HOMEBREW Digest #2733 Sat 06 June 1998

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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

  Re: Weizen Volcanoes (Jim Wallace)
  No Boil Kits;  debunking HBD (AKGOURMET)
  Last word on the AHA mess (AlannnnT)
  decoction confusion (Paul Mahoney)
  Caramel vs. crystal (Al Korzonas)
  ale vs. lager yeast (Al Korzonas)
  brewferm info continued (Tom Alaerts)
  AHA / sour mash- gripe (MicahM1269)
  TPB (MicahM1269)
  AHA Nationals ("Henckler, Andrew")
  Brewing with fresh Sage (Bill_Rehm)
  Brewferm and kits (Brad McMahon)
  Yeast swirling and oxygenation ("Jeffrey M. Kenton")
  Attenuation / Hot Motors / Debunking Sarcasm (Kyle Druey)
  La Chouffe yeast (Spencer W Thomas)
  words, Wort Processors, judges, open fermentation (Samuel Mize)
  AHA problems/NHBC (ThE GrEaT BrEwHoLiO)
  RE: ...IBUs verified? (Competition comments) ("Riedel, Dave")
  brewing Luddites (Steve Zabarnick)
  Re: De-bunk that funk ("Ludwig's")
  Measuring IBUs and scoresheet quality (Jeremy Bergsman)
  Connecticut Beer Places (Mike Froehlich)
  Homebrew Digest #2732 (KESimmonds)
  160 bottles of beer on the wall (Jason Henning)
  HopsDirect (Al Korzonas)
  more on storing hops (Al Korzonas)
  open vs. closed fermentation (Al Korzonas)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 04 Jun 1998 17:41:35 -0500 From: Jim Wallace <jwallace at crocker.com> Subject: Re: Weizen Volcanoes >>Is it just me or have any of you noticed that the recently bought German hefeweizens are WAY MORE carbonated than I've << .... thats's why your good weissen glasses have that huge area above the .5L mark. A good fresh heffe weissen should have lots of carb..a huge head..and a bunch of bannanas sitting on top (and maybe a little schnittzle on the side ) ... ___________________________________________ JIM WALLACE ... jwallace at crocker.com http://www.crocker.com/~jwallace ___________________________________________ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 1998 20:00:01 EDT From: AKGOURMET at aol.com Subject: No Boil Kits; debunking HBD Tom Alaerts writes about Brewferm kits: "... whether it was necessary to boil their kits (as you so often read in articles regarding kit brewing). They stated that the contents of their cans are sterile and if you really want to boil something, then boil the water BEFORE you add the contents of the can, to drive off the chlorine and kill any bacteria that might be in your tap water ..... He doesn't recommend boiling the kit because caramelisation will take place if you boil for a long time which will result in taste changes. But there's another reason that's especially important for their wheat, grand cru and jubilee kits: since these contain herbs, you will lose the delicate aroma they bring to the kit. " - -------------------------- I sent an email to Morgans Brewing Co. a while back asking some similar questions, like why do the instructions on the extract kits say to just add warm water and sugar, stir and pitch the yeast when the accepted procedure here in the U.S. is to boil and add more malt and no sugar. An employee with the company wrote back and made a number of points: 1) their kits are pre- boiled, so the hot break has already occured, 2) additional boiling will darken the beer and drive off the fresh hop aroma they strive to put in their kits, and finally, 3) they market their kits to people all around the world who, for the most part, want cheap, easy beer. That's why they say to add sugar OR malt. The U.S. market is more focused on quality and will go to greater lengths and expense to achieve microbrew-quality beer. In other countries, economics is the reason for homebrewing and sugar is cheaper than another can of malt. That's a generalization, or course, but it does explain the reasoning behind the instructions included with extract kits. After receiving that reply, I decided to try the no-boil method with some Morgans extract. Although I'm sure it works for others, it failed for me. It was the only batch of beer out of close to a hundred batches that has ever stuck on me. I ended up with a sweet (F.G. 1.030), dark beer that I kegged drank anyway. Prior to that, I had made award winning extract brews by boiling 2 cans of a particular kit for 20-30 minutes, maybe adding some adjunct grains, and always adding about an ounce of fresh hops for the last 5 minutes. Anyway, just my one-time experience with the no-boil method. Now on to the next subject: From: Paul Niebergall <pnieb at burnsmcd.com> Subject: De-bunk that funk "A lot of the stuff I see on the HBD is bunk and methinks more than a few of the most prolific HBD contributors have a bad case of "the emperor's new cloths syndrome" when it comes to brewing technique. In other words they are tasting, seeing, or just plain imagining things in there beer that only they are "special" enough to detect." ..... and on and on ...... - ------------------------------------ That's just plain ridiculous. If you're making wonderful beer now with your current methods, then why even read the HBD? I make great beer, too, but I want it to be better and I find the HBD to be a great source of up-to-date information. Of course, I don't necessarily believe everything written here, but I can usually tell when something is feasible and if I try it and it works, then that's not bunk. My brewing has definitely improved with the information I've gleened from the HBD and I appreciate and respect everyone's input. Bill Wright Gourmet Alaska - The Quality Kitchenware Store & Homebrew Supply Juneau, Alaska akgourmet at aol.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 1998 22:00:29 EDT From: AlannnnT at aol.com Subject: Last word on the AHA mess To all, I am humbled by the overwhelming evidence against the AHA, and by the calm, rational arguments sent to me by HBDers. My first post, knocking the Boston Wort Processors, was, without question, terribly wrong. I allowed myself to be mislead by Brian Rezac's comments. I believed what he had to say about the Worts. Other people I spoke to, who were pro-AHA, backed Brian up. I choose to believe them as well. I made a big mistake. I will endevour to keep my mouth shut in the future, opening it only long enough to switch feet. Sincerely begging the Wort Processor's forgiveness, Alan Talman Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 04 Jun 1998 22:32:34 -0400 From: Paul Mahoney <pmmaho at roanoke.infi.net> Subject: decoction confusion Scott was discussing decoctions in HBD #2730, and I am still confused! Here is an excerpt from the post, and my questions (I am planning on my first single decoction, using a 5 gallon Gott, and a 5 gallon stainless boiling pot): > 2) Using the single decoction mentioned above, and assuming that I > rest the decoction at sacc. temps for 15 mins and then boil for 15 > mins, that means that the main mash will be at 135ish for 45 minutes > (figuring a 15 minute initial rest). Isn't this way too long? If you're not using a significant amount of wheat, the I'd say you probably want to re-think your mash step. There are many games you can play, depending on the style you're brewing. If you want to rest at 135F for extended periods, then I would suggest parking at 160F for your sacc. rest. Dextrins can give good head just as proteins do (better?). Decoction recipes I have seen suggest starting at 105F, then raising to 122F, then pulling 40% thick mash out to decoct. Should I be "parking" at 135F instead? So I pull 40% of the thick mash out to decoct. The remainder is "parking" while I sacc. rest the decoct amount (15 minutes), then boil for 15 minutes, then I add the boiled decoct back to the main mash. So the main mash has parked at 135F (No, it has lost some temperature I would guess: while I pull out the 40%, then while I do all the decoction activities. Would the temp. loss be 10-15 degrees?) for a long time, at least 45 minutes as suggested above. So what other game can I play? If I start at 105F, the remainder (the main mash) will probably drop to 90F; if I start at 122F, it will probably drop to 105F; if I start at 135F, it will probably drop to 120F; all of this over a 45 minute period. You could also try decocting 105 -> sacc. temp., or 105 -protein rest -> add boiling water to first sacc. rest, etc. Like I said, there are many games you can play. Too much time within the 115-135 range without a large amount of medium and large molecular weight proteins is probably going to lead to problems though. Remember, your enzymes are sitting in that pool doing there work, not in the useless junk you're boiling (scorching) the crap out of. When you suggest adding boiling water to the first sacc. rest, do you mean adding boiling water to the decoct 40% or the mash left after removing the decoct (the main mash)? Sorry to be dense, but I am confused about the effect on the remaining mash (or as I call it, the main mash, as opposed to the deccoct amount). It seems that no matter which temperature I start at, it will be at least 45 minutes at that temp. or lower. The enzyme pool may well be exhausted at those lower temps, before I can raise the temp up to other beneficial temp. ranges by the addition of the boiled decoct amount. What simple explanation am I missing here? Paul Mahoney Roanoke, Va. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 1998 23:14:50 -0500 (CDT) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: Caramel vs. crystal Steve writes: >I would suggest that a careful sampling of caramel malt and crystal malt >will show a big difference. The trick is to find some real crystal malt >which I think is only made in Britian. The North American maltsters make >a caramel malt, but call it crystal. That's a good suggestion. In fact, I've done it... with *every* "caramel" and "crystal" malt that was available in the US in 1997. I stand behind my statement that in modern malts, the terms "caramel" and "crystal" are used by maltsters interchangably. One malt that is made somewhat differently and indeed is almost as difficult to chew as unpopped popcorn, is Briess Dextrine malt. Then again, it throws a starch haze unless it is mashed... so it is quite a bit different in terms of conversion too. Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 1998 23:35:21 -0500 (CDT) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: ale vs. lager yeast There has been some discussion regarding yeast taxonomy. I read about the renaming a while ago and double-checked with Dan McConnell last summer. Sure enough, the taxonomists have recategorised the yeasts so that ale (top-fermenting) yeast is now classified as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and lager (bottom-fermenting) yeast is now classified as Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. uvarum. Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 09:53:20 +0200 From: Tom Alaerts <TomA at BUT.BE> Subject: brewferm info continued I've heard that with hopped extract, you boil for 15 minutes to ensure sanitation AND to get the hot and cold break. Did you ask him about getting hot and cold break? I know that some kits are just malt extract. However, I've seen at least one that says you don't have to boil, "we've done it for you." Is that Brewferm? Well, I didn't ask explicitely about the breaks. But I'm sure the extract was boiled, and therefore is sterile. Anyway, I have never boiled these kits and never got nasty surprises. I'm also thinking of putting up a web page with my reviews of the brewferm kits. My 2 preferred ones are the tripel and the wheat. One thing: the supplied yeast is only so-so and all the kits you make with it will taste the same. So go for wyeast etc for real world-class results. > But there's another reason that's especially important for their wheat, > grand cru and jubilee kits: since these contain herbs, you will lose the > delicate aroma they bring to the kit. They've got herbs in their wheat beer? Oh yes. It produces a belgian style wheat beer, far from the "reinheitsgebot", so you can count on it having coriander, curacao, perhaps sweet orange peels too. Actually the real mixture is secret, but those are the typical ingredients. So it's evident you shouldn't boil this kit for a long time. And I know for sure there's also oat in it. My dealer also told me that some ginger was used in the jubilee, but most sparingly. I would like to share my simple but very succesful belgian white recipe: - 1 can brewferm wheat beer kit - 1 kg dry wheat/malt extract (instead of the sugar they recommend in the manual) - some honey (first time I used 200 gr, 2nd time 500gr) - wyeast belgian white As stated before, don't boil the liquid. Just make sure everything is in solution. Add water till you have some 18litres. > Greetings from Belgium, > Tom Alaerts That's right, rub it in. :-) Well, at the moment I am enjoying a HEAVENLY FRESH bottle of Chouffe. Nyeh, nyeh... :-) But otoh, aint'it funny that I have to buy usa-produced yeast (wyeast) to make the beers of my own country? And I still haven't tasted the supposedly excellent anchor steam beer (unfortunately unavailable here). If any of you will visit Belgium, please bring along a bottle for me! Tom Alaerts Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 07:21:04 EDT From: MicahM1269 at aol.com Subject: AHA / sour mash- gripe Per the many recent posts complaining about the AHAs handling of their national competition. I agree with most that the performance and execution is lacking. Even worse than the general bungling is the lack of good prizes. It is difficult to justify the high cost of an entry with no returns. Remember the old days with the 'win a trip' prizes? THey are long gone. I have several national ribbons and they are the 'el cheapo' type, many local competitions have better. Sounds shallow eh ?, thats me. I no longer enter the AHA nationals and have not since '92 ( due to the mead maker of the year debacule ) I suggest that if you do not care your the way the competition is run, then boycott it. But do not be silent about it. Complain loud and long and something may get done. Next grip. This is in regard to sour mash brewing. This topic comes up over and over again. Sour mash brewing is not a way to make psuedo-lambic. It is a legitimet brewing technique that is often used to produce beers with a very soft and full mouth feel. Quite the oppposite of a lambic. How many out there in HBD land have actually tasted a pale or amber ale that is sour mash? Likely a small percentage, I am certain. Just for the record, A SOURED MASH OR SOURED WORT WILL NOT YEILD A SOURED BEER ( assuming that the wort is boiled at some point after souring ) I blame CP for starting this falsehood and will bitch slap him when next I see him. micah millspaw - brewer at large Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 07:50:43 EDT From: MicahM1269 at aol.com Subject: TPB Would someone please send me the address for the MBAA, The Practical Brewer site. I like the idea of putting this reference onto a CD. Very handy that way micah millspaw - brewer at large Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 08:43:49 -0400 From: "Henckler, Andrew" <ahenckler at findsvp.com> Subject: AHA Nationals In light of all that has been said here, I would very much like to withdraw any/all aspersions I may have cast on the Boston Wort Processors in my earlier post. As a matter of fact, my hat is off to Ken Jucks and the rest of the Worts. - ------------------------------------------------------------------------ BTW, all that I have heard here has pushed me even more firmly into agreement with Jim Lidil (I am sure I' mis-spelling this) and Bill Giffin. At least now I know why the Baltimore GABF was so crowd-free! Down with the AHA! Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 08:20:26 -0600 From: Bill_Rehm at DeluxeData.com Subject: Brewing with fresh Sage We have some sage growing in the garden and the wife wants to use some in a batch. Has anyone ever used sage in beer, and how do I know how much to use/when to use it? Any advice is greatly appreciated. TIA Bill Rehm Riverwest, Milwaukee Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 05 Jun 1998 23:16:25 +1100 From: Brad McMahon <brad at sa.apana.org.au> Subject: Brewferm and kits > > [Brewferm] stated that the contents of their cans are sterile and if you > > really want to boil something, then boil the water BEFORE you add the > > contents of the can, > > I've heard that with hopped extract, you boil for 15 minutes to ensure > sanitation AND to get the hot and cold break. Hmm, I have done this in the past and got no noticable break. But what you do is drive off some of the aroma. If I use a kit (rarely) I boil for 5 minutes, to be absolutely sure that it is sanitised. I still boil my unhopped extract for at least 15 minutes to get the break. > Did you ask him about getting hot and cold break? I know that some > kits are just malt extract. Which ones? You should be using known high quality kits from Europe or Australia. These kits are made properly. > I suppose it's possible, if they are actually PRODUCING the extract > (not just packaging it), that they might boil it first. I haven't heard of a manufacturer that DOESN'T boil their kit during manufacturer. It still is the best way of bittering. > Or, they may be saying that you can make OK beer without boiling. > > Ahoy the collective: how much difference does boiling make? Is it just > important for making high-quality, competition-level beer, or is it > critical for making decent beer at all? I can still pick them, especially those made with dextrose, or those cheap kits which have barley sugars in them. > They've got herbs in their wheat beer? I'd guess coriander and curacao orange ? - -- Brad McMahon Adelaide, South Australia brad at sa.apana.org.au PGP Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 08:51:02 -0500 From: "Jeffrey M. Kenton" <jkenton at iastate.edu> Subject: Yeast swirling and oxygenation Howdy folks, let me slip a few questions in here about yeast culturing/swirling and oxygenation, won't you? I was able, thanks to my new job, to obtain three very old magnetic stirring plates, and to borrow an autoclaved teflon magnet stir bar. I want to use these to increase my proficiency at stepping up yeast from single cell cultures. First, will stirring the starter solution have ANY effect on the yeast's growth. Second, I know that providing oxygen to the little guys will make them 'big and strong and ready to reproduce,' but how much, how often, and most importantly how? I am using a malt extract wort that was pressure canned as the starter liquid, and the vessel of choice is a 1000 ml Erlenmeyer flask. Of course, if you have information you want to share, please remember that if I don't find a good use for the stir plate(s) I will have to get rid of them (wife mandate), so if there is even a slight chance that swirling the starter is a good thing, tell me. Thanks for the help, everyone. Jeff Jeffrey M. Kenton jkenton at iastate.edu Ames, Iowa brewer at iastate.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 05 Jun 1998 19:17:50 -0700 From: Kyle Druey <druey at ibm.net> Subject: Attenuation / Hot Motors / Debunking Sarcasm >I've been using 1968 as my standard ale yeast for several years. >Checking over the past 4 beers I made with this yeast, I got the >following attenuation percentages: 77, 75, 74, 74. Appararent attentuation is determined by a multitude of factors, but mainly the maltose/dextrin ratio of the wort, and yeast vitality. Yes, I have data to prove this. No, I did not read it from a book. Peter writes: >One more thing, a old-timer once told me how the experts tell if a >motor is at the right temp. If, when you put your hand on it, the >first instinct is to yank it back but, if you try, you can keep it >on the motor; it is at an acceptable running temp. (I adopted the >same rule for integrated circuits--seems to work.) Thanks for this rule of thumb, it seems to work. If my pump gets too hot to the touch I turn on an attached muffin fan to cool it down. Too hot to touch is greater than 140 F. Regarding debunking momilies and liars. It seems that a post will come down everyone once in a while that is onl intended to stir up the HBD pot. If you are not wise to the HBD SOP, then you take the bait and run with it. Better to just ignore these type of posts than to get involved in the fray. Then, after a fire storm results, there always seems to be those who want to defend the individual who made the original post. I am sure the original poster can represent themself just fine if inclined to do so. Then there are posts where people are being sarcastic, and others take them way too seriously. Again, a firestorm results. A recent example is Fouch's "burger flipper" comment. I am sure all of our HBD food service technicians were offended by this comment. Kyle Druey Bakersfield, CA, former Burger Flipper & Emporer Caddy Eric Fouch Sensitivy Training Valedictorian Lastest revision: Utah in 5. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 05 Jun 1998 10:06:08 -0400 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: La Chouffe yeast The Yeast Culture Kit Company stocks this yeast: yckco at aol.com http://oeonline.com/~pbabcock/yckco/ (313) 761-5914 fax/voice (800) 742-2110 fax/voice I made a wonderful beer with this yeast a few years back. Unfortunately it's all gone now. :-( The owner is a friend, but I don't get kickbacks. :-) =Spencer Thomas in Ann Arbor, MI (spencer at umich.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 09:26:59 -0500 (CDT) From: Samuel Mize <smize at prime.imagin.net> Subject: words, Wort Processors, judges, open fermentation Greetings to all. Mark, your dictionary disagrees with the Merriam Webster 9th New Collegiate and at least two online dictionaries. - - - - - To all who defend the Boston Wort Processors, greetings, I come in peace. I have a question. Almost all of you have pointed out, as Ken Jucks did: > 7) The judges in the area were not notified about the call for judges > until 2 weeks before the competition. I honestly don't know. Were the date and location not announced before that? Or was it the case that AHA assumed you'd know you were needed, and you assumed you'd be notified if you were needed? Just curious about the exact facts, since it's taken up so much bandwidth. - - - - - Mike Spinelli asks: > On a related note, ... I WOULD be interested > in submitting my brew to a recognized judge who would evaluate the > brew not by comparing it to other examples, but just on its own merit. ... > I figure a judge who's away from the the madness of a competition > and who can quietly sit and focus on just one brew might provide > some real insight. You should be able to locate some people through a local club, or maybe BJCP can help. There's a list of local clubs at the Brewery web site. I believe you will have a difficult time locating a qualified judge who will turn down a couple of free beers. - - - - - Mike also writes: > I'm still on the fence as to whether this REALLY is an [open ferment]. You're apparently fermenting no more than 20 gallons in a 55-gallon steel tank, with a loosely-fitting lid. (Based on 4-5 carboys, and a max of 136 pints.) This is an open ferment. People disagree about definitions, even for normal words, but that's another story... hmm? Oh yeah. People disagree about definitions, and "open ferment" is looser than most. I'd say an open ferment is one where air is allowed relatively free access to the fermenting wort, or at least the krausen, as opposed to making an effort to exclude it. A loose cover doesn't impede air flow much, it just keeps dust and critters out. On the other hand, an air lock is intended to lock out the air. The ability to skim the krausen is an additional benefit of most open fermentation set-ups, but is not critical to the definition. > The one downside is I feel I have to bottle/keg the whole batch at one > time. I feel it might be risky bottling say, 10 gallons one day and the other > 10 a week or two later. Maybe due to the possibility of air being sucked > under the tank lid during the first 10 gallons being drained? Open fermentation is mostly done for the primary, on the thesis that the constant production of CO2 will keep out the dust, critters, and all but a little air. Once the primary fermentation is done, the conventional wisdom is to move the beer to a closed secondary fermenter, or bottle it. On the other hand, it's also conventional wisdom that fermented beer is a poor environment for infection organisms. I'd say you can safely bottle in two runs split by a day or two, anyway. I'd feel comfortable with up to a week. If you want to worry about the air that gets sucked in during the first bottling run, you could make a tighter-fitting lid with a filtered air inlet -- look through old HBDs for the right size filter to use for aeration air. But, if you're not getting airborne infections with your current process, I doubt you need to worry. - - - - - Well, back to loading lumber to build de bunk beds for de judges. Best, Sam Mize - -- Samuel Mize -- smize at imagin.net (home email) -- Team Ada Fight Spam - see http://www.cauce.org/ Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 05 Jun 1998 09:42:14 -0500 From: ThE GrEaT BrEwHoLiO <skotrat at wwa.com> Subject: AHA problems/NHBC Hey all, Recently others and myself have taken a lot of flack for our comments concerning the AHA, BJCP and the many Homebrew clubs responsible for running and judging the AHA National comp. I have taken my 5 steps back after reading all of the email responses that I have gotten good or bad. I personally never intended on slamming the BJCP and I retract my comment that they are an ailing org like the AHA. I also never intended to slam the judges that did show up. In an email to me from The AL (Al Korz...) He reminded me that he has only had good experiences with the comp. There also seems to be a major bunch of name calling going on that is really taking us away from the real focus point of the AHA NHBC problems. Ultimately the only party responsible for the NHBC being a failure and ill-planned is the AHA itself. As usual though, they seem to be letting us fight it out amongst ourselves while they just keep quiet and say nothing. If I were to run a Homebrew competition that in the end had poor stewarding and judges with little or no experience I would be the one to be doing all the answering. Not the homebrew club responsible for stewarding or the judges that did show up to judge. It would be me and only me. Yet we continue to argue amongst ourselves like angry step children. Let's please stop calling each other names and start making the AHA answer some of these questions. HEY BRIAN REZAC! I know you are a rational guy Brian (I have talked to you and I know the bettering ofHomebrewing is your concern as well as ours) so what can we do to fix the problems that don't go away with this comp and the AHA in general? Don't just continue the long standing AHA "quiet treatment". Get up and put your ideas on the line. I know that the BJCP guys that have emailed me over the last 2 weeks are willing to do that and I know that there are several on the AHA stearing commitee that are also willing to do it. Because like I said ultimately the person or org that organized the comp is responsible for the success or failure of an organized event. C'Ya! -Scott "feeling more rational today" Abene ############################################################## # ThE-HoMe-BrEw-RaT # # Scott Abene <skotrat at wwa.com> # # http://www.wwa.com/~skotrat (the Homebrew "Beer Slut" page)# # # # "The More I know About Beer, The More I Don't Need The AHA"# ############################################################## Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 09:03:53 -0700 From: "Riedel, Dave" <RiedelD at dfo-mpo.gc.ca> Subject: RE: ...IBUs verified? (Competition comments) Mike Spinelli writes: >On a related note, though I've never entered a competition due to >1) having to brew to style and 2) hearing horror stories of sccore >sheets coming back with useless comments. I WOULD be interested >in submitiing my brew to a recognized judge who would evaluate the >brew not by comparing it to other examples, but just on its own merit. >I'd like to know what off flavors they may detect or anything else that may >be out of wack. Mike, don't be put off by the 'horror stories'. People always tend to post about nightmarish experiences.. who wants to read "went to a competition last week, organization was adequate, judges comments were decent..."? I'm sure there are dozens of stories of perfectly acceptable competition results. I've put beers in 5 competitions. Each time I learned something useful and a few times I managed to place a beer in the top three. Everyone always says they don't care about the placing, just the comments, but I assure you, it is more rewarding than you might expect to place well in a category. Go ahead and brew anything you like and stick it in a competition. With the mind-boggling assortment of categories published by the AHA and the BJCP, I'm sure you can find somewhere to fit your beer; don't worry about brewing to style. In well run competitions, judges will be faced with a reasonable number of beers to evaluate and they will make a concerted effort to give you useful feedback. You mention that you don't want your beer judged 'by comparing it to other examples'. It is my understanding that, apart from best-of-show, beers are judged individually and then ranked by score. Besides, at some level, your beer is always being compared to some other beer - unless the drinker has never had a beer before. Summary: Talk to people, read the HBD and find out which competitions near you are well run. Enter a few beers in the closest-to-appropriate categories. I'll bet that you'll receive some valuable insight into your beers from thoughtful, dedicated, judges. You may even win something to reward you for that 9-hour triple decoction... :) cheers, Dave Riedel Victoria, BC, Canada Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 11:24:37 -0400 From: Steve Zabarnick <steve at snake.appl.wpafb.af.mil> Subject: brewing Luddites Peter Calinski wrote: >One more thing, a old-timer once told me how the experts tell if a motor is >at the right temp. If, when you put your hand on it, the first instinct is >to yank it back but, if you try, you can keep it on the motor; it is at an >acceptable running temp. (I adopted the same rule for integrated >circuits--seems to work.) Isn't this the same criteria that brewing Luddites use to tell if their mash is at an acceptable saccharification temperature? :-) Steve Zabarnick Dayton, OH Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 05 Jun 1998 12:31:55 -0400 From: "Ludwig's" <dludwig at us.hsanet.net> Subject: Re: De-bunk that funk Paul Niebergall writes: > A lot of the stuff I see on the HBD is bunk ... and > I have rarely detected many of the > so-called problems that I was supposed to get because I did (or didn't > do) X, Y, or Z. Well, now we know what your opinion is but you need to be more specific. What are you doing or not doing and what are the results? I'm sure there are many steps in your brewing process that you would never consider not doing because of potential bad effects. Dave Ludwig Flat Iron Brewery (sortof) SO MD Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 05 Jun 1998 09:48:43 -0700 From: Jeremy Bergsman <jeremybb at leland.Stanford.EDU> Subject: Measuring IBUs and scoresheet quality paa3983 at dscp.dla.mil (Mike Spinelli) writes: > Is there a lab out there that could analyze my brew and give > me the true IBU level? And would it cost a fortune? There used to be a place doing this that advertised in Zymurgy. I think it cost $15 or so. Might I suggest that you simply work on calibrating your utilization curve to your perception of bitterness, which is the only thing that matters in the end? Strategy: Make a few beers with only early additions to nail down this number first. More bitter beers are better. Stout is a good one. Once you have a handle on early additions, you can try to work out the contribution of late additions with beers that have a lot of them, like IPAs. You can calibrate your perception of bitterness to IBUs by tasting commercial beers with known IBU levels for the purpose of communicating perceived bitterness to other brewers. > On a related note, though I've never entered a competition due to > 1) having to brew to style and 2) hearing horror stories of sccore > sheets coming back with useless comments. I WOULD be interested > in submitiing my brew to a recognized judge who would evaluate the > brew not by comparing it to other examples, but just on its own merit. > I'd like to know what off flavors they may detect or anything else that may > be out of wack. Anyone who receives such a scoresheet should complain to both the competition organizer and the BJCP, if the judge is in the BJCP. The new BJCP scoresheets have the address right on them following a note to this effect. I do not believe that bad scoresheets are the norm at most competitions these days. Ask around and find out what competitions in your area are well run. While procuring your own judge is a nice thing to be able to do, I submit that most judges will give more honest feedback in the competition setting. It is very hard to give brutally honest feedback to someone's face, especially since when someone gives you their beer it is always hard to know just how much they want honest feedback and how much they want a pat on the back. The anonymity and competitive nature of the competition help to insure that judges give their most honest feedback. If you still want your own judge, I'm a certified judge and I never turn down a homebrew! - -- Jeremy Bergsman jeremybb at stanford.edu http://www-leland.stanford.edu/~jeremybb Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 12:15:33 -0500 From: Mike Froehlich <MFroehlich at microcraft.com> Subject: Connecticut Beer Places Hello HBD'rs, A friend of mine will be traveling to Connecticut in a few weeks and he was wondering where some great places to drink beer, buy beer, and look at beer are near Hartford. But as that matter goes, anywhere in Conn. is close. Private email would probably be better. Thanks! Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 13:37:24 EDT From: KESimmonds at aol.com Subject: Homebrew Digest #2732 Subj: IBU & hop utilisation rates Mike Spinelli asked about obtaining a professional IBU analysis. >From the home-brewers, as opposed to the professional brewers, point of view, is there anything worth much less worrying about than IBU's and hop utilisation rates? We obtain some hops, which at one time in their life had an AAU % rate quoted within a range of up to possibly 4%. We keep them for an indeterminate time in varying conditions, and end up with even less of an idea of the AAU. We then boil them in some random boiler, perform some sums, and proclaim the IBU of the resultant brew as if it were the Holy Grail! Come on, this isn't real! I may as well take the square root of minus one and add the first number I think of! If I take your recipe, and use my randomised hops, storage, and boil conditions, are you telling me that my brew's IBU is the same as yours? 'Course not! I quote from the hop chart given out in Zymurgy's special hop edition of 1997 (my upper case / capitals): <<....then multiply by 78 to get an APPROXIMATE I.B.U. FIGURE. Note; Many factors affect hop utilisation MAKING ANY EFFORTS TO PREDICT BITTERNESS SOMEWHAT DICEY. However, from batch to batch in YOUR brewery you should get consistent results. As you taste your beers, adjust your hopping targets up and down as necessary>> There's scientific for you! Why bother? I know that I, personally, use approximately 0.5oz hops per gallon. I know that if I'm making bitter, I'll use goldings, fuggles, or something similar, if I'm making stout, I'll use target, or something similar. Different brews, I'll use something else, based on its AAU's, bittering, and aroma characteristics. I can guessstimate whether I need more or less if I'm using different hops, and next time, as in Zymurgy, I'll use different quantities if needed. I don't need to work out some magic number involving all sorts of variables, and THEN vary the amount of hops I use, I can do that directly! I reckon all you need is some idea of the AAU of your hops, use approximately 0.5oz per gallon, taste it, then use that experience in your next brew, and consign IBU's and hop utilisation rates to the compost heap along with your spent grain and hops! You may guess from the hop types mentioned that I'm in the UK, and the gallons are imperial as opposed to US. Subj: Open Fermenters Here I'm fully in agreement with you Mike. Its the norm in the UK to use open fermenters. I usually pitch my fermenting yeast, aereate the brew with a paddle, then cover with a loose fitting lid for 4 - 6 hours until the head gets started. I then take off the lid, and drape a cotton sheet over it to keep the bugs out, but stop any internal condensation falling onto the yeast head and raining it into the brew. My quantities are nowhere near as great as yours though! I often take a skim off the yeast, either to keep for later use or if a fellow brewer requires some. I've NEVER had any infection problems with this method. Hoppy brewing! Keith Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 05 Jun 1998 17:44:59 GMT From: huskers at olywa.net (Jason Henning) Subject: 160 bottles of beer on the wall Hello- Mike Spinelli asks + Is there a lab out there that could analyze my brew and give + me the true IBU level? And would it cost a fortune? Siebel will do it for $39. They'll check the pH for $11 and the specific gravity for $19. Hey JackS, how bout sending in a bottle for a DMS test($73)? It would be nice to find somewhere that would do 5 to 10 samples for, well, free. Ok, cheap. With that many data points, I could make my own utilization table. Then Mike asks about getting judges comments. I suggest hb club. Some clubs are really stocked with judges. I know when I first started all-grains, some of the comments from a couple of the Kansas City Beir Meister members got me on track. Then in another post (wrt a 55g ss tank), + Then I throw the tank on a hand truck and wheel + it into my dining room where it's placed on cinder blocks and RR ties. + + Go back outside, stop the boil, and run the hot wort thru the CF chiller to the + pump up into a hose going thru my dining room window and into the + OF tank. How's single life treatin' ya? I guess she got the dining room table. And this 17 gallon comment: + So far, my record is 136 pints being bottled in one day. Took about + 6 hours by myself. Back when I was a yute, I bottled ~160 12 oz.ers one afternoon and a night. 3 5g batches. My double lever capper tried to die during the last 5g batch. I had to 'adjust' it several times with Channel Locks to get it to hold the bottle. And the last 12, I was sitting on a chair with the bottle on the floor in front of me. I've got the capper lever in hand and under one foot, and using Channel Locks with the other hand to make the damn thing work. Fortunately I had about 100 ounces of coordination enhancing homebrew in me by then. I really enjoy kegging. Cheers, Jason Henning <huskers olywa net> Big Red Alchemy and Brewing Lacey, Washington Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 13:50:29 -0500 (CDT) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: HopsDirect Loren writes: >I recently purchased a few pounds of various kinds of hops from HopsDirect >(http://www.hopsdirect.com). I'm generally quite pleased with the product. >However, I was dismayed to find that they don't packing in nitrogen-barrier >packaging. I had understood that this was virtually the only acceptable >standard in the industry. Instead, the hops came packaged in cardboard >tubes. > >I've stored them in in the freezer, but am wondering if I should do more to >maintain freshness. Should I remove them from the tubes and put them in >ziplock baggies, or something? Yikes! In this day and age there are still suppliers selling hops without oxygen-barrier packaging? Not only should you expect oxygen-barrier packages, but also the packages should have been purged with nitrogen, CO2 or other inert gas (there is a tank of argon at Goose Island Brewery... that would work). Presuming that the hops are still in reasonable shape, I would suggest getting some oxygen-barrier bags (see if you can buy some from your local shop; if not, I know you can get them from Freshops (see any of the magazines)). Purge with CO2 (I blow up the bag with CO2, squeeze out as much as I can, repeat a few times) and then heat seal. Yes, a Eurosealer (now available at Walgreens for $19.99) will seal and *reseal* oxygen-barrier bags. HopsDirect should be ashamed of themselves! Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 13:59:27 -0500 (CDT) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: more on storing hops Ooops... I forgot to mention a few things. 1. you don't have to get oxygen-barrier bags... you can use glass jars if they have tightly-fitting lids (like mason jars). 2. you should *NOT* use ziplock sandwich or freezer bags... they are not a whole lot better than a cardboard cylinder... these bags are made from HDPE which (especially the very thin standard bags) are horribly oxygen-permeable. HDPE is 200 times more permeable than the oxygen-barrier plastic I used to use for my hop bags when I owned a HB supply shop and the plastic I used was twice as thick as a standard HDPE bag. That means one day in HDPE degrades the hops more than one year in my oxygen-barrier plastic. The plastic I used was called Barex and was made by BP. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 14:22:28 -0500 (CDT) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: open vs. closed fermentation Jon writes: >Eric Warner talks about it in "German wheat beer". He points out that open >fermented beers exhibited higher amounts of Esters than closed fermented >beers. He continues to mention that open fermented yeasts stay healthier, >whilst closed fermented, they must be recultured after 10 re-pitchings.. In my "experiment" with blowoff versus non-blowoff (in quotes to ward off criticism from the true lab lurkers) which was written-up in Brewing Techniques (around June 1996, I believe), I found virtually no difference in esters (and higher alcohols, incidentally) between blowoff (closed) and non-blowoff (open -- well, open but covered with a plastic sheet) sub-batches from the same wort. I also question the statement (which Warner does not reference -- I just checked) that (in Warner's words), yeast collected from open fermentations retain "vitality" through hundreds of repitchings while yeast from closed fermentations must be recultured after 10 uses. To make such a blanket statement about every strain of yeast, this simply *cannot* be true. I know of several breweries using closed fermenters and are repitching yeast many times Warner's limit of 10. Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
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