HOMEBREW Digest #540 Tue 20 November 1990

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Re: state limits on alcohol content in beer (Dr. Tanner Andrews)
  Wine in a can (Joe Uknalis)
  fermentables in specialty malts (mcnally)
  brewing and the legal drinking age (Paul L. Kelly)
  Re: Using Oak Chips (Rick Noah Zucker)
  Filling kegs (Dave Suurballe)
  Attn-  Bill Crick (Rad Equipment)
  aerating wort (BAUGHMANKR)
  Hops, how to choose them (sbsgrad)
  Trub and Yeast (Don McDaniel)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 17 Nov 90 7:28:34 EST >From: Dr. Tanner Andrews <tanner at ki4pv.compu.com> Subject: Re: state limits on alcohol content in beer Yes, Forida does officialy have no limit. However, the brewers prepare product on a state-wide basis, rather than making a special accommodation for those five small counties. Thus, beer you buy here will (a) be marked ``florida'' (b) be <= 3.2% alcohol. Note that the ``florida'' marking may not be visible. One brand I know puts it on the cap, but then glues a foil wrapper over the cap and top of bottle! Go figure. - -- ...!{bikini.cis.ufl.edu allegra uunet!cdin-1}!ki4pv!tanner Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 90 10:07:02 EST >From: Joe Uknalis <UKNALIS at VTVM1.CC.VT.EDU> Subject: Wine in a can Has anyone ever made wine from the cans occasionally found next to the malt extracts in the homebrew section of your local grocer? Drinkable wine in 6 weeks? I've made many mead batches, and a few grape/ fruit ones. I'm interested to know how the reds compare (cabernet, pinot noir etc) to bought wines, (and any other kinds as well). Any feedback will be appreciated. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 90 09:11:07 PST >From: mcnally at wsl.dec.com Subject: fermentables in specialty malts A couple of notes recently have suggested that crystal malt has no fermentable sugars in it. Although some of the sugar is carmelized, it seems to me that there will be quite a bit of fermentable sugars, as well as dextrins and starches; the problem is, all the amylitic enzymes are gone. If mashed with a healthy quantity of 2-row or 6-row pale malt, however, there should be enough amylase around to convert at least *some* of the sugars. Roasted grains? Well, I don't know; I don't have my copy of Miller's book around (don't tell my Malt Shaman) and I can't remember if he mentions it. I don't know what it means for a sugar to be carmelized, with respect to fermentability or convertability. - -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mike McNally mcnally at wsl.dec.com Digital Equipment Corporation Western Software Lab Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 90 13:27:04 EST >From: pkel at psych.purdue.edu (Paul L. Kelly) Subject: brewing and the legal drinking age The question was raised yesterday as to whether brewing supply companies ever "card" potential customers. This brings up a rather ominous issue. It is my understanding that there are no laws regulating the selling of brewing supplies to minors (at least, not yet). Let me emphasize that I would vehemently oppose any such legislation. However, the issue is one that should be of concern to homebrewers as a group, and we should be thinking about how we would deal with the problem should it arise. I find it very exciting that the hobby of homebrewing (some, myself included, consider it more than a hobby) is such a growing phenomenon. As with any growing population, we are beginning to be served better by our suppliers with each new year. However, it should also be noted that as a group grows, it be- comes more noticeable to the population at large. Already, media attention has been directed our way. With greater notoriety, the potential for greater regulation exists. I hate to think that we could ever be prevented from doing that which we love to do best, but the fact is, there does exist a "neo-Prohib- itionist" movement in this country. All we need is to have the homebrewing community held responsible for drinking by teenagers, and these ridiculous fanatics will try to have us regulated out of existence. I don't have any answers, and bear in mind that there does not seem to be a problem now. However, the potential exists, and we should be wary of what may come. When people who supply alcohol can be held culpable for traffic fatal- ities, there is no telling what can happen to the innocent homebrewer! I would not encourage minors to try skirting the legal drinking age by brewing their own beer. I believe that the homebrewing community can play an active role in improving the quality of life in the U.S., mainly by encouraging re- sponsible use of alcohol. I think that, by and large, getting drunk is *not* a major goal of the homebrewing community, and that we are mostly interested in the quality of our drinking, rather than the quantity. As a direct answer to the poster from yesterday, no, you will not be "carded" by a mail order house or a homebrew supply store. Such an act would be silly, as you would still be able to buy sugar and baking yeast, which could conceivably make an alcoholic drink, albeit of questionable palatability. How- ever, should you be caught by the police with any of your homebrew or mead, if you are indeed under the legal drinking age, the fact that you made it your- self will not protect you from the law. And it might cause problems for those of us who are operating legally. Yours in a rare moment of solemnity, Paul P.S. I am not a lawyer, and any flamers should please take this into account. Just "tellin' it like I seein' it". pkel at brazil (Paul L. Kelly) | Disclaimer: I said what? No, no, allow me Dept. Psych. Sciences | to explain what I meant... Purdue University | W. Lafayette, IN 47907 | "Cows!" -- Owen Lift Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 90 11:32:10 -0800 >From: noah at cs.washington.edu (Rick Noah Zucker) Subject: Re: Using Oak Chips In HBD $539 Keith Morgan says that he was told to boil the oak chips until the resulting water is clear and then to add those chips to the secondary. He also expressed some doubt about boiling off all the volatiles. This was to be done obstensibly to get rid of the tannin. I spoke further with the guy in my local store. He said that tannin is a problem during the boiling of the wort because it chemically interferes with the hops. So, according to him, it is not a problem in the secondary. Anyone know about this aspect of tannin? Rick Zucker Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 90 13:46:36 PST >From: hsfmsh.UUCP!suurb at cgl.ucsf.EDU (Dave Suurballe) Subject: Filling kegs Sparkey asks how to get beer into a keg. Before I explain how I do it, I'll define two terms: The "tap" is the thing that attaches to a beer keg to get beer out of it. It has two separate parts, although that's not obvious when looking at it. One part is the gas part; it connects the CO2 source to the headspace at the top of the beer in the keg. The other part is the beer part, and it connects to a vertical tube which is part of the keg. The tube goes to the bottom of the keg and opens there. The keg has a clever valve on top which keeps the headspace closed and the top of the vertical tube closed when the tap is not attached. When the tap is attached, the headspace is now connected to the gas fitting on the side of the tap, and the top of the vertical tube is now connected to the beer fitting on the top of the tap. Many taps nowadays connect to the keg in two steps. First, a mechanical connection that involves a 1/3 or 1/2 revolution twist to lock the tap under two or three ears (it depends on what type of keg, and the ears may be on the outside or inside of a flange). Then a handle is pushed down, and this opens the valves. Older kegs do this in one step, and until you get good at it you get wet. That reminds me, you haven't said what kind of keg you have. What I'm describing applies to everything but Golden Gate, which has a gas fitting on top and a beer fitting on the bottom of the side, and it also doesn't apply to a keg whose name I don't know which has one fitting on top but no vertical tube. The tube is actually part of the tap and has to be forced through a stopper in the keg fitting. You get wet with this one, too. You can apply what I say to these kegs, but you'll have to make adjustments for their difference. Back to the subject. When the tap is attached and open, gas goes from the CO2 tank through the tap and into the headspace at the top of the keg. It presses down on the beer and pushes it up through the center tube of the keg and through the tap into the beer line. The "faucet" is the thing at the other end of the beer line that a bartender operates to get beer into a glass. It's a liquid valve that has a handle that you pull. The faucet has nothing to do with how I move beer into a keg, but I mention it because many people call it a "tap", too, and I don't want anyone to misunderstand me when I use the word "tap" below. My tap came with a check valve in the gas section. This is a little plastic ball that sits in a chamber, and it lets gas go from the CO2 line into the headspace, but it doesn't let anything go back the other way. This prevents beer or foam from entering the beer line and CO2 regulator, and that is what would happen if you tap the keg with the gas turned off or the pressure too low. I have seen another type of check valve which was a rubber tube, round on one end like tubing is and flat on the other, and I've seen smaller check valves with metal balls instead of plastic. Whatever type there is, it's gotta come out. When filling a keg, you are putting beer into it, and the displaced gas has to vent out of it. The check valve prevents this venting, so you have to remove it. You can put it back in when you're done filling the keg. I leave mine out and just try to remember to have the gas on when I tap the keg. So far I have. My tap also has a pressure-release valve on it. This is a safety device that vents the keg if the pressure is too high it it. If the pressure is too high, it forces the pressure-release valve open and vents the pressure out of the keg. This has nothing to do with over-carbonated beer or beer sitting in the hot sun; it's for saving your life when the CO2 regulator fails and dumps 800 pounds of CO2 into the keg, turning it into a very effective anti-personnel device. Nowadays, these little valves are part of soda cans, pressure regulators, and keg taps. You should make sure your used equipment has them, too. We all run the risk of being gunned down by a maniac on the street, but it would be truly tragic to be blown away in your own home by your favorite hobby. CO2 pressure is one of the three big hazards in a brewery. Anyway, I fill the keg by first pressurizing it to the carbonation pressure of the beer and then pushing the beer from a soda can(s) through a line into the (top) beer fitting of the tap into the keg. I have a relief regulator connected to the (side) gas fitting of the tap set to the pressure of the beer carbonation, and I push the beer at about 10 pounds higher than that. You can simulate this regulator by pulling on the pressure-release ring on the tap every several seconds. Some people put a needle valve on the gas fitting and just crack it open to vent the gas. Unless you have a regulator, don't vent too fast or you run the risk of letting the fizz out of the beer. If you get foam coming out of the gas fitting, you know you've done that; the beer will not foam if you keep the pressures right. Moving beer from one soda can to another (like from a 5-gal to a 3-gal) is very similar, but instead of the beer keg tap, you will be using separate gas and liquid quick-disconnect fittings, and the pressure-release ring is in the lid of the tank, not the tap. Filling a Golden Gate keg is similar to this; you fill it in the liquid fitting at the bottom, and vent gas at the top. One last thing about safety: every soda can you own should have a pressure- release valve in the lid. If you have any Cornelius lids without the valve, mail it to Cornelius in Anoka, Minnesota, and they will replace it with a safe one, free. Suurballe Return to table of contents
Date: 19 Nov 90 16:26:39 >From: Rad Equipment <Rad_Equipment at rad-mac1.ucsf.EDU> Subject: Attn- Bill Crick REGARDING Attn: Bill Crick (Sorry to be sending this via the Digest, however Mr. Crick's address does not seem to work for me when I attempt to send direct... RW...) Bill; If you have not already read "Waterland" by Graham Swift (Washington Square Press, 1983) you might be interested in picking it up. The main family of characters are the Cricks in this historical novel which centers around life in the Fens in England. Brewing also figures in the plot line, another reason to give it a look. This is not a "can't put it down" kind of book, but you may enjoy it for the "family" connections. Russ Wigglesworth <Rad Equipment at RadMac1.ucsf.edu> Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 90 20:26 EST >From: BAUGHMANKR at CONRAD.APPSTATE.EDU Subject: aerating wort In HBD #539, Marin Lodahl says: >Pouring hot wort, even gently, is an invitation to oxidation. Paradoxically, aeration of the wort *prior* to pitching the yeast is recommended in that the yeast needs some oxygen in order to metabolize properly. During a tour of Sierra Nevada that I took this summer on the way to the AHA conference, Ken Grossman pointed out that they aerate the wort at the halfway point through their chilling process. Non-aerated wort is a chief cause of stuck ferments. Perhaps you've have noticed how sometimes fermentation picks up after racking to a secondary. Some of this can be attributed to adding some oxygen to wort that was not sufficiently aerated in the beginning. Having said this, aerating wort late in the fermentation process is indeed inviting oxidation. The only problem I ever had with oxidized beer was when I first started using kegs. THe beer was coming out of the carboy fine. But it was like cardboard out of the tap. Since then I finish my keg sterilization with 1 teaspoon of ascorbic acid to a 1/2 pint of boiling water. Fill the keg with 8 psi of CO2, slosh it all around. Vent the keg and fill again with 8 psi of CO2. (The last injection of CO2 is probably overkill but I haven't been able to relax since I deep-sixed about 3 batches of beer!) This routine has solved the oxidation problem for me. Kinney Baughman | Beer is my business and baughmankr at appstate.bitnet | I'm late for work! Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 90 01:15:45 GMT >From: sbsgrad%sdphs2.span at Sds.Sdsc.Edu Subject: Hops, how to choose them >From: "Sparky" <sslade at ucsd.edu> (Steve Slade) Date sent: 19-NOV-1990 17:17:13 PT Hello again! Some recent discussion of hops on this net got me to thinking about the various types of hops and the beers each is used in. I realized I have never seen a list of which types of beers the various types of hops are used in. Is there a table compiled in any of the commonly used homebrewing books that lists, say, the best hops to use in an ESB or IPA? Or conversely, a table listing various types of hops and the type of beer each is best used in? If such a compendum exists, could someone please steer me to it? If not, I am willing to compile information from individuals on what hops work best for them in which beers, and post the resulting list to this net. Someone is bound to say "Just choose a recepie, it will tell you what type of hops to use." To which I say, "Where's the fun in that?" I like to make up recepies as I go along, and knowing that Cascade hops work well for ales but not for stouts would really be a help. Thanks once again! Sparky Internet: sslade at ucsd.edu UUCP: ...ucsd!sslade Bitnet: sslade at ucsd.bitnet DECnet/SPAN: SDPH1::SBSGRAD Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 90 19:31:00 MST >From: dinsdale at chtm.unm.edu (Don McDaniel) Subject: Trub and Yeast Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #540, 11/20/90 ************************************* -------
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