HOMEBREW Digest #167 Fri 02 June 1989

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Re: Old Faithful (dw)
  Measuring Specific Gravity (pisc2b!jnc)
  Heyyo again, temporarily. (mhalley)
  Re:  Homebrew Digest #160 (May 26, 1989) (David Fudenberg)
  Re: Old Faithful (Pete Soper)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 1 Jun 89 08:28:42 EDT (Thursday) From: dw <Wegeng.Henr at Xerox.COM> Subject: Re: Old Faithful There are several factors that can cause a beer to gush out. Some include: 1) You may have bottled the beer before fermentation was complete. This seems unlikely in your case, for 4 weeks in secondary fermentation is usually enough (though I recently made a dopplebock that took about 6 weeks to ferment out). Keeping track of the specific gravity will help eliminate this type of problem. 2) Adding too much priming sugar might also cause this (pure speculation). 3) Bacteria infection. I've heard (and my own experence seems to support) that bacteria infections don't always result in a poor tasting brew. If I were betting on what caused your problem, this is where I'd put my money. As for whether you should continue drinking this brew, I dunno. Any microbiologists listening who would care to speculate on whether contaminated beer is likely to be poisonous? /Don Return to table of contents
Date: Thu Jun 1 16:09:00 GMT 1989 From: attmail!pisc2b!jnc at hplabs.HP.COM Subject: Measuring Specific Gravity I'm a novice homebrewer whose got a couple of questions about measuring the specific gravity of the brew. [As a preface, I'm *not* worrying; my first batch -- a pale lager -- came out quite drinkable, so I am able to relax and have a homebrew. Now for the questions:] * Determining the SG of the batch involves grabbing a sample and measuring its SG. I would think that since the mixture is not uniform (for instance, the yeast and sugar settle), the SG will be greatly affected by merely where one had grabbed the sample. So the question: where is a good place to take the sample? From the top of the brew? The middle? The bottom? If not from the top, how do you get the sample without contaminating the batch? * I've read that bottling can happen when the SG stabilizes: that is, when you obtain the same reading for 3 (or so) consecutive days. Along similar lines of the above question, how does one take these readings while maintaining the sanitized environment? I am reluctant to open the fermenter, especially if I can tell it's time to bottle when fermentation stops. * (This may be the issue underlying the above points.) Am I being obsessive about cleanliness? Just how clean do you need to make everything? On my first batch I used a bit of household bleach and rinsed everything many, many times. I'm wondering how much of this is necessary. I've read in this digest varying opinions on this: everything from: "Make all your equipment as clean as you possibly can to eliminate the potential of nasties developing." to, at the other end of the spectrum: "I ferment in a garbage can with a piece of plywood for a cover". I believe that somewhere between these extremes lies the truth. Any opinions? (We all got 'em. 8-) In advance, I am indebted to your collective wisdom with hopes of better brewing. Return to table of contents
Date: 01 Jun 89 15:28 -0330 From: mhalley%ahab.mun.ca at CORNELLC.cit.cornell.edu Subject: Heyyo again, temporarily. Sorry I missent last message. It's somewhere in mid-air. I have FINISHED my 400-page thesis and am now once more "communicado." HOORAY! HUZZAH! ETC. I have several brief messages to convey. To Roger and Alex in Greater Boston area: I have difficulty contacting you via bitnet. Please send surface address via email (YOURS got through to ME) if you seriously desire meeting & exchange of ideas when I'm going through. Will be able to meet you EITHER sometime September OR next spring/summer. Do not expect to have access to computer facilities after August this year. Would be delighted to bend an elbow and share brewing experiences. To Rob: In case I forget, in the rush of leaving, please sign me off the list as of 1 September 1989. Do NOT, please, sign me off immediately, as I really do enjoy this forum. As for YOU, I think you have done and are doing a GREAT, not to say F_A_N_T_A_S_T_I_C job. You deserve rousing cheers and many bottles of the best available product. Thank you! (There, I've done it, so I don't need to keep reminding myself.) To Jon: Probably in September. If not, possibly in spring, when I start eastward. Keep in touch. To the rest of you: It looks like I will be leaving Newfoundland at the end of August and heading fairly rapidly for California. Will fly back to Philadelphia third weekend in October for American Folklore Society meeting, then on to Newfoundland again for Convocation, toi receive my M.A., and back to Calif. Will be running up and down Pacific coast during winter, living in motorhome. In spring will head back to Atlantic seaboard and will definitely be near NYC, Boston, Halifax. Might possibly be coming by way of Galveston. Am leaving for England in fall of '90. Might also make it to Great Lakes area, but not quite so likely. Anybody who wants to mix pleasurable converse with my fieldwork, let me know. email = MHALLEY at MUN.CA surface = Morgiana P. Halley Dept. of Folklore, MUN St. John's, Nfld., CANADA, A1C 5S7 (till end of Aug.) , c/o Steele 1598 Hillcrest Dr. Arroyo Grande CA 93420 (homebase till leave for UK) I am hopful (that was intentional) of hearing from many of you. Closing with favourite Spanish proverb: Dime lo que cantas, y te dire quien eres. (Tell me what you sing, and I'll tell you who you are). Happy airlocks to all, --Ye Olde Batte Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 30 May 89 06:29:58 PDT From: unet!fudenberg!dfuden at ames.arc.nasa.gov (David Fudenberg) Subject: Re: Homebrew Digest #160 (May 26, 1989) Hello. I've been reading the digest for some time, and I do appreciate it. My question concerns cask conditioned ("real") ale. I've never had any, am am wondering which pubs in the US serve real ale, and what impressions people have of it. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 1 Jun 89 16:52:15 edt From: Pete Soper <soper at maxzilla.encore.com> Subject: Re: Old Faithful Tom Hotchkiss <trh at hpestrh> writes: >Now, I have read in many places that infections can cause geyser like >action. In this case however, once the foaming subsides, the brew smells >and tastes wonderful, in fact it's one of my best. Also, I have consumed This is a description of dextrin fermentation by wild yeast or bacteria and is more extreme the more full bodied your beer is. These animals are slow to multiply which is why it took time to develop. I'd put your remaining bottles in a box inside a garbage bag if I were you and drink it while you can still pour it and before it becomes dangerous (i.e. Old Faithful unchained). The beer will become more thin and more highly carbonated with time. >A couple more notes. I carried out the saccrification step at 158 degrees >to produce a full bodied, sweet beer (this worked). Also, I left the ale >in the secondary for 4 weeks, which I assumed was long enough. Perhaps in >this case I should have let is sit longer before bottling? You don't mention other times and temperatures which might shed some light. The time it took to cool the wort and the pitching temperature and lag time would be interesting to know. Also, yeast preparation would be worth a look. If you measured your wort pH at pitching time that would be handy, since I'm told that a wort with pH over 5.8 is more more attractive to bacteria than one with the usual 5.2-5.5 pH. Why leave your beer in secondary for 4 weeks? Surely it wasn't active all that time? I chill and bottle my ales the moment they finish fermenting which is usually 8 days but once in a while 14 days total from pitching, mainly to get them off the yeast pack and odd bit of trub. But I'm not saying 4 weeks is an infection risk and hope this irrelevance doesn't annoy you but I'm curious. Then there is sanitation. This has been covered zillions of times and we all agree it is important. One of my superstitions is to turn off the AC during racking to have as little air movement as possible. We can clean and sanitize our equipment all day long but can't avoid room air (without expensive equipment). --Pete Soper Return to table of contents
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