HOMEBREW Digest #1496 Tue 09 August 1994

Digest #1495 Digest #1497

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  Re: local yeasts (Bill Slack)
  Steam beer (Adrien Glauser)
  Worry (Stephen M. Cook)
  Re: Isolating wild yeast (Erik Speckman)
  Repitching yeast (David Rodger)
  chanterelle beer (Henry E Kilpatrick)
  green priming (Bart Thielges)
  Secondary/finings/dry hopping/re-culturing questions. (Midas Operator 3)
  mead time and oxidation questions (Dick Dunn)
  Review of Homebrew Favorites (Chris Kagy)
  Re: Waste water management (Robert F. Dougherty)
  Cloudy pale ale; Dry hopping? (Karl Elvis MacRae)
  WORRYSUM WHEAT (djfitzg)
  Vienna & Budapest Request (FSAC-PMD) <pburke at PICA.ARMY.MIL>
  Brew Pub info in Crystal City VA (W. Mark Witherspoon)
  Re: Fast Fermentation w/ EDME yeast ("Joseph E. Santos")
  New Revision of Hops FAQ (npyle)
  Illegal brewing? (PSTOKELY)
  Yeast Mystery ("Thomas Kavanagh, Curator")
  Alt Question (Mark Worwetz)
  Re: agar plate sterilization (Adrien Glauser)
  Re: Troubleshooter? (Dion Hollenbeck)
  water and yeast questions (DARREN TYSON)
  Advice on 15 gal electric boilers/BruHeat (Greg Ames)
  Re: Waste Water (SUMMARY) (Tom Wurtz)

****************************************************************** ** NOTE: There will be no digest administration from July 27 ** through August 7. PLEASE be patient when requesting changes ** or cancellations. ****************************************************************** Send articles for __publication_only__ to homebrew at hpfcmi.fc.hp.com (Articles are published in the order they are received.) Send UNSUBSCRIBE and all other requests, ie, address change, etc., to homebrew-request@ hpfcmi.fc.hp.com, BUT PLEASE NOTE that if you subscribed via the BITNET listserver (BEER-L at UA1VM.UA.EDU), then you MUST unsubscribe the same way! If your account is being deleted, please be courteous and unsubscribe first. FAQs, archives and other files are available via anonymous ftp from sierra.stanford.edu. (Those without ftp access may retrieve files via mail from listserv at sierra.stanford.edu. Send HELP as the body of a message to that address to receive listserver instructions.) Please don't send me requests for back issues - you will be silently ignored. For "Cat's Meow" information, send mail to lutzen at novell.physics.umr.edu
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 6 Aug 94 07:10:58 EDT From: hpfcla.fc.hp.com!wslack!wrs (Bill Slack) Subject: Re: local yeasts Jeff Benjamin asks about finding a suitable native yeast in Colorado to make a completely local ale: Jeff, is there a local apple/cider industry in Colorado? I have been making cider for years here in New England using only the yeast that naturally occurs on the apples. Some of these yeasts have been isolated by our club's yeast expert and the cultures have been used to ferment ciders, cysers, meads and even a barleywine. You might find one that is suitable for your ale. My suggestion: ferment out some local cider using only the yeast that is in the juice and isolate that yeast. Or just find a local apple tree, pick an apple, don't wipe, rinse or wash it, cut it in half and put it into a quart of sterile wort. Let it ferment (may take a while). Drink the resulting "apple beer". If you like it, use that yeast. You could also try other local fruits such as grapes or berries. If you try this, please post the results. Bill __ wrs at gozer.mv.com (Bill Slack) Return to table of contents
Date: 06 Aug 1994 02:29:29 GMT From: Adrien_Glauser at tvo.org (Adrien Glauser) Subject: Steam beer Looking over several HBDs I saw a thread about "steam" beer. I would like to know just what is a "steam" beer. Is it an ale or a lager and what in it's creation warrants the use of "steam" in its name? This is just for my curiosity, and if anyone has perchance a recipy could they please send it to me. Also, I'm now starting keging. I am concerned with the sanitation of kegs as I am now dealing with rubber and steel and no longer Silicon. Is there any specific sanitizing chemical for kegs and what is the best way to use it on a keg. If someone want's a summary of what I get drop me a message. E-mail: Adrien_Glauser at tvo.org Brummbaer, the midnight brewer. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 1994 12:14:14 -0800 From: scook at kaiwan.com (Stephen M. Cook) Subject: Worry I am beginning to worry about a procedure I am using. After boiling my wert etc. it is full of the hops and needs to be strained. So, what I have been doing, is cooling it all in the main boiler with a copper wert cooler, to 75 deg (to prepare for pitching) and then straining it into another bucket. It worries me that now that it is cooler, it can become infected as the straining takes some time. If I strain it hot, I would have to put it back into the boil kettle again (which is full of crud) to cool it. Is there a nice neat procedure which protects agains the uglies, allows it to cool (so I can pitch) and also straines out the hops leaves etc. Maybe I can cool it in the bucket with the wert cooler, but it is plastic, and doesn't lend itself o cooling as quickly. Thanks in advance Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 1994 14:09:57 -0800 From: especkma at romulus.reed.edu (Erik Speckman) Subject: Re: Isolating wild yeast >Date: Wed, 3 Aug 94 9:55:00 MDT >From: Jeff Benjamin <benji at hpfcbug.fc.hp.com> >Subject: Isolating wild yeast > Jeff wants to isolate a wild yeast to go with his Colorado malt and hops. >I imagine the procedure (greatly simplified) would be something like this: > >1. Set out a plate of yeast-hospitable medium for a day or so. >2. Using a microscope, pick out single cells of yeast that look like > they may be of different varieties. (How might I do this?) >3. Place each "single cell culture" onto its own plate or slant to grow. >4. Try each yeast strain in a test batch (1 liter?) and rate its > characteristics. I would try something more like this: 1. Place a 100 ml culture of starter media outside for a 3-6 hours. 2. Grow overnight. 3. Plate 1-2 ml of 1x 1/10th, 1/50th 1/100th and 1/500th dilutions onto large plates. This ensures that you can pick individual colonies 4. Grow 18-24 hours. Check that the colonies don't get much larger than 5 mm. You can place the plates in a cool area to slow growth if you don't have time to pick colonies right away 5. Pick individual colnies with an innoculating loop or an autoclaved toothpick to make test batches. 500 or 250 ml might be more practical than 1 l. Each colony represents the product of a single cell and should be pure. I don't know if you would find anything. I haven't actually tried this but it should be easier than picking individual cells with a microscope. I don't know how you would avoid bacteria though? Broad spectrum anitbiotics? Selective media? _____________________________________________________________ Erik Speckman especkma at halcyon.com especkma at reed.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 1994 19:27:05 -0400 (ADT) From: David Rodger <drodger at access.digex.net> Subject: Repitching yeast Hi - I've read the yeast faq, but am slightly confused on one issue. I'm moving to liquid yeast cultures, and the cost is encouraging me to try to re-pitch from one batch to a second. Currently, that's all I'd like to be able to do; that is, I'm assuming that I'll make one batch, and then rack from primary to secondary and *immediately* add the new batch. So, I'm not interested in storing the yeast culture, or restarting it, or any of what the faq seems to be talking about. I'd originally assumed that I could rack off the wort, and add the new wort to the fermenter and be done with it. Obviously, that doesn't seem like it's going to work. So, should I follow the directions in the FAQ for YEAST WASHING FOR THE HOMEBREWER, and plan on storing my yeast starter, or is there some simpler way to do what I'd like? Thanks for any advice you can offer. - Dave - ----------------------------------------------------------------------- David Rodger drodger at access.digex.net Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 1994 20:26:43 -0400 (EDT) From: Henry E Kilpatrick <hkilpatr at mason1.gmu.edu> Subject: chanterelle beer With all the rain here in the mid-Atlantic, chanterelle mushrooms are rather plentiful. I think they'd be better served with beer than as an ingredient in beer. However, I have heard of a chanterelle licquor. So -- has anyone out there ever heard of a mushroom beer (that is, one using edible mushrooms rather than those that get you high. I presume the latter has been attempted & I really don't want the recipe if it has). Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 94 15:44:24 PDT From: bart at nexgen.com (Bart Thielges) Subject: green priming Chris Strickland asks : > 1st: Why can't you just bottle early inside of priming? I've wondered the same thing. My guess is that it is too hard to determine "when". In order to determine the time to bottle, you need to know fairly precisely how much more fermenting the yeast has to go. This varies with yeast varieties, grain bills, temperatures, etc. Too many unknowns. Its more reliable to just let the yeast ferment out and then add a controlled amount of fermentables. Another advantage of letting the beer ferment out is that the bulk of the yeast will sink to the bottom and you can rack the beer away from the dead yeast. If you bottle green beer, you also bottle the yeast in suspension. I've experimented with green beer bottling. I did so with caution though : the capped bottles are isolated in an leak proof bag of their own in case the beer decides to escape. Also, I sampled a specemin from the green batch frequently to monitor carbonation. I got lucky in each experiment got proper carbonation. However, I didn't let any of them sit around long enough to get overcarbonated. Good luck ! Bart Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 7 Aug 94 13:52:01 EST From: <mop3 at BoM.GOV.AU> (Midas Operator 3) Subject: Secondary/finings/dry hopping/re-culturing questions. I recently posted a few questions about secondary fermentation, but afterwards came up with some more! Sorry, I couldn't cancel the other message. The other questions were about secondary temps. for a Sorta (tm) Pale Ale I have in primary at the moment, which I'd still like answered. The questions I now have relate to the yeast I'm using in this batch, Wyeast #1098. My first two batches used Cooper's dry ale yeast from kits. Fermentation was all done after about two days(!), I then racked to secondary. With this yeast (#1098), after 4 days I'm still getting a bubble through the airlock every 15 seconds. How long should I wait before I rack this batch? In the first two batches I also used isinglass finings, the instructions said use 1-2ml per litre and "mix the required amount with 500ml of the brew to be cleared. Add to bulk and stir gently" I just added 25ml to the bottom of the secondary and let it mix as I drained the primary in. How does this sound in practice? Should I really be bothered using finings, or just let it sit longer in the secondary to clear? I want to dry hop this batch, after racking. Should I put the (whole) hops in the bottom of the secondary and then fill, or fill first and place the hops on top? How long should they be secondary for best results and should they be in some sort of hop bag, or is loose OK? Lastly, I want to re-culture this yeast from either the primary or secondary. Which one would be better to use, assuming the secondary should have less junk in the trub? Return to table of contents
Date: 7 Aug 94 14:12:04 MDT (Sun) From: rcd at raven.eklektix.com (Dick Dunn) Subject: mead time and oxidation questions Regarding a couple of semi-related questions about mead ferment time and handling...first: > I have had a batch of mead going for 12 days now. Has been fermenting > vigorously the whole time. Smells fine (as such things go) but I am > beginning to worry if fermenting for this length of time so actively is > normal... That's perfectly normal. Mead takes longer to ferment than beer. The admonition about worrying applies to mead as well as to beer, but the key word about mead is "patience". > ...I used 13.5 pounds of light honey in a Williams Brewing Co. > "mead kit" and followed the directions. Did not take hydrometer reading Assuming a normal 5-gallon batch size and typical honey, this would have given you a starting gravity somewhere around 1.100-1.110. THAT is why the crazy thing is still fermenting vigorously after almost two weeks...you've given the yeast a lot of work to do! BTW, note that unless you're using a yeast that's not very attenuative, final SG will be below 1.000...don't jump the gun and bottle it when it gets to a beer-like FG. > ...Carboy is in water bath at 80 degrees F in pantry... Could stand to be a bit cooler than that. 80 is OK, but 70-75 is gentler on the yeast and will still keep fermentation moving right along. Nial McGaughey responded to comments on keeping mead in carboy for a while: > > I've got a batch of mead that has been aging in the carboy for a few > > months after fermentation was finished. It's been racked several times, > > so I doubt that there is any more CO2 headspace on top of the mead... ... > If you havent been popping the fermentation lock off of the mead, you > shouldnt have any problem, I had a mead that took 6 months to fully ferment > out, and the flavors to mellow... But the original comment noted several rackings. In that case, with the mead now nearly still, it IS quite possible to have enough air in the carboy, and not enough CO2 to blanket the surface of the mead, that it will start to oxidize. No, I'm *not* just saying this based on theory, by the way...unfortunately. It's not rapid and it's not catastrophic, but it will harm the character of the mead. The best description of the effect of oxidation on mead is a "sherry-like" character...to understand, taste a bit of fino sherry--cheap is OK for this:-)--at room temp. (Oxidation effects in mead taste very different from oxidation in beer.) If you've got mead sitting around waiting for it to clarify, one help is to keep the carboy topped up after each racking. You can also buy a can of the "preservative" gas intended for keeping wine in a bottle after it's opened, and use a couple shots of this in the carboy each time after you rack. (The gas is not dirt cheap, but you'll get a lot of uses out of a can...and if it saves you from both worry and oxidation, it's well worth the cost.) > look into using Bentonite (its a clay..) as a clarifier. 2 applications are > usually what it takes to get your mead crystal clear, and hopefully take any > oxidization(if you have it) components with it... Definitely, if you're letting mead sit around a long time just to clarify, you should go ahead, fine it, and get it into bottles. Bentonite is a good choice; gelatin also works in other situations (more likely to work for melomels, probably not much use for traditional mead). However, fining won't remove the effects of oxidation. The only way to deal with oxidation is to prevent it from happening in the first place. - --- Dick Dunn rcd at eklektix.com -or- raven!rcd Boulder, Colorado USA ...Simpler is better. Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 07 Aug 1994 17:09:48 From: chris.kagy at his.com (Chris Kagy) Subject: Review of Homebrew Favorites Hey folks, thought you'd like a bit of a review of Mark Stevens & Karl Lutzen's new book, Homebrew Favorites. Lest you think this is advertising, I have no connections with anthing, much less with the conception, preparation, or distribution of this book, etc. Homebrew Favorites is published by Storey Publications of Pownal, Vermont and has a MSRP of $12.95 US/$17.50 Canadian. For those that may have to order the book specially, the ISBN number is 0-88266-613-4. Messers Lutzen and Stevens had, before compiling this book, gleaned recipes from the HBD and compiled them into the Cats Meow, versions 1 and 2. For Homebrew Favorites, they sent out a request for people to send in their best recipes from which the best of the best were culled and finally published. There are more than 240 recipes all told and the vast majority have nice introductions provided by the brewer, detailed brewing instructions and a record of the OG, FG, etc. Unlike the recipes in Cats Meow, all of these beers seem to have been sampled somewhere down the line BEFORE the recipe was shared and printed. The recipes are divided into 11 chapters. Within the chapters recipes are broken down into sections that correspond roughly to sub-styles. The introductory chapter is a brief discussion of recipe formulation that serves as a refresher--it does not, nor was it meant to, be the last word on creation of recipes. The authors refer interested readers to Dave Miller's book for reference. Each of the 10 recipe chapters opens with a brief description of the style with typical OG measurements, color and bitterness levels. Then the recipes start! By and large, that's it! There are chapters for Pale Ales, Brown Ales, "Regional Ales" (including Scotch, Strong Ales, German Ales and Belgian Ales), Porters, Stouts, European Lagers, American Lagers, Specialty beers, Fruit beers and Meads. Not every option is explored under these chapters. Remember, the authors only included recipes that they had been sent that warranted publication. If there's no Belgian Tripple Pumpkin ale (which there isn't, thank God!) its not because it can't be done, its because no recipe for Belgian Tripple Pumpkin ale was sent in or was suitable for publication. The authors appear to want this to be an ongoing project, because a form is included in the book to simplify submission of your own award-winning recipe. For someone who's really getting into designing recipes and is looking for a reference to see how the other guy did his beer, this book is a good purchase. It sits right next to the Cats Meow II on my beer shelf, not far from the Classic Beer Style books I've purchased. -chris Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 7 Aug 1994 18:08:25 -0700 From: wolfgang at cats.ucsc.edu (Robert F. Dougherty) Subject: Re: Waste water management In HBD #1494, twurtz at neocad.com (Tom Wurtz) writes: >I have somewhat of a newbie question. I've been solely an extract brewer >for several years and am gearing up to switch to all-grain. I know >what I need now and plan to obtain all that stuff within the next few >weeks or months (I'm in the process of moving and my new home will >have a great brewery in the basement). I plan to make an immersion >chiller, because of the relative ease of making one. My question is >this, here in Colorado, (and I imagine all over the west) we technically >live in a desert and it's considered evil to waste water. I estimate >running water through a wort chiller for 10-20 minutes would send >upwards of 50 gallons down the drain. Do any of you people have convient >ways to reuse the water? What's the word, water conscious brewers? > >t > >ps. maybe I should collect the warm water into a tub and give my dogs a >bath every time I make another batch o beer. they would love me for >that. Well, clean, fresh water is also a valuable item here in Santa Cruz. I generally use several methods to conserve. Here they are: - I only use a gallon of sanitizer solution (swooshing it around- makes brew day more of a workout! :-) - I use less than a gallon of boiled rinse water (again, lots of swooshing) - I pre-chill the water going into my chiller with a copper coil in an ice + salt bath (be careful, as the water may freeze in the coil if it's not flowing.) - I have managed to work it so that I am washing a load of dishes while chilling, using much of the waste water to rinse the dishes (this also helps with the SO- a fully cleaned kitchen after brew-day can do wonders for domestic relations!!) - the rest of the waste water is stored in plastic buckets and used to water plants. So, I guess ideally, most of the water is not really "waste water". (I'm also pretty conserving of water on non-brew days, so a little excess once or twice a month is morally justified. I figure my beer uses less water over all than the big green lawns that some others around here maintain.) ****************************** While I'm here, I'll re-ask a question I posed a while back. While Spencer Thomas did respond to my question about adjusting the mineral content of our tap water here to brew a pilsner, (use distilled water to soften the tap water significantly), one issue was left unanswered. How many PPM of calcium does a gram of calcium chloride add to a liter of water? I really like this stuff, as it allows me to produce "softer" ales, but I am really shooting in the dark when I use it (I've just been using amounts similar to what I would use for gypsum.) thanks, bob dougherty wolfgang at cats.ucsc.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 7 Aug 94 22:30:39 PDT From: Karl Elvis MacRae <batman at cisco.com> Subject: Cloudy pale ale; Dry hopping? I just bottled a pale ale that contains my first attempt at dry hopping. The recipe I used was: 7lbs Briess gold (light) extract syrup 1lb 20l crystal 1oz 5.7% AA Cascade hop pellets (60 min) 1.5 oz "" (30 min) .5 oz "" (10 min) 1 oz "" (Dry hop in secondary) (OG 1.049 - FG 1.011) The beer is *very* cloudy. Could this be because of the hop *pellets*? It's been in the secondary for almost three weeks now, and still has not cleared. (It tastes fine, if a little sharp (But I'd expect this with the dry hopping; experience says the hop bite should mellow to the right level by drinking time)) Thanks- -Karl Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 94 08:24:24 EDT From: djfitzg at VNET.IBM.COM Subject: WORRYSUM WHEAT Greetings, I recently brewed my second all grainer, and starting to worry a bit, i may have messed this one up. My 1st all grain was a great pale ale, which many of my friends have said is a fine brew indeed. My second brew went something like this: 6 lbs. 2 row pale malt 3 lbs. german wheat malt 1 oz. mt. hood hops(whole) 4.5% alpha yeast was a reused, wyeast 3056. i used a single step mash at 150-155 deg. for 1.5 hrs, and a 1 hour sparge to yield approx 6 gallons, boiled for 1 hour and added hops in last 30 mins. fermentation was active for 3 days, and i bottled after a week. i started to worry when i bottled this beer was cloudy to a point of being almost white. its been in the bottle only a week, and i tried one to see if ive been worrying for nothing. truth is, this stuff lacks both taste and body... hopefully it will change drastically in the next 2 weeks. should i have done a step mash? or is my recipe flawed totally? private email please, keep the flames. djfitzg at vnet.ibm.com dan fitzgerald. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 94 9:03:45 EDT From: "Peter J. Burke" (FSAC-PMD) <pburke at PICA.ARMY.MIL> Subject: Vienna & Budapest Request Greetings, I'm planning a trip to Vienna & Budapest in early September. Can anyone recomend good/decent breweries (w. tours) or brewpubs ? Also, any touristy stuff to do (between bars of course !) Thanks in advance, please send reply direct to me: pburke at pica.army.mil Pete Burke Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 1994 09:35:36 +0500 From: mwithers at hannibal.atl.ge.com (W. Mark Witherspoon) Subject: Brew Pub info in Crystal City VA I am going on a business trip and will find a couple of evenings nearly free. I would like to sample some of the local wares in the Crystal City area. I will be staying about 5 blocks from the Metro stop in the Hyatt. A ride to Washington DC is not out of the question. What locations are available there?? Mark Witherspoon mwithers at atl.ge.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 1994 09:58:17 -0400 (EDT) From: "Joseph E. Santos" <jesantos at WPI.EDU> Subject: Re: Fast Fermentation w/ EDME yeast In regards to Bill Harrigan's question concerning a 12 hour activity period using EDME dried yeast> Bill, My last four brews have all included EDME dried yeast. All of the primary fermentations have been completed in 3-4 days with the initial activity lasting no longer than 24 hours. My first thoughts were there was something wrong (contamination,bad batch of yeast, too high a temp,etc.) In talking to my supplier and fellow brewer this seems to be normal for the EDME yeast. All of my batches were fermented at 75F with excellent results. The best indication of complete fermentation is a specific gravity. If your not doing them, start,or you can wait 3 days and it will probably be ready to bottle. ENJOY! DR J Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 94 7:58:21 MDT From: npyle at hp7013.ecae.StorTek.COM Subject: New Revision of Hops FAQ There's a new revision of the Hops FAQ out at the stanford archive site as of today (8/5/94). Here's part of the intro paragraph: >This is the fourth revision of this document. There are no major changes >from revision three, I've just attempted to clarify some things. I've also >added more opinions (mine and others) because as I research this subject, I >find that facts are not nearly as abundant as opinions ;-). Actually, >opinions and personal experiences are about as good as you can get when >referring to enigmatical concepts such as aroma and taste. Hard science this >is not... As always, feedback is welcome. As far as getting your own copy, I've had several people tell me that they're having trouble getting stuff from the archive. Please note that archive sites are doing us a big favor. What they ask in return is that we don't abuse the privilege. One of the ways we abuse the privilege is to try to access large files or access more than a couple small files during peak hours of the machine. The stanford archive site will usually just silently ignore you after the third access during the day. Try to use it during off hours and consider the time zones. Thanks for your cooperation. Oh, the FAQ is about 45K, which I don't consider "large", but every access counts, i.e. getting the help file is one, getting the index is two, and getting the file is three. Any mistakes and you'll have to wait until the machine isn't so busy. Good luck and good reading. Cheers, Norm Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 1994 10:13:03 EDT From: PSTOKELY at ea.umd.edu Subject: Illegal brewing? In response to Charles S. Jackson's post on Illegal Homebrewing: I have a homebrewing friend who was stopped by a cop in Shepherdstown WV for some traffic violation or another, and the cop noticed the car was full of beer cases and homebrewing equipment. My friend told the cop that brewing up to 200 gallons a year was legal and that the bottled beer did not have to show a tax stamp because it was exempt from taxation and that there were no empties and he hadn't drunk any and.... The cop didn't buy any of it. He confiscated all the beer (2 cases) AND his wort chiller and his capper and tubing and hoses. He left the Corona mill and the 33 quart kettle because, the cop said, they COULD be used for cooking while this other stuff is useable only for brewing lcohol which is illegal in West Virginia. My buddy argued with him but you can guess who won. The cop did NOT write him a ticket for anything other than the traffic violation. After he heard the story, a buddy who lives in Morgantown WV said he had heard that brewing was illegal in West Virginia, but didn't worry about it because he bought his supplies in Frederick Maryland. He called a lawyer the next morning who didn't know whether brewing was illegal or not, but advised that we were not likely to get any equipment or beer back from Shepherdstown without a fight costing more than it was worth. Bottom line: I don't know whether homebrewing is illegal in West Virginia, but it may as well be! Paul S. in College Park, Maryland "You speak in strange whispers, friend, are you not of The Body?" Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 1994 07:43:33 -0700 From: Richard B. Webb <rbw1271 at appenine.ca.boeing.com> Subject: The beginners guide to advanced and all-grain brewing Yet another installment of The beginners guide to advanced and all-grain brewing By Richard B. Webb, the Brews Brother's 1993 Homebrewer of the year part 3 The Mash 2. Sugars, Extracts and adjuncts Brewing requires sugar to use as food for the yeast beasties. In ancient times, the only source of sugar readily available was to be found in the hives of bees. Honey, exposed to rain water in the trunks of trees where bees had built their hives, might have been spontaneously fermented by "wild" yeasts, and likely would have yielded mankind's first experience with the joys of alcohol. Today, we seek to make something a little more palatable. the most common form of sugar is made from distilling the sweet sap of certain plants, such as sugar cane, or sugar beets. This sugar, called sucrose, is white and granular in it's purest form, and is most suitable for putting on your corn flakes. Speaking of corn, the most easily fermentable type of sugar comes from corn. This sugar, called dextrose, is light and powdery. But each of these sugars come from giant processing plants, a process far removed from what we as brewers can come by on our own. Let us first deal with sugars that we can create ourselves. 2.1. All grain brewing: Where does the sugar come from? Anything with the right kind of sugar can be fermented, and most any kind of starch can be converted to the right kind of sugar. Fermentable sugars used in beer have traditionally been made from barley, a seed grain which has little use outside of brewing, but any kind of seed grain can be used to make fermentable sugars. The body of a seed contains mostly starch. When a seed is planted, special chemical compounds, called enzymes, convert the starch, which the embryo inside the seed cannot use, into special sugars, which the embryo consumes in it's early stages of growth. (The yolk of an egg performs roughly the same function for chickens, but we mostly don't try to ferment poultry...) We go out of our way to collect special seeds that have shown that they are especially well suited for supplying us with fermentable sugars. We then encourage (some say trick) the seeds into converting this starch into sugar by controlling certain temperature, moisture, and other environmental needs. This process is begun at the great malting houses, and, in my case at least, is completed in my garage. Warmer temperatures (over 153 degrees Fahrenheit or so) encourage the type of enzymes, called alpha enzymes, that convert long chains of starches into medium length chains of sugars, called dextrins, which don't ferment very well, but are necessary for a well made beer. Temperatures below that encourage the beta enzymes, which convert the chains of dextrins into fermentable sugars. In order to get a good balance of fermentable and non-fermentable sugars, we seek to achieve a balance of temperature of around 150-153 degrees Fahrenheit. The process by which seeds are made ready for brewing is called malting. When the seeds are bathed in warm water under conditions of continual aeration, they begin to germinate. This germination is interrupted by the maltster, who dries and sometimes roasts the partially germinated seeds. It is this drying and roasting process that determines the ultimate color of the malt sugars extracted from the malt. Barley that is taken farther along in this malting process is called well-modified malt. Historically, this type of malt has lent itself to English style ales. When you buy ale or pale ale malt from your friendly neighborhood brewery supply store, you are buying well-modified malt. Other types of malt, referred to as under-modified, or lager malt, are of course, less well modified. This means that the malting process has not proceeded along as far as is the case with the well-modified malts. If you desire to get the maximum amount of extract/sugar from your malts, you need to know how to treat these two kinds of malt. Otherwise you're throwing money into the compost pile in the form of starch and sugar that you've neglected to remove from the malt. While we call these malts ale malt and lager malt, these terms are pretty much subjective. There is nothing to stop you from using an ale malt with lager yeast, or vice-versa. For all intents and purposes, the only difference in the malts is the method best used to get the maximum amount of sugar from the grain. Rich Webb Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 94 09:56:47 EST From: "Thomas Kavanagh, Curator" <TKAVANAG at ucs.indiana.edu> Subject: Yeast Mystery Back in early June when I did my last brew session before the weather got hot, I started a 'regular' Wyeast London--the U- Pop-It variety, not the Advanced no-popping kind--in a 1020 short wort starter. By adding pints of wort over the course of a week, I gradually built up about a 1/2 gallon of liquid with about an inch of slurry on the bottom of a gallon jug. I then split the starter in two, using one quart for my house Old Fields Pale Ale, and putting the other quart in the 'fridge under an airlock. Well, the weather changed, at least temporarily, and I was getting low on brew, so I planned to spend yesterday (Sunday, 8/7) brewing. On Tuesday, I got the starter out from the 'fridge, warmed it up to room temp, and started adding short wort. Proceeded as normal up to 1/2 gallon, and split the starter in two again, planning to do 2 batches, and salvage yeast from the secondaries. The first batch was another Old Fields: 8# pale malt 1/2 # crytsal (added at end of mash) 2 1/2 gal water single temp infusion mash in oven at 150F for 120 min (went shopping in meantime); mashout; sparged with 5+ gal (product: 6+ gal before boil) Boil: 1 oz eroica 60 min 1 oz bullion 1 oz cascade } both 45 min 1/2 Fuggle 1/2 EKG } both 30 min 1oz cascade 15 min [yes, I am a hop head] rehydrated Irish Moss at 30 min. cooled with immersion coils; product: 5+ gallon; OG 1048 pitched with 1 quart starter at high kreusen; attached 3/8" blow off tube; bubbling within 90 minutes Now, I am not an all-grain snob; my second batch of the day was a Stone Hills Ale: 4# Alexanders extract 3.3 # MF extra light } boiled in 3 gal water; Boil: 1 oz Bullion pellets 45 min 2 oz Fuggle 30 min 1 oz Cascade 15 min Cooled, topped up to 5 gal; pitched as above; again bubbling within 90 minutes. Thus, I had two carboys with very similar contents: each had 5+ gal of ca 1050 beer, pitched no more than 120 minutes apart with w/ more or less equal volumes of the same yeast. Now the mystery: this morning I find two carboys acting very differently. The Stone Hills Ale (extract) was actively roiling, bubbling 3+ times/second; thick (2") head covered with hop pellet residue. On the other hand, the Old Fields (all-grain) was puttering along at only one bubble every 2 seconds; there was a 3/8" layer of globs (of yeast?) on the surface, and other similiar globs slowly rising and falling. I did not take gravity readings this morning. What's happening? Am I witnessing the oft-noted 'flocculent' character of Wyeast London? Why is only the yeast in the all- grain batch doing this? Is just because it is 2 hours ahead of the extract and when I go home tonight both will be the same? Other data: outside daytime temp yesterday: high 79 " overnight temp: low ~55 Your thoughts are always welcome. TIA tom k Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 1994 09:08:58 -0600 (MDT) From: Mark_Worwetz at Novell.COM (Mark Worwetz) Subject: Alt Question Howdy from Zion! I recently fell in love with the Wyeast European Ale (1338?) yeast. It has been very faithful to me and we have had several delicious children together ;-). In a recent thread I remember reading that this yeast was an Alt yeast, so I followed an Alt recipe that sounded good and whipped up a batch. As with most of my first attempts at a style, I try to taste some of the best commercial brews of that style for comparison. Now, finally, to the point: What good Alt beers are available? I have been to our state liquor stores (not much selection) and have seen no mention of the word Alt on any labels. If you have a favorite(s), please let me know. I know some of you are shy! You know who you are! Don't let that stop you from replying! Doggone it, people LIKE you, and it's OK! (Howdy to Tim in Summit!) Curiously yours, Mark Worwetz (Mark_Worwetz at novell.com) Return to table of contents
Date: 08 Aug 1994 15:11:15 GMT From: Adrien_Glauser at tvo.org (Adrien Glauser) Subject: Re: agar plate sterilization In response to Mark's inquiry of HBD 1495 >From: Mark Gugel <mdgugel at mtu.edu> >Subject: agar plate sterilization >I plan to begin streaking several of my favorate yeasts in agar. I have read >some literature on how to prepare agar, sterilizing the wort, etc., but >I can't find a suitable means for sterilizing my dishes. I bought two sleaves >of disposable dishes from a chemical supply store, and when I tested one of >these in my pressure cooker it melted into a nice little ball. Would someone >kindly suggest the accepted procedure for sterilizing plastic culture dishes. >Thanks, As you already know these plastic dishes don't do heat, hence the best way to sterilize plastic dishes is to irradiate them with gamma radiation. You will have to check out from the place you procure these dishes if they are irradiated. If not you can have them done, hopefully, and a local hospital, research lab or at a university. (I have a friend who works at a local hospital who sterilises my dishes for me.) Here it's good to have connections. If that does not look at all possible you can use a solution of 75% alcohol (warning flammable!!) for 30 minutes where afterwards you should seal and let the dishes sit for a few days with a bit of agar and watch if anything grows. I hope this helps. If you need more just E-mail me and I'll dig around for more info. E-mail: adrien_glauser at tvo.org Brummbaer, the midnight brewer Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 94 08:20:39 PDT From: hollen at megatek.com (Dion Hollenbeck) Subject: Re: Troubleshooter? >>>>> "Don" == Don Put <dput at csulb.edu> writes: Don> In the latest issue of BT, Dave Miller talks about RIMS saying Don> that "it pumps the whole mash - grain and all - around and around Don> through a tube that contains a heating element . . . ." Now, I Don> was under the assumption, never having seen a RIMS "in the flesh" Don> so to speak, that it was the liquid, hence the Recirculating Don> _Infusion_ Mash moniker, that did the recirculating. Have I Don> misread all the RIMS info I've seen? It seems that the diameter Don> of the piping in the schematics I've seen wouldn't allow the mash Don> to recirculate. Did the "Troubleshooter" send a round into his Don> foot? Most certainly did. I will have to pick up that issue since I have not seen it yet. If you are supposed to recirculate the mash, not the wort, then why did I spend money on a false bottom???? Also, all the pumps recommended for RIMS are not of the type which would allow recirculation of a slurry, they are definitely for liquids only. Don> Also, he claims that "the RIMS design does not clarify wort." Don> This is in direct opposition to Rodney Morris' statement: Don> "Recirculation of _wort_ . . . produces a brilliantly clear Don> liquid by the end of the final temperature rest." If it does not clarify wort, then I have no idea where the clarity in my wort is coming from. Sounds like Dave Miller is quite far off base in his statements. I will look at the article closely and see if he has made any other blunders. Dion Hollenbeck (619)675-4000x2814 Email: hollen at megatek.com Staff Software Engineer Megatek Corporation, San Diego, California Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 08 Aug 1994 11:12:10 -0600 (CST) From: DARREN TYSON <TYSONDR at SLUVCA.SLU.EDU> Subject: water and yeast questions Hello fellow homebrewers, I have a question or three regarding water for homebrewing. I work in a lab and have access to distilled/deionized and reverse osmosis (RO) H2O and am (currently) an extract-only brewer. In Papaizian's TNCJHB section on water he states that dried malt extract (and I'm assuming liquid as well) contains all the minerals (ions) necessary in the brewing process. My questions are: 1) If I use the ddH2O from work and dried malt extract won't the concentration of ions be dependent on how much DME I use? 2) If only use a small amount of extract do I need to add ions or is there enough in the DME? 3) Is there an optimum range of ion concentrations that yeast do best in or does it vary greatly per strain? 4) Should I just relax, don't worry...? On a different note, I will be trying to isolate yeast from different brands of commercial brews by streaking plates with the dregs of the bottles. I will let people know if I find any filtered beers that still have usable yeast left in the bottles. Thanks in advance for your replies. May all your beer be hombrewed, Darren tysondr at sluvca.slu.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 08 Aug 1994 12:10:08 -0400 (EDT) From: Greg Ames <tga at maelstrom.timeplex.com> Subject: Advice on 15 gal electric boilers/BruHeat I've been thinking about converting a half-keg to a 15 gal boiler with a built-in electric heating element. Can anyone give me advice or hints on this? I've seen a few "keg->15 gal kettle" posts, but nothing on adding an electric element. While I'm on the subject, how is the "BruHeat"? How do people like this kettle? How big is it, where can I find one, how much is it? Why electric? I'm thinking about moving my operations from the kitchen to the basement laundry room, where I have plenty of space, water hookups (washer), exhaust ducting (from dryer), and a 240V dryer outlet. It's just that I'm not comfortable with a LP-gas jet engine in my basement (O2 use, CO output, big open flame). Opening the windows may solve the O2/CO problem in the summer, but that's not really an option in Mass winters... :-) Thanks, Greg Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 94 10:01:18 MDT From: twurtz at neocad.com (Tom Wurtz) Subject: Re: Waste Water (SUMMARY) Okay here's a summary of the responses I received about what to do with Waste Water. First, my estimate of 50 gal/15 minutes cooling was high. Although the responses were varied in actual amount (6-8 gal - 20 gal), the gist of the matter is that you don't want to run the water on high for the duration of the chill. Richard Goldstein writes: > The general rule of > thumb is that you want the water exiting the wort chiller to be as > close to the current temp of the wort. > So, the initial exiting water from the immersion chiller will be very > hot. After a few minutes you will see that it gets noticeably cooler. > You can run the initial bit of water pretty fast, but as it cools, slow > down the water flow so that you are getting the hottest outflow > possible (ie the greatest heat transfer possible per gallon of water). He also suggests: > The other thing you need to do is to move the immersion chiller around > a little to prevent temp gradients from forming. You don't want cooler > wort hanging around the coils while there is hotter wort elsewhere. I assume the movement here is as little as you can get away with so as not to agitate the wort too much before it reaches fermentation temp. Most folks collect their waste water in gallon jugs, carboys, etc, some just run the hose out of the house to the garden. I would probably collect the first runoff into jugs so as not to shock the roots of my plants with near boiling water. Either that or pour that water on the weeds. Looks like my idea for washing the dogs with the water is about as viable as any other. A couple people used the leftover water to fill the washing machine. Beware though, since the first few minutes of runoff is very hot and you could run some colors. Best advice is to use the water for whites. I have several ideas now, thanks to all those who replied. I would guess that winter brewing lends itself more to the washing machine idea, while summer brewing suggests garden watering. Then when the dogs get skanky I can slip in a dog bath every couple months. t Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1496, 08/09/94