HOMEBREW Digest #447 Tue 26 June 1990

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Re: Starters (Chris Shenton)
  cider (Geoffrey Sherwood)
  chlorine...oops! (Carter Stein)
  Soviet sailors homebrew (jonm)
  starters, ginger ale (cckweiss)
  Unsuscribe! (Thorhallur Hjartarson)
  Re: starters (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583)
  Foster's Pale Ale Book (florianb)
  Hunter Energy Monitor (Brian Capouch)
  Cherry beer, Crazy Laws (CORONELLRJDS)
  Fastest Beer Judge (Dave Suurballe)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 25 Jun 90 11:29:23 EDT From: Chris Shenton <chris at asylum.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: Re: Starters Len Reed writes: > ... [lucid discussion elided] ... > > You are using virile yeast. Let me guess that you are fermenting > at a high temperature, maybe the 70s? In your case making a starter > would indeed do nothing positive and is therefore unadvised. Why (not)? All the previous (elided) discussion supports -- nee, mandates -- using a starter. Why should high temp fermentation preclude benefits of a starter? Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 90 08:53:06 PDT From: sherwood at adobe.com (Geoffrey Sherwood) Subject: cider I have been making beer for many years now, but have just graduated to kegging. At last .... no more bottles. I also changed quite a few of my procedures. Naturally this all happened at the same time, so I don't really know what did what. 1) Beers have more bitterness very reminicent of English bitters (rather tasty, actually -- but not what I was after). I understand this to be caused by my going to a full-wort boil and subsequent slow cooling (even with a wort chiller it takes 20 min to get down below 100 deg F). Could this possibly be caused by using fresh hops (I have always used pellets before)? I have been adding them 2/3 oz at start of boil, 2/3 oz halfway through, and 2/3 oz about 2 minutes before chilling wort (hops being 1/2 cascade, 1/2 halletauer). I decided to semi-dry hop with pellets on my last batch (yesterday). I reserved about a pint of wort when I chilled the remainder. I brought it back up to a boil and tossed in 1/2 oz of Halletauer hops. Within seconds I had a pan full of green foam. I figured the boiling would sanitize the hops and start the extraction without losing the aromatics (the part I really love about hops, anyway). I poured said foam into fermenter and pitched yeast. The recipe (Avagadro's Expeditious Ale from CJoHB) called for just boiling a small amount and adding the finishing hops during the last 1 1/2 min of boil. My boiling with the hops lasted maybe 20-30 seconds. Should I have boiled it longer? Does it matter? On a related note, I am planning in my next batch to drop the boiling hops to 1/2 oz or so and make up the remainder in finishing hops done as above. I am hoping to get just a small amount of bitterness with most of the flavor being a floral, fruity hop taste (ie, a hop flavor like I used to get before I started the full-wort boil). Any thoughts? 2) I also started using crystal malt (a step up from the all-extract/sugar brews I have been making). My final specific gravities have been about 1014 or so which seems high to me. Is this caused by unfermentable sugars in the CM? I have also been fermenting the beer at around 60 deg F if this has any bearing. As an aside, I have been using 3.3 lb of malt with 2-3 lb of corn sugar for years. The only cidery tastes I have gotten have been caused by high fermentation temperatures (like 80 deg F) which also give a lot of other off flavors. One reason I now brew in a deep-freeze with a new thermostat. It holds three fermenters and two kegs (and a couple of cases of wine) quite nicely by the way.... 3) I am also making cider for the first time (well, I tried it a couple of times in Miami, but the 80 deg F fermentations, while spectacular, yielded a yeasty concoction that was absolutely horrid. I am now trying it with the Ironmaster Country Cider kit. We followed the directions on the label. We mixed up the concentrate with bottled water, adding the crushed campden tablets (and I think yeast nutrients, but I am not sure -- whatever came with the kit). We waited for 24 hours (letting the SO2 from the campten tablets escape, I think) then pitched the yeast. After three days we had no noticable fermentation, so I added a pack of Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast. We got slow bubbling. After 4 weeks (ie, yesterday) we went to keg. Right. Specific gravity is still 1030 (it is supposed to be 1000 or so). It is also still quite sweet. There is a yeasty smell (surprise, surprise) but virtually no yeast taste. I siphoned the cider to a Cornelius keg (before we checked the SG). There was a thin layer of yeast on the bottom. We swished the yeast in the fermenter around until it went into suspension then siphoned the cider back into the fermenter. It bubbled some immediately then went to a very slow bubbling (but at least it is doing something). The can says 18-21 days at 70 deg F. I use the same set up as above (naturally) so I am fermenting (or trying to...) at 60 deg F. Does that sound too cold? Much of the yeast seems to settle out. Should I be stirring it every day or two (I think I can stick a stirring rod through the airlock hole so very little O2 & other contaminantes would be introduced). Its not that I am worrying (heaven forbid) but I *would* like cider before Christmas. Sorry about the length of this missive, but any an all help sincerely appreciated. Thanks much, Geoff Sherwood Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 90 09:44:45 PDT From: Carter Stein <carters at sirius.cax.tek.com> Subject: chlorine...oops! As I finished pitching the yeast into the all grain wort that I made on Saturday, I accidently dripped a small amount of clorox bleach from my air lock into the 5 gals. of wort (arghh at #!*) (less than one teaspoon). Seems to be fermenting now. Question: Any guesses about whether this beer will be drinkable? What type of off flavors will there be? Not worryin' - --Carter Stein carters at castor.cax.tek.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon Jun 25 09:13:48 1990 From: microsoft!jonm at uunet.UU.NET Subject: Soviet sailors homebrew Last weekend I chatted with someone who has spent time in the Soviet Union, including time on a large ship with Soviet sailors. The sailors make homebrew by filling a glass jug with water and cane sugar, adding yeast, and fitting a rubber glove over the top. When the glove inflates and looks like a big hand, it's ready to drink! Yum. Jonathan P.S. (back to malt+hops brewing): I also have the problem where fermentation stops after racking to the secondary, and then starts again vigorously after a week or so. I haven't been using a starter culture, but I'll try it and see if it helps. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 90 10:43:19 -0700 From: cckweiss at castor.ucdavis.edu Subject: starters, ginger ale Re: Starters Well, I made my first batch last weekend using liquid yeast culture and a starter, and I can now state with authority that starters work. I pitched the starter on Saturday afternoon (about 1 pint worth), brewed on Sunday afternoon, pitched in the starter at about 3:00 PM, and this morning had a nice thick layer of kraeusen. That's a *lot* better than the 48 hour lag I was told to expect if I had just pitched the Wyeast straight into a five gallon batch. Re: Ginger Ale While waiting for my brew to cool I bottled the ginger ale that I had made a couple of weeks ago. At least one person asked for the recipe, but in a fit of rage at getting 'disk full' from my 102 MB hard drive, I trashed a bunch of stuff, including the name and address of the person who was interested in the ginger ale. So... anyway, the beer tasted pretty good at bottling. Really nice ginger aroma, a sweet/ginger initial taste, with the hops taking over at the end. The only major modification I'd make int the recipe is a reduction in the hopping rate (and total elimination of the Northern Brewer). What I ended up with is more of a ginger IPA, instead of the more lightly hopped pale ale I was after. Oh well, I'll drink it anyway. Does anyone know how commercially produced beers like Sierra Nevada get the yeast in the bottle to get kind of hard, so it doesn't cloud up the beer when poured? I tried adding some gelatin finings to this latest bottling, but I don't thing that's going to do the trick. If you take a bottle of Sierra Nevada and shake it, the yeast stays in a sort of cake, instead of swirling around like smoke. Also, when adding gelatin, TCJOHB says to dissolve the gelatin in cool water, as hot water will set the gelatin prematurely. Is this a major infection risk, or is the gelatin in those packets pretty much sterile? Ken Weiss krweiss at ucdavis.edu cckweiss at castor.ucdavis.edu Return to table of contents
Date: 25 Jun 90 10:10 -0700 From: Thorhallur Hjartarson <thor at ee.ubc.ca> Subject: Unsuscribe! Could you please unsuscribe me from the mailing list. Thank you TH Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 90 13:07:45 mdt From: hplabs!hp-lsd.cos.hp.com!ihlpl!korz (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583) Subject: Re: starters Len and Ken-- Thanks for the info. I had forgotten to consider the phases of the yeast cycle AND the yeast concentration factor. However, now that I think about it, I did create a starter once. It was on my very first batch and that batch unlike many others DID NOT CREATE GUSHERS EVEN AFTER 2.5 YEARS OF *UNREFRIGDERATED* STORAGE! Also, I have yet to create a Special Bitter of such high quality since. Maybe I should go back to using starters and see if I can re-create that first batch. Luckily, I've taken voluminous notes on all my beers. It may just be more proof that: "if you cut corners, you will sacrifice quality." Thanks again. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: 25 Jun 90 12:49:14 PDT (Mon) From: florianb at tekred.cna.tek.com Subject: Foster's Pale Ale Book Rick Meyers points out (regarding "Pale Ale" by Terry Foster: >The second item, in the section on adjuncts, says "If you must use sugar >in your pale ale, stick to corn or cane sugar. Contrary to common >homebrewing opinion, the latter WILL NOT give your brew a cidery flavor. >Its bad reputation comes from bad brewing technique-using too much >sugar and not enough malt, so that the beer is far too thin." > >I found this fascinating, since, as he says, common homebrewing opinion >holds that the use of any kind of sugar (other than priming) can cause the >beer to be cidery. The cidery question has bobbed in and out quite often here. In principle, cane sugar shouldn't be any worse than using corn sugar. But it's possible to trace the cidery effect to brews of low body, at least in my past experience. In any case, it's easier to buy commercial beer than to go through the effort of making home beer and shortcutting by the use of excessive sugar dilution. Earlier in the book, Foster says that he believes that there is no place for using sugar in brewing pale ale and that he wonders how far better certain commercial pale ales would be if they were all malt. Seems to me that it's a question of flavor and tradition. The use of certain sugars in brewing pale ale is traditionally justified in the same way that using oats or unmalted barley in stout is justified. What would a hamburger be without Walla Walla sweet onion slices? Florian, who brews what I like to drink? Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 90 20:28:28 -0500 (CDT) From: Brian Capouch <brianc at zeta.saintjoe.EDU> Subject: Hunter Energy Monitor Following a lead I saw earlier on this digest, I sent an associate off looking (at Builder's Square) for a Hunter Energy Monitor for me to install on a refrigerator. To no avail. He tried at two, and neither (both here in the midwest) had them. So, netters, do any of you know of an alternative vendor I might avail myself of? I want to keep doing lagers all summer, and for now I'm having to settle for steam beers. Not bad, just not what I want. Thanks. Brian Capouch Saint Joseph's College brianc at saintjoe.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 90 20:12 MST From: CORONELLRJDS at CHE.UTAH.EDU Subject: Cherry beer, Crazy Laws Greetings: My partner and I've finally gone ahead and made our cherry beer. Thanks to those who sent me suggestions, all help is appreciated. It sounds like there are sveral people in different parts of the country who are brewing cherry ale. Let's compare notes in a couple months. For any interested parties, here's the poop: "Pick of the Season" Cherry Ale Ingredients for 5.5 gallons: 6 lbs. Laaglander light malt extract (dry) 1/4 lb. Crystal Malt 1/4 lb. Lactose 7-8 lbs. Fresh sweet cherries (I never did get around to weighing them: so much for reproducibility.) 1/2 oz. Chinook (60 min.) [12.2 / 2 = 6.1 AAUs] 1/2 oz. Chinook (10 min.) 1/2 oz. Hallertauer (steeped, for aroma) 1/2 tsp. Irish Moss 14 g. Whitbred Ale Yeast (Rehydrated and subsequently pitched into a 1/2 gal. starter) The procedure was fairly standard, except for the preparation and addition of the cherries. The day after picking, I put the cherries in the freezer and after a couple of days took them out and let them defrost in the 'fridge. I've heard that this might help to release more flavor by breaking the cell walls. While the wort was happily boiling away, I removed all the stems and then crushed the cherries by hand. [You just wouldn't believe the squishy-spongy feeling you get by pushing onto a big stack of ripe cherries. ;^)] After the wort finished its boiling, I poured it over the cherries to kill all the nasties. I'd have preferred to do it the other way, (add the cherries to the wort), but my damn pot isn't big enough to hold it all. Originally, I'd planned to monitor the temperature with my thermometer, but I broke the $%#^& thing while preparing the yeast. I decided to add Lactose based on the reports of a few readers, who maintained that the recipe for "Cherries in the Snow" in TCJOHB was a bit dry. Besides, I like sweet beer. Now the wort is happily fermenting away, on its way to becoming beer. After a couple days, I'll transfer it (sans cherries and hops) to a secondary where I expect it'll stay for quite a while, maybe as long as 6 - 8 weeks. I'm looking forward to this beer so much, I'm having trouble relaxing. Maybe I just need a homebrew... =-=-=-=-==-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= From Digest #443: Mike Fertsch wants to talk about crazy drinking laws. HA! Anybody who's ever lived in Utah can really tell you about insane, incomprehensible laws. Not only are they bizarre and complex, they're in a constant state of change. Every year they rewrite the laws, so nobody ever really knows what the current law is. And get this: Homebrewing beer is legal only for those who've purchased a $1000 permit!! [There must be an awful lot of criminals in Salt Lake City, since there are two homebrew supply shops right in town. ;-)] Chuck "I need a cherry beer NOW" Coronella Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 90 10:59:52 PDT From: Dave Suurballe <hsfmsh.UUCP!suurb at cgl.ucsf.EDU> Subject: Fastest Beer Judge Say, we haven't heard from Chuck Cox lately. I wonder if that's because he's hanging his head in shame after losing his "fastest" title last week in California. Suurb, the gossip monger Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #447, 06/26/90 ************************************* -------
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