HOMEBREW Digest #860 Thu 09 April 1992

Digest #859 Digest #861

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Wyeast Belgian (first batch) (TSAMSEL)
  cancel (S.Raybould)
  Red Hickory Lager (chrisbpj)
  Re: Steam Beer at Anchor Brewing (John DeCarlo)
  Re:  Homebrew Digest #859 (April 08, 1992) (Mark Eastman)
  reusing yeast (Davis McPherson)
  Re: Makkoli (Daniel Roman)
  Scottish Ales (mccamljv)
  brewing definition (Bryan Gros)
  Overflow (BSABLTHR)
  Celebrator subscription (Rick Larson)
  Mead info/recipe  very long, but lots of good info! (RUBICON READY)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 8 Apr 1992 7:21:29 -0400 (EDT) From: TSAMSEL at ISDRES.ER.USGS.GOV Subject: Wyeast Belgian (first batch) I bottled my first batch of ale using the Wyeast Belgian last night. I used my generic 6.6 lbs of amber malt extract recipe, just to get a bracket on where the beasties would take the sugar. When I opened the carboy for syphoning, a wonderful aroma filled the basement. After bottling, I took a taste from the bottom of the pickle bucket I use as a bottler and was again impressed. I got kind of a liquorice/herbal taste with a Styrian goldings note. I'm not sure what to expect from this yeast but I like how it's be- having so far. My next batch will have much more malt in it. (An observation: Jack S. seems to put his 2 cents (and more) into any group he gets involved with. For thoes of you with usenet access, he holds forth quite prominently on misc.headlines) *NOT A FLAME* Mas tarde, Ted Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 92 12:22:11 BST From: S.Raybould at fulcrum.bt.co.uk Subject: cancel cancel cancel cancel Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 92 08:46:46 -0400 From: chrisbpj at ldpfi.dnet.dupont.com Subject: Red Hickory Lager Red Hickory Lager (Ingredients for 5 gallons) 1 Can (3.3 lbs) Munton & Fison Amber malt extract 1 Can (3.3 lbs) Munton & Fison Light malt extract 1 oz Saaz hops (boil - 60 minutes) 2-3 pinches Irish moss 1 oz Bullion pellets (Boil - 1 minute) 1 oz Fuggles hops (boil - 1 minute) 1 oz Willamette (boil - 1 minute) Whitbread lager yeast 3/4 cup corn sugar to prime NOTES: I made this batch after taking quite a while brewing a wheat beer. I pulled a couple of bags of hops out of my freezer, grabbed two cans of malt, and threw together a quick-n-easy brew. The Bullion, Fuggles, and Willamette all smelled so good, I couldn't decide between them, and figured since they were only going in for a minute, why not try all three! Well, it turned out so good, I'll be making quite a bit more! COMMENTS: I'll probably try this as an ale next. It was quite clean as a lager, though with a good hoppy aroma (not too much hops flavor...). Might try Whitbread ale yeast, or a clean-finishing Wyeast with some fruit subtleties. Also, might boil some of the finishing hops a bit longer to try to get some hops flavor. Good quenching Summer beer! Return to table of contents
Date: Wednesday, 8 Apr 1992 09:13:27 EDT From: m14051 at mwvm.mitre.org (John DeCarlo) Subject: Re: Steam Beer at Anchor Brewing When I went on a tour of Anchor Brewing, the guide showed us where primary fermentation takes place. These are wide, flat containers kept shallow and cooled by San Francisco air. My memory tells me that they keep the temperature fairly stable at 50 or 55 in there by a judicious combination of insulation and only bringing in cool air from outside. Of course, these temps are fairly easy to maintain in SF, but not cold enough to lager with. Corrections requested, of course. Internet: jdecarlo at mitre.org (or John.DeCarlo at f131.n109.z1.fidonet.org) Fidonet: 1:109/131 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 92 08:11:59 PDT From: meastman at adobe.com (Mark Eastman) Subject: Re: Homebrew Digest #859 (April 08, 1992) Please remove my name from your list of e-mail recipients (I wish I had time to read this stuff!) Thank you, Mark Eastman meastman at adobe.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 08 Apr 92 13:07:28 EDT From: davism at hns.com (Davis McPherson) Subject: reusing yeast i interesting in learning about reusing yeast now that i'm brewing with liquid yeast...i have heard that its possible to rack a new batch of wort onto the yeast cake from a previous batch...anyone with information on procedures for doing this please e-mail... thanx, davis Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 92 13:14:50 EDT From: tix!roman at uunet.UU.NET (Daniel Roman) Subject: Re: Makkoli This is what I have been able to find out so far about "Makkoli" the Korean beverage (it is not much). There *IS* barley in it and it does come out milky looking. I may be able to get a recipe this weekend, if so I will post it. I think there was more than one person interested in this, I lost the email addresses for the individuals and did not feel like looking through the old digests. I'm still working on it! BTW, "Makkoli" is really supposed to be three words. I'll get that detail straightened out also. - -- Dan Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 92 16:57:07 -0400 From: mccamljv at ldpfi.dnet.dupont.com Subject: Scottish Ales Fellow Brewers, I had the opportunity to try a BELHAVEN SCOTTISH ALE the other night. I was wondering if this is a good commercial example of the style or, if there are other brands available to us here in the 'colonies'?? IMHO, I found this brand to be a very well balanced good tasting ale with a creamy hint to the aftertaste. Any other opinions ?? Recipes for Scottish ale style brews would also be appriciated, there is only one in the cats meow 2. Thanks in advance, -Joel McCamley "Constantly Relaxing, Not Worrying and Having a Homebrew!" Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 92 13:55:38 PDT From: bgros at sensitivity.berkeley.edu (Bryan Gros) Subject: brewing definition I've been wondering about something for a while, and with the "arguing" over the definition of brewing posted.. Why is making tea usually called "brewing"? no fermentation involved. And while we're at it, making wine (and mead i guess) should also be referred to as brewing. - Bryan Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 1992 16:11 EDT From: BSABLTHR%EKU.BITNET at uga.cc.uga.edu Subject: Overflow Fellow Homebrewers, Ran into a problem this morning with the Stout I boiled last night. The recipe that I had, called for about a six U.S. gallon mixture. I've only got a 7 1/2 gallon fermentor. Right now, I've got one big mess. The foam has come up through the bubbler on to the top of the fermentor. I've also cleaned it up several times and reinserted the bubbler valve. It still foams up! The only thing I could think of was to pull the bubbler off and cover the hole with a cheese cloth. Are there any other suggestions? Help! Mark D. Balthaser Eastern Kentucky University Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 92 16:28:11 -0500 From: melkor!rick at uunet.UU.NET (Rick Larson) Subject: Celebrator subscription I just picked up the April/May 1992 Celebrator while on a business trip. I visited Pacific Coast Brewing Co, 20 Tank Brewery, Triple Rock, ... but thats another story. Subscriptions are available for $14.95 for six issues or $26.95 for 12 issues. Foreign mail $26 for six issues - U.S. funds only. Celebrator Beer News P.O. Box 375 Hayward, CA 94543 Tel. 510-670-0121 Fax 510-670-0639 Hope this helps, rick - --- Rick Larson rick.larson at adc.com ADC Telecommunications, Inc. ...!uunet!melkor!rick Minneapolis MN 55435 (612) 936-8288 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 92 19:12:48 PDT From: RUBICON READY <ROBERTN at FOLSM3.intel.com> Subject: Mead info/recipe very long, but lots of good info! In the interest of those supplying all those who have asked about Mead with some really great info, here are postings from both Kevin Karplus and the late and sorely missed Cher Feinstein. Both postings are 2 or 3 years old, but full of lots of info! RobertN robertn at folsm3.intel.com -Date: 29 Sep 89 17:36:00 EDT -From: "FEINSTEIN" <crf at pine.circa.ufl.edu> -Subject: Meads & mead-making Hello, all! I noted 's recent request for mead-making info, but haven't had time to respond until now. Below you will find my basic recipe for making mead. First, however, some basic tips and information. Meads come in several basic types: meads, metheglins (spiced meads), and melomels (meads made with fruit and/or fruit juices added). Many of these, especially the melomels, are "species specific" (as it were). For example, a cyser is by definition a mead made with apples or apple juice. Use unblended honey when making mead, and raw honey if at all possible. Thus, unless there is someone with an apiary in your neighborhood, the best place to get honey is at a health food store or roadside stand. If the honey has bits of wax, or other particulate matter in it, that can be strained out before cooking. Do NOT, under *any* circumstances, use "blended to death" honeys, like "SueBee". Remember: the taste and character of the honey you use will be the principal determinants of the taste and character of your mead. Please note that meads don't need any malt added, for *any* reason. Apart from altering the flavor and character, there are quite enough fermentables present already, thank you! :-) Use a white wine yeast in brewing mead; "Montrechet" is recommended. *Don't* use ale or lager yeast; the end result will most likely be exploding bottles! Most mead recipes call for the addition of some citrus juice or tea (tannin). This is important, as it balances the sweetness, preventing it from becoming cloying. This is the same reason caffeine is added to many sodas. The molecular structures of the sugars involved in meads are different from those found in brews. Thus, meads can take anywhere from a few weeks or months to several years to age properly. And, they won't taste very good if one isn't patient; the time is necessary. When adding honey to hot or boiling water, STIR CONSTANTLY!! Otherwise, the honey will go straight to the bottom of the pot, where it will caramelize, scorch, and otherwise ruin the whole thing. KEEP STIRRING, until the honey is *completely* dissolved. You will notice, in mead recipes, instructions to skim off any scum that forms as the mead heats up. This is very important, as that scum is the equivalent of the krausen in beer. Apart from the nasties in it that can contribute to hangovers, there are nasties in the scum that can adversely affect the flavor and appearance of the finished mead. The length of time mead is allowed to ferment is the other principal factor in determining not only the final alcoholic content, but how dry _vs._ how sweet your mead will be. Remember: mead is not necessarily a sweet drink! Also, meads can be sparkling, or still. It's all a matter of individual preference. A word of warning about mead hangovers: they are the stuff of legend-- and rightly so! The combination of high alcohol content (relatively speaking) and high sugar content are perfect for the induction of the Ultimate Hangover. One author I've read on meads, in an attempt to convey to the reader the potential severity of a mead hangover, referred to the Biblical story of Judith and the Holofernes. The author pointed out that Judith saw to it that the Holofernes got thoroughly drunk on mead, waited until they had slept awhile, and then had the Hebrew army attack-- beating on their shields! As the author put it: "What else could the Holofernes do but throw down their arms and accept slaughter with gratitude?" Personally, I consider this description of mead hangovers to be both apt and astute. :-) Anyone with questions about mead-making can contact me at the addresses below. The recipe for basic mead follows. Yours in Carbonation, Cher Feinstein Univ. of Fla. Gainesville, FL INTERNET: CRF at PINE.CIRCA.UFL.EDU BITNET: CRF at UFPINE BASIC SMALL MEAD NOTE: All equipment mentioned below is assumed to be either well-cleaned or sterilized, as needed. In a 1 gallon enamel pot, simmer the following until the infusion is done to taste: 2-3 whole cloves, lightly cracked; 2 sticks of cinnamon, broken up; 2 thin slices peeled fresh ginger root. Add 2-4 tsp. orange peel (how much depends on the honey-- with orange blossom honey use less, for example) and simmer a little longer. Add enough water to bring the volume up to 3 quarts. Bring back up to a simmer. Add 2 lbs honey, stirring constantly. Some of the warm water can be ladled back into the honey container to rinse it. DO NOT BOIL! Continue to simmer at a moderate rate, skimming off any white scum that forms on the top. If the scum is yellow, the heat is too high. Once no more scum forms, turn off the heat, place the lid on the pot, and leave overnight. The next day, strain out as many of the spice particles as practicable. Pitch the yeast. Replace the pot lid; the condensation on it will form a seal. Twelve hours later, rack the mead into a gallon jug, leaving the dregs of the yeast. After racking, top off the jug if needed, filling it to the base of the neck. Take a piece of clean paper towel, fold it into quarters, and put it over the mouth of the jug. Secure with a rubber band. Allow to ferment 36 hours. If the paper towel becomes fouled during this period, replace it with another. After 36 hours, taste the mead. If it is still too sweet for your taste, ferment longer. Repeat this as necessary, until a desirable level of sweetness/dryness is achieved. Place mead in refrigerator for 8-12 hours, then rack into a fresh gallon jug. Seal new jug tightly, and place in refrigerator to carbonate for 12 hours. Once the mead is nicely carbonated, add 1/4 cup of vodka or grain alcohol to the jug to kill off the yeast. Rack into a fresh jug again, seal tightly, and place in refrigerator for 3-4 days. The mead may then be bottled; Grolsch bottles work extremely well for this purpose. This is a "quickie" mead, drinkable in 2 weeks. However, it does improve considerably with age, and letting it age for at least a couple of months before drinking is recommended. This mead is excellent chilled. - ------------------------------ - -Date: Thu, 15 Nov 90 14:41:24 PST -From: Kevin Karplus <karplus at ararat.ucsc.edu> -Subject: Mead recipe Several people have been asking about mead recipes lately. Here is one I've used for years. Incidentally, the meads I like best are strong dessert wines, with take over 5lbs of honey per gallon of water. They take months to ferment and years to mature, but they're great for sipping. Mead (a fermented drink made from honey) Generic Recipe The basic ingredients of mead are honey, water, and yeast. The proportions of the honey and water determine the final strength and sweetness of the drink, also how long it takes to make. The ratio ranges from 1 lb. honey per gallon of water for a very light "soft-drink" to 5 lbs. per gallon for a sweet dessert wine. The less honey, the lighter the mead, and the quicker it can be made. I've successfully made a 1 lb/gallon mead in as little as three weeks, while my strongest mead (5 lb/gallon) was not bottled for six months, and could have stood another few months before bottling. Elizabethan recipes varied considerably in strength, but 3 or 4 pounds of honey per gallon was common. The mead I make is spiced, so is sometimes referred to as "metheglin." Elizabethan meads used large numbers of different spices and herbs, but not always in large quantities. Kenelm Digby, after giving the recipe obtained from "Master Webbe, who maketh the Kings Meathe," has this to say: The Proportion of Herbs and Spices is this; That there be so much as to drown the luscious sweetness of the Honey; but not so much as to taste of herbs or spice, when you drink the Meathe. But that the sweetness of the honey may kill their taste: And so the Meathe have a pleasant taste, but not of herbs, nor spice, nor honey. And therefore you put more or less according to the time you will drink it in. For a great deal will be mellowed away in a year, that would be ungratefully strong in three months. And the honey that will make it keep a year or two, will require a triple propotion of spice and herbs. [The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelm Digby Knight Opened, 1669] Here is a partial list of flavoring agents (mainly herbs and spices) mentioned for meads by Digby: agrimony, angelica root, avens, baulme leaves, bay leaves, bettony, blew-button, borrage, cinnamon, clove-gilly flowers, cloves, dock, eglantine, elecampane, eringo roots, fennel, fruit juice (cherries, raspes, Morrello cherries), ginger, harts-tongue, hopps, juniper berries, limon-pill, liver-worth, mace, minth, nutmeg, orris root, parsley roots, raisins, red sage, rosemary, saxifrage, scabious, sorrel, strawberry leaves, sweet marjoram, sweet-briar leaves, thyme, violet leaves, wild marjoram, wild sage, wild thyme, and winter savory. In my own brewing, I use mainly "sweet" spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg). The main herb I use is tea. Tea is an important addition to the mead. It provides tannic acid, to give the drink a bit of bite. It is particularly important for sweet meads, which can otherwise have a rather syrupy taste (like Mogen David wines). Any sort of tea will do--I've used genmai cha (a very light Japanese green tea), lapsang souchong (a smokey Chinese tea), China Rose (a black tea with rose petals), jasmine, oolong, and others. If you want to use Lipton's, that should work as well. I have not seen any period recipes that use tea in mead, but all my batches that omitted tea were not as good. I am more interested in producing good flavor that in strick authenticity, so continue to use tea. Other ingredients I use include small amounts of orange or lemon juice, fruit, cloves, and other spices. I've used bay leaves, cloves, rosemary, anise, and galingale, in addition to the spices listed above. Be careful not to over-spice the mead! It is probably safer to use less of fewer spices, until you've had some experience. As examples, here are the quantities for two of my mead batches: Batch: M4 Type: Quick Mead 3 gallons water 5 lbs honey (Wild Mountain) 1/3 cup jasmine tea 1/2 tsp ground ginger 2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground allspice 1/2 tsp ground cloves 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg ale yeast Started: 1 July 1979 Yeast added: 2 July 1979 skimmed: 12 July 1979 racked: 15 July 1979 bottled: 28 July 1979 yield: 3.1 gallons clarity: excellent sweetness: fairly sweet sediment: slight carbonation: variable (some popped corks) color: light gold An excellent batch - ------------------------------------------------------------ Batch: M7 Type: Sack Mead 3 gallons Water 16 lbs honey 1/4 cup keemun tea 1/4 cup oolong tea 2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp whole aniseseed 18 cardamum seed clusters crushed (about 1 tsp) 20 whole allspice slightly crushed (about 3/4 tsp) about 1 inch galingale root crushed (about 2 1/4 tsp) (Fining agent: 1 pkg unflavored gelatin in 1 cup of water) Started: 26 Dec 1981 Wine Yeast added: 27 Dec 1981 1 rack: 10 Jan 1982 (vat -> carboy) 2 rack: 31 Jan 1982 (carboy -> carboy) 3 rack: 30 April 1982 (carboy->carboy) gelatin added: 23 May 1982 bottled: 3 July 1982 Yield: 3.7 gallons Comments: sweet, smooth, potent. A dessert wine. This is perhaps the best of my 20 or more batches of mead. - ------------------------------------------------------------ I use tap water for brewing, but if your tap water has off-flavors, then you might want to get a bottle of clear spring water. Recently I've switched to filtered tap water, to remove some of the rather grassy flavor that our water gets in summer. The honey may be almost any cheap honey. Strongly flavored honeys (orange blossom, buckwheat, wild flower (in some areas)) generally work best. Clover honey works well, but very light honeys (like alfalfa) generally lack flavor. If making a true mead (without spices), the flavor of the honey is more important, and only strongly flavored honeys should be used. The yeast is important. Baking yeast is bred for fast carbon dioxide production, and is not at all suitable for brewing. Some home cider makers may be used to just letting the sweet cider stand a few days to ferment on its own. This technique relies on the wild yeasts present in the air, on the cider press, and on the skins of the apples. It doesn't work for mead. The wild yeasts result in off-flavors, which the honey is not strong enough to mask. For strong, still meads (3 lbs honey/gallon or more) I use a white wine yeast, while for a lighter beverage I use ale yeast. A beer yeast should work as well as an ale yeast, but I find top-fermenting ale yeasts more fun to work with. WARNING: the "brewer's yeast" sold in health-food stores is dead yeast, it will not be usable for brewing. The equipment you need is a large pot (I use a 20 quart canning pot), a 5 foot plastic tube to use as a siphon, and strong bottles. In addition, a 5 gallon water bottle with a stopper and fermentation lock is a very useful piece of equipment. Everything you use should be sterilized to prevent the growth of vinegar-forming bacteria. There are chemical sterilizing agents available from wine-making supply stores, but I prefer to sterilize everything in boling water. I'll mention sterilizing over and over. It is the single most important part of brewing mead rather than vinegar. If making a still, wine-type mead, any sort of bottle will do for the final bottling. However, this recipe is for a fizzy "ale-type" mead, so strong bottles are essential. Champagne bottles and returnable pop bottles are usable, disposable bottles of any sort are not. I once had an apple juice bottle explode in my room, embedding shrapnel in my pillow from 9 feet away. Don't make the same mistake--use strong bottles!! Steps to making the mead: 1. Boil the water, adding the tea and spices. 2. Remove water from heat and stir in honey. (Note, stirring implement should be sterilized!) Some mead brewers boil the honey in the water, skimming the scum as it forms. This removes some of the proteins from the honey, making it easier for the mead to clarify. However, I don't mind a bit of cloudiness, and prefer the taste of unboiled honey. If you are making a wine mead, you can avoid the cloudiness simply by waiting an extra month or two for the mead to clarify. If you're buying a clear honey from a supermarket, it may already have been cooked a bit to remove pollen and sugar crystals, in which case, a bit more cooking probably won't change the flavor much. Digby's recipes do call for boiling the honey. 3. Cover the boiled water, and set it aside to cool (to blood temperature or cooler). This usually takes a long time, so I overlap it with the next step. 4. Make a yeast starter solution by boiling a cup of water and a tablespoon of honey (or sugar). Let it cool to blood heat (or all the way to room temperature) and add the yeast. Cover it and let it ferment overnight. The yeast should form a "bloom" on the surface of the liquid. (Of course, the cooling and fermenting should be done in the pan or other sterilized vessel.) 5. Add the yeast starter to the cooled liquid. Cover and let ferment. After a few days, it is useful to siphon the mead into another container, leaving the sediment behind. Here's where the 5 gallon bottle comes in handy. A fermentation lock provides a way to close the bottle so carbon dioxide can get out, but vinegar-forming bacteria and oxygen cannot get in. Remember to sterilize the bottle and the siphon first! 6. Ferment for a few weeks in a warm, dry place. When a lot of sediment has collected on the bottom of the bottle, siphon off the liquid (without disturbing the sediment). This process is known as "racking," and helps produce a clear, sediment-free mead. Again, make sure all your equipment is sterilized. A wine mead may need to be racked three or four times before the final bottling. 7. For a fizzy mead, siphon into strong (sterilized) bottles a bit before fermentation stops. With the strength given here 4 weeks is about right. The exact time depends a lot on the temperature, the yeast, the honey, ... . I use plastic champagne corks to seal the bottles (sterilized, of course!). Crown caps are also good. Real corks should only be used for still beverages, since the amount of carbonation is unpredictable. Too much carbonation and you'll pop the corks, too little, and corks are hard to remove from champagne bottles. Don't wire on the corks, unless you're willing to risk an occasional broken champagne bottle. Still meads should not be bottled until fermentation has completely stopped. I generally wait until the fermentation has stopped, and the mead has cleared. This can take more than six months for a strong wine mead. 8. Age the mead in a cool place. Note: ferment warm, and age cool. I sometimes keep the champagne bottles upright in the cardboard box they came in. That way, if a cork pops, there is something to absorb the overflow, and if, despite my care, a bottle breaks, it won't set off a chain reaction. 9. Drink and Enjoy! The light quick meads should be served chilled (like beer), while the wine types are better at room temperature or only slightly chilled. Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #860, 04/09/92