HOMEBREW Digest #4082 Fri 01 November 2002

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  Re: Cider press (Phil Sides Jr)
  Iron in brewing (Thomas Rohner)
  Order of Importance ("Mark Tumarkin")
  Re: Cascade Dryhops ("Chad Gould")
  Good ESB Recipe Anyone? ("Bill Sample")
  "...that dreadful Ringwood yeast." (Daniel Chisholm)
  beer..didnt ferment ("John Misrahi")
  wort spraying (Robin Griller)
  Re: General Flavor- Influencers in the brewing process (Demonick)
  Re: "...that dreadful Ringwood yeast." ("Steve Alexander")
  storing corny kegs ("Richard Dulany")
  Teach A Friend To Homebrew Day: Tomorrow! ("Gary Glass")
  re: General Flavor- Influencers in the brewing process ("Steve Alexander")
  Diacetyl (AJ)
  Victor's general brew improvement questions ("Czerpak, Pete")
  Re: "...that dreadful Ringwood yeast." (Jeff Renner)
  Using Cocoa Beans (Abe Kabakoff)
  Re Twist Off Bottles (Andrew Calder)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 01:33:06 -0500 From: Phil Sides Jr <phil at brewingnews.com> Subject: Re: Cider press "Lau, William T" <william.lau at astrazeneca.com> asks: >Anybody know if there are any home size cider presses around? Or plans to >build your own? Bill, Take a look at: http://silcon.com/~rvwvn/pressa.htm or http://www.kuffelcreek.com/cider_press.htm Phil Sides, Jr. Silver Spring, MD Need a good laugh today? Join Altoidman's Humor List - http://www.altoidman.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 10:59:27 +0100 From: Thomas Rohner <t.rohner at bluewin.ch> Subject: Iron in brewing Hi Brewfolks I have a question regarding iron in beer. I read many books on brewing, and most if not all conclude, that iron ist not good in beer. Be it from the water or from chipped enamel stockpots. We are discussing it in the german equivalent to the hbd now. There are breweries, who use iron mashtuns and boilers. And they are said to make very good beers. No off-flavours or anything. Has someone here tried and true bad experience with iron in brewing? (I continue to use stainless;-) Thomas Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 06:57:05 -0500 From: "Mark Tumarkin" <mark_t at ix.netcom.com> Subject: Order of Importance Victor asks about factors of importance in improving our beer. I'm not going to attempt to put them in absolute order, but some of the things I think are most important are - 1) Yeast starters - doing huge starters is HUGE in improving quality & minimizing risk of infection. 2) Temp Control - cool temps make much cleaner beer. Best option is get a used fridge & plug in temp controller that allows you to set your temp. Set it lower than you want initially, the fermenting yeasties throw off a lot of heat. 3) Full wort boils - get a propane burner & large enough kettle to move outside & boil the entire wort. You'll get much better hop efficiency, have more accurate control of gravity, etc. 4) Cool your wort quickly - there are good arguments for both immersion and counter-flow chillers - but get one or the other. An immersion chiller is super easy & cheap to make. 5) Oxygenate your wort - make the yeast happy & healthy cause they make the beer, you just make the wort. 6) Keep good records - Consistency is extremely hard to achieve at the homebrew level, but at least you'll know what you did, what worked & what didn't. Keep trying to improve your process & recipes. Last but not least, drink lots of beer & pay attention, try to discern different flavors, their origin or cause. Try to figure out what you like or don't like about the beer, and why. Yeah, I know .... this is a tough one, but ya gotta do it. Mark Tumarkin Hogtown Brewers Gainesville, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 07:56:39 -0500 From: "Chad Gould" <cgould11 at tampabay.rr.com> Subject: Re: Cascade Dryhops > Brother Bill Frazier's comments on SNPA and his recommendations for dry > hopping got me thinking. What is the experience of others on the amount > and the contact time for dry hopping with cascade in particular and other > hops? I've done three dryhopped batches right now, two with whole hops (one Cascade, one Tettnager) and one with pellets (Cascade). In all three cases I've been using 2 week contact times; each time I used one ounce. In such large amounts, the hops do seem quite a bit harsh on initial taste. However, I like to age my beers one month in the bottle before the initial sample. The harshness tends to mellow out a lot over time, while enough of the dryhop smell profile stays around to make the first few weeks of drinking these beers really pleasant. I imagine if I was force carbonating, I would want to cut back on the hop additions. One other thing: I have noticed that whole hops seem to leave a much more pleasant aroma. The one pellet time I tried, the taste seemed a bit "resiny". One unrelated note: > Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 01:04:54 +0200 > From: "jeff radebe" <j_radebe at hotmail.com> > Subject: Kind Assistance Needed!!! > STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL & URGENT No "gimme your bank account" SPAM here, please! Though I'll gladly accept unsolicited beer donations to my mailbox. :) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 06:56:14 -0600 From: "Bill Sample" <bsample at shermanisd.net> Subject: Good ESB Recipe Anyone? Greetings, I must echo fellow digesters thanks for the collective expertise and willingness to share shown by many of you. With the approach of cooler weather I'm ready to brew again after taking off the hottest months of the summer and was looking for a suggestion for a good all grain ESB recipe. Red Hook ESB has become my store bought brew of choice and would like to make one in that style if possible. Any suggestions?? Bill Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 09:38:02 -0400 From: Daniel Chisholm <dmc at nbnet.nb.ca> Subject: "...that dreadful Ringwood yeast." Steve Alexander wrote: > I can't really say if JeffR's localpub has diacetyl > from the pump-rousing or from that dreadful Ringwood yeast. I'm intrigued. I am beginning to gather that Ringwood seems to very much stir a "love it or hate it" reaction in people (!). I'm wondering if I might ask what various people love or hate about Ringwood (hopefully generating more light than heat in the process! ;-) What say you, HBDers with an opinion on Ringwood yeast? Step up and rant, please!! Here in the beer wasteland known as New Brunswick, our best brewery (IMHO) uses Ringwood, and makes the tastiest ales available here (the brewery is Picaroons Traditional Ales, FWIW). The only other really great tasting beer that we can get here is a recently available "import" (from Quebec), McAuslan's St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout. I _think_ I have finally figured out in my taste buds what the "Ringwood taste" is, and I have to say that I like it (or mebbe that's just because the only good beers I've had have been Ringwood beers? ;-). I suspect (but do not know for a fact) that I may be relatively insensitive to diacetyl, so perhaps that's a factor. I am impatiently waiting for Smell-O-Vision to become available on the Internet, I think it'll become a lot easier to get a good beer education then! - -- - Daniel Fredericton, NB Canada Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 08:52:46 -0500 From: "John Misrahi" <lmoukhin at sprint.ca> Subject: beer..didnt ferment Just an update...those white dots were definetely mold...i took a sample and tasted, then poured the bucket down the toilet. oh well, it was a kit on sale for maybe 4$CAN and 2cents of spices. only my second failed batch, but my only batch that wouldnt ferment. I gave it around a week before dumping. John Pothole? Thats luxury! I have to ferment directly in my mouth. On brew day I fill up my mouth with wort in the am and drop a few yeast cells in and 3 hours later I swallow. Wish I had a pothole to ferment in. -Mike Brennan on the HBD "Ah, Billy Beer... we elected the wrong Carter." -Homer Simpson Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 10:39:11 -0500 From: Robin Griller <rgriller at chass.utoronto.ca> Subject: wort spraying Hi all, Re the question about the spraying of wort back onto the top of the ferment in UK brewing: this is part of the Yorkshire Square fermentation system a practice traditional in, you guessed it, Yorkshire. The fermenters were (and are still at a few breweries) made of slate and these breweries use(d) yeasts which require mucho oxygen as S. pointed out. While it may be that this leads to flavour defects, the only brewery I can think of off the top of my head that still uses this fermentation technique is the Black Sheep Brewery. I've had their beers on various occassions and have never noticed any flavour defects to them. Now it may be my taste buds that are defective, but I don't seem to have much trouble noticing diacetyl at least. So, I would conclude that the practice doesn't necessarily lead to any flavour defects; given that Black Sheep, for example, seem able to produce consistently fine and consistent beer using this practice....In any case, Steve is absolutely correct that the Ringwood yeast is repulsive stuff. Blechh!! Now, if someone were to try this, they might want to devise recipes that are similar in style to traditional Yorkshire bitter as it would make sense that the recipe formations (i.e. ibu levels, hop aroma/flavour, or in this case, the lack thereof, etc.) might relate to being able to use this technique without all the possible problems Steve pointed out. Not that I would want to try it at home! Robin Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 08:10:24 -0800 From: Demonick <demonick at zgi.com> Subject: Re: General Flavor- Influencers in the brewing process Good question. This could be a top 10 list ... 1. Sanitation, or more appropriately - SANITATION! Poor sanitation can trash otherwise perfect technique. 2. Pre-fermentation aeration Your yeast needs LOTS of O2, whether or not you are using a starter. Not that I suggest the following of course, but, with impeccable sanitation, and with repeated saturated aeration over the first 12-18 hours, fine brews can be had from simply a Wyeast smack pack - even the little ones. 3. Fermentation temperature Taylor your fermentation temperature to your yeast. A good rule of thumb for ales is to keep it below 70F. Watch out for the heat of fermentation. The fermentation can easily raise its own temperature by 3-4F. If you are pushing the upper limit for a yeast this increase can have an effect. 4. Rouse your yeast This is probably the only item I've listed that will cause some consternation among some. If your fermentation is a closed system, and all the air/O2 has been scrubbed out of it by days of active fermentation, then shaking the wort into froth will not cause any oxidation, since there is no O2 in there. I ferment in glass carboys with airlocks. After the fermentation peaks and the yeast start to flocculate, I rock/swirl the contents VIGOROUSLY. The airlock starts pumping like a runaway motor, spitting out airlock fluid. This stirs up all the gunk from the bottom of the fermenter, getting the yeast back in suspension. Some of it stirs from its slumber and pushes the fermentation a few more points. It also, paradoxically, makes for a clearer finished product. The finer particles meet the bigger particles, clump together, and fall out. Without rousing the larger particles fall out leaving behind more fine haze. 5. Minimize post-fermentation aeration Once you have alcohol in the brew aeration will cause the yeast to consume the alcohol creating off-flavors. Be GENTLE in post-fermentation handling. Domenick Venezia Venezia & Company, LLC Maker of PrimeTab (206) 782-1152 phone (206) 782-6766 fax Seattle, WA demonick at zgi dot com http://www.primetab.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 11:36:10 -0500 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: Re: "...that dreadful Ringwood yeast." Daniel Chisholm asks, > I'm wondering if I might ask what various people love or hate about > Ringwood Diacetyl. >[...]I may be relatively > insensitive to diacetyl,[...]. I know that I am not partularly sensitive to diacetyl, but the couple ringwood ales I've had were rife with it - overloaded. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 10:49:29 -0700 From: "Richard Dulany" <richarddulany at hotmail.com> Subject: storing corny kegs Here's my contrary opinion on Corny keg storage: I clean them thoroughly, purge with CO2, and store them closed. The kegs have probably 5 psi of CO2 in them, or less. I live in a very dry climate and the guys at the CO2 store recommended storing the kegs closed to keep the rubber seals from drying out. There is some moisture trapped in the keg after cleaning, but the CO2 keeps bad things from growing inside. It's worked for me for 2 years now. There is an added benefit: if the keg has a leak, I'll know because it will lose pressure quickly. Richard Dulany El Paso, Texas Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 11:24:53 -0700 From: "Gary Glass" <gary at aob.org> Subject: Teach A Friend To Homebrew Day: Tomorrow! Don' forget that tomorrow Saturday, November 2, is the American Homebrewers Association's 4th annual Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day! We now have nearly 120 sites registered. You can still register your site if you haven't done so already. Details and the registration form are available at http://www.beertown.org/AHA/teachbrew/teachday.htm. Cheers! Gary Glass, Project Coordinator Association of Brewers 888-U-CAN-BREW (303) 447-0816 x 121 gary at aob.org www.beertown.org Boulder, CO [1126.8, 262] Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 13:26:00 -0500 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: re: General Flavor- Influencers in the brewing process Victor writes ... >I don't want to create an extra step in the process or measure/ change >something if it isn't going to enhance the quality of the end product: >maximum bang for my buck & time. >1. For both extract and all-grain brewing (as I am thinking of switching) >what are the items that control the quality of the beer? >2. The second question then is the ranking of the items. Which are >imperatives to ensure a consistent quality beer - and which are, or >might just be, ancillary items for those who are more interested in the >process versus the product? I really admire Victor's straightforward approach to the "how best to brew" question , but I have to declare it's currently doomed to failure. There are thousands of factors that unarguably impact quality and thousands more arguable ones. You won't find a list except perhaps of the very basics and every 'rule' you can devise will have exceptions. I think such a project could be accomplished, but it would be quite a formidable database of information and not an 8k-byte post response. Order of importance is a pipedream. Is temperature control of a fermenter more important than infection ? It depends entirely on degree and the specifics of your case. Each of these and a hundred others can result in no perceptible difference or else pour_me_down_the_drain bad flavors. There are boatloads of small factors that significantly impact flavor. If you don't believe then try a split batch experiment or try to make exactly the same beer the same way twice. A comparative tasting of a bottle-conditioned vs kegged version of the same beer is always distinguishable. If the question is limited to "how to brew beers without clear flaws", then there are a lot of HB books that will get Victor to that goal. It's infinitely harder to define how to design & produce excellent beers. The selection of malts and hops is an art, and the handling of yeast for optimal results is black-magic. Experience must be the ultimate instructor here. Taste your beer against a classics in the style and see what is lacking. Once you determine a flavor problem or deficit it's much easier to work backward and correcting. As you get rid of the basic flaws then you can decide if good beer is sufficient or else start working on the 'art' factors - on making great beer not just unflawed beer. I've been through several wheelbarrows full of professional journals articles in flavor/quality issues and I've still more questions than answers. There is no royal road to knowledge. -S Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 18:32:46 +0000 From: AJ <ajdel at mindspring.com> Subject: Diacetyl Speaking of diacetyl there is an article in the latest MBAA quarterly that talks about the enzyme alpha acetolactate decarboxylase which, as the name implies, decarboxylates (non oxidatively) acetolactate to acetoin thus bypassing the oxidative decarboxylation to diacetyl and subsequent reduction to acetoin (by yeast). The idea is to eliminate the diacetyl rest and krausening steps in maturing beer thus saving time and money. The enzyme is sold as "Maturex L" and is now FDA approved for use in the US. Who will be the first homebrewer to try this out? A.J. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 14:07:38 -0500 From: "Czerpak, Pete" <Pete.Czerpak at siigroup.com> Subject: Victor's general brew improvement questions Victor who is extract and specialty grain brewing asks about "most bang-for-buck" methods to improve his beer production. Go all-grain is the not the biggest and fastest improvement you can make. My suggestions: 1) full wort boil to eliminate excessive carmelization and discoloration of wort 2) large starters (I use a two scaleups from Wyeast and usually 2 (occasionally 1) for Whitelabs or multiple packs of dry yeats if going that route). 3) pure O2 or aquarium pump air after your wort is cool and yeast pitched. 4) sanitize well, especially bottles (which I hate doing and never did very well). The only ones of the above I did before going all-grain was #2 and #4. And I'm still not at #1 completely since I electric stove boil my worts at about 4 to 4.5 gallons final volume before makeup water is added postcooling to 5 gallons final yield. Pete Czerpak albany, NY Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 16:05:53 -0500 From: Jeff Renner <JeffRenner at comcast.net> Subject: Re: "...that dreadful Ringwood yeast." At 11:36 AM -0500 10/31/02, Steve Alexander wrote: >Daniel Chisholm asks, > >> I'm wondering if I might ask what various people love or hate about >> Ringwood > >Diacetyl. > >>[...]I may be relatively >> insensitive to diacetyl,[...]. > >I know that I am not partularly sensitive to diacetyl, but the couple >ringwood ales I've had were rife with it - overloaded. I am sensitive to it, but strangely enough, I don't find it in all the Pugsley brewery beers to the offensive level I find it in the beers at the Grizzly Peak, the local brewpub I mentioned that pumps it beer over in a fountain. For more info on this system (but no on the yeast), check out http://www.pugsley.com/. Jeff - -- Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, JeffRenner at comcast.net "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 16:32:35 -0500 From: Abe Kabakoff <abe_kabakoff at gmx.de> Subject: Using Cocoa Beans Hi All, I recently bought 2 lbs of cocoa beans to make a chocolate brew... I don't plan to use them all at once, so I have a few chances to do this right, but I figured I'd ask you so I get it right the first time: How do I best use them? Should I grind them up and put them in the mash? Steep them in the boil? Add to a secondary? Abe Kabakoff Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 16:10:10 -0800 (PST) From: Andrew Calder <arcalder2000 at yahoo.com> Subject: Re Twist Off Bottles Howdy All, Sorry this is late, awhile someone asked about using twist off bottles for homebrew. I bottled over 1000 twist off bottles and only had one failure. However, using regular crowns it was necessary to pry off the cap using a bottle opener. The caps could not be twisted off. ===== Hope this helps, Andrew Calder, New Lenox, IL [218.1,257] Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
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