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Messages - bspisak

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Step Mash Temperature Control
« on: May 25, 2010, 12:19:00 AM »
Running the calcs in BeerSmith, it should have worked for your situation. But then, it's never worked for me either! 

Assuming BeerSmith is correct and you hit 162, then your water was really at 185F.

Take it FWIW, but those infusion calcs never worked for me and I never found any better that did. Could be my boiling water was cooling quite a bit on the trip from the stove to the tun out on the back porch.

Sorry no real help.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Astringency Question
« on: May 18, 2010, 03:18:18 PM »
The colorphast strips are reportedly adequate but read approximately 0.3 too low.
That's about the difference you'll see due to temperature of the mash. Just like gravity, pH readings are temperature dependent. The "ideal" pH of 5.2 is at mash temp, which would make it 5.5 at room temp.

Look and ye shall find:

Stabilize emulsions and foams using barley beta-glucan.

"Barley beta-glucan is receiving increasing attention as a food hydrocolloid (a substance that forms a gel with water). As you know, hydrocolloids are added to foams and emulsions in order to increase the viscosity of the continuous phase, decrease bubble and droplet movement, and slow drainage and creaming. This results in more stable foams and emulsions."


I found another reference to this chicken and egg problem of beta glucanase and beta solubilase activation temperatures.

In The Function of Enzymes in Brewing, Tim O'Rourke talks about it, then goes on to say that "it is common practice in many breweries to add exogenous beta-glucanase to decrease wort and beer viscosity and to improve filterability."

Back to Noonan's statement that small "amounts of beta-glucans ... contribute to a beer's fermentability, body, and foam head."  I can see how fermentability and body are affected, but what do we know about head retention as it relates to beta-glucans?


Goldhammer outlines a number of methods in his book The Brewer's Handbook. That link just shows excerpts and he goes into considerably more detail in the book itself.

If you do go the sedimentation route, he says that doing so before you pitch the yeast will lead to better cold break removal: 50% v. 30% from pitched wort.

The flotation method entails bubbling air up through the wort, waiting for it to create a scum on top, then draining the vessel from beneath. He says this can lead to 60-65% removal, but that it requires a flat bottomed vessel to prevent the scum from breaking up and falling back into the wort as it would in a conical. I suppose you could skim instead if using a conical.

He says DE filtration will remove 75-80% on average and up to 95% if using fine DE. However, he also says DE will strip other things from the wort leaving you a less full-bodied beer and there is problems keeping things sterile.

Seems like whirlpooling and racking is your best option unless you want to try skimming from your conical. Or, you could build a flotation tank, centrifuge or go the DE route.


All Grain Brewing / Beta-Glucans and Fermentability, Body and Head.
« on: May 15, 2010, 06:56:07 AM »
Noonan in New Lager Brewing pp26 says,

"One of the consequences of forced malting is insufficient hydrolysis of beta-glucans to glucose by beta-glucanase enzymes which are denatured above 140F and do not usually survive kilning.... With reasonably well converted malt, manageable amounts of beta-glucans may be liberated from hemicellulose by proteolytic enzymes during a 95-113F (35-45C) mash rest and contribute to a beer's fermentability, body, and foam head."

Palmer in How to Brew, 3rd pp145 says,

"Most of the beta glucan in barley is degraded during malting (from 4 to 6% by weight to less than 0.5%) ... for well-modified malts."

What this seems to be saying is that for well-modified malts, beta-glucanase has been denatured and is no  longer available to break down the 0.5% of remaining beta-glucans. However, by resting the mash at 95-113F the proteolytic (!?) enzymes will free up these remaining beta-glucans such that they can contribute to a beer's fermentabilty, body and head.

So, does this make sense to anyone?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Pliny the Elder Clone Recipe
« on: April 23, 2010, 11:23:28 PM »

All the more reason to brew it yourself.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Pliny the Elder Clone Recipe
« on: April 07, 2010, 02:38:32 AM »

I believe Vinnie of Russian River told everyone what the recipe was. You can find it here:

I would think an extract version would come close, but since you have to mash carapils, you may be lacking some of the malty body it gives. Also, if you're doing a partial boil, your hop utilization will be different, but just plug it all into Beersmith or Pro-Mash.

Good Luck!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Batch-Sparge and maltiness?
« on: April 07, 2010, 02:30:51 AM »

The George Fix comment is referring to the no sparge method. Not sure I buy the argument when it comes to batch sparging.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: 2010 Mayfaire Homebrew Competition!
« on: March 30, 2010, 02:04:24 AM »
Any word on a Norcal drop-off?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How to Siphon Beer
« on: March 09, 2010, 04:37:58 PM »
i think pressurizing a carboy is unnecessary.

It is if you're pushing beer "up hill".   ;)

The best thing about a co2 push system is not having to disturb the carboy to get the beer out of the freezer and into a keg. Especially if you've just spent 3 months lagering it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How to Siphon Beer
« on: March 05, 2010, 05:33:10 PM »
I've been wanting to set up a C02 push system and really like the flare fitting screwed into the carboy hood.  Nice!

On the keg side, why not just use a standard keg fitting and hook up the beer line from the carboy to the OUT side of the keg? You can vent the keg either by removing the top, loosening the IN side, or simply using an IN fitting with no line attached.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer bartering?
« on: March 01, 2010, 05:02:08 PM »
Each state has it's own laws for homebrewing including how much beer can be removed from the premises and for what reasons. It can even be illegal to give beer away!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Imperial Mild? Really...
« on: February 27, 2010, 07:23:26 PM »
To be fair, he said it with a grin on his face.

Equipment and Software / Re: Welding Information.
« on: February 27, 2010, 05:30:33 PM »

How about some specifics on welding stainless and recommendations on affordable 110V home units?  :-)

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