HOMEBREW Digest #1508 Tue 23 August 1994

Digest #1507 Digest #1509

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  Brewing Belgian Beers (#7): White beer ("Phillip Seitz")
  Comments on beginners guide (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583)
  BRUPAKS Mash Tun/Boiler and Saturday 13th Pale Ale (Simon W. Bedwell)
  UK Homebrew Newsletter (Simon W. Bedwell)
  storing bleach (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583)
  Mills/Pub Requests/Aluminum (npyle)
  Brewing Belgian Beers (#8): Ingredients ("Phillip R. Seitz")
  Re: What's Wyeast 1056? (Kelvin Kapteyn)
  Questions, trip report, last night's brewing (Delta One-Niner)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 19 Aug 94 13:43:56 -0400 From: "Phillip Seitz" <p00644 at psilink.com> Subject: Brewing Belgian Beers (#7): White beer Brewing Belgian Beers (#7): White beers Description Suggested guidelines: 1.044-1.055, 4.5-5.5% ABV, 15-22 IBU, 2-4 SRM. Golden yellow, cloudy when chilled. Coriander flavor and mild acidity essential. Wheat and bitter orange peel flavors desirable. Mild hop flavor and aroma ok. Low to medium bitterness. Low to medium body, medium or higher carbonation. No diacetyl. Low to medium esters. White beers feature a hazy yellow color, a rich white head, and a flavor that highlights coriander blended with wheat and malted barley. Aromas tend to be relatively neutral or even a bit orangey due to the coriander. Mild hop aromas are ok, but should have the floral character of Goldings rather than the bite of varieties like Saaz. Body should be medium or a bit lighter, and the carbonation should be reasonably agressive. Hop bitterness should be low, but a mild acidity is essential and contributes to the beer's quenching powers. There should be no alchohol flavor, but esters are ok at low levels. These beers should always be very drinkable, and personally I prefer mine with lots of coriander. Brewing Method Extract brewers are going to have a hard time getting the traditional yellow color and won't be able to add oats (which require mashing). However, if you use 50 percent wheat and 50 percent barley extracts and follow the guidelines below you should still have a very distinctive and satisfying beer. All grain brewers have an interesting adventure ahead of them. White beers are usually made of 50 percent malted barley and 50 percent raw, unmalted wheat, although a small percentage of oats (5-10%) can be used to add some silkiness. Expect to get the same yield from all three grains, and therefore draw up your grain bill based on weight. Unmalted wheat is available in health food stores and food coops, and often called wheat berries. There is debate whether soft white or hard red varieties are preferable, but both seem to work. One thing is indisputable: the stuff is a nightmare to grind by hand, rather like running little rubber bullets through your Corona. Find someone with a flour mill or a mechanized grinder to help you out. The fineness of the grind doesn't seem to be critical, and I grind my wheat rather fine. Rolled oats work fine if you want to use oats at all. Museums use wheat starch as a glue, and once you mash in you'll see why. Start with a loose mash using two quarts of water per pound, and plan on using an extended protein rest (45 mins-1 hour) at anything between 117 and 126 degrees farenheit. This is how the Belgians do it, and you'll be amazed at how the proteolytic enzymes work a mess of wallpaper paste into a light, workable mash. Never was the miracle of mashing been better demonstrated. The white beer protein rest offers a tradeoff. If you run the rest longer (1 hour) you'll get an easily spargeable mash, but the final beer may be clearer and less colorful than you want beer; rests of 45 minutes or less give wonderful color, but can be sticky to lauter. Personally I use 45 minutes and watch the lauter tun carefully. If you're willing to sacrifice some authenticity, you can substitute several pounds of malted wheat for a portion of the unmalted variety. Following the protein rests, raise the mash to your favorite saccrification temperature via heat or hot-water infusion. After saccrification mash out at 170 and sparge as usual and bring the runoff to a boil. Belgians tend to use "classic" hop varieties such as Hallertau, Saaz, and East Kent or Styrian Goldings, but since your hop levels will be low anyway there's plenty of room for flexibility. For your first white beer you may want to try Styrian or East Kent Goldings, or maybe some nice Hallertau plugs. I use an ounce of the latter for a 1-hour boil, and throw in another half ounce to boil for fifteen minutes, aiming for a total of 16-18 IBU. You'll also need bitter orange peels and ground coriander. Bitter orange isn't very bitter and doesn't give much orange flavor: what it does give is a pleasant herbal flavor, not unlike that of chamomile tea. (Try boiling a peel and chilling the liquid overnight to get an idea of the taste.) Use bitter orange at a rate of about 0.5 grams per liter of finished beer (about 1/3 ounce for a 5 gallon batch), and boil the peels for about 20 minutes. Find whole coriander seeds in an ethnic market and grind them finely. (Powdered coriander also works.) Start with 1-1.5 grams per liter, or about 1 ounce per 5 gallons. Boil it for five minutes, or add to the pot after you've turned off the heat. Then you're ready to chill and ferment. Almost any yeast seems to work, ranging from neutral American ale yeasts to German wheat beer strains to the more adventurous Belgians cultures. Creativity counts for a lot, so if you have an interesting idea, give it a try. Keep in mind that the yeast should complement the other flavors, not dominate them. White beer fermentations don't require any unusual attention, although some of the commercial white beer yeasts get a bit sluggish when fermentation temperatures drop below 65 degrees. Mild acidity is a classic feature of a good white beer. The brave can attempt a lactic fermentation, but there's an easy shortcut: add a very small quantity of 88% lactic acid to your beer at bottling time. Amounts between 5 and 15 milliliters per 5 gallons work well. Be aware that the acid will need some time to blend with teh other flavors. This usually takes 1-2 months. Commercial examples Celis White (4.7% ABV, 50% raw wheat, 50% malted barley), Riva Blanche (5% ABV, sold as Dentergems in Belgium), Blanche de Bruges, Blanche des Neiges Recipe: Rick Garvin's Cherry Blossom Wit (all grain for 5 gallons) RGARVIN at BTG.COM Rick says: "The cherry tree was blooming when I made this and the wind kept blowing cherry petals into the boiler." 4.0 lbs Pilsner malt (50%) 3.6 lbs Unmalted wheat (45%) 0.4 lbs Rolled oats (5%) 0.89 oz Styrian goldings (6.2%) boiled for 60 minutes 0.36 oz Saaz (3.2%) boiled for 5 minutes 14.5 grams Bitter orange peel boiled for 20 minutes (0.75 grams/liter) 35 grams ground coriander boiled for 5 minutes (1.8 grams/liter) Ferment using Wyeast White (#3944) Dough in at 117F. 20-minute rests at 117F and 122F. 60 minute rest at 146F. Mash out to 160F. Boil 30 minutes before adding the first hop addition. Hint: do not puree the bitter orange in a blender with water. It will sink to the bottom of the boiler and scorch. [Phil's notes: A superb recipe, particulary for people like me who LOVE coriander. If you want something a bit more sedate you might want to cut the coriander by 1/3] **************************************** Todd Enders' Witbier (all grain for 5 gallons) ENDERS at PLAINS.NODAK.EDU 4.0 lbs Belgian pils malt 4.0 lbs raw soft red winter wheat 0.5 lbs rolled oats 0.75 oz coriander, freshly ground Zest from two table oranges and two lemons 1.0 oz 3.1% AA Saaz 3/4 corn sugar for priming Hoegaarden strain yeast Mash in: 12 qt. at 124F Protein rest: 15 mins. each at 124, 128, and 132 Saccrification: 30 minutes at 161F Mash out: 10 minutes at 170F Sparge with 5.5 gallons at 168-170 (may be pH adjusted to 5.5) Boil: 90 minutes Hops: 1 addition, 30 minutes from the end of the boil Coriander: 1 addition, 15 minutes from end of the boil Peels: 1 addition, 10 minutes from end of boil OG: 1.046 Lactic acid can be added at bottling if desired. Use 10-20 ml of 88% lactic acid, or to taste. Return to table of contents
Date: 19 Aug 94 18:39:00 GMT From: korz at iepubj.att.com (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583) Subject: Comments on beginners guide Rich writes: >Early hop additions... >...hops. And using more bitter hops makes for >more bitterness than less bitter hops. Hopefully >this is obvious to you. It's obvious to me, but probably only because I know what meant to say. Rather than saying "more bitter hops" you should say "hops with a higher alpha acid percentage." That would be clearer. >Try to match the hops to the style that you're trying to create. Great, but then tell us what hops match what styles. Giving this incomplete information does not help beginners become advanced brewers. >over-indulge. There are some styles which >benefit from these alcohols, and are >therefore more suitable for warm weather brewing. >These styles include: Barley wines/strong ales, >Belgian ales (including Lambic, Gueuze, >and Trappist ales), Imperial Stouts, Strong >Porter, Brown ales, and some fruit beers. Not at all. I agree that some higher (fusel) alcohols are appropriate in some beers, but these will take care of themselves as a result of the fermentation of the typical worts from which these beers are made. I don't think that higher alcohol production should ever be encouraged via warm fermentations. It's only asking for trouble. Although I have not read it anywhere, I have a theory, based upon my own brewing, that high-gravity beers have high levels of higher alcohols due to the fact that fermentation is exothermic. Thus, high gravity fermentations are intrinsically "hotter" thanks to all the additional fermentables. I have not proven this, but my all data thus far seems to support this theory. By the way, all these higher alcohols are rather unpleasant till the beer ages quite a bit (like 1 to 2 years!) and I *believe* that yeast must be present for the aging to help smooth out the flavor. >The Wyeast lager yeast varieties have a >reputation for not finishing their kraeusen >very quickly. Huh? Do you mean, they take a long time to ferment? If you pitch the proper amount of starter made from Wyeast lagers (2 liters is minimum, IMO, for a 5 gallon lager) they should finish in reasonable a time period. Underpitching is more serious in lagers than in ales and this may be the source of the problem you imply in this statement. >of life. To wash the yeast, you must have >on hand some very cool pre-boiled water. >(Whenever I boil bottle caps prior to bottling, >I always save the water, cooling it before I >need to wash yeast.) After siphoning the Sorry, boiling is not sterilization. Pressure cooking water will sterilize it. By the way, boiling bottlecaps is not the best way to sanitize them and boiling Pureseal (Smartcaps) will ruin them. >valve attached to the bottom. This stuff floats >and soaks in a bleach solution, which I can >also drain into carboys or conditioning >buckets through use of the draining valve. >When I'm through with the solution, I just >pour it back into the storage container >where it waits until the next time I need >something sterilized. Again, bleach does not sterilize, it sanitizes and secondly, it evaporates. If you were to store a 200 ppm (the usual working Cl concentration) solution of bleach for a week, I'll bet it would be less than 50 ppm. Also, storing plastics in beach will degrade them. >For the most part, bacteria cannot survive in beer. The alcohol and low pH >tend to inhibit most types of unwanted critters that live around the home. Not quite. Pediococcus can live in beer, even pretty strong beer. >Anything that comes in contact with the cool, unfermented wort must be sterile. Ideally, but unless you have a giant autoclave, it's virtually impossible. >Iodine in weak solution doesn't >require rinsing, and is easier on your carpet if >you are accident prone. Iodine may kill stuff, but it's not a good sanitizer by itself. What you mean is iodophor which is NOT the same as iodine. As for the carpeting, I'd rather spill bleach than iodophor on *white* carpet ;^). Al. Return to table of contents
Date: 19 Aug 1994 10:11:23 GMT From: Simon_W._Bedwell at metro.mactel.org (Simon W. Bedwell) Subject: BRUPAKS Mash Tun/Boiler and Saturday 13th Pale Ale Hi folks. This is a longish one, so skip now if you're not in the mood. Item 1: BRUPAKS Mash Tun/Boiler. Perhaps I should start by pointing out that this cunning device is made in the UK, so its one item of brewing kit our friends across the big pond in the USA can't get yet! Item 2: Saturday 13th Pale Ale. Oh dear. Living in a small apartment in London it's quite difficult to persuade my wife that running a 170,000 BTU propane boiler in our (small) kitchen is a good idea :-} so, for the past few years I've been enduring a squidgy plastic Electrim Bin (TM)- similar to the Ritchie Bruheat (TM) with a 2.7kW element. For a while I've been looking for a replacement electrically-heated boiler, but the 'Burco' type SS ones are 150++ UKpounds new and I've been looking for 6 months for a used one with no luck.On visiting the UK Homebrew show in Brighton earlier this year the BRUPAKS stand was showing a prototype for an electrically-heated mash tun / boiler. I liked what I saw and was informed it would be available later in the year at 100 UK pounds. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I've now bought one (the excuse was that it was my birthday, and I'm not telling how old). I thought HBD'ers may be interested in a description/performance review. The Brewpaks Mash Tun / Boiler (BMTB) is a modified German Severin 6 (UK) gallon canning/preserving boiler. It is thermostatically controlled, with a 1.8kW element. The pot is made from enamelled steel and has two substantial handles bolted to the top. The bottom of the pot sits slightly in a hard plastic base, to the side of which is attached the control unit/thermostat. The overall standard of construction appears to be very high. It is supplied with a deep plastic lid and a 'false bottom' made from nickel-plated steel; this is more of a support grid originally designed to hold canning jars off the heating element than a useful false bottom. The heating element is not of the 'coiled' Ritchie type but is instead a slightly raised 6 inch disk in the centre of the pot. The thermostat control is marked with three temperature ranges: "Protein Rest" (47 - 55 Deg C), "Mash"(64-67 Deg C), and "Boil". I carried out a trial water boil to establish a few data points. With 6 (UK) gallons in the pot, there is 1 inch of headspace. The water (initial 23 deg C) took a shade over an hour to boil. This is already an improvement on my Electrim Bin which takes 90 minutes to boil 5.5 (UK) gallons of water. To try out my New Toy, I thought I'd try a temperature stepped mash on a recipe I'd done before with a single-temperature infusion mash. It's for a pale ale, similar to Timothy Taylor 'Landlord'. For those interested in such things here it is: Halcyon Pale Malt 4.7Kg Goldings Hops 28g (1 Hr) Fuggles Hops 50g (1 Hr) Goldings Hops 15g (Last 10 minutes) Yeast Lab "British Ale" starter (chugging away at high krausen) Makes 5 UK gallons at OG 1042, 30 IBU. Didn't dry hop last time, will this time. The last time this was pretty damn good. What new experiences were in store? Not happy ones, I'll tell you that much. I heated 12 litres treated water (2 tsp Gypsum in 5 gall + 0.5 hr boil) to a strike temp of 47 deg C and mashed-in for a glucanase rest at 43 deg C (ref: Decoction FAQ). A bit high but so far so good. Rested for 15 minutes. Started to raise temperature slowly for the protein rest at 50 deg C. Up it came, no problem. Protein rest for 20 mins then turned the control knob until the 'stat kicked in, stirred and watched my digital thermometer. I waited. Nothing happened. I waited a while longer. Still nothing happened. I checked the thermometer probe was actually in the mash. Yep. I cranked the control all the way around to "Boil" and still nothing happened. This was Disaster #1. With hindsight I think the mash over the element insulated it too well and caused the safety cut-out to operate. Not wishing to waste 4.7 kilos of good Pale malt I shovelled the mass of sticky grains into my trusty Electrim Bin. During the 'slopping in' process I must have hit the theromstat control round to the 'Boil' position, because I was soon aware of the smell of burning grain filling the kitchen. This was Disaster #2. Could I save this ale? I toyed with the idea of throwing in some chocolate malt, doing a triple decoction mash and calling the result a 'Rauchbier' but I decided this would fool no-one. Into my WheelerTun(TM) (like a ZapPap, only the holes are drilled in a neat pattern) went the mash. Out of desperation I decided on a single decoction mash plus some boiling water to raise the mash temp up to 66 deg C. Three pints of boiling water and a single decoction later I was back on track. The mash still smelled a bit singed, though. While the mash was doing its stuff, I examined the heating element from the Electrim Bin. It was completely black and covered in burnt grain-crud. I installed my spare element so I could use the Electrim Bin to heat sparge water. Starch conversion was over in an hour. It was then that I noticed the tap in the bottom of the outer bin of the WheelerTun(TM) had been leaking wort all over the floor. Disaster #3. I had to chuck the mash into a spare plastic fermenter and tighten up the tap. I scooped the mash back into the WheelerTun(TM), stirred and let it settle for 10 minutes. Run-off and sparging took 1.5 hours (it always does for me). I finally collected 6 (UK) gallons of wort in the (now forgiven) New Toy set to 77 deg C to stop any more starch conversion. It didn't cut out this time. The runoff was pretty clear which surprised me considering the abuse I'd subjected the mash to. Heaven only knows what HSA problems I've created in this batch (sort of incipient Disaster #4?). I didn't have the heart to measure the gravity at this stage, in case fate was preparing to smite me with an efficiency of 50% or something. I was determined to fill the kitchen with the smell of boiling wort and hops.The New Toy brought the 6 gallons of wort from 77 deg C to boiling in 20 minutes. This was also an improvement over the Electrim Bin. The New Toy gives a really good, rolling boil much better than the Electrim Bin. Then I duly added hops, boiled for 90 mins and added more hops, Irish Moss and turned off the heat and stirred gently (to collect the hops in a neat pile in the bottom of the boiler, dontcha know). The cooling and aeration went normally. I even managed to pitch my yeast without getting covered in the stuff. The fermentation started in 10 hours and I dropped to a glass carboy secondary this AM (didn't *drop* the secondary though, luckily). Maybe it'll turn out OK after all. The OG was 1044 when I plucked up courage to measure it in the primary so I didn't do too badly in the end. What have I learnt? 1. The New Toy *needs* a proper false bottom & maybe a grain bag if I'm going to do any temperature-stepped mashes in it. Its a good boiler otherwise! 2. Frequently transferring mash between containers doesn't just cause HSA, it causes your feet to stick firmly to the kitchen floor. 3. Brewing disasters happen. I'm brewing some stout in a couple of weeks. I wonder what will happen then? Hmm... haven't had a boilover in a while... Happy Brewing. - -- **************************************************************************** MacTel Metro - Europes largest Mac specific BBS The views expressed in this posting those of the individual author only. Send mail to this user at either :- INTERNET:User_Name at metro.mactel.org [use underline] between first FIDONET:User.Name at f202.n254.z2.fidonet.org [use fullstop ] & last names **************************************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: 19 Aug 1994 10:24:33 GMT From: Simon_W._Bedwell at metro.mactel.org (Simon W. Bedwell) Subject: UK Homebrew Newsletter This post is mainly directed at UK HBD'ers, but any ideas from the wider HBD community would be very welcome. I have been chatting to a fellow UK HBD'er, Brian Gowland, about the possibility of producing a UK Homebrew Newsletter. The newsletter would be a forum for exchange of ideas, recipes and homebrewing information and to make it easier for homebrewers to form regional informal 'Brewing Clubs'. I hope such a newsletter would also stimulate interest in both local and national brewing competitions, and provide the impetus necessary to start a UK Hombrewers' Association. If you would be interested in such a publication, have ideas about content or would be willing to contribute articles, please let me know via email. Once (if) I receive sufficient responses, I will post a summary and an update on where the project is going. Brian has already posted something similar to this on rec.crafts.brewing as I have no access, so if you have already responded to that, thank you. Happy Brewing! - -- **************************************************************************** MacTel Metro - Europes largest Mac specific BBS The views expressed in this posting those of the individual author only. Send mail to this user at either :- INTERNET:User_Name at metro.mactel.org [use underline] between first FIDONET:User.Name at f202.n254.z2.fidonet.org [use fullstop ] & last names **************************************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: 19 Aug 94 19:00:00 GMT From: korz at iepubj.att.com (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583) Subject: storing bleach I wrote: >If you were to store a 200 ppm (the usual working Cl concentration) solution >of bleach for a week, I'll bet it would be less than 50 ppm. What I meant was, that if you store a 200ppm Cl bleach solution in an *open container*, after a week I'll bet the concentration would have dropped to only about 50ppm. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 1994 16:12:11 -0500 (EST) From: CLAY at prism.clemson.edu Subject: 1) CANCER: If you want it to appear that cancer rates are increasing, you use data from all over the world, thus harvesting data points from areas where malnutrition and disease, and thus compromised immune systems, etc., are rampant. If you want to show that cancer rates are decreasing or stable, you use data from the industrialized world, particularly the U.S., where food supplies are monitored and a better-educated population has access to a balanced diets with lots of different veggies. The exceptions to this rule (stomach cancer rates in Japan, for example) are generally considered to be a result of some endemic dietary habit (in Japan's case lots of salted or fermented foods - miso, dashi, fermented fish pastes, etc. - and a lack of green leafy vegetables). Lung cancer is the exception, due to smoking. Mouth, jaw, and esophagela cancers are increasing in parts of the country where chewing tobacco is common. 2) ALZHEIMERS: Aluminum studies are all over the map on this one. There is no consistency and the medical consensus is that aluminum does not cause Alzheimers any more than roosters cause the sun to rise. I eat out of aluminum all the time and don't worry about it at all. So does my buddy down the hall, the epidemiologist from whom I got this information, and so does my wife, who spends her days flogging medical databases to write training material in environmental medicine for physicians. 3) FERTILITY: Decreasing sperm counts in men have been reported in the popular press. There are serious methodological flaws in the paper from which which these conclusions are drawn, which make those conclusions indistign indistinguishable from random chance. Over 100 papers were recently reviewed for another article - they concluded that any differneces in sperm counts among artificial-insemination donors (the group from which much of the data was drawn) are more likely due to lifestyle changes between 1940 and 1970 than from any decrease in physiological fertility (that's a delicate way of saying that contemporary donors don't go as long between "donations" as did those in the 40's). Correlation is not cause, and the plural of "anecdote" is not "data." regards, c. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 94 15:27:33 MDT From: npyle at hp7013.ecae.StorTek.COM Subject: Mills/Pub Requests/Aluminum Bill Cook writes: >I can't believe I'm saying this (and I *really* can't believe I'm getting >in the middle of the never-ending mill war), but I have to agree with Jack >about the recent Zymurgy article on Mills. Great pains were quite obviously >taken to avoid saying anything critical about *any* of the products, lest >they offend potential advertisers. The current editorial staff is not >providing a useful service to their readers. What I wanted to see was a >real review, not an advertisement for several products in the guise of an >article. This is a naive expectation, if you want my opinion (you posted yours, so you get mine for free!). What ever made you think you'd get an independent (much less scathing) review from Zymurgy? They depend on the advertising dollars, no, they wallow in it. This is like asking Consumer Reports to take advertising and then review their advertisers. (NOTE: I don't believe in the Consumer Reports "what's statistical analysis?" method, but at least they don't take advertising). Anyway, Jack's post didn't exactly contain any great revelations. I didn't expect much from the article, and I got what I expected, which is starting to become a real trend with Zymurgy in general (George Fix's articles excepted)... ** Bruce DeBolt writes the following about his brewpub request: >Private or post. No post. Private. Please. There's a lot better ways to use this digest for the betterment of homebrewing than talking about brewpubs that most of us will never see. Make the request and followup with email. Its the right thing to do. ** Aluminum: no health threat. A pain to clean. Where's the Aluminum_Won't_Kill_You FAQ when you need it? Cheers, Norm npyle at hp7013.ecae.stortek.com Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 94 12:33:18 -0400 From: "Phillip R. Seitz" <p00644 at psilink.com> Subject: Brewing Belgian Beers (#8): Ingredients Brewing Belgian Beers (#8): Ingredients 1) Yeasts Fortunately the Summer 1994 issue of Zymurgy covered most of this. In addition, Advanced Brewers Scientific offers a some nice strains including the Chouffe strain, and Head Start Brewing Cultures has a wide ranging set of very interesting bugs for advanced and adventurous brewers. My impression is that the Yeast Culture Kit Company offers the broadest selection of yeasts, but that most come in slant form that requires you to start your own cultures. The Wyeast strains are also very good. The Wyeast White is an excellent choice for strong ales as well as whites (with a Celis Grand Cru-type flavor), and the Wyeast Belgian produces an authentic Chimay-type flavor WHEN FERMENTED VERY COOL (AT 60F OR LESS). Ferment warmer with this yeast and you're asking for headaches and a Chiquita banana in your beer. 2) Candy Sugar I think I can fairly say that I've hand-imported and used more Belgian candy sugar than just about any other brewer in the U.S. The stuff that's available in supermarkets comes in white (pretty much clear) and dark (about the color of awful coffee), in chunks half an inch across. Basically it's rock candy, but without the strings. It provides the same number of gravity points per pound as corn sugar (about 40 per pound per gallon), and it can be fun to play with. I add it the brew pot just before the boil, and it takes a while to dissolve. The blond sugar adds no color that I can tell, and the dark stuff--at least the stuff from the Belgian supermarkets--doesn't have a very pronounced coloring capacity either. From personal experiece I'd say it's about 20 lovibond. So after have brewed many batches with the stuff and having sent other brewers sugar samples too (in exchange for samples of the finished product), I can also fairly say that candy sugar is basically just sugar. If you can find it, great, you'll have some fun. If you can't, or don't want to pay for it, corn sugar will do just fine. However, sugar does play an essential role in Belgian brewing. It allows you to brew strong beers without the heavy, full body typical of barley wines. Depending one the style you're brewing, you can use at least a pound of sugar per 5 gallons for beers of 1.060 and up. For triples you may want to go substantially higher than that. For all-grain brewers, brewing with sugar lets you increase your original gravities without increasing your mashing and lautering capacity. My zapap lauter tun maxes out at about 15 lbs of grain, but by adding sugar to the kettle I can increase either the gravity or the quantity of the finished wort. 3) Coriander Just about any form of coriander seems to work reasonably well, including the tired old ground stuff that's been in the spice rack for years. The result is a flavor that a very pleasant orangey flavor and aroma as well. For extra zing, though, nothing beats buying fresh coriander seeds and grinding them to a powder (although this does require a mortar and pestle or at least something more destructive than a food processor). The whole seeds are available at many health food and ethnic grocery stores. If you're using coriander in a strong ale, you're probably trying to add a relatively subtle extra flavor. Half an ounce works well for five gallons, added for the last five minutes of the boil. If you want BIG coriander flavor and aroma, particularly for white beers, use an ounce. Boiling your coriander too long (over 15 minutes) or grinding it too coarsely will result in lessened flavor and aroma. 4) Bitter orange peels These usually come in quarter-of-an-orange slices, and are green or gray on the exterior. Also known as Curacao oranges, they look kind of ugly, aren't very bitter, and don't taste much like orange. Rather, they impart a nice herb-tea type of flavor, perhaps distantly related to chamomile. Usually bitter orange is used in white beers. According to the instructions I received from a Belgian brewer, start with 0.5 grams per liter of finished beer (about a third of an ounce for 5 gallons). If you want more, some people go up to a full gram per liter. I usually boil the peels for about twenty minutes. One drawback of high quantities of bitter orange peel (and of using even low levels of regular supermarket orange peel) is that you get a rather peculiar ham-like aroma that may or may not go away with age. Try boiling some supermarket dried orange peel in a small pot of water and you'll see what I mean. Look for the French aperitif made from bitter orange; I believe it's called St. Raphael. 5) Sweet orange peels This stuff isn't Sunkist either. It usually comes in strips, as if you were trying to peel an orange in one piece, and is much thinner and more orange in color than bitter orange peels. However, when used in roughly the same quantities as the bitter orange it produces a heavenly, rich, sweet orange flavor very similar to Cointreau or Grand Marinier. Goes great in conjunction with some of the Belgian yeasts and particularly well with coriander. Again, boil for 20 minutes--it's amazing how much flavor you can get out of less than an ounce of this stuff. Unfortunately, at the moment this ingredient is not available in the U.S. I believe several people are trying to bring some over, and I hope everyone out there will feel free to bug their local homebrew sources! As far as I'm concerned this is the last important Belgian brewing ingredient that's not available to homebrewers here in America. In the meantime, it's possible that tangerine peel may provide a vague substitute. Sources: For Yeasts, contact Your local homebrew store The Yeast Culture Kit Co. 1308 W. Madison Ann Arbor, MI 48103 800-752-2110 313-761-5914 DANIEL.F.MCCONNELL at MED.UMICH.EDU Brewers Resource 409 Calle San Pablo #104 Camarillo, CA 93012 (800) 827-3983 Advanced Brewers Scientific 3034 SE 20th Ave. Portland, OR 97202 (503) 234-7503 GUMMITCH at TELEPORT.COM Head Start Brewing Cultures 921 Bill Smith Road Cookeville, TN 38501 (615) 372-8511 BAN5845 at TNTECH.EDU Scientific Service 7407 Hummingbird Hill San Antonio, TX 78255 (210) 695-2547 For Bitter Orange Peels, contact The Frozen Wort P.O. Box 988 Greenfield, MA 01302 (413) 773-5920 This is the only source I'm aware of for the peels, and the prices (at least when I last saw them) were quite reasonable. Don't forget to ask them to stock sweet peels as well! For Candy Sugar: Home Sweet Homebrew 2008 Sansom Street Philadelphia, PA 19103 (215) 569-9469 The Decorette Shop 5338 SE Foster Road Portland, OR [don't have the zip] (503) 774-3760 These people sell blond rock candy in 5 lb quantities, with the strings. As stated above, I have no business relationship with any of these vendors other than being an occasional client of some of them. Several of the yeast suppliers carry strains supplied by me, for which I receive no commission, payment, consideration, appreciation, adoration, or what have you. Well, that winds up this series folks. I hope this helps some of you on your way to Belgian homebrew nirvana. If you find it, don't forget to invite me! Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 1994 13:46:28 -0400 From: Kelvin Kapteyn <kelvink at mtu.edu> Subject: Re: What's Wyeast 1056? Patrick Casey sez: >I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE! [...] (about Wyeast 1056 & Sierra Nevada yeast) >And I haven't heard any discussion yet. So what's the deal???????? OK, I'll do my best to start it off. Begin discussion: I've been doing some speculating about this to try to devine what's going on. I have also heard numerous times that 1056 is Sierra Nevada, but in private e-mail Glenace told me his comparisons demonstrated that "1056 finishes in about half the time that SNPA takes, and produces a rather more estery ale. The SNPA is the cleanest-fermenting yeast I have ever used." Some in my club have also noticed that 1056 is a very active yeast. I suspect the differences are due to the reported tendancy of SN yeast to mutate readily. Until I hear otherwise, I will continue with the belief that 1056 was originally SN, but either or both have drifted from what they were at that time. Other company's versions of SN may also be slightly different. I have heard that SN yeast (used at the brewery) has changed a little over the last few years. I think all of the versions that are available are still very similar. Anybody have anything to add? I think this is a good example of why some companies are reluctant to give out the sources of their yeasts. Yeast strains will drift over time unless it is stored very carefully (frozen very cold). Even if a yeast strain originally came from a certain source, the yeast rancher's version, or the original source's version might change. My own preference would be to hear the original source of a yeast, AND when. I would also like to know the storage conditions, etc. This wouldn't have to be printed on every package (that would probably confuse newcomers), but I would like it to be available for the asking. I get REAL frustrated when I read a short blurb from a yeast company about what to use their yeast for, without any more details. (Some of you on the net know who you are, and yes I do understand your concerns too.) Just trying to make better homebrew through more knowledge and information! -Kelvin (kelvink at mtu.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 1994 21:31:47 +0930 (CST) From: zoz at cs.adelaide.edu.au (Delta One-Niner) Subject: Questions, trip report, last night's brewing Hiya folks! Sorry about that message from me a couple of HBDs ago - I had typed up pages of stuff, and deleted my .signature, but somehow my vindictive mail program managed to replace all my efforts with the .signature only. Anyway - I just got back from a whirlwind trip to the US and Japan, and it's good to get back into brewing again, with the help of the 30+ HBDs that filled my mailbox while I was away! Don't know if anyone's interested in the beer- related aspects of my trip, but I'll tell you anyway :) Didn't have a great deal of time to check out brewpubs as I was on a pretty tight schedule, but I went for a tour of the Boston Beer Co. brewery in Boston - turns out that it's pretty much an experimental brewery where they test yeast strains - Sam Adams is, as mentioned here recently, brewed in various megabreweries. There were barrels (old Jack Daniels) of Sam Adams Triple Bock lying around in the brewery. Incidentally, I found the recent discussion of Jim Koch to be quite interesting - I didn't meet him, but he was on a video they showed us at the start of ther tour. An ... interesting ... chap. The tour was only a buck (which gets donated to the Boston street kids fund) and they gave us four beers and a Sam Adams glass, so it's a pretty good value tour. Someone asked the brewmaster how they made their "cranberry lambic" and he said something along the lines of "I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you". I mentioned that we all knew it wasn't really a lambic and he admitted that they just use a type of yeast. Information was not very forthcoming so I adjourned to their bar and talked to a couple of homebrewers and another Australian guy that was there, which was more productive. Also had dinner one night at John Harvard's brew house - had heard here that the beer quality fluctuated there, but it was very good the night I was there. The food was excellent too, and I especially enjoyed the smoked lager - which brings me to question 1: Question 1: I want to make a smoked beer! (An ale, as I don't have the facilities for lagering). I can get hold of a barbecue kettle to smoke the malt in, so my questions are: What sort of malt should I smoke? I brew extract with specialty grains, so I'd prefer not to mash as I don't have the all-grain equipment (not even a thermometer...). Can I simply smoke a pale crystal malt or do I have to smoke 2-row pale malt and mash it? How much of it should I smoke, and what wood is best for smoking it? Was going to use hickory if I can get it, is this OK? Beer highlight of Japan was touring the Asahi brewery in Nagoya. Talk about megabrewery! They have 174 fermentation tanks, each with a capacity of 400 kilolitres. That's a grand total of 69.6 (count 'em...) MEGALITRES of beer! They put beer in kegs, bottles amd 375 and 500 mL cans. Each canning line runs at 20 cans a second! They keep a big digital counter on the wall next to the packing line which keeps count of the number of cases produced that day. When I was there at 2:30 in the afternoon the 375mL can line was at around 32,000 cases. After the tour they gave us food and beer, all free. They kept giving us beer until the place shut so we were lovin' it! If anyone is interested, here's my report on the 3 they gave us: "Nagoya" -- local beer only sold around, funnily enough, Nagoya. Had not bad hop flavour and aroma, which surprised us, and reasonable body. This was the best beer they gave us. "Dry" -- generic megaswill. Nothing especially bad or good about it. "Gold" -- supposedly their flagship beer. I thought it was disgusting, and my comrades agreed. It tasted like wet cardboard - my initial thought was that it tasted oxidised. They also gave us some soft drinks which they also produce there. So now that I'm back, I was all fired up for brewing this weekend! I wanted to brew a raspberry wheat and a cream stout. However all the gods of brewing seemed to be against this idea entirely. For a start, the homebrew shop I go to had changed hands while I was away, and the new guy that owns it didn't seem to have much idea, much less the ingredients I needed. So I end up ringing all around town (not very long as you can count the homebrew shops in Adelaide on one hand) to find Munton's wheat LME and chocolate malt. Out of the two homebrew shop owners (!) who had heard of chocolate malt, only one had any, so I went there. No Munton's wheat LME, so I bought an Edme Weizen kit. Then, of course, they didn't have any of the hops I wanted, and in fact didn't even store their hops in the fridge (nor, as it turned out, their yeast). So as you can see the brewing situation here in Adelaide is totally f***ing atrocious (or at least the ingredient procurement side of things, anyway). Almost everyone here brews from kits, so if you want any esoteric malts or hops you're really up the creek. So I was irritated already and was just feeling thankful that I'm not an all-grainer as life would be even more difficult. So, with ingredients in hand, I set up the picobrewery yesterday and got to work. The raspberry wheat went off reasonably well with the exception of the untrustworthy-looking yeast starter, but the cream stout was a nightmare. The ingredients I used were (for 44L): 2 cans (3.6 kg) Munton's dark LME 1 can (1.5 kg) generic pale LME 1 kg cracked chocolate malt 750 g cracked crystal malt 500g cracked roasted barley 1 kg flaked barley 1 kg lactose 50g Goldings hop pellets (45 minute boil) 25g Fuggles hop pellets (15 minute boil) Brewing result #1: My right hand is covered in blisters from cracking all the grain in a small mortar + pestle (and not from what others have suggested, I might add) Brewing result #2: Kitchen looks like a bomb hit it Brewing result #3: Beer is full of particles and looks like soup. Naturally, once I had immersed all my grain, the sparge didn't work - I mean, why should it? Faced with the stuck sparge, I raked the lauter - no effect. I split the lauter up into two and tried again - mildly better results but now the liquid is full of tiny grain particles that subsequently evaded my best efforts at straining them. This leads me to question 2: Question 2: Will all the grain particles that found their way into my wort settle down to the bottom and cease bothering me? If not, what do I do as I have already tried to filter out the little b*stards. Will I need to rack to a secondary? I generally don't bother as I just brew ales - I simply give them an extra long primary and all the crud normally just settles on the bottom. Question 3: I have heard that priming with DME gives a stout a creamier head with smaller bubbles. What is the normal amount of DME used to prime a batch? I know that when priming with dextrose you use 1.5 times the amount of sucrose you would use - what's the conversion factor for DME? Thanks a lot to anyone who bothered to read this far and anyone who can help with any of the 3 questions. Hope everyone has less aggravating brewing days than this one! Going beerserk, Zoz - -- zoz at cs.adelaide.edu.au If you see a blind man, run up and kick him. Why should you be kinder than God? -- Old Iranian Proverb Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1508, 08/23/94