HOMEBREW Digest #178 Fri 16 June 1989

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Re: Fruit Beers (dw)
  Dextrinous Porter (Peter Klausler)
  re: bad smell while making lager (Darryl Richman)
  Spices in mead (mhalley)
  A Page From The Brewing Journal (pri=8 Marc San Soucie ms 019-890 x76723)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 15 Jun 89 08:21:09 EDT (Thursday) From: dw <Wegeng.Henr at Xerox.COM> Subject: Re: Fruit Beers Here's a question for all of you fruit beer lovers. Last year I made a blueberry flavored beer, following a recipe that I saw in Zymurgy. The result has wonderful flavor, aroma, and carbonation, but no head. I've of similar experiences from other homebrewers, so one might assume that there is something about using fruit that can affect head formation. Would anyone care to comment on what is causing this problem? I'm thinking about adding some crystal malt to my next batch of blueberry brew, to see if that will help. /Don Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 89 09:34:54 CDT From: pmk at bedlam.cray.com (Peter Klausler) Subject: Dextrinous Porter I brewed a Porter last weekend from 8 lbs. Munton & Fison 2-row pale malt 1.5 lbs. crystal malt 0.25 lb. chocolate malt 0.25 lb. black malt 0.5 lb. flaked barley in the mash. Unfortunately, my mash temp was too high, as I misjudged the quantity of strike liquor, and the mash spent a lot of time in the 160-170 deg F range before I brought it down to 154. Conversion was good (OG 1.048 for 5 gal.) but now, after fermentation with Edme dry ale yeast has settled down to a 1-bubble per 2 minute rate in my carboy, the gravity is 1.024. It is not very bitter (1 oz. Willamette and 0.5 oz Cascade in 90 min. boil, with 0.5 oz Cascade dry-hopped in the fermenter after foam fell); it's sweet, as I feared. I suspect that there's nothing I can do now to turn this sweet stuff into the dry Porter I intended, so my question to this (wonderful!) mailing list is not "How do I fix it?" but rather, "Is this some obscure style that I can claim I intended to brew in the first place?" I guess I need some level of "plausible brewability"! Rob: 400 subscribers? Congratulations! This is a really valuable service; it's fun reading, and has improved my brew immensely. Thanks! Finally, a novice lager-brewing question. I don't have a spare fridge or cool basement to lager in. Is it possible to lager in the bottle in a refrigerator, after a warm primary fermentation? I've tried it once, and got some nasty off-smells. I'm willing to try again if I get some reassurance that it's not a completely lame idea. -Peter Klausler at Cray Research compiler development / St. Paul, Minn. "071i30" Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 89 07:57:33 PDT From: Darryl Richman <darryl at ism780c.isc.com> Subject: re: bad smell while making lager From: dwc at olivey.ATC.Olivetti.Com (Dan Crocker) "A friend "of mine and I have made about four batches of pretty standard looking "lagers. While they were fermenting, they smelled alot like rotten garbage "(a really offensive smell anyway). However, the ales I have made don't "smell anything like that. I heard that this meant that the fermentation "temperature of the lager was too high. The funny thing is that it "doesn't seem to affect the taste to any great degree. Because ale ferments are carried on at higher temperatures, they are more vigorous. The physical action of the ferment can blow off a variety of by products that you don't want in your beer (in large quantities), especially dimethyl sulfide (DMS). This is the cooked vegetable aroma that is often a part of lager beers. In varying degrees of concentration, DMS can smell like cooked corn, cabbage, or even celery. This aroma will tend to be more noticable with the slower ferments of a lager since great quantities of CO2 and various esters are not being created to dilute and mask the DMS. Michael Jackson claims that DMS was a common and desirable part of American Premium lagers 50 years ago, but now is considered a defect. Perhaps that is why AB uses a relatively high primary fermentation temperature for Budweiser. --Darryl Richman Return to table of contents
Date: 15 Jun 89 13:47 -0330 From: mhalley%leif.mun.ca at CORNELLC.cit.cornell.edu Subject: Spices in mead Hi! It's me again. Since my strong suit is metheglyn (spiced mead), I feel qualified to speak to the question of which spices to add. Roger says: "Cinnamon might be a bit harsh... clove, nutmeg, or the other sweeter spices might do better." In my experience, both clove and nutmeg are quite easy to OVERdo, and the result can be disastrous and may not even be rectified by LONG aging. I have shipped my (prize- winning) recipe to this network before. Believe me, it's good, and the minimum aging period is only about six weeks. I don't mean longer aging won't improve it, but it's not only clear and drinkable after the shorter period, it even tastes GOOD. I would suggest that a possible cause of the problem mentioned by Dave could be the use of powdered or ground, rather than whole spices. Maybe Dave could answer that directly. Many people prefer to vary amounts of spices to suit their own taste preferences. I can see that Roger would prefer less cinnamon than some might. But the oils in clove and nutmeg can produce very nasty bitternesses, if they're used improperly or in too large amounts, so don't just leap into the breach. For a small batch of metheglyn (one to one-and-a-half gallons finished), I use 3 lbs. of honey to a gallon of water, and one "grab" handful of stick cinnamon, two cupped handfuls (scant) of whole allspice, and a short palmful of whole cloves. I do not add nutmeg to my basic recipe, although I'm VERY fond of it and can happily add it to almost any other cooking. I don't add it because it's so tricky. I DO put some in my rose-petal mead and my peach mead, but only one or two split nutmegs. Maybe Rob still has my recipe on file somewhere, if you want it. Or you could email me direct. If you expect direct email answer, though, you have to be accessible via bitnet. What I intended to say was that in my early days of mead-making (some ten years or so ago), I tried using ground spices and ruined a couple of batches before I found out what the problem\ was. My foster-brother likes heavy, sweet, spiced fruit meads and has some good recipes for that type. I don't care for them at all. Mine, while not exactly "sec", turn out dry enough for an acceptable table drink. I believe I have previously compared them to a good Moselle for sweetness. My second batch of beer was almost, but not quite as good as the first. I must have either mixed the bottling sugar insufficiently or capped incorrectly, because about half the bottles were flat. No problem in Newfoundland. We have a local beer called "Jockey Club" that is QUITE drinkable. I simply mixed the flat homebrew with Jockey and drank it happily. I have noticed that my brewing colleagues here ALL choose Jockey. It's minimally darker, a bit lower in carbonation, and noticeably better tasting than any other domestic commercial beer here. I wish I could make it available all over North America. It's something I'll MISS when I leave in August. I have a friend here who makes a delightful rowanberry (European mountain ash, dogberry) liqueur. If anyone is interested, I'll see if I can get his recipe. It's strange in that the actual flavour is light, fruity, and sweet, while the "nose" is distinctly remeniscent of freshly-cut lumber. WOODY is a MILD description. Like the infamous moose-turd pie, "It's good, though." Here's how! --Ye Olde Batte Return to table of contents
Date: 15 Jun 89 17:21:10 EDT (Thu) From: hplabs!decvax!wang!mds (pri=8 Marc San Soucie ms 019-890 x76723) Subject: A Page From The Brewing Journal A page from the brewing journal (a lesson in excess): ---------- Batch 8 - July 7, 1987 Crankcase Stout (Stout III) - 1 lb. crushed crystal malt - 1 lb. crushed roasted barley - 1-1/2 lbs. crushed black malt I put these delights into two gallons of water and got it boiling, eventually. Boiled about 10-15 minutes, then scooped out most of the miscellaneous, putting some into another pot to soak with clear water. - 9 lbs. Munton&Fison dark dried malt extract This was somewhat exciting, as by the third bag the sluice was thick enough that the malt balled up extravagantly. Continued application of heat settled things down nicely. - 1 can John Bull dark hopped malt extract As if I really needed more ingredients. - 2 inches brewer's licorice Thick soup, this. I added the juice from the extra pot, black stuff by now, all tart flavor. Two hours after starting, it was finally boiling. - 2 oz. Nugget leaf hops - 2 oz. Galena leaf hops Possibly another 1 oz. of Nugget. I forget. - 1 oz. Cascade hops - 2 packets Doric ale yeast For finishing. Total boil time was about 70 minutes. Literally porridge by finishing time. Turned out to be only two gallons of wort - need a bigger pot for this mess. One boilover didn't help. Took the usual amount of time to cool, then I pitched double yeast and a 1 oz. packet of amylase enzyme, finally retiring for the night after about 6 hours work. Whoomp! exploded the cover off the plastic fermenter. Marvelous mess all over the walls. Had to scoop cubic yards of foam out of the fermenter to get the cover back on. Long secondary fermentation, perhaps 3 weeks. Already intimidated. Heavy, strong, thick. Not really drinkable by 11/88. Interesting, but not completely enjoyable. Too much of too many good things. ---------- Ah, for the innocent days of youth... At least now I know my limits. Marc San Soucie The John Smallbrewers Massachusetts Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #178, 06/16/89
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