HOMEBREW Digest #659 Fri 14 June 1991

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Re: Extract vs Mash (Desmond Mottram)
  Less taste, etc. ("Dr. John")
  Canadian Amateur Brewers Association (Pierre Gauvin)
  Fast ferment (David J. Sylvester)
  Dried vs. Liquid Yeast (Ifor Wyn Williams)
  strawberries (Laura Conrad)
  Re: All grain brewing ? (Chris Shenton)
  Indigenous World Beers (hp-lsd.cos.hp.com!att!drutx!homer)
  Re: homebrew DIGEST 652 (Phil Faraci)
  O2 (Russ Gelinas)
  Cider Status (Rob)
  Hunter Engery Monitor model 42205 ("David E. Husk")
  About this carbonation thing... (Michael Harlan Shea)
  Beer and Cholestorol ?? Beer Bellies. (Vijay Vaidyanathan)
  foam from a keg (Marty Albini)
  Strawberry beer (S94TAYLO)
  Re: Why not Strawberries? (Ron Ezetta)
  Re: Urquell (Darryl Richman)
  Re: All grain brewing ? (Eric Pepke)
  AHA conference, BG Jazz (Russ Gelinas)
  British Isles Brewers (Dave Barrett)
  Re: Primitive brewing (Andrius Tamulis)
  Dextrin Malt and Mashing (hersh)
  Please remove me from the list (Pagan)
  Re: Homebrew Digest #657 (June 12, 1991) ("The only way to get rid of tempatation is to yield to it-O.Wilde")
  Why Do We Mash? (long!) (Martin A. Lodahl)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 13 Jun 91 13:02:11 BST From: Desmond Mottram <swindon!des at uunet.UU.NET> Subject: Re: Extract vs Mash > Date: Wed, 12 Jun 91 08:57:37 EDT > From: JWHITE at maine.maine.edu (Jim White) > Subject: All grain brewing ? > > I've read much discussion, in this digest, regarding various chillers, mashing > tubs, temperature control ...... etc, related to all grain brewing. > > > I'd like to solicit some opinions about whether or not it's worth the (seeming) > effort involved. > > > - Is the final brew, in general, superior to an extract brew? If so, why? Unquestionably. I brewed from extract for years because it was cheap and easy. I still do sometimes if I'm short of time. But I never achieved beer to match the quality we love and know so well. So I plucked up courage and invested in the gear for full mash. It's been great!! Now I can brew beers that can match the best available commercially. Extract beers have off-tastes and lack flavour, body and aroma. Mashed beers, even light ones around 1030 OG, are full of hop and malt tastes, and character. There is no doubt IMHO that mashed beers are vastly superior to extract, but you do have to be keen as they require more effort and initial expense. > - What kind of time commitment are we talking about to wort creation? A mashed wort takes about 1 day to prepare, as against 1 hour for extract. From then on there is no difference. You do not spend 1 day solid, there are several periods of an hour or two when the brew takes care of itself. > - How much more water do we use? Do we have to condition the water? About 1/4 to 1/3 more. Yes, always condition, even for extract beers if you want to get the best out of them. > - How about $$ investment in equipment (minimum required) ? Assuming you already have a fermenter, hydrometer, syphon and either bottles or barrel, without which you cannot even brew extract beers, you will also need IMHO (please adjust UK # to US $): Absolute minimum: - Mash tun & boiler. In the UK a combined unit is available for #38. You can spend twice or more for separate units. - Thermometer, another #1-2. Pretty indispensible: Water treatment salts, pH papers, stirrer, sparge/hop bag. These will set you back #5-10 more. Luxuries: Cooler (luxury in the UK anyway :-)), sparge water heater. > - Is the final per bottle cost less, or more? > It works out around the same. For 35 pints the malt will cost about #3.50, hops #1.00, other bits and bobs are negligible but the electricity isn't, add another #1.0 for this, and we have #5.50. Extract kits cost #5-7. There is no doubt in my mind that it is worth it, as the results are _wonderful_ :-)))))))). Extract is OK :-| but not great. Desmond Mottram des at swindon.ingr.com ..uunet!ingr!swindon!d_mottram Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 91 07:55:01 EDT From: "Dr. John" <JELJ at CORNELLA.cit.cornell.edu> Subject: Less taste, etc. Greetings all, A few issues back there was a brief discussion about Miller (the alleged beer, not the author) and how they get away with the clear bottles. Perhaps the fact that they are so stingy with the hops allows them to avoid the problems usually associated with clear bottles :-). In today's (#658) digest Mark W. Castleman asks about the August "Schnell" brewery in New Ulm, MN. This is a new one to me, the only brewery there that I know of is August Schell. I assume that you could simply pick up the phone and call information to get the number and then call the brewery to inquire as to their schedule for tours. Jackson, in the "Pocket Guide to Beer" says that this may be the prettiest location of any having a brewery in the U.S. And, they make good beer, especially their pilsner (one of the best interpretations of the continental pilsner style brewed in the U.S., imho). Lastly, if dextrins don't add to the perceived body of a beer, then does anyone have an explanation for why relatively low temperatures for the starch conversion rest (i.e. something like a range of 145 to 149 degrees F) produce such thin beers? Miller (the author not the alleged beer) claims in TCHoHB that the peptidases (the enzymes that break down small proteins, which are the ones we want?) are most active in the range of 113 to 122 degrees F, so it seems that they would be relatively inactive in the 140's and probably aren't the explanation. So, what's the story? Ein prosit, Dr. John Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 91 08:27:52 EDT From: pgauvin at ncs.dnd.ca (Pierre Gauvin) Subject: Canadian Amateur Brewers Association I would be interested. I am already a member of CAMRA. How do the two differ? How are they the same? My email address is pgauvin at ncs.dnd.ca My smail address is : Pierre Gauvin 393 Ravenhill Ave Ottawa, Ontario K2A 0J5 Thanks Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 91 08:58:45 -0400 From: David J. Sylvester <sylveste at wsfasb.crd.ge.com> Subject: Fast ferment Hi, I have never tried posting here before and don't even know if this will get through. If it does I would greatly appreciate an e-mail response as time is a factor here. Here's my story: I made a 5-gallon batch of wheat beer 5 days ago using 2 1/2 lbs of lighth DME, 1 cup of wheat malt, 4 cups of corn sugar and some hops. I cracked the malt and boiled in 1 1/2 gal of water, strained out the malt, added the sugars and about 2/3 of an ounce of hops. Boiled for 10 minutes adding the rest of the hops in the last minute. For no other reason than curiosity, I started the yeast (red Star ale) in a bottle with 1 cup warm water and 2 tsp. corn sugar. The yeast was working like mad after a few minutes. Here's where I made my first mistake. I poured the wort into the fermenter, which had 3 1/2 gal cold water, and added the yeast. The wort temperature was 40 deg cels (105 deg fahr). I sealed the fermenter, got some bubbling for a few minutes, and the fermenting stoppped dead! I figured that temperature was the problem, so I placed the fermenter in a refirigerator. About 4 hours later fermentation had resumed and was vigorous for about two days. It stopped bubbling by Tuesday. Ready to bottle, I opened the fermenter and saw bubbles rising from the beer. I decided to error on the side of caution so I siphoned to a secondary and resealed. No bubbes. (I repeat, no bubbles, that is). I thought that perhaps the fermenter was not sealed well, so I replaced teh air lock with a better one. No bubbles. Now I (may have) made my second mistake. I added more yeast (same brand - Red Star). After 12 hours (it is now Thursday morning) no bubbles. My concern is with too much yeast affecting the taste. Should I siphone into another fermenter to remove the yeast at the bottom, leave it alone? I plan on letting it sit for another week before bottling anyway. I also realize I should be testing SG. I would appreciate any insights. Hate to lose 5-gallons for any reason. Thanx in advance. Dave Sylvester. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 91 10:13:34 BST From: Ifor Wyn Williams <ifor at computer-science.manchester.ac.uk> Subject: Dried vs. Liquid Yeast Many people have strong views about the relative merits of fresh yeast, liquid yeast, dried yeast, freeze dried yeast, ... etc. One thing that has puzzled me for a long time is that for a given quantity and strain of yeast, how does the manner in which the yeast has been stored affect the resulting beer? Thanks, Ifor Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 91 09:48:12 EDT From: lconrad%wilko.Prime.COM at hplb.hpl.hp.com (Laura Conrad) Subject: strawberries > Date: Wednesday, 12 Jun 1991 09:29:17 EDT > From: m14051 at mwvm.mitre.org (John DeCarlo) > Subject: Re: Why not Strawberries? > > >Date: Mon, 10 Jun 91 14:22:25 PDT > >From: Ron Ezetta <rone at loowit.wr.tek.com> > > >Soon the local strawberry crop (Washington and Oregon) will be > >ready. The thought of a pound, or so, of strawberries in a > >Rocky Raccoon Honey lager sounds delicious. > >However, I've noticed that *The Catus Meow* (an outstanding > >effort, btw), Papazian, nor HBD (from #577 to date) discuss > >strawberries as an ingredient in beer. Why? Any recipes or > >brewing suggestions? > > Basically because strawberries don't have a very strong flavor. > I have used raspberries and blueberries. While I normally > consider blueberries to have a strong flavor by themselves, they > didn't add all that much flavor to the beer in proportion. The > raspberries did fine, though. I would suspect you could put 8 > lbs. of strawberries in and still not notice the taste when it > finished. But what do *I* know? I haven't been fooling around with fruit in beer; however, I do make a mead ale based on the recipe in Dave Miller's book to which I like adding fruit. The first time I made it I had some blueberries around that had seen better days, so I added them; the amount I added (less than a pound) didn't lead to a noticeably blueberry flavor, but it did produce a beautiful pink-purple color. The next time I made this (which I do partly because honey is cheaper than malt extract and quicker than mashing grains), it was the middle of winter, and fresh berries of any kind would have been pretty expensive and also possibly flavorless, so I used what I had around, which was: 12 ounces of frozen strawberries 1 bag of cranberries some currant syrup (Someone brought this to a party once for putting on ice cream, but not very much of it ever got used for that because the seeds were too much of a nuisance.) The only one of these berries which made an identifiable contribution to the flavor was the strawberries. I suspect that it is also the strawberries that produced the noticeably brown tint to the red color (all these berries are red, so you can't tell where the red came from). It is true that honey has less flavor than malt, so you might want to use more than 12 ounces if you were trying to flavor a lager, but you definitely can get results with less than eight pounds. (The mulberries from the tree in the back yard are dropping all over the place; I'm going to try using them in a mead ale this weekend. I expect that they will contribute more to the color than the flavor, but you can't beat the price.) Laura Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 91 10:46:34 EDT From: Chris Shenton <chris at asylum.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: Re: All grain brewing ? On Wed, 12 Jun JWHITE at maine.maine.edu (Jim White) asked good questions about all-grain brewing: Jim> - Is the final brew, in general, superior to an extract brew? If so, why? Jim> - What kind of time commitment are we talking about to wort creation? Jim> - How much more water do we use? Do we have to condition the water? Jim> - How about $$ investment in equipment (minimum required) ? Jim> - Is the final per bottle cost less, or more? These are questions we've all asked before getting into all-grain (and which some of us are *still* asking :-). Perhaps you, Jim, could collect the responses and summarize, then the results could be added to some sort of HBD FAQ list... Any comments? Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 91 09:05:03 mdt From: hplabs!hp-lsd.cos.hp.com!att!drutx!homer Subject: Indigenous World Beers Charlie Papazian has asked me to pass this along to this net. >Brewers Publications is researching and sleuthing a book for the >"Classic Beer Styles Series" that will probably be published in >1993 on the subject of "Indigenous Brews of the World." Things >like Nepalese chong, Mexican Chicha, South African Sourgum beer, >Korean Makkolli, American Apache brew, Sumerian beer, casava beer >of Oceania, Okole from ancient Hawaii, Tuak from Sulawesi and >many others we know or don't know about. > >What I'd like to do right now is make an announcement that we are >looking for MORE IDEAS, writers, researchers, resources, recipes, >etc., etc. for what promises to be a very interesting book. All >ideas are welcome. Would anyone out there be interested in >participating in this project. The book will be a series of short >chapters on each brew. > >Send your notes to Charlie Papazian, Brewers Publications, PO Box 287, >Boulder, CO 80306. > >Fermently yours, > >Charlie Papazian Jim Homer att!drutx!homer Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 91 15:52:42 -0700 From: Phil Faraci <faraci at sdd.hp.com> Subject: Re: homebrew DIGEST 652 As a reply there are four fine Brewpubs in San Diego. My favorite is Pacific Beach Brewhouse at the corner of Mission and Garnet. (ps I am a part owner.) We specialize in ales with a light wheat beer called PB Blonde up to a nice Stout called Over the Line Stout. My second favorite brewery is La Jolla brewing co., followed by Callahans and Columbia brewing co.. San Diego is finally turning into a location where one could drink a good fresh beer. Phil Faraci, Homebrewer Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 1991 11:08:28 EDT From: R_GELINAS at UNHH.UNH.EDU (Russ Gelinas) Subject: O2 There's an interesting letter in the latest Zymurgy (Summer). It is a short treatise on how yeast need oxygen to reproduce. What I found most interesting was that the highest need for oxygen came some 10-14 hours after pitching. It was implied that this delayed O2 need was because all the original O2 in the wort had been used up in those 12 or so hours. In those cases where there is a long delay before active ferment, as with some liquid yeasts, it might be worth giving the wort a splashing stir with a stainless spoon at the 12 hour mark. Comments? Speaking of yeast, I just pitched the dregs from the seconday of one batch into the next batch. The dregs had been refridgerated in a clean glass jug for a day. Active ferment started in 18 hours (it's Wyeast Irish Ale, btw), a little longer than I expected, possibly because of the cooling. The first batch was oatmeal stout, the second is an Irish Red Ale. A black and tan, of sorts! Russ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 91 10:16:50 CST From: Rob <C08926RC at WUVMD.Wustl.Edu> Subject: Cider Status My first fermenting attempt (cider) has been fermenting for 10 days now. I followed my local supplier's instructions: add 1.5 cups of sugar to a gallon of cider and a packet of Red Star Champagne yeast. It had a vigorous ferment for the first 6 days or so; it glubbed every 2 or 3 seconds. Now it glubs 1 - 2 times a minute. Could anyone tell me what is happening at this stage? Should I bottle now, rack it to a new jug and ferment some more, or just let it go in the same jug a while longer? I don't have any testing equipment - playing this one by ear. Any help is greatly appreciated! Rob Return to table of contents
Date: Thu Jun 13 11:23:09 1991 From: "David E. Husk" <deh7g at newton.acc.virginia.edu> Subject: Hunter Engery Monitor model 42205 I've been trying to find a Hunter Energy Monitor (42205) around here for about a month. Would someone be willing to send me one UPS COD. I'd like to get one for around $20.00. For doing this great and noble deed you will have my undying thanks. Anyway if anyone is interested please E-mail replies. The model 42205, HEM-AC is meant for use with room air conditioners and handles 115 volts. Husk at virginia.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 91 12:11:48 -0400 (EDT) From: Michael Harlan Shea <ms7i+ at andrew.cmu.edu> Subject: About this carbonation thing... Stan's post about losing carbonation in kegs sounds identical to a problem I have with bottles. It's more than a bit frustrating to read all these posts about Dextrins and carboys and selected grains when I can't get the &^%$ at kit to brew potable beer in the first place. Any help at all would be appreciated tremendously. May your Armadillo never have a hangover, Michael Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 91 12:28:10 -0400 From: vijay at cs.albany.edu (Vijay Vaidyanathan) Subject: Beer and Cholestorol ?? Beer Bellies. Having just been diagnosed as having a "Cholestorol Problem" (specifically, too little "good Cholestorol" and too much "bad Cholestorol"), my wife has suggested that Beer may not be the best thing for me. On the other hand, I can think of no reason that Beer can contribute (or aggravate) a cholestorol problem. On the other hand my wife claims that "Beer gives you a Belly" ... what exactly is it in Beer that gives you the infamous "beer Belly". I apologize of this has been discussed here before ... perhaps someone could point me to the right portion of the archive to look at. Thanks. - Vijay - -------- vijay at cs.albany.edu - -------- Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 91 9:41:48 PDT From: Marty Albini <martya at sdd.hp.com> Subject: foam from a keg > From: teroach!fse at phx.mcd.mot.com > > I have a couple things that have been a problem now that I'm "kegging" my > beer... > I've set up a Cornelius tank tapping system, two taps, no waiting. The > following problems have arisen: > > 1. I've tapped two tanks now, a dark amber and a variation to the Rocky > Racoon honey recipe, both were relatively flat! In analyzing what could > have gone wrong, I suspect that there was too much B-brite left on the > interior of the tanks when I racked into them and primed. The residual > chemical could have zapped my yeast, right? I've been told I should rinse > with clear water after using B-brite to sanitize, is that true? A good idea even if you're not priming in thre keg. I bet B-brite tastes terrible, tho I haven't confirmed this 8<:^). > The other > possibility is the tanks leaked at the seals in the poppets or the main lid > gasket. I used Papazians suggestion of purging the air and pressurizing to > 5 lbs. with CO2, then I checked for leaks and had none (at that time). Unlikely. If it held pressure before you put beer in, it probably would after. If the yeast conked out, the priming sugar will leave the beer sweet. If you can't taste it, try taking an SG measurement; if it's higher than your FG, that's what happened. > 2. After these two tanks came up flat, I artificially carbonated them. > [...] > So I ran the CO2 up to 35+ lbs for 2 days and then > brought it back down. The beer is somewhat carbonated now, but DAMN do I get > foam city when I draw a glass from the tap! Sounds like your feed pressure might be too high still. Ales should dispense at about 5PSI, lagers at 7-10. Try venting the tanks and reseting your regulator. > FYI - I'm running 3/16" tubing from the quick-disconnect fitting (Pepsi > style tanks) up to the faucet (through wall mount) all of about 1 foot in > length. I'm running 5/16" tubing from the CO2 tank outside the fridge > about 4 feet to the tanks. Look into the fittings at the door. If there is a tiny little orifice there, that could foam your beer. The other possibility is that the beer in the outside hose may be warming up in the tube, which will also foam it. If the second glass dispenses OK, that would be my guess. I keep my dispensers inside the fridge for just that reason; prevents spoilage too. > This is my first submission to the digest, I hope I didn't over do it. You're doing fine! - -- ________________________________________________Marty Albini___________ "He that will an ale-house keep must have these things in store: a cham-ber and a fea-ther-bed, a chim-ney and a Hey, no-ney no-ney Hey no-ney no-ney, hey no-ney-no! Hey no-ney-no, hey no-ney-no!." --Thomas Ravenscroft phone : (619) 592-4177 UUCP : {hplabs|nosc|hpfcla|ucsd}!hp-sdd!martya Internet : martya at sdd.hp.com (or at nosc.mil, at ucsd.edu) US mail : Hewlett-Packard Co., 16399 W. Bernardo Drive, San Diego CA 92127-1899 USA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 91 12:40 EST From: <S94TAYLO%USUHSB.BITNET at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU> Subject: Strawberry beer I have brewed four batches of strawberry beer, so I can comment on results. As was suggested in the last HBD, strawberries don't impart a strong flavor in the finished product. All my batches have used 8 pints (about 1 lb. each) of fresh strawberries from the store, and the results have been a subtle taste at best. The one distinct character in my latest beer has been a "late aftertaste" of strawberry jam, like you were sucking on a spoonful of the stuff. I kind of like it. Crystal malt (about one pound in this last batch) which adds sweetness, helps to bring out the essence of the fruit. I suspect that much of the essence was "scrubbed out" by the fermentation. I wonder if adding pasteurized fruit after most of the brewing is finished would help. One other important ingredient was pectic enzyme, as the pasteurization sets the pectin very well. This results in a very nice looking crystal clear beer with a pink-amber hue. Here is the latest recipe (my best): 1 can (3.3 lb) M&F amber hopped syrup 3.5 lb. dry light malt, unhopped 1 lb. crushed crystal malt, steeped by whatever method you choose 1 oz. Northern Brewer leaf hops, (alpha=8.0%) 1 hour boil 2.5 gal. preboiled water, 1 gal. of it for steeping the crystal 8 pints fresh strawberries, washed, stemmed, pureed 2.5 gal. bottled water, chilled to near freezing, for cooling hot wort Ale yeast starter (see below) Yeast Starter- 1 quart of water and 1 cup of dry malt extract, boiled and cooled to below 90 F. Add 4-7 gm packets of Red Star Ale yeast, and agitate. Let 'er rip for about two hours (or conveniently as long as it takes to do the rest of the batch, it you do this first). Add to cooled wort. The beer was actively fermenting in less than four hours, one looooooong (like 12 hours) glub, if you measure that way. Brewing Specifics- Steep crystal in 1 gal water for a while, then "rinse" in remaining 1.5 gal. brewing water. Add first steep to brewpot, and add malt and hops, boil for 1 hour. Remove hops, and cool in sink of cold water. DISREGARD LAST SENTENCE!! Turn down heat to very low flame and add pureed strawberries, heat for 15-20 minutes. Now remove hops and cool in the sink. Dump in primary fermenter and add the cold bottled water. The temp should be around 65-70. Dump in the yeast. The next day or sooner, add about 4 tablespoons of pectic enzyme, just right into the beer. Rack after 3-4 days. Bottle with 3/4 cup corn sugar. OG-Who cares FG-1.008 (this is pretty low) Al Taylor Uniformed Services University School of Medicine Bethesda, MD s94taylor at usuhsb.bitnet Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 91 10:12:16 PDT From: Ron Ezetta <rone at loowit.wr.tek.com> Subject: Re: Why not Strawberries? >Basically because strawberries don't have a very strong flavor. >I would suspect you could put 8 lbs. of strawberries in and still >not notice the taste when it finished. Indeed most strawberries on the market are blah, bland. Not to offend those readers from California, but strawberries from California (esp. Southern California) taste like, *nothing*. Strawberries from the Northwest are sweet, juicy, and have a strong strawberry flavor (if they don't rot because of the rain). I hope to use the freshest berries, straight from the garden. The proof is in the bottle - I hope to report, in a couple of months, on my strawberry experiment. I'm still looking for suggestions/experiences. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 91 10:57:51 -0700 From: darryl at ism.isc.com (Darryl Richman) Subject: Re: Urquell > Date: Wed, 12 Jun 91 19:41:14 PDT > >From: polstra!norm at uunet.UU.NET (Norm Hardy) > Subject: Zymurgy / Urquell / Richman > > The latest zymurgy magazine came today and I was very impressed by the > article of the Pilsner Urquell brewery done by Darryl Richman, who is > probably reading this now. He toured the brewery and gave wonderful > detail about the brewery, the process, and the result. Thanks, but you're making me blush! I haven't seen the article myself yet; the vagaries of the post office may mean that I won't see it until I get to the conference. I hope they picked some good photos. > I do have a question however: at what temperature is the wort when the > yeast (one of three interestingly enough) is pitched? The article did > mention 41f as the fermentation but didn't state the pitching temp. They pitch at 5C (41F). They use a lot of freshly harvested yeast that hasn't had a chance to use up its glycogen reserves and so they get a very good start. I just received a letter from the brewmaster at Pilsner Urquell who guided me around. PU is going to be upgrading their fermenting and lagering cellars to all stainless open primaries and cylindroconical fermenters. All of the oaken barrels are being removed. They are working to improve the shelf life of their beer, and intend to begin canning it as well. --Darryl Richman Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 1991 13:57:14 EDT From: PEPKE at SCRI1.SCRI.FSU.EDU (Eric Pepke) Subject: Re: All grain brewing ? Jim White asks about all-grain brewing: - Is the final brew, in general, superior to an extract brew? If so, why? This is a matter of deep religious conviction. Holy wars have been fought over it, and the streets are lined with the heads of those who dared to ask this question. Nevertheless... You get much more control over the process of all-grain brewing. First of all, you get to choose from a large variety of malts. By varying the strike temperatures and the rest times and by choosing the method of mashing, you get to control the amounts of what kinds of sugars are present in the wort. These are all variables. Skillful manipulation of these variables can result in an exquisite product. Sloppy manipulation can result in junk. It's a lot like cooking. I happen to like Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup a lot. No doubt a skillful cook could make something which is much better, and no doubt a poor cook could make something which is much worse. That having been said, my second all-grain beer was the best beer I have ever tasted. In my experience, it is much easier to get a complex flavor with all-grain brewing. There is never any need to add yeast nutrient or heading agents. I have not seen any need to age the beer more than the minimum amount of time needed to get the carbonation; with extract brews there is often a kind of harshness which ages out that I assume is due to the high temperatures needed to concentrate the extract. Anecdote: There is a local brewpub which, up until a few months ago, made a series of largely uninteresting beers. A while back they had a specialty ale which was delicious. I finally cornered the brewmaster and he admitted that it was essentially the same recipe as one of their uninteresting beers using an all-grain rather than an extract process. - What kind of time commitment are we talking about to wort creation? Quite a lot. I basically commit an entire weekend to brewing a batch of all-grain beer: one day to mash and sparge, the next to boil. Depending on the style of mashing you want to do and the results you want to get, a mash can take anywhere from 1.5 to 4 hours, requiring anything from occasional checking to almost constant supervision. Sparging takes a couple of hours if you don't screw up and get a stuck mash which requires resetting. - How much more water do we use? Do we have to condition the water? You don't use any more water, really. The only extra water is that lost during a full wort boil rather than a partial wort boil. I don't know about conditioning the water except as you normally would for the style of beer. You do have to be a little careful about the pH of the mash. - How about $$ investment in equipment (minimum required) ? Lessee--I use my boiling kettles for mashing, stovetop or decoction. I use a meat grinder for crushing the malt. Before I used a meat grinder I used a rolling pin and a large quantity of elbow grease. I use a Gott 5 gal. cooler for a lauter tun; I think that was about $16. The screen at the bottom is a metal vegetable steamer (about $3?) with a hacked up cheap plastic bowl to make a good seal. That's about it. Even before I had the cooler I was making excellent beer using an ad-hoc arrangement of buckets, spaghetti cookers, and sieves. With a full wort boil you can't really cool it by mixing it with cold water, so it's more important to have a wort chiller to get a good cold break. I use an immersion chiller which I made myself out of copper tubing. I guess the parts cost about $15 or so for the tubing, hose to the faucet, and faucet attachment. - Is the final per bottle cost less, or more? If you buy the grain by the pound bag and extract by the can at the local shop, the cost is about the same. If you buy the grain in bulk (25 lb or more), the cost is quite a bit lower, even lower than if you buy the extract in bulk. Of course it takes more time, but worrying about the dollar value of time spent on a hobby causes ulcers. Eric Pepke INTERNET: pepke at gw.scri.fsu.edu Supercomputer Computations Research Institute MFENET: pepke at fsu Florida State University SPAN: scri::pepke Tallahassee, FL 32306-4052 BITNET: pepke at fsu Disclaimer: My employers seldom even LISTEN to my opinions. Meta-disclaimer: Any society that needs disclaimers has too many lawyers. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 1991 14:44:22 EDT From: R_GELINAS at UNHH.UNH.EDU (Russ Gelinas) Subject: AHA conference, BG Jazz For those of you who are coming to the AHA conference in Manchester, you might want to know that the Boston Globe Jazz Festival is happening the same week, in Boston of course, about 60 min. from Manchester. The festival runs from June 17 to June 23, with a number of free concerts. The main concert is June 23 at 3:00 on the Boston Common, and is free. For more info: (617) 523-4047 (the area code might be 508). Re. Manchester stuff: Well, there isn't really alot. There's the Boston Trading Co. bar near the convention center. There's an Irish Pub (can't remember the name) that has good tap brews (Guiness, Double Diamond, Harp,...). Go about 20 blocks north on Elm st. from the conference center, turn right on Bridge St. (after big Numerica bldg.), then turn right after 1 (2?) blocks on Kosciouscko (sp?) street. Nearby also is the Salty Dog Tavern. I haven't been in there in a long time. It was your average Budswiller joint; it may be better now, probably not. In the same area is the High 5 restaraunt/hotel. It has a bar at the top, really nice view of the city. Recommended for the view. There's not much in "downtown" Manchester. Head for South Willow St. and the "Mall of New Hampshire" (!) if you need to spend $$, or head for the Daniel Webster Highway North. Ask for directions. If you continue past Bridge St. on Elm, after a few more blocks you'll find the North End Superette on your left. That's where you'll want to go to buy beer. Some NH liquor stores also sell (high alcohol) brews. There's lots of places to eat. Cafe Pavone is very good Italian near the river near Bridge and Elm. Very affordable. Check the yellow pages for other places. FYI: The city is cut in half by the Merrimac River. Rt. 293 follows the river. Rt. 93 goes around the east side of the city. Most of the "good" stuff in on the east side of the river, "da west side, dere" is home to a large Franco-American population, and is almost a seperate city. The conference in near the river, on the east side. My apologies to those of you who are not going to the conference, and couldn't care less about Manchester. To those who are going, I hope this helps, and I'll see you there. Oh yeah, don't even *think* of swimming in the Merrimac river; it's been seriously polluted for years. Russ Return to table of contents
Date: 13 Jun 91 15:13:01 EST From: Dave Barrett <DAVE.BARRETT at OFFICE.WANG.COM> Subject: British Isles Brewers There has recently been quite a few requests for information of breweries to visit in Britian. I have a book written by CAMRA's Roger Protz that claims to have "tasting notes and ingredients of all cask-conditioned real ales brewed in the British Isles". Its quite a book. It covers England, Scotland, Ireland (sort of), Wales, Isle of Man, and Guernsey. For each brewery Protz gives the name, address, phone number, and whether or not they have a reception center and/or brewery tours. The information he gives on the beers is very complete. It includes OG, ABV, ingredients (often with porportions), and tasting notes (which are broken down into nose, palate, and comments). For example the entry on the Pitfield Brewery (I chose this one because there has been a lot of request about London in particular) and one of their beers read: Pitfield Brewery 8 Pitfield Street, N1 6HA Tel: 01-739 3701 Independently owned Reception centre - yes (Ship and Blue Ball, Bundry Street, E2) Brewery tours - by arrangement Pitfield Bitter OG 1038 ABV 3.7% Ingredients: pale malt (90%), crystal malt (7%), wheat malt (3%), Goldings whole hops Tasting notes nose - Rich grain and hint of Stilton palate - Pleasing malt in the mouth, light, hoppy finish Comment - Excellent, quaffable, copper-coloured bitter In short this is a great book for finding out where to go, and as source of recipes. My wife had a friend purchase my copy in England (thanks Jean!), the price printed on the cover is 6 pounds 95. If you're interested the info you need is: The Real Ale Drinker's Almanac by Roger Protz Lochar Publishing Ltd. Moffat Scotland ISBN 0-948403-18-7 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 91 14:45:49 CDT From: tamulis at gauss.math.nwu.edu (Andrius Tamulis) Subject: Re: Primitive brewing Mashing over an open fire - fascinating. Though I do think that cracking the grain with a plank is a bit much - they did have mills then, after all. My own .02$ added to this is that, being of Lithuanian descent and a homebrewer, I often get explanations from people my grandparents' age about how brewing used to be done down on the farm by _their_ parents and grandparents. The accounts I get are confused and varied, but it seems that mashing (or maybe fermentation - I'm not sure) used to be done in huge (this ain't no 5 gal. batch here) wooden casks, lined with straw, with a hole in the bottom. After the mash (and/or fermentation) was done, the hole was unplugged and the straw acted like a sieve. One thing seems for sure, though, this farm-brew did not receive a secondary ferment, nor was it carbonated. Ah, the days of yore Andrius Tamulis tamulis at math.nwu.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 91 16:36:39 EDT From: hersh at expo.lcs.mit.edu Subject: Dextrin Malt and Mashing Well I don't know how much this applies, but having been to this date a mostly extract brewer I was always a little dissapointed with the body/mouthfeel of extract brews finding them usually a little on the thin side. Once I began to use malto-dextrin in my beers I noticed a substantial improvement in the mouthfeel/body. So my empirical experience is that malto-dextrin has an effect on this. Now I don't know how malto-dextrin relates to Cara-Pils or dextrin malt grains. I would however like to know if anyone does know how these relate, as I have been following the all grain discussions more closely lately and having taken over Steve Strouds (of Wort Processors fame) old apartment (affectionately now know as the Wort House) I plan to begin all grain brewing. JaH Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 91 13:56:18 PDT From: mbharrington at UCSD.EDU (Pagan) Subject: Please remove me from the list I don't think my mail is getting through to the homebrew-request address. Please remove me from the list. Appreciate it! - --Matt Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 1991 20:50 EST From: "The only way to get rid of tempatation is to yield to it-O.Wilde" Subject: Re: Homebrew Digest #657 (June 12, 1991) Please remove my name from the Homebrew Digest. Thanks, Chrisw at earlham Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 91 13:35:10 PDT From: Martin A. Lodahl <pbmoss!malodah at PacBell.COM> Subject: Why Do We Mash? (long!) In HOMEBREW Digest #658, Jim White asked one of the most thought-provoking questions I've seen in a long time: > I've read much discussion, in this digest, regarding various chillers, > mashing tubs, temperature control ...... etc, related to all grain > brewing. > > I'd like to solicit some opinions about whether or not it's worth > the (seeming) effort involved. I really feel that this is a question everyone eventually decides for himself, and the answer has a great deal to do with why we brew in the first place. That it takes more time and effort is unquestionably true. It's also true that some equipment is required that the syrup brewer isn't troubled with, but the magnitude of this requirement is not great. That it produces better beer is not necessarily true, but in my experience, generally seems to be the case. What's incontestably true is that mashing places you in intimate contact with a part of brewing the extract brewer has hired someone else to do, a part of brewing many of us find fascinating and intensely satisfying. Seeing a mash convert is almost a magical experience; tasting the growing sugar content as the mash progresses and smelling that great brothy aroma is a pleasure I, for one, wouldn't choose to give up. From that perspective, all the fiddling with equipment and process is anything BUT a nuisance! If I felt completely locked into my present process, I'd be looking around for something else to do. With brewing, there's always another variable to control, always something new to try, always something to be learned. And on a practical level, the degree of control mashing affords over the characteristics of the final wort cannot be duplicated when using extracts, as the recent investigation of unadvertised non-malt sugar content in some extracts has made clear. A vitally important component in the quality of your beer is in someone else's hands. I realize that a case could be made that from this perspective, we should be growing & malting our own barley. Who knows? Maybe some day, we will! But to address your specific questions: > - Is the final brew, in general, superior to an extract brew? If so, why? In general, yes, in my observation. A very good brewer can make very good beer using very good extracts, but that same brewer will usually make better beer mashing. In some styles, where precise control over fermentability is important, the difference can be surprising. Most of the time, however, the "80/20" rule seems to apply: 80% of your effort will be required to produce the last 20% of beer quality. > - What kind of time commitment are we talking about to wort creation? This was debated here a few months ago, a debate that opened my eyes to just how variable an answer to this could be. I've said above that I enjoy the process, so it's not surprising that I manage to make it take all day to produce a 5-gallon batch. As I've never done an all-extract batch, and only my first batch was extract-and- specialty grains, I really don't have a good baseline to judge the time increase. Consider it significant. If you'd rather not take the time, don't. > - How much more water do we use? Do we have to condition the water? The only increase in water use I can imagine is in cleaning the extra vessel (lauter tun), and a small amount lost in the longer boils made possible by not using extract. Required water treatment may actually be less, in terms of time and effort, if your water doesn't need to be preboiled to remove temporary hardness. Since the whole wort volume will be boiled, preboiling for sanitation is not an issue. Some pH and mineral adjustment is usually required, but is not burdensome. > - How about $$ investment in equipment (minimum required) ? You'll need a kettle capable of boiling all the wort. 33-qt enameled steel canning kettles are under $30. You'll need a lauter tun of some sort, appropriate to the mashing scheme you prefer to use. I do a stovetop step-mash, and my lauter tun is made from a 7-gallon plastic wastebasket, the bottom of a discarded plastic soap pail, a drum tap, and a jellymaker's straining bag. The cost is certainly under $20. An insulated cooler would work better and cost more. The other piece of equipment is a wort chiller, of either the immersion of counterflow design. I made my latest immersion chiller for about $25. From there you could get fancy; I recirculate ice water through my chiller, but I got the pump free. > - Is the final per bottle cost less, or more? Less, if you consider only materials. Factor in the capital cost (see above) and it'll be more for quite a while. In fact, about the time you've used the equipment enough to recover your investment, parts will begin to break. I've replaced my chiller (destroyed in an unusually hard freeze) and most of my lauter tun. But the cost difference is piddling. And after all, isn't the purpose of a hobby (or a passion) to spend without guilt? > I'm relatively new to the list ... Welcome! > ... and I suspect this subject has been discussed > many times in the past ... It hasn't, actually, and I don't understand why not. > ... but I'd like to know, 'Why do you brew how you brew'? Because I enjoy brewing that way, and it produces beer that I like. Thanks for asking. = Martin A. Lodahl Pacific*Bell Staff Analyst = = 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
End of HOMEBREW Digest #659, 06/14/91 ************************************* -------
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