HOMEBREW Digest #414 Tue 08 May 1990

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Communications outage (CRF)
  Question, and Re: Brewing to Share!!! (Patrick Stirling (Sun HQ Consulting Services))
  idle ferment, brew for masses (cckweiss)
  Red Star rising (cckweiss)
  A caveat on slow (dead?) yeasties (Kenneth R. van Wyk)
  Munich and Vienna Malts (Dave Sheehy)
  Beer Travels (Chris Yerga)
  Non-Alcoholic Beer rates poorly!  Film at 11 (John Mellby)
  Aluminum and the behavior of Romans (florianb)
  Low extract--Stale Malt? (Len Reed)
  Wyeast #2035 (New Ulm) (Len Reed)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 7 May 90 08:06 EST From: CRF at PINE.CIRCA.UFL.EDU Subject: Communications outage Hi, All1 For the information of those with whom I have been privately corresponding: communication will be out for me until at least Thurs, due to system upgrades. Everyone else: this was the fastest way to deal with this; please excuse the intrusion, if any. Cher Feinstein Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 7 May 90 09:32:42 PDT From: pms at Corp.Sun.COM (Patrick Stirling (Sun HQ Consulting Services)) Subject: Question, and Re: Brewing to Share!!! My question, or rather, problem, is this. I've been brewing (from extract) for a couple of years. All of my brews have been successful in that I've never had to toss one. However, the last 4 or 5 batches have had the same problem. After bottling, they never stop gaining carbonation! So they're fine after a week (too soon I think), a little on the fizzy side after a month, and geysers after 2 months in the bottle. Must be an infection of some kind. I try to be as sanitized as possible - plenty of (weak) chlorine solution, etc. This last time, on the suggestion of my local homebrew store, I didn't take any SG readings from the carboy until I was ready to bottle. The SG hadn't changed since I'd racked to the carboy! I suspect that the infection is occuring at or before racking. Any ideas or suggestion would be welcome. BTW, the beer tastes fine, it's just too fizzy. I prime with 1/2 cup of malt or corn sugar. I haven't changed any procedures. Perhaps a piece of equipment is infected? OK now the second subject, Brewing to Share. First, why do you want to cater to BudCoorsMiller fans? I can't think of a single reason to brew a BudCoorsMiller clone! I've always brewed what I want, and actually, so far the people I've tried it one have liked it. On reflection, I think my brewing style is (coincidentally) also what I'd try to brew for strangers to homebrew - middle of the road (oh no, not that!). That is, not extreme in any direction. Moderately hopped, moderate flavour. My flavoured beers have been very successful - ginger, orange/clove, and coffee. I'm going to try a rasberry next. patrick Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 7 May 90 09:44:30 -0700 From: cckweiss at castor.ucdavis.edu Subject: idle ferment, brew for masses On Swift Fermentations: Last note from me on this one... THX to all for sound advice on probability that fermentation was, in fact complete. I threw in some (1/4 c.) sugar syrup, and the wort woke right up, so I'll just bottle and drink soon. But as for actually measuring O.G. and final S.G. to do all this scientifically - sounds way too much like worrying for me. I do have a hydrometer (for my marine fish tank), but after about 10 batches of careful S.G. measurements without any surprises, I decided the risk of contamination in taking samples outweighed the information I was generating. I use glass carboys as secondarys, so I can directly observe activity pretty accurately (use a backlight), and I've never had a "glass grenade" attack. I realize my approach is somewhat wrongheaded, but it's damn relaxed, and works for me! Todd Enders wants to brew beer suited to the taste of those weaned on Bud and Miller Light. I began brewing because I like beer in general. I kept brewing because I discovered that I liked my own beer better than Bud. Let Phillip Morris and Busch meet the needs of those who prefer swill. Make the beer you like best, and forget what anyone else likes. If they hate it, it's just more for you. Oh yeah, and can you post or email the recipe for that IPA? (krweiss at ucdavis.edu) With that and a Guinness Stout clone I could finally make a Black & Tan at home. Of course, most people probably wouldn't like the taste too much... Ken Weiss Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 7 May 90 10:00:25 -0700 From: cckweiss at castor.ucdavis.edu Subject: Red Star rising Kevin L. McBride writes: > At the risk of being flamed... Dump the Red Star, but not into your > wort. I have never had good results with it. It also seems to be > very inconsistent. This may be part of your problem. No flames here, I know Red Star is not premium stuff. It does, however, have the distinction of being, until last month, the only yeast at the only brewing supply shop in Sacramento that I could find. In Red Star's defense, I must note that in the three batches I've made since moving to Sacto, I've had fine results. I brew extract, plus the occasional grain adjunct, so maybe I'm not providing enough challenge for those little yeasties. Only in adversity can true quality be measured... Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 07 May 90 15:58:01 EDT From: Kenneth R. van Wyk <krvw at cert.sei.cmu.edu> Subject: A caveat on slow (dead?) yeasties Just thought I'd share an experience with y'all... I was brewing a lager over the weekend (a half-mash recipe derived from Papazian's Propensity Pilsner (extract) recipe - I'd be glad to post the recipe if anyone is interested), using M.eV. German Lager liquid yeast. (A co-brewing buddy was making an ale at the same time, using M.eV. high temp British ale yeast.) Well, I started the yeast cultures two days prior - I always start the yeast a couple days early and then pitch into ~1 quart of wort in a magnum sized (1.5 liter) champagne bottle (with a bubbler), and then pitch the starter into my 5 gallon batches. My experience with M.eV. has thus far been great. Never had any bad batches, and the pouches always puffed up within 24 hrs. I've also used Wyeast cultures with equal results. Well, shortly after starting the pouches, my buddy's ale pouch was puffying up, but my lager wasn't doing anything. Ha, relax, don't worry, have a homebrew, I said (and *did* :-). I pitched the pouches into two magnums and got them going (about 24 hrs. prior to brewing). Here too, the ale yeast was cruising, but the lager wasn't - at about 70F to incubate. Brewing time comes along, I did my mash, etc. and we pitched the yeasties into the two batches. 24 hours later, we have serious rock-n-roll in the ale, and not a thing in the lager. I'm beginning to get concerned, because I'd never seen one of my batches take more than ~12-24 hours to get up to full tilt. Relax, ... Next morning, same thing. At this point, I decided to drop back 5 and punt. I grafted some of the ale wort into my "pilsner". I figured that I'd rather have a *live* ale than a dead lager any day... This morning, < 12 hours later, the "pilsner" is cruising. Conclusion: I believe that the lager pouch was dead upon arrival. The store that I get my supplies from keeps the liquid yeast refrigerated, so I don't believe that it was their fault. Perhaps something in shipping caused the deaths of these poor defenseless micro-organisms. :-( Perhaps I'm being overly paranoid, perhaps I shouldn't have worried, perhaps the lager yeast was just slow to start, perhaps I should have given the lager yeast more time in the pouch before pitching, etc. I've used the exact same yeast before with very good success, IMHO. Even when using liquid yeast, don't just assume that things are well and happy. *Always* make sure that the pouch is good and puffy before pitching it into either a small starter culture (highly recommended, by the way) or a full batch. Perhaps this is obvious to all but this novice brewer, perhaps not. Cheers, Ken van Wyk Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 7 May 90 13:29:18 PDT From: Dave Sheehy <dbs at hprnd> Subject: Munich and Vienna Malts Full-Name: Dave Sheehy I've finally found the time to post this and it handily fits into the discussion on Vienna and Munich malt. A long while ago Pete Soper had this to say about Dave Miller's Marzen recipe which uses vienna or munich malt: >Date: Tue, 7 Nov 89 15:15:51 EST >From: Pete Soper <soper at maxzilla.encore.com> >Subject: Re: recipes > > The Dave Miller book has some very reasonable mash recipes, but >I would add two warnings. First, his hop bittering levels may come >out a bit too bitter if you 1) very vigorously boil a very thin >wort and 2) use very fresh pellet hops. For cases where the sweet >wort gravity is low I cut back around 10% from his recommendations. >Secondly, beginners should figure on getting 10-20% less extract >efficiency than Miller, so the grain quantities need to be scaled >up to adjust for this. Once you've made a batch or two you can >then tweak this adjustment to a final value. > Oh, one last thing. Don't try to replicate the (I think) Marzen >beer recipe. I think this is the one. It is the one that calls for >10 pounds of "homemade Vienna malt". Since the "homemade" process >will denature all the malt enzymes there are none left to mash the >grain for this recipe. I don't know what the story was supposed to >be with this one. > I have made the Marzen recipe but with Munich malt and not homemade Vienna malt. It worked quite well but took 2+ hours to convert since while there are enzymes in Munich malt they aren't present in the same quantities as regular pale malt. (Pardon while I drift from the topic for a bit :-) I was trying to produce something similar to the lagers that are served at the Weeping Radish in Durham N.C. Their lagers very much emphasize the malt character with a much lower empahsis on the hops. The brewmaster there would only tell me that it was a lager when I asked him what type of beer it was (I guess he figured me for one of the unwashed masses and wouldn't understand the detailed answer :-). Anyway, when I got back home I searched through Miller's lager recipes for a close match to I thought it might be and settled on the Marzen recipe. It came out pretty close but I can vouch for Pete's comments on hopping above. I used pelleted hops and a full boil and the beer was more bitter than I expected it to be. Let me address one more side issue before I return to the subject of malt. Miller considers Marzen to be essentially the same as an Octoberfest. Now, I entered my Marzen in my local beer club's competition (the GCBA in Sacramento) in the Octoberfest category. One of the comments I got back was that the beer was underhopped. Now, recall that above I stated that I thought that the beer was overhopped for the Marzen style of beer (at least compared to the lager that I was served at the Weeping Radish). Now all you beer judges out there, fill me in. Is a Marzen the same as an Octoberfest? If not, would it be true that an Octoberfest is hopped more than a Marzen? Please, I don't want to give the impression that I'm bitching about the judging because I'm not. All the other comments I got made sense but this one was completely opposite from what I expected. Also, has anyone tried the lagers at the Weeping Radish and comment on what style of lager it is and how typical it is for that category? Back to malt. Munich malt is kilned off at some temp. over 200F (I don't remember the exact number) and it stills has enzymes left in it. So what's the story? Someone asked this question at the February meeting of the GCBA and this is the answer they got. As the moisture content of the grain goes down (as it is kilned) the enzymes become more stable. The more stable the enzymes are the higher temp. they can stand before being denatured. From this point of view, I can see how Miller's process for making Vienna malt can work and still retain some enzyme potential. Still if I were making something out of homemade Vienna malt I sure would like to have a couple pounds of crushed pale malt to throw in if the mash refuses to convert! I haven't tried making my own Vienna malt yet (I'm chicken) and I don't know if I will. I've seen Vienna malt listed in some of the mail order catelogs so I'd rather buy Vienna malt made by somebody who knew what they were doing rather than rely on my own shots in the dark. Dave Sheehy =========== Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 7 May 90 14:10:09 PDT From: yerga at cory.Berkeley.EDU (Chris Yerga) Subject: Beer Travels I've recently found time in between sampling brews to graduate from college. In an attempt to stall the onset of "real life" my roommate and I are heading to Europe for 6 or 7 weeks. I'm looking for pointers to beer hot spots in Europe. The only thing we are sure of in advance is that we will hit Great Britain and Belgium. Beyond this we will be improvising, and any info from fellow HBML'ers may steer us towards a particular 1: Country, 2: Region, 3: Town, 4: Brewery/ Beer Garden, etc. Thanks in advance for your help. The memories from this trip will help sustain me during the next decade of sitting in a cube programming! =============================================================================== Chris Yerga yerga at cory.berkeley.edu "I'll flip you like a cheese omelette" Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 7 May 90 09:17:06 CDT From: jmellby at ngstl1.csc.ti.com (John Mellby) Subject: Non-Alcoholic Beer rates poorly! Film at 11 The Offical Mellby Beer-Tastings, year 3. This is the Sixteenth such tasting stretching back over two years. This note includes tastings number 14 (which was previously lost) and 16. I tried to slip in a non-alcoholic beer, which was NOT well received! Since the AHA just revised the tasting scores, moving 4 points from Appearance to Taste, and changing the Aroma subheadings, we made up new forms. Our forms now correspond to the new American Homebrewer Association's forms. The tastings, in reverse chronological order were of: Misc. Lagers (including one Non-alcoholic) Ales, mainly American Misc. Oregon and Michigan (ok its weird, but this is where our last trips were) Available Ales (i.e. purchaseable in Dallas) Northern Beers (Northern US and Canadian) Belgian (and other odd European Beers) California Micro-beers Lagers, mostly American microbreweries Ales (an odd lot which turned out to be poor quality) Ales (Strong, including porters, stout) Mixed Lagers Ales Lagers Christmas and speciality beers Mixed (mostly ales) A few preliminary comments are necessary. In general we are tasting beers which are not commercially available in Texas (curse these state laws!). This means we bring them back from long distances. For example, I brought back a lot of beer from Berose Liquors in Washington D.C., including a lot of microbrewery beer. Some of that was send from Washington State to D.C. and I brought it from there to Texas. Hence some beer is not as fresh as it should be. We have at times noticed a distinct difference between two bottles of the same beer, as one may have been sitting on some shelves for a couple of months. In addition to that, when tasting microbrewery beer there may be an amount of sediment in the bottle. This is normally not a problem (you have sediment in wine don't you?), but when sharing a bottle between 3-4 people the sediment gets stirred up and the last person may have a less-than-clear beer. Occasionally these dregs have a little worse taste, hence the ratings for a beer may vary from bottle to bottle and from taster to taster. Overall, the most important thing we have learned is: The condition under which the retailer keeps the beer is crucial! Age, light, and handling all can cause a good beer to rapidly become bad. Also we have learned to drink the beer rather than keeping it for extended periods (except with a few bottle-conditioned beer, like Celebration Ale, Thomas Hardy, etc.) On with the beer: Misc. Lagers - ---- ------ 5/4/90 These come from the trip to Denver and a trip to Dayton last week. I also threw in a non-alcoholic beer to see what the reaction would be. This was a blind tasting and I hoped the non-alcoholic beer would sneak in, but it still rated lowest! Over the 16 tastings we have tried 125 beers, and the non-alcoholic beer rated 121st! JRM Roy Sharon MikeG Paul Cary Doug MikeLeonard Total Ave Portland 35 37 34 28 35 29 34 32 264 33.0 Maes Pils 40 35 32 37 30 40 36 30.5 280 35.1 Thomas-Brau Non 18 17 19 20 27 28 22 151 21.6 Pacific Dry 29 33 31 31 29 30 34 26 243 30.4 Berghoff Orig 25 38 36 41 35 34 37 35.5 281 35.2 Gater 25 30 29 31 31 28 37 27.5 238 29.8 Cold Spring 16 29 18 22 28 27 26 24 190 23.8 Aegean 33 36 36 40 33 32 39 31.5 280 35.1 Portland Lager, from Maine Coast Brewing was an amber-coloured lager, diacetyl and malt in the aroma, and a little sweet taste. A little thin with a slightly metallic aftertaste. Maes Pils, Belgium. I had a bottle last weekend and expected this to rate higher. Half the people disagreed and rated it low, while half rated it high. I thought the sharp, astringent, hoppy aftertaste was very good, but others thought it metallic and disliked it. Thomas-Brau non-alcoholic lager, Paulaner. After the complaints about Maes I tried to sneak in the non-alcoholic beer. It was universally disliked with people claiming it was old, thin, skunky, and severly underhopped. Mike Leonard (owning a local homebrew store) guessed it was non-alcoholic and refused to rate it. Pete's Pacific Dry. I dumped in the whole bottles and got a little sediment in so this was a little cloudy. The aroma was nice (citrus?). The taste was thin and maybe cardboardy, with a slight aftertaste. Berghoff Original, contract-brewed (?) by Huber in Monroe Wisconsin. This claimed to be a Dortmunder style. It was definitely old but still good. (I found it unpleasantly old but was strongly outvoted by everyone!) Not just cloudly, but had floating islands! They found it gentle, sweet, lingering hops. Growlin' Gater Lager, "The Beer with a Bite" - Florida? This was a "Roy Special", I.E. a beer he brought to make fun of us. This was in a painted green bottle and was definitely skunky. This didn't just have islands floating, it had continents! They decided it was a well-made but weak beer, good for mowing the lawn or ball games. Cold Spring Export, Minnesota. This was known in Minnesota for the cheapest case price for beer. Floaters again. This bottle was again old and thin, and basically a weak American lager. Aegean, Greece. A surprise. This still had floaters, but it had an ok aroma, reasonable taste (compared to today's selections) and a mouthfilling body. Misc - ---- Actually this occurred before the last Ale tasting, but the notes got lost. We were basically clearing out a load of stuff which had accumulated and didn't fit elsewhere. John My latest homebrew ale (actually this was contaminated a little) Dock Dock Street Amber M100 Mitchell's Centenary Ale, Mitchells of Lancaster RCou Ruddles County Ale RBit Ruddles Bitter Ale Trip Tripel Affligem Abbey Ale Cors Corsendonk, Bry de Block; Flanders Brown Ale Sat Satan Ale, ? JRM Roy Sharon MikeG Tim Total John 32 33 33 33 29 160 32.0 Dock 26 26 26 M100 32 34 33 31 130 32.5 Rcou 38 35 39 34 146 36.5 Rbit 28 35 19 25 107 26.8 Trip 43 43 33 44 163 40.8 Cors 42 42 36 41 161 40.3 Sat 29 29 29.0 Most of my notes are gone, but ... Dock Street and Satan were both really too bad off to rate. Satan, in a wine-bottle, seemed to be to be a new beer, created to take advantage of the USA's new found interest in imported beer. Mitchells (like other bottles I have found) was a strong ale, but old enough to be past its peak. Ruddles County Ale was quite good. The Affligem and Corsendonk Belgian ales were both excellent ales. If anyone is interested I have the complete rankings of the beers, and all the notes, although the complete notes is now around 44kb long! Surviving the American Dream John R. Mellby Texas Instruments jmellby%ngstl1.ti.com P.O.Box 660246, MS 3645 Dallas Texas, 75266 (214)517-5370 (214)343-7585 **************************************************************** * "Panama came at an ideal time. Congress was out of session. * * It was Christmas time. Our workload was rather slow. ... So * * it was an ideal time to have a quick war." * * -- General Hansford Johnson * **************************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: 07 May 90 17:45:36 PDT (Mon) From: florianb at tekred.cna.tek.com Subject: Aluminum and the behavior of Romans In grade school, I learned that the Romans could have become poisoned from the use of lead in the aquaducts. Later, I recall reading that it may have been the use of pewter. This latter hypothesis proposes that the Romans boiled down sweet grape juice to form a concentrate which they then used to sweeten wine. The acidic juice leached lead from the lead-containing boiling kettles. The ingestion of the lead apparently made them do silly things like feed Christians to lions. I also learned in grade school that the reason it is colder in winter is that the Earth is farther away from the sun then. ! at #%$ More recent claims have attempted to make a link between senility and aluminum in the food chain. Absolute truth is a difficult thing to grasp. When it comes to matters of health, I believe the best thing is to be reasonable and do those things which gives one a better feeling of responsibility to the body's health. For those home-brewers who are uncomfortable with using aluminum boiling pots, may I suggest an economic alternative? I use a speckle-porcelain brewing pot purchased from a department store for $12. William's brewing sells these pots for a less than obscene price. I have found no evidence that my brewing pot causes the brew to scorch easily or any other obvious problems. As for the question of taste contamination, I used an aluminum pot in the beginning but never noticed a bad taste on account of it. However, as soon as my budget allowed, I upgraded to the porcelain kettle, since I wanted to avoid the Al contamination if it in fact existed. [Better safe than sorry.] Florian Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 7 May 90 21:15:58 EDT From: Len Reed <lbr%holos0 at gatech.edu> Subject: Low extract--Stale Malt? I tried to make Dos Equis on Saturday. (I figured that Cinco de Mayo was a good day for it.): 3# 6.75 oz. 6 row malt (1.6 degL) 1# 1.5 oz. 2 row malt (1.2 degL) 4# 5 oz. Munich malt (9.7 degL) 3.75 oz. crystal malt (80 degL) Moderate carbonate water (125 ppm CO3--) Halltertau hops The color came out perfect. The mash went fine, with no pH or temperature problems, and sparging was the same as always. I got 15% less extract than I expected based on past experience. I'm not worried, of course, I just want to know what happened. The reason for the low extract has to be the malt. My 6-row lager and my Munich malt were over a year old, stored under dubious conditions (up to 80 degF last summer). My calculations tell me that my extract had to be off 20% on these grains to get 15% off overall. I suppose that's possible. I'd never used Munich malt before. Dave Miller says he gets 1.033/lb/gal. from Munich and 6-row malt. Since I get 31 from 6- row, I used that figure for Munich, too. My intuition tells me that I should get slightly less, though, so maybe some of my 15% comes from an optimistic value for this grain. Anyway, I still have 20 pounds of the 6-row malt. Does anyone know of a reason I shouldn't use it up, even though it's probably deteriorated? I'll just use more of it to compensate. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 7 May 90 21:41:50 EDT From: Len Reed <lbr%holos0 at gatech.edu> Subject: Wyeast #2035 (New Ulm) I meant to use Wyeast Bavarian yeast for my "Dos Equis," but I had a stupid accident with it. (I left the swollen package so long it burst.) Anyway, I had to use New Ulm (#2035), which I've never tried before. Does anyone have any tips on this yeast? (Byron Burch, in zymurgy, says this is a yeast that people love or hate, so of course it was a poorer choice for a new recipe than Bavarian, which I know and love.) In particular, what temperature schedule should I follow? I don't plan on doing a diacetyl temperature boost unless I'm told it's needed for this yeast. Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #414, 05/08/90 ************************************* -------
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