HOMEBREW Digest #835 Tue 03 March 1992

Digest #834 Digest #836

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  recipe formulation (long, ~130 lines) (Brian Smithey)
  <Concierge NOTICE>  (Stan Schwerin)
  dry beer ("richard t. barrett")
  kegging (Russ Gelinas)
  bad beer (sherwood)
  Cider digests and books (Michael L. Hall)
  SN Celebration Ale (Michael T. Daly)
  Re : blow-off vs trub (Conn Copas)
  Hop growing (Chris Shenton)
  Re: use of hops (Norm Pyle)
  Home Brew Browser (KIERAN O'CONNOR)
  Yeast Washing Info (loc)
  Yeast Washing (Darren Evans-Young)
  non-lambic and non-Trappist Belgians (Ray Peck)
  Thanks (trwagner)
  Test of the -SMTPLink from Various Networked PC's (Daniel A Conners)
  Problems with long ferment--WYeast 1056 (Jeff Frane)
  BJCP upcoming exams (homer)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 1 Mar 92 11:47:53 MST From: chinook!smithey at rmtc.Central.Sun.COM (Brian Smithey) Subject: recipe formulation (long, ~130 lines) In a recent HBD, Tony Babinec (tony at spss.com) gave a nice description of the Kolsch style, along with a recipe and notes that reminded me quite a bit of my own recipe formulation process. This finally inspired me to sit down and write this note that I've been intending to put together for quite some time. Recipes and requests for recipes show up quite a bit in the HBD, but I can't recall ever seeing a recipe "algorithm" posted. Hopefully some of you will find this useful. When designing a new recipe, there is often a particular style that a brewer has in mind; witness the number of requests for "clone" recipes that get posted here. A book that I find invaluable when trying to invent a recipe for a style I haven't brewed before is Fred Eckhardt's "The Essentials of Beer Style". The main section of this book is a self-described "beer catalog", with brewing profiles for 38 catagories of beer. These profiles contain original and final specific gravity, color, hop bitterness, and alcohol content for several commercial examples in each of the catagories. Other references that I consult are the Zymurgy Yeast and Hop special issues (and now also the latest Beer Styles special), and Dave Miller's TCHOHB. Generally, building a new recipe involves selecting the appropriate kinds and amounts of malt (for flavor, gravity, and color), selecting the appropriate variaties and amounts of hops (for bitterness, flavor, and aroma), and selecting the appropriate yeast (for attenuation and flavor). As in all facets of homebrewing, malt selection is always subject to the brewer's discretion. My flexible rule of thumb is to use British pale malt and optionally crystal and dark (chocolate, black) malts for British ales (pale, brown, porter, stout); American 2-row (the widely available Klages) in place of the British pale when doing American microbrewery styles; and Klages, Crystal, Vienna, and Munich malts for Continental lager styles. A wide variety of crystal malts, from 20L to 120L color, are available to allow the brewer to adjust the caramel sweetness and color of the finished beer. Getting the malt flavor that is appropriate for the desired style is often a matter of getting the appropriate proportions of specialty malts; again, Eckhardt gives lots of hints. For example, for Bock/Dopplebock, Fred suggests dark Munich, dark caramel, dextrin, and black malts for darker color and sweetness. Black malt is convenient for adjusting color for dark beers, as 1 or 2 oz of 500+ L malt can make a great difference in color with a minimal flavor impact. For roughly calculating the color of the finished beer, one must know the color (in degrees Lovibond, L) of the malt one uses in the mash. Color of typical beer malts runs from less than 2L for pale lager malts to greater than 500L for black malt and roasted barley. If your supplier isn't providing the color of your malt, you may want to ask him if he can do so. On pp. 54-55 of Miller's book there is a table of malt colors from Briess Malting, and a formula for calculating wort and beer color from the colors and amounts of malt used. For extract brewers, you're pretty much on your own. If any extract brewers have some emperical numbers for colors of malt extracts, you may want to share them with this group. Miller's formula will result in a color in degrees Lovibond; unfortunately, Eckhardt's profiles give a color value on a 1-10 scale, with a mapping from his 1-10 to the SRM degree, which he says is roughly equivalent to the Lovibond degree. For example, he says that Ayinger Export Weissbier is color 4, and his table says that 3.5-4.5 is "light amber", 5.5-10 SRM. I usually look at several examples of the style that I'm trying to brew, and get a rough idea of the SRM color I want from Fred's book. Calculating original specific gravity is a matter of knowing how many points of specific gravity you get per pound of malt per gallon of water for your particular process, and then calculating for the combination of malts that you're using and the size of the batch that you're brewing. Miller (on p. 196) and Papazian both give points/#/gallon figures in their books. Miller's tend to be quite a bit higher than Papazian's. Grain brewers will have to brew a few batches to get a feel for how well they extract malt sugars from their grain, and use the values that their particular process gives them. Extract brewers are probably pretty safe in assuming that the numbers in Miller's book are accurate, as one should expect to get 100% efficiency when using extracts. Selecting hops is another personal decision; typically one will use English Goldings or Fuggles when doing British ales, noble Continental hops for European lager styles, and popular American hops (such as Willamette or Cascade) for micro styles. Again, this is wide open, and many brewers will also find use for the super-high alpha bittering varieties that are becoming popular (Eroica, Chinook, etc.). Whatever hops you decide to use, you'll need to know the alpha acid content in order to calculate the bitterness contribution from the hops. Again, if your supplier doesn't provide this information, request that they do so. Eckhardt's book gives profile bitterness in IBU (International Bittering Units). Formula for computing IBU from alpha acid content are available in several references available to the homebrewer; those that I know of are Eckhardt's "Beer Styles", Rager's article in the Zymurgy Hop special issue, and Byron Burch's "Brewing Quality Beers". Using any of these to compute bitterness, and comparing to the profiles in Eckhardt, there is no reason to be under- or over-hopped for the desired style. For extract brewers using hopped extracts, there is a table of many of the more popular hopped extracts, with bitterness values, in the Zymurgy "Hops and Beer" special issue; unfortunately they are in the infamous "HBU" units. A little math should be able to get you to IBU's. The other issue involved in hopping is bitterness vs. flavor and aroma. Long hop boils are necessary to extract the bittering acids from hops, but this tends to drive off volitile flavor and aroma compounds. Late additions are used when hop flavor and/or aroma are desired. Rager's and Burch's IBU formula have utilization factors for late additions. I know of no way to quantitatively measure the aroma and/or flavor contibutions of late hop additions. You'll have to experiment with this until you get the desired effect. Eckhardt's book hints occasionally when a hop flavor or aroma may be appropriate; also note than German (lager) brewing practice often calls for 3 separate hop additions, while British (ale) brewing adds all hops at the beginning of the boil. Aroma may be added later by "dry hopping", a topic frequently covered in this digest. Finally, one chooses a yeast. For Wyeast users, the names of the yeasts make it pretty easy to guess which one might be best for the style you're brewing. An article by Burch in the Zymurgy yeast special goes into a bit more detail describing the character of many of the Wyeast varieties. If you're using dry yeast, your choice is more often limited to a couple of brands, and "lager" or "ale". Use a yeast that you're comfortable using that provides results with which you're happy. If you know anything about the the degree of attenuation to expect with your choice of yeasts, the final specific gravity information from Eckhardt's book and/or sweet/dry descriptions of the styles can help you select an appropriate yeast. When you put it all together, you'll find out that things like wort specific gravity affect hop bitterness utilization, and you might discover that computing all of this stuff becomes an iterative, fine-tuning process. Fortunately, there are ways to make this easier. There are a couple of free spreadsheets floating around that include the formulas that I've mentioned. I use one for the Unix "sc" spreadsheet and wouldn't do it without (thanks, Tom). There are also commercial software programs available for home computers, check Zymurgy for advertisements if you're interested. I believe that Darryl Richman's program for the Mac does all of this and more, including water chemistry if you're interested in fiddling with that. Beering is my hobby, not my business, I don't receive money from any sales of books, software, etc. mentioned here. Happy brewing, Brian - -- Brian Smithey, at home chinook!smithey at rmtc.Central.Sun.COM Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1992 7:04:15 PST From: schwerin at mailhost.hsas.washington.edu (Stan Schwerin) Subject: <Concierge NOTICE> Date 3/2/92 Subject <Concierge NOTICE> From Stan Schwerin To CHANGE THIS IF NECESSARY >From QMCONCIERGE <Concierge NOTICE> Your mail in reference to "Homebrew Digest #834 (March" has been received. [ ] I am on Vacation. [X] I have Moved. [ ] I am Away. I will read your mail when I return. Hi, I'm skiing at Mt. Bachelor right now. When I return on Monday, Feb 2, I will read your mail. If this is an emergency, please contact Chris Kilbourn. -Stan Schwerin Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 02 Mar 92 10:36:11 EST From: "richard t. barrett" <RBARRETT at uga.cc.uga.edu> Subject: dry beer Hello: I was just wondering how a dry beer is made and if you can homebrew a dry beer. I recently tried the new Keystone DRY and it wasn't that bad to me.(pretty ch eap too) Any response would be appreciated. Thanks, Richard Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1992 11:13:44 -0500 (EST) From: R_GELINAS at UNHH.UNH.EDU (Russ Gelinas) Subject: kegging Well I finally had someone knowledgeable take a look at my keg, and the prognosis is very good. The only concern is the relief valve in the cover. There doesn't seem to be any way to engage it; it has no ring to pull. I took it apart, and it seems that it might release if you press on the top of it with a pointed object. I tried that with the keg pressurized, but nothing happened. Is the valve defective, or is that just the way they work? The Foxx catalog has replacement valves, but to get a ring-pull valve I'd have to replace the whole cover. Actually there's another concern: there's no check valve for the regulator. Foxx doesn't seem to have them. Could some kind soul point the way to someone who does? Thanks. Russ (btw, the Wyeast package that was about to burst did *not*) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 92 09:12:51 -0800 From: sherwood at adobe.com Subject: bad beer Thanks for the many mail messages I received with regards to my friend's beer. To recap, he had over 100 good extract batches, switched brewing equipment and went all grain, then had 4 of 5 batches turn out to be undrinkable due to a sour-milk sort of odor, all with stuck fermentations. The consensus was underoxygenation causing the stuck fermentation, with the bad odor and taste being a byproduct of that. I have two more data points. When I tasted my (ie, not his) beer again (this time looking for that off-taste) I found the same taste, though very slight. In addition, he finally got around to dumping one of his kegs of bad beer. It had sat at about 45F for two months. It was now HIGHLY carbonated. He sprayed maybe a gallon of foam into his sink when he noticed something -- it didn't smell bad anymore. He tasted it -- and immediately stopped dumping it. It now tasted just fine. I had a glass; he was right. Not even a trace of the odor that was once so overpowering we considered the batch a total loss. So I have a conjecture. I recall mention here on the HBD of some chemical that yeast produce while reproducing that they then reabsorb later. I thought that that was a mild offtaste. Maybe not and that is what we have here? The stuck fermentations perhaps preventing the reuptake? On the latest batch, we oxygentated the wort fairly well and had it take off like gangbusters. Very active fermentation, kicked off no doubt by a large amount of pitched yeast (from a starter). But it still stuck, this time at 1030 but without the off smell of previous batches. He racked it to a secondary, and fermentation picked up immediately (glub every 3 seconds). I assume this was either to more oxygen or rousting the yeast. But he racks gently to minimize oxygenation, and racks carefully to avoid racking the trub. So if he didn't pick up much 02, and siphoned off only the yeast that was already in suspension, why the dramatic increase in activity? In fact, would oxygen help at this point at all? There was obviously enough yeast for a vigorous start. So why do they stop? Do the yeast get 'tired' after a while and require O2 either to get rejuvinated or to reproduce (so you get some new, more vigorous yeast)? Do they just like the change of scenery ? (:-)) Any help with these questions is sincerely appreciated. Geoff Sherwood Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 92 10:54:11 MST From: mlh at cygnus.ta52.lanl.gov (Michael L. Hall) Subject: Cider digests and books This is directed to Daniel Roman (your email bounced): You told us about the cider-digest, but you didn't tell us how to subscribe! I'm sure that many people on the HBD may be interested. Please respond with the email address of the cider list. To everyone: Concerning cider, I recently bought a book from the AHA that is entitled "Sweet & Hard Cider", published by Storey (?) Press, for $10.95 +S&H. I don't know a lot about making cider, but the book looks excellent to me. It is very informative and takes you through the whole process, including grinding your apples and squeezing the juice out. It even tells you how to mix different kinds of apples (sweet, tart, tannic, base, etc.) together to make that perfect cider. I heartily recommend this book for those of you interested in cider. (Standard disclaimers about not being related to anybody that could benefit apply.) Michael L. Hall mlh at cygnus.ta52.lanl.gov Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 92 11:56:29 CST From: ssi!mtd at uunet.UU.NET (Michael T. Daly) Subject: SN Celebration Ale I know it is a bit late to ask, but does anyone have a recipe (all grain preferred but I can fake it) to mimmic the Serria Nevada Celebration Ale from last season? Mike Black Swan femto-brewery, Eau Claire, WI. Mike Daly (uunet!ssi!mtd) -- (715) 839-8484 Supercomputer Systems Inc. 1414 W. Hamilton Ave. Eau Claire, WI 54701 There are two kinds of people in this world.....Cannibals and Lunch. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 92 13:38:13 GMT From: Conn Copas <C.V.Copas at loughborough.ac.uk> Subject: Re : blow-off vs trub Reading the post on scientific and statistical methods prompted me to think that there are two quite distinct claims being made about the effects of trub. The first is, that because trub is largely a tannin-protein precipitate, contact with the brew may dissolve some of the tannin and produce astringent flavours. This effect is presumably what those who have tasted blow-off have detected, although it is often mislabelled as having something to do with 'hop resin'. The second claim is that yeast will extract oxygen from the trub and in the process produce more fusel oil, which at low levels can be interesting, but at higher levels tastes solvent-like and possibly harsh. So here is one suggestion for an (incomplete) experimental design. Take some trub and strain it. Dry it roughly by pressing between paper towel. Now place it in an appropriate amount of water, preferably acidified and fortified with pure alcohol to obtain a beer-strength mixture. Let sit for a period around 2 weeks, maybe with some agitating, then note whether anything has dissolved. Incidentally, I understand that some breweries actually employ tannin as a clarifying agent. I've demonstrated this to myself at home when making yeast starters with malt extract. Adding a pinch of grape tannin (reputedly equivalent to tannic acid) causes the wort to drop star bright without ever being brought to the boil. It also results in a darker wort and the most evil looking trub one is ever likely to encounter. Presumably, the breweries then precipitate the dissolved tannin out with something else like gelatine or Polyclar. Just to complicate the issue, tannin is also regarded as a haze precursor, so my chemical musings cease at this point. - -- Loughborough University of Technology tel : (0509)263171 ext 4164 Computer-Human Interaction Research Centre fax : (0509)610815 Leicestershire LE11 3TU e-mail - (Janet):C.V.Copas at uk.ac.lut G Britain (Internet):C.V.Copas%lut.ac.uk at nsfnet-relay.ac.uk Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 92 11:04:32 PST From: css at haze.ccsf.caltech.edu (Chris Shenton) Subject: Hop growing On Feb 25, Daniel Roman <tix!roman at uunet.UU.NET > writes: > I bought some cuttings from an outfit in Oregon and when they > arrived by UPS ground I immediately opened the box and stuck them in > the ground. I finally dug them up and all four were dead. > > Anybody know of a place on the east coast where I could buy some > cuttings so that they would not have as much a chance of drying out > before I get them? I bought from Freshhops and had success with 8 out of the 10 rhizomes that I bought, 2 rhizomes of 5 different varieties. The Cascades did much better than the Hallertauer, Tettnanger, Mt. Hood, and Willamette. Just a data point. BTW: I actually live in DC -- I'm just visiting the Left Coast. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 92 11:43:43 MST From: pyle at intellistor.com (Norm Pyle) Subject: Re: use of hops korz at ihlpl.att.com writes: Lots of great info about hops and ... >Aging: >Both the bittering and the bouquet will diminish over time, so if you've >used too much, don't fret, wait 3 or 6 months. Then again, you can't Is this true? I've noticed in some brews (which accidently lay around for a few months) that there was a distinct loss of sweetness over time which, to my tongue, came off as an increased bitterness. The sweetness normally balances the bitterness, so it seemed more bitter over time. I attributed the loss of sweetness to a mild infection of a wild yeast or a bacteria which was able to ferment the "unfermentables" given enough time (I noticed no real "off flavors" other than this phenomenon. I suppose with better sanitation this would not occur and that the effect of which Al speaks would be more evident. What have others found? I've got a vested interest in this question since I've got a bock in the basement which is pretty high on the bitter side. If the bitterness fades a bit, it should be incredible. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1992 10:25 EDT From: KIERAN O'CONNOR <OCONNOR%SNYCORVA.bitnet at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU> Subject: Home Brew Browser The upgrade of the HomeBrew Browser is out,version 1.6. For those of you who dont know hwat the Brew Browser is--its a Macintosh HypeCard Stack for reading the HBB on your mac. it lets you separate the messages and the message headers--click on the header, and you get the message on the irght side of the screen. if you want to try one out--email me with a subject line--I want my HBB! Kieran oconnor at snycorva.bitney Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 92 16:56:54 EST From: loc at bostech.com Subject: Yeast Washing Info Yeast washing basically is a process of mixing the yeast with enough hydrocloric acid to bring the ph of the slurry to 2.2. You want to do this with yeast that has as little trub in it as possible. (yet another reason to use a wort chiller and separate the trub from the wort) By bringing the ph to this level you kill off any mutant and weak yeast. This then gives you a strong yeast colony to start with. Big breweries only wash a yeast batch 10 times. After that the chances of getting a mutant strain in the brew increases dramatically. With acid this powerful make sure you have the right tools and meters to do the job. Mistakes and inappropriate choice of tools and containers can be costly. cheers, rogerl Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 02 Mar 92 17:20:17 CST From: Darren Evans-Young <DARREN at UA1VM.UA.EDU> Subject: Yeast Washing Those wishing instructions on washing yeast should refer to Homebrew Digest #731. Darren Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 92 15:22:13 PST From: rpeck at pure.com (Ray Peck) Subject: non-lambic and non-Trappist Belgians OK, I've finally kicked myself into asking about the avaiability and semi-reproduction of Other Belgian Wonderful Stuff (other than lambics and Chimay, for which there is a lot of info). When I was in Belgium (beer trip) this past winter, I found that my favorites were Rodenbach Gran Cru and Leifmann's. I also loved a bunch of other things which were not lambics or Trappists (not that I don't *love* lambics and Trappists. . .) First thing is: is there anyplace in the country which can get Rodenbach? I found a distributer which can get Leifmann's, but they don't handle Rodenbach. Does Manneken Brussel in Austin handle any Belgians besides Chimay? (and the easy stuff to get: Orval, Grimbergen, St. Sixtus, Lindeman's, Duvel) Now, to get down to the get down. . . Assuming I can get fresh bottles to culture from (actually, have the microbiologist woman who runs Fermentation Frenzy culture for me), has anyone else here attempted repros of Rodenbach and Leifmann's? How 'bout a tasty, refreshing Hoegarden for those hot summer days? Also, an alert for all you fans of Belgian beer: I picked up a Michael Jackson book entitled "The Great Beers of Belgium", when I was in Brussels. It was in English (also available in Flemish and Waloon). I've never heard of it in the states. Is it available here? Highly recomended. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1992 19:24:09 -0500 From: trwagner at unixpop.ucs.indiana.edu Subject: Thanks Thanks to all of you who replied so quickly. I have found that this hobby is one where secrets are shared and there are many who are willing to help others out! I think my best bet, from what you all have said, is for me to go out and buy some REAL non-industrial type beer. I will select a few Ales and Lagers and determine where my taste buds stand. Then, I will decide what I want to make for my first kit. (Of course, I will save the bottles for my first batch). Thanks for all your help. Ted Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 92 16:41 PST From: Daniel A Conners <Daniel_A_Conners%~WHC110 at pnlg.pnl.gov> Subject: Test of the -SMTPLink from Various Networked PC's Will any members of the Mid-Columbia Zymurgy Association who receive this message please contact me locally and let me know of our success rate in utilizing the -SMTPLink via PC. Some members of our organization plan on becoming active in the daily dialog from their home work stations. Please excuse our crude testing manner. We look foward to an informative exchange of data. Thank you. DAC IV Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 92 14:19:09 PST From: gummitch at techbook.com (Jeff Frane) Subject: Problems with long ferment--WYeast 1056 John C relates a problem with a loooooooooong fermentation using WYeast 1056. I'm a little relieved to read this, actually, since I've been having the same problem. In fact, I've been having slow-starting prolems with the yeast for several batches, but this is the first time it's gone so slowly once fermentation began. In my case, I split a 10-gallon batch into two carboys. The ale started at 1.062. Carboy A is still obviously fermenting and is at 1.030. Carboy B was clearing and looked done but was at 1.038. I roused it, warmed it and added some wort/beer from Carboy A. We shall see. It has been three weeks.! The beer tastes fine, just too sweet. Dave Logsdon at WYeast says he will look at this yeast and determine if he needs to go back to an earlier generation. If anyone else has experienced problems like this with 1056, please e-mail me. - --Jeff Frane (gummitch at techbook.com) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 92 19:42 MST From: homer at drutx.att.com Subject: BJCP upcoming exams Montreal PQ March 1992 Tom Robson (514) 287-7529 San Francisco April 5, 1992 Byron Burch (707) 538-2528 - Russ Wigglesworth (415) 474-8126 Orlando, FL April 11, 1992 Ed Greenlee (407) 277-3791 Rochester, New York April 25, 1992 Stephen Hodos (716) 272-1108 272-3465 Memphis, TN April 25, 1992 Chuck Skypeck (901) 685-2293 (901) 327-7191 Frankenmuth, MI May 9, 1992 Bill Pfeiffer (313) 946-6573 (313) 285-7692 Woodland Hill CA (LA) May 30, 1992 Marty Velas (310) 329-8881 (818) 831-3705 Orono, ME June 20, 1992 Pat Baker (203) 227-8028 Exams are in the works for Millwaukee WI and Boulder CO, when they are official I will post them. Full details on the Beer Judge Certification Program are contained in a booklet that can be requested by writing to: AHA PO Box 1679 Boulder, CO 80306 Attn: BJCP Administrator Jim Homer BJCP Co-Director att!drutx!homer Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #835, 03/03/92