HOMEBREW Digest #2435 Fri 06 June 1997

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		Many thanks to the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers of 
		Livonia, Michigan for sponsoring the Homebrew Digest.
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  Brewpubs/Micros in Minneapolis ("Bruce Gill")
  Grand Cru: Where to Classify for Competition? ("Applied Computer Resources")
  Re: canning unfermented wort (Dave Williams)
  slow starting wyeast #2112 ("John Watts")
  Wyeast Swedish Porter attenuation (Larry Johnson)
  Clear German Wheat Beers / Hop Growing / Double Diamond Recipe (David C. Harsh)
  Growing Hops (THaby)
  A brewing story (Spencer W Thomas)
  Re: Polyclar (Joe Rolfe)
  Beer in 2 Li'er, Hop tea (PAUL W HAAF JR)
  Coolers (Mark Rancourt)
  specific gravity at end of mash (Wes Clement)
  Call for Entries -- The Fourth Annual BUZZ Off! (Robert.MATTIE)
  Re:Chico Micro Brewery Fest (JCMaretti)
  New Homebrew Club forming in Chico, California (JCMaretti)
  Advice needed for IPA brewing (Dave Riedel)
  Removing N2 inserts (Greg.A.Kudlac)
  Canning Wort (Part 2) (SSLOFL)
  Canning Wort (Part 1) (SSLOFL)
  recirculation/flash ferment/starch/carbonation (korz)
  sparge time/stuck ferment/1st round winners/summer/honey/Weizens (korz)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 5 Jun 97 11:28:18 UT From: "Bruce Gill" <b2g at msn.com> Subject: Brewpubs/Micros in Minneapolis I'll be in the Twin Cities area (St. Louis Park) in a coupla weeks on business. It would be nice to explore some new brewpubs while I'm there -- or be on the look-out for outstanding local/regional microbrews when dining in a non-brewing establishment. Would appreciate any recommendations and advice from our brothers/sisters from the GFN (Great Frozen North) chapter of the HBD. Happy Brewing Bruce Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 05 Jun 1997 07:38:00 -0400 From: "Applied Computer Resources" <jrmeans at nb.net> Subject: Grand Cru: Where to Classify for Competition? Made a tasty Grand Cru not long ago... Nice coriander flavor...rich and creamy... Want to enter it in a competition... Not sure where to classify it, Belgian Pale or Belgian Strong (O.G.- 1.070, F.G.- 1.016) I've asked the organizers...they're thinking about it... Consulting their Grand Poobah of Judges... What do you folks think? Thanks for your input. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 07:40:32 -0400 From: rdavis at gator.net (Dave Williams) Subject: Re: canning unfermented wort In HBD 2433, Brad Manbeck wrote: >I am interested in canning a mini batch (3 gals) of unfermented wort >for storage and then later, use as a yeast starter. I am trying to gather >information on how other HBDers have done this in the past. Any >procedural hints or other tips would be greatly appreciated. Private >emails are welcomed. I have canned wort for use in yeast starters and it works very well. I use 1 qt. Ball or Kerr canning jars with the self sealing lids. You can pick them up at most grocery stores. The Procedure is as follows: First, determine the gravity that you want your wort to be (most texts that I have read reccomend 1.020 but I use about 1.030). Next figure the amount of extract (or grain) that you need to get the gravity that you want. Dry malts usually give about 44 points S.G. / lb./ gal. so if you want 3 gallons of S.G. 1.020 wort you would need 20/44*3=1.36 lbs. of dry malt. Malt syrup usually gives about 38 points S.G. / lb. / gal. These numbers can vary somewhat from one extract to another, but you can figure it using an extract that you have used before if you really want to be exact. I don't think it's that important for a starter. I have a 4 gal. brewpot that I boil the wort in and an 8 gal. enamel brewpot that works nicely for canning ( that is really what it was made for). You will obviously have to adapt the procedure to work with the equipment that you have. I pre-heat and sanitize my canning jars by heating them to boiling in the 8 gal. brewpot. 12 jars fit just right. The water should just cover (and fill) the jars. you don't need to boil the lids with the jars. While the jars are being heated / sanitized, boil the wort, preferably the entire volume. Hops are optional in a starter wort, but I use them. Once the wort and the jars are ready, remove the jars from the water with a kitchen implement of your choice (you can also buy a pair of tongs for this) and dump out 12 quarts of the boiled water to make room for the jars full of wort. Pour 1 qt. of wort into each jar with a pyrex measuring cup and place the lids and rings on the jars. Tighten the rings down snug and return the jars to the hot water in the canning pot. Heat the pot to boiling again and boil for at least 15 minutes. Then turn off the heat and allow the entire thing to cool. You will notice that the wort in the jars continues to boil after the water in the pot stops boiling. this is because a partial vacuum forms in the headspace of the jars as they cool and some steam condenses. this vacuum is what seals the lids to the jars. Once the jars are cool, find a dark place to store them (like the box that the jars came in). I have not refrigerated mine, and have not had any problems. When I'm ready to make a starter, I sanitize a Carlo Rossi 3 litre wine jug and pour in the contents of my smack pack and 2 qts. of wort (for a 10 gallon batch). I use the Carlo Rossi jugs because the mouth fits the same stopper as a carboy. Canning my starter wort has really taken the hassle out of using liquid yeast cultures. I have not had a bad fermentation (slow start or infection) since I started using the procedure described above. Dave Williams Gainesville Florida rdavis at gator.net Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 03:24:56 -0500 From: "John Watts" <watts at top.net> Subject: slow starting wyeast #2112 Greetings to the great beer brain! One batch back, I decided at the last minute to try and wash/reuse my yeast. I washed it twice and put it in the fridge. I pulled it out last saturday, let it warm up for half a day and pitched it to a 4 cup starter. After a day, the starter was going good, and I pitched it to a 5 gallon lemon wheat. There it sat with no activity until this morning. Now it seems to be rolling along fine. Is this normal, or do I need to work on my aeration technique? The first run with the yeast it took off like crazy in less than 8 hours using a 2 cup starter. Rgds John Watts watts at top.net Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 05 Jun 1997 09:41:15 -0400 From: Larry Johnson <maltster at ix.netcom.com> Subject: Wyeast Swedish Porter attenuation In HBD #2433, Brian Kuhl relates poor attenuation (50%) compared to the published specs on Wyeast's Swedish Porter (69%-73%). Since this yeast was added to the Wyeast line, this is the most common comment I've seen on its behavior. Has anyone got any firm data on the numbers for this yeast? Fer instance: Is the attenuation really that low, compared to what's published? Or does the yeast have some special requirement (temperature range, nutritional needs, aeration, etc.) that no one seems to know about? I've not used it, and I'm very leary to at this juncture. Anyone out there had better luck with it? Tell us the secret; inquiring brewers want to know. Most people stumble over the truth now and then, but they usually manage to pick themselves up and go on anyway. - W. Churchill Larry Johnson - Athens, GA - maltster at ix.netcom.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 05 Jun 1997 09:50:22 -0400 From: dharsh at alpha.che.uc.edu (David C. Harsh) Subject: Clear German Wheat Beers / Hop Growing / Double Diamond Recipe George_De_Piro at berlex.com (George De Piro) wrote: >...I have made Dunkel Weizens that are remarkably clear (the roasted > malt somehow aids in the formation and removal of tannin-protein > complexes, thus reducing haze). Here's one additional data point - I had stored parts of two batches in the same case; one Belgian Strong Ale, one Dunkelweizen. I hadn't labelled them because they were easy to tell apart - the Weizen was cloudy, the Belgian clear. This case got a lot of stuff stacked on top of it and ended up sort of out the way for a year or so (I know, that never happens to you) and when I found it all bottles were crystal clear! - ------------- On the subject of hops, and trellis height- My hop trellis is built from 12 foot 4x4s in a triangular footprint about 3 feet apart. The trellis stands around 9+ feet high and I use a biodegradable twine as a support. I harvest the cones from the vine while still in place and leave the vines on the trellis over the winter (looks a little better). On the first day that's warm enough, the vine and twine are cut off and tossed on the compost pile together. The hops simply grow up and then coil around in a big mass on top of the trellis and my crop seems fine (around 6 ounces last year after drying). - --------------- David Penn (JPenn11809 at aol.com) asks about a Double Diamond Recipe: There's a recipe in Wheeler and Protz's recent book titled "Brew Classic European Beers at Home". I've never made this recipe, but the ones that I know of that people have tried have been pretty close to form. BTW, are you the same Dave Penn that went to UC Chemical Engineering? If so, hello, and this will be the only contact with UC that won't interrupt your dinner and ask for money. Dave &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& & Dave Harsh & & Bloatarian Brewing League - Cincinnati, OH & & & & Free Advice: Do not refer to your 10th wedding anniversary as & & the "Pico-System" Anniversary. & &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& O- Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 97 8:55:23 CDT From: THaby at swri.edu Subject: Growing Hops Hello hop growers, All this talk of growing hops is making me green with envy (ahem). I've tried for three years to grow hops here in south Texas with no luck. They seem to flourish up into about mid June to early July, after that they just wither on the string and die. The temperature averages into the mid 90's here about that time of year and my guess is it's too hot for hops. I've kept them somewhat out of the direct west sun, kept the soil moist, and cleared the weeds and grass away from the growing area and still nothing worked. I'd like to hear from someone who has grown hops in south Texas or in a hot climate and maybe share some pointers. Thanks. Tim Haby Rio Medina, TX thaby at swri.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 05 Jun 1997 10:34:08 -0400 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: A brewing story A friend told me this was the best brewing story he'd heard recently. I dunno, maybe you had to be there. Monday evening... I go down to the fridge to pull a cold one. Push on the tap.... "pfffffffffffft" OH NO! Out of beer! So, I go to the closet and grab the keg of Saison to put it in the fridge. Whoops.... This one's pretty light, too. Maybe a gallon left? TIME TO BREW! But I don't have time! We're going on vacation next Thursday morning. It sure would be nice to have some beer to take along. Darn! Tuesday morning... I come into work and start reading my email. There's a message from a fellow club member. He has some yeast that was top-cropped from a "Bell's Oberon" clone he's just brewed. Hmm... thinks I. Quick, fire off a response: "Jeff, I'll take the yeast, and how about the recipe, too?" Then, just to make sure, I get on the phone... Tuesday evening... Check the ingredients. I need 3 lbs of wheat malt and some hops. Plus I've got to do some errands. "See you later, dear..." Hop in the car. Finally make it to Jeff's house about 10pm to pick up the yeast. After a sample of his "solstice ale" I'm back in the car heading for home. (FWIW, I had a bottle of Oberon later in the evening, and I liked Jeff's better.) 10:30, start grinding grain. I mash in at just after midnight, pitch the yeast at 4:30, and am in bed by 5. I did get a little nap during the boil. Luckily some sixth sense woke me just as the boil was finishing. Missed my 15-minute hop addition, so I just threw them in for the steep. Wednesday morning... 8:30am -- I go downstairs and look in the fermentation bucket. 5 gallons of beer in a 7 gallon bucket. The foam is almost to the top! I LOVE big yeast pitches! Ain't brewing fun? =Spencer Thomas in Ann Arbor, MI (spencer at umich.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 10:34:45 -0400 (EDT) From: Joe Rolfe <onbc at shore.net> Subject: Re: Polyclar polyclar should be polyclar - check with the vendors for use instructions. my guess it will be the same (or very similar use rates). my question is why do you want/need to use the stuff. if you use it by "commercial" standards you should also be filtering to some level. the last time i read the use instructions (a long time ago) it mentioned use at xx gram/Hectolitre followed by some period (defined by the amount of suspended solids and how long you want to waste during filtration - basically the brewmasters call) of cold storage for settling prior to final filtration". i know silica gel has a similar use instruction. not that i used that crap either.....;) i (IMHO) would avoid use of this or silica gel in home brewing, but hey it is your beer. why not stick to "fish guts" or "horse shoes", these are much less apt to cause use problems. if you really want clear beer there are some things you can do in the brewhouse to help and buy a small filter. good luck Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 05 Jun 1997 10:42:02 EDT From: haafbrau1 at juno.com (PAUL W HAAF JR) Subject: Beer in 2 Li'er, Hop tea As far as oxidation in plastic bottles, I have had some bottles from 4-8 weeks with no noticeable taste difference. Some of these I still have, going on 10+ weeks. I'll post results on these when tried. There was at least on brand of commercial beer marketed in 2L plastic. It was called "Ramrod", and it was from jolly old England. It was a dark beer with a good taste, and relatively inexpensive. I have no idea what ever became of it. I'm curious as to whether anybody has made a hop tea with the intent of consumption. If so, how much hops for a 5-8 oz. cup, or your preferred brew quantity? Obviosly it would need to be sweetened. I would think this would be good for insomnia. Everyone hath a penny for the new Alehouse.- Thomas Fuller Paul Haaf haafbrau1 at juno.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 05 Jun 1997 07:50:26 -0700 From: Mark Rancourt <rancourt at nelson.ca.boeing.com> Subject: Coolers Ken writes > I've been trying to find a 10 gallon Gott cooler for the longest time > with no luck. Yesterday I saw a 10 gallon Coleman cooler for $35. It's > tall like the Gott, but it has a square cross section. Has anyone > had any experience using the Coleman coolers as mash tuns? I use a 72 quart Coleman with a manifold and have no trouble. With 2 Phils 10" sparge heads mounted in the lid, it enables me to mash/lauter/sparge out of the same vessel. SWEET! Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 10:04:42 -0600 From: wesc at mails.imed.com (Wes Clement) Subject: specific gravity at end of mash I have read that the specific gravity at the end of mash (just prior to boil) should be between 1.004 and 1.008 depending on the style. I was wondering if anyone has a formula/curve for calculating the boil time required to get a desired final gravity. I, therefore, could be more accurate (in relation to the end the boil) on when to add the bittering hops. Wes Return to table of contents
Date: 05 Jun 97 11:11:27 -0400 From: Robert.MATTIE at sb.com Subject: Call for Entries -- The Fourth Annual BUZZ Off! 1997 BUZZ Off - Call for Entries June 22, 1997 The Fourth Annual BUZZ Off will be held at Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown, PA. We will be judging all homebrewed Beer, Mead, and Cider as defined in the 1997 AHA Style Guidelines. This competition is sanctioned by the AHA and the BJCP. The 1997 Delaware Valley Homebrewer of the Year will be announced at the BUZZ Off. New to the BUZZ Off this year is the Pennsylvania Club Challenge -- the highest scoring PA Homebrew Club in the BUZZ Off will be awarded the 1997 PA Challenge Cup! Information about the BUZZ Off is available at the BUZZ Off Web Page at: http://www.voicenet.com/~rpmattie/buzzoff note: the character in front of rpmattie is the tilde character (not an underscore, some mailers convert argh!!!!!) If you are interested in receiving a competition entry packet via US Mail, please contact us via phone, e-mail, or the Web. The deadline for entries is June 15th. Judges/Stewards -- If you are interested in Judging or Stewarding, we want to hear from you! We have planned a full day of Beer related events culminating with a Beer Themed Dinner - check out the Web site for more details! For more information check the Web Page or contact: Robert Mattie, Comp Organizer, (610) 873-6607 rpmattie at voicenet.com David Houseman, Judge Co-ord, (610) 458-0743 david.houseman at unisys.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 13:10:58 -0400 (EDT) From: JCMaretti at aol.com Subject: Re:Chico Micro Brewery Fest Saturday June 7th is the 2nd annual Micro Brew Fest in Chico, California. It is at the Elks lodge, 1706 Manzanita Ave. There will be two bands playing from 3 - 7pm Tickets are $15. There will be 15 Micro Breweries and several local restaraunts serving free samples. Call The Hone Brew Shop (916) 342-3768 or (916) 896-1000 for additional information. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 13:13:38 -0400 (EDT) From: JCMaretti at aol.com Subject: New Homebrew Club forming in Chico, California There is a new homebrew club forming in Chico, California. We will be meeting on Monday June 9, 1997 at Johnson's Country Inn, 3935 Morehead Ave at 7pm. Bring a sample of your latest brew to share! Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 05 Jun 1997 11:26:22 -0700 (PDT) From: Dave Riedel <RIEDEL at ios.bc.ca> Subject: Advice needed for IPA brewing The collective must be busily partially-filling bottles and pressure-cooking wort... I've never seen the HBD so quiet. My next planned brew is an IPA. I thought I might reach out for some opinions on brewing this bold style. I'm interested in keeping the colour on the light side, and I want a good malt base to stand up to the hopping. What sort of crystal should I use (i.e. lovibond) and how much? Will the pale ale base malt (Hugh Baird) provide the needed foundation with very little else needed? What would be recommended for mash schedule? Is dry or sweet preferred? The yeast will be 1056. Lastly, hops - I have Cascade, Centennial, German NB, KG, Liberty and Fuggle. Any creative suggestions on combinations? I'm looking for a distinct profile from biterness through to aroma. Open-forum on IPA! Send favourite recipes, techniques, experiences...whatever. Dave Riedel Victoria, BC Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 14:59:00 -0500 From: Greg.A.Kudlac at mcdermott.com Subject: Removing N2 inserts Greetings, collective! I also posted this question to the Brewery BBoard: Has anyone come up with a reasonably easy method of removing the "draught flow" inserts from Guiness, Boddingtons and Murphys bottles? I love the shape of them and would like to put my own brew in but can't come up with a good way to remove the inserts. Greg "Beer -- it does a body better" Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 14:53:51 -0500 From: SSLOFL at monsanto.com Subject: Canning Wort (Part 2) (continued....) Once the wort has boiled for 45 - 60 min., it is time to fill the jars and process. By this time, the processing bath should be at or near boiling. Turn off the heat to the wort, and remove the hops if you used a mesh bag (as I usually do when I use hops). Ladle the hot wort into a jar 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch from the top, set on a lid, and screw the jar ring down SNUG. Do not tighten as hard as you can, but do not leave loose. As a general rule, I usually tighten as far as I can with just my thumb and index finger. Keep in mind that, as the metal rings and lids heat up, they will expand to let water vapor escape - but must be snug so that the wort does not boil out or splashing water from the bath does not get in. Place the jar with a snug lid into the processing bath. Repeat until all jars are filled. If you have more jars than you can fit into your processing bath, set them aside wrapped in a towel to hold in as much heat as possible - they will have to wait their turn. While filling the jars, try to avoid trub the best that you can - but don't worry too much about it. Again, you can later decant your starter before using if it bothers you. Process jars in the boiling water bath for 45 min., then remove and set aside to cool and seal on their own. If you had too many jars and had to set some aside, it is now their turn to be processed. I recommend that you re-snug each jar after processing if needed, being careful not to get burned. Allow processed jars to cool overnight, then check to see that all have sealed. Those that have not sealed will need to be used soon or discarded. I can't remember having any jars not seal by this method, but it is always possible to come across a bad lid. Some of you deep thinkers may be wondering if it is possible to short-cut the processing step. Why not quickly pour the hot wort into pre-heated jars, snug down lids, and let them seal? I have thought about this, and I do know some people that do this when canning in general and have success. There are some problems with this, especially for those just getting started. I like to process them to be sure that the jars, lids, and wort are sanitary, and that there is enough of a temperature difference to get the jars to seal. If you try the shortcut method, there is a possibility of contamination while transferring by contacting the ladle, the air, , the jar, the lid, etc. Another concern is the loss of heat while transferring - the wort and jars may have cooled significantly while filling, and lessen the seal. Processing in the water bath helps to minimize chances of contamination while transferring, and sanitizes the jars and lids more thoroughly. Also, it reheats the jars, lids, and rings to about the same temperature as the boiling water bath, which improves the seal. I highly recommend the processing bath to those who are new at canning, or want to get the highest percentage of jars to seal. If you are experienced and want to try the shortcut method, just be sure to think things through ahead of time so that you can fill the jars and tighten them as fast as possible, therefore minimizing heat loss. Also, you will have to be sure the jars and lids are well sanitized before filling, and be very careful to avoid contamination. The next day, all that is left to do is check that each jar has sealed, label them, and date them. Again, any jars that have not sealed will need to be refridgerated and/or used quickly or discarded. After some time, any jars that un-seal must be discarded, it is an indicator that a contaminant has probably taken over. Personally, I have never had this happen with anything I have canned - but I know people that have. I probably shouldn't speak too soon, it can happen to anyone - experienced or not! In conclusion. I hope that all of this helps. For those new to canning, I hope I haven't overwhelmed anyone or scared anyone off. I recommend that you read over this and think things through carefully before trying it for the first time, just to make it go smoother. It is perfectly safe, fun, convenient, and gets much easier after the first one or two batches. I love opening a jar to make a starter, and hearing the sound of the air rushing in as the vacuum seal is broken. When you hear this, smile - you did a good job! Shane Lofland sslofl at ccmail.monsanto.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 14:53:50 -0500 From: SSLOFL at monsanto.com Subject: Canning Wort (Part 1) Hello homebrewers! Here is the article I promised on canning wort for yeast culturing. I am sending it in two parts since it is larger that the 8K allowed. Any questions, comments, suggestions, etc. can be sent by private e-mail or posted if others can learn as well. I wrote it in Windows Write, and copied and pasted it order to send. Sorry if the lines aren't correct - the software isn't all that compatable. If you want me to send the origional windows file for printing or easier reading, just e-mail me and I will attach it to a reply. Enjoy! --------------------------------------------------------------------- Canned Wort for Yeast Culturing by Shane Lofland 6/4/97 Canning a dozen or so jars of unfermented beer wort for yeast culturing is time well spent. I have been a yeast rancher for about a year and a half, and currently keep 8 strains of yeast on slants. About three or four days before I brew a batch, I simply open up a jar of canned wort, and prepare a yeast starter from whatever strain of yeast I need. Every six months, I re- culture any slants that have not been used to keep them active and fresh, so having a supply of canned wort makes this task a snap. So, if you come across a source of yeast and would like to culture it, need an active starter in a few days to brew, need to renew stored slants, want to experiment, like to cut down the number of trips to the supply store, and many other reasons, a supply of canned, unfermented beer wort is great to have on hand and simple to make. I wrote this article as a guide for someone with little or no experience in canning, to help them get started. For those with canning experience, this should be a good review as to how to apply your skills to enhance your brewing hobby. Also, please feel free to distribute this document to a brew-pal or anyone else that may need it. You are going to need malt extract, hops (optional), a one or two cup glass or metal ladle with a handle (I use a 2 cup pyrex), canning jars, jar rings, lids, tongs and/or several hot pads, and two kettles as a minimum. If you are not familiar with canning supplies and how to use them, talk to a friend or family member that cans, a salesperson at your local grocery store or hardware store, or drop me an e-mail. The size of the jars that you use is up to you, I have used pint and quart jars in the past. I have read from several sources that, for 5 gallon batches, pint starters (or larger) are recommended for ales, and quart starters (or larger) are recommended for lagers. I now use only quart jars, so that the starters can be used for either ales or lagers. It doesn't matter if you use regular or wide mouth jars, just be sure to get the right lids to fit. One kettle will be needed to boil the wort as usual, and the other one is used as a boiling water bath to process the jars. My kettles are different sizes, and I use the smaller one (approx. 5 gallon size) to boil the wort, and the larger one (approx. 8 gal. size) to condition the jars. This part is totally up to you, but think ahead! I use the large kettle to process the jars because it has a larger base, so it can hold more jars. I typically make 3.5 gallon batches for wort starters. Therefore, you will need to figure the amount of liquid or dry malt extract that you need for the volume that you decide to prepare, shooting for a specific gravity of about 1.035 - 1.040. This volume fits nicely in my 5 gallon boiler, giving me time to watch for boil-overs, and gives quite a few jars of starter. A pair of tongs to handle hot jars is recommended, but I have gotten by with several hot pads from the kitchen when I started out. I want to make a brief comment about hops, as they are optional. Some sources will tell you to use them in your wort starters since they add some preserving characteristics, others will tell you that they are not necessary. Personally, I have canned wort starters with and without hops, and have seen no difference - I have had good results either way. If I have 1/4 oz. or so left from previous brewing, I will throw them in at the beginning of the boil. If I do not have any extra hops on hand, I do not make any special trips and do just fine without. Since you have the option of decanting the beer off of your yeast starter before pitching, having hops in the starter wort will not matter. This is also the way to go if you are an all-grain brewer, and do not want any malt extracts in your beer. Ok, let's get started. Start out as you normally would, get your water boiling in your brew kettle, then add your malt and hops. As the mixture returns to boiling, watch out for boil-overs. (Oh how I hate those! What a mess, and a waste of beer.) I usually boil the wort for 45 min. to 1 hour. While boiling the wort, it is best to get the water bath, jars, jar rings, and lids ready. Fill the water bath to the appropriate level and start heating. When I say appropriate level, I mean fill the kettle so that the water level will be just below the jar rings once the filled jars are placed in there. You may want to fill your jars with water, put them in the processing kettle, and then fill the kettle to the appropriate level. Then you can take the jars out and start heating the bath to boiling so that it will be ready and going when needed. Keep the lid on the water bath to avoid excess evaporation and to hold in heat. Count out the jar rings and lids, and have them handy. If you have any spare time during the boil, go have a homebrew! Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 15:27:07 -0500 (CDT) From: korz at xnet.com Subject: recirculation/flash ferment/starch/carbonation Brad writes: >What I'd like to do now is leave the grain loose. For my sparge I would = >like to pour the grain water mixture through a strainer followed by 180 = >degree water. Then continue with the boil and extract additions, etc. > >Now my main question is do I need to be concerned with hot side aeration = >at this point, or do you only need to be concerned with hot side = >aeration after the boil is finished? Are there any other major flaws = >with my proposed quasi mash? Does anyone else use this method? If so, = >are you happy with the results. Yes, you do indeed need to be concerned with HSA before the boil. The main problem with your method is that it does not include any recirculation to establish a grain bed. You see, even in a real lauter tun an incredible amount of the grist is smaller than the openings in the false bottom/screen/ whatever. The brewer relies on the grain itself becoming a filter media for *itself*. Recirculation is where you draw off the cloudy runnings which contain a lot of pieces smaller than the false bottom holes/screen holes, but when you pour them back on top of the grain bed, they get caught by a sort of "lattice" of husks. If you simply dump the grain into a strainer and not recirculate, you will end up with a lot of what's called "draff" in your boil. Recirculation also filters out lipids (although there are conflicting opinions on whether this is good or bad). I have not done side-by-side tastings of beers made with and without recirculation, but it's generally accepted among the pros (the German pros being in favour of *long* recirculations) that some amount of recirculation really must be done. Lack of recirculation is one of the two reasons I'm not in favour of what I call the "teabag method" of partial mashing. Your proposal doesn't have the pH problems of the "teabag method," but I personally feel that some amount of recirculation is strongly advised. *** Gerardo writes: >I have just made my second brew and the same thing happened again. I = >followed all the kit directions to the letter, and made sure of having = >everything well sanitized. Both of my beers have been ales since the = >climate here in Panama is pretty hot. I do control my room temperature = >to about 68-78 F......Fermentation started exactly next day after = >pitching...Bubbling at full speed, you could even dance to it!, then = >KAPUT!...no go, no more action, just silence, but good smell!!!!......My = This is not uncommon with warm (some would say "hot") fermentations. Two-day and even one-day fermentations are common when fermenting in the mid-70's. The problems with beers that are made this way is that they tend to have a lot of esters and a lot of higher alcohols ("higher" meaning "bigger," e.g. butanol and propanol are "bigger" molecules than ethanol and are therefore considered "higher alcohols"). These alcohols tend to have harsher flavours than ethanol, more "alcohol aroma," and lend a "hotness" to the palate (not unlike the hotness of peppers). Some say (myself included) that higher alcohols contribute to hangovers. There's nothing inherently "wrong" with these beers fermented warm, however, some ales simply shouldn't be too estery (fruity aromas... although some esters lend "nail polish remover" or "solventy" aromas), and a Special Bitter (for example) that has an alcoholic aroma and "heat" will be judged a poor example of the style. One way to cool your fermenting beer is to cover it with a shirt and keep the shirt wet by putting the shirt-covered fermenter in a tub of water. The evaporating water will cool the beer. A large insulated box with blocks of ice or plastic bottles of ice (changed daily) will also work. *** Dave writes: >appropriate river songs to be sung. I have a sneaking suspicion that it >might be starch haze (don't ask me to tell what I did, it was pretty >stupid). Does starch have a bad effect on taste? I have tried to find >mention of taste problems without success. Is that because there are >none/few or because it is so bad no one would drink it? If starch causes >taste problems, I would consider using gelatin and seeing if the yeast >drops out (would this tell if it is starch?). If it is starch, is there a >cure? If there are no taste problems, I will sing a few bars of "Deep >River" and Bottle it. If it's starch, it should react with iodine. If indeed it's starch, I'm afraid that only tight filtering would remove the haze. *** Jeff writes: >CO2 is less soluble in a solution that has been handled roughly. >Shake up a can of coke (Don't try this experiment with BEER!). >Open the coke -- you get spray and foam. The co2 dissolved I believe this has to do with eddy currents providing many nucleation sites and nothing to do with solubility. >beer. This force of escaping gas moves the beer, causing co2 >to become less soluble. If you have a greater headspace, the >force of escaping gas in the headspace lasts longer, moving >the beer more, causing co2 to become even less soluble in >the beer. Since the co2 is less soluble, more co2 escapes >solution, giving more bubbles, giving the impression of higher >initial carbonation. I think this is flawed logic. The incompressability of the beer means that it "moves" so incredibly little, that it is not a factor in the equation. A valiant effort, however. Also, it fails to explain why, after pouring, the bottles filled almost to the top had less carbonation (to the tongue) than "underfilled" bottles. If your theory was right, there would remain more CO2 in solution which would mean "more fizzing" on the tongue when you drank it no? I am not willing to commit to any explanation yet, although the "oxygen in the headspace" one sounds the most likely one up to this point. Lots more experimentation is needed before we can begin to prove or disprove this theory. Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 15:28:11 -0500 (CDT) From: korz at xnet.com Subject: sparge time/stuck ferment/1st round winners/summer/honey/Weizens Andy asks what's the right length of time for a sparge: an hour or 10 minutes? 10 minutes is *far*, *far* too short. An hour is more like it. There is a formula which I believe Jim Busch posted a year or two ago, which commercial brewers allegedly use, based upon the cross-sectional area of the grain bed. When I brewed 5-gallon batches, I used to limit the flow to take 45 minutes to an hour for 6-7 gallons of runnings. Recently, I took 17 gallons of runnings in 90 minutes and got just a hair under 29 points/lb/gal in the fermenters (14 gallons). This implies that for the brands of malt *I* used (M&F and Weyermann), the gap on *my* JSP adjustable maltmill, *my* home-made EasyMasher(tm)-like mashtun, *my* sparge water temperature (170-160F), etc... I got a *reasonable* yield with this sparge rate, but had my sparge water been only 150F, I may have gotten only 28 or 27 points... or maybe if I had crushed a little coarser, I may have only gotten 27 or 26 or 25 points... It's rather complicated and you really have to know your system, but, in general, I think it's safe to say that it's better to sparge too slowly than too fast. That said, I wouldn't go over 15 minutes per gallon of runnings unless I was using rye and didn't have the choice (long story... a rye beer I made once took 3 hours to lauter 7 gallons!). *** George writes: > Tim Plummer asks why his fermentation has apparently stopped after > just two days. He pitched dried yeast, and it took off right away. > Well, without being there to take a hydrometer reading, I couldn't say > for sure that your fermentation isn't stuck, but I'd bet a lot on it. I'll take that bet George ;^)! I believe that the only *real* stuck fermentations are due to CO2 toxidity and alcohol intolerance. Some yeasts don't take a lot of dissolved CO2 to begin slowing down. One way to test if CO2 is the problem, is to swirl the fermenter (with the airlock still in place). If a lot of CO2 bubbles out and the beer begins fermenting again, then the problem is dissolved CO2. Alcohol tolerance should only come into play on beers over 1.100. Sure, if you underpitch *AND* underaerate, you can begin to exceed the yeast's alcohol tolerance with a 1.070 beer, but you're less likely to underpitch with dry yeast and dry yeast is aerated *constantly* during production, so it doesn't need as much dissolved O2 as liquid yeast. *** I'd like to point out that the subcategories of the AHA National 1st round winners should NOT have been posted. What if there was only one Weizenbock in the whole 2nd round or only one Berliner Weiss? Then the second round judges would know that John Doe or Mary Doe brewed it. In general, I think that the list of 1st round winners should *not* be posted till after the 2nd round. *** Bob writes: >Since summer is right around the bend, what effects does this have on my >brewing. I am a newbie and this is my first summer. I realize that temp. has >a big effect on taste. My brewhouse (Basement) is about 64-66 degrees now. I >have a batch on the stove today and one more in waiting...a Canadian ale. You *knew* you would hear from me on this, didn't you? Temperature is a factor, but not a big one (see my comments in my previous post). What's far more important is all the life that floats around in the air during the summer. Lambic brewers don't brew in the summer because there are just *too many* wild yeasts, bacteria, moulds, etc., in the air. I know that I, personally, can't brew in the summer without using either filtered air or oxygen for aeration/oxygenation. I recommend being *extra*, *extra* careful regarding sanitation (e.g. covering the slits between the lid and kettle with foil or plastic wrap during immersion chilling, putting the sanitized carboy on its side or covering the mouth while you cool the wort, etc.) and using either a filtered air system or oxygen for aeration/oxygenation. *** Eugene writes: > A friend of mine wants to make a fruit beer with a tart berry (I >forget which kind of berry). I've already checked the archives and don't >see recipes for fruit beers which don't use sweet berries. How should my >friend balance the tart flavor, with honey? If so, how much for a 5 >gallon batch? Sorry... won't work. Honey is almost 100% fermentable and will *not* sweeten the beer. Lactose will, but you have to be extra careful with sanitation because many bacteria and possibly even some wild yeasts can eat lactose. 1/2 pound in 5 gallons will add a slight sweetness whereas 1 pound will be a noticeable sweetness. You can also increase sweetness with larger additions of light-coloured crystal malts and by mashing at the warmer end of the range. *** Paul writes regarding Bavarian Weizens: >1. It's supposed to be cloudy. (Pick up a bottle of Hacker-Pshorr in the > local booze supply.) I usually leave it in the secondary for > about 2 weeks (after a 5-7 day primary). If it's not clear, > bottle anyhow. Then gloat 'cause you've got the style right. > A clear weizen may taste great, but it's not to style. (Sorry > Woody, If you offer me a bottle, I won't turn it down.) ;-) There are two types of Bavarian Weizens (besides Dunkel and Weizenbock): Hefe Weizen and Kristal Weizen. Hefe Weizens are with yeast and Kristal are filtered. Virtually *ALL* German commercially-made Hefe Weizens are made with an ale yeast, filtered, and then bottled with a *LAGER* yeast. If you gently pick up and gently pour a bottle of Hefe Weizen that has not been shaken up lately, it will pour perfectly clear. They are not *inherently* cloudy. Witbiers are inherently cloudy, but that's due to the wheat protein, not the yeast. If the yeast is not settling, you may have a problem with a wild yeast, your yeast may have mutated, you may have a starch haze, you may have too much protein in your beer, or you may not have waited long enough. Saying "Weizens are cloudy" is a cop-out, not a valid reason for your beer to be cloudy. >2. Bavarian Weisse is often called "Hefe Weisse". Hefe is german for > yeast. The idea is that you drink that too. If you haven't tried, See above... the two are not equivalent. Hefe Weizen or Hefe Weiss ("weiss" means "white" (i.e. not brown) whereas "weizen" means "wheat") are a subcategory of Bavarian Weizens or Bavarian Weissbiers. All Hefe Weissbiers and Hefe Weizens are Bavarian Weizens, but not the other way around. Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com Return to table of contents
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