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HOMEBREW Digest #1598

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 · 14 Apr 2024

This file received at Sierra.Stanford.EDU  94/12/07 00:17:21 

HOMEBREW Digest #1598 Wed 07 December 1994

Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

starters ... another data point (Chris Lyons)
Missing table (Ed Hitchcock)
Newbie in need help (M_MACADAMS)
RE: Czech Pils yeast (Jim Dipalma)
sparging and aeration ("Lee A. Kirkpatrick" )
Cranberry chunks and racking (Pierre Jelenc)
Beer Travel Digest (John T Faulks)
Re: Fermentor Geometry Again (R. Cushing Hamlen)
Labels no! mark on caps yes! (Phil Miller)
Australia/New Zealand (Domenick Venezia)
Martinelli's cider (JUKNALIS)
Parallel Yeast Culture (WLK.Wbst311)
Brewing Salts (Steve Robinson)
Beer Bottle Labels (John DeCarlo )
Beer Across America ("Lee A. Menegoni")
FOOP Experiment ("Manning Martin MP")
Seattle beer scene (Wolfe)
More Fermentor Geometry ("Manning Martin MP")
VIRUS ALERT, Please Forward ("Joe Klupar")
Steam Bock (Jeff Guillet)
Water Heater Conversion (todd boyce)
juniper berries (Robert Marshall)
Fermentor geometry and temperature gradients (Teddy Winstead)
Sanitizing with Potasium Metabisulfite (Gilad Barak)
Kentucky Common (Robin Garr)
Kids and beer ... (Michael L Montgomery +1 708 979 4132)
Czech Pils yeast (Jim Grady)
Going to England ("Hubbard, John T")
RE:Clear Beer/Sabco Brew Kettles - in HBD #1597 (Alexander R Mitchell)
Doctoring beer, bottle yeast reduction and oxidation, Kitchen Aid mill, steel cut oats, water chlorination (Nancy.Renner)
Stainless Chiller (Randy M. Davis)
Municipal chlorination (Domenick Venezia)

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Date: Mon, 05 Dec 1994 06:18:53 -0400 (EDT)

I'm writing this message for WNKU news reporter Margaret Ulveling, who's e-mail
is messed up at the moment. She is working on a story about Christmas beers
and is interested in hearing from people who may have knowledge about seasonal
beers. She is looking for both background research and people willing to be

WNKU is a public radio station at Northern Kentucky University in Highland
Heights, KY (in Greater Cincinnati). Becase Margaret's mail is messed up,
please send all e-mail responses to me: Maryanne Zeleznik, News Director at
WNKU. You may also contact Margaret by phone at

Thank you in advance for you help.

Maryanne Zeleznik


Date: Mon, 5 Dec 94 08:42:56 EST
From: Chris Lyons <>
Subject: starters ... another data point

>I'm getting back in to brewing after some 10 years. What i remember
>from my experience back then, when it was harder to find good liquid yeast,
>is that just using a starter improved the quality of my beer. I was using
>redstar ale yeast in a starter and getting very good results.
>So it may be more a function of the starter than of the liquid v. dry.

Mark implies that beer integrity may be more a function of using a good
starter than of using liquid yeast in place of dry yeast. I just wanted
to follow-up with a data point ... I commonly use the dregs of the primary
fermenter to ferment future batchs. I've done this on several occasions,
using dry yeasts as the initial starter medium. This results in a
significant yeast starter for subsequent batchs. I always felt that the
subsequent batches where superior ... but I wasn't sure to credit it to
the large yeast starter or some type of yeast adaptation (... wondering
if the dregs of the first batch could now be considered "liquid" yeast?).



Date: Mon, 5 Dec 1994 10:01:42 -0400 (AST)
From: Ed Hitchcock <>
Subject: Missing table

In my copy of De Clerk's text _A Textbook of Brewing_, I'm
missing a table. On page 31 of volume 2, table 4, which is supposed to
show a comparison of degrees Balling vs degrees Plato is missing. Does
anyone have a copy with this table?

Ed Hitchcock, now on the right side of the student/staff division


Date: Mon, 05 Dec 1994 09:55:13 -0500
From: M_MACADAMS@Mail.Co.Chester.PA.US
Subject: Newbie in need help

I'm a new homebrewer and I have a question about my most recent
brew. I bought a cherry beer (canned hopped malt extract), at
the advice of the person at my local beer supply store I used
"Kicker Malt Extract" in addition to the canned extract, and dry
yeast (that I rehydrated) that came with the canned extract.

Everything seemed to go o.k. and the O.G. was 1.048. This was
four days ago and I have seen no action in my "S" airlock, not
even off-placed water levels. Yesterday I checked the gravity of
the wort and even though there has been no bubbling, the level is
down to 1.014. Is it possible that fermentation occurred without
me realizing it? Does a lower hydrometer reading necessarily
mean that fermentation is/has occurred? Should I keep taking
hydrometer readings until it levels off, or should I scrap the
batch and try again?

Any suggestions or input would be most appreciated.



Date: Mon, 5 Dec 94 10:08:39 EST
From: (Jim Dipalma)
Subject: RE: Czech Pils yeast

Hi All,

In HBD#1595, Joe McCarthy writes:

>quotes David Logsdon of Wyeast Laboratories as recommending the Wyeast
>#2278 strain (Czech Pils) for Oktoberfests (Marzen) and Bocks.

>I find it hard to believe that a yeast that works well in a
>Czech-style Pilsner would also be good for Bocks and Oktoberfests.

Can't comment on #2278, never used it. I have used the 2206 to brew all
those styles, with good results. It produces a malty character in the
beer which is appropriate for those styles, so it's certainly possible
for a single yeast strain to work for all three.

>However, we did brew a Maibock last March with the Bavarian Lager
>yeast (Wyeast #2206), and it does have a pronounced fruitiness; I had
>attributed this to a high final gravity (1.026, from an OG of 1.066),
>but perhaps this corroborates David Logsdon's assertion that this
>yeast strain develops "too much fruitiness in high gravity beers."

May I ask at what temperature primary fermentation was conducted?? I'd
attribute fruitiness more to high primary fermentation temperatures than
high final gravities. 1.026 is not a horribly high FG for a Maibock, but
along with the fruitiness, it may be a sign that you underpitched or
under aerated.

I've brewed two batches of bock, both ~1.070 OG, used 2206 and fermented
them at 45F - 48F, no problems with fruitiness. In both cases, I grew
the starter over the course of two weeks at pitching temperatures, and
pitched several ounces of slurry. IMHO, high pitching rates and good
aeration are key to successful high gravity fermentations. It's also
important to grow starters for lagers at or near pitching temperature.

BTW, I believe 2206 is a strain recommended by Darryl Richman is his
Classic style series book on bock.

>I would welcome any feedback from brewers who have used this yeast (or
>the 2206 strain, of which I still have 3 cultures) in brewing any of
>these styles of beer, especially if they have experience with other
>strains of yeast in these styles.

Last fall, I brewed a 1.070 bock and a 1.063 Ofest with #2124 Bohemian,
both had some fruitiness despite being fermented cold. I've used the #2124
with good success for Bohemian pilsners, and wouldn't hesitate to use it
for a pilsner. There is a big difference between a 1.048 pils and a 1.070
bock, though.

Hope this is helpful,


Date: Mon, 05 Dec 94 10:07 EST
Subject: sparging and aeration

A lot of recent discussion has led me to question something I've
been doing consistently over my two years of extract brewing. I
don't understand all the chemistry involved (and frankly don't
really wish to), but would appreciate hearing some opinions on
this simple how-to question:
I follow the typical procedure of boiling my extract and hops
in about 1.5 gallons of water, and sparging into a plastic primary
fermenter containing enough cold water to bring the final volume
to 5 gallons. Usually I immerse the cookpot in an ice-water bath
for 5-10 minutes first, which cools the wort just enough so that
the resulting solution in the fermenter winds up to be just about
the right temperature for pitching. Now here's the question: I
typically just pick up the cookpot and, after drying the outside
(to prevent any of the ice water from dripping into the fermenter),
dump the wort through my (sanitized) strainer into the fermenter.
The pour is often rather violent and results in lots of splashing,
which I assumed was desirable aeration-wise even though it makes
a bit of a mess.
My question is whether this really IS desirable, considering
that the wort, though cooled somewhat from the ice bath, is
still probably 150 degrees F. or so. Recent discussions here
give me the impression that aeration of HOT wort is not so good.
Is this slightly-chilled wort considered "hot"? And, if so,
does this apply to hot wort being vigorously splashed and
aerated as it meets and mixes with cold water? What I want to
know is whether I should be trying to sparge more gently -- e.g.,
by sparging smaller quantities at a time using a saucepan rather
than dumping the entire cookpot-worth in one big whoosh -- or
whether I'm okay doing it the more violent way.
A related question: When I do this sparging into the fermenter,
should I be leaving behind anything in the cookpot? That is, if
the ice bath results in "cold break," does that mean that whatever
settles out of solution in the cookpot should be left behind
rather than passed along to the fermenter? If I've used plugs or
whole leaf hops, will their presence in the strainer effectively
strain out any undesirables? Or should I be careful to leave a
little sediment in the bottom of the cookpot, remiscent of leaving
that little half-ounce of yeasty beer in the bottom of a bottle
when pouring?
I've been consistently satisfied with my results, but I'm
certainly eager to improve my technique in whatever ways I can.
Thanks for the feedback.
- --Lee Kirkpatrick


Date: Mon, 5 Dec 94 10:26:38 EST
From: Pierre Jelenc <>
Subject: Cranberry chunks and racking

There is a very simple solution to the problem that Curtis
(CSS2@OAS.PSU.EDU) mentions in HBD #1596: a so-called grain bag.

That is a cylindrical bag with a mesh bottom (polyester it seems) sold
ostensibly to hold grain for lautering. To "prefilter" chunky beer,
sanitize the bag and slip it into the bucket or carboy; put the racking
cane inside, and siphon away. Essentially no floaters or sinkers will get
in and, because of the large surface area, there is no likelihood of
clogging the filtering surface.

This works extremely well, even for such small particles as pelletized



Date: Mon, 5 Dec 94 10:31:17 -0500
From: (John T Faulks)
Subject: Beer Travel Digest

Bob's suggestion sounds like a good idea to me, sorry I can't do it here.

John Faulks


Date: Mon, 5 Dec 1994 09:46:32 -0600 (CST)
From: (R. Cushing Hamlen)
Subject: Re: Fermentor Geometry Again

Manning Martin quotes:

>"With very tall vessels, strong circulatory currents develop during
>fermentation. Evolution of a bubble of carbon dioxide at the base of the
>vessel where hydrostatic pressure is high is followed by a rapid rise of as
>much as 20 m to the surface. This encourages the upward flow of fermenting
>wort except near the vessel perimeter where the flow tends to be downwards,
>helped by the action of the cooling jackets. The strong circulatory currents
>speed up fermentation and therefore ale fermentations are usually completed
>in 3 days or less, and lager fermentations in 3-6 days, depending on the
>temperature". is my chance to play the nerdy engineer :-)

Given a driving force that tries to produce circulation in a vessel
containing liquid (the force could be heating on the bottom, or gas
produced by yeast), nature will try to maximize the effectiveness of
that circulation. Geometries that are relatively short and squat are
more effective at maximizing the turnover of liquid than are tall
thin ones, ESPECIALLY when the driving forces are large (e.g. strong
heating or rapid gas production at the base of the vessel). Granted, you
tend to loose the phenomena described above, where you have liquid rising
in the middle, and falling at the wall...but you gain a mass of many little
circulations (called Benard cells) that is very effective at circulating
liquid up and down in the system. As the geometry becomes taller, the
efficacy of the Benard cells decreases. So...I guess given my undrestanding
of how fluid wants to circulate, the short squat vessel makes a lot more
sense to me than does a tall thin one...
- --
> Cushing Hamlen, |
> Minnesota Supercomputer Center, Inc.


Date: Mon, 05 Dec 94 09:53:14 CST
From: Phil Miller <>
Subject: Labels no! mark on caps yes!

Like Gary McCarthy, I too tell my bottles apart by writing on top of the
bottle with a magic marker (S is for stout, w is for wicked, etc.). This way
I do not have to keep taking of those messy labels, and can wash some bottles i
n the dishwasher.



Date: Mon, 5 Dec 1994 07:58:04 -0800 (PST)
From: Domenick Venezia <>
Subject: Australia/New Zealand

I'm heading to Australia and New Zealand the last 2 weeks of Jan and the
first week of Feb. Sydney, Cairns, Townsville, Whitsunday Island,
Brisbane, Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, and Christchurch. If
anyone is interested in getting together and showing a yank the pub/brew
scene I'm buying!

Domenick Venezia
ZymoGenetics, Inc.
Seattle, WA


Date: Mon, 05 Dec 1994 11:05:56 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Martinelli's cider

Has anyone tried making hard cider using sparkling (Martinelli's)
cider? Some friends have tried this but despite various efforts (adding
yeast nutrient, boiling, adding table sugar) the fermentation remains
stuck. Do sparkling ciders have some preservative? TIA


Date: Mon, 5 Dec 1994 09:08:27 PST
Subject: Parallel Yeast Culture

If anyone is interested, I made a parallel yeast culture of Wyeast 1056 about
12 months ago, and refrigerated the resultant six 12 oz. bottles. This weekend
I was able to revive my last remaining bottle within 48 hours w/ 1 pint of
canned sterile wort (1.050 OG), and pitched it into a cider recipe. It took
off vigorously in about 12 hours. Take this to be my hearty endorsement of
parallel yeast culturing!
Bill King


Date: Mon, 5 Dec 94 13:25:04 EST
From: Steve Robinson <>
Subject: Brewing Salts

At the risk of keeping something going in the digest which should perhaps be
taken offline at this time, Rob Reed writes in HBD 1596:

> Steve Robinson <> writes:
>> One of the problems with soft water, however, is being able to sufficiently
>> acidify the mash to the point where the enzymes are happy doing their thing.
>> Soft water just does not have enough free cations to accomplish this
>> unassisted. The Czechs got around this problem by adding a three hour acid
>> rest to their mash cycle. Fortunately, modern science provides us with an
>> easier method: Calcium!
>If you are indeed trying to duplicate Pilsen water in your attempts to brew
>a Czech Pils, IMO you are better off using food grade acid - phosphoric or
>tartaric, etc. - to acidify your mash. I feel that if you are going to
>add mineral salts to a Czech Pils, CaCl2 is more appropriate. Personally,
>when I brew this style, I use about 1/4 tsp CaCl2 and if necessary further
>reduce pH of the mash with food grade phosphoric or lactic acid.

It seems that in my attempts to be brief, I have caused confusion. When I brew
a Czech Pils, I use my (very soft) water untreated and do the full triple
decoction. The issue I was addressing in my previous post was more generically
how to acidify a mash with only pale malts and very soft water. For styles like
British Pale Ales, I practically saturate the water with CaSO4. For other
styles, like Helles Bocks and Vienna Lagers, I agree that CaCl2 is more
appropriate. At the end of the day, regardless of the actual salt used, the
goal with many beer styles is to get the concentration of Calcium ions up into
that magic 50 - 100 ppm range.

Steve Robinson in North Andover, Mass.


Date: Mon, 5 Dec 94 14:36:44 EST
From: John DeCarlo <>
Subject: Beer Bottle Labels


The reason I have gone to bottle labels (laser-printed and glued with milk)
is that I occasionally bring beer to other people's houses or give them some
while at my place. Once you take off the cap, if there is no label you are
SOL. After a party with seven different brews and all night going "I don't
know what is in there, which cap came off it?", I decided labels are the way
to go.
And for those of us who are labor-impaired, you can just dump the labels in
the case and put them on later if you need to. <grin>

John DeCarlo, MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA--My views are my own
Fidonet: 1:109/131 Internet:


Date: Mon, 5 Dec 94 14:20:20 EST
From: "Lee A. Menegoni" <>
Subject: Beer Across America

- -------------
Original Text
>From Lee A. Menegoni, on 12/5/94 10:51 AM:
I just had some one call me asking for the number of "some one who sends
out micro brewed beer monthly" They would like to give it as a christmas

If you have a number please contact me at

given its the holiday season it may be worth posting too.


Date: Tue, 5 Dec 95 14:14:20 -0600
From: (George J Fix)

Subject: Wort aeration/ fermenter geometry

I would like to second the excellent comments made by Maribeth in
HBD#1592. One important point that often bedevils discussions
on wort aeration is that readings from DO meters are relevant
only when equilibrium conditions are achieved. This point came
up in the recent article "Theoretical and Experimental Investigations
of a Wort Aeration System" by Reuther and Brandon which appeared in
MBAA Tech. Qr., Vol. 31, pp.5-9, 1994. They did a study of the wort
aeration system used at the Heilmann plant in La Cross, Wi. (BTW
the mathematical model they derived is both clever and very
interesting). The "in line" DO values reported (both by calculation
and direct measurement) fell in the range 20-30 mg/l. This creates
something of a paradox because values in this range are definitely
lethal to yeast. This paradox gets resolved at the very end of the
article where it is seen that once the wort enters the fermenter
depressurization occurs and DO readings promptly drop below 10 mg/l.
This is the point Maribeth made, namely there is a definite limit to
the amount of O2 that can be completely dissolved in wort. Moreover,
this saturation limit is well below that which is harmful to yeast.
In research I have done for my new book I have found that the saturation
limit decreases sharply with increasing temperature, and it also decreases
with increasing wort gravity. The latter in some sense is bad news, for O2
demand for most strains will increase with wort gravity. In any case I
have found that it is very easy to underaerate wort, but that it is
impossible to over oxygenate it even with direct O2 injection.
Martin Manning comments in HBD#1595 about the favorable fermentations
that occur in tall fermenters. The ones I am familiar with in commercial
use have stirring devices, something that overrides DeClerck's
height/diameter effects. When I described some worst case experiments
with fermenters having wort height/diameter ratios >5, I did not mean
to imply that such fermenters were necessarily flawed. Simply one must
be careful in selecting the yeast strain that is used in such cases. I
am aware of at least five commercial operations (fortunately none in
Texas!) who have discovered this point the hard way.

George Fix


Date: 5 Dec 1994 15:29:44 U
From: "Manning Martin MP" <>
Subject: FOOP Experiment

Inspired by Jeremy Bergsman <jeremybb@leland.Stanford.EDU>, I have designed
and executed my own foam-only-once-protein (FOOP) experiment (long post;

Two 500 ml bottles of Wickuler Pils (an all-malt German Pilsner) were used.
The bottles are big green versions of the standard American long-neck bottle
shape. They were well-chilled, then opened and partially emptied (about 200
ml was removed). Then the head spaces were purged with CO2 and they were
re-capped. They were prepared one at a time, and emptied carefully and
equally using a small siphon. The dissolved CO2 was of course ultimately
reduced by doing this, but equally so in both samples. For the next two
hours one of them was shaken vigorously, every fifteen minutes, for a total
of eight times. Then they were allowed to stand, refrigerated, for about 52
hours. With the large head space, one can generate a lot of foam
(potentially denaturing a lot of proteins), and simulate the rough treatment
suffered by an impatient force-carbonator's beer. After the rest period, the
bottles were opened and poured simultaneously into two identical glasses
(large 500 ml tumblers).

The results of the initial pour did not show any discernible difference in
the size, quality, or longevity of the foam. Each had 15-20 mm of foam (in
fact slightly more head formed on the shaken sample, but this was likely due
to my pouring skill), and they seemed to last equal (proportionately) times.

Both samples were then stirred with a fork to raise a large head of about 40
mm depth. The shaken sample only produced about 3/4 of the head depth that
the un-shaken sample did. Again, the longevity of each seemed proportional
to the initial height. This was repeated, and the results were similar.
After these heads dissipated, both samples were essentially flat, and
additional stirring would not produce more than a few mm of foam on either

Although it was not immediately apparent, some damage seems to have ben done
by the shaking. Based on this, I will probably not force-carbonate by shaking
soda kegs any longer. Rather, I will pressurize the keg (maybe initially
above the desired final equilibrium pressure, to speed up the process) and
let the CO2 be absorbed quietly. While shaking does get CO2 in solution
faster initially, I find that it still takes a week or so for the quality of
the foam to peak. Either method may take about the same time in the end.

A point to ponder: After the shaking was completed, and the samples were
allowed to rest for a while, an oily film was observed on the surface of the
shaken beer. Others can speculate as to the nature of this film and its
influence on head formation and retention; all I can say is that the
equipment I used was clean, and in any case it did not appear on the unshaken
sample. If a number of us did the experiment described here (come on; you
won't even waste any beer!), we could even get a "statistically significant"
sample of data on this one.



Date: 5 Dec 94 15:03 CST
Subject: Seattle beer scene

Would someone who knows Seattle brewpubs & taverns please send me
a private email directing me to the best places in town?

Ed Wolfe


Date: 5 Dec 1994 16:40:20 U
From: "Manning Martin MP" <>
Subject: More Fermentor Geometry

Al Korzonas reprised Bill Szymczak from his report on a blow-off/non blow-off

>After 10 days (66F) the non-blowoff batch was finished with a SG of >1.011,
while the blowoff batch was still at 1.020. I bottled the
>non-blowoff batch and reracked the blowoff batch and let it sit in
>secondary for another 10 days, then bottled with a FG=1.013.

And added:

>The geometry differences do not have to be so great. How do you >explain
the difference in FG in Bill's experiment? All from blowoff? I >would not
be so sure without having done the same experiment with >similar-geometry

The fact that the blow-off batch went much faster says something else is
going on here. If anything, the blow-off is removing yeast, and should slow
the fermentation. I think (and I am simply guessing, don't you sometimes,
Al? ;-)) that a temperature trace for the full carboy would show a higher
peak, and is again a suspect for an unconstrained variable. The (1-3/8
gallon) non-blow-off batch had the higher surface area/volume in this case,
and the CO2 in the space above the beer might even have contributed to
cooling the non-blow-off batch by convection. Both of these factors would
surely drive the full carboy to a faster fermentation rate as observed, and
possibly affect the FG too.

Also, Bill, not to cast aspersions or anything, but do you think you can
measure accurately to 0.002 in SG? Tell us about your instrument. If it's a
good one, calibrated to 0.1 P (0.0004 SG), with an internal thermometer, or a
refractometer, I'll beleive you. If it's the typical amateur type, calibrated
only to 0.002 SG (0.5 P), I'll wonder.



Date: 5 Dec 1994 15:42:03 -0800
From: "Joe Klupar" <>
Subject: VIRUS ALERT, Please Forward

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.
Hoppy Holidays
-Joe Klupar, "Brewer, Philanthropist", Phoenix Arizona


Date: Mon, 5 Dec 1994 22:26:00 GMT
From: (Jeff Guillet)
Subject: Steam Bock

Pity me. I am refrigerator challenged and have no way of lagering.

I would, however, like to make a bock (maybe even a dopplebock) using
Wyeast's California Lager (#2112) and the low temperatures this time of
year in my garage. Temps range from 38-52F.

What think you, oh collective wisdom of the HBD? Would I be wasting a
lot of extract for not? Thanks in advance...

Internet: (Written on 12/05/94 at 2:26PM)

* CMPQwk 1.42-17 - Reg #1757
* A good catchword can obscure analysis for fifty years.


Date: Mon, 5 Dec 1994 17:10:38 -0700 (MST)
From: todd boyce <>
Subject: Water Heater Conversion

Last week my brewing buddy's hot water heater started to leak, bummer.
Or possibly not. So help us out, oh, experianced homebrew meisters. How
do I convert the bottom half into a boiler unit for our recently aquired
Sankey - soon to be brewpot.
I think someone had mentioned it can be done in a past HBD, but I
don't remember allthe details. So?

1.Whats involved in converting the burner to propane?

2.Will it be sturdy enough on it's own to hold 15 gallons of liquid?

3.Is the output of the burner sufficiant enough to produce a good
rolling boil? (Basic household model)


Any plans or descriptions from anyone who may have attempted or is
using this type of setup would be greatly appretiated.

E-mail would be great.



Date: Mon, 5 Dec 1994 17:35:54 -0800
From: (Robert Marshall)
Subject: juniper berries

Ok, I harvested the juniper berries that were on our junipers in front
of the house. I got the idea from a thread of posts in, or one of the other lists.
Anyway, my question is how much I should use for a batch. I am either
going to make a 2.8 gallon or a 5 gallon batch. I have not decided
Any suggestions on quantity of berries to use?
Thanks in advance.

Robert Marshall


Date: Mon, 5 Dec 1994 18:26:10 -0600 (CST)
From: (Teddy Winstead)
Subject: Fermentor geometry and temperature gradients

In HBD #1596, "P Brooks" asks brings up some points/questions about
temperature gradients and fermentor geometry.

A while back, I exchanged some e-mail with a guy on
rec.crafts.metalworking about building cylindroconal (sp?) fermentors.
I've forgotten this gentleman's name, but he gave me some great
information about sanitary welding, since he was essentially building
all his equipment from the ground-up. I had an idea that I would try
to build a half-barrel SS fermentor at the time. I was being
over-ambitious, but the information that he gave me was very, very
interesting nevertheless.

What he told me was that the "RIGHT WAY" to build a cylindroconal
fermentor (which is NOT the way that all the commercial manufacturers
do it) is to put the tubes that carry the coolant (glycol, usually)
all at the top of the vessel. If you do it right, apparently, you
will set up a temperature gradient in the fermenting wort which will
cause the wort to sort of "sloosh" around on its own (i.e. fermenting
is an exothermic process, and fermenting wort at the bottom heats up,
rises, then cools and sinks). I don't need to point out that this
would do a number of things to speed the fermentation process.

Additional, placement of the coolant tubes near the bottom will
potentially create ice crystals forming in your beer, and even
potentially frozen batches (particularly when you try to make a

There's my two bits on the subject.


Date: Tue, 6 Dec 1994 13:35:05 --300
From: (Gilad Barak)
Subject: Sanitizing with Potasium Metabisulfite

Hello to all HBD'ers

I'm looking for a better solution for sanitizing (I currently use bleach).
On several occasions on the HBD, and also in TCJOHB Potasium Metabisulfite
(also known as Campden tablets) was not recommended for sanitizing equipment
for beer. I think the main reason was the fact that it's operation relies on
the acidity of the liquid (disolving it in water gives no sanitizing solution
but rather it's interaction with acid such as the case in wine making). How
about using it in the following way - make a weak acidic solution using
vinegar or citric acid, dissolve the Metabisulfite in it, use it for sanitizing
the equipment, rinse with water or simply let it dry. I assume that even if
beer yeast strains are less tolerant to it than wine yeast strains the residual
amount left on the surface of the sanitized vessel should not cause any
problem (remeber that in wine you sanitize the wine itself using Metabisulfite,
and here I am talking of only sanitizing equipment). Any comments?
Also - what is exactly Iodophor (living in a non English speaking country
a chemical formula will be best - international language).
Any other generic substance that can be used and easily obtained?

Another subject:
I have an old racking cane and tube I purchased when I was in the U.S. I want
to renew them. What are they made of? I found a tube in a hardware store but it
has a strong vynil smell - I do not intend to try it. Anybody tried Silicon
tubes? I know they can also withstand high temprature (up to about 200 degrees

Private E-mail is fine.


Giald Barak - Israel


Date: 06 Dec 94 07:54:25 EST
From: Robin Garr <>
Subject: Kentucky Common

In HB1597, Lowell Hart writes:

> ... I've heard of an extinct 'Kentucky
> Common' beer (like Anchor Steam beer being a California Common beer)
> it would seem to be truly a turn O' de century beer. Anybody know
> anything about a Kentucky Common? Did it die out with Prohibition? Is
> something you drink whilst you wait for the corn mash to sour?

Good analysis. Kentucky Common was a turn-o-century beer, and it did die
out with Prohibition. The Ohio River Valley, which doesn't have much in
common with Appalachia or corn squeezin's, was heavily German in heritage
and had a lot of regional breweries back in those days.

Sorry I don't have a recipe or good style description for Kentucky Common,
but Brewmaster Dave Pierce at Louisville's Bluegrass Brewing Co. (an
outstanding brewpub, usual disclaimers apply, etc.) made a Kentucky Common
as a seasonal beer last spring, using an old commercial recipe. It sold
out fast. Dave's a friendly feller, and would probably be happy to talk
about the beer with anyone who called him at the pub, (502) 899-7070.

Robin Garr
Associate Sysop, CompuServe Wine/Beer Forum


Date: 6 Dec 94 12:59:00 GMT
From: (Michael L Montgomery +1 708 979 4132)
Subject: Kids and beer ...

Chris Lyons <> writes:

>>As far as drinking it, ive found that kids dont like beer till much later
>>in life, the 5 year old cant stand the smell of beer. The 2 year old
>>asks for Beers all the time, but once he smells it says "Icky" and wont
>>touch it. Id be more worried about a mess than toddlers tee todleing on
>>their own.

OK, I also have to chime in. My daughter (now 5 1/2) and my son (2 1/2)
each have never tasted Budmilloors but they both like my beer. Of course
it is always in moderation, 1 or 2 sips. My son would keep tasting if I
let him. I wonder what their reaction will be when they are of legal
drinking age and their friends give them some Budmilloors... Yuch!!
My Dad'd beer doesn't taste like that!!

On a similar note, my wife and kids don't like the smell of my beer
while it is brewing.

Mike Montgomery


Date: Tue, 6 Dec 94 8:36:49 EST
From: Jim Grady <>
Subject: Czech Pils yeast

Sorry to post this so late -- I'm catching up on digests still!

There have been a couple of questions about the Czech Pils yeast from
Wyeast (#2278):

in HBD 1587 Al Kinchen writes:

> The 2124 batch has a good head. The 2278 batch has a FANTASTIC head. Best
> ever. Slow collapse. Great lace.
This was my experience as well. Last winter I brewed two batches of
pilsner within 2 weeks of each other. One used the Bavarian Lager
yeast, the other used the Czech Pils yeast. The Czech Pils batch
had much better head retention. I think it had more initial head
because I bottled it a little early but the head also lasted much

in HBD 1595 Joe McCarthy asks about using the Czech Pils yeast for Bocks
& O'fest biers. I have not used it for these styles but I can say that
is produced a LOT of diacetyl in a starter when fermented at 52^F. I
ended up decanting the starter solution off of the yeast and added new
starter solution to ferment at 45^F before putting into my wort at 45^F.
There was no noticable diacetyl in these. Thus I would make sure your
basement is well below 55^F before using this yeast for a lager.
- --

Jim Grady


Date: Tue, 06 Dec 94 08:35:00 CST
From: "Hubbard, John T" <>
Subject: Going to England

HBDers, I'm going to jolly old England over Christmas. I've bought the
CAMRA Good Beer Book, so I can locate all the good pubs near where I will be
staying, but my real question is this:

What bottled beers should I try to bring back to share with less fortunate
beer appreciators here? In particular, I am interested in those that are
not commonly imported to the US. I will be in the Windsor area (west of
London), so any suggestions on where to buy would be greatly appreciated, as

Reply by private email to

John Hubbard


Date: Tue, 6 Dec 94 09:47:34 EST
From: Alexander R Mitchell <ARMITC01@ULKYVM.LOUISVILLE.EDU>
Subject: RE:Clear Beer/Sabco Brew Kettles - in HBD #1597

Database/Analyst INF SYS
Phone: (502)852-5603
From: Teddy Winstead <> In HBD #1597
>> I purchased a Sabco Brew kettle from The Home Brewery this
>>half-barrel keg with a coupling for draining, and coupling for a
>>thermometer, and supports for the false bottom welded into it. It
>>comes with a stainless steel lid. The false bottom is just a piece of
>>stainless steel window screen with a rubber "frame" encircling it.
>>problems clarifying my wort by recirculating it. No matter how much I
>>recirculated, I still had pretty substantially sized chunks of grain
>>and husk in my wort!
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. I get clear run off very quickly and have the
added benefit of being able to stop scorching because my spoon can scrape &
lift the grains/stuff on the bottom of the pot. "Mitchell" *** Fortes Fortuna Juvat ***


Date: Tue, 6 Dec 94 10:44:12 EST
Subject: Doctoring beer, bottle yeast reduction and oxidation, Kitchen Aid mill, steel cut oats, water chlorination

(From *Jeff* Renner)
(To Don Put - welcome to the "I think I'm my wife's computer" club!)

Al K says that, contrary to my thinking that it wouldn't be a good idea to
add a lot of fermentables to a "watery" beer that Eamon wants to "doctor,"
that he can't think why it wouldn't work. Come to think of it, neither can
I. It just didn't seem like a good idea. I shot from the hip on that one,
and now can't justify my opinion. It still doesn't seem right, but only
intuitively, so I'd consider it a viable route, along with the others

On a related note, forgot the half pound of black
patent malt when making his porter, so he now has a brown porter, so can he
steep the patent malt and add it now? I say, sure, I've done this in small
amounts for color adjustment, so why not with larger amounts. Try not to
aerate when you add it if fermentation has ceased.

That's what Carl Etnier is worried about, aeration when doing an additional
racking to reduce his yeast on the bottom of his bottles. I think you don't
have to worry at this point, Carl, because you are adding priming sugar, so
your yeast can respire and remove the O2. I don't think ascorbic acid is
necessary. Whenever I have time, I do just what you have done - rack to a
tertiary for yeast settling. I end up with a yeast layer no thicker than a
coat of paint. There is still plenty of yeast left for carbonation, even in
what appears to be clear beer. Of course, I always purge my new vessel with
CO2 to eliminate oxygenation during that racking, since fermentation has
ceased, and I'm not yet adding priming sugar.

Brett Hunt wonders about a Kitchen Aid grain mill. I think that while this
would be convenient, it is just a burr mill, like a Corona, and will shred
your husks. A roller mill should give you a much superior crush. Some one
else asked about this six months ago or so, so maybe he has experience. I
tried to talk him out of it too, though.

Kurt B. Wurm has two questions. Are steel cut oats cous-cous? No,
cous-cous is a wheat (often semolina-from durum wheat) pasta from North
Africa. Steel cut oats are coarse oat grits. They need to be gelatinized,
although mash temperatures may do this, whereas rolled oats are already
gelatinized. I don't know of any reason not to use rolled oats.

And Kurt gives testimony to what I have posted before - that new regulations
require a more stable chlorine to be added to drinking water, and that this
won't outgas with standing. He wonders what it is. It is monochloroamine,
an ammonia molecule with one chlorine substitution - NH2Cl. Besides
filtering, another (counterintuitive) way of removing this is to add bleach.
This will trichlorinate the amine, and NCl3 is volatile and will outgas, as
will any excess chlorine from the bleach. It will take a few days, though,
and you may chlorinate other organics, resulting in nasties. A carbon
filter will also remove any free ammonia (good) once reducing bacteria have
taken residence on the filter medium. (This info from a phone conversation
with the water chemist at the Ann Arbor Water Treatment Plant. I don't know
that stuff myself).

Jeff in Ann Arbor, MI c/o


Date: Tue, 6 Dec 94 9:01:23 MST
From: Randy M. Davis <>
Subject: Stainless Chiller

A friend of mine has acquired a 40' length of 3/8" OD stainless tubing for
a new immersion chiller. He is working toward large batch sizes (10-12 gal.US)
and is assembling his equipment now. If anyone has experience using stainless
tubing for immersion chilling he would appreciate info regarding the length
required. Will 40' chill a large volume adequately? We have pretty cool tap
water here although I have never actually checked the temp. I can get wort
down to the low to mid fifties F. with a 20' 3/8" copper counterflow chiller.
With the large difference in heat conduction characteristics of copper and
stainless, I wonder if it is an appropriate material for this application.
- --
| Randy M. Davis Calgary Canada (403)260-4184 |


Date: Tue, 6 Dec 1994 08:07:07 -0800 (PST)
From: Domenick Venezia <>
Subject: Municipal chlorination

- ------------------------------
From: (Kurt Wurm)

>Lastly, Charlie P.'s Homebrewers Companion talks of a new federal
>regulation which changed the way municipalities chlorinate drinking
>water - he simply recommends filtering water as the chlorine will no
>longer dissipate by simply filling a carboy and allowing it to sit out.
>Can anyone expan on this?

I believe that Charlie is referring to the use of monochloroamine in the
chlorination of municipal water. I don't know whether it is a federal
regulation or not. But the chlorine added to water in this way cannot be
removed by boiling like chlorine added as a gas can be. Charcoal filtering
will remove this stuff. Many cities are moving to the use of ozone (O3) as
a sanitizer. For brewer's this is great since it adds no flavor and at the
levels that come out of your tap it won't hurt the yeast.

Domenick Venezia
ZymoGenetics, Inc.
Seattle, WA

End of HOMEBREW Digest #1598, 12/07/94

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