HOMEBREW Digest #5086 Mon 06 November 2006

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  Oxygen Connections ("A.J deLange")
  re: medical O2 regulators (Steve Piatz)
  Eighth Annual Palmetto State Brewers Open ("H. Dowda")
  Pumpkins and Candi sugar (jbryant)
  re: Beer too thin ("steve.alexander")
  Am I batch sparging? ("Dave Draper")
  Re: Pumpkin Ale ("Steve Jones")
  beer aging ("steve.alexander")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2006 12:41:46 +0000 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Oxygen Connections There seem to be two types of oxyen connections: CGA 540 and CGA 870 (CGA = Compressed Gas Association). The industrial bottles use the 540 which is similar to the threaded connector on a CO2 bottle but of different size. The older medical regulators used this thread. The newer bottles use the 870 which is a clamp on similar to the SCUBA tank connection. I can imagine adapting a 870 bottle to a 540 regulator using the CGA/NPT adapters that are available for filling but not the other way around. If trying to obtain a medical regulator for brewing applications be sure to get one which fits the CGA 540 ports. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2006 11:26:18 -0600 From: Steve Piatz <piatz at cray.com> Subject: re: medical O2 regulators Dave Houseman mentioned having several medical-type O2 regulators but not having the tanks since that requires a perscription. Several years ago I bought some O2 equipment from a former club member. It was all medical-type, I got the regulator with the liters per minutes stuff, a cart for the tank, 2 empty tanks, and 2 full tanks. As of now I still have a tank full of O2 but one day I'll need a new tank. Recently I was swapping my CO2 tank at my local welding supply shop (Minneapolis Oxygen Supply in Bloomington, MN) and asked the guy at the counter if in the future I could reconfigure a medical regulator to fit on a welding type tank and if I could swap medical tanks for a welding tank - he said we could work something out when I bring the stuff in. I also asked about swapping my (out of hydrostatic test) Luxfer aluminum SCUBA tank around to being a CO2 tank. Aside from paying for the hydro test I would need to buy the CO2 valve. BTW - the setting for liters per minute is calibrated for with a standard O2 mask on a patient's face not for the scintered stone I have on the end of the hose. - -- Steve Piatz piatz at cray.com Cray Inc. 651-605-9049 1340 Mendota Heights Road cell: 651-428-1417 Mendota Heights, MN 55120 Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2006 10:11:30 -0800 (PST) From: "H. Dowda" <hdowda at yahoo.com> Subject: Eighth Annual Palmetto State Brewers Open Palmetto State Brewers is proud to announce their 8th Annual December 2, in Columbia, SC. Complete information: http://www.sagecat.com/psbo8/psbo8.htm On-line entry and judge and steward sign-up. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2006 14:59:28 -0500 From: <jbryant at wrsystems.com> Subject: Pumpkins and Candi sugar I was just considering making a Westy 12 clone using the recipe in Beer Captured. It calls for a bunch of Belgian Candi sugar and the HB store charges an arm and a leg for that stuff. So, I too am interested in making some from scratch. I've read some conflicting info on the web about making the stuff. One site said to use invert sugar while another said that, "the Belgians don't mess around with invert sugar." I'm not really concerned about how the Belgians do it, just whether or not the beer will taste good. Some have said that they used cane sugar and the beer tasted "cheap". So, my question for the HBDers is what have you tried and what works? As far as Steve's comments on pumpkin beer... I thought he was just being funny. But, Steve, pumpkin is a fruit. Fruit beers are legitimate, right? I'll let you know how my cucumber beer turns out. Jason in Norfolk, VA Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2006 18:24:11 -0500 From: "steve.alexander" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: re: Beer too thin Third try, A bit tardy, but I'm switching mailers and ... the line-length monster bit. == Chad writes ... >> Now, one thing that has been a constant in my all grain experience >is that my beers have all been rather thin and dry. .. >> I think that I am possibly getting temps in the 115-130 F range for >too long, thus making my beer insipid (maybe a harsh word, it's not >THAT bad). The problem is likely excessive proteolysis on the "thin" part and perhaps excessive starch hydrolysis on the "dry" part. The proteins in beer are a major source of mouthfeel and body. In recent decades virtually all commercial malts produced have been made so that the proteins are just about as far degraded as anyone would want. This saves the commercial brewers time/energy=money by requiring less mashing. So YES you can make thin insipid beers quite easily by lingering in the region around 50C(122F). BUT enzymes do not turn on&off at some magical temperature. Long rests even near 60C(140F) may lead to thin body. IMO you should use experience and *PLAN* any time and temp excursions below 145F(63C) for the purpose of reducing haze only (all malt grist). As an indicator, overly protealyse beers often (not always) has very poor head foam, and/or very short lasting foam. "Dry" mouthfeel & taste is a result excessive attenuation, and radical attenuation can also lead to thin watery mouthfeel similar to the lack of protein body mentioned above. You can (and should) judge the dryness by considering the apparent attenuation. To put this in perspective - a lot of HB beer and many commercial beers have apparent attenuation around 75-80%. This means a real attenuation around 61-65% of extract. Around 92+% of wort extract is carbohydrate, so in a finished HB there a residual 27-31+% of the original carbohydrate extract remains ! This contrasts with whisk[e]y production (the mash & ferment is similar to beer production) where they mash for an extremely dry result, and achieve a final gravity between 0.995-1.000SG ! This means they ferment something closer to 81-83% of the extract(real atten) and leave only around 10% of the original extract as carbos - extremely dry by beer standards. The residual dextrins add little or sweetness to beer, but do impact mou! thfeel significantly. To avoid excessive dextrin reduction you should mash-in at a higher temp, or avoid the range below 150F altogether. In my experience the attenuation doesn't drop radically until the mash-in or first rest is around 158F(70C)[again - all malt]. G.Fix seems to have mashed-in at a lower temp with a very limited amount of water, then added a measured bolus of boiling water to hit the first rest. Note that it is a very bad idea to add hot water (much above ~140F) to dry grist, as the grist immediately gelatinizes and then "balls". This is the "lumpy gravy" effect on a larger scale. It's best to modestly hydrate the grist at some modest temp, then heat rapidly by a boiling water infusion, as Fix does. I've done some very high attenuation beers in the past couple years and IMO the dextrin mouthfeel impact is secondary to the protein mouthfeel, but still quite prominant. One other thing - don't expect decent accuracy from a <$25 <30cm hydrometer ! -S Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2006 17:14:08 -0700 From: "Dave Draper" <david at draper.name> Subject: Am I batch sparging? Dear Friends, I've been reading about no-sparge and batch-sparge mashing the past couple days as part of gearing up to brew a Marzen here in a few weeks. Yes, I know it's not the right time of year. :-) But it got me wondering about my process, which is a little different from the standard techniques described in most homebrewing writeups, and I wonder what the collective might conclude. Mind you, I get consistently good results so I don't much care what it's called, but I'm just curious. So here's my usual procedure: I mash in a sankey keg that was converted to a wonderful mash tun for me many years ago by the supremely handy and very generous Eric Schoville. It has a ring of slotted copper tubing at the bottom as its manifold, attached to a standard ball valve (my beer page has a set of photos of the hardware if you're curious). For the past several years I have been doing almost exclusively single-step infusions. I typically mash somewhere between 64 and 67 C (147 to 153 F) at grain to water mass ratios of 2.4 to 2.6 (about 1.15 to 1.2 quarts per pound). I then mashout by adding boiling water (water boils at 95 C at my elevation) to bring the goods to 75-77 C (167-170 F). Then I recirculate about 5-6 L of wort until it gets as clear as it's gonna, and begin collecting into my kettle. So far quite ordinary. Immediately thereafter, I add my entire volume of sparge water, typically about 15 L (4 gal), about 1.5L at a time (the size of my plastic pitcher) in as much time as it takes to pour in one pitcherful after another, usually just a few minutes. The grain bed is thus covered by a substantial depth of water, as opposed to the "fly sparging" procedure of keeping the water just a little over the grain, and adding sparge water more gradually. I then let everything drain out into my kettle over a period of about 40 minutes usually (I don't open it up full bore) and proceed as usual from there. So is this batch sparging? No-sparging? Sorta-sparging? I don't let the mash liquor drain all the way out before adding the sparge water, and so don't stir everything back up and recirculate again after doing so. But I also don't add the entire lot of water I'm using all in one go either (not convenient for me to heat more than about 15L at a time). I've never had a single stuck mash, even with 50- 60% wheat malt, in more than 100 batches using this rig, and I routinely get 29-31 pts/lb/gal efficiency, sometimes as high as 33, so it clearly ain't broke and don't need fixing. I guess what I should do is experiment by doing the "traditional" batch- or no-sparge procedure of letting the main liquor drain out before adding the second load of water and do the re-stirring thing, then compare the results. Or not. :-) Any input welcome, Dave in ABQ =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- David S. Draper, Institute of Meteoritics, Univ New Mexico David at Draper dot Name Beer page: http://www.unm.edu/~draper/beer.html ...we are usually at the mercy of gravity. ---A.J. deLange Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2006 19:59:41 -0500 From: "Steve Jones" <stjones1 at gmail.com> Subject: Re: Pumpkin Ale Bwwaahahahaha - I nearly shot beer out of my nose when I read Steve's suggestion for using pumpkin in beers. However, Steve, I'd suggest that you add a smiley at the end when you post something like that so that the original poster realizes you're not really trying to insult anyone. But it really was funny Steve Jones Johnson City, TN www.franklinbrew.org Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2006 18:34:05 -0500 From: "steve.alexander" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: beer aging 2nd try, line length ... I want to thank /Fredrik, both for his original post in #5077 and for drawing attention to it again this week so that I might see it. His conclusions wrt esters is more detailed than I have performed and also implies a greater lability in the ester/fusel levels - yet still far short of enough change to impact flavor significantly. After reviewing his peper and numbers I an still convinced that the conversion of fusels to esters (and the reversre if a NON-EVENT in beer reasonable stored. The paper he referenced is yet another great brewing paper from the guys at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, wherein they measure beer component level changes over time under various conditions. The beer was a freshly top-fermented 7.5% ABV one. Normally bottled beer, held at 0C for 6 months had an ~10% decrease in ethyl hexanoate, a ~30% increase in diacetyl, and a ~20% increase on furfuryl ethyl ether(a main topic of the paper). All other compounds either had negligible changes or the compounds were far below the flavor threshold to begin with. Under other condition (air in headspace, 40C(104F) storage for 6 months, things changed moreso. I selected out all the beer compounds from their list which either traversed the flavor threshold as these aged, and also those, that with some variation in level (approx a factor of 2) might possibly traverse the flavor threshold. These are: ethyl acetate -- T H isoamyl acetate -- T ethyl-3-methylbutyrate ++ T ethyl-2-methylbutyrate ++ T ethyl-butanoate -- T ethyl-hexanoate -- T H ethyl-octanoate -- T H diacetyl ++ trans-2-nonenal ++ furanic ethers(several) ++ T (--) indicates decrease with age, (++) indicated increase with age (T) indicates rate of change mostly dependent on temperature (H) indicates my*opinion these these could potentially be harsh in quantity. - -- Of this subset, only diacetyl rate of formation was significantly increased with oxygen addition. The trans-2-nonenal increased to the same level in all cases except the 0C no air storage condition, perhaps a limiting value. Sorry - but I still can't see how harshness is substantially reduced in any of these chems due to *reasonable* amounts of time given good handling & storage procedures. Now if you store a beer at 40C for 6 months, then there are some obvious possibilities on the list. Decreasing the ethyl-acetate by 20%, might do it. The isoamyl-acetate drops by ~60%, but is still unlikely to improve any harshness. The higher ethyl-esters decline substantially too, and these could be part of the story, *BUT* their breakdown products aren't nice tasting either. My original "guess" was that the "de-harshening" beer storage occurs at 10C or below for a few months. In that case it's very hard to see how the chems in this analysis are likely to have any impact on "harshness". My money/guess is still on some carbonyl that is reduced in the bottle, or else something that complexes and/or falls as sediment as the cause of any reduced harshness due to age. Would someone who has actually had a beer turn from harsh to better please comment on the storage temps & times to accomplish this. Rob M? -S Return to table of contents
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