HOMEBREW Digest #195 Thu 06 July 1989

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		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 procedure. 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 & airlock. 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 dry. 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. Return to table of contents
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. gordon hester gh0t+ at andrew.cmu.edu Return to table of contents
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. Ted Estes Skokie, IL att!ttrdf!estes OR arpa!estes at ttrdf.att.com Return to table of contents
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 uunet: uunet!x102a!x102c!ferguson Return to table of contents
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 Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #195, 07/06/89
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