HOMEBREW Digest #1869 Sat 28 October 1995

Digest #1868 Digest #1870

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  Mason Jars 101 (pbabcock)
  Many snippets. (Russell Mast)
  False Bottoms (Kirk R Fleming)
  styles (Alan P. Van Dyke)
  Re: Miller: Too much oxygen kills?!! (hollen)
  Re: The SABCO Experience (hollen)
  Converting Propane burners to Natural Gas burners (Brad Roach)
  pH testing for all grain brewing (Paul Sovcik)
  Mead ("James Giacalone")
  Air Lock Contents? (krkoupa)
  Spirit of Belgium HB Competition (Scott Bickham)
  False Bottoms (John J. Palmer)
  Dextrin Malt? (Tom Lombardo)
  Hi ("Clark Johnson")
  RE:  French style beer (Troy Howard)
  Secondary Fermentation (cdevrie)
  judge-bashing ("Colgan, Brian P.")
  Re: judge-bashing (Russell Mast)
  gas burners indoors (Earl the Pearl)
  bottle neck (Eric Peters  919- 405-3675)
  Re[2]: judge-bashing ("Colgan, Brian P.")
  re: Bulging cans of Malt extract (ALEJANDRO MIDENCE)
  Re: Re[2]: budge-gashing (Russell Mast)
  Smears and stabs ("Dave Draper")
  bottle neck woes/b-brite and bottlecaps (Algis R Korzonas)
  Pete's Wicked, and air stones/pumps (kiesow)
  Bulging cans of extract ("McMahon, John S")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 10:33:54 EDT From: pbabcock at e-mail.com Subject: Mason Jars 101 Pat Babcock Internet: pbabcock at e-mail.com Bronco Plant Vehicle Team - Body Construction Assembly Engineer Subject: Mason Jars 101 Greetings, brew-gurus! > In HBD 1866 Dick Dunn comments on the design of Mason Jars to vent excess pressure... Unfortunately this isn't quite right. When packing jars to go into the canner, the rings are tightened only 'finger-tight'; ie. they are tightened just enough to prevent the contents from spilling out of their own volition. It is this loose fit that gives the pressure relief to which you refer, not the design of the lid and/or jar, but the 'system' of use. Since it was very hot, the seal conforms to the jar lid and hardens upon cooling The headsapce (and, to a smaller extent, the contents) contract forming the vacuum. Then, the ring is removed and the container stored. THe removal of the ring is the 'safety' for spoilage. Most spoiling organisms create gasses which would pop the lid. To hold positive pressure, one would have to _*REALLY*_ tighten the ring and leave it on. I have little doubt that a good canning jar would withstand the pressures involved, but I could place no guarantees on the ability of the seal material (remember: it is designed to be heated to conform and adhere to the jar lip. You're depending on mechanical pressure to do the same.) to hold back the pressure. Now, as for relief of excess pressure: the mechanism is the same as that of a beer bottle. If the pressure limits are exceeded, the system experiences failure. Either small-scale (leaks) or catastrophic (explodes). The lid will not automatically vent any excessive pressure unless, of course, the mechanical setting of the seal was inadequate. As a stop gap measure - ie. not enough bottles - I see little problem or danger in using mason jars in the short term. However, I don't recommend their use _INSTEAD_ of beer bottles. They weren't designed for that, and you court the ire of the engineering gods... Use at your own (probably very minor) risk. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= If that which follows offends, please feel free to ignore it. Oh, and if you find it necessary, reply to pbabcock at oeonline.com, please! See ya! IYWIDRTYMJFDIY Best regards, Patrick G. Babcock Michigan Truck Plant PVT Office (313)46-70842 (V) -70843 (F) 38303 Michigan Wayne,MI 48184 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 09:39:57 -0500 From: Russell Mast <rmast at fnbc.com> Subject: Many snippets. > From: "Jerry Cunningham (ESMPD)" <gcunning at Census.GOV> > ps What do you use to acidify your sparge water? Mine's about pH 8.4, and > I'd like to get it down to around 5.7. I have some gypsum, but I'm > worried that I would have to add too much to bring it down that far. I > also have some "acid blend" (I forget what's in it) - but I don't want to > affect the flavor. I was thinking about phosphoric, but can't get it in > time for brew-day. Suggestions? Acid blend will affect the flavor. I don't know much about phosphorus. I'd say just go ahead with the gypsum. It's not very soluble, and it acts as a buffer, so there's a limit on how many problems it can give you. With adding acid, you can overshoot to easily. In 'Handbook, Miller talks about doing an "acid rest" at 105 deg F. I forget the details, but you could give that a shot, too. Never tried one myself. > From: <Bob_Brescia.GLAXO at notes.compuserve.com> > Subject: French style beer Might be Biere de Garde'. I'd describe it as a cross between a Muenchner Helles and a Belgian Trappist ale, and probably offend someone with that description. But, yeah, it's got it's own flavor. > From: Gene Rafter <grafter at creighton.edu> > Subject: ? ABOUT USING BLEACH. Bleach is probably not your best choice for a sanitizer, but I use it all the time and make pretty good beer. > ... he kept telling me that the book was wrong and that > using houshold bleach kills the yeast.. Are you sure that's what he said? If he did, he's either an idiot or a liar, and I'd suggest you take your business elsewhere. Even if you don't rinse at all, you probably won't have enough bleach in there to kill the yeast. Short of just adding straight bleach to the batch, you'll have a hard time getting enough concentration. However, even just a tiny bit of bleach can make for some NASTY off-flavors. In fact, brewing with high-chlorine water can lead to this. So, yeah, rinse it real good. If not, you'll still have beer, it'll just taste bad. THe yeast will be alive, though. > ... this guy just out there to make some bucks on his o2 cleanser etc. Sounds like it. The cleanser might be a great way to go, but I'd buy it from someone else if I were you. Scare stories like that are a bit irresponsible. If you switch cleansers, you might be able to make better beer, or make it easier. But, you can make good beer with bleach. (As long as you rinse, rinse, rinse...) > From: DHatlestad at aol.com > I find this statement to be highly suspect. Every time I've tasted beer > from a bottle that had a ring around the neck, it was infected. I've tasted many batches of beer with bottleneckrings that were just fine. YMMV (YMDV, obviously) > From: Stephbrown at aol.com > Subject: MGD > Okay, agreed on the hop-free Red Dog, but Christ, have you ever tried the > MGD? Some dead animal must have fallen into the stuff and perminantly > spoiled the fermenting tanks on that stuff. Never before had such a foul > beverage passed between these lips. MGD is not as highly preserved as most cheap swill, and so it will go stale much quicker. If you get an old bottle or one which was improperly handled, it will taste like a dead animal. But, if you get one that's good and fresh, well, as someone said earlier, it will taste just as yum yum yummy as any beer in it's category. (Sex in a canoe.) -R Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 07:49:04 -0600 From: flemingk at usa.net (Kirk R Fleming) Subject: False Bottoms Jay Reeves <73362.600 at compuserve.com> asked about: False Bottoms > Has anyone used the size of perf-plate that Martin specifies? Does > the grist get through the holes and do you have any scorching? Hole size: Yes. Hole spacing: No. You don't need that much open area (1/3 that much will work fine, even at 5 gpm recirc rates) altho I don't say it hurts. > I'm thinking of going to a smaller size hole and would like anyone to > give me some insight on any problems I may have using a smaller > sized hole pattern. The sizes are 1/16" hole on 1/8" centers (36% > open area) and .045" holes on .025" centers (36% open area). > Would using the smaller sized holes create any problems? :-) of course, .045 holes on .025 centers might be a problem :-) I use 5/64" (0.078) holes on 1/4" centers with system performance I feel is just perfect. I've used false bottoms with 3/32" (0.094) holes on 3/8" centers and there was no perceptible difference between the two designs. I would expect the 1/16" (0.0625) holes to be good, too, especially with the tighter spacing. In both systems some flour occassionally finds its way to the bottom of the tun where it clods up, but has not scorched. However, this too can be avoided (apparently) by doughing-in in another vessel first. I have another reason to this anyway. Here's the issue: my three brewkegs sit side-by-side, and I chill in the kettle. The kettle and mash tun are about 10" apart, roughly. If I dump grist into the mash tun, I can hardly avoid getting dust on the mash tun, and I expect it really gets all over everything even if it can't be seen. Well this means near certain contaimination of the chilled wort in my mind, and since it happened to me once (somehow) I now keep all dry grist separated from any location where bitter wort will be. Using a 5 gal plastic bucket and treated liquor, I pre-mix the grist away from the brew room, and carry the thoroughly mixed mash to the mash tun and pour it in. This may take two or three trips and is a PITA--but no dust near my chilled wort. Since I've used this method I see no dough in the bottom of the tun at cleanup, and in any case, no scorching. Also, since I think you're talking about quite a bit of cash here, you might try to find a way to put a mesh over your existing false bottom and use the false bottom simply for mechanical support. I'm thinking a nylon mesh like that used for hop bags may be too fine and may gum up--I don't know. Aluminum fly screen (just like that used on screen doors) may also work. You have nothing to risk--if it's too fine you reach down in and pull it out (rubber gloves, of course). If it's too coarse then you'll be no worse off since the false bottom is still the driver. KRF Colorado Springs - ------------------------------------------------------ "We can help the cause of pale ale both by drinking it and brewing it as much as possible." Terry Foster - ------------------------------------------------------ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 09:45:09 -0500 From: alan at mail.utexas.edu (Alan P. Van Dyke) Subject: styles Howdy! In HBD 1866, Russell Mast compares beer & dog competitions. I would have to agree with this analogy on another front as well: comparison to standards simply leaves no room for creativity. There will never be yellow Dalmations because the AKC says they should only come in white. There will never be a legitimate Pale Ale with Liberty and East Kent Goldings entered into a competition because the AHA style guidelines wants one or the other. Sure, we could make it, but if we wanted to enter it, where would we put it? This brings up the biggest sore point I have with AHA guidelines. Why is it that some categories are very narrow, such as the Pale Ale example, where the two subcategories are distinguished by origin of hops only, but then there is the Belgian Ale category, which essentially means several styles have to compete with each other? Or perhaps this is the category many of us want; excellence & enjoyability would have to be the rule, because of the lack of stylistic guidelines. I agree that style definitions are nice, but must they be sooooo constrictive at times? I say give us some room to play, & you'll see some more interesting brews at the competitions. Alan Van Dyke, Austin, TX Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 08:04:09 -0700 From: hollen at vigra.com Subject: Re: Miller: Too much oxygen kills?!! >>>>> "Phil" == Phil Brushaber <phil.brushaber at lunatic.com> writes: Phil> First of all let me say I am a great fan of Dave Miller and his books, Phil> however a passage from his new "Dave Miller's Homebrewing Guide" has Phil> me a little concerned. I just bought a new oxygen injection system. Phil> Based on George Fix's observations I thought it was impossible to Phil> over-oxygenate a wort at normal pressures. But catch this quote from Phil> Miller: Phil> "The problem with using pure oxygen, however, is that it is Phil> possible to get too much into the wort. Wort saturated with air Phil> will contain about 8 parts per million of dissolved oxygen. It Phil> is true that some strains of brewers yeast will grow faster and Phil> in greater quantity if they get a little more oxygen than this Phil> -- perhaps 10 to 15 ppm. However, wort saturated with pure Phil> oxygen may contain 40 ppm of the gas. At that level, oxygen is a Phil> highly effective sanitizing agent, lethal to all microorganisms Phil> including yeast." Phil> Any thoughts? Yes. George said to me that part of the problem in measuring dissolved oxygen is that right after oxygenation, the ppm is usually way up from what it is when it reaches atmospheric equilibrium a short while later. While Miller may be correct in his assessment of the damage done by high concentrations, what George seems to be saying is that at atmospheric pressure, you *cannot* generate lethal concentrations and that previous investigations that showed you could were *wrong* due to the measurement practices. George did agree that too much oxygen is not good. To give you a practical example. As many of you are aware, I use a stone to oxygenate under pressure. This past weekend I did a Strong Belgian Ale. I oxygenated up to 20 psi over 1 hour, let it sit to "bond" for 2 hours and then attached a blowoff hose. In 4 days the gravity went from 1.090 to 1.030. Does anyone remotely think I overoxygenated?? Could anyone with merely a stone in a carboy get more oxygen in solution than it was possible for me to do? I don't think you have anything to worry about. If you implement my "in keg under pressure" practices of oxygenation, then you can start worrying that it is possible to overoxygenate, short of that, "Relax....." dion - -- Dion Hollenbeck (619)597-7080x119 Email: hollen at vigra.com Senior Software Engineer Vigra, Inc. San Diego, California Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 08:20:18 -0700 From: hollen at vigra.com Subject: Re: The SABCO Experience >>>>> "Kirk" == Kirk R Fleming <flemingk at usa.net> writes: Kirk> Phil Dickerson asked about kettles with false bottoms and Kirk> thermometers. Kirk> As for a thermometer in the kettle--that makes no sense to me at Kirk> all and I can't see any reason for it. I bet you use a counterflow chiller, yes?? If you used an immersion chiller, then there is a *very* good reason to have a thermometer in the wort boiler, to know when you have reached pitching temp. Also, it is very helpful for me to glance at it as it comes up close to the boil so I know if I can walk away and clean a piece of equipment, or I have to hover right over the kettle to prevent boilovers. dion - -- Dion Hollenbeck (619)597-7080x119 Email: hollen at vigra.com Senior Software Engineer Vigra, Inc. San Diego, California Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 09:04:04 PDT From: b_roach at emulex.com (Brad Roach) Subject: Converting Propane burners to Natural Gas burners I was wondering if anyone has sucessfully converted a BBQ. style propane burner to use natural gas instead. It seems that most the inexpensive burners available at BBQ stores or restaruant supply stores only use propane. The sales guy at one store told me that all I need to do is to re-drill the main opening to a larger size. Has anyone done this? Also, I need to run about 20 feet of gas line between the gas valve and the burner so I can make beer on the patio. I would prefer to use rubber hose if this is possible. Thanks, Brad Roach Newport Beach, Calif. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 11:03:25 CDT From: Paul Sovcik <U18183 at UICVM.CC.UIC.EDU> Subject: pH testing for all grain brewing As a neophyte all grain brewer (system is almost ready), I have been reviewing all my brewing books, etc. Miller states that testing the pH of the sparge water is critical because of increased tannins with a high pH. Of course, everything Miller does is " critical", so Im not sure I believe him completely. Seems to me that testing the runnings for sweetness and astringency would be all that is necessary, and checking pH is an optional step, much like checking SG.. If you taste astringency, you add a bit of Ca to the sparge water. So whats the deal? Does everyone who brews all-grain check pH? -Paul PJS at uic.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 10:47:13 MDT From: "James Giacalone" <JGiacalone at vines.ColoState.EDU> Subject: Mead I have a 5 gallon carboy of mead that I made in June. I used sterile techniques handling the mead from the start. It has benn racked twice and the problem is that I am begininng to see white spots arond the top edge of the mead. Is this yeast ( I hope) or is it contaminated? It smells fine. Please help! TIA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 10:02:17 PST From: krkoupa at ccmail2.srv.PacBell.COM Subject: Air Lock Contents? A question for the homebrewing collective: What do you use in your bubbling-type air lock? Water? Vodka? Something else? I've been using water and a couple of times I've grown algae-like stuff in the air lock. I don't know if it migrated to the carboy. Alcohol might have prevented growth of the nastys, but I don't know if it was a genuine risk to my beer or not, or whether alcohol would just add a different set of problems. Besides, I'd hate to have a shot of vodka go undrunk. Ken Koupal Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 13:01:03 -0400 (EDT) From: Scott Bickham <bickham at dave.nrl.navy.mil> Subject: Spirit of Belgium HB Competition Brewers United for Real Potables (BURP) is proud to announce that there will be a second Spirit of Belgium Homebrew Competition, to be held in the Washington, D.C area on February 10th, 1995. The style listing are the same as those used last year and will be e-mailed to those requesting more information. They are much improved from the ones currently used in most competitions, but with so many different beers being sold in Belgium, not all Belgian-style homebrews fall into one of the nine categories. Additional information such as "Orval clone", "Cherry Wit" may be specified on the entry form to distinguish these special brew. Each judging panel will be chaired by a National or Master BJCP judge and/or someone who is experienced at judging and very knowledgeable about the styles. For those interested in judging, there are some other activities planned: - Tim Artz will conduct a Belgian beer tasting the evening before the competition. We are hoping to have the support of the Belgian embassy, since they were disappointed to have missed last years event. In any event, we will line up enough sponsors so that only a nominal fee will be required to pay for the room rental. - After the competition, there will be a banquet featuring Belgian food and beer. Depending on the turnout, this could possibly take place at the Belgique Gourmande, a local restaurant that should be experienced, not described. The judging will be done closed session, but entrants are encouraged to attend the awards ceremony and/or the banquet. Entry forms and judge registrations should be ready sometime next month. Contact me with your name, phone number and e-mail address to have them mailed to you. The Competition Registrar is Rick Garvin, the Judge Coordinator is Tom Cannon and as a penalty for willing last year's competition, I will be the organizer. Cheers, Scott Bickham E-Mail: bickham at dave.nrl.navy.mil Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 10:49:14 -0800 From: johnj at primenet.com (John J. Palmer) Subject: False Bottoms Jay Reeves asked about hole diameters and spacings of false bottoms used in an actively heat Mash/Lauter Tun: Martin Manning and I had spoken on this very subject a couple weeks ago tho it was directed to trub separation in the boiler. I dont have much to say, having never used a false bottom myself. I use manifolds, both in the Mash Tun and Boiler, and by stirring frequently, dont have any scorching problems in the mash. I had asked Martin whether he had scorching problems in his Boiler or any problems with heat not being effectively transferred thru the fb and he said he had not, nor had any of his friends who used the same setup. I dont think we touched on scorching of the mash, and in all fairness I will let Martin field that question. Again, my concern would be loss of heat transfer and scorching of grain that got beneath it; maybe its not a problem with the right hole diameters and size plate. John J. Palmer Metallurgist and soon to be published author of How to Brew Your First Beer (the Book). johnj at primenet.com or palmer at ssdgwy.mdc.com The Palmer House Brewery and Smithy http://www.primenet.com/~johnj/ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 13:25:50 -0500 (CDT) From: favt3tl at rvcux1.RVC.CC.IL.US (Tom Lombardo) Subject: Dextrin Malt? I recently read in the HBD that malto-dextrine (white powder) helps to improve body and head retention. I bought some and added ~2 Oz/5Gal to an all extract Bock Beer. Now, I have a couple of questions. (I know, I should've asked the questions BEFORE using the stuff, but I'm a "try it first and then read the manual if it doesn't work" kind of guy! ;-) ) The batch is in the fermenter now. I assume from the name that it's a type of sugar. How much should this affect my OG? (It didn't have much of an effect - I used the same ingredients as a previous batch, except for the malto-dextrine, and the OG was about the same.) Now, is it a fermentable form of sugar, or non-fermentable. I assume non-fermentable, since its job is to improve body. So, will I have a finished beer with a higher FG? I looked in TCJOHB, but CP only describes using the GRAIN (in a partial mash) but not the powder. BTW, I loved the "If Operating systems were beer" and the "warning" about the "dangerous" Dihydrogen Monoxide (H2O). Keep the humor in the HBD! Thanks, Tom ************************************************ American beer is like making love in a boat... They're both fucking close to water! Monty Python Tom Lombardo (favt3tl at rvcux1.RVC.CC.IL.US) ************************************************ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 14:14:42 +0000 From: "Clark Johnson" <mail08615 at alterdial.uu.net> Subject: Hi We're sending this one-time message to introduce ourselves. If you view this as junk mail, we apologize for the intrusion -- we assure you that you won't hear from us again. JEM Computers is a factory outlet that sells PC (and some MAC) products at low prices. Here's a sample - NEC 2X external CD-ROM drive (MAC ONLY) for $89... HP 330MB 5.25" SCSI hard drive for $89... NEC 6X internal CD-ROM drive for $299... NEC 486DX2/66 4MB/420MB multimedia mini-tower for $699... NEC Pentium 60, 8MB/420MB desktop for $949... Conner autoloading 8GB DAT tape drive for $999... NEC 486DX2/50 4MB/260MB active color notebook for $1199... For more info.... -> visit our home page at http://www.cybercom.net/~jem -> e-mail us at sales at jembargains.com -> call us at 617-497-2500 -> fax us at 617-491-1006 To join our email list, go to our home page and use the automated data forms -- or -- type your name and email address after the colons below.... at name: at email: and then return this message to us. We look forward to hearing from you! JEM Computers, Inc. 35 Spinelli Place Cambridge, MA 02138 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 12:26:22 pst From: rbarnes at sdccd.cc.ca.us Subject: YEAST WASHING AND AGITATION In #1867, Tim Fields discussed yeast washing prior to re-pitching. I have also done this successfully, but I have a question about the agitation of the yeast in order to promote settling of the layers into a "crud" layer on the bottom and a "clean" layer in the middle. It seems to take a while (over an hour) for a moderate amount of separation to occur. Would it help to construct a vibrating platform of some sort to promote separation of the layers? If so, how much vibration is needed? Any other ideas, experiences, suggestions? Also, is it possible to use too much water in the washing process? Randy Barnes, San Diego Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 12:26:36 -0800 From: troy at oculus.jsei.ucla.edu (Troy Howard) Subject: RE: French style beer <Bob_Brescia.GLAXO at notes.compuserve.com> asks: >While I was down in the Carribean, before hurricane season, >I tried several French beers.....They were very good and had >almost a sweet flavor to them. Recently I visited a French >restaurant in Seattle and sampled another french beer, but >cannot remember what any of them were called. > I thought the style name began with a "B", but that is just a bad guess > at best. I couldn't even come close to remembering the brand name. > The beer had a unique flavor one that I cannot even describe > because no other beer I have sampled has that flavor. > Does anyone know what "style" french beers fall under? > Also, any recipes? Thanks. Well, as a shot in the dark I would say that you were tasting "biere de garde." Biere de garde is very malty (certainly might be interpreted as sweet) with earthy (wet soil) and sherry or port-like notes. Am I close at all? Go out and try to find a bottle of Ch'ti. Does this have the same "unique flavor" that you remember? -Troy - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Troy Howard | Live fast, troy at oculus.jsei.ucla.edu | die young, Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA | and leave a good looking corpse. - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 15:30:14 EDT From: cdevrie at bmgmusic.com Subject: Secondary Fermentation Greetings. This is my first post to this list. I have been homebrewing since around January, and have made three batches (ironically, the first batch was great, the second stunk, and the third was ok). I have made three ales and just sat them in the primary fermenter for a little more than a week and then directly bottled it. I am curious and secondary fermentation. I assume that it would still sit in the primary for the same amount of time, and then transfer it over into a secondary. But because the fermentation usually stops after a week, what would I need to do to start it back up in the secondary or do I do nothing and just let it sit for a week? Also, what are the advantages and disadvantages of secondary fermentation? I have a back log of recent HBD which I have not got to yet, because I've been too busy, so if these answers are there I apologize for this e-mail. Anyway, thanks in advance. Chris Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 15:31:05 EST From: "Colgan, Brian P." <bcolgan at sungard.com> Subject: judge-bashing bpc 25oct95: Russell, you say (in the style thread): > If you brew solely for winning competetions, or would like to, regardless > of whether you brew to style, I pity you, I pity you. If you make good > beer and you know it, who cares what some smelly old judge says about it? I agree completely with the first statement. I approach competitions as a way to gain helpful suggestions on how to improve my beers. Having a busy career and small kids to raise, I rarely have time to go to club meetings, so competitions are the only way I get educated evaluations of my beers. Naturally, I like to win ribbons, but they are secondary to improving my craft. I would choose a low score and valuable insights over a winner with no constructive suggestions for improvement every time. However, speaking as someone who just passed the BJCP exam after many months of reading, studying, and yes, 'field reseach' :>), I must take exception to your judge-bashing. I'm sure you didn't mean to insult beer judges, but due to the limits of the medium, that is their effect. My reasons for becoming a judge were firstly to home my sensory perception and appreciation for beer in order to improve my own beer making, and secondly to offer suggestions to my fellows brewers and brewsters on how to improve their own efforts. Believe me, I take no ego-gratification from deciding who wins and who loses, because if competitions are approached properly, we all win! neither old nor smelly, brian Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 14:46:07 -0500 From: Russell Mast <rmast at fnbc.com> Subject: Re: judge-bashing I dunno, Brian, I was on the horn with someone from sungard the other day and they were tellin' me you need to change brands of deoderant. (Kidding!) Seriously, though, I'm not sure what your point is. I have nothing against judges. I will probably get certified as a judge someday. As you said, I didn't mean to insult judges. I do think it's important to emphasize that an individual primarily brews to please themselves. Yes, pleasing other people, especially "certified" people is pleasing to oneself. But if you've made a beer that you know is good, and it loses points for being the wrong color or something for style, you shouldn't get too upset. You still have the beer, or had it. Brewing competetions will never be perfect, and a few cases of misjudging aren't necessarily cause for changing. Thanks for Cc:ing me so I can respond in the same issue. (That always looks so neat-o, too.) -Russellllll Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 16:16:43 -0400 From: joep at informix.com (Earl the Pearl) Subject: gas burners indoors Don't do it! Propane is extremely dangerous. It's heavier than air and will seek out the lowest part of the room (house) and hang out. If there's a spark anywhere near it, say goodbye to your family, house, and everything inside it. Btw, a spark can also mean starting a car inside a garage for those of you using propane in a closed garage. Please use propane only ina *well* ventilated area (read this as *outdoors*)! >>>>> "Taber, Bruce" <BRUCE.TABER at NRC.CA> writes: Bruce> Hi there, I would like to make the move off my stove top and Bruce> onto a big gas-fired burner so that I can increase the size of Bruce> my kettle. The problem is that I live in the Great White North Bruce> (near Ottawa to be exact) and we are quickly approaching winter Bruce> when it will be cold enough to freeze the you-know- whats off a Bruce> brass monkey. I really would like to boil in my basement but I Bruce> am concerned about carbon monoxide buildup indoors from the Bruce> burner. I am looking for suggestions from the collective. I Bruce> have thought about using a small propane burner hooked up to my Bruce> 20 lb. propane barbecue tank and opening a window and using a Bruce> fan to exhaust, but I am a worry-wort (now there's a beer term Bruce> for you). I don't like playing with bombs in the basement as my Bruce> family watches TV upstairs. Anybody have any suggestions? Bruce> Thanks in advance. Bruce> Bruce taber at irc.lan.nrc.ca joe. +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | Joe Pearl, Sr. Sales Engineer, Informix Software, Inc. | | 8675 Hidden River Parkway, Tampa, FL, 33637 813-615-0616 | | Opinions expressed are solely my own. | +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit | | of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing | | it. -- Herodotus | +-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 16:20:56 EDT From: epeters at rtp.semi.harris.com (Eric Peters 919- 405-3675) Subject: bottle neck >From DHatlestad at aol.com in HBD #1867: >epeters at rtp.semi.harris.com (Eric Peters 919- 405-3675) Writes: > >>Don't be frightened by white spots or bottle neck rings. >>My brother and I saw these on about half of the bottles >>from our first ~100 gallons (all were all-grain using Wyeast). >>None of the bottles were bad. > >I find this statement to be highly suspect. Every time I've tasted beer >from a bottle that had a ring around the neck, it was infected. Review >your bottle sanitation procedures. I've ruined my share of batches >by not getting the bottles clean enough. > > Cheers, > Don The statement was in response to an HBDer who apparently poured a batch down the drain (pardon me while I regain my composure) based on a visual inspection that revealed white spots or rings. He makes no mention of ever tasting the beer. When I bottled and used DME primer I had some bottles with these symptoms. None of the bottles were infected. YMMV. My point is, before dumping a batch, TASTE it. If it tastes bad, give it more time before completely giving up. We suspected the spots were coagulated complex protiens from the DME or rookie mashing. After batch 10 we stopped using DME primer, had improved our mashing, and were better managing break/trub. Problem solved. Eric Peters Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 16:57:59 EST From: "Colgan, Brian P." <bcolgan at sungard.com> Subject: Re[2]: judge-bashing bpc 26oct: Russell- My main point was that although you know you've made a 'good' beer, you may not know how to make it 'better'. Competent judging at a sanctioned competition is a good way to find out. Who cares if you lose style points as long as you get that one comment about modifying your grain bill or mashing techniques that switches on that little internal 'Eureka!' lightbulb. That, and if I EVER judge one of YOUR beers, I'll take off 10 general impression points for it being too 'old and smelly' :>) brian Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 14:59:00 -0600 From: alejandro.midence at ssanctum.com (ALEJANDRO MIDENCE) Subject: re: Bulging cans of Malt extract In hbd1867, Dave wrote: (paraphrased) What do I do with the bulging cans of Malt Extract? Some years ago, my supplier says, there was a sanitation problem with the extract companies overseas e.g. munton, Irex, ETC. and they ended up sending some cans that had acquired a population of wild yeast annd hence began to bulge. There were incidents of folks buying the stuff in bulk and storing it in buckets at room temp and the buckets' lids flying open and extract going everywhere. He told me that he did away with the stopped selling the cans when his dealer told him what was up. He decided to use the cans for his own personal brewing. He openeed the cans and skimmed the phoaming layer of wild yeast off then, he added the balance into the brewpot. He said it made wonderful beer. Besides, he argued, if anything was alive in that can, it's dead now since the can was added to boiling water tus effectively pasturizing the liquid. So, don't worry about them and go ahead and brew with them. No sense letting the stuff go to waste. Alex ps It's good to be back online. I'm glad this bbs carries internet e-mail and I'm able to receive this digest. My salutations to you all. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 16:30:13 -0500 From: Russell Mast <rmast at fnbc.com> Subject: Re: Re[2]: budge-gashing > My main point was that although you know you've made a 'good' beer, you > may not > know how to make it 'better'. Competent judging at a sanctioned > competition is > a good way to find out. I absolutely agree. And, as far as some discussion that I think spawned this whole thread deep in the mists of time - changing categories, making more specific categories or broader categories, or really doing anything with the categories, is not going to change this aspect of competitions. > Who cares if you lose style points as long as ... 'Eureka!' lightbulb. Excellent point. So, yeah, who cares what NUMBER some smelly, old judge gives you, look for the CONSTRUCTIVE advice they give you. I revise my earlier "who cares". > I'd grant you 10 general impression > points for it being 'old and smelly' enough for style. I'm glad you appreciate that. Old, smelly beer is some of my favorite, and a lot of people, even certified judges, don't fully appreciate how old, smelly beer is supposed to be. (I should be prepared to unleash my first lambic into the world in another 6 or 8 months. Tasted it a week ago, it's already starting to get smelly. Not old enough, though...) -R Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 08:03:01 +10 From: "Dave Draper" <david.draper at mq.edu.au> Subject: Smears and stabs Dear Friends, the other day Dion Hollenbeck posted asking about the relative merits of smearing a slant to inoculate it or stabbing it. Smearing is simply that--smearing the inoculation cells around on the surface of the slant; stabbing implies that the cells are jabbed down beneath the surface. Smearing works fine if you are not planning on very long-term storage of the culture (like less than a couple-few months). A smeared slant will have a usable colony on it within a week at 20C. The yeast are easy to retrieve from a Smear as well. As I have posted before, I favor retrieving the entire amount of yeast (or as much of it as I can) from such a slant to get a 500 ml starter going, which I then step up to about 1.5L, and this gets pitched for my usual 23L-ish batches (mostly ales, I don't have Temp. control). I don't see the point in taking a loopful and stepping up a bunch of times--if one is doing slants at all then one in principle has an endless supply of whatever strains one is ranching. Stabbing "immerses" the cells in a more protective layer of Stuff (sorry for the TechnoJargon) and hence those cells could better survive longer term storage under more severe conditions (e.g. freezing). I haven't done this because I reculture after a few months in practice--I usually have 2 or 3 slants of a given strain in the fridge and go through those in a few months anyway. From a stabbed slant one could easily inoculate smeared slants for later, immediate use; and a stabbed slant would be more suitable, I would think, for transporting (say if one was moving or carrying a slant to a distant brewpal). So, in my simple mind, the bottom line is: smear for more immediate use; stab for longer-term, extreme-condition storage and/or transport. Cheers, Dave in Sydney "Yeast are forgiving unless you really insult them." ---Dan McConnell - --- *************************************************************************** David S. Draper, Earth Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney NSW Australia Email: david.draper at mq.edu.au Home page: http://www.ocs.mq.edu.au/~ddraper ...I'm not from here, I just live here... Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 13:34:31 CDT From: korz at pubs.ih.att.com (Algis R Korzonas) Subject: bottle neck woes/b-brite and bottlecaps Don writes (quoting Eric): >>Don't be frightened by white spots or bottle neck rings. My brother and >>I saw these on about half of the bottles from our first ~100 gallons (all >>were all-grain using Wyeast). None of the bottles were bad. > >I find this statement to be highly suspect. Every time I've tasted beer >from a bottle that had a ring around the neck, it was infected. Review >your bottle sanitation procedures. I've ruined my share of batches >by not getting the bottles clean enough. There are two reasons for "ring around the collar" and let's not forget that: 1) protein from the primings and 2) aerobic life. #1 can be caused by DME or wort priming, which can be avoided if you boil the primings well, chill fast and remove the hot and cold break. #2 can be from any number of aerobic microbiota, some beer spoilers, others quite benign. In past summers, I've gotten these benign spots in the neck of some batches. They tend to be found only on the low-alcohol beers, so I suspect that they are not from things that live off the alcohol like some types of acetic acid bacteria or (I believe) sherry flor. I suspect that they may be molds since they are never around in the winter-brewed batches when the house and basement are quite dry and because they impart no detectable odd aroma or flavour. Incidentally, my sanitation techniques are always very stringent and I suspect the infection to occur during aeration with room air. While it is also possible that the beer is infected when air is drawn into the bottle as the bottle filler is removed, I don't think that this is as likely. Last summer, I purchased an HEPA room air filtration system, but I still had spots in two late spring beers. Late this summer I purchased a filtered-air aeration system and will see if that helped on the early fall beers I made this year. So, Dan, before you go stirring up a frenzy among homebrew judges (so they will not even touch a beer that has a ring around the collar or spots), consider the other sources of this problem and don't be so negative. *** Joe writes: >For bottle caps, I rinse them in b-brite and then rinse in cold water >just prior to use. For PureSeal (aka Smartcaps), I would avoid oxygen-based sanitizers like One Step and B-brite (if indeed it is still a sanitizer). I'm not 100% sure if this is a problem or not, but it seems to me that if the caps are supposed to absorb oxygen, it's best we don't put them into a peroxide, no? Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 1995 20:32:41 -0400 (EDT) From: kiesow <kiesow at nando.net> Subject: Pete's Wicked, and air stones/pumps Does anyone have an extract or partial mash recipe for Pete's Wicked Ale? It seems to me that at least one version has appeared in past (years) issues of HBD. After a couple of hours of searching the archives I gave up and decided to take the easy way out and ask y'all for some versions of it. If my memory is correct William's nut brown extract was one of the major ingredients. Does anyone know of a suplier for this extract? Name,city and state would suffice but phone number would be excellent. E-mail direct or post. With your permission, I will compile and post any recipes sent to me. A second question I have concerns the aeration of cooled wort via air pumps and air stones. I was wondering how large are the air stones being used? There seems to be a wide variety of materials and sizes for air stones. Also how much time? I assume the length of time would depend on how large of a pump is being used??? => Kim Kiesow Raleigh,NC <= Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 95 10:27:00 EST From: "McMahon, John S" <JMcMahon at sitgbsd1.telecom.com.au> Subject: Bulging cans of extract >From: David Oliver <dwo at slip.net> > ...found two cans of Coopers Ale extract I frogot about. They must be about 5-6 years old and ... When I started brewing, the next door neighbour come in with an tin of Coopers Ale extract that he had left over from when he brewed 'Years ago'. The tin was not bulging or dented. I thought I would open it and see what it looked like. It looked OK so I thought I would brew it and see what it looked like. It looked darker in the carbouy than other Coopers Ale but I waited and bottled. It became ovious when they were gassed. I was woken one night by a large explosion, half the bottles had gone. I carefulluy put the rest in the bin. The next 3 days until it was collected there was small explosions from inside the bin. I've brewed over 100 batches and have had no other explosions. I have also been given a can of extract that was dented, it was not old but legally could not be sold. I boiled it and 4Litres of water for 1.5Hours. It was fine. My Opinion -=- Brew it but be carefull, if its OK Drink it else Bin it! John McMahon Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1869, 10/28/95