HOMEBREW Digest #910 Thu 25 June 1992

Digest #909 Digest #911

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  re: English Bitters--Brewing Beers like Young's they make (John Hartman)
  Need 906 and 907. ("DRCV06::GRAHAM")
  English Bitter (Andy Phillips)
  Re: CAMRA _Good Beer Guide_ availability (James Paschetto)
  Hops, Aeration (Ron Karwoski)
  Lag Time (Tom Riddle)
  Homebrew Digest #909 (June 24, 1992) (Bob_Konigsberg)
  Brazilian beers (Ed Westemeier)
  The New England Beer Club (Bob Gorman)
  sdf (korz)
  Pubs in Brussels, Belgium (GORDONSE)
  Re: Pearled Barley (Larry Barello)
  August Schell Pilsner & Export (Terry Peterson)
  FWD: American Classic DME (Donald P Perley)
  mash/lauter-tuns; cylindrical or rectangular? (lrj)
  hops bugs, copper&vinegar (Russ Gelinas)
  Chillers, extract beers, & hopbacks (Kinney Baughman)
  Re: Rocky Raccoon Ale (Kevin V Martin)
  Traquair house ale from Micah Millspaw (BOB JONES)
  Bad Taste... (100)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 23 Jun 92 11:50:53 PDT From: hartman at varian.varian.com (John Hartman) Subject: re: English Bitters--Brewing Beers like Young's they make This recent discussion prompts to give further details of my trip. I spoke at length with two of the five brewers at Young's Brewery in London. They definitely qualify as "lupulophobic". I describe what I learned about their ales below... They make a number of cask ales, some bottled ales, and a couple of lagers. My focus was on their ales and does not apply to their lagers. In particular I was interested in Young's Special cask-conditioned ale. As this information was given to me in the tasting room after the tour, my focus did eventually become blurred and my arm did eventually become tired. While tasting you see, I was forced to fill my own pints via hand pump;-) Also I didn't want to pry (I just wanted to know everything:-)). Consequently, the information I do have is incomplete and not well organized--sorry. On the other the hand, what I did learn came straight from the brewers, who were very enthusiastic and forthcoming, so I assume it's accurate. If I wasn't sure about what I remembered I have noted so in parentheses... All of their grists are "approximately the same". They use "only the finest ingredients they can find". The variety of malt is Maris-Otter. I have a small sample of crystal that appears to be about 20 or 40 lovibond. Some flaked barley is also used for head retention. A certain amount of brewing sugar is used. I don't know how much nor in which beers. Contrary to what is printed in the "The Real Ale Drinker's Almanac", Young's does not use torrefied wheat in any of their brewing. In general I was disappointed with the accuracy of the information found in the almanac. Let the brewer beware that the ingredients they list have little in common with what in reality Young's uses. Oh well. Young's Special draught should not be confused with the bottled Special London Ale sold here in the US. The draught bitter has an OG of ~ 36, draught special has an OG of ~ 46, and the bottled Special London Ale is ~ 66 OG. I don't know what IBU levels are used for the beers, but they do use a single addition of Fuggles in the kettle at the beginning of the boil. And now we come to the issue of finish hops. The draught bitter is (I believe) dry-hopped with (I believe) East Kent Goldings. The bottled Special London Ale is dry-hopped with East Kent Goldings. The draught special is dry-hopped with the Target variety in plug form. The box called them pellets, but they were in fact 1/2 oz. plugs as we know them here in the states. For each 36 Imperial Gal cask (43 US Gal.) they use a mere 2 oz. of Target! I was embarassed to tell them how much I use and for a brief moment considered prevarication (lying, that is). When I told them that I usaully use about 1 to 2 oz. pe! r 5 US Gal., there was no uncerta Young's only started dry-hopping about two years ago. The owner and most of the brewers were not interested in trying it, but once they had, they decided to make the change. I suspect the economy of dry-hopping, i.e., more aroma at less cost, played a part in that decision. Their beers ferment in open primaries for seven days. They are then transferred to secondary for seven more days. Then the beer is placed in SS casks. It is at this point the beer is dry-hopped and fined with Isinglass powder. In a few days the draught is drayed (delivered by horse-drawn cart) to their local tied houses. Finally after a few more days in the pub cellar it's served to the many patrons who happily slake their thirst. The beers are never primed or krausened. Their yeast strain is a slow finisher which allows them to develop a light level of carbonation in the cask without priming. I have since tried this and it works quite well. Also it makes brewing that much easier since I don't have to mess with gyle or corn sugar. They do have a kegging and bottling operation which (I believe) force-carbonates those products. I asked for an opinion on our weighty matter of whether to skim the krausen or use a blow-off tube vs. not skimming. They don't skim per se! , but do employ some technique wh I hadn't heard of Target, so I enquired. The Target variety is a decendant of EKG. It is a 10-12% hi-alpha, hi-aroma version that I do not believe is available here. I have since called Dave Wills of Freshops to see if he carries them. He said this year he ordered 100lbs of imported EKG and sold them quickly even though he didn't advertize their availability. He plans on ordering more and so I told him to consider the Target variety. He will, depending on the interest level. If you would like to use this hop as well perhaps you might call Dave an express you interest. Freshops' number is 1-503-929-2736. I have no affliation with Freshops other than buying lots o' hops from them. If you know where one may obtain Target here, let me know. As an aside which has nothing to do with how they brew their beers, the owner related to me that several years ago when Fritz Maytag was reviving the Anchor Brewery here in SF he visited Young's for two weeks. He took back with him recipes and knowledge gained at the Young's brewerery. So maybe I'm on the right track... That is all. Cheers, John hartman at varian.varian.com Return to table of contents
Date: 24 Jun 92 09:33:00 EDT From: "DRCV06::GRAHAM" <graham%drcv06.decnet at drcvax.af.mil> Subject: Need 906 and 907. My net connection seems to have taken a vacation for issues 906 and 907. Could some very kind and understanding soul slip those to me? Thank you muchly. Dan Graham Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 92 14:34 GMT From: Andy Phillips <PHILLIPSA at LARS.AFRC.AC.UK> Subject: English Bitter While it is true that the term "bitter" in England covers a wide range of beers, I do think that as a homebrewer (as opposed to a surveyor of commercial brews) it is possible to define a narrower range which could be defined as your basic "best bitter". This basic recipe can then be supplemented/substituted with different malts, mashing techniques, hops etc to produce the whole spectrum of bitters found across the UK. I'm currently in the middle of testing empirically the effect of these additions of the basic recipe to gauge the effect on the final beer. My basic recipe for 5 (UK) galls (22.5 litres; 6.25 US galls?) consists of (from memory): 7-8 lbs crushed pale malt 0.5 lb crushed crystal malt mashed in 3 galls boiled water (+ 1 tsp CaSO4) 66C for 3hrs (or overnight) Sparged to 4.5 galls Boiled 1.5 hrs with 1 tsp Irish Moss 3oz Goldings for 60 min 0.5oz " " 10min 0.5oz " " soaked at end of boil Cooled with immersion chiller, racked and aerated: OG 42-48 Pitched with Edme yeast (starter from dried yeast) Racked into secondary after 4 days (SG=20) Fine if neccesary (gelatin or Polyclar) Dry-hopped with 0.25oz Goldings in secondary. Barrelled after 2 weeks, primed with 3oz malt extract. This comes out tasting something like draught Bass, or Fuller's London Pride. To this recipe I add adjunts such as amber malt, chocolate malt, roast barley, Fuggles instead of Goldings, etc etc to yield what looks and tastes a very different beer, but has 90-95% identical ingredients. For example, my last batch was a (misconceived) attempt to brew Theakston's Old Peculier. I thought I detected some wheat malt in the commercial brew, so my recipe was changed to: 7lb pale malt 2lb wheat malt 4oz chocolate malt (for the reddish hue!) 4oz roast barley 4 oz Fuggles hops, timings as above Treacle to prime (= Molasses) The result: a good beer, with a deep malty taste, a dense, lasting head and a wonderful reddish-black colour - but otherwise totally unlike OP. So - back to the drawing board... P.S. My last batch of "basic bitter" was an accidental experiment in altered mashing conditions: I let the temperature rise to 75C in the first 30 minutes, so although I got a good conversion, a lot of this was unfermentable (due to excessive destruction of the beta amylase, which produces maltose from dextrins). So the starting gravity was 1.048, but finished at 1.020. As Conn Copas noted in HBD 909, it is thus possible to produce a relatively low alcohol beer which doesn't taste too weak. In fact, it's rather good, IMHO..... Andy Phillips Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 92 10:00:43 -0400 From: jp07 at gte.com (James Paschetto) Subject: Re: CAMRA _Good Beer Guide_ availability In HBD #908, Philip Seitz asked about availability of CAMRA's _Good Beer Guide_ in the US. I recently bought a book titled _The Best Pubs of Great Britain, 1987-88_ from a mail-order house. I don't have the book in front of me to check, but it appears to be a re-publication of the CAMRA guide under a "generic" name--CAMRA is mentioned throughout, the association is explained, and there is a CAMRA membership form in the back. The first half of the book talks about beer in general and details Britain's breweries and their products. The back half lists the "real ale" pubs by county and town, with brief descriptions. There are also pages of maps showing the pub locations. (Does this sound like the CAMRA guide, Philip?) I got it from: Edward Hamilton, Bookseller Falls Church, CT 06031-5000 (There's no phone #, I guess it's mail only.) It's order #765317, _The Best Pubs of Great Britain_; $1.95 + $3.00 (shipping). (I should say that I have no affiliation with this guy; it's just where I bought the book.) NOTE: This is the 1987-88 guide. It's NOT the most recent! Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 92 09:09:56 CDT From: rak at mayo.EDU (Ron Karwoski) Subject: Hops, Aeration Greetings! My hops have a couple of problems. I have only two plant growing and I fear I may have lost them for the year. The tops of both plants have been lost. On one, a few days of wicked storms weakened the plant where it latched on to the twine I have hanging from a tree. I'll make the twine tighter. I noticed the second top (just the top inch) was missing about a week later and closer inspection revealed an army of ANTS! marching up and down the twine. My question: Will these tops come back and the plants resume climbing or are they stuck for the year? How do I get rid of the ANTS!? Soap? On another note, I too have wondered about wort chillers for extract or partial mash batches. I know aeration of hot wort is a problem. My method is to put the strainer into the pot after boiling and then siphon the hot wort into the cold water in the carboy. I then top off the carboy by sparging cold water through the hops left in the pot. I know cold water sparging doesn't get me much, but are there any other problems with this method? On my first partial mash last week there was a tremendous cold break. One other note. I'll be in London in late August for a week, staying in the West End. Any pub or beer suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Ron Karwoski rak at mayo.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 92 10:15:50 -0400 From: tom at eng.umd.edu (Tom Riddle) Subject: Lag Time In HBD #909 Greg Winters writes: >I just pitch in a quart or so of wyeast starter. I get great >results with only 2-3 hours lag time 2 - 3 HOURS ??!! My technique is similar, but the shortest lag time I've had from a Wyeast starter is ~18hrs. Maybe my starter is too small, usually ~12oz, or maybe we measure lag time differently. Could you explain in more detail your procedure for preparing a starter ? Tom Riddle tom at eng.umd.edu PS. I tried mailing this directly to Greg, but it bounced. If he could reply directly to me we can keep this off line unless others are interested. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 92 08:05 PDT From: Bob_Konigsberg at 3mail.3com.com Subject: Homebrew Digest #909 (June 24, 1992) I've been using an immersion chiller for a while now, and I don't feel that they're too hard to clean. Prior to use, I run hot tap water (~180 F) through it from the tap for about a minute (full 60 seconds) after it's hot at the far end at a fairly high flow rate. Then I fill it (with a funnel) with a Chlorinated TSP solution, and let it sit in there for about 30 minutes. Then the hot water rinse is repeated again for another full minute. The chiller is then stored with the copper tube left full of water. I always check the first rinse water out of the tubing (smell, then taste) prior to the full first hot water rinse, and I've found no problems with it. A friend goes a little further and uses live steam from a pressure cooker to really sterilize the inside of the copper tubing. He's had no problems either. On the rubber hose surrounding the tubing, I recommend the use of a hot- water rated hose. I've made up a diagram and condensed instructions for a friend or two for making one of these, and since it's done, anybody who wants a copy can send me a self-addressed stamped envelope, and I'll send it back out with a copy of the instructions. Only 1 stamp, since it's only 1 page. Send the envelope to: Bob Konigsberg 418 San Benito Ave. Los Gatos, CA 95030-9305 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 92 09:39:38 EDT From: homebrew at tso.uc.EDU (Ed Westemeier) Subject: Brazilian beers Russ Gelinas writes: >had a Cerpa pilsner from Brazil. Came in a colorful can. >It's an eastern European style pilsner, very >similar in flavor/aroma/color to Budvar, >or maybe even the Czech version of Pilsner Urquell. >A nice beer. >I was told that the "generic" beer in Brazil is >better than generic US Budmiloors. Oddly, >Xingu lager was not to be found, and the locals >had not even heard of it. Having lived in Brazil 83-87, I can vouch for the fact that the average Brazilian beer is far better than the average US beer. More flavor (both malt and hop) and generally more character. My personal favorite is Antarctica (comes in big 0.6 liter bottles). Other favorites were Cerpa and, of course, Xingu. Brahma, although one of the biggest sellers in the world, is generally no better than Miller. By the way, I find a lot of confusion in this country about the pronunciation of Xingu. ItUs the name of an Indian tribe, also a major river, and the proper way to say it is: sheen-GOO. One funny quirk of Brazilians is that they will usually order whatever beer is coldest (Jackson comments on this). They recognize that itUs silly, but still often ask for their beer Restupidamente geladaS (stupidly cold). Be aware that the Brazilian beer exported in cans is NOT the same as what they drink there in bottles. It doesnUt travel well at all. The fact that you can often get a good can of Brazilian beer here in the US is an indication of just how good it is down there, fresh in the bottle! - -- Ed Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1992 12:26:57 EDT From: bob at rsi.com (Bob Gorman) Subject: The New England Beer Club Hi All, It's been a while since the NEBC list started so I thought I would do a repost for any new HBD members: PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT I would like to publicly announce the creation of a new electronic mailing list. This new list was created for the promotion of beer related activities in the North East. This is not a competitive list to the _Home_Brew_Digest_ and is not for direct discussions of homebrewing issues. The charter of this list is to promote homebrew clubs, homebrew competitions, tasting, picnics, pub crawls, brewpubs, breweries, homebrew suppliers and any other organization, news or activity related to beer in the New England area. So it is with great pleasure that I announce: THE NEW ENGLAND BEER CLUB This list is an un-moderated public forum and may be joined by anyone (except Jack Schmidling). It is currently distributed in digest format twice daily. To subscribe: beer-request@ rsi.com -or- uunet!semantic!beer-request To post: beer at rsi.com -or- uunet!semantic!beer On subscription please include your Full Name and Email Address in the message text. Brought to you by: The Wort Processors Boston's Oldest Brewing Club Cheers, -- Bob Gorman bob at rsi.com uunet!semantic!bob -- Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 92 11:53 CDT From: korz at iepubj.att.com Subject: sdf Dr. John writes: >perpetrators will be a boon to dealing with them. You can knock back many >types of soft-bodied critters (such as aphids) pretty handily with a soap >spray. If memory serves, and I'm not sure it does exactly, a 1% solution >is adequate. You can go to the trouble of buying one of the horticultural >products (i.e. Safers) but plain old Ivory Liquid dish soap will do the job. Last year I tried Safer(tm) for the first half of the season and Diazinon for the second. Whatever was eating my hop leaves last year was not affected by either. This year I used Sevin and although I have some holes in many of the leaves, the plants are healthy and happy. Given that I'm about 25 miles (as the ladybug flies) from John the HopDevil, I suspect we may have similar problems. I brought sample leaves with me to the Conference and had some experts (like Vern) look at them, who immediately said: APHIDS. Unless I wasn't using enough Safer and the Diazinon was too late, I would tend to stick to the Sevin. I tried to find ladybugs in all the stores around, but could not find any. If anyone in the Chicago area knows of a store that has ladybugs for sale (or for that matter, anyone who knows of a store that will ship), please send me email. Steve writes: >I'm an extract brewer (with occasional specialty grains), on my 16th >batch in about 1 year. Will a wort chiller help my brew? >My current procedure is to boil only about 2 gallons of wort (from >extract/H20), adding hops/grains as necessary, and then dumping this >into the fermenter with 2-3 gallons of cold H20. The temperature drops >from boiling to pitching temperature instantly, and I can pitch right >away. There's no "cold break" that I can notice with this method; >I imagine the trub eventually precipitates out into the primary >yeast cake. Yes it will. You've already mentioned that you don't get a cold break. Some of what would be cold break does precipitate out, some just throws a haze when you chill your beer (heard of "cold-filtered?"). Chuck writes: > 1. Aeration of wort. Why should I do it and how. Yeast first goes through respiration then begins fermentation. During respiration, it takes up oxygen it uses later. This oxygen is necessary for good yeast health. Oxygen-deficient yeast can lead to stuck fermentations, low alcohol tolerance and (correct me if I'm wrong, someone) increased diacetyl production (or is it decreased diacetyl reduction?). Aeration should be done on the wort after it has cooled below 80F so that oxidation is reduced. I simply cool with an immersion chiller (I used to do partial boils and then chill with boiled cooled icewater in the kettle) and then pour from a great height (12 - 18 inches) into a funnel in the top of the glass carboy to aerate. > 2. Does anyone have any experience or opinion about the malt extracts > from North Western. Yes. They are tasty and don't produce too much hot break, but are pretty high in dextrins and unfermentable sugars which means you will tend to get higher FG, sweeter beers (how sweet, depends on how attenuative your yeast is -- I use primarily Wyeast #1028 and #1056 and occasionally #1084, Belgian Ale and Bavarian Lager (I forget the #'s). I've found that #1056 and #1028 are on the less-attenuative side as are the Belgian and Bavarian. I've found #1084 to be more attenuative than most.). Al. Return to table of contents
Date: 24 Jun 1992 13:11:59 -0400 (EDT) From: GORDONSE at iris.uncg.edu Subject: Pubs in Brussels, Belgium I'm going to a conference in Brussels, Belgium in July and would be interested knowing about pubs which have good brew (and good food and good music). Thanks for any help you can give. Sharon Gordon GORDONSE at UNCG.BITNET GORDONSE at IRIS.UNCG.EDU Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 92 10:04:53 PDT From: polstra!larryba at uunet.UU.NET (Larry Barello) Subject: Re: Pearled Barley Chris Estes writes: >... >If this is just regular barley I've used it with neutral results. I was >struck by the same thought while wandering through the grocery store and >picked up a 2 lb bag of the stuff. I've used as much as a 1/2 lb in my >brews; I'm not sure if it added or detracted very much. I generally >grind it in my trusty coffee grinder and add like a specialty malt. > >My feeling on this is that I'm not doing it exactly right. I'm an extract Pearled barley is not cooked. Like steel cut oats, you need to cook it first to gelatinize the starch (i.e. make it soluble in water so the mash enzymes can get to it). Rolled or Flaked barley or oats are already pre-cooked by the rolling process and can be added to a mash as is. Extract brews won't get any appreciable fermentables from any of these products unless there are enzymes present (DME). There are other things that extract and grain brewers will get from plain grains. Beta-glucans are one of them. I believe Beta-glucans will add to wort viscosity. I have used 8oz of rolled barley in light lagers using single step infusion mashing with no appearent chill haze. I have used 2lb of rolled barley and roast barley in a stout and it cleared just fine (hard to tell, of course). The use of rolled barley or oats is kind of a "head" insurance. Cheers! - Larry Barello Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 92 12:59:15 -0600 From: terrype at itx.isc.com (Terry Peterson) Subject: August Schell Pilsner & Export You might think a brewery that's been around since the 1800's would have enough confidence in their product to leave the recipe alone, but as Jeff Frane discusses in #909: >When the AS Pilsner appeared at the Oregon Brewers Festival on >draught about 3 years ago, it blew me away: an extraordinarily hoppy >beer and my favorite from the festival. But the bottle version is >considerably more timid; the local distributor, in fact, is convinced >that AS is bottling their real pilsner as their Export and the Export in >the Pilsner bottles. My brewing partner and I USED to drink lots of AS Pilsner. In fact, it was our favorite pilsner beer. The bottled version definitely favored malt over hops, but had enough hops to make it a terriffic pilsner beer. Unfortunately, our distribution channels began receiving twist off bottles of non-bottle conditioned beer (of some sort) with a new label. I agree with Jeff's distributor at least enough to say that the new "Pils" is NOT the same beer we used to drink. I've also had the Export and, although it's better than the Pils, I don't like it as well as their previous product. The Export tastes like an ale to me and so I can't believe it is their pilsner in disguise. I'm sad to say I can't support the old brewery any more. If they'd at least continued bottle conditioning their beer the yeast would have had some value, assuming they didn't change that too. I've been meaning to write AS a letter, but haven't done it yet. I wonder if they'd give me some hints so I could try to recreate their older pilsner recipe? Terry Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 92 14:18:10 EDT From: perley at easygoer.crd.ge.com (Donald P Perley) Subject: FWD: American Classic DME > ...Our stuff is excellent, blah blah blah ... "and the worts are >concentrated using the most technologically advanced, high vacuum >distillation process, assuring you" blah, blah, blah ... > > .... > >Has anybody got any theories as to what effects (and why) this >high-vac distillation will have on the body and clarity of the >finished beer? Anybody tried this stuff? It's not just American >Eagle under a different name, is it? I think that MOST malt extracts are concentrated by boiling under a vacuum. Any that are called "DME" (diastatic malt extract) have to be so they can lower the boiling point to a temperature which won't destroy the enzymes. As to the value of reduced trub.. even neglecting any taste effects, you at least end up with more beer. -don perley Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 92 14:57:02 -0400 From: lrj at helios.TN.CORNELL.EDU Subject: mash/lauter-tuns; cylindrical or rectangular? It's time to have a go at doing all-grain beers. The one item I still need to come up with is something for mashing and sparging. I currently plan to brew in 5 gallon batches, and will probably stay with that for now. I've gone through a lot of HBD back issues, but couldn't find any concrete information. I think that my best investment for the moment would be to purchase either a 5 gallon cylindrical cooler or a rectangular picnic cooler (~54 qt.). Each would appear to have its advantages and disadvantages. A 5 gal. cylindrical cooler would cost approximately $30. I could build a slotted-pipe setup, or use some sort of vegtable steamer or collander. The advantage is that I would have a deeper grain bed while sparging; the disadvantage is that I would be more limited on how much grain I could use. What do people find is the limit on the amount of grain in these? The cheaper route seems like the 48 or 54 qt. rectangular cooler, as they're available for around $20 or so right now. I would put together some sort of forked, slotted-pipe arrangement with this system. Advantage: no problems with running into space limitations if I want to brew a stronger brew. The apparent disadvantage is that I'd have a lower extraction efficiency, especially with smaller quantities of grains. I'd appreciate suggestions from people on which would be a better investment and why. Thanks! - -- Lew Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1992 16:27:58 -0400 (EDT) From: R_GELINAS at UNHH.UNH.EDU (Russ Gelinas) Subject: hops bugs, copper&vinegar Those bugs that are eating John Hop-devil's hops are likely to be Japanese Beetles. They can devastate your plants. I use a Rotenone spray (you know, mix the stuff up with water, attach the dispenser to your garden hose, and spray the plants enough so there is some white residue when it dries). It's helped keep them away, but still some of the plant gets eaten. I think the Bag-A-Bug things attract beetles as much as they catch them. I haven't used one this year, and there are a lot less beetles. It could be the cool weather, though. It's also a good idea to kill any of the beetles you see. Early morning and at night are good times because they're slower. Last year the beetles here in NH mostly went away after about a month, about the middle of July, so it's only an early summer pestilence. If they get really bad, I might cover my plants in bird netting (the kind used on fruit trees) until the JB season passes. Mike Z. with the oily counterflow chiller: Run a vinegar/water solution through the copper to clean it. It worked *really* well on my immersion version. Russ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1992 16:55 EDT From: Kinney Baughman <BAUGHMANKR at CONRAD.APPSTATE.EDU> Subject: Chillers, extract beers, & hopbacks >Kinney Baughman <BAUGHMANKR at CONRAD.APPSTATE.EDU> writes in the HBD: >> >> But whatever the case, use one or the other. Wort-chillers are >> essential to any homebrewery. >I'm an extract brewer (with occasional specialty grains), on my 16th >batch in about 1 year. Will a wort chiller help my brew? >My current procedure is to boil only about 2 gallons of wort (from >extract/H20), adding hops/grains as necessary, and then dumping this >into the fermenter with 2-3 gallons of cold H20. If this is what you're doing then no, they aren't essential. But this does bring up the issue of whether or not one should boil just 2 gallons of wort and dump it into 3 gallons of cold water. Sure it works. But I think conventional wisdom is that you're more likely to brew a better extract beer by reconstituting the wort, that is, by bringing the wort back up to 5 gallons. By reconstituting the wort you're beginning to treat the extract more like grain-sparged wort. Following Fred Eckhardt here, extract beers are already a "cheat", if you will. In order to approach the quality of scratch beer, one should treat extract beers, as much as possible, as if they were scratch beers. Therefore one should attempt to (1) reconstitute the wort, (2) use fresh hops, and (3) use at least some specialty grains, especially crystal malt. Because of these concerns, I recommend that beginning brewers get a 6 or 7 gallon boiling pot as soon as possible. When deciding on recipes, don't get bent out of shape trying to find a can of Northern Nowhere Amber Malt Extract. Cue in on the fact that you need amber malt extract and make your own. Amber malt is just pale malt with some crystal malt added to it. If you buy only pale malt extract, you can make your own amber or dark extract with ease. Here are some rules of thumb. Adjust quantities according to taste. Assume 5 gallons of beer. Amber Malt 1-2 cups of crystal malt. 2 cups will add a significant sweetness to the beer. You will barely be able to taste 1 cup but you WILL taste it. Dark Malt At least 1 cup of crystal and 1/2 to 1 cup chocolate malt for a decently strong chocolate/bock tasting beer. More chocolate and crystal for porter-ish dark beer. My other advice is to skip extract recipes altogether and look at the all-grain ones, substituting 2 cans of pale malt extract for 8-10 pounds of pale malt and adding specialty grains as recommended in the recipe. Treat the specialty grains as follows: Grind the grains and place them in a mesh bag and throw them into the boiler as the water comes to a boil. Lift and plunge the grains into the boiler water as often as you wish to simulate a sparging action. When the water reaches 170 or 180 degrees F., toss the grains. When the water comes to boil, cut off the heat source, add the pale malt extract, stir into solution, then resume heating. As the wort comes to a boil a fine, creamy head will form on the surface of the wort. Skim this creamy head and you'll never suffer from boil-over again. The head is composed mostly of proteins that will later form a big protein bubble when steam escapes from the liquid at the onset of the boil. The dreaded boilover!! Haven't you noticed how boilover only occurs in the split second between the last time you looked at your non-boiling wort and the horrified realization that it's already started boiling?! And, of course, hop as advised with fresh hops, plugs or pellets. Assuming this is the way you make extract beers then (and now we're back to the original question...whew!) you should be using a wort chiller because you have 5 gallons of beer to cool down in a hurry. And this was what I was assuming when I said wort chillers were essential to any homebrewery. Then Russ sed: >Subject: Re: sterilizing counter-flow chillers >This comes up every so often, but at caveat for those making or >purchasing a counter-flow chiller. Make sure the inside of the >tubing is free of machining oils. Chemical cleaning is not >sufficient in many cases...requiring actual physical scouring >of the inside of the tubing before you bend it into a coil. >If you want to test your tubing for oils, swab a q-tip soaked >in rubbing alcohol around the inside. If it comes out dirty, >you've got a problem....if not....no problem... >Mike Zentner, who has tried to clean oil out by running 20 >batches of boiling water, rubbing alcohol, beer, bleach, soap water and >even lysol through an already constructed chiller...to no avail. The above is well worth mentioning. Mike had a helluva time cleaning up some copper tubing he found or bought from somewhere. At the same time, if you buy refrigeration grade copper tubing from a hardware store you shouldn't have the kinds of problems Mike had, at least I never have and I've made several hundred wort chillers. It's my understanding that silicon oils are used in the extrusion of that kind of copper and are easily removed with several soaks in clorox or a couple siphonings through of boiling hot water laced with B-Brite or beer line cleaner. Where did you get that copper tubing after all, Mike? >And now, a homebrewing question. Darryl Bock-man ;-) said he sanitizes >his plastic with boiling water, reasoning that the heat will kill the >nasties in any cracks. I've been thinking of using a zapap lauter tun (bucket >in a bucket) as a hop-back, but have been concerned about exposing my chilled >wort to the plastic buckets. But, if Darryl's assumption is true, then pouring >the *hot* wort through the lauter-tun/hop-back would eliminate sanitation >concerns about the plastic. It would oxidize the wort, but at this stage it >would mostly just darken it. Correct me if I'm wrong on that. I'd also be >concerned about handling a brewpot full of hot wort, but I can imagine a way >to be careful about that. Am I forgetting anything? Any holes in my thinking? I just finished writing an article for the special issue of Zymurgy that describes how to make a hop-back that avoids the issue of oxidation when using a hop-back altogether. I could post the article here in the HBD if anyone is interested and if Charlie P. doesn't mind. But for the moment, suffice it to say that my hop-back design uses a mason jar connected inline between the boiler and a counter- flow chiller. The mason jar lid is drilled with two holes, each containing a length of copper tubing, the bottom of the outlet tube wrapped in the infamous copperwound pot scrubber in a fine mesh hop bag. Stuff about 3/4 oz of the gummiest aromatic hops you can find into the jar and start a siphon. The hot wort passes into the jar of hops, picks of the aromatics, leaves the jar and enters the wort chiller where it is immediately cooled down. Having been cooled to water temperature, the hop aromatics aren't volatilized to the atmosphere and instead enter the wort where they belong. The resulting beer will have the same kind of hop character we've all grown to know and love in Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or some of the ales made by Hart's Brewing Company in Washington state. And now for the new sig... ___ ---------------------------------------------------------- ___ | | Kinney Baughman | | | | baughmankr at conrad.appstate.edu | | \ / \ / | "Beer is my business and I'm late for work" | --------------------------------------------------------------- And to Steve Hamburg... If YOU aren't Mendel then who the hell is Mendel? Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 92 17:58:07 EDT From: Kevin V Martin <kmartin at magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu> Subject: Re: Rocky Raccoon Ale Like Michael Gildner, I'm not able to ferment lagers. Here's my version of Rocky Raccoon Ale: 1 can M&F Light Malt Extract (unhopped) 3 lb. Clover Honey 2 oz. Williamette hops (5.0 AAU's) Wyest London Liquid Ale yeast 1/3 c Clover Honey (priming) The malt extract, honey, and 1 oz. of the hops were boiled in 3 gallons of water for 1 hour; the remainder of the hops were then added and steeped for 15 minutes. The wort was passed through a strainer into a plastic primary and diluted to 5 gallons. After reaching room temperature, the yeast was added. The intial SG was equal to 1.040. After 6 days in the primary (60-65 deg.F) and 10 days in a glass secondary fermentor (60-65 deg.F) the final SG was equal to 1.000. The beer was then primed with honey and bottled. After two weeks in the bottle, the carbonation had reached an acceptable level; but the taste was a little green. After another month the taste has mellowed out. This beer is turning into a favorite of my friends who don't appreciate my usual heavy ales ;). I enjoy because it has more taste and body than BudMillCors! Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1992 15:00 PDT From: BOB JONES <BJONES at NOVAX.llnl.gov> Subject: Traquair house ale from Micah Millspaw I noticed a posting about the scotch ale Traquair House. It is my personal opinion that this is one of the best beers that I have ever tasted, commercial or homebrewed! This amazing beer is available through Merchant du Vin in Seattle, WA. but the price is very high. Since I like the stuff but its not realistic to buy, I made quite an effort to copy it. The effort has gained me a lot of experience and quite a few ribbons in scotch ale (wee heavy) competitions. So I will give you all my best and closest to Traquair House recipe, do not make substitutes with inferior ingredients or the ale will suffer, and use the same yeast indicated for the same reasons. this is for 5 gallons and is made from only the first runnings of the mash 18# british pale malt 4# british crystal malt 2# toasted malt (homemade in oven - 10 min. at 350F) 4oz roast barley - in mash out only 1# chocolate malt - in mash out only 1 1\4oz centennial hops - 11.3 alpha for 75 min. 3\4oz tettnager hops - 4.8 alpha for 15 min. 1 tsp salt in boil 1 tsp gypsum in boil irish moss last 30 min. wyeast 1056 culture OG 25B or 1100 mash at 155F 1 1\2 hours collect first runnings no sparge strike with 8 gallons at 170F mash out with 3 gallons at 200F with chocolate and roast grains collected 8 gallons boiled down to 5 gallons have fun Micah Millspaw 6/24/92 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 92 8:29:22 EST From: 781101 at redgum.ucnv.edu.au (100) Subject: Bad Taste... I'm a beginner at homebrewing, and so far I've only made lagers from pre-packed kits. Every brew I've made has seemed to ferment out OK, but The problem is just about every batch ends up having a bad taste in it. It's hard to explain exactly what sort of taste is is - sort of metallic. Does anyone know what could be causing this? I sterilise all equipment thouroughly using sodium met. I was told that it could be from using this chemical, but I haven't got a chance to try bleach yet. I was wondering whether it could be from light destroying the brew. The best one we made was an English Ale, and we did it in an old tea chest. This was the best tasting brew we have made. Could this be the problem? It's not the water because I've used other types like sterilised rainwater. Can anyone help? Dave. 781101 at redgum.bcae.oz.au Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #910, 06/25/92