HOMEBREW Digest #780 Thu 12 December 1991

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		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Brewing odors (Keith Morgan)
  Artichokes and beer (gkushmer)
  Homebrew transport (carr)
  INTIMIDATION (Jack Schmidling)
  Various items from #779 (darrylri)
  Re: New brews (to me...) (Dean Cookson)
  Foul odors (ingr!b11!mspe5!guy)
  Transporting Homebrew (BOEGE)
  old yeast (Russ Gelinas)
  Berliner Weisse / Sour mash (Aaron Birenboim)
  Reply to Flaming Sam Adams. (Greg_Habel)
  Crushed Mail Order (Tom Zepf)
  Boiling Over (Eric Pepke)
  Removing bottle labels (Kent Dinkel)
  Bucolic Brit Brewing Bladders (TSAMSEL)
  Sam Adams Cream Stout (JPJ)
  Sam Adams Brewery, Sam Adams Cream Stout
  Oxidation, odiferous brewing, barleysine and shipping. ("DRCV06::GRAHAM")
  Crushed Grain by Mail ("Rad Equipment")
  Crushed Grain by Mail                 Time:8:45 AM     Date:12/11/91
  Sam_Adams_Ads (AEW)
  bunratty meade (dave ballard)
  priming for American Light Lager? (adietz)
  Barleywines, shipping & ? (Jeff Frane)
  Re:  hazing on the digest (florianb)
  Re: What is cold break? (korz)
  grain cracking (florianb)
  grain brewing in the family (florianb)
  Copper (Bruce Mueller)
  Grainmills (korz)
  Places to buy beer (Darren Evans-Young)
  Priming with dry malt extract (korz)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1991 08:52:19 -0500 From: morgan at dg-rtp.dg.com (Keith Morgan) Subject: Brewing odors My wife objects to the wonderful aroma of boiling malt & hops (which is kinda strange, considering she's a chemist & occasionally comes home reeking of some pretty weird odors!). I invested in a propane tank & burner and brew out back on my deck now. This might not work as well for those of you in colder climes, but here in the sunny south it's a joy to be outdoors stirring a bubbling pot on most winter weekends. Also, the propane burner can bring my 7 gal. brewpot to a nice simmer lots faster than the kitchen stove ever did. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 91 9:00:28 EST From: gkushmer at Jade.Tufts.EDU Subject: Artichokes and beer Last night I was eating an artichoke and drinking a Sam Adams Lager. I don't know why, but something about the artichoke enhances other flavors of foods that I may be eating at the same time. This happened with the beer - I received the most delicious hops taste after trying to wash some artichoke down. Suddenly I wondered: How would artichoke taste in beer? Anyone have any experience in this? Any perceptions? As I don't make lager (no fridge) I'd have to make an ale or wait until spring when I could use the temperate garage for lagering. - --gk Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 91 09:14:36 EST From: carr at ascc01.att.com Subject: Homebrew transport Howdy, Regarding the transport of homebrew on commercial flights, I have had some problems flying from here in North Carolina home to Minnesota with homebrews in my carry-on. They stopped me at the xray machine and asked me if those were bottles in my bag, to which I replied "yes". They then asked me to take them out, and if they were beer, to which I nervously answered "yes" again. At this point there are several of them eyeing the plain brown bottles with liquid in them with the mysterious bottle cap "Raleigh Brewing Co." (doesn't exist). They then asked me if it was home-made beer and I began to play dumb and pretend I didn't know what they were talking about, "can you really make beer at home?", and claim that a friend gave them to me. I ended up weaseling out of it and they let me go, with the homebrew ( a couple bottles ). They said it was some law regarding interstate taxes and that bringing home-made beer over state lines was illegal. I don't know if this is a federal thing or just another asinine North Carolina liquor law. Many guest at my wedding last spring received bottles of our Wedding Weiss and had no trouble transporting it when they had it in their checked-on baggage, instead of carrying them on. I also have gotten away with it in my carry-on by bringing homebrew bottles that I left the original labels on, so that they look like commercial beer. I don't know about mailing homebrew, and am very curious as I will be mailing xmas brew presents across the U.S. soon. Anyone with experience in this willing to share? Mike Carr carr at ascc01.att.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 91 07:58 CST From: arf at ddsw1.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) Subject: INTIMIDATION To: Homebrew Digest Fm: Jack Schmidling INTIMIDATION Now that the dust seems to have settled on the commercial issue, I would like to point out that what was gained or lost is more than meets the eye. Sure I sold some v----- (at a bargain price) but I also gave enough away to make it a net loss. What is sad is that the ones I gave away were to people who offered to post objective reviewS of the v-----. Unfortunately, not a single commment has been heard from all the freebies I sent out and I can only conclude that the flames, so intimidated the "reviewers", that they are affraid to say boo. So, in the final analysis, the real losers are the readers of HBD. Information flow ceases when the flame throwers come out. js Return to table of contents
Date: Wed Dec 11 06:52:14 1991 From: darrylri at microsoft.com Subject: Various items from #779 From: Dean Cookson <cookson at mbunix.mitre.org> Subject: Re: New brews (to me...) > An info point is that both beers are made by Catamount. Last time > I was up at the brewery in White River Junction they told us that > Frank Jones, Post Road, and Bier de Guarde (sp?) are all brewed by > them under contract. As a point of interest, I understood that the Bier de Garde brewed at the Catamount brewery was not brewed by the Catamount staff. I hope that one of the "in" east coasters will clarify this a bit. From: ingr!ingr!b11!mspe5!guy at uunet.UU.NET Subject: Foul odors > Scott Welker writes: > > Anyone out there love the smell of something they hate the taste of or > > vice versa? > > I won't say it, I won't say it, I WON'T say it! Whew, that was close. Whatever can you mean? ;-) Fortunately, I like both. But in regards to the aromas that eminate from the brewing process, a few notes. First off, my wife doesn't like beer, but she does like the aroma of making beer, so I'm off the hook there. (Still have to clean up after myself, however.) Next, I used to live two miles from the Van Nuys AB plant, and I drove by it twice every day, and often on weekends. I often would get comments about how it smelled bad from passengers. Curiously, I could often turn them around by mentioning how it smelled like oatmeal to me. By reminding them of some familiar smell that they have happy associations with (well, hopefully), I could influence their feelings on the matter. It seems that people often immediately believe that anything they can smell is bad; it is my belief that this kind of thinking is responsible for the rise in bland lagers and dry beer. From: <BOEGE%UORHEP.bitnet at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU> Subject: Transporting Homebrew > How long will bottled Barley Wine remain drinkable? In Papazian's book > there is a mention of 25 year aging periods. If I were to seal a case of Barley > Wine up in light-proof wrapping and store it in a closet, would it be vinegar, > evaporated, or sentient when I opened it a year later? 2? 5? There are, of course, many variables, but as a generalization, high gravity (and therefore high alcohol) beers will last 2 years or more if treated carefully: cool temperatures and no light. Good sanitation procedures should obviate the first item in your list, good capping practice the second, and I would only expect that the evolution process to take more than a few years or else we all would have been overrun by such beings long ago. ;-) Seriously, I've had a vertical tasting of Bigfeet (that sounds pretty bad, doesn't it?), and the 5 year old version was clearly on the downward slope, but the three year old was marvelous. From: R_GELINAS at UNHH.UNH.EDU (Russ Gelinas) Subject: old yeast > There's an article in the New York Times (Monday?), about Keith Thomas, > an Englishman who cultured the dregs of a bottle of ale that was recovered > from a ship which had sunk in the English Channel in 1825!!!!! He's using > it in a commercial porter (Flag Porter). He also uses only organically > grown malt, no pesticides, etc. Sounds like quite a character. Any of > you HB'ers across the pond ever hear of the guy? Michael Jackson mentioned this, but was concerned about how serious Mr. Thomas (a co-Beer Writers Guild member with MJ) was about this yeast, as he was only using it to "finish" the beer. Seems that the yeast is quite feeble and produces a variety of "interesting" esters; it's too weird (and too weak) to ferment out a batch by itself. Jackson suggested that this might be a grand marketing ploy, but did not deign to rebuke it until he felt more certain about the matter. --Darryl Richman Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 91 08:29:14 MST From: abirenbo at rigel.hac.com (Aaron Birenboim) Subject: Berliner Weisse / Sour mash i have seen a few postings about a sour mash thread.... somehow i have missed it. perhaps one of my attempts to get the following posted worked, but i keep on getting bounced mail... well.... heres my post.... AGAIN! *****************************************************************8 I plan to try to emulate Berliner Weisse, and have been asking around for suggestions at to how to do this. It appears that Berliner Weisse can be emulated from a sour mashed wheat beer recipe. My recollection of general opinion is to use stale hops. Papazian suggests 1-2HBU. 1) Hops... Can i make stale hops by just setting some nice leaf out in a bowl in my apt? Shoule i keep the hops in the dark while aging? I have some Mt. hood, alpha = 2.8, is this a good choice? Martin L. sent a recipe using 2 oz. low alpha hops for the boil, PLUS a 2 OZ! finish. Unfortunately i have not has a berliner weisse for YEARS, and i do not remember the bitterness. I think it was low, so i will most likely go with the stale hops. 3) Souring...Papazian suggests adding 1/2 lb malt to the mash AFTER the mash is complete and cooled to 130 F. Let this sit 15-24 hours and it should smell nice and putrid. Then sparge and boil as usual. Martin L. said one Berliner-weisse like brew he liked pitched a buttermilk culture called Staph. Lacticus along with the yeast. This scares me since the strength of the culture relative to my yeast is an unknown, and it will be hard to control sourness. Another gentleman cultured the dregs from a bottle of Berliner Weisse, and got a nice sour flavor, plus the "white ring" sign of infection. I might try this, except that I CAN'T FIND ANY BERLINER WEISSE! Does anybody know where i could Berliner Weisse in the denver area??? BTW... the fact that a sour beer resulted from simply culturing Berliner Weisse dregs seems to indicate that they actually do pitch souring bacteria (yeast??) into the beer AFTER the boil. However, i do not know if this will be the best method for a homebrewer. I have an idea to combine the two methods... After the mash cools to about 130F, throw in some whey from old sour cream. This might be a better way to start souring than just adding cracked malt. Is there a way to know when to start sparging if i use the sour mash method? I immagine that the souring might cause a drop in pH. perhaps i will know that souring is complete after the pH drops a certain amount? Please let me know about your sour mash / Berliner Weisse experiences! Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 91 10:29:28 est From: Greg_Habel at DGC.ceo.dg.com Subject: Reply to Flaming Sam Adams. In response to Paul Jasper's flame of Sam Adams, I have this to say: Paul, you must admit Sam Adams Beers are at least 10 times better than any Bud, Coors, Miller etc product. I personally am very delighted the SA beer exists. I'm sure SA is partially responsible for getting people to try other non CoBudMilob beers. If a CoBudMilob drinker tries SA and likes it, he may try Catamount, Anchor, or Sierra Nevada etc. I'm definitely for any product that will open more minds to different beer styles. As far as the advertising saying SA brews in weeks what the leading import brews in 3 hours, could it be they are referring to quantity (final output in 1 day because of the size of brewery). I agree the ad may be misleading. Paul, please UPS me any SA you do not wish to consume. Dry hopping: I recently made a batch of German Pils. I dry hopped half of the batch (1 oz of Saaz in cheese cloth in a keg for 7 days). What a pleasant hop aroma! For those of you who have not tried dry hopping, give it a go. Definitely one of the best hop aroma beers I've made. Mmmmmmm.. Time for a refill. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 91 08:38:24 MST From: zepf at Central.Sun.COM (Tom Zepf) Subject: Crushed Mail Order I have ordered pre-crushed grains from William's and from Great Fermentations of Santa Rosa. I've been pleased with the resulting beer brewed from both sources. I've tasted the grains and they seem fresh to me. GFSR ships grains in a double paper bag, but the grains are very nicely crushed and there isn't a lot of "flour". Because the bag is not air (or moisture) tight, I feel better about brewing with it as soon as possible. I'm pretty sure the grains are milled to order. William's ships the grains in 1 lb. sealed plastic bags. The grains usually contain a little "flour", but I don't think any husks are involved as I haven't detected any unusual husky or tannin notes. I would guess that William's crushes in batches, but the plastic bags probably do a pretty good job of protecting the grain. I've kept the William's grain down in my basement for over an month and brewed with it with no detectable problems. I'm hoping to get a Carona for Christmas so I don't have to make beer with ingredients in 1 lb. increments. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1991 10:41:19 -0500 (EST) From: PEPKE at SCRI1.SCRI.FSU.EDU (Eric Pepke) Subject: Boiling Over When you boil wort, at least two things happen: 1) The water turns to steam, whose vapor pressure exceeds the atmospheric pressure. 2) Dissolved oxygen and other gases are driven off. In my experience, the dissolved gases are responsible for most boilovers. Unlike steam, which tends to form in large bubbles around local hot spots and nucleation sites, the dissolved gases come out as small bubbles in many places at once. The small bubbles are better at making the foam that causes most boilovers. Fortunately, once the gases have been driven off, there is much less problem. If you do extract brewing, you can boil all your brewing water before adding the extract. If you do all-grain brewing, it's much more difficult--even if you are very careful to keep the hot runoff from splashing, it will still absorb a fair amount of oxygen. The solution is to be very careful about adding heat when it starts to fizz. This is better for the flavor, too, as you don't really want the oxygen reacting very much with the other stuff in the wort. 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, 11 Dec 91 09:55:34 mst From: Kent Dinkel <dinkel at hpmtaa.lvld.hp.com> Subject: Removing bottle labels Full-Name: Kent Dinkel There have been a few discussions about removing labels from bottles. I soak my bottles overnight in the bathtub or large bucket with ~ 1/2 cup of borax. The next morning, most of the labels are floating in the tub. Those that aren't already floating peel off pretty easily. Applying a *little* elbow grease with an abrasive sponge easily removes any residual glue and/or label from the bottles. I can't say that this works for all bottle and labels -- I primarily use Bud long-neck bar bottles (pretty sturdy suckers available at .05$/bottle from the local liquor store) and Grolsh bottles. The bottles aren't sanitary yet, but I won't be mistaken for serving Bud to my friends! Kent (dinkel at hpmtaa.lvld.hp.com) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1991 12:11:20 -0500 (EST) From: TSAMSEL at ISDRES.ER.USGS.GOV Subject: Bucolic Brit Brewing Bladders Well, I saw this last night at our local Y-person culinary boutique. Axbridge Brew Sacks. Built to look like a Thomas Hardian "hopsack" with antique printing/pictorial and a PLASTIC tap that's sposed to look like *wood*. Snarl, and they are selling many of them. At least i think it was called Axbridge. And it was a no-boil kit, too. Ted Return to table of contents
Date: 11 Dec 91 13:21:49 EST From: JPJ at b30.prime.com Subject: Sam Adams Cream Stout Subject: Sam Adams Brewery, Sam Adams Cream Stout Greeting, HB's... I recently went on a tour of the Sam Adams Brewery -- I highly recommend this tour! I found out quite a bit about their brewing processes, as well as sampling their lager, ale, and lightship on tap -- as if I don't know what they taste like, but free beer is free beer, and Oh, is Sam good on tap *) After leaving the Sam Adams brewery, we made our way somewhat carefully through the friendly streets of Jamaica Plain to a local pub called Doyle's. Doyle's, as well as another pub whose name escapes me right now (also in G. Boston) has the distinction of being the first to be able to sell Sam Adams products before the general public can get its hands on them. So, it was my great fortune to be able to sample, on tap, Sam Adams Cream Stout. The rep at the brewery said they're still working on it, but I think it's perfect. Smooth, flavorful, and only 3.25 a pint... They also had some Cranberry Lambic on tap, but it was not as good as the 6-pack version. If you get a chance, make a trip down to Doyle's (preferably during the day) and sample this great brew. For those of you unable to make the trip, I guess you'll just have to wait 8( +----------------------------------------------+ | Jim Jedrey (JPJ at B30.PRIME.COM) | | Portsmouth, NH +---------------------+ | Bud is Mud, Coors is Poor, and Schlitz is... well, you know... | +--------------------------------------------------------------------+ Return to table of contents
Date: 11 Dec 91 11:22:00 EDT From: "DRCV06::GRAHAM" <graham%drcv06.decnet at drcvax.af.mil> Subject: Oxidation, odiferous brewing, barleysine and shipping. Oh well, I can't correct the subject line typo. Actually, barleysine is a type of audio output filtered through a high gravity beer. [grin] Oxidation. I have tasted oxidized beer and try to avoid it at all costs. I was musing on the cask conditioning of British Bitters, and began to wonder how they avoid oxidation of the beer in the cask after the cask is no longer full. I mean, the stuff might be around for a few days. Any thoughts? Brewing Smells. My wife dislikes the odors associated with brewing, too. She has found that a bottle of *very* good wine will keep her calm during the process. My cost per bottle just went up! [wide grin] Keeping Barleywine. Don't worry about aging that barleywine. It will last for years. Shipping. I have spoken with the Burequ of Alcohol, Tabacco and Firearms a couple of times and they assure me, and read to me from the regs, that it is NOT illegal to ship alcohol via UPS, or any other non-Postal Service carrier. The Postal Service is not allowed to ship it, but there is absolutely no law that would forbid any other carrier from doing so. Virtually all of the carriers say they will not ship it except from one dealer to another. Of course, you don't have to tell them what's in the (well, very well packed) box. I have discovered that the airlines will ship alcohol, but at a dear price. This B.S. of UPS and others not carring our homebrew is stupid. I urge a letter writing campaign to their corporate offices. I'll try to get an address. Dan Graham Return to table of contents
Date: 11 Dec 91 09:15:56 U From: "Rad Equipment" <rad_equipment at rad-mac1.ucsf.EDU> Subject: Crushed Grain by Mail Subject: Crushed Grain by Mail Time:8:45 AM Date:12/11/91 CR asks: >Perhaps someone out there has identified a good source >for mail order precrushed malt. Anyone??? When I was doing extracts with the odd addition of specialty malt I bought mine from William's Brewing in San Leandro, CA. They seal all their perishables in sturdy plastic bags. Their crush was very nice and the quality of the grains are good. For small quantities like this they are a fine choice. I cannot speak on their wares for all-grain batches. I expect that a corona mill would be a better way to go for the isolated brewer, unless you can find a mail order house who will bundle your grains into your specific recipe and then grind and ship for 24 hour delivery (which would be expensive, yes?). The $45 for the mill would be paid for by the better price reflected in large volume grain purchases. RW... Russ Wigglesworth CI$: 72300,61 |~~| UCSF Medical Center Internet: Rad Equipment at RadMac1.ucsf.edu |HB|\ Dept. of Radiology, Rm. C-324 Voice: 415-476-3668 / 474-8126 (H) |__|/ San Francisco, CA 94143-0628 Return to table of contents
Date: 11 Dec 91 14:07:06 EST From: AEW at b30.prime.com Subject: Sam_Adams_Ads In HBD #779 paul at melody.Rational.COM (Paul Jasper) writes: > Well, there you have it, then... This sounds just like the rest of the > utter nonsense that Jim Koch talks in his radio adverts. Like where > he claims Sam Adams brews in weeks what "the leading import" brews in > "three hours". As homebrewers we must all know that no one can > possibly brew anything in as little as three hours. This ad also confused me a little when I first heard it, but last Saturday when I toured the brewery (Great tour!) the tour guide made this statement using his own words and the meaning of it came clear. What Jim Koch is referring to it the total volume of beer produced by his breweries in a year compared to the volume of beer produced by (still unnamed) major Brewer in 3 hours. I don't think he is claiming anything about the time it takes to make any particular batch. Paul also writes: > He also talks about how they won first prize at the GABF three years > in succession as if these were the most recent three, neglecting to > mention that the last time was in 1986 (or maybe 1987, depending on whether > my memory serves me correctly). According to the tour guide at the brewery, Sam Adams didn't submit an entry after winning three years straight in order to give other (smaller/home) brewers a chance at the award. The following year they did enter and win again, afterwards the award was phased out for the new GOLD/SILVER/BRONZE medal system. Not only has Sam Adams beer won three times in a row, but _EVERY_ time it has entered that catagory. Paul Continues: > Since hearing Jim's advertising campaign, I've actually been avoiding > drinking Samuel Adams beers. Having my intelligence insulted in this > way certainly does not endear me to his company or their products... I personally enjoy the Sam Adams ads here in Boston, Jim has such a sence of humor that he modifies the ads for local appeal. In one ad he even changes the familliar phrase to: 'With a head so thick you can float Mark Parento on it.' (Mark Parento is a local D.J.) Even if I didn't like the commercials, It seems a shame to let this stop me from enjoying Sam Adams or any other fine Microbrewery beer. It certianly beets drinking MilBudiken just because their ads lack character and therefore don't offend anyone. I am in no way affiliated with the Boston Beer Company. (Brewers of Sam Adams brand beers) If you do not agree with my views, please direct response to the below e-mail address and save the HBD the flane war. =============================================================================== Allan Wright Jr. | Pole-Vaulters Get a Natural High! Seabrook, NH +-------------------------------------------------- Internet: AEW at B30.PRIME.COM | These are my words only, drifting through time... =============================================================================== Return to table of contents
Date: 11 Dec 1991 13:00 EST From: dab at pyuxe.cc.bellcore.com (dave ballard) Subject: bunratty meade Hey now- Has anyone tried Bunratty Meade? I was leafing through a copy of the Irish Echo and came upon an add for the stuff. It says it's made from white wine, honey, and herbs and has an alcohol content of 14.7% (didn't say volume or weight, I assume volume). I called the distributor for more info and spoke with a very nice woman who said they are based in NJ and that they've been selling the stuff as quick as they can get it from Ireland (it's produced at Bunratty Castle). There's two choices of bottles: a standard glass one and a really nice looking white stone bottle that has the label fired onto it. I should have my hands on some by the weekend, so I'll give a report next week. If you want to call on your own, the number is 1-800-4-CAMELOT. iko- dab ======================================================================== dave ballard "Maybe you had too much too fast" dab at pyuxe.cc.bellcore.com ======================================================================== Return to table of contents
Date: 11 Dec 1991 13:11 EST From: afd at hera.cc.bellcore.com (adietz) Subject: priming for American Light Lager? I've got this batch of weasel water that turned out surprisingly well, but now it's ready for bottling. This is a brew designed *especially* for those Bud drinkers back home at xmas - so I DO NOT want to alter the lovely absence of flavor. Would rather not use corn sugar (I've done side by side comparisons of corn sugar and krauseueuaudusned beers. Krauseueuaudusning wins.). So, to minimize flavor alterations as much as possible, what's the most likely candidate for priming? -A Dietz Bellcore, Morristown "Clean, no aftertaste postings." Return to table of contents
Date: 11 Dec 91 14:52:53 EST From: Jeff Frane <70670.2067 at compuserve.com> Subject: Barleywines, shipping & ? Steven Boege asks about aging barleywines. Curiously, last night I split a nip of Thomas Hardy with Liz. The beer was of 1986 vintage. I drank one bottle that year: awful! tasted just like cough syrup. I drank one bottle in 1989 or 1990 and it was definitely better. Last night's was superb, wonderfully rich and complex. Virtually no carbonation, which has been true of other British barleywines I've tasted. I also have bottles of 1985 Old Foghorn, 1989 Old Knucklehead, and 1988 Blind Jack (mine own). I sample all of these from time to time; while still very good, none have changed as dramatically as the Thomas Hardy. (As memory serves, the TH is about OG 1114, all pale malt, with two kinds of hops, two yeast additions during fermentation and one at bottling. I guarantee from my tasting that the beer was very sweet when it went into the bottle but it definitely dries out over time.) Also in answer to Boege: that very case of Old Foghorn I'm still into came back from San Francisco on the plane in 1985. I know of other homebrewers that have brought cases of beer with them in the luggage compartment without adverse effects. When I have to ship beer (either commercial or homecrafted) I pack them in a very sturdy box, lined with a garbage bag in case of leakage. My best packing material turned out to be some heavy cardboard tubes found at work (not unlike big solid toilet paper rolls). The box usually has a piece of styrofoam on the bottom, then the bottles are slid down into vertical tubes and stuffed at the top with newspaper. More newspaper or styrofoam chips (if available) are stuffed all around the tubes and across the top of the whole shebang. I ship via UPS and either send it through the mailroom here at work (UPS never asks them what's in the boxes), or tell the UPS clerk it's perishable food. If asked if it contained alcohol, I would lie. To Jack Schmidling: Are you under the assumption that 150 degrees of heat will kill many microorganisms, other than yeast? Remind me not to eat any of your home-canned foods. !! CAN WE GET SOME DATA FROM GEORGE FIX HERE!!! GEORGE, HOW ABOUT SOME DOPE ON WORT SPOILAGE, ETC.?? if you've got the time. To Jay Hersh: (I'm going to have to start keeping copies of my beer texts here at work!) As *my* memory serves, the decoction mash *does* call for boiling the mash section, not just bringing it to a boil. I have to admit that decoction mashing never made much sense: most are two or three-step decoctions and while it's true that you never boil more than one-third of the mash at a time, how do you know it's the same one-third (bloody unlikely) and that you won't somehow destroy all the enzymes? Nevertheless, it works. I did it twice deliberately, the second time using something the Germans developed in the 30's with a typically long and complicated name, basically meaning short hot mash--for light lagers. (I also did it once because the Bruheat died and I needed another way of raising the temperature of the mash: a problem not unlike the original brewers who developed the system). Some of these damn things, like the triple decoction used in Pilsen, go on for twelve hours or so. Noonan's argument in favor of decoction is based on (as I recall) two arguments: 1. An increase in extract, which was something like 1 or 2 points better with decoction than infusion (whooee!) and 2. a highly-disputable contention that "true" lager flavor can only come from decoction. (Ha!) Dr. John: UC Davis' Michael Lewis (beerguru) not only claims that one can do a single-step infusion of Klages but that any homebrewer who tries to do anything else is a fool. Lewis' contention is that accurate temperature changes are impossible for a homebrewer to achieve consistently, so why bother?... Lewis' opinions aside, I know from experience and from watching microbreweries that it is possible and that it will produce a good beer. For me, the problem with Klages is not in conversion or in chill hazes, but in getting any malt profile out of the stuff. I would stronly recommend using an addition of CaraPils and some caramel malt. JPaul: Without being able to translate the damn things (your attempts sounded fine to me), I'd suggest the language was Flemish. I don't think there's a language called "Belgian", but recall that the country is divided into French and Flemish language groups. A truly weird country, really, as one can tell by drinking their beer. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 91 12:33:58 PST From: florianb at chip.cna.tek.com Subject: Re: hazing on the digest No pun intended. Yesterday, Al Taylor said: >Your unwillingness to share your ideas and innovations because >you might not get rich shows everyone that you are just an arrogant guy >who brews beer, not THE GREATEST HOMEBREWER IN THE WORLD. to Jack SomeThingOrOther who has a grain mill he designed himself. I am one of the original contributors to this digest and have been delighted over the years to see it remain a friendly atmosphere. These kind of comments you sent over the air are completely uncalled for. Maybe he's right, and maybe he's not. SO WHAT? If the two of you were locked together in a room with a certain amount of home brew, you would likely agree on most anything. Let's keep it friendly, pleae? Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 91 14:43 CST From: korz at ihlpl.att.com Subject: Re: What is cold break? Recently, I received a question via email that may be of interest to other beginners. The question was "what is cold break?" First of all, there's no reason to avoid posting naive questions to the HBD. Have you ever seen a post like: "well, that was a dumb question..." Of course not. So don't be afraid. If you've got a question, probably 25+ other people have the same question... there's over 1000 subscribers to HBD and a large number of them are beginners. On to your question. Cold break is two things which are related: 1) the "trub" (pronounced TROOB and meaning beer-related sediment) that forms when you cool your sweet wort after boiling (i.e. "you should rack your beer off the cold break"), and 2) the "process" or "stage" of the brewing process during which this sediment comes out of solution (i.e. "I had an incredible cold break"). The yeast that sinks to the bottom of the fermentor when it dies or runs out of sugar and goes dormant is also trub, so there's two sources for trub: 1) the cold break and 2) the yeast that comes out of solution. Trub may also contain some fermentation byproducts, but I'll leave that to others to post. What's in cold break? Well, I'm not a chemist and have not researched this too much, but I believe that it is mostly proteins and product of tannins reacting with proteins. The tannins are from the husks of the grains. They are why you should never boil grains and why oversparging (sparging is the process of pouring hot water over your mashed grains to extract the sugars -- too much of this or too hot a sparge water and you extract too much of the tannins from the husks) is discouraged. Why get rid of it? Off flavors are one reason -- I noticed an definate improvement in my beer since starting to use a wort chiller and part of that improvement is no doubt due to my leaving most of the cold break in the kettle. (Another reason for the improvement is the fact that I no longer pour the HOT wort into the fermenter -- I wait for it to cool. This reduces oxidation and got rid of the sherry-like flavor in my beer. Another reason to get rid of your cold break is to minimize chill haze in your final product. Chill haze is the product of tannins and proteins which becomes visible only when you chill the beer. Notice that the quick chilling of the wort does exactly that and then you leave it behind in the kettle. One final note, the quicker you chill, the better the cold break (the more cold break (trub) you create). One way to get cold break and to cool your wort without a wort chiller, is to use ice. I used to do this before I built a chiller. I would boil 4 gallons of tapwater on the previous day and then fill up four plastic milk jugs and put them in the fridge. The morning of the brewing, I would move one into the freezer. 8 hours later, the freezer jug would be partly frozen. I would boil the extract in only 2 gallons of water and then after the boil, pour the icewater into the kettle. This gave me a pretty good cold break. One chilled, boiled gallon in the fermenter followed by the (now 80F) wort and then topped off by more chilled, boiled water. The improvement you get from this procedure will inspire you to build a chiller. It did for me. Note that when you go to full (5 gallon) boils, you will get an improvement in hop-oil extraction because your boil will be of a lower specific gravity. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 91 13:04:34 PST From: florianb at chip.cna.tek.com Subject: grain cracking The subject has been tossed back and forth about milling. Goshums, geewhilikers! At $10 per can, extracts are pretty expensive. At 80 cents a pound for grain, after about 8 brewings with all-grain the differential pays for the mill! Save up your pennies and buy a Corona grain mill--that's my advice. I got mine from a second hand store in a little town, but even at $45 new, it's not a bad deal. I couldn't do without it now. Florian Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 91 12:57:53 PST From: florianb at chip.cna.tek.com Subject: grain brewing in the family The question came up on how to grain brew without interruptions and still maintain a family. I am married to a wonderful woman, have a daughter 4.5 and a son 1.5, and have been all-grain brewing for several years. Maybe I can advise. First, it helps if your spouse likes good beer and doesn't mind the smell. Of course if you have kids, the smell of beer brewing is lovely compared to the smell coming from the back seat of the car on any extended trip. Second, you need to be set up for all-grain brewing. Have the right equipment and plenty of room in the kitchen. A nice big brew pot is *mandatory*, as well as a grain mill or some source of pre-cracked grains. A rolling pin doesn't cut it if you are concerned with time. Also, use hop bags to avoid problems with siphoning the wort. Third, you have to get your method down. I was disappointed to see how long it took to do all-grain brewing in the beginning. This was before I figured out how to largely reduce certain portions of the brewing time. Now, I can start an all-grain batch at 2:00 pm and have it finished by 7:00 pm. This, even taking time out for certain activities while the kids are napping in the afternoon... Now what are these methods? I use a three-step process of mashing. The method is based on Papazian's method, but with some condensations. I dough-in with warm water, then add enough 130 F water right out of the tap to bring the mash up to 122. This remains for 30 minutes for a protein rest, on the stovetop. Next, I add sufficient boiling water to bring the brew up to 155 F for the saccarification, which lasts at least one hour, again on the stovetop (LO). After this step, I skip the mash-out (which never amounted to any difference for me anyway). I put 2 quarts/# *boiling* water into the picnic cooler/ mash tun, then add the mash all at once. I stir it and leave it 30 minutes. A simple re-circulation of a gallon or so and the wort comes out clear. Then I run it all out at once, starting the boil as soon as I have 3 or so gallons. The boil takes 1.5 hours. I also use a copper tube chiller. Altogether, this process just doesn't take much more time than extract brewing. Honest! But during the idle periods, I take the opportunity to do family things, change my spark plugs, chop wood, go to town, or whatever I like. The timing just isn't that critical, so interruptions aren't a big deal. Finally, I have found that my 4.5-year-old is fascinated by the brewing process. I usually let her play in the grains as I am weighing them out. She likes to stick Peter Pan, horses, or whatever underneath the grains and pretend lots of stuff. That's fine by me. Now my 1.5-year-old son is getting into the act, with spillage happening usually. That's fine too. Kids are only young once. Hope this helps. One of these days, I plan to write a note on my condensed all-grain process. Just maybe, one of these days. Florian Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 91 14:01:21 PST From: Bruce Mueller <mueller at sdd.hp.com> Subject: Copper I take offense (professionally) to non-chemists/toxicologists commenting about such matters! It's as bad as non-lawyers or non-doctors practicing those disciplines. To quote the eminent Merck Index regarding copper's toxicity: "Copper itself probably has little or no toxicity, although there are conflicting reports in the literature. Soluble salts, notably copper sulfate, are strong irritants to skin, mucous membranes." Now, as to cupric sulfate (form referred to above) pentahydrate (that means it comes "packaged" in 5 water molecules), Merck gives the LD50 (the amount to kill half the rats), oral, as 960 mg/kg. For a 70kg (average male, big beer belly means more, female typ. less), that would be 67 grams! I dare say you'd NEVER form a concentration anywhere near that high at any reasonable wort pH. Now, if you acidified to pH 1 with mixed sulfuric/nitric or nitric/hydrochloric acids, I'd be worried. Suffice it to say your beer would taste absolutely AWFUL way before you'd have any effects. Besides, the copper would kill off the yeast: little critters are MUCH more succeptible to copper than humans. By the way, though unrelated to beer, bluestone, the common name for cupric sulfate pentahydrate is a GREAT cure for really bad athlete's foot. Talk to a podiatrist about it. It is irritating, but not nearly as bad as the fungus! If my interchangable use of copper and cupric is annoying, sorry. The current recommended usage is copper(II); the old is cupric. Merck goes way back, so they use the old form. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 91 16:06 CST From: korz at ihlpl.att.com Subject: Grainmills I remember faintly of someone who built a grain mill from an old grocery store checkout conveyor. That reminded me that a good friend of mine (who, by the way, owes me a favor for all the homebrew I've pumped into him!) works for a company that engineers custom conveyor systems for industry. The way he explained it once, the systems are built from stock parts. Maybe he would have some leads on used conveyor parts or sources for new parts. I'll ask him. Meanwhile, keep an eye out for store checkout conveyors on sale! Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 91 16:16:40 CST From: Darren Evans-Young <DARREN at UA1VM.UA.EDU> Subject: Places to buy beer I'll be in the Bay area for the holidays. I probably won't get a chance to visit any brewpubs due to lack of transportation. What I'm looking for is a place to buy fresh bottled beer, ie Sierra Nevada, Anchor beers, etc. Does anyone know of a good store fairly close to Hercules, CA (East Bay)? Last year when I was out there, I found some in a grocery store, but not every grocery store had beers other than BudMiller. Also the age of the beer there was questionable. This is my big chance to taste these wonderful beers as I can't get them in Alabama. Please help! :-) Darren *---------------------------------------------------------------------------* | Darren Evans-Young Internet: DARREN at UA1VM.UA.EDU | | The University of Alabama Phone: (205)348-3988 / 5380 | | Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487-0346 (205)348-3993 FAX | *---------------------------------------------------------------------------* Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 91 17:07 CST From: korz at ihlpl.att.com Subject: Priming with dry malt extract Jack writes: >One of the problems I have found with dry extract is that >there is always some undisolved residue in the bottom of the >primer making me wonder what is in the last few bottles. Putting dry extract in your priming bucket is not a good idea -- it is an invitiation for bacterial and wild yeast infection. I believe that what the original poster meant was what I have always done: boil the 1 or 1.25 cups of DME in 16 oz of water to kill bacteria and wild yeasts. Besides that, dry extract does not dissolve easily in cold liquids, as you have already found out. Al. Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #780, 12/12/91 ************************************* -------
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