HOMEBREW Digest #517 Mon 15 October 1990

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Xmas Beer Recipe (John Bates)
  More on mead.. (WITHALL)
  distilling (Geoffrey Sherwood)
  Mould (James Hensley)
  Vinometer, Aluminum, Blue Ribbon Malt, Revenue, Power (Gary Benson)
  re legality of distillation (Chip Hitchcock)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 12 Oct 90 08:51:34 MDT From: bates at palmen.Colorado.EDU (John Bates) Subject: Xmas Beer Recipe In Digest #516, Kinney Baughman writes...I judged this beer in Oakland and after one taste I was singing "Jingle Bells"!! It went on to finish 2nd in the final round. Phil Fleming from Colorado was the brewer. ... Phil is not JUST a member, he's currently president of our club. Anyway, I'll talk to him and see if he would share his recipe for the NET so those interested can give it a shot this year. Please don't write me for the recipe. Do write to me if you would like a copy of our club newsletter for your club. If you don't have a homebrew club in your area, FORM ONE. It's lots of fun and is a great way to share knowledge and recipes. John Bates Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 12 Oct 90 10:31 EDT From: <WITHALL%CTSTATEU.BITNET at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU> Subject: More on mead.. Greetings, I have reason to believe that there must be a Mead distributer in upstate New York. I know so far no one has heard of any such place... I was at a Ren. Fair in Tuxedo NY a while back and they served Mead there...I was told they bought their mead from a place around there...(If they can stock such huge supplies for a fair certainly they must have a steady source..) I was not able to try any because they had run out of it... - Lisa Withall Brynn Silenus (SCA) WITHALL at CTSTATEU Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 90 09:25:47 PDT From: sherwood at adobe.com (Geoffrey Sherwood) Subject: distilling I think the stated reason the Feds don't want people distilling is safety (using contaminated copper or producing methanol along with the ethanol). The real reason is $. There is a very high tax on alcohol and they want to ensure they have a piece of the action. I think there is also some moralism stirred into the pot as well. Re: you can make brandy, though I thought about that when I posted about why beer brewing was illegal. Yes, you can make brandy, but it doesn't have the commercial appeal that whiskey does. No way can I remember the source (I read it 15-20 years ago) but it did say that the act of malting was illegal and that this was aimed at the moonshiner. The fact that malting is letting the grain sprout means that every barley farmer is doing it goes right along with the stupidity of the whole thing. Of course, I could be wrong. geoff sherwood Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 90 15:19:39 PDT From: jpaul at lccsd.sd.locus.com (James Hensley) Subject: Mould I just brewed a batch of brown ale, using a milk-carton (1/2 gal) full of malt extract from Sebastian. I bought some liquid yeast (which has been discontinued by them, btw) as well, and it sat around at UPS for an extra day because I wasn't home when they stopped by. Well, I used one of the swiss lager yeast to make some wiezen, and it worked great. The next one I used was labeled 'high temperature ale' and the bag didn't swell at all for two days. Meanwhile, I had the wort sitting in my plastic fermenter bucket (10 gal) for a couple days (Covered with a clean towel and bucket lid.) I decided the yeast may do better in the wort, so I pitched. Two more days, no action at all. I thought to myself hmmm... the ale yeast must have kicked the bucket, 'cause it wasn't kicking any foam at all. I then was almost w worried, but I had a homebrew and sprinkled the contents of a red-star ale packet across the top of the wort. Lo and behold, It took charge, forming a small mound of head within a day. My worries started when I looked inside the fermenter and saw a couple of HUGE bubbles the like of which I've never seen, as well as several patches of bluish-green mould (akin to that on bread). I decided I was going to dump it, but went to bed and left it anyway. This morning, I was surprised to see that it seemed something killed off the mould, so I scooped the visible spots out of the krausen. Has anyone ever had a similar experience? Should I toss this batch? Is the kind of mould that will grow in wort harmful? Would the yeast be able to neutralize/kill the mould by raising the alcohol content, or other means? Advice, please. James Return to table of contents
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 90 02:23:10 PDT From: hplabs!ames!gatech!mailrus!uunet!tc.fluke.COM!inc (Gary Benson) Subject: Vinometer, Aluminum, Blue Ribbon Malt, Revenue, Power (Prior apologies for the unseemly length of this posting . . . I haven't participated in the discussion in quite a while, but I did have a few things to add...) In HBD 511, Gary Heston asked about my "vinometer": > ...several months ago someone mentioned testing their brew with an > "alcohol vinometer" or something of the sort, to determine alcohol > content. All my attempts at email bounced, so (since I'm already > sending this in) does anyone out there know what one of those is, > how much they cost, and where one could be acquired? Twas' I, Gar' ol' Gar'... I bought my little vinometer device at a store that was closing out their wine and beer making supplies. It is apparently used mostly by vintners, and since now and again I am tempted to make wine, I picked one up. I used it to determine alcohol content of a mead that I wasn't sure had finished fermenting. This type of device is no good for beer as someone else has already pointed out. My vinometer was made in Germany, and cost about 5 bucks. It looks like a little glass funnel with an extra-long neck. The neck is about the size of fever thermometer, and is built the same. There is a very small capillary running through it, and the side has scale markings in % alcohol. Here's a Patented Gary-O-Rama ASCII-Picto-Graph to give you an idea of what it looks like: \ r \ / \ / \/ || || || || || 25% -----> || 20% -----> || || 10% -----> || || 5% -----> || || || 0% -----> || || || \/ This is just about to scale, too, if you are looking at it on a VT100 terminal! To use it, you fill the funnel with the liquid (room temperature), until the capillary is filled, and a drop falls out. (The "r" on the ascii-gram is a little pouring lip, like on a cream pitcher). Cover the funnel (I use a piece of index card), then invert. The liquid falls down the capillary and when it stops, the top of the liquid points to % alcohol. (instructions say "By volume (Gay Lussac)" . It must have to do with atmospheric pressure, the height of the column, and the weight of the column of liquid. Therefore, I surmise that the "measurement" will be affected by the temperature and barometric pressure (I guess in effect this really is a sort of "barometer")! Anyway, when I used it to measure my mead, it said 16%, so I figured that was good enough to bottle. After a few months, I measured the same mead "the old-fashioned way" (drinking some of it). This experiment confirmed the vinometer reading to a close approximation. RE! Blue Ribbon Malt! A while back, there was some discussion about whether "BLUE RIBBON MALT" was still available. Some guy wanted to recreate his dad's 1950 homebrew. YES! This past summer, traveling in Montana, I happened into a little diner, and behind the counter lo and behold, there sat a 3.3 pound can of "Blue Ribbon Malt Syrup". I checked the ingredients label: Malt, dextrin. This shop used it in making malted milk, but it sure looked like the same kind of can *my* dad used back in the '50's! So, while I waited for them to fry my burgers, I did little pure research, and found that it is distributed by: Carlin Foods Company Seattle, WA 98109 The label also mentioned FOOD SERVICES OF AMERICA at 1-800-877-3007 I called them, and guess what? The guys' you have to talk to's name is "Gary". He was not at his desk (in excellent Gary fashion!), so I'll try back later. Before I hung up with the operator there, I learned that his last name is "MILLER" (nicknamed "BUD" I bet!). Anyway, that should be enough if anyone wants to follow up. Food Services of America is located in Spokane, WA. (Mmmm I can hardly wait . . . a can of this stuff, 5 pounds of C & H, a little Fleischmans "Active Dry" bread yeast, and soon: Homebrew!) In #516, Kinney Baughman [RE: Chilling Time (Steve Slade)], wrote: > I don't have the particulars, and ... perhaps you already know this, > but...boiling wort in aluminum pots has generally been recognized as a > bad idea. Anyone out there in Netland care to enlighten us as to > exactly why? It's a perennial (and probably periodic) topic. Here's how I understand the controversy: - Patients with Alzheimer's Disease have been shown to have a higher-than-expected level of metallic aluminum in their brain cells. - Pseudo-scientists have postulated a cause and effect relationship to the affect that "ingesting aluminum causes Alzheimer's". - Real scientists are still trying to devise experiments to determine which is cause and which is effect (does the disease cause aluminum to be more readily absorbed, or does more ingested aluminum cause Alzheimer's). - Some skeptics muddy the waters by arguing that as long as the cause-effect relationship is not known, you shouldn't use aluminum cookware of any sort. (Their critics argue that restaurants have for years used aluminum pots and that no correlation has been shown between eating out and Alzheimer's.) - Many careful homebrewers think that perhaps the long heating periods and the "acidic" nature of their wort will perhaps leach more aluminum from a vessel, resulting in higher levels of aluminum in their beer, and so, preferring to err on the side of safety, and desirous of as long a period of relaxing as possible, have abandoned aluminum in favor of stainless steel or enamelware. - Many other equally careful and thoughtful homebrewers think that the concern is unjustified, given that the primary cause-effect relationship is still not known, and that the extent of any aluminum-leaching by wort also has yet to be proved. In short, far from being "generally regarded as a bad thing", the use of aluminum in homebrewing (and cookery in general) is still under discussion. I was once warned by a HBD reader who signed himself "Dr." against using an aluminum pie-plate even for *drying* a yeast slurry! Myself, I don't buy it. Aluminum may be soft, but chemically pretty stable, and it oxidizes slowly enough that I can easily keep it clean and shiny-bright. Also, I seem to recall an HBD reader some time ago performed a chemical analysis of wort prepared in aluminum and found no trace of the metal. Also in #516, David Coombs asks: > Why do the feds still want to prevent individuals from distilling > things, while commercial distilleries are now permitted? I can think > of several possible reasons, but what are the real ones? Revenue and Power REVENUE If everyone was just free to do whatever they wanted in their own homes with the fruits of their own labor, and using the natural god-given ingredients planted, nurtured, harvested and processed out of their own gardens on their own land, well, gracious, how could the government control the many possible substances that might result and insure that they got a fair share of the money to be made? POWER If everyone was just free to do whatever they wanted in their own homes with the fruits of their own labor, and using the natural god-given ingredients planted, nurtured, harvested and processed out of their own gardens on their own land, well, gracious, how could the government control the many possible lifestyles that might result and insure that they got a fair shot at telling you who to be? Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 14 Oct 90 19:58:48 EDT From: cjh%vallance.eng.ileaf.com at hplb.hpl.hp.com (Chip Hitchcock) Subject: re legality of distillation > From: David Coombs <coombs at cs.rochester.edu> > Why do the feds still want to prevent individuals from distilling > things, while commercial distilleries are now permitted? For the last ~200 years, the federal government has gotten some portion of its revenues from taxes on alcoholic beverages. These taxes are based on the amount of alcohol in the package, so the tax-per-volume is \\much// higher on distilled beverages (I've seen (but doubt) claims of 90%). cf various hillbilly references (e.g., SNUFFY SMITH comic strip) in which the agents hunting illegal stills are referred to as "revenuers"---they're tax collectors rather than general law-enforcement. I would guess that the original assumption was that beer, cider, and even wine would be widely brewed for home use or occasional barter (sometimes fermented fluids were the only safe thing to drink), while stills (needing more effort & equipment) would produce liquor for sale. cf the Whiskey Rebellion---grain from in/beyond the Appalachians was converted to whiskey because whiskey was easier to transport to market (less weight/bulk per unit value), so the govt. put a tax on whiskey. (Certainly there have also been moral arguments, but it started with money.) I think revenue from alcohol taxes is no longer a large fraction of total federal income, but it's not insignificant. NB---commercial distilleries were banned only during Prohibition. The ads for Jack Daniels say you can't buy a drink in the town where they distill---now \\that//'s weird! You could take up a lot of space analyzing sources and causes of our patchwork of laws on alcohol. PS to all those flaming about the effects of more taxes on beer---I've heard figures around 16 cents per sixpack. How much of a hit is that on anything worth drinking? Even on discount suitcases of Bud that's <8%.... Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #517, 10/15/90 ************************************* -------
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