HOMEBREW Digest #559 Fri 21 December 1990
FORUM ON BEER, HOMEBREWING, AND RELATED ISSUES
Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator
Happy Holidays (Digest Editor)
Re: "Imported" Beer (Steve Thornton)
RE: Wyeast - the name (Mike Fertsch)
Wyeast Attenuations (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583)
Extract Efficiency (Mike Charlton)
Digest (Herb Fessinger)
re: Brewpub Practices (Todd Enders - WD0BCI )
Novice (Jared Timothy Leinbach)
Beer Date Decoding Question (John Polstra)
Brewpub Mashes (Martin A. Lodahl)
Send submissions to homebrew%hpfcmr at hplabs.hp.com
Send requests to homebrew-request%hpfcmr at hplabs.hp.com
[Please do not send me requests for back issues]
Archives are available from netlib at mthvax.cs.miami.edu
From: Rob Gardner (Digest Editor)
Subject: Happy Holidays
Just a quick note to let you all know that it is likely that there
will be no digests during the next week or so. No great reason except
some bean counters wanting to save a few cents by shutting down our
computers for a while...
I thought I'd be sure and announce this to avoid another inquisition
like the one that occured last time the digest broke for a few days ;-)
It is also possible that mail sent to the digest will be rejected, but
if that happens, just try again in a few days, and try to relax!
Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 90 09:11:34 EST
From: Steve Thornton <NETWRK%HARVARDA.BITNET at mitvma.mit.edu>
Subject: Re: "Imported" Beer
The next time you're in an Indian restaurant, order a Kingfisher and
look at the label. It's imported--from England!
Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 90 08:51 EST
From: Mike Fertsch <FERTSCH at adc1.adc.ray.com>
Subject: RE: Wyeast - the name
JEFF CASEY asks a non-so-stupid question:
> How do you pronounce "Wyeast", and where did the name come from?
Most people I speak to (including suppliers who deal directly with the
company), call it "why-yeast".
Wyeast Labs are located in the small town of Mt. Hood, Oregon, on the east
side of Mount Hood. At 11+ thousand feet, Mt. Hood is glaciated and snow
covered all year. The ancient Northwest indians had great respect for the
god who lived in in mountain, and called him/her "Wyeast". I'm not sure what
"Wyeast" means in the local Indian dialect, but I think I may have a reference
to it at home. I'll check. There is a climbing route on Mt. Hood called
the W'yeast route.
> Anybody out there with authority on this?
I'm not an authority, but I hope this helps. I'm sure some Portland
brewers can speak more authoritatively.
Not just speculating,
Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 90 09:25:55 mst
From: hplabs!hp-lsd.cos.hp.com!ihlpl!korz (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583)
Subject: Wyeast Attenuations
A few days ago, someone (sorry) posted a list of attenuations
and characteristics for Wyeast. The list was from an Alternative
Beverage catalog. The poster speculated that the list was complied
by Alternative Beverage. I double checked (I do that often now)
at the brewery (read home) and found a four page "document" from
WYEAST LABORATORIES which has the exact same data. Additionally,
it has some other information which I will now proceed to type-in.
Please note that I believe these sheets are at least 6 months old
so some of the data may be dated.
New Strains Added - Some Identification Changes
Some new strains have been added to our product line. We have attempted
to offer a wide variety of yeast types. Some of the strains have been
more specifically identified to their geographic origin. For example,
#1084 which had been considered British, we now know is more specifically
Irish. We knew it was from the British Isles, now we know which one.
As information about different strains becomes known, we will continue to
make it available to you. Please note that all Ale strains are four digit
and begin with 1, and the Lager strains are four digit beginning with 2.
#308 is now #2308.
The package label has the most popular strains listed right on it. In
addition, other strains we have been selling remain available on request.
Some yeast strains are more active and vigorous than others. Lager strains
in particular do not show as much activity on the surface as many of the
Ale strains. We provide an adequate quantity of yeast to complete
fermentation with varying amounts of lag time depending on strain,
freshness, handling, and temperature. If you find it too slow, make a
starter as recommended on the package. In any event, a closed fermenter
with an airlock is recommended.
The slow onset of visible signs of fermentation can be improved by starting
fermentation at 75 F until activity is evident, then moving to your desired
fermentation temperature. A few degrees does make a significant difference
without adversely affecting flavor.
The normal temperature for Ale yeast ranges from 60 - 75 F. A few strains
ferment well down to 55. 68 is a good average. Lager strains normally
ferment from 32 - 75 F. 50 - 55 is customary for primary fermentation. A
slow steady reduction to 32 F during secondary fermentation typically
The fermentation rate is directly related to temperature. The lower the
temperature, the slower the fermentation commences. Fluctuations in
temperature such as cooling and warming from night to day can adversely
affect yeast performance.
Apparent attenuation of yeast normally ranges from 67 - 77%. The
attenuation is determined by the composition of the wort or juice and the
yeast strain used. Each yeast strain ferments different sugars to varying
degrees, resulting in higher or lower final gravities. This will affect
the residual sweetness and body.
All brewing yeast flocculate. The degree and type of flocculation varies
for different yeast. Some strains clump in to very large flocculate. Some
floc very little into a more granular consistency. Most yeast strains
clump and flocculate to a moderate degree.
Typical pH range for yeast fermentation begins at about 5.1 and optimally
4.8. During the course of fermentation the pH reduces to typically
3.9 - 4.1 and a low as 3.1 in some wines.
The alcohol tolerance for most brewing yeast is at least to 8%. Barley
wines to 12% can be produced by most Ale strains. Pitching rates need
to be increased proportionally to higher gravities. Alternately, Champagne
and Wine yeast can be used for high gravities sometimes reaching alcohols
[Typing errors are probably mine]
Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 90 10:31:04 CST
From: Mike Charlton <umcharl3 at ccu.UManitoba.CA>
Subject: Extract Efficiency
The values quoted for extract efficiency seemed quite low to what I was
experiencing, so I thought I'd look up my values to make sure. I discovered
that I do indeed get better efficiency than other people have been
claiming. For recipe formulation I use the table from Randy Mosher's
article in Beer and Brewing Volume 8 (1988). He gives a table of
MAXIMUM extraction rates for typical grains. While he says that efficiency
should be about 85% to 95%, I find that I get about 80% efficiency.
I'll just jot down the relevant information here:
Ingredient Gravity for 1 pound in 1 US gallon
Dry Malt Extract 47
Malt Extract Syrup 40
Corn, Rice 39.5
Wheat Malt 39
English 2 row lager, pale 37.5
English mild ale malt 36
German 2 row pilsner malt 35
German 2 row munich malt 34.5
Light crystal, Dextrine malt 32.5
Brown, amber malt 32
US, Canadian 6 row lager malt 31
Chocolate malt, Dark crystal 30.5
Black malt, Roast barley 30
Note that these are theoretical MAXIMUMS. You won't get these in your
In the origional question (6 lbs 2 row, 3 lbs wheat, 1 lb dextrine) I
get a theoretical maximum of 74.9. Since the gravity was actually
53, this gives a mash efficiency of around 71% (a bit low in my opinion).
I can see a few possible problems. The first is that your hydrometer may
be measuring the specific gravity a bit low. Our hydrometer regularly
gives a reading that is too low by about 4 points at 60 degrees F. The
other possibility is that you are measuring your gravity when the wort
is too hot. You have to make adjustments for wort that is above 60
degrees (although, this probably isn't the problem).
Perhaps you aren't driving the starch conversion to completion.
This is likely to happen if you use a straight infusion mash with
North American or German malt. The problem is that the initial high
temperatures of an infusion mash deactivate some of the enzymes
in the malt. If this is the case, you will probably find that an upward
step infusion or temperature controlled mash will help alot.
Decoction will probably be even better. Step mashing
is not alot harder than infusion mashing, so that's the way I would
(and do) go.
Finally, your sparge may not be very efficient. Taste the
grains after sparging, if you notice any sweetness at all, then your
sparge was inefficient. I use a double bucket system and have no trouble
I think that a starting gravity of 60 or higher is quite reasonable for the
given recipe. If you are getting less than 30 points of extract for a
pound of pale ale malt in a US gallon, I would take a look at your technique.
You are probably making excellent beer, but it's a bit more expensive than
it needs to be.
Anyway, good luck!
Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 90 10:26:26 CST
From: ingr!b11!mspe5!guy at uunet.UU.NET
All this talk of a FYI listing for the digest got me looking through my
disk files and I found this (the hardcopy of which, along with TCJoHB, was
indispensable in my getting started brewing). As you can see, it was done by
Rob Gardner originally and Mark Leone added some of his own and others'
comments as well. While it does not fully cover the scope that some have
mentioned, I submit it as an excellent starting point for the FYI listing.
- -----Included message-----
Since I haven't seen it posted in a long time, I'll repost Rob
Gardner's helpful guide for beginning homebrewers, along with some
tips that others have posted. Enjoy! (Thanks, Rob!)
[Of course there is no gospel when it comes to homebrewing procedures,
so take all instructions with a grain of salt and follow your
instincts. It's hard to brew a bad beer!]
Mark R. Leone <mleone at cs.cmu.edu> "Don't just do something,
Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University sit there!"
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
. Join the Internet homebrew mailing list by sending mail to
homebrew-request%hpfcmr at hplabs.hp.com (Rob Gardner). It's active
and the people are helpful. Very worthwhile. High signal/noise.
Digestified. Beginner through advanced.
. Get Charlie Papazian's "The Complete Guide to Homebrewing". It's
light-hearted, factual, easy-to-follow, thorough, and newcomer-
friendly. An excellent introduction.
. Check out Dave Miller's "The Complete Handbook of Home Brewing", it's
more detailed than Papazian.
. Check out Zymurgy magazine. Available at a homebrewing store near you.
. Look under "Winemaking" and "Brewing Supplies" in the yellow pages.
. Look for a local homebrew club; they often order supplies directly
at a discount.
. Make sure all equipment is scrupulously clean (sanitized and
well-rinsed) to prevent an "off" brew.
. Sanitize equipment with 1 tps bleach/gallon warm water.
. Revitalize dried yeast in 1/2 cup 80 degree Fahr. water.
. Use all-extract (malt) recipes, adding sugar only at bottling
. Use plastic fermenters only if they're food-grade.
. Allow the fermentation to complete before bottling.
[From Rob Gardner (homebrew-request), forwarded by Alex Stein]
Beginners' Getting Started Guide
I hope that the following guide can help some beginners with their
first batches. I obviously can't cover every little detail of homebrewing
here, but I have tried to give an easily followed outline of the process,
along with most of the common pitfalls faced by beginners. I would
welcome any comments or criticism on this section, as it will probably
appear again, in hopefully better form.
 The first thing I recommend to the new brewer is to find a source
of brewing supplies. It may be a local brew shop or a mail order
store. Check out books on homebrew either at a library or bookstore.
The book I recommend getting is Charlie Papazian's "Complete Joy of
Homebrewing." This is easily one of the best homebrewing books around,
and it is very useful for both beginners and experienced brewers.
There are lots of other good books around, so don't worry if you can't
find this one. One caveat: stay away from books published in the UK,
as these can be confusing and/or misleading for the beginner. They
specify ingredients that aren't found in the US, and generally give
poor advice, like adding lots of sugar.
 The next thing to do is buy a kit. Most brew stores sell kits
that contain everything you need to make your first batch, except for
bottles. They'll cost anywhere from $35-$60 depending on how fancy
they are. I'd recommend getting a kit that includes a 5 gallon glass
carboy as well as a plastic pail. Other useful items that the kit
might not include are thermometer and hydrometer. The kit should
include: 10 gallon plastic pail, siphon equipment, bottle filler,
bottle brush, bottle caps, bottle capper, fermentation lock, chlorine
cleaner, and perhaps ingredients. If the kit includes a carboy, it
should also include a short length of plastic hose for the "blow-by,"
and a funnel. There might be some other odd items, such as a stirring
spoon. The major difference between one kit and another will be the
presence of a glass carboy, so in this article I will indicate when a
difference in technique is called for. If the kit does not include
ingredients, there are usually several kinds of malt extract to choose
from. Try to pick something not too heavy for the first time; a light
or amber ale is a very good choice. Also try to get a hopped malt
extract the first time to keep it simple. If none is available, then
get 2 ounces of fresh hops if available. Failing that, get 2 ounces
of hop pellets.
 Relax, don't worry, and have a homebrew. Now you are about ready
to start brewing. If possible, it is extraordinarily helpful at this
point to find somebody who's done it before, and have them help you.
Doing this will greatly improve your chances of success the first
time, but don't worry if you can't swing it, your chances are still
pretty good. Remember to tell yourself, "Relax, don't worry, and have
a homebrew." The first time, ordinary beer will have to do, but do try
to drink homebrew whenever you brew - it will help you to not worry.
(Worrying can ruin the taste of your homebrew.)
 To begin, you'll need a large pot to boil the malt extract in.
The pot should be large enough to hold at least 2 gallons of water -
the bigger the better. Fill the pot up about half way (whatever that
happens to be) with water and boil it. The idea is to boil as much
water as possible, but to have room in the pot for foam that will be
produced by boiling. While the water is heating up, remove the label
from the can(s) of malt extract, and put the can(s) in some hot water
to soften the extract. When the water boils, put in the extract and
let it boil again, stirring frequently so the extract doesn't burn.
When it comes to a second boil, watch out - it has a strong tendency
to foam up and make a legendary mess on your stove. When the foam
rises, remove the pot from the fire and let it settle down a minute.
When you put it back, it will have (slightly) less tendency to boil
over, but it needs watching.
 If you have hops or hop pellets, add them now, and boil the wort
(wort == unfermented beer) for at least a half hour (an hour is
better.) If you're not using hops, but instead, hopped malt extract,
then it is not necessary to boil very long - 15 minutes is sufficient.
 While the wort is boiling, you should sanitize everything that
will come in contact with the beer. This includes the fermentation
container, fermentation lock if any, utensils, everything. Sanitizing
is done by soaking in a solution of water and the sanitizing chemical
that came with your kit. A few teaspoons of household bleach in a
gallon of water is quite effective also. I generally fill a large
bowl with bleach solution and throw in everything to be sanitized.
After sanitizing, rinse well with clean water at least 3 times.
Notice I keep saying "sanitize" and not "sterilize." Well, it would be
nice if you could sterilize, but you can't. Sterilization is very
difficult, i.e., boiling under pressure for an hour, so sanitizing is
the best we can do. Needless to say, be careful not to breath the
fumes or get any sanitizing solution in your eyes. Sanitizing might
sound like a pain, but that's only because it is. However, it's
absolutely the most important thing you can do to make your beer a
success. You can screw up a dozen other things, but if you keep
everything clean, you'll still liable to brew a good beer. But if
you're not sanitary, the finest ingredients and techniques won't help
- you'll brew quite undrinkable beer.
 Now put about 2 gallons of cold water into your fermenter, and add
the boiled wort. A funnel is handy at this point if you are using a
carboy. If your boiling pot is very large, use less than 2
gallons-remember, we're eventually making 5 gallons. (Do not pour the
hot wort directly into a carboy with no water in it - you are likely
to crack the glass!) If you added hops, you'll want to use a strainer
to remove them, but don't worry if you don't get them all. Now fill
your fermenter up to 5 gallons with cold water. If you're using the
plastic pail, it helps if you've previously marked where 5 gallons
occurs - a magic marker works well. If you're using a carboy, fill it
up to several inches from the top. Depending on how much water you
boiled, the temperature of the wort might be too high to add the
yeast. If so, let it cool until it is below 90 degrees F.
 Now the packet of yeast may be added to the wort. If you like,
you can "start" the yeast. I usually do this to give it a "running
start" and also simply to be sure that the yeast is good. To start
the yeast, sanitize a bottle, and mix 2 teaspoons of corn sugar with a
half cup of 80 degree water, and add the yeast. Stick a fermentation
lock on top and let it sit while the wort cools. By the time the wort
is cooled, the yeast starter should be busy fermenting, and you should
see bubbles percolating through the fermentation lock. Now just dump
the yeast mixture into the wort. If you're using a carboy, be careful
when filling it with water to leave room in it for the yeast mixture.
 After the yeast is added, put the lid on the plastic fermenter and
attach the fermentation lock. Don't forget to put some water in the
lock. If you're using a carboy, force the short piece of plastic
tubing through the stopper a little bit, and put it on the carboy.
Place the other end of the tube in a bucket of water. This type of
fermentation lock is known as a "blow-by," and is necessary because
the fermentation will produce lots of foam and sludge, and it has no
place to go except out. If you used an ordinary lock, it would
quickly fill up with garbage. In a plastic pail, there is plenty of
space for the foam to grow.
 Now put the whole thing into a cool, dark, place to let it
ferment. Dark is important because sunlight can damage the beer.
Cool is important because beer-fouling organisms don't thrive as well
at lower temperatures. Room temperature is usually fine - about 70
degrees F. If you can get it to 65 or 60, that would be better.
Don't make it colder than 60, however, because then the yeast won't
work very well. (Most beginners will be using top fermenting yeast,
which works best at 60 degrees and above. Bottom fermenting yeast
works fine all the way down to freezing.) If you can't get the
temperature below 80, then you should look for a better place to keep
your beer. If you are using the carboy method, check the bucket daily
for overflow. Signs of fermentation should appear within a couple of
hours, and by the next morning, it should be fermenting madly.
 After a few days, it will start to slow down, and will finish
sometime between 4 and 10 days after you began. If you are using the
carboy and blow-by, replace the blow-by with a fermentation lock when
it stops blowing out garbage and starts blowing only bubbles. How
will you know when it's done fermenting? If you like, you can take
hydrometer readings, and wait until it stabilizes (same reading on 3
consecutive days.) However, I've found it works just as well to
observe the frequency of the bubbles in the airlock. When you watch
it, but don't see any bubbles for a few minutes, it's quite ready to
be bottled. When it finishes fermenting, you don't have to bottle it
immediately, but it's best to bottle it within 3-4 weeks of beginning.
 The first step in bottling is to acquire bottles. Go to a liquor
store or bar and pay $2.50 for 2 cases of empty deposit bottles. Do
not use the throwaway kind with the screw-off tops, as these are not
strong enough. Chances are the bottles will be pretty scummy, so pour
an inch or two of strong bleach solution into each, and let them sit
for an hour. Then rinse them well, using your bottle brush if
necessary, and your bottle washer if you have one (see issue #1.)
 If you fermented your beer in a carboy, siphon(*) the beer into
the sanitized plastic pail, and add a boiled solution of 3/4 cup corn
sugar and water. If you used the pail to ferment, then you must
"prime" the bottles with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of sugar each. This added
sugar is what produces the carbonation in the bottles. Do not use
more than 1 cup per 5 gallons or 1 teaspoon per bottle, or you risk
the danger (and social embarrassment) of exploding bottles.
 Now fill the bottles with the siphon and bottle filler, and cap
them. Store at room temperature for at least a week, then try to move
the beer someplace a little cooler. (I keep mine underneath a window.)
The beer should be drinkable 3 weeks after bottling, depending on
ingredients. You might want to try a bottle every week after bottling
just to taste the changes that occur.
* siphoning: don't suck on the tube to start it, that will introduce lots
of bacteria into the beer. A good trick is to fill the siphon with
water to start it. Remember that the level of liquid in the source
container must be higher off the ground than the top of the destination
container in order for the siphon to work.
Now don't rush to brew the second batch quite yet. Why not wait a few
weeks and see how the first turned out? That way, if you really did
something wrong, you have a chance to find out what, and avoid the problem
in the second batch. Good luck!
Guy D. McConnell | |
Intergraph Corp. Huntsville, AL. | Opinions expressed | How in the hell
Mass Storage Peripheral Evaluation | are mine and do not | did that sine
Tape Products | necessarily reflect | wave get on my
uunet!ingr!b11!mspe5!guy | Intergraph's. | DIGITAL tape?!
(205)730-6289 FAX (205)730-6011 | |
Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 90 10:05:37 PST
From: herb at jato.Jpl.Nasa.Gov (Herb Fessinger)
Would like to get on the mailing list
for the Homebrew Digest.
Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 90 14:17:40 -0600
From: Todd Enders - WD0BCI <enders at plains.NoDak.edu>
Subject: re: Brewpub Practices
From: Brian Capouch <brianc at zeta.saintjoe.EDU>
>I got the privilege of a somewhat extended interview this afternoon with
>a very successful and well-known pub brewer. A couple of the things we
>discussed, I think, are worthy of bringing before this group, partly for
>their informational value, and partly because they might prove to start
[single-step infusion mash vs. multi-step/decoction/etc. deleted]
>Do any of the others of you out there know differently? If *he* can
>be limited this way and sell tons of beer that most consider really tasty,
>what do we amateurs gain from our complicated mash schedules, decoctions,
>etc.? It's really got me wondering.
Is single-step mashing *really* limiting? I guess that depends on what
you are trying to produce. Single-step infusion mashes are fine with pale ale
malt, which is very highly modified, i.e. the malting process takes care of
a lot of the large proteins present in a less modified lager malt.
Most homebrewers don't use (and probably don't need) an acid rest. The
protein rest serves to break down the larger proteins present in lager malt.
One could skip this, dropping the large haze producing proteins out with our
friend, Irish Moss. Of course, too much Irish moss drops out too many
proteins, and poor head formation/retention results. Actually, the only time
you really *need* to do a protein rest is if you are using flaked barley as
an adjunct. Flaked barley contains a lot of beta glucans, and the enzyme that
breaks these down (beta glucanase) is active in the temperature range used for
protein rests. Too many beta glucans give you problems with wort viscosity,
like hard sparging, and low extraction.
>The other thing he said that stuck with me was that, relatively
>speaking, there's something *wrong* with fermentations that don't come
>to their conclusions within what I'd consider pretty short periods of
>time. Depending on temp, 3-4 days for ales and 6-7 days for cold-fermented
For what it's worth, my ales usually are pretty well done fermenting
(i.e. < 1 glub/minute through the airlock) in about 3 days at 75F. Of
course, I rack to a secondary and let it settle out for say 5-10 days. This
also gives me a chance to dry hop if I want/need to. Yes, I aerate the
daylights out of my cooled wort. Firstly, I syphon out of the boiling kettle
and let it drop 3-4 feet into the primary (plastic primary). I then give it
a good go with a wire wisk, pitch the yeast, and give another go with the
wisk. Yes, the wort is at or below fermentation temps when I do this.
I can't say about lager fermentation, but cold wort should hold more O2
than 75F wort. I would suppose that with optimal aeration of cold lager
worts, that 7 days shouldn't be unreasonable, given a high enough pitching
rate. Of course it all depends on temperature.
In the final analysis, what works for you is all that really matters.
Different equipment calls for different techniques. If you are using a
picnic cooler as a combination mash/lauter tun, you don't have many choices
as far as mashing. You either do single-step infusion, or decoction.
Different styles call for differing methods. For example, Pilsner Urquel
does a double decoction mash that takes 6 hours. They could produce a similar
wort by single-step infusion, but it wouldn't be quite the same. The lighter
styles, like pale lager, leave little to hide behind. At that point,
everything you do is going to have a subtle impact on the flavor of the
finished product (and not everyone is going to be able to taste whether you
boiled for 60 minutes or 120, or used Irish moss or not, etc.).
The brewmaster of a brewpub is only one data point, and whatever works
for him may or may not work for the rest of us. The fact that he produces
relatively large quantities of beer that folks find tasty is a rather moot
point (look at how many people like Bud/Coors/Miller/Olympia/etc. If they
didn't, these companies wouldn't be in business).
Todd Enders - WD0BCI ARPA: enders at plains.nodak.edu
Computer Center UUCP: ...!uunet!plains!enders
Minot State University or: ...!hplabs!hp-lsd!plains!enders
Minot, ND 58701 Bitnet: enders at plains
"The present would be full of all possible futures,
if the past had not already projected a pattern upon it" - Andre' Gide
Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 90 21:16:24 -0500 (EST)
From: Jared Timothy Leinbach <jl2k+ at andrew.cmu.edu>
We are three friends in the New York City area who would like to try brewing
our own beer at home. We have no previous experience and are looking for
simple recipes, publications, suppliers, and general information on this
subject. Thank you in advance for any pointers/info. We are specifically
looking for NYC-area suppliers, etc.
Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 90 20:04:34 PST
From: polstra!jdp at uunet.UU.NET (John Polstra)
Subject: Beer Date Decoding Question
I've been using a beer date decoder that I made based on Chuck Cox's
(ancient) posting to the HBD.
Question: Is the date encoded in the label notches the bottling date,
or is it a sell-by date?
I always assumed it was the bottling date, but tonight I drank a bottle
of Young's 1990-91 Winter Warmer and the notches yielded a date of
January 27, 1991. So either it's a sell-by date, or my decoder doesn't
work on Young's.
John Polstra polstra!jdp at uunet.uu.net
Polstra & Co., Inc. ...!uunet!polstra!jdp
Seattle, Washington USA (206) 932-6482
"Self-knowledge is always bad news." -- John Barth
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Date: Thu, 20 Dec 90 14:12:59 PST
From: Martin A. Lodahl <pbmoss!malodah at PacBell.COM>
Subject: Brewpub Mashes
In HOMEBREW Digest #558, Brian Capouch spoke with The Masked Brewer:
>First, he told me that in "most" brewpubs today, because of the cost of
>equipment to do it otherwise, that mashing is done as single-step
I'll buy that. I haven't been to a large number of brewpubs, but
every one I've been to uses either extract or a single-temperature
infusion mash, for exactly the reasons stated.
> ... If *he* can be limited this way and sell
>tons of beer that most consider really tasty, what do we amateurs gain
>from our complicated mash schedules, decoctions, etc.? It's really got
Me too, up to a point. I make ales, but not with British ale malt,
and find myself increasingly using a single-temperature mash, unless
I have fairly high adjunct levels. My "house stout", for example,
with its flaked barley and roast barley, still gets the full
step-mash treatment, but my last batch of bitter, mostly pale malt
with some crystal and a little wheat malt, was mashed at a single
temperature, without apparent damage. I remember reading an article
by Greg Noonan, that indefatigable champion of the decoction, where
he seemed to be saying that the type of mash used was largely a
function of the malt. If the malt was well-modified and in good
condition, an infusion or step mash would suffice, but if it was
anything less, only a decoction would do. And that may be the
secret: perhaps the quality of presently available malt allows a
simpler approach. Perhaps I'm getting away with infusion-mashing a
lager malt because I so rarely refrigerate, except in mid-summer, so
chill haze is never a factor. And maybe the brewpubs get away with
the same by cold-filtering, to remove the chill haze precipitate.
= Martin A. Lodahl Pac*Bell Minicomputer Operations Support Staff =
= malodah at pbmoss.Pacbell.COM Sacramento, CA 916.972.4821 =
= If it's good for ancient Druids, runnin' nekkid through the wuids, =
= Drinkin' strange fermented fluids, it's good enough for me! 8-) =
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End of HOMEBREW Digest #559, 12/21/90
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