HOMEBREW Digest #476 Thu 16 August 1990

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Re: Homebrew Digest #473 (August 13, 1990) (SILL D E)
  Nitty questions... ("Gary F. Mason - Image Systems - MKO2-2/K03 - 603884[DTN264]-1503  15-Aug-1990 0816")
  Re:  Jalapeno peppers (Barry Cunningham)
  Re: hot peppers (617)253-0885" <CASEY at ALCVAX.PFC.MIT.EDU>
  I and I(nfection) (Russ Gelinas)
  straining wort, dead air (HOLTSFOR)
  Carboy Filling (Martin A. Lodahl)
  Re: Hop Harvest (Glenn Colon-Bonet)
  RE:  Exploding Bottles (Mike Fertsch)
  Racking off the trub. (Mike Charlton)
  Gushers and Glass (Tom Hotchkiss)
  Re: Homebrew Digest #475 (August 15, 1990) (bryan)
  need framboise recipe (Todd Koumrian)
  RE: Air in Secondary (KXR11)
  Greensboro Brewpub (Steve Mosier)
  hop picking (Pete Soper)
  heating unit for boiling (Gerald Andrew Winters)
  Yeast starter... ("Gary F. Mason - Image Systems - MKO2-2/K03 - 603884[DTN264]-1503  15-Aug-1990 1730")
  Exploding Wyeast (Martin A. Lodahl)
  Hot Wort & Oxidation (Martin A. Lodahl)
  Straining to Make Better Beer (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583)
  brewing technique (Richard Hager)
  Re: Counter-pressure bottle filler (Chuck Cox)
  Re: beer tastings in Boston (Chuck Cox)
  Wort Straining; Jalapeno peppers (Andrius Tamulis)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 07:13:35 EDT From: SILL D E <de5 at stc06.CTD.ORNL.GOV> Subject: Re: Homebrew Digest #473 (August 13, 1990) Pete Soper writes: > With all due respect to Mr. Papazian, his book is getting old fast. Could I >suggest that we look on it as the Old Testament of American homebrewing? Okay, so what's the New Testament? -Dave Sill (de5 at ornl.gov) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 05:19:02 PDT From: "Gary F. Mason - Image Systems - MKO2-2/K03 - 603884[DTN264]-1503 15-Aug-1990 0816" <mason at habs11.enet.dec.com> Subject: Nitty questions... As one actually tries things, the nits start to appear. So... 1. What is the easiest way to test for leaks in a keg system? I had to replace a stopcock in the regulator for one to fit smaller tubing, and I want to be certain of the seal (and the others, just in case). I will be replacing the new cock after the first batch, because I need a 1/4" male to fit a 5 keg manifold (it won't be here in time for batch 1). Do you use the old soapy water trick as on inner tubes and tires? Is thread sealer used (contamination worry)? 2. Regarding artificial carbonation... a. Does anyone know what issue of Zymurgy has the Burch article on how to carbonate artificially? It supposedly has time/pressure tables in it. Even better - can someone share time/pressure for 5 gallons of PA? b. Except for the missing priming ingredients in the brew, is there any other difference between natural and artificial carbonation? I would suspect not, since the result is merely dissolved gas of the same type. c. Assuming that priming/conditioning is for carbonation purposes, and if one carbonates artificially, is there any conditioning time required in the keg? What happens to the remaining yeastie-beasties in terms of effects on the brew? 3. My single burner LP gas stove was intended for attachment to a BBQ. The hose end is a female. So is the end of the regulator hose. I have a male/male flare coupler for it. Are gaskets, sealers, etc. required there? There were none with any of the pieces, so I assume the flare does the seal OK, but I don't want to mess with even a small stray LP gas leak for an hour. 4. When brewing a batch to a 5 gallon recipe (that's 5 in the keg, I presume - never have seen that stipulated, though it seems obvious), and doing a full wort boil of 60 minutes, roughly what is the starting volume required? 5. Has anyone seen a cap (with the tube holes, etc.) for a 6 1/2 gallon carboy? Every one I find is for a 5 gallon, and the larger one has a smaller OD neck. In fact, have you seen a handle for the larger volume? Which reminds me that I have wondered about carrying a full carboy by the neck with one of those - any chance of snapping it off? Sorry for the long-windedness. If I sound like a kid, it's 'cause I feel like one. No matter how much I read (I am the careful type), and how many testimonials I hear, I ain't gonna' believe it until I see...er...taste it 8'). This personality type (flaw?) makes it difficult to RDW... The excitement grows... Cheers...Gary Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 08:46:46 EDT From: abvax!calvin.icd.ab.com!bwc at uunet.UU.NET (Barry Cunningham) Subject: Re: Jalapeno peppers I have had Cajun Beer. I liked it. As I recall it was a fairly conventional Pilsner with a very mild pepper aftertaste. Another beer that I had that used peppers and ginger was from a keg of Szechuan Suicide at the club night at the 1989 AHA Conference in Fort Mitchell. This was quite hot and spicy, but in a relatively thin brew. I thought the Szechuan Suicide would have been much better if it had been balanced by a lot more malt flavor. In all, my advice would be to make sure that you balance the flavor; if you are heavy handed with the peppers, be heavy handed with the malt (e.g. at least 2 lbs. of crystal). If you have a light touch with the pepper, it can add a pleasant afterzing to just about any recipe. IMHO, ginger can go well with peppers. I also seem to recall seeing some stout recipes in this newsletter a while back that had peppers in them. I haven't tried any, but it seems to me that this could be nice also since the natural residual sweetness in dark malt extract might balance the pepper nicely. -- Barry Cunningham Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 09:47 EST From: "JEFF CASEY / (617)253-0885" <CASEY at ALCVAX.PFC.MIT.EDU> Subject: Re: hot peppers Since the subject has come up again (for a new generation of subscribers?), I dredged out this excerpt from an old submission of mine: ...I added some hot peppers (the little skinny ones for Sczechuan (sp?) cooking) to a red bitter recipe. I was chicken, so I diverted only one gallon of the ferment to a separate 1 gal jug, with about half dozen peppers added with the finishing hops. Amazingly good. No "foretaste" from the peppers, just a clean afterbite that blended well with the rest of the taste. I used a lot of Tettnanger hops in the finish for a spicy taste, so that may have helped the balance. Everybody thought I was crazy. Several times friends turned down the offer of a "Pepper Bitter", but I snuck them a glass anyhow. They didn't recognize the peppers, and commented on what a great hearty beer it was. Fascinating. Since the original submission, I did this again. This time, banking on past success, I did a 5 gal full grain mash red bitter (Fuggles in the boil, Tettnanger in the finish), and added about 12-15 little Sczechuan peppers with the finishing hops. This year, my peppers were a lot fresher (but still dried). The tang was quite a bit less subtle, but still quite tasty, even to "normal" beer drinkers. I think I kind of pushed the limit, though, and would back off on the quantity next time. I'll definitely repeat this again. Jeff Casey casey at alcvax.pfc.mit.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 09:56 EST From: <R_GELINA%UNHH.BITNET at mitvma.mit.edu> (Russ Gelinas) Subject: I and I(nfection) Well it was bound to happen eventually. I've got a batch with ring-around- the-collar. It's only been in the bottle for 1 week, but there's some white globules growing 1-2" below the liquid line. The globs look like what happens to hamburger grease when it hits cold water. My guess is some kind of mold; I brew in my cellar, not especially moldy, but moldy enough. The brew itself seems ok, in fact it's pretty good (so far). I *really* don't want to throw it away, but I'm having a hard time imagining myself enjoying a beer that I know is infected. SO, could someone please placate me with stories about how your "best batch" got even better when mold started growing in it, or how such-and-such famous beer often has mold, or at least that you've drunk a whole batch of moldy beer and experienced no side effects. Also, I'm not exactly sure how and where the infection got in; I had just replaced all my tubing. The brew did sit in the secondary, looking very flat, for a couple of weeks, at about 65 degrees. TCJoHB mentions that lagering at a high temp. can cause mold. Maybe that's where it happened. I want to hear some mold stories. Russ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 10:45 EST From: <HOLTSFOR%MSUKBS.BITNET at pucc.PRINCETON.EDU> Subject: straining wort, dead air Greetings Homebrewers, Ken Weiss, (cckweiss at castor.ucdavis.edu) wonders: >How do you get five gallons of hops-filled wort strained and inside a glass >carboy without making a HUGE mess? If you have a double-bucket lauter tun I highly recommend using it to strain your wort -- it hence becomes a "hop-back" too. The holes in mine, 1/8" diameter I think (I followed the CJoHB directions), do a good job of straining out fresh or pellet hops, grated ginger, etc. without getting easily clogged. You can run a tube from the bottom of the hop-back directly into your wort chiller and then into your carboy. Once you get this all hooked up, run some sterilizing solution through it, then some really hot water, then your wort. I put the hopback on a beer case on the kitchen counter, the wort chiller in the sink, and the primary on the floor. Wort flow is then driven by gravity and I get to pop a brewski. I transfer the hot wort from the brew kettle to the hop back using a 1 gallon pot until the volume in the brew kettle is low enough to safely pick up the kettle and pour. >From: semantic!bob at uunet.UU.NET > >So my problem is this: When a rack over my beer I end up with >about a gallon of new air inside the carboy with my beer. I >believe this allow oxygen to difuse into my beer, oxidize it, >and create a slightly sour taste. I've never really worried about this but it makes sense that minimizing air contact with fermented wort ought to improve flavor. If you have a CO2 tank you could slowly sqirt a little in the neck of the secondary. Since CO2 is heavier than air it'll push the air out the top of the carboy. Or, if you happen to work in a lab, or do the special effects for a heavy metal band, you could throw in a small, (c. 1/8 gram) chunk of dry ice to produce the CO2 for the purging. Such a small chunk of dry ice wouldn't chill the wort too much but ought to produce enough CO2 to fill the space left in the carboy. Happy Brewing, Tim Holtsford Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 7:48:48 PDT From: Martin A. Lodahl <pbmoss!malodah at PacBell.COM> Subject: Carboy Filling In HOMEBREW Digest #474, my ol' bud Ken Weiss asks: > A question for those of you using glass primary fermentors - How do > you get five gallons of hops-filled wort strained and inside a glass > carboy without making a HUGE mess? After chilling the wort in the boiling kettle (to avoid a practical demonstration of the relationship between "aeration" and "oxidation"), I pour the cold wort into my (sanitized) lauter tun, fitted with a straining bag. After a few minutes, the hops & assorted junk settles to the bottom, and I open the tap to drain off the first cloudy runnings. After about a gallon or so (collected in the boiling kettle) the filter bed of spent hops establishes itself, and the wort runs clear. I fit a (sanitized) tube to the tap, run the clear wort into the carboy, and recycle the cloudy wort through the filter. Just like sparging. = Martin A. Lodahl Pac*Bell Minicomputer Operations Support Staff = = malodah at pbmoss.Pacbell.COM Sacramento, CA 916.972.4821 = = If it's good for ancient Druids, runnin' nekkid through the wuids, = = Drinkin' strange fermented fluids, it's good enough for me! 8-) = Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 09:07:01 mdt From: Glenn Colon-Bonet <gcb at hpfigcb> Subject: Re: Hop Harvest Full-Name: Glenn Colon-Bonet In Homebrew Digest #475, Norm Hardy asks about hop harvesting: I've recently talked with a local microbrewer who told me his method (yet another method) for determining when to harvest. He said that when the cones are not yet fully developed, they will feel spongy and when pinched, they will not spring back. When the reach the point when they spring back, they are ready to harvest. If they stay on the vine too long, they will become dry and will break apart when pinched. This is, of course, all second hand. Regarding drying, he said that he air dried them out of the sun. I can't wait till my hops are ready! Anybody know if you can use the hops directly off the vine (without drying them)? Cheers, -Glenn gcb%hpfigcb at hplabs.hp.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 10:37 EDT From: Mike Fertsch <FERTSCH at adc1.adc.ray.com> Subject: RE: Exploding Bottles Patrick Stirling (pms at Corp.Sun.COM) wants to know: > I'd like to take a poll: who's actualy experienced an exploding bottle? > I've had some severe gushers (beer all over the walls), but no breaking > bottles. Also, has anyone ever had a bottle break while they were > opening it? Yes, I have experienced exploding bottles. Two summers ago, we had an incredible heat spell - my beer storage room got quite warm, probably 80-85 degres. A few of my bottles exploded - their bottoms blew out! I discovered the explosion by a telltale malt aroma. The beer had already dried, so I opened all my cases, but couldn't see any damage - all the caps were intact. Further analysis revealed some bottles had no bottoms. Probably 3 or four bottles blew before I carefully opened the rest of the beer and disposed of it. These were 12 ounce 'non-returnable' crown bottles - the kind Sam Adams uses. Post-mortum analysis shows that the beer in these bottles were old, and extrememy overcarbonated. At that time, that my bottles were typically fine for a few months, then experienced a gradual increase in carbonation level. In retrospect, I guess it was a contamination problem, which I subsequently solved {knock on wood}. The combination of the overcarbonated beer and the hot temperature caused the bottles to blow. I have also had one experience with the neck breaking off when the beer was opened. The cap remained attached, the glass broke just below the cap. The other beers in the batch were not overcarbonated, so I suspect that the bottle was weakened from the repeated stress of a mis-adjusted bottle capper and/or the over-zealous efforts of the bottling staff - me! Mike Fertsch Return to table of contents
Date: 15 Aug 90 10:22 -0500 From: Mike Charlton <umcharl3 at ccu.umanitoba.ca> Subject: Racking off the trub. I did some research to find out at what points it is benificial to rack the beer off the trub. As it turns out, as far as fusel alcohol production is concerned, racking after fermentation begins makes very little diference. The reason is that fusel alcohols are produced when the yeast cells use the already present protein in order to build cell wals rather than making what they need from the oxygen present in the wort. The cell wall building phase is apparently after the initial lag time of the yeast (which I guess is the reproduction phase) and before the fermentation phase. It is therefore not necessary to worry about the beer being on the trub for extended periods of time after fermentation starts; the damage has already been done (I suspect this is true for the productions of fatty acids as well, but I have no data to back this up.) Since with reasonably high pitching rates, fermentation usually begins within 24 hours I would suggest that people rack the wort off the trub before pitching the yeast if they are worried about the off flavours that the trub will bring. Incidently, when my brewing partner and I started doing this (about a month ago) our beers started turning out fabulously. It's a really major improvement. In the past we have tried racking the beer off the trub as little a 8 hours after pitching the yeast with little or no improvement in the beer. Mike Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 9:56:02 MDT From: Tom Hotchkiss <trh at hpestrh.hp.com> Subject: Gushers and Glass Full-Name: Tom Hotchkiss I have experienced exploding bottles several times, including a bottle of stout that blew up inside the refrigerator (what a mess)! Fortunately, I have never had one blow up while opening. I had one batch in cardboard cases in my closet. One day, I opened the closet and smelled beer and I discovered that several bottles in the case had exploded. So, I carefully removed the case and tossed the whole thing out. I wrapped a towel around the case to contain any flying glass if another explosion occurred while carrying the case. So, yes, bottles do explode. Judging from the mess in my refrigerator, I believe the explosions are quite violent and no doubt dangerous if not contained. I use 12 oz longneck bottles and Grolsh bottles, and I've never seen a Grolsh bottle explode. However, only a few batches have caused explosions, and the exploding batches were bottled entirely in longnecks. I'll bet that Grolsh bottles are stronger and therefore less likely to burst. But, I'll bet that they can burst, and the explosion is likely to be very strong. For safety's sake, if you currently have any gushers, I'd recommend opening all of them ASAP! By "gusher," I mean that when you open a bottle the beer gushes out violently (i.e. hits the ceiling). You can wrap the bottles in a heavy towel when handling them to make the procedure safer. Note that I have never had a bottle explode while wrapped in a towel, so I can't comment on how well this works. Clearly, it seems safer than just opening the bottles with no protection. It's probably a good idea to wear eye protection as well. There may be a safer way to dispose of your gushers; anyone have suggestions? I know this sounds paranoid, but if you saw the inside of my refrigerator after the stout explosion (glass shards everywhere), I think you'd be afraid of explosions too! Return to table of contents
Date: 15 Aug 90 09:03:49 PDT (Wed) From: bryan at tekgen.bv.tek.com Subject: Re: Homebrew Digest #475 (August 15, 1990) I just can't resist adding my thoughts to a couple of the dialogs going on. On the subject of airspace in the top of the carboy after racking. My understanding is carbon dioxide is heavier than air so as soon as the wort has fermented enough to provide, say, 1/8 inch of CO2, the wort is protected from oxidizing, it doesn't matter how much air is left in the carboy. So I don't worry about it. I feel that most of the potential for oxidizing is if the wort is splashed during racking, or if mashing, if it is allowed to splash when running out of the lauter tun. On the subject of hops clogging the funnel. When I started mashing, I got a counterflow wort chiller and realized that I was going to have a serious problem keeping the hops from plugging up the wort chiller unless I first strained the hot wort into another container or used hop bags to put the hops into. I didn't want to strain the wort into another container because of risk of infection and/or oxidizing the wort. So I've been using hop bags. I have not had any problem with getting less than the desired level of bitterness from the hops. As far as filtering out the trub from the hot break, my standard procedure is to put the lid on the pot at the end of the boil and let it set for 30 minutes, finishing hops go in during this time. Anyway, a lot of the trub will settle out and when I'm siphoning through the counterflow wort chiller I leave the last 2 to 4 cups, which is almost all trub. The only down side I've discovered so far is I have 2 or more hop bags to clean when finished. One note, I don't pack the hops in too tight, for the size of hop bag I get at Stienbart's, no more than 1 1/2 oz. Has anyone sampled "Rouge Red" from the Rouge River microbrewery in Ashland Or? I had some recently, it has the most incredible finishing hops aroma/taste, very strong. Does anyone know how they do it? Bryan Olson Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 1990 11:34:50 PDT From: todd at NISC.SRI.COM (Todd Koumrian) Subject: need framboise recipe I'm definately fixated right now on the idea of brewing a framboise, but can't find a recipe. Would any readers out there who've had success mind sharing your recipe? I recall hearing at a homebrew shop one time, that this one person's experience was that the raspberry taste tended to disappear after about 3 months. Did that happen to your framboise? Todd todd at nisc.sri.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 15:24 EDT From: KXR11 at PSUVM.PSU.EDU Subject: RE: Air in Secondary >So my problem is this: When a rack over my beer I end up with >about a gallon of new air inside the carboy with my beer. I >believe this allow oxygen to difuse into my beer, oxidize it, >and create a slightly sour taste. Oxidation of the beer probably won't be a problem if you rack it to the secondary fermenter shortly after the blowoff stops. At this point the brew is still producing a significant quantity of CO2, which, being heavier than air, will create a protective 'blanket' in very little time. As the fermentation progresses, it will continue to fill the empty space, and all the air will be replaced by CO2. Pepper beer... I shudder to think. But hey, you only live once. Eric Roe <kxr11 at psuvm> Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 15:39 EDT From: Steve Mosier <MOSIER%UNCG.BITNET at ncsuvm.ncsu.edu> Subject: Greensboro Brewpub A couple of issues ago I mentioned the existence of a Greensboro (NC) brewpub. Herewith, some particulars: The Loggerhead Brewing Co. is big and glitzy, a restaurant with live music (T,Th,F,&S), and a big beer and liquor menu. Unfortunately, all beers other than their own are pretty mundane: the usual collection of Bud, Miller Lite, Michelob, etc. Only two imported beers: Corona and I-forget-what-other-also- ran. Their own beers are drawn off of the stainless holding tanks and (as you might expect) are cheaper than all the others. My very amateurish tasting notes: ~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~ Gate City Ale ($1.80) - a very light and pale ale - very fresh flavour, hint of apples, not terribly robust, much better than the average American brew, but not as good as the best lagers and ales. I rate it somewhere between 3 and 4 on a scale of 0 to 5. Loggerhead Pilsner ($1.65) - didn't try it General Greene Lager ($1.65) - a dark, slightly heavier beer, also a fresh flavour, not as much caramel as you get with something like Beck's or Heiniken dark. Very pleasant, also give it somewhere between a 3 and 4, maybe slightly higher than the Gate City Ale. Loggerhead Light ($1.65) - of course didn't try it. Interesting experience - but Fisher's Grill, with their Bass Ale on tap ($2.25) at the proper temperature, is still the best (pub) brew to be had in Greensboro. steve Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 15:56:07 EDT From: Pete Soper <soper at maxzilla.encore.com> Subject: hop picking hplabs!polstra!norm (Norm Hardy) writes: >(1) What do YOU look for when deciding to pick the crop? The transition from a damp feel to a dry springy feel when squeezed, along with a slight spreading of the petals, development of yellow lupulin sacs with a slight orange cast to their color and the "right" size range. The "right" size for my Cascade hops seems to be 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter by 1 1/2 to 2 inches long, but some cones are two thirds this size and seem quite dry and ready to pick. Also, rubbing the cones in your hands should cause lupulin to come out and stain your hands, with a very powerful aroma. >(2) What methods of drying do YOU employ? Weigh the hops, put them in the attic at around 125 (peak daytime temp) in a single layer, take them out after 24-30 hours, ideally when they are down to 10-12% moisture. If they haven't been rained on I figure they start out at about 80% moisture. I pack the dried hops in canning jars and then squirt CO2 in from the bottom before sealing and storing them in my freezer. One important point is that the hops ripen over time and can be picked periodically. Commercial pickers grab everything in a one shot deal but we don't have to do it that way. - ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Pete Soper (soper at encore.com) +1 919 481 3730 Encore Computer Corp, 901 Kildaire Farm Rd, bldg D, Cary, NC 27511 USA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 16:36:58 EDT From: gerald at caen.engin.umich.edu (Gerald Andrew Winters) Subject: heating unit for boiling Readership, I need some suggestions on a heating unit to conduct the boil in my basement. I need to be able to use it indoors. (obviously) and be able to boil 6 - 7 gallons at a hard boil for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. My kitchen stove definitly doesn't fit the bill as it can just barely bring 5 - 6 gallons to a boil -- even sitting on 2 burners. Should I be using electricity or propane as a power source? What kind of store should I look at, hardware? How much power or BTU's do I need? I'm not much of a handyman so I hope I can just purchase something that already fits the bill. I'm sorry for the repitition because I remember this topic coming up a couple weeks ago. e-mail me directly if somebody has the recent dialogue on file. thanks, gerald at caen.engin.umich.edu (Gerald Andrew Winters) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 14:37:28 PDT From: "Gary F. Mason - Image Systems - MKO2-2/K03 - 603884[DTN264]-1503 15-Aug-1990 1730" <mason at habs11.enet.dec.com> Subject: Yeast starter... Three weeks ago, I "canned" a few quarts of boiled wort (malt extract and water) for use as yeast starters. I didn't strain it, so I have fluffy sediment, which has been compacting with age (about 1/4" now). I just noticed today that the wort has formed a cloudy layer about 1" thick at the top. It has been since last weekend. There are no obvious growth signs - rings, mold patches, etc. - anywheree. It almost acts like a lighter density layer, but cloudy. Gentle movement of the jar yields mixing, but on a gross level (like a lava lamp). The jar seals seem to be intact. Any ideas? Thanks..Gary Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 13:12:27 PDT From: Martin A. Lodahl <pbmoss!malodah at PacBell.COM> Subject: Exploding Wyeast In HOMEBREW Digest #474, Steve Slade wonders: > A question for the readership: Was the exploding Wyeast problem ever > resolved? Is there a consensus on how long one can safely wait with a > fully puffed pouch before it will explode? It's been several months since my local retailer had any of the "pour-spout" type of packets on hand, and that's the only type that seemed to be exploding. It appears to me that Wyeast recognized their problem and fixed it. It sort of annoys me, though, that it's so seldom that I see a Wyeast packet with a legible date code on it. The little "rule of thumb" for expansion time printed on the packet isn't terribly useful (if it indeed ever was) without that code. My last packet sat for several days without any sign of expansion, only starting to swell as I was brewing. I usually reculture in a starter solution before pitching, but did without it this time. = Martin A. Lodahl Pac*Bell Minicomputer Operations Support Staff = = malodah at pbmoss.Pacbell.COM Sacramento, CA 916.972.4821 = = If it's good for ancient Druids, runnin' nekkid through the wuids, = = Drinkin' strange fermented fluids, it's good enough for me! 8-) = Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 13:31:30 PDT From: Martin A. Lodahl <pbmoss!malodah at PacBell.COM> Subject: Hot Wort & Oxidation In HOMEBREW Digest #475, Jeff Benson sez: > The only significant drawback, in my opinion, is the need to have a > helper to hold the funnel and strainer while you pour. But trying to hold > a 5 gal. pot in one hand and a two clumsy implements in the other while > trying to pour ~200 deg. F liquid between them is *NOT* my idea of a > good time. (Significantly, I have found this step to be the only one in > the brewing process that cannot (safely) be done alone.) Ah, but Jeff, the beer! I used to do the exact same thing, until I concluded that it was the cause of the oxidation problems I was having. I stopped having them when I started chilling in the kettle (first with ice, then later with an immersion chiller) before pouring to the fermentor. To my simple little mind, it appears that a certain amount of energy is required for oxidation to take place, and if less (heat) energy is present in the wort, oxygen will go harmlessly into solution rather than cause an actual chemical change. A surprising (to me) side effect was that my pale ale became notably paler when I stopped pouring hot wort. Anyone else had this happen? = Martin A. Lodahl Pac*Bell Minicomputer Operations Support Staff = = malodah at pbmoss.Pacbell.COM Sacramento, CA 916.972.4821 = = If it's good for ancient Druids, runnin' nekkid through the wuids, = = Drinkin' strange fermented fluids, it's good enough for me! 8-) = Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 17:30:04 mdt From: hplabs!hp-lsd.cos.hp.com!ihlpl!korz (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583) Subject: Straining to Make Better Beer Ken Weiss Asks: > A question for those of you using glass primary fermentors - How do > you get five gallons of hops-filled wort strained and inside a glass > carboy without making a HUGE mess? I thought of a big funnel, but it > seems like once the hops started collecting in the strainer section > the flow rate would be too slow. Please to enlighten me! I have been doing exclusively extract brews with additional specialty grains, such as Crystal Malt, Dextrine Malt, etc. I use a mesh grain bag for the grains steeped in the cold liquor BEFORE it boils (i.e. remove the grain bag as the wort comes to a boil. Then adding the malt extracts and hops (maybe I should try adding the hops during the steep for better hop utilization - come to think of it...but that's another story) when the boil begins. The hops (pelletized) that I use, I put in a small grain bag. Some get through but most stay in the bag. I used to throw all the grain bags (grain and hop) into the top of a huge (1 gallon) funnel that has a small brass strainer in the bottom. But as Ken suggested, it does slow the filling process to a trickle. I think I will just toss the (grain) grain bag into the funnel from now on. By the way, I'm doing partial boils and pouring 3.5 gallons of pre-boiled, chilled water into the carboy after I pour the hot wort through the grain bags via the funnel. This not rinses some extra sugars out of the grains, but also cools the wort to pitching temperature (but this procedure will soon change as I plan to switch to a wort chiller to get a better cold break). Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 17:02:57 PDT From: rhager%math at sdsu.edu (Richard Hager) Subject: brewing technique The making of beer is about 20% recipe and ingredients and about 80% technique. While following basic principles generally produces acceptable beer(i.e. the process is quite robust) the end product is greatly influenced by small changes in the technique. When you make beer from kits most of the technique falls into the hands of the syrup maker and is rarely satisfactory for producing super quality beer. This leads to "doctoring" the product - add some crystal, add some hops etc. This is much like buying a prepared food product. It's too bland so add some spices etc. I call this BETTY CROCKER BEER. Because most of the technique is "in the can" it is easier to reproduce somebody else's recipe. In general, however, since technique is so important it is usually quite difficult to reproduce other recipes especially for the full grain brewer. Thus when one sees a recipe in which 80% of the space is the list of ingredients and 20% is the brewing particulars one is, I believe, doomed to failure in reproducing the beer. The importance of technique is the main reason why one frequently finds the same names appearing as winners of homebrew contests. You have a much better chance of creating something interesting and wonderful(and your own) by starting with malted barley. After all, not every one wants to start with Betty Crocker. A few suggestions for brewery designers - I built my own brewery several years ago in a 4' by 5' area in my garage. Technique is important. Quality control is important. Control of technique is important. Ad hoc procedures lead to inconsistency. Use this as your design philosophy. Using large funnels with strainers and hoping that there is no clogging is most certainly an ad hoc procedure. The top of a keg can be cut with power tools. A stainless connector should be welded to the side near the bottom(after drilling a hole). It should be easy to find a stainless connector at a good pipe supply(I used 3/4"). Make sure you examine your keg at the hole to see if it is double walled. Some kegs are single walled and some double. If double, the welding must be done so as to seal the keg. If you use leaf hops you should be able to insert a piece of pipe inside your keg into the connector. The reason for this is to be able to put a filter in your keg to prevent the leaf hops from clogging your exit line. The filter I use is a capped piece of copper pipe with many very small holes drilled in it. The exterior of the keg can be fit with a valve and reducer to accept a piece of tubing. I suggest using a Sankey keg(i.e. a single opening at the top for CO2 and beer). The opening you cut in the top should be such that a cover can be placed over it(a cheap stainless steel bowl e.g.). I use a gas burner from a water heater. I do not know the BTU level of the heater but it is somewhat marginal for heating( i.e. it takes 45 minutes to heat 5 gal of water from 70 to 190 F.). If you have a gas source available it should be easy to hook up the burner. I use a 48 quart Coleman cooler for the mashtun and a 48 quart Coleman cooler for spargetun. Colemnan coolers have the virtue that the drain holes are exactly 1/2" diameter. This allows 1/2" o.d. tubing to seal perfectly when placed in the hole. Sparge rate is controlled by valves. I have built my brewery to work off of gravity. The boiler is high. Water can be taken from it to the spargetun and from there to the mashtun. It can be drained from the mashtun to a pot which is lifted to the boiler. The question of yeast has been kicked around alot lately. The quality and properties of the yeast play a very substantial role in the beer you produce. The 'bottle in one week' philosophy seems absurd. Even when I was using dry yeast I would wait 10-14 days. I now use Wyeast. The Chico(Sierra Nevada) yeast does not ferment in less than 17-18 days. In my own experience, if the beer does not become clear the fault is most likely with the yeast. Most dry yeast is very heavily contaminated. It is produced under very primitive conditions. Beer that does not clear(which I call dirty beer) usually has a high bacteria count. Gushers almost always come from the use of contaminated dry yeast. I use a single stage fermentation and always have crystal clear beer. By the way, if you are worried about the high cost of Wyeast I suggest using the Yeast Bank available from places like Great Fermentations. This brings the cost down to that of dry yeast or less if you wish. Richard Hager Department of Mathematical Sciences San Diego State University Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 15:37:09 EDT From: harley!chuck at uunet.UU.NET (Chuck Cox) Subject: Re: Counter-pressure bottle filler Ken Schriner asks... > Chuck Cox recently announced that he had a stainless steel counter pressure > bottle filler for filling bottles. Could you please provide more details? > Where did you get it? How does it operate? Does it work well? Thanks. I bought the filler from the good-ole boys at DeFalco's in Houston (they are on Morningside Dr. next to the Gingerman, say howdy to Scott, Brad, and/or Chris). I believe it is hand-made by some guy from Louisiana. It is all stainless, and quite sturdy. It operates identically to the counter-pressure filler described in a recent zymurgy. I got a good deal on the filler because of my Beer God (tm) discount, but I suspect the price for mortals is around $60 or so, and well worth it because it should last a lot longer than the standard flimsy copper ones. I haven't had a chance to try it out because I have been getting ready for the Quest for the Wholly Ale (tm) (england, scotland, belgium, germany, & netherlands), which is also why you won't be hearing from me until september. - Chuck Cox (uunet!bose!synchro!chuck) - Hopped/Up Racing Team - Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 90 16:00:54 EDT From: harley!chuck at uunet.UU.NET (Chuck Cox) Subject: Re: beer tastings in Boston Alan Duenster mentions the WBUR beer tasting in Boston... Yes, the WBUR tasting has been resurrected despite the best efforts of the Mass. alcohol control pinheads (I mean bureaucrats). I suspect the format will have changed to satisfy said anal retentative geeks. (sorry, just a little spleen venting there). Other Boston beer events worth note: On the same day, (8/16) the Sunset Grill & Tap in Allston is having a St. Leonard tasting. On 8/25 the Boston Beer Society is sponsoring a pub crawl starting at 11:30 at the Cambridge Brewing Co, and ending at the Sunset. (I won't be attending due to the Quest for the Wholly Ale). On 9/8 I will be giving a beer judge exam somewhere in Maine. On 9/22 is the Maine Moonshiner's Muster, a homebrew competition at the Common Ground Country Fair. On 10/23 I will be hosting an American beer tasting at the Sunset Grill. If you have any questions contact me via email. You should ignore whatever the mailer says is my address and use: uunet!bose!synchro!chuck Note the extra hop through synchro, I am finishing the Bose contract and will be reading mail at my real office (SynchroSystems in Cambridge). I will be out of touch until September, as I will be swilling (er, tasting) beer/bier all over western europe until then. Current vocabulary: Ein Bier bitte! Wo ist das Baad? I've fallen down and I can't get up! - Chuck Cox (uunet!bose!synchro!chuck) - Hopped/Up Racing Team - Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 90 01:20:14 CDT From: tamulis at dehn.math.nwu.edu (Andrius Tamulis) Subject: Wort Straining; Jalapeno peppers I also had a big problem with straining my wort into my glass fermenter; same cause - small strainer and small funnel. I have to date brewed only with extract and some specialty grains, but I hope to someday do all-grain brews (this gets back to the subject quick, just hold on). Having decided this, I needed a mash-tun, so I set about fashioning one for myself. It is not done, but currently I have a 5+ gallon plastic bucket with a spigot at the bottom. I place a wide grain bag around the open top of the bucket and voila - mega-strainer. I'm not sure if it actually sped things up or not, but at least now I can dump almost all my wort into this straining bucket and go and watch TV while it drips through. Much less worry than the old way. Also, my thoughts on Jalapeno beer: I hope it works, sounds yummy, but I think a major concern should be the fact that hot peppers get their hot from acid - adding them could mess up the pH of the wort. I'm afraid I don't have any answers, but I think this should be a greater worry (well, not a worry, really, I mean, don't worry, but, well, you know what I mean...) then when they should be added to the boil. Andrius Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #476, 08/16/90 ************************************* -------
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