HOMEBREW Digest #3410 Wed 23 August 2000

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		Digest Janitor: janitor@hbd.org
		Many thanks to the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers of 
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				URL: http://www.oeonline.com

  Calculating OG, extraction ratings, blah blah blah (John Palmer)
  Chlorine/Chloramine ("A. J.")
  alpha acid measurement ("patrick finerty jr.")
  boilovers ("Joe O'Meara")
  Re: Mail Order ("Glen Pannicke")
  Water (David Root)
  Decoction Challenge (Charley Burns)
  Will the real constant please stand up? (Jim Adwell)
  Air lock for 10 gallon batch (TPuskar)
  re: a hearty "Yee-haw".(complexity)/malt bills ("Stephen Alexander")
  Oxygen Ingress at Different Stages of Wort Production ("John or Barb Sullivan")
  Dusseldorf ("Angie and Reif Hammond")
  Spreading spent grains and hops on lawn (EdgeAle)
  re: specialty grains and rogue ("Stephen Alexander")
  re: dirty bastards (Steve Lacey)
  Good lauter tun candidate ("Bill F")
  Captain! Newbie delurking off starboard bow! (TOLLEY Matthew)
  HB Shops / Pub request (Lance Levsen)
  Whirlpool ("Spies, Jay")
  Charlie vs Noonan ("Paul Niebergall")
  Sound Advice ("Paul Niebergall")
  Wyeast 2178 "Lager Blend?" (Bill.X.Wible)
  Re: Spreading spent grains and hops on lawn (Some Guy)
  Salt Lake City Brewpubs ("Whyman Dental Lab, Inc")
  Pearl Foam Beer ("Kevin Kutskill")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 07:32:54 -0700 From: John Palmer <jjpalmer at gte.net> Subject: Calculating OG, extraction ratings, blah blah blah Well Steve says I have a lot to answer for - stirring up this hornet's nest of questions on recipe formulation. ;-) Let me see if I can state it simply for you whingers out there that would rather not think about what goes into the fermenter in terms of points per pound per gallon. For the rest of the world, Hot Water Extract seems to be the concentration measurement of choice, and the units for the IoB version are liter degrees per kilogram. HWE is a maximum yield rating determined by a laboratory mash, meaning that brewers will only get a high percentage of that value under real mash conditions. That percentage is a brewers extract efficiency, typically 80-90%. And a typical base malt has a HWE of about 310 liter degrees per kilogram. So, a metric person says: I have 4 kg of 310 HWE malt, and I will make a 20 liter batch, and I typically have a mash efficiency of 85% and that gives me an OG of .85 x 310 x 4 / 20 = 52.7 or a OG of 1.0527 Right? Well, do you realize that if you take HWE and divide it by conversion factors to US units: 2.2 pounds per kg, and 3.78 liters per gallon, then you get Gallon Degrees per Pound? And that this dear friends is a nice way of saying Points per Pound per Gallon? Thus, if you take HWE and divide it by 8.3454 you get the maximum extract rating in PPG. And to make the significance of this discussion a bit clearer, we in North America typically don't talk about our efficiency ratings but instead just include it. In other words, we take a maximum rating of 37 ppg multiply it by 85% and get 30 ppg. So, when we PPGers talk about recipe formulation and mash efficiency, we just say we are shooting for 30 ppg from the mash and use that to figure our amounts. The HWE equivalent of 30 ppg is 250, by the way. If we want to brew a 1.050 IPA, we say how many pounds of malt will I need at 30 ppg to yield 5 gallons of 1.050? 5 x 50 = 250 degrees total divided by 30 ppg = 8.33 pounds of malt In summary, I am trying to point out that we all do it the same way, we just use different units. And I apologize if I seemed patronizing, I just wanted to make sure that I made it crystal clear. Brew On! Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 01 Jan 1904 20:13:07 +0000 From: "A. J." <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Chlorine/Chloramine RE: Domenick's post of the other day. First off, thanks for the compliment! I grant that you would think the AWWA would know about such things (and said so in the quoted post) but in this case subsequent experimentation showed them to be, well, all wet. The experiments in the quoted post belong in the "anecdotal" category but they were followed by more extensive experiments which served as the basis for an article I wrote for BT in its last year. I'll sumarize a few findings from those experiments. First off, be aware that ammonia/chlorine chemistry is very complex. Things happen which are not easily explained. For example, I found that the cloramine that I produced by treating chlorine free water with bleach and ammonia was very much more easy to remove thatn the chloramine produced at the local water works by gassing first with chlorine and then ammonia. There is no simple explanation for this but phenomena of this sort are noted in the literature. First, dichloramine and trichloramine are indeed very volatile and thus tend to be completely absent from water when it reaches the consumer. Monochloramine is not, in any experiment I did, more volatile than uncombined chlorine. In experiments I did with standing water, chlorine escaped a 10 gallon volume of water pretty completely in a couple of days. With chloramine this method would take weeks to get to the same level. If the water was circulated and aerated most chlorine would be gone after about 12 hours. With chloramine about 90 hours would be required. Thus standing with circulation and aeration is a possible means of chloramine removal but probaly not the most convenient. Boiling drives free chlorine off very quicky. The gas is gone by the time the water reaches the boil so that it is not necessary to boil it but rather just bring it to the boil. With chloramine a full hour or more of boiling was found to be necessary depending on the source of the chloramine. Thus boiling works with chloramine but again is not very convenient. The most convenient methods of chloramine removal are granulated active carbon and chemical treatment. GAC filtration is relatively inexpensive and effective but you do need to buy, install and service the filter. Several sulfites will remove chloramine effectively without adding significant ammounts of new ions to the water. Sodium thiosulfate (photographer's hypo) will work but I recommend sodium or potassium metabisulfite which is sold in brewing and winemaking shops as powder and as "Campden Tablets" i.e. it's a readily available food grade source. I Campden tablet should treat 20 gallons of water unless the water authority is really loading it up. As a simple test, if it still smells chlorine-like, there's still un-neutralized chloramine. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 12:02:47 -0400 (EDT) From: "patrick finerty jr." <zinc at finerty.net> Subject: alpha acid measurement hi folks, i've read that HPLC and/or spectrophotometry are accepted methods for determining the amount of alpha acids in beer. spec measurements are apparently made on toluene/MeOH extracted beer. what wavelength is standard for the procedure? also, what is generally used for a standard for these measurements? i assume such standards can be purchased or at least the components purchased so that i could make them myself. no doubt test runs using commercial brews with known IBU levels would be useful. while HPLC is certainly more rigorous, i'm really not into spending the time on our HPLC to do this. i'm also not willing to risk our columns by pumping my beer or extracts thereof through them. basically what i'd like is an accepted protocol for measurement of alpha acid content by spectrophotometry as well as some idea about how to convert absorbance values to IBU values. cheers, patrick in toronto - -- "There is only one aim in life and that is to live it." Karl Shapiro,(1959) from an essay on Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer finger pfinerty at nyx10.nyx.net for PGP key http://www.finerty.net/pjf Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 10:49:53 -0700 (PDT) From: "Joe O'Meara" <drumthumper_2000 at yahoo.com> Subject: boilovers I brewed an APA yesterday, and had a boilover in my converted keg (1/2 bbl). This is the first time that I have had this happen (in my keg anyway). Is this normal? FWIW, I have done 3 weizens in the keg also, and they didn't boil over. TIA, Brewing where half the state is on fire, ===== Joe O'Meara Mad Dwarf Brewery (AKA my kitchen and coat closet) ICQ # 60722006 http://homebrew.4mg.com __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Send instant messages & get email alerts with Yahoo! Messenger. http://im.yahoo.com/ Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 14:44:34 -0400 From: "Glen Pannicke" <glen at pannicke.net> Subject: Re: Mail Order After hearing of some of the poor customer service available at other on-line homebrew suppliers, I feel that I must post some of the web sites which I have had positive experiences with. I have no affiliation with any of them, but good service deserves a good word. And they don't spam the digest with their plugs either... Brewer's Resource http://www.brewtek.com/ Northern Brewer http://www.northernbrewer.com/welcome.htm Beer, Beer and More Beer http://www.morebeer.com/ Homebrew Adventures http://www.homebrewadventures.com/index.shtml I only use the on-line resources when my local homebrew shop has an outrageous price or just doesn't have what I need. I may be a cheap bastard , but I like to support my local shop owner for the bulk of my purchases - even if it costs a little more. Carpe cerevisiae! Glen Pannicke http://www.pannicke.net "He was a wise man who invented beer" - Plato Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 15:12:06 -0400 From: David Root <droot at buffnet.net> Subject: Water Howdy Folks, I have been brewing all grain for the last 5 years. I moved recently, and have a well. The water is "hard" I have a bunch of off white stuff in my hot water heater. Chunks big enough to plug the 1/2" valve for the drain. I need CLR or a strong acid to clean my tub and other porcelain fixtures. My first brew, I checked the PH with a liquid solution. It was really green. Maybe 9 or 10. I added lactic acid. First 2.5 ml like I used to with city water and no change. I was up to 70 ml, and still green. I kept adding until I used what was left of the bottle. Probably two ounces for 14 gals of sparge water. It ended up still green. Maybe 7 or 8. I am drinking the beer, and it is pretty good but not quite right. I hopped the hell out of it. A total of 7 ounces of hops including 2 oz FWH. Not high alpha though, 4 for the Saaz, and about the same for Hallertau. I ended up with 10 gallons of decent beer. Should I add more acid next time? The mash was right on at 4 to 5. I tried not to sparge too much because of the high ph water. I have tried to find a place to send a sample, but have had no luck yet. Please help if you can. I have been reading the Digest for 7 or 8 years now. Its different now than it used to be, but I still like it. Thanks D. Root Medina NY Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 12:11:29 -0700 From: Charley Burns <cburns99 at pacbell.net> Subject: Decoction Challenge Since I'm such a lazy guy, I'd like to take this award winning brew and remove the double decoction steps and reduce this from a 7 hour brew down to maybe 5 hours. I just don't believe that I can get the flavors that I'm used to though. This beer is extremely close to Spaten Optimator. In fact if you mix a Salvator and Optimator together, this is about the flavor and body you get from this beer. Please - anybody - tell me how to change the recipe, keep the flavor/body profile the same and eliminate the double decocation (process described below the ingredients): Grist: 1.00 lb. Cara-Pils 1.25 lb. Cara-Vienne 0.25 lb. Chocolate 7.00 lb. Lager 2-Row (DWC Pils) 8.00 lb. Munich Light (DWC) 1.00 lb. Vienna 0.75 lb. Wheat Hops: 1.50 oz. Hallatauer 3.7% 60 min 1.00 oz. Tettnanger 4.4% 10 min Grist/Water Ratio: 1 quarts/pound (thick due to limitation of mash tun size) Munich Wyeast 2308 - 2 quart starter Double Decoction. 15 min at 134F pull half the mash to decoction (thick) 10 minutes to raise up to 158F 45 minute rest at 158F Boil for 20 minutes BAck to rest mash at 158F for 45 minutes Pull a third of the mash (thin) Boiled for 20 minutes Returned to rest mash at 170F Sparged with 185F 6 gallons 7.5 gallons wort, Final Runnings 1.020 90 minute boil Ferment at 50F for 3 weeks Diacetyl Rest for 2 days at 65F Lager at 35F for 30 days Force Carbonate OG 1.092 FG 1.021 So, how can a recipe formulation change eliminate all this labor? Charley Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 15:35:11 -0400 From: Jim Adwell <jimala at apical.com> Subject: Will the real constant please stand up? While fooling around with my brewing software, I decided to add a "% alcohol by volume" display box to it. Searching the net and some books, I found the formula: (OG-FG) * a constant, henceforth known as 'K' or (OG-FG) / the inverse of K (1/K) where OG and FG could be specific gravity, 'points', or degrees Plato, with an appropriate value of K for each. For simplicity, I converted all the formulas I found to the same form ( although most were already) : (OG-FG) * K, where OG and FG are expressed as specific gravity, for example: (1.050 -1.012). I found 5 webpages with the calculation before I gave up. In each case K was different: 135.86 131.25 132.3 133.33 135 Now these numbers all give similar answers, for example (1.050 -1.012) * K : 5.16% 4.99% 5.03% 5.07% 5.13% rounded off, so I could just pick one, or average them, and be close enough, I suppose. But I'd like to find out what the real constant K is. Does anyone know? Cheers, Jim Jim's Brewery Pages: http://home.ptd.net/~jimala/brewery/ Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 21:15:04 EDT From: TPuskar at aol.com Subject: Air lock for 10 gallon batch I've managed to obtain 2 10 gallon carboys and am planning to make at least one 10 gallon batch now that I don't have to split it for the secondary. My question is this. Can I safely use a "standard" airlock of will I be possibly be generating too much gas and pop the top? Should I resort to a wide diameter tubing and overflow style lock? Any info would be welcome. Thanks, Tom Puskar Howell, NJ Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2000 07:12:42 -0400 From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: re: a hearty "Yee-haw".(complexity)/malt bills Brian Lundeen comments > > I dimly recall two in balance, one in background. > > >Not quite following you here. Is the one in background referring to a >bittering hop, or a less dominant character hop? Early hops additions do unquestionable impact flavor in addition to providing the bulk of bittering. What I am referring to is a balance of the resulting flavors & aromas, primarily, but not exclusively from the late additions. EKG and Fuggles are a classic example where a balanced pairing is (IMO) better than either alone, but we've all probably had many ales made with these. Adding a third hop aroma/flavor in the background can put a new spin on this classic combo. You have to consider the aroma/flavor strength, not just the amount of hops. >What constitutes a balance >between two hop varieties? Is it that their characteristics are meshing, as >perhaps a Saaz-Tettnang pairing might, or are you talking about something >else? It's the flavor characteristics and not the hop varieties we are trying to balance. In the saaz-tettnager pairing you suggest I can see that certain aspects would mesh well, saaz w/ it's spicey high-tone character and tettnager with more (what is the right description?) mouthwatering fullness. It's pretty easy to imagine a balanced mix of these two where both characteristics are evident, but neither is clearly dominant. That is balance. The latest edition of JIB (v1006,pp157-161) has a paper by Kirin Brewing in which they analyze the 'Genetic Distance' between 51 hop varieties. Saazer and Tettnanger (along with hersbrucker, lublin, northdown, progress, spalter, spalter select, strisselspalt) end up in the same broad category. An interesting example, Ultra is a cross of hallertuaer&saaz and shows both characteristics, but IMO the saaz-like spiciness dominates. It's also (IMO) possible to get a balance between more similar (flavorwiise) types of hops, even between two variants of Fuggles, but it takes a bit more thought and maybe experimentation about what contrasting elements are to be balanced and where a good balance lies. I personally find it difficult to imagine a good balance between the wildly different, e.g. Cascades and H.Mittelfruh. Can you really get both a restrained American hops flavor and that H.M. refined 'body' and do they 'work' together ? But like the N.African sauce someone has probably done this and *may* have a great pairing (or a real loser). - -- >Mash hopping is reported by our good friends at Paddock Wood to impart >similar character, but you are not getting a full dose of these hop's IBU's >because they don't make it into the kettle. They estimate 10% of what FWH >would yield for IBU. Hmmm - I suppose if you mash-hopped and decocted .... -S Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 09:50:19 -0500 From: "John or Barb Sullivan" <sullvan at anet-stl.com> Subject: Oxygen Ingress at Different Stages of Wort Production Does anyone have any solid LITERARY information (I know this will upset the book burners) on oxygen ingress at various stages of the wort production process? Steve Michalak of A-B has stated that they intentionally aerate the near boiling wort by injecting air into the wort as it falls down a very tall column. This aeration actually scrubs certain undesirable constituents from the wort. He also stated that at these temperatures, oxygen ingress is minimal and what is taken up is soon consumed by the yeast. He also stated that wort is most susceptible to hot side aeration at other stages (lower temps) of the wort production process such as mashing and lautering. Is it a coincidence that so many brewers who started with Charlie's method of pouring near boiling wort through the air and through a funnel into cold water could still brew a decent beer that didn't taste like cardboard? I'm not saying that homebrewers should deliberately aerate the near boiling wort but perhaps its time to get a handle on when the wort is most susceptible to HSA. This has a deliberate bearing on most procedures and processes used by homebrewers. George Fix: Before I go back to Michalak again, do you have any comments? John Sullivan St.Louis, MO Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2000 12:47:19 -0400 From: "Angie and Reif Hammond" <arhammond at mediaone.net> Subject: Dusseldorf While in Dusseldorf go to Uerige and the Fuchschen (Fox), but also be sure to go down to the Rhine in the Altstadt- there is a long tent where many of the local breweries serve their beers. Since Alt is typically served in 0.2 or 0.3 liter glasses, it is easy to try them all. Alt has a wide range of flavors that you would miss by focusing on just the highest rated ones. Reif Hammond Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2000 17:22:45 EDT From: EdgeAle at cs.com Subject: Spreading spent grains and hops on lawn HBD, I am currently house-shopping and will have a lawn for the first time. I have been wondering about spreading my spent grains around the lawn as fertilizer. Has anyone years of experience doing this and any advice? Are the grains spread wet or allowed to dry a bit? Should piles of grain be spread at the base of plants? (like hop bines which I will be able to grow with a yard!) Does the pH of the grains affect the grass? How long does it take for the grains to break down? More to the point how often can I brew and do this? What about spent hops? Thanks for any practical advice I can get which will help answer SWMBO's questions when she catches me doing it. Dana Edgell - ------------------------------------------ Edge Ale Brewery, San Diego http://ourworld.cs.com/EdgeAle Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2000 10:18:03 -0400 From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: re: specialty grains and rogue Pete Czerpak (and others note ... >While I do tend to limit my use of specialty grains, I have to admit that I >agree with Aaron Perry about Rogue having some fantastic beers [...] >. Brutal Bitter is of course quite heavenly Yeah - I like Rogue beers very much too, but they are not exactly subtle and well balance like Spaten or Fuller's or Ayinger products. They are big over-the-top flavored beers. It's like the difference between 5-alarm chili and a fine bolito misto. Of course the ultimate in simplicity is a pils like PU where a magnificent hops and an excellent malt sit with a modest yeast component - nowhere to hide a flaw there. Lambics hit the other end of the complexity scale, tho often with much of that complexity from fermentation products. >When done poorly, you just get a mouthfull of jumbled flavors that taste, >well, yucky. For example great amounts of crystal in pale ales or huge >amounts of black patent in stouts. Right but those are basic amateur mistakes. >However, moderate these and they work perfectly. Yes, but I'd suggest that even when you get the amounts in range there is still a balancing that needs to be done. >This tends to be why folks use little bits of everything >[...] Nothing like a little sweetness (crystal, carapils), >little malt (munich), maybe some chocolate (obviously chocolate malt), in a >browne ale or little raisin (special B) in a belgian strong, or perhaps even >a hint of smokiness in a barley wine for complexity. OK, but I don't want all of these in each beer - too tiresome. There are definitely are a wide range of specialty malt flavors, and Al Korzona's book 'Homebrewing: Vol I' is the only good descriptive source I am aware of for many of these. You can definitely make good tasting beers like Rogue with big specialty malt additions, but a more subtle touch is, more effective at achieving complexity and balance and drinkability. Drinkability - I find many higher grav and particularly high-crystal content sweet beers rather off-putting after the 1st pint (especially in warm weather). Great first impression, but they don't always leave me wanting more. Good if you want to win a contest, but not for everyday drinking. I do like Rogue products, and some of the overhopped beers too, but if I had to choose say 3 beers only for the rest of my life they wouldn't make the cut. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 09:37:32 +1000 From: Steve Lacey <stevel at sf.nsw.gov.au> Subject: re: dirty bastards My compatriots Brad and Warren are working themselves up into quite a frenzy about kit brewers. Well, not just any ol' kit brewers, but the cheap and nasty ones who rarely buy ingredients from anywhere but a supermarket. And in particular, verbally abuse the hard-working homebrew shop owner who cannot help but have a higher price due to overhead structures etc. I quote from Warren "He then asks the afore-mentioned homebrew store owner for some advice on why his beer doesn't taste too good! Little ironic isn't it??? - Dirty bastard probably didn't buy any bleach, would of put his budget over 10 bucks wouldn't it." Guys, I know what you are saying. But we have to take a stance more along the lines of missionaries amongst savages than this abusive tone. The "dirty bastard" is really just a lost soul. A poor ignorant savage who must be brought into the fold. Sure he could learn some manners and basic principles of retail pricing, but the real "dirty bastards" are the kit manufacturers and retail outlets which conspire to conceal all knowledge of a more enlightened approach to brewing. There are so many retail home brew outlets that actually push kits and little else. And so few quality shops that cater for for the "doin' it from scratch" folks (g'day Regan and Mel). And don't blame the poor ignorant man in the street for the fact that the kit mfrs have deals to put their products on supermarket shelves at discounted prices. They have adopted this 10-bucks-a-brew approach as a mantra instead of endeavouring to educate their customers to a higher investment=higher quality approach. OK, so its a free country and free enterprise is the order of the day. BUT, it just shits me when big guys from the kit industry go so far as to denigrate mash brewing and deny its legitimate place in the home beer making hobby. And believe me, they do. So spread the gospel of quality beer making to the unenlightened, and fight the forces of darkness that conspire to repress our side of the hobby. God knows, it took me the best part of 7 or 8 years to discover a world beyond kits. Cheers, Steve Lacey Sydney Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2000 17:45:32 -0700 From: "Bill F" <rwfishbu at nospam.home.com> Subject: Good lauter tun candidate I want to build a lauter tun from an insulated beverage cooler. I've looked at several igloos, but the outlets seem pretty high from the bottom of the cooler (~2"). I could always go this route, but it seems like it'll leave quite a bit of wort in the bottom, even with agressive tipping. Can anyone help with either a)candidate brand and model number with an outlet-to-bottom distance of <1" or b)a source for good plans for an easy-to-build lauter tun? Thanks, Bill Fishburn Lacey, WA Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 11:13:30 +1000 From: TOLLEY Matthew <matthew.tolley at atsic.gov.au> Subject: Captain! Newbie delurking off starboard bow! </lurk> Hi all Brace yourselves - it's all beer related, and it's from an Aussie. :). Sorry for the long post, but after seeing my first 'real' brew bubbling away this morning, I feel the need to blubber uncontrollably and hand out cigars! I've been lurking for a while now, having decided to give this whole homebrew thing one last try. Both of my previous attempts were in my uni days, when the height of Aussie homebrew sophistication seemed to be using a kilo of raw sugar instead of white sugar in your brew :). While there were probably seasoned brewers doing more exciting stuff (I remember a guy in Engineering who was widely denouced as a heretic needing crucifixion for mixing two kits together and *gasp* using no sugar at all!), back in those days before the Web (Gopher, anybody?) there wasn't really any way for me to find out about it. After wandering (pun intended, fellow 'strayians) around my local Big W a few months back, I was amazed at how sophisticated brewing had become. Stop groaning - newbie here! Cool - with half a kilo of this beaut dextrose stuff, half a kilo of raw sugar and one of these flash-looking kits I'll be knocking up beer as good as anything at The Wig and Pen! Fortunately, I happened to pick up a copy of Laurie Strachan's 'Complete Guide to Homebrewing in Australia 2nd Ed', and found out that I knew absolutely nothing about anything before I did something embarassing :). I found that extract brewing seemed to have jumped light years from 'add two litres boiling water, add one kilo white sugar, top up to 22 litres, add yeast'. There were so many techniques I simply hadn't heard of - hot and cold breaks, steeping specialty grains, adding your own hops, using unhopped extracts, oxygenating your wort, using yeast starters, and so on. And the science - IBUs, o Lovibond, alpha acids, attenuation! And ye gods - what was this all-grain witchcraft? Surely this went out with Prohibition bathtub brewing and stills in your shed? I rushed out to try some of these foreign brews. The extent of my palate development was Corona, Coopers and DAB at Oktoberfest! Shock horror - Tooheys Pils isn't, and neither is Fosters Special Bitter! I actually know what hops and malt taste like now :) On to the net, where I found John Palmer's simply amazing howtobrew.com. Fellow lurkers, John's guide is your Bible - seek him out, open his virtual skull and feast on the goo within :). Off to my local (well, only actually, unless you count those Butts 'n' Brew joints) brew shop, BrewYaOwnAtHome. Culture shock - not a Wander kit in sight :). After ooh-ing and ah-ing over the shiny kegs in the glass-doored fridge (and getting a swift kick from SWMBO - 'don't even think about it!'), staring goggle-eyed at the various demijohns filled with exotic-looking yeast starters, and marvelling at the sheer flow of human traffic cheerfully talking about stuff like whizzing up a Newcastle nut brown ale like they do it in their sleep, I was intercepted by brewmaster Colin (I'd say the drool on my chin gave me away as fresh meat). Colin seemed perfectly happy to answer my endless stream of inane questions ('do you have hops?') :). We decided I should 'keep it simple, stupid' and start with a modified kit or simple extract recipe til I had my basic techniques like sanitation down pat. After another week of procrastinating, I decided to start with the eteemed Mr Palmer's first pale ale recipe in his other masterpiece, 'How To Brew Your First Beer Rev. F'. With a few kilos of hopped extract (read, two cans of Coopers IPA) and a shiny new 19-litre brewpot, I was away! John's instructions made it a breeze - all was as he foretold. A thick, frothy hot break (well, I assume it was the hot break, anyway!), a quick wort cooling, and much aggressive splashing about, my frothy 30-minute Nottingham ale starter was pitched at a perfect 20oC. More shaking about - it was starting to look like Guinness in there - and in with the airlock. A short time later, I heard that sweet 'bloop...bloop...bloop' sound from the cupboard. :) Enough blubbering - questions!! When I picked up the fermenter to move it to its dark, warm resting place, there was a change in pressure, and I think some of the 4ml bleach/litre water sanitising solution I'd put in the airlock was sucked in to the brew. Should I be worried? It doesn't seem to have hurt the yeast any - I'm more worried about off flavours. I took my OG hydrometer reading from the spigot at the bottom of the fermenter after I'd pitched my yeast and agitated the wort. I thought it seemed a little high - 3.4kg/7.5lbs of hopped extract in 23 litres/6 gallons of water at 19oC/66.2oF with no other adjuncts read a whopping 1.062! Seems to be within 'normal' ranges for an IPA (1.050 - 1.065, according to 'Complete Guide to Homebrewing'), but it still has me a little worried. Could the reading have been high because I took it from the bottom of the fermenter after pitching/aerating insted of before like the instructions clearly said? :) What does a 'cold break' look like? Does a froth form on the surface of the cooling brew and then slowly disappear like a hot break? What do the precipitating proteins look like in either break? Specks? Strands? Globs? All I saw was a rolling black liquid, then a big-arsed white foam, then more rolling black :). I'm not racking to a secondary for my first brew. Is it possible to safely bulk-prime a primary before bottling? How would I go about it? Does an FG reading have any effect on deciding how much sugar you should use to prime? Is dry yeast susceptible to contamination? I snipped the packets with unsanitised scissors. :( When cooling the wort (ice in a sink with a tap gushing icy cold Canberra water all over one side of the pot - worked a treat!), I was stirring it quite a bit. Is it safe to splash a little at this stage (it was pretty aggressive stirring), or is it a no-no until it's cooled below 26oC/80oF? I'm not a big beer drinker. One every now and then is plenty for me - I'm in it for the alchemy :). I'd prefer to have small quantities of a variety of beers so I can choose something to suit the food/occasion than a large volume of a couple of beers. Can you brew smaller (say, 11.5 litre/2.5 gallon) batches just by halving the recipe? Cheers! ...Matt... Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 12:42:41 -0600 From: Lance Levsen <l.levsen at printwest.com> Subject: HB Shops / Pub request "Warren White" <warrenlw63 at hotmail.com> wrote: > Sorry this long winded, but bear with me, HERE COMES THE BEST PART!!! > He then asks the afore-mentioned homebrew store owner for some advice on > why his beer doesn't taste too good! > Little ironic isn't it??? - Dirty bastard probably didn't buy any > bleach, would of put his budget over 10 bucks wouldn't it. > On a high note for these type of people though... The GST has put the > price of kits down, particularly Wander Draught! Yummy! Yummy! So he doesn't > have to cut down his fusel alcohol intake now or buy a gulp! Brigalow Kit! > Hear, Hear. I recently found myself explaining this to people. The good local shop (http://www.paddockwood.com/ for those of you looking for mail order), no affiliation other then satisfied customer) can _tell_ me how to figure a decoction, or what Bisquit is going to taste like . . . or a myriad of other details. I am more then willing to pay extra for information. Any "Joe" can sell commodities, only experts can sell knowledge. On another note: A trip is about to be undertaken into the BC Rockies Region. We will be exploring the Cranbrook -> Nelson -> Revelstoke -> Golden square and would like to get any info w/ regard to Micro's or Brewpubs worth seeing/ tasting. Any help is appreciated and TIA. Cheers, - -- Lance Levsen, Programmer Product Innovation PWGroup - S'toon. 477-3166 Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 14:52:39 -0400 From: "Spies, Jay" <Spies at dhcd.state.md.us> Subject: Whirlpool All - Several on the HBD have voiced disagreement with my contention that hot wort shouldn't be whirlpooled, some rather vehemently so. Well, okay then. My definition of whirlpool (when I wrote the post) was a *vigorous* stirring, not a gentle circular motion. The comments disagreeing with me said that gentle stirring of the hot wort is okay and is routinely done. Fine with me. I was simply trying to discourage people from whipping the hot wort around like a crazed lunatic trying to get a good vortex going. If people want to stir the hot wort, or siphon it, or reboil it, or do naked pygmy ritual dances around it while in full scuba garb, go for it. To each his own. For my part, I tend to let the wort cool and settle more because I'm lazy than anything else. I clean and put away all my brewing gear while the wort is settling out, and after a half hour, I just open the valve and drain off the then crystal clear wort. That's what works for me. I'll certainly agree that gently stirring the hot wort is fine. Not what I do, but then again, I'm sure many people make far better beer than I do, too. Save the salt for Papazian. Jay Spies Wishful Thinking Basement Brewery Baltimore MD Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 13:49:51 -0500 From: "Paul Niebergall" <pnieb at burnsmcd.com> Subject: Charlie vs Noonan Brian Lundeen writes: >Bob, you have many questions but I think they can all be >answered with a simple: ignore Papazian. As I said, I've >never read him, so I can't comment on his rationale, but >I've never heard of a homebrewer doing this. Now there is some sound advice. With all due respect, if you have not read the Papazian, then you really have no basis to pass judgement of that kind. Sure Charlie has written some things that are questionable, but 99 percent of the stuff is good sound advice and highly usable. Oh yeah, sure there is the infamous picture of the hot wort straining fiasco. BFD! Take a look at the costumes the that the two characters are wearing in the picture. Note the modern decor of the kitchen that they are standing in. It was 1972 (guessing) for God's sake. I think we have all learned a lot more about brewing since then. And whoever wrote the following: > Chas. Papazian recommends whirlpooling and >siphoning off hot break trub from the wort while >it is still hot, using a stainless cane rigged with a >copper scrubber as a filter. He then recommends >reboiling the dang wort for a short time to resanitize. I looked through my Papazian collection this last weekend and could not find the part were he recommends re-boiling the wort after whirlpooling. Maybe I am missing it. Can somebody tell me what book and what page this advice appears. Even if he does say this somewhere, I doubt it is a "recommendation". It is a viable option to re-boil the wort if you are that worried about contamination. Considering the extreme effort that a lot of people go to to make home brew that you read about here, t's not that crazy of an idea. Maybe we should all ignore Noonan too. Doesnt he write extensively about decoction mashing? With the recent thread on the almost non-existent effects of decoction mashing, it seems like Noonan is recommending an awful lot of extra effort for relatively no gain. Should we automatically throw his work out too? Paul Niebergall Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 13:54:06 -0500 From: "Paul Niebergall" <pnieb at burnsmcd.com> Subject: Sound Advice Seog Lee writes concerning Charlie Papazian: >Follow his directions, it will help you make a good beer, >but don't take all the words as truth. Finally some sound advice on the Papazian thread. Wait a minute. Come to think of it, shouldnt we follow the exact same advice for EVERYTHING that we read about home brew? Especially what is written in the HBD? Sounds like this puts Charlie in the same boat as anybody else. Paul Niebergall Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 16:52:31 -0400 From: Bill.X.Wible at QuestDiagnostics.com Subject: Wyeast 2178 "Lager Blend?" Anybody ever used Wyeast 2178 "Lager Blend"? Looking for any experience with this yeast, results, what kind of beer it would be best used in, etc. Thanks. Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 16:28:27 -0400 (EDT) From: Some Guy <pbabcock at hbd.org> Subject: Re: Spreading spent grains and hops on lawn Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager... Dana Edgel writes... > I am currently house-shopping and will have a lawn for the first time. I have > been wondering about spreading my spent grains around the lawn as fertilizer. > Has anyone years of experience doing this and any advice? I do this. I've also spread the spent grains in Kim's flowerbeds - looks like a nice sawdust mulch. > Are the grains spread wet or allowed to dry a bit? Wet. If you let them "dry", you'd better spread them thin. I made the mistake of leaving my brewery to clean overnight. Well, overnight became a couple of days and --- Peeeeeeeeeyou! Made the local landfills smell like expensive eau de toilet. I noticed the sme in "clumps" of spent grain I dumped in the compost heap. They smell horribly when broken open. > Should piles of grain be spread at the base of plants? (like hop bines which > I will be able to grow with a yard!) Eww! Never in piles. See above. If you do, turn them often. Like hourly... > Does the pH of the grains affect the grass? Haven't noticed any detriment. I did note that weeds spring up heartily in the bald spots after having been "treated" with spent grains. > How long does it take for the grains to break down? More to the point how > often can I brew and do this? Disappear to my untrained eyes in a week or two. I brew sometimes twice a weekend, but been a pretty consistent once a week lately. Spread the grains on the lawn each and every time. > What about spent hops? I feed them to the plants alongside the house, or I throw them out. Haven't really looked at them in terms of the lawn or how long they take to decompose. Sorry... Tips: If you're grains aren't thoroughly sparged, beware the bumblebee and other sweet-loving insects that will descend on your property like the biblical plague of locusts. If your grains aren't fully converted in the mash, avoid piling the grains up in one spot or flies will descend upon your property like the biblical plague of locusts, as will neighbors who are offended by the ensuing stench. Break up any clumps in lawn-spread spent grains for the same reason. I have used a "whirlybird" hand-held broadcast spreader to dispense the grains; however, in my recent laziness, I just scoop and fling. Any clumps disintegrate under the force of a well-placed kick... - -- - See ya! Pat Babcock in SE Michigan pbabcock at hbd.org Home Brew Digest Janitor janitor@hbd.org HBD Web Site http://hbd.org The Home Brew Page http://hbd.org/pbabcock "The monster's back, isn't it?" - Kim Babcock after I emerged from my yeast lab Saturday Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 16:08:09 -0600 From: "Whyman Dental Lab, Inc" <whymandl at milehigh.net> Subject: Salt Lake City Brewpubs I'll be in Salt Lake next month and would like some advice on local brewpubs. My wife will be along, so good food and service will also be important. Private emails are fine. Thanks in advance, Roger Whyman Englewood, CO Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 19:36:59 -0400 From: "Kevin Kutskill" <beer-geek at home.com> Subject: Pearl Foam Beer Okay, time to find out who knows their history. Any one out there have any information, pictures, recipe hints, etc. regarding Pearl Foam Beer? It was made in the early 1900's by Mount Clemens Brewing Company, in Mount Clemens, Michigan. Our homebrew club is has been asked to do a demonstration brew and provide as much information as possible on this beer for the Bath City Festival this weekend in Mount Clemens. Any information will be helpful. TIA, Kevin A. Kutskill President CRAFT (Clinton River Association of Fermenting Trendsetters) beer-geek at home.com Return to table of contents
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