HOMEBREW Digest #602 Fri 22 March 1991

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Rock'n'Rauchbier? (Chris Shenton)
  Re: Sanitizing, Sanity, and Multiplr Yeast-Caking (flowers)
  Re: offtaste beer (Darryl Richman)
  Beer in Chicago, Beer in Madison, Beer in Kenosha (krweiss)
  Culturing Chimay Yeast (Mike Mattox ~)
  hops (Russ Gelinas)
  Re: Culturing Chimay Yeast (Dave Sheehy)
  Re: Culturing Chimay Yeast (Russ Pencin)
  Re: farm house brewing (Darryl Richman)
  Please add to mailing list, thanks! (Mark Hamamoto)
  Making Malt Vinegar ("MR. DAVID HABERMAN")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 21 Mar 91 10:08:48 EST From: Chris Shenton <chris at endgame.gsfc.nasa.gov> Subject: Rock'n'Rauchbier? Many of you have seen/heard Michael Jackson's description of one of the Rauchbiers from Bamberg which employes superheated rocks to bring their wort to a boil; subsequently, the rocks are put in the fermenter, where the carmelized sugars are digested. Do any of you know what kind of rocks they're using? I seem to recall the Beerhunter video mentioning the temperature involved... would that dictate the kind of rock? do rocks shatter at some temperature? are any toxic? any geologists care to comment? PS: Michael Jackson is going to be at the Brickskeller in DC from April 16 to the 18th. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 1991 09:37:34 -0600 From: flowers at csrd.uiuc.edu Subject: Re: Sanitizing, Sanity, and Multiplr Yeast-Caking I couldn't help but notice that our Purdue contingent (Zentner and Ransom) were long winded in HBD #600. Are you guys on spring break? :-):-):-) Although I sanitize a bit more than Mr. Ransom, I feel he has some good points. I am appalled when I read people use a half cup of bleach per 5 gallons of water to sanitize. Some even suggest, "a bit more just to be on the safe side." I can't believe using MORE bleach can make anything safer. I hope they don't add an extra cup of bleach to their washer just to be on the safe side. I could lead to more problems than it solves. I use 2 tablespoons (sometimes less) of bleach per 5 gallons of water as recommended in TCJoHB. Charlie explains that this is plenty. I suggest re-reading some sections of TCJoHB (and TCHoHB) every once in a while just to keeps things in perspective lest we get too carried away. Richard Ransom's post also demonstrates that brewing can be a forgiving craft. Quoting Miller (TCHoHB, p.108) "I have stessed precision in describing the procedures, but the truth is that malt is a rather forgiving material." He says this in reference to mashing, but I feel it can be extrapolated , to an extent, to cover the whole craft. Please don't think I'm saying Richard is getting lucky when re-using the yeast cake, but rather that there is some leeway to break from strict procedures. Experimenting here and there could lead to easier and better procedures (and beers). I have used the slurry from the bottom of one fermenter to immediately pitch into warm wort. It worked ok. Of course, it didn't occur to me to use the SAME fermenter. I think I'll try it once. The problem is, I'm always making different types of beers and using yeasts that are said to be "best" for that style. Then again, ten gallons of similar ales doesn't sound too bad. -Craig (flowers at csrd.uiuc.edu) An HBD subscriber since issue #444 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 91 08:51:06 -0800 From: darryl at ism.isc.com (Darryl Richman) Subject: Re: offtaste beer > From: hplabs!ardent!uunet!pdn.paradyne.com!jgg (Joe Gabriel) > Subject: Offtaste Beer > [...] The problem that we are experiencing, starting with > our second batch and continuing through 3 more batches is, what can be most > accurately described as, a "metallic" offtaste in our finished product. > We have been pounding our heads trying to figure how to get rid of this > repugnant flavor. Here are some of the things we think may be contributing > to the problem: > > 2. heavy bleach solution used to sterilize bottles...rinsed with cool > water. > > 4. again, sterilizing the bottle caps with heavy bleach solution, then > rinsing with cool water(caps are taken directly from post-rinse cool > water dish, and placed onto filled bottles to be capped). I would agree with your conclusions about chlorine bleach. Most homebrewers use a tremendous amount. Chlorine is highly reactive with anything organic, and this can actually lead to reduced effectiveness if the equipment being sanitized is not physically clean first. Once it is clean, it takes only a small amount to get the baddies that are hanging around. Because of chlorine's activity, it also immediately reacts with beer. And it does so forming compounds with some of the hop components called chlorophenols, which have a low taste and aroma threshold. As was noted in a previous digest, the emminent Dr. Fix recommend rinsing your bleached equipment with cheapo store bought beer. I personally have moved away from using bleach, and instead rely upon boiling water for sanitization. I don't worry about scratches in plastic, because the plastic itself gets to near 212. Anything that isn't killed by this procedure is well stunned--good enough for my yeast (from a starter and active) to make the environment unpleasant. --Darryl Richman Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 91 08:45:41 -0800 From: krweiss at ucdavis.edu Subject: Beer in Chicago, Beer in Madison, Beer in Kenosha Ahh, what the heck, I might as well add to the noise and ask for recommendations for spots to get a beer in Chicago IL, Madison WI, and Kenosha WI. I'll be heading there in mid-April. As this info is probably not of general interest to the group, perhaps it would be best to email responses directly to me. Re: Richard Ransom's mimimum effort brewing system -- First, I'd just love to sit around drinking beer and listen to Richard and Pete Soper debate technique. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum :-) My main question, like everyone else, was the trub issue. Second, this debate reminds me of one that's been going on over in rec.aquaria, regarding the "right" way to set up an aquarium. Bottom line in both cases seems to be "If it works, don't fix it." There are so many variables (ambient temp, dampness, population of wild yeasts & molds...) involved that it's hard to say whether Richard's methods would work for Pete. I guess that's the main argument for using a more rigorous routine -- I'm pretty sure Pete's methods would work for anybody, as he is removing as many variables as possible. Ken Weiss Manager of Instruction Computing Services U.C. Davis Davis, CA 95616 916/752-5554 krweiss at ucdavis.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 91 8:45:18 PDT From: mmattox at fws132.intel.com (Mike Mattox ~) Subject: Culturing Chimay Yeast In Digest #601 Martin Lodahl asks: >A question, for brewers who've succeeded in culturing Chimay yeast >from the bottle: is that stuff slow and fastidious in its action? >Does it normally tend to mostly hang around the bottom of the >bottle, adding to the burdens of its parents? Or is it just that >I've had two bad batches in a row? Martin, For my trappist ale I cultured the yeast from a 750 ml bottle of Chimay Cinq Cents dated 5-90 and the yeasts activity was very close to what you described above. I saw no activity at all for six days, and then a very slow increase until it developed a moderate krausen on day ten. After pitching, the culture seemed to behave similarly to other ale yeasts I've used. The resulting brew was very close to what I had in mind when I started. I think the unique characteristics of the Chimay ales are due almost entirely to the strain of yeast employed. Thank you Father Pere Theodore for this gift to brewing. Michael Mattox Intel Corp. CFG Design Engineering Folsom, Ca. - -- Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 1991 13:35:42 EST From: R_GELINAS at UNHH.UNH.EDU (Russ Gelinas) Subject: hops Ok, all you hops-growing experts, what should I expect my second-year hops sprouts to look like? Right now there's some sprouts coming up *near* the main root of the hops plant (the root has worked itself up to the soil surface somehow), but these sprouts look like crocuses (? you know, a crocus) (1/2 - 3/4 " wide, pointed end, 1/4" thick at the base). The root itself is starting to get little green buds in places. Which is the real thing? Russ (I'm in New Hampshire, USA, where it is spring in name only) r_gelina%unhh.unh.edu at mitvma.mit.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 91 10:45:10 PST From: Dave Sheehy <dbs at hprnd.rose.hp.com> Subject: Re: Culturing Chimay Yeast Martin Lodahl (and a while ago Chris Shenton) ask about culturing Chimay yeast: Last January I was successful in culturing Chimay yeast and have brewed a batch of Trappist Ale using Miller's recipe. My previous attempts at culturing yeast from a couple of different trappist ales failed. I believe my success this time was due to several factors: 1. One of the local liquor stores had just widened their selection of import beers so I was reasonably sure that the bottle of Chimay I purchased hadn't been sitting on the shelf in the store very long. 2. It was January, so if the bottle had been shipped around in the last few months it probably had been kept reasonably cool the whole time (and not been baked in a warehouse of on the back of a truck!). 3. I bought a 750 ml bottle which gave me a lot more yeast sediment to to start with. Then again I guess it could been just plain dumb luck. Anyway, I pitched the sediment into a beer bottle with some wort in it, attached and air lock and waited. It only took a couple of days to get going as I remember. My pitching solution is usually between a 1/4 and a half cup of dry extract in a pint of water (I don't measure the extract I just eyeball it). I boil the pitching wort with a couple of hop pellets, chill in the refrigerator and it's ready to go. From my experience with culturing yeast from a bottle if at first you don't succeed, try, try again (yeah, I know, I couldn't help myself). I made up an all grain batch of Miller's Trappist Ale (S.G. around 1076 or thereabouts) chilled it down and pitched. Oops, I forgot a step. Before pitching I stepped the starter up from about a half a beer bottle (~6 oz) to a pint. Now, I'd never seen a top fermenting yeast before (could be because I only recently retired the ol' plastic bucket and have been using the 25L acid carboy for only a few months now) but I can't say that anymore. Chimay yeast ferments quite strongly and it formed about a 1/2 inch thick layer of yeast on top of the wort. After about a week of furious activity it slowed down and it was another couple of weeks before I transferred to the secondary. It sat in the secondary for about a month mostly because I didn't have time to bottle it. At bottling time, it had a F.G. of 1010 so Chimay yeast exhibits reasonably good attenuation. Best of all, after a couple of weeks in the bottle it tastes like Chimay. Not exactly like it, but hey, I'm not quibbling. P.S. to Martin (and Robert Nielsen too) I am planning on attending Robert Nielsen's Home Brew Fest (although I haven't RSVPed to Robert yet. Hey Robert does this qualify as an RSVP?) and will bring some of my homebrew Chimay to sample. You are welcome to a bottle to culture from. I'm also a member of the GCBA so we could work out an exchange that way too. P.P.S. to all brewers in and around the Sacramento area. If you're looking for a Hunter Energy Monitor unit the Home Depot at Madison and Manzanita has 'em for $30 plus change. Dave Sheehy dbs at f.rose.hp.com (916) 785-4012 Return to table of contents
Date: 21 March 1991 10:52:00 am From: pencin at parcplace.com (Russ Pencin) Subject: Re: Culturing Chimay Yeast >The first attempt I threw out after 10 days. ... I'm getting about 2 glups >per minute after 3 days, with no visible surface activity. This evening >I plan to dump the whole works into a flask of starter, laced with >yeast nutrient. Maybe that'll help. > >Is this normal behavior for this yeast? YES, YES, YES.... it is normal for the dregs of a bottle of Chimay to take forever if dumped directly into a 5 gallon+ batch of beer. I have successfully cultured Chimay several times from the bottle. I got tired of doing this and now have the yeast on agar slants ( very fuzzy strange looking yeast!). Your problem (IMHO) is that you expect the yeast to be as strong as a WYeast package... it ain't!. Every time I have cultured the yeast it took 5-7 days to reach a pitchable level (i.e. more than an inch of head ). I culture the yeast very carefully using 1/4 cup light malt, 1/4 cup Corn Sugar, 3/4 quart Filtered Tap Water in a Crannapple Jar. The mixture is boiled for 15 minutes in the microwave then cooled quickly in a water bath. The jar should have a tea cup or almost empty fermentation lock on the top to prevent any infection while it is resperating during the cooling phase. After the mixure is cooled to room temperature, innoculate with the botton 2 inches of beer from a Chimay bottle. It will look like the thing is dead until early on the 5th day (I promise), but after that it will come nicely to a full krausen in the next two days. Chimay is a wonderful yeast to ferment with - if you have a strong culture - imparting a real sharp/tangy flavor to the beer Brewers in the San Jose area can get slants directly from me for $2.50 each. I have about 12 different 'Original Bottle' yeasts cultured currently. Current stock: Guiness Stout Boulder Porter ( Top fermenting - sweet ) Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Worthington WhiteShield Pure Red Star Ale Sante Fe Ale Duvel Belgium Ale (Bottom fermenting - clean) Orval Belgium Ale ( Bottom frementing - sweet) Chimay Belgium Ale ( Top Fermenting - sharp) Anchor Ale Anchor Lager ( YES! the Steam Beer* Yeast) Gordon Biersh Lager Russ Pencin - Worts of Wisdom Brew Club - Santa Clara (415) 691-6701 (work) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 91 09:35:25 -0800 From: darryl at ism.isc.com (Darryl Richman) Subject: Re: farm house brewing > >From: eisen at ileaf.com (Carl West) > Subject: Multiple yeast caking > > The London Museum Catalogue has a photograph of a 15th century > jug that has a tap-hole about an inch from the bottom. The author > speculates that it was for holding a liquor that had a sediment. > After reading Richard Ransom's article it strikes me that this > would be a perfect vessel for making beer (albeit somewhat small, > it looks as if it would hold about 1.5 gallons). If you get the chance to visit western Europe, look for one of the "open air" museams (for example, the Freilands Museet outside of Copenhagen or the Openlicht Museum near Arnhem, Netherlands). These have a variety of buildings that were scheduled to be torn down, but because of their historical interest, they were moved. There are a number of farm houses, but one constant among them all is the little brewery in the corner. There is a fireplace, usually on the other side of a wall, and on top of it is a copper kettle built into the house. It holds about 10-15 gallons. Nearby you'll usually find several wooden tuns for primary fermentation. Occasionally you'll see some casks for holding the racked beer. The museum near Arnhem actually has a small brewery/bakehouse. The bakehouse side is in use and you can buy some very nice muffins and scones there, but the brewery is unused. You can, however, see the shallow pans near the roof and the small room used as a maltings, another for storage, and the main area with a large copper kettle and a lauter tun built into the floor. --Darryl Richman Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 1991 14:21:29 PST From: mh at NISC.SRI.COM (Mark Hamamoto) Subject: Please add to mailing list, thanks! - -- Mark Hamamoto SRI Intl. Network Information Systems Center 333 Ravenswood Ave., EJ274 INTERNET: mh at NISC.SRI.COM Menlo Park, CA., 94025 PHONE: (415)859-3635 Return to table of contents
Date: 21 Mar 91 14:52:00 PDT From: "MR. DAVID HABERMAN" <habermand at afal-edwards.af.mil> Subject: Making Malt Vinegar In the February "California Celebrator", Byron Burch has an article about making malt vinegar. I immediately had a craving for fish and chips! Has anyone else tried this? He says to get a malt vinegar bacteria culture from a home brew supplier and put it in a gallon jug with 2 bottles of beer. The gallon jar is covered with layers of cheesecloth. After 5 or six weeks, it should be done. The resulting vinegar can then be used as a starter for 8 more bottles of beer. Can I go to the store and buy a bottle of malt vinegar and use it ffor a starter? Is the stuff in the store pasturized so that you can't do that? (Now all I need is a deep fryer to make fish and chips!) - David A. Haberman Email: habermand at afal-edwards.af.mil Benny's Bait Shop and Sushi Bar - "Today's Bait is Tomorrow's Plate!" Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #602, 03/22/91 ************************************* -------
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