HOMEBREW Digest #5266 Mon 10 December 2007

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  temp with a Hefe (leavitdg)
  Sodium Metabisulphite vs Star San ("Lee Smith")
  Priming (Fred L Johnson)
  CO2, priming, and headspace ("Spencer W. Thomas")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 08 Dec 2007 06:30:56 -0500 From: leavitdg at plattsburgh.edu Subject: temp with a Hefe Interesting. I did something similar yesterday. I brewed a hefe with Whitelabs wlp300, and left it in a warmer part of the house (northern ny state, just 1.25 hours south of Montreal, Quebec). I usually leave ales in the back room where it is warm enough, but not in the 70s. It was a very fresh yeast, so I guessed that it might take off rather vigorously, and it did. This morning it needed a blow off tube. I left it in a warmer place in that I am guessing that we'll get more flavors (bananna and clove) with it warmer. I think yours may be ok, just lots of zip to it. Lets see what others say. Happy Brewing! Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 9 Dec 2007 19:18:24 -0700 From: "Lee Smith" <smithly at comcast.net> Subject: Sodium Metabisulphite vs Star San Hey Y'all, Getting ready to cork a Belgian and it's my first time using cork. Is there a credible argument as to whether or not Star San will perform as well as Sodium Metabisulphite for soaking the corks? Thanks, Lee [1629.3, 254.2] Apparent Rennerian Sweet! Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 07:46:26 -0500 From: Fred L Johnson <FLJohnson52 at nc.rr.com> Subject: Priming Fellow brewers: For many years I have primed my beer by calculating how much dextrose to add the produce the desired amount of volumes of CO2. It only dawned on me today that this method (which one can find all over the internet and in books) ignores the volume of headspace and the temperature of the beer. It assumes that ALL of the CO2 produced is dissolved in the beer, which we know is not the case unless one the beer is in a container with zero headspace. This explains why one could bottle/keg prime and condition a beer and have poor carbonation if the volume of headspace were high (say in a half-filled keg). Shouldn't we be making some adjustments to our priming sugar based upon the headspace we intend to have and the temperature at which we intend to store and serve the beer? This certainly is used when one force carbonates the beer in a keg? Why are these adjustments not in the bottle priming formulas? Fred L Johnson Apex, North Carolina, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 10:19:40 -0500 From: "Spencer W. Thomas" <hbd at spencerwthomas.com> Subject: CO2, priming, and headspace Fred asks "Why does the temperature not matter when calculating priming sugar?" Simply put, because a given amount of sugar produces a given amount of CO2. Regardless of the storage temperature, the mass of CO2 remains the same (assuming complete fermentation of the priming charge). And "Volumes" of CO2 is a mass-related measure, because it refers to volume at a standard temperature and pressure. Thus, 1 liter of CO2 at STP is approximately 2 grams of CO2. 4 grams of dextrose produce approximately 2 grams of CO2 if fermented completely, so 4 grams/liter will produce 1 volume of CO2. You might want adjust for the temperature of the beer into which you are adding the priming sugar, if you can assume that the beer is fully saturated with CO2 at the time of priming. Colder beer will hold more CO2 in solution. Conveniently, at 60F, the solubility of CO2 at atmospheric pressure is approximately 1 volume. Thus, if you were priming a beer to 2 volumes (English ale) at 60F, you'd want to add enough sugar to produce an additional volume of CO2 (if you can add the sugar without driving any significant amount of CO2 out of solution!) The headspace might be an issue, especially in your example of a half-filled keg. In a standard bottle-fill situation, the difference in carbonation introduced by headspace variation is less than the uncertainty in the amount of CO2 in the unprimed beer. For example in a 12 oz bottle, if the headspace was 1/2 oz, the amount of CO2 in the headspace at 60F would be 1/24 the total in the bottle, or less than 5%. I don't think you can estimate the pre-priming CO2 that closely. At colder temperatures, more of the CO2 will be in the beer and less in the headspace, because the solubility of CO2 increases as the beer gets colder. Why does the temperature matter when you are force carbonating? Because you're applying a constant *pressure* of CO2, not supplying a constant *volume*. The volume of CO2 absorbed at a particular pressure will vary significantly as the temperature changes, with more absorbing into cold beer and less into warm beer. I take advantage of this when I'm making sparkling water. I chill the water as close to freezing as I can, and apply 40lbs of CO2 for a couple of hours through a carbonating stone. If I fill a 2 liter bottle with this solution, cap it, and let it warm to room temperature, the bottle becomes "rock hard" because of the increase in pressure with increased temperature. The dissolved volume (mass) of CO2 has not changed, only the temperature and pressure. =Spencer in Ann Arbor Return to table of contents
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