HOMEBREW Digest #525 Thu 25 October 1990

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Cheap supplies -- try malt extract in bulk (CONDOF)
  Re:  Homebrew Digest #524 (October 24, 1990) (Stephen Michael Hirsch)
  RE:  Sulphur smells (Mike Fertsch)
  (more on) Ice to chill wort (willa)
  Re: For what it's worth (durk at dialogic.com (Dave Durkin)) (Dave Brown)
  Re:BrewCap (Oran Carmona)
  SG meter (Russ Gelinas)
  How to obtain bottles??? (Keith  Abbey - TSE)
  competitions (Dave Suurballe)
  Mashing German pilsner malz (durbin)
  re: AHA national competition (synchro!chuck)
  re: Manchester, New Hampshire (synchro!chuck)
  BJCP (synchro!chuck)
  re: AHA national conference (synchro!chuck)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 24 Oct 90 01:27 PST >From: <CONDOF%CLARGRAD.BITNET at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU> Subject: Cheap supplies -- try malt extract in bulk In HBD 524, C.Luchini (CBL at uihepa.hep.uiuc.edu) writes: >Can anyone give me a reference to a source for large >quantities of _*cheap*_ brew stuff? Between the 11 people I >know who are brewing, we go through about 10-12 batches a >month (20-25 cases). At $15 per can of extract, it's getting >expensive. I don't have a suggestion for any particular source, but I do have a money-saving tip. Buy your malt extract in bulk. Alexander's pale extract is about $16 for 10 lb (in a 1-gallon container), which is about 50% off of what you're paying for extract in cans. This is enough for 2 "ordinary" batches or 1 high-gravity batch. Alexander's is a great base malt, but I always add some crystal malt (0.5 to 1.5 lb per 5-gallon batch). Fun Fermentations in Orange, CA sells Alexander's in 1-gallon or 10-gallon containers. You can save even more money by mashing your own grain (of course there is a labor & time cost as well as an equipment investment to this route). === Fred Condo. Pro-Humanist BBS: 818/339-4704, 300/1200/2400 bps Internet: fredc at pro-humanist.cts.com Bitnet: condof at clargrad UUCP: crash!pro-humanist!fredc [add ' at nosc.mil' for ARPA] matter: PO Box 2843, Covina, CA 91722 America Online: FredJC Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 90 08:58:59 EDT >From: hirsch at eniac.seas.upenn.edu (Stephen Michael Hirsch) Subject: Re: Homebrew Digest #524 (October 24, 1990) hello, I have enjoyed the list but can no longer keep up... please remove me. -thank you -steve Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 90 09:22 EDT >From: Mike Fertsch <FERTSCH at adc1.adc.ray.com> Subject: RE: Sulphur smells Bob Gorman asks about "Funny Smelling Starters": > ...So I stick my nose in and there is this nasty smell. It was very > sulfury and estery (Like grape skins). > Is it alright for starters to smell funny? Yeast starters should smell like (are you ready?) YEAST. I find yeast to have a very strong sulphur component. I don't have my Miller or Noonan books here at work, but I recall yeast making lots of sulphur compounds in the early stages of fermentation. These normally get scrubbed out over time by the CO2. Ale yeasts are SUPPOSED to generate esters, so I assume your yeast is okay. I often note a sulphury smell when racking beers out of primary into secondary; it always disipates. When I make starters by stepping up cultures, I always taste a little before I pitch it into my wort. It should have bread-like yeastyness, and a bit of sulphur. Mike Fertsch Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 90 08:01:55 PDT >From: willa at hpvclwa.vcd.hp.com Subject: (more on) Ice to chill wort Mike Schrempp writes: > To simplify the calculations, I calculate the cooling capacity of the ice > and apply this to the boiling wort. At this point, I have a quantity of wort > (W) at some temperature, and an amount of water (I) at 32 degrees F. I then > calculate the temperature when these are mixed. Mike, I like your idea of relaxing, and not worrying about specific units that cancel out anyway! I think your calculation neglects the energy required to warm the ice to 32F before melting takes place. My freezer runs right around 0F. Perhaps this extra energy (along with some cooling through the metal) would account for your cooler-than-expected final product. I'm interested in your model, and hope you can get it dialed in. You could heat up some water (simulated wort) and see how fast it cooled without ice so you could approximate the loss through your metal vessel. . . .Will Will Allen HP Vancouver Division willa at vcd.hp.com or ...!hplabs!vcd!willa or Will ALLEN / HP5400/UX Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 90 10:09:22 PDT >From: brown at ocelot.llnl.gov (Dave Brown) Subject: Re: For what it's worth (durk at dialogic.com (Dave Durkin)) Dave Durkin writes: The colder weather is coming on us and it got me to think.... I bought a submersible aquariam heater (long, glass cylinder type going for around $20-$25 in any pet shop). When I was touring a Portland Microbrewery I found the fermentation room was refregerated, though they make ales. The Brewmaster replied that the fermentation vessels were well insulated, and the act of fermentation and the insulation was enough to keep the temperature correct. He added that when fermentation was complete, the beer would slowly cool to the temperature of the refrigerate room giving them a controlled storage environment. I definitely don't need this now, it tends to be warm all year around, here in CA. But, I thought, if I ever return to cold climates, I would try it out. Maybe you could use one of those blankets they use to wrap water heaters. - ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- David S. Brown | This is not the official word of... brown at ocelot.llnl.gov | Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories .__ / .__ | P.O. Box 808, 7000 East Av L-619 | \ \ |__) | Livermore CA 94550 ME(415) 423-9878 |__/ / |__) | ciac at tiger.llnl.gov FAX(415) 294-5054 - ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 90 11:26:52 PDT >From: ocarma at unssun.nevada.edu (Oran Carmona) Subject: Re:BrewCap I have used a BrewCap system quite frequently and had a mixed experience with it. Ken Giles' message pointed out most of the points I would have made but I would like to add a comment or two. The system itslef works very well for the most part. My major complaint with it is that when you use it with a 5 Gallon carboy, you tend to lose anywhere from 0.5-0.75 gallons in the process of draining off the spent yeast/trub. If I could figure out a way to make one that would work on the 7 gallon acid carboys (which have a narrower neck) I'd use the system much more frequently. It's a useful tool to have and would recommend it. (if you can live with the beer loss!) Does anyone know if there is a brewcap arrangement available for the 7gal carboy??? O< Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 90 13:33 EST >From: <R_GELINA%UNHH.BITNET at MITVMA.MIT.EDU> (Russ Gelinas) Subject: SG meter A few months ago, someone mentioned something about a device for measuring Specific Gravity that could be virtually isolated from the fermenting brew. Something about a wire that could be run into the carboy, with a digital display outside the carboy. Does this thing exist? Or am I just wishfully thinking? Russ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 90 11:49:08 PDT >From: exile at Corp.Sun.COM (Keith Abbey - TSE) Subject: How to obtain bottles??? Hi, Has anyone come up with some creative ways of obtaining bottles? I just don't drink enough beer to get the amount of bottles I need. How has everyone else done it? Any tips or hints would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, - -- _ , ' ) / _/_ / Keith Abbey, Technical Support Engineer /-< _ o / /_ Phone: (415) 336-0149 FAX: (415) 969-9131 / ) </_<_<__/ /_ E-Mail: kabbey at Corp.Sun.COM Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 90 10:36:10 PDT >From: hsfmsh.UUCP!suurb at cgl.ucsf.EDU (Dave Suurballe) Subject: competitions In response to Kim Mills' questions in HD524: The competitions that I've organized do not allow Grolsh bottles, or half-liter bottles, or anything bigger. The restriction is mostly due to the difficulty of handling these large bottles. They don't fit into standard six-packs and cases like the rest of the hundreds of bottles. Also an issue, but less important, is that these bottles are more rarely used than the usual 12-ouncers, and this may inadvertantly allow the judge to identify the brewer, if they are acquainted. It is always best to keep the brewer's identity from the judge. People are people, and they cannot help letting their personal feelings enter into subjective things like beer judging. I'm not talking about downright cheating, or anything deliberate at all; it's unconcious. For this reason, we don't allow any labels or identifying marks of any kind on the bottle, and we blacken the cap if it is marked in any way, either by the brewer or by the cap manufacturer (like pepsi or RC cola). Brewers who keg their beer either don't enter competition, or they bottle from the keg. You can do this if you chill the beer, the equipment, and the bottles, and dispense the beer gently. Or you can use a so-called "counter-pressure bottle filler" which, in general, gets the beer in the bottle more gently than other ways, and keeps more of the fizz in the beer than other ways. This device has been described here in the Digest and in various print magazines. Suurb Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 90 21:02:55 EDT >From: durbin%cuavax.dnet at netcon.cua.edu Subject: Mashing German pilsner malz My roomate is making his first attempt at mashing and wanted me to pose this question: Is pilsner light malt(German Pilsner Malz) partially or fully modified (should I infusion mash or step mash). And does it have a high enzyme count or do I need to mash it with a malt containing enzymes.Also any advice on pitching wyeast #2308, Munich Lager would be aprreciated; I plan to use a starter. Prosit Phil Return to table of contents
Date: Tue Oct 23 16:46:39 1990 >From: bose!synchro!chuck at uunet.UU.NET Subject: re: AHA national competition I apologize in advance for the length of this posting as well as the delay in posting it. The HBD has been arriving rather sporadically and out of order here. In addition I went to Houston for a few days to judge and party at the Dixie Cup. Well, I seem to have stirred up a bit of controversy in my discussion of the AHA/HWBTA beer judge certification program. I love controversy, but unfortunately, this one seems to be more over semantics than facts, so I will attempt to clarify some of my comments and respond to some of the follow-up messages I have read. Dave Suurballe sez... > In saying, "In order to advance through the ranks, judges have to gain > experience by judging", Chuck implies a couple of things that I take issue > with. First, I've dealt in the past with very experienced judges who > don't know or taste anything, so I don't agree with Chuck's implication > that experience makes a judge good. Second, Chuck implies that the > AHA judges are advancing through the ranks, and this is certainly not > true. I'm not an AHA judge, and I judged this year in Oakland, and there > were a lot of other non-AHA judges there, too. We're not advancing through > the ranks; we're not even *in* the ranks. What I meant was that experience is the only way for certified judges to become National or Master judges, this is fundamental to the judge certification program. I do not think that experience alone makes a good judge, but it certainly makes a judge better. Obviously, you cannot advance through the ranks if you're not in the program. You should be aware however, that experience points are retroactive, If you have judged in sanctioned competitions in the past, those experience points will be credited to you immediately if you become a recognized/certified judge. Next Dave sez... > Here's my favorite part of Chuck's article: "Yes, some judges make > a career out of judging only ales, but you can be assured they are > not judging obscure lagers, especially at a National competition. > In fact, the AHA makes a token effort at using properly experienced > judges for some of the more specific styles in their National > competition, especially for things like British Bitter, Lambic, Kolsch, etc." > > I judged British Bitter at Oakland. ... > Only two of the five judges had ever tasted the style. This is exactly what I mean by a "token effort". I did not mean that every judge had sterling credentials. What the AHA tried to do was to identify certain judges with direct experience with specific styles and ask them to judge that style. This does not mean that every judge was an expert at the style that they were judging, but most of the experts were judging the styles they knew best. This generally meant that styles such as Bitter had at least one judge who really knew the style. Given the number of entries and the number of judges it would be impossible to do any better. > I know there were experienced judges at the National Competition. I know > some panels were better than others. My experience there, however, shows > that Chuck's stated view is not based on reality. The AHA *is* using > inexperienced judges in the National Competition. It makes *no* effort > to find judges experienced in some of the more specific styles. I never said there were no inexperienced judges at the competition. Since there will always be inexperienced judges, it will always be part of the responsibility of the experienced judges to help them understand and appreciate the style they are judging. While it may not have been obvious, the AHA did ask certain judges to help judge styles they were considered experts at. > My view is that the AHA > National is sloppy and disorganized to the extent that it simply cannot > provide what it claims to its customers, which is fair, rational, and > articulate comparison of homemade beers. I agree that the AHA National has problems, I would be the last person to try to defend the (lack of) organization of the event. Nonetheless, it attracts more experienced judges than any other homebrew competition. You stand a better chance of having your Faro or Rauchbier judged by someone who knows the style than at any other event I have attended. > Norm Hardy, if you're unhappy with what an Alt beer judge said, forget > it. The AHA doesn't want to know about it. The judge won't be reprimanded. > My advice is to stop investing your time, money, beer, and emotion in > a competition as poorly run as the AHA National. The AHA/HWBTA Beer Judge Certification Program is independent of the AHA. We *DO* want to know about dissatisfied competitors. Judges who make inappropriate or erroneous comments *WILL* be reprimanded, and can even be demoted or ejected from the program. > I haven't bought into it because it reminds me of the Boy Scouts, with > levels to attain, and badges to earn, and uniforms to wear. That's my > opinion. I didn't know we had uniforms. I have always wanted to show up at a competition with a judge's robe & powdered wig :-) I am also sorry that you feel so negatively about the BJCP program. The program is very young and still in its formative stages. We are simply trying to bring a measure of organization and accountability to a system that threatens to run amok. Norm Hardy sez... > He also wondered if my initial comment was about a low judging score I > received.... well, no, not really, the beers have received fair scores but > have had some wierd comments at times and occasionally a rude comment: > (your beer's aroma smells as though the yeast ate sauerkraut, hahaha). This kind of comment is exactly the sort of thing that would get a certified judge reprimanded, but it was probably not made by a certified judge. Stephan Koza sez... > The thing that Chuck forgot to mention, however, is that all palates and > nostrils are not created equally. Therefore, since the AHA has no standard- > ized tasting exams there will be a # of judges who although they know the > rules and think they know what a beer is supposed to taste like but do not > have the physical abilty to discern faint or muted nuances. Hopefully, with experience a judge will learn his/her sensory strengths & weaknesses. In addition, many clubs and conferences provide sessions that allow you to smell and taste various chemically altered beers so that you can learn more about your perception thresholds. When I took one of the first certification exams (in 1986) it included an experimental section on threshold evaluation that attempted to determine your ability to perceive some basic flavors such as sourness, bitterness, sweetness, etc. The concept proved too complicated to implement for every exam and was eventually dropped. Too bad, I thought it was a good idea that just needed some refinement. John Polstra expresses some bewilderment over apparantly contradictory statements I have made... > In HBD #518, bose!synchro!chuck at uunet.UU.NET (Chuck Cox) writes: ... > > In fact, the AHA makes a token effort at > > using properly experienced judges for some of the more specific styles > > in their National competition, especially for things like British > > Bitter, Lambic, Kolsch, etc. > > But in his trip report on the AHA national conference (HBD #450), Chuck > wrote this: > > > As usual, judge assignment was a free-for-all (I managed to grab a seat > > at the traditional mead table). ... > > Most competitors consider the national first > > round a total crap-shoot. > > Yours in bewilderment Lets see if I can talk my way out of this one. The first round of the AHA Nationals is a joke, you'll never catch me trying to defend that catastrophe. The second round is a little better, in that the overall quality of judges is excellent. Once again I think the important phrase is "token effort". Certain judges were asked to judge categories they were considered experts in, the rest of the judges were allowed to judge pretty much anything they wanted. The (dis-) organizers did try to distribute the less experienced judges evenly, so that a given style had at least one experienced judge. Steve Dempsey and Jay Hersh correctly point out that although the BJCP does not provide training of judges, the AHA and various clubs do. At the national conference there is always a session or two on beer evaluation. Some of the larger clubs, such as the Wort Processors, also provide similar seminars to their members. I heartily recommend such training regardless of your experience or certification level. Steve also sez... > If you want to see the situation improve, become a judge and help recruit > judges who will take their job as seriously as you take your brewing. Amen. Jay goes on to revisit some of the major complaints against the AHA, specifically its lack of democracy and lack of organization at the competition. These issues have been around since I joined the AHA in 1983, and will remain around until they have been resolved. Some folks have tried to make me out to be an apologist for the AHA. Nothing could be further from the truth, but I am not an AHA-basher either. The AHA has served its purpose quite well considering that most homebrewers are fairly anarchistic and independent. However, times have changed and the AHA needs to change too. Remember the Homebrewers Alliance? They tried to create an alternative to the AHA, but were unsuccessful. I think the AHA will have to become more democratic if it wants to survive, and the national competition will have to become more organized if it wants to retain what credibility it still has, but teeth-gnashing and name-calling aren't going to accomplish anything. We need members who are willing to actively promote changes. Steve says there were about 2000 entries in the 91 nationals, Jay says there were about 700. According to the AHA the actual number was 1541 entries in 23 styles. - Chuck Cox (uunet!bose!synchro!chuck) - Hopped/Up Racing Team - Return to table of contents
Date: Tue Oct 23 16:45:51 1990 >From: bose!synchro!chuck at uunet.UU.NET Subject: re: Manchester, New Hampshire Well, it seems that Manchester, New Hampshire does indeed have some homebrewers, and at least two of them read this digest. In addition, Kevin McBride informs me that there are some good bars in Manchester, there is a homebrew club forming in the area, there is a homebrew supply shop and an Anheuser-Busch brewery nearby as well. He also reminded me that there are some nice mountains & seacost nearby. I stand corrected. - Chuck Cox (uunet!bose!synchro!chuck) - Hopped/Up Racing Team - Return to table of contents
Date: Tue Oct 23 16:47:12 1990 >From: bose!synchro!chuck at uunet.UU.NET Subject: BJCP Mark Bradakis asked me for some information about getting started in the Beer Judge Certification Program, and I thought that it would be relevant to the recent discussions about the program, so I decided to post it to the digest. The Beer Judge Certification Program has various ranks for the judges from 'Recognized' to 'Master'; the difference is how well you scored on the beer judge exam and how much experience you have. Experience points are accumulated for stewarding, judging, and organizing local, regional, or national competitions. In order to become recognized you must get a score of 60 (out of 100) or better on the exam, no experience is required. 70% of the exam is 10 essay style questions, and 30% is judging 3 or 4 beers. The exam takes about 3 to 4 hours to complete. I Recommended reading the following: The Complete Joy of Homebrewing - Charlie Papazian The Complete Handbook of Home Brewing - Dave Miller The Essentials of Beer Style - Fred Eckhardt The Simon & Schuster Pocket Guide to Beer - Michael Jackson The New World Guide to Beer - Michael Jackson The AHA National Homebrew Competition Rules and Regulations Transcripts from the latest national conference. The BJCP introductory pamphlet If you want to get really advanced, read: Principles of Brewing Science - George Fix Brewing Lager Beer - Gregory Noonan These will provide a solid base of book-learning. I have given the exam a couple of times. In order to pass the exam you need to be very knowledgeable about both brewing beer and beer styles. Most people have trouble with the questions about beer styles. The questions are tough and require fairly specific answers for full credit. You should have practical experience in extract and all-grain brewing. There will be questions about various ingredients and procedures. You should understand as much as possible about hops, barley, yeast, malting, mashing, brewing, fermenting, and conditioning. You must be prepared to describe, differentiate and give commercial examples of every major beer style. By major style, I mean anything that Jackson describes in his books. If you get the opportunity to judge in a few competitions, that would help too. Any judging that you do at sanctioned competitions will be credited toward your experience points once you become recognized. If you already have enough judging experience, and get a decent score on the exam, you start out as a certified, national, or master judge. The time and location of beer judge exams is printed in the Calendar of Events published in Zymurgy. If your club or homebrew shop wish to sponsor an exam, Contact either the AHA (club) or the HWBTA (shop) at least 2 months in advance. They will delegate a local judge to administer the exam. The exam questions are provided by the BJCP, the beers to judge are provided by the exam sponsor. - Chuck Cox (uunet!bose!synchro!chuck) - Hopped/Up Racing Team - Return to table of contents
Date: Tue Oct 23 16:48:09 1990 >From: bose!synchro!chuck at uunet.UU.NET Subject: re: AHA national conference Darryl Richman sez... > But another of your comments struck a note I've heard sounded many times > before: "Given the high cost of attending the conference..." Is $250 > plus hotel and travel really that expensive for a 3 day conference including > a several meals? ... > It's not like the AHA was making 100% profit on this either--the last issue > had an abbreviated budget sheet and I noticed that the conference brought > in $70k and spent $50k. ... > In fact, the $20k seems to be the margin that AHA runs > on, on annual revenues of $370k. At about ~5%, that's pretty close to > non-profit, which is what the AHA is supposed to be. I disagree with you on this one Darryl. First, the conference costs closer to $300 if you include all the tastings, meals, and seminars. Not all homebrewers are overpaid and underworked techno-weenies like you and I ;-) Second, $20k is a lot of profit for an event that only cost $50k to produce. I don't think the conference should be used to subsidize other AHA expenses. - Chuck Cox (uunet!bose!synchro!chuck) - Hopped/Up Racing Team - Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #525, 10/25/90 ************************************* -------
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