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HOMEBREW Digest #1117 Mon 12 April 1993

Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

Bottle Sources (Chris Cook)
Chiller Study? (Paul dArmond)
Hawaii Brew Pubs (HDIP9235)"
Help! Need Hop plant info (Kevin Casey)
Verify address (Michael W Worobiec)
Skimming, Hops, Color (Jack Schmidling)
Hop Alpha Acid rating (Lee=A.=Menegoni)
Sorry for the noise... (Jim=Curl)
"Party Pig" (CCAC-LAD)
Wrestling aligators (korz)
Re: vortex drain strength, and coriolis acceleration (Richard Stueven)
Georgia Legalizes Homebrew (Brett Baumberger)
RIMS AND Immersion Heater Length? (CompuCom)
vortex drain strength, and coriolis acceleration (Troy Howard)
Brew Shops in the Olympia WA region (Gordon Baldwin)
Dry Hop Sediment (Peter Maxwell)
Lab Equip. Resources (Eric Wade)
Blowoff (fusels, etc.) (Joseph Nathan Hall)
malt extract for priming; exploding bottles (CROWELL)
Hops afterthoughts (/O=vmspfhou/S=dblewis/DD.SITE=JSCPROFS/)
Re: `Breathing' of wine ("Michael E. O'Connor")
Re: vortex drain strength, and coriolis acceleration, wort chillers. (David Hinz)
re: Thanks for the decoction info. (Darryl Richman)

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Date: Thu, 8 Apr 1993 15:50:12 GMT
Subject: Bottle Sources

Dan deRegnier asked for sources for bottles, which has been a common

The usual source is from beer distributors. I've gotten cases of
returnable beer bottles (longnecks) for little more than the cost of the
deposit (and an occasional promise to bring them a sample of the
resulting beer). That kept me in beer bottles for several years, but I
was still having problems finding wine or champagne bottles.

For the last few years, though, I've done my bottle shopping at the local
recycling center. I don't know if you have any in your area, but there's
a recycling center near me (near the University of Maryland, for anyone
local) that accepts aluminum, paper, some plastics, tin cans, and (the
most important for me) glass, separated into clear, green and brown 55
gallon drums.

While everyone else was depositing their stuff, I'd be withdrawing. You
want to talk about some strange looks. I'm one of the few people who
leave with more stuff than I brought. I have to weed through a lot of
junk, but there are some fascinating bottles there.

It's the best recycling I can think of.

Chris Cook [email protected]


Date: Thu, 8 Apr 1993 08:49:58 -0700 (PDT)
From: Paul dArmond
Subject: Chiller Study?

In HBD #1115, Tom Leith has a *great idea* for collecting data for an
empirical chiller design study. Does anyone have the time and stats pack
to do the regression analysis? I know the theory, but don't have much
practical experience or time, since my job is being shut down in June due
to budget cuts.... [Our motto: "Leading the Way in Deficit Reduction."]

Anyway, Thanks to Mike Hall, {hi Mike} the necessary parameters are:

tubing length, ID & OD, flow rate (may I suggest seconds needed to
fill a 5 gal. carboy), water in/out temps (actually in temp
would be sufficient, but will increase the number of data points needed),
final temp of wort and time to reach that temp, wort stirred or not (Y/N).
Additional temp readings at various times of water out and wort will speed
the process and reduce the number of data sets needed.

All the other things are more or less equal for all of us: wort SG
doesn't alter specific heats much, water pressure is difficult to measure
and flow rate is really what counts. Copper tubing is pretty standard in
terms of wall thickness and conductivity. A yes/no datapoint should be
sufficient on stirring, since it will be hard to standardize measuring
stir rates. I heartily reccomend stirring anyway, since wort is a very
poor conductor of heat and the delta_t around the chiller doesn't generate
very strong convection.

There's a Nobel prize (or at least a lot of HBD fame and gratitude) here for
someone who wants to do the work. It will probably take a month or more
to get an adequate number of data sets....

Free Beer in Portland this Summer,


Date: Thu, 8 Apr 93 09:36:52 PDT
From: "Peter Hadikin (HDIP9235)"
Subject: Hawaii Brew Pubs

FROM: Peter Hadikin (HDIP9235)
(604) 432-8452

I will be heading off on holidays to the islands of Hawaii and Maui at the
end of April/ beginning of May. Just wondering if there is such a thing
as brew pubs on either or both of these islands. Any responses may be
directed back to me and would be greatly appreciated.

Take it easy, Peter.

BC Institute of Technology
Computer Resources
3700 Willingdon Avenue


Date: Thu, 8 Apr 93 12:31:57 EDT
From: [email protected] (Kevin Casey)
Subject: Help! Need Hop plant info

My brother (the one with the green thumb) recently volunteered
to grow hops for me. I need to order some plants (or do you
order rizomes sp?). Can someone guide towards a mail order
house for hop plants? Also, could you recommend varieties that
could grow well in Raleigh, NC (hot humid summers). Please
respond via private email. Thanks in advance!

- --------------------------------------------------------------------
Kevin Casey | "What you doin' daddy?,
BroadBand Technologies, Inc. | cookin' beer"
Research Triangle Park, NC |
Internet: [email protected] | My 2 year old son
- --------------------------------------------------------------------


Date: Thu, 8 Apr 93 14:11:11 EDT
From: Michael W Worobiec
Subject: Verify address

address verified


Date: Thu, 8 Apr 93 13:21 CDT
From: [email protected] (Jack Schmidling)
Subject: Skimming, Hops, Color

>From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: why blowoff? dryhopping

>Gerald asks, why use the blowoff method?

>It's merits have been argued in the HBD, but I believe it makes the
beer taste better, so I continue to use it. Papazian says that
the kraeusen contains fusel oils (I've seen fusel alcohols elsewhere)
which some say contribute to hangovers. The most graphic proof I have
for using the blowoff method is to challenge anyone to drink a glass
of blowoff. YUK! Just sniffing it is enough to guarantee my continued
support of this procedure.

>The arguments against using the blowoff method (just to be fair) are that
you lose beer and that you lose some of the bittering you just but in
with the hops.

The above arguments seem to be based on only two possibilites:

1. Blow-off
2. Do Nothing

Based on this, it would seem that blow-off is the preferred method.

The third possibility is to ferment in an "open" container and skim the
bitter crud floating among the foam.

I put "open" in quotes because by this, hombrewers mean a large container
with an opening large enough to get in to skim and a lid to keep out
contaminants while fermenting.

This usually is the "standard 7 gal plastic fermenter universally available
in retail shops. In my case, I use my 10 gal ss mash kettle for a fermenter.

So, once we agree (ha ha) on the need to get rid of the crud, the discussion
becomes... skimming vs. blowoff.

As Al mentioned, little or no beer is lost by skimming. I wait till the foam
is just about gone and only skim the brown crud that floats because that is
what is bitter. The foam is just wort puffed up with CO2 and it turns back
into wort when the fermentation subsides.

On the negative side is the risk of contamination every time the fermenter is
opened to skim but reasonable precautions can reduce this to the noise level.

I don't think anyone will argue about the ease of cleaning an open fermenter
vs. a carboy and associated tubing.


>If you use pellets, you can put a copper scrubbing pad over the end of
the siphon hose followed by a mesh bag (this idea was originally introduced
by Al Taylor (I think it was Taylor...) and then independently by Kinney

First of all, whatever happened to Kinney? I still see his ads but he has
not posted here for months. I am sure it is just a coincidence but it seems
that he vanished about the time Jay Hirsh started his censored, politically
cleansed, alternative forum.

Well, anyway the pot scrubber is a nifty idea but in a recent experiment
with dry hopping, I found a new use for the easy masher. It just so happens
(ha ha) that the ID of the strainer tube is 3/8" and fits snugly over the end
of the "standard" siphon tube. You can slide it up or down to expose as much
or as little of the strainer as you like and keep it whatever distance off
the bottom you wish.

BTW, the experiment was intersting in that I prefer the normally hopped beer
to the dry hopped but the gang at CBS has exactly the opposite view. Guess I
will abandon all plans to become the World's Greatest Beer Judge. Not liking
hops could be considered a restrictive bias.


Someone recently posted an article on diluting Michelob Dark with various
amounts of water to make color calibrators. I know have the beer and can't
find the article.


know = now



Date: Thu, 8 Apr 93 13:46:02 EDT
From: [email protected]
Subject: Hop Alpha Acid rating

A fellow brewer and I were talking about ingredients recently and made the
following observation:
The European hops we have been getting pellets and plugs have been steadily
declining in Alpha Acid rating each year. My current Saaz pellets are 2.1%
What is the cause of this. Is it due to economics, fixed supply of hops
going into an expanding market and homebrewers getting what mega brewers do
not purchase. Or is it that that the hops actually are becoming less acidic.
Or are have the measurement methods changed. Is it cyclic or seasonal.
Reviewing the original Papazian CJHB and its list of hops and alpha acid
ratings what I am getting now are almost 50% less than listed then.


Date: Thu, 8 Apr 93 07:47:09 EDT
From: Jim=Curl%Eng.West%[email protected]
Subject: Sorry for the noise...

Just a test.


Date: Thu, 8 Apr 93 14:52:30 EDT
From: "David C. Skeldon" (CCAC-LAD)
Subject: "Party Pig"

Frank Jones had an excellent post back in the middle of January on the "Party
Pig" made by Quoin. Since then I haven't heard anything about it, and I was
wondering if anyone has more input/experiences. I bottle all of my beer right
now, but I could see the advantage to a couple of kegs for summer parties.


>Dave Skeldon: Owner, Operator, and Brewmeister of Wooddale Brewing Co.


Date: Thu, 8 Apr 93 14:00 CDT
From: [email protected]
Subject: Wrestling aligators

Jack writes, quoting Jeff:
>>It also looks as though I'll need to put rubber feet on my bucket, so
>it doesn't slide and hop around while I'm cranking the mill.
>Doing it on the bucket looks a lot easier than it is and depending on the
>floor surface, it can be like wrestling with an aligator. I think most
>people eventually conclude that it works best clamped to a table with the

I disgree. I suggest a square of rubber-backed carpeting under the bucket!
Shame on you Jack-- my solution is *simpler* than yours...


Subject: Resurgent fermentation

Caleb writes:
>I am a relatively novice homebrewer (about a year) and I have just recently
>noticed some trouble with an extract/speciatly grain beer. I used crystal
>malt (1/2 lb) biscuit malt (1/2 lb) and Alexander's pale ale (6? lbs.). The

DeWolf-Cosyns Biscuit (if that's what you used), although it is a roasted
malt (like very pale chocolate malt) still has LOTS of starch in it and
should be mashed. Given the pale-ness of your beer (judging from your
ingredients), I suspect that you'll have a starch haze.

>problem: the beer sat fermented in the primary until the fermentation was
>nearly done (i.e. more than 90 seconds between bubbles). I racked(?) to the
>secondary and everything looked fine for about a day. Yesterday I noticed
>that the secondary was bubbling about once every 45 seconds. There is also
>a light foam forming on top of the beer -- basically a thin airy head. The
>gas escaping from the lock doesn't smell like the usual gas so I am suspicious.
>Does it sound like I have a contaminant yeast. If so is there anything I
>can do?

I suspect that you have roused the yeast which may have indeed caused a
little bit more fermentation or perhaps simply provided nucleation sites
for dissolved CO2 to form bubbles and come out of solution. A day is much
too short a time for a wild yeast or bacteria to begin releasing any gas.


Subject: Are bottles, just bottles? PLUS: Question for Charlie Papazian

Dan writes:
>Next, what is the best source for bottles? Are bottles bottles, or
>are some better than others? Should I stay away from bottles all

The best bottles, in my opinion, are, what we call here, "bar bottles."
They are the thick, brown longnecks that require a deposit and are often
so scratched up you can't see through them. You can really mishandle
these bottles and still not break them. On the down-side, they do tend
to have chipped-up lips (which can result in a bad seal) and are pretty
ugly. I've heard that they are as scarce as hen's teeth in the West.
Around here, several small, old Wisconsin breweries, such as Huber, use
them as well as AB, Miller and Heileman's. Go find a bar that uses them
or a big liquor store that stocks beer in them -- you can buy them for
the deposit and you get a nice waxed cardboard case free!

The reason I say these bottles are the best is because they are
competition-ready... you can use them for competitions. Besides having
no raised lettering, I would be willing to bet that of all the broken
bottles that arrive at competitions, less than 1% are "bar bottles"
just because they are so durable.

My two other favorite bottles are much harder to get: Orval and the *old*
Whitbread (and Mackeson's) bottles. Alas, they have raised lettering so
are not usable for AHA-sanctioned competitions. They are really thick,
brown glass and usually are not re-used by the breweries so they are in
much better shape than "bar bottles."

The general rule is the thicker the glass and the darker brown they are,
the better the bottle. Also, if you have your choice, you might as well
get bottles that are usable for competitions. I need to make sure that
I have enough competition bottles of each batch. It would be a shame to
have best beer ever just at its peak, right in time for the Nationals
and then find out you've only got Bass, Youngs, Fullers and Orval bottles
left. Oh yeah... generally, only (approximately) 12 ounce bottles are
acceptable for competitions, so don't bottle the whole batch in Weiss,
Xingu and other jumbo bottles if you plan to enter some competitions.
Actually, if you only want comments on your beer, any bottle will do --
it will be judged, but will probably be disqualified if it doesn't
meet the bottle requirements.

Now, I have a question for Charlie: "What about the bottles that have
raised glass codes or "NO DEPOSIT" on the bottom edge of the bottle,
like McEwan's Scotch Ale or Samuel(tm) Adams(tm) Boston(tm) Lager(tm)?"
Last year, at the 1st round judging, we were told to accept such bottles
and disqualify only bottles with raised brand names such as "Bass,"
"FULLERS" and "ORVAL." I complied, but feared that the 2nd-round Nationals
may be more demanding on bottle requirements. What's the official word?


Subject: Re: Rehydrating dry yeast?

Rich writes:
>As a relatively new brewer, this is the first I've heard of
>rehydrating dry yeast before pitching. For the few batches that I've
>made, I pitched the dry yeast directly into the primary, with no
>noticable bad effects (i.e., it fermented just fine, and the beer
>tasted the way it was supposed to taste).

You could have excellent sanitation and study yeast or just good luck.

>Is there any advantage to rehydrating the dry yeast? Is there any
>disadvantage to tossing the dry stuff directly into the primary?

From Paul Farnsworth's article in the Yeast Special Issue of Zymurgy:
"The latest data from Intek, an Australian dried-yeast producer
who is just entering the U.S. market, are as follows: Rehydrate
the dried yeast in one-half cup of water. Clean water between
95 degrees F and 104 degrees F (35 and 40 degrees C) should be
used. City water supplies containing high concentrations of
chlorine will inactivate dried yeast during rehydration. Chorine
can be removed [and any live bacteria killed - Al] by boiling.
Cold water will significantly decrease the viability of dried
yeast during rehydration. It is advisable to not rehydrate yeast
in wort because compounds extracted from hops are antiseptic and
can decrease yeast viability while the yeast is being rehydrated."

Also, the Lallemand Newsletter has very similar recommendations (alas,
I don't have it here to quote), but mention that the osomtic pressure
difference rehydrating in wort can cause the yeast to produce off-flavors
when it later switches to fermentation.

I have a personal experience with a two three-quarter-gallon test batches
using Lallemand Nottingham yeast. The 1048 wort was cooled to 80F, aerated
and the yeast was pitched. In batch 1, the dry yeast was simply
sprinkled on top of the wort. In batch 2, the dry yeast was rehydrated
in 104F water for 15 minutes and then pitched. Both batches were kept
in a 65F room. Batch 2 was actively fermenting in about 8 hours, whereas
Batch 1 took over 72 hours to begin fermentation. Fermentation in Batch 2
appeared normal and healthy and was complete in about 5 days, whereas the
fermentation of Batch 1 was sluggish and took much longer.

Time and other projects prevented me from completing this experiment, i.e.
taking FG readings and tasting (in fact Batch 1 is still sitting there in my
fermentation room between pseudo-Kriek#2 and pseudo-Gueuze#1), but the
importance of rehydration was clearly shown.



Date: Thu, 8 Apr 1993 12:00:35 -0700
From: Richard Stueven
Subject: Re: vortex drain strength, and coriolis acceleration

Got this from the sci.physics FAQ...

Summary: the Coriolis force is real, but irrelevant at the bathtub
(or carboy) scale.

have fun
Richard Stueven, Castro Valley CA

Item 12.

Which Way Will my Bathtub Drain? updated 11-May-1192 by SIC
- -------------------------------- original by Matthew R. Feinstein

Question: Does my bathtub drain differently depending on whether I live
in the northern or southern hemisphere?

Answer: No. There is a real effect, but it is far too small to be
relevant when you pull the plug in your bathtub.

Because the earth rotates, a fluid that flows along the earth's surface
feels a "Coriolis" acceleration perpendicular to its velocity. In the
northern hemisphere high pressure storm systems spin clockwise. In the
southern hemisphere, they spin counterclockwise because the direction
of the Coriolis acceleration is reversed. This effect leads to the
speculation that the bathtub vortex that you see when you pull the plug
from the drain spins one way in the north and the other way in the

But this acceleration is VERY weak for bathtub-scale fluid motions.
The order of magnitude of the Coriolis acceleration can be estimated
from size of the "Rossby number". Coriolis accelerations are
significant when the Rossby number is SMALL.

So, suppose we want a Rossby number of 0.1 and a bathtub-vortex length
scale of 0.1 meter. Since the earth's rotation rate is about
10^(-4)/second, the fluid velocity should be less than or equal to
2*10^(-6) meters/second. This is a very small velocity. How small is
it? Well, we can take the analysis a step further and calculate
another, more famous dimensionless parameter, the Reynolds number.

The Reynolds number is = L*U*density/viscosity

Assuming that physicists bathe in hot water the viscosity will be about
0.005 poise and the density will be about 1.0, so the Reynolds Number
is about 4*10^(-2).

Now, life at low Reynolds numbers is different from life at high
Reynolds numbers. In particular, at low Reynolds numbers, fluid
physics is dominated by friction and diffusion, rather than by inertia:
the time it would take for a particle of fluid to move a significant
distance due to an acceleration is greater than the time it takes for
the particle to break up due to diffusion.

Therefore the effect of the Coriolis acceleration on your bathtub
vortex is SMALL. To detect its effect on your bathtub, you would have
to get out and wait until the motion in the water is far less than one
rotation per day. This would require removing thermal currents,
vibration, and any other sources of noise. Under such conditions,
never occurring in the typical home, you WOULD see an effect. To see
what trouble it takes to actually see the effect, see the reference
below. Experiments have been done in both the northern and southern
hemispheres to verify that under carefully controlled conditions,
bathtubs drain in opposite directions due to the Coriolis acceleration
from the Earth's rotation.

The same effect has been accused of responsibility for the direction
water circulates when you flush a toilet. This is surely nonsense. In
this case, the water rotates in the direction which the pipe points
which carries the water from the tank to the bowl.

Reference: Trefethen, L.M. et al, Nature 207 1084-5 (1965).


Date: Thu, 8 Apr 93 15:10:50 EDT
From: Brett Baumberger
Subject: Georgia Legalizes Homebrew

Hi Brewers,

Georgia Governor Zell Miller signed a bill yesterday making it legal
for Georgia residents to brew 50 gallons of beer/year to be consumed at
home. The newspaper did not carry an article on it that I could find.
A local TV station gave a 45 second story about it (using last year's

So the hoppers here in the Peachtree state will no longer live in fear
of the local Gestapo.

YC06000 writes in hbd1115:

>One more...I will be in Atlanta, GA in May. Are there any
>brewpubs or microbreweries to worth going to?

Sorry. GA is a firm enforcer of the 3 tier distribution law. No one may
be involved (commercially) in more than one of the following:
manufacturing, distributing or retailing
of beer i.e. no brewpubs. ๐Ÿ™



Date: Wed, 7 Apr 93 20:58:05 PDT
From: Scott Lord (CompuCom)
Subject: RIMS AND Immersion Heater Length?

I just picked up a two stainless steel vessel double wall insulate
with copper coil that runs between the two walls.
It was made for A&W rootbeer . Freon was pumped in the coil to keep it
cold. It came with four pumps two for pumping the
rootbeer and two as a Freon compressor . It holds 48 gals. and has a
lid and a bottom drain with a stainless steel screen that rises 1
inch off the bottom and a stainless steel valve. I am going to use one
for a fermentor and the other as a hot water vessel used for sparging
and rims. Now I want to set up a rims system and to heat the mash I
will pump wort out of the bottom of the mash tun through some copper
coils that is placed in side the hot water vessel to boost the mash
temp. Now I will use a pump to transfer hot water from my boiler kettle
to the hot water vessel. The pump has a max flow rate of 5 gals. a
minute but I have built a pump speed control. I will keep the temp. of
the hot water vessel at 80 degree C. . My mash tun is a converted 15
gal. keg that has 6 inches of that spray in foam around it and my wort
boiler is a 15 gal. converted keg also with a hop back.

1.) So what size and what length should I use to get a 1 degree C. rise
in temp. ?

2.) What should I use to seal the lid of the fermentor down to keep the
air out ?



Date: Thu, 8 Apr 93 12:49:11 PDT
From: [email protected] (Troy Howard)
Subject: vortex drain strength, and coriolis acceleration

[email protected] (Karl A. Sweitzer) writes:

>I have found that the best vortex drains are formed when you swirl the bottle
>or carboy in a counterclockwise direction (when viewed from above, in the
>northern hemisphere of our spaceship earth). The reason is the coriolis
>acceleration vector caused by the counterclockwise rotation of the earth.
>When you rotate the bottle in the same direction as the earth rotation
>the coriolis acceleration vectors constructively add, forming a greater
>force on the liquid molecules. The coriolis acceleration vector tends
>to force the liquid to the outside of the rotation circle leaving room
>in the middle of the bottle for air to enter and replace the exiting liquid.
>Karl Sweitzer

Yes and No. Yes: the coriolis force does exist and is in the direction you
indicate. No: the size of this force is negligible compared to the other
forces acting during the process, e.g. the forces you exert by swirling the
carboy, and the viscous and frictional forces of the water and carboy. I
have not done a calculation, but I would bet the coriolis force is even
smaller than the surface tension of the water.

My $0.02: whether you get a better vortex CW or CCW will most strongly
depend on whether you are right handed or left handed.

Also (I hate to quibble, but...) it is the CENTRIFUGAL acceleration
(not coriolis) that forces the liquid to the outside when it is rotating.

No flame intended. Just wanted to put my degree to *some* use ๐Ÿ™‚



Date: Thu, 8 Apr 93 14:04:05 PDT
From: Gordon Baldwin
Subject: Brew Shops in the Olympia WA region

Sorry to take up bandwidth for a local question, but does anyone know of
any brew shops in the Olympia Washington area? I will be leaving Seattle
and I would like to have something local.
- --

Gordon Baldwin
[email protected]


Date: Thu, 8 Apr 1993 15:06:08 -0800 (PDT)
From: Peter Maxwell
Subject: Dry Hop Sediment

Peter Bartscherer writes:

> However, I found that GENTLY swirling, NOT SPLASHING, the beer in the
> fermenter a day or two before bottling caused the hop head to break up
> and settle out.

With all the frothing that the hop pellets cause in the secondary I would
think that all the air would have been purged out and the beer was sitting
under a layer of CO2. This being the case, what's wrong with causing some
splashing as long as the airlock is left on?



Date: Thu, 8 Apr 1993 17:14:30 -0700 (PDT)
From: Eric Wade
Subject: Lab Equip. Resources

Does anyone know of reasonably priced mail order resources for lab
equipment and supplies? Specifically looking for the full range of slant
tubes, petri dishes, erlenmeyer flasks, stoppers, agar, and the like for
yeast culturing. I know that a couple of brew supply stores have put
together "kits" but the reviews suggest that additional material would
probably be required and I'd like to compare buying my supplies directly
from a lab supplier vs. the kit price as well as having access to other

If you don't know of any mail order suppliers, I live in Oakland and work
in SF, so Bay Area stores would be appreciated as well. Reply by me-mail
please unless you think the community would like to know about the mail
order places.

And, since I seem to be in the information gathering mood, what about Bay
Area liquor (or other) stores that have a good range of Belgian beer
products that you would trust to be well handled. I recently bought a
bottle of Chimay that was a couple of years old (didn't know it until I
pulled the cork).

BTW, Norm Pyle posts of a homemade roller mill:
>...sort of a scaled down version of
>the one presented by RW and (??) in the latest Zymurgy gadgets special issue.

(??) is Wayne Greenway and its a beautiful mill, my extract rating soared
after switching from buying precrushed to using this mill. I'll miss having
it in the neighborhood when he moves.

Eric Wade


Date: Thu, 8 Apr 93 12:53:16 EST
From: [email protected] (Joseph Nathan Hall)
Subject: Blowoff (fusels, etc.)

Korz says,
> Gerald asks, why use the blowoff method?
> It's merits have been argued in the HBD, but I believe it makes the
> beer taste better, so I continue to use it. Papazian says that
> the kraeusen contains fusel oils (I've seen fusel alcohols elsewhere)
> which some say contribute to hangovers.

"Fusel oil" is the oily byproduct of ethanol distillation consisting
of mainly long-chain alcohols: propanols, butanols, etc. The terms
"fusels," "fusel oils" and "fusel alcohols" are synonomous so far
as I know. I don't know whether the term applies to aromatic as well
as aliphatic alcohols; since I don't hear phenols grouped in with
fusels, I assume that it doesn't.

Fusel alcohols are an important flavor component. The shorter ones have
medicinal/disinfectant flavors (e.g. isopropyl). The longer ones are
pungent and have a kind of fruity-citrusy-medicinal character that
is unmistakable. I've had quite a few homebrewed pale ales where the
octanol (orange-sweet-medicinal) was quite prominent.

In fact, the last Liberty Ale I drank smelled and tasted strongly
of octanol or something similar. I was a bit surprised by it and
intend to try another bottle from a separate source, since I consider
it a defect. The last bottle of Liberty Ale I had was a few years
and quite a bit of palate training back, so I don't remember what
it used to be like.

A professional brewer who was drinking with me (at the Brickskellar)
at the time said that it seemed "old." I'm not so sure; I've never
seen beer change in flavor this way in a bottle. (Anyone care to
comment on the Liberty Ale profile?)

Some people claim fusels contribute a "clinging bitterness" to beer.
Bitter though they may be, they are so pungent that the flavor of
the beer will be negatively affected long before the finish, at least
in my opinion.

As far as hangovers go, long chain alcohols may well be a factor.
They become increasingly toxic and intoxicating as the chain of carbons
grows, to a point, anyway. Many many other fermentation byproducts
are also mildly toxic. I would bet that the aldehydes,
ketones and esters contribute unpleasant metabolic byproducts.

Finally, fusel alcohols are quite soluble in alcohol, and can not
be removed by blowoff. The unpleasant substances in blowoff residue
are tannins, unisomerized hop resins, etc. They are largely insoluble,
even in a weak alcohol solution, and are not going to be a primary
source of bitterness or astringency in your beer once it has cleared.

=============== O Fortuna, velut Luna, statu variabilis ===============
uunet!joebloe!joseph (609) 273-8200 day joseph%[email protected]
2102 Ryan's Run East Rt 38 & 41 Maple Shade NJ 08052
Copyright 1993 by Joseph N. Hall. Permission granted to copy and
redistribute freely over USENET and by email. Commercial use prohibited.


Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1993 08:23 EST
From: CROWELL%[email protected]
Subject: malt extract for priming; exploding bottles

I'm a beginning extract brewer, and would appreciate any comments
on a couple of questions about bottle conditioning...

(1) On my first (and so far, only) batch of beer (a brown ale), I
used 1.25 cups of malt extract for priming instead of 0.75 cups of corn
sugar. Papazian mentions parenthetically that this can be done, and I
thought, why add sugar to my beer? I was happy with the results...
does anyone know why corn sugar seems to be the standard method?

(2) I had a bottle explode while I was out of the house (4 weeks after
bottling). What would be a common reason for this? I wonder if I left
too little air-space, or whether it might have to do with using malt
extract for priming.

- Ben Crowell, New Haven, CT


Date: Fri, 9 Apr 93 07:31 PDT
From: /O=vmspfhou/S=dblewis/DD.SITE=JSCPROFS/
Subject: Hops afterthoughts

***************************** PROFS Note *****************************
From: DBLEWIS --VMSPFHOU Date and time 04/09/93 09:32:21

FROM: Dennis B. Lewis
SUBJECT: Hops afterthoughts

Mark Elliot writes:

>Should have guessed why everyone said "not bad, but not bitter enough". Now
>that I've screwed up another batch (now 3 days in the primary), is there away
>to salvage what I'm sure will be another "bland", hop-lacking brew? Theflavor
>of the past few batches has been ok; rich, sort of sweet, but kindawatery and
>again, missing a lot of what the hops were there for to begin with.

If I read your note correctly, you've been using hopped extract kits and
boiling away. A long boil will indeed destroy any hop aroma that was in the
beer. You can still use hopped extract kits, but make sure you add some flavor
hops in the last 20 min of the boil and/or aroma hops in the last 5 min. Keep
in mind that there are styles that do not typically have appreciable hop aroma
or flavor--like stouts and most german lagers.

If you want to add bitterness, see if you can find pre-isomerized hop extract.
This is essentially what you get when you boil hops for bitterness. Keeping in
mind that your beer probably already has some bitterness, follow the
directions for adding LESS than the full amount. This stuff is concentrated
and a little goes a long way. Remember, you can always add more. It will also
add some hop flavor. You could add it to the secondary or to a malt extract
primer at bottling time.

If you want some hop flavor or aroma, there are two things you can do. (1) Dry
hop with pellets if you have no head space in your secondary or use leaf if
you have room. (2) Add hops when you bottle using the "coffee-pot method."This
was discussed on HBD a couple months ago.

Dennis B. Lewis (713) 483-9145 ** NASA/JSC/DH65 Payload Ops
Homebrew, The Final Frontier.


Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1993 11:00:03 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Michael E. O'Connor"
Subject: Re: `Breathing' of wine

Excerpts from internet.homebrew-beer: 6-Apr-93 `Breathing' of wine by
[email protected]
>> and the need for quiet racking and transfer. However, wine drinkers also
>> know that good red wine needs to "breathe", which of course is, a snob word
>> for oxidize.
>I beg to differ. From my experience in wine making and my limited
>qualities as a wine connoisseur I believe that what is commonly referred
>to as "breathing" has nothing to do with oxidation. Usually when you
>pour a red wine from the bottle (i.e. decant it) you don't drink it
>immediately. Instead, you let it `breath' in a caraffe for some time
>(half an hour to one hour or so). The rationale is to let it develop
>its bouquet. Some volatile substances in the wine evaporate and
>saturate the air immediately above the wine (that's also, by the way,
>one of the reasons why you should serve red wine in big, wide glasses;
>so as to retain the `aromatic air', i,e, the bouquet). There is no
>oxidation involved (to my knowledge). That would take much longer.

>From what I understand, `Breathing' of wine *is* to let it oxidize.

In wines, tannins are very important to the the aging of wine, but do
produce a somewhat undesirable taste. I am pretty sure that the
`Breathing' period is so the oxygen can react with the tanins and sort
of `surround' them to mellow their taste.

I do agree however that oxidation of whine before it gets to the bottle
and ages is a bad thing...

I hope I'm not way off on this...


I DRINK beer *and* I collect cute bottles! ๐Ÿ˜‰


Date: Fri, 9 Apr 93 10:09:37 CDT
From: [email protected] (David Hinz)
Subject: Re: vortex drain strength, and coriolis acceleration, wort chillers.

Karl writes:

- ---

I have found that the best vortex drains are formed when you swirl the bottle
or carboy in a counterclockwise direction (when viewed from above, in the
northern hemisphere of our spaceship earth). The reason is the coriolis
acceleration vector caused by the counterclockwise rotation of the earth.
When you rotate the bottle in the same direction as the earth rotation
the coriolis acceleration vectors constructively add, forming a greater
force on the liquid molecules.

- ---

A couple of terms spring to mind here...."unmeasurable", "negligable", and
"insignificant" spring to mind.

The amount of force you are imparting into the molecules is, I would guess,
on the order of thousands or millions of times stronger than that of
the coriolis effect. Yes it exists, yes it is measurable, but your swirling
a carboy full of water gives you a heck of a lot more force than the earth's
rotation, neutrino bombardment, specific gravity of your tap water, or the
color of the paint in your kitchen.

- -----------

About wort chiller length (oh no, not more!).....

I've got a 50 foot, 3'8" chiller I made, by wrapping it around a 5-gallon
bucket, then laced up the sides in 3 places with copper wiring wire. It chills
the wort to pitching temperature in a rather rapid time (guessing 15 minutes,
I can look at my records to tell you for sure). The water comes out boiling
(steam, actually) for a few seconds, then comes out progressively cooler.
Stirring with a sanitized spoon speeds up the heat transfer, and the lacing
keeps the coils far apart enough so that the wort can circulate pretty freely.

I, personally, can't see any benefit to a shorter length, at all. You want to
give the water as much opportunity to absorb the heat of the wort. I would
think the following are involved:

>Coil surface area (not mass, as someone else mentioned???)
>flow rate of water passing through coil
>temperature differential between wort & water.

So, let's try this: We bring our cold water into the hot wort. Should we
bring it in the top, or bottom? The wort is probably warmer at the top, so we
should put the cold water in at the top so the temperature differential is
highest, or maybe not. Any ideas?

Now, how about flow rate? Slower flow would give the water more time to absorb
the heat, but I think the extra length does the same. I dunno, I'm asking.
I suppose you could adjust the flow from the faucet for maximum outlet temp
in your chilling water, which would indicate maximum heat transfer. It will
change as the temperature delta changes, however, I THINK.

What about tubing diameter? Surface area goes up, flow rate goes up, but
restriction, and therefore time in the chiller, goes down. Where is the
optimal point, extrapolated across all temperature differentials?

There are probably a thousand more variables. I like the idea that someone
proposed here, to do an impirical study of what we are using, and decide
which coil construction works best. I propose we look at the following

1> water going in at top or bottom of chiller coil
1A> Coil rotation direction (for the hell of it, can't think of an effect
but who knows...maybe a coriolis thing after all!)
2> diameter of tubing & length of tubing
3> flow rate used (how long to fill a quart bottle from the outlet of the
chiller coil?)
4> temperature of your tap water (just for reference, not really something
you can change all that easily)
5> amount of time to chill the wort to, say, 75 degrees F.

Can't think of anything else to measure offhand, any ideas? Someone else
mentioned they'd tabulate results, I'd be willing to do so also or help.
Of course, it would mean that we'd all have to brew a batch of homebrew to
tabulate the results....sorry for the inconvenience ;-)))

Dave Hinz
[email protected]


Date: Fri, 9 Apr 93 08:32:46 PDT
From: Darryl Richman
Subject: re: Thanks for the decoction info.

Dennis B. Lewis writes:
> wrote that some of the big breweries like Pilsener Urquell still use
> mashing. How on earth do they remove the grains from the mash tun? They must
> have to boil hundreds of pounds of grain. Anybody taken a tour?

Umm, yeah, I have taken a tour. Most of the info was published in a
Zymurgy article about 3 years ago. (Sorry I can't tell you the issue
right off hand, my collection is at home.)

But to answer your question, a tour of nearly any of the German
breweries would do, since they almost all practice decoction mashing.
The usual arrangement is a 4 vessel brewhouse: a mash tun
(maischebottich), mash cooker (maischepfanne), lauter tun
(lauterbottich), and a kettle (wuerzepfanne). The process involves
doughing in in the mash tun, and then pumping from a bottom outlet to
the mash cooker the decoct. That's how a "thick mash" is obtained for
boiling. This decoct is eventually returned to the "rest mash" to
raise the whole to the next temperature plateau. When the decoction
mash is finish, this outlet is used again to pump the entire mash to
the lauter tun. During lautering, the bed will compact, and lautering
is stopped while an arrangement of "mash knives" is run around the tun
to loosen the bed. When lautering is complete, the knives can be
turned sideways to form a moving wall, and this pushes the spent grist
into an outlet that leads to a holding tank or a farmers truck. A
final wash is required, of course, to get the last recalcitrant husks to leave.

The reason for a 4 vessel system, rather than a two vessel system
(kettle and lauter tun) is that the commercial breweries can get a
significant overlap of successive batches on the equipment. This is
important if your mash and boil process takes 11 hours to complete and
you want to make more than a million barrels of beer each year, as it
does at Pilsner Urquell.

--Darryl Richman


End of HOMEBREW Digest #1117, 04/12/93

  3 Responses to “Category : Various Text files
Archive   : HBD111X.ZIP
Filename : HBD1117.TXT

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