HOMEBREW Digest #115 Fri 31 March 1989

[Prev HBD] [Index] [Next HBD] [Back]

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  hop pellets and lauter tun/hop backs (Jeff Miller)
  erratum to Jim Conroy (BROWN)
  Re: liquid yeast (Pete Soper)
  Yeast Activation? (pbmoss!mal)
  Cleaning my kegging system (HELP)... ("Anthony M. Giannone")
  Responses (Oliver Grillmeyer)

Send submissions to homebrew%hpfcmr at hplabs.hp.com Send requests to homebrew-request%hpfcmr at hplabs.hp.com
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 30 Mar 89 8:03:18 CDT From: Jeff Miller <jmiller at unix.eta.com> Subject: hop pellets and lauter tun/hop backs First off I liked Jim Conroy's response to Jackie Browns questions and I also think that Jackie's brew will be fine. If you don't trust it I'll be glad to try it for you! Now I would like to stir things up a bit. I have used whole and pellet hops before but never any of the liquid stuff. My questions to the net in general is what kind of success they are having with different types of hop products. I used to be a hop snob that would require the use of whole hops. The problems that I encountered with this attitude resulted in less choice, more incidences of less then fresh hops, and a real pain in the neck in getting the hops out. I have used both hop bags as well as one disasterous affair of using my Zapap lauter tun as a hop back with whole hops. I like the idea that filtering through a hop bed removes proteins that could contribute to chill haze but I guess I haven't found the correct hop back mechanism to justify the time I would put in trying to remove the hops. Of late I really have started to like using pellets. My local brew shops offer better selections in pellets and I haven't had as many problems with stale hops. The hop bags I used for leaf hops work GREAT for pellet hops. The hop bag (6"x8" with a drawstring) gets keeps most of the hops in the bag so filtering isn't needed. The bag also cleans out nice because once you remove the wort from the bag the hops cling together and come out nicely. When doing this with whole hops its a real mess. Now for lauter tun/hop back systems. I like my zapap lauter tun but I think if I had to do it again I would look at some of the other things that are showing up in my brew supply stores. Namely there is a great spargeing bag available that fits nicely into one of those food grade buckets, has very fine mesh on the side and a little coarser weave on the bottom. For the few bucks it sure would be nicer then drilling wholes and it would probably clean up a whole lot easier. If anyone has one of these things maybe they would like to comment so those interrested in getting a lauter tun/hop back could get a better idea of their options. I have also used different bagging techniques during the cooking. I really like hop bags but the small size I have makes leaf hops harder to handle. I also like to have at least two around so that I can add extra hops easier then pulling the hot thing out of the wort just to burn my hands opening it. I have tried other home made bags that required tying (works ok but the karma just isn't right) to having my wife buy me some special brew nylons. I only tried the nylons for grain and it worked fine for small amounts. I think I'll have to try them with hops to see how they work. If you use nylons get BIG ones. You may even want to try and strech them before using them. Sparging through a huge funnel has always been my least favorite method. I have a nylon bag that fits in the funnel and I can poor through it right into the fermenter. It is a hassle because sometimes the hot wort going in gets thown back out. This can be remedied by expecting it to happen at first and then once the flow gets going the poor goes much easier. Of course when the filter gets plugged up its a real hassle and you also have to hold the hot wort during the poor for a much longer time then just pooring into a bucket. Just my two cents.... Jeff Miller (jmiller at eta.com) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 89 11:10 EST From: <BROWN%MSUKBS.BITNET at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU> Subject: erratum to Jim Conroy > "I took a step up to using dried extract, crystal malt and hop > "pellets. > "I then boiled for 45 min > "added 1oz Bullion hop pellets for 10 min > "added 1oz Fuggles for 3-5 min. > I may be wrong, but it's my impression that dried extracts are usually > unhopped. If the one you'r using is unhopped, the 10 min. boil for Bullion > hops is not going to give you adequate bitterness. You need to boil hops for > bittering (such as Bullions) for 45-60 mins, and save your flavor and aroma > hops (such as Fuggles) for the 10 min and 3-5 min boils. Yup, I was wrong. After checking my catalog collection, I found that Munton and Fison sells hopped dry extract. If you used a hopped extract, my point is moot. We all make mistakes. Jackie Brown (via bitnet: Brown at msukbs) Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 89 12:29:04 est From: Pete Soper <soper at maxzilla.encore.com> Subject: Re: liquid yeast I've added a Wyeast packet to a 5 gallon batch directly three times. Once there was a 24 hour delay until the top of the wort had at least a thin layer of foam on it. The other two times the delay was about 36 hours. I find this much delay intolerable, The cost is also intolerable. When I make a batch of beer with $5 of grain and $1.50 of hops, why should I spend $4.25 for yeast? For the past few months I've split Wyeast packets between a starter and 2-3 sterilized culture tubes and then used the tubes with starters for later batches. I've had no problems with culturing yeast from tubes that have been in my fridge for up to 8 weeks. The one variable that nags me is the amount of nutrient still in the broth at the point I put the tubes in the fridge. I wonder if something bad would happen to the saved portions of yeast if I fermented the Wyeast packet completely out before using it? In other words, would the self-consumption (spelled something like autolysis) problems that I've read about come into effect in this case? I read Leistad's book too. I've had a bag of agar for months to make slants but haven't tried this yet. But for several months I've used a canner to make up batches of sterile wort in pint and quart jars. I use this same scheme for making jars of sterile priming sugar solutions, complete with graduations on the side (with a grease pencil). Finally, I've found that sterilized jars made with the same scheme sometimes come in handy for topping up fermenters. A conflict with starters that I've run into is this: If I pitch the starter while it is active, the yeast is suspended and I've got to include the liquid to get all the yeast, thus adding a large volume of dark, very low gravity wort to my batch. The canning severely darkens the starter wort. If I avoid this by fully fermenting the starter before pitching, I can pour off most of the liquid, then swirl it up and pitch the yeast from the bottom. But then I'm pitching sleeping yeast. I can't decide which way is best but for the moment I'm fully fermenting my (final) starters, since there seems to be as much color in a quart of this as in all the rest of the "Steam Pilsner" I'm making these days. I just got a deja vu, so if I've written about canning already, sorry. I think this is another case of something I started to send to the digest but didn't. As for the kinds of yeasts and their characteristics, here are some quick notes based on my experience. I first used strain #2035 to make steam beers. I'm pretty sure Wyeast has discontinued this so there may not be much point in discussing it except to say that it worked well for me. Fermentations were at 65-68 degrees. Yes, this was too darn warm but it was all I could manage. Number 2042 ("Danish Later Yeast") for some reason gave me a ridiculously under-attenuated batch of beer. This was with the same extract steam beer recipe I'd made a few times before (with 2035), so I had very definite expectations of how it was to turn out. It didn't meet those expectations. However, you can't plot with one data point, can you, so take this with a lump of rock salt. Since other folks have described use of 2042 with no problems I'm thinking of trying this yeast again. I thought I had some data from my supply shop indicating this yeast was non-attenuative, but that was rubbish. Number #2007 ("St. Louis Lager") has been very reliable for me. I've used it around 6 times and the fermentation has always proceeded at a very even pace with primary finishing in about 72 hours. This has been at 55-60 degrees. Like many of you I don't have a fridge and so have never made a true lager. Also, with 2007 when I'm done my fermenter smells like a big batch of rising bread dough. That's the kind of sign that helps me relax. Number #1028 ("British Ale"?) has also been pulled by Wyeast. My one experience with it was horrible since it failed to flocculate properly and was still somewhat suspended 8 weeks after bottling. Again, this was one experience. Fermentation was at 61-63 degrees. I've used number #1098 ("Whitbread Ale") twice. I reported the first results a few weeks ago. I recently bottled another recipe made with this that was fermented at 70 degrees instead of the 60 I'd used for the first. The esters were not nearly as pronounced at bottling time, but were still much more pronounced than I'd ever gotten with other yeast. This batch has some roast barley in it and the roast barley aroma coupled with the ester's aroma of apples results in a unique character, to say the least. It's the aroma I would expect of a beer served to me at the bar in "Star Wars" :^) So I'm sticking with #2007, leaning toward trying #2042 again and am still looking for a well mannered ale yeast. Can anybody comment on strain #1084 ("Irish Ale")? Return to table of contents
Pete Soper, Encore Computer Corp, 901 Kildaire Farm Rd., bldg D Cary, North Carolina 27511 USA phone 1 919 481 3730 arpa: soper at encore.com ( uucp: {talcott,linus,bu-cs,bellcore,decvax,necntc}!encore!soper Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 89 11:01:36 -0800 From: pacbell!pbmoss!mal at hplabs.HP.COM Subject: Yeast Activation? Well, I went & gone & done it: I started my first batch of Homebrew. In a compromise between my novice status and my tastes, I started with a kit, an English-style brown ale using a combination of extract & grains, put together by my closest supplier (R & R Home Fermentation Supply of Sacramento). The boil went well enough, despite the fact that I'd broken a toe the day before, and despite crisis calls from Work. These distractions probably saved me from getting too worried about the beer. I was worried about the effect of pouring hot wort into a glass carboy that was old when I got it 10 years ago, so I ladled the two gallons I'd boiled s-l-o-w-l-y through the straining cloth into another two gallons of cold water, which seemed to work just fine. Then I hit a (minor) snag: the directions on the (Emde Ale) yeast package said to sprinkle the little pellets on the top of the (cooled) wort, but the kit directions said to mix with a couple tablespoons of tepid water. I tried the latter, which instantly produced a glob of incredibly sticky beige goop! Adding slightly more water didn't seem to help, so I just scraped it into the wort as best I could, and stirred, which didn't break it up at all. I checked it 90 minutes later before going to bed, and to my astonishment, the glob had spread over several inches of the surface, and a bubble appeared in my blowoff pail! When I left for work this morning it was bubbling merrily away. But: what should I do in my next batch? Just pour the stuff in, as it says on the package? Youth (hah!) Wants to Know! = Martin A. Lodahl Pac*Bell Minicomputer Operations Support Staff = = {att,bellcore,sun,ames}!pacbell!pbmoss!mal 916/972-4821 = = If it's good for ancient Druids, runnin' nekkid through the wuids, = = Drinkin' strange fermented fluids, it's good enough for me! 8-) = Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 89 15:15:46 EST From: "Anthony M. Giannone" <giannone at ccm.bbn.com> Subject: Cleaning my kegging system (HELP)... posted for a friend... I have a Cornelius (sp?) type kegging system that was given to me. It was previously used for soda. My problem is that I can't figure out how to open it so I can clean it. If anyone is familiar with this container (and how to open it) I would appreciate hearing from you. You can call me (Carl Devincentis) at (617) 873-4799 (9-5 days east coast time) or send email to Tony Giannone (giannone at bbn.com). thanks in advance, Carl D. Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 89 18:35:11 -0800 From: topramen at ernie.Berkeley.EDU (Oliver Grillmeyer) Subject: Responses >> From: Jim Conroy <AS2JXC%BINGVMA.BITNET at CORNELLC.ccs.cornell.edu> >> I heated 1# crystal malt in 3 gals water till boiling removed all >> malt by straining and added 6# dried amber extract. >> I then boiled for 45 min >> added 1oz Bullion hop pellets for 10 min >> added 1oz Fuggles for 3-5 min. If you put your grains in a nylon straining bag, there's no straining to worry about. I also remove the grains before the boil, so the nasty flavored tanins don't get extracted. I remove the grains at about 170 degrees F. Then I add malt extract, take that to a boil and then add hops. There are benefits to boiling the wort with the hops. I'm not an expert on this but it has to do with getting the alpha and beta acids from the hops to do their thing with the malt. Hops help produce a clearer beer. They grab the large proteins from the malt thus giving a better cold break. The cold break occurs as the wort cools down and the proteins and perhaps some other large molecules (??) clump together in visible clusters. Then if you give your beer a good stir, these particles form a nice conical pile in the bottom of your cooling container. I then pour this wort, with hop leaves and all into a large food grade sterile bucket with the nylon straining bag over the bucket, so I catch all the hops. Also I don't pour in the last bit of wort which has all those big particles from the cold break. Then I add my yeast, stir it well, and siphon into the carboy. I've heard that Sierra Nevada filters their beer through hops. Sounds like a great idea, but rather expensive for us little guys. I used to worry about splashing but now I don't. It's apparently good to oxygenate your wort because the lag time of the yeast when they multiply is aerobic. Oxygenating the wort helps the yeast during this lag time. The fermentation phase however is anerobic. The alpha acids and beta acids produce the bitterness that you taste in the beer. It takes different amounts of time to get a good extraction of these acids. I am not positive on these times. Also there are different properties of the alphas and betas but again I don't remember what they are. Perhaps someone out there can fill in these blanks. I use two additions of bittering hops to get different effects. One addition gets an hour and fifteen minutes of boil, and the second half an hour. The aromatic oils give the wonderful hop aroma to the beer. Boiling hops destroys these oils, so aromatic hops should be added at the very end of brewing, and not boiled. Also try to boil as much water as possible when brewing. The alpha and beta acid extraction decreases as the density of the wort increases. I try to start with 6-7 gallons in two brew kettles. This allows for evaporation. >> At this point with no real way to strain I tried to transfer HOT >> wort to the carboy using a strainer (mess 2). The HOT wort glubbed out of >> the CARBOY and funnel so very tired I transferd slowly with out straining >> until I got to the bottom, which I strained with a kitchen strainer. Be sure to cool your wort before adding it to your carboy to avoid cracking your carboy. Carboys are more delicate than they look. Once while carrying two carboys, I accidently bumped the two together. It was not a strong impact but it cracked one of the carboys. That was one of my sadder beer experiences, of course when I had a full batch blow and ooze down the walls through the floor to the downstairs neighbor's flat, that was probably worse. (It was a dark beer too) :-) Oliver topramen at ernie.berkeley.edu Return to table of contents
[Prev HBD] [Index] [Next HBD] [Back]
HTML-ized on 06/29/00, by HBD2HTML version 1.2 by K.F.L.
webmaster at hbd.org, KFL, 10/9/96