HOMEBREW Digest #195 Thu 06 July 1989
FORUM ON BEER, HOMEBREWING, AND RELATED ISSUES
Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator
Cleanliness [long message] (Steve Anthony)
Re: Using crystal malt and other grains (Gordon Hester)
Kegging info wanted (Edward A Estes +1 312 982 3969)
Homebrew Digest #192 (July 02, 1989) (ferguson ct 71078)
Bottle filling methods (Kenneth Kron)
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Date: Wed, 5 Jul 89 10:45:51 EDT
From: Steve Anthony <steveo at Think.COM>
Subject: Cleanliness [long message]
While there is more than one way to skin a cat (appologies to cat lovers
out there, I'm one, too), I think that one must keep this in perspective.
I've been brewing for about 5-6 years now and have yet to have a bad (due
to spoilage) batch of brew. Reading the digest lately, I've come to the
realization that my sanitation proceedures are relatively lax. In the
interests of providing a viewpoint for the lazy amongst us, here's my
While my wort is boiling, I sanitize my primary fermeter (7 gal. plastic
brew pail) and the lid & lock. The sanitizing is done with about 5 gals of
warm water and enough clorox so that my hand feels a little slippery when I
wet it with the solution. When the wort is ready (or just before,
actually) I dump the sanitizer and rinse the bucket well with fresh water
until I can't smell the clorox any more. I add the balance of the water to
make the total 5 gals (I'm currently a partial grain brewer). This is cold
water, directly from the tap. In goes the boiled wort (at 212 deg Far.).
On goes the lid and lock. When the wort has cooled to cellar temperature
(usually overnight), I remove the lid and being carefull not to breathe on
the surface of the wort, or indeed even lean over it as a stray hair might
decide that it wants to go free fall, I pitch the yeast and re-lid &
When the primary is done, I prepare to rack the beer to the secondary
(glass carboy). This gets sanitized as the primary (filled with warm water
with appropriate amount of clorox. I prepare the siphoning tubes/hoses by
imersing them in the solution and using good ole' suction (applied by
mouth) fill the tube and let it sit for an hour. Then I drain everything
and rinse untill no clorox smell is noticeable. The siphoning tube I fill
with cold water (from the tap) and siphon to the secondary.
When the siphoning is done, I immediately wash with soap and water the
primary bucket and the tube. I rinse it well and let it air dry.
When I'm taking gravity readings, I boil a small amount of water and use
this to sterrilize the tip of a plastic turkey baster (used only for this
purpose; it serves no other purpose in my kitchen). I take the necessary
amount of beer from the carboy and measure the gravity. This raw beer, I
taste; as it is now that I get a hint of what the final product will be
like. Any of this undrunk beer is tossed down the drain.
When it's time to bottle, I take my bottles and using the ole' water and
clorox, soak them for a hour and then rinse with clean water untill no
clorox smell is apparant. I boil the caps. I also use the primary bucket
to mix the raw beer with the priming sugar/water mixture, so this bucket
and the siphoning tube get sanitized and rinsed, also. I make the priming
sugar/water mixture by boiling the water, and disolving the sugar. I start
siphoning out of the carboy into the bucket, adding the priming sugar as I
go, so as not to heat the beer to much. I'm careful not to breathe on the
beer or let things fall in it (like hair). I attempt to not lose the
siphon by running air into it at the end of the racking (this is so it can
be used right away for the bottling). However, I'm not always so lucky and
to restart I use mouth suction without any rinsing at all to get things
going again. I bottle and cap as one might expect. After bottling, I
immediately wash the bucket, carboy and siphoning equipment and let it air
After I've poured a bottle, before I even taste the beer, I rinse the
bottle with water a couple of times and visually make sure that no sediment
is left on the bottom. Then I sit the bottle in my dish drainer mouth down
and let it dry. From there, it's ready to be used again.
So while it seems that I'm loosing a lot of hair, this has worked out to be
an effective yet unobtrusive sanitization procedure for me. I realize that
this is all very unscientific and that many might argue that my procedures
aren't rigorous enough. However, I feel I'm getting good results (as I
said, no spoilage to date, after 5-6 years of brewing). As always,
comments are welcome.
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Date: Wed, 5 Jul 89 11:00:02 -0400 (EDT)
From: Gordon Hester <gh0t+ at andrew.cmu.edu>
Subject: Re: Using crystal malt and other grains
A couple of messages recently have mentioned the use of
crystal malt (and other grains, but CM is the one I am
immediately interested in.) One poster described the grains
he added as "well crushed."
I'd like to try using crysatl malt in my next batch, but
I'm unclear about how to use it. (I'm using extracts
for brewing.) In particular:
1- How do I go about crushing it? How crushed does it
need to be?
2- When do I add it to the wort? Some things I have seen
seem to indicate that it is added before anything else,
in a bag, and steeped in cold/hot (?) water. I've
looked in Papazian, but either he doesn't give specific
instructions or I haven't found them (always a distinct
possibility with CJoHB 8-).
Any and all advice greatly apprceiated.
gh0t+ at andrew.cmu.edu
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Date: Wed, 5 Jul 89 09:45:05 -0600
From: hplabs!utah-cs!ihc!estes (Edward A Estes +1 312 982 3969)
Subject: Kegging info wanted
A while back, there was a discussion on the mailing list about acquiring
all the hardware necessary for kegging (and dispensing) one's homebrew.
Unfortunately, I (foolishly) didn't save any of the information. Now
I want to keg! Would someone, perhaps, have those newsletters archived
somewhere, and would that someone be kind enough to send them on to me?
Thanks a whole bunch.
att!ttrdf!estes OR arpa!estes at ttrdf.att.com
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Date: Wed, 5 Jul 89 12:56:16 EDT
From: ferguson%X102C at HARRIS-ATD.COM (ferguson ct 71078)
Subject: Homebrew Digest #192 (July 02, 1989)
>Being told not to worry, that everything will turn out all right,
>always sets my teeth on edge. I'd prefer to be given information
>rather than platitudes.
Given some of the recent submissions to the homebrew list, I now
understand why Papazian made such a big deal out of not worrying. It
appears that some homebrewers do get excessively concerned about
miniscule details of brewing that have marginal impact on the final
product. An experienced homebrewer attempting to brew
connoisseur-quality homebrew is justifiable in such strict attention
to detail. However, the foremost concern of first-timers should be
to get comfortable with the homebrewing process and to gain an easy
appreciation of the rewards. A first-timer reading a newsgroup like
this or conversing with an experienced homebrewer might get a
distorted view of what is important in homebrewing. Experience
homebrewers tend to delve into esoterica when discussing their art.
A good example of all this is the recent discussion on sanitization
and the quantity and type of bleach to use. My approach has always
been to buy whatever bleach was lying around the house (or on sale at
the grocery store), to use liberal quantities of it, and rinse well
afterwards. As Papazian says, the objective is to *sanitize* the
equipment and not to *sterilize* it. I can understand an experience
homebrewer's concern with fragrances and other additives in bleach,
particularly when his fermenter is something more exotic than the
standard glass carboy that many first-timers use. However,
first-timers really shouldn't worry about it. Hence, Papazian's
emphasis on not worrying.
I am talking from experience here. I first got interested in
homebrewing when a fellow with whom I worked told me he had brewed
before. He told me all about the process in great detail and I was
baffled. He showed me a whole closet-full of equipment for
homebrewing, much of which was home-built. We resolved to brew a
batch together someday so I could learn how it all worked.
Fortunately for me, he could never find the time. I bought Papazian's
book instead and brewed a beginner's batch by the book. The resulting
brew was adequate (though underhopped and under-carbonated) and gave
me enough confidence to try a mixed extract/grain brew the next time
(Papazian's India Pale Ale recipe). The second batch was superb and
still rates as one of the best batches of homebrew I have ever made.
The point is that if Papazian had not gone to such great lengths to
simplify and de-stress the homebrewing process, I might never have
brewed that first batch.
What is surprising to me is the resilience of homebrewing. As I have
stated in this newsgroup before, I have talked to homebrewers who have
made decent stuff in buckets with minimal attention to sanitation. I
even talked to one homebrewer who claims to have made an all-extract
without even boiling the wort -- just mixed the extract with some
water and pitched the yeast. He claims it turned out OK (he must have
used a pre-hopped extract). The conclusion I have drawn is that
homebrewing is darn-near bulletproof. Hence, we have the Chuck
Ferguson correlary to the Papazian theorm:
"Relax, don't worry -- homebrewing is darn-near bulletproof."
As far as Papazian's science goes, I can't say how accurate it is. I
can say that his book is packed with information and a whole bunch of
recipes. Considering the range of audiences it attempts to reach, I
would say it covers the topic pretty well. If the "RDWHAH" philosophy
bothers you, skip the beginner's stuff and move on to the more
complicated sections. The platitude appears less and less as you move
through the book.
Chuck Ferguson Harris Government Information Systems Division
(407) 984-6010 MS: W1/7732 PO Box 98000 Melbourne, FL 32902
Internet: ferguson%cobra at trantor.harris-atd.com
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Date: Wed, 5 Jul 89 11:27:21 PDT
From: kron at Sun.COM (Kenneth Kron)
Subject: Bottle filling methods
Recently on the net there has been a discussion of bottling. I have used
several different methods lately (the pinch clamp, the stop cock, the tube
with pressure valve at bottom and the pinch the hose off with fingers method)
and have come to the conclusion (wrong as it may be) that the only method
that has any real advantages is the tube w/valve (the advantage being
convenience/speed, disadvantage being ~1/4 oz. less fluid/bottle).
So I was wondering if anyone had any real strong opinions on the subject or
some important data that I don't know about.
Thanks for reading/replying if you did/do
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End of HOMEBREW Digest #195, 07/06/89
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