HOMEBREW Digest #3681 Wed 11 July 2001

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  star san ("Stephen R Cavan")
  Star San solution ("Eric and Susan Armstrong")
  UPS Shipping ("Mark Tumarkin")
  Anchor Steam clones ("Brian Morgan")
  Style Guidelines for Stale Ale (Ant Hayes)
  re: Star San ("Kensler, Paul")
  UPS shipping woes ("Houseman, David L")
  re:  Beer Beer and More Beer ("Kensler, Paul")
  aeration question (leavitdg)
  'Budvar' Yeast ("H. Dowda")
  Re: Beer, Beer, & More Beer (Kurt Kiewel)
  Dishwasher (alastair)
  Consumer reports / bottle color (David Harsh)
  RE: Beer, Beer and More Beer (Jeff Hertz)
  Bottling & Kegging combo question ("Donald D. Lake")
  A report on my Strawberry Wheat ("Jeff Beinhaur")
  Augustiner clone recipe? (John Martin)
  Do I need a combine to harvest my hops? ("Eric Ahrendt")
  Consequences of a Low-Temp Mash ("Jeff Tonole")
  re: Temperature and mash thickness effects on fermentability/measures ("Stephen Alexander")
  Food Network--July 30th ("Paul Gatza")
  Call For Entries - Small Brewers Festival of California (Peter Torgrimson)
  The Batch from Hell (Jim Adwell)
  Ordering From BeerX3 (Rick Lassabe)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2001 23:15:25 -0600 From: "Stephen R Cavan" <scavan at sprint.ca> Subject: star san Ed asked: "Does anyone know how long a working solution of Star San will last? I have 5 gallons of working solution that was made up a week ago stored in a sealed opaque container." I mix my solution with RO or distilled water and it seems to last months. It is pH sensitive, and my water is rather high at 8.9 which is why I use RO water. Steve Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2001 01:30:00 -0500 From: "Eric and Susan Armstrong" <erica at isunet.net> Subject: Star San solution This was taken from the Five Star Chemical web site. I have found that Star San solutions will become cloudy as the solution becomes colder. Usually around 65-70F. Hope this helps. Eric Ames, IA Charlie Speaks! When does Star San lose its effectiveness? A sanitizing solution of Star San will remain effective for three or four days in an open container and up to three or four weeks in a sealed container. It is effective as long as the pH is 3 or lower. The pH can be checked with a paper pH test strip. If the pH raises above 3, add food grade phosphoric acid or more Star San to lower it. If the pH will not drop to 3, the Star San solution is no longer effective. Star San begins to become opaque as it loses its effectiveness. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 07:11:06 -0400 From: "Mark Tumarkin" <mark_t at ix.netcom.com> Subject: UPS Shipping Rick Foote describes his past adventures with the "UPS Nazi", and others have recently suggested shipping out your beer through your local homebrew shop to avoid possible problems. This will work, but I thought I'd expand on the thought for those that don't have easy access to a local homebrew shop (or who's local HB shop isn't quite that accommodating). You can ship your beer through ANY business account that has regular UPS pickup, generally without problem. The UPS drivers are very busy and don't cause these type of problems for their regular business customers. They just scan in the packages, put them on the truck, and they're off to the next stop. Of course, still take all the packing precautions that have been mentioned - simply to make sure your beer arrives safely. So if you know anyone with a business that does regular shipping you should be ok. Just offer them the occasional homebrew to keep them happy. I don't generally label the packages, but if you want to, try this one: Please Handle Carefully - Yeast Samples in Glass Bottles Mark Tumarkin Gainesville, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 07:23:45 -0400 From: "Brian Morgan" <brian.k.morgan at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Anchor Steam clones I am looking for good all grain Anchor Steam clone recipes - suggestions, please? David Craft wrote: >>I just tapped my Anchor clone and it missed on the >>finishing bitterness, but has nice flavors across the toungue. The reviewers >>of CR would like it. I used a Bavarian Lager yeast at 60 degrees.......It is >>Anchor without as much bite in the end. David, is your Anchor clone an all grain recipe? Would you mind sharing it? I'd love to conjure up a batch of Steam for the summer. >>Brew on, Thank you! Brian Morgan Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 13:41:19 +0200 From: Ant Hayes <Ant.Hayes at FifthQuadrant.co.za> Subject: Style Guidelines for Stale Ale I have been digging in my books and on the internet for some sort of description as to how Stale Ale was made. The only references that I have found are in the story of the origins of Porter and in some old poetry and cook books. The BJCP and AHA seem to have missed this style. The descriptions seem to vary but the beer is generally described as oxidised and sour. Is Stale Ale perhaps England's answer to the Lambic and Oud Bruin styles? Does anyone know of any reference material? Ant Hayes Gauteng; South Africa Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 09:01:52 -0400 From: "Kensler, Paul" <PKensler at cyberstar.com> Subject: re: Star San According to the Five Star website (www.fivestarchemicals.com): "When solution begins to cloud, sweeten with Star San or Phosphoric Acid. Solution must remain at a pH at 3 or below to maintain proper sanitizing level." Back to me: As long as the solution is clear and at pH 3 or less, its active. Since Star San is no-rinse at 200 ppm (1 oz. per 5 gallons) I always "sweeten" it with phosphoric acid rather than more Star San. I've had success making a batch of Star San and using it for a couple months before it turns cloudy and can't be "sweetened". I just keep a 5 gallon bucket of it around at all times - its really convenient for when I just need to sanitize a carboy or a couple keg fittings. I'll occasionally make up a gallon or two to make up for spillage, and replace the whole batch after 3 months or so - like I said, whenever it turns cloudy for good. Hope this helps, Paul Kensler Gaithersburg, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 09:03:42 -0400 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: UPS shipping woes It would also help if competitions find a location, that will accept UPS packages, which does not have "Homebrew," "Beer," or "Brewery" or similar key words in the name or address. I've found that sometimes such words sets off the alarms of some of the UPS clerks. Shipping from my local HB store however was painless and no questions were ever asked; go figure. Dave Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 09:06:33 -0400 From: "Kensler, Paul" <PKensler at cyberstar.com> Subject: re: Beer Beer and More Beer I've had nothing but good experiences when ordering from BB&MB. Their website is nice, but their paper catalog has even more gadgets, parts, equipment and supplies. I generally order more than $40 at a time to get the "free shipping" deal. They've been pretty responsive when I've emailed them with questions. The only complaint I have is that they are in California and I'm in Maryland - the laws of UPS physics dictate that my order will always take 10-14 days to get here!! No affiliation, JASC, YYY, Paul Kensler Gaithersburg, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 08:20:02 -0400 (EDT) From: leavitdg at plattsburgh.edu Subject: aeration question I have just purchased a diffuser, with aquarium pump for the initial oxygen demands of the yeasties. For a medium gravity ale (1.4-1.5 sg) how long would one aerate before pitching the yeast? ..Darrell Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 06:31:49 -0700 (PDT) From: "H. Dowda" <hdowda at yahoo.com> Subject: 'Budvar' Yeast St. Pat's may not be the only source for a 'Budjovce' strain of yeast. White labs, I understand, is offering this yeast as a special this summer/fall. Is it the same as the St. Pat's? Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 09:04:16 -0500 From: Kurt Kiewel <kiewel at mail.chem.tamu.edu> Subject: Re: Beer, Beer, & More Beer I've ordered many times through BBMB and was always completely satisfied. I highly recommend them. Once UPS smashed up a box so bad that a part fell out. I called them and they put a new one in the mail ASAP without batting an eye. -Kurt Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 07:24:20 -0700 (PDT) From: alastair <alastair at odin.he.net> Subject: Dishwasher This message is for dishwasher users... I just tried to wash a batch of bottles in my dishwasher as a labor saving alternative to an hour with the B-Brite and bottle brush. The bottles came out looking very 'clean', but there were some issues: I used some regular dishwasher detergent and it seemed to leave an invisable residue in the bottle afterwards. I poured a small amount of water in the bottom and tasted it against a referene sample. The bottle water had a slight 'soapy' taste that was the same as the dishwasher detergent... I guess the moral of that story is "don't use detergent". I've read about others washing bottles in the dishwasher, so I was wondering what is the current 'state of the art' in terms of this procedure... or is it not recomended? My observations were that bottles are not really suited to dish- washers. The narrow neck prevents much water from getting into the bottle. This seems to prevent a good rinse to get out any left over detergent. As far as the outside of the bottles go.. they sparkle! I assume the fact that the bottles get heated to +150F is good enough to kill off any baddies, but I would still brush them before to get out any residue from the last brew. What does the collective have to say? Thanks! Alastair Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 11:02:37 -0400 From: David Harsh <dharsh at fuse.net> Subject: Consumer reports / bottle color A Craft brewer aka David Craft <David-Craft at craftinsurance.com> (probably never heard that one before..) asked about the Consumer Reports article. My opinion on it was that it seemed to ignore styles and the differences that make a flavor appropriate. Not that their descriptions were innaccurate, just seemed to take a "beer as a black box" sort of approach. Sure anchor steam is bitter, but isn't that the style? - ---------- Milone, Gilbert <gilbert.milone at uconn.edu> asked about bottle color > > ...10 cases of clear glass bottles Can I use these bottles... > I will be storing the brew in the cases, and in the basement. > So it shouldn't skunk if it's stored in the case????????? Right. It takes light (ultraviolet in particular) to skunk beer. Just remember that the taste threshold for the skunked beer is around 4 parts per trillion (if my memory serves correctly) and the reaction is essentially instantaneous. If you want an idea of how fast, just pour your favorite hoppy ale into a glass and stand in the sun while you drink it. So stay away from the light and your beer will be fine. Dave Harsh Bloatarian Brewing League Cincinnati, OH P.S. See you at Beer and Sweat on August 18th for the world's largest keg-only homebrew competition. Details at http://www.hbd.org/bloat. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 08:30:28 -0700 (PDT) From: Jeff Hertz <duckinchicago at yahoo.com> Subject: RE: Beer, Beer and More Beer >>>Asking about experiences with B3-- I've placed probably half a dozen orders with B3 and have nothing but good things to say about them. The free shipping on large orders ($50 or $75-can't remember) is great, since all my orders have been fairly sizable. I bought a complete cornie system and had some problems with a defective regulator (not their fault, mostly mine) and they shipped it back the next day at no cost. They also don't sit on orders the way some internet retailers do. Anyone have any other opinions either way? I have to say also, that the quality of the website has a lot to do with whether I order from a shop or not. Several of the better known Homebrew e-tailers have pathetically bad websites, so much that it makes it difficult to find and order what you want. I know most of these shops are running on small budgets, but you have to keep your customer in mind when setting up a e-commerce site. I would say B3 is much better than the average brew site, but obviously they have a ways to go to match the simplicity and quality of a site by a big name e-tailer (Amazon, etc.) Programmers and servers cost big money though, so I guess its a trade off for good prices and helpful folks at the shop. My two cents.... Jeff Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 11:40:18 -0400 From: "Donald D. Lake" <dlake at gdi.net> Subject: Bottling & Kegging combo question I'm still new at this kegging thing, so I'm still learning. My question is about kegging say about 4 gallons in a 5 gallon C-Keg and bottling 1 gallon for competiton. What's the best way to do it? I've been siphoning off a gallon into a bottling bucket, adding corn sugar or DME and then bottling as usual. Are there better methods? Don Lake Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 09:19:26 -0400 From: "Jeff Beinhaur" <beinhaur at email.msn.com> Subject: A report on my Strawberry Wheat First off thanks to everyones suggestions. When we can avoid all of the confrontations that always seem to take place here in HBD land it's amazing the wealth of knowledge that exists. The Strawberry Wheat has been kegged now for just over a week. When it was first kegged the strawberry aroma was very intense and the taste had that little bit of tartness that you can get from the berries. Now after a week the aroma is more gentle but definately strawberry. The taste has lost some of the tartness and the sweetness from the fruit is coming out nicely. Definately a chick beer or as someone called it LPR (Liquid Panty Remover). Well I'm still hoping the LPR works. SWMBO is starting to like it more each day so there's hope. As for the recipe I will be more than happy to forward the details to anyone who might be interested. The one thing I discovered is that my one hydrometer is off and so the OG was actually 1.048 rather than the 1.044 I reported. It finished out at about 1.007. As for the berries, I added them to the secondary. I cleaned 5 pounds of them, sliced them and then froze them as someone suggested in order to break down some of the cells of the fruit. Upon thawing, I crushed them and a camden tablet into the plastic fermentation bucket I used for the secondary. This sat for 24 hours before adding the beer (5 gallons). After an 8 day secondary I then kegged. This was my first attempt at a fruit/chick/LPR beer. I'm quite happy with the result and again as for the LPR part I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks again for all of your input..... Jeff Beinhaur, Camp Hill, PA Home of the Yellow Breeches Brewery Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 11:21:28 -0500 (CDT) From: John Martin <John.A.Martin at Sun.COM> Subject: Augustiner clone recipe? Does anyone have a good all grain or partial recipe for Augustiner Light? Thanks. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 13:26:12 -0400 From: "Eric Ahrendt" <rock67 at peoplepc.com> Subject: Do I need a combine to harvest my hops? The latest AB "This Bud's for you" radio jingle goes something like this: "Grandma at the wheel of a green combine Harvesting hops day and night Until the job is done. This Bud's for you." Hmmmm. They're picking the wheat around here right now. Maybe I can ask farmer Steve to take a spin through the hop yard. Seriously, I don't seem to have the problem with insects that other people have (except cutworms - bastards.) Someone here had mentioned that if there are lot of weeds around that the bugs prefer these. Maybe this is the case. I live in the middle of a swamp surrounded by every weed imaginable. For the first year the Cascades are going nuts. The Saaz are having a little trouble, but I think they'll be fine. Tomorrow I brew an Oktoberfest. Isn't refrigeration great! Eric Ahrendt Oak and Iron Brewery Fremont, OH Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 14:41:44 -0400 From: "Jeff Tonole" <jefftonole at toast.net> Subject: Consequences of a Low-Temp Mash I'm trying to do some troubleshooting -- my last few batches have had a lower-than-expected OG (say, I was expecting 1.052 and got 1.040), and my terminal gravities have been unusually low as well. This change coincided with a new hydrometer (acquired after the untimely death -- and unsolved homicide -- of my previous one), so I initially thought that an inaccurate hydrometer was the culprit. But the hydrometer was cleared of all wrongdoing after a few tests with various sugar/water mixes. I next turned my attention to my thermometers, and it turns out the dial thermometer I use during the mash is off 12-15F on the high side. So, when I thought I was mashing at 154F, it was actually 140F. This is definitely a problem (and an easy one to correct), but I wanted to check in with the HBD collective to make sure it's the root cause of my unexpectedly low gravities. Given the low mashing temp, I would expect a more fermentable wort and lower finishing gravity, but does a low mash temp also result in a lower starting gravity? If so, what's the reason behind that? Less starch conversion? Thanks in advance for droppin' the knowledge on Mash Basics 101... jeff tonole SlothBrew Adrift in the universe but currently living in Ithaca, NY PS As for micros in the fridge, I usually stick to homebrew, but I just moved two weeks ago and drank most of my existing stock before the move. So, I'll give a shout out to Saranac (makers of a fine English-style pale ale), Ithaca Beer (got a growler of their seasonal IPA), and Victory (got a growler of their tasty HopDevil from a local pub). Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 14:55:16 -0400 From: "Stephen Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: re: Temperature and mash thickness effects on fermentability/measures Jeff Renner posts re fermentability and the influence of temps and thickness on same. The data that Jeff references via Andrew Stavrolakis and an "individual at Lallemand Ltd" actually come from an American research by R.H.Hall, as reported by G.Harris in his book "Barley and Malt" Academic Press, 1962. The table appears in M&BS pp 289. I've posted the table to HBD at least three times since 1996, but the earliest posting (and perhaps the best typeset one) appeared in HBD#1138, May 1993 from Rob Thomas. Set your mail reader to a fixed width font to read easily. << From: ROB THOMAS <THOMASR at EZRZ1.vmsmail.ethz.ch> Subject: mash vs. extract table Hello All, Here's table of mash thickness vs. temp vs. extract, taken from Malting and Brewing Science, vol 1, D.E.Briggs, J.S.Hough, R.Stevens, T.W.Young, Chaman and Hall, 1981. Hope it's of some use. Rob Thomas. Influence of mash temperature and concentration on the composition of sweet wort {Data of HALL quoted by HARRIS (1962) [221} Mashing temperature 60!C (140!F) 65 6!C (150!F) Mash thickness (%) (2) 67 39 29 67 39 29 Wort analyses(1) Hexose 12.3 10.1 9.5 11.9 9.5 8.1 Sucrose 2.8 3.4 3.4 4.1 4.2 3.8 Maltose 43.9 48.3 49.5 38.8 43.9 42.8 Trisaccharide 14.3 14.3 13.8 12.6 13.6 15.0 Dextrin 17.5 15.5 14.6 24.2 21.2 22.3 Fermentability (%) 73.3 76.1 76.2 67.4 71.2 69.7 Extract ( %) 55-63 76.2 75.6 73 4 75.3 74.2 Soluble N (% of wort 6.2-6.6 5.34 5.50 5.58 5.22 5.03 solids) pH 5.46 5.40 5.50 5.31 5.33 5.38 (1) carbohydrates expressed as % of wort solids. (2) Parts of grist/100 parts of water. Mashing temperature 68 3!C (155!F) Mash thickness (%) (2) 67 39 29 Wort analyses(1) Hexose 11.0 10.2 8.0 Sucrose 3.7 5.0 4.0 Maltose 36.9 37.0 39.0 Trisaccharide 12.8 12.7 14.3 Dextrin 27.6 26.2 26.9 Fermentability (%) 64.4 65.0 65.3 Extract ( %) 73.3 74.6 74.0 Soluble N (% of wor 4.90 4.77 4.85 solids) pH 5.31 5.35 5.30 >> The mash thicknesses corresponds with (67, 39, 29) (.72qt/#, 1.23qt/# , 1.65qt/#) The experiment performed in the US in the late 1950s probably used malt that would be considered undermodified by today's commercial malt standards, and higher in beta-amylase than a high kilned (pale ale) malt. Also the impact of thickness on fermentability at a given temp is small, only varying by 3.8% in the most extreme case. The difference wrt temperature is mostly between dextrin and maltose demonstrating improved utilization of beta amylase at lower temps. Other JIB studies show that extract efficiency increases with increasing water(thinness) up to at least 2.5qt/lb, and that amylase activity is limited by the low concentration of free water molecules in mashes, particularly under about 1.1qt/lb. For the units challenged, 0.72 qt/lb is about 1.5 L/kg. Actually I'm a little surprised that a system of measure based on arbitrary base units and powers of ten has great appear to anyone who is past counting on his/her fingers and toes. Jeff Renner earlier asked .... >Now we "Mer'cans are notably metrically challenged, but isn't a ml a >1/1000 of the basic unit of volume, the liter (or litre), not 1/100th? Oh Jeff - now you've stumbled onto their dirty little secret. There are two metric systems, MKS & CGS with different base units. You should have known this was the case as the French would never agree to use the same system as everyone else. When you get into electrical units you'll also find A Gaussian CGS (and MKS?) system that needlessly introduces additional base units. So much for standards. I could care less about the choice of measurement systems and always in favor of one that is convenient for the current context. As a brewer I think a system based on a barleycorn(1/3rd inch) might be a preferable choice to one based on 10^-7 (or 10^-9) times the Napoleonic era guesstimate about the distance from pole to equator. Now if we just had a unit of temperature based on the temps for lagering and the 'hissing/mirror' temperature of water we could invent an HBD measurement system. - -- Re Jeff's other more scatological question .... I think you shouldn't be so worried about the calories in a fart, Jeff as the environmental impact. US EPA describes methane as a leading of global warming (and certain forms of local warming) second only to CO2. http://www.epa.gov/ghginfo/ http://www.epa.gov/rlep/sustain.htm http://www.junkscience.com/feb99/termites.htm Of course the Kyoto treaty would have banned beer in the developed world. (the real reason Clinton & GeorgeW have failed to sign it). Alternative emissions control solutions have been proposed: http://www.vgernet.net/cakunce/cork.html however the storage and containment issues with this solution are comparable to nuclear waste. I still think a practical apparatus using fuel cell technology to convert this methane to electrical power and hence to drive small portable air conditioners, heaters, cell phones, web browsing devices, MP3 players, wort chillers etc has potential. Darpa has already funded applications work related to the small personnel carried fuel cells http://knowledgefoundation.com/sfcbook.html and may fund more re fuel source technology. The extension to 'personal gaseous emission'(PGE) as the secondary fuel source means that a fielded army could operate on anything from Budweiser & broccoli to Orval & onion rings or Spaten & sauerkraut.. We envision teaming up with a megabrewers to sell this initiative and a high flatulence beer-like product to DARPA. Eventually "drop and give me 20" may have a whole new meaning in basic military training. I have a *special* PGE collector design in mind for Pivo to honor his vast contributions in this area. Should he care to sell the resulting energy, Sweden may become the electrical energy OPEC of Europe. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 12:58:40 -0600 From: "Paul Gatza" <Paulg at aob.org> Subject: Food Network--July 30th Hi everyone. The premier Food Network airing of "Beer Unwrapped" will be Monday, July 30 at 10:30 p.m. eastern, 9:30 central, 8:30 mountain, and 7:30 west coast. Paul Gatza Director-American Homebrewers Association Director-Institute for Brewing Studies Association of Brewers 736 Pearl St. (303) 447-0816 ext. 122 Boulder, CO 80302 (303) 447-2825 fax mailto:paulg at aob.org Join the AHA and IBS at www.beertown.org Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 15:49:05 -0700 From: Peter Torgrimson <petertorgrimson at prodigy.net> Subject: Call For Entries - Small Brewers Festival of California Homebrewers, Have you ever dreamed of brewing your beer in a commercial brewery? Well, here is your chance. Enter your beer in the 2001 Small Brewers Festival of California Amateur Brewers Competition. The Best-Of-Show winning brewer will brew his/her winning beer next year at the Tied House Brewery in Mountain View and serve it at the 2002 Small Brewers Festival of California. What do you have to do? Get your beer to the Tied House Cafe & Brewery, 954 Villa St., Mountain View, CA or at alternate drop-off points. Entries will be accepted through July 21. DO IT NOW!! A flyer describing the competition details is posted on the Worts Of Wisdom Homebrewers website at http://www.wortsofwisdom.org. This competition is BJCP-registered and is part of the 13th annual Small Brewers Festival of California, in Mountain View, California. See http://www.smallbrewersfest.com for more information about the festival. The Small Brewers Festival of California is on August 11-12. The Best-Of-Show judging will occur on Saturday afternoon, August 11, at the festival. Complete judging results will be available immediately following the Best-Of-Show judging. Please distribute this information to other homebrewers. Peter Torgrimson Worts Of Wisdom Homebrewers Mountain View, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 22:37:37 -0400 From: Jim Adwell <jim at jimala.com> Subject: The Batch from Hell After some ten years of brewing, I decided to make my first real Weizenbier, with real weizen yeast, using Wyeast 3068, Weihenstphan Weizen yeast. This is not S. cerevisiae, but rather S. delbrueckii, AKA Torulaspora delbrueckii. I had read somewhere that this is a very active yeast, producing an enormous krausen. I decided to keep the fermentation temperature low, not exceeding 68F, to produce a balance between cloveness and ester production. I was not expecting any problems. Little did I know. Here's a day by day account of brewing the Batch from Hell. The following is true; it actually happened. Day 1: UPS leaves the box containing the Wyeast 3068 in my garage. I find it, open it, and smack the pack. It starts to swell within 2 hours; by 6 hours it is an inch thick. I decide to pitch it in a starter wort the next day. Day 2: The smack pack is bulging at the seams; I've never seen one this swollen before. I pitch it in 1 quart of 1.040 wort from a batch I previously canned. I expect a quick start. I leave it at room temperature, about 70F. Eight long hours later, I see nothing but a little foam on top, and no bubbling from the airlock. The yeast appears to be dead, or seriously wounded. I pick up the starter container, a 1/2 gallon glass milk bottle, and shake it gently. Enormous , and I mean ENORMOUS, quantities of gas, presumably CO2, erupt thru the airlock, blowing off the little red cap, which lands some 4 feet away in the kitchen sink. I ponder the meaning of this while lying in bed that night. Day 3: Brew day has arrived. I get up at 6 AM, and pitch the yeast I find at the bottle of the milk bottle into another quart of the 1.040 wort, well aerated like the previous one. I will be timing my brew day so that I can racked the cooled wort into the primary fermenter about noon, so the yeast will have some ten hours to do whatever it is that they are going to do with my starter wort before I retire for the night. My batch will be 3 1/2 gallons; I want a lot of head space in my primary, since 3068 is known to produce a large head. The grain bill is 45% Briess 6-row Vienna malt, 45% home-malted wheat malt, and 10% home-malted rye malt, with 1/2 lb of oat hulls for roughage. This will be the first time I have used wheat malt that I malted myself. I have made and used rye malt, oat malt, buckwheat malt, and barley malt with excellent results. I am not anticipating any problems from my home-malted wheat. It is Canadian soft white wheat. I will do a 30 minute rest at 105-115F, infuse to 150F for 25 minutes, raise to 160F for 15 minutes, and mash out at 165-170F for 5 minutes before lautering. My deep-well water seems well suited for a weizenbier, so I will not add anything to it. The mash goes well, and I recirculate about 1 gallon of wort and begin to drain the sweet wort into the boiler, expecting a slow lauter. I have milled the grain more coarsely than I usually do to speed things up. I am expecting an SG of 1.045. Slow lauter?!? The wort is shooting thru the drain hose at an amazing speed; I get my 4 1/2 gallons of wort in 10 minutes! Wow, I think. Wow. The wort is very pale and somewhat cloudy. I begin boiling, and continue for 75 minutes, when I run out of propane. Oops, I was going to boil for 90 minutes. There is a nice hot break in the wort. I peek into the fermentor, a plastic bucket with a drain valve and an opening in the lid thru which I will insert a temperature probe. There is a layer of foam on the starter. The yeast must be alive and working. I put the immersion chiller in the hot wort, cool it down to 68F, and open the drain valve on the boiler. The wort is shooting into the fermentor rather faster than normal, I am thinking. When the last of the wort is in the fermenter, I look into the now empty boiler, and it's really empty, just a pile of hops and some leftover wort. There is NO TRUB in the boiler, none at all. This has never happened before, not anything like this, nothing even close. The hops are as clean as if they had been boiled in water. The SG of the boiled wort is 1.041, a bit low. I put the fermentor in the fermentation chamber, set the switch to 'cool' and set the temperature control. I check it from time to time during the day; the temperature inside and outside the fermenter is 67F, where it remains until I go to bed. I reflect upon the meaning of NO TRUB as I fall asleep. Day 4: I check the fermenter in the morning; the temperature remains at 67F, inside and outside. I look inside the fermenter, and there is some foam activity, and it smells wonderfully estery. Good, I think, maybe this batch will be okay. By evening the beer is foaming high in the fermenter, and spilling out a little down the sides. The temperature is still, you guessed it, 67F, and there is no temperature differential between the inside of the fermenter and the outside. This is not normal; I have measured this before,and there is always a 3-8 degree differential between inside and outside when the krausen was high in the fermenter. Not only that, but the beer, or whatever the wort is becoming, has begun to smell very strange and unpleasant, almost like vomit. I have noticed a similar smell once before in an ale when I put 2 ounces of baker's chocolate and a pint of strong black coffee in the primary. That beer turned out very nicely; the bad smell disappeared in the secondary. I am hoping that this batch will be okay, too. I lower the thermostat in the chamber to 60F. I fall asleep wondering what will happen with the Batch from Hell, as I now call it, tomorrow. Sounds like a bad horror movie from the 50's - the Yeast from the East meets the Malt from Montreal, or......zzzzzzzzz. Day 5: With some trepidation I look in the fermentation chamber; the fermenter temperatures are now at 63F and there is some sickly opaque orange poop-like substance that has oozed out of the fermenter and down the outside. Orange? Huh? The smell is better, though, much better. Maybe the yeast had a bit of trouble digesting the trub proteins and had a bout of flatulence. Maybe I'm anthropomorphising the BfH more than I should. The krausen has subsided somewhat, and no longer threatens to escape the fermenter and hunt down and devour small mammals. At noon I decide to rack to a glass fermenter to see what the heck is going on. The SG is 1.010, right about where I wanted it, and the missing trub is in the bottom of the now empty primary. I taste a sample; yummy!, with just the right amount of cloveness and subdued esters. I decide to leave the beer in the secondary for another day at 65F, and then bottle it. Day 6 and beyond: I bottle the batch, and try a bottle after 4 days; low carbonation still, but a wonderful clovy refreshing taste. And it is almost clear, too. The Batch from Hell has turned into the Batch from Heaven. I think I'll make another batch of this very soon. There's no moral here, I just thought I'd share my experience. in Central New York Jim's Brewery Pages: http://brewery.jimala.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 21:47:38 -0700 From: Rick Lassabe <bayrat at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Ordering From BeerX3 Mark, Here's one vote for satisfied experiences! No I do not own stock in Beer Beer & More Beer! Rick Lassabe Bayrat's "Bayou Degradable Brewery" Return to table of contents
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