HOMEBREW Digest #5069 Mon 02 October 2006

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  CO2 Pressure ("A.J deLange")
  Alcohol content ("Michael Kolaghassi")
  what happened to my fusels/harshness? ("Peter A. Ensminger")
  old malt ("Ian Watson")
  re: what happened to my fusels/harshness? ("steve.alexander")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2006 03:08:10 +0000 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: CO2 Pressure Yes, the high pressure gauge can fail but temperature is also a factor. The saturated vapor pressure of CO2 is 830 psi at 70F and that is what the high pressure gauge should read if the bottle is at equilibrium at 70. At 40F, however, the pressure will drop to about 590 psi and at 88F it will increase to about 1100 psi (all assuming there is liquid in the bottle - above 88 there will be no liquid). If all the readings you saw were at the same temperature, then it's the gauge. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 01 Oct 2006 07:22:22 +0000 From: "Michael Kolaghassi" <kolaghassi89 at hotmail.com> Subject: Alcohol content Hey guys/gals, I made some "sugar wine" out of table sugar, water, and baker's yeast, and I siphoned it from the fermentation jug to another one after about 2 weeks of letting it ferment. When I first tasted it I thought I could smell and taste the alcohol, now after about a week I don't think its as strong when I tasted it after tasting my Ancient Joes Orange mead that I just racked and tasted. Is the mead (made also from baker's yeast) just a stronger drink than the sugar wine or has some of my alcohol from the sugar wine evaporated or something since I leave it at room temperature? BTW the sugar wine tastes pretty much like the Smirnoff malted beverages...I think Smirnoff is making a killing of a profit selling a drink that probably takes probably less than a dollar to make a gallon and turn around and sell it for $8 bucks for a six pack... Thanks, Michael K. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 02 Oct 2006 01:07:32 -0400 From: "Peter A. Ensminger" <ensmingr at twcny.rr.com> Subject: what happened to my fusels/harshness? Hi Matt, Thanks for the tip about ethyl acetate in http://www.hbd.org/hbd/archive/5068.html#5068-5 . Both fusels and ethyl acetate are described as having "harsh" and "solvent-like" flavors. Apparently, I can't tell the difference. Can a more experienced beer taster can describe how these differ? Cheers! Peter A. Ensminger Syracuse, NY Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2006 13:14:12 -0400 From: "Ian Watson" <hophead at sympatico.ca> Subject: old malt Hi all I discovered I have a pail of milled pale malt that must be about 8 months old. It's been in a plastic pail with a tight fitting lid and smells fine. Is it worth brewing with? Thanks Ian Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 02 Oct 2006 19:11:31 -0400 From: "steve.alexander" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: re: what happened to my fusels/harshness? MattB discusses finished beer less harsh than previous ... >Glyn writes "Most of the high alcohols/fusels break down or >combine." If it were true that fusels were spontaneously replaced by less flavorful products, the distilling industry could save many millions of dollars. Doesn't happen - no way ! Now in whisk[e]y aging there is a *very modest* non-enzymatic conversion of alcohols to esters, but note that beer is about 10x less concentrated, is aged for at most 20x less time and that the vast majority of the conversion involves ethanol, not fusels. The impact in fusels converting to esters is certainly many orders of magnitude less in berr, and is not a significant mechanism for fusel removal. Many fusels in low ethanol solutions (ABV <50%) are more volatile than ethanol, but only modestly so. Unless you are aging beer in open vessels the fusels are not lost to selective evaporation. The fusels could potentially oxidize to the corresponding aldehyde, and this is energetically favored, but for each of the five flavor significant fusels in beer <iso-butanol, 2-methyl-butanol, 3-methyl-butanol. 2-phenyl-ethyl alc, n-propanol> the related aldehydes are roughly 100 times more flavorful, and all are considered flavor negative. This is a common form of beer staling, and is promoted by the presence of melanoidins. No - this isn't a reasonable mechanism for the flavor improvement. The yeast do not and cannot 'filter' fusels. Heck, the mammalian blood-brain is a highly sophisticated barrier mechanism, and ethanol and fusels make their way through this readily. The simple lipid bi-layer in yeast cells are virtually invisible to these polar solvents. Sorry - beer fusels aren't going anywhere fast. On a practical experience note ... it is said that some level of beer fusels is a characteristic part of beer flavors, but I happen to find certain types/levels (unidentified) to be particularly obnoxious. A few years ago I had a case of SN-bigfoot ale which I found to have a moderately offensive fusel flavor. I drank these over a ~2.5 year period and the fusel flavor never declined. Actually the overall beer flavor was remarkably stable with a moderate decline in hop bitterness. >One possibility is that the rocket-fuelly thing that has been aging out >of people's otherwise delicious beers is an excess of ethyl acetate, This is possible. Ethyl acetate (ethyl ethanoate) in quantity certain tastes and smells as rough as any fusel - nail polish remover and glue come to mind. I'm not sure about the mechanism. Ethyl acetate is esterified ethanol + acetic acid, and this can break down into ethanol & acetic. OTOH I read that the increase in acetic acid in stored whisk[e]y is entirely due to acetic residues extracted from oak barrels. I doubt this hydrolysis of esters is at a high enough rate in beer to account for so much. -S Return to table of contents
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