HOMEBREW Digest #2741 Tue 16 June 1998

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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

  Conical Bottoms ("John S. Thomas")
  Trip to England (Wade Hutchison)
  re: small fridge fermentation chiller ("TES")
  Gott EM, PU (Jack Schmidling)
  Bamforth's book and weak pale ale. ("Graham Wheeler")
  re: HBD contest winners (NAZELROD)
  Kettle outflow system;  FWH ("Bret Morrow")
  Alpha Acids/Color (AJ)
  Add the black malt late ("Larry N. Smith")
  PrimeTabs (Kevin Peters)
  Starter gravity/foam retention (Dave Humes)
  Whirlpool creation ("Steven Braun")
  Return of the Son of AHA Bashing ("Mark S. Johnston")
  RE; Alternate bottle filling Technique (Jerry Minasi)
  Attitudes (Paul Niebergall)
  Alternate Bottle Filling Technique - Vacuum (Dan Schultz)
  stuck fermentation (John Herman)
  Old Yeast and spores (David Lamotte)
  AHA Whining ("Randy Erickson")
  Oops ! (Anthony Capocelli)
  BJCP Exam (PDWaltman)
  So Jethro is the new spokesperson? (Jim Liddil)
  Polycar - My Datapoint (Clint Thessen)
  Re: AHA (Spencer W Thomas)
  Re: Blueberry vs. Raspberry? (Spencer W Thomas)
  Re: Testing momilies (Spencer W Thomas)
  FWH (Dan Pillsbury)
  Words of wisdom (Bill Giffin)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 10:29:32 -0700 From: "John S. Thomas" <jthomas at iinet.com> Subject: Conical Bottoms Date: Tue, 09 Jun 98 08:47:48 -0700 From: "Frank E. Kalcic" <fkalcic at flash.net> Subject: FW: point of clarification- SS fermetors In Jim R. Fortes' post in HBD #2735, he incorrectly identified the fermentor at the website listed as my creation. I wish it were. Actually, I used the photos for ideas and inspiration. I too, looked at purchasing or having a conical made for me, but ran into the same stumbling block that Jim had. Namely $$$$. Frank E. Kalcic writes a few suggestions for Jim Fortes. 1) Do you really need the conical feature? You will appreciate its function primairly if you are harvesting your yeast. Otherwise a racking arm will do a better job of removing the clear beer from the trub. Frank I am not convinced that small batch brewers do not need a conical bottom fermentor. Carboys work fine and many have the gold to prove it, I will buy that! But for some reason humanity is always looking for a better, more efficient and more sanitary way. Seems to be our nature. Also most brewpub and micros I have visited spend big bucks on conical bottom fermentors. People have invented gadgets that will turn a carboy over so it looks and acts like a conical bottom fermentor. There has gotta be a reason. There must be a need. Life is more fun with a conical. Consider this, filling from the bottom and aerating inline before the bottom valve is less risky and much easier. Removing dead yeast cell everyday from the bottom valve is quick and easy. Open the large valve at the apex and drain off the dead yeast daily. Takes five minutes and you also get a specific gravity reading too boot. Spray the valve with a diluted solution of bleach and no infection risk. Verses pouring wort in through the top and the attendant infection risks and back breaking labor. Verses transferring wort after sitting on the yeast for a week or so is risky and labor intensive. The conical bottom is a big improvement in labor saving and infection risk reduction. All transfers are in a closed, not exposed to the air, system. Yeast is not left on the bottom to impart off flavors. The secondary fermentation vessel, transfer risk, siphons and labor to transfer are history. The racking valve and arm eliminates the siphons and associated risk. Everything that falls out of suspension will collect at the apex above the large one-inch valve because of the 60 degree angle cone. This angle has survived the ages, it works. 2) once you have a conical you now have to find a way to keep the temp at the correct level during fermentation. It can be done, but walk in coolers or glycol jackets and pumps are not inexpensive. Better to stick with something that will fit in a fridge or chest freezer. Temperature maintenance is easy. Copper tubing, insulation jacket, pump and holding tank for cold water are not that expensive and the pump can be use to move wort from the kettle to the Hop Jack and fermentor before the cooling cycle begins. The problem with moving carboys and iceboxes is lifting them out and stirring up the yeast. I guess we are back to labor saving devices, yeast on the bottom and infection risk again. 3)The biggest drawback with a racking arm is that you will have to invest in a TC valve ($135 - $150)and a few TC fittings. This TC clamp allow fairy good seal while the arm is rotated to lower the liquid inlet. The racking arm can be made by any local welder that has TIG capabilities. Frank you worry about the cost of pumps and jackets but are willing to spend $135 to $150 on a tri-clover fitting for a racking arm. What is wrong with the lab clamp originally offered on the HBE fermentor or the new racking valve and arm? You can take them off and sanitize with ease. The racking valve is standard equipment with all new fermentor sizes plus you can buy a racking arm with ball lock or you can make your own and save a few bucks. I will even show you how. Frank because HBE is my business someone may find fault but look at the reasoning it, like the conical, will stand the test of time. John S. Thomas Hobby Beverage Equipment Co. 909-676-2337 jthomas at minibrew.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 14:42:41 -0400 From: Wade Hutchison <whutchis at bucknell.edu> Subject: Trip to England Well, in a little over a week, I'm going to hop across the pond and spend about 3 weeks in England and Scotland. I was wondering if the collective had any advice for "must see" spots to visit. I'm already planning on going to Tadcaster and trying to get a tour of the Sam Smith brewery, which I understand is only available on weekends. Anyone confirm or deny this? I'm also planning on stopping by Traquair House in Scotland and checking out at least the guest house and grounds, if not the brewery. We'll be in Portsmith, London, York, and Edinborough, so if anyone has reccomendations for these locations relating to beer, food, scotch or beer, please let me know. Post here, or private email will be fine. Thanks in advance. -----wade hutchison whutchis at bucknell.edu Wade Hutchison, College Engineer Bucknell University, College of Engineering http://www.eg.bucknell.edu/~whutchis Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 16:23:35 -0400 From: "TES" <tom at struzik.com> Subject: re: small fridge fermentation chiller Hello all - I came into possession of a small dorm fridge after college. It is cube model that uses the 'freezer' compartment to cool the rest of the fridge. Using heavy insulating board (that is around 2" thick & coated with a tin-like metal), I created a small lagering fridge that holds one 5 gallon carboy. I would be happy to describe it in detail to anyone interested, but the synopsis is; 1. I first took a couple small pieces of plywood and made a small frame in the shape of an upside-down 'T' & re-enforced it with metal brackets. 2. Attached a box made from the insulating material to one side of the 'T' 3. Attached the compressor & all the other fridge components to the other side of the 'T' 4. Put the 'freezer shelf' inside the new insulated box. This part is a little tricky and requires you to bend the shelf out somewhat flat. It also requires that this be done without damaging in any way the pipe that goes from the compressor to the 'freezer shelf' 5. I made a lid from the same material & it sits on top of this box held down by a couple of bungee cords. 6. I then added a thermostat control to regulate temp. I guess that it is not the prettiest thing in the world, but it works great. Apart from the items mentioned previously, it is made from a couple of rolls of duct tape & spray foam insulation. I have lagered several batches in it & I have no complaints. It could probably be made to hold 2 carboys if it was kept in a relatively cool place. - Tom Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 13:41:45 -0700 From: Jack Schmidling <arf at mc.net> Subject: Gott EM, PU (Brian Pickerill)says: Subject: RE:AG Equip (You can let go of the button now: EM vs Phill's) "Thankfully, some of our best brewing minds have figured out ways for us not to have to "hold that push button in!" :) Another JSP first. No spigot.. no button. Just for the record, the "Gott" version of the EM was not my idea and I have never used one. A retailer on the west coast was buying standard EM's and throwing away most of the hardware and selling them for coolers. He talked me into supplying only what he needed and the product was born. All we added was a bored stopper so the customer didn't have to hunt one up. One simply pokes this into the hole in the cooler and puts a hose on the end. The flow can be controller with a hose pincher or simply by lifting the end to the level that provides the proper flow. " BTW, this was my fault anyhow, and not the Phil's as I overshot my protein rest and really didn't have one to speak of. 140F for 15' then 150F for 45', w/50% wheat malt, in case you're interested--not a recommended mash schedule. Well, I'm glad you are satisfied that you found the problem but I would not bet a penny on the hypothesis. "I ended up transferring the stuck mash into a 5 gallon pot w/ Easy Masher. That was stuck at first, too. Blowing into the outlet tube didn't help. Stirring near the screen didn't help. Stirring near the screen is the best way to convert an EASYmasher into a STUCKmasher. Don't ever do it. the best cure is to stir the entire mash, blow to clear the screen and go out for a LONG beer. Rushing only makes matter worse. Remember, the screen is NOT a filter, the grain bed is. All the screen does is keep the spigot from clogging. As I have said many times, I suspect one could sparge without the screen but I don't have the chutzpa to try it. Besides, it would be bad for business. " BTW, the first thing I did when I bought the EM was to file off the ridge and de-lead the surface brass--the 'ridge' is not the source of the air in the hose.... Where else could it be coming from? Maybe a crack in the hose? "PS. I guess we'll never see an "Easy Chiller." It's hanging in my brewery. Not so easy to make but very easy to use. I just look at it and ponder how easy it is to just let it hang there and let nature cool the wort. But it's even easier if you just turn the page when you come to that part of the brewing bibles. .......... I suspect Dr Pivo will enjoy my new web page wherein I describe in abject humility, the World's Greatest Brewery. In particular, the fact that experts can't tell difference between my PU clone and the real thing. This is only reinforced by the fact that REAL connoiseurs prefer mine. js - -- Visit our WEB pages: Beer Stuff......... http://ays.net/jsp Astronomy....... http://user.mc.net/arf ASTROPHOTO OF THE WEEK..... New Every Monday Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 21:26:02 +0100 From: "Graham Wheeler" <Graham.Wheeler at btinternet.com> Subject: Bamforth's book and weak pale ale. Jeff Renner's comments on Charles Bamforth's "Art & Science of Brewing" were very welcome. However, I would suggest that Charles Bamforth is correct when he states that Export India Pale Ale was a relatively weak beer (he did use the word relatively). Certainly my limited researches on the subject came to the same conclusion. I think this is another of those cases where someone somewhere erroneously wrote that IPA's were strong beers (as one would naturally expect them to be), and it has become etched in stone ever since. Documents, particularly price lists, from various breweries for the late 1800's show that export pale ale *was* weaker than that brewed for home consumption. Export Bass pale ale of about 1887 was OG 1060-65: that for home consumption 1070-75. Unfortunately, old price lists do not give any indication of hopping rate, and trying to interpret surviving recipes is difficult. James Herbert in "The Art of Brewing", 1871, states: [India Pale Ale] "This class of ale is brewed similar to the pale ale for home consumption; the difference in the two articles being this: the export beer has less saccharine and more hops infused." He doesn't elaborate on this much, other than state that pale ale for home consumption is brewed at 26lb (1073-ish). Bamforth is incorrect, though, when states that "The export of beer first took off with the shipping of vast quantities of so-called India Pale Ale." Porter and brown beers were exported in even "vaster" quantities long before pale ale hit an ususpecting public. At it's peak 1832-33 import of pale ale into India was 12,000 bbls (UK 36 gals), and by 1835-36 this had dropped to a mere 6,780 bbls. Compare this with 23,000 bbls exported to Europe in 1787 through just one port, Hull. Figures from the London ports for the same period would certainly make 23,000 bbls look like a drop in the ocean. No doubt IPA was sold in various other parts of the world successfully, but it would seem, from an export point of view, that pale ale was never what it was cracked up to be. Graham Wheeler High Wycombe England Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 16:49:19 -0400 From: NAZELROD at tst.tracor.com (NAZELROD) Subject: re: HBD contest winners "Jim & Shelly Wagner" <wagner at toad.net> writes: >Subject: HBD contest winners > >Just a quick congradulations to the HBD subscribers who placed in the 1998 >Spirit of Free Beer Homebrew contest, especially to George De Prio and >George Fix for taking 1st and 3rd respectively in BOS...there were 439 >entries....good job guys!!! > >P.S. Gary Nazelrod....if you are out there, forgive me....I've just never >seen a post from you. > ><<<<<<Stoney Creek Brewing>>>>>> >**********Pasadena, Maryland******** > Established-1994 > ~~~~~~~~~~~~ I have been faithfully lurking for about 5 years, with very few posts. It is quite an honor to be sandwiched between The Georges for BOS. The HBD has been the most important factor in the quality of my beer. thanks Gary Nazelrod Silver Spring, MD Now back to lurk mode! (maybe I will delurk a bit more often) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 15:39:34 PDT From: "Bret Morrow" <bretmorrow at hotmail.com> Subject: Kettle outflow system; FWH Greetings, I am modifying 2 kegs into boiling kettles by adding a 1/2 inch copper outflow system with a ball valve. I have seen several versions on the web which use a stainless steel nipple welded into the keg. I do not wish to do this. It sounds extremely painful ;-> Has anyone modified their keg using off the shelf fittings? A complete list of fittings necessary and directions would be appreciated. I am also planning on adding a sight gauge. On a related note, is there any concern regarding the propane burner (35,000 BTU) unsodering the joint on the dry side of the ball valve? With regards to first wort hopping (FWH): "To Make Small Beer, Take a large sifter of Bran, Hops to your Taste, - Boil these 3 hours then strain out 30 Gallons into a Cooler..." -George Washington First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen, AND first in wort hopping TIA with my appologies for the last comment, Bret Morrow ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 19:05:14 -0400 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Alpha Acids/Color Tony Barnsley wanted to know how to measure the alpha acid content of hops. ASBC has two methods. In both step one is to extract the acids with toluene. Five grams of freshly ground hops are extracted with 100 mL toluene by shaking for 30 minutes. In the spectophotometric methoh a 5 mL aliquot of the toluene extract is diluted to 100 mL with methanol. This dilution is in turn diluted with alkaline methanol to get the absorbtion of the second dilution into the optimum range of the spectrophotometer at 325 and 355 nm. The photometer is zeroed on a blank made diluting 5 mL pure toluene using the same procedure as for the sample and the absorbance of the sample then measured at 355, 325 and 275 nm (i.e. the photometer must have UV capability). Alpha acid is determined by an equation linear in the three absorbances. A similar equation with different coefficients gives beta acid. Alternatively, alpha acids can be determined by conductimetric titration with lead acetate. Toxic pyridine is involved. Both of these seem more trouble than they are worth (but e-mail if you want more details). Another thought would be to brew identical batches of beer with a single hops addition using equal amounts of hops of known acid content and the unknown hops. Measurement of relative bitterness of the beers (acids are extracted with iso-octane and absorbance measured at 275 nm - the procedure is much simpler, nasty toluene is not involved and you have beer as a by product of the test) then gives the realtive alpha acid content of the hops. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Color relationships (H.B.S &Y, p 811): EBC = 2.65*SRM - 1.2 SRM = 0.375*EBC + 0.46 Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 23:11:27 +0000 From: "Larry N. Smith" <lnsmith at montana.com> Subject: Add the black malt late I must say, the most interesting, and possibly most useful thing I've learned on this forum lately was the concept of adding "black malts" late in the mash. I recently brewed a "clean-up" stout that differed from my previous stouts by adding roasted barley and some black patent at mash-out, rather than at the start of the mash. Upon tasting the beer tonight, as I was transferring it into the secondary, boy am I impressed at the strong aroma combined with a smoothness in flavor that I have not had previously. I must say that my recipe (if you could call it that) included a bunch of black grain, 1 lb of roasted barley and 1/2 lb of black patent, in a grain bill that totalled something like 11.5 lb to attain a SG of 1.058. I was skeptical when I tasted it tonight and was surprised with the lack of a distinctly "toasted" flavor bite. In my years of brewing (15?) I'm amazed that I didn't hear or think of this technique before. I would definitely suggest experimenting with "late" additions of black grains in the brewing of stouts, porters, or good-ol' black HOMEBREW! (on the topic of competitions, LET THE JUDGES DECIDE!) Larry in Montana Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 08:11:14 -0400 From: kpeters at ptd.net (Kevin Peters) Subject: PrimeTabs I recently saw an advertisement for these. According to the description, they are 500mg tablets of corn sugar used for bottle priming. Suggested rate is 2 to 5 tablets per bottle. Has anyone out there actually tried these, and what were the results? Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 13 Jun 98 09:26:20 -0400 From: Dave Humes <humesdg1 at earthlink.net> Subject: Starter gravity/foam retention *** starter gravity *** Why does Wyeast recommend a gravity of 1.020 - 1.030 for a starter? I can think of lots of reasons why you would't want the starter gravity to be too high, but 1.020 is less than half the gravity of most "normal" beers. I would think it would be good to get the yeast acclimated to your wort gravity while it's still in the starter. Also, wouldn't you get a somewhat higher cell count from a more normal gravity starter? What's the tradeoffs between using a low gravity starter and one closer to a more normal gravity beer? *** foam retention *** I remember a few weeks ago someone saying something about excessive foaming prior to or during fermentation (such as during aeration) making less material available for foam in the finished beer. I also recall that this was blown off as an old thread that periodically resurfaces but with no supporting data or references. Well, I was just thumbing through the new book "Beer: Tapping into the Art and Science of Brewing", by Charlie Bamforth and it seems that the author has a rather strong opinion on the subject. Let me quote from page 146: "Second, any foaming during the process [fermentation] reduces the amount of material that will survive to support the head on the finished beer in the glass. To minimize this foaming, many brewers add antifoam agents, most frequently those based on silicone. It is essential to remove them efficiently in the filtration operation; otherwise they will damage the head in the beer itself." Although I have not heard of this author prior to this writing, according to the cover flap he is a recognized authority in brewing science. In any case, I think the idea needs to be given some credibility. It's probably worth doing some tests comparing the results of aeration using pure O2 compared to air, since in order to get equivalent levels of dissolved O2, considerably more foam production results from using air. - -- - ----------------------------------------------------------- Dave Humes <humesdg1 at earthlink.net> Dave Humes - ----------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 07:45:08 +0000 From: "Steven Braun" <visualdelights at powernet.net> Subject: Whirlpool creation I am in the process of converting a 15 gallon keg into a brewing kettle. I have studied and examined every web page I could find and have a good idea of what I am doing. BTW thanks to everyone who has taken the time to create these sites, they are wonderfully helpful. What I am thinking about doing is putting a 1/2 inch stainless port about 1/3 the way up the keg wall, attaching an internal elbow and then using the pump to create a whirlpool after the boil. I would be drawing off the bottom. Will the pump at about 3 gallons a minute be able to create the vortex I need? Has anyone done this that could shed light on my theory? or should I just forget about it and have another pale ale? Steven Braun Rindshine Brewing Reno, Nevada Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 11:06:52 -0400 From: "Mark S. Johnston" <msjohnst at talon.net> Subject: Return of the Son of AHA Bashing Getting back to the spark that triggered this thread: I have attended NHC First Rounds as a judge for several years now. I've talked with the organizers each time, and assisted them a bit during the '96 and '97 comps. The problem as I see it is that the comp has actually gotten beyond the control of the AHA. No! This is not a blanket defense of the AHA. I believe that they LET it get out of control. The process involves the AHA selecting a site within the specified region. (The region being drawn as a demographic of the number of entries received during last year's NHC.) The site is usually selected based upon the location of a volunteer or volunteers who agree to host and organize the event. Sometimes the AHA approaches them, sometimes they approach the AHA. If it works out, the same person is expected to continue as host until they get sick of it. When you volunteer as a host, you are given a budget for mailing, copying, lunch for judges, and other incidentals. The AHA also provides some other materials, but nothing extra. Those of you attending sites where parties, brewery tours, dinners, or other events were staged should be aware that they were sponsored completely by the host volunteers, NOT the AHA. In some cases the budgets provided are sufficient. In other cases they are not. Last year the AHA was more responsive to increasing budgets slightly where needed. I'm not sure if that's always the case. It is a LOT of work to run a competition site with 500 to 800 (at times) entries -- even with a single bottle. It is often more work than one or two people can handle. And is relatively thankless. Judges are dissatisfied with site conditions. Entrants are disatisfied with their scoresheets. The site hosts take a good bit of flak for a lot of things beyond their control. (As does the AHA.) The burnout rate is indicated by the number of times the site changes over the years. This year the problem appeared to be that either no one volunteered, or the volunteers pulled out. In either case, the specific fault of the AHA, as I see it, was in not lining up a backup. Even at the last minute, some work could have been done to alleviate the situation. This comp has grown from 4 sites a couple years ago to 8 sites this year. The AHA needs to get better control of it if they are going to continue in this vein. I would also suggest that they, as a sponsoring organization, put a bit more into it. The entry fees are sufficiently high to offer at least a few rewards and percs to those working the comp. A free ticket to the Conference on the other side of the country is a nice gesture, but may be financially useless when travel and lodging must also be obtained. Sorry. I'll let us get back to brewing now. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 12:47:38 -0400 From: Jerry Minasi <jminasi at banet.net> Subject: RE; Alternate bottle filling Technique Comment on your HBD article. This is how I bottle my beer without leaving any beer behind: First, and most important, I have found that by using liquid yeast, that I get a very firm yeast cake. I prefer Wyeast 2112, 1007 . I use plastic pails, with a drain valve mounted about one inch above the bottom. When fermentation stops, in about a week-ten days, I can transfer to my secondary, (glass carboy), for dry hopping. I can tip the pail and drain all the clear beer off the top of the cake. Two weeks later, with a fine hop bag tied over the end of my racking cane, I syphon the beer out into the plastic pail, (Now my bottling pail). Add the priming sugar sirup, stirring gently but thoroughly so as not to aerate. I place the pail on a milk case next to my sink, hook up my bottling, spring tip filler, and fill. I too use a vacuum pump.Here's how: After cooling my wort from the boil, I strain the hops out and transfer the wort into my glass, 5 Gal. carboy. Let it stand for 2 or 3 hours. All the break material settles to the bottom one inch. I syphon out about 3/4. How much you syphon out depends on the size of you collection bottle. Then I hook up my vacuum pump, with an extra valve teed into the vacuum pump line. this is so I can immediately stop the suction. (Don't like to suck beer into the pump...Guess why I decided to add this!). The vacuum pump line is connected to the "out" tube of the drilled stopper of a two gal. collection bottle. The "in" tube of the stopper connects to my racking cane that I hold in the 5 gal glass carboy. This method give me very clean wort with no break material. All I have left in my primary, when racking, is firm, reusable yeast. I save the yeast cake in quart containers, refrigerate, and reuse in my next batch. I have stored this yeast for over two months. Keep on brewing...It just gets better! Jerry Minasi jminasi at banet.net Shirley, Long Island, NY Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 10:50:58 -0500 From: Paul Niebergall <pnieb at burnsmcd.com> Subject: Attitudes Marc wrote in HBD2739: >>No sweat man....it's not you in particular, and I apologize if it >>appeared to be aimed at you as an individual, it's just that it seems >>that the HBD (which I too rely on for help and guidance) has become a >>bashing forum for the self appointed so-called experts. (not implying >>you!) Cheers! My sentiments exactly. What particularly annoys me is the attitude of a few individuals who think it is their sole responsibility in life to respond to every question posted in the HDB. Like it is their job or something. I don't know how many times I've have read a post that begins like this: "Sorry I haven't been able to get to all of your posts lately. I've been on vacation (busy at work, in the hospital, whatever). I will try to answer all of the posts over the next few days, so please be patient........" Like anyone gives a rats *ss. Anyway, when I challenge these people (and you know who they are), I usually get a very noble response that goes something like this: "I care about home brewing and I am just trying to help further the hobby. Newbies need my advice so that the overall quality of home brew can improve and I am on the forefront of this crusade. Your sarcastic posts are are hurting all homebrewers because thay are un-scientific and may cause an unsuspecting newbie to try something different, make bad beer, become disappointed, and then drop the hobby all together" All of which sounds great and is extremely hard to argue with. Except now, after thinking about this for a couple of years, I think I have come up with a reasonable position and it goes something like this: All of the head bashing from those up on high causes homebrewers to believe that they cannot possibly brew good beer and that all of their hard efforts will be rewarded with crummy beer. This attitude is very self-defeating and can cause people to stop brewing. I would argue that more people have stopped homebrewing because it has become too complicated to enjoy than have dropped homebrewing because someone forgot to warn them about HSA. It is not the information that I dispute, it's the delivery. Anyway more sarcasm to follow ;) Dr. Pivo suggests that we should conduct an experiment to test the "no cooling effect". I say great, but we won't be able to rely on the data generated because anyone foolish enough to take part in this experiment obviously doesn't have a refined enough taste to evaluate beer properly. I suggest that all samples be sent to me. I have impeccable taste and will render my personal opinion on your beer. Also, please enclose a check for $200 dollars with each sample so that I can have the samples analyzed by GC/MS for flavor components and back up my evaluations with hard data. Anyway, sorry for the wasted bandwidth (ooh, I'm a dirty bandwidth waster). Paul Niebergall Kansas City Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 08:50:12 -0700 From: Dan Schultz <dschultz at primenet.com> Subject: Alternate Bottle Filling Technique - Vacuum Using a vacuum to pull the beer into the bottles is novel but I would try it on a few bottles first before using it on an entire batch. The vacuum will pull some of the CO2 out of solution leaving more work for the primer. Your beers will likely be flat. You can try to compensate with more priming sugar but an overdose could lead to bottle bombs. Here's a alternative solution: Get a bottling bucket that has a spigot at the bottom. No siphon hassles here. Burp, -Dan >From: "Peter J. Calinski" <PCalinski at iname.com> >Subject: Alternate Bottle Filling Technique---Comments needed.. >I am always frustrated when I bottle because I can't get all the beer at >the bottom of the bucket. If I use the choreboy or the plastic tip on a >acking cane, a lot of beer gets left behind. Without these, debris clogs >the Phil'sPhiller. I have ruined many bottles of beer trying to clear the >Philler; they get too much air. Since I have access to a vacuum pump (but >no CO2 equipment) I thought I would try something different. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 13:39:56 -0400 From: John Herman <johnvic at interport.net> Subject: stuck fermentation Recently I brewed a stout, the OG was 1.051, but after 2 weeks the FG was 1.026. I bottled it anyway, and of course it's sweet and way over carbonated. I believe the problem was a stuck fermentation. What could I have done to save this batch? Pitch more yeast? Thanks, John Herman johnvic at interport.net Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 14 Jun 1998 11:04:33 +1000 From: David Lamotte <lamotted at ozemail.com.au> Subject: Old Yeast and spores G'day Three related events seems to have converged on me over the past week or so. Firstly, I enjoyed the feedback from brewers following Peter Ryan's complaints of Old Wyeast Pack, and their successes with packs of varying antiquity. Secondly, I finally got around to us using a Bohemian Pilsener yeast packaged by an Australian Yeast company and was ashamed to find that I had been sitting on it for over a year. It was supplied in a small PET bottle with a covering of sterile wort. The deposit looked very dark and powdery, but I proceeded to pitch it into a 200 ml starter. It took about 10 days for the first signs of activity to appear, and another 4 days for full starter activity. I have now got about 10 ml of dark slurry. I am reluctant to use it, and was about to dump it when I read in "Brew Classic European Beers at Home" in the section about yeast starters on p34 "...If a yeast takes longer than three or four days to show activity, this indicates that the vegetative yeast cells have been killed somehow or have died of old age, and only the spores have survived. The spores will survive almost indefinitely and can be cultured up..." Now I have never heard of brewing yeast spores. Does anyone know if this is correct ? If so, are starters produced from spores different in any way from 'normal' yeast, mutated etc. Could this account for my sloooooow starter ? Any thoughts or information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks David Lamotte Brewing Down Under in Newcastle NSW Australia. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 09:47:48 -0700 From: "Randy Erickson" <RANDYE at mid.org> Subject: AHA Whining An additional thought: I had the pleasure of meeting and judging two flights at the western Regionals in Nevada City, CA with Amahl Turczan (sp?) of AHA. A nice guy, and a knowledgeable judge. When I expressed surprise that the AHA had sent reps to the Regionals and asked if they had someone at each site, Amahl replied "No, just two" --- himself here and one other out East. I think that I had always been under the impression that the AHA has a huge staff dedicated to accomplishing their nefarious goals, but it may be that they are actually a rather small organization. Presumably, there is not a lot of cash left over after paying Charley's salary! Not that this in any way excuses or makes up for the shortcomings, but I know that I had a different perspective than what the real situation is. Unfortunately, Amahl has taken a real (brewing) job and is by now ex-AHA. From what I gather, the AHA intends to not replace him, so even more of the work (and no doubt criticism) will fall on Brian Rezac. Randy in Modesto Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 00:48:24 -0400 From: Anthony Capocelli <acapocelli at pol.net> Subject: Oops ! This is a group therapy letter ! I was brewing what looks like a wonderful 4 gallon batch of Brown Ale ! It was actually six gallons but as I was racking into the primary from my kettle I made the mistake of turning away for a few minutes and suddenly noticed a lovely cool brown liquid creeping quietly around my feet which after a moment of silent introspection I realized was likely my wonderful brown ale. I turned to see a puddle the size of the great salt lake ( and now equally as useless) surrounding my fermenter and slowly expanding like the rising tide occassionally does up my street. I tossed the tubing back over the fermentor, threw around a hundred four letter words, blamed the disaster on my wife and went on to pitch the yeast. Question, is there anyone else as dopey as I ? Thanks for listening, I feel better now? Tony C. Broad Channel, NY Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 14 Jun 1998 23:53:45 -0400 From: PDWaltman <awapuhoq at mindspring.com> Subject: BJCP Exam It seems that the Study Guide for the BJCP Exam makes it clear it is important to know commerical examples to common beer styles. My question is the various study guides seem to list the brewery at times, and other times the name of the Beer. Which is expected for the exam? Also when dealing with Commercial Styles that have a geographical necessity in the name for beers sold (such as Lambic, Kolch, etc.), is it then by necessity that only those Commercial Styles from that region are looked for, i.e. A Kolch-style beer out of its region; or a made-like-a-Lambic from Great Britain. Thanks in Advance Dennis Waltman Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 14 Jun 1998 21:40:06 -0700 From: Jim Liddil <jliddil at azcc.arizona.edu> Subject: So Jethro is the new spokesperson? >From: "Rob Moline" <brewer at ames.net> >Subject: The Jethro Gump Report > > The Jethro Gump Report > >New AHA Director Appointed.... > Paul Gatzo, proprietor of the Boulder, Colorado, homebrew shop, "What's >Brewing," has been appointed to the position of AHA Director, effective in >about 6 weeks, Jethro's southeastern correspondent reports..... > You read it here first.......on the Jethro Gump Report! > Jethro welcomes Paul aboard, and wishes him the best in his new position. I >can guarantee one thing, he has a damn fine staff. So the AOB/AHA can't see fit to tell us about Jim Parker resigning in the summer Zymurgy and here you are telling us about the new director before it appears on the AOB web site or TechTalk. And having now finished both Altbier and Barleywine (the new BP books) I have to do a 180 and say Altbier really is badly written. Al K should have fun with this one. And maybe Russ W. can show the AHA how to run a successful homebrew competition in oregon. Better Brewing Session: How to Hold a Successful Homebrew Competition Russ Wigglesworth, director of the Beer Judge Certification Program, will offer his insights into what it takes to put on a first-class homebrew competition. He'll cover everything from rounding up judges to sending out scoresheets after the event. Jim Liddil Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 1998 07:39:21 -0500 From: Clint Thessen <cthessen at mdc.com> Subject: Polycar - My Datapoint Hi Folks! James Tomlinson writes about the use of Polycar... dry or wet, add to beer warm or cold, before or after dry hopping. Obviously, I can only speak from my short experience with the stuff, once (I told you it was short). I typically have clear beer before it goes in the fridge prior to consumption. However, I am usually afflicted with chill haze. (Right now... I still am doing partial mashes. Just looking for a good cooler to make the switch) I actually had bought a package of polycar for my Mom's peach brandy (very yummy I might add... the brandy you jokers) but she didn't use it. So, I decided to use it for a batch of red ale. Right, wrong or indifferent; I put the Polycar in a pot with about a pint of water and boiled it for about 10 minutes. (it didn't stick to the bottom). I chilled it, and then added it to the beer a couple of days prior to bottling. The beer temp was in the upper 60's F. Performed my normal bottling and aging ritual. Pulled from the fridge the first bottle and it was clear... very satisfying. No ill effects that I could perceive. Will I use it again? Sure, if I ever remember to pick some up before I bottle a batch. Just my datapoint. On another note. I bottled a bavarian weizen last week. I used wyeast bavarian dunkle weizen yeast and for the first time I was able to keep my ferment temps in the upper 60's F during the summer. I tasted a little and perceived a good clovey taste yet didn't catch a whiff of bananas. Will this aroma increase with age or will I need to use a different yeast or different ferment temps. The recipe hilights are 6lbs of 45/55 wheat DME, 1lb 60L crystal (or is that carmel : ) ), 1lb of 2-row, and 2 oz of Saaz. I know, the crystal probably isn't right for the style... but I just wanted to know how it would taste. Da Svedanya Clint Thessen O'Fallon, MO (Just 40 miles WNW of Anheiser Busch) Home of the River City Rascals - Old Tyme Baseball Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 1998 08:42:51 -0400 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Re: AHA Lee, I fully sympathize with your experience. You write: > Lately in general it's been difficult to recruit people to judge > and steward ... I can't help but think that one of the reasons for this is that the number of competitions, and the total number of entries in those competitions, is increasing faster than the number of judges. I know it's true around here. We went from one summer competition (State Fair) to 3 in the last 3 years. All three of these are scheduled within a one month period, and all three are connected to other events, so they can't be rescheduled. Naturally, this divides and exhausts the judge population. =Spencer Thomas in Ann Arbor, MI (spencer at umich.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 1998 08:49:46 -0400 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Re: Blueberry vs. Raspberry? >>>>> "Alan" == Alan Folsom <folsom at ix.netcom.com> writes: Alan> ... Blueberry gives a Alan> very subtle flavor which fades overtime to an indistinct Alan> fruitiness. I recently had a wonderful blueberry *wine* (from Earle Estates Meadery, near Seneca Lake, in New York State). I asked, and she said that they crushed blueberries and used the juice alone. It had an interesting nutmeg undertone which, she said, came from the seeds. I don't know where you'd get "cold pressed" blueberry juice, nor how much you'd need to use to get good blueberry character in your beer. I'd guess at least 20%, though. I bet it would be expensive. :-) =Spencer Thomas in Ann Arbor, MI (spencer at umich.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 1998 08:59:03 -0400 From: Spencer W Thomas <spencer at engin.umich.edu> Subject: Re: Testing momilies When comparing the results of brewing experiments, the *triangle test* provides a good protocol to follow. First, the test should be blind -- someone else should pour the beers, and you should have no hint as to which is which. Second, *three* glasses should be poured. Two of them have one of the beers, and the third has the other. You should NOT know which is which, of course. You then taste, sniff, etc., and record your impressions of *all three* glasses. Then, if you've found differences between the beers, you count the difference ONLY if you did NOT find it between the two that are the same and you DID find it with the different beer. The idea is to reduce "random" taste effects. Of course, you should also have more than one taster so you can combine results for higher reliability. =Spencer Thomas in Ann Arbor, MI (spencer at umich.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 1998 08:08:57 -0500 From: lordofbrewing at webtv.net (Dan Pillsbury) Subject: FWH I'm appealing to the wisdom of the collective on a question on FWHing. >From my understanding of the process the aroma constituents of the hops are somehow bound within the wort prior to the boil. Having recently moved from the kitchen to the great outdoors thanks to a Brinkman cooker I now have the capability to have the wort boiling as it runs from the sparge. My question is, to gain the full effects of FWH should I wait until the sparge is done and full volume is collected before the wort to a boil? Is boiling the wort too early in the process driving off any benefits which are gained from FWH? Brewing the good life without the AHA in Omaha, Dan Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 1998 10:40:46 -0400 From: Bill Giffin <billg at ctel.net> Subject: Words of wisdom "Sour flavors - Don't blame the products, Face up to the fact that your procedures are not sanitary enough. Bacteria infections often enhanced by warm brewery temperatures, and sluggish fermentiations is to blame for sour beer. " Isn't that advice just wonderful? Bill Return to table of contents
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