HOMEBREW Digest #5087 Tue 07 November 2006

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  Sorry Bernd ("steve.alexander")
  Distilling spent grains ("Thomas Rohner")
  beer aging (Matt)
  Re:Pumpkins and Candi sugar (Denny Conn)
  Beer aging ("Stevens, Jonathan C")
  Re: Candi sugar (Glyn)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 07 Nov 2006 07:20:10 -0500 From: "steve.alexander" <-s at adelphia.net> Subject: Sorry Bernd Bernd Neumann writes .... >I take my brewing very seriously. ..... >I don't like a lot of the >commercially available pumpkin beers because they taste like a ground up >pumpkin pie in a bottle. However, I do enjoy the homebrewed version. I think you should carefully analyze the above, Bernd. IMO pumpkin flesh adds very little flavor to beer. I strongly suspect that your preferences are entirely due to the selection and quantities of spices and have nothing to do with adding vegetables to the mash. They make dandy jack-o-lanterns, second rate pies and marginal cattle fodder. Smashing one on a doorstep is a slightly anti-social activity which allows youngsters to get their yayas out without any real damage - social catharsis, but IMO pumpkins don't belong in beer. As I said, I genuinly like and enjoy many spiced beers, but the vegetable content is IMO a pointless hack. >Pumpkin ale is not my favorite style. The main reason I make it, is because >it makes for great gifts for friends around the holidays. ?? You sound conflicted on the issue. >I've been a reader of the HBD off and on for about 9 years, ... >This was my first post in over a year and only because I felt I had >something usefull to contribute to the discussion on pumpkin ale. If you >feel otherwise, fine, although that is no reason to disparage my brewing >preferences or skills on an open e-mail forum. If you've been reading HBD for 9 years then you should realize that almost annually I make strongly disparaging remarks regarding pumpkin beer. This just happened to be triggered by your thread this year. I fully realize the BJCP has a vegetable beer style and I strongly disapprove of every possible variation on this perversion. Call me a purist, but I also look on fruit beer styles with suspicion, tho' I'll admit there are some very good ones. It's just an expression of my *opinion*, and in that realm Bernd's is as valid as mine or anyone else's. === On a related topic of whether a pumpkin flesh is a fruit or vegetable - it is technically NOT a fruit !! Every ripened plant ovary developed from a flower is technically a fruit, yet nuts and grains are arbitrarily excluded. In the case of strawberries, watermelon, gourds, bannana, figs and the lovely lingonberry (a personal favorite) the flesh we consume is a (sweet) pericarp, and NOT developed from the plant ovary tissue. These are NOT fruits in the technical sense, yet peppers & tomatoes are. Obviously this doesn't match common usage. I'll suggest as a de facto definition, that if the flesh of a plant ova or pericarp doesn't reach 4P of fermentable sugars, then it's unlikely to be considered a fruit for culinary purposes. Pumpkins do not. Mmmmmmm - lingonberry jam, -S Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2006 15:31:08 +0100 From: "Thomas Rohner" <t.rohner at bluewin.ch> Subject: Distilling spent grains Hi all our little brew-club was recently (on halloween eve) at a fellow homebrewers home to see how they brew. It was quite interesting to see how they did a 4 step mash with 2 decoctions on a wood fired mashtun. The decoctions were heated on a propane burner. Lautering was done with a old laundry centrifuge... they had a hell of a murky wort in the boiler. (same as mashtun, wood fired) But then the lautering went really fast. I wouldn't want to do it that way, but you shouldn't try to tell someone how to brew, if you just got a good beer from him ;-) After the first lautering, the grains were wetted again and then back into the centrifuge once again. The spent grains went into a barrel, were filled up with tepid water to get the consistency of a average mash, then yeast was added. They have done this before and brought the fermented spent grains (there is still plenty sugar in it, the way they sparge) to a licensed distiller. The result is very pleasing, we had quit a couple shots from this about gallon seized bottle. It may not compare with a world class whisky, but then it never saw a oak barrel from the inside. Around here it is legal if you do it this way. Let it distill by a licensed distiller and of course, pay tax for it. Cheers Thomas Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2006 08:42:15 -0800 (PST) From: Matt <baumssl27 at yahoo.com> Subject: beer aging A couple thoughts on Fredrik and Steve's comments: If that is the Nevin et al paper, I think the beer they studied is probably Duvel. Dr. Nevin is at Duvel Moortgat, and I think I even recall reading elsewhere that Duvel was the beer studied in that paper. In any case, this was almost certainly a pretty decent beer to begin with, without extreme levels of harsh esters. For a beer that IS loaded with harsh esters, I'd expect a greater reduction in *absolute* levels of these esters than we see in Duvel (for given time/temp). Lots of factors in play but I think that's a fair assumption. I might expect faster reduction in ethyl acetate *even on a percentage basis*, if ethanol levels are equal (though that may be too simplistic a view). In any case, to me this story seems both plausible and consistent with the common homebrewer experience of reduced "rocket fuel" qualities in high-gravity beers. Matt Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 07 Nov 2006 08:43:49 -0800 From: Denny Conn <denny at projectoneaudio.com> Subject: Re:Pumpkins and Candi sugar Jason, any time a recipe just calls for candi sugar, I use table (cane) sugar instead. There is no difference in taste that I can detect between using cane sugar and what's sold as "candi sugar" rocks. Contrary to some things you read, the rocks are not invert sugar. In "Brew Like a Monk", Stan Heironymous confirmed that many Belgian breweries do the same. Now, there IS something different available these days, and that's a Belgian candi syrup, which many Belgian brewers use. Unlike the rocks, the syrup does impart a noticeable and distinctive flavor to your beer. In short, it you're making something like a tripel and the recipe calls for the candi rocks, you can easily sub in an equal amount of table sugar and make a great beer. --------------->Denny At 12:23 AM 11/7/06 -0500, you wrote: >I was just considering making a Westy 12 clone using the recipe in Beer >Captured. It calls for a bunch of Belgian Candi sugar and the HB store >charges an arm and a leg for that stuff. So, I too am interested in >making some from scratch. I've read some conflicting info on the web >about making the stuff. One site said to use invert sugar while another >said that, "the Belgians don't mess around with invert sugar." I'm not >really concerned about how the Belgians do it, just whether or not the >beer will taste good. Some have said that they used cane sugar and the >beer tasted "cheap". So, my question for the HBDers is what have you >tried and what works? Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2006 10:45:00 -0500 From: "Stevens, Jonathan C" <Jonathan.Stevens at dhs.gov> Subject: Beer aging -S asks: >Would someone who has actually had a beer turn from harsh to better please comment on the storage temps & times to accomplish this. Anecdotal data point...I had a Strong Golden that was hot (fusels and phenols). It's been bottled and boxed in the garage for four years now. I revisit it about once every six months and it's quite nice now. My garage fluctuates from 90 to 40 during the year. This box is in contact with the floor on an inside wall. I've kept a thermometer in the box and haven't seen a temp above 70 or below 58. I've noticed the same sort of aging in homemade jams and jellies by the way. I've got a six year old prickly pear syrup that has taken on a really nice "port or sherry" like quality. These aging processes are not exclusive to alcoholic beverages. FWIW, Chad Stevens, QUAFF, San Diego Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2006 11:14:18 -0800 (PST) From: Glyn <graininfuser at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: Candi sugar I used candi sugar in my first tripel. I have since used cane or beet sugar. I could detect no difference, the flavor is from the yeast, malt and hops. The sugar keeps the body down for such a big beer. Sugar makes a beer "cheap" when it is used on a small to medium beer. IMO, and I have made a lot of tripels :-D Dave I will say you are super-sonic fly sparging. Glyn - So. middle TN Return to table of contents
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