HOMEBREW Digest #3049 Sat 05 June 1999

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  Domestic champaigne bottles - Recap (zemo)
  re : if you watch and wait ("Alan McKay")
  dextrins (Marc Sedam)
  Lallemand's yeast offerings, salvation for a pilsner (Edward Seymour)
  Lagering/Thanks (AJ)
  Red Seal recipe request ("Nathaniel P. Lansing")
  Dextrines ("Nathaniel P. Lansing")
  re: low carbonation ("Penn, John")
  Adjunct Boiling and Carbonation (Dan Listermann)
  Rogue Products in NC (Scot Thomas)
  Re: help with carbonation (HP-Corvallis,ex1)" <Brian_Dixon at ex.cv.hp.com>
  retrogradation, (Dave Burley)
  Lager Storage (Dennis Johnston)
  Universal Beer Agar Source for Homebrewers (WayneM38)
  Re:Cold conditioning (lagering) (Teutonic Brewer)
  Nottinham yeast (Paul Mahoney)
  A glimmer of hope... (Harlan Bauer)

* Beer is our obsession and we're late for therapy! * 2000 MCAB Qualifiers: Boneyard Brew-Off 6/12/99 * (http://www.uiuc.edu/ro/BUZZ/contest5.html); Buzz-Off! * Competition 6/26/99 (http://www.voicenet.com/~rpmattie/buzzoff) Send articles for __publication_only__ to post@hbd.org 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! Contact brewery at hbd.org for information regarding the "Cat's Meow" Back issues are available via: HTML from... http://hbd.org 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 COPYRIGHT for the Digest as a collection is currently held by hbd.org (Pat Babcock and Karl Lutzen). Digests in their entirity CANNOT be reprinted/reproduced without this entire header section unless EXPRESS written permission has been obtained from hbd.org. Digests CANNOT be reprinted or reproduced in any format for redistribution unless said redistribution is at absolutely NO COST to the consumer. COPYRIGHT for individual posts within each Digest is held by the author. Articles cannot be extracted from the Digest and reprinted/reproduced without the EXPRESS written permission of the author. The author and HBD must be attributed as author and source in any such reprint/reproduction. (Note: QUOTING of items originally appearing in the Digest in a subsequent Digest is exempt from the above. Home brew clubs NOT associated with organizations having a commercial interest in beer or brewing may republish articles in their newsletters and/or websites provided that the author and HBD are attributed. ASKING first is still a great courtesy...) JANITORS on duty: Pat Babcock and Karl Lutzen (janitor@hbd.org)
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 03 Jun 1999 23:45:29 -0500 From: zemo <zemo at ameritech.net> Subject: Domestic champaigne bottles - Recap In Hbd #3039ish , I lamented about obtaining domestic champaigne (yeah I know, "sparkling wine") bottles that could not be capped with domestic crowns. My intention was to simulate Belgian bottling by corking and crowning my saison. In subsequent digests, there were suggestions for corking, and someone recommended finding a shop to order 29-30mm crowns from Crosby & Baker (the distributer). I was contacted by Nancy Rigberg at Home Sweet Homebrew in Philadelphia, and had two gross winging there way to me within days. Then came the stunning reality that I had no way of applying said new crowns to said bottles. I'd read that some double-handled cappers "reverse" to fit the larger crowns but the only one that I could find locally is the monsterous Super Ultimate that's as big as a bathtub madonna, but has adapters for 26 and 29mm crowns AND corking! Now I can fool my friends and amaze the whole family with my authentic-looking bottles of saison. Here's a subject: Why do Belgians cork and cap? Is it due to historcally faulty crowns or corks? Discuss. Na zdravi! Zemo O.A.B. C.B.S. U.K.G. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 07:40:31 -0500 From: "Alan McKay" <amckay at nortelnetworks.com> Subject: re : if you watch and wait Nathan Lansing writes : In Brewing Techniques a few issues back there was the question, "Is there any reason a homebrewer_must_use a portion of malt in a cereal mash" There was some discussion here that this was used to prevent retrogradation which someone explained to be turning into a starchy lump, and since homebrewers don't pump their cereal mash then it didn't matter. Well I guess now it seems that it _may_ matter to maintain the fermentability after the boiling cereal cools to mash temperatures. And I reply : Well, since I'm the guy who kicked up such a fuss in the first place with the BT editors and subsequently drafted a response to the original BT article (based on input from Molson's brewmasters here in Canada), I figure I am obligated to pipe up. I've never boiled my rice or other adjunct with malt, and have never had a problem with fermentability. Any given recipe that I've ever added rice et al to, has had an increase in SG exactly as expected. Ferments fine, starch conversion is fine. Yadda, yadda, yadda. I know lots of other guys with similar stories to tell. I still say we're applying too many "big boy" techniques to the little guy. They don't necessarily apply, unfortunately. cheers, -Alan - -- Alan McKay OS Support amckay at nortelnetworks.com Small Site Integration 613-765-6843 (ESN 395) Nortel Networks Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 04 Jun 1999 08:43:00 -0400 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: dextrins Hi Dave: You are correct, dextrins are not retrograded starch. Dextrins are unfermentable polysaccharides because they cannot be broken down by the amylases in the mash. To be more specific, there are beta-limit dextrins (alluded to in my original post) and alpha-limit dextrins, both of which are lumped together as generic "dextrins". Here's the deal, and forgive me for rehashing some content here... Beta-amylase attacks a polysaccharide (chain of glucose molecules--can be either "sugar" or "starch") from the end of the chain and cleaving the 1-4 link, resulting in lots of sucrose molecules in its wake. Most cereal grains as they appear in nature are primarily (~75%) amylopectin, a highly branched polysaccharide. Beta-amylase hooks on to the end of a starch molecule and cleaves off sucrose until it reaches a branching point (a 1-6 linkage), then stops/uncouples from the starch molecule. When all the available starch chains are cleaved by beta-amylase, you are left with an unfermentable starch molecule--the beta-limit dextrin. The same concept happens with alpha-amylase. As mentioned in my earlier post, it requires a straight chain of seven glucose molecules to activate, then randomly cleaves the chain via the same 1-4 link. If there is a branch point in the way it will not be able to act either. Once there are no more chains of appropriate length to activate the alpha-amylase you get the theoretical alpha-limit dextrin. Reality? Both of these things happen at the same time, resulting in quite a few small sugar molecules (glucose and its di- and tri-saccharides) and the resultant dextrins. You adjust this level by changing the amount of time that beta-amylase's best reaction conditions are held. Less time at the beta-rest means larger dextrins and more unfermentables. For completeness, dextrins can also be formed by subjecting starch to high heat in the presence of (1) moisture, and (2) acid. Physical hydrolysis of the starch molecule will result in dextrins...you simply adjust the time spent in the reaction vessel to control the composition of the dextrins. Dextrinization using this method also creates the byproducts of Maillard reactions--good news for the specialty maltsters. The main difference between resistant starch and dextrins is that, based on physical composition of the molecule alone, the resistant starch SHOULD be digested by the amylases. It is the physical shielding of the molecule via retrogradation/crystallization that prevents the enzymatic attack. However, both resistant starch and generic dextrins are unfermentable. Your concept of adding specialty grains towards the end of the mash accomplishes the task of getting more unfermentables in the mash because you don't provide the conditions necessary to degrade them even one bit. Hence, you're left with larger polysaccharides in your wort. I hope this clarifies the situation a bit. Cheers! Marc - -- Marc Sedam Technology Development Associate University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Office of Technology Development 308 Bynum Hall; CB# 4105 Chapel Hill, NC 27599-4105 919.966.3929 [phone] 919.962.0646 [fax] [mailto:marc_sedam at unc.edu] Interested in new technologies? Check out the "Inventions List" on our website at [http://www.research.unc.edu/otd] to view a portion of UNC's available technologies. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 05:46:02 -0700 (PDT) From: Edward Seymour <eseymour at yahoo.com> Subject: Lallemand's yeast offerings, salvation for a pilsner I did a quick search on dogpile (http://www.dogpile.com/) and found the following link to Lallemand's home page. (http://www.lallemand.com/brew/beer_yst.html). They give some information in their product description, but it might not be as technical as Jeff requested. There is a link for Technical help. I hope this is of some help. I'm new to brewing, having convinced my wife to buy a starter kit for my graduation present. For the first batch I brewed a pale ale that came out fantastic. For the second batch I brewed a pilsner. I had it in the primary for 5 days followed by 3 weeks in the secondary. The beer transferred into the bottling bucket exceptionally clear. I had some left over wort that I canned and plan on using instead of corn sugar for bottling (an idea I got from Charlie P's book). The wort that I canned was clear except for the some turb in the bottom of the jar. I thought that the fine mesh strainer in the funnel would remove this when I poured it into the bottling bucket. I now have 50 bottles of beer that has 1/2 inch of gunk in the bottom that quickly mixes with the beer when the bottle is slightly moved. My question: can I pour all of the beers back into the secondary, add some polyclar and let it settle for a couple of days and try to re bottle? I used a turkey baster with a hose attached and carefully sucked some of the gunk out of one of the beers and it was good, but doing this in front of company would definitely turn them off to home brewing. Would you drink a beer that some sucked gunk out of? Any ideas? Ed Seymour eseymour at snet.net _________________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Get your free at yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 04 Jun 1999 13:08:29 +0000 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Lagering/Thanks Greg asked about what goes on during lagering. The answer is "lots of things". I'll tic off the ones that come to mind and hope others will fill in. Lagering is really a slow tertiary fermentation. To be successful, it must be carried out over live yeast and providing a large surface area for the yeast is important. It is the reason for "Beechwood ageing" in which the lagering tanks are filled with strips of that wood upon which the yeast settle out. It's the reason many home brewers, most of whom lager in Corny kegs, place them on their sides during lagering. As yeast settle out it is clear that one of the functions of lagering is to allow the yeast to aggregate and settle. Equally important is that during this time polyphenols (which can be at very high levels because the grains have been boiled during decoctions) complex with proteins and settle out. Elimination of polyphenols means a clear beer and a smoother tasting one. Hazes form other sources (i.e. metal ion hazes and calcium oxalate) also settle. Many lager strains produce a lot of sulfide/sulfite as well as organic volatiles whose combined effect is referred to as "Jungbukett" which is often translated as "stench" though that really isn't what it means ("bouquet of youth" would be more like it). During lagering the CO2 evolved scrubs Jungbuket from the beer and, as lagering is usually done under some pressure and cold, some CO2 stays in solution and conditions the beer. Flavor maturation is a term which encompasses many complex organic reactions whic take place in the lagering tank. Some of them are reasonably simple such as the uptake of diacetyl and 2,3 pentane dione. Others are much more subtle and difficult to explain. In tasting terms you could say that all the rough edges are smoothed and the flavors meld. In my own brewing the thing I find most interesting is that the beer sits in lager for about a month without changing very much and then suddenly, over the course of a day or two, turns and is ready to drink. Additional months of lager lead to more smoothness but the change with time is not that dramatic. One other thing that should be mentioned is that perceived hops bitterness gradually decreases. This should be accounted for in calculating the hopping level. Modern commercial brewing loathes the idea of having to keep stock in storage (big capital costs for the tanks, big operating costs for the refrigeration) and so tries, with some success, to brew beers which don't require lagering or extensive lagering. Thus yeast strains which don't produce sulfur are employed, decoctions are not used, yeast are operated at higher temperature, diacetyl rests are employed, etc. The homebrewer in a hurry can use many of these same tricks. Triple decoction mashed brews lagered for three months are a luxury that few of us have the time to invest in but they are worth it! * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * I don't want to resurrect discussion of a recent matter which many feel is best kept off line but I do want to thank all of those of you who sent me messages of support either here or by e-mail. I've been out of town for a couple of days so it will take me a while to respond to everyone individually but I will do that. - -- A. J. deLange Numquam in dubio, saepe in errore. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 09:08:28 -0400 From: "Nathaniel P. Lansing" <delbrew at compuserve.com> Subject: Red Seal recipe request They've quit bringing Red Seal into the city and I have a potential customer that will start homebrewing if I come up with a clone recipe. Any assistance will be appreciated. The last bottle I tasted was _badly_ oxidized and I couldn't make out any _normal_beer flavors. TIA Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 09:08:31 -0400 From: "Nathaniel P. Lansing" <delbrew at compuserve.com> Subject: Dextrines DB says in #3048 >>Dextrins are soluble, by definition, I think, and are not <crystallized> into spirals.<< I think dextrines, are by definition, what remains when the amylases have worked to the limits of their liquification. >>I can't find a comparitive extract yield for crystal versus pale malt, << In the neighborhood of 1036/lb for pale malt, 1026 for caramel malts. >>Methinks dextrins can be attacked by beta >>and alpha enzymes No, see my first statement, they can't be further split and _that_ is why they are dextrins. >> and this is why, if you >>want to retain these dextrins in the wort, (say >>in a simple mash scheme) these specialty malts >>need to be added at the end of the mash. After talking to three pro brewers in town (one a Seibel grad, one a former British malster) the conclusion was; caramel malts are added for flavor and color only. The mash temperature profile is what determines the dextrin content and final attenuation of the wort. Caramel malts can add some dextrines to extract brews by steeping, but this is a nice side benefit to their "design." But with caramel additions of around 10% in a mash, the majority of the sugars will come from the base malt, _if_ caramels were 20% dextrins that would give you 2% dextrin increase from adding the caramel. That doesn't seem to be much, considering if you mash at 156+ you would get closer to 40% unfermentables (in my system anyway). This is further bedeviled by the fact that what is not fermentable is not always dextrins, and this will vary from lager to ale yeast and from strain to strain. Originally I think we were discussing "dextrin malt" though, and per GDP's post, Carapils (r) is manipulated to produce undegradable dextrins. Though it is properly called a caramel (crystal) malt it was not meant to do anything but add dextrins. Other caramels are used to add color and flavors, not dextrins. As an aside, in talking to a chemist at a "grain processor" there is a _large_difference between "dextrin" and "malto-dextrin". We are talking about malto-dextrin. Dextrin is used to make wallpaper paste. I understand we are just saving a few keystrokes when we talk about "dextrins". Dextrin and malto-dextrin are typically produced from corn, malto-dextrin doesn't have to come from malt. Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 09:26:38 -0400 From: "Penn, John" <John.Penn at jhuapl.edu> Subject: re: low carbonation I sent a personal email to Gradh but thought I'd post on the HBD for others who are having low carbonation problems, If you do a search on the HBD I posted some recommendations on carbonating based on what I had learned by personal experience and on the hbd. If you are getting geysers there are two major suspects. 1) If you don't stir the priming solution in the bottling bucket you will get uneven carbonation with many beers flat and a couple extremely overcarbonated. 2) If you don't allow at least two weeks for fermenation you may not be completely fermented. It also helps if you know your particular yeast and what your final gravity should be. I almost got burned recently by a different yeast strain which took four weeks at least. It was a slow but steady fermentation but it took much longer than the ale yeasts I usually use. Fortunately when I tried to bottle it too early I noticed the high FG and put it back in the carboy for a couple more weeks. As for carbonation, not to be confused with head... 1) I found 3/4 cup of corn sugar was a mere 3oz+ when I weighed it. It can settle tremendously!!! Shake it sometime and watch its volume change. I ended up with almost 1 cup by volume to reach 4oz by weight which is supposed to be the 3/4 cup recommendation. Realizing that kit beers come with 5 oz of sugar I started weighing the sugar and increasing the amount. For ales my wife and I like a pretty good carbonation so I tend to use 5oz. For a belgian ale which is higher carbonated I use maybe 6oz or a little more. And for heavier beers like stouts, etc. I may use only 4oz or occasionally a little less. 2) Experiment with sugar amounts and I assume when you said corn sugar you mean dry corn sugar. Honey is also good but use about 1/2 cup by volume not the 1 cup Papazian recommends. Talk about fizzy soda! I made that mistake once. So in order of importance, weigh the sugar (try 4-5oz by weight), wait for fermentation to be complete (actually make this #1), and stir your priming sugar so that you don't have uneven carbonation. Doesn't sound like you need more yeast, most yeasts should be fine after 3-4 weeks of fermentation and then expect maybe 2 weeks to carbonate for an average beer and maybe 2 months for a high alcohol beer, say 8% abv. Adjust the sugar levels to what you like in a beer. 3/4 cup corn sugar which is supposed to be 4 oz by weight is a good starting point but is not going to please everyone or match every style of beer. I'm also assuming around 65-75F for the 2 weeks to carbonate. Colder is longer, warmer is quicker. Good Luck, Hope that helps. John Penn Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 09:51:01 -0400 From: Dan Listermann <72723.1707 at compuserve.com> Subject: Adjunct Boiling and Carbonation Nathaniel Lansing ( delbrew at compuserve.com) ask if using malt in the boiling of adjuncts is necessary. The answer is no, but if you want to retain your sanity you will use malt. I use about 25% of the grain bill as malt. If you don't, and I have, your adjuncts ( I used rice ) will form a column of gooy snot ( technical term) that , if it doesn't erupt out of your kettle, will burn on the bottom. I suppose that you could just use an enormous amount of water to dilute the snot, but the malt works really well and you may not need to cool the mash before mixing in the rest of the grist. Graph O' Dunadaig ( odunadaig at hotmail.com) is looking for reasons that his beers aren't conditioning ( carbonating) as well as he wants. I don't know about his particular case, but I have found the most common reason for under carbonation is tht the beer was stored at low temperatures when it was supposed to be conditioning. The cure is to stop this. If your beer is undercarbonated, just shake the bottles to resuspend the yeast and store in a warm place. If you don't believe that temperature was the problem, take a look at your sanitizing procedures. There may be a rinse problem that is harming the yeast. Dan Listermann dan at listermann.com 72723.1707 at compuserve.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 1999 10:12:00 -0700 From: Scot Thomas <scot.thomas at adpmarshall.com> Subject: Rogue Products in NC Michael Tucker and all, Right under your nose there is a great little beer store in downtown Raleigh. It is disguised as a trashy little convience store on Peace street named 7-even. They carry most of the Rogue line in 22 oz and some (if I remember correctly) in 12 oz. Just picked up a 6er of Mackelson (sp?) XXX stout, which even my discerning spouse seems to appreciate. Anyone have a recipe for this? You may also try Wellspring Grocery, for I seem to remember them having a few Rogues. Thanks, Scot scot at pagesz.net Wake Forest,NC Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 09:50:53 -0700 From: "DIXON,BRIAN (HP-Corvallis,ex1)" <Brian_Dixon at ex.cv.hp.com> Subject: Re: help with carbonation > I am having a time with carbonation and would like to ask some questions. in > every beer that I have brewed, save one, I have had less than favorable > results, either malt geysers or a brew that looks at you as if you were > expecting something when you pop the cap. [brewing techniques snipped] >From what I can see, nothing you mentioned would have a negative impact on carbonation. One thing you didn't mention though was a) time in the primary, and b) time in the secondary. Until your problem is kicked, I'd limit the total primary plus secondary time to 3 weeks or less, e.g. 1 week in primary, 2 weeks in secondary or less. If you always DO brew within these parameters, then something else is the problem. You mention 'malt geysers' ... unless you grossly over prime (more than about a cup of corn sugar) you shouldn't get gushing unless you've got an infection of some type. If so, and most of your brews are getting the same infection, it's possible that the food the yeast needs is getting consumed by the infection rather than the yeast and this could be the source of your problem. Notice any unusual flavors, unexpectedly low final gravities, or unusually long fermentations? I just brewed a Scotch ale that started out at 1.070, tasted fine going into the bottles, but now has a Band-Aid "plus something else" flavor in it. I suspected an infection because it had taken over 2 weeks for the fermentation to slow down and the final gravity was 1.013 ... an 81% attenuation! I wasn't happy to see that because I knew what it implied. I had another beer do that once and it didn't have any funky flavors, but some bottles gushed and others didn't. Some formed a nice head, and others fizzled to nothing, and the final gravity had gone too low on that one also. In my case, it means it's time to replace all my plastic stuff (hoses, wine thief, racking cane, bottle filler, etc.) ... funny, since I was just thinking it had been awhile too. Too bad I lost a brew in the process. Good luck and let us know what else you think of or figure out! Brian Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 13:19:10 -0400 From: Dave Burley <Dave_Burley at compuserve.com> Subject: retrogradation, Brewsters: Nathaniel Lansing is trying to connect George De Piro's and Marc Sedam's comments and a BT use (correct?) of the word "retrogradation". As far as I know, George'sand Marc's correct use of the term involves starches which have been gelatinized ( i.e. hydrated above a certain temperature) and allowed to cool. I believe however, this was referring to this in the grain after heating to form a specialty malt and not in a mash. I do not believe retrogradation is the formation of gummy balls in the cereal mash the BT article was supposedly referring to. In George's case, he was referrring to the spiralization of the amylose chains during recrystallization. It may be that this is a more stable crystalline state and that the regelatinization of the starch does not take place easily at normal mash temperatures. Thus, these spirals of starch are unable to be attacked as the alpha amylase needs a fair length of straight chain to be effective in its attack. This explains the extraction loss of specialty malts. (On the order of 4 -5 %, I believe) but says nothing about the conditions of the grist in the mash. Typically about 80% of barley starch is branched chain amylopectin, which is the gummy component of starch in contrast to the 20% of amylose which gives the familiar intense blue color with iodine, Amylopectin does not color this intense blue with iodine. Amylopectin swells in hot water to give a paste. After alpha and beta enzymolysis in water, amylopectin gives about 80% maltose maximum and 20% dextrins, so sayeth DeClerk p260, v1. I always use malt in the cereal ( i.e. the adjuncts) "goods" mash to keep the goods from turning into oatmeal or worse. There is a reason the big boys do it - to keep from making pot stickers. I do it for the same reason. For those who have yet to try a cereal adjunct, remember, starch must be gelatininzed before it can be efficiently attacked by amylase and other enzymes. Cooking ( just like you do your oatmeal) these cereals before the mash is an important step in preparing them since, unlike barley starch, they often require a higher temperature to gelatinize than is seen during the "saccharification" step of the mash itself. I typically add the cereal to boiling water which begins the gelatinization, but cools the mixture. I cook it briefly until it becomes too gummy to stir. I then add some cool water and about a pound of crushed malt and hold in the high 150s and stir with some occasional heat until the mixture is free flowing. This is then added to the mash liquor and the remainder of the malts added. Nathaniel also makes the interesting point that simply heating the adjunct to gelatinization temperature and allowing it to cool back to mash temperatures may cause the recrystallization of the amylose and result in a loss of extract efficiency. Possibly a good observation, I can't say, but it certainly adds to the reason to add malt during the goods mash. Now is the time to try it what with a great CAP in your future this summer. Be sure to use Clusters hops with that corn adjunct. I wonder if the spiralization of the starch in the specialty malt can be dealt with by doing a goods mash to gelatininze it?? Would this damage any dextrins? - ------------------------------------ Gradh O'Dunadaig asks for assistance in carbonation. I suggest you have a look in the HBD archives for my method of preparing a kraeusening starter. Some object to my addition of the priming sugar at this point, but this was done in the early days when I only had sucrose available and I used the invertase of the yeast to invert the sucrose before it was added to beer, otherwise, the inversion would be the slow step. If you use corn sugar you may add the cooled and boiled syrup after starter becomes active. The use of a small quantity of malt extract is to provide nutrients to this growing colony. This will guarantee consistent carbonation as an active yeast is added at bottling. Yeasts vary in their ability to stay active in beer depleted of nutrients in a alcoholic environment, and in their flocculation rates. These factors lead to inconsistent carbonation by priming. - ------------------------------------- Greg Remake asks about what is going on during lagering and why it is done cold. As you undoubtedly know, lagering refers to cellaring of the beer cold in the presence of lager yeast. This strain of S. cerevisiae is capable of continuing its biological activity at much lower temperatures than other strains. Also, in some cases it is capable of chewing up some "dextrins" (others disagree) , but most importantly it is capable of chewing up by-products of the warmer fermentation while not forming any at the lower lagering temperature. The result? a clean lower aldehyde, lower ester ( from the cool fermentation conditions) beer in which malt and hops are more evident in their contribution to the overall flavor. MMMM am I thirsty. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 15:39:43 -0400 (EDT) From: MICHAEL WILLIAM MACEYKA <mmaceyka at welch.jhu.edu> Subject: A digression... Howdy, The subject of brewing as science and/or art has come up again, albeit tangentially, and I have some thoughts I'd like to share with The Collective. Art is not the opposite of science. Religion is the opposite of science. I'm not sure what art is, perhaps its an amalgam of science, religion, and intuition, ie educated guessing. If you're brewing based on your experience, doing things which you feel worked for you in the past and changing those which you think haven't, then you are brewing empirically and you are doing science. You might be doing it shoddily, you might be able to do it in a more directed manner, but it's science. When this debate comes up, I think what people are really talking about are how rigorously and reproducibly they brew and how much they incorporate the scientific literature related to yeasts, industrial brewing, etc into their brewing. It's the Analists against the Overly Relaxed. To each their own. I have met brewers from both sides, and both have their share of crappy beers and excellent beers. The reason we have a forum like this is to exchange ideas so we can make our beers better. Most everyone would be skeptical about adopting what I claim works in my system to their system. And rightly so: some brewers' systems are more prone to HSA, people have different sensing thresholds, etc., and more importantly none of us knows all the variables we need to control, much less do we have control over them. I am skeptical about the conclusions I draw from "beer experiments", especially if I did the experiment myself. That is why I always want to brew again, to test those conclusions. I would extend this skepticism to "scientific literature," because I have read scientific literature that is wrong. Wrong in the sense that what is claimed as fact is not fact for my system, wrong in the sense that what is concluded is not the only conclusion that could be drawn from the data, and wrong in the sense that the data is wrong (though, I trust, not fraudulent). The situation is much worse when we come to the popular literature interpretations of the scientific literature. Even if this literature is interpreted by a scientist, even if that person is a mathematician (the only true science), this does not mean that it should be automatically accepted as true or relevant to us. I digress. Every homebrewer is a scientist, every homebrewer could learn something new about brewing, every homebrewer could use this new knowledge to make better beer, and every homebrewer should have healthy skepticism about what other brewers say, including (especially?) this brewer. Now stop reading this digest and get back to the bench. Mike Maceyka Baltimore MD Already stopping, dropping, and rolling... Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 04 Jun 1999 17:15:04 -0500 From: Dennis Johnston <djshark at earthlink.net> Subject: Lager Storage I have a few NewBoy questions. I have been brewing only a couple of months and I am attempting a lager (from extract). When I bottle this, should I then store the bottles in the the refrigerator at the same temperature it has been lagering? How long should this take to carbonate (approx.)? I have been reading this forum for a few weeks. Some posts are very informative, some are way over my head, and some are hilarious. Thanks for the help and entertainment. Dennis Johnston djshark at earthlink.net Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 18:36:36 EDT From: WayneM38 at aol.com Subject: Universal Beer Agar Source for Homebrewers Lesson learned: Close enough is not good enough when sanitation is involved............... Just brewed a batch of my house ale that will not clear and tastes astringent. I have brewed at least 60 gals of this recipe in the past years and never had this problem. Checked over my brew notes/procedures. RIMS system is pretty reliable. My first suspicion is an infection of some sort. Used a 'new' starter procedure using Malta Goya to feed starter (twice) in 2000 ml flask. Must have gotten sloppy along the way. I would like to plate out a sample to see what is growing. Anyone know of a source of Universal Beer Agar in homebrewer size amounts? Someone have a better growth media (available to homebrewers) for identifying bad beer bugs? Thanks in advance. Wayne Big Fun Brewing Milwaukee Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 04 Jun 1999 16:46:08 -0600 From: Teutonic Brewer <claassen at swcp.com> Subject: Re:Cold conditioning (lagering) In reply to Greg Remake, lagering is done for a variety of reasons, primarily taste and secondarily historical. If you're lagering (German for "storing") beer for a long time, of course cold temperatures preserve the beer the best, and leaving yeast in the tanks keeps the beer the freshest and discourages takeover by bacterial nasties. To keep the yeast alive during the lagering process, you must leave a little malt sugar in the beer for the yeast to munch on which requires, of course, that the lagering process start before the beer is finished fermenting. If you taste the beer at the start of the lagering process, it'll be very green and rough; the yeast will slowly clean up the beer by reabsorbing and metabolizing the diacetyl, acetaldehyde, and so forth. The low temperatures slow the yeast down -- hence the need for at least several weeks for the beer to be cleaned up. Most ale yeasts quit way above 32F-36F, but lager yeasts not only survive but keep working, albeit slowly, in the thirties. The very low temperatures also cause the chill haze to come out fully. This chill haze will slowly fall the bottom of the keg, leaving crystal clear beer in a couple months. The first couple pints from the keg may contain most of the chill haze, but it'll be clear after that. Historically, Pilsener Urquell(tm) underwent a three month lagering that left it virtually chill haze proof without filtering! Getting that chill haze out also removes the part of the tannin that is bound up in the haze, producing a smoother product. The lagering may also cause a little complex malt sugar, mostly maltotriose, to be left in solution for a subtle sweetness. This is mostly done for the Munich styles. Watch out, this can be easily overdone -- syrupy beer sucks. Of course, in a commercial setting, leaving unfermented sugar in the beer is a bad thing because it provides food for bad critters to spoil the beer with. There are two ale styles that are lagered, Altbier and Koelsch. Those yeast strains may be more tolerant of cold temperatures, or they may be lagered at a slightly higher temperature. Try racking the green beer into a keg when there's one to one and a half Balling of extract left in it, then then start a slow (2-3F/day) chill down from fermentation temperature to the low to mid thirties so as not to shock the yeast. The yeast will carbonate the keg with the remaining extract. The yeast that's in suspension at the racking is all the yeast you need to do the job. On the other hand, there's no reason why you can't let the lager beer ferment out completely, but you'll come out with a dry bodied beer -- this works best for lighter styles like Pils and Export. It's just that a bottle conditioned Doppelbock will lack the necessary big malty sweetness - -- it may have malt flavor galore, but the sweetness will be missing. Prost! Paul Claassen a.k.a. Teutonic Brewer Albuquerque, Chile Republic of New Mexico Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 04 Jun 1999 20:29:14 -0400 From: Paul Mahoney <pmmaho at roanoke.infi.net> Subject: Nottinham yeast John Penn asks about attenuation of Nottingham yeast: Anyone else having similar lower attenuations with Nottingham? I recently ( May 2) brewed an attempt at a Bass Ale, 7#s Pale Ale malt, .5# Carapils, .5 # Crystal (60L), and 1oz. Choc. malt. I had an old smack pack of Wyeast 1028, but it did not swell up, so I pitched 2 packages of Nottingham. My hydrometer read 1.042. I rehydrated, but seemed to have a very slow ferment. It took 2 days before it really took off. Temp. was in mid-60'F. On May 9 I racked to secondary to dry hop; hydrometer read 1.010. I bottled/kegged on May 22; hydro. read 1.005. Paul Mahoney Star City Brewers Guild Roanoke, Va. Fill with mingled cream and amber, I will drain that glass again. Such hilarious visions clamber Through the chamber of my brain - Quaintest thoughts - queerest fancies Come to life and fade away; What care I how time advances? I am drinking ale today. (Poe, 1848) Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 04 Jun 1999 20:03:40 -0500 From: Harlan Bauer <blacksab at midwest.net> Subject: A glimmer of hope... Amidst all the acrimony of the past several days, a few bright spots have largely eluded our collective scrutiny: first, the Siebel Institute has shown itself to be the world-class act many of us have believed it to be, and second, our own Jethro Gump, aka Rob Moline, has been elected to the AHA Board of Advisors. Congradulations Rob! I bring this up because Rob was at least in part responsible for the presence of the Siebel staff here at the Homebrew Digest. And now he is a member of the AHA advisory board. Most of us have spent a considerable amount of energy denouncing this or trashing that, while a few others have gone to considerable effort to quietly promote and maintain the free flow of ideas to the devotees of this hobby. Being only the most recent example, Rob can serve to illustrate my point--as a self regulating collective, what kind of "buzz" have we created concerning Rob's membership on the AHA advisory board? Ask this in the context of the amount of "press" we have given to AHA-bashing. We all agree that the AHA messed up big-time in it's handling of the HBD. Pat Babcock and Karl Lutzen assumed the responsability for the entire mailing list and they've not only made it fly, they've made it soar! But since then, people like Brian Rezac and now Rob Moline (to name only two) have taken it upon themselves to change the way the AHA functions. And there are others. Isn't it incumbent upon us as a collective to give equal time to those who are actively advancing our intrests and a little less time dashing off one of those ...there oughtta be a law...letters? Take a moment to think about where this wonderful place that we all hang out at comes from. Those of us who write in to the HBD perform the easy part, but there are a small group of dedicated individuals who make it happen for all of us. Let's try to give them our support. To this end, I'd like to thank the following people (and this list is by no means exhaustive): 1. The staff of the Siebel Institute for sharing their vast knowlege base with us. Most of us will never have the opportunity to attend classes at Siebel, but the past week has been like a private tutorial with its instructors. 2. Pat Babcock and Karl Lutzen--without the tireless work of these two individuals, the HBD would not exist. We rarely get a chance to say anything about these two fine gentlemen because they never seem to screw up--every day, the digest shows up like clockwork. EVERY DAY! 3. AJ deLange for his tremendous contributions to the HBD in general and for tirelessly answering my questions about purchasing a pH meter (most of which was done via private email). Not all of our resident experts have been nearly so generous with their knowlege... 4. Rob Moline for selflessly representing our interests at the AHA, and maybe more importantly for injecting a sober perspective with his Jethro Gump Report. I can only hope that his report will not be a thing of the past because it will be sadly missed; besides, that report would be the perfect vehicle to disseminate goings on at the AHA (nudge, nudge). In a previous post, Rob had said, >But, supporting me is not needed...I am too bloody stupid >to be worth it anyway. This is not true, and everyone seems to know it except Rob. Rob has helped me more than I can ever repay and I know I am not alone. He embodies all that is great about this hobby and this profession. Rob's election should be a point of pride for all of us, yet there has been little mention or discussion of it here. If we want to change the face of the AHA, we now have a representative who is one of us. 5. And finally, for Steve Perry. After Rob's eulogy, we should all carry him with us in our hearts, and try to do for the living what we were unable to do for him. Harlan. ...No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. --John Donne (1624) Return to table of contents
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