HOMEBREW Digest #2348 Sun 16 February 1997

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  High Point Wheat Beer Brewery ("David R. Burley")
  Skunkiness,sweet schnapps,secondary transfer, mineral bitterness ("David R. Burley")
  Stuck Sparge... (Darrin Pertschi)
  Aerobic yeast growth and Dunkel Recipes (Joe Shope)
  rate and dilution/slurry/acidify/liquid yeast starters (korz)
  Autolysis (DD)
  Wheeler... Part 1 (Rob Moline)
  Wheeler..Part 2 (Rob Moline)
  Botulism paranoia (JACKMOWBRAY)
  Pediococcus and Lactobacillus- Lambic Questions (kevin)
  canning wort in capped bottles (Heiner Lieth)
  Re: Kegs on stove/rough spot in Corny/100% wheat beer/sulfur (Spencer W Thomas)
  Home-made EM/Sanke dip tubes ("Michael T. Bell")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 13 Feb 97 16:57:59 EST From: "David R. Burley" <103164.3202 at CompuServe.COM> Subject: High Point Wheat Beer Brewery Brewsters: A few months ago George DePiro alerted us to a wheat beer brewery in Butler, NJ. This is just down the road about 3 miles from my house. Messages on the telephone answering machine did not produce a return call. While in Butler this afternoon, I visited the brewery at 22 Park Place in Butler. This brewery is part of a refurbished (offices, labs, printers, etc.) rubber manufacturing plant circa 1890. Sorta reminds me of buildings of the same era in the back streets of Manchester, England years ago, but this is only a block in area. I found no one at home, but a card from Gregory Zaccardi, President, (tel & fax 201-838-7400) and a listing of where we can buy RAMSTEIN on tap. So, for those interested in a wheat beer from New Jersey here are the present locations it can be purchased listed on the card - all in New Jersey: Headquarters Plaza, Morristown Lotsa Pasta, Kinnelon Andy's Corner Bar, Bogota Cloverleaf Tavern, Caldwell Sidewinders, Garfield The Meeting Place, Madison Casey O'Toole's, Wayne Tailgates, Butler The Front Porch, Hawthorne Ruga's Restaurant, Oakland Roserne's Liquors, Butler M&M LIquiors, New Providence Mexican Food Factory, Manalapan Park & Orchard, East Rutherford Helmer's Hoboken Becca's - The Purple Cactus, Franklin Jack Baker's Lobster Shanty, Belmar The Mile Square Cafe, Hoboken Paul's Bar, Clifton Railroad Cafe, East Rutherford Tours are the second Saturday of each month at 2:00 PM *Sharp* If you are interested, I'll probably be there this Saturday. Call me for directions 201-492-1371 or find it on your own: North on Rt 23 off Rt 287, Right at first set of traffic lights onto Boonton Avenue (next to the Shell Station), follow the one way signs at the bottom of the hill and it brings you right to Park Place and in view of the building. Carry on across Park Place and straight up Kinnelon Rd for 1/4 block and turn right into 22 Park Place - a narrow alley between the brick structures. Difficult to miss as it is the only LARGE brick structure in the area. YMMV An encouraging sign that this was not an all extract operation were the empty bags of *English* Pale Malt filled with something outside the building. Maybe it's a single infusion wheat?? We'll see. Hope springs eternal that its more. Lotsa Pasta is less than 1/2 mile from my house, so we'll see how it delivers, tonight. Usual disclaimers apply. Keep on brewin' Dave Burley Kinnelon, NJ 07405 103164.3202 at compuserve.com Voice e-mail OK Return to table of contents
Date: 13 Feb 97 16:57:54 EST From: "David R. Burley" <103164.3202 at CompuServe.COM> Subject: Skunkiness,sweet schnapps,secondary transfer, mineral bitterness Brewsters: John WIlkinson of sunny Grapevine Texas asks: > My experience indicates skunking may > be a sometime thing rather than a sure one. > Has this danger been exaggerated? Are we scaring > ourselves to death? Skunkiness is a sometime thing. In addition to being light intensity and wavelength dependent, it depends on the color of the beer and the components which generate the color. Being a chemical reaction it is dependent on the type and quantity of hops. As an *imperfect* rule of thumb the lighter the color of the beer ( e.g. lager vs stout) and the higher the content of hops ( actual IBU) the more noticeable the skunkiness on exposure of the beer to the same amount of light. If you want to get into a more detailed discussion of absorbance, etc I'd like to do it off line. Like John, I must also admit, either I am awfully insensitive to skunkiness or, what some people are calling skunkiness is actually a change in the beer's aroma as it warms up and oxidizes a little - more aldehyde staleness than mercaptan. Some people are "blind" to mercaptans - my wife, for example ( the reason she could marry me?), others may be more or less sensitive. I am skeptical, even though I have read it, that a few minutes exposure of beer to bright sunlight can produce skunkiness. It is especially hard to believe since it is through soft glass which is not a good transmitter of ultraviolet in most cases. I'd like to see some actual photochemical data combined with threshold sensitivities. Wavelengths, quantum efficiencies, absorbances, concentrations, etc. Perhaps we could learn more if we had a convenient standard to compare against. - ----------------------------------------------------------- Phil WIlcox asks how much sugar is in his sweetened schnapps. Assuming the only major component besides alcohol dissolved in the schnapps is sugar, my suggestion is to measure the specific gravity of a diluted ( to say, 6% alcohol) solution in water, correct for the alcohol content using real attenuation type calculations. - ----------------------------------------------------- Ken Rentz asks about when to transfer to the secondary. Its easy - when the fermentation has died down enough that it will not foam out of the secondary carboy and as soon after that as you can. Usually about 5 to 7 days, depending on lots of things like OG, yeast, temperature , etc. - ---------------------------------------------------- AlK includes more into the discussion on mineral bitterness: >sulphate ions in the brewing water cause the > bitterness to *linger* into the finish. How does this differ from a "dry finish" which is a well recognized effect of sulphate? Are we having a communication problem because we are using different words? I would not call a dry finish "bitterness". > I really don't enjoy argueing with you Dave. I'd much rather agree on > everything, but it seems that most often you misinterpret my assertions > and no matter how many ways I try to rephrase my point, you don't seem > to get it. Could someone else perhaps try to paraphrase my point? I am glad to hear it, since I don't really enjoy arguing with anyone, including you. And I don't think I am doing it now, just clarifying and trying to square it with other writings on the subject. Look at it his way, if I didn't think you had a point, I wouldn't be continuing this. But, like you, I do like to understand, fully, assertions of people whose expertise I respect, that seem to go against the documented common beliefs. I am quite prepared to learn something different that explains more on any subject. Unfortunately, and despite the discussion, I still only have your comments on this sulfate contribution to bitternesss and wish you could provide more information or quote other sources. As I said before, I would prefer to agree with you on this, since it fits into my idea of what mineral bitterness is all about. It is just that as far as I can find, no one else says what I believe you are saying. I just want to understand how you developed this opinion. Sources, experiments, etc. I suppose acidifying alkaline water to the same mash pH with sulfuric acid vs lactic acid would prove the point as long as the calcium sulfate was not precipitated. Do you have any data like that? How about an experiment with magnesium? MgCl2 vs NaCl in the mash? > I'm going to try and stop at the liquor store tonight and > see if I can find a pale, nationally-available beer with more sulphate in > it. Maybe Bass, Whitbread, or Boddingtons, but I think they tone-down the > sulphate for export. We'll see... As we discussed privately, my daughter brought me a couple of sixers of Boddington's with the nitrogen fizzers in the can during her Christmas visit from Manchester. These definitely have that high sulfate dryness almost to the point of metallic. I have never had a Boddington's made for the US market, because I've never bought one here. - --------------------------------------------------------------- Keep on brewin' Dave Burley Kinnelon, NJ 07405 103164.3202 at compuserve.com Voice e-mail OK Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 1997 17:03:44 +0000 From: Darrin Pertschi <darrinp at cowles.com> Subject: Stuck Sparge... Two of my first three all grain batches resulted in stuck sparges (The first one did yield the best dry stout ever made on this planet though). I'm using the 5 gal. Gott and EasyMasher. Nothing unusual in the mash, 8-10 lb grain in 1-1.5 qts./lb water. The only thing I can think of to explain this that maybe the Malt Mill I use at the brewshop is set to crush too fine and I'm getting clogged up with 'flour'. Could this happen? What about grain bed compaction? I can't see into the bottom of my cooler, so I don't know if the grain is floating or not. With this thought in the back of my mind, I'm reading through the 1985 Zymurgy special grain issue. On pg. 45 Al Andrews is discussing mashing systems and illustrates a strange (to me) drain on his lauter tun. The drain tube exits the bottom of the tun and goes upward to a tee fitting. From there one tube goes to the boil pot and the other continues upward. He says "By having the exiting wort flow up and over the tee fitting, it effectively reduces the pressure to the difference between the top of the grain bed and the tee." What? Really? Anyone here effectively using this design? What about the tube that goes up, what happens to it? Is it left 'open' or sealed at it's end? If I utilize limited or no sparge, would I have to slowly lower the tee as I when along? I welcome all input on this situation... - ------ Darrin in South Central PA Proprietor--Simpleton's Cosmic Brewery - --------------------------------------------- You never know just how you look through other peoples eyes. <B.H.S.> Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 1997 14:06:05 +0000 From: Joe Shope <sltp5 at cc.usu.edu> Subject: Aerobic yeast growth and Dunkel Recipes With the recent discussion on yeast starters, growth, pitching, and aeration I have begun to question my own procedure. Currently I keep my cultures aerobic until pitching in a peice of equipment similar to a cyclotherm and pitch 1 liter. The yeast seem to faster when in the aerobic environment which allows for a higher amount of yeast to be pitched. I know that many brewers allow their starters to reach high kreusen before pitching and wonder if these starters are not in anaerobic conditions. Are there consequences to keeping the yeast aerobic prior to pitching? Also I'm interested in brewing a Munich Dunkel or Dark Bavarian Lager, If anyone has a recipe to share I would greatly appreciate the help. Cheers, Joe Fermenting in the Promised Land Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 1997 16:54:21 -0600 (CST) From: korz at xnet.com Subject: rate and dilution/slurry/acidify/liquid yeast starters At the risk of dredging up old discussions, here are a few loose ends that were left unresolved due to the HBD crashing back in December. Dave writes (regarding dilution of the mash increasing the conversion rate): >I took M&BS's observation that diluting the mash has an OVERALL >effect of giving a more fermentable wort. It was their interpretation, which I >repeated, that the products like sugar, slowed down the production by >inhibiting the forward reaction. MBS says (p288 in the 2nd edition): "Hydrolytic reactions may proceed at a greater rate in more dilute mashes, because the products of reaction are less concentrated and so inhibit enzyme activity less." Dave clearly read the word "may" as being "are likely to" and I read it as "possibly." This is probably the source of our disagreement. Also, if you look at the table "Influence of mash temperature and concentration on the composition of sweet wort" (this has been posted in HBD before) you'll notice that for some things like Hexose and Dextrin, a thinner mash always produces less, whereas for others, like extract %, it peaks at 39% grist and is lower for both higher and lower concentrations. Here's a case where I *speculate* that the gains of reduction in the inhibition of enzymes is eventually outweighed by the dilution of the substrate as the grist % continues to decrease. *** Rick writes: >On slurry, >Do you know that I have now seen the word 'slurry' maybe hundreds of times and >nowhere has >anyone ever said where it comes from? If I make a starter, is the stuff on the >bottom a >slurry? And is that somehow more useful in some situations than a starter? "Slurry" is the thick paste of yeast in the bottom of the fermenter or starter. If you can get 250ml of yeast slurry (from a brewpub or from your fermenter) it's far better to pitch (if it's fresh) than a simple 1- or 2-liter starter made from a package of Wyeast. The difference is quite simply the quantity of yeast, nothing else. Therefore, a fresh 2-liter starter just past high-kraeusen will probably be better than a 2-month-old 250ml slurry that has been sitting around at room temperature. >On Acidify, >Do you know that I have now seen the word 'acidify' maybe ten times and >nowhwere >have I noticed >anyone ever saying how to acidify? I would like to hear how people acidify. Acidification usually refers to either the sparge water or the water that you will use to steep grain (or perhaps make hop tea). It means adding an acid like phosphoric, lactic, citric, malic, tartaric, or "acid blend" (which is the last three usually in equal proportions) a little at a time, and monitoring the pH till it's in the range you want (usually 5.1 to 5.5 or so). *** Tom writes (regarding Wyeast): prepared a started for the above yeast, and propagated the starter a second time approx. 12 hours before pitching. However the liquid yeast still seems to start slower and ferment less vigorously than dry yeast, requiring 12 hours to kick in. Question 2. Does one need enormous quantities of liquid yeast to achieve the shorter lag times experienced with dry yeast? There are hundreds of times more yeast in 5 grams of dry yeast than there are in a package of Wyeast. You really should make a starter (I use 1 liter starters for ales and 2 liters for lagers and strong ales) a day in advance of brewing. Pop the Wyeast several days before brewing (see the back of the package for a packaging date stamp and add one day for each month since packaging: 1 month, 3 days; 2 months, 4 days; etc.). Once the package has puffed, make up your starter from a few tablespoons of DME and maybe a pinch of Yeast Energizer, cool, aerate, and pitch the package. One or two days later, you brew and pitch the starter into the main wort. You'll see activity within a few hours, just like with dry yeast. I pitch 3 packages of the dry yeast per 10 gallon batch. I try to have the wort temp. around 80F at pitching, and I wrap blankets around the fermenter to keep the heat in (its 58F in my cellar). Dry yeast usually starts fermenting in 3-6 hours; liquid yeast (2 packs in a 2 pint starter with 2/3 cup pale hopped malt for 12-24 hours) takes at least 2-3 times longer, despite the fact that it was fermenting the starter nicely at pitching time. Hmmm... sounds like you did everything right. Was that 2/3 cup DME or 2/3 cup syrup. I don't know how many ounces that might be in syrup. If it was DME, it seems good. If it was syrup, my gut feeling says that maybe your starter gravity was a bit high and that you should have probably given it 24 to 48 hours before pitching into the main wort. *** Julio writes: >In making a starter with liquid yeast; 1) What difference is there in the >kind of malt used? I prefer light or extra light DME with a pinch of Yeast Energizer. This won't significantly darken even the lightest beer. DME stores for years in Tupperware (it turns to brown glass if you just store it in an open bag). >Should it be the same kind as in the planned brew? Can >it be say, dark malt syrup? Does it have to be light DME? Any/all advise >is appreciated. 2) Is the SG of the wort important? Why? It doesn't have to be light DME... it could be dark syrup, but two liters of starter from dark extract would be noticeable in, say, a Witbier. >And last, how >can I extend the life of the starter until available brewing day? Feed it. Some books recommend putting it in the fridge, but you can shock the yeast and subsequently get a really long lag time. If you have the room in your starter vessel, make up a little strong wort and add it. If you need to make room, pour off *some* of the liquid (don't pour it all off even if the yeast has settled -- you will be selecting for the more flocculent yeast and can get a higher FG -- although this is really more of an issue when doing this multiple times) and add your strong wort. Often what I'll do is make up a 1-liter 1.040 OG starter in a 2-liter Erlenmeyer flask. Then I realize that I won't be able to brew on Saturday. Usually, that means that I won't brew for a week. I'll let the starter ferment out and then add 500 ml of 1.080 OG wort two days before brewing. You probably don't want to do this multiple times because the risk of infection increases every time you open the starter -- and a few stray bacteria are *much* worse in your starter than in your fermenter. Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 1997 16:58:06 -0600 From: DD <dunn at tilc.com> Subject: Autolysis - --MimeMultipartBoundary Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit At the end fermentation of an ale in the primary, at say two weeks or so, if it is not convenient to rack the beer to a secondary or bottle or keg it, would moving the entire carboy to a refrigerator at around 40 degrees hold off autolysis? Of course, the airlock has to be removed and the top covered with clean alum. foil. Since autolysis is the process in which starving yeast cells feed on each other by excreting enzymes, it seems reasonable that once the temperature is dropped to a point well below fermentation temp. the yeast would become dormant. As many of you know, by dropping the temp of the beer before racking a much clearer, cleaner beer is produced. - --MimeMultipartBoundary-- Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 1997 17:23:28 -0600 From: Rob Moline <brewer at kansas.net> Subject: Wheeler... Part 1 The Jethro Gump Report Greetings, I have been slammmed with requests..and having tried to respond to one too many message bounces, I will break this puppy up into sections, and run a couple of portions daily, so as not to wipe out the HBD with just one topic. I think it would be helpful for folks who wish to comment, to wait until it has been completed, as there may be something in a future segment that may answer your question. Apologies to those who feel it is a waste of bandwidth, but I can't cope with the numerous requests any more. For the rest of you, I hope you find it as informative and interesting as I have. Jethro Wheeler on Porter /Part 1 >To BREWER at kansas.net >>From Graham Wheeler. > >Dear Brewer >Thank you for your phone call. With regards to the content of >our telephone conversation, I have had a scout round my discs >for some of my stuff on porter. Unfortunately, my most >referenced article that started off the controversy, called >"Dark Mystery of Porter", published in CAMRA's "What's Brewing", >March 1993 has disappeared completely. Unfortunately I have >changed computer recently and a lot of stuff inevitably gets >lost or discarded in such circumstances. However, there is >nothing in that article that you will not find in the >following text. > >Firstly I will kick off with the porter history bit from my >book, "Home Brewing" - the CAMRA guide, 2nd edition, 1993. This >is the passage that seemed to agitate Terry Foster. > >*** START OF ARTICLE 1 *** > >Porter (entire) > >Porter is the least understood of old British beers. The subject >is complicated and confused because porter's heyday lasted from >about 1700 to the pale ale revolution of the mid 1800s and was >still a popular drink at the turn of this century. During that >time it passed through many transformations and spawned a great >number of fraudulent imitations. > Crippling increases in taxation on ale and beer in the >latter part of the 1600s and early part of the 1700s brought >about a change in the drinking habits of British people. Ale and >beer consumption fell by 27 per cent after a tax increase in >1692 and gin drinking increased in proportion. There were >further tax increases in 1694, 1697, 1706, and 1711. By 1711 the >brewers were faced with a malt tax, a hop tax, and a >disproportionate sales tax on the finished product. Brewers were >continually forced to weaken their products in order to maintain >the price in the face of ever increasing taxes. The sales tax on >ale was four times that on beer and this caused a consumer swing >from ales to the weaker and cheaper beers or to stronger and >cheaper gin. The switch to beer drinking brought about the habit >of drinkers mixing beers of different grades and prices to suit >their palate and pocket. > Porter was simply a mixture of two brown beers, one stale, >one mild. Mild beer was fresh beer that had recently been >brewed, whereas stale beer had been kept for a year or more and >was turning sour. The only characteristic that set porter apart >from any other beer of the day was that porter was deliberately >soured by adding a percentage of sour (stale) beer to freshly >brewed beer. The original porters were not, as is commonly >supposed, jet-black in colour, but a translucent brown. They >were a brown beer just like any other beer of the day. They had >a rich, smoky flavour derived from the use of brown malt and a >winey aftertang produced by the deliberate souring, highly >regarded by Londoners. > This souring sometimes took place at the brewery, in which >case the drink was known as "Entire", but it was more usual for >it to be done at the pub. The London porter brewers supplied two >grades of beer, Mild and Stale, and these were mixed in >appropriate proportions in the drinker's tankard to give him his >preferred degree of acidic tang, in much the same way as modern >drinkers mix mild and bitter. > It is difficult for twentieth century drinkers to grasp the >concept of sour beer. Stale or sour beer was not spoiled beer, >but a deliberate flavour enhancer which cost twice the price of >mild beer. The sourness was almost certainly acetic acid - >vinegar - brought about by the action of acetic acid bacteria or >brettanomyces, an acid-producing wild yeast. The deliberate >souring of beer is not as crazy as it might sound. Modern >drinkers often mistake the more common and more objectionable >lactic acid taste of badly kept beer for vinegar. Vinegar, >acetic acid, is not objectionable to many people, as a quick >observation of the habits of visitors to fish and chip shops >will soon confirm. Indeed, when experimentally added to a pint >of beer in small amounts it provides a long malty lingering >aftertaste which is not unpleasant. > The oxidation of alcohol into acetic acid is a slow process >and the stale beers required very long ageing periods for this >to take place. This accounts for the high price of stale. In the >early days of porter the humble brewers of the day could not >afford to store and age vast stocks of beer for a year or two. >Moneyed people made a trade of purchasing mild beer from the >brewers, keeping it until it had turned sour, and selling it to >the publicans at twice the price, a huge profit for those days, >when a handsome return on capital would have been two-and-a-half >per cent per annum. It was only a matter of time before the >brewers took to ageing the beer themselves. The brewers were >probably prepared to age their beer for more modest profits and >this was the foundation of the great London porter breweries. > Initially the porter brewers aged their beer in casks, just >as the moneyed people had done before them, but as the >popularity of porter spread this represented a large investment >in casks and huge storage areas were required. Whitbread, for >instance, were renting cellars in 54 different locations around >London in 1747. From about 1740 onwards the porter brewers began >to store their porter in large vats. These large vats almost >certainly had the additional benefit of accelerating the ageing >process, reducing the price of porter as a consequence. It is >known that many brewers flattened the beer before vatting by >turning the beer into their shallow cooling trays; this would >have also aerated the beer which would considerably aid the >acetification process. > The great London porter brewers were very proud of their >huge maturation vats and were in the habit of forever building >bigger ones. Half-million gallon vats were not uncommon; parties >and dances were often held in them as opening ceremonies. In >1814, one of these vats burst, releasing 320,000 gallons of >porter which demolished part of Richard Meux's brewery and a row >of terraced cottages, killing eight people in the process. Jethro Rob Moline Little Apple Brewing Company, Manhattan, Kansas. "The More I Know About Beer, The More I Realize I Need To Know More About Beer!" Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 1997 17:56:07 -0600 From: Rob Moline <brewer at kansas.net> Subject: Wheeler..Part 2 Wheeler/Part 2. Entire Butt Popular ale-lore has it that porter was invented in 1722 by Ralph Harwood, a London brewer. It is said that he prepared a blend of various beers that imitated the mixture of mild and stale and sold it in a single cask under the trade name "Entire Butt", and that this was the origin of porter. Ralph Harwood must have played an important part in the porter story, he is too deeply immortalised in folklore for that not to be true, but it is not clear exactly what that part was. He may well have been the first brewer to blend mild and stale in a single cask, but he certainly did not invent porter; the custom of mixing mild and stale beers preceded him. It is not even certain that his entire butt was a blend of mild and stale; much of the evidence is contradictory. It seems that his major contribution was to considerably reduce the price of porter and make it more affordable. Bearing in mind that stale beer was twice the price of mild, the original porter must have been fairly expensive. Of course, he may have been prepared to age the beer for a much more modest mark-up than 100 per cent, but my guess is that he discovered that mild beer could be "brought forward" (in brewerspeak), by inoculation. That is, perhaps he discovered that mild beer would sour quicker if it was inoculated with a small quantity of beer that was already sour. He may also have discovered other acceleration techniques, such as deliberately flattening the beer and aerating it. Any method of reducing the long ageing period required for stale beer would reduce its price and give the brewer a tremendous commercial advantage. A modern vinegar manufacturer can sour large volumes of beer in a matter of hours, but in those days it was a matter of years. Vinegar was also an expensive luxury; it was made in exactly the same way. It seems that Ralph Harwood's "Entire" was very short-lived but the name lived on. Entire and porter came to mean much the same thing and the two terms became somewhat interchangeable, but, in general, entire was a porter dispensed from one cask, whereas London Porter was a mixture of two beers, dispensed from two casks and mixed in the tankard at the pub. Some entires were soured by adding about eight per cent of stale beer, but many were not soured at all and were porter taste-alikes. Porter taste-alikes Many small brewers tried to jump on the porter bandwagon with taste-alike versions of porter which did not require the expensive ageing period of the real thing. All manner of strange ingredients were used in order to try to imitate the taste of porter, and to give it the impression of strength. Many recipes included capsicum and liquorice in an attempt to provide the mouthfeel of porter. Indeed, as late as 1908 linseed and liquorice were among ingredients listed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer as being commonly used in beer, presumably when he was looking for yet something else to tax. Some recipes included poisons in order to give the impression of fictitious strength. One common ingredient of the 1700s was the African berry, coculus indicus, which was used by Indian natives to stun fish. This poison, or narcotic, made the drinkers giddy, gave them a shocking hangover the following day, and provided them with the impression that they were drinking pretty potent stuff the night before. The potency of this berry is illustrated by the fact that only one ounce of these berries in fifty-four gallons of beer was sufficient to produce the desired effect. Ingredients sometimes used to adulterate beer included: coculus indicus, opium, indian hemp, strychnine, tobacco, darnel seed, logwood, and salts of zinc, lead, and alum. Some of the porter taste-alikes were genuine attempts to produce a cheaper substitute for porter; smaller brewers, particularly country brewers, could not afford to age huge volumes of beer for a year or more. Indeed, modern porters are taste-alikes and are not sour like the real thing. In 1780 Lord North increased the tax on malt, hops and beer in order to finance the war against American independence. This increase had a disastrous effect on the brewing industry. The brewers were once again forced to weaken their products in order to keep the price stable, and gin drinking increased yet again. Colour was synonymous with strength, so the brewers of porter taste-alikes began to darken their beers in order to give the impression of strength in the face of ever-weakening products. Old recipes simply give euphemistic terms "colour" or "empyreum" meaning burnt substances, but a whole range of charred substances may have been added to darken the beer. A common colouring was molasses, boiled until it was dark, bitter, and thick, and then set on fire and burned for a few minutes. The addition of charred substances presumably produced a strong acidic bitter taste which must have provided an agreeable substitute for the taste of genuine porter. By the end of the eighteenth century porter had acquired its own identity and had evolved into two distinct forms: the genuine London porters, which were largely unchanged from their beginnings; and single-cask porter substitutes, which were darker in colour, and usually referred to as entire. The single cask entires were typical of country brewing. End of Part 2. Rob Moline Little Apple Brewing Company, Manhattan, Kansas. "The More I Know About Beer, The More I Realize I Need To Know More About Beer!" Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 1997 23:50:08 -0500 (EST) From: JACKMOWBRAY at delphi.com Subject: Botulism paranoia There's a lot of histeria regarding the potential hazard of Clostridium Botulinum of late. A few facts relative to this potential hazard: 1) While it's true that C. Botulinum spores are everywhere, it takes some very specific conditions to allow the spores to germinate and the vegetative cells to grow and produce toxin. 2) Temperature, water activity, pH and the presence of oxygen all have an impact on the growth of C. botulinum. 3) The reason there is a concern with low acid canned foods is because they are stored at room temperature, have a pH above 4.6, have a water activity (more on that later) that supports bacterial growth and anaerobic conditions. 4) #3 is the reason it is necessary to kill C. Botulinum spores. 5) Foods that are acidified (ph below 4.6) can be rendered shelf stable in boiling water baths at atmospheric pressures. 6) Refrigerated temperatures, pH lower than 4.6, water activity below .85 and the presence of oxygen (any one or a combination of these) will prevent the germination of C. botulinum spores. 7) The reason why C. botulinum spores won't germinate in canned malt extract is because of the low water activity. Bacteria need a certain amount of water to be available to support growth. The high concentration of sugars in malt extract reduces the water activity or available water. Bottom line: If you want to preserve wort so that it is safe to store at room temperatures, you should pressure can it. Otherwise, just keep it in the refrigerator and it will be just fine. There is no need to reboil before pitching. Hope this helps. Jack Mowbray Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 97 23:09:31 CST From: kevin <kevin at mspusa.com> Subject: Pediococcus and Lactobacillus- Lambic Questions I am attempting a "Braambossen Lambic". I used mostly canned blackberries to limit the extent of infection, but I used a bag of frozen blackberries to get the Pediococcus and Lactobacillus infection. It worked like a charm. (only, is it an "infection" if you want it?) I have had a wonderful inch thick mat of white growth on my wort for six weeks now, which causes all my home brewer instincts to scream "Flush it, Unclean!". But I digress. Now that I have the Pediococcus how do I get rid of it? I have never seen anywhere anyone actually says "Siphon wort leaving top spewge" or "Just wait till it falls back in, the yeast will eat it". So my questions are: How long do I let the peidocacus go wild? (let me guess, LESS than 6 weeks <g>) While I am racking it to the tertiary, do I want to pasteurize it and then re-pitch a healthy dose of Brettanomyces yeast? Do I need to change the pH? Do I kerosene or just keg without anything else? In real lambics, they ferment the "first liquor" separate from the "sparged liquor" and add the fruit to the "sparged liquor". Then they blend them back together at the very end. I did not do this; am I supposed to make the same recipe without the fruit, ferment it like an ale, and then blend the two when I keg? I have _Lambic_ by Jean-Xavier Guinard (THE lambic book), but to the best of my knowledge, the only time they mention infecting the wort is when you are doing a full blown "in the sherry cask" process. The recipes that are like Gueuze-Lambic say to inoculate in a glass carboy, but never really say how long before re-racking. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. -kls kevin at mspusa.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 1997 22:11:07 -0800 (PST) From: Heiner Lieth <lieth at telis.org> Subject: canning wort in capped bottles OK. I know we're beating this botulism thread to death, but here is another idea on canning wort. This is the math and physics angle: Let's say you cool down your wort before filling it into beer bottles and cap the bottle. Now you do a boiling water bath. The bottle and its content expands as it gets hotter; the gas in the head space would have to increase in pressure according to the ideal gas law (PV=nRT - P=pressure, V=volume, n=Avagadro's number, R=ideal gas constant, T= temperature in Kelvin). So if you fill and cap at 20 C (293 Kelvin), then the valid relationship at that point is P *V = nR * 293, and P is atmospheric pressure. Raising temperature with boiling water (373 K, i.e. by a factor of 1.27) means the new pressure would be 1.27 times atmospheric pressure (14.7psi), which is 18.7 psi. Will crown caps stay on tight when the inside is at 18.7 psi and the outside at 14.7 psi (4 psi difference)? I have a suspicion that this could work; after all, the big boys pasteurize their product and the caps stay on while they do that. So if you could boil in something that has a boiling point of (or higher than) 120C (preferably some cheap household liquid - any ideas?), then you could essentially pressure can inside the bottle, provided the caps stay on (at 120C (393K) the pressure is yet higher, nearly 20 psi). You could keep this pressure lower by filling and capping boiling wort, but you can't get around the fact that at 120C you'll have at least 15.5 psi. Can anyone fill in the gaps here to lead us to a simple method that does not require the use of a pressure canner? And... this is probably obvious, but: If anyone is going to be doing any experiments, please bear in mind that bottles at 15 to 20 psi filled with boiling fluid are very dangerous (bombs). Heiner Lieth. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 1997 05:09:10 -0500 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Re: Kegs on stove/rough spot in Corny/100% wheat beer/sulfur Ok, so now I've been contradicted twice by folks who DO use converted kegs on their stoves. I still don't see how, unless you've got nothing above the stove. It certainly won't fit under my (stove) hood. And do you stand on a stool to see inside the kettle, or what? =Spencer Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 1997 05:45:03 -0600 From: "Michael T. Bell" <mikeb at flash.net> Subject: Home-made EM/Sanke dip tubes Thanks to all who responded to my two inquiries. The following is a short synopsis of each. Dip tubes from Sanke type kegs can be removed by first relieving the pressure form the keg, then prying the metal ring that, sits just inside the opening, out enough so that the essembly twists and is subsequenetly removed. Haven't tried this yet. Hope it is easier than it sounds. Any EM, whether home-made or not, need to sit a few inches above the bottom of the boiling kettle (not so in the mash tun) so as not to pick up any break material or other scum. My biggest concern still exists though. The stainless screen I have to construct this with is a very fine mesh, but also quite sturdy. I still don't see how it will not be crushed by the wieght of a 20# grain bill without any frame to support it. Am I worrying to much? Michael T. Bell Boomerdog Brewing Arlington, TX Return to table of contents