law to be applicable using an inherently poor momchromatic light source such as a tungsten filiment spec, one MUST do a scan of all wave lenghts between 400nm and 700nm and look for "peaks of maximum absorbance". These peaks will allow the analyst to "focus" in on the "color" that will provide the best (still not perfect in any way, so Beers Law will still NOT BE LINEAR!) chance at using beers law to determine concentration changes of a species in solution. One must, as previoulsy stated, have a set of Color Standards or a constant (obtained by using said standards on said spec) to use to verify the concentration. Remember, when we focus in on a particular "peak of maximum absorbance" we are really focusing in on a "individual species color reaction" responsible for producing color at that wavelength..unless interferences are occuring....which they likely are in a beer, then all bets are off for determining anything in beer with a spec. I believe this subject has strayed a bit, in "real life" in the water quality/analysis field, color is not presented in "concentration or amounts"...rather it is done with a precalibrated color disk (best for homebrewers and many microbrewers), or, when a using a method that calling for readings on a spec , which is done with a full spectrum scan (~420-650nm) to insure one is detecting the full color absortion characteristics of the sample Tristimulus method. There is even a Tristimulus filter method requiring the use of "special precalibrated tristimulus light filters" that are used in conjuction with a specific light source and photoelectric cell (not part of a normal spec set-up). The Tristimulus method will give you the color properties as in units as A.J described, and when reporting color via an approved tristimulus method one would report not only the pH of the solution and the type of instrument used , an analyst would report color as follows: "Color characteristics" of the sample: ie. dominant wavelength, hue, luminence, and purity.... please note: there is no mention of "amount" or "units" here, or the use of beers law to scale dilutions? For someone to think they have devised a method that has thus far eluded the professionals in the water industry for applying Beers Law to "background color in aqueous solutions" (beer is `90+ percent water)is just not correct. (I can assure you there is a lot more research money and mental capacity (Bachelors, Master'PhD's) in the academic Chemistry, Engineering and Laboratory Water Quality/ Analsis fields then there ever will be in the Brewing Industry, not a slam against brewers, as they are on average a more sociable bunch then the academics)...just a fact, while I dont consider myself an "academic" I have done and continue to do a a great deal of in-depth water quality research and Laboratory analysis (BTW: I do all analysis on instrumentation in a "Certified Laboratory" so I can unequivically stand behind all of my methods and most importantly the results). All of my research is peer reviewed by academia. I speak here as a brewer, and relying on my professional experience I can say I do not have or know of a better methodology for determining the Color of a beer or other aqueous sample then those methods already approved in the Analytical water quality/water analysis field. If it was possible to apply Beers Law someone would have figured it out by now....and there is no approved method that I know of that specificly details that Beers law has an application in determining the amount of background color in aqueous solutions in the Chemical or Engineering or Laboratory Water Chemistry/Analysis fields? ...can someone please send me this method if they have it? Beers law is used to determine concentrations of a specific analyte in solution by using a specific wavelength....even then its not perfect. I think this concludes any further comment from me on this topic. If someone thinks they have devised a better method to measure and report color of aqueous solution, please submit it for review to one of the organizations that are responsible for evaluating new methodologies and approving their use for laboratory analysis throught-out the world so that we can all have a uniform approved method to use that is repeatable from one lab to the next (for those of us who have labs to use) for those who dont...can someone please invent a calibrated color wheel. Remember, due the the vast percentage of water in beer, it is considered to be an aqueous solution, and thus follows all the same physico-chemical properties that water does, and the same types of instrumentation and methodolgies apply here. Seems to me the big brewers have finally come to the realization they needed to move to an "approved methodology" and I applaud their efforts to do so. Please educate yourselves and draw your own conclusions...on second thought, its probably not worth it, as most people here dont have spec to use and its just really not that important ...eh? Personally I like dark beers! I also like lighter colored beers, heck, I just plain like BEER....Good beer that is! You want to know how I determine the color/amount of color in my beer (remember I have access to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of lab equipment) I hold it up to an incanescent light bulb. Pretty impressive...eh? I scale my malt additions by taste and taste alone. What do you certified beer judges do for color determination at competition...hold the dang thing up to a light, WOW! thats certainly scientific...what if you are in a room with florescent light for one competition and incandescent light for another ? same style might not cut the musturd for color as it wont be the same will it? Better yet, the temperature "color" bands of light bulbs in florescents and incandescents can differ due to selection of the purchaser? A flashlight you say...still not right, what if one judge has a krypton bulb and two AA batteries and the other has a one AAA with a non halogen cheapy bulb? and not all judges even use flashlights! A calibrated color wheel will do the trick and get everyone on the same page. Cheers, Matt B. Northern VA. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 14:07:15 -0500 From: "NS Teddy Winstead, MD, MS" <twinstead at uab.edu> Subject: Keg Conversion FAQ I just wanted to let people know that I've put the keg conversion FAQ back online with a few timely updates (like the invention of websites). It's available at: http://polydipsia.com/kegconversionfaq/ I'm still farting around with it some. Mostly this is just an excuse for me to play with wordpress. The ASCII art still sucks, don't worry. In fact, it sucks worse now because wordpress ate some of the formatting which I can hopefully fix. PS - can someone explain to me what all the hubbub over the Rogue "Pacman" yeast is all about? I thought I might order some but people are sold out?!?! PPS - thanks to everyone for the nice notes after by multi-year absence welcoming me back. Also - enjoying the discussion of SRM determinations from a digicam and photoshop. Good, very original, beer-geeky stuff. Best, Teddy Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 22:43:14 +0000 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Beer, Lambert & Bouguer Whover gets or should get the credit (and a bit about the three gents involved can be found at http://www.answers.com/topic/johann-heinrich-lambert http://www.answers.com/topic/august-beer http://www.answers.com/topic/pierre-bouguer the law itself is quite simple to derive from basic thought processes, may be of interest to some and the excercise was a good review for me. If a beam of N photons per second all of nearly the same wavelength is directed along the x axis impinges upon a slab of solution perpendicular to the x-axis which is of small thickness Dx and... 1. This solution contains particles, at concentration c, of some species which can capture photons of this wavelength and 2. Particles of this species are in chemical equilibrium with all other species present including the solvent and 3. The solvent does not capture photons at this wavelength (or does so with probability much smaller that the capture probability of the species of interest) and 4. The probability that a particle of this species will capture a photon is very, very small and 5. The probability that a particle of this species will capture a photon is independent of the proability that a particle of any other species will and conversely and 6. The electric and magnetic fields associated with the photon beam are too weak to cause chemical or physical changes (such as boiling) to any of the dissplved species or solvent ... then the number of photons captured by this species per unit time in going through the slab will be DN = N(x)*K*c*Dx i.e. proportional to N(x), the number of photons impinging at x per unit time, the thickness and the concentration with the proportionality constant K being related to the probability of capture. Thus N(x + Dx) - N(x) = N(x) -DN -N(x) = - N(x)*K*c*Dx and the limit of [N(x + Dx) - N(x)]/Dx as Dx becomes vanishingly small, which is the definition of the derivative of N with respect to x, is -N(x)*K*c i.e. we have the first order linear differential equation dN(x)/dx = -N(x)*K*c Every first year engineering student knows that this equation has a solution of the form N(x) = N0*exp(alpha*x) where N0 and alpha are constants. If this is substituted into the differential equation it is clear that N0 = N(0) and alpha = -K*c. Thus N(x) = N(0)*exp(-K*c*x) The number of photons per second at, respectively, x and 0, is proportional to the intensity of the light at, respectively, x and 0 so the ratio N(x)/N(0) = I(x)/I(0) = exp(-K*c*x). Taking the negative of the natural logarithm (ln) of both sides -ln(I(x)/I(0)) = K*c*x [ln(exp(u)) = u] Multiply both sides by ln(10) to get the log to the base 10 on the left and you have -ln(10)*ln(I(x)/I(0)) = -log(I(x)/I(0)) = ln(10)*K*c*x = k*c*x where k = ln(10)*K. The negative logarithm to the base 10 (log) of the ratio of the intensities is the definition of A, the absorbtion so A = k*c*x is the law in it's usual form with k being called the absorbtion (or previously, extinction) coefficient. For whatever reason Beer's name seems to be associated with the fact that A is linearly proportional to concentration and Lambert's with the fact that it is linearly proportional to path (x). I believe all three came up with the law in the same form. A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 19:48:15 -0400 From: "drscholtz" <drscholtz at comcast.net> Subject: Thanks, and I mead it Thanks to all who responded to my mead for dummies request. I am now thoroughly intrigued by this mead thing. I am going to make a batch via the Al Boyce/Ken Schramm method and then a more traditional one that I can age for a while. Thanks again to all. I really appreciate all of you and HBD! Brendon Scholtz Ridgefield, CT Pleasantville, NY Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 21:48:15 -0400 From: "Doug Lasanen" <Dlasanen at fuse.net> Subject: Refrigeration Help!! Fellow Brewers and Refrigeration Engineers! Long time brewer and hbd lurker! Need help......In addition to brewing for a hobby, I am also a cabinet maker. Last year I decided to build a new fridge for my beers. I built one several years ago, with four taps, and space for lagering. The new fridge would be "Frost Free". I was innitially going to cannabalize an existing refrigerator for the guts, but, opted to purchase "New" guts and build to suit. The unit is in total about 20 to 24 Cu Ft..........Top, holds 4 kegs for Dispensing, and the bottom was planned to hold a combination of kegs and Carboys for lagering. Well, I have all components installed and functioning.......the problem is the temp is only 56 to 58 degrees in the box!! The idea is good, but the engineering is lacking at this point!! I know, I need to get the air flowing over the "Condenser" (Cold Coil", but have not yet found the appropriate approach. I attemted to build a styrofoaom shroud around the fan. That apparently restricted too much air flow, causing the coil to ice up all together!! If someone in the HBD is intrested, I can forward pictures of the situation. Perhaps, someone with more knowledge would have a suggestion. Thanks, in advance! Doug Lasanen Bloatarian Brewing League Cincinnati, Ohio Return to table of contents
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