HOMEBREW Digest #1228 Fri 17 September 1993

Digest #1227 Digest #1229

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  local homebrew supplies (George Tempel)
  o-rings again (16-Sep-1993 0933 -0400)
  RE: decoction mashing (James Dipalma)
  Adding fruit to the secondary (bickham)
  Fining with gelatin (jake)
  Enzymes and Munich malt (cush)
  Decoction, Coolers (Jack Schmidling)
  RE: soda kegs as fermenters (James Dipalma)
  Goofy Texas laws ("Dennis Lewis" )
  Cascades dying?/Building a basement brewery (emeeks)
  O-ring Challenge/Keg Pressure ("Cisco" )
  Yet another request for pubs (Tim Anderson)
  Decoctions (Ulick Stafford)
  Catfish Bait ("/R=FDACB/R=A1/U=RIDGELY/O=HFM-400/TN=FTS 402-1521/FFN=Bill Ridgely/")
  Viennaless Viennas? (drose)
  Recirculation, debunking the myths (florianb)
  Re: racking tube 'trubles' (florianb)
  Miller Reserve Amber Ale (ADM_WWIBLE)
  List of competitions available? (DEROSEGA)
  hydrometer in the primary (Philip J Difalco)
  oring blues (man)
  Novice mashing questions (Joel Birkeland)
  Trubles no more, thanks (David Atkins)
  Decoction procedure (npyle)
  Hops FAQ Call for Papers (npyle)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1993 08:46:30 +0000 (U) From: George Tempel <tempel at MONMOUTH-ETDL1.ARMY.MIL> Subject: local homebrew supplies local homebrew supplies Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1993 10:14:04 -0400 (EDT) Hi Gary... i'm very new to all this (still shopping for equipment), but there is what seems to be a neat place in Red Bank, called Red Bank Brewing Supply. Red Bank Brewing Supply 67 Monmouth Street Red Bank, NJ 07701 908/842-7507 They seemed like really helpful people...explained a lot to me. They claim to actually brew stuff there as well, but I can't validate that. I live in Freehold, work at Ft Monmouth, so they are really quite close. Hope this helps.... george tempel Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 06:35:40 PDT From: 16-Sep-1993 0933 -0400 <ferguson at zendia.enet.dec.com> Subject: o-rings again Another way to break-in a "new" soda keg that you don't feel like replacing the gaskets on, is to fill the keg with a nice heavy stout or doppelbock. I've also found that soaking o-rings in soapy water noticebly reduces the soda smell. Of course, your mileage may vary; Also, I fully agree w/ Al: everyone has different tastes. If you happen to have very sensitive tastes, overhaul your keg; if not, relax, fill it, and bottoms up! JC FERGUSON Littleton MA USA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 10:25:11 EDT From: dipalma at banshee.sw.stratus.com (James Dipalma) Subject: RE: decoction mashing Hi All, Picking up the recent thread on decoction: Lee and I discussed this a few days before his post, and I didn't have the information at hand. This prompted me to look through my brewing books, it turns out both Miller and Noonan are quite explicit on the issue of grain in the final thin decoction causing haze problems. From Miller's "Continental Pilsner", p. 52, the context is a discussion of various decoction techniques: "Other variations are even quicker. For example, some brewers use a single-decoction mash in which the boost to saccharification is accomplished by decoction but the final boost to mash-out at 168 degrees F (75 degrees C) is done by directly heating the mash-tun. This program is arguably more sensible than the double-decoction method because starch released during the second boil may not be converted during the mash-out rest (the amylase enzymes are rapidly destroyed at such temperatures) and might cause hazes in the wort and finished beer." From Noonan's"Brewing Lager Beer", p. 118: "When the starch end-point has been verified, the *very thinnest* ("very thinnest" is italicized in the text) part of the mash is removed to be boiled." . . "Because there are fewer starch and albuminous particles in the thinner portion, there is less risk of these being decomposed during the boiling and spoiling the runoff." Rob Thomas writes in HBD#1227: >In retrospect your conclusion about the last boil containing small >amounts of grain and therefore liberating starch seems reasonable, >but only if your yields are usually lowish (otherwise there wouldn't >be any starch left to gelatinise). I don't think this is the case. There is always some insoluble starch in the chunks of grain that amylase enzyme won't touch. Boiling gelatinizes this starch, releasing starch that is now soluble but not converted into the wort. Thus, the presence of unconverted starch in the wort is not necessarily a consequence of low yields. Rob writes: >Has anyone else got any experience with this problem (I'm getting worried), >or does everyone else who decocts carefully strain the last decoct? Can't speak for everyone else, I use a 10 gallon cylindrical Igloo cooler with a copper sparge manifold as a mash/lauter tun. When it's time for the final thin decoction I simply open the spigot on the cooler, and drain the liquid from the tun. With the exception of the initial cloudy runoff, the final decoction consists of clear wort and *NO* grain. I've never had clarity problems with beers brewed using decoction mashing, in fact, I believe decoction mashing improves clarity, what with multiple boils breaking down all that protein. My take on all of this is that including *ANY* grain in the final decoction is risky. Perhaps the amylase enzyme will convert the starch before it denatures, perhaps not. Given the time and effort involved in grain brewing and decoction mashing, I choose not to take the chance. Comments? Cheers, Jim Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1993 10:38:28 -0400 (EDT) From: bickham at msc.cornell.edu Subject: Adding fruit to the secondary I'll be brewing a fruit beer soon and want to add cherries to the secondary. Since they are out of season, I'll have to buy them frozen, but that's fine since a lot of people recommend freezing to set the pectins. My questions are: 1. Should crush the cherries or at least macerate the skins before I add them to the fermenter. 2. In one of the recent issues of Zymurgy, someone recommended putting the fruit in a pantyhose legging to keep the fruit from forming a surface barrier which traps the carbon dioxide. Has anyone tried this? Thanks, Scott - -- ======================================================================== Scott Bickham bickham at msc.cornell.edu ========================================================================= Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 10:50:14 -0400 From: jake at apollo.hp.com Subject: Fining with gelatin Hi - Having passed through my "I need gallons of beer to drink...Now!" phase, and upon entering my "This beer had better be exceptional!" phase, I have need of some information... I am planning on splitting my latest concoction between bottles and keg, and would like to ensure clarity. As well, it had, upon moving to secondary, a decidedly overly-yeasty taste, which seemed to me to be more than simple immaturity. As a result, I am going to do some gelatin fining to yank some yeasties. The bible by Sir Charles recommends fining at bottling time. I was wondering if it was acceptable to fine for a week or so in secondary, so that I can bottle with less sedimentary concerns. Thanks for any help, Jack ===================================================================== Jack Danahy | Cottleston, | Systems Software Senior Software Widget| Cottleston, | Hewlett-Packard (508) 436-4120 | Cottleston Pie. |Chelmsford, MA 01824 jake at ch.hp.com | Things are as they are. | M/S CHR-03-BC ===================================================================== Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1993 09:53:56 -0500 (CDT) From: cush at msc.edu Subject: Enzymes and Munich malt >In HBD 1227, Bill Flowers askes whether Munich malt contains sufficient >enzymes to convert themselves: Last winter I tried making a Munich Dunkle using 100% munich malt. The source of the malt claimed that the malt had sufficient enzymes to convert itself. Well, to make a long story short, I ended up with a large pot of starchy porridge..... (that I fed to the compost pile) When I went back to the supply shop to complain/ask whether the malt did indeed have sufficient enzyme activity they (jokingly??) asked me if I was SURE I had not killed my enzymes. (and, as it turns out, spread the story to a few select members of the local brew-club when they came into the store after I left...) ** When I got over my apoplexy, we had a productive dialog about mashing schedules, after which we decided I would try again with a 50/50 munich/pale malt mixture, and they would call their supplier (Breis??) to inquire again about the enzyme content of Munich. I was vindicated! The second attempt converted nicely, and their supplier said the malt did NOT have sufficient enzyme activity to convert itself. (though members of the local brew club still occasionally give me grief about killing my enzymes...sniff...) Although I am not SURE about this, I think a reasonable generalization is that domestic Munich malts to not contain sufficient enzymes to convert themselves, but munich malts of European source will contain sufficient enzymes. ** Just for fairness, the claims of killing enzymes were made in fun...though I DO still get grief for it from club members.... - -- > Cushing Hamlen | cush at msc.edu > Minnesota Supercomputer Center, Inc. | 612/337-3505 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 10:00 CDT From: arf at genesis.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) Subject: Decoction, Coolers >From: Lee=A.=Menegoni at nectech.com >Subject: Decoction procedure >Regardless of the number of prior "thick" decoctions one still needs to raise the temp from mash range 150sF to mash out 170F. It is my considered opinion that there is no advantage in raising a decoction mash to mash out via the decoction mode. The benefits of decoction arise from the mashing at 155F of the previously boiled decoctions. Once saccrification is complete, this last decoction(s) is superfluous. It is far simpler just to heat the whole kettle to mash out. >From: "Bob Jones" <bjones at novax.llnl.gov> >Subject: Recirculating mash runoff >The lipid content is greatest at first runoff from the mash. Therefore it is best to take the first runnings. Someone has confused two issues here. Micah was talking about sparging and the advantages of first runoff. This has little to do with re-circulating the runoff. In the former, we are talking about running additional water (sparging) through the mash to increase the overall volume of wort which will be further processed. Micha's comments discussed the advantages of only using the wort that runs from the original mash, without sparging additional water through it. The re-circulation discussion revolves about the oft proclaimed advantages of recirculating the original mash liquid through the filter bed BEFORE collecting it for further processing. In a proper mash tun, the only objective is to utilize the initial runoff which is usually very turbid and full of husk material. Instead of throwing it away, it can be poured back into the mash so that then next time it passes through the filter bed it will run clear. The amount that must be recirculated depends on the design of the mash tun and the dead space under the false bottom and the flow rate. It varies from a cup or two to gallons. Now, the problem comes from the claims that prolonged re-circulation of the runoff before commencing the sparge, has a profound effect on extraction rate. I know of no reason for this to be true unless there is something wrong with the design of the mash tun. >From: mike.sadul at canrem.com (Mike Sadul) >Subject: Cooler size >I am currently in the process of buying/making equipment. >The equipment list (so far): 60 quart kettle and lid from Rapids (friendly staff, great prices, quick delivery). 60,000 BTU propane burner, with 144 little holes on the ring burner, from a local hardware store. 50' of 3/8" OD copper tubing for an immersion chiller (easy to clean and sanitize, hot & cold break remain in kettle after siphoning). MaltMill (cheque's in the mail Jack :) ) >The copper manifold that I built (before I realized I was going to do 10 gallon batches) for a "regular" cooler (34 quarts?) will be dismantled and the parts used to build a manifold for a larger cooler. >Question: >What size cooler should I buy? Don't buy one. In the interest of International good will, I will include an EASYMASHER with your MM shipment. Install it in your kettle and you don't need any other equipment. Mash in your brew kettle, collect the wort and clean out the "mash tun" and now call it a "brew kettle". If you fall in love with the system, your next money would be best spent on another smaller kettle for mashing and another EM for it. You can easily mash 10 gallon batches in the ($40) enamel on steel canner but you can only boil 5 gallon batches. If you are loaded, buy the 10 or 16 gallon Rapids kettle for your mash tun. Any of these kettles also make great fermenters. The 10 gal is a little tight for 10 gallon batches but if you lager, there is not much foam buildup. If I had to do it over again, I would have bought two 16 gal kettles but I am stuck now with one of each. I mash and sparge in the 10, boil in the 16 and ferment in the ten. It would be nicer to ferment in the 16 but then I have to hold the wort while cleaning and sterilizing it. js Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 11:02:04 EDT From: dipalma at banshee.sw.stratus.com (James Dipalma) Subject: RE: soda kegs as fermenters Hi All, In HBD#1227, Tim McNerney asks about using soda kegs for secondary: >Does anyone see any other problems with this scheme? Would there >be any problem sealing the valve when I first transfer and then release >the pressure once a day or so I exclusively use kegs for secondary fermentation, they work great! My procedure is to purge the keg with CO2, then rack from primary a day or so after the krausen has fallen. Filling the keg with CO2 helps prevent oxidation of the beer during the transfer. CO2 is considerably heavier than oxygen, if you don't tip the keg during racking, it'll pretty much stay in there for the duration of the transfer. Once the beer is transferred, seal the keg, and purge the headspace. Put a small amount of pressure on the keg, enough to ensure you have a tight seal around the large o-ring. For the first day or two, open the relief valve slightly, and bleed off some of the pressure, once or twice daily. After the first day or two, you'll find very little gas is released when you open the valve, as fermentation is very nearly complete. Drop back to bleeding the pressure every 2 to 3 days. BTW, the relief valves on my kegs are rated to open at 50-60 psi, the kegs are stamped "130 psi maximum". Provided the relief valve does not fail, there is little danger. Since the pressure is bled periodically, I don't believe there is any danger at all. I've done over 30 batches in this manner over the last 18 months, with no problems. There is an added benefit to using kegs as secondaries. When the time comes to transfer to a serving keg, the entire batch can be transferred without siphoning. Get a length of pressure tubing, and attach a liquid hose barb to each end. Purge the receiving keg of oxygen, and make sure it is tightly sealed. Bleed all of the pressure off the full keg, then connect the two kegs via the liquid OUT fitting on each. Put 15-20 psi on the full keg, and the beer will start to flow into the receiving keg. Keep an eye on the flow, it will slow down periodically as pressure builds in the receiving keg. Use the relief valve to bleed some pressure off the receiver, and the flow will resume. The advantage to this method is that the entire batch can be transferred in about five minutes to a serving keg without worrying about starting a siphon, without oxidixing the beer by splashing during siphoning, and without exposure to airborne micro-nasties. Cheers, Jim Return to table of contents
Date: 16 Sep 93 10:15:13 CST From: "Dennis Lewis" <DLEWIS%jscdh6 at jesnic.jsc.nasa.gov> Subject: Goofy Texas laws To add to the discussion of Texas beer laws, the word "stout" implies a strong beer to the TABC (Tx Alc Bev Comm) and so we can't get Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout because the alcohol content is not high enough to be called stout! Also, we also have a packaging restriction relating to the alcohol content. If the brew is < 4% alcohol, then it has to be packaged in 7, 8, 12, 16, 24, 32 oz containers or in fractions of a barrel (like 3.375 gal, 7.75 gal, 15.5 gal). I think the factory breweries got a special addition of the 5 gal beerball size to the list. It cost them a fortune to schmooze and lobby our legislature. However, if the brew is > 4%, then it can have any size package it wants, like 16.9oz (0.5L) for the German imports. This means that we can't get Anchor Steam on draught because the alc content is not high enough to be packaged in their 50L kegs. Unfortunately, Texas is such a huge market that many breweries will make special versions to get around our stupid laws. Here's an interesting point (brought up in another forum): since beer sold here in the USA cannot have an alcholic content labelling (to protect us from ourselves), is there a restriction on OG labelling? This is the case with the German beers that I brought back, and it helps a bit to try to duplicate the style. (I think it's part of their packaging law to have it on there....) Dennis Lewis <dlewis%jscdh6 at jesnic.jsc.nasa.gov> Homebrew, The Final Frontier. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 11:34:55 EDT From: emeeks at tx.ncsu.edu Subject: Cascades dying?/Building a basement brewery Hi folks-- I have a couple of questions, one regarding the apparent death of one of my hops plants, and another regarding the construction of a basement brewery. My Cascades plant, after growing to at 15 ft. and putting out a small number of cones in its first year, has suddenly started to turn black and shrivel from the top down (I only had one shoot come up this year). Up to now, I have been impressed with the ruggedness of this variety, compared to my dearly-departed Mt. Hood (slugs) and Saaz (spider mites) cuttings. Now, I think something is consuming my Cascades. If it matters, after the death of the Saaz plant, I began weekly applications of "Safer soap" to control the spider mites on the cascades. In the two months since the demise of the Saaz, the spider mites seemed to disappear. Is the plant reaching the end of its season or do I have an interloper? Also, I will be moving at the end of the month to a house with a basement. My roomate (and owner of the house) has agreed to help me convert a corner into a "brew room". The basement has a concrete floor with brick walls and an unfinished ceiling. Putting in the framing should be inexpensive, since we have a free source for 2x4's. Can anyone recommend a cheap material to use for the walls? I'm thinking of something like the plastic used to make shower walls. The basement is fairly dusty and will also be used for a workshop and storage area, so I'd like to create a closed area that could be kept sanitary with periodic "swabbings". For the record, I don't plan on using an open burner in the basement. My hot water source will be the house's gas-fired heater, and the boiling of the wort will take place outside. The brew room will be used for mashing, fermentation, and beer/equipment storage. To save bandwidth, email replies are welcome. '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`''`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'` Ed Meeks (emeeks at tx.ncsu.edu) "Won't you please tell the man I didn't hurt anyone, no I'm just tryin' to have me some fun." --John Prine '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`~~ Return to table of contents
Date: 16 Sep 93 08:42:18 MST From: "Cisco" <FRANCISCO at osmo.CCIT.Arizona.EDU> Subject: O-ring Challenge/Keg Pressure Al Korzonas says > > Well, it seems to me that Don is not aware of what most Cornelius > Canisters are really used for: post-mix. Few are used for what's > called pre-mix. What's the difference. Pre-mix is pre-mixed at > the bottling plant -- it's the same stuff as the soda in bottles and > cans. Post-mix is an altogether different animal -- it's syrup! > It is mixed with carbonated water by the dispenser. It is altogether > conceivable that you could absorb more aromatics than are found > in a case of diet coke into the 8 gaskets that are found in a standard > Cornelius canister. Al is right on with this one! I use all used Pepsi Cornelius kegs and I know that they contained some of the residual syrup and the guy at the Pepsi plant told me that's what they contained before I bought them. He highly recommended that I change all my gaskets, which I did because they reaked of sweet syrup. Alot of the used kegs on the market have just been heavily rinsed and contain all the original gaskets and poppit valves - change all of them! I've had my kegs for ten years now and finally changed out all the gaskets and poppet valves again last year just as a preventative measure for possible leaks that might start forming. You can tell when the main lid gasket needs to be changed by bending it and looking for cracks starting to form in the rubber. John (Cisco) > > > ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ed Moore says: > Subject: kegging pressure problem > > I am new to kegging and have a problem which I can not figure out. > I have a CO2 cylinder, regulator (purchased new from local Pepsi > supplier) and a pair of used cornelius kegs (with beer). Somehow, > I have overpressurized my beer. > > I have the regulator set for about 15 psi. When I connect the system > for an extended period of time, the low pressure side RISES to 40 psi. > More confusing yet, the high pressure gauge rises from about 850 psi. > to 950 psi.! > > As an experiment, I have left the system connected and turned off the > CO2 cylinder. Pressure has dropped to about 10 psi as of today. I > think I have a leak, however, one of the kegs is new and may still be > absorbing CO2. > > What problem in my setup can cause the low pressure side to go from > 15 psi to 40 psi? I don't have a clue. > > Ed Moore > This sounds really strange. Even when my beer absorbs CO2 after extended periods (Al & I still have this under investigation) my pressure on my gauges remain the same as when I first hooked them up. I'm willing to guess that maybe you have a defective regulator, especially since both the high side and low side guages are increasing. I've rebuilt my regulators and have never had the pressure change on its own. John (Cisco) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 10:17:26 PDT From: tima at wv.MENTORG.COM (Tim Anderson) Subject: Yet another request for pubs I'm going to Europe next month, and I'm feeling pretty cocky about it. Sampling local beer is high on the agenda. I'll have short stints in The Netherlands, Belgium and the Alsace region in eastern France. I can't be more specific, because I'll pretty much know where the next stop is about the time I step off the train. I'm especially interested in trying beer I've never heard of, very small brewery beer, and anything made by monks. I have no plans to bring any back, or even take pictures. Any pointers appreciated. tim Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 12:20:35 EST From: Ulick Stafford <ulick at gauguin.helios.nd.edu> Subject: Decoctions Quite a discussion going on about decoctions. As a committed decocter of most beers I have found that decocted beers tend to be perfectly clear with no other fining. However, the one or two times I have gotten lazy and mashed out in a normal manner (let's call it Warner nethod), I have produced beers that presented more clearing problems - usually wheat beers and usually chill haze, than if I had used a thin decoction. It is nearly impossible to aviod grain when pulling a 40-50% thin mash. The expectataion is that the starch was well gelatinized by the earlier decoction. One is necessary except for very unconverted malt that you won't find here. I have never experienced a starch haze, but the great effect that a thin decoction has on protein coagulation reduces the boil time to what is needed to extract hop acids and clarity is less of a problem. Typically, for the thick decoctions I remove grains with a sieve, and thin decoctions with a ladle (a small pot), and then return some of the grains to the rest mash with the sieve. Once or twice I set up my cooler with the false bottom in at the start of the mash, and got the most beautiful runoff for the thin decoction. However the long time that the mash was on the bottom caused it to clog and loitering was a bitch. In gereral I have found the following procedure to work well for most barley beers, especially stouts with the high unmalted component. Dough in at 70-90 with .75 quarts per pound. Add another .75 qt/lb of hot to boiling water to raise temp into protein rest range (122-131). The amount and temperature of water will depend on the heat capacity of your mash tun - in my case quite a lot with a 7 gallon Gott Rest 15-20 min. Pull 33-40% thick decoction (using sieve and capacity marks on the inside of cooler) Heat decoction to 145. Rest 10 minutes. Heat decoction to 153. Rest 10 minutes. Heat decoction to 158. Rest 10 minutes. Heat to boiling. Boil 15 minutes. ( all heating should be done slowly to prevent hot spots and burning. constant stirring is needed while raising the temp, except for boiling, when the odd stir will do. Make sure the decoction isn't too thick) Return to rest mash. In my experience the heat capacity of the cooler means the temp will always be ~146, but your equipment will vary. I usully rest there for 10 minutes and then raise with either a small thick decoction or small infusion of boiling water or on the burner till the top of my saccarification range is reached, ~153-155. Rest here for 10 minutes. Pull loiter decoction. 40-50% of the thin mash. Boil 15-20 minutes. Return to rest mash- mix in well. Again temp may be low of strike, thanks to heat capacity of cooler. Dump out into boiler (yes I have heard of HSA). Heat to 170. Put sparge manifold in cooler and dump mash back in. Start heating sparge water etc. __________________________________________________________________________ 'Heineken!?! ... F#$% that s at &* ... | Ulick Stafford, Dept of Chem. Eng. Pabst Blue Ribbon!' | Notre Dame IN 46556 | ulick at darwin.cc.nd.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1993 13:05:00 EST From: "/R=FDACB/R=A1/U=RIDGELY/O=HFM-400/TN=FTS 402-1521/FFN=Bill Ridgely/" at mr.cber.fda.gov Subject: Catfish Bait I realize this is "bottom feeding", but I've offered to pass this along for private e-mail response. "Beer - The Magazine" is doing a piece on the wide variation in commercial beer pricing around the country. As part of this effort, they are trying to find "The Cheapest 6-Pack in America". We're not talking gourmet-quality microbrew here folks. As I said, this is strictly bottom feeding. If you have any leads on the cheapest factory suds available anywhere, please respond privately to the address below. Thank you for the use of bandwidth. I'll go wash my hands now... Bill Ridgely (Brewer, Patriot, Bicyclist) __o ridgely at a1.cber.fda.gov -\<, ridgely at cber.cber.fda.gov ...O/ O... Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1993 15:04:09 -0400 (EDT) From: drose at husc.harvard.edu Subject: Viennaless Viennas? Hello: I am interested in brewing an Oktoberfest-type all grain beer (OK, by the time it is ready it will probably be a Decemberfest at the earliest). I was reading the article in the last Brewing Techniques about this style. For those of you who have not read it, it discusses the style and particularly emphasizes ways in which brewers can "cheat" and still end up with a reasonable beer. For example, by not lagering (if you haven't got the facilities) or by doing a single step infusion mash (which is the only type of mash some places are equipped to do). The article also mentions that Vienna-type malts are not necessary, and that recipes contained in G. and L. Fix's book on the style use NO Vienna/Munich malts. This appeals to me, since I like to buy my grain (American 2-row and Crystal Malt) in bulk to save money, and would like to use what I have instead of buying small quantities of something else at higher prices. My question is, though, if you don't use these special malts, what do you use to get the appropriate color and flavor? Crystal malt? Home-kilned mock-Munich a al Dave Miller? What? (I realize that I could solve this puzzle by buying and reading the Fix book but I don't have easy access to it and figured I would try to get the answer for free first (sorry George)). Thanks.... Dave. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 12:48:54 PDT From: florianb at ying.cna.tek.com Subject: Recirculation, debunking the myths In yesterday's hbd, cush at msc.edu says, => included a joint in the copper sparging manifold coming apart, which then proceeded to leak large amounts of grain husk material into the boiling kettle. We worried (gasp!) about it a little...but decided to place our fate into the considered opinion of Micah Millspaw. Bottom line is that the brew was cloudy in the primary. After we fined with geletin in secondary and bottled, we have the brightest brew either of us have produced!! => and a second post by bjones at novax.llnl.gov, => contention was focused at better beer stability. The stability is improved if there is a higher fraction of lipids in your final packaged product. The lipids are low to start with in american grown grain. The lipid content is greatest at first runoff from the mash. Therefore it is best to take the first runnings. The particulates in the runoff don't seem to cause any problems with final beer clarity. They may even improve it! This being due to the particulates acting as nucleation sites for proteins. => Both these comments are in keeping with my original post about three years ago, when I claimed rights to a new method of lautering. This new method, which I stole from my brother-in-law, involves putting all the sparge water into the lautering tub at once. Only a minimal amount of recirculation is used. When I changed to this method, my beer clarity improved, particularly in the case of ales (which don't lager and thereby settle out for 4 months). At that time, I couldn't find reference to this method in any of the some 20 books I have on home brewing, nor in the hobby rags. I won over support from several brewers here on the hbd after they tried it. I highly recommend the process as it improves the beer and saves time, too. I still plan to post a description of the method, as soon as I change my spark plugs. Too bad I have to work for a living. Florian Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 12:59:04 PDT From: florianb at ying.cna.tek.com Subject: Re: racking tube 'trubles' In hbd #1227, David Atkins asks: => Before the line fills, air gets sucked into the line where the hose and tube meet. This steals away the siphon and aerates fermenting(ed) beer. And I have tried two diameters of hose, to very little avail. => I'm not sure what you're seeing is air. It could be CO2 coming out of solution at the interface of the plastic racking tube and the siphon hoze. In any case, this happens often. You can eliminate it by getting the siphon going and then "thumping" it with your finger really hard at the place where the two meet and the gas is present. If this doesn't work, then it might be air due to a poor fit of the hoze and the racking tube. Put a little glycerin on the racking tube before fitting the hoze over it. Luck, florian Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1993 16:10:54 -0500 (EST) From: ADM_WWIBLE at VAX1.ACS.JMU.EDU Subject: Miller Reserve Amber Ale Just thought I'd share this tidbit for those not brave enough to dare the Budmillours swill. Personally, I'm of the crowd that believes there is no bad beer...some are just more drinkable than others. This Amber Ale they're putting out now is definitely top of the line swill. Give it a shot. Generally I only resort to store bought stuff when I haven't been able to keep the homebrewing up with my appetite. Anyway, this stuff isn't bad. I was shocked when I looked at who made it and took a sip. Will Wible adm_wwible at vax1.acs.jmu.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 SEP 93 17:21:6 EST From: DEROSEGA%ML%WPAFB at MLGATE.ML.WPAFB.AF.MIL Subject: List of competitions available? Is there a list of AHA-sanctioned homebrew competitions available anywhere? I would like to get my latest brew judged so I know what needs improvement next time, but I need information on what will happen in the next few months. I am particularly interested in the midwest USA. TIA, Guy DeRose Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 17:40:06 -0400 From: Philip J Difalco <sxupjd at anubis.fnma.COM> Subject: hydrometer in the primary Is there any problem with leaving, an initially sanitized, hydrometer in the primary during that period of fermentation? - --- email: sxupjd at fnma.com (NeXT Mail Okay) Philip DiFalco, Senior SomethingOrOther, Advanced Technology FannieMae, 3900 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, DC 22016 (202)752-2812 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 16:12:27 EDT From: man at lcwdw1.att.com Subject: oring blues I make beer in 15 gallon batches. I make a session bitter to keep my wife happy. I make this beer a lot. It is very reproducable. The last time I made it, I kegged it in 3, 5 gallon soda kegs. One, I dry-hopped and brought to a family picnic. The second I brought out at a party. I was terribly disappointed in it. I couldn't pinpoint the taste, but blamed it on a heat-wave induced high temperature at end of fermentation. One other source I feared was a contaminated keg. I took a sample out of the third keg. Hmm, tastes better. I brought a sample from each keg to the judge (my wife). Two different beers, I was told. I sat on the basement floor hugging keg number three and staring at number two trying to figure out what went wrong. Then I saw it, a red oring on the liquid fitting. I had recently acquired a number of soda kegs, but hadn't replaced all the orings (I ran out). I was a minor doubter in the "you must replace all orings. They are evil" debate. Up until this time, I hadn't noticed any problems with beers in these kegs (3 of 10). The orings were original. I replaced it with a new one and guess what? The two samples tasted the same. I was happy. Better yet, the judge was happy. This oring had enough leaching capability for my wife, a few beer friends, and myself to notice. Just a datapoint. Mark Nevar Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 15:16:04 MST From: birkelan at adtaz.sps.mot.com (Joel Birkeland) Subject: Novice mashing questions I have just completed brewing my second all-grain beer. I now have a few questions about the procedure. First, here are the details of the recipe: 8 lbs pale lager malt, pre-crushed .5 lbs 40L crystal malt 1 tablespoon Irish Moss, 90 min 1 oz 5.5 alpha Cascade pellets, 30 min .5 oz 7.7 alpha Northern Brewer pellets, 10 min .5 oz 7.7 alpha Northern Brewer pellets, 1 min Mash-in lager malt with 3 gallons water from the coin-op drinking water machine (to which I added .25 oz gypsum), at 60 C, in 5 gal Easymasher. Temp stabilized at 55 deg C. Protein rest for 30 minutes. Raised temp to 68 C, held for 1.5 hour conversion. Raised to 75 C, held for 10 min mash-out. Added crystal malt. Sparge with 4 gal coin-op drinking water with .25 oz. gypsum added. SG at end of sparge was 1.009, and a barely perceptible tea-like taste was present in final runnings. Boiled 1.5 hours with above hop additions in 10 gal pot in which I installed a home-made Easymasher clone. Immersion chiller used to reduce temp to about 15 deg C. Drained into carboy using copper tube with holes in it to aerate. Measured OG 1.054 for 5 gal. Pitched yeast, placed carboy into temp chamber mistakenly set to 5 C. Visible yeast activity after 18 hours, which increased dramatically after temp re-set to 10 C. I got the idea for using purified water plus gypsum from G. Fix's article on Belgian Malts in Brewing Techniques. My questions: 1) Rather than use the iodine test, I just tasted the mash. It was sweet and sticky after about 30 minutes, but I went for 1.5 hours to make sure. Any problem with this? 2) If I just add gypsum to purified water, do I really need to make pH measurements? 3) The sparge rate out of the easymasher was pretty fast, so I shut the valve down just to slow things down. Was this necessary, or could I just run it wide open and finish quicker? Runoff was clear after about 1 quart. 4) After draining the boiling pot, there was a lot of break material and hop pellet sludge remaining inside, thanks to the screen on the homemade easymasher clone. The bitter wort in the carboy was cloudy. After about 1/2 hour in the temp chamber, the cloudy wort in the carboy had cleared and precipitated a bunch more break material. My guess is that the stuff in the carboy was "cold break" or something similar, and the stuff remaining in the boiling pot was "hot break". Sound reasonable? 5) In both of my grain brews, there has been a lot of sludge on top of the foam in the fermenter. This appears similar to the stuff that remained on top of the spent grain after sparging. Is this related to the protein rest duration and temperature? Seems like this came up recently in conversation here. 6) When I brewed from extracts in the past, I used three types of specialty grains: crystal malt for sweetness and color, roasted barley for that coffee-like bite, and black patent for blackness. Now I have become aware of a veritable plethora of specialty grains like Cara-Pils, Dextrine, Munich, Cara Vienne, Aromatic, etc.... Can someone tell me how to use all of these different types of grains? I hope this long post is not considered a waste of bandwidth. Thanks for your help, Joel Birkeland Motorola SPS birkelan at adtaz.sps.mot.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 17:39 CDT From: David Atkins <ATKINS at macc.wisc.edu> Subject: Trubles no more, thanks Hello again readers. Thanks to all those good folks who contributed advice and know-how in solving my racking cane siphon problems. I received many a suggestion and am indeed appreciative. To return the favor, the next time any of you find yourselves in hippy-dippy Madison, let me know and we'll buy each other a beer (results of homebrewing still pending) Happy Brewing, David Atkins UW-Madison P.S. Go Vols! Apologies to Scott Wisler. I'm in the Big Ten as a matter of geography, not team loyalty. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 93 12:43:05 MDT From: npyle at n33.stortek.com Subject: Decoction procedure Lee describes his decoction procedure in no less than 22 steps, the first being "Put 5 dead CDs in player, start". I would have to add step 23 if was to try this procedure: "Sign divorce papers, say goodbye to kids". Yow! If this is what it takes to do a decoction, I won't be trying a PU clone anytime soon. My infusion procedure is something like this: Put 1 Dire Straits CD in player, start. Heat 1 qt water per lb grain to 168F. Add grain and water to mash tun. Check mash temp, adjust as needed to around 154F. Go to store or for a bike ride with the family, return. Iodine test (wasted step?). Add a few gallons of near boiling water to the mash, stir constantly. Adjust mashout temp to near 170F. Mash out for 15 minutes. Kiss my wife. I count 10 steps and 3 (4?) of them are unnecessary in terms of the actual brewing. Now, I'm not trying to start a flame war, nor am I trying to compare the merits of simple infusion mashing with decoction mashing. I just want to inform some of the extract brewers out there that all-graining doesn't have to be that tough. I suppose if you're really out to make a world class pils or something, that all of Lee's steps are valid, but you've used an entire day to do it. My method takes me about 6 hours now start to finish, and that includes the part about spending some time with the family. I still get "you're not going to _brew beer_ this weekend again, are you?". How about Lee's steps, all you decocters out there? Is all that pH adjustment necessary? Anyone like to compare procedures with his? Or mine for that matter? This is the type of thing I'd like to see discussed here, so that we can get more ideas on how to make better beer (maybe easier, too). What about Rob's starch test idea on the finished beer? Would there be enough starch in the final beer for the iodine to pick it out? Too bad I just finished my Starch Brown Ale (boiled some brats with the last four bottles), or I would've tried this. *** Mike, I think the 68 quart cooler will work fine for you for normal brews (as you say, up to 25 lbs) but for a high gravity brew it might fall short. The solution to this is to do a normal sparge for the rare high gravity brew, and your 68 quart will be fine. Cheers, norm Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 93 14:04:41 MDT From: npyle at n33.stortek.com Subject: Hops FAQ Call for Papers I have received only positive feedback on the idea of a hops FAQ, so I'm going ahead with it, partnering with Mark Garetz (mgaretz at hoptech.com). He's going to provide the technical expertise and I'm going to help out with some legwork, etc., as in this post. Never fear, naysayers, we'll try to work out all the details via email and post only relevant information to this forum. The general form of the FAQ will be something like this: ******************************************************************************* General description of hops (Mark Garetz) IBU formulae (anyone have Rager's formulae in a nice form? Other formulae?) A treatise on growing hops (volunteers?) A treatise on dry hopping (volunteers?) A table of sorts with the following information (this will be the bulk of it): Hop name Area grown Taste profile Common useage (length of boil, type of brew) Commercial beer examples Alpha acid range Good substitutes Other? ******************************************************************************* Consider this an official request for information. I am looking for people to help fill in these areas, especially actual brewer's information on the last section. If you'd like to contribute please email the information to me: npyle at n33.stortek.com -OR- to Mark at mgaretz at hoptech.com. I should be the primary contact, but if you have trouble reaching my email address (this system is about as reliable as dry yeast), then send it on to Mark. I suggest that you don't send the same thing to both of us (except for comm problems), so we don't have to sort through it all and pick out the dupes. To make it easier on us, try to put things in this general order, but if you already have a bunch of info in a file, send it on and don't worry about it. One more thing: we are open to suggestions about the format but we'd like to keep it simple; this is a FAQ, not a detailed research paper or book (Mark's writing that offline!). This is your chance to contribute to the digest, whether you are a relative newbie or a wise old owl! (Almost) everyone uses hops, so let's get your feedback. Hop-heads Unite! Cheers, norm "unreformed hop-head" - -- Norm Pyle, Staff Engineer Head Brewer, Storage Technology Corporation Pyledriver Brewery, A Non-Profit Organization 2270 South 88th Street 1500 Elmhurst Drive Louisville, CO 80028-0211 Longmont, CO 80503-2323 (303) 673-8884 npyle at n33.stortek.com Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1228, 09/17/93