HOMEBREW Digest #5129 Wed 17 January 2007

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  RE: Dextrins (Andrew Calder)
  re: Sulfur-onion-shallot smell? (-s)
  Lager fermentation ("Doug Moyer")
  Re:Half coupler on my boil kettle (Michael Hartsock)
  Cider yeast ("Gary Smith")
  Whisky barrel aged beer? (jbryant)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2007 21:04:48 -0800 (PST) From: Andrew Calder <arcalder2000 at yahoo.com> Subject: RE: Dextrins Howdy All, David Edge asks:"Can anyone definitively assert or deny the fermentation of dextrins by yeast, and if so provide a reference?". According to David Miller's "Homebrewing Guide" sub-titled "Everything you need to know to make great-tasting beer". On page 41 he defines dextrins as the following "Dextrins are carbohydrates that are intermediate in size between starches and fermentable sugars." He goes on to say that dextrins impart mouth-feel (body) and head retention to the finished beer. The source of dextrins in finished beer is Cara-pils or Cara-Crystal specialty malt. I.E. they are too long to ferment. For more detail see page 91, Chapter 8 What Happens in the Mash Tun? of this book the section titled Starches, Dextrins, and Sugars. The book's ISBN is 0-88266-905-2. I would be happy to speculate with you off-line about how someone might be mislead into thinking you don't have to add sugar to beer (priming) in order to bottle condition it. Hope this helps, Andrew Calder New Lenox, IL Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2007 01:51:28 -0500 From: -s <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: re: Sulfur-onion-shallot smell? Richard Lynch asks ... [[ My problem is: I have this funky onion-shallot, sulfur smell wafting out of the airlock for about a day now! I pulled a little out to sample and I could still taste and smell a "normal" pleasant malty-pils flavor, but there's this hint of acidic, cocktail onion sort of smell/flavor on top. ]] Sulfur is a good call Richard - many people cannot recognize the sulfur character in common food aroma. Several chemicals immediately come to mind; dimethyl-DIsulfide (DMS's ugly cousin), diethyl-disulphide and ethyl-mercaptan(ethanethiol). All contain sulfur, can appear in beer and have flavor thresholds around 1ppb. These are often associated with yeast autolysis tho' more common in wine making. It is possible tho' unlikely that such a flavor could come directly from stale hops. Some non-beer yeasts can produce such disulfide compounds as part of their methionine (amino acid) metabolism. DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) is sometimes described as onion-like too, but it's unlikely to appear such quantities in the fermenter if you used decent malt and a decent wort boil *IF* you think you have potentially autolysing yeast in the fermenter I'd suggest you rack the beer. *IF* it's a thiol or a disulfide compound, possibly from infection, then there is no simple cure (according to wine sources). It's your call if it's worthwhile to hit the beer with metabisulfite (knock down any infection) and repitch as a salvage effort. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2007 09:23:02 -0500 From: "Doug Moyer" <shyzaboy at yahoo.com> Subject: Lager fermentation Lagerheads, I've only made on lager in my 16 years of brewing. Now, I've got one happily fermenting in my fermentation fridge. A couple of questions regarding the next steps: (1) Diacetyl rest - I've read that this should be done when the fermentation is about 2/3 complete. Short of taking regular samples (and I didn't force ferment a portion warm, so I'm not even sure what the T.G. will be), how will I decide when to do this? If I wait a week, will that probably be okay? How long is too long to be effective? (I'm using White Labs WL838, Southern German Lager, which is reportedly a low diacetyl producer - should I even bother? This is a Czech pils, which should have a diacetyl note, according to the long departed Dr. Pivo.) (2) Secondary fermenter - when do I transfer to a secondary? After the diacetyl rest? If yes, after I reduce it back to fermentation temps? Brew on! Doug Moyer Troutville, VA Star City Brewers Guild: http://www.starcitybrewers.org Beer, brewing, travel & kids: http://shyzaboy.blogsome.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2007 06:56:16 -0800 (PST) From: Michael Hartsock <xd_haze at yahoo.com> Subject: Re:Half coupler on my boil kettle Depending on the ID of the coupler, you might be able to tap the inside of the coupler so that you can thread in attachments on the inside of the kettle. This might require you to ream out the coupler a bit to make it the right size. Of course, if the coupler is to big for any standard fittings, this option won't work. But if it is a 1/2 NPT coupler and the walls are thick enough, you would probably be able to run a 3/8 MPT tap through it so that you could thread any manner of 3/8 fittings into it. Mike Columbia, MO Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2007 10:30:54 -0500 From: "Gary Smith" <Gary at doctorgary.net> Subject: Cider yeast Hi, I'm going to be making 15 galons of hard cider & will allow it to ferment to dry and will then keg it for carbonation if desired at that point. I've made mead but this will be my first hard cider. I would appreciate suggestions for a worthy yeast. Thanks, Gary Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2007 16:06:45 -0500 From: <jbryant at wrsystems.com> Subject: Whisky barrel aged beer? Hey folks, I just came into possession of a 4.5 gallon whisky barrel. It sat on my neighbor's shelf for 35 years and when I popped the bung it still smelled faintly of whisky (or should I say that whisky smells like charred oak barrels?). So, I filled it up with water to rehydrate the wood and expand it back to its watertight form. Amazingly, it only dripped slightly for about 12 hours and is now completely sealed. So, does anybody have any good ideas of what kind of beer I should put in here? I presume that the correct method is to use the barrel as a secondary. How do I sanitize this thing? Do I even try? Also, does anyone have any suggestions on how to get the bung back out? It wasn't in very tight when it was dry, but I tapped it in too far when I filled it with water and now it is in there really tight. Thanks, Jason Norfolk, VA Return to table of contents
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