HOMEBREW Digest #1637 Sat 21 January 1995

Digest #1636 Digest #1638

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  mash efficiency and sealants (ANDY WALSH)
  Cider recipe (richard frederick hand)
  UK-oriented Homebrewing Newsgroup - Request for feedback. (Tel +44 784 443167)
  Assorted Replies ("Robert W. Mech")
  Freezing yeast (Ed Hitchcock)
  RE: Bottle Sources, PET and O2, Labels (Arthur McGregor 614-0205)
  Splashing Bleach (Ken Jucks, ph # 617-496-7580)
  Harvesting Irish Moss ("kendall coolidge")
  Isinglass and keg aging/acid rests/knifes (Jim Busch)
  Yeast preservation, and sanitizers. (Pierre Jelenc)
  5l keg foaming problems (david lawrence shea)
  Irish Moss ("geo")
  Stupid questions: sparge water/lightstruck?/cardboard (ESMPD)" <gcunning at Census.GOV>
  RIMS and Steam Injection (Peter_Murphy-G10826)
  Chicago Brewing Ain't "Small" (Nimbus Couzin)
  C-keg fittings (Marla Korchmar)
  RE: Churchkey? (Christopher) <cwjones at microsoft.com>
  Lucifer, cider, 2l bottle caps (Jeff Benjamin)
  baking bottles ("Todd Orjala")
  Req: Grand Cru recipe puleeeeze ("Robert Waddell")
  Yeast culturing/PET caps (David Draper)
  Hydrometer Calibration (Koscal Mike)
  Head (Richard Buckberg)
  Re: Capping 2L PET bottles. (Sean MacLennan)
  Chidago area homebrew supplys (Philip Gravel)

****************************************************************** * NEW POLICY NOTE: Due to the incredible volume of bouncing mail, * I am going to have to start removing addresses from the list * that cause ongoing problems. In particular, if your mailbox * is full or your account over quota, and this results in bounced * mail, your address will be removed from the list after a few days. * * If you use a 'vacation' program, please be sure that it only * sends a automated reply to homebrew-request *once*. If I get * more than one, then I'll delete your address from the list. ****************************************************************** Send articles for __publication_only__ to homebrew at hpfcmi.fc.hp.com (Articles are published in the order they are received.) Send UNSUBSCRIBE and all other requests, ie, address change, etc., to homebrew-request@ hpfcmi.fc.hp.com, BUT PLEASE NOTE that if you subscribed via the BITNET listserver (BEER-L at UA1VM.UA.EDU), then you MUST unsubscribe the same way! If your account is being deleted, please be courteous and unsubscribe first. Please don't send me requests for back issues - you will be silently ignored. For "Cat's Meow" information, send mail to lutzen at novell.physics.umr.edu ARCHIVES: An archive of previous issues of this digest, as well as other beer related information can be accessed via anonymous ftp at ftp.stanford.edu. Use ftp to log in as anonymous and give your full e-mail address as the password, look under the directory /pub/clubs/homebrew/beer directory. AFS users can find it under /afs/ir.stanford.edu/ftp/pub/clubs/homebrew/beer. If you do not have ftp capability you may access the files via e-mail using the ftpmail service at gatekeeper.dec.com. For information about this service, send an e-mail message to ftpmail at gatekeeper.dec.com with the word "help" (without the quotes) in the body of the message.
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 20 Jan 95 11:00:32 +1100 From: ANDY WALSH <awalsh at ozemail.com.au> Subject: mash efficiency and sealants A.J. Delange comments on mash efficiency. >The first issue which needs to be addressed >is the definition of "efficient". The simplest one is one in which the >efficiency is the fraction of the total weight of the grain which converts to >sugar (extract) i.e. 100% efficiency means that one pound of grain converts >to one pound of extract. This is, of course, unacheivable as husks, ash etc >are not convertible, not all starch converts and some of that which does is >left behind in the lauter tun. >I believe this definition is the usual one and a home brewer is usually happy >if he acheives 70% with barley malt and maybe 75% with wheat. Commercial >operations look for closer to 80%. <snip> >DME and cane sugar being tabulated at 45 or so with >the well modified malts at 30-35. These numbers, thus, have an efficiency >built in i.e. a malt that is expected to yield 35 points per pound per gallon >contains approximately 100*35/46 = 76% extractable starch and the rest is >unconvertable material. To use these numbers find the average points per >pound per gallon: Indeed this is one version of "efficiency" and is the one used by commercial brewers (also called "extract"). Unfortunately home brewers often talk about "efficiency" meaning what proportion of the theoretical maximum extract yield they get from their mash. ie. Given pale malt can possibly yield 35 pts/lb/gallon and a homebrewer gets 30, his "efficiency" can be described as 30/35=86% (homebrewers' efficiency), or 30/46=65% (extract). This can be very confusing and I am not sure when or why homebrewers first started using this measure. (I admit my guilt in using this definition also!) I certainly know that with the SUDS software (available from the archive site via FTP), the "efficiency" square actually refers to homebrewers' efficiency, and not "extract". "Homebrewers' efficiency" is a pretty sloppy sort of quantity. What we really mean by this is "how efficient our mash technique is compared with Dave Miller's", since the numbers he gives (eg. 35 pts/lb/gallon for pale malt) are the actual numbers he achieves in his brewery. In theory these numbers should vary all over the place, depending upon the exact grain you use (eg. protein content of pale malt), but in practice everyone seems to use 35 (or 36) pts/lb/gallon pretty universally! Even so, once you know the "homebrewers' efficiency" of your setup, you can plug this number into SUDS and get a pretty good estimation of the starting gravity of the next batch you are planning to brew. I hope this clarifies people's worts! **************** Nigel Townsend comments on the use of vaseline to seal kegs. I would recommend glycerol (available from supermarkets). This seals well and is less messy. Some also use this to help prevent damaging yeast when freezing, so it is a "brew-friendly" product. Andy W. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 1995 20:48:45 -0400 From: richard frederick hand <ac081 at cfn.cs.dal.ca> Subject: Cider recipe Someone was recently asking for a cider recipe on HBD. I have one that makes a sparkling, dry (& strong) cider. Rather than tie up the HBD with cider news, please use e-mail. Rick Hand Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 09:04:01 +0000 From: Brian Gowland <B.Gowland at rhbnc.ac.uk> (Tel +44 784 443167) Subject: UK-oriented Homebrewing Newsgroup - Request for feedback. 20th Jan. 1995 This has been posted to The HomeBrew Digest and to the Usenet Newsgroup rec.crafts.brewing. This is a request for feedback on the subject of setting up a UK-oriented Newsgroup under the uk.* prefix of Newsgroups. As a UK Homebrewer I have found both HBD and r.c.b to be invaluable and enjoyable aids to improving my Brew and in meeting new Net-friends on both sides of the Great Pond. In saying that, however, I and other UK Homebrewers feel that the orientation of both HBD and r.c.b tends toward that of US brewing and it is sometimes difficult for us to find answers to questions that are heavily oriented toward UK matters. There can be no mistake that there are many differences in the history, styles, methods, ingredients etc. between UK and US brewing and there is a feeling that a UK-specific Newsgroup would be useful to UK Homebrewers as well as non-UK Homebrewers that are interested in UK-specific brewing matters. For this purpose I have been investigating the subject of creating such a Newsgroup under the uk.* prefix. This is not an official Usenet prefix but is carried by many UK News servers and MAY be available outside of the UK but this is not clear to me at present. The uk.* Newsgroups work, to an extent, like the alt.* Newsgroups in that they are created and maintained in a less formal way. There is no need for voting as such but a formal proposal must be submitted and discussed before the group can be created and it is for this reason that I am asking for feedback on the subject. I am asking anybody who has any opinions on this subject to EMAIL ME DIRECTLY at... B.Gowland at rhbnc.ac.uk ...and let me know what you think of the idea. I am proposing that the name should be uk.rec.crafts.brewing but would like to hear other ideas. There is already a uk.rec.* prefix and the name would also indicate its parallel to r.c.b. I will attempt to post this request a few more times over the next couple of weeks in order that I can get the attention of as many people as possible - apologies for the bandwidth used - I promise to restrict it to a minimum number of postings. Thanks for your time, Cheers, Brian Gowland Surrey England Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 04:23:06 -0600 (CST) From: "Robert W. Mech" <rwmech at eagle.ais.net> Subject: Assorted Replies Several Replies Today, just one post to save bandwith... :-) For those of you intrested in BT (Brews Technologies), Ill give my short expierence with it. I emailed them on the 19th, about 4am, and by 5am, had a response that they were sending me an issue, and billing me. How nice of them eh? So for those of you Credit Card impared, email them. btcirc at aol.com. No affiliation, just satisfied. - --- Next somone mentioned in a "p.s." that they were worried that they spend too much time worrying about what they need to buy building their homebrew equipment, vs. actualy brewing beer. Hey, it happens to everyone I think! I dont know one person that has "everything" there is to brew beer. Somone always wants a cooker, PH tester, kegging setup, or god knows what else. I know im that way all the time, my wife never hears the constant saying "When I get a few extra bucks, im going to go buy a...". My rule of thumb is, lacking equipment or not, if I run out of beer, i brew more. :-). - --- Now, my questions... First off, there seems to be only a few brewclubs in the chicagoland area. None of which seem very local to me. I have been thinking over the idea for a while of getting some people together, and starting our own club. Has anyone here started thier own brewclub? Whats involved? Is it a good idea to have somone thats a "Brew God" in the club? I consider myself a rather advanced all grain brewer, but *FAR* from knowing all there is to know about beer brewing... Can anyone help me with this? Secondly, im just now conisdering entering my beers into competition. I never really wanted to before, simply because I found it more fun to brew something I like to drink, rather than "To Style". Anyhow, U BREW Midwest BBS has a list of upcomming events and some are "AHA Club Only Events". Obviously I know what AHA stands for, but what I dont know, is there a AHA "club" that you nationaly join? If so, can somone send me info on it? Lastly, ive been consindering the use of "Mesquete" wood chips in beer. Not smoking, but putting them in a hop bag in the boil. When Im grilling during the summer, I have to soak the woodchips in water before putting them on the hot coals. The water becomes very "aromatic" so Im thinking that in the boil, the aromatic sent and mesquete flavor will pass off into the boiling wort. Ive never tasted the water after the wood chips have soaked in it, so I dont know what sort of flavor is passed on... Has anyone tried this? Ive considered smoking grains, but after I found out whats involved, Ive decided that I want no part of it :-). So Will this work? Welp, thats my 2 beers for today. Hoppy Brewing. Rob Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 10:07:00 -0400 (AST) From: Ed Hitchcock <ehitchcock at sparc.uccb.ns.ca> Subject: Freezing yeast Someone commented in today's hbd that they had trouble freezing yeast. Yes, having a -70 freezer helps, but it can be done at home. One trick is freezing the beasties quickly. Most of us don't have access to liquid nitrogen for snap freezing, but try this: place a bottle of alcohol (alcool, white lightning, strong vdka, whatever) in the freezer a few days ahead of time. When you want to freeze the yeast, pour a little of the -18C alcohol into a small pan (also pre-chilled in the freezer), and immerse the vial of yeast-glycerine in the alcohol. This will freeze the culture much more quickly than just placing it in the freezer to be air-cooled. Fast freezing creates smaller ice crystals, which cause less damage to the yeast cells. Some intrepid homebrewers might try dropping some dry ice pellets into iced 95% ethanol to cool it down even further, which will more closely approximate the freezing capacity of a -70 freezer. Once it's frozen storage at -18C shouldn't be a problem. ed ---------------- ehitchcock at sparc.uccb.ns.ca the Pick and Fossil Picobrewery brewers of Ed's Paleo Pale Ale and Right Coast IPA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 09:25:29 -0400 (EDT) From: Arthur McGregor 614-0205 <mcgregap at acq.osd.mil> Subject: RE: Bottle Sources, PET and O2, Labels BOTTLES A friends father brews beer, and says a good source of returnable bar bottles is the American Legion. He claims they will sell you cases of them in the heavy duty cardboard cases for the deposit value ($2.00 in Virginia). I've never actually tried this, though. Another source would be local restaurants. Talk to the manager about non-twist top non-returnable bottles they through out. I would guess that an offer of a six pack of homebrew would help :). ********** PET AND O2 An experiment that could be done on PET bottles and permeability of O2 which could answer some 'inquiring minds.' Some volunteer with a "carbonator" or such device, who has access to bottled O2 could fill a PET with O2 and let it sit for a few months. Might also require a pressure gauge, or a precision scale, and basic knowledge of atmospheric gasses to determine if O2 has diffused. Just a thought. ********** LABELS I recently bought some AVERY Multi-Purpose Labels (standard disclaimer). They are 1/2" X 3/4", and fit nicely on bottle caps (no removal required besides opening the bottle :). I can create a 'beer label' table using my word processor software, and by adjusting the font size, table spacing, and line spacing create printed bottle labels that have the style, date bottled, grain vs extract, ale vs lager, etc. I simply peel them off and stick on the cap. The beer cap labels don't come off if they get wet (in a cooler for an outing, etc.). The only difficult part is creating the first table, and messing around with font size, line spacing, etc. Once completed, just use the search and replace function to change the style, bottling date, etc. I print the table on a sheet of paper, use double sided stick tape and position and attach the blank labels over the previous print, and re-feed the paper back through my dot printer. This may not be the best method, but I figure I have years to brew :) and play around till I figure the 'perfect' method for me. Good Brews Art McGregor (mcgregap at acq.osd.mil) Lorton, Virginia Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 09:54:21 -0500 From: jucks at cfaft4.harvard.edu (Ken Jucks, ph # 617-496-7580) Subject: Splashing Bleach I have a solution to Harry's problem with splashing bleach. Don't pour it. I am similar to Harry in that I am an accident prone male who can spill any liquid I put in my hands (and I am a trained laboratory scientist). My way around the problem is to siphon the bleach solution out of the carboy. This way, I let physics work for me, and I sanitize my racking cane and siphon hose at the same time. Ken Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 95 09:23:26 From: "kendall coolidge" <kendall_coolidge at polymer.com> Subject: Harvesting Irish Moss This is in reply to Kevin Fons' question as to whether anyone grows their own Irish Moss. I have been "harvesting" my own Irish Moss for several years now since it grows quite abundantly on the rocky coastline of New England. Irish Moss ( or Chondrus crispus) is a "red" marine algae or seaweed that is found from New Jersey to Nova Scotia attached to rocks, shells, or wooden structures along the shoreline. It probably grows along the Pacific NW too, but I'm not sure. In appearance it is reddish-brown to purple in color and grows in dense, matted clumps. Individual tufts are about the size of a tennis ball or smaller. You can pick it fresh or collect what washes up on the shore if it's in good condition. I carefully clean, rinse, then air dry the plants before storing in a plastic container. I grin in a coffee mill before use. Given the price locally, I think I save about a dollar a batch! Hope this is useful. Kendall Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 10:26:02 -0500 (EST) From: Jim Busch <busch at eosdev2.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: Isinglass and keg aging/acid rests/knifes <From: Joe Boardman <boardman at amber.colorado.edu> <Subject: if you ferment in Sankeys, how do you clean them? <I am in the process of scaling up a bit, from 10 gal to 1 bbl <batches. What are you using for your kettle, mash tun and burner? >From my past experiences with carboy fermentation, and an examination <of the Sankeys, it seems like it would be impossible to clean the <"grunge" (nice technical term, huh?) from the inside top of the keg. TSP, and caustics are the cleaners of choice. You need to make or buy a dental mirror, so you can see inside the kegs. Or, just cut the damn top off and make it an open fermenter. You can use a wok lid as a cover, or nothing at all. I think you may want to consider something more suited to a 1 BBl ferment than sankeys. Depending on your lauter tun design, it may be capable of doubling as a fermenter, provided you have a SS tun. Food grade trash cans are the cheapest solution. You might consider having a simple cylinder made to ferment in. Something in the 2 feet diameter, 2 feet high, or slightly wider works well. If you have something made, think about a kegging port on the side, just up from the yeast. <P.S. Has anybody else suffered the problem of spending more time working on, <talking about and building their homebrewery than actually brewing? If I don't <actually brew soon, my brew buddies will leave me for good. I'm starting <to think my hobby is building a brewery, not brewing beer. This stage will pass! Making a 1 BBl brewery is a big challenge and sometimes a hassel, but its worth it when you are "done". Of course, breweries are never "done", you gotta tweek em all the time! Good luck. "Fleming, Kirk R., Capt" <FLEMINGKR at afmcfafb.fafb.af.mil> says: <Here's a question regarding our plan form clarifying a brown ale batch using isinglass.. <We currently have a 5gal and a 6 gal carboy each finishing up a ferment <from a single 11 gal brown ale batch. Our plan is to rack these both into <a single 1/2 bbl keg with the recommended charge of liquid isinglass. <We then propose to put an airlock on the keg (just in case) and cool <from the current 64F to maybe 45F and hold there for about a week. <Then, we propose to rack again into our dispensing keg and force <carbonate there preparatory to...well, drinking. The thinking here is as <follows: cool to assist in precipitating out the junk, and rack again to <avoid having so much sediment in our dispensing keg. I think you are missing a few things. First of all, a brown ale might not need finings unless you plan on cask conditioning it, or just priming in the keg. If your plans are to rack to a secondary, then to a keg, then force carbonate, why bother using isinglass at all? If you have a real sticky yeast that refuses to flocculate at all, maybe. Also, why the airlock in a unprimed keg? The keg can withstand 60 PSI, and i doubt you will make this much pressure in a secondary without priming. Also, an airlock on a vessal that is reducing temp will cause the fluid in the airlock to be sucked into the keg, not good! My advise is to rack into a secondary if desired, add isinglass here if you have to, then rack into the dispensing kegs and force carb. A better idea is to go stright from the primary to the corny kegs, add sugar and isinglass and let it finish the secondary fermentation in the cask, ala cask conditioned ale! To do this right, you need to cut 1/2" off the bottom of the liquid dip tube, so the isinglass stays in the keg. Also, prime with 1/2 the normal sugar amount. <We 'think' we detect a slight sulfur smell emanating from the carboy airlocks--and I suspect autolysis->diacetyl Why do you think this? Sulpher is H2S. If its still fermenting, I doubt you have an autolysis issue, this takes time. Some yeasts throw a lot of sulphur. <Subject: Re: heifeweizen recipe? Skip the kits. Buy some domestic wheat extract, use it 1/2 and 1/2 with Alexanders pale extract, 1/2 oz hallertau hops and the classic liquid Weihenstephan Weizen yeast. The yeast is a must, Wyeast and lots of others sell it. Al writes: <Although you do not get the other <benefits of decoction mashing (i.e. higher extract efficiency from <undermodified malt and increased malt flavours), you can still make use <of the acid rest to acidify your mash even if you use a stovetop-type <mash. Simply mash-in your temperature-controlled mash so the temp <settles at 95F and then go up from there. It's probably not a good <idea to use an acid rest if you are doing a true step-infusion (raising <the temps strictly by adding boiling water) since the volume of mash liquor, <by the time you get to mashout, will be exceedingly large. This is quite true, but should not be followed blindly. You must first consider exactly the characteristics of your base malt, it is getting near impossible to locate "undermodified malt" these days. By doughing in at this low temp, then adding heat to raise the mash temps, you will spend a considerable amount of time in the optimum range for proteolytic enzyme activity. This is certainly beneficial for protein reduction, but protein reduction can be overdone, resulting in a beer with a poor foam stand/head retention. With some malts, it is better to adjust your water using salts, lactic acid aor phosphoric acids, then dough in closer to 130 or 140F. It all depends on what you are after, and the raw ingredients you use. I believe that when Fix suggests using such low temp rests, he is using a very thick dough in followed by boiling water infusions to rapidly jump temps, minimizing the enzymatic activities at certain temps so he can control the beers finished body. I hope George will correct me if Ive misstated his procedure. It would seem that a combined method of using a thick dough in, boiling water infusions to minimize the time spent in the proteolytic enzyme range, followed by heat additions to rest in the beta amylase and alpha amylase zones would be the best of both worlds. Jim Busch busch at mews.gsfc.nasa.gov "DE HOPPEDUIVEL DRINKT MET ZWIER 'T GEZONDE BLOND HOPPEBIER!" Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 95 10:36:59 EST From: Pierre Jelenc <pcj1 at columbia.edu> Subject: Yeast preservation, and sanitizers. fitz at fasicsv.fnal.gov (Tom Fitzpatrick) asks about yeast preservation > [ ... ] Every time I tried to revive the yeast popsicle, the yeast was > dead. I know you can't use a frost-free fridge ... mine is an upright > freezer with the coils in the shelves, temp ~ 0 deg F. [ ... ] Has > anyone had success using this method? I've heard you need a laboratory > grade freezer (-70 deg F?) for this method to work. My yeast microbiologist friends all tell me that an ordinary freezer (-20C/0F) is worse than a simple slant in the fridge. Only a low temp freezer will work, and that works extremely well, of course. However, you do not need a deep freeze! A slant will keep yeast alive for at least a year (Saccharomyces; I did lose a Schizosaccharomyces pombe in a couple of weeks). I have some slants that are 2 1/2 years old and are perfectly fine in the vegetable cooler of my fridge. One thing that I have noticed repeatedly is that people seem to streak their yeast on the surface of the agar slant. That's not the way to do it: *stab* the agar with the inoculating needle, so that the inoculum grows inside the agar plug. It's as simple as that; slants are even commonly called "stabs" in bacteriology labs. hbush at pppl.gov (harry) asks about B-Brite, Bleach, Sanitizing, etc. > I've hooked up with a new Homebrew supplier who emphatically maintains > that B-Brite is NOT a sanitizer and merely a beerstone cleaner. Of > course we know that good ol' Clorox is a great sanitizer, but I had been > previously led to believe that B-Brite was an oxygen-type bleach > (similar to Clorox 2) and would do the trick just as well. B-Brite is sodium "percarbonate", an oxygen bleach, and it is indeed an excellent sanitizer and a reasonably good cleaner, especially to loosen organic crud (the oxygen bubbles act as mini-scrubbers inside the crud). > Spilling bleach and bleach/water from a chugging carboy as you empty it > is the norm, and I didn't want to worry about ruining the clothes I had > on. With B-Brite, I wouldn't have to worry, because, like Clorox 2, it's > color safe! So I'm back to bleach for now, but what's the deal? Is > B-Brite an acceptable sanitizer, or do I just wear my homebrew clothes? Use B-Brite, or use an iodophor instead. Pierre Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 10:38:14 -0500 (EST) From: david lawrence shea <dshea at ucs.indiana.edu> Subject: 5l keg foaming problems I just read a post which recommended that one should quickly push the handle down completely to get rid of the foam. My experience has been to do the opposite. This is my method for minimal foam (less than a glass) 1. Make sure the keg has chilled for 24 hours or more. 2. The initial tap should use the natural CO2 pressure in the keg. 3. Tilt the glass as you pour into it. 4. Most important, push the handle down until there is a tiny trickle into the glass. What your are doing here, is gently reducing excess CO2 pressure. This first glass might take a half minute to pour, but it is worth it. It usually results in 1/3 foam, 2/3 beer, or a healthy head 5. The next glass or two may or may not need the trickle beginnings. You get so you can anticipate when it is safe to open the tap fully. 6. This method has been very successful for me, and I can always fully enjoy the FIRST glass out of the keg. Hope this helps. David L. Shea Indiana University dshea at ucs.indiana.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 09:50:59 CST From: "geo" <WOLFF at albert.uta.edu> Subject: Irish Moss Kevin Fons asks if anyone grows their Irish Moss. Kevin, this would be difficult without beachfront property because Irish Moss is a seaweed. It is harvested, not deliberately cultivated (as far as I know) from northern cool-temperate seas. The Gaelic name is carragheen; the stuff is traditionally eaten (and in the past has been an important component of diet) in western Scotland, Ireland, and Iceland. If anyone out there knows what on earth possessed someone to first put seaweed in beer, I'd be interested to know. John Wolff wolff at uta.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 11:21:50 -0500 (EST) From: "Jerry Cunningham (ESMPD)" <gcunning at Census.GOV> Subject: Stupid questions: sparge water/lightstruck?/cardboard Hi, Just a couple of questions for the experts... 1. I'm almost embarrassed to ask this, but... when sparging, do you want the water to be 170 F, or do you want the temp of the grist raised to 170F ? I'm planning my first all-grain batch soon, and it seems like I'm more confused than ever! How important is it to have the correct PH sparge water? 2. Do I have to worry about my beer getting "lightstruck" while its sitting in the secondary waiting to be bottled? I keep reading how beer can be skunked "in a matter of seconds". 3. Do you guys actually chew on cardboard to see what it tastes like?! Also, does wet cardboard taste different than dry cardboard??! :*) Thanks, Jerry Cunningham Annapolis, MD p.s. I brewed my first lager this month, so of course temperatures skyrocketed into the 60's - ahhhhhhhhhhh! Return to table of contents
Date: 20 Jan 95 10:11:00 -0600 From: Peter_Murphy-G10826 at email.mot.com Subject: RIMS and Steam Injection Over the last few months I've been gathering concepts and materials to put together my own RIMS system. The one concern I have with the design route most people seem to take is the use of an electric heater in a chamber in the recirculation path. The primary complaint with this method is scorching of the mash. Even with a fairly high recirculation rate (which could cause other problems like disturbing the grain bed and HSA) it seems to me that a certain degree of scorching is inevitable anyways - especially if the pump were to plug up. I've read about using direct steam injection for mash heating (the article in Brewing Techniques). Has anyone had any experience using steam injection, especially with a RIMS system? Does anyone see any apparent reason that any one point in the recirculation path should be any better (or worse) than another for the injection point (i.e. above the grain bed, below the grain bed, in the grain bed, in the recirculation path)? Also, any pointers on the use of steam in general would be appreciated? I plan to use a solenoid valve to regulate the steam flow for temperature regulation and stepping. Pete Murphy Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 11:29:38 -0500 From: Nimbus Couzin <nimbus at physics.purdue.edu> Subject: Chicago Brewing Ain't "Small" Philip (I believe) commented that Chicago Brewing Co. is a small, family brewing operation. Small!!??? They put out over 30,000 barrels a year, and have fermenters that are over 100 barrels each. Small compared to the big boys, but too big to be considered a micro. I'd personally call them "huge," but - as usual - it's all a matter of perspective.. A cool place, by the way, great tours saturdays at two (call to check the time), and mighty friendly brewers.. Cheers, nimbus Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 11:44:38 -0500 From: Marla Korchmar <marlak at pipeline.com> Subject: C-keg fittings I recently acquired my first Cornelius keg (Coke) - from a local dumpster. According to a homebrew supply shop, the accouterments - CO2 canister, gauge, and tap - will cost over $120. Does anybody out there in brew-land know of a less-expensive way of kegging? Are used parts acceptable? Or should I just figure that if I want to dispense with bottles I'm going to have to pay? (I'm a relatively new reader of the Digest; hope I didn't just miss a discussion of the subject.) Private E-mail is fine. Thanks!! M.K. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 95 09:42:02 -0500 From: C.W. Jones (Christopher) <cwjones at microsoft.com> Subject: RE: Churchkey? A couple of weeks ago, someone asked about why we call a bottle opener a churchkey. >From the information I have, it is called a churckkey (or a minister's key), because of the shape. In the old days, church doors had the big locks that used keys with the big open ends on them. Bottle openers were shaped similarly, and therefore captured the name. Hope that helps out. -cwjones- p.s. Information came from the Dictionary of Slang. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 95 11:01:31 MST From: Jeff Benjamin <benji at hpfcbug.fc.hp.com> Subject: Lucifer, cider, 2l bottle caps Jon Mendrick asks about Lucifer and cider. * Lucifer is a Belgian strong ale, a knock-off of Duvel, a world-classic beer. Lucifer and other beers of that sort are quite popular with college kids in Brussels. Most of these beers have names related to Hades, since Duvel means "devil" (in Flemish, I think), and they tend to be cheaper and of lower quality than Duvel. I don't think I would brag about Lucifer; I'd have a Duvel instead. In any case, a Duvel-type recipe would certainly put you in the ballpark. I don't have any recipes off hand, but you want a strong pale ale, using pale malt or extract with very little if any dark malt, OG of 1.065 give or take, continental noble hops like Saaz, and a relatively neutral yeast (I'd try WYeast European). Check out the Simon & Schuster "Pocket Guide to Beer" for more specifics on Duvel. * As for making cider, it's even easier than beer, although it takes longer: 1. Buy unfiltered, no-preservative apple juice. Preservatives will inhibit yeast growth. If you have fresh-off-the-tree unpasteurized juice, you may want to add campden tablets (1-2 per gallon) to the juice and wait 24 hrs; this will eliminate any existing nasties. 2. (Optional) Add sugar (doesn't matter what kind) to raise the gravity to 1.065-1.070. The additional alcohol subsequently produced will help the keeping properties of the cider, although it will make it stronger and a bit dryer tasting. 3. Pitch your favorite yeast. Champagne or wine yeast will give you a dryer, more wine-like final product; ale yeast will give you a fuitier, sweeter final drink. Experiment! 4. Wait. Although the fermentation may finish in just a few weeks, cider takes longer than beer to age and mellow. I'd go a minimum of a month, and I've gone as long as 5 or 6 months. You'll get a clearer cider if you rack off the sediment a time or two. 5. Bottle. Either bottle as-is for still cider, or add same amount of priming sugar as you would for beer if you want sparkling cider. * 2l (PET) bottle caps: just sanitize the white plastic caps that came on the bottles and use them as-is. Works fine. - -- Jeff Benjamin benji at fc.hp.com Hewlett Packard Co. Fort Collins, Colorado "Midnight shakes the memory as a madman shakes a dead geranium." - T.S. Eliot Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 95 13:23:57 -0500 From: "Todd Orjala" <t-orja at maroon.tc.umn.edu> Subject: baking bottles I have been sanitizing my bottles by baking at about 250(F) for 30 to 60 minutes. I allow the bottles to cool to nearly room temp before removing from the oven to bottle. I use only 12 oz returnable longnecks. I have experienced several bottle failures in the first two weeks after bottling as the pressure slowly increases. In no case has the beer been overprimed or under excess pressure. I have been using this method for 15-20 batches and have experienced this problem only recently. Perhaps as bottles are treated repeatedly in this manner over time they become increasingly brittle. Has anyone else employing this method experienced similar difficulties? Regards, Todd Orjala Return to table of contents
Date: 20 Jan 95 12:57:00 MST From: "Robert Waddell" <V024971 at Tape.StorTek.Com> Subject: Req: Grand Cru recipe puleeeeze After tasting the Celis version, I'd like to make one similar or even better. Our local Micro owner has said that if I can come up with something he might even see what he can do with it on a "Grander" scale. He took Gold at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver last year with his Sawtooth Ale (Left- hand Brewery, Longmont, Colorado) and I would love to see him do it again. So, if any HBD'ers out there have a good Grand Cru that they wouldn't mind shareing, please send it along. It will be treated with the best of care. Puleeeeze? (I know this is a beer forum but I couldn't help adding a little whine. B^) ) Robert J. Waddell V024971 at tape.stortek.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 15:28:05 -0500 From: beer at rumors.delta.edu (Rich Adams) Subject: Hefe weisse I got back last week from spending 25 days roaming Europe and a friend directed me to this fine mail-list. At an inn in Schwangau (at the foot of Neuschwanstein castle) I was served a Hefe weisse beer in a remarkably tall and well filled glass and it was some of the finest [usual high endorsment]. I didn't pick up any name, or for perhaps obvious reasons can't remember :) However, a day later in Munchen (the monks) I visited a brewpub/restaurant, a rather large one, named Augustiner and tried their hefe weisse which had a really-not-quite-done raw flavor I've associated with walking past the Anheiser-Busch brewery in Columbus, OH. The better of the two had a fairly mild rich flavor, white/yellow in color, and pretty well clouded with yeast(?). So impressed was I by this I've scampered into our local brew supply and latched onto a rather larger than usual can of wort for a "weizen bier". The proprietor informed me he believed a particular Bavarian yeast is required, which should arrive this week. Inspection of the recommended process suggests a cup of wort is removed and stored (in the fridge) until 2-3 weeks after fermentation begins, that is, just before bottling. Adding the cup of wort back into the fermenter. Also involved is a process of skimming and transfering between fermenters to remove sediments. This seems to fit in with what someone called "Strictest Standards of the German Purity Law for Beer". I'm puzzled a bit by this because I've delved into the archive to find what I could on this and discussion seems to revolve around an addition of yeast, rather than wort, prior to bottling. If anyone has any experience whatsoever in the making of hefe weisse, I'd appreciate any pointers before I get into this, I'd like to start brewing in a week or so, but am a little confused. Thanks in advance, Rich Adams Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 1995 07:53:20 +1100 (EST) From: David Draper <David.Draper at mq.edu.au> Subject: Yeast culturing/PET caps Dear Friends, we've had some less than enthusiastic descriptions of yeast culturing around here lately, so I'll chime in--I think culturing yeast is very easy, has lots of benefits, and takes virtually no extra time. I have a 10 K bit of text on the (gory) details of how I proceed for anyone who is interested--email me for a copy. There's no new info there; what I know I learned by reading the yeast.faq, this digest, and some rec.crafts.brewing postings. In a nutshell, it is dead simple to make slants, store them in your fridge till you wish to inoculate them, and then store them there once they have a starter's worth of yeast cells. It is not absolutely necessary to be as totally antiseptic as the formidable-sounding procedures outlined in the faq either, provided one is content to work with pure cultures and is not isolating strains, for example, from bottle-conditioned beer. In my experience it is totally obvious when a slant "goes off", and if so, big deal--there are billions more yeast cells where they came from. I keep 6 strains at the moment, and brew on average 3 or 4 times per month, so am quite content to keep my slants for only 3 months before re-inoculating onto fresh culture medium (new slants). I reckon all this adds at most 45-90 minutes per month to my brewing duties, and that is a drop in the ocean compared to the time involved in making 3 or 4 batches. PET bottle caps: I use the same ones over and over. Just soak them in the same bleach solution used to sanitize the bottles and rinse. Then just screw it on firmly. Note however that I use just one PET per batch to monitor carbonation and clarity, and usually open it up soon after the batch comes "on line", so can't add any first-hand experience to the question of how long the beer will keep in them--but it is my bias that they will last for a few months at least. Cheers, Dave in Sydney (where all that hoopla is not, as you might think, for the Pope's visit, but for that of ZymoGeneticist extraordinaire and HBD FOOPmeister Domenick Venezia, who is here for some of the worst weather Sydney has seen in ages!) [no sig, I've used my allotment] Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 95 13:03:00 PST From: Koscal Mike <koscal at pcmail2.nb.rockwell.com> Subject: Hydrometer Calibration It seems that one of the more important factors for beer records are the S.G and F.G. readings. I have recently started using my hydometer more consistently to measure S.G. to determine my all grain extraction efficiency and F.G. to determine the alcohol content. However my readings don't seem to make any sense(my grain efficiency is not what I expected & I thought water would read 1.000). Please educate me on the following: What should be the reading of plain tap water? How does the temperature affect the reading? How can I calibrate(oz. of salt/sugar per cup of water)? Are there instruments or models that are more accurate than others? What is the typical accuracy? Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 14:09:19 -0800 From: Richard Buckberg <buck at well.sf.ca.us> Subject: Head No, No, not that kind! :-) My ales taste great and look good, but don't head well. I wonder if it might be because I usually use Irish Moss and Sparkolloid in the boil. Would those two substances be removing some of the proteins that contribute to head formation and retention? Any suggestions for improving the head on ales? and what is Sparkolloid, anyway? I gather it is a bentonite compound, no? Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 17:25:59 -0500 (EST) From: sam at deuce.toolsmiths.on.ca (Sean MacLennan) Subject: Re: Capping 2L PET bottles. Mark asks: > How does one cap 2L PET bottles? Do you just crank down on the original > cap? Yup! I have used both new and used caps on the same batch of beer with no noticable difference. However, my beers seldom last more than 2 months. Sean MacLennan sam at toolsmiths.on.ca Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 95 00:07 CST From: pgravel at mcs.com (Philip Gravel) Subject: Chidago area homebrew supplys ===> Mike Vita asks about Chicago area homebrew supplies: >My brother has recently moved to the Chicago area (Naperville), >and would like to know of any good homebrew suppliers in the >area. I told him I would ask. Thanks. The following is a list of homebrew supply sources in the Chicago area. Note that one, The Brewer's Coop is located on north Washington in Naperville (between the Diary Queen and Ace Hardware north of Ogden Ave). Chicago Area Homebrew Suppliers - ------------------------------- The Brewer's Coop 1010 N. Washington St. Naperville, IL 60563 708-369-3950/800-451-6348 (just north of Ogden Ave (US-34)) Sheaf & Vine Brewing Supply, located inside Mainstreet Deli and Liquors 5425 South LaGrange Rd. Countryside, IL 708-430-HOPS (3 minutes north of Stevenson Expwy (I-55)) Lil'Ol WineMaking Shoppe 4S245 Wiltshire Lane Sugar Grove, IL. USA 60554 708-557-2523 Chicago Indoor Garden Supply 297 N. Barrington Rd. Streamwood, IL 60107 708-885-8282 (2 miles south of Northwest Tollway (I-90)) Also, you might want to tell your brother to stop by our homebrew club - -- The Urban Knaves of Grain. We meet at 7:30 PM the last Thursday of the month at Taylor Brewing in Fifth Avenue Station (on 5th Ave, just east of Washington and just on the other side of the railroad tracks from the Naperville commuter train station). - -- Phil _____________________________________________________________ Philip Gravel pgravel at mcs.com Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1637, 01/21/95