HOMEBREW Digest #1142 Mon 17 May 1993

Digest #1141 Digest #1143

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  secondary/half-batch/Texas brewpubs (Bill Othon.LinCom)
  Darker with age... (FSAC-FCD) <dward at PICA.ARMY.MIL>
  PET and GC ("Anthony Johnston")
  Blindness again ("Westemeier*, Ed")
  Re: Acronyms (Lou Casagrande)
  Re:  Adding fruit to the secondary (Jeff Benjamin)
  All About Beer (Joseph Gareri)
  Re: Musings on Commercial Beer (Stephen Brent Peters)
  "Quarf" (ulrich)
  where have all my fermentables gone??? (David L. Kensiski)
  Molassas help (Mark Taratoot)
  More Anchor (Mark Garetz)
  1st batch problem(?) (weissborn)
  another question on sugars (Peter Maxwell)
  Re: Belgian souvenirs (Brian Davis)
  Re: Lallemand/Adding fruit (korz)
  Cleveland competition mystery (WESTEMEIER)
  Draught packaging; hop growth (Garrett Hildebrand)
  Hershey's chocolate syrup in beer (Steve Kenshulo)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 14 May 93 08:02 CDT From: othon at ial7.jsc.nasa.gov (Bill Othon.LinCom) Subject: secondary/half-batch/Texas brewpubs I have a couple of questions for the group: 1) How long is too long in the secondary fermenter? I have been reading that some people leave it for only a week, using SG as a guide apparently. Recently I dry-hopped in the primary (based on a Cat's Meow recipe) and after a week in the secondary, there was at least an inch of "mung" at the bottom of the carboy (I assume hops and yeastees). I decided to leave the beer in for the usual 3-4 weeks. Could this have been bad? I haven't tasted the final product yet to be sure, but i am pleased with the clarity of my beer to date. 2) Does anyone have a good half-batch all-grain recipe? I tried an all-grain last year with two brewkettles over a gas stove, and while it came out alright, it was a hassle. I'd like to get my feet wet with some small scale stuff (which also allows for easier experimentation if desired). For this type of batch, i guess i use half the dried yeast package, or half the wyeast starter. On another note: The battle for Texas rages on! After some strange schnanigans, the bill with the amendment to allow brewpubs in Texas has passed the house, and it's on to the senate. Someday an HBDer will have a business meeting in Houston and ask if there are brewpubs, and we'll be able to say "Hell, yes!". Hoping for a Seattle-like beer culture in Houston -Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 May 93 9:03:23 EDT From: "Darren L. Ward" (FSAC-FCD) <dward at PICA.ARMY.MIL> Subject: Darker with age... Is discoloration (darkening) a typical result from "light exposure"??? I brewed a batch which when originally bottled was much lighter in color than it is now. The beer is in "Mason" jars, with double gaskets/liners to better the seal. (It worked). I had a problem with the initial conditioning of the beer, (very little carbonation), but when I removed the jars from the fridge for a couple of weeks and then re-refirdgerated them, the bubbles were finally there (I'd brewed the batch 1.5 yrs ago, thought I was a victim of novice errors, hate to throw things out, and only recently read about re-conditioning carbonation-less beer to bring the bubbles back.) Anyway, back to the color inquiry, would the darkening be the result of light exposure, age, and is incandescent light a threat??? Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 May 93 8:49:37 CDT From: "Anthony Johnston" <anthony at chemsun.chem.umn.edu> Subject: PET and GC In regards to the recent discussion of the use of PET (2 litre soda) bottles and the proper filling thereof, I would think that one should fill them the normal amount (0.5" headspace). You would not want to compress the bottle before filling because then the CO2 formed would go towards reforming the bottle to its normal volume, not carbonation (flat beer). Also, at the pressures involved with naturally carbonated beverages, the expansion of the PET would be miniscule. As a side note, I would mention that a homebrew kit sold by Price Club in California last winter (I don't remember the brand, but it came with Cooper's extract) came with plastic caps for PET bottles. I do not know where one would buy these, as my local homebrew shop (Brew and Grow) doesn't carry them, but I would think that one of the larger mail order supply houses would carry them. I'm not sure if one would want to reuse them or not (you can't boil them, because they will probably deform, and the seal inside may be porous enough to absorb som of your sanitizing solution. Also, the clarity of the material is worrisome if you do not store your beer in the dark. Do any of you scientists out there know about measuring components in beer by gas chromatography? I am wondering about the following: Will the unfermented sugars in the beer crap out my column? If so, after how many injections? What kind of column should I use? Polar or non-polar? (My guess is polar, like a PEG column?) Has anyone determined the proper settings for temperature and flow? Ramping? What are the probable RT's for common components (EtOH, DMS, DMSO, diacetyl, etc?) I could put the effort into determining the above, but right now time is at a premium and I would hate to reinvent the wheel if someone else has done the work. If there isn't anyone who has done this before and I do invest the effort, how many of you would be interested in my results? Private e-mail please. Tony Johnston Chemist, Homebrewer, Lazyman anthony at chemsun.chem.umn.edu done the work Return to table of contents
Date: 14 May 1993 08:31:16 U From: "Westemeier*, Ed" <westemeier at pharos-tech.com> Subject: Blindness again There has been enough comment about blindness being caused by improper distillation of alcohol recently, without any definitive answers, that I'm beginning to suspect we're dealing with an urban legend. So, FWIW, here's my "data" point: My grandfather had several friends who produced and sold a considerable quantity of distilled spirits during Prohibition. He once told me that the conventional wisdom of the time was that the blindness often mentioned was caused by improper chilling procedure. Specifically, many amateur distillers used automobile radiators as heat exchangers. As the wort (or whatever, I'm not an expert) went through the coils of the radiator, it picked up contamination from the lead solder used in its construction. Lead is the cause of so many other health problems related to lead poisoning in the blood that I'm inclined to believe this may be the actual source of the story. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to dry off my cat in the microwave. Ed Westemeier -- Cincinnati, OH -- westemeier at delphi.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 May 93 10:45:48 EDT From: casagran at gdstech.grumman.com (Lou Casagrande) Subject: Re: Acronyms Elaine, You wrote, > In HBD1137 May 10, Lou Casagrane ins his reply to Jay refers to > recipes from TNCJOHB. Please what does that stand for? Can I get > these recipes? I am new to the list and the acronyms are not making > sense. Is there a list of acronyms and their meanings someone can > send me or post to the list? TIA (there is at least one I know), > Elaine TNCJOHB is _The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing_, by Charlie Papazian, which many of us (especially we neo-brewers) find helpful, although evidently there are quite a few texts out there. Although TNCJOHB does have ~some~ recipes, a larger source is _The Cat's Meow_ on sierra.stanford.edu in the homebrew directory. I haven't made any of them yet, though, so I can't vouch for them. I have been happy with all the recipes I've made from TNCJOHB (in addition to the Dark Sleep Stout and the Sparrowhawk Porter, last year I made the Palilalia India Pale Ale), and I would make any or all of them again. As for a list of acronyms, I think there's a general list of internet acronyms somewhere at Info-mac (sumex-aim.stanford.edu), but that won't include specialized HBD acronyms. BTW, what ~does~ TIA mean? Yours in Brewing, Lou Casagrande casagran at gdstech.grumman.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 May 93 9:36:58 MDT From: Jeff Benjamin <benji at hpfcbug.fc.hp.com> Subject: Re: Adding fruit to the secondary > I would caution against adding anything acidic (like the > citrous fruits), because it will kill your yeast and give you > a flat brew. In one of my earlier batches, I added a bit of > orange peel to "liven up" the end product. Complete failure... I suspect that something else was wrong with that batch. I've made a number of spiced beers using the zest of up to 4 or 5 oranges and never had any trouble. There's even one classic beer style, Belgian Wit (or White), that's traditionally spiced with corriander and orange. I've also made raspberry, blueberry, and cherry beers, and I'm sure other folks can recount experience with even more adventurous ingredients. I usually just weed out any truly fuzzy fruits, rinse them in a bisulfite solution, then puree and add to the secondary (and watch the yeast go bonkers with all that sugar!). I've never had an infection problem this way. As long as the rest of your sanitation technique is good, you should have no problems. - -- Jeff Benjamin benji at hpfcla.fc.hp.com Hewlett Packard Co. Fort Collins, Colorado "Midnight shakes the memory as a madman shakes a dead geranium." - T.S. Eliot Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 May 93 12:23:21 -0400 From: jpgareri at acs.bu.edu (Joseph Gareri) Subject: All About Beer I have a question I hope to get some help with. I have been subscribing to _All About Beer_ for a couple of years. For Christmas, I decided to give a gift subscription to a friend and to augment my subscription to include _Suds and Stuff_. The problem is despite repeated calls to Mike Bozak, none of my subscriptions have started coming. I even spoke to a representative at the Boston Brewers Festival, and still nothing. Since I have not been charged for the issues, I suspect they have not received my order, but each time I call, I am assured that they have it in the records and all is well. Questions: 1) Does anyone out there think either of these magazines are worth the trouble? 2) I subscribe to _American Brewer_ too, and like it a lot. I just wish it came out more than once a quarter. Does anyone recommed other magazines to use in place of _AAB_? 3) Are there any beer related magazines that are more east coast? 4) Are the newspapers like _Yankee Brew News_ worth the subscription? Thanks for your help, Joe Gareri Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 May 1993 12:39:12 -0400 (EDT) From: Stephen Brent Peters <sp2q+ at andrew.cmu.edu> Subject: Re: Musings on Commercial Beer Another comercial beer surprise is J.J. Wainright's which is produced by the Pittsburgh Brewing Company (Iron City & *ha* Sam Adams). I wasn't expecting much, given IC and IC light etc. But... Surprise! It's damn good beer! I can't vouch for how it is going to taste after it sits in the trucks for a few weeks getting to the stores in your city, but here in its home town it is quite nice. Steve Peters = sp2q at andrew.cmu.edu *Oxnar demands a _Sacrifice!_* Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 May 1993 10:28:12 -0800 From: ulrich at sfu.ca Subject: "Quarf" Gary Cote asked about: > "Quarf" A Russin beer made from rye. Someone was confusing kvas (also spelled kvass), a Russian beer made from rye or barley, with quaff, an English verb meaning to drink heartily. I suspect you'll have no trouble getting info under the correct spelling. I learned the word in high school Russian class (and remembered it twenty years later!). It's even in my English dictionary. --Charles Ulrich Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 May 93 10:32:56 -0700 From: kensiski at nas.nasa.gov (David L. Kensiski) Subject: where have all my fermentables gone??? Last week my brew partner and I made a batch of Winky Dink Marzen, as described by Pappazian in TCJOHB (page 164 in the first edition). Everything seemed to be going fine. It had a starting gravity of 1.043 and fermented happily away at room temperature, peaking at about a burble every two seconds. At least everything was OK until last night when we racked to the secondary for lagering. When we opened the fermenter, the beer smelled funny. I might describe it as a skunky smell, but I've not got a terribly keen nose for these things. I thought it tasted alright, though my parner claimed he could "taste" the smell in his mouth. Another oddity was that the specific gravity had dropped to 1.004! There is no sugar left in this stuff! Those yeast must have sure had a good time in that brew! So that leaves me with a couple of questions. First, what could have caused the smell? Will it go away over time, or are we going to be stuck drinking this batch with our noses plugged? Second, what about the lack of sugar? Is it worth lagering the beer if there's nothing left for the yeasties to eat? Should we just go ahead and bottle it? Our current strategy is to lager the beer at about 48 degrees for a couple or three weeks and see what we have then. Any other ideas? - --Dave ________________________________________________________________________ David L. Kensiski [KB6HCN] Numerical Aerodynamic Simulation kensiski at nas.nasa.gov NASA Ames Research Center, M/S 258-6 (415)604-4417 Moffett Field, California 94035-1000 Return to table of contents
Date: 14 May 1993 11:33:13 -0600 (MDT) From: Mark Taratoot <SLNDW at CC.USU.EDU> Subject: Molassas help Howdy Ho! I threw together a kind of strange brew last night and need a suggestion. The beer so far is: 1/2 pound 40 L crystal 1/2 pound 110 L crystal 1/4 pound Black Patent Malt 1/4 pound Roasted Barley 1/4 pound Chocolate Malt 1 pound Dark spraymalt (William's) 6 pounds Oatmeal Dark extract (William's) 1 cup Dark Brown Sugar 1 tsp Cyanne pepper 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger 1/2 tsp Corriander 2.5 oz Northern Brewer pellets No finishing hops Ale yeast I was going to add some blackstrap molassas, but I think the jar of molassas I have has "gone off" so I did not add any. I would like to use molassas to prime this (I will buy some new stuff) but I do NOT know how much to use. Anybody out there primed with molassas before? How much did you use? How was the carbonation level? How long did bottle conditioning take? One additional note: After I had cooled the wort, I opened the kettle to put the wort in the fermenter. Inside the kettle, floating on top of the wort was.... ****A TUFT OF CAT HAIR**** So now it is a battle between yeast and cat hair bugs. By this morning the beer had gone out of lag and smells fine. Of course I am NOT worrying. I only worry about important things, like what kind of beer to have next! Any comments appreciated. -toot Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 May 1993 10:39:33 From: garetz at brahms.amd.com (Mark Garetz) Subject: More Anchor Jim Busch says he doesn't recall any open fermentation at Anchor. All of the primary fermentation is done in open tanks. The steam/porter tanks are shallow (approx 2.5 ft deep) and maybe 8x20 feet (just an estimate). The ale tanks are square (about 12x12) and maybe 10-12 feet deep. The secondary fermentation and conditioning is done in closed stainless tanks. This may be what Jim remembers seeing. I have pictures of all three (and a shot of the copper mash tun and boiler in the morning light hung on my office wall!). Frank responds to my response: >You are correct about what dial I was reading: the one on the pipe where the >water and grain are mixed. Is it therefore reasonable to assume that this >puts a maximum on the actual rest temperature? I don't know if it's reasonable to assume anything. The tun is heated (by steam I believe) and controlled by a programmable temperature controller in the back room. Don't forget that they do upward infusion mashes. I assume that the reading on the dial would only be accurate if there was a grain/water mixture flowing through it at the time the picture was taken (odds are against it). Mark Garetz HopTech Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 May 93 21:03:41 GMT From: weissborn at dfwdsr.SINet.SLB.COM Subject: 1st batch problem(?) Tuesday evening I cooked up my first batch and am having a problem that I hope someone can help with. First, the recipe: 6lbs of light dry malt extract 1.5lbs of Wildflower honey 1oz Northern Brewer hops 4oz of fresh ginger 2.5 cups of 20l Crystal Malt Method: Boiled 2 gals of water. Cooled and poured into 5gal carboy. Put 3 gals of water into pot, Added crystal malt and brought to a boil. Boiled for five minutes (as per the local brewstore instructions) then strained out the crystal malt. Brought the liquid to boil again, added the DME, stirring to make sure it didn't stick, added the ginger and the hops. Boiled for about 45minutes. Cooled to about 90dg farenheit. Poured this into the carboy via a funnel in order to add O2. Added 1oz of EDME dry yeast. Added a blow-off tube and placed in bathroom('cause it is dark and cooler than anywhere in the house). Got some bubbling in about an hour and through out the night but no real foaming or high activity as I have heard others get using EDME. By Wednesday, afternoon, no more bubbling. Went back to the brew store and they suggested that I re-pitch. This time I used Nottingham dry ale yeast. Pitched this Thursday afternoon but no noticeable activity by Friday Morning. So, my question is: "What happened?" and can I salvage this first batch? BTW, for what it's worth. A Coleman campstove makes a pretty good cooker. I can bring 3 gals to a boil in about 20mins and if it boils over, all I have to do is hose it down to clean it up. My wife was glad I didn't use the stove in the house 8-) Anyway, any help will be greatly appreciated. Bill Weissborn Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 May 1993 14:31:53 -0800 (PDT) From: Peter Maxwell <peterm at aoraki.dtc.hp.com> Subject: another question on sugars In what I've seen so far there has been no mention made of Golden Syrup, a type of sugar common in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Has anyone tried this in brewing? Peter Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 May 93 22:02:19 GMT From: ccicpg!al!brian at uunet.UU.NET (Brian Davis) Subject: Re: Belgian souvenirs Mark asks: >1) Whats the duty rate on alcohol over the duty-free limit (and for that > matter whats the duty free limit)? I got a lot of different replies when I asked this question last year. I brought back 12.5 liters of beer with no problems. >2) Is it best just to pack the beer carefully and carry it on the plane > as extra luggage or to ship it? I boxed the beer up with my dirty laundry as padding. Most of the bottles were wrapped in newspaper and then shoved into the legs of levis. The box went as checked luggage and arrived undamaged. A friend of mine did have some homebrew leak in his luggage once, so you may want to consider lining the box with a plastic bag. >3) Does anyone have any particular recomendations about Belgian beers not > available here that she might easily find there? She will be spending > most of her time in Antwerp. If someone offers her some Delerium Tremmens, have her buy the neat T-shirt with the pink elephant logo, but skip the beer. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 May 93 15:04 CDT From: korz at iepubj.att.com Subject: Re: Lallemand/Adding fruit LYONS writes: >In George Fix's HBD #1140 post he mentioned that the Whitbread yeast >manufactored by Lallemand was "completely unacceptable" due to low >viable cell count. Since Lallemand also produces Nottingham and >Windsor dry yeasts, is their any reason to expect that these yeasts >are acceptable? From my on experience, and also from comments of >many others from this HBD, both Nottingham and Windsor have rather >long lag times. On my last batch with Nottingham I used to packages >of yeast and the lag time was 48 hours. Could this be due to a low >percentage of viable yeast cells? I've used these two yeasts on quite a few batches and have found that rehydration at around 104-110F is very important to get a short lag time. Also, storage is a big factor in viability. I store my dry yeast in the fridge along with the liquid yeast. Even if you store your dry yeast in the fridge, does your retailer? Do they have a week's worth of yeast on the shelf with the rest in the fridge or do they have a year's supply on the shelf? Dried yeast is still alive and has (I believe) about 8% moisture. The Yeast Special Issue of Zymurgy has an article that reports 10% viable dry yeast after 12 months at 68F and 0% viable after 12 months at 100F. Compare this to 80% viable after 12 months at 38F. Shane writes: > There has been some traffic regarding adding fruit to the >secondary. Aside from concerns over bacteria and wild yeasts, >I would caution against adding anything acidic (like the >citrous fruits), because it will kill your yeast and give you >a flat brew. In one of my earlier batches, I added a bit of >orange peel to "liven up" the end product. Complete failure... I disagree. I've not only made nearly 100 gallons of perfectly carbonated fruit beers, but also a very sour pseudo-lambik which was well carbonated. No, something may indeed have killed your yeast, but I doubt it was acidity. Did you use campden tablets to sanitize your fruit? Did you let all the SO2 evaporate before adding the fruit to the beer? The SO2 released by the campden tablets not only kills wild yeasts and bacteria, but can also kill your cultured yeast. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: 15 May 1993 12:40:44 -0400 (EDT) From: WESTEMEIER at delphi.com Subject: Cleveland competition mystery The SNOBS Sampling, a sanctioned competition held at the Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland back in February, was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, things seem to have collapsed after the judging. We have a number of unhappy brewers in this area who have never received their score sheets (I haven't found anyone who DID receive a score sheet). Moreover, when I talked to the AHA yesterday, I found that they have apparently never received an organizer's report, so those of us who judged in this comp haven't received any credit for it. I know that there is a lot of work involved, and I don't know the state of volunteer help in Cleveland, but if anyone has any information as to what happened, it would sure be appreciated. Ed Westemeier -- Cincinnati, Ohio -- westemeier at delphi.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 15 May 93 16:39:26 PDT From: mdcsc!gdh at uunet.UU.NET (Garrett Hildebrand) Subject: Draught packaging; hop growth In HBD 1139, Jim Busch comments on the effect of the new draught packaging on Guinness: [stuff cut] >I can attest to absolutely GREAT canned Guinness. I can, too. I have had it in the bottle and the old can and thought it was utter trash. When I finally got to taste it on tap, I really liked it. I was very surprised when I tried the draught packaging to find that the new canned version was about as good as on tap. I got my first taste of this a couple of years ago when a friend brought some back from the UK. It is just now showing up here in the USA. Of course, if one does not like draft Guiness from the tap, then this can won't change ones mind. Recently, I got to try another brand packaged this same way.This new batch is called Flowers Draught. It is one of the best UK ales I have tried, including many available on tap. I doubt, though, that this packaging would do anything for Bud. It might, however, do a treat for Baderbrau, which is already great from the bottle! HOPS For those people growing hops for the first time, here is another "hop report:" The hops are doing fine. Nugget is still the fastest of Willamette and Cascade. The Cascade took a long while to get going, is slow-growing by comparison and has a more delicate growth in general (smaller leaves). No bug problems so far. I am fertilizing with general-purpose organic fertilizer, and they seem to like it fine. My highest vine is about six feet up the twine (this is the first year.) By the way, the Cascade took a long while to come up out of the ground. gdh Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 16 May 93 8:20:49 PDT From: steve_kenshulo at csufresno.edu (Steve Kenshulo) Subject: Hershey's chocolate syrup in beer I have been thinks about dumping a can of Hershey's chocolate syrup to my next batch of porter. Has anyone ever tried anything like this? I am hopeing the chocolate will have enough unfermentables in it to leave a _slight_ chocolate taste in the beer, without riseing the alcohol content too high. I was thinking about adding a pint or so in with the malt extract, then boiling the whole mess. The only thing that I think might go wrong is the cocoa will be to bitter after all the suger ferments out. Any ideas out there? Steve Kenshalo skenshul at mondrian.csufresno.edu Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1142, 05/17/93