HOMEBREW Digest #5445 Thu 06 November 2008

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  Re: HBD - old brewing supplies (Randall Ricchi)
  Old Supplies (Glyn and Mary)
  WLP 300 ("Darrell G. Leavitt")
  RE: Year old grain - Will I catch ergot and fly? ("Josh Knarr")
  Should I drink contaminated beer? (Tom Puskar)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 06 Nov 2008 08:01:00 -0500 From: Randall Ricchi <rricchi at houghton.k12.mi.us> Subject: Re: HBD - old brewing supplies Rich, ALL of the supplies you mention are still good, including the hops (assuming you store them in the freezer, preferably sealed from the air) I recently brewed an 18th century style porter using 5 year old brown and amber malts, plus some year old crystal, victory and biscuit malt. The beer is very rich and coffee-like, nothing stale about it. I've used hops that were several years old because I used to buy plugs that came in 50 oz packages, so they lasted awhile.I've gone 3 to 4 years out with no degradation of flavor. Maybe they were slightly less bitter due to alpha loss, but I couldn't tell. I keep mine vacuum sealed, but if you can't do that, keep them in a heavy plastic bag and roll the air out of it before sealing and then store them in the freezer. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2008 05:36:46 -0800 (PST) From: Glyn and Mary <graininfuser at yahoo.com> Subject: Old Supplies Old grain if un-crushed will work, just not as well as fresh. If crushed toss it. Have the hops been kept frozen? Whole or pellet? The alpha acids will decrease over time. I think Pro-mash has a calculation for the decrease. But with hop prices I would probably still use if they smelled good. Any one in middle TN want to try a barrel aged ??? I would be happy to add 10 gallons of whatever for the project. Glyn So. Middle TN Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2008 08:53:44 -0500 (EST) From: "Darrell G. Leavitt" <leavitdg at plattsburgh.edu> Subject: WLP 300 Any of you folks have experience with wlp 300 Hefe? I know that in general it seems to ferment more slowly, or erratically, ie, it sometimes seems to have stopped then a few days later it will started up again. In addition, I wonder if fermenting at too high a temperature may be a problem? I ask in that the smell from the airlock on the previous batch was very nice, hefe-like. Whereas, the smell from the airlock on this 3rd use of the yeast, is rather different. Hard to describe, perhaps estery or phenolic? Not pleasant, at any rate, and I wonder about the effect on the final flavor profile? Any advice would be appreciated. Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2008 09:22:26 -0500 From: "Josh Knarr" <josh.knarr at gmail.com> Subject: RE: Year old grain - Will I catch ergot and fly? I think the idea here would be "follow your nose". The grain pre-beer would taste and smell exactly like an infected or otherwise abused batch of beer if there's a problem. The flavors might not be as vibrant if the grain is pre-cracked, but so long as you detect no off flavors or smells, I would still try making a batch of beer with it. I would humbly suggest trying to make a one gallon batch first of "coffee pot"* beer and seeing how that goes as a test. It's a lot less effort, and it's all grain so any weird flavors you get will be directly a result of the grain. * http://www.allaboutbeer.com/features/235coffee.html - -- Bill Vaughan - "The tax collector must love poor people, he's creating so many of them." Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 06 Nov 2008 20:29:23 -0500 From: Tom Puskar <tpuskar at optonline.net> Subject: Should I drink contaminated beer? I've been brewing for about 15 years and have probably brewed between 80-100 batches--mostly all grain. I've never had a contaminated batch--until now! On 4 October I brewed an all grain version of a Marzen/Octoberfest (made it as an ale instead of a lager). The batch went great and had an OG of about 1.054 I pitched one of those ready to pitch tubes of a Kolsch yeast and started planning the label I would create for this brew. After three days, there was no visible sign of fermentation and I got worried. temp was about 68F. There was, however, a spider web looking growth on the surface of the brew. I guessed it was a mold. I probably should have tossed it and started over. I checked the gravity and it hadn't changed at all. I figured I had already paid for the stuff and invested the time in brewing so I pitched a packet of dry ale yeast that I keep around for spontaneous brew sessions. I had never used these tubes before (and probably won't again) and am a devotee of the smack packs. Within 8 hours there was signs of fermentation and in the morning there was a vigorous fermentation. After another 3 days (had to go on a business trip) I checked the gravity and it was down to 1.014 I thought maybe I had salvaged it. I racked it to a secondary and it looked a bit cloudy but not bad. After a week or so in the secondary I bottled it (about a week ago). I checked it today and sure as God made little green apples, there was that dreaded ring in the neck that I had read about but was fortunate enough not to ever experience. After this long winded story, my question is this. Should I try it and if it tastes reasonable just chill it and drink it? Or, will some dreaded gastrointestinal plague befall me and anyone who drinks it? I have another horror story with an IPA I brewed the following week and it will be the subject of a new post once I do some investigating. The yeasts I used for both the Marzen and the IPA had expiration dates of Nov 2008 and I used them in Oct. I'm really gun shy about using this brand of yeast again and will search out a supplier who still sells the smack packs. Any relevant information or experience with these tubes would be appreciated. Since I don't want to bash any suppliers, I didn't mention the names but you know who they are! Thanks, Tom in Howell, NJ Return to table of contents
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