HOMEBREW Digest #531 Tue 06 November 1990

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Filtration (Rob McDonald)
  re: Sick Brew? (Darryl Richman)
  Blue Corn and Bad Yeast (Ihor W. Slabicky)
  More on Romulan Ale (Paul L. Kelly)
  dead mead (Chris Steinbroner)
  Re:  Small Bottles (John DeCarlo)
  Re:  In defense of corn sugar (John DeCarlo)
  flaked barley? (Geoffrey Sherwood)
  Re: Small Bottles (Barry Cunningham)
  Getting Bottles from Curbside Recycle Bins (Dr. Tanner Andrews)
  Re: 55 gallon trash container (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583)
  Vierka Defense (Jay Hersh)
  Romulan Ale (Karl Wolff)

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: Sun, 4 Nov 1990 15:04:02 -0500 >From: Rob McDonald <rob at maccs.DCSS.McMaster.CA> Subject: Filtration The local homebrew shop has rental filtration systems that some wine makers use before bottling. Since I keg my brew, and carbonate artificially, I was wondering if this would be a good idea for my homebrew. Does anybody have any experience with these units, or suggestions relative to beer filtration? Would this have any effect on the aging of my beer? My intention is to eliminate that last bit of sediment that I still get in the bottom of my kegs (probably due to impatience). .....rob EMAIL: rob at maccs.dcss.mcmaster.ca <<< Standard Disclaimers Apply >>> ARCHAIC: Steltech, 1375 Kerns Rd., Burlington, Ontario, Canada, L7P 3H8. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 90 08:05:37 -0800 >From: darryl at ism.isc.com (Darryl Richman) Subject: re: Sick Brew? >Now my problem. When I checked the primary 18 hours after pitching, it was >going great, bubbling about every second. I then went on a business trip >for 10 days, when I returned I was suprized to see that it was still bubbleing. >At that time it was one bubble in a minute or two. Two days later it had stopped. >Now today, 18 days after the wort was pitched, I went to prime and keg it. >When I popped the top on the primary there was a brown "mat" floating on top >of the brew. It was a slick dense starch with bubbles trapped in it. It was >lite brown and didn't smell bad, it smelled like beer. You have just successfully used a cultured yeast. This is just what Sierra Nevada acts like. I've just finished a week of primary on a Mild ale (22 gallons of it, in fact) and collected the brown, spongy mat to use in my next beer. I will repitch the yeast 3 or 4 times before going back to a new starter. Sierra Nevada yeast a has a tremendous ability to remain on top of the beer even when the fermentation is essentially over. This is a great attribute since it protects the beer from airborn contaminants until you can rack the beer out from under the cap. I try to collect the yeast before the head falls to a completely flat top, and rack at the same time. Good luck with your beer! --Darryl Richman Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 90 10:16:28 -0500 >From: iws at sgfb.ssd.ray.com (Ihor W. Slabicky) Subject: Blue Corn and Bad Yeast Someone mentioned using blue corn to impart color to their Romulan Ale. Good luck :-), as the blue color in blue corn is in the outer skin, and not in the meal portion of the kernel. Blue corn meal is blue (really a slate blue) color because the kernels are ground up finely. The grinding mixes up the blue outer skin with the white inner meal and gives the blue or slate blue color. I don't think this will brew out as blue. If anything, a greenish color because hops tend to add color to the brew also. Besides, when you use grains, you use cracked grain, and not ground grain. If the blue corn is cracked, it looks like white cracked corn with blue outer skins - the insides are not blue. But, a good idea! Btw, I grow blue corn (for fun, of course :-) ). This probably was already brought up, but why not brew a very light colored beer as a base for the Romulan Ale, and then add blue food coloring until you get the right shade of blue? Sure, it sounds yucky, but those Romulans can't tell the difference anyway :-) They just like the color :-) I always read about bad yeasts - Red Star seems to be this month's culprit. Has anyone done what every good consumer should do: complain to the company? Not just the store where you bought the yeast, but directly to Red Star, or Edme, or Wyeast, or who ever package the yeast that spoiled your homebrew? A nice letter telling them that their yeast just brewed 5 gallons of p** water, after you had spent so much time and effort making up this wonderful batch, that this never happens with other yeasts, and that they should not relax, start worrying, because their yeast will never yield a passable homebrew... If these companies are in the business of providing us with a clean, fresh, usable product, and they are not, as evident by a few postings, they should know about it, and clean up their yeast. Has anyone ever complained? What happened? Ihor Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 90 11:34:51 EST >From: pkel at psych.purdue.edu (Paul L. Kelly) Subject: More on Romulan Ale This weekend I did some reading, and a little experimentation, on the topic of blue food coloring. It seems there is a major problem to be overcome with making beer blue, and that problem is acidity. If you remember your chemistry basics, acid turns litmus red, while base turns it blue. I encountered pretty much the same phenomenon this weekend, using a color I extracted from blue- berries. I was able to come up with a pretty nice blue color in a weak al- kaline solution (using either baking soda or egg whites), but if I added in any lemon juice -- boom! Bright red. The question now is, is it even possible to get a natural blue with a slightly acidic solution, as we have with beer? Would it be detrimental to the flavor of the beer to make it alkaline in order to achieve a desired color? Kevin McBride claims to have a way to make blue beer -- please share your ideas! I'd be delighted to find out how to do it, if in fact it is possible. One other possibility I have discovered through reading is the use of borage flowers. However, I don't know how stable the color would be, nor have I been able to locate a source for them. They are apparently safe to use as food coloring, and have some purported medicinal properties (according to a few herb books -- I'll believe it when I see it in a medical journal). Any hints on where to find them or how to use them would be appreciated. Thanks, Paul Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 90 08:44:25 PST >From: hesh at lll-crg.llnl.gov (Chris Steinbroner) Subject: dead mead i recently purchased what seemed like a reasonable startup book on making mead. it says that boiling honey is bad as that boils off aroma etc. the alternative is to add campdan (sp?) tablets. i tried this, and waited the requisite 24 hours before pitching the yeast. before pitching, i rehydrated as i usually do -- ~95 degree water followed by a little sugar to get it going. it was foaming by the time it hit the mead. after that, nothing. the campdan seems to have killed it. was this a $10 lesson on how NOT to steralize mead or what? is there a beginner's book on mead making someone could suggest? thanks, - -- hesh Return to table of contents
Date: Monday, 5 Nov 1990 12:50:54 EST >From: m14051 at mwvm.mitre.org (John DeCarlo) Subject: Re: Small Bottles >From: Rich Simpson <simpson at paramax.encore.com> > >I am going to be brewing a high-gravity Imperial Stout >and I'd like to bottle it in smaller bottles like barley wine. >My problem is that the stores I usually get my bottles only >carry twist-off pony bottles in small sizes. My question is >two-fold. > >What are some types/brands of beer to look for that come in >small, recappable bottles. Well, my favorite *small* bottles are the very small (6 oz? 8oz?) Coca-Cola bottles in the Holiday edition. Since we have folks who will drink the original liquid, we bought a couple of cases. Maybe we will again this year, if they offer them again. Internet: jdecarlo at mitre.org Usenet: at ... at !uunet!hadron!blkcat!109!131!John_Decarlo Fidonet: 1:109/131 Return to table of contents
Date: Monday, 5 Nov 1990 12:53:14 EST >From: m14051 at mwvm.mitre.org (John DeCarlo) Subject: Re: In defense of corn sugar >From: sherwood at adobe.com (Geoffrey Sherwood) > > [text deleted about not having off-tastes with corn sugar.] > >I find the effect of corn sugar to be just as advertised: it is >a way to bump the alcohol content that is cheap (important when >I was a student!) and that does not increase the body of the >beer (they don't have to have a syrupy texture to have a kick). >Perhaps it adds to the off flavors when fermented hot -- no data >and no desire to obtain any! -- but when fermented at around >60F I have no problems with it. Hmmm. Yes, it is cheap. Another reminder that people brew for different reasons. Those of us who brew year round in the warmer climates find it more cost effective to avoid the corn or table sugar in the recipe and brew at higher temperatures. I might also mention that I brewed the Nut Brown Ale in TCJOHB and added lots of sugar, as the recipe called for. I couldn't stomach the result, but friends of mine really liked it. >Affecting the body can be important with a new brewer. The >thicker, chewier beer is something of an acquired taste -- >especially when you are used to regular American beer. I >started with light body, but now use much more malt plus a pound >of crystal because I want that mouth feel. My brothers still >prefer my old recipes.... You can make lighter tasting beer many different ways. 1) Use less malt and get less taste and less alcohol. 2) Use rice or corn syrups for brewing--not as cheap. >In summary, if you don't want to use corn sugar, don't. But >please do not condemn it out of hand, dismissing any recipe that >contains it (as I have read on this list in the last few days). Personal experience tells me I don't like the recipes with corn or table sugar. Your taste buds may differ. >If someone has a problem with off flavors (I asked about a 'tea' >aroma and taste) it is probably not the fault of the corn sugar >unless a ridiculous amount is used. Or it could be the "fault" of the high fermentation temperature, the "cleaner" tasting malt extract that highlights other flavors, or the yeast used. I guess my bottom line would be this: If you are just starting out in brewing, try recipes without corn or table sugar to see if that is the taste you want. If you like the result with corn sugar, continue to use it. But beware that it may result in flavors you don't want, though again it may not. John "Sorry to go on about this" DeCarlo Internet: jdecarlo at mitre.org Usenet: at ... at !uunet!hadron!blkcat!109!131!John_Decarlo Fidonet: 1:109/131 Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 90 06:43:16 PST >From: sherwood at adobe.com (Geoffrey Sherwood) Subject: flaked barley? I recently brewed a batch of dark beer using 6 lb dark malt, 1 lb crystal malt, and 1 lb chocolate malt. Similar to most of my beers. The guy at the homebrew store suggested adding flaked barley for head retention. I tried a half pound, adding it to cold water (with the adjunct malts) and brought the glop up to around 170F, whereupon I sparged into my brewpot and boiled for about an hour or so. So far, normal. Then it gets a little weird.... When I drained the beer into the primary, it foamed like all getout. I had to stop and beat down the foam before I could finish filling. I pitched the yeast. Within a day it had clogged the airlock (blowing it out of its hole), popped the lid of the fermenter, and drained brown foam glop down the side of the fermenter. I used M/F dried yeast (as always). I really hadn't expected THIS much head retention (especially from only a half pound!). Anyone have any similar experiences? Oh, and I racked the beer this weekend. It's SG dropped to 1020 (about normal for this recipe) and it tasted good (though young, of course). Weird... That batch was also the first I made in my new brewpot. It is called 'Cordon Brew' and is imported from England ($90 from Let's Brew in Morgan Hill, CA). It consists of a heating element stuck through the side of a white plastic bucket with a thermostat pressed against the outside. It is not real fast (45 min to boil 5 gal) but a) it gets me out of the kitchen and b) you can set the thermostat to kick on and off so your wort doesn't boil over. I like it a lot. The only hassle was that it comes without a plug and takes 220V. I cobbled one together from a dryer cord, a 110 socket and 110 plug. The gauge of the wire is small enough that I am sure I can run two or even three buckets at once if I want from the same dryer cord -- an easy way to upgrade capacity at $90/batch. geoff sherwood Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 90 11:25:50 EST >From: abvax!calvin.icd.ab.com!bwc at uunet.UU.NET (Barry Cunningham) Subject: Re: Small Bottles In HBD #530 Rich Simpson asks about what kind of things come in small bottles suitable for a barley wine. I would suggest using small Perrier bottles. I have used these before and they should not be too hard to obtain (although, they are probably harder to get than they were before the Perrier benzene scare). | Barry Cunningham {cwjcc,pyramid,decvax,uunet}!bwc at icd.ab.com | | Allen-Bradley Company, Inc. or ICCGCC::CUNNINGHAM | | 747 Alpha Drive or BWCUNNIN at MRGSD at REMNET | | Highland Hts., OH 44143 phone: (216) 646-5241 FAX: (216) 646-4484 | Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 4 Nov 90 11:15:53 EST >From: Dr. Tanner Andrews <tanner at ki4pv.compu.com> Subject: Getting Bottles from Curbside Recycle Bins Illegal, at least in DeLand. Check with the local authorities before doing this, as it is probably illegal there as well. You may be able to make a special arrangement with the proper person in Public Works. - -- ...!{bikini.cis.ufl.edu allegra uunet!cdin-1}!ki4pv!tanner Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 90 12:27:50 mst >From: hplabs!hp-lsd.cos.hp.com!ihlpl!korz (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583) Subject: Re: 55 gallon trash container Mal Card writes: > Jeffrey Blackman's "6 Cooks Ale" brewed in a 55 gallon trash > container sounds like a great idea for large batches. Why not? > > You could even complete primary fermantation in it to reduce risk > of contamination (to say nothing about simplicity). 55 gallon trash containers are not made of food-grade plastic. When I read about Jeffrey's use, I was tempted to post a response, but I refrained since in his case, the beer spent a very short time in the container. Certain plastics should not be used for storing food. I'm not a chemist, so I'm not sure whether the reason is due to flavors or something more dangerous, but I avoid using plastic containers that are questionable. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: 05 Nov 90 15:05:25 EST >From: Jay Hersh <75140.350 at compuserve.com> Subject: Vierka Defense I have used Vierka lager quite a bit. It is not an open and toss dry yeast though. If you use it as such expect poor results. I found 24-48 hour lags just tossing it. I then took to rehydrating it in a boiled corn sugar or dry malt extract solution (i.e. make a starter) at least 6-8 hours prior to pitching. When doing this I had excellent results. I found Vierka to be very hearty. My lagering environment was a spare room with a small window. It was subject to temperature variations and sometimes got too cold. The vierka worked well despite the fluctuations. It made some really good smooth lagers. I typically did a 2 week primary then a 2-3 week secondary. I cold conditioned so it would take 4-12 weeks for carbonation to occur. It was always worth the wait. I can't attest to the Vierka wine yeasts. While I join with others in maligning Red Star beer yeasts the champagne yeasts I have used are quite good. Yeast I think is a crap shoot. Find someone you trust and go by their recommendations or experiment yourself. Unfortunately the supply world is often confusing and though a company may produce some bad products in one area, it's products in another may be quite good (Red stars good wine & champagne yeasts but crummy beer yeasts, Vierka's good lager yeasts but questionable wine yeasts). Good Luck JH Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 90 14:08:40 CST >From: Karl Wolff <wolff at aqm.ssc.af.mil> Subject: Romulan Ale Greetings out there in HB land. I just thought that I would put my two cents in regarding this subject. Although I have not yet done any brewing, I would like to suggest that you try not to brew the subject ale. In the past, I have had the chance and the oppurtunity to sample a number different beers, and a number of other drinks. Romulan Ale being among them. When I was given a sample of it, I liked the taste of it so much that I requested the recipe. I was given the following information. 1 fifth of Bacardi 151 1 fifth of Blue Curaco 1 2 liter bottle of Sprite or 7-Up In a large container mix all ingredients. Chill for approx 3 hours and serve. This is the only recipe for Romulan Ale that I know of as of yet. If anyone has another recipe please enlighten me. re: Legal Issues in 'Bama (jbergmann) HBD #529 Since I am also here in Alabama, I would like to know the same answers he needs. relax, and have a homebrew. Those of you here in 'Bama, Relax and Hide a Homebrew. Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #531, 11/06/90 ************************************* -------
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