HOMEBREW Digest #398 Fri 13 April 1990

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Re:  too sweet (617)253-0885" <CASEY at NERUS.PFC.MIT.EDU>
  Scottish Heavy (Dale Veeneman)
  Re: Culturing yeast (dw)
  Liquid Yeast (John DeCarlo)
  yeast culturing (HOLTSFOR)
  Re: Yeast, Cultures and Amylase enzyme powder (long) (Glenn T. Colon-Bonet)
  More on Sweet Beer ("William F. Pemberton")
  Legality of home brewing ("david_f._nevin.Wbst300")
  Yeast reuse and Wonderful smelling fermentation (Enders)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 12 Apr 90 07:46 EST From: "JEFF CASEY / (617)253-0885" <CASEY at NERUS.PFC.MIT.EDU> Subject: Re: too sweet Bill Pemberton says: >>It seems (to me at least) that most of the brews I have made have been a >>touch too sweet for my liking. .... I have used several different yeasts... I have noticed the same thing. One real problem I found is that crystal malt smells and tastes so good (while brewing) that it is a real test of your self control and determination to add in only the required amount and no more. One of my best red bitters had none of my "trademark" sweetness, although I'd used the recipe before -- when I checked my notes, I had run out of crystal, and had only been able to add in what was necessary, not tip in a little more "for grins". Also, if you are an extract brewer, stick to the pale extracts and modify them with your own specialty grains for darker brews. The amber and dark extracts often have other sugars or caramel added, which really sicken the taste (in my opinion). M&F amber for example is much worse than M&F pale with some crystal and roast barley added. Yeasts: if you are using an unattenuative yeast, there will be more unfermentables left over, and the brew will be sweeter. Most of the dry ale yeasts (including Whitbread I believe) are fairly attenuative, so this shouldn't be a problem. See the yeast issue of Zymurgy (last fall) for many details, and relax etc... Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 90 9:29:28 EDT From: Dale Veeneman <dev1 at gte.com> Subject: Scottish Heavy I was in Glasgow a year ago and fell in love with an ale that was referred to as "heavy" (always on tap - one brand I remember was Tartan). Does anyone have a recipe for this type of ale? I tried Burch's Scottish style brown ale (not even close) and a kit from my local supplier (Glenbrew's Scottish heavy - not too good). Last night I had a bottle of Belhaven real Scottish ale (heavenly) and my desire has been re-kindled. Return to table of contents
Date: 12 Apr 90 09:04:16 EDT (Thursday) From: dw <Wegeng.Henr at Xerox.COM> Subject: Re: Culturing yeast >Anyway, [my beer] ready for a secondary now (been about a >week), and I'm curious as to the right procedure for >keeping this [yeast] culture alive for a few more batches. I've read that you should be able to save a Cup of the yeast slurry in the fridge for up to a week, and then add it to your next batch. You may have trouble extending it to several sucessive batches using this method, due to contamination and mutation. I've never tried this method. Here's the procedure that I just started using to extend liquid yeast through several batches of beer. In advance I make up several quart jars of sterile wort, filling each jar about half full. I also have a Yeast Bank from William's Brewing. A few days before I want to make some beer with a new type of yeast, I break the inner bag and wait for the outer bag to swell up. After it has swelled, I add the culture to one of the jars of wort. A day or so later there will be a nice head of foam on top, at which point I fill several tubes from the yeast bank with wort, and use the rest to make a batch of beer. Next time I want to use this strain of yeast, I make a starter from one of the yeast samples saved with the yeast bank. I've left out many of the details, but I think you get the idea. /Don Return to table of contents
Date: Thursday, 12 Apr 1990 10:43:48 EST From: m14051 at mwvm.mitre.org (John DeCarlo) Subject: Liquid Yeast >From: bnrgate!bnr-rsc!crick at uunet.uu.net (Bill Crick) > >... I then tossed the puffed pouch in the fridge to save it >for use in another batch the next weekend. > >The instructions said that if you stored the activated yeast in a >fridge for any period, it should be put in a starter before pitching. >... >Does anyone know if the 90-100F water was what killed it, or is the idea of >storing it in the fridge after it starts to puff up is invalid? The pouch puffs up as a result of the CO2 that the yeasts produce when feeding on the malt in the pouch. I would suspect that the puffed-up pouch is a very good environment for killing the little yeasties. I think the Wyeast packages also recommend making a starter if you wait very long after the pouch puffs up before you use it. I take this to mean that you should use the pouch within hours of when it puffs out, either to make a starter, culture it somehow, or pour it in the beer. ARPANET: M14051 at mwvm.mitre.org (or M14051%mwvm at mitre.arpa) Usenet: at ... at !uunet!hadron!blkcat!109!131!John_Decarlo Fidonet: 1:109/131 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 90 13:21 EST From: <HOLTSFOR%MSUKBS.BITNET at CORNELLC.cit.cornell.edu> Subject: yeast culturing Greetings homebrewers -- I have couple of comments on yeast culturing, prompted by the notes from Bill Crick and Andy Wilcox in HBD #397. Bill was wondering whether refrigeration and/or rehydration at 90-100 degrees F had killed his MeV yeast culture. I suspect that at least some of the yeast survived both of those perils. However, they were probably not very active or very numerous when pitched. I have had good luck keeping yeast cultures alive when refrigerated. This is the preferred method of maintenance for yeast colonies growing on Petri dishes. I have also stored swollen packets of Wyeast cultures for > 2 weeks and gotten good growth when these were pitched into starter cultures. I believe that a starter *culture*, and not just rehydration in warm water, is probably a necessary step if you wish to pitch a culture that has been refrigerated. Not only will the cold culture will be dormant, but the number of viable yeast cells present in the swollen packet is probably much lower than the number present in a packet of dry yeast. This is because the yeast culture in the foil packet will only multiply as long as the malt-sugar medium in the packet lasts. Packets of dry yeast, however, contain yeast cells isolated from large vats with lots o' growth medium. The advantages to pitching Wyeast or MeV cultures are that 1) these cultures contain fewer wild yeasts and bacteria than packets of dry yeast, and 2) when used as intended, the liquid cultures are active when pitched. By refrigerating the swollen packet of liquid culture one negates the second advantage. However, it is difficult to predict how long your foil packet will take to swell, and how long the culture remains active once the packet has swollen. I would recommend that if your packet of yeast has been fully swollen for more than a day, or has been refrigerated, that you pitch it into a starter culture and use the starter culture to pitch your wort. The special yeast issue of Zymurgy is full of excellent information on yeast culturing. Details of procedures and equipment for yeast culture can be found there. As to Andy Wilcox's querie about culturing from a primary fermenter ... I guess you don't have the yeast issue of Zymurgy and that you can't wait until you get one because you want to rack over to a secondary sometime soon. You can probably run out to your homebrew shop and pick up Papazian's Complete Joy of Home Brewing and that'll give you the basic info. However, I would really recommend popping for another packet of liquid yeast culture and culturing directly from the original culture. There are always going to be unwanted microbes in your primary fermentor -- at least in small numbers. By subculturing from the primary sludge you are giving these contaminants a chance to get established. A large portion of the yeast population in your primary will go dormant when the blow-off stage stops. If the bacteria or wild yeasts "wake up" more easily than the desired yeast, then you may be in trouble. It is also possible to introduce new microbes into your subculture at the time that you do the racking. I know that most commercial brewers, and many homebrewers, successfully reculture their yeast from batch to batch. However, I find it much more difficult to practice good sterile transfer techniques with a five gallon carboy than with smaller glassware, Petri dishes, and foil packets. I worry much less about contamination when I am working with a culture that was derived directly from a commercial packet or bottle of beer than I did when I used to culture from fermenters. It may cost you another $3.50 to get started, but then you'll have a stock culture that was derived directly from a clean culture. You can use the new packet to pitch another wort and still have enough sludge in the packet to start your own stock culture. Best o' luck & happy brewing, Tim Holtsford Kellogg Biological Station Michigan State University HOLTSFORD at MSUKBS.BITNET P.S. How do you guys extract small pieces of text from this digest so that it appears with a " > " on the left margin of your response? I'm working on a VAX running VMS. Thanks. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 90 11:57:12 MDT From: Glenn T. Colon-Bonet <gcb at hpfigcb> Subject: Re: Yeast, Cultures and Amylase enzyme powder (long) Full-Name: Glenn Colon-Bonet Regarding Bill Crick's problem with preparing a starter culture from a liquid yeast culture, I think the starter that you used was a pretty weak solution, I typically use 1/2 cup of dry malt extract to 2 cups water. Also, pitching at 90-100F is pretty high! When yeast experience drastic temperature changes, from the fridge, into the 100F starter, they tend to go dormant. I always warm may liquid culture slowly to room temp (70F) and pitch into the same temperature starter culture. I always use a starter culture to get about 16-20 oz. of active yeast for pitching so that fermentation begins rapidly. If you use the packets alone, you should allow 2 days for the packet to swell (possible more if the packet is old). When using a starter culture, allow 3-4 days: 2 for the Wyeast (MeV) packet and 1-2 for the starter. In HBD #397 Andy Wilcox asks about Wyeast 1007: I've used the German Ale yeast a few times and had pretty good luck with reculturing it. I currently use two different methods for reculturing. The easiest method for reculturing is to plan to make your next batch of beer at the end of the primary fermentation of your first batch. After you finish re-racking the first batch into the secondary, there will be a large amount of yeast sediment in the bottom. You can siphon off (using carefully sanitized siphon hose) the yeast into your starter bottle. I typically fill about 1/4 of the bottle with the sediment and add cooled sterile wort to it. Aerate the starter and attach a fermentation lock. The starter is usually extremely active within an hour or two, which is about right for finishing your next batch! Most of the books I've read say not to try reculturing more than 3-5 times with the same yeast because of mutation and infection problems. The other method for yeast culturing is the same as in the Zymurgy yeast issue - prepare petri dish cultures and/or slants from the Wyeast packet and use these to innoculate a starter culture. Petri dishes can be ordered with sterile agar for yeast culturing from medical supply companies. I was able to purchase 10 dishes for $6. You will also need an innoculation loop (or make your own). To innoculate the dish, place the dish cover side down on a table, sterilize the innoculation loop by passing it through a torch flame or other hot flame and insert the loop into the culture (wyeast packet or other source) it will cool in the liquid and you should be able to pick up some yeast. Open the petri dish, holding the agar half face down and run the innoculation loop in zig-zag patterns over the surface. Quickly close the dish back up, label it and place a rubber band or tape over it to keep it closed. Store it cover side down so that condensation will always fall onto the cover, never onto the yeast colonies. Keep the sample warm for 4 days or until the the yeast have formed healthy colonies (white and powdery looking). If the dish shows non-white colors or stringy growths, the sample is infected and shouldn't be used. Refrigerate the dish after 4 days, it will last up to 6 months after innoculation. You can make as many yeast starters as you like from the petri dish culture without the risks of mutation/infection, since the same source is used for all cultures, rather than multiple generations. Slants work really well for keeping "master cultures" that you only use for innoculation the petri dish cultures. Since you only expose the master every 6 months or so, it has less risk of becoming infected. To prepare a starter from a dish, place the dish cover side down on a table, sterilize the neck of the starter bottle by passing it through the torch flame, sterilize the innoculation loop, open the dish, holding it so that the agar (yeast) side faces down, and cool the loop on an unused section of the dish, pick up a sample of yeast on the end of the loop and insert it into a small starter culture (2-4 oz of sterile wort in a well sterilized bottle). Attach fermentation lock and when small starter becomes active (2 days), transfer to a larger starter (16-24 oz). When the large starter is active (1-2 more days) its ready to make beer! Culturing with petri dishes is fairly difficult and I'm not totally convinced that its really worth all the hassle, but it is very nice having a variety of yeasts to choose from, not just what the local shop carries (if they carry any!). At any rate, getting 3 or more cultures from a single Wyeast packet brings the cost down to the same or less than dried yeast, and the much better beers from liquid yeast make it worth the extra time. Regarding amylase powder, I've used it in mashing to finish off starch conversion when it wouldn't on its own (after 3 hours!), but I've never used it during fermentation. The bottle of it that I have says "to remove starch haze from beer" on the label. I've never heard of using it to re-start a fermentation. Yes, there is such a thing as breaking down too much sugar. The higher, unfermentable sugars, such as dextrins, give beer body, head retention, and character. Actually I'm surprised that this stuff can work at fermentation temps (65 - 70F), normally enzymes are active during mashing around 150-158F. Maybe something else is going on here? Sorry for the long posting... I got carried away! Have a great Easter! -Glenn Return to table of contents
Date: Thu Apr 12 15:31:49 1990 From: "William F. Pemberton" <wfp5p at euclid.acc.virginia.edu> Subject: More on Sweet Beer Several people have written me in regard to my problem with too sweet beer. I didn't post any recipes, but one reason is that I have used several different ones, but here is a typical example: 0.5 lb. Crystal Malt 1 can Unhoped Amber Extract 1 can Unhoped Light Extract 1.5 oz Northern Brewer's Hops (for boil) 0.25 oz Cascade Hops (for finish) Whitbread Ale Yeast This produced a wonderful beer, except that it was just too sweet for my likings. I shouldn't complain too much, all my friends thought it was great! The two brands of extract that I use are John Bull and Munton & Fison. I would try others, but those are all that can be obtained in this town! I've tried several variations off of this, and all have worked well, but still too sweet (for me). Several people on the net (thanks to all) suggested cutting back on the Crystal Malt. I must admit that is about the only constant in my beers, I always use right around half a pound. I think I will try a version with that eliminated. My current mutation of the above recipe uses a lager yeast instead of an ale yeast (making a steam beer). I had hoped that the yeast was the culprit and the use of a lager yeast would do the trick. Thanks again! +----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ |Bill Pemberton flash at virginia.edu -OR- wfp5p at virginia.edu | |(804)971-1894 +-----------------------------------------------+ |University of Virginia | Itch me, but please don't scratch me. | |Charlottesville, Va | | +----------------------------+-----------------------------------------------+ Return to table of contents
Date: 12 Apr 90 17:49:25 PDT (Thursday) From: "david_f._nevin.Wbst300" at Xerox.COM Subject: Legality of home brewing Don Wegeng has a good point about not discussing the legalization of drugs in this forum; after all, Big Brother is undoubtedly listening and some of us could get into trouble for not being sufficiently negative on the subject. But, how about the legality of home brewing? If it weren't for the fact that "cooler heads prevailed" on the 18th Constitutional Amendment our hobby could put us in prison for 20 years. In our government's overly-zealous, politically-motivated war against it's citizens (the drug war) many personal freedoms are being lost. So, the next time you set out to brew a batch, bear in mind that there is a movement 'out there' to label us as bad people. I believe there will again come a time when we will have to defend our right to drink beer. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. - Dave - Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 90 21:13:23 -0500 From: Enders <enders at plains.NoDak.edu> Subject: Yeast reuse and Wonderful smelling fermentation Probably the simplest way to reuse a liquid yeast culture is to culture the dregs from a bottle of homebrew made with the desired variety. Of course, if your batch goes bad (God forbid!!) you're out of luck. As to wonderful smells arising from the fermenter, My latest batch, made with Wyeast #1028 London Ale has an EXCELLENT aroma arising from the fermenter! I can hardly wait to taste it!!! Todd Enders ARPA: enders at plains.nodak.edu Computer Center UUCP: ...!uunet!plains!enders Minot State University Bitnet: enders at plains Minot, ND 58701 Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #398, 04/13/90 ************************************* -------
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