## HOMEBREW Digest #874 Fri 01 May 1992

Digest #873 Digest #875

FORUM ON BEER, HOMEBREWING, AND RELATED ISSUES
Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

Contents:
re: Pepper experience (TSAMSEL)
Sterilizing Solutions (Steve Davis)
Extra Bottles                         Time:7:35 AM     Date:4/30/92
Dandelion wine (John Freeman)
First time kegging. (Kenneth Haney)
Non-animal-based finings (korz)
Homebrew Digest #873 (April 30, 1992) (Laura Conrad)
Re- Homebrew Digest Request ("Brett Lindenbach")
re:hops (Carl West)
re roasting peppers (Chip Hitchcock)
Brewery questions (Daniel Roman)
Fermentation lag time. (D.R.) Brown <DRBROWN at BNR.CA>
Iodophor ("Emily Breed")
BRFWARE from mthvax (chris campanelli)
books by de Clerk (chris campanelli)
BRFWARE from mthvax (chris campanelli)
CompuServe Beer Judge Study Guide (Edward C. Bronson)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1992 7:20:57 -0400 (EDT) From: TSAMSEL at ISDRES.ER.USGS.GOV Subject: re: Pepper experience Ah yes the lovely acrid fumes of roasting poblanos. If you have an industrial grade ventahood over the stove, the problem is minimal. Also a hand-held propane torch, tongs and gloves can be used to do the same thing. I usually use the bbq pit though. Any one ever try a Habanera or Scotch bonnet in an ale? Yowwee!! Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 92 09:13:49 GMT-0500 From: sdavis at laforge.ksc.nasa.gov (Steve Davis) Subject: Sterilizing Solutions Greetings... A local brew shop carries a bag of white crystalline powder that is simply labeled "Sterilizing Solution Mix". Supposedly, you just mix a few teaspoons per gallon of water, and you can sterilize anything instantly. We tried this stuff with our last batch, which has just passed the bottling stage. The wort tasted normal at this point, so there doesn't seem to be any contamination yet. Does anyone have any experience with this stuff, or know what it might be? We've been using bleach and water up until now, but that required soaking for a day or more for proper sterilization. Other than speed, what are the advantages/disadvantages of the two? Steve Davis Kennedy Space Center, FL sdavis at laforge.ksc.nasa.gov Return to table of contents
Date: 30 Apr 92 07:40:09 U From: "Rad Equipment" <rad_equipment at rad-mac1.ucsf.EDU> Subject: Extra Bottles Subject: Extra Bottles Time:7:35 AM Date:4/30/92 In HBD #873 Al writes: >I don't know exactly what happens to the extra bottles if >brewers send three instead of one to the first round. We drink 'em! 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: Thu, 30 Apr 92 10:06:26 CDT From: jlf at palm.cray.com (John Freeman) Subject: Dandelion wine > > Here is what we came up with: > > 4 gallons dandelions > 4 gallons water > 8 lemmons > 4 lb raisins > 10 lb sugar I would recommend using white grape juice instead of raisins. Just my two cents worth. Return to table of contents Date: Thu, 30 Apr 92 09:15:02 MDT From: haney at soul.ampex.com (Kenneth Haney) Subject: First time kegging. Hi all, Well it's me again with another question for the more experienced. I've got everything I need to start kegging in Cornelius kegs, and want to try carbonating with C02 instead of priming. How much pressure do I need to put on the keg and how long do I need to leave it on the keg? Once carbonated can I remove the C02 setup and let the keg set on it's own until I'm ready to tap it? How much pressure do I use to dispense the beer? If need be can I unhook everything and tap another keg before the first one is done? Well thanks in advance for any and all replies, I haven't had a chance to check into any of these things and want to keg the batch that is in the fermentor. By the way, don't discount garage sales and flea markets to pick up your kegging supplies. I got my C02 cylinder, three 5 gal. soda kegs, one 2.5 gal soda keg, regulator, lines and quick disconnects all for$19.75. This is why I want keg so bad and don't have any info on it, I couldn't pass up all great deals and would like to try it. Thanks again, Ken haney at ampex.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 92 11:16 CDT From: korz at ihlpl.att.com Subject: Non-animal-based finings Andy asks for non-animal-based finings. Polyclar is a trade name for a fining made from (I believe) polyethylene. It is to be used just like geletin or isinglass. Another alternative may be to use Irish Moss, which is made from a type of seaweed, and is added to the last 15 minutes of the boil. On the other hand, if your boil is good and long (at least an hour) and you let it clear in the keg for a two weeks (like I do), you shouldn't need finings. If you still get cloudy beer from your Pilsener, maybe your protein rest is at the wrong temperature or not long enough. Al. P.S. The AHA can be reached at 303-447-0816. They publish Zymurgy. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 92 12:23:54 EDT From: lconrad at wilko.Prime.COM (Laura Conrad) Subject: Homebrew Digest #873 (April 30, 1992) Jack Schmidling says: >> I think the whole thing is a conspiracy. It seems like dandelion wine is to >> wine what Bud is to beer. What I've always guessed is that it's like the nail soup. Obviously you can make wine by adding enough raisins and sugar. The dandelions probably don't have much to do with it. Laura Return to table of contents
Date: 30 Apr 1992 11:31:49 -0600 From: "Brett Lindenbach" <Brett_Lindenbach at qms1.life.uiuc.edu> Subject: Re- Homebrew Digest Request Mail*Link(r) SMTP Re: Homebrew Digest Request Microbiology for the Home: A Primer on Yeast Culturing by: Brett Lindenbach (brett_lindenbach.microbiology at qms1.life.uiuc.edu) After quaffing a good yeasty beer I thought to myself, "Why throw away the yeast that's stuck to the bottom of the bottle, especially when I have to pay four bucks for a Wyeast culture?" And so, with this do-it myself attitude, and some training in microbiology, I set out to construct my own library of yeast strains. Let me tell you how I did it. A WORD ON SANITATION First of all, to have success in manipulating microorganisms, you must have an appreciation of sterile technique. It is one thing to pitch an active culture into fresh wort, and quite another to revive a yeast that has been sitting happily in alcoholic dormancy for months: the chance for contamination are at least ten-fold. A good thing to bear in mind at all times is that microbes are everywhere: on your hands, in the air, your countertop, you name it. I am amazed at my roommate's brewing technique (he's an engineer). He will sanitize something by swishing it around in our bucket-o-bleach water, and promptly set it in the kitchen sink! So, when dealing with sanitary/sterile things it is important to work quickly, but to not get sloppy. Soak things in bleach water at least 5 minutes. Wipe down the area you in which you plan to work with a bleach based sanitizing solution. Contamination can be common until you are well practiced in sterile technique. If you have access to an autoclave, by all means, learn how to use it. If not, the next best methods are boiling all ingredients, which does not guard against spores but will suit most of a homebrewer's needs, and sanitizing all equipment with bleach solution. Also, it would not be a bad idea to check out a book on microbiological techniques (1,2) from your library for this all important concept MAKING MEDIA The next thing to do is to prepare some media to grow and keep the yeast on. I decided to use agar plates for storing my yeast. The advantages of this method are that it is easy; single colonies can be isolated, thus allowing you to "purify" yeast away from contaminating organisms; and that cultures can be kept for months in a refrigerator with a properly stored plate. To do this requires getting some pre-sterilized disposable plastic petri dishes (Fischer Scientific 711 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15219 ). The best buy is cat#08-757-14G, p.683 ($50/ case of 500). Also needed is some agar. The best is from Difco Laboratories ( P O Box 331058 Detroit, MI 48232 1-800-521-0851) and it is called Bacto-Agar. Start by buying 1/2#, which should run about$37. Also, we will need some DME, and a source of hop oil (any flavor). A good pot to use is one that has a handle, a tight fitting lid, and preferably a lip for pouring on the side. It should be big enough to avoid boil-overs, yet small enough for handling with one hand. Mine is 12 quarts. Start by boiling up 3 cups of water. Throw in a good amount of DME (up to 1 cup) or pure maltose, (if you can get it), stir to dissolve, and continue boiling for 15 min. Keep the lid on loosely, to allow steam to escape and "steam sanitize" the lid. Add 18 IBU's of hop oil. Use oil. We do not want to have to strain this mixture. The hops, as any casual reader of Papazian might know, is to act as a microbicide, thus helping to select for our hop-tolerant yeast. Then slowly add 1/2 teaspoon of agar, stirring constantly to avoid boiling over. Watch it carefully, and continue boiling for another 20 minutes. When done, remove from heat and put the lid on tightly. Allow to cool. Do not use a wort chiller, or similar device. Agar melts around the boiling point, and solidifies at around 50 degrees Celsius (your body temp is 37 C). While you are waiting, crack open a sleeve of plates. Take out 10 and put them on your freshly scrubbed-down counter in two piles of 5, with the lids on top. Do not take the lids off. When the pot is still very warm, but within handling temp., quickly flame the lip you plan to pour out of by passing it over your stove burner (for people with electric ranges, see below under "other equipment"). Now, with one hand tilt the lid, and the stack of plates above it, off the bottom plate. Pour the media in to fully cover the bottom of the plate, but only go about 1/2-3/4 of the way up the sides. Try not to mar the surface with bubbles. Replace the lid and stack of plates, and proceed to the next highest plate, etc. Let the plates sit undisturbed for 45 minutes to an hour. You will know the agar has solidified when the media color lightens to a buff, and the media stays when tilted. When you are sure the agar has solidified, turn the plates upside down, and store them that way to avoid dehydration, in a cool area, like a cupboard, away from air currents. If your plastic sleeve wrapper is empty, slide it back on the stack of plates before flipping, and seal with a twist tie. These can be stored for weeks at room temp., and longer if you wrap them and refrigerate. OTHER EQUIPMENT Other things you will need include a source of flame, for sterilizing. A gas stove does the trick for me. Also good is a small alcohol lamp. Do not use an oil lamp. A disposable lighter works in a pinch. We also need to construct a loop. This consists of a straight piece of wire, a little longer than a long neck bottle, with a handle on one end. The other end is twisted around into a circle, about 10 mm dia., to form a loop. A good handle would be one of those twist-to- clamp X-Acto knives, minus the blade. The more inert the loop material, the better. A good bacteriological platinum loop is probably out of the price range of most homebrewers. Try stainless or regular steel, about .5mm dia. Fischer (see above) also sells pre-sterilized, plastic, bad-for-the-environment loops for those so inclined. Also, a source of Parafilm, a wax-like wrapping paper for the lab, will be helpful in extending the life of your plates. Finally, find a good, dark spot in your house, preferably away from air currents, where the temperature is consistently around 30-37 C. This will be our makeshift incubator. I use this spot on our range above the pilot light, and keep a bowl over my plates to shield from air, light, and grease. Keep this area especially clean. MAKING A PLATE Okay, so we've made it this far, let's start to collect yeast. Take a bottle of beer with a good amount of yeast on the bottom. Allow it to settle in your fridge overnight. Carefully pop it open and slowly decant the brew. Set this aside. Be sure not to lose too much yeast pouring. It is best to leave that last bit of beer/yeast slurry in the bottle. Flame the lip of your bottle and the business end of your loop. Insert the loop into the bottle. If the loop is still hot, touch it to the inner bottom of the bottle, so as to dissipate the heat. Scrape up some yeast sediment or swish the loop in the yeast slurry to fill the loop. Taking care not to touch the loop to anything, withdraw your sample. Grab a plate and remove the lid. Pick up the plate and streak the loop back and forth across the plate. Do not press too hard, or you will ruin the agar surface. To get nice isolated colonies, confine your streaks to one region of the plate. Flame the loop, and poke it into a spot of the agar to cool. Pull the loop through the streaked region twice and streak in a new region. Repeat this dilution technique again. Replace the lid, and put this plate upside down in your incubation zone. With practice comes speed, which is important for avoiding contamination from airborne nasties. Within a few days you should see signs of growth. Yeast colonies should be round, white-to-brownish bumps on the surface, in the pattern you have streaked. Hopefully your plate will not sport any contaminants, which could look like almost anything. Contaminating wild yeasts are hard to discern, but usually look slightly different than what you have spread. Look carefully, but remember not to open up the plate. To store your plates, cut a small strip of Parafilm (1 cm x 5 cm), if you plan to use it. Holding it to the sides of your plate with a thumb, pull it around the lid/bottom edges of the plate, taffy-like, to seal the sides. Sanitize a Rubbermaid container, big enough to hold plates, and lid. Store the plates in your fridge. CHOOSING BEERS Not all commercial beer has yeast in it. When scouting for yeast in the liquor store, I hold the bottle up to the light and check for sediment. Also, beer yeast with high attenuation may be hard to revive. They may have literally drowned in their own alcoholic poop. Try as I might, I cannot seem to culture Old Peculier Ale or Duvel's Belgian yeasts. Other yeasts will have simply run out of food, and settled down for a nice nap in the bottom of our bottle. These are the ones we want. So, choose a beer without too much alcohol and a good amount of yeast. German lager yeasts come up nicely, as do Weiss yeasts (note: many Weissbiers use two yeasts, and you can see two discrete colony types). Ales can be had too: try Chimay. Why not start out with one of your own? This is a good way to keep a free culture of Wyeast on hand. Additionally, the re-use of a yeast culture (assuming good maintenance) will make a yeast your own. It will get used to your brewing methods by selecting for variants that grow well in with your setup. This is how all the different yeasts used in brewing came about in the thousands of years B.G. (before genetics). MAKING A STARTER Well, thats just great. We've got our yeast on this little plate of agar. But let's not forget our reason for doing all this: to make better beer. So, we need to make a starter for these critters, so we have something to pitch. Start by making the above recipe, but leave out the agar. When cool, aliquot into very sanitary beer bottles, about 1/4 volume and cap. Flame your loop and an open bottle of starter wort. Tap the loop on agar surface to cool, and scrape up a single colony. Swish it around in the starter to get the yeast in suspension. Cap the bottle with an airlock, and store in a nice warm place. The yeast should be ready to pitch within a few days. MAINTANING YEAST STOCKS The main reason a plate will go bad is a contaminating organism may appear. If so, pick a clean yeast colony with a sterile loop and streak onto a new plate. If you are safe from contaminants, plates will go bad from dehydration. When a stock plate shows signs of this, it is good to streak a fresh plate. FURTHER READING 1. "Manual of Methods for General Bacteriology." Gerhardt, et al. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC. 1981 2. "Microbiological Methods." C.H. Collins. Plenum Press, New York, NY 3. "Methods in Yeast Genetics" F. Sherman, et al. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 1979 DISCLAIMER I have written this to introduce homebrewers to some principles of microbiology. I make no claims about the use of this information, nor my expertise in this area. Additionally, I am aware of other methods of yeast culturing. I only describe what has worked for me. Please distribute this document freely. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 92 10:56:39 EDT From: eisen at kopf.HQ.Ileaf.COM (Carl West) Subject: re:hops >...3 lines, with 2 shoots on each... One author on the subject (name forgotten, article not at hand) says let 'em grow, I get a fine harvest that way' (paraphrase) but goes on to admit that he has never tried culling the shoots, so he wouldn't know if it's better to do so. Other authors recommend culling. One suggestion I like is letting three go, when they're a third of the way up the support, let three more go, repeat. I plan to try this. >...making a plant split into 2 main branches by snipping off the top... The plant won't necessarily split at the snip point', but snipping will encourage side branches to grow. Carl WISL,BM. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 92 11:41:14 EDT From: cjh at diaspar.HQ.Ileaf.COM (Chip Hitchcock) Subject: re roasting peppers In A BOWL OF RED (one of the earliest books devoted to chili worship) Frank Tolbert says to roast peppers \in the oven/; moving anything from oven to stove-top is a good way to overdo unless you have a \lot/ of experience cooking things gently (e.g., can you do a \white/ white sauce, or a welsh rarebit, on a burner instead of a double boiler?). Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 92 12:18:20 EDT From: tix!roman at uunet.UU.NET (Daniel Roman) Subject: Brewery questions Part of my vacation this year will be taking me to the Green Bay/Milwakee area. I unfortunitely can't make it to the conference, timing just wasn't right but I would like to know if there are any breweries (micro or otherwise) that are worth a visit. Anybody know where in Pittsburgh the Pittsburgh Brewing Co. is? I'll be stopping there and heard that they make a few high quality custom brews. Do they have tours? - -- ______________________________________________________________________ Dan Roman | /// Internet: roman_d at timeplex.com Timeplex Inc. | \\\/// GEnie: D.ROMAN1 Woodcliff Lake, NJ | \XX/ Only AMIGA! Homebrew is better brew. ====================================================================== Return to table of contents
Date: 30 Apr 92 14:10:00 EDT From: David (D.R.) Brown <DRBROWN at BNR.CA> Subject: Fermentation lag time. I brewed an all-grain IPA last weekend using "British Ale" Wyeast (1098), After bursting the inner pouch, the Wyeast packet expanded before I was ready to use it. I tried to buy some time by pitching the contents into a 1/2 gal, 1.020 SG starter of corn sugar and water. Two days later I was ready to pitch the starter, but its SG had only reduced by a couple of points. I pitched anyway but after three days there was no sign of fermentation. A lag time of three days seemed a bit excessive, so I decided to dump in a package of dried yeast. Now the fermentation is in full swing. I now realize that the starter should have been made with malt extract, NOT sugar. Still, why did the yeast lose its spunk after it hit the sugar water? Did I induce the dreaded Crabtree effect in my starter culture? If so, why didn't the yeast recover after three days in the wort? Even though I used a wort chiller, a considerable amount (~1/2") of material precipitated out after the yeast was pitched. Is it also possible that falling trub took some yeast out of suspension, burying it in the bottom of the carboy? It seems to me that this would contribute to the lag time. Any thoughts or suggestions? - Dave Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 92 12:27:25 PDT From: "Emily Breed" <embreed at vnet.ibm.com> Subject: Iodophor My brewpartner and I have been using an iodine-based sanitizing product that we bought at Great Fermentations of Santa Rosa - I'm not sure if it's Iodophor or not. The proportions that were recommended on the bottle are 3 T iodine solution to 5 gallons water. So far, we haven't had any problems with infection, and I'm *delighted* not to finish a brewing session with little bleach spots all over my clothes! :-) (It also works great to kill unwanted greenery in the garden....) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 92 15:32 CDT From: akcs.chrisc at vpnet.chi.il.us (chris campanelli) Subject: BRFWARE from mthvax Anyone trying to download BRFWARE.EXE or BRFWARE.EXE.UUE from mthvax MUST specify "BIN" for binary transfer. chris campanelli Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 92 15:29 CDT From: akcs.chrisc at vpnet.chi.il.us (chris campanelli) Subject: books by de Clerk Does anyone know where I might find any de Clerk books for purchase? chris campanelli Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 92 16:18 CDT From: akcs.chrisc at vpnet.chi.il.us (chris campanelli) Subject: BRFWARE from mthvax For those of you out there (and you know who you are) who are running into problems trying to run BRFWARE.EXE or BRFWARE.EXE.UUE and you got your copy from netlib at mthvax, here are some helpful hints. Please make sure you specify "BIN" for binary transfer. If you don't and you try to run the copy you will experience problems. Also, the software will not run in a "stacked platform" environment. Why? I dunno. You would be better off asking the people at Microsoft although I don't recommend it as their "help" line is \$2.00 per minute. If you continue to have problems after all this, please contact me as I would like to hear about it. chris campanelli Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 92 18:29:05 -0500 From: bronson at ecn.purdue.edu (Edward C. Bronson) Subject: CompuServe Beer Judge Study Guide I am looking for study guides relating to the AHA Beer Judge Certification Program. The AHA's guide is being updated and is currently out of print. There is at least one guide available from the CompuServe Beer Forum. I do not have access to CompuServe right now but I understand that the file is called JUDGE.BRU and is most likely in Area 14 (LIB 14). The Beer Forum operates as a part of CompuServe's Bacchus Wine Forum (WINEFORUM). Any assistance in getting this file (or other study guides) and/or comments about the AHA Beer Judge Test would be very much appreciated. Thanks and good brewing! Ed Bronson h: (317)742-8206 w: (317)494-4988 Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #874, 05/01/92