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HOMEBREW Digest #3459

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 · 14 Apr 2024

HOMEBREW Digest #3459		             Mon 23 October 2000 

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Pitch Temp for Lagers ("Jeff Lewis")
defining terms ("Alan McKay")
Newbie Extraction (Dan Listermann)
Re: Lager Yeast (Jeff Renner)
Re: flaked oats (Jeff Renner)
Oats, and oat effect on sparging ("John Stegenga")
Combination mash tun (Mjbrewit)
Decoction question, plus some bragging on my new kettle... ("Dave Howell")
Canadian Yeast Culturing? ("Mark Ellis")
A Digest of Quality (David Lamotte)
Water (Keith Busby)
Copper v Stainless (Headduck)
Cleaning counter flow chiller?? (Ralph Link)
Chilling out (Aaron Perry)
oh yeah! (Aaron Perry)
German Ale Yeast 1007 (Petr Otahal)
Zymurgy, AHA and its New Board ("FatCat")

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Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 02:01:40 -0400
From: "Jeff Lewis" <>
Subject: Pitch Temp for Lagers

Wayne wrote:

"Hello, I'm a long time reader first time poster.
I have had mixed success with all grain brewing for
about a year. I usually brew ales (kolsch or hefeweizen).
I have attempted several lagers with mixed results,
mostly poor. My question is about starters, I always make
up a yeast starter about 2 days before I brew.
Since lager yeast likes cooler bottom fermenting temperatures
should I pitch my starter at lager temps i.e. 50 deg or so?
Thanks in advance for any responses."

I've heard advice to pitch at warmer temps and then lower once it gets
going. In anticipation of someone suggesting this, may I throw in a
question here too? My question on this is that to the same degree that
you've allowed the yeast to "get going" at these warmer temps, haven't you
caused/encouraged the very fermentation by-products that the lower temp is
supposed to eliminate/reduce?



Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 10:49:29 -0400
From: "Alan McKay" <>
Subject: defining terms

Actually "wanker" is a term which is perfectly common in Canada.


- --
What's a Bodensatz?


Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 11:01:39 -0400
From: Dan Listermann <>
Subject: Newbie Extraction

Steve Alexander ( writes:

< newbie all grainer + poor extraction = sparge problems.>

It has been my experiance that "newbe all grainer + poor crush = poor

Newbies try to follow the old Corona mill advice of "Just barely crush the
malt." While that is good advice for burr mills such as the Corona where
it is very difficult to control husk damage, such advice, if followed with
a good roller mill, leaves a lot of endosperm unexposed to strike water.
This can be checked by squeezing the cones left from the ends of corns
after the mash. If they pop starch, you did not get what you paid for.

My advice is to use a roller mill that has been adjusted to the point that
all but the most underdeveloped corns are no longer whole. If your mill
can't be adjusted or is too much of a pain to bother adjusting, run the
grist through twice or so. All our mills can be adjusted with a flick of
the wrist after a crank or two to inspect the grist.

Dan Listermann

Check out our new E-tail site at


Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 17:08:25 -0400
From: Jeff Renner <>
Subject: Re: Lager Yeast

Wayne Aldrich <>, who evidently lives in Germany, so
it's no wonder he doesn't usually brew lagers (would I even brew?),
>I have attempted several lagers with mixed results,
>mostly poor. My question is about starters, I always make
>up a yeast starter about 2 days before I brew.
>Since lager yeast likes cooler bottom fermenting temperatures
>should I pitch my starter at lager temps i.e. 50 deg or so?

This has been discussed quite a bit here in the past and I have been
convinced that it is indeed best to pitch at the lager fermenting
temperature. There are recommendations elsewhere to start warm and
drop it, and this will result in shorter lag times, but I think that
it's best to pitch LOTS of yeast. Yeast from a gallon starter is not
too much, and repitching is best. I like to use a fluid ounce (25-30
ml) of thick, pasty yeast per gallon of wort. Perhaps there is a
friendly local lager brewery that can provide you with some surplus
yeast. If you pitch enough, you will get quick ferments and good,
clean results.

- --
Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, c/o
"One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943


Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 17:19:29 -0400
From: Jeff Renner <>
Subject: Re: flaked oats

"Paul Mahoney" <> asks about the difference
between old fashioned rolled oats and quick oats and flaked oats.
They are interchangeable for brewing purposes, and I can't imagine
why Miller writes:

>"Note that the recipe specifies flaked oats made specifically for
>brewing. Do not substitute rolled oats (oatmeal)if you expect to sparge in
>a reasonable amount of time."

I think this is silly. I don't think there is any difference. They
are all unmalted oats that have been wetted and then rolled between
heated rollers, which gelatinizes the starches and dries the oats.
Quick oats are made of broken "grits" and rolled thinner, so they
cook (absorb water, actually, as they are already cooked) more
quickly. I have used quick and thick rolled oats in reasonably high
amounts with no lautering problems. The grocery store oats are lots

- --
Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, c/o
"One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943


Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 18:02:12 -0400
From: "John Stegenga" <>
Subject: Oats, and oat effect on sparging

In HBD 3458, Paul Mahoney asks about oats.

I have used Quick Oats right into the mash, and I've also prepared them
(with double the water) as per directions on the package. Both way's seem
to work just fine, but I still do a little 'cereal mash' just because.

As to the effect of oats on a sparge with CPVC manifold, I have a 48qt
rectangular Coleman with drilled hard copper manifold and I've not had a
stuck sparge. The only time I even think about rice hulls is when I do my
WIT, which is almost 60% 'hull-less' grains (wheat and oats). When I brew
that beer I put 2 measured dry cups of rice hulls in.

John C. Stegenga, Jr., Woodstock, GA.

Visit my website:
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Want your own STEGENGA.NET website? Ask Me How!


Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 20:05:29 EDT
Subject: Combination mash tun

After homebrewing for over a dozen years now ten of which have been all
grain, I can't imagine lautering and mashing different vessels. At one time
I did (phils phalse bottom), but never again. It's simply an extra step to
transfer the grain. With a nonbeer drinking wife and two small children
demanding my time, efficiency is a necessity or I can't brew. I simply cut
the top off an old sanke keg, enough so it fits right on the stove. It holds
up to 30 lbs of grain (with mash water) which is plenty for ten gallon
batches or mega five gallon brews. Its wide so the grain does not pile too
high (no stuck mashes). I use a false bottom from Sabco ($35) that sits 1.5
inches from the bottom of the keg where it begins to taper. You can also
purchase an outlet from them for a side drain valve, but I chose to outlet it
underneath along the bottom of the keg out to the side (brass fittings from
Menards). I use foil wrap bubble insulation (Menards) as a jacket. I duct
taped velcro straps to it for easy removal, when firing up the stove. I use
an old 8 gallon enamel lid for the top and put two towels over that. You can
easily do step infusion, or decoction, whatever you want. The mash temp
stays within 2 degrees over the course of an hour, but I can add heat if
necessary. Very simple design that works like a charm. Transfering the
mash?....thats too much like work. My next step is to hook up a motorized
stirrer. Anyone need more details let me know.


Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 19:43:18 -0700
From: "Dave Howell" <>
Subject: Decoction question, plus some bragging on my new kettle...


Well, Saturday dawned, but not bright and clear, in Phoenix. One of those
other thirty days a year we don't have perfect sunshine (it's raining), but
great for brewing. Of course, it's finally COOL enough to brew.

So, I fired up the NeuBrewerei (tm) [as opposed to the AltBrewerei, which
literally kicked the bucket], with the new Sabco Turkey Fryer as boil/mash
kettle. Wow, what a nice thing to own! I highly recommend it for infusion
and decoctions (I sparge in a Zapap bucket arrangement).

The brew was a Czech/German pilsner. I did a single decoction (the thick
part), then maintained the rest with occasional blasts of propane heat.

A question for those who 'spurment (Pivos, et. al): has anyone done single
vs. double decoctions? This was a first of any kind of decoction for me
(always done step-infusion). If it works out well, then I'll keep doing it
(will go to doubles when I can afford another kettle for a HLT, and free up
my current sparge heater/decoction masher). Which of the two (three for PU)
decoctions actually adds the most character and flavor to the finished
product? Should I do one preferentially over another?

To finish the brew session:
1.4 oz of 6.5% AA Hallertauer Mittlefrau FWH'ed, this will be a Christmas
party brew, no sense in scaring anyone with hops! I got a bit over 83%
efficiency doing the decoction and using the new mash kettle. This beats my
old record by six whole percentage points! I also got a whole lot more wort
than I anticipated (I used to lose a bit in boiling between two containers,
and racking off the wort from the boil, etc. I also decided I will never
use whole hops without a muslin or nylon bag again (what a mess to clean

A MUCH shorter boil than I was accustomed to (greater amout of sugar, better
boiler covered more of the propane burner, could crank it up), 45 min (0.6
oz of finish/aroma hops), counterflowed into carboy at 63 deg F. I think
I'll ask for a fountian pump for the chiller this Christmas... maybe I can
get that down to 35 deg F or so (with icewater in the chiller system).

It's sitting in the chest freezer (at 40 deg F), waiting for stuff to
settle, then we'll rack it and pitch Wyeast Bohemian Pils tomorrow. The
starter is bubbling away nicely in the pantry, so we'll turn up the freeze
temp to 54 tomoroow.

I have pretty high hopes for this brew!

Dave Howell
Somewhere in the Valley of the Sun, very far from the center of the brewing

Costello: You know I'm a catcher too.
Abbott: So they tell me.
Costello: I get behind the plate to do some fancy catching, Tomorrow's
pitching on my team and a heavy hitter gets up. Now the heavy hitter bunts
the ball. When he bunts the ball, me, being a good catcher, I'm gonna throw
the guy out at first. So I pick up the ball and throw it to who?
Abbott: Now that's the first thing you've said right.

Costello: I don't even know what I'm talking about!


Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2000 15:04:22 +1000
From: "Mark Ellis" <>
Subject: Canadian Yeast Culturing?

G'day Brewers,

OK yeast ranchers out there, can someone tell me if they have had experience
reculturing yeast from the two Canadian brews, and if so, then what was you
opinion of their quality.

Blanche de Chambly
Trois Pistoles

Thanks a million!

Mark E. in Southern Oi Oi Oi land


Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2000 23:11:48 +1000
From: David Lamotte <>
Subject: A Digest of Quality

A quick note of thanks to all the contributors of Saturday's digest - It
was a work of uniformly high quality.

I had just come inside from a long and arduous brewday (should have started
earlier and must get that new mashtun built), and was entertained and
informed by a quick read of the digest before bed.

So to Phil, Doc, fridgeguy and even Stephen Alexander (and all you other
guys that I have missed) thanks for making my day.

By the way Phil, I have also worked in places like that and strangely
enough it was just north of Townsville !



Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2000 11:56:37 -0500
From: Keith Busby <>
Subject: Water

I have now made four or five batches using the hard untreated water from my
well at the new res. I have generally used just a couple of drops of lactic
to adjust the ph of the mash and added a couple of drops of same to the
sparge water. The beers have by and large been quite good but I think I am
noticing a lack of body (despite the use of carapils in most of the
recipes) and reduced hop bitterness. The efficiency has been quite good,
between 75 and 80%. Does this make any chemical sense? The addition of the
acid to the sparge water seems to cause much higher precipitation of salts.
I have not had the water analysed. I know some brewers in southern
Wisconsin (hi, Nathan) do not use the local water.

Keith Busby

Professor of French
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department of French and Italian
618 Van Hise Hall
Madison, WI 53706

(608) 262-3941
(608) 265-3892 (fax)


Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2000 13:17:50 EDT
Subject: Copper v Stainless

In a message dated 10/20/00 11:19:59 PM Central Daylight Time, writes:

<< I just got a roll of about 50 feet of stainless steel .5 in I.D. tubing. I
thinking about making a new chiller. Dose anyone have an idea as to the heat
transfer of stainless compared to copper? My thinking is that copper is more
efficient..... but stainless should outlast it. Also, at .5 in it may work
out. The other fix I'm in is how to tighten the coil. It's too big to fit in
the keg as is.....but it is pretty hard to bend. Mabey I'll pull it tight
around a form?

Any Ideas or info would be much appreciated

AP >>

>From The Fundementals of Heat Transfer by Incropera and Dewitt, Copper has a
thermal conductivity of 401 Watts/ meter*K and Stainless steel varies from
14.2 to 15.1 Watts/ meter *K, these properties are at 300 degree K and
decrease as temperature rises for copper and increase as temperature rises
for the stainless (but not much). What this means is that stainless, while
great for other uses in the brewhouse, is a lousy conductor of heat and
therefore not the material you are looking for for a chiller.

Joe Yoder
brewer and engineer


Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2000 12:22:20 -0500
From: Ralph Link <>
Subject: Cleaning counter flow chiller??

Our last two batches of all grain have developed an infection. We put
considerable effort into cleaning, sanitizing, and just general
housekeeping. We wash all our tanks with chlorine based cleaner and spot
clean with a powerful idophor solution. We suspect, however that we are not
getting the 50 feet of 3/8" copper chiller as clean as we could. Can anyone
out there recommend a method and product that will ensure the chiller is
ready to use. Personal E-mail would be appreciated.
Thanks people


Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2000 21:39:03 -0400
From: Aaron Perry <>
Subject: Chilling out

HI all.

A couple of days ago I posted a question about using some S.S. tubing as a
chiller.....I forgot to mention I was planning an immersion
chiller....however, a counterflow isn't out of the question.

my main reasons for shying from the counter flow are:
1. My converted keg boiling kettle has a siphon/pickup tube dead center, not
great for whirlpools!
2. I would rather not transfer my cool wort to get it off all of that cold
break you counterflowers' must get in the primary!

I always use at least some whole hops, chill and drain . the hops act as a
filter along with the S.S. screen---little trub in the primary, no racking
necessary. I'm a lazy man, what can I say? If any one can talk me out of my
current thinking plese go ahead!! A CF would be a hell of a lot easier to
build (the S.S. is already coiled, It's a bugger to re coil it!) (I can use
bugger 'cause in OZ they don't filter their mail content.....Graham...fix me a
cot I'm movin' in!! Scary that they might be the last sensible place around!!)

Thanks for all the responses, they have definitely started the gears turning!



Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2000 21:43:30 -0400
From: Aaron Perry <>
Subject: oh yeah!


I just saw Ralph's subject line in the "current queue" list and I remembered
the biggest reason for not diggin CF's. Is it really worth the extra cleaning
and sanitizing only to have to rack off a big trub blanket?!

- --
"Just think, I turned to a cult for mindless happiness,
when I had beer all along..."
Homer J. Simpson


Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2000 14:06:13 +1100
From: Petr Otahal <>
Subject: German Ale Yeast 1007


I have a small question about Wyeast 1007 German Ale.
On the Wyeast website the temperature specs say that this yeast ferments
down to 55F (13C), has anyone fermented with this yeast at such a low

The reason I ask is that I have just recently lost the means to ferment at
my usual 65-68F (19-20C). So I am looking for a yeast that will ferment in
the room under my house which is a fairly constant 57-59F (14-15C).



Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2000 23:26:49 -0400
From: "FatCat" <>
Subject: Zymurgy, AHA and its New Board

I enjoy the new Zymurgy. The Bock article was sophomoric and
had too much wasted space for the information provided. It
seems better than it recently was.

AHA. Hummm... Ever tried to find out anything on the AHA site?
This day I tried to find a list of the club-only brews. The
discussion of trhe subject was last updated in March 2000,
at the end of this years competitions. Is there a list of
styles for this year? I also wanted information on starting a
club. Great info telling you the advantages of a club, how to
go non-profit, how to be appropriately touchy-feely
adayadayada...but nowhere could I find a simple list saying
"do this dummy, send us your $X, and we will give you..."

I remember a year or so ago, it seems some then 'outsider' but
now newly elected members of the AHA Board were demanding
detailed info on AHA 'personal data' like salaries, suggesting
malfeasance etc. Let's see what is forthcoming. I wonder if
their skin will be as thick as the Board's was when they were
firing the barbs (heeheehee), we've seen how some react to minor

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End of HOMEBREW Digest #3459, 10/23/00

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