HOMEBREW Digest #1390 Tue 05 April 1994

Digest #1389 Digest #1391

		Rob Gardner, Digest Janitor

  Liquid Yeast and Aeriation (William_L._King.Wbst311)
  xtract Oktoberfest (Mark A Fryling)
  Antique Bottle Capper ("Bob Pizzano")
  Microbrewed using extracts ("I don't know whose back's that strong, maybe find out before too long.  04-Apr-1994 0917 -0400")
  Kegging FAQ??? (Robert Schultz)
  Re: Tumbleweed and malt prices (Jim Busch)
  I'm too lazy for a starter (Eugene Sonn)
  Water (Kinney Baughman)
  Decoction mash  / Humor impairment (Lee=A.=Menegoni)
  Re: Decoction and yeast (Jim Busch)
  Zima - a delivery vehicle for alcohol (Peter Karp)
  Patron Saint of Brewing (Aaron Morris)
  humor impairment on the info superhighway (Lee=A.=Menegoni)
  Yeast Starter Use Proven (Dion Hollenbeck)
  DWI etc. One last one for the road (Murray Knudson)
  GW Kent Lactic Acid (ROSS)
  IrishMoss/slow ferments/overcarbonation/allgrainVSextract/lowOG (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583)
  Extract vs. All-grain ("Anderso_A")
  metallic taste (Mark Youman)
  Reusing Mini Kegs (GNT_TOX_)
  Alcohol Content (Brian J. Cecil)
  Flasks/Grain Shelf Life (David Hyde)
  Ball valves for Firestone Kegs ("John S. Soutter")
  Raspberry Porter (Lawrence Snyder)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 4 Apr 1994 05:08:01 PDT From: William_L._King.Wbst311 at xerox.com Subject: Liquid Yeast and Aeriation Greetings: I'm still on the learning curve as an extract brewer, and would like to graduate to liquid yeasts. How important is wort aeriation when using these yeasts? Miller stresses the importance of shaking up the liquid packs once they have been activated, which makes sense to me. But what about his advice about using his carboy aeriation gizmo which utilizes an aquarium pump and an aeriation stone? Is this really necessary? With dry yeast I have been taking no real great pains to aeriate the wort after pitching. Miller suggests a vigorous stirring every hour for five hours after pitching if this gizmo isn't utilized. I have been lazy, but with 6 batches, I haven't had a problem with this. Are liquid yeasts less tolerant in this sense? Thanks Bill King Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 94 8:21:00 EDT From: Mark A Fryling <mfryling at magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu> Subject: xtract Oktoberfest Howdy, Paul Shumacher posted a request for an extract based Oktoberfest recipe last week. Because I have seen several requests for this style, I thought I'd post our recipe for general viewing. This was our first true lager (fermented at about 45 F) and I think it turned out very well. Its kind of like Wurtzberger Hoffbrau Oktoberfest. Ohio Oktoberfest 2.5gal filtered water 1.5 lb 90L Crystal Malt (american 2 row) - Start water cold with crushed grain in a grain bag. When water reaches about 170 F, remove the grain. - When water reaches boil, add: 6.6lb Northwestern Gold liquid malt extract 850g (about 2lb) of Laaglander extra light dry malt extract - Stir well and bring back to boil 13 IBU of Hallertau Northern Brewer whole leaf plug (7.5% AA, 60 min) 12 IBU of Tettnanger whole hops (4.2% AA, 60 min) - Boil 45 min, then add 3 IBU Hallertau Hersbrucker whole leaf (2.3% AA, 15 min) Pinch of Irish Moss - Boil 15 min, remove from heat and force cool in ice bath. - Dilute to 5 gal after cooled to 70F and pitch 700ml starter of Wyeast 2124 Bavarian Lager - Ferment 7 days in primary, then lager 6 weeks in secondary at about 40F. - Bottle with 0.75 cups glucose (boiled in about 1 cup water) Notes: - I dont have any gravity readings on this beer (we usually dont bother) but I agree with the net opinion that Laaglander extract is not very fermentable and leaves a fair amount of body in the fermented beer. I like this in certain styles and I think it is particularly appropriate in this beer. - I think that the absence of finishing hops is important to getting the right amount of malt flavor and aroma for this style. I think that soft, slightly sweet maltiness is what makes this beer. - Sorry about the mixture of measuring units, I would use all metric if things were sold that way. Hope this post is of general interest Mark Fryling <mfryling at magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu> "Never let your sense of morality prevent you from doing whats right" I. Asimov Return to table of contents
Date: 4 Apr 1994 07:59:19 -0500 From: "Bob Pizzano" <Bob_Pizzano at star9gate.mitre.org> Subject: Antique Bottle Capper Subject: Time: 7:42 AM OFFICE MEMO Antique Bottle Capper Date: 4/4/94 This weekend I was shopping in some antique funiture shops and found an old bench top bottle capper. The women I bought is from said it was made around 1920-1930. It came with about 100 old bottle caps which used cork as the gasket material (instead of plastic). I paid $15 for it and was wondering if anyone might know the history of the manufacturer or if it might be worth anything to a collector. It is made out of stainless steel (or similar) and the base is stamped with a diamond symbol with the word "CLIMAX" in the middle and "TRADE MARK" on the top. It is about 16 " tall. It is in working condition but does not seem to cap as easily as my double lever capper. -Bob Pizzano MITRE Corp, Bedford, MA Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 94 09:21:01 EDT From: "I don't know whose back's that strong, maybe find out before too long. 04-Apr-1994 0917 -0400" <ferguson at zendia.enet.dec.com> Subject: Microbrewed using extracts When I was in Scotland last November, I toured a small brewpub that did all of its brewing using extracts. They produced a fine array of brews, which I could not discern between the many all-grain pubs I've been to across America and in Europe. It is possible to produce great brews using extracts - I did it for 2 years. Now I'm all-grain - not nearly as easy as extract, and the results so far are inconclusive. I support any brewpub that makes good brew. I don't care if they make it with extracts or all-grain. Good brew is good brew. jc ferguson Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 04 Apr 1994 07:58:00 -0600 (CST) From: Robert Schultz <Robert.Schultz at usask.ca> Subject: Kegging FAQ??? I have a note about a kegging FAQ under production. I tried responding to the orginiator (but my mail bounced - -- IN%"trl at photos.wust1.edu"). Can anyone tell me what the status of the Kegging FAQ is? Rob. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~ Robert.Schultz at usask.ca, Senior Research Analyst, University of Saskatchewan ~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~ "I'm going off half-cocked? I'm going off half-cocked? ... ~ ~ Well, Mother was right - You can't argue with a shotgun." - Gary Larson ~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 1994 10:46:26 -0400 (EDT) From: Jim Busch <busch at daacdev1.stx.com> Subject: Re: Tumbleweed and malt prices Kinney took time out to reply to my questions: > Subject: The economics of Tumbleweed > > now a 4 bbl. brewery. Though bigger, we're not big by any stretch of the > imagination which means we still buy ingredients at basically wholesale > homebrewing costs. We can only get pale malt at $17.60 a 55 lb. sack. > Plus, it costs us another $13.50 to get it shipped to Boone. That's $31.10 > for 55 lbs. of grain (.56/lb.) and there's no way around it for us. We > live in the extreme northwest corner of the NC mountains. This is not your > everyday metropolitan center! :-) > > By the time we get our malt extract, it costs us .95 a pound. OK, now things make more sense. At 1-4 BBls, I see that the biggest factor is in the quantity that you can order vs. price. A semi of grain would last quite some time at 4 BBl a brew. The numbers I see near DC are for a semi at a time. > > Some might say, what's 4 hours to take the chance of making a better brew? > Well, that's an extra day in a two brew week. Personally, I have another > life, in fact two other professional lives outside of Tumbleweed. I don't > have an extra day in the week, plain and simple. Amen to that! Whats *your* free time worth, per hour? Mines pretty valuable. > > have in ours. Granted, he didn't try a Liberty Ale on tap. I'd die to get > that kind of hop character in our beers. But I'm not sure the average beer > drinker in Boone, NC would appreciate it. Actually, if you want that, just use a nylon hop bag, 1 oz of Cascade and put it right in the 5 gal corny keg. If the keg can sit a few days, your there. Its one of the few advantages you have with using corny kegs (you must be really sick of cleaning those things!). > > about the operation. We have so many people wanting to come to Boone to > check out the operation and pick our brains so they can start up similar > operations that we have had to start charging consulting fees. Now, you've got me thinking :-) Good brewing, Jim Busch PS: > Subject: Sterilizing chillers Another common way of doing this (if you have real hot water or a hot liquor tank) is to merely flow the hot water through the hose to essentially pasteurize the line. I still use cleaners and sanitizers, but my line is not used every day. The local micro uses 200F water to pasteurize the lines that carry the wort from the oxygenation/chiller to the unitanks. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 1994 10:53:23 -0400 (EDT) From: Eugene Sonn <eugene at sccs.swarthmore.edu> Subject: I'm too lazy for a starter A question for the HBD braintrust: other than having a delayed take off, would it be all that bad for me to pitch some hibernating yeast directly into my wort rather than making a starter first? You see, I set aside some yeast from a previous batch when I had planned to pitch it within a few days, but as luck would have it, I got too busy to brew the next batch (yeah I know that's heresy) and now I have some yeast which has settled out for about three weeks. The reason I'm too lazy to make a starter is that would mean a special trip into Philly when I really don't have the time. I'll do it if necessary, but it seems to me that eventually my batch will take off if I use this yeast. BTW, this yeast came from a batch which was pitched with a new Wyeast starter, so it was pretty fresh from the last batch. Thanks in advance, Eugene Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 04 Apr 1994 10:53:52 -0400 (EDT) From: Kinney Baughman <BAUGHMANKR at conrad.appstate.edu> Subject: Water A couple of days ago, I said: >Town water departments are notorious for playing with the water. >That translates into wildly variable extraction efficiencies. And Jack asks: >Is this just a rhetorical statement to be taken with a large dose of salt? >If not, I would be interested in what you consider "wildly variable" and >just what it is they do to caues this and why I never see this in my "town". My statement stems from the time I went to Burlington, VT to brew beer with Greg Noonan at his pub. We started doing our water tests and the water was way off the usual mark. An hour later we tested again and got different results. Radical changes in the water in the space of an hour is what I call "wildly variable". We scratched our heads for a while and called the water department. It appears they were either (1) sending a descaler down the lines or (2) making changes at the plant that were affecting the water. I forget which. I'm not sure how often they do such things because I don't live on a town water line and haven't in ten years but the experience has stuck with me. I guess we were just lucky that day. Whatever the case, it was no fun trying to get our water back in line. I don't know about Chicago but down south many town water departments have problems with their water in the summer when the algae "blooms". Open the tap and it tastes like you're drinking pond water. And finally, every water department has to shoot more than usual amounts of chlorine down the lines every now and then. This usually occurs when they've had an "e coli" outbreak, one of the more common forms of bacterial contaminations in public water supplies. Just last week I gagged at the water fountain at school because it tasted like I was drinking clorox. Sure. There are methods for dealing with each one of these situations. The main point is that you can't take your water for granted. Water tests every day are an essential part of the commercial brewing process if you care at all about product consistency. Here again, I don't worry that much about it at home. I can live with the differences in batch to batch. But being responsible for 120 gallons of beer makes you worry about things that don't bother you as much when you brew at home. RDWAHAHB doesn't cut it for me at Tumbleweed. I worry all the time. Still, water isn't the main reason we use extracts for our fermentables at Tumbleweed. Economics drives that decision for us at the moment. I have enough to worry about as it is. I'm just happy that, for the moment, water isn't as important as it would be if we were doing all-grain. - -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Kinney Baughman | Beer is my business and baughmankr at conrad.appstate.edu | I'm late for work. - -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 94 10:53:13 EDT From: Lee=A.=Menegoni at nectech.com Subject: Decoction mash / Humor impairment Decoction Mashing: Two benffits of decoction mashing are increased yeild due to gelitanization of starch that would not otherwise get converted and increased melanodin formation from the boiling process. Like other HBD posters I may just be parroting the conventional wisdom that gets published once and repeated many times in other publications and thus gets cannonized as truth... but this melanodin formation is supposed to yeild a maltier flavor and aroma in the beer. How effective the decoction is may be influenced by the type of grain used. The D-C Belgian Pilsner malt is lower in the precursor that produces the malty aroma/flavor [see 1st issue Brewing Techniques, George Fixes analysis of these grains] relative some under modified German strains thus the effect of decoction mashing may have minimal impact on the flavor and aroma of the final product. Why commercial brewers don't use it. Cost, it requires much more energy, material handling and time. The real question is do brewers like Spaten use it for any of their brewes, ie Ur Marzen. One of the finest Pilsners I have had is brewed in Brattleboro Vt at McNeil's brew pub, he does a decoction mash for this brew. Faster decoction mashing: With my setup and a thick mash I have found that it takes a decoction of about 30% the grist to go from acid rest to protein rest and 50% to 60% of the grist to go from protein rest to sach rest temps. Thus in a decoction with two kettle mashes I boil: .3 + (.7 * .55) = .685 = 68.5% of the grist If I do a single kettle mash then I boil about 55% of the grain. Given that it takes about 1 hour for each kettle mash and boil I have begun doing single decoctions since I am getting only a 13.5% increase in decocted grains. I also get to mash out temp by adding boiling water, I wonder if this is an over simplification? My reasioning is that any melanodin formation caused by boiling starch free wort would occur in the main boil and I can save another half hour. half hour Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 1994 10:59:52 -0400 (EDT) From: Jim Busch <busch at daacdev1.stx.com> Subject: Re: Decoction and yeast George writes: > Subject: Is Decoction Worth It? > > I was conversing with a couple of local professional > (microbrewery) brewers today on procedures & such, > and I asked whether they planned to do decoctions > to brew their upcoming pilsner product. I was > intregued by their answer that decoctoions are not > really necessary on a commercial scale, since they > can automatically & precisely control the mash > temp. I opined that some (Noonan) would argue that > a decoction process provides many benefits other > than temp. control (i. e., reduction of the > undesirable mash elements to precipitable > form, etc.). They were unimpressed. They related that > at their alma mater (UC Davis) brewing program they ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^!!!!! > had been taught by the masters that decoction ^^^^^^^^^!!!! > methods were introduced in the dark past before > automated temp control was available, and other > claims for its efffects are spurious if not specious > (my adjectives). OK, firstly, you got the gospel according to Dr. M. Lewis, UC Davis guru. If you went to Germany and asked Dr. Narziss of Weihenstephan, you'd probably get the opposite lecture. Historically, malts and processes were different, and it is true that good lagers can be made using step mashing techniques. Also, in Germany more brewers are abandoning Decoction due to the increased costs of energy. Despite this, decoction brewing adds something to the character of the beer. Blind tests will show differences, the question becomes is it worth it, and are the tastes signigficant enough to matter? Each brewer is the judge of this, 99.9% of the patrons wont know diddley about the differcnce. That said, I feel that decoctions are still strongly advised in Weizens, and Bock beers, and some argue in Pils/Exports/Helles. > Subject: Slow Ferment > > Brewers, > > I've been having some problems with very slow ferments with liquid > yeasts (greater than 2 weeks for gravities in the 1.050 range). I've been > poring over my brewing procedures, trying to figure out what I do > differently. The best explanation seems to be this: I make a 1.050 > starter (32 oz.), into which I pour the contents of the swelled yeast > packet. I then let it sit for 12-24 hours, until the kraeusen on the > starter is large and active, then I pitch. I see very quick starts of > fermentation, but then they slow down for a long, long wait. Should I let > the starter go for a few days and let it ferment out more? Could this be > the problem? Any advice would be helpful, and e-mail is fine. If the starter is fermenting well at pitching time, I suspect the problem is inadequate aeriation of the wort. 12 hours seems too short for the starter, so this may also be a problem. A foamy head is not neccessarily the indication that the yeast is ready. By all means, aeriate the wort plenty. Good brewing, Jim Busch Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 1994 11:01:11 -0400 From: Peter Karp <karp at cs.columbia.edu> Subject: Zima - a delivery vehicle for alcohol Despite my better judgment I tried a bottle of Zima the other day. I figured even if I didn't like the stuff (can't call it beer) I could always use the fluted bottle for my own brew. Unfortuneately the bottle is a screw cap so even that idea did not work out. All I can say about the beverage is that it tastes like Sprite. There is not a hint of malt flavor. The label calls itself an alcohol beverage. This represents what I perceive as a dangerous trend in marketing: the senseless boosting of alcohol content in a variety of beverages (Wine coolers, malt liquors, ice beer and now soda). If the cigarette companies are catching hell for doping their product with nicotin, its only a matter of time before products that are essentially delivery vehicles for alcohol come under the same attack with the potential fall-out on legitimate alcoholic beverages. What constitutes legitimate? I would think that any brew that is not intentionally frozen to increase alcohol content would be considered legitimate by most readers of this digest. Peter Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 04 Apr 94 11:16:52 EDT From: Aaron Morris <SYSAM at ALBANY.ALBANY.EDU> Subject: Patron Saint of Brewing I thought the patron saint of brewing was Saint Paul-E! Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 94 11:21:58 EDT From: Lee=A.=Menegoni at nectech.com Subject: humor impairment on the info superhighway I forgot to add this to my last post. I just got off the phone with my Congressman's office, Dick Sweat DNH, though he was unaware of the senate bill mentioned in the post on 4-1 his office indicated he would most likely support safe computing legislation. They also informed me the he is sponsoring a house bill which will prohibit billboards on any federally funded portion of the information super highway . Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 94 09:11:39 PDT From: hollen at megatek.com (Dion Hollenbeck) Subject: Yeast Starter Use Proven I have proven to my satisfaction that making a mini-wort starter for my yeast is very desirable. In the 13 batches I have done, the only 2 batches I did not make a starter were when I got yeast slurry from a micro-brewery and that in effect was a starter. I use dry yeast. With the batch I brewed this weekend, I tried a new yeast (Yeast Labs Whitbread dry) and for the first time, it had instructions on the packet. It specifically did not mention a starter, just rehydrate in 105F water for 15 min. So I thought, "Well, why not, it will save me 45 minutes in the morning." Normally I get signs of active fermentation in my blowoff tube within two hours of pitching (I pitch rehydrated yeast into the mini-wort abaout 8am and then pitch the mini-wort with about 1" of krausen into the wort about 2pm). Using the "only rehydrate" method, it is now 36 hours after pitching and I am only getting enough activity to tell me the yeast is not dead. I will never again skip my mini-wort starter. Return to table of contents
Date: Sat, 2 Apr 94 08:23:55 PST From: Murray Knudson <murrayk at microsoft.com> Subject: DWI etc. One last one for the road Well, after all the dust has settled over the April Fools Post, it turns out that the overwhelming majority of HBD'ers do have a sense of humor (88%). Maybe the others just react more quickly. Anyway, I did get some mail from one individual saying my second post (about lack of a sense of humor) was insulting. If anyone else feels this way I'm sorry, and have included my apology to the one person for all to read: OK, so maybe I was a little too hard nosed about it, but there was definately more than one "Clew" in the article including the last line which said "the name says it all' Lirap Sloof is April Fools spelled backward. Besides, I was only refering to the people (and they know who they are) who directly sent me flame about posting political stuff on the HBD. Sorry, I really didn't mean to ruffle feathers. Thanks to everyone who sent me positive responses, some of them really were funny. I won't waste more bandwidth posting the comments here, but if anyone wants 'em, mail me and I'll send you summary mail directly (minus the authors name). I think a challenge is called for here... Let's see who can come up with a better joke next year, or any time for that matter. thanks again for the overwhelmingly positive responses. Murray murrayk at microsoft.com where fun is a way of life, not a lost art. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 1994 13:11 EDT From: ROSS at mscf.med.upenn.edu Subject: GW Kent Lactic Acid Date sent: 4-APR-1994 13:05:28 I just bought some GW Kent lactic acid which I plan to use in making some "lambic-type" beers. The lactic acid is in liquid form and I believe there are 4 oz in the container. That is the only information provided on the label. Has anybody ever used this product and would anybody know the concentration of the lactic acid? Also, if I wanted to add x mg/liter of lactic acid, is there some equivalent method of calculating the amount to add using volume. For instance, most mead recipes call for x tsp of acid blend. Otherwise, once I know the concentration, I suppose I would have to weigh out the desired amount. --- Andy Ross --- University of Pennsylvania ross at mscf.med.upenn.edu Return to table of contents
Date: 4 Apr 94 18:04:00 GMT From: korz at iepubj.att.com (Algis R Korzonas +1 708 979 8583) Subject: IrishMoss/slow ferments/overcarbonation/allgrainVSextract/lowOG Jeff writes: >The recommended amount of Irish Moss is much greater than this! >Recommended quantity for 5 gallons is 1.5 teaspoons (1/2 TABLESPOON). >Papazian, et al's numbers on this are useless. Nor do I see any >evidence that too much IM will make beer cloudier, although it can >apparently interfere with foam stand -- but not in these quantities. >Note that the figure above is for a full-wort boil; I'm beginning to >suspect that the numbers need to be much higher in a concentrated >extract boil. My source for the "cloudier" comment I made was Terry Foster's article in the 1988 or 1989 AHA National Conference Proceedings. In this article, he explained how the various types of fining work and why overuse of IM would cause haze. I will not go into it here. As for the correct amount, please note that in my post, I said that the correct amount is dependent on the amount of protein you need to get rid of. This only makes sense: if you did a long protein rest at 122F, you will probably have cut all your proteins up into amino acids and therefore will have little protein to settle out. >To stand on the opposite side from Al completely: Irish Moss is God! >The correct use of IM has caused my beers to improve tremendously. I'm not against the use of IM, rather I suggested that it was wiser to first try to eliminate haze by reducing it's sources: tannins and big proteins. I used to use IM, but stopped when I began to suspect that it was reducing the head retention in my beers. I know that my beers have a very slight haze, which most judges don't even bother to mention, but when I have more time (perhaps this summer) I might try again to experiment with IM versus head retention and haze. I used to use powdered IM, but now have refined, flaked IM available (which is the type reported by George Fix to be much better than powdered). ******* Scott writes: > I've been having some problems with very slow ferments with liquid >yeasts (greater than 2 weeks for gravities in the 1.050 range). I've been >poring over my brewing procedures, trying to figure out what I do >differently. The best explanation seems to be this: I make a 1.050 >starter (32 oz.), into which I pour the contents of the swelled yeast >packet. I then let it sit for 12-24 hours, until the kraeusen on the >starter is large and active, then I pitch. I see very quick starts of >fermentation, but then they slow down for a long, long wait. Should I let >the starter go for a few days and let it ferment out more? I would say yes. You should also check that you are aerating your wort enough (and your starter, incidentally). What temperature are you fermenting at? I was used to 4-to-7-day ferments and then got a 14-day one. As it turns out, my lovely bride had turned the thermostat down!!! What's more stupid of me was that: 1) she asked me about turning down the thermostat - I agreed, and 2) I had a 12" diameter thermostat right next to the carboy and I didn't notice that it read 58F -- a bit too cold for Wyeast American Ale INDEED! ******** Tobey writes: >I am an eager brew neophyte. and explains that after only one day of conditioning: >went to open the bottle, the top just flew right off and foam spewed >everywhere! The beer was very carbonated. My friend tells me that in the The operative word is: eager. You were too eager and bottled too early, while the beer was still fermenting. There's no way that you should have even normal carbonation one day after bottling unless you did not wait for the beer to ferment out. I suggest gently releasing the pressure (luckly for you, you used Grolsh bottles) and resealing. You may have to do this a few times. If the beer ends up flat, you've overdone it, but can reprime each bottle (not the best course of action, but it will work). ******** Jack writes (quoting someone, sorry): >I asked Kinney: `Can't you brew a better beer using all-grain?' The answer is basically, Yes. But..... Interesting comment that should not be lost in this rosy scenario of an extract brew pub. I guess my question from a business point would be, "why bother?" It ends up being an eatery with a half hearted brewery and one might just as well buy good craft beer as take all the pains to make mediocre beer. >Kinney suggested that when I make my next stout, I use extract and specialty grains because the strong flavor would more than cover any flavor benefits from the pale grain.... Misery loves company? > I am quite tempted to try this, even though for me, extract is 6 times more expensive than DWC grain. I am curious as to just how good an extract beer I can make. Aside from satisfying your curiosity, I find it hard to understand why one would be so tempted, particularly in light of his admission that one can make better beer using all grain. Now hold on just a minute, Jack! Good and bad beer can be brewed from either extract or allgrain. Since I've started up my own business (while still working full time at my day job) I have much less time to brew than I used to. Subsequently, I now brew mostly extract+specialty grain brews and only rarely can I brew a partial mash or allgrain beer. I contend that, although some styles are almost impossible to brew a world-class version using extract, with most styles it's very possible (as evidenced by the numerous ribbons I've won in the last few years with extract beers). In fact, both of my beers that made it to the second round of the Nationals last year were extract (a pKriek and an American Pale Ale). Why am I taking the time to argue this point? Well, mostly because I don't want extract homebrewers to feel as if they have to go allgrain to make great beer. Also, I don't want extract homebrewers who are having problems with their beers to think that going allgrain will solve all of them. You can brew world-class beer with either. I don't think I'll have the chance to make it to Boone in the near future but there is a new extract brewpub not far from Chicago that I plan to visit as soon as they're on-line. The brewmaster is an experienced allgrain homebrewer and I'm willing to bet that the beer will be more than respectable. I'm confident in Kinney's brewing prowess and am sure that he wouldn't roll anything but very good beer out of his brewery. ***** Matt writes: >I have been getting low specific gravities lately. For example; last >batch had 9 lbs of 6-row and 1 lb of crystal, mashed at 154-156 for 1hour >and then at 165-170 for 10 to 15 mins. My original gravity was 1.032..?? >This was for a 5.5-6 gallon batch. This has happened before. Is You might try mixing up the wort (don't aerate) and then checking again -- the heavy, high-gravity runnings come out first, followed by the low gravity runnings, which can sit on top. If that's not the problem, check your pH and adjust it into the low 5's -- it could be poor conversion due to a too-high pH. Al. Return to table of contents
Date: 4 Apr 94 13:44:00 EST From: "Anderso_A" <Anderso_A at hq.navsea.navy.mil> Subject: Extract vs. All-grain The following attachments were included with this message: __________________________________________________________________ TYPE : FILE NAME : EXTRACT __________________________________________________________________ >From: arf at mcs.com (Jack Schmidling) >Subject: All-grain, yield >>>I asked Kinney: `Can't you brew a better beer using all-grain?' >The answer is basically, Yes. But..... >Interesting comment that should not be lost in this rosy scenario >of an extract brew pub. > I guess my question from a business point would be, "why bother?" >It ends up being an eatery with a half hearted brewery and one >might just as well buy good craft beer as take all the pains to >make mediocre beer. Sorry Jack, but I don't agree. Furthermore, I think that you're guilty of falling into a line-of-thinking that, to use your own word, is a "Momily". I have seen quite a few postings to the HBD which contain the statement that, "Once I switched to all-grain brewing, the quality of my beers improved tremendously." I don't necessarily agree. The methodology by which a brewer provides sweet liquor for his yeast to munch upon is but one of a whole host of variables the brewer must determine. It seems to me that if you have decided to go to all the trouble of an all-grain brew that you will have also carefully considered the brewing process as a whole. In doing so, I firmly believe that the single most important concept in brewing which emerges is yeast management. You can use the mother-of-all EASYMASHERs (tm) with only the finest of grains and still end up with a diseased beer if when it came time to pitch the yeast you decided "Oh what the hell, just use that old dry yeast packet that's been sitting in the back of the cupboard for the last 3 years." Like most homebrewers, I started out with extract. Once I achieved a greater understanding of the brewing process I started to brew all-grain brews. I enjoyed the variability and flexibility that all-grain allows. However, I did not see a quantum leap in the improvement of my beers. Depending on time limitations and the target style, I still make some of my beers with extract. I definitely believe that certain styles truly benefit from a full- mash, but if you're a hop-head who only makes Stouts & Pale Ales, you can make very good beer with extract. I've won homebrew awards for both my extract as well as all-grain beers. So far, I've won more awards for my extract beers. As a test, a friend and I each brewed an identical recipe, with the only difference being grain vs. extract. We chose a style which we figured would be one of the hardest to approximate with extract. We chose a Belgian Grand Cru. This beer necessitated the addition of candi sugar, and in general I would never advise adding sugar to an extract beer due to the delta in the FAN. A few months later we tested the two beers against each other. The all-grain beer was the superior beer, but the margin of difference was quite small. Before anyone complains, I realize that this was not a statistically correct sample, but it answered my question. In a test stacked against the extract, it proved itself to be a worthy competitor. I don't know when or if I will ever be in Boone, NC and have the opportunity to sample Kinney's beers. But what I do know is that I will not be surprised if he makes a superior product. Grain alone does not make a good beer. Excuse me as I don my asbestos underwear, Andy Anderson Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 94 13:12:17 CDT From: Mark Youman <marky at admin.stedwards.edu> Subject: metallic taste After about 8 weeks in the bottle, my extract/specialty grain Scotch Ale is developing an odd and unpleasent flavor and aroma that I can only describe as metallic. I do not know if this taste has only recently developed or if it can now be detected because the assertive malty sweetness of this batch is mellowing down. While the beer is still drinkable, I surely don't want to share it with anyone. It used to be a *much* better brew. What is going on here? Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 94 14:40 EST From: <GNT_TOX_%ALLOY.BITNET at PUCC.PRINCETON.EDU> Subject: Reusing Mini Kegs I bought two mini kegs of Grolsch over the weekend. The stuff was delicious. The only problem was that the only tap we had at the time was the little gravity fed tap that came with the keg. In order to use it, we had to punch holes in the keg, really just one small one in the top. My question is, is there any way to patch these two kegs up and use them for homebrewing. I'd really like to reuse them if at all possible. Andy Pastuszak Philadelphia, PA Return to table of contents
Date: 4 Apr 94 14:45:41 ES From: Brian J. Cecil <Brian_J.._Cecil at wecnotes.semcor.com> Subject: Alcohol Content Does anyone know the alcohol content of the typical American Brew (Bud - Miller - Coors)? I'm usually asked that question when I introduce someone to my Homebrew. Thanks & Cheers! Brian bcecil at wecnotes.semcor.com Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 1994 11:32:57 -0700 From: Richard B. Webb <rbw1271 at appenine.ca.boeing.com> Subject: Low extraction/rubbery flavors > I have been getting low specific gravities lately. For example; last > batch had 9 lbs of 6-row and 1 lb of crystal, mashed at 154-156 for 1hour > and then at 165-170 for 10 to 15 mins. My original gravity was 1.032..?? My own method of determining gravity would lead me to expect an initial gravity of 1.040 or so, so you're not completely out of the ballpark. However. The ultimate extraction that is achieved from mashing is the result of an interaction of two types of enzymes. The enzyme that does the main job of transforming grain starch to smaller sugar chunks is quite happy to work at the mashing temperatures that you report. The other enzyme (which is responsible for converting these sugar chunks to fermentables) does not work well at higher temperatures. Perhaps this second type of enzyme was inhibited by the high temperatures, and failed to extract more sugar. Did you perform an iodine test to determine if there was residual soluable starch when you finished your mash? If there was still starch, it probably ended up in your compost pile. Finally, 6-row malt is best used with a program temperature mashing sequence. Infusion mashing will work with 'well modified' or lager malt, but extraction is more efficient using a step infusion or decoction method. ************************************************************* I don't know how the rubbery taste detected by Phil Bardsley comes to be. It seems that he is using sweet wort from previous batches for his yeast starters, and a new package of liquid yeast added. If he were using yeast from previous batches, then the following advice would apply. The rubbery taste and smell can come from a yeast process called autolysis (I pronounce it auto-lie'-sis, but there is some controversy regarding this). At the end of fermentation, when the yeasts detect the end of the sugar supply, they release enzymes which serve to distroy the cell walls of their neighboring yeast cells, in order to metabolize these released substances. If the 'hot-water bath' is to pasturize the saved sweet wort, then you are putting the wort to a good use. Washing the yeast from a previous batch is an efficient way of using a yeast strain repeatidly, with minimal trouble.I use sterile cold water, pre-boiled if possible, but the cooler the better. I flame the lip of the carboy, then I add the cool water to the carboy, and swirl the dregs around for a bit. I then pour the newly liquified dregs into a quart jar, (also flamed) accompanied by a lot of cool water. I put a cap on the jar, and then I put the jar in the fridge. The solid parts will drop out, settling to the bottom. The fresher, livlier yeasts will remain in suspension in the water. This liquid can then be poured out and saved for another batch. I have often pitched this liquid directly, without creating another starter first. But use it soon, otherwise the effects of autolysis will become apparent. As an experiment, try saving some of the yeast in a bottle for a while. Cap it when you bottle, and then open it in a couple of months. The smell is pretty sad. Lower temperatures will slow the autolysis process for a while. This is one of the reasons that bottle conditioned beer should be stored at cooler temperatures. The small amount of yeast in the bottles will undergo this process, but the small quantity of yeast will minimize the off-flavors produced. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 1994 13:45:46 -0400 From: dd853 at cleveland.Freenet.Edu (David Hyde) Subject: Flasks/Grain Shelf Life Two questions from a frequent lurker, infrequent poster: 1) I've scoured the Washington DC area looking for Erlenmyer (sp?) flasks to use for making yeast starters, but no luck. Anyone have a source that doesn't required a huge minimum order? 2) Due to a yeast pak that didn't swell, and a starter that never took off, I've found myself with about 10 lb of cracked grain and no way to use it. I won't be able to get any more yeast for a few days, so I've put the grain in a (thin) trash bag. Anyone have any idea how long the grain will keep like this? It's dry and safe from mice and bugs, I'm just thinking that it'll absorb moisture from the air or go stale or something. There were some questions about this a while back, I checked the archives, but never saw an answer. Any clues? Had a bottle of my first all-grain beer last night. Anyone want an example of what oxidized beer tastes/smells like? This would be the perfect example. Other than that, it's OK, and I can really see the potential of all-grain, but it's like liquid cardboard now. Maybe I could pour it out, let it harden, and use it to store bottles in. Thanks, Dave Hyde dd853 at cleveland.freenet.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 1994 13:14:35 -0700 (PDT) From: "John S. Soutter" <jsoutter at willamette.edu> Subject: Ball valves for Firestone Kegs Hi, I recently found myself the proud owner of a pair of stainless steel, 8 gallon, Firestone kegs and all the ancillary CO2 gear necessary to properly keg beer. Unfortunately, the kegs are lacking in the valve department in that there are two of them, and one valve leaks. Does anyone know where I can get three of these valves? Prices? Secondly, will the leak have a devastating effect on the batch of beer in the keg? The leak is slow, but I have no indication that the beer inside is contaminated by ouside air. Reply to digest or e-mail (jsoutter at willamette.edu) Thanks in advance, Scott # # # # jsoutter at willamette.edu Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 1994 16:20:29 -0400 From: l-snyder at mskcc.org (Lawrence Snyder) Subject: Raspberry Porter I am at the present time a relatively new (~ 6 months) extract brewer and was recently in Steamboat Springs CO and had the good fortune to try an amazingly good raspberry wheat beer in a brewpub called Heavenly Daze (also the name of a pretty good ski run on the mountain). They also had a really nice porter which had a beautiful aftertaste somewhere in between coffee and chocolate. But what I thought was particularly tasty and worthy of duplication was the brew obtained by mixing the two. A raspberry porter! I'd really appreciate it if someone who's had experience at brewing with fruit could send me some info on the subject as Papazian and Miller have me confused as to when to add the fruit / extract. Is it best to use whole fruit? What about risk of infection? Do you boil with the wort, steep, or just add it into the primary? Also I remember a couple of issues ago on the HBD someone talking about not adding the fruit directly in the primary fermentation as the initial CO2 surge will scrub out the aroma. Thanks in advance for any info. Larry Return to table of contents
End of HOMEBREW Digest #1390, 04/05/94