HOMEBREW Digest #1068 Tue 02 February 1993

Digest #1067 Digest #1069

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  W L Nutrient Medium ("M. Mitchell Smith")
  Lager... (MARK TARATOOT)
  WL nutrient agar update ("Bob Jones")
  Cider Sweetening... (Brian F. Brown)
  Re: Beadle (korz)
  Re: keeping properties of yeast slurry (larryba)
  Re: Keg Problems (korz)
  Re: Aluminum brew pot & and spices (Frank Jones)
  Mixing beers ("Bob Jones")
  Brewing Sake (Phil DiFalco)
  Homebrew Digest #1066 (January 29, 1993) ("JSDAWS1 at PROFSSR")
  BUGS! (Dan Watson)
  RE: brewpots (Murray Robinson)
  Malted rye? (Carlo Fusco)
  need bigger brewpot (Stephen Brent Peters)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1993 15:53:42 EST From: "M. Mitchell Smith" <mms7r at ascus.micr.virginia.edu> Subject: W L Nutrient Medium In HBD #1066 Bob Jones asked about WL Nutrient Agar. Here's what I could find: "Wallerstein Laboratory Nutrient Medium" was devised by Green and Gray, Wallerstein Lab. Comm., 13:357, 1950. I couldn't find it as pre-poured plates, but you can get the powder ready to mix and autoclave from suppliers of Difco microbiology products; it is Difco catalog number 0424-01-7 and lists for $43.00 per pound in my Curtin Matheson Scientific, Inc. catalog. From the recipe below, I'm guessing 1 pound would make about 5.5 liters of medium. That should keep you in green for awhile :-). Here's the recipe from "Products for the Microbiological Laboratory", Baltimore Biological Laboratory, Inc. (BBL). [The book lists it as BBL product no. 01-388 but I couldn't find it in the BBL section of current suppliers.] Formula in Grams per Liter of Distilled Water - ------------------------------------------------ Yeast Extract 4.0 Trypticase 5.0 Dextrose 50.0 Monopotassium Phosphate 0.55 Potassium Chloride 0.425 Calcium Chloride 0.125 Magnesium Sulfate 0.125 Ferric Chloride 0.0025 Manganese Sulfate 0.0025 Brom Cresol Green 0.022 Agar 20.0 Preparation - ----------- "Suspend 80 grams of the dehydrated material in a liter of distilled water. Mix thoroughly. Heat with frequent agitation and boil for about 1 minute. If a final pH of 6.5 is desired, the pH may be adjusted with one per cent aqueous sodium caronate, using about 30 ml. per liter of water. ... Dispense and sterilize the medium by autoclaving at 121C. (15 lbs. steam pressure) for 15 minutes. Avoid overheating and unnecessary remelting." Use - --- "W L Nutrient Medium is recommended for examination of worts, beers, liquid yeast and other materials. At a pH of 5.5, reliable counts of variable brewer's yeast cells may be obtained. With the pH adjusted to about 6.5, the medium becomes suitable for obtaining counts on baker's and distiller's yeast." The same medium can be used for counting contaminating bacteria with the addition of cyclohexamide at 0.004 grams per liter to inhibit the growth of yeast. This then makes it "W L Differential Medium". Caveat - ------ We've never used the stuff. Proceed at your own risk! I didn't do it!! -- Mitch - ----------- M. Mitchell Smith mms7r at Virginia.EDU Department of Microbiology (804) 924-2669 University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 22908 Return to table of contents
Date: 01 Feb 1993 10:47:26 -0600 (MDT) From: MARK TARATOOT <SLNDW at CC.USU.EDU> Subject: Lager... Greetings. I have a quick question about lagering. What are the advantages/disadvantages of lagering in "bulk" (ie in the carbouy) versus lagering in bottles? thanks -toot Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 93 10:16:13 PST From: "Bob Jones" <bjones at novax.llnl.gov> Subject: WL nutrient agar update A few additional details on the WL nutrient agar. As I understand the media it changes color primarily do to Ph reactions. Yeasts turn green and other things turn pink or white. The term "wild yeast" in my last post, wasn't the best possible description. What one would do is plate out an unknown yeast source from say a bottle of beer. Then by eyeballing the growth shapes and colors one can easily identify the different types of yeasts. Then each different type is picked up and built up and used to ferment a test batch of beer or wine. The desirable ones are saved and re-used. I have a paper from a talk given about 10 years ago by a person from The Winelab. As I recall this media was used to isolate and culture all their yeast strains. I hope this short explaination better describes the way I think this media is supposed to be used. And JS your are welcome for the "Wet Dream". Bob Jones Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 93 13:17:15 -0500 From: Brian F. Brown <bfbrown at media.mit.edu> Subject: Cider Sweetening... Looking for a recipe to sweeten cider which has turned out very dry. I want something of the Woodchuck style, but maybe not quite as sweet. 11/21: put Camden tablets one each in four gallon jugs of cider. 11/22: pitched 2 gallons with wine yeast, 2 with shampagne yeast 1/10: Racked all to secondaries. Tasted small glass of both styles -> too dry Any recipes which sweeten after fermentation with something like apple juice concentrate or something else are requested. Please email reply. Thanks a lot, BB Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 93 13:00 CST From: korz at iepubj.att.com Subject: Re: Beadle Chris writes: >Mr. Beadle ("Brew it Yourself*"), and at least two other British >1960s-type books abhor boiling: > > "Do not bring the water to a boil. You will remember > from the section on commercial procedures that the malt > was kept at a temperature of 153 degrees Farenheit to > allow the diastase enzyme to convert starches to sugar > for correct fermentation of the malt. If you allow the > water temerature to approach the boiling point, you will > upset this sugar conversion and cause it to refix at a > stage that will not allow the yeast to convert all the > malt sugar to alcohol and and carbon dioxide. The > temperature of the mixing water must not exceed 153 > degrees F. Every other book on home-brewing has > incorrectly given instructions to boil the malt in the > water to dissolve it. This will only guarantee that > some of the malt sugar will not be converted. This > single bit of misinformation from those who should know > better has caused many beginners to become unnecessarily > discouraged in their attempts at brewing." >Tenth-grade chemistry was many moons ago. Every book I've stumbled >across published since then (c1971) recommends boiling, even up to an >hour for porters and stouts. Since that is what I'd like to brew, I >have a few questions: > >1. Has brewing chemistry advanced since then, proving this guy > and my library of 1950-70 homebrewing books wrong? Don't confuse the MASH with the BOIL. In all-grain brewing, you MASH, LAUTER, BOIL, CHILL, FERMENT and PACKAGE. In extract brewing, you simply BOIL, CHILL, FERMENT, and PACKAGE. Our knowledge of brewing chemistry may have advanced, but the physics involved and therefore the chemistry is still the same. If Mr. Beadle and your 1950-1970 homebrewing books are saying that you should not boil your wort, then indeed they are wrong. The passage Chris has quoted and which I have included here, on the other hand is referring to mashing. If you begin from malt extract, where the producer of the extract has already done the mashing and lautering for you, so you start the process from the boil onwards. It appears that Mr. Beadle is perhaps confusing infusion mashing with decoction mashing or is mis-reading "every other book on home-brewing." I suggest that any beginner first read Charlie's book, "The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing." This book is all you really need to begin brewing. If you want to continue your studies, I recommend then reading Miller's "The Complete Handbook of Homebrewing" followed by Noonan's "Brewing Lager Beer," followed by George's "Principles of Brewing Science." The reason I recommend the books in this order is because Charlie's tone and language de-mystifies brewing and concentrates on stressing how easy brewing really is. I feel that the other books dive into complicated procedures and science much too early for a beginner -- they could really scare a beginner away from starting. Once you've read the four books I mention above, you can then go back and read older books and see if you can't find little bits of useful information hidden among all the stuff you already know. Saturday night I was reading Foster's "Porter" and ran across something I had yet to read in any other book (alas, I can't remember what it was, but it's stored away in my brain somewhere and I'm sure it will come to me in the right situation). Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 93 14:23:52 -0500 From: polstra!larryba at uunet.UU.NET Subject: Re: keeping properties of yeast slurry In HBD #1067, Peter Maxwell writes: >There have been a few replies to my earlier questions regarding reusing the >slurry from the secondary fermenter. Comments like "it should keep for a >few days" or "a week or two" appeared as did something to the effect of >leaving it longer would result in autolysis, which is bad. > >Given that several people have indicated that they leave their brew in the >secondary for months sometimes, why don't they suffer from autolysis also? > ... Good observation. I have recycled slurry from my primary that was sitting for over 7 months in the refer at 50f (my delivery box). Of course it needed to be rejuvinated: I added fresh wort, shaked vigorously, let settle for a day, poured off the liquid into some more fresh wort and waited until it took off. Easily 99% of the slurry was dead, but there were a few live ones in there that took off. My experience is that within two weeks the slurry can be directly pitched into the fermenter and a violent start will be observed, followed by complete fermentation in an unbelievably short time. Good tasting beer follows. Longer than that and you need to restart the yeast by adding fresh wort, let it start to ferment and separate out the live yeast (as described above) and build it up again. The reason yeast might survive eons in a secondary or keg or bottle is that there is lots of wort (beer) on top of it with residual sugars that the yeast can slowly work on. WIth reclaimed slurry, usually it is topped with plain water (in my case) so there is nothing but their neighbors to feed on. - -- Larry Barello uunet!polstra!larryba Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 93 13:28 CST From: korz at iepubj.att.com Subject: Re: Keg Problems Carlo writes: >Every time I try to pour a beer there is nothing but foam. I have tried some >of the ideas mentioned last week in the digest and none work. > >I have chilled the beer before taping, tried a long [6ft] and short [10in] >liquid out hose, bleeding off the excess pressure in the keg before pouring, >let it sit for a week after force carbonating. > >What I have noticed is that the beer is not losing CO2 in the liquid out >hose, it remaines a liquid until it gets to the cobra tap and all I get is >foam comming out of the tap. Assuming your pressure is correct for the temperature you're using, I have two suggestions: 1. Are you opening your faucet all the way? Note that if you only open it part-way, the constriction will cause foaming, so *always* open the faucet full blast. 2. Could your faucet be dirty or have something stuck in it? Take it apart and soak it in bleach for a few hours then rinse, reassemble, rinse, rinse and rinse again. Even though my faucets are stored inside my beer fridge, when I don't pour from a particular keg for a week or so (I can have four on-line at one time) sometimes a glob of mold forms inside the faucet (YUK!). Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 93 12:33:16 MST From: frank at Solbourne.COM (Frank Jones) Subject: Re: Aluminum brew pot & and spices in #1067 jason at beamlab.ps.uci.edu askes: >Is there anything wrong with using an Aluminum brew pot. Yes, don't. Aluminum reacts with the acidic wort, to produce off tastes. I'm sure some of our chemists can tell you exactly what happens. The best rule of thumb is stick to Stainless Steel & or Copper equipment. and: >I try to make a beer with any spices or special ingredients >it turns out horrible. All the simple ale's with only >malt, sugar, and hops turn out great, but with the addition >of even just cinnamon it turns into icky beer. >Some of the bad spiced brews seem to have the presence of another > form of alcohol or solvent, that the non-spiced ones lack. The >procedures are the same for both spiced and non-spiced. The only >thing that could be different (besides the presence of spices) is >maybe I boil longer when I add spices. I have had good success with spices added to the fermenter, *not* during the boil, for a Chrismas Ale I made last November. I put all the spices (cimmamon, clove, ginger, orange zest, and nutmeg) into about 2 quarts of water, boiled them long enough to feel confident that they were sterile, cooled to room temp. I added them to secondary, then racked wort on top, from the primary. If you use one step fermention, I would add after pitching yeast. Beer came out very good, a bit ginger heavy, but was drinkable after two weeks (orange was strong, after about 4 weeks ginger was the winner), it is wonderful now, if only, I had more of it :( It was real popular with the Christmas Guests... Hope this helps. >Am I making Alzheimer brew? how would you know, who made this beer anyway? :) fj.. - ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Franklin R. Jones National Technical Support Engineer frank at Solbourn.COM <-Internet...snail-> Solbourne Computer Inc. 303.678.4769 1900 Pike Road fax 303.772.3646 Longmont, CO 80501 - ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "If we are not supposed to play with words... then why do we have so many?? - ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 93 12:47:13 PST From: "Bob Jones" <bjones at novax.llnl.gov> Subject: Mixing beers OK, I would like to hear peoples views on mixing beers. I used to really be rather stiff shirted about this whole affair. I figured that if the brewer made a beer certain way, then by damn it shouldn't be messed with! I have become a little more relaxed about these things in the recent past, and as a result have had rather good mixes. How about Sierra Nevada Celebration ale with a floater of Anchor Old Foghorn? Yum, yum. Their both great beers, but the two mixed create a third beer that is as great and different. I realize that there are a few of you that live in "the beer waste land" and this discussion could drive you mad. I have found some interesting mixes on my home draft system. I usually go through and squirt alittle beer from each tap into a common glass to keep the taps from sticking (this IS mandatory work you know). I of course drink this mix of beers, and some interesting combo's have come up. I remember the Vienna lager and the Scotch ale mix, sort of a Robust Porter. Have I gone off the deep end, or am I finally relaxing? One thing is for sure, when you mix about five draft beers while lubing those taps, the mix sure don't lack complexity! Bob Jones Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 93 15:16:19 -0500 From: Phil DiFalco <pdifalco at fnma.COM> Subject: Brewing Sake From: Japan Times, January 29, 1993 -- "Brewing fuzzy for sake's sake, Computer helps make up for dwindling makers' ranks" FUKUSHIMA (Kyodo) A computer system for controlling the fermentation of malted rice, the most important process in brewing sake, has been developed by a technical center here. Fukushima Prefectural Aizu Wakamatsu Technical Support Center spent four years working on the system, which it claims will help the industry, hit by a shortage of skilled brew masters. A local sake brewer is now experimenting with the system to assess its feasibility for commercial use. In brewing sake, malted rice, or "moromi," is fermented in a tank to turn starch into alcohol. The trick is making the precise temperature adjustments during the process. This has been difficult to automate. The center developed the technology to automatically measure the specific gravity of moromi and its alcohol content during fermentation. The technology permits a temperature gradient to be maintained between the surface and bottom. The center talked to many chief brewers about temperature adjustments and computerized the data collected. The outcome has been a fuzzy-control system for adjusting temperature. The art of brewing takes years of experience to master. A fully qualified brew master needs to spend more than 10 years in the business. But many chief brewers are farmers who work in breweries in their spare time. According to the Central Association of Sake Brewers Cooperatives, the average age of chief sake brewers across the country rose by about 10 years to 60 over the past 14 years. The aging of the brewers and lack of successors have cast a pall over the future of the industry. Tadashi Sato, chief of the Fukushima Prefectural Aizu Wakamatsu Technical Support Center's brewing department, hoped the new fermentation control system will alleviate the problems. - --- email: pdifalco at fnma.com (NeXT Mail Okay) Philip DiFalco, Senior Analyst, Advanced Technology FannieMae, 3900 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 22016 (202)752-2812 Return to table of contents
Date: 01 Feb 1993 15:10:15 PST From: "JSDAWS1 at PROFSSR" <JSDAWS1 at PB1.PacBell.COM> Subject: Homebrew Digest #1066 (January 29, 1993) *** Reply to note of 01/29/93 00:52 Subject: Homebrew Digest #1066 (January 29, 1993) I've been reading various techniques and opinions for re-pitching yeast ( trub ? ) from a previous batch to start a new one. While common sense tells me that pitching the contents of the 2ndary is better than the gunk typically found in the primary. One evening a couple weeks back I was getting ready to make a yeast starter by consuming a few SNPA's and just coincidentally killed a 3-gallon cornbellius keg of some very tasty pale ale. It occurred to me that a potentially very stable source of yeast would be the residue at the bottom of this keg, since I prime the beer before racking into the keg. I made up the starter as usual, dumped it into the keg, and pumped it back into my 500 ml flask. By morning, the contents had fully fermented. I haven't tried the resulting beer yet. The flash fermentation of the starter resulted in it going dormant but I did have active fermentation in my beer within 18 hours. I plan next time to simply hold the pressurized dregs and draw off some wort during the boil, add it to the keg, shake the s--- out of it and pump that directly into my wort. My only question is: would the cold temps which this ale yeast endures while in my refrigerator cause any off flavors, etc in a finished beer ? BTW. I've found that 1 bottle of good home brew, or 3 of fresh SNPA makes a great starter. | If it's good enough for ancient druids runnin naked thru the woods | | drinkin strange fermented fluids then it's good enough for me. | | JACK DAWSON - JSDAWS1 - 415 545-0299 - CUSTOMER BILLING (BG) | Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 93 17:09:38 MST From: dwatson at as.arizona.edu (Dan Watson) Subject: BUGS! Yo Y'all, Not long ago, I got geared up to make a batch of I.P.A. Rummaging around in my shelves I found a tupperware bin of about two lbs of pale ale malt which I promptly added to the grain bill. This stuff had been sitting for a couple of months. Humming a happy tune, I milled all of the grain together into a big clear plastic bag (keeps the dust down), and proceeded with the preparations. With everything ready and HB in hand, I grabbed the bag and found it teeming with thousands and thousands of tiny black bugs!! Talk about a terrible sinking feeling! Horrified and discusted, I threw the whole ten lbs out to the chickens (who thought this was QUITE the treat), and went and begged some grain from a friend (thanks Ken!) and the day was saved. These guys look like beetles and on close inspection there were tiny holes in the husks of the grains. Has anyone else had experience with these monsters? How can one avoid them? I was thinking about storing the grain under CO2 in kegs, maybe these things can't grow without O. Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks, Dan Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 2 Feb 1993 11:40:24 +1030 From: Murray Robinson <robinm at mrd.dsto.gov.au> Subject: RE: brewpots In HBD 1066 Mike Writes: > After some thought I've decided to invest in all grain brewing. > The problem seems to be that the start up costs for the equipment > could be over $100. I can get access to a corona through my > local homebrew club and the cost of converting my cooler for mashing > is minimal. The main cost remains, a large 7-10 gallon brewpot. > So does anyone have any ideas on where to find a good deal on a large > pot? I've been eyeing one at the local "PACE" store recently. It is > a 13 gallon oval shaped "Revere" copper boiler for $80. I was hoping > to find something for under $50. > > Any ideas? I have just gone through the process of acquiring the bits and pieces for an all setup and have found some particularily good sources for large brewpots (ie larger than 10 gallons). 1) Try your local software manufacture for secondhand kegs. Places like Coca Cola not only have the 5 gallon Cornellius Kegs that brewers use for their draft beer systems but they also have 10 gallon Stainless Steel Kegs. These 10 gallon kegs allready have handles welded onto them so all you need to do is cut a hole in the top of it to convert it into a pot. In Adelaide the 10 gallon SS kegs sell for $45 secondhand. 2) Phone you local beer manufacturer and go through the same process with them. If you can purchase secondhand kegs from them you will not only need to cut a hole in the top of it or cut it through the middle but you will also need to put some handles on it. 3) Try a few scrap yards. In Adelaide, one of the local scrap yards bought all of the secondhand 18 gallon kegs from the Coopers Brewery for $18 and was reselling them to the public for $40. Quite a markup, but, still reasonably cheap for a brewpot if you can do the metal work yourself. 4) In Australia, the dairy industry used to use 10 gallon SS drums for transporting the milk. This has now changed and their are a lot of old drums to be had from local dairy farmers. As far as price goes it depends on the farmer you talk to and the condition of the keg laying around his farm. From my experience prices go from free to $50. Hope this helps. I chose to buy the 10 gallon kegs from Coca Cola. Cheers, Murray. Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 2 Feb 1993 01:42 EST From: Carlo Fusco <G1400023 at NICKEL.LAURENTIAN.CA> Subject: Malted rye? Does anyone have any idea where to get malted rye. I want to try brewing a beer with a hint of rye wiskey flavour...it also seems like a Canadian thing to do ;-) Carlo Fusco........g1400023 at nickel.laurentian.ca Return to table of contents
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1993 23:20:05 -0500 (EST) From: Stephen Brent Peters <sp2q+ at andrew.cmu.edu> Subject: need bigger brewpot Howdy, I'm looking for a pot big enough to go all-grain with. Say, 8 gallons? Are there any pittsburgers out there in net-land who could point me in the right direction to pick one of these babies up for a good price in or near the city? I'd also buy a used one if I could find one. -Steve Peters 521-5580 sp2q at andrew.cmu.edu Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1068, 02/02/93