HOMEBREW Digest #916 Fri 03 July 1992

Digest #915 Digest #917

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  hops (Russell Owen)
  Poisonous brews (Conn Copas)
  Hefe-Weizen yeast (Pierre.Jelenc)
  B-Brite (Cleaning Blow-off tubes) ("Spencer W. Thomas")
  kegs (Dan Watson)
  hot sparge / hydrometer / silicone (Brian Bliss)
  Methanol (korz)
  Liquid properties (Michael L. Hall)
  re: methanol (Micheal Yandrasits)
  Silicon used as caulking (David Pike)
  Wyeast viability, O2 and cultures (Jim Busch) (NCDSTEST)
  Re: lactic acid treatment of sparge water (Darren Evans-Young)
  BMW/Munich Beers/South Carolina ("James W. Reese")
  Oregon Brewer's Festival (John Hartman)
  Re: Long time in the primary (Pat Lasswell)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1992 06:36 EST From: Russell Owen <OWEN at VAXE.NIEHS.NIH.GOV> Subject: hops Where can I get good hops cuttings for cultivation? I once mail ordered some from a produce and ornamentals catalog, but they were frail and of unknown variety. Send replys directly to me and I will summarize them and post them. Thanks in advance. OWEN at NIEHS.BITNET Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 92 11:42:17 BST From: Conn Copas <C.V.Copas at lut.ac.uk> Subject: Poisonous brews Russ asked about the above topic. My understanding is that methanol (so-called wood alcohol) can be produced by the fermentation of cellulose, ie, plant fibre. I believe it requires special micro-organisms. I've read of some third world illicit distillers who have poisoned people by allowing a must containing sugar cane fibre to ferment spontaneously. - -- Loughborough University of Technology tel : (0509)263171 ext 4164 Computer-Human Interaction Research Centre fax : (0509)610815 Leicestershire LE11 3TU e-mail - (Janet):C.V.Copas at uk.ac.lut G Britain (Internet):C.V.Copas%lut.ac.uk at nsfnet-relay.ac.uk Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 92 8:32:31 EDT From: Pierre.Jelenc at cunixf.cc.columbia.edu Subject: Hefe-Weizen yeast in HBD # 914 Brian Bliss asks about a source of yeast for Hefe-Weizen. I have just successfully cultured yeast from a bottle of Paulaner Hefe-Weizen. However I still do not know whether this is the brewing yeast as well. Pierre Pierre Jelenc pcj1 at cunixf.cc.columbia.edu Columbia University, New York Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 92 10:19:39 EDT From: "Spencer W. Thomas" <Spencer.W.Thomas at med.umich.edu> Subject: B-Brite (Cleaning Blow-off tubes) So what's in B-Brite, anyway? I assume it's got TSP, but what else? Enquiring minds want to know. =S Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 92 08:21:51 MST From: dwatson at as.arizona.edu (Dan Watson) Subject: kegs Fellow Brewophiles, A while back, I asked about soft drink kegs and have recieved lots of info since. This probably falls into the realm of FAQs, but I thought a summary might help beginners like myself. My original question was about the relative merits of pin-lock versus ball-lock. There was no consensus on this. I now have both, and see no particular advantage of one or the other. The pin-lock is mechanically simpler, but not by much. One writer speculated that one type was used by Coke, and one by Pepsico. This is apparently not the case. I have kegs marked Coke with both. A Coke truck driver (excuse me, a sales associate) told me that ball-locks were the old standard, and that everyone had changed to pin-locks. Because the buggers are nearly indestructable, the attrition rate was slow. He also told me that pin-locks were on the way out too, and that the industry was going to a "post-carbonation system" which uses a bag-in-a-box syrup. This is probably good news for us, since there will be a steady supply of used kegs for the next few years at least. People generically refer to these kegs as Cornelius, (the largest manufacturer), but many that I've seen are made by Firestone. They appear to be very similar, and the top plates and hardware are interchangable on the ones I have. There are several variations of pressure relief valves on the top plates, I like the ones that can be bled easily by hand. (I have one with a litle ring you pull, and another with a lever.) The best price that I found on a kegging system was from St. Patricks of Texas, where I bought my CO2 tank, one keg, two-gauge regulator, hoses, tee, two pin-lock air-in fittings, two beer-out fittings, and two faucets for something less than $180. I had one keg that was found under the University football stadium, dented but apparently OK. After a recent post about buying them at a scrap yard, I checked my local scrap purveyor and found two more in perfect shape. I bought both for scrap Stainless price of $0.80/lb. or about $13.00 for both. Now I'm really stoked, and am going to build up an inventory! At the moment I have three of the four full of liquid delight, and am looking for a larger fridge! I also bought a "stem" from St. Pats, and put it through the fridge door. I found a fine tap faucet for four bucks at a used restaraunt supply place, and now keep the "common" beer (brown ale usually, or bitter) easily accessable. The "specialty" beers you have to open the fridge door for. I plumbed the CO2 line through the top of the fridge, and keep the tank up there beside the cheap temperature controller which was bought from Johnstone Controls (sorry, I don't have the model # handy, but they have several applicable ones from $29.00 on up to $50 or so, I had this one on hand from an old project.) I just wired a duplex recepticle to the controller, and plugged the fridge into it... seems to work OK. Mine controls to +/- 5 degrees or so. About the plastic "roto-kegs". I bought one of the spherical ones cause I thought it would be cheaper ( at ~$50), but have not been happy with it. None of the seals sealed well, and I had to take the thing apart and replace the o-rings, and coat all the threads with vasilene before it stopped sucking up "sparkets" right and left. I also found it difficult to clean and sanitise properly. The biggest problem though, is it's shape! it takes up lots of room in the fridge, where the SS kegs use only a 9 in. round fotprint. I will keep it around to use for parties (sigh... live and ($) learn.) I want to thank all of you for the ongoing stream of good information. I may never cap a bottle again! :-) Dan Watson Sr. Research Specialist Steward Observatory Mirror Lab dwatson at as.arizona.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 92 11:09:26 CDT From: bliss at csrd.uiuc.edu (Brian Bliss) Subject: hot sparge / hydrometer / silicone >> Should my sparge water be boiling when I start, TCJOHB says >> 170, does it matter? > >Hot (170-180) but don't bother boiling. It's not crucial but malt sugars >dissolve better if the water is really hot. Boil up a few kettlefuls as you >are sparging to keep it hot. You can tell if you got the sparge too hot by the little chunks of coagulated protein in your sparge which don't filter out very well. - ----------------------- 2 days ago I wrote: >Which brings up another question, why do my hydrometer readings >go up after I let the hot break settle out? The stuff is heavier >than the wort (it sinks)... what gives? An more than one person responded: >Hydrometer readings will go up even while the heavier trub material >is settling out because the wort is cooling. Cool wort has a higher >SG than hot wort. Think of it as a syrup; cold syrup is thick, hot >syrup is thin, and in a simple sense, that's what SG is a measure of, >liquid thickness. To clarify: My hydrometer readings go up when the hot break settles out, even after I adjust for temperature. As for SG being a measure of thickness: Go stick a tablespoon or two of starch in a hydrometer flask full of water. You will wind up with a thick gooey mess, but the SG is quite low. - ----------------------- >I decided to replace the drain on my cooler with a >drum tap. Well it leaks. Not alot but more then I >willing to accept. I've heard mention of using >silcone caulking to seal the hole. Is this stuff >safe at mash temps/PH? Is anything better? All the variations of silicone RTV they sell in automotive stores are rated to temps between 350 and 700 F, and the caulking isn't that much different. They will not dissolve in oil or most harsh cleaners (gasoline aside). If you're worried about ingesting any of the stuff (If it does dissolve, it comes off in chunks which wouldn't make it through the sparge), I suggest you try using bubble gum. - ----------------------- >Hefty Weiss for all I bottled a (hefeweizen) batch last night at 1.061 OG, 1.027 FG. That should qualify :-) bb Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 92 11:21 CDT From: korz at iepubj.att.com Subject: Methanol I asked a Chemist friend is there any chance of making Methanol when making beer. My concern was that methanol is also called "wood alcohol" and that I was planning to brew (another pseudo-lambic) in an oak cask. He also happens to be a brewer, so he's familiar with yeast and their products, so I think this should be pretty credible. He said that a small amount of methanol may be produced, but in such a small quantity that we needn't worry about it. Distillation concentrates the alcohols and each has its boiling point. If you don't know what you are doing, you can bring methanol concentrations up to where they can harm you. I, personally, cannot see any way that aging, pasteurization, or light can create more higher alcohols. I believe (speculate, actually) that higher fermentation temperatures can increase the production of higher alcohols. Another variable in my fusel alcohol test which I keep putting off. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 92 10:46:45 MDT From: mlh at cygnus.ta52.lanl.gov (Michael L. Hall) Subject: Liquid properties Russ Gelinas writes: > Hydrometer readings will go up even while the heavier trub material >is settling out because the wort is cooling. Cool wort has a higher >SG than hot wort. Think of it as a syrup; cold syrup is thick, hot >syrup is thin, and in a simple sense, that's what SG is a measure of, >liquid thickness. I hate to nitpick, but SG is *not* like liquid thickness. Specific Gravity is like liquid *density*. Viscosity is like liquid thickness. For example, think about malt extract in a can: at room temperature, it's very thick (viscous) so you heat it up in the can to make it thinner (less viscous). Heating also has an effect on the density, usually decreasing it. The malt extract may have a slightly different density at the higher temperature, but it will have a very different viscosity. The difference between density and viscosity can be seen by comparing mercury (aka liquid silver) and maple syrup. Which is the most dense at room temperature? Mercury has an SG of about 13.5, where maple syrup would be about 2 or 3 at the most, so mercury is by far the most dense. Which is most viscous at room temperature? Mercury has a viscosity which is similar to water, but maple syrup is much more viscous. This is one case which shows that density and viscosity are definitely not the same thing. Mike Hall Thermal Hydraulic Nut and avid beer drinker Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 92 13:09:48 edt From: michael at frank.polymer.uakron.edu (Micheal Yandrasits) Subject: re: methanol In response to Russ Gelinas' question about methanol and other "bad" alcohols. I'm not sure about the overall possibility of producing any signifiacan quantities of fusel ("bad" alcohols) from normal (or abnormal) fermentation but I suspect its very very low. One thing I do know is that "wood alcohol" or methanol is not the result of fermentation of any kind. The term originates from the fact that methanol is one of the products derived from the destructive distillation of wood. Basically they would heat wood to very high temperatures and condense and collect the vapors, mostly water, and small quanties of organic solvents (I think this included acetone and formaldehyde and all sorts of things). These liquids were then seperated from each other. As I recall only about 3% was actually methanol. Relax Mike Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 92 10:43:59 PDT From: davep at cirrus.com (David Pike) Subject: Silicon used as caulking Nick Zeneta asked if silicon is usable at mash temp/PH. I do know that silicon is used and sold as engine gasket material(usually in a spray form) and is good to 400 or 500 degrees F. About the PH, I don't know... Cheers, Dave Pike Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1992 14:05:02 -0400 (EDT) From: NCDSTEST at NSSDCA.GSFC.NASA.GOV Subject: Wyeast viability, O2 and cultures (Jim Busch) With summer here again (90+ degrees in DC) I have to wonder about the viability of the packaged Wyeast after shipping. From what I have learned, yeast stored without food depletes its glycogyn stores. This delays the synthisis of sterols in the respiration phase, leading to longer lag times. Now, maybe this isnt a problem since I'm sure most of the HBDers make a 1 litre starter, and maybe this obviates the respiration problem, but what about the overall health of the yeast that is being grown? Wouldnt there be more mutants/autolized cells? I am currently using cultured east from The Yeast Culture Kit Co, and my one litre starter has about a 3-4 hour lag time (or less). With brewers yeast off a Unitank, I get a 2 hour (or less) lag time. Any comments on lag times from Wyeast starters, and do they change with the season? I dont inject oxygen yet. I intend to get a bottle from the hardware store and a stone from the fish store for next batch. I have been told that bottled O2 cannot support contaminants due to the high pressure exploding the cell walls. Any comments? Another interesting thing I wanted to note is that various people are obtaining cultures of yeast directly from draft samples of beer in Europe. Using a 1.5 ml mini-tube of solid UV sterilized wort, the yeast is transported back to the states and plated. (If anyone would like to share any harder to find strains of yeast I would be very interested in hearing from you). As always, if anyone wants info on Dr. Schillers yeast company, email me and I will hook you up. I am in no way affiliated with this effort other than a satisfied customer and brewing friend. Jim Busch ncdstest at nssdca.gsfc.nasa.gov "DE HOPPEDUIVEL DRINKT MET ZWIER 'T GEZONDE BLOND HOPPEBIER!" Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 92 14:28:05 CDT From: Darren Evans-Young <DARREN at ua1vm.ua.edu> Subject: Re: lactic acid treatment of sparge water On Wed, 1 Jul 92 10:31:03 -0600 you said: > >Hello- > >could you please expound upon your lactic acid treatment of >your sparge water? Is it similiar to Miller's treatment? >Specifically, how much lactic acid do you add, what is the >initial percentage of your lactic acid, and, most importantly, >where do you get food grade lactic acid? > >Thanks, >Jon Binkley Yes, it is Miller's treatment. I use food grade lactic acid to get my sparge water down to the proper pH. I got my lactic acid at Greater Fermentations of Santa Rosa. I forget what percentage the acid is. It is strong stuff!!!! I doesnt take much to do the job. What I do is mixed 1/2 tsp of lactic acid in 1 Cup of preboiled water. Usually 4-5 tablespoons of this mixture will get my pH down to 5.7. This is for 5 gallons of sparge water. When I first got the acid, I ignorantly added 1/2 tsp directly to the sparge water. It brought the pH down to 3.2! So dont make that mistake. Start with a very small amount and work your way up. Darren Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 92 16:52:16 EDT From: "James W. Reese" <R505040 at UNIVSCVM.CSD.SCAROLINA.EDU> Subject: BMW/Munich Beers/South Carolina I am an economics professor at the University of South Carolina, Spartanburg (USCS). My university is located about 30 kilometers from the proposed BMW automobile plant site. I would like to contact by e-mail Munich breweries or beer experts for participation in the various Octoberfests in the Spartanburg area this fall. There are many German textile related companies in the area already, and one can choose from several festivals at that time. Can anyone supply any relevant Munich e-mail addresses? Thank you in advance for your assistance. James W. Reese, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Economics University of South Carolina, Spartanburg Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 92 13:12:18 PDT From: hartman at varian.varian.com (John Hartman) Subject: Oregon Brewer's Festival I'll be at the festival on Saturday, July 18th and I'm wondering if any other digesters will be there. If you will be and if you're interested in connecting up, send me some email. Cheers, John Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 92 15:35:53 PDT From: Pat Lasswell <patl at microsoft.com> Subject: Re: Long time in the primary Back when I was a wee lad, my dad would brew beer in a big 15 gallon crock. He had used nothing but ordinary bakers yeast, home-made malt, and home-grown hops. When I began to brew my own beer after I graduated from college, I took the time to sample some of his beer, which had been in 32 ounce Coke bottles in the dark of an uninsulated shed. The result was a light-bodied barley-wine, that after nearly two decades in the bottle, had a dry malty finish. Some bottles were infected with lactic acid bacteria, but the ones that were clean were mellow and smooth, almost no trace of hops. All of the bottles had a heavy sediment of yeast, which seemed to have survived a wide range of temperatures without autolysis: the temperature in the shed would go from freezing in the winter (occasionally with exploded coke cans) to eighty degrees or above during the hotter summers. It is true that this is not the same as sitting in the primary upon a heavy layer of trub and old yeast; however, it does demonstrate that beer can have a surprising longevity. Therefore, I would say, "If it tastes fine, then it's probably harmless." My dad's old stuff hasn't hurt me any. (I think :-) Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #916, 07/03/92