HOMEBREW Digest #605 Thu 28 March 1991

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Re: Saving Yeast (Bob Techentin)
  Re: calcium chloride availability? (John Polstra)
  Re: Seattle Beer and Travelling: Summary of Responses (John Polstra)
  dry malt extract (Duane Smith)
  Colonna Cappers (C.R. Saikley)
  Lambics using cultured Chimay? (Ron Garrison)
  CaCl2 (C.R. Saikley)
  Big mama LP gas burner wanted... (Gary Mason - I/V PCU - 603-884[DTN264]1503  26-Mar-1991 1939)
  hops,fermenters,yeast,CaCl (Pete Soper)
  Overpitching, Barley Wine (Bill Crick)
  Re: Acid Carboy Source Near Virginia? (Marc Rouleau)
  Re: Food Processor (Eric Pepke)
  Going to Milwaukee (Bob Swanson)
  Alternative Expellant Gases (Kurt Swanson)
  Oatmeal Stout (Bruce A Macwilliams)
  Re: Colonna cappers (Michael Zentner)
  Hoppy beers (Mike Perrott/Novak Group)
  canning wort (Donald P Perley)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 26 Mar 91 08:35:39 -0600 From: techentin at Mayo.edu (Bob Techentin) Subject: Re: Saving Yeast "st. stephen" <ST402836 at brownvm.brown.edu> asked about saving yeast: > I've heard something about putting it in a beer bottle (all very > sanitized) and putting in the fridge, and then getting it started in > a mixture of water and malt before pitching. Is this basically > correct? What details do i need? My brew partner and I have had good results with bottling the slurry at the bottom of the fermentor. In once case, we kept the bottle in the fridge with an air-lock. In another, we just sealed the sediment in a bottle. In both cases we made a 1-liter starter a couple of days before brewing, and the results were excellent. - ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Bob Techentin Internet: Techentin at Mayo.Edu Mayo Foundation, Rochester MN, 55905 USA (507) 284-2702 - ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 91 09:25:44 PST From: polstra!jdp at uunet.UU.NET (John Polstra) Subject: Re: calcium chloride availability? In HBD #604, smithey at hulder.css.gov (Brian Smithey) asks: > Does anyone out there have experience using calcium chloride for mash > acidification ... Yes, I've been using calcium chloride to treat my brewing water for a little over six months, with very good results. I use a mixture of calcium chloride and gypsum, to get the optimal amount of calcium ions in the water (50 to 100 parts per million) while keeping both the chloride and sulphate levels relatively low. Using the calcium chloride allows me to avoid that sulphate bite that comes from using gypsum. (By the way, I don't really think of the water treatment as "for mash acidification," although the calcium ions do help to keep the pH down. I suppose that's just a terminology nitpick.) I bought my calcium chloride (and other water treatment chemicals) from a local laboratory chemical supplier. Most medium-sized cities have one. Check your Yellow Pages under "Chemicals". You might try asking a pharmacist, too. If all else fails, I know that there are mail-order chemical suppliers that carry this sort of thing. Ask your local high school chemistry teacher. There are several variants of calcium chloride available. The difference between them is the number of water molecules bound to each molecule of CaCl2. I believe that the best form to use is calcium chloride dihydrate, which has two water molecules per molecule of calcium chloride. The chemical formula is CaCl2 * 2H2O (lower the subscripts where appropriate and change the "*" to a dot). The reason this form is best is that it is the only one that is stable. The other forms either absorb more water from the atmosphere over time, or give some up, thereby changing into something else. Also, make *sure* you use only food grade chemicals. These are labeled either "USP" or "FCC". (Both mean food grade, and I don't know what the difference is between the two.) Any chemical that's not specifically labeled this way could well have such impurities as lead, mercury, and arsenic. You may get a choice of crystals, granules, powder, etc. Obviously, the finer it's ground up, the easier it is to dissolve in water. One gram of CaCl2 * 2H2O per gallon of water will add 72.0 parts per million of calcium ions and 127.4 parts per million of chloride ions. I've been using two different mixes of calcium chloride and gypsum, depending on the style of beer. (Note: I begin with Seattle water, which might as well be distilled water -- it has virtually nothing in it.) When I want to bring out the hops a little bit, I add: 0.392 grams/gallon of CaCl2 * 2H2O (calcium chloride dihydrate) 0.764 grams/gallon of CaSO4 * 2H2O (gypsum) (I know, it looks like too many decimal places, but I measure enough for 16 gallons at a time and I have a scale with a resolution of 0.1 grain = 0.006 grams. See below.) That adds 75, 50, and 113 parts per million of calcium, chloride, and sulphate, respectively. When I want to emphasize the malt, I use this: 0.347 grams/gallon of CaCl2 * 2H2O 0.407 grams/gallon of CaSO4 * 2H2O That adds 50, 44, and 60 parts per million of calcium, chloride, and sulphate, respectively. I treat *all* the brewing water: mash water, sparge water, the works. To do this relatively painlessly, I measure out the proper amount of chemicals for 16 gallons, and mix them into a quart (32 oz.) of water. That creates a concentrated elixer which I simply add to my brewing water as I go along, at the rate of 2 fluid ounces per gallon of brewing water. (The chemicals won't completely dissolve in the quart of water, so you have to give it a vigorous shaking just before you pour.) You obviously need an accurate scale to mess with this. Per the helpful advice of several other HBD subscribers, I use a reloading scale (designed for measuring gunpowder) that I got from the local sporting goods store for about $50. Finally, if you're used to brewing in calcium-poor water, be prepared for an astounding increase in your extract efficiency. The first time I treated my water, I happened to be trying to duplicate a batch that I had brewed previously. The recipe and procedures were identical. But where the OG had been 1.055 without water treatment, it was 1.064 with water treatment. Obviously, the character of the beer was completely different from the first batch! Plan on recalibrating your intuition about recipe formulation. 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 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 91 09:47:44 PST From: polstra!jdp at uunet.UU.NET (John Polstra) Subject: Re: Seattle Beer and Travelling: Summary of Responses I just want to make a few minor corrections to the posting from Bill Thacker <hplabs!hp-lsd.cos.hp.com!cbema!wbt> in HBD #601 about Seattle beers. I would have done it sooner, but figured somebody else would respond. > Dew-wamps (Spelling conjectural) - Apparently a fairly new brewpub near > the Kingdome, across from FX McRory's It's the Duwamps Cafe / Seattle Brewing Co. It's on the corner of Queen Anne and Thomas, near Seattle Center (where the Space Needle is). That's nowhere near the Kingdome or FX McRory's. Not really a brewpub, more like a (quite good) restaurant that also brews beer. I find their beers really excellent. > Kemper Brewing (Hales) - Thomas Kemper Helles Lager, Hales Pale Ale Kemper and Hales are two different brewing companies. Both are certainly worth trying. > Pacific Brewing Company (address not needed) - one author told me to > avoid this place, saying the beer was lousy. The real name is Pacific Northwest Brewing Company, and their beers are indeed of rather poor quality as well as overpriced. In fact, the crumminess of the beer is exceeded only by the brewmaster's elevated opinion of them. But be careful -- there's a *different* brewery called Maritime Pacific Brewing Company, which has been making very nice beers. Their staple product, Flagship Red Ale, is a sort of alt beer style. Maritime Pacific is not a brewpub, but you'll find the product on tap at Cooper's and the Red Door. Other than these few minor nits, I thought Bill's summary was very good. Thanks, Bill, for taking the trouble to post it. 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 Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 91 09:08:10 PST From: hplabs!ardent!uunet!tc.fluke.COM!gamebird (Duane Smith) Subject: dry malt extract Has anyone ever done any brews using only dry malt as the primary ingredient? If so how did it turn out? Are there any advantages/disadvantages to trying this? As I understand it dry malt has approx. 20% more fermentables than liquid malt extract. I'm thinking about doing this since dry malt is reasonably cheap in bulk. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks... Duane Smith Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 91 14:33:56 PST From: grumpy!cr at uunet.UU.NET (C.R. Saikley) Subject: Colonna Cappers Hi. I'm new to the digest, and this is my first posting. From what I've seen so far, I should've subscribed long ago. <Could those of you who have used the Colonna bottle capper give me some <information about its durability and ease of use? From what I've seen in <the catalogs it looks like a good design but my local supplier has had <trouble with it. He says that the nylon gears on his self-destructed. <Before that, it had a very stiff action. Is his experience common? I've used my Colonna capper for about 2 years. In that time I've brewed about 25 batches, some of them 12 gallon batches. (Bottling 12 gallons certainly makes Cornelius kegs look attractive!!) I've never experienced a single problem with the capper. Its action is smooth and firm, and the gears show no signs of problems. My previous capper was adjusted by tightening a set screw which held the lever mechanism on a vertical bar. It was always slipping and had to be readjusted in the middle of a batch. The movable plate of the Colonna has none of these problems. From my experience, I'd recommend it highly. Cheers, CR Saikley Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 91 15:29:18 PST From: flostog at spf.trw.com (Ron Garrison) Subject: Lambics using cultured Chimay? I am interested in attempting to brew a Lambic-like (Fromboise in particular) beer. I have obtained the book "Lambic" by Guinard and I must say that I am quite impressed. I have decided to take the yeast culturing route to attempt the recreation, however the only Lambic that I have seen is Lindeman's, which has been pasturized :-( (Actually I saw another brand once but cannot remember the name). Does the Chimay yeast or do any other of the Belgian beers provide the same or similar yeast culture that is found in Lambics? Also, has anyone successfully brewed a Lambic? If so I would be interested in hearing from you. Thanks. - Ron - Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 91 15:32:23 PST From: grumpy!cr at uunet.UU.NET (C.R. Saikley) Subject: CaCl2 <Does anyone out there have experience using calcium chloride <for mash acidification, and/or know of a source for the stuff? <I spent some time over the weekend with my city water analysis <and Miller's TCHOHB, and I think I'd like to experiment with <this. Gypsum is going to be out for me, as my sulfate and <sodium content are already quite high. I've been using CaCl2 in my mashes for about 1 1/2 years. It seems to produce a "rounder, smoother" beer taste, although I haven't done the definitive experiment of holding all other things equal and substituting CaCl2 for gypsum. Berkeley water is quite soft, so I don't need to add alot of Ca. The phytase reaction can easily overcome the relatively unbuffered water to drop the mash pH to the desired level. I've found that 1/2 to 1 tsp. is plenty in a mash of 25-30 lbs. of grain (12 gallon batches) to get the pH down to about 5.3. I often add a bit more CaCl2 into the kettle. Partly because the Handbook of Brewing (Master Brewers Association of America) claims that the optimum concentration of Ca in the kettle is higher than the optimum in the mash, and that some Ca is left behind in the mash, diluted by sparging etc. But mostly I add it because it makes me feel good! As far as sources go, I found it ironic that CaCl2 is available from Mallinkrodt (sp?), the large chemical supply company in Dave Miller's hometown of St. Louis. I picked up a very large (5 lb.?) jar for $7 from a lab supply in Oakland that was going out of business. Any lab supply should either have it or be able to get it. Cheers, CR Saikley Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 91 19:36:04 -0500 From: mason at habs11.ENET.DEC.COM (Gary Mason - I/V PCU - 603-884[DTN264]1503 26-Mar-1991 1939) Subject: Big mama LP gas burner wanted... I am tired of waiting an hour for my 6 gallon batches to come to a boil. I would like pointers to currently available burners. Anyone see one lately? Thanks...Gary Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 91 22:35:38 EST From: Pete Soper <soper at encore.com> Subject: hops,fermenters,yeast,CaCl My Cascade hop plants are starting their second season. There are around two dozen shoots visible with the tallest around a two inches with some green showing. They have migrated around the bed quite a bit and are coming up in four areas despite having started as two rhizomes in March of last year. They first appeared around the 12th of March. This is on the northern border of climate zone 8 in central North Carolina. I heard that American Brewmaster has rhizomes again this year. I got a new catalog from Great Fermentations of Marin (i.e. not the one run by Byron Burch and Nancy Vineyard) and two items in it caught my eye. One is a 6.5 gallon carboy in a foam shell. The actual capacity is an eyelash less than 7 gallons. The other item is a 3 gallon fermenter that appears to be glass (listed with the 5 and 6.5 gallon items). Some Digesters have written of a desire for these in the past and might find them useful. I've never bought anything from GF of Marin, don't know them, etc. Order line is 800 542 2520 and this is in California. About the appearance of yeast cultures. The appearance of colonies on solid media like wort agar turns out to be genetic and quite diverse. I've seen colonies on petri dishes that looked like lace with amazingly intricate patterns, perfectly smooth round bumps, bumps with "nipples", and so on. Wyeast 2042 (Danish lager) looks quite different from other yeasts on slants. The yeast layer has a sort of rough texture and is almost parchment white. I agree that any fuzzy appearance is a very bad sign; I've seen this fuzz start as what looks like a spider web thread around an eighth of an inch long and *24 hours later* occupy all of the open space of a culture tube (one with an air leak). Also, how fast yeast colonies become visible on the nutrient surface in a culture tube is, for me, a function of how many cells I put on the nutrient, with some variation with temperature and the viability of the yeast. For the slants I made from monocolonies of Wyeast cultures a thin layer of yeast was usually present 48-72 hours after I streaked the yeast on (at about 75F). I used a 10 microliter loop and actively fermenting wort so I guestimate I put around 10-40k cells on the slant. My slants of each type were inoculated from wort developed from a single colony grown on a petri dish. I streaked the dish with very dilute fermenting wort from a Wyeast packet or bottle dregs, arranging by design to put just 10-20 cells on the media in each dish. With a bottle of Orval I think I got just *three* cells and they took weeks to grow into colonies visible to the naked eye. The Wyeast multiplied very much faster and was usually visible in 72 hours. Going this way if I'm lucky my slants for each type have literally a single cell as a parent and will hopefully be a known quantity for a long time. The argument could be made that Wyeast is pure in the first place and I wasted my time going through the plate culture step. It's just about time to reculture all my slants (oh boy, I'd rather pull my toenails out :-) and for reculturing I'll just pitch the slant to a 50ml starter and then streak with this the next day. By the way, it is wise after making your wort agar slants and dishes to give them a few days to show any signs of contamination before inoculating them. Carolina Biological sells supplies for yeast work and also sells calcium chloride (source requested recently). The price for culture tubes and the like is pretty reasonable but the price for ACS calcium chloride is painful ($27.15 for 125 grams). If you do buy this, know that calcium chloride is so hydroscopic it and will suck moisture out of the air and go into liquid solution right before your eyes, so keep the lid on tight. Carolina Biological is easy to deal with and doesn't act like god almighty the way Fisher and other supply houses do when you approach them as an individual. In fact I think at the current rate only Burroughs Welcome and Dow Chemical will qualify to do business with Fisher within a few years :-) The number of CB is 800 547 1733 from the west coast (somewhere in Oregon) and 800 334 5551 from the east. The one bad thing is they charge significant bucks for their catalog. Schools can get it free but Joe Anybody pays around 17 bucks. After getting my own weight in catalogs from Cole Parmer, Thomas and so on and truck loads of any catalog to do with electronics or computers it really floored me to have to pay for this catalog that I could put to good use. - ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Pete Soper (soper at encore.com) +1 919 481 3730 Encore Computer Corp, 901 Kildaire Farm Rd, bldg D, Cary, NC 27511 USA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 1991 11:25:57 -0500 From: hplabs!bnr-vpa!bnr-rsc!crick (Bill Crick) Subject: Overpitching, Barley Wine Someone said that you can't put in too much yeast. You can over pitch! I forget what the syptoms are, but I seem to remember flavor, and too much foam. Commercial pitching rates are on the order of an ounce of yeast per gallon? I remember 3 lbs per barrel?? Regarding making barley wine from grain. One possibility is to only use the first runoff from the grain bed without adding any sparge water. This will have a gravity about twice what you expect for the whole batch What do you do with the rest? I can think of two ideas. Use the second run (sparge water runoff) to make a real light lager, and toss it in ye olde keg for summer quaffing;-). Take the second runoff, and add extract to make what is basicaly an extract beer with a bit of mash added? Note that you'll need to do a big batch, or accept a half batch of barley wine! Your typical ten pound of grain batch would give you about 2.5gallons of say 1.090 initial runnoff? If you want a full batch, you'll have to do two mashes or figure out how to deal with twenty pounds of grain? Nopte: The gravity reading above is off the top of my head. NO flames please! another idea is to boil half a regular batch away, but that could be tricky to do without excessive carmelization, not to mention a good chance of having it rain in your kitchen;-) Bill Crick Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 1991 10:07:03 EST From: Marc Rouleau <mer6g at fuggles.acc.Virginia.EDU> Subject: Re: Acid Carboy Source Near Virginia? A week ago I asked about the availability of acid carboys near Virginia. I received several "me too" responses, and a couple of suggestions. I also combed through back issues of the homebrew digest looking for previous pointers. One person suggested that I try the local homebrew shop, which is really just a small collection of supplies in the corner of a scrungy pool hall. He said he'd had good luck getting them to order stuff they don't normally carry. The person I spoke with gave me the phone number for her supplier, Wines Inc. of Akron, Ohio. Well it turns out that Wines Inc. sells wholesale only, but that didn't matter since they were all out of big carboys and didn't know when they'd get more. The local shop would've sold one of this doomed-to-be-backordered carboys to me for $17 plus shipping. In a back issue someone suggested checking with chemical companies. The Charlottesville Yellow Pages told me that we didn't have any locally, so I dropped that idea. It sounds like a promising solution for some of you though. I bet they'd be pretty cheap. The winning suggestion came from Chris Shenton, who wrote asking me to let him know if I find out and mentioned in passing that he bought one from Colonel John Canaday of Boulder, CO about a year ago. I found his phone number in an old digest and called him up. His current price is $14 plus shipping, and while he doesn't always have them in stock it sounds as though he gets pretty frequent shipments. He was expecting one in the next day or so, and he warned me that they usually only last for a few days. His trusting send-me-a-check-when-you-get-it approach warmed my heart. Call (303) 442-2789 to get yours. So it'll run me about $20 after shipping, but I'm not aware of any alternatives. -- Marc Rouleau Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 1991 16:31:37 EST From: PEPKE at SCRI1.SCRI.FSU.EDU (Eric Pepke) Subject: Re: Food Processor Tom Nolan asks about using food processors to crush grain. The problem with a food processor is that it gives a very uneven crush. After it is processed, the crush will be a mixture of many different sized particles, from flour to uncracked grains. The husks will be powdered, which is undesirable both for the filter bed and for the cloudiness of the beer. Nevertheless, I have made a couple of good all-grain batches using food processed grain. The lack of whole husks makes a grain bag more desirable, and there is always the possibility of a stuck mash, but it does work. In a partial mash, it should work pretty well. Currently, I use an old cranked meat grinder with a blade similar to a Corona to do my crushing (I'm too cheap to go buy a Corona.) It requires a delicate touch to maintain the right size, but it's fast. Eric Pepke INTERNET: pepke at gw.scri.fsu.edu Supercomputer Computations Research Institute MFENET: pepke at fsu Florida State University SPAN: scri::pepke Tallahassee, FL 32306-4052 BITNET: pepke at fsu Disclaimer: My employers seldom even LISTEN to my opinions. Meta-disclaimer: Any society that needs disclaimers has too many lawyers. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 91 10:28:04 CST From: rds at teak.cray.com (Bob Swanson) Subject: Going to Milwaukee I will be visiting Milwaukee in a couple of weeks. Any information about brewpubs, microbreweries, and brewing supply stores I can visit while I am there, would be most welcomed. Thanks in advance. Bob Swanson Cray Research Inc. 612/683-5805 rds at cray.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 91 0:37:37 CST From: kswanson at casbah.acns.nwu.edu (Kurt Swanson) Subject: Alternative Expellant Gases Has anyone ever considered using something other than CO2 in their keg systems? Being that this gas tends to carbonate the brew, more than a few sources have said not to use it. Obviously O2 is a poor choice due to oxidation. What about N2 ? This is a cheap, readily available, non-oxidant, non-carbonating gas. I don't know, however, what N2's solubility in H20 is, in reference to CO2's. K. P.S. Anyone know of brew club(s) in the Chicago area? Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 91 19:03:43 EST From: bmac at wpi.WPI.EDU (Bruce A Macwilliams) Subject: Oatmeal Stout I am looking for a good Oatmeal Stout recipe or at least some guidelines as to how much rolled oats or even what kind(s) of oats to use with a more traditional stout recipe. Please email if you can. Thanks. - Bruce (bmac at wpi.wpi.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 91 13:36:14 -0500 From: zentner at ecn.purdue.edu (Michael Zentner) Subject: Re: Colonna cappers Jack Baty asks about Colonna cappers: We have both types. The gears on mine are quite large. It would be very difficult to strip them with reasonable capping force. You can to some degree control the tightness of the action with a screw adjustment. It is not a "well oiled" feeling, though, but it certainly is not "very stiff". All in all, I'm happy with it. It requires less effort than the twin lever capper and I have not snapped off any bottle necks in the Colonna. Is it worth what they ask for it? I don't know...different for every brewer. It was for me, because now my wife helps with the capping whereas she did not before because the twin lever was not as easyto use. The only thing about it to be careful about is when you move it, make sure you have a thumb on the adjustible height plate, as it is not secured in and is heavy enough if dropped on a sock foot to cause a good deal of pain (and can gash your linoleum). No, it has not self destructed, but I have probably only bottled 400-500 bottles with it. It is very heavy plastic, with some obvious metal parts. Mike Zentner Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 91 13:14:38 PST From: novak3 at violet.berkeley.edu (Mike Perrott/Novak Group) Subject: Hoppy beers Hi there- A friend and I are semi-beginnner brewers, 5-10 batches each. We've been sampling some local (Oakland/Berkeley, CA) beers that have an amazing hoppy flavor and bouquet. Examples would be Anchor Liberty Ale, Triple Rock's RoboHop (tm...) (local specialty brew, doubt if many people caught it) and Pacific Coast's Blue Whale Ale (again a local one). Tim tells me that Marin Co. Brewing Company has some similar beers, but I haven't tried them. Of these Anchor Liberty is the weakest in terms of the hop bouquet etc, but I thought it has a wider range. We've tried a few attempts at brewing these (hops at the end of the boil, dry hopping etc) but have had not much success at the intense hop bouquet/flavor. Not the bitterness, that's relatively easy... If some of you brewers that have successfully done this could email/post the recipies and results, We'd be darn happy. Relaxing anyway -Mikey (Mike Perrott, novak3 at violet.berkeley.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 91 16:29:31 EST From: perley at easygoer.crd.ge.com (Donald P Perley) Subject: canning wort >add 10% extra of everything in my recipes (works out very well). In an >article in Zymurgy, someone mentioned that the leftover wort can be filtered >and canned (normal jam canning procedure) and used to krausen the beer. >This is an excellent idea, but one that I haven't tried yet. > > Mike They probably said (or previous articles have if I missed the one you saw) to pressure can, which most people don't do for jam. -don perley Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #605, 03/28/91 ************************************* -------
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