HOMEBREW Digest #3121 Fri 27 August 1999

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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

  Primary vs. Secondary Experiment (BrewInfo)
  Pepper taste/aroma (ThomasM923)
  Sanitize counterflow wort chiller ("Erik M. Vanthilt")
  Eisbock (the return of Botulator) ("Steven W. Smith")
  Burn Baby, Burn...Pivo Inferno... (ThomasM923)
  re: Scottish Ales ("Campbell, Paul R SSI-TSEA-A")
  Wee Heavy ("Campbell, Paul R SSI-TSEA-A")
  reusing malta bottles (Mark Tumarkin)
  yeast suppliers (Marc Sedam)
  Licorice & OP/ Ethyl Hex. (AJ)
  Inconsistent Judging (AJ)
  How rude! (Pat Babcock)
  Re: wort shelf life ("Dic Gleason")
  Wyeast 1187 (Nathan Kanous)
  Cold Chillin' ("Paul Niebergall")
  Data point (probably very QDA) on Ice Beers (Joe Rolfe)
  RE:Visit to Belorussia - Any Beer There? ("Mercer, David")
  RE: Bio warfare brewing ("Chuck Hudson")
  High gravity follies (Paul Shick)
  Ringwood Yeast ("Jim Verlinde")
  Cereal cooking question (Paul Shick)
  More Yeast (RCAYOT)
  Re: Judging Inconsistencies ("Timmons, Frank")
  wort shelf life (Eric R Lande)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 18:39:35 -0500 (CDT) From: brewinfo at xnet.com (BrewInfo) Subject: Primary vs. Secondary Experiment I'm way behind in my HBD reading, so I apologise for this being so late. Back on May 25th (see what triplets will do to you?), Matt wrote: >Flavor Comparison of Batches of Extract-Recipe Pale >Ale Differing in the use of Primary-only or >Primary/Secondary Fermentation Prior to Bottling. I involuntarily did a similar experiment, which is not a great datapoint, but a datapoint nonetheless, so I'll present it here. I brewed a Tripel and put 4 gallons into each of two 5-gallon carboys. I pitched Wyeast "Trappist High Gravity" (or something like that... it is the Westmalle yeast, anyway) into both. The starter smelled strongly of bananas, so I overcompensated and put the fermenters in the crawlspace (unheated). The temp in there was about 55F. The starter was big (4 liters, partly decanted) so the fermentation began the next morning. The malt bill was unremarkable... I believe it was all Weyermann Pilsner malt and 0.010 of the 1.070 OG was from sucrose. After a week, the fermentation subsided and the beer fell clear. Many weeks later, I got ready to bottle it. I transfered one of the carboys into a 5-gallon carboy and was ready to add priming sugar. I checked the SG. 1.035!!! I realised that once fermentation began to subside, the temp dropped and then the yeast could no longer ferment at 55F. I therefore took the two carboys (one now a secondary and the other still a primary), put them in a warmer place and swirled without aeration (I believe I purged the secondary with CO2). Both restarted. Many weeks later, I did finally bottle, getting something on the order of 80% apparent attenuation (thanks to the sucrose). After carbonating for two weeks, I compared the two. The beer that was made with a secondary had a slightly less intense aroma and flavour. Both clearly had some higher alcohols and spicy character, but they were noticeably stronger in the beer made only with a primary. I've read in several places that fermentation on the break tends to increase higher (fusel) alcohol production. I have long theorised that the aroma/flavour we find in many Belgian beers (one that my cousin and I had originally called "that Belgian aroma") is due to higher alcohols. I also believe it is some specific higher alcohols that lend that spiciness to some beers (black pepper, cinnamon, etc.). If all that is true, then I suspect that it was the increased break material available to the yeast that caused the primary- only beer to be more spicy and have more noticeable higher alcohol character. Comments (if you expect a response, better Cc me, because it may be October before I read this in HBD)? Al. Al Korzonas, Lockport, IL korz at brewinfo.com http://www.brewinfo.com/brewinfo/ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 20:13:44 EDT From: ThomasM923 at aol.com Subject: Pepper taste/aroma Now that one of the topics of the HBD has turned to unusual flavors in beer (licorice in this case), I have been reminded of a question that I've been meaning to post for a while now. I have noticed in a few beers a subtle aroma and an even more subtle taste of mild pepper. Not the halepeno pepper kind of pepper, but the ground peppercorn kind of pepper. I have had a couple of Polish pilsners (one was brewed by Okocim) lately that had that peppery taste/aroma in it; the other beers that I've noticed it in were Stella Artois and I believe Grolsch Amber Ale. Has anyone else noticed this flavor in beer? Does anyone know where it comes from? My money is on a certain type of hops, but perhaps it is contributed by certain yeast strains. I like it and would like to replicate it in some of my beers. Thomas Murray Maplewood, NJ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 19:38:46 -0700 From: "Erik M. Vanthilt" <vanthilt at home.com> Subject: Sanitize counterflow wort chiller Just got the final item for my new 3 tier system, a counterflow wort chiller. What is the best way to make sure it is sterile/sanitized before each use? It is stainless inner tube, copper outer tube. TIA Erik Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 19:39:13 -0700 (MST) From: "Steven W. Smith" <SYSSWS at gc.maricopa.edu> Subject: Eisbock (the return of Botulator) Jeff Beinhaur and someone else publicly wondered how to perpetrate eisbock at home. I've been known to whip up a small batch from time to time - I call it Botulator, since my process has no regard for sanitation (BTW, to any lurking BATF stormtroopers, just *kiddin'* I never do this :-D Take a clean 2 liter pop bottle (I prefer seltzer since I don't have to clean it). Fill mit beer-o-the-month, apply The Carbonator and pressurize (not really required, but nice), whip it into the freezer for a couple of hours. It's up to you how much water you want to remove, ie, how long you leave it in the freezer. When you're ready for a nice beverage, take it from the freezer, open the top and drain it into a mug. I find that a 2l bottle yields one satisfying serving of eisbock. I like to lay the bottle on it's side in the freezer, makes the extraction a bit easier. Let it warm up a bit and drink it. <If anyone's nearby, comment on how *icky* it is, they'd surely not want to try any...> If I were inclined to step-up production I'd probably go to 1-gallon water bottles for the freeze then collect the eisbock in a 2l bottle then apply The Carbonator. BTW, if you let the ice melt the resulting liquid is typically a nice, wimpy beer. Enjoy, it's a dandy, albeit extravagant, beverage. If someone's figured out a reasonable way to make _kegs_ of eisbock, please share. Steve Steven W. Smith, Systems Programmer Glendale Community College. Glendale Az. syssws at gc.maricopa.edu It's a little-known fact that Lassie, suffering from Munchhausen by Proxy, _pushed_ Timmy down the well on several occasions. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 23:26:51 EDT From: ThomasM923 at aol.com Subject: Burn Baby, Burn...Pivo Inferno... I am slowly moving a new brewing setup from the planning stages to the building stage. I am now contemplating which type of burner to buy. I am not going to buy the Saturn V type, that much I am certain of. I have been going back over a lot of old HBD posts on the topic of burners and it seems that the Superior 35K model is a favorite. I am also wondering if anyone is using one of those impinged jet wok type burners? I found one with a 25K to 60K range in a restaurant supply store for around $25. I'd really like to keep this expense low so I can get a nice SS brew pot, and $25 sure beats $90. Oh, did I mention that I want to connect the burner to my house gas supply (natural gas)? How does one go about this? Black iron pipe all the way up to the burner? What kind of valve? And...and...Just one more thing...and... A tip of the hard hat in advance, Thomas Murray Maplewood, NJ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 11:44:19 +0200 From: "Campbell, Paul R SSI-TSEA-A" <Paul.R.Campbell at is.shell.com> Subject: re: Scottish Ales In HBD #3117 David Wright congratulates Rod Prather. As a Scotsman I can't let this pass without comment. It is indeed true that there are very few "traditional" maltings left, although intuition would suggest that very early (and now very much historical) brews in Scotland were made using traditionally malted barley - which undoubtedly would have used peat as a heat source..... breweries and distilleries now use commercially (bulk) malted grain in all but the most exceptional (and hence small) cases. It is arguable that current Scottish Ales have been nowhere near peat smoke, but that to be historically correct they perhaps should. One must however remember that even malting is a development in ale making, and before the days of deliberate temperature and moisture control, ale making was still practised; but in a less controlled (dare I say scientific!) manner. In those days peat would not have been burnt in order to malt the barley; but the water used could have contained a decent amount of peat contamination, certainly in some parts of the country. If you're interested in the historical aspects of Scottish brewing and the traditional brewery, why not check out: www.caledonian-brewery.co.uk I personally can't get too excited about brewing to "style"; Commercial breweries certainly don't want to increase their costs for the sake of tradition. I say, if you like the result, do it. YMMV :) Cheers, Paul Campbell Aberdeen e-mail: Paul.R.Campbell at is.shell.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 11:46:24 +0200 From: "Campbell, Paul R SSI-TSEA-A" <Paul.R.Campbell at is.shell.com> Subject: Wee Heavy Whilst quaffing a fine pint (or two) of McEwans 80/- last night my eye wandered across the bottle shelf behind the bar to rest upon Fowler's "Wee Heavy". This is a strong ale (~7-8% abv) which is now alas gone from all but a very few die-hard establishments and is sold in small bottles. I recalled a tale my father told me, which I thought I would share with the collective.... "Back then the licensing laws were much stricter, to the extent that the closing time for an establishment was 10:00pm and they meant it. There was no "drinking up" time as such, so you had to time your drinking to finish that last pint by the stroke of the magic hour. This would cause a bit of a challenge for the enterprising drinker, and an art developed around timing the consumption of pints in order to maximise the available time - ensuring you had obtained the necessary amount of alcohol, and finishing the process at the stroke of 10:00pm i.e. "Chucking Out Time". Picture a scenario.... you have a half pint left in your glass, and there's 10 minutes drinking time left. Decision time. Do you order another pint? Can you gulp it down (along with your current half)? You're pretty full already. Hmm. Why not order a Wee Heavy and add that to your current half! Maximised beer intake but reduced volume, and more chance of successfully completing the task in time. The "Wee Heavy" was often called a "Heavy Dump" - it was dumped into your current pint as a last gasp attempt to cram in more beer!" I must confess that purely in the interests of research I have enjoyed this combination on a number of occasions... and would highly recommend it! Regards, Paul Campbell Aberdeen e-mail: Paul.R.Campbell at is.shell.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 06:47:30 -0400 From: Mark Tumarkin <mark_t at ix.netcom.com> Subject: reusing malta bottles JYANDERS writes: "Not long ago, Brew Your Own had an article on yeast starters and the use of Malta, an unhopped, non-carbonated malt drink from Latin America. I gave it a try and was pleased with the results so I continued to use Malta for all my starters. I kept all of the empty 7 ounce bottles because I was going to use them for a barleywine I was planning to make. However, I began to worry about the pressure. Malta is not carbonated and I didn't know if the bottles could withstand the pressure. So I began to think about alternative uses for these bottles. " I have used the Malta bottles to bottle beer for several years with no problem. I only had a half dozen or so, so I never used them to bottle a batch of barleywine, though they would be terrific for that. I have used one or two with each batch I make, then I try them first, being relatively impatient. That way I can see how the carbonation & taste is early on without opening larger bottles before their time. I have done this with high gravity beers as well so they have sat at times for months without any apparent problems. I think that the glass is strong enough that carbonation isn't a problem - but you certainly may still have a valid concern. Mark Tumarkin Gainesville, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 08:18:17 -0400 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: yeast suppliers Scott Birdwell wrote: > Personally I don't like manufacturers and distributors trying to tell > me what products I should handle and which ones I shouldn't. Let's face > it, they have a vested interest in making sure we only buy products from > them and them alone. <snip> Uh, yup. Pretty much. Where's the problem? Don't you try to make sure your customers use you exclusively somehow (good service, cheap prices, coordination with clubs, etc.)? and Chris Farley wrote... <snip> However, I fear a situation developing in which "exclusive" Wyeast dealers get better prices on their yeast, and are able to retail yeast at a lower cost than retailers that choose to carry competitors' products. This kind of policy is more likely to alienate retailers. <snip> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I tried to resist this one, but couldn't. So, what you're saying is that it's bad for Wyeast to undercut the competition based on cost alone? I thought discussions a few months back said it was GREAT to undercut the competition based on price alone. I seem to recall reading things like "If you can't beat the price of competitors, get out of the business.", when referring to HB shops and owners who were trying to make a living. This was even touted publicly by some shop owners. Why should you be upset when you can get yeast cheaper **and** therefore pass those savings on to your customers. Can't think of a customer who would balk at cheaper yeast prices. Maybe HBers should start going directly to Wyeast and getting these savings from the manufacturer. Cheaper is cheaper, right? And you further say that the end result could be less choice than currently exists on the market? Either shops become exclusive Wyeast suppliers by taking advantage of the offer or react too strongly to Wyeast's overture and stock solely White Labs (or YCKC) yeast (some of course will do neither). And retailers might be alienated? Hmmmm. Sounds like it's OK for retailers (and small breweries) to squeeze out the competition but they get kind of upset when someone tries to impose an economy of scale on them. Strange, these situational ethics. Sorry to bring up a hackneyed topic but sometimes I can't help myself. Support your local homebrew shop. Vive la difference! Cheers! Marc Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 12:27:31 +0000 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Licorice & OP/ Ethyl Hex. I finally remembered to check on the OP/Licorice thing. Here are the words from the current (?; copyright '98) Good Beer Guide ""Srong, fruity character dominates in this malty, roasted ale. Dark malt and liquorish blend into a rainbow of flavor, balancing a smooth sweetness in young casks but tasting dry when older." So my recollection was correct but I suppose one could argue whether one can take this literally to mean that "liquorish" is actually used in the tun. I thought Paul Niebergall's comments on ethyl hexanoate were interesting. The flavor/aroma of OP and that of ethyl hexanoate are very, very different (at least for me) and while exthyl hex. is often described as smelling of anise,with which I agreee, it doesn't taste at all liquorish-like to me but more fruity. If you can smell it neat you will be immediately reminded of kids candies, anise flavored cough syrups etc. in which I am sure it is used as a flavorant and aroma compound. Other reported aromas for it are of pineapple, citrus and strawberry which it certainly does not suggest to me. I'm sure it depends on the concentration and what it is synergizing with. Also note that ethyl hexanoate in beer in usually caused by insufficient aeration. The British are known for vigorously aerating their slurry before pitching though I do not know whether Theakston's/Courage does this with OP or not. - -- A. J. deLange Numquam in dubio, saepe in errore. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 13:11:24 +0000 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Inconsistent Judging Dave Humes asked about inconsistent judging of contest beers. Yes, we've all been there and anecdotes about beers which have won best of show in one venue scoring 19 in another (very often in the first round nationals) abound. Don't expect too much of the people who judge your beer. Very few of them will be able to give you the feedback you really want because most of them are climbing the learning curve which is, of course, the only way to get to the top. Furthermore, it's difficult for them to make useful suggestions because they are not told what you did. The relatively rare judges who have brewed the particular style they are judging many times, who have drunk that style in the country of origin and who have lots and lots of judging experiece can read amazing things from a glass of beer and people who do brewing QC for a living are even more incredible - veritable walking GC's! Add to the above the fact that people have different perception thresholds for the various flavorants/odorants, that some are intrinsically better judges than others, that some consider themselves such great gurus that they expend more energy bullying other panel members than tasting and that more than a few came to town for the partying the night before the contest more than for the contest itself and you'll quickly conclude that the pupose of a contest is to have some brewing related fun. If you get useful information on a score sheet, that's great but think of the contest feedback in terms of the comments of some of your brewing peers but without the bias (contest judges are more likely to be candid than your friends. As to wild discrepancies - many contest organizers insist that all scores from a panel be within 7 (or some similar number of points) of one another. Some contests do have senior judges (often the organizers) who either rove and will sit down with a panel that can't agree whether a beer is too hoppy or not hoppy enough or review score sheets. As with judges, some contests are better than others. Let me close by pointing out that I do not consider myself one of the expert judges I mentioned above - I just don't judge enough. I am fully aware that my skills increase each time I judge and evanesce when I don't. I was best at the conclusion of a master judging course run by my club (BURP) where we had practice judging sessions every week for a couple of months. Q: How do I get to Carnegie Hall? A: Practice, Practice, Practice! - -- A. J. deLange Numquam in dubio, saepe in errore. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 09:17:56 -0400 (EDT) From: Pat Babcock <pbabcock at mail.oeonline.com> Subject: How rude! Greetings, Beerlings! Take me to your lager... AJ expresses some gas in his dissertation, and then doesn't even have the common courtesy to excuse himself: > I was best at the conclusion of a master judging course run by my club > (BURP) where we had practice judging sessions every week for a couple of > months. You see it? Right there! How rude! AJ: this is _not_ a common barroom! Please excuse yourself after belching! I'd rather prefer you waited until after you had finished speaking before doing so. What's next? Flatulence in the forum? Harumph! - See ya! Pat Babcock in SE Michigan pbabcock at oeonline.com Home Brew Digest Janitor janitor@hbd.org HBD Web Site http://hbd.org The Home Brew Page http://oeonline.com/~pbabcock/brew.html "Just a cyber-shadow of his former brewing self..." Note to the humor impaired: It's a joke. A JOKE! Now calm down... (Perhaps BURP *should* entertain the thought of changing their name to "BURP - 'scuse me". Just to be more, you know: polite and stuff.) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 06:22:32 PDT From: "Dic Gleason" <dicgleason at hotmail.com> Subject: Re: wort shelf life Scott asks >How long can wort stay in the carboy (with fermentation >lock of course) before it goes bad and must be thrown out? I have had wort stored in a walk-in cooler for over 2 months before use and had no problems. I did bring the wort back to a low boil (about 10 min.) prior to re-cooling and pitching my yeast. I do not think this is a good practice but sometimes things happen. You MUST be meticulous about sanitation and be aware for any signs of contamination. I think it is best to start frementation as soon as possible but wort storage can be done. Dic Gleason Tae'Baek Mountain Brewery So. Korea _______________________________________________________________ Get Free Email and Do More On The Web. Visit http://www.msn.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 09:39:18 -0500 From: Nathan Kanous <nlkanous at pharmacy.wisc.edu> Subject: Wyeast 1187 Let's confuse things more....from the Wyeast site: 1742 Swedish Ale yeast Stark beer Nordic-style yeast of Scandinavian origin, floral nose malty finish. Flocculation medium; apparent attenuation 68-72%. (64-74o F) A.K.A. 1187. nathan in madison, wi Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 09:39:00 -0500 From: "Paul Niebergall" <pnieb at burnsmcd.com> Subject: Cold Chillin' Harlan writes about cleaning wort chillers: >I disagree with the notion that running hot water alone thru a copper >heat exchange (HE) is an adequate cleaning regime. Hot water is a rinse >and a sanitizer, but is not a cleaner. Beer-stone, hop resins and trub >residue are untouched by water. Both Birko and 5-Star (PBW) make {snip} I have not noticed any beer stone or crud build up (at least as far as I can see down the copper tube - which is about 3 inches with a good flashlight) in my counter flow chiller (CFC). I suppose that at some point you could get enough build up that it starts to interfere with the sanitization. If you notice that you are starting to get beer stone build up, or a reduction in flow rate due to unseen build up, it probably is a good idea to start running a cleaner such as Birko or 5-Star thought the inner line of your CFC. And of course, it probably doesnt hurt to do this just because it makes you feel better. (50 feet of copper tubing is a lot unknown surface area, that cant be inspected). However, I dont think that CFCs are necessarily any more prone to causing infections than any other piece of beer making equipment. The one saving grace is that they are made of smooth copper. There are no real crevices or scratches for bugs to adhere. You may not be able to see the insides, but the copper gets real hot (now there is a technical term for you) during the boiling water rinse. >HE's are perennial sources of infection, and I view using only hot water to clean them as: out of sight; out of mind. So long as boiling (not just "hot") water is cleaning effectively and you are not getting a crud build up, then it is also sanitizing effectively. There are quite a few people out there cleaning their CFCs with boiling water. If counter flow chillers were so notorious for producing infections, I doubt that many people would be doing it. It may be "out of sight; out of mind", but it can also be though of as "If I am not a having a problem; I am not going to worry about it" Paul Niebergall (the artist formerly know as Dr. Beer. Dr. Beer is a registered trademark of Jay Hersch and I will refrain from further use of the term) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 10:47:19 -0400 From: Joe Rolfe <rolfe at sky.sky.com> Subject: Data point (probably very QDA) on Ice Beers as I'm sure none of this will be worth while to any one here, seems not much of what I have to say is on similar grounds, but hell here is my QDA..... A small commercial brewery (not mine) had an experience with a beer that had an "issue" come up. This brewery had a failure in a Conditioning Tank glycol valve that cause the valve to stick in the open position. This happend we guess shortly after the brewery shut down for the nite. Glycol temp at the chiller tank was set to 25deg F(+/- a couple degr). The next day the owner noticed the tank at a much lower temp than expected. He tasted the beer several days later after the valve was replaced. The consensus from the small triangle test we did was: the iced beer had much more complex malty character, as G.Fix mentioned the hop bittering effect was lower but not to bad. We never got the beer tested for IBU. The aroma was not significantly better/or worse (it was ragweed season round here). Clarity was better, but the beers produced here were unfiltered and usually drop brite regardless (unless we got a bad shipment of grain). Another brewery had a similar stuck on valve problem, but did not monitor the temps daily. No telling how long it was below freezing. The point here is when the tank (a 60+bbl conical fermenter) was racked the ice that had formed around the three glycol jackets started to become unattached. The ice on the upper jackets fell about 8-10 feet and destroyed all the internal fittings in the tank (temp probe, racking arm, c02 stone) not alot of damage in cost (maybe a $1K loss in hardware), but down time for that tank(a week or so in lost production and loss of a partial amount of the beer in the tank). >From what I had been told from a few master brewers at large facilities most of the processing for commercial ice beers are (mostly??) done with a scrape heat exchanger. This device scrapes the sides of the jacket enclosed cylinder to remove ice build up (I forgot how they get the ice out) as the product flows thru. The idea (I assume - QDA again) was precise overall control over the process. When I was in the brewing biz there was a company close by that I got a indepth tour of (Alfa Laval/Contherm - no connection) that made these for several large brewers. These where huge pieces according to the pres of the company (how huge - dunno - never saw any other that the smaller versions). The smaller versions where anywhere from 3-10 ft long, 8" to 2ft in diameter (that was a definate QDA on the sizes - from a 4 yr old recollection). Quite expensive to boot. Anyway there is a couple of cents worth. Not that has much bearing on what homebrewers do. Joe Rolfe Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 08:18:01 -0700 From: "Mercer, David" <dmercer at path.org> Subject: RE:Visit to Belorussia - Any Beer There? Brett asks about beers in "Belorussia". First off, the country is called Belarus now. Has been since independence in 1991. I haven't had any beers from Belarus that were worth drinking two of, and I'd be surprised if there were any. In general, the breweries in the Former Soviet Union (FSU) that are producing interesting beers are ones that have modernized and become joint ventures with foreign brewers. There is so little foreign investment in Belarus due to its heavy-handed Soviet-style government, that I imagine all the breweries are still state-owned relics from the Soviet days. Of course, I could be wrong. First time for everything ;-) There are some decent Ukrainian beers that are probably available in Belarus (although maybe not - the state breweries may be legally protected from competition). If you see some Ukrainian beer, here are some suggestions: In northern Ukraine, in the city of Chernigiv very near the border with Belarus, there is a brewery by the same name (Chernigiv) which makes some very good beer, IMO. Their dark (temne) is a reddish Maerzen-like lager, which, if drunk cool rather than cold, has some interesting smokey, burnt caramel notes to it. The first time I had it, I was reminded vaguely of a steinbier. Likewise, Obolon, the major brewery located in Kyiv, makes a dark lager "Oksamitove" which is also more maerzen-like than anything else. In my opinion, the best of the lot that would likely be available in Belarus are the beers from the Slavutich brewery in Zaporozhe. Their dark lager is malty and rich, similar to Staropramen, and their lagers also have more of a Czech influence. Less likely to be found but worth trying is a schwarzbier from the Odessa region called Yantar. It's good but not common, even in Ukraine. There's also a line of premium beers distributed out of Kharkiv under the brand "Dovgan". They are actually brewed in the Czech Republic and sold at a huge mark-up. They aren't bad, but they are over-priced. Bare in mind that all the names above are usually printed in Cyrillic, so they won't look like I've written them. Given its location, Belarus may also have Polish and Baltic beers, many of which, like Okocim and Saku, are available in the U.S., and perhaps some Slovak beers, like Topvar. I'll leave recommendations for those to people who know those countries better than I. Finally, no matter where you are, if it is no later than mid-September, you've got to try kvas, THE homebrew of the FSU. There are occasional posts about kvas (spelled with an extra 's' in Russian) in the HBD. IMO, it is the only non-alcoholic 'beer' worth drinking. Essentially it is a fermented drink made from black bread and raisins, sometimes fermented with bakers yeast, sometimes just with the natural bugs found on the raisins. It is served out of big round tanks, usually by humorless old women in lab coats. Bring your own bottle, or use the communal mug which is lightly rinsed between use by the pedestrians who line up sometimes ten deep on hot days for a quick drink. Kvas is only available during the hot weather months, so look for it up through mid-September, or so. Have fun. Dave in Seattle Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 12:34:03 -0500 From: "SCHNEIDER,BRETT" <SCHNEIDERB at morganco.com> Subject: Visit to Belorussia - Any Beer There? Not to be a pest, but in this region near Minsk are there any beers in bottles that would be interesting conversation novelty pieces worth bringing back for passing around at my hb club meeting sometime? I have seen some lambasting of general beers from ex-ussr regions but if there is name to seek - or better yet names to avoid - I would appreciate it. -brett Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 09:40:31 -0600 From: "Chuck Hudson" <chudson at unm.edu> Subject: RE: Bio warfare brewing ALAN KEITH MEEKER <ameeker at welch.jhu.edu > >>...The General made a comparison between home brewing and the production of > >>biological weapons. The General made the statement that anyone that > >>homebrews is able to produce biological weapons. This shines a new light on > > Dic, was the general referring to the production of "bottle bombs?" ;) > > -alan > > > That could be viewed as a correct statement. About 9 or 10 years ago I "tried" to make a real Lambic.Let us just say that the result could have been in the calssification of a "persistant biological agent":). Chuck Hudson ICQ # 45719468 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 11:44:54 -0400 (EDT) From: Paul Shick <SHICK at JCVAXA.jcu.edu> Subject: High gravity follies High Gravity Follies (or, Laurel and Hardy do Barleywine.) Hello all, I have a question/warning about some of the perils of high gravity brewing, but I thought I'd lead up to it by telling you some of the highlights of a pretty ridiculous brewing session. I just finished setting up my new brew kettle (the old one was always the weak link in a three vessel "semi-RIMS",) and decided to break it in by doing a very serious barleywine. I never seem to be able to project my extraction rate properly with a high gravity brew, but I hoped to come in somewhere in the 1.110+ range, with 75-100 IBUs. The mash and runoff went perfectly, and I ended up with about 7 gallons of beautifully clear wort in the kettle, planning to boil down to 5 gallons. There were two ounces of whole hops already in the kettle for FWH; I added a total of 4 ounces of pellets and two more ounces of whole hops over the course of the boil. I cooled the wort with an immersion chiller down to 70F, then began the runoff. Up to this point, this had been a remarkably smooth and soothing session. How quickly things change.... The kettle drain (an EasyMasher screen connected to a half-inch ball valve) immediately clogged up. "Can't be," I thought to myself. "I've gotten away with half pellet-half whole hop charges before." Well, not this time. It clogged up completely. Scraping the screen with a long-handled spoon did no good at all. I decided to try the old-fashioned "strain-em-out" approach, then, and rinsed out my old brew kettle, also fitted with an EM screen on a smaller drain. I put my trusty stainless steel collander on top of the empty kettle (the handles fit the opening perfectly,) removed the chiller from the full kettle, and poured the cooled wort through the collander into the empty kettle. Well, that was the idea. Of course the collander clogged up so fast that a lot of the wort sloshed to the floor, but I eventually got a collander completely full of hop crud and most of the wort in the old kettle. I hooked up a drain tube, opened up the spigot and got about two seconds worth of dribbling before THAT screen clogged up. Okay, there are other ways to drain a kettle. I put a small piece of screen on the end of a racking cane and tried to siphon out the wort. I got at least a cupful in the fermentor this time. Cleaned out the collander and poured back into the original kettle, after carefully rinsing out the kettle and the EM screen. More clogging of the collander, splashing the precious barleywine everywhere. Can't be many hops left in there after all this, right? Clogged again. Finally tried a siphon without a screen. This eventually worked, after having to restart the siphon three times. The end result: less than three gallons of barleywine wort in the fermentor, almost certainly contaminated after all this mucking around. This might be the world's strongest Lambic, after all! Every surface in sight is sticky from spilled wort. Didn't even get a hydrometer reading, with all the chaos. Knocked over a naural gas cooker while moving the kettles around, but only slightly bent the frame. Ah, the glories of high gravity brewing. I had planned to ask the collective "How on earth do you drain the kettle with these big barleywines? I've seen recipes with 8-10 ounces of pellet hops, but somehow the wort gets into the fermentor. Any practical suggestions will be appreciated." I said that I planned to ask this question, because I think I've figured out the problem in this case. I just brewed a CAP/CACA, opening up a bag of Mt. Hood hops from HopTech. The hop cones were beautiful, even though this bag was from the 97 harvest. They looked and felt like freshly dried hops from the yard. I contrasted these with the 97 Willamette hops that I used in the barleywine: these were so crumbly and brittle that I'd guess they provided no filter bed at all. I did a quick HBD search later, and found that Al K had the same problem with old, crumbly hops clogging his drain screens. In my case, the Willamettes were from a very respected hop company, stored in my freezer in the original bag since last summer. This distributor uses very thick clear plastic bags, which I assumed were pretty much moisture and O2 proof. Guess not. The HopTech Mt. Hoods were in the same freezer for even longer, stored in the original foil/barrier bag. These bags really work! So, in the future, I'm planning to buy all my hops from companies that ship in foil/barrier bags (guess which one.) And I suggest that anyone planning a big barleywine should use only properly stored whole hops, if you're planning to avoid sticking to your basement floor. Paul Shick Basement brewing in Cleveland Hts OH Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 11:57:00 -0400 From: "Jim Verlinde" <beans at voyager.net> Subject: Ringwood Yeast Jeff Renner writes: <I don't have personal experience with Wyeast 1187 (can anyone report on it from experience?), but if it really is Ringwood, it would be a head former, and would not be NCYC 1187.> I have used Wyeast 1187 more than once while trying to duplicate Arcadia ESB (Battle Creek) because they use the Ringwood strain. It is definitely a head former. I use open fermentation and skim/rouse daily. So far this yeast comes as close to the intended result as any I have used. Hope this helps! Jim Verlinde Grand Rapids, MI Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 11:59:33 -0400 (EDT) From: Paul Shick <SHICK at JCVAXA.jcu.edu> Subject: Cereal cooking question Hello all, When I'm not covering my basement with barleywine wort, I've been continuing my forays into the CAP/CACA style(s) that Jeff Renner has popularized. For the last two batches, I tried using organic corn grits with a separate cereal mash/cooking, as Jeff has suggested. It's certainly cheaper than paying three times as much for flaked maize as for my base malt, but, more importantly, it was seriously fun. You can get the details from Jeff's posts on cereal cooking. I'm tempted to call the process a "Classic American Decoction," but that might be pushing things too far. In any case, it's a very fun way to recapture an old brewing process. I do have one question for the experienced cereal cookers in the collective, though. I generally brew 10-12 gallon batches, so I have a pretty large cereal mash to add back to the main mash. For my first attempt, I used 3.5 pounds of grits and 1.25 pounds of two-row barley in about 1.25 gallons of water, which fit into a 12 quart stock pot (barely.) It wasn't too difficult to pour this carefully into the main mash (even though it's pretty thick by the end of a 30+ minute boil.) The second batch had more corn, and I had to do the cereal mash in a half-barrel keg/kettle. I did manage to pour this into the main mash, but I quickly became more concerned about personal survival rather than hot-side aeration problems. How do you add the cereal mash in without a) serious burns, b) serious HSA, and c) serious arm strain ? Any serious (or non-serious) suggestions welcomed. Paul Shick Basement brewing in Cleveland Hts OH Return to table of contents
Date: 26 Aug 1999 11:11:58 -0400 From: RCAYOT at solutia.com Subject: More Yeast Mike Uchima says: "One thing I've noticed about 1272 is that it tends to floc a bit early, before the beer is anywhere close to completely attenuated." This is another thing I like about the American Micro Ale #2, from brewers resources, because it IS underattenuating, it is great for milds and biters because it does not make for a dry beer, which helps the malt and apparent mouthfeel from having a little sweetness. Mike Maceyka, in response to the news that a Japanese brewer will stop using geneticly modified grain (corn) for thier brewing mentions that there are numerous examples of genetic alterations that occur naturally. I happen to agree that the use of genetic alteration is not only safe, but necessary to promote higher yields, and less use of pesticides. I wonder if the people who object to corn that has a gene from BT that is expressed and kills corn eating worms object to the pesticide that is used on non BT expressing corn to kill the pests? Certainly they are consuming more "chemicals" with the old technique! Another example of extremely poor quality journalism recently in an article in Scientific American about pollen from BT-corn killing monarch butterflys. The article was extremely one sided, and noted that 25% of the catepillars that ate leaves treated with pollen from BT-corn died, hmmm, I wonder how many catepillars that ate the control leaves died? Not mentioned! I wonder if they tried treating the leaves with the pesticide normally used to treat pests on corn how many would die? This is the kind of science reporting that drives me nuts, and I am really dissapointed in SCI-AM for this poor reporting! I should add that I worked for Monsanto, the company in the middle of this controversy, ya think I am biased? Roger Ayotte Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 09:40:52 -0700 From: "Timmons, Frank" <Frank.Timmons at AlliedSignal.com> Subject: Re: Judging Inconsistencies I share Dave Humes's concerns about judging results and conflicting comments on the same beers by different judges. I have noticed this in many score sheets I get back and also have seen it in competitions I have judged or stewarded. There are three things working here: lack of communication between the members of the judging panel, conflicting style descriptions, and the unavailability of good commercial examples of some beers for comparison purposes. In my opinion, Kolsch is one of the worst styles to enter into a competition because almost nobody really knows what it is supposed to taste like. I have entered two different ones, and gotten comments back much like you did, except three of the score sheets said that I didn't have enough aroma hops, even though hop aroma should be low to none by the style descriptions. With Kolsch, there are no authentic imported examples and the three or four times I have found it in brepubs in the US, I didn't think they were anywhere close the the AHA or BJCP descriptions. Most of them tasted like thin APA's, complete with Cascade hops! Of course, maybe we should, as you said, just grow up and quit griping. I think the better thing to do is to keep brewing and entering competitions, because you will get some good feedback and you will make better beer. If you get the chance to ask a judge why he scored your beer like he did, take advantage of it, without being confrontational or whining. Even better is to take the BJCP exam and start judging. Maybe you will be a positive influence of your fellow judges. Frank Timmons James River Homebrewers Richmond, VA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 15:29:53 -0400 From: Eric R Lande <landeservices at juno.com> Subject: wort shelf life In HBD #3120 Scott Catlin asks how long he can leave his fermented beer in the carboy before it goes bad. Scott, I think that whoever told you "indefinitely" was probably right. As long as you pay close attention to cleanliness and sanitation and the water in the air lock does not evaporate, I don't see why not. None of the nasty stuff can get in so the beer will not be infected or oxidized. I brewed a Bock last fall and was not very attentive to it. It was mid winter before I opened it and put it into a keg. It was fine. Also, I'm trying my first October Fest this year. I brewed it a little late (May) but it has been in the carboy ever since. I'll be quite upset if it comes out in Sept or Oct and is bad, but I'm not too worried. The one problem with leaving the beer in the carboy too long is that you don't get to drink it. Welcome to a great hobby. Eric Lande Brewery to be named when I finish it Doylestown, PA Return to table of contents
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