HOMEBREW Digest #468 Thu 26 July 1990

[Prev HBD] [Index] [Next HBD] [Back]

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  RE: Homebrew Digest #467 (July 25, 1990) ("BONAR")
  TCJoHB Index (Jeff Benson)
  Juniper Ale? (Wayne Allen)
  Ballantine IPA and Falstaff (Ihor W. Slabicky)
  Ballantine IPA (cckweiss)
  Re:  Why Homebrewing? (John DeCarlo)
  Re: Chilling Ale (Len Reed)
  Re: Cooling Lager Yeasts (Len Reed)
  lager yeast pitching (florianb)
  juniper berries (florianb)
  Original gravity (Bill Crick)
  grungy plastic (lou)
  Re: Cornelius kegs and parties (Chuck Cox)

Send submissions to homebrew%hpfcmr at hplabs.hp.com Send requests to homebrew-request%hpfcmr at hplabs.hp.com Archives available from netlib at mthvax.cs.miami.edu
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 25 Jul 90 08:33:00 EDT From: "BONAR" <bonar at pine.circa.ufl.edu> Subject: RE: Homebrew Digest #467 (July 25, 1990) The time has come when I have to have my name deleted. I like the list and will look for some way to pick it up later but I just don't have the time to give it lots of attention now. Dave Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 90 9:16:58 CDT From: Jeff Benson <benson at chemsun.chem.UMN.EDU> Subject: TCJoHB Index Florian writes in HD 467: >Hands down, Papazain's book "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing" is the >best beginner's book. If it had an index, it would be better, but the >index is available from electronic archives. Query for more details. Amen, let's hear it for 'ol CP! I, like many other homebrewers, used TCJoH to learn to basics of brewing and I still consult it regularly. The index Florian mentions is fairly complete and accurate. However, if you make a print-out of the raw text file, it comes out sized for 8.5"X11" pages. Since TCJoH is printed on much smaller pages, you have to fold the index sheets in half to fit them in the book. So, I got out the mighty Macintosh/Word 4.0 duo and whipped that index into shape. The final result has double columns, page headers, page numbers, with fonts and layout chosen and sized to closely match that of the book. Just print it out double-sided on your friendly neighborhood Laserwriter, chop the pages down to size with a paper cutter and it's done. I also took the liberty of expanding the listings in a couple areas to make it more complete. If anyone would like a copy of this Mac Word document, send me a mailing direct and I'll forward a copy as a Stuffit/Binhex archive file. To be fair, someone else (I forget who) has also converted the CJoH index into Word 4.0 and advertised it a month or two ago in the Homebrew Digest. I haven't seen this person's work and it may be as good or better than mine. I can look up the posting if someone wants to know who it was. But talk about working in parallel: this other index was advertised about a day before I was ready to post mine. So I just held off until now. Jeff Benson Internet: benson at chemsun.chem.umn.edu Univ. of Minnesota, Dept. of Chemistry Minneapolis, MN 55455 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 90 10:18:56 CDT From: wa%cadillac.cad.mcc.com at MCC.COM (Wayne Allen) Subject: Juniper Ale? John Watson (the "Civil Servant from Hell" !) quotes a nice Thoreau passage and writes: >Did the juniper taste come from berries or its storage in juniper barrels? >Assume the above juniper taste came from the berries, >has anyone ever made an Ale using them? I would think it might >make a sort of gin tasting beer. How much do you think you'd use? I believe that juniper has been used in beer in Northern Europe for ages. I have toyed with the idea of doing this, but haven't for some reason. Mr. Watson also advises us to "Homebrew Naked!". I used to do this, but the last time I did so I mistakenly turned on a burner underneath a pyrex bowl containing a large quantity of cracked grains. The bowl exploded from thermal stress while I was in close proximity, covering me (and my kitchen) with grain debris and tiny bleeding nicks. Standing there naked, bleeding, and barefoot among hundreds of shards of glass hidden under a fine coating of grain, I resolved to wear something next time (if only tennis shoes!). _ W | Wayne Allen, wa at mcc.com uunet!cs.utexas.edu!milano!cadillac!wa | MCC/CAD, 3500 West Balcones Center Dr, Austin, Tx 78759 (512)338-3754 | I really really really really really really really like girls!!!! | Oh yeah I really really really really really really really | like girls!!! I like'm tall!! I like'm small!! I like'm | AAAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!!!! - Hank Williams, Jr. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 90 09:33:19 -0400 From: iws at sgfb.ssd.ray.com (Ihor W. Slabicky) Subject: Ballantine IPA and Falstaff ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 24 Jul 90 09:18 EST From: <R_GELINA%UNHH.BITNET at MITVMA.MIT.EDU> (RUSSG) Subject: starter hops, IPA Has anyone tried a Ballantine IPA? I had a few of them recently and liked it very much. Falstaff Brewing Co.! Why can't more small breweries make a good beer, rather than try to compete with Swiller et.al? I may be misreading your posting, but I hope that you are NOT implying that Falstaff is a small brewer. Falstaff, in it's heyday, was (imho) the King of Swiller! In the late 60's and early 70's, they would buy up all these smaller, local, breweries that were falling on hard times, take their brand names, close the breweries, and brew these brand names in their bigger breweries at a much reduced taste and quality level. I think they gave the buy-the-little-guy-and-be-a-big-conglamorate idea to the big boys. Ballantine of Newark, and Narragansett of Rhode Island are two examples that I can think of on the East Coast, and I think they are the the forces behind General on the West Coast (and correct me if I err). Ballantines was closed, and their brews went to hell when they started being brewed out of Cranston and Fort Wayne. Probably the four good brews they made were Ballantine's Brewer's Gold Ale (during the late 70's and early 80's), Narragansett Porter (which was not too bad but I don't think is available now), the Haffenreffer Malt Liquor (rather malty) and Ballantine IPA (which is still made, and surprisingly, does have a unique taste, and a good one, too!). The Brewer's Gold was somewhere between the Ballantine XXX Ale (almost no hops taste) and the IPA (can sometimes be TOO hoppy) in taste and strength of hoppiness. The Narragansett brewery in Cranston was closed in the early 80's, so everything is now brewed in Fort Wayne. Meanwhile, Falstaff is sitting on the property in Cranston, maybe waiting to open up the place as condos or a minimall :-( Enjoy the Ballantine IPA, but remember it is made by one of the earliest brewry busters and taste ruiners around! Ihor Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 90 08:24:28 -0700 From: cckweiss at castor.ucdavis.edu Subject: Ballantine IPA Russ Gelina asks if anyone has tried Ballantine IPA (now brewed by Falstaff). I was introduced to IPA at the tender age of 17, by my freshman year calculus instructor. As I recall, he said "This is real good beer. I drink five or six of these, and wake up the next mornining with no memory." Back then (1970) Ballantine was still an independant brewery, producing in New York. I've tasted IPA recently, and I think it was a more strongly hopped and more alcoholic product back then. Could just be time distortion, though, and the effect of getting used to a more highly hopped beer than the Genessee and Colt 45 I drank in my youth. On the topic of lost beers of my bygone days, has anyone tasted a beer called Trommer's (The All Malt Beer)? I'd love to see a recipe that came close to duplicating it... Ken Weiss cckweiss at castor.ucdavis.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Wednesday, 25 Jul 1990 13:34:55 EST From: m14051 at mwvm.mitre.org (John DeCarlo) Subject: Re: Why Homebrewing? >Date: Mon, 23 Jul 90 13:47:02 -0500 >From: Michael Rosen <mirrosen at silver.ucs.indiana.edu> >I am new to the idea of homebrew, and everything attached to >it, but it is a subject that intrigues me a lot. I was wondering >if there were any standard texts, or advice that all of you >vets out there can give me. The two basic texts I rely on (and I like having both, as they have different approaches) are _The_Complete_Handbook_Of_Home_Brewing, by Dave Miller, and Papazian's _The_Complete_Joy_Of_Home_Brewing. The most basic advice I can give to the first time homebrewer is this: Write down everything you plan to do before you do it, and leave room for notes about lessons learned or extra steps performed. This will be invaluable in doing it the first few times without forgetting something. >Also, I was curious about the economic realaties of homebrewing. >Is it the type of thing where beer/mead/whatnot is produced >cheaper commercially? I acknowledge that making it is half the >fun, but was curious if it was also cheaper monetarily. This discussion comes up on a regular basis. Big Breweries Homebrewers ------------- ----------- Supplies Cheaper in bulk More expensive Labor They pay for some Not counted Distribution ditto Not done Advertising ditto ditto So, if it costs you $10-$20 to make two cases, will you end up spending more than buying beer? Depending on the quality of the commercial beer, the answer may be yes or may be no. On one hand, you may never end up making a stout you like as much as Guiness, but you may also find your own bitter or amber ale better than what you can find in the stores, and your favorite coffee porter or rasperry lager may simply be unavailable at all commercially. An analogy I use a lot is with bread. The megabrewers only make the equivalent of Wonderbread. The regional brewers make the equivalent of packaged whole grain etc. breads. Your local brewpub or microbrewery makes the equivalent of bakery bread. Your homebrew is like fresh baked bread right from the oven. John "And fresh beer is like fresh bread, a taste that can't easily be described, but is wonderful." DeCarlo ARPANET: M14051 at mwvm.mitre.org (or M14051%mwvm at mitre.arpa) Usenet: at ... at !uunet!hadron!blkcat!109!131!John_Decarlo Fidonet: 1:109/131 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 90 10:24:34 EDT From: holos0!lbr at gatech.edu (Len Reed) Subject: Re: Chilling Ale J.L. Palladino, Trinity College" <PALLADIN at vax1.trincoll.edu> writes: >Has anyone tried chilling an ale down to 55 deg F while it was >in secondary (glass) in order to get suspended yeast to settle faster? >It seems to be working but I'm *concerned* (not worried) that when I >bottle at room temp the yeast will not reactivate and carbonate, leaving >flat beer. Any suggestions? No problem. Even dropping the temperature into the low forties won't kill the yeast; they will go dormant (or nearly so) at lower temperatures. Enough yeast will remain in suspension for bottle priming even if the beer is perfectly clear. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 90 11:05:23 EDT From: holos0!lbr at gatech.edu (Len Reed) Subject: Re: Cooling Lager Yeasts Kenneth R. van Wyk <krvw at cert.sei.cmu.edu> writes: >Noonan suggests (demands?!) pitching the [lager] yeast at very low >temperatures (~45F, I believe) and that the starter culture be at high >krausen at pitching time. Also, Wyeast says that its liquid yeast >cultures should be incubated at 70-80F. Finally, Noonan says that >under no circumstances should the yeast be cooled more than 5F per day >and that the starter culture should be no more than 5F more than the >wort at pitching time. > >I pitched my yeast at cold (for summer) room temp, about 68-70F, and >then cooled the wort to 48F in my fridge, but I'm afraid that I >shocked the yeast into hibernation. You probably have shocked the yeast. You didn't say which strain of yeast you used. Get the temperature of the wort up to 53-56 and wait. It may take four weeks to ferment since the yeast must be revitalized. The beer may also take longer to age, but I'm not sure about that. If you're made of money you could pitch more yeast. Noonan talks about traditional German lager brewing without much indication of how things differ elsewhere in the world. His fermentation schedules don't work too well with some Wyeast strains. Because of his low temperatures, I shocked a few batches until I quit trying to be so fancy about day-to-day temperature adjustments and settled upon the strategy I now use. (Shock is when fermentation slows to a crawl because the temperature was prematurely lowered. Raising the temperature back causes fermentation to pick up, but at a far lower rate than was occurring before the shock.) I use home-canned wort for a starter. I pop the seal on the Wyeast pack and leave it at room temperature. When it is swollen, I add it to the starter which is 50 degF. I let it ferment at 55 degrees until it's at high kraesen. I then pitch it into the 53 degree wort. I let fermentation run to completion at 52-56 degrees. Allow 3-4 days from popping the yeast seal to pitching into the main wort. I don't like temperatures over 56. Fifty or below may shock the yeast. Forty-five *will* shock the yeast. (Beware that I'm talking about the temperature of the wort as measured with a probe; at high kraesen the temperature in the fridge will be about 5 degrees lower. The fermenting wort is a considerable source of heat.) As fermentation completes, I slowly lower the temperature to settle the yeast. I don't lower the temperature at all until the beer is almost done fermenting--at least down to 1.016. I'm still experimenting with lagering schedules, but I'm certain about the fermentation. I consider Wyeast's suggestion to pitch at 70 degrees wrong. There's no reason ferment this high. Doing so probably won't shock the yeast, though; that seems to be caused more by low temperature than by lowering the temperature. Be wary of Noonan's temperatures. If you cold shock your yeast a fermentation that should take 10 days will take four weeks, even after you raise the temperature back up. My fermentation schedule works great with St. Louis, Danish, and Bavarian yeasts. It should work with New Ulm-- but I have only negative data here: high forties shocked that yeast. It is said that the German lager yeast (#308?, I'm working from memory here) works better at low temperatures and needs a diacytl boost; I have not used that yeast and wouldn't recommend complicated fermentation schedules to a beginning lager brewer. I should note that I've not recommended a strange schedule. Much of the world including the US and Holland/Denmark ferment in the low to mid fifties. Applying Noonan's method to American or Danish yeast is asking for trouble. Return to table of contents
Date: 25 Jul 90 11:25:07 PDT (Wed) From: florianb at tekred.cna.tek.com Subject: lager yeast pitching In yesterday's digest, Kenneth R. van Wyk asks about pitching yeast in lager beer wort: >So, how do you all start your yeast for lagering? Get it going at 70F >and then slowly cool to 45F for pitching? By Noonan's standards, that >would take 5 days just to cool the little beasties. > >I pitched my yeast at cold (for summer) room temp, about 68-70F, and >then cooled the wort to 48F in my fridge, but I'm afraid that I >shocked the yeast into hibernation. I'm concerned - but not worried There are quite a number of ways to do this. Normally, I make the starter at 70F or so. Then I pitch the yeast into the chilled (70F) wort, areate, then jam it into the frigerator. Within one day, it is cooled to 48F, and I usually witness the yeast forming the foam layer shortly thereafter. An alternative would be to make the starter at 48F, chill the wort to 48F and pitch when the starter is at high krausen. If you broke the liquid culture at room T and chilled it at 5 degrees per day, it would indeed take too long. It is very easy to shock lager yeast, especially the Wyeast liquid cultures. I try to make the transitions gradually in order to prevent this. The first method I mentioned seems to work well. In the occasions when it didn't, I was doing something stupid like pitching the starter into wort that was too warm compared to the starter, or dumping the liquid culture from room T into 48F wort. Then I saw long lag times. Good Luck! Florian. Return to table of contents
Date: 25 Jul 90 12:34:03 PDT (Wed) From: florianb at tekred.cna.tek.com Subject: juniper berries In #467, John S. Watson brought us a delightful quote from Thoreau regarding juniper ale. John asked about whether HDT was confusing juniper with spruce. Of course none of us who will read this was present when HDT found that bottle, so it's impossible to say whether it was in fact juniper or spruce. However, there is nothing unusual about it being juniper. Certainly juniper was available at the time, and I have read of juniper being used in ale. Perhaps there is someone reading this who has, in fact, used juniper in ale. If so, then *I* have a question: I live in the great juniper forest of central Oregon; I have approximately 100 juniper trees on my property. Most of these are loaded with juniper berries year-round. In certain years, the robins congregate to gorge themselves on the ripe, sweet, fermenting berries. They feed on these things until they get crazy, flying into each other, screaming at each other, and some eventually taking dives into the great gabled windows of our log home. During these times, I have sampled the berries and found them delightfully juicy and sweet. But the aroma is so powerful that my wife wouldn't let me near her afterward. So I got the idea to use these in a winter ale. However, I have been unable to judge how many, which type (several varieties of trees exist), which size, etc to use. I just don't want to ruin 5 gallons of otherwise good ale by dumping in a cup of these, for example. So if anyone is reading who has experience with this, please speak up. In any case, this fall I have resolved to just go for it and use, say, 1 tablespoon of plump berries in a porter. Looking forward to hearing from someone... Florian Return to table of contents
Date: 25 Jul 90 20:20:54 GMT From: bnrgate!bnr-rsc!crick at uunet.UU.NET (Bill Crick) Subject: Original gravity Someone mentioned that a lot of prizewinning recipes don't include initial gravity, and that it must be an accident that the beer was good. Measuring the initial gravity has absolutely no influence in the outcome of beer. It is the ingredients, and the process that make the beer. I tend to brew by the seat of my pants. I have an idea about what I want to make, and throw the appropriate things in (sometimes with the help of a generic style <-> ingredients chart), to make that kind of beer. I gave up measuring SG years ago. If I put in the right stuff, and do it right, I'll get the beer I am trying for. As I see it, every time you measure SG, you risk contamination. Why bother. I try not to mess with my beer while it is fermenting. Maybe the lack of OG measurements in prizewinning beers is a message that not playing in your beer leads to better beer;-) and hence winners? It could also be that the skilled brewers feel as I do. The one exception to this I can think of isiIf you are mashing an all grain brew, and are unsure of the process, then initial gravity will help you gauge your extraction and converion efficiency. I don't even measure terminal gravity. If I'm unsure if it is ready, Then I jus tleave it in the carboy another month or so. Or if I'm really worried, I sometimes will taste a bit, and see how sweet it is compared to how sweet I expect it to be. Any one want to buy a used hydrometer? Displacement, Ergo nonsum? Bill Crick Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 90 18:09:33 MDT From: lou%mage.UUCP at hplb.hpl.hp.com Subject: grungy plastic In HBD #467: >I just purchased some used equipment (air traps and a racking tube) and they >look kind of grungy. Can anyone suggest a good way of cleaning them. I was >thinking of just soaking them in a bleach solution, but I remembered someone >saying that bleach might be damaging to some equipment. These are plastic >parts with rubber stoppers. I'm sorry to tell you this, Rick, but I think you've been had. This type of equipment should always be rinsed thoroughly after use - if yours has something on it then it has not been properly handled. If, on the other hand, you're talking about stains, TCJoHB recommends tossing your plastic equipment when it gets heavily stained. Either way, it sounds like you were sold some stuff that it's owner considered unfit for use. I would suggest you 1) throw it away, 2) find someone else to sell it to, or 3) find a baseball bat and have a serious talk with whoever sold it to you. BTW, this type of equipment should be soaked in bleach solution each time you use it. Louis Clark mage!lou at ncar.ucar.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 90 11:31:21 EDT From: harley!chuck at uunet.UU.NET (Chuck Cox) Subject: Re: Cornelius kegs and parties Well, you could use a hand pump to push air into your keg, but I have some general ideas about homebrew and parties that may be of interest. At the last national conference (in Oakland) I heard about and eventually got to see in action a new type of tap. The basic idea is to over-pressurize the keg (around 60 psi as I recall), then use a regulating tap to dispense the beer at normal pressure (~10psi). The advantage is that you can pre-charge the keg at home, then take it to a party without bringing your co2 tank. The disadvantage is that you have to drink the beer quickly before it becomes over-carbonated. The tap is a self-contained unit about 6 inches long and about 2 inches in diameter that fits right on a cornelius keg. Several of the microbreweries were using this system at the tasting. I believe this unit sells for about $50. If sediment is a problem when transporting kegs to parties, consider artificial carbonation. This not only reduces the sediment, it also makes the beer drinkable sooner. Artificial carbonation is easy with kegs. I won't go into the details here, but if there is sufficient interest, I could post some info later, or email to interested parties. Finally, if you think taking homebrew to a party is like casting pearls before swine, consider high-gravity brewing. I make a beer called Easy Living Pale Ale. I brew up a 7 gallon batch with a gravity of about 1100, like a good barleywine. When the beer is ready to keg, I split it into 3 kegs, resulting in 15 gallons of pale ale, which I artifically carbonate. Since I only take one keg to each party, I am ready for 3 parties. Using this technique I can have the kegs ready to drink within 3 weeks of brewing. This beer won't win any competitions, but it is clean, light and thirst quenching, and a sure-fire way to guarantee invitations to lots of parties. - Chuck Cox (uunet!bose!chuck) - - america's fastest brewer - Hopped/Up Racing Team - Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #468, 07/26/90 ************************************* -------
[Prev HBD] [Index] [Next HBD] [Back]
HTML-ized on 06/29/00, by HBD2HTML version 1.2 by K.F.L.
webmaster at hbd.org, KFL, 10/9/96