From the HBD Archive
From: Pete Soper <>
Subject: siphoning & canning wort
Date: 1989-06-27 20:21:50 GMT


>Does anyone have a better idea on how to get the flow started when

This is how I siphon. Laugh all you want. I certainly do. Imagine one of
those orange carboy caps on a carboy, with a racking tube through the
big hole and a vinyl tube leading from the racking tube to the target
of the siphoning operation. Now imagine a blood pressure squeeze bulb
stuck on the other, smaller tube coming out of the carboy cap. A few
squeezes starts the siphon action and the bulb can then be removed. Hose
clamps are optional :-) Seriously, a hose clamp to absolutely seal the
junction between the racking tube and siphon tube can eliminate the
tendency to leak air into the wort as it transfers.
Incidently, after hearing from a friend how easy it is to make holes
in glass, I'm going to try putting a spigot into a carboy and see if I
can cut out siphoning altogether.

From: Richard Hargan <HARGAN@UMDD.UMD.EDU>

> - Why did the wort darken from an amber color to a dark color? Is this
> normal? Personally, I prefer dark beers, but I am a little curious as
> to why there should be such a pronounced change in color.

Malliard (sp?) reaction, I think it is called. It always happens and is
the basis for the darkening of a lot of things when they are heated.
It is perfectly normal. It is more extreme when a pressure cooker is used
than with normal boiling, but boiling long enough to get a decent break
is also going to cause significant darkening.

> - What is the precipitate that has formed in the bottom of the jars? I had

No sweat. This is just the same kind of trub that you get in your boiler
when you brew. Just decant the wort off this when you pour into the
starter bottle. In my opinion it is important to get this stuff out of the
wort and leave it behind anyway, so this is a good thing to observe.

I ferment my starters out and decant almost all the the liquid off the yeast,
then swirl the yeast up from the bottom with the last bit of wort and pitch
it. This minimizes the color effects. If not fermented out, however, you
would be discarding a lot of yeast still in suspension, so this is an
either/or situation. Some will suggest pitching the starter when it is
very active, but I can only report that I do not have lag problems and
cannot tolerate the extra color.

Someone suggested I make my starter wort by mashing pale malt instead of
using extract. This is a good idea, but it turns out you end up with
starter wort that is "dark" instead of "very dark", so it is only a
partial solution but might make the difference.

>I am going to go ahead an use one of the jars of wort as a starter for some
>Wyeast and brew up a batch of Irish Ale and see what happens. I had planned
>on getting a yeast bank kit and preserve some of the starter culture for later
>use, but now I just want to see if the starter wort is contaminated.

You probably have the most sterile wort in your neighborhood. Don't worry
about that aspect the slightest bit. If you followed the general canning
directions, all is well and that wort will remain fine for a very long time.
Longer than you can resist the urge to use it, I'll bet.
I cover my canned wort with sterile aluminum foil so when I want to use
it I just pull off the foil, pop the lid and pour without worrying about
airborne contaminants settling on the jars. Also, don't forget to remove
the rings after the jars cool. It is really annoying to get all set and
then find the rings are almost welded on with dried wort that was driven
out during the canning :-)

Pete Soper +1 919 481 3730
arpa: uucp: {bu-cs,decvax,necntc}!encore!soper
Encore Computer Corp, 901 Kildaire Farm Rd, bldg D, Cary, NC 27511 USA

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