HOMEBREW Digest #2473 Wed 30 July 1997

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		Digest Janitor: janitor@hbd.org
		Many thanks to the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers of 
		Livonia, Michigan for sponsoring the Homebrew Digest.
				URL: http://www.oeonline.com

  host clubs win competitions a lot ("Thomas, Andrew R")
  Winningest brewers brew locally (Some Guy)
  Mini-Kegs ("Mark S. Johnston")
  re: contest entry (Kirt Lehnus)
  Re: CO2- sour VS bitter (HBD#2471) ("Keith Royster")
  Lambic Again (prkessel)
  Mashcalc (The Holders)
  Re: Botulism facts and figures (Scott Murman)
  pepsi taps ("Chris Hansen")
  Belgian trippel (Miguel de Salas)
  Re: Contest Entry (John_E_Schnupp)
  Blue Moon/Belgian candi/malted milk/Cincy brewfest (Michael Fay)
  re: Hops and milk production, A-B Specialty products ("Randy J. Lee")
  CO2 is sour, botulism, ("David R. Burley")
  Yeast Starters, Botulism and Paranoia (Rob Kienle)
  Acidic Compounds Affecting Beer Taste how? (Charles Burns)
  Mead Help (shaun.funk)
  Air Pump Pressure for moving beer. ("L. Rossi")
  yet more bot ("Dulisse, Brian K [PRI]")
  Bitter or sour: THAT be the question... (Some Guy)
  sparge aparatus for rectangular cooler (Steve Jackson)
  Recommendations on Breweries in Germany ("Geiser, Chris")
  (A) (UTC -04:00)" <dsawchuk.ford at e-mail.com>
  RE: Blue Moon (Kit Anderson)
  SA Brewing Law (Antony Hayes)
  Michigan State Fair Homebrew Competition (Spencer W Thomas)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 17:35:41 -0500 From: "Thomas, Andrew R" <thomaar at texaco.com> Subject: host clubs win competitions a lot Dennis and Jennifer Brittnen said: " I have a question to all the seasoned contest winners. We just recently got the results to a contest that we entered by checking http://www.ghgcorp.com/rlivingston/rendezbrew.html. I found it a little stange that almost every winner was from the club that sponsered the contest?? We are not being "poor losers" I just would like to know if anybody has a way to weed out the not so fair contests and enter the good ones. Any suggestions or thoughts about results like to ones posted on the Lunar Rendezbrew page would be appreciated." Wow, the challenge here is for me to remain level headed and positive. First let me say I judged in that competition, but I am not a Mashtronaut (the host club). Your comments might be interpreted (by some) to mean that there are unfair competitions out there, that homebrewers stack their home competitions, that there are shenanigans, or that some competitions are unfair. I have judged a ton, and organized a few (but once again for clarity, I had nothing to do with this comp org'n and am not a member there). The Mashtronauts run a fair competition, and all hombrew comps that I have ever seen are fair. The Mashtronauts also make great beer and enter a ton in their own competition. They play to win. I judged strong ales, and there was an Old Foghorn look-alike, an Old Nick look alike, and something not far from a Bigfoot. These beers were super, and I bet they were Mashtronaut beers. You may want to re-read your original post and perhaps, if you think about it, congratulate the Clear Lakers on great beer rather than let your emotions go funny places with vague accusations. Chances are your beer might need improving. andy thomas, foam ranger, houston, texas. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 19:05:58 -0400 (EDT) From: Some Guy <pbabcock at oeonline.com> Subject: Winningest brewers brew locally Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager... The question was posed here recently as to why host-club members seem to take more awards from some competitions than might seem reasonable. Without getting territorial here (it is, after all, a reasonable question), consider that there will likely be more entries from that organization than from any other, so, as with most statistical universes, it is more likely that one of the larger population would take the prize. Also, the local entries would not necessarily be subjected to the rigors of shipment and would therefor be fresher. Just some thoughts... See ya! Pat Babcock in SE Michigan pbabcock at oeonline.com Home Brew Digest Janitor janitor@hbd.org Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 21:04:05 -0400 From: "Mark S. Johnston" <msjohnst at talon.net> Subject: Mini-Kegs >>Has anyone had experience with the 'mini kegs'? I am interested in buying 4 of them, but want to hear from someone who has used them.<< I used min-kegs a few years ago, but have graduated to corny's and regressed to bottles. The mini-kegs became too unpredictable. I do not recommend them if you have other choices (corny kegs). The problem with the mini-kegs is that they are made from aluminum or mild steel that is coated with a plastic on the inside. This would be fine if the plastic coating is complete, intact, and would last for several batches. Initially, I had good luck. Then the problems started. After the third straight metallic tasting batch, and after replacing old kegs with new, I quit. I realize that many people have fantastic luck with mini's, but I was not one of them. If you decide to go with them, please remember the following: 1. Use no more than 2 Tbsp of priming sugar per keg. Anything more will result in overpriming which, if not explosive, will certainly result in a bulging (and forever-after useless) keg. 2. DO NOT use chlorinated cleaning agents inside the kegs. Chlorine will react and breakdown the plastic coating. I'm not sure about Iodophor. 3. Do not scratch the interior surface by scraping or brushing. 4. If you are going to commit to mini's, the best tap system is the metal one. It costs more (+/- $69), but it foams less and is easier to clean. 5. For a special treat: Put a porter or stout into mini's -- Light priming only. Instead of CO2 cartridges, get some of the nitrous oxide whippits that are used in whipped cream dispensers. (They have other uses, too, but we won't get into that.) Pump up the keg with NO2 for a creamy head a la draft guiness. (Note: NO2 isn't quite as stable as CO2. Consume quickly lest the beer oxidize.) 6. Those "Carbonator" devices that fit the 2 liter pop bottles also screw onto the back of most mini-keg tap units. This can allow you to run your mini's from a CO2 tank and regulator. Just make sure you watch the pressure. Good luck. - -- "If a man is not a liberal at eighteen, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is thirty, he has no mind." - Winston Churchill Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 22:05:16 -0400 From: Kirt Lehnus <trikl at exis.net> Subject: re: contest entry djbnajke at iserv.net wrote: >We just recently got the results to a contest that we entered >I found it a little strange that almost every winner was from the club >that sponsered the contest?? That's not surprising at all. Most of the contests hosted by brewing clubs aren't as large or well publicised as "national" contests. Even though the contests are usually open to anyone, most of the people that are going to know about it are from the club that hosts it. Therefore an overwhelming number of the entries are going to be from that club. Also, because the club members are "locals" they probably won't be shipping their entries by mail and won't be deterred by high shipping costs from entering more beers in more categories. It basically boils down to odds. The same thing happened in the contest sponsored by my club and I assure you that there was nothing fishy going on. - -- ******************************************* editor of Home Imbrewment - the newsletter for the HRB&TS - http://www.pilot.infi.net/~ridgely/hrbts/ ******************************************* Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 22:33:49 +0500 From: "Keith Royster" <keith at ays.net> Subject: Re: CO2- sour VS bitter (HBD#2471) Pat Babcock disagrees with Dave Burley's comment that... "CO2 is sour, as it is an acid when dissolved in water or beer. Acids are sour and bases are bitter." There is some truth to both sides here. CO2 does dissolve in water forming an acid (CO2 + H2 <--> H2CO3 <--> H+ + HCO3-) and acids are sour. However, when this happens the CO2 literally dissolves by separating into different ions. This is different from gaseous CO2 being forced into solution under pressure yet still remaining in CO2 form. As an example, if you dissolved CO2 into cola it would not only convert into H2CO3,H+ +HCO3-, and 2(H+) + CO3--, but this conversion would make the cola sour and it would loose its carbonation fizz (no more CO2). To prevent this the cola is acidified to drive the equation back towards to CO2 & H20 (left) side of the above equation. Consequently, I would assume that the low pH of beer is helping to keep the dissolved CO2 from becoming carbonic acid. Otherwise our beers would become flat. So perhaps Pat is also right in that he does perceive a bitterness associated with carbonation. =========================== On another quick note that borders, I have recently completed a web page for Moving Brews located at http://www.ays.net/movingbrews/ . They have a large selection of food-grade, magnetically-coupled, high temperature pumps specifially selected for homebrewers. They are perfect for building a RIMS and other advanced brewing needs. They also sell a variety of related fittings, such as quick disconnects, valves, etc. The owner, Bill Stewart, is a super nice guy who also homebrews, so I'm sure he would be happy to help you select the pump that best suites your needs. He has a better selection than WWGrainger plus you don't have to be a wholesale buyer (like Grainger requires). Like I said, I wrote this page, but other than that I have absolutely no financial ties to Moving Brews. Some may still think of this a a commercial plug, but I prefer to think of is as sharing helpful information with fellow homebrewers. Let me know if your opinion differs (keith at ays.net) Keith Royster - Mooresville, North Carolina "An Engineer is someone who measures it with a micrometer, marks it with a piece of chalk, and cuts it with an ax!" mailto:keith at ays.net http://www.ays.net - at your.service web design & hosting http://www.ays.net/brewmasters -Carolina BrewMasters club page http://www.ays.net/RIMS -My RIMS (rated COOL! by the Brewery) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 22:39:20 -0700 From: prkessel at waonline.com Subject: Lambic Again From: John Kessel RE: Lambic In response to my slam on Jim Liddil's "quiet joke" about plambic, I must say that it went right over my head. Sorry, but please be a little less subtle for those of us who don't know the complete history of the homebrew world. For those that didn't know, Jim won best of show at nationals with a lambic and, I assume, he faced a lot of serious comments like his light-hearted one from the July 25 HBD. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 21:09:06 -0700 From: The Holders <zymie at m4.sprynet.com> Subject: Mashcalc I have posted the Mashcalc program authored by Pat Anderson until its available at the Brewery.The URL is http://andinator.com/zymico/mashcalc.zip Wayne Holder AKA Zymie Long Beach CA http://andinator.com/zymico Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 23:20:01 -0700 From: Scott Murman <smurman at best.com> Subject: Re: Botulism facts and figures Alan McKay feels he must choke down an entire humble pie in one sitting: > It looks as though my food-processing bible > may have been over-exaggerating the risk of Botulism, based on the > numbers dug up by Mr Wesley. I don't think the book you're referring to is over-exaggerating the risk of botulism, but rather maybe you were mis-interpreting their words. In the reported cases 10% were fatal, and I'm sure the other 90% were probably much the worse for the episode. This is a nerve toxin. The other telling story is that even commercial food-prep operations can have a problem, and they supposedly "know what they're doing". No-one said botulism will run rampant in any food not pressure canned, only that there was a *chance*. Statistically it's a small chance, but in this case the reward is not worth the risk, IMO. When someone comes out with scientific proof that beer wort can be water-bath canned, I'll be the second person out there telling everyone the news. Until then, I think there are safer alternatives. In either case though, knowledge is the key, and just as you shouldn't follow your food-processing bible to the gates of hell, you shouldn't blindly follow the advice of the most popular homebrew book either. SM P.S. I really do try to leave this thread alone. I really do. I think I need help. P.P.S. I fully expect someone to come up with statistics for Malta-induced illnesses by the end of next week. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 21:34:54 +0000 From: "Chris Hansen" <hansen3 at pop.netaddress.usa.net> Subject: pepsi taps Hi all. I have recently come across an old 4 tap pepsi dispenser that I could pick up for little or no money. I would like to know if anybody uses such a thing and if so what are the advantages or disadvantages. Re: does it cool the beer enough by itself, how do you clean it, etc. TIA Chris Hansen Vermont Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 18:31:06 +1000 From: Miguel de Salas <mm_de at postoffice.utas.edu.au> Subject: Belgian trippel Hello! I am in the process of fermenting a Trippel I brewed last week, and have a few reflections to make. The recipe is the following: 12 lb Light malt 0.5 lb Wheat (for head retention) 1 lb light candi sugar 1/2 oz Mt Hood (boil) 1/2 oz Styrians (boil) 1/6 oz Pride of Ringwood (boil) 1/2 oz Mt Hood (5 min) 1/2 oz Coriander (boil) 1/4 oz Coriander (5 min) I mashed at 66.5 deg C for 1 1/2 hours, at 69 deg C for 1/2 hour, and, after conversion was complete, mashed out at 77 deg C. Since I use an insulated bucket for mashing, I raised the temperature by straining out some grain, heating it to boiling, and putting it back in the mash. This will probably contribute a bit of that 'decoction mash' flavour, which is not very authentic, but I'm happy with the system, and I guess I can live with it :-) I used an immersion chiller made of 7 yards of coiled copper tubing, and it took less than 20 minutes to chill the wort. I really wonder why people go to the trouble of building counterflow chillers for a volume of 5 gallons. It seems to me that it doesen't save much time, and the risks involved by more difficult sanitation makes it less worthwile. I just immerse mine in the boiling wort about 10min. before the end of the boil. Still, I have never used a counterflow chiller, so maybe someone who has used both can elaborate. Water at home comes out of the tap at 11 C in winter and 14C in summer, so it takes very little to cool down the wort with an immersion chiller. Initial gravity was 1.074 Wort at 22 C was pitched with about 100ml of slurry of WYeast Belgian ale (The one which is supposedely from chimay, but produces totally different flavour characteristics) and fermentation started within four hours. It is a week now from pitching, temperature has been kept at 21-22 C, the gravity is already at 1.012, and the wort just keeps going on fermenting. I know the style is supposed to be quite dry, in order to be refreshing, and sweetness is inappropriate, but THAT DRY??? I assumed the combination of relatively cool mashing (66-67 C) and 1/8th of the grist in sugar would make a dry beer, but I didn't expect anything like this. I was expecting 1.016 or 1.018. Another thing worth noting is the smell: BANANAS!!!! You walk into the room, and it absolutely reeks of banana... I was expecting a bit of it, but a) I didn't remove much trub, and b) I aerated vigorously, both to keep ester formation under control, as the OG was quite high. Oh, well, I am going to bottle the batch (I usually keg, and swore I'd never go back to bottling, but this beer is going to be an exception. I expect to have to wait a while before this brew is at its peak. Any thoughts? Please email comments. Miguel. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 01:05:05 -0700 From: John_E_Schnupp at amat.com Subject: Re: Contest Entry I have to agree with Dion, Gary and John concerning the reasons that members of the sponsoring club seemed to win the most ribbons. The same apparent thing happens when the local club holds it's annual competition. I do not belong to the club. I have been brewing for just over 3 years and use extracts and specialty grains exclusively. I did not know of (read enter) the competition my first year as a brewer. I have entered the last 2 years and both times I have won ribbons in a category. Not much but to me it shows that I can brew a "decent" beer. The most important thing, IMHO, is not the ribbon or awards but the evaluations that are returned on my score sheets. These can show areas which need additional attention or improvement. Also, just because you didn't place doesn't mean that you brewed a "bad" beer. This past year I scored a 37/50 (light American ale). I got really "rave" comments on my score sheet but I didn't win anything (this was in fact the beer that I was sure would win something). Am I upset, NO. It means that somebody else in the competition brewed one better and they were rewarded for their effort. My reward came in reading glowing comments and knowing that one of the judges in that class was known for being a "tough" judge. Another thing to consider is that the more entries you submit the better your chances. I brew 8-10 times a year. So far I have brewed only twice since the competition this spring. I know from previous competitions I brew decent beer and I know areas in which my technique needs improving. John Schnupp, N3CNL Colchester, VT 95 XLH 1200 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 05:53:30 -0400 From: faymi at earlham.edu (Michael Fay) Subject: Blue Moon/Belgian candi/malted milk/Cincy brewfest Truly I agree, to each his own. But it seems unfortunate that anyone actually believes Coors when they say that their blue moon is a Wit. And I did not know that it won any sort of award. What kind of joke is this? Admittedly, I've only tried it 2 or 3 times, but the dominant aroma I got from it was blueberry!! the artificial kind at that. I'd recommend to anyone who praises Blue Moon's "Wit" Splurge a little and buy some Hoegaarden or Celis and then see what you think of the Coors stuff. Just a thought about making candi sugar at home. I have never made or used this substance, but have a fair amount fo exerience making candy and carmelizing sugar. Seems an easier alternative to messing with the foil or chipping the hard stuff off a baking sheet would be to add some water (about half the volume of the sugar) after it has properly carmelized and cook until the sugar has dissolved. This would offer better control of carmelization as it would stop with the addition of water would be much wasier to work with as a syrup wouldn't seem to affect flavor since it ends up in solution anyway. Visiting an ice cream store recently got me thinking-the malted milk in malts (as in shakes) I assume it is the same general product as we use. How might one go about making such a product? Is it mashed or what?? Finally a question to those from SW Ohio region: That little beer fest they had last year, I think sponsored by WEBN. Is it happening this year? Has it already happened? Sorry for my long wind. It can happen late at night after a coupla hb's Michael Fay Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 08:13:39 -0500 From: "Randy J. Lee"<rjlee at imation.com> Subject: re: Hops and milk production, A-B Specialty products Having been a dairy farmer for a few years in Western Wisconsin (A place with more cows than people), I know of no prohibition of using any feed including hops. I don't think that I'd feed cows a lot of hops, though, 'cause they are a little strange to them. Spent grain, on the other hand, is *wonderful* stuff for cows, especially if mixed with potato waste. As to why hops would make production go up, I couldn't say but to add fuel for thought, the main ingredients for pushing production (besides water and genetics) are energy (sugars) and protein. These two things account for most of the feed calculations. There are some other things that can help. Buffers for instance can increase feed intake (cows get sour stomachs too) and therefore production. It is also possible that they are acting, as they do in humans, as an appetite stimulant, thereby increasing intake and production (the more feed, on a dry matter basis, you can get into a cow, the more milk they produce, all else being equal). One thing that you do have to watch out for in strange feeds is that some feed flavours and constituents can be passed through into the milk. Ask any nursing mom what they can't eat without the baby getting fussy. - ------------------------------------ One more data point on these A-B specialty products: I got to try a little of the Honey Lager the other day whilst doing some sales calls. Strange stuff. Tastes like Michelobe with honey added before bottling. Oddly sweet. Randy Lee Hanging in a Mooving place; Wisconsin. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 10:06:51 -0400 From: "David R. Burley" <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: CO2 is sour, botulism, Brewsters: Our esteemed co-janitor Pat Babcock takes issue with my comment that CO2 dissolved in water or beer is acidic. >>Dave Burley sez... >>"Nope. CO2 is sour, as it is an acid when dissolved in water or beer. = >>Acids are sour and bases are bitter." >Um, I beg to differ, Dave! Carbonate some water and drink it. Perhaps it= = >is an effect of the nucleation of CO2 bubbles on the bumps and valleys o= f = >the ol' wagging tongue, but I perceive CO2 dissolved in water (carbonic = >acid to you chemically inclined) to the point of supersaturation (like = >our beer) to be bitter, too... Well, where do you perceive this "bitterness" front of your tongue (bitter1) or back of mouth (bitter2)? Maybe you are confusing pricklines= s from the bubbles as bitter when it is in fact sharp acidity. If you feel= a sensation on the sides of your tongue ( apart from the bubbles) this is acidity. One of the early qualitative analysis definitions of acid (when chemists actually tasted chemicals in trying to define them!) long before pH mete= rs and litmus paper, etc was the *definition* that acids are sour. The German word for oxygen is Sauerstoff because it was recognized that oxyge= n reacting with non-metals like sulfur and carbon produced acids, sauersalz= is an acid salt, sauerbrunnen is acidulous spring water. Sauerlichkeit (sourness) is acidity. We also get Sauerbrauten which has vinegar as a major component of the marinade. Vin Aigre ( vinegar) is french for sour= wine due to acetic acid.. By definition, acids are sour - sorry, PB, but history and science is against you. - -------------------------------------------------- Yahoo (his definition) Wesley comments on botulism statistics from CDC. Remember to use the word "reported" in front of your statistics. It's a big country out there. Lack of evidence with such small numbers like thi= s is not proof either way. The fact that no one who has done this will adm= it in the HBD to dying from botulism is not proof either. I still don't understand the big deal about pressure canning versus the boiling method - both seem like a PITA to me, so if you are going to do i= t, then do it right by using a time-tested, expert-approved method like pressure canning. This is true especially when the temperature dependence= of the viability of Clostridium spores is so well *known* to be above boiling water temperature at pH's above 4.5, even at sea-level, let alone= in Colorado or Michigan or wherever. - -------------------------------------------------- James Johnson's yeasty taste that he ascribes to Wyeast liquid yeast may = be caused by excessive growth of the too-small starter pitched on first time= use. Does this happen if you recycle your yeast? I always prepare a starter from the Wyeast packet after it puffs up, to minimize off tastes from excessive yeast growth during fermentation of my wort. How about th= e fermentation temperature this summer? Too warm will produce bad tasting, yeasty beer. - --------------------------------------------------- Rae Christopher J asks about when to transfers to a secondary and if dry ice used to purge the empty secondary will prevent oxidation. First place, non-fermentation derived dry ice ( typically from combustion= ) normally contains some SO2, so I wouldn't use it for purging. = Secondly, purging the secondary is not necessary as long as the beer is actively fermenting, since the yeast will gladly suck up the oxygen and prevent oxidation of the beer, just like the yeast do in a wort which is being cold oxygenated prior to fermentation. So rack after the wild fermentation is over, but don't wait until the fermentation is nearly complete. Lastly, if you need an inexpensive source of CO2, make up a fermenting solution in a bottle with cork and hose attached. Sanitation problems ca= n be minimized by passing the CO2 through acidic metabisulfite and then through sterile cotton to minimize aerosols. = - --------------------------------------------------- Keep on brewin' Dave Burley Kinnelon, NJ 07405 103164.3202 at compuserve.com Dave_Burley at compuserve.com = Voice e-mail OK = Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 10:10:50 -0500 From: Rob Kienle <rkienle at interaccess.com> Subject: Yeast Starters, Botulism and Paranoia I've been using yeast slants and 35 mL wort starters from the Yeast Culture Kit Co. for some time with normally excellent results. In pulling a slant for a new starter last night, however, a question/concern came to mind that's got me feeling pretty paranoid this morning. What happened was that when I opened the wort starter to add the yeast, I noticed a fairly pronounced scent coming from it that was probably more "dirty socklike" than anything else. Thinking, geez, that ain't so cool, I scored another starter vial from the fridge and re-innoculated. This second vial smelled better than the first, so I let it go. (It still didn't smell delightful, but it didn't smell nearly as bad.) All of this concerned me because the only problems I've had with YCKC's products before seem to surround the first, 35 mL step-up. On a couple of occasions, I've started the vial, only to notice *no* apparent fermentation within it even within a couple of days. At one point, I decided to disregard my lack of evidence of fermentation and just racked the stuff into my normal 22 oz starter to see what happened and - somewhat amazingly, I had a nice krausen going in the subsequent step a day later, even without having had any evidence that such would occur in the original vial. Now for the paranoia; with all this talk about botulism, and after I smelled the yucky situation in the first vial I tried last night, I at first feared that the dreaded *b-beast* is in my starter vials, which were canned by YCKC and shipped to me along with the slants. However, this doesn't make a lot of sense to me because I keep all my starter vials, with the slants themselves, refrigerated at a temperature of about 40 degrees, which to my understanding does *not* provide a botulism-friendly environment. Right? OTOH, I have had some curious experiences with the stuff in the past, given the invisible/visible fermentation characteristics previously noted. So could it be some other form of contamination that proves too much for the yeasties in the vial but which becomes overwhelmed when I switch to the larger starter volume? Doesn't make an awful lot of sense to me. The only conclusion I've managed to make in the past is that the starter vial managed to ferment through very quickly, perhaps while I was at work, and thus I never noticed the krausen. Anyone have any ideas what's going on? Am I at least correct in assuming that I don't have botulism growing in the fridge? - -- Cheers4beers, Rob Kienle Chicago, IL rkienle at interaccess.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 97 09:39 PDT From: cburns at egusd.k12.ca.us (Charles Burns) Subject: Acidic Compounds Affecting Beer Taste how? For those of us aspiring beer judges trying to get a handle on the myriads of tastes and causes of off-flavors, this gets a bit confusing. What is it? Bitter, Sour or Tart? Going by my own *personal* experience, I get a "sour" taste from acids. What says the experts here? My point is that I need to be able to recognize when someone added too much of an acidic compound so that constructive feedback can be given on the judging form. Acid = Bitter > Pat Babcock says: > "I perceive CO2 [carbonic acid] dissolved in water ... to the point of >supersaturation to be bitter" > ====== Acid = Sour > Dave Burley says: > "Nope. CO2 is sour, as it is an acid when dissolved in water or beer. > Acids are sour and bases are bitter." > ==== Acid = Tart > Graham Barron says: > "...touch of 88% Lactic acid at bottling can add that > tartness to the final product..." > ======== Charley in N.Cal (judge in training) - --------------------------------------------------------------- Charles Burns, Director, Information Systems Elk Grove Unified School District cburns at egusd.k12.ca.us, http://www.egusd.k12.ca.us 916-686-7710 (voice), 916-686-4451 (fax) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 12:46:40 -0500 From: shaun.funk at SLKP.COM Subject: Mead Help I am intersted in brewing a mead (melomel) and am looking for guidance from= any=20 mead-heads out there=2E I have some specific questions:=20 1=2E Acid Nutrient -- Why? 2=2E Do I need a yeast starter? If so and I make it with honey, is it goi= ng to=20 take longer to get going than my malt starters? 3=2E Yeast nutrient? Does this make fermentation complete or just faster?= Do I=20 need it? I have already checked out some web-based references for mead brewing, but= =20 would also appreciate anyone pointing me in the direction of any and all th= at=20 they feel are useful and informative=2E Thanks, Shaun Funk Clemmons, NC shaun=2Efunk at slkp=2Ecom Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 09:55:55 -0700 From: "L. Rossi" <wetpetz at oberon.ark.com> Subject: Air Pump Pressure for moving beer. Hi Collective! I've noticed recently that quite a few HB shops here in Canada a selling a set-up that makes racking and filtering beverages easier for those of us who do not have a C02 system. One such set-up was outlined in the Spring Zymurgy 1997 Issue on Page 78 in the New Products Section. Basically it is a pressurized racking system that uses one of those orange two holed carboy caps. The system is run by an aquarium pump. Pressurized air from the pump is pumped into the head space of the carboy and the pressure pushes the beer or wine etc. through a racking tube into a filter and/or through a bottle filler or second carboy. My question is this; will the C02 blanket left in my head-space protect my beer from being oxidized under a few pounds of air pressure or not? How much air would be diffused into the beer, enough to do damage? I already have all the needed equipment for doing this including a very large air pump and a filter so I won't be shelling out the $100 for the commercial type but for now I am skeptical about using it with beer but I will use it for wine for now. I do have a C02 bottle but it needs to be re-tested and I need regulators before I can use it for a pressurized racking system. The air pump seems like a cool toy if it will not ruin my whole batch! This is going to make racking easier for me as I won't be needing to lift heavy containers high enough to rack it again! Layne Rossi wetpetz at oberon.ark.com Campbell River, BC *********************************************************** To try and fail is better than failing because we didn't try! *********************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 12:59:19 -0400 From: "Dulisse, Brian K [PRI]" <BDulisse at prius.jnj.com> Subject: yet more bot i never thought i'd get dragged into this thread . . . ok. i'm not an md, but my wife is, and for two years she was one of the cdc folks that lugged around the "bot beeper" (which is the pager that goes off whenever anyone in the western hemisphere wants the cdc to release some botulism anti-toxin). i asked her some questions, and called up a friend still in the foodborne division of ncid (infectious diseases) at cdc, for some other stuff. others have pointed out here that bot spores are not necessarily killed by boiling; this is largely correct. type a and b spores require 30 minutes at 120 c to be killed (types a and b are the most common non-aquatic strains of botulism); type e can be killed by heating to 80 c for 30 minutes, but this strain is largely aquatic, and not really relevant. ok, so that's what it takes to kill spores. but it seems to me that that's not quite the issue, since we eat bot spores every day, and don't generally die from it. what we are concerned about here is that toxin will be present in the beer we drink. thus, it seems like the relevant question is what are the conditions under which the spores will germinate? again, others have noted that a low ph will inhibit germination of the spores. surely, a low ph is a sufficient condition for no germination, but it is not clear (to me, at least) that a low ph is a *necessary* condition for no germination. from the cecil textbook of medicine, 19th edition, p. 1683: "germination may be inhibited by a reduction in ph, refrigeration, freezing, drying, or the addition of salt, sugar, or other inhibitory substance such as sodium nitrite." there are a couple of things in there that appear to hold out the possibility that pressure canning isn't necessary: 1) cold temperatures inhibit germination. cecil's doesn't tell us how cold is cold enough, but it *may* be the case that ordinary freezer or even fridge temperature is sufficient. does anyone *know*? fwiw, the usual source of bot in the us is canned vegetables, which are generally not refrigerated. that's anecdotal, of course, but still . . . 2) wort is, of course, sugar water, and sugar inhibits spore germination. this apparently has to do with what is called "water activity" , which was explained to me as basically the ease with which something (like bot spores) can utilize the water in solution. water activity is defined as the ratio of the vapor pressure of the food in question to the vapor pressure of water. based on my conversation with my cdc friend (he was relying on the classic clostridium botulinum: ecology and control in foods, eds. houschild & dodds, 1992), foods with a water activity level of below .95 are ok (that is, in tests foods with a water activity level of .95 had no toxin present after storage). the book says that a 10% salt solution (10 g salt in 100 ml h20) has a water activity of .94; a 5% salt solution has a water activity of .97. the book goes on to say that sucrose exhibits a similar pattern, but doesn't go into specifics. ok, i should know this but don't: how many grams of sugar are there in 100 ml of 1.040 wort? that should go a long way towards telling us whether storing wort is an untenable risk . . . for the record, the first reaction of everyone in this little chain (including the people my friend talked with) is wondering why this would be a concern, since none of the cdc folks had ever heard of a wort-related bot outbreak. that doesn't mean it couldn't happen, of course, but among people with an institutional memory approaching 20 years, no one is aware of it happening . . . let me be clear: i am not claiming that the concerns about botulism are foolish and should be ignored. i am not saying that pressure canning is unnecessary. what i am saying is that it is *possible* that the characteristics of wort and/or the conditions under which it is stored *may* be such that pressure canning is not needed. so please, no rants on "you could die, why take a chance?" Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 14:10:33 -0400 (EDT) From: Some Guy <pbabcock at oeonline.com> Subject: Bitter or sour: THAT be the question... Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager... Confused Charley in N. CA sez... > Acid = Bitter > Pat Babcock says: > "I perceive CO2 dissolved in water ... to the point of supersaturation > to be bitter" Ah, but I qualified that. The perception of bitterness (with a nod towards Dave of Burley) is the confounding effect of the CO2 nucleating on your tongue. Acids are, as Dave asserts, sour. Tart is simply a "level" or quality of sourness. At lower levels (below supersaturation), carbonic acid is sour, just as Dave says (and proven by the faulty soda machine at this weekend's picnic...). See ya! Pat Babcock in SE Michigan pbabcock at oeonline.com Home Brew Digest Janitor janitor@hbd.org Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 11:16:13 -0700 (PDT) From: Steve Jackson <stevejackson at rocketmail.com> Subject: sparge aparatus for rectangular cooler I recently began all-grain brewing, using a rectangular Rubbermaid cooler for mashing and lautering. It works just fine, especially in my small apartment kitchen. I am getting sick, however, of standing over the thing for an hour to monitor my sparging. Right now, sparging consists either of running water through a strainer or pouring it into a stainless steel bowl embedded in the grain bed (allowing the sparge water to flow calmly over the bowl's sides so as not to disturb the grain bed). Since either method doesn't maintain a consistent input rate (it depends exclusively on how often I manually move water from my insulated bottling bucket to the lauter tun), I have to babysit my lauter tun throughout the entire sparge. I've considered building a sparge aparatus out of copper tubing I have left over from when I built the false bottom/manifold for the cooler, but I have a couple questions/concerns about doing so. At first I thought of putting together a simple network of tubing, T's and elbows, with a hose barb on top to allow me to run a piece of rubber tubing between the outlet of the insulated bottling bucket I use to hold my sparge water and the sparge aparatus. The tubing's dimensions would be slightly bigger than the cooler's allowing me to simply place the sparge aparatus on top of the cooler and start the water flowing -- which would let me do something more useful than babysitting the lauter tun throughout the whole sparge. I decided this may not be the best way to go, since this setup would force me to leave the cooler's lid open, leading to excessive heat loss (I currently pour water in, close the lid, open it back up a few minutes later to add more water). So then I considered building something similar, but by drilling a hole through the lid to allow the inlet for the sparge water to protrude through it while keeping the lid shut (there is a screw fitting on the insdie of the lid -- I suppose it's for screw-in freezer paks -- that goes nearly to the top, or outer surface, of the lid. I would simply drill through that and suspend the sparge aparatus from there). My questions are these: Do I actually need to worry about heat loss, since I would have already mashed out to deactivate the mash enzymes? If so, does anybody have any suggestions on how to construct a sparging aparatus for my cooler that would allow me to keep the lid shut without causing extensive damage to my cooler? Private email responses are fine. Thanks in advance for your help. (Apologies for chewing up so much bandwidth to build up to two short questions) -Steve _____________________________________________________________________ Sent by RocketMail. Get your free e-mail at http://www.rocketmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 11:20:03 -0700 From: "Geiser, Chris" <Chris.Geiser at Unisys.Com> Subject: Recommendations on Breweries in Germany I will be in Germany for the first 3 weeks of August and would appreciate any recommendations for breweries/pubs to visit. I will be in the Southwestern part of the country (near Freiburg) most of the time, but am planning to visit Munich, Dresden, Berlin, Prague and possibly Pilsen. Any help will be greatly appreciated and private e-mail to Chris.Geiser at Unisys.Com will be fine, TIA. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 14:44:43 -0400 From: Kit Anderson <kitridge at bigfoot.com> Subject: RE: Blue Moon Matt Gadow wrote; >Wow! My beer, better than a Coors micro! Now that's some praise. Not to >jump on Kit's case or anything, but I would also (politely) suggest that >Celis or Hoegarden would be a much better target than Blue Moon, I agree with you, Matt. You won't find me defending Blue Moon. It is wit lite. Go for greatness. - --- Kit Anderson Bath, Maine <kitridge at bigfoot.com> I suppose that it's theoretically possible for a Yankee to make decent barbecue. But it sure ain't a pretty thought! -Smokey Pitts Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 13:26:37 -0700 From: Antony Hayes <ahayes at oldmutual.com> Subject: SA Brewing Law Do any home brewers in South Africa know of any legislation covering our hobby? I have been brewing for many years, and had not really thought of the legality of doing so until the recent posts regarding American legislation. Private eMail will be great. Ant Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 15:04:39 -0400 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Michigan State Fair Homebrew Competition The Michigan State Fair Homebrew Competition is accepting entries through August 8. If you don't have entry forms, send your US Mail address to me (spencer at umich.edu). I cannot easily fax the forms. While anybody can enter, only Michigan residents can win prizes (sorry, this is a State Fair rule, not one I have any control over.) When I get my Mac back from the shop (maybe today), I'll try to put copies of the forms online. =Spencer Thomas in Ann Arbor, MI (spencer at umich.edu) Return to table of contents
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