HOMEBREW Digest #1153 Tue 01 June 1993

Digest #1152 Digest #1154

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  Celis - Part 2 (George J Fix)
  Celis - Part 1 (George J Fix)
  The Hop Source (George J Fix)
  Homebrewed Clear (drose)
  Re: Zentner, cheese (Mike Zentner)
  AHA Conference in Portland (Jeff Frane)
  Beer Balls (Jay Kirschenbaum)
  AHA National Conference In Portland (Rick Garvin)
  EASYMASH & MALTMILL (John Cotterill)
  Hops (Philip Atkinson 356-0269)
  pH Testing (Jack Schmidling)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 31 May 93 08:18:32 -0500 From: gjfix at utamat.uta.edu (George J Fix) Subject: Celis - Part 2 Laurie and I did get into some really detailed discussions with Peter Camps and Kimberly Blackmon concerning the yeast they are using. Except for Pierre-Xavier Guinard's fantastic book, and my good fortune to be able to talk with experts like Martin Lodahl, I have not been able to find detailed and reliable information about the strains that are preferred for Belgian Ales. Peter is a native of Belgium, and Kimberly has taken a course in brewing microbiology there, so this was a opportunity that could not be passed up. The White and Grand Cru are fermented from the same ale yeast, a strain that originates from Belgium. A special strain of lactobacillus is also added to the White, hence the intrinsic characteristics of their Belgian ale strain is best seen in the Grand Cru. One will note a honey like taste and smell in this beer. While some of this comes from "special ingredients", honey is not added, and I feel the flavor note is primarily a fermentation product (2,3- pentandione). How well it serves this beer! I brought some fresh bottles of the Grand Cru to the Beer Fest at Temecula, Ca. for Martin Lodahl to taste. He gave it high marks for both authenticity and overall quality. Comments Martin? The White has been highly praised in this forum, and both Laurie and I concur with this opinion. Whitbread ale yeast is used to ferment the Pale Bock (Belgian Pale Ale). I had extensive discussions with Kimberly about this strain. Based on this plus investigation of her working slants, I conjecture that it is one of the single strain versions in the Whitbread yeast collection, and not the 3 strain version. Peter tells me that the Whitbread yeast have found wide acceptance among Belgium's ale brewers, and indeed their strain was obtained from Belgium. They brew a very fine lager called Golden, which is not widely available outside Texas. It is cold fermented (10C), and well aged. The total cycle time for a brew is 8 weeks. The yeast used is definitely a mixed strain. One is a lager strain which originates from Czechosolovkia, and the other is a Belgian ale strain. Two distinctly different colonies can be seen on their working slants, and both are inoculated during propagation. Given the fermentation temperatures used, it is likely that the lager strain is the major player, however the ale strain likely introduces subtle effects in this tasty brew. Peter tells me that such mixed strains have found acceptance among some Belgian lager brewers. Perhaps the most impressive thing we found at Celis is that everyone seems to love their job and would not want to be doing anything else. Who can blame them! George Fix Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 May 93 08:17:53 -0500 From: gjfix at utamat.uta.edu (George J Fix) Subject: Celis - Part 1 It was my and Laurie's good fortune to be able to visit Peter Camps (Head Brewer at Celis) and Kimberly Blackmon (their QA Director). What terrific people! Pierre Celis was out of town the day we visited, and we therefore did not get a chance to meet him. Rumor has it that he is a class act as well. We were told that over 12 million has been put into the plant, but it looks to to be worth five times that. Words like "attractive" and "tastefully done" seem to apply to everything from the building to the brewhouse. Those familiar with the special requirements of closed looped systems used in commercial brewing will immediately recognize that some world class process engineering went into this facility. It also impeccably clean. Peter was besieged at the conference in New Orleans with questions about how to brew White Beer, so we decided to spare him and keep the conversation on a general technical/scientific level. Nevertheless, the following points emerged: 1. They brew four 100 hl. batches a week which go into two 200 hl. fermenters. All of the yeast is pitched with the first brew, and the fermenter is filled to its working capacity with the brew from the next day. They are currently using two vessels, a combined mash/lauter tun and a brew kettle. There is a second brew kettle in place, but is not as yet in operation. When it goes on line, they will be able to do two brews a day. These vessels are copper, and were built in the 1930s. They are indeed gems! 2. Cascade, Saaz, and Willamette hop pellets are used in different amounts for each of their beers. 3. The White is 50% unmalted wheat and 50% pale six-row malt from Belgium. Their other beers use a pale two-row malt from Belgium as a base. The six-row with its high DP is needed to convert the large unmalted grain fraction in the White. 4. A domestic caramel malt is used, but this may soon be replaced with one from Belgium. 5. After the fermentation all their beer is sent through a centrifuge. I estimate that this is roughly equivalent to a filtration at the 8-10 micron level. 6. All of their beers, except the White, are given a DE filtration at the end of storage. 7. All of their beers are flash pasteurized before packaging. 8. Their Pale Bock is really a Belgian Pale Ale, and is fermented at 22-24C. Its alcohol content is under 4% by wt., and because of a (really stupid) Texas law can not be called an ale. 9. Iodophor or sometimes paracetic acid is used for sanitizing; caustic solutions are used for cleaning. George Fix Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 May 93 08:54:01 -0500 From: gjfix at utamat.uta.edu (George J Fix) Subject: The Hop Source It has come to my attention that Glenn Tinseth, a person who has been on HBD, has opened a new hop outlet. The address is the following: The Hop Source 11886 Paradise Road NE Silverton, Oregon 97381 503-873-2879 I do not know Glenn personally, but I am aware of his background. He was trained as a chemist, both on the undergraduate and graduate levels. His current full time job is with Dr. Gail Nickerson's research lab at Oregon State. Those who saw the feature article in the first issue of Brewing Techniques will recall that name. Dr. Nickerson is one of the leading figures in hop research, and the labs at Oregon State are world class in every sense. In fact, I think it is fair to say that Oregon State is to the hop industry what MIT and Stanford are to the computer industry. In any case, Glenn's prices seem right. For example, he has an impressive list of imports which sell for $18.18/lb. I recently purchased 3 pounds (one each of East Kent Golding, Styrian Golding, and Czech Saaz), and plan to get more when the new crop comes out next fall. He also sells all the major domestic varieties for $9.45 to $11.85 per pound. My major interest in Glenn's operation is his ability to give us "as is" alpha-acid data rather than values measured at harvest. For some of the low alphas (most notably Saaz), this is important. I am also going to urge Glenn to provide other services like doing IBUs on samples of homebrew sent to him. Analysis like that is a piece of cake given the type of lab he is in. There are going to be some charges for such services, for among other things Oregon State is going to overhead on the use of their equipment. Given the elementary nature of the assays, I hoping the charges will not be too expensive. Glenn deals only with whole hops, but he will not get any complaints from me for that. Also I have no financial interest in this operation. I am simply a very satisfied customer. George Fix Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 May 93 10:17:57 EDT From: drose at husc.harvard.edu Subject: Homebrewed Clear Hello: With all the talk of Miller Clear recently, I became curious. How do they do it exactly? Of course, a more pertinent question may be "WHY do they do it?" That notwithstanding, I set out to make my own clear on a very small scale, not in the interest of good beer, or even acceptable beer, but out of plain curiosity. I work in a yeast lab. We routinely treat amino acid solutions with activated charcoal to remove contaminating nucleotides. A byproduct of this treatment is that the solutions go from yellow (before filtration) to completely clear (after). Hmmmm. Could this simple observation be applied to the world of brewing? I did the following experiment: I took 1 ml samples of three beers I have fermenting at present: a dark lager, a cream ale, and a pale ale. All yeast and hop particles were removed by centrifugation. Then I added a small amount of activated charcoal powder to each tube, mixed for a while, and then removed the charcoal by filtration. The result: three tubes of absolutely colorless liquid! But appearance is not everything; had I really succeeded in reproducing miller clear? I took a tentative sniff; there was the distinctive aroma of ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. A small taste: again, the very soul of NOTHINGNESS. There was a slight alcohol flavor, but I am sure that I can tone that down in subsequent batches. In short, the experiment was a complete success, and I will begin large scale production soon, beating miller into the Massachusetts market and becoming fantastically wealthy. Of course, when I design the packaging for this unique product, I must avoid using words like "Boston", "beer", "the", and "and", thereby inviting the ire (and lawsuits) of the venerable Jim Koch. Perhaps a totally blank white label would be appropriate (Jim has already aquired the rights to red, blue and silver); when people walk into their neighborhood tavern and say nothing, they will be served a frosty mug of ""! dave. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 May 93 09:39:25 -0500 From: zentner at ecn.purdue.edu (Mike Zentner) Subject: Re: Zentner, cheese Geoff Cooper writes: >Chip Hitchcock asks in a private email: >>All right, I'll bite. What's a Zentner? Teribu, perhaps? > >I was afraid someone would ask that. Well, its a unit for measuring hops in, >isn't it. Aka a big sack full :-) > >I think it's 50Kg of hops (but not absolutely certain). And it can be a person too! Actually, I think it has its roots as a measure of potatos (at least, that's what I thought it WAS commonly used for, but I don't really know about its current use). Mike Zentner Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 May 1993 09:29:20 -0700 (PDT) From: gummitch at techbook.com (Jeff Frane) Subject: AHA Conference in Portland There were a couple of posts today in reference to the AHA Conference here in Portland; I suspect there will be many mor in the days to come. With luck, we shall get a big Internet crowd there, along with plenty of people from the CompuServe Beer Forum. Last year, Russ Wigglesworth provided everyone with little red computer stickers for their nametags so that we could pick out fellow computer beer/nerds from the crowd. With luck, someone else will do the same this year. Someone (Rick?) said that he was buying a partial membership, leaving out the social stuff and paying for speakers. A suggestion: You've got it backwards! From my experience at last year's conference, the "lectures" are the least interesting part -- hanging out, eating and drinking with other homebrewers, _that's_ the real fun...and the most educational. I say this as one of last year's speakers! There were a couple of really interesting presentations, but the high points for me were meeting George & Laurie Fix, having dinner next to Charlie Olchowski, finally meeting Martin Lodahl in person, and doing a walking tour of Milwaukee with Russ, and... oh, yeah, that beer. And judging in the 2nd round. And Fred Eckhardt's cheese and beer tasting. And... Speeches? We don't need no stinkin' speeches. - --Jeff (on the ground) Frane Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 May 93 12:32:13 EDT From: jkirsch at dolphin.uri.EDU (Jay Kirschenbaum) Subject: Beer Balls I have recently found myself in possession of two beer balls (ok, after yesterday's Memorial Day cookout). I was wondering if it is possible to use them in my homebrewing endevours? I am trying to get the metal cap/seal off and clean it out very well. Is there a way that I could use them for either fermenting or kegging? Thanks, Jay Kirschenbaum jkirsch at dolphin.uri.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 May 93 13:21:34 EDT From: rgarvin at btg.com (Rick Garvin) Subject: AHA National Conference In Portland In HBD 1152 Frank Dobner Writes: > For those interested in going to the national conference this year, > I would like to know if there is something special that the HBD crowd > should organize while there? Perhaps it is customary for this group > to identify themselves by a charcateristic identifier (scarlet letter, > black armband..). There are two JamBeery nights. HBD could host a table. I beleive that there is a $35 fee. We are doing one for BURP (Brewers United for Real Potables) the Washington, DC club. Otherwise, I will be out there with some other HBD participants and enjoy a session. I thinks a brewpub trip would be a crowd pleaser. Cheers, Rick Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 May 93 14:07:45 PDT From: John Cotterill <johnc at hprpcd.rose.hp.com> Subject: EASYMASH & MALTMILL My experiences brewing this last weekend are note worthy. I usually use a slotted copper tube manifold and cooler as a mash tun. My grain is roller milled by the local brew shop, generally about a week before I get around to brewing. I do a single step mash. My extraction is generally around 24 pts/lb/gal with an efficiency of about 70%. Sometimes it heads up closer to 75%. I have been happy with this level of extraction and just add a little extra grain to compensate. I am working on a RIMs system. I have a SS pot with a fitting welded near the bottom. I have not brewed in it yet since the RIMs is not done. It seemed like such a waste to have this pot collecting dust when there was some brewing to be done. I just purchased the world famous MALTMILL (had not used it yet). I have a false bottom for the mash tun, but my experiences using a mash kettle on the stove with a false bottom have been poor. I decided what the heck, I'll make an EASYMASHER and see what happens. Well, my extraction was 31.2 pts/lb/gal with an efficiency of of over 91%!! I could run the sparge as fast (or slow) as I desired. I did, however, have to recirculate about 1 gal to get a clear beer, but that is much better than the copper manifold (about 3 gal). I did have a relatively thin mash (1.4 qt/lb), so that may have something to do with it. I gotta say, the system really works. I am impressed by the results. I need to brew a few more batches to say for sure how repeatable things will be. But I expect little difference on future batches. I suspect the gains are a combination of both the MM and the EM. My only complaint is that I did not expect such a high extraction. Instead of a 1.054 pale ale, I got a 1.070 strong India pale ale! JC johnc at hprpcd.rose.hp.com Return to table of contents
Date: 31 May 1993 14:24:00 -0700 (PDT) From: Philip Atkinson 356-0269 <PATKINSON at galaxy.gov.bc.ca> Subject: Hops Hop bine. Grape vine. Hop BINE BINE, right? BINE. thank you =*) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 31 May 93 23:15 CDT From: arf at genesis.mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) Subject: pH Testing >From: pgs at ai.mit.edu (Patrick Sobalvarro) >Speaking of pH meters, the cheapest ones do not have detachable electrodes. Can someone with experience in these matters tell me how long I might expect the electrodes on these meters to last if one is only using them in brewing, where only mildly acidic solutions are encountered? I have no idea but I suggest that anyone on a tight budget contemplating the purchase of a pH meter, borrow one and try it a few times. I have used mine on about 10 batches since purchasing and no step in the process has varied from nominal by more than the measurement error. The only reason I continue to use it is because it is humiliating to think I got sucked into buying something I have no use for. What bugs me even more is finding out that it is even more useless for wine making because pH is not a useful measurement of acidity in wine. One must measure titratable acidity with an arcane process that makes the pH meter look like like something from Star Wars. js Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1153, 06/01/93