HOMEBREW Digest #1826 Fri 08 September 1995

Digest #1825 Digest #1827

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  Mini-Keg with regulator? (BF3B8RL)
  Blood, Spice, Fusels, 7, Starters, home, grape. (Russell Mast)
  Vigorous boils/cleaning CF chillers/7 gal carboy headspace (Algis R Korzonas)
  sdf (Algis R Korzonas)
  More "Under The Lid" (CHARLIE SCANDRETT)
  Kasteel bier (blacksab)
  Absinthe (Mark Stevens)
  signature/trippel ("Albert van Sambeek P1-CPI tel. 013-791743")
  Yeast Starters from sludge (Tom Neary)
  bottle labels (DONBREW)
  Bottle Labels (William_Swetnam)
  Removable Labels ("ASTOR, Andy")
  Results of no head on beer question (Michael A. Genito)
  pumpkin ale (Edward F Roseman)
  RE slow ferment startup (Tim_Fields_at_Relay__Tech__Vienna)
  Info for lurkers ("Taber, Bruce")
  labels on caps, NOT bottles! (PatrickM50)
  yeast starters ("Anton Verhulst")
  Empty Fermentation Lock (Joe Pearl)
  Poor Extract efficiency (Rich Hampo)
  more on labels/weizen ? (SPEAKER.CURTIS)
  Multi-Subject. (Russell Mast)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 6 Sep 1995 14:24:30 -0400 From: BF3B8RL at TPLANCH.BELL-ATL.COM Subject: Mini-Keg with regulator? Someone recently asked about using a "carbonator" with a regulator/CO2 tank to force carbonate a couple of mini-kegs. One concern was that the keg might explode. My experience is with these kegs is that they "boink" out under too much pressure. I've had to throw out several kegs b/c of overpriming or mis-judging the FG of my brew. Amazingly, the keg's bung held, while the keg itself distended into permanent distortions. As always, YMMV. But I have some questions that perhaps the collective could answer. While I like the portability of the minikeg, I mostly dispense my beer at home. And I simply hate to spend all that brewing $$ on those #* at at &% CO2 charges. Does anyone know of a way to attach a CO2 regulator outlet to the "gas end" of my minikeg tap? Is this what the "carbonator" is for (if so please explain how this works)? What do you set the regulator for dispensing a minikeg? A reference to a past HBD on this subject is just fine. Any advice would be great -- an excuse to ease my way into a full keg setup under the guise of saving on CO2 charges! TIA, Chas Peterson Charles.B.Peterson at BELL-ATL.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 1995 14:17:34 -0500 From: Russell Mast <rmast at fnbc.com> Subject: Blood, Spice, Fusels, 7, Starters, home, grape. > From: Carl Etnier <Carl.Etnier at abc.se> > Subject: Re: Grape Beer?//a labelling story > In Sweden we have good grape juice concentrate available for > winemaking, 20-25 l of juice concentrated down to 5 l in a process > similar to making malt extract syrup. Dr. Kardac's and Rulle's are > the two brands I have had good results with (usual disclaimers); I > don't know how widely available they are outside of Sweden. Not sure about those brands, but home-winemaking is pretty popular in the US. I know Alexander's makes a line of grape concentrates. > From: aesoph%ncemt.ctc.com at ctcga.ctc.com (Aesoph, Michael) > Subject: Homey Home Brew... > Does anyone out ther know of a brew that's made using all basic home > cooking type ingredients? You can make mead with just honey, water, yeast, and patience. You can even do it with bread yeast if you really want. > From: Alex Sessions <ALEXS at RIZZO.COM> > Subject: yeast starters > As I understand it, the main reason for using a yeast starter is to > increase the number and activity of yeast organisms when pitching, so > that the desired yeasts will ferment sugars in the wort much more > quickly than the inevitable few microbrial contaminants, minimizing > the off-flavors contributed by those bad bugs (OK so far? other > reasons for yeast starters?). The reason to increase the number of "good" organisms is more than just so they outcompete the "bad" ones. Having more good ones makes better beer either way. Also, I have thought, perhaps wrongly, that the reason the "good" ones work better with a starter is that they get a foothold. You see, once beer gets to a certain alcohol and pH level, it's much more difficult for, say, lactobacillis to take hold, even if you pitch more. Before you get to that level, the bad bugs take hold much more easily, even at lower pitch rates. So, even in the same proportions, you favor the good bugs by pitching more, because they create an environment hostile to bad bugs, at a rate determined by their pitching. So, in a regular wort, if you pitch 1 cell of lacto and 100 of yeast, the environment is better suited for lacto, and they take over before those 100 yeast really get going. If it's a million versus 100 million, those 100 million yeast can CHANGE the environment fast enough that the 1 million lacto don't get a good start, and perish before they seriously damage your beer. Those numbers are simply made up. In fact, the whole thing is, but it sounds plausible. After all, yeast eventually make the environment unsuitable for themselves if there's enough sugar. It's the same reason molds naturally produce antibiotics - to muscle out the competetion. So, it's not just proportion of bugs, its the proportion of bugs to the starter volume. > From: THaby at swri.edu > Subject: Nitrogen Purge > > Hello All, > Due to breaking the only 5 gal. corbouy I had I was fortunate enough to find > a good supply of 7 gal corbouys at a salvage yard near San Antonio. What I > would like to know is, How is the air space in one of these 7 gal containers > going to effect the brew of a 5 gal batch, and has anyone ever purged the air > space with nitrogen to remove the oxygen? Just wondering. Just make 7 gallon batches. Seriously - 7 gallon carboys are GREAT for use as primaries, just let the head space be head space like in a plastic primary, and then rack to a 5. In fact, I can check UPS costs, maybe we could trade 1:1 for a couple. > Date: Tue, 5 Sep 95 12:02 PDT > From: howe at shemp.appmag.com (Aubrey Howe) > WARM FERMENT: > My last batch (still fermenting) is a honey spice beer (See below, > too). I put a pound of Raw honey in it for the last fifteen minutes > of the boil. Nothing new, except I have never used RAW honey -- > always cooked. The weird thing is this: On morning two of vigorous > fermentation, I found the carboy warm to the touch! I did not take an > actual temperature reaading, but I would guess it was around 80 to 85 > degrees F. I have a very bad feeling about this. IMBR? or will I > just have fusels and esters in my beer? I don't mind Ester: I know a > woman named Ester, and she is nice. I thought she was pretty nasty. Anyway, I don't think the high temp is due to the honey. Cool it off if you can - you may have fusel development. > SPICE ADDITION: > We're still on the same batch above now, and as I was adding the > yeast, I realised that I had forgotten to add the cinamon to the beer. > I usually add it with the finishing hops, and boil for no more that 3 > minutes. I think the boiling gives me more "extraction" than > dry-cinamoning will in the secondary. My question is how many sticks > should I add? Should I crush them first? Should I use ground cinamon? > I was going to use one tsp ground cinamon in the boil. That's very little cinammon for a 5 gal. batch. I'd dump a lot of whole sticks into the beer without boiling, but then I'm nuts. (Maybe 10 sticks at 4 inches each.) > From: Steve Alexander <stevea at clv.mcd.mot.com> > Subject: Transylvania Style Ale - was - Airborne yeast/Mini-still in Re: to the guy who got acquitted for having his blood fermented. I knew someone falsley convicted, later overturned, for DUI because she had a cut on her lip. (At least that's what they concluded was the reason for the false breathometer reading...) I'm not sure we're getting all the facts in this case. Either way, I'm appalled. 0.25 % is ridiculously high, enough to kill some people on the spot. (I think 0.4 is the generally accepted max. but I'm not 100% on that one.) -R Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 95 17:36:15 CDT From: korz at pubs.ih.att.com (Algis R Korzonas) Subject: Vigorous boils/cleaning CF chillers/7 gal carboy headspace Charlie writes: >Speaking of rolling boils, modern brew kettles have an inverted cone bottom to >create a vigourous boil without wasting lots of energy on latent heat. (i.e. >creating steam) It takes 31,425 kjoules... <snip> >of it. It makes sense to sparge closer to your desired volume and achieve the >mechanical vigour of the boil with geometry rather than massive vapourisation. <snip> I'm afraid that I barely got a C in thermodynamics and it was quite a while ago, so I don't really understand the math and therefore cannot confirm or deny Charlie's info. I would be interested if someone could verify that indeed "creating steam" is not important to "getting rid of unwanted volatiles like DMS." Intuitively, I would say that it is important, but would be willing to be convined otherwise and learn something new. However, amidst the math, Charlie says that it makes sense (to him) that we would want to sparge closer to the intended final volume. Well, from an energy savings perspective, yes, but to get the same OG, you would need to use more grain and would subsequently throw out a bunch of good sugar with the spent grain. Typically, I take 7 gallons of runnings for a 5 gallon batch and then boil away 1.5. The last .5 gallons is usually lost to break and trapped in the hops. Also, (sorry, I'm not picking on you, Charlie, really) I think that your idea of using a fishing sinker to thread a gun cleaning pullthrough into a counterflow chiller is, in theory, much tougher to do in practice than it sounds in theory. *** Tim writes: >What I >would like to know is, How is the air space in one of these 7 gal containers >going to effect the brew of a 5 gal batch, and has anyone ever purged the air >space with nitrogen to remove the oxygen? Don't worry about the headspace... neither when you use the 7gal as a primary or a secondary. When you initially put the 5 gallons of wort into the 7 gal carboy, you WANT oxygen dissolving into the wort, right? Secondly, when you transfer the fermenting or just-fermented-out beer into the secondary, the CO2 that comes out of solution during the transfer (it's inevitable) will purge out any air that might be left in the headspace. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 95 18:20:46 CDT From: korz at pubs.ih.att.com (Algis R Korzonas) Subject: sdf Bruce writes: > In yesterday's HBD, W. Ruccker asked about calculating extract >efficiency. I WANT TO KNOW TOO ! Russell Mast asks if there is any truth >to C.P.'s claim that grain husks have lots of lactic bugs. I WANT TO KNOW TOO! I don't know how much "behind-the-scenes" question answering others do, but I post my answers 99% of the time. When I pass on a question, it is usually because I don't have the right book here with me, I haven't had enough personal experience in the particular area (heck, some people write *books* without enough experience, but that's a different story) or I'm just too darn busy... In any event, to answer Russ's question, yes, pale and pils malt husks are a plentiful source of lactic acid bacteria, but "sour mashing" as this is sometimes called has the problem of being rather a crap shoot. According to what Greg Noonan has written (in BT, I believe) temperatures in the low 120's (F) tend to maximize lactobacillus activity, but there are a great deal more things in there than just lacto bugs. I've smelled some sour mashes that really smell like barf. I've read also, that this should be ignored and that one should press on with using the soured mash. Providing an anaerobic environment will reduce moulding, but the odds are still against you. Just for reference, here's part of W. Ruccker's original question: I have just completed my first attempt at all grain brewing. I am curious about how to find my extraction efficiency. I have seen several posts on this in the past but as I wasn't brewing all grain they were passed over. I hate to ask the same questions over and over but can someone provide me with a usable formula and hopefully a brief description of how it all goes together? I would really appreciate it. The problem with extract efficiency is that it is based upon the extract potential of your grain. This is not an easy number to get. You can go by what Miller says in his book, but these are just averages (or ranges) for all the grains of a particular type (Pale, Pils, Wheat, etc.). The actual extract potential will vary from crop-to-crop, from one maltster to another, even if you can get the extract potential (this would be from the fine grind extract % on a malt analysis), it is only the average lab result for several small samples out of a very large batch. Ageing and storage conditions will affect the potential even more greatly. A much more practical approach is to buy grain in bulk from a trusted supplier, guess at your points/lb/gallon when you formulate your first recipe and then note how many points/lb/gallon you got from that grain. Calculating pts/lb/gal is as simple as multiplying the number of gravity points you got (1.045 is "45 points") times the number of gallons you got and then dividing by the pounds of grain you used. Typically, pale barley malts will give you something between 27 and 33 pts/lb/gal. If you get a lot less, post your procedure and results (including your water analysis, grain bill, grain age, how crushed, lauter system, sparge time, runnings volume, etc.) and hopefully someone will be able to help you iron out the problems. Should you take the SG and volume measurements pre-boil or post-boil? I would take both. Your pre-boil pts/lb/gal will tell you how good your mash and lauter went (and maybe how good/bad your grain is) and your post-boil pts/lb/gal will tell you what numbers to use when forumlating your next recipe (post-boil will account for losses due to break and wort trapped in your hops). *** John writes: >After a couple dozen batches of ale, finally think I'll try a lager. >Can anyone point me to some good net sites to help out? Specifically Isn't there a lager FAQ? I know someone was working on it. >looking for information on pitching temps (yeast and beer shouold be the >same temp, I assume, but what temp? Cool down to 55? Cool down to >whatever ferment temp you're aiming for?) It depends on the yeast you use, I feel. My experience is that Wyeast Munich (#2308) will create noticable esters even during a 24 hour period between 60F and 65F. The traditional way to brew a lager is to gently cool the starter down to fermentation temperature (say, btw 45 and 55F, again, depending on the yeast) and then cool the wort down to that temperature too. A popular shortcut is to pitch at 65F or 60F and then cool down to your fermentation temperature when you see activity. This may work with some yeasts, but may create unacceptable levels of esters with others. My experience with higher temperature (60-65F) lager yeast ferments is quite limited. I would be interested in other's experience using various yeasts and whether or not you got noticeable esters. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 95 19:08:34 +1000 From: CHARLIE SCANDRETT <merino at ozemail.com.au> Subject: More "Under The Lid" Jim Busch sent this interesting reply to my question, Me<As I understand we boil because the desired reactions are endothermic and need the heat to isomerise etc etc Jim>True for hop util, it will increase some in higher temp boils. Me<Also gases are formed and carried away by the boil removing byproducts we <don't want, like DMS. Jim>Yes, SMM is the precursor to DMS and this is the major reason for vigorous uncovered boils. Me<I can see that some byproducts might condense on the lid and drop back into <solution, but this would be only a few seconds Jim>Condensation is a major source of nasty hop bitterness that you dont want back in the wort. All major breweries have a condensate trap to divert this into the drain from the stack, dont want it back in the wort. Me<This interests me as I have built a 115L pressure cooker to 5 atmospheres/150C to kill all bacteria spores. I intend to boil at 5Atmos pressure for 20 minutes and then at 1 Atmos. The "and then" is yet to be calculated, I don't know if the reactions are linear in their temperature relations or not. Jim>I'd advise getting to 1 ATM as soon as a boil starts. You will have increased caramelization/melanoiden formation in a pressurized cooker and if hops are present this is a problem too. You want at least 60 minutes of vigorous uncovered boil to drive off SMM. If you are just making yeast starters, dont add hops and it might be OK. OK, I've learnt something new. But more questions. According to Fix's book "Principles of Brewing Science", SMM is not carried away, but gradually forms DMS at temps above 70C, which is then carried away. Even after 90 minutes, 21% of SMM would remain which requires attention to cooling times to prevent post boil DMS formation in sufficient quantities to adversly affect flavour.Is this consistent with your research? Is the caramelization/meloiden reactions mainly dependent on some temperature where they accelerate, or just the total energy supplied per litre? The reason I ask this is that I picked up the pressure boiling thread from Alfa Laval, the mega brewery makers. "From the imtermediate tank, the wort is pumped and heated instantly to 150C by steam at 6-8 Atmospheres pressure. The.pressure of the wort is at a point where the boiling point of water is above 150C. Direct steam injection results in an *excellent break*. i.e. Protein precipitation. After heating in the steam injector, the wort is held at 150C for two minutes.(Yes, Jim, they agree-don't hang around at this temp!) The high temperature combined with the holding time, results in a *perfect isomerization* of the bitter acids and effectively kills microorganisms (including spores), completely sterilizing the wort. From the spiral reactor the wort is flash cooled to 80C in a vacuum vessel where the boil is continued at this temperature until the quantity of water boiled off equals that addded by steam injection The pressure in the vacuum vessel is such that the wort boils at 80C." It seems that the isomerization and protein precipitation reactions can be accelerated to completetion at elevated temp in a very short time. What about unwanted caramelization and unwanted Melanoiden browning and wanted DMS formation and removal? It seems that at 80C, DMS would be formed and carried of by the vacuum boil? Would the 80C boil need to continue for 90 mins? Does the pH change occur quickly at 150C or slowly at 80C? They also write about conventional kettles, "The depth of the wort boiler is a factor of some importance during the boil. The pressure is greater at the bottom of the kettle (not much-1 atmosphere per 10 metres-CS) and even though a somewhat stronger coloured beer results from deep kettles (Jim's melanoiden reactions), protein precipitation is more effective. In the case of breweries high above sea level, the atmospheric pressure may be too low to obtain good precipitation, in which case the wort must be boiled under pressure. To obtain good precipitation, the pH value in the wort must be close to the isoelectric point of the proyeins at the end of the boil, i.e. a value of approw 5.2. The pH drops by 0.2-0.3 units during the boil, so pH of the wort at the *start of the boil* (pH is temp sensitive-CS) should be about 5.4-5.5." So protein precipitation is very pressure and very pH sensitive!? I suggest I heat the kettle quickly to 140C at 5 ATM (using steam injection) and release the pressure after 2 minutes. This will flash cool the wort as heat is rapidly carried away by latent heat of vapourization until the new boiling point of 100C is reached. I will then attach a simple diaphram pump and reduce the pressure to ~0.5 ATM and finsih the boil at 80C. (same flash cooling process) At end of the boil, operate cooling jacket and increase pressure with CO2 in the head space to 2 ATM to aid hot break. Pump after 10 minutes through a hop back and heat exchanger to an air injecting nossle and then to a flotation tank at 0C for the cold break removal. I wonder if pressure is a cold break factor? Any comments, rebuttals, helpful hints ? PS My pressure & steam SS work is done by a licensed pressure welder and tested. Broiled Brewer is not on my recipe list. BTW you can't see steam leaks. (don't believe Hollywood!) When you hear one, put your hands in your pockets! Feeling for them will lose you some fingers, the professionals still use a rolled up newspaper to find leaks. The shredded newspaper trick is still shown to every apprentice. (and inquiring homebrewer) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 1995 05:46:04 -0500 From: blacksab at siu.edu Subject: Kasteel bier Maybe someone out there knows what the crap was in the bottle of Kasteel bier I had last night. The bottle was a champagne-type bottle (75cl) of the Belgian Ale (Kasteel bier, biere du Chateau, Produce of Belgium), alcohol 11% vol., the date on the cork 8/93. As I poured the second glass, big chunks of some species of gelatinous crap glopped out of the bottle, and when I held both glasses up to the light, I noticed some prety nasty chunks floating in both glasses, but more and bigger chunks in the second glass. As usual, I was careful not to disturb the sediment, so it couldn't be a case where I had disloged the yeast bed. The beer tasted OK but I wound up dumping both glasses because the crap that was floating in them was really disgusting and certainly took away from the usual pleasure of beer tasting. TIA. --Harlan Bauer Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 95 07:43:07 EDT From: Mark Stevens <stevens at stsci.edu> Subject: Absinthe In HBD 1825, eddie-brian at uiowa.edu asked for information about absinthe. A very nice FAQ on absinthe was posted to rec.food.drink about 2 years ago by Matthew Baggot. This is a comprehensive discussion of the drink, its history, and the long-running debate about wormwood and insanity. I've put this up and the Brewery web server and you can snag it using the URL: http://alpha.rollanet.org/library/absfaq.html Cheers! - ---Mark Stevens stevens at stsci.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 95 13:17:58 +0100 From: "Albert van Sambeek P1-CPI tel. 013-791743" <avs at gpa.fuji-ef.nl> Subject: signature/trippel Hello, Signature: I'am looking for a good "Beer-signature" like my "MCKilroy". Who can E-mail me a pretty one. Trippel: If someone is looking for a good sweet-trippel recipe, E-mail me also, I've got one. Greetings Albert "Sam's Brew" van Sambeek The Netherlands Groetjes _/ \_ 0 0 -----------oooO--(_)--Oooo---------- Albert Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 1995 08:23:22 -0400 From: tom.neary at peri.com (Tom Neary) Subject: Yeast Starters from sludge I have a question that maybe some of you experts can help me with. I have been using package yeast up until my last batch in which I used a package of Wyeast. I have read that you can make a starter from the sludge of your previous batch. My question is how can do I make a starter for my next batch from the sludge of my current batch? Can I store the sludge in my fridge? Do I add the new liquid yeast to the sludge? Do I add water? Does it have to be at a specific gravity? All help is greatly appreciated. thanks in advance, TN Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 1995 08:28:52 -0400 From: DONBREW at aol.com Subject: bottle labels >Please excuse my rudeness, but I ABSOLUTELY NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER >EVER >EVER USE PRINTER LABELS! >The darned things just don't come off. Put them on once and they will be on >for the rest of the life of that bottle. I must add my $0.02. I ALWAYS use computer printer labels. I go to the mega-computer store and buy the cheapest address labels I can find, usually 5000 for about $12. They practically fall off after soaking in dishwasher detergent for several hours (water as hot as my hands can stand) I usually let them soak for a couple of days, but 3-4 hours seems to work well enuff. BTW this removal process also works on those metalized Sam Adams labels, they actually float away after a couple of days. SUDS up to V3.1 prints the labels very nicely for some reason the print label function was removed from V4.0. Don Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 1995 09:01:05 -0400 From: William_Swetnam at mail.cmahq.com Subject: Bottle Labels I have seen a lot of bandwidth devoted to label schemes, avery, milk as an adhesive, glue sticks, etc. I have used some special, yet not too expensive, paper that I buy from my local brew supply store. It comes in several colors, and has a water soluable adhesive. Best of all, it is made for laser printers! I have used it with _great_ results. Send me some direct mail if you want the address, I know they do mail order. (I am also at a loss for the name and phone # of the shop at this time) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 95 09:12:00 PDT From: "ASTOR, Andy" <aastor at shl.com> Subject: Removable Labels To those of you who NEVER EVER EVER etc. use computer labels, Avery has a line of removable labels that work wonderfully! They stick firmly, and peel off easily. I think they're called Remove 'Em or something like that. Staples has them. Saves a lot of work & frustration. Andy Astor Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 1995 09:21:02 -0400 From: genitom at nyslgti.gen.ny.us (Michael A. Genito) Subject: Results of no head on beer question Thanks to all who responded to my question re my first all grain batch and the fact that it does not have good head retention. To those who questioned the glassware and equipment as to whether or not it was contaminated by detergents or oils, I've made batches prior and after the all grain with the same equipment, with good head retention. I also questioned the filtered water, but others have answered that they brew with filtered water w/o problem. Following are the answers I've recd to date that may shed some light: 1. The grain I used (exclusively for this batch) - British 2 row lager - does not provide for good head retention, and I should try adding crystal or dextrine malt next time. I'm new to this, and downloaded recently some good stuff from the net on brewing WWW home pages. Another question for you experts - is there any factor in a name of a grain that would indicate whether the grain should have an infusion mash vs a temp controlled mash? 2. Carbonation may not be high enough This may/may not be a factor. I've had the same carbonation (it is light) in extract batches without head problems. Then again, I'm not experienced enough to know if all-grains need higher carb. 3. The ingredients themselves (grain, hops) may have not been fresh enough or may have been exposed to air-borne oils, detergents etc. that prevented good head retention. I purchased the items from a homebrew supply house and although I trust their storage, cannot of course be sure. I used the items very shortly after purchase, and stored them in air tight clean containers. 5. The brew may simply have to age a little more - try it at weekly intervals. I certainly will, and my experience (5 yrs) of homebrewing have proven that a beer should never be thrown out (I've never had an infected batch so perhaps this is casual advice). Some of my brews have improved tremendously with age, and despite some recent postings re freshness, I haven't noticed a great deterioration of any beers. One note - the darker the beer, the better the age with time. Thanks again to all who offered help. I've just bottled my second all grainer, this time an Oktoberfest with British 6 row pale malt, toasted malt, crystal and chocolate malt using Tetnanger hops. I'll update you in about 4 weeks. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 1995 09:54:52 -0400 (EDT) From: Edward F Roseman <rosemane at pilot.msu.edu> Subject: pumpkin ale Howdy Brew Folks, It's that time of year, time to pick a pumkin and smash it into a beer. I created a nice orange colored ale with a pumpkin last year just by adding cooked pumpkin (I boiled my sons jack-o-lantern) to my boiling wort, adding some pumpkin pie spices (Mostly cinnamin, nutmeg, and allspice) and boiling as normal (extract with a little crystal malt). I admit I had to filter out some strange stuff and I had some unusual precipitate inthe carbouy after fermentation, but man was it a good, smooth, clear, and tasty beer! I am in search of other recipes/methods for pumpkin beer and would like to hear other experiences with pumpkins. Thanks akeg full. Ed. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 95 09:57:31 EST From: Tim_Fields_at_Relay__Tech__Vienna at relay.com Subject: RE slow ferment startup In # 1825, cstrick at iu.net (Chris Strickland) writes: >I've found my highest contributor to a bad batch of beer is a slow >starting fermentation. and he continues a bit later: >All 3 >of my 5 (out of 40 batches) of bad beer have come from slow starting >fermentations (over 2 days). Question, to speed up the fermentation >start, would using two Wyeast pack to make two starters speed up the >initial fermentation start time. Currently the first batch takes about 48 >hours to start (even with a starter). I'm thinking that two starters >might take less than 24 hours. Any thoughts? How much are you aerating before and after pitching? How large are your starters built from smakpaks and what is your procedure for stepping them up? I had similar problems and HBD advice suggested the following: 1) pitch enough yeast. Recommendations varied a tad but this is a pretty good summary: for a "std gravity" ale, pitch at least the slurry from a 1 QT starter. Many felt this is sufficient, altho a "rule of thumb" seems to be a 10 to 1 ratio between wort volume and starter volume. For a 5 gal batch, this is 5 gal wort to (the slurry from) 1/2 gal starter. 2) pitch the starter *after* the yeast has settled out, not at high krauesen. Can't give you the scientific reasoning (if I was technical, i wouldn't be in sales), but the logic posted by Jim Busch and others made sense to me and I have seen marked improvements in how fast fermentation begins. 3) aerate allot both before and after pitching. The yeast need the oxy for initial activity (scientific, huh?). I doubt 2 starters will make much difference outside of the fact it would be pitching more yeast. Would be easier to make the first larger I would think. It is curious that only a few of your batches have been slow starters tho... Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 95 09:30:00 EDT From: "Taber, Bruce" <BRUCE.TABER at NRC.CA> Subject: Info for lurkers Last week I posted my opinion that too much interesting information was being sent by private e-mail instead of being publicly posted so that we could all benefit. Well, since then I have been enlightened, very politely, by a few fellow HBDer's. For the benefit of those who may not be aware, the problem is that there is just too much good info to post all of it. There is often a backlog of a few days just to get your post posted. Often the responses to some of the questions are very lengthy. There would be an unreasonable backlog if all questions were answered publicly. It was suggested that if you are interested in someone's question, then ask them to forward their responses to you personally. It seems that HBDer's are not only a bright group, but are also very accommodating. Thanks to Cory Wright, William Rucker, and Rob Lauriston for their input. (I'm barely warm to the touch) Keep the knowledge flowing. Bruce taber at irc.lan.nrc.ca Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 1995 10:33:23 -0400 From: PatrickM50 at aol.com Subject: labels on caps, NOT bottles! In response to SoarMoose and Keith Royster's response to my response to Vic Hugo's question about making beer labels; to wit: > If you really must use your computer, get some sheets of Avery (or > compatible) .75" round labels and, using any label program that includes the > Avery template, use a small font to print out sheets of labels at a time. They both correctly state that the labels are difficult to remove from the bottles. That is why I put them on the _caps_, not the bottles. My apologies if this was unclear. If you need a bigger label, the glue sticks or the milk on plain paper seem like good ideas, though I've never tried either. The dang stuff just doesn't stay in the bottles long enough for me to bother with a fancy label! YMMV. Pat Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 95 10:49:57 -0400 From: "Anton Verhulst" <verhulst at zk3.dec.com> Subject: yeast starters Alex Sessions <ALEXS at RIZZO.COM> asks: >So my question is: when you make a yeast starter, aren't you >culturing those background bad organisms, as well as the desired >yeast? In other words, when you make a yeast starter to increase the >number of good yeasts, aren't you also increasing the number of bad >microbes which you add to the beer? Do the bad organisms increase >more quickly or more slowly than the good ones? Good questions. When you pitch a yeast starter, you have MANY more yeast cells than "those background bad organisms". This is good because the numerical advantage is important. As the yeast reproduces and metabolizes, several things happen to the starter (or wort for that matter): - the yeast consumes all oxygen in the starter, making it difficult for aerobic bacteria to flourish. - the yeast drops the pH (increases acidity), making life difficult for other bacteria. - the yeast produces alcohol, yet one more microbe inhibitor. So yes, there will be some contamination in the starter but if the yeast takes off quickly, the contaminants will be suppressed. - --Tony V Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 95 11:13:01 -0400 From: joep at informix.com (Joe Pearl) Subject: Empty Fermentation Lock Hi Tom, >>>>> Regarding Empty Fermentation Lock; tom.neary at peri.com (Tom Neary) adds: Tom> Hi all, My Honey Wheat beer was in its first full day of Tom> fermentatio and going real strong when I went to bed last night. Tom> I filled up the fermentation lock at 12:00 AM by 5:00 AM it was Tom> empty. I refilled the lock but it definitely wasn't bubbling like Tom> it had a few hours before. I'm not sure how long it was empty for Tom> but can being empty hurt the beer or kill the yeast? I had a Tom> cover on the S-shaped lock. I had a Morgan's kit (Wheat) do this and the beer came out fine. As long as the pressure inside the fermenter is greater than the pressure (CO2 vs. ambient air), then the air should not get in. Of course, YMMV. Tom> thanx, Tom> TN Tom> Thomas Neary | tneary at peri.com 516-467-0500 Periphonics Corp. | Tom> 4000 Veterans Hwy. | Bohemia, NY 11716 | joe. +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | Joe Pearl, Sr. Sales Engineer, Informix Software, Inc. | | 8675 Hidden River Parkway, Tampa, FL, 33637 813-615-0616 | | For PGP key: send me email w/subject "send me pgp key" | +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | No two identical parts are alike. COROLLARY TO MURPHY'S LAW | +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 1995 11:33:31 -0400 From: rhampo at ford.com (Rich Hampo) Subject: Poor Extract efficiency Howdy, Thanks to all who chipped in advice regarding my poor extract efficiency on a wheat beer. (esp. KRF, ST). The upside is that I probably didn't crush the wheat malt enough. I learned that since wheat malt has no real husk, you can crush the snot out of it so that is is easier to convert. I also probably did not crush the 6 row enough either. I have since brewed another all-grain beer and paid much more attention to the crush and got MUCH higher extract efficiency. I ran the 0.25 lb wheat malt through the Glatt (love it - much better than the Schmidling - sorry Jack) mill *twice*. I also crushed the pale malt finer than I had been doing in the past. I set the mill fine enough that the inside of the kernel is pretty much pulverized, but wide enough that the husk is not shredded. I had no problem sparging, the wort ran clear after only a couple of quarts recirculation. Thanks again & Brew on! Richard Hampo H&H Brewing Ltd. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 1995 10:54 EDT From: CSS2 at OAS.PSU.EDU (SPEAKER.CURTIS) Subject: more on labels/weizen ? Another clever idea I've seen is to buy the circular (7/8" I think) peel and stick labels and place them on the top of your bottle cap after bottling. Labels that are put onto the sides of bottles have a tendency to come off in a cooler full of ice; then it's time for "mystery beer"! It can be fun sometimes, but when you find out it's rauchbier instead of pale ale, the taste buds can be sorta turned on edge :-) I'm considering making a fruit weizen using Wyeast 3068 and some combination of rasberries/strawberries/apricots. Has anyone tried this? With some of the recent posts about the volcanic initial fermentation of 3068, I'm wondering if waiting to add the fruit to the secondary would be a better than adding it to the primary. The last thing I want is a clogged blow-off tube and a fruit/wheat beer fountain in my basement... Any insight would be appreciated. I've made plenty of fruit beers, just never with Wyeast 3068. Hoppy Brewing Curt css2 at oas.psu.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 1995 11:32:40 -0500 From: Russell Mast <rmast at fnbc.com> Subject: Multi-Subject. > From: cstrick at iu.net (Chris Strickland) > Subject: Extra Yeast Package Before you do that, I'd recommend two or three step starters. First, make a small starter in a flask, then go up to a quart or two, then a half gallon or gallon. Or just start off with a big starter. I've made 3 quart starters, where I plop the yeast directly into a 1-gallon jug of cooled sterile wort, and in a couple days, that baby is at full kreuzen and can take on a full 5 gallons with great verve. > From: MrMike656 at aol.com > Subject: Found Keg Just send it to me, Mike, I'll see that the proper authorities get it... > Subject: Comments on Zinc If a container says "NOT SAFE FOR USE WITH FOOD", as all galvanized steel containers I've seen in recent years say, well, that should be a hint. If it's really old and doesn't have the warning, well, you get what you pay for. (Goldarned big gubbement regyoolation.) > From: Dave Riedel <RIEDEL at ios.bc.ca> > Subject: Mash/Lauter-Tun design > I make 5 gallon batches. Are the large rectangular coolers ok for this size > or would the 5 gallon Gott, cylindrical style be better? I use a 5-gallon Gott, and I love it. It does get a bit crowded in there when I do high-G beers with >10-11 lbs of grain. > (Note: I have a rectangular one already. Could it serve as a mash/lauter tun > without giving up it's day job as a cooler?) It will keep food cold, yes, and everything will smell like delicious wort. I wouldn't recommend using a Gott-tun as a beverage dispenser, though. > What's better: vegetable steamer/grain bag, false bottom, copper manifold? > (Keep in mind cost as I need other items to make the move to all-grain.) I've heard manifolds are the best. I use a false bottom with good results. I tried a grain bag once. Once. > From: tom.neary at peri.com (Tom Neary) > Subject: Empty Fermentation Lock If you filled it with water, chances are it wouldn't evaporate that quickly, which means it either got pushed out or pulled in. If it was pulled into the beer (usually happens because your wort is too warm, as it cools it sucks), you have a higher risk of infection. If you filled it with ethanol or something like that, it might have evaporated. > can being empty hurt the beer or kill the yeast? An empty airlock makes it easier for infectious bugs to get in. It also allows for more oxidation than otherwise. So, yeah, it can hurt your beer. I've had several batches' airlocks turn up empty. Most of them turned out okay. > From: rich.adam at mayo.edu (Adam Rich) > Subject: larger batch size/ smaller work load > Is there an obvious reason why this would > dramatically alter the quality? (Watering down the beer after fermentation to increase volume) A higher G fermentation will affect yeast behavior. Maybe you'll find the results preferable, maybe not. Miller Lite (tm) and maybe others use this technique. > On a related note, why is it bad to boil the wort for more then 60 > minutes when makeing an extract-based beer? Carmelization. It's appropriate if you're making a Kwak Pauwell clone, but otherwise, you don't necessarily want that. > From: CGEDEN at NERVM.NERDC.UFL.EDU > Subject: Use of starters > 1) When using starters, is it better to pitch settled slurry (sans "beer") or > to pitch the whole solution at high kreusen? High Kreuzen. That's when the yeast are partying and ready for more wort. If you wait until they relax and settle to the bottom, you have to wake them up again, and that adds to lag time and reduces the effective pitching rate. > How do you time these things so > you can plan on brewing when you want to, rather than being at the mercy of an > agenda set by one-celled organisms? The yeast are your friends, you have to understand that they have their reasons for their schedule, and if they're being cranky, they're really just misunderstood. That being said, I often over- or underestimate the time it will take for a starter to get to high kreuzen. Basically, it's a mix of luck and practice getting the timing right. Temperature, starter FG, nutrient level, yeast strain, starter volume, and other factors all play a role. If you pitch your starter a little too soon or a little too late, your beer will not likely be ruined. > From: Jay Reeves <73362.600 at compuserve.com> > Subject: Poor service from St. Pats I, too, have had problems with them. A similar experience with shipping time, and when I called back to see when it would be there, I thought the fellow on the phone was rather indignant. I also tried to order via e-mail, in part because the e-mail address is printed on their catalog, and had a terrible time with it. Notice- this was a few years ago, so maybe they are a bit better about e-mail orders, or maybe they've dropped the policy altogether. The last time I ordered from them, which will likely remain the last time, I was charged the per-pound price for 10 lbs. of malt, instead of the per 10 price. It was a difference of $1.30 if I recall, hardly worth the phone call to complain, but a careless enough error that I don't want to order from them again. I'm sure there's an explanation for why it happened, but I haven't heard it and don't care to go out of my way to hear it. With all the benefits of mailorder, I vastly prefer to do my brew supply shopping in a store. As always, YMMV. I don't have it out for St. Pat's, and if you've had good results from them, let us know. Even the best company is going to make a few mistakes. -R Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1826, 09/08/95