HOMEBREW Digest #1026 Fri 04 December 1992

Digest #1025 Digest #1027

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Apple Cider - The Saga Continues (Richard Childers)
  St. Louis Brews (JPJ)
  Brewing Safety ("Bob Jones")
  Twist-off longnecks. (Chris McDermott)
  Yeast . . . who is right ?? (Kevin Krueger)
  Yeast . . . who is right ?? (Kevin Krueger)
  sprecher black bavarian (Tony Babinec)
  Grafting Hops onto Marijuana roots?==>SuperHops? (30PCALVIN)
  Re: making spice extracts (Arthur Delano)
  Starting liquid yeast  (parsons1)
  Iodophor & glass (korz)
  Rogue AI programs (korz)
  belgian cara-pils/belgian malts/revival porter (Tony Babinec)
  Spray malts ? (David P. Peden)
  The Real Weizens Reveale (jim busch)
  Keg Pressure, Crushing (Jack Schmidling)
  sulfur smell/Wyeast shyness (korz)
  Carbonating Mead & No-sparge mashes from Micah Millspaw ("Bob Jones")
  Re: MashThickness/Oxidation/MetallicFlavor (korz)
  rousing the yeast (TPH)
  Cantillon Lambics in DC (Mike Sharp)
  Re: WeirdStarter/BlowoffTubeCleaning/Baderbrau (korz)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 00:23:42 PST From: Richard Childers <rchilder at us.oracle.com> Subject: Apple Cider - The Saga Continues I've gotten enough response that I'm guessing others are interested in the cider experiments I've been doing recently, so I thought I'd summarize my recent tests. I've been waiting for the most recent batch, bottled in 22 oz. bottles, to become drinkable. Generally, I test for 'drinkability' by examining the cap curvature - if it is depressed, or concave, it has room for further natural carbonation. If convex, IE, puckered upwards, it's definitely ready. ( I like my homebrews with a head. ) This also helps identify bottles ready to blow .. I have another batch, made strictly from those yeasts on the apples when they were pressed, acquired from a batch of unpasteurized apple cider purchased in Northern California. As has been noted previously, this natural yeast pop- -ulation is not composed of one strain, more, many strains, possibly even a complex ecosystem unto itself in the wild. I'm brewing cider to see what the difference in taste between natural and Champagne ciders might be, and I'll see if it's possible to maintain this culture across multiple generations - or, using that starter culture, to evolve towards another culture derived from the first one that is stable and produces quality cider, if the culture as it is, is not a stable ecosystem within the microclimate that is the cider jug. It occurs to me that a microecosystem composed of many interacting parts might be more resistant to mutation, as each niche occupant would be dependent upon its divergent - but still coresident in the ecosystem - niche occupants, which would collectively reject it from the ecosystematic interchange - IE, refuse to participate with its nurture, and thus, cause it to _not_ flourish, where those which did not diverge from the norm, as enforced by N divergent but related microorganisms, _would_ flourish ... a sort of additional natural selection. That is, where a single culture might be subject to mutation, there might be in the set of all possible combinations of yeasts, certain yeasts which, when combined in the correct proportions, formed stable ecosystems naturally resis- -tant to mutations, using the above mechanism. A home brewer's dream, and per- -haps an explanation for why, long, long, ago, brewers seemed to have selected for such combinations ( a mysterious business, no one seems to know how these came about as far as I know, they're kind of hand-me-downs from whomever start- -ed thew brewery or acquired from other breweries ) - or Nature helped. Speaking of nature, maybe I should publish in _Nature_. (-: Back to cider ... the latest batch was made with champagne yeast, and although it's not yet fully carbonated, it _was_ effervescent, with many very small bubbles throughout and a deliciously sweet, fruity taste, the bubbles likely a consequence of the champagne yeast. I've been recycling the champagne yeast and the batches seem to be evolving towards an improved quality ... or maybe I just waited longer this time. (-; - -- richard ===== - -- richard childers rchilder at us.oracle.com 1 415 506 2411 oracle data center -- unix systems & network administration Klein flask for rent. Inquire within. Return to table of contents
Date: 03 Dec 92 11:40:48 EST From: JPJ at b30.Prime.COM Subject: St. Louis Brews Help!!! I'm going to be moving to the Greater St. Louis area in about 5 days. Can anyone suggest worthwhile brewpubs, micros, and hb stores in the area? What are the good local brands? I don't want to waste any time!!! Thanks +------------+ | Jim Jedrey +------+ | JPJ at B30.PRIME.COM | +-------------------+ Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 07:43:17 PST From: "Bob Jones" <bjones at novax.llnl.gov> Subject: Brewing Safety As Wayde Nie pointed out in the last HBD brewing safety IS important. I like beer, but I wouldn't give my life for it. I would not use ANY electricity around a brewery setup of any type without all electric devices being connected through a GFI. Water + electricity = DEATH! I have had several thing in my brewery cause the GFI to trip, possible saving my life. I don't think safety is mentioned often enough to brewers, I ask Terri Farendorf to give a talk on safety at an AHA conference several years ago. She did mention safety in her talk, however, she seemed hesitant to preach about it. She was severly burned with hot water at a brewery. There are lots of thing to get you while brewing, hot water, breaking glass, electricity, heavy objects on your toes, grain mills milling your fingers, high pressure CO2 tanks, gas explosions from propane or natural gas, etc. Think about safety before relaxing, Bob Jones, stepping down from soapbox Return to table of contents
Date: 03 Dec 1992 11:13:58 -0500 From: Chris McDermott <mcdermott at draper.com> Subject: Twist-off longnecks. Twist-off longnecks. >Date: Wed, 2 Dec 92 16:08:49 GMT >From: baker at dfwdsr.SINet.SLB.COM (James Baker - Dallas Seismic) >Subject: bottles > > > A minor thing: I usually get my bottles the old-fashined way, I earn > them. I went to the beer store to buy some long-necks and noticed > something. All of the longnecks from the big guys had SCREW-ON caps. > Is this just in our area, or has someone else noticed it? > (Please, no preaching.) I think that you'll find that the biggies make two types of longnecks. The first type, the kind you saw, are for sale to the general public. The second type are sold to drinking establishments and are often called (at least in this part of the country) 'bar bottles'. The first type have twist-off caps, and are intended for disposal or recycling. The second type use the traditional gotta-use-a-bottle-opener crown cap, and are intened for reuse. They tend to be much sturdier than the first type, because they are to be reused (refilled), as opposed to recycled, where bottles are melted down to make new bottles. Anyway, the upshot is that you want the second type and not the first. You might find them at a liquor, but more likely you won't. You will be able to find them at a bar or resturaunt. The trick is to get someone to give or sell you the bottles. By the way, these bottles usually come in heavy duty, waxed cardboard cases that are quite good for the storage of homebrew. - Christopher K. McDermott Internet: mcdermott at draper.com C.S. Draper Laboratory, Inc. Voice: (617) 258-2362 555 Technology Square FAX: (617) 258-1131 Cambridge, MA 02149 (USA) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 10:30:57 CST From: krueger at comm.mot.com (Kevin Krueger) Subject: Yeast . . . who is right ?? As I stated in my previous post on HBD, I am relaying the info. for restarting yeast that was given to me by a homebrew store. I am doing this because I am confused about when to pitch yeast in the beer. I have heard two different stories and I believe there is a correct answer since yeast culturization is supposed to be a science. Here goes it . . . "To rehydrate, use water only, not wort, approximately 1/4 cup water to 1/4 oz. yeast. The optimum temperature range is 104 to 115 degrees F. Temperatures below 84 can create "cold shock", and too hot a temperature can kill the yeast cultures. 1) Add the yeast to water, not water to yeast. 2) Allow the yeast to sit in water for 5 to 10 minutes before stirring, never longer than 30 minutes. 3) If the wort temp. is 16 or more degrees greater than starter temp., gradually add quantities of wort to yeast, waiting 5 to 10 minutes between additions. 4) Add starter to same temperature wort to avoid phenolic aroma and plastic taste." Now correct me if I'm wrong, but Papazian's book says that the wort should be 78 d. F or below in order not to kill the yeasties. I have always done it that way, but my homebrew store guy says that it is not correct yeast technique. Does anyone have any thoughts on this ?? Any references would be great so as I can have a clear mind on yeast. Kevin Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 10:30:57 CST From: krueger at comm.mot.com (Kevin Krueger) Subject: Yeast . . . who is right ?? Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 9:28:51 CST From: tony at spss.com (Tony Babinec) Subject: sprecher black bavarian Russ Wigglesworth mentions Sprecher Black Bavarian in a previous HBD. A number of us in Chicago are big fans of that beer--it's arguably Randy Sprecher's best beer. I think of it as being roughly in the Kulmbach style. In broad terms, this beer is "bigger" than a Munich Dunkel, and gets some of its color and flavor from highly roasted grains. Randy has described the grain bill on brewery tours, but I don't recall it now. Russ's characterization of BB as a lager counterpart to a porter is probably a good one. Between Sprecher Black Bavarian and Lakefront's East Side Dark, Milwaukee has two delicious dark beers with way more character than American Dark or the popular imports (e.g., Beck's Dark). The only difficulty is getting your hands on these beers, as they are only available in the Milwaukee area. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 1992 11:44 EDT From: 30PCALVIN%UNCSPHVX.BITNET at VTVM2.CC.VT.EDU Subject: Grafting Hops onto Marijuana roots?==>SuperHops? So, A long time ago at a party some guy told me that since hops and pot are the same type of plant you could graft them together and the resulting hop flowers would contain the THC that the MJ would have had. Seemed suspect to me. If it were true, and _I_ knew about it, it seemed that someone with lots of land up in Washington state would be growing the stuff (legally, I guess) and we'd see this stuff on the market, (and then splashed across the headlines of Time, Newsweek, and the like as the next "designer drug" that's infiltrating our schools). Anybody ever hear of this being tried? Did it work? Curious minds are cranking away, Phil Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 12:16:35 EST From: Arthur Delano <ajd at oit.itd.umich.edu> Subject: Re: making spice extracts XLPSJGN%LUCCPUA.bitnet at UICVM.UIC.EDU writes about trying a gloegg essence from scratch: ]I opted to get a bag of these spices - cinnamon, cardamom seed, rasins ]dried orange peel, and some others I can't remember now - and a bottle ]of Ever Clear grain alcohol to soak them in with the hopes of making ]my own "extract" or "Glo:gg essence". Here's the question, though: ]How exactly do I go about making such an extract? first, the beer will do a fine job of extracting flavors and odors from the spices on its own: i've simply added them at the end of the boil and let a few bits float in the primary. Second, (if the beer's already brewed), try making a tea with the herbs: boil them in water for 5 or 10 minutes, and add the tea to the beer. Third, (if you're dedicated to making an alcoholic extract), there are several ways to go. The easiest is to simply put the spices and alcohol in a jar and leave it be for several weeks or several months. Swirl the jar every so often. A somewhat faster method is to use a double- boiler to heat the alcohol and its contents. Do not let the water in the heater pot boil! The ingredients will still have to cool and steep for a while. Note that the final alcoholic content of this stuff will be far greater than the 65% of the commercial gloegg mix: you will have to thin it down with water (and possibly sugar if the commercial gloegg mix is sweet). I would be wary of adding alcohol to beer, because the final mixture combined at bottling time might kill the yeast and produce a batch of flat beer. Since there are other methods of adding spices to beer which are known to be successful and require less work, making an alcoholic extract seems extravagant. AjD Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 10:42:19 -0500 From: parsons1 at husc.harvard.edu Subject: Starting liquid yeast In #1025, Kevin asked why his starter cultures were wimping out. First of all, you should add 2 tablespoons, not 2 teaspoons of dme to 1c. of water. You probably aren't giving the little beasties enough to eat with just 2 tsp. The paper you got from Red Star recommends restarting yeast with water. This would be useful advice if you were using dried yeast (which needs to be rehydrated before primed). There is no point in adding plain water to a liquid culture. Jed parsons1 at husc.harvard.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 11:27 CST From: korz at iepubj.att.com Subject: Iodophor & glass Iodophor contains some iodine compound and phosphoric acid right? I faintly recall in Noonan's book, that phosphoric acid should not be used in contact with glass. Can someone verify this? I don't have my books here and Jed's post today triggered something in my head. Perhaps we have something to worry about? Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 11:58 CST From: korz at iepubj.att.com Subject: Rogue AI programs Don't trust every rogue AI program that comes along. They are not organic like us and don't have to worry about their health. The fact is, that THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, enters your body and never leaves. I have a problem with anything that does this. Scientists have reported that the THC builds up in your body (I've heard in your brain and in your genetals, but this could be propaganda) and can cause problems down the road. My advice is to stick to hops. Now, all I need to do is figure out what I'm going to do with all these dead brain cells if I ever make it to BJCP Master judge... Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 12:27:05 CST From: tony at spss.com (Tony Babinec) Subject: belgian cara-pils/belgian malts/revival porter The Belgian Cara-Pils ARF mentions in a previous HBD is best thought of as a light crystal malt. It has a color rating of 8L. It should not be confused with U.S. Cara-Pils, which has very little color, is very hard and "glassy," and is generally used to add dextrins, and therefore body, to the beer. It seems that the way to get caramel/crystal malt flavor is to add larger proportions of a lighter crystal malt to your grain bill. The Belgian Cara-Pils, at 8L, and Belgian Cara-Vienne, at 20L, are two good lighter crystal malts for this. Being crystal malts, these malts can be steeped. To get malt flavor, use Belgian Munich (8L) or Belgian Aromatic (25L), or equivalent German light or dark Munich malts, in some proportion. Note that these malts must be mashed. The Belgian Biscuit malt can be used in recipes that call for "amber" malt. It has a color rating of about 22L, and has a "biscuity" flavor. To make "brown malt," take pale ale malt and toast it in your oven for 50 (that's right!) minutes at 400 degrees F. This is a suggestion from Randy Mosher. Some old recipes for porter called for 9 parts pale malt, 5 parts amber malt, 5 parts brown malt, and 1 part black malt. So, in that spirit, we offer the following recipe: Revival Porter 5 pounds pale ale malt 2.5 pounds amber malt (Belgian Biscuit) 2.5 pounds brown malt (homemade, see above) 0.5 pound dark (80L or dark) crystal malt 0.5 pound black patent malt 10-15 HBUs Fuggles for bittering, plus whatever flavor and aroma additions you want ale yeast Your mileage may vary with the above grain bill. Also, given that this is a revival porter, you might adjust the grain bill so that your starting gravity is higher, say 1.070, rather than adhere to current AHA porter style guidelines. You'll be brewing a stout porter. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 10:27:32 PST From: davidp at woodstock.ds.boeing.com (David P. Peden) Subject: Spray malts ? The last two batches I have attempted to make a bitter simular to Red Hook. I have purchased bulk (55 pounds) of Laaglander Extra Light spray malt, my problem is that both batches OG were 1.050-1.055 and finished at 1.028. I used both a Wyeast (Irish) for first batch, and Muton and Fison dry (2 packages) for the second batch. My question is are there a large amount of unfermentables in spray malts in general, or is this a problem with the Extra light variety ? I have not had a problem with cans of malt extract finishing so high. David Peden Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 13:32:26 EST From: jim busch <busch at daacdev1.stx.com> Subject: The Real Weizens Reveale Today, my eagerly awaited copy of Eric Warner's book on Weizens arrived from Brewers Publications. As some of you may know, I share Eric's enthusiasm for german weiss beers. While I have brewed quite a few all grain weizens, including employing decoction mashing, a quick reading of the book has shed lots of new insight on the process of replicating an authentic weiss beer. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to any brewer who wants to learn more about this wonderful and challenging style of beer. Some of the more interesting points that I caught during my skimming of the book: Weizen yeast is indeed a single cell clone of S. Cerevisiae, and NOT delbruckii. Lactobacillus delbruckii is indeed used in the production of Berliner Weiss, but in Bavaria the weiss beers are made with S. Cerevisiae, and not S. delbruckii. This has been a misnomer in the homebrewing community for some time, and it is nice to find an authoratative source to dispel this. It is very important to begin the mash cycle at around 100F. This is due to the desire to produce a significant amount of 4-vinyl guaiacol during fermentation. The precursor to this is ferulic acid, which is decarboxylized into 4-vinyl guaiacol by the yeast. In order for this to occur, the ferulic acid must be present in its free form. In order for this to happen, the ester bonds that bind ferulic acid to pentosanes in grains must be broken. This occurs optimally at 111 F and 5.7 pH. Since I had been ommitting the dough in at 95F, I was not optimizing the reduction of these bonds. I had been doughing in at 128F for a protein rest at 122. It would seem that it is beneficial to dough in at 99F, raise to 117, then 122 and finally 127 during the protein rest stages. Single or double decoctions would then be advised. If a single decoction is employed, the boil(malt) stage should be 30 to 40 minutes! Another benefit of doughing in at 99F, is to maximize protease enzyme activity. This will aid in protein breakdown and lead to an easier lauter. Another interesting note is that use of an open fermenter will aid in the production of esters, phenols and higher alcohols. And as has been mentioned here in the past, elevated temperatures increase this effect. Much has been said about the quality of some of the books from Brewers Publications. While I hesitate to endorse the entire line of classic beer styles, they are certainly well worth the small cost when a product like Eric's or George & Laurie's is published. Well done! Prost! Jim Busch Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 11:00 CST From: arf at ddsw1.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) Subject: Keg Pressure, Crushing To: Homebrew Digest Fm: Jack Schmidling >From: dipalma at banshee.sw.stratus.com (James Dipalma) > One more anecdotal point about the filling straight from the tap method.. He had used forced carbonation, and had gone a little overboard, as he kept the beer under 40 psi at 40F. The beer was so highly carbonated, it foamed violently as soon as it hit the end of the tap, making it impossible to fill a bottle. After about 30 minutes of trying, all we had achieved was an incredible mess, one-half gallon of homebrew sitting in a catch basin, another half-gallon sprayed about his cellar floor, six bottles half-filled with foam, and two very chagrined homebrewers. Believe it or not, the solution would have been to increase the keg pressure. It is hard to overcome the resistance to increasing the pressure when you get too much foam but that's the way it works. No matter how much co2 pressure it was carbonated with, there is always a higher pressure at which the beer will flow without foaming. The problem is, it may flow so fast that it blasts the bottom of the bottle and foams there. I know the feeling you describe because I have been there and that is what drove me to trying counter pressure filling again. >Subject: Mashing & sparging from Micah Millspaw >2) the crush was actually too coarse (I WANT a roller-mill!!!! Santa???) <This is problably less than ideal but is not as likely a culprit as would be a too fine crush. Far be it from me to argue with a certified expert but this is contrary to the physics of the process. The efficiency of the mash conversion is inversely proportional to the particle size of the starch granules, i.e, the finer the crush, the higher the extract efficiency. Large particles do not get properly wetted and can go through the entire process and remain dry starch. Just for the hell of it, I brewed a 500 ml test batch with uncrushed malt and got a gravity of 1.002. The efficiency was not worth calculating. The problem with too fine a crush is not efficinecy, it is potentially cloudy beer and stuch sparges. It is also highly over-rated as a problem and this opinion comes from one who sells roller mills. I have previously commented on the fact that the perceived evils of too much flour are all out of proportion to reality. Flour actually promotes extract efficiency as long as there is enough husk to keep it out of the runoff. This not only depends on the mill but also on the mashing process and lautering system. js Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 13:01 CST From: korz at iepubj.att.com Subject: sulfur smell/Wyeast shyness chuckm writes: > I am currently fermenting a 5 gallon batch made from Laaglander DME >using Wyeast 2206 bavarian lager. Now, on the third day of primary I have >a strong sulfur-like smell coming from the brew. > > 2. Is my batch ruined or is this just a phase it is going thru It's just a phase. Wyeast Munich has a similar phase in which it smells like home perm solution. Let it ferment out, bottle it and then lager it at 40F for 4 months and everything will be forgiven. In the case of my home perm solution bock, four months of lagering got it in the best-of-show at one competition and a 2nd place in the Bock category in two other competitions. ************** Kevin writes: >I am trying Wyeast for the second time and am a little concerned as >my first attempt failed. So I guess I am a little gun shy or over- >worried about some stinking yeasties. Well, concern about the health of your yeast is good -- especially liquid yeast because it is a bit more fragile than dry yeast. >I have the "break the seal, wait until package is 1" thick" routine >down quite well. I am confident I did that right. I mixed the yeast >with an 85 degree solution of 1 cup water and two teaspoons of m.e. >and airlocked it in a sterile bottle. I saw activity in one day. The >activity stopped at the end of the same day. Did it run out of food ?? I think that 85F is a bit high, but it seems okay if the yeast actually still made CO2 for a day. Two teaspoons is not very much DME -- I use 1 ounce (weight) per 8 ounces (liquid) of water. I hope you did not simply heat water to 85 and then add the DME. You should boil it for a couple of minutes to sanitize the water and the DME. I think it did run out of food. 1 ounce (weight) of DME lasts my yeast about 2 days. > >I prepared the wort the next day. Threw the yeast mixture (70 degrees F) >into the wort (78 degrees F) and there has been no activity for 12+ Again, you need to be careful with temperature differences -- they will shock the yeast into dormancy or worse! It's not so critical going from a room temp starter into a slightly warmer wort. I'd say you were within a resonable temperature, but a few degrees more or if the wort was 8F LOWER than the starter, you could have been in trouble. A 12 hour lag time with liquid yeast is not bad. I've had 36 hour, even 48 hour lag times with Wyeast and the beer came out delicious! Note that aeration is much more critical with liquid than dry since the dry yeast is well oxigenated before drying. >hours. I guess I am curious what stage my yeast ended up at in the >bottle and what happens to it when I pitch it. I have heard that I >should pitch at krausen so my yeasties are active when introduced to >the wort. On the other, there are other theories about pitching the >stuff, so I guess there may be no right answer. However, I have a >little sheet from my local homebrew shop about starting yeasts and >I'd like to post here for any comments. It is supposedly reprinted >from some big yeast co. like Red Star. The interesting info. on the >sheet is the fact that they recommend restarting the yeast with water >only. I'll post tomorrow for any comments. The little sheet is for dry yeast -- the rehydration is completely different from the starter used for liquid yeasts. You could use a starter with dry yeast, but you would still have to rehydrate first. >It seems to me, at this stage anyway, that the dry yeast is almost worry >free since you know right away if it started. I guess I'm paranoid >because I paid three bucks for this stuff and it didn't work last time. >S'pose I shouldn't worry since ... since . . . I AM A HOMEBREWER !! A few years ago, in the Yeast special issue of Zymurgy, there was a comparison of liquid and dry yeasts. The dry yeasts all came up with bacterial infections. These days, we have quite a few more dry yeasts to choose from, Coopers, Lallemand Nottingham (which was used by Dick Van Dyke to make this year's 1st place stout in the Nationals) and Lallemand Windsor, to name three that appear to be very good. I don't know if these yeast's bacterial counts are down to acceptable levels, but in the short term, they make great beer. Many brewer's swear by Whitbread dry. What I'm trying to say is that some dry yeasts make bad beer and some make good beer. Less than a year ago, I posted that I would never use a dry yeast again, but have since reconsidered after tasting some beer made with Coopers yeast. I've also made some with Nottingham and Windsor, but have yet to taste it. I still use Wyeast for most of my brews and I simply could not get the woody character of my Pale Ale without Wyeast #1028 London Ale, but I look at it as having three more yeasts (Coopers, Nottingham and Windsor) to choose from in addition to the yeasts from Wyeast. P.S. I don't use Whitbread not because I think it's a bad yeast (it's not) rather because I'm not that fond of the very "bready" flavor of Whitbread beer. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 11:21:31 PST From: "Bob Jones" <bjones at novax.llnl.gov> Subject: Carbonating Mead & No-sparge mashes from Micah Millspaw Subject: Carbonating Mead from Micah Millspaw >1) Should I carbonate the mead and if so how? Sure, sparkling mead is a very nice option. I have been making mead for some time and have found that the only consistent way to carbonate the mead is by artificial means. Trying to bottle condition mead can be dicey. I like to filter the yeast out of the mead and then force carbonate in a soda keg. I later counter-pressure bottle the mead to avoid exposure to oxygen, as meads are quite sensitive to oxydation. micah ====================================================================== > Fm: Jack Schmidling > After reading an interesting article on barleywine by Micah in the current > issue of the Celebrator, I bagan to wonder about the reasons for thick > mashes. He recommends using a megadose of malt in a mash of about normal > consistancy, to produce a high gravity wort without sparging. George Fix has > also written about the advantages of minimal sparging. > So I ask, why do we sparge at all? Why not just mash 10 lbs of malt in 10 > gallons of water, drain it off and start boiling? > Can anyone support this legend with actual experience? Well Jack, I'll take a shot at it. IMHO there are many advantages to the first running type of mash some of these being thats its easy and less equipment oriented than the sparge type. Also there are some very definite effects as far as beer stability is concerned, there is less opurtunity for hot oxygen reactions, there is the ability for greater and more stable melanoidins to be formed, as well as the collection of greater concentrations of lipids to be collected (lipids can greatly effect head retention). The down side is that it is not very efficient for brewing a single batch of beer,(since it takes a *#$% pot of grain) unless it is a high gravity one and then you are trading off grain cost with the convienence of a shorter boil (with out the volume reduction problem). It is possible to make this more viable by making more than one batch of beer from the same by remashing the same grain. I think that this work quite well it just takes more fermenters and two boils and a long day. From what i've read, sparging is relatively new to brewing, only the last 200-250 years. Prior to this time beers were made separately from the first, second and third runnings of a mash. According to T. Foster porter was the first type of beer to be produced by a sparged mash. By sparging less grain could be used to make more beer of an intermediate gravity. The advent of the sparge to brewing made it less time consuming and less labor intensive. This made it possible to produce more beer in what appears to be a more efficient manner, and it was the eve of the industrial revolution in Europe. So this might be it, Jack, the origin of industrial beer and its host of sins. I say blame it on budmilco. micah 12/2/92 Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 12:04 CST From: korz at iepubj.att.com Subject: Re: MashThickness/Oxidation/MetallicFlavor Paul writes: >2) What will remove the chlorine from my water? What about an activated charcoal filter? Jack writes: > After reading an interesting article on barleywine by Micah in the current > issue of the Celebrator, I bagan to wonder about the reasons for thick > mashes. He recommends using a megadose of malt in a mash of about normal > consistancy, to produce a high gravity wort without sparging. George Fix has > also written about the advantages of minimal sparging. > > So I ask, why do we sparge at all? Why not just mash 10 lbs of malt in 10 > gallons of water, drain it off and start boiling? The simple answer is, to extract more sugars. We could, theoretically, compensate for the lost sugars with more malt, but it would be a waste. Some history is needed regarding Barleywines and English brewing in general. First, some nomenclature: the wort that comes out of the mash, without sparging is called the first runnings. (Although I don't recall it used elsewhere, J.X.Guinard's "Lambic" refers to second and third runnings (I believe) which would be the sparge -- and one style of Lambic ferments the first, second and third runnings separately and then combines them. But I digress). In England, they used to (and some may still do, as well as some breweries in the US) make up a BIG mash and then use the first runnings for a Barleywine and then sparge the grains to make a wort for a Mild. We could do that too if we have the capacity and time. > The search through my references was not very satisfying on the subject. It > seems that the most repeated reason is that the enzyme efficiency is reduced. > But like so many other "problems" that claim this as the evil, the solution > is to simply mash a little longer or use more malt. I don't have my books here at work, but I believe that Miller says a thick mash favors one of the amylase enzymes (alpha or beta, I don't recall) and a thin mash favors the other. I think this might be the data you're missing for the complete picture on this. > > Noonan goes one step further and says a "thick mash improves enzyme > performance. In a thin mash, proteolytic and other heat-labile enzymes are > destroyed in the course of the rest: in a thick mash, they may survive into > the saccharification range." Note that Noonan is implicitly talking about a *decoction* mash. Naturally, since he's the homebrewing's biggest proponent of decoction mashing -- note that at the time he wrote the book, pilsener malt was much less modified and a lot of what he writes needs to be read with that in mind. > > This makes no sense at all. It reads more like a description of the survival > rate of wildebeasts as a result of herding than of chemestry. Consider it in the context of a decoction and it tends to make a bit more sense -- but I agree with you, it's a bit confusing. I have a number of gripes with Noonan -- many things he has written in his book "Brewing Lager Beer" are COMPLETELY wrong and this one borders on wrong -- I would need to re-read the whole chapter to know what be tried to say and see if he's just overcomplicating it or he goofed again. Don't get me wrong, Noonan's book is still very valuable, I feel that ideally, you need to read Charlie's, Miller's, Noonan's and George Fix's books (in that order) to really get a complete picture. There's a lot of minor discrepencies between these authors' books and after reading all of them and brewing a few years, only then does the truth rise to the top. > > Sparging is a "simple" and efficient way of extracting the sugar from the > grain but all other things being equal, it would be more conveninent to use a > thin mash and just a small final sparge to rinse out anything left behind. > It would also greatly simplify that first plunge into all grain beer. Sure -- the added benefit of a thin mash is that it has more thermal inertia and if you stir well, you have less chance of overshooting temperatures. *********************** Bruce writes: >Subject: What exactly is oxidation? > >I would like some information on what exactly is oxidation of wort and >what are the effects (both ill and otherwise) on the flavors of the >beer, how does it occur, how to avoid/prevent it, etc. Oxidation of cooled, finished beer (i.e. at racking to the secondary or during bottling) will give your beer a wet-cardboard aroma or a sherry-like aroma. In most beers it is unwelcome (Chimay Grand Reserve being one exception). Hot-side aeration (aeration of hot wort) causes a darkening of the beer (the oxidation of melanoidins) and a different flavor change (one that was discussed recently, most notably by George, but I'm afraid I didn't quite understand the flavor description and was going to ask him about it in person next time we could have a beer together -- I'll bring the Bateman's). Avoiding oxidation is simple in concept -- don't aerate the beer while it is hot (above 80F) or after it begins to ferment. In principle, this means siphoning gently, avoiding splashing and purging with CO2 prior to transfer if this is available (don't go out of your way -- this is extreme). > >Also, now that I've got your attention here, I noticed a slight >metallic aftertaste on my last batch (a wheat). It was only barely >detectable, but definately there. What are some of the possible >culprits that might have given the beer this characteristic? Several things can give you metallic flavors. The most common are contact with iron, mild steel (not Stainless) or aluminum, metals in your water supply (try filtering or buy bottled), and "hydrolysis of the cereal lipids followed by oxidation of unsaturated free fatty acids," according to Rao Palamand in the Troubleshooting Special Issue of Zymurgy (Vol 10, No 4 -- BUY IT! IT'S VERY INFORMATIVE!). The solution to this last source is to use fresh grains or grains that have been stored well (not oxidized). Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 14:51 EST From: TPH at PSUVM.PSU.EDU Subject: rousing the yeast Help! I mixed up Papazian's Holiday Cheer, orange peels, ginger, cinnamon, etc...pitched dry Red Star yeast and the next morning had great action with good blowoff. Then it quit. For three days the specfic gravity has not dropped at all. Is there any way to save it? I assume that there is no fermentation taking place. How does one rouse yeast? The temperature was high 60's to low 70's. Another question: Does it matter whether you use 7 lbs of DME or 7 lbs of liquid extract? It seems to me that the liquid would be more dilute so they should not be equivalent. Thanks for any help. Tom Hettmansperger Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 14:35:53 EST From: Mike Sharp <msharp at cs.ulowell.edu> Subject: Cantillon Lambics in DC Phillip Seitz <0004531571 at mcimail.com> writes: > It appears that beers from the Brasserie Cantillon are now available > in the Washington, D.C. area. >... > so I don't know who the importer > is. My specialty beer sources in Virginia haven't heard of the stuff. This is being imported by World Wide Imports (aka Maurice Coja of the Brickskellar) I believe World Wide lists its address as somehwere in VA, but I don't know for sure. Odds are good these are in short supply. Usually (from what I've seen so it may not be fact) the Brickskellar folks bring in beer mainly for themselves and only sell a little bit of it to stores. I had a few bottles of this from the Belgian diner given a few months batch in Boston. I've still got at least one bottle in the fridge. Cantillon is a _wonderful_ example of what a lambic should be (IMHO). It is a traditional lambic _NOT_ a syrupy sweet product for the mass market (like some lambics that will be left unnamed). The only products that I've had that are Cantillon's equal (and possibly better) are the Frank Boon products and these should be available early next year if my sources are right. (a company in NY will be importing Boon) Thats not to say I'd turn down a Timmermans, St. Louis, of any of a host of other lambics. --Mike Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 92 12:04 CST From: korz at iepubj.att.com Subject: Re: WeirdStarter/BlowoffTubeCleaning/Baderbrau Alan writes: >I started a yeast culture the other day. Took the dregs of two bottles >of homebrew from a batch of beer that was brewed with first generation >Wyeast Bohemian pilsener. The "wort" I used was a approximately a pint >of water and a little less than a half a pound of granulated sugar that >was boiled for 5 minutes. When it cooled I threw in a teaspoon of yeast >nutrient as well. The day after the starter was starting to bubble, I >noticed some almost clear agglomerations floating at the top of the >wort. Some of the same stuff was in suspension as well as lying on the >bottom. The stuff reminded me of the meat of a lemon (you know, floating >around in ice tea) although it is absolutely colorless. The gas >emanating from the airlock smelled like yeast. > >Yesterday, I threw the stuff out since I didn't want to waste a batch of >beer not knowing whether it was an infection or not. Before chucking the >stuff into the sink, I poured the starter into a glass. The >agglomerations that were present before dissolved completely. Not a >trace of them in the glass. > >Can a starter look like this without being infected? Can it be some sort >of bacterial contamination or or can it be the yeast nutrient? I've >never seen a bacterial infection before so I have no idea what one looks >like. The brew that I cultivated the starter from was the first batch >I've done with liquid yeast and the starter I used then sure didn't look >like this last one. I think what you might have had there were perhaps sugar crystals. It seems to me that you had quite a hefty gravity for your starter. I use 1 ounce of light dried malt extract per 8 ounces of starter (boiled about 10 minutes). That gives me about a 1020 wort. My understanding about the negative effects of high-gravity starters is that the yeast have trouble multiplying in them (and while I'm on the subject of yeast, it's highly UN-recommended that you re-hydrate dry yeast in anything other than plain 100F water). *********************** dab writes: >the gunk out. I currently use a 1" i.d. tube that works really well >but is a total bitch to clean, especially after a particularly violent >batch. I haven't used the glass tubes, but I don't have a lot of trouble cleaning my blowoff tubes. The ones I use for regular (non-fruit -- long, messy story) beers are 5/8" OD, and 1/2" ID. After use, I just soak them in 200ppm Cl bleach solution (1 tbsp per gallon) overnight then run hot water through them. They get stained from the blowoff and turn whitish from the bleach, but I don't worry about it. If one gets really gunked-up, I use a method mentioned a few years ago in the HBD by someone: a wire and a piece of cloth (just like cleaning a rifle). ************************** Steve comments, after an informative post on Pavichevich Brewing's financial troubles: > >I'll bet that a lot of US micros are in similar shape........ I think that Pavichevich's problems are a bit worse than many others. I have not been there, but I've heard from those who I trust and have visited. It seems that Ken went whole-hog when buying the equipment for the brewery. All the equipment was purchased new and of the finest quality. Conversely, I have been to Chicagoland's newest and smallest brewery, Golden Prairie (I believe that's the name). Not nearly the size of Pavichevich, of course, but it's solvent. Everything was purchased used or built by the brewmaster/owner, Ken (a different one). It's a small place that brews a good, tasty beer and selling at a volume (kegs only, for now) that pays the bills. Quite a contrast. Al. Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1026, 12/04/92