HOMEBREW Digest #5254 Sun 11 November 2007

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  Dry yeast data point / bottle priming / chlorophenols (Matt)
  tun (leavitdg)
  Frozen Beer ("Kevin Kowalczyk")
  False Bottom Problem ("LANCE HARBISON")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2007 11:01:27 -0800 (PST) From: Matt <baumssl27 at yahoo.com> Subject: Dry yeast data point / bottle priming / chlorophenols Many experienced brewers have no problems just pitching a pack or two of dry yeast into their wort. I generally have no problems either when pitching 20 grams of US-05 into 5 gallons of average strength pale ale or psuedo-pils. However, two recent experiences suggest that the margin is pretty thin. First, I pitched just one pack of US-05 into 5 G of pale ale as an experiment (but admittedly one that I thought would work); fermentation was not very "strong" (i.e. poor flocculation, extended airlock bubbling even after 12 days, etc). I pitched another pack, and fortunately the resulting beer was quite excellent (maybe the weak fermentation didn't drive off as much hop aroma as it normally would...) The more troubling experience was my most recent batch, where I pitched *30 grams* of Nottingham into 5.5 gallons of old ale at 1.067. The 0.75B cells/L/P guideline would suggest 260B cells, or 13 grams of dry yeast if you believe as I do that Nottingham is close to 20B cells/gm (though indeed their spec on viable cells is lower). Since I was worried about the number of viable cells (esp. after the US-05 experience described above) I used about twice that much yeast. The resulting beer is quite solventy with ethyl acetate, for which I think by far the most likely explanation is underpitching (of viable cells). Maybe if I send it to England it will win a major homebrewing award -- ha ha just kidding, David Edge. But seriously, now I'm even more perplexed about that single pack of S-04 in 10 gallons of 16P porter. Fortunately this beer is meant for long-term brett claussenii aging where I expect this ester to diminish to some extent. Anyway just a couple data points contrary to the many you often hear in the other direction. - --- Bob Hall asks whether it must be the prime tabs infecting his bottles. Not sure if this is what you're asking... but of course it could also be any equipment you're using to move the beer into the bottle, the bottle itself, the caps, grain dust in your bottling room air, or whatever else. But yeah it could be the prime tabs. Alternate Strategy: put a heaping half teaspoon of table sugar into each clean but not necessarily sanitized bottle. (For ~2.5 atm. If you want, calculate and measure more accurately.) Empty your oven of everything but the lower rack. Put a layer of foil on that rack. (And put a little sqare of foil over the top of each bottle if your oven has an upper heat element.) Set oven to 284 degrees. Wait 4 hours for dry heat sterilization (3 hrs, per John Palmer chart, plus an hour for the oven to heat everything up). Turn off oven without opening door. When bottles are cool (next day) you are good to go. I do this for every ale, bottling directly out of my primary. Works great, reduces number of rackings, and the sugar is much easier and faster to measure than you would think. - --- Ant Hayes asks for proof that infection bugs can create chlorophenols. I believe brettanomyces can do so. I believe this because I have tasted beers aged with brettanomyces, that had what I believe to be chlorophenolic off-flavors, in a brewery where chlorine cleaners are never used. The highly trained head brewer also believed the off-flavor to be a chlorophenol. Sorry that's all I have, but my guess is that someone will have more definitive proof. The articles on phenolics in beer available on ProBrewer.com are also of interest. Matt Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2007 13:21:47 -0500 From: leavitdg at plattsburgh.edu Subject: tun I use a 10 gallon Polarware mashtun, with false bottom, and valve and spiggot. After the conversion, I collect about 7 gallons, then clean out the tun and use it for a kettle. The only downside that I see is that the area under the false bottom holds about 1 gallon, so there can be some efficiency issues here. What I sometimes do is to use a little less sparge water (4.5 instead of 5 full gallons), then I drain a good deal of the underlet wort. The most grain that I had in it once, with a 2.32 quarts to a pound of grain, was 24 lbs of malt. This was a double batch. I like the fact that one can apply heat to the tun, and therby do a step infusion. I know one can add boiled water to the other setup, but prefer to be able to apply heat. Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2007 12:05:45 -0600 From: "Kevin Kowalczyk" <kevinkowalczyk at gmail.com> Subject: Frozen Beer Thank you to everyone who gave me advice regarding my frozen Xmas beer. There was a bit of a difference of opinion among the emails as to what I should do, so I took the most simple course of action, which turned out to be inaction. I figured if doing nothing didn't work, I could always take the steps you some of you suggested. The yeast recovered from freezing, so I didn't add any additional. I took a density reading yesterday, it's down to 1.023 (from an OG of 1.072). I was going to rack it to secondary, but it appears to be still fermenting, so I'm going to let it go for another week. It tasted fine, still too sweet of course, and the spices were a little over the top, but I figure they will mellow with lagering. Thanks again guys, I was in a bit of a panic when the freeze happened, and your calm advice really helped. Kevin Kowalczyk Chicago Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2007 21:20:11 -0500 From: "LANCE HARBISON" <harbison65 at verizon.net> Subject: False Bottom Problem On Friday I suffered through a 5 hour sparge (during a batch sparge) to collect 10 gallons of wort. I mashed 50 lbs of grain in a 1/2 barrel keg. I used rice hulls first into the keg and the last six pounds were flaked grains. The depth of the grain bed was 17". The tun would release about 1 gallon every 30 minutes. After the exit flow would stop I could hear wort trickling in the keg. My false bottom is 14 ga. perforated stainless, 1/8" dia. holes on 3/16" centers. I also run a 1/8" ID tube from below the false bottom to open air to prevent a vacuum. When I unloaded the keg there appeared to be a 1 inch depth of grain on the false bottom which seemed compacted (perhaps just a result of all of the sparge water having drained out). Has anybody had success using the same size false bottom on large batches? Could I benefit from a larger vacuum tube? Is a false bottom such as sold by Williams or Northern Brewer the answer? Lance Harbison Return to table of contents
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