HOMEBREW Digest #5285 Mon 28 January 2008

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  Acidifying sparge water ("A.J deLange")
  Boston Homebrew Competition (Mark Irwin)
  RE: Fridge/Freezer conversion to beer tap ("Brian Lundeen")
  2008 Upper Mississippi Mash-Out results are posted ("Crist, Jonathan")
  sugar ("Matt Wallace")
  RE: chimay yeast strain ("Ronald La Borde")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 08:39:55 -0500 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Acidifying sparge water This usually isn't necessary as the pH during the sparge isn't critical as long as it stays below 6 or so to reduce the amount of husk tanins brought over. If the source water is at high pH and alkaline then you may find you reach pH 6 before all the sugar is extracted and this is the case in which you may want to add some acid. If the pH of your runoff is 6 or less when the runoff has reached 3 P then you should be OK without treatment of the sparge water. At 3 P each gallon of runoff you leave behind contains about 120 grams (approximately 4 litres x approximataely 1 kg/liter x .03) of extract (about 4 Oz or 1 Oz per quart) so it's not generally worth pushing it and risking tanin extraction or taking the trouble to adjust the sparge water and winding up with acid anions in the brew. If the water is very alkaline (you are hitting pH 6 when the extract is 5 P or higher) then you may wish to decarbonate it somewhat. Sparge water has to be heated to 170F or so anyway and you might just want to take it up to boiling to let it drop carbonate (it turns murky). The amount of carbonate it drops can be increased by adding a calcium salt such as the chloride or sulfate but this increases the amount of those anions going into the kettle. Also adding a wee bit of calcium carbonate insures nucleation sites for the CaCO3 that is to precipitate. A larger problem with this suggestion is that it takes time for the calcium carbonate to settle. If you are treating the mash water in this way (or some other way as with, for example, lime) increase the volume treated to include the sparge water. If you are determined to use acid then the advice already given is valid. The amount of acid required, in milliequivalents per liter, is approximately the alkalinity of the water in the same units i.e. if the alkalinity of the water is 200 ppm as CaCO3 then approximately 200/50 = 4 mEq/L acid will be required. This approximation holds as long as the starting pH of the water is 8.3 or less. Most potable sources qualify. The approximation is pretty fair as long as the pH change is a couple of points i.e 8.3 to 6 or 7 to 5. The amount required can be more precisely caculated using the steps set out at http://www.wetnewf.org/Brewing_articles/Water_acidification.html but a pH meter or test strips should be your guide as there are lots of ways to have the calculated acid amount get you to a pH other than the one you wanted. So what pH do you want? In a worst case we might suppose the source water was at pH 8.3 (near the limit allowed for municipal water in the US). If the pH is reduced to 6 almost 70% of the alkalinity will have been neutralized so 6 seems like a reasonable target. Let me comment briefly on Ron's unfortunate experiences with pH meters. I certainly have had similar experiences in the past but technology has advanced. I am now almost to the 3 year point (to be reached in May) on a relatively simple gel filled electrode. This is a record for me and I'm somewhat in disbelief but this electrode, while its response is slower than it was in the past, still has 97-98% of the Nernst slope and an offset which hasn't shifted more than a couple of mV from what it was when new. I have never even used enzyme cleaner on it. I do put it into wort but not hot wort and I think that must have a lot to do with it. Apparently the stresses of going from hot to cold are most effective at reducing electrode life. Now this is not a $78 item I bought at a homebrew shop but it isn't a $300 double junction refillable electrode either. A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 16:34:32 -0500 From: Mark Irwin <irwin at markirwin.net> Subject: Boston Homebrew Competition It is with great pleasure that The Boston Wort Processors present the 13th Annual Boston Homebrew Competition, sponsored by the Allagash Brewing Company, on Saturday, March 1st. This year's competition follows in the fine tradition of brewing and judging that has been proven at our previous competitions. This competition attracts entries from many of the best brewers not only in New England but across the country and is judged by many of the founding members of the Beer Judge Certification Program. We look forward to your participation this year. This is a BJCP Registered/Sanctioned event and we will be judging all 28 BJCP 2004 Styles for this competition. Also, as has been the case since its founding, this year's contest again will be part of the New England Homebrewer of the Year series and as in past years, will serve as the Northeast Region Qualifying Event for the Masters Championship of Amateur Brewing (MCAB). For information about the competition, to register enteries, or to signup to judge or steward, please see http://bhc.wort.org. Mark - -- Mark E. Irwin Webmaster - Boston Wort Processors irwin at wort.org http://www.wort.org Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 16:43:23 -0600 From: "Brian Lundeen" <blundeen at mts.net> Subject: RE: Fridge/Freezer conversion to beer tap > > Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2008 10:33:00 -0600 > From: Bill Tobler <brewbetter1 at comcast.net> > Subject: RE: Fridge/Freezer conversion to beer tap > > If we go with top of the line > stuff, for a 4 keg system, not counting the fridge or kegs, > you can expect to spend (For all new faucets, drip tray, > hoses, fittings, 5 Lb. CO2 tank, regulator, 4 line CO2 > header) Oh my, $500, NOT counting the kegs and fridge. I > would start looking for stuff on sale and or used.... Try > ebay and second had stores. > Bah, I consider the expense an investment in my sanity. Washing, sanitizing, filling and capping bottles, thousands and thousands of times in your brewing life... How do you put a price tag on avoiding that? A keg fridge is worth it at twice that price. Having said that, I refuse to spend $100 on a fancy drip tray. I consider this a completely needless expense for a piece of gear that just isn't required. A cheap plastic tray on the floor under the taps does the same thing. Cheers Brian, in Winnipeg Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 17:42:32 -0600 From: "Crist, Jonathan" <Jonathan.Crist at bsci.com> Subject: 2008 Upper Mississippi Mash-Out results are posted The 2008 Upper Mississippi Mash-Out is history! The organizing committee would like to thank our sponsors, our volunteers, our entrants and our guests for helping make this year's Mash-Out such a HUGE success! You can check out the results and pictures on our website at: http://www.mnbrewers.com/mashout SET YOUR CALENDAR! Next year's Mash-Out will be held on Jan 23-24, 2009! Jonathan Crist Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 16:03:14 -0800 From: "Matt Wallace" <dubious.chewy at gmail.com> Subject: sugar I've enjoyed Lagunitas' "Brown Shugga" quite a bit, and am considering trying something similar at home. Not surprisingly, this beer contains a significant amount of brown sugar, by some accounts 200lbs per batch. I'm not sure what that comes out to in lb/gallon, but my question to HBDers is this: If you've used brown sugar, table sugar, molasses, belgian candi sugar, or other forms of sucrose, how much have you added? What are the limits past which flavor is negatively affected? I've read that back in the "olden days" of home brewing, many recipes were 50% table sugar or more, and generally had a negative, sherry-like flavor. In my opinion, the commercial ale in question has a surprisingly light body and warm alcohol notes that nicely complement the flavor of the beer. That, and, at 9.9%, it'll knock ya back in yer chair.... Thoughts? Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 19:34:44 -0600 From: "Ronald La Borde" <pivoron at cox.net> Subject: RE: chimay yeast strain >From: Aaron Martin Linder <lindera at umich.edu> > >The WLP500 just seems to be a bit hot tasting and kind of solventy. It's >not exactly unpleasant, just not the same as Chimay. Maybe I need to age >my beer for several months to get the smooth flavor of the Chimay blue? It is possible to get the Chimay yeast right from a bottle of Chimay. A while back I collected about 1/4 ounce of stirred beer from a bottle of Chimay. I think it was the red label, but any should work. In the past the corks were dated, but that seems to be gone now. If you can get a fresh shipment, try it in a stir plate. It took about 4 days to show any activity. Start with a small starter, an ounce or so, then build it up a couple times. The findshed beer tasted like Chimay! Ron Ronald J. La Borde -- Metairie, LA New Orleans is the suburb of Metairie, LA New Orleans is the New Atlantis Return to table of contents
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