HOMEBREW Digest #401 Wed 18 April 1990

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  blow-off method (RUSSG)
  Mead Color (Jay Hersh)
  Homebrew Supply Stores listing (Chris Shenton)
  Re-pitching vs. Re-culturing (Enders)
  Briess extracts (Paul L. Kelly)
  Pink elephants on parade... (arun_welch)
  Mead and color... (Chris Shenton)
  strawberry color in mead (florianb)
  Double Bock & Mead (Alan Duester)
  removing gummy labels (mage!lou)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 17 Apr 90 10:15 EST From: <R_GELINA%UNHH.BITNET at MITVMA.MIT.EDU> (RUSSG) Subject: blow-off method I've been brewing using the open ferment (garbage can) method, with good results, but I'd like to try a closed ferment (is this the same as the blow-off?). Papazian says to pitch the yeast in the carbuoy, and then seal it with a water seal, but then where does the blow-off take place? If you did'nt seal it but put a blow-off tube instead, when *do* you seal it? Does the blow-off tube need a water seal (like the end of it underwater in a blow-off jar) too? You see I have a few questions; any help would be appreciated. Russ Gelinas Return to table of contents
Date: 17 Apr 90 10:39:08 EDT From: Jay Hersh <75140.350 at compuserve.com> Subject: Mead Color Hello, Since I moved to Mass. my new apartment seems to have a house flavor it is imaprting to my beers. This had led me to making a number of wonderful melomels instead. I made a blueberry one a few years ago that had a beautiful rose color. I have recently made a cranberry which was very red and just a bit tart. Most recently a blueberry strawberry which while not aged enough yet promises to be fantastic. The recipes tend to be pretty easy Boil down 1oz of mild hops like cascade with water crystals and yeast nutrients for 45 min or so to make a hop tea. Use irish moss in this if so desired. Keep this at 180 to 200 F and add the honey. Steep the honey and the fruit (well sliced for strawberries) at 180 to 190 F for 45 min or so. I use 6lbs of light honey like clover for 3 gallons, or 12lbs for 5.5 gallons. This works pretty well. I always use red star pasteur champagne yeast in my mead with nothing but excellent results. Pretty high OG and FG of .995 are typical. This yields alcohol rates of 8 to 11 percent. As for color steeping usually provides enough, but leaving the fruit in the primary well deepen it even more. No additional colors are needed unless you really want something Kool-Aid colored. Most of the colors I get are deep but the mead is still clear enough to see through, as I feel it should be. I don't boil since it drives off the honey aromatics. You can get honey made from specific flowers (I've seen blueberry) which is rich in these aromatics. Not boiling also keeps the fruit aromas. The high temp steep sterilizes the must and the preboil with the hops drives off chlorine and other tap nasties. I ferment for 3 - 4 weeks primary, rack to a secondary and ferment another 2 - 4 weeks depending on how lazy I am. I then bottle and forget about it. Give it at least 6 months. I find 6 - 8 months is a critical age where the flavor improves radically. After that it will improve more slowly. Mostly the harsher alcohol flavors (rmember Night train or MD20/20 .... cheap wines) are what age out to yield a truely pleasant light bodied product. Similar in many respects to rose wines, but with a distinct flavor and character of its own Cheers, Jay H Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 90 11:39:48 edt From: Chris Shenton <chris at asylum.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: Homebrew Supply Stores listing D_KRUS%UNHH.BITNET at MITVMA.MIT.EDU writes: > Can anyone tell me if anyone has taken the time to compile a listing of > all homebrew supply stores, relative to all readers of this digest. If this > has been done, in which digest is it located so that I may retrieve it from > the archives. I've got one. I also will try to keep it updated, if people send me new info. If someone tells me how (hint, hint), I'd be happy to post it the the homebrew archives. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 90 11:01:29 -0500 From: Enders <enders at plains.NoDak.edu> Subject: Re-pitching vs. Re-culturing While re-pitching the yeast does have the advantage of introducing a large number of active yeast cells into the wort, the objection I have to this method of yeast re-use is that you _MUST_ pitch the reclaimed yeast within a short period of time after collection (certainly less than a week, even under refrigeration). This is fine (and probably the prefered way to go), IF you are going to brew another batch soon. So, what does one do if one doesn't brew quite so frequently, but still wants to re-use his/her yeast? Well, frozen samples and maintaining cultures on agar slants/petri dishes are a couple of possibilities. Re-culturing from a bottle fremented with the desired strain is also a viable option IMHO, IF certain precautions are followed: 1. The bottle should be reasonably fresh, certainly not more than 2 mo. old. 2. Use STERILE wort for reculturing. At the minimum, this involves canning the starter wort. The more suspicious might want to pressure can (autoclave) it. 3. If the beer shows _ANY_ sign of infection, DO NOT culture from that batch! 4. sterilize the mouth of the bottle in a flame before collecting the dregs in a sterile container. Try to transfer as little of the leftover beer as possible from the bottle to the sample, or let the sample settle out, and decant most of the excess liquid. 5. clean and sterilize EVERYTHING as well as possible. Granted, this is quite a bit more involved than simply repitching, but it is somewhat less involved than maintaining a culture on agar, and on a par with frozen samples. However, it is cartainly less sterile than culturing from the liquid yeast packet (either by freezing or on agar), but, if one is careful, you can culture from a bottle fairly safely. Also, it really isn't a good idea to stretch repitching/reculturing very far, certainly no more than one batch for reculturing from a bottle, or repitching, and probably no more than 2 batches from one of the more sterile reculturing techinques (i.e. starting with the sample, make a starter, pitch and then possilby repitch ONCE). Well, enough of that for now. It looks like I'm going to be bottling my I. not so P. A. tonight. I just have to wait another week or two to sample it (if my patience holds out that long Todd Enders arpa: enders at plains.nodak.edu Computer Center uucp: ...!uunet!plains!enders Minot State University bitnet: enders at plains Minot, ND 58701 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 90 11:28:28 EST From: pkel at psych.purdue.edu (Paul L. Kelly) Subject: Briess extracts I would like to hear from anyone who has used Briess malt extracts. Green Acres has 58# pails of the stuff for $72; if the extracts are any good, I would like to buy some. However, I am concerned by the old adage "you get what you pay for." Does anybody know why it's so inexpensive? Are the extracts made from all malt, or do they use adjuncts such as corn sugar to keep the cost down? Unfortunately the bulk size is all that Green Acres sells, or I would simply buy enough for one batch, and test it out. Another question regarding bulk extracts: someone recently said that one can achieve better quality on dark beers by using light extract, and darkening the wort with specialty grains. What grains (and in what amounts) should I use to duplicate, say, John Bull unhopped dark with light extract? If I buy the Breiss, I would like to just buy a pail of the light, and use that for brewing all my beers, dark and light. And finally, thanks to all who replied to my request about Mackeson Triple Stout recipes. I recently finished bottling a stout that I made by following Papazian's guidelines for a sweet stout (in CJOHB) -- with a few variations. I used more malt extract than he suggested (a total of about 8.5 lbs), and at bottling time I primed with a cup of unsulphered molasses. The stuff fer- mented for about two weeks, and carbonated in less than a week. I think the amount of molasses used was too much, since if I opened a bottle at the proper drinking temperature (for me about 50 deg F) it tended to gush. Chilling helped prevent this type of catastrophe, but then of course I had to wait (impatiently!) for the brew to warm up to drinking temp. The flavor was very much like Mackeson's, but not quite as sweet (which is fine by me). Next time I think I'll add the molasses just before sparging, and prime with something that has a known sugar content. All in all, a nice recipe; if there's any interest I'll post it. Alas, I can send no samples, as I have not worried, relaxed, and drank all five gallons of it :). Paul pkel at brazil.psych.purdue.edu | I think <----+ |"Cows!" - Owen, _Throw Paul L. Kelly | | | |Mama from the Train_ Dept. Psych. Sci., Purdue Univ. | \|/ | |Disclaimer: Jane, you "Humpty Dumpty was pushed!" | Therefore, I am ->+ |ignorant slut. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 90 13:08:31 -0400 From: arun_welch at cis.ohio-state.edu Subject: Pink elephants on parade... My cousin manages a tea plantation in Assam, India, and was visiting us last week. Apparently the people of the region brew a rice beer, but have to be very careful about storing it outside their houses. Apparently there are a lot of elephants in the area who like the beer even more than the humans, and if they even suspect that there's any beer in the house, they'll tear it down looking for it. Burying it in the jungle is the only safe way to store it, or to make it for that matter... ...arun - ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Arun Welch Lisp Systems Programmer, Lab for AI Research, Ohio State University welch at cis.ohio-state.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 90 14:44:47 edt From: Chris Shenton <chris at asylum.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: Mead and color... Paul L. Kelly writes: > I'm planning to brew a batch of strawberry mead (well, technically melomel) > soon, and I was wondering how well the red color from the berries will be > retained in the final product. > Should I add something else (red zinger tea comes to mind) that will > definitely stay red, or will I get enough color from the fruit (assuming > I use about 6lbs of strawberries)? I did a raspberry mead with ~7# frozen raspberries, and it's a beautiful color. (Tastes real nice, too). Maybe not as deep as cherry KoolAid(TM), but a good clear red. I wouldn't add a thing. Return to table of contents
Date: 17 Apr 90 17:03:05 PDT (Tue) From: florianb at tekred.cna.tek.com Subject: strawberry color in mead In #400, Paul Kelly says: >I'm planning to brew a batch of strawberry mead (well, technically melomel) >soon, and I was wondering how well the red color from the berries will be >retained in the final product. My wife tells me I drank too much Kool-Aid as I don't know about mead, but I use strawberries (and cherries and blueberries) in apple cider (Moost) quite often. Crushing the berries and adding them during the last five minutes of boil will lend a nice color and flavor to the brew. I use one pound of fruit per gallon of cider. I don't worry about boiling the fruit for that long. It doesn't seem to give any bad flavor to the brew. I let the fruit pulp remain in the ferment during the primary fermentation and siphon the brew off the fruit upon transfer to the secondary. Strawberries, cherries, and blueberries all give a pale red or rose' color to the "punch." [sometimes I also throw in a little red food coloring for orneriness if I want a really red brew!] Florian, who loves Kool-Aid. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 90 20:49:50 EDT From: capnal at aqua.whoi.edu (Alan Duester) Subject: Double Bock & Mead Hey Folks: Sam Adams Double Bock is out in the stores already. I wasn't expecting it for another month or two. It doesn't seem to have as much of a malty sweetness as it did last year, but I stocked up with 4 cases anyway.. Also, for mead lovers, Boston Beer Brands (distributor) has some Fallona mead, made in Southboro, Massachusetts. It's expensive at $21 a bottle, and it's in limited supply, so hurry if you want to get some. I like it very much. It's a bit more delicate, and not as thick & sweet as the Maliniak and Millenium imported Polish meads I like so much. It has a background flavor slightly reminiscient of peaches. Definitely a sweet, still mead. (Cher - sample on the way!). It does contain sulfites according to the front label, but "virtually no sulfites" according to the back label. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 90 22:38:27 MDT From: hplabs!mage!lou Subject: removing gummy labels A few months back there was a lot of traffic in this digest regarding removing self-adhesive labels. At the risk of reopening an old controversy, I want to report some findings. I've discovered that heat makes these labels easier to remove. Just covering the label with your palm for 20 seconds will help, although it still isn't easy. What I do these days is to kill two birds with one stone. When I empty a bottle, I hook up my bottle washer to rinse it out with. I use the hottest water my water heater can provide; this heats up the bottle enough that the label peels off the bottle easier than it did off it's original paper backing. Using the bottle washer allows me to rinse the bottle without gettig the label wet (wet labels are still hard to remove). I'm using Avery brand labels but I expect this technique will work with other brands as well. Louis Clark reply to: mage!lou at ncar.ucar.edu Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #401, 04/18/90 ************************************* -------
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