HOMEBREW Digest #311 Tue 28 November 1989

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  viruses in beer? (Marty Albini)
  ginger-ale, berries, and other weirdness (CASEY)
  Re: HBD #309 RE: culture shock (Russ Pencin)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 27 Nov 89 8:15:48 PST From: Marty Albini <martya at hpsdl39> Subject: viruses in beer? It was a busy weekend at the Lazy Eight Ranch, but somehow some brewing got done. Unfortunately, one reason it was busy was the flu (a brief, but poignant example of the style; aggressive start, poor finish...virtually no aftertaste. Not recommended). What I'm wondering is: will this beer harbor viruses? Will I have to drink the whole batch myself, or can I share the beer without sharing the bug? Please, let's limit this discussion to QUALIFIED responses. - -- ________________________________________________Marty Albini___________ "To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks." phone : (619) 592-4177 UUCP : {hplabs|nosc|hpfcla|ucsd}!hp-sdd!martya Internet : martya%hp-sdd at hp-sde.sde.hp.com (or at nosc.mil, at ucsd.edu) CSNET : martya%hp-sdd at hplabs.csnet US mail : Hewlett-Packard Co., 16399 W. Bernardo Drive, San Diego CA 92127-1899 USA Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 89 09:02:22 PST From: CASEY%MIT.MFENET at CCC.NMFECC.GOV Subject: ginger-ale, berries, and other weirdness About 50% of my brewing has involved experimenting with weird flavored batches. Generally I find that the beer-flavor is pretty robust, and that minor additions are much more tolerable than you would think. Ginger-Ale: Strata Rose was asking about a ginger-ale recipe. This is one of my standards, as my wife isn't a real beer drinker and this keeps her happy. I think it is about halfway between beer and soda pop. I don't have the recipe in front of me, but embellishment is the key anyhow. For 5 gal, I start from about 4 lbs of light extract (usually one can of M&F plus as much spray malt as I have left over in a bag) and about one lb of honey. I also use .5 lb of crystal malt steeped while bringing the water to a boil. Go light on the hops-- about 1.5 oz Saaz boiling and .5 oz Saaz finishing. Sometimes I toss in about 1 tsp gypsum since the water is pretty soft (bottled stuff, our tap water is rancid). At the same time as the finishing hops is thrown in (end of boil, 10 min steep), I add 2-3 tbsp grated fresh ginger, and 1-2 tsp powdered cinammon. I usually ferment this with Whitbread dried yeast (for historical reasons). This is a pretty quickly maturing beer. It is drinkable in about two weeks after bottling, but still pretty harsh. Don't be discouraged if the ginger taste is too strong. After one month it really smooths out. It might be great after two, but I never have any left. (Strata - Your address looks like you are at MIT. So am I. Call me at 253-0885 - if I have any of the last batch of this stuff, I'll let you try one before you brew.) Rasberries vs. Cranberries: Tim Phillips was interested in cherry brew bastardized to cranberries. This sounded very familiar - I did the same thing with rasberries awhile back. I used about 6 lbs of light extract in a lightly hopped ale, then steeped 4-5 lbs of frozen rasberries after the boil. I threw the whole mess into the fermenter and used a liquid culture (Brewers Gold English?). It had no problem fermenting. I gave it a long secondary fermentation also, after siphoning off the trub and spent berries. Pretty weird tasting stuff - I'm not sure I'd repeat it (perhaps with half the berries). The rasberries have a strong sharp (acid?) taste that competes with the hops bitter, overwhelms it actually. It is getting gradually smoother after 3-4 months. Everybody who tries it loves it, but nobody asks for a second bottle. I would really hesitate to try this with cranberries. They have an even sharper taste, and I believe are much more acidic. Christmas Brew: For Christmas this year, I started with a seven gallon batch resembling Papazians Cherry Stout recipe. I had to use a big (and expensive) can of sour cherries for cherry wine, as fresh had long ago disappeared. After primary fermentation, I thought it was perfect for true stout drinkers, but too bitter for novices. Since I was planning on giving most away, I started three gallons of lightly hopped stout, then couldn't resist adding cinammon and peel from about 4 oranges. When it finished, and the original seven gallons were well through the secondary fermentation, I mixed and bottled. After 3-4 weeks I just tasted it, and it is remarkably good. I'll christen it Fruitcake Stout. The oddball flavors are there, but subtle enough not to be identifiable. I really like the smooth sweetness that the cherries add -- very different than the raspyness of rasberries from the previous recipe. Others - coffee and peppers: I've had two other successes in the past. One was adding coffee to a stout (about 4tsp of Mocha Java beans with the steeping grains). Very noticable, but good. A little goes a long way, crush but don't grind the beans. Also, I added some hot peppers (the little skinny ones for Sczechuan (sp?) cooking) to a red bitter recipe. I was chicken, so I diverted only one gallon of the ferment to a separate 1 gal jug, with about half dozen peppers added with the finishing hops. Amazingly good. No "foretaste" from the peppers, just a clean afterbite that blended well with the rest of the taste. I used a lot of Tettnanger hops in the finish for a spicy taste, so that may have helped the balance. Everybody thought I was crazy. Several times friends turned down the offer of a "Pepper Bitter", but I snuck them a glass anyhow. They didn't recognize the peppers, and commented on what a great hearty beer it was. Fascinating. Future: I regularly threaten my wife with Brussels Sprout Porter, but I don't think I could go through with it... I'd be interested in hearing of other weirdness out there, especially the pleasant surprises. Jeff Casey MIT-PFC 617-253-0885/617-924-0523 CASEY%MIT.MFENET at NMFECC.ARPA Return to table of contents
Date: 27 November 1989 11:03:05 am From: parcplace!pencin at Sun.COM (Russ Pencin) Subject: Re: HBD #309 RE: culture shock > I have even heard that to avoid "culture shock" the starter should > be a low OG (25% less than the wort). Any comments? David: Funny thing I never even thought to check the SG! The mixture doesn't seem particularly thick, and the activity from the packaged yeast is visible in about 2 hours when added. The particular combination was arrived at empirically from about 12 batches done this way, the last 5 have used these exact porportions. The corn sugar seems to give yeast a nice starting kick, and the heavy malt seems to produce extremely active fermentation in the starter bottle. This all results in a starter that "can't wait to get at the real stuff". Russ Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #311, 11/28/89
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