HOMEBREW Digest #1315 Tue 04 January 1994

Digest #1314 Digest #1316

		Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator

  re: mead (Dick Dunn)
  How hot is uncool? ("Steven W. Smith")
  dishwasher bottles - YES! (aew)
  Forced Carbonation or Natural (cong)
  Improving extract beers. (lyons)
  Re: Sam Adams taste-alike (aew)
  Formula for Fullers ESB (rprice)
  Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout (gorman)
  more on bottles (dan_fox)
  answers to kegging questions ("Anton Verhulst")
  Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout (Earle M. Williams)
  Batch Sparging/Special B/Miscellany (npyle)
  kettle mashing on a Cajun cooker/gelatin & yeast (SWEENERB)
  Re: Brewing Wine coolers (Robert F. Dougherty)
  Sanitizers/Carapils/Bottling/StarterOG/HopStorage/Fruit/GrainStorage (korz)
  Mill adjustment (Eric Wade)
  French Brewing news (Chris Estes)
  Re: Specific Gravity readings ("Mark B. Alston")
  Use of Wort Chillers (JOHN.L.HALE)
  Re: Shipping brew, Brewing Wine coolers ("Mark B. Alston")
  miller stout (jim pockstaller)
  ScortchCleanup/CommercialFGs/LagerStarters/lowOG (korz)
  None (George Tempel)
  Ovens Yet Again (Jeff Frane)
  threads (LLAPV)

Send articles for __publication_only__ to homebrew at hpfcmi.fc.hp.com (Articles are published in the order they are received.) Send UNSUBSCRIBE and all other requests, ie, address change, etc., to homebrew-request@ hpfcmi.fc.hp.com, BUT PLEASE NOTE that if you subscribed via the BITNET listserver (BEER-L at UA1VM.UA.EDU), then you MUST unsubscribe the same way! If your account is being deleted, please be courteous and unsubscribe first. Archives are available via anonymous ftp from sierra.stanford.edu. (Those without ftp access may retrieve files via mail from listserv at sierra.stanford.edu. Send HELP as the body of a message to that address to receive listserver instructions.) Please don't send me requests for back issues - you will be silently ignored. For "Cat's Meow" information, send mail to lutzen at novell.physics.umr.edu
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 3 Jan 94 01:01:47 MST (Mon) From: rcd at raven.eklektix.com (Dick Dunn) Subject: re: mead Carl Howes <sdlsb.dnet!73410%sdlcc at swlvx2.msd.ray.com> [if *that* isn't a broken-in-transit address, I don't know what is!] writes: > A question about mead. I racked my first mead to secondaries last night > and, on drinking the hydrometer sample, found a nasty biting plastic > flavor. I recall a comment made recently that off flavors are not unusual > in young mead, but this off? Yes, it could be that far off and still have potential for becoming a good mead. Tell us more about what you did, in particular: what yeast and what fer- mentation temperatures, any hops? The name I've got for the taste of an awkward young mead is "Listerine". This is not to disparage mouthwash, but only to observe that several people I know independently came up with the same label for the taste. Anyway, if that description fits, comfort yourself with the knowledge that it does age out. (Usually it's within a year, but we had a pomegranate melomel that took a couple of years and an apricot that took almost four. I've no idea why.) I changed several things in my meadmaking along the way, and I've not had a young mead show this sort of character in some time...but I'm not entirely sure which change made the difference. The two changes that I think were the most likely: * I use wine or champagne yeasts, and if I can get any info on the yeast I choose one that's low in ester production. Ale yeasts seem like a bad idea, even aside from their lack of alcohol-tolerance. * I don't use hops...hops are for beer. OK, for a bragget you'd probably add hops, but otherwise not. They're not needed, and the taste clashes with the honey. --- Dick Dunn rcd at eklektix.com -or- raven!rcd Boulder, Colorado USA ...Simpler is better. Return to table of contents
Date: 03 Jan 1994 03:47:30 -0700 (MST) From: "Steven W. Smith" <SMITH_S at gc.maricopa.edu> Subject: How hot is uncool? Got more questions: how hot does wort have to be for HSA to occur? I noticed (nay, gagged on) the aroma of wet cardboard in a glass of an all-extract beer. Could that scent be due to anything else? I've never had that problem before. It was also my only grainless batch _and_ used unfamiliar extracts. I don't recall doing anything that would have aerated the hot wort. Next: how do _you_ rehydrate dry malt extract? I'm getting very fond of Briess* dark, but now that I've got HSA on the brain it bothers me to do so much stirring of hot wort. I've been stirring it in when the water's hot, but well before boiling. (BTW, Briess wasn't involved in the aformentioned boxbrau). Of possible interest: I'll be brewing a 1 gallon (TM) batch of mead cold; filtered honey, no boiling. I just brewed one by boiling that gave off a _wonderful_ spicy aroma for about 3 minutes - I presume all the nifty aromatic whatevers in the boiled batch are gone fer good, and I'm betting they were tasty. The recipe will be 3 or 4 pounds honey, water and yeast. Preliminary results should be in in a couple of months. * If anyone has a reasonably priced source for Briess extract in bulk, I'd sure like to hear from you in private mail. TIA _,_/| \o.O; Steven W. Smith, Programmer/Analyst =(___)= Glendale Community College, Glendale Az. USA U SMITH_S at GC.BITNET smith_s at gc.maricopa.edu "All good people are asleep and dreaming" - Skinny Puppy Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 94 09:09:11 -0500 From: aew at spitfire.unh.edu Subject: dishwasher bottles - YES! Bruce, I always use my dishwasher - with 1/4 cup of b-brite instead of soap and the HEAT DRY CYCLE (most important). I've never had any sanitation problems with the bottles (no gushers, bombs, or sour batches) Using the autoclave seems slightly too much work when you have almost the same tool in your kitchen (even if it only gets the bottles to about 180 degrees, that's pretty good). I hope this helps. -Allan Wright Return to table of contents
Date: 3 Jan 94 14:50:45 GMT From: cssc!cong at scuzzy.attmail.com Subject: Forced Carbonation or Natural In HBD 1312 Jack Tavares askes >1. Should I carbonate with corn sugar/DME or with the CO2? >What have people found to be the best/easiest? I have been kegging for some time and have tried both forced carbonation and natural. The forced carbonation is quick and easy. It can, with certain beer styles, give you a drinkable beer with a fairly nice head in a few days. I feel the head isn't as rich and creamy as a naturally carbonated beer. If you seek beer in a hurry, force carbonate. To me, that's not why I brew but when your running low or only have a few 5gal kegs, it is convienient. To me natural carbonation is the way to go. I have many kegs and always have many gallons on hand. Both are easy, Simply prime in the Keg after you inject some CO2 and before you rack. You simply blow off 1/2 a glass when you naturally carbonate to rid yourself of the spent yeast. I recommend you try both and see what you prefer. >2. Are there gizmos available to allow me to hook up two >kegs at once for conditioning/serving? Your kegging system most likely includes a single line manifold. This can be replaced with a multiline manifold quite easily. They can most probably be purchased where you got your kegging set-up or through the mail. You can find several Mail Order houses in Zymurgy or other beer related periodicals. cong Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 94 09:49:46 EST From: lyons%adc1 at swlvx2.msd.ray.com Subject: Improving extract beers. Is it important to boil the hops with the malt? On the back of a label from a can of extract malt I read a procedure in which it was suggested to boil the bittering hops in water and add the extract after the boil was finished. This seems to make some sense. The "extract twang" is due in part to caramelization of the malt sugars. Since caramelization is a function the time of boiling the malt, it seems wise to limit the time the malt is boiled. Boiling the hops in just water also makes sense from a hop utilization standpoint, since the percent utilization will be greater for a low gravity boil (water). Would following such a procedure improve the taste of extract brews? Any comments? Chris Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 94 10:08:03 -0500 From: aew at spitfire.unh.edu Subject: Re: Sam Adams taste-alike Here's one that will keep Koch from getting a few $$$: This is from a previous HBD i think. weyland at sn.jsc.nasa.gov (WEYLAND,MARK) writes: >After all the negative words concerning Sam Adams I hope I don't get flamed >off the planet for requesting recipes to approximate their beer or one with >a similar taste. I am new to homebrewing (1 batch so far) and as of yet >can not make a true lager, so I hope there are some recipes for ales which >have this taste. Please Email responses. Thanks in advance. *I* like the beer. And, hey, I haven't been sued yet. I hope you get a whiter, lasting-er head than the real SA. Samuel Adams Taste-Alike Beer For 5 gallons: INGREDIENTS 1 can Munton & Fison Premium Kit 1 Packet yeast (under cap) 2 1 lb. packages Amber DME 1 1 oz package Hallertauer hop pellets 1 1 oz package Tettnang hop pellets 1 cup corn sugar (for priming) DIRECTIONS Remove label from Kit and stand in warm water for 15-20 minutes. In a pot sufficient to boil 2 gallons of liquid, empty DME. Open can of malt and empty contents into pot onto DME. Using one gallon hot water, rinse out can and add to pot. Turn on heat and carefully bring to a boil. Ass package of Hallertauer hops, Adjust heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add Tettnang hops and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, put 4 gallons cold water into primary fermenter. When boil is complete, empty hot wort into cold water. When temperature reaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit, open yeast and sprinkle onto surface of the wort and cover tightly. Place fermentation lock with water in lid. Allow beer to ferment for four days in primary fermenter, Transfer to clean secondary fermenter and allow to ferment for an additional ten to fourteen days. Syphon beer from secondary fermenter into clean bottling bucket. Dissolve priming sugar in a small amount of beer and add to bottling bucket. Fill clean bottles and cap. Let stand for five days at room temperature and then move to a cool place. Beer will be carbonated in three weeks and will improve for several months. (AEW) - A friend of mine has brewed this several times with great success - he adds an additional pound (total of 3) of DME. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 1994 10:09:45 -0500 From: rprice at CBMSE.NRL.NAVY.MIL Subject: Formula for Fullers ESB Hi; Does anyone know of a good formulation for Fullers ESB ? I brew either extract or Mash, the important part is the taste. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 94 10:27:37 EST From: gorman at aol.com Subject: Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout Paul H. writes: >Subject: Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout >Not a direct brewing question, but could someone ve nture >an opinion on whether or not this beer is worth $17.00 a >six-pack? Many stores sell Samuel Smith's by the single "Yorkshire Pint" bottle. It's about $2.50/bottle in the DC area. Not much of an investment fo r a taste. It is the Oatmeal Stout to die for, IMHO. Bill G Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 94 10:47:36 EST From: dan_fox at ccmail.GSFC.NASA.GOV Subject: more on bottles Hello all! I'm new to brewing, the Net, and this list. That being said, I don't worry all that much about bottles. When I started, I weighed 6 each of Bud bar longneck returnables and Sam Adams throwaways. They all weighed between 285 and 310 grams, with no discernible distribution vs. origin. So I don't think that there is enough difference to be worried about. I didn't do crush testing, burst psi, or any other test-to-ultimate-failure. There is a difference in lip structure, evidently (at least with my bottle capper). Some bottles take a cap better than others, with Sam and Bud being good, and Aass and Bass Ale (among others) being bad. I use Sam bottles because I generate a steady stream of them, and I like the shoulder in the bottle for decanting. Thanks, someone, for the tip on using the oven to sterilize bottles. I had often wondered about it, and I think I'll try it. Dan Fox Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 94 10:51:38 EST From: "Anton Verhulst" <verhulst at zk3.dec.com> Subject: answers to kegging questions >1. Should I carbonate with corn sugar/DME or with the CO2? > >Papazian's book mentions using DME/corn sugar and the literature >i got with the kegging system says to use the CO2? > >What have people found to be the best/easiest? As always, there are trade-offs. You can use DME and wait a couple of weeks to carbonate. There will be sediment at the bottom that will wind up in the first couple of glasses. This can be reduced by cutting about an inch (2.5cm) from the end of the pickup tube. If your beer is reasonably clear before kegging, forced carbonation will give you beer that is ready to drink. NOW! You can also carbonate to very precise levels by adjusting the presure. I force carbonate and my 10 pound CO2 tank will last me for about 20 batches. Most people have 5 pound tanks and may tire of getting it refilled often, and therefore may opt to carbonate naturally. >2. Are there gizmos available to allow me to hook up two >kegs at once for conditioning/serving? Yes, a siple T fitting and some hose and an "in" connecter will do the job. The problem that arises is, what if you have a lager that should be chilled and well carbonated and an English style ale that should be served warmer an much less carbonated? Unless you get multiple regulators all kegs would be at the same pressure. be served - --Tony Verhulst Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 94 9:15:16 MST From: Earle M. Williams <earlew at drc.usbm.gov> Subject: Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout > > Not a direct brewing question, but could someone venture > an opinion on whether or not this beer is worth $17.00 a > six-pack? I've noticed it on the shelves a couple of times > and it sounds very tempting, but I've been reluctant to > take the plunge. > > | Paul Hethmon | Anonymous ftp for > | hethmon at cs.utk.edu | Woodworking: cs.rochester.edu > | University of Tennessee | HomeBrew: sierra.stanford.edu > | Knoxville, Tennessee | OS/2 Info: ftp-os2.cdrom.com $17.00US a six-pack?? Where are you shopping? Granted, it is a fine brew. I've purchased single bottles at a local watering hole (ouch!) but I think I've seen sixers of this fine beer in the $10-11 range at a liquor warehouse in Denver. For me, it isn't worth it at $17. - -- Earle M. Williams U.S. Bureau of Mines Denver, Colorado USA (Internet) earlew at drc.usbm.gov Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 94 9:48:25 MST From: npyle at n33.stortek.com Subject: Batch Sparging/Special B/Miscellany Chuck Mryglot mentions that he batch sparges and then says: >Now, - I usually get 20 - 25 pts/lb/gal. I consistently average 25 pts with a similar setup and procedure. > - Is there a relationship between sparge rate and extraction? Possibly, but I don't think it has a large effect. > - Is my process all screwed up? Only if you want extract rates of over 30 pts. > - Does any one else use a similar setup and get similar or better > extraction? See above. > - Does any one get 30 - 35 pts/lb/gal? Only the ones who are lying about their extraction. I'm joking!!! ;-) ;-) Note the smileys! Hey quit throwing those rotten tomatoes!!!! I believe ALL of the grain bill should be included though (note a recent thread on gravity points from black malt, etc.). Actually, batch sparging leaves behind lots of sugar because you've created a single concentration of the hot liquor. With "normal" sparging, the concentration of sugar (i.e., the specific gravity) drops as you pull wort out the bottom and add water in the top. You lose this advantage with batch sparging, but it sure is easy. If you really want to increase your yield, you might try a second batch sparge after the first one is finished draining. In this case, you should adjust the volume of the first sparge downward so you don't end up with too much liquor, and so you don't oversparge. ** Jim Busch and Jeff Frane write that Special B is not the same as chocolate malt. I know Belgian Special B isn't chocolate malt, it is a very dark crystal (maybe more???). I guess the chocolate malt I've been buying isn't too impressive, though, and the Special B seems to be a big improvement. It is the best choice for me at this time. ** Jeff Frane writes: >Hey! How come Norm Pyle can submit an article with lines greater than >80 chars in length, and when I respond to it, my article gets bounced! >NO FAIR! Life isn't fair, Jeff. Its a conspiracy... Actually, I get bounced regularly for this violation; I don't understand it. ** Paul Hethmon writes: >Not a direct brewing question, but could someone venture an opinion on whether or not this beer is worth $17.00 a six-pack? I've noticed it on the shelves a couple of times and it sounds very tempting, but I've been reluctant to take the plunge. Paul, it is not worth $17 per six, for one reason: freshness. Most of the SSOS he get is quite old. If it didn't sit in a warehouse on the docks for six months, it undoubtedly sat in the liquor store for that long. I have no problem spending good money for good beer, but SS products are overpriced for the beer that I pour into my glass. It is a $17 gamble that I don't take any more (actually only $12 around here). Now, if I could get it fresh... Cheers, Norm Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 1994 11:22:09 -0600 (CST) From: SWEENERB at memstvx1.memst.edu Subject: kettle mashing on a Cajun cooker/gelatin & yeast For Christmas this year my inlaws gave me a Cajun cooker and now I'm thinking about moving my brewing out of the kitchen. I have been doing all-grain batches using two pots on our gas range with mashing/sparging in a picnic cooler. When I make the big move to the Cajun cooker I plan on getting one big 8 gal. pot and kettle mashing. I imagined the process would go something like: 1. heat water in kettle to strike temp and add grains 2. mash for 90 min. 3. separate wort from grains (either use the EASYMASHER approach of putting a drain in bottom of kettle or use a metal racking cane) and put in one of my other pots 4. add heated sparge water and collect more wort. This is what I am fuzzy about; how do you heat sparge water and at the same time keep mash hot with only one heat source? 5. dump grains from kettle when finished sparging, add wort and boil as usual If any of you brewers out there who are utilizing this method could fill in some of the missing details or better describe how the sparging process works here I would really appreciate it. As always, Bob Sweeney sweenerb at msuvx1.memst.edu Oh yeah, while I'm thinking of it, I have been using gelatin as a clarifier on most of my last batches with good success. On my last batch I saved the dregs from the secondary which is probably composed of yeast which has been absorbed by the added gelatin. Can this be gelatin/yeast mixture be repitched? I was wondering if the yeast would go through a complete fermentation cycle after being absorbed by the gelatin. For what its worth, I've used plain gelatin purchased at the grocery store (comes in a box of 32 - 1/4 oz packages) which is much more economical than the 1 oz portions available at my local homebrew store and works exactly the same. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 1994 09:54:53 -0800 From: wolfgang at cats.ucsc.edu (Robert F. Dougherty) Subject: Re: Brewing Wine coolers >From: tgray at nlbbs.com (Timothy Gray) >Subject: Shipping brew, Brewing Wine coolers ... > The other question is like the one Dan Wood asked a couple days ago about >making fruit flavored sparkling waters. Unfortunately, my girlfriend >doesn't share my enthusiasm for a freshly brewed ale. She does like >wine coolers a lot and, being new to brewing, I'm wondering what it >takes to make a batch of it. Thanks in advance for any info. > > Tim Gray tgray at nlbbs.com Wine coolers are basically just wine, fruit juice and carbonation. You can try some white wine, orange juice and seltzer water for starters. Perhaps starting with cheap champange and ommiting the seltzer will produce a less watered down version. Or, if you really want to "brew" something nice, get a gallon jug of preservativeless apple juice, open it, pour out a cup of juice, add about 1/4 packet of champange yeast, and cover with an airlock. (A piece of sanitized saran wrap secured with a rubber band works fine.) Let this stuff ferment till still (ale temps) and prime and bottle as you would beer (try about 1/5 or 1/6 a cup of cornsugar per gallon). In a few weeks, crack one open and drink straight (it'll be dry) or mix it with some fruit juice or fruit syrup. (Thawed frozen concentrate makes nice fruit syrup- adds lots of flavor and sweetness without diluting the drink much.) I just made some with raspberry juice concentrate and some citrus blend concentrate. (Rave reviews from all who tried 'em at a new years party.) Here's a question of my own: Has anyone tried playing with thermoelectric modules? (They're chips which act as heat pumps when a current is passed through them. A few cooler makers have used them in electric coolers.) I've been looking for a small used fridge for my brew closet (space is tight!) and can't find one. I'm considering building an insulated box and refridgerating it myself. The solid-state system appeals to me cause I don't want to mess with hoses, coils, compressors, etc. and I just plain like neat, new gadgets. Any info apperciated, but I'm really trying to find a source for the modules. I've tried all the local electronics shops and Edmund Scientific- no luck. thanks, bob dougherty wolfgang at cats.ucsc.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 94 12:30 CST From: korz at iepubj.att.com Subject: Sanitizers/Carapils/Bottling/StarterOG/HopStorage/Fruit/GrainStorage Russ writes: > Re. sanitizing solutions: I've got a 5-gallon plastic bucket that I >keep filled with a strong, almost saturated, solution of B-Brite. As >long as I remember to tightly seal the cover, it remains active (ie. it >is still very "slippery") for a long time (months). I even store things >such as rubber stoppers and plastic fermentation locks right in the bucket. A word of warning. I'm not a chemist, but I ran this across one and I think I have this right: B-Brite and One-Step are primarily Sodium Percarbonate. When you mix Sodium Percarbonate with water, you get something that is like Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) and Sodium Carbonate (Washing Soda). It is the H2O2 that is the sanitizing agent. After a short while (I don't know how long) the Hydrogen Peroxide loses all it's extra oxygen and becomes water. The slippery feeling is the Sodium Carbonate, which is moderately alkaline, and thus feels slippery. I've had problems with soaking bottles overnight in pure Sodium Carbonate solution (a white film formed on the glass, which I eventually got off with lemon juice solution, but any weak acid should work) so you may not want to soak things in B-Brite. ************** Mike writes: >When should Carapils be added in the mashing process to obtain >the residual sweetness assosiated with the grain? In the past >I have added it at mashout along with my Crystal but I'm not >sure how effective this is. I have used Carapils quite a few times without mashing it and had success. It is simply a very light Crystal malt and thus you don't need to mash it. Some have written that US Dextrine Malt is different from Carapils, but this is not my experience. The US Dextrine Malt I've used was very hard indeed (steely), but I did not mash it and the beer came out clear without any finings other than Irish Moss. I believe that Carastan may just be a trademarked name for light crystal, just as Carapils is (although the trademark does not appear to be inforced). *********** Alec writes: >(2) The proprietor of same store tells me to bottle as soon as the >gravity falls below 1.010. Says that if I let the beer ferment further >I'm "losing alcohol". This doesn't make sense to me. Can anyone explain? The proprietor does not know what he/she's talking about. The practice of bottling when the gravity falls below 1.010 is an old one that made for inconsistent carbonation. Most of the beers I make have FGs higher than 1.010, some higher than 1.025, so this only reinforces the fact that this is the wrong procedure. A much better practice is to let your beer ferment out completely and then add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of corn sugar for a 5 gallon batch (boiled in a cup or two of water to sanitize) for carbonating in the bottle. >(3) There seems to have been a lot of discussion about starter >gravities in HBD. I've just gone and made up a pile of starters >(boiled up 2 gallons of wort, then canned it in mason jars). The >starters turned out to have a higher SG than I was expecting -- about >1.050 vs. the 1.040 that I was trying for. I suspect that the 1 Kg >bag of dried malt extract I purchased was a little overfull. In any >case, my question is simply this -- does anyone have a good feel for >what the optimal SG for a starter is? Is my 1.050 going to cause a problem? There has been some debate on this point. Some say that it's best to use a starter gravity that is close to the wort it will see, others say that a lower OG starter makes for better yeast health. I use starters that have gravities from 1.020 to 1.040 and have not found *significant* differences in lag times or fermentation times. One point of note (that I recall from HBD a year or so ago) is that large yeast mass does not necessarily mean good fermentation. A large yeast mass can be grown using a corn sugar + yeast nutrient starter, but that the subsequent fermentation from this starter was sluggish and the final gravity was higher than expected. I think that most agree that malt extract or spare wort are the best sugar sources for starters. ********** Scott writes: >The statement 'this will cut the rate of deterioration in half' >makes me wonder if I should scrutinize how my local vendor >(and their suppliers) handle their hops . As I venture into >the more exotic varieties of hops, (which are less commonly >used), should I assume that I will need more quantity to >achieve the same quality because of aging? By all means everyone should scrutinize your vendors for not only hops but also grain, extracts and yeast. I would encourage all to ask your suppliers to not only provide hops in oxygen-barrier packaging, but also to print the crop year and packaging date. Several years ago, many suppliers didn't even supply Alpha Acid Percentage, but homebrewers got smart and demanded it! >Has anyone developed a scale to indicate rate of deterioration >of aroma/alpha over time? Yes there is a factor that shows the *relative* storagability for hops, but it is not directly useful because it is only one factor at one temperature and there's no way of knowing what the deterioration would be at 10F or if the hops spent two weeks in air at 60F, then a month in air at -20F, then three months in CO2 at 40F in an O2-barrier bag. Even if we knew all these factors, there would be no way of knowing the history of the hops you are buying. Then there's compressed bales, versus pellets, versus loose whole hops, etc. Here's the table: variety storagabilty (% of AA remaining after 6 months storage at 20 degrees C) CASCADE 48-52 CENTENNIAL 60-65 CHINOOK 65-70 CLUSTER 80-85 FUGGLE 60-65 GALENA 75-80 HALLERTAUER 52-58 LIBERTY 35-55 MOUNT HOOD 50-60 NUGGET 70-80 PERLE 80-85 TETTNANGER 55-60 WILLAMETTE 60-65 The bottom line is: find a supplier who uses CO2- or N2-purged, Oxygen- barrier bags, labels them with %AA, crop year and packaging date and support them. It's the freshest hops you'll get unless you grow them. ************ Chuck writes: >If you have a food processor, the steel blade, lightly pulsed, will >macerate the fruit better than you could do with a meat tenderizing >hammer (without the splash too). I recommend not cutting up the fruit much at all. It will make racking much more difficult. I just lightly crushed the frozen cherries after blanching and they lost virtually all their color to the beer. I think the yeast will get in there and eat the sugars whether you pulverize or not. ********* Spencer writes: >Ed's note about keeping hops reminds me of a trick I recently figured >out for easily "vacuum sealing" stuff in ziplocs (at least). I take a >straw and stick it into the bag, then zip the bag as far shut as I >can, and hold it tightly around the straw. Then I suck on the straw >until no more air comes and quickly draw out the straw, sealing the >bag behind it. Not as good as a commercial vacuum pack, but better >than doing nothing. And easy & cheap. I'd just like to point out that with standard Ziplock(tm) bags (which are made of HDPE) this indeed works for things like grain or DME which are staled by water vapor, but does little for hops since the oxygen can come right through the plastic anyway. Standard ziplock bags, even the freezer bags are quite thin, actually, and I've noticed that you can easily smell the grain through them (implying that grain aromatics are escaping). I use 6-mil HDPE bags for grain and then vacuum-seal them. When storing the grain long-term, I use 5- and 7-gallon, white, HDPE buckets with gasketted lids, which appear to really seal in the aromatics and seal out moisture. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 1994 10:55:21 -0800 (PST) From: Eric Wade <ericwade at CLASS.ORG> Subject: Mill adjustment Happy New Year! I rec'd an adjustable Glatt malt mill for xmas:). Does anyone have any suggestions on where to begin with gapping it. I know that the proof is in the milling, but I've never milled my own grain before and would like some help with getting started. I've got feeler guages for gapping plugs, etc. I realize that the gap is somehat dependent on the grain used. I plan on using either US 2-row (Klages/Harrington) and/or De Wolf-Cosyns Belgian ale malt. Also, what should I be looking for in terms of the milled grain? Should the grains be crushed completely open, only gently squeezed, shredded into flour, etc. I know from following some earlier posts the basic idea, but a little refresher would be appreciated. TIA, Eric Wade <ericwade at class.org> U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Library San Francisco Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 94 14:15:42 -0500 From: cestes at argos5.DNET.NASA.GOV (Chris Estes) Subject: French Brewing news Hi all... While not especially famous for their brewing, the French are always up to something. I work for a French company and we get the newsletter from the French embassy, "News From France". I quote with abandon (and without permission!): The "Group of Seven" Alsacian breweries, ranging from Kronenbourg to Schutzenberger, recently met in Strasbourg to discuss this year's innovations in the beer market designed to entice consumers. Among products to enter the market this year are a rum-flavored beer, a beer for cats and dogs, and a Christmas beer. FWIW! -Chris Estes- Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 94 13:24:31 MST From: "Mark B. Alston" <c-amb at math.utah.edu> Subject: Re: Specific Gravity readings Rob, If you took the reading after letting the wort cool in the fermenter then you will have a gradient between the top and bottom. Thus, if you took a reading off of the top of the wort the gravity will appear lower than the actual gravity. I would suggest taking the gravity measurement just after aerating the wort for the yeast. At this point it is mixed up into a uniform density. Good luck, Mark. Return to table of contents
Date: 3 Jan 94 15:20:31-0500 From: JOHN.L.HALE at sprint.sprint.com Subject: Use of Wort Chillers After following the subject on the HBD over the past year and asking a few questions, I recently built my first wort chiller and am very pleased with the results. (A note to other chiller novices: build one, it's very easy). Now I have a couple of questions concerning the proper use of this beast. The details: Immersion type; 2 coils, 3/8" tubing, 15 ft in ice chest, 35 ft in brewpot Recipe: IPA, 9 lbs of DME, 1 lb crystal, Wyeast British Ale, no starter (short on time), leaf hops in bags. I've never used a chiller before so I didn't know what to expect. It got the boiling wort down under 70 degrees in about 15 min. I then siphoned the wort into a 7 gal carboy and pitched yeast. I didn't observe the cold break (in the pot, that is) that I've heard so much about. However, about two hours after I pitched the yeast I had about two inches of "stuff" on the bottom of the carboy. I went back and reread one of my Dave Miller book (can't remember which) and he seemed to be saying that one should let the wort settle in the brewpot after chilling prior to racking to primary. Am I reading this right? I'm curious about the procedures that other people use concerning wort chillers. At what point do you see the cold break and can you effectively rack the wort off the break and leave it behind? Thanks for any info. Reply in HBD or e-mail. Thanks, John Hale (john.l.hale at sprint.sprint.com) Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 94 13:26:57 MST From: "Mark B. Alston" <c-amb at math.utah.edu> Subject: Re: Shipping brew, Brewing Wine coolers Tim, Why don't you try brewing a framboise or a similar fruity ale. Your girlfriend would probably appreciate a rasberry wheat bear or perhaps a peach ale. Mark (whose girlfriend can't get enough stout) Alston. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 94 14:41:32 CST From: jim pockstaller <HFIN012 at UABDPO.DPO.UAB.EDU> Subject: miller stout I tried Miller's stout this weekend. I am no beer judge but i was not impressed. To say it was a bit thin would be an understatement, in my opinion. I don't know about stacking up to Guiness analytically, whatever that means, but it sure did not stack up taste wise. jim pockstaller Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 94 15:03 CST From: korz at iepubj.att.com Subject: ScortchCleanup/CommercialFGs/LagerStarters/lowOG Steve writes: due to other demands on my time ;newborns do that) . Also what is the best method for removing that burnt material from the bottom of the pot TSP and a Scotch BRITE pad worked but with a lot of scrubbing. I recently used a 3" spackling (sp?) knife. One swipe and the scortched malt came right off. Then I finished off with a pot scrubber. Total time: 1 min. ********** Jeff writes: >balance problems just like a beer that finished too high. Does anyone >out there have a list of *finishing* gravities for commercial brews? Sure. See Fred Eckhardt's "Essentials of Beer Style." I read my copy while formulating virtually every batch. ********** ELTEE writes: >What temperatures should starters for lagers be done, at ale or lager temps? >Also, is it a problem to use a much bigger bottle, such as a 1 gallon for a >1 quart starter? I believe that starters for both ales and lagers should be fermented at 70-75F. From there you have two choices: 1. the traditional German method or 2. the shortcut method. 1. SLOWLY cool starter (a couple of degrees per hour) to the temperature of you primary ferment (oh, say, 50F) and quickly cool your wort to the same temperature. Pitch a LOT of yeast into a well-aerated wort. Ferment. 2. Pitch a big starter at 70F into 70F well-aerated, wort. Wait till fermentation begins, then SLOWLY cool to 50F and finish ferment there. Pros & cons: The traditional German method will give you less esters and a more accurate representation of a lager, but is tougher and you had better be prepared for some longer lag times. The shortcut method is just the opposite... quicker start, but more esters -- inappropriate for lagers. Depending on the yeast, you can get very good results with method 2, but I used method 2 once on a 1074 bock, pitching at 65F, then going to a 57F crawlspace for 24 hours till fermentation began. Primary at 50F, secondary at 45F with Wyeast Munich Lager (#2308). Judges said that it was a bit too fruity. So there you have by datapoint. ******** Rob writes: >finished preparing the wort and was ready to add the yeast I took a >hydrometer reading and it was 1.022. Although I am a neophyte at this sort of >thing, I do know that the reading should have been much higher Unless you used very little extract, the problem was probably that you poured hot wort into cold water and then took the reading. What happens is that the hot, heavy wort sinks to the bottom of the fermenter and you need to mix quite well before taking a reading. Don't worry, the beer will turn out just fine if this was the problem. If indeed you used only 2.5 pounds of extract in a 5 gallon batch, then your problem was that you did not use enough extract, but you can rescue the batch by adding more! Boil up some more extract, cool it down in the sink (so you don't kill the yeast) and then add it to the fermenting batch. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 1994 08:49:42 +0000 (U) From: George Tempel <tempel at MONMOUTH-ETDL1.ARMY.MIL> Subject: None None in HBD #1314: >In the fine tradition of... "Relax. Don't Worry. Have a HomeBrew!" I am >trying to do just that. I have just tried my first batch of HomeBrew. After I >finished preparing the wort and was ready to add the yeast I took a >hydrometer reading and it was 1.022. Although I am a neophyte at this sort of >thing, I do know that the reading should have been much higher (about >1.038-1.045). The wort was at 65F so the temperature should not have affected >the reading. I took the reading in the fermenter tank (one of those white >plastic pails), could this be the problem. Any suggestions. > > -Rob (trying to relax, waiting for a homebrew) Emenecker > mail: RobEmnckr at aol.com > voice: 215-239-9108 Relax Rob. Really. I have 3 batches under my belt, and am starting a fourth, so I know from whence you come. You are correct in thinking that 1.022 is a low gravity (starting). Questions to ask yourself are: 1: if you did a partial boil (like most extract stuff) of 2 gallons or so, then mixed with cooler water in a fermenter, did you stir things up nicely? You might have an inversion layer going on there, with warm/cold layers in the fermenter. 2: Perhaps you added too much water to the fermenter and are WAY over 5 gallons? With a 6.7 gallon pail this can be easy to do because it never really looks like enough liquid in the bucket. 3: What was the initial gravity _supposed_ to be, according to your recipe or kit? You just might not be that far off if it is an American commercial style beer (coors or something). 4: In the future, take a _sample_ of your liquids, place into the tube that your hydrometer came in, and measure in there, NOT in the fermenter. I take the sample with a sanitized _glass_ baster (available from some homebrew stores and various kitchen gadget places...glass is very easy to sanitize, while the plastic is a problem and the metal ones can rust) and release the contents into my hydrometer "sleeve" with the hydrometer already in it, this way I know when I have enough (the hydrometer floats up off of the bottom). By measuring IN the fermenter you could potentially infect the wort (but you sanitized, of course, right...), and if you have a thermal layer going on, you could be measuring a "concentrated" section of wort. My 6.7 gal plastic bucket/lid combo serves as a bottling tank in that it has a nice spigot near the bottom. During primary fermentation I will just place the hydrometer tube under the spigot and let some wort/beer into the tube. No fuss, no muss. Relax, and plan your next homebrew! george Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 1994 13:22:22 -0800 (PST) From: gummitch at teleport.com (Jeff Frane) Subject: Ovens Yet Again Doubters!! At any rate, various questions arose about my practice of sanitizing bottles in the oven. Questions of temperature, breakage and those little foil caps: The temerature I cited (350F) for 90 minutes, may well be overkill; I've suspected as much. But given that Dave Logsdon (of WYeast) gave me the numbers, and given that it isn't any more effort to do it at 350 than at 250, and given that I'm not motivated to do any research on it, I've stuck with those figures. As long as it works, I say... Ovens, by the way, warm up slowly by their very nature. I see no reason to artificially creep the temperature upward. It's possible that some of you have ovens so effective that they reach 350F in a matter of minutes, but hey... Someone reported breakage from bottles that had been heated. I don't know how to respond to that, since I wasn't there and have no reason to doubt anyone's word on it. All I can respond is that I have bottled literally hundreds (thousands?) of the little glass bombshells and have never lost a single one. As someone else pointed out about taking bottles out of the dishwasher, temperature at filling is relevant -- I never filled a hot bottle either, perhaps this is the point of stress. Alan Carlson, from Sweden, mentions also using little foil caps on his bottles (someone else wanted to know why) to keep the bottles sanitized once they've come out of the oven. Yup. And to answer Alan's question, yup again: they stay nicely sanitized for quite a while after the fact. I regularly use them days -- or even a week or more -- after they come out of the oven; that's the whole point. Once they've been in the oven and are kept closed by the foil, I'm mystified at how the bottles might suddenly become *un* sanitized. This doesn't mean I've ever had the nerve to use the bottles a couple of months later -- why take chances with fate? - --Jeff Return to table of contents
Date: Monday, 3 January 94 14:40:31 CST From: LLAPV at utxdp.dp.utexas.edu Subject: threads Howdy, I'm just picking up on some threads from the last 8 HBDs (I was on vacation). In HBD 1306, Mike Yee was comparing Hoegaarden White & Celis White. He wonders about the water differences. I do know that one reason they picked Austin to brew Celis was because of the similarities of the water. There's a lot of limestone around here, & Pierre Celis liked the mineral content. I do know that they are different beers. It's my understanding that after Celis sold Hoegaarden, Interbrew did change the product some. Plus, why would he want to stick with the same thing? He is a pretty innovative guy. Regarding ads. Some of the big guys are bashing each other & the little guys in advertising, but I did see something hilarious the other day. I think it was an old ad, because there was a thick layer of dust on it at the store where I saw it. It showed a bottle of Sam Adams Boston Lager & a bottle of Young's London Ale. The copy went on to note that Mr. Adams, living in colonial Boston, probably enjoyed the beverage of choice, ale. It also points out that the ales were much like London Ale. It then says that if you want a good lager, drink SABL, but if you want to drink what Sammy drank, drink Young's London Ale. Regarding dishwashers: I've had no problem using mine for cleaning my bottles, & I pretty much use the method everyone has been describing. But, to each his/ her own. Regarding Holiday Cheer: I've brewed this Papazian recipe twice now (or at least something strongly based on it) & have been _very_ happy with it. The ginger does mellow out, which, to me, is a shame. Try it with nutmeg added. Happy brewing, Alan of Austin Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1315, 01/04/94