HOMEBREW Digest #1007 Fri 06 November 1992

Digest #1006 Digest #1008

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Lauter Tuns (Jack Schmidling)
  smithwick's (Tony Babinec)
  folk wisdom about hops ("Stephen G. Pimentel")
  beer in the news (dave ballard)
  Re: good brew in Cleveland (Robert West)
  when to rack off trub? (Rob Bradley)
  SG readings (Peter Maxwell)
  Brewing Celis White beer (STROUD)
  yeast & trub (Brian Bliss)
  pyrex tubes  (Carl West)
  Carbonation in kegs (David Birkhead)
  Lost spices (pmiller)
  dry beer (Peter Mentzel)
  dry beer (Peter Mentzel)
  commercial beers to report alcohol strength? (Tony Babinec)
  Diacetyl Rest (Josh Grosse)
  Beer in history (David Van Iderstine)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 5 Nov 92 00:00 CST From: arf at ddsw1.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) Subject: Lauter Tuns To: Homebrew Digest Fm: Jack Schmidling >From: "Daniel Miller" <dmiller at mailbox.syr.edu> >I had the opportunity to talk with an employee of the A-B brewery here in sunny Syracuse at a Halloween party last Friday... , I did find out how they remove the alcohol from their NA beer. Turns out they use dialysis. Sorry, wasn't able to get more details. Another data point to experiment with. Yah, right. Amazing how many obscure processes they come up with and how they never have any details on them. The truth of the matter is that they simply add water till the alcohol content is less than .5% then carbonate it. >From: R_GELINAS at UNHH.UNH.EDU (Russ Gelinas) > Jack, the problem with your points/pound/gallon efficiency calculation is that it doesn't take into account different grains. If you use all 2-row and I use 2-row, munich, roasted barley, rice, barley flakes, and wheat, we cannot truthfully use p/p/g to compare our efficiency. Some grains/adjuncts have more possible sugar available than others. The only true way to compare is to calculate the percentage of the theoretical true way to compare is to calculate the percentage of the theoretical maxmimum. Except that you have to do a separate calculation for each grain type and you must then compare them to what someone else claims to be the max for each type and somehow integrate them into an overall average. If someone else comes up with different numbers, chaos will reign. I am not suggesting that it is not useful information, I am simply saying it is not a universal standard. Finally, it leaves someone else hanging who only has the other number. He has no way of comparing with what you did. It would be far simpler to state the p/p/g ratio and as no recipe is complete without a grain bill, the info is there for those who need it. It is virtually impossible to work backward from the per cent number. >From: korz at iepubj.att.com >> If one goes on to sparge out the mash and makes the measurements again, one now gets the extract efficiency or the ability to get the converted sugar out of the mash. This now depends on the lautering system and process and has nothing to do with conversion or malt type. >Sure it does. If you only converted 1/2 of the starches, you can only get 1/2 as much sugars out of the grains as you could have if you converted 100% of the starch. Your extract efficiency is bound by (as you called it) your conversion efficiency. Your extract efficiency is only as good as your weakest link which may be either your mashing or your lautering. I only disagree with the opening sentance. IF you measured the conversion efficiency before sparging, then the final extraction will measure your abililty to get the KNOWN sugar out of the tun. I simply separated the whole process into two separate steps for analysis purposes. >> The point of all this is that it is unwarranted to criticise a brewer's > equipment or his process or his materials for extract/conversion problems > equipment or his process or his materials for extract/conversion problems > based on end results. There simply is not enough data to make that > judgement. >That's why I suggested that brewer's who are getting bad numbers post thier procedures and ask for comments. 4000 heads are better than one. I couldn't agree more but perhaps you have forgotten that this started out as an allegation of a "design flaw" that results in "poor extract efficiency" in a system that works just fine and suffers from no such problem. js Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 92 9:49:33 CST From: tony at spss.com (Tony Babinec) Subject: smithwick's There have been a number of postings lately on Smithwick's, mostly from Canadian HBDers. I had the good fortune to visit Ottawa recently, and wandered into the Earl of Sussex. They have a dozen beers on tap, all from keg, not cask. But, these included Smithwick's Bitter, John Smith's Yorkshire Bitter, and Stone's Bitter. All were quite good. Upon returning to the States, I looked up Smithwick's in my CAMRA guide, and found nothing. Then I looked it up in Jackson, and found Smithwick's listed under Ireland. According to Jackson, Guinness and Allied Breweries have formed Irish Ale Breweries, with breweries in Dundalk and Kilkenny. Smithwick's tasted like a bitter, not an Irish ale. It is a very drinkable beer. To my knowledge, it is available in Ontario, but not the States. Maybe some importer will wise up! Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 92 16:02 GMT From: "Stephen G. Pimentel" <0004876702 at mcimail.com> Subject: folk wisdom about hops A bit of folk wisdom from the farmers of the UK... Snow on Christmas night, good hop crop next year. Return to table of contents
Date: 5 Nov 1992 11:11 EST From: dab at donner.cc.bellcore.com (dave ballard) Subject: beer in the news Hey now- Two beer-related issues in todays news- First- Archeologists have discovered a clay pot in Iran that dates back to 3500 BC. The pot contains "a pale yellow liquid" made from fermented barley- beer. If this is indeed beer it would be the earliest signs of brewing found to date. Second- Some kid in Minnesota followed her science teachers instructions (allegedly) to mix water, sugar, and yeast and seal it in a plastic bottle. You guessed it- boom. The mother of the kid says that the house now reeks of stale beer (you should smell my house lady). Have any of you ever made the national wire by having one of your brews go bang? I didn't think so... dab ========================================================================= dave ballard dab at cc.bellcore.com ========================================================================= Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 92 08:06:13 PST From: esri!deadcat!robert at uunet.UU.NET (Robert West) Subject: Re: good brew in Cleveland >Greetings. I'm headed for a computer conference in Cleveland and would love >recommendations on where to find good brew in the area. Thanks in advance The Great Lakes Brewing Co. is a pretty good place to go for beer and a meal. The address I have is 2516 Market St in Cleveland. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 92 13:46:48 -0500 From: bradley at adx.adelphi.edu (Rob Bradley) Subject: when to rack off trub? In HBD #1005, Peter Maxwell asked about trub and racking off it, prompting several replies in HBD1006. My usual brewing procedure (for ales) is to make 5.5 gallons and brew in a bucket primary leaving the beer on the trub. I rack off the sediment into a 5 gallon carboy, typically on day 4 or 5, and get a full 53 or 54 bottles, unless I add a lot of dry hops. I'm generally pleased with the results. As has been pointed out (in 1006 by Al Korz as well as others in earlier issues) trub contains nutrients which can be be beneficial in the initial, aerobic phase (respiration). As well, I have found the trub doesn't compact very well, so that even after a few hours (much less 30 minutes!), racking either carries a LOT of trub to the new vessel or leaves a LOT of good wort behind. So, after various attempts racking off the trub in 1987 and 1988, I stopped worrying. In 1990, I experimented racking off the trub in the 12-24 hour range. I believe this was recommended in the HBD around #600. I didn't notice any particular improvement the first couple of times and then I got a batch with an INCREDIBLE, UNDRINKABLE amount of diacetyl. End of experiment. Back to racking on day 4. I would be interested to hear the experience of others: * as to how completely one can get rid of the trub when racking within the first few hours, and * racking after respiration. Cheers, Rob (bradley at adx.adelphi.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 1992 11:20:22 -0800 (PST) From: Peter Maxwell <peterm at hpdtlpm.ctgsc.hp.com> Subject: SG readings The idea of taking SG readings on successive days to determine when fermentation is essentially complete sounds a good one. Up until now I've simply waited for bubbling to cease. I'm nervous about continually opening the secondary fermenter to siphon off a sample, and I tried putting the hydrometer in the fermenter but couldn't read it properly. The thought then occurred to me : why not take a sample at the time the wort is being transferred and simply keep the hydrometer sitting in this, taking a reading each day? The assumption is that the sample has all the same characteristics as the main batch, including fermenting yeast and will continue the same way. My question is: is this reasonable? Will such a small volume continue fermenting at the same rate as the main brew? Comments, opinions, past experience? Peter Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 1992 14:53 EST From: STROUD <STROUD%GAIA at leia.polaroid.com> Subject: Brewing Celis White beer So, you want to homebrew a witbier, eh?? Well, five members of the Wort Processors who recently attended the Dixie Cup also had the good fortune to be taken on a personal tour of the new Celis Brewery in Austin. The hosts, including Pierre Celis himself, were most gracious and were very open about the brewing procedures used in their beers, especially their terrific witbier, Celis White. I was able to gather the following information: The grist is made from 50% Belgian 6-row malt & 50% Luckenbach hard red winter wheat. After being milled it undergoes a simple infusion mash at 149 deg. F for 1 hour (no protein rest!). The mash is sparged, then the wort is boiled for one hour. The hops (Saaz, Cascade) are added only for the last 15 minutes of the boil. We were not told the hopping rate, but it must be very low. The spices (coriander and orange peel -pulverized in a hammer mill) are also added for the last 15 minutes of the boil, at a rate equivalent to 2 gms coriander and 2.1 gms orange peel per 5 gallon batch. After the boil, the beer is whirlpooled to remove hot break, then is chilled and transferred to the primary. OG is in the range of 12 Plato. The Celis wit yeast is then pitched and the beer fermented in the high 60's F for 7 -10 days, then transferred to a secondary, and a strain of lactobacillus is added and allowed to work until the pH of the beer drops to 4.4. The beer is then pasteurized; dextrose and yeast (same yeast as primary) are added, and the beer is allowed to condition. Celis White should be available in Boston and California in the near future; the yeast in the bottle should still be viable, assuming that it haasn't been killed off sitting in some hot Texas warehouse. I hope that this helps you brew your own wit beer! - Steve Stroud PS - the Celis Brewing Co. had brewed a Grand Cru just before our visit, and it was happily fermenting away in the primary. We were told that it was all barley, no spices were used, OG was about 18 Plato, and the Celis White yeast was used. It should hit the Texas market around Dec. 1. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 92 14:14:27 CST From: bliss at csrd.uiuc.edu (Brian Bliss) Subject: yeast & 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? Other people in this forum have done blind taste tests, and the consensus is that it is very important to rack off the trub, especially if you don't use a blowoff. (don't ask me why the two factors are connected) I think it makes a big difference, even when using a blowoff. >2. Is the presence of trub likely to interfere with fermentation and cause > it to get stuck? No. In fact, the presence of the trub will actually help the yeast during the aerobic phase (but does it produce off-flavors in the process?). As to whether or not you should rack before, during, or just after the aerobic phase is still an open question. (I rack before) >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. Many people simply siphon off the trub from the brew kettle, and it works just fine. I don't because I can't see through my brew kettle. My 6-gal fermenter is taller and narrower than my brew kettle (i.e. making for a smaller layer of wasted clear wort on top of the trub), and I can see exactly what I'm doing. >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. Yes, you do leave much of the yeast behind, but the yeast that falls out of suspension isn't as healthy as the yeast that stays in suspension (and plenty will stay in suspension). >5. Is there anything wrong in racking after fermentation has commenced? > Is this too late? A vigorous starting yeast (i.e. whitbread ale) will mix the trub back into solution, and even if there's still a good layer of trub on the bottom and not much has been mixed back into solution, your siphon will keep stopping from the expelled CO2. Aside from that, the aerobic phase is complete at this time and the trub layer has already affected the yeast growth. Again, as to whether this is bad is still an open question. >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? Siphoning off the trub is an ideal time for the added aereation. The yeast use up all the O2 in solution during the aerobic phase; as soon as they run out, they switch to anerobic fermentation. Re-aereating can induce the aerobic phase again. It's best to aereate liberally, perhaps shaking the fermenter several times over the first few hours, but once the anerobic phase has started O2 should not be introduced into the wort. - ------ > 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. Give the bottles a week or two in the fridge, to get the yeast to settle out of solution and for a nice hard cake on the bottom. (and be careful when pouring). Since the beer is still quite young, chances are that an incorrectable case of yeast autolysis has not yet occurred. - ------ >>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. I own a MALTMILL (well, 1/3 interest in one), and am a satisfied customer, although switching to it from the Corona did not have as big an effect on the sparge as I had expected. I just like its speed, the fact that my arm isn't ready to fall off when I'm done, the fact that the little dust produced is kept in the bucket with the grain, and the extra couple of SG points/lb that it buys you. >> >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. But how clear is "clear"? - ------ on a totally non-brew topic... >| Republicans understand the importance >| of bondage between a mother and child. >| -- Vice President Dan Quayle Did you hear that the first thing George Bush did after voting was to go out and buy a quail hunting license?... bb Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 92 11:58:53 EST From: eisen at kopf.HQ.Ileaf.COM (Carl West) Subject: pyrex tubes Bill Szymczak asks: >I am also interested in buying some pyrex test tubes...Does anyone have >a better (cheaper) source for such items. Try American Science & Surplus item# 22362 catalog# 67 page# back cover package pkg (24) description culture tube, 15mm x 125mm price/package $5.00 Their phone# is (708)475-8440 They have a minimum $10 order and minimum $4.50 shipping charge The tubes are Pyrex. The catalog is fun, check it out. Carl WISL,BM. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 92 11:19:42 PST From: sybase!daveb at Sun.COM (David Birkhead) Subject: Carbonation in kegs In HBD #1003 Robert Haddad writes: >Granted that draft beer should not be as carbonated as the bottled >kind. >Nevertheless, I have not yet been truly happy with the level of >carbonation in my kegged brew. I have lately tried to chill it a >little more, but while that improved things somewhat, the brew is >still somewhat still... >I have kegged stout, and various other ales. I prime the beer with >1/2 cup of corn sugar per 5 gal cornelius keg (with about 4.5 gal of >brew in it). The pressure in there by party time is about 25lbs. You might want to try using CO/2 from a cylinder. There are 2 ways of doing this. 1) Charge up your keg to about 45 psi and shake it for about 5 miniutes. Let it sit cold over night and it is ready to serve. Pros: This will give beer in about 12 hours. Cons: This method gives you courser bubbles (more similar to the bubbles in calistoga water vs perrier). 2) Charge up your keg to about 45 lbs. and let it sit cold for about 48 hours recharging it about every 12 hours. About 2 hours before serving bleed off the pressure to serving pressure. Pros: This gives you beer that for my money can not distinguished from naturally carbonated beer. The bubbles are small and you get a good head on your beer from a keg. Cons: It takes a little longer (iIf this is a problem then why are you making beer ;-) Good luck, Daveb Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 92 16:52:52 CST From: pmiller at mmm.com Subject: Lost spices I had an interesting experience last weekend while I was washing up a carboy which I had used for primary fermentation of a spiced ale: I had made a spiced ale using spices (obviously) and orange zest. I dumped the spices in the brewpot about 10 minutes before the end of the boil. The aroma that those ingredients created during the boil was wonderful and strong. The batch of beer ended up being about 4 gallons which I fermented in a 5 gallon carboy using a blowoff hose. Because of all the extra head space, though, a lot of 'gunk' ended up on the carboy shoulders that would have normally been forced out of the hose. When I went to clean the carboy, I noticed that wonderful aroma again as soon as the hot water hit the 'gunk'. The obvious conclusion is that a lot of my spices didn't stay in the beer. I know that I wouldn't have noticed this if I hadn't happened to make a 4 gallon batch and I just wanted to bring it to everyone's attention. The problem, as I see it, is that vigor of fermentation could change the 'spiciness' characteristic of my beer in the future if I continue to use this method. An active fermentation will blow a lot of spices out the hose while a quiet one will result in most of the spices staying in the beer. Now, if you're already making wonderful spiced beers with great consistency, then skip to the next article, otherwise here are three ideas to improve homebrewed spiced beers: 1) Don't use the blowoff method. Ferment in a 6 or 7 gallon carboy and you'll retain everything you put into the beer. [This, of course, will be unacceptable to the people who swear by the blowoff method to remove fusel alcohols, etc., but it's your call...] 2) Boil the spices longer to capture the spice flavor directly in the wort. [The problem with this is that you could lose all your spice aroma due to the extended boil.] 3) Boil the spices and what-not separately in a small amount of water to make a spiced 'tea', cool, and dump the 'tea' into the secondary to flavor your brew. I like 3) the best due to the disadvantages that I pointed out for 1) and 2). I think I'm going to try this next year, but I'll probably have to reduce the spice level somewhat. Has anyone ever tried this approach and how did it work for you? Phil Miller pmiller at mmm.com Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 92 15:02:41 -0800 From: Peter Mentzel <mentzel at u.washington.edu> Subject: dry beer Some time ago I remember reading several postings about "dry beer." I cannot seem to find them now, but I would very much enjoy hearing from anyone who has brewed a dry beer or has a recipe for one. Please send mail to my email address. Thanks! Peter Mentzel (mentzel at u.washington.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 92 15:02:41 -0800 From: Peter Mentzel <mentzel at u.washington.edu> Subject: dry beer Some time ago I remember reading several postings about "dry beer." I cannot seem to find them now, but I would very much enjoy hearing from anyone who has brewed a dry beer or has a recipe for one. Please send mail to my email address. Thanks! Peter Mentzel (mentzel at u.washington.edu) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 92 18:30:51 CST From: tony at spss.com (Tony Babinec) Subject: commercial beers to report alcohol strength? I don't have the news clip in front of me, but earlier this week it was reported that Coors won a court ruling permitting the reporting of alcoholic strength on its packaging. The article suggested that Coors wants to do this to dispel a perception that its beers are "weaker" than the competition's. Allegedly, commercial brewers are (were) forbidden from reporting alcoholic content because of "prohibitionist" concerns that the consumer would gravitate to the stronger beer in a quest for drunkenness. Yet, spirits and wine have known alcoholic contents! I welcome the reporting of alcoholic content as a step toward "truth in packaging." Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 92 23:10:50 EST From: jdg at grex.ann-arbor.mi.us (Josh Grosse) Subject: Diacetyl Rest A couple of HBDs back, a question was asked about the purpose and technique for implementing a diacetyl rest. Purpose: To reduce the level of diacetyl (butter/butterscotch flavor or aroma), a ketone, below the taste threshold. Most often done with lagers. Diacetyl is produced by yeast, but given time (and temperature) the yeast can reduce diacetyl to flavorless diols. Technique: After fermentation completes, the wort's temperature is raised from lager fermentation temperature (approx 48-54 F) to room temperature, and held there for 24 hours or so, prior to racking to secondary. References: Miller's "The Complete Handbook of Home Brewing" and Fix's "The Principles of Brewing Science." - ----------------------------------------------------------------- Josh Grosse jdg at grex.ann-arbor.mi.us Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 92 21:14:07 EST From: localhost!davevi at uunet.UU.NET (David Van Iderstine) Subject: Beer in history An A.P. story, seen in the Boston Globe, 11/5/92: - --- Find in Iran suggests beer from 3000 B.C. ----------------------------------------- New York - Hey, Sumerians, this brew's for you! Scientists say they have found the earliest known chemical evidence that ancient people quaffed a few beers: yellow deposits on the inside of a jar more than 5,000 years old. Tests suggested that the deposits were calcium oxalate, a substance that settles when barley beer is stored or fermented, the researchers said. [Gee, didn't the digest *just* decide that vinegar was the way to go on those unsightly deposits?] The finding supports other evidence of beer at the same time, around 3500 B.C. to 3100 B.C., at the same archeological site in western Iran and at several sites in Iraq, study co-author Patrick McGovern said. McGovern, an archeological chemist at the University Musuem of Archeology and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, reports the work with Rudolph Michel of the museum and Virginia Badler of the University of Toronto in today's issue of the journal Nature. Badler said researchers had already found that barley was common at the site. The jar came from the same room at the site where researchers had found evidence of wine in other vessels. - --- Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1007, 11/06/92