HOMEBREW Digest #4412 Fri 28 November 2003

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  old extract ("Mark Arneson")
  Category 24 (Bev Blackwood II)
  Water analysis suggestions to improve mash ("Andy and Tina Bailey")
  RE:  Thanksgiving Beer ("eska")
  Re: Stirring bar damaging yeast ("Joe Uknalis")
  RE: digital thermometers (David Thompson)
  Digital Thermometer Recommendation (Fred Johnson)
  Titles at the table? ("Houseman, David L")
  Cat 24 again... ("Houseman, David L")
  digital thermometers ("Angie and Reif Hammond")
  HB Shops in Anaheim CA? ("Keith Christian")
  call for judges ("Jeff & Ellen")
  Category 24 and Sweet Potato Beer (val.dan.morey)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 23:06:33 -0500 From: "Mark Arneson" <marneson at email.com> Subject: old extract I just brewed a chocolate oatmeal stout with some liquid extract (2 3.3Lb bags) in sealed plastic bags I had sitting around. The bags were about five years old. How long does liquid extract stay "good"? There wasn't any visible signs of contamination but I got to thinking about it after a week or so. The fermentation puttered out a little early. It started at 1.62 and looks like it's going to finish at about 1.3ish. Thanks for any advice Mark Arneson marneson at email.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 22:37:26 -0600 From: Bev Blackwood II <bdb2 at bdb2.com> Subject: Category 24 > If anything, I'd like to see Category 24 become more restrictive by > breaking > it up into subcategories for beers made with "extra" ingredients, beers > brewed with unusual procedures (which could include beers made with > unusual > ingredients that need to be processed in some way beyond throwing them > in > the mash, boil or keg) and historical recreations. (I realize, though, > that > the number of entrants probably wouldn't support this.) The number of entrants is irrelevant since the style "rolls up" to the category level. In theory, we could define every commercial beer on the planet into its own sub-category (650 page style guidelines anyone?) and still have 24 major categories. I agree however, that the number of entries in the category (or specifically the sub-category for Historical Re-creation) would always trail behind other entry types. They are definitely in the minority according to my experience. -BDB2 Bev D. Blackwood II Brewsletter Editor The Foam Rangers http://www.foamrangers.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 20:49:37 -0800 From: "Andy and Tina Bailey" <atmlobailey at cox.net> Subject: Water analysis suggestions to improve mash I am looking for some recommendations to alter the mineral content of my local water to make it more suitable for all grain brewing. I live inLas Vegas and the most recent available water anaylsis follows: Temp hardness 131 ppm sodium 84 ppm chloride 71.5 ppm sulfate 224 ppm calcium 74 ppm magnesium 28.6 ppm pH 7.9 Total dissalved solids 614 ppm total hardness 302 ppm Other than the temp hardness, it doesn't look that bad. ( I prefer to brew british beers ) I have considered the following: 1) use all RO water and add all of the minerals I to replicate target water 2) dilute the tap water 50/50 with RO water and adjust the mineral content 3) add calcium choride, boil the tap water to remove much of the temp harndess. My question with this option is, do I really need to decant off the precipitate, or is the precipitate harmless once it has been taken out of solution? 4) adjust the tap water with some of my 30% food grade phosphoric acid (downside is that since this is so strong it can be very easy to add too much) Suggestions? Also, I am the one with the brown malt questions a month or so back. I have a batch of porter containing some brown malt, in the fermenter now, and should be in a position to report back on it in a month or so. Thanks for the help. Andy in Las Vegas Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 22:48:40 -0600 From: "eska" <eska at isunet.net> Subject: RE: Thanksgiving Beer Funny that Garrett's book suggests a Saison to go with a Thanksgiving dinner. When he was the guest on the recent "Talk of Iowa" Beer Show I asked him what would go well with dinner and he said a beer with a lot of caramel notes such as a English Pale or a Marzen. He also said a good Belgian Pale would work, especially if you are trying to introduce good beer to BMC drinkers. ????? Honestly, I think any beer would work and I hope you plan on passing on the wine or liquor and opt for your best homebrew. Just keep it out of the Turkey Fryer! Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Eric Ames, IA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 23:55:35 -0500 From: "Joe Uknalis" <birman at netaxs.com> Subject: Re: Stirring bar damaging yeast Yeasts are tough beasties, you can sprinkle them on a coverslip, plasma coat em in gold and look at them under the 20kv beam of an electron microscope under high vacuum & they'll still grow when you take them out. They grow well also in regular erlenmyer flasks on a shaker too. Joe U Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 23:20:36 -0600 From: David Thompson <david at dtphoto.com> Subject: RE: digital thermometers >There a a lot of relatively cheap digital thermometers on the market. >Most are less than $25 and are designed for oven roasts. Has anyone >purchased these and used them for mashing? If so are there any >you would recommend that are durable and relatively accurate? I bought a digital stem-type unit from WalMart. About 16 bucks. No branding on the unit itself, so I don't know it's brand. It was one where I could calibrate it at freezing or boiling, and it's calibrated to read 212 when the water is boiling (calibrated here because the mash is at temps in the 140's to 150's..). I use a thermothingie from Zymie in my mash tun (converted cooler) and I've had good success. The probe types.. need to be careful. I bought one from Target, brand is TAYLOR. It's "OK". If the probe gets wet above the join to the cable, it'll short and cause incorrect readings. I found by baking the probe in the oven at 200 degrees for a while, it'll dry out and return to "normal" readings, but it's still a few degrees off from reading 212 at boiling. Dave "You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of football team or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least, you need a beer." - Frank Zappa Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2003 06:48:49 -0500 From: Fred Johnson <FLJohnson at portbridge.com> Subject: Digital Thermometer Recommendation Homebre973 asks for recommendations for a digital thermometer. (We on the Digest would really like to use your name. I think you'll find that we're a pretty friendly bunch.) I've been using the thermometer seen at url for Cole-Parmer for several years. You'll have to paste together the url below. http://www.coleparmer.com/catalog/product_view.asp? sku=&cls=&par=6207,6263,6264&cat=1&sch=523&sel=9020500&lstBool=true The long stem makes it very handy for manual mashing. Don't get the electronics wet, or you'll find yourself disassembling it (carefully), drying it out, and trying to get it to working again. This has happened to me several times, and I've always managed to revive it. It appears to be very similar to a thermometer shown at the link below from Cynmar (Priced nicely at $15.75.) http://www.cynmar.com/product_info.php?products_id=553 Fred L Johnson Apex, North Carolina, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2003 08:06:25 -0500 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: Titles at the table? Bill Tobler wrote: "Bev, I'm drinking a Honey Wheat right now, and it's not causing me any problems at all! (yet) :>} But how you handle it at the table is another thing. This problem could be solved by including "Honey" in the ingredients of Cat. 3b, American Wheat. Honey Wheat's seems to be a favorite in this country, and that is what the categories are all about. "Honey" would probably have to mentioned in the title of the beer so the Judges can score accordingly, and the OG would have to be a little higher." Bill and all, I've organized many competitions and judged in over a hundred of them and I don't recall a competition where the title of the entry was provided to the judges. Nor the ingredients except for those categories where such is required (Herb, Fruit, Spice, Specialty). I would view giving the recipe or the name of the beer to the judges as a serious breach of judging etiquette. Only the style/sub-style (and in the case of special categories) should any ingredients be given to the judge and never the name of the beer. Names of the beers could give subtle and subconscious messages to the judges. Complete anonymity needs to be maintained for fairness. Dave Houseman Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2003 08:18:40 -0500 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: Cat 24 again... Chris says: "Judging an open category should pose no more problems than judging a best of show panel." Here I have to disagree again. I actually have enjoyed this discussion of category 24; some of these comments may make it into the new revision of the style guide. I do concur, on retrospection, that judging an open category wouldn't be entirely subjective as we would certainly be able to detect process flaws. And the key to any good beer is balance, how all the pieces come together in the whole. But on the subject of BOS judging, there is a big difference. In a BOS round, one is judging whether a given beer is closer to its style than another beer is to its style. I have judged BOS rounds where specialty beers have won, in those cases the specialty beer was judged on it's base beer and overall balance. But otherwise we're always comparing the beers to their styles, not judging it as an open competition with 10-24 beers without objective metrics. Dave Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2003 08:34:54 -0500 From: "Angie and Reif Hammond" <arhammond at comcast.net> Subject: digital thermometers Check out CYNMAR at www.cynmar.com. They carry a digital thermometer with a 8 inch probe for $15.75. http://www.cynmar.com/product_info.php?products_id=554 I have been using this in my brewing and cooking for several years and am very satisfied with it. The long probe is great for getting deep into the mash, or to avoid burning the fingers while grilling. NAJASC Reif Hammond Durham NH Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2003 08:31:00 -0800 From: "Keith Christian" <kchris1 at lausd.k12.ca.us> Subject: HB Shops in Anaheim CA? Brewers, I just moved to Anaheim CA and I am not able to locate any local hb shops. Are there any around? Is there a current hb shop list somewhere out there? Phone book and internet searches have not turned up very much. TIA, Keith Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2003 13:29:34 -0500 From: "Jeff & Ellen" <JeffNGladish at ij.net> Subject: call for judges KK Koenig and the Dunedin Brewers Guild are sponsoring the Barley Wine and Russian Imperial Stout AHA Club Only Competition the weekend of December 5. Judging will start Friday evening at 6:30 and continue Saturday morning at 9:00. The event will be held in Dunedin, Florida, a quaint little town just north of Clearwater. KK has many other events scheduled for the weekend, including the Walk the Line on Barleywine Festival Saturday afternoon and at least three pub crawls. For more information on the events, see the DBG website http://hbd.org/dunedin/ If you can help judge or steward either session, write a note to me at jeffngladish at ij.net Jeff Gladish, judge director, WTLOBW Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2003 19:01:56 -0600 From: val.dan.morey at juno.com Subject: Category 24 and Sweet Potato Beer >From reading the style guidelines for Category 24 S/E/H, I would not conclude it is an open style. Even for historical styles, it say the brewer may include a copy of the text references. For an open category to be meaningful, the judge needs to know the brewers intentions. I would expect the brewer to provide full set of guidelines: aroma, appearance, flavor, and mouthfeel. Also, it would be good to note any commercial examples that may have inspired them, and what they want to be different from the those examples. This gives two forms of feedback: 1. The information provided was truly pre brew targets and goals, thus confirming the recipe formulation and processes. 2. The information provided was post brew, which is probably more likely, then the brewers evaluation and sensory skill and the ability to put it to paper is judged. It would let them know how well they judge. Both forms have there value. Originally I was opposed to an open category, but if people are willing to provide their guidelines, typed for readability, then it is feasible and a good idea in my opinion. Any entry with a supplied without guidelines would be DQ. > I should mention here that I actually like Category 24. I brew a couple > "basic beer style with a twist" beers every year. (I'll be brewing a sweet > potato ESB this Friday.) Just opened this years sweet potato beer, base beer was a big amber ale. I finally got the spice balance right, giving a good balance of sweet potatoes, malt, and spice. Here is this years recipe for Thanksgivingfest (sweet potato pie ale): Batch size 5 gallons 10.0 lb 2-row US pale 1.0 lb crystal 60L 0.5 lb biscuit malt 5.0 lb sweet potatoes (pealed sliced and boiled) 1.1 oz N. brewer hops (50 minutes) 1.0 tsp ground ginger (15 minutes) 0.5 tsp ground all spice (15 minutes) 1 2" stick cinnamon (15 minutes) 1.0 oz Willamette hops (2 minutes) White Labs East Coast Ale WLP008 O.G. 1060 F.G. 1.015 Boil the sweet potatoes in the infusion water for at least 10 minutes. Add sweet potatoes with the infusion water to the mash. Single infusion for 90 minutes at 152F. I'm just curious, a few months ago we discussed potato beers. I thought some feed back would be interesting. Did anyone give it a try? What were your thoughts? I hope you enjoyed it! Dan Morey Club B.A.B.B.L.E. http://hbd.org/babble/ Return to table of contents
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