HOMEBREW Digest #5101 Tue 28 November 2006

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  Re: Sparkalloid & Carbonation (Randy Ricchi)
  RE: Better Bottles ("D SCHULTZ")
  Homebrewing in the Netherlands (Calvin Perilloux)
  Re: homebrewing in the Netherlands ("Weymann, Tina")
  methanol poisoning (jbryant)
  Better Bottle (Rick) Theiner <rickdude@tds.net>
  Home Brewing in The Netherlands? ("Ant Hayes")
  Re: Brewing with HCl ("steve.alexander")
  Amsterdam Beer Sites (tombyrnes)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 08:28:38 -0500 From: Randy Ricchi <rricchi at houghton.k12.mi.us> Subject: Re: Sparkalloid & Carbonation Fred Johnson used sparkalloid to clarify his beer, then added some of the lees to each bottle to insure carbonation. My guess is you did not need to add any of the lees to your bottles to get adequate carbonation. Even though the beer was crystal clear there would still be some yeast cells in it to carbonate your bottles. I never used sparkolloid, but years ago I did experiment with using polyclar and bentonite and I got crystal clear beer which carbonated with no problems just by adding priming sugar at bottling. If you have a designated fridge for your beer, a great way to get crystal clear beer is to just store it for a week or two at 29 or 30 degrees F. George Fix recommended this in one of his books as a way to get rid of chill haze, and he was right. Once you bring the beer back up to serving temps (for me, mid to upper 40's), the beer is clear as a bell. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 07:32:11 -0800 From: "D SCHULTZ" <pnwbrewer at msn.com> Subject: RE: Better Bottles Dave commented on the Better Bottle PET carboys. While the PET plastic used in the BB carboys is slightly better than the polycarbonate (PC) plastic used in typical plastic carboys with respect to oxygen permeation, there isn't enough difference to justify the extra cost. PC does not impart flavors or they wouldn't use it for water so there's no difference there. Both PET and PC carboys are relatively thin wall and I would not recommend either for long term storage of beer. Use for fermentation is quite okay since the yeast are active and will scavage any available O2. Plus, some will get scrubbed out by the generation of CO2 during fermentation. The real question is how long is okay for storage of beer after fermentation. There's no exact answer here but most homebrewers report than up to 60 to 90 days works well for them and I tend to agree. I have always prefered the storage ease of a Corny so I've never gone beyond about 90 days. A better solution to either PC or PET carboys is the old standby: plastic buckets. HDPE has better O2 permeation than PC or PET and bucket walls are at least two to four times thicker. So if you think the BB carboys are a good buy at $25 (or whatever they cost), try a bucket and then enjoy the extra features like cleanability, durability and ease of use. The only negative I see with plastic buckets is that you can't watch the fermentation happen. I've seen that often enough that I don't miss that any more. When you consider how cheap a Corny is, it's hard to justify using a bucket or carboy even if you don't have a CO2 system to push the beer in the Corny aorund. I have a O2 permeation chart for pastics at http://www.oregonbrewcrew.com/schultz/o2perm.jpg. -Dan Schultz pnwbrewer at msn.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 08:02:58 -0800 (PST) From: Calvin Perilloux <calvinperilloux at yahoo.com> Subject: Homebrewing in the Netherlands In the last HBD, Bob Tower asks about homebrewing in the Netherlands. Bob, you can start at this site: http://www.hobbybrouwen.nl/ It's mostly in Dutch (better brush up!), but also has links to homebrew clubs and lots of other homebrewing info for that country, as well as a few good articles (if you can read Dutch). Calvin Perilloux Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 11:15:03 -0500 From: "Weymann, Tina" <TWeymann at hselaw.com> Subject: Re: homebrewing in the Netherlands Bob Tower will be spending 4 months in Holland and wants to tap into the HB scene there. You lucky guy! The Dutch are indeed avid homebrewers, and there are a number of clubs throughout the country, many of which have a great web presence. Check out http://www.hobbybrouwen.nl for a list of clubs. One site that I like to visit is http://www.deltabrouwers.nl/ (includes a very nice recipe collection). You may also want to post a note on the BBB's HB message board (http://ww2.babblebelt.com). Utrecht, BTW, is known as a great beer festival city. Goed geluk ("good luck")!! Tina Weymann Rochester, NY Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 11:21:38 -0500 From: <jbryant at wrsystems.com> Subject: methanol poisoning I was listening to Graham Sanders' podcast from November 5th and he had a story on a rash of deaths by methanol poisoning in Russia. Something like 40,000 people have been poisoned in the last year! But, the vodka wasn't contaminated by bad manufacturing processes; it was spiked with industrial chemicals! Apparently some nefarious characters are making a quick ruble by cutting vodka with antifreeze. Here is the link: radio.craftbrew.org. Also, I just noticed that he has an update to the story on the latest podcast. Long pause. I tried sending this yesterday to no avail. But, in the meantime I had a chance to listen to the latest podcast and hear the update on the poisonings in Russia. Graham heard the statistic incorrectly, though. It's 42,000 poisoning cases not 42,000 dead. I think 300 have died. The tragedy is that the government is going to try to do something by increasing taxes on liquor and industrial chemicals. They hope to make the use of industrial chemicals uneconomical with the tax. But the tax on liquor will only increase the demand for cheap booze and exacerbate the problem. Reputable companies making safe liquor will be hurt, while the shysters will stand to make more money. The solution is deregulation coupled with education. People need to know the risks of drinking no-name booze and the good stuff shouldn't be priced artificially higher with taxes. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 10:34:48 -0600 From: Eric (Rick) Theiner <rickdude at tds.net> Subject: Better Bottle Although there's probably no need, I'm going to jump on the bandwagon in recommending the Better Bottle (as mentioned before, they're at http://www.better-bottle.com ). I have broken 3 carboys since starting brewing in 1992. The first two times I lost nothing more than sanitizing solution (first time it slipped out of my hands while balanced on a sink, second time it slipped while I was transporting it), but the last time I lost 5 gallons of a very promising IPA and nearly lost a finger as well. The cut was significantly deep, but I was lucky to have received it in a place that did not house either major blood vessels or tendons. It was that last time that made a believer out of me, not only because of the injury, but because I was HOLDING THE CARBOY PROPERLY-- supporting the bottom and using the neck to stabilize it. I'm still not sure what happened, but the glass separated about an inch above the shoulder of the carboy. I cannot recall the name of the guy, but I spoke at length with one of the guys at Better Bottle and he was absolutely passionate about getting people to stop using glass. The Better Bottle's primary market is actually high purity water for laboratory applications and the stories that he told me about accidents in labs and warehouses with glass carboys are pretty harrowing. (The worst one-- although this is unlikely to occur in our area, a warehouse worker was essentially beheaded by a carboy stored on an overhead rack while he was trying to retrieve it.) Anyway, I love my Better Bottles, especially the side port option that allows you to quickly hook a hose up to the bottle and drain it to keg, rack, or bottle. Even without the breakage issue, that option alone is worth the change IMHO. The only complaint is that as they are not rigid, there is a pressure change when moving them that can lead to sucking some airlock fluid into your fermenter. (Not associated in any way, blah blah blah.) Rick Theiner Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 19:42:43 -0000 From: "Ant Hayes" <anthayes at btinternet.com> Subject: Home Brewing in The Netherlands? Bob Tower wrote, "I was wondering if any of you know of any Dutch home brewers groups or organizations" Check out http://www.roerstok.nl/ Also worth considering is http://www.craftbrewing.org.uk/ (The distance from Hoorn to London is less than half that from LA to Boulder!) Cheers Ant Hayes Winchester, England Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 14:58:28 -0500 (EST) From: "steve.alexander" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: Re: Brewing with HCl I hope SteveD doesn't mind my posting a reply to his email, but I think this is important for health/safety considerations. > The HCl I have is ultra pure stuff used for EPA > water analyses. "Ultrapure" is a term used to describe reagents used in biological experiment. ACS or analytic grade is what is commonly used chemical analysis. I wouldn't use ACS reagents in any food or beverage. I don't have the experience to know what might appear in ACS grade HCl, but metals and esp heavy metals come to mind. Perhaps the chemical mfgr's documentation might assuage my concerns but .... not my field. > I suspect that more folks don't use it for brewing > because other alternatives like lactic acid are more readily available. IMO lactic leaves a weird minor flavor .. not appreciated except in a few styles. Phosphoric seems 'cleaner' and plentiful (used in soda pop). I think the reason HCl is not widely used in brewing is that it's simply more difficult to find food grade HCl (and more dangerous in concentrated form). Aside from that, HCl is ideal for brewing. > On another subject, how many Campden tablets would you recommend I add > to the mash for a 20 pound grain bill? Do you suppose most of the SO2 > is driven off during the boil? I'd base the campden qty on final volume. For a 20lb grist bill you might be making 15gal of low gravity brew and for that I'd use 7 or 8 campdens. If OTOH you are using 20lb to make 5gal of 1st-wort barleywine then more like 2.5 campdens. My concern is that 1/2 campden per gallon produces roughly 33ppm (as SO2) and much of this is lost (see below) before the wort-chill. If you want to be more conservative, 25ppm (abt 2 campden's per 5gal of final beer) is undoubtedly safe and sane. If you added 8 campdens to the 20lb grist mash for 5gal of barleywine you're starting with a potential over 100ppm of SO2, and you'll probably end up with enough sulfite to cause a flavor problem. Actually there is very little SO2 from campdens in wort. Just like <carbonic, bi-carbonate, carbonate> in water or beer there are three species of sulphoxides resulting from metabisulfite. At very low pH (pH<1.77) most is SO2 gas dissolved in the water/wort. From pH=1.77 to pH=7.2, most is in the form of bisulfite ions (H.SO3-) and above pH=7.2 most is sulfite (SO3--). So in the mash or even in finished beer most is bisulfite with just a little SO2 and a little sulfite. Each of the three species has somewhat different role in the anti-oxidant story. The SO2 (just another gas in solution), is lost to the atmosphere (and mostly replaced by equilibrium shifts). SO2 prevents certain enzymatic oxidation of phenolics. SO2 in combination with peroxides can reverse some phenolic oxidation. Sulfite is a potent but slow acting anti-oxidant capable of binding with free O2. The bisulfate which represents ~98% of all species in the wort binds weakly with aldehydes (including aldose-sugars) and other carbonyls and has an effect of preventing carbonyl formation (both staling compounds as well as some Maillard products). Some of these are lost to the atmosphere as SO2 but far more is oxidized into sulfate ions (SO4--) [[same ion as the massive sulfate conc in Burton ales]]. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 21:02:32 -0600 (CST) From: <tombyrnes at verizon.net> Subject: Amsterdam Beer Sites Bob asked about brewing sites in Amsterdam, I am so jealous check out the http://www.thebda.com/, it is a beer site that reviews beer related issues in Amsterdam between the bars and the discussion board you should be able to get some information. Happy brewing Tom, Norfolk, VA Return to table of contents
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