HOMEBREW Digest #4393 Thu 06 November 2003

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  Homebrew Supplier Desert ("Sweeney, David")
  Why I(didn't stop brewing/yeast,procedures ("-S")
  Beer night leaves historic hangover (Jeff Renner)
  Re: Swinging Fermentation Temperatures (gornicwm)
  Competition Email notices (Dion Hollenbeck)
  Interesting Observation (Duane Drake)
  Can't find 10 gal cornys  Convert a Sanke? ("Gary Smith")
  Peppers in beer ("Gary Smith")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2003 22:35:33 -0600 From: "Sweeney, David" <David at studentlife.tamu.edu> Subject: Homebrew Supplier Desert The first victim was my local homebrew supply house - Brewstuff in College Station. After struggling for 7 years, they went out of business about 1.5 years ago. So I widened my net and started getting supplies through the mail from St. Patrick's of Texas, located in Austin. Son of a gun! If you would believe it, Lynne has chosen to get out of the ingredients business and focus solely on brewing and winemaking (high margin) equipment - no more ingredients. This is especially grievous because St. Pat's was the only North American supplier of Budvar undermodified malt. For those of you who have used it, you know what I'm talking about. For those of you who haven't, you missed out on a great Pilsner malt! Anyway, I'm in need of some advice on a reputable Internet supplier of homebrew ingredients. Freshness and customer service are at the top of my list. David Sweeney Texas Aggie Brew Club Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2003 07:06:53 -0500 From: "-S" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: Why I(didn't stop brewing/yeast,procedures Tim apparently decided to give brewing another go after discovering that there are other methods and lower cost sources for his ingredients. I number of years ago I was about to give up brewing too. When I began brewing in the early 80's the local 'package' shop had Laaglander's (~60% attenuation) extracts, stale hops pellets - months old in cellophane stored in sunlight with no varietal name and no AA% rating. Also the horrible kits of HB legend - nasty dried yeast, and instructions which ignored sanitation and advised 50% table sugar. I originally had a British book which was rather comical ('Better Beer and How to Brew It'), then a couple years later I became aware of Charlie Papazian's then new book and quite a few years later yet Dave Miller's 'CHBoHB'. Still, without access to better ingredients I had few options .. if I added no sugar and watched the sanitation and added some hops and maybe a little bit of Laaglander and went through the pain of priming and bottling I could make a tiny range of so-so ales from a 'Pilsener' kit. I had hit a wall. Around this time, about a decade ago, I was on a business trip to Phoenix and a local co-workers invited me over to his place on a weekday evening to help in an all-grain brew session. I had read Miller's book cover to cover and understood the mash and lauter 'on paper' , but had never seen one. I was intimately familiar with the squalor and frenetic tenor of my stovetop extract brewing including the canonical dialogue with SWMBO about the boilover, spills, smells and noise of the late-night cleanup. I thought I knew what to expect. Mark and I arrived at his place around 6pm and this was Winter when it gets dark early. There, a dozen yards from his house into the desert-like backyard of the suburbs near South Mountain I experienced my first all-grain brew session. There were no trappings of kitchen brewing. Two cut-off sankes, huge to my newbie eyes, were in the yard, one perched on a powerful propane burner was filled with groaning water nearing strike temperature thanks to Mark's wife. Mark had crushed the malt beforehand so in a matter of minutes the malt and water were mixed in the mash tun with a bit of gypsum for a single infusion. A little stirring then the mash tun was covered with an old sleeping bag for insulation to rest for the better part of an hour. Plenty of time to sample beers and nosh on finger food. He had a very hoppy ale and a memorable dry stout in corny kegs - big flavored beers but very clean yeast flavor and very well balanced compared to anything I had made. My memory has faded but I think he used a Phils Phalse bottom and showed me his EZ-Masher homemade design and a mason-jar hopjack in the works derived from a post on something called HBD. The lauter and daylight finished in sync and the heat and yellow-orange glow of the boiler burner and the wafting aroma of malt and hops were welcome as the nighttime desert air and dark but star bestrewn Western sky engulfed us. The time for the boil, cooling and pitching seemed to pass in minutes rather than hours - as time with friends and a beer at hand always does. The outdoor garden hose & sponge cleanup seemed more like a nicely scheduled intermissions than a chore. In this serene setting it became obvious that very good beer can be made with simple and streamlined procedures devised to suit the process. I learned a lot and had some great beers with a new friend that evening. When I got home I was surprised to find that new owners bought out the local 'package' shop within the past year and now carried REAL HB ingredients like malt and labeled hops and Wyeast. That week I bought a big propane burner and enough plastic buckets and to make a zapap lauter. Within a month I was on my second all-grain brew and has some cornelius kegs on order. If there is a moral to the story it's this ....you must have good ingredients to make good beer, but you must have well honed practical procedures to make brewing pleasant. I happily came across some of each at the same time. It's far easier to get good ingredients these days. I've tasted HB made with extracts like Munton&Fison and I've experimented with dry yeasts from DCL and have tasted beers made with Lallemand yeasts and these high quality extracts and dry yeast are no impediment to brewing great beer. All-grain brewing and liquid yeast give the brewer additional range and maximum control, but there is no reason to suggest that all-grain&liquid yeast stands head and shoulders above extract & dry yeast as it once did. The other issue of streamlined procedures for brewing is the bigger challenge; one I still struggle with. We should think through each step in the brewing process and consider how to make the whole simpler and more convenient. Some simplifications come from incremental improvement as we learn our process, and many of these 'tips' can be found on this forum for the asking. Yet most of the big improvements require radical changes like, / kegging rather than bottling / big burners & pots rather than oversized pots on underpowered stovetops / CFC coolers, / RIMS, HERMS and variants What I have learned about achieving a pleasant brewing process is this ... there is always considerable cost involved in stepping to that next major level of convenience and the cost always appears immense in foresight yet trivial in hindsight. HomeBrewing is not economically practical if you even consider labor at minimum wage rates (forget the ingredients), but like all hobbies it has value to the psyche. The added several hundred dollar cost of kegging hardware and an extra fridge is completely unjustifiable economically, but add so greatly to the pleasure of the hobby that these are practical requirements for the serious Hbrewer. The guys who first though up cutting the lids off sankes for pots, kegging hardware for serving and RIMS for mash/lautering were thinking far outside the box. Don't be afraid to let your imagination wander outside the bounds of economic practicality when looking for a better way. Don't be afraid to buy the necessary tools for convenience. If you believe you'll be brewing for the next 5 years then invest in a pot and burner for 10 gallon use, kegging hardware and a fridge and a CFC at least and enjoy it. You can always sell these off to another brewer if you change your mind. (sorry for the length) -Steve Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2003 08:43:21 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <jeffrenner at comcast.net> Subject: Beer night leaves historic hangover Brewers Quite a story at http://www.ohio.com/mld/beaconjournal/sports/7169640.htm about the day in 1974 that the Cleveland Indians sold beer at the stadium for ten cents and the. It's worth reading. Beer night leaves historic hangover The Tribe's front office has put together some ridiculous promotions over the years...but the concept of distributing virtually unlimited quantities of an intoxicating beverage is one for the ages. Jeff - -- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at comcast.net "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2003 08:56:33 -0500 (GMT-05:00) From: gornicwm at earthlink.net Subject: Re: Swinging Fermentation Temperatures I do not think that you need to take steps to protect the beer. I think its pretty much done. I have found that the more I have screwed with my beers the worse they turn out. You should end up with a nice drinkable!!! The cool fermentation with scotch ale - one of my favorite styles - is appropriate in order to bring out the clean maltiness. The good news is that any residual sweetness left behind in your brew is completely within style as long as its not cloying. Nothing wrong with slow fermentation, but I would stick to the guidelines that the yeast specifies until you have "test drove" the yeast with a few batches and know what it can do at higher and lower temps...this will come with experience. Wyeast 1968 is a strong floculator - meaning that it will drop from suspension and go to sleep if it is not COMPLETELY happy. The drop in temp could have dropped the yeast out and it may need to "GENTLY' be roused. However, rousing can be dangerous and introduce oxidation and many off-flavors into your final product. I NEVER rouse - the bad outweighs the good in my opinion!!! A suggestion that I have is that "IF" you are looking for a long, slow fermantation for a scotch ale, Wyeast Scotish Ale yeast might be a better bet. The wyeast is better adept at lower temperature fermentations (50's). You could always take a gravity reading to make sure that everything is completed as you anticipated too, but my feeling is that your fermentation is finished. It'll be fine. The majority of ale fermentation is done in the primary, so if the secondary stops bubbling I wouldn't be too concerned - its supposed to stop eventually. :-) Bill Gornicki Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 05 Nov 2003 13:05:17 -0800 From: Dion Hollenbeck <hollen at woodsprite.com> Subject: Competition Email notices This is a topic which should probably be discussed offline, as it only is slightly related to brewing. Please respond directly to me at the Email below. When the BJCP gives us the judge list for a competition, we send Email to judges with Email addresses. After a reasonable amount of time, we send postcards to all judges without Email and those whose Email bounced. I am currently the "competition data guy" but want to train someone else to take over for me. The problem is that I currently do the mailings with Perl scripts on Unix, allowing me to send an individual customized Email to each judge. The reason for this is that so many sites are now filtering out spam and long recipient lists tend to get rejected by spam filters. Are there any of you who have made this process easy to do on Windoze? I would like to make the process available to anybody to take over from me and not too many people have 1) a Unix machine to use and 2) the skill to do the Perl programming which makes it possible for me to do this easily. If we had to cut and paste an Email address into a single Email for each of the 200+ judges in CA, AZ and NV, we would not do it. thanks, dion - -- Dion Hollenbeck Email: hollen at woodsprite.com Home Page: http://www.woodsprite.com Brewing Page: http://hbd.org/hollen [1359.5,263.7] Rennerian QUAFF - Threepeat Nat'l HB Club of the Year, CAL HB Club of the Year Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2003 16:22:08 -0500 From: Duane Drake <drd at littleduck.org> Subject: Interesting Observation I recently (10/26) brewed 10 gallons of a strong stout (OG:1.074) and split the wort into two containers. One was a 6-1/2 gallon carboy and one the standard 5 gallon plastic bucket. I decanted and split a 1/2 gallon starter of White Labs Irish Ale yeast between the two after aeration. Both took off quickly and I had to switch to a blow-off setup by the next evening, or I was going to have a serious mess on my hands. Both vessels were sitting side by side at approximately 70 degrees F. Now the interesting part. This past Monday, the krausen had receded enough to rack to secondary. When I measured the gravity, the carboy was 1.025 and the bucket was 1.020. What would cause this difference? The same wort, the same yeast, the same vigorous fermentation, and the same temp. Was it the number of yeast cells in my highly scientific splitting of the yeast starter? Thanks, Duane Drake Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 05 Nov 2003 18:17:19 -0600 From: "Gary Smith" <mandolinist at ameritech.net> Subject: Can't find 10 gal cornys Convert a Sanke? Hi all, I've been looking mostly futily for 10 gallon Corny kegs. I want the 10 gal ones for fermenting in. Since I brew 10 gal batches it would be nice to ferment in the 10 gal Corny & then transfer to a separate 10 gallon one as the secondary. All that would take is I/O connectors, tubing and sanitizing with StarSan. It would be the easiest solution for easy kegging. (After totaling the car into a cement wall at 50 mph I like not having to lift things more than I have to.) To go from the secondary to two 5 gal cornys would be the same procedure & "pour" from these. No light, no oxidation, no cleaning bottles. simple & the easiest way for me not to lift fermentors. I found some 10 gal Cornys but at $50 shipping each I decided that was a pure opportunist rake & have pretty much given up on finding any 10 gallon variety. I'm getting resigned to having a local welder weld the top of a corny onto a Sanke & doing a FDA weld from the inside & then use this kluge for a fermentor. The welding is going to be a pretty penny & one shop said 2 hours to do the job which I though was padding their pockets a bit. If I go through with that I'll end up with 15 gal of play space & room inside to reach in and clean. If there was some way to be 100% sure the organic crap was removed from soaking in Star San, using an intact keg would be a cheap way to go assuming you had all the fittings to move from the 2ndary keg to the cornys after fermentation is over. Getting the spring in & out of the top of the Sanke is a hassle though & how the heck would you be able to clean it & be sure your next batch isn't the same as your last batch... So any ideas on any of this that might help me out? Thanks, Gary http://musician.dyndns.org/homebrew.html http://musician.dyndns.org/rims.html Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 05 Nov 2003 21:21:21 -0600 From: "Gary Smith" <mandolinist at ameritech.net> Subject: Peppers in beer Someone mentioned needing more ludicrous peppers in beer... Other than not on my watch. I'd suggest a good look at "Dave's Insanity Sauce" Don't know what peppers it has in it but... It sure keeps the SWIMBO's dit-brained rabbit from chewing at electrical cords... If you get it on your fingers don't plan on any foreplay for a week or more... Talkin' about Golf of course... Ahem Gary Gary Smith CQ DX de KA1J http://musician.dyndns.org/homebrew.html http://musician.dyndns,org.rims.html Return to table of contents
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