HOMEBREW Digest #5354 Wed 25 June 2008

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  re: First Berliner Weisse ("Boris de Mesones")
  Re: Hop Shortage (Robert Tower)
  HBD Language Filters ("Pat Babcock")
  Pubs between San Fran and OC ("Keith Christian")
  RE: Hop Shortage ("Josh Knarr")
  RE Camden Tablets (Steven Parfitt)
  RE> Subject: Hop Shortage (beerdan)
  re: hop shortage ("Chad Stevens")
  RE: Homebrew walk-in cooler controller ("Mike Sharp")
  Re: Homebrew walk-in cooler controller ("Dave Larsen")
  HBD vs. AHA TechTalk ("Dave Larsen")
  Re: I miss my Homebrew Digest ("Dave Larsen")
  Need Air Tap / non-CO2 Keg Tap Connection (JD)" <qageek@gmail.com>
  First Time Post (Mike Kilian)
  Honey ("Spencer W. Thomas")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 12:51:29 +0900 From: "Boris de Mesones" <demesones at gmail.com> Subject: re: First Berliner Weisse Fred L Johnson wrote: >I brewed my first Berliner Weisse four weeks ago I am sorry to say that I have never brewed a B. Weisse. >is it very sweet like a lemonade or an alcopop? .............. >How green does it get when the Germans order it? .......... As far as I remember, as Thomas R. writes in another post, original Weisse was sold unmixed and buyers had two bottles of syrup at their disposition to mix with their beers in as much as they wanted to create their own sweet/sour balance. This style was consumed a lot by old German ladies sitting at traditional street cafes (maybe all gone by now ... both). With a bit of syrup (quite sweet) the color changed to green or red quite easily and balanced the sour flavor. There were different qualities of syrup. Later (around 1998) Schultheiss brewery began to sell Weisse premixed in cans and the result was a green or red beer with some sort of sour flavor but not overpowering. An anecdote about brewing B. Weisse. In 1998 a recently graduated Brewing Engineer (sorry, no names) was building his own Brewery in Berlin in the cellar of an old Pub. His second batch was a Munich wheat beer. The beer was to be given to some social event organised for brewers, where all main Berlin breweries were going to send their beers as well. Because he was leaving for a few days, he asked me to control the fermentation temperature of his open tank. When we entered the fermenting room I noticed the stinging odor of sour/spoiled beer. - man, are you sure you are brewing a weizen bier ,- I exclaimed. - is just the floor, this room was used to store barrels for more than 15 years and has never been cleaned properly of spilled beer, dont worry is just lactobacillus - he replied. - be carefull because those little creatures can swim, dive, jump, fly and share immunity codex through telecinetics (sp?). He laughed at my remark and two weeks later the beer was very sour but not "spoiled". He bottled it, changed the label from Weizen to Berliner Weisse and presented it at the event together with two bottles of syrup. Whilst drinking a few with him, a famous German Brewing Engineer (some technical books written already), approached us and told him the Weisse was excellent, that he was surprised by the quality and his choice to brew such a style. My friend smiled and replied - you know .... brewmasters secrets -. Speaking recently about a similar action to a brewer working for H.... he defined this sort of actions as -remarketing- at the right moment. Cheers and salud Boris Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 23:45:33 -0700 From: Robert Tower <roberttower at sbcglobal.net> Subject: Re: Hop Shortage Dave Larsen asks: "Has the hop shortage made you reformulate any of your recipes?" Oh boy has it ever! IPAs are out of the question. I recently scored a reasonable quantity of Cascade and made an extra hoppy APA, and am savoring it mightily as so many hops went into it. English pale ales are out, I can't find enough English hops. In the fall of 2006 I purchased three or four pounds of hops, more out of convenience than anything else. Unfortunately they were all low alpha types (Mt. Hood, Crystal, Tettnanger) as I thought I could purchase the high alpha varieties at my LHBS as needed. I'm pretty much down to making low IBU, low aroma styles (marzen, hefeweizen, kolsch, wheat ale, cream ale). As an experiment I even brewed a light ale, basically an ale version of a standard American lager, in which I used some isomerized hop extract that a friend gave to me some time ago. In the brew kettle I put about 3 IBU of real hops in. Then when I racked to secondary I added the hop extract to bump the total IBU to 17. It turned out wonderful (well, for what it is). In light of the shortage, I will likely be using more of this extract to conserve my whole hops exclusively for late additions. I feel lucky to have it. When he gave it to me, I figured I'd only be using it for experiments. At the time I had no idea of the coming hop shortage. Using hop extract is not something I would have considered before. The hop shortage has definitely changed my approach to brewing. I'm hoping to get a few pounds of high alpha pellets in the fall to tide me over for another bad year. Bob Tower / Los Angeles, CA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 08:23:43 -0400 (EDT) From: "Pat Babcock" <pbabcock at hbd.org> Subject: HBD Language Filters On Wed, 25 Jun 2008 00:19:07, "Mike Sharp" <rdcpro at hotmail.com> wrote of the HBD language filters: > I'm having difficulty posting this, because for some reason the HBD > filters seem to think I'm posting offensive language. I know I'm not > supposed to use things like the degree symbol or German characters, > but if this is a typical experience, it's no wonder posting volumes are > down. I think the words that did it is the common 3 word phrase one > uses when a seller warrants that a product someone purchases can be > returned and the original purchase price credited back to the person > doing the purchasing...which is a way better way of putting it than > simply saying: > > m_ney-ba_k guar_nt_e > > Sure, the canned meat product that we use to describe unwanted > electronic solicitations is a problem, but... Folks, the server coughs up an error message to the poster - even spammers - who use verboten words and phrases in their email, indicating the passage in which the language appears. If you read the server response, there is usually little or no mystery as to what is causing problems. [Well, sometimes the word(s) that trigger it baffle even me, and I wrote the filter. Aside from the original naughty words (rest in peace, George), all the words in the filter's dictionary were harvested from SPAM emails.] Not to be overly antagonistic, but what would you rather have us do? Remove such obvious filters to allow spam through, taking a risk that it would make it past our vigilance as janitors, triggering your ISP, private, or corporate filter instead? Or should we continue to ask the posters to exercise a little judgement when it comses to selecting their phrases? It seems reasonable to me to expect the phrase "money back guarantee" to trigger most SPAM filters on the planet. We did exercise a little forethought in developing the language filters as well: the system is written such that the rejections generated by the language filter also generate a message on our end (yes - we get notified of each and every piece of SPAM that bounces off the server...). We have the ability to easily "reinstate" any post rejected by the language filters, and the response sent by the server asks the sender to forward the note to the Janitors for handling. Either through your forarding of the rejection notice to us or through our own review of language rejections, your post can be readily reinstated. From this, you can see that we, as Janitors, monitor the queue for detritus, removing what we can to prevent your having to deal with it. We also monitor all of the detritus to ensure it is, in fact, garbage. When a poster comes up against one of our methods, it sure would be great to receive understanding rather than complaints; particularly complaints sent to the posting address which simply generate more of the same... - -- See ya! Pat Babcock in SE Michigan Chief of HBD Janitorial Services http://hbd.org pbabcock at hbd.org Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 06:09:13 -0700 From: "Keith Christian" <keithchristian at roadrunner.com> Subject: Pubs between San Fran and OC Hi, I am taking a trip from San Francisco to Orange County CA. What are some of the must stop and have a few or more good beers at? If anyone can point me to the pub crawler web page, that would be appreciated. Thank you, Keith Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 10:14:43 -0400 From: "Josh Knarr" <josh.knarr at gmail.com> Subject: RE: Hop Shortage > Has the hop shortage made you reformulate any of your recipes? Yes, but this has led me to exploring hop alternatives which I normally wouldn't know otherwise. Good example - I went to brew a brown (which really turned into a maiboch by accident) and wanted to use hallertau. A lot of them. But there were none to be had! The local homebrew store had sapphire hops (mislabelled at "safire") on the cheap. Not only were they sapphire, but they were organic sapphire in wonderful vacuum packed bunches. I bought these probably for $0.50 cheaper than I would have on the nobles because no-one know what they were and they were about to expire. Unfortunately this is what made my brown into a maiboch - they also didn't have the AAU they should have if they were fresher. However the aroma is cleaner (hallertau sometimes has this weird "cheese" aroma) and the spicy/bitter finish is in the mix so I am overall happy with the substitution. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 07:48:26 -0700 (PDT) From: Steven Parfitt <thegimp98 at yahoo.com> Subject: RE Camden Tablets I've been crushing one or two tablets and sprinkling them over the mash, then stiring it in. I've never had a problem with it killing yeast. I suspect the campden tablets are not being used in an AG mash, and possibly in an extract beer. If added to the cold water used to dilute the partial boil, it could cause problems. Steven JC-TN Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 11:08:43 -0400 From: beerdan at optonline.net Subject: RE> Subject: Hop Shortage RE> Subject: Hop Shortage I've been lucky as perusing the local homebrew shops, I've managed to collect enough hops to brew what I want. I restrict myself to leaf or plugs as pellets clog my system. Only once am I not able to brew what I want but I'll be able to modify it with other hops to come close enough to be acceptable for it's use at a beerfest. Dan McLaughlin Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 11:40:12 -0700 From: "Chad Stevens" <zuvaruvi at cox.net> Subject: re: hop shortage Dave Larsen asks if recipe formulation has changed as a result of the "hop shortage?" This is anecdotal, but we just had the San Diego County Fair Homebrew Comp June 22nd. The guy I had judging IPA's (one of six judges we had judging IPA's) who read off the winners for that category mentioned while at the podium that he noted a distinct lack of hopitude this year as compared to years past. On the craftbrew front, most of the brewers in San Diego have vowed to make their beers just that much hoppier "just to show them." Whoever "them" is.... The Fair Craft Beer BOS was Green Flash IPA and I can attest that this beer's hopitude has not diminished in the least. FWIW, Chad Stevens QUAFF San Diego Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 15:34:37 -0700 From: "Mike Sharp" <rdcpro at hotmail.com> Subject: RE: Homebrew walk-in cooler controller Ed Westemeier asks if anyone has used the CoolBot... I haven't used one, but it's pretty clear how it works. You have to translate the poor technospeak... "when it can't access your BTUs of cooling power, CoolBot is programmed to shut off the compressor on your A/C unit" Translation: There is a frost sensor that will shut off your A/C unit when it ices up. When you overwork an air conditioner, they ice up. I know it seems counter intuitive, but an air conditioner working real hard on a very hot day will eventually ice up if it doesn't make it to the setpoint soon enough (assuming a shutdown/defrost cycle isn't in place). That's one of the reasons air conditioners don't make good refrigeration systems. The other is that their refrigerant cycle is optimized for higher temperatures and runs at different pressures. That's why they also state that it's slower once you get below 45 deg, and why you don't get the rated BTU capacity (it's out of its optimum range). Refrigeration systems don't have the icing problem because they have defrosting built in, either by electric heaters or by reversing the refrigerant and running hot gas through the evaporator. Basically, the way the CoolBot works is they heat up the temperature sensor on the A/C unit to fool the built in controller into thinking things are much warmer than they actually are. Then when the temperature is cold enough, or else the unit begins to ice up, it shuts the heater off, the temperature sensor cools down and the A/C shuts itself down. It's a clever idea, actually. While it's going to work your compressor hard, the frost sensor will shut things down when it needs to. A/C units will probably eventually burn up if they ice up and don't shut down. One thing, I suspect the CoolBot ramps the setpoint down to the temperature you chose, and doesn't try to get there in one shot. But maybe the frost sensor achieves that by itself. Really, the one thing that a real walk-in compressor has going for it is robustness. I'm not sure I'd depend on a CoolBot and a window air conditioner to keep $10,000 worth of meat cold, but it sounds like a decent idea. However, you could build one fairly easily with two thermostats (one to detect the frost condition, and one to control the heating element). Both are wired in series to power the small heater. Some regular heat tape that you use to keep pipes from freezing might work for the heater. It shouldn't take much of a heater. I think the reason it doesn't work well with a metal thermal sensor is because the metal conducts the heat away too quickly. if anyone is tempted to make one themselves, it's going to take a fair amount of tinkering and you have to balance that against the liability of it...CoolBot seems to have a good warranty. Regards, Mike Sharp Kent, Washington [1891.3, 294deg] AR Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 16:06:24 -0700 From: "Dave Larsen" <hunahpu at gmail.com> Subject: Re: Homebrew walk-in cooler controller > > I ran across a gadget (CoolBot) that works to let you use a window air > conditioner to control an insulated room to a far lower temperture > than you ordinarily could with just the a/c. > > Costs $300 but it might be a good choice for someone who wants to > build their own cooler on the cheap and doesn't want to tinker. > > Has anyone used this? > > http://www.storeitcold.com/index.php > > Ed Westemeier > Southwest Ohio > Jamil Zainasheff has a whole page on his Mr. Malty website devoted to creating a walk-in cooler using an air conditioning unit: http://www.mrmalty.com/brewstuff.php Dave Tucson, AZ http://hunahpu.blogspot.com/ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 16:58:10 -0700 From: "Dave Larsen" <hunahpu at gmail.com> Subject: HBD vs. AHA TechTalk > > 2) What happened to our HBD? Well, > for another thought, AHA TechTalk has > exponentially increased in its > availability and usefulness. > Competition is tough, but it should > make us stronger. I still read both > religiously. > Where AHA TechTalk has gotten better, it still has not quite reached the quality of what HBD used to be. One of the biggest drawbacks is that it is not publicly available. I link to the HBD archives all the time when emailing new brewers and non-brewers. I also occasionally link to it in my blog posts. With TechTalk, however, you have to be an AHA member to access it. This also means that search engines like Google will not pick it up. I think that that severely limits its availability. As far as usefulness of AHA TechTalk is concerned, that has increased. Many of the experts that used to be regulars on HBD have moved over there. I see names like Dan Listermann and Jeff Renner semi-regularly on AHA TechTalk and not so much on HBD anymore. Even with that said, I don't see all the experts that I used to. Many of them have disappeared into the ether. One thing that is missing in AHA TechTalk are the traditions of HBD. I don't think that Jeff Renner has ever posted his dad's famous eggnog recipe over the holidays, or that people post their Rennerian Coordinates. There was also the Fortnight of Yeast that happened over a couple of years on the HBD. Things like that definitely gave the HBD a sense of community that AHA TechTalk does not have. Part of that is the legacy of the HBD. It has been around a long time, like 20 years, and these things developed over time. That is hard to compete with. One last thing: There was always a feeling that the HBD is "owned" by the people who post here. It has always been self generated and self regulating. On the other hand, AHA TechTalk is definitely "owned" by the AHA. You are at the whims of the AHA. For instance, I posted something to AHA TechTalk and they edited my subject line. My subject line as I submitted it was, "My First Infection in Years, Sort Of" and they shortened it to "My First Infection in Years." It was just a little change, but it changed the meaning of it, and I felt that I did not have control over my own post. That would never happen on the HBD. Those are my thoughts. Anybody else? Dave Tucson, AZ http://hunahpu.blogspot.com/ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 17:08:24 -0700 From: "Dave Larsen" <hunahpu at gmail.com> Subject: Re: I miss my Homebrew Digest One thing that would help to modernize the HBD, is providing an RSS feed. I read many of my Yahoo Groups, blogs, and other sources of brewing information that way. I'm not sure what it would take to do that, but I'm sure that that would increase readership, and hopefully, participation. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 20:55:35 -0500 From: "Trish (JD)" <qageek at gmail.com> Subject: Need Air Tap / non-CO2 Keg Tap Connection Hi All - My husband and I have brewed together for 15+years. Admittedly we are far from tricky or sophisticated brewers, but we love our craft and enjoy it fully. Our dilemma: Our LHBS is no longer stocking the Air Tap Systems. Rather than debate the merits of switching systems - which I'm certain that we'll face as a topic for discussion soon enough - can anyone point me to a place that carries them? We're happy to support someone's favorite shop to get the replacement equipment that we require. Thanks in advance, Trish Simo Kush qageek AT gmail DOT com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 19:24:53 -0700 (PDT) From: Mike Kilian <mikekilian1947 at yahoo.com> Subject: First Time Post I've been reading the digest for many years and have had problems getting subscribed, so this is a test and a note just to say hi. I have been a homebrewer since 91 and have even done this professionally as a partner in a brewpub. I really have gotten a lot of great information here. I'll have to admit, some of it is really beyond my understanding, but I still feel that learning is ongoing. I also wanted to echo the post by Dave Larsen in that I miss the HBD when there is nothing to update. I hope it's always around. To that end, I have a question. I have tried a number of times to get honey character in something. I've done a few meads and beers with honey but as we all know, honey character seems to be fleeting and since it is for the most part fully fermentable, there rarely is any character left. I've used Honey Malt in beer to get an hint of the character. I want to try to get that honey character into something. I have in mind a Braggot of sorts with an OG of 1050 or so, using a bit of honey malt, pils and dextrin malt to make up half the fementables with low hopping to help the balance. But how to get the honey character? Back sweeten it after sulfiting? I don't want a big alcoholic brew. Any thoughts? Thanks for any help. Mike Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 22:55:52 -0400 From: "Spencer W. Thomas" <spencer at spencerwthomas.com> Subject: Honey Hi, Mike, Welcome to the digest from one of the janitors (taking advantage of his position to get in the first reply. :-) You ask about getting honey character, and state that "as we all know, honey character seems to be fleeting and since it is for the most part fully fermentable, there rarely is any character left." I wonder what kind of honey you were using, because as a sometime mead maker and experienced mead judge, I must respectfully disagree with that statement. If you find some characterful, unprocessed varietal or "wildflower" honey, its character will definitely persist into the finished beverage. If, on the other hand, you're using "Sue Bee" or Costco honey, you're starting with a significant handicap. Honey that has been heat treated or pasteurized has lost a lot of aroma and flavor before you even buy it. I suggest that you find a local beekeeper, tell him (or her) that you want honey with character to make a beer or mead, and try again. You want a honey that has a distinct, pleasing aroma. If you can smell flowers or spices in the aroma, so much the better. Ideally, a good wildflower honey should smell like a summer meadow in the hot sun. A varietal honey usually smells of the flower that is its primary constituent. Thus, orange blossom honey smells like orange blossoms. Actually, if you don't have any local beekeepers, you should look for a source of orange blossom honey. In the final round of the National Homebrew Competition, 5 out of the top 8 traditional meads were made with orange blossom honey. It's just that good! If you're making a braggot, at least 50% of the fermentable sugars should come from the honey. With a flavorful honey, unless you're making a huge stout or something, you will taste the honey in the finished braggot. In my experience, the best braggots match the darkness of the "beer" part of the recipe to the darkness and aroma of the honey. Thus, a delicate floral honey is usually best matched with pale malt or wheat, and a strong honey such as buckwheat can stand up to a brown ale or perhaps even porter. You talk of backsweetening. The character of honey is primarily in the aroma. I think you'll find that with good honey you don't need a lot of sweetness. If you're making a beer, mash low so that you end up with lots of unfermentable sugars from the malt. With a mead, getting a light, sweet result is trickier. One way to do it is to use an ale yeast, which will usually stop before fermenting bone dry. If it is too dry for your taste, you can add sorbate and then sweeten it with more honey. (Sorbate will suppress, but not stop, fermentation.) Even more so than with beer, the key to making good fermented honey beverages is the quality of the raw ingredient. You also need to treat it gently. Do not boil the honey. I usually add it to water (or wort) that is just off the boil. With my standard ratio of 4 gallons of water to 1 gallons of honey, adding the room temperature honey to boiling water drops the temperature to about 160, effectively pasteurizing the honey without subjecting it to extended heating. I stir to mix well, then chill it with my (previously sanitized) chiller, and pitch the yeast. =Spencer in Ann Arbor Return to table of contents
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