HOMEBREW Digest #957 Fri 28 August 1992

Digest #956 Digest #958

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Re:  Ice to cool wort (pmiller)
  B-Brite and Beer Line Cleaner (Kinney Baughman)
  Wyeast 3506 (James Dipalma)
  Silver Solder (Tom Strasser)
  Re: Bringing beer back from Europe (Chuck Cox)
  The Novice Revisited (CW06GST)
  cider pressing equipment (chris campanelli)
  what does 1.028 mean? (craigman)
  Experiences with (cheap) Bev-Con regulators? (jay marshall 283-5903)
  Yeast in SN's bottles/Foxx Equip (Steve Kennedy)
  Labeling homebrew bottles (Steve Kennedy)
  Hydrometers, Concentrate, etc (Jack Schmidling)
  kegging (Brian Bliss)
  WHO IS WHO IN CHICAGO? A response. (stevie)
  Re: Labels (Robert Schultz)
  bottle sterilization and plug for Charlie (David Klumpp)
  Using cara-pils (Tim P McNerney)
  Re: Sassafras for Root Beer (Richard Akerboom)
  Sanitizing... (Karl F. Bloss)
  chicago area homebrew suppliers (Tony Babinec)
  Cooling Wort ("Chris 'Man of Might' Dukes" )
  Propane .vs Natural gas - PROs, CONs (smanastasi)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 26 Aug 92 09:01:23 CDT From: pmiller at mmm.com Subject: Re: Ice to cool wort C. Lyons wrote: > 1) On page 367 of TNCJOHB, one of Charlie's tips includes: > "Do not add ice to your wort in order to cool it." > In the past I have found the addition of ice quickly brings the > temperature of the wort to yeast pitching temperatures. Could > someone please explain the concern of using ice? When I read Charlie's prohibition on ice in TCJOHB, I assumed it was because that ordinary household ice is not very sanitary. If you took the precaution of boiling the water first and then freezing it in a covered, sanitized container, I don't see what would be wrong with dumping ice in the wort to chill it. I read somewhere that your fridge is one of the most _unsanitary_ places in your kitchen and I assume that your freezer isn't much better. Anybody know why a fridge is a haven for micro-nasties? Phil Miller "There is nothing in the world more helpless and pmiller at mmm.com irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge." Hunter S. Thompson Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1992 10:45 EDT From: Kinney Baughman <BAUGHMANKR at CONRAD.APPSTATE.EDU> Subject: B-Brite and Beer Line Cleaner Thanks, Pierre, for the chemical low-down on B-Brite. It's posts like that -- quality info from people in the know -- that make the HBD a success. My question: I've had this sneaky suspicion for some time that B-Brite is nothing more than re-packaged beer line cleaner. They look and feel the same. Anybody know what's in beer-line cleaner? ___ ----------------------------------------------------------- ___ | | Kinney Baughman | | | | baughmankr at conrad.appstate.edu | | \ / \ / | "Beer is my business and I'm late for work" | --------------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 92 11:01:34 EDT From: dipalma at banshee.sw.stratus.com (James Dipalma) Subject: Wyeast 3506 Hi All, Some time ago there was a thread in HBD regarding the clove-like character (or lack thereof) produced by Wyeast Bavarian wheat yeast (3056? I can never remember those numbers). Some of the participants in that discussion claimed the clove character produced by this yeast was considerable, provided the beer was fermented at warmer temperatures. Last month I brewed two batches of dunkelweizen one week apart. The recipe(s): Batch 1 ------- 5# wheat malt 3# Munich malt 2# 2 row pilsner malt 1 cup black patent 1 oz. 4.6AA Hallertaur Wyeast Bavarian wheat yeast 1/2 hour protien rest at ~120F Mashed at 153F-155F Mash out at 170-175, 10 mins. Single hop addition, boiled hops for 60 mins. OG 1.048 Batch 2 differed only in the proportion of Munich to pilsner malt, i.e., 2# Munich and 3# pilsner in batch 2. Oh yes, I also ground the wheat malt seperately from the barley, on a finer setting, so batch 2 had a slightly higher OG. The temperature in my basement was 70-74 during fermentation. Somewhat surprisingly, both batches seemed to take forever to ferment out, despite the warm temps. I kegged batch 1 after 2 1/2 weeks, placed it in a fridge at 45F, and force carbonated by putting 30psi for a few days. The beer had a lot of residual sweetness at first, it seemed like the yeast had'nt quite finished it's job. I raised the temperature to 55F (love those Hunter airstats), and after about 5 days the sweetness was all but gone. The beer had a *very* pronounced clove flavor, but it also had a noticeable banana flavor as well. I suppose this was to be expected from the relatively high fermentation temperatures. Batch 2 was very similar, I let this ferment a bit longer (3 weeks) before kegging, then placed it in the 55F fridge and allowed it to condition for 5 days before force carbonating. I just tapped this last night, this brew is quite enjoyable, though it also has considerable clove/banana flavors. My conclusions: 1) The Wyeast Bavarian seems to take quite a while to ferment out, on the order of 3-4 weeks. The package was date coded June 92, so it was'nt old. I had visible fermentation in both batches within 8 hours of pitching, so the yeast was reasonably vigorous. 2) Wyeast Bavarian will provide considerable cloviness if fermented above 70F, but it also seems to buy you a boatload of banana esters as well. I've had commercial dunkelweizen exactly once, at the Portsmouth Brewery. It too had traces of banana esters, though not as pronounced as the two batches I brewed. I admit that I don't know much about this style, perhaps someone on the net who does can tell us if the banana character is normal?? Cheers, Jim Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 92 11:39:25 EDT From: strasser at raj3.tn.cornell.edu (Tom Strasser) Subject: Silver Solder } From: bob at rsi.com (Bob Gorman) } } I was thinking of using the silver solder approach to adding an outlet } to a keg. However, I boil my wort with a 160,000 BTU propane burner. } Obviously I don't want to put the outlet on the bottom of the keg, but } rather low down on the side. So I guess my question is what's the melting } temperature of this silver solder? } } I figure the side of the keg won't get much hotter then the boiling wort, } it should be under 300F. And as long as the outlet and valve aren't in a } direct flame then there shouldn't be any concern with the solder melting } and the outlet springing a leak. Could someone who knows what they're } talking about please substantiate or refute this claim? You're right there, of course. The solder and stainless in a keg are both good heat conductors in contact with the boiling wort, so there is no temperature problem with the solder. I made a boiling keg about a year ago with an outlet tube on the side which was attached via silver solder, but I had a different problem. The silver solder is not very mechanically strong, and after a couple of months the wear and tear started a small crack in the solder which increased quite quickly with time. My net result was to scrap the silver solder idea and machine a stainless fitting which went through the original hole and sealed by a threaded piece on one side which tightened the fitting down on o-rings, sealing to the keg. Here goes my ascii effort: | <-------keg wall ___ | stainless fitting-> | |o|o|-| <--- nut to seal o-rings to wall --------| |---| |-------- | | | | \ \ \ \ | | | |\ \ \ \ \ <- threaded side of fitting --------| |---| |-------- | |o|o|-| --- | | <------keg wall where the o-ring cross sections are donoted by "o". This may not be the best idea for those who don't have access to machine something like this, but I mainly wanted to note the mechanical problems with silver solder, so that if the method is used, some other form of mechanical stability is present to prevent cracking of the solder joint. Auf ein neues, Tom Strasser...strasser at raj5.tn.cornell.edu...strasser at crnlmsc2.bitnet Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 92 12:48:55 EDT From: chuck at synchro.com (Chuck Cox) Subject: Re: Bringing beer back from Europe Phillip Seitz sez... > > What you need to do > if you are planning to bring back a lot is call the U.S. Customs > service and inquire about the duty on beer. Unfortunately, doing this will only convince you that your tax dollars are being wasted on a twit subsidy program disguised as the civil service. Every time I have called customs (in the US) or an embassy (overseas) about beer, I have gotten a different, and unbelievable story. I have been told that it is illegal to bring even one bottle back. I have been told I could bring as much as I want. I have been told I must submit paperwork in triplicate. I have been told the first bottle is free, but that duty on the rest will be determined by an obscure formula based on the actual volume and alcohol content of each bottle. I have been told I could bring up to a quart of beer, and anything over that amount would be confiscated. In practice, I have never paid duty on beer, nor had any confiscated, and I usually bring about a case back every time. The fellow who runs the Artisanales Beer store in Brussels (forgot his name) says he regularly sends cases of beer into the US. The recipient has to pick it up from customs. He didn't know if they paid duty, but they always get their beer. > It is extremely rare taht > returning Americans get their bags opened. I have to strongly disagree with this statement. I have done a LOT of travelling, and I think US customs is the most intrusive and inept amongst the major nations. Back when I had short hair and travelled on a DOD passport, I would get the third-degree when entering other countries, and breeze into the US. Now that I sport a pony-tail and a civilian passport, I fly through foreign customs, but get hassled by the US. The best place to enter the US is NYC. They are too busy to bother with trivial games. On the other hand, the customs droids in Boston seem intent on proving they are doing their job by bothering as many people as possible. I have never been hassled about beer, but a Boston customs inspector obviously thought he was headed for a BIG promotion when he found several large bags full of a suspicious pale brown powder (malt extract) in my luggage. I recently had this discussion with a customs inspector: What are you bringing back? Beer and literature. Literature? Yes. What kind of literature? Books and magazines about beer. Magazines? Yes. Are these magazines pornographic? No, they're about beer. Let me see them. On the other hand, recently in Boston I had worked my way through three customs inspectors and was confronted by the fourth and final officer. The surprisingly pleasant and young inspector asked me the ususal questions, then: So what are you bringing back? Beer. Really? How much? 23 bottles. Wow! I see you've been to Belgium, did you get many Belgian beers? Yes, they're mostly Belgian. You sure know how to travel. Welcome back to the US Mr Cox, I'm sure you'll enjoy your beer. > When I asked > the customs officer what I should do about it, he replied (and > I quote), "Get the hell out of here." I love New York. Yeah, this is exactly the same experience I had bringing a case through NYC customs. They seemed truly irritated that I would waste their time asking about beer. - -- Chuck Cox <chuck at synchro.com> In de hemel is geen bier, daarom drinken wij het hier. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 92 13:30:44 EDT From: CW06GST <CW06GST%SJUMUSIC.bitnet at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU> Subject: The Novice Revisited To all HBDers, I would like to thank those of you who responded to my last post and got me started in the world of homebrewing. Originally I asked for some information on beer and homebrewing. First I found some great places in Manahttan to go and have a beer; some on my own and some from HBD. One place is Zip City, the only brewery in Manhattan. They are located at 3 W. 18th St. They brew 5 different types of beer, but only serve 2 on any given day. All are fresh and delicious, and is a must see/drink if you are in the area. Another place is Mc Soreley's Ale House at 15? W 7th St. They serve Mc Sorley's light and dark ale and that's it| Both worth trying. Then there is the Peculiar Pub located on Bleeker St. in Greenwich Village, and The Slaughtered Lamb on W 4th St. in the Village. The Peculiar Pub has over 200 bottled beers and 10 or so on tap, including Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The Slaughtered Lamb is an English style pub with many English ales and a house brew called Full Moon Ale which I think is quite tasty. I also found some good books through the HBD that I would recom- mend to anyone interested in homebrewing. They are _The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing_ by Charlie Papazian, and _The Complete Handbook of Home Brewing_ by David Miller. Both were very helpful in getting me started homebrewing. If anyone has any other suggested reading please let me know. One thing I would like to say to any novices that might be reading HBD is that you should just go out there and start brewing. My partner and I have already brewed 3 batches: a traditional bitter, an I.P.A. and a mead :). We found the first batch so easy and enjoyable that we began brewing the next batch as soon as possible. We only had one problem that I think should be pointed out so it *NEVER* happens to anyone else. We originally bought a starter kit that contains plastic buckets to ferment the beer in. The secondary or bottling bucket has a plastic spigot on it, and if it not in right your beer will leak all over the floor. I might be admitting that I'm *lame* by saying this but it is worth it to prevent the loss of anymore precious homebrew. Needless to say we were heartbroken and felt as if someone had taken our baby and kicked him through the uprights for 35 yards out. We have since purchased a couple of glass carboys and will be burning our plastic bottling bucket in a voodoo bonfire. In the near future we are planning on making a porter and marzen. If anyone has any tips, pointers and/or advice on making these styles please let me know. It would be greatly appreciated. Also I have a couple of questions on mead: We added yeast nutrient to our mead, will this speed up fermentation? How long should it take? I have never tasted mead, can anyone describe the flavor or will I just have to wait. BTW: If anyone in the Westchester, NY area (just outside of NYC) is interested in forming a homebrew club please contact me. My partner And I would be very interested in meeting some fellow homebrewers. Likewise, if there are any existing clubs in the area we would like to join. We brew in Yonkers, NY. Thanks again for all your help and support, Erik Zenhausern, "Talzen Brewery" e-mail cw06gst at sjuvm Telephone (914) 237-3752 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 92 11:51 CDT From: akcs.chrisc at vpnet.chi.il.us (chris campanelli) Subject: cider pressing equipment I am looking for manufacturers and/or vendors of cider pressing equipment (crushers, presses, etc.). Private email please. I will summarize if someone requests it. Thanks in advance. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1992 13:29:01 -0600 From: craigman at casbah.acns.nwu.edu Subject: what does 1.028 mean? carruth at mksol.dseg.ti.com (matthew carruth) writes: >I bottled a batch last night. The final specific gravity was 1.028. Does >that mean anything. I used one "can" of extract, 3 lbs of powdered malt >extract, 1oz of finishing hops, an one package of dry yeast. I added enough >distilled water to make 5 gal. It has fermented for 5 days. Are you looking for a technical analysis or are you wondering if its ok? This SG sounds a bit high to me (provided that you've already been through primary fermentation). 1.028 is pretty normal for a batch that hasn't yet been pitched, so it seems that if you've _not_ yet finished your vigorous flocculation phase (when lots and lots of foam bubbles out of your blowoff tube and the adrenalene starts to move) you're doing fine. Give it some time to blow out and to chill out. If you've already been through that, something's up. However, 5 days is a terribly short time for primary fermentation to subside. Feel better? Now, as for the technical aspects of "what does 1.028 mean?", Specific Gravity is a scale which measures the density of a liquid. This is the mass per unit volume of your wort. The density of water, the universal solvent, is 1.000 grams per 1.000 mililiter (by definition of "gram"). 1/1 = 1. The mass units change as our solutions get heavier (we put things like salt or malt in them) or as our liquids get lighter. Alcohol's density is lighter than that of water, so its SG is lower - 0.795 to be precise. 1 ml of ethanol has a mass of 0.795 g. 0.795/1 = 0.795 g/l. Liquid butane will be even lower still. Now in the event that we add things to a solution, the density will increase, depending on the density of what we're adding. Sound confusing? Don't worry. Let's say we put sugar in some water. For argument's sake, let's call it dextrose. The total mass of the water + the total mass of the sugar will equal- well, I don't know what, but that doesn't matter. What does matter is that if you add equal masses together, you're not necessarily adding equal volumes. I'm sure you'll agree that the density of your Munton & Fison canned, undiluted, unhopped amber extract must be higher than that of water (try measuring out 1/4 cup of each if you don't believe me). The extract has lots of sugars and proteins and such to weigh it down. More mass per unit volume. I hope this little tutorial helps to answer your query. May it serve to enlighten and relax you when you next do your brew. LizardArm craigman at casbah.acns.nwu.edu (craig anderson) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 92 14:06:07 CDT From: jay marshall 283-5903 <marshall at sweetpea.jsc.nasa.gov> Subject: Experiences with (cheap) Bev-Con regulators? A while back someone mentioned a company called Bev-Con International as a source for CO2 cylinders. I called them and, while they were out of the cylinders, they do have the two-stage low pressure (0-60psi) regulators in stock. The regulators are new, and they're asking $36.50 for them, which is considerably lower than the prices that I've gotten for used ones in the Houston area. Has anyone had any experience with the Bev-Con regulators? Additionally, are there any particulars that I should look out for when buying a regulator? Jay Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 92 16:48:57 EDT From: Steve Kennedy <kennedy at ranger.enet.dec.com> Subject: Yeast in SN's bottles/Foxx Equip In HBD #955 Russ Oertel writes about culturing yeasts from beer bottles: >> For instance, I know that Sierra Nevada's yeast is the same as Wyeast's >> Chico Ale; so, can anyone tell me anything about the yeast used by [...] Through another homebrew forum I was told that according to Dr Martin Shiller of The Yeast Culture Kit Co., SN yeast out of the bottle is not the same as their brewing yeast. According to him, SN cold filters the beer and then adds a special conditioning yeast when they bottle. Therefore what you get form the bottle isn't what SN uses for brewing. That said, I've heard people have made brew using this "special conditioning yeast" with good results. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= In HBD #955 Jim Kirk writes about Foxx Equipment: >> Actually they are getting into it BIG TIME. The deal is, they don't sell >> wholesale anymore except to homebrew suppliers and other beverage >> distribution companies. >> >> In a letter from Ford Maurer, President I quote: "We have established >> distrubutors across the country, and are looking to have complete >> geographical coverage of the USA and Canada." >> >> I have spoken with a representative from Foxx and was told that they will >> still sell RETAIL to anybody, but you can get better pricing from a >> participating homebrew supplier. I concur with Jim's statement that Foxx is IN the retail business -- at least if my experience with them this week is any indication. The difference is that they now have retail prices for everything and homebrewers can no longer get stuff at wholesale prices. I placed an order with Foxx this week and the person I dealt with was nothing less than very helpful in helping me determine what was best for me needs. They also set-up a new account for me this week, which I'd don't think they would do if they were actively moving OUT of the retail business. I'm not sure about the prices being better through a participating homebrew supplier, despite the fact that the source of Jim's statement is Foxx itself. There's some stuff I just can't find locally and comparing Foxx's prices with those of the very few suppliers I know about in my area (MA), I still get the impression that the prices are pretty good -- even compared to other mail order places. FYI: If you're having problems getting a catalog, my suggestion is to call up and ask to speak with someone who might be able to help you with an equipment order and that you might have some questions. I have found that sometimes the person that answers the phone isn't very helpful, but that the people who know about the equipment are extremely helpful. After I got some initial questions answered, I asked the person helping me if they could send me a catalog. cheers, \steve =-=-=-=-=-= Steve Kennedy Email: kennedy at ranger.enet.dec.com Digital Equipment Corp. -or- kennedy%ranger.dec at decwrl.dec.com 30 Porter Road (LJO2/I4) -or- ...!decwrl!ranger.dec.com!kennedy Littleton, MA 01460 Phone: (508) 486-2718 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 92 17:12:43 EDT From: Steve Kennedy <kennedy at ranger.enet.dec.com> Subject: Labeling homebrew bottles I use a method to label bottle caps (and not the bottle) which is pretty similar to those previously mentioned (but just a bit different): I use colored adhesive 'dots' about 1/2 inch in diameter and write the beer's batch number on the label before sticking the dot on the beer cap. I alternate the color of the dot used from batch to batch (among the six colors available) so at any one time it's less likely that the same color will be used for different batches beer that are available for consumption. And even if 2+ batches are marked with the same color, the batch number on the dot specifically identifies the beer and by that time you know which number goes with which brew. I prefer this to just marking bottles with something like "pale ale" or "PA" or something semi-generic, because in addition to just knowing that I'm drinking a "pale ale", I can easily look up the recipe in my brewing log or have multiple beers of the same type and be able to tell them apart (at least until the cap comes off ;-) \steve =-=-=-=-=-= Steve Kennedy Email: kennedy at ranger.enet.dec.com Digital Equipment Corp. -or- kennedy%ranger.dec at decwrl.dec.com 30 Porter Road (LJO2/I4) -or- ...!decwrl!ranger.dec.com!kennedy Littleton, MA 01460 Phone: (508) 486-2718 Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 92 09:45 CDT From: arf at ddsw1.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) Subject: Hydrometers, Concentrate, etc To: Homebrew Digest Fm: Jack Schmidling >From: dougd at uts.amdahl.com (Douglas DeMers) >Subject: Extraction rate (was Re: All Grain Help) >I've never seen it stated for all-grain brewing, but it is my understanding that the gravity readings given in Miller for example, and others are _after_ the boil. And when Miller says something along the lines of expecting 33 points per pound of malt per gallon - I believe that is _after_ the boil and not after the sparge. If this is incorrect, then _I've_ got a real problem with _my_ extraction rate. This may come as a surprise to the mathmatically lazy, but it makes no difference. As long as all the variables are measured at the same time. If you measure the gravity before boiling, you must use the volume before boiling. If you measure it after the boil, use the volume after the boil and be sure to include the trub left in the bottom of the kettle in the volume. >From: bob at rsi.com (Bob Gorman) >I was thinking of using the silver solder approach to adding an outlet to a keg..... I am trying to understand the problem here. Brass spigots are available with pipe fittings on them. If you are using a heavy gage kettle, all you have to do is drill and tap a hole and screw in the spigot. Brass fittings for copper tubing are available to hang anything you want on the inside. If your kettle is a lighter gage, drill a clearance hole and use a washer to take up the taper of the thread and a fiber washer on the outside will make it leak proof. >From: "PAUL EDWARDS" <8260PE at INDINPLS.NAVY.MIL> >On the subject of "Beer Concentrate" discussed previously by Jack S. and Arthur Delano: During a tour of the Hudepohl Brewery in Cincinnati, the brewer told the tour group I was in that they, like many other large breweries, employ a method of high-gravity brewing in order to get more beer from their equipment..... The brewer wouldn't say what the dilution level really was, tho. I suppose he wouldn't say how high is "high-gravity". My guess is it, is what we call beer, not "concentrate". I received a lot of mail on this topic, most of it defending, in one way or another, what the majors are doing. I find it strange that so many people (in particular, homebrewers) are willing to believe they are doing anything other than duping the public into buying a watered down product. I re-reading the article, I note that the beer under discussion is Coors "Light" and I if anyone thinks that light is anything other than watered down "beer", I have a bridge for you. My guess is that the only difference between various types of beer is HOW MUCH WATER it is diluted with. Finally, we all know that all they have to do to increase the gravity is to use more sugar anyway. So one wonders at the value of high gravity in the first place if all it contributes is alcohol. When we think of diluting, we think of diluting flavor. In an already flavorless product, adding water only enhances the bottom line. js Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 92 17:16:55 CDT From: bliss at csrd.uiuc.edu (Brian Bliss) Subject: kegging >Due to a combination of patience and serendipity, i now have an >Anheuser-Busch keg and CO2 canister (for a net cost of $20!). > >I don't have any fittings, and before i buy any, i would like >advice on what i need to get. While soda kegs seem to be >common currency among homebrewers, i don't have one and i assume >that the fittings are different. Find yourself a standard keg tapper, one where the fitting on for the lip of the keg is connected to the pump with a hose. disconnect the hose from the pump, and connect to a pressure regulator. walla. Actually, there exists two versions of said fitting, one for CO2 and one for the air pump taps. I've used the air pump fitting with CO2 with no problem, except that I had to replace the gasket on the pressure relief value because it wasn't up to snuff. If you don't get all the fittings to seal tightly, you can always just pump up the pressure before going to bed at night and disconnect the lock from the tap. - ------------------------- O.K, I've used the above screnario before with standard ponies, and finally scrounged around enough to find some soda kegs and fittings. Can someone send me that temp/psi force carbonation chart that was posted many digests ago? The beer in question is a Scotch Ale, so I don't want too much carbonation, so suggestions on how much to deviate from the chart would be appreciated, also. bb Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 92 17:41:37 CDT From: stevie at spss.com Subject: WHO IS WHO IN CHICAGO? A response. Some comments on Jack Schmidling's comments about the recent Chicago Tribune article on homebrewing (a bit lengthy, sorry): >"On a recent evening, club members shared 25 different beers they had brewed. >Chris Campanelli got raves for his deliciously rich imperial stout, a strong >brew that was originally exported from England to the court of Russia in the >1700s." Indeed, Chris (well known to HBDers) had a great imperial stout. >"Al Korzonas, though, had a bad night. About his bock beer, concensus among >club members was that it was "within style" but had several flaws, not the >least of which was that it smelled like home hair-perming solution." >"His second offering smelled and tasted something like bananas. This was an >interesting concept, except it was a mistake, Korzonas cheerfully conceded." If there was a "conspiracy" here, perhaps our HBD colleague Al has a case. The Tribune writer neglected to say that these were two "problem" beers that Al brought to the meeting specifically for analysis and comment. In fact, one of these was the "banana-Chimay" previously discussed here in HBD. Completely unmentioned were the other beers Al brought specifically for drinking. I personally sampled 3-4, and they were just fine, thank you. By the way, Al won 3 1sts and 1 2nd at the Central Illinois Homebrew Competition two weeks ago. HBD may not be the Trib, Al, but congratulations. >Among other things, this sort of confirms my opinion of the usefulness of >brewing "to style". It also points out the idiocy of trashing someone's >brewing skill based on a random tasting. It also reminds one of the old >adage of living in glass houses. The great thing about homebrewing is that nobody will ever force you to brew to a style. As has often been said in HBD, if you're happy with what you're making Jack, that's great. I'll not belabor the point, but many of us want a more objective measure of our brewing ability. We value the comments and opinions of experienced brewers and judges who understand how problems in process may detract from the flavor and aroma of our beers. When you brew to a defined style, you have a basis for comparison. You demonstrate your knowledge of brewing ingredients and process, and your ability to produce a product within understood guidelines. Clearly, if you set out to brew a Budweiser-clone light lager and it ends out looking and tasting like a Bass Ale, you've got some problems. The end result may still taste good and amaze your friends, but it ain't what you wanted to make. To paraphrase beer writer Michael Jackson, you don't go into a restaurant and order a plate of "food." We all presumably have some idea of what we want to brew before we brew it, and I'm sure it's something more definite than just "beer." This holds even if you're not brewing to a recognized style. As to the proverbial glass houses, well, those of us who judge understand this concept more than you can possibly imagine. Most of us take great care to offer the brewer constructive criticism and support, and are quick to praise when it's warranted. >The other thing that caught my attention was that, in spite of the fact that >just about all named in the article own MALTMILLS and the process of all >grain brewing was described in some detail, not one word was said about the >need to mill the grain. >What was even more peculiar was that the third picture was indeed of a >MALTMILL, but it was cropped in such a way that all one could see was the >hopper full of grain and the logo carefully excluded. >Now this normally would not bother anyone except that there was no shortage >of plugs in the article for gizmos for sale and places to buy, associated >with others in the article. >Do I detect a conspiracy? I hope you were being facetious, Jack. Otherwise, you are way out of line. As you have noted, almost all of the people quoted in the Tribune article were customers of yours. And one of those mentioned, Chris Nemeth, is actually going to be selling your maltmills at his new homebrew shop at Evanston First Liquors!Conspiracy?! Sure... The evening the article appeared, I went to Ray Daniels' house to assist on a CBS judging seminar. Ray and I both mentioned that we thought you'd be thrilled to see the photo of your mill. We didn't even think about the crop- ping -- the mill was easily identifiable by anyone who either owned (not me) or had seen one. To even raise the possibility that any of the people mentioned in the article would somehow try to systematically remove any mention of you and your mill is preposterous. If you did not ask this in jest, well, I'd say you were being incredibly paranoid. Hell, imagine what these guys would have done if they HADN'T bought your mill! BTW, the "plugs" for other gizmos and places to buy included: Randy Mosher's "Doctor Bob Technical's Amazing Wheel of Beer" (a popular tool many of us use in recipe formulation) and "Beer Repair" (a concentrated malt/hop solu- tion that can be squirted into an industrial beer to give it some real flavor); Chicago Indoor Garden Supply, one of the better local brewing supply shops. The Trib writer actually began his research by visiting Chicago Indoor. Owner David Ittel and his staff directed him to the regular "First Thursday" meeting of the Chicago Beer Society, and the rest is history. Ray Daniels invited him over for his brew that Saturday, where they were joined by Randy Mosher. So, it's hardly surprising that Chicago Indoor and Randy were mentioned prominently. Sorry for the length, folks. +------------------+---------------------------+---------------------------+ | Steve Hamburg | Internet: stevie at spss.com | "Life is short, and so | | SPSS Inc. | Phone: 312/329-3445 | are some brewers." | | Chicago, IL | Fax: 312/329-3657 | | +------------------+---------------------------+---------------------------+ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1992 08:47 CST From: Robert Schultz <SCHULTZ at admin1.usask.ca> Subject: Re: Labels What I use for labels are the small avery labels (1/2" X 3/4"). These come on an enveloped sized pad with 42 labels per sheet (7 X 7). I set up a spreadsheet with four lines per label (A1:A4) with the other 41*4 cells referenced to these 4 cells. I only have to fill in cells A1:A4 and the rest of the sheet is automatic. I use something like Helvetica 6 pt font which allows up to 18 capital characters per line using a laser printer. I can place a good description and date which are easy to read. This is fast, easy to place on each bottle and you don't have to peel labels off the bottle - I haven't heard of anyone re-using caps. Robert. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "I'm going off half-cocked? I'm going off half-cocked? ... Well, Mother was right - You can't argue with a shotgun." - Gary Larson ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1992 19:01:35 -0600 From: klumpp at casbah.acns.nwu.edu (David Klumpp) Subject: bottle sterilization and plug for Charlie In response to a recent post concerning bottle sanitization, I use a technique which provides reliable results and provides great time flexibility: I bake my bottles... When I buy used returnables from the local tavern (for the cost of deposit) I soak them in a HEAVY bleach solution >1hr to kill anything bizarre and remove labels. After rinsing exhaustively, I allow the bottles to dry. [For bottles I've already used and cleaned this way once, I simply rinse well with my jet bottle washer and allow to dry.] Once the bottles are fully dry (ca. 1 day), I take a piece of foil about 2"x2" and wrap it over the bottle mouth like a bottle Beck's. The bottles can then be stored this way until enough are accumulated for your next bottling event. When I am ready to bake, I simply load my cold oven full of the foil-topped bottles and crank the heat to 400F. I bake about 1.5hrs. I assume the temperature will equilibrate in less than 1hr, so nasties are killed. After baking, turn off heat and open the door to allow cooling. Once cooled the bottles can then be stored until you are ready to bottle without fear of microbial invasion. Words of caution: 1. Do not remove hot bottles from the oven and place them on a cooler surface. About 5min after you do this with a bunch of bottles, you will begin to hear a symphony of cracking glass. 2. Do not pack the oven so full that some bottles touch the oven door; those touching the door will certainly crack (at least in my oven). For those who still have not parted with the $10 required for a jet bottle washer, buy one immediately. Charlie is right: there is no other way. One final comment to newcomers from another (I only have 8 batches under my belt). If you haven't heard of it, Charlie Papazian's book The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing is indispensible! Although I still much, much, much to learn, I often see questions on HBD which are addressed within the first 50 pages. Not that there is anything wrong with such questions. But a quick read of the first several chapters of TNCJOH can prevent many potential problems before they become problems (such as not putting an air lock on your fermentor right after pitching). It also has many good recipes and excellent tables providing guidance on hopping rates etc. Anyway, I hope some of this can be of use to others, and I enjoy reading the exploits of fellow brewers. Hearty quaffing, Dave David Klumpp Dept of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology Northwestern U. klumpp at casbah.acns.nwu.edu (708) 491-8358 lab (708) 491-5211 fax Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 92 18:44:08 PDT From: tpm%wdl58 at wdl1.wdl.loral.com (Tim P McNerney) Subject: Using cara-pils Seeing as how I am interested in trying new stuff in my beer, I picked up some cara-pils on my last visit to the homebrew store. Upon consulting Papazian I learned that cara-pils needed to be mashed, but that it contained no enzymes itself. My question, then, is how do I use this stuff since I am generally an extract brewer? Possible solutions I have come up with: Doing a partial mash using some grain which does contain enzymes. I have done partial mashes before, but I really don't have the time to go back and get some more grain. How much would I need if I were to use, say, half a pound of cara-pils? Using DME, which I would guess (but do not know for sure) has enzymes available (thus the name). Adding the enzymes directly. Can you go out and buy a bottle of alpha/beta amylase for use in brewing? Just adding some malt extract, assuming it has enzymes, which I would doubt (but please correct me if it does). Throw in a chicken beak and the heart of a cow killed at a full moon. So which of the above are valid? Thanks for the help. - --Tim - --tpm at wdl1.wdl.loral.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 92 14:14:00 EST From: boomer at sylsoft.com (Richard Akerboom) Subject: Re: Sassafras for Root Beer There has been some discussion of Root Beer in the digest; it seems that Sassafras Rootbark was important in flavoring old-time root beer. Well, I was looking at a spice catalog that I just received and there it is: NEW: Sassafras Rootbark. Bark from the American tree Sassafras albidum. Although Indians and early settlers used this as soothing, aromatic tea, FDA recommends EXTERNAL USE ONLY. Soothing remedy for minor skin irritations. 1 lb costs $12.09, #00436 For more info, contact Pendery's at 800-533-1870 or 214-761-1966 (fax). They are at 1221 Manufacturing, Dallas, TX 75207. Note that this product contains a carcinogen (according to earlier posts). USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!!! Rich - ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Richard Akerboom Domain: boomer at sylsoft.com or akerboom at dartmouth.edu Sylvan Software uucp: decvax!dartvax!sylsoft!boomer Mechanic St. Phone: 802-649-2231 P. O. Box 566 FAX: 802-649-2238 Norwich, VT 05055 USA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 92 09:07:30 -0400 From: blosskf at ttown.apci.com (Karl F. Bloss) Subject: Sanitizing... I have a question regarding sanitizing: I have been using bleach, like many other people, but my local homebrew store manager told me about some stuff called "sal soda" or "sel soda" or something like that. It's a white powder, to be dissolved in water for the sanitation process. What is this stuff, why is it allegedly better than bleach, and what concentration does one make? Thanks - Karl Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 92 9:33:18 CDT From: tony at spss.com (Tony Babinec) Subject: chicago area homebrew suppliers A recent note mentioned Chicago Indoor Garden Supply (way northwest in Streamwood), Brewin' Beer (in the city), and the Elmhurst wine shop. Here are two more places. Way north, in Vernon Hills, is Heartland Hydroponics. One plus is that card-carrying members of the Chicago Beer Society get 10% off all ingredients. Heartland Hydroponics and Homebrew Vernon Plaza 115 Townline Road Vernon Hills Way southwest, in Mokena, is Miska's Country Food and Liquor. You can get there via expressway (I-57 & I-80 to 96th Av South exit). They have a great commercial beer selection, as well as homebrew supplies. The hop and yeast selection is great, the grain selection is okay. They also have kits and equipment. Miska's Country Food and Liquor 19454 S. Rt. 45 Mokena, IL 60448 Does anyone know whether Evanston 1st Liquors is carrying supplies? Last I saw, they were thinking about it. Return to table of contents
Date: 27 Aug 92 10:11:22 EDT From: "Chris 'Man of Might' Dukes" <imagesys!rover!CRD at uu.psi.com> Subject: Cooling Wort I've been reading the digest for quite some time now and started brewing my own earlier this summer. I started with a combination of extract and grain and now have some questions regarding wort chilling before the primary. What are the advantages of cooling the wort before the primary? I've heard (read) such things as "hot break" and "oxidation". What are these and what affect do they have on the beer? Are there any physical characteristics of these? If cooling the wort is the way to go, would lowering the pot of hot wort into a sink full of ice water do the trick? Is the idea to get the temp down to around 65 degrees as quickly as possible? I have been very satisfied with the quality of my homebrew so far, but a simple extra step (lowering into a cold water bath for example) that will make a difference in quality would be worth it. Sorry for the new-B type questions, but a guy has got to learn somewhere. I sincerely hope no flames come my way! _______________________________ | -Chris Dukes crd at imagesys.com| | Tel:518-283-8783 Ext. 550 | | Fax:518-283-8790 | |_______________________________| Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 92 10:26:41 CDT From: smanastasi at mmm.com Subject: Propane .vs Natural gas - PROs, CONs I do my brewing indoors and plan on moving to allgrain which implies heating large volumes of water. I have been following the Cajun Cooker and other approaches for heating lots-o-water. One item that comes up is propane fuel .vs. natural gas. Can I use propane indoors? Are there any problems with fumes from propane? Do people convert to NG out of convienence of using gas lines in the house? I would think that using propane tanks would be more convienent because you could move your cooker. - - - - - - - - Steve Anastasi Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #957, 08/28/92