HOMEBREW Digest #1629 Thu 12 January 1995

Digest #1628 Digest #1630

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  water chem/PET (1-liter) bottles/yeast test/warming your fermentor (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583)
  Lager! Is it? Do you have to Lager? (molloy)
  carbonates and hardness (Pierre Jelenc)
  Ronald's yeast experiment (Eamonn McKernan)
  All Grain in Twin Cities Area?? (Trent Neutgens)
  Kegging questions and misc. (John Glaser)
  CURE FOR DRUNKENES (aaron.banerjee)
  ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) (Domenick Venezia)
  Refrigerator Temperature Control (Neil Wylie)
  Keg Crimes -- to be or not to be? (Louis K. Bonham)
  Moving Carboys / Yeast Starters (XKCHRISTIAN)
  Carbon dioxide equilibria / pH ("Bob Hall" )
  Mexicali Rogue (Mark Thompson)
  NDN: Homebrew Digest #1628 (January 11, 1995) (Gateway)
  15 Gallons in a Plastic Bag? ("Laeuger, Mike")
  Root Beer ("Thomas W. Ausfeld")
  Writers needed (Kathy Kincade)
  RE: Root Beer from Sassafras roots (help?!?) (GUEST)" <robert at umbc.edu>
  PH METERS (Charles Wettergreen)
  Capping and Stoppering Champagne Bottles (Bruce Beckwith)
  Old Peculiar Recipe (Jonathan Albrecht ph3187)
  ReCulturing Yeast (Karel Chaloupka)
  Bottle "crimes" ....a request from a regional (uswlsrap)
  oak collar for freezer (BigBrad)
  listserv at sierra. stanford.edu (GlynnB9776)
  Beer Kegs ("Connie Schultz")
  private vs. public replies (chc2)
  how much does a bottle cost? (Eamonn McKernan)
  beer syrup (SnowMS_at_CNTORSSA)
  low alcohol brews (Kelly Jones)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 10 Jan 95 21:37:00 GMT From: korz at iepubj.att.com (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583) Subject: water chem/PET (1-liter) bottles/yeast test/warming your fermentor I wrote: >My understanding is also that carbonates have a very strong ability to lower >the pH. Actually, I changed my mind in the middle of this sentence and thus I hosed it up. What I meant to say was: >My understanding is also that carbonates have a very strong ability to >prevent the lowering of the pH. Regarding the harsh bitterness that Jim spoke about, I'm willing to concede that excessive carbonates will help cause that. My experience with high- carbonate water has been strictly voluntary: having added chalk to several dark recipes to imitate Dublin or London water. The reason I said "Are you sure, Jim?" was because I had read somewhere that the carbonates "smooth out" beers and make them less harsh. Perhaps the source I'm thinking of was writing only about dark beers. I also know that a lot of brewers with high- carbonate water have overdone gypsum additions trying to get their pH down which subsequently intensified their hop bitterness, although I'm not saying that was necessarily the situation in your case, Jim. I'm well aware of the connection of dark grains and high-carbonate water -- look at Munich, Dublin and London carbonate levels and consider that Dunkel, Stout and Porter came to be associated with these towns, respectively. Jim quotes Noonan: >"It contributes a harsh, bitter flavor overwhelming in delicate lagers, and >carbonate in excess of 200 ppm (which my water has - Jim) is tolerable only >when a dark roasted malt is used to buffer its excessive acidity. >Preferably, carbonate should be less than 50 ppm when pale malt or infusion >mashing is used." As you well know, no book is error-free and if indeed this is not a typo, it should have read: "only when a roasted malt is used to balance its excessive alkalinity." Also, I don't agree that infusion mashing does not lend itself to high-carbonate water -- surely London's Porter and Dublin's Stout are infusion mashed. ******* Dana writes: - man, only finished my second ferment and this bottling is for the birds! what's the current concensus on using 2 liter pop bottles for beer that will be consumed with 1 month of bottling? Procedures? Caveats? If they will be consumed withing 1 month, I'd say no problem. Those bottles are not oxygen-barrier and despite the high pressure of CO2 inside, O2 will still permiate in oxidizing the alcohols and creating unpleasant aldehydes. ******* Ron writes: at my basement's winter temperature (about 52 to 62 degrees, depending <snip> slower, but okay. Both versions of American Ale are still fermenting after 18 days in the jug, and a sniff test shows some peculiar "fruity" smell in both. It'll be a while before I can do serious taste Your experiment would have fairer to the yeasts if it had been done at ale temperatures. I don't know if the YeastLab American is the same as the Wyeast American Ale, but I know that the Wyeast version is very unhappy below 63F or so. It tends to slow down and flocculate too early. Finally, I belive that you should judge the beer on its final flavour and not necessarily on how fast it works. Also, don't criticize ale yeasts for making fruity aromas -- it's their life's work! On how to achieve ale temperatures, I had the same problem. My fermentation room was far too cold. "Damn," I said, "my fermentation room is 60F and the furnace room next door is 75F!" Then I noticed a wooden "door" about 1-foot- square in the wall between the rooms. I slid the door open, but a small fan in the "doorway" and the temperature in the fermentation room rose to 65F. When it's very cold outside, the furnace runs more and subsequently the fermentation room gets more of the heat it then needs. If you don't have this option, you may want to consider something called, I believe, a "Brew Belt." It slips around your carboy or pail and heats it up to something like 70F. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 1995 16:53:31 -0500 From: molloy at tcpcs3.dnet.etn.com Subject: Lager! Is it? Do you have to Lager? Can I start by saying that I appreciate all the response to "Microwave", but lets talk about Lager. I have not used Lager yeast yet because I do not have a fridge to lager with. I have read that Lager yeast is acceptable to use at room temperatures, and that the flavor of the beer will be different. What I mean is (same ingredients Ale vs Lager yeast) My question is this, if I do not lager the beer can it truly be called a Lager? Example, don't call wheat beer a Weizen if your only using one pound of wheat malt. Follow tradition. P. Molloy Kalamazoo Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 95 17:02:15 EST From: Pierre Jelenc <pcj1 at columbia.edu> Subject: carbonates and hardness in HBD # 1627, Al Korzonas asks: >> [...] the part that I don't understand, despite having read that part of George Fix's book at least ten times, is how the balance of the CO3 <-> HCO3 <-> H2CO3 works. I know it has to do with the pH and that when the CO2 comes out of solution during the boil (which means, effectively, that the carbonic acid that *is* CO2 dissolved in water, turns to water) the pH of the water rises. What I'm missing is how the pH creates this balance of different types of ions. If someone could explain this, I think I could put all the pieces of this puzzle together. << I think that the problem arose from the confusion between carbonates and bicarbonates. As was mentionned before, _hardness_ results from the amount of Ca and Mg ions that are present in solution at any given time. Let us concentrate on the fate of calcium, as magnesium is typically much less important, and anyway its salts are more soluble. In normal tap/spring water, calcium and carbonic acid are present as the Ca++ cation, the CO3-- carbonate anion, the HCO3- bicarbonate anion, H2CO3 (carbonic acid), and dissolved CO2. This whole mixture forms a complicated equilibrium, that is described depending on the pH as being "calcium bicarbonate" or "calcium carbonate". Now, calcium bicarbonate is fairly soluble, while calcium carbonate isn't. Let us examine the various pH ranges: Acidic: the CO2 is present as H2CO3 and CO2, both of which are driven off by heating (H2CO3 = CO2 + H2O). The calcium stays in solution. Permanent hardness, which may be very high. Very alkaline: The CO2 is entirely as CO3--, which means that all the Ca++ is already in the form of calcium carbonate. Since calcium carbonate is rather insoluble, there is very little dissolved calcium to start with, but whatever is there stays there. Permanent, but low hardness. Moderately alkaline: The CO2 is mostly as HCO3-, and therefore there may be high concentrations of dissolved calcium (soluble calcium bicarbonate). Heating such a solution causes the dissolved CO2 to be driven off (gases become less soluble as temperature increases), causing displacement of the equilibrium between bicarbonate and CO2: 2 HCO3- --> CO2 + CO3-- + H2O Continued heating drives the equilibrium all the way, such that half of the original HCO3- becomes CO3-- and half becomes CO2 (driven off by the boiling). Since we are left with carbonate where we once had bicarbonate, calcium will precipitate as CaCO3. Thus (possibly high) temporary hardness turns to low permanent hardness. This phenomenon, incidentally, is what accounts for the formation of stalactites and stalagmites in limestone caves. Rain water (high in dissolved CO2) percolates through limestone (CaCO3) and dissolves some of the calcium carbonate as calcium bicarbonate: CO2 + H2O + CaCO3 --> Ca(HCO3)2 In the cave, CO2 is lost by exchange with the air and some water evaporates, and a minute amount of the Ca is deposited as CaCO3. A few millenia later, voila`. Pierre Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 95 17:10:04 EST From: Eamonn McKernan <eamonn at rainbow.physics.utoronto.ca> Subject: Ronald's yeast experiment Ronald Dwelle posted the results of a yeast comparaison experiment in HBD 1627. First off: Well done! From what you posted, it sounds like you performed a simple, to the point controlled experiment. Yeast performance is important to me (and many others I would assume), because at $5.50 (CDN) + tax each, I don't want to be doing alot of trial and error work. I really appreciate it when people post how various yeasts perform, and a now you've done a nice bit of research that gives even clearer evidence of differences between various strains. ie.without many of the ambiguities involved in comparing different beers fermented for different lengths of time, at different temperatures, by different brewers, etc... Second off (and the main reason for my taking up BW): Please be sure to post how they all turn out! F.G., taste, etc. I look forward to hearing more Eamonn McKernan eamonn at rainbow.physics.utoronto.ca Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 95 16:36 CST From: Tneutgen at skypoint.net (Trent Neutgens) Subject: All Grain in Twin Cities Area?? Howdy All, I was wondering if there is anyone out there in Minnesota around the Twin Cities area that is into all grain brewing. I am interested in making the move to all grain and would like to see a setup before I build one myself. I am considering either a bru-heat (sp?) or a propane kooker and keg set-up. Anyone around here have either? I have read all the FAQ's and posts and I think I know what to do but I would like to see one in person first. TIA for anyone who can help me out!!! Trent tneutgen at skypoint.net Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 95 16:52:00 -0700 From: John Glaser <glaser at widlar.ece.arizona.edu> Subject: Kegging questions and misc. OK, I've broken down, and I have several questions about kegging in soda kegs. I don't expect answers to them all, and yes, I have read the FAQ. It helped me get started, but I sure would like some more info. If I get enough answers, I'll try to get it added to the FAQ, or release it in some form or other. I mostly would like to stimulate some discussion. Nearly all of my questions have to do with carbonation, pressures, line lengths, tubing diameters, and so on. Exciting stuff, I know! 1) Beer line length: Or, to put it another way, how much pressure drop should there be across the beer line? Should it be about equal to the dispensing pressure, or should the pressure drop be minimal? Throw out your theories, please! Good related info would concern pressure drops for various line lengths i.e. 0.25lbs/ft for 3/8" line, 0.85lbs/ft. for 1/4" line. What about 3/16" line? 2) Dispensing pressure vs. storage/carbonating pressure: Do you dispense beer at the same pressure that you store and/or carbonate it? I know this depends on beer line length, diameter, temperature, etc. Obviously, it would be most convenient to use the same pressure for both, so you don't have to bleed the pressure, adjust the regulator, etc., every time you want to draw a few beers. 3) Beer serving temperature: Do you really store and serve your ales at 55F? I tried this and according to the CO2 volumes vs. temp chart, I needed nearly 20lbs. (I don't recall exactly, but it was close). What I have now: This is my first kegged batch, and I finally got it to give me glasses of beer. I use about 15lbs. of CO2 for storage and dispensing of a standard American ale stored at 45F. I have the spigot on a convenient bracket thathooks at the top of the keg. I use 6' of 3/16" I.D. beer line. It seems to work OK. What I started with: 4' of 1/4" beer line, pressure of 20 lbs., 55F storage temp. I got foam and no beer. I tried reducing dispensing pressure (no, I didn't forget to bleed the pressure), nothing worked. On another note: Don't give up the search for cheap brewing equipment. If you are willing to scrounge, and have little shame about asking, you'd be amazed at what you can get. Most of my equipment I got free for the asking, hauling away, and cleaning (OK, so cleaning sucks, and time = $$$, blah, blah, blah). If you search long enough, you may find what you need. For instance, I just got a 15 gallon Vollrath Stainless pot with lid and aluminum clad bottom for trading an old Brother word processor plus $30 at a local junkshop (Asking price was $60). Don't overlook flea markets and swap meets. I've seen $10 Corona mills, $10 antique functional bench cappers, scales, balances, thermostats, heating elements, king kookers, and much, much more. Hoppy (end of the) Holidays to you all, John Glaser (glaser at widlar.ece.arizona.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 95 21:17:54 From: aaron.banerjee at his.com Subject: CURE FOR DRUNKENES I have recently stumbled across a cure for drunkeness that dates back to 1869. Send me a message if you're interested. - Aaron Banerjee aaron.banerjee at his.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 1995 16:54:24 -0800 (PST) From: Domenick Venezia <venezia at zgi.com> Subject: ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) In #1620 (I'm still catching up) Phil Miller asks: "Also, when is the best time to add ascorbic acid to a brew?" At the risk of being flippant - NEVER! Some people, myself included, have vitamin C tolerance problems (it literally tears up my guts causing bleeding). I don't know how much you are contemplating using, but if you are attempting to prevent or reverse oxidation then it will probably be quite a bit, and at the very least people should be warned about the vitamin C content of your beer. It is not uncommon for someone to drink 6-8 pints over the course of an afternoon or evening. At the rate of 2g/gallon I could ingest over 1g (1000mg) of vitamin C about 4 times what it takes to cause me problems. Anyway, it's something to consider. Also, ascobic acid is pretty bitter and can be tasted at some level. Lastly, good procedure should obviate the need for an antioxidant. Domenick Venezia ZymoGenetics, Inc. Seattle, WA venezia at zgi.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 95 18:26:51 PST From: Neil Wylie <neilw at mwgasv.sr.hp.com> Subject: Refrigerator Temperature Control I seem to remember a while ago reading about "add-on" temperature controllers that can be used to control a refrigerator at optimum lager fermentation temperature. Does anyone have any experience / info? Brand names / model numbers, costs? Regards, Neil Wylie (neilw at sr.hp.com) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 1995 20:49:06 From: lkbonham at beerlaw.win.net (Louis K. Bonham) Subject: Keg Crimes -- to be or not to be? When this thread was in bloom last summer, I received literally dozens of e-mail messages from HBD'rs expressing interest in the topic, and generally indicating that the thread was worthwhile and germane to the HBD. Since posting my recent reply to Miller Brewing's rather tardy coda, I've received more expressions of interest and interesting antecdotes on the subject, which I had intended to summarize and post in a manner to minimize bandwidth use (and repetition). However, in HBD #1627 we read Mr. Demers' crafted expression of wonderfully inciteful prose: >Please, lets not resurrect this keg crimes thread. It was already >beaten to death by all of the lawyer wannabe types already. Take it >to alt.useless.legal.debates. Were here to talk about BREWING BEER! >Thank you. and Mr. Korzonas admonition that we should: >. . . not forget that this is the Homebrew Digest and not the Law >Digest. Debating this issue should be done elsewhere. I (and it seems many others as well) believe this issue is very relevant to the HBD, both for homebrewers and actual or aspiring craft brewers. Indeed, many HBD readers have written me to express their thanks for bringing some legal expertise to the discussion (I guess a few folks think my license to practice makes me a bit more than a "lawyer wannabe type"), much in the same way as I have thanked specialists such as John Palmer for his expert thoughts on stainless steel (another "nonbrewing" topic that seems to be well accepted here). However, if the HBD readers are tired of the thread, so be it. If you want to see more on the subject, let me know *by e-mail* at lkbonham at beerlaw.win.net. If you're so opposed to seeing more that you just have to say something, feel free to let me know, preferably by e-mail. If there's a sufficient favorable response, I'll continue the thread; if not, consider it ended. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 1995 19:11:14 -0800 (PST) From: XKCHRISTIAN at CCVAX.FULLERTON.EDU Subject: Moving Carboys / Yeast Starters Hi HBDer's I'd like to pose a few questions to the collective wisdom out there. My brewing buddy and I have been brewing double batches and sometimes we don't finish until 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. We pitch when the temperature is right. The carboys will set by the front door until later that day and then they get moved to a 62 degree frig. The brew may sit for 10 to 12 hours. When it is time to move them to the frig., there is a 1/2 to 1 inch of kraeusen. At this point is it a bad idea to move the carboys? They are agitated pretty well as I carry them down the stairs as well as with the car ride to the frig.--it stirs up the break material on the bottom. When does agitation become detrimental? Yeast Starters: When bottling wort for starters, is it important not to aerate it? Should I leave no head space in the bottle? After bottling the wort, should I store the bottles at 62 F or should the temp be lower? I am considering buying a yeast starter kit from Brewers Resource. Anyone out there with experience with these kits? Would it be a good idea to buy the simple kit for $16.00 or buy the $50.00 kit with the extras? Any responses here or private are appreciated. TIA Keith Christian XKCHRISTIAN at FULLERTON.EDU Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 95 22:43:15 EST From: "Bob Hall" <bhall at sparc.ecology.uga.edu> Subject: Carbon dioxide equilibria / pH Al K asks: >This much I think I have straight (correct me if I'm wrong) but the part >that I don't understand, despite having read that part of George Fix's >book at least ten times, is how the balance of the CO3 <-> HCO3 <-> H2CO3 >works. I know it has to do with the pH and that when the CO2 comes out >of solution during the boil (which means, effectively, that the carbonic >acid that *is* CO2 dissolved in water, turns to water) the pH of the water >rises. What I'm missing is how the pH creates this balance of different >types of ions. When carbon dioxide dissolves in water, it reacts with water to form carbonic acid. Carbonic acid quickly dissociates to form bicarbonate, which itself dissociates to form carbonate. H20 (bicarb) (Carbonate) CO2 <---> H2CO3 <-----> H+ and HCO3- <-----> H+ and CO3-- pK=6.4 pK=10.4 Each of these species is in an equilibrium with one another that depends on the pH of the solution. That is to say the the relative amounts of each species depends on the pH. The reason why pH affects the relative amounts of each is because carbonic acid and bicarbonate are weak acids, that is only a portion of them will lose an H+. The concentration of H+ in solution determines the amount of molecules that dissociate. If there is lots of H+ in solution (low pH) then there will be almost no dissociation of bicarbonate to form carbonate, and a little dissociation of carbonic acid to form bicarbonate. At pH 6.4 the inorganic carbon in solution is exactly half bicarbonate and half carbonic acid/CO2 with essentially no carbonate. pH 6.4 is called the pK of carbonic acid, because it is the point where half the molecules have dissociated. At pH 10.4 (the pK of bicarbonate) there is half bicarbonate and half carbonate ions with essentially no free CO2/carbonic acid. A good way to figure this out is to look again at the reaction above. If there is lots of carbonate and bicarbonate around, (say pH =10.4), and you add acid (H+) to the solution, the equation will go backwards in that you will form bicarbonate, and then carbonic acid. If you added enough acid to get to pH = 6.4 the the solution will come to a new equilibrium with half carbonic acid and half bicarbonate. Keep adding acid and there will be only carbonic acid/CO2. One point to remember is that the pH determines the relative amounts of bicarbonate and carbonate in solution, not the absolute amount. Thus two water supplies can have the same pH, but the one with higher bicarbonate will have higher alkalinity, and be more troublesome to mash with pale malt. Bob Hall bhall at sparc.ecology.uga.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 1995 23:28:40 -0600 From: mthompso at mail.utexas.edu (Mark Thompson) Subject: Mexicali Rogue Since there seems to be quite a few folks delurking these days I thought I might join the masses with this post. I want to attempt to brew something in the style of Rogue's Mexicali Rogue Ale. According to the blurb on the side of the bottle they use chipolte (smoked jalapeno) peppers to give it it's smokey character. I was planning on using a pale ale as the base but I'm not sure how to proceed with the chipolte. So my question is how much chipolte to use and should I: a.) Add to the mash (or specialty grain steep). b.) Add to the boil and if so how long. c.) Make a chipolte tea... Mmmm d.) Dry hop (or dry pepper in this case). Any information or comments will be appreciated. Thanks, Mark Thompson, Austin Texas mthompso at mail.utexas.edu Return to table of contents
Date: 11 Jan 1995 01:43:07 -0000 From: Gateway at foxmail.gfc.edu (Gateway) Subject: NDN: Homebrew Digest #1628 (January 11, 1995) Sorry. Your message could not be delivered to: Robert Hoover,George Fox College (The name was not found at the remote site. Check that the name has been entered correctly.) Return to table of contents
Date: 11 Jan 1995 06:49:00 -0600 From: "Laeuger, Mike" <mike.laeuger at spmail.jsc.nasa.gov> Subject: 15 Gallons in a Plastic Bag? Here is a wild idea: I want to brew 15 gallons but do not want to separate it into my three five gallon carboys for the primary fermentation. I was thinking of lining a garbage can with a new Glad plastic bag and tying my blowoff hose to the bag and supporting it over the brew. After the primary, I can rack into the carboys for the secondary or for bottling. Is this too crazy of an idea? What type of bag should I use? Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 1995 08:11:16 EST5EDT From: "Thomas W. Ausfeld" <TOM at sp1.dhmc.dartmouth.edu> Subject: Root Beer B.V. Lhotka writes: >I have been given some sassafras roots and I am about to attempt making >root beer from them. However, my local Homebrew shops have not been >able to give me any direction (other than use their extract kits...). >Does anyone have a receipe/method/any pointers/ANYTHING that may help? The new Charlie Papazian book, has a recipe for Rootbeer using sassafrass roots, (I don't have it handy so I can't post it). It also includes a warning about sassafrass roots being a carcinogen, comments anyone?? >Whoisit?? Thanks Lee Bussy for the Witchita competition info. (I did finally get it, sorry for the inconvienece) Lastly: I currently have three cornelius kegs, which are all full. But I have an Oatmeal Stout sitting in its primary fermenter (carbouy) since 12/30. Here's my question: If I rack over to a secondary fermenter, how long can I safely leave it in there to condition? Should I rack over every couple of weeks or is a month OK? Thanks... Back to lurker status. Tom Ausfeld (TOM at sp1.dhmc.dartmouth.edu) aka: Tom someone from Dartmouth Beer is good food..... Tom Ausfeld (TOM at SP1.dhmc.dartmouth.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 95 07:32 EST From: Kathy Kincade <0006391766 at mcimail.com> Subject: Writers needed Hi everybody -- Are you interested in contributing articles to a new, national monthly magazine for homebrewers? And actually getting paid? The magazine, called "Brew", will hit the newsstands this May. It's aimed at all levels of home brewer, from nervous beginner to ought-to-be-selling-it advanced. Brew ill feature hands-on articles about brewing and beer, articles that are informative and at the same time capture the enjoyment of brewing. Among the monthly columns will be "Tips from the Pros", "Style of the Month", "Microbreweries You Never Heard Of", "Business is Brewing", and "Help Me, Mr. Wizard." We'll also be running fourt to six features a month, with topics ranging from the how-to's of brewing to interviews with famous home brewers. At this point, we are interested in receiving queries/article ideas. If you've got a few to share, drop a note to the editor, Craig Bystrynski, at CBBREW at Delphi.com, including your mailing address, so he can send you a copy of the writers' guidelines. You can also reach him at tel. (916) 758-4596, FAX (916) 758- 7477. Thanks for your interest -- Cheers! - --Kathy Kincade, Contributing Editor, Brew Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 1995 08:31:31 -0500 From: "Mr. Robert Rybczynski; ACS (GUEST)" <robert at umbc.edu> Subject: RE: Root Beer from Sassafras roots (help?!?) B.V. Lhotka wrote: > I have been given some sassafras roots and I am about to attempt making > root beer from them. However, my local Homebrew shops have not been > able to give me any direction (other than use their extract kits...). > Does anyone have a receipe/method/any pointers/ANYTHING that may help? Sassafras grows wild in Maryland, so I've made simple teas from it all my life. You use the bark from the root. Scrub the roots well, nip off any rootlets, then shave the bark from the roots with a knife. These shavings go into the pot near the end of the boil (about 5 minutes). You can discard the rootlets and wood. One of my early brewing experiments was with sassafras. I think I used the bark from about 5 roots, 4 to 6 inches long each. I didn't know about tannins at the time, so I boiled it about 15 minutes. The sassafras (root beer) flavor came through, but so did the wood. I dumped out about half, then had a change of heart and saved about 18 bottles. With time the wood flavor subsided and a rather interesting beer emerged. Limiting your boil to 5 minutes should avoid drawing the tannins out of the wood, so you wont have to wait! The only other advice I can give is the standard for herb/spice beers: start with light malt and noble hops, then adjust to taste in your next batch. Maybe you should try one gallon batches. BTW, you can leave any unused roots in a cool, dry place (not the refrigerator). Sassafras keeps for several months. Of course, the sooner you use it, the better it will be. Good luck, Rob - ----------------------- Robert Rybczynski Baltimore, Md USA robert at umbc.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 95 07:52 CST From: chuckmw at mcs.com (Charles Wettergreen) Subject: PH METERS To: homebrew at hpfcmi.fc.hp.com In HBD #1628, Ed Scolforo wrote: HH> On another topic:I had purchased a Ph Checker *tm awhile ago and had HH> problems keeping it from excess drift and giving repeatable readings in I've had exactly the same problems. This instrument is trash. HH> problems with this meter. He says that he has done alot of research into PH HH> meters and the bottom line is that you cannot get a meter on the market HH> today which is reliable and accurate unless you spend $200 for it. The ones I disagree. HH> commonly sold to homebrewers simply are not made to hold up to frequent use. HH> He mentioned Cole Pharmer and others as a source for better quality meters. HH> I'd like to hear from homebrewers regarding their I purchased a Cole Pharmer (actually, I believe it is Cole Palmer) for around $80. It has automatic temperature compensation from 0 to 122 degF, automatic calibration, and the readings don't drift over a period of weeks if you store it properly. It comes in a heavy duty carrying case that includes vials for calibration solution and mix-it-yourself calibration solution in pellets. I got it on a special deal through work, but I know where you can get one for under $100. Cheers, Chuck /*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/* Chuck Wettergreen One beer at a sitting is OK. Two beers, maybe. Chuckmw at mcs.com But anything beyond that number goes over the Geneva, Illinois line of recreational drinking. Ann Landers /*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/**/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/**/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/* * RM 1.3 * Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 1995 09:20:06 -0500 (EST) From: Bruce Beckwith <bbeckwit at bih.harvard.edu> Subject: Capping and Stoppering Champagne Bottles I also have run across problems capping champagne bottles. As previously stated by many, champagne bottles are quite variable, some work perfectly with a normal capper and most do not. I purchased a "Super Colonna" Vertical Capping Machine (apparently made in Italy, possibly by Brev?). It is a rugged, mainly plastic contraption which has worked well for over a year (I went through one of the std two lever cappers in about a year). On the box is some interesting information: "The capper is supplied with tongs for 28mm crown caps. At request (extra $) tongs for 30mm crown caps (Champagne bottle type) can also be supplied." I have called a bunch of homebrew supply stores and one distributor but no one seems to carry the larger "tongs" (crimper). One place said that they probably could order it and 30mm caps, but I would have to get caps by the case (probably close to a lifetime supply!). Does anyone know where I could get the larger crimper (tongs) and a reasonably small number of 30mm caps. (private email fine) Since I didn't manage to solve this supplier issue myself, I went to a store that also sells wine supplies. They suggested using plastic champagne "corks" and metal cages. I have used these on 5-10 bottles now without a problem. The "corks" and cages are reusable if your careful and they were pretty cheap (5-10 cents apiece). Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 95 10:05:46 EST From: albrecht at bns102.bng.ge.com (Jonathan Albrecht ph3187) Subject: Old Peculiar Recipe I'm looking for a recipe for an Old Peculiar clone. I remember some HBD traffic on this some time back but had little interest then. I have now since sampled Old Peculiar and I'm interested in brewing some. Thanks in advance. Jon Albrecht ________________________________________________________ Jonathan Albrecht (albrecht at bng.ge.com) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 1995 09:16:22 -0500 (CDT) From: Karel Chaloupka <KCHALOUP at lrlmccer.jsc.nasa.gov> Subject: ReCulturing Yeast I am getting ready to bottle my Alt which has been fermenting for about 2 weeks. I would like to save my yeast or create a new starter. Any suggestions?. If I store the yeast in the fridge in a sealed container, How long can I keep it? How many generations would recommend I use the yeast for?, Oh BTW, I used Wyeast 1007. Karel Chaloupka Loral Space Information Systems (713)335-6798 email kchaloup at lrlmccer.jsc.nasa.gov KJC NET at aol.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 1995 10:27:04 EST From: uswlsrap at ibmmail.com Subject: Bottle "crimes" ....a request from a regional - -------------------- Mail Item Text Follows ------------------ To: I1010141--IBMMAIL From: Bob Paolino Research Analyst Subject: Bottle "crimes" ....a request from a regional Back when I got started, I built up a bottle collection by buying cases of returnables for the $1.20 deposit per case. Lots of us probably have done/still do that. Of course, I'm in one of those uncivilised states that doesn't have a bottle deposit law, so empty bottles from fine micros (except the ones that come in those damn screw-offs) get their labels soaked off and I refill what the commercial guys don't. Competitions are also a good source for empties. If you're attending a competition and you need bottles, PLEASE don't hesitate to ask the organiser during a less busy period after the show. Trust me, s/he'll be happy for you to take the empties (and probably some of the extra full ones, too) away. I imagine that a friendly neighbourhood pubkeeper would also (in non-deposit states) be happy to have you cart a couple cases of empties away every now and then. In short, there are plenty of ways for a homebrewer to get empties. I wouldn't call keeping (or buying) deposit bottles a crime, but one of the local regional breweries, Huber (Monroe, WI), has asked that we pass the word that we encourage our members NOT to use cases of empty Huber bottles for homebrewing. It seems that they're getting a fairly low return rate, such that it's beginning to become a problem for them. I should note for those of you outside this area that Huber bottles are very popular among homebrewers because the labels just beg to float off the bottles after a rather brief soak in hot water. They should get credit for using more "environmentally friendly" paper labels (rather than foil on paper) and water soluble glues (which probably makes the "de-labelling" part of their washing process simpler as well), but it's also made the bottles, it seems, all too popular among homebrewers. But whether you're in WI/MN/IL/IA or elsewhere, you should keep in mind the well-bring of your small regional brewers, even the ones that aren't "micros." Now go have a beer, Bob Paolino / Disoriented in Badgerspace /uswlsrap at ibmmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 95 09:27:33 CST From: BigBrad <BPLUMMER at SYSUBMC.BMC.COM> Subject: oak collar for freezer In the HBD on 1/11/95 Joe wrote: -From: JSTONE at SJEVM5.VNET.IBM.COM -Subject: Oak Freezer Collar - I would like more information from the brewer who mounted the 6" -oak collar around the rim of his freezer. I wasn't smart enough -to save his email address and apparently the '95 posts aren't -archived yet. - -Joe Hi folks. Brad here. I have contacted Joe via e-mail with more details about the collar. If anyone else out there wants more info, let me know and I will post it here on HBD. - ------------------------------------------------------------------ Brad Plummer \ As I picked myself off the floor, I / BMC Software, Inc. \ realized I should have said, "Ma'am, / Houston, Texas \ that was some good foam on my beer." / bplummer at sysubmc.bmc.com \ / - ------------------------------------------------------------------ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 1995 10:43:15 -0500 From: GlynnB9776 at aol.com Subject: listserv at sierra. stanford.edu i dont seem to be capable of understanding how to access archives can you help me Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 95 08:25:18 PST From: "Connie Schultz" <CESCHULT at BCSC02.GOV.BC.CA> Subject: Beer Kegs I am looking for a source/supplier of 23 litre (5 Imp. gal) beer kegs. I have a keg made by a company called ROTOKEG - now defunct, but previously based in Vancouver, B.C. They were very nice: nylon-barrel shaped - bung at the bottom and a cap that would take gas cartridges. The seal on the lid was excellent and adding gas was almost never required. If you have any information I would appreciate a response. Connie Schultz, Systems Support Coordinator Upper Island Health Unit - Courtenay 334-1387 fax 334-1182 ceschult at bcsc02.gov.bc.ca Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 1995 12:30:21 +0100 From: chc2 at acpub.duke.edu Subject: private vs. public replies Hello all, I just wanted to clarify why I requested private email. First, I don't religiously read HBD, so if people replied to my article then I would probably miss them. Second, I have commonly seen people request private email, and depending on the response, later post a summary of all the advice which they received and what effect their subsequent actions had, which is what I planned on doing. I have received a half dozen or so responses and am in the process of experimenting, so I'll let you know how it all works out. So, if someone requests private responses, they are not necessarily trying to exclude everyone, especially if they are responsible and post the results. Take it easy, Chuck Chuck Cannon Duke University, Botany Dept. Box 90339 Durham, NC 27708-0339 w (919) 684-3715 f (919) 684-5412 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 95 12:59:43 EST From: Eamonn McKernan <eamonn at rainbow.physics.utoronto.ca> Subject: how much does a bottle cost? I'm not interested in legalities, just what seems right or wrong. I buy Upper Canada beer because it's good beer, but more importantly because i like their dark brown pry top bottles. I would feel bad if I thought I were ripping them off. So I asked the tour guide at their brewery, and they said that the bottles cost them less than the 10 cent deposit. But he insisted that keeping the bottles cost them money, because their stock of bottles was getting low so they'd have to buy some more. This makes no sense. This is a BREWING digest, and bottles are a part of brewing (or kegs). I don't care about some stupid law that isn't enforced, I do care about what is right or wrong. Can anyone tell me why buying their bottles for more than they're worth might cost them money? eamonn McKernan eamonn at rainbow.physics.utoronto.ca Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 95 14:56:53 EST From: SnowMS_at_CNTORSSA at CCIP.PERKIN-ELMER.COM Subject: beer syrup I thought I would share my favourite pancake syrup. 1/2 cup light beer 1.5 cups brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 3 tablespoons butter combine,bring to a boil,serve warm. Keeps well in a sealed container in the fridge. Even non-beer lovers love this! Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 1995 13:39:50 -0700 From: k-jones at ee.utah.edu (Kelly Jones) Subject: low alcohol brews I thought I would try to shed some light on techniques for making low alcohol beers, speaking from a knowledge of the physics behind it, rather than from practical experience. I am using the term "low alcohol" as a substitute for "non-alcoholic", as we all know "non-alcoholic" beers contain up to 0.5% alcohol. The real crux of the issue is determining what needs to be done to assure that a certain amount of alcohol has been removed. Let me begin by explaining some of the physics of distillation. When an alcohol-water mixture is heated (and even when it is not) a vapor will exist above the liquid phase of the mixture. Because alcohol is more volatile, as we all know, this vapor will contain a higher proportion of alcohol than that which is present in the liquid phase. That is to say, if the liquid phase is 5% EtOH, the vapor present above the liquid will be perhaps 37% EtOH. If this vapor is removed, we have thus reduced the concentration of EtOH in the liquid. This is the basis of distillation. If the temperature is increased high enough, the liquid mixture will begin to boil. While it will boil at a lower temperature than pure water (roughly 95C for a 5% abw mixture), this phase relationship will still hold: The vapor boiling off will be a mixture of both alcohol and water. In fact, more water (63%) than alcohol (37%) is being removed! Hopefully, this information dispels some misconceptions: First, the alcohol does not selectively boil off when the solution reaches the boiling point of alcohol (about 78C). At any temperature, including temperatures below the boiling point, both water and alcohol are being evaporated. There is no "magic temperature" at which the alcohol will be removed. Finally, there is no "magic time" at which one can assume that the alcohol is gone: How long it takes to remove a given volume of alcohol is dependent upon the net rate of vapor removal, which is in turn dependent upon temperature, rate of heat input, evaporator geometry, etc. In order to produce a low-alcohol beer, one has to evaporate away enough of the high-concentration EtOH vapor to result in a mixture that is substantially lower in alcohol. In other words, what we are looking for is a net volume loss. I believe this explains some of the enigmatic data which were presented at various times by Jack Schmidling, Maribeth Raines, and Bruce DeBolt. If one knew the exact relationship between the EtOH concentration in beer versus the EtOH concentration in the vapor phase, one could predict exactly how much volume loss would be required to reduce a beer of any initial alcohol concentration to some lower value, say 0.5% (the normal definition of non-alcoholic beer). I do not posess this data for beer, although I have seen figures for simple alcohol-water mixtures. Using this data, I have derived formulas which indicate that, for most mixtures that start out with 3% - 7% abw, reduction to 0.5% alcohol is achieved when 20 - 25% of the mixture is removed. To create a non-alcoholic beer from 5 gal of 5% beer, one should boil it down to 4 gallons, then top up with water to get back to 5 gal. Note that the temperature is not important, you could achieve this evaporation at virtually any temperature; obviously though, it will happen much faster if boiling is achieved. Of course, this may have deleterious organoleptic consequences. As other posters have explained, carbonation could be achieved by force carbonating, or by adding fresh yeast and the normal amount of priming sugar. BTW, the concept of an azeotrope has nothing to do with this issue. The EtOH-water azeotrope is formed at _high_ EtOH concentration, like 96% EtOH. This comes into play if you are trying to remove _water_ from _alcohol_, to form pure EtOH. We are working at the opposite end of the spectrum. BTW, does anyone know whether the 0.5% "definintion" of non-alcoholic is abw or abv? Hope this helps a little, Kelly *********************************** Copyright Kelly E. Jones 1995 All rights reserved. *********************************** Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1629, 01/12/95