HOMEBREW Digest #2358 Tue 25 February 1997

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		Digest Janitor: janitor@ brew.oeonline.com
		Many thanks to the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers of 
		Livonia, Michigan for sponsoring the Homebrew Digest.
				URL: http://www.oeonline.com

  Responses to various questions ("Graham Wheeler")
  Contamination Q? / YCKCo experience ("Paul Kensler")
  RIMS pipe construction ("Michael T. Bell")
  AHA (Terry White)
  Sierra Nevada Ale Yeast (Steve Moore)
  AHA/AOB/School teacher gone globe trotter (ThE-HoMeBrEw-RaT)
  Zinc/skunkiness,contamination, yow-yowing, Malts,chemotherapy ("David R. Burley")
  Homemade corny-uni-tank (Kevin McEnhill)
  First Gold Hops ("Val J. Lipscomb")
  Scaling down from commercial operations. (Michael Newman)
  altitude & carbonation? ("Robert Waddell")
  Semi- Rims (Jay Ward)
  First All-Grain Lessons (animnate)
  Sake ("David R. Burley")
  Cold Break/Moffetta (A. J. deLange)
  Pilsner Urquell Brewing Specs. (Lorne P. Franklin)
  Pale Ale and its kin (Tim Plummer)
  blonde recipe (REX CLINGAN)
  Re:  Lots O' Trub (#2353 ) ("John R. Bowen")
  Bleach & SS (Chris North)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 22 Feb 1997 15:17:28 -0000 From: "Graham Wheeler" <Graham.Wheeler at btinternet.com> Subject: Responses to various questions In part response to Hal Davis's questions in #2353: 1). There is no popular name for a mixture of mild and bitter. Bitter is a relatively modern, almost 20th century term. 2). It would be difficult to make the stale. Some of the microbes responsible for souring the stale are aerobic and require a limited accessto air. The stale was traditionally made in large oak vats, but oak has a certain porosity to air. The aerobic microbes, I believe, seed themselves in the inside surface of the oak vessels and got access to air via the oak.Other redox reactions took place during the period of twelve to eighteen months it took for the stale to sour. It is significant that the brewers that still sour their beers with stale, Guinness and Rodenbach of Belgium, still use oak vessels to make the stale. Everything else, certainly in the Guinness brewery, is made from stainless steel. Belgian Rodenbach is the nearest thing to old time porter still being made. Guinness would not be, because only certain Guinness beers are soured, and then with only about 3% stale -- much less than old-time porter used to be. The best bet if you want to try to make a porter is to find out if Rodenbach is obtainable in the USA (it must be somewhere). The stuff simply called Rodenbach is a porter in all but name, but another product called Rodenbach Grand Cru is the sour part of the blend sold separately. You might consider buying a quantity of Rodenbach Grand Cru and using this to blend with your homebrew (start with about 15%) to produce a porter, just until you have learned how to make your own stale. You will not be able to culture from it because it is pasteurised. 3). The term "mild" in old-time parlance had nothing whatsoever to do with strength or bitterness. It simply meant fresh, or immature, in the same way that, in England at least, cheese is available in mild and mature varieties. Mild beer was cheap because there was no expensive ageing process. Today, mild beer is still expected to be cheap, but they achieve this by reducing the ingredients! Few beers these days are matured for any length of time, so most of them would be regarded as mild under the old meaning. In part response to Dave Hinkle's question in #2353 Guinness purchased Smithwicks in 1967. Beamish was purchased by Carling O'Keefe of Canada in 1962. Murphy's was purchased by Heineken in 1985. Graham Wheeler (UK) Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 1997 09:43:55 +0000 From: "Paul Kensler" <pkensler at ix.netcom.com> Subject: Contamination Q? / YCKCo experience Brian Deck asked about yeast contamination, and the Yeast Culture Kit Company... I can't comment on your contamination problem, but I have used the Yeast Culture Kit Co. yeasts before, and they are among my favorite yeasts. I have used the Dry Irish yeast and the Belgian ale... I could give the exact strain numbers, if you're interested. However, I have had bad experiences with other brands of yeast (namely, Brewers Resource, a very reputable yeast culturer). I wonder if your theory of yeast handling might be on target. That is, if a certain strain of yeast is cultured and maintained at the originating lab in a different manner than at the homebrewery, does it affect yeast performance?... Paul Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 1997 09:52:29 -0600 From: "Michael T. Bell" <mikeb at flash.net> Subject: RIMS pipe construction In HBD#2355 Mike Szwaya writes: >In the article, John Roberts has the heating element is mounted inside a 1 >1/2 inch copper tubing but the Vulcan element has a 1 inch NPT(M) fitting. > Can anyone give a schematic of the materials they used for their heating >element housing and suggestions as to where I could get them? >Thanks. > I purchased all of my pipe from a local plumbing supplier and from McMaster-Carr. On the horizontal form left to right, it consists of a 1" to 1.5" brass bushing(A), a 1.5" SS tee(B), a 12" x 1.5" SS nipple(C), a 1.5" SS coupling(D), a 1.5" to .5" brass bushing(E), and .5"brass quick disconnects(F). For the vertical part of the tee fitting connect a 1.5" to .5" brass bushing with another .5" quick disconnect. A B C D E F ---- ------- --------------------- ---- __ __ ____ _______ _____________________ ____ -- | | | | | | E | | F | Hope this helps. Michael T. Bell Boomerdog Brewing Arlington, TX Michael T. Bell Boomerdog Brewing Arlington, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 1997 12:43:21 -0800 From: Terry White <brew at buffnet.net> Subject: AHA I, for one, am getting sick of the constant complaining about the AHA and Charlie. If you don't feel that you are getting your moneys worth from the AHA then leave, no one is holding a gun to your head. I personally think that the AHA has done a great job. Through their publications and the efforts of Charlie they have promoted the hobby of homebrewing for 20 years now. It is safe to say that if it weren't for the AHA a lot of us would not even be brewing today. So, like I said if you don't like the AHA then don't be a member. Or you could start your own Association, quit your nice comfortable day job and work long hours for little money and when things finally start to come together and you can take a decent salary you can put up with the constant whinning from a group of people that probably have never run anything but their mouth. The common thread seems to be that there are a few people out there who want to have some control over the AHA. I have sat and read people argue for a month about weather it is better to have the water go in the top or the bottom of your wort chiller. How would anything ever get done? Charlie started the AHA and I think he deserves any compensation he gets, have you ever checked out the salary of other heads of non profit organizations, $100,000 is not out of line. So quit your whinning and make some beer. And Charlie, keep up the good work! Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 1997 11:42:15 -0600 From: Steve Moore <stevem at phoenix.net> Subject: Sierra Nevada Ale Yeast HOUCK KEITH A <HOUCK_KEITH_A at Lilly.com> wrote: >Out of curiosity, does anyone know the origins of this yeast (aka chico >yeast, WY1056)? Is it an English ale yeast? Something cultured from the >clean and slightly fruity Sierra Nevada air? On a related note, a local >brewpub, reportedly using this yeast, has somehow created several ales >reeking of diacetyl. In the many ales I tasted made with this yeast, >I've never found this. Anyone ever experience this and have an idea >what caused it? I believe Dr. Fix once stated that the Sierra Nevada strain was the original Ballantine's IPA yeast. Ballantine switched to another strain when they were bought out (or something). In Darryl Richman's _Bock_ book he says that it's also the Narragansett yeast. Beyond that, its origins are shrouded in mystery. Given it's low ester production, I wonder if it might have originally been a German ale strain. The butterball effect at the brewpub was probably caused by removing the beer from the yeast or vice-versa before the diacetyl reduction phase was complete. Sometimes brewpubbers get in too much of a hurry, especially when their serving tanks are getting low. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 1997 12:34:52 -0600 From: ThE-HoMeBrEw-RaT <skotrat at wwa.com> Subject: AHA/AOB/School teacher gone globe trotter Hi all, Being the original poster of all the "Boycott the AOB/AHA" posts to the HBD, RCB and countless homebrew forums I feel with all the comments and hair flying back and forth again with them and us I will make matters worse with my two cents worth again. I realize that to many of you I seem to be some freakish fanatic that runs around like a hippy shoving flowers in all the MP's guns I can find; but really this isn't the case. I do however believe that our (the american homebrewers) best interests are not be looked out for by the AOB/AHA. When I first started my postings about seven months ago I had no idea what was to follow. For the most part 90% plus of the responses I got were positive to my Boycott the AOB/AHA feelings. The other 10% told me to get a life. Well here we are seven months later and the AOB/AHA have still not responded in any way other than telling us that we are all whining about nothing. I don't feel this way. I am not a whiner or a complainer. I also believe that calling anybody else in the homebrewing community that is looking for reform those things is a crock. I have received email from just about everybody at the AOB/AHA (except for Charlie who has not responded as of yet and I really doubt he even reads his own email) asking me why I am such an awful person and why would I ever be angry with such a perfect organization as the AOB/AHA? I even got one email that said "Quite frankly Mr. Abene, perhaps you are not AOB/AHA material!". Well maybe I am not. This whole discussion boils down to one question as far as I am concerned. "Is the AOB/AHA really doing anything for america's homebrewers?" I don't think they are and from almost everybody that I have talked to they don't think they are either. So then, what do we do about it? Well for one we can try to fix they AOB/AHA with good old lobbying. Call them on the phone (303-447-0816) FAX them (303-447-2825) or email Charlie P. himself (charliep at aob.org). Let them know what your issues are. Tell them what the problems are... I have done it time and time again. I personally have lost faith in the AOB/AHA maybe if all of us ban together they can come back to being a great true organization for homebrewers. On the other hand... If they continue to not even give us the time of day then BOYCOTT them. Cancel your subscription, don't buy their products, Don't relax (but have a homebrew anyway). If we as homebrewers can not bring about change in the AOB/AHA perhaps it is time we come together and create a new organization that meets the needs of todays homebrewers and clubs. Perhaps it is time to bring in a new player to the plate. One where all the homebrewers and homebrew clubs around the country had a say as to what goes on in their organization. By the way. I do have a life beyond homebrewing. And I am not whining or complaining. I am trying to bring about change. A change that needs to be made. You know, being part of an organization is a lot more than a $30 magazine subscription. I think the AOB/AHA has lost sight of that fact. When I pay dues to my homebrew club every year I get an awful lot more than a magazine subscription (and nobody tries to sell me anything) I get a club that is full of information and brewing skills. Are you getting this from the AOB/AHA anymore? I wasn't and I think the "Special Issue" really pointed that out. For that matter, so did the way they dealt with the HBD. Running the HBD was just too much trouble. It was too big for them to handle. They didn't have the resources. FROGWASH! I believe now that when they (the AOB/AHA) saw that there was no cash in the HBD they let it go to hell and if some of us wouldn't have done something about it they would have left it for dead. Pat Babcock brought it back in the original form with far less resources than the AOB/AHA had. Because he cares. That's right.... Pat gives two turds about homebrewing in this country. The AOB/AHA could learn something from him. They used to have a great attitude about helping brewers with any problem. Tell me. Please tell me. Where did that attitude go? I have said this before and I will say it again. If we can't change them and they won't hear what we as "Members" have to say then Boycott them. -Scott "No I am not a fanatic" Abene ################################################################ # ThE-HoMe-BrEw-RaT # # Scott Abene <skotrat at wwa.com> # # http://miso.wwa.com/~skotrat (the Homebrew "Beer Slut" page) # # OR # # http://miso.wwa.com/~skotrat/Brew-Rat-Chat/ (Brew-Rat-Chat) # # "Get off your dead ass and brew" # # "If beer is liquid bread, maybe bread is solid beer" # ################################################################ Return to table of contents
Date: 22 Feb 97 13:44:28 EST From: "David R. Burley" <103164.3202 at CompuServe.COM> Subject: Zinc/skunkiness,contamination, yow-yowing, Malts,chemotherapy Brewsters: Steve Alexander provided us with a FWIW reference to a patent claiming to reduce skunking by zinc addition, without proving it actually reduced skunking. When I questioned the likelihood that sulfur compounds in general were involved in the generation of prenyl mercaptan Steve says: > Prenyl mecaptans contain sulphur, humulones don't. So where does the > mercaptan sulphur come from ? Doesn't seem likely to come from the > X-methyl-sulfides in the hops oils to me. Without knowing more about > the chemistry producing the mercaptans from isohululones I'd be > hesitant to state what is or isn't involved in this sequence of > reactions. Spencer Thomas during our private discussion on this has been providing some fairly modern photochemical references and summaries of his reading on the subject of the mechanism of skunking which come down to the following conclusion in one of the papers: " It has been suggested that LSF is caused by 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol, which is formed by the reaction of the 2-methylbuten-2-ylradical (see above) with sulfur compounds (10). But there is no obvious mechanism for this reaction." Despite this suggestion which supports the position of the patent and George FIx's contention ( based on someone's recent quote) that this is a well understood reaction, it is still under debate what the exact chemical and photochemical mechanism is. One comment in the literature that I found very interesting was that: " dark Munich beer is more susceptible to ... LSF than light Pilsner beer. .." Could it be a higher hop content? Melandoins are the light absorbers? It is unknown, based on the references Spencer provided. I believe that with British style beers the exact opposite situation prevails. Am I correct? Is it because the darker beers are less hopped? The coloring agents are derived form the malt treatment, rather than during mashing? Any comments on this? - ------------------------------------------------------------- Brian Deck has a problem with batch to batch contamination. A winey flavor in his beers. One thing I can suggest is if you are using a closed fermentation (carboy/overflow hose) configuration for your primary is to get a new overflow hose and all connected material. My preference is to go to an open primary fermenter configuration in which you can actually contact the interior surface with concentrated bleach and rubbing with a cloth or paper towel (rubber gloves and glasses) to remove ALL the organic deposits. Because this is so difficult (if not impossible) to do with dilute bleach and soaking, the overflow hose can be a serious source of bacterial contaminants and you will eventually get bitten by the bugs it can contains. - ------------------------------------------------------------ Val Lipscomb wants to stop what he defines as yow-yowing on the HBD. I apologize for focussing on you,Val, but I have resisted commenting on related comments by others when it involved me, even though it does hurt me to read it. Val, I challenge you and others who have made comments in the past to show me one comment I made that was personally disrespectful to AlK and if it's put into proper context, I will apologize publicly for it. In fact, if you go back you will find many times where I said how much I respect Al's excellent contributions ( and I said it privately to him on more than one occasion). It is because of this respect that I spend the time and effort to fully appreciate and understand his position and how it relates to the position of other writers. I nearly always learn something from Al's presentation, experience of others, my digging into the existing literature and mini-experiments and expect most other HBDers do also. If you are saying that it is your opinion that we can't have an open debate in a personally respectful manner where we bring forth arguments that may sometimes not always agree and may even get intense in the presentations, well, I ask what's this digest all about? Are you and others suggesting we all turn our activities to where all discussion is offline and no one benefits and other points of view and information do not get contributed? This is not an ego trip for me as it is, perhaps, for others. I am trying to have fun with my virtual brew buddies, learn something and pass on what I have learned in decades of brewing. I do refuse to be categorized incorrectly and attacked personally by anyone without cause. If there's a sin in that - I'm guilty. SO, until you and others bring forth examples, I am going to ask that yow -yowing about this non-existent problem as it concerns me directly to stop. Go back into the archives and bring forth an objective summary based on all the facts. - ------------------------------------------------------------ Brian of Bierkiester Brewery asks for the contribution of various malts. Try Charlie Papazian's Beer Companion. Very complete list pp 44ff - ------------------------------------------------------------ Keith Royster asks > Has anyone else out there experienced a loss of > taste/interest for beer related to chemotherapy? I was on chemotherapy for a year and while it sapped my strength and reduced my interest in and ability to do physical activites like brewing, I continued to drink an occasional beer ( as I normally do) despite doctor's orders to the contrary. It did provide temporary reduction from constant pain. While I wouldn't recommend this action to others, since I am not an MD, it worked for me. I did not detect any loss in taste. My wife recently experienced a complete loss of the ability to smell ( and therefore taste) and she lost all interest in eating. An operation to open up her sinus cavities was entirely successful in restoring her olfactory abilities and interest in eating. Perhaps the chemotherapy or other medication has caused the buildup of fluids in your nasal areas. Ask your doctor. - ----------------------------------------------------------- Keep on brewin' Dave Burley Kinnelon, NJ 07405 103164.3202 at compuserve.com Voice e-mail OK Keep on brewin' Dave Burley Kinnelon, NJ 07405 103164.3202 at compuserve.com Voice e-mail OK Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 1997 15:48:38 -0500 (EST) From: kevinm at kci.wayne.edu (Kevin McEnhill) Subject: Homemade corny-uni-tank Howdy one and all, I saw the add in BT for the 11 gal. unitank with a ball-lock fittings on top and thought that it was a great idea... untill I saw the price. Kripe! With that kind of cash, you can buy more grain than most people use in a year! Any way, it got me thinking (I know a bad habit but what else are you going to do at work, work?) why not modify a standard corny to do the same thing? I have a couple of questions though. 1) How thick are the walls of the keg? The welders that I have talked to have told be that if the thicknesses are too different, there might be a problem. 2) Is it possible to get a smooth, sanitary internal joint by welding only from the outside? The other possability is to silver solder the welded cone-ball valve assembly to the keg. If I solder it (with cadnium free silver solder) would it hold 25 psi? 3) Could I use some kind of filler to make a smooth fillet if the weld is too rough inside? Is there a food-grade bondo that would stick to SST? Thanks Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 1997 16:02:51 -0600 (CST) From: "Val J. Lipscomb" <valjay at NetXpress.com> Subject: First Gold Hops Hey again, brewfolks, In the last few months I've come across several references to a new British hop, First Gold. Does anyone know of a US source for this. Private e-mail is fine, so no one commits "spam-icide". TIA, Val Lipscomb-brewing in sunny San Antonio Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 1997 20:39:57 -0500 From: Michael Newman <MWNewman at compuserve.com> Subject: Scaling down from commercial operations. Al K said: "The only factors I can think of are: 1. surface-to-volume ratios affecting fermentation heat loss and therefore a different fermentation temperature, 2. the dimensions of the fermenter being much smaller so that the currents in the fermenter that form (due to heat and CO2 evolution) are going to be different (actually, they will still be there, but the currents will be much less intense), and 3. the utilisation of the hops is higher in commercial operations, but whether this is an issue of brew length or just more burner BTUs per gallon of wort, I don't know." These three points are certainly true. But there must be others. A couple spring to mind: 1. Commercial fermenters are larger and deeper. The differential temperature of the centre of the fermenter compared to the outside would most likely be greater. Different temperatures produce different tastes 2. The pressure at the bottom of the deeper fermenter will be significantly greater. Many microorganisms including yeast are sensitive to pressure. This is one of the reasons why "traditional real ale" isn't always successfully made in conical fermenters. Yeasts working in different environments will produce different flavour compounds. 3. Commercial boilers use steam heating and those fountainy things I can't remember the name of which will result in different degrees of caramelisation and "overheating" of the wort compared to out direct heat or electric immersion heaters etc.. 4. The large volume of the mash tun results in pressure effects again (affecting the enzymes) and, I guess, greater thermal inertia so that fluctuations in temperature are reduced. Some of these effects may be very minor and perhaps undetectable to the average taster (a dubious argument often heard from producers of commercial foodstuff- usually products that taste b. awful!) but there combined effect may be noticeable. Remember some taste compounds can have an affect on taste in concentrations below their taste threshold, assumably due to their interaction with other compounds. Of course in the case of the Hopback Brewery it might be because they make very good beer indeed. and I'm not saying this because their first pub is my local at work! Michael Newman MWNewman at compuserve.com Beer isn't the most important thing in life--it's far more serious than that. Return to table of contents
Date: 22 Feb 97 18:48:00 MST From: "Robert Waddell" <V024971 at Tape.StorTek.Com> Subject: altitude & carbonation? Greetings fellow brewfolk, I recently submitted a mead in the Bay Area Brewoff. All 3 of the judges comments that I received stated that I had submitted a still mead in a sparkling mead catagory. I ran out to the brew-haus and snapped a cap on one and it tried to crawl out of the bottle. OK, I'm in Longmont, CO and about a mile high. If the carbonation is fine here will it be deminished at sea level? Did they open it and let it set for a while before tasting? Did they get it too cold? I'm at a total loss as to what might have happened to it. It scored a 27, a 28, and a 34, so I'm not too disappointed, but this carbonation thing has left me slack and agape. Any ideas?? RJW __ I *L*O*V*E* my [Pico] system. 'Cept for that gonging noise it makes when my wife throws it off the bed at night. Women... --Pat Babcock *** It's never too late to have a happy childhood! *** ****************************************************************************** V024971 at TAPE.STORTEK.COM / Opinions expressed are usually my own but Robert J. Waddell / perhaps shared (though not by my employer). Owner & Brewmaster: Barchenspeider Brew-Haus ****************************************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 1997 23:03:18 -0500 From: Jay Ward <jaywward at gate.net> Subject: Semi- Rims In my response to Tad Selyer I inadvertantly attributed an article on electric bucket building to Dion Hollenbeck. Dion was kind enought to set me straight. He has a terrific site on RIMS setups and an impending book on the subject that promises to be well worth the reading. http://www.vigra.com/~hollen/RIMS.html The gentleman I should have steered Tad to is Ken Schwartz. The correct URL is http://alpha.rollanet.org:80/library/ElectBrKS0396.html Sorry for the mixup. Thanks for the great article Ken. Now that I've wasted all this bandwith sucking up, back to our regularly scheduled brew session... - -- Jay W Ward Husband, Father, Brewmaster Check out the brewery http://www.gate.net/~jaywward Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 1997 08:22:02 -0500 From: animnate at rocket.nwohio.com Subject: First All-Grain Lessons Homebrewers, Hi! Been lurking and enjoying the HBD for 3 months. Nice sutff here. I did my first all-grain last week, and it raised some questions. What did I do right to get what I'll call an unstuck mash? I throttled back on the valve to end up mashing/sparging over about an hour, but it seemed as if I could've done it in about five minutes. No slow periods, no restriction noted. Was this right? This is with a double bucket tun I made out of two $3 K-mart wastebaskets and a sillcock, with about 700 1/8 inch holes in the bottom of the inner, and a bent piece of plexiglass in the 1.25 inch space between to support the inner. Foil bubblepack taped to the outside for insulation. The first runnings were relatively clear, and after about a quart they were really clear; this was with a half a gallon of foundation water. Does that make sense? I kept about 1/2 inch of water above the grain while sparging the whole time, and it went all to easy, I think. There was about 2 cups of husks/finings in the bottom of the outer bucket. OG for the brown ale was slightly above what the recipe said (1.054 vs 1.043), although I added an extra 1/2# of Crystal. I crushed the grain in a homemade mill (thanks C. D. Pritchard for the help and info). Must've worked well! Also, instead of three days of mad fermentation then stillness, I had one day of blowoff, followed by 5 days of steady bububbling, which is at about 1 bub per 15 seconds now. Is it normal for the fermentation to be different? I'm racking to secondary today even so, as the time factor kinda bothers me. I've just got to know what the gravity is. I'm not worried but does it always go this well? :-) Anyway, I enjoy the info here. Thanks, all! E-mail welcome, but replies may be delayed due to a new server coming. Nate Wahl AnimNate at rocket.nwohio.com BTW, I've got to tell somebody that understands. My first contest was three weeks ago at the first Toledo Winter Microbrew Fest, and I got a blue ribbon on a 1.5 year old Gear Lube Stout (my third batch), and a red for Too Many Suitcases, (heavy) Porter! Thanks to all that helped on the bottling kegged beer question! Return to table of contents
Date: 23 Feb 97 08:59:22 EST From: "David R. Burley" <103164.3202 at CompuServe.COM> Subject: Sake Brewsters: Thanks to Matsuo Hoshido for his comments on Sake. Eckhardt and Kondo have both written books on this subject which are quite readable and cover different aspects of this subject. According to what I read, home sake production in Japan is where home brewing in the US was until the 1970's - illegal. Eckhardt's belief is that if it were legal, Sake sales in Japan would be going up and not down. As a precautionary note, Koji Tane - the pure dried Aspergillis Oryzyae spores can cause problems for people who have compromised immune systems, say, as a result of illness or medication. Apparently the effects are related to the problems caused by Aspergillis Niger, although I have nothing but my own supposition for this latter comment. I suggest if you are preparing your own koji from rice and spores, wear a face mask to cover your nose and mouth and glasses to cover your eyes. Work in a place where the dried spores won't concentrate. Wash the area and yourself after using it. Kampai! Keep on brewin' Dave Burley Kinnelon, NJ 07405 103164.3202 at compuserve.com Voice e-mail OK Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 1997 14:18:07 -0500 From: ajdel at mindspring.com (A. J. deLange) Subject: Cold Break/Moffetta Mike Spinelli asked whether cold break winds up in the fermenter when a counterflow chiller is used. Yes, it does (or at least you hope it does because you don't want it trapped in the chiller). Is this a problem? Not usually. For an ale fermentation the cold trub just goes to the bottom of the fermenter and sits there. The beer is not on it long enough to cause trouble (pun?). In a lager fermentation a decoction mash has probably been done and the quantities of trub are thus substantially reduced. The beer can, of course, be gotten off the trub by racking. If a cylindroconical is being used (and I see thay are now making some plastic ones) the chilled wort can be allowed to settle and the valve at the bottom of the cone opened briefly to let the trub out. If an open fermenter is being used, aeration with a stone will raise a frothy head which will float finely divided trub particles (i.e. the type associated with lagers) to the top where they can be skimmed. Finally, bear in mind that the jury isn't in as to whether cold trub should be removed. It contains sterols that the yeast can use during growth phase. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Massimo Faraggi aked for some help in undertanding what "skunked" means. A skunk is a North American mamal in the weasel family. There are three genera (Mephitis, Spilogale, and Conepatus) all of which have vents under the tail from which they emit an oily liquid when disturbed. This liquid is rich in mercaptans and has a strong unpleasant odor. There is an Italian word, moffetta, for skunk but I don't think there is any animal in Europe which resembles the North American skunks . When hopped beer which contains sulfur (i.e. lager) is struck by sunlight (or any light in the appropriate wavelength range) photons cleave a sidearm from the isohumulone molecule. This picks up a sulfur atom and becomes a mercaptan so that the beer's odor resembles that of a skunk. I can't think of a good way to describe the smell except to say that once you have smelled it you will never forget it. The best way to experience it as applied to beer is to take a bottle of Pilsner beer (Pilsner Urquell, Moreti, Peroni....) and expose it to direct sunlight for about half an hour. Now return it to the refrigerator and, when it is cold, pour some into a glass next to a glassful from a bottle which has not been exposed to sunlight. This is what we do when training beer judges. You will notice a distinct odor in the beer which has been exposed to the sun. This is isopentenyl mercaptan. Certain plants in North America, called "skunk cabbages" produce the mercaptan odor. These are usually found in swampy areas. I have no idea whether similar plants are found in Europe. Information on other smells and their causes are to be found in many places. Diacetyl is a byproduct of valine synthesis and has a buttery flavor and aroma. DMS comes from a sulfur bearing precursor found in malt and is formed when wort is hot. It is volatile and so is carried away during the boil. It has the odor of cooking vegetables and especially resembles corn (maize). A. J. deLange - Numquam in dubio, saepe in errore. Please Note New e-mail Address Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 1997 10:10:57 -0500 (EST) From: gu151 at cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Lorne P. Franklin) Subject: Pilsner Urquell Brewing Specs. Al inquired about the mash temps. for Pilsner Urquell. While not divulging that particular bit of information, an article by Phil Doersam in v4/n3 (Feb/Mar 1997) of _Southern Draft Brew News_ does provide a lot of good data on the production of PU. . . . Brewmaster Pavel Prucha, head of quality control and research [for Pilsner Urquell] . . . was eager to share the story and recipe for the world's finest Pilsner with our readers. Prior to 1988, the brewery bought most of its malt from outside sources. Since then, all malt used at the brewery is malted on site--so much so that they sell the surplus to other breweries. A triple-decoction mashing process is utilized in one of the 16 200-hectoliter mashing vessels to create the 12 degree Plato starting gravity. The 16 200-hectoliter copper brew kettle utilizes Saaz hops-- 60 percent flowers and 40 percent pellets--at the rate of 40 International Bittering Units, in three additions: at the start of the two-hour boil, 20 minutes later, and finally 30 minutes before the end of the boil. Three batches of wort are then transferred in one of two 600- hectoliter whirlpools to help remove particles undesirable for fermentation. Three batches of whirlpooled wort are then combined in an 1,800- hectoliter primary fermenter. This stage of fermentation is conducted at 9 degrees Celcius. Two batches of beer are then transferred to a secondary fermenter, where it stays for one month at .5 degree C. in a 3,300-hectoliter vessel. The yeast used for fermentation is repitched a maximum of three times-- rather conservative for a large brewery. The final gravity is 3.8 degrees Plato, which results in 4.4 percent alcohol by volume. The finished beer is kegged or bottled and then pasteurized. The bottles are put through a tunnel pasteurizer, and the kegs are put through a flash pasteurizer. A freshness date code appears on the front label of the bottles; however, it uses the Czech alphabet, so it's useless to the average American consumer. When asked why the brewery does not switch to brown bottles from the traditional green to help guard against the damaging effects of light, Prucha's response was that the date he has read indicates a minimal dif- ference in light protection between the two colors. He seemed sincere on this point, which surprised me given his ovbious knowledge and experience with brewing. . . . - -- L o r n e F r a n k l i n gu151 at cleveland.freenet.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 1997 11:59:10 -0500 (EST) From: Tim Plummer <plummer at brick.purchase.edu> Subject: Pale Ale and its kin Hi I am planning to brew my third batch of beer tonight, and during the planning of this fine brew (Opening Day American Ale, just in time for baseball season!), I have come up with some questions/ponderings about the various sub-styles of pale ale; ie English vs. American, Pale Ale vs. Bitter. Before I continue, let me say that I realize that style guidelines are just that--guidelines--and not exact specifications to which one must strictly adhere. That said, I must say that, in researching Pale Ales, I have become fascinated with all the subtleties (sp?) and styles. OK, on to the discussion. I'll begin with my calculations with my own recipie since this is what prompted my inquiries. It is intended to be a light-medium bodied ale, perfect for cracking open a few with a buddy over a ballgame on a Sunday afternoon in spring. I calculate the OG to come in around 1.042. I am using American malt extracts, and Perle and Cascade hops. Color should come in around 9L, and IBUs in the low 20s. As I realized that the OG would probably come in a little low for a "true" Pale Ale, I started flipping through style guidelines to see if I was unwittingly creating something else instead. That is what has led to my posting. Given the following (which are my interpretations of AHA guidelines and Foster's 'Pale Ale' from the Classic Beer Style Series): The significant (only?) difference between an English Pale Ale and an American Pale Ale is the native area of the ingredients, in particular the hops. The difference between an English Pale Ale, and the varieties of English Bitters is OG and carbonation levels--bitters being traditionally cask-conditioned, not bottle-conditioned, and therefore lower in CO2. So, my question is, if I have a low O.G., American-hopped pale ale, which style is it most appropriately classified to be? American Pale Ale? American Pale Ale LITE? If I cut back on the priming sugar a bit, could it be called an American Special Bitter? If the only real difference between English and American pale ales is their hop characteristics, why aren't there styles of American bitters to correspond with the English bitters? Is the MOST important distinction of a bitter considered to be its rather un-American low carbonation, making an American bitter too much of a contradiction? OK, those are my questions. Like I said, I'm not insane about classifying my beer--I'm content with American Ale--I'm just a new brewer who has stumbled upon a lot of info and history about a style of beer which I knew absolutely nothing about 2 months ago, and I'm trying to gain understanding from experieced brewers, wiser in the ways of beer than I. (And I've drank about a pot of coffee on this sunny Sunday morning!!!!!) E-mail responses are probably appropriate. TIA, Tim Plummer plummer at brick.purchase.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 1997 10:48:33 -0800 From: REX CLINGAN <KDASH1 at idt.net> Subject: blonde recipe David Lubar enquires about Leffe Blonde. I don't have a recipe, but have seen another blonde, from dutch micro christoffel, in the 2 L, brown glass widemouth swingtop with metal handle. there is also a label on p 143 of mj's the new world guide to beer for luxembourg's beicher's meisterbock blonde. blonde may generally refer to a pale bock beer style. is leffe blonde strong/sweet/malty like a bock? perhaps you might find some information on mj's home page, found recently by netsearchin on beerhunter (sorry lost all of my bookmarks last week). cheers rex clingan Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 1997 12:45:04 +0000 From: "John R. Bowen" <jbowen at primary.net> Subject: Re: Lots O' Trub (#2353 ) I haven't yet seen a reply to Scot Goeke's question about accidental excessive shaking increasing trub. As a related observation, I still think I see a lot more trub (and maybe new trub) when I siphon onto my primary through an aeration wand. I know that shear forces are created as the air mixes with wort passing across the small holes in the wand, and I wonder if this is denaturing or precipitating something. Scott's excess shaking might do the same thing. Do those of you who aerate with airstones with small holes see more trub, or new trub formation if your wort was already fairly clear? Do we have another trub formation/removal variable here? John Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 1997 16:18:19 -0600 (CST) From: Chris North <chrisn at infohwy.com> Subject: Bleach & SS Saul Laufer <laufers at vaniercollege.qc.ca> Writes in HBD#2356: <snip> >Also, there was some talk recently about bleach and its effect on SS. I >have been kegging for quite some time and have used bleach to sanitize >the kegs with no apparent damage. The insides are mirrorlike and there >is no evidence of pitting (I own 3 coke soda kegs). I have looked for >iodophor with little success. Perhaps it's not yet available in Canada. <unsnip> IMHO, comments like these can be dangerous for (particularly) new homebrewers. No criticism intended towards Saul as he is only questioning a conflict between what he has experienced and what he has been told. This is essential for understanding and is part of the learning process. The danger comes is when a homebrewer spends $150 (or more) on a kegging system and after a few batches, his keg is rusted, pitted, or even cracked. All because he thought bleach would not hurt his stainless. This could make one want to drown his sorrows in a bottle (or can) of bud! Truth is, bleach (or chlorides, or hypochlorites, or free chlorine) is harmful to many stainless steels (type 304 included). The degree of damage depends (in part) on concentration, temperature, and exposure time. I am not suprised that people have sucessfully used bleach to sanatize their stainless containers. I also know that the concentrations used to sanitize (say 200 ppm) will cause corrosion problems with stainless. I can't speak for others, but my typical attitude for using bleach to sanitize my (glass) carboys is "better too much than too little". Using the minimal effective concentration will reduce the damage done to the stainless. Of course, limiting contact times and *thourough* rinsing are also important. It seems to me there is a lot of similarity between the reactions posted on the HBD to the botulism thread and those on the bleach and SS thread. They typically run "Yeah, I know what the experts say, but I've done it like this for years and never had any trouble". With botulism, it only takes one bad jar to wipe out all the time saved by not boiling your starter before use (or cost you a whole lot more than a pressure canner). With bleach and stainless, I make the same argument (although a ruined keg won't kill you). My favorite piece of brewing equipment is my (one of four) corny keg(s) and I don't want to do anything intentionally that will harm it. While iodophor costs a whole lot more than bleach, at $7 per pint it costs less than $.05/gallon diluted 1/2 tsp per gal. I usually use 1 gal and the "roll around" method to sanitize my kegs. I'm really not interested in saving a nikcel if it jeopardizes my keg. As far as where to find iodophor, check with mail order homebrew suppliers. A more expensive solution would be to go to your drug store. Ask your pharmacist for some betadine (sp?) (an iodine based disinfectant). I'm not sure if it is exactally the same thing as iodophor, but my doctor has told me they can be used interchangeably. I don't really know as I've allways used iodophor. chris north Return to table of contents