HOMEBREW Digest #1005 Wed 04 November 1992

Digest #1004 Digest #1006

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Re: Sam Smith Pale Ale Recipe Needed (Alan B. Carlson)
  beer drinking (CHUCKM)
  Kegging question (Chris Estes)
  Pyrex Petri Dishes (Bill Szymczak)
  First Time Brewing Jitters (Gerald_Wirtz)
  yeast cleaning (Russ Gelinas)
  Homebrew Digest distribution (Mike Vine)
  add user (Steve Lichtenberg x79300)
  racking off trub, aeration (Peter Maxwell)
  Perfect fluid (Ed Westemeier)
  torrefied malt (Pierre Jelenc)
  Undeliverable Mail (SMTP)
  Lauter Tuns (Jack Schmidling)
  Wheat without the S. Delbrukii (sp?) (Michael T. Daly)
  Homebrewer Hall of Fames (fjdobner)
  sparging principles and procedures questions (MEHTA01)
  Re: CAMRA Good Beer Guide Questions ("Donald G. Scheidt")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 3 Nov 92 12:42:02 +0100 From: Alan B. Carlson <alanc at cs.chalmers.se> Subject: Re: Sam Smith Pale Ale Recipe Needed In HBD 1003 Kevin McCluskey writes: > I've had a request for a SSPA knockoff... Anyone have an extract > recipie that comes close ? I just got The Cats Meow, so if there > is one inparticular in there thats close, please, let me know. I like to second the notion (request). I've brewed Gene Schultz's "Samuel Adams Taste-Alike" and a variant of Clay Phipps' Anchor Steam-Style Amber - both from the Cat's Meow. In both brews I used Hallertau hops instead of those recommended in the recipes and in the case of Clay's recipe I used a Cooper's ale extract combined with light malt extract to equal his call for 7 pounds of John Bull light extract. I also used the dry yeast provided in the Cooper's ale kit for both brews. I've done some taste comparisons between these brews and Samuel Smith, Samuel Adams and Anchor Steam. What I can say about my brews is that they have the crystal malt taste of Samuel Smith and Samuel Adams, but that there lacks another nuance which is highly obvious in both the smell and aftertaste of Samuel Smith which is lacking in my brews. This nuance is obvious in the smell of Samuel Adams but only just noticeable in the taste. As far as Anchor Steam goes, my brews weren't even close. I've questioned a couple of collegues here at work about the extra nuance (they gladly participated in the tasting sessions...) and got a number of weird (?) suggestions: 1. "a herbal aroma" 2. "smells like the factory where I used to work", a Swedish snuff factory which produces stuff similar to Skoal or Copenhagen tobacco found in the States 3. "a fruity aroma like cola or something" I've looked at the Samuel Smith label and it states that the only ingredients used are malted barley, hops, yeast and water. I'm no beer judge or even experienced homebrewer (four batches under my belt now), so I'm at a loss to explain the nuance. The only thing I know is that Samuel Smith is damned good and I'd like to get as close as possible with extract brewing. ABC - ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Alan B. Carlson Phone: +46 31 772 10 73 Chalmers University of Technology UUCP: alanc at cs.chalmers.se Department of Computer Sciences S-412 96 Gothenburg SWEDEN - ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: 03 Nov 92 08:12:14 EST From: CHUCKM at csg3.Prime.COM Subject: beer drinking Hello all, Where should one drink beer in the Detroit and Windsor, Ontario area. Thanks in advance chuckm at csg3.prime.com Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 92 10:48:44 -0500 From: cestes at argos5.DNET.NASA.GOV (Chris Estes) Subject: Kegging question Hi all.... I've been using my soda keg setup for a few months now and am generally happy with my results. I have one problem, which is minor, but still a nusiance. I have the pin-lock connectors on my soda kegs. When I leave the gas supply hooked up to the keg, it always leaks a little at the connector. I know its there because if I disconnect the pin lock and leave the gas on, the pressure never changes. When I hook the keg up, that's when it starts leaking, very very slowly, but it still leaks. Its hasn't been a problem until recently, when I got a beermeister which has very little clearance for the connectors and its a pain to connect and disconnect for each drinking session. BTW, this happens on all my kegs (3 of 'em) and I've replaced all the rubber gaskets. Any ideas or remedies??? -Chris Estes- cestes at argos5.dnet.nasa.gov Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 92 11:49:50 EST From: bszymcz%ulysses at relay.nswc.navy.mil (Bill Szymczak) Subject: Pyrex Petri Dishes In HBD1004 Jack Schmildling asks: > Glass petri dishes seem to have disapeared from the market place. If anyone > knows of a source, please post it and try to talk some sense into your > friends who throwaway plastic ones. I found Pyrex Petri dishes listed in the 1992-1993 Aldrich catalog on page 1604. They have different sizes, namely, o.d.XH(mm) Cat. No. Each Pkg/12 Case 58X15 Z13,973-4 $6.05 $47.80 $258.75/72 98X10 Z13,974-2 5.40 39.80 214.60/72 100X15 Z13,975-0 5.40 39.80 214.60/72 98X20 Z13,976-9 5.40 39.80 214.60/72 Their toll free number is 800-558-9160. I am also interested in buying some pyrex test tubes, stoppers, pipets, flasks for growing yeast, etc. but the Aldrich prices seem high. Does anyone have a better (cheaper) source for such items. Either post or email me directly. Bill Szymczak Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 92 13:54 EST From: Gerald_Wirtz at vos.stratus.com Subject: First Time Brewing Jitters I've just bottled my first batch Saturday 10-31-92 and can't wait to try it. Being my first time I was wondering when would be a good time to try it. I'm anxious, but I also want it to taste somewhat the way it should. What I've brewed is : M & F Australian Malt extract using nothing but what came supplied with the kit ie. M & F yeast, water and corn sugar using a primary time of 6 days and a secondary fermentation of 1 week. SG 1.04 FG 1.02. Tempted but trying to hold out - Gerald Wirtz. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 1992 14:27:57 -0500 (EST) From: R_GELINAS at UNHH.UNH.EDU (Russ Gelinas) Subject: yeast cleaning There is a method using 2 or 3 jars of sterile water to clean and separate yeast from trub, etc. for storage. I've done it and it works well. It is also common for larger breweries to wash their yeast in an acid bath as a way to kill off unwanted microorganisms (eg. bacteria), leaving only healthy yeast. As such, it would seem to be beneficial to acidify the water in the first method, using acetic or citric acid, for example. The benefits vs. plating out a pure culture and building it up is that, with the acid wash technique, you will have a large quantity of healthy yeast free from contaminants. The down side is that you are relying on the original yeast being good. With pure culturing, you start with a known good yeast, but need to build up successive generations to get enough for a healthy ferment, each time exposing the culture to possible contamination. Obviously, a combination of the techniques would be optimum. I suggest a further evaluation of acid-wash technique as it applies to homebrewing might be in order, including yeast viability in low pH, contaminant viability in low pH, yeast viability wrt. changes in pH, "best" acidifying agent, temperature factors, etc. Any takers? Russ G Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 92 14:37:41 -0500 From: m21422 at mwunix.mitre.org (Larry Langrehr) Full-Name: Larry Langrehr Subject: Easymash Review From: llangreh at mitre.org (Larry L. Langrehr) My personal experiences with Schmidling's EasyMasher system/concept: When I was first thinking about all grain brewing I gave a lot of thought to my requirements and the components needed to fulfill these requirements. I wanted the flexibility of doing both infusion and step mashing with the minimum number of components and steps needed for the process, and get a good yield in the bargain. About this time Schmidling offered directions to make his easy masher product. Not living in a big city and having good access to a "real" plumbing supply or hardware store (not Hechingers or Builders Square!) I bought Schmidling's apparatus (brass screen, copper tube with fitting, and all-brass small aircock). I also bought a 21 qt. enameled canner from the local supermarket for $15. I drilled one hole in the side of the canner and installed the easymash apparatus in about 15 minutes. What I then had was a combination mash/lauter tun that I could also do step mashing all in one container. After the mash I opened the aircock slightly, ran off about a quart or so to clear and re- circulated it. I then added hot (165-170 degree) sparge water and caught the runoff in my boiler (dribbling down the side to prevent oxidation). I held a soup ladle just below the surface of the water and added water to the ladle to prevent disturbing the grain bed. I never stirred or moved the grain during the sparge. At the end of the sparge I quite un-scientifically chewed on several samples of grain taken from several depths and locations from the tun. I could not detect even the smallest resemblance of sweetness, just wet grain husks (great for your bods fiber requirement). I also scientifically measured the specific gravity of the 5 gallon batch after the boil just before pitching. Of the three batches I've done my yield rate falls in a narrow range between 27-29 points. This is with 7-8 lbs. of grain, the most adjunct I've used is a pound of crystal. When I calculated yield I used a theoretical maximum of 35 points for grain and 24 for crystal. I have a co-worker here who also has version 1 and gets yield in the same range. The difficulty in using the system was in the strength of the extended screen from the tube. I happen to get "very involved" with my mash and do a lot of robust stirring, I just can't let it set for more than 5-10 minutes. When I finally emptied the tun into my compost pile I noticed that the screen was bent upwards and had almost come loose from the tube. After correspondence with Jack he surprised me by sending an unsolicited second version. This one used stainless steel screen and was quite rigid. Comments after using the 2nd version: The runoff rate increased, so I just closed the aircock down a bit, and the screen didn't budge a bit even with my heavy-handed stirring technique (24" stainless steel spoon). This version is going to last me a long time. The yield rate stayed in the same acceptable range (at least for me if not for Dave Miller!). To clean after emptying the grain I just use water from a spray nozzle on the end of my garden hose, all particles come free from the screen without my needing to touch the screen. In lieu of payment for the second version (I paid $25 for the first) I agreed to share my experiences with the digest (better get this out front in these sleazy times of electioneering). I believe the basic concept to be quite sound, it allows me to do step-mashing and lautering all in the same pot and I only had to drill one hole! Before the flames start, no one is pressuring anybody to buy this from Jack, he did share the detailed design of the thing at the beginning. By the way, a good crush from a roller mill (my choice) is most important for the sparging process. Send mail to Jack for further details about his offerings, send mail to me if you'd like clarification on any of the above. Larry (llangreh at mitre.org) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 92 15:25:59 -0500 From: mvine at dw3f.ess.harris.com (Mike Vine) Subject: Homebrew Digest distribution Please add the following to the Homebrew Digest mailing list. harris.rstovall at ic1d.harris.com mvine at dw3f.ess.harris.com Thanks, Relax, have a homebrew Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 92 16:08:30 -0500 From: steve at Pentagon-EMH6.ARMY.MIL (Steve Lichtenberg x79300) Subject: add user Please add me to the homebrew mailing list. My full name is Steven Lichtenberg my mail address is steve at pentagon-emh6.army.mil. thanks S- Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 1992 13:34:00 -0800 (PST) From: Peter Maxwell <peterm at hpdtlpm.ctgsc.hp.com> Subject: racking off trub, aeration I posted this article directly to rec.crafts.brewing but don't know whether there are people who subscribe to HBD and not the news group, so I've duplicated it here. Feel free to flame me if it's unnecessary and undesirable duplication. But please answer my questions along with the flame! I've just started brewing using unhopped malt and have several questions on aeration and racking the wort off the trub. 1. How important is it to rack off the sedimented hot and cold break? Miller and Papazian both indicate it's optional but recommended. Is there a real difference in taste? 2. Is the presence of trub likely to interfere with fermentation and cause it to get stuck? 3. I read that the recommended practice is to pitch the yeast then wait 30 minutes or longer, then rack off the trub before fermentation starts. Why not simply let the wort settle for a while after it's been cooled and then rack into the fermenter? This means one less step. 4. When the yeast is initially pitched, does it go into suspension? My fear is that if I pitch and then rack very soon afterwards I'll be leaving some of the yeast behind. 5. Is there anything wrong in racking after fermentation has commenced? Is this too late? 6. Initial aeration is important for yeast growth. Is aeration while racking off the trub to be avoided? How long after pitching does additional aeration become bad? Thanks for any help. Peter Return to table of contents
Date: 03 Nov 1992 16:35:16 -0500 (EST) From: homebrew at tso.uc.EDU (Ed Westemeier) Subject: Perfect fluid Carl West writes (in HBD #1004): > but beer's not a perfect fluid, > it has a gas dissolved in it. I beg your pardon? It's as close to perfect as fluids get! ; ^ ) - -- Ed Westemeier -- Cincinnati, OH -- Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 92 16:52:36 EST From: Pierre Jelenc at cunixf.cc.columbia.edu Subject: torrefied malt In HBD 1004, Phillip Seitz mentions "torrefied malt". The French word "torrefie" simply means "roasted", and is used for things like coffee, nuts, and grains, that are roasted dry and with stirring. I suspect therefore that the brewers were merely talking about some kind of roasted malt or roasted barley. Pierre Pierre Jelenc pcj1 at cunixf.cc.columbia.edu Columbia University, New York Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 02 Nov 92 14:41:34 EST From: <SMTP at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU> Subject: Undeliverable Mail Friday night was the first formal meeting of a new homebrew club, "Whatever Ales You" in Westchester County, New York. Almost all of the members brought homebrews along for all of us to taste, including my brew partner and myself who brought what we had planned on being a traditional bitter. Sadly, when our beer was presented, it had a strong yeast aroma and flavor. To me, it almost seemed to have the characteristics of a Weisse beer, but others were not so kind and likened it to eating a piece of bread. When I asked if anyone thought that this flavor/ aroma would dissipate with time, most thought that it would not. I have heard a yeasty flavor been described as sulfer-like, but this was not the case. It was definetly more bready, and a little fruity. The recipe was a M&F Traditional Bitter kit that consisted of a 3.3 lb. can of hopped malt extract and a package of dry ale yeast. To this was added an additional lb. of amber DME, and a 1/2 oz. of Goldings hops for aroma in the last 2 minutes of the boil. (Hop aroma is bearly noticable through the yeasty smell) This was the recipe that I used for my very first batch of beer, and it has yeilded some pretty tasty beer in the past, for such a simple recipe. The beer was fermented in primary for 7 days at 73F and was racked to secondary for an additional week. The beer is very green and has been in the bottle for just over 2 weeks. Carbonation is good and there is an average amount of sediment on the bottom of the bottle. Is there any hope for this beer? Will the yeasty flavor dissipate over time? What could have caused this problem? Was it the yeast, a sanitation problem (bacterial infection), or something completely different. Thanks for any advice. EZ Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 92 08:40 CST From: arf at ddsw1.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) Subject: Lauter Tuns To: Homebrew Digest Fm: Jack Schmidling >From: iepubj!korz at ihlpa.att.com >Correct me if I'm wrong, but digest #997 is the first I've heard that you stir the grain bed *DURING* the sparge. That's because you have never bothered to ask me for the detailed procedures via email. There is a limit to what can be posted in the Digest without incurring the wrath of the anti-commercialism gang. Furthermore, any process or product that is worth the name, changes and improves as it evolves. > I recall from one of your first posts, that you have a bowl sitting (partially submerged) in the top of the grain bed into which you pour the sparge water. This seemed to imply to me that you were not stirring. It's not real hard to move the bowl or stir around it during sparging and after all the sparge water is in, I take it out and give the whole mess a good mix. > I also believe that you had mentioned that you used a knife or skewer of some kind to poke holes in the grain bed to restart the runoff if the sparge got stuck (I'm not 100% sure, perhaps this was someone else). The sparge has NEVER stuck with this system. I "cut the mash" to re-distribute the water/mash, i.e. stir. korz>Stirring the grainbed while the runnoff is being taken will only korz>accentuate the channelling -- the sparge water will fill the "gorge" korz>created by the spoon or paddle, quickly making it's way down to the korz>outlet at the bottom. Wrong. > Picture a lauter tun full of set jello. A knife is stuck into it korz>and moved around in a circle. The slit left in the jello is the channel. korz>If you were pouring water on top of the jello, you can see how it would korz>prefer to go down the slit as opposed to forcing its way through the korz>jello itself. Granted, this is an exaggeration.... That is not an exaggeration, it is totally off the wall. There is not the slightest relation between the two. When a mash is stirred, we have a swirling suspension of particulate material in a sugar water solution. It is more analogous to tea leaves in a cup of tea than it is to jellow. How you can visualize "channels" in a swirling cup of tea, totally escapes me. >No complicated systems are needed. I agree they are not needed, I was referring to the many articles posted here on the subject. >Draw off a quart or two and dump it in the top. I prefer an ounce or two. > The reason for the turbid wort is usually a too-fine a crush. I disagree with this. If you have an inch or more of dead space under the false bottom, this space will always be full of trubid stuff no matter how you crush it. The bare minimum would be to recycle this stuff. In my system there is ZERO dead space because there is no false bottom. >A rollermill (such as the modified Mercado Mill or yes, the infamous MALTMILL) is virtually essential to getting a good crush with a minimum of flour. Interesting choice of words, "infamous" and juxtaposition of the two. As I recall, you own MALTMILL. Are we to gather that you prefer the modified Mercado? > >The EM system runs clear after only a few ounces are drawn off initially and continues to run clear even after thorough stirring of the mash. >It seems that if this needs to be done multiple times, and the first few ounces are turbid each time (which I'm quite sure will happen), the amount of turbid runoff can add up, no? Wrong again. It's only turbid the first time and I only do it often enough to convice myself that it isn't really necessary anyway. The only reason I started the stiring procedure was to test the extraction effectiveness. Obviously, if the extraction does not change with or without stirring, than we can assume that the extraction of the system is adaquate. Fact is, there is no noticeable improvement in extraction if the mash is stirred. This seems to prove that this whole discussion is academic. >Starting with a properly-crushed malt, it seems to me that a "start it and just add sparge water system" is simpler than one which requires stirring. >Agree with you that a simple lautering system with a minimum of expensive equipment is the best solution, so what's simpler than a couple of buckets with some holes in one -- you can even get the food-grade buckets free from bakeries. The process is simple but it requires two additional pieces of equipment, some effort and hardware to prepare them for the job and is prone to cause stuck sparges if not properly handled. My "system" is simply an add-on to a brew kettle that is required anyway and the process is idiot proof. But the bottom line is that I am not trying to re-invent the wheel or trash what works for others or get rich quick. What I am trying to do is take the voodoo out of all-grain brewing so that people are more inclined to give it a whirl. The procedure I have evolved provides a natural and uncomplicated transition from extract to all-grain that is as easy as falling off a log. >Nevertheless, perhaps the only way to resolve this is experimentally. We should, for the good of homebrewing, compare these systems and report back. We'll have to meet on neutral ground of course ;^). I am giving a talk on KETTLE MASHING at the next Club Wort meeting on Nov 9. Perhaps we could discuss it there. I will also be bringing samples of WGB to this week's meeting of the Chicago Beer Society.... an ale made with Belgian malt, my first lager and an ale made with my home grown hops. js Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 92 16:24:05 CST From: ssi!mtd at uunet.UU.NET (Michael T. Daly) Subject: Wheat without the S. Delbrukii (sp?) Rob (bradley at adx.adelphi.edu) writes: >On a related note (since one might have to use ale, lager or wine >yeast for the above) is everyone really so sure that you can't >get wheat character from an ale yeast? In 1987 I won best wheat While not entering contests, I have done two all grain batches of wheat (50% wheat, 50% barley) beer and I can taste a fair amount of the flavor I associate with standard wheat beer. I used SNPA for both batches. I still havn't tried using any S. Delbrukki (sp) -- neither blended nor straight -- maybe someday soon. Mike Mike Daly (uunet!ssi!mtd) -- (715) 839-8484 -- Supercomputer Systems Inc. 1414 W. Hamilton Ave. Eau Claire, WI 54701 As Maine go, oh so Pogo go Key Largo, Otsego go to Frisco,....--W.K. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 92 22:39 CST From: fjdobner at ihlpb.att.com Subject: Homebrewer Hall of Fames Well if there were a homebrewer Hall of Fame or at least an exhibit of famous people that were/are homebrewers, I would have a nomination. As it turns out Woody Guthrie brewed his own. I recently borrowed a CD set of the Library of Congress recordings of Woody talking from 1940 and while I was playing with my kids and half-listening to the CD, I heard the words malt and yeast mentioned. After I backed up to the part that contained these words, I found out that at the age of 16 years old (1928) Woody and his buddies would make up batches of Prohibition brew while they were playing hookey. Since they wanted to drink their brew as soon as possible, rather than adding one cake of yeast and waiting three days to drink, they added three cakes and waited one. Belly aches all around according to Woody. Just thought you might interested. Frank Dobner Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 1992 23:59:38 -0600 (CST) From: MEHTA01 at SWMED.EDU Subject: sparging principles and procedures questions Hello i have some questions about sparging: it's principles and procedures. Principles of sparging: 1. Sparging is done to extract the sugars left in the grains 2. The grains must be in a pile, with water (hot) surrounding them for a while; this water is then run-off. 3. One of the added benifits (apart from getting more sugars) is that the grains clarify the wort by acting as afilter bed.. So, this is what i use, but i have never reached the efficiencies mentioned in previous postings: i have a styrofoam cooler, with a plug outlet at the very bottom. 1 inch from this bottom is a false bottom made of a wire mesh (not very fine, just enough to hold up the grain) and held up with rods that are imbedded into the walls. So, i have a false bottom sparging setup. Now i transfer the grains from the mash into this sparging setup and add 1 1/2 to 2 gallons of hot water into this cooler, slowly, periodically opening the outlet plug. Some points about procedures: Should i recirculate these run-offs collected from the false bottom? Is this method of sparging efficient? (Oh, BTW, i spread the water all over the surface when adding it) Are there any recommendations or suggestions to improve this system? How is the procedure different from the copper tubing setup i have heard about in a lauter tun?? Please help this beginner all-grainer... Shreefal Mehta Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 92 9:45:36 PST From: "Donald G. Scheidt" <aw2.fsl.ca.boeing.com!dgs1300 at bcstec.ca.boeing.com> Subject: Re: CAMRA Good Beer Guide Questions Attempts to mail gcw at garage.att.com have met with no success, so I'll post this here. This can be useful information for others who are UK-bound (especially for the first time). In HOMEBREW Digest #1003, Mon 02 November 1992, gcw at garage.att.com asks: >Date: 30 Oct 92 13:20:04 EST (Fri) >From: GC Woods <gcw at garage.att.com> >Subject: CAMRA Good Beer Guide Questions > >1) The CAMRA guide defines a "public bar" as "drink is cheaper" - my >question is what is the price difference between a public and non-public >pub and for the pubs not listed in CAMRA, how would one know if the pub >was a "public bar"? You're experiencing a bit of difficulty here with some British-English terms, mainly the words "pub" and "bar". A "bar", in American-English, is often any establishment where one can get a drink, usually alcoholic, occasionally accompanied by food (as in "Harry's American Bar and Grill"). This is not what is meant by the word "bar" in Brit-Eng, especially w.r.t. pubs; rather, a "bar" is a type of counter that one finds inside a pub, where one orders drinks. A "pub" is short for a "public house"; thus, there can't be any such thing as a "non-public" pub! Now, there are different types of bars in pubs - often the "public" bar and the "saloon" bar. The public bar is characterised by a sort of basic (but not necessarily rough) "masculine" environment - a place to meet your mates (friends!) after work for a couple of pints. Public bars are usually simply furnished, often with stand-up tables (no chairs!), or at best with wooden high bar-stools, and can be a bit smoky and noisy when full. The saloon bar will be a bit more refined and comfortable, the kind of place where a gentleman might escort a lady for a drink, or one might stop for an after-theatre drink, and where comfortable chairs will be provided at tables, perhaps with a fireplace at one end. Since this will be a bit more nicely furnished and decorated, the price of a pint will be correspondingly higher. It may be the same beer, but you're paying to drink it in somewhat nicer or more comfortable surroundings. There is a little of the old class system at work here, too; the ordinary working-class bloke will have a pint or two in the public bar, whilst the more affluent professional person might prefer the discreet atmosphere of a saloon bar, especially if it is outfitted with "snob screens" (a magificent example of this is the Lamb in Lamb's Conduit Street, Bloomsbury, London) to screen one's private conver- sation from the bar-staff, and limit one's interaction with the bartender to simply ordering drinks. >2) "Free Bars" are mentioned in the description of bars - what is a free >bar and do most pubs charge cover? "Free Bars" are usually referred to by the more prosaic "Free House". Pubs don't charge cover unless they are featuring live music or theatre. The meaning of "Free House" comes from that other British peculiarity, the "Tied House" concept, whereby the breweries are allowed to engage in a practice that is normally illegal in the USA: owning the pubs that sell their beer. Thus, a Bass tied-house will serve Bass ales, a Grand Met tied- house will serve Grand Met/Watney's brands, a Fuller's tied-house will serve Fuller's Chiswick Bitter and ESB, and so on. A free house is nominally independent, and thus not normally obliged to carry any particular brewery's products. In practice, many free houses will obtain financing for improve- ments and operations from a brewery, and in exchange for an advantageous rate on the loan, will feature that brewery's beers; it is still nominally a free house, but is now obliged behave somewhat like a tied house. Good examples of tied houses include the above-mentioned Lamb (tied to Young's) and the Olde Cheshire Cheese (tied to Samuel Smith's). Two good free houses are the Sun (in Lamb's Conduit Street, not far from the Lamb) and the Museum Tavern (just south of the British Museum). The Sun endeavors to keep a dozen good beers on tap, all cask-conditioned real ales, usually from smaller independent berewers (refer to the section in your _Good Beer Guide_ on the independent brewers and the Big Six). >Do any HBD's know of pubs not listed in the CAMRA guide one should not >miss and of course which pubs serve the consistently best real ale? Don't miss the Lamb! It is usually in the Guide, and for a good reason. Try the Sun, even if it isn't in the Guide (it wasn't in 1992). Absolutely do not miss the Black Friar, usually in the Guide, and for a very good reason - once visited, never forgotten! The Black Friar is only open on weekdays, by the way, so don't try it on Saturdays and Sundays. Try also the Phoenix and Firkin, one of the Bruce's homebrew pubs - it's not always in the _GBG_, but it's a great place. Then there's the Magpie and Stump, near the Old Bailey (Central Criminal Courts), and the Salisbury in the heart of the theatre district. I'll be in London on December 26th (Boxing Day), and as it's a holiday, I guess we'll just have to make do with a good old-fashioned pub-crawl; I know it's a tough job, but somebody has to do it :=) ! There is another pub guide published; the name escapes me at the moment, but it is an independent guide, something like "Guide to Britain's Best Pubs", and not affiliated with CAMRA. The guide is put together with contributions from the general public (CAMRA or not), and is fairly reliable. It's quite a bit thicker that the _GBG_, as its format is different - the descriptions are much more complete, mentioning things like atmosphere, food, music (or absence of same), and amusements (the ubiquitous "fruit machines", (slot machines), pinballs, electronic games, etc.). E-mail me if you want the proper name, author, and ISBN of this book - it's worthwhile for the same reason as the CAMRA _GBG_. This other guide often lists perfectly good pubs that may not make a given year's _GBG_. - -- Don | Republicans understand the importance dgs1300 at aw2.fsl.ca.boeing.com | of bondage between a mother and child. | -- Vice President Dan Quayle Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1005, 11/04/92