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Date: Saturday, 10 December 1994 03:00 est
From: homebrew-request at HPFCMI.FC.HP.COM (Request Address Only - No Articles)
Subject: Homebrew Digest #1601 (December 10, 1994)
Reply-To: homebrew at HPFCMI.FC.HP.COM (Posting Address Only - No Requests)
To: homebrew at HPFCMI.FC.HP.COM
Errors-To: [email protected]
Precedence: bulk

HOMEBREW Digest #1601 Sat 10 December 1994

Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

The Fermentap vs real upside down brewing (Kinney Baughman)
virus hoax (Steve Robinson)
newbie question, experiments (HOMEBRE973)
summary of soda keg responses (SPEAKER.CURTIS)
In defense of Timmermans ;-> (brewing chemist Mitch)
DO/Aeration (WKODAMA)
aol good times virus (Btalk)
Bad Batch? (Mike Stack)
Cranberry Lambic (not) / aeration (uswlsrap)
Steam Bock (Jeff Guillet)
SABCO KETTLES (Jack Schmidling)
Mulled beer and spiced ale. (Ash Baker)
Virgin All-grainer looking for tips.. (Mario Robaina)
Sparrow Hawk Porter (John Loegering)
Cranberry Ale and Pectin Haze (djt2)
Adding fermentables to secondary (Tom Clifton)
Help Requested for the Siphon-Impaired (michael j dix)
Splashing / Jim "Buy my Hops" Koch (npyle)
Data Points: Oxidation and Starters ("Timothy P. Laatsch)
Mini-keg system (erict)
Blowoff Hose, Alpha Acid Isomerization, Yeast Starters (Philip Gravel)
Kitchen Aid Summary (BRETTNKAY)
Fermentation temperature (Philip Gravel)
mash PH (Ed Scolforo)
Pepper Beer (Hrabe R A)
black barley and malts ("Harold R. Wood")

* NEW POLICY NOTE: Due to the incredible volume of bouncing mail,
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Date: Thu, 08 Dec 1994 09:41:29 -0400 (EDT)
From: Kinney Baughman
Subject: The Fermentap vs real upside down brewing

From: "Harralson, Kirk"
>>I purchased two Fermentaps about a month ago and have put them through
>>their paces. I have to say, I like them alot. What the Fermentap consists

>>harvesting as well as draw-off of spent hops and break. By connecting two
>>in series, CO2 from the primary can be vented into the secondary to purge
>>it, and the beer can be racked to the secondary "closed-system" without
>>siphoning. The parts seem to be top quality, and the service has been

>I thought one of the big advantages to these systems was that primary and
>secondary fermentation could be done in the same carboy by simply draining the
>break material, spent hops, etc..

Well, the big advantage of the *BrewCap* system is that it allows you to
drain all of the break material, yeast deposit, from the carboy. This
apparently isn't an advantage to the Fermentap system. For like the
previous poster said, they want you to buy *two* of them so you can
continue racking to a secondary.

That's the very reason I designed the you *wouldn't* have to
rack to a secondary.

So the choice appears to be this: 2 Fermentaps @ $30 each with all the fuss of
transferring and cleaning two carboys vs. the BrewCap for $14 and you can
do it all in one vessel.

Besides, I invented the whole concept of upside down brewing and have been
advocating it for almost 11 years now. I covered all the bases and offered
an affordable product to the homebrewing community from day one. Why does
everyone think the Fermentap is such a great, new idea? I don't get it.

While we're on the subject, there appears to be one other big difference
between our two products. The BrewCap uses a 1/2" blow-off tube. The
Fermentap blows off through a *siphon cane*. Anyone ever popped a cork on
their carboy because a hop leaf clogged the siphon hose?

- --------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kinney Baughman BrewCo | Beer is my business and
[email protected] | I'm late for work.
- --------------------------------------------------------------------------


Date: Thu, 8 Dec 94 09:48:41 EST
From: Steve Robinson
Subject: virus hoax

This is WAY off-topic. Please excuse the bandwidth. Joe Kluper writes in
HBD 1598:

>I received this from a friend at JPL
> >I have just received this message and been asked to take it seriously:
> >There is a virus on America Online being sent by E-Mail. If you get
> >anything called "Good Times", DON'T read it or download it. It is a
> >virus that will erase your hard drive. Forward this to all your friends.
> >It may help them alot.

24 hours later, our system administrator forwards a message from the U.S.
D.O.E. Computer Incident Advisory Capability indicating that this "good times"
thing is a hoax. There is no "good times" virus. There is in fact no known
virus that can infect your system simply by reading an e-mail message. For a
virus to spread, some program must be executed. The origin of the "good times"
rumor has been traced to both an AOL user and some bored undergraduate, and it
was meant to be a hoax.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled FOOP discussions, already in

Steve Robinson in North Andover, Mass.
[email protected]


Date: Thu, 8 Dec 1994 09:55:47 -0500
From: [email protected]
Subject: newbie question, experiments

Mike MacAdams asked for help about no apparent fermentation yet a drop in
gravity. Most likely your fermenter is not sealed properly so the CO2 leaked
out somewhere besides the airlock. The other possibility though much less
likely is that your wort stratified. Don't worry!

MPM reports on his miniexperiment on FOOP. I applaud these efforts and posts
in the HBD. However, we should remember that these sample sizes are
extremely small (2), and it would be better to do these in slighlty larger
sample sizes and the results scored "blindly" or coded especially when most
observations are quite subjective. In other words, the observers should not
know which sample they are evaluating. This is not meant to be a flame, just
something to consider when designing experiments.

Whats happened to Jack Schmedling lately? I'm tempted to flame the maltmill
just to throw some gasoline on the lack of flames from that area of the
country!! I actually miss some of his posts. %^).

Andy Kligerman


Date: Thu, 8 Dec 1994 09:47 EST
From: [email protected] (SPEAKER.CURTIS)
Subject: summary of soda keg responses

Thanks to all of you who responded to my question about soda kegs. To
summarize the info that I received:

Advantages: The main one seems to be the pressure relief valve on the top.
This is useful for releasing pressure while filling, letting out excess CO2,
etc. Disconnects can be easily removed with a 12 point socket. Also adapts
easily to use Carbonator to put beer into PET bottles.

Disadvantages: A little taller than coke kegs. The ball lock connection is
also made of three pieces (pin, spring and cap) while the pin lock kegs have
these all pressed together into one unit. It is also possible to force the
gas disconnect onto the liquid side (beer shower!) Beer spray is also possible
if you bump the pressure relief valve.

Advantages: A little shorter than pepsi kegs (ie. fits better into fridge).
Impossible to mix up gas and liquid connections since one is 3 pin and one is
2 pin. Reportidly easier to clean pin connections than ball connections.
Less pieces to lose if you dismantle connection.

Disadvantages: Pins can get bent, ruining connections and causing leaks.
Most do not have pressure relief for purging air while filling, removing
excess CO2, etc.. Disconnect not as easy to remove as ball lock.

Many people said there is really no difference between the two, but that the
pressure relief on the Ball locks is very handy. Whichever you choose, make
sure that parts for your setup are available locally (waiting for a mail order
part can be a long, frustrating process). Many people have both types of kegs
and have both sets of connectors.
Tom Fitzpatrick from Chicago informed me that Pepsi is switching to a "bag
in the box" plastic system, which may flood the market with ball lock kegs
(good for us!:)
Thanks again for the info. -> I think I'm leaning towards the ball lock
conncetion; parts are readily available here in PA and I like the pressure
relief idea.

Hoppy Brewing
[email protected]


Date: Thu, 8 Dec 1994 09:19:21 -0600 (CST)
From: [email protected] (brewing chemist Mitch)
Subject: In defense of Timmermans ;->


I had already responded privately to the original poster, but now I have to
speak out in public.

Yes, it is a well known fact to those that frequent lambics that Timmermans
(and Lindemans) are way out of style when it comes down to it. They are
missing that desired intense sourness and 'mystical' Brettanomyces
character. These beers are apparently made for the non-lambic drinker or
just for us heathen North American beer drinkers that obviously could not
handle the real thing ;->

In any event, out of style or not, Timmermans and Lindemans are pretty
damn good beers! The fruit versions (kriek, peche, framboise) *are* sweet, but
I like sweet, as well as sour. I would (if offered a choice) drink either of
those brands over _any_ domestic beer (this is of course no surprise if you
know me personally). And actually, the Timmermans gueuze (no fruit, blend of
young and old lambics) is very nice and not too sweet.

Okay, off the soapbox now. For those interested in trying a more true-to-
style lambic, try to find Frank Boon products. Or Cantillon if you desire
a truly sour lambic.

God bless Belgium.



- --
| - Mitch Gelly - | No warranty |
|software QA specialist, unix systems administrator, zymurgist,| expressed |
| AHA/HWBTA beer judge, & president of the Madison Homebrewers | or |
| - [email protected] - | implied |


Date: Thu, 08 Dec 1994 09:57:07 -0500
From: [email protected]
Subject: DO/Aeration

Hello HBD:

There's been lots of great information recently regarding
dissolved oxygen and aeration. We've seen discussion about
saturation levels, using various methods of injection.

I'm curious if there's any data out there relative to levels of
dissolved oxygen attained by the "cruder" methods of doing the
old twist and shout with the carboy between the knees, splashing
through funnel, etc.

In other words, it would be interesting to see data showing the
increase in dissolved oxygen levels for aeration gained by
airstone, in line injection, or other "advanced" methods for
aeration over the "cruder" methods.

Washington DC
8-dec-94 09:55


Date: Thu, 8 Dec 1994 11:52:28 -0500
From: [email protected]
Subject: aol good times virus

I know this isn't brew related, but since a recent post mentioned it, I
thought I'd post this portion of a message AOL has made available on the
'Welcome ' window.

>As background, AOL incorporates virus protection throughout >the service and
scans all posted software, text, and sound >files in public areas.

>through simply reading email. It is possible, however, for an >attached
file to an email to carry a virus that could cause a >problem. We cannot
scan files in email for viruses as we do >with files in public areas of the
service since email >represents private electronic communication. In order
for the >virus to spread to your computer, you would have to >proactively
select the attached file and download it to your >hard drive. It is
therefore advisable never to download >attached files from an unknown sender.

>While there has been quite a bit of rumor regarding this "Good >Times" piece
of mail, AOL has not been able to confirm a >single incident of a subscriber
receiving this mail, or any >subscriber getting a virus through e-mail.
Given the nature of >the rumor, if you do receive mail entitled "Good
Times", we >would advise that you avoid downloading any file that is
>attached with this title.

If anyone does run across this, let one of us AOL members know so we can
relay it to AOL.
Bob Talkiewicz, Binghamton, NY


Date: Thu, 8 Dec 1994 09:30:52 -0800 (PST)
From: Mike Stack
Subject: Bad Batch?

First off, I'm a complete novice in brewing, having only brewed my second
beer to date--however, there's a problem with the second batch (a brown
wheat beer using hop pellets). Right after I transferred it to my
carboy, I had to go on an extended out-of-town trip. So, my beer has
been in the carboy for over a month! There appears to be some colonies
of growth (sorry for any imprecise descriptions) on the surface that look
like white blotches. Is this batch a total write-off?

Michael Stack (phone: 206-902-3568)
[email protected]


Date: Thu, 08 Dec 1994 12:44:25 EST
From: [email protected]
Subject: Cranberry Lambic (not) / aeration

- -------------------- Mail Item Text Follows ------------------

To: I1010141--IBMMAIL

From: Bob Paolino Research Analyst
Subject: Cranberry Lambic (not) / aeration

Kirk Haralson asks about Jim Koch's Cranberrry Contract:

As it says on the bottle, it's a cranberry wheat beer. Now lambic are wheat
beers, true, but they're fermented with all kinds of wild bugs ๐Ÿ™‚ Notso
for the SamAdams. Just plain old sacc

I haven't had any of it this year (and only once last year) so I can't recall
the character. I don't remember any weizen character, but you probably have a
better idea of what it tastes like. If that's the case, just brew up a wheat
beer, not a lot of hops, with your basic 1056 and use fruit.

Rick Starke asks about his aeration method:

I like to keep things reasonably simple, too, without an excess of gadgetry.
If the strainer method works (presuming that you've sanitised the strainer--
boiling water will do it), go with it. My method is a sanitised egg whisk
after the wort is at pitching temperature in my plastic primary (obviously
you can't do that in a carboy). You're going to have some exposure to air,
just keep it to a reasonable level and get some good healthy yeast going.

Thanks for sharing your informal, uncontrolled "experiment" to illustrate
the importance of aeration for healthy fermentation.

Now go have a beer,

Bob Paolino / Disoriented in Badgerspace /[email protected]


Date: Thu, 8 Dec 1994 18:16:00 GMT
From: [email protected] (Jeff Guillet)
Subject: Steam Bock

In Tuesday's HBD I asked about using Wyeast 2112 (California Lager) in a
bock recipe since I am refrigerator impaired. The following is a
summary of responses I received. Thanks to all who replied.

Jim Ancona says he has had very good luck with a Vienna and a Dopplebock
using 2112 and "lagering" in his root cellar at 50-58F. He also
reminded me how flocculant this yeast is and that it produced crystal
clear beers.

Brian Smithey told me that the temps in my garage (ranging from 38-52F)
might be too much of temperature swing and will be tough on the yeast.
What I failed to mention is that it doesn't fluctuate that much in a
day, but over the course of weeks. It's been fairly constant in the 45-
50F range. He suggests and insulated box in my garage and to definitely
get it off the concrete floor. I would think that the concrete would
help even out the temperatures. Am I wrong?

Doug Jones has a "bock looking thing" fermenting in his garage now. His
temps are 45-50F in the morning rising to 70F during the day. He has
his carboy sitting on 2 bricks in a 32 gallon trash can full of water to
even out the temps. Although my temps don't fluctuate *nearly* that
much, this might be a good idea to implement.

Doug Lukasik says he has had good luck lagering in his basement, but has
had bad luck when attempting larger beers (dopples & tripples). He
attributed this to shifts in temperature.

Carl Etnier wrote me from Sweden, no less, to say basically "go for it".
He mentions his Rocky Racoon (fermented at these temps, not sure about
the yeast, though) tastes weak.

Along the same lines, Eamonn McKernan had a "watery lager" thread going
a short time back. He was using 2112 and, like me, is refrigerator
challenged. He recommends a fair bit of hops and specialty grains to
ensure some flavor remains.

I hope this helps others who wish to lager without the proper equipment.
As for me, I'll "just brew it"...

Internet: [email protected] (Written on 12/08/94 at 10:16AM)


Date: Thu, 8 Dec 94 13:06 CST
From: [email protected] (Jack Schmidling)

>From: Alexander R Mitchell

>Teddy, I recommend that you take the SS screen and roll it into a tube and
connect it to the valve coupling like Jack's EasyMasher TM. I went from
a set up like yours (although on a smaller scale) to an EM and found it
worked much better for me.

At the risk of sounding commercial, we know have an EM designed to screw into
the welded nipple on the Sabco kettles. It is still cheaper and easier to
drill and hole and screw it in but if you have one with the nipple, it's a
lot cheaperr then their false bottom.



Date: Thu, 08 Dec 94 14:05:44 EST
From: Ash Baker <[email protected]>
Subject: Mulled beer and spiced ale.

Christmas coming up, I have a fancy to try some spiced ale a la Samuel Pepys.
What I was thinking of was using a strong ale (Niagara Falls Olde Jack, for
the Ontarians), heating it up, and mulling with... whatever. Ginger,
cinnamon, nutmeg, and a bit of coriander to improve the whole thing perhaps.
๐Ÿ™‚ Don't need to add any honey, cos Olde Jack is pretty powerfully sweet to
begin with. Has anyone else tried this? It's a bit foreign to most people's
palates (certainly will be to mine) but I think it's a nice idea for a real
Winter Warmer.

I wonder, though, how one would heat the ale? Putting it in a saucepan and
boiling would drive off all the alcohol, which would not be entirely
desirable... Maybe heating it up to 140 degrees only would do the trick? A
friend of mine who is a bit of a brewing historian informs me that it was done
by inserting a red-hot poker into a pot of ale, which would a) heat it up very
quickly, and b) caramelise some sugars, which would probably taste nice. Any
suggestions? Ideas? Anyone tried it before?

Ash Baker -- [email protected]
Kingston, Ontario


Date: Thu, 8 Dec 1994 12:28:26 -0800 (PST)
From: [email protected] (Mario Robaina)
Subject: Virgin All-grainer looking for tips..

I'm currently thinking about making the leap from extract to
grain (well, maybe more of a cautious step -- I'm sure I'll do
more extract brewing because it's so easy).

Anyway, I was thinking that I might be able to start by using my
current equiment, and with the addition of a smaller fermentor or
two, brew all grain half-batches. My kettle currently only holds 4.5
or so gallons, so doing a full mash of 5 gallons is not possible.
I'm going to try a few partial mashes first, but would then like
to try the half batch method. Does anyone know if this will
work? Are there such things as three (or 2.5) gallon carboys? I
think I've figured out a few of the cons (more effort for less
beer, more temp. fluctuations with smaller volume of wort), but
what other problems can I expect to run into?

Thanks in advance..

-John (through Mario: [email protected])


Date: Thu, 8 Dec 1994 12:50:16 -0800 (PST)
From: John Loegering
Subject: Sparrow Hawk Porter

A quick question for the masses. Papazian lists a lager yeast for
his Sparrow Hawk Porter (p.200), however in the STYLE section he
states that porters are made with ale yeasts. Which is correct?
Is the recipe a typo or is this the particular style this brew is


Date: Thu, 8 Dec 1994 14:32:16 -0500
From: [email protected]
Subject: Cranberry Ale and Pectin Haze

A recent post about Cranberry Ale concluded "Puree the **** cranberries" to
avoid plugging the siphon tube.

I've been considering a similar Ale, but am worried about the massive
amounts of pectin in the berries. This is what makes home-made (or store
bought, I suppose) cranberry sauce a jelly, and is one of many reasons why
you don't boil an apple cider. This could result in the pectin haze from

I'd be interested in learning the experience of others in this regard;

Is it an imaginary problem?
Can a cranberry "extract" be made without heating
so that the pectin is not released?
Is use of a pectin enzyme the solution?

inquiring minds, etc.



Date: Wed, 7 Dec 94 23:52 EST
From: Tom Clifton <[email protected]>
Subject: Adding fermentables to secondary

I think that the advice of not adding large ammounts of fermentables to your
secondary is unfounded. I made an "American Pale Ale" that I believed was
overhopped and made a mid course correction by siphoning off two gallons of
beer from secondary and adding two gallons of unhopped 1.040 wort made from
dry malt extract.

The two gallons added was boiled for an hour and cooled with an immersion
chiller down to the temperature of the fermenter. I exercised as much care as
I could not to areate the new wort during all the handling.

The two gallons of beer that I took off was stored in glass one gallon jugs and
was permitted to complete secondary. It was primed and bottled - not wanting
to waste anything that had any hope of being dirnkable. The "undiluted" beer
has a solvent like taste - could be the large ammount of hops - the "diluted"
beer is very drinkable.

>From this experience I would say that you can make mid course corrections
if you want to. The recipe is attached so you can see exactly what I did.
Any comments welcome.

Brewed 10/30/94
For 6 gallons of beer
OG 1.038
TG 1.010

5.5 LB Alexanders Extra Pale Extract
0.5 LB Belgian Crystal Malt - 20L
1.00 OZ Perle 8.4%AA Bittering hops - 60 min
0.25 OZ Saaz 4.9%AA Bittering hops - 60 min
0.25 OZ Hallertauer 4.2%AA Flavor - 30 min
0.50 OZ Cascade 6.1%AA Flavor Hops - 20 min
0.50 OZ Cascade 6.1%AA Aroma Hops - 5 Min
1.0 TSP Gypsum Water Treatment
750 ML Wyeast 1056 American Ale starter

Here is the recipe that is "adjusted" for a 1/3 dilution - it is a much more
drinkable beer than the first

3.5 LB Alexanders Extra Pale Extract
2.0 LB Laaglander extra pale dry extract
1/3 LB Belgian Crystal Malt - 20L
2/3 OZ Perle 8.4%AA Bittering hops - 60 min
1/8 OZ Saaz 4.9%AA Bittering hops - 60 min
1/8 OZ Hallertauer 4.2%AA Flavor - 30 min
1/3 OZ Cascade 6.1%AA Flavor Hops - 20 min
1/3 OZ Cascade 6.1%AA Aroma Hops - 5 Min
1.0 TSP Gypsum Water Treatment
Wyeast 1056 from previous batch.


Date: Thu, 8 Dec 94 14:09:11 "PST
From: michael j dix
Subject: Help Requested for the Siphon-Impaired

I have been fermenting at home off and on since 1977, but lately I just
_cannot_ maintain a siphon. I thought at first it was because beer has
carbonation, but lately I cannot even maintain a siphon with
fermented-flat wine. I hope that the kind readers of HBD can provide some
tested remedies. Here are the background details:

I use a racking cane I have had for several years (though I get more
tubing from the brewstore from time to time.) I put the siphon through an
orange carboy cap, and start it by blowing into the angled tube on the
cap. The siphon will start, but often the flow rate will slow to a
trickle. Continued blowing will boost the flow. (Saturday before last I
blew three gallons from a 5 to a 2.8 gal carboy. This was not fun.)

I suspect the problem is at the cane-to-tubing connection. Here's what I
have tried: Pushing the tube further up the cane seems to make things
worse. I tried a small hose clamp from the auto supply store. This did
not seem to be an improvement. Later I smeared the tubing-to-cane
connection with Vaseline(tm), which might have helped a little.

Any thoughts will be appreciated.

Best regards,

Mike Dix


Date: Thu, 8 Dec 94 16:08:05 -0600
From: [email protected] (George J Fix)

Subject: D-C Pils Malt

I received the following private e-mail from Evan Kraus, and since
it is similar to others I have received, Evan gave his approval to
posting our private discussion.

>From Evan:

>From [email protected] Mon Nov 27 06:35:14 1995
>Subject: Kolbach index
>To: gjfix (george fix)
>Date: Sun, 27 Nov 94 7:19:47 EST
>From: Evan Kraus

Evan writes about the D-C Pils malt:

>I have a Malt Analysis sheet form SMC and was wondering where on the sheet is
>the information about the modification of the malt.
>Under protein it has the following.

> Protein DP P
Sol Tot S/T
>DC Pilsen 4.9 10.0 48.5 77.1


F/C Alpha
>DC Pilsen 2.2 47.7

>What does this mean ????
>The sheet is from 11/22/93 just after you wrot the article for BT
>I am planning to get a fresh sheet from SMC with updated info.
>And maybe they can give me a description of what all the info means.

D-C changed malt varieties a few months after my article was written. The
sheets you have are current, and describe the malt as it is being distributed
today. There have been some major changes with the new varieties. The fine
grind/coarse grind extract difference F/C (a good measure of carbohydrate
modification) has risen from 1.8 to 2.2. This is generally regarded as
unfavorable, and indeed I have received a lot of correspondence from
brewers complaining about yields with this malt. The proteins, on the other
hand, have increased in modification by ~20%. E.g., the Kolbach index (S/T
above) has increased from ~37% (normal for a moderately modified Pils
malt) to 48.5. This is highly unfavorable (normally Pils malts have a good
degree of carb. modification - F/C < 2.0 - and a moderate degree of
protein modification - Kolbach = S/T <39%). In fact, the 48.5 is an order of
magnitude higher than with any of the other D-C malts, including their
pale ale malt! Complaints from brewers using this new version have been
consistent with characterists of malt having excess protein degradation.
Foam stability was poor, and "blank" and "dull" malt flavors often were

The word from Belgium is that there is nothing wrong with this new Pils
malt, provided that brewers make suitable adjustments in their mashing
programs to accommodate its characteristics. Because of its low degree of carb.
modification decoction mashing is possibly needed, and because of its high
degree of protein modification something like a 35(or 40)-60-70 C schedule
seems reasonable. We have done two batches this way, and the foam as well
as the malt flavors seem to be acceptable, although the fullness of the
overall malt flavor seems to be less than what I have been getting from
Pils malt from Germany.

It is to be emphasized that the other D-C malts have not changed, and in
particular their color malts are the gems they have always been.


George Fix


Date: Thu, 8 Dec 94 16:28:30 MST
From: [email protected]
Subject: Splashing / Jim "Buy my Hops" Koch

John Krstansky (one of the vowel-impaired among us - just joking, John!)
writes about using a length of tubing to prevent air from interrupting a
smooth pour from a carboy. I suggest just using the "swirl" method. It
isn't easy with 7 gallons of liquid, but not too bad with 5. You get a
nice whirlpool going which gives the air an inlet right up the middle of
the hurricane, no splashing. This also works to empty bottles faster
when prepping to bottle.


Regarding the Jim Koch Hallertauer Mittelfrueh (I'd like to see him try to
TM them!) sale, it looks like to me he's found a way to dump his old hops.
Maybe he's taken the extra tonnage and had it pelletized before the sale, or
maybe all his hops are pellets. He could easily go choose his hops and have
them pelletized before shipping, probably saves a lot of money that way,
since they are so much more compact. I don't know what I'd do with a pound
of pellets, any pellets.



Date: Thu, 08 Dec 1994 19:02:20 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Timothy P. Laatsch "
Subject: Data Points: Oxidation and Starters

Hello HBDers,

I just wanted to pass along some isolated data points on my recent
experiences with starters. As a scientist, I am well aware that these do not
constitute conclusive experiments, but may serve to catalyze some discussion
on starters. All the yeasts below were first "smacked" in the pack, allowed
to swell, and pitched to a starter of the following composition: 0.5 c DME,
1/8 oz. hop pellets, 2.5 cups water. "Start" is defined as when activity
really began to pick up, i.e. at least a one-inch krauesen on the wort. I
realize that this is a little rough, but bear with me.

Wyeast strain Age @ pitching Stage @ pitching Hours to "start"
- ------------- -------------- ---------------- ----------------
1028, British Ale 26 hours hi krauesen 9-12
1098, London Ale 36 hours post-hi-krauesen 16
1056, American 70 hours long post-hi-krauesen 20

I have read different suggestions here and in the yeast FAQ about the ideal
time to pitch a starter. Within the variability of strains, this data seems
to indicate to me that high krauesen would be the ideal time to pitch for a
quick start. The above start times could have been improved with a larger
starter volume and more aeration of the wort (in my future plans!).
Any comments???

Also, I wrote some time ago about "My Virgin MASH" in which I was worried
that excessive splashing of the hot mash drainings would lead to oxidized
flavors in the brew. People wrote to me and said, "don't worry,
grasshopper". Well, my not worrying has paid off with a lovely classic
wet-cardboard taste in my first partial mash porter. The brew tasted
fabulous going into the secondary. As it matured in the secondary, something
sinister happened. I noticed a couple days before bottling that the flavor
seemed to be a little thinner and less pronounced in maltiness. At bottling
time, the phenomenon had worsened. Since I had a few more
bottles than anticipated, I thought I would sample one every couple days
after priming to see how quickly the brew reached full carbonation. It's
been about a week in the bottle now and the beer is flat as a pancake with no
head, let alone any head retention (corn sugar primed). And the flavor, I'm
pained to report, is gradually degenerating into the classic cardboard ๐Ÿ™
profile. The take home lesson for beginning mashers-----be careful not to
aerate the runnings of your mash or you will pay dearly.
I have done subsequent batches without the splashing and they are turning out
great. One has been in the bottle less time and is already near peak
carbonation (primed with 1/2 corn sugar and 1/2 DME) with not so much as a
hint of cardboard. I want to ask the collective wisdom:

Is the pre-boil splashing to blame for this, as there was no chance of
post-boil hot-side aeration? If not, what is? Does oxidation inhibit
carbonation as well? I assumed there's no "saving" this beer, but does anyone
have suggestions? My plans at present are to drink it covertly behind the
brewhouse doors----i.e. keep the critics away and punish myself by forcing it
down. Don't worry, I still can stand to drink it.

Big bandwidth consumption---my sincere apologies. Hope I wasn't spreading
any misinformation above and thanks in advance for any advice/comments.

- --------------------
tim laatsch
[email protected]
k'zoo, MI (aka Larryland, as noted by Bob)


Date: Thu, 8 Dec 94 21:43:35 EST
From: [email protected]
Subject: Mini-keg system

Hey, kids!

Anybody out there have any experience with the 5-litre mini-keg system from
Germany known as the "Fassfrisch Beer King 2000"? (I may have bent the
spelling a bit there ...) It's basically a small metal keg (coated aluminum
maybe?) with a CO2-powered tap that's being carried by one of the local
homebrew stores. It's reasonably priced and looks to be well-constructed,
but I thought I'd see if there's anyone out there who has good or bad things
to say about it.

Respond publicly or by email ([email protected]); if responses warrant I'll
summarize and post. If nobody responds, I'll prob'ly just buy the damn thing
and then I'll let you know what happens.

Eric Tilbrook,
Proprietor and Brewmaster,
Miskatonic Zythepsary


Date: Thu, 8 Dec 1994 21:24:32 -0600 (CST)
From: [email protected] (Philip Gravel)
Subject: Blowoff Hose, Alpha Acid Isomerization, Yeast Starters

===> Stephen Tinsley comments about blowoff tubes:

> [email protected] had a question about the problems associated with using
> a blowoff hose for the initial stages of primary fermentation. I began
> brewing using a 5 gallon primary fermenter and blowoff hose like you
> described. There is basically no safety hazard with this system, since
> you are giving all expended gasses and solids a way to escape from the
> fermenter. The problem with it, as it was explained to me by my friendly
> homebrew professional, is twofold. First, there is a contamination risk.
> It's difficult to effectively clean a blowoff hose, and if you do, you
> still run a greater risk of outside infection than with a high-quality
> fermentation lock. The second reason is that you are blowing off active
> yeast through your hose (this applies only to top-fermenting ale yeasts).

I don't know about this. Properly cleaned and sanitized, there should be
no comtamination problem with blowoff tubes. I've used a blowoff tube for
all my fermentations and have never had a contamination problem. Also,
most of the blowoff is krauesen and I doubt that it contains much yeast
relative to what is in the fermenting beer itself.

> A few months ago, I broke my primary fermenter, narowly escaping major
> lacerations, and had to purchase another one. The guy at the homebrew
> shop suggested I get a 7 gallon carboy for use with my 5 gallon batches,
> that way the active yeast rises and falls, and expends all of its energy
> on the beer, not on a journey through the blowoff hose.

This expending of energy statement would only be true if significant
amounts of yeast are carried out with the blowoff material.

===> Timothy P. Laatsch poses a priming question:

> I like to use DME to prime. I usually boil about 1.25-1.33 cups of DME in
> about 3 cups water and add it to an empty sanitized carboy. I then siphon
> over the fermented beer and proceed with bottling. My problem(s) is(are)
> inconsistent carbonation from bottle to bottle and generally low carbonation.
> I thought this method was supposed to increase consistency! I've even
> increased the amount of DME to the point where I should be getting high
> carbonation, but it always turns out medium to low and varies quite a bit
> within a batch. I assume the problem stems from inadequate mixing of the
> priming sugar with the beer or stratification, but I've been reluctant to
> stir in the fear of introducing oxygen. Please help me make this porter
> truly exceptional by suggesting solutions to this bottling dilemna. Thanks
> very much for any info and, as always, private mail is cool.

The problem you're having is probably poor distribution of the priming sugar
in the beer. Go ahead and stir the primed beer -- just do it slowly and
gently. DME does take longer to ferment and develop the carbonation than
does corn sugar. Give it a little more time.

===> Norm Pyle discusses alpha acid isomerization...

> Mark may have been confident but that doesn't make him right. Certainly
> agitation increases the rate of isomerization of the alpha acids, and
> therefore the lack of this turbulence will reduce the rate. OTOH, there is
> little doubt in my mind that some isomerization is going on when the heat is
> off but the temperatures still elevated.

Given that alpha acid isomerization is a chemical reaction, temperature will
affect the rate at which it occurs. Mechanical agitation, at least in the
form of boiling, will have little effect on the rate of isomerization. A
full rolling boil, however, will ensure that the all parts of the wort are
at the boiling point (the highest possible temperature). At less than a
full boil, parts of the wort might be at a temperature slightly lower than
the boiling point and thus alpha acid isomerization would be less slower.

I do agree that alpha acid isomerization will occur while the hot wort sits
waiting to be cooled. It may not be as fast as when the wort is boiling,
but it will occur nevertheless.

===> ...and asks about stepping up yeast starters:

> I've had this question for quite some time about stepping up your starters.
> What's the point? For ales OR lagers, why bother stepping up the starter
> size? If my final goal is two quarts of starter, I'll just make a two-quart
> starter and pitch the Wyeast right into it. Going from a pint to a quart to
> two quarts (for example) seems like wasted effort to me. If the answer is
> "lag time in the starter", I can see some concern but not a big one. What am
> I missing?

The effect of concentrating the yeast? Assume I make a starter by first
doing one pint, then one quart and then two quarts all using the same wort
concentration. After each stage, I let the yeast settle and pour off the
expended wort. I then add fresh, aerated wort to the yeast cake/slurry.
Let's say that one pint produces N amount of yeast. Then by the end of
this stepup procedure, I should have 7N yeast (1+2+4) in 2 quarts (4 pints)
of starter. I could also make a 7N starter in one step, but it would be
in 7 pints of starter.

- --
Philip Gravel [email protected]


Date: Fri, 09 Dec 1994 00:11:56 -0500 (EST)
From: [email protected]
Subject: Kitchen Aid Summary

My question about the suitability of Kitchen Aid Grain Mills was my first
post to HBD and I was amazed by the magnitude of the response I received,
especially by the number of people who e-mailed me wanting to know what
I found out. The gist of what I found out via e-mail is the same as what
was already posted to HBD, i.e. a flour mill necessarily uses burr plates
which are inferior to roller mills for cracking grain. For those who
wanted a double duty mill (flour and grain cracking) I dont think a
roller mill would be suitable for flour (youve got to get both, I guess)

I am posting here to thank everyone for their interest and input.
Personally, I plan to order the Zymurgy special Issue Brewers
and their Gadgets which apparently includes plans for a mill
(Thanks to Mark Thompson for that idea) and make my own.

For people who requested where to buy (and still want to), I saw
the thing in Chefs Catalog (1800-338-3232). They also have some
other good stuff for brewing (scales, pots, thermoeters, etc)

Brett Hunt
Sedalia, MO


Date: Thu, 8 Dec 94 23:31 CST
From: [email protected] (Philip Gravel)
Subject: Fermentation temperature

===> Charles Wettergreen present fermentation temperature information:

>I usually ferment my Scotch ales in the refrigerator at 50 degrees, but for a
>variety of reasons I decided to ferment this one in my 66 degree basement.
>After several hours I checked on the state of the ferment. The fermentation
>was proceeding nicely with bubbles out of the blowoff tube about every three
>Imagine my surprise when the Fermometer showed that the carboy was at 74
>degrees! I checked my recording thermometer and the temperature was 66
>degrees, and had only varied between 66 and 68 degrees. As the fermentation
>picked up, to the point where the foam began to blow out the tube and bubbles
>were coming out almost continuously, the Fermometer temperature continued to
>rise. I don't know where it finished because it was off the scale (>78
>degrees) of the Fermometer. Once the bulk of the fermentation had finished,
>the Fermometer temperature dropped back down to ambient temperature (68
>I've checked my thermometers and the Fermometer and I have every reason to
>believe that they are reasonably accurate, keeping in mind that the Fermometer
>*is* a liquid crystal and only indicates in 2 degree increments.
>I think this might explain esters in a brew that were not anticipated because
>they were fermented at "cooler" temperatures.

I agree Chuck. Where was the thermometer positioned relative to the
fermenter? Air is a relatively poor conductor of heat and the fermentation
process generates heat. It is entirely that a fermenting beer is warmer
that the air surrounding the fermenter.

- --
Philip Gravel [email protected]


Date: Thu, 8 Dec 1994 16:47:05 GMT
From: [email protected] (Ed Scolforo)
Subject: mash PH

I have a question about mash PH. Today I mashed in 9.5 # 2row, 1#
crystal (30lv.), 1# Carapils, 1/2# Munich and 1cup ( ~5oz.) chocolate
malt. I madded 1tsp. gypsum to mash and checked ph with my PH Checker
*TM. It read 6.8, and after adding another tsp. gypsum AND 2cc 88%
Lactic acid, undiluted, the PH was only decreased to 6.45. This seems
like alot of acid to have such little effect. I wonder if the meter is
o.k. ( I'm not real happy with the way it drifts) and why all that I
added didn't have more of an effect on PH. I have city h20 that I run
thru a filter, Ph 7.0 and calcium 20ppm out of the tap. I don't know any
more specifics. This is the second mash that I seem to be having a hard
time controlling PH on. Any thoughts?


Date: 08 Dec 94 10:52:30 EST
From: Hrabe R A
Subject: Pepper Beer

To anyone:
I'm sure this question has been asked before, but.... I'm looking
for a recipe for pepper beer. I have tried several that are available
commercially and would like to try to brew my own. If anyone has
anything I would appreciate it..


Rick Hrabe



Date: Fri, 9 Dec 1994 17:01:54 +0000 (WET)
From: "Harold R. Wood"
Subject: black barley and malts

I have looked around for information
regarding malts and barleys. I am unable to find a malt
I have some questions regarding black grains:
I notice several black grains in recipies and cataloges.

Could someone discuss the characteristics of the black grains:
specifically black roasted barley vs roasted unmalted barley.
Also, are black patent malt and black malt the same?

Rick Wood

End of HOMEBREW Digest #1601, 12/10/94


  3 Responses to “Category : Various Text files
Archive   : HBD160X.ZIP
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