HOMEBREW Digest #2541 Mon 27 October 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

  Connor/wort (A. J. deLange)
  culturing yeast, rainwater, optimizing airlocks (Dave Whitman)
  re: GABF (sort of...) (John Gilman)
  Hot Rocks and Steinbier - Part 2 ("David R. Burley")
  Hot Rocks and Steinbier - Part 1 ("David R. Burley")
  Rock Bottom Brewery (Quenching the flames...) was "GABF sort of..." (Darrell)
  Yeast: Top vs. Bottom Fermenting (John Goldthwaite)
  Re: Electrical Hazard? (Dion Hollenbeck)
  Re: Steinbier (John Adams)
  Sparge time ("Michael Kowalczyk")
  Rock Bottom styles ("Bryan L. Gros")
  California toxicity (John Wilkinson)
  Rock Bottom (Samuel Mize)
  building the ideal airlock (Mike Uchima)
  Betadine, Iodine, Chlorox and Stainless Steel (Tim Martin)
  Re: Rockbottom (was: GABF (sort of...)) (fwd) ("Andrew D. Kailhofer")
  Scottish Ale Recipe (Bob Tisdale)
  Electrical Hazard (Robert Arguello)
  GW's NW Pale Ale Malt ("Val J. Lipscomb")
  Re: Yeast Culture (emccormick)
  filtering beer - what micron size? (Ian Smith)
  "Nickel Plated" Brass (Ian Smith)
  RE: Nickle Plated Brass (Jeff Grey)
  RE: Electrical Hazard (Jeff Grey)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 13:07:03 -0500 From: ajdel at mindspring.com (A. J. deLange) Subject: Connor/wort Adam Fisher asked about the origin of "wort". That's and easy one. It comes from the German word "wurze" which means spice or essence ("In der Kurze liegt die Wurze") and hence wort and that's why we pronounce it the way we do. As for the connor tale: I was told exactly the same story by my freshman chem prof way back when except in his version it was Burgermeisters in lederhosen testing the new Bock in the Ratskeller. If, when they stood up and shouted "Prosit!", the bench came with them the batch was approved. If it didn't, I guess they drank it anyway. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Jon Bovard asked about rainwater. Rainwater is, of course, distilled water which condenses aloft and then falls to earth so it should be pretty pure. But it condenses around a nucleus which is usually a dust particle (a red one in your part of the world) and is this a little dirty but filration should remove dust, pollen etc. The water dissolves some of the gasses it falls through. If the air is really clean the only gas dissolved is CO2 so that rain water, in these circumstances, rainwater is pretty pure carbonic acid with a pH of around 5.5 or so. If the pH is appreciably lower than this that usually means that the air contained sulfur or nitrogen oxides from automobile or factory emission. Unfortunately, these gasses travel a good long way and although Brisbane isn't Tokyo I wouldn't be too surprised to find the rain a bit acid. A bit of nitrate and sulfate won't hurt your beer if you neutralize with some calcium carbonate (you don't have to worry about the dissolved CO2 - it's unappreciable) but I guess I would worry about photochemically produced organics in rain water. I suppose you could have a test done for these but that would cost a fair amount. I wouldn't worry about those if you were up in Cooktown or someplace like that but in an urban setting I would. Rainwater is, of course, empty of calcium, magnesium, sodium etc and these ions would have to be supplied externally for most beers brewed with rain water. A. J. deLange - Numquam in dubio, saepe in errore. - --> --> --> To reply remove "nosp" from address. <-- <-- Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 09:38:56 -0500 From: Dave Whitman <dwhitman at rohmhaas.com> Subject: culturing yeast, rainwater, optimizing airlocks In HBD#2539, Greg Young asks about sterilization in yeast ranching: >My only problem is that I don't have >access to an autoclave nor do I own a pressure cooker. I'm well aware of the >importance of sterilization (as opposed to sanitation) in yeast cultivation >procedures, and I was wondering if there are any suggested/possible methods for >achieving it in a homebrewer's humble abode I'd recommend buying a pressure cooker. You can get a small one suitable for making slants, etc, very reasonably at most discount stores. The price goes up for larger models that would allow you to pressure can quarts of wort, but if you just want to culture, a small one is adequate and surprisingly cheap. If you value your money more than your time, there IS another option: Tindalization. Although boiling at room pressure doesn't kill off bacterial spores, it does kill off most living/growing things. If you boil your stuff in a hot water bath for 20 minutes for 3 days in a row (to let any spores sprout, then kill the resulting bacteria), the results are supposed to be about the same as pressure cooking at 15 lbs for 20 minutes. You obviously want to keep the samples you are Tindalizing covered so they don't get contaminated with fresh spores mid-process. John Bovard asks: >Has anyone got any data on the chemical composition of Rainwater and its >viabilty/cleanliness in Brewing. Rain water is very soft with essentially no dissolved minerals; you can generally treat it as you would distilled water, adding Ca, etc, as needed for the style of beer you're brewing. Caveats: depending on local air quality, rainwater can contain a lot of particulate matter (soot, etc) and any volatile organics that may be in your air. Rain water can also contain low levels of sulfate if you have a local acid rain problem. You say that your local air is pretty fresh though. Bottom line: if the water tastes good to you, use it without worry. Finally, in the same issue Steve Alexander wonders about the ideal airlock: >There is a bigger and more interesting and - need I say it - more >pointy-headed scientific question regarding airlocks here. > >An ideal airlock would allow no potentially contaminated air into the >fermentor, nor would it allow any atmospheric O2 into the fermentor. A >HEPA filter helps with the first problem, but is hopeless regarding the >second. It would seen that only an impermeable cover or membrane would >keep O2 out. Just how permeable to oxygen are oils, other liquids ? Sharpening my cranial apex: As long as the airlock is actively bubbling, CO2 evolution will provide sweeping action and the O2 level will be EXTREMELY low. Once bubbling stops, diffusion will begin, although I suspect the rate is too low to worry about. That said, the diffusion rate will be proportional to the exposed surface area of the fluid. As such, a narrow "S" airlock may be better than a wide concentric one for long term storage. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics has some information on O2 diffusivity in liquids. Unfortunately, neither water nor oil is in the table, but FWIW the 02 diffusion rate goes down by a factor of two in the series CCl4 > cyclohexane > ethanol. This suggests that more polar liquids are better than less polar ones. (This makes sense since O2 has is has very low dipole moment). My best guess is with an even higher dipole moment than ethanol, water is a very good choice of airlock liquid for keeping out O2. Other advantages of water include low toxicity, low volatility, no adverse effect on heading, and the low probability that one's SO will drink it behind your back. <grin> CO2 makes a great blanket gas for protecting O2-sensitive materials, since it's heavier than air. Cl2 is even heavier, and would easily sink through a CO2 blanket. I wouldn't add bleach to airlock water. - --- Dave Whitman dwhitman at rohmhaas.com "Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not Rohm and Haas Company" Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 08:41:17 -0500 From: John Gilman <gilmanj at mindspring.com> Subject: re: GABF (sort of...) >"The problem I have with beer judging and beer style categories and >standards is that they are creative death. Nobody ever grew in life by >always trying to copy someone else To copy is to exercise in technique >and technique alone." >Mark Youngquist >Founder/Head Brewer >Rock Bottom Brewerys While I believe in style categories, I also believe in open categories. My idea is that two things should change in judging. First, judges should be able to nominate beers that "aren't true to style", but otherwise excelent for a "judges open" award. This to be judged at the end of category judging. Second, open beer categories should be available, not for novelty beers, but for beer which doesn't quite fit and the brewer realizes this going into competition. The goal is to try to preserve traditional styles, while at the same time providing a way for new styles to emerge. John Gilman Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 09:46:15 -0400 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Hot Rocks and Steinbier - Part 2 Brewsters: As a result of these discussions and communications, I had an idea which I may try in the near future. I speculate ( comments and discussions much appreciated) that the following idea for producing steinbier using the volcanic stones from your local barbeque grill or hardware store will work nicely. These are readily available and we know these = don't blow up when heated as they are used routinely in grills and directly heated to red hot. They are generally glassy and don't have = the possibility of shearing down a crystal plane and flying through the air when heated. I would start here rather than a stone mason's yard. They are also porous, giving a much = larger surface area to caramelize the wort per pound of rocks. = One problem with these rocks may be an incredible amount of iron and other metal contents which will be leached into the wort the first time they are used. I recommend therefore, that these rocks ( and others being used for this process) be leached of these surface metal ions by = soaking for several days in diluted muriatic acid ( hardware or tile store)[safety glasses and gloves]. Rinse until the water is clear, by soaking for a few days each time. When the water runs clear, is no longer strongly acidic and not colored by metal ions, soak in = sodium bicarbonate solution and then rinse in water. = = This should remove the surface-accessible, chloride-soluble metals and the bicarb soak should help neutralize any acid and chase away = any chlorides which cause metal chloride salts to vaporize when heated to glowing. Be sure to dry these stones overnight or longer in = an oven set about 250F to remove any water = in the crevices, which, if heated rapidly, could produce steam and blow up the rocks. = You may even want to give them a final blast at say 450F. I would test a few of these rocks to see if they are dry enough by heating them = on a grill with the lid down. = Now take a vessel ( SS pot, for example, which has an exit port or a hole(s) in the bottom) which can withstand = the red hot stones. Heat the stones in a fire or on the gas grill. Remove and don't use the cooking grill, buy a new metal support grill if your old one is cruddy (this grill is the lower one which is used to support the lava rocks directly over the flame) or clean your old one thoroughly of grease and other matter with a wire brush, solvents, = Easy-Off (r) or soap. Condition the new grill by first heating to red heat- then put the stones directly on this grill and in the flames from a gas grill). When the rocks are glowing red hot , using tongs, put the rocks in an empty pot and slowly pour cooled wort over these stones until they stop smoking and steaming.[glasses, gloves, long sleeves and face mask]. When cool put these in the primary. Some people suggest holding these rocks with caramelized and burned sugars from the wort in the refrigerator until the primary fermentation is nearly finished to maximize the flavors imparted. I doubt the Germans did this, but it could enhance the flavor retention. Jeff Renner speculates privately that the Germans put these current rocks into a previous brew. I suspect the smoky aroma/flavor does not come from the wood fire as has been speculated, but from the heavily blackened, burnt sugars on the rocks. = ( Think of blackened marshmallows you made as a kid at weenie roasts to get an = idea of the taste). Because these rocks are heated to glowing in a fire they will not likely have much smoky flavor from the wood = - but I don't know without trying the obvious experiment further on down the road. How many pounds of lava rock per gallon?? I don't know, but suggest that the amount of rock purchased for a grill( About 0.1 cubic foot) would be a good place to start for 5 gallons of beer. Use maybe a quart of wort. = If you try it, please let me and the HBD know, = along with your thoughts and observations. - ------------------------------- 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: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 09:46:19 -0400 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: Hot Rocks and Steinbier - Part 1 Brewsters: I have had several much appreciated private communicatons and requests for references on the subject of steinbier, largely in response to my comment that I thought that, rather than putting hot rocks into the beer, that the Germans making steinbier poured wort *over* the hot rocks to get greater caramelization and that smoky flavor. Bill Yenne of "Beers of the World" (Book Sales Edison ,NJ) 1994 p110 basically agrees with the methods published recently in Brewing Techniques by Mark Stevens and others in places like Zymurgy of dumping rocks into the brew to heat it. Yenne believes that the Alpiners were able to do this because they lived close to suitable rocks. = He doesn't comment on the caramelization in steinbier. He does comment on the smoky nature of the steinbier believing that this is because the rocks were heated over a beechwood fire before dropping them into the brew kettles. I am skeptical since it would be = very difficult to put rocks into a vessel as a way = of heating the brew, unless you had a way to retrieve them easily. the larger the vessel, = the bigger the problem. Methods such as holding the glowing hot rocks in a set of tongs and dipping them like a teabag into the wort has been observed by Michael Jackson per Jeff Renner's references. These used stones were the color of coal according to Jackson. It may work = with today's technology, but it seems awfully clumsy to me as a crane must lower these rocks through the roof of the brewery. Much hissing and = boiling ensues. And I suspect this must be done slowly to get water in the wort to evaporate so caramelization can proceed. I doubt this is the way the Ancients did it. Rocks would be fine as a method of heating clay or wooden vessels, as rocks were used since time remorial in this way. However, large metal boiling vessels have been known for probably 10 centuries or longer and direct heat is a much more efficient method. Decoction would allow the = brewer to brew three times the capacity of his total boiler volume. Multiple small boilers could be used much more easily than heating up a bunch of glowing red hot rocks and then transferring them to a brewing tun as a method of heating a vessel - especially since temperature measurement was an unknown technique to the decoction brewers until recently. So the suggestion that hot rock dipping was an ancient method of maintaining brewing temperatures is suspect, at least in my mind. I do think it is likely that steinbier was discovered as result of this ancient practice of using hot rocks to heat non-conductive vessels perhaps by the hausfrau ( ahhh, bier like mamma used to make), but I agree with Steven Snyder of "The Beer Companion" Apple Press, London 1996 p. 20, that = brewers used a much more practical method: "STEINBIER "Steinbier" literally "stone beer" in German is a top-fermented, specialty beer from Altenmeister. In an ancient brewing technique, wort is poured in a sluice over porous stones that have been heated to 2192 degrees (F, I presume - which is 1200C - DRB). = This causes the sugars in the wort to scorch and crystallize. After the stones cool, they are returned to the young beer ( perhaps a previous brew -DRB), so the caramelized sugars can be fermented out, giving the beer a sweet , smoky flavor. A prime commercial = example is Rauchfels Steinbier." I find this a much more credible method than putting hot rocks into a vessel and hoping = for some caramelization. In pouring the wort *over* the rocks, the water in the thin film of wort on the surface will evaporate, leaving a concentrated sugar syrup which will caramelize and burn much more easily than if hot rocks were dropped into a huge volume of wort where they would cool rapidly. Also note the comment about "porous rocks", and the apparent desire to *not* heat the wort with the hot rocks by allowing them to cool before putting them into the young beer. = Also, the point that the rocks were in a sluice implies that the wort ran over the hot rocks but didn't stop. = 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: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 08:25:38 -0600 From: Darrell <darrell at montrose.net> Subject: Rock Bottom Brewery (Quenching the flames...) was "GABF sort of..." Mark Youngquist of Rock Bottom Breweries posted concerns regarding Michel J. Brown's flames: Mark, just to correct a misguided thread, my original post in HBD #2930 referred only to Rock Bottom's Cask Conditioned Red Ale. The comments regarding the ESB were referring to the Pints Pub ESB, and had nothing to do with Rock Bottom. I wholeheartedly agree with your statements regarding style. However, when someone chooses to label a beer with a style designator, I believe the style should be followed. The ESB at Pints Pub was *not* an ESB. I have enjoyed the rest of your beers both in Denver and in Seattle. I have found the food at both establishments to be excellent, and the staff to be top notch. I wish other restaurants had the same commitment to providing an enjoyable experience for their clientele. On my first visit to the Denver Rock Bottom, I couldn't decide between two beers. The server immediately disappeared, and then reappeared with a sample glass of each beer! I have been around the world twice, and sampled beers in at least 20 countries. I have never had that experience before or since. I certainly had no intention of sparking the abusive railing that followed. As I stated in the original post, I will eagerly return to both establishments at my earliest convenience. Sorry for an off-subject post, but I started this mess, and felt somewhat responsible for the flaming that followed. I just wanted to give "equal time" for the other side of the story. P.S. Notice Mark's calm, courteous reply to an abusive flame. Contrast that with the infamous LABCO response... - -- Darrell Garton Montrose, CO Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 10:38:47 -0400 (EDT) From: ir358 at cleveland.Freenet.Edu (John Goldthwaite) Subject: Yeast: Top vs. Bottom Fermenting Yo, Zymur-Zombies I would like some info regarding top and bottom fermenting yeasts. Seems I remember reading more than once that not all ale yeasts top ferment and not all lager yeasts bottom ferment. Is this correct? I would love to know, specifically, which strains deviate from the norm if possible. Memory tells me that the Wyeast German #1007 and European #1338 are true top fermenters. Are there any lager yeasts which top ferment? Thanx a bunch, and any and all info is greatly appreciated. Still conducting extensive research :) on the Pub draughts. Thought for the day: If ignorance is bliss, then the LABCO owner is ONE HAPPY CAMPER. Hope everyone is having FUN brewing. JG-member SOTPUBS (Seat-O-The-Pants-Unorthodox-Brewers-Society) - -- May God bless and keep you always, may your wishes all come true, May you always do for others and let others do for you, May you build a ladder to the stars, climb on every rung, May you stay, FOREVER YOUNG! [Dylan] Return to table of contents
Date: 24 Oct 1997 07:53:36 -0700 From: Dion Hollenbeck <hollen at vigra.com> Subject: Re: Electrical Hazard? >> Robert Arguello writes: RA> I recently completed my RIMS system and am concerned that there RA> may be a potential for electrocuting myself. Yes, this is very possible. Water and electricity in close proximity present the opportunity for danger. RA> For a heating chamber I mounted a 240 volt replacement water RA> heater element inside a copper pipe. I wired the element with 120 RA> volts. Is it possible that the element could someday "short" and RA> electrify the copper pipe? If so, would running a ground wire RA> from the pipe to a good ground protect me? Somewhat, and if you don't have a ground attached to the heater chamber now, you made a terrible design blunder. However, a ground is not good enough. If you touch the heater chamber when it is electrically hot, even with a good ground, then it may be possible that you are a better path to ground than the ground wire. The electricity will go through you. As far back as the Morris article in Zymurgy in 1992, it has been recommended that all RIMS systems are protected by GFCI. If you don't use one of these, again, you are making a large design blunder. In fact, IMHO, if you don't have EVERY source of electricity in your brewery area protected with GFCI, you are not very prudent. dion - -- Dion Hollenbeck (619)597-7080x164 Email: hollen at vigra.com http://www.vigra.com/~hollen Sr. Software Engineer - Vigra Div. of Visicom Labs San Diego, California Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 09:18:18 -0600 From: John Adams <j_adams at fc.hp.com> Subject: Re: Steinbier David R. Burley writes: > As I recall, Steinbier is made by pouring wort > OVER hot rocks and *not* by putting hot rocks > INTO the wort, nicht wahr?? Falsch, according to the Zymurgy issues on Steinbier (which I do not have in front of me) this is untrue. Steinbier historically was less a style and more a process to boil the wort when wood was used instead of metal for the boiling vessel. Since the wooded pot could not be placed onto/above the fire, hot stones heated by the fire were placed into the pot bringing the wort to a boil. The heated rocks added a unique flavor to the beer hence the 'style'. The process (and with it the ancient style) eventually died out when metal replaced the wooden pot only to be reborn by the Rauchenfels Steinbier and again by Bosco's (and more recently by Brimstone Brewing Co.) in the US using more modern day processes. I am not familiar with the process used to produce the Rauchenfels Steinbier (need that issue of Zymurgy in front of me) but I have made my own based upon Chuck Skypeck's process and plan to make it again in the next few months! - -- John Adams Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 21:25:08 -0700 From: "Michael Kowalczyk" <mikekowal at megsinet.net> Subject: Sparge time My sparge time for the last 20 all-gran brews with a phils phalse bottom has never gone beyond 45 minutes (some as fast as 30 minutes) and my extraction rate has been between 87 - 93%. Just some data points. - Mike from Chicago. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 09:02:32 From: "Bryan L. Gros" <gros at bigfoot.com> Subject: Rock Bottom styles >Rock Bottom has never claimed to make "English ales" or "German lagers" >but "American ales and lagers" using the finest domestic and imported >ingredients to create beers "we like and we hope you do too." We have >over 300 recipes and no two brewerys are brewing the same beers. I >consider style categories to be too confining and look to classic "style" >beers only for inspiration in creating something of my own. Thank God >Ken Grossman didn't have his head buried in the "beer styles" handbook >when he created Sierra Pale. (a bit too hoppy for a typical English pale >isn't it?)... It's been said before... No one has a problem with a brewery being creative or brewing what they want. As a business, you have to produce the products that sell. What the complaints are about is labeling a beer as representing a specific style when it does not. By labeling a beer an "ESB", you are creating expectations in the consumer that you had better meet. These style names have specific meanings. Ken Grossman did not try to say that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a typical English bitter or pale ale. And since this beer has been such a popular beer and similar beers have been produced by other brewers, we now recognize this beer as representing a specific style. This was the point of Alan Moen's article in the last Brewing Techniques. I hope Rock Bottom can produce great beers, and that the brewers are given creative control of their products. And I hope they're labeled appropriately on the menu. The beer-drinking public is becoming more educated all the time. - Bryan gros at bigfoot.com Oakland, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 97 11:26:20 CDT From: jwilkins at imtn.tpd.dsccc.com (John Wilkinson) Subject: California toxicity Eric Schoville wrote: >. >. >. >When I got them home and read the tag more carefully, I see that it also >says >on the tag, "This product contains a material known to the State of >California >to cause reproductive toxicity." This sort of scares me! Is this there >because >the brass contains lead, or is there something in the nickel plating >that is >also toxic? >. >. >. Personally, I wouldn't worry. California seems to know a lot of things are toxic or carcinogens that no one else seems to know about. I have wondered how they know so many things others don't. John Wilkinson - Grapevine, Texas - jwilkins at imtn.dsccc.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 11:50:30 -0500 (CDT) From: Samuel Mize <smize at prime.imagin.net> Subject: Rock Bottom Greetings to all, and especially to: > HOMEBREW Digest #2539 Fri 24 October 1997 > From: Lizardhead <memerson at fone.net> ... > Mark Youngquist > Founder/Head Brewer > Rock Bottom Brewerys Cool, a brewpub-chain's head brewer on HBD. I hope that your attitude really is what you represent; if so, I hope you stay in touch on HBD. I also hope that whatever angered Mr. Brown really is an anomaly, and can be corrected. > Deception and > subterfuge are not part of our business philosophy, and I would go to > great lengths to quash any perception of either. Or, I assume, to quash any ACTUAL deception once you find it. > >Are the guidelines *really* that broad for an E.S.B.? I thought gold to > >copper with 14 >SRM being the upper end of the scale was the range for an > >E.S.B. (At least > >that's how the one *I* just brewed looks!!!) ... > Rock Bottom has never claimed to make "English ales" or "German lagers" > but "American ales and lagers"... So don't give them traditional English or German names. > Confining and categorizing appeals most to those who aren't interested in > the "art" part of brewing so much as their rows and columns and boxes. I > don't brew beers that fit into boxes, I brew beers to fit into pints. I ORDER beers to fit my desires. If I order by style and get a wild variant, I don't think "what an innovative idea!" I think "this isn't what I wanted, what a pain," and then I leave. Even if the beer is good, I'm put off by having to order at random and see what I get. (Exaggeration for emphasis) I strongly agree with your brewing philosophy, but as a labelling philosophy it needs a little refinement. > "The problem I have with beer judging and beer style categories and > standards is that they are creative death. Nobody ever grew in life by > always trying to copy someone else To copy is to exercise in technique > and technique alone." The problem isn't the standards, but their abuse, and that happens two ways. First, using the standards as a straightjacket -- "you shouldn't brew outside the standards." That's just stupid. Second, using a standard name for something different. This confuses and annoys people. The extreme here would be to advertise many styles, serve Keystone*, and tell people "use a little imagination." I don't see how competitions could objectively measure anything BUT technique, indeed they have trouble enough with that. But I have no problem with the way they are currently set up. You just have to understand what they are measuring: technical brewing skill, not general brewing ability. I haven't brewed for competitions, and I don't give a rat's patoot about style guidelines when I sit down and decide what to brew next. But I DO try to name my beers so people know what to expect. And if I WERE to brew for a competition, it would be within style, because the POINT is to show off how well you can hit those marks. By the way, a traditional exercise in ANY creative discipline is to copy the masters. Once you can paint like both Rembrandt and Picasso, you are unlimited. You just have to recognize when to stop exercising, and get on with your own works. Some home brewers don't treat competition as a step in the learning journey, but as a goal in itself. Let them do as they wish with their own time, but it seems a sterile and pointless pursuit to me. Best, Sam Mize * "Keystone" is a trademarked name for a cold beverage. OK, it's a name for a be. A name for a be. I can't say it. SM - -- Samuel Mize -- smize at imagin.net -- Team Ada (personal net account) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 13:25:08 -0500 From: Mike Uchima <uchima at mcs.net> Subject: building the ideal airlock Steve Alexander writes: > An ideal airlock would allow no potentially contaminated air > into the fermentor, nor would it allow any atmospheric O2 > into the fermentor. A HEPA filter helps with the first > problem, but is hopeless regarding the second. It would > seen that only an impermeable cover or membrane would keep > O2 out. Just how permeable to oxygen are oils, other > liquids ? I wonder what the value of exluding potentially contaminated air through the airlock is, unless you also purge the fermenter headspace of all "potentially contaminated" air prior to putting the airlock on in the first place? Those of us without O2 tanks don't really have a way to do this... I suppose if you want to positively exclude all potential contaminants and O2, what you really need is some sort of mechanical one-way valve, that will open to let CO2 out when a very small pressure gradient is applied. Even if someone were to produce such a device, I doubt that the expense (not to mention the extra hassle of cleaning it if your batch happens to blow off) would be worth it. - -- == Mike Uchima == uchima at mcs.net == Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 15:37:58 -0400 From: Tim Martin <TimMartin at southwest.cc.nc.us> Subject: Betadine, Iodine, Chlorox and Stainless Steel Hey Neighbors, Before I proceed let me say that I have done extensive searches of the archives but I am still confused. Simple question.....can I use Betadine as a sanitizer? After many years using glass fermentors I am switching to SS this brew season and I have never used iodine based sanitizers. Chlorox has always been very good to me but I understand that it is a no no for SS....but is it really. Some of the studies I uncovered in the archives mention that chlorine is fine for stainless if you keep contact time short (under 30 minutes) and ppm between 50 to 200. My inclination is to use Chlorox but if someone can convince me that chlorine will definitely ruin my SS then I will switch to iodine and preferably Betadine since I can pick it up real cheap at my local Revco. Any sanitation engineers out there care to clear this up. Thanks Tim Martin Buzzard's Roost Brewery "with that strong predatory taste" Cullowhee, NC Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 15:17:33 -0500 From: "Andrew D. Kailhofer" <andy at aerie.bdy.wi.ameritech.com> Subject: Re: Rockbottom (was: GABF (sort of...)) (fwd) Let's try resubmitting this... Lizardhead writes: : From: "Michel J. Brown" <homemade at spiritone.com> : Subject: re: GABF (Sort of...) : : >Did anyone go to the Rock Bottom Brewery, and try their Cask : >Conditioned Ale? : : >Well, if its in line with the rest of their malarkey that they try to pass : >off as a micro brew pub, then I'm not at all surprised. They are without : >honor, and I do not trust them! What do you expect from liars and cheaters? : : "Hey Joe, where you goin' with that gun in your hand?" It's not just one "Joe". I can't speak for malarkey, but I am willing to add my voice. I'm not a doctor, I don't even play one on TV. I admit that after two lunchtime visits I'm underwhelmed by the Rock Bottom here in Milwaukee, especially by their "Cask Conditioned Ales". Now, I'll disclaim by saying that I didn't trace any beer lines, hassle the brewmaster, nor have I supervised their brewing and conditioning process (wouldn't that be a swell job, like some sort of "beer rabbi"), but if I had to call it, the cask conditioned ale I had there a few weeks ago was force-carbonated, was overcarbonated for a cask ale (but not too badly), and was served woefully too cold. It was, in fact, hard to distinguish it from the other beers (excluding differences in style). In short, it failed to meet my expections based on the claims made about it, especially when taken in the context of other products from other providers about which similar claims were made. Otherwise... the service was good, the facilities clean and well kept (OK, it's only four months old so wear and tear haven't taken their toll yet), the food OK ("American Upscale Brewpub Fare"), and the prices not too overblown for an upscale chain eatery. : [......] : : Rock Bottom has never claimed to make "English ales" or "German lagers" : but "American ales and lagers" using the finest domestic and imported : ingredients to create beers "we like and we hope you do too." We have : over 300 recipes and no two brewerys are brewing the same beers. I Yes, but when you make any claim, you establish some level of expectation. If you make a claim based on overused "hypular" terms, like that you've got a "Pale Ale", then I know that it's probably not going to be a "proper" (which for me means "English-style") Pale, but rather an "American Pale Ale" (too light, not hoppy enough, too little body, overcarbonated, and probably served at "Miller temperature"). I can accept that. Certainly I understand the necessity of brewing beers that people are going to buy if one wishes one's commercial venture to succeed. If, however, you use labels that normally imply strict criteria, then I don't think that it's too odd if you get raked over the coals if you meet very few of them. Additionally, you do the beer industry as a whole a disservice: (a) beer aficionados will denigrate you in public fora (as was demonstrated above); and (b) for the "common man" you fail to expose the "real thing", or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof. The latter leads to a disillusionment on the part of the buyer---"What's all this hype? It's all the same beer, just a different color. Except for that 'stout' stuff. I'll stick with Miller---at least it's cheaper." I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that the secret is satisfying people's want of something that seems new (but not too new). If it's close enough that a beer snob such as myself has trouble telling the difference, then I'm not sure that the common buying public is going to go for it. Unfortunately, as far as I'm concerned, it's a chain restaraunt that is trying to use beer to get that coveted marketing edge. I can accept that, but you can't really claim (no matter how well you "like" them) that they are superlative examples of the brewers art. For that (and better food), you'd have to go to Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland. Critically yours, Andy Kailhofer Std. Disclaimer: This opinion is mine alone. Neither IBM nor Ameritech have had anything to do with it. - -- Andy Kailhofer Work: 414/678-7793 FAX: 414/678-6335 740 N Broadway, Room 430, Milwaukee, WI 53202-4303 andy at aerie.bdy.wi.ameritech.com PGP pub key fingerprint: EC 61 41 4E A2 66 49 45 57 EA 1A 0C 59 81 8C AF Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 16:04:45 -0500 From: rtisdale at entomology.msstate.edu (Bob Tisdale) Subject: Scottish Ale Recipe This ia an extract/speciality grain recipe that turned out well and I would like to share it. BAD BOB'S SCOTTISH ALE 6.6 lbs Muntons Light LME 1 lb Munton Extra Light DME 1 lb 40L British crystal malt 1 lb Cara Pils 1 lb Dark Brown Sugar 2 oz British Kent Goldings Hops at 4.6%AA (boil) 1 tbl Gypsum 1/8 tsp Irish Moss Wyeast #1084 Irish Ale Yeast Put the grains in 3 qts water, bring to a boil, and steep for one hour. Sparge the grain in enough water to bring total volume to 2.5 gallons. Add all malt and boil for 15 minutes. Add hops and boil for 1 hour. Add Irish Moss last 15 minutes. Poured wort over a layer of ice in fermenting bucket O.G. 1.056 F.G. 1.010 %OH v/v = 6.0375 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 14:48:07 -0700 (PDT) From: Robert Arguello <robertac at calweb.com> Subject: Electrical Hazard I had posted a question the other day, (it's quoted below), regarding a potential for electrical hazard from my RIMS heater element. THANK YOU all for kindly responding. I had, however, neglected to mention that I did have a GFI wired into the circuit. A common thread from the replies that I received was that, while a ground wire would be nice, that the GFI would protect me nonetheless. In the interest of ensuring many future years of homebrew ingestion, I have opted to add the ground wire. Please forgive the cheesy ascii diagram that follows. Comments on the efficacy of this wiring would be appreciated. _______ | | <---Industrial Dimmer switch (2000 watt) | O | |_____| | | -------| | | | H |-----------------/ \--------- To Heater Element | G |------------------------------------To Heater chamber body | N |------------------------------------To Heater Element -------| GFI The electrical cord that I used to wire the element was a grounded cord, so I spliced in an extension on the ground wire making it long enough to attach to the heater chamber pipe via a pipe grounding clamp. Thanks again Robert Arguello >>Subject: Electrical Hazard? >>I recently completed my RIMS system and am concerned that there may be a >>potential for electrocuting myself. >>For a heating chamber I mounted a 240 volt replacement water heater element >>inside a copper pipe. I wired the element with 120 volts. Is it possible >>that the element could someday "short" and electrify the copper pipe? If >>so, would running a ground wire from the pipe to a good ground protect me? Robert Arguello "All in a Days Wort" Gen. Sec. "Davis BrewCrafters" 3, 5 and 10 gallon ball lock kegs for sale at..... http://www.calweb.com/~robertac robertac at calweb.com (916) 756-4956 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 17:34:19 -0500 (CDT) From: "Val J. Lipscomb" <valjay at NetXpress.com> Subject: GW's NW Pale Ale Malt Greetings all, A few days ago I picked up some Great Western Northwest Pale Ale malt at my local HB shop. Does anyone out there have any specs for this stuff?? I used it as half the grain in a Brown Ale and it seemed to work well,but I'm in the dark as to *tech* info. Does anyone know of a way to contact GW,other than "snail mail" or Ma Bell (no known 800 #)??? Val Lipscomb-Brewing (in the dark) in San Antonio Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 18:42:12 -0400 From: emccormick <emccormick at usa.net> Subject: Re: Yeast Culture Take what I have to say with a grain (or pound) of salt, I do not culture. Though I don't have the specifics, you might be able to use an oven to sterilize. I recall reading somewhere you can home can in the oven, but can't for the life of me remember where. A pressure canner is the best solution for the home though and you may be able to find one marked down for clearance this time of year (don't wait). End of the canning season... A pressure cooker would work for small containers. I've used one to prepare sterile starter in jelly jars (8 oz.) The pressure canner is the best choice though as it will allow you to prepare quart starters as well as sterilize slants and the like. You can also use it the same as a pressure cooker in the kitchen so while it costs more, you get double-duty out of either one. The canner just has more capacity. Before you buy, check with the family to see if anyone has one they no longer use. Pressure cookers and canners are not hideously expensive, but why spend the $30 - $90 if you don't have to? If you can't get one for free, check out the yard sales and farm auctions with household goods in your area. You may just pick up one for next to nothing if you get lucky. - -- <Ed McCormick - e-mail: emccormick at usa.net> Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 18:08:24 -0600 (MDT) From: Ian Smith <rela!isrs at netcom.com> Subject: filtering beer - what micron size? I have converted to kegging and wondered if my beer would taste "crisper/cleaner" if I filtered. I know if I filter too fine I will lose a lot of taste. What micron size will remove yeast but won't effect (or have minimum effect on) the beer taste ? Cheers Ian Smith isrs at rela.uucp.netcom.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 18:29:03 -0600 (MDT) From: Ian Smith <rela!isrs at netcom.com> Subject: "Nickel Plated" Brass I believe they only nickel plate the outside for aesthetic reasons. Personally I don't worry about the lead in brass thing - all (most?) kitchen faucets are brass on the inside (the parts that rub) so are all/most of the beer taps at the local bar. You can leech the surface lead out by soaking in a 2:1 mixture of vinegar and peroxide if you are concerned. Did you know that there is a chemical called dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO). It is so caustic that it accelerates the corrosion and rusting of many metals, it is the major component in acid rain and has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients. Those people who become dependent on DHMO always die if they stop taking the "drug". The presense of dihydrogen monoxide is so widespread that it can be found in every river, stream, lake and reservoir in America. Scary stuff! Of course dihydrogen monoxide is (H2O) - water. You laugh but when presented with the above facts 86% of people questioned voted to ban dihydrogen monoxide from the environment altogether! Cheers Ian Smith isrs at rela.uucp.netcom.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 23:24:52 -0700 From: Jeff Grey <grey at ameritech.net> Subject: RE: Nickle Plated Brass Eric, Why bother with brass or nickle plated brass when SS ball valves are available. Contact Moving Brews at 301-779-8609. They carry a lots of homebrewing parts,valves pumps etc. Bill at Moving Brews will go out of his way to help you. No commercial connection to me blah,blah... JG Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 23:31:54 -0700 From: Jeff Grey <grey at ameritech.net> Subject: RE: Electrical Hazard Robert, Make sure that ground the heater chamber and also use a GFCI breaker when you work with liquids. Can't enjoy your beer when your dead ! JG Return to table of contents
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