HOMEBREW Digest #4022 Fri 23 August 2002

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  It's NOT India but.... (LYE) ("Steven Parfitt")
  re: yeast and schmoo tips (Paul Kensler)
  The Sex Lives of Yeast (Alan Meeker)
  Re: Hops & schedule for Fullers ESB or Redhook ESB clone? (Demonick)
  Beer judging again (joseph540)
  uncovered fermentations (Rama Roberts)
  Competition Announcement: 7th Dayton Beefest ("Gordon Strong")
  Oak chips & Schneider  Weisse (LJ Vitt)
  flooding in Pilsen (ensmingr)
  Fermenting in your brew pot ("Kenneth Peters")
  Fermentation and Temperature ("Adam Wead")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 08:42:23 -0400 From: "Steven Parfitt" <the_gimp98 at hotmail.com> Subject: It's NOT India but.... (LYE) Aaron Gallaway requests help on pretzils: >To anyone who has a minute and can help, > It's me again. Aaron in Japan. Although they call this country >"developed and industrialized" for the average homebrewer it is the >equivalent of India though. >As many know I am getting married in October and am doing everything >myself. It will be an Oktoberfest theme. My Oktoberfest lager is dong >WONDERFULLY thanks to Jeff and many others. .... snip to the meat... >everything else has fallen into place...EXCEPT the LYE!!! Yes, I said >lye. ...snip... >Aaron in the land of the rising yen Go to a pharmacy and ask for NaOh, or try a local university chemestry department. You only need 100gr (my guess) or so, and might be able to buy it from a pharmacy or scrounge from a chem department if you explain what you are doing. Rev. Steven, -75 XLCH- Ironhead Nano-Brewery http://thegimp.8k.com Johnson City, TN [422.7, 169.2] Rennerian "Fools you are... who say you like to learn from your mistakes.... I prefer to learn from the mistakes of others and avoid the cost of my own." Otto von Bismarck Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 05:57:41 -0700 (PDT) From: Paul Kensler <paul_kensler at yahoo.com> Subject: re: yeast and schmoo tips Interesting article on the study of yeast reproduction - but the article states that yeast come in two sexes and reproduce by extending these "schmoo tips" towards each other... I have always read and heard that yeast were non-sexual organisms that reproduced via budding?... Or are they talking about some other kind of yeast, not brewers' strains? On a related note, I seem to be growing my own schmoo tip, protruding out the area centered around my navel. In fact, I've noticed this phenomenon happening to several (most?) homebrewers. Does this mean that we are yeast? Paul Kensler Gaithersburg, MD Growing my schmoo, one homebrew at a time p.s. - for anyone unfamiliar with "the schmoo", he was a cartoon character from Li'l Abner that got his own show in the 80's. He was a round blobby sort of creature, was white as a sheet, had a fuzzy moustache and could change shapes. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 09:13:39 -0400 From: Alan Meeker <ameeker at mail.jhmi.edu> Subject: The Sex Lives of Yeast Mark asks about the amorous activities of yeast: "When the yeast have plenty of food, such as in a nice sugary wort, they forego their carnal pleasures to keep on eating. Is their mating for reproduction, or just plain fun?What happens when the food is gone? So they start thinking about getting alittle? Start caving into their base desires? Rampant pheromones in mybeer? Maybe we've misunderstood this whole "autolyzation" effect?" Sadly (for them), our brewing yeast strains almost never reproduce by having sex, relying instead on simple binary fission to increase their numbers. In the wild, S. cerevisiae is able to form three different cell types: two sexually active haploid mating types (termed "alpha" and "a"), each of which secretes a mating factor to which the other cell type is responsive. Part of that response involves a change in the shape of the yeast cell into a morphological variant termed a "schmoo" (a reference to an entity from Walt Kelly's classic comic strip Pogo). Two of these cells of opposite mating type then fuse together, forming the third diploid cell type which, if nutrients become limiting, can generate four spores that are hardy and able to lay low in a dormant state until conditions become more favorable. Once food becomes available again, the spores will grow into the haploid mating types and the whole process starts over again. Our brewing yeast have all but lost the ability to reproduce sexually. This is probably the result of all the years of yeast inbreeding we humans have subjected them to during the selection of the brewing strains in current usage. On the plus side, we have developed a set of stable strains that perform well for us in the brewery. The downside of this, is that we have pretty much eliminated our ability to easily mix and match traits between different brewing strains simply by mating them with one another. One wonders if the yeasts miss their wanton ways of old. Then again, perhaps they are just as happy to be out of the singles scene. -Alan Meeker Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 07:36:06 -0700 From: Demonick <demonick at zgi.com> Subject: Re: Hops & schedule for Fullers ESB or Redhook ESB clone? "First brewed in 1971, ESB is unrivalled in terms of its flavour and balance. A powerful 5.5% a.b.v. in cask (5.9% a.b.v. in bottles and kegs), it is brewed from Pale Ale and Crystal malts, and from Target, Challenger, Northdown and Goldings hops. But don't ask us for the actual recipe - that's a closely guarded secret. "Andrew Jefford, the respected UK drinks critic, sums up ESB's flavour thus: "an ample, grainy-nutty aroma and a broad, authoritative flavour, with lashings of dry marmalade-like bitters", whilst 'Beer Supremo' Roger Protz describes "an enormous attack of rich malt, tangy fruit and spicy hops in the mouth, with a profound Goldings peppery note in the long finish and hints of orange, lemon and gooseberry fruit". Hmmmm. "Authoritative"? "Lashings"? "Enormous attack"? "Gooseberry"? Good grief. English Target, Challenger and Northdown. East Kent Goldings in the finish & cask hopping. Aim for 40 IBU. Redhook ESB Vital Statistics Grain Variety: 2-row Klages, Caramel 60 Hop Variety: Willamette, Tettnang Flavor Profile: Rich, round, toasted malt with pleasant finishing sweetness Color: Copper (12.4) Bitterness Units: 29.0 IBU Alcohol % Weight: 4.45 Alcohol % Volume: 5.69 Original Gravity: 1.0555 Calories / 12 oz.: 178 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 07:46:59 -0700 (PDT) From: joseph540 at elvis.com Subject: Beer judging again Hi, Sorry for this late addition, but I have been out of the loop for a while. There has been some comment on repetition in beer judging. Some think this is awful and we should get rid of it; some think it is the result of diversity of educational backgrounds in our judges. For the sake of argument, l'll add one other that might be worth thinking about. There is not only diversity in the backgrounds of the judges -- more importantly, there is diversity in the way that they think about beer. This seems amply demonstrated every day on hbd! Being simplistic, we could say that there are two kinds of people in the world -- those that find every beer to be unique and utterly irreducible (call this, with tongue in cheek, the "Papazian" model) and there are those that think about and experience beer in strictly categorical terms (call this the "Korzonas" model). Let me say that for me, my heart is with the first group, but my head is with the second. Here's what I mean, by way of an educational analogy. I teach, and I read *a lot* of student papers -- like 50 at a time, sometimes more. I truly do believe that each and every student is an individual person with an unique mind and unique experiences that matter. But to judge each and every paper as an absolutely unique thing would be overwhelming. It would also be impossible to assign grades, since to grade the papers in a non-arbitrary way means that I have to impose the same set of standards on all of them. Most importantly, treating all the papers as absolutely unique would deny an important reality. Those papers do in fact tend to have common kinds of problems. Not every paper has the same set of problems, and some papers are truly original and surprising and wonderful. But it quickly becomes clear each time I grade that there are maybe 10 sorts of common, easily definable problems in the pool of papers, and that most of the papers have symptoms of maybe one or two of those. What's a grader to do? A bad grader will *either* give the same comment on each paper, *or* (equally bad) will give unique comments that don't give an indication to the student that there is a common problem in the paper. My own decision has been to try to use comments to recognize the uniqueness, but also to rely on a couple of stock phrases to signal what common problems are involved. You see my point -- switch this to beer. What's a judge to do? It would be great if the utter uniqueness of our beers would be appreciated. But the judges also experience some common problems in the pool of beers; it seems sort of silly to expect them to come up with unique ways to characterize what are really common problems. It may actually help me to see that the problems that the judge finds in my beer are actually common problems rather than unique ones. The particular judge in question may have not been a good judge, but I can't imagine that even the good judges can manage to sustain unique language for each and every brew they taste. [An aside to fill out the tongue in cheek analogy to basic brewing books above: this "uniqueness is everything" model is what makes Papazian's writing about beer so fun to read, but it also makes it sort of unhelpful at the end of the day. Korzonas' writing is maddeningly, maddeningly structured, but his categorizing is also pretty useful.] Okay -- I'm done. Flame away! Joe Gerteis St. Paul, Minnesota - ------------------------------------------------- Get your free at Elvis e-mail account at Elvis.com! http://www.elvis.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 08:58:05 -0700 (PDT) From: Rama Roberts <rama at retro.eng.sun.com> Subject: uncovered fermentations >So my advice is to not worry about looking inside. After all, lots >of breweries ferment entirely uncovered. True, Anchor Steam for example. But they (Anchor at least) go through steps to allow this- like filtering their air, and using pressurized ferm. rooms so when someone opens the door, it blows clean air out, and not suck "dirty" air in. I would agree with Jeff though- looking inside the ferm tank is hardly a high danger exposure-wise, especially since it will be fermenting or finishing fermentation by then. The time you need to be super careful is the period between the kettle and the primary fermentation tank, when the wort is full of oxygen and sugars, has no protective layer of carbon dioxide, etc. - --rama Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 11:50:53 -0400 From: "Gordon Strong" <strongg at voyager.net> Subject: Competition Announcement: 7th Dayton Beefest Entries are now being accepted for the 7th Dayton (Ohio) Beerfest. The competition will be held on September 14th; entries are due by September 7th. All details are on our web site: http://hbd.org/draft/daybeerfest.html. Quick summary: Easy online entry, no recipe, 2 bottles, $5, any type of bottles including draft packaging, enter sub-categories as often as you want (only top-scoring is eligible for prize in a single sub-category). All 1999 BJCP styles accepted including mead and cider. Nice wooden plaques for category winners. Gordon Strong Dayton Regional Amateur Fermentation Technologists strongg at earthlink.net Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 09:11:33 -0700 (PDT) From: LJ Vitt <lvitt4 at yahoo.com> Subject: Oak chips & Schneider Weisse In HBD#4020, Matt asked about using oak chips: >Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 09:52:36 -0400 >From: Matt Benzing <benzim at rpi.edu> >Subject: Oak Chips >I am experimenting with a braggot and I would like to add oak chips in >secondary to get that "barrel aged" character. Anyone have experience with >this? Should the chips be steamed? How much should I add? Can anyone >recommend a commercial beer aged in oak so I can get an idea of what I'm >aiming at? I have used oak chips in wine, pyment and one barley wine. What I think of "whiskey barrel aged", you will not get. But you can get a oak effect that is wine. I boil water and remove from the heat. Put the oak chips in the hot water and hold for 5 min. I then strain out the chips and transfer into an empty carboy and rack the beverage onto them. I put 1 oz of chips in and wait 2 weeks. Tast it and decide if there is enough oak. If not add more. I don't rack agin, just add to the carboy. I use a sanitized funnel and racking cain to push them through the funnel. Wet chips tend to just stick to the funnel. The reason for 2 weeks - with chips, all the flavor impact will occur in 2 weeks. My source for that is the local home wine makers. Longer doesn't hurt anything. I get chips from a wine/beer supply store. There are different levels of toasting. I use untoasted, but medium toast is popular. - --------------------------- Schneider weisse: I had it along the Rhine area. It is better than we find it in the midwest. ===== Leo Vitt Rochester MN Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 12:22:20 -0400 From: ensmingr at twcny.rr.com Subject: flooding in Pilsen There's been much in the news lately about the flooding in Europe, especially Prague and Dresden. Presumably, Pilsen (birthplace of pilsner beer and home of Pilsner Urquell) has also been flooded. In fact, since Pilsen lies near the confluence of the Mze, Radbuza, Uhlava, and Uslava Rivers, I might expect flooding there to be at least as bad as in Prague. Unfortunately, not much news is available over here on Pilsen. The Pilsner Urquell brewery has extensive sandstone caverns that were used for lagering during the birth of Pilsner beer. What happened to them? Does anyone out there have information? Cheerio! Peter A. Ensminger Syracuse, NY Homebrewer, http://hbd.org/ensmingr Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 12:08:51 -0500 From: "Kenneth Peters" <kpeters6 at cox.net> Subject: Fermenting in your brew pot In reference to and Jeff Renner's reply to John Sarette about fermenting in their brew kettle. I have a question for Jeff -when you say you ferment ales in a ten gallon stock pot, is this the same kettle that you boiled it in? Do you boil, cool, aerate and ferment without moving the liquor? Do you remove the trub from the kettle? If so, when? Sounds like a labor saver to me and as clumsy as I am, the fewer wort transfers the better. Kenneth Peters somewhere south of Jeff Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 12:14:05 -0600 From: "Adam Wead" <a_wead at hotmail.com> Subject: Fermentation and Temperature Dear HDB: I have a 5 gal. batch of IPA that I just pitched on Monday, Aug. 19. I pitched it from a 500ml starter of Wyeast 1056, which I had going for 2 days and had accumulated a good 1/8" of trub at the bottom, but no krausen. It was going great until the Wendesday, when I noticed that the fermentation had stopped completely. I haven't tested the gravity yet. Is what's called a "stuck" fermentation? And is it because it's too warm? The pitch temp was 74, and it was fermenting at 74-76. It's a little on the high side, but does a few degrees really make that much of a difference? Could it be related to the starter? I let the starter go for two days, and it was warm. I could see it fermenting, but I never noticed a krausen or "head" in the starter jar. Should I try re-pitching from another starter if the FG isn't low enough? thanks! adam Return to table of contents
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