HOMEBREW Digest #2468 Wed 23 July 1997

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

  Drying Hops ("Lee Carpenter")
  Homegrown Hops ("Lee Carpenter")
  re: Don't use your homegrown hops for brewing (Dick Dunn)
  25L stainless steel barrels ("Terry Tegner")
  tiny mosses with big brains (Dave Whitman)
  Helles Recipe Wanted ("Schultz, Steven W.")
  New 7 gallon Gott coolers (Mike Spinelli)
  Recipe for Vienna lager wanted ("Braam Greyling")
  chili beer (Dave Whitman)
  More on the mysteries of drying hops... (Some Guy)
  san diego (HOUCK KEITH A)
  Can it, Mead storage ("David R. Burley")
  Re: Mash Tun Manifold -- Plastic or Copper? (KennyEddy)
  low mash efficiency (dleone)
  chiles / eisbock (Samuel Mize)
  First time kegging help needed (Paul R Buettner)
  culturing yeast (Eric  Tepe)
  Re: Congratulations!! ("Decker, Robin E.")
  suction break tube (Rich Hampo)
  Gott cooler sources (Todd Etzel)
  yakima hops? (Jeff Sturman)
  Water Chemistry (David Whitwell)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 01:06:29 -0400 From: "Lee Carpenter" <leec at redrose.net> Subject: Drying Hops Stir Doctors, Mark Witherspoon says he dries his hops in his attic for a mere two hours! This attic must be wicked hot! I placed mine on a screen in a 90 degree garage and they weren't properly dry for 72 hours. Humidity was somewhat high at 70%, but still, TWO HOURS?!? How? Lee C. Carpenter "You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline--it helps if you have some kind of football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer." -- Frank Zappa Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 01:18:50 -0400 From: "Lee Carpenter" <leec at redrose.net> Subject: Homegrown Hops Don Van Valkenburg says not to use your backyard hops for brewing. While this point may have some validity, I contend it is perfectly fine to use your hops for dry hopping and for lambics (in which case you have let your hops practically rot for two years). Backyard hops definitely have a place in the homebrew culture. Alpha acid content may not be known, but with dry hopping and lambic brewing, who cares? Use 'em if ya got 'em! Lee C. Carpenter Return to table of contents
Date: 22 Jul 97 01:03:41 MDT (Tue) From: rcd at raven.talisman.com (Dick Dunn) Subject: re: Don't use your homegrown hops for brewing Mostly I don't like to respond extremely, nor to extremism, but this one really blisters my buns... "Don Van Valkenburg" <DONVANV at msn.com> wrote: > In response to the subject of using homegrown hops in your brewing--Don't. In response to this advice: Ignore it. It's written by somebody who's got a feather up his butt about something...who knows what or why?, but he's decided to shoot off his e-mouth without thought or substantiation. > First of all, if you don't live between 30 and 50 degrees latitude your hop > plants will probably not grow very well,... Ah, very nice. Well, since the entirety of England (save the Channel Islands) is north of 50 degrees, I guess they can't grow hops very well. Forget Fuggles; they're a myth. Forget East Kent Goldings; couldn't possibly matter. I guess England doesn't make beer. Pity, that. Or forget Van Valkenburg since he's a mouth without a brain. Take your choice. A nation and several centuries, or one mouth. >...or if they do will not produce > sufficient resin (where the essential oils come from) to have any flavor. ...as if you couldn't tell by looking at the hops, and smelling and tasting. > Second, if you are in a good region of the country to grow hops, how do you > know what the resulting alpha/beta acids are?... But if you're anything but a drooling techno-droid, do you care? Do you think you can't use good hops unless you have made some nit-picky measure- ments? If you can grow decent hops (and your crop will tell the result), use them! Alpha and beta measurements are information, nothing more. If you want to know why your hops work well, or don't, the measurements may help you find the answer...but (as others have already pointed out) if you don't know the numbers, the hops will still work if they're good. Look at the plants. Look at the cones. Pick them, pull them apart, smell them. THINK! Learn! > Bottom line is enjoy growing your homegrown hop plants like you would any > other ornamental yard plant, but don't use them for brewing... Yes, don't think you can farm. Don't think you can do anything without the Big Corporate Agribusiness. Don't think you can be independent. WHAT IS THIS CRAP? Somebody somewhere is scared of the idea that brewers can brew beer without sucking up to some big business. Well, too bad. I've done fine with my own hops...took a bit of experimentation at first, but worked out great. Suggestion to HBD: Grow yer own hops, and brew on. Suggestion to Van Valkenburg: If you have no idea what you're talking about, silence is a viable alternative. - --- Dick Dunn rcd, domain talisman.com Boulder County, Colorado USA ...Boulder was. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 09:25:13 +0200 From: "Terry Tegner" <tegbrew at aztek.co.za> Subject: 25L stainless steel barrels Hi all from South Africa. I have been offered 25L stainless steel barrels (+/- 6 gals US) for the equivalent of US$7.00 each. They are non pressure and measure 12 inches diameter by about 20 inches tall. My question is if the chemical that they originally contained was toxic or should I not even worry. The chemical in question is "polythene glycol" made by Merck Pharmaceuticals. The reason they are available is that, although they are returnable, from SA it's just not economical. All advice gratfully received. Regards Terence "Phail" Tegner. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 07:50:40 From: Dave Whitman <dwhitman at rohmhaas.com> Subject: tiny mosses with big brains In HBD#2467, Mark Nelson says: >Sean and Dave both wrote that the brains effect might have been caused by >Irish Moss in the brew. In my case, I used the normal amount of Irish Moss >(maybe 1/2 teaspoon for the 5 gallon batch), but got *lots* of brains. >Several baseball-sized clumps of grey matter. I don't think the 1/2 tsp of >Irish Moss could have caused this, right? I consistantly see these big flocs when using even small amounts of irish moss, and have an entry in my notebook from the very first time I used IM, wondering just what this funky stuff in my fermenter was. I think there are two factors which account for the apparent huge size of the clumps: 1. The clumps aren't just irish moss - it's a complex of irish moss, proteins the irish moss are removing, hot break and cold break. 2. The clumps are loose and swollen with water. If you collect them (hard to do because they're soft and slimy) and remove most of the water, they don't really have as much volume as first appears. - --- Dave Whitman "The opinions expressed are those of the author, and not dwhitman at rohmhaas.com Rohm and Haas Co." Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 08:28:22 -0400 From: "Schultz, Steven W." <swschult at CBDCOM-EMH1.APGEA.ARMY.MIL> Subject: Helles Recipe Wanted I recently had the pleasure of drinking the Helles bier made by the Baltimore Brewing Company, and thought it was every bit as good as what I've had on draft in Bavaria. A wonderful, quaffable brew; malty but balanced by just enough bitterness. I'd love to try making a clone of this, and if anyone has a clue as to the recipe, please post it to the HBD or to me privately. Thanks in advance. Steve Schultz Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 97 08:25:21 est From: paa3983 at dpsc.dla.mil (Mike Spinelli) Subject: New 7 gallon Gott coolers HBDers, My local Home Depot is selling these new 7 gallon size orange Gott coolers for around $23 bucks. Mike Spinelli Cherry Hill NJ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 14:42:55 +200 From: "Braam Greyling" <braam.greyling at azona.co.za> Subject: Recipe for Vienna lager wanted Hi, The next beer I want to brew is a real Vienna lager. I have got the following malts: Weyermann Pilsner(pale) Vienna brewmalt Munich brewmalt Caramunch 2 (Crystal malt) Wheat Smoked I was thinking of using about 80% Vienna, 10% Pilsner, 7%Munich and 3% Caramunch. Please advise whether you think this would be an appropriate choice. Also what hops should I use and most importantly what yeast should I use. I was thinking of Wyeast Bavarian lager yeast. If you have any recommendations or can send me your recipe, please dont hestitate. Also: should the water be hard or soft ? TIA Braam Greyling I.C. Design Engineer Azona(Pty)Ltd tel +27 12 6641910 fax +27 12 6641393 You can taste a good beer with one sip, but it is better to make thoroughly sure. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 08:47:15 From: Dave Whitman <dwhitman at rohmhaas.com> Subject: chili beer In HBD #246, Brad Sevetson asks: >And are jalapenos a >good choice? Our waiter told us one time that they use whole jalapenos, >lots of them, in the secondary, and since they're never cut open you don't >get a high level of spicinesss but the pepper flavor really comes through. >Does anyone believe this? I've never made a chili beer, but I love chilis and can stretch myself to believe the waiter's story. Most of the capsaicin (the main hot componant) is concentrated in the membrane surrounding the seeds in the center of chilis. If you don't cut the chili open, the membrane isn't exposed to your beer and you probably get less heat, at least for relatively short steeps. A perhaps more reliable method would be to cut the jalapenos in half and trim out the center membrane before using them. Wash your hands well after doing this, and DON'T touch your eyes while working. You might also consider trying something other than jalapenos. When I want to be able to use a LOT of chili for flavor and still have a dish be palatable to the general population, I use anaheims. They have great flavor and are a bit hot, but not overpowering. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 08:55:45 -0400 (EDT) From: Some Guy <pbabcock at oeonline.com> Subject: More on the mysteries of drying hops... Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager... As I was pondering my navel - er - the COSMOS (yeah! That's better!) this morning, I read note after note to the 'Gest about drying their hoppage. Most cited a temperature. This led me to pick a wad of lint - er - to the realization that some may have the concept a little "off": The key to drying is air circulation; not necessary temperature. Just a thought... See ya! Pat Babcock in SE Michigan pbabcock at oeonline.com Home Brew Digest Janitor janitor@hbd.org AOL Home Brewing "Maven" brewbeerd at aol.com Ford Manufacturing Engineer pbabcock.ford at e-mail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 13:21:35 +0000 (GMT) From: HOUCK KEITH A <HOUCK_KEITH_A at LILLY.COM> Subject: san diego I will be in San Diego for a very brief visit next week. Can anyone suggest any "don't miss" brewpubs? Thanks much. Keith Houck Chapel Hill, NC Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 10:16:14 -0400 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Can it, Mead storage Brewsters: As others have, Jeff Renner tries to bring a "voice of reason" to this canned wort for starter/botulism issue: >". It would seem that theorists are being VERY cautious since >botulism is so deadly. Sounds like a good plan to me! > I think we are safe using canned wort for starters." Everyone is entitled to his own opinion,as you are. It just happens to differ with that of the experts. Your reasoning that we have never heard= of it anyone suffering botulism and dying from canned wort, so therefore,= it must be safe, just doesn't work for me. = Just to be clear. To my knowledge no one has suggested that canning wort *correctly* is unsafe, just that canning wort using the boiling water technique is incorrect and potentially very dangerous. If you use *pressure* canning in which the wort temperature gets high enough to properly sterilize the canned goods, this is fine. = Frankly, I don't know why anyone would go to the trouble of canning wort,= since malt extract is so readily available and reasonably priced. OTOH I can understand the desire to be self sufficient and respect that. I also look at the many fiddling things I do, with no complaint, to make sure m= y next batch is great and I understand. Just be safe. - ------------------------------------------- Somehow I missed responding to the question about storing mead for a long= time and have now lost the reference to the author. Let me say that the Grolsch-type rubber gaskets are not going to work and I suggest you re-bottle your mead as the wine it is. Use the highest quality 13/4 inch= #9 show quality corks ( probably $.50/cork - about 2.5 cents per year per bottle) and dark bro= wn wine bottles. If you don't have a corker, perhaps you can rent or borrow= one from your HB store. Store the bottles on their side to keep the cork= s wet and swollen. The real criminal in keeping wine for long periods is temperature *change*. Changing temperature pumps air into the bottle as t= he temperature goes up and down and oxidizes the wine, spoiling it. Keep yo= ur mead cool and in an area of constant temperature. Likewise keep it in th= e dark or even in paper or dark cloth bags as in days of yore. As you transfer it to the new bottles, I suggest you make up a solution of 1/4 t= sp of sodium or potassium bisulfite for each 5 gallons and put the correct fractional amount in each bottle before you add your mead. This will absorb the oxygen incorporated during the re-bottling and keep the mead fresher longer. This practice commonly used in re-bottling fine wines. = The mead will contain about 60 pm max of sulfite and will dissipate over time. - ------------------------------------------- Keep on brewin' Dave Burley Kinnelon, NJ 07405 103164.3202 at compuserve.com Dave_Burley at compuserve.com = Voice e-mail OK = Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 11:53:08 -0400 (EDT) From: KennyEddy at aol.com Subject: Re: Mash Tun Manifold -- Plastic or Copper? Rene' asks about making a manifold for his new mash tun: "What are the benefits of PVC or Copper tubbing?" PLEASE DO NOT USE PVC!! PVC softens at about 150F, right smack in the middle of your operating temperature range. While I can't say for sure whether PVC gives up any of its chemicals as it heats to this point, at minimum you'll have problems with leakage and warping. If you want to use plastic, use CPVC. It's rated for potable water up to 180F. I use CPVC plumbing on my Plastic Electric Brewery, even to boiling temperatures, with no ill effect. Copper is a good choice too. My mash tun has a copper manifold made from 1/2" pipe and fittings. It's press-fit so it disassembles for thorough cleaning. I drilled it with 3/16" holes every 1/4 inch. ***** Ken Schwartz El Paso, TX KennyEddy at aol.com http://members.aol.com/kennyeddy Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 10:58:08 -0500 From: dleone at gw.stlnet.com Subject: low mash efficiency hi there, i just completed my third all-grain session and am a bit bummed out by the mash efficiency. it has hovered around 50%-55% for all of them. i am using a converted coleman 48 qt. cooler with a cpvc mainfold and a sparge arm that is made of 3/8 plastic water line drilled with 1/32" holes. i have carefully ground my grains. the first and third batches were single step infusion and the middle batch a two-step infusion. this latest one seemed at first to be the most promising, as i was able to get a strike temperature that held the mash at 155 degrees for 1-1/2 hours. it still did not convert according to my iodine test. to further confirm this i had 12#s of grain (10- pale ale, 1 crystal 10L, 1 flaked barley) and my o.g. was 46. i mashed with 3 gals and sparged with 7. i lose about 1-1/2 gals in the brewpot (converted keg) by boiling off and what is left as sediment in the bottom. please help. private mail preferred, but not required. thanks a bunch. "love animals, don?t eat them" don leone dleone at pd.stlnet.com http://home.stlnet.com/~dleone/index.html http://home.stlnet.com/~dleone/portfolio.html Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 11:40:57 -0500 (CDT) From: Samuel Mize <smize at prime.imagin.net> Subject: chiles / eisbock Greetings, Bradley Sevetson writes: > I want to make a nice summer chili beer... I've never made chili beer, but I make chili from fresh chiles. Spelling note: chili, chilli, chilly, and chile are all used in English. I personally use "chile" for the peppers, like (most) Spanish-speakers do, and "chili" for the meat dish, which is American. So I guess if *I* made a "chili" beer it would include garlic, cumin, Mexican oregano and beef, but yours probably wont! :-) > But how do you do the peppers? And are jalapenos a > good choice? Should be, for a "Tex-Mex" flavor. Since you're working in the secondary, you might split a test batch and try several peppers and/or blends, see what you like. In my chili I use poblanos (mellow flavor, less heat), serranos (hotter than jalapenos, sharp flavor) and occasionally habaneros (extremely hot, sharp fruity tang). Sometimes I cook up a batch to keep in the fridge, and I don't use habaneros -- they all keep releasing capsicum (heat) into the chili, and BOY do those habaneros heat things up! Habaneros have (if I recall right) about 20 times as much capsicum in them as jalapenos do. HOT HOT HOT and very tasty. I've seen people comment that, with a pepper in the bottle, their beer got almost too hot to drink. Since you're specifically NOT wanting strong heat, I'd avoid that approach. Dried peppers are generally smoked (I mean that's how they're dried, not how they're consumed!). I've seen comments that people used these in beer, and it provided another interesting layer of flavor. I'd suggest anchos; these widely available peppers are smoke-dried poblano peppers (poblanos are mild). DO remove the seeds first to keep down the heat. If they aren't flexible enough for this to be easy, they aren't fresh. Anyway, the point is, they all have distinct flavors, not just different levels of heat. Look for references on chiles, either in the library or on the net. Email me for pointers. > Our waiter told us one time that they use whole jalapenos, > lots of them, in the secondary, and since they're never cut open you don't > get a high level of spicinesss but the pepper flavor really comes through. > Does anyone believe this? Sounds reasonable. The meat has the flavor, the seeds and innards have most of the heat. For a short steep, the whole chiles might provide less transfer of the capsicum oil. For a long steep, the complete absence of seeds in the deseeded ones might give more flavor and less capsicum. WARNING: if you cut open the peppers in preparation, WASH YOUR HANDS AFTERWARD WITH SOAP. You will NOT enjoy getting the least trace of chile oil on your eyes or mucous membranes, and it's a sticky oil. A water rinse won't get it all off. (This is a chile-head shouting at you, there's no wimp factor involved here.) Wash thoroughly, get under the fingernails, after handling cut-open chiles. Habaneros I often use gloves with, and then wash up after taking them off. But Don't Worry, just take a little care, just like keeping your equipment clean. If you have trouble finding a selection of peppers, look for groceries that cater to a Mexican/Latino clientele. Ground peppers are a last resort; the flavor oils evaporate faster than the capsicum. I'm afraid you're going to have to experiment, Bradley. A lot. Hic. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Someone else posted: > I have an eisbock in the primary fermenter right now and would like > suggestions on the lagering and freezing process. First, is the freezing > and removal of ice done before or after lagering? ... > Chapel Hill, NC ^^ (USA address, so comment on US laws is applicable) Do be advised that concentrating an alcoholic beverage at home (by distilling OR freezing) is against US Federal regulations. (I think they're stupid regulations, but there they are.) I understand commercial "Ice" beer is regulated so that any water removed by freezing must be replaced by just as much water before they sell it -- the freezing is to condition it somehow, I think impurities are supposed to filter out with the ice. Perhaps that's what you're intending to do, I don't know that much about eisbock. I would guess that, outside a regulated brewery, the Feds will take the stance that you're concentrating the beverage, and what you plan to do with it later (like water it down) is irrelevant. Is anyone familiar with specific regulations and actual enforcement? Is it likely that BATF would bust down your door for homebrewing an eisbock? How small does the chance have to be? That's YOUR call. Best brewing to all, Sam Mize - -- Samuel Mize -- smize at imagin.net -- Team Ada Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 09:25:12 -0600 From: Paul R Buettner <paulr at dzn.com> Subject: First time kegging help needed Greatings all: I just bought a keg system from my local brew shop and need some advice. do I add sugar or not? I have had several different people tell me to add sugar (1/3 cup), then again I have had several poeple tell me to just apply 30lbs pressure and shake the keg untill I am dizzy, then chill to 45 deg. Anyone out there willing to help out? Paul Paul R. Buettner paulr at dzn.com El Paso Texas Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 12:43:23 -0400 From: Eric Tepe <tepee0 at chmcc.org> Subject: culturing yeast Mark Battreall asks about culturing yeast from the smack packs. Once I smack the pack and let the pack swell (usually 24 hours), using sound aseptic technique (I work in a lab) I immediately streak 2 malt agar slants. I let them grow for 2-3 days at room temperature then store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months before re-slanting. If you get good at this technique you should only have to buy the yeast once because you can keep re-culturing it over time. Good Luck! Eric R. Tepe Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 97 13:05:00 -0500 From: "Decker, Robin E." <robind at rmtgvl.rmtinc.com> Subject: Re: Congratulations!! >>>For those of you wondering why there have not been any posts from Al K the past few days -- he was busy picking up a medal for his mead at the convention. And at long last, George Fix won homebrewer of the year. <<< Congratulations to George and Al!! Hopefully, one or both will report on the festivities for those of us who were too impoverished to attend.... please guys? Goldings visit our web page: www.biermeisters.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 13:20:17 -0400 From: rhampo at ford.com (Rich Hampo) Subject: suction break tube Hi, Rene asks about a "suction break tube" I have a slotted copper manifold in my lauter tun with a tube that leads to the top of the lauter tun. I like it for two reasons. 1) After dumping the mash into the lauter tun, I can underlet it (and clear out the slots) by uncorking the tube and pouring in a few cups of sparge water. 2) Whan the mash sticks (only once so far) you can do the same trick: Turn off the outflow valve, pour sparge water in the tube to flush out the slots. THis worked like a charm for me. Just remember to keep the tube corked during normal lautering or it will likely suck air in and cause HSA. My manifold is 1/2" copper tubing - straight pieces, elbows, and tees. It is just pressed together (not soldered) for easy cleaning. It is shaped so that it fits tightly in the bottom of the tun - this keeps it from coming apart unexpectedly. Brew on! Richard Hampo H&H Brewing Ltd. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 10:46:20 -0700 From: Todd.Etzel at eos.lmco.com (Todd Etzel) Subject: Gott cooler sources I occassionally see questions about where you can find the cylindrical Gott style coolers, and I just happened to get a catalog that sells them. The company name is Consolidated Plastics Co, and their number is 800-362-1000. They list a 3 gal model for $39.65, 5 gal for 49.85, and a 10 gal for 68.20. Also, the local Home Depot has a 7 gal model on sale for around $20. Todd Etzel Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 15:35:58 -0700 From: brewshop at coffey.com (Jeff Sturman) Subject: yakima hops? Bridgeport Brewing's home page lists Yakima as one of the hop varieties used in their IPA. I can't seem to find any info on this hop. Any help? Any good substitutes? Is Yakima Magnum the same thing? And what is a good substitute for Ultra? Just had the BB IPA last week for the first time. Tastiest IPA I've ever had. Hops all over place. yummy jeff casper, wy Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 16:44:25 -0700 From: dwhitwell at foxcomm.net (David Whitwell) Subject: Water Chemistry O Great Brewing Collective: I have questions about water chemistry. I recently obtained an analysis of the water at a city well I plan to draw my water from. As the city's water is chlorinated and fluoridated, they provide, from several wells, water that is not treated, but is tested regularly. I recently started using Brewer's Workshop, which lets me add the default values for several ions, and then makes suggestions for additions based on the style being brewed, or the style of water of a particular famous brewing city. The figures are as follows: Chloride: 5.7 Sulfate: 12 Calcium: 22 Magnesium: 9.6 Hardness: 94 TDS: 150 I list these because they, along with Sodium and Carbonate, are the ions asked for in Brewer's Workshop. When I called the city, they said they would send me a more recent summary that included Sodium, but that they didn't measure Carbonate. However, their summary listed "Hardness, CACO3". Does this mean that "hardness" is a measure of Calcium Carbonate? If so, can I extrapolate the measure of Carbonate somehow? If not, what do I do? I also noticed that zinc was not detected at a detection limit of 0.050. I seem to recall that trace amounts of zinc are necessary for yeast health. Do I need to worry? Return to table of contents
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