HOMEBREW Digest #1743 Mon 29 May 1995

Digest #1742 Digest #1744

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  N2-CO2 mixed-gas systems/finings and haze (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583)
  Last Call:  BUZZ-OFF AHA Competition ("Houseman, David L [TR]")
  Barkeeper's Friend (Jim Larsen)
  bulk yeast starters (Nigel Townsend)
  BarKeeper's Friend/Fining agents (Philip Gravel)
  Re:A Purple Heart For Homebrewing? (StanM13541)
  water software ("terence tegner")
  Dark DME for yeast starters. (Stephen Hudson)
  Unmalted Wheat & wort chiller responses (Jay Reeves)
  re: bad news bungs (Wesley Dunnington)
  boiling extracts (Btalk)
  Comments (Russell Mast)
  Around & about (Joseph.Fleming)
  Pete's Wicked Ale / and Summer Brew  ??? (EricHale)
  Kegging Question (LBRISTOL)
  Styles (Norman Pyle)
  Re: cost, brewing to style (Jeff Benjamin)
  Pete's Wicked Ale - Forgot to mention the YEAST type (EricHale)
  Standards (Beersgood)
  cleanliness (ESMPD)" <gcunning at Census.GOV>
  Styles:  Another View (Martin Lodahl)
  re yeast strains (Tim_Fields_at_Relay__Tech__Vienna)
  nonToxic, crystal malts (HOMEBRE973)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 25 May 95 16:26:00 -0500 From: korz at iepubj.att.com (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583) Subject: N2-CO2 mixed-gas systems/finings and haze Tom writes quoting me: >>If your normal (100% CO2) pressure is 12 psi for your line >>length/diameter, and you are using 75% N2 / 25% CO2 mix, then >>you want to use 48 psi. To your beer, this will look like >>12 psi of CO2 and the beer will stay carbonated. > >Hmmm. Well, yes, to your beer, the partial pressure of CO2 would look >like 12 psi, but to your walls, it would look like... "INCOMING!!!" > >Wouldn't 48 psi of _any_ gas shoot the beer from here to way over >there? Or am I missing something? Well, I just picked the numbers out of the sky, really. Recall that I suggested that the correct pressure should be gotten from a pub owner or the keg supplier. The correct pressure might be 25 or 30 or 35 psi, I don't know -- I was just trying to explain the theory behind how the mixed-gas dispensing worked. Also recall that this would be dispensed from a restricted faucet. If you don't have a true Guinness faucet, I suggested that you could probably get by with only opening your normal faucet a little bit, which would provide the constriction that would imitate the perforated disk in the Guinness faucet. Finally, I believe <guessing mode on> that the shooting out of overpressurized beer is not so much from the high pressure, but more likely from the overcarbonated beer turning to pure foam at the faucet and taking up a lot more space than the liquid that makes up the foam. <guessing mode off> *** Keith writes: >I have noticed a few discussions lately on different fining agents >and their effectiveness. I have also noticed that people referring >to Irish Moss and Gelatin as usefull in eliminating (chill) haze. >Correct me if I'm wrong (like you wouldn't anyway ;-)) but it has >been my understanding that IM is for helping the hot/cold break to >coagulate and settle out (does this have any effect on haze?); >gelatin is used mostly in kegs to help the yeast settle out; and haze >(chill haze especially) is reduced with polyclar. Don't they each >have different uses? Indeed they do have different uses. First, what is chill haze? It is a complex of larger proteins and tannins that becomes insoluble at colder temperatures. There are three ways to reduce chill haze: 1. reduce the proteins, 2. reduce the tannins and 3. make the chill haze settle out. Cold and hot break are mostly protein so using Irish Moss to help settle it out reduces the protein and thus the chill haze. Polyclar (PVPP) removes tannins from the beer as it settles out so it removes tannins. Lagering is one way to make the chill haze settle out. Cold filtering is another. [Gee, if we cold filter, perhaps we could get away without the need to lager so long and we wouln't need so many of these 1,000,000 gallon tanks... hey... I think we're onto somthing here!] I do know that gelatin helps settle out yeast, but I believe it can also reduce chill haze. I'd have to look that one up. If you have starch haze then neither Irish Moss nor Polyclar nor gelatin, betonite, Sparkaloid, Isinglass... etc. will eliminate your haze. If none of these seem to help you get good clarity, starch haze may be your problem. Starch haze can be caused by: 1. adding grain that needs to be mashed (pale, pils, oats, wheat, etc.) into an extract batch without mashing it, 2. sparging too hot (which would release unconverted starch), or 3. crushing your grain into flour and then not doughing in properly (which would produce a lot of balled starch, later washed into the kettle during the sparge). Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 May 95 21:24:00 EDT From: "Houseman, David L [TR]" <DLH1 at trpo3.Tr.Unisys.com> Subject: Last Call: BUZZ-OFF AHA Competition American Homebrewers Association Sanctioned Competition (And BJCP Judged) Beer Unlimited Zany Zymurgists Present The Second Annual BUZZ-OFF Sunday, June 25, 1995, 10:00 AM Valley Forge Brewing Co. Resturant and Pub Gateway Shopping Center, Rt 202, Devon, PA Location/Sponsors This year s competition will be sponsored by Beer Unlimited, BUZZ and the Valley Forge Brewing Co. Resturant and Pub. The event will be open to the public. The awards ceremony will follow the competition. Eligibility The 1995 Buzz-Off Homebrew Competition is open to all non-commercial home produced beers. Enter as often as you wish. Enter as many categories as you wish. Categories The 1995 BUZZ-Off will judge beer, mead, and cider styles recognized by the American Homebrewers Association. AHA categories and subcategories will be used (see enclosed category list). All entries must indicate category, subcategory, and style description. Sake will be enjoyed, but not judged. All entries will be judged according to the style entered. Categories receiving fewer than five (5) entries may be combined with a related category for the presentation of awards. Awards and Prizes Certificates of achievement, first, second and third place ribbons will be awarded in each category or combined category as well as for the BEST of SHOW. BUZZ will secure commercial sponsorship for category winners. A total of up to $1000 in gift certificates will we awarded. All questions and disputes will be settled by the competition organizer. All decisions will be final. Entries An entry consists of two (2) bottles, accompanied by a completed entry/recipe form -- one for each entry. A bottle ID form must be attached to each bottle with rubber bands -- No glue or tape. Beers must be in clean 10-16 ounce glass bottles, free of labels, raised glass, silk screen, or other identifying markings. Any markings on the cap must be completely blacked out. No swing-top bottles. All entries become the property of BUZZ. No bottles will be returned. Entry Fees & Deadlines Entry fees are $5.00 per entry. Make check payable to Beer Unlimited. Entries must arrive between June 7 and June 21, 1995. Entries will not be accepted before June 7 or after June 21, 1995. Send entries to: BUZZ- Off c/o Beer Unlimited Rts 30 & 401 Malvern, PA 19355 Local entries may be dropped off between June 7 and June 17, 1995 at any of the Philadelphia Area homebrewing stores. Packing and Shipping Pack in a sturdy box. Pad each bottle and the inside of the box. Line box with heavy trash bag and twist-tie securely. Pack entry forms, recipe forms, and fees outside the bag. Mark the box Fragile. UPS is recommended for shipping. Beer Label Contest Beer labels will be judged for artistic merit and appropriateness to the style for the label entry. Entry fee is $2.00. Each label must be accompanied by an entry form. In order to show off your labels in their natural environment, submit entries attached to an empty, capped beer bottle. First, second and third place ribbons will be awarded. Delaware Valley Homebrewer of The Year The BUZZ-Off is the final jewel in the local homebrewing crown: The 1995 Delaware Valley Homebrewer of the Year will be chosen based on points awarded from the Hops-Bops, Dock Street, Moon Madness and BUZZ-Off Competitions. Judges We will secure the most experienced, qualified judges possible. We are soliciting qualified judges and stewards from all participating homebrew clubs. Judges and stewards will be awarded experience points toward the Beer Judge Certification Program, which is jointly sponsored by the AHA and HWBTA. Prospective judges and stewards are requested to fill out the attached form. You will be contacted individually to confirm participation and given directions to the contest. Since this year we are holding this event at a new Brew Pub in our area, there is even more reason to come and spend the day out of the hot sun. The competition will begin at 10:00am. Stewards should be present by 9:00am; judges by 9:30am for their assignments. Bed and Brew Judges and stewards from out of the area are welcome to participate in the Bed and Brew program. BUZZ club members are opening their homes for those traveling from some distance who would like to have a place to stay for Saturday June 24th and Sunday June 25th. Please indicate your desire to have a place to stay on the Judge/Steward Registration Form and you will be contacted several weeks prior to the contest. You may enter using the standard recipe, bottle label and judge participation forms or For further information contact: Jim McHale at Beer Unlimited (610) 889-0905 or Dave Houseman H: (610) 458-0743 Competition Organizer W:(610) 648-4071 dlh1 at trpo3.tredydev.unisys.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 May 1995 20:52:05 -0500 (CDT) From: Jim Larsen <jal at gonix.gonix.com> Subject: Barkeeper's Friend I second Bones' (Timothy P. Laatsch <LAATSCH at kbs.msu.edu>) endorsement of Barkeeper's Friend. It cleans wonderfully and does not hurt the stainless. Usual disclaimers apply. Jim Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 May 1995 13:07:45 +1000 From: nigelt at delm.tas.gov.au (Nigel Townsend) Subject: bulk yeast starters I am looking for ways to reduce the time for producing beer and reducing the opportunities for infection. I therefore wonder if anyone has done the following, designed for a 5 gallon batch, and was it successful? About four or five days before brewing, add the following directly into a clean 5 gallon primary fermenter. Take a couple of cups of DME, sugar or the like, throw in two sachets (each described as suitable for 5 gallons) of dried yeast and about I gallon of warm (previously boiled) water and shake vigorously. Add the lid and air lock. On the brewing day, add the wort and additional water directly to the primary fermenter with the yeast starter already in it. If this works, you would have about I gallon of starter ready to go, without a number of intermediate steps to enlarge several step ups of a yeast starter. Whilst not a technically perfect system, would the above, or minor variations be a significant improvement on say simply rehydrating a single sachet of yeast. This thought has come about from listening to the threads discussing large yeast additions used in commercial brewing. I have not yet found a suitable local supply of liquid yeasts, so I use dried. Perhaps a similar approach would work with them too. I would be particularly interested in comments from any one using a similar simple system, or those with a knowledge of yeast habits. Many thanks. Nigel Townsend Tasmania, Australia Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 May 95 21:59 CDT From: pgravel at mcs.com (Philip Gravel) Subject: BarKeeper's Friend/Fining agents ===> Timothy P. Laatsch comments about BarKeeper's Friend: >Thought I would pass along a little cleaning tip and maybe draw some opinions >about it in the process. I have been using Barkeeper's Friend to clean any >and all metal objects in my brewing operation. BKF is a mild abrasive powder >with oxalic acid. It's recommended for cleaning stainless and copper and the >stuff works GREAT! It takes off lime deposits, beerstone, and copper >oxidation, and handles just about any other tough metal cleaning job without >being too harsh (IMHO). I heartily recommend it and thank my mother-in-law >for clueing me in. As always, no affiliation, blah, blah, blah. I bought it >at the local supermarket. Buy it---and enjoy! Oxalic acid is a good reducing agent and mildly acidic. It is useful in removing rust and cleaning lime deposits. But, be sure to rinse well as oxalic acid it is rather toxic. ===> Keith Royster asks about fining agents: >I have noticed a few discussions lately on different fining agents >and their effectiveness. I have also noticed that people referring >to Irish Moss and Gelatin as usefull in eliminating (chill) haze. >Correct me if I'm wrong (like you wouldn't anyway ;-)) but it has >been my understanding that IM is for helping the hot/cold break to >coagulate and settle out (does this have any effect on haze?); >gelatin is used mostly in kegs to help the yeast settle out; and haze >(chill haze especially) is reduced with polyclar. Don't they each >have different uses? Chill haze is generally caused by proteins precipitating from solution when the temperature is dropped. Irish moss helps to remove hot and cold break material. But the break material is coagulated proteins. The more you can remove as break material the less the chance that chill haze will form. Gelatin removes yeast and helps the beer to have a sparkling clarity. Polyclar, I believe, by its somewhat ionic nature binds with proteins and preciptitates them from solution thus helping to prevent chill haze. - -- Phil _____________________________________________________________ Philip Gravel Lisle, Illinois pgravel at mcs.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 May 1995 23:21:26 -0400 From: StanM13541 at aol.com Subject: Re:A Purple Heart For Homebrewing? >From HBD 1740 hbush at pppl.gov (harry) Subject: Re: A Purple Heart for Homebrewing? > I broke my thermometer while mashing and got Mercury poisoning. I >blew off my right arm (lucky I'm lefty) with an exploding Mini-keg. I'm >half brain dead from propane burner-induced CO poisoning. The remaining >half of my brain has gone schizo from lead poisoning because I decant my >brew from crystal vessels. I've been refused life insurance because >homebrewing is listed as a "dangerous" hobby. I'm applying for veteran's >benefits. > The only solution is to brew in aluminum pots so you won't remember your troubles !!! > Enough of that, my real question is: Is my beer ruined?........ > >Harry >.............................................. > >"If it bleeds, we can kill it!"- Arnold S. > .............................................. "If it's dead, we can ferment it!" - Anon. Homebrewer Stan Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 May 1995 08:38:54 +0200 From: "terence tegner" <tegbrew at iaccess.za> Subject: water software 1) I have been following the thread on water treatment software in the old HBD files without finding an answer. Is there any software that can do this for me on a PC with windows. 2) Are their any known correspondence courses in brewing theory available? Siebel institute perhaps? TIA Terence Tegner Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 May 1995 17:06:01 +1100 From: Stephen Hudson <s.hudson at bom.gov.au> Subject: Dark DME for yeast starters. I'm about to pop a Wyeast 1084 (Irish Ale) to brew a few Stouts, is it OK to use Dark dried malt extract to make yeast starters? I have some on hand which won't be going into the brew itself (moved up to all-grain), but want to put it to some use. Cheers, Stephen. - -- Stephen Hudson Finance & Supply Section Phone: +61 3 9669-4563 Bureau of Meteorology Fax: +61 3 9669-4254 Melbourne Victoria AUSTRALIA E-mail: s.hudson at bom.gov.au Return to table of contents
Date: 26 May 95 09:19:28 EDT From: Jay Reeves <73362.600 at compuserve.com> Subject: Unmalted Wheat & wort chiller responses A few weeks ago I threw a post out asking about a counter-flow type wort chiller I built using a PVC jacket. I got several good responses, so if anyone want's to see 'em, drop me a line and I'll send you a copy. On another subject, does anyone have the figures on un-malted wheat? I'm looking for pts/lb/gal and the color it contributes. I wouldn't think it adds to the fermentables (?) but the unconverted starch should add to the OG, shouldn't it? Any info anyone has on how un-malted wheat should be figured into a batch of wit (other than ~50% of grain bill) would be appreciated. -Jay Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 May 1995 09:36:49 -0500 From: wesleyd at harlequin.com (Wesley Dunnington) Subject: re: bad news bungs Unfortunately, you got the only brand that I am aware of that uses the non removable (without great effort) bungs. Dinkel Aker, Grolsch, Chicago Lager, etc, all come with nice soft rubber outer plugs that you can easily pull out and then reuse. I guess if you really want to get them out the cutting wheels in a dremel moto tool would be the best thing. We have cut them off in the past with tin snips, with mixed results. Feel free to write back if you have any questions. Wesley Dunnington wesleyd at harlequin.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 May 1995 09:46:25 -0400 From: Btalk at aol.com Subject: boiling extracts The suggestion was made to not boil prehopped extract wort for fear of driving off the aroma. You most certainly do want to boil! Here are a few reasons: sanitize the wort, maximize hop utilization (bitterness),and protein coagulation (hot break). You could also include to reduce wort volume and to darken the color. Boiling a 'lower' gravity wort increases hop utilization and decreases darkening. Use some Munich malt if you want more maltiness. Add your hops real late or dry hop for hop aroma. Interestingly, Why do you boil wort? was a question on the BJCP exam I took last August. Regards, Bob Talkiewicz, Binghamton, NY <btalk at aol.com> Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 May 1995 09:24:22 -0500 From: Russell Mast <rmast at fnbc.com> Subject: Comments First, in regards to several posts about homebrewers worrying "too much" about sanitation or professional brewers not worrying "enough": In my mind this issue was pretty much cleared up when someone, I forget who, pointed out that the conditions are much different to brew under. When I brew in my kitchen, that's the same room I cook food in, and I poop in the next room over for heaven's sake. In a professional brewery, even small ones, there's usually less need for attention to sanitation, because a lot of that work is already done. > From: "Lee C. Bussy" <leeb at southwind.net> > Subject: Piper's stand > Many a homebrew that was simply divine > defied any attempts at classification. These are meant to be > enjoyed. If you are of the other type of brewer, one who enjoys the > challenge of conformity to style, then competitions provide valuable > feedback. I just want to add that one of the real joys of homebrewing is that you can be both types of brewers. One week, you can try to replicate the "ultimate" Bavarian Weizen, or the "most like Guinness" stout. The next week, you can brew a rasberry/nutmeg honey wheat-germ porter-lager with a hint of molasses in the finish, and all 5 kinds of hops you have in the freezer. I guess what it comes down to is not telling another homebrewer that what they do is "wrong", unless of course they aren't happy with their beer. The only one qualified to pass final judgement on your beer is you, whether or not you get "help" in that judgement from experienced tasters. -R Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 May 95 10:15:48 est From: Joseph.Fleming at gsa.gov Subject: Around & about Russell Mast: |I've always found lurking about as exciting as drinking in moderation. |It's okay, if you like that sort of thing. My new motto. Russell, wanna go in on T-shirts? Style & Creativity: You can tell homebrewers tend to be an retentive bunch when some use style classifications as recipes. Well, hey - constant sanitizing will make anyone anal. It's good to hear from people who think brewing in style means wearing sunglasses during the boil. (That potato mashing post keeps coming to mind...) Q: What do y'all do with your hydrometer samples: drink 'em or toss 'em back in the brew? How 'bout OG samples vs. FG samples? Man, it's almost a pint! Tip corner: Attention siphon impaired! Do you find sinking three pointers easier than starting a sanitary siphon? Do you have fluidity problems with your 8 gal batch and 2 gal boil? Can't bring yourself to play lactobacillus roulette with a mouth siphon? Introducing the EasySiphon! Well, it's that bulb used for siphoning liquids. For those unfamiliar with it, it's a plastic bulb that has two opening with flaps on them. Plastic hose goes on each end of the bulb, the device is rapidly squeezed, and liquid flows through one end, through the bulb, and out the other end. For use in brewing: buy one, dedicate it for brewing, sanitize it before & after use. Put your normal, food-grade racking hose in your nectar of the gods, and create a U shape with the low point of the hose near at or below the bottom of the container. Insert the correct end of the bulb in the other, raised end of the hose (the sucking and not the blowing end...no comments please). Squeeze away and your beer will flow into the bottom of the U. Before it starts to rise into the bulb, remove the bulb, and place the hose end into your beer receptacle or thirsty friend. No fuss, no muss, no non-food grade plastic or lactic acid potential in contact with your beer. If your bulb does not fit snugly in your racking hose and you don't want to take the obvious step of replacing one or the other with the corresponding size: - squeeze REAL fast to compensate for lost pressure (this works!) - pinch the tube around the bulb end with your fingers; less sanitary of course - gear clamp (sanitary) the hose to the bulb; remove once beer is in the bottom of the U Works well with chore boy/racking cane/Venturibernoulli devices. Best of all: cost = $1 or $2. Enjoy. Joe - joseph.fleming at gsa.gov p.s. Is this mercury thread starting to make anyone else pine for the days of the keg crimes thread? Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 May 1995 10:45:05 -0400 From: EricHale at aol.com Subject: Pete's Wicked Ale / and Summer Brew ??? I just cracked a bottle of a Pete's Wicked Ale clone. I take no credit for the recipe. I got a copy of it from Steve Bailey at the Home Brewing and Wine Making Emporium (my favorite home brew store - 800 455-BREW). *Not an ADVERTISEMENT - just an ACKNOWLEDGMENT* I've renamed after my wife... Stacie's Wicked Ale 6.6# Northwestern Malt Extract - Gold 4 oz Chocolate malt 8 oz Klages Malt 8 oz 60 Lovibond Crystal Malt 8 oz Black Barley 1.5 oz Northern Brew Hops at 60 min 1.0 oz Hallertau Mittelfreu at 10 min 0.5 oz Hallertau Mittlefreu dry (in secondary) Steep grains in 150 to 160 degree F water for 60 minutes. Remove grains and bring to boil. Primary for 3 weeks Secondary for 3 weeks Bottled for 2 weeks. (I shoulda racked earlier. But I got busy... didn't even read the HBD! Can you believe it?) Anyway, there are a bazillion Pete's clones out there. This one is sorta close to Pete's. It's got the flavor and color. It's much more rich, though. More hoppy, too. Probably a little too much Barley and Choc Malts. I'll cut them back by 25% next time. ================================================== Anyone got a recipe for PETE'S WICKED SUMMER BREW? ================================================== Er!c Hale Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 May 95 08:10:14 CDT From: LBRISTOL at SYSUBMC.BMC.COM Subject: Kegging Question > ... but did not answer one question: is it ok to keep the CO2 tank in the > fridge with the kegs or does it need to be kept at room temp.? What if any > are the problems and/or dangers of doing so? That's TWO questions (but who's counting?). <g> Information regarding personal experience follows. I have done this both ways - I ran my system with the CO2 bottle inside the cooler for several months, but moved it outside the cooler a few months ago. Opinion - it is OK to have the CO2 bottle and regulator inside or outside. Other than the readings on the pressure guages (more on this below), the only difference pertains to the amount of moisture to which the regulator is subjected. Perhaps someone with good technical information can explain why this is significant. It is my understanding (momism?) that such exposure shortens the useful life of the regulator. Of more importance (to me, anyway) is the fact that the pressure guage(s) on your regulator will give dramatically different readings depending on the gas temperature, and you need to adjust your pressure calculations accordingly. A bottle containing liquid CO2 at room temperature will show a pressure around 850psi; let that same bottle stabilize inside your cooler at (say) 45F, and the same guage will read only about 500psi. There is no less CO2 than before; it merely exerts less pressure. The readings on the low pressure (output) side of the regulator are similarly effected. The kicker is that the regulator is a mechanical device that (essentially) operates in the same way regardless of the temperature. If you set it to deliver 17psi at room temperature, it will deliver 17psi at 45F, 55F, 85F, 105F, and so on. However, the amount of CO2 actually "delivered" to your keg(s) will be significantly different. 17psi/70F is significantly LESS than 17psi/45F; the equivalent amount of CO2 is only about 10psi/45F. You have to interpret the reading on your CO2 pressure guage(s) based on the ambient temperature of the gas. The best situation is where the CO2 bottle and regulator are at a constant known temperature, enabling you to interpret the readings without constant adjustment. Such conditions apply inside your cooler! They also apply outside of the cooler if still within a temperature controlled environment such as inside your house or apartment. The worst situation is where they are in an uncontrolled environment, such as outside the cooler sitting in your unheated/uncooled garage. That's where mine is right now, sitting outside the cooler on my patio. The high pressure readings vary anywhere from 500psi to 1200psi depending on the weather; the low pressure reading, however, never varies. To complicate matters, the pressure coming off that regulator is used for delivery of soft-drinks; I have an in-line regulator (INSIDE the cooler) to step the pressure down to that needed for delivery of my beer. The nice thing is that since this regulator is inside the cooler (at a constant temperature), the outside temperature variations only affect the soda and not the beer. <VBG> - -------------------------------------------------------- | Larry Bristol | A brave, Zen-like effort! | | SYSUBMC.BMC.COM | | | (713)918-7802 | ... but it fails. | - -------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 May 95 9:17:40 MDT From: Norman Pyle <npyle at hp7013.ecae.StorTek.COM> Subject: Styles Joe Wirtz writes, about the article slamming the concept of brewing to styles: > Excellent article that I FULLY agree with! I brew beer that I like not >really caring what it's style is. > A few years ago I was involved with a club that ONLY brewed to style - >these folks were obsessed with trying to create one style or other. With >every >meeting being a contest to see who could brew to the 'style of the month' - I >hated it. My beers never fit into their styles, and thus I never fit into >their club. I disagree with much of what was said in that article. Brewing to styles is about technique, yes, definitely. But without technique, where are you? If you cannot brew a beer to a goal (style), then you cannot brew the beer you want to brew, whatever its style. The same can be said for cloning certain beers. If you can brew a beer that is very similar to another (clone it) then you have gained some skills to serve you well in the future, when you decide to unleash your creativity. If you like Pumpernickle Barley Wine, which all would agree is not to any particular style, how will you brew it? If your technique doesn't allow you to control your results, then you will brew the beer, and maybe like it, maybe not. So you give it another shot, maybe you like it, maybe not. Give it another shot, ad nauseum. Without some skills for pre-determining the results, it is a total crap shoot. Now maybe the club you mentioned was a bit overboard, I don't know, but it may be that they were just trying to become better brewers. Brewing to styles is one very good way to do that. A final comment: there are some styles which allow such creativity within them that you may really like them. Many of the Belgian styles are this way; the Belgians use the styles as tools, rather than shackles. Check it out. Cheers, Norm Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 May 95 9:50:09 MDT From: Jeff Benjamin <benji at hpfcbug.fc.hp.com> Subject: Re: cost, brewing to style Derek (Elde at aol.com) wrote: > IMHO, homebrewers spend to much time worrying about > relatively minor amounts of $$. (Witness the heroic efforts > expended to reculture yeast.) In general, I agree (although not about yeast reculturing -- when you're brewing all grain, a pack of WYeast can be the largest single expense). Remember all the discussion about how to remove the soda-pop-syrup odor from keg o-rings? For crying out loud, a set of brand-spanking new gaskets costs $1.50. IMHO, it's nice if you can save a dollar or two, but I doubt that most of us brew to *save* money. If you factor in our valuable time, it's a big net loss :-). On the subject of brewing to style, Gerald_Wirtz at vos.stratus.com wrote: > A few years ago I was involved with a club that ONLY brewed to style - > these folks were obsessed with trying to create one style or other. > With every meeting being a contest to see who could brew to the 'style > of the month' - I hated it. My beers never fit into their styles, and > thus I never fit into their club. I don't think everyone needs to brew perfectly to some abstract style, but personally, I'm leery of homebrewers who don't even seem to know what they've made: "Well, this is a stoutly-brown-pale-ale-barley-wine kind of thing; I don't know what you call it but it tastes pretty good." I've heard a number of comments from such homebrewers. The beers can even be quite good, but if they don't seem to know how to manipulate ingredients to get something they want, I have to suspect the rest of their process as well. You don't have to brew to a pre-defined "style" (we all know they're arbitrary anyway), but I do expect a good homebrewer to understand what they're putting into the kettle. I'd rather hear someone say, "This is kind of a brown ale, but with extra dark malt and German hops" than, "I made this but I don't really know what it is... try some." At least with the first, I have some idea what to expect, whether I'm judging it in a competition or just swilling a pint. - -- Jeff Benjamin benji at fc.hp.com Hewlett Packard Co. Fort Collins, Colorado "Think! It ain't illegal yet." -- George Clinton Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 May 1995 13:24:02 -0400 From: EricHale at aol.com Subject: Pete's Wicked Ale - Forgot to mention the YEAST type I forgot to mention the yeast type I used in that Pete's clone. I used harvested Bell's Amber Ale yeast. I've been told that it's just Ameican Ale Wyeast (1056?). According to the yeast.faq, Wyeast 1056 is reported to be Seibels BRY 96 =-=--=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= BTY for those of you still using dried yeast... stop it now! I get lazy every now and then and just pop in a dry yeast package. Yuk. IMHO, It's the biggest difference you can make in your beer. =-=--=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Er!c Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 May 1995 13:24:38 -0400 From: Beersgood at aol.com Subject: Standards To quote one key phrase, Sam Piper wrote: "The more we succumb to beer style standards, the less room there is for the individual, be that person a consumer, a brewer, or a business man." I think this is a misconception of the purpose of a standard. The idea behind a standard, at least in beer, is to give us some point of reference. Afterall, it would be terribly arrogant of me to think that I could brew a superior brew to Guiness upon my first effort. If Guiness is that standard then I have an idea of what I'm getting into. Millions of people have affirmed that Guiness is an excellent beer, who would I be to suddenly tell them they are all wrong? Let's have some respect for the brewers who have gone before us. Of course, the great thing about brewing your own beer is that your own subjective tastes can be indulged. You can, with experience, make a superior stout to Guiness. When you bring that beer to others for their opinion, they will use their subjective tastes to decide if it is better than other beers. If it is a stout they will compare it to their favorite stout. If you don't care what they think, then don't ask them and just enjoy it yourself. If we do away with standards and claim that all beer is equal then you are allowing for Budwieser, Miller, and anything and everything that has been fermented to stand together. Instead of rebeling against standards and throwing away the past let us rejoice in the achievements of others and strive to build upon that foundation. And if you think that the judges have been unkind or unfair then become a judge yourself, and let your subjective taste buds influence things a bit! Dave Petersen Crete, NE Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 May 1995 13:50:30 -0400 (EDT) From: "Jerry Cunningham (ESMPD)" <gcunning at Census.GOV> Subject: cleanliness Bill Rucker wrote: >Also awhile back there was a comment about homebrewers being too >cautious about cleanliness. I would like to hear some other opinions >and facts from those who care to comment, especially from those who I don't know if all homebrewers are too cautious, but the people who post here sure seem to be. I just sanitize with bleach, 1-2 tsp/gal - depending on how clean I feel. I also only sanitize 48 bottles per batch, and if I have extra beer I just fill _unsanitized_ bottles (collective gasp!!!). I've never tasted bleach (I always rinse) and I've never had a problem from sanitation in a year and a half, that I can tell. (My Annapolis Lambic-style Brown Ale was another story though! Jerry's helpful hint-of-the-day: don't leave your kitchen window open, in summer, with open fermentor full of very warm wort - duuuhhh.) For what it's worth, - Jerry Cunningham Annapolis, MD ps I'm chugging a nice tall glass of mercury right now. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 May 95 10:57:34 PDT From: Martin Lodahl <malodah at kriek.scrm2700.PacBell.COM> Subject: Styles: Another View I'd like to offer an opinion on the question of the validity of brewing to style. As I'm Styles Editor of Brewing Techniques magazine, a long- time judge and contest organizer, and a recent addition to the BJCC, you can guess what that opinion is. This question seems to come up now and then. Why is it an issue? If you can't personally relate to brewing within an agreed-upon set of intentions and standards, then don't do it! What could be simpler? What is it to you, if others have decided that they can speed their growth as brewers by using the feedback they get from contests? Personally, I think they're on the right track. Yes, contests impose an artificial set of standards, and in fact the concept of styles is an after-the-fact means of classifying beers as we find them. Without styles, though, judging becomes meaningless; all you can say about a beer is either, "May I have some more?", or "Take this sheepdip away!" What's being judged in a contest is what the brewer's intentions were, and how close they came to realizing those intentions. The motto of the builders of the Gothic cathedrals was "Ars sine Sciencia nihil est;" they understood that intentions aren't worth much if you can't carry them out. Technical competence is not enough to make a beer a winner, unless the other beers in the flight are a pretty sorry lot (which happens). To be creative within narrow limits is a difficult art to practice. It asks a lot of a brewer, but pays amazing dividends to those who master it, especially if they plan to turn pro. I personally would never consider investing my own money and effort in a commercial brewery if I didn't feel I could very precisely "visualize" a beer, and then produce exactly what I'd visualized, repeatedly. To do otherwise is to rely pretty heavily on luck. I know this sounds like a condemnation of those who choose to ignore styles, but that's not my intention. I've been handed many tasty and interesting beers by brewers uninterested in styles and standards. But the only truly great beers I've had, beers of remarkable depth and truth, came from people who actively sought the evaluation of their work by others. In my neighborhood, chicken farmers never cull their own flocks, but ask a neighbor to do it for them, so their feelings won't get in the way of their judgement. So it is with our brewing. We can blind ourselves to things that keep us from growing as brewers. If you already brew exactly the beer you want to brew, then fine, don't change a thing. - Martin = Martin Lodahl Systems Analyst, Capacity Planning Pacific*Bell = = malodah at pacbell.com Sacramento, CA USA 916.972.4821 = = If it's good for ancient Druids runnin' nekkid through the wuids, = = Drinkin' strange fermented fluids, it's good enough for me! (Unk.) = Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 May 95 13:58:59 EST From: Tim_Fields_at_Relay__Tech__Vienna at relay.com Subject: re yeast strains In HBD 1741, Darren Robert Gergle <dgergle at umich.edu> asks: >anybody know of any good documentation on yeast strains and the >differences in many different types of yeast available to us >homebrewers. Try the yeast FAQ. It has very good descriptions of MANY MANY yeasts. Available via FTP from the archives ( see the HBD header), and also (I think) via WWW from the likes of Spencer's Beer Page. No affilaition with the yeast or the internet or Sir Spencer or WWW, etc. Tim Fields Timf at relay.com Relay Technology, Inc. Vienna, VA, USA "The smell of wet Irish moss is like a trip to the beach" ... James Ray "Reeb !" ... Cask-Conditioned Cole & Old Speckled Clyde Let's hear it for extract brewers (cheers from the audience) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 26 May 1995 14:22:12 -0400 From: HOMEBRE973 at aol.com Subject: nonToxic, crystal malts Nobody responded to the body of my post re: getting a dark purple iodine test when steeping cra pils from Dewolf-Crosyns. should crystal malts give positive starch tests when they are not mashed. The steep was at 170 F for 30 min. Andy Kligerman homebre973 at aol.com Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1743, 05/29/95