HOMEBREW Digest #3143 Wed 13 October 1999

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  re: Prickly Pear mead (Dick Dunn)
  Sex With A keg? ("Phil and Jill Yates")
  KilnCoffee (CLOAKSTONE)
  Homebrewers using Sankey kegs ("Luke Van Santen")
  Dry Yeast Sale (John Varady)
  Carbonation and Priming (Bill Steadman)
  Sankeys (Jeff Renner)
  Refratometer's ("Philip J Wilcox")
  czech pils response ("Bayer, Mark A")
  RE: Sex With A keg? (LaBorde, Ronald)
  RE: 3gal soda kegs rule (RJ)
  Starter Step-Up Rates (Biergiek)
  S.G. question (patrick finerty)
  Louis Farrakan speaks....... (Jim Liddil)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 11 Oct 99 23:21:26 MDT (Mon) From: rcd at raven.talisman.com (Dick Dunn) Subject: re: Prickly Pear mead John Wilkinson <John.Wilkinson at aud.alcatel.com> wrote: > ... Dick Dunn wrote of making pp mead > and I wondered if he would share a recipe?... Eh? We don' need no steenkin' RECIPES, mon! My "recipes" tend to be post-mortems, i.e., descriptions of what I did rather than (necessarily) what somebody should do, because I tend to make my decisions based on the ingredients I've got including judgments of their character and strength. After the mead is done, it is whatever it is and I have a little more experience to guesstimate the next one. That said, and also apologizing for being vague: I would suggest a still (un-carbonated), slightly sweet mead for prickly pear. Strong is OK, since this is a late-night sipping mead rather than a gulp-it-down mead. My approach has been to use a fairly robust yeast with a lot of honey (not all at once...step it up through fermentation) - say, just over 3 lb honey per gallon. How much fruit? Difficult since I've found the yield varies a lot with the ripeness of the fruit, and also because most of my notes show the amount of juice added rather than the amount of fruit which produced it. But it looks like something in the vicinity of 2 lb raw fruit per gallon of mead. (Counting the fruits is truly useless, since they can vary in size from a small kohlrabi down to a cornichon.) >...He also wrote: > > >Note, btw, that I didn't ferment on the fruit. I extracted juice, then > >cooked the fruit to extract more juice, etc., then fermented with the > >juice. This works, and as far as I could tell (by tasting free-run juice > >beforehand against pressed juice after cooking) didn't make a difference. > > Was the juice first extracted cooked, too? How did you cook the fruit? With > added water or the first extracted juice? The first juice was "free run" with a little encouragement. For cooking, I added just a bit of water to keep the fruit from scorching until it began to give up its own juice. - --- Dick Dunn rcd at talisman.com Hygiene, Colorado USA ...Don't lend your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 19:43:02 +1000 From: "Phil and Jill Yates" <yates at infoflex.com.au> Subject: Sex With A keg? I must take exception to Mr La Borde's suggestion that folk in here have been having sex with mini kegs. Perhaps what you are suggesting Ron is that such an act is being carried out AFTER the consumption of a mini keg. In which case this weighs heavily in favour of the mini. But Ron sees this as a "Dragon" and says "Life is too short". Personally I like mini kegs and the kinky life style that goes with them (yes Ron, life is too short!). But I must admit I find the corny kegs oh so convenient and haven't filled a mini since. I keep intending to make a special brew to put aside in my minis, but I haven't got around to it yet. The best thing about the minis is an incredibly creamy head for which I have no explanation. As for comparing mini kegs with walking through walls, for heavens sake Ron, have you gone completely mad? We haven't discussed walls since Dr Pivo's ridiculous gyprock experiment! This digest is for ordinary mortals (though some see themselves differently), not legendary super heroes!! Phil Yates Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 06:33:54 EDT From: CLOAKSTONE at aol.com Subject: KilnCoffee Hello everyone - Nathan asks about KilnCoffee in porters and stouts. For what it's worth, I customarily use Carafa Special #3, from Weyermann. It is a roasted malt that is de-husked prior to the deep kiln - thereby removing the main source of the characteristic harsh, "ash" quality of black patent, etc. At 600 L, it yields a tremendously black beer, if that's what you want, without the unpleasant flavor tones. I've gotten consistently great results. Paul Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 06:43:00 -0500 From: "Luke Van Santen" <Luke.VanSanten at dot.state.mn.us> Subject: Homebrewers using Sankey kegs All - I must take a little bit of issue with Phil Sides, Jr. He wrote: It is 'nearly' impossible and definitely impractical for a homebrewer to mess with Sankey kegs. Notice I said nearly because I am sure someone reading the HBD either does it everyday or has done it in the past ;-) Get some Corny kegs Rick, they are cheap and easy to use. Cornelius kegs are definitely easier to use and clean, and are probably cheaper (you should be able to get some old barrel style kegs with Sankey taps for $20-$25 from a shoestring micro, if there is such a thing anymore). But the cornies only hold five gallons. Sankey kegs will come in 7.75 & 15.5 gallon sizes. Taking the valve and stem out is no big deal - I think Jeff Renner had a post about this within the last 6 - 9 months. Actually cleaning them is harder than cleaning Cornie kegs, but not that bad (think of cleaning a 15 gallon stainless carboy). So, if you have the room, and the tap, and can find a keg in decent condition (or a condition you are willing to use), go for it! It will work just as well if not better than a Cornie! Luke Van Santen St. Louis Park, MN I STILL think Jeff Renner should run for President. With Al "3 times the fun" Korzonas and Dave "Brewster" Burley as co-Vice Presidents. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 08:48:36 -0400 (EDT) From: John Varady <rust1d at usa.net> Subject: Dry Yeast Sale Folks, If you are a dry yeast user and would like to score a couple of years worth of dry yeast, check out this ebay auction: http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=179691335 There are 90 five grams packages of dry yeast in this lot. I won these in the '99 MCAB and really don't plan on using them (I have several local brewpubs and brewerys that I get fresh yeast from). There is a minimum bid of $5.00 and buyer pays shipping ($3.00 in the US). These sell for close to $1.00 each retail. Proceeds from this sale will be donated to the HBD server fund. Thanks to Pat & Karl for getting the server back up. John John Varady The HomeBrew Recipe Calculating Program Boneyard Brewing Custom Neon Beer Signs For Home Brewers Glenside, PA Get More Information At: rust1d at usa.net http://www.netaxs.com/~vectorsys/varady Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 08:11:48 -0500 From: Bill Steadman <Bsteadman at elicheesecake.com> Subject: Carbonation and Priming I bottled 8.25 gallons of an Ordinary English Bitter with 5 oz of corn sugar desiring 2.0 CO2 VOL, medium carbonation (used Promash to calculate the corn sugar). The bottles were left out at 68 degrees for 14 days, and displayed CO2 within the liquor and a nice head (with good retention) when poured. After two days in the refrigerator I decided to give one a test ride -- the darn beer was under carbonated and displayed little carbonation and poor head retention. I was truly shooting for a English Ale brew here, with low carbonation. Thinking I had a fluke bottle here, you know maybe poor sugar distribution during bottling -- I grabbed another to sample. Same damn thing. I have read in past posts that temperature definitely plays a role in carbonation levels. The dorm refrigerator was pretty cold maybe 40 degrees or so. I was wondering if what I should do if anything. One, I can wait until the beer settles and see if there are any improvements with time. Or, pull the bottles back out and see if I can up the carbonation level at fermentation temperatures. Shrug.... kind of a pisser here, because I was going to enter this bitter in a homebrew competition. Feedback in the forum is OK. Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 09:01:19 -0400 From: Jeff Renner <nerenner at umich.edu> Subject: Sankeys Phil Sides <psides at carl.net> wrote: >It is 'nearly' impossible and definitely impractical for a homebrewer to >mess with Sankey kegs. Notice I said nearly because I am sure someone >reading >the HBD either does it everyday or has done it in the past ;-) Get some >Corny kegs Rick, they are cheap and easy to use. Well, you're right, and here's that someone! I wrote privately to the original requester, but I'll post my experience here (as I have in the past - it's in the archives.) I like Sankeys for several reasons, and Corneys for others. For a 5, 10 or 15 gallon batch, I wouldn't use Sankeys, but they work for me. I have a three vessel RIMS made of 10 gallon aluminum stock pots, so my brew length is 1/4 bbl. I open ferment my ales in one of the stock pots (with a judicious lid to keep boogers and critters out), and my lagers in a Sankey without the valve. Then I keg in a Sankey (directions below). After I've drunk 2.75 gallons I sometimes will transfer the remaining 5 gallons to Corneys for space considerations or to transport. I've been kegging in Sankeys about 18 years. First, *release all pressure* by pressing down on the ball valve or you'll get your teeth full of a heavy valve and draw tube assembly when you release it. Hold a rag over it or you will get a face full of stale beer. Then, using a small screwdriver, pry out the flat retaining ring. Next, using the jaws of a pair of pliers as a tool, turn the valve to the left maybe 30 degrees, and lift it out. It takes less time to do it than to describe it. Soak the inside with bleach water for a few hours and boil the valve/drawtube to sanitize it. Rinse, fill with beer, reverse the above steps, The hard part is re-installing the flat retaining ring. You have to press down to compress th O-ring (which is under the valve). To do this, I put a plumbing part called a reducing coupler (I think 3/4" to 1/2")) on top of the valve, hook a board under the lip of the keg top, across the coupler as a fulcrum, and sit on the other end. Then I force the ring into its slot by twisting a wide screwdriver blade in the gap against the coupler until it's home. It takes me about 30 seconds. You'll need to get a tap, of course. I keg about half of my beers in these, the rest in 5 gallon Cornelius (soda) canisters, which have the advantage of being easier to fill and seal, using cheaper taps, and taking up less room in the fridge. Of course, they hold less. Jeff -=-=-=-=- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, c/o nerenner at umich.edu "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 11:56:40 -0400 From: "Philip J Wilcox" <pjwilcox at cmsenergy.com> Subject: Refratometer's Richard, Yes, Brix are" essentially" the same as Balling and Plato. They are all more or less defined as 1 degree equalls 1% sugar in solution. 1% sugar is "essentially" 1.004 SG until you calculate it out about 1.040 then it starts to gain. For example 16 Plato is 1.065....There is an equation out there somewhere for a more exact conversion. Its lengthy and complicated, but if you would like it in an Excel spread sheet let me know and I can Email you one. The one time I made beer at the winery, we used a fairly expensive temp. corrected refractometer (Adago ATC-1 Hand Refractometer) to estimate run-off gravity, and pre-boil gravity. It didn't even come close. we were both puzzled at why, so we tried another one that wasn't temp corrected and still got screwy results. We guessed at the time that maybe the disolved solids played a role. Or perhaps the refractometer are calibrated on pure Fructose rather than the maltose et. all that we are making? We found out later that it is calibrated on Sucrose. But that doesnt really answer the question does it. Anyone else have a better answer???? Good question for Siebel or even better for UC Davis!! Phil. I gave my donation to the HBD, and will strong arm my club into doing the same tonight. Have you given yours??????? Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 11:39:50 -0700 From: "Bayer, Mark A" <Mark.Bayer at JSF.Boeing.com> Subject: czech pils response collective homebrew conscience_ john t is brewing a czech pils and asked for comments: first and foremost, you need to get in contact with doc pivo. my $.02: > 2 oz 3.9% AA Czech Saaz - FWH > 1 oz 3.9% AA Czech Saaz - 30' > 1 oz 3.9% AA Czech Saaz - 10' this may not give you the quantity of hop aroma you need. i've seen the article on pu in brewing techniques, and i seem to remember that there was not a great deal of hops added (none) past about 10 or 20 minutes beob, but my experience has been that i can't get pu-like hop aroma unless i cram a bunch of hops in right at the end (like, at knock out. i immersion chill.), or do a *very* short boiled hop tea and add that. dry hopping gets you an aroma that's a little "raw" as compared with pu, to my palate, but you may find you like it. >OG 1.050 (85% efficiency) >FG 1.015 (per guidelines) >1. With a 100% Pils grist, I'm concerned about maintaining proper body >in the finished beer. The published attenuation for 2278 is 70-74%. My >experience is toward or beyond the high end of the range with any given >strain, thus my concern for over attenuation. I need to keep it around >70%. Will a 154F sacc temp suffice, or is a higher temperature >indicated? Lose the 140F rest, maybe? What about the addition of some >carapils? here's joe power from siebel: >My critique to the statement "I saccarify all my beers at 158F to promote >more body, mouthfeel and sweetness" would be "You're wasting your time" >(assuming you're using North American Malt). You will need a higher >temperature than that to get a significant increase in unfermentable body, as >high as 165F. just passing on the info. (yes, i remember you're using czech malt). a 154 degf main rest with 100% pils malt and vigorous, healthy yeast may get you a drier beer than you want. just speculating based on my past czech beers. i would personally say throw in .5 to 1 lb of carapils or carafoam and consider upping some portion of your sacch. rest to somewhere around 158 to 162 deg f. and don't mash out too hot. keep it around 165 to 168 deg f. >2. Any comments on my proposed hop schedule from the experienced Pils >brewers? 43 IBUs is <snip> 43 ibu's is fine if you can get an attenuation of about 70% (1.015) and you stick with the plan to use very soft water. a.j. delange has advised in the past to avoid mixing sulfate and saazer hops, based on his experience. >What about fermentation temps? absolutely get doc pivo's advice on this. ask about temps, temp ramps, lagering, and krausening. hope this helps. the aim is to get you close, and then you can make decisions on the next batch based on what you get from this one. trust your own experience. brew hard, mark bayer stl mo Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 15:59:00 -0500 From: rlabor at lsumc.edu (LaBorde, Ronald) Subject: RE: Sex With A keg? Ooh Phil, boinking after the mini keg is consumed is possible, I suppose, but how can one clearly remember the facts? What is this fetish about AFTER, Phil? I can only imagine how Jill must feel, always being put after. This is at least your second bit of friendly advice about changing that pesky habit. I too dabbled with the thought of mini kegging, went as far as purchasing one and quickly became discouraged after being treated to a Pilsner facewash. I was playing with the idea of using a counter pressure filler, not to fill, but to dispense from a mini keg. Yes, I too have some strange habits, I freely admit. Ron Ronald La Borde - Metairie, Louisiana - rlabor at lsumc.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 19:47:20 -0400 From: RJ <wortsbrewing at cyberportal.net> Subject: RE: 3gal soda kegs rule Hey Tom, Another great way to transfer from one keg to another is to use a hose with threaded out connectors on each end. The rec'ing keg should have ~7 PSI CO2 in it from the start and be sealed; Connect the out connectors to each keg's out port. Then apply CO2 to the "feed" kegs' in port, to push the beer thru. A few of the good things about this method is there is 1) Little chance for contamination; 2) The beer enters the rec'ing keg thru the long dip tube nearly eliminating splashing; 3) The flow is regulated be relieving air head space (above the CO2) by briefly opening the relief valve to facilitate slow flow. RJ PS I own (5) 3 gallons kegs myself... They are great for parties and get toegethers... cerntainly easier to carry than 5 gal Date: Mon, 11 Oct 1999 22:01:50 EDT From: Tombrau at aol.com Subject: 3g soda kegs rule Greetings Brews Brothers I love my 3gal kegs. I rack into a 5g keg with priming sugar and transfer to a 3g keg and bottle the rest. A 10" piece of racking cane fits in thekegs. cobrahead spigot and makes for easy bottling (oxymoron). Also, for keg to keg racking place racking cane piece between the two cobraheads, tap the kegs, open spigots and voila, nice and easy,counterpressure transfer. I also have balanced the freezer/fridge temp to accomplish 68f in the fridge and 40f in the freezer. You get the picture, fermenters in the fridge, 3gal keg in the freezer (sideways,out tube down) for serving through the tap in the side of the fridge. Easy. On my spray nozzle on my sink, I cut the hose, inserted a T fitting with an out corny fitting attached. This makes for easy filling of a keg with water or rinsing a keg turned upsidedown in the sink. Just plug on the fitting and turn on the water. I had an extra gott 10g water cooler (aka: mashtun) that I rigged an out fitting and tube to the factory spigot, dropped in a full and ready to drink 3g keg, ice and small co2 tank and regulator (i use an old oxynater tank and regulator charged with 100psi co2 for dispensing-it takes 2 tanks to empty a 3g keg). This setup makes for a great tailgate party. Who would guess it were fresh homebrew pouring from this construction style water cooler. When people first see this setup, they think i just poured beer in and it is gravity feeding out the spigot. NOT. Easy portability. As you can see my vote goes to the trusty soda keg. Did I use the word "easy" too much? May all your racks be o2 free!! Tom Moench Devout tinkerer and wannabe beer engineer Mench5 at aol.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 21:05:21 EDT From: Biergiek at aol.com Subject: Starter Step-Up Rates The HBDJ is pretty slow right now due to the scandalous related crack down at the 'case, so I thought I would post my question here. I am trying to determine what the optimal step-up rate is for a yeast starter. I have come across the following numbers: -In BT this year it was published that you don't want to step up more than 10X the current starter volume (i.e. if the current volume is 200ml the next starter volume should be no more than 2000ml - I have to do the math for the folks in the Grand Rapids area, please be patient) -I think I read in the HBD archives that Steve A. 4X was correct for lagers, and 8X for ales? -Morkey Owings likes to go with 6X. If I go with Steve A., and my final starter volume is 6L, then the 4X schedule would be: -smack pack 50 ml 4 X 50ml = 200 ml for next step 4 X 200 ml = 800 ml for next step 4 X 800 ml = 3200 ml for next step last step at the target volume of 6L It is time for the HBD to weigh in on this matter, what say yea all? Kyle Bakersfield, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 21:14:08 -0400 (EDT) From: patrick finerty <zinc at zifi.psf.sickkids.on.ca> Subject: S.G. question hi folks, i brewed my second all-grain batch this weekend, supposedly a Full Sail Amber Ale clone. after some useful email from the Executive Brewmaster (i want that title!) at Full Sail, i decided to splite the 10 gal batch into two carboys and use Burton on Trent Yeast for one and a mixture (~50/50) of Irish Ale and London Ale Yeasts for the second. anyway, after finishing the sparge i measured the gravity of the ~12-13 gal of sweet liquor to be 1.052. unfortunately, after everything was over and the wort was in the two primaries, i did not have a sterile pipette for measuring the O.G. so i just skipped that part. now i'm trying to back calculate the O.G. here's the question: is the relationship between volume and density (specific gravity, actually) linear? i'm fairly certain it is since we're just measuring the mass per volume. if the volume is decreased by a factor of 1.2 while the mass of solute remains constant, the density should increase by 1.2 as well, until the point where such a system no longer shows a linear relationship. it doesn't make any sense to multiply 1.052 * 1.2 since the result is clearly too large. however, if i subtract the contribution of the water (1.000) to the density and multiply the 0.052 by 1.2, the result is reasonable (1.062). none the less, reasonable does not equal correct. any comments? -patrick in Toronto - -- "There is only one aim in life and that is to live it." Karl Shapiro,(1959) from an essay on Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer finger pfinerty at nyx10.nyx.net for PGP key http://abragam.med.utoronto.ca/~zinc Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 22:14:33 -0400 From: Jim Liddil <jliddil at vms.arizona.edu> Subject: Louis Farrakan speaks....... A person who shall remain anonymous sent me this insightful and witty message: > You've got issues and you're angry . You maybe the "Louis Farrakan" of > homebrewing And I "thought" I was beginning to become less angry and judgemental. Certainly I still have a long way to go. "Sean Richens" <srichens at sprint.ca> wrote: > I heartily recommend cranberries. > I then crush them and toss them in at the end of the boil. They stay in > for the duration of primary fermentation. As a note, cranberries have a great deal of natural pectin and the heating can lead to excessive gel formation. I prefer to add fruit to the secondary and let the berries release their flavor their. Ken Schramm and Dan McConnell did an excellent presentation at the NO AHA conference and the results were clear cut that the place to add fruit (or vegetables) is in the Secondary. As a note, the rhubarb beer was great and I think this would be a really good choice for plambic. Also I prefer to run my fruit through a Moule' so that it is really pureed. > From: "Steven Jones" <stjones1 at worldnet.att.net> > Subject: Bottling pLambic > > > I've got a plumbs that's about 16 months old now, and > I'm ready to bottle it. The gravity is around .998, and > it has a pellicle about 3/4 inch thick. Do I need to add > yeast with my priming sugar to get the carbonation, or > will there be enough residual yeast to do the trick? It may of may not.. You could try any number of approaches. As Jeremy suggested check the lambic faq, liddil.com, and the lambic digest archives. There are any number of "correct" approaches. Yo may want to split up the batch and try various bottling techniques > Also, I'm wondering if the pellicle will re-form in the > bottle, or if I need to take any special measures to > prevent it from happening. > And if the pellicle reforms so what? Is it the end of the world? Keep in mind that this is a plambic, not a pale ale where you worry about neck rings. What matters is how it ultimately tastes. > I had though about pasteurizing it by heating to about > 150F for a half hour, then priming, adding yeast and > bottling, but I'd rather not if it can be avoided. Does > anyone have any advice for me? > I feel this approach is a disaster waiting to happen. In my view there is no sound reason to kill the microorganisms in the beer prior to bottling. Having said that you are free to try this and see what happens. Maybe you will get great results. > From: "Ken Schramm" <schramk at resa.net> > Subject: The AHA > > His comments are very astute. Or pure lunacy > > I do feel, however, that the main point here is that we are in charge of > the destiny of the AHA. There are many options available to us, but we > have to assert our power to control the actions and direction of the > organization. I genuinely believe that if the membership says that this > organization must change (and not one-at-a-time on an on-line forum, but > collectively, at the convention) then the organization will have no > choice. > I have to agree and disagree. The USA (since we are talking about the AMERICAN HOMEBREWERS ASSOC) is largely wired either via telephone, the internet, etc. So We don't have to travel to communicate and interact. Webcams are dirt cheap. The HBD has one (and Pat let me know if my donation has not arrived). so I don't buy the one at a time thing. Just because we aren't all in a room telling Paul and the BofA how messed up things are doesn't make our comments any less important. Shoudl I have to spend airfair/hotel/conference registration to voice my opinion as a MEMBER OF THE AHA? The AOB sees fit to put the GABF list up right away, yet the minutes from the BofA are still dated 1998. And I have not seen mail from techtalk in many weeks. Having just search the AOB site, I have yet to find contact info for various BofA members. I have only seen Ed Busch and David Houseman post@ any one time. So are you suggesting that all this online babble is just pissing in the wind? And again I note that the AHA forum traffic did not increase when the hbd went down. At least the AOB canned Cathy. :-) > Jim, I will make efforts to meet as many of the requests as possible, and > even to keep you abreast of the developments, if you are willing to come > to Detroit and see how we did (and I'll try really hard to work out the > keg of Hansens). No guarantees on Howard Stern, but I liked his movie, > much to my surprise. Fine on the yeast culturing, but I am not too keen > on trying to put anybody out of business. There have been numerous discussion about capitalism and business on the hbd with Pat Babcock making some very good comments. My views about David Logsdon and wyeast are not going to change. One can check the lambic digest archives and the renct thread here about practices Wyeast has used. And if not Howard then Jackie would certainly be a good choice based on his fondness for beer. Return to table of contents
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