HOMEBREW Digest #490 Thu 06 September 1990

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Wine and Brew by You (Geoffrey Sherwood)
  Head Retention (Mike Charlton)
  Blowoff tube backflow; multiple yeasts ("FEINSTEIN")
  Green Bubbles = Blecch!! (Martin A. Lodahl)
  Backwash ("John C. Post")
  Raspberry Imperial Stout Yeast, Bottle Culturing (Dan Miles)
  Backwash & high EtOH Yeast (jay s hersh)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 31 Aug 90 08:41:27 PDT From: sherwood at adobe.com (Geoffrey Sherwood) Subject: Wine and Brew by You Well, this topic is probably beaten to death by now, but as a former customer of theirs I thought I would jump in. Craig's store is (was?) the only one in Miami -- and his prices reflect it ($13.50 for a 3.3lb can of malt extract, more for a 4 lb can). He always has several beers on tap (up to 6) for tasting. I find their quality to be mediocre. Not too badly made, really, (although he would occasionally use some rather strange recipies), but too young yet to be decent. It was free and a good way to get some indication of what the beer would taste like when you make it at home. I am sure he feels he has to go for volume to keep the taps running, but the quality suffers. I certainly would not start homebrewing so I could make a beer that tasted like his samples. I expect he loses some potential brewers because of it. I don't think this makes good business sense (and aging beer is not a particularly strenous activity!). As another poster pointed out, he does consider himself a leading expert on beer brewing. He has been doing it for a long time, but repetition does not expert knowledge make. My personal reading is that if it has alcohol and you can get it down he thinks it is great.... The fact that he was at least half-crocked every time I was in there may have had something to do with his contentiousness. I am not putting him down for it -- we all slide through life the best way we can -- but drunken arguments alway seem a little stronger on passion than reason (mine included!). All in all, it was not a bad place. I enjoyed going there (I would sample a bit, buy some ingredients, then talk/discuss/argue for a while). His prices are high, but he has a fairly good selection (not to mention being the only game in town). He has a couple of fish tanks and cats running all over the place. A nice hole in the wall atmosphere. As long as you don't take him too seriously it's worth the trip. There are a lot cheaper places to mail order from, though. geoff sherwood Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 90 08:39:28 CDT From: Mike Charlton <umcharl3 at ccu.UManitoba.CA> Subject: Head Retention I've been having some problems with head retention in the past and decided to look into it to see what the problem was. I figured the first thing to do was to make sure that I had a glass that was grease free. I rinsed it with hot water 3 times and dried it out all 3 times with a clean towel. I then polished the glass a while with the sam towel. After convincing myself that it was clean I poured a bottle of my latest batch of stout based on Dave Miller's recipe. Sure enough there was a nice voluminous head that stayed put in the glass. Thinking that I'd found my problem, I prepared to take a well deserved sip of the beer. Unfortunately, as soon as my lips touched the beer, the inch high head dissapeared within seconds. Now, I'm not an overly greasy person (I do wash regularly). Is there a reason why this beer should be so sensitive to grease? Thanks, Mike Return to table of contents
Date: 5 Sep 90 10:36:00 EDT From: "FEINSTEIN" <crf at pine.circa.ufl.edu> Subject: Blowoff tube backflow; multiple yeasts Hi there! RE: Bill Crick's query about water being sucked up his blowoff tube-- what is the _elevation_ of the vessel holding the water the blowoff tube goes into, with respect to the carboy? If the wort is near/at room temp, then the only explanation I can think of is that the vessel holding the water is elevated enough for a siphoning action to occur. My blowoff tube is pretty long, so that it can go down into a jar of water and bleach sitting on the table next to the carboy. I've had no problems. RE: mixed yeasts-- the one time I made an Imperial Stout, the basic ale yeast I used (don't have my record book here so can't cite brand) did just fine. However: a fellow brewer told me once that he had heard of a yeast meant for high-alcohol content brews. It sounded like it was essentially a mixed yeast. The way he described it, the first yeast got the fermentation going, and when the alcohol content got high enough to kill it off, the second yeast kicked in and finished the fermentation. On the other hand, I've never seen such a thing advertised. Yours in Carbonation, Cher "With one tuckus, you can't dance at two weddings." -- Yiddish proverb ============================================================================= Cheryl Feinstein INTERNET: CRF at PINE.CIRCA.UFL.EDU Univ. of Fla. BITNET: CRF at UFPINE Gainesville, FL Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 90 7:52:36 PDT From: Martin A. Lodahl <pbmoss!malodah at PacBell.COM> Subject: Green Bubbles = Blecch!! Dear Digesters, Several moons ago I posted an account of seeing a batch of porter with a weird green growth on it surface. Its principal feature, you may recall, was one huge bubble that stood without bursting for days. I asked if anyone had seen anything like it, and what it might be. I visited that brewer last night, and tasted the porter. Friends, it was horrid. The infection was clearly fungal in nature, leaving a strong mildew taste (nearly 12 hours later I still can't get rid of the aftertaste) and giving me a raging headache. The moral of this story is that if your beer develops a green scum on the surface with a few big bubbles, dump it and start over! = Martin A. Lodahl Pac*Bell Minicomputer Operations Support Staff = = malodah at pbmoss.Pacbell.COM Sacramento, CA 916.972.4821 = = If it's good for ancient Druids, runnin' nekkid through the wuids, = = Drinkin' strange fermented fluids, it's good enough for me! 8-) = Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 90 11:01 PDT From: "John C. Post" <POST at VAXA.llnl.gov> Subject: Backwash Somebody recently asked about the blowoff tube sucking water back up into the carboy. This has happend to me several times. Even though you *think* you have your wort at room temperature, you probably don't. As the headspace cools, it contracts and sucks air back through the tube. My solution is to use a long tube, and suspend the loop about a foot above the top of the carboy. It may suck water up the tube, but a foot of head is a fair amount of pressure to develop. After the yeast kicks in, the CO2 will fix it up. You can also purge your carboy with CO2, if you have it, and loosely cover the mouth with saran wrap until you get good fermentation going. - -------------------------------------------------------------------------- | post@ vaxt.llnl.gov |"...It's only MY opinion...Not their's..."| | post@ lis.llnl.gov |..........................................| |John Post, Lawrence Livermore| ....I'm Relaxing...I'm Not Worrying.... | |National Labs |..........................................| - -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 90 11:37:36 -0700 From: miles at cs.washington.edu (Dan Miles) Subject: Raspberry Imperial Stout Yeast, Bottle Culturing > My second question regards yeast for very high gravit>y beers. I'm > planning to make Imperial Raspberry Stout, and I am wondering what yeast to > use? Looking at all the stuff that is going to go into it, it is going > to have a lot of alcohol (I'm wondering if there will be room for any > water;-) ), and was wondering if garden variety yeast can handle the > high alcohol content? I've not worked with this high an alcohol content > before except for a beer that ended up quite sweet like Olde Peculiar. > The guy at Defalco's (local shop) suggested I use a yeast by Cordon Brew > which is listed as being for stouts, but I have no experience with this > company (haven't heard of them before), and am reluctant to risk the > $100 worth of ingredients on a new untried yeast? Any comments on this yeast > or suggestions on what to use? I used Sierra Nevada's yeast for my batch of Raspberry Imperial Stout and it worked very well. Fermentation was almost completely over in a week, yielding a final gravity of 1.022, which is the low end of Papazian's expected final gravity. As previously mentioned in the digest, Sierra Nevada uses one strain of yeast for all of their brews, including their barley wine. If it can handle Bigfoot, it ought to be be able to handle the Raspberry Imperial Stout. Wyeast sells this yeast as Chico Ale Yeast. If you can get a bottle of Sierra Nevada (I use the Pale Ale) you can culture the yeast in the bottle. First, you sterilize the top of the bottle by swabbing around the cap with an isopropyl alcohol soaked cotton ball, then *carefully* light it. It flames briefly and extinguishes. Then the cap is removed and almost all of the room temperature beer is poured off (into a frosted mug to cool it), leaving the yeast in the bottom of the bottle. A cup of preboiled and cooled wort is poured into the bottle, not touching the top or sides of the bottle (a sterilized funnel would be nice here). Then shake it up well to mix the yeast and aerate the wort, affix a fermentation lock, and wait a day or three for fermentation to start. I almost always see activity within 36 hours. I usually wait for the head to fall in the bottle before pitching, though my brewing schedule has forced me to use a starter a couple of days earlier or later with no ill effects. Pitching is easy. Shake up the yeast, flame the top again, remove the lock, and pour into a batch of beer. The lag time is usually between 12 and 36 hours. A batch I started two days ago started bubbling after 18 hours. A good, pure culture for $1.50 and a beer to boot. Not bad. See the article "Isolation and Culture of Yeast from Bottle-Conditioned Beers" in the special yeast issue of Zymurgy for more info. Dan Miles Return to table of contents
Date: 05 Sep 90 23:58:09 EDT From: jay s hersh <75140.350 at compuserve.com> Subject: Backwash & high EtOH Yeast I have used single stage with a blow-off for years and never ever encountered the back pressure problem detailed by Bill C (well at least not when the wort was chilled to pitching temps, aerated and the yeast pitched). As for high Alchohol Stouts I have made Imperial Stouts and Barley Wines and have typically used a combination of Ale Yeast and Red Star Champagne yeast (an excelent product despite Red Stars otherwise lacluster reputation) and have found this yields the desired Ale character with a high alcohol content. I am told that one of the wyeast strains also works to quite high alcohol contents. I would agree though that for something like an Imperial Stout there are few ale yeasts that will go all the way to 8+ %. Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #490, 09/06/90 ************************************* -------
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