HOMEBREW Digest #1432 Wed 25 May 1994

Digest #1431 Digest #1433

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  muskros wine (mitch)
  Specific Gravity... (U-E68882-John Bloomberg)
  Cider Recipe Request (Ian_Sutherland_at_AMSNYO01)
  Re: BAA kits and AB Bashes (home)Brewers (Norman Farrell)
  Mead stuck?? - Help (Robert Pyle)
  SRM colors--charts, anyone? (David Draper)
  Malt aroma (Richard Nantel)
  Hot water heaters ("pratte")
  Chocolate Beer? (schmitjc)
  Re: Sucking siphons (Mark Wells Wilson)
  Head Retention (Vanek)
  Re: Irish moss (Paul Anderson)
  SG adjustments for temperature differentials (Mark Evans)
  Use of Dextrin Malt in Extract Brewing (Greg Heiler)
  Flotsam in the primary/secondary: it's....beer! (Mark Evans)
  HBU BBSs: phone number correction ("J. Andrew Patrick")
  Apology for screwed up nutrition table (Nancy.Renner)
  left over infection taste (Gregg Tennefoss)
  Using Spruce Essence (perkins)
  Question on Krauesening (Jack Skeels)
  MaltMills (George Danz)
  Resp to Jeff Franes Response -- RE:Sucking siphons (S29033)
  Re: Fermentation Vessel Variations--a new idea ("Mark B. Alston")
  comparison of mills/soapy head/ethanol for sanitation (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583)
  New Englan Micros (Montanoa)
  maple sap brews, Zima taste opinion ("Dan Houg")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 23 May 1994 15:54:33 -0500 From: mitch at molbio.su.se Subject: muskros wine Greets from Sweden. I'm sorry to use the hbd for a non-strictly beer question, but the meadows beside Stockholm U. are covered with flowers, and I'd like to try making dandelion wine before the sheep get to them. Can anyone send a recipe or tell me where to find one? Many thanks - tack sa mycket Mitch Dushay "mitch at molbio.su.se" Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 8:21:34 EDT From: U-E68882-John Bloomberg <bloomberg_john at ae.ge.com> Subject: Specific Gravity... Rich Larsen asked: >Does anyone out there have a mathematical calculation for temperature >adjustment for specific gravity of wort. It seems that by my observations >the adjustemtn isn't linear, but probably closer to parabolic. >In Short, I would like the formula to adjust the specific gravity reading >of a sample that is, say, 150F, to the proper reading at 60F. In the September/October issue of Brewing Techniques there in an article entitled "Understanding Specific Gravity and Extract" by Martin P. Manning. Martin is an engineer so the paper is full of all sorts of graphs, equations and references. If what you want isn't there it doesn't exist. Adios, jb bloomber at c0368.ae.ge.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 08:31:55 EST From: Ian_Sutherland_at_AMSNYO01 at mail.amsinc.com Subject: Cider Recipe Request I have acquired an amount of frozen "cider" that I would like to convert to "Real" cider in the Blackthorne (is that the correct spelling?) tradition. Does anyone have a recipe they would be willing to share with me? Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 07:34:59 -0500 From: nfarrell at ppco.com (Norman Farrell) Subject: Re: BAA kits and AB Bashes (home)Brewers Item 1: I heard from a brewing friend that Beer Across America is getting in to the homebrew supply business by starting a kit(s) of the month plan. Sounds like you would get one or two brewing kits per month. Beer styles would vary throughout the year. That's all I heard. This is not an edorsement of any kind. I thought it was interesting that Beer Across America would think the market was there for such a venture. Item 2: There a some (relatively) new AB radio spots in our area (that's the Texas Gulf Coast) disparaging homebrewing. These adverts may not be going nationwide (or you may already be sick of them). In the first one, there is a passing mention of beer made in somebody's basement. In the second ad, is a supposed conversation between a homebrewer and his friend. The homebrewer has saved a Pumpernickel (sp?) Stout for his friend to try. The friend asks disparaging questions about strange smells and chunks or floaters in the beer and wants his Bud back. Interesting that AB would spend more on a radio ad camoaign than several thousand home brewers would spend on brewing in a year. Does AB imagine that homebrewing is taking a bite out of their bottom line? At a recent beer tasting led by Michael Jackson, the "un-gloved one" said that homebrewers were the vanguard of the good/real beer movement in North America. Maybe AB thinks he's right. Best Regards, Norman (nfarrell at ppco.com) May your last beer be your best! Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 08:38:51 -0400 (EDT) From: rpyle1 at ef2007.efhd.ford.com (Robert Pyle) Subject: Mead stuck?? - Help Howdy, This is my first post to the HBD after lurking for about 8 months and picking up a wealth of useful information. I started a mead back in March using 15 lbs of honey, 1/2 oz yeast extract, 4 tsp acid blend and Lalvin champagne yeast. O.G. was 1.108 for 5 gallons. When I racked it in mid-April, the S.G. had dropped to 1.090. It continued to ferment through the beginning of May (1.065) but seems to have stopped. I racked again on the 21st and the S.G. had only dropped to 1.062. I have tried to relax and wait it out, but am at the point where I need some reassurance. The mead was sitting pretty consistently at 62 degrees F (via a Fermometer on the carboy, what a geat product!) and now has gone up to about 66. Is this cool for mead, or is there anything else I am missing? Please e-mail with suggestions or just reassurance to wait and the mead will get there. Thanks a lot. Rob Pyle rpyle1 at ef2007.efhd.ford.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 22:39:45 +1000 (EST) From: David Draper <ddraper at laurel.ocs.mq.edu.au> Subject: SRM colors--charts, anyone? Whud id iz: In today's digest, Rich Webb asked about the SRM values of extracts and chocolate malt (to which I replied offline). This jogged me into asking something I've been meaning to for a while: does anyone know where I can order a color chart showing srm colors? I'd like to be able to assess whether I've come close to the target color values, and whether my calculated estimates are anywhere close to what I get in reality. Mind you, I have no desire to adhere slavishly to someone's definitions, I just want to get a better handle on how to control color, particularly in that subtle territory of pale ale/bitter to amber. I have no aversion to ordering from back in the US. Many thanks; private email is probably best. Cheers, Dave in Sydney - -- ****************************************************************************** David S. Draper School of Earth Sciences, Macquarie University ddraper at laurel.ocs.mq.edu.au NSW 2109 Sydney, Australia Fax: +61-2-805-8428 Voice: +61-2-805-8347 Return to table of contents
Date: 24 May 94 08:49:56 EDT From: Richard Nantel <72704.3003 at CompuServe.COM> Subject: Malt aroma I posted a request for information on HBD last week on how to increase the malt aromas of all-grain beers. Thanks to all who sent their suggestions. One reply in particular, by Jim Ellingson, was extremely helpful. I'm reposting it here in its entirety for the benefit of all HBD readers. Thanks Jim. Richard, Here's what I do. YMMV. I don't add my specialty grains until late in the mash. They don't need to be mashed, and letting the alpha and beta enzymes hack away at them for 60 minutes seems to reduce their flavor contribution. I add them at mash-out. You may need to use 10-25% more of the specialtys to get the same color contribution. If I'm making porter/stout, I'll use enough black grain at dough-in to get the pH into the correct range without using gypsum. Also, wheat malt and roasted barley should be mashed to avoid haze problems. Adding the specialty grains at mash-out was suggested by Bob Jones. I do a decoction. You mention Pilsner Urquell as having a great malt aroma. PU is made with a triple decoction! I've been doing a 2 step mash with my ales, doughing-in at 145^F or so, holding for 15 minutes, pulling a 1/3 decoction, heating to 158^F, holding for 15, then boiling for 15-60. Adding this back puts the mash at 158^F or so. I rest there for 15-30 minutes. I then add my specialty grains and enough 190-212 degree sparge water to warm the mash to 165-170^F mash out. Using decoctions to enhance flavor has been suggested by Jim Busch and others. Pilsners also have noticeable amounts of DMS. It's a fine line between having enough DMS so your brain says "Malt" and having too much so your brain says cooked/canned corn. DMS is produced whenever the wort is hot. It's driven off by a vigorous boil. You might try steeping your brew for 15-60 minutes after flame-out. My impression is that homebrewers are too anal about quick chilling. I believe PU uses open shallow vat cooling. Other commercial brewerys use this traditional method of cooling. This method is much slower than immersion or counterflow and seems to be an invitation for Hot Side Aeration. It's not uncommon for commercial brewers to allow the hot wort to settle for 15-60 minutes after knock-out before they begin counter-flow chilling. Choose a yeast with a maltier flavor profile. Chico Ale (1056?) is my LEAST favorite yeast, because it's TOO CLEAN. No malt, mineral, wood, etc. It's the lager yeast of ale yeasts. SN wants all that lovely Cascade aroma and flavor to come through. They don't want the yeast, or the malt, to get in the way. Rick Larson and I made 10 gallons of Pinatubo Porter. We fermented in carboys, London Ale in one and 1056 in the other. The LA version scored 7 points higher in the club competition (1st vs third place). Comments referred to the LA version having better balance because it had more malt character. I have less experience with lagers, but choose yeasts that are described as malty over the ones described as clean. Many on the net believe that the Belgian, British and German malts are much maltier than the domestics. They're also more expensive. OTOH, Belgian specialty grains can be had for about the same price as domestics and are certainly worth the effort. DeWolf Cosyn makes an "aromatic malt" and it is. Try a pound of that in your next brew. Since I've switched to DWC specialties, my beers have had "killer head". It's thick and it lasts, even with domestic 2-row as a base. Another way to add to the malt character is to use more specialty grains. If John Isenhour stamps MORE MALT on your AHA score sheet, he's not asking you to make a bigger (stronger) beer. He's talking about malt character and flavor. Many styles benefit from the addition of a pound of carapils. You may also consider substituting more of a lighter specialty malt for less of a darker one. 3 pounds of British Crystal OR 1/4 pound of chocolate malt will give you about the same color contribution, but the flavors would be quite different. Likewise 2 pounds CaraVienne vs 1/2 pound of CaraMunich. Serve your beer warmer. My perception is that the sweeter, maltier notes in the flavor profile come through much better at warmer temperatures. Homebrew at 32^F is usually very bitter. That same beer served at 45-55^F will taste maltier/sweeter. So in summary, you can enhance the malt flavor in your brews by: 1. Adding the specialty grains at mash-out. 2. Decoction mashing. 3. Choosing a maltier yeast. 4. Using better malt, more and better specialties (imported). 5. 5-60 minutes of steeping after mashing. 6. Serving your beers at the proper temperature. Cheers, Jim - ------------------------------------------------------------------------ * James Lee (Jim) Ellingson jimme at arc.umn.edu * * AHPCRC/University of Minnesota tel 612/626-8084 * * 1100 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55415 fax 612/626-1596 * Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 08:46:14 EST From: "pratte" <PRATTE at GG.csc.peachnet.edu> Subject: Hot water heaters In yesterday's HBD, Norm mentions ripping apart a hot water heater for the control unit and burner for use in mashing grains. This same idea struck me 2 weeks ago when my hot water heater developed a hole in it and it had to be replaced. Before I threw away the rest of the unit, I removed the control unit and burner. The problem that I have now is how to make this into a viable masher. I haven't had much time to inspect it (too many student projects to grade), but it looks like some major machining is in order. The control unit measures temperature by 2 rods that are sticking out the back of the unit. These 2 rods are kept in the fluid by SCREWING the control unit through the wall of the pot (see graphics) | | | | | | Pot __ | | | || | Control | ------ | unit | ------ | | || | | || | -- | | || | | || | | || ---------------------- ||__________| | Burner ----------------- This means that I will need to drill a large hole in my pot (over 1" in diameter) and weld some type of threaded pipe in it. My question is: Has anybody else tried this? Is there an easier alternative to drilling and welding? Personal replies by e-mail gladly accepted. John Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 09:12:32 EDT From: schmitjc at lp.musc.edu Subject: Chocolate Beer? Last fall I brewed Papazian's "Goat Scrotum Ale". Being an avid chocolate lover as well as a beer lover, the thought of both together was too much to resist. Even though chocolate malt and 6 oz. bakers chocolate was added to the brew, no real chocolate flavor or taste resulted. Is there anyway to get an actual chocolate flavor(or aroma) in beer without having to eat chocolate before you drink the beer? I will be doing some traveling over the next month and was curious to any recommendations(beer related) anyone might have. Tulsa,OK; Montreal and Quebec City. TIA John Schmitz Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 09:37:14 -0400 (EDT) From: Mark Wells Wilson <mw4w+ at andrew.cmu.edu> Subject: Re: Sucking siphons Excerpts from internet.homebrew-beer: 20-May-94 Sucking siphons by S29033%22681 at utrcgw.utc. > I agree with Ulick Staffords opinion (an educated one at that) on sucking > siphons. I have been homebrewing for the past 4 years and I too use the mouth > siphon method - I have never had a problem with it. I think an important > thing to remember for those people that worry about 'contamination' is that as > long as the proper "infection" is started quickly (pitching yeast - 8oz or > more) there is no problem with siphoning by mouth. Also, there are many > sources of bacteria in our homebrewing environments that may pose a threat to > those sterility mongers out there (other than mouth siphoning that is). I must disagree. I've had two batches of gushers that could only be attributed using the mouth-suction method. While gargling with vodka or other high-proof substance seems to help, It's easy enough to start a siphon without your mouth that I can't see any reason not too. Mark Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 09:05:56 From: uu1072!Vanek at uu5.psi.com Subject: Head Retention In response to Dana Cummings' question on head retention: I have found that using dry malt gives "softer" longer lasting bubbles than the more processed alternative. Also, looking at your recipe, you might consider adding more hops. Hops help stabilize the head on beer. Adding a few more hops probably would hurt (Low bitterness hops if you don't want to add too much hoppy character). The third thing is make sure that your glassware is clean and is the right shape. Both of these factors affect head retention. I'm not an expert (but I play one on TV). . . I'm sure that others on the list will have other ideas. Good luck Tom Vanek vanek at aepco.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 09:44:13 -0400 From: paul at grammatech.com (Paul Anderson) Subject: Re: Irish moss Steve Scampini writes: > I was on an educational outting sponsored by the Audubon Society > on beachcombing this weekend (Massachusetts). > To my delight, one of the seaweed samples collected on the beach was > identified as Irish Moss. I told everyone about beer and Irish Moss > and they all mumbled yeah, yeah, yeah and went on to look at the > nperiwinkles. Has anyone out there picked their own Irish moss for > brewing and how does one process it? I was back in Ireland the Christmas before last and I found a packet of Irish moss in a grocery store. Although it was dried, it was not flaked or processed in any other way. I bought it for 79p (about $1), took it home and halved it with a friend. I have used it in all my brews since, with seemingly good results. To `process' it, I wash it (it has many baby barnacles attached), and chop it as finely as I can manage. Then I just dump it in. Paul Anderson. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 09:02:26 -600 (CDT) From: Mark Evans <evanms at lcac1.loras.edu> Subject: SG adjustments for temperature differentials An HBD poster asked about about SG adjustments due to temperature differences. Here is a chart from Byron Burch's book: degrees C. degrees F. correction - ---------------------------------------- 0 32 subtract 1.6 5 41 subtract 1.3 10 50 subtract .8 16 60 read as observed 20 68 add 1.0 25 77 add 2.2 30 86 add3.5 35 95 add 5.0 40 104 add 6.8 45 113 add 8.8 50 122 add 11.0 55 131 add 13.3 60 140 add 15.9 I imagine you can use the proportions to figure gravities for higher temps. When I want to check the SG of sparge runnings, I just put the hydrometer jar in a little water bath until it cools into one of these ranges. Burch's skinny little book has a few real handy charts in the back that I use all the time. Brewfully yours, mark Evans <evanms at lcac1.loras.edu> Dubuque, Iowa Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 10:34:40 EDT From: gheiler at Kodak.COM (Greg Heiler) Subject: Use of Dextrin Malt in Extract Brewing I plan on brewing a recipe that calls for 1 oz of dextrin malt and wonder what the difference is between steeping American Carapils Dextrin Malt, along with the crystal malt that is called for, and using the dextrin powder that is offerred in many catalogs. Will a 1 oz steep really add much body? What about using dextrin powder and when should it be added? Waiting for the wind to blow, Full Sail ahead; Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 09:19:25 -600 (CDT) From: Mark Evans <evanms at lcac1.loras.edu> Subject: Flotsam in the primary/secondary: it's....beer! I've been staring at floating junk in and on the top of my fermenting beers for a few years. Whenever I get worried I just think about what went into making the beer: everything was clean, organic beer stuff--food for the yeast, stuff to create a certain flavor profile, etc. Then I remember those laws of thermodynamics: there ain't no such thing as a free lunch, etc. Like sweaty marathoners, I rekon that my yeasties probably work up a sweat and release a few "by-products" on the way to the finish line. Plus I know that after a few days of ferment, there are few 'dangerous' substances that could possibly take up residence in my beer. So I merrily rack the beer from place to place, eventually in to bottles, where any mysterious flotsam settles hard on the bottom with the exhausted yeast. Now if I have been lazy and neglected my carboy for many months, I might expect some fuzzy growth to appear. But any other time, I view the mysterious foamy islands as just another wonderful part of the fermentation process. Take the motto to heart: Don't worry, have a homebrew! If you are brewing some sour mash/lambic creature (don't forget your pink spiders) then sure, expect some weird wort occurences. Don't be sold on the cleaner/clearer the better mentality of this modern world. Some of the foggiest brews are the tastiest ones (e.g. those wheat beers). The mega breweries filter the life out of their products because they think that appearance is more important than flavor. Enjoy the process and the greatness of your hombrew and don't worry about the flotsam. It will take care of itself. (Don't you love these highly technical homebrew notes?) Brewfully, Mark Evans***Mashing on the upper Mississippi****************** <evanms at lcac1.loras.edu> Dubuque, Iowa Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 10:12:15 -0500 (CDT) From: "J. Andrew Patrick" <andnator at Venus.mcs.com> Subject: HBU BBSs: phone number correction My good friend Rich Larsen writes in HBD #1431: > As Sumner has access to a PC and MODEM I invited him to join in on > conversations on HomeBrew University Midwest at (780) 705-7263 ^^^ HBU-Midwest is located in Chicago's NW suburbs, and the correct phone number is *708* 705-7263 (not 780). Contrary to my recent posting, this number will NOT be changing anytime soon. HBU-Southwest is located in Houston, and can still be reached at 713-923-6418. (Both BBSs are N,8,1, and support baud rates up to 14,400) E-mail to HBU should be directed to my Internet account, listed below. I am planning to distribute the Summer '94 issue of the HBU E-News on or about the Summer Solstice (June 21st). |Sysop | Andrew Patrick | Founder| |Home Brew Univ| AHA/HWBTA Certified Beer Judge |Home Brew Univ| |Midwest BBS | SW Brewing News Correspondent | Southwest BBS| |(708)705-7263 | Internet: andnator at mcs.com | (713)923-6418| Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 12:23:58 EDT From: Nancy.Renner at um.cc.umich.edu Subject: Apology for screwed up nutrition table >From *Jeff* Renner I'm terribly sorry to have spent so much bandwidth on an unusable table of beer nutrients in HBD 1430. I obviously need to learn to use tabs. The only nutrients which differed significantly from Beer Magazine's are as follows: Iron: Beer Mag-12 g, obviously a transcription error; Zymurgy - .11mg or 1.1% of RDA(10mg). Folic Acid: Beer mag. - 52-62%RNI; Zymurgy - 20mcg or 5% of RDA(400mcg). Pantothenic Acid: Beer Mag. - 7% RNI; Zymurgy - .169mcg or 1.7% of RDA(10mcg). Rich Webb's posting of the values from Grant's Scottish Ale are encouraging and probably closer to what we brew. Thanks. But does anyone know anything about the depletion of B-complex vitamins from alcohol ingestion? With egg on my face but not in my beer. Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 12:49:53 -0400 (EDT) From: greggt at infi.net (Gregg Tennefoss) Subject: left over infection taste First, thanks to all who responded to my "sour taste" question!!! A thought. If an extract, yeast or any adjunct has an infection would the off flavor remain even if the bacteria was killed off in the boil. I base this on the question does the bacteria itself (as a living organism) taste bad or is it the by-products of the bacteria that gives off flavors. I fully understand that basicaly everything that come into contact with the wort has some degree of "infection" including the air. But these are relatively small amount. If a bucket of extract was infected in packaging, then by the time it was shipped and used there could be a major amount of bacteria/by-products in the wort prior to boiling. The boiling would kill the bacteria but would take away any off flavors. I guess I could take one of my buddy's infected bottles and boil it to kill off the bacteria and see if the sour taste remains, but I think the alcohol has more than likely done this for me already. cheers gregg Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 13:06:34 EDT From: perkins at zippy.ho.att.com Subject: Using Spruce Essence Fellow HBDers-- I want to try my hand at a spruce beer. Given the recent discussion of disasters w/ such brews when using spruce cuttings, I thought I'd use spruce essence. I would like to make a lighter brew (say a Pale Ale), since I think that would make a better summer drink than the dark spruce ales in Cat's Meow or Papazian. I was thinking of something with the body of SNPA or Liberty, but I don't want the hops and spruce fighting with each other. My questions are: 1) how much spruce essence do I use? 2) when should I add the essence (boil or bottling)? 3) should I adjust the hopping schedule to account for the spruce? For 1), Papazian suggests 2-5 tsp / 5 gal. I would be inclined to start on the lighter side unless someone w/ experience can advise differently. Can anyone help me out with this one? Thanks, Mark perkins at zippy.ho.att.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 13:03 EST From: Jack Skeels <0004310587 at mcimail.com> Subject: Question on Krauesening I've read Papazian. I've read Miller. I've read Noonan. Now I'll try the HBD.... Now that I fully understand the value and methods of krauesening :-), I've been trying to figure out why I can't do it the "easy way". All of the authors that I have read seem to indicate that I should save some of my fresh wort in a sterile container for use later (the big "K"). Question: How about just cooking up about 2 gals of generic wort (say using Klages or something very neutral, with a simple bittering hop?), bottling/canning it, and using as much as is needed at any point in the future for "K"-type priming? It seems to me to be much easier to make a set of sterile containers full of wort all at once, rather than risk infection in the reserved wort every time I brew a batch. What say you all? Does anybody out there actually do this already, or am I some sort of budding brewery genius (not)? Post or e-mail's fine. If I get some neat responses, I'll post it. TIA, and good brews! Jack JSKEELS at MCIMAIL.COM Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 14:40:58 EDT From: danz at schedar.rtp.semi.harris.com (George Danz) Subject: MaltMills I've been looking for a MaltMill and all the articles I've seen over last week have been related to the wonders of the MM, but no addresses or company names where I can call, write, or telephone for a catalogue, prices, etc. Was this covered in earlier news? Any help will greatly be apprecieated plus any info. concerning problems with these. I'm looking for a good quality mill, which will probably never be used to crush more than 20 to 30 pounds at a sitting. Speed is important, however, because I don't want to spend the day crushing and then having to take another day to brew. Quality and "reliability" would be very high on my list, as well as a reasonable degree of adjustability, but I wonder if this is important unless you're going to come across grain which has a wide variability in size. Is this likely? Would the Mill be of use in crushing other grains and therefore need adjustability? Any comments welcome. Best Regards, George E. Danz IPP Applications Engineering Internet: danz at rtp.semi.harris.com (919)549-3632 voice (919)549-3651 FAX Best Regards, George E. Danz IPP Applications Engineering Internet: danz at rtp.semi.harris.com (919)549-3632 voice (919)549-3651 FAX Return to table of contents
Date: 24 May 1994 14:50:17 -0400 (EDT) From: S29033%22681 at utrcgw.utc.com Subject: Resp to Jeff Franes Response -- RE:Sucking siphons >Lance Stronk writes: >I think an important thing to remember for those people that worry about >'contamination'is that as long as the proper "infection" is started quickly (pitching yeast - >8oz or more) there is no problem with siphoning by mouth. To which Jeff Frane responds: >I'm not sure why Lance has "contamination" in quotes; perhaps he doesn't >believe it's a real issue in brewing? In that case, it would be >difficult to explain why so many commercial breweries (small and large) >spend a huge percentage of their time sanitizing. I believe that Jeff has taken the point I was trying to make in the article and twisted it. I can only say that I am surprised that he, who is obviously concerned about sanitation (and not that a person shouldn't be), is fond of putting words in other peoples mouths (or computers - take your pick) -- an obvious unsanitary act. The main point I was trying to instill in the brewers out there is that putting enough live yeast culture into the "sterile" wort will "choke out" other foreign bacteria present in the brewing/fermenting process. It isn't difficult to explain why the commercial breweries take care in sanitation - they wish to control their process in order to ensure that they obtain batches that are consistent - batch after batch. If care wasn't taken in sanitation (as well as brewing temp, fermentation, water conditioning, etc.) then the consumer expecting a particular taste from the commercial beer that they had a week ago would be displeased with same label because of the batch differences. And if a person gets turned off by the second one they will probably not buy the beer anymore. So, I would say that money is the main reason. There is a counter to this idea though. I have a good friend who works in the UK and he visits many pubs and breweries. I asked him about the breweries with open fermentation vessels. He confirmed that they do have many breweries in the UK which ferment their ales in open fermenters. So, one may ask, how do they prevent the dreaded "contamination monster" from ruining their beer? They pitch yeast, and a lot of it. I believe that some places in Europe ferment their beer with only the naturally occurring yeast's indigenous to that area. This is one of the good uses for 'contamination' (and yes I quote, Jeff). Hence, contamination is a relative thing - some peoples trash is other peoples treasure. Now, as for siphoning by mouth, I agree that putting bacteria from the mouth into a sterile batch of wort is unnecessary. But, by putting a live culture in and getting the fermentation going quickly (I have done this with yeast from a previous batch and the airlock bubbles within an hour - at ale fermenting temps) one can rest easy that their wort is fermenting with the desired 'contamination' (yes, in quotes again, Jeff) and not from their mouths. Who knows? Maybe someone with a certain yeast in their mouth will produce a beer with the success of say, Budwater (many of you know which beer this is). Imagine the possibilities. Those of you with halitosis may want to pass on trying this. Let me say that sanitation is important to the homebrewer --- I am not suggesting that everyone toss out their B-Brite, bleach, etc. What I am suggesting is that one must have an open mind about the endless possibilities of homebrewing techniques. I don't particularly like the idea of "pine" beer or spicy beer or even 'red chili Cajun' beer, but that doesn't mean that I won't keep an open mind as I am trying them. I mean if one can brew, bottle and submit to a contest a 'hot pepper' beer or spruce beer, then why not spit beer??? I want to thank Jeff for stimulating my thoughts on this subject. I think this internet forum for homebrewers is wonderful -- it is exactly this kind of discussion that invokes others to join in and discuss and then next thing you know, people are learning from one another -- even Jeff. I would have explained myself in the first article but I didn't realize that I would be ripped apart by one who has strong convictions (I really didn't feel like typing this much the first time). That is the limitation of such a forum though - something I learned when I read Jeff's response. I would like to say Jeff, that I am only a happy idiot if I drink too much homebrew. I will be the first one to say that I don't know everything -- it is the idiot that claims that he does. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 12:54:42 MDT From: "Mark B. Alston" <c-amb at math.utah.edu> Subject: Re: Fermentation Vessel Variations--a new idea I have used both the BrewCap and the soda keg methods for fermentation. I have now stuck with the soda keg method for various reasons. 1) the inability to watch your beer ferment is actually a plus. Keeping light away from your beer at all times will eliminate the possibility of getting that light-struck smell. I did use a blanket over my carboy but could not help peeking several times a day. 2) The storage space is much smaller. When using the BrewCap you need to have your stand (milk crates) up above the ground and slightly over the edge of a counter to allow the yeast collection hose to run strait to the floor. Well, I didn't want to leave it out in the garage where I have temp fluctuations of over 20 deg from day to night. So I have it on a kitchen counter. With this hose hanging off the counter I was constantly worried that visiting small children would pull it over on top of them. With the keg method I simply set in on the floor in some hidden corner and don't worry about it being bothered nor taking up valuable counter space. 3) Ability to ferment in a fridge. I am not currently brewing in a fridge but to do so with a brewcap would be nearly impossible and is recommended against in the instructions. To do so with a keg is simplicity itself. Moreover, you can fit many more kegs into a given fridge than carboys, not to mention the stands for the brewcap which would have to be up on stilts of some kind. Your idea to use the keg inverted is interesting. However, let me point out a few things about using them in the normal position. First, you suggest a plus to using the inverted method: On the plus side, I wouldn't need to shorten the dip tube for fermentation, so the same keg could be used for dispensing with another batch. However, you do not actually have to shorten the dip tube for the fermenter. I use a short 1-2" brass end-cap over the end of my dip tube. The dip tube also has some v-shaped groves filed into the end. This keeps the dip tube from sucking up the last inch of trub and yeast. The v-shaped groves are necessary to allow the flow of beer when the endcap has been sucked onto the dip tube. I made four groves by filing it into quarters so to speak. With this method, if you wanted to use the keg to dispense with simply remove the cap. | | <----- dip tube | | | | | | | | | | <--- end-cap | | | | | |/\| | <--- V-shaped grove in dip tube. -------- Secondly, in order to transfer your beer into the serving vessel you would either need to rely on gravity or have a separate line from your CO2 tank with a liquid fitting to allow you to push the beer out of the IN connect. I guess that you could simply invert your keg back into the upright position to transfer but I would advise against disturbing the beer in that manner. Thirdly, I am planning to use a settling tank of similar design, with a shorter endcap, to eliminate much of the trub which would normally make it into the fermenter. Thus, the sediment in the fermenter should be mostly pure yeast. Then I plan on using a sterilized water rinse to collect this yeast or simply pitch my next brew right on top of it. The beer can be transferred between the settling tank and the fermenter using the same simple transfer tube which is used to transfer between the fermenter and serving tank. Finally, this method allows for easy filtration between the fermenter and the dispensing keg. I know that filtration is a nasty word around here; however, it is a great way to speed along the finishing of a brew when you are out of homebrew. Often we drink it faster than I have time to brew it so using this method I can get a batch of bitter to drinking condition in around 6 or 7 days. Much faster than allowing it to clear naturally. I imagine that you might be able to do this with the inverted setup but the yeast at the bottom would make filtering much slower. However, keeping the fact that you don't need to shorten the dip tube in either case, I see no problems in trying it out both ways and deciding for yourself which method you like the best. I would keep from modifying the keg in either case so that you could switch between the methods easily. I.e. don't alter the check valve, simply use a short piece of hose with a cobra head tap as your yeast collection hose. Connect this hose to a gas quick connect and hook this up to the IN connection on the keg. One final suggestion (boy this is becoming a long post!), run the wort through some sort of filtering bag before going into the keg. A single hop leaf could theoretically clog up the tube and screw up the whole system. Use the nylon grain bag kind not the cheesecloth hop bag kind. The wort simply does not flow well through the hop bags. I had an awful mess doing it through one once. Sorry about the length, Mark Alston (c-amb at math.utah.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: 24 May 94 19:19:00 GMT From: korz at iepubj.att.com (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583) Subject: comparison of mills/soapy head/ethanol for sanitation Jim writes: >I especially find offensive your attempt to compare the >price of the adjustable Glatt to that of your fixed roller mill in an >attempt to claim that they cost the same. (rather than comparing to >your adjustable mill, as would be more appropriate). I have been opposed to advertising in the HBD, but feel that discussions regarding products will inevitably involve the manufacturer/distributor if they are subscribers. Just as I would expect Kinney to defend the BruHeat if someone was to say that it was inferior to some competing product, so I cannot imagine Jack not responding to a misrepresentation of the JSP MaltMill. I personally believe it is reasonable to compare the Glatt or any other mill to the fixed JSP MaltMill. I used a fixed MM for crushing customer's grain at my store for more than a year and, with the plump DeWolf-Cosyns malts, the crush was absolutely wonderful. I've since purchased an adjustable one and motorized it, but the only reason for choosing to get an adjustable was because one time I had to run some scrawny 6-row malt through the fixed and it took two passes through the fixed mill to get a good crush. If a customer were to order 50 pounds of 6-row crushed, the time savings will have made up for the $30 difference in price. Jim, I suggest you read the instructions again: the only "warnings" about motorization are simply liability disclaimers. Anyone who has seen a MM will attest that your claim of difficulty removing the handle is hogwash. Yes, I'm a retailer... no, I don't do mailorder at this time, so my intentions are not to advertise on the HBD... I do sell all three mills (and the Corona if you a foolish enough to ask me to special order it), but if you ask my opinion, I'll tell you the JSP MM is the best built and best value. *********** Dana writes: >2 cans John Bull light unhopped malt extract >1/2 # dark crystal malt >handful of choc malt >2 oz. cascades >The beer is 3 weeks in the bottle. It tastes great, looks good, but >lacks a good head. I thought that I had enough malt to get a good head but >when I pour a bottle I get ~1/3 in. of head that quickly disappears. >Even in the short time that the head is present it consists of large soapy >type bubbles rather than smaller bubbles that stay longer. What's up??? TIA The soap-type bubbles indicate that you either have soap residue in your glasses or you introduced it somewhere during brewing. I NEVER EVER use soap or dishwashing liquid on any of my brewing equipment. I use Sodium Carbonate (washing soda), Bleach or just water and elbow grease to clean my equipment and glassware (okay, I dishwasher powder on the glassware, but it's unscented, uncolored and does not contain any rinsing agents). ********* Jack Dawson writes (regarding starting siphons with the mouth): >rinse mouth with 1/2 oz. Jack Daniels or similar immediately before sucking. This shouldn't be much of an improvement. The contact time for sanitation with 50% ethanol (100 proof) is 30 minutes according to a sanitation textbook whose title escapes me. If you were to hold whiskey in your mouth for a lot less than 30 minutes, you would certainly die from alcohol poisoning (the vapors would be absorbed in your lungs very quickly and you would expire). Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 94 17:05:10 EDT From: Montanoa at aol.com Subject: New Englan Micros By all means, please post a summary Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 May 1994 16:20:33 CST From: "Dan Houg" <HOUGD at mdh-bemidji.health.state.mn.us> Subject: maple sap brews, Zima taste opinion The recent post on maple sap brewing prompted me to post also! Last year I made an extract brew using sap as the entire water source. I'd made it into a 'maple-ginger lager' and while it was a fine, light summer-y drink, I have to admit that little if any maple flavor came through. The water or rather sap did seem to produce an excellent, clean beer tho. While we made about 15 gallons of maple syrup this year (that's about *500* gallons of sap!), I didn't sneak a brewing session in. I think a fine, mapley beer could be made however with the sap boiled down to the specific gravity of say 1.040 or so. Anyone try this? Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1432, 05/25/94