HOMEBREW Digest #5226 Tue 04 September 2007

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  Pre-chiller: plate or immersion? (Robert Tower)
  RE: Fermentabilty of Wort WRT mash thickness (IT)" <stjones@eastman.com>
  Rice flour in CAP (Jeff Renner)
  Why would my heatsticks trip some GFCIs, but not others? (Scott Alfter)
  pitching rate (Matt)
  Nashville, TN Homebrew Competition ("Stephen Johnson")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 03 Sep 2007 17:18:21 -0700 From: Robert Tower <roberttower at sbcglobal.net> Subject: Pre-chiller: plate or immersion? It's really hot here in California (temps +100 F.) right now but the brewing must go on. However even with a Therminator in tip top shape I'm only able to get my wort down to about 84 F. That just isn't going to do! A pre-chiller is in order I believe. A few years ago I was in the same dilemma. I had a copper coil immersion chiller leftover from my beginner days so I stuck it in a 6 gallon bucket packed with ice and water and put it in front of my Therminator. I was shocked that the ice melted within a few minutes of running the water through it. At the end of the day, the pre-chiller didn't have much effect since the ice burned up right at the beginning. After that experience I didn't pursue the pre-chiller and avoided hot weather brewing. Today I brewed and this time I used a different set up. A 6 gallon bucket again, but this time filled with about 6 large blue ice bricks, 1 small brick, 1 bag version of a blue ice brick, one 1 liter and one 2 liter soda bottle filled with water and frozen solid. This just about filled the bucket but after filling with water there was enough room that they were able to bob around in the bucket. Someone gave me one of those shirac (?) plate heat exachangers (it's like a half version of a Therminator) so I decided to use that instead of the copper coil. I used my CIP pump (which really cranks!) to pump the ice cold water out of the bottom of the bucket, through the heat exchanger and then back into the the top of the bucket. The water from the garden hose was going through the small heat exchanger and then into my normal heat exchanger. I noticed that the frozen artificial ice didn't melt immediately like my first experience, though it was about half liquid about 5-10 minutes into the process. This pre-chiller set up didn't seem to have a big impact either. My ground water today was coming out at 86 F. With an inline thermometer, I regulated the wort flow until I got the lowest temperature I could, 82 F. I was hoping for low 70s. OK, now my questions. Which do you think would make a better pre-chiller, the copper coil in a bucket of ice, or my fancy pants recirculating system with the plate heat exchanger? Or something else entirely? Obviously, with either method, I've got some troubleshooting to do (what's new?!?!?). Anything that I'm doing obviously wrong? One thing that occurred to me is that both times I had the water coming in from an outdoor brass hose bib to the pre-chiller at full blast. Is that too much water for the pre-chiller to effectively chill all at once? Would I have better luck throttling down my water pressure? If you use a pre-chiller, what kind of results are you getting ? How hot is your ground water and how low are you able to get your wort down to and what equipment/method are you using? I'm brewing again tomorrow (yep, I'm a glutton for punishment) so maybe I'll try fiddling with the water pressure coming into the pre-chiller. Hopefully I get much better results. I'll report back. Bob Tower / Los Angeles, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2007 14:07:20 -0400 From: "Jones, Steve (IT)" <stjones at eastman.com> Subject: RE: Fermentabilty of Wort WRT mash thickness Thanks to David, Fred, and Steve for responding. I now know that my metric numbers for mash thickness were correct, but they were incorrectly coverted to Qt/Lb (and the order reversed as well). My takeaway from this is that the effect of mash thickness on wort fermentability is much less that that of Temperature, and that thinner mashes produce a more fermentable wort (up to about 5% more fermentable). Thanks again, Steve Jones Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2007 14:19:49 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <jsrenner at umich.edu> Subject: Rice flour in CAP Sorry to be so out of the loop on this. Back on 8/22, Paul Kerchefske <wadworth6 at yahoo.com> wrote > I am planning on making a CAP with > rice. Has anyone used rice flour, or is it too fine > for brewing? and "Steve Dale-Johnson" <sdalejohnson at hotmail.com> replied > I'm sure Jeff Renner will chime in, but unless you mean Classic Asian > Pilsner, you'd want to use corn for your adjunct. Regardless, > flour will > give you cloudy runoff and depending on the amount, a stuck > sparge. It's > also expensive. Well, actually, rice has a fine pedigree for pre-prohibition beers, especially including premium pilsner style lagers. See the classic 1902 edition of Wahl and Henius' American Handy Book of the Brewing, Malting and Auxiliary Trades, pp. 466-467 for a discussion of rice as a brewing material, and 698-706. http://hbd.org/aabg/wahl/ At the 2000 National Homebrew conference, the retired Stroh Brewery brewer and company historian, Peter Blum, told me that at first (until about 100 years ago), Stroh's Bohemian lager was brewed with rice because dry milled corn was not yet produced with low enough oil content. Rice coset more, but was considered worthwhile for such a premium beer. As I recall, it was just about at the turn of the 20th century or a little later that they switched to corn grits. Sometime in the latter third of the 20th century, they switched to brewers corn syrup. Blum asserted that there was no flavor difference among beers brewed with these three different adjuncts, but I am skeptical. In his 1994 Brewing Techniques article Explorations in Pre- Prohibition American Lagers http://www.brewingtechniques.com/library/ backissues/issue2.3/fix.html , George Fix suggests that rice was more typical of western US lagers, which were milder in flavor and lower in alcohol, and which, he suggests, were the direct antecedent of today's US lagers. So, now that we've established that there is ample historic justification for using rice in a CAP, what about rice flour? Rice is normally coarsely broken pieces, much the size of brewers corn grits - i.e., about 1 mm in size. Flour will convert more easily, but runs the risk of a slow or stuck runoff. I would suggest not exceeding 25% rice, and be sure to do a proper cereal mash. That is, mash the rice for maybe 20 minutes with ~25% malt by weight, then boil it, being careful not to scorch it. Use enough water to keep it fairly thin. Don't overcook it. Normally, broken rice is cooked for 30 minutes. See Wahl pp. 716-717.) Some sources suggest that overcooking rice can result in a slow runoff. Then add it to the main mash while it is boiling hot to boost it from the first rest of about 145F to 158F. (If using a smaller rather than a larger proportion of rice, you may also need to add some boiling water or other heat to get to the second restttt, or just settle for a lower second rest.) As long as the cereal mash is well liquified, I think it won't stick. And using 6-row malt with its higher amount of husk will help keep the mash loose. And finally, it probably wouldn't hurt to have some rice hulls on hand to stir in if it does stick. Hope this helps. You might report back in order to add to the knowledge base. Jeff - --- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, jsrenner at umich.edu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2007 15:15:48 -0700 From: Scott Alfter <scott at alfter.us> Subject: Why would my heatsticks trip some GFCIs, but not others? I've had on-again, off-again problems with my heatsticks tripping the GFCIs on the switchboard I built to control them (construction of which is detailed at http://alfter.us/heatstick/powerdist/). I've rebuilt a couple of them, thinking that maybe there was a leak somewhere, even though they usually ohm out properly. After having my hot-liquor tank (one 1.5-kW element in a 48-qt. cooler) trip a couple of GFCIs on the switchboard, I plugged it into a wall outlet in the kitchen. Since it's in the kitchen, it's still a GFCI outlet. This one, though, didn't trip. Later in the brew session, I put the hot-liquor tank back on the switchboard, after which it worked without any further problems. I ended up repeating this with one of the heatsticks when it came time to start the boil. Again, it tripped the GFCIs on the switchboard, but it didn't trip the kitchen-outlet GFCI. After a few minutes, I plugged it back into the switchboard and it worked OK the rest of the time. With this behavior, I'm beginning to think that my heatsticks have been OK all along, but that there's a problem with the GFCI outlets on my switchboard. Is there some failure mode for them that would make them excessively "twitchy?" I've given half a thought to putting 2-pin adapters on the heatstick plugs to disconnect the ground connection; what I've read on GFCIs and how they work indicates that there would still be some level of protection: http://ecmweb.com/mag/electric_think_gfci/ To those of you who are using heatsticks: do you have yours grounded or ungrounded, and if you're plugging them into a GFCI (whether in-wall or otherwise), do you have problems with them tripping? Scott Alfter scott at alfter.us Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2007 17:12:54 -0700 (PDT) From: Matt <baumssl27 at yahoo.com> Subject: pitching rate I can't say who all uses the 1M cells/ml/P "rule," but many US micros use it. For them, the yeast is generally repitched off the bottom of a cylindroconical fermenter, and hence of less-than-perfect viability and "health." Generally the wort is adjunct-free and oxygenated fully. This rule of thumb is deemed *sufficient* to ensure quality fermentations under those variable and hard-to-measure conditions. Many Belgian breweries use less (maybe 0.5X), but these are sometimes using nice yeast propagators that build up loads of very healthy yeast. The yeast in an oxygenated starter, of the type used by some homebrewers, is more similar to this yeast than to the stuff at the bottom of a CC. And as David says, there are breweries that use dry yeast at less than this 1 M cells/ml/P. But of course, dry yeast cells are also supposed to be much healthier than what's at the bottom of a CC. So, I don't think comparing pitching rates is very meaningful, with regard to esters or attenuation, unless the same KIND of yeast (repitched vs dry vs propagated, and the same strain) is used, in a similar wort. Anyway Fred I think there's no doubt that under various conditions, pitching less than 1M cells/ml/P can result in a "better beer" to many people's taste, due at least partially to increased esters. David gave one example, and others abound (Duvel and Rochefort, to name some Belgians). Matt Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2007 20:16:33 -0500 From: "Stephen Johnson" <sjohnson3 at comcast.net> Subject: Nashville, TN Homebrew Competition To All Homebrewers, Announcing the 12th Annual Music City Brew-Off, October 6th, 2007 to be held at Boscos Brewing Company, Nashville Tennessee, hosted by the Music City Brewers Homebrew Club. All BJCP recognized styles (2004 Guidelines) including meads and ciders and special categories Spirit of Homebrew and HopGod Challenge are eligible for entry. We will also hold our first ever bottle label design contest. Entries will be accepted from Saturday September 8th through Saturday September 22nd. For all rules and regulations, online entry forms, drop off and mail in locations please visit our website at http://www.musiccitybrewers.com/brewoff.php Prizes and ribbons will be awarded for 1st through 3rd in all judged categories with special prizes for Best of Show, Best of Meads, Best of Ciders and HopGod Challenge and bottle label design contest. All BJCP judges and stewards as well as non BJCP judges and stewards are needed and welcome. Please contact Steve Johnson at sjohnson3 at comcast dot net. Lunch and special gift will be given for each judge and steward. Come join our event packed weekend with special events, including our annual Friday Night Party, this year with an Oktoberfest theme, Saturday evening Pub Crawl and the Sunday Brew-N-Brunch. Hope to see you there. Until then May The Hops Be With You Tom Vista Music City Brew Off Coordinator AKA: The HopGod Return to table of contents
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