HOMEBREW Digest #1044 Wed 30 December 1992

Digest #1043 Digest #1045

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  more keg help? (davehyde)
  New Homebrewing Publication (Dewey Coffman)
  Axbridge flaming of past... (Mike Zentner)
  random musings (mgx)
  sincere sentiment ( Todd Vafiades)
  Is lactic acid ok to put in finished beer? (Phillip Seitz)
  WARNING: Supplier knows ALL! (Glenn Raudins)
  Good brewpubs in ???? (Karl F. Bloss)
  Carbonation in a fermenter? (Daniel Roman)
  Adjuncts (parsons1)
  more random thoughts (mgx)
  Hot-side Aeration / Laaglander high FG experiment (smanastasi)
  Stuck Ferment, temperature, Co2 in beer (cole)
  Holiday cheer for Winters (BOKENKAM)
  pondering small-brewery tactics (it ain't that bad!) (Dick Dunn)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 29 Dec 92 08:25:40 EST From: davehyde at tecnet1.jcte.jcs.mil Subject: more keg help? OK, I've gotten the valve out of the top of my keg (beer, not soda), and I've got all the plumbing, etc, and am ready to rack. Thanks for the help with that one, everyone. Now what? Is it normal to prime the beer with a reduced amount of sugar/DME, or does the CO2 supply all the needed carbonation? When racking, should I go to a secondary, prime there, then rack to the keg? Do I agitate the keg ("Your mother held Miller!") or let it set....? And finally, where can I get guidelines for pressures for different styles of beer? I'm kegging a lager, but I'll be trying others. Thanks in advance..... Oh, and are there any good brewpubs in.........:) Dave Hyde davehyde at tecnet1.jcte.jcs.mil Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 92 6:45:22 CST From: dewey at sooner.ctci.com (Dewey Coffman) Subject: New Homebrewing Publication I just discovered a new Home Brewing Publication published here in Austin, TX. I am not affiliated with it, just figured I'd pass along some more info on it. The "Sneak Preview Edition" is due out soon(I've seen it). Southwest Brewing News 11405 Evening Star Drive Austin, TX 78739 (512) 282-3911 Covering Arkansas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Lousiana, New Mexico & Texas. Home Brewing & other beer related news(like the battle for brewpubs here in Texas.) Columns like: "Ask the Beer Doctor", Brew Ha-Ha's (upcoming events), & "The Hopvine". $12 a year. Publisher: Joe Barfielda (512) 453-7001 Editor: Bill Metzger (512) 282-3911 Ad Manager: Hans Granheim (512) 443-3607 If some of these names look familiar, Bill Metzger had a article in The New Brewer in 1992 Sept/Oct issue. Tell him you heard about it from Dewey Coffman on USENET, maybe I'll get to post excerpts here... ;-) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 92 09:29:01 -0500 From: zentner at ecn.purdue.edu (Mike Zentner) Subject: Axbridge flaming of past... Well, I SURE hope this is brewing related enough to please the digest self-appointed police. Last year I got one of those brew-in-a-bag axbridge deals. I looked at it and made the obligatory, "wow, this is neat," oohs and aahs (although by that time I was into partial mashing). Not being incredibly excited about brewing it, I finally got around to it so that the thing was ready by Christmas Eve. I boiled my water and used recultured Wyeast Whitbread ale. I ran the water through a wort chiller and made about 3/4 quart of yeast starter which was pitched at high krausen. In contrast to some of the results reported here earlier on this thing, the brew actually is not bad tasting at all. And it's actually kind of neat to have this bag in my garage, constantly cold and ready for the spurious decision to have a beer (I'm not into kegging, but now I see why people like it). Anyhow, if any of you end up with one of these things this year, it can make an OK beer as long as you don't follow the directions :-). Mike Zen-tner Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1992 09:40:59 +0600 From: mgx at solid.ssd.ornl.gov Subject: random musings Here are some random thoughts I dreamed up this holiday season: 1. Could someone who was familiar with the discussion of the importance of trub removal before primary fermentation post me a summary of the conclusions? I remember glancing at the discussion as it was going on but not paying a whole lot of attention. If someone could point me to the HBD Issue numbers that are appropriate that would probably get me going. 2. Has anyone given any thought to modifing an Atlas (Marcato) Pasta machine to grinding grain? Having just received one for my birthday the second thought I had was that this thing would be great for grinding grain. This machine has 6 inch wide, adjustable (in steps) rollers, is hand cranked and cheap: Around $35-45 in the discount stores around here. It appears that all you would have to do is take it apart and have your friendly machinist score the rollers for you then reassemble. Voila ... your very own adjustable roller mill for under 50 bucks! Maybe I should market them ...... Galloway Adjustable Roller Mill .... it's gotta good ring to it .... 3. A friend of mine (Hi Darrell!) made a batch of wheat beer from 100% wheat malt, Ireks I think, anyway has anyone tried this? Is this a real style? I can only recall mixtures of malted wheat and barley (50/50, 60/40, etc.). What is this stuff gonna taste like? 4. Did anyone/everyone see the plug for Beers Across America in the December issue of Bon Apetit? It was in the column related to wines and liquors. Thats all from the wasteland..... Michael D. Galloway mgx at solid.ssd.ornl.gov Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 92 09:41:10 EST From: todd at thoreau.nsc.com ( Todd Vafiades) Subject: sincere sentiment wow... it got kinda` hot in here.... Without wasting to much bandwidth (I can't wait until we have some Gigabit WAN action so I can really burn it up) My most sincere apologies to all in the HBD (even you Richard) for my unruly, high temp behaviour. I felt (and feel) strongly about those statements made by Richard Childers and I acted as if it were a personal attack on me (which it did become, in time). I'm just back after the short holiday season and I can't beleive the level of turmoil. I can't help but feel partially responsible. I've given myself 50 electronic lashes... (felt kinda' good, actually) best regards and happy new year!!! Todd Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 92 14:19 GMT From: Phillip Seitz <0004531571 at mcimail.com> Subject: Is lactic acid ok to put in finished beer? Can lactic acid be used in finished beer to produce a tart flavor? Recent posts have discussed using it for dropping the ph of sparge water, and one report discussed the use of a lactobacillus to drop the overall ph of Celis White beer (the beer is subsequently pasteurized and re-innoculated with the original yeast for bottle conditioning). I've been thinking of both white beers and Belgian-style red/brown beers that have a fruity tartness, and it occurred to me to try adding the acid. I'd prefer this to the Papazian method for souring beer, as the latter method is less controllable and might introduce other, undesirable flavors. I'd therefore be most grateful for any comments on the following: 1) Is adding lactic acid to beer at, say, bottling time a safe practice? (I'm a historian, and admit to knowing nothing about chemicals) 2) Is adding lactic acid likely to produce a desirable effect? If so, in what quantity? 3) Has anybody tried this yet? How 'bout the Papazian method? Please send any responses to me directly by e-mail, and if there is a sufficient quantity of information I'll post the compiled results. Thanks very much for your help! Phil Seitz PSEITZ at MCIMAIL.COM Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 92 8:50:14 CST From: raudins at galt.b11.ingr.com (Glenn Raudins) Subject: WARNING: Supplier knows ALL! I would like to share an experience I had with a brewing supply shop over the holidays: I visited a supply shop in Bedford, Ohio (across from Tim Lally Chevy). Dropping by, I noticed that the proprietor didn't take notice of me entering his store. (Not normal for brewing stores in my book.) I asked if he carried his grain uncrushed. Low and behold, he became God-Emperor brewer on the spot. He told me there was no reason to crush my own. He proceeded to state that the micro-brewer that taught me to brew didn't know diddly. I won't even quote his attacks. All I can sat is that I have never felt such contempt for a member of the brewing community in my life. I noticed that he was wearing a sweatshirt that said, Society of Northeast Ohio Brewers (I believe). If he is a member of this organization, I pity the members, if not, if I were a member I would ask him not wear it any more. The reason I relay this is that people that were with me, now, have a poor impression of brewers. I feel people like this do a large dis-service to the hobby/"way of life". I would like to urge you not to frequent this shop but I won't. I will just pass this message along as a warning. Glenn Raudins raudins at galt.b11.ingr.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 92 08:58:32 -0500 From: blosskf at ttown.apci.com (Karl F. Bloss) Subject: Good brewpubs in ???? I don't want to beat this topic into the ground, and perhaps this is already being done, but why not compile a listing of *good* brewpubs in the archives. Then, people can be directed there first; if the city they're looking for is not there, then go to the HBD. I had asked about Boston and Pittsburgh and received oodles of great info from people who seemed willing to give it. I had a much better time there because of it, so I don't think these posts seeking brewpub info should be abrogated entirely. (IMHO) -Karl (blosskf at ttown.apci.com) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 92 11:20:32 EST From: roman at tix.timeplex.com (Daniel Roman) Subject: Carbonation in a fermenter? Chip Hitchcock writes: > or bottle---does anyone around here know enough about CO2 solubility vs > temperature to estimate what [partial] pressure is necessary to keep, e.g., > 2 volumes of CO2 dissolved in beer at room temperature?. According to my handy Volumes of CO2 in beer chart (ftp'able from sierra.stanford.edu), at 60 degrees F it takes 15 PSI to give you 2 volumes of CO2. At 35 degrees F it takes 5 PSI. 2 volumes of CO2 is at the low end of carbonation. You're not going to get acceptable levels of carbonation using an airlock of any kind, you need a pressure vessel (which a glass carboy is not) with some type of gas metering device. I like the soda keg approach with a pressure gauge attached. If the pressure gets too high you can always vent some off manually. I have no idea what an adjustable pressure relief valve would cost. I've found when kegging and carbonating beer in soda kegs I don't have to worry about, I just relax and let the yeast do it's stuff without intervention. What started this thread anyway? :-) Oh yeah, in a recent digest someone asked the relationship between volume vs weight of alcohol, the ratio is 1.25 and has little to do with beer style. Alcohol weighs the same and takes up the same volume no matter what kind of beer you put it in. :-) - -- _________ Dan Roman GEnie: D.ROMAN1 Internet: roman at tix.timeplex.com // Ascom Timeplex (NJ) Homebrew is better brew! Only AMIGA! \X/ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 92 11:36:43 -0500 From: parsons1 at husc.harvard.edu Subject: Adjuncts I have brewed a batch of mead to which I added two oz. ginger (steep 15 min), and the taste is imperceptible. I have more recently brewed a winter warmer with three oz. ginger (steep 1 min), and the taste is overpowering. Who can tell me how much grated ginger to add to a batch so that it tastes good? I read Saml. Childers' piece "Every Man his own Brewer" (ca. 1650), which discusses the use of more adjuncts than any modern book I have read. He even tells you how many whole eggs to put in your barrels in order to pre- serve the beer while it is being shipped to India. His book does not, how- ever, tell you what quantity of each herb to add. Occasionally, proportions such as the 'modicum' or the 'fistful' are suggested, but that is not very helpful. Has anyone done a lot of experimenting with adjuncts? It's not too late to brew a funky porter for the spring. Jed parsons1 at husc.harvard.edu Harpsichordist, Classicist, Homebrewer apud aedificium scribebam Sacerdotis ad cerevisiam coquendam exstructum. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1992 15:29:36 +0600 From: mgx at solid.ssd.ornl.gov Subject: more random thoughts One more to go with the four above: I've managed to acquire somewhat limited access to a bio lab with the associated microscopes and ph meters etc. I am curious as to what beer/wine/other fermented products should look like under 100-500 X magnification. Can I see yeast at this level? What about bacteria and other nasties? Also, what are appropriate ph's for unfermented wort and finished beer/wine/mead/etc.??? Any thoughts along these lines would be greatly appreciated. Michael D. Galloway mgx at solid.ssd.ornl.gov Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 92 15:56:18 CDT From: smanastasi at mmm.com Subject: Hot-side Aeration / Laaglander high FG experiment My wife bought me all six episodes of the "Beer Hunter" on video tape (what a wife!). Both of us have had fun watching them especially since we are planning a trip to Bavaria this summer. During Micheal's visit to a lambic brewery in Belgium, they showed the hot wort coming out into cooling boxes. These boxes had screens on the bottom that allowed the wort to fall through and splash about cooling the wort. The first thing that I thought of was "Wow, that's a lot of hot-side aeration". The technique runs counter to the article on aeration in the latest Zymurgy. Then again, the same brewery used wild yeasts and other loosely controlled processes. In general after watching the Beer Hunter, I was struck by two main observations. Europeans (at least the ones in the show) appreciate their beer and beer is of an artform higher than the belching retired sports stars swilling cheap chemical slurries that are portrayed in America (or all of the beer=sex implications). The second was that most of these brewers aren't nearly as anal about sanitation around the fermenting wort as I am. Maybe its due to the extremely high amount of yeast that must be growing in 5000 liters of beer. Guys were sticking there heads in lagering tanks, walking above open fermentation vessels, etc. Now onto my second topic, that of my high FG with Laaglander dried malt extract. I posted a few weeks ago about a batch that finished at 1030. Briefly, I used 8 lbs Laaglander and Wyeast 1056 (plus hops). The OG was 1063. I was reluctant to bottle at 1030 so I have done the following with little success. (actions listed in order). - tried several times to rouse the yeast by turning the carboy - added a new bulged packet of Wyest 1056 (ouch, $4 down). - Racked again and re-oxygenated (by this time, my batch turned into an experiment in high FG) - Added yeast nutrients (hydrated in cooled boiled water) - Add amylase enzyme (hydrated in cooled boiled water) At this point, the SG was 1028 to 1029, so the effect of all this was negligble. Plus, 3 weeks passed from my first attempt to my last - so I wasn't rushing it. Last night I threw in some Saaz hops to at least give a hoppy aroma to an already hoppy brew that may turn out undrinkable. After this experiment, what is my final analysis? 1) I will NEVER use all dried malt extract again. 2) My problems may have been exacerbated by a lack of cold-side aeration. (This was my 8th extract batch and the first that did not finish correctly - and I use approximately the same technique.) 3) Move to all grain this winter to avoid low nutrient batches. Plus I will then be doing full boils (lack of carmelization) and I will use a wort chiller (enabling better cold-side aeration). Sorry to go on for so long. Many people responded to my original post about high FG asking for a summary - so here you are. One last thing - let's stop all this useless arguing over non brewing issues. This USED to be far better than rec.crafts.brewing and its really been slipping. - ------------ Steve Anastasi St. Paul, MN smanastasi at mmm.com (612) 733-6970 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 92 14:11:07 PST From: cole%nevis6.hepnet at Lbl.Gov Subject: Stuck Ferment, temperature, Co2 in beer Hello all. I thought I would describe my experience with a batch of Pumpkin ale I started in November which combines many topics under discussion recently here in the HBD. I wanted to make it for the holidays but started late because I was very busy. Crude recipe: 2 small pumpkins (sorry no weight - roughly 6" diameter) 2# pale malt (US 6-row) 1# crystal malt Pressure cooked pumpkin till mushy (8 min under full pressure I think). Step mashed with protein rest for 45 min, starch conversion step at approx 152 degrees f, 1-1/2 hours for complete conversion. Sparged. Added water to bring total volume to approx 6 gallons, added: 5# light malt extract, boiling hops, some cinnamon, etc... Boiled for 60 minutes, added finishing hops, chilled, racked to carboy, pitched 1/2 liter starter culture of Wyeast European ale. Final volume 5 gal. Original gravity 1.060 (+/- .002). Lag time 8-10 hours. 24 hours after pitching the fermentation was going like gangbusters. Very little blowoff but I have never seen such an active ferment in my previous 10 batches. This activity continued for 4 days until the weekend during which I was away. Over the weekend the temperature outside dropped 30-40 degrees and the temperature inside my apartment dropped from 65-66 to 58-60 degrees. When I came home and checked the beer it looked like the yeast had flocculated en mass. There was dried yeast all over the carboy, up the blowoff tube (this for a batch that hadn't really been blowing off) and absolutely no activity whatsoever. I racked to secondary and after several days there was still no activity. I then raised my apartment thermostat to 64 degrees and after several more days saw some minimal signs of activity. The first gravity reading after racking was 1.032 and after another week and a half, the gravity had only dropped to 1.027. At this point, I started to worry and tried adding some oak chips (boiled 20 minutes to remove the oak flavor) per the sugestion in one of the recent digests. This seemed to increase the activity, (I'm not talking about the inital precipitation of Co2 out of solution, but the activity a day after adding the oak chips), but after another week or so the gravity had only dropped to 1.022. As a last resort, I made a starter from the dregs of three bottles of bitter I had made using the Wyeast Whitbread strain, pitched this into the ale and left for the holidays. When I returned two days ago I was gratified to see substantial activity (i.e. Co2 bubbles rising) and though I haven't yet check the gravity, it appears that the new yeast is now finishing the ferment. I suspect the flocculation of the yeast was caused by the drop in temperature. The fact that the second yeast addition re-started fermentation suggests that the flocculation was so efficient that there was just not enough yeast to do the job, though this seems a little hard to believe. If I remember correctly, Whitbread is more attenuative than the European Ale, but I can't believe the European ale yeast would quit above 1.020, and certainly not slow down so much at 1.032. Given that the mash was done at a fairly low temperature, I would expect the beer to be more fermentable than average so I would expect a FG of 1.010 or so. However, I have no idea what the enzymes in malt do with pumpkin starch. Morals: Beware of sudden temperature changes. I wonder how many of the stuck ferments reported in this digest are caused by such rapid changes in inside temp. Watch that fermentation temps. for ale yeasts do not drop too low. I was surprised by a comment by Jack S. the other day which said that 55-58 is a typical temperature range. Maybe for lagers, but not for ale yeasts. Beware of using Co2 bubbles to gauge activity. The addition of the oak chips seemed to indicate an increase in activity, but I bet they simply caused more of the yeast-produced co2 to come out of solution. I imagine that if I had waited long enough after racking (sans chips) the slow activity would have eventually saturated the the co2 capacity of the liquid and would have shown the same activity level as with chips. REMEMBER that CO2 will only come out of the beer when the liquid has been saturated or when precipitated by racking, addition of hops etc... Homebrew provides a useful source of yeast in an emergency. I feel stupid for not trying this sooner. Of course, there's the worry about contamination, but with a difficult batch, what the h*ll. The above morals will probably be obvious to the more experienced brewers, but hopefully they will be useful to somebody out there. I will let everyone know how this batch turns out when it's done. If it is worth it, I will post the real recipe. Sorry for the long post. Happy New Year to all. Brian Cole Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 92 17:12:39 EST From: BOKENKAM at ucs.indiana.edu Subject: Holiday cheer for Winters Rob Winters (rwinters at nhqvax.hq.nasa.gov) writes in HB 1043: >Clearly,this is no longer my forum, and I'm outta here. Call me >if you guys get to be fun to drink with again. I'm much more >likely to visit a brewpub than countersue Boston Beer, brew >hectolitre batches, culture yeast, or autoclave *anything*. Not >that these aren't noble pursuits, but I *have* a life *and* a >career, and I don't need another. Thanks for all the good info. >It's been fun, mostly. > >Are we lawyers? Are we protecting trademarks? Are we busting >monopolies? Are we professional chemists and microbiologists? >Are we professional brewers? I thought this forum was for HOME >brewers and BEER enthusiasts. How many recipes have been in the >last 10 digests? Gee, the holidays sure are hard on some people... For recipes, Rob, I would suggest that you try downloading Cat's Meow 2. I found more recipes there than I could use in a lifetime of brewing. Meanwhile, though I am a cheap sonofabitch and brew all of my batches in a Rubbermaid (c) picnic cooler, I have learned a thing or two from the "professional chemists and microbiologists" who inhabit this net. Thanks to Tom Leith and Jack Schmidling, I now know how to compute my extraction rates. The thread on sparging, passed through many hands, has been immensely helpful. Bob Jones' stout *is* drinkable after only a week (though I suspect it will get better) but the jury is still out on Todd Enders' "perfect brew" (which is to say I have been too lazy to figure out the PH of my sparge-water, but I did try recirculating it and the extraction rate was superior to my previous tries). And, thanks to Rob Thomas, I have begun to experiment with multiple-mashing techniques and have found that some version of this old solution may be perfect for my cheap set-up and slovenly ways. Yeah, I do not understand half of the science, but I do learn something, in my simple way (some of us know more Chinese than microbiology). Meanwhile, my guests and I have enjoyed drinking up all of my "experiments." You can't always get what you want here, but sometimes you get what you need. (Hmmm. That's catchy, I should write a Christmas song.) You are right about Childers' posting, but don't let it drive you away. The holiday season will pass... Meanwhile, if you ever find yourself in Bloomington, Indiana, I can recommend only one place to drink. C'mon over. - --Steve, ((sorry, no pretty pictures)) Return to table of contents
Date: 30 Dec 92 00:18:57 MST (Wed) From: rcd at raven.eklektix.com (Dick Dunn) Subject: pondering small-brewery tactics (it ain't that bad!) Jacob Galley <gal2 at midway.uchicago.edu> writes about "Koch's sleaze in perspective". He relates some dark tales told by a Baderbrau person, then: > Anyway, I can imagine what a hard time the BBC is having holding what > ever ground they've gained in spite of the megabreweries' megastoopid > marketing techniques (that work! -- pitiful)... No apologies for what the large brewers do...after all, they advertise in a way that reaches the mass market, and it's not too hard to see what works, whether you're selling beer, burgers, perfume, or cars. Fine, but... > ...With this in mind, I do (when in a good mood) have a quantum > (not more) of sympathy for Jim Koch. Sam Adams beers are a major force > in the current American Beer Enlightenment. In this day and age, Koch > would not have been as successful as he is without using pushy, > sleazeball Big Business strategies... Let us agree that Koch is succeeding, but let us consider whether his techniques are really necessary. Let's think from a different angle. What's the most successful small (non-mega) brewery, long-term? Easy: Anchor. What's the character of their advertising, and how much do they advertise? Easy again: to a first approximation, they don't advertise. Why not? They don't need to; they can't meet the demand as it is. OK, how about another one of the long-term successes in small breweries: Sierra Nevada? Again, almost no advertising; they don't need it. The stable of either of these is far more idiosyncratic in taste than BBC. But hold on! If it takes major marketing to get people to buy a beer with the amount of taste in (say) Samuel Adams Boston Lager, compared to the mega-breweries (admittedly a significant difference), how can Anchor's Liberty Ale, or Sierra Nevada's Celebration possibly stand a chance of selling? Yet they do. Hypothesis: flavor*advertising is a constant. Opinion: Koch may not be as bad as the megas, but he provides no model for a good micro. _ _ _ _ _ Oh, while I'm at it...Mike Fetzer asks: Subject: re: % alcohol by weight vs. by volume > How do I compute %alcohol by weigh in terms of %alcohol by volume... I'll add a second question, namely "how do I remember this on the fly, after n beers, when I'm trying to {discuss;write down} a point?" Remember that alcohol is lighter than water. (mnemonic: alcohol will burn; it's a lighter fluid:-) The magic number is 0.8, or 4/5: Alcohol is about 4/5 the density of water; therefore %wt is about 4/5 %vol. So, given Mike's example of 6%wt, that would be roughly 7.5% volume. --- Dick Dunn rcd at eklektix.com -or- raven!rcd Boulder, Colorado USA ...Mr. Natural says, "Use the right tool for the job." Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1044, 12/30/92