HOMEBREW Digest #2797 Fri 14 August 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

  In Memorium (David Houseman)
  The Sulfite Files... (ALAN KEITH MEEKER)
  RE: PIZZA PAN FALSE BOTTOM (Robert Arguello)
  What am I tasting? (Danny Breidenbach)
  Michigan Brewpub Report (EFOUCH)
  Post Script (EFOUCH)
  Brewing Water ("30hollywood")
  Oooooooo! Lookit the colors! (pbabcock)
  Post Script (pbabcock)
  Nitrogen ("Olin J. Schultz")
  Hops - why dry them? (Ian Smith)
  100+ IBUs (Al Korzonas)
  Sulfites (again!)/"histamine headaches"/log,exp growth (ALAN KEITH MEEKER)
  Oak Casks and Flavour (Al Korzonas)
  Re: No Boil ("Philip J Wilcox")
  Misinformation (Al Korzonas)
  Counterpressure bottle fillers (LaBorde, Ronald)
  pub crawling, carbonation. ("Bryan L. Gros")
  Bottle sanitation ("John Watts")
  Magnetic stir plates and starters ("Mike Fitzpatrick")
  Beat the Dead Horse (Kyle Druey)

Let a good beer be the exclamation point at the end of your day as every sentence deserves proper punctuation... NOTE NEW HOMEBREW ADDRESS: hbd.org Send articles for __publication_only__ to post@hbd.org (Articles are published in the order they are received.) If your e-mail account is being deleted, please unsubscribe first!! To SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE send an e-mail message with the word "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" to request@hbd.org. **SUBSCRIBE AND UNSUBSCRIBE REQUESTS MUST BE SENT FROM THE E-MAIL **ACCOUNT YOU WISH TO HAVE SUBSCRIBED OR UNSUBSCRIBED!!! IF YOU HAVE SPAM-PROOFED your e-mail address, the autoresponder and the SUBSCRIBE/UNSUBSCRIBE commands will fail! For "Cat's Meow" information, send mail to brewery at hbd.org Homebrew Digest Information on the Web: http://hbd.org Requests for back issues will be ignored. Back issues are available via: Anonymous ftp from... ftp://hbd.org/pub/hbd/digests ftp://ftp.stanford.edu/pub/clubs/homebrew/beer AFS users can find it under... /afs/ir.stanford.edu/ftp/pub/clubs/homebrew/beer JANITORS on duty: Pat Babcock and Karl Lutzen (janitor@hbd.org)
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 21:06:23 -0400 (EDT) From: David Houseman <dhousema at cccbi.org> Subject: In Memorium It just came to my attention that a fellow brewer and BJCP judge that I've known since I began to brew and judge, Mark Johnston, was killed in an automobile accident on July 31, 1998. He leaves a wife and at least one child. Mark was a National judge working toward his Master rating. There hasn't been any organization identified to which to make donations. I will then at least tip a homebrew in his honor. It may not be the Big Brew, but join me if you will. Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 12:24:35 -0400 (EDT) From: ALAN KEITH MEEKER <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: The Sulfite Files... SCENE 6, Take 2: Inside a dimly lit wharehouse within a top secret government complex located deep in the bowels of a mountain. Mulder has gained access by picking the $3 Master Lock at the door with a bobby pin. SCULLY (hesitating at the open door) "Mulder, what are you doing?! We're not authorized to enter this facility." MULDER "The truth is in here Scully. I have to find out what they're hiding from us. You can stay out here if you want to but I'm going in." [Scully shakes her head, and follows Mulder through the door. Inside we see a huge dimly lit storage facility with racks stacked to the ceiling and extending off as far as the eye can see.] SCULLY (astonished and confused) "Mulder, what is all this?" MULDER "The answer Scully. The truth." [Mulder reaches forward and pulls off the shelf one of the seemingly infinite number of glass bottles stacked there. Camera zooms in to reveal a bottle of red wine. Mulder closely examines the labelling on the bottle.] MULDER "This is it Scully, the prooof we've been looking for." SCULLY "Mulder, this is the same wine we found next to the oil-coated body of that mass murderer in Atlanta." MULDER "And Congressman Watkins, and in Cancer Man's apartment, and... in my Sister's bedroom just after her abduction." SCULLY "Mulder, this just doesn't make any sense, what does it all mean?" MULDER "Isn't it clear to you what's going on here Scully? Look... (indicates warning label on bottle that the wine contains SULFITES)." How many more labels do you have to see before you believe? There are agents of deception at the highest levels of the government, shadow figures bent on preventing the citizens of this country from consuming alcoholic beverages. They nearly succeeded during Prohibition but had to go underground when they were thwarted by people who had discovered the truth. Now they're re-emerging, using connections they made with the Nazis in the 1940's. JFK was on to them but they had him eliminated. For awhile they were based at Area 51 until the 1970s when they were forced to move due to rumors of secret UFO tests being conducted there." SCULLY "Mulder what you're saying is crazy." MULDER "Is it Scully? There are powerful forces at work here, they've infiltrated every level of the government, including the FDA. They want to scare people away from drinking alcohol." SCULLY "But why Mulder, why would anyone want to do that?" MULDER "An invasion, from outside our solar system. Hyperintelligent coackroaches from another dimension are massing to take over the planet. Consumption of alcohol makes a person immune to their mind control rays." SCULLY "Mulder that's ridiculous! The warning label is just to caution people who may be sensitive to sulfites. There's no nefarious uber-conspiracy at work here." MULDER "Is that right Scully? Then how do you explain the fact that the labelling went into effect at the same time as the Challanger disaster? How do you explain the sudden turn around in testimony by Monica Lewinsky at precisely the same time that sulfite use is being discussed on the HBD? These aren't coincidences Scully - they're diversions carefully orchestrated to obscure the truth. The American wine lobby is powerful and wants to discourage the drinking of French wines so it's putting the sulfite labels on the wines to frighten the American public." SCULLY "Wait, I thought you said it was alien Nazi cockroaches??" MULDER "Scully it doesn't matter *what* the conspiracy theory is just that there *is* a conspiracy theory. No matter how paranoid you are you're not paranoid enough." Suddenly the lights black out. Creepy violin music cues up... SCULLY "Mulder what's going on? Mulder it feels like cockroaches are crawling up my pants!! MULDER (breaking open one of the wine bottles) "Quick Scully! Drink this!..." TO BE CONTINUED Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 09:25:41 -0700 (PDT) From: Robert Arguello <robertac at jps.net> Subject: RE: PIZZA PAN FALSE BOTTOM Badger asked about perforated pizza pans: >I recently read a couple of things that said something about using >perforated pizza pans from walmart or similar places as a false bottom. has >anyone done this? anyone know where to get them other than walmart in the >seattle area? and would they work well for Sankey Converted kegs? (i still >have to convert mine, and am researching cheap and effective false bottoms.. >badger When I set up my RIMS, I ran out of money before I purchased a SS false bottom for my lauter/mash tun. As a temporary fix I purchased one of those perforated 12 inch "AIR BAKE" pizza pans from Walmart. I drilled a bunch more hole in the thing (3/32 nds) and a single large hole in the middle for my pickup tube to pass thru. The pan tried to float on me the first time, so I put a SS hose clamp and washer on the pickup tube. When the pan and tube are installed in the keg, the clamp and washer are above the pan and hold the pan in place. As I said, this was supposed to be a temporary fix, but after many many batches in this rig I am still using it. I also added one to my boiler and it helps keep the vast majority of hops out of my fermenter. One of these days I will find the bucks for a SS screen, but the pizza pan is working just fine. My efficiency in this RIMS runs 80% according to "ProMash". ******************************************************************** Robert Arguello <robertac at jps.net> CORNY KEGS FOR SALE! $12.00 each http://www.jps.net/robertac/keg.htm ProMash Brewers' Software - http://www.jps.net/robertac/promash ******************************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 12:51:07 -0400 From: Danny Breidenbach <DBreidenbach at nctm.org> Subject: What am I tasting? Let me state up front that I'm a complete ignoramoos when it comes to the nuances of tasting. My tasting notes often look like: "Yummy, but too much hops." So in what follows, I'm going to be (admittedly) VERY vague. Apologies, and I hope I can still get a answer to my questions (or at least some good guesses). I had a Nut Brown Ale at Brewer's Alley in Frederick, Maryland the other day that was fan-damn-tastic. I hit the Old Dominion Brew Pub with some regularity, drink pretty fresh (when I can) bottles stuff from hither and yon, always drink the local beer when traveling, etc. The brown from Brewer's Alley had a fresh sort of taste to it that reminded me of some of the best beers I ever got when back in the Portland, OR area ---- also a bit like some damn fine home brews I had (my own and my friends') back when I got my start around 1990 or so. What I'm wondering is what could have been so pleasant in the nut-brown that I wouldn't get at Old Dominion drinking a brown, or at any other good brew-pub ...... could it be that the beer was just exceptionally fresh? I'll mention that the beer was your basic nut-brown ale ---- not cask conditioned, not made with funky ingredients, just your basic malt-hops-yeast-water type beer. The main reason I'm looking for an answer here is so I can actively seek out this fine quality in other beers ---- that's why I'm hoping it's not simply fresh-beer. Besides, ain't what I'm drinking other places fresh? And BTW, my latest home-brews don't have this quality even when I drink 'em almost embarrassingly young. Thanks for answers or WAGs. And anyone familiar with Brewer's Alley Nut Brown: any pointers to similar stuff? - --Danny Return to table of contents
Date: 12 Aug 1998 13:15:44 -0400 From: EFOUCH at steelcase.com Subject: Michigan Brewpub Report Steve Alexander said: Perhaps I didn't state my point clearly enough. To reiterate, we need to communicate which are the good, the bad, and the ugly breweries over this forum Which reminds, me it's time for another installment of my Michigan Brewpub Review! (Don't worry, Alannnn and Phil- I won't pick on Harpers, or menial laborers) ;( On a side note regarding my previous comments about Harpers in Lansing (which drew a bit of fire- Sam- check out HBD's 2618, 2620, 2624 (my favorite) and 2626): I have tasted the cardboardy oxidation off taste in another newly started brewpub which went away quickly. Perhaps in the course of training staff how to properly fill the kegs? Oops!- thinking out loud again. Haven't been back to Harpers since. Don't get out that way much. Anyway, My "tasting notes" on local MI breweries: Grand Rapids Brewing Company. (single yeast facility- 1056) West Michigan's premier brewery of the pre-prohibition days. Their Silver Foam, a light colored fruity ale was gaining National fame before prohibition shut down the brewery. Current offerings include Silver Foam, River City Red, and Lumberman Dark. A rotating fruit and spice beer is always on tap, with seasonal variance. Personally, I think their beer has been lackluster, or "hit and miss" since brewmaster Mark Stehl moved on. Robert Thomas Brewing Co. - Grand Rapids (at least two strains) "Restoring the Local Brewing Tradition one Beer at a Time" And doing a good job, too. With three initial offerings, these guys are doing quite well. Hefe-Weizen- an authentic German style wheat really nails the style, with an authentic wheat yeast strain. Their Kings Cross Porter is a good porter, with a faint chocolate flavor. The Par 5 Pale Ale is a little light on the hops, perhaps, but that's just me. Bob's House of Brews- Grand rapids (multiple yeast strains) This guy (Dennis Holland) has got guts! He started serving Cask Conditioned Ales with no apologies- cellar temp. low carbonation and extra hops. A different style every Wednesday. One of his cask conditioning ales accidentally got carried up to the third floor of the BOB (Big Old Building, housing five different restaurant/bars) when they ran out of Bud. They were surprised and not pleased to get a mug full of cloudy, flat, warm beer. Dennis changed the locks on his brewery the next day. Best brewpub I've been to. His Saaz Pils is UNBELIEVABLY good until it drops bright (all his beers are unfiltered), then it is only believably good. Other offerings: Dutch Treat Wheat-(American style), Weatherball Red ESB, Festive Amber (a less hopped version of his IPA), IPA, Broomaster Stout, Smokey Scotch Ale, and Gran Prix Ale, a smooth 13 malt endeavor. It's ALL good! Big Buck's Brewery Grand Rapids (single yeast strain- shipped down from Gaylord after a few generations) I haven't had a beer there that I liked. Friends have told me they like it more than GRBC (see above), so maybe it's a matter of taste. I think the brewmaster slipped during a brew club tour when he said that they use corn and rice adjuncts in all their brews, and they yeast is "second use" yeast from Gaylord, the origin of the Big Buck chain. Just doesn't seem to me that rice and corn should go in ALL styles of beer. Arena Brewing Co. Grand Rapids(not sure about the yeasts used) I have not talked with the brewer yet, but I think he knows what the heck he's doing. This is the place where I tasted oxidation in three of his beers all on the same night (shortly after they opened). Since then, I have not found it again. Golden Pale Ale- a light German interpretation of the style- Light and refreshing. Arena Pale Ale- haven't tried it. Steel Head Red- Good toasty flavor, sweet finish. Porter Delux- The next beer I'll try- Sounds good. Dortmunder Export-Good malty rich flavor. Yummy! Seasonal Saison- A citrusy Belgian brew. Pretty good when I first had it, last night it tasted a bit funky, more acidic and was headless. Perhaps it doesn't age well. North Peak Brewing Co. Traverse City (single strain) I was singularly unimpressed with any of their offerings. Oxidative off flavors and diacetyl. The darker brews were better, probably due to masking the off flavors. Tried their seasonal Cherry Blossom Wheat (Berliner style): Something went terribly wrong! I tasted no cherries, but it did taste like a spoonful of butter had been mixed into my glass! Is this what "Berliner Style" means? It tasted like 1056 in all their brews, with some flavor flaws. Mackinaw Brewing Co. Traverse City (single strain) Marginally better than North Peak. No serious flavor flaws, but not much flavor either. The Pig Stout (dry) was the beer I liked best followed by their Beadles Best Bitter. Traverse Brewing Co. Williamsburg (go figure) A micro with a tasting room. Free samples! I wish I hadn't golfed all my money away, and could have bought a bottle of each offering: The samples came from already opened bottles and the flavor suffered from being flat, and somewhat oxidized. The one that I had from a new bottle was very tasty- Their flagship, Manitou Brand Amber Ale. Didn't get a chance to sample their Traverse Brewing Company Stout- none on hand. I'll look for them on the shelves (you should too, Steve!) Sleeping Bear Brown Ale- Hard to tell from the bottle dregs, but I don't really like this "style" anyway. Old Mission Lighthouse Ale- A good pale ale that I would like to be hopped heavier, but that's why I homebrew. So, to summarize, Good (bordering on great-in order of preference) _______________________________________________ Bob's house of Brews Arena B.C. Robert Thomas B.C. Traverse B.C. Bad (but maybe it's just ME) ____________________________ G.R.B.C. Mackinaw B.C. Big Buck's Ugly (There's something more than oxidation going on here!) __________________________________________________________ North Peak B.C. OK- so I don't make my living brewing beer, and maybe all these guys are way better than me. I'm not trying to put them out of business, or tell anybody to not go there. Just thought I would share my opinions (Steve TOLD me too!) Eric Fouch "Destroying the Michigan Brewing Community- One Brewery at a Time" Kentwood, MI Return to table of contents
Date: 12 Aug 1998 13:16:48 -0400 From: EFOUCH at steelcase.com Subject: Post Script PS-I don't think It's fair that Pat Babcock gets to repond to posts right away, while the rest of of have to respond a few days later! Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 13:18:10 -0400 From: "30hollywood" <30hollywood at email.msn.com> Subject: Brewing Water I have recently received the Annual Water Supply Statement from my town (Rockville Centre, NY). I would like opinions on the quality of the water for homebrewing. All list Average found. Aresnic <0.002 Barium <0.004 Cadmium <0.001 Chromium <0.005 Fluoride <0.03 Lead <0.0015 Mercury <0.0005 Selenium <0.005 Silver <0.005 *** *** *** *** Ammonia as N <0.085 Chloride 11.86 Copper <0.02 Foaming Agents <0.05 Iron 0.565 Manganese <0.02 Nitrate as N 0.185 Nitrite as N <0.01 Sodium 6.3 Sulfate 9.01 Zinc <0.01 *** *** *** *** *** *** Calcium Hardness 29.5 Langlier Index -1.41 pH 7.5 Total Alkalinity 28.8 Total Dissolved Solids 53.0 Total Hardness 19.4 Thanx, Ellery Samuels 30 Hollywood Brewery Private e-mail is okay 30hollywood at msn.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1970 12:25:07 -0400 (EDT) From: pbabcock <pbabcock at mail.oeonline.com> Subject: Oooooooo! Lookit the colors! Like, greetings all you groovy cats! Take me to your Champale... Wow, man! What a totally grooovy solution! Man! I can dig Jeff's advice for, like, preventing my pc from going square on me. Wow. Thanks, man. Peace, brothers and sisters! And power to the people... (Have A Nice Day! :) Pat in the brew commune of Norfolk Virginia (Were it only Woodstock! Seems like just last year...) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 12:42:58 -0400 (EDT) From: pbabcock <pbabcock at mail.oeonline.com> Subject: Post Script Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager..... Eric Fouch opines: > PS-I don't think It's fair that Pat Babcock gets to repond to posts right > away, while the rest of of have to respond a few days later! Pbbbbbbllllllllttttttttt! -p Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 10:53:00 -0700 From: "Olin J. Schultz" <beerx3 at ix.netcom.com> Subject: Nitrogen Does anybody know to what percentage Nitrogen is soluble in a liquid, if at all? Or a good source for information on this? I know they use Nitrogen on draft wine systems because it does not go into solution and on long draw beer systems for the same reason. Cheers, Olin Schultz Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 12:15:26 -0600 From: Ian Smith <isrs at cmed.com> Subject: Hops - why dry them? Does anyone have any experience in pitching hops right off the vine? I realize that they contain lots of water and I will have to adjust my pitching rates accordingly. Why do we pick hops, go to great lengths to dry them and then re-hydrate them again in boiling wort? Ian Smith Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 13:28:00 -0500 (CDT) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: 100+ IBUs Jason writes, quoting me: >+ Unless they add bitterness via isomerised hop extract, it's physically >+ impossible to get much over 100 IBUs. The solubility of isoalpha acids in >+ hot wort is only 120 mg/l and you lose a *lot* of that via break and during >+ fermentation. My guess is that it's difficult to *reach* 100 IBUs let alone >+ surpass it. > >What's your source on that? I've heard this mentioned before, I even >pasted it one a couple times. Now I'm wondering who said and what they >based their comments on. > >I was in Houston for the PAE lab testing. Louis Bonham did IBU essays >for the beers and a couple others as well. One was a barleywine that >weighed in at 115 IBUs. Someone needs to inform that brewer his beer is >not possible. My source is The Practical Brewer, published by the MBAA. I believe it's on-line somewhere. There is the possibility that the beer only lost 5 IBUs during fermentation, but that's unlikely. There is also the possibility that the error in measurement increases with increasing absorption (these devices were designed to test beers like Bud with a whopping 12 IBUs!). What's accuracy of that equipment, Louis? Finally, there is the possibility that the brewer added bitterness via isomerised hop extract (as I noted in my original post). Can you find out? Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 14:32:09 -0400 (EDT) From: ALAN KEITH MEEKER <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: Sulfites (again!)/"histamine headaches"/log,exp growth "Oh no, not more Sulfite stuff!" Seriously though, Dick Dunn posted (don't you just *hate* it when a response starts this way?) __________________________ Back to "nonsense": The warnings are applied selectively to wines.Other foods which contain much higher sulfite levels are NOT subject to warnings. I wouldn't mind seeing blanket warnings at some specific level, but what I (and a lot of other folks) object to is seeing a warning on a wine bottle which will give somebody x amount of sulfite if he drinks half a bottle, but not on a salad bar where he'll get (say) 3x amount of sulfite from the lettuce in a typical salad. Why do the warnings work this way? Because there are folks who really don't want you to drink alcohol, but they can't get at you directly, so they use indirect ploys like "contains sulfites". _____________________ Well, the reason there isn't a warning on salads is that the use of sulfites is apparently BANNED outright for fresh fruits and vegetables so no warning should be necessary... The FDA estimates that one out of a hundred people are sulfite sensitive, and that 5 percent of those who have asthma are also at risk of suffering an adverse reaction to the substance. >From a 1996 FDA document: "Complicating matters, scientists have not pinpointed the smallest concentration of sulfites needed to provoke a reaction in a sensitive or allergic person. FDA requires food manufacturers and processors to disclose the presence of sulfitiing agents in concentrations of at least 10 parts per million, but the threshold may be even lower. The assay used to detect the level of sulfites in food is not sensitive enough to detect amounts less than 10 ppm in all foods so that's what the regulation has to be based on..." "When the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act was ammended in 1958 to regulate preservatives and other food additives, FDA considered sulfites to be generally recognized as safe (GRAS). But, when FDA reevaluated their safety and proposed to affirm the GRAS status of sulfiting agents in 1982, the agency received neumerous reports from consumers and the medical community regarding adverse health reactions. In response, FDA contracted with the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) to examine the link between sulfites and reported health problems that ranged from chest tightness or difficulty breathing to hives to fatal anaphylactic shock." "In 1985, FASEB concluded that sulfites are safe for most people, but pose a hazard of unpredictable severity to asthmatics and to others who are sensitive to these preservatives. Based on this report, FDA took the following regulatory actions in 1986: Prohibited the use of sulfites to maintain color and crispness on fruits and vegetables meant to be eaten raw (for instance, restaurant salad bars or fresh produce in the supermarket). Required companies to list on product labels sulfiting agents that occur at concentrations of 10ppm or higher, and any sulfiting agents that had a technical or functional effect in food (for instance, as a preservative) regardless of the amount present. (This labeling requirement was extended to standardized foods, such as pickles and bottled lemon juice, in 1993). "FDA requires that the presence of sulfites be disclosed on labels of packaged food (although manufacturers need not specify the particular agent used). This information will be included in the ingredient portion of the label, along with the function of the sulfiting agent in the food (for instance, a preservative)." "When food is sold unpackaged in bulk form (as with a barrel of dried fruit or loose, raw shrimp at the fresh fish counter), store managers must post a sign or some other type of labeling that lists the food's ingredients on the container or at the counter so that consumers can determine whether a product was treated with a sulfiting agent." ... So, if someone's getting a dose of sulfites from their trip to the salad bar it's because someone is not obeying FDA regulations NOT because the labelling laws are inconsistent in this case. Why do wines have a sulfite label while other foods only have to include sulfites in the ingredients list? My guess is this is because wines as a rule don't have ingredient lists so to indicate the presence of sulfites they have to include a specific notice. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> On the subject of headaches due to red wine (and other foods) and their causes there is a good review by G.A. Settipane titled "The Restaurant Syndromes" the ref is: N. Engl. Reg. Allergy Proc. 1987 Jan; 8(1):39-46. ..."severe headache or hypertension can result from ingestion of naturally occuring amines, such as tyramine (cheese, red wine) and phenylethylamine (chocolate)." >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> "Log phase" vs "Exponential phase" In practice, these terms are used interchangeably, at least in every lab I've ever been in that grows either bacteria or yeast. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Happy Brewing! -Alan Meeker Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 13:32:51 -0500 (CDT) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: Oak Casks and Flavour Joe writes: > In the old days, beer was lagered in kegs that were >lined inside with pitch, which kept the beer away from >the wood. (Except in Belgium). Maybe in the old days, but not in the new days. The first question I asked in the cooper's shop at The Old Brewery - Tadcaster (Samuel Smith's) is "Are the casks line with pitch?" The answer was: "No... absolutely not... raw wood." I'll just mention again, that Samuel Smith's OBB and Museum Ale [RIP] tasted at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese in London (very far from Tadcaster) had *no* oak character and I was LOOKING for it. > Some of the kegs you can buy today may come from the >distilleries. These are straight oak that was burned >inside, and the bourbon gets it's flavor from the >interface between the burned and the non-burned oak. > That would NOT be the right kind of keg to use for >your beer. (Unless it's a lambic). That would be completely wrong for a Lambic. Again, Lambic is typically fermented in used wine casks which are unlined and uncharred (although some can be toasted). Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 14:37:04 -0400 (EDT) From: ALAN KEITH MEEKER <ameeker at welchlink.welch.jhu.edu> Subject: OAK in beer Just wanted to thank the MANY people who responded (both public and private) to my question concerning the use of oak. I got a lot of great suggestions and am going to put them to good use soon! Thanks! -Alan - ------------------------------------------------------------------ "Graduate school is the snooze button on the alarm clock of life." -Jim Squire -Alan Meeker Johns Hopkins Hospital Dept. of Urology (410) 614-4974 __________________________________________________________________ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 15:03:39 -0400 From: "Philip J Wilcox"<pjwilcox at cmsenergy.com> Subject: Re: No Boil From: Philip J Wilcox at CMS on 08/12/98 03:03 PM Mike Allred and Sam Mize contemplate on no-boil beers. Well, guys, it can be done. It has been done. And, I have done it. In fact i'll go out on a limb and say it was probably done that way for hundreds of years...in ancient Sumaria.... But seriously folks, During Big Brew 98, the all grainers decided to keep sparging and combine worts to make an additional batch. Well, the sun went down and the brewers got hungry, and the extra carboy of wort just stood there patiently waiting to be boiled. We decided to flip a coin to see who would get to take it home to play with. Nobody had any coins after we paid for dinner, which was OK since nobody wanted the wort anyway. Since it was my carboy I stuffed a cheese cloth in it and shoved it into the van. Sunday came and went, so did Monday and Tuesday for that matter. Wed there were signs of spontaneous fermentation going on. (how is that for a wort test!) By Friday there was a 2" head on it. Eventually I found an airlock for it. A week or so later I added 2 lbs of Liquid wheat malt extract in hope this might turn out to be an American Lambic. When I finally racked my Big Brew out of the primary, I pitched most of the yeast cake into p-lambic, and took it down to the basement from the garage. (Far from my brewing stuff). Shopping at the local hardware store, I discovered they once sold homebrew supplies. Among the old and dusty stuff were some hops. Packaged in a clear plastic bag, the were listed only as Bullion Hops. The were well oxidized. Almost brown in color. Those behind the label were more green than brown. I'm guessing 4+ years old. Ever smell a half eaten bag of Cheeto's that's been in the back window of black car for the month of July? That's what these smelled like. Cheeeeezy!! I took them home and waited for my wife to be out of the house for few hours. I then boiled them is as little water as possible. This didn't work so well so I moved up to a larger pot and boiled that down to a smaller volume for about an hour or so. I then strained and cooled the hop tea and added that to the American p-Lambic So, all you Lambic-digest lurkers what do you think the odds of it being drinkable are? My assumption is about 10%. So I only have a carboy and 7$ invested it, so its an experiment. What fun! Here are some questions. Is it worth the outrageous price of pure cultures to insure that the right Brett and Lacto got in there? How long before its "done"? Anybody want some??? Phil Wilcox President-Prison City Brewers aka. the Poison Frog Home Brewer (ironic in this context isn't it?) PS. My favorite 3 Local beers are Roffe's Stout, Bells 3,000 (old ale), and BrewBakers Pale Ale PPS. Goose Island isn't local for me, but the Summertime Ale was great. They claim its a Koelsh. How accurate of a representation is it? Al? Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 14:25:44 -0500 (CDT) From: Al Korzonas <korz at xnet.com> Subject: Misinformation Robert writes: >I did not respond publicly a week ago when Al Korzonas declared that my >method of Counter Pressure Bottle Filling would result in "Gushers. >Guaranteed!!". But I will now... >Nonsense! I don't recall the details, but I call them as I see them. I have nothing to gain from discrediting you methods. My intent it simply to warn readers of potential problems. It is part of the natural, honest flow of brewing information that we call the Homebrew Digest. I suspect that there was something you left out in your counterpressure bottle-filling procedures that you do that prevents your beer from being overcarbonated as anyone armed with Alan's charts can clearly see. Wait... it's coming back to me (you see, in addition to the HBD, I also answer 10 or 20 private questions every week... a practice I may have to discontinue if it increases significantly). In your procedure, you said that you connect the CO2 and crank it up to something like 20psi. We discussed this offline, didn't we? You explained that you do not keep the beer *AT* 20-something psi and 30-somthing degrees F for any lenght of time. This information was *OMITTED* from the original post. As posted, it could be interpreted as I did... that the beer is allowed to stabilise at that temperature and pressure. This *would* result in gushers... *guaranteed*. I stand by that. >A couple of days ago someone mentioned that they had tried my method of >force carbonation, (posted on my web site at >http://www.jps.net/robertac/carb.htm), and had found it to his liking. > >For some reason, Al has decided that all of my methods, (first CP filling It's for the same reason that I post rebuttals to "sanitising" with metabisulphites in water, Miller's dryhopping Pilsners, Dave's Clinitest and random-fermentable-sugar-priming methods... ...because I disagree with them. Feel free to disagree with me, but I've got a bookcase full of professional brewing texts and journals and over 10 years of brewing experience to lean on. Also, as Peter has learned, we here on HBD can put up a pretty good fight ;^). >and now Forced Carbonation), will result in over-carbonated beer and >wrote...... > > .>Marc posted that he has tried Robert Arguello's Force-Carbonation > .>technique and it works well for him (chill beer in freezer for > .>4 hours, attach CO2 at 35 psi and then rock for 4 to 5 minutes). > > .>I'm not comfortable with that method. It seems to work for Robert > .>and Marc, but everyone's freezer is different and everyone's beer > .>*starting* temperature is different. So if the beer in the keg > .>happened to get down to 40F in those 4 hours, 5 minutes at 35 psi > .>could give you more than 5 volumes of CO2!!! > > .>I urge everyone to print out Alan's excellent tables that were > .>recently reposted, set the CO2 pressure to the one you need for > .>the actual temperature and volumes and then rock the keg until > .>the CO2 stops flowing. Actually, since I've personally made the > .>following mistake more than once, let me suggest that you > .>disconnect the gas line from the keg during shaking. Sure, > .>that bubbling sounds cool, but what do you do when beer starts > .>climbing up your CO2 hose back towards the regulator? Please note that Robert says "will result in overcarbonation" (putting these words in my mouth) where as I said "could give you more than 5 volumes..." There is a BIG difference here. [snip] >seconds and check again. I force carb every beer I brew and the 10 ribbons >hanging in my brewery, (5 of them being first place), would suggest that the You don't want to start comparing ribbon counts... trust me. >process works well. As in any method or process, your mileage may vary and >certainly, different levels of carbonation are appropriate for different >styles of beer. My Chimay clone, for instance, gets a full 5 to 6 minutes of >treatment whereas my English Pale Ale is usually appropriately carbonated >after only 3 and 1/2 minutes. As I mention in my article, folks trying this >method for the first time should check the carbonation level often during >the process. Certainly there are variables that need to be respected. I do not recall this warning and it certainly was not included in the post to the HBD which explained the method. As for the variables that need to be respected, how about a little respect for the person who pointed out these variables. I never took any tone with you... I just posted my warnings, politely. >Al correctly mentioned the possibility of beer backing up into the gas line. >This can only happen if the pressure in the corny keg becomes higher than >the pressure coming from the regulator. Actually, this is where knowing the science would help you. The pressure need only be *equal* for the beer to flow via gravity into the gas line. >While it won't happen during the >normal course of force carbonating, it CAN happen accidently and to prevent >it completely, I installed a check-valve between the hose and the >quick-disconnect. By the time anyone reads this post, I will have updated my >web site article to reflect this. A check-valve will save your regulator the first time it happens, but can eventually stick because the beer will dry in there and the residual sugars will gum up the check-valve. I'd also like to point out that check valves cause a pressure drop and therefore the gas pressure on top of the beer will be lower than the regulator is reading. Incidenally, one person has already posted that this has happened to them, so this is not as rare as you might think. Finally: >CORNY KEGS FOR SALE! $12.00 each >http://sdlfjsajdfsd/sldfjlj.htm >ProMash Brewers' Software - http://sdfljsdlfj/lsdjfljf/lsjdflj I guess nobody bothered to tell you that advertisements on HBD are bad nettiquette. Many of us have things to sell, but we don't use the HBD for free ads. Most homebrewers don't understand kegging and counter-pressure bottle filling. Heck, most barowners don't understand draught systems! Most homebrewers carbonate their beer by the seat-of-the-pants and most get glasses full of foam at least 1/3 of the time (1/3 of the time the beer is undercarbonated... the last 1/3 they got lucky). Alan's tables, Dave Miller's article in the 1992 (I believe) AHA Conference Proceedings, Ed Westemeier's article in Zymurgy a few years ago... *these* are the keys to predictable, repeatable, consistent carbonation. It doesn't have to be hit-or-miss anymore. You don't have to test the carbonation level after x minutes or guess if your temperature is right. I never said your methods would not work... I simply pointed out that there was a *risk* of overcarbonation. The fact is that there doesn't have to be. Al. Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL korz at xnet.com http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 15:15:52 -0500 From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: Counterpressure bottle fillers >I have also just bought a counter pressure filler and the first thing I >realized is that I don't hink I understand the theory behind how it is >supposed to work. Well, ah, it took me a while to figure it out, but here's how counterpressure fillers are supposed to work: * They make the manufacturer and the seller happy because they made a sale. * They make the painters happy because they might get an easy ceiling painting job. * They make the sanitizer makers happy because you need to waste a lot of time and sanitizer on em. * They make me laugh because I use 12" of hose jammed into my picnic tap and bottle fill with the beer at almost 32f and never need no stinkin CPBF! Ron Ronald La Borde - Metairie, Louisiana - rlabor at lsumc.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 13:31:50 -0700 From: "Bryan L. Gros" <gros at bigfoot.com> Subject: pub crawling, carbonation. Steve Alexander wrote: >Michael Tucker <mtucker at unpublisher.com> says of my post ... > >>And how are you ever going to find out unless you try a bottle once in >>awhile? Really, a couple of bucks, even $6-$8 for a 6-pack isn't much of >>an investment to taste a new beer once in awhile. > >Perhaps I didn't state my point clearly enough. To reiterate, we need to >communicate which are the good, the bad, and the ugly breweries over this forum >and via services like www.pubcrawler.com. I do. > I don't know who runs the pubcrawler.com site, but it is a great place for travelers. I would reiterate Steve's request for HBD folks to use this site and post your opinions. Familiar names tend to carry more weight anyway. ******* Peter.Perez at smed.com wrote: > >I typically carbonate by placing my keg (5 gal) in the refrigerator and >cranking the CO2 up to about 15 or 20 psi. I leave the CO2 attached and on >for about 2 weeks. At the end of two week, I disconnect the CO2 and >release the pressure out of keg. I then reconnect the CO2 and set it at >about 3 or 4 psi to serve. My beers usually come out pretty foamy at >first, then taper off to a normal level but not always. I am assuming this >is because the gas begins to leave the liquid after i drop to 3 or 4 psi. >Is this a reasonable force carb method? I used to think so, but I am >beginning to doubt it. How should I do it? Is carbonating with corn sugar >better than force carbonating? .... Well, if you're going to wait 2 weeks to tap the keg, then you might as well prime. The benefit of forced carbonation is that it is quick. The other benefit of kegging is that it is easy to adjust the carbonation if you get too much or too little. Regarding forced carbonating, Jack S. wrote: >As in everything else in this craft, we should use the "books" as >guidelines and do what works for us. If one tests each process and >compares with previous experience or in this case, simply samples the >carbonation while doing it, he will be a much wiser and happier >brewer than if he just follows all the rules. I gotta agree with Jack on this one. My problem these days is that I forgot how to bottle. All my bottled beers seem to be overcarbonated... - Bryan Bryan Gros gros at bigfoot.com Oakland, CA Visit the new Draught Board homebrew website: http://www.valhallabrewing.com/~thor/dboard/index.htm Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 16:03:12 -0500 From: "John Watts" <watts at top.net> Subject: Bottle sanitation Calling all bottle bakers, Since I wound up in the "Moderate" level of nasties in the PAEX, I've been reviewing sanitation procedures. (Big suprise!). Anyway, I'm thinking about using the oven for my bottle. I've done some searching in the archives, but still have a couple of questions. First - How do you arrange the bottles? Should there be a minimum space between them, or just stack them up any old way? Second - What sauce do you serve with baked bottles? TIA John Watts watts at top.net Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 21:33:32 -0500 From: "Mike Fitzpatrick" <fitzbrew at earthlink.net> Subject: Magnetic stir plates and starters Here's a question I've seen posted a couple of times, but have never seen a good answer for.(I checked the archives also). I recently acquired a magnetic stir plate, some stir bars, and 1000 &2000mL flasks among other stuff (you can never have enough stuff!) Anyway, I've heard talk about using stir plates for yeast starters, but no specifics on how effective it is and any differences in technique from doing a "normal" starter. My normal starter ends up at about 1/2-2/3 of a gallon after being bumped up twice from the original 2 cups or so, with just shaking and swirling a few times a day. Then the whole thing goes into the batch (10 gal). My main questions are as follows, but feel free to tack on any additional info as needed 1) Will I need to use as much volume, I.e.;can I eliminate the third day of adding wort and start a day later with it and still be ok with the yeast count? 2) Should the stir plate be left on for the duration of the starter? Also, should it be on so that it just swirls the yeast, or high enough to really mix it into a frenzy? (oops! two questions in one) 3) What is the best way to sanitize the stir bars? Can they be boiled, or use Iodophor or bleach solution? Well, you get the idea (I hope)! Thanks in advance, MIKE FITZPATRICK St. Louis, MO "Of beer an enthusiast has said that it could never be bad, but that some brands might be better than others..." A.A. Milne (1882-1956) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 08:54:12 -0700 From: Kyle Druey <druey at ibm.net> Subject: Beat the Dead Horse Greetings, and especially to: Stop! It's not really him, no need to page down (check it out Fouchy). From: "Timothy Green" <TimGreen at ix.netcom.com>: >Dave Burley writes that the Clinitest kit is an excellent way to >determine when fermentation has completed. Without beating the horse >again, could someone explain why I should spend an additional $30-$40 >of my hard earned money on something that I am currently doing with >a hydrometer every time I make a batch of beer. It seems very simple >to me. If the SG doesn't change over 2-3 samples 2-3 days apart, >fermentation is finished. Why buy something else? If there is no change in the hydrometer reading how do you know if you have a stuck ferment or that fermentation is complete? Answer: without Clinitest you don't. I bought my tablets for $9, and I use my own test tube and dropper. 50 test for $9, I brew about 15 beers every year, so that is 3+ years worth. AlK's Clinitest web page was just too funny. Why did he feel compelled to put this on his web page? Seems like a waste to me... Kyle Bakersfield, CA Return to table of contents
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