HOMEBREW Digest #87 Sun 26 February 1989
FORUM ON BEER, HOMEBREWING, AND RELATED ISSUES
Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator
color, yeastiness (Dick Dunn)
brewing kettles, water pH, carboys ("1107-CD&I/VIRUS DISEASES")
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Date: 25 Feb 89 00:57:45 MST (Sat)
From: hplabs!utah-cs!cs.utexas.edu!raven!rcd (Dick Dunn)
Subject: color, yeastiness
Jay Hersh wrote, in response to a couple of my comments:
> 2) The wavelengths which destroy beer flavor are 400 - 520 nm. Ref.
> The Practical Brewers, Master Brewers Association of America, Madison, Wis.
Hah! We got 'em now, man! 400 nm (aka 4000 Angstrom) is deep violet, but
520 nm is in the middle of green--if you had to give "the" wavelength of
green light, you'd say either 520 or 530. Surely this suggests a guilty
verdict on green bottles, which obviously pass light at this wavelength.
Now I'm curious about brown bottle glass, though...green is visibly bad
magic if your beer is going to get much exposure to light...but what's the
transmission spectrum of brown glass? (What ah'm a gettin' at is, would
one of you kind folks who have access to the equipment please break a brown
bottle and stick a piece o' the glass in front of a spectrum laid on a
density wedge, take a picture and tell us what it looks like?)
> 3) I once again vociferously concur (oooh big words) ...
Don't try this at home or over an open beer mug.
> 4) Oh Contriare Dick. Yeast definitely does impart flavor into beer. Maybe
> you phrased it wrong...
Ha, sure, I was just checking to see if you were on the ball! Very good!
But in fact, although I knew perfectly well what I meant, the rest of you
might not have. What I was really getting at is this: There is a flavor
and aroma which we call "yeasty", and it can show up in beer, BUT it is not
the result of not having aged the beer enough. There are off flavors that
yeast can contribute..and there are good esters it contributes too...and
some of these change with time. But beer which is (a) properly made and
(b) very young still does not have any sort of "yeasty" character to it.
In other words, a "yeasty" character to beer is NOT the simple result of a
properly-made beer that's too young. I suspect Jay agrees with what I
would have said if I'd said anything like what I meant, since he's clearly
in the Fresh Beer camp.
[Oh Contriare? Au contraire!]
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Date: 25 Feb 89 10:25:00 EST
From: "1107-CD&I/VIRUS DISEASES" <henchal at wrair.ARPA>
Subject: brewing kettles, water pH, carboys
1. After I mentioned using a 30 qt brew kettle in my last
communication, I had several inquiries where I purchased this
Boiling kettle (ceramic on steel), 33 qt
$27.95 plus shipping
Great Fermentations of Santa Rosa
P.O. Box 428
Fulton, CA 95439
Advice Line 1-707 544-2520
Toll Free Order Line 1-800-544-1867
Mail orders and major credit cards accepted.
Great Fermentations is owned and operated by the award winning
combination of Byron Burch ( author of Brewing Quality Beers) and
Nancy Vineyard (she must know something about fermentations).
I use this kettle on an electric stove and have stopped burning
my wort as a result. I have also found that the wort is less
likely to boil over and does not require constant stirring as is
true with smaller kettles. It has been reported that hop oils
are more fully extracted with full wort boils, but I can't
confirm this. However, if you make the committment to full wort
boils you must also use a wort chiller otherwise it will take too
long before you can pitch your yeast.
2. To: Jeff Miller.
I admire your experiments with pH. It sounds to me that you
have pretty good water in your community judging from the pH
profile that you reported. I agree with you though, that this
experiment might be better performed in the presence of grain.
Any conclusions you make about your water in its absence might
fool you. Grain and other adjuncts will definitely affect the pH
profile of the mash. Extracted components also will have a
slight buffering affect on the pH. The pH will change slightly
as the mash proceeds. My guess is that you will need a small
amount of gypsum and depending upon the adjuncts and grains added
you might have to add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of citric acid (or sodium
With regard to glass carboys. The most common chemicals
shipped in them are industrial acids such as hydrochloric,
sulfuric acids, and nitric acids. Acid residues are easy to wash
out with a large quantity of water. I also recommend that these
carboys be rinsed out with a strong solution of sodium
bicarbonate (common baking powder). Other relatively safe
chemicals found in carboys are acetic acid and acetone. These
chemicals are also easily washed out. However, often mercuric
compounds or benzenes are also shipped in carboys. I would not
use any vessel used for these chemicals which can have long term
health effects. I can recommend the 7 (closer to 7.3 gal) gallon
carboys that Colonel John Canaday sells. Colonel John is an
editor for Zymurgy. He can be reached at 1-303-442-2789 (745 Pine
Street, Bouylder, CO 80302). He will ship carboys anywhere in
the United States for $11 plus shipping. The carboys are shipped
in large space capsule-like styrofoam containers. These syrofoam
shipping containers can then become part of a lauter-tun system.
I feel that I got two great brewing items for $11. Great deal.
ERIK A. HENCHAL, Ph.D.
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