HOMEBREW Digest #498 Tue 18 September 1990

[Prev HBD] [Index] [Next HBD] [Back]

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Keg coolers... (GARY  17-Sep-1990 0657)
  bottle culturing yeast (Kenneth R. van Wyk)
  Kegging vs. Bottling (John Polstra)
  Munich dark beers (crawford.wbst)
  Beer production costs (Jay Hersh)
  Disconnected (Oran Carmona)
  fridges & taxes (Donald P Perley)
  Volume 6; HyperCard Beer Stack (GARY  17-Sep-1990 1930)
  Southern New Hampshire Homebrew Club Inaugural Meeting (GARY  17-Sep-1990 1933)
  yeast, hops, fridges (Pete Soper)

Send submissions to homebrew%hpfcmr at hplabs.hp.com Send requests to homebrew-request%hpfcmr at hplabs.hp.com [Please do not send me requests for back issues] Archives are available from netlib at mthvax.cs.miami.edu
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 17 Sep 90 04:04:44 PDT From: GARY 17-Sep-1990 0657 <mason at habs11.enet.dec.com> Subject: Keg coolers... re: refrigerators vs freezers. I bought the chest freezer (used, of course), and a Hunter monitor. After a week or so, I am convinced I made the right move. I preferred the freezer because of the ability to load/unload a keg without moving others, and because of the vertical nature of the storage. I wonder how you planned to store kegs above the bottom layer? Is a fridge tall enough, not withstanding the weight handling capacity of the shelves? The freeser has a ledge (over the motor, etc.) that seems ready made for a carboy. One thought occurred though - one had better wish to ferment and store kegs at the same temperature, within a few degrees. Cheers...Gary P.S. The cellar is around 70 degrees. The freezer has run less than two hours per day (registers on the monitor - handy) to keep 55 degrees. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 90 09:37:39 EDT From: Kenneth R. van Wyk <krvw at cert.sei.cmu.edu> Subject: bottle culturing yeast I brewed my first batch this weekend using bottle cultured yeast (from a bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale). Things seem to be going real well as of this morning - a solid head starting to work its way out the blow-by tube already. The jury is still out, of course, but I'm looking forward to tasting the results (and not worrying in the meantime...). Here in Pennsylvania, Sierra Nevada is impossible to find - I ended up getting a case at my in-laws' in New Jersey. (Corollary: in PA, *most* good beer is darned near impossible to find.) So, I'd like to try culturing something that I can get more easily. Has anyone out there tried culturing Anchor Liberty Ale? Does Anchor pasteurize or filter? If there's culturable yeast in there, that would help me out a lot, since Anchor Liberty is both easy to find and a notable exception to the above corollary. :-) If not, any suggestions for other PA-available ales that contain culturable yeast? Thanks for any tips. Ken van Wyk krvw at cert.sei.cmu.edu (work) ken at oldale.pgh.pa.us (home) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 90 08:57:35 PDT From: polstra!jdp at uunet.UU.NET (John Polstra) Subject: Kegging vs. Bottling [ I posted this a week ago, but it must have gotten lost. So here is a repost. ] Things have been getting a little boring around here lately. What we need is to add a little controversy. It's a nasty job, but somebody's got to do it. To that end, I offer the following bit of heresy: Kegging doesn't save time. There, I've said it. I feel better already. Now, let me explain myself. BOTTLING CYCLE: After I pour a homebrew out of a bottle, I rinse the bottle several times right away with water. (I.e., put some water in the bottle and shake vigorously.) That takes only a few seconds and it at least removes all visible residue. Then I put the bottle in the dishwasher, to be run with the next load. My bottles come out of the dishwasher absolutely sparkling, and of course the heat from the dry cycle sanitizes them. So my bottles are always stored clean. There is nothing in them that would make little beasties want to come in and set up shop. Worst case, they might pick up a little dust during storage. When I'm ready to bottle a batch, I fill my priming bucket with a weak bleach solution. I fill one of my (already clean) bottles halfway with the bleach solution and shake vigorously. Then I funnel the solution into the next bottle and repeat. After I've treated about 12 bottles, I switch over to rinse mode. I give each bottle a thorough but quick and painless rinse, using a bottle washer attached to the sink with the faucet full on hot. I place the bottles on a bottle-drying tree to drain. That's it. The total time spent in washing and sanitizing the 50 bottles is small and relatively painless. And it overlaps with sanitizing the priming bucket and siphon hose, and with boiling the caps and the priming solution. I siphon the brew from the carboy into the priming bucket. That's an extra step compared to kegging, but it doesn't take very long. After that, bottling goes pretty fast using one of those wands with a spring-loaded valve at the end. I use a standard 2-lever capper, piece of cake. The main clean-up task is cleaning the carboy (just like with kegging). The priming bucket is easy to clean, since it never got very dirty to begin with. KEGGING CYCLE: I use Cornelius soda kegs (a.k.a. the "good" kind of keg). After I drink up all the beer in a keg, I have to clean it as well as the cobra tap and hose. The first step is to rinse the keg several times with water. Then, I boil a few gallons of water and clean out the cobra tap and hose by repeatedly putting boiling water into the keg, sealing it, pressurizing it, and dispensing the water out through the cobra tap. I do this at least 3 times, because I worry (oops) about what might be lurking inside that opaque dispensing hose. Then, I disassemble the keg. I clean the inside of the keg using liquid dish soap, warm water, and a dishrag. That is awkward, because my elbow fits through the mouth of the keg only when it is oriented properly. It makes scrubbing kind of difficult and sometimes painful. (Scrub, scrub, scrub, CRUNCH -- OW!) I clean each of the other parts in a big sink, rinse them well, and let them dry. After a few days, I re-assemble everything and store the keg. Now, the killer: At kegging time, I have to go through almost all of that again. First, I fill the keg with a weak bleach solution and boil a bunch of water. I seal the keg, apply some pressure, and dispense some of the bleach solution until the hose is full of it. I let it sit that way for 15 minutes. (No longer than that -- bleach corrodes stainless steel.) Then I rinse a few times with the boiling water, pushing it through the hose, etc. Filling the keg is a piece of cake, of course -- just pour in the (boiled) priming solution, run a little CO2 in to guard against oxidation, and siphon directly from the carboy into the keg. Then comes cleaning the carboy, etc. CONCLUSION: I haven't actually timed my bottling or kegging process. But it *feels* like kegging takes about as long. Now, I *like* kegging. It's great having homebrew on tap. But the primary reason that is always given for kegging (i.e., saving time) is, IMHO, bogus. What I am really hoping to get out of this discussion is some tips on how to spend less time and effort cleaning and sanitizing my kegs. John Polstra jdp at polstra.uucp Polstra & Co., Inc. polstra!jdp at uunet.uu.net Seattle, Washington USA ...!uunet!polstra!jdp (206) 932-6482 Return to table of contents
Date: 17 Sep 90 09:42:11 EDT (Monday) From: crawford.wbst at Xerox.COM Subject: Munich dark beers On a recent trip to Toronto I had the pleasure of sampling some brews from a brewpub called Growlers (located at 75 Victoria). They had two brews available when I was there, a light lager and a Dunkel. Both brews were excellent, especially the Dunkel. The Dunkel was how I imagined the brews of Munich would taste, very rich, smooth, and had a nice chocolate taste. Now I have a new goal in life, to brew a Dunkel. My problem is I have no experience with making dark beers. I assume the dark rich chocolate taste comes from munich malt (is this true?). Any text I have read says to avoid chocolate malt, it is wrong for the style. Does anyone out there have any experience with dark german beers or munich malt? Dave Miller's book has a recipe that includes all munich malt, no other source of enzymes. Does munich malt contain enough enzymes for the conversion? Also, does anybody have a good mail-order source for munich malt? If anyone can help me out I'd appreciate it (otherwise I'll just have a homebrew.) Thanks Greg Return to table of contents
Date: 17 Sep 90 13:18:02 EDT From: Jay Hersh <75140.350 at compuserve.com> Subject: Beer production costs While we're on the subject I have heard that 45% of the cost of a Budweiser (or like brand of swill) goes to race cars, speed boats, and other moronic or not so moronic (depending upon your viewpoint) sports events and promotional gimmicks. That means that every Bud you drink forces you to watch yet another idiotic commercial. Pretty vicious cycle, eh??!! Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 90 13:03:17 PDT From: ocarma at unssun.nevada.edu (Oran Carmona) Subject: Disconnected I seem to have been disconnected from HBD... could you please re-suscribe me to it? Thanks! O< ocarma at unssun.nevada.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 90 16:58:00 EDT From: perley at glacier.crd.ge.com (Donald P Perley) Subject: fridges & taxes >How do you >store kegs that when full weigh about 45 pounds each when fridge shelves >seem so fragile? Take the shelves out and put the keg on the floor of the fridge. >Regarding taxes: 5 cents is nothing! Here in Manitoba Canada taxes >eat up 56 cents out of every dollar on beer! Count yourselves lucky. >Of course we do have the third highest tax rate in the world... The proposed california tax would be "nickle a drink" or 30 cents/6pack at the manufacturing level. This would be marked up by each stage of the distribution chain. You already have some idea how much they mark up the nickle they spend on ingrediants. It could be well over a dollar/6 by the time you see it at the grocery store, or 50 cents/bottle at the bar. This would, of course, apply to beer exported from California, and would be in addition to any federal taxes and state tax in the state where you buy it. -don perley Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 90 16:35:40 PDT From: GARY 17-Sep-1990 1930 <mason at habs11.enet.dec.com> Subject: Volume 6; HyperCard Beer Stack The AHA verifies that they have some copies of Volume 6 of Beer & Brewing for sale ($18.95 member price). For some reason, they aren't going to reprint it. I have run across a HyperCard stack on beer. It has some elementary sections on how beer is made, ingredients, types, and some reviews of various brews. If there is interest, I will contact Rob about archiving it. Cheers...Gary Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 90 16:37:37 PDT From: GARY 17-Sep-1990 1933 <mason at habs11.enet.dec.com> Subject: Southern New Hampshire Homebrew Club Inaugural Meeting What: Southern New Hampshire Homebrew Club Inaugural Meeting! When: Wednesday, September 19, 1990 - 8 PM Where: Jack Sullivan's house - directions follow... Coming North or South on Rte.3, take exit 33 (in MA), Route 40 West toward Groton for 2 1/2 miles. Take a right at the Getty gas station (this is Dunstable Road in Westford). Follow this road for 2.2 miles. Take a left onto Groton Road (as you cross into Tyngsboro, the street becomes Scribner Hill Road). Take the 2nd right onto Virginia Road, then the 2nd left onto Indiana Lane. The house is on the corner, on the right hand side of the street. One Indiana Lane (the street sign may be missing!). Telephone 649-9083 [Bring samples of your latest/greatest if you like, but remember - in deference to Jack and his neighborhood...we will maintain our decorum at all times 8') ] Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 90 23:01:14 EDT From: Pete Soper <soper at maxzilla.encore.com> Subject: yeast, hops, fridges In HBD #496 <R_GELINA%UNHH.BITNET at mitvma.mit.edu> (Russ Gelinas) wrote: [Details of incomplete fermentation with partially inflated Wyeast pkt omitted] >and was forcing the CO2 back into solution. SO, the question(s) is(are): how >has the increased CO2/increased pressure/other factors affected the yeast >population? I believe that the increased CO2/increased pressure is irrelevant. I would bet money that your real problem is that for some reason the yeast never multiplied up to the population needed to ferment the beer in a reasonable time. I would bet a beer that the reason for this was lack of dissolved oxygen. When pitching Wyeast with no starter it is critical that as much air get dissolved into the wort as possible. Oxygen is the rate-limiting factor for yeast cell division in this setting and the yeast can only go through a few divisions without oxygen and are left wimpy when forced to do this. I suspect you are short of yeast by an order of magnitude or so. Yes, splashing room air into the wort puts a few bacteria and molds into it. But this is just about inevitable anyway and it is important to get the yeast population up so it can keep the unfriendly populations in check so this is again an important tradeoff for liquid yeast cultures. Also, while we are at it, keep in mind that the number of viable (live, healthy) cells in a Wyeast packet is partly a function of its storage history. Yeast in liquid suspensions are very fragile. They can't tolerate any significant heat and have poor shelf life under the best of circumstances. Old or abused liquid yeast translates to more danger of a marginal situation in which you end up with too few cells on the job. When things are marginal nine times out of ten you will still end up with beer and nine times out of ten you will think "This could have been better". Another thing to consider is that the difference between a little and a lot of inflation of the yeast packet might be very little yeast in volume but it might represent a doubling or two and each doubling takes *time* so there is a real tradeoff there. It's best to get all the doublings possible to happen in the packet and/or starter and not in the full batch of wort, which is an order of magnitude or three less sanitary. If there was enough air then perhaps something else kept the yeast from multiplying, like a big temperature dip (packet warmer than wort?) or the like. The bottom line is that when starting with such a small amount of yeast everything has to be done right for things to come out right. > Should I pitch some more yeast? Or call it a sweet stout and smile? You could pitch some dried yeast and be sure of getting enough cells on the job without adding any air. If it were me I'd rehydrate some good dried yeast like Edme (Yes, damnit!) or Whitbread in a little pre-boiled water and pitch it. Pitching more Wyeast or other liquid cultures would pose worrisome problems. Without a load of oxygen the cell count would still be left way way too low. Adding oxygen at this stage would be mandatory to build up a liquid culture but might give you a load of problem chemicals. I don't know enough to say whether all the yeast would drop what they are doing and respire some more, thus safely consuming the oxygen and multiplying, or if some of the cells would continue anaerobic fermentation, leading some of the oxygen added to generate staling compounds. The other problem is how you would actually get any air dissolved into the wort without racking it. If you did rack your wort with splashing and got some air dissolved that way you'd have to watch out for "dextrin fermentation kicking in". With the yeast population low, the wort still perhaps not as acid as it should be, etc there is extra danger of competing organisms getting a foothold. If you are very unlucky like someone who posted about this recently you might get some dextrin-chomping bacteria. :-( If there are any pro biologists out there, please straighten me out if I goof this up. I'd like to show some simple arithmetic as it relates to yeast. The party line is that in ordinary circumstances yeast tend to build up to a certain maximum concentration in a given medium and around 2 million cells per ml is the figure I've read several times. So given the 50ml of wort in a Wyeast packet you might have roughly 50x2 million or 100 million cells once the packet is puffed up. Figuring that you need the same concentration in your batch of beer to get the job done you need around 5x3780x2 million or about 40 billion cells. So to get from 100 million to 40 billion by powers of two via budding you need about nine doublings. With a fully developed pint starter (call it 500ml) you start with roughly 2^3 more volume as compared to the Wyeast packet, so you've done three of the doublings in the starter. Each doubling takes 2-10 hours depending on a ton of variables, but 3-4 hours is a good guestimate. So a 5 gallon batch of wort started with healthy Wyeast packet pitched with no starter would be expected to take 24-36 hours to get up to full speed. With a pint starter this changes to 12-24 hours. But of course many of us have seen many different timings: your mileage will vary! A very important point is that I'm assuming that starters are developed at regular room temperature of around 77 degrees F. I went through a lot of bullshit about starters needing to be developed at lower temperatures and I now believe this is garbage. All of this also assumes that each batch of wort pitched with yeast just gets one dose of oxygen dissolved in it at the start. If you can arrange for extra oxygen to get into your starter you can grow even more yeast and the excess will sediment out. (Even regular starters kept a bit past peak will show sedimentation of yeast) Minimizing the gravity of the starter wort will also help favor yeast multiplication over alcohol production. I recently did this with Wyeast #2042. By using several small steps in starter size with maximum possible aeration at each step I developed about five ounces of thick pitching yeast with only 800ml (28oz) of starter wort at the end. The fermentation I did with that yeast was bubbling in 8 hours and was essentially complete in 6 days, at 51 degrees. I know this was too fast; next time I'll use a bit lower temperature with this yeast. Also, I recommend minimizing the number of stages of starter used unless you appreciate the difference between "sterile" and "sanitary". My point is that even starting with liquid suspensions it is possible to equal or exceed the pitching rates you get with dried yeast, but normally the dried yeast provides many more cells at the start. With dried yeast all or nearly all of the 40 billion cells needed are present. The yeast just need a couple hours to get themselves sorted out before starting work. This is why most fermentations with dried yeast start out so much faster than most done with liquid yeast. Another question that has come up has to do with the transition of temperature from the starter to the beer wort. My current superstition is to catch yeast on the rise with new nutrients. That is, they should be at a constant or increasing temperature rather than decreasing temperature when new nutrients are about. Here is my current superstition, based on "Micro-Organisms and Fermentation", Jorgensen, Alfred, rewritten by Hansen, Albert, Griffen and Co., 1948. (this is a fabulous book, QR151 J6 at my school library). I develop my starter up to the point that I've got enough yeast, then stick it in my kitchen fridge at 35 degrees. A few hours before needing it I bring the starter out, let it warm up and aerate it, give the lip of the starter flask or bottle a quick flame and then pitch it. There is more to this actually and I don't suggest this scheme for beginners but you get the idea. Let me ask this of somebody who is in touch with Great Fermentations of Santa Rosa. Would they mind if I posted verbatim their instructions for making a yeast starter? (email to me directly, please) This technique was published in their latest newsletter. Although it takes a couple pieces of equipment that wouldn't be in everyone's home, their method of using a flask and thermometer seems like a really good tradeoff between totally sound practice and lack of hassle. >I have a "new" (planted in April) Hallertaur hops plant. It grew very well, and >produced some (less than 10) nice cones. I picked those and used them, but >that was it, no more cones. The plant is still fine. What gives? I've been told multiple times that the first year of growth is slow in comparison to later years. Evidently the hops need a season or two to get fully established. But I suspect there are other factors. I'll be posting a summary of my first year of hop growing experience sometime this month. But I had two very vigorous plants, one like the one Russ described, two that did nothing but produce a few leaves and one that fizzled out altogether. In HBD #497 brew at ncrmud.Columbia.NCR.COM (Jim Griggers) wrote: >while still in the glass carboy. My concern with using a chest freezer >is lifting an already unwieldy carboy full of beer into such a freezer. >How do others handle this? Lager in the keg? I face this problem too. By coincidence yesterday I got the freezer of my dreams: a 27 cubic foot Coldspot (a bit smaller than the USS Nimitz). With a carboy handle getting a small carboy in and out of this freezer is no problem. You know you are dealing with a very significant weight but it is quite doable and not really unwieldy. The same operation with a soda keg is a nit. As I was searching the want ads for this freezer during the past few months I thought this was going to be a problem but it is not. >Would those who have beer refrigerators discuss how your choice for your >refrigerator was made. Did you choose a no-frost model? How do you Cheap cost and availability. If it is cheap enough then chances are it was made before the no-frost era :-) I've used an old Westinghouse fridge for the past year. It is around 17 cubic feet and with all the shelves and drawers out I can get two cases of bottles or three soda kegs or two small carboys or one large carboy and one soda keg in it at one time. Over the past year this fridge has mostly run well above regular fridge temps such that the freezer section has never had more than a touch of frost; never had an need for defrosting during the year. I do have a drip pan under the freezer which collects condensation and I've emptied gallons of water from this during the year. >store kegs that when full weigh about 45 pounds each when fridge shelves >seem so fragile? Has anyone used an old soft drink cooler, the kind in Take the shelves and drawers out and put the kegs on the bottom. Only with a very large fridge could you fit kegs or carboys in otherwise. - ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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
End of HOMEBREW Digest #498, 09/18/90 ************************************* -------
[Prev HBD] [Index] [Next HBD] [Back]
HTML-ized on 06/29/00, by HBD2HTML version 1.2 by K.F.L.
webmaster at hbd.org, KFL, 10/9/96