HOMEBREW Digest #1885 Thu 16 November 1995

Digest #1884 Digest #1886

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  Son of FrankenBrau (KennyEddy)
  summary post / airlock suckback / ToxiTherm 4000 (Jeff)
  Bland Cardamom, pTrub bashing. (Russell Mast)
  More Bland Salsa, UPS. (Russell Mast)
  More tidbits... (IHomeBrew)
  Repitching on primary dregs: Responses (David Mercer)
  Frozen Yeast Starters (KennyEddy)
  Treacle in Old Peculier (David Draper)
  ftp.stanford file translation ("Sharon A. Ritter")
  re:Marcato grain mill (ajb)
  Overnight Mashing / Making Crystal Malt (Norman Pyle)
  Re: NA brewing (Cheryl Feucht)
  Re-pitching on primary dregs (dludwig)
  Air Stones/Low FG/Boston Beer Stock Offering (Jeff Hewit)
  Hop utilization/final gravity/well water/manifold slits ("Philip Gravel")
  Question on FG? (Holmes)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 14 Nov 1995 14:40:16 -0500 From: KennyEddy at aol.com Subject: Son of FrankenBrau A thousand thank you's to Mr. Longmore (is that right?), whose gadget article in a recent Zymurgy outlined the "FrankenBrau" capping system. It's intended for force-carbonating beer in PET bottles. For the uninitiated, it's just a tire valve stem crammed into a 1/2" hole drilled in the screw-on PET bottle lid. An air-chuck attachment on the CO2 tank allows one to pressurize the bottle (and carbonate the beer). Positively brilliant in its simplicity & effectiveness. So what's new? Couple of things. I have seen comments here & elsewhere concerning PET-bottled beer shelf life. Seems PET is gas-permeable such that a bottle will go flat after several weeks. So Part One here is to use glass bottles, like the little bottles that tonic water comes in. While these bottles are perhaps smaller than ideal, the long-term storage prospects look brighter. You can also get green bottles (which aren't as good as brown would be but better than clear perhaps), as you can with PET. I have been using FrankenBrau to "top-off" already-carbonated beer served into the (purged) glass bottle from a keg, a' la Zymurgy's 20-cent bottler, but then hitting it with 15 psi of extra gas after capping. This seems to replace whatever CO2 was lost in foaming, as well as presumably further purging the headspace (the stopper on my CP bottler won't seal the mouth of these bottles; plus the bottle is too short for the beer tube). Thought - would teflon pipe thread tape on the bottle threads help keep an even better long-term seal? Part Two concerns the question of using FrankenBrau to carbonate flat beer (say from the secondary) to produce sediment-free bottled homebrew. I discovered that the tire stems I was using (Camel brand -- a pack of 50, just about right for a 5-gallon batch of homebrew, is $12 at Pep-Boys) have a bulbous base which fits/seals PERECTLY into a "standard" beer bottle mouth! Problem is it won't stay in with more than a few (maybe 10) psi in the bottle. So, I got some cheap-ass 1/2" galvanized washers (9 cents each; much cheaper in bulk) and installed a tire valve in each. This does two things. One, it acts as a "flange" to prevent the stem from being pushed too far into the bottle, and also, it provides a surface to aid in WIRING the thing to the top of a bottle (a' la a champagne bottle), to hold in the pressure. But now there's two problems I'll throw at the collective to make this work. 1) This wiring of the assembly to the bottle business is for the birds. Sure, duct tape might work too but I'm looking for that brilliant idea which will make this fast, clean, and simple. 2) Seems I read somewhere that bottle-conditioned beer at room temp has nominally around 25 psi on it. Of course, this is at equilibrium with the beer since the yeast produce the gas from within the beer, giving good dissolution. So you could pressurize the bottles once a day for a couple weeks, let's say, to compensate for the added gas eventually dissolving into the gas. My thought though was that you would likely lose some CO2 during recapping with "real" caps (who wants tire valves on their competition beer?). So-o-o, perhaps you could overpressurize to account for the headspace going to ambient air pressure during recapping. Any of you physicist/chemist types willing to draw up some guidelines? I think this could be the tightwad homebrewer's Holy Grail of getting sediment-free beer in bottles without kegging (ever notice that look on your friends' faces when you give them a sixer of your brew and start to explain the decanting process -- "There's WHAT in this beer? YUK!!"). BTW, I do keg, and I love it, but as a recent CP Bottling thread indicates, foaming & CO2 loss are not insignificant concerns when trying to bottle from a keg. Since the valve/washer assemblies are temporary and reusable, the investment is limited to the number needed to do however many bottles you have conditioning at one time. Like I said, fifty of these plus the air chuck and fittings would come in well under $20. Can we make this thing work? Any manufacturers out there willing to tool up some sort of "snap-on" valve cap? Or valve caps cheap enough that they don't need recapping? Ken Schwartz "Tres mas cervezas, por favor" <<Yes, the peso devaluation has its advantages>> Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 1995 15:18:14 -0500 From: mcnallyg at in83b.npt.nuwc.navy.mil (Jeff) Subject: summary post / airlock suckback / ToxiTherm 4000 In HBD #1833 (yeah, I know, it's been a while) I posted about my experience with Wyeast 1338 in a Dusseldorf style Alt and also asked for some advice on using peat smoked malt in a scotch ale. I got 7 requests for the Alt recipe and 3 private email responses about my peat smoked malt question. The general consensus was to go *very* easy on the peat smoked malt, or run the risk of turning the scotch ale into a rauchbier. Well I finally got around to brewing the scotch ale and its been in the bottles now for about 3 weeks. I ended up using 2 oz of the peat smoked malt in a 5 gallon batch and using Wyeast 1338 vs 1728 ( I already had the malt, but not the yeast). The smokey flavor is noticable, but quite subtle (which is what I was trying for). The two people besides myself that have tried this brew so far have both liked it. With some more conditioning time, I think that it will be pretty close to what I was aiming for. Thanks again to everyone who responded. Now for a couple of new topics: I have read all of the airlock suck-back posts recently and thought I would share my technique with the collective. I use the 3 piece airlocks and when I first attach one to a starter bottle or primary I assemble it as usual but don't add any water (yet). Instead I soak a cotton ball with vodka, squeeze out any excess, and place it just under the airlock's lid. They fit perfectly within the ID of the airlock and allow two-way flow thru the airlock. Once the temp stabilizes and/or fermentation gets going, just pop off the lid, pull out the cotton ball, fill to the line with water, and put the lid back on. Any air entering the fermenter thru the airlock should be sanitized on its way thru the vodka soaked cotton ball and there is no liquid to get sucked in. I've also read the recent posts about the lower than normal performance of several people's Binford ToxiTherm 4000s. Might this be due to the recent decrease in the density of natural gas ??? Kinda makes sense that if the density of the fuel drops, then the fuel to air ratio (by weight) will change and quite possibly affect the performance. Hoppy brewing, Jeff ============================================================================== Geoffrey A. McNally Phone: (401) 841-7210 x152 Mechanical Engineer Fax: (401) 841-7250 Launcher Technology & Analysis Branch email: mcnallyg at in83b.npt.nuwc.navy.mil Naval Undersea Warfare Center Code 8322; Bldg. 1246/2 Newport, RI 02841-1708 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 1995 13:51:00 -0500 From: HAROLD.SILVERMAN at BAIN.sprint.com Subject: blue fin I just wanted to thank all those people who responded to me privately about Shipyard Blue Fin Stout. I have to admit I was surprised so many people had heard of it. Interestingly, just hours after posting my first message, I noticed in the Boston Globe that the makers of Shipyard entered into an agreement with Miller. I would be interested if anybody could clue me into what this might mean. Will Miller control brewing operations? That thought is scary? Are the big brewers attempting to buy micros that are doing well? Hope not. Harold Silverman Harold.Silverman at bain.sprint.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 1995 15:10:46 -0600 From: Russell Mast <rmast at fnbc.com> Subject: Bland Cardamom, pTrub bashing. Harlan Bauer said, a long time ago : > The reason the tanks say not to use them indoors is mainly to keep the > manufacturer from getting sued. Just like the warning on ladders not to > stand on the top step which I do all the time, and I've NEVER fallen off a > ladder. I just heard from Harlan's wife, and she said he's in stable condition, and that there probably won't be any permanent brain damage. She thanks everyone for the flowers, and the lawyers they sent so he could sue the ladder makers for even PUTTING a top step on there. - --- Derrick Pohl warned against using the spice cardamom. I've used it a couple times to delicious effect in stouts. I don't find it a bitter taste, but sweet. Note - I use whole cardamom, the black nuggets inside the green pods, not ground. That may make a difference. (I don't use the green pods.) - --- Tim Fields says that I'm not the Russell he knows, I say that 4 gallons of great beer beats 5 gallons of good beer any day. - --- Someone in 1878 asked about hangovers. I've always assumed that the live yeast in homebrew and some micros and imports had B vitamins which help hangovers. Also, some beer have higher levels of fusel alcohols than others. - --- Wm. Knudsen write in HBD 1880: > Have you noticed that American tastes are bland? Yep. I think as much of this can be blamed on marketing as on market forces. (Though the watery coffee thing has always mystified me. I think it's just a byproduct of attempts to make us satisfied with a low-quality lifestyle.) > Al also states that "I think they have been leading our tastes." Typically > American, Al, blame it on someone else. Whoah, now, hold on here. I know typical Americans, and I know Al K, and, frankly, Senator - Al K is NO typical American. And, Al certainly doesn't let anyone lead HIS tastes. (Well, maybe the BJCP, but certainly not A/B.) He's not blaming anyone for his tastes. The fact is, in America, and probably other countries, the marketing industry exists to control our tastes, our taste in music, in coffee, in beer, in hairstyles. I think that the typical American is having their soul bought and sold on TV every day. Now, obviously, some of the blame has to fall on the mindless dupes who buy what they're told to buy, but the ruthless profiteers who tell them what to buy, especially when it's crap, are far from blameless. > I think that helps support my > assertion that the American beer drinking public is not dupped, they drink > what they choose: watered down swill. And they choose what they are told to choose. Do you assert that it's a coincidence? > There's an inference here that 'concerns over money' are *unique* to the > biggies. Let me suggest this is a luxury unique only to us homebrewers. > Ingredient costs are just not a great concern with my homebrew operation. > However, *all* comercial brewerys had better be concerned about costs, or > perish. Okay, this is something that we hammered out in the Lambic Digest awhile back. Somehow, a lot of people have either been fed way too much Adam Smith or way to much Karl Marx to realize there is a middle ground. What it boils down to is are they out to make a LIVING or are they out to make a KILLING. There's a big difference. If you make a living making good beer, you can be concerned about the quality, above and beyond the level of quality dictated by market forces. If you're out to make a killing, you simply do that which is most profitable, without regard to taste, class, style, decency, or the common good of humanity. Obviously, if you totally ignore financial matters in a Quixotic pursuit of a quality, you're going to have to find a new job or learn to live off small stones instead of food. (They're not bad if you season them right, but can give you bad gas. Food is a lot better.) No, I think Bill and I agree on a lot of thing, but I just want to throw my pennies in. - --- The fat guy with bad teeth (yes, I know the type) told Dan Goodale that hops in trub can give bitterness to the beer. Someone else correctly corrected him. That's BS. However, there are problems that trub can give your beer, primarily, as I recall, fusel alcohols. I never bother with it, and I've never had off flavors due to them. Water too high in sulfates can make beer bitter, and maybe this guy or someone he knows switched to bottled water during the same batch they started racking off (or filtering?) trub, and misattributed the effect. - --- In HBD 1882, typical American, Al K. writes about Crapeau Shambics : > In my opinion, it is far too much work. and takes too much time > (2 to 3 years) to make a plambiek (pureculture lambiek) only to cover > up all its flavour and unique aromas with fruit syrup. Ordinarily, I might say something about how one can find a middle ground of sweetness to please the sweety and sweatness to please the horsey, but this time, I'm going to take issue with the term pLambiek. (Actually, I can't stop saying pLambic, so I will.) I've been laboring (not heavily) under the illusion that pLambic and pKriek meant "pseudo-lambic" and "pseudo-kriek". Now I read "pureculture"? Is this true? The lambic and kriek (and, sorry Al, mini-batch of Blueberry lambic) that I have going right now were taken from a culture from a bottle of Boon. They're not "pureculture" they're bottle-cultured. Does that mean I'm brewing a bLambic? A bKriek? A bBlueberry? Say it ain't so. Perhaps we should drag this over to the Lambic digest... - --- Harold Silverman must say : > that I am a little disturbed about the recent Sam Adams > bashing which has been going on. I may be biased, as I am from Boston Really? Why would that bias you? Sam Adams isn't even FROM Boston. Granted, it is from Boston(tm), I assume you're not from there(tm), are you? > I have little knowledge of S/A's business practices >From the stories I've read, "nightmarish" sums it up pretty well. > I believe that S/A has contributed > greatly to a rise in the level of the tastebuds of mainstream America. This can't be denied. Still, Koch(tm) isn't doing any of us any favors. > I am especially bothered by those who have implicitly or explictly > lumped S/A and Pete's with the Big Three. When was the last time that A/B > or any of their oversized brethren were willing to mass produce any of the > following: a wheat (not to mention a Cherry Wheat), a bock, a stout, a > porter, or a fruit beer. All of which the Boston Brewing Company does > regularly. And then mislabels them as if they're authentic DoppelBocks, Lambics, and Weizens when in fact they're bland, Americanized versions of these beers, if versions at all. Yes, they have more taste than the big three (=any at all). But, the bottom line is that Coch, like the big three is in it for the MONEY, and is willing to run roughshod over the minds and tastes of consumers to make more. Sure, he's not trying to convince them that terrible beer is great beer, but he doesn't care if anyone knows what a "real" lambic tastes like, as long as they shell out for his. He has no qualms about confusing the consumer, and wouldn't mind wiping out every other beermaker in America. He's not in it to make a living. He's in it to make a killing. Still, the beer's not bad, so I won't tell you not to drink it. (I for one, refuse to buy the stuff. But, like my mom used to say "If you're buying, I'm drinking".) -R Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 1995 15:10:57 -0600 From: Russell Mast <rmast at fnbc.com> Subject: More Bland Salsa, UPS. John Boots writes : > In HBD #1880, William D. Knudson has suggested that American's tastes > have become "blandified." He cites examples such as beer and coffee to > support his theory. If this is true, what has been responsible for the > "un-blanding" (if I may use that term) of tastes here in the Pacific > Northwest? We've produced many fine microbreweries and brewpubs, as well > as Starbuck's Coffee, Seattle's Best Coffee, and an outstanding selection > of varietal wines.I find it difficult to believe that this is strictly a > local (Northwest) phenomenon. If it is, then we always knew we were > special, anyhow. Spare me. I just got back from a week in New York City (where they make that picante' sauce, you know) and I've had enough "regional chauvenism" to last me a lifetime. Yes, it's a great town. No, they don't do everything right. (fwiw - New Yorkers aren't any more rude than Chicagoans, until they go anywhere else. At home, they're pretty decent folks, just don't imply that maybe anyone anywhere has a better way of doing things. Even then, they're polite about it, as long as you don't ask them to change their ways.) Seriously, though, you don't have a monopoly on good taste, Starbuck's is way overrated (in much the same way as Sam Adams, imo), and I would bet that 90% of the beer drinkers in the Northwest drink crap beer. Sure, that's better than 95% in Chicago or 99% in Nashville. Sure, it may be focal point of a renaissance in taste. New York is the greatest city on earth. Big deal. People drink good beer, good coffee, eat good food, hear good music, and have a good time all over the place. Still, the majority of the population everywhere I've been prefers watery beer, watery coffee, mayonnaise, watery pop music, and watching TV (vs. actually doing something). Who's fault is this? Probably Al K's, but he's going to blame it on someone else. (Sorry, need something to hold these together besides my "unique style".) - --- Mark Peacock asks about shipping homebrew. Mark, make sure they're padded very well. Wrap the tape on extremely tight. I've heard people say that they're shipping canned preserves. Do NOT use the US Postal Service. Apparently some private companies won't ship homebrew if you tell them what's in it. I went to UPS once with a box of 12 I was shiping to a friend. They asked what's in it, and I said it was soda pop. They started to tear into it, telling me they had to check to make sure it was securely packed. After I pushed my eyes back into their sockets, but before they got through my wall-o-tape, I managed to blurt out "Why? It's in plastic bottles." and they re-taped it and off it went. I've never heard of them 'double-checking' anything else. Except for possible state laws I don't know about, it is legal to ship via a private company. If they have a policy against it, they're not going to toss you in the slammer for breaking a policy. Flat out lying might be another story, but you can play dumb. Hey, maybe you shipped the wrong box by accident, and just gave your beer buddy a bunch of rasberry jam for Christmas. As far as I know, it is not legal to ship US Postal Service. -R Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 1995 16:13:44 -0500 From: IHomeBrew at aol.com Subject: More tidbits... Two additions: ************************************* >From: "Dave Ebert" <Dave.Ebert at UCHSC.edu> >Subject: Helping Santa >I am trying to help Santa with my shopping list. You see, I'm trying >to find a CHEAP location for 3 gallon soda kegs. 5 gallon kegs just >dont fit in my little beer fridge but 3 gallon ones will. The >problem so far is finding a source for the 3 gallon variety. Try Foxx Equipment Company. I have never purchased anything from them but their brochure pictures several 3 gallon keg varieties. They have two addresses listed (not sure which one to contact): Foxx Equipment Company 421 Southwest Blvd. Kansas City, MO 64108 800-821-2254 816-421-3600 816-421-5671 (FAX) -OR- Foxx Equipment Company 955 Decatur, St. #B Denver, CO 80204 800-525-2484 303-573-1766 303-893-3028 (FAX) ************************************* >Date: 13 Nov 95 12:06:55 EST >From: "William D. Knudson" <71764.203 at compuserve.com> >Subject: Black and Tan >Yes, my curiousity drove me to try these new beers, abeit one beer, no six'ers!. Well? >AB makes an interesting claim on the Black & Tan label. This *was* the name of >their Porter at the turn of the century. Last I heard, "Black & Tan" meant a Harps/Guiness combo. ...Clark, Tacoma, WA, USA, Earth - ------------------------------ End of MY POST, 11/14/95 ************************************* Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 1995 14:29:18 -0800 From: dmercer at path.org (David Mercer) Subject: Repitching on primary dregs: Responses Ain't HBD grand! I received several responses by e-mail to my original question, which was: 'Is it okay to add new wort (in this case, a barleywine) to the dregs (break + yeast) of a primary, or should I try to separate out the yeast first?' The consensus was there is no consensus, except that if I do just add the new wort on top of the old trub, it probably won't be a problem. Several responders said that they preferred using the dregs from a secondary because the yeast is cleaner. Others said the primary is fine, and that trying to separate out the yeast layer from the break and protein would not be worth the risk of contamination. For you quantitative types: Use primary slurry and don't worry: 3 Prefer secondary yeast, but primary probably okay: 2 Make new starter from primary slurry: 2 Separate yeast from break: 1 Thanks to all who took the time to help me. Dave M. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 1995 17:44:33 -0500 From: KennyEddy at aol.com Subject: Frozen Yeast Starters Doug Roberts in HBD #1879 reports on his technique of freezing yeast cultures in glycerol for future use. I was intrigued by this and even more so after reading of his continuing success with it. I would like to see any comments, caveats, yeah-but's, or whatever from those of you who have a good background in this area. Obviously it's working for Doug; are there any details being overlooked? How risky is it, really? Is the silence from you microbiologists and yeast gurus a sign of implicit approval? Seems like a great way to stretch one's yeast dollar. Ken Schwartz Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 1995 13:11:10 +1100 (EST) From: David Draper <ddraper at laurel.ocs.mq.edu.au> Subject: Treacle in Old Peculier Dear Friends, Ken posted the other day about his success with cloning Theakston's Old Peculier and asked for comments regarding use of treacle. I've done pretty well at cloning this one as well (if I *do* say so myself), and in my view the use of black treacle is *absolutely crucial* to success. You simply won't have the same flavor without it. So use that address that Ken posted and get the real thing. My best version of OP was one that ended up in a pressure barrel, and I used the treacle to prime the pressure barrel. To this day, it is the closest I have ever come to duplicating a commercial beer--proper UK-style conditioning, the works. Cheers, Dave in Sydney "Life's a bitch, but at least there's homebrew." ---Norm Pyle - -- ****************************************************************************** David S. Draper, Earth Sciences, Macquarie Univ, Sydney, Australia. email: david.draper at mq.edu.au Home page: http://www.ocs.mq.edu.au/~ddraper ....I'm not from here, I just live here.... Return to table of contents
Date: 14 Nov 95 21:23:07 EST From: "Sharon A. Ritter" <102446.3717 at compuserve.com> Subject: ftp.stanford file translation I downloaded several hb related text files that begin with "/tmp" from the ftp.stanford.edu web site . My Mac cannot figure out how to translate these files (neither can I)! When I try to open them by double clicking on the documents Word Perfect 3.0 launches but the translators produce only hieroglyphics. My System 7.5 translators are stumped also. Any Mac users out there have this figured out? Dan Ritter in Grangeville, Idaho 102446.3717 at compuserve.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 1995 21:35:41 -0500 From: ajb at tiac.net (ajb) Subject: re:Marcato grain mill Matthew Hanley was asking about the Marcato 3-roller grain mill he spotted in a homebrew shop. I recently bought one ($35) with the idea of tinkering around with it as both a malt crusher and a flour mill. It worked great as-is for making flour and flakes, but it needed some modification to be effective as a homebrew tool. The mill as purchased is adjustable, but the rollers would not open far enough to allow for a good crush. The indexing knob, I found out, needed one more hole, but the construction doesn't allow for easy removal of the offending knob. What I did was remove the two bottom screws (under the machine) and two side screws on the knob side. Remove the exterior plate and then the eccentric shaft can be pulled out all the way. Set the indexing pin so the last hole is engaged (you'll know which one.) Then drill a hole about 3/16 to 1/4 inch below the indexing pin follwing the arc of the indexing holes with the idea of creating one more hole spaced the same as the other holes so this new hole can be engaged by the indexing pin. You have to drill through both the side plate and the first surface of the indexing knob. Enlarge it enough so the indexing pin will engage the new hole. Be certain to remove any metal chips, relubricate the shaft, the reassemble. The crush is now perfect for the grain I usually use. I also modified the grain holder by making the slot about 3 inches long - NOT WIDE - otherwise the grain passes through too slowly. I simply cut through the bottom with a razor saw. I need to work on a tilted chute for the grain to exit the machine as the little container provided only holds about 2 cups. These mods are pretty easy, and the results are good. It hasn't replaced my big mill, but it's a good way to get a great crush without killing the wallet. Should be easy to motorize, too. Charles Brault (ajb at tiac.net) Yes, it's my son's account, but he's away at college. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 1995 19:54:01 -0700 From: Norman Pyle <hophead at ares.csd.net> Subject: Overnight Mashing / Making Crystal Malt I thought I'd report on my first attempt at making crystal malt, with the Randy Mosher method as reported in All About Beer magazine. I pretty much followed Randy's steps verbatim, but I thought my (practical) experience with it might help someone. Oddly enough, it also adds to the recent discussion about overnight mashing, so let me comment on that to start. I think the presumption that enzymes are going to continue to be active as a mash cools overnight is mostly false. Enzymes are denatured at high temperatures and in some cases it is actually a race between the desired enzyme activity and the denaturing process. This is one reason why mashes are stepped up and not down - the lower temperature enzymes would be gone by the time the mash was lowered to their effective working ranges. My main point is that enzyme action is controllable enough as to not be a big factor in overnight mashes - I've done a few with good success. Now to the issue that I consider the biggest obstacle to overnight mashing: bacterial activity. Overnight mashing is virtually identical to the method used for creating a sour mash, with one minor difference. The optimum temperature for lactic production is closer to 120F, not the 150F that our mashes are conducted near, but it is clear that some bacteria survives the mash. So as the mash cools, it moves closer and closer to the optimum temperature range for lactic acid production. I'm not claiming to know all the details of this, but I'm quite sure the mash will sour given the time. I've not had problems with overnight mashing in this respect, but my recent experience with making crystal malt showed the effect in all its glory. The Mosher method calls for soaking a good pale or pilsner malt for 24 hours. I don't think he detailed it, but it was my impression that this should be done at room temperature, which is what I did. I mixed the malt with water and 24 hours later, it was bubbling and smelled, well, not good. It was fairly sour. I rinsed it extensively to remove this lactic acid and other compounds before proceeding. The reason for soaking is to get the starch into as soluble a state as possible before attempting conversion, and this was accomplished. At this point the malt was quite soft and would ooze white paste when squeezed between the fingers. It tasted very starchy, slightly sour, definitely husk-tannic, but OK. I drained the malt with a colander as Randy advises, but I also rinsed it several times with the sink sprayer. Next, the oven must be set at 150F, which is no easy task with mine. I got it in the ballpark and put the grain (in a large covered pot) into the oven. I held it (as well as I could) at 150F for 2 hours. In actuality, the oven air ranged anywhere from 140F to 170F, but I suspect the mash temperature was pretty constant, and mostly on the low side. Note that this is a bit more difficult than simply holding the temperature of a mash - this mixture was at room temperature and needed to be brought up to mashing temps before holding. I tasted the malt about halfway through and, although the flavor had improved it wasn't all that sweet, so I extended the mashing time from the recommended 1.5 hours to 2 hours. I removed the malt and spread it out about an inch deep onto two different baking pans. Raised the oven temperature up to 250F for drying/roasting and placed the malt back in. Every 15-20 minutes, I'd pull them out and stir/turn the malt to even the drying. I was surprised at how long this process took. It was 4 hours just for this stage of the process! As it progressed, the malt got stickier and chewier and even sweeter. I noted that one pan-full came from the top half of the mashing pot and was therefore much drier than the other pan-full, which also included the moisture from the bottom. The half that was wetter stayed darker, which supports with the idea that Maillard reactions work better with more water. Additionally, the wetter pan was roasted for an additional 15 minutes, so that I'd have some variety to play with later. The end result was a pound of a medium crystal and a pound of a dark crystal. I haven't done any comparisons, but I'd guess they are in the ballpark of 70L and 120L crystal malts. I'm going to have fun with these malts in my next batch. BTW, I'm also letting them breath for a couple weeks before using them, as recommended by Randy Mosher. What would I do differently next time? I'd only soak for 12-18 hours to avoid as much of that lactobacillus action as possible. I don't detect any sourness in the final product, but I can see no use for it and I think it should be avoided. Another possibility here would be to refrigerate the grain as it soaks. Although this will slow the absorption of water, it should also dramatically slow the bacterial action. Additionally, I'd try to make sure the grain has a chance to drip dry as much as possible before the mash, to avoid the additional water and extended drying time. Summary: this is a real kick to do, but you have to babysit your oven for a good part of a day. It's not difficult at all and nothing needs immediate attention, so distractions can be handled easily. I did two pounds this way; next time I'll probably double that for time efficiency. Randy Mosher has presented a very nice process for making quality crystal malt at home - he should be congratulated. Hope this helps someone, Norm ********************************************************** ******************* Note new email address -------> hophead at csd.net <--------- I prefer this for all personal (including brewing-related) email. Thanks. *************************************************************** ************** Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 1995 20:10:15 -0700 From: Cheryl Feucht <cfeucht at cannet.com> Subject: Re: NA brewing >Eric writes: >>The October issue of "BREW your own" Magazine had an article on no or low >>alcohol beer. The method is simply to brew your beer as usual up to >>the point it's ready for bottling and then cook it in the oven (or >>stove top) at 180deg for 20-30 min. to boil off the alcohol. Of course, >>you can get rid of all of it or some it by regulating the time. >> >>Question --- Has anyone tried this? If so, what's it do to flavor? I >>have trouble thinking this simple process won't totally trash an >>otherwise good (if not great) beer. > I noticed in another later digest that someone else has suggested to you the use of the freeze distilation method for brewing NA beer. Last Jan. when I asked for some direction in this method of brewing it sounded the most promising (and easiest) to me. I have tried the freeze distilation on several batches and the results have been satisfactory. I choose to use extract kits for the first several times to save time and cost in case I had to throw the batches out. (yeah right :)) I choose (for comparison) a Coopers Australian Ale, a Munton & Fison Light American, and a Muntons Traditional Bitter. I made the batches according to directions, after fermentation was complete I froze the wort upside down in 2 liter PET bottles for several days. I uncapped them in my sink and let them drain for a half hour and then replaced the cap, placed them right side up, and let them finish thawing. I reprimed my 'NA beer' with sugar and yeast. Bottled and let stand for 7- 10 days. The results: The Coopers and Traditional Bitter were very drinkable. The Light American was pretty watered down (stripped) and not quite as drinkable as the other two..though I didn't have to throw it out...it was drunk on those REAL hot days. :) I hope that I've covered everything and it helps you out. Cheryl Sorry about the redundancy in the messages...I'm still trying to figure out this Eudora light! Many pardons for my oversights. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 1995 23:17:35 -0500 From: dludwig at atc.ameritel.net Subject: Re-pitching on primary dregs I did something similar with a batch of wheat beer. Two identical batches 1 week apart and considered pouring the wort over the yeast cake on the bottom of the carboy. Decided against that and just swirled the sediment to loosen up the cake and poured into the fermenter of the new batch. Using Wyeast 3056, the results were quite different. The original batch went gangbusters (4 inches of krausen) but the repitched batch was much less energetic. My previous batch (not a wheizen beer), I repitched to a 1 liter starter (this was a lager yeast) and had very similar results between the original batch and the repitched batch. If you want more detail, send me an E-mail. If I were to do it again, I would repitch to a starter and check out the viability of the yeast before taking the plunge. -Dave Ludwig/dludwig at atc.ameritel.net >I'd like to reuse the yeast (1098) from the >primary to make a barleywine. I was planning on brewing next weekend, and >thought about just dumping the barleywine wort on top of the dregs of the >WW. But I am skittish about throwing new wort on all that old trub. What's >the consensus? Should I go to the trouble of trying to separate trub from >viable yeast first, or can I just go ahead with the lazy man's solution? > Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 1995 23:03:09 -0500 From: jhewit at freenet.vcu.edu (Jeff Hewit) Subject: Air Stones/Low FG/Boston Beer Stock Offering Someone asked about where to get stainless air stones. Brewers Resource (1-800-827-3983) has them. They also carry an in-line sterile filter to keep out bacteria, etc. when aerating your wort. I have used this system succesfully for several batches. A new brewer mentioned his high FG's. Try aerating. Also, make a starter to expand the yeast population at pitching. Regarding Boston Beer Company's stock offering, the deadline to subscribe is noon this Thursday, November 16. This means that the underwriter needs your completed application, and your money at that time. By the time you read this, it will probably be too late if you plan to use the mail or even a courier service. However, if you live close enough, you could try going in person. The address is Chemical Mellon Shareholder Services, 85 Challenger Road, Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660. The offering is for 33 shares at $15 for a total of $495. I decided to go for it; I even convinced my wife to go for it, too. I happen to like most of the SA beers. Since I can't brew enough to satisfy my cravings, I end up buying a fair amount. I buy SA, along with most of the other high-quality alternatives. Note that I don't try to use labels such as "micro" or "craft." I don't want to get into a non-substantive semantical argument over how micro is micro and how crafty is craft. I happen to believe that size of operation has nothing to do with quality. Think about it - the fermenting process is the same if you brew 5 gallons, 500 gallons, 5000 gallons, etc, etc. It's all in the ingredients and procedure. If Abmilloors wanted to make a top-quality brew on a mega scale, they could do it. I believe that if they thought they could sell it they would. Anyway, I have no problems with the way Jim Koch runs his operation. What's wrong with bringing great beer to the masses, and making money, too? Isn't that the American way? I wish him luck. The more succesfull he is, the greater return on my investment. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 1995 22:07:37 -0600 (CST) From: "Philip Gravel" <pgravel at mcs.com> Subject: Hop utilization/final gravity/well water/manifold slits ===> James Hojel asks about hop utilization: > Now the question; how do these figures change with the use of pellets and a > hop bag (with either pellets or leaves)? I've noticed a reduction in > utilization when a hop bag is used (leaves or pellets) and an increase when > pellets are used (w/o bag). This is pretty much about right. The hop bag reduces circulation around the hops and thus decreases hop utilization somewhat. In the process of creating pellets, the hop are crushed and compressed. This bursts open the lupulin glands and makes bitter resins more readily available to the boil. ===> Ted Davidson asks about final gravity: > I am new to home brewing, just bottled my second batch yesterday. I have > been following this list for the past several months and have picked up a > lot of good information. I have a question though on OG and FG. From the > discussions so far my batches seem to have a high FG. The first batch was > a John Bull Amber, OG 1.044 and FG 1.022. The second batch was a Muton & > Fison Lager, OG 1.038 and FG 1.018. The 1.022 FG is probably a bit high. The 1.018 FG is on the high side of normal. ===> Phil Finkle ask about boiling well water: > Saw a note the other day that implied that boiling is not necessary if you > are using well water. Is that correct? I have made several batches of home- > brew using various malt extracts. I have always boiled for about 30 minutes > and everytime, save one, something apparently got burned and the resulting > brew, while tasty, was much darker than it should be. Each time, I stirred > constantly to try to prevent burning. I am on a well and would like to > avoid boiling if I can. Quite the opposite, I would recommend boiling well water. Since it isn't treated, there might be things in the water like bacteria that you don't want in your wort. Also, well water tends to be high in carbonates. Doing a preboil will cause calcium carbonate to precipitate and reduce the hardness of the water. As far as the scorching is concerned, are you doing full volume boils? If not, scorching is much more likely. > I will soon try my first batch of all grain. Any suggestions on that as > well? Read up on water chemistry in Miller's book, "The Complete Handbook of Home Brewing," Ch. 11. ===> Tim Haby asks about manifold slits: > 1. How many slits per inch? I spaced mine apart the diameter of the pipe. I used 1/2" copper pipe, so I spaced the slits 1/2" apart. > 2. What orientation are the slits? I did mine on a 45^ angle. That way each slit is longer. > 3. In the lauter tun do the slits face up or face the bottom of the tun? I use mine with the slits down, but I'm not sure it matters. - -- Phil _____________________________________________________________ Philip Gravel Lisle, Illinois pgravel at mcs.net Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 95 23:30:24 -0500 From: joep at informix.com (Holmes) Subject: Question on FG? >>>>> Davidson writes: Ted> I am new to home brewing, just bottled my second batch yesterday. Ted> I have been following this list for the past several months and Ted> have picked up a lot of good information. I have a question Ted> though on OG and FG. From the discussions so far my batches seem Ted> to have a high FG. The first batch was a John Bull Amber, OG Ted> 1.044 and FG 1.022. The second batch was a Muton & Fison Lager, Ted> OG 1.038 and FG 1.018. Are the FG's to high? If so, what could Ted> be causing the problem. Ys, they could be a little too high. It would depend on your ingredients, but, in general, I would say that they're too high. The problem may be something as simple as not aerating enough. When you're pitching your yeast, be sure your wort has enough oxygen for fermentation. One method of aeration is to dump the wort back and forth between two buckets, pots, or other suitable vessels. Take care not to spill your wort and be sure you've sanitized the containers prior to starting. I aerate with an 8 gallon pot and a 6.75 gallon bucket and have seen my FG's drop from the high teens, low twenties to the ought 7's. Ted> Ted Davidson tedavidson at switch.com joe. +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | Joe Pearl, Sr. Sales Engineer, Informix Software, Inc. | | 8675 Hidden River Parkway, Tampa, FL, 33637 813-615-0616 | | Competition is good for the consumer. | +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. OSCAR WILDE | +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1885, 11/16/95